The “C” Word

Every few years I get sent an article telling me that impending doom is nearing because of resource consumption. These essays are usually straight forward, and based on the math hard to deny.  The one I used to have my students read – when I taught at a local university, was “Population: The Elephant in the Room” at Mish Shedolock’s blog. It is solid, lots of graphs, and to the point.  I used to sum it up in two lines that crossed over and formed an ‘X’ and telling my students, “Everything in your life takes place against a backdrop. That backdrop is the reality of decreasing resources (draw downward line) and unlimited population growth (draw upward line crossing over).  Where they meet is when the real pain begins.”

This was traumatic for them and I simply did not care as it set the tone for the remainder of the class.

Now, fast forward, or look back, or whatever, many in contemporary spirituality make a great deal of noise about environmental issues but no longer make any noise about population control – and for obvious demographic reasons – but when it comes to resources, they are equally stupid and silent. By stupid I mean, well, stupid, clearly doing something that is not in their best interest.  In this case it is burning through resources. Not seeing or understanding the big picture. In short, being self-defeating, all of which is an amazing irony given the purpose and ideals of the subject.

So, if you really care about the future and with that the future of esotericism, then you need to learn how to preserve and utilize resources, and that requires various forms of small and medium sized group action, or the “C word”. And by this I do not mean Aleister Crowley’s “Three Cs” of “cunts, cognac, and cocaine” but that painful word for so many would-be individualists, “cooperation”.   Failure to cooperate results in the other “c” or conflict, which leads us to the third “c” or crises, or rather crises management. Crises management is simply another term for dealing with open hostility, resource depletion, and failure to accomplish the original task set before us as survival becomes the primary concern.

I hear from many people every week who lament the state of the world, be it in politics, environmental concerns, or fill in the blank, but at the end of the day, nearly all of them are doing little or nothing to make a difference. They complain well, but that is about it.  They like their “cunts” or “cocks” if you will, “cognac, and cocaine” too much to get involved in a manner that will make a difference, even a small one right where they are.  ‘Complaining’ feels good but ‘construction’ takes work and with that cooperation with others.

In a recent interview I was asked, “What is the cause of your unusual success?” I was not sure what was being asked as there was the implication that is was the result of my working with some forms of spiritual creatures as invisible assistants. I simply responded that the source of my success, if any, is simply WORK, and the same with those who work with us at the Institute for Hermetic Studies to get the WORK done and produce publications and activities of value.  That means we need a common vision, combines resources of time, talent, and treasure, have a plan, and get it done.  We do not rely on anyone or anything else to achieve our goals.

That is where the whole thing breaks down or succeeds. It is the pivot point. Sometimes you need to realize that your local groups is going to be small, three to five or ten people, and that is fine, as long as you get along and accomplish your stated goals and provide mutual support.  You do not have to save the world, you just have to show that you know how to save the most important resources there are: your life itself and the time you have, and thereby be an example that can inspire others in their work.  Saving the world is beyond each of our pay grades, but saving ourselves, and helping a few close associates along the way, well that is possible.  In reality, it is all we can do, and you must work as if it is all up to you, because it is.

For more information on group activities and how to organize them see the following link:


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