Anton Long and The Exeatic Quest for Gnosis

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Order of Nine Angles

Order of Nine Angles

Anton Long and The Exeatic Quest for Gnosis

 

In modern occultism there are four main exponents of, and/or expositions of, what is often referred to as Left Hand Path {1}, and/or Satanic, esotericism. These are Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan; Michael Aquino and the Temple of Set; Aleister Crowley and Thelema {2}; and Anton Long and the Order of Nine Angles.

Whatever one’s opinion of the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, Thelema, or the Order of Nine Angles, they all to great extent reflect the known and documented life, the personality, and the ideas or beliefs, of the person most associated with them and who first expounded, or who first effectively codified, the ideas/beliefs/praxis – or the esoteric philosophy – evident in them.

Thus the showmanship and plagiarism of LaVey is evident in the Church of Satan. Thus the 19th century style romanticism, the egoism, the flamboyance, the misogyny, the need for disciples, of Crowley is evident in Thelema. Thus the studious nature, the honest, the moral, and the hierarchical, approach of Aquino is evident in the Temple of Set.

Thus, also, how the practical exeatic {3}, iconoclastic, seemingly contradictory life of Anton Long is evident in the Order of Nine Angles.

As Anton Long wrote in the 2011 text Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion.

“My life has been considered by some to be a practical manifestation of The Seven Fold Way.”

This is certainly true is one accepts, as many do {4}, the as yet unproven claim that Anton Long was a pseudonym used by David Myatt and that Myatt set up the ONA in the 1970s and codified “its teachings into a fully developed system of initiation and training for adeptship” {5}.

It is therefore interesting, and relevant – and also important for an understanding and appreciation of the Order of Nine Angles – to consider both the O9A’s seven-fold way and the life of David Myatt.

The Seven Fold Way

The Seven Fold Way (aka 7FW aka the Seven Fold Sinister Way) is outlined in the 1990s O9A text Naos, and in the later text Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion, and consists of a series of practical tasks, individual physical challenges, practical and occult ordeals, and various occult rituals. Importantly, both of these texts are practical guides, not theoretical tracts.

As Anton Long writes,

“The Seven Fold Way of the traditional nexions of the ONA is a difficult and life-long personal commitment, and involves three basic methods: (1) practical experience, both esoteric and exoteric; (2) a learning from that experience; and (3) a progression toward a certain specific personal goal.

1. This means the individual acquires practical experience of both of the Occult/TheDarkArts [External, Internal and Aeonic sorcery] and of doing sinister (amoral and exeatic) deeds in the real world.

2. This means that the individual learns from their errors, their mistakes, and their success – a learning requiring self-honesty, interior reflexion, and a rational awareness of themselves into relation to their life-long quest: that is, in relation to the goal.

3. This means that (1) and (2) occur again and again until the long-term goal is reached – a process traditionally represented by the seven stages of the Tree of Wyrd, involving the progress from Neophyte to Magus/Mousa. The actual aim is to progress toward, into, and beyond, The Abyss: which rencounter is: (a) exoterically, the genesis of the new type of human being which it is one of the aims of the ONA to facilitate, as prelude to our New Aeon and as a manifestation, a presencing, of that new Aeon; and (b) esoterically, the genesis of individual wisdom and a prelude to a possible transition toward the next and final stage, that of Immortal in the realms of the acausal.

These methods are personal, direct, individual. They require that the individual take responsibility for themselves; is not bound by any restrictions or any morality, and learns not from books or texts or from someone else but rather by practical experience extending over a period of several decades.” Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion

Insofar as the personal experience and the development of the individual is concerned, the 7FW can be divided into two parts, although hitherto most commentators, and almost all critics, have focussed on the first part, apparently unaware of the second part.

The first part is that concerning up to and including the stage of Internal Adept where the emphasis is on ‘the sinister’ – on practical experience of ‘the dark side’; and which practical experience is both occult, involving rituals and prescribed occult ordeals (such as Insight Roles), and exoteric, that is, often amoral in the conventional sense, requiring

“the individual to go beyond, to transgress, the limits (the bounds, conventions, the laws) imposed and prescribed by the society or by the societies of the era in which the individual lives, and which transgression often involves the individual being or becoming a heretic or an outlaw or a revolutionary or a dissident or a criminal. One ‘heretical’ form (or role) sometimes used in current and past Western societies is that of satanism (as the O9A understand and practice satanism). Another is political and/or religious extremism.” The Order of Nine Angles – Proem for Novices

Unsurprisingly, it is this first part – with its mention of human sacrifice, its use of the causal form of neo-nazi extremism, its support for terrorism, and so on – that has made the ONA notorious and dissuaded many from either studying the ONA in detail or beginning their own personal journey along the 7FW, which (again unsurprisingly) is what Anton Long intended all along, as witness what he wrote to Aquino and others in The Satanic Letters published in 1992.

The second part is the preparation for, the rite of, and the subsequent life of the individual beyond the rite of, The Abyss. According to Anton Long in Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion:

“This Grade Ritual [The Sinister Abyssal Nexion] is an enantiodromia – that is, a type of confrontational contest whereby what has been separated becomes bound together again [united] enabling the genesis of a new type of being. As an old alchemical MS stated:

The secret [of the Abyss] is the simple unity of two common things. This unity is greater than but built upon the double-pelican. Here is the living water, Azoth.

What has been separated – into apparent opposites – is the sinister and the numinous.”

Importantly, and as stated in the aforementioned text,

“the necessary preparation for Entering The Abyss […] involves the Internal Adept, over a period of several years (around three years is the expected and necessary norm), living in an empathic and numinous way and thus learning from such a living. This living is not, however, an extended Insight Role, but instead a complete and deliberate re-orientation of the consciousness, emotions, psyche, and way of life of the individual, and is often made manifest in a necessary practical manner by the aspirant Master/LadyMaster becoming, for example, an artisan (and thus learning an appropriate craft), or working in a caring profession, or pursuing artistic/musical /cultural pursuits consistent with such empathic and numinous living […]

This numinous living is obviously in stark contrast – and seemingly opposed – to the previously experienced sinister aspects of someone following the Seven Fold Way, and it is for the individual to resolve in their own manner in their own causal Time whatever conflicts – personal, moral, psychic or otherwise – that may arise. A
resolution that leads – if the individual decides to continue and after a duration of causal years – to a natural integration, the necessary alchemical synthesis; the individual then having the experience, and the esoteric empathy, to know when such a synthesis of sinister and numinous has occurred.”

Thus is there the necessary practical experience of, and the necessary personal learning from such experience, via the Dark Art of Pathei-Mathos {6}, of what the ONA term the sinisterly-numinous:

“The term sinister-numinous is employed by us – part of our esoteric ONA-speak – to describe the living unity beyond the abstract, the lifeless, division and dialectic of contrasting/abstractive/ideated opposites. A division most obvious in the false dichotomy of good and evil, and a division not so obvious in denotatum and thus in both Magian religions with their god, prophets, scriptures, and in occultisms and religions devolving around named deities.” Anton Long. The Adeptus Way and The Sinisterly-Numinous

Yet again, even in these advanced stages of the 7FW, the emphasis of the Order of Nine Angles is on practical experience, in the real world, and a personal learning from such experiences, and for only thus is there a move toward wisdom:

“One of the more important aspects of both the preparation for The Abyss and of the emergence of a new Master/LadyMaster following a successful Passing of The Abyss, is the supra-personal perspective attained. That is, notions of personal Destiny give way to an understanding of Wyrd and a knowing of the impermanent illusory nature of the self, with causal individuality placed into a Cosmic perspective by an experience of the acausal sans abstractions, words, language. There is thus the beginnings of genuine wisdom […]

As the Rite of Internal Adept sheds and goes beyond mundane ego to symbolically produce an ‘individuated’ self – a self made manifest in the months/years following that Rite and grounded in the pursuit of the personal Destiny so revealed – so the preparations for and the Rite of the Abyss itself annihilates this self, this Destiny, by immersing the individual in the living water, Azoth, from whence the Master/LadyMaster emerges.

In the practical sense, this transformation means that the Master/LadyMaster sheds all pretence about esoteric matters – to themselves and others – while melding a being-human (for they are still mortal, fallible, prone to mistakes) with an aeonic-consciousness: a placing of themselves into the Cosmic perspective.”

Thus,

“One of the main reasons for the existence of esoteric groups such as the Order of Nine Angles is to be a living hereditary repository of a certain type of knowledge – kunnleik – and to personally, directly, encourage some individuals to acquire the culture, the habit, of learning – practical, scholarly, esoteric – and thus enable them to move in the traditional esoteric manner toward the goal of discovering and thence acquiring wisdom; and which wisdom is a balanced personal judgement and a particular knowledge of a pagan, Occult, kind to do with livings beings, human nature, Nature and the heavens. This involves possessing/developing certain esoteric faculties/skills; acquiring an honest knowing of one’s self, one’s character; possessing an Aeonic understanding; and thus discovering Reality beyond, and sans, all causal abstractions.” Anton Long. Knowledge, the Internet, and the O9A

In effect, and importantly, all this is (i) a modern restatement of the hermetic septenary anados – of the quest for gnosis – evident in the ancient Greek text that forms the Pymander section of the Corpus Hermeticum; (ii) a modern praxis established to achieve that gnosis; and (iii) a modern, and rational, understanding of gnosis in terms of sans denotatum {7}, of causal and acausal (and not of gods or of God) and of what such a gnosis may mean, which is of a possible acausal, immortal, existence beyond the realm of the causal {8}. Which is why, in the 7FW, the last stage – that of Immortal – cannot be attained or claimed by a living mortal.

Of course, it may just be coincidence that Myatt has published a translation of, and a commentary on, the Pymander section of the Corpus Hermeticum {9}.

The Life of Myatt

David Myatt’s strange life is fairly well-documented in reliable mainstream sources {10} and his life differs considerably from the lives of LaVey, Aquino, and Crowley, especially in the variety, the nature, and the duration, of his experiences. For instance, a somewhat itinerant upbringing in Africa and the Far East; some twenty years as a violent neo-nazi activist and ideologue, complete with imprisonment for violence and leading two neo-nazi groups; several years as a Christian monk; years of involvement with a NATO-sponsored paramilitary group; almost a decade as a ‘ferocious Jihadi’ during which he travelled in Muslim lands and spoke about Islam; a year or so running a gang of thieves; time as a bodyguard for one of Britain’s most infamous neo-nazis; two years working as a nurse in British hospitals; writing the practical terrorist guide that (allegedly) inspired David Copeland; arrest for conspiracy to murder; years working as a farm labourer; his translations of the likes of Aeschylus and Sappho; and (last but not least) his development of a mystical philosophy based on empathy, compassion, and – importantly – personal honour {11}.

This rather astonishing variety of experiences – apparently both ‘sinister’ and ‘numinous’ – coupled with the allegation of him being Anton Long (at least until around 2009 or 2011), has led several people to conclude that Myatt’s life is indeed “a practical manifestation of The Seven Fold Way”.

For instance, Senholt {4} writes that,

“The role of David Myatt was and is essential to the creation and existence of the ONA.” Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition p.254

“Myatt’s move to Islam is part of a sinister strategy that has its roots in the insight roles and idea of sinister dialectics within the ONA.” Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition p.267

“Myatt’s life-long devotion to various extreme ideologies has been part of a sinister game that is at the heart of the ONA.” Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition p.269

Others, such as Per Faxneld {12} claim that “both his Nazism and Islamism are merely instruments for the ONA’s underlying sinister esoteric plots.”

Furthermore, it has been suggested {13} that

“We have thus, after over forty years, Myatt as Mage and at the end of the seven fold way, having ventured into and beyond ‘the abyss’ and having, as ONA texts such as Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion suggest, melded the sinister with the numinous via practical experience and an exceptionally interesting diversity of living; with his post-2006 writings being explanations of and the product of this last mortal occult stage of what of necessity is a life-long quest.”

These post-2006 writings of his – that is, what he now terms the philosophy of pathei-mathos – would thus, in this scenario, represent the gnosis, the wisdom, achieved by someone following the O9A’s practical 7FW as far as a living mortal can go.

According to Anton Long writing in the 2011 text Lapis Philosophicus:

“The story ends with an anticipated discovery: that the penultimate stage (however named: Magus, GrandMaster, GrandLadyMaster) of that life-long genuine Occult journey which begins with initiation (of whatever kind: hermetic, ceremonial, self) is the same whether one began on, and thence followed, what has been described as The Left Hand Path, or whether one began on, and thence followed, what has been described as The Right Hand Path. For in the context of beyond The Abyss, such designations based on such a dichotomy become, and are, irrelevant because without sense and meaning.

That is, the outer secret of the inner, the real, the living, alchemy is that the end and the result of both our apparently separate journeys is the same; the same place, the same understanding, the same knowledge. For wisdom is undivided, the same for all of us, whatever we believed or assumed when we began.”

Conclusion

Two interesting – and perhaps – important things have been revealed. First, that the nature of the Order of Nine Angles has been much misunderstood, as evident in the general lack of understanding of, or even knowledge of, the sinisterly-numinous (the dual) nature of the Seven Fold Way with its aim of enabling individuals, via practical means and a decades-long and varied quest, to achieve wisdom, the stated goal of most esoteric traditions, including Left Hand Path ones. Second, that out of the likes of LaVey, Aquino, Crowley, and Anton Long, it is Anton Long Myatt who alone seems to qualify as having attained that goal of wisdom. Certainly, of all those, he is in terms of life and practical experience not only the most satanic, the most sinister, but also the one who has most embodied and manifested the numinous.

Which leaves us with three intriguing questions. (1) Is a practical experiencing of both the sinister and of the numinous, as advocated by Anton Long/the O9A, really required in order to attain the final esoteric goal? (2) Is the ultimate wisdom, the knowledge, so attained – by whatever means – really the same for all, or different? And (3) was David Myatt really Anton Long?

R. Parker
2013 ev
(Revised 11/7/13)

Further Reading:
Myatt, The Septenary Anados, And The Quest For Lapis Philosophicus (pdf)

Notes

{1} By Left Hand Path here, in this specific context of comparison, is meant antinomianism; that is, a certain nonconformity often manifest in acts – of occult ritual and/or practical – of transgression.

{2} Whether Thelema and/or Crowley represent and expound a Left Hand Path has been much debated. My own view is that, as it is defined in {1}, they do.

{3} Exeatic is defined, by the ONA, as “going beyond and transgressing the limits imposed and prescribed by mundanes, and by the systems which reflect or which manifest the ethos of mundanes – for example, governments, and the laws of what has been termed society”.

{4} See, for example, the Senholt chapter Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition in the book The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity, edited by Per Faxneld and Jesper Petersen, and published by Oxford University Press in 2012.

{5} Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. Black Sun, New York University Press, 2002, p. 217.

{6} See the ONA text Guide to The Dark Arts of the O9A and also Pathei-Mathos and The Initiatory Occult Quest, from which this is a quote:

“What pathei-mathos as a Dark Art does, has done, and can do is allow the individual to outwardly experience and to internally confront within themselves both the sinister and the numinous, the light and the dark, and to thus learn from – or fail to learn from – such experiences, interior and exterior. Which is why Occult, initiatory, methods such as the Seven Fold Way and the Way of the Rounwytha exist and were originally devised, for they provide context, a living tradition (ancestral pathei-mathos/guidance) and form a tried and tested path toward the goal of positive, evolutionary, individual change and toward the goal of acquiring wisdom.


{7}
In respect of sans denotatum, refer to ONA texts such Denotatum – The Esoteric Problem With Names and Alchemical Seasons and The Fluxions of Time.

{8} The theory of causal and acausal, developed by Myatt in the 1970s, and which is used by the Order of Nine Angles, is outlined in the 1970s text Emanations of Urania, and explained in texts such as Myatt’s Some Notes On The Theory of The Acausal.

See also the ONA text Mythos, Meaning, Acausality, and Dark Gods.

{9} David Myatt. Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1491249543

{10} A reasonable, and documented, overview of Myatt’s life, is given in David-Myatt, taken from the Wikipedia article about him dated November 5, 2013.

{11} Myatt calls personal honour a ‘numinous balancing’, writing in his The Way of Pathei-Mathos that

“[the] personal virtue of honour, and the cultivation of wu-wei, 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.

This balancing of compassion – of the need not to cause suffering – by σωφρονεῖν 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.”

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

{13} R. Parker. Whither Came The Numinous Way. 2013


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