by Jake Block
When one journeys along the Left Hand Path, that journey binds seamlessly to his earthly journey, which is instantly and irrevocably altered, as one’s searching into the darkness of his own existence continues and intensifies. The enlightenment one gains through his esoteric experiences brings clarity both into further mysteries along the Left Hand Path, but one’s day to day apparent life as well. While to the casual observer the journeyman remains as he has ever been, but a depth of understanding and deeper perception will often spill over to the “mundane” aspects of his existence.
The reasons for this are simple to understand. Those who simply live the life to which they are assigned know only that. They are aware, but on a superficial level that only allows for their function within the herd and in support of the herd’s continuation and ultimate support of the status quo. They are minor components in the mechanism of society, replaceable and redundant. They can live and die without the world either knowing or caring. Depth of thought and revolutionary change are simply not relevant for them, or necessary to their survival.
Those who become actively engaged in the “Left Hand Path Experience,” however, begin to take interest in things beyond their assigned place in their society, and as their increasing enlightenment clarifies their understandings, they discover that they have greater control of their own destinies than ever, and that with each new discovery along the way, their feelings of self empowerment intensify and urge them on to new and greater discovery. As they delve into the mysteries they see and find answers in their own minds, they begin to question the wisdom of the herds that had told them that only a god had power, and that man was subordinate and incapable of understanding.
Some quickly separate from the herd and move out on their own along this new path. However, there are some who, while tentatively making their way, still find the need to maintain a connection to their herd. They will often attempt to find correlative threads between the dogmatic aspects of the herd and the powers and freedoms to be found on the Left Hand Path. This can be quite a juggling act, as the Left Hand Path surrenders its enlightenment to the strong and independent, while the herd discourages independence as incompatible and “evil,” within the context of its ethic and ethos. In the end, the traveler must make a difficult choice to either return to the herd and the comforts it can offer, or to leave the herd behind to strike out boldly on his own.
My personal thinking is that one can either be part of the herd, or someone who is making their way along the left hand path, but not both. There are obviously people who will try to do both and merge those disparate worlds, but in my world, they’re ultimately incompatible. It’s simply a case of “either/or,” or “neither/nor,” no matter how many false equivalencies and convoluted paths one might create to make them compatible.
Perhaps the Christian Bible said it best in Matthew 6:24. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” In my mind, I can hear Bob Dylan sing:
“But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody”
To my mind, it’s best to serve yourself, and your own best interests, if you ever truly plan to be “your own god,” and leave the rest to their own paths and their own “gods.”