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Winter's End

Postby Ataraxia » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:51 pm

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.
Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.”

  • Marpenoth 1363, Impiltur

    The bittersweet twist about pain is that you eventually forget the details of how the wounds themselves felt, but the blessing is counter-acted by the lingering memories that accompany them. The screaming and the tears, the powerlessness, they never fail to disarm you even decades later when you’ve finally found stability and you are engorged in a very pleasant moment that is – or should be – perfect in every way. Suddenly the lush garden you contemplate sees its expressive and awe-inspiring blossoms of greens, blues and reds transform into the dark and muted colors of winter to wither and die; then silence. And the accusatory wistful sighs from the people around you whose moods are tainted by the spoiled landscape you created. Then comes the judgement in their eyes; “How can you always be so grim?” “Why is it so hard to make you smile?”

    I suppose I’m not a sociable person – nor a person at all, but it was of my own doing. My own magnum opus: overcoming every limitation that comes with the human condition. The need for safety, for comfort, for love, for dreams, for friendship, for freedom, for every desire that is normal and expected of a human being. I obliterated all of it on my own terms so it could not be used against me. I committed spiritual suicide, and all that I am left is solitude and suffering, immobilized in an immaculate glacier of sheer will. The price of survival is steep, but it is how I won. Nathaniel expressed that he saw it as a hollow victory, that if abandoning everything that made you who you are was necessary to survive, perhaps it was not worth it at all.

    When wrestling with Death, it is sometimes better to endure its punishment and wait for it to leave before rising to your feet. If the body dies then nothing ties you to this world anymore, but if the spirit dies, you can at least hold onto the void you have and allow yourself the opportunity to one day be reborn.

    I know not whether that makes me weak or strong nor if I will ever truly live again, but now that I exist outside the natural boundaries of human existence, I have found a purpose higher than myself.

    I cannot be deceived.
    I cannot be corrupted.
    I cannot be chained.
    I cannot be broken.
    And I will not sigh my relief until the winter ends.

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Addressed to a deceased recipient

Postby Ataraxia » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:31 am

Dear friend,

When I expressed that I did not know how to be a man, you showed me that what defines one is the good he tries to bring into the world. I admit, at first, I did not believe in it. I wondered if these hands of mine were capable of creation rather than destruction, and I learned that they were. Retrospection reminds me that it was sound advice. I thank you for that.

My journey to give meaning to the sacrifices I’ve had to make has exhausted me. I sense that my candle is to be extinguished soon. My skin is of bark, my heart of stone; my bones are of rust and my mind is getting old. When the time comes, the providence that has guarded me for so long will fade and my body will return to the earth where it belongs while my soul finds the God whose wings I stood under all this time.

You’ve always said that I was my worst enemy, and in a way, I felt it as well. But how does a man overcome himself? How can a man attempt to fly by tugging at his own bootstraps? I have finally discovered that he cannot. It is always an external force that uplifts him, which is why I remain here with my feet firmly planted on the ground. No external force can move me. If every man is born with a curse, then to be immovable is my double-edged sword.

It is liberating to realize this. The emptiness gently shifts into peace, as an empty cup replenished with water. I do not know for how long this drink will last, for life is built upon revelation after revelation, each new one truer than the last.

I pray that Ilmater guides my blind eye as I chase this mirage.
May he slowly, gently, lead me to my eventual resting place, which I can greet with a blissful sigh.

Yours truly, in this life or the next,
- Anton

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An Initiate's Meditations

Postby Ataraxia » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:09 am

Commentary on an Excerpt of The Temple Divided of St. Anton, by Brother Ceaphas of the Broken Ones wrote:
In his eremitic work ‘The Temple Divided’, St. Anton presents the concept of dissonance and the human being’s liberation from it through the Rule of Faith, by way of sharing his own relatable experience: a journey from the dichotomy of eros and thanatos to surrender.

His insight on this phenomenon is relevant and particularly timeless; beginning with the idea that this duality, this tension within ourselves that draws us in two different directions, is not necessarily one of good against evil. Were it so, it would not be such a complex matter to pick apart. A person can be divided between two malevolent things, just as well as two benevolent things, and the explanation he provides involves the idea that the mind cannot will itself into action. For if the will was authentic, or of one heart, it would not need to be willed into action. It would already be in motion. The act of resolving to be whole betrays the lack of wholeness, and if the mind had the capacity to be whole, it would not try to will itself into being as such.

This is why Continence, whom he met in the desert, admonishes him for trying to elevate himself, attempting to reach the heavens by jumping with the strength of his own legs. If the answer to the divided temple lies not within ourselves, then it must be found without; that is to say outside of ourselves. Specifically, his story marks the divide between his past, enduring self, and his re-appropriation of the spark of life. Alone, he cannot reconcile the two wills that are at odd because a part of him is unwilling to let go of the habits that have defined him; the ground upon which he has stood upon for so long. When the whispers came and asked him if he could honestly live without all the things that he needed to relinquish, it was the voice of his own doubt that did not believe he could. The fear that immobilized him at the barrier was the product of this doubt, and the lack of faith he had in himself and in the Broken God.

I believe this is what he refers to as the Rule of Faith. Continence urges him not to try standing on his own, but to instead make a leap of faith in the Crying God’s arms to resign, surrender, let go of the fear and doubt that held him back from transcending his own self. In a way, it’s as though she asks him not to trust in himself because it will only lead to failure, but to instead trust and have faith in the blessed Ilmater.

Simply put, the reason why St. Anton was unable to make the leap for a long time is because a part of him was not prepared to let go of his habits; an old dog's reflexes, if you may forgive my vulgarity. Focused on what he would lose in the present, rather than what he would have to gain in the future. There was also the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what would await him beyond the threshold; and the doubt that he could live without the protection of the shell that protected him: a lack of self-confidence.

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