12 December 2011

Notes on Autarchy

It is a truism that when one is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The glory of art is that it can show this proverbial hammer how everything looks to a screwdriver - and to a plowshare, and to an earthenware pot. If reality is the sum of our perceptions, to acquire more varying points of view is to acquire, literally, more reality.

He does have power. One power: the power to devote himself absolutely to a single goal, to be ruthless with himself and all else in its pursuit. It is the only power he needs - because, unlike the great mass of men, he is aware of this power, and he is willing, even happy, to use it.

Will without action is mere daydreaming; it is as useless as the blind, spastic twitching that is action without will.

When you eat, eat. When you sleep, sleep. When you fight, fight.

We can each sit and wait to die, from the very day of our births. Those of us who do not do so, choose to ask - and to answer - the two questions that define every conscious creature: What do I want? and What will I do to get it? Which are, finally, only one question: What is my will? The answer is always found within our own experience; our lives provide the structure of the question, and a properly phrased question contains its own answer.

We do not advocate, we merely describe. Autarchy is simple fact. Every day, every thinking creature decides which rules to follow, and which to break. Our reasons for following or breaking these rules may be wildly different, but the fact of choice is identical.

The consequence of even the simplest action cannot be reliably predicted over any long term. One cannot control how events unfold, and whether any action is 'good' or 'evil' can only be judged in terms of its consequence - and even that judgment will alter, over time. An action initially judged to be 'good' may later be found to have 'evil' effects - which eventually may be seen, in fact, to be 'good.' Good and evil are, after all, only code words for outcomes we either favor, or of which we disapprove. We all must accept that anything we do, however 'good' it seems at the time, might have consequences that will be too horrible to contemplate.

The truly free man chooses his own goals and seeks his own ends, purely for the joy of the choice and the seeking.

What anything means depends on how you tell the story.

What is a house, then? It's how you fight the seasons. What's a campfire? It's how you fight the night. What's medicine? It's how you fight death. That's what love is, too. Just because you're not going to win is no reason to give up.

Perhaps it does take two to fight - but it takes only one to attack.

Destiny is bullshit. Your life only looks like fate when you see it in reverse.

Mortality is a gift: It's never a question of whether you'll die. It's just a question of how.

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