The voice of command and a Christ-like life
So you want to follow the path Christ took? For a start, you better go into the wilderness for 40 days—the number has esoteric significance—and do so totally alone. There you will wait until all the distractions have cleared—you have no phone, no computer—and once the mud has settled and your mind has cleared you will hear a voice. This is the voice of command: you will now follow that voice as if you were a soldier and it was an order from an officer—i.e. without question and no matter how dangerous or foolish the action commanded may be. You will follow the voice no matter whatever other people say, whatever the law says, whatever is considered “good” in your society.
If the voice says, “Walk the 15 miles into town barefoot and once you are at the city centre chant, ‘LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!’ at the top of your voice for an hour,” then you must do it without question. In the modern world, you may well end up before a psychiatrist if you do that. He will then ask you why you did that and you will say, “I don’t know. A voice told me to do it.” Then he will say, “And this voice…how long have you heard it, and does it threaten people at all?” and you say, truthfully, because the voice told you to, “Sometimes it says violent things,” and then you will be medicated and processed by the system—which is a modern crucifixion.
Well, perhaps not—perhaps the voice didn’t tell to do something that would lead to psychiatric committal; perhaps it just told you to go into Westminster Abbey and say, “Christianity is a false religion, we must all follow Zoroaster now,” and if you do that then you will be in the spirit of Christ—for Christ overturned the law in his day, said that the Old Testament was annulled. Today, Christianity is the Old Testament—Jesus has gone back behind the Black Sun to rest a while; perhaps he will come back again, perhaps not.
Jesus was not modest; he announced he was the Son of God and that all previous laws were annulled. Not modest. Except he was modest in one important way; as Blake observed, “He was humble to God, haughty to man,” and that is to say he obeyed the voice absolutely, like a little child or a loyal soldier, even if it led him into conflict with others. This is what it means to be Christ-like and what most people in churches do is talk about it or talk about how Christ went among the poor but they do not talk about “the voice” because they are in it for control. They are almost all whited sepulchres who do what other people tell them and try to look good—Jesus said “only the Pharisees are good”; no, if you follow the voice you are not good—you are whole, you are “beyond good and evil”. We don’t want to be good—we want to be whole, we want to be holy.
Yet few have the stomach for it because there will be “consequences”—even though if you follow the voice marvellous magical things will happen, there will be pain but only joyous pain. Nietzsche understood this about Christ better than anyone because he actually paid attention to what Jesus said from a young age as opposed to all the frauds who bore on about “helping the poor” or feel smug because they are “good people” who always follow the rules and never get caught out. Fuck them! Christians but not followers of Jesus: there was one Christ and he died on the cross, as Nietzsche said, and, in truth, the example of Christ is so powerful and socially disruptive that it is reinterpreted by Pharisees—of various kinds—to be socially safe and inert.
Blake understood what Christ meant: “Rather strangle an infant in its crib than nurse an unacted upon desire,” he said—the same message as Jung, don’t repress the “bad” or it will dominate you in an unconscious way. Dostoyevsky knew too, that’s why Nietzsche liked him so much: in Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov just lives a dead suffocated life as an itinerant student and translator—then he acts on “the voice” and hacks two old women to death with an axe; and, in consequence, he is redeemed. No murder, no redemption.
We could go on with further examples—William S. Burroughs shot his wife to death in a game of William Tell “gone wrong” and just before he did so he heard “the ugly spirit speak to him”. Yet he concluded afterwards that if he had not shot his wife he would never have become a writer—hence his injunction, “Kill the bitch, write the novel.” Socrates also had a daemon that spoke to him and told him what to do—and, like Christ, he ended up executed; and yet, like Christ, he was a great value-giver. All the great creators, the great value-givers, have been this way—they have changed the world because they submitted in total obedience to the voice; it’s why the Sufi mystic Guénon took the Muslim name “Abd” (slave)—he was a slave to God, a slave to the voice, a slave to the daemon.
It’s why men like Rasputin are holy even though they had sex with lots of women and had many luxuries (although Rasputin just gave expensive Persian rugs away, he didn’t really care about luxuries). Rasputin was a whole man, and when you are a whole man certain cosmic energies are opened to you—so you can heal the little Tsar and preserve the Russian Empire. Rasputin’s enemies were Orthodox priests who were “technically good” but actually bitchy bum-boys (as these institutional people almost always are)—and his enemies were also hypocritical court parasites, the Freemasons, and English intelligence (i.e. the enemies of “the voice”).
The voice is not about some selfish satisfaction, by the way—it’s when you are still and listen to the command, “Give the Persian rug away.” “But it’s expensive, we should keep it.” “Give it away.” If you give it away, you get it back—it’s a magical principle (Jesus knew about it too, hence he says to give stuff away). Rasputin was a follower of Jesus not because he copied him exactly but because he obeyed the voice; he understood the spirit, and Jesus was all about the spirit—most people in churches are just Pharisees, they peer at the law and try to look good; they don’t obey the voice. Rasputin obeyed the voice—it’s not possible to say he was good because he wasn’t really; he was holy.
Nietzsche understood all this very well—that’s why he felt Zarathustra spoke to him, dictate to him. Zarathustra was his daemon. This is why, when he wrote The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche said he felt something was “writing through him”—the spirit, the voice, the daemon wrote through him. Nietzsche was not a philosopher; he was a mystic and a preacher—he was a mystic for a scientific age. Now, I have a quibble with Nietzsche and my quibble is that for Nietzsche, as a materialist, his “Zarathustra” was just “him”—a Jungian would say it was a repressed aspect within him or a racial “blood memory”; and a modern neuroscientist might say “Zarathustra” was an emergent order, an egregore, composed from neurones in Nietzsche’s brain that had been trained to fire in concert in a certain way (the name of the symphony they played was “Zarathustra”). Nietzsche would not have disagreed with either interpretation as such because he was a materialist.
However, I think that “the voice” comes from the outside and that various voices can call to you. Nietzsche understood Jesus intellectually but he didn’t have gnosis; he didn’t know that—or wouldn’t accept, being a materialist—Jesus had achieved union with the Godhead; he wouldn’t countenance the idea that someone could be “daemonically possessed”—he didn’t realise that there are exercises, physical exercises, like yoga, that make sure you “plug in” to the higher voice, not just a random station (perhaps neutral, perhaps destructive).
That’s why it’s important to spend 40 days in the wilderness; no more, no less—Nietzsche didn’t know that; for him, it was all intellect. This is why we can’t ultimately trust Nietzsche’s “gnosis”, even though he was probably the man who best understood Christ in at least five centuries on the intellectual level. It’s the same with the Jungians, because Jung was inspired by Nietzsche; they think “the voice” is just the repressed aspect of you or, maybe, the racial archetype as developed by evolution—and God is “the voice of nature”. This is not so, though God is in nature it’s not material nature. Jung equivocates on this question because, though he was not as intelligent as Nietzsche, he was more spiritually developed because he did things like paint mandalas and carve sacred stones—however, he never let go from the materialist framework altogether; his “voice” still came from material nature, not a higher realm.
So now you see what it means to follow Christ. It’s not about being kind to people or praying a lot in public (something Christ condemned). It’s hard but joyful—it’s not about “trying”, “trying to be good”; it’s about doing what you have to do—after you have really listened to the voice—and acting on it without remorse or question. There is no “plan”—when you experience a crisis, literally “a fork in the road”, the voice will instruct you there and then as to what to do (the answer may defy reason and morality—yet if you obey it certain helpers will arrive and certain signs will manifest). The challenge is to be the complete man, the alchemical man, who develops all his potentialities and so becomes the image of the Godhead—pure possibility.