Apocalypse Mudra

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This post is an attempt to tease out some more concrete thoughts about what I’m calling “apocalypse mudras” - stances, dispositions, and mental koans to ground myself in the inferno.

I’ve had an impossible time articulating these concepts. The mudras are intimate, personal, and mostly invisible. I am going to use DXMC’s virtues - themselves based off the four cardinal virtues of antiquity - as containers.

Prudence

The ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.

Increasingly, I have discerned the appropriate course of action for most stimulus is inaction. To always have a hot take, an opinion, a stance, a response to every event is to willfully submit to psychic vampirism. Protect your emotions and thoughts. Take care with with you allow into your head.

When action is called for: measure twice and cut once.

Justice

Also considered as fairness; the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness.

I can sum up this one with a simple question, “If I were to die right now, are all my affairs in order?” To me, Justice means keeping your karmic entanglements as healthy as possible. Have I been fair to everyone? Have I kept my word? Have I made good on promises?

I am not the archangel of retribution for others. It is not my job to go out into the world and solve injustices. No, I’m interested in personal justice.

Fortitude

The ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.

Perhaps the most important mudra in the anthropocene. The Russian/Ukraine war brings this into sharp focus. Being a sensitive and empathic human being in 2022 is not an easy task. What strategies do you have for facing these feelings?

I was so full of rage and anger when the Russia/Ukraine war started. I had the urge to break things and harm myself (like punching a wall and breaking my hand.) Not healthy feelings! I ended up needing to just sit down and go into the sadness and be as sad and angry as I wanted to for as along as I wanted to. Only then could I start releasing them.

Temperance

Also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Plato considered Sōphrosynē, which may also be translated as sound-mindedness, to be the most important virtue.

Temperance is all about not succumbing into the luxuries and hedonism of the modern world. Cook dinner or order take out? Read or play Elden Ring? Write music or go for a walk? All things in moderation. It’s not about morality but scale.

Encryption

While encryption is not a cardinal virtue, it did exist in classical times. Rulers used message ciphers to keep state secrets from falling into enemy hands. Today we use encryption any time we use the internet. But it is important to think about what using encryption means. It means you are sharing data with one party and one party only. No one else is meant experience your message but the recipient.

I use Signal, ProtonMail, SSH keys… a myriad of tools to ensure my communications are encrypted. This isn’t some paranoid neurosis. This is simply good OPSEC. I just got a notification the other day that some of my PII (personally identifiable information) was found floating around the darkweb. It is impossible to know what ends this data might be used.

This very website is served over encrypted SSL. It means that the channel of communication between your computer and my server is secure: no one has read the info, perhaps more importantly, no one has altered the info.