Dissidents Can Learn From William S. Burroughs’ Occult Technique

A long time ago, before anyone was so silly that they wrote things down, there was an original understanding of the world. It helped us see how the flowers held the hawks in balance and the moon and sun kept us in a cycle of flourishing.

This way of understanding also covered the realms beyond the visible, stretched out over a dimension called time and another dimension that we now know as the metaphysical. To them, like time, the metaphysical added more space to our reality just as time allows us to use the same space more than once.

People did not formalize this religion like a textbook or self-help manual, but told it through stories which conveyed only about half of their meaning, the rest being formed in the mind of the listeners as they thought about it later.

When engaged in dull tasks, the mind is barely occupied and so it tends to wander, and these stories gave it a chance to tie together different stories and compose a universe. This stretched the brains of the listeners and gave them a multidimensional map of their world.

As part of this map, all things were contiguous. That is, different spaces and times were accessible, and similarly, the metaphysical stood out as more like a place or series of places in addition to a force pervading all life. They lived with it.

Others have written how these people lived in a kind of dream, but it bears repeating, because it enabled them to survive trying hardships and, more importantly, maintain their focus on the creative, beautiful, excellence, constructive, affirmative, masculine, and orderly.

Even in the darkest times of early people — cold winters, famines, huge storms, attacks by foreign tribes and monstrous beasts — they kept their minds focused on the goal of living in the state described to them in these tales, a unity with the world and balance, harmony, and loveliness to existence.

This enabled them not only to be intelligent creatures who did not fall into the abyss of their big brains, but to live with a massive zest for life and joy in the simplest of things. For them, consciousness was part of the force that pervaded all life, and they were its fortunate vessels.

Even though they lived in a material world, and were aware of how their own brains could become a world in themselves, they lived for this sense of unity, or of everything having a place in a larger order for the benefit of all, even if not their immediate benefit.

These people were too intelligent — not clever, like modern people, or studied, but something like “streetwise” and “common sense” mixed together — to have a formal religion. They simply integrated this knowledge in with their other knowledge, and passed it down through generations.

In these societies, it was known that each person had a place unless that person was defective in some way, and that defectives took on a demonic style of behavior, engaging in criminality, perversity, sabotage, resentment, mental disorder, subversion, and cruelty.

Following from the idea that each person had a place, the idea of something more like a mesh than a hierarchy appeared. People had rank, indeed, but they were also something specific within a specific role. Some were there to lead, others to understand the wisdom of the past.

Those who were excellent at understanding the old stories and their meaning, and who could read the subtle signs of coming events, became dedicated to this wisdom. They were not shamans, nor priests, but more like divining rods or antennas, sensitives who received understanding and accumulated ways of converting it into knowledge.

None of these wrote down their works because they knew that each cycle must renew itself, and so knowledge was passed down incompletely and informally, with whoever seemed to know it best being advanced to be the next tier or generation of sensitives.

Their people also knew better than to make fixed civilization. They were many things: in spring and summer planters, in fall and winter gatherers, and always hunters. They lived with the rhythms of the land and adapted themselves to it, relishing each for its nature.

If their society had a defining feature, it was a belief in unity, or bringing things together so that they expressed a stronger and more complex interpretation of the world and the place of humans in it. Songs, poems, histories, wisdom, and metaphysical stories were one and the same.

As a tribe, these people sought to avoid fixed civilization. They wandered between places, seeing themselves as curators of a vast swathe of land, and also to avoid the buildup of repetition that might fragment and ruin the dream.

For this reason, they lived sometimes in tents, sometimes under the stars, and for part of the year in caves, seeking to leave as little mark as possible because moving invisibly upon the land showed that they were integrated into it. They sought unity in this also.

Consequently they had no countries, no large buildings, and no monuments. For them, nothing would surpass the rocks, woods, rivers, seas, and deserts of their world. Instead, they lived in a rich inner world where creativity, myth, and analysis were expressed as the same power.

Since they ranged widely across the land, they would frequently leave behind people who were defective or unhappy with this arrangement. At their periphery, civilizations started for people who did not want to wander. These varied in quality.

Some humans kept their nature of divine union, but others degraded, and became something more like the beasts of the field, and these were viewed as somewhere between predators and parasites. Everywhere the people wandered, castoffs scattered on their own paths.

Eventually these fixed civilizations became powerful enough that they constricted the wandering range of the intuitive people, and so the nomads settled in some areas. With them, they took their wisdom, and in fixed civilization, it was written down.

These writings attempted to capture what was originally known but could only do so partially. The best sensitives stayed with the wandering tribes and wrote nothing; those who cast themselves off did their best, inscribing memories of conversations long ago.

Each area where they landed had its own cultures arise from the people who had landed there, since the castoffs formed many tribes and now differed in appearance and customs based on what had worked for them in the past.

Instead of renewal, these fixed civilizations worked by accrual, or keeping track of everything that had not yet failed and remembering it as a laundry list of things to do and things to avoid.

In this way, the ancient knowledge took innumerable forms because each society had its own language of metaphor and symbol, its own practices, and its own histories, and these were woven into the barely-remembered knowledge of the distant past.

This came down to us in different forms. In ancient Greece, it took a mythological form; in India, a meditative one; in the middle east, a Gnostic one. These all conveyed the same basic notions of the world, but stated this in different ways.

Afterwards, people became enthralled with power. Instead of unity, humankind could go its own way, and using its agriculture, script, tools, and newly huge populations, create a human-only world, based on the form of the human alone instead of unity with the world as a whole.

These new beliefs turned out to be more efficient than the older ones because sensitives were no longer needed. Instead, the written texts could be turned over to lesser people, who could then teach them, force others to memorize them, test those people, and produce priests.

In the hands of the priest, the written texts became more important than their meaning, but more importantly than the notion unifying them of harmony and balance through unity, and so while the how was preserved, the why was lost — to most.

Some sensitives lived on, struggling through the ages despite being judged useless by those around them, passing on the internal light of the ancient wisdom as a means of preserving the great enjoyment of life that the ancient wanderers felt in every moment of their lives.

Many generations later, those of us stranded in modernity find ourselves buried under written information, very little of which is coherent and informative. Most repeats the same handful of ideas, themselves over-simplifications of something that would be even simpler in the correct context.

As a result, the remnants of the ancient teachings hide in certain writings, some art, rare music, and a handful of philosophical interpretations that are usually categorized as “occult.” This material derives from a synthesis of the Hindu, Gnostic, Nordic, and Greco-Roman tales.

Since we are divorced from the wholeness of everything, these ideas seem foreign and odd to us because they do not use our notion of how over why and humanity over unity. However, as they described the world rather than humanity, they possess a startling indirect power.

William S. Burroughs, one of the few writers of genuine genius of the last century, derived some of these ideas from his research, and passed them on through his writing and interviews. He presented to us an occult wisdom that can aid us now:

Burroughs’ most tried and tested technique was the practice of “Do Easy” or “Doing Easy” — that is, re-training your brain to do everything in the fewest number of steps. As Burroughs put it, “[Doing Easy] simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way.” If that sounds overly simplistic, good.

We might confuse this with the modern notion of efficiency, but it includes that within a broader principle, which is to clarify what one is doing so that it happens naturally and involves the conscious mind the least, allowing the dreamlike mind that we call the subconscious to exert its vaster resources.

Since we live in an egalitarian time, all of us dissidents are those who believe in a more nuanced view of the world that includes a hierarchy, balance, harmony, order, and unity. We are not from the humanity-as-the-world group, but that which came before.

That means that dissidents are on the Right, or the side of the Old Ways, which takes many forms — New Right, Alt-Right, Traditionalist, Identitarian, Faith and Heritage, Southron, Nordicist — which emphasize an order larger than the individual which unites material and invisible worlds, including time and the metaphysical.

Our goal is simple, but consists of two parts:

  1. Stop. We must cease doing the egalitarian things that we do now because they are toxic.
  2. Start. Simultaneously, we need to head toward a culture and way of life that fits us.

We need both to push back on that which is dysfunctional and reach for the excellent at the same time. We cannot merely negate; we must aspire. Like the nomads, we must focus on what we take with us as wisdom that accurately portrays the whole world, and leave behind everything else.

In our quest, we can be aided by “Do Easy,” which means that we find the shortest path between us and our goal that is most intuitive to us. Instead of burying ourselves in “issues” of the day and concerns about our present government, we must dream again of what our inner souls desire.

This also allows us to cast aside the many things that we maintain and struggle with that are part of the world that we wish to leave behind (remember, we are nomads now). Any energy that we invest in this time merely serves to cement ourselves to it.

To clarify, this does not mean give up on the world and to retreat into something silly like The Benedict Option, nor to stop using present-day systems to work toward what we want. It means to cut out anything that does not bring us toward the goal.

In the service of producing content and arguments against the Left — the egalitarians of today — we have buried ourselves in complexity and fetishized ideals, when in reality, we need to be pursuing what brings about the world toward which we strive.

Currently, the dissident Right manages more to confuse itself with its own themes of the day and conflicts, when it needs to instead find itself in unity with a simple path. You may find some hints around here.

We know what we want, but do we know its core? And can we simplify what we do into activities that directly translate into steps on the path toward what we want? Instead of a proliferation of activity, we need a sudden calm and clarity.

Perhaps the writings here can lead us in this direction, but they build on the shoulders of giants. Plato, Virgil, Aurelius, Eckhart, Tolkien, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Evola… these give us framing for our goals. That is merely a guide.

In everything we do, we can look at what we are doing and ask if it is consistent with that eventual goal. If we are merely producing more chatter and drama, or laboring to translate our beliefs into something acceptable by either aboveground politics or underground politics competition for attention, we are not on the path to that goal.

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