A New Metaphysics

David Myatt

David Myatt


A New Pagan Metaphysics

In November of 2017 David Myatt published his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos in which he described his view of the difference between Christianity and the paganism of Ancient Greece and Rome and set out to, in his words, develope that “paganism in a metaphysical way, beyond the deities of classical mythos.”

This was followed a month later by his Tu Es Diaboli Ianua and in which iconoclastic work he provided his answers to particular metaphysical questions such as whether Christianity really is a suitable presencing of the numinous. If it is not, “then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what is the foundation of such an alternative.”

While these books are not expositions of his philosophy they not only provide interesting and relevant insights into Christianity and classical paganism but also illuminate particular aspects of his own philosophy. For instance, in Tu Es Diaboli Ianua he writes that “the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral,” and that revealed religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism primarily manifest a presencing of the masculous. In Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos he writes that “the quintessence of such a weltanschauung, of the paganus ethos, is that ethics are presenced in and by particular living individuals, not in some written text whether philosophical or otherwise, not by some proposed schemata, and not in some revelation from some deity.”

In both books he makes use of the Greek term καλὸς κἀγαθός stating, in Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, that this

“means those who conduct themselves in a gentlemanly or lady-like manner and who thus manifest – because of their innate physis or through pathei-mathos or through a certain type of education or learning – nobility of character.”

In Tu Es Diaboli Ianua he writes that

“καλὸς κἀγαθός is an awareness and acceptance of one’s civic duties and responsibilities undertaken not because of any personal benefit (omni utilitate) that may result or be expected, and not because an omnipotent deity has, via some written texts, commanded it and will punish a refusal, but because it is the noble, the honourable – the gentlemanly, the lady-like, the human – thing to do […]

[T]he 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.”

Which in my view neatly sums up his philosophy of pathei-mathos, particularly given his statement that the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral, and that

“a muliebral presencing is or would be manifest [in] 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.”

As he notes in his short essay From Mythoi To Empathy {1}, “the faculty of empathy is the transition from mythoi and anthropomorphic deities (theos and theoi) to an appreciation of the numinous sans denotatum and sans religion.”

He thus outlines a new ‘pagan’ metaphysics, or rather provides an understandable description of his own weltanschauung, which is

“of we human beings having a connexion to other living beings, a connexion to the cosmos beyond, and a connexion to the source of our existence, the source of the cosmos, and the source – the origin, the genesis – of all living beings. Which source we cannot correctly describe in words, by any denotata, or define as some male ‘god’, or even as a collection of deities whether male or female, but which we can apprehend through the emanations of Being: through what is living, what is born, what unfolds in a natural manner, what is ordered and harmonious, what changes, and what physically – in its own species of Time – dies.

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

For Being is also, and importantly, presenced – manifest to us, as mortals possessed of reason, empathy, and perceiverance – through certain types of individuals and thus through the particular ways of living that nurture or encourage such individuals. These types of individuals are those who have empathy and who live and if necessary die by honour and thus who have nobility of character.” {2}

Those “certain types of individuals” who presence Being are of course those who manifest καλὸς κἀγαθός, and thus those who, in Myatt’s words, manifest chivalry, manners, gentrice romance; and the muliebral virtues, {3} which virtues include “empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion” as well as “the perception that personal love should triumph over and above adherence to abstractions.” {4}

JR Wright

{1} The essay is available here: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/from-mythoi-to-empathy/

{2} Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, Epilogos. CreateSpace, 2017. ISBN 978-1979599023.

{3} From Mythoi To Empathy.

{4} Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, chapter III. CreateSpace, 2017. ISBN 978-1982010935.

cc JR Wright, 2018
This work is issued under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license
and can be freely copied and distributed, under the terms of that license.