The Torture of Prometheus
In a disertation titled ‘Responses to Modernity: the Political Thought of Five Right-Wing European Thinkers in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’, Matt Gibson, an academic from the University of Kent reaches an interesting conclusion: there is no such thing as a unified ‘right-wing ideology’. Those who claimed this in the past relied on guilt by association (remember the ‘youtube alternative influencer network’?) and, according to Gibson, could never define that supposed ur-fascist ideology underlying all right wing thought. Umberto Eco’s descriptions were mostly negative (the ur-fascist being anti-this, anti-that) and framings whose main goal was to pathologise people not of the left.
According to Gibson, there are three distinct ideologies that formed the scene of the 20th and 21st centuries European right: Traditionalism, Prometheanism and Conservatism.
I think it is safe to say that Stef Fox’s Boio community is starting to feel like an artistic and political movement with roots both in Traditionalism and Prometheanism. There is a clear link between Traditionalists and Prometheans – the belief in the divine, the transcendental. It’s what separates us all from the left. Instead of settling for fully automated luxury economic systems, individual rights and a never ending liberation struggle, we strive for excellence, self-improvement, picking a burden and carying it with dignity. Instead of complacent self-congratulation, we at least attempt to seek what is meaningful rather than expedient. We all agree that Peterson spoke to this spiritual need in a society where both sides of the political divide were obssessed with materialism and economics.
However, this is where the similarities end.
Traditionalists see the divine as an intricate mandala, an eternal fractal-shaped edifice. Remember when you first realised that things were all connected, maaan? When the shrooms or mechanical elfs started dancing and telling you things? When synesthesia taught you that the hidden fabric of the Cosmos is infinitely complex and full of an invisible order, peace and pulsating energy, of which you can partake? According to most religions, God is to some degree Reality itself. The Cosmos is the body of Vishnu or the manifestation of the divine Logos. Jonathan Pageau’s vision of the Logos (which corresponds to that of the Church fathers) is that it is the invisible structure of Reality itself; ‘the symbolic world’. When you linger at the perifery, you notice multiplicity, accidents and endless transformation. You also notice death, suffering, monsters and anomalies. As you head towards the centre of the mandala, you witness a coming together of the outer layers, a convergence into higher patterns of being. The more you approach the centre, the more Real your experience gets; you leave Becoming behind and head towards Being. You are less dependent on outer fruitive action and discover the marrow of the spirit, the eternal joy of lord Krishna, or the grace of Christ, or the cloud of unknowing.
“I am the true vine; and my Father is the farmer. […] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” John 15
Mystical experiences are meant to lead you closer to the centre of the mandala. In other words, the outer layers of our being (earth), that which is contingent, transient, accidental, must be grounded in the deeper layers of the fractal (heaven) in order to be imbued with divine Life. This is the meaning of ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’. Otherwise, the outer layer withers and dies.
St. Augustine and other Church fathers regarded sin and evil as the mere absence of God’s presence. In the Bhaghavad Gita, transcendental meditation is supposed to centre your person, leading you to the true liberated ‘self’, whereas the demonic impulse is centrifugal, attempting to stir your passions, make you follow your insatiable appetites, draw you from a conscious state towards arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness and ignorance. “Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them. They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire, and has no cause other than lust. […] The demoniac, taking shelter of insatiable lust, pride and false prestige, […]are always […] attracted by the impermanent. They believe that to gratify the senses unto the end of life is the prime necessity of human civilization. Thus there is no end to their anxiety. Being bound by hundreds and thousands of desires, by lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.” (Bhagavad Gita).
According to Jonathan Pageau, symbolism in the Traditionalist approach is not merely a graphic sign like the pictograms on your desktop.
‘A symbol in the true sense of the word is not a « substitution » for something, a sign merely pointing to something else through resemblance or through an arbitrary consensus. A symbol, properly understood […] concentrates that principle in a direct way, makes it manifest. […] It is also a participation in the thing it symbolizes. The Church is a symbol of Christ in the sense that Christ is the Principle (he is the head, kephale, in Greek) and the Church is his Body (In fact the word “church” or: “ekklesia” means nothing else than a meeting) and so it is both a manifestation or “condensation” of and a participation in the head. In this understanding, symbolism is not opposed to realism, rather it is realism itself. Saint Maximos tells us“…he who, starting from the spiritual world, sees appear the visible world or he who sees appear symbolically the contour of spiritual things freeing themselves from visible things… that one does not consider anything of what is visible as impure, because he does not find any irreconcilable contradiction with the ideas of things.” – OrthodoxJournal.org, ‘The Recovery of Symbolism’, Pageau.
Prometheans, on the other hand, see the divine more akin to an animistic force, an undifferentiated essence of life, will-to-power, libido or juiciness. The Cosmos might have a pattern, but we can’t waste too much time contemplating it, so the essential thing is to channel it to our own ends. Make it dance for us, squeeze the juice and give it whatever shape your daring Soul chooses to. Take the ring of power and use it, otherwise your enemies will do it. Matt Gibson defines Prometheanism as ‘a future-oriented orientation that values creation for its own sake, the as-yet-uncreated precisely because it has never yet existed, and denigrates the past precisely because it has already been’ – Gibson, Idem.
For Prometheans, life is always mapped out as a zero sum game, a military conflict. The first cell that cannibalised another cell grew and became ‘juicier’. It did not stop to think what it had just done; to become burdened by Socratic interogation, doubts and remorse. Healthy archaic cultures were semi-unconscious in their sacred dance with Dionysus and their healthy desire to expand competency and mastery of space. You can clearly notice a tendency towards mapping reality in zero-sum confrontational language in the Sillicon Age Renegade’s book, just as in many of Nietzsche’s writings. You can’t have two masters of the same physical space. Resources are not infinite, and only the strong survive.
Leftists, on the other hand, tend to reduce every type of interaction to mutually beneficial collaborations. Traditionalists accept both models under the principle that there is ‘a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up’ (Ecclesiastes 3). Of course, because of this ambivalence, our Promethean friends accuse us of being ‘Christcucks’ while our Progressive foes accuse us of Fascism. Must be doing something right lol
Back to Prometheans – because they reject every religious claim that the Logos might have its own complex shape, its own internal order and its own demands from us, they must derive their institutional unity and ethos from something other than liturgy, creed or ritual.
In the Promethean Age Mindset, symbolism is defined quite differently than in Pageau’s Traditionalism. Since the sacred Juice is just that – an amorphous river of energy, the Promethean devises symbols as magic spells meant to trap the juice, drain it, store it and use it – no doubt for heroic purposes like the betterment of the ubermensch and the mannerbund. While in Traditionalism, the divine epiphany always flows from the mandala’s Centre towards the periphery, from Unity towards Multiplicity, nourishing the margins through the grace of the Logos – either through mysteries, initiation rites or liturgy, in Prometheanism the relationship is completely inverted – you always have to start from the margins by gathering Multiplicity in your receptacle and forcing it to become Unity, like a little Aleister Crowley or some dark elvish mage seeking to dive into forbidden knowledge. If you’ve tried Crowley’s rituals and incantations and found them useful for your purposes, maybe you can tell me more about it. In most cases, however, this process ends up with the Promethean throwing dirt into the air and hoping to witness some alchemical miracle, with nothing ever happening. Multiplicity remains fleeting, transitory and treacherous.
The most common way in which Prometheans attempt this process is through conspiracy theories and the lure of Hegelianism. The deified man, creator of new, takes History and forces it to become a manifestation of his Will. This year’s elections are not just a time wasting show put up by corrupt bureaucrats; it is The Shit that will lead us into the new aeon of Aquarius. C’mon, you’ve all seen it in the past; it is only our addiction to new developments that prevents us from realising how much time we wasted reading stuff into historical developments rather than doing something more productive with our time.
You see this best with Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other late American Protestant cults (although Puritans and the autistic Sir Isaac Newton did it too). You slowly form an ethos; you like to read the Bible, especially the book of Daniel, cause it’s dope. You believe that Saturday is the Lord’s day and that everyone else is deluded for worshipping on Sundays. The next logical step will be to start a Search query: ‘Alexa, were there ever other Christians who worshipped the true Sabbath?’ ‘Judaizing Christian sects, Waldensians and Albigensians, Messianic Jews, Seventh day Baptists’ comes the instant reply. The Hegelian force is instantly strong with this one, as you begin to divide historical christian sects into True keepers of the secret day of the Lord and Satan’s infiltrated spawn. Insta Dan Brown material.
If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, you may replace worshipping on Saturday with anti-Trinitarian ideas. You do a different Search query and you discover that bishop Arius, the Ostrogoths, Unitarian Christians and YOU, ofc, are the Cvlt Keepers of the Trve shit, while the rest of Christendom are all part of a demonic kabal.
Need to hit closer to home? Jason Reza Jorjani enters the Zoom call. ‘How ya doing boyo, I noticed you like ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’, haha. Did you know that Zarathustra aktshually was the coolest, oldest, smartest historic Messiah, making Jesus and Buddha seem like midgets and plagiarisers? Did you know that Zoroaster is in fact 6000 years old, laying at the core of our very beloved Indo-European culture? He showed us de wey!’ As a Promethean you have no antidote to this type of bait (in Romania we call it Protochronism. In short, it means we wuz kangs n shit). Mircea Eliade fell for this when he partially set aside his vast research into the history of religions in order to support the Legionary movement; to praise its leaders through endless articles and works of fiction; to compare them to Christian martyrs and to fantasise how THIS movement will be at the core of our Nation’s greatness. Ashamed of his early life’s Traditionalist episodes, he forced himself to glorify the pure Creative drive of new movements, becoming enticed by both Hitler and Mussolini.
Looking back to this episode in his life – it was a complete fiasco; the Legionaries went out of control, descended into a death cargo cult, started murdering statesmen and were completely outlawed. Romania lost the war and switched sides a bit too late, only to enjoy the benefits of Soviet rule for almost half a century. Eliade’s first wife, closest friends and mentors all dead, his political ambitions turned to ashes; only decades later, in exile, did he manage to create his most famous and insightful contributions to the history of religions.
Similarly, all these American Protestant denominations wasted decades interpreting the Bible in order to make sense of contemporary political events; identifying prophecies about America, the Vatican and the Ottoman Empire. Setting dates for the 2nd coming of Jesus; when nothing would happen at the announced date of 1844, instead of snapping out of it, they would come up with new dates like 1914; when Jesus would not show up in 1914 either, they would either set newer dates, or claim that he did in fact arrive on Earth, but is invisible (you must love Jehova’s witnesses). Failure after failure, false prediction after false prediction and a shitton of post-hoc rationalisations. The faculties that could have been used for transcendental meditation, architectural design, icon carving or music making were slowly corrupted by the sickly, perverse desire to matter as a historical movement, to identify the Evil Serpent in our contingent internet foes, and the Lord of Light in our own ranks. Conspiracy addiction gnaws at you until there is very little left to salvage. What these Hegelians all have in common is a complete lack of understanding of the nature of the Symbolic World; the inability to grasp that the Cosmos is layered like a mandala, and that the things that really matter are central, coming-together and everlasting. Not your political utopia, not your fruitive actions, but the grace of Lord Krishna and the transcendence of trivial pursuits and vain ambitions.
The lure of conspiracy theories lies in glorifying contingency. In replacing fractalic symbolism with 1:1 semiotics. We are great because some prophet in history. Or some chad pastoralist diet. Or muh Indo-European chariots. Our enemies are bad for similar reasons – the virgin agriculturalist or the reptilian predatory race. If Jorjani’s theory proves false, if our predictions about aion or the new age of aquarius do not come to fruition, the entire movement crumbles. Imagine this: the Boio community grows until it becomes noticeable. As noticeable as Charlottesville. Stef has a few live chats with Jorjani, everybody loves them. Contrapoints and PhilosophyTube notice the thing and each create degenerate videos debunking and btfo’ing Jorjani’s historical claims with facts and logick. The Legacy Media casts the Eye of Sauron on the Boio Community. Twitter witch hunts and doxings ensue. No respectable person will ever want to associate or do business with boios ever again. All this because of the Promethean tendency to worship some historical revisionist theory, a set of contingent occurences which may or may not have happened as described, and which do not affect the symbolic structure of the Boio edifice anyway; it’s not like now that Jorjani was proven false, we’ll have to throw ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ to the rubbish bin. Or curse Jordan Peterson for leading us into a cult. But THIS is precisely what most millenials would do on such an occasion. Prometheans can become cultish far easier than Traditionalists; while Jorjani crumbles, Pageau goes brrrr wild with creativity, icon carving and sharply articulated thought while the Lord smiles upon his faithful servant.