So Much Remorse

David Myatt

°°°°°°°°°

So Much Remorse
(Extract from a letter to a friend)

So much remorse, grief, and sorrow, within me for the unwise suffering-causing deeds of my past. Yet all I have in recompense for decades of strife, violence, selfishness, hate, are tears, the cries, alone – and words, lifeless words, such as this; words, to – perhaps, hopefully – forewarn forswear so that others, some few, hearing, reading, may possibly avoid, learn from, the errors that marked, made, and were, my hubris.

Such an elixir of extremism [1] which I, with paens born of deluded destiny, refined, distilled, made and – like some medieval fake apothecary – saught to peddle as cure for ailments that never did exist.

Then her – Francine’s – death that day late May such that for so long a time such feelings of remorse, grief, and sorrow, overwhelmed so that Sleep when he deigned to arrive arrived to take me only fitfully, slowly, back to Night and usually only after I, in darkness, lay to listen to such music as so recalled another aetheral, beautiful, older, world untainted by the likes of me; a world recalled, made manifest, to me in the sacred music of Josquin Desprez, Dunstable, Tallis, William Byrd, Tomás Luis de Victoria…

Such a longing then in those lengthy days longer nights to believe, to reclaim the faith – Christe Redemptor Omnium – of decades past to then presence, within, a sanctified expiation that might could remove that oppressive if needed burden. Of remorse, grief, sorrow, guilt. But was it only pride – stubborn pride – that bade me resist? Or some feeling of failures, before? Some memory primordial, pagan perhaps, of how why Night – She, subduer of gods, men [2] – alone by Herself brought forth day from dark and caused us all to sleep to dream to somewhere and of necessity to die? I do not know, I do not know that why.

For there was then only interior strife until such time as such longing for such faith slowly ceased; no words in explanation, expiation. Ceased, to leave only the pain of a life mis-spent, left in memories of tears that lasted years. No prayer, no invocations; not even any propitiation to redeem, protect, to save. Only, and now, the minutes passing to hours to days as Sun – greeting, rising, descending, departed – passes from to return to the dark only to be born again anew; each newness unique, when seen.

I have no excuses; the failure of decades was mine. A failure of compassion, empathy, honour. A failure as a human being. There are no excuses for my past, for deeds such as mine. No excuses for selfishness, for a hubris of personal emotion. No excuse for deceit, deception, lies. No excuse for extremism, for racism, for the politics, the religion, of hate. For the simple truth – if so lately-discovered by me – is that the giver the bringer the genesis of Life is Love.

Awed by her brightness
Stars near the beautiful Moon
Cover their own shining faces
When She lights earth
With her silver brilliance
Of love… [3]

David Myatt
February 2012

°°°

Some Notes (Post Scriptum)

[1] It might be useful to explain how I, in the light of my forty years practical experience of and involvement with extremism, understand terms such as extremism. By extreme I mean to be harsh, so that an extremist is a person who tends toward harshness, or who is harsh, or who supports/incites harshness, in pursuit of some objective, usually of a political or a religious nature. Here, harsh is: rough, severe, a tendency to be unfeeling, unempathic. Thus extremism is considered to be: (i) the result of such harshness, and (ii) the principles, the causes, the characteristics, that promote, incite, or describe the harsh action of extremists. In simple terms, an extremist is someone who lacks empathy, compassion, reason, and honour.

Racism is one example of extremism, with racism being a prejudice and antagonism toward people regarded as belonging to another ‘race’, as well as the immoral belief that some ‘races’ are better than or superior to others, and that what is termed ‘race’ defines and explains, or can define and explain, the behaviour and the character of the people considered to belong to some postulated ‘race’.

[2] Homer, Iliad xiv, 259 – εἰ μὴ Νὺξ δμήτειρα θεῶν ἐσάωσε καὶ ἀνδρῶν

[3] My translation. Sappho, Fragment 34 [Lobel and Page] –

Ἄστερες μὲν ἀμφὶ κάλαν σελάνναν
ἂψ ἀπυκρύπτοισι φάεννον εἶδος,
ὄπποτα πλήθοισα μάλιστα λάμπῃ
γᾶν [ἐπὶ πᾶσαν]
[…] ἀργυρία […]

°°°°°°°


Article source:
https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/so-much-remorse/


The Supra-Personal

the-green-damask-room1

°°°°°°°°°

Editorial Note: We republish here an interesting and an informative internet “blog” post about David Myatt from someone who has divined the essence of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos and who in another post – reviewing the new book Feond – appreciates the “symmetry here between Myatt’s metaphysics – as manifest in his recent pagan monographs Tu Es Diaboli Ianua and Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos – and the esotericism and praxis of the essentially pagan O9A.”

°°°°°°°°°

The Supra-Personal

“Empathy and pathei-mathos, however, wordlessly – sans denotatum, sans abstractions, sans a dialectic of contradictory opposites – uncover physis: our physis, that of other mortals, that of other living beings, and that of Being/Reality itself. Which physis, howsoever presenced – in ourselves, in other living beings, in Being – is fluxive, a balance between the being that it now is, that it was, and that it has the inherent (the acausal) quality to be.

This uncovering, such a revealing, is of a knowing beyond ipseity and thus beyond the separation-of-otherness which denotatum, abstractions, and a dialectic of opposites manufacture and presence. A knowing of ourselves as an affective connexion to other living beings and to Being itself, with Being revealed as fluxive (as a meson – μέσον – with the potentiality to change, to develope) and thus which (i) is not – as in the theology of revealed religions such as Christianity and Islam – a God who is Eternal, Unchanging, Omnipotent, and (ii) is affected or can be affected (in terms of physis) by what we do or do not do.

This awareness, this knowing, of such an affective connexion – our past, our current, our potentiality, to adversely affect, to have adversely affected, to cause, to having caused, suffering or harm to other living beings – also inclines us or can incline us toward benignity and humility, and thus incline us to live in a non-suffering causing way, appreciate of our thousands of years old culture of pathei-mathos.” David Myatt, Physis And Being, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Pathei Mathos.

My thoughts have been occupied lately by what should be the driving purposes of a being and if there should be any, apart from the ones outlined in the ‘Philosophy of Pathei Mathos’ which, interestingly, are not activities but rather, a collection of virtues to embrace.

The Supra-personal is – like many in the philosophy of pathei-mathos & the Order of Nine Angles – a concept against concepts. What I mean by that is that it tends to outline why certain human creations (abstractions, categories, labels, isms), are detrimental to our existence and our experience of life. The entire analytical philosophy does just that since it outlines the limitations of language to further show the weaknesses of philosophy as an activity of the mind rather than a direct ladder to some sort of truth.

Since abstractions, categories, ideologies & concepts have an obvious influence on how we live, anything supra-personal is by default related to the activities it depends upon. A good example of this would be a fervent political Marxist. The ideology he follows requires him to live according to a specific set of rules or beliefs which will in turn, lead him to act and participate a certain way in society.

What is offered by the Philosophy of pathei mathos (Numinous Way) & ultimately, the Order of Nine Angles after years of experiences, is a detachment from abstractions & fallacious opposites. This in turn, leads the practitioner to abandon certain activities since the illusionary barriers have been shattered. For example, the separation of otherness becomes so apparent to anyone involved in politics that the entire spectrum of activities associated to politics becomes much less appealing.

David Myatt’s philosophy is fascinating because it is an invitation towards humility, simplicity, dignity, fairness, kindness, empathy, compassion and silence. It is the end of ways, the end of any form of activities that could be harmful to other beings, be they human or animal in nature. It is about balance (Wu-Wei) and about not upsetting the cosmic fluxion and unity that permeates everything.

Interestingly, after many years of studies and practical experiences, the physis of my being changed drastically and I realized that all these things I used to cherish were empty of any importance: A Nietzschean world-view, the dualistic nature of good & evil, the desire for an absolute ideology that I could espouse for my entire life, the appeal of certain political parties, the desire for a solely sinister approach to spirituality (…)

The beautiful, mystical and ultimately tragic journey of David Myatt resonated so much with what I was inwardly discovering through my esoteric practices and my studies. Finally, after a long while, something simply changed and altered itself forever. Rituals became less and less frequent, meditation was pushed aside for months and the time wasted studying vain ideologies and conceptual avenues was spent instead living moments of immense beauty with friends, family and the love of my life. I became aware that the time you spend convincing yourself how life should be, how society should be, how spirituality should be, you simply fail to be ‘there’. You are somewhere else, inside yourself, hoping you could change everything and exchange it all for YOUR very own and personal limited perspective. Most people act upon these thoughts which invariably results in the separation of otherness, the upsetting of the natural fluxion and the lack of empathy so prevalent nowadays.

I humbly think that the ultimate conclusion one can ascend to in regard to their physis, their spiritual journey, is that we are microscopic beings in an infinite universe and we are hopelessly unaware of the mechanisms of creation or the meaning of existence. We are fallible beings with a very limited set of tools that barely allow us to function in a causal realm we understand very little about. We should stop taking ourselves so seriously, stop fantasizing that there is a superior motive to our existence and stop ‘building’ conceptual castles filled with abstractions to entertain ourselves through this oh so short life that we are gifted with.

Nothing is more spiritual, nothing is more valuable and nothing is more ritualistic than a life lived in conscience of Wu-Wei, surrounded by loved ones, without a second wasted in the labyrinths of the mind.

Love, Compassion, Tolerance, Fairness, Honor, Kindness, Empathy, Friendship… Yes, they are concepts but the heart knows about them much better than the mind does. For the mind can only understand them by applying them to a paradigm and human paradigms do not work when it comes to the wordless because they are dependant on language to be grasped somewhat efficiently by the mind. Love is not love as it is defined by a dictionary, it is something beyond us that we attempted to describe as best as we could with our very limited means of perception and communication. Definitions do not make you a better person, what you do in accordance to what you feel in the immediacy of the moment does. You can choose to be empathetical, even if you do not really understand how empathy functions. You can choose to abandon yourself entirely to this mysterious and powerful process that we call ‘love’ even if you do not know what it truly is. It does not make it any less Magical.

“In my admittedly fallible view, one of our many human problems – one of the great problems of our modern ways of life – is that there is too much noise, especially the noise of and from words, spoken, read and thought. Far far too many words spoken; far too much speaking, too little silent, interior, reflexion, especially among the natural peace of Nature where we can sense and know again in our stillness the acausal Time of the Cosmos.

For wisdom is not to be found in speeches, in political or social manifestos, tracts or books; nor in some political, religious, or social, theory or dogma. And especially not in some abstraction, some ideal.

Rather, wisdom is there to be discovered, within ourselves; others can only gently point or guide us toward this self-discovery, toward the necessary interior, quiet, reflexion – perhaps through some work of Art, or some sublime piece of music, some poignant literature; perhaps some poem; or perhaps by some noble deed done or some selfless personal love that needs no words to speak or advertise its wordless name.” David Myatt, The Love That Needs No Words.

Beldam, 2019

°°°°°°°

Source: https://acausality.wordpress.com

°°°°°°°°°


Image credit: The Green Damask Room. A Painting by Richard Moult.


Extremism And Reformation

David Myatt

°°°°°°°

In line with the ‘open source’ policy of providing both gratis digital (pdf) documents and, where feasible, printed books for those who prefer hardcopies, a printed (paperback) version of the third edition of Extremism And Reformation has now been published, priced UK £ 5.70, US$ 7.00.

David Myatt, Extremism And Reformation, 2019,
79 pages, ISBN 978-1691707423

While currently available, as are his other books, from a large on-line bookseller it is also available for US customers through the “Indiebound” network of local bookstores.

Contents
° Preface
° A Premature Grieving
° A Perplexing Failure To Understand
° Concerning The Abstractions of Extremism and Race
° Some Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate
Part One: According to the Philosophy of The Numinous Way
Part Two: A Personal Perspective – My Uncertitude of Knowing
° Some Philosophical and Moral Problems of National-Socialism
° Suffering And The Human Culture Of Pathei-Mathos
° Persecution And War
° The Matter With Death
° Appendix I: Physis And Being
° Appendix II: Pathei-Mathos: Genesis of My Unknowing
° Appendix III: A Matter Of Honour

°°°°°

Gratis Open Access Digital Version:

Extremism And Reformation
(pdf)

°°°°°°°


Myatt: Analyzing National Socialism

David Myatt

°°°°°°°

Analyzing National Socialism
(pdf)

Contents

° Preface
° Some Philosophical and Moral Problems of National-Socialism
° Hitler, National-Socialism, and Politics: A Personal Reappraisal

°°°°°°°

As Myatt states in the Preface,

{quote}

Republished here are two essays – both written in January 2012 and respectively titled Some Philosophical and Moral Problems of National-Socialism and Hitler, National-Socialism, and Politics: A Personal Reappraisal – whose genesis was the development and the refinement of my earlier ‘numinous way’ into the philosophy of pathei-mathos.

The essays, although now somewhat dated, are republished because they may have some relevance for those interested in my rejection of extremism, and because the writing of the two essays enabled me to express the thoughts and feelings about the particular extremism named National Socialism engendered by the insights of that ‘numinous way’.

As I noted in Some Questions For DWM 2014,

“My writings, post-2011, were and are really dialogues: interiorly with myself and externally with a few friends or the occasional person who has contacted me and expressed an interest.”

In addition, as I wrote in Letter To My Undiscovered Self, published in 2012,

“That it took me four decades, and the tragic death of two loved ones, to discover [such] simple truths surely reveals something about the person I was and about the extremisms I championed and fought for. Now, I – with Sappho – not only say that,

I love delicate softness:
For me, love has brought the brightness
And the beauty of the Sun….

but also that a personal, mutual, love between two human beings is the most beautiful, the most sacred, the most important, the most human, thing in the world; and that the peace that most of us hope for, desire in our hearts, only requires us to be, to become, loving, kind, fair, empathic, compassionate, human beings.”

{/quote}

°°°°°°°


Article source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/analysing-national-socialism/


Myatt: Extremism And Reformation

David Myatt

°°°°°

Contents

° Preface
° A Premature Grieving
° Concerning The Abstractions of Extremism and Race
° Some Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate
        Part One: According to the Philosophy of The Numinous Way
        Part Two: A Personal Perspective – My Uncertitude of Knowing
° Some Philosophical and Moral Problems of National-Socialism
° Suffering And The Human Culture Of Pathei-Mathos
° Persecution And War
° The Matter With Death
° Appendix I: Physis And Being
° Appendix II: Pathei-Mathos: Genesis of My Unknowing
° Appendix III: A Matter Of Honour

°°°

Extremism And Reformation
(pdf)

°°°°°

From the Preface,

The genesis of the compilation of essays was, as mentioned in the included essay A Premature Grieving, the publication in 2019, by a political advocacy group, of various unsubstantiated allegations and disinformation about me and the subsequent repetition of such allegations and disinformation by some mainstream newspapers and media outlets.

The unsubstantiated allegations and the disinformation concerned my supposed continuing involvement with extremism, specifically neo-nazism; it being apparent that neither the political advocacy group nor the newspapers and media which repeated the allegations and the disinformation had bothered to read my extensive post-2011 writings about rejecting extremism and about seeking expiation for my decades-long extremist past.

This compilation of essays is my reply to those unsubstantiated allegations and disinformation.

°°°°°°°


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/extremism-and-reformation/


Absque Vita Tali

David Myatt

°°°°°°°

Absque Vita Tali,
Verbum Quoad Litteram Est Mortuum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Myatt
December 2011

°°°

[1] Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 79-82:

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

°°°°°

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

°°°°°°°


Numinous Expiation

David Myatt

°°°

Editorial Note: We reproduce here an essay written by David Myatt in 2012 in which he asks an interesting metaphysical question relevant to those who perhaps from pathei mathos have regretted their past deeds but who are not conventionally religious. A question certainly relevant to Myatt’s own life following his apostasy from Islam, his rejection of his extremist past, and his subsequent development of his ‘numinous way’.

Myatt’s answer to the question reveals several things. First, his erudition. Second, how it refreshingly takes us far away from the personal and impersonal demands and intrusions of our temporal material and often egotistical modern world to the world of the mystic and the philosopher where questions about hubris and humility are more important than what this or that politician or government are saying or doing or planning to do. As such the essay echoes truths about our human nature which people such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Christopher Marlow, and many others sought to convey millennia after millennia.

The essay was later included in Myatt’s book Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos: Essays and Letters Regarding Spirituality, Humility, and A Learning From Grief, available both as a printed book – ISBN 978-1484097984 – and as a gratis open access document here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/religion-and-empathy.pdf

It should be noted that Myatt uses some Greek terms such as σωφρονεῖν in an unusual and idiosyncratic way. As new Anglicized terms, which in respect of σωφρονεῖν he explained in his technical note at https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/concerning-σωφρονεῖν.

°°°°°°°

Numinous Expiation

One of the many problems regarding both The Numinous Way and my own past which troubles me – and has troubled me for a while – is how can a person make reparation for suffering caused, inflicted, and/or dishonourable deeds done. For, in the person of empathy, of compassion, of honour, a knowledge and understanding of dishonour done, of the suffering one has caused – perhaps before one became such a person of compassion, honour, and empathy – is almost invariably the genesis of strong personal feelings such as remorse, grief, and sorrow. The type of strong feelings that Christopher Marlowe has Iarbus, King of Gaetulia, voice at the end of the play The Tragedie of Dido Queene of Carthage , written c.1587:

Cursed Iarbas, die to expiate
The grief that tires upon thine inward soul.

One of the many benefits of an organized theistic religion, such as Christianity or Islam or Judaism, is that mechanisms of personal expiation exist whereby such feelings can be placed in context and expiated by appeals to the supreme deity. In Judaism, there is Teshuvah culminating in Yom Kippur, the day of expiation/reconciliation. In Catholicism, there is the sacrament of confession and penance. In Islam, there is personal dua to, and reliance on, Allah Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, As-Salaam.

Even pagan religions and ways had mechanisms of personal expiation for wrong deeds done, often in the form of propitiation; the offering of a sacrifice, perhaps, or compensation by the giving or the leaving of a valuable gift or votive offering at some numinous – some sacred and venerated – place or site.

One motivation, in the case of pagan religions and ways, for a person to seek expiation is fear of wrake; fear of the retribution or of the misfortune, that – from the gods – might befall them or their descendants in this life. Similarly, for those acceptive of an all-knowing, all-seeing supreme deity – or even of the Buddhist mechanism of karma – there is also fear of wrake; fear of the punishment, the retribution, the misfortune, that might await them in the next life; or, in the case of Buddhism, the type of life that might result when next they are reborn.

As the Owl explains in the mediæval English religious allegory The Owl and the Nightingale,

ich wat þar schal beo niþ & wrake

I can see when there shall be strife and retribution [1]

All such religious mechanisms of expiation, whatever the theology and regardless of the motivation of the individual in seeking such expiation, are or can be cathartic; restorative, healing. But if there is no personal belief in either a supreme deity or in deities, how then to numinously make reparation, propitiation, and thus to not only expiate such feelings as remorse, grief, and sorrow but also and importantly offset the damage one’s wrong actions have caused, since by their very nature such suffering-causing actions are ὕβρις and not only result in harm, in people suffering, but also upset the natural balance.

In truth, I do not know the answer to the question how to so numinously make reparation, propitiation. I can only conject, surmise. One of my conjectures is enantiodromia; of the process, mentioned by Diogenes Laërtius and attributed to Heraclitus, of a wholeness arising both before and after discord and division [2]. This wholeness is the healthy, the numinous, interior, inward, and personal balance beyond the separation of beings – beyond πόλεμος and ὕβρις and thus beyond ἔρις; beyond the separation and thence the strife, the discord, which abstractions, ideations, encourage and indeed which they manufacture, bring-into-being. As Heraclitus intimated, according to another quotation attributed to him –

εἰδέναι δὲ χρὴ τὸν πόλεμον ἐόντα ξυνόν, καὶ δίκην ἔριν, καὶ γινόμενα πάντα κατ΄ ἔριν καὶ χρεώμενα [χρεών]

One should be aware that Polemos pervades, with discord δίκη, and that beings are naturally born by discord. [3]

But what, then, in practical personal terms are this wholeness and this process termed enantiodromia? To me, this wholeness is a knowing and an acceptance of both the importance of the numinous principle of Δίκα [4] and the necessity of wu-wei [5] – and a knowing which empathy can provide – and thence a desire to live life in a non-interfering manner consistent with empathy, compassion, reason, honour, and humility. And it is this very knowing, this very desire to live in such a manner, which is enantiodromia; which is cathartic, restorative, healing; with a natural humility and the cultivation and practice of reason – σωφρονεῖν, a fair and balanced judgement – being the essence of this personal process, the essence of enantiodromia.

For the human virtue of humility is essential in us for us not to repeat our errors of ὕβρις, a humility which our πάθει μάθος makes us aware of, makes us feel, know, in a very personal sense. For we are aware of, we should remember, our fallibility, our mortality, our mistakes, our errors, our wrong deeds, the suffering we have caused, the harm we have done and inflicted; how much we personally have contributed to discord, strife, sorrow.

In addition,

” …by and through humility, we do what we do not because we expect some reward, or some forgiveness, given by some supra-personal supreme Being, or have some idealized duty to such a Being or to some abstraction (such as some nation, some State) but because it is in our very nature to do an act of compassion, a deed of honour: to do something which is noble and selfless.That is, we act, not out of duty, not out of a desire for Heaven or Jannah, or enlightenment or some other “thing” we have posited – not from any emotion, desire or motive, not because some scripture or some revelation or some Buddha says we should – but because we have lost the illusion of our self-contained, personal, identity, lost our Earth-centric, human-centric, perspective, lost even the causal desire to be strive to something different, and instead just are: that is, we are just one microcosmic living mortal connexion between all life, on Earth, and in the Cosmos. For our very nature, as human beings, is a Cosmic nature – a natural part of the unfolding, of the naturally and numinously changing, Cosmos.” [6]

Thus a personal humility is the natural balance living within us; that is, we being or becoming or returning to the balance that does not give rise to ἔρις. Or, expressed simply, humility disposes us toward gentleness, toward kindness, toward love, toward peace; toward the virtues that are balance, that express our humanity.

This personal humility inclines us toward σωφρονεῖν; toward being fair, toward rational deliberation, toward a lack of haste. Toward a balanced judgement and thence toward a balanced life of humility, wu-wei, and a knowing of the wisdom of Δίκα.

There is nothing especially religious here, nor any given or necessary praxis. No techniques; no supplication to some-thing or to some posited Being. No expectation of reward, in this life or some posited next life. Only an interior personal change, an attempt to live in a certain gentle, quiet, way so as not to intentionally cause suffering, so as not to upset the natural balance of Life.

David Myatt
February 2012 ce

Notes

[1] v.1194. The text is that of the Cotton Caligula MS in the British Library as transcribed by JWH Atkins in The Owl and the Nightingale , Cambridge University Press, 1922.

[2] The quotation from Diogenes Laërtius is: πάντα δὲ γίνεσθαι καθ᾽ εἱμαρμένην καὶ διὰ τῆς ἐναντιοδρομίας ἡρμόσθαι τὰ ὄντα (ix. 7)

My translation is: All by genesis is appropriately apportioned [separated into portions] with beings bound together again by enantiodromia.

As I mentioned in my essay The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic,

I have used a transliteration of the compound Greek word – ἐναντιοδρομίας – rather than given a particular translation, since the term enantiodromia in my view suggests the uniqueness of expression of the original, and which original in my view is not adequately, and most certainly not accurately, described by a usual translation such as ‘conflict of opposites’. Rather, what is suggested is ‘confrontational contest’ – that is, by facing up to the expected/planned/inevitable contest.

Interestingly, Carl Jung – who was familiar with the sayings of Heraclitus – used the term enantiodromia to describe the emergence of a trait (of character) to offset another trait and so restore a certain psychological balance within the individual.

[3] Fragment 80 – qv. Some Notes on Πόλεμος and Δίκη in Heraclitus B80 and also The Balance of Physis – Notes on λόγος and ἀληθέα in Heraclitus.

As I noted in The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic, it is interesting that:

“in the recounted tales of Greek mythology attributed to Aesop, and in circulation at the time of Heraclitus, a personified πόλεμος (as the δαίμων of kindred strife) married a personified ὕβρις (as the δαίμων of arrogant pride) [8] and that it was a common folk belief that πόλεμος accompanied ὕβρις – that is, that Polemos followed Hubris around rather than vice versa, causing or bringing ἔρις.”

[4] In respect of the numinous principle of Δίκα, refer to my short essay The Principle of Δίκα.

[5] As mentioned elsewhere, wu-wei is a Taoist term used in my philosophy of The Numinous Way “to refer to a personal ‘letting-be’ deriving from a feeling, a knowing, that an essential part of wisdom is cultivation of an interior personal balance and which cultivation requires acceptance that one must work with, or employ, things according to their nature, for to do otherwise is incorrect, and inclines us toward, or is, being excessive – that is, is ὕβρις. In practice, this is the cultivation of a certain (an acausal, numinous) perspective – that life, things/beings, change, flow, exist, in certain natural ways which we human beings cannot change however hard we might try; that such a hardness of human trying, a belief in such hardness, is unwise, un-natural, upsets the natural balance and can cause misfortune/suffering for us and/or for others, now or in the future. Thus success lies in discovering the inner nature of things/beings/ourselves and gently, naturally, slowly, working with this inner nature, not striving against it.”

I first became acquainted with the concept of wu-wei when, as a youth living in the Far East, I studied Taoism and a learnt a martial art based on Taoism. Thus it might be fair to assume that Taoism may well have influenced, to some degree, the development of my weltanschauung.

[6] The quote is from my essay Humility, Abstractions, and Belief.