Reichsfolk National Socialism

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Reichsfolk:
A New Interpretation Of National Socialism

What is not widely known in the modern Western world is that there are two very different interpretations of National Socialism. “Ours” – that of groups such as Reichsfolk and of those who know and who appreciate the writings and deeds of people such as Waffen-SS General Leon Degrelle {1} – and that of the majority of latter-day self-described “neo-nazis”.

Latter-Day Neo-Nazism And The National-Socialism Of Reichsfolk

The first and most well-known latter-day interpretation of National Socialism is that of the majority of self-described “neo-nazis”, and which interpretation is accepted by most anti-fascists who actively oppose such modern “neo-nazis”.

This is the National Socialism with a belief in a strong, powerful, nation-State, and with an overt racist ideology. A National Socialism with a dislike – often hatred – of non-White immigrants and non-White neighbours; with a belief in the instinct of “might is right” and the necessity of kampf; with a dislike – even a hatred – of those whose love is for someone of the same gender; a National Socialism with a misogyny based on the masculous instinct that it is the natural duty of most women to be wives and home-makers; and a National Socialism with a dislike – even a hatred – of Islam and Muslims.

The second, and not very well-known, interpretation of National Socialism is that of the “revisionist”, non-racist, National-Socialism developed by David Myatt in the 1990s and manifest in the Reichsfolk group {2} inspired as this version was by Myatt’s meetings with Waffen-SS General Leon Degrelle and by his correspondence with Jost Turner whose vision was of a new Aryan folk-community in America and of other “NS kindred” communities around the world.

In this Myattian interpretation of National-Socialism {3} it is regarded as both (i) “an ethnic philosophy which affirms that the different races, the different peoples, which exist are expressions of our human condition, and that these differences, this human diversity, should be treasured in the same way we treasure the diversity of Nature. National-Socialists believe our world would be poorer were these human differences to be destroyed through abstract ideas,” and as (ii) “a pure expression of our own unique Aryan ethics, based as these ethics are upon the idealism of duty to the folk, duty to Nature, and upon the nobility of personal honour.” {4}

It is also the National-Socialism which rejects the notion of a strong, powerful, modern nation-State in favour of new ethnic folk-communities and which National-Socialism is not politically active “on the streets” but instead is “a social, educational, cultural, and spiritual, movement based upon and dedicated to disseminating the noble principles of ethical, non-racist, National-Socialism which are honour, reason, fairness, loyalty, duty to one’s own folk and to Nature, and respect for and understanding of other cultures and other ways of life.” {2}

              In simple terms, the Myattian interpretation of National-Socialism is based on both honour and race, whereas the neo-nazism of most modern nazis and of modern neo-nazi political groups is based on the glorification of race and the glorification of “racial struggle” at the expense of personal honour; a difference Myatt emphasised is his essay A Brief Criticism of William Pierce, written in 114yf,

“The main weakness of the theorizing of Pierce is that he has failed to see that it is a combination of race and honour which defines National-Socialism, and which should define the racialist movement in general. Without the evolutionary, moral, concept of honour, there is only the inhuman ethics of the past, and in practice this leads to the creation of people who are ignoble and societies which are anti-evolutionary. Thus, Pierce is firmly stuck in the past: an ignoble past of unreason and dishonour.

This lack of an ethical dimension to his thinking leads to him supporting the old concept of racial struggle and the inhuman consequence of considering that some races are superior to others.” {5}

Myatt expanded upon this in his seminal text Esoteric Hitlerism: Idealism, the Third Reich and the Essence of National-Socialism,

“An affirmation of race without an affirmation honour is not National-Socialism, just as an affirmation of honour without an affirmation of race is not National-Socialism.

It is this living, organic, dialectic of honour and race which defines National-Socialism itself, and a National-Socialist is an individual who strives to do their honourable duty to both their own race and Nature herself, of which other human races are a part.

That is, a National-Socialist must always be honourable, whatever the consequences, or the perceived consequences. Quite often, this means a National-Socialist is faced with what seems to be difficult choices and difficult decisions, although in reality if National-Socialism itself is properly understood, there is no conflict, no moral dilemma and no difficulty in doing the right, the honourable, thing.

Thus if something, some act or deed, seems to affirm race – or be beneficial to one’s race – but is dishonourable, then that something is not something a National-Socialist should do. What honour does is define our duty to our race and other races – it prevents us from committing hubris.” {5}

In addition, in Myatt’s revisionist version of National-Socialism there is no misogyny, for the NS Code of Honour applies equally to both men and women,

“A man or woman of honour treats others courteously, regardless of their culture, religion, status, and race, and is only disdainful and contemptuous of those who, by their attitude, actions and behaviour, treat they themselves with disrespect or try to personally harm them, or who treat with disrespect or try to harm those whom the individual man or woman of honour have personally sworn loyalty to or whom they champion.” {6}

Our National-Socialism

The National-Socialism of Reichsfolk is Myatt’s revisionist, non-racist, ethical, version of National-Socialism.

This is the National-Socialism where

“a true National-Socialist knows or feels that some things are honourable, and other things are dishonourable. It is dishonourable, for instance – cowardly and unfair and uncivilized – for several people to attack and try to injure or kill a single individual.

Thus, if several Caucasians attack one Negro, they are acting dishonourably – they are being uncivilized and cowardly. A true National-Socialist would never do such a thing. They would always want to see, or take part in, a “fair fight”.

Furthermore, I myself – a life-long National-Socialist – would go to the aid of a Negro if I saw him being attacked by several Caucasians, for that would be the just, the fair, the honourable, the civilized and the National-Socialist thing to do. That so many people today who adhere to ‘political National Socialist’ organizations do not agree with this just shows how far these so-called ‘National Socialists’ are from genuine National-Socialism. Which, incidently, is why I always write ‘National-Socialism’ rather than National Socialism.”

This is also the National-Socialism where there is respect for the Muslim way of life and Muslim culture, with honourable co-operation between National-Socialists and Muslims regarded as desirable {8}.

That this revisionist, non-racist, ethical, version of National-Socialism is not appreciated – and certainly not understood – in the societies of the modern West is regarded by our kind as just one more indication of just how successful the Magian, the hubriati, and the neo-nazi hordes of Homo Hubris, have been in propagating the Magian latter-day (mis)interpretation of National Socialism as something “racist”, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Muslim, and uncivilized.

R.S.
Reichsfolk
December 129yf
v.1.07

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{1} Waffen SS General Leon Degrelle was awarded numerous medals for war-time bravery including the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, a German military award similar to the British Military Cross. His writings include:
° The Eastern Front: Memoirs of a Waffen SS volunteer, 1941-1945. Institute for Historical Review. 2014. ISBN 9780939484768.
° Hitler, né à Versailles. 1–3. Paris: Art et histoire d’Europe. 1986. ISBN 2906026085.
° Ich war Gefangener. Nürnberg: Hesperos Verlag. 1944.
° Hitler pour 1000 ans. Paris: La Table Ronde. 1969.
{2} qv. https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/intro-reichsfolk.pdf
{3} qv. Myatt: Selected National-Socialist Writings (pdf).
{4} Myatt, Why National-Socialism is Not Racist, 111yf. The essay is included in Myatt: Selected National-Socialist Writings.
{5} The essay is included in Myatt: Selected National-Socialist Writings.
{6} The Code is given in the third edition of Myatt’s The Meaning Of National-Socialism, included in Myatt: Selected National-Socialist Writings.
{7} Myatt, The Spirituality of National-Socialism: A Reply to Criticism, included in Myatt: Selected National-Socialist Writings.
{8} See, for instance, the essay Islam and National-Socialism in https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/ns-islam.pdf

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Related:

David Myatt And Reichsfolk

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Article source:
https://reichsfolktimes.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/a-new-interpretation-of-national-socialism/


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David Myatt: Forty Years Of Learning

David Myatt

David Myatt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source:
Some Questions For DWM, 2014 (pdf)


Towards Identity and the Galactic Empire

hitler1

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David Myatt: Towards Identity and the Galactic Empire
(pdf)

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Republished here is Part One of David Myatt’s three-part autobiographical notes titled Towards Identity and the Galactic Empire, in which part he provides an informative overview of his three decade long career as a neo-nazi activist.

Originally written and published in the 1990s, on the now defunct ‘geocities’ DM Homepage fan-site, it was revised by Myatt in 2003 during his now notorious campaign to bring neo-nazis and radical Muslims together in order for them to fight their “common enemy”. {1} We have slightly changed the original formatting to make the item more pdf friendly, and provided a link to an archive version of the original article.

RDM Crew
December 2018 ev

{1} qv. Michael, George. The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right. University Press of Kansas, 2006, p. 142ff.

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Related:

Selected National Socialist Writings

A Primer of Neo-Nazi Ideology

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David Myatt and Tommy Robinson: A Contrast

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Editorial Note:

We republish here an article from 2013 which raised suspicions about the person using the alias Tommy Robinson. The article was first privately published in Das Reich, the internal bulletin of Reichsfolk, and then publicly posted on the well-known Right-Wing Stormfront internet forum. {1}

The 2013 article contrasts the showmanry, publicly-seeking behaviour of “Tommy Robinson” with the restrained behaviour of David Myatt, with Mr Robinson announcing his apparent “change of heart” in 2013 in public at a Press Conference broadcast live on Sky TV News. In contrast Myatt did not publicly mention his private conversion to Islam in 1998 until two years later when interviewed by the BBC for the Panorama TV programme about David Copeland and which brief remarks by Myatt about his conversion were cut from the programme and never broadcast.

The article also drew attention to the fact that the person behind the alias Tommy Robinson – Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – was associated with and friends with influential Zionists such as Richard Spencer and Pamela Geller. Which influential people perhaps explains why the 2013 Press Conference and Mr Robinson himself attracted so much Media attention at the time.

            In the five years since the article was published it has become public knowledge that “Tommy Robinson” is now and has been for over a year not only mentored and financially aided by wealthy Zionists such as Ezra Levant, Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, but also is supported by British Establishment figures like Eton-educated millionaire Lord Pearson and influential American figures such as the Republican Congressman Paul Gosar. {2} Gosar, incidently, is a staunch supporter of the pro-Zionist Middle East Forum run by millionaire Daniel Pipes which group paid for the July 2018 trip to England by Gosar where he met with “Tommy Robinson” and spoke at a pro-Robinson public rally organized and paid for by Daniel Pipes and Ezra Levant.

In summary, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – a convicted criminal who has been jailed for violence and fraud – is a man who is not only, as the 2013 article states, a publicity-seeker “hooked on attention” but is also, as more recent articles have revealed, a useful muppet whose strings are being pulled by his Zionist paymasters while Establishment figures like Lord Pearson massage his ego by wining and dining him in exclusive venues such as the British Houses of Parliament with the muppet now well-dressed and well-coiffured courtesy of his wealthy mentors but still spouting the same old Islamophobic rhetoric he spouted five and more years ago.

In contrast David Myatt – despite also being a convicted criminal who has also been jailed for violence – is a man who not only now lives like a reclusive mystic but who also as a result of pathei-mathos has, in extensive writings, renounced both his extremist past and all forms of extremism. {3}

RDM Crew
November 2018

{1} http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t999405/

The Das Reich bulletin published by Myatt’s Reichsfolk group was mentioned in the Nazi Satanism And The New Aeon chapter of the book Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, authored by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (page 223 of the edition published by NYU Press in 2003). It was also mentioned – in the section headed David Wulstan Myatt – in the earlier book Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right, edited by Jeffrey Kaplan and published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2000.

{2} See for example https://reichsfolktimes.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/an-example-of-zionist-power/

{3} For an overview of Myatt’s recent writings see the book The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt (pdf)

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David Myatt and Tommy Robinson – A Comparison

In early October 2013 the founder and leader of the anti-Muslim EDL, one Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Lennon aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Andrew McMaster aka Paul Harris, or whatever his real name is) with much fanfare publicly announced he had left the English Defence League (EDL) because he had “concerns over the dangers of far-right extremism”.

He subsequently gave many interviews to journalists and even held a press conference which was not only broadcast live by Sky TV but also was widely covered by many mainstream newspapers and media including The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

In several of these interviews he announced his intention of continuing to combat what he termed Islamic extremism and even spoke of forming or being part of some new group dedicated, among other things, to preventing the establishment of any new mosques in Britain and propagating the belief that “the Koran promotes violence”. He also declined, when pressed by several journalists, to renounce his association with and support for prominent anti-Islam activists and propagandists such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer with whom he had a long-standing association.

Unsurprisingly, many anti-fascist groups and commentators were suspicious of Robinson’s sudden ‘conversion’ with one association – the Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks – even going so far as to say that unless Robinson met with the victims of anti-Muslim prejudice where the perpetrators were EDL sympathisers they would not believe his ‘conversion’ was genuine.

Contrast the public shenanigans of Robinson with David Myatt, the founder and first leader of the NSM (of which David Copeland was a member) who was, for thirty years, a violent neo-nazi activist and regarded not only as the “ideological heavyweight behind Combat 18” but also as “the mentor who drove David Copeland to kill”.

In the Fall of 1998 Myatt privately, and without any public fuss, converted to Islam at a Mosque in Worcester. Following this conversion he gained a reputation, according to the author Martin Amis, as a “fierce Jihadi”, and – according to Professor Robert Wistrich – travelled and spoke in several Arab countries and wrote one of the most detailed defences in the English language of Islamic suicide attacks, with the Simon Wiesenthal Center commentating in 2003 that,

“David Myatt, the leading hardline Nazi intellectual in Britain since the 1960s […] has converted to Islam, praises bin Laden and al Qaeda, calls the 9/11 attacks ‘acts of heroism’, and urges the killing of Jews. Myatt, under the name Abdul Aziz Ibn Myatt supports suicide missions and urges young Muslims to take up Jihad. Observers warn that Myatt is a dangerous man.”

Over ten years later (in 2010) Myatt, again privately, and without any public fuss, renounced all forms of extremism, admitted his past mistakes, expressed regret regarding his extremist past, and wrote, in an oblique reference to his former political opponents (such as those involved with the Searchlight organization), that –

“I harbour no resentment against individuals, or organizations, or groups, who over the past forty or so years have publicly and/or privately made negative or derogatory comments about me or published items making claims about me. Indeed, I now find myself in the rather curious situation of not only agreeing with some of my former political opponents on many matters, but also (perhaps) of understanding (and empathizing with) their motivation; a situation which led and which leads me to appreciate even more just how lamentable my extremism was and just how arrogant, selfish, wrong, and reprehensible, I as a person was, and how in many ways many of those former opponents were and are (ex concesso) better people than I ever was or am.” Source – http://www.davidmyatt.info/genesis-of-my-unknowing.html

Myatt then withdraw from public life, to reclusively concentrate on developing his rather mystical ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’ which extols the virtues of compassion, humility, empathy, and love.

This comparison of Myatt with the shenanigans of ‘Tommy Robinson’ leads to the inevitable conclusion that, as one journalist wrote, Robinson’s “defection is not a transformation” and that Robinson “is a man who is hooked on attention” who is simply “changing his method” (his tactics) and not his fundamental beliefs.

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Related:
Latest: Criminal Case Against Zionist Muppet Postponed
The Zionist Muppet Archives – Part One

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Selected National Socialist Works

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Selected National Socialist Writings Of David Myatt
(pdf)

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We republish here a selection of the National Socialist writings of David Myatt. As noted in the Preface:

From the voluminous writings of David Myatt about National Socialism we have selected those that – alongside his Vindex, Destiny of The West, first published in Virginia (USA) in 1984 by George Dietz in his Liberty Bell magazine – have not only been most influential among contemporary neo-Nazis from the 1990s on but are also not stridently polemical […]

In these writings Myatt presents his revisionist version – his evolution – of the National Socialism of Adolf Hitler. His vision of National Socialism is certainly idealistic, inspiring, ideological, at times mystical, and marks him – in the words of one academic – as arguably one of the “principal proponent[s] of contemporary neo-Nazi ideology”.

As Myatt writes in one of the included works:

“This work, along with several other NS works I have written, has been slightly amended to reflect only the essence of National-Socialism. Thus, all polemical and political remarks – incompatible with Esoteric Hitlerism – have been removed.”

In our view in the first two essays in the compilation, The Meaning of National-Socialism – written in 108 yf (1997) with a third revised edition published some years later, in 2003 – and the Esoteric Hitlerism: Idealism, the Third Reich and the Essence of National-Socialism – written in the year 2000 {1} – Myatt provides a clear and contemporary understanding of National Socialism and which understanding is very different from, in fact diametrically opposed to, how National Socialism is perceived today both by those opposed to it and by the majority who are described as “neo-nazis” or who describe themselves as “neo-nazi”.

In his Esoteric Hitlerian essay Myatt also provides an interesting autobiographical aside:

“Like many National-Socialists who live in the post First Zionist War world, I have in the past, out of desire to at least do something, used both the rhetoric and the tactics employed by the NSDAP in the hope of gaining some kind of political power. Thus, my older writings – and the propaganda I employed as leader of the now disbanded National-Socialist Movement – contain much strident rhetoric and appeals for political action of one kind or another. I have given all of my adult life to striving to aid the Cause in one way or another, as have many other National-Socialists.

In the past thirty or more years, I have used every tactic I could, some covert, some overt, some dubious and perhaps dishonourable, to further our noble Cause, as I have, on occasion, used deceit to try and deceive our now powerful enemies. In the end I and those others who have used similar tactics have achieved nothing because the tactics, and sometimes the intention, were wrong, as I have slowly and painfully learned from experience. This post First Zionist War world is very different from the world which Adolf Hitler and the members of his NSDAP knew and many people – myself included – have in past mistaken some of the rhetoric of the past for the essence.

We have concentrated on fighting perceived enemies, and on somehow taking over the status quo, to the detriment of what is fundamentally important. We have perceived our duty as fighting these perceived enemies, and taking part in some war, whereas our real duty is to be and to strive to be a becoming, a continuation of our folk and of evolution itself – to belong to our folk; to be honourable; to express our humanity through our Nature-given talents and abilities; to create genuine folk communities in harmony with Nature.”

As Myatt makes clear in two of the essays included in the compilation – his Theory Of The Holocaust and the The Life of Adolf Hitler section of his The Religion of National-Socialism – in his revisionist version of National Socialism “the holocaust” is regarded as mendacious anti-Nazi propaganda.

RDM Crew
November 2018

{1} It worth noting that the third edition of his The Meaning of National-Socialism (the version included in the compilation) and his essay Esoteric Hitlerism were both written during his early years as a Muslim during his notorious campaign for an alliance between radical Muslims and National Socialists so that they might unite in their fight against their common “Zionist” enemy.

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Related:
Concerning The Vindex Mythos (pdf)
Myatt: Vindex, Destiny of the West (pdf)
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Suffering And The Human Culture Of Pathei Mathos

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Editorial Note: This substantially revised version of an essay written by David Myatt in 2013 was included as an appendix to his 2017 monograph Tu Es Diaboli Ianua: Christianity, The Johannine Weltanschauung, And Presencing The Numinous. {1}

It is interesting because it brings together his new philosophy of pathei-mathos (that is, his revised numinous way) – and his own learning from experience – with his life-long interest in the exploration and colonization of Outer Space. As he wrote way back in the 1980s,

“It is the vision of a Galactic Empire which runs through my past political life just as it is the quest to find and understand our human identity, and my own identity, and our relation to Nature, which runs through my personal and spiritual life, giving me the two aims which I consistently pursued since I was about thirteen years of age, regardless of where I was, what I was doing and how I was described by others or even by myself.”

RDM Crew
September 2018 ev

{1} The 45 page monograph is available both in printed format – ISBN 978-1982010935 – and as a gratis open access (pdf) document here: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/tu-es-diaboli-ianua/

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Suffering And The Human Culture Of Pathei-Mathos
Extract From A Letter To A Personal Correspondent

            In respect of the question whether I am optimistic about our future as a species, I vacillate between optimism and pessimism, knowing as I – and so many – do from experience that the world contains people who do good things [1], people who do bad things, and people who when influenced or led or swayed by some-thing or someone can veer either way; and given that it seems as if in each generation there are those – many – who have not learned or who cannot learn from the pathei-mathos of previous generations, from our collective human πάθει μάθος that has brought-into-being a culture of pathei-mathos thousands of years old. Historically – prior to, during after the time of Cicero, and over a thousand years later during and after the European Renaissance – this culture was evident in Studia Humanitatis, and is now presenced in works inspired by or recollecting personal pathei-mathos and described in memoirs, aural stories, and historical accounts; in particular works of literature, poetry, and drama; in non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and by art-forms such as films and documentaries.

This culture of pathei-mathos reveals to us the beauty, the numinosity, of personal love; the numinosity of humility, and compassion; and the tragic lamentable unnecessary suffering caused by hubris, dishonour, selfishness, inconsiderance, intolerance, prejudice, hatred, war, extremism, and ideologies [2]. A world-wide suffering so evident, today, for example in the treatment of and the violence (by men) toward women; in the continuing armed conflicts – regional and local, over some-thing – that displace tens of thousands of people and cause destruction, injury, and hundreds of thousands of deaths; and evident also in the killing of innocent people [3] by those who adhere to a harsh interpretation of some religion or some political ideology.

Do good people, world-wide, outweigh bad ones? My experiences and travels incline me to believe they may do, although it seems as if the damage the bad ones do, the suffering they cause, sometimes and for a while outweighs the good that others do. But does the good done, in societies world-wide, now outweigh the bad done, especially such large-scale suffering as is caused by despots, corruption, armed conflict, and repressive regimes? Probably, at least in some societies. And yet even in such societies where, for example, education is widespread, there always seem to be selfish, dishonourable, inconsiderate, people; and also people such as the extremist I was with my hubriatic certitude-of-knowing inciting or causing hatred and violence and intolerance and glorifying war and kampf and trying to justify killing in the name of some abstraction or some belief or some cause or some ideology. People mostly, it seems, immune to and/or intolerant of the learning of the culture of pathei-mathos; a learning available to us in literature, music, Art, memoirs, in the aural and written recollections of those who endured or who witnessed hatred, violence, intolerance, conflict, war, and killing, and a learning also available in the spiritual message of those who taught humility, goodness, love, and tolerance. Immune or intolerant people who apparently can only change – or who could only possibly change for the better – only when they themselves are afflicted by such vicissitudes, such personal misfortune and suffering, as is the genesis of their own pathei-mathos.

Thus, and for example, in Europe there is the specific pathei-mathos that the First and the Second World Wars wrought. A collective learning regarding the destruction, the suffering, the brutality, the horror, of wars where wrakeful machines and mass manufactured weapons played a significant role.

All this, while sad, is perhaps the result of our basic human nature; for we are jumelle, and not only because we are “deathful of body yet deathless the inner mortal” [4] but also because it seems to me that what is good and bad resides in us all [5], nascent or alive or as part of our personal past, and that it is just so easy, so tempting, so enjoyable, sometimes, to indulge in, to do, what is bad, and often harder for us to do what is right. Furthermore, we do seem to have a tendency – or perhaps a need – to ascribe what is bad to being ‘out there’, in something abstract or in others while neglecting or not perceiving our own faults and mistakes and while asserting or believing that we, and those similar to us or who we are in agreement with, are right and thus have the ‘correct’, the righteous, answers. Thus it is often easier to find what is bad ‘out there’ rather than within ourselves; easier to hate than to love, especially as a hatred of impersonal others sometimes affords us a reassuring sense of identity and a sense of being ‘better’ than those others.

Will it therefore require another thousand, or two thousand, or three thousand years – or more or less millennia – before we human beings en masse, world-wide, are empathic, tolerant, kind, and honourable? Is such a basic change in our nature even possible? Certainly there are some – and not only ideologues of one kind or another – who would argue and who have argued that such a change is not desirable. And is such a change in our nature contingent, as I incline to believe, upon the fair allocation of world resources and solving problems such as hunger and poverty and preventing preventable diseases? Furthermore, how can or could or should such a basic change be brought about – through an organized religion or religions, or through individual governments and their laws and their social and political and economic and educational policies, or through a collocation of governments, world-wide; or through individuals reforming themselves and personally educating others by means of, for example, the common culture of pathei-mathos which all humans share and which all human societies have contributed to for thousands of years? Which leads us on to questions regarding dogma, faith, and dissent; and to questions regarding government and compulsion and ‘crime and punishment’ and whether or not ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’; and also to questions regarding the efficacy of the reforming, spiritual, personal way given that spiritual ways teaching love, tolerance, humility, and compassion – and virtuous as they are, and alleviating and preventing suffering as they surely have – have not after several thousand years effected such a change in humans en masse.

I have to admit that I have no definitive or satisfactory answers to all these, and similar, questions; although my own pathei-mathos – and my lamentable four-decade long experience as an extremist, an ideologue, and as a selfish opinionated inconsiderate person – incline me to prefer the reforming, spiritual, personal way since I feel that such an approach, involving as it does a personal study of, a personal transmission of, the culture of pathei-mathos – and a personal knowing and a living of the humility that the culture of pathei-mathos teaches – is a way that does not cause nor contribute to the suffering that still so blights this world. A personal preference for such a numinous way even though I am aware of three things: of my past propensity to be wrong and thus of the necessary fallible nature of my answers; of the limited nature and thus the long time-scale (of many millennia) that such a way implies; and that it is possible, albeit improbable except in Science Fiction, that good people of honourable intentions may some day find a non-suffering-causing way by which governments or society or perhaps some new form of governance may in some manner bring about that change, en masse, in our human nature required to evolve us into individuals of empathy, compassion, and honour, who thus have something akin to a ‘prime directive’ to guide them in their dealings with those who are different, in whatever way, from ourselves.

            Were I to daydream about some future time when such a galactic ‘prime directive’ exists, directing we spacefaring humans not to interfere in the internal affairs of non-terrans who are different, in whatever way, from ourselves, then I would be inclined to speculate that unless we by then have fundamentally and irretrievably changed ourselves for the better then it would not be long before some human or some human authority, somewhere, manufactured some sly excuse to order to try and justify ignoring it. For that is what we have done, among ourselves, for thousands of years; making then breaking some treaty or other; making some excuse to plunder resources; having some legal institution change some existing law or make some new law to give us the ‘right’ to do what it is we want to do; or manufacture some new legislative or governing body in order to ‘legalize’ what we do or have already done. Always using a plethora of words – and, latterly, legalese – to persuade others, and often ourselves, that what we do or are about to do or have already done is justified, justifiable, necessary, or right.

Perhaps the future excuse to so interfere contrary to a prime directive would be the familiar one of ‘our security’; perhaps it would be an economic one of needing to exploit ‘their’ resources; perhaps it would be one regarding the threat of ‘terrorism’; perhaps it would be the ancient human one, hallowed by so much blood, of ‘our’ assumed superiority, of ‘their system’ being ‘repressive’ or ‘undemocratic’ or of they – those ‘others’ – being ‘backward’ or ‘uncivilized’ and in need of being enlightened and ‘re-educated’ by our ‘progressive’ ideas. Or, more probable, it would be some new standard or some new fashionable political or social or even religious dogma by which we commend ourselves on our progress and which we use, consciously or otherwise, to judge others by.

The current reality is that even if we had or soon established a terran ‘prime directive’ directing we humans not to interfere in the internal affairs of other humans here on Earth who are different, in whatever way, from ourselves, it is fairly certain it “would not be long before some human or some human authority, somewhere, manufactured some sly excuse to order to try and justify ignoring it…”

            Which mention of a terran ‘prime directive’ leads to two of the other questions which cause me to vacillate between optimism and pessimism in regard to our future as a species. The question of increasing population, and the question of the finite resources of this Earth. Which suggests to me, as some others, that – especially as the majority of people now live in urban areas – a noble option is for us, as a species, to cooperate and betake ourselves to colonize our Moon, then Mars, and seek to develope such technology as would take us beyond our Solar System. For if we do not do this then the result would most probably be, at some future time, increasing conflict over land and resources, mass migrations (probably resulting in more conflict) and such governments or authorities as then exist forced by economic circumstance to adopt policies to reduce or limit their own population. Global problems probably exasperated still further by the detrimental changes that available evidence indicates could possibly result from what has been termed ‘climate change’ [6].

But is the beginning of this noble option of space colonization viable in the near future? Possibly not, given that the few countries that have the resources, the space expertise and the technology necessary – and the means to develope existing space technology – do not consider such exploration and colonization as a priority, existing as they seem to do in a world where nation-States still compete for influence and power and where conflict – armed, deadly, and otherwise – is still regarded as a viable solution to problems.

Which leads we human beings, with our jumelle character, confined to this small planet we call Earth, possibly continuing as we have, for millennia, continued: a quarrelsome species, often engaged (like primates) in minor territorial disputes; in our majority unempathic; often inconsiderate, often prejudiced (even though we like to believe otherwise); often inclined to place our self-interest and our pleasure first; often prone to being manipulated or to manipulating others; often addicted to the slyness of words spoken and written and heard and read; often believing ‘we’ are better than ‘them’; and fighting, raping, hating, killing, invading here, interfering there. And beset by the problems wrought by increasing population, by dwindling resources, by mass migrations, by continuing armed conflicts (regional, local, supranational, over some-thing) and possibly also affected by the effects of climate change.

Yet also, sometimes despite ourselves, we are beings capable of – and have shown over millennia – compassion, kindness, gentleness, tolerance, love, fairness, reason, and a valourous self-sacrifice that is and has been inspirational. But perhaps above all we have, in our majority, exuded and kept and replenished the virtue of hope; hoping, dreaming, of better times, a better future, sometime, somewhere – and not, as it happens, for ourselves but for our children and their children and the future generations yet to be born. And it is this hope that changes us, and has changed us, for the better, as our human culture of pathei-mathos so eloquently, so numinously, and so tragically, reveals.

Thus the question seems to be whether we still have hope enough, dreams enough, nobility enough, and can find some way to change ourselves, to thus bring a better – a more fairer, more just, more compassionate – future into-being without causing or contributing to the suffering which so blights, and which has so blighted, our existence on Earth.

Personally, I am inclined to wonder if the way we need – the hope, the dream, we need – is that of setting forth to explore and colonize our Moon, then Mars, and then the worlds beyond our Solar System, guided by a prime directive.

David Myatt
2013
Revised 2017

Notes

[1] I understand ‘the good’ as what alleviates or does not cause suffering; what is compassionate; what is honourable; what is reasoned and balanced. Honour being here, and elsewhere in my recent writings, understood as the instinct for and an adherence to what is fair, dignified, and valourous.

[2] I have expanded, a little, on what I mean by ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’ in my tract Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God.

[3] As defined by my ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’, I understand innocence as “an attribute of those who, being personally unknown to us, are therefore unjudged us by and who thus are given the benefit of the doubt. For this presumption of innocence of others – until direct personal experience, and individual and empathic knowing of them, prove otherwise – is the fair, the reasoned, the numinous, the human, thing to do. Empathy and πάθει μάθος incline us toward treating other human beings as we ourselves would wish to be treated; that is they incline us toward fairness, toward self-restraint, toward being well-mannered, and toward an appreciation and understanding of innocence.”

[4] Pœmandres (Corpus Hermeticum), 15 – διὰ τοῦτο παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς ζῷα διπλοῦς ἐστιν ὁ ἄνθρωπος

As I noted in my translation of and commentary on the Pœmandres tract,

“Jumelle. For διπλοῦς. The much underused and descriptive English word jumelle – from the Latin gemellus – describes some-thing made in, or composed of, two parts, and is therefore most suitable here, more so than common words such as ‘double’ or twofold.”

[5] qv. Sophocles, Antigone, v.334, vv.365-366

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

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

[6] Many people have a view about ‘climate change’ – for or against – for a variety of reasons. My own view is that the scientific evidence available at the moment seems to indicate that there is a change resulting from human activity and that this change could possibility be detrimental, in certain ways, to us and to the other life with which we share this planet. The expressions ‘seems to indicate’ and ‘could possibly be’ are necessary given that this view of mine might need to be, and should be, reassessed if and when new evidence or facts become available.

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Myatt’s Philosophy: Honour, Empathy, A Rejection Of Extremism

David Myatt

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Editorial Note:

The following essay is an extract from the book The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt by JR Wright and R. Parker, second edition 2018 {1}.

The book provides a detailed analysis of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei mathos; a philosophy, or weltanschauung, which Myatt developed between 2011 and 2015 following his rejection of extremism which, as the author of the following writes,

“was a consequence of pathei mathos – primarily, the suicide of his partner in 2006 – and which learning from grief resulted in him developing what he termed a philosophy of pathei-mathos centred around personal virtues such as humility, compassion, empathy and personal honour.”

It is those virtues which form the core of Myatt’s philosophy, and in our view this extract gets to the heart of that philosophy providing as it does relevant quotations from Myatt’s post-2011 writings.

We have corrected a few typos in the essay.

RDM Crew,
2018

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{1} The book is available as a gratis open access (pdf) document here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/myatt-mystic-philosophy-second-edition.pdf

The contents of the book are:

I. A Modern Mystic: David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos.
II. A Modern Pagan Philosophy.
III. Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos.
IV. An Overview of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos.
           Part One: Anti-Racism, Extremism, Honour, and Culture.
           Part Two: Humility, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos.
V. Classical Paganism And A New Metaphysics.
Appendix I. A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos.
Appendix II. Towards Understanding Ancestral Culture.
Appendix III. From Mythoi To Empathy: Toward A New Appreciation Of The
Numinous.

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An Overview of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos, Part One

It is now generally acknowledged that David Myatt – once renowned as an ideologue {1} and as a ‘theoretician of terror’ {2} – has rejected the extremism that dominated his life for some forty years, thirty of which years were spent as a neo-nazi activist and ten as a “fierce Jihadist” {3} and apologist for Al-Qaeda {4}.

According to his own account {5} this rejection was a consequence of pathei mathos – primarily, the suicide of his partner in 2006 – and which learning from grief resulted in him developing what he termed a philosophy of pathei-mathos centred around personal virtues such as humility, compassion, empathy and personal honour {6}{7}. In addition he has written several interesting, if rather neglected, essays in which he discourses about culture and – politically relevant today – about topics such as extremism. In these discourses, which apply his philosophy to the topics discussed, he is at pains to point out that he presents only his “personal, fallible, opinion about such matters” and that these opinions derive from his decades of “experience of extremists and my decade of study and personal experience of, and involvement with, Islam.” {8}

Culture, Civilization, and Politics

Given Myatt’s predilection during his extremist decades, and especially as a neo-nazi ideologue, for pontificating about both ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’, his mature view of such things, resulting from his recent seven or so years of interior reflection following his learning from grief {9}, are of especial interest.

For he writes that:

“The very usage of the term civilization, for instance, implies a bias; a qualitative often pejorative, prejudiced, assessment and thence a division between something judged ‘better than’ – or ‘superior to’ or ‘more advanced than’ – something else, so that ‘to civilize’ denotes “the action or process of being made civilized” by something or someone believed or considered to be more distinguished, or better than, or superior to, or more advanced.

In common with some other writers, my view is that a clear distinction should be made between the terms culture, society, and civilization, for the terms culture and society – when, for example, applied to describe and distinguish between the customs and way of life of a group or people, and the codes of behaviour and the administrative organization and governance of those residing in a particular geographical area – are quantitative and descriptive rather than qualitative and judgemental. It is therefore in my view inappropriate to write and talk about a European or a Western ‘civilization’ […]

[T]he essence, the nature, of all cultures is the same: to refine, and develope, the individual; to provide a moral guidance; to cultivate such skills as that of reasoning and learning and civility; to be a repository of the recorded/aural pathei-mathos, experiences, and empathic understanding of others (such as our ancestors) over decades, centuries, millennia, as manifest for example in literature, music, memoirs, poetry, history, Art, and often in the past in myths and legends and religious allegories. A recorded/aural pathei-mathos and empathic understanding – a human learning – which teach the same lessons, whatever the culture, whatever the people, whatever the time and whatever the place. The lesson of the importance of a loyal love between two people; the lesson of the importance of virtues such as εὐταξία and honour; the lesson of the need to avoid committing the error of hubris. The lesson of hope, redemption, and change. And the lesson concerning our own nature […]

Ultimately, the assumed or the perceived, the outer, differences do not matter, since what matters for us as human beings capable of reason and civility is our shared humanity and the wisdom that all cultures guide us toward: which wisdom is that it is what is moral – it is what keeps us as mortals balanced, aware of and respective of the numinous – that should guide us, determine our choices and be the basis of our deeds, for our interaction with other human beings, with society, and with the life with which we share this planet.

As outlined in my philosophy of pathei-mathos, my personal view is that the criteria of assessment and judgement are the individual ones of empathy, reason, and the presumption of innocence; which means that abstractions, ideations, theories, and categories, of whatever kind – and whether deemed to be political, religious, or social – are considered as unimportant. That what matters, what is moral, is a very personal knowing in the immediacy-of-the-moment so that what is beyond the purveu of our empathy, of our personal knowing, knowledge, and experience, is something we rationally accept we do not know and so cannot judge or form a reasonable, a fair, a balanced, opinion about. Hence, and for example, individuals and people we do not know, of whatever faith, of whatever perceived ethnicity, sexual orientation, or perceived or assumed or proclaimed culture – whom we have no personal experience of and have had no interaction with over a period of causal time – are unjudged by us and thus given the benefit of the doubt; that is, regarded as innocent, assumed to be good, unless or until direct personal experience, and individual and empathic knowing of them, as individuals, proves otherwise […]

What matters are our own moral character, our interior life, our appreciation of the numinous, and the individual human beings we interact with on the personal level; so that our horizon is to refine ourselves into cultured beings who are civil, reasoned, empathic, non-judgemental, unbiased, and who will, in the words of one guide to what is moral, Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.” {8}

Myatt’s emphasis is thus on the individual; on their interior life, and their personal interaction with others in what he terms, in his philosophy of pathei-mathos, the immediacy of the personal moment:

“Since the range of our faculty of empathy is limited to the immediacy-of-the-moment and to personal interactions, and since the learning wrought by pathei-mathos and pathei-mathos itself is and are direct and personal, then the knowledge, the understanding, that empathy and pathei-mathos reveal and provide is of the empathic scale of things and of our limitations of personal knowing and personal understanding. That is, what is so revealed is not some grand or grandiose theory or praxis or philosophy which is considered applicable to others, or which it is believed can or should be developed to be applicable to others or developed to offer guidance beyond the individual in political and/or social and/or religious and/or ideological terms; but rather a very personal, individual, spiritual and thus interior, way. A way of tolerance and humility, where there is an acceptance of the unwisdom, the hubris, the unbalance, of arrogantly, pejoratively, making assumptions about who and what are beyond the range of our empathy and outside of our personal experience.” {10}

There is, therefore, a rejection of involvement with politics:

“Given that the concern of the philosophy of pathei-mathos is the individual and their interior, their spiritual, life, and given that (due to the nature of empathy and pathei-mathos) there is respect for individual judgement, the philosophy of pathei-mathos is apolitical, and thus not concerned with such matters as the theory and practice of governance, nor with changing or reforming society by political means.” {11}

In line with the virtues of his philosophy, Myatt is scathing regarding extremism in general:

“One of the worst consequences of the extremism of extremists – of modern hubris in general – is, or seems to me to be, the loss of what is personal, and thus what is human; the loss of the empathic, the human, scale of things; with what is personal, human, empathic, being or becoming displaced, scorned, forgotten, obscured, or a target for destruction and (often violent) replacement by something supra-personal such as some abstract political/religious notion or concept, or some ideal, or by some prejudice and some often violent intolerance regarding human beings we do not personally know because beyond the range of our empathy.

That is, the human, the personal, the empathic, the natural, the immediate, scale of things – a tolerant and a fair acceptance of what-is – is lost and replaced by an artificial scale posited by some ideology or manufactured by some τύραννος; a scale in which the suffering of individuals, and strife, are regarded as inevitable, even necessary, in order for ‘victory to be achieved’ or for some ideal or plan or agenda or manifesto to be implemented. Thus the good, the stability, that exists within society is ignored, with the problems of society – real, imagined, or manufactured by propaganda – trumpeted. There is then incitement to disaffection, with harshness and violent change of and within society regarded as desirable or necessary in order to achieve preset, predetermined, and always ‘urgent’ goals and aims, since slow personal reform and change in society – that which appreciates and accepts the good in an existing society and in people over and above the problems and the bad – is anathema to extremists, anathema to their harsh intolerant empathy-lacking nature and to their hubriatic striving.” {12}

All this amounts to viewing matters – events in the external world, and our relation to other humans – in terms of two principles rather than in terms of politics, ideology, dogma, or revolutionary social change. The first principle is personal honour; the second what Myatt terms ‘the cosmic perspective’, of which perspective Myatt writes:

“The Cosmic Perspective reveals a particular truth not only about the Anthropocene (and thus about our φύσις as human beings) but also about how sustainable millennial change has occurred and can occur. Which change is via the progression, the evolution – the development of the faculties and the consciousness – of individuals individually. This is the interior, the a-causal, change of individuals wrought by a scholarly learning of and from our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos, by our own pathei-mathos, and by that personal appreciation of the numinous that both the Cosmic Perspective and the muliebral virtues incline us toward. This aeonic change voids what we now describe by the terms politics and religion and direct social activism of the violent type. There is thus a shift from identifying with the communal, the collective – from identifying with a particular contemporary or a past society or some particular national culture or some particular causal form such as a State or nation or empire or some -ism or some -ology – toward that-which has endured over centuries and millennia: our human culture of pathei-mathos. For the human culture of pathei-mathos records and transmits, in various ways, the pathei-mathos of individuals over thousands of years, manifest as this sustainable millennial culture is in literature, poetry, memoirs, aural stories, in non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and in the experiences – written, recorded, and aural – of those who over the centuries have appreciated the numinous, and those who endured suffering, conflict, disaster, tragedy, and war, and who were fundamentally, interiorly, changed by their experiences.” {13}

Given this perspective, and given that personal honour “cannot be extracted out from the living moment and our participation in the moment” {7} and is a necessary virtue, then Myatt’s philosophy, while somewhat redolent of Buddhism, Taoism, and the Catholic contemplative tradition, is rather unique in that the personal use of force (including lethal force) in the immediacy of the moment is justified in personal defence of one’s self or of others, since

“the personal virtue of honour, and the cultivation of wu-wei, are – together – a practical, a living, manifestation of our understanding and appreciation of the numinous; of how to live, to behave, as empathy intimates we can or should in order to avoid committing the folly, the error, of ὕβρις, in order not to cause suffering, and in order to re-present, to acquire, ἁρμονίη. For personal honour is essentially a presencing, a grounding, of ψυχή – of Life, of our φύσις – occurring when the insight (the knowing) of a developed empathy inclines us toward a compassion that is, of necessity, balanced by σωφρονεῖν and in accord with δίκη.” {14}

Given the mention of wu-wei in many of Myatt’s recent writings, it is no surprise that Myatt admits (or, rather, overstates) his debt to Taoism:

“According to my limited understanding and knowledge, I am not expressing anything new here. Indeed, I feel (and I use the word ‘feel’ intentionally) that I am only re-expressing what I intuitively (and possibly incorrectly) understood nearly half a century ago about Taoism when I lived in the Far East and was taught that ancient philosophy by someone who was also trying to instruct me in a particular Martial Art.” {13}

It is therefore possible to speculate that the archetypal follower of Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos – if there were or could be such followers of such a personal philosophy of life – might be akin to one of the following: (i) a reclusive or wandering, or communal living, mystic, concerned only with their interior life and/or with scholarly study, yet prepared – in the immediacy of the moment and when confronted by someone or some group being dishonourable – to do what is honourable in defence of themselves or others even if that meant their own death; (ii) someone outwardly ordinary who was in, or who was seeking, a loving relationship, and who – compassionate and sensitive and cultured – was unconcerned with politics or conventional religion, and yet prepared – in the immediacy of the moment and when confronted by someone or some group being dishonourable – to do what is honourable in defence of themselves or others even if that meant their own death; (iii) someone with an interior sense of what is honourable whose occupation or career or way of life enables them, in a personal manner and within their milieu, to individually do what is honourable, fair, and just; and (iv) someone who – compassionate and empathic by nature – whose occupation or career or way of life enables them, in a personal manner and within their milieu, to individually do what is compassionate and who would – in the immediacy of the moment and when confronted by someone or some group being dishonourable – do what is honourable in defence of themselves or others even if that meant their own death.

In Myatt’s view, such individuals would be acting in a wise way – in accord with the aforementioned cosmic perspective – since:

“The only effective, long-lasting, change and reform that does not cause suffering – that is not redolent of ὕβρις – is the one that changes human beings in an individual way by personal example and/or because of πάθει μάθος, and thus interiorly changes what, in them, predisposes them, or inclines them toward, doing or what urges them to do, what is dishonourable, undignified, unfair, and uncompassionate. That is what, individually, changes or rebalances bad φύσις and thus brings-into-being, or restores, good φύσις.” {15}

For:

“It is inner, personal, change – in individuals, of their nature, their character – that is is the ethical, the numinous, way to solve such personal and social problems as exist and arise. That such inner change of necessity comes before any striving for outer change by whatever means, whether such means be termed or classified as political, social, economic, religious. That the only effective, long-lasting, change and reform is understood as the one that evolves human beings and thus changes what, in them, predisposes them, or inclines them toward, doing or what urges them to do, what is dishonourable, undignified, unfair, and uncompassionate.” {11}

Extremism, Racism, And Prejudice

In Myatt’s philosophy, the personal knowing of others provided by empathy and the self-knowing that pathei-mathos reveals replace the categorizations by which we have assumed we can know and understand others and ourselves:

“Hitherto, the φύσις of beings and Being has most usually been apprehended, and understood, in one of three ways or by varied combinations of those three ways. The first such perceiveration is that deriving from our known physical senses – by Phainómenon – and by what has been posited on the basis of Phainómenon, which has often meant the manufacture, by we human beings, of categories and abstract forms which beings (including living beings) are assigned to on the basis of some feature that has been outwardly observed or which has been assumed to be possessed by some beings or collocation of beings.
The second such perceiveration derives from positing a ‘primal cause’ – often denoted by God, or a god or the gods, but sometimes denoted by some mechanism, or some apparently inscrutable means, such as ‘karma’ or ‘fate’ – and then understanding beings (especially living beings) in terms of that cause: for example as subject to, and/or as determined or influenced by or dependant on, that primal cause.

The third such perceiveration derives from positing a human faculty of reason and certain rules of reasoning whereby it is possible to dispassionately examine collocations of words and symbols which relate, or which are said to relate, to what is correct (valid, true) or incorrect (invalid, false) and which collocations are considered to be – or which are regarded by their proponents as representative of – either knowledge or as a type of, a guide to, knowing.

All three of these perceiverations, in essence, involve denotatum, with our being, for example, understood in relation to some-thing we or others have posited and then named and, importantly, consider or believe applies or can apply (i) to those who, by virtue of the assumption of ipseity, are not-us, and (ii) beyond the finite, the living, personal moment of the perceiveration.

Thus, in the case of Phainómenon we have, in assessing and trying to understand our own φύσις as a human being, assumed ipseity – a separation from others – as well as having assigned ourselves (or been assigned by others) to some supra-personal category on the basis of such things as place of birth, skin colour, occupation (or lack of one), familial origin or status (or wealth or religion), some-thing termed ‘intelligence’, physical ability (or the lack thereof), our natural attraction to those of a different, or the same, gender; and so on.” {16}

In Myatt’s view, extremism – whether political or religious – makes some category an ideal to be strived for or returned to, since:

“All extremists accept – and all extremisms are founded on – the instinctive belief or the axiom that their cherished ideation(s) or abstraction(s) is or are more important, more valuable, than the individual and the feelings, desires, hopes, and happiness, of the individual. The extremist thus views and understands the world in terms of abstractions; in terms of a manufactured generalization, a hypothesis, a posited thing, an assumption or assumptions about, an extrapolation of or from some-thing, or some assumed or extrapolated ideal ‘form’ of some-thing. Sometimes, abstractions are generalization based on some sample(s), or on some median (average) value or sets of values, observed, sampled, or assumed. Abstractions can be of some-thing past, in the present, or described as a goal or an ideal which it is assumed could be attained or achieved in the future.

The abstractions of extremism are manifest in the ideology, which posits or which attempts to explain (however irrationally and intolerantly) some ideated form, some assumed or believed in perfect (ideal) form or category of some-thing, and which ideated form is or can be or should be (according to the ideology) contrasted with what is considered or assumed to be its opposite.” {17}

Thus in racism individuals are assigned to, associated with, some ‘race’ with the various ‘races’ assigned a qualitative value – describing their ‘worth’ – based on what some ideology or some ideologue state or believe is their contribution to ‘civilization’ and on how useful or harmful they might be to those deeming themselves ‘superior’.

This is immoral, according to Myatt, not only because it is dishonourable but because of the primacy of empathic, of personal, knowing:

“Everything others associate with an individual, or ascribe to an individual, or use to describe or to denote an individual, or even how an individual denotes or describes themselves, are not relevant, and have no bearing on our understanding, our knowledge, of that individual and thus – morally – should be ignored, for it is our personal knowing of them which is necessary, important, valid, fair. For assessment of another – by the nature of assessment and the nature of empathy – can only be personal, direct, individual. Anything else is biased prejudgement or prejudice or unproven assumption.

This means that we approach them – we view them – without any prejudice, without any expectations, and without having made any assumptions concerning them, and as a unique, still unknown, still undiscovered, individual person: as ‘innocent’ until proven, until revealed by their actions and behaviour to be, otherwise. Furthermore, empathy – the acausal perception/knowing and revealing of physis – knows nothing of temporal things and human manufactured abstractions/categories such as assumed or assigned ethnicity; nothing of gender; nothing of what is now often termed ‘sexual preference/orientation’. Nothing of politics, or religion. Nothing of some disability someone may suffer from; nothing of social status or wealth; nothing regarding occupation (or lack of one). Nothing regarding the views, the opinions, of others concerning someone. For empathy is just empathy, a perception different from our other senses such as sight and hearing, and a perception which provides us, or which can provide us, with a unique perspective, a unique type of knowing, a unique (acausal) connexion to the external world and especially to other human beings.

Empathy – and the knowing that derives from it – thus transcends ‘race’, politics, religion, gender, sexual orientation, occupation, wealth (or lack of it), ‘status’, and all the other things and concepts often used to describe, to denote, to prejudge, to classify, a person; so that to judge someone – for example – by and because of their political views (real or assumed) or by their religion or by their sexual orientation is an act of hubris.

In practice, therefore, in the revealing of the physis of a person, the political views, the religion, the gender, the perceived ethnicity, of someone are irrelevant. It is a personal knowing of them, the perception of their physis by empathy, and an acceptance of them as – and getting to know them as – a unique individual which are important and considered moral; for they are one emanation of the Life of which we ourselves are but one other finite and fallible part.” {12}

However, Myatt’s analysis of extremism goes much further. Based on his forty years of personal experience he considers that the extremist is a particular type of person “by nature or becomes so through association with or because of the influence of others, or because of ideological indoctrination” and that

“it is in the nature of extremists that they disdain, and often despise, the muliebral virtues of empathy, sensitivity, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, and the desire to love and be loved over and above the desire for conflict, territorial identity, and for war. Thus we find in extremism a glorification of the masculous at the expense of the muliebral; a definite personal certitude of knowing; a glorification of toughness and aggression
and war; an aggressive territorial pride; a tendency to believe, or the forthright assertion, that ‘might is right’ and kampf is necessary; the desire to organize/control; a prominent desire for adventure and/or for conflict/war and/or violence and competition.” {17}

Thus, in Myatt’s philosophy, the extremist is hubriatic: unbalanced because lacking in – or having rejected or suppressed – the muliebral virtues which are or which should be an essential part of our human nature and the genesis of all culture; with the need for such muliebral virtues, for such a balance, and the necessity of culture, among the important things that ‘our culture of pathei-mathos’ informs us about {18}. Little wonder, then, that

“it is [our] shared human culture of pathei-mathos that extremists of whatever kind, and those who advocate -isms and -ologies, scorn and so often try to suppress when, for however short a time, they have political or social or religious power and control over the lives of others. It is this human culture of pathei-mathos which – at least according to my experience, my musings, and my retrospection – reveals to us the genesis of wisdom: which is that it is the muliebral virtues which evolve us as conscious beings, which presence sustainable millennial change. Virtues such as empathy, compassion, humility, and that loyal shared personal love which humanizes those masculous talking-mammals of the Anthropocene, and which masculous talking-mammals have – thousand year following thousand year – caused so much suffering to, and killed, so many other living beings, human and otherwise.” {13}

Furthermore, according to Myatt:

“Given the masculous nature and the masculous ethos of extremism, it is no surprise that the majority of extremists are men; and given that, in my own opinion, the predominant ethos of the last three millennia – especially within the societies of the West – has been a masculous, patriarchal, one it is no surprise that women were expected to be, and often had no option but to be, subservient, and no surprise therefore that a modern movement has arisen to try and correct the imbalance between the masculous and the muliebral […]

[Yet] it is only by using and developing our faculty of empathy, on an individual basis, that we can apprehend and thence understand the muliebral; [for] the muliebral can only be manifested, presenced, individually in our own lives according to that personal, individual, apprehension. Presenced, for example, in our compassion, in our honour, by a personal loyal love, and in that appreciation of innocence and of the numinous that inclines us, as individuals, to reject all prejudice and to distance ourselves from that pride, that certainty-of-knowing about ourselves and those presumptions we make about others, which are so redolent of, and which so presence and have so presenced, the patriarchal ethos.” {13}

Extremism and racism, therefore, are understood in Myatt’s philosophy in relation to hubris and enantiodromia:

“Enantiodromia is the term used, in the philosophy of pathei-mathos, to describe the revealing, the process, of perceiving, feeling, knowing, beyond causal appearance and the separation-of-otherness and thus when what has become separated – or has been incorrectly perceived as separated – returns to the wholeness, the unity, from whence it came forth. When, that is, beings are understood in their correct relation to Being, beyond the causal abstraction of different/conflicting ideated opposites, and when as a result, a reformation of the individual, occurs. A relation, an appreciation of the numinous, that empathy and pathei-mathos provide, and which relation and which appreciation the accumulated pathei-mathos of individuals over millennia have made us aware of or tried to inform us or teach us about.” {14}

“For what the culture of pathei-mathos reveals is that we human beings, are – personally – both the cause and the cure of suffering; and that our choice is whether or not we live, or try to live, in a manner which does not intentionally contribute to or which is not the genesis of new suffering. The choice, in effect, to choose the way of harmony – the natural balance – in preference to hubris.” {19}

Conclusion

In his seminal and scholarly essay Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God {19}, Myatt places the ethics of his philosophy in the context of the theories of ethics postulated by Christianity, by Islam, and by the proponents of the modern State. He concludes, in respect of his philosophy and its ethics, that:

“The alternative ontology, derived from the culture of pathei-mathos, suggests that the answer to the question regarding the meaning of our existence is simply to be that which we are. To be in balance, in harmony, with Life; the balance that is love, compassion, humility, empathy, honour, tolerance, kindness, and wu-wei. This, by its nature, is a personal answer and a personal choice; an alternative way that compliments and is respectful of other answers, other choices, and of other ways of dealing with issues such as the suffering that afflicts others, the harm that humans do so often inflict and have for so long inflicted upon others. The personal non-judgemental way, of presumption of innocence and of wu-wei, balanced by, if required, a personal valourous, an honourable, intervention in a personal situation in the immediacy of the moment.”

However, this answer is contingent on understanding, via empathy and pathei-mathos, not only ‘the illusion of ipseity’ {16} – the ‘separation-of-otherness’ – but also the cosmic perspective and thus the temporary nature of all our human manufactured forms, categories, and abstractions, for according to Myatt:

“There has been, as there still is, at least in my view, a failure to appreciate two things. Firstly, the causal (the mortal) nature of all forms: from institutions, governments, laws, States, nations, movements, societies, organizations, empires, to leaders and those embodying in some manner the authority, the volksgeist, the ideations, the principles, the aspirations, of their time. Secondly, and possibly most important of all, that what is muliebral cannot be embodied in some organization or movement, or in some -ism, or in any causal form – and certainly cannot be expressed via the medium of words, whether spoken or written – without changing it, distorting it, from what it is into some-thing else. For the muliebral by its very φύσις is personal, individual, in nature and only presenced in the immediacy-of-the-moment, and thus cannot be the object of a supra-personal aspiration and thus should not be ‘idealized’ or even be the subject of an endeavour to express it in some principles or principles (political or otherwise), or by some axiom or axioms, or by some dogma. For all such things – forms and words included – are manifestations, a presencing, of what is, in φύσις, masculous and temporal. Or, expressed more simply, the muliebral presences and manifests what is a-causal – what, in the past, has often inclined us to appreciate the numinous – while the masculous presences and manifests what is causal, temporal, and what in the past has often inclined us toward hubris and being egoistic.” {13}

Myatt’s comprehensive philosophy – propounded in various writings between 2012 and 2014 and which he recently described as being just his personal weltanschauung rather than a philosophy {20} – thus provides an interesting, intriguing, and insightful if iconoclastic, analysis of extremism and contemporary society as well as offering an understandable ethics centred on personal honour, a rather mystical ontology, and a somewhat mystical answer to the question of existence; and although his philosophy certainly deserves to be more widely studied and more widely appreciated, it will doubtless – given Myatt’s outré and controversial life – continue to be neglected for many, many, decades to come.

R. Parker
2014

Notes

{1} (a) Barnett, Antony. Right here, right now, The Observer, February 9, 2003. (b) Michael, George. The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right. University Press of Kansas, 2006, p. 142ff.
{2} Searchlight, July 2000.
{3} Amis, Martin. The Second Plane. Jonathan Cape, 2008, p.157
{4} (a) Simon Wiesenthal Center: Response, Summer 2003, Vol 24, #2. (b) Wistrich, Robert S. A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, Random House, 2010.
{5} (a) Myatt, David. Myngath – Some Recollections of a Wyrdful and Extremist Life. 2013. ISBN 978-1484110744. (b) Myatt, David. Understanding And Rejecting Extremism. 2013. ISBN 978-1484854266
{6} Myatt’s philosophy of pathei-mathos is described in the following three published collections of his essays: (a) The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN 978-1484096642. (b) One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings. 2014. ISBN 978-1502396105. (c) Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN 978-1484097984
The three collections of essays are also available, as of October 2014 and as pdf files, from his weblog at http://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/
{7} Of the virtue of personal honour, Myatt writes that it

“presences the virtues of fairness, tolerance, compassion, humility, and εὐταξία – as (i) a natural intuitive (wordless) expression of the numinous (‘the good’, δίκη, συμπάθεια) and (ii) of both what the culture of pathei-mathos and the acausal-knowing of empathy reveal we should do (or incline us toward doing) in the immediacy of the personal moment when personally confronted by what is unfair, unjust, and extreme […]

[For] such honour – by its and our φύσις – is and can only ever be personal, and thus cannot be extracted out from the ‘living moment’ and our participation in the moment; for it only through such things as a personal study of the culture of pathei-mathos and the development of the faculty of empathy that a person who does not naturally possess the instinct for δίκη can develope what is essentially ‘the human faculty of honour’, and which faculty is often appreciated and/or discovered via our own personal pathei-mathos.” The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis, in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings.

{8} Myatt, David. Let Us Then Try What Love Can Do. 2012. e-text.
{9} The Development of the Numinous Way. The essay is included, as an appendix, in the printed version of his autobiography Myngath, ISBN 978-1484110744
{10} Conspectus of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos. 2012. The essay is included in Myatt’s book The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484096642
{11} Society, Politics, Social Reform, and Pathei-Mathos. 2012. The essay is included in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484096642
{12} Some Personal Musings On Empathy In Relation to the Philosophy of πάθει μάθος. 2012. The essay is included in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484096642
{13} Some Questions For DWM. 2014. The essay is included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, 2014, ISBN 978-1502396105
{14} The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos. 2013. ISBN 978-1484096642
{15} The Way of Pathei-Mathos – A Philosophical Compendium. 2012. The essay is included in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484096642
{16} See: (a) Toward Understand The Acausal, and (b) The Way Of Pathei-Mathos – A Précis. Both essays are included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, 2014, ISBN 978-1502396105
{17} Myatt, David. Understanding And Rejecting Extremism. 2013. ISBN 978-1484854266
{18} Regarding ‘the culture of pathei-mathos’ – a key part of his philosophy – see Myatt’s 2014 essay Education And The Culture Of Pathei-Mathos, which is included in One Vagabond In Exile From The Gods: Some Personal and Metaphysical Musings, ISBN 978-1502396105
{19} Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God. 2013. The essay is included in Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484097984