We all have to act. There is no choice between an active and an inactive life, a “vita activa” versus a “vita contemplativa”. We all have to sustain our body functions, we at least have to breathe – therefore, everybody has to act. Thus, everybody needs a book on “how to act” – and, voilà, here it is, a moral essay and self-help guide called Actionism – How to Become a Responsible Man.
Written by renowned author Lennart Svensson, Actionism is footed in perennial metaphysics. Essential reality is immaterial, eternal ideas and patterns rest in the causal sphere where they affect the material world and material man, all “incarnated souls” in the confluence of samsâra. This kind of ontological background makes this into a refined selfhelp guide, the statements and assertions forming the core of the book being founded in the esoteric thought of western and eastern tradition.
As intimated, a prominent place in the book is occupied by responsibility. The basic of all reality, of God, is will, thought and passion, and the individual human being, having a spark of the divine light, is a being of will, thought and passion. And from will is derived the value of responsibility, a much neglected virtue in the mindless emotionalism of today. Thus the subtitle of the book: “How to Become a Responsible Man”.
Along with will there’s a conceptualization of thought and passion, Actionism thus forming a valid ethic for the mindful operator of today. This is about eternal values, operational in your everyday. This is a serious essay in popular form, a “tight but loose” deliberation on the deathless issue of, How Shall I Act.
The first seven chapters of the book lay the foundation, explaining the Actionist way of life with references to Nietzsche, Castaneda, the Bhagavad-Gîtâ and the Bible, introducing concepts like “action as being” and “movement as a state,” and the need for mental calm and a memento mori mindset. After a look into the role of art – the passion of compassion – the study takes a look at operators like d’Annunzio, Evola and T. H. Lawrence from an Actionist viewpoint. Then Svensson deliberates on operations – how to operate as a hiker, a soldier, a trained chef and such, all within the framework of Actionist ethics. This is an operational pro spilling the beans about “how to act,” not some philosophy professor making abstract examples.
The mid part of the study discusses how contemporary society might be conceived of in Actionist terms. We here read of things like “declining war trend,” “the nature of decadence” and “the society of the future,” Svensson in the latter case giving a structural outlook on how to arrange and re-arrange a modern society.
Finally, part three of the study again focuses on the microcosm, on individual man as an ethical operator, by referencing greats like Poe, Kierkegaard and Neale Donald Walsch. It all results in a veritable “hymn to the active life” – since, as you know by now, we all have to act.