Vita activa

Posted: March 15th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, Fenrir, National Socialism, News, O9A, O9A Nine Angles, Order of Nine Angles, Order of the Nine Angles, Politics, The Sinister Tradition, The Sinisterly Numinous Tradition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vita activa

[Updated repost with some additional commentary can be found here: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/03/18/vita-activa/]

Most amusing, Clarice. But let me be clear:

From your reaction and from my writing, many reading the last few posts here may think that I’m some studious, academic bookworm lost in a world of theoretical reflection and abstraction with no grounding in vital experience or action: a “pathetic husk pouring over the dusty tomes of vacuous minds intent on finding solace for their inadequacy-in-the-world,” bound, as you put it, to “the emasculating chains of vain scholarship” in opposition to “putting boots on the ground to carry out definitive action.”

In response, I will say this: those who know me personally – including some of the most powerful Nexions in this tradition – know that my background is steeped in a solemn history of profound sinister/Satanic activity. What I write is not meant to be theoretical. And it is from my history of violent and transformative action that I can even approach the contemplative. My journey along the Seven-Fold Way was prefaced by extreme experiences: I know what it’s like to fight for my life, to be beaten and broken, to approach physical death on more than one occasion; of losing everyone and everything and having to rebuild from a bottom that no longer exists. I know what it’s like to lose my mind, to find my best friend dead in a bathtub after committing suicide, to find myself in the emergency room on multiple occasions, to know and love a woman and then to see her die … My boots aren’t just on the ground: they’re on the earth.

The best among us know what it’s like to be wounded. One cannot approach the ONA or the Seven-Fold Way, let alone expect to succeed, without having had such experiences break down the resistance structures that prevent us from maintaining composure in the face of great adversity. It is precisely from this wounding, from having been the recipient of its necessary violence, that I object to propagating it, whether in language or in deed.

You have misunderstood what was written in my last post: action is not meant to be a substitution for contemplation, but neither is contemplation meant to be a substitution for action. The two must inform each other.

What I wrote was not meant to target any specific person or Nexion. I have engaged in brief dialogue with your parent Nexion, The Black Order, for example – and while I disagree with much of what is written in their literature on some of the grounds explicated in my previous post, I think it is nevertheless important to engage in serious dialogue with them and their ideas for just this reason.

Your response, which I found vulgar and distasteful, seems to indicate just the contrary. And it’s “vita activa,” not “via activa.”

But my brain grew more and more perplexed. At last I jumped out of bed to find the water tap. I wasn’t thirsty, but my head was feverish and I felt instinctively a need for water. When I had had my drink, I went back to bed again and decided that I was going to sleep, by hook or by crook. I closed my eyes and forced myself to be quiet. I lay for several minutes without moving a muscle, began to sweat and felt the blood pulse violently through my veins. Wasn’t it just too funny, though, that he should look for money in the cornet! And he coughed, just once. Is he still walking around down there? Sitting on my bench? … The blue mother-of-pearl … the ships …

– Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
March 15, 2022
2775 ab urbe condita


Via Activa

Posted: March 15th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Next Generation | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Via Activa

I

Soon he would be back. Tristan’s friends, a face-painted Balobian and a Drecc in baggy pants, wait at the end of the block. The brutalist building where their friend lived made them feel uncomfortable. As if the ancient darkness they claimed to presence were a real, tangible thing and not just the symbol of wonder and contemplation that defined their relation to the world. A black van swerves into the street and parks right outside the entrance to the community housing project where Tristan has entered. The two onlookers observe without uttering a word.

Proceeding across the gate and down the corridor to the right, the suspicious party had just disappeared into the interior of the facility armed with mp-5s, faces masked behind black balaclavas. No message of warning came from his allies to Tristan. The Drecc played nervously with the folding knife in his pocket. “I should have gotten that beretta, those guys looked fuckin’ cool, man.” The Balobian turns to face him squarely, saying, “We must have faith. Let’s sing our song of contemplative devotion.” He pulls out a quartz crystal he always carried with him for similar occasions, and they become one with the world in a process of wonder that distracts them from the hell that awaits Tristan.

He looks on with milky eyes and pathetic sexual longing upon the lithe limbs and figures of active youth in all their sublime glory all the while his allies in the sinister quest awaited him outside. Even though he professes faith towards an ancient wonder through an equally ancient mode of contemplation, Tristan had never quite stopped obsessing over Hentai animation. Massive Heidegger and Arendt tomes lay open, their pages dog-eared and uncted by the slimy overflow of the frequent sessions in which he administered self-love to a doughy body that the opposite sex found repugnant even in its most flattering revelations. The door bursts open, his hand still on his semi-erect member. He screams and tries to run away, his pants sliding down to his ankles. Landing on his face, his fall is accentuated by the sound of exiting flatulence. “STOP, WORM!”, cries the woman in black, her raucous voice cutting through the air like a tactical knife that slices the throat of the failed sinister adherent. She is a masked woman of all-natural large round breasts and surprisingly lean muscular arms. Her voice cuts through the air, seeding the deepest fear into the lore-savvy Niner.

Tristan complies immediately, his body frozen in an evasive maneuver of sorts, never having trained or otherwise prepared himself for a situation of real-life confrontation. From the via contemplativa he had favored, he could purloin no tactic or technique to have trained and to use in the face of decisive action. The woman in black delivers a swift kick with her booted feet to Tristan’s chin. “PREPARE HIM.” She orders, and the two power-lifting women at her sides swiftly strip a crying and already mentally violated Tristam of his soiled clothes. One of the men in balaclavas remains by the door. The other moves the mp-5 to the side and takes out a sturdy black rope.  No measure of faith or wonder could have prepared him for the world, the via activa curb-stomping him like this.

He would remain in this position for quite some time until his formal processing began. Tristan recognized the particular form of treatment now administered to him as inspired by the art of Japanese bondage. His limbs are out of the way and his body is suspended at an appropriate height, and his hind parts are exposed and expanded to maximize convenience in handling. “Who are you and what have I done to you?” he asks, his anus contracting rhythmically as if already expecting what was to come. His inquisitive appellation is answered by a punch to the mouth that fills his digestive tract with iron-flavored blood. The silent male guardian tightens the ropes and stills Tristan the rocking motion induced by the punitive blow.

She would have to show him a thing or two before the re-eduction session is over. The assistants bring in a minimalist black case containing the instrument through which the magistral process of sinister inducement shall take place. It is a lean, metallic cane, designed specifically for this purpose. SWISH, SWISH, SWISH. The Mistress demonstrates her terrifying power as her formidable movements cut through the air. “I AM MISTRESS MARIANA, AND I AM HERE TO FORGE YOU ANEW INTO A SWORD OF DEATH.”

II

Somewhere, a cockerel began to crow, the unknowing herald of a bloody dawn. Hours passed, and Tristan is reawakened for the dozenth time by way of chemical stimulation. His ruined behind and bloodied genitals beyond pain and sensation from the criss-cross offensive delivered by Mistress Mariana.

A flash of purplish light could be seen shining from the face of a demoness. “ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION?”, she finally asks. “WILL YOU COMPLY?”

What would go on behind those closed doors? Tritan’s allies could only speculate. They had heard the cries of despair after coming back with cups of coffee and cookies to satiate their sinister appetite. They were entranced. They could not leave and betray their friend and ally, but at the same time, uploading amateur music to Bandcamp and selling dope had in no way been training for this situation. Something else they were not aware of also held them in place. The dark grasp of an ectoplasmic claw that extended at the end of a filament originating in the mind of the Mistress envelopes them and lulls them into the sleep of prey.

The officer says: ‘Bend him over the bed, so I can see what exactly this little pet is made of.’ The lean, semi-emaciated, but ridiculously strong female acolytes move Tristan into position as the balaclava-clad man proceeds to take out his throbbing member in order to deliver a lesson that promises to penetrate deeper into the Niner. Tristan has an attack of hysteria, defecating profusely once more. His assailants laugh, wondering where all this is coming from considering the quantity of effluvia already having exited from this contemplative one.

He was intimating but not telling and even so, he may have already said too much. Nevertheless, Tristan tries to reason with them by scavenging his intellectual studies to their utmost potency. “In my fallible opinion —” His own screams interrupt this empty soliloquy as his sphincters give way to this assault on his sanity, and the solid rod of meat finds its way deep into his bowels. The cultists hold him, and the rhythmic reinforcement following the compass of the thrusts begins: VIA ACTIVA, VIA ACTIVA, VIA ACTIVA. On and on to the end of the dark night of his soul.

With the hands of the genuine cultists still upon him, touching, caressing, sweetly soothing in emotional bonding and with the arcane, tonal qualities of the soft music played by others of their number in the air, praises to their goddess, Tristan finds himself drifting into a deep, deep slumber.

III

The beating lasted longer than she had premeditated. And the ritual violation that was administered as a last resort as per protocol had somewhat delayed their schedule. The team exits the facility with tactical efficiency, the engine of the black van is on before they reach it, but the Mistress and the female acolytes remain outside. The shock troops, the guardians, quickly move in and close the door of the van.

Mariana looks up at the sky, and extends her arms towards Tristan’s friends as the acolytes walk quickly towards them, showing impossible white legs under the sway of their robes. A mental prison rises around them, they are pulled by the power beyond the Moon, beyond Jupiter as they understand it. Still they salivate, and the van has come to a stop behind them. Adherents in balaclavas jump out of the nondescript vehicle, and by the time the Drecc and the Balobian are aware enough to turn their heads around, the butts of the mp-5s are already in full motion toward their skulls.

A pale moon shone above, pale and ghostly. The Mistress observes as the robed acolytes castrate the two individuals and placing the severed genitals in a portable brazier quickly produced from the van and its fire adeptly started. The shirts of the sacrificial victims are taken off and upon their flesh are carved a series of horrific sigils unknown in ONA circles, never written down in books, unexisting in digital representation, and transmitted only during live operations that were veritable ordeals of strength and commitment.

Screams erupt from the mouths of the Drecc and the Balobian. To bring to an end the swift yet intense ceremony, the still conscious yet highly traumatized victims of the contemplative way are dragged to the corner on the sidewalk. Their heads are methodically and without delay placed on the curb. The Mistress smiles, and upon a signal from her hand, the two female acolytes emit a steady screech that places the brains of the vaguely conscious awareness of the two victims into a predetermined frequency, and the boots of the armed men come down hard on their skulls, spreading grey matter, blood and bone in a mathematical projection over the concrete.

Tristan began to cackle involuntarily as he felt the dark effluvion entering his body even as it exited the maltreated cadavers where the raw energy had been wasted. An ancient evil possessed him in that moment. Tristan was no longer that pathetic husk pouring over the dusty tomes of vacuous minds intent on finding solace for their inadequacy-in-the-world. “FEED, MY CHILD. FEED AND BE REBORN”

The future manifestation, the culmination of a monstrous transformation, one that would see Tristan shed the emasculating chains of vain scholarship in favor of putting boots on the ground to carry out definitive action. His relation to the world changed. His faith was no more. There was only the nuclear goddess that now held his soul in a vice-grip so cold his anxiety, his weakness, his confusion, his need for contemplation, faith, and wonder decidedly extinguished. Now, a muscular beast prowled the world, reaching the highest peaks of attainment with single-minded enthusiasm and devotion for the single-point of darkness beyond all words. Only the way of action can lead him to the top, to the culmination of all he can be. In his cleansed mind, one message remains: VIA ACTIVA! VIA ACTIVA! VIA ACTIVA!

 

Clarice

Nexion of Ur

Patagonia

In a coded show of allegiance.


Contemplation, Logos, and Faith: The Role of the Vita Contemplativa in the Politics of the Order of Nine Angles

Posted: March 14th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, David Myatt, Fenrir, Inner ONA, Islam, News, O9A, O9A Nine Angles, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, Order of the Nine Angles, paganism, Politics, The Sinister Tradition, The Sinisterly Numinous Tradition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Contemplation, Logos, and Faith: The Role of the Vita Contemplativa in the Politics of the Order of Nine Angles

What follows is a draft of an article for inclusion in the upcoming edition of Fenrir on the subject of politics and extremism in the Order of Nine Angles. While the upcoming edition explicitly moves away from politics and extremism, the article attempts to clarify what a “movement away” involves. In unveiling some of the deeper Hellenic influences at the ONA’s roots and examining the way these inform the relation between action and contemplation, it is hoped that the content presented here will impart a new perspective on a very old dialogue, in turn opening new lines of communication and inspiring a few individuals along the way.

The Death of Socrates

– Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787

Contemplation, Logos, and Faith: The Role of the Vita Contemplativa in the Politics of the Order of Nine Angles

[Posted here: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/03/18/contemplation-logos-faith-o9a/]

The upcoming edition of Fenrir’s movement away from extremism and politics marks a return to the ONA’s roots in esotericism and scholarship – esotericism with respect to the hidden nature of experiences attainable through this tradition, and scholarship with respect to both the Aristotelian role “for contemplation of a larger order as something divine in us” [1] and the ancient Hellenic role of the vita contemplativa[2] or the contemplative life. While the ONA has roots in extremism and politics, it may be helpful to clarify what is meant by Fenrir’s “movement away” from these in relation to the lesser-known Greco-Hellenic influences that form a large part of the ONA’s foundation.

Contemplation played an important role in the ancient Hellenic world. While many historical shifts occurred during that time, one of particular significance was the shift from the vita activa or active life to the vita contemplativa or contemplative life. Hannah Arendt, a notable student of Heidegger,[3] analyzes these in detail in her influential work, The Human Condition. She describes how the three activities of the vita activa – labor, work, and action, respectively – have specific conditions and contexts. Arendt notes that the condition of labor is nature, whose domain has to do with providing the necessities of life. The condition of work is world or worldliness, which contrasts with labor in terms of the human-made things it pertains to and carries a sense of artificiality. (Labor, by contrast, concerns the phenomena of nature.) For Arendt, labor in relation to nature illustrates our relation to other animals, whereas work in relation to worldliness is distinctively human.

Action as the third activity of the vita activa takes on a special significance. Arendt identifies action as the prerogative of the human being, where the condition of action is plurality. For Arendt, “[p]lurality is the condition of human action because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live.”[4] Arendt draws our attention to the fact “that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world,”[5] where action is “the only activity that goes on directly between men without the intermediary of things or matter.”[6] Action is thus important in several respects: it “has the closest connection with the human condition of natality”[7] insofar as it pertains to the way birth brings with it the potential for what is new; natality in relation to action has some bearing on Arendt’s discussion of mortality; and – most importantly for our purposes – action is political in nature and is connected closely to the domain of the political.[8]

Through a major historical shift that marked “perhaps the most momentous of the spiritual consequences of the discoveries of the modern age,”[9] Arendt notes how action and the political were overtaken by the vita contemplativa, the contemplative life. As the highest and purest type of action, it became the highest rung of human activity, and this lasted for some time. The trial of Socrates in ancient Greece played an important role in this shift,[10] where philosophers began to distance themselves from and distrust the political following the execution of Socrates. On this point, it is important to note that the primacy of contemplation did not equate to the primacy of thought over political action, as Arendt makes a clear distinction between contemplation and thought.[11]

Arendt observes that “the enormous superiority of contemplation over activity of any kind, action not excluded, is not Christian in origin.”[12] Contemplation can be found, for example, “in Plato’s political philosophy … [and in] Aristotle’s … articulation of the different ways of life … [which is] clearly guided by the ideal of contemplation (theōria).”[13] She describes how the philosophers of the ancient Greek world added “freedom and surcease from political activity (skholē)”[14] to the “ancient freedom from the necessities of life and from the compulsion by others,”[15] whereby the “later Christian claim to be free from entanglement in worldly affairs, from all the business of this world, was preceded by and originated in the philosophic apolitia of late antiquity.”[16] Thus, “[w]hat had been demanded only by the few was now considered to be a right of all.”[17] In this, we find a close parallel to what David Myatt, in “Classical Paganism and the Christian Ethos,” refers to as an “ancient paganus spirituality,” or “paganus weltanschauung” present in the Greco-Roman worldview.[18] From Arendt’s analysis, we find a clue and possible answer to Myatt’s question, “Is the fundamental difference between such a paganus spirituality and Christianity (past and present) simply the difference between λόγος (logos) understood as ‘reason’ and λόγος understood as faith and belief and thus as the Word of God?”[19] As we have seen, the difference rests heavily on the shift from the vita activa to the vita contemplativa in the ancient Greek world, where contemplation becomes the highest human activity. Understanding this shift may thus help us better understand the complex relation between the ancient Greeks and Christianity, and thus between logos and faith.

As a more substantive response to Myatt, I will note that Pope Benedict XVI addressed this very question – the relation between logos and faith – in his September 2006 address at the University of Regensburg, entitled “Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections.”[20] The Pope states that “[t]he encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance.”[21] From the vision of Saint Paul, for example, “who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!’,”[22] we find a line of interpretation that points to the necessity of a “rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.”[23] Though in the late Middle Ages there is evidence of certain theological trends “which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit,”[24] the dialogue between the ancient Greeks and the early Christians – and thus between faith and reason – was more than a conversation: it took place as a kind of communion, one that has had a lasting influence on the modern world.[25] In fact, the “dehellenization” of the Christian worldview did not emerge until the sixteenth century with the “postulates of the Reformation,”[26] where Reformers were responding to a system of scholastic theology that appeared as “an alien system of thought” – one where “faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system.”[27] This was in contrast to the principle of sola scriptura, which “sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word.”[28] Even after the dehellenization of the Reformation, we find the convergence between the ancient Greeks and Christianity carried through the Enlightenment and into the modern world as a powerful impulse. Immanuel Kant, one of the most important thinkers in Western history, “stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith,” where he “anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.”[29]

In response to Myatt’s question then, we find that the complex relation between faith and reason has a similarly complex history with respect to the ancient Greek worldview and Christianity. In that history, the demarcation between logos as reason and logos as faith becomes blurred, which undermines its role in distinguishing the ancient Greek worldview from its Christian counterpart. On this point, Pope Benedict XVI says the following:

[D]espite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature. Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria – the Septuagint – is more than a simple (and in that sense really less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity. A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II [Paleologus] was able to say: Not to act “with logos” is contrary to God’s nature.[30]

Thus, in many respects the ONA is a response to a very old and long-standing dialogue between faith and reason, directed through the ancient Hellenic role of the vita contemplativa as the highest human activity, one that directly informs action. To return to the aforesaid question concerning a “movement away” from the ONA’s roots in extremism and politics with respect to Fenrir, it should be noted that this emphasis on contemplation is not meant to replace the three activities of the vita activa; it is meant to inform them by restoring a direct line of communication between how the transformative and ecstatic experiences of the ONA – such as those catalyzed by the Grade Rituals of the Seven-Fold Way – shape the way we inhabit and interact with the world.[31] With respect to the ONA, contemplation is specifically meant to inform plurality as the condition of action, where plurality and action also inform contemplation. Attempting to exclude one over the other is to misunderstand this relation, which sadly continues to occur both within the ONA and by its opponents. Insofar as action as the condition for plurality is political, so too are the ONA and Fenrir in this respect. However, Fenrir’s “movement away” from politics concerns a movement away from the substitution of action for contemplation, which involves a breakdown of the relation between the vita activa and the vita contemplativa. We find this breakdown in almost every major socio-political outlet in the world, which fail to take this complex historical shift into account – a shift that has made possible various developments in the modern world.

With respect to Fenrir’s movement away from extremism, Pope Benedict XVI’s comments regarding the topic of violent religious conversion ring true here. In a dialogue between “the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam,”[32] the Pope recounts how:

The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”[33]

In closing, one should recall that Fenrir remains – and will remain for the foreseeable future – a journal of Satanism and the Sinister; and this should, at the very least, give one pause in considering how to interpret what has been said here: that the outer boundaries demarcating the true nature of the Order of Nine Angles are deeply hidden, complex, and discoverable only through years of difficult ordeals, careful navigation, and – most importantly – contemplation informed by plurality and action. The upcoming edition’s underlying themes of alterity, empathy, and practical sinister magick speak to this in a powerful way.

Home! and with them are gone
The hues they gazed on and the tones they heard;
Life’s beauty and life’s melody: — alone
Broods o’er the desolate void, the lifeless word;
Yet rescued from time’s deluge, still they throng
Unseen the Pindus they were wont to cherish:
All, that which gains immortal life in song,
To mortal life must perish!
– Friedrich Schiller, “The Gods of Greece”

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
Sun in Pisces, March 13, 2022
2775 ab urbe condita
 

NOTES

[1] Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), 27.

[2] Hannah Arendt identifies the vita contemplativa with the ancient Greek bios theōrētikos. See Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 2nd ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1958), 14. Regarding the role of contemplation in the ancient Greek world, Arendt characterizes it as follows: “and the life of the philosopher devoted to inquiry into, and contemplation of, things eternal, whose everlasting beauty can neither be brought about through the producing interference of man nor be changed through his consumption of them.” Arendt, Human Condition, 13.

[3] Hannah Arendt’s history with Heidegger is complex and will not be explored here. See, for example, Antonia Grunenberg, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger: History of Love, trans. Peg Birmingham, Kristina Lebedeva, and Elizabeth von Witzke Birmingham (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017). What is important for our purposes is that in addition to having studied under him directly, Heidegger had a profound influence on Arendt’s thought. Lewis and Sandra Hinchman note, for example, that “[r]eading Arendt’s few comments on Heidegger, one would scarcely imagine what a vast, pervasive influence he had upon her.” They add that “[t]he stamp of Heideggerian thinking is especially noticeable in three elements of Arendt’s work: the status of her elaborate system of distinctions and concepts, her approach to language, and her interpretation of action as self-revelation.” Lewis P. Hinchman and Sandra K. Hinchman, “In Heidegger’s Shadow: Hannah Arendt’s Phenomenological Humanism,” The Review of Politics 46, no. 2 (April 1984): 196.

[4] Arendt, Human Condition, 8.

[5] Ibid., 7.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., 9.

[8] This is consistent with the fact that the condition of action is plurality, since it is the plurality of human beings that constitutes the domain of the political.

[9] Arendt, Human Condition, 289. The full quote is as follows:

Perhaps the most momentous of the spiritual consequences of the discoveries of the modern age and, at the same time, the only one that could not have been avoided, since it followed closely upon the discovery of the Archimedean point and the concomitant rise of Cartesian doubt, has been the reversal of the hierarchical order between the vita contemplativa and the vita activa.

[10] See Arendt, Human Condition, 12: “The term vita activa is loaded and overloaded with tradition. It is as old as (but not older than) our tradition of political thought. And this tradition, far from comprehending and conceptualizing all the political experiences of Western mankind, grew out of a specific historical constellation: the trial of Socrates and the conflict between the philosopher and the polis.”

[11] Arendt does not address contemplation at length in The Human Condition, as she is interested in the historical shifts that have to do with labor, work, and action. However, regarding the shift from the vita activa to the vita contemplativa, in addition to the difference between contemplation and thought, the following comments may be helpful:

With the disappearance of the ancient city-state—Augustine seems to have been the last to know at least what it once meant to be a citizen—the term vita activa lost its specifically political meaning and denoted all kinds of active engagement in the things of this world. To be sure, it does not follow that work and labor had risen in the hierarchy of human activities and were now equal in dignity with a life devoted to politics. It was, rather, the other way round: action was now also reckoned among the necessities of earthly life, so that contemplation (the bios theōrētikos, translated into the vita contemplativa) was left as the only truly free way of life. (Arendt, The Human Condition, 14)

[12] Arendt, Human Condition, 14.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., 14-15.

[17] Ibid., 15.

[18] David Myatt, “Introduction,” in “Classical Paganism and the Christian Ethos,” 2nd ed. (self-pub., 2017).

[19] Myatt, “Introduction.”

[20] See Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections” (speech, Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany, September 12, 2006). A transcript of the speech can be found at www.vatican.va.

[21] Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith.” Interestingly, Pope Benedict XVI also addresses faith and reason with respect to the relation between Christianity and Islam. Recalling part of a dialogue carried on “by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam,” he notes “the truth of both,” adding that:

It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between – as they were called – three “Laws” or “rules of life”: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an.

[22] Cf. Acts 16:6-10

[23] Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith.”

[24] Ibid.

[25] With respect to the convergence between the ancient Greek world and Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI observes the following:

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance, not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history – it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence [between the ancient Greek world and Christianity], with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe. (Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith”)

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] The question of how we interact with others in the world, particularly with respect to the relation between plurality, action, and community, is a theme relevant to my forthcoming article for the upcoming edition of Fenrir, which concerns alterity (our relation to the other).

[32] Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith.” The Pope notes that this dialogue may have occurred in 1391, “in the winter barracks near Ankara.”

[33] Ibid.