In matters of life, as well as matters of the spirit, there is always the irrepressible need for the next step. There are two primary methods available for divining what that next step need be. When both fail, as they have today, mankind behaves as if he were afflicted.
The primary method available is the common way, whereby one bases their life choices according to society, however it should be noted that there is another path, one largely unknown today, which we will refer to as the uncommon way.
The common way needs little introduction, for it is foundational to the very world view of society. One is so immersed within it, that one rarely even becomes aware of its existence. The uncommon way, in contrast, is that which relies on a higher power to direct the course of action. The common way involves the choice of recognizing skills and abilities, whilst training them into salable commodities. It is the realm of assessing options, and choosing one that best fits the criteria. In contrast, the uncommon way could be understood as something fleeting that is powerful yet unavailable to standard measurement. In direct terms, it can be equated to a hunch, intuition, a condition of letting go to allow oneself to be steered. The common way is the path of businessmen and politicians. The uncommon way is the path of the tracker, the artist, and the mystic.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, western society is preponderantly represented by those who have chosen the common way. What might be surprising is the degree to which this path is informed, enriched, and validated by the uncommon path. The two ways of progressing are quite different, yet strangely complementary.
We find these paths illustrated pragmatically in fiction, with a well known example being the first Star Wars movie. Here Han Solo represents the common way, proclaiming that there is no great power in the galaxy running his life, whilst Luke clearly represents the uncommon path, hearing voices of wisdom, sensing things before they happen, and surrendering to the force. In Star Wars both paths are presented as part of the whole that work together to explain the universe.
The common way requires no connection to higher power. It firmly participates in the visible, knowable manifestations of the society; thus it is both tangible and real to the degree that it carries a sense of solidity, practicality, and self evident existence. It is clearly understood by the people what the demands are, to continue to step forward. The issue with the common way arises when this evident reality is intensely challenged, as it is today.
Challenges occur when the society can no longer progress through the common way, either because that society has experienced significant failure, degenerated due to incompetence, or because it is under attack. In the current case, all three are occurring simultaneously. Failure can be something as simple as technological change, where the sensible plan one year becomes the poster child for obsolescence the next. For example, the development of Artificial Intelligence is expected to eliminate 300,000 jobs in America in the very near future. Incompetence is logically equated with advancing interests that put themselves before the health of society. Attack encompasses a wide variety of possible actions. Today it is largely launched from within, whereby the descendents of those who gave nations such as America and Canada their unique character are actively targeted via policies intended to neutralize them.
A further issue with the common plan is that it always lags behind the current pace of society. No plan fully takes into account the current steps taken in business, economics, or politics. Thus the common plan is an open admission that one is a subservient and expendable cog in the machine. This inherent sense of powerlessness is in itself a direct challenge to the promise of the common way. If this sense of abandonment becomes strong enough to outweigh the faith in the plan to deliver upon its promise, the common way collapses.
Despite its’ apparent solidity, the common way survives according to the perception of it. A certain amount of failure and sacrifice is tolerated, as long as the perception is that the common way is moving everything forward. Historically, the majority of mankind is happy with this condition. Thus, the “The War on Terror” after the 911 debacle resulted in similar levels of casualties as the Vietnam War, yet there was little significant outcry due to the perception that the new war was necessary to protect the country.
This condition of consent is of course cultivated through schooling, the media, politics and religion. All routinely celebrate this condition as if it were handed down from above, somehow fundamentally true and not subject to question. For example, no one will ever accurately ascertain the sheer number of deaths and shortened lives that have occurred due to mining. No one even raises the question, or presents a speculative number. The loss and sacrifice accrued through mining is shrugged off as a non event, sad but necessary, to ensure the forward march of society, of the civilization.
The common way is thus civilizations’ way of securing its place, and remaining relevant to a predictable future. It is both personal and collective at the same time, a reflection of the values, beliefs and ideologies at work. For the individual, either success or sacrifice are clear possibilities, yet for civilization, the society, survival in a recognizable sense must remain assured. The current situation is one where the very civilization is perceived to be in danger of failure, and so the common method for moving forward has collapsed. A clear example of this is found in US military recruitment, which is far below replacement levels. Generational military families are now actively discouraging their sons from joining the military, as the USA no longer appreciates their contribution, whilst taking an actively hostile stance to their values and beliefs. Visions end to the common way is the loss of all options required to ensure that forward movement.
Yet what of that other path, the uncommon way, the way of those who commune with higher power to steer their lives? What becomes of them at visions’ end? Is it thus, that the sheer limitations of the human capacity to gauge either scope or depth of change result in a loss of comprehension of what the communication with higher power actually means?
We have a direct historic reference for this exact condition, right here in North America, and that reference is the Ghost Dance of the late 19th century. American Indian society was deeply invested in the uncommon way. Communication with higher power, via the route of Vision, was both informative and directive to the society and individual. Yet by the late 19th century, the American Indian way of life was at an end.
From the point of view of the faithful, the Ghost Dance provided immunity to bullets, a return of the wild game they hunted, and the elimination of the White man. Dancers reported visions whereby they saw their ancestors in a happy land. The belief was that the ghost Dance would bring all such things into this world, that it was a fresh world arriving on sacred power to sweep the current world away.
A people steered by visionary communication are linked to the deepest yearnings of the human soul. For them, and their society the failure of the uncommon way is not simply a physical event, it is rooted in the deepest mysteries of understanding and experience. The Ghost Dance did achieve an unintended success for the American Indian; it provided them with a new identity, a pan-Indian identity beyond tribal limitations, but it never turned back the clock to some mythically wonderful time.
The failure of vision may in itself not rely in the realm of vision, but the avenue of the interpretation of it.
Every mystical event requires effort to channel its numinous power into a force that promotes a positive application individually and societally. A language must be discovered or created that speaks both to the physical, objective condition as well as to the incredible experience that mystical events provide. Traditionally, this language was provided by the mythic structure of that society.
In today’s world, the efforts to weave a new mythic structure allowing for both the mystical and the physical are continually hijacked and destroyed. The uncommon path is only viewed as useful as long as it brings some technology or weapon into the visible realm. Magic in such a point of view is never the wonder of birds in flight, or the magnificence of spring emerging from winters’ embrace. It must curse or repair, and do so unequivocally at the command of those especially unworthy to wield it.
The last European society to balance things in such a way as to allow for both the numinous and the objective to have their space and their freedom, disappeared centuries ago under the brutal heel of the church, and its lust for global political control. We observe in this bulldozing of a balanced way, an essential blindness that has fallen over mankind, one which is trapped by its own assertion that anything goes. Thus, to the Ghost Dancer, whose religion itself was a sort of wish fulfillment technology, whereby no lessons or adaptation had to be learned, only a deep sense of nostalgia and even hate was required, there was the same idea that the numinous, the mystical, must directly serve a lust for power.
The numinous, contrary to such states of mind, does not offer a weapons technology that will annihilate one’s enemies.
Fundamentally, the uncommon way’s greatest contribution to society and civilization remains in the realms of dreaming what is possible, of providing for mankind a template of possibility and a route of spiritual development by which such possibility can be achieved. Often this is accomplished via the imaginative organs, such as movies, music, and writing. Yet sometimes as well, such occurs through the very presence of key individuals, whose very lives breathe a form of reality into the mysterious uncommon path.
While the common way is born from the womb of the society, the uncommon way has no explanation for its origin. Individually, the uncommon path today rarely arrives with any coherent narrative of how it came to be. Efforts to decode such origins often end in frustration and dead ends, for the answers-if answers they be-reside wholly in another place. The uncommon way features no temporal structure. It offers no brightly coloured grab handles for the material mind to wrestle with. It is the complement to the characteristically visible common way, and as such it participates in what Plato referred to as the intelligible, a pre-condition to the visible path.
If the common way is a condition of certainty, then the uncommon way is uncertainty in action. There are no objective, realizable goalposts on the uncommon path. Thus the uncommon path never yields to control, is beyond codification, whose boundaries of darkness regularly recede with the development of the necessary sense to perceive them. Mankind lusts for the bounty it perceives in the uncommon way, yet its own passion for dominion and ownership has brought its ability to discover the refreshment of the uncommon path to an end. The failure of vision in society assures its death.
Western civilization has demonized and warred upon the uncommon way for some 2,000 years. The examples are many, from the industrial revolution, which devastated esoteric knowledge, to the relentless murder of Gnostics, which destroyed viable western mysticism, to the rejection of all but the most essential, visible elements as real. The result of this unwavering policy has been to enshrine the common way as the only viable option. Thus, those who walk the uncommon way in these times are those who are carrying the torch for the realization that life is more than a statistical accident.
The 2,000 year war has left people and society without a language to interpret the uncommon way, even as it is becoming apparent that the uncommon way must be revitalized. Yet even here, moderners fall into the inevitable trap that the uncommon way leads to power which can be used against others. The current heavily funded area of cognitive science is purportedly after a working understanding of how human cognition functions. Such efforts are not altruistic. Cognitive science is tasked with moving forward technologies that are intended to bring new weapons to the table, weapons designed to enslave those who are not associated with the self described global elite.
The place where modern society finds itself is curiously similar to various other failed societies in history. If there is anything truly new here, it is a newness of scale rather than affect. The willingness of the populace to adopt and manifest the model of self sacrifice for the continuation of the society, the civilization itself, has been ruthlessly exploited by the leaders of that very society. This has resulted in a current condition whereby the elite class sees itself as above and beyond the laws and limitations of the lesser folk.
The uncommon way in this modern world is utterly hijacked, shackled to neo-Marxist theories that crush the spirit, and seek to trivialize the roles that were established as a baseline for life to interact on this Earth. In such an illiterate environment, billionaires see themselves as divine beings endowed with the right to own everything, control everything, distort everything for their own apparent advantage. Here it should be pointed out that the celebrated theories of the global elite are essentially Marxism rebranded. Certainly the thinkers at the W.E.F. are unable to escape this mold. Marxism is the most widely applied economic, political and social theory the world has ever seen, and the only one where its fan base is undaunted by its history of mindless materialism, despotism, and democide.
The current phase of society, with the abject failure of the common way, and the wholesale polluting of the uncommon way, has left society and civilization without measure or guiding light, other than outdated forms that no longer have any application.
The end of vision is a vast dungeon. It is a bleak and unwelcome place. Failure of both ways leads mankind to this dark place. Yet it is here, in the midst of the bereft and abandoned, the forgotten and the shunned that mankind must dwell. Here, only the uncommon way affords any direction.
The uncommon way, before it’s’ desecration by modern science and religion, spoke often enough of this dungeon. It is itself a prison where all the functions of the uncommon path are shut off. There is no communication with higher power. There is no guidance to the next step. In the dungeon, mankind must deploy those characteristics he has learned, to grope along in the dark. If he has learned them, he can utilize them to move beyond the imprisonment.
The dungeon of vision’s end introduces mankind to the requirement that to live is to create myths that ignite potential, and galvanize the ability to achieve higher forms of manifestation. For here, in the dungeon, the soul itself must choose between the dissipation of death, or the pain of existence, where life itself becomes its own reward.
There is no higher power that will aid in this decision. It must be wrestled with, arrived at via ones’ own essence. There is no sacrifice here to move the unworthy forward, nor is there any promise of material success. In the dungeon there is only the choice; Live, and rejoin the struggle, or die and slip forever into the halls of history.
Currently, the cognoscenti of this civilization have convinced themselves they can have both, and decide who gets which option. The fundamental error here, as the ancient Gnostics attempted to make clear, is that the choice can be made for others, and dispensed upon them with the blindness associated with temporal power. Yet the dungeon is not found within the borders of temporal power, as the scope and weight of such decision remains outside of temporal purview.
The punishment of the dungeon carries with it a certain art of promise, should mankind discover their depth enough to realize it. It can provide an unshakable command, of how the uncertain informs the certain, and how essential qualities reachable through myth can actually provide for a measure to create life renewed.
Cover Picture: Pinterest