It is now no secret that the famous legend of the “Russian Soldiers,” that wonderful story of a million and a half Russian troops (with horses and artillery) smuggled through England in the dead of the night, was put about by the secret service to try to check the panic caused by the collapse at Mons. It was quite useless to point out to the English people that Archangel is served by a single line of rail, and that to ship even 10,000 troops would have strained the resources of the line for an entire summer.
Aleister Crowley, “Three Great Hoaxes of the War” in Vanity Fair
There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. I know this already. Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy. Remember this. Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction. Random acts of insurrection are occurring constantly … even the smallest act of insurrection pushes our lines forward. … [The] need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks. Authority is brittle. Oppression is the mask of fear. … Remember this. Try.
Tony Gilroy, Andor, s01e12
What then is happiness? Let us try basing it upon Life.
Plotinus, “The First Ennead” in The Six Enneads
Let all men obey me, The Beast, the Prophet of Nuit! For my number is 666, the Number of the Sun. That is, I am the Light and Centre of their system of Stars; and my Word is as a ray to them who are of Earth. Let them obey the light, and Impulse of that which I am in Truth, although I lie deep hidden in a body of flesh. Seek ye to know Nuit! Seek to enjoy all that may be, although ye loathe it in your souls. This is your ordeal, which ye must pass in order to be free and whole; to know all things alike, to try, to do, to love and to rejoice in all.
Aleister Crowley, The Djeridensis Comment on Liber Legis, I, 32
Chesed corresponds to the creative aspects of leadership, and early texts are one-sided in characterising this by love, mercy and majesty. Gevurah corresponds to the conservative aspects of leadership, to the power to preserve the status-quo, and the power to destroy anything opposed to it. These two aspects go hand-in-hand – try to change anything of consequence in society, and someone will invariably oppose that change. To bring about change it is often necessary to have the power to over-rule opposition. Consensus is an impossibility in society – there will always be someone whose opinions are at best ignored and at worst suppressed – and Chesed and Gevurah represent respectively the kingly obligation to seek what is good for the many (enlightened leadership of course!), and the power to judge and punish those opposed to the will of the king.
Colin Low, Introduction to the Kabbalah, “Gevurah and Chesed”
I squeeze my eyes shut and try to reach for him across the hundreds and hundreds of miles, to send my thoughts into his mind, to let him know he is not alone. But he is. And I can’t help him.
Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]