ONA and Anarchy
(Transcribed from a talk given by Anton Long at ONA Sunedrion, Oxford, yf 99)
What is occurring more and more within society, is adherence by individuals to ephemeral causes and ‘opinions’ as a result of the subjection to individuals to propaganda both overt and more ‘covert’ (i.e. ’subliminal’). That is, society is developing so as to make practical experience of the traumas of life more and more distant – the individual becoming shielded not only by the ‘State’ and its Institutions by also by ideas. Thus, the world is seen via the distorting lenses of these ideas. In the past, wisdom arose usually painfully over a period of time by diverse and often traumatic personal experience – that is, a very individual’ ‘view of the world’ was formed as a result of these varied experiences. Of course, few arrived at even this stage of conscious development.
Magick, properly understood, was an attempt to ’short-circuit’ this process – hence, for example, the tasks and procedures of the Grade Rituals in the seven-fold Way. Thus, magick built, from within and without ‘the individual, a genuine foundation – an ‘inner core’ which enabled the individual to not only survive in an often-hostile world, but also enhance their life quite significantly. Magick restores the individual in a very important way to the ‘roots of their being’ allowing thus a personal growth.
However, society in general does the opposite. Its ‘education’, its Institutions, its Laws all act together to produce an individual lacking in spirit: that is, devoid of a personal world-view. Moreover, this occurs whatever the outward political allegiance of the society -e.g.. Socialist or capitalist or shades in between. – and occurs whether or not a particular society is ‘democratic’ or overtly ‘repressive.
The only difference between the two is the method: the latter is more objectified and direct, often involving force and suppression, while the former is more devious (and all the more dangerous because of this).
Essentially, there is growing within nearly all the societies of the world a consensus and an adherence to a certain set of ideas and values. That is, there is a ‘levelling down’ of differences together with a real loss of individual freedom not only in terms of the ability of an individual to transit freely, unencumbered by whatever ‘past’ he or she may have, but equally importantly in terms of inner outlook. There is less and less ‘realness’ about individuals because the dramatic, formative experiences which shape and mould character and which give spirit are either becoming ‘illegal’/frowned upon or made impossible by State control and/or indoctrination of the individual into a certain pattern of living/ideas about life.
In the practical sense, one could say not only are the legal restraints on an individual and their actions increasing, but also the direct power which States have over individuals (and this includes information about individuals) are ever growing. This, coupled with co-operation between States in the distribution/exchange of information and the desire for even more and larger ‘federations’ of States (e.g. like a ‘European State’) both national and international, means more and more direct personal restrictions and less and less ‘inner freedom’. There is in short, much more superficial ways of living: ways encouraged by States and by those who adhere to what is fast becoming the accepted world ‘idea-system’. This ‘idea-system’, it will surprise few here, is based to a great extent on the ‘Nazarene view of the world’. Already in one of its many political forms it is established within the States of the West where its watchwords include ‘democracy’ and ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’. Of course, those words enshrine clever ideas – but they are not real simply because they belong to something beyond one or at least a few individuals.
This is really the crux of the matter. What is real is that which exists for each one of us, and this is and must be discovered anew by every individual as part of the process of life itself: when it is not, there is no real life – only the appearance of it. There is thus no inner essence, only outward form. What this means is that all governments, States, Institutions or power-groupings negate this essence because our conscious life is a personal process of development pivotal upon our understanding of ourselves, the world, the cosmos and those few others with whom we inter-act in a very personal way: it should not be extrapolated beyond this, and all politics, all religion and all social pressures of whatever hue contradict this. They are, essentially, counter-evolutionary because they make the individual reliant on that which is not born from within. Thus there can be no such thing as genuine ‘democracy/freedom/equality’ and all attempts to create what are only abstract ideas destroy individuality. Such abstract ideas, however, continue to flourish, and they continue to make the individual sterile. There will be, in the near future, more and reliance upon such ideas, more and more attempts to make them a ‘reality’ in State/governmental forms – e.g.. in Eastern Europe and beyond.
Of course, this analysis forms the core of ‘genuine anarchism’: but even this is a label, an ism – which has evolved into an ‘idea’ with all the dissent appropriate to an idea. Magick is a means away from all this – it is a practical system, devoid of dogma, and makes possible the next stage of our evolution as individuals. As such, it is direct opposition to all power-forms – governmental, religious or social – although this opposition is silent and will remain silent.(Note 1)
Magick is individual and will remain individual and while current conditions remain not unfavourable as regards the spread of information relating to its techniques, this will probably change: simply because inner liberation is and will continue to be so for some time the province of a small number of individuals while the devotees of abstract political and social ideas continue to flourish and expand.
This, naturally, is only a brief resume of the problem and what perhaps it is essential to remember is that we as artists of the magickal possess the ability to bring about change: both within ourselves and, should we wish it, within the society within which we live. The essence of the former is the seven-fold way, that of the latter: Aeonic Magick.
(This article first appeared in Issue 34 (Summer Solstice) yf101 of Azoth, an internal ONA bulletin.)
(1) Silent as in “covert” – at least in respect of the intention of the Initiate/Adept of the Sinister Tradition of the ONA. Understood magickally, politics, of whatever type, is one means, one form, used in a magickal way by an Initiate/Adept to bring about causal change in accord with the sinister intent of that Initiate/Adept, and in accord with intent of the Sinister Dialectic itself.