Europe, Terror, and the Higher Man

Feeling solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks — and with the culture that has given us everything from Baudelaire to Monet — in the aftermath a large number of people changed their Facebook profile photo to one with the French flag superimposed on it. It was a small gesture by a lot of […]

Who Killed Buddha-Nature? The Outsider in an Age of Consumer Radicalism

“Hipsters,” a friend complained to me recently, are too “decadent.” My friend is a highly intelligent young man, and makes many valuable points. But he was, on this occasion, completely wrong. Hipsters aren’t decadent enough. As a society we are becoming ever less decadent, because we are becoming more self-obsessed. Decadence isn’t silly self-indulgence. It isn’t […]

Agni: The Sacred Flame of Tantric Physics

Perhaps the most universal concept in all systems of spiritual praxis is the sacred flame. The incendiary imagery of the flame is an apt metaphor for an almost unlimited range of themes ranging from the guiding light of inspiration to the metabolic function of digestion. The medical system of Ayurveda cherishes and worships the sacred […]

Sorcerers And Warriors: The Initiatic Journey In Chinese Mythology

masako-natsume

Chinese mythology, folk tales and fables are mostly unknown to the West. However this indigenous folklore combines not only unique philosophical and artistic traditions, but informs much modern Chinese popular art, from movies to video games. Here we present two tales, well-known throughout the greater Orient, both having multiple variants yet all holding to a […]

The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel. Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as […]

The Lesser Mysteries We Forgot: Freemasonry, Masculinity, And Initiation

Initiation into Freemasonry and Western Esotericism

Less than a century ago, fraternities played a major role in the life of men in the USA. The Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, and, of course, the Freemasons (or “Free and Accepted Masons”), among hundreds of other, smaller fraternities, existed in every state. And male initiatic societies – from the Cult of Mithrais […]

Male Beauty: Fantasy, Ethics, and Transcendence

male beauty, ethics, and transcendence

“Women like ‘bad boys’.” One hears this statement fairly frequently as an explanation of why some or other relationship didn’t work out — and you hear it from women, probably more often than you do from men. Demonstrating that there may be more than a grain of truth to the assertion, a mugshot of “Hot […]

Mysticism And Martial Arts: Three Forgotten Schools

The Zurkheaneh, an Iranian martial ants and athletic club that dates back to Zoroastrian Persia.

In contrast to our modern belief, since time immemorial spirituality and mysticism have coexisted with, and have been an intimate part of, the arts of war. Mithraism, the cult of the Roman centurion (adopted and adapted from the ancient Persian religion, Zoroastrianism) appears to have had both strong militaristic and Gnostic elements. The Hindu Bhagavad […]

The Poet As Rebel: Inside Coleridge’s Pleasure Dome

[Editor’s note: Below is the second part of Prof. Thomas F. Bertonneau’s essay on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s theory of the imagination. Though insightful and thought-provoking in itself, we would encourage you to read the whole essay, beginning with part one, “A Vision In A Dream: S. T. Coleridge on Imagination and Politics,” which we published previously.] Part II: Metascience, Scientism, […]