Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Distinctions between the Right Hand Path and the Left Hand Path

Scott MacCool has recently informed me of an article by Collin Cleary that features in the fourth volume of the TYR Journal that would be of interest to those who follow the Left-Hand Path in Odinism. The article in question is called "What is Odinism?". Below is a piece I found which discusses it. I am not sure if this article is online yet, as unfortunately I do not have, nor can afford, the fourth TYR volume, yet.

It has also no been translated into Russian,

By Boreas

This thread idea came to me after reading Collin Cleary's article "What is Odinism?" from the latest, fourth TYR journal. In the essay he placed Odinism (as he sees it) into
the Left Hand Path category, whereas I have always thought of Odin as an epitome of a (masculine, solar) Right Hand Path orientation, which the Odin's sacrificing of his left eye (that corresponds to the lunar / lower nature) makes clear. The distinctions between the two paths seem to be somewhat blurred sometimes, and most of the western left hand path systems seem to be somewhat different from their eastern equivalents. (Note: here I am referring to the spiritual LHP systems that recognise a transcendent divinity, not to the materialistic counterfeits or false paths.) It seems to me that actually many of those who consider themselves to be on the other path (whether RHP or LHP) are actually on the other one.

What are the general distinctions that separate the two paths from each other?

The first distinction that comes to my mind is that the RHP is masculine and solar, and the LHP feminine and lunar; a reference could be made to Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, where the archetypical man's right hand belongs under Jupiter, whereas the left hand belongs under Venus - but this also doesn't seem to be the case always.

The other distinction that could be made (after a kabbalistic interpretation) is that the RHP is the path of Mercy, whereas the LHP is the path of Justice.

The third distinction would be that the RHP is "strictly traditional" approach to spiritual development ("the straight path"), with clear norms and rules to follow, whereas the LHP is a more "open-minded" approach where the individual component and experimentation has a bigger role to play.

In the Scripture one can find the reference to the Sheeps and Goats, that are placed either on the right side (sheeps) or on the left side (goats) of Christ. In general this would seem to be a reference to two different human types, either to those who are more "mass-minded" and un-individualistic in their basic nature (sheeps), or to those who are more individualistic hermits (goats).

A saying from the hindu tantras comes to mind also, where it is said that "when the right hand dominates, one experiences bondage, but when the left hand dominates, one experiences liberation". This is a reference to the left hand approach where the initiate does not recognise any divinity above one's transcendent Self, whereas in the right hand path one always sees one's self as subordinate to a transcendent source. This would turn the solar and lunar distinctions upwards down, since it is in the nature of the Sun to shine itself, whereas the Moon always only reflects the sun's light. In some ways this would make the LHP the path of High Magic (a solar, active approach), whereas the RHP would be a path of mysticism and devotion (a lunar, passive approach).

Julius Evola also made it explicit that for succeeding in the left hand path, a Shiva nature is required from the initiate, but what other distinctions can one make that separate the two different approaches from each other? Are there clear boundaries between the two paths or are they necessarily somewhat intermingled? Can the two paths be trodden at the same time, can they be united in some way, or is it necessary to devote one's self to one or the other?


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