Confessions of an Anarcho-Gnostic Pagan


I am a Gnostic Heathen. I am unashamedly Gnostic in how I approach heathenry and as Siegfried Goodfellow shows in this article there are a lot of Gnostic themes in Heathenry however I am influenced by works such as the  Six Enneads. Time for a revolutionary and liberating message:

The core of anarchism is deliberateness, the conscious seeking towards a secret world hidden inside this one. For me, it is deliberately holding myself to no standard but that of chaos, deliberately metabolizing the waste of this monstrous global system that allows a lot of food to be thrown into dumpsters while a billion humans are starving to death, deliberately living every second and not merely passing through them unwittingly- a lot can get away, y’know? It means staying aware of power and how it flows, and how to better share that power- or to short-wire the whole concept!. That goes for private property, the state, gender norms and patriarchy, any economic relationships based on exchange and scarcity… really though, fuck economic relationships altogether! Anarchism is building relationships based on mutual respect and love, rather than through the cash nexus, or through the lens of patriarchal, authoritarian religions. It’s cooperating instead of competing, sharing my individual skills with those of others as equals, not having to judge a relationship’s worth by its net worth. Anarchism is the practice of free living.

The only revolution that’s ever gonna go down is going down right now. It’s always been going on, the constant human response to decidedly inhuman “civilization”, since this whole charade started. It is the “libratory tendency” inherent in us as sentient beings. As a tendency in us all, the revolution ain’t comin’ without you! ( It is the specter Marx saw haunting Europe; but it is also the feeling of a stolen sick day in the sun, and the joy of finding 50 loaves of bread in a supermarket dumpster! It’s whenever we do things for ourselves, taking charge of our lives back from the systems and processes that rob us of real life and leave us with bleak survival as long as we are useful! Its realizing you’re in love and its realizing the world, as it stands, threatens all of the love in all of our hearts. The revolution is boundless so we can evade boundaries; it is formless so we can escape restrictions.

Then again, it is also the crisp excitement that you can feel in your fingertips and your nose when the home-made incendiary device you and your friends made goes off  inside a building belonging to a worker-exploitin’, culture tramplin’, rainforest cuttin’, vote-buyin’ and downright nasty corporation, and the awe rising in your chest as you watch the flames burst out into the sky illuminating the way to the new world and the overwhelming joy at the sight of the smoke billowing 2 out of the smashed windows- the smoke will carry you away into the Other world . The sight of it is the catalyst for an irrevocable change to occur- you will enter that Other world by feeling free, by taking back your life, piece by piece; you will enter when you cease asking for permission and start demanding the entire world. (see side-note on violent insurrection!)

But is violence really necessary? – When we speak of burning buildings, exploding cop cars, smashing windows, we are using two meanings simultaneously; we are indeed speaking of literal happenings, events that are sure to occur in the course of any meaningful insurrection- but we are also speaking in the lexicon of revolution. In this sense, we are referring to those instances in our lives when the spectacle is interrupted, however briefly, and we can glimpse the world beyond. We are speaking of times when the so-called “order” of things is shaken out of bounds, when our collective urge to liberation overpowers the servility imposed on us. The imagery used is seemingly that of destruction because we are fed the idea that this is somehow the way things are (and must be). With our ability to dream forcibly amputated by our culture, we connect the undoing of “the way things are” as the undoing of the very fabric of existence. By and large, we are unable to conceive of anything better; what is worse, we may be blinded to the overarching falsity of this system, asleep to its voracious nature and its drive to shape the world in its own image. We fail to realize capitalism’s inherent violence- the violence inherent in its poverty, its workplaces, its global imperialism, the way it views its relationship with the earth,, the way it enforces patriarchy and racism, not to mention the constant state of warfare it imposes on us all. Capitalism bids us make war upon ourselves, our fellows, and our planet; it turns us all into reflections of its own values, it molds us to fit its model as it does with all else it touches.

Perhaps the real question is not whether violence is a necessary or useful tool in the struggle for total liberation, but whether strikes against structures based on systematic violence and enforced disorder can be considered “violent acts” at all. The smoke from burning corporate shops isn’t the only vehicle to freedom- but it is by far the most visible in almost any environment. This is why it is so important, the sight of these things, these things that would seem surreal if not for the distinct feeling that you’ve been in a bad dream your whole life. This is how you escape from this world to that one: show yourself it’s possible.

However, even if we all realize that it makes very little sense to disallow ourselves any tactic in the fight for freedom, we must also internalize the fact that hierarchy is an external thing, a group-process and that it cannot be dismantled by killing every last oppressor and exploiter on the planet – not only has it been attempted without in any way making the world a better or freer place, it puts us in the position of oppressors and exploiters despite our intentions. The system is making people this way; people are not making the system this way. The only chance we have to really dismantle hierarchy is to challenge it constantly in all its forms- whether that be patriarchy in our homes, police on our streets, the exploitation of our labor, or the alienation in our society. Power does indeed flow from the barrel of a gun- and powers what we aim to abolish!
It is in the moment that you watch what was- moments before- a bunch of apolitical parkinglot kids, take action against the monolithic walls that are shunting them towards futures they don’t want anything to do with. One puts on a bandana and smashes a corporate window- demolishing one more barrier between herself and real life   Feeling the energy and freedom that insurrection provides to its participants, at once separates one from all the monotony and boredom that has been built into her life by these institutions now under the assault of insurrection

You see, its not really about class… though class society is one of the more perverse examples of hierarchy at work, it is damaging and alienating and enslaving to all points up and down the totem pole. When one wields power, they will be fearful to lose it and do whatever they can to maintain their place in the brutal machine, while simultaneously being urged to fight for ever-increasingly exclusive positions of power, to step on the faces of fellows to climb a maniacally-urging and entirely pointless synthetic process of power accretion! True, this is not starvation and its a gentler exploitation; but it does not cultivate happiness. This we can only do ourselves!

The other world is actually the first, “real” world, hidden behind and inside and beneath this one, and kept secret and called a fantasy by the ones profiting from the spectacle. What we are living in now is a nightmare being weaved half-deliberately and half by forces unleashed into the world when humanity became aware of the potential for agriculture. As they made themselves masters of the Earth (not free kings, as we were) they made slaves of their fellows. All this has sprung up, as if summoned by an evil genie, in a short five-thousand years, less than a hundredth of our total history as a species. All the multifarious systems of coercion and control we see arrayed before us are the direct decedents of that attempted subjugation of nature- a struggle still raging to this day. The goal of insurrection is to pierce holes into the spectacle-world around us by which we can glimpse that first, true world. To blast out of the spectacle so that we can make our great escapes- and ultimately, to burn away every bit of the spectacle and reveal entirely that other, true world.)

Revolution wears the clothes of insurrection whenever it enters the world through the agency of those who have made guerrilla encampments of their minds, rebel kingdoms of their hearts. It comes bounding in, after that critical mass is reached when there is just enough injustice to get us angry, and just enough beauty left so that people can still dream; it is now a tornado of righteous fury, tearing at this charade of a civilization and attempting to push every bit of the horrible thing off the face of the earth. Insurrection is the continuation of revolution, its avatar on this plane- it is always there, a possibility in the back of our minds, waiting for enough of us to “join the revolution”: we do that by challenging power in our daily lives, finding ways that we can outsmart the system and ways we are perpetuating the very things we say we hate… like patriarchy and dependence (yes, drug dependence is a shackle chaining you to the exchange economy, so don’t sell yourself short!)

This revolution, when you really look at it, it’s devoid of meaning as itself. As a desperately awaited savior, the revolution becomes and myth and eventually a god, ’till people can’t tell the real thing from the idol in its clothes. But as an immediate, felt experience, it is the only thing capable of flinging us from this absurdly one-dimensional world full into the other world. The one of our dreams-made-flesh, of our desires crystallizing and being shared; the one that gleams with promises we will make to ourselves and in which the only law is chaos, and we can set about chasing and being as we will be – our own masters, once again and always! The revolution will not save us, it will give us the strength to save ourselves. It does not redeem, it does not absolve; it abolishes the moral systems based on fear and sin. It is not ever going to happen, as it is woven into the very fabric of what it means to be a human being.

It’s not utopian to pin your hopes on your wildest dreams… better to pin them on these than on the not-so-wild dreams, or perhaps merely the bored daydreams of city planners and CEO’s and presidents and all the people still looking at the world from behind the walls they built around themselves! We feral princes of the world, we free daughters of the earth, cannot only watch the world- no, we also dance in it! We converse with the trees and the grasses and the stones, we make love in the embrace of this world that brought us into being, casting all thoughts of who’s in charge and market values and all the other very un-human complex’s that seem to govern this simulated existence, this synthetic community. We dream, too. We really, really dream, dream of vastness and smallness and warmth and contentment and excitement and adventure and community and love, and we dream of the many possibilities for our lives under its vast skies, knowing that as far as we can dream we can live, too!

That is all that can be done while we remain fragmented and apart from each other; dream and scheme and hope with our eyes squeezed shut and our arms in an embrace that means – “never fear, dear friend. all is well and we are with you. no power can destroy what we are made of, or kill off our love for one another; we will brace one-another against the tidal waves to come, and warm each other when the freezing cold surrounds us. Love will keep us alive, and warm- and I love you, dear friend and fellow-one!” All we can do is chase our dreams to the sky, out into space and dance in the stars… that, and fight tooth and nail to take back our world, our lives! If we don’t win now, now, NOW!- then we’ll lose later.

Capital-R, political half-revolutions are not a sure-bet for any of us; That Revolution is long since where it belongs, that infamous dust-bin of history. The real revolution, the one that changes the world by changing your life, the one that’s been going on since civilization’s obscured beginnings- that revolution is always accessible. It is the collective and indomitable urge people have to escape or dismantle prison cells! It is the urge to run from a burning building, to try desperately to put out the flames. This revolution is ours to have, it is for us, whoever we are, as much as it is for “Rising third world peoples” and “The Revolutionary Proletariat” or squatters or homosexuals or people of color. Revolution is the response of all humans to hierarchy- it makes us sick!

Still, sometimes, it seems as though we’ll never get it together. It seems as though were just too lazy or chained up or brainwashed to do anything about the unjust and suffocating systems that intrude completely in our lives. Or maybe you have absolute trust in your peers, but the sheer power to murder at will, to imprison, to monitor, to diffuse snapping points, to quell our every insurrection. Take heart, my friends! It matters not what they do to us, if they beat us and lock us up and murder us, these do not kill revolutions; for they have broken entire generations, entire peoples before, but they have never extinguished the drive to insurrection entirely. In truth they have never even come close, for you see in every new generation born under the blue skies of this rock of ours there are sparks, and kindling, and fuel as much as there are people awake and alive- really alive! Take this as a comfort when it seems the unthinkable is happening, and our dreams are colliding with the steel and concrete of this great bland evil – resistance is innate. Our hearts are rebel’s hideouts, our hands tools for liberation, our lips for singing at the tops of our lungs of how free we really are, and we’ll show it, too! Our eyes are cartographers, making new maps of the earth to replace those that would try to represent the vast beauty of our planet, and our bodies are liberated enclaves, bases for mounting guerilla attacks on the industries that make people feel inferior in light of impossible and morbid beauty standards, and the foundation of the abolishment of all beauty standards- we are all incarnations of the human spirit, flesh on divinity- we are all born to earth, and we are all beautiful! Within our embraces hide secret messages of hope; our kisses are communiqués by which we may know that there really are other uprisings, daily insurrection, in other hearts and other lives, too. So we know we are not alone in this fight.

We live in a world of half-truth and spectacle, a world stitched together with our sweat and composed of the pure momentum that is inherent in any massive system; marching ever onward like some hideous termite colony, devouring and growing merely for the sake of growing and devouring- completely without awareness of the consequences of such a death march, unaware that the very nature of their drive ever onward is unsustainable, undesirable and entirely inhuman. And then, trapped in this world are the rest of us, who realize with deep understanding that this cannot continue without grave consequences, that the machinelike Demiurges we have brought into the world through the dark alchemy of civilization-building is a cancer, a blight; it will grind the humanity out of us if it doesn’t kill us and every other living thing first. There are those who realize this, but when beholding the monster face-to-face cringe away and grieve for the immanent loss of all that is worth keeping; then there are those who glimpse past the façade- past it to the green, bountiful and free world. The other world. These are the ones upon whom all hope rests- we’re the last chance for total liberation. The primal urge to absolute freedom has not died, has not been ground to bits by the gears of our “civilized”, industrial hell; no, this urge is made of finer stuff than matter, it is stardust and the residue that a long night of vivid dreaming leaves on the mind; it is the electricity before a particularly fulfilling kiss, the way it just feels so damn good to destroy corporate property! It is what drives us on, past the leering billboards and the blinding towers of glass, on to cool waters and a chance to make things right again.

There you have it. That’s how I see things and dammit we’re in this together.

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~ by ladycat123 on September 29, 2011.

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