orphic3

David Myatt, Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI. 126 pages.
Second Edition, 2017.
ISBN-13: 978-1545020142

This book is a welcome addition to the works of Myatt available in print bringing together as it does his translation of five of the chapters (tracts, tractates) of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum together with his extensive commentary on each of those chapters.

It is apparent that a lot of thought, study, and erudition has gone into the translation. Instead of choosing the conventional English equivalent of particular Greek terms – such as might be found in lexicons such as LSJ or as taught in those few, select, schools which still teach Greek and Latin, and such as are found in other English translations, from Everard to Mead to Copenhaver, and in the French translation of Nock {1} – Myatt has opted for alternatives (including transliterations) in order, in his words, to avoid reading into the texts such modern – non-Classical – meanings as particular English words now might suggest to the reader. Obvious examples are theos instead of ‘God’, perceiverance instead of ‘Mind’, logos instead of ‘Word’, phaos instead of ‘light’, and physis instead of ‘nature’. Not so obvious examples – from among dozens – include envoy instead of ‘herald’, elden instead of ‘ancient’, geniture instead of ‘genesis’, all of which divergences Myatt explains in his commentary.

Of his choice of the term envoy, for example, he writes:

“While the conventional translation here of κῆρυξ is ‘herald’, I consider it unsatisfactory given what that English term now often denotes: either the type of herald familiar from the New Testament or the herald of medieval literature and stories (qv. Morte Arthure, and The Knights Tale by Chaucer). Given the Greco-Roman context (Hermes, Thoth) and classical antecedents (such as Hermes as the protector of mortal envoys and messengers) then ‘envoy’ is more accurate especially given that this is an envoy from the artisan-creator assigned to impart information to mortals.”

Myatt’s thoughtful choice of English words as well as his transliterations sets his translation apart from all other translations of those four tracts, making them not only more interesting but also more esoteric and mystical as befits texts which are themselves esoteric and mystical. That is, Myatt’s has managed to express in English something of the hermetic, esoteric, and rather pagan nature and pagan mysticism of the original Greek text whereas other translations read either like epistles about the God of the early Christians or like pious sermons.

Three examples will illustrate the difference between Myatt’s translation and two of the most widely read translations.

The first example is from the Poemander (Pymander) tract.

Mead translates:

And I say: Whence then have Nature’s elements their being? To this He answer gives: From Will of God. Nature received the Word and gazing on the Cosmos Beautiful did copy it, making herself into a cosmos, by means of her own elements and by the births of souls. And God-the-Mind, being male and female both, as Light and Life subsisting, brought forth another Mind to give things form, who, God as he was of Fire and Spirit, formed Seven Rulers who enclose the cosmos that the sense perceives. Men call their ruling Fate.

Copenhaver:

The elements of nature – from whence have they arisen, I asked. And he answered from the counsel of god which, having taken in the word and seen the beauty of the cosmos, imitated it, having become a cosmos through its own elements and its progeny of souls. The mind who is god, being androgyne and existing as light and life, by speaking gave birth to a second mind, a craftsman, who as god of fire and spirit crafted seven governors; they encompass the sensible world in circles, and their government is called fate.

Myatt:

So I asked from what place, then, the parsements of physis? To which he answered, from the deliberations of theos, who, having comprehended the logos and having seen the beauty of the cosmic order, re-presented it, and so became a cosmic order from their own parsements and by the birth of Psyche. Theos, the perceiveration, male-and-female, being Life and phaos, whose logos brought forth another perceiveration, an artisan, who – theos of Fire and pnuema – fashioned seven viziers to surround the perceptible cosmic order in spheres and whose administration is described as fate.

The second example is from the beginning of the fourth tract, which Myatt titles Chaldron Or Monas, which Copenhaver titles The Mixing Bowl or Monad, and Mead The Cup Or Monad.

Mead translates:

With Reason, not with hands, did the World-maker make the universal World; so that thou thus shouldst think of Him as everywhere and ever-being, the Author of all things, and One and Only, who by His Will all beings hath created. This Body of Him is a thing no man can touch, or see, or measure, a Body inextensible, like to no other frame. ‘Tis neither Fire nor Water, Air nor Breath; yet all of them come from it.

Copenhaver:

Since the craftsman made the whole cosmos by reasoned speech, not by hand, you should conceive of him as present, as always existing, as having made all things, as the one and only and having crafted by his own will the things that are. For this is his body, neither tangible nor visible nor measurable nor dimensional nor like any other body; it is not fire nor water nor spirit, yet all things come from it.

Myatt:

Because the artisan crafted the complete cosmic order not by hand but through Logos, you should understand that Being as presential, as eternal, as having crafted all being, as One only, who by thelesis formed all that is.

That Being has no body that can be touched or seen or measured or which is separable or which is similar to any other body: not of Fire or Water or of Pneuma even though all such things are from that Being.

The third example is from the end of tract eleven which Myatt titles From Perceiverance To Hermes, Copenhaver Mind To Hermes, and Mead Mind Unto Hermes.

Mead:

But if thou lockest up thy soul within thy body, and dost debase it, saying: I nothing know; I nothing can; I fear the sea; I cannot scale the sky; I know not who I was, who I shall be;—what is there [then] between [thy] God and thee? For thou canst know naught of things beautiful and good so long as thou dost love thy body and art bad. The greatest bad there is, is not to know God’s Good; but to be able to know [Good], and will, and hope, is a Straight Way, the Good’s own [Path], both leading there and easy.

Copenhaver:

But if you shut up your soul in your body and abase it and say ‘I understand nothing,I can do nothing; I fear the sea, I cannot go up to heaven; I do not know what I was; I do not know what I will be,’ then what have you to do with god? While you are evil and a lover of the body, you can understand none of the things that are beautiful and good. To be ignorant of the divine is the ultimate vice, but to be able to know, to will and to hope is the straight and easy way leading to the good.

Myatt:

But if you enclose your psyche in your body and lessen it, saying “I comprehend nothing; have no power; fear the sea; am unable to go up into the heavens; do not know who I was and cannot know what I will be,” then what is there with you and also with the god?

For, indulging the body and rotten, you are unable to apprehend the beautiful, the noble. To be completely rotten is to be unaware of the numinous, while having the ability to discover, to have volition, to have expectations, is the direct, the better – its own – way to nobility.

All the unusual words and terms Myatt uses, such as presential, thelesis, and “parsements of physis”, he explains in his commentary, with his approach making his translation the one most suitable for those interested in ancient esotericism and mysticism in general and those with a special interest in hermeticism; and suitable because it, together with his detailed commentary, allows the reader to decide for themselves matters such as whether ‘theos’ in these texts means ‘god’ in the Christian sense or ‘the god’ – the primary divinity – of an ancient paganism, and whether or not νοῦς in these texts really is ‘Mind’ and thus a definite philosophical principle distinguishable from ‘the body’ or whether it simply means, as Myatt suggests, a perceiveration – an insight or an awareness – by the individual.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Myatt – in his introduction to the fourth tractate, Chaldron Or Monas – makes an interesting if currently unfashionable point about the culture, the society, and the people, originally associated with the texts of the Corpus Hermeticum, and although he does not spell it out, he means those of Greco-Roman descent and of Greco-Roman culture who, as ancient colonials, lived in Egypt as opposed to what colonials might have called the ‘natives’, the indigenous peoples of Egypt with their very different culture and language. Myatt writes that,

In this matter, I incline toward the view […] that what is imparted in this tractate, as with the Poemandres and Ιερός Λόγος, is primarily a mystical, and – for centuries – aural, Greek tradition, albeit one possibly influenced, over time and in some degree, by the metaphysical speculations of later philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. That is, that in Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς and Ιερός Λόγος and Ποιμάνδρης, we have an intimation of the metaphysics and the cosmogony taught to initiates of that (or those) ancient and aural and paganus Greek mystical tradition(s) mentioned by writers such as Herodotus. And an intimation that is not – a few borrowed illustrative terms notwithstanding – in any significant and metaphysical manner deriving from or influenced by Biblical stories or by early Christian theology or by indigenous Egyptian culture.

This view contrasts with that of Copenhaver, et al, with Copenhaver for instance writing – confusingly, and perhaps in a ‘politically correct’ and certainly populist way {2} – about the ‘north African’ and Egyptian context and origin of the Corpus as if the authors were north African natives of Egypt rather than European (Greco-Roman) colonials speaking and writing Latin and Greek.

In conclusion, this book despite its idiosyncratic large size (8.5 x 11 inches) is a valuable resource for those interested in ancient esotericism and mysticism in general and for those with a particular interest in hermeticism.

R. S.
2017

{1} (a) Everard, J. The Divine Pymander. London, 1650. (b) Mead, G.R.S. Thrice Great Hermes. Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906. (c) Copenhaver, B. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press, 1992. (d) A. D. Nock and A.-J. Festugière. Corpus Hermeticum, Volume I. Societe d’Edition “Les Belles Lettres”, Paris, 3rd edition, 1972.

{2} Copenhaver, Introduction, op.cit.


Image credit: Gold funerary tablet (c. 200 BCE) found at Eleutherna, Crete


David Myatt
A Review Of Myatt’s Monas
Corpus Hermeticum IV

David Myatt’s translation of and commentary on the fourth tract of the Corpus Hermeticum continues the style of his two previous translations of Hermetic texts: transliterations of some Greek words (such as logos and theos) and not giving some other Greek words (such as κακός and μῖσος) there usual meanings such as are found, for instance, in the standard Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell, Scott, and Jones {1}. As with his other Hermetic translations this results in Myatt’s version reading like an ancient pagan text rather than one infused with Christian or ascetic ideas, as the following examples illustrate.

The 1906 Mead translation:

Unless thou first shalt hate thy Body, son, thou canst not love thy Self. But if thou lovest thy Self thou shalt have Mind, and having Mind thou shalt share in the Gnosis.

The 1992 Copenhaver translation, which is quite similar to Mead’s:

Unless you first hate your body, my child, you cannot love yourself, but when you have loved yourself, you will possess mind, and if you have mind, you will also have a share in the way to learn.

The 2016 Myatt translation:

My son, primarily, unless you have a prejudice about the body
You cannot have affection for yourself, and when you have affection for yourself
You can acquire perceiverance and, having perceiverance,
You can participate in episteme.

Regarding episteme, Myatt writes in his commentary:

A transliteration of ἐπιστήμη, which could be – and has been – accented thus: épistémé. The meaning is ‘a way’, or a means or a method, by which something can be known, understood, and appreciated. In this case, perceiveration, which the artisan-creator has positioned “half-way between psyches, as a reward.” Episteme, therefore, should be considered a technical, esoteric, term associated with some of the weltanschauungen that are described in the Corpus Hermeticum. Thus, in the Poemandres tractate, the anados through the seven spheres is an episteme.

A Contentious Choice

One of the most contentious aspects of Myatt approach is his view, described in his Introduction, of the relation of the text to ancient Egyptian beliefs; of the texts being in essence representative of the Greek world-view with only few passing Egyptian references such as using the name Thoth.

While this is also the view of the Dominican priest André-Jean Festugière – the Greek scholar who with Professor Arthur Nock edited the standard edition of the text used by Myatt and others – many modern scholars have veered toward the view of there being some Egyptian, and probably Christian, influence.

The other contentious aspect is how Myatt, in this tractate, defines ἀγαθός. As ‘honourable’ instead of the more usual ‘good’. In defence of his choice he quotes a passage, in Greek, from the Corpus Aristotelicum and provides his own translation, arguing that this expresses the pagan Greek view and is apposite given what the English term good often implies due to the legacy of Christianity.

Myatt’s choice here completely changes the tone of the whole work, as evident in the following passage:

The 1906 Mead translation:

But they who have received some portion of God’s gift, these, Tat, if we judge by their deeds, have from Death’s bonds won their release; for they embrace in their own Mind all things, things on the earth, things in the heaven, and things above the heaven,—if there be aught. And having raised themselves so far they sight the Good; and having sighted It, they look upon their sojourn here as a mischance; and in disdain of all, both things in body and the bodiless, they speed their way unto that One and Only One.

The 1992 Copenhaver translation:

But those who participate in the gift that comes from god, O Tat, are immortal rather than mortal if one compares their deeds, for in a mind of their own they have comprehended all things on earth, things in heaven and even what lies beyond heaven. Having raised themselves so far, they have seen the good and, having seen it, they have come to regard the wasting of time here below as a calamity. They have scorned every corporeal and incorporeal thing, and they hasten toward the one and only.

The 2016 Myatt translation:

And yet, Thoth, those who parten to that gift from theos become,
When set against their deeds, immortal instead of mortal
For they with their perceiverance apprehend the Earthly, the Heavenly,
And what is beyond the Heavens.
Having gone so far, they perceive what is honourable, and, having so perceived,
They regard what preceded this as a delay, as a problem
And, with little regard for whatever is embodied and disembodied,
They strive toward the Monas.

Also notable here is Myatt’s choice of Thoth for Τάτ, and Monas for μονάς. Certainly the choice of Tat by both Mead and Copenhaver is unfortunate given what ‘tat’ means in British English.

Conclusion

Once again Myatt has provided a refreshingly different translation of an important Hermetic text, and one which as with his previous translations of tracts I and III {2} both reads well and offers a different, if iconoclastic and controversial, interpretation most suitable to students of Hermeticism and – perhaps especially – to students of the Occult given how such hermetic texts formed and form one of the foundations of Western Occultism, both during the Renaissance and in our modern times.

As with his other translations and Myatt’s support of ‘copyleft’, it is available both as a free (pdf) download {3} and as a printed book {4}.

R. Parker
July 2016

{1} Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996. ISBN 9780198642268.

{2} His two previous Hermetica translations were of the Poemandres and the Ιερός Λόγος tracts.

{3} https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/corpus-hermeticum-iv.pdf

{4}  David Myatt: Corpus Hermeticum IV: A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Fourth Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum. 2016. ISBN 978-1535245784


David Myatt

David Myatt: The Question Of Sin
(pdf)


 

Towards Understanding Physis
(pdf)

Myatt writes:
[quote] Since the concept of physis – φύσις – is central to my philosophy of pathei-mathos, it seems apposite to offer a more detailed explanation of the concept, and my usage of it, than I have hitherto given, deriving as the term does from Ancient Greece and used as it is by Heraclitus, Aristotle, and others, and occurring as it does in texts such as the Pœmandres and Ιερός Λόγος tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum.[/quote]


Article source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/towards-understanding-physis/


David Myatt

Mage Myatt

 


Notes On The Fourth Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum

Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς

 

Chaldron Or Monas

The title given to the fourth tractate of the Corpus Hermeticum, Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς, requires some consideration if it is to be translated without using English words that have, in the centuries since the text was written, acquired meanings which are not or which may not be relevant to or representative of the metaphysics, and the cosmogony, of such an ancient text; with an injudicious choice of words more often than not resulting in the modern reader projecting certain interpretations upon the text, as might be the case in translating, without some comment, κρατῆρ as ‘basin’, cup, or ‘mixing bowl’, μονάς as ‘monad’, and Τάτ as Thoth.

In respect of κρατῆρ, a more appropriate – and certainly more subtle – translation, given the esoteric nature and antiquity of the text, would be chaldron (an alternative spelling of ‘cauldron’), since basin, cup, and ‘mixing bowl’ are not only too prosaic but also do not conjure the appropriate archetypal imagery: of the primal artisan-creator coagulating and mixing primal substances – qv. tractate III, Ιερός Λόγος – to produce, to bring-into-being by means of Logos, the cosmic order and thence mortal beings.

In respect of μονάς, the transliteration monas would be more appropriate – and certainly more subtle – than ‘monad’ given that the term monad is now so often associated with such weltanschauungen as those termed Pythagorean/neo-Pythagorean and Gnostic, an association which may or may not be relevant here. Furthermore, monas has a long and interesting esoteric usage, including (somewhat recently) by John Dee in his Testamentum Johannis Dee Philosophi summi ad Johannem Gwynn, transmissum 1568 – a text included (on page 334) in Elias Ashmole’s Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, Containing Severall Poeticall Pieces of our Famous English philosophers, who have written the Hermetique Mysteries in their owne Ancient Language, published in London in 1652 – who wrote “our Monas trewe thus use by natures Law, both binde and lewse”, and who also entitled one of his works Monas Hieroglyphica (Antwerp, 1564), in which work he described (in Theorem XVIII) a septenary system somewhat similar to that of the Poemandres tractate [1].

 dee-monas-print

In respect of Τάτ, while there is no disputing that Thoth is meant, what may or may not be implied by the name Thoth is whether or not there is a primarily Egyptian genesis for the metaphysics and the cosmogony of this particular tractate. For what does ‘Egyptian’ mean in the context of the Corpus Hermeticum, written when Egypt was a post-Ptolemaic Roman province where Hellenism still thrived? That is, is the text propounding a metaphysics and a cosmogony primarily redolent of indigenous, pre-Alexandrian, times, with Hermes Trismegistus simply a Hellenic name for the ancient Dynastic deity Thoth, and thus with the Greek Hermes possibly being a son of that ancient Egyptian deity? Or is the text redolent of a classical metaphysics and a cosmogony; or of a Hellenic metaphysics and cosmogony; or of some syncretism of Egyptian (pre-Alexandrian) weltanschauungen with Hellenic mysticism? Or has the author (or authors) of Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς simply used the name of an ancient deity – Thoth – in order to appeal to an audience of Hellenized Egyptians, or Greeks/Romans dwelling in Egypt, or because it seemed to add some esoteric gravitas to the text? Or, as the title might be taken to imply – of Hermes to Thoth – is it a text intended to inform Egyptians (Hellenized or expatriate Greeks/Romans, or otherwise) about Greek/Hellenic metaphysics and cosmogony, with Thoth thus regarded, symbolically, esoterically, or otherwise, as the son of the Greek divinity Hermes?

In this matter, I incline toward the view – based on some forty years of study of the Corpus Hermeticum and similar mystical and esoteric texts, classical, Hellenic, medieval, Arabic and otherwise – that what is imparted in this tractate, as with the Poemandres and Ιερός Λόγος, is primarily a mystical, and – for centuries – aural, Greek tradition, albeit one possibly influenced, over time and in some degree, by the metaphysical speculations of later philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. That is, that in Ἑρμοῦ πρὸς Τάτ ὁ κρατῆρ ἡ μονάς and Ιερός Λόγος and Ποιμάνδρης, we have an intimation of the metaphysics and the cosmogony taught to initiates of that (or those) ancient and aural and paganus Greek mystical tradition(s) mentioned by writers such as Herodotus. And an intimation that is not – a few borrowed illustrative terms notwithstanding – in any significant and metaphysical manner deriving from or influenced by Biblical stories or by early Christian theology or by indigenous Egyptian culture. In the matter of a paganus Greek mystical tradition, the opening of the fourth tractate is, metaphysically, very interesting:

Επειδὴ τὸν πάντα κόσμον ἐποίησεν ὁ δημιουργός οὐ χερσὶν ἀλλὰ λόγῳ ὥστε οὕτως ὑπολάμβανε ὡς τοῦ παρόντος καὶ ἀεὶ ὄντος καὶ πάντα ποιήσαντος καὶ ἑνὸς μόνου τῇ δὲ αὐτοῦ θελήσει δημιουργήσαντος τὰ ὄντα

Because the artisan crafted the complete cosmic order not by hand but through Logos, you should understand that Being as presential, as eternal, as having crafted all being, as One only, who by thelesis formed all that is. [2]

For it is incorrect and misleading to write about those three tractates – and most if not all the other tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum – as being in any way indigenously Egyptian. Rather, their genesis – the tradition they represented – was the Greek culture of post-Alexandrian Egypt, a cultural influence so evident in the numerous papyri found in places such as Oxyrhynchus, containing as such papyri do verses from Homer, Sappho, Menander, Sophocles, and other Greek authors.


David Myatt, January 2015

Notes

[1] qv. David Myatt, Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary. 2014. ISBN 9781495470684

[2] In respect of my translation:

artisan. δημιουργόν. qv. my translation of and commentary on Poemandres 9 [Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary. 2014]. The theme of an artisan-creator, and their artisements, is common to the third tractate (Ιερός Λόγος) as well. That the tractate begins by using the term artisan, rather than theos, is perhaps significant.

that Being. The construction of the Greek here implies the conventional “you should understand him as…” although how such a human-type gender could be adduced from or manifest by how the ‘body’ of the artisan-creator is described in subsequent verses is an interesting and relevant metaphysical question. Can, or should, a ‘body’ that cannot be touched, that cannot be seen, that cannot be measured, that is not separable – οὐδὲ διαστατόν – and thus which is not conventionally ‘human’, be described as male? It is to suggest such a metaphysical question (and the limitations of ordinary language) that I have here, and here only, departed from convention and used ‘that Being’ instead of ‘him’.

There is also an interesting and perhaps relevant mention, in the second tractate of the Corpus, of the one, the being, who – like an artisan – constructs things:  ὁ οὖν θεὸς <τὸ> ἀγαθόν, καὶ τὸ ἀγαθὸν ὁ θεός. ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα προσηγορία ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ πατρός, πάλιν διὰ τὸ ποιητικὸν πάντων. πατρὸς γὰρ τὸ ποιεῖν. (Thus theos is the noble and the noble is theos, although another title is that of father because the artifex of all being. For it is of a father to construct.)

presential. πάρειμι. Presential – from the classical Latin praesentia – means “having or implying actual presence”, as manifesting (as being presenced) in a locality or with an individual, and is thus more apposite here than the rather bland word ‘present’. Cf. the use of ‘presenced’ in Ιερός Λόγος 2, et sequentia.

One only. ἑνὸς μόνου. A formulaic mystic phrase, implying uniqueness. Cf. ordinary usage in Plato, Crito 47, ἢ ἑνὸς μόνου ἐκείνου […] ἑνὸς μόνου.

thelesis. θέλησις. Given what follows – τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ σῶμα ἐκείνου, οὐχ ἁπτόν, οὐδὲ ὁρατόν, οὐδὲ μετρητόν, οὐδὲ διαστατόν – a transliteration to suggest something other than a human type ‘will’ or ‘desire’; such as ‘disposition’. That is, Being (whatsoever of whomsoever Being is, in terms of gender and otherwise) is predisposed to craft – to presence – being as beings: as immortals (deities), as mortals (humans) and otherwise, qv. Ιερός Λόγος, Poemandres 8 ff, and Poemandres 31: οὗ ἡ βουλὴ τελεῖται ἀπὸ τῶν ἰδίων δυνάμεων (whose purpose is accomplished by his own arts).

formed. As an artisan forms their artisements, and thus manifests their skill, their artistry, in what they produce. That is, the artisan-creator has formed, crafted, being (all existence) as beings.

ººººº

Illustration


The septenary arrangement from the first section of Theorem XVIII of Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica, published in Antwerp in 1564.



Article source: David Myatt – Sarigthersa (pdf, External Link)

ººººº

Further Reading:

1. Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander – A Translation and Commentary

2. Ιερός Λόγος: An Esoteric Mythos


orphic3
David Myatt Hermetica

Translations of tractates of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum by David Myatt.


Tractate I – Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander

[1] Once, while concentrating on and pondering what is real, my intuitions freely flowed, and, my alertness dulled as from an excess of wearisome bodily toil or too much eating, it seemed as if a huge being – too large to measure – chanced by calling out my name and asking what it was I wanted to see and hear about and learn and have knowledge of.

[2] Who are you, I asked.

I am Pœmandres, the perceiveration of authority, knowing your desires and eachwhere with you.

[3] I answered that I seek to learn what is real, to apprehend the physis of beings, and to have knowledge of theos. That is what I want to hear.

So he said to me, remember all those things you wanted to learn, for I shall instruct you.

[4] So saying, his form altered whereupon I at once sensed everything; an indefinity of inner sight, with everything suffused in phaos – bright and clear – so that from this seeing, a desire. But all too soon there came down upon it a heavy darkness – stygian, strange – and slithering <as a serpent> until that darkness changed in physis: flowing, of an untellable disorder, with smoke as from a fire and an indescribable sound followed by some aphonous noise as if phaos was calling out.

[5] And then, from the phaos, a numinous logos came upon that physis with pure Fire going forth to the height of that physis; easily and effective and efficient. Since Air is agile, it followed the pnuema, up and above Earth and Water and as far as Fire, to be as if it were hanging from that, there.

Earth and Water remained, coagulating together such that <Earth> could not be seen apart from Water until they were stirred by the sound of the pneumal logos that came down upon them.

[6] Pœmandres asked, had I apprehended the sense of that inner seeing? And I said I shall have knowledge of it.

I am, he said, that phaos; perceiveration, your theos, and prior to the flowing physis brought forth from darkness. [And] the phaomal logos, from perceiveration, is the child of theos.

So I said for him to continue.

Then know that within you – who hears and sees – is logos kyrios, although perceiveration is theos the father. They are not separated, one from the other, because their union is Life.

Thank you, I said.

Then discover phaos and become familiar with it.

[7] So saying, he stared at me for so long a duration that I shivered because of the way he looked. But, as he tilted his head back, I, observing, discovered the phaos of unmeasurable forces and an undefinable cosmic order coming-into-being. While the fire, embraced by a strong force, was subdued and kept in stasis.

Such I observed and discovered because of those words of Pœmandres.  But, since I was vexed, he spoke to me again. From your seeing, an awareness of the quidditas of semblance; of the primal before the origin without an end.

This was what Pœmandres said to me, then.

[8] So I asked from what place, then, the parsements of physis?

To which he answered, from the deliberations of theos, who, having comprehended the logos and having seen the beauty of the cosmic order, re-presented it, and so became a cosmic order from their own parsements and by the birth of Psyche.

[9] Theos, the perceiveration, male-and-female, being Life and phaos, whose logos brought forth another perceiveration, an artisan, who – theos of Fire and pnuema – fashioned seven viziers to surround the perceptible cosmic order in spheres and whose administration is described as fate.

[10] Directly, from the downward parsements, the logos of theos bounded to the fine artisements of Physis and joined with the perceiveration of that artisan, for it was of the same essence. Thus the descending parsements of Physis were left, devoid of logos, to be only substance.

[11] The perceiveration of that artisan, in combination with logos, surrounded the spheres, spinning them around, a twizzling of artisements of some indefinite origin and some undeterminable end, finishing where they began. Turning around and around as perceiveration decreed, the spheres produced, from those descending parsements, beings devoid of logos, for they were not given logos, while Air produced what flew, and Water what swam. Divided, one from the other, were Earth and Water, as perceiveration had decreed, with Earth delivering from within herself beings four-footed and crawling, and animals savage and benign.

[12] Perceiveration, as Life and phaos, father of all, brought forth in his own likeness a most beautiful mortal who, being his child, he loved. And theos, who loved his own image, bequeathed to him all his works of Art.

[13] Thus, having discovered what that artisan with that father’s assistance had wrought, he too determined on such artisements, which the father agreed to. Ingressing to the artisan’s realm, with full authority, he appreciated his brother’s artisements, and they – loving him – each shared with him their own function.

Having fully learned their essence, and having partaken of their physis, he was determined to burst out past the limit of those spheres to discover the one who imposed their strength upon the Fire.

[14]  With full authority over the ordered cosmos of humans and of beings devoid of logos, he burst through the strength of the spheres to thus reveal to those of downward physis the beautiful image of theos.

When she beheld such unceasing beauty – he who possessed all the vigour of the viziers and was the image of theos – she lovingly smiled, for it was as if in that Water she had seen the semblance of that mortal’s beautiful image and, on Earth, his shadow. And as he himself beheld in that Water her image, so similar to his own, he desired her and wanted to be with her.
Then, his want and his vigour realized, and he within that image devoid of logos, Physis grasped he whom she loved to entwine herself around him so that, as lovers, they were intimately joined together.

[15] 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. Hence, although over the harmonious structure, when within become the slave. Male-and-female since of a male-and-female father, and wakeful since of a wakeful one. <…>

[16] <…> my perceiveration, for I also love the logos. Then Pœmandres said, this is a mysterium esoteric even to this day. For Physis, having intimately joined with the human, produced a most wondrous wonder possessed of the physis of the harmonious seven I mentioned before, of Fire and pneuma. Physis did not tarry, giving birth to seven male-and-female humans with the physis of those viziers, and ætherean.

Pœmandres, I said, a great eagerness has now arrived in me so that I yearn to hear more. Do not go away.

Then, Pœmandres replied, be silent for this primary explanation is not yet complete.

I shall, I said, therefore, be silent.

[17] To continue, those seven came into being in this way. Earth was muliebral, Water was lustful, and Fire maturing. From Æther, the pnuema, and with Physis bringing forth human-shaped bodies. Of Life and phaos, the human came to be of psyche and perceiveration; from Life – psyche; from phaos – perceiveration; and with everything in the observable cosmic order cyclic until its completion.

[18] Now listen to the rest of the explanation you asked to hear. When the cycle was fulfilled, the connexions between all things were, by the deliberations of theos, unfastened. Living beings – all male-and-female then – were, including humans, rent asunder thus bringing into being portions that were masculous with the others muliebral. Directly, then, theos spoke a numinous logos: propagate by propagation and spawn by spawning, all you creations and artisements, and let the perceiver have the knowledge of being deathless and of Eros as responsible for death.

[19] Having so spoken, foreknowing – through wyrd and that harmonious structure – produced the coagulations and founded the generations with all beings spawning according to their kind. And they of self-knowledge attained a particular benefit while they who, misled by Eros, love the body, roamed around in the dark, to thus, perceptively, be afflicted by death.

[20] But why, I asked, do the unknowing err so much that they are robbed of immortality.

You seem, he said, not to have understood what you heard, for did I not tell you to discover things?

I said I do recall and am discovering, for which I am obliged.

Then tell me, if you have discovered, why death is expected for those in death.

Because originally the body began with that stygian darkness, from whence the flowing physis which formed the body within the perceptible cosmic order which nourishes death.

[21] Your apprehension is correct. Yet why, according to the logos of theos, does the one of self-discovery progress within themselves?

To which I replied, phaos and Life formed the father of all beings, from whence that human came into being.

You express yourself well. For phaos and Life are the theos and the father from whence the human came into being. Therefore if you learn to be of Life and phaos – and that you perchance are of them – then you progress to return to Life. Thus spoke Pœmandres.

Can you – who are my perceiveration – therefore tell me how I may progress to Life?  For does not theos say that the human of perceiveration should have self-knowledge?

[22] And do not all humans posses perceiveration?

Again you express yourself well. I, perceiveration, attend to those of respectful deeds, the honourable, the refined, the compassionate, those aware of the numinous; to whom my being is a help so that they soon acquire knowledge of the whole and are affectionately gracious toward the father, fondly celebrating in song his position.

Before they hand over their body to its death they loathe the influencing impressions, for they know their vigour. That is, I – perceiveration – do not allow what the vigour of the body embraces to be achieved. For, as guardian, I close the entrance to the bad and the dishonourably vigorful, preventing their procrastinations.

[23] I keep myself distant from the unreasonable, the rotten, the malicious, the jealous, the greedy, the bloodthirsty, the hubriatic, instead, giving them up to the avenging daemon, who assigns to them the sharpness of fire, who visibly assails them, and who equips them for more lawlessness so that they happen upon even more vengeance. For they cannot control their excessive yearnings, are always in the darkness – which tests them – and thus increase that fire even more.

[24] You, perceiveration, have instructed me well about all those things I saught. But could you tell me how the Anados will occur?

To which Pœmandres replied, first, the dissolution of the physical body allows that body to be transformed with the semblance it had disappearing and its now non-functioning ethos handed over to the daimon, with the body’s perceptions returning to their origin, then becoming separated with their purpose, transplanted, and with desire and eagerness journeying toward the physis devoid of logos.

[25]  Thus does the mortal hasten through the harmonious structure, offering up, in the first realm, that vigour which grows and which fades, and – in the second one – those dishonourable machinations, no longer functioning. In the third, that eagerness which deceives, no longer functioning; in the fourth, the arrogance of command, no longer insatiable; in the fifth, profane insolence and reckless haste; in the sixth, the bad inclinations occasioned by riches, no longer functioning; and in the seventh realm, the lies that lie in wait.

[26] Thus, stripped of the activities of that structure, they enter into the ogdoadic physis, and, with those there, celebrate the father in song for they, together, rejoice at this arrival who, now akin to them, hears those forces beyond the ogdoadic physis celebrating theos in melodious song. Then, in order, they move toward the father to hand themselves over to those forces, and, becoming those forces, they become united with theos. For to so become of theos is the noble goal of those who seek to acquire knowledge.

Why, therefore, hesitate? Should it not be that, having received all these things, you should become a guide to those who are suitable so that, because of you, descendants of mortals may – through theos – escape?

[27] Having so spoken to me, Pœmandres joined with those forces, while I, having given thanks to and expressed my gratitude toward the father of all beings, went forth strengthened and informed regarding the physis of everything and with an insight of great importance.

So it was that I began to tell mortals about how beautiful knowledge and an awareness of the numinous were. You earth-bound mortals, you who have embraced intoxicating liquor, sleepfulness, and are unknowing of theos: soberize, stop your drunkenness, for you are beguiled by irrational sleepfulness.

[28] Hearing this, they, with the same purpose, gathered round. And I said, you who are earth-bound, why do you embrace death when you have the means to partake of immortality? Change your ways, you who have accompanied deception and who have kinship with the unknowing ones. Leave the dark phaos, partake of immortality, move away from your destruction.

[29] Then some of them, having ridiculed, went away, embracing as they did the way of death; although some others, desirous of being informed, threw themselves down at my feet. I asked them to stand, and thus became a guide to those of my kind, informing them of the logoi – of the way and the means of rescue – and engendered in them the logoi of sapientia, with the celestial elixir to nurture them.

And with the arrival of evening with the rays of Helios beginning to completely wane, I bid they express their gratitude to theos, after which – with that expression of gratitude completed – they each retired to their own bed.

[30] Commemorating within myself the noble service of Pœmandres – replete with what I had desired – I was most pleased, for the sleep of the body engendered temperance of psyche, the closing of the eyes a genuine insight, with my silence pregnant with the noble, and the expression of the logos breeding nobility.

Such is what transpired for me, received from perceiveration – that is, Pœmandres; for it was by being theos-inspired that I came upon this revealing. Therefore, from my psyche and with all my strength, I offer benedictions to theos, the father.

[31]

Agios o Theos, father of all beings.
Agios o Theos, whose purpose is accomplished by his own arts.
Agios o Theos, whose disposition is to be recognized and who is recognized by his own.
Agios es, you who by logos form all being.
Agios es, you who engender all physis as eikon.
Agios es, you whom the Physis did not morph.
Agios es, you who are mightier than all artifice.
Agios es, you who surpass all excellence.
Agios es, you who transcend all praise.

You – ineffable, inexpressible, to whom silence gives voice – receive these respectful wordful offerings from a psyche and a heart that reach out to you.

[32]  I ask of you to grant that I am not foiled in acquiring knowledge germane to our essence; to invigorate me, so that – by that favour – I may bring illumination to the unknowing who, kindred of my kind, are your children.

Such I testify and believe; to advance to Life and phaos. For you, father, a benediction. Your mortal’s purpose is to share in your numinosity, for which you have provided every means.

°°°°°

Tractate III – Ιερός Λόγος

 

[1] The numen of all beings is theos: numinal, and of numinal physis.
The origin of what exists is theos, who is Perceiveration and Physis and Substance:
The sapientia which is a revealing of all beings.
For the numinal is the origin: physis, vigour, incumbency, accomplishment, renewance.

In the Abyss, an unmeasurable darkness, and, by the influence of the numen,
Water and delicate apprehending Pnuema, there, in Kaos.
Then, a numinous phaos arose and, from beneath the sandy ground,
Parsements coagulated from fluidic essence.
And all of the deities <particularize> seedful physis.

[2] With all beings unformed and not yet presenced,
What was lightsome was separated out, upward
And what was burdensome set in fluidic ground
With all defined through Fire, then elevated – and conveyed – by Pneuma.
Thus the heavens became perceivable in seven spheres,

Deities represented in the arrangements of the stars,
With the outer revolving in the æther, and circulating by the Pnuema of theos.

[3]  Through their distinguishing influence, each deity did what was assigned to them
So that there came-into-being beasts four-footed and slithering

And those dwelling in water and those that fly,
And harvestable seeds and pastures and all kinds of verdant flowers,
<Seeding within> the semination of rebirth.
Thus can the offspring of mortals apprehend the works of theos, a living witness of physis,
So that the multitude of mortals can husband all that is below the heavens,
Appreciate honour, and propagate by propagation and spawn by spawning.

Thus, every psyche – embodied in flesh – can
By the mirificence of the circumferent deities coursing the heavens
Apprehend the heavens, and honour, and physis presenced, and the works of theos;
Can understand divine influence as wyrdful change
And thus, regarding what is good and what is bad, discover all the arts of honour.

[4] For this is the commencement of their living, of such learning
As is – by circumferent deities coursing – wyrdful, and the discoagulation of it,
For the great earthly artialized memorials they have left
Will, with the passing of the seasons, fade
Just as, for the generations of psyche-bearing flesh and fruitful seeds and artisements,
There will be renewance through incumbency, renewance through the divine
And by the circumferent coursing of Physis.

The divine is all of that mixion: renewance of the cosmic order through Physis
For Physis is presenced in the divine.

 

 

°°°°°


Sources

Tractate I – David Myatt, Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander: A Translation and Commentary. 2013. ISBN 9781491249543.

Tractate III – David Myatt, An Esoteric Mythos: A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Third Tractate Of The Corpus Hermeticum, 2015. ISBN 9781507660126

°°°°°


cc David Myatt 2013, 2015

The translations were published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.
They can therefore be freely copied and distributed under the terms of that license

 


orphic3

A Translation Of And A Commentary On The Third Tractate   
Of The Corpus Hermeticum

Ιερός Λόγος: An Esoteric Mythos
(pdf)


Source:

An Esoteric Mythos


David Myatt

Some Questions For DWM

Part Two

 

Q. How would you now describe your attitude to life? Does this attitude colour how you view what you describe as your extremist decades?

I would describe my attitude to life now as being somewhat – but only somewhat – reminiscent of the Taoism I studied, over four decades ago, while living in the Far East. An attitude which, with its particular supra-personal, millennial, perspective – and intuition regarding δίκη – is very personal and which, while rather mystical, is not religious in the conventional sense. It is an attitude, a personal way, which embraces and appreciates tolerance, kindness, compassion, honour, and humility.

A personal way of living, discovered by pathei-mathos, that brings an awareness of not only the numinous but also of the importance of love, and yet which awareness also imbues me with sadness because of my own past, because of my mistakes, because of the suffering I personally caused, and because of the suffering that we humans now as in the past inflict on both other humans and the other life which share this planet orbiting one star in one galaxy in a Cosmos replete with billions of other planet-bearing, life-bearing, galaxies. A way which has distanced me so far from involvement with politics – and from having any political views or being concerned about ‘world events’ – it is almost as if I exist in another era.

A way which hields me to appreciate the society in which I am fortunate to live. This is, at least according to my limited knowledge, a society which – as with most if not all other Western ones – provides for the majority a better, a more free, way of life than exists for the majority in most other non-Western societies. Naturally, even in Western societies there are problems, injustices, inequalities, poverty, people who despair and people who suffer because of the deeds, the selfishness, of others. But there are also so many good people in our societies – whether in the West or elsewhere – trying to alleviate such suffering, trying to fix such problems, trying to remove such inequalities and alleviate such suffering, that I am gladdened, but also saddened because I remember how during my extremist decades I – preaching hate, intolerance, and espousing violence – despised such liberal-minded, compassionate, people and not only personally caused suffering but also saught to undermine, disrupt, and replace the society in which I lived – and the societies of the West in general – with a repressive one based on bigotry.

°°°

Q. What is your view now of Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general? I ask in relation to your upbringing as a Catholic, your experiences as a Catholic monk, your time as a Muslim, and in particular in relation to what appears to be – judging from some of your recent writings – your support for gay relationships. Is this support recent?

As with other religions, and spiritual ways of life, my attitude is one of tolerance and of appreciating how they all, in their varying ways, preserve and can provide others with that awareness of the numinous which humanizes us. They also can provide – and have provided for many over centuries – such expiation and such catharsis as often interiorly heals, or eases the burden of, those changed by pathei-mathos or suffused with grief.

My own experiences and pathei-mathos – and especially a recognition of my past multitudinous mistakes and hubris – have inclined me not to judge anything or anyone categorically, in an impersonal way, as one does if one has a certitude-of-knowing born of prejudice or from an arrogant belief that one ‘knows’ one is right, and so ‘knows’ either because of belief in some ideology or dogma, or because one is arrogant by nature or arrogant as compensation for an interior imbalance such as often found in those who are interiorly afraid or just too sensitive. Thus, I personally believe that Catholicism, and Christianity, have on balance made a positive difference in the world, and continue to make a positive difference, spiritually and socially, even though my experiences and my feelings mean that I personally disagree with, for example, the teaching of the Catholic Church – and the belief of many Christians, and the majority scholarly opinion in relation to the Muslim Deen – regarding those whose love is for someone of the same gender.

My personal experience of those whose love is for someone of the same gender dates back to my schooldays, and from that time on I have always had such friends, both male and female. During my brief time at University, during my violent, neo-nazi, ‘street fighting days’ in the early 1970′s, during my marriages, even during my time as a monk. While I personally have always desired and shared a human love involving someone of the opposite gender, I never – even from my schooldays – made any kind of distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’. Rather, I just liked these people as individuals, and – as individuals often tend to do – we gravitated toward each other, and became friends, because we shared similar interests or enthusiasms, especially literature, Art, and classical music, and often because of a certain sensitivity from whence derived those manners that we also shared in common.

One such friendship formed in the Sixth Form of the College where, in the late 1960′s, I was one of the ‘seven day boarders’ and shared a kitchen and other facilities, on the top floor of our hall of residence, with five other schoolboys around my age, one of whom confided in me one Friday night, when we two as usual were playing poker for pennies while listening to a Savoy Brown LP, that he was – as we now say – ‘gay’, although of course he did not use that term, or indeed any other. Rather, he – trusting me – just talked of his feelings, his desires, his hopes, in a very awkward way as if he could not keep them within himself any longer. This was courageous of him, given the prejudice, the intolerance, toward those of his orientation that existed then, not long after the repeal in England of the laws which made homosexual acts a criminal offence. His preference, his nature, made no difference to me – I just liked him for who he was, and I have fond memories of helping him, later on, plan and organize the grandly named The Greek, Fudge, Rock, Blues and Boogie Party by which he desired to celebrate the end of our schooldays when we two, as part of that plan and with some other assistance, brought a Mini into the College hall to form the centrepiece for the dance floor, and which party proved a great success. Over the years I often, wistfully, wondered what became of him, hoping that he had found someone to love who loved him in the gentle, sensitive, way he needed.

Another such personal experience was when I, the monk, became friends with another monk whose love and desires were for someone of the same gender but who, because of his belief in Catholicism, had forsaken that personal love for another. I thus came to know of his prior interior struggles; of how his monastic vows helped him and of the expiation he saught in prayer when such feelings, in however small a way, came back to – in his words – torment him. And I must admit I admired the strength of his faith, the vigour of his determination, and perhaps most of all his humility, placing as he did a pure faith, inexpressible in words, before his own feelings, before his own thoughts, before his needs, before his very life. And, over the years, I wondered whether those feelings, those needs, had finally left him – perhaps so, for I have intermittently followed his career as a priest, knowing of his progression within the institution that is the Catholic Church. Perhaps he is also happy, or at least has found and is living the type of supra-personal happiness, that inner numinous peace, that I personally if only occasionally apprehended and felt during my time as a monk.

In terms, therefore, of how those whose love is for someone of the same gender relate to or believe in such religions as consider such love ‘unnatural’, my fallible view derived from my own experience and from my mutable understanding is that it is a personal matter based on the importance of personal love to us as human beings and the unimportance of gender in matters of love. That, ultimately, it is a question of ontology, of how we personally answer the question regarding the nature of our existence as human beings. Of whether, for example, we believe such obedience is required in order for us to attain a promised after-life (be it in Heaven or Jannah or elsewhere) or required in order to enable us to attain enlightenment, nirvana, or be reborn to progress toward that posited state of being. Or whether we accept – as I am inclined to – a paganus, more metaphysical, answer: of ourselves as simply a temporary and conscious presencing of Life, an affective nexus between Life-before-us and Life-after-us and which temporary and conscious presencing afford us the opportunity of aiding or of negating the evolution and the future presencings of Life; which Life is vast as the Cosmos, and which Life we can aid by a loyal personal love, regardless of the gender of the person we love. For I personally find love to be more numinous – and more spiritual when loyally shared – more life-affirming, than any dogma, than any ideology, than any organized religion which demands we abandon such personal love for obedience to some interpretation of some faith.

°°°

Q. I’ve read the extracts from your The Physics of Acausal Energy that have been published. When do you intend to publish the rest, and what experiments have you conducted or are conducting in connection with the theory?

The experiments, such as they were given various other commitments, were undertaken in the 1990′s when I was fortunate enough to have an electronics workshop with space to conduct such experiments. One of my hobbies during that and the previous decade was repairing scientific instruments and electronic equipment of the kind used in schools and universities, and in the 1990′s I occasionally did sub-contract work of a part-time nature for a firm (HSI) specializing in such repairs. I also repaired some physics and electronic equipment for an independent school, which repairs included their numerous old Radford Labpacks (a superb piece of kit) many of which no longer worked and all of which, when used under certain conditions, had a potentially serious fault – related to their high voltage DC output – which required fixing.

One field of experimental enquiry I pursued in the late 1990′s concerned trying to ascertain whether it was possible to usefully measure some physical property of a living organism (of a macro or micro type). One such physical property I explored was electrical resistance, and thus involved measuring the resistance of an organism on the macro level (as for example in a growing plant) and on the micro level (as in plant tissue) and then trying to ascertain whether that resistance changed under various conditions, such as when in close proximity to another living organism of the same and of a different type, and if so, how does that resistance vary with respect to the size or type of organism and to the distance between them. Of course, to be scientific each experiment had to replicated, as exactly as possible, many times in order to ascertain if there were any consistent, reproducible, results.

That set of experiments was never fully completed, due to a change in priorities following my arrest – and the seven hour search of my home – in early 1998 by Detectives from Scotland Yard. Which arrest formed part of what turned out to be a three year long international investigation into my political (and alleged paramilitary and terrorist) activities.

In respect of the theory, I was working on going beyond my original idea of using tensor analysis to describe an acausal space, a description based on equations involving a tensor with nine non-zero symmetric components. Which original idea was of trying to describe acausal space in terms of something either akin to a Riemannian metric or which posited a new type of metric describable in such conventional terms. In effect, I was therefore albeit in a stumbling way trying to develope a a new mathematical formulation to represent a-causal time and which formulation obviously could not involve (except possibly as a limiting case) equations involving some function (such as a differential) of the causal time of physics. However, I never got very far in developing this new formulation mostly because I lacked the mathematical skill and my feeble attempts to try and develope such new skills as would be required were, as with my experiments, interrupted by my arrest and by subsequent developments, such as my conversion to Islam later in 1998 and the travels in the Muslim world which followed.

The extracts you refer to were made around 1993, with copies sent to a few friends as well as – if my ageing memory is correct – being published some years later on JRW’s then ‘geocities’ DM website. As for the complete first draft of The Physics of Acausal Energy, it completed in late 1997 as *wpd files on several floppy disks, and which disks were seized – along with my computers, other disks, documents, letters, and data CD’s – during that 1998 dawn raid on my home. All these items were kept by the police and not returned to me until the Summer of 2001. In the intervening years a change of life-style and domicile, together with various travels and the breakdown of my marriage, combined to make me leave all such material (together with my favourite bespoke Tweed overcoat, a split cane fly-fishing rod, an exquisite moon-dial wristwatch, five notebooks containing my commentary of The Agamemnon, and other belongings) in storage in a shed in the garden of my former home where still lived my soon-to-be former spouse and her family, with my intention being to collect those belongings on my return from a trip to the Middle East. However, I never saw these belongings – nor my former spouse – again, and was told all those belongings had been disposed of. Thus, those extracts are all that remain of The Physics of Acausal Energy. I corrected, by hand, a print-out of those extracts in the Summer of 2002 following some months dwelling upon the ideas therein while living as I did that Summer in a tent in the Lake District, posting my revisions to a friend who circulated a few copies. Not long after, I moved to live and work on a farm, and for years had neither the time nor the desire to further pursue that theory or those experiments, until around 2009 when I endeavoured to reproduce what I remembered of the rest of the text of The Physics of Acausal Energy. But I soon realized that not only was I writing a new text – and which new text would be incomplete without reproducing and continuing the experiments and developing the new mathematics required – but also that I was no longer interested in the physical, the experimental, and the mathematical, aspects of the theory. For I felt those aspects belonged to a different me, to the decades of my former self, and that it would moreover be better if someone who was interested, with better mathematical skills than I, took up the challenge. Thus, I issued a ‘revised version’ of those (2002 corrected) 1993 extracts, and left it at that.

My interest in the theory now, such as it is, is purely a metaphysical one, as part of my philosophy of pathei-mathos.

°°°

 

Q. You’ve published your translation of the first part of the Corpus Hermeticum and the beginning of the Gospel of John, translations which strike me as iconoclastic. Why did you translate those works in particular and in the way you did, and when are you going to publish your translation of the rest of those works? Do you intend to translate more of authors such as Sophocles and Aeschylus and finish your translation of The Odyssey?

My interest in translating the Gospel of John dates back to my time as a Catholic monk, and discussions there regarding the meaning of terms such as λόγος. It was those discussions that led me to read, for the first time and there in the monastery, the Latin text of the Corpus Hermeticum by Marsilius Ficinus. In respect of the Corpus Hermeticum, I have translated what I personally find is the most interesting part, the Poimander tractate, and presently have no interest in translating the rest. In respect of the Gospel of John, I am albeit somewhat slowly continuing to work on it, and do hope – θεοί and Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ᾽ Ἐρινύες permitting – to complete and publish my translation of the whole Gospel together with notes and commentary, although completion and publication are still several years away.

In respect of the other works you mention, the answer is that I have no current intention of translating any more such literature, not even the Homer. Those translations of mine were germane to a certain period of my life, a period of some four years of domestic happiness, a shared love, of no involvement with politics or with activism of any kind; years full of exuberance and an arrogant belief in my abilities. A period of my life somewhat reflected in how I then approached the work of translation – exuberantly, confidently, and somewhat arrogantly. Thus the English style and the intuition I used then are the style and the intuition I used then. In addition, months before each translation I would immerse myself in the world of the author; reading in Greek all of the works of the author, and scholarly commentaries on them, I could obtain (which thanks to the Classics Bookshop, Thornton’s Bookshop, and Blackwell’s, in Oxford, were usually all of them); and reading as many other ancient Greek works as possible including Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Euripides, etcetera. Thus that ancient world became, in many ways and during that time, more real than the modern world around me; an apprehension aided by being mostly free of daytime commitments and having a quiet study lined with bookcases replete with ancient texts; so that when I began the translation it just seemed to flow naturally.

Where I to translate those works again, or even attempt to revise them, my approach now would be very pedantic, very measured, very slow, as it was with the Poimandres tractate. In all probability, this would result in much being changed; something which became very apparent when last year I re-read The Odyssey again and then my translation of Books 1-3. Those translations of mine thus belong to that time of my life, over twenty years ago. [1]

 

David Myatt
Spring 2014

[1] Post Scriptum: That happy domestic time during which I undertook those translations ended with the tragic death of Sue in April 1993. In the following months and in her memory I managed to complete my translation of the Agamemnon, begun toward the end of 1992 and interrupted by her illness. It would be another seventeen years before I began translating ancient Greek texts again, with some of the fragments attributed to Heraclitus.


 

Questions for DWM, Part One

 


Article source: http://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/questions-for-dwm-2014/questions-for-dwm-part-2/

cc David Myatt 2014
This text contains answers to some questions submitted to me through intermediaries in March 2014
and is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.
It can therefore be freely copied and distributed under the terms of that license

Editorial Note: The following is an abridged version of the third edition of the article. The complete version is available in pdf format here – Perusing The 7FW.

Order of Nine Angles

O9A

Perusing The Seven Fold Way
Historical Origins Of The Septenary System


Contents

° Introduction: The Physis Sorcery of Naos.
° Physis, The Corpus Hermeticum, And The Ancient Hermetic Quest For Immortality.
° The Seven-Fold Way And Acausality.
° Arabic And Alchemical Influences.
° The Complete Seven-Fold Way

° The Rite Of The Abyss and Beyond

° Conclusion: The O9A In Esoteric Perspective.

Appendix 1. Grade Ritual Of Magus/Mousa

Appendix 2. A Review of Myatt’s The Divine Pymander.
Appendix 3. Theory Of The Acausal

Introduction: The Physis Sorcery of Naos

The septenary system, or tradition, of the modern occult group the Order of Nine Angles (ONA/O9A) was first publicly outlined in their 1980s text Naos – A Practical Guide To Modern Magick. The text is, interestingly, completely devoid of the satanism that the O9A has come to be associated with, and, as the Introduction states, the first part is a “guide to becoming an Adept and is essentially ‘Internal magick’ – that is, magick [sorcery] used to bring about personal development (of consciousness and so on) […] Internal magick is the following of the Occult path from Initiation to Adeptship and beyond, and in the Septenary tradition this path is known as the seven-fold Way.”

Furthermore, in the ‘Notes on Esoteric Tradition’ of Naos it is directly stated that “the goal of sentient life is to […] become part of the acausal (i.e. ‘immortal’ when seen from the causal). Initiation, and ‘the Mysteries’ (i.e. the seven-fold Way), are the means to achieve this.”

Of particular interest is the fact that, in Naos, the internal sorcery used to bring about personal development is also called ‘physis magick’:

“Physis is divided into seven stages and these seven stages may be regarded as representing the varying degrees of insight attained. In terms of traditional magick, the stages represent Initiation, Second Degree Initiation, External Adept, Internal Adept, Master/Mistress (or High Priest/Priestess), Magus and Immortal. Each stage is associated with a sphere of the Septenary Tree of Wyrd.”

Physis is a clear use of the ancient Greek term φύσις, which term occurs frequently in the Pymander (also known as the Pœmandres) section of the ancient Greek text of the Corpus Hermeticum, dating from around the second century CE and first published in 1554 CE, and which Pymander discourse also describes, in some detail, a system of seven spheres; a journey, a quest – an anados, ἄνοδος – up through these spheres in order that the last stage, that of an immortal, may be achieved; and how the individual is changed in the process of journeying through the spheres.

It therefore would seem difficult to disagree with the claim, made in Naos and other O9A texts of the same period, that the O9A’s septenary system – with its seven-fold Tree of Wyrd – represents, at least in part, the ‘genuine Western occult tradition’, in contrast to the ten-fold Kabbalah based system used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, by Aleister Crowley, and by all other, non-O9A, modern occultists, and which ten-fold Kabbalah based system is not only over a thousand years later than the Hellenic septenary system but employs Hebrew terminology in contrast to the Greek terminology of the earlier hermetic tradition.

However, obvious as it should have been to learned students of the occult and to those academics researching esotericism, this connection to ancient hermeticism was – with one possible exception {1} – overlooked for over thirty years, with the O9A’s septenary system, even as late as 2012, dismissed – in a purportedly academic work, no less – as merely “a replacement for the Kabbalah […] a non-Semitic version of the Kabbalistic Sepherot.” {2}

It was only after the publication, in 2013, of Myatt’s translation of and commentary on the Pymander section of the Corpus Hermeticum {3} that others, outside of the O9A, began to realize that the O9A claim had some historical merit after all, since Myatt’s translation and commentary places the O9A’s septenary system into its correct historical and esoteric perspective, with Myatt’s learned commentary explaining much both about the septenary system – the hebdomad – which forms an important part of the hermetic Pymander text, and about the anados, the journey through the spheres to the final goal of immortality. {4}

Physis, The Corpus Hermeticum, And The Ancient Hermetic Quest For Immortality

At the beginning of Pymander text of the Corpus Hermeticum the seeker says that they desire “to learn what is real, to apprehend the physis of beings, and to have knowledge of theos.” {5} The seeker is instructed, later on, by Pœmandres, that, in respect of humans and their physis, “distinct among all other beings on Earth, mortals are jumelle; deathful of body yet deathless the inner mortal” {6} – and thus have the opportunity to become immortal.

Regarding physis, Myatt notes in his commentary that,

“According to the hermetic weltanschauung, as outlined by Pœmandres here, all physis – the being, nature, character, of beings – their essence beyond the form/appearance their being is or assumes or is perceived as – re-presents (manifests, is an eikon of) theos. That is, the physis of beings can be considered not only as an emanation of theos but as re-presenting his Being, his essence. To recognize this, to recognize theos, to be in communion with theos, to return to theos, and thus become immortal, there is the way up (anados) through the seven spheres.” {7}

Asked by the seeker about the anados – the way to immortality through the seven spheres – Pœmandres replies, in rather mystical terms, that:

“First, the dissolution of the physical body allows that body to be transformed with the semblance it had disappearing and its now non-functioning ethos handed over to the daimon, with the body’s perceptions returning to their origin, then becoming separated with their purpose, transplanted, and with desire and eagerness journeying toward the physis devoid of logos. Thus does the mortal hasten through the harmonious structure, offering up, in the first realm, that vigour which grows and which fades, and – in the second one – those dishonourable machinations, no longer functioning. In the third, that eagerness which deceives, no longer functioning; in the fourth, the arrogance of command, no longer insatiable; in the fifth, profane insolence and reckless haste; in the sixth, the bad inclinations occasioned by riches, no longer functioning; and in the seventh realm, the lies that lie in wait.

[Thus] they become united with theos. For to so become of theos is the noble goal of those who seek to acquire knowledge.” {8}

This ‘becoming united with theos’, however, does not mean that mortals ‘become god’ or become ‘a living god’. Instead, as Pœmandres has made clear (for example in section 26) it means transcending, beyond mortal death, to the two immortal realms that exist beyond the seven spheres, one of which is that of the ‘ogdoadic physis’, and both of which are described in terms of emanations of theos.

Having thus been instructed and having understood, the seeker himself goes on to ask, of other humans, “you who are earth-bound, why do you embrace death when you have the means to partake of immortality?” {9}

The Seven-Fold Way And Acausality

In the Pymander text, beyond the seven spheres of the anados there is the realm of ‘the ogdoadic physis’ – with particular forces and powers – and, beyond that, another realm; both described in relation to theos. As Myatt explains in his commentary on the Pymander text – in reference to section 26 and the Greek word δύναμις – these are quite distinct from the seven spheres:

“δύναμις. Those forces, those particular powers – or, more precisely, that type (or those types) of being(s) or existence – that are not only beyond the septenary system but beyond the ogdoadic physis of those mortals who have, because of their journey (ἄνοδος) through the septenary system, achieved immortality.

It is therefore easy to understand why some considered there were, or represented their understanding/insight by, ‘nine’ (seven plus two) fundamental cosmic emanations, or by nine realms or spheres – qv. the quote from Cicero {10} – the seven of the hebdomad, plus the one of the ‘ogdoadic physis’ mentioned here, plus the one (also mentioned here) of what is beyond even this ‘ogdoadic physis’. However, as this text describes, there are seven realms or spheres – a seven-fold path to immortality, accessible to living mortals – and then two types of existence (not spheres) beyond these, accessible only after the mortals has journeyed along that path and then, having ‘offered up’ certain things along the way (their mortal ethos), ‘handed over their body to its death’. Ontologically, therefore, the seven might somewhat simplistically be described as partaking of what is ‘causal’ (of what is mortal) and the two types of existence beyond the seven as partaking of – as being – ‘acausal’ (of what is immortal). Thus, Pœmandres goes on to say, the former mortal – now immortal – moves on (from this first type of ‘acausal existence’) to become these forces (beyond the ogdoadic physis) to thus finally ‘unite with theos’: αὐτοὶ εἰς δυνάμεις ἑαυ τοὺς παραδιδόασι καὶ δυνάμεις γενόμενοι ἐν θεῷ γίνονται.”

These two realms beyond the seven spheres are echoed in Naos, with a description of septenary ‘tree of wyrd’ being symbolically enclosed within a double-tetrahedron:

“From an initiated viewpoint, the seven spheres are seen to form a three-dimensional pattern where every sphere is linked to every other twice, although in a physical representation (e.g. a model) the two-fold nature of the connecting paths are shown only for Moon/Saturn, Venus/Mars and Mercury/Jupiter. This three-dimensional structure is considered to lie enclosed within a double-tetrahedron.”

This symbolic double-tetrahedron is related to ‘the nine angles’ and thence to the axiom of acausality and thus to the duality of causal and acausal. And it is this axiom of acausality which is central to the O9A’s seven-fold way, as another more pertinent echo of the Pymander text makes clear, which is that, as mentioned previously, Naos states that “the goal of sentient life is to […] become part of the acausal (i.e. ‘immortal’ when seen from the causal). Initiation, and ‘the Mysteries’ (i.e. the seven-fold Way), are the means to achieve this.”

Thus, in the septenary tradition of the Order of Nine Angles the realms beyond the seven spheres are described in terms of acausality, as being part of the acausal, with the mortal – having successfully undertaken their journey along the seven-fold way – entering into a new and immortal existence in the realms (or universes) of the acausal. For, although, the singular ‘acausal’ and terms such as ‘acausal realm’ are often used, it is noted in Naos that “generally the singular is used to avoid semantic complications, although the Septenary tradition accepts the near certainty that many such ‘acausal’ universes exist to compliment ‘our’ causal universe.”

There is, therefore, in the seven-fold way, an understanding of the goal in terms not of ‘becoming united with theos’ (as in the hermetic text) but rather in terms of egressing into the realms of the acausal and of a new existence in the acausal. That is, in place of the ancient theological explanation – of theos, and of ‘a science of divine things’ – the O9A have a modern metaphysics, an axiomatic theory, of causal and acausal {11}, of ‘a new science of different types of energy’.

For the basis of this theory is that there are two fundamental forms – or, more precisely, two types of apprehension of – energy in the cosmos: the causal energy familiar from scientific studies into electromagnetism, gravity, and nuclear processes; and the ‘acausal’ energy familiar to us in the biological why and the how of living things being different from non-living things, and also familiar to us in our psyche, especially in ‘archetypes’ and which archetypes are expressive of the reality of we humans having, via evolution, the advantage of reason, of a developed consciousness.

This ‘acausal’ energy is posited to have an a-causal origin, with living things – including ourselves – being nexions (a gate to the acausal, as Naos explains it). That is, we are capable of presencing {12} – or having access to – such acausal energy. What differentiates us from all the other living beings we know is that we have (or seem to have) the ability to consciously be aware of this ‘acausal’ energy and to access it, understand it (currently in a limited way) and increase it. Hence why the seven-fold way deals with sorcery, for sorcery is understood as a means to access, and to presence, such acausal energy in ourselves, and in the causal.

The septenary anados is also described, in Naos, in modern terms, and as a practical esoteric art capable of leading a person toward Adeptship (the fourth of the seven stages) and then to immortality, with this anados contrasted with what usually and naturally occurs to human beings. Thus,

“In the development of an individual as an individual develops naturally (i.e. without the aid of esoteric Arts) the ‘ego’ stage lasts from youth to middle-age: there is a need to establish an outward ‘role’ (in society/clan etc.), to find a ‘mate’ and propagate and to care for the physical/material needs/pleasures.

The ‘self’ is the ‘stage’ beyond this – when there is an apprehension (often only intuitive outside of magick) of (a) the wyrd of the individual and (b) the separate existence of other individuals as those individuals are in themselves. Put simply, (b) involves a degree of ’empathy’. In the natural state, the self may evolve in ‘middle age’ or before – and often arises as a consequence of formative experiences (e.g. experience of war; personal loss; tragedy). In the natural state (because the unconscious has not been properly experienced and integrated) there is almost always a conflict with the ‘ego’ desires/pressures so that the insight, given by the self, is sometimes lost by the individual who returns to an ‘ego’ existence.

The ‘wisdom’ of ‘old age’ is the gradual resolution of this conflict in favour of the self. In the past, the striving of an individual psyche for self-hood was often represented by myths and legends. Another term for ‘self-hood’ (the living of the role of the self- where the perception of ‘Time’ differs from that of the ‘ego’) is ‘individuation’. Esoterically, self- hood/individuation is Adeptship – but Adeptship implies much more than ‘individuation . It implies a conscious, rational understanding of one’s self and that of others as well as skill/mastery of esoteric Arts and techniques. It also implies a ‘cosmic Aeonic perspective’ to the Wyrd and the self. Individuation may be seen as a natural stage, achieved by the natural process of living (for some, at least) whereas Adeptship is a goal attained by following an esoteric Way; that is, which results from Initiation into the mysteries. As such, Adeptship contains individuation, but is greater than it.

Also, individuation is itself only a stage: there are stages beyond even this: it is not the end of personal development […] Beyond, lies the ordeal of the Abyss and the birth of the Master/Mistress – beyond them lies Immortality. Expressed simply, the ‘ego’ has no perception of acausal ‘time’ – but is unconsciously affected by acausal energies; the ‘self has some perception of acausal ‘time’ and is less affected by acausal energies. The Adept has learnt to control the personal acausal energies of the psyche (external/internal magick) – there still remains, however, ‘Aeonic’ energies which affect even the self. Control/mastery of these takes the individual beyond the Abyss.”

In effect, this is a similar but clearer, more complete, and perhaps a more precise, version of the mystical description Pœmandres gives in the quotation above about the mortal hastening “through the harmonious structure” and ‘offering up’ various things along the way.

While the seven-fold way is clearly a modern anados which enshrines the ancient hermetic and rather mystical tradition of an individual seeking to attain immorality, it is also, and importantly, different. For it is a practical and a decidedly occult anados, a means of individual transformation and learning, involving as it does the use of sorcery; ordeals such as the grade ritual of internal adept where the candidate has to live alone in wilderness isolation for around three months; and a guided – an initiatory – exploration of the supernatural realms (or archetypal realms, depending on one’s perspective) part of which involves working with Tarot images and evoking ‘supernatural’ (or archetypal) forms termed ‘the dark gods’. There is therefore, as a study of Naos makes clear, a melding of ancient traditions – occult, alchemical, hermetic, mystical – with newer esoteric, occult, techniques such as The Star Game and Esoteric Chant.

Arabic And Alchemical Influences

One of the most fascinating, as well as one of most important if neglected, aspects of the seven-fold way is the representation of the anados – and the whole septenary system – by The Star Game, which has 27 pieces spread over 7 boards and 126 squares in the simple version, and, in the advanced version, 45 pieces per player over 308 squares and 7 main boards.

In contrast to the ancient, Hellenic, and pre-Hellenic, traditions – and the septenary ‘tree of wyrd’ – the seven boards are not named after the seven classical planets {13} but are given the names of stars: Naos, Deneb, Rigel, Mira, Antares, Arcturus, and Sirius. Which might explain why the title Naos was given to the first of the O9A’s guides to their seven-fold way, as Naos is the last stage, that of Immortal {14}.

As described in Naos,

“The Star Game contains, in its symbolism and techniques, all the esoteric wisdom of alchemy, magick and the Occult.”

It also, in its pieces and their permutations and moves, is a representation of what the O9A mean by the term ‘nine angles’ that is, of the nine combinations of the three fundamental alchemical substances (salt, sulphur, mercury), and which nine combinations are the essence of the nexion we are between causal and acausal. As such, they re-present the various elements of acausal energy in the causal, as well as being a symbology used to describe such things as Jungian ‘personality types’, archetypes, and the seven fundamental, Earth-bound Aeons and the subsequent two ‘cosmic aeons’.

1-5_1

The inspiration for these nine alchemical combinations or nine emanations (and their causal/acausal permutations) was, according to Anton Long, an ancient Arabic manuscript, of a few folios, he read in Persia while travelling and studying in the Middle East and Asia in 1971, and to which MS some scribe had added some scholia and the title Al-Kitab Al-Alfak (which translates as The Book of The Spheres), for in ancient Muslim alchemy, cosmology, and cosmogony, there are nine cosmic spheres, or ‘supernatural’, realms.

The most distant of these spheres or realms is falak al-aflak, the ‘primary of the spheres’. Below this (and thus nearer to us) is al-kawakib al-thabitah {15}, the realm of the heavenly fixed stars. Next is Zuhal, the sphere of Saturn. Then there is Mushtari, the sphere of Jupiter, followed by Marikh (Mars); Shams (the Sun); Zuhrah (Venus); Utarid (Mercury); and finally Qamar, the sphere of the Moon.

It seems possible, therefore, that this Arabic schemata – of seven named planetary spheres, and of falak al-aflak and al-kawakib al-thabitah – may have been directly or indirectly inspired by Hellenic Greek texts such as Pymander section of the Corpus Hermeticum, or it may link directly to an earlier Persian (or possibly Indic) tradition which itself directly or indirectly inspired later Hellenic texts such as the Corpus Hermeticism {16}

The Complete Seven-Fold Way

As the title of Naos states, it is a practical guide to modern sorcery – the emphasis being on sorcery – and as such deals only in part with the seven-fold way of the O9A. The complete system of occult training – the practical anados – that is the seven-fold way of the O9A, up to and including Internal Adept, is described in great detail in the 981 page text The Requisite ONA {17}. This training involves difficult and testing techniques and experiences, some of which are unique to the O9A, and includes such things as (i) Insight Roles, (ii) physical challenges, and (iii) finding a companion and, with them, forming and running a practising occult group (a Temple, or nexion) dedicated to performing ceremonial sinister/satanic rituals of the kind described in the O9A’s Black Book of Satan. Insight Roles, for example, require the O9A initiate to adopt a way of life, or a particular occupation, that is the opposite of their current life-style or occupation, and, as explained in the ‘Introduction To Insight Roles’ section of The Requisite ONA, an Insight Role

“must last a minimum of one year (that is, in this instance for one particular and specific alchemical season) – [and] should be chosen so that the task undertaken is in most ways the opposite of the character of the Initiate. The Initiate is expected to be honest in assessing their own character, as they are expected to find a suitable Insight Rôle for themselves, either a personal Insight Rôle, or an Aeonic one, and this assessment and this finding are esoterically worthwhile tasks in themselves.”

The intention of such techniques, challenges, and experiences, is to provide the candidate with structured, formative, life-changing, experiences – to harshly test them, to begin the process that fundamentally changes (and evolves) their character, developes a self-knowing and certain esoteric abilities and skills, moves them toward individuation, or which destroys/defeats them and thus reveals them as unsuitable – physically, mentally, and in occult terms – for the O9A.

As explained in The Requisite ONA in relation to the beginning stages of the seven-fold way:

“Sinister Initiation is the awakening of the darker/sinister/unconscious aspects of the psyche, and of the inner (often repressed) and latent personality/character of the Initiate. It is also a personal commitment, by the Initiate, to the path of dark sorcery. The dark, or sinister, energies which are used/unleashed are symbolized by the symbols/forms of the Septenary System, and these symbols are used in the workings with the septenary spheres and pathways. These magickal workings provide a controlled, ritualized, or willed, experience of these dark energies or ‘forces’ – and this practical experience begins the process of objectifying and understanding such energies, and thus these aspects of the psyche/personality of the Initiate. The Star Game takes this process of objectification further, enabling a complete and rational understanding – divorced from conventional ‘moral opposites’.

The physical goal which an Initiate must achieve developes personal qualities such as determination, self-discipline, élan. It enhances the vitality of the Initiate, and balances the inner magickal work. The seeking and finding of a magickal companion begins the confrontation/understanding of the anima/animus (the female/male archetypes which exist in the psyche and beyond) in a practical way, and so increases self-understanding via direct experience. It also enables further magickal work to be done, of a necessary type.

An Insight Role developes real sinister character in the individual; it is a severe test of the resolve, Sinister commitment and personality of the Initiate. The Grade Ritual which completes the stage of Initiation (and which leads to the next stage) is a magickal act of synthesis.

The tasks of an External Adept develope both magickal and personal experience, and from these a real, abiding, sinister character is formed in the individual. This character, and the understanding and skills which go with it, are the essential foundations of the next stage, that of the Internal Adept.

The Temple enables various character roles to be directly assumed, and further developes the magickal skills, and magickal understanding, an Adept must possess. Particularly important here is skill in, and understanding of, ceremonial magick. Without this skill and understanding, Aeonic magick is not possible. The Temple also completes the experiencing of confronting, and integrating, the anima/animus.

From the many and diverse controlled and willed experiences, a genuine self-learning arises: the beginnings of the process of ‘individuation’, of esoteric Adeptship.”

The Rite Of The Abyss and Beyond

While The Requisite ONA is a guide to the seven-fold way of the O9A up to and including the stage of Internal Adept, the next stage beyond The Abyss is dealt with in their text Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion {18}, which contains details of the traditional (the Camlad) Rite of The Abyss with its month-long subterranean ordeal. The last mortal stage of the way is described in the O9A text that is simply entitled ‘Grade Ritual of GrandMaster/GrandMistress’ {19}.

As described in Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion,

“The Sinister Abyssal Nexion is the esoteric term for what is more commonly (exoterically) known as The Abyss. In the Seven Fold Way of the Order of Nine Angles, The Abyss is described as separating the fourth and the fifth spheres of the Tree of Wyrd (ToW) – that is, separating the Grade of Internal Adept from the Grade of Master/LadyMaster. Furthermore, the Abyss represents the place(s) where the causal merges into the acausal, and thus where the causal is or can be “transcended”, so the individual can, if prepared, enter the realm of acausality and become familiar – sans a self – with acausal entities. Thus, The Abyss is a nexion to the acausal; a nexus of temporal, a-temporal, and spatial and a-spatial, dimensions […]

The Rite of The Abyss exists in two forms, one dating from the formation of the ONA some forty years ago [described in Naos], and the other, more traditional [more dangerous] one […]

The traditional Rite is quite simple and begins at the first full moon following the beginning of a propitious alchemical season – in the Isles of Britain this was traditionally the first rising of Arcturus in the Autumn. The Rite, if successful, concludes on the night of the following full moon.

The Rite as given in Naos requires a quartz tetrahedron. While three inch crystals – as mentioned in Naos – may work, to ensure success (in this Rite as in others using a quartz tetrahedron), the crystal has to be a perfect tetrahedron (no bevelled edges) and free from blemish, external and internal – with a height of six inches or more. Such crystals are rare, and costly, and often have to be custom made by someone skilled in cutting gemstones. In addition, although it is not stated in Naos, the chanting of the word ‘Chaos’ [ka-Os] in the ONA Rite of Entering The Abyss is according to the notation of the Atazoth chant [illustrated] above. Given the skill the aspirant candidate will have acquired in Esoteric Chant, they will know how to do this according to that notation.”

Thus the compilation The Requisite ONA together with the text Enantiodromia: The Sinister Abyssal Nexion, and the elsewhere published Grade Ritual of GrandMaster/GrandMistress, are all that an individual requires in order to follow the seven-fold way from its beginning to its mortal ending.


Conclusion: The O9A In Esoteric Perspective

In modern occultism, the seven-fold way, when correctly understood, stands in a class of its own, with the seven-fold way – the quest for immortality in an acausal realm – being a modern emanation of, or a direct ancestral continuation of, traditions (mystical and otherwise) that are thousands of years old.

The influence, or inspiration, of ancient mystical traditions is clearly evident in the O9A’s seven-fold way, whether these are direct – in the case of the Hellenic Pymander text and of early Arabic alchemy and cosmogony – or indirect, as in the case of the Hellenic and the Arabic traditions being themselves related to, or a continuation of, earlier Persian or Indic mystical traditions.

What is also clear is that the septenary tradition of the O9A – driving from Hellenic, Arabic, or Persian and Indic, sources – is (i) quite distinct from the much later, much vaunted, much written about, Kabbalah based system of modern Western occultism (which the O9A have always claimed is a distortion of the genuine, ancient, tradition), and (ii) a modern, practical, and a decidedly occult, anados that (in contradistinction to all modern occult groups) uses the technique of practical ordeals such as the basic (c. three month) wilderness living – or the extended (c. six months) wilderness living – of the grade ritual of Internal Adept, and the (lunar) month-long subterranean dwelling of the Camlad Rite of The Abyss, and which ordeals are themselves modern versions of ancient esoteric techniques designed to test the candidate and cultivate both self, and esoteric, understanding.

In esoteric perspective, the O9A’s seven-fold way is a modern, elitist, and difficult and dangerous, anados which enshrines the ancient Hermetic, the occult, and the alchemical, tradition of an individual seeking to attain immorality by practical means; which, in the seven-fold way, is via ‘internal sorcery’: the transformation of the individual through an exploration of the supernatural (or archetypal) realms and by ordeals such as the grade ritual of internal adept.

R. Parker
January 2014

Notes

{1} Connell Monette. Mysticism in the 21st Century. Sirius Academic Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1940964003

{2} Senholt, Jacob. Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition, in Per Faxneld & Jesper Petersen (eds), The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity. Oxford University Press, 2012, p.253

{3} David Myatt. Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander de potestate et sapientia dei. 2013. ISBN 978-1491249543

Myatt’s translation and commentary is also freely available in pdf format; for example, here – Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander.

{4} My review of Myatt’s translation, published in 2013, is reproduced in full in Appendix 2.

{5} Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, translation, section 3. All the quotations from the Pymander text given here are taken from Myatt’s translation.

As Myatt notes in his commentary on this passage, in reference to theos:

“Does θεός here [γνῶναι τὸν θεόν] mean God, a god, a deity, or the god? God, the supreme creator Being, the only real god, the father, as in Christianity? A deity, as in Hellenic and classical paganism? The god, as in an un-named deity – a god – who is above all other deities? Or possibly all of these? And if all, in equal measure, or otherwise?

The discourse of Pœmandres, as recounted in the tractate, suggests two things. First, that all are meant or suggested – for example, Τὸ φῶς ἐκεῖνο͵ ἔφη͵ ἐγὼ νοῦς ὁ σὸς θεός could be said of Pœmandres as a god, as a deity, as the god, and also possibly of God, although why God, the Father – as described in the Old and New Testaments – would call Himself Pœmandres, appear in such a vision, and declare what He declares about θεός being both male and female in one person, is interesting. Second, that the knowledge that is revealed is of a source, of a being, that encompasses, and explains, all three, and that it is this knowing of such a source, beyond those three conventional ones, that is the key to ‘what is real’ and to apprehending ‘the physis of beings’. Hence, it is better to transliterate θεός – or leave it as θεός – than to use god; and a mistake to use God, as some older translations do.”

[6} Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, translation, section 15.

[7} Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, commentary on section 24.

[8} Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, translation, section 24-25.

[9} Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, translation, section 28.

[10} In his commentary, Myatt quotes the Somnium Scipionis as described by Cicero, and gives his own translation of the Latin:

Novem tibi orbibus vel potius globis conexa sunt omnia, quorum unus est caelestis, extimus, qui reliquos omnes complectitur, summus ipse deus arcens et continens ceteros; in quo sunt infixi illi, qui volvuntur, stellarum cursus sempiterni. Cui subiecti sunt septem, qui versantur retro contrario motu atque caelum. Ex quibus summum globum possidet illa, quam in terris Saturniam nominant. Deinde est hominum generi prosperus et salutaris ille fulgor, qui dicitur Iovis; tum rutilus horribilisque terris, quem Martium dicitis; deinde subter mediam fere regionem Sol obtinet, dux et princeps et moderator luminum reliquorum, mens mundi et temperatio, tanta magnitudine, ut cuncta sua luce lustret et compleat. Hunc ut comites consequuntur Veneris alter, alter Mercurii cursus, in infimoque orbe Luna radiis solis accensa convertitur. Infra autem iam nihil est nisi mortale et caducum praeter animos munere deorum hominum generi datos; supra Lunam sunt aeterna omnia. Nam ea, quae est media et nona, Tellus, neque movetur et infima est, et in eam feruntur omnia nutu suo pondera. [De Re Publica, Book VI, 17]

Nine orbs – more correctly, spheres – connect the whole cosmic order, of which one – beyond the others but enfolding them – is where the uppermost deity dwells, enclosing and containing all. There – embedded – are the constant stars with their sempiternal movement, while below are seven spheres whose cyclicity is different, and one of which is the sphere given the name on Earth of Saturn […]

[11} An outline of this axiomatic theory is given in Appendix 3.

{12} The term ‘presencing’ is, so far as I know, uniquely used by the O9A (that is, by Anton Long) in modern occult discourses, and derives from obscure medieval and renaissance MSS and books dealing with alchemy and demonology. For example, in the 1641 work by the classical Greek and Hebrew scholar Joseph Mede entitled The Apostasy of The Latter Times. Or, The Gentiles Theology of Dæmons, where the phrase “the approaching or presencing of Dæmons” occurs.

[13} As Myatt notes in his Pymander commentary, “the seven classical planetary bodies, named Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn, [are] well-described in ancient texts, from ancient Persia onwards. Copenhaver [Hermetica, The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p.105] refers to some of the scholarly literature regarding these seven.”

[14} In origin, naos is an ancient Greek word. In his 2013 article Fifty Years Of Diverse Peregrinations, Myatt quotes Pausanius and gives his own translation of that portion of the Greek text which mentions ναός in connection with άγνωστος θεός (agnostos theos) the un-named, the unknown, god or gods:

ἐνταῦθα καὶ Σκιράδος Ἀθηνᾶς ναός ἐστι καὶ Διὸς ἀπωτέρω, βωμοὶ δὲ θεῶν τε ὀνομαζομένων Ἀγνώστων καὶ ἡρώων καὶ παίδων τῶν Θησέως καὶ Φαληροῦ [Pausanius, Ἑλλάδος περιήγησις 1.1.4]

Also here is a shrine [ ναός ] to Athena Skirados and, further afield, one to Zeus, and others to [the] un-named unknown gods, to the heroes, as well as to those children of Theseus and Phalerus

In O9A mythos, the star named Naos is in proximity to one of the physical nexions that are said to exist in our causal space-time, and through which passage to and from the acausal is possible. According to O9A aural tradition, such physical nexions have allowed some of ‘the dark gods’ to come forth, in the past, into our reality. Hence, so the story goes, the myths and legends about dragons and ‘demons’.

{15} In respect of al-kawakib al-thabitah, see, for example, the Arabic manuscript Kitab Suwar al-kawakib al-thabitah (c.1010 AD) in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Marsh collection, 144).

{16} For references to a septenary type system in ancient Persian texts, see Reitzenstein and Schaeder: Studien zum antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland, (Studien der Bibliothek Warburg), Teubner, Leipzig, 1926.

{17} The Requisite ONA (pdf, 49 Mb) includes a comprehensive guide to the seven fold way, ceremonial sorcery, and Insight Roles; a copy of the Black Book of Satan; a facsimile version of the original 1980s Naos; plus The Grimoire of Baphomet and the four works of occult fiction that form the instructional Deofel Quartet.

The cautionary O9A note regarding later versions of Naos is still valid:

The genuine facsimile copies of the 1980s text in pdf format are c. 45 Megabytes in size, and contain: (1) the handwritten words Aperiatur Terra Et Germinet Atazoth on the first page, and the handwritten word Brekekk (followed by an out-of-date address) on the last page; (2) a typewritten table of contents on page 3 which includes – in the following order – Part One, Part Two, Appendix, Part Three Esoteric MSS; (3) a distinct facsimile image of the spiral binding on the left hand side of every page until p.70. In addition, genuine copies of the original MSS include facsimile images of hand-drawn diagrams, including the advanced Star Game, and The Wheel of Life.

{18} Enantiodromia – The Sinister Abyssal Nexion (pdf, Second Edition 2013 ev)

{19} The text of this rite is given in full in Appendix 1.


Article source: http://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/seven-fold-way/


clytemnestra_kills_cassandra-red_figure-vase

Two new printed versions of translations by David Myatt from the ancient Greek are now available.

It should be noted that the Homer – as are all Myatt’s recently published works with exception of the Heraclitus and the Poemandres – are in a non-standard, large, book size of 215.9 mm x 279.4 mm (8.5″ x 11″). Although this oversize format does make the book easy to both hold and read, due to the wide margins and large clear typeface, it is idiosyncratic, and makes the books eccentrically distinct from most other modern printed books found in bookshops.

The recently published translations are:

Heraclitus – Some Translations and Notes  ISBN-13: 978-1495461279

Homer – The Odyssey: Books 1, 2 & 3 ISBN-13: 978-1495402227

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The complete list of his Greek translations currently in print is:

The Agamemnon of Aeschylus

ISBN-13: 978-1484128220

Sophocles – Oedipus Tyrannus

ISBN-13: 978-1484132104

Sophocles – Antigone

ISBN-13: 978-1484132067

Poemandres

ISBN-13: 978-1495470684

Heraclitus – Some Translations and Notes

ISBN-13: 978-1495461279

Homer – The Odyssey: Books 1, 2 & 3

ISBN-13: 978-1495402227


Image credit: Klytemnestra Kills Cassandra. Red figure vase, c 430 BCE