Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

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We present here a selection of recent articles about Western paganism and hermeticism, indebted as those articles are to Myatt’s translations of texts from the ancient Corpus Hermeticism and his post-2013 writings such as his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. Myatt’s thesis in that book is that Western paganism is essentially the classical paganism of Ancient Greece and Rome and represents the ethos of the culture of the West, which ethos the Hebraic religion of Christianity supplanted.

Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism
(pdf)

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Contents:

° Preface
° Re-discovering Western Paganism
° An Insight Into Pagan Mysticism
° Regarding Myatt’s Hermetica
° The Divine Pymander
° Myatt’s Monas – A New Translation of Corpus Hermeticum IV
Appendix I – Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum
Appendix II – A Review Of Myatt’s ‘Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos’


Image credit:

The beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE. Quomodo per inferiora superioribus exposita deducantur superiora, et per mundanas materias mundana potissimum dona. [How, when what is lower is touched by what is higher, the higher is cosmically presenced therein and thus gifted because cosmically aligned.]


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Review Of Myatt’s Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos

David Myatt

David Myatt

Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. 2017.
ISBN 978-1979599023. 41 pages. US$ 6.00

In the Fall of 2017 David Myatt released extracts from his forthcoming book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and which extracts led dozens of individuals interested in Myatt’s works to eagerly await the publication of the book itself given that such extracts seemed to imply that he intended to create a modern, Western, paganism founded on the warrior ethos of ancient Greece and Rome, with Myatt in his extract writing that

“such a modern paganus weltanschauung may also be a means to reconnect those in the lands of the West, and those in Western émigré lands and former colonies of the West, with their ancestral ethos, for them to thus become, or return to being, a living, dwelling, part – a connexion between the past and the future – of what is still a living, and evolving, culture. Perhaps the future of that culture depends on whether sufficient individuals can live by the high personal standards of such a modern paganus weltanschauung.”

However, when Myatt issued the first draft of the complete book in early November 2017 some individuals were disappointed since the promised ‘modern paganus weltanschauung’ seemed to be just a watered-down version of his mystical philosophy of pathei mathos. Myatt, as is his wont, then over several weeks revised this draft many times {1} culminating on November 9th 2017 in a printed version – a so-called ‘second edition’ – together with an updated ‘gratis open access’ pdf version containing the same text and which he made available on his internet blog. {2}

As Myatt notes in the Introduction to the printed edition: “For this Second Edition, I have clarified and extended the text in several places, added a revised version of my essay From Aeschylus To The Numinous Way as an Appendix, and taken the opportunity to correct some typos.”

As the blurb for the book states, it is

“a study in the difference between Christianity and the paganism of Ancient Greece and Rome, evident as that paganism is in the writings of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Cicero and many other classical authors. A study which includes developing that paganism in a metaphysical way, beyond the deities of classical mythos, thus making such paganism relevant to the modern Western world. A modern development which involves an analysis of the texts of the Corpus Hermeticum.”

The final published work does indeed develop Greco-Roman paganism in a metaphysical way, with Myatt writing in chapter 3 that

“the quintessence of such a weltanschauung, of the paganus ethos, is that ethics are presenced in and by particular living individuals, not in some written text whether philosophical or otherwise, not by some proposed schemata, and not in some revelation from some deity. Which paganus ethics, when evolved – combined with the paganus mysticism evident in the Corpus Hermeticum and the cultural pathei-mathos of the past two millennia presenced through the insight of empathy – leads us to a modern paganus weltanschauung.”

He concludes his study by writing that

“the paganus weltanschauung, ancestral to the lands of the West, that has emerged is one which, shorn of technical, Greek, and metaphysical terms, many may find familiar or already be intuitively aware of […]

[This] awareness of all these connexions is awareness of, and a respect for, the numinous, for these connexions, being acausal, are affective: that is, we are inclined by our physis (whether we apprehend it or not) to have an influence on that which, or those whom, the connexion is to or from. For what we do or do not do, consciously or otherwise, affects or can affect the cosmos and thus the other livings beings which exist in the cosmos, and it is a conscious awareness of connexions and acausal affects, with their causal consequences, which reason, perceiverance, and empathy make us – or can make us – aware of. Which awareness may incline us toward acting, and living, in a noble way, with what is noble known or experienced, discovered, through and because of (i) the personal virtue of honour, evident as honour is in fairness, manners and a balanced demeanour, and (ii) the wordless knowing of empathy, manifest as empathy is in compassion and tolerance.”

For the crux of his argument is that Western paganism differs fundamentally from – and is better than – a revealed religion such as Christianity because in that paganism ethics are “presenced in and by particular living individuals, not in some written text whether philosophical or otherwise, not by some proposed schemata, and not in some revelation from some deity,” in contrast to Christianity whose ethics can be discovered by having to interpret “the word of God” as found in the texts of the Old and New Testaments. He adds that “a reliance on written texts, as in Christianity, may well be a mistake.”

His modern pagan metaphysics therefore balances the Greco-Roman human ideal – which Myatt writes can be expressed in one Greek phrase: καλὸς κἀγαθός – with the insights resulting from millennia of pathei mathos, expressed in Studia Humanitatis, in what he calls ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’. {3}

As a result, the book – replete with copious quotations in Ancient and Hellenistic Greek – is curiously interesting explaining much about Greco-Roman paganism and hermeticism, as well as about Christianity. Yet it is difficult to know who the intended readers are since many of those interested in Western paganism as a new way of life or as a modern, non-Christian, spirituality may find it too academic or too boring; while those academically interested in such matters will doubtless turn to other authors given Myatt’s experiential Faustian quests, his iconoclasm, his often underserved reputation, and thus his exclusion from academia.

Perhaps Myatt intended the book for those few individuals who can or who aspire “to live by the high personal standards of such a modern paganus weltanschauung” because such a paganism may reconnect some of “those in the lands of the West, and those in Western émigré lands and former colonies of the West, with their ancestral ethos”.

R.S & K.S
November, 2017

N.B. As with almost all of Myatt’s printed books, the size is idiosyncratic, being 11 inches x 8.5 inches in format, which is larger than the conventional ‘trade paperback’ (6 inches by 9 inches). In terms of number of pages, 20+ pages should be added to such ‘large format’ books in order to approximate the number of pages in a standard 6 inches by 9 inches paperback.

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{1} In our view Myatt is to be commended for making public his revisions of his texts. As someone recently wrote: “The extracts and subsequent revised extracts from his texts and translations that Myatt has published on his blog over the years provide an interesting insight into the creative process. A process which many authors and academics for some reason seem to want to keep secret. Perhaps some of them want to try and hide their mistakes or how their thoughts and opinions change or evolve as a result of further research, or more inspiration, or more thought.”

{2} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/reason-and-belief/

A copy of the pdf file is here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/belief-and-reason-v7a.pdf

{3} This ‘culture of pathei mathos’ is one of the central themes of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos. See his essay Education and the Culture of Pathei-Mathos, included in his 2014 book One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods. The essay is also available here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/education-and-the-culture-of-pathei-mathos-2/


Myatt: Reason And Belief

numinous-religion

The pdf document below contains David Myatt’s now completed book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and supersedes previously issued extracts. The text was last revised on 9.xi.17.

Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos
Second Edition

(pdf)

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Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/reason-and-belief/


Self-Dramatization And Sentimentalist?

David Myatt

Self-Dramatization, Sentimentalist, Or Chronicler Of Pathei Mathos?

Overview: Personal Effusions

Many of David Myatt’s post-2006 writings are intensely personal. In particular, the letters – or extracts from private letters – which he has published are full of personal feelings, such as in the following examples; the first from his The Joy-bringing Sky-blue, written in 2006, and the second from his One Error-Prone Self written in 2012, with both included in his 2013 book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism.

« So I am haunted, here and again, where again the Swallows gather as they gather at this time of year: chirping to each other and preparing in some weeks to leave. Thus do they skim the fields, catching, eating, their food as the cycle of natural life upwardly repeats and a cooling breeze dims a little of the humid heat of the day, here in a greening part of a still-living England. Haunted, here and again – amid such joyful growing warmth – with, by, because of, her death; with by, because of, the multiplicity of my multitudes of suffering-causing and so stupid mistakes. »

« There is a certain inner emptiness, and often, and bearing grief and sadness, when alone indoors. Inner vacant sometimes colding spaces which perhaps a belief in God – or the gods – might fill, and which certainly a partner or prayer or both would warm and dissipate. Yet this certain inner emptiness, such sadness, I sense is perhaps is as it should be for me, as part expiation for the varied harm my varied pasts – in this one life – have caused […..] But I have no chanted, sung, or contemplative Opus Dei to try, in monastic peace and with hope and faith, to balance – Soli Deo Honor et Gloria – the unwise deeds of so many; nor any longer a desire or need to interfere in the lives of others. So there is for me only the living of each moment as it passes: no aim, no goal. »

The overall impression is of reading someone’s private diary, with there being so many published emotive and personal effusions over so many years naturally leading us to ask pertinent questions about Myatt himself. Why publish what many people will undoubtedly dismiss – or already have dismissed – as either mawkish or as self-dramatization or as both, and do such published personal effusions detract from both his translations and his philosophy of pathei mathos? There is also, of course, given his extremist past and given particular allegations about him and the Occult, the obvious question of whether the feelings expressed in these outpourings are genuine particularly as Myatt appears to have ready-made answers to such questions. Such as this, from his Some Questions For DWM 2017,

« My only – quite feeble – excuse for the plenitude of such post-2011 writings is that they, through the act of writing and corresponding with others, were partly expiative but mostly aided (or seemed to me to aid) my understanding of myself particularly in relation to my extremist past and the religions I had personal and practical experience of. »

Or this, from his earlier Some Questions For DWM 2014,

« My writings, post-2011, were and are really dialogues: interiorly with myself and externally with a few friends or the occasional person who has contacted me and expressed an interest. They are just my attempts to answer particular philosophical and metaphysical questions which interest or perplex me; attempts to understand myself and my extremist past (and thus understand extremism itself), and attempts to express what I believe I have, via pathei-mathos, come to understand and appreciate. Thus, I make no claims regarding the worth or the importance of these personal and philosophical musings, with such dialogues, musings, and correspondence published mostly because expiatory but also because (being honest) of vanity in the hope that some of them may possibly, just possibly, be of some interest to a few individuals interested in such philosophical and metaphysical questions or interested in understanding extremism and its causes. But if no one takes them seriously, it does not matter, for they have assisted me in understanding myself, in recognizing and acknowledging my past mistakes and the suffering I have caused, and aided my move from extremism toward developing a mystical and personal weltanschauung imbued with a muliebral ethos. »

An Assessment

The sheer quantity of material – amounting to hundreds of published letters and essays dating from 2006 to 2017 – is a good starting point. Arranging them into date order, beginning with his The Scent of Meadow Grass {1} written in 2006 “four days on from Fran’s death” and ending with his Some Questions For DWM 2017, they tell a particular personal story. A story which includes works such as Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos: Essays and Letters Regarding Spirituality, Humility, and A Learning From Grief {2} and, of course, his ‘autobiography’ – his apologia – titled Myngath {3}.

The personal story that is told by this material is that of an arrogant, violent, fanatic who spent thirty years as a neo-nazi activist, ideologue, and propagandist, followed by ten years as a radical Muslim preaching Jihad and who publicly supported al-Qaida, Hamas, and ‘suicide attacks’. Which – with his various terms of imprisonment for violence, his leadership of a gang of thieves, his terrorist manual which inspired the London nail- bomber, followed by his conversion to Islam – is itself an interesting if strange story had it ended with him, for example, in prison as a Muslim for such offences as ‘inviting support for a proscribed organisation’, or ‘possessing a document containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’ or ‘inciting terrorism overseas’.

But the story did not end with his Muslim years. He suffered a personal tragedy, the unexpected suicide in 2006 of his fiancée and which tragedy maybe for the first time in his life grounded him in the realities of human suffering and grief. According to his post-2006 personal writings {4} it was this singular event which caused him to reflect upon his extremist past and upon him own character.

In a long letter dated March 2010 and to which letter he gave the title One More Foolish Failure Myatt wrote

« I am such a fool; such a failure, in evolutionary terms, in the perspective of the Cosmos. Here I am, entering the sixth decade of my life, having spent the last forty years seeking experience and wisdom and having, in that time, made so many errors, mistakes, and been the cause of much suffering, personal and otherwise. How then can I be deemed wise? How – when I have leant, from sorrowful experience, from my own pathei-mathos, from the personal tragedy of the dying and the death of two loved ones, and yet have always always, until now, returned to pursuing suffering-causing abstractions and unethical goals?

There is no excuse for this failure of mine, year following year – although of course I have always made excuses for myself, as failures often do. Wordy, moral-sounding, inexcusable excuses almost always of the unethical “the end justifies the means” kind.

No excuses – because from sorrow, from personal tragedy, I felt, dis-covered, the unethical nature of all abstractions, be they deemed political, religious, or social. And yet I always seemed, until a month ago, to gravitate back toward them, as if there was some basic flaw in my personal nature, my character, that allowed or even caused such a return, such a stupid forgetting of lessons learnt […..]

Thus is there the same old haunting question – of how long will it be before I in my addiction forget The Numen, yet again, and so return to the suffering-causing habits of so many previous years? For now, I can only hope against hope that I have strength enough, memories enough, humility enough, to keep me where I know I should belong: infused, suffused, with the world of the numinous, enabling thus such an empathic living as can make us and keep us as ethical, compassionate, human beings; one sign toward the higher human type we surely have the potential to become. » {5}

It seems from subsequent writings that it was such feelings, such personal reflections, which spurred him to refine his then still incomplete ‘numinous way’ into what became his ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’ {6} and in which philosophy personal humility plays a central role {7}. Which is probably why he wrote that

« any Way or religion which manifests, which expresses, which guides individuals toward, the numinous humility we human beings need is good, and should not be stridently condemned. For such personal humility – that which prevents us from committing hubris, whatever the raison d’être, the theology, the philosophy – is a presencing of the numinous. Indeed, one might write and say that it is a personal humility – whatever the source – that expresses our true developed (that is, rational and empathic) human nature. » {8}

Myatt’s story thus ends with this philosophy; with him – post-2012 – emphasizing again and again the virtues of humility, personal love, compassion, tolerance, and personal honour, and being emphatic that his philosophy involves a personal, a mystical, approach to life and therefore is neither political nor involves any religious dogmatism and presents only his answers to particular questions, writing in 2012 that

« All I have are some personal and fallible answers to certain philosophical, personal, ethical, and theological, questions. No certainty about anything except about my own uncertainty of knowing and about the mistakes, the errors, of my past. » {9}

Two years later he wrote that

« In a very personal sense, my philosophy of pathei-mathos is expiative. » {10}

Which theme of a personal expiation runs through all his post-2010 writings.

A Personal Conclusion

My assessment, based on the personal material Myatt has published since 2006, is that there is a definite narrative and that this narrative is emotionally, personally, and philosophically consistent. That these writings are not mawkish and certainly not the self-dramatization of someone seeking to draw attention to themselves. That they are in fact documenting the interior, the personal, struggles of someone trying to reform – to radically change – themselves following a personal tragedy; someone using such writings, and in particular their publication, as acts of both self-learning and expiation, with it being plausible that he used such publication as a reminder to both others and himself so that he could never again return to the selfishness and extremism of his past.

For documenting such a struggle – from neo-nazi to modern mystic – Myatt should be commended with his post-2006 personal writings and his philosophy of pathei mathos a contribution to what Myatt has termed our ‘human culture of pathei-mathos’ which he defined in his 2014 essay Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos {11} as

« the accumulated pathei-mathos of individuals, world-wide, over thousands of years, as (i) described in memoirs, aural stories, and historical accounts; as (ii) have inspired particular works of literature or poetry or drama; as (iii) expressed via non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and as (iv) manifest in more recent times by art-forms such as films and documentaries. »

Yet, and to paraphrase Myatt, it is not important if his post-2010 personal writings are not taken seriously by others since they enabled him to understand himself, acknowledge his mistakes, and reform himself.

J.B.
2017

{1} Included in the book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination. 2013. ISBN 978-1484854266
{2} Published in 2013. ISBN 978-1484097984. When publishing his letters or extracts therefrom Myatt often provides a title for individual letters.
{3} Published in 2013. ISBN 978-1484110744
{4} For example see the section titled A Personal Tragedy in Myngath, and also his collection of essays titled Meditations on Extremism, Remorse, and The Numinosity of Love published in 2016.
{5} The letter, too long to quote in full here, is worth reading in its entirely. It is included in Meditations on Extremism, Remorse, and The Numinosity of Love, and can be read on-line at https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/one-more-foolish-failure/ [Accessed October 2017]
{6} See his 2012 essay The Development of the Numinous Way, included as an appendix in both Myngath and Meditations on Extremism, Remorse, and The Numinosity of Love.
{7} The role of humility in Myatt’s philosophy is mentioned in Part Two of An Overview of David Myatt’s Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos by R. Parker included in the book The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt published in 2015, ISBN 978-1523930135.
{8} Soli Deo Gloria, written in 2011. Can be read on-line at https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/soli-deo-gloria/ [Accessed October 2017]
{9} From the 2012 letter – titled Politics, Pathei-Mathos, and My Extremist Past – included in Part Three of Understanding and Rejecting Extremism.
{10} Some Questions For DWM 2014.
{11} The essay is included in his book One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, published in 2014. ISBN 978-1502396105


Re-discovering Western Paganism

O9A. One Image, Ten Thousand Words

O9A Insight Role

Re-discovering Western Paganism

Whenever the term ‘western paganism’ is written or heard, in our contemporary societies, there is tendency for many readers or listeners to conjure up either images of ancient ‘superstitious barbarians’ offering sacrifices to various gods such as Odin, or images of modern devotees – of what has been termed ‘contemporary paganism’ and ‘neopaganism’ – in robes conducting or attending romanticized rituals and ceremonies such as those now associated with the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge.

In this essay, however, in referring to Western paganism we are referring to a particular and spiritual ethos – to a distinguishing character, or nature, or ‘spirit’ – germane to European lands and thus to ‘the West’, where by ‘spiritual’ is meant concerning what is considered to be, intuitively or otherwise, numinous, and/or concerning those forces or powers which are believed to be, or which may, determine our fate, wyrd, destiny and thus which may bring good fortune or misfortune to us, our family, and to our communities.

Hence, when writing about ‘the West’ we are not writing about the nations of the modern West and the life-styles and politics evident in such modern nations as the United States and Britain. What is meant is the culture and the civilization of and associated with European lands (and with what are now our former colonies or émigré lands) embodied and manifest as that culture and civilization was and is in the paganism of classical Greece and Rome; in the ritual practices and beliefs of North European lands such as Scandinavia and ancient Britain; in Greco-Roman art; in classical – and European folk – music; in the philosophy of the likes of Aristotle; in allegories such as those of Faust and myths such as King Arthur, Wotan, and the Valkyries; in the Greco-Roman mysticism of the Corpus Hermeticum, and in modern science and technology.

That is, we are writing about a particular culture of a particular people; of indigenous Europeans, among whose descendants are people of such lands as are now named Greece, Italy, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Scandinavia, Poland, Russia, etcetera.

Part of this ancestral Western, this ancestral European, culture is a particular and spiritual ethos, and one which the term Western paganism correctly describes, with this particular paganism having its roots in Ancient Greece and Rome and thus being different, in ethos and in practise, from what is currently known concerning, for example, such religious practices and beliefs as that of ancient Germanic tribes. This ‘Greco-Roman’ paganism is the paganism of Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristotle, Seneca, and Cicero; a paganism that is pragmatically spiritual whose foundation is the rationalization that certain deeds were wise and certain other deeds unwise, with such unwise deeds – such hubris, ὕβρις – upsetting that natural balance of the Cosmos (κόσμος) and thus liable (according to ancestral tradition) to cause misfortune. Thus did Sophocles express a truth of this tradition when he wrote that “hubris is the genesis of tyrants” since tyrants invariably bring misfortune upon the people and, eventually, upon themselves and – quite often – on their descendants. In addition, and importantly, elegance, the beautiful (τὸ καλόν) as well as excellence (arête, ἀρετή) and nobility (τὸ ἀγαθόν) were all associated with those who did what was considered wise and balanced (μέσος, in Aristotle).

This is the ethos, the pragmatic spirituality, and the notion of balance, harmony, elegance, and of beauty, which infuses the culture and the civilization of Ancient Greece and Rome, and which culture so enthused those Europeans – artists, scholars, educators, potentates, and others – who from the 14th century on brought about the Renaissance and which Renaissance, which re-discovery of the culture of ancient Greece and Rome, gave birth to and infused our Western ‘Faustian’ civilization.

A Pagan Renaissance

This Renaissance, however, did not in any significant way include a practical return to classical paganism. Instead of giving rise to a new, an evolved, pagan ethos – and thus dispensing with the notion of anthropomorphic deities interfering in the lives of human beings – it resulted in only minor changes to the governing religious ethos manifest as that was in Christianity with its quite un-classical, rather stark, notions of Hell-Fire, Damnation, Sin, and Prudery. In other words, the governing spirituality continued to be Hebraic, derived from the Old Testament as amended by the ‘new covenant’ of Jesus of Nazareth.

While laudable, the attempt in recent times by some Europeans to rediscover the pagan ethos of their ancestors – exemplified in certain (but not all) neopagan groups and weltanschauungen – and thus distance themselves from Hebraic spirituality, is not and never can be, in our view, effective in reconnecting us to the ethos of the West for two reasons. First, because such attempts (at least so far) do not exemplify, do not manifest, the spiritual ethos of the West, founded as that is on the culture and spirituality of ancient Greece and Rome. Second, because they generally do not take into account how the ethos of the West has itself been distorted by a Hebraicism that is not only spiritual but is now, and has been for over a century, cultural.

This cultural Hebraicism is a mode of thinking and action in which Hebrews – ancient and modern – and their beliefs, and those of their followers and disciples, are taken as the type, the moral ideal, to be aspired to and lauded. In the case of ancient Hebrews and their beliefs, the type, the ideal is evident in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), and in latter-day interpretations of the Bible. In the case of modern Hebrews and their disciples, the type, the ideal, derives from (a) the dogma of ‘equality of races’ – ultimately derived from Marxism, sociology, and what has been termed ‘social anthropology’, with the belief being that all ethnicities have the same abilities, intelligence, potential, and human character – and from (b) the religious-like remembrance of and compulsory teaching regarding the Shoah, together with a hypocritical championing of ethnic awareness and ancestral traditions for all ethnicities except native European (‘White’) peoples, which ethnic awareness of, and its promotion among, native European peoples is considered ‘hatred’, ‘racist’, ‘extremist’ and is increasing censored and outlawed in the lands of the West with the Hebraic reasoning being that such ethnic awareness of, and its promotion among, native European peoples gave rise to colonialism, to fascism and National Socialism and thus to the Shoah – which must “never be forgotten” – with no Western country ever allowed to again make ancestral European beliefs, and the Western ethos, the raison d’être of a nation-State.

In respect of rediscovering the pagan spirituality of the West a fundamental problem has been a lack of knowledge among those interested in what, exactly, that spirituality is. A problem exacerbated by pre-existing translations of some of the ancient works knowledge of which is necessary in order to understand that spirituality. Works such as the Oedipus Tyrannus and the Antigone by Sophocles, the Agamemnon by Aeschylus, and the mystical texts of the Corpus Hermeticism.

Which problem of translation is why, for example, the Antigone of Sophocles has become to be regarded (by all but a handful of scholars) as some kind of ancient morality tale or as just a drama about a conflict between two strong and different characters, Antigone and Creon; why Oedipus Tyrannus is regarded (by all but a handful of scholars) as a morality tale about “incest”, and why the texts of the Corpus Hermeticism are regarded as imbued with a Christian-like mysticism and as having been influenced by both the Old and New Testaments.

Yet properly understood in the necessary cultural context, the Antigone, as one translator noted in the Introduction to his translation,

“deals with the relation between mortals and gods. The work is an exploration and explanation of the workings of the cosmos, and the answers given express the distinctive ancient Greek ‘outlook’ or ethos. This ethos is pagan, and its essence may be said to be that there are limits to human behaviour; that some conduct is wise, some conduct is unwise. Unwise conduct invites retribution by the gods: it can and often does result in personal misfortune, in bad luck.” {1}

Ditto in respect of the Oedipus Tyrannus, and the Agamemnon of Aeschylus. Regarding the Corpus Hermeticism, as we have previously mentioned, certain new translations restore

“these texts to the Western pagan tradition and make them relevant to our times when Western culture and our classical, Greco-Roman, and pagan heritage is increasingly subsumed in schools and elsewhere by other, non-Western, cultures and religions, with it now being politically incorrect to point out that Western culture with its Greco-Roman pagan heritage has profoundly changed the world for the better and is arguably superior to all other cultures past and present.” {2}

That is, translations of important classical texts are now available which, when studied together, enable us to appreciate and understand the classical, pagan, ethos and thence the ethos of the West itself. {3}

Which understanding might – probably should – lead us, or someone, to develop a new, an evolved, pagan weltanschauung which does not involve anthropomorphic deities but instead is based on a new ontology regarding our relation, as sentient beings, to Being, to the Cosmos, rather than to ‘God’ or to some ‘gods’. Something perhaps prefigured in Greek texts such as these with their reasoned, pragmatic, and often quite warrior-like, spirituality:

The Muse shall tell of the many adventures of that man of the many stratagems
Who, after the pillage of that hallowed citadel at Troy,
Saw the towns of many a people and experienced their ways:
He whose vigour, at sea, was weakened by many afflictions
As he strove to win life for himself and return his comrades to their homes.
But not even he, for all this yearning, could save those comrades
For they were destroyed by their own immature foolishness
Having devoured the cattle of Helios, that son of Hyperion,
Who plucked from them the day of their returning. {4}

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You should listen to [the goddess] Fairness and not oblige Hubris
Since Hubris harms unfortunate mortals while even the more fortunate
Are not equal to carrying that heavy a burden, meeting as they do with Mischief.
The best path to take is the opposite one: that of honour
For, in the end, Fairness is above Hubris
Which is something the young come to learn from adversity. {5}

°°°°°

This person, whom I praise, never ceased to believe that the gods delight in respectful deeds just as much as in consecrated temples, and, when blessed with success, he was never prideful but rather gave thanks to the gods. He also made more offerings to them when he was confident than supplications when he felt hesitant, and, in
appearance, it was his habit to be cheerful when doubtful and mild-mannered when successful. {6}

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Clytaemnestra:

Because of these grievous things, no one should invoke a fatal curse upon
Nor turn their wroth toward, Helen
As if she was some man-killer who alone destroyed
The lives of those many Danaan men
By having wrought such a festering wound […]

The wife of this corpse presents herself here
As that most ancient fierce Avenger.
It is Atreus, he is of that cruel feast,
Who, in payment for that, has added to his young victims
This adult one […]

But do not suppose that his killing was ignoble
For did he not by his cunning set Misfortune upon this family? {7}

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Creon:

So even then you dared to violate these laws?

Antigone:

It was not Zeus who proclaimed them to me,
Nor did she who dwells with the gods below – the goddess, Judgement –
Lay down for us mortals such laws as those.
Neither did I suppose that your edicts
Had so much strength that you, who die,
Could out-run the unwritten and unchanging
Customs of the gods: for the life of these things
Is not only of yesterday or today, but eternal,
No one remembering their birth. {8}

All of which explains why we love to also quote what a certain English poet wrote in 1873 CE: “the separation between the Greeks and us is due principally to the Hebraistic culture we receive in childhood.” All those tall tales from the Bible about various Hebrew folk…

Rachael & Richard Stirling
Shropshire
Autumnal Equinox 2017 ev

°°°°°

{1} Antigone. Translated by David Myatt.

{2} https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/an-insight-into-pagan-mysticism/

{3} These translations – dating from between 1991 and 2017, and all of which are independent of his own mystical – if pagan – ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’ – are by David Myatt, and include the following important classical texts:

° The Agamemnon of Aeschylus. ISBN-13: 978-1484128220

° Sophocles – Oedipus Tyrannus. ISBN-13: 978-1484132104

° Sophocles – Antigone. ISBN-13: 978-1484132067

° Homer – The Odyssey: Books 1, 2 & 3. ISBN-13: 978-1495402227

° Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. A compilation containing translations of and commentaries on tractates I, III, IV, VI, VIII, XI, XII, XII. ISBN-13: 978-1976452369.

The commentaries on the tractates are of especial interest in elucidating the paganism of the texts.

His Greek translations are available here: https://perceiverations.wordpress.com/greek-translations/

{4} The Odyssey. Translated Myatt.

{5} Hesiod. Translated Myatt, and quoted (with the Greek text) in his commentary on Tractate III.

{6} Xenophon. Translated Myatt, and quoted (with the Greek text) in his commentary on Tractate I.

{7} Agamemnon. Translated Myatt.

{8} Antigone. Translated Myatt.


Corpus Hermeticum Book By Myatt

David Myatt

°°°°°

A welcome addition to the published works by Myatt is his Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates which brings together in one volume his eight translations and commentaries of hermetic texts, chapters 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13 of the Corpus Hermeticum.

The compilation is available as a pdf document {1} and as a 190 page printed book {2} and contains a Preface which outlines his translation methodology, and from which this is an extract:

{Begin quote}

This work collects together my translations of and commentaries on the eight tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum which were published separately between 2013 and 2017. From the fourteen Greek tractates that have been traditionally referred to as the Corpus Hermeticum, I chose the eight (the ogdoad) whose texts I considered were the most metaphysical and mystical and thus which can provide an understanding of what came to be termed hermeticism […]

The methodology of using some transliterations, some relatively obscure English words, and some new term or expression (such as noetic sapientia) results in a certain technical – an ‘esoteric’ – vocabulary which requires or may require contextual, usually metaphysical, interpretation. Often, the interpretation is provided by reference to the matters discussed in the particular tractate; sometimes by reference to other tractates; and sometimes by considering Ancient Greek, and Greco-Roman, philosophy and mysticism. Occasionally, however, the interpretation is to leave some transliteration – such as physis, φύσις – as a basic term of the particular hermetic weltanschauung described in a particular tractate and, as such, as a term which has no satisfactory English equivalent, metaphysical or otherwise, and therefore to assimilate it into the English language. All of which make these translations rather different from other English versions, past and present, with these translations hopefully enabling the reader to approach and to appreciate the hermetic texts sans preconceptions, modern and otherwise, and thus provide an intimation of how such texts might have been understood by those who read them, or heard them read, in the milieu of their composition.

One of the intentions of these translations of mine of various tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum is provide an alternative approach to such ancient texts and hopefully enable the reader without a knowledge of Greek (and of the minutiae of over a century of scholarly analysis of the Greek text) to appreciate the texts anew and understand why they have – in the original Greek – been regarded as important documents in respect of particular, ancient, weltanschauungen that have, over the centuries, proved most influential and which can still be of interest to those interested in certain metaphysical speculations and certain esoteric matters.

{end quote}

The publication of this work also marks a milestone, since Greek translations now account for well over half of Myatt’s published – printed – output. His printed works alone currently amount to almost 1,000 pages, and given that most of these books are large print format (11 inches x 8.5 inches) then were they published in the standard paperback format (6 inches by 9 inches) the total would in the region of 1,200 pages.

The RDM Crew
September 2017 ev

{1} Available here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/myatt-eight-tractates-print.pdf

The pdf document is published under the Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0) License, which allows for non-commercial copying and redistribution provided no alterations are made to the text and the document is attributed solely to the original author.

{2} David Myatt, Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates, 2017, ISBN 978-1976452369, BISAC: Philosophy / Metaphysics. The 190 page book is priced US$10, and is available direct from a well-known ‘internet publisher’ and from other book outlets such as Barnes & Noble. Like most of Myatt’s printed works it is idiosyncratic given its large size (8.5 x 11 inches). If printed in the standard paperback size (9 x 5 inches) it would amount to around 220 pages but, given the amount of Greek text, would probably be less readable.


Such Respectful Wordful Offerings As This

David Myatt

°°°°°

Selected Essays Of David Myatt

Edited by Rachael Stirling

Such Respectful Wordful Offerings As This
(Second Edition, pdf)

Contents

° Editorial Preface
° Bright Berries, One Winter
° The Leaves Are Showering Down
° Perhaps Words Are The Problem
° A Non-Terrestrial View
° Musings On Suffering, Human Nature, And The Culture of Pathei-Mathos
° Blue Reflected Starlight
° A Slowful Learning, Perhaps
° Toward Humility – A Brief Personal View
° A Catholic Still, In Spirit?
° Some Personal Perceiverations
° Twenty Years Ago, Today
° Some Questions For DWM, 2017
° Cantio Arcana
Appendix I – A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos
Appendix II – On Translating Ancient Greek
Appendix III – Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum
Appendix IV – Cicero On Summum Bonum
Appendix V – Swan Song Of A Mystic
Appendix VI – Self-Dramatization, Sentimentalist, Or Chronicler Of Pathei Mathos?

From the Editorial Preface

This compilation of essays arose out of some enquiries sent or forwarded to us following our re-publication of Some Questions For DWM, 2017 and of Ms Stirling’s article – titled Swan Song Of A Mystic – commenting on those questions and answers. Included here are all of the Myatt texts enquired about, plus a few others for context including those 2017 questions and answers and Swan Song Of A Mystic. This second edition includes an essay – Self Dramatization, Sentimentalist, Or Chronicler Of Pathei Mathos? – which takes a critical look at Myatt’s post-2010 writings.

The title of the compilation is taken from Myatt’s translation of the Cantio Arcana of tractate XIII of the Corpus Hermeticum and which ‘Esoteric Song’ we include here.

Three Wyrd Sisters
2017 ev


A Review Of Myatt’s Hermetica Texts

David Myatt

In the Spring of this year (2017) David Myatt released his versions – translations and commentaries – of several more Corpus Hermeticum texts to complement his existing, published, versions of tracts I, III, IV, VIII, XI {1}. The new additions were tracts VI, XII, and the Cantio Arcana part (sections 17 and 18) of tract XIII. {2}

The latest additions – bringing his translations of Hermetica texts to seven – follow the same methodology as previous versions. That is, his penchant for transliterating certain Greek words, his use of often unusual English words in place of the standard translations and meanings given in Greek-English lexicons such as LSJ {3}, and the terms and expressions he invents or digs up from usually very old books of English literature. All of which combine to make his translations idiosyncratic and remarkably different from all previous translations into English, antique and modern. To his credit, he explains in his commentary – sometimes in pedantic detail – his choices, citing his reasons and often providing some quotation in Greek, Latin, or English.

In regard to his translations of hermetic texts, this results in two things. In translations with a technical vocabulary relating to hermeticism, and in translations which transports the reader to an ancient world. Both of these combine to breathe new life into the texts and thence into hermeticism itself. Thus, far from, as Myatt writes in his introduction to tract VI, giving the impression “of reading somewhat declamatory sermons about god/God and ‘the good’ familiar from over a thousand years of persons preaching about Christianity,” the hermetic texts he has translated give the impression of reading about a pagan mysticism that most readers will probably be unfamiliar with.

Thus while other translators write moralistically about god, righteousness, truth, and ‘the good’, Myatt previews a world of divinities, of respecting the customs of the gods, of honesty, and nobility. A good example of the difference is in Myatt’s rendering of part of the Cantio Arcana. Copenhaver – who follows the proto-Christian interpretation of earlier translators and whose recent translations of the Corpus Hermeticum are regarded as “the definitive versions”, has:

“Holy knowledge, you enlightened me; through you, hymning the intellectual light, I take joy in the joy of Mind. Join me, all you powers, and sing me the hymn. You also, continence, sing me the hymn. My justice, through me hymn the just. My liberality, through me hymn the Universe. Truth, hymn the truth. Good, hymn the good.” (4}

Myatt has:

Numinous knowledge, from you a numinal understanding:
Through you, a song of apprehended phaos,
Delighted with delightful perceiverance.
Join me, all you Arts, in song.
You, mastery, sing; and you, respectful of custom,
Through me sing of such respect.
Sing, my companions, for All That Exists:
Honesty, through me, sing of being honest,
The noble, sing of nobility.

In Myatt’s version there are the two previously mentioned things. A technical vocabulary – such as numinal, phaos, perceiverance, Arts – requiring interpretation, and nothing reminiscent of Christianity, such as ‘hymn’ and ‘holy’ and being ‘good’. As Myatt writes in his commentary on the Cantio Arcana in respect of his use of the terms song, honesty and Arts:

Song. ὕμνος. Not a ‘hymn’ in the Christian sense (which the word hymn now so often imputes) but rather celebrating the numinous, and theos, in song, verse (ode), and chant.

Honesty. ἀλήθεια. Given that those who are urged to sing are personifications, this is not some abstract, disputable, ‘truth’ but as often elsewhere in classical literature, a revealing, a dis-covering, of what is real as opposed to what is apparent or outer appearance. In personal terms, being honest and truthful.

Arts. As at Poemandres 31 – which is also a traditional doxology (δοξολογία) to theos – the sense of δυνάμεων [here] is not ‘powers’, forces (or something similar and equally at variance with such a laudation) but ‘arts’; that is, particular abilities, qualities, and skills. Here, these abilities and skills – the craft – relate to esoteric song; to be able to be an effective laudator in respect of theos and “every Physis of Kosmos.”

His reference to every Physis of Kosmos is to the beginning of the ode:

Let every Physis of Kosmos favourably listen to this song
πᾶσα φύσις κόσμου προσδεχέσθω τοῦ ὕμνου τὴν ἀκοήν

which Copenhaver translates as “let every nature in the cosmos attend to the hearing of this hymn.”

The commentaries which accompany the translations deserve a mention. Each of them not only occupies far more pages than the actual translation but they reveal the author as erudite with pages of quotations from ancient Greek and Latin works – for most of which Myatt provides his own translation – and the occasional quotation from English literature. In the case of English literature usually to explain the meaning of the unusual English words of phrases he uses, quoting the likes of Chaucer, Coleridge, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Chapman, and others.

        In effect what Myatt does in his translations is paint of picture of classical – and of Hellenic – culture and especially of Hellenic mysticism; a culture and a mysticism which is pagan and based on individuals, on tangible things such as honesty, and not on moralistic and religious and impersonal abstractions. That is, he reveals the Greco-Roman ethos – the pagan ethos – underlying the hermetic texts and which is in contrast to that of Christianity with its later, medieval and Puritanical, impersonal moralizing. He incidently leaves us with an interesting question. Which is whether such pagan Hellenic mysticism influenced Christianity in a positive way. In academia the assumption has always been that Christianity and earlier Judaic monotheism influenced hermeticism despite the fact of evidence from papyrus fragments indicating the opposite and despite the fact that the earliest texts of the Old Testament were written in Greek and not in Hebrew. {5}

Myatt himself is of the opinion that parts of ancient Greek mysticism and cosmogony – as described for instance in tract III of the Corpus Hermeticum – have influenced both Judaism and Christianity. {6}

Such controversial matters aside, his translations of tracts from the Corpus Hermeticism are decidedly iconoclastic and – when compared to those of other translators such as Copenhaver – idiosyncratic and as such are not and probably never will be mainstream at least in academia. They may therefore never gain widespread acceptance among established academics. Does that matter? Probably not because his actual and potential audience is much greater. Which audience is of those interested in Western mysticism, in Western paganism, and in Greco-Roman culture in general, and for such interested parties Myatt has done a great service since he places the hermetic texts firmly into those milieux.

One other thing about the translations and commentaries deserves a mention. As well a being available in printed form he has not only made all of them available as free downloads from the internet {7} but also issued them under a liberal Creative Commons license which allows others to freely copy and distribute them.

Rachael Stirling
Shropshire
2017

{1} D. Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI. 2017. ISBN 978-1545020142
{2} Tracts VI, XII, and the Cantio Arcana, are available at https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/tractates-vi-xii-v3.pdf [Accessed May 2017].
{3} H. G. Liddell, R. Scott, H. S. Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1996.
{4} B. Copenhaver. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press. 1992.
{5} The earliest written texts of the Old Testament – papyrus fragments found in Egypt – are in Hellenistic Greek and date from around 250 BCE and precede by over a century the earliest fragments written in Hebrew (some of the Dead Sea Scrolls) which date from 150 BCE to around 50 BCE.
{6} See Myatt’s introduction to his translation of tract III.
{7} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/corpus-hermeticum/


An Insight Into Pagan Mysticism

David Myatt

In his most recent article, published on his blog on the 24th of March 2017 and dealing as it does with the ancient texts of the Corpus Hermeticum {1}, David Myatt expounds on his decision to translate the ancient Greek term ἀγαθός not by the conventional English term ‘good’ but by – according to context – honourable, noble, nobility. In support of his translation of ἀγαθός he quotes Seneca: “summum bonum est quod honestum est. Et quod magis admireris: unum bonum est, quod honestum est, cetera falsa et adulterina bona sunt.” {2}

This choice – and his unconventional translations of other particular ancient Greek words such as νοῦς – really does give, as he notes in his article, an “impression about ancient Hermeticism which is rather different from that conveyed by other translations.”

The difference, as other commentators on Myatt’s Hermetica translations have noted {3} and as Myatt shows in his article, is between taking those texts as expressing a Christian ethos and taking them as expressing a pagan – a classical, Greco-Roman – ethos.

For those interested in Western esotericism in general and Hermeticism in particular this is a profound and important difference. It restores these texts to the Western pagan tradition and makes them relevant to our times when Western culture and our classical, Greco-Roman, and pagan heritage is increasingly subsumed in schools and elsewhere by other, non-Western, cultures and religions, with it now being ‘politically incorrect’ to point out that Western culture with its Greco-Roman pagan heritage has profoundly changed the world for the better and is arguably superior to all other cultures past and present.

Although Myatt in his article provides three illuminating examples of the difference between his ‘pagan’ (authentic) versions and the ‘Christian’ interpolations of other translators, I will provide two other examples.

The first is from tract XI which Myatt entitles From Perceiverance To Hermes.

“Indulging the body and rotten, you are unable to apprehend the beautiful, the noble. To be completely rotten is to be unaware of the numinous, while having the ability to discover, to have volition, to have expectations, is the direct, the better – its own – way to nobility.”

Copenhaver, hitherto extolled as providing the ‘definitive translation’, has:

“While you are evil and a lover of the body, you can understand none of the things that are beautiful and good. To be ignorant of the divine is the ultimate vice, but to be able to know, to will and to hope is the straight and easy way leading to the good.” {4}

The second example is from tract IV, which Myatt entitles Chaldron Or Monas.

Since that Being is honourable, the desire was to entrust solely to that Being such a cosmic order on Earth […] What is apparent can please us while what is concealed can cause doubt with what is bad often overt while the honourable is often concealed having as it has neither pattern nor guise.

Copenhaver translates as:

“Because he is good it was not for himself alone that he wished to make this offering and adorn this earth […] Visible things delight us but the invisible causes mistrust. Bad things are more open to sight but the good is invisible to what can be seen. For the good has neither shape nor outline.”

It is easy to see which translation echoes a pagan ethos – as the likes of Seneca and Cicero understood classical paganism – and which is redolent of a Christian or a pseudo-Christian ethos.

In summary, Myatt in his translations of five of the texts of the Corpus Hermeticum provides the ordinary reader with an insight into a neglected Western mystic tradition. A neglected tradition because all the other translations available impart – in Myatt’s words – “the sense of reading somewhat declamatory sermons about god/God and ‘the good’ familiar from over a thousand years of persons preaching about Christianity.”

Richard Stirling
Shropshire
2017

{1} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/concerning-ἀγαθός-and-νοῦς-in-the-corpus-hermeticum/
{2} Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, LXXI, 4.
{3} https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/a-review-of-myatts-monas/
{4} B. Copenhaver. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press. 1992


A Review of Myatt’s Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI

orphic3

David Myatt, Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI. 126 pages.
Second Edition, 2017.
ISBN-13: 978-1545020142

This book is a welcome addition to the works of Myatt available in print bringing together as it does his translation of five of the chapters (tracts, tractates) of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum together with his extensive commentary on each of those chapters.

It is apparent that a lot of thought, study, and erudition has gone into the translation. Instead of choosing the conventional English equivalent of particular Greek terms – such as might be found in lexicons such as LSJ or as taught in those few, select, schools which still teach Greek and Latin, and such as are found in other English translations, from Everard to Mead to Copenhaver, and in the French translation of Nock {1} – Myatt has opted for alternatives (including transliterations) in order, in his words, to avoid reading into the texts such modern – non-Classical – meanings as particular English words now might suggest to the reader. Obvious examples are theos instead of ‘God’, perceiverance instead of ‘Mind’, logos instead of ‘Word’, phaos instead of ‘light’, and physis instead of ‘nature’. Not so obvious examples – from among dozens – include envoy instead of ‘herald’, elden instead of ‘ancient’, geniture instead of ‘genesis’, all of which divergences Myatt explains in his commentary.

Of his choice of the term envoy, for example, he writes:

“While the conventional translation here of κῆρυξ is ‘herald’, I consider it unsatisfactory given what that English term now often denotes: either the type of herald familiar from the New Testament or the herald of medieval literature and stories (qv. Morte Arthure, and The Knights Tale by Chaucer). Given the Greco-Roman context (Hermes, Thoth) and classical antecedents (such as Hermes as the protector of mortal envoys and messengers) then ‘envoy’ is more accurate especially given that this is an envoy from the artisan-creator assigned to impart information to mortals.”

Myatt’s thoughtful choice of English words as well as his transliterations sets his translation apart from all other translations of those four tracts, making them not only more interesting but also more esoteric and mystical as befits texts which are themselves esoteric and mystical. That is, Myatt’s has managed to express in English something of the hermetic, esoteric, and rather pagan nature and pagan mysticism of the original Greek text whereas other translations read either like epistles about the God of the early Christians or like pious sermons.

Three examples will illustrate the difference between Myatt’s translation and two of the most widely read translations.

The first example is from the Poemander (Pymander) tract.

Mead translates:

And I say: Whence then have Nature’s elements their being? To this He answer gives: From Will of God. Nature received the Word and gazing on the Cosmos Beautiful did copy it, making herself into a cosmos, by means of her own elements and by the births of souls. And God-the-Mind, being male and female both, as Light and Life subsisting, brought forth another Mind to give things form, who, God as he was of Fire and Spirit, formed Seven Rulers who enclose the cosmos that the sense perceives. Men call their ruling Fate.

Copenhaver:

The elements of nature – from whence have they arisen, I asked. And he answered from the counsel of god which, having taken in the word and seen the beauty of the cosmos, imitated it, having become a cosmos through its own elements and its progeny of souls. The mind who is god, being androgyne and existing as light and life, by speaking gave birth to a second mind, a craftsman, who as god of fire and spirit crafted seven governors; they encompass the sensible world in circles, and their government is called fate.

Myatt:

So I asked from what place, then, the parsements of physis? To which he answered, from the deliberations of theos, who, having comprehended the logos and having seen the beauty of the cosmic order, re-presented it, and so became a cosmic order from their own parsements and by the birth of Psyche. Theos, the perceiveration, male-and-female, being Life and phaos, whose logos brought forth another perceiveration, an artisan, who – theos of Fire and pnuema – fashioned seven viziers to surround the perceptible cosmic order in spheres and whose administration is described as fate.

The second example is from the beginning of the fourth tract, which Myatt titles Chaldron Or Monas, which Copenhaver titles The Mixing Bowl or Monad, and Mead The Cup Or Monad.

Mead translates:

With Reason, not with hands, did the World-maker make the universal World; so that thou thus shouldst think of Him as everywhere and ever-being, the Author of all things, and One and Only, who by His Will all beings hath created. This Body of Him is a thing no man can touch, or see, or measure, a Body inextensible, like to no other frame. ‘Tis neither Fire nor Water, Air nor Breath; yet all of them come from it.

Copenhaver:

Since the craftsman made the whole cosmos by reasoned speech, not by hand, you should conceive of him as present, as always existing, as having made all things, as the one and only and having crafted by his own will the things that are. For this is his body, neither tangible nor visible nor measurable nor dimensional nor like any other body; it is not fire nor water nor spirit, yet all things come from it.

Myatt:

Because the artisan crafted the complete cosmic order not by hand but through Logos, you should understand that Being as presential, as eternal, as having crafted all being, as One only, who by thelesis formed all that is.

That Being has no body that can be touched or seen or measured or which is separable or which is similar to any other body: not of Fire or Water or of Pneuma even though all such things are from that Being.

The third example is from the end of tract eleven which Myatt titles From Perceiverance To Hermes, Copenhaver Mind To Hermes, and Mead Mind Unto Hermes.

Mead:

But if thou lockest up thy soul within thy body, and dost debase it, saying: I nothing know; I nothing can; I fear the sea; I cannot scale the sky; I know not who I was, who I shall be;—what is there [then] between [thy] God and thee? For thou canst know naught of things beautiful and good so long as thou dost love thy body and art bad. The greatest bad there is, is not to know God’s Good; but to be able to know [Good], and will, and hope, is a Straight Way, the Good’s own [Path], both leading there and easy.

Copenhaver:

But if you shut up your soul in your body and abase it and say ‘I understand nothing,I can do nothing; I fear the sea, I cannot go up to heaven; I do not know what I was; I do not know what I will be,’ then what have you to do with god? While you are evil and a lover of the body, you can understand none of the things that are beautiful and good. To be ignorant of the divine is the ultimate vice, but to be able to know, to will and to hope is the straight and easy way leading to the good.

Myatt:

But if you enclose your psyche in your body and lessen it, saying “I comprehend nothing; have no power; fear the sea; am unable to go up into the heavens; do not know who I was and cannot know what I will be,” then what is there with you and also with the god?

For, indulging the body and rotten, you are unable to apprehend the beautiful, the noble. To be completely rotten is to be unaware of the numinous, while having the ability to discover, to have volition, to have expectations, is the direct, the better – its own – way to nobility.

All the unusual words and terms Myatt uses, such as presential, thelesis, and “parsements of physis”, he explains in his commentary, with his approach making his translation the one most suitable for those interested in ancient esotericism and mysticism in general and those with a special interest in hermeticism; and suitable because it, together with his detailed commentary, allows the reader to decide for themselves matters such as whether ‘theos’ in these texts means ‘god’ in the Christian sense or ‘the god’ – the primary divinity – of an ancient paganism, and whether or not νοῦς in these texts really is ‘Mind’ and thus a definite philosophical principle distinguishable from ‘the body’ or whether it simply means, as Myatt suggests, a perceiveration – an insight or an awareness – by the individual.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Myatt – in his introduction to the fourth tractate, Chaldron Or Monas – makes an interesting if currently unfashionable point about the culture, the society, and the people, originally associated with the texts of the Corpus Hermeticum, and although he does not spell it out, he means those of Greco-Roman descent and of Greco-Roman culture who, as ancient colonials, lived in Egypt as opposed to what colonials might have called the ‘natives’, the indigenous peoples of Egypt with their very different culture and language. Myatt writes that,

In this matter, I incline toward the view […] that what is imparted in this tractate, as with the Poemandres and Ιερός Λόγος, is primarily a mystical, and – for centuries – aural, Greek tradition, albeit one possibly influenced, over time and in some degree, by the metaphysical speculations of later philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. That is, that in Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς and Ιερός Λόγος and Ποιμάνδρης, we have an intimation of the metaphysics and the cosmogony taught to initiates of that (or those) ancient and aural and paganus Greek mystical tradition(s) mentioned by writers such as Herodotus. And an intimation that is not – a few borrowed illustrative terms notwithstanding – in any significant and metaphysical manner deriving from or influenced by Biblical stories or by early Christian theology or by indigenous Egyptian culture.

This view contrasts with that of Copenhaver, et al, with Copenhaver for instance writing – confusingly, and perhaps in a ‘politically correct’ and certainly populist way {2} – about the ‘north African’ and Egyptian context and origin of the Corpus as if the authors were north African natives of Egypt rather than European (Greco-Roman) colonials speaking and writing Latin and Greek.

In conclusion, this book despite its idiosyncratic large size (8.5 x 11 inches) is a valuable resource for those interested in ancient esotericism and mysticism in general and for those with a particular interest in hermeticism.

R. S.
2017

{1} (a) Everard, J. The Divine Pymander. London, 1650. (b) Mead, G.R.S. Thrice Great Hermes. Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906. (c) Copenhaver, B. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press, 1992. (d) A. D. Nock and A.-J. Festugière. Corpus Hermeticum, Volume I. Societe d’Edition “Les Belles Lettres”, Paris, 3rd edition, 1972.

{2} Copenhaver, Introduction, op.cit.


Image credit: Gold funerary tablet (c. 200 BCE) found at Eleutherna, Crete


Myatt: Corpus Hermeticum Compilation

David Myatt

David Myatt

The link below is to a pdf file which contains David Myatt’s translations of and commentaries on five tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum which he published separately between 2013 and 2017.

Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI
(pdf)

Contents:

Tractate I. Ποιμάνδρης. Poemandres.
Tractate III. Ιερός Λόγος. An Esoteric Mythos.
Tractate IV. Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς. Chaldron Or Monas.
Tractate VIII. Ὅτι οὐδὲν τῶν ὄντων ἀπόλλυται. That No Beings Are Lost.
Tractate XI. Νοῦς πρὸς Ἑρμῆν. From Perceiverance To Hermes.
Appendix I. Some Examples Regarding Translation and Questions of Interpretation.
Appendix II. On Ethos And Interpretation.
Appendix III. Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum.

°°°°°

The compilation is also available as a 126 page printed book: David Myatt, Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI, 2017. ISBN 978-1545020142 (BISAC: Philosophy / Metaphysics).


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/corpus-hermeticum-i-iii-iv-xi/


Words Are The Problem

David Myatt 1998

David Myatt

Perhaps Words Are The Problem

Of the many metaphysical things I have pondered upon in the last five or so years, one is the enigma of words. More specifically, of how nomen – a name, a term, a designation – can not only apparently bring-into-being abstractions (and their categories) but also prescribe both our thinking and our actions, with such abstractions and such prescription so often being used by us, we mortals, to persuade, to entreat, to manipulate, to control, not only ourselves but through us others of our human kind. Whence how denotatum can and so often does distance, distract, us from the essence – the physis – that empathy and its wordless (acausal) knowing can reveal and has for a certain mortals so often in past millennia revealed.

For we seem somehow addicted to talk, to chatter – spoken and written – just as we assume, we believe, so often on the basis of nomina that we expand our pretension of knowing beyond the local horizon of a very personal wordless empathy breeding thus, encouraging thus, such hubris as has so marked our species for perhaps five thousand years. With such hubris – such certitude of knowing – being the genesis of such suffering as we have so often inflicted on others and, sometimes, even upon ourselves.

Would that we could, as a sentient species, dispense with nomen, nomina, and thus communicate with others – and with ourselves – empathically and thus acquire the habit of acausal wordless knowing. There would then be no need for the politics of propaganda and the rhetoric of persuasion; no need – no ability – to lie or pretend to others. For we would be known – wordlessly revealed – for who and what we really are. And what a different world that would be where no lie, no deception, would work and where guilt could never be concealed.

For some, a few mortals, such a wordless knowing is already, and has been for centuries, the numinous reality, born as such a personal reality is either via their pathei-mathos or via their innate physis. Which is perhaps why such others often secrete, or desire to secrete, themselves away: an isolated or secluded family – rural, or island – living, perhaps, and perhaps why Cistercians, some mystics, some artists, and others of a similar numinous kind, have saught to dwell, to live, in reclusive or communal silence.

There is – or so there seems to me to be according to my admittedly, fallible, uncertitude of knowing – a presencing of the essence of almost all religions here in such a knowing of the value, the mysterium, of silence. Of that which we so often in our hubris forget, have forgotten, or never known: that wordless, that empathic, that so very personal acausal knowing, that personal grief and personal suffering – that the personal awareness of the numinous – so often engenders, so often breeds, as has been so recounted for millennia in our human culture of pathei-mathos.

Given this culture – so accessible now through institutions of learning, through printed books, through art, memoirs, and music, and via this medium of this our digital age – shall we, can we, learn and apply the learning of that culture to significantly change our lives, thus somehow avoiding that periodicity of suffering which for millennia our hubris, our certainty of knowing born of nomen and nomina and the resultant abstractions, has inflicted and continues to inflict upon us?

I do so wish I had an answer. But for now, all I can do is dwell in hope of us en masse so evolving that such empathy, such wordless knowing, has become the norm.

David Myatt
2016

Extract From A Letter To A Friend


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/perhaps-words-are-the-problem/


David Myatt – Relict

David Myatt

David Myatt

David Myatt: Relict

How, will, should, David Myatt be remembered? Premature and recent rumors of his death struck a chord with some of us who – whatever our age, whatever our place of dwelling, and whatever our political inclinations – have somehow in some manner (positive or negative) been affected by his life and by his writings.

But someday, and perhaps soon – give or take a few months, a few years, or perhaps a decade or more – he, now a reclusive uncommunicative mystic, will most assuredly be gone from this our mortal realm. So how should, will, Myatt best be remembered?

For myself I choose his poetry. Or rather that compilation of his poems – titled Relict – which he himself compiled. For there is humanism, a numinosity, the ethos of our Western civilization, presenced in such semi-autobiographical poems as are collected there. As well as the quintessence of what, post-2012, became his mystical, his very personal, his decidedly Western, ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’.

Thus if he is to be remembered it should, perhaps, be for such so very human, so very civilized, poems. For such poems are such an eloquent rebuke to those who have attempted – or who for private or for political reasons may well continue to attempt – to besmirch him.

Relict
(pdf)

RS
2016


Related:

° Four Forgotten Poems


Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt

David Myatt

David Myatt


Contents:

I. A Modern Mystic: David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos
II. A Modern Pagan Philosophy
III. Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos
IV. An Overview of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos
Appendix. A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos


David Myatt – Exegesis And Translation

David Myatt

David Myatt

The pdf file below contains Myatt’s fourteen page essay Exegesis and Translation, first published in 2013. In the essay Myatt asks pertinent questions about revealed religions and the reliance the majority of believers of such revelations have on translations of their ‘sacred texts’ and the exegesis of others, writing in one memorable passage how

“there seems to be, in revealed religions and most conventional spiritual ways, a rejection of pathei-mathos in favour of the wisdom said to be contained in the texts and thus in the teachings of the founder(s) of the religion/spiritual way, and – in the case of revealed religions – in the writings/edicts of those who have been vested with or who have acquired a certain religious authority, and – also in the case of revealed religions – how such pathei-mathos, to be accepted at all, has to be judged by criteria developed from such texts and/or developed from interpretations of such texts.”

This essay therefore has relevance to Myatt’s philosophy of pathei mathos. It reveals also Myatt’s erudition, with quotations in their original language from the New Testament, the Koran, and Boethius – together with Myatt’s translations – as well as quotations from Beowulf, John Gower, and Morte Arthure.

While Myatt incorporated parts of the essay into some of his book-length works – for instance part of the Translation and Al-Quran section of the essay was added to the appendix of his Poemandres translation {1} – it is informative to read the complete essay, with his comments under the Ontology, Exegesis, and Pathei-Mathos heading in Part One of particular interest.

 

°°°

{1} David Myatt. Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary. Third Edition, 2014. ISBN 978-1495470684.


 

The Strange Life Of David Myatt

A pdf version of this article is available here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/myatt-strange-life-v2.pdf

David Myatt

David Myatt

The Strange Life Of David Myatt

One of the interesting things about the strange life of David Myatt is that there are several different interpretations of both his motives and his personality. The three most common interpretations – advanced and commented on by academics, by journalists, and others – are:

(i) That he is Anton Long, founder of the Occult group the Order of Nine Angles (ONA, O9A), and an “extremely violent, intelligent, dark, and complex individual” {1} who is “paramount to the whole creation and existence of the ONA,” {2} whose “Nazism and Islamism are merely instruments for the ONA’s underlying sinister esoteric plots.” {3}

(ii) That his somewhat itinerant adult life has been a Faustian, experiential, quest, with him drifting toward an unknown destination.

(iii) That he has been on a life-long ‘sinister-numinous’ quest, both Occult and practical (esoteric and exoteric), and has now discovered the wisdom and the self-understanding that is the goal of such a quest.

According to the first interpretation, his poetry {4}, his published private letters {5} and post-2011 writings about his philosophy of pathei-mathos are either a clever ploy by a real-life Trickster to disguise his real ‘sinister’ nature or were written by someone else, or some others, as a deception.

According to the second interpretation – advanced by Myatt himself and some of his supporters – such writings are genuine and document the interior struggles, the vacillation, and the learning from experience, that occurred from around 2002 until 2010; struggles, vacillation, and a learning that he makes mention of in both his autobiography Myngath and in his essay The Development Of The Numinous Way.

According to the third interpretation – advanced by some supporters of the O9A – such writings document the feelings and the understanding germane to someone who, questing for decades along the O9A Seven Fold Way, has entered and passed beyond the Abyss and thus discovered Lapis Philosophicus.

In respect of which interpretation of Myatt’s life is the most plausible, it is my contention that Myatt’s poetry, his published private letters, and his post-2011 writings about his philosophy of pathei-mathos, can provide the answer: that they hold all the clues necessary to arrive at a satisfactory and rational solution.


The Necessary Research

What is most surprising about those who advance and write about and believe one of the above explanations is that it appears that none of them have actually studied, in detail, and critically commented upon, Myatt’s poetry, his published (pre-2009) private letters and his post-2011 writings about his philosophy of pathei-mathos.

For among the questions that should be asked, in relation to such works, are the following. (i) What do they express in terms of personal feelings and weltanschauung?  (ii) What do they reveal about the writer and his style of life? (iii) Are they internally – and over the time span under consideration (2002-2011) – consistent? (iv) How do they relate to Myatt’s life at the time they were written? (v) Are they all consistent with Myatt’s own explanation of his life as described in his autobiography Myngath {6} and in his post-2011 essays such as The Development Of The Numinous Way? (vi) Could someone who faked the letters – for whatever reason – maintain a consistency of feelings for so many years? {7}

Is what Myatt explained in Myngath the truth of his life or the sly words of a trickster? He wrote:

“For the reality of my past nine or so years is not that of some sudden life-changing revelation, but rather of a profound inner struggle whose genesis lay years before – in my experiences with and passion for women; in my time in a monastery; in my ever-growing love for Nature and my involvement with English rural life; in Sue’s illness and her tragic death.

This intense struggle was akin to an addiction, and I an addict addicted to abstractions. A struggle between my empathy, my understanding, my pathei-mathos, and my life-long belief, itself an abstraction, that somehow in some way I could make a positive difference to the world and that such abstractions as I adhered to, or aided or advocated were or could be a beginning for a better world, and that to achieve this new world certain sacrifice were, unfortunately, necessary.

A struggle which gave rise to what became – refined, and extended, year after year – The Numinous Way, and which struggle was an interior war to change myself, to actually live, every year, every month, every week, every day, suffused with an empathic awareness and a desire not to cause suffering; the struggle to abandon abstractions.

For nine years or so this interior struggle wore me down, until it gradually faded away. It was akin to cycling up a long steep mountain climb in mist and drizzly rain, struggling on against one’s aching body and against the desire to stop and rest; and not being able to see the end, the summit, of the climb. And then, slowly, the drizzle ceases, the mist begins to clear, the road becomes gradually less steep, and one is there – in warm bright sunshine nearing the summit of that climb, able to see the beautiful, the numinous, vista beyond, below, for the first time, and which vista after such an effort brings a restful interior peace, the silent tears of one person who feels their human insignificance compared to the mountains, the valleys below, the sky, the Sun, and the vast Cosmos beyond: the wyrdful nature of one fleeting delicate mortal microcosmic nexion which is one’s own life.”

Post-2009 Letters And Writings

In 2012 Myatt was contacted, via e-mail, by a journalist employed by the BBC and, over subsequent months, they exchanged correspondence via that medium. In 2013 Myatt published edited extracts from some of this correspondence in Part Three of his book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination (ISBN 9781484854266). He also included some of this correspondence – and some other correspondence with a few other individuals around the same time (2011-2012) – in a posting on his weblog under the title Just My Fallible Views, Again. {8}

This correspondence is not only quite remarkable, given the various assumptions made about Myatt since at least the 1980s, but also is a significant development of the feelings expressed in his pre-2009 private letters. In those pre-2009 letters a certain lofty (even an arrogant) presumption of knowing – of having understood himself and the world – emerges time and time again, as well as certain pontifications based on various abstractions, while the later letters are replete with a certain humility. For instance, in one of these 2011-2012 letters he writes:

“The problem in the past had been me, my lack of understanding of myself and my egoism. It was my fault: not the place, not the time, not the people, for I so desired with that arrogance of youth to exchange this paradise, here, for those ideas, the idealism, the abstractions, I carried around in my prideful hubriatic head. Seldom content, for long, since happiness came with – was – the pursuit, or the gratification of my personal desires. So destructive, so very destructive. So hurtful, inconsiderate, selfish, profane […]

In a letter sent to the BBC journalist he wrote:

[My] recent propensity to be somewhat subsumed with a certain sadness [arose] from not only pondering on such questions as pathei-mathos, the causes/alleviation of suffering, and the nature of religion, expiation, and extremism, but also from understanding, from feeling, just how much suffering I personally have caused during my extremist decades and knowing that had it not been for the tragic death of a loved one some six years ago I would most probably have continued my career as a suffering-causing extremist.

He was even more explicit in another letter to a different correspondent and dated November 2012:

“The reason why I now do not – and have no desire to – “get involved with social change” (or to “go out into the world and try to give something back” as another correspondent recently expressed it) is the reality of me having made, and knowing and feeling I made, so many mistakes, shown such poor judgement, been so arrogant, so selfish, for so many decades – for most of my adult life. Given this reality, I simply do not trust myself anymore not to cause suffering, not to make even more mistakes, not to show poor judgement again. Just as I know my responsibility, my blame, for those my past mistakes and their human consequences. Thus, why would I want to inflict myself on the world anymore? […]

For the simple honest truth is that I now feel, in my very being, that I have no right to, can find no justification for me to – beyond that necessitated by personal honour in the immediacy of the moment – interfere in the lives of others, in however small a way even if my initial motives might be (or seemed to me to be) good. For who I am to judge, decide, things beyond the purvue of empathy and a very personal honour? I am just one fallible exceedingly error-prone human being with a long proven history of impersonal interference, of hubriatic, suffering-causing, and selfish, deeds. Someone who does not trust himself anymore and who values and tries to cultivate wu-wei.”

In a rather remarkable letter dated December 2nd 2012, he explained that:

“In respect of religion, there seems to have grown within me, this past year, a feeling regarding prayer, especially contemplative prayer, or rather that quiet way of being when – with no expectation of or belief in God – no words are desired or required and one is aware of the numinous in such an unaffected way that there is a calmness emanating not from within – not caused by our knowing or feeling of self – but from that ineffable vastness beyond which includes us and all the life that seeps into us, there in our stillness: emanations, of not only the dreams, the hopes, the love, the sadness, the sorrow, the grief, the pain, the joy, the tragedy, felt, known, experienced by we humans millennia after millennia, but also of the being, the essence, of the other life around us, here as Nature, and elsewhere, which, as we, ‘hath but a short time to live’.

A feeling, an intimation, of perhaps in some small way now understanding the Latin Opus Dei – Officium Divinum – as a needful daily reminder of our needful humility, as the plaintive cry Miserere Mei, Deus so reminds, and as the Namaz of Islam also so reminds with its Ruku, Sajdah, and recitation of Subhana Rabbiyal a’la. A needful daily reminder that we are transient beings, prone to dishonour, selfishness, and hubris, but who can be loving and kind, and beings prone to the charisma, the temptation, of words, either our own or those spoken or written by others. A reminder that we can so easily forget, have so often forgotten, that gentleness, that modest demeanour, that understanding, which derives from an appreciation of the numinous and also from one’s own admitted uncertainty of knowing and one’s acknowledgement of past mistakes. An uncertainty of knowing, an acknowledgement of mistakes, that often derive from πάθει μάθος.”

All these sentiments, these feelings, are so consistent over so many years, chime so well with his poetry, with the feelings that run through his pre-2009 letters, with his autobiography Myngath, and with post-2011 writings about his philosophy of pathei-mathos, that it seems inconceivable to me that they are artful constructions – fakes – by someone else (or some others) or the product of some ‘sinister trickster’ who has consciously adopted a certain persona in order to try and fool people. Also, what they express is a mysticism, a reverence for and an appreciation of the numinous, so at odds with the ethos and the practice of Satanism – of whatever variety – that it is also inconceivable that they were written by a Satanist or even by a practising Occultist.

My conclusion, therefore, is that his somewhat itinerant adult life has been a Faustian, experiential, quest, with him drifting, stumbling, toward an unknown destination, which destination he has finally reached and which destination he in his post-2011 writings and letters has striven to describe.

JRW
2016

Notes

{1} Raine, Susan. The Devil’s Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014.

{2} Senholt, Jacob. The Sinister Tradition. Paper presented at the international conference, Satanism in the Modern World, Trondheim, 19-20th November, 2009.

{3} Per Faxneld: Post-Satanism, Left Hand Paths, and Beyond in Per Faxneld & Jesper Petersen (editors) The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity, Oxford University Press. 2012, p.207

{4} DW Myatt. Relict: Some Autobiographical Poems. 2014. ISBN 9781495448386.

{5} Letters dating from 2002 to 2009 are currently (September 2016) available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/selected-letters/ with a few of these (and other) letters included in Part Two of Myatt’s book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination, published in 2013, ISBN 9781484854266.

Some letters dating from 2011 were included in Part Three of the aforementioned book.

{6} David Myatt. Myngath: Some Recollections of a Wyrdful and Extremist Life. 2013. ISBN 9781484110744.

{7} While those who believe the ‘fakery theory’ might object that there is no proof the letters were written on the dates given – that is, they might all have been faked within a relatively short period of time – the evidence indicates otherwise. For many of the letters were published on the website of a Myatt supporter from 2005 onwards, as the following link reveals: http://web.archive.org/web/20050205011512/http://www.geocities.com/davidmyatt/

The letters that are in the pdf compilation {5} and also available in that web archive, and in some subsequent archives, include the following: (i) Preco preheminencie, (ii) A Fine Day in Middle June, (iii) One Hot Sunny Day, Almost Mid-July; (iv) The Buzzards Are Calling Again; and so on.

{8} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/about/just-my-fallible-views-again/

°°°°°°°

Appendix

Some Quotations From The Letters of David Myatt (2002-2009)

[Untitled] February 2003

How foolish, to forget my own understanding: to forget the remembering, the pain, that shaped, changed, evolved such empathy as I possessed so much that – when alone as now in such places as this – I knew the past, felt the future, and, burdened by such knowing, tried hard to keep away the tears of so many centuries of sorrow, so little insight lived.

So hard, it seems, to renounce the passion of a life, as when a relationship of lovers falters, stalls, restarts to stall again; seldom a clean and sudden leaving. Feelings, memories, linger. And there is guilt. Let us not forget the guilt, the hope; the guilt of a duty abandoned […]

Tomorrow, I could have been elsewhere, in a teeming city, talking words of war as if my old hope of inspiring noble deeds to aid those far less fortunate than me was still real in a modern urban world too tired of silence, patience, and too afraid of numinous stillness. I choose not to go; not to speak, and instead will – the goddess permitting – sit here again suspended in time between brown, green and blue […]

If I have anything real to leave in remembrance, let it be such words as these: not the strife; not the anger; not the deaths; not the agitation for action. These are the words of a Spring, newly born between Sun and earth, bringing joy to a man whose hands, back and face have borne the cold toil of outdoor work in Winter.

I hope I do not forget this warmth, this beauty, again…

°°°°°°°

One Week Beyond Mid-Spring, 2003

It was hope – and another lost love – which took me, once and a decade or more ago, to Egypt to travel in the desert as if such traveling might bring a forgetful peace. It did not work, despite the grim toil of that long journey, and it was only when I returned to Cairo that I forgot. I remember it so well: I had gone, out of politeness, to a concert to see and listen to some singer which some Egyptian I had met enthused about. And there was such beauty there, in her, her voice, in the music, as she sang of many things. Such sadness; such joy, such an embracing, for me, of another world, another culture. I was at home there, listening, feeling, with the audience as the beautiful Samira Said sang, and ever since – in times of personal sadness, rejection, such as this – I remember her concert, or listen to her songs {1}, reminding me of how I am not alone, of how others have, and do, suffer, and have cried, and laughed, and sang of their problems, personal, political, social and otherwise. But most of all I remember that there is another world out there of different, vibrant, cultures, of good people striving in their daily mostly toiling lives with hope for a better more honourable world for themselves, their family, their children, their land.

1) In a recent letter Myatt added: “In the past few years she has changed her style somewhat, less Arabic, more Western. While this new style is interesting, some – myself included – prefer her earlier songs and recordings.”

 

°°°°°°°


[Untitled] April 2003

There is, of course, peace here, while the warm Sun lasts and there is some physical tiredness from the hours of physical work, and the very early, Dawn, start. But there is also not only an undercurrent of sad loneliness – for she whom I love has gone, to another – but also an intimation of the past when action, violence, in the world to change the world, brought that exhilaration which true, honourable, warriors know and often seek and which is an end to such loneliness…..

So, to be honest, there is temptation, even here, amid this quiet rural splendour: the temptation to be again what I was when action, a goal, a seeking, an assignment, made me a harmony of body, mind, soul, and life became suffused with a glory redolent of the gods because life was lived on a different, higher, level. There were then no obstacles that could not be overcome; no doubts; not even any self- reflexion.

Is this, then, just one of those periods in my life – of months, maybe a year – when I quietly drift, suffused with the numen, before returning to that other world, of duty, of exploration, of challenges, where lives the honourable warrior? I do not believe it is one of these periods, but I could be wrong; I have been wrong in the past.

°°°°°°°

We Have Been Led Astray, May 2003

How many times have I myself known the simple, gentle, warmth of a love shared? And how many times have I turned away from that toward what I assumed or believed or felt was a duty, thus hardening myself? So much lost, for so little. So much suffering and sadness created by me, in others, in the world: and for what? So much sadness and suffering caused within myself by such a loss.

The truth I have painfully, slowly, discovered in this, the fifth decade of my strange wandering life, is that there is no noble, no good, no honourable duty to anything or anyone which can contradict such love, or reject it, or place it second. What honourable, noble, duty there is can only arise from such love or join with that love in a natural, dwelling, way as when two people, a family, settle to dwell on the land and through their dwelling, their labour, their toil, their love, they create a way of life which is in harmony with all other life, with Nature, and especially with their own loving, rational, honourable, human nature.

This is the quiet numinous way of restraining ourselves by concentrating on what is beyond words, beyond ideas: the way that some of the beautiful music of the past several hundred years is an intimation of, reminding us as it can of the greatest suffering, the greatest joy, and of our own place among Nature, in the Cosmos.

This is the quiet return that is needed – beyond all rhetoric; beyond all propaganda; beyond all ideas, political, religious, otherwise – and beyond all the forms that constrain and try to mould our human nature to some abstract theory or construct. For what is human is this love, this symbiosis between such love, such dwelling, such a gentle seeking yearning born of our questioning nature. All else – all other types of yearning, seeking, striving, duty – detract us and distance us from, or even destroy and negate, our true human nature, and from that evolution of this nature of ours which great music, great Art, great literature, rational ethical Science itself, provide us with an intimation of, a gentle yearning for.

°°°°°°°

The Buzzards Are Calling Again, 2004

Many times, like the growing tree, there by that breeze, I have been swayed – swayed by the sleeping warrior within, who, awakened, has tempted me. So much dishonour in this world; so much I had to again strive to avoid involvement, ready as I was to go to defend the oppressed against the ignoble oppressor. It was, for me, the battle against dishonour that mattered, that called, that awoke – the living of the life of a warrior.

It was not the ideology, not the ideas, not the cause, or even the goals, for these were and are mere causal forms which do not, cannot, contain the essence itself even though, sometimes, they may presence part of it, as a Buzzard, circling, presences one small part of Nature’s life. What mattered then was the striving – the exhilaration of living which presenced honour in a moment, in an explosion of moments, so raising life up, upwards, towards a new living, a new way, nexion as it was to the essence itself, manifest as this essence was, is, can be, in the honour of a warrior. What mattered, then, was such a presencing by someone to redress the balance and bring some honour back into this world. Thus was I, am I, through such diverse presencing, such diverse involvement, a mystery to some, but not to myself… So I was swayed, tempted, and several times became alive again, a different alive as I forsook this quiet reclusive peace to travel, to engage, to live for a while a different way. And now, my work here having ended, I strain again against myself, feeling, feeling the presencing of that past, of those moments of life’s ecstasy.

What of my words, this past year, born of such peace, of such silent wisdom as has kept me here in this place? Have they changed anything, anyone? I do not think so. Are they then as flowers thrusting forth in Spring, born only to die each year, seeding themselves with the hope of rebirth in some future? I do not know, and shall lay this pen aside to close my eyes to I lie on my old coat upon the growing greening grass of one more burgeoning beautiful English Spring.


 

Reading Myngath

David Myatt

David Myatt

Reading Myngath
The Apologia of David Myatt

If the reader of Myngath expects a conventional autobiography then they will be either disappointed or consider the work somewhat bizarre.

Many – perhaps most – autobiographies appear to be consciously crafted in order to project, through the medium of words, a particular image of the author and an image which appears to be consistent because past events in the life of the author are often made to appear as if they were the genesis of, or support, what the authors wants the reader to believe about who the author is and why the author has done what they have and/or now has the beliefs or the opinions that they do.

The lives, however, of most notable individuals are not so simple as many of them would like us – via such self-penned deliberate, cause-and-effect, narratives – to believe.

In the case of Myatt what we get is – as the sub-title of Myngath and the introductory brief Apologia inform us – “some recollections of a wyrdful and extremist life” which were a “concise aural recollection to a friend, recorded and then transcribed” and which conciseness was because, according to Myatt “it is the essence of this particular life, recalled, that in my fallible view is or rather may be instructive, and I have tried to present this essence in a truthful way and thus be honest about my failings, my mistakes, my past activities, and my feelings at the time.”

The important phrases here are “aural recollection”, “some recollections”, and “honest about my feelings at the time.” For Myngath is a brief explanation, hastily given to someone, of how Myatt himself felt at certain times of his life, how he believes he finally came to reject the extremism that dominated his adult life and develop his philosophy of pathei-mathos, and which explanation is also an apology for both his extremist deeds and the selfishness so evident in his recollections of his private life. Which may explain why he chose a brief Apologia in preference to a lengthy Introduction, why he inserts some of his poems into the text, and why he added three appendices, with the poems for example expressing his feelings in a way that a wordy explanation would not.

What all this amounts to is that Myngath is not an ordinary autobiography but rather a series of impressions of Myatt at various times in his life. The enthusiastic unconventional schoolboy; a rather naive teenager getting involved in right-wing politics; the violent fanatic setting up a criminal gang to fund a political cause; the rather amoral convict running rackets from his prison cell; the selfish lover; the romantic dreamer and poet; the rather boyish somewhat mischievous Catholic monk; and the extremist turned humanist philosopher for whom “a shared, a loyal, love between two people is the most beautiful, the most numinous, the most valuable thing of all.”

What emerges was succinctly expressed a few years ago by an academic: an impression of an “extremely violent, intelligent, dark, and complex individual.” {1}

Understood as a series of impressions of the life of an individual with rather interesting and diverse experiences – from childhood on – Myngath is a worthwhile read, if only because it places the opinions of so many others about Myatt, from anti-fascists to journalists to various academics, into perspective: as being very simplistic. For such a complex man with such a diversity of experiences cannot be so easily pigeon-holed and as two-dimensional as they have made him out to be.

Myngath was, for me, also somewhat annoying, in that beneficial way that annoyance can sometimes be, since it intrigued me sufficiently to read more of David Myatt’s later (post-2011) writings and left me wanting to find a well-researched, objective, and detailed biography of him. The writings were easy to find, but such a biography has yet to be written.

J.B.
July 2016

Myngath is available (i) as a pdf document from Myatt’s weblog: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/myngath-2/
and (ii) as a printed book published in 2013, ISBN 978-1484110744

 


{1} Raine, Susan. The Devil’s Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014.


A Review Of Myatt’s Monas

David Myatt
A Review Of Myatt’s Monas
Corpus Hermeticum IV

David Myatt’s translation of and commentary on the fourth tract of the Corpus Hermeticum continues the style of his two previous translations of Hermetic texts: transliterations of some Greek words (such as logos and theos) and not giving some other Greek words (such as κακός and μῖσος) there usual meanings such as are found, for instance, in the standard Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell, Scott, and Jones {1}. As with his other Hermetic translations this results in Myatt’s version reading like an ancient pagan text rather than one infused with Christian or ascetic ideas, as the following examples illustrate.

The 1906 Mead translation:

Unless thou first shalt hate thy Body, son, thou canst not love thy Self. But if thou lovest thy Self thou shalt have Mind, and having Mind thou shalt share in the Gnosis.

The 1992 Copenhaver translation, which is quite similar to Mead’s:

Unless you first hate your body, my child, you cannot love yourself, but when you have loved yourself, you will possess mind, and if you have mind, you will also have a share in the way to learn.

The 2016 Myatt translation:

My son, primarily, unless you have a prejudice about the body
You cannot have affection for yourself, and when you have affection for yourself
You can acquire perceiverance and, having perceiverance,
You can participate in episteme.

Regarding episteme, Myatt writes in his commentary:

A transliteration of ἐπιστήμη, which could be – and has been – accented thus: épistémé. The meaning is ‘a way’, or a means or a method, by which something can be known, understood, and appreciated. In this case, perceiveration, which the artisan-creator has positioned “half-way between psyches, as a reward.” Episteme, therefore, should be considered a technical, esoteric, term associated with some of the weltanschauungen that are described in the Corpus Hermeticum. Thus, in the Poemandres tractate, the anados through the seven spheres is an episteme.

A Contentious Choice

One of the most contentious aspects of Myatt approach is his view, described in his Introduction, of the relation of the text to ancient Egyptian beliefs; of the texts being in essence representative of the Greek world-view with only few passing Egyptian references such as using the name Thoth.

While this is also the view of the Dominican priest André-Jean Festugière – the Greek scholar who with Professor Arthur Nock edited the standard edition of the text used by Myatt and others – many modern scholars have veered toward the view of there being some Egyptian, and probably Christian, influence.

The other contentious aspect is how Myatt, in this tractate, defines ἀγαθός. As ‘honourable’ instead of the more usual ‘good’. In defence of his choice he quotes a passage, in Greek, from the Corpus Aristotelicum and provides his own translation, arguing that this expresses the pagan Greek view and is apposite given what the English term good often implies due to the legacy of Christianity.

Myatt’s choice here completely changes the tone of the whole work, as evident in the following passage:

The 1906 Mead translation:

But they who have received some portion of God’s gift, these, Tat, if we judge by their deeds, have from Death’s bonds won their release; for they embrace in their own Mind all things, things on the earth, things in the heaven, and things above the heaven,—if there be aught. And having raised themselves so far they sight the Good; and having sighted It, they look upon their sojourn here as a mischance; and in disdain of all, both things in body and the bodiless, they speed their way unto that One and Only One.

The 1992 Copenhaver translation:

But those who participate in the gift that comes from god, O Tat, are immortal rather than mortal if one compares their deeds, for in a mind of their own they have comprehended all things on earth, things in heaven and even what lies beyond heaven. Having raised themselves so far, they have seen the good and, having seen it, they have come to regard the wasting of time here below as a calamity. They have scorned every corporeal and incorporeal thing, and they hasten toward the one and only.

The 2016 Myatt translation:

And yet, Thoth, those who parten to that gift from theos become,
When set against their deeds, immortal instead of mortal
For they with their perceiverance apprehend the Earthly, the Heavenly,
And what is beyond the Heavens.
Having gone so far, they perceive what is honourable, and, having so perceived,
They regard what preceded this as a delay, as a problem
And, with little regard for whatever is embodied and disembodied,
They strive toward the Monas.

Also notable here is Myatt’s choice of Thoth for Τάτ, and Monas for μονάς. Certainly the choice of Tat by both Mead and Copenhaver is unfortunate given what ‘tat’ means in British English.

Conclusion

Once again Myatt has provided a refreshingly different translation of an important Hermetic text, and one which as with his previous translations of tracts I and III {2} both reads well and offers a different, if iconoclastic and controversial, interpretation most suitable to students of Hermeticism and – perhaps especially – to students of the Occult given how such hermetic texts formed and form one of the foundations of Western Occultism, both during the Renaissance and in our modern times.

As with his other translations and Myatt’s support of ‘copyleft’, it is available both as a free (pdf) download {3} and as a printed book {4}.

R. Parker
July 2016

{1} Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996. ISBN 9780198642268.

{2} His two previous Hermetica translations were of the Poemandres and the Ιερός Λόγος tracts.

{3} https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/corpus-hermeticum-iv.pdf

{4}  David Myatt: Corpus Hermeticum IV: A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Fourth Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum. 2016. ISBN 978-1535245784


Fifty Years

Botticelli-Madonna-del-Magnificat-3

Editorial Note: The following extract is from Myatt’s 2012 essay Fifty Years Of Diverse Peregrinations and which essay he included in his 2013 book Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos: Essays and Letters Regarding Spirituality, Humility, and A Learning From Grief available as that book is both as a free e-text (myatt-religion-and-pathei-mathos.pdf ) and as a printed book, ISBN 9781484097984.

°°°

In fifty years of diverse peregrinations – which included forty years of practical involvement with various religions and spiritual ways, practical involvement with extremisms both political and religious, and some seven years of intense interior reflexion occasioned by a personal tragedy – I have come to appreciate and to admire what the various religions and the diverse spiritual ways have given to us over some three thousand years.

Thus have I sensed that our world is, and has been, a better place because of them and that we, as a sentient species, are en masse better because of them. Thus it is that I personally – even though I have developed my own non-religious weltanschauung – have a great respect for religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism; for spiritual ways such as Buddhism, Taoism; for older paganisms such as (i) θεοί and Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ᾽ Ἐρινύες, and (ii) άγνωστος θεός, and for the slowly evolving more recent paganisms evident for instance in a spiritual concern for the welfare of our planet and for the suffering we have for so long inflicted on other humans and on the other life with which we share this planet.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, I disagree with those who, often intemperate in words or deeds – or both – disrespectfully fail to appreciate such religions and spiritual ways and the treasure, the culture, the pathei-mathos, that they offer, concentrating as such intemperate people so often do on what they perceive to be or feel to be are the flaws, the mistakes, of such religions and such spiritual ways while so often ignoring (as such people tend to do) their own personal flaws, their own mistakes, as well as the reality that it is we humans beings – with our ὕβρις, with our lack of humility, our lack of appreciation for the numinous, and with our intolerance and our often arrogant and harsh interpretations of such religions – who have been the cause and who continue to be the cause of such suffering as has blighted and as still blights this world.

As Heraclitus mentioned over two thousand years ago:

ὕβριν χρὴ σβεννύναι μᾶλλον ἢ πυρκαϊὴν 

Better to deal with your hubris before you confront that fire

David Myatt
2012


The Occult And Academia

Order of Nine Angles

O9A

 

The Occult And Academia

In respect of the subject now often denoted by the term Western esotericism, can a lecturer or a faculty member at an established, mainstream, university or college be relied upon to present a well-researched, unbiased, scholarly, article or book?

Consider, for example, a recent (2016) book published by the prestigious Oxford University Press, Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism, written by Ruben Van Luijk. This book devotes several pages (371-373) to the Order of Nine Angles (ONA, O9A) and to Anton Long, making various unsubstantiated claims while in the process getting almost every fact about Myatt wrong. That such an author, published by such an academic press, could make so many unsubstantiated claims and so many mistakes in so few pages – mistakes arising from a lack of research using primary sources – does not inspire confidence in the rest of the book nor in the process of academic peer review.

The mistakes by Van Luijk about David Myatt include:

1) That Myatt joined the ‘British National Socialist Movement’ in 1968. Myatt in fact joined Colin Jordan’s British Movement that year, Jordan having disbanded his short lived ‘National Socialist Movement’ earlier in the year.

2) Van Luijk writes that Myatt’s pamphlet A Practical Guide To Aryan Revolution “included detailed instructions for the manufacture of explosives and the incitement of racial war.”

It seems that Van Luijk has not bothered to find and read that pamphlet, for while it does “incite racial war” (in the Racial War section) it does not contain detailed instructions about making bombs, with it being apparent that Van Luijk has confused that pamphlet with another similar one also attributed to Myatt {1}, the 15-page printed document circulated in the 1990s which announced the formation of The White Wolves and which document did indeed contain instructions on how to make home-made bombs, complete with diagrams.

That the pamphlet A Practical Guide To Aryan Revolution – attributed to Myatt – has never in its entirely been republished (on the internet or otherwise) and is not available in easily accessible academic libraries, surely makes it incumbent upon accredited scholars who wish to comment upon it to seek out and read it in its entirely in such few places as it can still be found.

3) Van Luijk repeats the claim made by certain other authors that Myatt is Anton Long without (i) providing any evidence from his own research using primary sources that Myatt is indeed Anton Long, and without (ii) referencing any academic sources which, on the basis of scholarly research using primary sources, have proven that Myatt is Long. {2} Furthermore, that there are no such academic sources which, on the basis of scholarly research using primary sources, have proven that Myatt is Long, is never mentioned by Van Luijk.

4) Van Luijk writes that Myatt was “initiated in 1968 by the female leader of a Wicca coven.” Nowhere, in the writings of Anton Long, is there any claim to have been initiated either in 1968 or by someone from a wicca coven. Rather, the claim made by the pseudonymous Anton Long is of being initiated in the early 1970s and by the daughter of a lady associated with a pagan, occult, tradition.

The unsubstantiated claims of Van Luijks about the O9A include:

1) That the name ‘Order of Nine Angles’ suggests inspiration from the ‘satanism’ of Howard Stanton Levey and his Church of Satan, whereas a reading of (i) basic O9A texts such a The Order of Nine Angles Rite of The Nine Angles: A Comparison with the Ceremony of Nine Angles by Aquino And A Brief Study of The Meaning of The Nine Angles, and (ii) of Professor Monette’s conclusion that “it is clear despite claims that the term ‘nine angles’ was introduced in the twentieth century, the term is centuries older, especially in esoteric or cosmological discourse,” {3} would have revealed there was no such inspiration.

Myatt himself even makes a comparison with the ancient Somnium Scipionis described by Cicero, in De Re Publica, Book VI, 17, which mention of ‘nine’ pre-dates Levey and his Church of Satan by over a thousand years.

2) That the O9A accept the Judaeo-Christian version of Satan, whereas a reading of basic O9A texts such as The Geryne of Satan would have revealed that the O9A do not accept that version of Satan, giving rise to the O9A understanding of a satanist as a person who – ‘diabolically’ or otherwise – is opposed to those who believe  themselves to be God’s chosen people; that is, someone opposed to the Jews.

3) That the O9A is just a development of the ‘satanism’ of Howard Stanton Levey, whereas a study of the O9A corpus, from the 1980s on, and O9A works such as the compilation The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles, would have revealed that the O9A represent an occult, essentially pagan, tradition wholly different from the qabalistic-centred occult tradition used by Crowley, Levey, Aquino, and other modern occultists. A difference evident in the O9A’s Seven Fold Way and their occult septenary system.

4) That the O9A Star Game is just a ‘board game’, whereas a reading of basic O9A texts such as Naos would have revealed its three-dimensional and unique nature, a uniqueness derived from the transformation of each piece when it is moved and the alchemical combinations and occult associations of each piece.

The lack of detailed, scholarly, research and the mistakes made by Van Luijk are unfortunately typical of many of the books and articles written by academics about modern Satanism in particular and the Western, occult, Left Hand Path in general, with many authors of recent works relying for instance on the opinions of others (and, sometimes, even relying on anonymous persons communicated with by means of e-mail) rather than undertaking their own years-long research using primary sources.

Thus, in respect of Western esotericism, can a lecturer or a faculty member at an established, mainstream, university or college be relied upon to present a well-researched, unbiased, scholarly, article or book? The answer, more often than not, is no, for so many such books and articles are written by those who, despite being accorded the status of academics, are not scholars because their approach to the subject they write about it is quite unscholarly. {2}

R. Parker
2016

This a revised version of an article previously circulated under the title More Unscholarly Research.

Notes

{1} Searchlight, July 2000.

{2} Correctly understood, a scholarly approach means undertaking a meticulous, unbiased, research into a specific subject over a period of some years using, wherever possible, primary sources; formulating an opinion based on such learning, such knowledge, as results from such research, and in respect of writing academic papers and books about the subject providing copious, accurate, references to the source material. Primary sources include direct evidence such as original documents dating from the period under study, and accounts and works (written, verbal, published or unpublished) by such individuals whose life or whose writings or whose works form part of the research. In addition, if such sources – documents or accounts or writings – are in another language, then it is incumbent upon the scholar to have knowledge of that language and thus be able to translate such documents themselves, for a reliance upon the translations of others relegates such sources from the position of primary ones to secondary ones.

Hence, if the author of an academic book or academic paper writes about a person and/or about their works, or about an event, using only secondary sources – sources containing the opinions, the interpretations, or the conclusions of others – then the opinion, the interpretation, the conclusions of that author about such a person and/or about their works, or about an event, are unauthoritative because unscholarly.

{3} Monette, Connell (2013). Mysticism in the 21st Century. Sirius Academic Press. p.105.



Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos

clytemnestra_kills_cassandrared_figure-c-430bce
Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos

Along with the faculty of empathy and pathei-mathos, central to David Myatt’s philosophy {1} is what he terms the virtue of honour, writing that

“personal honour – which presences the virtues of fairness, tolerance, compassion, humility, and εὐταξία – [is] (i) a natural intuitive (wordless) expression of the numinous (‘the good’, δίκη, συμπάθεια) and (ii) of both what the culture of pathei-mathos and the acausal-knowing of empathy reveal we should do (or incline us toward doing) in the immediacy of the personal moment when personally confronted by what is unfair, unjust, and extreme.

Of how such honour – by its and our φύσις – is and can only ever be personal, and thus cannot be extracted out from the ‘living moment’ and our participation in the moment.” {2}

Thus, like both empathy and pathei-mathos, Myatt conceives of honour not as an abstraction {3} – not in any idealistic way – but as “an expression of our own φύσις; and a person either has this ‘faculty of honour’ or they do not.” {4} Myatt goes on to suggest that such a faculty – like the faculty of empathy – can be consciously developed; that

“through such things as a personal study of the culture of pathei-mathos and the development of the faculty of empathy that a person who does not naturally possess the instinct for δίκη can develope what is essentially ‘the human faculty of honour’, and which faculty is often appreciated and/or discovered via our own personal pathei-mathos.” {2}{5}

Myatt is at pains to point out, several times, not only that honour, empathy, and pathei-mathos, are related:

“What, therefore, is the wordless knowing that empathy and pathei-mathos reveal? It is the knowing manifest in our human culture of pathei-mathos. The knowing communicated to us, for example, by art, music, literature, and manifest in the lives of those who presenced, in their living, compassion, love, and honour. Germane to this knowing is that – unlike a form [ἰδέᾳ, εἶδος] or an abstraction – it is always personal (limited in its applicability) and can only be embodied in and presenced by some-thing or by some-one which or who lives. That is, it cannot be abstracted out of the living, the personal, moment of its presencing by someone or abstracted out from its living apprehension by others in the immediacy-of-the-moment, and thus cannot become ‘an ideal’ or form the foundation for some dogma or ideology or supra-personal faith.” {6}

but also that what is revealed, known, and understood, and sometimes acted upon, is always personal; with empathy, pathei-mathos, and honour emphasizing

“the importance of living in the “immediacy of the personal, living, moment”, sans the pursuit of some ideal or of some assumed perfection; with what is ‘good’ being not some abstraction denoted by some faith, dogma, ideal, ideology, or by some collocation of words, but rather is a function of, a wordless revealing by, our personal, our individual, empathic horizon, by our pathei-mathos, and by the collected human pathei-mathos of millennia manifest as that is in the culture of pathei-mathos. Which revealing is that what-lives is more important that any ideal, than any abstraction or form, with ‘the good’ simply being that which does not cause suffering to, or which can alleviate the suffering of, what-lives, human and otherwise.

Thus the ‘meaning’ of our physis, of our living, so revealed, is just that of a certain way of living; a non-defined, non-definable, very personal way of living, only relevant to us as an individual where we – appreciating our human culture of pathei-mathos, and thus appreciative of art, music, literature, and other emanations of the numinous – incline toward not causing suffering and incline (by means of empathy, compassion, and honour) toward alleviating such suffering as we may personally encounter in the “immediacy of the personal, living, moment”. {6}

Honour In Practice

What all this amounts to, in respect of honour, is that there can be no supra-personal ‘code of honour’ or ‘code/theory of ethics’ – written or oral – which an individual seeks to uphold and live by, since honour in Myatt’s philosophy is not an ideal to be followed or aspired to. A person thus does what is honourable – in the “immediacy of the personal, living, moment” – because it is their nature, a wordless part of their way of life, to do so; to behave in such a manner that there is, in such a moment, a natural balancing of Life itself, since the personal virtue of honour is

“a practical, a living, manifestation of our understanding and appreciation of the numinous; of how to live, to behave, as empathy intimates we can or should in order to avoid committing the folly, the error, of ὕβρις [hubris], in order not to cause suffering, and in order to re-present, to acquire, ἁρμονίη [balance, harmony].” {7}

That is, the judgement regarding when and how to act is and can only be an individual one, in and of the moment. In addition, Myatt emphasizes several times that compassion – and the desire not to cause suffering – should be balanced, and are balanced, by and because of honour:

“This balancing of compassion – of the need not to cause suffering – by σωφρονεῖν [discernment] and δίκη is perhaps most obvious on that particular occasion when it may be judged necessary to cause suffering to another human being. That is, in honourable self-defence. For it is natural – part of our reasoned, fair, just, human nature – to defend ourselves when attacked and (in the immediacy of the personal moment) to valorously, with chivalry, act in defence of someone close-by who is unfairly  attacked or dishonourably threatened or is being bullied by others, and to thus employ, if our personal judgement of the circumstances deem it necessary, lethal force.

This use of force is, importantly, crucially, restricted – by the individual nature of our judgement, and by the individual nature of our authority – to such personal situations of immediate self-defence and of valorous defence of others, and cannot be extended beyond that, for to so extend it, or attempt to extend it beyond the immediacy of the personal moment of an existing physical threat, is an arrogant presumption – an act of ὕβρις – which negates the fair, the human, presumption of innocence of those we do not personally know, we have no empathic knowledge of, and who present no direct, immediate, personal, threat to us or to others nearby us.

Such personal self-defence and such valorous defence of another in a personal situation are in effect a means to restore the natural balance which the unfair, the dishonourable, behaviour of others upsets.” {7}

Honour therefore, in my view, humanizes Myatt’s mystical philosophy, making it an individual and quite practical and a decidedly pagan way of life {8} where the development of and the use of individual judgement – in respect of others and situations – is paramount. A development – a cultivation of discernment – by means of empathy, personal pathei-mathos, and learning from our human culture of pathei-mathos.

That Myatt has framed his philosophy in terms of Greco-Roman culture – so evident for instance in his use of Greek terms and his copious quotations from Greek and Roman authors – makes it a distinct modern philosophy which has not only “continued and creatively added to the classical – that is, Western, pre-Christian – pagan and mystical traditions” {9}, but has also, through the centrality of personal honour, of the muliebral virtues {10}, and of humility {11}, restored the Western ethic of gallantry.

R. Parker
2016

{1} The philosophy of pathei-mathos is described by David Myatt in the following four collections of essays:

i) The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1484096642.
ii) Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1484097984.
iii) One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings. 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1502396105.
iv) Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays. 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1512137149.

{2} The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis. The essay is included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings.

{3} Myatt, in his Towards Understanding Physis (included in Sarigthersa), defines an abstraction as “a manufactured generalization, a hypothesis, a posited thing, an assumption or assumptions about, an extrapolation of or from some-thing, or some assumed or extrapolated ideal ‘form’ of some-thing. Sometimes, abstractions are generalization based on some sample(s), or on some median.”

In later essays, such as Personal Reflexions On Some Metaphysical Questions, he explains that denotatum – which he uses in accord with its general meaning, which is “to denote or to describe by an expression or a word; to name some-thing; to refer that which is so named or so denoted” – and abstractions both conceal physis and thus prevent us from understanding our own being, our nature as mortals.

{4} Some Questions For DWM (2014). Included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods.

{5} Myatt, in his essay Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos, included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods, defines ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’ as “the accumulated pathei-mathos of individuals, world-wide, over thousands of years, as (i) described in memoirs, aural stories, and historical accounts; as (ii) have inspired particular works of literature or poetry or drama; as (iii) expressed via non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and as (iv) manifest in more recent times by ‘art-forms’ such as films and documentaries.”

Of δίκη, Myatt, in his The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, writes:

“Depending on context, δίκη could be the judgement of an individual (or Judgement personified), or the natural and the necessary balance, or the correct/customary/ancestral way, or what is expected due to custom, or what is considered correct and natural, and so on. A personified Judgement – the Δίκην of Hesiod – is the goddess of the natural balance, evident in the ancestral customs, the ways, the way of life, the ethos, of a community, whose judgement, δίκη, is “in accord with”, has the nature or the character of, what tends to restore such balance after some deed or deeds by an individual or individuals have upset or disrupted that balance. This sense of δίκη as one’s ancestral customs is evident, for example, in Homer (Odyssey, III, 244).”

However, in several of his essays – such as Some Conjectures Concerning Our Nexible Physis, included in Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays, Myatt also uses δίκη to mean ‘fairness’, quoting Hesiod and providing his own translation and which translation mentions both honour and a learning from adversity:

σὺ δ ̓ ἄκουε δίκης, μηδ ̓ ὕβριν ὄφελλε:
ὕβρις γάρ τε κακὴ δειλῷ βροτῷ: οὐδὲ μὲν ἐσθλὸς
215 ῥηιδίως φερέμεν δύναται, βαρύθει δέ θ ̓ ὑπ ̓ αὐτῆς
ἐγκύρσας ἄτῃσιν: ὁδὸς δ ̓ ἑτέρηφι παρελθεῖν
κρείσσων ἐς τὰ δίκαια: Δίκη δ ̓ ὑπὲρ Ὕβριος ἴσχει
ἐς τέλος ἐξελθοῦσα: παθὼν δέ τε νήπιος ἔγνω

You should listen to [the goddess] Fairness and not oblige Hubris
Since Hubris harms unfortunate mortals while even the more fortunate
Are not equal to carrying that heavy a burden, meeting as they do with Mischief.
The best path to take is the opposite one: that of honour
For, in the end, Fairness is above Hubris
Which is something the young come to learn from adversity.

In his footnotes to his translation Myatt explains:

δίκη. The goddess of Fairness/Justice/Judgement, and – importantly – of Tradition (Ancestral Custom). In [Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι], as in Θεογονία (Theogony), Hesiod is recounting and explaining part of that tradition, one important aspect of which tradition is understanding the relation between the gods and mortals. Given both the antiquity of the text and the context, ‘Fairness’ – as the name of the goddess – is, in my view, more appropriate than the now common appellation ‘Justice’, considering the modern (oft times impersonal) connotations of the word ‘justice’ […]

δίκαιος. Honour expresses the sense that is meant: of being fair; capable of doing the decent thing; of dutifully observing ancestral customs. A reasonable alternative for ‘honour’ would thus be ‘decency’, both preferable to words such as ‘just’ and ‘justice’ which are not only too impersonal but have too many inappropriate modern connotations.

{6} Personal Reflexions On Some Metaphysical Questions. 2015. Note that here, as elsewhere in other quotations from Myatt’s writings, I have provided – in square brackets [ ]  – a translation of some of the Greek terms Myatt uses.

{7} The Numinous Balance of Honour. Included in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos.

{8} I have outlined the pagan nature of Myatt’s philosophy in A Modern Pagan Philosophy.

{9} R. Parker. A Modern Pagan Philosophy. e-text, 2016.

{10} See the Masculous And Muliebral section of my A Modern Pagan Philosophy.

{11} Humility is one of the personal virtues of Myatt’s philosophy. Myatt in his 2012 essay Pathei-Mathos – A Path To Humility explains that he uses the term

“in a spiritual context to refer to that gentleness, that modest demeanour, that understanding, which derives from an appreciation of the numinous and also from one’s own admitted uncertainty of knowing and one’s acknowledgement of past mistakes. An uncertainty of knowing, an acknowledgement of mistakes, that often derive from πάθει μάθος.

Humility is thus the natural human balance that offsets the unbalance of hubris (ὕβρις) – the balance that offsets the unbalance of pride and arrogance, and the balance that offsets the unbalance of that certainty of knowing which is one basis for extremism, for extremist beliefs, for fanaticism and intolerance. That is, humility is a manifestation of the natural balance of Life; a restoration of ἁρμονίη, of δίκη, of σωφρονεῖν – of those qualities and virtues – that hubris and extremism, that ἔρις and πόλεμος, undermine, distance us from, and replace.”


cc  R. Parker 2016
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.
Can be freely copied and distributed under the terms of that license
(First Edition)


Image credit: Klytemnestra Kills Cassandra. Red figure vase, c 430 BCE



A Modern Pagan Philosophy

David Myatt

David Myatt

A Modern Pagan Philosophy

It is my contention that the philosophy – the weltanschauung – advanced by David Myatt between 2012 and 2015 {1}, and named by him as ‘the philosophy of pathei-mathos’, is not only a modern expression of the Western mystical tradition {2} but also a pagan philosophy.

In respect of mysticism, a mystic is a person (i) who by means such as contemplation desires a selfless awareness of God or of Reality, ‘the cosmic order’, or (ii) who accepts that there is a spiritual apprehension of certain truths which transcend the temporal. This apprehension certainly applies to Myatt’s philosophy, based as it is on what Myatt terms ‘the acausal knowing’ resulting from empathy and pathei-mathos {3}.

In respect of paganism, it is generally defined – from the classical Latin paganus, and ignoring the modern re-interpretation of the word by self-described contemporary pagans – as meaning “of or belonging to a rural community” in contrast to belonging to an urban or a more organized community (such as a religious Church), from whence derived the later (c. 1440 CE, post Morte Arthure) description of a pagan as a non-Christian, a ‘heathen’ (Old English hǽðen), and thus as describing a person who holds a religious belief which is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Muslim.

Myatt however provides his own, rather more philosophical, definition, relating as his definition does to the paganism of the Western, Greco-Roman, tradition. Thus Myatt – paraphrasing a passage from Cicero’s De Natura Deorum and quoting the original Latin – defines paganism as

“an apprehension of the complete unity (a cosmic order, κόσμος, mundus) beyond the apparent parts of that unity, together with the perceiveration that we mortals – albeit a mere and fallible part of the unity – have been gifted with our existence so that we may perceive and understand this unity, and, having so perceived, may ourselves seek to be whole, and thus become as balanced (perfectus), as harmonious, as the unity itself: Neque enim est quicquam aliud praeter mundum quoi nihil absit quodque undique aptum atque perfectum expletumque sit omnibus suis numeris et partibus […] ipse autem homo ortus est ad mundum contemplandum et imitandum – nullo modo perfectus, sed est quaedam particula perfecti.” {4}

Which apprehension of the κόσμος certainly describes Myatt’s philosophy where

“there is a perceiveration of our φύσις; of us as – and not separate from – the Cosmos: a knowledge of ourselves as the Cosmos presenced (embodied, incarnated) in a particular time and place and in a particular way. Of how we affect or can affect other effluvia, other livings beings, in either a harmful or a non-harming manner. An apprehension, that is, of the genesis of suffering and of how we, as human beings possessed of the faculties of reason, of honour, and of empathy, have the ability to cease to harm other living beings. Furthermore, and in respect of the genesis of suffering, this particular perceiveration provides an important insight about ourselves, as conscious beings; which insight is of the division we mistakenly but understandably make, and have made, consciously or unconsciously, between our own being – our ipseity – and that of other living beings, whereas such a distinction is only an illusion – appearance, hubris, a manufactured abstraction – and the genesis of such suffering as we have inflicted for millennia, and continue to inflict, on other life, human and otherwise.” {5}

Furthermore, there is an emphasis in Myatt’s philosophy on balancing within ourselves ‘the masculous’ with ‘the muliebral’ in order that we may not only perceive the unity beyond what Myatt terms ‘the illusion of ipseity’ {6} but also become as harmonious as that unity; a unity achievable – according to Myatt – be developing and using our faculty of empathy and by cultivating the virtue of personal honour, which virtue manifests, ‘presences’, that self-restraint – that moderation – described by the Greek term εὐταξία {5}.

Masculous And Muliebral

One of the unique features of Myatt’s philosophy, and thus of his paganism, is the distinction he makes between the masculous and the muliebral aspects of our human nature. In Some Conjectures Concerning Our Nexible Physis he writes of the necessity of the muliebral virtues

“which, combined, manifest an enantiodromiacal change in our human physis and which change, which balancing of the masculous with the muliebral, consequently could evolve us beyond the patriarchal ethos, and the masculous societies, which have been such a feature of human life on this planet for the past three thousand years, genesis as that ethos and those societies have been of so much grieving.” {7}

For according to Myatt

“it is the muliebral virtues which evolve us as conscious beings, which presence sustainable millennial change. Virtues such as empathy, compassion, humility, and that loyal shared personal love which humanizes those masculous talking-mammals of the Anthropocene, and which masculous talking-mammals have – thousand year following thousand year – caused so much suffering to, and killed, so many other living beings, human and otherwise.” {8}

In effect Myatt is suggesting that the solution to the problem of suffering – the answer to the question of ‘good and evil’ – lies not in politics, nor in religion, nor in supra-personal social change, and certainly not in revolutions, invasions, and wars, but in ourselves by us as individuals valuing and cultivating the muliebral virtues. What this means in practical terms – although Myatt himself does not directly spell it out but rather implies it – is men appreciating women, treating them honourably and as equals, and cultivating in their own lives muliebral virtues such as εὐταξία, empathy, and compassion.

This emphasis on the muliebral, and thus on internal balance, distinguishes Myatt’s philosophy from other philosophies, ancient and modern, most of which philosophies are imbued with a decidedly masculous ethos; and none of which emphasize personal virtues such as honour and empathy, and the ethics derived therefrom; and none of which have an ontology of causal and acausal being.

Which Myattian ontology is crucial to understanding such an emphasis on the muliebral and the enantiodromiacal change in our physis resulting from us perceiving and understanding (via empathy and pathei-mathos) the unity beyond the unnecessary division between the masculous and the muliebral and the other divisions we make based on abstractions, denotatum, and ipseity.

As Myatt explains,

“empathy and pathei-mathos incline us to suggest that ipseity is an illusion of perspective: that there is, fundamentally, no division between ‘us’ – as some individual sentient, mortal being – and what has hitherto been understood and named as the Unity, The One, God, The Eternal. That ‘we’ are not ‘observers’ but rather Being existing as Being exists and is presenced in the Cosmos. That thus all our striving, individually and collectively when based on some ideal or on some form – some abstraction and what is derived therefrom, such as ideology and dogma – always is or becomes sad/tragic, and which recurrence of sadness/tragedy, generation following generation, is perhaps even inevitable unless and until we live according to the wordless knowing that empathy and pathei-mathos reveal.” {9}


A Modern Paganism

Contrary to contemporary neo-pagan revivalism – with its made-up beliefs, practices, romanticism, rituals, and lack of philosophical rigour – Myatt has not only produced a modern pagan philosophy with a unique epistemology, a unique ontology, and a unique theory of ethics {10} but also continued and creatively added to the classical – that is, Western, pre-Christian – pagan and mystical traditions.

For Myatt has asked

(i) if Being – whether denoted by terms such as acausal, born-less, θεός The One, The Divine, God, The Eternal, Mονάς – can be apprehended (or defined) by some-things which are causal (denoted by terms such as spatial, temporal, renewance), and (ii) whether this ‘acausal Being’ is the origin or the genesis or ‘the artisan’ or the creator of both causal being (including ‘time’, and ‘change’) and of causal living beings such as ourselves.

That is, (i) has causal spatially-existing being ’emerged from’ – or been created by – acausal Being, and (ii) are causal beings – such as ourselves – an aspect or emanation of acausal Being? {9}

His answer:

“formulating such a question in such terms – causal/acausal; whole/parts; eternal/temporal; ipseity/unity; emergent from/genesis of – is a mis-apprehension of what-is because such denoting is ‘us as observer’ (i) positing, as Plato did, such things as a theory regarding ‘the ideal’, and/or (ii) constructing a form or abstraction (ἰδέᾳ) which we then presume to project onto what is assumed to be ‘external’ to us, both of which present us with only an illusion of understanding and meaning because implicit in such theories and in all such constructed forms are (i) an opposite (an ‘other’) and (ii) the potentiality for discord (dialectical or otherwise) between such opposites and/or because of a pursuit of what is regarded as ‘the ideal’ of some-thing.” {9}

Which led Myatt to suggest that Being, and our own physis, can be discovered – known and understood – by empathy and pathei-mathos which both by-pass abstractions, denotatum, and opposites, and enable us to appreciate the numinosity of Being.

What therefore is the wordless knowing that empathy and pathei-mathos reveal? According to Myatt

“it is the knowing manifest in our human culture of pathei-mathos. The knowing communicated to us, for example, by art, music, literature, and manifest in the lives of those who presenced, in their living, compassion, love, and honour. Germane to this knowing is that – unlike a form or an abstraction – it is always personal (limited in its applicability) and can only be embodied in and presenced by some-thing or by some-one which or who lives. That is, it cannot be abstracted out of the living, the personal, moment of its presencing by someone or abstracted out from its living apprehension by others in the immediacy-of-the-moment, and thus cannot become ‘an ideal’ or form the foundation for some dogma or ideology or supra-personal faith.” {9}

Which is a rather succinct description of the essence, the ethos, of the Western pagan and mystic traditions where each individual acquires a personal, non-dogmatic, apprehension of certain truths which transcend the temporal.


R. Parker
2016

{1} David Myatt’s philosophy is outlined in four collections of essays published between 2013 and 2015. The works – available both as printed books and as pdf files from his website via the following link, https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/writings-concerning-the-philosophy-of-pathei-mathos/ – are as follows:

i) The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1484096642.
ii) Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1484097984.
iii) One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings. 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1502396105.
iv) Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays. 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1512137149.

{2} The words ‘mystical’ and ‘mysticism’ are derived from the term mystic, the etymology and English usage of which are:

i) Etymology:

° Classical Latin mysticus, relating to sacred mysteries, mysterious;
° Post-classical Latin, in addition to the above: symbolic, allegorical;
° Ancient Greek μυστικός, relating to sacred mysteries;
° Hellenistic Greek μυστικός, initiate; plural, μυστικόι; also: symbolic,
allegorical, spiritual, esoteric, mysterious, occult;
° Byzantine Greek (5th century CE ) μυστικόν, mystical doctrine.

ii) English usage:

° noun: symbolic, allegorical (c. 1350);
° noun: an exponent or advocate of mystical theology;
° noun: a person who by means such as contemplation desires a selfless awareness of God or ‘the cosmic order’ (mundus), or who accepts that there is a spiritual apprehension of certain truths which transcend the temporal;
° adjective: esoteric, mysterious, [equivalent in usage to ‘mystical’]
° adjective: of or relating to esoteric rites [equivalent in usage to ‘mystical’]

{3} As Myatt writes, the following articles, “a few caveats notwithstanding, provide a reasonable summary of the main points” of his philosophy: JR Wright, A Modern Mystic: David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos, 2015. [https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/dwm-modern-mystic-v7b.pdf] and R. Parker: An Overview of David Myatt’s Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos, 2014. [https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/overview-myatt-philos-pathei-mathos-v2.pdf]

{4} Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos. The essay is included in Myatt’s One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods.

{5} The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis. qv. Myatt’s One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods.

{6} Myatt discusses ‘the illusion of ipseity’ in several of his essays, including Towards Understanding The Acausal (qv. One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods) and Personal Reflexions On Some Metaphysical Questions (qv. Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays).

{7} qv. Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays.

{8} Some Questions For DWM (2014). Included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods.

{9} Personal Reflexions On Some Metaphysical Questions. qv. Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays.

{10} His ontology, ethics, and epistemology are described by Myatt in The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis (qv. One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods) and also discussed in the two articles mentioned in footnote {3}.


DW Myatt: Some Rejected Poems

David Myatt

David Myatt

DW Myatt: Some Rejected Poems
(pdf)

From the intro by JRW:

{quote} In [his] Introduction to his published slim volume of poetry – One Exquisite Silence (ISBN 978-1484179932), later republished under the title Relict (ISBN 978-1495448386) – David Myatt wrote that:

“My poetry was composed between the years 1971-2012, and is of varying quality. Having undertaken the onerous task of re-reading those poems that I still have copies of, there are in my fallible view only around a dozen that I consider may possibly be good enough to be read by others. This collection contains these few poems, and most are autobiographical in nature.”

I include here those of his rejected poems which in my view are indeed “good enough to be read by others”. {/quote}


A Review of Myatt’s ‘Good, Evil, Honour, and God’

David Myatt
A Review of David Myatt’s ‘Good, Evil, Honour, and God’

Introduction

Controversial, iconoclastic, and much maligned as David Myatt is, and metaphysical as his philosophy of pathei-mathos appears to be, it is my contention that Myatt’s 2013 text Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God {1} can provide some valuable insights regarding – and a new moral perspective in relation to – current events, especially given the comments and dehortations made, for well over a decade, regarding religious extremism and terrorism.

Such comments and dehortations – by government officials, the Media, and others – have intensified following recent attacks on Western interests, and citizens, in Tunisia, France, and elsewhere, with several government officials, and journalists, repeatedly using the word ‘evil’ to describe both such attacks and the individuals responsible for them, and with the consensus being that governments, police forces, intelligence agencies, other government institutions and even the armed forces, need to ‘”do more – and have more resources – to tackle and counter terrorism and extremism and prevent radicalization,” which often means in practice the introduction of more legislation, the arrest and imprisonment of those proven to be or suspected of being “supporters of terrorism”, de-radicalization programmes, mass surveillance by intelligence agencies, and supporting or facilitating or directly engaging in military action against “extremists and terrorists” in certain foreign countries.


A Different Perspective

In his Introduction, Myatt asks a rhetorical question:

“Can we as a species change, sans a belief in some reward or the threat of punishment – be such karmic, eschatological, or deriving from something such as a State – or are we fated, under Sun, to squabble and bicker and hate and kill and destroy and exploit this planet and its life until we, a failed species, leave only dead detritic traces of our hubris?”

He then goes on to offer his own answer, or rather provides a perspective which, as described in Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God, is different and possibly unique, for it is – as he admits in his Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination – the result of his

“forty years as a practical extremist [and] forty years of practical experience of extremism and of other extremists; a practical experience that began in 1968 and ranged from fascism, and the racism of National-Socialism, to radical Islam and which practical experience included founding and leading a political organization; producing propaganda, organizing activities and demonstrations, some of which ended in violence; speaking in public and participating in marches, demonstrations, and brawls; formulating extremist ideology; imprisonment for racist and other violence; participating in and recruiting for paramilitary activities; inciting hatred, violence and prejudice; engaging in criminal activities to fund extremist causes; encouraging and supporting terrorism; and so on.

My conclusions regarding extremism resulted from some years of moral, personal, and philosophical questioning and reflexion; a questioning whose genesis was a personal tragedy in 2006, and which questioning led me a few years later to reject all forms of extremism and develope my own weltanschauung – the philosophy of pathei-mathos – based on the virtues of empathy, compassion, and humility.” {2}

Given this experience, and given the erudition evident in his Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God, his views certainly merit serious consideration.

Thus, in respect of Islam, he writes that

“the problem with jurisprudence, Muslim and Christian, is and was our fallible, human, understanding of the revelation, of the original message; a problem classically understood in Islam by the distinction made by Muslim scholars between fiqh – our fallible understanding and attempts at interpretation – and Shariah, the divine and perfect guidance given by Allah, based as fiqh (classical Islamic jurisprudence) is on the principles of acceptance of diversity (of scholarly opinion), on custom [لعادة محكمة], and on reasoned deductions by individuals that are stated to be fallible and thus not immutable. A distinction that allows for reasoned change, accepts the necessity of diverse opinions, the necessity of individual independent scholarly judgement in trials, arbitrations, and determining penalties, and manifests both the non-hierarchical nature of the religion of Islam and the original understanding of the good and the bad.

In modern times, in the Muslim world, this necessary distinction between fiqh and Shariah, this allowance for reasoned change based on diverse scholarly opinion, and the necessity of individual independent scholarly judgement in trials, arbitrations, and determining penalties, often seems to be overlooked when attempts are made by governments in Muslim lands to introduce ‘Shariah law’ with the result that inflexible penal codes and immutable penalties are introduced backed by the claim, contrary to fiqh, that such governments have a mandate to impose and enforce such dogmatical interpretations as are an inevitable part of such government-sponsored codified law.”

Which presents an informed, a reasoned, view – based on personal experience, and learning – on how to possibly counter the extremism currently evident in groups such as ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyyah fī al-Iraq wa ash-Sham, commonly but incorrectly referred to as ‘Islamic State’. Which informed view is of supporting, in Muslim lands and elsewhere, classical Islamic jurisprudence and thus the independence, the authority, the learning, of the Qadi.

After analysing how Christianity, Islam, and the modern State, and their respective jurisprudence, view and have viewed ‘good and evil’ – an analysis complete with quotations in Ancient Greek and Arabic and occasionally in Hebrew, together with his own translations – Myatt presents his alternative: what he terms ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’, which he defines – in several of his writings, such as his Education And The Culture of Pathei-Mathos – as

“the accumulated pathei-mathos of individuals, world-wide, over thousands of years, as (i) described in memoirs, aural stories, and historical accounts; as (ii) have inspired particular works of literature or poetry or drama; as (iii) expressed via non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and as (iv) manifest in more recent times by ‘art-forms’ such as films and documentaries. The culture of pathei-mathos thus includes not only traditional accounts of, or accounts inspired by, personal pathei-mathos, old and modern – such as the With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the poetry of people as diverse as Sappho and Sylvia Plath – but also works or art-forms inspired by such pathei-mathos, whether personal or otherwise, and whether factually presented or fictionalized. Hence films such as Monsieur Lazhar and Etz Limon may poignantly express something about our φύσις as human beings and thus form part of the culture of pathei-mathos.” {3}

In a memorable passage from Good, Evil, Honour, and God, he writes that:

“Gandhi, motivated by a desire for communal change and a vision of the future, more recently wrote that civilization, correctly understood, does not mean and does not require cities and centralized government and vast industries – and thus a modern State – but rather means and requires a certain personal moral conduct, a “mastery over our mind and our passions”, non-violence, the simplicity of village life, and communities voluntarily cooperating together in pursuit of collective, and personal, development.”

For he argues that the culture of pathei-mathos – to which Gandhi made a significant contribution – is an alternative to these two influential but similar ontologies of (a) The State, and (b) conventional religions such as Christianity and Islam, both “with their powerful entities, their guidance, their punishments and rewards, and the progression of individuals toward some-thing which the powerful entity asserts or promises it can provide.”

In effect, Myatt suggests that the answer to religious and political extremism and to terrorism lies not with governments and their laws, their police and armed forces, and their institutions, all of which he describes, in the perspective of our human ‘culture of pathei-mathos’, as transient. Rather, that it lies in the wisdom evident in that thousands of years old ‘culture of pathei-mathos’ whose different ontology is:

“the ontology of the illusion of self and of the unity, sans denotatum, of all living beings; of how we – presenced as human beings – can and do affect, and have affected, other life including other humans, often in ways we are not aware of; and of how our perception of I and of ‘them’ (the separation-of-otherness) has often led to us affecting other life in a harmful way, thus causing or contributing to or being the genesis of suffering, for that other life and often for ourselves. The ontology where there is no distinction, in being, between us – the emanations – and what emanates; there is only the appearance of difference due to our use of a causal-only perception and of denotatum.”

This necessitates a moral reformation of ourselves as individuals, for:

“there is in this culture of pathei-mathos a particular ethos: the tone of harmony, ἁρμονίη; of a natural balance, or rather of how certain human actions are hubris – ὕβρις – and not only disrupt this needful harmony but also cause or contribute to suffering. Of the importance, and perhaps the primacy, of human love; of how Eris is the child of Polemos and Hubris, and of how a lovelorn Polemos follows Hubris around, never requited. Of how the truths of religions and spiritual ways are, in their genesis, basically simple, always numinous, and most probably the same: guides to living in such a way that we can rediscover the natural balance, appreciate the numinous, and avoid hubris.

All of which lead to an understanding of (i) how good and bad are not ‘out there’ and cannot be manifest or assumed to be manifest in some form, by some ideation, or in ‘them’ (the others), without causing or contributing to or being the genesis of suffering, but instead are within us as individuals, a part of our nature, our character, our φύσις, and often divergently expressed; and (ii) of how, in my view at least, personal honour and not a codified law, not a jurisprudence, is the best, the most excellent, way to define and manifest this ‘good’, with honour understood, as in my philosophy of pathei-mathos, as an instinct for and an adherence to what is fair, dignified, and valourous. An honourable person is thus someone of manners, fairness, reasoned judgement, and valour; with honour being a means to live, to behave, in order to avoid committing the folly, the error, of ὕβρις; in order try and avoid causing suffering, and in order to rediscover, to acquire, ἁρμονίη, that natural balance that presences the numinous (sans denotatum and sans dogma) and thus reveals what is important about life and about being human.

For, in effect, the truths concerning honour and dishonour, and of our propensity for both honour and dishonour, are the essence of what we can learn from the supra-national, the living, and the thousands of years old, human culture of pathei-mathos.”

Importantly, he writes that what he is suggesting is just

“an alternative way that compliments and is respectful of other answers, other choices, and of other ways of dealing with issues such as the suffering that afflicts others, the harm that humans do so often inflict and have for so long inflicted upon others. The personal non-judgemental way, of presumption of innocence and of wu-wei, balanced by, if required, a personal valourous, an honourable, intervention in a personal situation in the immediacy of the moment.”

Personal Honour

In practical terms, the reformation that the culture of pathei-mathos suggests is, according to Myatt, simply an acceptance of personal honour, and thus it is:

“for each of us to gently try to carry that necessary harmony, that balance, of δίκη, wordlessly within; to thus restrain ourselves from causing harm while being able, prepared, in the immediacy of the moment, to personally, physically, restrain – prevent – others when we chance upon such harm being done. This, to me, is Life in its wholesome natural fullness – as lived, presenced, by the brief, mortal, consciously aware, emanations we are; mortal emanations capable of restraint, reason, culture, and reforming change; of learning from our pathei-mathos and that of others […] The answer which is to live in hope – even need – of a personal loyal love; to live with empathy, gentleness, humility, compassion, and yet with strength enough to do what should be done when, within the purvue of our personal space, we meet with one or many causing suffering and harm, no thought then for the fragility of our own mortal life or even for personal consequences beyond the ἁρμονίη we, in such honourable moments, are.”

However, Myatt clearly states that he is only offering his “own fallible answer to the question of how to deal with the suffering that blights this world.”

Conclusion

What Myatt has thoughtfully and from experience proposed here is an alternative way of living, a new philosophy, deriving from ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’. That is, from the wisdom of centuries, and – although Myatt himself has said {4} that he is not expressing anything new “only re-express[ing] what so many others, over millennia, have expressed as result of (i) their own pathei-mathos and/or (ii) their experiences/insights and/or (iii) their particular philosophical musings” – my own view is that it is not only new but also radical.

New, and radical, because at its core – as a way of life, and as what he terms ‘the philosophy of pathei-mathos’ with its own ontology and epistemology {5} – is the virtue of personal honour, defined by a specific code of personal, ethical, behaviour. A practical virtue which – so far as I know – has not occupied a pre-eminent place in the thought of, or been the foundation of the philosophy of, those who, over centuries, contributed to the culture of pathei-mathos.

When Myatt’s Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God is considered in the context of his writings about his philosophy of pathei-mathos, and recent essays by him such as Some Conjectures Concerning Our Nexible Physis and Extremism, Terrorism, Culture, And Physis: A Question Of Being {6}, then it is clear that what he is suggesting is that both the problem and the solution lie in us as individuals, in our nature as human beings; and that it is our responsibility as individuals – not, for example, the responsibility of some State – to “do what should be done when, within the purvue of our personal space, we meet with one or many causing suffering and harm.” That the solutions proposed and implemented by temporal States, and by political and religious ideologies and their followers, only – in the perspective of centuries and millennia – contribute to suffering because they do not and cannot change en masse (and have not changed, en masse) our nature as human beings. That an acceptance – by us as individuals – of, and a living by us according to, the virtue of personal honour is such a means to change our nature, and thus to break the cycle of suffering and hubris.

As Myatt wrote in 2014, he believes not only that

“it is the muliebral virtues which evolve us as conscious beings, which presence sustainable millennial change. Virtues such as empathy, compassion, humility, and that loyal shared personal love which humanizes those masculous talking-mammals of the Anthropocene, and which masculous talking-mammals have – thousand year following thousand year – caused so much suffering to, and killed, so many other living beings, human and otherwise,” {7}

but also that it is

“the personal virtue of honour, and the cultivation of wu-wei, [which] are – together – a practical, a living, manifestation of our understanding and appreciation of the numinous; of how to live, to behave, as empathy intimates we can or should in order to avoid committing the folly, the error, of ὕβρις, in order not to cause suffering, and in order to re-present, to acquire, ἁρμονίη. For personal honour is essentially a presencing, a grounding, of ψυχή – of Life, of our φύσις – occurring when the insight (the knowing) of a developed empathy inclines us toward a compassion that is, of necessity, balanced by σωφρονεῖν and in accord with δίκη.” {8}

R. Parker
Shropshire
2015
v.1.03


Notes

{1} Myatt’s text is available from his site as a pdf file – Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God. It is also included in his book Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN 978-1484097984.

{2} Understanding and Rejecting Extremism, 2013. It is available in pdf format here – Understanding and Rejecting Extremism – and as a printed book, ISBN 978-1484854266.

{3} The text Education And The Culture of Pathei-Mathos is available here – https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/education-and-the-culture-of-pathei-mathos/

{4} The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis (2014).

{5} Myatt’s philosophy is described in the books, texts, and essays mentioned on his site at https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/writings-concerning-the-philosophy-of-pathei-mathos/ with many of the texts and essays freely available there as pdf files.
{6} In Extremism, Terrorism, Culture, And Physis: A Question Of Being, Myatt writes:

“The reality – the truth – of our being is that we humans can always find, and have always found – century after century, millennia after millennia – some cause or some ideology or some ideation or some interpretation of some religion or some dogma or some leader to allow us to express, to live, what is solely masculous […]

[For] a harsh modern interpretation of a particular religion hallowed what is masculous to the detriment of what is muliebral, making such a basal, such an unbalanced, masculous physis an ideal to be imitated and strived for, and which masculous ideal included the notion of a personal immolation, via kampf and a dishonourable disregard for the innocency of others, as a means to some posited goal. An unbalanced masculous physis also evident in – and idealized by – the ideologies of communism, nazism, and fascism, and in and by the ‘puritanical’ and inquisitorial interpretations of Christianity centuries before.”

He then goes on to suggest – as he also does in some other of his recent writings – that a solution to the problem of extremism (whether religious or political) is to balance, in the individual, the masculous with the muliebral by:

“the development by individuals of empathy and the cultivation of the virtue of personal honour; and, in terms of society, Studia Humanitatis: that is, education to form, to shape, the manners and the character, of individuals by not only acquainting them with such topics as are, and were traditionally, included in that subject, but also of them being educated in such knowledge concerning our physis as our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos has bequeathed to us.”

{7} David Myatt: Some Questions For DWM (2014, e-text). The text is included in a collection of his essays published under the title One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, ISBN 978-1502396105.

{8} The Natural Balance of Honour, 2012.  The text is an extract from Myatt’s The Way of Pathei-Mathos – A Philosophical Compendiary.


A pdf version is available here – review-myatt-good-evil.pdf


A Review of David Myatt’s Ιερός Λόγος

Covert surveillance photograph of David Myatt by the BBC, 2000 AD
A Review of David Myatt’s Ιερός Λόγος, An Esoteric Mythos

Following on from his translation, from the ancient Greek, of the Pymander chapter of the Corpus Hermeticum, published in 2013 {1}, Myatt has now (January 2015) published his translation of the third chapter of that Corpus, conventionally entitled either A Sacred Discourse or A Holy Sermon. Continuing the iconoclasm prominent in his Pymander translation, Myatt has entitled it An Esoteric Mythos, in justification for which he quotes Herodotus.

In his introduction, Myatt – in reference to his Pymander translation {2} – explains that he has:

“retained the transliterations, and some of the English phrases, used and explained there, such as physis, phaos, theos. I have also, as there, occasionally used some particular, or some quite obscure English words – or forms of them – in order to try and elucidate the meaning of the text or to avoid using, in what is a metaphysical text, some commonplace term with various connotations (contemporary or otherwise) that may lead to a misunderstanding of the text. I have endeavoured to explain such obscure words in the commentary. There is thus in this translation, as in my translation of Pœmandres, a certain technical – or rather, esoteric – vocabulary.”

This results, as with his Pymander, in a text that is quite different from the other translations available, as the following excerpts illustrate.

Mead:

“And every soul infleshed by revolution of the Cyclic Gods, for observation of the marvels of the Heaven and Heaven’s Gods’ revolution, and of the works of God and energy of Nature, for tokens of its blessings, for gnosis of the power of God, that they might know the fates that follow good and evil [deeds] and learn the cunning work of all good arts.” {3}

Copenhaver:

“And through the wonder-working course of the cycling gods they created every soul incarnate to contemplate heaven, the course of the heavenly gods, the works of god and the working of nature; to examine things that are good; to know divine power; to know the whirling changes of fair and foul; and to discover every means of working skillfully with things that are good.” {4}

Myatt:

“Thus, every psyche – embodied in flesh – can
by the mirificence of the circumferent deities coursing the heavens, apprehend the heavens, and honour, and physis presenced, and the works of theos; can understand divine influence as wyrdful change, and thus, regarding what is good and what is bad, discover all the arts of honour.”

Myatt’s translation is more fluid, but also more esoteric and metaphysical requiring as it does of the reader a suspension of certain assumptions and a certain effort; that is, an understanding of the technical – the esoteric, philosophical – terminology used. In the case of the above excerpt, for example, the difference between mirificence and wonder/marvels (and naturally an understanding of the meaning and etymology of the word mirificence);  an understanding of the difference between theos and the term god; and why Myatt has chosen ‘honour’ in preference to ‘good’. Differences and choices which Myatt usually (but not always) explains in his commentary.

Which returns us to Myatt’s iconoclasm in respect of ancient Greek texts. For so often as to be iconoclastic he not only eschews the accepted, the conventional, rendering – into English – of many Greek terms (as in rendering ἅγιος not as the conventional ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ but as ‘numinous’), but also on occasion ignores interpretations of Greek sentences based on strictly applying accepted rules of Greek grammar and syntax, his reason – explained by him in various writings over the years – being that ancient writers such as Aeschylus, Sappho, and Heraclitus, were not grammarians strictly applying certain rules to what they wrote (or who rewrote their texts to conform to ‘correct’ grammar and syntax), but rather were dramatists, poets, philosophers, sometimes (as in the case of Aeschylus) coining new words or “omitting the article”, and – in the case of the authors of texts such as Ιερός Λόγος – were transcribing as best they could an ancient mythos, or metaphysical speculations, that had a long history of aural (and possibly esoteric) transmission, and which transmission may have caused, intentionally or otherwise, a certain obscurity of meaning in certain passages, and which meaning could not always be adduced by strictly applying rules of grammar and syntax but might be ascertained by understanding – without presumptions, without “retrospective re-interpretation” – the underlying (usually pagan) weltanschauung or metaphysics, and the pagan ethos, of the society of the time.

For all the Greek translations of Myatt – from his Sappho, his Aeschlyus, his Homer, his Sophocles, to quotations from the likes of Heraclitus and Empedocles and his more recent Ιερός Λόγος – present us with a flavour, an intimation, of ancient Greece (classical and Hellenic) that is in many respects quite different from the flavour, the intimation, found in other translations, and nowhere is this more apparent that in his Pymander and his Ιερός Λόγος. A flavour, an intimation, that not only reminds us of personal virtues such as honour (over and above abstract concepts such as good and evil), but which is also most decidedly pagan.

Consider the beginning and the end of A Sacred Discourse.

In respect of the beginning, Mead has:

“The Glory of all things is God, Godhead and Godly Nature. Source of the things that are is God, who is both Mind and Nature, yea Matter, the Wisdom that reveals all things.”

Copenhaver has:

“God is the glory of all things, as also are the divine and the divine nature. God, as well as mind and nature and matter, is the beginning of all things that are.”

Myatt has:

“The numen of all beings is theos: numinal, and of numinal physis. The origin of what exists is theos, who is Perceiveration and Physis and Substance.”

At the end, Mead has:

“For that whereas the Godhead is Nature’s ever-making-new-again the cosmic mixture, Nature herself is also co-established in that Godhead.”

Copenhaver has:

“For the divine is the entire combination of cosmic influence renewed by nature, and nature has been established in the divine.”

Myatt has:

“The divine is all of that mixion: renewance of the cosmic order through Physis, for Physis is presenced in the divine.”

There is here, in Myatt’s interpretation, an intimation of something different and downright metaphysical and mystical if not esoteric. Something to possibly engage the imagination, and some things to discover through study or otherwise. Such as, at the beginning, “what are physis and numinal physis?” and what is perceiveration in respect of Physis? Such as, at end, the meaning of ‘mixion’ (and thus if there is a possible early intimation of alchemy or at the very least some connection to enantiodromia or a mystic hierosgamos?) and the difference there may be between “physis presenced” and “nature established”.

Thus, what Myatt in my view has done, especially with his Ιερός Λόγος and his Pymander – and with many of his other Greek translations – is to bring them alive; made them interesting again, thus possibly piquing the interest of a whole new generation. He has also made such texts as the Ιερός Λόγος and the Pymander seem somewhat strange – if not quixotic – in these our rather material modern times; strange because redolent of an ancient pagan, quite mystical, view of the world that (except possibly in a few people) no longer exists.

But whether he is or will be commended for doing such things is entirely another matter.

R. Parker
2015

Myatt’s Ιερός Λόγος is available (i) as a free pdf download from https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/hermetica-an-esoteric-mythos-v2.pdf and (ii) as printed booklet, An Esoteric Mythos: A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Third Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum. 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1507660126

Footnotes

{1} David Myatt, Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander: A Translation and Commentary. 2013. ISBN 9781491249543. Note that this a large format book, 11 inches x 8.5 inches.

The work is available in a more conventional trade paperback size under the title Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary. 2014. ISBN 9781495470684.

{2} Myatt’s Pymander translation is reviewed at https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/myatts-the-divine-pymander/

{3} G.R.S. Mead. Thrice Greatest Hermes, volume 2. Theosophical Publishing Society, London, 1906.

{4} Copenhaver, B. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press, 1992.


 

Lambasting Mr Griffin

odal3

Editorial Note: We republish here another interesting and controversial article by those ‘three wyrd sisters’ who style themselves as belonging to the “ethical National Socialist wing” of the O9A. The article is about Mr Griffin, with the authors also writing about the Order of Nine Angles, about Mr Myatt, his Vindex mythos, and (of course) about National Socialism. The article is decidedly heretical, both politically and in terms of modern Satanism and the O9A.

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Lock Up Your Daughters And Sons

The mention of the Order of Nine Angles in a recent and much hyped document written by Nick Griffin – the former leader of the British National Party – and his claim that there is a “disturbing trend towards Satanism” in the so-called Alt-Right movement, provides us (we of the “ethical National Socialist wing” {1} of the O9A) with an excuse to pontificate about that document, which is titled Alt Right: Not Right.

The document – styled an “Intelligence Report” issued by something which does not seem to actually exist, the grandly named “Rosslyn Institute for Traditional and Geopolitical Studies” – is dominated by both images of the many people Griffin lambastes and screenshots of articles by and about such people, with the accompanying text reading like some copy a hack down-at-heel writer has written because someone paid him to do so or because he hopes his “sensationalist story” might garnish him kudos and propel him back into prominence in the milieu of right-wing politics if not in Western Europe than at at least “in places such as Poland, Hungary and Russia”.

Griffin writes: “the predators among the Muslims, the hate-filled followers of arguably heretical Wahhabism, want your daughters. But the homosexualists [of the Alt-Right] want your sons.”

Which brings us to his agenda and his thesis, evident in two main themes: his apparent belief that “White nationalism” has been and is being infiltrated by homosexuals, and his claim that the political and cultural right has always been a movement “based on traditional values and, in general, on conventional Christian attitudes.”

That the sources Griffin uses in order to try and “prove” his thesis are mainly hearsay, newspapers, and items posted on the internet – blogs, websites, and uploaded videos – makes his self-styled “Intelligence Report” an example of how hack writers employ – or inadvertently commit – the fallacies of argumentum ad hominem and of illicit transference, since Griffin uses such populist, transitory and often unreliable if not disreputable sources to lambaste a plethora of individuals, invariably adding a few abusive comments of his own, while also arguing from the particular to the general.

For rather than rationally discussing ideas – such as whether the political and cultural right is and was a movement based on conventional Christian attitudes {2} – he just criticizes individuals, occasionally inserting his personal opinion about global events and various political organizations, such as that there is an “effort to push America into a new war in the Middle East” and that the “aim is not to help protect Western nations [but] to fan support for sanctions and war against Iran,” and also that “the Counter-Jihad street movement is […] promoted with the enormous resources of hard core Zionists.” Which personal opinions – blandly stated without supporting factual evidence and dispersed as they are among all the ad hominems – are really just propagandistic rants.

As to his agenda, Griffin is quite clear: “To turn in favour of […] social liberalism means automatically to forfeit the future support of traditionalists and Christians in places such as Poland, Hungary and Russia.” He thus is positioning himself as some sort of champion of Christian “family values” in order to try and impress various right-wing individuals in such lands.

All of which make for an interesting case study in regard to the Magian distortion foisted upon the West; of how that distortion is not understood even by former and current leaders of the political “right wing”; of why political movements, based on the idea of existing or former nation-States, are not and can never be an answer to that distortion; and of what the ethos of the West actually was and could be if understood and evolved: that is, of Western culture as heir to Greco-Roman paganism and spirituality; of Christianity as part of the Magian distortion; of the German National Socialism of the NSDAP – and The Third Reich – as a natural, instinctive, if somewhat flawed reaction to the materialistic Magian distortion, and of how the pagan spirituality of the West can be evolved to be the basis for new ways of life beyond the old idea of contesting nation-States and the uncultured barbarism of might is right. {3}

In addition – as the O9A have explained numerous times over the decades – Satan, correctly understood, is not, as Howard Levey stated, a symbol of egoism and self-indulgence {4}, but rather an archetype for those human beings who ‘diabolically’ plot or who scheme against, or who are ‘diabolically’ opposed to, everything Magian. For

“the ‘satanic’ overtones of the ONA serve several subversive purposes. First, to propagate the heresy – contrary to the magian (Jewish) ‘satanism’ of Levey and others – that, as I mentioned in a previous reply, “as originally used and meant, the term satan refers to some human being or beings who ‘diabolically’ plot or who scheme against or who are ‘diabolically’ opposed to those who consider themselves as ‘chosen’ by their monotheistic God.” Those who consider themselves so ‘chosen’ are the Jews. Second, to attract a certain type of rebellious young person who is prepared to do stuff – as an ‘insight role’ or otherwise – that NS and racial nationalist political groups can’t do. Third, to propagate a certain mystique, an occult aura, of dangerousness, difficulty, perplexity, and to confuse outsiders.” {5}

T.W.S.
2017 ev

{1} Refer to We Have To Be Honest.

Ethical National Socialism is manifest in groups such as Reichsfolk and is explained in the text Ethical NS (pdf)

{2} Which claim we would dispute, based on Myatt’s view – in his seminal text Vindex and The Destiny of the West, and in his Vindex mythos – that Christianity is and was a Magian distortion of the Western, Faustian, and basically pagan, ethos. Which Western paganism Myatt deals with in his 2017 book Classical Paganism and the Christian Ethos.

{3} In respect of the barbarism of the might is right principle, see O9A texts such as The De-Evolutionary Nature of Might is Right and Concerning Culling as Art.

{4} See Is The O9A Satanist for an overview of the Magian ‘satanism’ of Levey et al.

{5} The Order of Nine Angles And National Socialism, pdf, e-text, 2016.

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Related:

Regarding Reichsfolk
Rediscovering European Paganism
Classical Paganism and the Christian Ethos

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Article source: https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/lock-up-your-daughters-and-sons/


About This Blog

Given that “we” have become aware of certain on-going investigations into both the Order of Nine Angles and Mr Myatt, it is fitting that we reproduce here our “official” Disclaimer.

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Since this blog – regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com – is about (not by) Myatt, we include a variety of articles about and concerning David Myatt, obtained from a variety of sources, including mainstream Media such as newspapers, and items posted on other blogs and websites.

These articles and items may sometimes contain inaccurate or misleading information, and may or may not be reliable as sources of information about or concerning David Myatt, as some may contain or make allegations about, or propagate rumors about or relating, to Myatt. The opinions and views contained in such articles and items are solely those of the original author(s).

Furthermore, while we publish or re-produce various articles and items written by Myatt himself, these may or may not reflect Myatt’s own current views and opinions, since many of the items we publish are old or archival material dating from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s and thus are about or redolent of or are propaganda for the ‘extremism’ and the ‘extremist ideologies’ which Myatt has, since 2009, rejected.

Given the rumors and allegations about Myatt and the occult group ‘the order of nine angles’ we also publish some articles about the ONA/O9A, from a variety of sources.

In the interests of fairness, we include on this ‘Regarding David Myatt’ blog some recent (post-2010) items by Myatt himself, such as his A Matter of Honour, which give ‘his side of the story’ in relation to particular rumors and allegations, such as alleged involvement with the Order of Nine Angles and Satanism, an involvement he has always denied.

According to David Myatt himself, his current views are reflected in the items and articles on his ‘official’ blog, here – David Myatt: Pathei-Mathos.

N.B. Since this blog is a collaborative effort by several persons (‘editors’) interested in the life and times and writings of Mr Myatt, on occasion items are posted by an individual which – on reflection following consultation among us – our small ‘collective’ of diverse persons with diverse views (finally) agree should be deleted and/or amended. However when (as happens) there is no consensus the post is retained.

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Related

From National-Socialism To The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos
(pdf)


De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

Editorial Note: Given Myatt’s interesting mention, in his 2017 book Classical Paganism and The Christian Ethos, {1} of the work De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE, we publish here an extract from ONA Esoteric Notes XLVII – issued in 2016 – and which Esoteric Notes were included in the O9A compilation The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles {2}.

The illustration above is of the relevant page of Ficini’s book.

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ONA Esoteric Notes XLVII

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

The twenty-sixth – and last – chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE has as its heading Quomodo per inferiora superioribus exposita deducantur superiora, et per mundanas materias mundana potissimum dona. [How, when what is lower is touched by what is higher, the higher is cosmically presenced therein and thus gifted because cosmically aligned.]

As Ficini goes on to explain – Est igitur non solum corporeus, sed vitae insuper et intelligentiae particeps. Quamobrem praeter corpus hoc mundi sensibus familiariter manifestum latet in eo spiritus corpus quoddam excedens caduci sensus capacitatem – the world (mundus) and by extension we ourselves as part of the world are not only material (corporeal) but also imbued with the vitae [Life; Being; ψυχή] and the intelligentiae [apprehension] of that which is above; and that beyond obvious outer appearances there is a hidden, an inner, animating [spiritus] aspect which our ‘lower’, more mundane, senses are unaware of.

All of which, based as it is on the writings of earlier authors such as Iamblichus, is a rather succinct summary of one of the fundamental principles of the weltanschauung that underlies ancient esoteric arts such as alchemy, astrology, and magick. That – as Ficini explained in earlier chapters, such as in chapter sixteen in respect of images/objects/talismans – the animating forces of the cosmos, as symbolized by the seven classical planets and the twelve classical heavenly constellations, not only affect us but can be consciously presenced, drawn down in a beneficial way, into objects and into ourselves.

That the Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA) has the same underlying ancient weltanschauung is obvious if the above is restated using the modern terminology of the O9A. Thus, (a) how when what is causal is touched by what is acausal [when a nexion is opened], the acausal is presenced within the causal thus producing changes in the causal; (b) the septenary Tree of Wyrd – with its planetary, stellar, and other esoteric correspondences as outlined in text such as Naos – since it is imbued with the acausal [is a nexion] is a beneficial presencing of those acausal energies that non-initiates are unaware of or disdain.

This ancient – essentially Greco-Roman – weltanschauung formed an essential part of the European Renaissance, as the life and writings of people such as Marsilii Ficini attest. Thus one might well suggest that the Order of Nine Angles embodies – at least in part – the spirit that animated that European Renaissance. An embodiment in the O9A manifest in their elitist and cultured ethos; a cultured ethos which neglected O9A texts such as (i) Culling As Art, (ii) The De-Evolutionary Nature of Might is Right, and (iii) The Gentleman’s and Noble Ladies Brief Guide to The Dark Arts, explain.

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{1} The book is reviewed at https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/review-of-myatts-classical-paganism-and-the-christian-ethos/

{2} The O9A compilation is available as a pdf file from: https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/the-esoteric-hermeticism-of-the-order-of-nine-angles/


Background To The O.9.A.

 Mhuiral, by Richard Moult

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Editorial Note: We republish here an interesting if somewhat controversial article. Interesting, in that it makes an interesting point regarding Myatt’s new book and the esoteric philosophy of the ONA. Controversial, in that it makes it seem as if the personal opinion of the author in respect of the ONA supporting National Socialism is “official ONA policy” whereas those conversant with the ONA know that there is not, never was, and never can be any such thing as an “official ONA policy” about anything given its principle of the authority of individual judgment.

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Some Background To The O9A

Perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, or perhaps just coincidently, the latest book by David Myatt – titled Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos {1} – contains a wealth of information germane to the Occult philosophy and praxis of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA) and thus may be of interest to those studiously interested in the O9A as well as to those who have read the important O9A collection of texts titled The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles {2}.

In his new book Myatt provides a clear and scholarly account of both the substance and the essence of classical – Greco-Roman – paganism and of ancient hermeticism, and in the process makes mention of such things as: (i) a septenary anados (familiar to us as the O9A Seven Fold Way), (ii) of humans as a microcosm of the Cosmos (whence the ‘as above, so below’ dictum of Occultism, wonderfully expressed recently – probably coincidently – by Mr Moult in a new Tarot image {3}, and in a Renaissance Latin expression by Marsilii Ficini which Myatt quotes and translates), and (iii) in the fundamental difference between such a European paganism and the religion of Yeshua based as that religion is on the fanciful and hubriatic belief that stories about ancient Hebrews – including stories about Yeshua the Nazarene – are ‘the word of God’. Thus Myatt contrasts the personal Greco-Roman ideal, where ethical values are revealed by the actions and life of real living contemporary individuals, with the Nazarene belief that ethical values can be found in some book (the Bible) and thus in apocryphal (unverifiable and probably propagandistic) stories about dead Hebrews. As Myatt reveals, the Greco-Roman ideal is essentially aristocratic.

Such texts as:
   (i) the O9A collection The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles,
   (ii) Myatt’s Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, and his translations of tracts of the Corpus Hermeticum {4}, and
   (iii) the O9A article On Sorcery In Virgil’s Aeneid {5}, and
    (iv) The Avenging Alastoras {6}, and
    (v) Baphomet, An Esoteric Signification {7},
highlight and affirm the fundamental difference between the O9A and other contemporary groups claiming to be of the Left Hand Path and/or satanist.

It is the difference between a detailed, intellectual, esoteric, and aristocratic, non-Hebraic tradition with roots in ancient Western traditions, and between (i) the pretentious pseudo-intellectualism of groups such as the ‘Temple of Set’, and (ii) the egoistic plebeianism of Howard Stanton Levey and his followers, suffused as all such non-O9A occultists are with medieval Hebraic ‘demonology’ and a Hebraic goetic tradition. For them, ‘Satan’ is a symbol of egoism, while for the O9A Satan is correctly understood as a human (and as an acausal) opponent/adversary of those who regard themselves as God’s chosen people: the Hebrews. {8} Which is one reason – and only one reason – why the O9A champions the modern heresies of National Socialism and ‘holocaust revisionism’. {9}

J.B.
2017 ev

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{1} Available as a printed book, ISBN 978-1979599023, and as ‘gratis open access’ pdf file, which book – being issued under a liberal Creative Commons license – we have made available here: https://wyrdsister.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/belief-and-reason-v7a.pdf

{2} Of especial interest are the sections titled ἀρρενόθηλυς, and The Pagan Order Of Nine Angles. Coincidently, Myatt in his Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos mentions the term ἀρρενόθηλυς several times.

The O9A text is (as of November 2017) available as a 32 Mb pdf file at The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles. (External Link)

{3} https://starred-desert.com/2017/10/31/mhuiral/

{4} Available at: Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. (External Link)

{5} Sorcery In Virgil’s Aeneid. (External Link)

{6} The Avenging Alastoras. (External Link)

{7} Baphomet: An Esoteric Signification. (pdf) (External Link)

{8} See The Geryne of Satan. (pdf) (External Link)

{9} See We Have To Be Honest. (External Link)

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Image credit: Mhuiral, by Richard Moult. From his book of Tarot archetypes, “Non Est Secundus Quia Unus Est”.

Article source: https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/some-background-to-the-o9a/


Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos

David Myatt

David Myatt

Editorial Note: We republish here David Myatt’s 2014 essay Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos given its relevance to his recent (November 2017) book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. The essay was included in his 2014 book One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods.

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Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos

One of the many subjects that I have pondered upon in the last few years is the role of education and whether a learning of our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos – understood and appreciated as a distinct culture [1], and thence as an academic subject – could possibly aid us, as a species, to change; aid us to become more honourable, more compassionate, less egoistical, less violent, as individuals, and thus aid us to possibly avoid in our own lives those hubriatic errors, and causing the suffering, that the culture of pathei-mathos reveals are not only unethical but also which we humans make and cause and have made and caused again and again and again. That is, can a knowledge and appreciation of this culture, perhaps learnt individually and/or in institutions such as schools and colleges, provide with us with that empathic, supra-personal, perspective which I personally – as a result of my own learning and experiences – am inclined to feel could change, evolve, us not only as individuals but as a species?

Studia Humanitatis

For thousands of years – from the classical world to the Renaissance to fairly recent times – Studia Humanitatis (an appreciation and understanding of our φύσις as human beings) was considered to be the basis of a good, a sound, education.

Thus, for Cicero, Studia Humanitatis implied forming and shaping the manners, the character, and the knowledge, of young people through them acquiring an understanding of subjects such as philosophy, geometry, rhetoric, music, and litterarum cognitio (literary culture). This was because the classical weltanschauung was a paganus one: an apprehension of the complete unity (a cosmic order, κόσμος, mundus) beyond the apparent parts of that unity, together with the perceiveration that we mortals – albeit a mere and fallible part of the unity – have been gifted with our existence so that we may perceive and understand this unity, and, having so perceived, may ourselves seek to be whole, and thus become as balanced (perfectus) [2], as harmonious, as the unity itself:

Neque enim est quicquam aliud praeter mundum quoi nihil absit quodque undique aptum atque perfectum expletumque sit omnibus suis numeris et partibus […] ipse autem homo ortus est ad mundum contemplandum et imitandum – nullo modo perfectus, sed est quaedam particula perfecti. [3]

Furthermore, this paganus natural balance implied an acceptance by the individual of certain communal responsibilities and duties; of such responsibilities and duties, and their cultivation, as a natural and necessary part of our existence as mortals.

In the Christian societies of Renaissance Europe, Studia Humanitatis became more limited, to subjects such as history, moral philosophy, poetry, certain classical authors, and Christian writers such as Augustine and Jerome, with the general intent being a self improvement with the important proviso that this concentration on the advancement of the individual to ‘noble living’ by means of ‘noble examples’ (classical and Christian) should not conflict with the Christian weltanschauung [4] and its perceiveration of obedience to whatever interpretation of Christian faith and eschatology the individual favoured or believed in. In more recent times, Studia Humanitatis has become the academic study of ‘the liberal arts’, the ‘humanities’, often as a means to equip an individual with certain personal skills – such as the ability to communicate effectively and to rationally analyse problems – which might be professionally useful in later life.

However, the culture of pathei-mathos provides an addition to the aforementioned Studia Humanitatis, and an addition where the focus is not on a particular weltanschauung (paganus, Christian, liberal, or humanist) but rather on our shared pathei-mathos: on what we and others have learnt, and can learn, about our human φύσις from experience of grief, suffering, trauma, injustice. For it is such personal learning from experience, or the records of or the influence of the experiences of others, which is not only the essence of much of what we, and others for thousands of years, have appreciated and learned from some of the individual subjects or fields of learning that formed the basis for the aforementioned Studia Humanitatis – history, litterarum cognitio, and music, for example – but also what, at least in my view, provides us with perhaps the deepest, but most certainly with the most poignant, insight into our φύσις as human beings.

Thus considered as an individual subject or field of learning, academic or otherwise, the culture of pathei-mathos would most certainly help to form and shape the manners, the character, the knowledge, of young people, for it has the potential to provide us with a perception and an understanding of the supra-personal unity – the mundus – of which we are a mortal part, and thus perhaps can aid us to become as inwardly balanced, as harmonious, as the unity beyond and encompassing us, bringing as such a perception, understanding, and balance, does that appreciation and empathic intuition of others which is compassion and aiding as such compassion does the cessation of the suffering that an unbalanced – a hubriatic, egoistical – human φύσις causes and has caused for so many millennia.

Can we therefore, as described in the Pœmandres tractate,

hasten through the harmonious structure, offering up, in the first realm, that vigour which grows and which fades, and – in the second one – those dishonourable machinations, no longer functioning. In the third, that eagerness which deceives, no longer functioning; in the fourth, the arrogance of command, no longer insatiable; in the fifth, profane insolence and reckless haste; in the sixth, the bad inclinations occasioned by riches, no longer functioning; and in the seventh realm, the lies that lie in wait. [5]

For is not to so journey toward the unity “the noble goal of those who seek to acquire knowledge?”

But if we cannot make that or a similar personal journey; if we do not or cannot learn from our human culture of pathei-mathos, from the many thousands of years of such suffering as that culture documents and presents and remembers; if we no longer concern ourselves with de studiis humanitatis ac litterarum, then do we as a sentient species deserve to survive? For if we cannot so learn, cannot so change, cannot so educate ourselves, or are not so educated in such subjects, then it seems to me we may never be able to escape to the freedom and the natural evolution, the diversity, that await among the star-systems of our Galaxy. For what awaits us if we, the unlearned, stay unchanged, are only repetitions of the periodicity of human-caused suffering until such time as we exhaust, lay waste, make extinct, our cultures, our planet, and finally ourselves. And no other sentient life, elsewhere in the Cosmos, would mourn our demise.

David Myatt
May 2014

From a letter sent to a personal correspondent. Some footnotes have been added, post scriptum, in an effort to elucidate some parts of the text and provide appropriate references.

Notes

[1] I define the culture of pathei-mathos as the accumulated pathei-mathos of individuals, world-wide, over thousands of years, as (i) described in memoirs, aural stories, and historical accounts; as (ii) have inspired particular works of literature or poetry or drama; as (iii) expressed via non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and as (iv) manifest in more recent times by ‘art-forms’ such as films and documentaries.

The culture of pathei-mathos thus includes not only traditional accounts of, or accounts inspired by, personal pathei-mathos, old and modern – such as the With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the poetry of people as diverse as Sappho and Sylvia Plath – but also works or art-forms inspired by such pathei-mathos, whether personal or otherwise, and whether factually presented or fictionalized. Hence films such as Monsieur Lazhar and Etz Limon may poignantly express something about our φύσις as human beings and thus form part of the culture of pathei-mathos.

[2] A pedantic aside: it is my considered opinion that the English term ‘balanced’ (a natural completeness, a natural equilibrium) is often a better translation of the classical Latin perfectus than the commonly accepted translation of ‘perfect’, given what the English word ‘perfect’ now imputes (as in, for example, ‘cannot be improved upon’), and given the association of the word ‘perfect’ with Christian theology and exegesis (as, for example, in suggesting a moral perfection).

[3] M. Tullius Cicero, De Natura Deorum, Liber Secundus, xiii, xiv, 37

[4] q.v. Bruni d’Arezzo, De Studiis et Litteris. Leipzig, 1496.

[5] My translation of the Greek text. From Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander de potestate et sapientia dei – A Translation and Commentary. 2013.