How I Found My Mission in LifeJef Costello
Since I am not all right, I sometimes find myself reading self-help books. I am not proud of this. There is something pathetic about a man almost forty-five who is still trying to straighten himself out. There is something still more pathetic about such a man relying on mass-market paperbacks in order to do so.
I realized I was ashamed of myself for reading self-help when I noticed that I would always hide the cover of the book if I happened to be reading it in public. And the thought of an acquaintance appearing out of nowhere and saying “So, what are you reading?” mortifies me.
I deal with this problem by restricting myself to manly self help books, or to ones published back when people were less pathetic (e.g., Dale Carnegie’s books). My most recent manly acquisition is Richard “Mack” Machowicz’s Unleash the Warrior Within. The author is a former Navy SEAL who now has a lucrative business as, I guess you could say, a “life coach” who also teaches self-defense. The Amazon reviews were encouraging. What Machowicz promises to do is to apply what he learned in the SEALS to the challenges of daily life.
I’m now about 70 pages into the book and I have to say that despite its flaws I have learned a few things of value. In fact, it led me to a momentous realization.
On page 27 Machowicz introduces the acronym CARVER, which is used by the SEALS in deciding whether or not a target is worth going after. I won’t rehearse all the details, but here’s the gist of it:
CARVER stands for:
Criticality: how critical is this to the mission?
Accessibility: how easily can this target be accessed?
Recognizability: how easily is the target recognized?
Vulnerability: how vulnerable is the target?
Effect on the overall mission: will this advance the overall mission, or not?
Recuperability: Can the enemy recover from this? How long will it take them?
Both the “Criticality” and “Effect on the overall mission” criteria presuppose that the action being contemplated is part of a larger effort. CARVER only works by keeping that larger effort in mind. For example, our mission is to win the war. Will taking out this particular target really help us do that? Is the target important enough?
Machowicz goes on to explain pretty straightforwardly how to apply this to daily life. We are constantly confronted with choices about what to go after in life. CARVER can help us decide what truly is worth going after. Do I really want to change jobs? Do I really want a relationship? And so forth. However, just as in war, CARVER only works in life if you have an overall “life mission” – i.e., a purpose. It is only by keeping that purpose in mind that you can decide on the reasonableness of various courses of action.
This way of thinking immediately appealed to me when I read it the night before last at around 9:00 p.m. I like orderliness and system, and this appeared to me to be a great way to go about making rational decisions in life. I suppose I had been doing this all along, to some extent, but to have the technique laid out so clearly and systematically gave me a sort of a warm but manly feeling.
But then I had a terrible realization. As soon as I tried to apply the technique to a specific question I had on my mind, I realized it would not work for me. It would not work because . . . I have no purpose in life. The thought danced through my head as negative thoughts sometimes do in the latter part of the evening. I was ready to dismiss it as “the bad thoughts” marijuana often gives me, but then I realized I was not yet stoned. I thought the thought again. No, this can’t be true, I said to myself. So, I tried to identify what my purpose is. And I could not.
One of the many strange things about this situation is that it took me so long to realize I had no purpose, no real reason for living at all. I really did think that I had a purpose. In the past there were many “goals” I set for myself that had to do with getting an education, getting a job, etc. But these were relatively short term goals. I realized that I have now, in fact, accomplished all of the goals I set for myself when I was in college – and that nothing, no larger goal or mission, has taken their place.
I was sitting on the couch when this hit me, the book in my lap. The stereo was off. It’s actually pretty quiet in Queens, and all I could hear was the low, high-pitched hum that normally sings in my head (the result of hours of caffeine intake). All of a sudden the room seemed to get smaller, and I felt butterflies in my stomach. It was the sort of feeling I get when I realize I’ve forgotten to do something of major importance and now it’s going to cost me big. It was a moment of clarity. I started thinking “is this the beginning of my midlife crisis?” That thought was easily dismissed. My midlife crisis began when I was 24; it is my normal state of existence. This was just a new wrinkle – a realization that things were even worse than I thought they had been. It’s one thing not to have a purpose in life, but quite another to be subconsciously deluded into thinking one does. A further sign of madness, I thought.
I went and fetched a legal pad and began jotting notes to myself. (One thing I have learned from self-help books is always write things down.)
“What is my purpose in life?” I wrote. I immediately copped out by channeling Aristotle: “Living well,” I wrote on the line below. But what is that? Is it being “comfortable”? No, because I actually am comfortable but I don’t feel any fundamental satisfaction with my life. Besides, I have complete contempt for people whose aim is to be “comfortable.” Is it “financial security”? No, that’s just part of being comfortable. Is it “professional success or respectability”? No. I have complete contempt for the people in my profession, and the profession itself just seems to me now like a bullshit waste of time. Is it “living in a particular place?” No. As the sage said “wherever you go, there you are.” Besides, I live in New York City. Why would I go to another city? And I’m not the farm type. Is it “having a relationship”? At this I began to heave.
The truth is that none of the things that give other people satisfaction are going to do anything for me at all. I have plenty of comforts and plenty of “fun” but seldom actually enjoy any of it. I suppose I am the sort of person who simply cannot be satisfied by happiness. I can’t really feel satisfied unless . . . unless what? Unless, I suppose, I’m living for something big. I thought I was doing that, but I guess I was wrong.
So I sat there staring at the legal pad. And all of a sudden a voice spoke to me. It was a thin, somewhat high-pitched voice that sounded slightly speeded-up. What it said was “The destruction of the modern world.”
I sat there a moment and smiled slightly. No, I thought, that’s silly. It’s too big a purpose, for one thing. Too impractical. But then the voice spoke again, insistently: “The destruction of the modern world.” This got me thinking. When I was a child my mother took me to see a psychologist. I don’t remember why and thankfully my mother is dead so she can’t remind me. She did, however, tell me years later what the psychologist had said: “He will always set his goals too low.” Well, so much for her! See if you can top destroying the modern world. That’s a pretty ambitious goal. But did it make sense for me? Was it proactive enough? Did it empower me? (To use some words I’ve picked up from self-help books.)
I began to think of an incident that occurred the last time I talked with a good friend of mine. We were walking on the beach in San Francisco at sunset and I was discussing with him my various doubts, dissatisfactions, and insecurities. “But there is one thing I am in absolutely no doubt about,” I said. “And that’s that the modern world is completely fucked up. I have no doubt that I am right about that.” And I spoke truly. This time there was no little voice in my head pestering me with Are you sure? Or Do you really mean that? And I went on: “There is no doubt in my mind that it’s all bullshit: feminism, multiculturalism, diversity, egalitarianism, democracy, globalism, gay liberation, progress, capitalism – all of it.”
I have set myself against the whole of the modern world. As I sat on the couch with my legal pad, the ten o’clock hour approaching, I reflected on how this opposition between myself and everything else might form a true purpose. My hatred of the modern world is the only thing I am truly passionate about (well, that and film – but it’s too late to go to Hollywood). It is the only thing about which I have complete and absolute moral certitude. And I can think of no greater undertaking than setting myself against this world and making its destruction my sole, animating purpose in life.
The modern world is my dragon, and I must slay it. To do this I must be as pure and as single-minded as Sigurd. This is the sort of stuff that excites me. I love to subject myself to rigorous regimens and schedules for physical and mental self-improvement. Now that I have found my purpose, I can orient everything else around it. Everything I do, say, or think – everything I eat or drink or buy or watch or participate in, must somehow directly or indirectly serve my cause. These thoughts made me look forward to tomorrow, something I haven’t done much of since I was small.
I’m sure other readers of Counter-Currents have had thoughts similar to mine. And I’m sure they have also had the experience I had the following day. I woke up filled with enthusiasm for my new life, but almost immediately a serious problem occurred to me. Exactly what can I do to destroy the modern world? All those ideas about disciplining myself for the cause are well and good, but what will be the direct actions that will help to destroy everything? Admittedly, the task is daunting. I would love to be Tyler Durden and coordinate Project Mayhem. But I’m fairly sure I’d get caught eventually and sent off to be some huge black man’s cellmate. (This is worrisome, as I am still pretty cute.) Nothing would be served by my going to jail. So what is there to do?
I went back to the legal pad, and made the following list:
- Write. Write for Counter-Currents, or whatever. Use the internet to try and corrupt the minds of as many people as possible. (“Corrupt” is ironic – it’s only corruption from the standpoint of the establishment.) Help to create a new counterculture.
- Read as much as possible, and try to understand this world. Read (or re-read) Evola, Guénon, DeBenoist, O’Meara, Heidegger, Spengler, etc.
- Network. Find others like yourself. Encourage them. Meet. When I was a child I dreamed of starting a secret organization like the ones in the James Bond movies. I could sit behind great steel louvers, and my cat and I could electrocute people in their chairs or feed them to piranhas. So naturally the idea of an international brotherhood of men dedicated to the destruction of the modern world greatly appeals to me. It’s a dream, but it’s not a totally unrealistic one.
- Contribute money to worthy causes. As far as stuff on the right goes, I think Counter-Currents is pretty much the best thing around. So many of the other groups or websites are hung up on scientism and are nothing but IQ, demographics, etc. It’s as if they think that all we have to do is run out the blacks or Mexicans and everything will be all right again. This is insane. There is something seriously defective about a culture that would allow our sort of problems to arise in the first place. Nothing less than a ruthless critique of modernity itself – really of the whole post-Christian, Western world – will suffice. That’s what Counter-Currents is all about. These guys are aiming to establish an American version of the French New Right – but a New Right that is not locked into an ivory tower, a New Right that is engaged with the critique of popular culture and the creation of an alternative community. That’s why I donate money to them every month. (No I was not paid to say this, and no Jef Costello is not the pen name of Greg Johnson or Mike Polignano. Jef Costello is not my real name but I am a real person, and I think that Counter-Currents has the most promise of any New Right/Traditionalist website/publishing enterprise out there.)
This may not seem like much, but actually it’s quite a lot. Certainly enough to become the centerpiece of my life. Certainly enough to allow me to plan everything else around it.
So this is how I found my purpose in life. If you, the reader, feel that the modern world is worth destroying then you need to ask yourself: what am I doing to destroy it? And if this is not your top priority, why not? Do you have something more important to do? What could that possibly be? Raise your children, you say? That’s fine. Your children can play an important role in destroying the modern world. Fill them to the gills with your hate. Turn them into ticking little time bombs filled with dangerous ideas. You don’t want to make them unhappy, you say? You want them to be well-adjusted? But if they were well-adjusted to this world you couldn’t respect them! Now that you’ve brought children into the modern world, the least you can do is to turn them into decent people, and that really entails turning them against the culture.
So, please: no excuses. Take stock right now. Today. If you are spending your days on things that have nothing to do with destroying the modern world then you must change your life.
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Good essay, I’m in.
Holy cow! I must be your identical twin you never knew you had–in Cleveland!
One section is particularly on point, and resonates personally, to many of us:
Jef Costello wrote:
In reply, the basic archetypes from which the Soul is constructed all have a common pattern of growth and transformation in maturity. Forty, incidentally, is considered the point at which the external foundations have been defined, and the inner foundations must be enhances.
We start as entirely self-centered sociopaths; until the age of two, all we are aware of us ourselves.
In time, we identify with larger social structures – as a Child in a Family, as an Adult in an extended Family, and, in time, as an Elder who sees from the perspective of the larger extended Family, the Race. The Elders see Race as having a vertical component; the Race is moving in a certain direction, and while The Goal may be beyond finite definition, they are aware that there IS a Goal, that their IS a Transcendent Purpose that is greater than they are, of which they then become a joyous participant in a Work that is often a thankless, difficult Work.
In science fiction – which has been used as a mechanism for communicating certain very advanced concepts – Larry Niven, who wrote the book, “Protector.” At a certain age, the work of Family is done, and it seems the rest of life is little more than an act of futility.
Then, they identify with the Work – a Transcendent Purpose – and they transform themselves into the best Tools of this Purpose they can be. The moment of this Awareness is called The Quickening, which shifts your life from the mundane to the Transcendent, and is followed by The Awakening – a series of Initiation events that continue beyond this lifetime.
“Protector” has some great sections describing a metaphysical shift in Consciousness, and is well worth reading. You will recognize the Quickening Moment if you read it carefully.
That takes us to a most insightful comment, that I will need a bit of time to address.
In reply, Grasshopper, watch “Fight Club” a perfect movie for Men, and Boys who want to become Men – and remember WHO “Tyler Durden is.
A little background on “Fight Club.”
The author spent a weekend doing est – what has now been called The Forum.
SOMETHING in him just snapped, and he accepted much of what he had denied in his heart, about his spirit. Simply stated, the Darkness is THERE, and, if denied, only gains energy, and the ability to manifest in unwelcome ways. Dr. Jekyll is liked, and loved, but Mr. Hyde is RESPECTED.
Accepting this power, and working with it, is challenging, and fulfilling, for the social order is calling out desperately for ALPHA Males, who can harness this power, this energy, and work with it.
LOOK at the series of (small, and pretty safe) Initiation Rituals Tyler Durden made the members of “Fight Club” go through. Look at how cocky those bastards were, when they needed the power of the Dark Masculine to save the social order by transforming a decaying social order into a new social order.
Am I suggesting you take a weekend course at The Forum?
Can’t hurt – and I do not work for them. My best friend did this, and it opened the door to him accepting his power, and working with it responsibility. It FORCES a Clarity of Intention on you. The life you are living was Created by the guy looking back at you in the mirror. Want a different life?
Change him, and you will attract a different level of Consciousness; in a small way, perhaps, you will enter into a somewhat different Reality.
THAT is part and parcel of the metapolitical project we are engaged in here.
Want to be better physically?
Get a copy of “The Four Hour Body,” and do the parts that work for you.
Want to be better spiritually?
Work with Conscious Intent in fulfilling that greater purpose, that Racial Purpose, in small, daily events. Sending money to support Counter-Currents is an excellent idea. The smallest good deed is more effective than the grandest of intentions.
Look at the power, the ability to be effective, the narrator of “Fight Club” found while “working with” Tyler Durden. Note that he was sleepwalking though life, until he met Tyler Durden.
We are all sleepwalking through life, until we hear The Call, accept The Quickening, and move towards the Awakening, the fulfillment of a much greater purpose than we can imagine.
Finally, there is a need to discover – rediscover – the Primal Masculine, and while The Forum is an EXCELLENT place to start – as is Parris Island, South Carolina! – as is an excellent new website for men, http://www.the-spearhead.com.
They were inspired, in part, by the legendary radio host Tom Leykis. Tom had no illusions as to the goodness of women, and taught a rough, realistic assertiveness training college on the air.
In reply, I’ve given you a few ideas. Remember what Ton Leykis said<
"I know you, I know you are parked in your car, in your driveway, and you are still listening to me because you do not want to go in the house you paid for. You do not want to go home. In our time together you are listening to the one man who knows you and says you are good, right, smart and strong. Never forget that.”
We can not go home to the America that never really was, and what America has become is certainly NOT our Home.
To build our new Home will require the Dark Masculine Energy – the power of assertiveness that is controlled aggressiveness, and that requires the nameless Narrator of “Fight Club” meeting Tyler Durden, in full consciousness, in broad daylight.
“First Rule of Fight Club IS?”
We can learn from this.
Your commentary is well written and elucidated, however I would like to ruminate on a couple of points.
You speak of harnessing the “dark masculine,” by forming a club, or reading and adhering to an outline in a book or attending a forum. I contend that if a male has to actively choose one of those three courses in-order to harness his “dark masculine,” he will never choose and he will not be the type we need, cannon fodder at best. I harnessed the “dark masculine” long ago, not by attending a forum (even though I spent 20 years in the army), nor by joining a club (for that depends on the emergence of an charismatic leader, something we cannot chance or wait for), neither by reading and adhering to an outline in an obscure book (for that implies that the book must be so well written as to “fire” the mind). No, I did not pursue any of those actions; what I did was “internalize” every insult, every transgression upon my person and my hatred of the world we live in to fuel my ready-accessible rage. I feel we need to continue the “networking” enabled by this forum and others like it to attract like-minded people. If you have too convince someone that it is right and good for their race too survive; that their race in not culpable for all the ills of the world, than they will betray or fail you at a critical juncture. Modern society is the crucible for creating new dissidents; ours is the forum for them to join. We must continue to network; increase the exposure of “Counter-Currents,” to the masses and capitalize one-on-one encounters of those we deem of like mind. We can each be the Tyler Durdin you spoke of.
Your next to the last sentence, the now-famous movie quote, “First Rule of Fight Club IS?” is limiting, because it implies (to me it does) an immediate immersion in illegal activities that will not survive public scrutiny. First, I believe we must pursue overt activities, such as legal, expansion and exposure of “Counter-Currents,’” and similar organizations and that means being-able to publicly discuss these forums and inherent issues, by providing a place for like-minded individuals to converge. Confrontation with the government cannot be avoided, but should be staved off as long as possible, for few powers, if any, can contend with the might of the United States. Covert organizations must be deferred until that “last desperate struggle.”
If I have misinterpreted your comments, I apologize!
In verbose reply to Jeff:
Thank you for your useful and insightful response.
I’d like the opportunity to clarify some issues I did not address clearly enough.
In reply, let me state that my means were not the only means to the end we seek, only tools that can help, to the extent that you do not become dependent upon them.
I admire your internalizing and harnessing the anger, which is used to dissolve the cloud of uncertainty, and powers your desire to move FORWARD. Above all, the anger you experience fires the Inchoate Foundation of your Center, making it, and you stronger than the temporal persona people identify you with.
By not choosing to be a “victim,” you have opened the door to effectiveness.
The Patriarchy will return, as will a New Christianity that works with the best of the (Eternal) Tradition, and it will do so by the efforts of men such as yourself – “whether you know it or not” (HT: Savitri Devi).
In reply, this the answer the wins First Prize, as it recognizes the important of the Metapolitical Framework that we are building.
You will note that the self-identified White Nationalists of the past all stayed in the lines drawn for them by Others, and never went beyond those lines, much less Who was forming those lines, and to what purpose.
We are engaged in the foundation of a true nation-building project, and that is why my touchstone is the Northwest Republic.
Yes, bad people are doing bad things to us. Always have, always will.
For the first time, however, in a very long time, we can choose to respond intelligently, by rejecting the false duality they offer us, and defining social problems as opportunities for clarification of social issues, and the social order.
In time, this could lead to a New Order.
What do you want to DO about it, and Do Better, after that?
My Analytical Framework is the Northwest Republic, and I dream, daily, of my Posterity watching Mankind’s first starship lifting off from the outside Kalispell.
That Dream has had incredible power to motivate me in defining myself and every decision I make throughout the day, no matter how small or trivial it may seem.
In reply, remember, Tyler is simply waiting for us to accept his Promethean Gifts.
“Each One, Teach One” by the power of your example.
In reply, this is a critical issue, and I am glad you called it forward.
I have never, and will never, even tacitly advocate illegal activities.
As one friend of mine in the law enforcement community said, “We can do everything we need to do within the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.”
Works for him, works for me, works for all of us.
Your point is worthy of further discussion.
In reply, exactly so.
In doing so, we develop Creative solutions to the obstacles facing the current social state of affairs, and make their stumbling blocks, our steppingstones.
In reply, there is no need for “covert organizations,” particularly when dealing with the State.
The “covert organizations” in “Fight Club” were enthusiasts, working in common cause to strengthen each other, by allowing them to call forth and recognize the Vital Masculine which they have buried in junk food, and someone else’s Dreams.
The last thing you ever want to do is deal with “covert organizations,” for several reasons; remember how much Wells accomplished with the Open Secret.
One, “covert organizations” fall into two groups – those organized by the State, and those run by incompetent failures.
Dzerhinsky was asked about one organization of political activists that seemed to operate with impunity.
“Oh, them,” he replied. “I started it, and we control it. Don’t worry about it.”
A word to the wise is sufficient.
Two, “covert organizations” fall into two groups – the funded, and the unfunded. The first is established by the State, the second is organized by failures.
Three – do you see The Pattern?
In the words of the Alpha Male played by Alec Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “You get the picture?”
What could you do in a covert organization that you could not do much more easily without such an organization? What would you need to work with failures at all?
Do you want to be effective outside yourself, today?
Send some money to Greg at Counter-Currents.
He never asks, but he always appreciates.
Counter-Currents is alone in looking to the Metapolitical Project, and building this in a positive manner, for the most positive of purposes.
We can learn from this.
Actually there is a history of covert operations that have been successful independent of the government, the communist revolution for one and the Ku-Klux-Klan.
I send money to Counter-Currents Publishing every month.
In further reply to Jeff:
If it seems like I’m beating a dead horse, it’s because I want to make damn sure the horse ig good and dead.
I’d like to elaborate on a point.
Above, I said:
This is of critcal importance.
So many “covert organizations” are established routinely just to catch those who who misuses the dark power of anger to acheive their ends, and then what?
Ask Matt Hale how little evidence it took to put him in a concrete tomb for life.
Even the most open of organizations tends to have the iron law of oligarchy in effect, and the Few who truly rule might well seek to act in a covert manner.
At that moment, they limit their effectiveness dramatically, particularly if this involves issue of State governance; this is all the more so when they attempt to usurp the State’s monopoly on organized violence.
In time, in part because of the lack of hierarchical responsibility, and the lack of organizational transparency, the Klan became a parody of the hard-core nucleus that founded it. From the elite of the CSA Officer Corps, an organic aristocracy, it became the laughingstock that wore bedsheets over their corupulent frames, and pillowcases over their green teeth, and dull, vacant gaze. In time, to make the parody complete, they even worse satin sheets and pillowcases, of various ghastly colors. A veritable rainbow of ineptitude, there.
The Judeo-Bolsheviks in Russia filled a power vacuum created by the fall of the Kerensky regime. Note that their similar attempts failed in Germany, as the Freikorps, a hard-core nucleus of the Warrior Priesthood if ever there was one, counter-balanced, and prevailed, over the Spartacists.
There is a lesson there, and it is of great importance to us.
This is the lesson to ne learned rom the painfully gained experience of Terrible Tom Metzger:
“When a man proposes you do something violent, ask yourself why he didn’t do it. He’s the agent-provocatuer, and he’s setting you up. Walk away from him.”
Dr. David Duke states the case more forthrightly:
“When a man discusses – even discusses – doing something illegal, look at him and say, loudly, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about! Leave me alone or I am going to the police!’ Walk away from him. Then, if he continues and follows you, GO TO THE POLICE.”
We can learn from this.
I LOVE self-help books. Especially American ones, as a European I find this “Just go for it and do it”-attitude very refreshing. No reason to be ashamed. Read them first before reading Spengler etc.
Those of us who’ve tasted the thrill and fulfillment that comes with pursuing a transcendent mission can’t ever really return to the pursuit of money, attention, or respect.
I prefer to frame it in terms of blazing a pathway to the Restoration, but sometimes, while watching basic cable, I assure myself that “It will all burn.”
Blazing appears to the be operative word.
I agree. As long as Counter-Currents only learns from the positive aspects of the French New Right (the value of culture and art) and is not corrupted by the negative parts (that is, Jew-loving and race nihilism – as you say, ivory tower nonsense), it will be one of the best things that have happened to White Nationalism, and thus White people generally, post WW II. I also support this project enthusiastically.
Yours is not at all a unique experience, Jef. It is rather a common symptom of modern life: we lose our purpose in life, which really is to have families, produce children, be thankful to some deity or other, and to take care of the earth (our home), when we become the drones of modern society. Hence all the sexing, drinking and drugging our people do to “escape” the meaningless void that their own lives have become. Everyone at my work save about three of us are alcoholics. Technology, while it’s great in many respects, takes away jobs and creativity. Instead of engaging in networking and activities in person, everyone plays with gadgets. Germany is the worst white nation of all in this respect. They’ve lost everything but their gizmo culture. It’s awful.
Anyway, this feeling that one has a problem is usually the symptom of societal problems. Americans are all on medications and reading self-help books not because they’re diseased, but because their society is diseased.
A good guide to overturning the present social/political order is to ask the question whenever opportunities for action come along, “Is this good for the diverse white American peoples?” and follow through.
Would enjoy reading about your successes and failures in another posting in May.
I couldn’t stop reading…
That piece really put a smile on my face. Please follow through on your conviction to write more. Your focus on self-doubt and anger is pretty great. We all try to be so well reasoned, logical and fair around here. Having somebody scream into the night over his great loathing for modernity is pretty damn refreshing.
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