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Aggressive enlightenment on the left-hand path


[note: LHP = left-hand path; RHP = right-hand path]

I contest in the name of contestation what experience itself is (the will to proceed to the end of the possible). Experience, its authority, its method, do not distinguish themselves from the contestation.
—Georges Bataille

On the surface when one thinks of aggression one tends to think of hostility, and often aggression is regarded in a negative light as something oppositional to peacefulness. But if peacefulness is a cornerstone of the truly enlightened perspective—for both LHP and RHP evolutionary modalities—then could not LHPers express and exalt peacefulness, aggressively? Facetiousness and sarcasm can have rough edges while being wonderfully humorous, bluntness can be a healthy mechanism in communicating with others or with one's self, passion can be a tempest and it can also be as calm and majestic as the eye of a hurricane.

The tenderest type of anger is the 'realest' type of anger, like when a wolf gets cornered, when a lion attacks its prey, or when a mother crow protects her babies—it's a matter of survival. When these animals act are they spurred out of fear of what could be lost or love for what could be saved or gained? At that moment of heightened attention maybe it isn't much a matter of anything other than being fully present, aware. The scene is established, the decisions have already been made—your hand is your hand, the final bet has been placed, and now it's just a matter of showing your cards. There's no point in avoiding it. So how will you reveal your hand and lay your cards on the table, exactly? With shaky hands? With delicacy and subtlety? With a wry grin?

The LHP master exalts the fact that the way he reveals his hand doesn't change him, it's no great defining moment. The lion rips the gazelle's throat. He may be able to look back on it afterwards and learn a great deal retrospectively, but whatever he's going to do at that original moment of action it's, well, it's what he would do, it's his way—it's an expression of himself, and he's always the person behind the expression, not the expression itself. I am that I am that I am. A LHP master victorious in great battles properly retains these victories as a part of his being not in fond memory but by the fact that, carried over, he was the same person then as he is now—where victory arose out of competence then the LHP master possesses within him the capacity to duplicate the same feats countless more times (although one's physical body deteriorates with age the true scene of any battle is never a physical place).

Thought shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of meditation.
—Jiddu Krishnamurti

The LHP master's greatness has already been dealt into his hand. The game is a game, yet he plays it with purposiveness and enthusiasm—the wisdom of the middle path is indeed present. Life truly is simple and calm, and every action is both hollow and infused with the greatest power—that which is maximally filled cannot be filled anymore. Where the RHPer seeks to infuse their being primarily with external divinity, the LHPer seeks to infuse their being primarily with their own divinity. In both cases the risk is the same, failure to recognize the subtlest stillness behind every individual agent of consciousness, every deity and every impersonal divine force.

The relationship between a LHP master's aggression and peacefulness has to do not with the trajectory of a sword and the blood it may spill but with the relationship between the sword and the person who wields it. If a LHP master's passion is like the eye of a hurricane, he isn't necessarily surrounded by furious winds, nor is his greatness measured by the damage he can cause. What's precisely so remarkable is that he's not the whole hurricane rather he's only the eye, he's reached the eye by braving the furious winds, and now finally he's neatly tucked the winds away in his pocket. Now the wind is always at his back, because he's light as a feather and rides it like a wave—to him it's not really windy, to him there's only the calmness of the ocean's depths.

The spirit of a warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs.
—Don Juan

The LHP master's aggression has something to do with how he travels the cosmos independently instead of symbiotically with the divine. The cosmos isn't without threats, but more importantly the mere weight of reality itself pulls on the consciousness—he must be strong just like humans need muscles to operate in Earth's gravity. Defying gravity truly isn't even a chore as he punches the air with fists noble and proud, not in reaction and fear against some invisible force of Maya but in affirmation of his being in self-arising love, joy and compassion.

The LHP master's aggression makes him intolerant of injustice and oppression, especially when it's directed at him, and he can be a formidable monkey wrench within machinations of ill will. He's well-suited to enjoy and flourish in warlike conditions, yet he never fights for the sake of fighting. Even if reality's natural state is one of eternal conflict—as some would contend it is—still of supreme importance is the peacefulness to be found within one's self, and the LHPer who would be unable to live in a world of peace and justice maintains an unsustainable evolutionary vector.

Love is the law, love under will.
—Aleister Crowley

The LHP master is ruthlessly impeccable in his ability to capitulate his conscious control agency to his overall being as well as to recapitulate his overall being via his conscious control agency. His impeccability isn't a matter of never erring—after all he's only human—rather it's a matter of always—ruthlessly—learning from his mistakes that his state of awareness never falls out out enlightenment. Self-affirming and self-sustaining, his purview of himself is total so the weight of the task falls to him, he must maintain his structural integrity unconditionally. His conscious control agency decides how to define, regulate and allocate the variables of his being within a highly-calculated equation of evolutionary modality.

The LHP master doesn't shun the personal divine but isn't necessarily friends with it either. Realizing the impersonal divine is of the same consistency as everything else—Emptiness—his conscious control agency is to his overall being the same as his overall being is to the impersonal divine. The aspect of aggression in LHP evolutionary modality doesn't so much cause him to break away and walk alone in the universe as much as it naturally results from his doing so. If one's personal temperament is inclined towards an aggressive posture then one would likely be attracted to the LHP.

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.
—Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi