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.


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.


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.