\Met”tle*craft\, n.  mettle [E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade; substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; See {Metal}.] + -craft [AS. cr[ae]ft strength, skill, art, cunning; akin to OS., G., Sw., & Dan. kraft strength, D. kracht, Icel. kraptr; perh. originally, a drawing together, stretching, from the root of E. cramp.] 1. The art, skill and cultivation of physical endurance, unflagging determination and resolute strength of mind, body and spirit.

I made up this word to describe one of the primary goals of the martial art of Cabal Fang.  And, as my son recently pointed out to me, Cabal Fang isn’t as much as martial art as it is a way of being in the world, a way of making order out of chaos in tune with the logos.

Because, when it comes down to it, there’s really only one question with which everyone must grapple.  And that question is,

“How am I supposed to live in the world?”

And given that the world is always throwing things at you — trials, tribulations and tragedies of all descriptions — you had damn well better be unified in your mind, body and spirit or it’s going to be rough going.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being awakened, plenty of talk about “consciousness-raising,” and every time you turn around there’s a new awareness ribbon or colored rubber wristband intended to raise awareness of some problem, disease, or disaster.

Nothing’s wrong with any of that.  But until somebody does something about it, it’s all just pointing and talking.  Consciousness-raising doesn’t occur until someone looks inward and says, “I need to take action to stop this,” or “It’s my responsibility to fight that.”

Mettlecraft is the way we in Cabal Fang raise our consciousness and increase our awareness.  We look inward, analyze the state of our mind-body-spirit connection and take responsibility for how we live in the world.  

That way we create fewer problems for other people to point at, and we’re strong enough to help take responsibility for helping to solve the ones that loom.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #57

  • Ground-fighting Circuit.  Set a timer to beep ever 1:00 minute.  Put a heavy bag on the floor and do as many as you can in 1 minute of Prison Push-ups, Jackknifes and Side Lunges.  Then, for the fourth circuit, mount up your heavy bag and hit it as hard as you can 10 times.  Body lock it and roll to bottom position.  Hit it from the bottom 10 times.  Then bridge or roll the bag back into top position.  Keep doing that for the entire minute.  Repeat those four circuits 3 times for a total of 12 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you must.  Push as hard as you can and you’ll be drenched.
  • Untying knots. After you’ve walked off the circuit, cooled down, and your heart rate is back to normal, assume your usual meditative posture.  Regulate your breathing.  Close your eyes and begin searching your past for a time when you pointed out a problem but proposed no solution.  Look for things that you blamed on others but were actually your fault.  When was the last time you shirked a responsibility, left a mess for someone else to clean up, sat back and waited to see if someone else would fix a problem so you wouldn’t have to?  Find an incident and tease it apart.  Why did you do that?   How are you going to avoid repeating that behavior?


On Personal Dignity and Initiation, Part One

“We can say that in both the inner and outer worlds, the man or woman of nobility, of dignity, has power and authority over themselves. They have the ability to restrain, and therefore to attain.” Outstanding.

On Personal Dignity and Initiation, Part One

“Without contraries there is no progression.” ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I recently asked a friend, who is the holder of several esoteric lineages, if he would consider conferring one or more of them on some people who have expressed a sincere interest in the esoteric traditions of the French and Italian schools. He stated that he would, but there were several conditions. First, no Communists allowed.  Given the experiences he and others have had under the terror of communist revolutionary movements and the fact that communist regimes had destroyed so many esoteric lines, this was understood.  Second, no sexual deviance was permitted. Given the role of nature in the forces of life, and that the experiencing of these forces – the forces of life – are increased by esoteric practice, this was also easily understood.   Third, all…

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The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination

This is exciting — can’t wait for this title!

Gary Lachman

Floris Books has posted the cover art for my new book, The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, which is due out in October of this year. Amazon has it listed as coming out in January 2017, but this is inaccurate. I’ll be posting excerpts from the book closer to publication, but for now let me say that it is a kind of distillation of some of the main themes of The Secret Teachers of the Western World and also of Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin WilsonThe central idea is that of imagination as a cognitive faculty; that is, not as something concerned with ‘make believe’ but with a deeper perception, grasp, and understanding of reality. Oddly enough, as I was writing the book the whole question of ‘reality’ became a hot news item, with our descent into a ‘post-truth’ world make of…

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Special Polls, Barrel Rolls and the Workout of the Week

Before we get to the #WOOTW a reminder about the earlier announcement: I’ll be doing one seminar a month starting in June — some in person here in Richmond, VA and some web-based.

So please vote in the poll below so I can get a feel for which types of seminars are going to be most interesting to you folks!

Thanks for that!  And now, on with the show.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #56

  • Bad Karma.  Set timer for 12 minutes.  Finish as many sets as you can in 12 minutes of 8 each: Back Neck Bridges, Get-ups, Squats, and Sit-out Push-ups (a.k.a. “Barrel Roll Push-ups”).  Like this workout?  You’ll love my book The Calisthenics Codex (5 stars on Goodreads and in the Top 10 calisthenics books at Barnes & Noble).
  • Hand of Mystery Meditation.  Sketch a copy of the Hand of Mysteries or print out a copy of the picture above.  Set up the sketch or image at eye level and settle into your favorite meditative posture. Regulate your breathing, narrow your eyes, and spend 10 minutes meditating on the image.  Afterwards re-read Chapter 10 in the Cabal Fang Book.  Record your thoughts, experiences and insights in your training log or journal.

Coming Soon: Saturday Seminars

Which type of seminar would you most like to attend? Which do you think is likely to draw the most attendees?

Vote below — because when the new Cabal Fang Website is up (click here for a preview), I’ll be adding one Saturday seminar per month to the Cabal Fang Temple event schedule.  Some of these will be virtual using Facebook Live, and some will be physical.

Thanks for your help!


The All-Seeing Eye and the Workout of the Week

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #55 is a little jump rope conditioner followed by a meditation on the symbolism of the eye.

  • Jump Rope Conditioner.  Set a timer for 1:00 min rounds, no breaks.  Cycle through the following four rounds five times for a total of 20 minutes: Jumping rope, Double End Ball, Push-ups, Kicks.  Transistion between exercises as fast as you can and take as few 12-second breaks as needed. If you don’t have a jump rope, use an old extension cord.  Don’t have a double-end ball?  Make one.  For the Push-up round, do as many reps as you can.  If you gas before the 1:00 min is up, do Squats to finish out the minute.  For the kicking round, execute as many kick combos as you can — “air kicking” is fine.
  • Eye meditation.  The eye is a universal symbol of tremendous spiritual and philosophical power.  Take a look at the eye symbols below and read the captions.  Then take a pen and paper and sketch one of the eyes below in bold black lines, or just print this page.  Set up the sketch or image at eye level and settle into your favorite meditative posture.  Regulate your breathing, narrow your eyes, and spend 10 minutes meditating on the eye.  What are these eyes saying to you?  What do you think is the central truth of these symbols?  Record the results in your training log or journal.

The Cabal Fang Workout of the Week

Sacred Geometry Exercise Part 2 and WOOTW #54

Last week, as part of the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week, I suggested a meditative drawing exercise in sacred geometry that, if you did it, basically looks like the GIF on the right.

The day I posted that exercise was the most popular in the history of this blog.   Hopefully you folks like the sequel just as much.  Because the second step is to go from last week’s exercise to drawing a pentagram.  I’m not making a new video or photo set because somebody already made a really good one:

What does all this mean?  What in the name of all that’s holy does any of this have to do with martial arts — or with anything important whatsoever?

If it was explicable in 25 words or less, we wouldn’t need symbols would we?  And if it was obvious enough to grasp at first glance, I wouldn’t suggest that you draw it yourself!  

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #54

  • Kick Conditioner.  Complete a Half Pyramid to 10 of Kicks (to heavy bag, full power, first one leg then the other), Chin-ups, and Back Neck Bridge.  If you make it all the way to 10 (1 rep of each, 2 of each, 3 of each, etc.) that’ll be a total of 55 kicks per leg, 55 Chin-ups, and 55 Back Neck Bridges.  If this is too easy, add weight to Chin-ups and Neck Bridges.  Too hard?  Do Push-ups instead.  No heavy bag?  Make one or kick the air.  NO EXCUSES.  Try to get it done in 15 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to finish standing up.
  • Draw a 5-pointed star per the video above.  Watch the vesica piscis emerge, then the heart of the Cabal Fang symbol, then the star.  Record thoughts and impressions in your training log or journal.