Every thinking person at some point confronts the trap of nihilism. One is faced with a fork in the road. Down one way ultimately lies detachment and resignation, down the other way the undivided embrace of life in all its primal vigor.
In my own journey, I would reflect how even insects with grotesquely broken limbs crawl desperately onward until the very last spark is gone out of them. Those living things that cannot think, I observed, are pure life force, never doubting.
In my own life, I noted that any practice I adopted that went against the pure will to live proved to be ineffective and destructive. I hadn’t believed in the gods of religions since I was a small child but it became increasingly clear to me that there were objective rules, like laws of physics that govern the outcomes of our beliefs. I thought it a bit like the concept of the Tao, that there is a Way of the universe and if you try to fight it, it’s like standing in the way of an oncoming ocean.
There was a period in my mid-20s when I had an interest in mysticism and read about figures like Gurdjieff and Aleister Crowley. At the time, I thought it somewhat disgusting to be a meat robot acting out algorithms that would help me survive and reproduce just like bacteria and insects. Part of the appeal of mysticism to me then was that my algorithms could be re-directed and the ability to do that might even be equated with humanity, transcendence, and consciousness. Colin Wilson was one of the authors I read at the time who showed me the way toward a more life-affirming mindset. He examined men like Nietzsche or Van Gogh who he saw as outsiders who were full of life and creativity but died defeated and broken. He distilled the problem that faced them into the ultimate ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Wilson gave a memorable example of the ‘yes’ state by telling a story of a man who was put before a firing squad and had all the beauty and possibilities of life suddenly dawn on him only as he was about to die.
There came a point where I had to admit the mystical thinking was holding me back more than it was helping. Actually, I noticed on a meta-physical level that living by those rules and mindset not only didn’t work, it created more problems. Every single time, as if I were testing out the pull of gravity by dropping a pebble. I came to understand that most of the time detachment is really just a way for losers without hope to accept their lot. I was reading Will Durant at the time of my transition on the history of the ancient world and on the history of philosophy. A common theme he noticed is that fatalism and detachment always thrive when bad times or bare subsistence has gone on awhile and isn’t going to change anytime soon. Whether Stoicism in the West or Buddhism in the East, it was impossible to ignore the conclusion that these belief systems are in large part learned helplessness writ large.
As soon as I began to think of myself as a pure living thing in the natural world with all the physical and meta-physical laws that govern it, my life steadily began to improve, which prompted me to continue in that direction to the present day with consistent results.
Having gone through this journey I may have a glimmer of a fundamental divide between “leftist” enlightenment secularism and everything that now gets called “right wing.”
I remember how the primal life force seemed grinding, mechanical, and crude to me back when I was trying to redirect it. I still do value the development of consciousness and hate the idea of subsuming myself into an unthinking state. What changed in me is that I resolved to use my state of consciousness in service of the meta-laws of nature rather than trying to circumvent or defy them.
I can perhaps understand though why a secularist recoils on a visceral level when they hear talk of fertility rates and population replacement. As scions of enlightenment thought, they see it as blasphemous to weigh down transcendent rational man with the sweat, blood, and rutting of of lower animals.
The secular world view also depends on a notion of relativism, the idea that there are multiple equally valid solutions—at least when it comes to how society is organized. When they denounce a belief as “radical” or “far right” they mean to say it challenges this doctrine.
The moment one starts to examine how societies throughout history work with a clinical eye it’s clear that some solutions are objectively better than others and that there is often a clearly optimal solution. One begins to notice persistent patterns across thousands of years of migration, trade, and conquest. The affairs of humans on a large scale resemble any other natural phenomenon no matter if it’s a blizzard or a beehive. Yet under the strangling grip of secularism, the same science that dutifully measures the circumferences of a thousand galaxies can’t encompass the dimensions of culture here on earth. It is bizarre and unholy for them to contemplate the gears and tickings of millions humans as a whole sorted into categories when each person must be considered a rational agent desirous of endless goods and services but bereft of any group.
The emerging anti-secular thesis rejects societal relativism and embraces the laws of nature as the rightful guiding star for all life. This is why there’s that irreconcilable chasm. For even an attempt at discussion to take place, some basic premises must be agreed upon.
We might consider Conan the Barbarian, a wild wanderer who is practically apolitical even once he becomes a king, yet few would hesitate to call him a right-wing character, even if they cannot say why. In every story he appears in he’s likened to big predators preparing to pounce. He embraces the pure passion of being alive over intellectual detachment:
“Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
Just by existing, Conan embodies the primal life force, objective reality, and the circle of life, making him the opposing principle of priestly idealists.
The great circle of life is not just a cycle. There are those who stand within and without it. Within are those who simply have kids as well as those who understand there are Malthusian pressures, Nash equilibria, and endless competition between groups. These people all share a sense of seriousness about existence. Like hatchling sea turtles striving towards the waves as waiting predators pick them off, they stay fixed on their mission. Life must find a way wherever it finds itself.
Those who stand outside the circle of life are fixed on the injustice of the natural world and hold its harsh attrition in contempt by trying to remove themselves from its demands. They base their lives around vacations, hobbies, “soulmates,” and their hopes for progress towards heavenly Utopia. Their lives are never quite serious. There is no wrong way to live. The sun eventually explodes, the universe one day ends. Yet despite these superficially callous attitudes they regard their values as their children that will take over the world when they are gone. This willful delusion that their pseudo-intellectualism lives after them obscures the truth that by Divine Justice they already are fossils to be excavated some millions of years later with a petrified deck of Cards Against Humanity alongside their contorted skeletons.