There are many different ways that a person can become enslaved to the will of another or to a group of others. Although people usually associate the term ‘slavery’ with the chattel slavery of the American South, there are as many different kinds of slavery in the human world as there are ways of exploitation in the natural world. This essay describes four distinct ways of being enslaved that accord with the four masculine elements.
The four ways to enslave are, effectively, the four different ways of introducing artificial scarcity. Only when a state of artificial scarcity has been induced will another person surrender themselves to the will of another. There are effectively four ways of doing so: two physical, two non-physical.
The most basic way of asserting dominance over another of your own kind can be observed in other mammals, especially other primates, when they fight over their food supply. To enslave another person in this sense is to deny them the peace and solitude to gather food from nature. The alpha primate will not allow any others to eat until he himself is satisfied. Disobedience is punished with violence.
To be enslaved in this manner is to wear chains of clay. This is because a lack of food is the most natural and immediate survival problem that faces life forms such as mammals, primates or humans. To not be able to eat when one needs to nourish oneself is slavery, because hunger will cause one to grow weak.
Chains of iron are what most people think when they hear the term ‘slavery’. This refers to iron manicles and shackles that prevent or hinder movement when fastened around a person’s wrists or ankles. It’s extremely rare to see a person enslaved by chains of iron nowadays, but it’s still common to see people who are more or less enslaved in the same way as a person wearing irons – i.e. by an artificial scarcity of security in that person.
What chains of iron refers to on a metaphysical level is control of another person’s physical safety, and their ability to remain free from wounding and physical harm. This is effectively how criminal gangs establish a presence in a neighbourhood – business owners are guaranteed physical security for them and for their business, but only if those business owners agree to pay for the “service”.
Chains of silver are frequently used metaphorically, usually to denote a person who has been enslaved by wealth. A person who has allowed themselves to become controlled by the physical objects and possessions they have hoarded could indeed be said to be enslaved by chains of silver, but there’s more to it than just that. Metaphysically, chains of silver refers to all tricks of the mind, which is all lesser magic.
In other words, chains of silver refer to an artificial scarcity of knowledge, in particular knowledge relating to the physical world. A person who has thousands of dollars in credit card debt that they can never clear, so that the bank regularly takes a hundred dollars in interest charges every month, just because they bought some crap they saw on television, could be said to wear chains of silver. In this case the term refers to the financial literacy needed to avoid debt traps like credit cards.
Likewise, a person trapped in a political ideology could be said to wear chains of silver. If a person’s social circle all think in a certain way, and their media organs all speak in the same way, and their courts and Police enforce it, a person might forget that there’s any other way of thinking. Many English speakers are subjected to so much capitalist propaganda that they are astonished, travelling overseas, to see other avenues of solidarity.
Very few people are enslaved by chains of clay and iron nowadays, and although most of us wear chains of silver to some extent, they are seldom a heavy burden.
However, the vast majority of people are enslaved by chains of gold, and many of those are so enfeebled by these gossamer bonds that the other forms of enslavement become virtually inevitable. A person enslaved by chains of gold is someone who is not aware of the fact that consciousness is the prima materia, and who consequently believes that the death of their brain means the extermination of their consciousness.
Chains of gold, therefore, refer to an absence of spiritual knowledge. It is the birthright of all humans to be made aware of the true nature of the relationship between consciousness and the physical world, and therefore anyone who does not possess that knowledge has been enslaved by chains of gold. This is something that has purposefully been done to enslave us by way of destroying our natural spiritual traditions, for example by prohibiting entheogen use.
Gold is the softest of all metals, and fittingly, chains of gold are also the weakest. This does not mean that they are the easiest to break. In fact, the opposite is true. These chains of gold are the trickiest of all, and not just because they are invisible. Those who wear them cannot conceive of them, by any sense. A person enslaved by chains of gold cannot be induced to believe in God.
A person enslaved by chains of gold will not believe in God, and consequently they will not believe in chains of gold. No-one enslaved by chains of gold is aware of it; as soon as a person becomes aware of chains of gold they are broken.
It could be argued that a person can only be enslaved with baser elements if they are first tricked into wearing chains of gold. For instance, a spiritual person might be better able to resist the temptation of loaning some money to satisfy a short-term urge. They might also be unafraid of death, and therefore willing to choose death before submitting to chains of iron.
Alchemically speaking, these are the four ways that a person can be enslaved. Although chains made of the baser forms of clay and iron are rare in the modern world, it’s important to remember their historical role, because a return to them is possible if we get weighed down enough by chains of silver and gold.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).