The Vargur: Outside the Law

“The accursed one may thus be understood as someone outside the law, or beyond it.”

         – Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacre

How many of us would admit to being accursed? I don’t mean living outside the law of man, or even if one did believe – outside the law of God; no: I mean the law of one’s own being, the law that keeps one safe and sound, the wild things at bay locked out in the dark hinterlands of the mind devoid of their terror and despair. What if one had been thrown not into the world – as Heidegger would have it, but rather into the void beyond one’s own inaccessible life, a life that continues sleepwalking through existence without you? What if that part of your being wandered beyond the hedge separating wilderness from civilization, sanity from insanity: beyond the civilizing sociality of your everyday self – that avatar mask you present to your wife or husband, or your children – who depend on the kindness of your gentle ways; as well, your boss, your friends, your social partners and after hours consorts; all these of which the self that meets the world, that masks its dark intent within the circle of sanity of this dog day world we all share? What if that self found its way back into the wilderness of beginnings, in the realm of myth and terror where the wild things live? What then?

Agamben – Homo Sacer is both sacred and accursed: cast out by society to roam the forest wilds of chaos and night where the outlaws rule. The history of the vargur, the werewolf clans is long and deep, paralleling the timidity of the human clans. Mythology, perhaps? The unwritten truth of an alternative world, a surety…The monsters of reason are the spectral ghosts of the noumenon rejected by the Enlightenment project to this day…The dark romanticism of the Gothic worlds is that realm figured and populated by the spectral void. We are attracted to Sade, Bronte, Symbolists, Poe, Proust, Kafka, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Thomas Ligotti, Nick Land and all the other purveyors of horror because they open the wound, revealing those forgotten and suppressed denizens of the noumenal world enlightened philosophers would rather forget… Transgressive philosophy seeks not the demise of the Enlightenment project, rather to fulfill it: inclusive of its accursed children.

The lines of flight from the noumenol realms began long before the Enlightenment in the dark corridors of the inquisitors…There is the story of a forgotten Enlightenment, the one rejected and betrayed by the purists, the timid purveyors of the terror…Creatures like Sade and Blake cut through the belly of the revolutionary beast of the purists, seeing them for what they were: oathbreakers.   Robespierre was nothing more than Virtue’s Dark Prince: hater of life, a broken pawn, power without light: the face of terror. Seeking egalitarian justice the Committee brought democratic terror and the demise of the Enlightenment.

Terror does not come from the outside in: it is the face of democracy itself as freedom’s final lie. To be free is to live outside the gate. In medieval times between Christmas and Twelfth Night ‘fools festivals’: bands of youth rampaged destructively through settlements at night protected by the law as ‘being outside the law’. Were these continuations of the ancient pagan worlds of the shapeshifters among us? Have we for so long silenced these dark shouts from the abyss? Living as we do in artificial constructs, ideologically safe zones, purified of such dark temptations? Our present Cathedral of the neoliberal order is built out of the dark bricks of human slavery and denial. It harbors a false engine of light within its bowels, feeding on the ignorance and apathy of billions who seek only their daily bread.

Of ancient the vargur: the ‘stranglers in the temple’ were seen as skinwalkers from the Wolf’s Time – time of ruin and catastrophe. Many cultures have seen a mobile time, a time moving toward us like a an unstoppable wave, a volcanic surge of alien force and intensity. The Salic Franks carried before them the ‘wolf’s head’ the bleeding emblem of sacred power, the protection from chaos and death which encompasses all civilized societies. They knew the truth, knew that outside the gate a power more ancient than time itself lived, waiting, pondering its chance to put an end to the terror of man.

In that strange hybrid scholar’s work, DREAMTIME Concerning the Boundary Between Wilderness and Civilization, by Hans Peter Duerr we discover traces of this ancient world suppressed by instrumental reason and the false Enlightenment project…Even now those who dare explore such strangeness are considered non-scholars or hybrid constructs beyond the pale of acceptable wisdom. Rogue scholars of such abstruse knowledge have always fascinated my gothic proclivities, they show the pre-enlightened stages of the Enlightenment project as it arose out of religious fear and terror of the darkness of the pagan worlds of its ancestors. Have we succumbed in our quest after immortality and Singularities to the inner compulsion left behind in these darker worlds? Were not the Inquisitors the first Robespierre’s? Did they not in their dungeons seek only to uncover the noumenal darkness that Kant refused to gape at and forthwith excluded from his philosophy? Haven’t we been blinded to the dark inducements of the wilderness outside the gate of civilized discourse in to believing we are safe, protected by the artificial barriers erected by the Cathedral?

Transhumanists, H++, posthuman biomechanical hybrids, etc. are these not visions of the blanks: the black holes in our own rhetoric of the past returning? Or, better yet: Are these historical wavering’s between the phenomenal and noumenon, civilization and wilderness signs from the wastelands of the future, invasive infestations that were already at work within our ancestors? Their patterned rituals slowly melded into pagan dance and enunciations as iconic testimonies of alien inscription and subsumption? We seek illumination in a broken world and find only the darkness of our Promethean desires and ambitions, seeking nothing more than an escape hatch into unbidden futures where the inhuman is our unholy grail. Shall we open the wound wide, let the flowers of the abyss spring forward in our accelerating minds? Are not the far shores of futurity but a gate to be unlocked, a portal to be opened, a mental construct or metamorphic template to be unfurled, a map and its cartography to be unleased by our fearless gaze? Where are the Icarus’s of the mind? Who shall dream our collective dreams forward? Shall we remain locked in the cold dark prisons of our political high-priests? Or shall we discover the gate is open, the keys lost among the assemblies of night, the guardsmen trembling that we might discover their secret lie?

The boredom of our time is the chatter of the net, the electronic ghost box that holds nothing but the vestiges of mental sparks that once held hope for a different future. Those times have passed, now begins the long road back into life where only the wolves, bears, and foxes of the wilderness hold sway. Do you not hear the call of the wild, too? Are you afraid of the allure of that cold life? Or is it rather that you are more fearful that your voidic being has already escaped, vanished without a trace, wandered far beyond the hedgelands and is running rampant over the dangerous uncharted realms outside the gates? Are you not ready to begin? Ready to become other than this corpse that you call home? What can you lose? Tell me, what can you lose?

Becoming impersonal, fatal, amoral, and contemptuous: freed of the safety nets of this dying civilization. Do you fear what you are becoming? Is the inhuman in you terrifying to your fated self? Do you have an inkling of what awaits you? It has a name, you know… Nietzsche, Freud, Baitaille, Land… each of these foresaw it, and engendered its embers, awakened its alien intent, gave it sustenance with the deep blood of their thought, a flesh-thought, a thought that is full of the labor of pain and pessimism. Brothers and Sisters of the night,  vargr, rippers of reality’s hedge who have all ventured beyond the cage. Will you not follow?

This is a mineral thought: a thought at the base of the spine, a liquid flowing base materialism that moves of its own accord, both vicious and aggressive – and yet, resilient and attuned to the pack, the others outside the gates who have neither sought asylum nor been afraid of their status as Outlaws. This is an outlaw philosophy, a philosophy for skinwalkers and were-creatures of all stripes, fearless animals who no longer seek to reform the present, no longer seek a revolution of the current world… no, they seek to transform this world into their own where only outlaws remain: this is the freedom they seek and no other. No, this is not some anarchistic nightmare of solitude and camaraderie for the disunity of life. This is not some return to Nature ( no such thing as Nature ever existed ), a Luddite escape from the Machine. Forget those hacks, those despoilers of graves and truth. This is the reversal of ten-thousand years of domestication. Neither a return to some primal time, nor to some imaginary future, rather it is the freeing of this time, this moment by moment that we all are becoming impregnated by from that future no one seems to accept or even to acknowledge as coming from the noumenal sphere outside the hedge to our technomaya shadows and illusions. As time speeds up, as our neoliberal world order seeks to escape this future and hollow out the earth encasing us in its capitalistic Cathedral of Time we begin to see ourselves as agents of simultaneity as ghosts of some zombie world of dead labor.

The policing of the perimeters, the concave horizon of capital is all that preoccupies the neoliberal order. They do not want you to escape this cesspool, this slime-pit, this dead world they’ve created for you in a spectacle of pure jouissance that tends to your baser nature and allows you to be titillated and brought under its mindless systems of command and control known as the infotainment complex. Your prison is open and clean, a world of wonders for those willing to sacrifice their brothers and sisters outside the gates. Yet, we do not care, have your fun, your meaningless petty existence in the joylands of trivial technoville. One day it will come to an end, collapse around you like a crystal palace sinking betrayed by its own illusionary grandeur.

Instead we who are abominations, who suffer the light of a dark sun rampage among the twisted brambles and scorched deserts, the waste mountains of the outer layers troubled only by our need to rip the crystal palace to shreds. Blinded by a black star we run the grey lands seeking neither reprieve nor consolation, but instead the bittersweet truth of our birthright: a solace so terror-ridden that only nightmares suggest its timbre. In this realm even laughter begins to despair, yet to laugh is to enter the bliss of death’s estate, and walk abroad free of it’s taste…

We seek no more and no less than the total annihilation of reality. There is hedge between us and the wilderness of the noumenon, a great wall that hides the dark contours of its life. We live within the hedge like scared rabbits, our minds molded and modulated by the intricate universal relations of science and philosophy that dictate the terms of our perceptual contracts, provide us the normative guidelines to rule and keep us safely tucked away from the terrible truth beyond the hedge-rows of civilized society. Does this disturb you? Do you think you really know what reality is? Have you even an inkling of that realm of light, that heaven of possibility and indifference? Death and death alone drives us, the secret engine of all our desires. We howl under the blood moon, our voices are heard by your clans even in the glare of you artificial suns. We thirst for the annihilation of all suns, for the intrepid movement that changes everything into dust. When that last black hole in infinity’s dark night pulls us down into its great pyre, then and only then shall we all be connected to one another. Until then we have our solitudes.

Let us all find the ‘tramp in the hedge’ of time…   you’ll know him by his bright smile and steel teeth!

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