The Dark Side, which is more or less my faith, is pretty multi-faceted. I can’t exactly pin down what about it is central so I’m going to ramble. In my life it’s taken multiple forms, whether it was my initial rejection of religious dogma, a taste for dark art, a tendency toward melancholy, a willingness to think forbidden thoughts, or an active religious pursuit.
EMBRACE THE HATE
When you’re watching a movie or something, and there’s a character who has a moral falling, doesn’t it sometimes seem like it’s actually their finest hour? Do you ever find yourself rooting for them right then? And then, typically, there is always some moment of “conscience” that brings them back to the light, some mentor who hits them with warnings and begs them not to “go too far,” or “cross a terrible line.” Usually the mentor’s argument would never stand up to logical analysis, which is kind of my point.
Maybe things ARE horrible, maybe we DO need to “go too far,” maybe we DO need to cross all sorts of lines. Maybe it’s cool when the protagonist goes rogue and starts making decisions for themselves instead of being a little tool who is constantly hurt but never declares independence or reorients their priorities.
Most religions have some kind of advisement against, rule against, or punishment for negative emotions. I say let those fuckers rip. They’re part of who you are! I got real sick of being told that I shouldn’t have any anger or selfishness, that I should be a blank forgiveness machine. Not only were there things to be legitimately angry at, but I was angry that I had to feel bad for even having the anger.
It’s not just negative emotions. There are other banned emotions that are not precisely “dark,” but get lumped in with the dark side because mainstream religions/polite civilization bans them or places too much restriction on them. Obviously sex is a big issue here; certainly no rules against that in the dark. (No rules against anything, really!) There is also the animalistic energy of being alive which I think many religions are either uncomfortable with or just fail to celebrate. Why must reverence always be restrained and serene? Where is the religion of going apeshit? That lively energy gets lumped in with the dark, and the more it is repressed, the more it becomes truly dark.
This may throw the socialists for a loop. A natural extension of embracing your dark emotions is accepting that you will not always get along with others. You’ve got to form a strong personal core (existentialism) that knows what it wants and is possibly willing to step on other people to get it.
Why is all this religious crap important? Why not just focus on life? I think because it’s possible to waste life, to waste a lifetime — if you aren’t living for yourself, truly living for yourself, there is literally no point to existence. Make it count.
The Dark Side has a great advantage that is absent in many beliefs – the total freedom to critical thought. No rules in the void. In all the groups you were born into or have entered, you have an inner emotional freedom to think for yourself that many don’t. There’s a reason they call it the Devil’s Advocate. Besides, you better think for yourself, because if you don’t, you could be taken advantage of. It’s a jungle out there.
THE INHERENT MASSIVE DIFFICULTY OF LIFE
One of the fundamental aspects of matter is that it imposes massive limitations. You can’t stick your hand through a wall; matter blocks other matter. This is the astrological meaning of Saturn: gravity, constriction, discipline, severity, isolation, being tested. This is what matter, and living in a material universe, does to the beings that live in it.
Did you know that there are animals that are constantly born into hopeless positions of being killed before ever reaching maturity? Imagine being a bug accidentally born underground with no way to tunnel out and get to any food (or air or water). Imagine being a cub or chick whose mother is killed and, undefended, is later hunted down by predators or scavengers. Worst of all, this is not limited to non-human animals: infant mortality happens all the time, and not just from complications, but from outright third world child hunger. Whoever is in charge on this planet, it’s not a benevolent God.
I think it’s quite possible that there are other “layers” to reality – more spiritual, ethereal dimensions where beings are pure thought or pure feeling. These other dimensions may even have some limited sway in this material realm – consciousness may be an example of that.
But for the most part, the hippies are wrong. We’re stuck here in this nightmare reality. All is not one; all is divided, and if the material world is connected with itself, sometimes its connections are merely points of contact made of violence and conflict. There is no transcendence.
Even if there was, would it be preferable? I like my solid objects, I would be so confused as a disembodied soul. So even if this material realm is not the only realm, I think I have a love for it. I like the challenge. I suppose that makes me not a transcendentalist, but a descendentalist.
GIVE SOME BACK/NO EXISTENCE WITHOUT AUTHENTICITY, NO AUTHENTICITY WITHOUT RESISTANCE
This is totally immature, but then maybe being immature is the key to life: in a world that causes so much suffering, it’s just wickedly blissful to hit back.
There’s also a more mature way of looking at it. Politically, you should resist the things that make life suck for you. Because life does seriously suck, and there are very rich people who benefit from that. No turning the other cheek for me.
THE DARK BEYOND/THE SOUL/THE SUPERNATURAL/SORCERY
You may have heard that the blackness of space is not emptiness, but is actually a substance. I suspect this substance may have a low level of consciousness, acting as a subconscious to the universe, and a source of power to those who would embrace it. Cthulhu is out there.
I wouldn’t just turn to this stuff out of boredom or intellectual curiosity. I’ve had multiple instances of dreams eventually coming true in ways I could verify were not déjà vu — keeping a dream journal, writing down the date of the dream. It seems to run in my family (oddly enough clairvoyant bloodlines are now a motif in Game of Thrones). I can’t explain the violation of linear time — some people talk about alternate universes of possibly, particles travelling backwards, or some other model of possibility, when discussing quantum mechanics. Maybe it’s an explanation but I don’t know. I have also had experiences with rites performed seeking results which have been granted. Not going into details – the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
There is actually some science and philosophy behind this too. This is where my Marxism gets heavily adulterated with other philosophical views.
In Roger Penrose’s Shadows of the Mind, there is an exploration of quantum mechanics and brain structure. You may have heard that two particles can behave in tandem if they ever touched, even if they are nowhere near each other, what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” It’s now called quantum entanglement.
So if that exists, what are the chances that our brains our not somehow quantum-entangled to all sorts of things – other people? Random particles? In fact, while most quantum movements have no effect on Newtonian-scale matter (atoms/molecules), there are specific conditions in which they indeed can, and the microtubules in our brain cells create the perfect environment for quantum activity affecting the electrical charge of neurons. Penrose theorized that the brain is actually just a mind-body interface machine, and what is really behind the mind is a bunch of quantum entanglements that drive our associations.
You have to forgive most marxists for being so skeptical. Marxism rightly believes that most of the world’s phenomena are materially determined, that most of the time being determines consciousness, that most things have a logical explanation, and that in human society this mostly means the causal dominance of economics, which leads to cultural dominance by the rich.
I agree with all of that, but there is an assumption that, simply because so many things have been explained by material causes, that there is NO thing that cannot be explained by material causes. That is an assumption, not a safe deduction. Anything is possible. Besides, maybe there are just things that have a material explanation which we are not yet advanced enough to grasp. What if ghosts are some kind of electro-magnetic pattern? Anything is possible.
The one big thing that matter cannot explain is human experience. The mind exists. Its nature and behavior is different from that of matter. There are correlations between things a person experiences, brain chemicals, and external triggers such as light hitting the eyes. But all of that just draws a chain of correlation – none of it can explain what the hell experience, itself, is. The definition of matter is that it has mass and takes up space. Do your thoughts do that? (These lines of thought were learned from Black Magic, introductory text of the Temple of Set.)
To be scientific is to be open to new ideas and experiences, so there you have it.