"Do what thou wilt, shall be the full of the Law. Love is the Law. Love under Will."
-Thelemic Philosophic Core
I came across this saying the last week I was living in Norway and, strangely enough, it's been bouncing around in my head every day since.
When I was growing up all I had ever wanted was to love God and to have a family. We struggled a bit financially, but we always seemed to have enough and the only constant that I could think of was my family's dedication to our church community and loving God. My interests during that time were to explore the universe that God created and the ones that Man creates in order to explore his universe.
In school I got in trouble for learning what I wanted to learn and reading what I wanted to read. I was discouraged from creating my own art, singing my own songs, picked on for being a nice kid. So I stopped doing all of those. I found my solace in exercise and wrestling. In seeing how far and how hard I could push myself before I couldn't go any further. And like Adam, who discovered his own shame when he became aware of his own nakedness, I became ashamed of putting my true self out there for judgement. And like Adam it caused my downfall and separation from God.
Why should I be ashamed for exploring my own creation? And who is God to abandon his own creation?
When I had fallen away from the faith, I spiraled even further into my Dark Night of the Soul. Before then it seemed like I had the stars to guide me, then one day the stars winked out one by one.
If it hadn't had been for the discipline I had learned in wrestling, I would not have been able to push myself through the torment and misery. To endure the dying of the light. Where every step was taken because I know that the last part of the match seems like an eternity, but it always ends. You just have to make it to the end.
And in that abyss of torture in solitude, I wrestled with myself like Jacob wrestled with God. My yin and yang fought for dominance swirling in chaos. My mind was shrouded in mist, thoughts seen and felt but unable to be grasped. Intuition and instinct took over. The Shadow was determined to extinguish my existence and I started to drown.
Then air! I had washed up on a distant shore that I had once called home. Everything was different. I was different. I was battered. Broken. I could find no real care and saw that few outside of the determined and the arrogant got any. So I waited to die.
When Nicola Abe found me, I had lost my will to live. I guess you can call her the Scarlet Lady. The military had stripped me of everything that I had thought was me. They had taken my glorious tree and made a spear out of it then discarded the spear when it had broken. As a remembrance of the tree that I had been, existing to bear fruit and provide shade for the weary, I told her the truth of what I had done and seen. I didn't understand at that time, but I was starting to explore how it was that I had become, like a dying man trying to understand his mortal wounds.
If I had no more faith in God or family, military or government, I had still had faith in my "brothers and sisters" that I had served with. Then when the article came out, and I thought that I could die in peace knowing that I had contributed towards some sort of positive change. My "brothers and sisters" turned their backs on me. My pain turned into Rage.
My will to live came back to me as the fire of a thousand dying suns. How DARE they?! After all I fucking did? After they stole my life from me? After they broke me? How fucking dare they.
My broken spear became a sword's handle and my mind became the blade.
I gave my everything to the fight. I became untouchable and struck with deadly precision, but the beast is too big to be slain by a lone hero. I still fought alone. I still fight alone.
And in the end of that five year battle, I walked away, weary, leaving the fight in a handful of individuals while I licked my wounds.
The Dark Lady appeared before me and took me into her house. I had wanted to find a quiet place for my final rest, but her touch ignited the spark of life once again. And with that Life my pain came back to me in full. My wounds were mostly invisible. How could she understand that which she could not see? I tried to explain them and the words fell on deaf ears.
During that time bandits and worshipers of the Great Beast were stalking me for daring to stand up to their idol. The civilians who "supported me" have no idea how dangerous these zealots are. The Great Beast had thrown its shit at me before and I had evaded quite well, but the zealots eat that shit and spew it everywhere they open their mouths.
Justifications for war, murder, hate, discrimination, slavery. The unenlightened and they glorify themselves in it.
My fear of them was a poison to my wounds. They wracked my soul and mind. Contaminated my nightmares. No one was there to guard us and I was too weak. Those around me were too blind. And in the end my poison seeped into her. She attacked me. I endured. She was relentless with her words and her emotions. I no longer recognized myself. Love stolen from me like a thief in the night. To end the pain I had only one option left, my own death. This life was tragedy and a waste.
Again, I was left alone.