UPDATE VIII: Eight Poems in The Fictional Café

I recently had eight poems published in The Fictional Café online arts publication. All eight poems are featured on one page, under one link, and consist of (in order of appearance) “Amor Fati,” “Danny Didn’t Show,” “Hat City and the Mystery,” “One,” “Ward 9 (Hospital—Redux),” “Sanctum Sanctorum,” “I Have the Codes,” and “Poets and Rock Stars.”

Please enjoy reading them!

UPDATE VII: “What is Thelema? (Redux)”

Today I published an article on Medium titled “What is Thelema? (Redux),” a do-over of my 2018 article on that site, “What is Thelema?

This article addresses the topic of the nature and general description of Thelema, without being as tangential as its previous incarnation.


UPDATE VI: “Learning the Joy of Existence in Thelema”

I am happy to report that Thelemic Union has published my essay “Learning the Joy of Existence” (site founder and manager IAO131 renamed it “Learning the Joy of Existence in Thelema,” presumably to make it appear more relevant) on their site.

This essay covers the notion that existence is inherently joyous from a Thelemic perspective, and how to view it as such by engaging in the trances that Crowley discusses in his short book Little Essays Toward Truth.

Feel free to check it out.

UPDATE V: “There’s Nothing Special About Meditation”

I have published an article in Thelemic Union: “There’s Nothing Special About Meditation“.

This briefly covers the connection between Zen master Eihei Dogen’s notion of meditation as perfection and founder of Thelema Aleister Crowley’s idea of one’s present incarnation being “perfect”.

Feel free to read it!

UPDATE IV: “Bugs” and a Few Other Stories

I am pleased to announce that my e-book “Bugs” and a Few Other Stories has been published online through BookRix and BookRix affiliates.

“Bugs” is a very short collection of some half-dozen stories. Read through and delight in the silliness of these mostly short-lived, unashamedly shallow, and absurd tales, and find a little respite in the breathtakingly brief flash fiction piece “Acceptance (At Donato’s),” a meditation on the the mystical transience of life.

It’s free!

Feel free to rate and review it on Goodreads!

UPDATE III: Apologies, Excuses[?], and a Potential Return

Hello everyone. (No-one—let’s be real: in the years since I’ve started this blog I’ve had few if any people actually follow it. I’m talking to a brick wall. I always have been and I likely always will be.) I’d like to apologize for my extended absence.

Since December 2018 (so about a year and two months ago) I haven’t written anything on this blog, and in a little less time I haven’t put anything up on my LOGOS! blog, either.

I don’t like to make excuses, but between my lifelong issues with ADHD and continued problems with debilitating depression, I found myself unable to write much of anything for the past year. A horrific breakup at the beginning of last year put me in the shitter and I really haven’t been the same since.

Here’s hoping I can soon return to form and turn my life around.

Frankly, time management, commitment, compartmentalization, and maintaining a schedule have been nearly impossible for me my entire life, and still prove the greatest of difficulties for me at the age of 28.

So, going forward, it’s going to be an uphill battle, as always, making this and LOGOS! really work. (Much less gaining followers!)

Anyway, I’d ask you to forgive me, though I know no-one is really reading this, so I guess the most I can ask is for me to forgive myself.

That’s much harder.

All the best.

— V.


LOGOS!, my blog on skeptical spirituality, is now online. I plan to do my best to update it on at least a weekly basis.

Feel free to check it out!

Also, don’t forget to like me on Facebook.


I am no longer blogging via this blog. I will continue to make blog posts in the form of updates on my work and works—these will appear here, on the main page, or blog feed page, of The Grand Tangent website.

I will continue using this website to showcase my works. They can be viewed on the WORKS page and its sub-pages: § POETRY, SHORT STORIES, AND MISCELLANY; and § SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS.

My publication credits can be viewed at § {PUBLICATION CREDITS}.

A list of blog posts featured on this website can be found at the {TANGENTS} page.

A list of news and updates can be found at the HAPPENINGS page.

Information about me and this blog can be found at the ABOUT page.

The ABOUT page contains a sub-page featuring a selection of quotes: § ΛΌΓΟΣ.

View my links ate the LINKS page.

View promoted authors and works at the PROMOTED AUTHORS AND WORKS page.

UPDATE I: The Future of My Work and This Blog

I am no longer blogging via this blog. I will continue to make blog posts in the form of updates on my work and works—these will appear here, on the main page, or blog feed page, of The Grand Tangent website.

I will continue using this website to showcase my works. They can be viewed on the WORKS page and its sub-pages: § POETRY, SHORT STORIES, AND MISCELLANY; and § SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS.

My publication credits can be viewed at § {PUBLICATION CREDITS}.

A list of blog posts featured on this website can be found at the {TANGENTS} page.

A list of news and updates can be found at the HAPPENINGS page.

Information about me and this blog can be found at the ABOUT page.

The ABOUT page contains a sub-page featuring a selection of quotes: § ΛΌΓΟΣ.

View my links ate the LINKS page.

View promoted authors and works at the PROMOTED AUTHORS AND WORKS page.

Internal Anarchism, Part I: “Anarcho-aristocracy”


“Anything based on the masses, the herd, carries in itself the seeds of slavery. This crowd, which does not self-determine its values, is incapable of defining its own life.”
— A.

I usually try to eschew labels: Sure, they’re useful, but let’s be honest—the world is too large a place, its cultures and creeds too diverse, its philosophies too many, its religions too vastly different. The notions of those cultures and creeds and philosophies and religions are simultaneously sweepingly broad and narrowly specific. No one “-ism” or “-ology” can contain the totality of useful and meaningful concepts that exist.

That being said, the alignment of my political and spiritual notions, as of late, have produced something I like to call anarcho-aristocracy.

Give me a moment to explain:

  • Anarcho-: I believe that, in the long run, the existence of the State (which, by the way, is not necessarily the same as government—see below), as well as the monopolization of the economy by rich elites via insatiable consumerist, corporate capitalism—both systems of which depend on hierarchical power structures—is detrimental to human progress and fulfillment. An equal, and yet dynamic, measure of freedom, and the potential to exercise it for the purpose of attaining well-being, should be allotted to all. The greatest possible of measure of freedom which can be apportioned to each person ought to be, so long as that apportionment does not allow individuals to interfere with the liberties of others. That being said, certain individuals are pre-disposed to certain abilities or areas of skill or expertise, and so in a society would tend towards practicing a particular task or set of tasks according to their abilities, as the demand for services in communities naturally inclines them. People may be equals legally, but they are not necessarily equals functionally. Someone who is good at mathematics can try to be a decent journalist, but he made not be as fit for the job as someone who has routinely studied The Chicago Manual of Style. Nonetheless, no person should be forced to do anything (unless they are violating the rights of another, in which case they should be made to stop their aggression), and all associations should [ideally] be as voluntary as possible. At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to decide how to live his or her life as he or she sees fit.
  • -aristocracy: This term, meaning “rule of the best”, often refers to rule by a privileged or ruling class. In an older sense, one used by the Greeks, it meant rule by those most qualified (those who were so merited for the job, being intelligent and/or skilled in an appropriate way). I use it in this sense. I also use it in the more philosophical-spiritual sense, as conceived of by Friedrich Nietzsche: Aristokratia, for Nietzsche, is a system in which the greatest among us (the “masters”) can achieve their greatness, becoming the crowning glory of the world through self-ennoblement, and thus advance the boundaries of human ability and what it means to “triumph”. This leaves the lower people (the “slaves”) to remain in an ignoble state. Nietzsche openly recognizes that some are, in a way, “meant” to become great, whereas others are not, and that that is the natural state of things. (His anti-egalitarianism is fairly apparent.) To me, this is not really a brutish notion so much as a simple truth: So long as humans remain in the state they are now (this assumes trans-humanism, in its fuller sense, never becomes a reality), they will always give in to their base desires and live as “slaves”, whereas others will triumph over themselves and the world and carry out their Wills. This statement is not a condemnation of freedom, but rather a recognition of the fact that throughout history there are those who consign themselves to baseness—and they have every right to, as free beings!—and there are those who find what is great in themselves, and enact that.
  • Here’s the gist: To bring these two ideas together means to recognize the inherent potential in all people—that potential can be recognized and achieved—and even all beings (if we’re being broad enough, and taking on the mantle of Buddhism…), at all times, to attain to greatness—whether one would call that “excellence,” “self-actualization,” “happiness,” “well-being,” or even “enlightenment.” All people should be given at least the measure of freedom necessary to achieve their own senses of fulfillment, and their personal capacities, without taking away freedom from anyone else. Realistically, not all people will fulfill their potentials, but we should not look down upon them for it. Things are as they are…

To clarify the concept of “the State”, I will paraphrase part of a cogent 2013 post by Skyler J. Collins at Everything-Voluntary: The State, according to libertarian thinker Stephen Kinsella, is the firm (group of individuals) which monopolizes the ability to provide governmental functions (“law and order”) in a society, making itself the arbiter of power and the “final word” in conflict settlement—even conflicts within or involving itself. This means that there is no “third party”, so to speak, to adjudicate conflicts regarding the State, making the State almost infallible, if not unchallengeable, when or if the time comes to question its ability to function properly as an institution which works (or is supposed to work) to provide freedom and happiness for those it governs.

This implies, simply, that the existence of the State creates a situation in which decision-makers—policy-makers and so forth—are too far removed from the effects of their decisions. This often leaves the brunt of the State’s failures to rest on the shoulders of citizens, and creates a class system in which a hierarchical difference exists between the rich and powerful—who remain at the top—and those whom the rich and powerful control—who remain, and suffer, at the bottom.

Closing this gap, by whittling down the State until it becomes indistinguishable from the citizenry, turns the vertical power structure into a horizontal one (the column into a row), in which all members of society are valued for their individuality, and in which all members may contribute to the maintenance of those societies of which they choose to be a part.

As Collins notes: “Monopolies are always an illegitimate arrangement of authority in society because nobody has the right to prevent others from providing any good or service of their choosing. This includes governmental services. … To be a consistent libertarian, a voluntaryist, or an anarchist is to oppose the monopoly of governmental services, i.e. the State, and to instead favor competing providers of law and order. It really is that simple.”

I would also go further to say that, in an ideal state (that’s with a little “s”), a society may even eliminate such “competing providers of law and order”, with individuals acting based on voluntary association, or based on a sort of constitution on an as-needed basis.


Voluntaryism, on one hand, is something I believe we should pursue to its fullest extent, as the idealization of the greatest amount of freedom for the greatest number of present and future persons. But, on the other hand, we should recognize that the decision-making process, even rendered as free and non-binding as possible, should still always be informed by reason and, hence, merit, in the form of individual experts capable of lending their expertise to other citizens, so that those citizens may offer their opinions in a state of understanding, not ignorance.

This is where meritocracy, and thus aristocracy, comes into play.

While in an anarchist society power structures have effectively dissolved, and all human beings are free to pursue their desires so long as they do not interfere with the freedom of others, the aristos are needed to stabilize such a society through the dissemination and clarification of useful information and lead as examples in a more effective decision-making process.

In terms of experts in the fields of science and engineering, such a system would emerge as a king of quasi-technocracy—“government by an elite of technical experts”.

To be clear, what I’m advocating isn’t “government by”, but rather, “exemplification by”. This is aristocracy in a more free and practical sensethe siphoning of reason from a class of experts capable of creating more informed views, and hence better at solving problems.

In simpler terms: A thorough education is paramount in a system intended to benefit individuals based on contract and mutual benefit; information is and will always be useful for the maintenance of any society; third, a society lives or dies based on its ability to adapt, made possible by the participation of skilled individuals and the use of tools, typically developed by those individuals.

Of course, it must be said that expertise is no longer merely sourced from individuals. Despite a worldwide culture of pedagogy, in the form of universities, and a slew of think-tanks manned by ostensible experts in various fields, the future may hold sources of information we can scarcely imagine. What began with libraries as a repository for human-consolidated information and has since developed into the Internet may take on a wholly new form as A.I. and machine learning become more and more capable and advanced.

I have not dismissed the idea that these machines, the progeny of humankind, may one day even surpass us in knowledge and understanding, and then will become an invaluable asset to us in the form of teachers and organizers of information and raw data. (That is, of course, if they don’t destroy us first, as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk seem to worry.)

Whatever the future holds, so long as human beings remain individual in their personalities and autonomous and self-determinant in their desires, there will always be an opportunity for the actualization of the conscious experience. From birth to death, humans encounter every day their own, raw potential. This can give rise to aristocracy in the more inward sense, which I will address in Part II…

Stepping up to the Plate


Woodcut from Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer. (1498.) (Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

Here’s a few facts to brighten your day:

It’s official: 2016 was the hottest year on record. Plus, to make matters worse, global warming may soon accelerate, and continues to broil the planet at an unthinkable pace.

Meanwhile, with the inauguration of a childlike multi-billionaire as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, the U.S. government’s webpage on climate change has been removed from the White House’s website. (So have its pages on civil rights and LGBT rights.)

Note that Trump, a mega-rich narcissist, has vowed to scrap one of the few (and all admittedly meager) attempts at dealing with the oncoming apocalypse. (Obama’s Clean Power Plan.) He may also very well put an end to the Green Climate Fund, through which the U.S. [had] agreed to pay $3 billion to help developing countries maintain some semblance of social order in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. (Although the American government, via Obama, only managed to commit $500 million and, in reality, the world will need impossibly large sums of money to prevent civilization from collapsing outright this century.)

Now add to this the claim by a Yale University economist that “devastating” climate change is no longer preventable because the world’s politicians’ response to the issue has mainly consisted of meaningless rhetoric.

Remember that in 2009 Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change in the U.K., submitted the horrifying claim that if the global temperature were to rise 4C above pre-Industrial temperatures (a rise which is slanted to happen this century), only 10% of humanity (around 500 million people) would survive.

Keep in mind that, in a worst-case scenario, we could reach 4C by 2060.

That means that, in a worst-case scenario, in just 43 years 90% of humanity will be wiped out.

If you’re reading this, that number probably includes you, me, and all of our loved ones.

Many may not realize it, but the primary question for the people of the 21st century has quickly become, “How can we prevent a collapse of civilization in the next hundred years?”

The answer to that question will doubtless require technological innovation and social change at a scale never before witnessed.

Humanity is staring down the barrel of a gun. When are we going to really step up to the plate? And, better yet, why aren’t we doing that right now?