The Three Aspects of Divinity

& the Sole Remaining Possibility of Transcendence

through the Risky Left Hand Path of Destruction

(from "The Path of Cinnabar")




[...] I suggested that in the case of more qualified individuals - whether male or female - the doctrines and perspectives described in The Metaphysics of Sex might provide the means to solve various personal problems, and to find a way out of the baseness of ordinary human existence. On the other hand, I pointed out that, given the present condition of humanity, one should generally hold no illusions with regard to the possibilities of realizing the truly transcendent potentialities of sexuality - although sex certainly remains 'the greatest magical power in nature'. Even in those cases today where sex has not been trivialized or corrupted and turned into a consumer product, it is chiefly sought after as a means to experience cheap thrills: as a means to grant 'those who have taken the road to perdition an illusory, obscure, desperate relief from disgust and existential anguish'. What I had in mind here was the role that sex - not unlike drugs - plays for the new 'burnt out', heedless generation of beats and hippies, who are foolishly seeking the genuine meaning their life lacks in exasperated forms of sensuality.

By discussing sadism and its more profound significance in the light of the metaphysics of sex, I again came to touch upon the subject of 'The Left-Hand Path'. The legitimacy of this path derives from the traditional doctrine of the three aspects of divinity: the creative, protective and destroying - destruction manifesting the transcendence of the ultimate principle beyond all limited and conditioned forms. The 'Right-Hand Path' is connected to the first two aspects of the divine; on the level of ethical and religious conduct, this path is characterized by the affirmation and consecration of existence, and by conformity to the laws and positive norms of a given traditional order operating on earth. By contrast, the 'Left-Hand Path' pertains to the third divine principle, that of pure transcendence; this path potentially implies not only a break with all existing order and norms (as in the case of pure ascesis), but also the destruction of such norms and order by means of a disregard for values and ethics, and a destructive release aimed at the attainment of the unconditioned. That of the 'Left-Hand Path' is the perspective I focused on the most in The Metaphysics of Sex. In discussing gender ethics in the book,  I referred to what I had already written in Revolt Against the Modern World with regard to the traditional understanding of the institutional union of man and woman (in the context of the 'Right-Hand Path'). Nevertheless, The Metaphysics of Sex chiefly examines sex in itself, as a pure and potentially destructive experience (capable, that is, of bringing about a sudden, striking change): a perspective that rules out the possibility of any subordination of sex to merely human - or even social and biological - interests. Besides, I was later to favor the perspective of the 'Left-Hand Path' in my book Ride the Tiger, on account of both the character of the age we live in, and of the negative conclusions I had reached with regard to the possibilities for any rectifying, reconstructive or creative action (i.e., of any action in line with the 'Right-Hand Path') in a world and society, such as ours, which is approaching the end of a cycle. In this epoch of widespread decomposition, I argued, the only path one can attempt to follow is that of the Left Hand - with all the risks this entails.



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