You can never be totally sure what you would do in any situation. Sure you can hypothesize, theorize, mentally put yourself in whatever approximation of any given situation your imagination can muster, but you can never really know. Hypotheticals are bound by both praxis and definition to be just that. You will never truly know what you are about, in any relative context, until you are face to face with it. I have seen plenty of ‘tough guys’ turn tail and run when shit hits the fan, plenty of would be Casanovas freeze up at the site of a beautiful woman. As it is said, talk is cheap.
Yet we each build a self within a self, a web of abstractions, ‘would do’s’ that construct much of our own self image, yet lay mostly untested. A projection of what we think we are based solely on imagination, reasoning and emotional preference. As such, we are mostly not who we think we are. We travel the world, our day to day, as actors..playing the role we have laid out for ourselves. We build these characters of magian abstractions, like a box of legos constructing what we choose, believing that because certain ideas (untested abstractions) have taken hold in favour of others we are in fact choosing, building who and what we are. This is a lie we are each taught to tell to ourselves, and one of the most rotten roots of the magian apparatus.
It is easy to oppose, in theory. We can talk logical holes in the positions of others, point fingers and judge the actions of others, but to turn the fire inward is a much more difficult task. We each are predisposed to hold on to things that make sense to us, that hold our worldview together. It is easy and indeed automatic to construct these strawman selves to maintain our comfort zone, to believe we are the ‘good guys’ in all instances, ‘in the right’. Easy, automatic, and infinitely exploitable. Those that manipulate the apparatus to their own ends have indeed been privy to this information since the dawn of impersonal society(as opposed to personal, tight knit groupings such as tribes)When there is no frame of experiential reference, we are as leaves in the wind, those things that seem most favourable to us taking hold in our minds while the rest falls by the wayside. This is problematic in that what composes the group of those things we prefer, too, are told to us, ingrained in us. We are not free, even in our heads.
Therein lay the value of left handed attainment, of sinister deeds, of pathei mathos itself. Only through testing ourselves against the world can we really KNOW anything. We can read, be taught, observe and from that decide what we think we are, what we think we are made of, but its mere illusion. You can never KNOW what you would do if faced by a situation that rocks you emotionally, terrifies you, throws you curveballs that your hypotheticals couldn’t even approximate. You can never know what you are made of, in any specific context, until you test your metal in that context. True change, true growth, true character, movement towards the numinous, can only ever be attained by deeds. One can not think oneself free of this apparatus because the mind itself is the prison, fiercely guarded by none other than ourselves, or at least by the approximation thereof created by our own design.
The greatest and most troublesome adversary to the adversary lives in our own heads. Go, do, live. Test your limits. Do things that you have been told are taboo, put your strawman self to the test, to the fire, at every opportunity. Often when it burns, and it WILL burn, our comfort zone is encroached upon, and this discomfort will sometimes be emotionally distressing. Nobody said it was easy.
For some rationality itself becomes the sacred cow, but it also burns. When reality meets rationalization reality always wins. Therein lay the value of the path, and of what it means to be autodiabolic. Transgressing the limits put before you is only really transgressing if those limits are first accepted as such by the self. It is only incidental that we are all, within western society, subject to the same magian apparatus, and as such share much of it’s memetic influence with others subjected to it. This includes, of course the list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ built into its very fabric. That these shared beliefs are so prevalent serves to buttress their legitimacy, their objectivity, within our own minds, and thus they become insurmountable to all but the face of cold reality. In this, the path, in its most visceral form, is both a struggle against the self and a process of revealing the self; To become the animal that you are.