Auribus Teneo Lupum: Alterity and Ethical Diastasis in the Dyssolving of the Wolf

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Avribvs Teneo Lvpvm:

Alterity and Ethical Diastasis in the Dyssolving of the Wolf[1]

by Nameless Therein

Reposted from Lux Lycaonis

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the face

 

Any crewmen who ate the lotus, the honey-sweet fruit,
lost all desire to send a message back, much less return,
their only wish to linger there with the Lotus-eaters,
grazing on lotus, all memory of the journey home
dissolved forever. But I brought them back, back
to the hollow ships, and streaming tears – I forced them,
hauled them under the rowing benches, lashed them fast
and shouted out commands to my other, steady comrades:
‘Quick, no time to lose, embark in the racing ships!’ –
so none could eat the lotus, forget the voyage home.
They swung aboard at once, they sat to the oars in ranks
and in rhythm churned the water white with stroke on stroke.

Homer, The Odyssey 9.106–117[2]

Auribus teneo lupum: I hold a wolf by the ears. The proverbial expression comes from the Carthaginian-born Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence. As one of the originators of European comic drama, Terence’s six comedies are based on Greek models known as “fabulae palliatae,” or “plays in a Greek cloak [pallium].”[3] Among these, we find the expression “auribus teneo lupum” in his fourth comedy Phormio, which is based on the lesser-known play The Claimant by Apollodorus of Carystus.[4] At lines 506-507 in Phormio, Antipho, the son of Demipho, says to the slave-trader Dorio: “auribus teneo lupum: nam neque quo pacto a me amittam neque uti retineam scio.”[5] This can be translated as “I’ve got a wolf by the ears, as they say, can’t let go and can’t hold on.”[6] An alternative translation renders this as “I’m holding the proverbial wolf by the ears. I don’t know how to let go or how to hold on to her.”[7][8]

Indeed, much like the title of the Fenrir journal, the “proverbial wolf” points to a duality present at various levels of complexity, one that deepens its meaning as it returns to a dynamic point of self-reference. Commonly understood, the duality of holding a wolf by the ears is illustrated by a twofold risk: in either case, letting the wolf go or continuing to hold it by its ears will prove fatal. One is thus paralyzed by inaction and yet must act, torn between two polarities that will ensure harm regardless of one’s action.

We can trace this cursory understanding of the aforesaid duality of the wolf to deeper levels of complexity. At one level, we find a similar dynamic paralleled in many of Terence’s plays. As John Barsby notes with respect to Phormio, “As with most of Terence’s plays, the plot is double, involving two fathers and two sons; the two halves are united by the close associations of all of the characters.”[9] Beyond the text, we find this theme paralleled in relation to the Fenrir journal through its allusion to the climate of opposition, emergent potential, and creative momentum that prompted the journal’s revival. At another level, we can trace it to the broader historical horizon of Fenrir as a whole, from past to present. In some sense, this duality has functioned as a healthy catalyst for the journal’s survival, directing it into a domain of opposition that has motivated its reception. At another level, it has served that role with respect to the Order of Nine Angles itself, pointing to the latter’s Labyrinthos Mythologicus. This is not, however, a childish sense of the reactionary. Rather, as a twofold risk resting on primal adversity, we find that the wolf is as beholden to us as we are to it.

More than beholden, the possibility of death from holding the ears of the wolf points to a shift from duality to relationality. We find this shift centered in a long-standing dialogue within twentieth-century Continental thought, most notably in the fields of phenomenology, relational ontology, existentialism, deconstruction, and theology. In the phenomenological and ontological vein, we find figures like Alfred Schutz, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jean-Luc Nancy; in the existentialist vein, Martin Buber has made notable contributions; in the deconstructionist camp, Jacques Derrida explores this issue in terms of the [O]ther or alterity; and in the theological vein, Jean-Luc Marion draws this out in his own way. In an effort to recontextualize this dialogue within the tradition of the Order of Nine Angles, the purpose of this article will be to examine the shift to relationality in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, specifically with respect to his analysis of our relation to the [O]ther[10] as a response to Heidegger’s ontology. Here, as in the work of Levinas, our relation to the [O]ther concerns what is referred to as alterity, which has to do with otherness and the [O]ther in general as something that is in some sense “more” or “other” than the self. For Levinas and in response to Heidegger, this relation constitutes the most fundamental level of human experience, constitution, and identity, one that precedes ontology.

What follows is an examination of some of the dynamics and tensions Levinas brings to light concerning this relation, especially in works like Totality and Infinity. I attempt to illustrate how these dynamics and tensions are operative at the heart of the Order of Nine Angles in a hidden and more or less unexamined way. In hermeneutic fashion and in a spirit appropriate for Fenrir, I center this under a hermeneutic theme I refer to as the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf. That theme involves an interplay between Terence’s “auribus teneo lupum” and the notion of lupus non mordet lupum – how a wolf does not bite another wolf. I attempt to demonstrate how the two can be paired through Levinas’ analysis of relationality and alterity, thereby dyssolving the duality highlighted by Terence and revealing it to be an artificial construction or illusion to begin with. I then center this within the Order of Nine Angles to make visible certain features of a deeper lens of reality at its core, features which remain invisible, hidden, opaque, and unseen.

In drawing out these dynamics and tensions, I would like to note that my approach – in terms of writing, language, and analysis – is consistent with a style of French Continental and hermeneutic thought that was resistant to what is sometimes referred to as parisianism. Parisianism is related to a style of philosophy that emerged from the Annales school of thought in early twentieth-century France. It is characterized by treating argument as a series of assertions and counter-assertions, paired with hyperbolic, fact-based claims pushed to great extremes. By contrast, my approach resists a structured, fact-based argument in favor of hermeneutic analysis, which is meant to illuminate certain truths that are not directly expressible in propositional terms. This hermeneutic approach operates by forming a healthy rather than vicious circle – much like the primordial ouroboros – through a movement beyond strictly logical or rational thought. By drawing out hidden paradoxes and aporias and then using their tension to reveal a hidden resolution, I attempt to disclose the relation to alterity that Levinas brings to light. In this lighting up of world, this savage visibility, I aim to help others make the invisible visible within themselves, within the world, and within the ONA.

Levinas, Ethics, and the Face of the Other

Whether considered in the phenomenological, ontological, existentialist, deconstructionist, or theological schools of twentieth-century Continental thought, the issue of the [O]ther is perhaps most pronounced in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. Levinas was one of the most important French thinkers of the twentieth century and was deeply indebted to the work of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, and Martin Heidegger, who worked as Husserl’s assistant for a time. He played a major role in the transition of phenomenology from Germany to France. Having taken courses with Husserl and Heidegger, his first published textbooks were devoted to the work of both these thinkers. With respect to Heidegger, Levinas described Being and Time as “one of the greatest books in the history of philosophy.”[11] With respect to Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, Levinas “[described] himself as a phenomenologist and as being faithful to the spirit of Husserl.”[12][13] Although in early writings like Totality and Infinity Levinas incorporates the ontological language of Heidegger’s Being and Time in order to exceed those ontological categories and overturn ontology,[14] he nevertheless argues in favor of something that is more fundamental than ontology, something which he calls “ethics” – ethics as first philosophy.

Levinas’ use of the term “ethics” differs from its traditional moral sense.[15] Here, ethics “is neither a code of rules nor the study of reasoning about how we ought to act.”[16] Rather, it concerns a fundamental relationship with alterity, a relation to the [O]ther that is more fundamental than ontology, understood as “a relation of infinite responsibility to the other person.”[17] Although ethics for Levinas is not “a theory of justice or an account of general rules, principles and procedures that would allow us to assess the acceptability of specific maxims or judgements relating to social action, civic duty or whatever,” he may have been trying “to give an account of a basic existential demand, a lived fundamental obligation that should be at the basis of all moral theory and moral action.”[18] The point here is that while Levinas’ use of “ethics” does not concern morality or a moral sense, our relation to the [O]ther is so fundamental that it can be thought to serve as a condition for the possibility of all moral theory and moral action. “Ethics” in terms of morality, right and wrong, or normative action – what we should or should not do – is essentially an epistemological domain, which concerns knowledge and the conditions for knowledge. Ontology on Heidegger’s account, which concerns [B]eing, precedes epistemology. It is more fundamental and serves as a condition for the possibility of knowledge.[19] Heidegger’s overturning of the historical priority given to epistemology over ontology is one thing that makes his seminal work Being and Time so important and revolutionary. It is also why Levinas calls it “one of the greatest books in the history of philosophy.”[20] However, Levinas’ thought was just as revolutionary. He demonstrates how “ethics” as a fundamental relation to the [O]ther precedes even ontology. It precedes epistemology and ontology. Thus, if there is any moral sense to Levinas’ use of “ethics,” it is only in terms of our fundamental relation to the [O]ther serving as the potential basis for the formation of any moral theory or moral action as the deepest level of human constitution. My usage of “ethics” regarding the ONA is consistent with this non-moral and constitutive sense. Levinas describes his usage in the following way, which concerns the relation between what he calls the Same[21] or the self and the [O]ther:

A calling into question [mise en question] of the same [or self] – which cannot occur [se faire] within the egoistic spontaneity of the same – is brought about [se fait] by the other [l’Autre]. We name this calling into question of my spontaneity by the presence of the Other [Autrui] ethics. The strangeness of the Other, his irreducibility to the I [Moi], to my thoughts and my possessions, is precisely accomplished [s’accomplit] as a calling into question of my spontaneity, as ethics. Metaphysics, transcendence, the welcoming of the other by the same, of the Other by me, is concretely produced [se produit] as the calling into question of the same by the other, that is, as the ethics that accomplishes [accomplit] the critical essence of knowledge.[22]

Here, ethics as the “calling into question of my spontaneity by the presence of the Other” is tightly linked to what Levinas calls “metaphysics,” which he also uses in an unconventional way. Whereas ethics is the “calling into question,” metaphysics is the “welcoming of the other by the same” or the self. Just as Heidegger overturned a traditional and positivistic model that prioritized epistemology over ontology, so too did Levinas overturn ontology with ethics and metaphysics, defined in relation to the [O]ther so described. Once again, whereas Heidegger shows how ontology precedes epistemology, Levinas shows that ethics and metaphysics precede ontology. As Levinas says, “And as critique precedes dogmatism, metaphysics precedes ontology.”[23] Our relation to the [O]ther, both with respect to the “calling into question of … [our] own spontaneity by the presence of the Other” in the case of ethics and with respect to the “welcoming of the other by the same” in the case of metaphysics, constitutes one of the deepest domains of human identity and reality.

For Levinas, the ethical subject is “an embodied being of flesh and blood.”[24] Ethics as a relation to the [O]ther is thus not an abstraction but “lived in the sensibility of an embodied exposure to the other,” whereby the “deep structure of subjective experience … is structured in a relation of responsibility or … responsivity to the other … [which calls] me to respond.”[25] Levinas’ main idea is that our relation to the [O]ther cannot be reduced to comprehension or understanding. The strangeness of the [O]ther must be preserved in its strangeness without being reduced to the “I” (the self) or what Levinas calls the “Same.” As an ethical relation, it structures the experience of our sense of self or subject.[26] For Levinas, an ethical relation “is one where I face the other person.”[27] In turn, his task to describe a relation to the [O]ther that “cannot be reduced to comprehension” is found in what he calls a “face-to-face” relation. On this point, Levinas says that “[t]he way in which the other presents himself, exceeding the idea of the other in me, we here name face.”[28]

Speaking, Seeing, Silence

For Levinas, this “face-to-face” relation with the [O]ther “is not a relation of perception or vision, but is always linguistic.” That is, “The face is not something I see, but something I speak to.”[29] It is an irreducible relation that “makes possible the pluralism of society.”[30] Levinas thus emphasizes sound over light and sight in this relation. On this point, Derrida notes that “Levinas places sound above light” specifically in the sense in which Levinas views thought as language, one that “is thought in an element analogous to sound and not to light.”[31] Elaborating on the relation between the eye and sight in juxtaposition to Levinas, Derrida quotes an incisive passage from Hegel:

If we ask ourselves now in which particular organ the soul appears as such in its entirety we shall at once point to the eye. For in the eye the soul concentrates itself; it not merely uses the eye as its instrument, but is itself therein manifest. We have, however, already stated, when referring to the external covering of the human body, that in contrast with the bodies of animals, the heart of life pulses through and throughout it. And in much the same sense it can be asserted of art that it has to invent every point of the external appearance into the direct testimony of the human eye, which is the source of soul-life, and reveals spirit.[32]

In contrast to Hegel, Levinas’ emphasis on speaking rather than seeing the [O]ther reveals a potential connection to Martin Buber’s description of “a silence which is communication.”[33] Buber notes that silence can take the form of speaking, where a conversation can be had without a sound or gesture: “[s]peech can renounce all the media of sense, and [yet] it is still speech.”[34] This, he says, is not the “lover’s tender silence” or a mystical silence whereby we “[take our] stand in the reflection of the divine Face”;[35] rather, this silence takes shape as a silence that one “bears … to his neighbour”:[36]

Unreservedly communication streams from him, and the silence bears it to his neighbour. Indeed it was intended for him, and he receives it unreservedly as he receives all genuine destiny that meets him. He will be able to tell no one, not even himself, what he has experienced. What does he now “know” of the other? No more knowing is needed. For where unreserve has ruled, even wordlessly, between men, the word of dialogue has happened sacramentally.[37]

We thus find that the face of the [O]ther is spoken to, not seen; and in speaking, one engages in a relation to the [O]ther that is not a stance “in the reflection of the divine Face”[38] – Levinas is not claiming that the [O]ther is God, but in fact substitutes the [O]ther for God[39] – but a concrete act or practice, where one does not contemplate but converses, focusing on “the particular individual in front of me.”[40] Buber’s account demonstrates how this conversation can occur silently, where silence becomes our way of speaking. In conversing with our neighbor through silence, one comes to “speak” without speaking. Likewise in Levinas, in speaking to the face rather than seeing it, one comes to “see” without seeing. Where no more knowing is needed, as a dialogue happening sacramentally – as “‘expression’, ‘invocation’, and ‘prayer’”[41] – and in the call of the [O]ther to respond, we reach acknowledgement.[42] It is in this seeing without seeing, this speaking without speaking, that we come to speak not just face-to-face but see eye-to-eye. This acknowledgement unfolds primally into empathy, and there the duality of the wolf dyssolves. It dyssolves into a relation. And in the reception of all genuine destiny that meets us, this relation always already was and always already is: Wyrd. No longer do I hold a wolf by the ears. Now lupus non mordet lupum: a wolf does not bite a wolf. We become more than a neighbor to the [O]ther; we become a brother and sister, a father and mother, a son and daughter, extending our dynamic point of self-reference to a relation of infinite responsibility.

Alterity, Diastasis, and Dyssolving in the Order of Nine Angles

In some respects, the Order of Nine Angles has lost touch with this conversation, this sacramental dialogue, impaled on the horns of a dilemma: on the one hand, the irreducible and incomprehensible transformations that Hebdomadry and the Seven-Fold Way are capable of catalyzing connect us through living action to the “speaking or calling or listening to the other” Levinas describes.[43] Even as a solitary path, our “[O]ther” finds its voice in physis, where nature’s solemn triumph becomes the banner upon which that calling occurs – and not as mere reflection or mere abstraction, but as an active and existential engagement in a “non-subsumptive relation.”[44] On the other hand, as a solitary path this engagement resembles the silence Buber describes – a silent communication where the voice of the [O]ther in physis takes on the voice of destiny through Wyrd, and where the silence of our conversation reaches a depth where it cannot help but be spoken and yet cannot be fully heard: Wyrd rather than word describes it, and its utterance is ineffable.[45]

The Wolf, Physis, and Wyrd in the Empire of the Same

The aforesaid dilemma thus rests on a kind of diastasis or separation. Transformation involves a relation between this seeing eye-to-eye without “speaking” (where silence becomes our way of speaking) and speaking face-to-face without seeing (where sound is emphasized over light and sight). However, the two are inadvertently pulled apart with respect to how the ONA engages in conversation. Much like the duality of the wolf described above, where in holding a wolf by the ears we attempt to reduce the wolf to the self (attempting to understand, evaluate, and comprehend what the wolf may or may not do from the vantage point of the self), so too does the ONA create an artificial duality in separating the solitary act of transformation from the ethical act of conversation. In both cases, we attempt to preserve the [O]ther as [O]ther – as an object of knowledge or experience – where that knowledge “is always my knowledge” and where experience is “always my experience.” That object, whether as wolf or physis or Wyrd, “is encountered only in so far as it exists for me,” which immediately diminishes its alterity.[46] In the ONA, there may be conversing but seldom conversation. This is a problem, because conversation as a relationship with alterity, an opening to the enigmatic world, and an acknowledgement of the strangeness of the [O]ther is the condition for all transformation. It is the basis for the self to encounter something other than itself. Along these lines and in contradistinction to the typical usage of terminology within the ONA, we might thus say that the terror of the alienness and strangeness and alterity of the [O]ther – the acknowledgement when face-to-face and eye-to-eye with the wolf that neither she nor the danger she poses can be comprehended or reduced to the self – may be properly called the “sinister” in the ONA; while the sense of “something-outside-everything” as transcendence, exteriority, or what Levinas calls infinity in relation to the [O]ther may be properly called the “numinous.”

Contrary to what is commonly thought in many esoteric traditions, this “pulling apart” or diastasis does not result in dyssolving. It results in an artificial duality. Regardless of whether we attempt to substitute the wolf, physis, or Wyrd for the [O]ther, insofar as they are always an object of my knowledge and my experience, encountered only insofar as they exist for me,[47] we are reducing the [O]ther to the Same (or self). Here, the [O]ther appears as “a temporary interruption to be eliminated as it is incorporated into or reduced to sameness.” [48] The Same essentially attempts to “incorporate … that which lies outside it.”[49] Whereas Husserlian phenomenology “establishes the Ego as the source of all meaning and knowledge,” and whereas in Heidegger the relation of “beings to Being entails the exclusion of anything that might lie outside that relation,” Levinas was working against the idea of philosophy as an “egology,”[50] one that acknowledges the [O]ther only in order to suppress or possess it, “asserting the primacy of the self, the Same, the subject or Being.”[51] Though the ONA also works against this sense of “egology”, so long as the [O]ther is still operating “within the empire of sameness,” there remains a sense in which “the Other is only other in a restricted sense,”[52] as in the case of the wolf, physis, and Wyrd.

Contra Egology: Empathy and Pathei-Mathos as Ethical Relation to the [O]ther

Although the ONA falls victim to the reduction of the [O]ther to the Same in certain respects, at its heart it does attempt to resist this reduction. In its transformative underbelly, its receptivity to nature, its overarching openness, its dynamic malleability, and its emphasis on empathy it attempts to restore that sense of thinking the [O]ther as [O]ther, reaching an acknowledgement and recognizing its strangeness without reducing it to comprehension. Though it does place emphasis on the individual in several respects – individual experience, individual transformation, individual authority, and pathei-mathos as a learning from personal experience – it does so with respect to the cultivation of empathy as a relation to the [O]ther. Empathy is the primary way one relates to the [O]ther in the ONA, and pathei-mathos plays a role in informing how one directs oneself with respect to that relation. This relation is so fundamental that without it there would be no possibility of transformation or even the possibility of a relation to the self.[53] The ONA’s emphasis on empathy aims at “discovering the irreducibility of the alterity of the Other” as the only means through which I can come to understand that “I am neither solipsistically alone in the world nor part of a totality to which all others also belong.” Nothing can precede or take priority over the ethical relation to the [O]ther because it “characterizes human relations at their most basic level.”[54] That the ONA is aware of this, and that empathy steered by pathei-mathos is a crucible upon which so much hangs, points to its underlying core as deeply ethical in nature. It is unfortunate that so many individuals associating with the ONA have misunderstood this point at the most basic level.

Enantiodromia, Dyssolving, Revealing

Here again we find a parallel to the hermeneutic theme of the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf, one that references and deepens itself across a recurrent matrix of meaning. On the one hand, the ONA emphasizes pathei-mathos with respect to the individual and personal experience. But it does so in conjunction with empathy, where pathei-mathos is a form of empathic living.[55] Pathei-mathos thus targets our “separation-of-otherness” or our separation from the [O]ther, and along with empathy attempts to restore our relation to other human beings.[56] David Myatt describes the process of enantiodromia as a revealing of the separation-of-otherness returning to the wholeness or unity it came from.[57] Anton Long describes this as “a type of confrontational context whereby what has been separated becomes bound together again [united] enabling the genesis of a new type of being.”[58] The ONA’s emphasis on the individual and solitary practice thus does not point to a clear division between the self (or Same) and the [O]ther – not a duality – but rather a way of preserving their independence while still maintaining an irreducible and fundamental relation to one another.[59]

Here, we find a deeper esoteric sense of the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf: what “dissolves” is neither the self nor the [O]ther, as the two are not simply annihilated, abolished, or reduced to one another in order to eliminate their duality. Rather, the mystery lies in their coming together as a relation through the dissolution of their exclusive separation. The [O]ther is revealed but not reduced, acknowledged as “the other within the same, in spite of me, calling me to respond.”[60] We find this mystery paralleled in the philosophy of pathei-mathos, where what is revealed by enantiodromia[61] can be connected to the Levinasian acknowledgement of the ethical relation to the [O]ther. The irreducible strangeness of the [O]ther, for example, may be revealed in that acknowledgement rather than comprehended or understood. This connects to Buber’s silent communication, where what is communicated silently may require a revealing rather than understanding or comprehension, involving as it does something that “escapes the cognitive power of the subject.”[62] This connection to Levinasian acknowledgement and Buber’s silent communication points to the depth of the mystery of dyssolving – which, like the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf developed in this article, can neither be understood nor comprehended. It requires a different approach, one which the Order of Nine Angles attempts to explore through a spiritual cartography designed to navigate the unseen, unknown, and unexplored.

Conclusion: The ONA and the Preservation of the Other

Whereas the Western tradition has been characterized by the reduction of the [O]ther to the Same, the ONA is a living example of a tradition that attempts to preserve the enigma of the [O]ther. We can observe many examples of this, both directly and indirectly. One indirect example can be found in the etymological relation between “weird” and “Wyrd,”[63] which hints at a being who is not self-contained but “understood as inseparable from temporality and historicity.”[64] Here, Wyrd marks an encounter with something other than the self (as a “pull” or “push” of fate or destiny “outside” the self), where self-presence is broken out of its imprisonment toward an enigmatic world in all of its strangeness and “weirdness.” In this directedness and “breaking-out-of” toward that which lies outside us, we no longer try to grasp, represent, understand, or comprehend in an effort to return that strangeness to “the hegemony of the Same”; rather, in preserving that sense of “outside ourselves” as “an exit from oneself,” we attempt to acknowledge our relationship with alterity.[65][66]

Much like Levinas’ goal then, the ONA’s rests on the establishment of a relationship between the Same (or self) and [O]ther, one “which does not entail the dissolution of either.”[67] In calling the Same into question and acknowledging the [O]ther in all of its strangeness, we do not simply push for a dislodgment of the primacy of the Same by the [O]ther, where, in Levinasian terms, “infinity abolishes totality.”[68] The difficulty rests on producing a sense in which both self and [O]ther are “preserved as independent and self-sufficient, but in some sense in relation with one another.”[69] Colin Davis notes that “[t]he ontological imperialism of Western thought manifests itself in different forms, but the hidden purpose is always to find a means of offsetting the shock of alterity.”[70] I have attempted to illustrate how the Order of Nine Angles does not want to offset the shock of alterity but acknowledge it. In fact, I claim that it wants to recall it. As Odysseus indicates when he and his men reach the land of the Lotus-eaters described in the opening quote of this article, we must not just speak but shout to the [O]ther – to our other comrades, the rest of the enigmatic world, and our opponents – “so none … [can] eat the lotus, forget the voyage home.”[71] From our forgetting – from a conversation that has by and large been forgotten, reduced to the Same, lost, and distorted – we must recall. That recalling is not the anamnesis of Plato, which “asserts that I already know what I seek to know, all knowledge is already contained within myself.”[72] Our recalling rests on the fundamental relation to the [O]ther, juxtaposed from a self “‘tethered to itself [rive à soimême]’ … trapped and longing for escape.”[73] In conversing and recalling as we make the voyage home, the following questions thus splinter with urgency from their need for resolution: with whom are we conversing? With whom are we having a conversation?

The task now is to break open the ONA’s emphasis on solitary practice and experience toward an openness and relationality that goes deeper than ontology. Although the ONA does reduce the [O]ther to the Same in several respects, these points of tension can reach a productive resolution if re-worked into a relational framework along these lines. I believe Anton Long would be the first to acknowledge some of these limitations, in addition to recognizing the need for ethical conversation so described. What I have written in this article is meant to illuminate some of those tensions with an eye toward their resolution. It is my hope that addressing this in terms of our ethical relation to the [O]ther will offer something of value to the reader in assessing how they approach the ONA, other associates, other people, and the rest of the world.

Levinas endeavored to “protect the Other from the aggressions of the Same, to analyse the possibilities and conditions of its appearance in our lives, and to formulate the ethical significance of the encounter with it.”[74] I believe the Order of Nine Angles and its preservation as a living tradition involves much the same goal, whether we are talking in terms of concrete objects, domains of reality, other life forms, or other people. But preserving this tradition requires more than conversing; it requires conversation. It requires ethical relation. Time will tell whether the ONA’s interior soliloquy has the resolve to evolve into a call – one which, as a living tradition, is “lived in the sensibility of an embodied exposure to the other,” and where the “deep structure of subjective experience … is structured in a relation of responsibility or … responsivity to the other … [which calls] me to respond.”[75] Whether associates will take this to heart or merely keep it in mind remains to be seen. I, however, remain optimistic.

[H]ere we landed, and surely a god steered us in
through the pitch-black night.
Not that he ever showed himself, with thick fog
swirling around the ships, the moon wrapped in clouds
and not a glimmer stealing through that gloom.
Not one of us glimpsed the island – scanning hard –
or the long combers rolling us slowly toward the coast,
not till our ships had run their keels ashore.
Beaching our vessels smoothly, striking sail,
the crews swung out on the low shelving sand
and there we fell asleep, awaiting Dawn’s first light.

Homer, The Odyssey 9.157–167[76]

Nameless Therein
November 23, 2022
2775 ab urbe condita

In loving memory of Allan Holdsworth.

Notes

[1] The term “diastasis” comes from Emmanuel Levinas’ Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence. His use of this word is complex, sometimes used in relation to identity or the “diastasis of the identical,” elsewhere in relation to “temporal diastasis.” The way I use it in this article is meant to suggest a general sense of separation. The title of this article,“Avribvs Teneo Lvpvm: Alterity and Ethical Diastasis in the Dyssolving of the Wolf” refers to diastasis as a separation or breakdown in our relation to the [O]ther. As I note throughout the article, Levinas uses the term “ethical” to describe that relation. His use of the term does not refer to its traditional “moral” or normative sense. That is, it concerns our relation to [O]ther, not what we ought to do or what is considered right or wrong.  For Levinas, ethics refers to a “calling into question of my spontaneity by the presence of the Other [Autrui],” which I describe later in this article. Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, trans. Alphonso Lingis (1969; repr., Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2007), 43. In turn, alterity refers to this sense of otherness and concerns the [O]ther. If you put these together, you get something like: otherness and the separation, breakdown, or “coming apart” of our relation to the [O]ther, which is indicated and reiterated throughout this article in the form of a paradox or aporia I call “the duality of the wolf.” I see that duality as artificial – something that does not exist, something erected and created in an artificial manner. “Dyssolving” is meant to indicate how that aporia is resolved in the context of the Order of Nine Angles. I develop these themes hermeneutically, which concerns a healthy circle of descriptive and recurrent meaning rather than a fact-based argument involving assertion and counter-assertion.

For more on Levinas’ use of “diastasis,” see Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, trans. Alphonso Lingis (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1974; Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991). The term appears in the Kluwer Academic edition on, e.g., pages 29, 30, 34, 36, 42, and 115. For an overview of hermeneutics and my approach to it, see Nameless Therein, “The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles: An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics,” Lux Lycaonis, Fenrir: Journal of Satanism and the Sinister, April 13, 2022, https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/04/14/chess-hermeneutics/.

[2] Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fagles (1996; repr., New York: Penguin Books, 1997).

[3] Terence, Terence: The Comedies, trans. Peter Brown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), xii.

[4] Terence, xii. See also Terence, Terence in Two Volumes, trans. John Sargeaunt, vol. 2 (1912; repr., London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1959), 2-3.

[5] Terence, Terence in Two Volumes, 58.

[6] Terence, 59.

[7] Terence, Phormio, The Mother-in-Law, The Brothers, trans. and ed. John Barsby, vol. 2, Loeb Classical Library 23 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 69.

[8]Traduire, c’est trahir,” as Levinas was fond of pointing out. To translate is to betray. See Simon Critchley, “Introduction,” chap. 1 in The Cambridge Companion to Levinas, ed. Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 18.

[9] Terence, Phormio, Mother, Brothers, 4.

[10] Regarding my usage of [O]ther throughout this article, Levinas makes a distinction between the personal Other (“autrui”), which is capitalized and which refers to “the you” or another person, and the lowercased other (“autre”), which refers to the other generally and not necessarily to another person. It could, for example, refer to an object such as “the other bookshelf” or “the other glass of water.” The capitalized Other, however, refers to a person. My use of [O]ther throughout this article merges the two; because within the context of the ONA, [O]ther refers to the other person as much as it does to other life forms and objects. I leave it as [O]ther to keep this adaptive and open-ended, taking whichever reference necessary for the context it is found in. See Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 24. The footnote at the bottom of that page explains this distinction.

[11] Emmanuel Levinas, Entre nous: Essais sur le penser-à-l’autre (Paris: Grasset and Fasquelle, 1991), 255, quoted in Colin Davis, Levinas: An Introduction (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996), 9.

[12] Critchley, “Introduction,” 6.

[13] In contrast to Heidegger and Husserl, Levinas thought the relation to the other person was not phenomenological – “not a phenomenon but an enigma,” and thus “not a matter for [intentional] thought or reflection,” where “intention” in this phenomenological sense refers to an object of consciousness rather than something like a motivation or volitional act. Critchley, “Introduction,” 8. Additionally, though Levinas was familiar with Heidegger’s later work, he was indebted to the early Heidegger – the Heidegger of Being and Time. Critchley, 10.

[14] See Davis, Levinas, 38: “Levinas acknowledges that Totality and Infinity continues to use the language of ontology … even though the arguments advanced in that book aspire to overturn ontology.” Derrida critiqued this in his work, “Violence and Metaphysics.” See “Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas,” chap. 4 in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (1978; repr., London: Routledge, 2001). On this point, Critchley notes that “[Derrida] argued that the attempt to leave the climate of Heidegger’s thinking was doomed from the start because Levinas still employs Heideggerian categories in the attempt to exceed those categories. Derrida extended the same argument to Levinas’s critique of Hegel and Husserl.” Critchley, “Introduction,” 17. Critchley additionally points out that Levinas was tormented by the questions Derrida raised in “Violence and Metaphysics.” In response, Levinas acknowledged that he was trying to move away from that ontological terminology in his later work.

[15] I want to emphasize again that the way I am applying “ethics” to the ONA in this article does not involve a traditional moral sense. It has to do with our relation to the [O]ther, with alterity. It is not normative or proscriptive, does not concern questions of right or wrong, and has little to do with the traditional philosophical field of ethics in any straightforward sense.

[16] Davis, Levinas, 35.

[17] Critchley, “Introduction,” 6.

[18] Critchley, “Introduction,” 27-28.

[19] In Heidegger’s language, the mode of being-in-the-world called knowing is anterior to ontological being-in-the-world.

[20] Levinas, Entre nous, 255, quoted in Davis, Levinas, 9.

[21] Though Levinas makes a distinction between the personal Other (“autrui”), which is capitalized in English, and the other generally (“autre”), which is lowercased (see note 10 above), my capitalization of the word “Same” here (used to refer to the self) is a matter of personal taste. Davis, Critchley, and translators of Levinas have their own conventions regarding the capitalization of this term. I have opted for capitalization only as a matter of consistency throughout this article.

[22] Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 43, quoted in Davis, Levinas, 36. Davis’ quote of this passage uses slightly different capitalization for certain words. I have retained the capitalization of the edition of Totality and Infinity listed in the bibliography for this article.

[23] Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 43.

[24] Critchley, 21.

[25] Critchley, 21. Note that Levinas’ departure from Heidegger’s analysis can be illustrated in the following way: “Levinas claims that Dasein’s understanding of Being presupposes an ethical relation with the other human being, that being to whom I speak and to whom I am obliged before being comprehended. Fundamental ontology is fundamentally ethical.” Critchley, 10.

[26] Critchley, 25.

[27] Critchley, 26.

[28] Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 50, quoted in Critchley, “Introduction,” 15.

[29] Critchley, “Introduction,” 12.

[30] Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 291.

[31] Derrida, “Violence and Metaphysics,” 124.

[32] G. W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of Fine Art, trans. F. P. B. Osmaston (London: C. Bell and Sons, 1920), 1:206-7, quoted in Derrida, “Violence and Metaphysics,” 122-123.

[33] Martin Buber, Between Man and Man, trans. Ronald Gregor-Smith (New York: Routledge, 2002), 3. It should be noted that Levinas had problems with some of the work of Martin Buber and mysticism generally. One must be careful in drawing a connection between their thought, in addition to exploring Levinas’ thought in the context of this article, whose frame of reference he almost certainly would have opposed. His ideas nevertheless cast important implications over a shadow of discourse surrounding the ONA, which could benefit from this line of development.

[34] Buber, Between Man and Man, 3.

[35] Buber, 4.

[36] Buber, 4.

[37] Buber, 4-5.

[38] Levinas is not claiming that the [O]ther is God. Critchley emphasizes this point: “[Nor] is … [Levinas] claiming that the other is God, as some readers mistakenly continue to believe.” Critchley, “Introduction,” 14.

[39] See Davis, Levinas, 40: “So Levinas transforms Descartes’s infinite God into his own Other.” See also Critchley, “Introduction,” 14 and Hilary Putnam, “Levinas and Judaism,” chap. 2 in The Cambridge Companion to Levinas, ed. Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 42. With respect to the relation between Descartes’ res cogitans and God, Putnam says: “It isn’t that Levinas accepts Descartes’s argument, so interpreted. The significance is rather that Levinas transforms the argument by substituting the other for God.”

[40] Critchley, “Introduction,” 12.

[41] Critchley, 12.

[42] Regarding acknowledgement, Critchley says the following: “That is to say, there is something about the other person, a dimension of separateness, interiority, secrecy or what Levinas calls ‘alterity’ that escapes my comprehension. That which exceeds the bounds of my knowledge demands acknowledgement.” Critchley, “Introduction,” 26.

[43] Critchley, 12.

[44] Critchley, 12.

[45] And yet we hear it and are called to respond. However, we may have trouble “listening” to that call, because although we sense it intimately its utterance is so ungraspable and incomprehensible that we only “see” its contours – and blindly, at that. We must make out its shape in an impenetrable darkness, one without light or sight. So there is a kind of “hearing” without hearing to go with our seeing without seeing and speaking without speaking. The point is that this relation cannot be reduced to comprehension. It cannot be reduced to the self, to the “I,” to the Same. This is what Levinas means by “a relation that is not a relation,” from which the phrases I am employing here – “seeing without seeing,” “speaking without speaking,” and “hearing without hearing” – are derived.

[46] Davis, Levinas, 41.

[47] Davis, 41.

[48] Davis, 3. The full quote on the same page elaborates on this point: “In Levinas’s reading of the history of Western thought, the Other has generally been regarded as something provisionally separate from the Same (or the self), but ultimately reconcilable with it; otherness, or alterity, appears as a temporary interruption to be eliminated as it is incorporated into or reduced to sameness. For Levinas, on the contrary, the Other lies absolutely beyond my comprehension and should be preserved in all its irreducible strangeness; it may be revealed by other people in so far as they are not merely mirror images of myself, or … by religious experience or certain privileged texts. Levinas’s endeavour is to protect the Other from the aggressions of the Same, to analyse the possibilities and conditions of its appearance in our lives, and to formulate the ethical significance of the encounter with it.”

[49] Davis, 40. On the same page, Davis notes: “The ontological imperialism of Western thought manifests itself in different forms, but the hidden purpose is always to find a means of offsetting the shock of alterity.” See also Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 43: “Western philosophy has most often been an ontology: a reduction of the other to the same by interposition of a middle and neutral term that ensures the comprehension of being.”

[50] A simple way to think of this: my egology is your ontology.

[51] Davis, Levinas, 40.

[52] Davis, 40.

[53] See, for example, Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 40: “Alterity is possible only starting from me.”

[54] Davis, Levinas, 48.

[55] On this point, Myatt says that “[t]he Way of Pathei-Mathos is an ethical, an interior, a personal, a non-political, a non-interfering, a non-religious but spiritual, way of individual reflexion, individual change, and empathic living, where there is an awareness of the importance of virtues such as compassion, humility, tolerance, gentleness, and love.” David Myatt, “I. Morality, Virtues, and Way of Life,” in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, 5th ed. (CreateSpace, 2018), https://www.davidmyatt.info/numinous-way-pathei-mathos.pdf.

[56] David Myatt, “III. Enantiodromia and the Separation-of-Otherness,” in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, 5th ed. (CreateSpace, 2018), https://www.davidmyatt.info/numinous-way-pathei-mathos.pdf.

[57] Myatt, “Enantiodromia.”

[58] Anton Long, “Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion,” Lapis Philosophicus (blog), https://lapisphilosophicus.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/enantiodromia-the-sinister-abyssal-nexion.pdf. In the first endnote of the article entitled “The Abyss” in this collection of articles and notes, Long directs us to David Myatt’s essay, “The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic,” which details the origin of the term “enantiodromia.” See David Myatt, “The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic,” The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos (blog), https://perceiverations.wordpress.com/change-opposites-and-dialectic/. Long notes how, according to Myatt, the word is “a transliteration of the compound Greek word ἐναντιοδρομίας and which word first occurs in Lives of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius.” According to Myatt, Diogenes is thought to have paraphrased Heraclitus in saying: “πάντα δὲ γίνεσθαι καθ᾽ εἱμαρμένην καὶ διὰ τῆς ἐναντιοδρομίας ἡρμόσθαι τὰ ὄντα,” which Myatt translates as: “All by genesis is appropriately apportioned [separated into portions] with beings bound together again by enantiodromia.” This idea of apportioning or separating into portions “with beings bound together again by enantiodromia” bears some resemblance to the idea of ethical diastasis described throughout this article – the idea of a separation or breakdown in our relation to the [O]ther, then dyssloved through the elimination of an artificial duality (here, the duality of the wolf). Though there are differences between this sense of enantiodromia and Levinas’ ethical relation to the [O]ther, this is a line of inquiry worth exploring.

[59] For Levinas, this refers to the sense in which our ethical relation to the [O]ther plays a defining role in the identity and constitution of the human being. In the ONA, this marks the genesis of a new being. Insofar as the ONA and Levinas find a point of overlap here, it may be that this is not the genesis of a new being but an ancient one. Furthermore, this being may be an ethical synonym for the human being (ethical in Levinas’ sense of a relation to the [O]ther). It would appear then that the adept and human being are not so different after all. Here again we find the theme of the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf. Here again we find the need to engage in ethical conversation. Combined, one begins to see the contours of a different sense of “mundane” when considering that the adept and human being are not so distinct. At their heart, both are striving to speak to the [O]ther, to listen, to hear the call. Here they find an important point of commonality, one that constitutes the core of their identity and reality, even if those differ radically.

[60] Critchley, “Introduction,” 21.

[61] Cf. Myatt, “Enantiodromia.”

[62] Critchley, “Introduction,” 15.

[63] For more on the etymological connection between “weird” and Wyrd,” see Nameless Therein, “‘Where’s Your Will to Be Wyrd’: An Examination of Wyrd in the Anglo-Saxon Religious Imagination,” Lux Lycaonis, Fenrir: Journal of Satanism and the Sinister, March 28, 2022, https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/03/29/will-wyrd/. Also see F. Anne Payne, “Three Aspects of Wyrd in Beowulf,” in Old English Studies in Honour of John C. Pope, eds. Robert B. Burlin and Edward B. Irving (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974), 15. There, Payne says the following about this connection: “The adjective ‘weird’ and the noun slang term ‘weirdo’ describe an event or person whose attributes are suddenly discovered to be outside the bounds of normal expectation and arouse an experience that an observer contemplates with uncomprehending but compelling uneasiness. This combination of attraction and awe in the face of an event in a space whose dimensions are undefined and uncontrollable hovers about the meaning of Old English Wyrd.”

[64] Davis, Levinas, 16.

[65] Davis, 21. On this notion of “an exit from oneself” and “the relationship with alterity,” see Emmanuel Levinas, En decouvrant I’ existence avec Husserl et Heidegger (1949; repr., Paris: Vrin, 1974), 139 and 145.

[66] Indeed, this points to the deeper levels of the mystery of dyssolving in the ONA, in addition to the dyssolving of the duality of the wolf described in this article. Both concern a sense in which dyssolving does not involve the abolishment of self or an annihilation of the aforesaid duality. The key and mystery lie in the opening as an exit from oneself through the acknowledgement of our relationship with alterity. The relationship involved in this sense of dyssolving, or at least what it “opens” us to, can be characterized by a relation between the face-to-face (speaking without seeing) and the eye-to-eye (seeing without “speaking”) described above. Both additionally concern what I have described elsewhere as “making the invisible visible.” See Ariadne and Nameless Therein, “Arcadian Truth & the Instar Emergence: The Task of Outer Representative,” Lux Lycaonis, Fenrir: Journal of Satanism and the Sinister, November 5, 2022, https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/11/05/alea-iacta-est/. Nexion of Ur also develops this point in “Burial Night,” Nocturnal Reflexions, November 11, 2022, https://nocturnalreflexions.wordpress.com/2022/11/11/burial-night/.

[67] Davis, Levinas, 20.

[68] Davis, 41.

[69] Davis, 41.

[70] Davis, 40.

[71] Homer, The Odyssey 9.106–117.

[72] Davis, Levinas, 40.

[73] Davis, 18. The phrase “rive à soimême” is from Levinas, De l’évasion (1935; repr., Montpellier: Fata Morgana, 1982), 87.

[74] Davis, 3.

[75] Critchley, “Introduction,” 21.

[76] Homer, The Odyssey 9.157–167.

Bibliography

Buber, Martin. Between Man and Man. Translated by Ronald Gregor-Smith. 1947. Reprint, New York: Routledge, 2002.

Critchley, Simon. “Introduction.” Chap. 1 in The Cambridge Companion to Levinas, edited by Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Davis, Colin. Levinas: An Introduction. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996. First published 1996 by Polity Press (Cambridge).

Derrida, Jacques. “Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas.” Chap. 4 in Writing and Difference, translated by Alan Bass. 1978. Reprint, London: Routledge, 2001. First published 1967 by Éditions du Seuil (Paris).

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. The Philosophy of Fine Art. Translated by F. P. B. Osmaston. London: C. Bell and Sons, 1920.

Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles. With introduction and notes by Bernard Knox. New York: Penguin Books, 1997. First published 1996 by Viking Penguin.

Levinas, Emmanuel. De l’évasion. Montpellier: Fata Morgana, 1982. First published 1935 as an article.

———. En découvrant I’ existence avec Husserl et Heidegger. Paris: Vrin, 1974. First edition 1949 with additions in 1967.

———. Entre nous: Essais sur le penser-à-l’autre. Paris: Grasset and Fasquelle, 1991.

———. Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1974. Reprint, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991.

———. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. 1969. Reprint, Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2007. First published in French as Totalité et infini: Essai sur l’extériorité. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1961.

Long, Anton. “Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion.” Lapis Philosophicus (blog). https://lapisphilosophicus.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/enantiodromia-the-sinister-abyssal-nexion.pdf.

Myatt, David. “The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic.” The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos (blog). https://perceiverations.wordpress.com/change-opposites-and-dialectic/.

———. The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 5th ed. CreateSpace, 2018.

Putnam, Hilary. “Levinas and Judaism.” Chap. 2 in The Cambridge Companion to Levinas, edited by Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Terence. Phormio, The Mother-in-Law, The Brothers. Vol. 2, Loeb Classical Library 23, translated and edited by John Barsby. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

———. Terence in Two Volumes. Translated by John Sargeaunt. Vol. 2. 1912. Reprint, London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1959.

———. Terence: The Comedies. Translated by Peter Brown. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


Alea iacta est

Posted: November 5th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, Current Affair, Fenrir, Inner ONA, Labyrinthos Mythologicus, News, O9A, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, The Sinister Tradition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Alea iacta est

Mimesis and Arcadian Truth in the Theater of Cruelty: The Task of Outer Representative

By Nameless Therein

Reposted from our main site

cruelty

And if Perseus is proud of Andromeda too in the stars, do but cast your eye towards that side of the heavens, where the brilliant Ophiuchos is conspicuous holding up his encircling Serpent, and you will see the circlet of Ariadne’s Crown, the Sun’s companion, which rises with the Moon and proclaims the desire of crownloving Dionysos.[1]

The subject of mimesis casts a rich historical shadow across its diverse roots in ancient Greek thought, literature, narrative theory, art, and avant-garde theater. The word carries an equally rich nest of meanings. It roughly translates as “imitation,” originating from the Greek word, mimeisthai, which means “to imitate.”[2] It is sometimes translated as “representation,” sometimes “re-doubling,” and can occasionally connote a sense of mimicry, replication, and impersonation.[3] In the ancient Greek world, the oldest usages of the root “mim-” seem to have something to do with music, as evidenced in Aeschylus’ lost tragedy Edonians, “where noise-making musical instruments are referred to as ‘bull-voiced […] frightened mimoi’,” in addition to Democritus’ claim that, “just as crafts follow the example of animals, music imitates birdsong.”[4] The Homeric Hymn to Apollo refers to “a choir of maidens who know how to imitate/represent (mimeisthai) men’s voices and castanets.”[5] Both cases demonstrate how musical mimesis transmits an acoustic image created by an animated being in order to trigger a strong emotional effect in the public.[6]

Historically, mimesis had to do with two complementary aspects: artistic imitation, which was associated with representation and re-enactment, and behavioral imitation.[7] In terms of art, mimesis concerned the expression of certain attitudes and emotions, in addition to guiding the representation of the perceptible world and the ideas, ideals, and values that informed it.[8] Evidence for behavioral imitation can be found in various ancient sources, such as Aristotle’s Poetics where he remarks that human beings learn by imitating, or in the work of Democritus who argued that humans imitate animals through crafts.[9] In epic poetry, Socrates distinguished between “narrative (diegesis) as the general aim of the poem and the local imitation (mimesis) of the character’s direct speech,” holding that the emotions expressed in this form of mimesis could be “contagious” and thus occasionally “weaken the soul’s commitment to virtue.”[10] Plato had a similarly troubling relationship with artistic activity, viewing the artist as a kind of deceiver concerned with representing appearances rather than reality itself, one complicit in eikasia, where the artist as a producer of imitations of imitations takes us even further away from knowledge.[11] By contrast, Aristotle, who did not subscribe to Plato’s theory of forms, emphasized mimesis in terms of its “natural … [and] this-worldly [aspects],” both with respect to mimetic art and poetry.[12]

Mimesis thus typically has something to do with imitation. But by the time Aristotle wrote the Poetics, the issue of what works like tragedies or poems were imitating became a philosophical problem. Aristotle’s solution was that they were imitating an action (mimēsis praxeōs). In the twentieth-century, his idea of an imitation of an action or mimēsis praxeōs was taken up in the work of the famous French Continental philosopher, Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur’s rich understanding of mimesis moved beyond its general sense of “imitation,” “representation,” or what he sometimes referred to as a kind of “re-doubling” into a complex process that can be termed an arc of operations. For Ricoeur, this arc is comprised of three movements, beginning as a symbolic system within a culture, then transforming into a fixed form like a work of literature, and finally re-emerging in a cultural context where the consciousness of the participant or reader is altered as a result. Ricoeur’s understanding of mimesis was thus tightly linked to the concept of mythos or narrative emplotment in Aristotle’s Poetics.

Mythos and mimesis are tethered together. Both involve the ability to permanently transform the inhabitant of a given culture, tradition, or society. For Ricoeur, this tethering serves as part of the basis for the emergence of meaning in human consciousness. One of Ricoeur’s great discoveries about mimesis concerns the way our experience of the world involves an irreducible narrativity: the sense in which that experience always unfolds as a kind of story across time. In this, the individual transformation of consciousness may be said to occupy a broader archetypal domain of myth, one that Freud, Jung, and Joseph Campbell pick up on. Speaking to the power and importance of myth, Campbell says the following:

Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

The wonder is that the characteristic efficacy to touch and inspire deep creative centers dwells in the smallest nursery fairy tale—as the flavor of the ocean is contained in a droplet or the whole mystery of life within the egg of a flea. For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source.[13]

Campbell’s characterization of myth bears a close resemblance to the Order of Nine Angles. From the “formless forming” and weaving of the Wyrdful web that my co-conspirator Ariadne describes in the article below, the hidden and hard-earned Aracadian truths behind the many corridors of the ONA’s winding labyrinth are not static but fluid, cascading and emerging as a canvas of appearances, much like the “instar” stage of a cicada that Ariadne describes. But these appearances are appearances; and many mistake these “moving articulations” as stationary identities, ideas, things, always trying to put a face or a name or something knowable to an irreducible opacity. (How many times have we been warned about “abstractions”?) Nevertheless, as a subculture founded on a wide horizon of mythic imitation, there is something underlying the many difficult and dangerous appearances one inevitably encounters within the labyrinth – not something “beyond” or “within” or “apart” from them, but a deeper invisible layer, something intangible, outstretching, eternal, ubiquitous, conspicuous in its absence, a condition for possibility of all appearance: “always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be told.”[14]

This tradition is not fixed, nor is it complete. With the ONA’s characteristic efficacy to reach and inspire just the “deep creative centers” Campbell describes, neither can it ever be manufactured: it cannot be “ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed,” because it is a spontaneous production of the psyche, one in which every inhabitant, every associate, every individual that wishes to transform its participatory dead letter into a living word partakes in. Each and every individual here bears within themselves the undamaged “germ power of its source.” But this world, our world, the world of the Order of Nine Angles – it is a theater, one where the appearances we encounter in the labyrinth are constituted, populated, and erected by the very psyche that spontaneously produces them.

What then is the task of the Outer Representative? I have considered this question carefully against the event horizon of tremendous responsibility that it carries. Endorsed by those who, with no pangs of conscience or hesitation, continue to bear the weight of my unconditional admiration and respect without complaint, and whose august presence within our tradition sustains its better nature, it is with deep humility and respect for those individuals, this tradition, and the responsibility of this position that I now rise from a place of immutable honor to acknowledge and accept my role as Outer Representative of the Order of Nine Angles.

What then is my task as Outer Representative to every “brutal and beautiful interconnected sinister soul shared by those ensnared within … [the] Wyrdful web” of this tradition? It certainly is not to manufacture, presume to lead, or even guide. Nor is it to officiate, guard, or gander some thinly veiled Arcadian “truth” guarded by the Minotaur at the heart of the labyrinth! No, my purpose here is simple: to tap into that deep creative center of spontaneous emergence and transmit the “one, shapeshifting yet marvelously constant story” that we find together – one that occupies the ensouled world of our individual narratives as we make our way into the primordial unknown. I will always carry that in my heart; we all will. My role here is to make the invisible visible – not as an appearance or mere appearance, but as something that can permanently alter the consciousness of anyone who encounters it, changing the course of history for that individual, for the ONA, and for our tradition in however infinitesimal or monolithic a way.

Thomas Mann once said that, “The writer must be true to truth,” to which Joseph Campbell remarked: “the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections. The perfect human being is uninteresting…. It is the imperfections that are lovable. And when the writer sends a dart of the true word, it hurts. But it goes with love. That is what Mann called ‘erotic irony,’ the love for that which you are killing with your cruel, analytical word.”[15] Nothing is perfect in the ONA. Least of all myself. There is much room for improvement, much work to do to enact that as a practical reality, and many long years ahead to uproot and undo much of the damage done by the actions and activities of various associates all the way back to the founding of this tradition. But we will see it through before the curtain to this theater closes. As the French artist, surrealist, poet, playwright, and theater theoretician Antonin Artaud described with respect to a “theater of cruelty,” “Those who have forgotten the communicative power and magical mimesis of a gesture, the theater can reinstruct, because a gesture carries its energy with it, and there are still human beings in the theater to manifest the force of the gesture made.”[16] Indeed, in terms of the theater’s value as an “excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger,”[17] the Order of Nine Angles is a theater of cruelty, one that, within its living labyrinth, will often seem as if “everything that acts is a cruelty.”[18] But it is upon precisely “this idea of extreme action, pushed beyond all limits, that theater must be rebuilt.”[19]

This is my task as Outer Representative: to help rebuild this theater of cruelty by making the invisible visible deep within the heart of the labyrinth. I end with a quote from Jacques Derrida who, in noting Artaud’s uncanny ability to do both, describes something that equally applies to the task of Outer Representative: a “passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive.” The full quote is as follows:

I do not have to account in his stead for what he has experienced nor for what he has suffered…. I know that Antonin Artaud saw, the way Rimbaud, as well as Novalis and Arnim before him, had spoken of seeing. It is of little consequence, ever since the publication of Aurelia, that what was seen this way does not coincide with what is objectively visible. The real tragedy is that the society to which we are less and less honored to belong persists in making it an inexpiable crime to have gone over to the other side of the looking glass. In the name of everything that is more than ever close to my heart, I cheer the return to freedom of Antonin Artaud in a world where freedom itself must be reinvented…. I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive.[20]

alea iacta est

Nameless Therein
November 4, 2022

Notes

[1] Nonnos, Dionysiaca, trans. W. H. D. Rouse, vol. 2, Books 16-35 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1940), 261.

[2] Andrew M. Colman, “Mimesis,” in A Dictionary of Psychology, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[3] William H. Gass, “Mimesis,” Conjunctions, no. 46 (2006): 192.

[4] Thomas G. Pavel, “Mimesis,” chap. 16 in Literature Now: Key Terms and Methods for Literary History, ed. Sascha Bru, Ben De Bruyn, and Michel Delville (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 215.

[5] Pavel, “Mimesis,” 215-216.

[6] Pavel, 216.

[7] Pavel, 215.

[8] Pavel, 215.

[9] Pavel, 215.

[10] Pavel, 216.

[11] Simon Blackburn, “Mimesis,” in A Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

[12] Pavel, “Mimesis,” 217.

[13] Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), chap. 1, EPUB.

[14] Campbell, Hero, chap. 1.

[15] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (New York: Anchor Books, 1991), chap. 1, EPUB.

[16] Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, trans. Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958), 81.

[17] Artaud, Theater and Its Double, 89.

[18] Artaud, 85.

[19] Artaud, 85.

[20] Jacques Derrida and Paule Thévenin, The Secret Art of Antonin Artaud, trans. Mary Ann Caws (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), vii.


THE INSTAR EMERGENCE: Mimesis, Mythos, and Recalling

By Ariadne

ο Μίτος της Αριάδνης

instar

Saturn’s waning acted as a harbinger for a distinct and rejuvenating shift in the tenor and tone of my path. As the first chilled breaths of the season’s cool first glance from the eye of Winter lands into my lungs I feel warmed by the comprehension of what exactly is waning and waxing. However, in parallel, I am aware of a war that rages on – in forms both kinetic and cold. There is a war with bullets and there is a war with narratives, stories, and mythos.

I bring these different forms of warfare to your attention with the intention to remind my reader that wielding narrative itself can be – and often IS – ACTION. At the least, it is itself a will to action. My writing here is a kinetic action that I take with consciousness and vital responsibility, due to a passion so large that it cannot help but extend beyond my self.

Your time in this world, as far as we know, is limited.

Your impact, your legacy, what you leave behind, is what you choose to make it. Your words, your narrative, your role in the dialectic, your mythological contribution, is larger than any fist. A myth can be an even more powerful and lasting tool than a nuclear missile. More than that, the limitations of your word extend no further than your own ability to use it.

That is because mimesis (μίμησις) acts in funny ways.

Like the name of this website suggests, it is a subject I have interest in seeking out new ways of understanding.

The name of this website betrays a great deal to those who know what they are looking at. Indeed, to some, my intentions are transparent, and it has come to my attention that the time has come for this to be worth exploring.

An “instar” is a stage in the development of an insect, like a cicada, before it emerges from the earth. Much like the cicada, a myth can be in a similar stage of emergent development, recalling itself through a living, kinetic force of nature before it arises in the form of action or replication from those through which it inspires yet another spark of kinetic energy – a transmutational fire.

See, we do not exist in a vacuum. Nor do our words, nor do our myths. Somebody is reading this and it is meaningful. Ideally, inspiring them to write/say something that MATTERS. Somebody is inspired to the action of expression by my Will to share my own expression.

This concept is deeply moving to me.

Somebody else is reading this and rolling their eyes. Either way – spending time inside my writing, having tea with my words, this is how you are choosing to spend your time – within what I have woven.

Sincerity and originality are always able to be conveyed, even in a mimetic replication of a myth – such as that of Theseus and Ariadne’s journey through the Labyrinth and back. If you possess an ounce of creative kinetic energy, or think you might with a little practice, the written word is one of many worthy acts in and of itself.

In such a stage, “mimesis” is sort of that real kinetic energy passed along, and the kinetic inspiration from which it is recalled and to which it unfolds.

The mythos grows through its instar phase to The Emergence, at which time it unfolds – except, it is no linear process. It is always unfolding – it is only up to the individual who is touched by that kinetic spark to unfold in turn, the process of mimesis – replication, recalling, becoming through nonsensuous similarity – to unfold with it.

To Emerge in ACTION – through the mythos, from the mythos, to the mythos.

I recently had a conversation with my close and dear associate – and far more articulate and well-read philosopher – Nameless Therein, who wrote of mimesis:

‘Mimesis’ is one method of aeonic magick that has come down over the centuries,” involving the imitation of “some aspect of cosmic/Earth-based movement/working, and then either following the natural pattern or slightly altering that pattern to bring about a subtle change.” Additionally, given that it is this “alteration” that “forms the basis for ‘black’ magick” it is quite telling that so few “Satanists” have a sense of what that means. In an attempt to remedy this, and as a practical way of encouraging others to develop the faculties required for advanced magickal applications […] I will be introducing a series of chess hermeneutics”

– Nameless Therein, An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics – CHESS HERMENEUTICS: SHAPESHIFTING, SATANISM, AND MIMESIS

That recent dialogue I had with Nameless Therein on the subject was a myriad of illuminations, including among them, a mutual reverence for that observation of The Emergence of the mimetic, phenomenological heart in those who carry the mythos of the tradition we inhabit within them. That tradition and mythos has been in its phase of necessary incubation – much like the instar phase of the cicada – before the recalling of its emergence as something much more than it has ever been.

We are experiencing it within our own Emergence. It is my humble belief this change is palpable and present in every meaning-starved recalling of the living mythos – now finally ready to emerge and evolve far beyond what it once was.

The mimēsis praxeōs of our living, Wyrdful, active mythos has been undergoing a great and painstaking time of much-needed, decisive growth, just beneath the surface of the world we both inhabit. It is a garden that hungers and thirsts and has been trampled by those who choose poison over water. The low humming of its arrival is growing to a fever pitch and the entirety trembles in kinetic excitement with its vibration.

A lesson for those who believe traditions die and myths exist only as faerie-fables: The Emergence lies in wait, always, just beneath the crust of the Earth.

For The Emergence to successfully bloom, it only needs a small yet passionate, emboldened, and authentic few. Those who care enough for that myth that grew them to grow it back in return. It needs only those few to be inspired once more, to tend the garden to grow, re-grow, and become much more than it ever was.

The Emergence lives by mimesis and duration, only enriching itself in a new, unique iteration. In this iteration, it will grow with the intentions of introducing the honor it has lacked, the creative and original spirit that it has sustained with pretension, and the sincerity and earnestness brought only by those who have been touched by the brutal and beautiful interconnected sinister soul shared by those ensnared within its Wyrdful web.

Mimetic emergences such as the Insidious Way and Antithesis Press are such examples of the creative force of life extending beyond, through, and surpassed within that web. They are the low hum energizing those who can feel the harbingers of a new game.

We ARE that pure Telos of Duration – that “supreme end of man’s endeavor” – that n/ever unfolding end-goal – that mythological beginning and end, itself, alpha and omega. We are the ever-unfolding and our myth is written BY us, FOR us – OR without us. We are duration itself, unfolding and SURVIVING itself. It is truly an exciting time to be ALIVE.

[Henri] Bergson, Sorel tells us, asks us to consider ‘the inner depths of the mind and what happens during a creative moment’. Acting freely, we recover our Selves, attaining the level of pure ‘duration’ that Bergson equates with ‘integral knowledge’. This new form of comprehension was identified as ‘intuition’, a form of internal and empathetic understanding, and it was precisely this form of intuitive understanding that Sorel believed was encompassed by his category of myth.

Reflections on Violence, Jeremy Jennings on Georges Sorel

It is a coward who willfully chooses the mad and mindless escape of meaningless disregard. It is a coward who chooses to reject their divinity and its emergence in their own unfolding physis of their very being. It is only that coward who would willingly inhabit that bland, dysteleological limbo, day in and out, in pursuit of ever more flailing, cynical hysterics about the Nigh End with no regard for the time one possesses in life TODAY.

To enact one’s true passion and sincere creative will, TODAY, is to seize our age by the balls and LIVE – in spite of what age it may be.

This living myth, this endless end, this mimetic duration, is worthy of vitality. And YOU possess it – HERE AND NOW.

Tell it. Live it. Act it. Re-create it. With passion and zeal for this one life you have.

Until such an end arrives, for better or worse, our world continues ever-onward with us, alive and vital. We welcome it with gratitude in our hearts for this Wyrdful opportunity to create and explore our days and our years to come, pressing onward together.

We welcome new games and new ways to play them. Afterall, we have but one life in this world of infinite depth and opportunity. We have one divine, powerful existence. Why limit ourselves to the same tired jape? Why not laugh? Why not create?

If your lines of dialogue run cycles around the same inevitable sewage drain, ask yourself:

  1. What is my aim in speaking at all?
  2. What narrative am I recalling?
  3. What are the myths I am reenacting?

It is boring to echo the same eschatology of putrefied, fermented dysteleological, aimless rot. That end-time cynicism and hate that adds its tone deaf voice to the chant of collapse for no purpose but to sit back on wherever it arbitrarily identifies a symbolic “winning side” from its limbic mind – that is truly the primordial impotence of the coward of every age.

See, that pickled myth of decay belongs to those afraid of REALLY LIVING, such that they rather defecate in the face of sincere insight than face their own shadow.

To recall Reflections on Violence once more: there is harm to the progress of an idea when objections brought against it arise from the incapacity of the official representatives rather than the principals of the doctrine itself.

As Sorel stated: “It is the myth in its entirety which is, alone, important.

To be duration, the formless forming, the weaving and the web, that is evolutionary. No one person can represent all of that for any one other, let alone many. Even so, Nameless Therein is, as a wise person recently stated, “actually qualified” to “transmit, evolve, and presence” our subculture as we see it. As that person also said, that Lapis Philosophicus will presence differently for all. If this living tradition deserves the new life the few of us who embrace and embody it are willing to breathe into it, and should it find that what it needs is a new spin to its living mythos, a new song for its telosic transmutation, a new “official representation” or rather, Outer Representation, it seems clear that Nameless Therein holds that mimetic tetrahedral fire it has hungered for, and has found that for himself.

It will always be up to the individual following the path, that individual alone, to BE The Emergence, the unfolding, the teleological life-force, for his/her Self, by his/her Self. We are capable of great deeds and great causal legacy.

Rather than cast aside your divinity – LIVE.

SURRENDER to your own unfolding.

Take DECISIVE aim at your goal, load the pistol, and shoot that motherfucker like your life depends on it – because it DOES.

Mimesis has kept our myth alive. Whatever it may mean for you or I, it is what we now hold, and its meaning can be defined only by you. Live for it. Authentically, decisively, passionately, creatively. Empathetically.

Like the instar, tunneling to the surface\n
We must shed our own circumferences;\n
Find the divinity within and emerge.

In allegiance. For hope, for vitality, for the coming phase.

Ariadne 2022 e.v.


Humility and Grace

Posted: September 17th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Alchemy, Culture, Current Affair, Fenrir, O9A, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, paganism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Humility and Grace

Humility and Grace

By Nameless Therein

Reposted from Lux Lycaonis

Metamorphosis

– Salvador Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937[1]

As we make our way into autumn, new changes bear old faces, reflected in the many moods of nature. As death makes way for life, change is all around. From the fallen tree to the dying leaf and the setting sun behind the clouds, we find mirrored in our own mood a shift at once familiar and new: a shift in season.

Things have been quiet in the ONA lately. Though autumn’s mark of silence can be felt, one can sense something else – a restlessness and exhaustion, a neutral disinterest and quiet anticipation, a dispirited silence from the need to be heard. Having experienced big changes in my own life recently, I have observed these qualities in myself over the last year, emerging in and through the psyche and receding into the unconscious like an ocean tide. I suspect others have found a similar canvas of emotion in themselves.

These qualities have concerned me. But as said changes in my life began to show signs of the death of many things I had trouble letting go of, what remains of these qualities has been cast into the open to be more closely examined and then discarded.

This is never a straightforward process. It can take years and sometimes a lifetime of patient, careful observation, work, and self-reflection. It requires a certain sensitivity, compassion, a level of humility, and what David Bentley Hart might term grace.[2] The quality that concerns me most, both in myself and in much of the ONA, is the need to be heard. I would like to share some thoughts on what this entails from a vantage point I believe now has some of the necessary space and silence to witness this tenacious quality begin to lose its hold. It is my hope that such observations might gently encourage others to identify, confront, and in time work to overcome this quality if and where present in themselves. As one may have discerned from my approach to the ONA, I think this is much more productive than castigating, japing, or attacking such individuals for a quality they may not even be aware of.

The Temptation to Be Heard

Much like the title of the Romanian nihilist Emil Cioran’s work The Temptation to Exist, there is a quality I would term the temptation to be heard. Though it is perfectly natural to want to be heard, acknowledged, and validated by one’s peers in some capacity, the emphasis on “temptation” points to a recurring spectrum of pathology commonly characterized by various degrees of compulsion. This quality can be characterized by an unhealthy need: the need for validation regarding one’s work or accomplishments, the need to be recognized as somehow different or unique from the rest of society, a hyper-sensitivity to what others think masked by a façade of false and callous indifference about the opinions of others, and an inflated sense of individuality regarding one’s importance within their societal niche. I emphasize “spectrum of pathology” because these characterizations can manifest in tangible or subtle ways depending on the psychological constitution of the individual. Such characterizations are sometimes visible in a person’s appearance, in their means of dealing with conflict and confrontation, in their ability to cope with stress, and in their way of interacting with others. When I say this is a recurring spectrum of pathology, I mean that it is both operative throughout the psyche and operative in a way that is rarely transparent or “visible” to the individual, who more or less takes its occurrence and existence for granted. Ultimately, this temptation rests on a need to control, whether as resistance to change beyond one’s control, a need to assert dominance out of a consistent lack of control in one’s past or present, or a resistance to being controlled, whether real or imagined.[3]

The temptation to be heard resembles certain unhealthy qualities in what Clarice of Nexion of Ur previously noted as an Enneagram Type Four personality. More to the point, I think Cioran characterizes this type of temptation accurately when he says that:

Certain peoples … are so haunted by themselves that they pose themselves as a unique problem: their development, singular at every point, compels them to fall back on their series of anomalies, of the miracle or the insignificance of their fate.[4]

The posing of the self as a unique problem to draw attention to, then inflated by an ongoing compulsion to do so – this lies at the heart of the temptation to be heard, in whatever shape or variety. We all fall victim to it from time to time, sometimes in subtle ways. In the ONA, it seems reasonable that such a private and personal quest of transformation, growth, and self-realization sometimes carries the need to share such experiences with others who may appreciate their value. But I think there is a difference between the need to convey meaningful experiences with others who might appreciate them, relate to them, and use them to guide their own experiences, and the looming, often hidden compulsion to continuously validate one’s identity in the eyes of others. The latter rests on creating the conditions for a “hidden war” with the other person in order to resist, and then attempt to control, their objectification or reification of the self.[5] The ongoing and recurrent compulsion to create those conditions in any form is what I am referring to here as “temptation”; and the “temptation to be heard” has to do with a compulsion to control the way one is objectified or reified by their peers by resisting that objectification in order to validate a distorted or inadequate sense of self.

Confusing Self-Immolation and Self-Esteem

The temptation to be heard can be thought of as a confusion between self-immolation and self-esteem. The former has to do with clearing a kind of opening for the unconscious and self to form a cohesive bridge across the psyche through the gradual but radical dissolving of the egoic resistance structures that attempt to control these processes. The latter has to do with how these forces in motion across and beyond the individual psyche manifest and then come to constitute an individual’s identity and sense of self-worth, both as an individual and in relation to others. Confusing one with the other can be disastrous, and many of us fall victim to this confusion at some point in our lives, myself included. The key, I think, is learning to identify certain hidden patterns and signs that briefly emerge into conscious experience in a variety of ways, much like a shapeshifter. This requires the cultivation of certain faculties such as empathy (the ability to identify the appearance of these patterns and signs in other people and vice versa), a heightened sensitivity (being attuned to those appearances as they emerge), and formal tools for studying these appearances (phenomenology, meditation, and various formal psychological models are a few examples). One can then take steps to trace the potential origins of these patterns and signs in the unconscious in order to slowly diminish their effects on our lives. The danger is letting these go unnoticed until the aforesaid confusion gives way to a need and that need to a temptation: commonly, the temptation to be heard.

The Harmony of Grace

Interestingly, that temptation can work the other way as well: when one identifies the temptation and gradually takes practical steps in the real world and in their life to diminish its hold on their psyche, on their identity, on their interpersonal relations, and on their family life, they may begin to see that temptation become merely a need. As that need itself diminishes its hold, it may become a healthy attunement toward others as a balanced desire to share meaningful experiences and ideas that can then shape their lives in a constructive way; or that need may disappear almost entirely, being replaced by a sort of wordless and outstretching contentment across one’s being, a tremulous and living epiphany of great grief and melancholy settled in the heart as a work of ongoing art, validated by the life lived and those it had an impact on, as one’s tragedy finally gives way to a comedy after so much pain, as the wounds of the past erect joy rather than misery from no longer needing to control or resist, as one loses desire for more things and possessions and finds they want for very little, having always been the source for everything they need – not as something self-contained, but as a living embodiment of nature’s many moods within the world. A harmony: their body and being have become a work of music. This is what I refer to here as “grace.”

Conflict, Struggle, Assimilation: The Final Harmony

Whatever the ONA was or is or shall be one day, it is precisely this kind of harmony that systems like the Seven-Fold Way aim to achieve. The simple acts of kindness at the heart of the ruthless spiritual predation found in the genuinely Satanic, the metamorphosis of the narcissist into a being of tremendous joy, the tensions of the flesh sculpted through powerful and pagan physical ordeals into spiritual transformation, ecstasis, and elation, the letting go of all desire into nocturnal love, the hidden sun, the Kingdom of Ends as an eternal beginning, the wisdom of falling, of letting go … I would go so far as to draw a connection between the harmony that results from this constructive movement away from the temptation to be heard and the spiritual harmony the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis describes in relation to Christ’s temptation in The Last Temptation of Christ. In describing the tension between the flesh and the spirit, Kazantzakis says:

Every man partakes of the divine nature in both his spirit and his flesh. That is why the mystery of Christ is not simply a mystery for a particular creed: it is universal. The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone, together with the longing for reconciliation. Most often this struggle is unconscious and short-lived. A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long. It grows heavy, becomes flesh itself, and the contest ends. But among responsible men, men who keep their eyes riveted day and night upon the Supreme Duty, the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death.

The stronger the soul and the flesh, the more fruitful the struggle and the richer the final harmony. God does not love weak souls and flabby flesh. The Spirit wants to have to wrestle with flesh which is strong and full of resistance. It is a carnivorous bird which is incessantly hungry; it eats flesh and, by assimilating it, makes it disappear.[6]

It is this conflict, struggle, and assimilation – under whatever name and through whatever esoteric framework – that I think the ONA has attempted enact, explore, and provide a rough-and-ready guide for individuals to achieve over the course of its history, all with an aim toward this final harmony. Exploring the means to achieve this harmony, and if unachievable learning to regulatively enhance it to the highest degree possible – that is a large part of what lies at the core of the ONA.[7]

Two Faces of the Same Passage

And so, over the course of many years and the last year in particular, I have come to realize the importance of the temptation to be heard as a test of self-honesty and a necessary rite of passage. Sadly, this test is one that many people continue to fail or refuse to take at all; one that I’ve failed – and continue to fail! – many times. But failing has helped to resolve an important disparity for me, one that I think is helpful for all of us to keep in mind: the disparity between the public face of the ONA on the one hand, and the movement toward the aforesaid final harmony on the other, one that goes on out of sight among a loose network of serious practitioners. In my opinion, the public face of the ONA was more or less meant to be a collocation of the experiences, observations, ideas, and techniques encountered or developed while working toward that final harmony by sincere and advanced practitioners of the tradition. That is my goal for the future of the Fenrir journal. In terms of the public face of the ONA as it currently stands, this goal has unfortunately been overshadowed by the temptation to be heard on the part of many individuals who, while bearing the right spirit of enthusiasm, perhaps have some work to do in diminishing the power of this temptation in their lives.

Conclusion: What the Future Holds

The real work toward this final harmony will continue to go on behind the scenes, either privately or in small groups of individuals bound by pacts of loyalty and committed self-sacrifice, pacts which make possible their patient progression into the difficult and shadowy landscape ahead. Meanwhile, the public face of the ONA will take on whatever organic form required to attract and deflect, bewitch and misdirect, or enchant and mislead a new generation of budding adepts, one brave enough to brave the elements and courageous enough to examine these dynamics in the world and in themselves: with humility, with grace, and with love.

Narcissus,
in his immobility,
absorbed by his reflection with the digestive slowness of carnivorous plants,
becomes invisible.
There remains of him only the hallucinatingly white oval of his head,
his head again more tender,
his head, chrysalis of hidden biological designs,
his head held up by the tips of the water’s fingers,
at the tips of the fingers
of the insensate hand,
of the terrible hand,
of the mortal hand
of his own reflection.
When that head slits
when that head splits
when that head bursts,
it will be the flower,
the new Narcissus,
Gala—my Narcissus

– Salvador Dalí’s accompanying poem to Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
September 16, 2022

Notes

[1] “The ancient source of this subject is Ovid’s Metamorphosis (Book 3, lines 339-507). It tells of Narcissus, who upon seeing his own image reflected in a pool, so falls in love that he cannot look away. Eventually he vanishes and in his place is a ‘sweet flower, gold and white, the white around the gold.’” Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, “Salvador Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus,” Smarthistory: The Center for Public Art History, accessed September 16, 2022, https://smarthistory.org/salvador-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissus/.

[2] Hart offers the following insight on grace: “Christian theology taught from the first that the world was God’s creature in the most radically ontological sense: that it is called from nothingness, not out of any need on God’s part, but by grace.” David Bentley Hart, “Christ and Nothing,” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, October 2003, https://www.firstthings.com/article/2003/10/christ-and-nothing.

[3] At a deeper ontological level, we can observe this need to control as an inability to accept our own mortality – a refusal to acknowledge that we will one day die, which is related to what Heidegger characterizes as the “inauthentic.” This can take the form of attempting to control death or resist being controlled by it. We find that impulse in many surface-level interpretations of religion, spirituality, and even in the ONA to some extent, with its recurrent emphasis on immortality.

[4] Emil Cioran, The Temptation to Exist, trans. Richard Howard (Paris: Librairie Gallimard, 1956; repr., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 65. Citations refer to the University of Chicago Press edition.

[5] This is related to what Jean-Paul Sartre calls “the glance,” which is well-characterized in his play No Exit.

[6] Nikos Kazantzakis, “Prologue,” in The Last Temptation of Christ, trans. P. A. Bien (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2015), 1-2.

[7] Over the course of intense Satanic devotion and practice throughout my life, I have found that this conflict, struggle, assimilation, and final harmony is also what lies, in part, at the heart of genuine Satanism. One may sense this, for example, in the potential relation between Vindex as opfer and the temptation of Christ so described. I should note, however, that this is a personal conclusion I have arrived at through my own experiences via the evolution of my own system of Satanism, one I suspect would not be widely accepted or possibly even acknowledged as “Satanism.”


Pierre Grimes on “The Unity and Synchronicity of Meditation”

Posted: July 27th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, Occultism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pierre Grimes on “The Unity and Synchronicity of Meditation”

Socrates_Pio-Clementino_med

Reposted from Lux Lycaonis: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/07/27/pierre-grimes-meditation/

During a long meditation session recently, I recalled a thinker who I thought may be of interest to some of you: a philosopher in the pre-Socratic and ancient Greek tradition named Pierre Grimes.

Once upon a time, Pierre Grimes gave a series of lectures at the Philosophical Research Society. The Philosophical Research Society was interestingly founded by the famous scholar and Freemason Manly Palmer Hall, who authored the “encyclopedic tome”[1] known as The Secret Teachings of All Ages.[2] Aside from having one of the largest wisdom-literature libraries in the world, PRS offers an interesting synthesis between Eastern and Western thought from a variety of traditions.

Pierre Grimes presents one such synthesis. He describes himself as a practitioner of “philosophical midwifery,” which derives from Plato’s dialogue the Theaetetus. Grimes notes that “Socrates refers to his art as midwifery because he assists in the delivery of men who are pregnant with either true ideas or false beliefs.” He adds that “Socrates calls it an art because it is the application of a knowledge that benefits the subject. It is a purely rational method of pursing questions, a dialectic, that uncovers false beliefs, traces them to their origins, and by understanding their roots and influence on one’s life — deflates their influence.”[3]

What I found interesting about Grimes’ approach was his use of Socratic dialectic as a mode of psychotherapy, which I haven’t seen before. The lecture I wanted to share exercises the dialectic with respect to deflating a compartmentalized false sense of self through formal meditation. Though a lot of Grimes’ lectures are worthwhile introductions to pre-Socratic, neo-Platonic, and ancient Greek philosophy generally (I particularly enjoyed this lecture on the obscure philosopher Proclus and this one on Plotinus, for example), the following lecture left an impression on me at a young age. Much like the work of Christopher Hyatt, this is one that I’ve returned to multiple times in my youth. One idea here that left an impression on me back then was the act of studying one’s tangents during a simple meditative exercise as one begins to drift into a daydream – how the narrative themes those tangents take reveal something about this compartmentalized false sense of self. Food for thought; and perhaps someone else viewing this will find something to digest.

Nameless Therein
July 27, 2022

[1] In the “Foreword” to the Diamond Jubilee Edition of this work, Henry L. Drake, the then vice president of the Philosophical Research Society, remarked how: “This volume reveals that the lore and legendry of the world, the scriptures and sacred books, and the great philosophical systems all tell the same story. Human ambition may produce the tyrant; divine aspiration will produce the adept. This then, seems to me to be the significant message of Manly P. Hall’s encyclopedic tome.” Manly Palmer Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings Concealed Within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of All Ages, Diamond Jubilee ed. (1988; repr., Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 2000), 2.

[2] In the “Preface” to the same edition and regarding the significance of this work, Manly Palmer Hall said the following:

I felt strongly moved to explore the problems of humanity, its origin and destiny, and I spent a number of quiet hours in the New York Public Library tracing the confused course of civilization. With a very few exceptions modern authorities downgraded all systems of idealistic philosophy and the deeper aspects of comparative religion. Translations of classical authors could differ greatly, but in most cases the noblest thoughts were eliminated or denigrated. Those more sincere authors whose knowledge of ancient languages was profound were never included as required reading, and scholarship was based largely upon the acceptance of a sterile materialism.

[…]

To avoid a future of war, crime, and bankruptcy, the individual must begin to plan his own destiny, and the best source of the necessary information comes to us through the writings of the ancients. We have tried to select the most useful and practical elements of classical idealism, combining them into a single volume. The greatest knowledge of all time should be available to the twentieth century not only in the one shilling editions of the Bohn Library in small type and shabby binding, but in a book that would be a monument, not merely a coffin.

It is our sincere hope that this book will endure into the twenty-first century and continue to make available the contents of countless books ad manuscripts that have been destroyed by the ravages of war. This volume is not devoted to my own opinions but is a tribute to the memories and labors of the noblest of mankind.

[3] “Pierre Grimes & Philosophical Midwifery” (website), The Noetic Society, Inc., last modified January 22, 2013, https://www.noeticsociety.org/pierre-grimes.


Nameless Therein Interviews David Myatt (April 2022)

Posted: July 19th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, David Myatt, Fenrir, Inner ONA, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nameless Therein Interviews David Myatt (April 2022)

DM large

Good evening everyone,

I have an exciting announcement to make: I have completed and published the new David Myatt interview, which I have titled, “David Myatt and the ‘Pinch of Destiny’: What Is the Meaning of Myatt?”

I conducted this interview with Myatt in April of this year. I had planned on publishing it as exclusive content for the Fenrir journal. However, due to complications outlined in my previous post, I have decided to publish it as a solo piece. You can access an HTML version and a link to download the published PDF below (for best viewing, I recommend the PDF):

PDF: https://luxlycaonis.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/DM-NT_meaning-of-myatt-interview_A4_stripped_1.1.pdf

HTML: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/07/19/meaning-of-myatt-interview-april-2022/

Please note that, contrary to the other copyrighted articles on the Lux Lycaonis site, this one is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-ND 4.0). It can be freely copied and distributed under the terms of that license.

I am very grateful to David Myatt for allowing me to do this interview. As I remarked in the foreword, I hope that it will contextualize his work in a new and insightful way, one that will help equip and inspire a new generation with the intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical tools needed to meaningfully navigate their lives.

Nameless Therein
July 19, 2022


Some Notes on Physis in Aristotle

Posted: June 13th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, David Myatt, Fenrir, O9A, Order of Nine Angles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Some Notes on Physis in Aristotle

casket-romances_medium

Casket with Scenes from Romances, ca. 1310-30

Reposted from Lux Lycaonis:

https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/06/13/some-notes-on-physis/

What follows is an excerpt from a section of an early draft of my article, “‘Where’s Your Will to Be Wyrd?’: An Examination of Wyrd in the Anglo-Saxon Religious Imagination.” In the early drafts of that article, I intended to connect wyrd to Aristotle’s notion of φύσις (physis). As I stated in that article, this connection had to do with my observation that “solitary practice and individual experience are a means to the radical confrontation with something other than the self, which empathy makes possible; and this confrontation recasts each initiate in a shadow of destiny that exceeds the boundaries of the individual.” The idea here was that wyrd involves the confrontation with “something other than the self,” which always takes the form of a relation to the Other. At one level, this confrontation can take the form of a relation to the other person; at another, it can take the form of fate or nature (physis).

Having quickly realized that a proper analysis of physis would go beyond the scope of that article, I omitted and abandoned the following section, which still needs to be unpacked and clarified. I am providing it here in its unfinished form for those interested in Aristotelian scholarship on physis in an effort to illuminate some of the deeper implications concerning its role within the philosophy of pathei-mathos.

This is meant as an introduction – a beginning, not an end – and is aimed at those wishing to explore serious scholarship on the subject rather than a general audience. In addition to the sources referenced, those wishing to investigate further in the aforesaid contexts may wish to examine David Myatt’s “Towards Understanding Physis”[1] and “Physis and Being: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos.”[2] In the former, Myatt’s point that physis, understood philosophically, “has specific ontological meanings … which are lost, or glossed over, when physis is simply translated either as ‘Nature’ or – in terms of mortals – as (personal) character” is consistent with what is written below. He is also correct in noting that physis is not “some abstract essence” (in contrast to Plato), which is elaborated upon below. And while I find the negative emphasis on denotatum and abstraction within Myatt’s philosophy problematic – here specifically in relation to physis – I will save that for another time.[3]

Some Notes on φύσις (Physis) in Aristotle

Both physis and wyrd have complex origins historically, etymologically, and in terms of their intended usage within the early literature of the Order of Nine Angles.[4] Though what follows is not meant to address these comprehensively, it should be noted that neither term can be understood in terms of a simple bifurcation: no division or single characterization can comprehensively address the way these phenomena are experienced or described across history. Such characterizations sometimes appear contradictory in ways that remain consistent in experience. In this, the ONA’s distinction between terms like “causal” and “acausal” can be misleading.[5] Such distinctions do, however, draw our attention to the complexities surrounding their apparent limitations.

The Greek term for nature, φύσις (physis) illustrates some of these complexities. While physis commonly refers to “the nature or essence of a living thing,”[6] Aristotle in fact distinguished between seven meanings of the word, eventually “settling on it as the essence of things that have a source of movement within themselves.”[7] Motion and change are crucial for understanding nature on this account, where for Aristotle nature is both a “source of motion and change”[8] and “a source of motion and rest.”[9] Certain entities – such as animals and plants – exist “by nature” because “each of them has within itself a principle of change and rest, some in respect of place, some in respect of growth and decline, some in respect of alteration.”[10] A study of nature thus “aims at the understanding of the principles, causes, and elements of the natural world”[11] according to this account of nature as a source of motion, change, and rest.

Aristotle’s account thus views nature as an internal source,[12] one that rests on the idea of nature manifesting “itself through [the] utter diversity of beings.”[13] In contrast to Plato’s Timaeus, “nature is not an abstract, impersonal, ‘all-pervading demiurgic force’,”[14] but rather an “inner driving force we reference when saying of a natural being: ‘That is its nature.’”[15] On this account, physis or nature “is anything but enigmatic, abstract, and impersonal,” as it “works not by imposing order and shape externally, but by instilling desire from the inside of a natural being: a being that is by nature ‘has in itself a source of motion and rest’ … and ‘stretches out’ toward its own nature … so as to become itself.”[16] Thus, while physis can broadly refer to “the natural world as a whole,”[17] Aristotle’s account contrasts with our modern notion of nature, “understood by way of nonnormative, abstract laws such as gravity, which moves things externally.”[18] His account thus “does not fit within a shallow empirical ‘philosophy of natural science’ but, instead, is part of a true ‘ontology of nature’ or a ‘proto-physics’: an examination into the origins or sources (archai) of nature.”[19]

Aristotle’s account of physis highlights a tension found in the ambiguous relationship between “form and matter, soul and body, fulfillment and movement,”[20] one that can lead to “nature’s self-suspension and transgression into the divine.”[21] The relationship between physis and wyrd involves a similarly ambiguous relationship and tension. On the one hand, Aristotle’s account of physis is neither enigmatic, abstract, nor impersonal. Superficially, this seems to conflict with our general understanding of fate or “destiny” as something incomprehensible, impersonal, and removed from the particular circumstances in which it takes place. Destiny is typically thought to exceed or “transgress” the individual lives and circumstances it affects (and in this sense it is “abstract”); and yet, there is a sense in which it is deeply personal and meaningful in its ability to concretely affect particular lives.

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
June 12, 2022

NOTES

[1] David Myatt, “Towards Understanding Physis,” David Myatt: Learning from Adversity; A Rejection of Extremism, March 2015, https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/towards-understanding-physis/.

[2] David Myatt, “Physis and Being: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos,” David Myatt: Learning from Adversity; A Rejection of Extremism, 2019, https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/collected-works-2/physis-and-being/.

[3] I do, for example, take issue with Myatt’s point that “the ontology of beings … [with reference to] a reality, a ‘true nature’ … is often obscured by denotatum and by abstractions, both of which conceal physis.” Myatt, “Towards Understanding Physis.”

[4] Sadly, overuse and an improper understanding of these terms on the part of many ONA associates has diminished the significance of these and most ONA terminology; but through a careful examination of some of the complexities that inform their intended meaning, we may breathe fresh life into a terminological framework that has been stripped of significance through years of carelessness.

[5] There is evidence that the early authors of the ONA were both aware of the complexities surrounding such terminology and were even attempting to transcend the limitations of these terms in creating such divisions.

[6] Robert Audi, ed., “Physis,” in The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

[7] Simon Blackburn, “Physics, Philosophy of,” in A Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

[8] On this point, Aristotle notes that, “Since the nature [of a natural thing] is a source of motion and change, and our μέθοδος is concerned with nature, [the question] what is motion must not escape our notice; for necessarily when we are ignorant of this we are also ignorant of nature.” Aristotle, Physics III.I, 200b12-15. Quoted in James G. Lennox, “How to Study Natural Bodies: Aristotle’s μέθοδος,” chap. 1 of Aristotle’s Physics: A Critical Guide, ed. Mariska Leunissen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 11.

[9] Helen S. Lang, The Order of Nature in Aristotle’s Physics: Place and the Elements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 34. See Aristotle, Physics II.I, 192b14. See also the point made by Heidegger that, “Rest is a kind of movement; only that which is able to move can rest.” Quoted in Marjolein Oele, “Aristotle on Physis: Analyzing the Inner Ambiguities and Transgression of Nature,” in A Companion to Ancient Philosophy, ed. Sean D. Kirkland and Eric Sanday (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2018), 163.

[10] Aristotle, Physics II.I, 192b13-15, quoted in Stasinos Stavrianeas, “Nature as a Principle of Change,” chap. 3 in Aristotle’s Physics: A Critical Guide, ed. Mariska Leunissen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 47.

[11] Stavrianeas, “Nature,” 46.

[12] Oele, “Aristotle on Physis,” 162.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Oele, “Aristotle on Physis,” 161. See also “Heidegger, Martin,” in The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, where the author notes how Heidegger’s “portrayal of human existence” is in accord with what “Heidegger regards as the earliest Greek experience of being as an emerging into-presence (physis).” This may be related to Oele’s sense of physis as a “[stretching out] toward its own nature … so as to become itself.”

[17] Audi, “Physis.”

[18] Oele, “Aristotle on Physis,” 161.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid., 162.

[21] Ibid.


Inspiration, Interpretation, and Christopher Hyatt on the Idealized Self

Posted: April 30th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, O9A, Order of Nine Angles, The Sinister Tradition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Inspiration, Interpretation, and Christopher Hyatt on the Idealized Self

Gilbert_vanity

– Charles Allan Gilbert, All Is Vanity, 1892

[Repost of: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/04/30/inspiration-hyatt/]

Although I am adamant about the importance of finding new and uncommon sources of inspiration to interpret the world, I find that certain sources leave a recurrent impression across the psyche. Such works lend depth to the way inspiration can be made meaningful, which can then be used to inspire others through the creation of new works.

My approach to the Order of Nine Angles is no different. In identifying, interpreting, and then making meaningful certain recurrent dynamics from my own experiences and then finding correlates at the heart of the ONA, I try not to draw from the Spenglers or Toynbees of the world, or even the literature of the ONA; rather, I look to the Alfred North Whiteheads, Alasdair MacIntyres, Charles Taylors, Henry James’, Thomas Manns, and Guy de Maupassants – sources that contain these dynamics in a much richer and deeper way, but which go unnoticed and unexamined within the tradition.

Insofar as the ONA is not just a system of thought or practice but a mode of life, one can learn to identify the dynamics it reveals in transformative experience through the cultural canvas of the world, be that nature, thought, art, music, or the history of ideas. In identifying these dynamics in uncommon and unexpected sources of inspiration, one can impart a certain vitality to the tradition. Thus, rather than recycling what have now become dogmatic misinterpretations within and outside of the Order, one can learn to view it through a new and valuable lens of interpretation, thereby lending a much-needed source of renewal and novelty to the tradition.[1]

With that said, there are two main approaches to that renewal and novelty. The first involves identifying the deep dynamics of transformative experience in unexpected sources outside of the tradition and then synthesizing them into new forms within the tradition. The second involves a kind of hermeneutic approach, where one revisits sources of inspiration from their past through a new lens of interpretation, one made possible by transformative experience. In the latter case, the lens changes as we do, which makes the source in question “recurrent,” in that it is continually redefined and, in that sense, “alive.”

While both approaches are essential and typically work together, one such “hermeneutic” or recurrent source I revisit regularly is the following lecture by Christopher Hyatt (aka Alan Miller). When I first discovered Hyatt’s work many years ago, what struck me was not his knowledge of magick, training under Israel Regardie, or previous association with the OTO – none of which appealed to me – but the richness of his life and the no-nonsense pragmatism with which he approached the human mind and our place in the world. Hyatt’s brutal honesty and ruthless empiricism find shelter in much of the ONA, despite their differences in approach; but unlike the ONA, Hyatt seems to form a bridge between practical utility and meaning – between whether something works and what it is in determining how it finds meaningful application.

Having revisited this lecture today, I reflected on some of its deeper psychological import and application within the ONA. In my experience, Hyatt’s psychological characterization of what he terms the idealized, actual, and diminished selves can serve as a powerful psychological model to gauge “where one is” with respect to the dyssolving of the ego. It may also be a helpful way to gently estimate where others are in their own development, particularly within the ONA and in terms of its opponents. This lecture thus struck me as relevant to the current climate of the ONA, keeping in mind that this is merely a model, an overview, and one way of viewing the human psyche (and a general one at that):

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
Walpurgisnacht,
April 30, 2022

[1] And to clarify: the sources I have in mind here are primarily philosophical, artistic, and related. Syncretizing certain incompatible “magickal” traditions with the ONA is not something I generally find productive or worthwhile, seeing as how many of these lack the depth of their philosophical and artistic counterparts, particularly in a modern context. However, members of the Fenrir team do have the knowledge and experience to syncretize traditions that are compatible – and this I view as important and worthwhile. Combined with the philosophical and artistic domains, this knowledge can then be used to expand the ONA’s system of magick and, eventually, create one’s own.


The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles: An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Posted: April 14th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Acausal Theory, Alchemy, Inner ONA, O9A, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, The Sinister Tradition, The Star Game | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles: An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Grandmaster © Nameless Therein 2022

– “Grandmaster,” © Nameless Therein 2022

[Repost of: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/04/14/chess-hermeneutics/]

The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles:
An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Much attention is given in the Order of Nine Angles to the importance of learning and playing the Star Game. At its most basic level, the Star Game can function as a learning tool or “game” to familiarize oneself with various Septenary correspondences and refine certain imaginative, creative, rational, and abstract faculties. At one of many esoteric levels, the Star Game functions as a way of magickally apprehending “the nine fundamental ‘alchemical’ forms,” which “re-present the acausal manifest in the causal.”[1] These “nine fundamental forms” are represented by the pieces of the Star Game, where each alchemical combination represents an “angle” with respect to the Septenary Tree of Wyrd, alluding to one esoteric meaning of the term “nine angles.”[2] These forms are said to “exist in many combinations within the nexion which the ‘Tree of Wyrd’ represents,” where such combinations “are abstractly symbolized by the placement of the many pieces of the Star Game over the seven boards (‘Spheres’) of that game.”[3] The aforesaid abstraction “makes the [nine fundamental] forms understandable on a level higher than using words and ideas,” which is in turn meant to cultivate “a new form of thinking” – a form of thinking referred to as “acausal thinking.”[4] The symbolism of the Star Game is essentially “a new tool to assist and develope our understanding, and it is via this symbolism that the meanings of the nine angles may most easily be understood without confusion.”[5] The simple or Septenary form of the Star Game is meant to be an introduction to its advanced form, which is a “complete and full representation of the septenary system.”[6] In more advanced applications, the Star Game functions as a “sophisticated magickal ‘clock’” with respect to the Wheel of Life;[7] and in its advanced form, the game can be used for Aeonic magick.[8]

While many associates have some understanding of the esoteric significance of the Star Game and its basic applications, I find it bewildering how so many associates attempt to learn the Star Game while completely neglecting training and experience in the game of chess.

CHESS AND THE STAR GAME

Like the Star Game, chess can be played as nothing more than an entertaining game, rich with complexity and a deep cultural history over the course of its long evolution. But from its longstanding cultural origins, its tangible influence on world history,[9] its influence on global technology,[10] and its usefulness in developing certain higher-level faculties in the individual, the significance of chess has broader socio-cultural implications. Unlike the Star Game, chess is merely a game. But it can be an invaluable tool to develop, refine, and expand the necessary faculties required for applying the Star Game to its many esoteric and magickal contexts. At a practical level, the study of certain fundamental patterns in chess provides a foundation for navigating the boards and pieces of the Star Game. With care, experience, and creativity one can find correlates between the patterns found in chess and the nine fundamental alchemical forms represented by the pieces of the Star Game, which again represent one esoteric meaning of the “nine angles.”[11] Insofar as these nine alchemical forms “are the basic apprehensions of magickal energy … [representing] the acausal manifest in the causal,”[12] and given that these forms can manifest in many ways, the study of correlative fundamental patterns in chess is a worthwhile and important activity. At a more advanced level, discovering correlations between the patterns in chess and the forms of the Star Game can aid in the development of the imaginative, creative, rational, and abstract faculties required for their magickal apprehension and application. At more advanced levels of chess, experience with these fundamental patterns not only finds application in real life – in navigating interpersonal conflict, strategizing, and identifying complex networks of meaning, for example – but can form a bridge between instinct and what with respect to the Star Game is referred to as an “intuition” – a lower form of abstraction that can arise with “acausal thinking.”[13] The capacity for acausal thinking arises from the relation between the abstract symbols of the Star Game and “conventional representations,” such as “archetypal forms; the energies of the pathways; the symbolism of the Tarot and the many and various Occult symbolisms.”[14] This capacity thus arises, in part, from the formation and implementation of the meaningful associations and “deep roots” that I described elsewhere (see my previous articles, “‘Deep Roots’ and Meaningful Associations: Musical Tarot Continued, Auditory Sigils, and Aeonic Chant Magick” and “Techniques for Doing a Musical Tarot Reading & Creating Auditory Sigils”). Thus, in forming the aforesaid correlates between the patterns of chess and the forms of the Star Game, in establishing a bridge between instinct and “intuition,” and in developing and then refining the necessary faculties to apply said patterns to more advanced esoteric and magickal contexts, training in chess is an invaluable tool for learning and playing the Star Game.

Colloquially, the number of possible chess games that can be played is sometimes said to exceed the number of stars or atoms in the known universe. More precisely, the number of possible legal positions was estimated by Claude Shannon in 1950 to be “of the general order of 64!/32!(8!)^2(2!)^2, or roughly 10^43,” which is now referred to as “Shannon’s number.”[15] More recently, Victor Allis estimates this to be around10^50,[16] additionally estimating the game-tree complexity of chess to be 10^123.[17] Again, given this immense number and given the even greater complexity of the Star Game when accounting for the variables involved in its advanced magickal applications at the Aeonic level (which, like our “normal” understanding of the septenary, reflects not just a “‘map of consciousness and the cosmos,”[18] but a dynamic of the universe), it is difficult to imagine how one can approach the Star Game, let alone the advanced form of the game, without some experience in chess.

That said, while one can play the Star Game without any experience in chess, it is my opinion that high-level chess players, including those at the Master and Grandmaster levels, would be of assistance in developing the Star Game. Such players could assist in developing a consistent notation to record and then analyze games, in addition to determining how to approach tactics, strategy, openings, and calculating accurate moves in specific positions. Eventually, we may be able to develop Star Game engines, both to analyze our games and to play against. Without these and similar developments, the Star Game will likely encounter obstacles over the course of its evolution, highlighting an asymmetry between the potency of its magickal applications and the practical limitations of playing and studying the game. It is hoped that in emphasizing the importance and usefulness of studying chess in relation to the Star Game, others will take up these tasks. With the esoteric and magickal applications of the Star Game in mind, it is also hoped that a confluence between chess and the Star Game can aid Internal Adepts and Masters/Mistresses in constructing and then employing new empty formal structures of magick to employ at the Aeonic level. These function as formal structural “models” that can then be populated, directed, and implemented according to a specific magickal or esoteric technique.

With those aims in mind, I will be regularly introducing various chess patterns or puzzles in relation to various levels of meaning relevant the Order of Nine Angles. I call these “chess hermeneutics.” To make sense of what I mean by this phrase, in addition to how these chess puzzles will be applied to the ONA, I will say a little more about the origin and meaning of “hermeneutics.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICS

The word “hermeneutics” comes from the Greek infinitive hermenuein, which means “to interpret.”[19] Hermeneutics is an ancient field with a long history, one that was revived in the modern age and particularly in the nineteenth century. In the ancient world, hermeneutics developed in two contexts: one was Greek and the other was biblical. In the Greek context, hermeneutics took shape with respect to the work of Homer, who is sometimes regarded (and explicitly referred to) as the teacher of Greece. Through Homer we find the ancient myths conveyed in epic poetry, which provided a context for the Greeks to understand the world they inhabited. Though there are disagreements about when to date Homer, we can see from the fourth and fifth centuries that his work guided the Greeks over the course of several centuries. With this guidance and as history began to run its course, the question concerning how Homer’s work could come to bear on the current circumstances of individual lives took shape. The response, broadly speaking, was that some dynamic or process of interpretation was needed. This was also the case in the biblical context of hermeneutics, both with respect to the New Testament and the Old Testament. Hermeneutics was the name given to that process or dynamic of interpretation.

Hermeneutics made its way from the ancient world to the modern one through works like Aristotle’s On Interpretation, which was devoted to the task of analyzing sentences, to the work of St. Augustine in the early medieval period, which was concerned with the question of how the word of God could be understood by human beings. Hermeneutics saw a revival in the nineteenth century through the work of the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who was interested in the question of scriptural interpretation. Schleiermacher developed a mode of hermeneutics characterized as “romantic,” which in effect concerned a type of understanding or communion between the interpreter and the historical source of the text. Hermeneutics began to branch out from theology as Schleiermacher became interested in the character of understanding generally. Around this time, we also find contributions to hermeneutics in the work of the philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey, whose name comes up in Heidegger’s Being and Time when Heidegger distinguishes his own hermeneutical project from that of philosophical anthropology. Dilthey essentially draws a distinction between the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) and the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften), which includes the social sciences developed in the nineteenth century.

Dilthey may have been looking for a way to work within the human sciences that was more appropriate for them than that of the natural sciences. We find, in turn, that the type of thinking appropriate for the human sciences is understanding, which brings along with it a question of meaning. This is contrasted with the type of thinking appropriate for the natural sciences, which is explanation. In short, Dilthey concluded that hermeneutics is the method appropriate for the human sciences.

At this point, hermeneutics began to re-emerge prominently as a development that continued and intensified into the twentieth century. Additionally, the distinction between the natural sciences and human sciences created a division between those who approached the human sciences with respect to understanding and meaning versus those who attempted to work within the human sciences as if they were natural sciences. This essentially involved a division between a hermeneutical approach (sometimes called interpretive social science) and a calculative methodology (sometimes called calculative social science). This division can still be seen in, for example, the difference between Continental philosophy and Anglo-American analytic philosophy, broadly speaking.

Though there are other fields that take a strong interest in hermeneutics – hermeneutic interpretation finds a strong presence in law and jurisprudence, for example – today the term usually refers to philosophical hermeneutics, and specifically philosophical hermeneutics after Heidegger. Heidegger brought hermeneutics into philosophy in a major way through his analysis of Being. In analyzing the structure of the type of being that we are (which Heidegger calls “Dasein”), Heidegger finds that we are “always already” interpreting. This discovery – that a hermeneutical interpretive dynamic is always already at play with respect to the ontological structure of our being – was a major contribution to the Western intellectual tradition and carried hermeneutics into the modern world.

CHESS HERMENEUTICS: SHAPESHIFTING, SATANISM, AND MIMESIS

With respect to what has been written here on the Star Game, chess, and hermeneutics, the phrase “chess hermeneutics” is thus meant to refer to a specific way of interpreting the correlations between certain fundamental patterns encountered in chess and the nine fundamental alchemical forms in the Star Game, which represent one of the esoteric meanings of the “nine angles.” In keeping with the role of the “shapeshifter” in the ONA, studying certain recurrent, fundamental chess patterns in their myriad configurations can help illuminate the many ways these dynamics are interpretive and require interpretation – not just on the board, but in real life. Like the “nine angles,” such dynamics are operative in consciousness and throughout the cosmos, requiring a kind of reflexivity between the operator and their environment: before one can identify the many ways such dynamics manifest in the world, they must first develop the faculties required to identify and then imitate these primordial patterns, thereby “shifting their shape” or “shapeshifting,” to illustrate one esoteric sense of the term.

Many who claim the title “Satanist” have not developed the faculties required for this kind of imitation at even the most basic level – faculties required to approach any magickal apprehension of “shapeshifting.” Beyond Satanism and with greater experience, one learns to approach this basic form of imitation through the more advanced interpretive dynamic of mimesis, which, in one advanced form, alters by way of complex forms of “imitation” certain formal structures of the narrativity of wyrd. This is a clue to what “shapeshifting” actually entails, here approaching the Aeonic level. At that level, “‘Mimesis’ is one method of aeonic magick that has come down over the centuries,” involving the imitation of “some aspect of cosmic/Earth-based movement/working, and then either following the natural pattern or slightly altering that pattern to bring about a subtle change.” Additionally, given that it is this “alteration” that “forms the basis for ‘black’ magick,”[20] it is quite telling that so few “Satanists” have a sense of what that means.

In an attempt to remedy this, and as a practical way of encouraging others to develop the faculties required for advanced magickal applications of the Star Game, I will thus be introducing a series of “chess hermeneutics.” These will involve specific puzzles and positions in relation to certain interpretive dynamics. Those dynamics may include (but are not limited to): 1) relations to certain energies, forces, paths, spheres, and Dark Gods on the Tree of Wyrd; 2) applications in certain interpersonal scenarios in real life; 3) connections to other magickal and esoteric ideas, techniques, or correspondences; and 4) potential connections to the Star Game, when and where applicable. While these are not intended to be comprehensive, they will offer a few ideas on how to identify and then utilize such dynamics with an eye toward broader, more advanced esoteric, magickal, existential, and cosmic applications.

In turn, I will try to select puzzles and positions requiring varying levels of skill and experience on the chess board, ranging from intermediate to advanced. These will be created as I find puzzles and positions worthy of constructing into a “chess hermeneutic,” which may take some time.

In closing, I encourage those interested or experienced in the Star Game to supplement their knowledge with chess. Though there are many online resources to begin studying and playing the game – chess.com is an excellent resource, for example, and has a “puzzles” trainer that includes over 150,000 different puzzles to solve at different Elo ratings – what is important, as with all things, is to get started.

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
April 13, 2022

NOTES

[1] Anton Long and the Order of Nine Angles, “The Nine Angles – Esoteric Meaning,” in Hostia: Secret Teachings of the O.N.A., Volume I (Shrewsbury: Thormynd Press, 1992).

[2] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.” The Tree of Wyrd itself “possesses nine causal angles and nine acausal angles in the causal geometric sense,” which the author notes “can be represented as formed by the corners or angles of a causal and acausal tetrahedron, one a reflexion of the other, the base of both lying in the plane of the middle sphere (the Sun). This double tetrahedron encloses in three-dimensional space the path from causal to acausal – the ‘Initiate journey’ from the sphere of the Moon to Saturn via the other spheres, this path being helical (cf. ‘The Wheel of Life’). The direction of this path is ‘counter-clockwise’.” Regarding the nine angles themselves, the author adds that, “In essence, the acausal is a reflexion (and vice versa) of the causal, so the single term ‘Nine Angles’ describes what is our normal (i.e. un-Initiated) view of the septenary, this septenary being a ‘map’ of consciousness and the cosmos. The realization of the dual nature of the spheres (for example, Mercury is the ‘shadow’ of Mars) arises from Initiation and is the first stage of an esoteric understanding of the term ‘nine angles.’”

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid. The author notes that the higher-level understanding of these nine fundamental forms “arises from playing the Star Game and relating the abstract symbols to conventional representations (e.g. archetypal forms; the energies of the pathways; the symbolism of the Tarot and the many various Occult symbolisms) – this developes the capacity for what may be termed ‘acausal thinking’: when the conventional representations are abandoned and collocations are viewed abstractly.” The author emphasizes that this abstraction is “not a dry, academic process,” but a “new ‘insight’ (a lower form of which is often described an ‘intuition’),” whereby consciousness is extended “into new and important realms and pre-figures the development of a symbolic language which eliminates the confusion, both moral and linguistic, which exists in words and the translation of complex ideas into such words.”

[5] Ibid.

[6] Long and ONA, “Advanced Star Game,” in Hostia I.

[7] Long and ONA, “Star Game: Addendum,” in Hostia I.

[8] For more on this subject, see, Long and ONA,“Aeonic Magick – General Notes,” in Hostia I. Also see the final section of “The Septenary Star Game” in Hostia I, which elaborates briefly on what “Aeonic magick” in part entails with respect to the Star Game. The author notes that, “It is important to understand that the most important and practical aspect of an Aeon is the associated higher civilization – magickal Aeonic workings shape the ethos of this during the transition period between the ending of one Aeon and the beginning of another.” Elaborating further, the author states:

Hitherto, Aeonic workings – when they have been undertaken at all – have concentrated on opening the Gate that presences the power of a new Aeon. Yet is possible to extend by such workings a … [higher civilization] into the … [sulphur] stages. For the present, this implies the end of the Western as c. 3090 AD instead of 2390 AD. This is the first time in history that such a change is possible, since heretofore the process of Aeonic change has not been consciously understood by Adepts – it was approached mainly via mythological symbolism. It is through the abstract symbolism of the Star Game that full control is possible.

However, the following comments from Hostia I, “Aeonics” should also be kept in mind when approaching these advanced esoteric topics: “These are ‘esoteric’ teachings – of necessity, because their understanding requires the insight and knowledge which an External Adept and Internal Adept has attained. Without this insight and knowledge, there is liable to be mis-understanding and a failure to appreciate the finer points (or even any of the points at all).”

[9] Chess has seen many historically significant events over the course of its history. The defeat of the Soviets in the 1972 world championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky is one of many notable examples. See David Edmonds and John Eidinow, “Match of the Century,” ch. 1 in Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005). The authors colorfully expound upon the historical significance of this event as follows:

To Western commentators, the meaning of the confrontation seemed clear. A lone American star was challenging the long Soviet grip on the world title. His success would dispose of the Soviets’ claim that their chess hegemony reflected the superiority of their political system. The board was a cold war arena where the champion of the free world fought for democracy against the apparatchiks of the Soviet socialist machine. Here was the High Noon of chess, coming to you from a concrete auditorium in Iceland.

[10] As evidenced in, for example, the 1996 match between IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov, which demonstrates the lasting influence chess technology and chess engines have had on global technology. One can trace these developments to related subjects in, for example, the analytic tradition of philosophy of mind, particularly with respect to consciousness (see, e.g., David Chalmers’ zombie argument), physicalism (see, e.g., Frank Jackson’s Mary argument on qualia), dualism (see, e.g., Descartes’ Meditations and the mind-body problem), epiphenomenalism (see the entry linked here), and, more recently panpsychism or Russellian monism, which is thought to be a resurgence of vitalism and is a rich development in philosophy of mind. On the subject of panpsychism, see, for example, some of the recent work by Sam Coleman, David Chalmers, Thomas Nagel, in addition to Galen Strawson et al., Consciousness and its Place in Nature (Charlottesville: Imprint Academic, 2006). All of these areas of research have more or less had some influence on the concomitant development of artificial intelligence, and thus have some bearing on the rise of chess engines. See, for example, David Chalmers’ work related to “strong” and “weak” AI with respect to consciousness, as well as the famous thought experiment by John Searle referred to as “The Chinese Room Argument.” A great (illustrated) overview of this thought experiment, in addition to notable criticism of it, can be found here: https://mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/searle_chinese_room/searle_chinese_room.html. For an overview of one of the more famous critiques of this thought experiment, see the “Robot Reply” found here: https://mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/searle_chinese_room/searle_robot_reply.html. In terms of the rise of chess and artificial intelligence, many of these subjects are relevant to early ideas on Turing machines. See, for example, Claude E. Shannon, “A Universal Turing Machine with Two Internal States,” in Automata Studies (AM-34), eds. C. E. Shannon and J. McCarthy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956). On the question of whether chess computers can “think,” see Claude E. Shannon, “A Chess-Playing Machine,” Scientific American, 182, no. 2 (February 1950): 48-51.

[11] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.”

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Quoted in Stefan Steinerberger, “On the Number of Positions in Chess without Promotion,” International Journal of Game Theory 44, no. 3 (August 2015): 762, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00182-014-0453-7. Steinerberger clarifies what this number calculates as follows:

The number is known as Shannon’s number: it counts the number of ways to arrange all chessmen (henceforth simply called med) taking into account that no two men can occupy the same square and that furthermore any two identical men of the same color are indistinguishable. This number does not consider the possibility that not all the men need to be on the board (some might have been already captured) and … it also does not account or the rule of promotion whereby a pawn must be promoted to a more powerful figure if it advances to the end of a file (column of the chessboard). However, it also accounts for all sorts of illegal positions that can never possibly occur. This combination of factors makes it difficult to say whether Shannon’s argument over or underestimates the actual state space.

[16] See Steinerberger, “Positions in Chess,” 762.

[17] Victor Allis, “Searching for Solutions in Games and Artificial Intelligence” (PhD diss., Maastricht University, 1994), 171.

[18] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.”

[19] Brian Gilchrist, “Questions Concerning Ge-Stell: Heideggerian Confrontations with Technology,” Explorations in Media Ecology 14, nos. 3-4 (December 2015): 240.

[20] Long and ONA, “Aeonic Magick – General Notes,” in Hostia I.


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


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.