A Modern Pagan Philosophy

David Myatt


Reproduced here in full is the conclusion – Epilogos, the last part – of Myatt’s scholarly monograph Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos {1} in which conclusion he outlines a new pagan, and importantly a Western, weltanschauung (philosophy/worldview) derived from his study of Greco-Roman and Hermetic texts.

Central to this pagan philosophy is the principle of καλὸς κἀγαθός which Myatt in chapter three of that monograph explains concerns:

“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. Which Greek phrase expresses the ethics, the high personal standards, of the ancient paganus weltanschauung we have been discussing, and which standards naturally resulted in two things. First, in only a minority of individuals in a particular πόλις or civitas – community, tribe, clan, or society – manifesting such standards in their daily lives, with such a minority often forming a natural, and ruling, aristocracy. Second, that it was often a person who lived (and was prepared to die) by such high standards who, because of their character or based on a reputation established through valourous and noble deeds, became or was chosen as the leader or the chieftain of some community, tribe, clan, or society.

For the quintessence of such a weltanschauung, of the paganus ethos, is that ethics are presenced in and by particular living individuals, not in some written text whether philosophical or otherwise, not by some proposed schemata, and not in some revelation from some deity. Which paganus ethics, when evolved – combined with the paganus mysticism evident in the Corpus Hermeticum and the cultural pathei-mathos of the past two millennia presenced through the insight of empathy – leads us to a modern paganus weltanschauung.” {2}

In other words, Myatt seems to be advocating a pagan society which is quite different from modern Western ones and which modern ones are based upon the pretence of “democracy” where politicians who have no valourous and noble deeds to their name are elected – often based on what the mass Media want us to believe about them – to make laws and to govern we, the people.

This new pagan society governed by a new type of aristocracy rather resembles – at least to me – what both Italian fascism and German National Socialism ideologically, in their origins – and I stress in their origins – sought to establish. That is, a new aristocracy based on leaders and politicians who had valourous and noble deeds to their name, much as envisaged by Robert Heinlein in his now much maligned 1959 novel Starship Troopers complete copies of which are now hard to obtain {3} and which novel has recently been “sanitized” and thus received the “Hollywood” treatment in a 1997 satirical film of the same name.

Rachael Stirling

{1} https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/classical-paganism-v2-print.pdf

{2} Myatt further explains what he means by καλὸς κἀγαθός in his monograph Tu Es Diaboli Ianua (qv. p.16; pp.21f), which monograph is available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/tua-es-diaboli-ianua.pdf

{3} For a synopsis of part two of the original – titled Starship Soldier – see: https://archive.org/details/Fantasy_Science_Fiction_v017n05_1959-11_PDF


Epilogos: A Modern Paganus Weltanschauung

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

For it is a weltanschauung 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, with such character innate, or developed through pathei-mathos, or formed through a particular type of education, or through proximity to and/or admiration of those whose lives and deeds have revealed them to have such nobility of character. For it is the known living and the known deeds of individuals which reveal and/or which are the genesis of such noble character.

Such a developed paganus weltanschauung – in its ethos and its ontology, ethics, and epistemology, and thus with its virtues of personal honour and empathy combined with a respect for the numinous – is quite different from Christianity and other revealed religions, and certainly does, in its noble simplicity and practicality, seem to be more human in physis, more balanced, and could well be more productive of a healthy personal ψυχή, than Christianity and other revealed religions.

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