202. The family (VI)
Updated: Apr 7
Real stability is not found in a self-conscious attempt to find balance: real stability comes about through going into your instincts and desires in an absolute way—anything less than this will represent a form of pseudo-stability. The basic point is illustrated in the picture above, although the meme is not quite right: actually, the Instagram-obsessed teenage girl and the monk each finds meditative enlightenment. To abstain from social media entirely—to stare at a blank wall—and to spend every moment posting to Instagram amounts to the same sensation; it is microcosm and macrocosm, the world of Taleb’s long-tailed “extremistan”. The sheer weight of images and stimulation on social media flattens to meditative boredom, just as the sheer emptiness of a blank wall clears the mind—after a period of racing and overwhelming images. The people who are in real trouble are the dabblers: they get neither full blankness nor full overindulgence; they are always in the middle, but it is an unbalanced middle.
Hence the biblical saying: God spits out the lukewarm. God would prefer a person to attend church as a real Christian or to be a sensual pagan; but he does not want the lukewarm person who turns up to church because it seems nice and sensible. We occasionally encounter self-conscious Satanists, people with Devil tattoos and so on; and in a particular sense, they are the least dangerous of people. The genuine Satanist at least thinks that magic and daemons exist; perhaps they use them for money, sex, and power—yet to hold that metaphysical evil exists, even if you worship it, represents a real step towards the divine. The more pernicious types are the liberals, Marxists, and secularists who laugh at it all: “It’s a nice metaphor—sometimes I go to church, for tradition and because the music is nice.” These people are often genuinely Satanic in the sense that they will completely invert traditions and customs without thought, since these ideas carry no real weight for them. The genuine black mass is a magical operation to invert the power of Christianity; it is really believed, and insofar as it is believed it contains respect.
Indeed, in our benighted times, even the Satanists have been inverted. The Church of Satan on Twitter happily retweets Hillary Clinton; it is not, as Christians might think, that Hillary is involved in black masses and child sacrifice—it is much worse than that, the Satanists have become bland “humanist liberals”. “Yeah, well Satan is just like a symbol we use to piss off Christians; we’re totally down with LGBT and all our Satanism is, like, totally consensual.” Satan weeps. The Church of Satan says exactly what your local Quaker or Anglican or Catholic says; it all comes off the New York Times…it will amount to a bland hedonism, with some Nietzschean touches of self-actualisation.
A word of caution, genuine Satanists really are dangerous; they really do go out and burn down churches, access child pornography, and, often, murder people. I am not here to tell you they are “nice” just because they are real; to be real is not to be nice at all. Yet their evil always remains at this prosaic level and contains, in its sincerity, the glow of the divine; the evil remains at a familiar level: rape, murder, and theft. It is just that they do not go out and develop the Soviet Union and similar ideas that are entirely rational, materialist, and inverted.
Hence the Devil and God must always be in secret alliance against the merely “good” or lukewarm, those whose smug complacency leads them to the greatest crime. To embrace instinct or intuition all the way is something like destiny; it cannot be forced, if you genuinely do not wish to be on social media all the time, balance cannot be found by using it all the time—only some people are Insta-thots; perhaps you have some other vice that needs to be flipped into balanced virtue.