The Numinous, Ancestral Culture, And Myatt’s Philosophy

Richard Moult - Banais


The Numinous, Ancestral Culture, And Myatt’s Philosophy

Two recent essays by David Myatt – titled Towards Understanding Ancestral Culture and From Mythoi To Empathy {1} – though short compliment his two recent books Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and Tu Es Diaboli Ianua since they deal with two of the topics that are central to both books. {2}

In the first essay Myatt explains what he means by the term ‘ancestral culture’ – δίκη understood as fairness, as the balance, the wisdom, that ancestral customs often represent – and in the process clarifies the somewhat obscure passages at the end of his Classical Paganism text, explicitly stating that the modern paganus weltanschauung he wrote about in that book is founded on καλὸς κἀγαθός and thus “on chivalry; on manners; on gentrice romance; and on the muliebral virtues [and] gender equality.”

In the second essay Myatt goes into some detail regarding what he means by the term ‘numinous’, details which are long-overdue and which explicitly distance him from the view of Rudolf Otto in respect of that term. For Myatt, the numinous is a perceiveration, an apprehension resulting from the human faculty of empathy, and therefore in his view goes beyond religion. Indeed, he writes that religions “have not presenced, and do not and cannot presence, the numinous as the numinous can be presenced.” Instead, what does presence the numinous is the knowing that empathy provides which is the move away from mythoi and anthropomorphic deities to “an appreciation of the numinous sans denotatum and sans religion.”

As with almost all of Myatt’s post-2011 philosophical writings the two essays – and indeed the two books – are not only derived from his own philosophical musings and his reflections on his own pathei-mathos, but also contain references to Greco-Roman culture. Which methodology is both a strength and a weakness.

A strength, in that he brings that ancient culture alive almost as if his writings are a bridge to that past and to a future where at least some of the ancient virtues he obviously so admires (such as chivalry) may live again and be melded with the virtues – the muliebral virtues – that he understands his own pathei-mathos and our ‘human culture of pathei-mathos’ have made him appreciate and consider are necessary if we human beings are to change and evolve.

A weakness, in that his writings contain no references to modern philosophies and philosophers and thus lack points of reference for those interested in philosophy as an academic subject. A lack which will undoubtedly deter many from studying Myatt’s somewhat complex – almost labyrinthine and undoubtedly unique – metaphysics. A metaphysics which – based as it is on concepts such as physis, πάθει μάθος, perceiveration, σωφρονεῖν, denotatum, and δίκη – will seem strange, indeed probably alien, to those nurtured on contemporary philosophy.

That said, those who make the effort to get to grips with Myatt’s terminology and who are undeterred that his philosophy of pathei-mathos is scattered in pieces among multiple books and scores of essays and appears still in the process of development, will be rewarded. They will find a most decidedly Western and a decidedly pagan philosophy, rooted in the culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, which manifests the ethos of the West in a manner it has never before been manifest. Not only that, it restores that Western ethos to us, and importantly evolves it, in a distinct philosophical and refreshingly unpolitical way.

That only a few today will appreciate any of this is a sign of our unchivalrous era and of just how few still appreciate the native, the fair, the reasoned, the scholarly, culture of the West subsumed as that culture has been and increasingly is being by the rise of the uncultured, the raucous, ones among us.

R.S & K.S
January 2018


A Review of Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

Review Of Myatt’s Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos

The Mystic Philosophy of David Myatt


{1} The two essays by Myatt are available on his weblog and also in the following pdf file:

{2} Both books are available in printed format, and also as gratis open access documents from:

Image credit: Banais, a painting by Richard Moult


A Review of Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

The 39 page essay which is spectacularly titled Tu Es Diaboli Ianua {1} is David Myatt’s latest philosophical offering. In his Exordium – a preface by any other name – he outlines the questions which he answers in the essay. The questions are

“is Christianity a suitable presencing of the numinous… If it is not, then could that religion be reformed, by developing a Johannine Weltanschauung…Would such a reformation be a suitable presencing of the numinous, and if not, then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what is the foundation of such an alternative.”

He writes that the essay compliments his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos.

While his answers are somewhat convoluted and decidedly scholarly and thus other-worldly – given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek and his own translations – he raises many interesting issues relevant to the “real world” which most of us inhabit. For he writes that

“the problem is – or so it seems to me – in impersonal written texts. Or, more precisely, in denotatum, and thus in assigning terms – in using words – to describe an apprehension of the numinous. Which leads us to the fundamental difference between a religious apprehension of the numinous – based on received and venerated texts, on exegesis – and the paganus apprehension of the numinous as manifest in Greco-Roman culture.”

And also that

[Greco-Roman] “paganism will be examined for two reasons. Firstly, because it is manifest in a multiplicity of primary sources – from Homer to Hesiod to Cicero and beyond – and secondly because Greco-Roman culture is inextricably bound to the culture of the West and formed the basis for the European Renaissance that emerged in the 14th century, one aspect of which was a widespread appreciation of classical Art, of classical literature, and of texts such as the Corpus Hermeticum.”

Having criticized Christianity, he also declaims that an important aspect of Greco-Roman paganism is a respect for ancestral custom, writing in the last section of the last chapter that the new ‘numinous metaphysics’ he proposes includes “a spiritual and interior (and thus not political) understanding and appreciation of our own Ancestral Culture.”

Which statement about Western ancestral culture is profoundly “politically incorrect” and will be music to the ears of those few intellectuals who still champion the culture of the West.

That said, the essay is not without its problems. One is that given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek it is, as with his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, difficult to classify and difficult to discern who the intended audience is. As we wrote in our review of that book, “many of those interested in Western paganism as a new way of life or as a modern, non-Christian, spirituality may find [this essay] 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.”

Personally, we think Myatt is simply making publicly available the result of his metaphysical questioning while also, as with his Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, intending this new essay for those few Western individuals who, interested in re-discovering their Western pagan heritage, having been looking for the intellectual foundations of that pagan culture.

A second problem is that his conclusion – his description of his new pagan metaphysics – is brief to the point of almost being obscure, occupying as it does a short statement in the final paragraph, with no explanations provided.

But perhaps, given Myatt’s criticism of denotatum (words, and naming, by any other name) and his statement that “the culture of pathei-mathos has moved us, or can move us, beyond anthropomorphic deities, whether male or female; beyond myths and legends; beyond reliance on texts regarded as sacred and/or as divinely inspired; and even beyond the need for denotatum and religion” then this short statement that such “is the numinous” is all that is required.

R.S & K.S
December, 2017

{1} A copy of Myatt’s essay is available here:

Image credit: The beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE

Almost Mid-Summer

Editorial Note: This evocation of the numinous and of the English countryside is a letter written by David Myatt to a friend in 2008. It was included in Myatt’s 2013 book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism.


Almost Mid-Summer

Another beautifully warm and Sunny day, bright with the light remembered from childhood years in Africa and the Far East: so different from the normally dullish light of temperate England.

Thus, here in the warm Sun and as so often, there is a time of reflexion; a stasis as life becomes reviewed through memories. And it is occurring to me more and more that this is all that there is, beyond the immediacy of the moment: only memories of moments past.

So many memories which slowly fade as bright colour exposed to Sun: as the bright checks of my Tweed cap have slowly faded over the years, unrenewed as the greens of the grass, the bush, the tree, become renewed each year, through Spring. Only memories, as of Fran; to be savoured but perhaps now not too much to be dwelt upon in almost unbearable sadness, for thus is – for thus has – a type of balance returned; that balance, that dwelling in immediacy, which I from learning feel and know is the essence of wu-wei.

This is a change within me, regarding the life and death of Fran, and the life and death of Sue; regarding my own diverse journeys and explorations. A change toward a being-settled that has partly arisen from at last forsaking abstractions and partly from accepting that it is immediacy and remembrance of memories which convey the only correct meaning we human beings have or can find and which is numinous. No projection, thus, of an abstractive life-beyond this mortal life; no need for a religious type of faith; no battle or desire to strive to be in accord with any abstraction; and even no need to believe in, or even un-numinously desire, some-thing. No depth of unfathomable wordless sadness to bring that ultimate life-ending despair such as I assume Fran felt in the last hours of her own mortal living.

For there is only the bright Sun; the slight breeze in bush and tree; the verdant, living, green of grass; the yellow Buttercups that are profusely sprinkled there in the old Orchard of old Apple trees whose lower branches have been windfallen, or become broken with age, or stripped of bark by the two Goats who roam there, where Chickens range, food-seeking. Only the passing billowing fair-weather white Cumulus clouds below the sky-blue of Earth’s earthly mortal life.

Across from where I sit – at the back of the Farmhouse – that Barn whose Summer Swallows swoop in and out to feed their still nesting young who gape and chatter as their food is brought. And I am only this moment, only this moment, as the young Farm dog who comes to lay down in the grass beside me is only the young Farm dog. He looks up at me once – three times – tail wagging, before settling down to sleep.

There is no world beyond, for us here; for the life here. Only the weather; only the changing weather; only some natural need to move us, slowly by our limbs. A need for shelter, water, food. Only the Seasons changing as they change. Only the gentle companionship of a gentle acceptance that lives, grows, changes, slowly, as all natural life lives, grows – changes – slowly, as Sun through cloudless Summer sky.

My decades long mistake of unbalanced stupidity has been to be un-rooted; to be of unnatural uneedful haste. To cease to dwell within each immediacy of each moment. To be swayed by, persuaded by, in thrall to – to even love – un-numinous and thus un-ethical abstractions. To be thus that which we human beings have become: a stage between animal – talking – and compassionate, empathic being aware of and treasuring each small pulse of life that lives near, within, us because there is no separation unless we in hubris and by abstraction create such separation.

Thus are we now struggling, halting, wasting ourselves and all of Life around us; infected now with the virus of abstractions so that, upon this living Earth, we – in our new de-evolution – despoil, disrupt, destroy the Life that is our Life and the genesis of The Numinous, often in the name of that un-ethical abstraction called “progress”. And yet we have a cure for our millennia-long debilitating sickness; have always had a cure, although so many for so long, as I, have failed in our blind stupidity to see it.

So, this is all that there is: only the bright Sun; the slight breeze in bush and tree; the verdant, living, green of grass; the yellow Buttercups that are profusely sprinkled here where, now, The Numinous lives, on another beautifully warm and Sunny day, bright with light remembered…

David Myatt
June 2008


Article source:
Image credit: The Day’s Consecration, a painting by Richard Moult

David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos

Richard Moult: The Corn King

Editorial Note: The following essay is an insightful exposition of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos and is taken from The Mystic Philosophy of David Myatt, which book was published in 2015 and is available both as a printed paperback – ISBN 978-1523930135 – and as Gratis Open Access pdf file from here.

The contents of the book are: 1) A Modern Mystic: David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2) A Modern Pagan Philosophy. 2) Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos. 4) An Overview of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos. 5) Appendix: A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos.


A Modern Mystic
David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos

Philosophy of a Modern Mystic

The ‘way of pathei-mathos’ (πάθει μάθος) is the name given, by David Myatt himself, to his own particular Weltanschauung, his own perspective about life, which he has expounded in numerous essays since 2011, and which perspective or personal philosophy he developed after he “had, upon reflexion, rejected much of and revised what then remained of my earlier (2006-2011) numinous way.” (1)

Myatt has conveniently collected most of the essays expounding his personal philosophy into four books: The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, published in 2013; Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos, published in 2013; One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, published in 2014; and Sarigthersa, published in May 2015. These works amount to some 240 pages.

In one essay he makes it clear that the way, or the philosophy, of pathei-mathos is

“simply my own weltanschauung, a weltanschauung developed over some years as a result of my own pathei-mathos. Thus, and despite whatever veracity it may or may not possess, it is only the personal insight of one very fallible individual, a fallibility proven by my decades of selfishness and by my decades of reprehensible extremism both political and religious. Furthermore, and according to my admittedly limited understanding and limited knowledge, this philosophy does not – in essence – express anything new. For I feel (and I use the word ‘feel’ intentionally) that I have only re-expressed 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.” (2)

As described in those four collections of essays, Myatt’s particular perspective, or philosophy of life is, in my view, fundamentally a mystical one because based on a personal intuitive insight about, a personal awareness of, the nature of Reality. A mystic accepts that there is, or there can arise by means such as contemplation, a spiritual apprehension of certain truths which transcends the temporal.

Myatt personal mystic insight is essentially two-fold: (a) that “we are a connexion to other life; of how we are but one mortal fallible emanation of Life; of how we affect or can affect the well-being – the very being, ψυχή – of other mortals and other life,” (3); and (b) of “the primacy of pathei-mathos: of a personal pathei-mathos being one of the primary means whereby we can come to know the true φύσις (physis) of Being, of beings, and of our own being; a knowing beyond ‘abstractions’, beyond the concealment implicit in manufactured opposites, by ipseity (the separation-of-otherness), and by denotatum.” (2)

According to Myatt, this awareness of our connexion to other life is that arising from empathy; more, precisely, from the faculty of empathy, which he explains is an awareness of, and a sympathy with, other living beings, and by means of which we can

“understand both φύσις and Πόλεμος, and thus apprehend Being as Being, and the nature of beings – and in particular the nature of our being, as mortals. For empathy reveals to us the acausality of Being and thus how the process of abstraction, involving as it does an imposition of causality and separation upon beings (and the ideation implicit on opposites and dialectic), is a covering-up of Being.” (4)

Less metaphysically, he writes that empathy

“inclines a person toward certain virtues; toward a particular type of personal character; and disinclines them toward doing what is bad, what is unfair; what is harsh and unfeeling; what intentionally causes or contributes to suffering. For empathy enables us to directly perceive, to sense, the φύσις (the physis, the nature or character) of human beings and other living beings, involving as empathy does a translocation of ourselves and thus a knowing-of another living-being as that living-being is, without presumptions and sans all ideations, all projections.” (5)

According to him, empathy is inextricably linked to pathei-mathos:

“Empathy is, as an intuitive understanding, what was, can be, and often is, learned or developed by πάθει μάθος. That is, from and by a direct, personal, learning from experience and suffering. An understanding manifest in our awareness of the numinous and thus in the distinction we have made, we make, or we are capable of making, between the sacred and the profane; the distinction made, for example in the past, between θεοί and δαιμόνων and mortals.” (5)

One feature of Myatt’s mysticism is his somewhat prolific use of ancient Greek terms and expressions; a use which he states is because

“the philosophy of πάθει μάθος has certain connexions to Hellenic culture and I tend therefore to use certain Greek words in order to try and elucidate my meaning and/or to express certain philosophical principles regarded as important in – and for an understanding of – this philosophy; a usage of words which I have endeavoured to explain as and where necessary, sometimes by quoting passages from Hellenic literature or other works and by providing translations of such passages. For it would be correct to assume that the ethos of this philosophy is somewhat indebted to and yet – and importantly – is also a development of the ethos of Hellenic culture; an indebtedness obvious in notions such as δίκη, πάθει μάθος, avoidance of ὕβρις, and references to Heraclitus, Aeschylus, and others, and a development manifest in notions such as empathy and the importance attached to the virtue of compassion.” (5)(6)

Pathei-Mathos And Physis

Since – as the name for his ‘way’ or philosophy implies – the concept of pathei-mathos is fundamental, as is the concept of physis, it is necessary to understand what Myatt means by both these concepts.

1. Pathei-Mathos

In several of his essays Myatt writes about this concept in some detail. For example:

“The Greek term πάθει μάθος derives from The Agamemnon of Aeschylus (written c. 458 BCE), and can be interpreted, or translated, as meaning ‘learning from adversary’, or ‘wisdom arises from (personal) suffering’; or ‘personal experience is the genesis of true learning’.

However, this expression should be understood in context, for what Aeschylus writes is that the Immortal, Zeus, guiding mortals to reason, has provided we mortals with a new law, which law replaces previous ones, and which new law – this new guidance laid down for mortals – is pathei-mathos.

Thus, for we human beings, pathei-mathos possesses a numinous, a living, authority – that is, the wisdom, the understanding, that arises from one’s own personal experience, from formative experiences that involve some hardship, some grief, some personal suffering, is often or could be more valuable to us (more alive, more meaningful) than any doctrine, than any religious faith, than any words one might hear from someone else or read in some book.
In many ways, this Aeschylean view is an enlightened – a very human – one, and is somewhat in contrast to the faith and revelation-centred view of religions such as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.” (7)

“A personal pathei-mathos [is] one of the primary means whereby we can come to know the true φύσις (physis) of Being, of beings, and of our own being; a knowing beyond ‘abstractions’, beyond the concealment implicit in manufactured opposites, by ipseity (the separation- of-otherness), and by denotatum.” (2)

This reliance on pathei-mathos makes his philosophy non-dogmatic, personal, and interior, especially given the connection Myatt makes between pathei-mathos and empathy; for the type of knowing both provide is a-causal in nature and is only manifest “in the immediacy-of-the-moment” and therefore “cannot be abstracted out from that ‘living moment’ via denotatum: by (words written or spoken), or be named or described or expressed (become fixed or ‘known’) by any dogma or any -ism or any -ology, be such -isms or -ologies conventionally understood as political, religious, ideological, or social.” (2)

As Myatt explains, there is a ‘local horizon’ to both empathy and pathei-mathos:

“The ‘local horizon of empathy’ is a natural consequence of my understanding of empathy as a human faculty, albeit a faculty that is still quite underdeveloped. For what empathy provides – or can provide – is a very personal wordless knowing in the immediacy-of-the-living-moment. Thus empathy inclines us as individuals to appreciate that what is beyond the purveu of our empathy – beyond our personal empathic knowing of others, beyond our knowledge and our experience, beyond the limited (local) range of our empathy and that personal (local) knowledge of ourselves which pathei-mathos reveals – is something we rationally, we humbly, accept we do not know and so cannot judge or form a reasonable, a fair, a balanced, opinion about. For empathy, like pathei-mathos, lives within us; manifesting, as both empathy and pathei-mathos do, the always limited nature, the horizon, of our own knowledge and understanding.” (8)

In further explaining what he means by the ‘acausal (wordless) knowing’ of empathy and pathei-mathos, Myatt introduces another fundamental aspect of his philosophy, the culture of pathei-mathos:

“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 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.” (8)

In addition he points out that such ‘acausal knowing’ is supplementary and complimentary to that ‘causal knowing’ which may be acquired by means of the Aristotelian essentials of conventional philosophy and experimental science. (9)

2. Physis

In his essay Towards Understanding Physis (10) Myatt explains that he uses the term physis, φύσις, contextually to refer to:

(i) the ontology of beings, an ontology – a reality, a ‘true nature ‘- that is often obscured by denotatum and by abstractions, both of which conceal physis;
(ii) the relationship between beings, and between beings and Being, which is of us – we mortals – as a nexion, an affective effluvium (or emanation) of Life (ψυχή) and thus of why ‘the separation-of-otherness’ is a concealment of that relationship;
(iii) the character, or persona, of human beings, and which character – sans denotatum – can be discovered (revealed, known) by the faculty of empathy;
(iv) the unity – the being – beyond the division of our physis, as individual mortals, into masculous and muliebral;
(v) that manifestation denoted by the concept Time, with Time considered to be an expression/manifestation of the physis of beings.

According to Myatt – echoing as he does a concept found in several tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum (11) – the supposed necessity of denoting (or defining) ourselves, as an individual, in terms of either ‘the masculous’ or ‘the muliebral’ (12) is incorrect and distances us from understanding our human physis. That is, he suggests that every individual has (or can develop) a masculous and a muliebral aspect to their physis and that it is natural for us to develop both these aspects of our character, which development – and the balanced physis which results – would take us away from the dominating suffering causing patriarchal ethos of the past three thousand years, incline us toward empathy, compassion, and honour, and thus lessen the suffering which we inflict on other humans and on other life. (13) In respect of which development Myatt asks a rhetorical question:

“Will [it] take us another three thousand years, or more, or less, to live, world-wide, in societies where fairness, peace, and compassion, are the norm because the males of our species – perhaps by heeding Fairness and not obliging Hubris, perhaps by learning from our shared human culture of pathei-mathos – have personally, individually, balanced within themselves the masculous with the muliebral and thus, because of sympatheia, follow the path of honour. Which balancing would naturally seem to require a certain conscious intent.

What, therefore, is our intent, as individual human beings, and can our human culture of pathei-mathos offer us some answers, or perchance some guidance? As an old epigram so well-expressed it:

θνητοῖσιν ἀνωΐστων πολέων περ οὐδὲν ἀφραστότερον πέλεται νόου ἀνθρώποισι

“Of all the things that mortals fail to understand, the most incomprehensible is human intent.”

Personally, I do believe that our human culture of pathei-mathos – rooted as it is in our ancient past, enriched as it has been over thousands of years by each new generation, and informing as it does of what is wise and what is unwise – can offer us both some guidance and some answers.” (14)

A Complete Philosophy

According to academic criteria, in order to qualify as a complete, and distinct, philosophy – in order to be a Weltanschauung – a particular philosophical viewpoint should possess the following: (i) a particular ontology, which describes and explains the concept of Being, and beings, and our relation to them; (ii) a particular theory of ethics, defining and explaining what is good, and what is bad; (iii) a particular theory of knowledge (an epistemology), of how truth and falsehood can be determined; and (iv) it should also be able to give or to suggest particular answers to questions such as “the meaning and purpose of our lives”, and explain how the particular posited purpose may or could be attained.

Given that Myatt’s ‘way of pathei-mathos’ provides the following answers, it does appear to meet the above criteria and thus could aptly be described as a distinct modern philosophy.

i) Ontology

“The ontology is of causal and acausal being, with (i) causal being as revealed by phainómenon, by the five Aristotelian essentials and thus by science with its observations and theories and principle of ‘verifiability’, and (ii) acausal being as revealed by συμπάθεια – by the acausal knowing (of living beings) derived from faculty of empathy – and thus of the distinction between the ‘time’ (the change) of living-beings and the ‘time’ described via the measurement of the observed or the assumed/posited/predicted movement of things.” (2)

ii) Epistemology

“The primacy of pathei-mathos: of a personal pathei-mathos being one of the primary means whereby we can come to know the true φύσις (physis) of Being, of beings, and of our own being; a knowing beyond ‘abstractions’, beyond the concealment implicit in manufactured opposites, by ipseity (the separation-of-otherness), and by denotatum.

Adding the ‘acausal knowing’ revealed by the (muliebral) faculty of empathy to the conventional, and causal (and somewhat masculous), knowing of science and logical philosophical speculation, with the proviso that what such ‘acausal knowing’ reveals is (i) of φύσις, the relation between beings, and between beings and Being, and thus of ‘the separation-of-otherness’, and (ii) the personal and numinous nature of such knowing in the immediacy-of-the-moment.” (2)

iii) Ethics

“Of personal honour – which presences the virtues of fairness, tolerance, compassion, humility, and εὐταξία – as (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; for it only 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)

iv) Meaning

“It is wise to avoid causing or contributing to suffering not because such avoidance is a path toward nirvana (or some other posited thing), and not because we might be rewarded by God, by the gods, or by some divinity, but rather because it manifests the reality, the truth – the meaning – of our being.” (15)

“Of understanding ourselves in that supra-personal, and cosmic, perspective that empathy, honour, and pathei mathos – and thus an awareness of the numinous and of the acausal – incline us toward, and which understanding is: (i) of ourselves as a finite, fragile, causal, viatorial, microcosmic, affective effluvium of Life (ψυχή) and thus connected to all other living beings, human, terran, and non-terran, and (ii) of there being no supra-personal goal to strive toward because all supra personal goals are and have been just posited – assumed, abstracted – goals derived from the illusion of ipseity, and/or from some illusive abstraction, and/or from that misapprehension of our φύσις that arises from a lack of empathy, honour, and pathei-mathos.

For a living in the moment, in a balanced – an empathic, honourable – way, presences our φύσις as conscious beings capable of discovering and understanding and living in accord with our connexion to other life.” (2)

A Spiritual Way

Myatt’s answers to the questions of “the meaning and purpose of our lives” and of “how the posited purpose might be attained” reveal – as he himself admits in many of his essays – that his philosophy of pathei-mathos embodies a cultured pagan ethos similar to the paganism manifest in many of the writings of Cicero. In his essay on Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos, Myatt approvingly quotes Cicero (in Latin) and paraphrases the explanation of meaning which Cicero gives in the second book of De Natura Deorum:

“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), as harmonious, as the unity itself.

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.” (16)

But Myatt’s philosophy is certainly not a modern restatement of a type of paganism that existed in ancient Greece and Rome. For his philosophy is concerned with the individual and especially with their interior life; with their ‘acausal’ connection – through what Myatt terms the cultivation of the virtues of empathy, compassion, humility, and personal honour – to Being and thence to other life, sentient and otherwise. This marks it as a spiritual way, but one devoid of ‘abstractions’ and dogma. As Myatt writes:

“To formulate some standard or rule or some test to try to evaluate alternatives and make choices in such matters is to make presumptions about what constitutes progress; about what constitutes a ‘higher’ level – or a more advanced stage – and what constitutes a ‘lower’ level or stage. That is, to not only make a moral judgement connected to what is considered to be ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – right and wrong, correct and incorrect – but also to apply that judgement to others and to ‘things’. To judge them, and/or the actions of others, by whether they are on a par with, or are moving toward or away from, that ‘right’ and that ‘wrong’.

This is, in my view, a veering toward hubris, away from the natural balance, and thus away from that acknowledgement of our fallibility, of our uncertitude of knowing, that is the personal virtue of humility. For the essence of the culture of pathei-mathos, and the genesis, the ethos, of all religious revelations and spiritual ways before or until they become dogmatical, seems to be that we can only, without hubris, without prejudice, judge and reform ourselves.

For what the culture of pathei-mathos reveals is that we human beings, are – personally – both the cause and the cure of suffering; and that our choice is whether or not we live, or try to live, in a manner which does not intentionally contribute to or which is not the genesis of new suffering. The choice, in effect, to choose the way of harmony – the natural balance – in preference to hubris.” (17)

According to Myatt, empathy and pathei-mathos incline us – or can incline us – toward humility (18), for

“personal humility is the natural balance living within us; that is, we being or becoming or returning to the balance that does not give rise to ἔρις. Or, expressed simply, humility disposes us toward gentleness, toward kindness, toward love, toward peace; toward the virtues that are balance, that express our humanity.” (19)

In other words, humility expresses the raison d’être of Myatt’s philosophy, born as this philosophy is from his own pathei-mathos.

A Modern Gnostic

A Gnostic is someone who seeks gnosis: wisdom and knowledge; someone involved in a life-long search, a quest, for understanding, and who more often than not views the world, or more especially ordinary routine life, as often mundane and often as a hindrance. In my view, this is a rather apt description of Myatt during his idealist and ‘extremist’ decades; decades (1968-2009) which are reasonably now well-known and documented in various academic sources.

It is thus no surprise that Myatt has been described as an “extremely violent, intelligent, dark, and complex individual,” (20) as “a British iconoclast who has lived a somewhat itinerant life and has undertaken an equally desultory intellectual quest,” (21); as “arguably England’s principal proponent of contemporary neo-Nazi ideology and theoretician of revolution,” (22); as having undertaken various “Faustian quests”, (23); as “a fierce Jihadist,” (24) and as having undertaken a “Siddhartha-like search for truth” and “a global odyssey which took him on extended stays in the Middle East and East Asia, accompanied by studies of religions ranging from Christianity to Islam in the Western tradition and Taoism and Buddhism in the Eastern path.” (25)

Thus, his

“philosophy of πάθει μάθος […] is not a conventional, an academic, one where a person intellectually posits or constructs a coherent theory – involving ontology, epistemology, ethics, and so on – often as a result of an extensive dispassionate study, review, or a criticism of the philosophies or views, past and present, advanced by other individuals involved in the pursuit of philosophy as an academic discipline or otherwise. Instead, the philosophy of pathei-mathos is the result of my own pathei-mathos, my own learning from diverse – sometimes outré, sometimes radical and often practical – ways of life and experiences over some four decades; of my subsequent reasoned analysis, over a period of several years, of those ways and those experiences; of certain personal intuitions, spread over several decades, regarding the numinous; of an interior process of personal and moral reflexion, lasting several years and deriving from a personal tragedy; and of my life-long study and appreciation of Hellenic culture.” (26)

As Myatt has explained in various writings – such as in parts two and three of his Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination, published in 2013, (27) – it was his own painful ‘learning from practical experience’ which compelled him to develop his philosophy of pathei-mathos:

“What I painfully, slowly, came to understand, via pathei-mathos, was the importance – the human necessity, the virtue – of love, and how love expresses or can express the numinous in the most sublime, the most human, way. Of how extremism (of whatever political or religious or ideological kind) places some abstraction, some ideation, some notion of duty to some ideation, before a personal love, before a knowing and an appreciation of the numinous. Thus does extremism – usurping such humanizing personal love – replace human love with an extreme, an unbalanced, an intemperate, passion for something abstract: some ideation, some ideal, some dogma, some ‘victory’, some-thing always supra-personal and always destructive of personal happiness, personal dreams, personal hopes; and always manifesting an impersonal harshness: the harshness of hatred, intolerance, certitude-of-knowing, unfairness, violence, prejudice.”

My considered opinion is that it is this redemptive ‘Faustian’ learning from practical (mostly extreme, and both ‘dark’ and ‘light’) experiences which distinguishes Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos from the many academic and/or armchair philosophies proposed by others in the last two hundred years. For Myatt has “been there, done that” and – so it seems – learned valuable lessons as a result, making his philosophy much more than either intellectual speculation by some academic or something devised by some pseudo-intellectual dilettante.

JR Wright



NWPM: The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos (2013). ISBN 978-1484096642

REPM: Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos (2013). ISBN 978-1484097984

EFG: One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings (2014). ISBN 978-1502396105

SARIG: Sarigthersa (2015). ISBN 978-1512137149



1) Myatt, David (2012). Concerning The Development Of The Numinous Way. The essay is included as an appendix in Myatt’s autobiography, Myngath, published in 2013. (ISBN 978-1484110744)

2) The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis. EFG.

It should be noted that all four printed books detailing Myatt’s philosophy are idiosyncratic in terms of size, being 8.5 x 11 inches which is larger than the standard paperback size of 6 x 9 inches.

3) The Nature and Knowledge of Empathy. NWPM.

4) The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic. NWPM.

5) The Way of Pathei-Mathos: A Philosophical Compendiary. NWPM.

6) Myatt’s frequent and somewhat idiosyncratic use of the term Hellenic requires some explanation. As the context often suggests, he generally means the culture of ancient Greece in general, from the time of Homer to the time of Euclid, Aristotle, and beyond. He is not therefore referring to what has academically come to be termed the later Hellenistic (Greco-Roman) period distinguished as that period is, somewhat artificially, from the earlier culture of classical Greece.

That said, he does rather confusingly and on occasion make such a distinction – as in his essay Towards Understanding Physis [SARIG], and in his translation of and commentary on the Pymander tractate – between classical Greece and Hellenistic (Greco-Roman) Greece.

7) Pathei-Mathos as Authority and Way. NWPM.

8) Personal Reflexions On Some Metaphysical Questions. SARIG.

Myatt technically 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.” Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos. EFG.

9) Conspectus of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos. NWPM.

10) Included in Sarigthersa.

11) Myatt’s translation of, and extensive commentary on, the Pymander tractate of the Corpus Hermeticum was published in 2013 under the title Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, ISBN 978-1491249543. His translation of the third tractate was published in 2015 under the title An Esoteric Mythos: A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Third Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum, ISBN 978-1507660126.

12) In his Glossary of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos (included in NWPM) Myatt defines masculous and muliebral as follows:

Masculous is a term, a descriptor, used to refer to certain traits, abilities, and qualities that are conventionally and historically associated with men, such as competitiveness, aggression, a certain harshness, the desire to organize/control, and a desire for adventure and/or for conflict/war/violence/competition over and above personal love and culture. Extremist ideologies manifest an unbalanced, an excessive, masculous nature.

The term muliebral derives from the classical Latin word muliebris, and in the context the philosophy of Pathei-Mathos refers to those positive traits, abilities, and qualities that are conventionally and historically associated with women, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion, and a desire to love and be loved over and above a desire for conflict/adventure/war.

13) Some Conjectures Concerning Our Nexible Physis. SARIG. See also his answer to the question in his Some Questions For DWM, included in EFG, which question begins: “In your book ‘Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination’ you wrote that extremists have or they develope an inflexible masculous character, often excessively so; and a character which expresses the masculous nature, the masculous ethos, of extremism…”

14) Some Conjectures Concerning Our Nexible Physis. SARIG.

15) The Consolation Of A Viator. EFG.

16) EFG.

17) Good, Evil, and The Criteria of Progress. REPM.

18) Morality, Virtues, and Way of Life. NWPM.

19) Numinous Expiation. REPM.

20) Raine, Susan. The Devil’s Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014, pp. 529-533.

21) Jon B. Perdue: The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books, 2012. p.70-71. ISBN 9781597977043

22) Michael, George. The New Media and the Rise of Exhortatory Terrorism. Strategic Studies Quarterly (USAF), Volume 7 Issue 1, Spring 2013.

23) Michael, George. (2006) The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right. University Press of Kansas, p. 142.

24) Author Martin Amis several times described Myatt as “a fierce Jihadist”. For instance, in his book The Second Plane. Jonathan Cape, 2008, p.157.

According to Professor Wistrich, when a Muslim Myatt was a staunch advocate of “Jihad, suicide missions and killing Jews…” and also “an ardent defender of bin Laden.” Wistrich, Robert S, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, Random House, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4000-6097-9.

See also the report of a UNESCO conference in 2003 [Simon Wiesenthal Center: Response, Summer 2003, Vol 24, #2] where it was stated that “David Myatt, the leading hardline Nazi intellectual in Britain since the 1960s […] has converted to Islam, praises bin Laden and al Qaeda, calls the 9/11 attacks ‘acts of heroism,’ and urges the killing of Jews. Myatt, under the name Abdul Aziz Ibn Myatt supports suicide missions and urges young Muslims to take up Jihad.”

25) Kaplan, Jeffrey (2000). Encyclopedia of white power: a sourcebook on the radical racist right. Rowman & Littlefield, p. 216ff; p.512f

26) A Philosophical Compendiary. NWPM.

27) ISBN 978-1484854266.


cc JR Wright 2015
(Fourth edition)
This text is issued under the Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license
and can be freely copied and distributed under the terms of that license


Image credit:
The Corn King’s Bitter Cup, a painting by Richard Moult

Regarding The Term Numinous

David Myatt

David Myatt

A Note Regarding The Term Numinous

As a chapter of a book by Christopher Pankhurst – Numinous Machines, published in December 2017 by the ‘right-wing’ San Francisco based Counter-Currents organization – is titled Nexus of Life: David Myatt & the Acausal, it is fitting that we examine the origin of the term ‘numinous’ and what Myatt himself means by the term, especially as the blurb for the book on the publishers website repeats the common but mistaken belief that “Rudolf Otto coined the term numinous to refer to the primal experience of the holy.”

A mistaken belief since as a certain “Anton Long” pointed out in his text Alchemical Seasons and The Fluxions of Time published in 123 yfayen (2011 ce) that

“despite the now common belief that the use of the word ‘numinous’ is fairly recent, deriving from the writings of Rudolf Otto, its first occurrence in English – so far discovered – is in a religious tract published in London in 1647 ce, entitled The simple cobler of Aggawam in America. Willing to help mend his native country. The author, Nathaniel Ward – a scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, an English clergyman, and a Puritan supporter – emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634 ce.”

The meaning of the term numinous in that book, and in later books such as The Quest of the Sangraal by Robert Stephen Hawker published in 1864 (where it is spelt numynous), is “of or relating to a god or a divinity, revealing or indicating the presence of a divinity; divine, spiritual,” derived as it is from the classical Latin ‘numen’, which Latin word implied a deity, a divinity, a reverence for what is divine.

In his 2013 book The Numinous Way Of Pathei-Mathos Myatt described how he then philosophically used and understood the term:

“The numinous is what manifests or can manifest or remind us of (what can reveal) the natural balance of ψυχή; a balance which ὕβρις upsets. This natural balance – our being as human beings – is or can be manifest to us in or by what is harmonious, or what reminds us of what is harmonious and beautiful. In a practical way, it is what we regard or come to appreciate as ‘sacred’ and dignified; what expresses our developed humanity and thus places us, as individuals, in our correct relation to ψυχή, and which relation is that we are but one mortal emanation of ψυχή.”

Prior to that ‘Pathei Mathos iteration’ (c.2011 – present) Myatt had frequently used the term ‘numinous’ during his ‘National Socialist iteration’ (1968-1998) writing in his 1990s text The Meaning of National-Socialism, {1} published by George Dietz in his Libery Bell magazine and also circulated by Myatt’s National-Socialist Movement, not only that

“Something is numinous if it has beauty and awe. Something which is divinely-inspired or divinely-representative is numinous. What is numinous is generally what is revered, or regarded as sacred – as spiritual or divine. Nature herself is numinous – a wonderful, awe-inspiring mystery. The numinous is an expression of the acausal – of the Unity behind causal, temporal, appearance,”

but also that

“a folk is not an abstract, easily defined, static, “thing” like the concept of race. It is a living, changing, evolving, being – a unique type of life. What defines a folk is thus far more than a certain set of physical or physiological or genetic characteristics. A folk is a symbiotic being – in symbiosis with the being which is the homeland of that folk, with that community or that collection of folkish communities. All this makes the culture, the Way of Life, the ethos (or soul) of that folk living as well. And it is this living which is numinous, which presences the numinous.”

Since Myatt uses and used the term numinous in specific ways, and always seemed to avoid using the English word ‘holy’ both in reference to that term and in his Greek translations, it is interesting and relevant to mention his commentary on the Greek word ἅγιος in section 5 of the Pymander chapter of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum. {2}

The Holy

In regard to ἅγιος – conventionally translated as ‘holy’ – Myatt, quoting Rilke and providing his own translation of the German, writes that the numinous has two aspects:

{Begin quote}

Numinous is better – more accurate – than ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’, since these latter English words have been much overused in connexion with Christianity and are redolent with meanings supplied from over a thousand years of exegesis; meanings which may or may not be relevant here.

Correctly understood, [the] numinous is the unity beyond our perception of its two apparent aspects; aspects expressed by the Greek usage of ἅγιος which could be understood in a good (light) way as ‘sacred’, revered, of astonishing beauty; and in a bad (dark) way as redolent of the gods/wyrd/the fates/morai in these sense of the retributive or (more often) their balancing power/powers and thus giving rise to mortal ‘awe’ since such a restoration of the natural balance often involved or required the death (and sometimes the ‘sacrifice’) of mortals. It is the numinous – in its apparent duality, and as a manifestation of a restoration of the natural, divine, balance – which is evident in much of Greek tragedy, from the Agamemnon of Aeschylus (and the Orestia in general) to the Antigone and the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles.

The two apparent aspects of the numinous are wonderfully expressed by Rilke:

Wer, wenn ich schrie, hörte mich denn aus der Engel
Ordnungen? und gesetzt selbst, es nähme
einer mich plötzlich ans Herz: ich verginge von seinem
stärkeren Dasein. Denn das Schöne ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht,
uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

Who, were I to sigh aloud, of those angelic beings might hear me?
And even if one of them deigned to take me to his heart I would dissolve
Into his very existence.
For beauty is nothing if not the genesis of that numen
Which we can only just survive
And which we so admire because it can so calmly disdain to betake us.
Every angel is numinous

wenn ich schrie. ‘Were I to sigh aloud’ is far more poetically expressive, and more in tune with the metaphysical tone of the poem and the stress on schrie, than the simple, bland, ‘if I cried out’. A sighing aloud – not a shout or a scream – of the sometimes involuntary kind sometimes experienced by those engaged in contemplative prayer or in deep, personal, metaphysical musings.

der Engel Ordnungen. The poetic emphasis is on Engel, and the usual translation here of ‘orders’ – or something equally abstract and harsh (such as hierarchies) – does not in my view express the poetic beauty (and the almost supernatural sense of strangeness) of the original; hence my suggestion ‘angelic beings’ – of such a species of beings, so different from we mortals, who by virtue of their numinosity have the ability to both awe us and overpower us.

{End quote}

Myatt thus provides a new – yet ancient, and most certainly pagan – interpretation of the term, so very different from the understanding of that of Christianity, which Christian understanding is “pertaining to God; belonging to God, commissioned by God, or persons devoted to God; conforming to the will of God, entirely devoted to God.”

Three Wyrd Sisters

{1} A copy of Myatt’s text is available here:
{2} David Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1976452369

A Review of The Uncertitude Of Mr Myatt by JR Wright & R Parker

David Myatt


JR Wright & R Parker, The Uncertitude Of Mr Myatt,
From National Socialism To The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos. 2017.

Available both as a printed book – ISBN 978-1981249954, US$ 7.00 – and as an Gratis Open Access pdf file (1) this slim volume of 58 pages is by the authors of The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt (2) which was published last year and which provided a reasonably comprehensive – and currently the only available – analysis of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos, which analysis is no easy feat since Myatt himself admits that he is “aware that the ‘philosophy’ of pathei-mathos, as described in works such as The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos and scattered in numerous other essays is not expounded as clearly and precisely as it could and perhaps should be.” (3)

The first part of The Uncertitude Of Mr Myatt deals with Myatt’s criticism of National Socialism and Hitler, spread as that criticism was over a period between 2010 and 2012. The authors use the same methodology as in their The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt, which is to provide extensive and relevant quotations from Myatt’s works and then comment on them.

This approach illustrates not only how Myatt’s thinking evolved as he developed and refined his Numinous Way during those years, but also the criteria he employed; in the process also revealing Myatt’s detailed understanding of National Socialism and the interesting fact that his criticism was framed by the pagan spirituality of ancient Greece, that is, in terms of hubris, the classical Fates (Moirai) and the Ἐρινύες. In an illuminating footnote the authors write that Myatt “expresses in his intellectual way the irony, the tragedy” by placing in context the Greek quotation the philosopher Martin Heidegger used in his 1933 speech at the University of Freiburg.

The second part deals with Myatt’s latest book – Pagan Mysticism And The Ethos of Christianity – and while it is a useful summary of that book there is no detailed analysis of Myatt’s assumptions and conclusions. For example, whether or not Myatt is correct in his statement that the ethics of Greek and Roman paganism can be summarized in the phrase καλὸς κἀγαθός, or whether or not Homer’s Odyssey is “redolent of the classical paganus ethos”, and whether or not Christian ethics are indeed based on “the example of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as depicted in the Gospels.”

The second part also does not in our view unequivocally answer the question that the authors asked at the end of part one, which was whether that book by Myatt marks “a return to his earlier folk culture”, with that folk culture being – in their words – “”mostly but not always just his ‘ethical National Socialism’ of Reichsfolk with the term ‘folk culture’ replacing the term ‘national socialism’ and with references to Hitler and the Third Reich removed.” All they say in answer is that “there are no such links” to and nothing redolent of “Myatt’s old ‘folk culture’ world-view.”

Well over half the book is taken up with four old essays by Myatt, the most interesting of which is Three O’clock One English Morning – written in 2010 – in which he gives details both of his motivation as a National Socialist and the tactics and strategies he employed in his three decades as a violent political activist. These four essays by Myatt, and the one by Ms Wright with the intriguing title David Myatt, Reichsfolk, Esoteric Hitlerism, and Savitri Devi, are however – as the authors claim in their Preface – useful resources for those interested in or researching “the life of David Myatt and of how and why he developed his philosophy of pathei mathos.”

The book, despite its deficiencies, is a useful addition to the literature about Myatt given that Myatt’s life and writings continue to interest certain individuals, with some of those interested influenced by or identifying with various modern Western sub-cultures – such as the Order of Nine Angles, the Occult Left Hand Path, Esoteric Hitlerism, Reichsfolk, NRx – while others (currently, an admittedly miniscule and heretical minority) see in Myatt something Faustian and ineluctably redolent of that strange dichotomy between Light and Dark, Numinous and Sinister, between Apollonian and Dionysian, between The Scholar and The Activist, between The Monk and The Warrior, between Honour and Dishonour, between The Wisdom of Pathei-Mathos and The Reckless Promethean Quest, that lie at the heart of – which are – the ethos and the mythoi of the culture of the West.

November 2017 ev


Article source:

Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda


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



° 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.]

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:

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)


° 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 Note On The Muliebral Numinous

David Myatt

David Myatt

The following Note compliments a previous Note of ours – titled A Note Regarding The Term Numinous – in which previous Note we provided the necessary historical and metaphysical context for understanding that term, and which context reveals, contrary to a popular misunderstanding, that term ‘numinous’ – implying “of or relating to a god or a divinity, revealing or indicating the presence of a divinity; divine, spiritual” – was used in English centuries before Rudolf Otto appropriated it to describe mysterium tremendum et fascinans and thus restricted it to religions and to religions experience, which restrictive religious use is quite different from Myatt’s metaphysical usage:

“The numinous is what manifests or can manifest or remind us of (what can reveal) the natural balance of ψυχή; a balance which ὕβρις upsets. This natural balance – our being as human beings – is or can be manifest to us in or by what is harmonious, or what reminds us of what is harmonious and beautiful.”


A Note On The Muliebral Numinous

In the Numinous Metaphysics chapter of his 2017 book Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, David Myatt iconoclastically wrote that in his view “the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral and can be apprehended through a personal, an interior, balance between masculous and muliebral.” {1}

He then asks the important and relevant question as how can the “numinous balance between masculous and muliebral be metaphysically expressed, given that the culture of pathei-mathos has moved us, or can move us, beyond anthropomorphic deities, whether male or female; beyond myths and legends; beyond reliance on texts regarded as sacred and/or as divinely inspired; and even beyond the need for denotatum and religion.”

If one accepts Myatt’s understanding of the numinous as “primarily a manifestation of the muliebral” then it follows that all extant representations of the numinous, from Christianity, to Islam, to Judaism, to Buddhism, to most contemporary pagan revivals, as well as ancient Greco-Roman paganism, do not or did not adequately presence the numinous.

For such a muliebral presencing would, according to Myatt, be manifest in “a predominance of female deities; or in a dominant female deity; in legends and myths which celebrate muliebral virtues, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion.”

Hence a modern and metaphysical presencing of numinous would be “beyond the need for denotatum,” {2} whether the denotatum be a named anthropomorphic divinity or named divinities, or whether such denotatum involves texts, since it is manifest “in a personal weltanschauung and not in a religion; has no hierarchy; no creed, no article or articles of faith; and no texts whether written or aural.”

Thus the numinous is not and cannot be – as Rudolf Otto argued in his Das Heilige – manifest in the Old and New Testaments of Christianity (chapters X, XI); nor is it manifest in the writings and sermons of preachers such as Martin Luther (chapters XII); nor in anything – ancient or modern – which involves ‘worship’ (chapter XIII ff). Nor even in some philosophical theory and thence described by a term such as a priori (chapter XVII).

Which would seem to lead us back to Myatt’s understanding of empathy as a human faculty which cannot exist beyond the personal horizon of the individual, with the knowing gleaned by such a faculty limited to the immediacy-of-the-moment {3}. As a human faculty, it does not involve denotatum, and is personal and individual {4}. For empathy “reveals or can reveal the nature (the physis) – sans abstractions/ideations/words – of Being, of beings, and of Time.” {5}

This empathic revealing – involving as it does a συμπάθεια (sympatheia) with ‘the living other’ – naturally inclines a person toward muliebral virtues such as compassion {6}. Thus,

“morality resides not in some abstract theory or some moralistic schemata presented in some written text which individuals have to accept and try and conform or aspire to, but rather in personal virtues that arise or which can arise naturally through empathy, πάθει μάθος, and thus from an awareness and appreciation of the numinous. Personal virtues such as compassion and fairness, and εὐταξία, that quality of self-restraint, of a balanced, well-mannered conduct.” {7}

In effect, empathy presences – provides an apprehension of – the numinous, revealing the natural balance of ψυχή, and what upsets or can upset that balance within us as individuals. This leads him to suggest that

“the basis for numinous social change and reform is aiding, helping, assisting individuals in a direct and personal manner, and in practical ways, with such help, assistance, and aid arising because we personally know or are personally concerned about or involved with those individuals or the situations those individuals find themselves in. In brief, being compassionate, empathic, understanding, sensitive, kind, and showing by personal example.” {7}

However, in his Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, he expands upon this by writing that the personal, the interior, balance between masculous and muliebral involves

“a new civitas, and one not based on some abstractive law but on a spiritual and interior (and thus not political) understanding and appreciation of our own Ancestral Culture and that of others; on our ‘civic’ duty to personally presence καλὸς κἀγαθός and thus to act and to live in a noble way. For the virtues of personal honour and manners, with their responsibilities, presence the fairness, the avoidance of hubris, the natural harmonious balance, the gender equality, the awareness and appreciation of the divine, that is the numinous.”


For many people, all this will seem hopelessly idealistic, or impractical. Others will dismiss it as irrelevant because of how they perceive our ‘human nature’, believing that “what a piece of work is Man,” no more, no less than a talking beast who happens to walk upright.

But a few might perceive it as the musings of a modern mystic, or as the musing of someone “Above Time”, for such musings are only, as Myatt himself admits, the fallible result of his own pathei-mathos (8}.

Three Wyrd Sisters


{1} Since Myatt goes to explain what he means by both masculous and muliebral it is worth quoting the passage from Tu Es Diaboli Ianua in context:

“If the numinous is a presencing, and an apprehension by us, of the divine, of the sacred, then is divinity, is the sacred, the sole domain of, a presencing of, the masculous – or such that the masculous dominates – or is it the domain of the muliebral; or the domain of such a balance between masculous and muliebral as the culture of pathei-mathos seems to indicate it is and should be. My own pathei-mathos certainly indicates that the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral and can be apprehended through a personal, an interior, balance between masculous and muliebral.

A masculous presencing is and has been manifest in a predominance of male deities; or in a dominant male deity; and/or in legends and myths which celebrate masculous values, such as competitiveness, a certain harshness, a desire to organize/control, a perceived conflict between some-thing, some abstraction, denoted ‘good’ and some-thing, some abstraction, denoted as ‘evil’, and a following of or an adherence to abstractions in general (such as a perceived divine law or some interpretation of religiosity) over and above personal love. Considered exoterically – not interiorly, not esoterically – a masculous presencing is manifest in a religion, with the attendant organized worship and devotion, with there existing a hierarchy, a creed or an article or articles of faith, and usually some texts, whether written or aural, regarded as sacred and/or as divinely inspired and which invariably require interpretation.

A muliebral presencing is or would be manifest in a predominance of female deities; or in a dominant female deity; in legends and myths which celebrate muliebral virtues, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion; and in the perception that personal love should triumph over and above adherence to abstractions. Considered exoterically – not interiorly, not esoterically – a muliebral presencing is manifest in a personal, varied, worship and devotion; in a personal weltanschauung and not in a religion; has no hierarchy; no creed, no article or articles of faith; and no texts whether written or aural.

Historically, it seems that revealed religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism primarily manifest a presencing of the masculous […]

Historically, while the paganus apprehension of Greco-Roman culture was also primarily masculous it did presence aspects of the muliebral, manifest for example in female deities such as Athena, Artemis, and Gaia, and thus was somewhat more balanced, more harmonious in terms of re-presenting our human physis, than Christianity.”

{2} In a footnote in Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, Myatt explains that he uses “the term denotatum – from the Latin, denotare – 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. Thus understood, and used as an Anglicized term, denotatum is applicable to both singular and plural instances and thus obviates the need to employ the Latin plural denotata.”

{3} The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2013. Part I. Wisdom, Pathei-Mathos, and Humility.

{4} Op.cit. Part III. Some Personal Musings On Empathy.

{5} Op.cit. Appendix II.

{6} Op.cit. Part I. An Appreciation of The Numinous.

{7} Op.cit. Part V. Modern Society and The Individual.

{8} Op. cit. Preface.

Myatt’s Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

Order of Nine Angles



We have to admit that we were pleasantly surprised by David Myatt’s new book which has the Latin title Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, a title which he himself translates as You Are The Nexion Of The Deofel. Is the title a hint?

Perhaps so. But no matter. For his book contains some very illuminating statements relevant to our times. First, that his

       “own pathei-mathos certainly indicates that the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral and can be apprehended through a personal, an interior, balance between masculous and muliebral.”

Second, that

        “a muliebral presencing is or would be manifest in a predominance of female deities; or in a dominant female deity; in legends and myths which celebrate muliebral virtues, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion; and in the perception that personal love should triumph over and above adherence to abstractions. Considered exoterically – not interiorly, not esoterically – a muliebral presencing is manifest in a personal, varied, worship and devotion; in a personal weltanschauung and not in a religion; has no hierarchy; no creed, no article or articles of faith; and no texts whether written or aural.”

Third, that

        “the virtues of personal honour and manners, with their responsibilities, presence the fairness, the avoidance of hubris, the natural harmonious balance, the gender equality, the awareness and appreciation of the divine, that is the numinous.”

Fourth, that

        “In the case of Christianity, while some interpretations of it have in the past century slowly evolved to be somewhat more balanced in respect of the muliebral, it is still primarily a patriarchal presencing.”

Myatt therefore is once again publicly aligning himself with critics of the masculous, with critics of the patriarchal, with critics (both female and male) of the misogynist, status quo.

While this will not endear him to the Magian and their acolytes, nor to the so-called “alt-right” who exemplify misogyny and whose adherents often trumpet the still patriarchal religion of Christianity as “the ethos of the West”, Myatt scholarly cuts through their plebeian assumptions and Old World prejudices and Magian abstractions by providing an intellectual basis for a new, an enlightened, paganism firmly rooted in an understanding of our debt to Greco-Roman, pagan, culture.

A highly recommended book, and Kudos therefore to Myatt.

Three Wyrd Sisters
December 2017 ev.


David Myatt. Tu Es Diaboli Ianua. 46 pages. 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1982010935

Article source:

Nexion Of The Deofel

David Myatt

David Myatt

As a pre-publication draft, the following file is subject to revision and correction of typos.

Tu Es Diaboli Ianua


° Exordium
° Part I. The Johannine Weltanschauung And The Numinous
° Part II. A Paganus Apprehension
° Part III. Numinous Metaphysics
° Appendix I. Logos Δ. The Esoteric Song
° Appendix II. A Note On The Term Jews In The Gospel of John
° Appendix III. The Human Culture Of Pathei-Mathos


Given that the religion termed Christianity has, for over six centuries, been influential in respect of the ethos and spirituality of the culture of the West – often to the extent of having been described as manifesting that ethos and that spirituality – one of the metaphysical questions I have saught to answer over the past forty years is whether that religion is, given our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos, a suitable presencing of the numinous. If it is not, then could that religion be reformed, by developing a Johannine Weltanschauung given that the Gospel According to John – τὸ κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγέλιον – arguably presents a somewhat different perspective on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth than the three other synoptic Gospels. Would such a reformation be a suitable presencing of the numinous, and if not, then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what are the ontology, epistemology, and ethics of such an alternative?

This essay thus compliments my book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. As in that book, I have made extensive use of my translations of certain classical authors and of various hermetic texts as well as the Gospel of John, and given that those translations are currently quite accessible I have not except on a few occasions explained my interpretations of certain Greek or Latin terms since those interpretations are explained in the associated commentaries.

As noted elsewhere, I prefer the term paganus – a transliteration of the classical Latin, denoting as it does connection to Nature, to the natural, more rural, world – in preference to ‘pagan’ since paganus is, in my view and in respect of the Greco-Roman ethos, more accurate given what the term ‘pagan’ now often denotes.

The title of the essay, Tu Es Diaboli Ianua – “You Are The Nexion Of The Deofel”, literally, “You are nexion Diabolos ” – is taken from Tertullian’s De Monogamia, written at the beginning of the second century AD.

David Myatt
Winter Solstice 2017


An Itinerant Jihadi

Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt

Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt

Several pages of a new book – Itinerant Jihadis: Arab and Muslim War Volunteers by Raphael Israeli, published by Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency – are devoted to David Myatt and his Muslim years, with the author quoting from several articles written by Myatt.

While there is nothing new about Myatt – with the information somewhat dated, and the author covering previously well-described aspects of Myatt’s life from his leadership of the NSM to his publicly-given (rather propagandistic) reason for converting to Islam – the author does, however, write that Myatt et al provide “incriminating evidence of the brewing Islamic subversion in Britain, and elsewhere, and of its close relationship with world Jihadi organizations.”

Interviews, Journalists, And The Police

David Myatt

David Myatt

From The Archives

Interviews, Journalists, The Police, and Pathei-Mathos


Extract from the Editorial Preface:

The following autobiographical article by David Myatt was written in 2009 and revised in 2010. It was included as an Excursus in early (2009-2011) drafts of his autobiography Myngath, copies of which were circulated to a few friends, with the drafts briefly appearing on some internet blogs, to be replaced by the final and substantially revised version published in May 2013 which lacked this article.

The article provides Myatt’s side of the story in relation to the police, interviews, and journalists such as Nick Ryan who have written about Myatt in a propagandistic manner.

Four interesting things deserve mentioning in connection with the article. The first – and most curious – is that the journalist who, in 1974, “stitched Myatt up” by making allegations about animal sacrifice became ill shortly after his report was published in a local newspaper. He was diagnosed with a terminal disease, and died less than a year later, with the local rumour being that Anton Long’s then Leeds-based Temple of the Sun (an early O9A nexion) had undertaken The Death Ritual (qv. The ONA’s Black Book of Satan) and thus cursed that journalist […..]



Myatt: A Matter Of Honour