There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Meditate on death.
It feels to me like we’ve all been saying this in some way shape or form for years now. The importance of reflecting on our own mortality and the uncomfortable truth that our time here must end sooner or later. It’s been popularized by countless internet icons in various overlapping circles of influence. Huge social venn-diagrams of crossovers with hashtags and mutual followers and we all share and re-post these cool sounding, tough, packaged phrasings with pleasing aesthetics like a sharpie sketch of a pointy iron gauntlet holding a flail, or Arnold (perhaps not so much now) with laser eyes and VHS glitch filters. But are we sincerely in our heart of hearts considering not just the fact that we will die, but if it must end sooner than we would like, and that we might have to make that choice?
I discussed recently with another pastor at the church that I attend whether the spirit of martyrdom still had a place in our world of 2021. Given the ubiquity of martyrs throughout the expanse of time and place, throughout myth and legend and history of every great faith, there seems to be a lack of martyrs in the same sense today. A cold grey zone, an intermission, an age of lead. An epoch marked by a foreboding absence of the kind of Heroism that truly sets our hearts ablaze with indignation and the love of true purpose. The Tibetan monk who self immolates, or the man of Tiananmen square. Even Aragorn’s final charge on the black gate; “for Frodo.” We love this. We may shed a tear, even for the fictional instances beset with triumphant solemn music. But if or when the axe draws near, while we have many things to live for – do we have something to die for? Or are we “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”?
The unpleasant truth is that given the current climate that is settling in for a very dark night, even if we collectively marched with vigour and purpose to a symbolic Black Gate of the “Empire of Nothing”; let’s say a storming of Facebook, or Google, or a pharmaceutical headquarters, or the capitol building. Well, we’ve seen how that plays out and how it is broadcast to the masses in our perpetual information control campaign. I do not strive to deliver black pills to any of you – quite the opposite – but this sobering truth can and should inspire in us not hopelessness against the shadowy hydra of “the system” but empowerment to begin making an impact around ourselves on comparatively smaller scales. We have been cursed by large media to believe that we as a lone pilot must take out the death star. And while history and myth is saturated with individual Heroic figures that perform titanic deeds, they must be taken as allegory, digested, and assimilated into our life circumstances. The alchemical transformation from written word and scripture, into inspiration and awe through our emotions and thoughts, and then into concrete action is the miracle. We reclaim Satya Yuga first within ourselves. It is an internal, unseen hidden process akin to the cumulative gathering masses of hydrogen in the expanse of the vacuum of Ginnungagap until finally, under the gravity of their collective weight of congregation, the birth of a new heavenly body – a god – ignites and illuminates the void where before there was only darkness.
We are hydrogen atoms, alone and adrift we do nothing and can offer nothing. It is only through interaction and collective power that we hold any sway over the course of our world and the void. It is only in numbers that we can be a hydrogen bomb – implosive and irresistible, opening gateways to worlds never dreamed of even by the greatest of utopians.
Each of us is as John, a witness of the Light. But we individually are not the Light. It is our interactions, our influence, and our collective force that creates the Light to illumine the shadowy expanses of our worlds. We are Lightbringers, Lucifer and Prometheus, who steal or free Light or Fire to the benefit of collective Mankind. These figures are indeed individuals, cast about the archetypal records of the cosmos and passed down to us to pull together us individuals in a united force as sole atoms are to the unfathomable mass of fire, plasma, and lightning that is a Star. And we will be punished; chained to the Caucasus, our crowns split by Michael to illuminate the world. For the power to forge a star was not supposed to be granted us, that which lies with the creator, and we wish to share that power with our fellow man. Zeus knows all too well that the Titans can be dethroned, perhaps he has gleaned it from the woven work of the Fates. The wheels turns, Kings are cast asunder, new empires built, new emperors and Gods crowned.
I wrote in my earlier article “Incarnating Gods” that our goal here is to forge a vessel into which we may “lure” or “entice” archetypal Gods into, imbuing us with miraculous insight, temperament, and abilities. I still hold this to be true, but as I also said that while Christians will never be Christ, they can only aspire to be as Christ-like as possible in this life, we will never as individuals attain that flawless archetype we strive to entice. It is the congregation of men and women coming together, collectively striving for a similar archetype – in service to the same God or Gods – that enkindles the Holy Spark of that Deity which is carried glowing within us all into a mighty conflagration that can consume the high ramparts, castles, and fortresses of the existing empires of the world. None of us can truly know the critical mass that is reached in the void of space whereupon the hydrogen ignites under the pressure of their own gravitas, but once that threshold is passed, once we cross the event horizon, there is no slowing or stopping that irresistible and insatiable force. Only once the newly birthed star or God has reached the ferocity ordained by it’s own fate is it then constrained under it’s own gravity once more and stabilized that it casts it’s own Light out into the cosmos as a beacon to all ships navigating beneath the icy waters of the void with all lights blazing, calling them home to join the blinding brilliance of the new cause.
How will we tie these symbols and metaphors into our daily lives, and will we be martyrs for a new cause, a new path, and the new light of a newly born God?
Consider first, as I will paraphrase here the work of Massimo Scaligero, that we do not see the Light. What we see is the dying of the Light. The Light of the cosmos extinguishes itself upon contact with our retinas; dying so that we may see. The Light is the original martyr, the Light cast forth from the hearts of stars is chained to the rock of our consciousness through the heavy shackles of our perception so that we may see and bear witness to the beauty of existence. Only death can pay for life.
The Greek word that we translate by witness is martus. There are three words of the same derivation: to witness – marturein; the act of witnessing – marturia; the testimony (in an objective sense) – marturion. The original meaning is that of a witness in a law court; namely, someone who has direct and personal experience of events in which he took part, or of persons he met, and who certifies in court as to what he has seen or heard.
But in ancient Greek usage and already in the time of Plato the words martus, marturein, and marturia were also used in a wider sense, as an expression of personal conviction without this conviction’s being necessarily based on “factual evidence.”
To bear witness to creation is to make a martyr of the Light, to behold the Passion of the Light. Without this first sacrifice we are left in the void with naught to illumine the cosmos. The word Passion is from the Latin pati, which simply means “to endure” or “to suffer.” The Ouroborous must feed and be extinguished, forever undulating in realms above and below or day-to-day perceptions.
Every day we have undertakings and work towards goals in which we extinguish elements of ourselves forevermore; we open some doors on the path of our lives and others close. Common perception we have all experienced as we trade one potential path of life for another and may sometimes reminisce of times in hindsight where we can recognize that was a indeed a hard fork in our path. The ways behind us can never be revisited and the forks ahead of us are beyond comprehension; the plethora of infinite quantum possibility jittering and jostling in that Schrödinger-esque eternal state of potentiality. For eternity is unused time – time in reserve of paths untrodden through each round, stored and set aside for the Gods who are not bound here or now.
When we choose to pick up weights, to run, to read challenging material, to eat better, to gather and laugh with friends and family, to turn ourselves into more instead of withering and shrinking away, we close doors that lead down dark paths to dark ends. They are things that bolster our lives and enrich the world as our own internal Satya Yuga slowly kindles, ignites, and casts that radiance outward. It
does not necessarily usher our friends and family through the same doors that we walk, but it does open that door for them and offer them to make their own choice to enter or not. Some will join us, some will depart from us, some may rejoin us later on the path higher up the mountain having found a different route to similar vantage points. But these concepts here are reliant upon our living, what of our dying?
Just as the extinguishing – the passion – of the Light is the only principal by which we see – bear witness – it is only the extinguishing of a Life lived with vigour, absolute Love and conviction that is the ignition and detonation in the heart of what will shortly be a new star, a new God, or an atomic blast that reduces irreconcilable differences to ash in the wake of the new path – all of the above. Only with endings are there new beginnings. When we begin to glean that the end of our golden thread of Fate is within sight, what will our impact be and how will it echo past the end of our perception? In this short article, I do not have an answer, because I am not you. We may share aesthetic ideals, we may be friends, we may never meet. I am just a man at the end of 2021 who feels the weight of the end of an era bearing down like the unfathomable gravity and heat of a dying star going red giant and engulfing planets as it’s internal atomic stores burn out. This end will only be a new beginning – the beginning of a better age.
As these witnesses – these martyrs – of the Light which is collectively emanating from more and more of us, a tidal wave is coming down. It has long since crested the horizon and is towering over us. Not just a tidal wave of water – for that is not our baptism. It is the tidal wave and the baptism of Spirit and Fire as the Son of Man returns as Kalki atop the white horse with bronze feet and the double edged sword for a tongue. We are born perfect and continue to strive for perfection; the re-attainment of Eden, Paradise, Heaven, Hyperborea. Thus, we are not required to undergo the watery Baptism symbolic of the drowning of the imperfect human with original sin, washing away his or her flaws for we recognize that as Muhammad Ali once said with the conviction of Grace: “God didn’t make NO mistakes when he made me the way that I am.”
As this tidal wave of Spirit and Fire comes to cleanse this time and place, the Black Gate opens and the hordes of Mordor pour out, we take a deep breath and dive beneath the turmoil and find that there is an odd calm – “for Frodo.” We do not know if we will hold our breath long enough to resurface but we see others who have taken the same plunge and gain encouragement that should our breath elapse, should our constitution not be enough to endure this passing of eras, that our friends and families will be our witnesses that we did all that we could. That we lived beautiful, unrelenting lives of desire and drive in honour of things far above and beyond our individual lives. Some of us will drown under the weight of this wave of Spirit and Fire. There is no way around this. What is important is that we are here – and will be there – together beneath the flames and when those of us who resurface on the other side are blessed with the manna of ancients with an iron rod in our hands and crowned with the Sun, that we rebuild in honour of those who chose willingly to dive in with us. They were extinguished so that we might see. Those who are martyred are the Light, we who survive are not the Light, but sent by God to bear witness to the Light, and thus will be John of the New Way.