This post is a tangent from a previous post “What is Darkness?” I think that from time to time I will expand that contemplation a little further by discussing how different concepts, or elements, are shaped by my beliefs… or perhaps how my beliefs are shaped by them. Occasionally I stumble across something that makes me pause a moment to consider its effect on My Darkness, or vice versa. Introspection is a tool for personal growth, and it seems an appropriate application to use in conjunction with composing these posts. A concept like “Darkness” is something worthy of unlimited dissection and microscopic examination.
My Left Hand Path adheres to certain inherent patterns of belief as it relates to Darkness and Evil. Others do too… and others don’t. I really do not care much what other belief systems and individuals adhere to. I am more concerned with myself. Something you will discover about Left Hand Path philosophy is that for the most part we are very individualistic in nature, and this translates directly into how we practice our Religion and Craft. As I have mentioned before, I have embraced My Darkness, and for me this term is indeed one synonymous with Evil. Hatred and Anger are both effective tools in attaining power… and useful. Good actions and emotions can be equally effective in furthering The Darkness within ourselves though… few initiates reach a level where they recognize this truth. (By the way… that is one piece of advice I recommend scribbling down in your little black book.)
On to the more germane part of this post… There is an old Cherokee story about two wolves. How old? I really cannot say for sure. It has some relevant concepts applicable to this post though… mainly because I use it in a way I’m sure was not intended by the author to underline a few of my points. I don’t know who the author is, so I am unable to give credit where credit is due. It goes something like this:
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.
I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
This story is a very vanilla way of looking at hate, anger, good, and balance. Cute and simplistic… Faint aromas of Christianity and new age fluffiness sprinkled all over the top… It makes me want to puke. I strongly doubt it has any true roots in ancient Native American culture or myth, and it overlooks the pure power and unlimited potential that Hate and Anger can bring to the table. As a practitioner of a Left Hand Path we should not choose to feed one wolf over the other…. thereby seeking to amputate ourselves from primordial predispositions that have enabled us to survive and thrive in this brutal and unforgiving world. We should feed them both… and beat them into submission with a big stick. Turn them into Canis Domesticus and make them serve us. There is some wisdom to the parable though. Hate and Anger can both wear one down and act like the poison alluded to… but this is only if we feed that wolf and give it no room to grow, no ability to become action… if we fail to shape and use our Hate and Anger it can curdle and spoil like old milk.
Darkness has a use for most tools, and all emotions and feelings are valued utensils.
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man