The Numinous, Ancestral Culture, And Myatt’s Philosophy

Richard Moult - Banais

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The Numinous, Ancestral Culture, And Myatt’s Philosophy

Two recent essays by David Myatt – titled Towards Understanding Ancestral Culture and From Mythoi To Empathy {1} – though short compliment his two recent books Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and Tu Es Diaboli Ianua since they deal with two of the topics that are central to both books. {2}

In the first essay Myatt explains what he means by the term ‘ancestral culture’ – δίκη understood as fairness, as the balance, the wisdom, that ancestral customs often represent – and in the process clarifies the somewhat obscure passages at the end of his Classical Paganism text, explicitly stating that the modern paganus weltanschauung he wrote about in that book is founded on καλὸς κἀγαθός and thus “on chivalry; on manners; on gentrice romance; and on the muliebral virtues [and] gender equality.”

In the second essay Myatt goes into some detail regarding what he means by the term ‘numinous’, details which are long-overdue and which explicitly distance him from the view of Rudolf Otto in respect of that term. For Myatt, the numinous is a perceiveration, an apprehension resulting from the human faculty of empathy, and therefore in his view goes beyond religion. Indeed, he writes that religions “have not presenced, and do not and cannot presence, the numinous as the numinous can be presenced.” Instead, what does presence the numinous is the knowing that empathy provides which is the move away from mythoi and anthropomorphic deities to “an appreciation of the numinous sans denotatum and sans religion.”

As with almost all of Myatt’s post-2011 philosophical writings the two essays – and indeed the two books – are not only derived from his own philosophical musings and his reflections on his own pathei-mathos, but also contain references to Greco-Roman culture. Which methodology is both a strength and a weakness.

A strength, in that he brings that ancient culture alive almost as if his writings are a bridge to that past and to a future where at least some of the ancient virtues he obviously so admires (such as chivalry) may live again and be melded with the virtues – the muliebral virtues – that he understands his own pathei-mathos and our ‘human culture of pathei-mathos’ have made him appreciate and consider are necessary if we human beings are to change and evolve.

A weakness, in that his writings contain no references to modern philosophies and philosophers and thus lack points of reference for those interested in philosophy as an academic subject. A lack which will undoubtedly deter many from studying Myatt’s somewhat complex – almost labyrinthine and undoubtedly unique – metaphysics. A metaphysics which – based as it is on concepts such as physis, πάθει μάθος, perceiveration, σωφρονεῖν, denotatum, and δίκη – will seem strange, indeed probably alien, to those nurtured on contemporary philosophy.

That said, those who make the effort to get to grips with Myatt’s terminology and who are undeterred that his philosophy of pathei-mathos is scattered in pieces among multiple books and scores of essays and appears still in the process of development, will be rewarded. They will find a most decidedly Western and a decidedly pagan philosophy, rooted in the culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, which manifests the ethos of the West in a manner it has never before been manifest. Not only that, it restores that Western ethos to us, and importantly evolves it, in a distinct philosophical and refreshingly unpolitical way.

That only a few today will appreciate any of this is a sign of our unchivalrous era and of just how few still appreciate the native, the fair, the reasoned, the scholarly, culture of the West subsumed as that culture has been and increasingly is being by the rise of the uncultured, the raucous, ones among us.

R.S & K.S
January 2018

Related:

A Review of Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

Review Of Myatt’s Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos

The Mystic Philosophy of David Myatt
(pdf)

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{1} The two essays by Myatt are available on his weblog and also in the following pdf file: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/two-essays-v1a.pdf

{2} Both books are available in printed format, and also as gratis open access documents from: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/david-myatt-collected-works/


Image credit: Banais, a painting by Richard Moult


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Myatt’s Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

Order of Nine Angles

O9A

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We have to admit that we were pleasantly surprised by David Myatt’s new book which has the Latin title Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, a title which he himself translates as You Are The Nexion Of The Deofel. Is the title a hint?

Perhaps so. But no matter. For his book contains some very illuminating statements relevant to our times. First, that his

       “own pathei-mathos certainly indicates that the numinous is primarily a manifestation of the muliebral and can be apprehended through a personal, an interior, balance between masculous and muliebral.”

Second, that

        “a muliebral presencing is or would be manifest in a predominance of female deities; or in a dominant female deity; in legends and myths which celebrate muliebral virtues, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion; and in the perception that personal love should triumph over and above adherence to abstractions. Considered exoterically – not interiorly, not esoterically – a muliebral presencing is manifest in a personal, varied, worship and devotion; in a personal weltanschauung and not in a religion; has no hierarchy; no creed, no article or articles of faith; and no texts whether written or aural.”

Third, that

        “the virtues of personal honour and manners, with their responsibilities, presence the fairness, the avoidance of hubris, the natural harmonious balance, the gender equality, the awareness and appreciation of the divine, that is the numinous.”

Fourth, that

        “In the case of Christianity, while some interpretations of it have in the past century slowly evolved to be somewhat more balanced in respect of the muliebral, it is still primarily a patriarchal presencing.”

Myatt therefore is once again publicly aligning himself with critics of the masculous, with critics of the patriarchal, with critics (both female and male) of the misogynist, status quo.

While this will not endear him to the Magian and their acolytes, nor to the so-called “alt-right” who exemplify misogyny and whose adherents often trumpet the still patriarchal religion of Christianity as “the ethos of the West”, Myatt scholarly cuts through their plebeian assumptions and Old World prejudices and Magian abstractions by providing an intellectual basis for a new, an enlightened, paganism firmly rooted in an understanding of our debt to Greco-Roman, pagan, culture.

A highly recommended book, and Kudos therefore to Myatt.

Three Wyrd Sisters
December 2017 ev.

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David Myatt. Tu Es Diaboli Ianua. 46 pages. 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1982010935


Article source: https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/myatts-tu-es-diaboli-ianua/


A Review of Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

The 39 page essay which is spectacularly titled Tu Es Diaboli Ianua {1} is David Myatt’s latest philosophical offering. In his Exordium – a preface by any other name – he outlines the questions which he answers in the essay. The questions are

“is Christianity a suitable presencing of the numinous… If it is not, then could that religion be reformed, by developing a Johannine Weltanschauung…Would such a reformation be a suitable presencing of the numinous, and if not, then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what is the foundation of such an alternative.”

He writes that the essay compliments his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos.

While his answers are somewhat convoluted and decidedly scholarly and thus other-worldly – given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek and his own translations – he raises many interesting issues relevant to the “real world” which most of us inhabit. For he writes that

“the problem is – or so it seems to me – in impersonal written texts. Or, more precisely, in denotatum, and thus in assigning terms – in using words – to describe an apprehension of the numinous. Which leads us to the fundamental difference between a religious apprehension of the numinous – based on received and venerated texts, on exegesis – and the paganus apprehension of the numinous as manifest in Greco-Roman culture.”

And also that

[Greco-Roman] “paganism will be examined for two reasons. Firstly, because it is manifest in a multiplicity of primary sources – from Homer to Hesiod to Cicero and beyond – and secondly because Greco-Roman culture is inextricably bound to the culture of the West and formed the basis for the European Renaissance that emerged in the 14th century, one aspect of which was a widespread appreciation of classical Art, of classical literature, and of texts such as the Corpus Hermeticum.”

Having criticized Christianity, he also declaims that an important aspect of Greco-Roman paganism is a respect for ancestral custom, writing in the last section of the last chapter that the new ‘numinous metaphysics’ he proposes includes “a spiritual and interior (and thus not political) understanding and appreciation of our own Ancestral Culture.”

Which statement about Western ancestral culture is profoundly “politically incorrect” and will be music to the ears of those few intellectuals who still champion the culture of the West.

That said, the essay is not without its problems. One is that given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek it is, as with his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, difficult to classify and difficult to discern who the intended audience is. As we wrote in our review of that book, “many of those interested in Western paganism as a new way of life or as a modern, non-Christian, spirituality may find [this essay] too academic or too boring; while those academically interested in such matters will doubtless turn to other authors given Myatt’s experiential Faustian quests, his iconoclasm, his often underserved reputation, and thus his exclusion from academia.”

Personally, we think Myatt is simply making publicly available the result of his metaphysical questioning while also, as with his Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, intending this new essay for those few Western individuals who, interested in re-discovering their Western pagan heritage, having been looking for the intellectual foundations of that pagan culture.

A second problem is that his conclusion – his description of his new pagan metaphysics – is brief to the point of almost being obscure, occupying as it does a short statement in the final paragraph, with no explanations provided.

But perhaps, given Myatt’s criticism of denotatum (words, and naming, by any other name) and his statement that “the culture of pathei-mathos has moved us, or can move us, beyond anthropomorphic deities, whether male or female; beyond myths and legends; beyond reliance on texts regarded as sacred and/or as divinely inspired; and even beyond the need for denotatum and religion” then this short statement that such “is the numinous” is all that is required.

R.S & K.S
December, 2017

{1} A copy of Myatt’s essay is available here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/tua-es-diaboli-ianua-v3c.pdf


Image credit: The beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE


Nexion Of The Deofel

David Myatt

David Myatt

As a pre-publication draft, the following file is subject to revision and correction of typos.

Tu Es Diaboli Ianua
(pdf)

Contents

° Exordium
° Part I. The Johannine Weltanschauung And The Numinous
° Part II. A Paganus Apprehension
° Part III. Numinous Metaphysics
° Appendix I. Logos Δ. The Esoteric Song
° Appendix II. A Note On The Term Jews In The Gospel of John
° Appendix III. The Human Culture Of Pathei-Mathos

Exordium

Given that the religion termed Christianity has, for over six centuries, been influential in respect of the ethos and spirituality of the culture of the West – often to the extent of having been described as manifesting that ethos and that spirituality – one of the metaphysical questions I have saught to answer over the past forty years is whether that religion is, given our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos, a suitable presencing of the numinous. If it is not, then could that religion be reformed, by developing a Johannine Weltanschauung given that the Gospel According to John – τὸ κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγέλιον – arguably presents a somewhat different perspective on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth than the three other synoptic Gospels. Would such a reformation be a suitable presencing of the numinous, and if not, then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what are the ontology, epistemology, and ethics of such an alternative?

This essay thus compliments my book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. As in that book, I have made extensive use of my translations of certain classical authors and of various hermetic texts as well as the Gospel of John, and given that those translations are currently quite accessible I have not except on a few occasions explained my interpretations of certain Greek or Latin terms since those interpretations are explained in the associated commentaries.

As noted elsewhere, I prefer the term paganus – a transliteration of the classical Latin, denoting as it does connection to Nature, to the natural, more rural, world – in preference to ‘pagan’ since paganus is, in my view and in respect of the Greco-Roman ethos, more accurate given what the term ‘pagan’ now often denotes.

The title of the essay, Tu Es Diaboli Ianua – “You Are The Nexion Of The Deofel”, literally, “You are nexion Diabolos ” – is taken from Tertullian’s De Monogamia, written at the beginning of the second century AD.

David Myatt
Winter Solstice 2017


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/tu-es-diaboli-ianua/


Selected O9A Articles, 2017

Atu XX

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A selection from the articles, relevant to the pagan and hermetic esotericism – and the practical ‘Dark Arts’ – of the Order of Nine Angles, that have been published in the past year.

O9A: Selected Articles, 2017
(pdf)

Contents:

° Preface
° Some Background To The O9A.
° Masculous And Muliebral: The Sinister Feminine And Homo Hubris.
° A Note Regarding The Sinister-Numinous Aesthetic Of The Order Of Nine Angles.
° On Native Egyptian Influence In The Corpus Hermeticum.
° Re-discovering Western Paganism.
° The Avenging Alastoras.
° On Sorcery In Virgil’s Aeneid.
° Some Thoughts Of Some Solitary Seeker.
° The Peculiar Matter Of Mr Myatt And Mr Long.
° It Can Sometimes Be Informative To Chastise.
° A Note Regarding The Term Numinous


Image Credit:

Richard Moult: Atu XX (Aeon) from Non Est Secundus Quia Unus Est,
a book of Tarot archetypes.


In Reply To Some Questions (2012)

800px-Cumulus_clouds_panorama

From Myatt’s preface:

“These answers, though dated, may be of some interest; for example, in regard to the development of my ‘numinous way’ into the ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’ and in regard to my temerarious statement that “I do not intend to write anything more about” that philosophy, for I have of course since 2012 continued to write about, and develope, that philosophy and which more recent writings have obsoleted most of the essays referenced in the following answers.”

Questions For DWM, 2012
(pdf)


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/questions-for-dwm-2012/


Regarding The Term Numinous

David Myatt

David Myatt

A Note Regarding The Term Numinous

As a chapter of a book by Christopher Pankhurst – Numinous Machines, published in December 2017 by the ‘right-wing’ San Francisco based Counter-Currents organization – is titled Nexus of Life: David Myatt & the Acausal, it is fitting that we examine the origin of the term ‘numinous’ and what Myatt himself means by the term, especially as the blurb for the book on the publishers website repeats the common but mistaken belief that “Rudolf Otto coined the term numinous to refer to the primal experience of the holy.”

A mistaken belief since as a certain “Anton Long” pointed out in his text Alchemical Seasons and The Fluxions of Time published in 123 yfayen (2011 ce) that

“despite the now common belief that the use of the word ‘numinous’ is fairly recent, deriving from the writings of Rudolf Otto, its first occurrence in English – so far discovered – is in a religious tract published in London in 1647 ce, entitled The simple cobler of Aggawam in America. Willing to help mend his native country. The author, Nathaniel Ward – a scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, an English clergyman, and a Puritan supporter – emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634 ce.”

The meaning of the term numinous in that book, and in later books such as The Quest of the Sangraal by Robert Stephen Hawker published in 1864 (where it is spelt numynous), is “of or relating to a god or a divinity, revealing or indicating the presence of a divinity; divine, spiritual,” derived as it is from the classical Latin ‘numen’, which Latin word implied a deity, a divinity, a reverence for what is divine.

In his 2013 book The Numinous Way Of Pathei-Mathos Myatt described how he then philosophically used and understood the term:

“The numinous is what manifests or can manifest or remind us of (what can reveal) the natural balance of ψυχή; a balance which ὕβρις upsets. This natural balance – our being as human beings – is or can be manifest to us in or by what is harmonious, or what reminds us of what is harmonious and beautiful. In a practical way, it is what we regard or come to appreciate as ‘sacred’ and dignified; what expresses our developed humanity and thus places us, as individuals, in our correct relation to ψυχή, and which relation is that we are but one mortal emanation of ψυχή.”

Prior to that ‘Pathei Mathos iteration’ (c.2011 – present) Myatt had frequently used the term ‘numinous’ during his ‘National Socialist iteration’ (1968-1998) writing in his 1990s text The Meaning of National-Socialism, {1} published by George Dietz in his Libery Bell magazine and also circulated by Myatt’s National-Socialist Movement, not only that

“Something is numinous if it has beauty and awe. Something which is divinely-inspired or divinely-representative is numinous. What is numinous is generally what is revered, or regarded as sacred – as spiritual or divine. Nature herself is numinous – a wonderful, awe-inspiring mystery. The numinous is an expression of the acausal – of the Unity behind causal, temporal, appearance,”

but also that

“a folk is not an abstract, easily defined, static, “thing” like the concept of race. It is a living, changing, evolving, being – a unique type of life. What defines a folk is thus far more than a certain set of physical or physiological or genetic characteristics. A folk is a symbiotic being – in symbiosis with the being which is the homeland of that folk, with that community or that collection of folkish communities. All this makes the culture, the Way of Life, the ethos (or soul) of that folk living as well. And it is this living which is numinous, which presences the numinous.”

Since Myatt uses and used the term numinous in specific ways, and always seemed to avoid using the English word ‘holy’ both in reference to that term and in his Greek translations, it is interesting and relevant to mention his commentary on the Greek word ἅγιος in section 5 of the Pymander chapter of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum. {2}

The Holy

In regard to ἅγιος – conventionally translated as ‘holy’ – Myatt, quoting Rilke and providing his own translation of the German, writes that the numinous has two aspects:

{Begin quote}

Numinous is better – more accurate – than ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’, since these latter English words have been much overused in connexion with Christianity and are redolent with meanings supplied from over a thousand years of exegesis; meanings which may or may not be relevant here.

Correctly understood, [the] numinous is the unity beyond our perception of its two apparent aspects; aspects expressed by the Greek usage of ἅγιος which could be understood in a good (light) way as ‘sacred’, revered, of astonishing beauty; and in a bad (dark) way as redolent of the gods/wyrd/the fates/morai in these sense of the retributive or (more often) their balancing power/powers and thus giving rise to mortal ‘awe’ since such a restoration of the natural balance often involved or required the death (and sometimes the ‘sacrifice’) of mortals. It is the numinous – in its apparent duality, and as a manifestation of a restoration of the natural, divine, balance – which is evident in much of Greek tragedy, from the Agamemnon of Aeschylus (and the Orestia in general) to the Antigone and the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles.

The two apparent aspects of the numinous are wonderfully expressed by Rilke:

Wer, wenn ich schrie, hörte mich denn aus der Engel
Ordnungen? und gesetzt selbst, es nähme
einer mich plötzlich ans Herz: ich verginge von seinem
stärkeren Dasein. Denn das Schöne ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht,
uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

Who, were I to sigh aloud, of those angelic beings might hear me?
And even if one of them deigned to take me to his heart I would dissolve
Into his very existence.
For beauty is nothing if not the genesis of that numen
Which we can only just survive
And which we so admire because it can so calmly disdain to betake us.
Every angel is numinous

wenn ich schrie. ‘Were I to sigh aloud’ is far more poetically expressive, and more in tune with the metaphysical tone of the poem and the stress on schrie, than the simple, bland, ‘if I cried out’. A sighing aloud – not a shout or a scream – of the sometimes involuntary kind sometimes experienced by those engaged in contemplative prayer or in deep, personal, metaphysical musings.

der Engel Ordnungen. The poetic emphasis is on Engel, and the usual translation here of ‘orders’ – or something equally abstract and harsh (such as hierarchies) – does not in my view express the poetic beauty (and the almost supernatural sense of strangeness) of the original; hence my suggestion ‘angelic beings’ – of such a species of beings, so different from we mortals, who by virtue of their numinosity have the ability to both awe us and overpower us.

{End quote}

Myatt thus provides a new – yet ancient, and most certainly pagan – interpretation of the term, so very different from the understanding of that of Christianity, which Christian understanding is “pertaining to God; belonging to God, commissioned by God, or persons devoted to God; conforming to the will of God, entirely devoted to God.”

Three Wyrd Sisters
2017

{1} A copy of Myatt’s text is available here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/myatt-ns-meaning-v3.pdf
{2} David Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1976452369