Just His Fallible Views

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Just My Fallible Views, Again
(pdf)

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Editorial Note:

We reproduce here extracts from letters (e-mails) sent by David Myatt to three correspondents in 2011 and 2012. One of those correspondents was journalist working for the BBC.

In our view the letters are primary sources in regard to Myatt’s understanding of and rejection of extremism and are eloquent rebuttals of the recent propaganda and disinformation by particular politicized individuals who have the chutzpah to claim that Myatt is still an extremist.

Some of the correspondence was included in Myatt’s 2013 book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism, ISBN 9781484854266 {1}.

RDM Crew
June 2019 ev

{1} A Gratis Open Access (pdf) version of the book is available from: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/rejecting-extremism/

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Article source:
https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/just-my-fallible-views-again/

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Being Human: A Learning from Aliens

Blue Marble Earth Mosaic

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Editorial Note: As with Myatt’s article An Alien View of Planet Earth {1} this almost two decades old article by Myatt may have some relevance in regard to his more recent philosophy of pathei mathos. We have corrected a few obvious typos in the original article.

RDM Crew
May 2019

{1} qv. https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/an-alien-view-of-planet-earth/

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Being Human: A Learning from Aliens

A Cosmic Ethics

Considering the vastness of the Cosmos – millions upon millions of galaxies containing billions upon billions of stars – it is highly likely that intelligent life exists on other planets orbiting other stars. It is also possible that in our own galaxy there are living beings who are more evolved, more intelligent, more powerful, than we are.

Thus, to consider our own human species as the most intelligent, the most advanced, the most powerful, species in the cosmos is not only extremely arrogant, it is also highly irrational, given this vastness of the cosmos and the fact that we have only very recently – in cosmic terms – evolved from more primitive life here on this planet we call Earth.

The time has come for us to use the cosmos – its vastness, the possibility of it being teeming with other, alien, life – as the measure of our own human ethics. That is, to base our ethics upon what actually exists, and not on what we believe, or would like to believe, exists or has happened, and certainly not on our limited, inward, Earth-only, view of life.

Hitherto, our ethics, our morality, have for the most part (the last few thousand years at least) been based upon the concept of God and on revelation. For instance, upon the belief that we humans have been created by an all-powerful deity who either considers us special (He gave His son to redeem us: Christianity), or who has created us and placed us on this planet to test us, so that we can enter Paradise (Islam).

The ethics based on these theocentric concepts is fundamentally homocentric: that is, based on the belief or assumption that the Earth is some kind of gift from God, with us as special, as masters of this world, and thus entitled to use the resources of this planet, including its other life, to aid us. That is, such religious morality affirms it is acceptable for us to breed and kill animals, and other living beings, for food, even though to survive it is often not necessary for us to kill and eat these living things. Such morality also affirms that it often is acceptable for us to kill other human beings, or imprison them, if they have transgressed some “law” and been found “guilty” in some Court of Law according to some “evidence” which has been produced in that Court.

But this is all very inhuman and inhumane; all very uncivilized. That is, it is unfair, illogical, and irrational, when viewed in the greater Cosmic Perspective.

It is these things because we have hitherto viewed them in limited terms, often in very limited, unfair, Earth-only, terms. We must evolve our ethics away from this small, arrogant, unfair, homocentric view toward a view based upon the reality of the cosmos: upon its vastness, with our own species occupying a planet which orbits an ordinary star somewhere on the edge of an ordinary galaxy surrounded by millions upon millions of other star-bearing galaxies.

The Alien Analogy

The best analogy to explain the fundamental difference between the new, cosmic, ethics which we must now accept, and the old, homocentric, ethics, is that of a race of aliens visiting then invading this planet of ours. These aliens – we shall call them Phurads – have superior weapons and technology which make it easy for them to conquer the Earth.

In this analogy, the Phurads have a religion which makes it acceptable for them to herd together “lesser beings” and keep them for food. Thus, we humans find ourselves being hunted by these Phurads for food, as many human beings are captured, and held captive in huge buildings, for the purpose of producing offspring which are then fattened to be eaten.

Further, some humans are taken away, to other planets inhabited by the Phurad, and kept in cages: to be displayed like we humans once displayed wild animals in cages for “entertainment”. In addition, some humans are taken to laboratories where they are kept sedated, and studied by Phurad scientists. Occasionally, it is judged acceptable for a few of these human specimens to be used in “scientific experiments”. Some of these experiments seem quite harmless, to these scientists (such as tagging a few human beings and releasing them back “into the wild” so that their behaviour can be studied) while other experiments are deemed necessary “to further the scientific understanding of the Phurad”. Thus, some humans are used in medical trials, because their blood, or organs, may hold cures for diseases which harm or kill the Phurad, and the suffering and death of several hundred humans (or several thousands over years) is considered morally justified since it may lead to medical breakthroughs, and save the lives of many Phurads.

We humans, of course, take a rather dim view of all these things. What gives the Phurad the right to kill us, eat us, hold us in degrading captivity, experiment on us?

The fact that the morality of the Phurads, based on their religion and philosophy, allows them to do such inhuman things to us is irrelevant to us.

What are we to do? Suffer, and die, in silence? Accept our inferior status? Or do we strive for our freedom and to be treated as equals? But what could we do if the power of the Phurads is such that we have no hope of freedom? Would we still rebel, and rather be killed than suffer the indignity of being kept confined for food? Would we bite the hand that feeds us? Or would we just fall down on our knees and pray for God – or some race of aliens more powerful than the Phurad – to liberate us?

The Human Analogy

We are treating the life on this planet of ours as the Phurads in the above analogy treated humans.

What gives us the right to do this? What gives us the right to breed animals for food? What gives us the right to inflict pain on animals in the name of “science”?

What gives us the right to inflict pain and suffering and death on our fellow human beings?

Are the animals that we breed and hold captive to slaughter for food silently praying to some god? Hoping for liberation from the human monsters who have such power over them? Such an idea, of course, is anthropomorphism, and the fact – known or assumed from our science – that such animals, on our planet at least, do not think, does not make this particular analogy any less valid, in cosmic terms.

That is, the fact that such an animal as a lamb does not and cannot think, in human terms, and so cannot “pray to or even believe in a god”, does not mean that we should not treat that animal in a fair, a just, a rational, and civilized way. Is it entitled to live out its life in freedom? Do we really need to fatten it and then kill and eat it?

Would it be right to sedate it, and then experiment on it because such an experiment might lead to some cure for some human disease?

What is right? What is just? What criteria are we to use to judge such things?

The Cosmic Answer

To live – or strive to live – in a civilized way, in a human way, we have to have ethics: a morality of some kind. That is, we have to have some criteria of judgement, for otherwise there is barbarism, repression, injustice, and a savage, irrational, way of living.

What is the cosmic criteria: what is the ethical standard which the greater, the higher, perspective of the cosmos gives us?

It is the criteria of reason, of fairness, of tolerance: the standard of the honourable thinking being. It is the standard of the living being who is aware, in a rational way, of their own place in the vastness of the cosmos: who is aware of the other life on the planet which is their origin and their home; who is aware of how they themselves have evolved from Nature, how they depend upon Nature.

In brief, it is the criteria of the nexus: of ourselves as living, organic, links between the past and the future of the living being which is this planet. It is the criteria of respect for other living beings, both on this Earth, and in the cosmos.

It is the belief that there should not be any such thing as “ownership” or mastery of any piece of this planet, or other planets, by any one individual or grouping of individuals, since what matters is not ownership, but the well-being of the planet, or planets, the well-being of the living beings which depend upon this planet, and which depend on other planets in the cosmos.

Above all, the cosmic ethic is the belief that every living thing has a “soul”, an essence, a life-energy, which is important for the well-being of the whole, with no one being, or one species of being, of lessor worth than others, and that if it is truely necessary for us to kill another living being, however small, to survive – or even if we kill such a being by accident – then we should respect that being, and indeed lament its death. The way of the cosmos, the cosmic belief, is the belief that we should strive to find ways of living, of surviving, that do not involve killing or harming other living beings.

The Cosmic Challenge

The challenge now is to accept this higher, more civilized, cosmic ethics as the foundation for our personal lives, and strive to create new societies, new ways of living, based upon these ethics.

David Myatt
JD 2451872.315
(23rd November 2000, 1933 UT)

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Article source:
https://web.archive.org/web/20040419194953/http://www.geocities.com/dwmyatt/human1.html

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Image credit:
NASA, Blue Marble Earth Mosaic

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Absque Vita Tali

David Myatt

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Absque Vita Tali,
Verbum Quoad Litteram Est Mortuum

Outside, rain and the un-warm wind of December, with no Sun – no Summer – to warm and bring that joy of wakeing to see the sky deep full of blue so that one smiling is eager still, as youth again, to egress forth toward the sea.

Now I in a rainy month – and approaching my three score and ten – possess both an internal and an external knowing of just what the passing of earthly Time doth to we fragile biological beings, for:

I am an old man,
A dull head among windy spaces

And yet the flow of Life flows on, here – there – when the outer husk, failing, dies, so that I reminded of what I pastly wrote to a friend, having now been so gifted with the gifts of one more solar year:

“What, therefore, remains? What is there now, and what has there been? One genesis, and one ending, of one nexion whose perception by almost all others is now of one who lived and who wrote ἐξ αἰνιγμάτων.”

τό θ᾽ ὑπέργηρων φυλλάδος ἤδηκατακαρφομένης τρίποδας μὲν ὁδοὺς
στείχει, παιδὸς δ᾽ οὐδὲν ἀρείων
ὄναρ ἡμερόφαντον ἀλαίνει. [1]

For there does seem much worth now, a special new species of slowly-joy, to so and so shadowly wander, supported by a stick, since Time itself, unmeasured, stills and one is able to feel the numinous as if flows through, with, such presencings of Life as one meets, greets, passes. As when that other day I walked to wander – never now far from home – and that young unknown stocky man, girlfriend beside and smiling, bade me compliments of the season. Such life there, such potential there, in both, and one was glad to be alive, still, even if no Sun broke forth in warmth. Or glad as when in slow walk in woods nearby wind shook trees to breathe again one’s wordless connexion with this living Earth, so strong so strong it became as if one could go back there to where one’s loved ones lived, unbroken by such selfish deeds as might have saved them or at least made happier their so short time on Earth. And I was so happy, so happy there remembering those good times, shared, with them.

There has thus grown, within because of age, both a new knowing of how needful is our need for compassion and of a new if sad perception: of just how many many centuries we forgetful biological beings may need. But all I can do now is walk, remembering, hoping: my words, my dreams, a bridge.

For I am no enigma, my life bared by writings such as this. For words live on to tell just one more story, of redemption. But who will read them when life lives within this husk no more?

David Myatt
December 2011

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[1] Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 79-82:

Thus, he of great Age, his foliage drying up
And no stronger than a child, with three feet to guide him on his travels,
Wanders – appearing a shadow in the light of day.

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Article Source:
Meditations on Extremism, Remorse, and The Numinosity of Love (pdf)

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Words Of A Modern Mystic

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David Myatt

David Myatt

Memories Of Manual Labour

Recalling happy memories of past years is perhaps a useful therapy during those seemingly long night hours when one is confined, in a foreign land, to a hospital bed and cannot, for a variety of reasons, enjoy the peace of sleep. During two such occasions, not that long ago, I found myself dwelling on my years of outdoor manual labour; on some four decades of cycling English lanes, tracks, and roads; and on the years spent running in the hills of South Shropshire and in places such as the Lake District.

In retrospection, this dwelling on such times quite surprised me, given my past married lives, my past predilection for the company of women, and the very many times I had been subsumed with love, or a passion, for a particular lady and had enjoyed with and because of them nights, days, weeks, sometimes months, of blissful happiness. Perhaps, I wondered, such a dwelling during such conditions revealed something about my character. Of how I am an outdoor, country, person by nature who by choice would choose to work alone; and someone perhaps too selfish, and too self-absorbed, to be a happily married man.

Suffice to write, now, that the memories that brought the most inner peace were those connected with outdoor work. Of those Summer days in Shropshire when – in the large garden of my employer – we would all sit down to enjoy our outdoor lunch prepared by his wife. Of days spent, over a decade later, on a farm in warm or hotful Sun, alone in a twenty-five or thirty acre field, forcing bamboo canes – many six feet in length – by hand into often hard ground next to recently budded trees planted in rows.

Of the dry dusty days of laying irrigation pipes and setting up the ‘rain gun’ sprinkler system with its large hose reel, enjoyed especially when the pump was the old Ford tractor with water drawn from the nearby river home to Kingfishers and bounded by many weeping Willow trees. Of, in early Spring, those cold days when the few of us out in the fields would sit around an open fire to eat our lunch.

Of those six straight weeks worked without a day off one Spring when, delayed by bad weather, we were finally able to prepare the soil and plant. Of those flash floods that flooded the lane beside one of the fields of the farm and of the car that became stuck, requiring two of us to bodily lift the lady driver out and carry her to dry land to later on fetch the tractor and tow her car from that lane back to the unaffected main road. Of the days spent one Autumn using a hand-held ‘thumper’ to erect new fence posts.

Of the hours, the days, the weeks, spent alone in fields hoeing the weeds out by hand from between the planted trees with my 1950s hoe whose long hickory handle years of use had made smooth. Of – years before, on another farm – the restful needful lunch (washed down by local cider) that followed hours of mucking-out pig sties by hand using a shovel and a barrow wheeled up a plank onto a trailer, hitched to a tractor, which when full I drove away then tipped to form or join another pile ready for the muck-spreader…

Had I then – during those years – the understanding and the self-insight I believe I now posses perhaps my life would, could, should, have been quite different and I would not have caused the suffering, and the deaths, that I caused. But was that person, so happily working in such places, the real me?

Yes, I do feel so, now. How then – why then – did I always seem to (after months, a year, or several years) drift away from such work back to occupy, preoccupy, myself with some political or some religious machination? It is just too easy, too trite, to say or write that I was a ‘complicated’ person. More truthfully, I was flawed, unhealthy. Suffering from extremism: for that infection wrought an inner dissatisfaction, and so greatly disturbed my psyche that I felt I had ‘a duty’ to do, and pontificate about, certain things. For that infection caused me, as so many others, to have that hubriatic certainty-of-knowing that engenders violence, hatred, terror, and oppression. I, as so many, had exchanged that real outdoor world – which centuries of toil had created – for some idealistic, ideological, dream we carried around in our head:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw

Our land, the dead land, while we extremists wreck havoc among the living land that provides us with the means to live and which, were we only to know it, nurtures the numinous from whence derives the culture that keeps our human hopes, our very humanity, alive.

For me – as for many others century following century – pathei-mathos was a cure. Yet there is not, and cannot be, any absolution: I was an ideologue, a leader, a fanatic, who enthusiastically taught, proselytized, persuaded, propagandised, and incited. Thus I alone was responsible for what I said, what I wrote, and what I did – for the suffering caused – during my extremist decades, just as I alone was responsible for the hurt my selfishness, my self-absorption, personally caused to others: wives, lovers, partners, family, relatives, and friends.

There appears to be, however, one small consolation, at least for me. Which is that such outdoor work – and reflexion upon it – slowly provided, slowly built within me, the insights and the feelings that led to that ‘numinous way’ I refined, after 2011, into my philosophy (or perhaps more correctly, into my weltanschauung) of pathei-mathos. Insights and feelings greatly added to in 2002 when I began work on another farm, and which work first led me to seriously doubt my commitment to the Muslim way of life, and write letters containing words such as these:

“There is a lovely, simple, pleasure here in this field. Spring is most certainly here: in the meadow fields, seedlings of the late Spring flowers push up through the tufts of grass whose frost-bitten ends are joined by shoots of new growth. Already some flowers bloom in the grass: there, a Dandelion; there: almost two circles of Daisies. And, to compliment the calls and songs of other birds, the loud repeating call of the Parus major.

It is good to be here, with an unobstructed view of the sky, and I watch the clouds, borne as they are on a still cool breeze that begins to chill my hands, a little. But there is Sun, warm, when the altocumulus breaks. On the horizon in the North, beyond the tall old Oak, small Cumulus clouds drift toward the hills, ten miles distant. Thus am I again – for these moments – at peace with myself, this world, listening as I do to a large flock of Starlings who chatter among themselves in the trees across from the drainage ditch, there by the copse of Ash, Oak, and a few young Beech […]

Work, yes there must be work: toil enough to keep that balance. And work with these my hands, outdoors where lives the silence that I love as I feel the weather, changing, bringing thus an empathic living for me, in me, and for this life that lives around, emanating as it does in this grass, those trees, the clouds, the soil, the water, those flowers, the very sky itself.”

But, as so often with me, the insights, the feelings, were swept away by not only my tempestuous inner need to do what I considered was then my duty but also by a life-long love of, a desire for, challenges, pontification, and conflict. Such insights, such feelings, were always – sooner or later – so swept away. Until that fateful day one May.

“The defining moment, for me – in terms of understanding myself, in terms of understanding politics and the error of my decades of extremism – was the tragic personal loss of a loved one in May 2006. In the hours following that event I just knew – tearfully knew without words – my own pathetic failure; what I had lost, what was important. Thus there came upon me that day a sense of overwhelming grief, compounded by a remembrance of another personal loss of a loved one thirteen years earlier. For it was as if in those intervening years I had learned nothing; as if I had made the life and the dying and death of Sue, in 1993 – and of what we shared in the years before – unimportant.

I have no words to describe how insignificant, how worthless, I felt that day in May 2006; no words to describe, recall, retell, the remorse, the pain. Suffice now to recount that my life was never, could never be, the same again. Gone – the arrogance that had sustained me for so many experiential decades. Gone – the beliefs, the abstractions, the extremisms, I had so cherished and so believed in.” No Words Of Mine Can Describe The Remorse

How stupid, how very stupid, I have been: for almost all of my adult life. That it required the shock, the personal trauma, of the suicide of the woman I loved to break my arrogance, my selfishness, my self-absorption – and cure me of my need for challenges, pontification, and conflict – most certainly reveals a lot about my character. That apparently jumelle nature of a person who found peace, contentment, in working outdoors with his hands but who also could not, in his weakness, resist that arrogant desire to zealously interfere in the lives of others, to propagandise and proselytize; an interference, a proselytism, born of a hubriatic certainty that he ‘knew’, that he ‘understood’, or that he had discovered the right way (political or religious) of living for others, and therefore had some sort of duty to act, wrecking havoc and causing suffering as he did so, always making excuses for himself. For every and any cause does so hallow havoc.

See with what heat these dogs of Hell advance
To waste and havoc yonder World, which I
So fair and good created, and had still
Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
Let in these wasteful furies [1]

David Myatt
February 2014

[1] Paradise Lost, Book X, vv. 617-620

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Article source:
David Myatt. Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays. 2015. ISBN 978-1512137149

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Myatt: A Failure To Understand

David Myatt

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A Perplexing Failure To Understand
Being a slightly revised extract from a letter to friend,
with some footnotes added post scriptum

 

One of the multitude of things that I have, for years, failed to understand – sans any belief in an all-powerful supra-personal deity – is why I am still alive while people like Sue and Fran – and the millions of others like them – died or were killed, too early. For they neither caused any deaths nor inflicted any suffering on another living being, human and otherwise, while I – and the millions like me, worldwide – continued to live despite having so caused, directly and/or indirectly, deaths and suffering. And in my case, directly and indirectly as my documented so lamentable extremist amoral decades – of violence, hatred, incitement, of being a “theoretician of revolution/terror” – so clearly reveal.

Yet – over twenty years after the death of Sue, and almost ten years since the death of Fran – here I am, still breathing, still pontificating. And all I have – despite years of interior reflexion – is a feeling, an intuition: of the how and why our thousand of years old human culture of pathei-mathos is important because – or so it seems to me – it might bring (at least to some others) a wordless intimation of one possible answer to such a perplexing question.

For it is a culture that includes, for example, such diverse artisements as the Oresteia of Aeschylus, the Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis, and the life – and death – of people such as Jesse James, Mohandas K Gandhi, and Edith Cavell; and which culture, enshrined as it is in Studia Humanitatis, can perchance teach some of each new generation that valuable lesson about our human physis, jumelle as our physis is [1] and thus paradoxical as we honourable/dishonourable (often hubriatic) mortals are:

ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν:
πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω,
πολλὰ δ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν,
ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς ἑτάρους ἐρρύσατο, ἱέμενός περ:
αὐτῶν γὰρ σφετέρῃσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὄλοντο,
νήπιοι, οἳ κατὰ βοῦς Ὑπερίονος Ἠελίοιο
ἤσθιον: αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσιν ἀφείλετο νόστιμον ἦμαρ

The Muse shall tell of the many adventures of that man
Of the many stratagems
Who, after the pillage of that hallowed citadel at Troy,
Saw the towns of many a people and experienced their ways:
He whose vigour, at sea, was weakened by many afflictions
As he strove to win life for himself and return his comrades to their homes.
But not even he, for all this yearning, could save those comrades
For they were destroyed by their own immature foolishness
Having devoured the cattle of Helios, that son of Hyperion,
Who plucked from them the day of their returning [2]

A lesson about ourselves which so many others have attempted to communicate to us, as recounted in a certain tragedy:

οὕτω δ᾽ Ἀτρέως παῖδας ὁ κρείσσων
ἐπ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ πέμπει ξένιος
Ζεὺς πολυάνορος ἀμφὶ γυναικὸς
πολλὰ παλαίσματα καὶ γυιοβαρῆ
γόνατος κονίαισιν ἐρειδομένου
διακναιομένης τ᾽ ἐν προτελείοις
κάμακος θήσων Δαναοῖσι
Τρωσί θ᾽ ὁμοίως. ἔστι δ᾽ ὅπη νῦν
ἔστι: τελεῖται δ᾽ ἐς τὸ πεπρωμένον

Thus were those sons of Atreus sent forth
By mighty Zeus, guardian of hospitality, against Alexander
On account of that woman who has had many men.
And many would be the limb-wearying combats
With knees pushed into the dirt
And spears worn-out in the initial sacrifice
Of Trojans and Danaans alike.
What is now, came to be
As it came to be. And its ending has been ordained [3]

and as described – millennia ago – by a certain poetess:

φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν
ἔμμεν᾽ ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι
ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-
σας ὐπακούει
καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ᾽ ἦ μὰν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ᾽ ἴδω βρόχε᾽, ὤς με φώναι-
σ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἒν ἔτ᾽ εἴκει,
ἀλλ᾽ ἄκαν μὲν γλῶσσα <ἔαγε>, λέπτον
δ᾽ αὔτικα χρῶι πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἒν ὄρημμ᾽, ἐπιρρόμ-
βεισι δ᾽ ἄκουαι,
<έκαδε μ᾽ ἴδρως ψῦχρος κακχέεται / κὰδ’ δέ ἴδρως κακχέεται> τρόμος δὲ
παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ᾽ ὀλίγω ᾽πιδεύης
φαίνομ᾽ ἔμ᾽ αὔται

I see he who sits near you as an equal of the gods
For he can closely listen to your delightful voice
And that seductive laugh
That makes the heart behind my breasts to tremble.
Even when I glimpse you for a moment
My tongue is stilled as speech deserts me
While a delicate fire is beneath my skin –
My eyes cannot see, then,
When I hear only a whirling sound
As I shivering, sweat
Because all of me trembles;
I become paler than drought-grass
And nearer to death [4]

and as, for example, described by the scribe of an ancient Hermetic MS:

Solum enim animal homo duplex est; et eius una pars simplex, quae, ut Graeci aiunt οὐσιώδης, quam vocamus divinae similitudinis formam; est autem quadruplex quod ὑλικὸν Graeci, nos mundanum dicimus, e quo factum est corpus, quo circumtegitur illud quod in homine divinum esse iam diximus, in quo mentis divinitas tecta sola cum cognatis suis, id est mentis purae sensibus, secum ipsa conquiescat tamquam muro corporis saepta.

Humans are the only species that is jumelle, with one aspect that foundation which the Greeks termed οὐσιώδης and we describe as being akin in appearance to divinity, and yet also being quadruplex, termed by the Greeks ὑλικός and which we describe as worldly; whereby from such is the corporeal [body] that, as mentioned, is of – in humans – the divinity, and in which is that divine disposition, to which it is solely related, that is in character a singular perceiveration and untoiling since enclosed within the corporeal. [5]

But will we – can we – mortals, en masse, read, listen, reflect, experience, and so learn? Or will we, as our tragic history of the past three millennia so seems to indicate, continue to be divided – individually, and en masse – between the masculous and the muliebral; between honour and dishonour; between war and peace; between empathy and ipseity?

I do so wish I knew. But all I have to offer, now in the fading twilight of my own mortal life, is an appreciation (perhaps contrary, these days, to οἱ πλέονες) of what some schools, independent (‘private’) or otherwise, still fortunately do understand is the importance of a ‘classical education’, and of what may possibly be apprehended by such poor words of mine as these:

Here, sea, Skylark and such a breeze as rushes reeds
Where sandy beach meets
To meld with sky
And a tumbling cumuli of cloud
Briefly cool our Sun.

I am no one, while ageing memory flows:
For was there ever such a bliss as this
While the short night lasted
And we touched kissed meshed ourselves together
To sweat, sweating, humid,
Fearing so many times to fully open our eyes
Lest it all really was
A dream

But Dawn arrived as it then arrived bringing with its light
Loose limbs and such a reminder
As would could should did
Make us late that day for work.

So, here: a tiredness of age
Brightened by such a June as this
When sandy beach meets
To meld with sky
And that tumbling cumuli of cloud
Briefly cools a Sun

For there are so many recollections of centuries of a so human love, so many memories of years – centuries – of hubris and dishonour, that I can now only live each slowly passing daylight hour modus vivendi:

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel [6]


David Myatt
January 2015

[1] Pœmandres (Corpus Hermeticum), 15:

καὶ διὰ τοῦτο παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς ζῷα διπλοῦς ἐστιν ὁ ἄνθρωπος, θνητὸς μὲν διὰ τὸ σῶμα, ἀθάνατος δὲ διὰ τὸν οὐσιώδη ἄνθρωπον. ἀθάνατος γὰρ ὢν καὶ πάντων τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἔχων τὰ θνητὰ πάσχει ὑποκείμενος τῇ εἱμαρμένῃ

Which is why, distinct among all other beings on Earth, mortals are jumelle; deathful of body yet deathless the inner mortal. Yet, although deathless and possessing full authority, the human is still subject to wyrd

See also Sophocles, Antigone, v. 334 & vv. 365-36:

πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλε…
σοφόν τι τὸ μηχανόεν τέχνας ὑπὲρ ἐλπίδ᾽ ἔχων
τοτὲ μὲν κακόν, ἄλλοτ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐσθλὸν ἕρπει

There exists much that is strange, yet nothing
Has more strangeness than a human being…
Beyond his own hopes, his cunning
In inventive arts – he who arrives
Now with dishonour, then with chivalry

[2] Homer, Odyssey, Book 1, v. 1-9

[3] Aeschylus, Agamemnon, v. 60-68

[4] Sappho, Fragment 31

[5] Asclepius, VII, 13-20

[6] TS Eliot, Ash Wednesday

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cc David Wulstan Myatt 2015
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
(Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0) License
and can be copied and distributed according to the terms of that license.
All translations by DW Myatt

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David Myatt: Forty Years Of Learning

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Q. How would you summarize what you have learnt from your forty years as an activist?

One of the conclusions of such retrospection as I have undertaken in the past few years is of understanding the deeds and the intolerant striving of my extremist decades as reprehensible. Another conclusion concerns my own reprehensible character. Yet another concerns my hubris, or perhaps more correctly my stupidity born of arrogance and fanaticism resulting in a failure, a refusal, to learn from our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos. For such a learning would have placed me and my extremism – me as a masculous talking-mammal – in a supra-personal context, providing a knowledge of those deeds and that striving as having the opposite effect of what I intended or arrogantly believed they would achieve, and of only inflicting, causing, more and more unnecessary suffering.

This supra-personal context is the Cosmic Perspective: of the reality of our individual selves as but one fragile mortal short-lived biological life-form on one planet orbiting one star in one galaxy in a Cosmos of billions of galaxies; of our nations, our national cultures – and everything we manufacture or bring-into-being or presence, from ideas to ideologies to religions to cities to industries to products to archetypes – being not only by their φύσις subject to change and transmutation but also having a certain limited life span, be such in terms of years, decades, centuries, or millennia; of how our pride in our achievements or in our presencings, individual or collective – and such achievements/presencings themselves – should be considered in the context of the possibility of sentient life, some probably more advanced than us, on other planets in our own galaxy and in the billions of galaxies in the Cosmos; of how all life on our own planet, just like ourselves, is fragile, changing, and subject to extinction; and of how what we, as individuals, do or do not do affects or can affect other living beings.

For the Cosmic Perspective is an empathic awareness of not only our place in the Cosmos but also of the affective and acausal connexions that bind all life, on this planet and elsewhere in the Cosmos, and be such life sentient or otherwise. And it is this empathic awareness which, according to my mutable understanding, can provide us with a personal appreciation of the numinous sans the abstractions, the theology, the cosmogony, the dogma, and sans the God/gods, of an organized religion.

My hubriatic error in those extremist decades was essentially two-fold: (i) to aspire to bring-into-being some-thing that would not and could not, in centennial terms (let alone in millennial or cosmic terms) endure; and (ii) to use violence and incite hatred, intolerance, and killing, in order to try and presence that causal some-thing. My perspective, for example, during my neo-nazi decades was very limited, sometimes egoistical. Egoistical in that I enjoyed the striving, the conflict, the incitement, the excitement, and even the violence. Limited, in that my foreseeing was of the next meeting, the next fight, the next demonstration, the next piece of propaganda to produce, my next speech, and of the victory I and others dreamed of or believed in; a victory that would be at most a decade or two ahead.

Of course, I believed that what we or others after us might bring-into-being would endure, most probably at the cost of further conflict; and endure for decades, possibly a century or more. But the reality always was of me and my kind striving to stop or somehow try to control, to shape, the natural flux of change; to preserve, whatever the cost, what we or others after us might bring-into-being.

For we believed we would or could do what no one in human history had been able to do: make our presencings immortal, or at least immune to the natural cycle of birth-life-decay-death. A natural cycle so evident in the rise, the flourishing, the decline, the decay, the death, of empire after empire; national culture after national culture; city after city; language after language; and of a people of a particular size and in a particular area naturally changing, moving, emigrating, immigrating, and thus naturally melding with others. In brief, we (with our simple causal-only perception) hubristically believed or felt that we could, and would, not only master and control Nature and the very forces of the Cosmos but also that our interventions would endure far beyond our own lives. In retrospection, this was fantasy, with the rise and fall and destruction of The Third Reich being just one of the many examples from reality that should have informed us about that fantasy.

           In contrast, my understanding now is that the Cosmic Perspective reveals a particular truth not only about the Anthropocene (and thus about our φύσις as human beings) but also about how sustainable millennial change has occurred and can occur. Which change is via the progression, the evolution – the development of the faculties and the consciousness – of individuals individually. This is the interior, the a-causal, change of individuals wrought by a scholarly learning of and from our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos, by our own pathei-mathos, and by that personal appreciation of the numinous that both the Cosmic Perspective and the muliebral virtues incline us toward.

This aeonic change voids what we now describe by the terms politics and religion and direct social activism of the violent type. There is thus a shift from identifying with the communal, the collective – from identifying with a particular contemporary or a past society or some particular national culture or some particular causal form such as a State or nation or empire or some -ism or some -ology – toward that-which has endured over centuries and millennia: our human culture of pathei-mathos.

For the human culture of pathei-mathos records and transmits, in various ways, the pathei-mathos of individuals over thousands of years, manifest as this sustainable millennial culture is in literature, poetry, memoirs, aural stories, in non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and in the experiences – written, recorded, and aural – of those who over the centuries have appreciated the numinous, and those who endured suffering, conflict, disaster, tragedy, and war, and who were fundamentally, interiorly, changed by their experiences. And it is this shared human culture of pathei-mathos that extremists of what[ever] kind, and those who advocate -isms and -ologies, scorn and so often try to suppress when, for however short a time, they have political or social or religious power and control over the lives of others.

It is this human culture of pathei-mathos which – at least according to my experience, my musings, and my retrospection – reveals to us the genesis of wisdom: which is that it is the muliebral virtues which evolve us as conscious beings, which presence sustainable millennial change. Virtues such as empathy, compassion, humility, and that loyal shared personal love which humanizes those masculous talking-mammals of the Anthropocene, and which masculous talking-mammals have – thousand year following thousand year – caused so much suffering to, and killed, so many other living beings, human and otherwise.

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Source:
Some Questions For DWM, 2014 (pdf)


Being British

David Myatt

David Myatt

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In the course of my somewhat idiosyncratic life I have several times been asked that particular question: what I consider being British means. As a child of the British Empire – who grew up, as a Catholic, in places as diverse as East Africa and the Far East – I can only now, in the twilight years of my life, honestly answer the question because my previous answers over decades were – or now seem to me to be – based on some believed in ideology or on some religious faith.

Which recent answer of mine, however unpopular it might currently be, is to refer the questioner to two things.

First, I refer you and them to what a member of the ‘British Establishment’ recently said at a traditional ceremony in Sandhurst:

“In the face of such challenges, Britain’s traditional qualities – fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity – remain as precious as they’ve always been.”

Second, I refer you and them to the book Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder by Evelyn Waugh. Or, perhaps more pertinently, to the 1981 television series of the same name starring Jeremy Irons which series for me at least so captures the ethos of that novel and of what being British means and implies.

For there is in those Sandhurst remarks everything quintessentially British – fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity – just as in the aforementioned television series there is everything that made the British Empire what it was, despite mistakes and despite the past machinations of selfish, money-obsessed, people; despite the various past ideologies of various politicians, and despite how that Empire history has now apparently been re-interpreted for various political and/or ideological reasons.

For that Britishness – at home, overseas – was, in essence, an embodiment of manners, of a gentlemanly and lady-like way of behaving: a certain standard, and a desire to introduce others to certain cultural values and that standard of personal behaviour. As well as representing our British understated elegance of culture; our tolerant acceptance of diversity and difference; our dislike of displaying emotions in public and often in private; and a certain personal modesty. And of course not only a particular personal equation of dichotomy of belief and way of life sometimes (but not always) solved by the notion of communal duty, but also that interior doubt about (and sometimes a guilt regarding) one’s self born of a feeling that ultimately we are accountable and have obligations to our family, our culture, our faith.

Above all there is – in those Sandhurst remarks, in that novel, and that television series – a presencing of a particular wordless attitude to life such as a reading of Cicero – and an appreciation of the life and loves of Alexander the Great, of the poetry of Sappho, of the New Testament – might, in our reading of their texts in their original language, have disposed us toward. An attitude that even today is sadly not embraced – because perhaps not understood, not empathically felt – by the majority, despite a century and more of State education. Deo Gratias that such an appreciation is still taught in such schools, such places, as still revere what once was termed a ‘classical education’: a learning of Latin and Ancient Greek and hence a reading of texts and authors in their original language.

For one finds in so many classical texts excellent similes of what being ‘British’ (cultured, modest, and possessing the virtue of εὐταξία) means and implies, as in this particular example:

ἐκεῖνός γε μὴν ὑμνῶν οὔποτ ̓ ἔληγεν ὡς τοὺς θεοὺς οἴοιτο οὐδὲν ἧττον ὁσίοις ἔργοις ἢ ἁγνοῖς ἱεροῖς ἥδεσθαι ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ ὁπότε εὐτυχοίη οὐκ ἀνθρώπων ὑπερεφρόνει ἀλλὰ θεοῖς χάριν ᾔδει καὶ θαρρῶν πλείονα ἔθυεν ἢ ὀκνῶν ηὔχετο εἴθιστο δὲ φοβούμενος μὲν ἱλαρὸς φαίνεσθαι εὐτυχῶν δὲ πρᾷος εἶναι [1]

The denotatum – British, Athenian, Ciceronian (to name but three) [2] – may over millennia change but the ethos seems to remain if only (apparently) now remembered and embodied by so few.

David Myatt
2015

Extract from a letter to a friend

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[1] Xenophon, Agesilaus, 11.2

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

[2] Editorial Note, 2018 ev: As Myatt wrote in a footnote in his book Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, 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.”

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Source:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160701124040/http://www.davidmyatt.ws/being-british.html
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