A Debt To Greek And Greco-Roman Culture

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David Myatt

David Myatt

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An Indebtedness To Ancient Greek And Greco-Roman Culture

One of my fond memories of English schooldays was as a Sixth Form boarder in the late 1960’s when I had a room to myself and an allowance from my father who had returned to live and work in Africa.

As recounted elsewhere [1] the allowance allowed me to travel and buy books, often from bookshops in London, Oxford, and Cambridge, and one such purchase was of the complete, multi-volume, Oxford English Dictionary, and almost every evening I loved

“to dip into it for an hour or so, discovering new words, their etymology, and a quotation or two to betake me, in the days following, to some library or some bookshop to find and to read the work or works in question. I enjoyed the richness, the diversity, the flexibility, of the English language; its assimilation of so many words from other languages, and that ambiguity of sound which sometimes led to or could lead to such variations in spelling as sometimes seemed to annoy those who desired to reform that language and which reform would see its versatility, quirkiness, and heritage, lost in order fit some boring manufactured schemata.” [2]

Such schoolboy habits would prove useful when I began to develope my philosophy of pathei-mathos and saught to express my intuitions about Being and about our mortal being through the medium of English words.

Such an expression led me to use some non-English terms mostly from Ancient Greek but occasionally from Latin in the hope that such terms would not only be able to convey my meaning better than some easily mis-understood English term but also might be assimilated into the English language as philosophical terms either in their transliterated English form or in their Greek and Latin form.

Such terms might also reveal my indebtedness to Ancient Greek and Greco-Roman culture and how and why the philosophy of pathei-mathos is both a “transition from mythoi and anthropomorphic deities (theos and theoi) to an appreciation of the numinous sans denotatum and sans religion” [3] and thus a return to individual insight and understanding over impersonal abstractions/ideations, over denotatum, and over religious and political dogma, with the Latin denotatum – used as an Anglicized term and which thus can be used to describe both singular and plural instances of denoting and naming – a useful example of my somewhat idiosyncratic methodology.

Thus and for example I used and use σοφόν instead of σοφός when the sense implied is not the usual “skilled”, or “learned” or “wise” but rather what lies beyond and what was/is the genesis of what is presenced in a person as skill, or learning, or wisdom.

I used and use σωφρονεῖν in preference to σωφροσύνη (sophrosyne) to suggest a fair and balanced personal judgement rather than the fairly modern English interpretation of σωφροσύνη (sophrosyne) as “soundness of mind, moderation”.

I used and use Δίκα instead of δίκη when the sense implied is “what lies beyond and what was the genesis of δίκη personified as [a] goddess”, which is the natural instinct in those of noble physis (φύσις) for honour, fairness, and beauty – καλὸς κἀγαθός [4] – and thus the natural balance rather than “the correct/customary/ancestral way” or an abstract, impersonal, modern-type of “justice”.

In most such cases the Greek words are used, as I wrote in A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos, in an Anglicized way – as transliterated terms such as pathei-mathos and enantiodromia are – with there being no need to employ Greek inflective forms.

In the cases where the Greek words are not transliterated – σωφρονεῖν as sophronein for example – the intent was to not only provide a direct link to Ancient Greek and Greco-Roman culture but also to signify that the word represents an important or interesting metaphysical principle in the philosophy of pathei-mathos.

Hence σοφόν – sophon – is how and why empathy and pathei-mathos can reveal and can presence our physis, the nature of our being, the nature of Being itself, and reveal that Time is not only causal but acausal. It also suggests, as do Δίκα and σωφρονεῖν, the primacy and the importance of individual insight and understanding.

In a world where propaganda and disinformation still proliferate, based as they are on denotatum and often on political dogma and impersonal abstractions/ideations, and in a world where mythoi and anthropomorphic deities (theos and theoi) and thus organized religion still seem to dominate, the philosophy of pathei-mathos provides an alternative: the individual way of pathei-mathos and of empathy, based as it is on four axioms:

(i) that it is empathy and pathei-mathos which can wordlessly reveal the ontological reality both of our own physis and of how we, as sentient beings, relate to other living beings and to Being itself; (ii) that it is denotatum – and thus the abstractions deriving therefrom – which, in respect of human beings, can and often do obscure our physis and our relation to other living beings and to Being; (iii) that denotatum and abstractions imply a dialectic of contradictory opposites and thus for we human beings a separation-of-otherness; and (iv) that this dialectic of opposites is, has been, and can be a cause of suffering for both ourselves, as sentient beings, and – as a causal human presenced effect – for the other life with which we share the planet named in English as Earth. [5]

Does my idiosyncratic use of Ancient Greek and Latin terms make this philosophy confusing, difficult to understand and difficult to appreciate? Perhaps. But since philosophia – ϕιλοσοϕία – is, at least according to my fallible understanding, becoming a friend of σοφόν, [6] and since such a personal friendship involves seeking to understand Being, beings, and Time, and since part of the ethos of the culture of the West – heir to Ancient Greek and Greco-Roman culture – is or at least was a personal and rational quest for understanding and knowledge, then perhaps some effort, as befits those of noble physis who appreciate and who may seek to presence καλὸς κἀγαθός, is only to be expected.

David Myatt
April 2019

[1] Early Years, in Myngath: Some Recollections of a Wyrdful and Extremist Life. 2013.

[2] The Joy Of Words, 2013.

[3] From Mythoi To Empathy: Toward A New Appreciation Of The Numinous. 2018.

[4] I have described καλὸς κἀγαθός in my two recent books Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, and Tu Es Diaboli Ianua.

[5] Physis And Being: An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos. 2019.

[6] The Way of Pathei-Mathos: A Philosophical Compendiary, in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, fifth edition, 2018. ISBN 978-1484096642.

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Article source:
https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/an-indebtedness-to-ancient-greek-and-greco-roman-culture/


Words Of A Modern Mystic

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David Myatt

David Myatt

Memories Of Manual Labour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Myatt
February 2014

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

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

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Being British

David Myatt

David Myatt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Myatt
2015

Extract from a letter to a friend

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[1] Xenophon, Agesilaus, 11.2

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

[2] Editorial Note, 2018 ev: As Myatt wrote in a footnote in his book Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, he uses “the term denotatum – from the Latin, denotare – in accord with its general meaning which is to denote or to describe by an expression or a word; to name some-thing; to refer that which is so named or so denoted. Thus understood, and used as an Anglicized term, denotatum is applicable to both singular and plural instances and thus obviates the need to employ the Latin plural denotata.”

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

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Editorial Note: We republish here an item by Myatt written in 2016 and which is “an extract from a letter to a friend” in which he discusses the murder of a Catholic priest in France by supporters of Daesh, aka ‘Islamic State’. The letter is interesting both for its autobiographical content, which includes discussions with Special Branch police officers, and for Myatt’s post-2010 view of Western culture and societies.

The translation of the quotation from Homer’s Odyssey is by Myatt from his translation of Books 1-3, which is available here: Myatt: Odyssey, Books 1-3.

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Breaking My Silence

As someone brought up as a Catholic, who in his early years was educated at a Catholic Preparatory School, who entered the noviciate of a Catholic monastery, and who – perhaps unusually – also some years later converted to Islam, lived for a decade as a Muslim, travelled in Muslim lands, and studied the Quran and Sunnah in Arabic, I am dismayed, unsettled, at the killing of an elderly Priest in a Church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France by two persons who (according to information received so far) were radical Muslims and probably inspired by the Middle-Eastern group ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fil ‘Iraq wa ash-Sham, named in the lands of the West as Daesh, Isis, and ‘Islamic State’.

So dismayed, unsettled, that I have the temerity to break my self-imposed, years-long, silence regarding ‘current affairs’ and ‘current events’. For such a killing of such an elderly religious figure – taken hostage with (according to current and informed reports) two nuns during Mass – is just so dishonourable, so cowardly, that it yet again places (for me at least) into perspective “what is at stake”, remembering as I do that quotational phrase because it was said to me in 2001 by a Special Branch (SO12) British police officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks in New York.

What is at stake – as that Special Branch officer, and so many of his colleagues, intuitively knew – is the culture of the West itself, manifest as that culture is in such modern societies as those in Britain, France, and the United States, and created as such a culture has been by hundreds of years of communal and individual hardship and pathei-mathos. For the lands of such a culture are – despite their many imperfections, and in comparison to so many other non-Western lands – places of relative safety and peace and opportunity for the majority of their citizens. Places of law, and order, where so many know – and try to do – what is right, what is just, what is honourable. And places where so many other people, world-wide, hope and seek to reach and live.

Of course, such truths are not what I, personally, believed for many decades, seeking as I so often did to undermine such Western societies by political, by revolutionary, and even by terrorist, means. But as I mentioned in a fairly recent essay:

“The reality of The United States of America – in its vastness and its diversity (social, religious, racial) – is, as so discovered via my own recent pathei-mathos, so very different from the answers propagated by those who, lacking such a personal pathei-mathos extending over years of such a diverse America, personally or ideologically fixate on ‘this’ or ‘that’ perceived or even real causal personal problems as exist in a land such as America. Yet the reality of America is of many people – both in government and otherwise – who, from the best of intentions, seek and have saught to make their family, their local area, their State, their nation, a better place.” [1]

What therefore can be done, and is there as some have assumed a clash of ‘civilizations’ with “us” contrasted with “them”?

As to what can be done, my own fallible answer born as it is from some four decades of experience of extremism and pathei-mathos, is that it seems incumbent upon us to know, to remember, how and why our Western societies came into being, how and why they have been progressively reformed over a century and more, and why it is incumbent on each one of us to be prepared to do what is honourable in the immediacy of the living moment.

In this I recall what another member of SO12 said to me following my arrest in 1998 following allegations of ‘conspiracy/incitement to murder’ and ‘incitement to racial hatred’. Which was that he was simply doing his duty, in an honourable way, according to what was laid down: according to the oath of his office and thus according to the accumulated law of the land, and that it was not for him or his colleagues to judge since such judgement was the prerogative of an established Court of Law so constituted in its longevity that a fair trial was possible. He had guidelines, a supra-personal and well-established duty, while I realized I had none, having been guided for so long only by hubris.

As to whether there is a ‘clash of civilizations’, my own fallible answer is that there is not; that here, now – as so often in our human past – there is only a clash between the honourable and the dishonourable, and that while such modern societies as those in Britain, France, and the United States, are far from perfect they do often manifest for perhaps a majority what is decent, honourable, especially when compared to the majority of past societies, so that when dishonour occurs in such societies – when some dishonourable deed is done – there are usually individuals, be they Police officers, or soldiers, or journalists, or some citizen, who will seek to redress that dishonour.

For honour is only and ever honour, always the same, while the dishonourable, the cowardly, can hide behind, and have for millennia hidden behind, some cause or ideology or religion or some personal excuse that they or others have manufactured and denoted by some name. For the fault is not that of some religion named Islam; nor of some extremist version of that religion. The fault is ourselves, our human nature; our propensity – and seemingly, sometimes, our need – to be violent, to find in some cause or some ideology or some religion, an excuse for our desire, our need, to be selfish, dishonourable, violent, or establish a ‘name’ for ourselves.

What we – in societies such as those in Britain, France, and the United States – have evolved, so slowly, so painfully over a century and more are some reasonable guidelines, a sense of duty, regarding what is honourable and what is dishonourable.

As Homer declaimed well over two thousand years ago:

τὸν δ᾽ ἐπαλαστήσασα προσηύδα Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη:
‘ὢ πόποι, ἦ δὴ πολλὸν ἀποιχομένου Ὀδυσῆος
δεύῃ, ὅ κε μνηστῆρσιν ἀναιδέσι χεῖρας ἐφείη.
εἰ γὰρ νῦν ἐλθὼν δόμου ἐν πρώτῃσι θύρῃσι
σταίη, ἔχων πήληκα καὶ ἀσπίδα καὶ δύο δοῦρε [2]

David Myatt
July 26th 2016

Extract From A Letter To A Friend

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[1] In Praise Of America And Britain, 2015.

[2]

“Then Pallas Athena – angry at this – said to him:
Before the gods! How great is the need here for the absent Odysseus –
For him to set about these disrespectful ones with his fists!
Would that he would arrive at the outer gate of this dwelling
With his helmet on and holding his shield and two spears”.

Odyssey, Book I, 252-256 [Translated by DW Myatt].

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Article source:
https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/breaking-my-silence/


That Heavy Dust

David Myatt

That Heavy Dust
Extract From A Letter To A Friend

Since you mentioned an old, all but forgotten, scribbling of mine [1] in which I quoted the post-classical Latin phrase memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris [2] I recall similar expressions of the impermanence of mortal life in classical literature from Homer on. For although that Latin phrase is often regarded as deriving from the Book of Genesis in the Septuagint, dating as that book does – according to papyri texts so far discovered – to around 250 BCE, [3] the sentiment it expresses is centuries older and part of the weltanschauung of Ancient Greece.

Thus in the Iliad – Book XVI, 775–776 – there is an ancient expression similar in sentiment to the reminder that prowess and life are transient given to a Roman General centuries later during their Triumphus [4], their victory parade in Rome.

Ὃ δ’ ἐν στροφάλιγγι κονίης κεῖτο μέγας μεγαλωστί, λελασμένος ἱπποσυνάων

He of great strength lay in the swirling dust, his skill with horses taken away.

In Book VI, 146–149, there is the beautiful, poetic,

οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
φύλλα τὰ μέν τ᾽ ἄνεμος χαμάδις χέει, ἄλλα δέ θ᾽ ὕλη
τηλεθόωσα φύει, ἔαρος δ᾽ ἐπιγίγνεται ὥρη:
ὣς ἀνδρῶν γενεὴ ἣ μὲν φύει ἣ δ᾽ ἀπολήγει

Just as the genesis of leaves is, so it is with mortals:
Leaves scattered upon earth and yet the trees
Burst again when the growing season returns
With one generation of mortals leaving and another brought forth.

In the Agamemnon of Aeschylus – vv. 438-442 – we have the poignant

ὁ χρυσαμοιβὸς δ᾽ Ἄρης σωμάτων
καὶ ταλαντοῦχος ἐν μάχῃ δορὸς
πυρωθὲν ἐξ Ἰλίου
φίλοισι πέμπει βαρὺ
ψῆγμα δυσδάκρυτον ἀν-
τήνορος σποδοῦ γεμί-
ζων λέβητας εὐθέτους.

And Ares – exchanging bodies for gold
And holding his scales among the combat of spears –
Has, from Ilion by his fire,
Conveyed to their loved ones a painful lament – that heavy dust
He had exchanged for their men: ashes, stuffed into easily-stowable urns.

Personally, I find the sentiments expressed in Homer, in Aeschylus, and in so many other Greek and Roman writers, far surpass those of the Old Testament, and recall many times in the choir stalls of a monastery while chanting Matins – replete as that night Office was with verses from the Old Testament – desiring instead to recite something from Homer, in Ancient Greek of course.

David Myatt
28th August, 2018

Nota Bene: For publication here I have added two footnotes – [1] and [4] – to the two appended to the letter. All translations are mine.

°°°

[1] https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/telesmata-in-the-picatrix/

[2] “Recall, mortal, you are dust and you will revert to being dust.”

[3] As I wrote in a footnote in my Tu Es Diaboli Ianua,

“The archaeological – the physical – evidence seems to indicate that the Greek text of the Old Testament is older than the Hebrew text, with the earliest manuscript fragment being Greek Papyrus 458 currently housed in the Rylands Papyri collection – qv. Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 20 (1936), pp. 219-45 – and which fragment was discovered in Egypt and has been dated as being from the second century BCE.

In contrast, the earliest fragments of the Old Testament in Hebrew date from c.150 BCE to c. 70 CE, and are part of what has come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition, the earliest known Greek – and almost complete – text of the Old Testament, Codex Vaticanus, dates from c.320 CE with the earliest complete Hebrew text of the Tanakh, the Allepo Codex, dating from centuries later, around 920 CE.

While it is and has been a common presumption that the Hebrew version of the Old Testament is older than the Greek version, my inclination is to favour the extant physical evidence over and above presumption. Were physical evidence of Hebrew texts earlier than Greek Papyrus 458 discovered, and of there existing a complete Hebrew text dating from before Codex Vaticanus, my inclination would be to revise my opinion based on a study of the new evidence.”

[4] qv. M. Beard, The Roman Triumph, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007. p. 272f.


Article source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/that-heavy-dust/


Telesmata In The Picatrix

David Myatt

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Telesmata In The Picatrix

Telesmata is from Greek τέλεσμα via the post-classic Latin telesma and is possibly the origin of the English word talisman, dating as that English word does from 1638.

τέλεσμα in Ancient Greek meant a payment, or an offering to offset a debt or for services rendered. According to my fallible understanding, in Hellenistic times it acquired the sense of an object intended as an offering to the gods, and to lesser divinities such as daemons, as a mark of respect or in order to seek their favour or ward off their wroth. Thus if a person had toiled to make the offering, the telesma, or had at the very least exchanged goods or money for it, it was believed that such labour or such an exchange revealed that one had earned their protection or their help. The more valuable the object, the more help or protection they might expect.

This belief in such offerings and their efficacy was an integral part of not only the diverse Greco-Roman paganus weltanschauungen but also of many other paganus weltanschauungen around the world, past and present, founded as such weltanschauungen are on the understanding, on the ancestral wisdom, or on the intuition that we mortals are part of a living cosmos with the gods (the divinities) and Nature considered as living beings (or as archetypes, manifestations of cosmic forces) who and which can affect us and who have affected us – as individuals, and as communities – in terms of good fortune and misfortune.

For such understanding, such ancestral wisdom, or such intuition included the insight that some mortal deeds were wise and some mortal deeds were unwise because wise deeds were those which aided or did not upset the natural cosmic balance and because unwise deeds – acts of hubris – did upset the natural cosmic balance and invited, sooner or later, retribution by the divinities, be such retribution personal (against the hubriatic individual) or against the family and descendants of that individual or against the community that the hubriatic individual was a part of. A pattern of hubriatic deeds which both Aeschylus and Sophocles so well described: Aeschylus in the Oresteia, and Sophocles in his Antigone and his Oedipus Tyrannus.

In respect of the Greek belief in such divinities and asking for their help there is of course that beautiful poem by Sappho [1]

ποικιλόθρον’ ἀθανάτ Ἀφρόδιτα,
παῖ Δίος δολόπλοκε, λίσσομαί σε,
μή μ’ ἄσαισι μηδ’ ὀνίαισι δάμνα,
πότνια, θῦμον,

ἀλλὰ τυίδ’ ἔλθ’, αἴ ποτα κἀτέρωτα
τὰς ἔμας αὔδας ἀίοισα πήλοι
ἔκλυες, πάτρος δὲ δόμον λίποισα
χρύσιον ἦλθες

ἄρμ’ ὐπασδεύξαισα· κάλοι δέ σ’ ἆγον
ὤκεες στροῦθοι περὶ γᾶς μελαίνας
πύκνα δίννεντες πτέρ’ ἀπ’ ὠράνωἴθε-
ρος διὰ μέσσω·

αἶψα δ’ ἐξίκοντο· σὺ δ’, ὦ μάκαιρα,
μειδιαίσαισ’ ἀθανάτωι προσώπωι
ἤρε’ ὄττι δηὖτε πέπονθα κὤττι
δηὖτε κάλημμι

κὤττι μοι μάλιστα θέλω γένεσθαι
μαινόλαι θύμωι· τίνα δηὖτε πείθω
μαισ’ ἄγην ἐς σὰν φιλότατα; τίς σ’, ὦ
Ψά]πφ’, ἀδικήει;

καὶ γὰρ αἰ φεύγει, ταχέως διώξει,
αἰ δὲ δῶρα μὴ δέκετ’, ἀλλὰ δώσει,
αἰ δὲ μὴ φίλει, ταχέως φιλήσει
κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα.

ἔλθε μοι καὶ νῦν, χαλέπαν δὲ λῦσον
ἐκ μερίμναν, ὄσσα δέ μοι τέλεσσαι
θῦμος ἰμέρρει, τέλεσον, σὺ δ’ αὔτα
σύμμαχος ἔσσο.

Deathless Aphrodite – Daughter of Zeus and maker of snares –
On your florid throne, hear me!
My lady, do not subdue my heart by anguish and pain
But come to me as when before
You heard my distant cry, and listened:
Leaving, with your golden chariot yoked, your father’s house
To move beautiful sparrows swift with a whirling of wings
As from heaven you came to this dark earth through middle air
And so swiftly arrived.

Then you my goddess with your immortal lips smiling
Would ask what now afflicts me, why again
I am calling and what now I with my restive heart
Desired:

Whom now shall I beguile
To bring you to her love?
Who now injures you, Sappho?
For if she flees, soon shall she chase
And, rejecting gifts, soon shall she give.
If she does not love you, she shall do so soon
Whatsoever is her will.

Come to me now to end this consuming pain
Bringing what my heart desires to be brought:
Be yourself my ally in this fight.

By the time the manuscripts of the Picatrix were written, as translations of a translation of an Arabic manuscript dating from some three or more centuries older, the concept of telesmata seems to have become somewhat divorced from its paganus origins since the Picatrix begins with a doxology to a singular God – Ad laudem et gloriam altissimi et omnipotentis Dei cuius est revelare suis predestinatis secreta scienciarum – echoing as it does the doxology to Allah, Al-Ahad, in that earlier Arabic manuscript and containing as that Arabic manuscript does several quotations from the Quran.

Thus, and again according to my fallible understanding, it seems to me that, given the importance attached in both the Latin and the Arabic text to telesmata – the locus has, despite such doxologies, moved away from the paganus understanding of mortals as an integral (Ciceronian) balancing part of the cosmos, as part of Nature and of their community and personally aware of the consequences of hubris, toward the εἶδος – the abstraction – of mortals as individuals who can by telesmata and other means achieve certain personal desires or bring about certain changes beneficial to themselves. Almost as if telesmata and other similar means have replaced the numinous, the paganus, awareness of our status as mortals who depend on the harmony that the older divinities represented, manifest as this awareness is in the phrase memento homo [2]. A phrase adopted by the Roman Catholic church in the form “memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris,” [3] and which church, despite its faults, perhaps for centuries kept alive at least something of the paganus understanding of the error of hubris, its awareness of our temporary mortal life and of our fallible mortal nature.

DW Myatt
2017

Note: This text is an edited version of a communication sent this year to someone who had enquired about the relation, if any, between the talismans described in the Latin text entitled Picatrix and Greco-Roman pagan beliefs.

°°°

[1] My translation. The Greek text is that of Lobel and Page, Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, Oxford 1955.
[2] Although the use of a similar phrase about mortality in the Triumphus is disputed, there is evidence to suggest that during those victory processions in Rome the triumphant General was reminded by someone of his mortality, qv. M. Beard, The Roman Triumph, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007. p. 272f.
[3] “Recall, mortal, you are dust and you will revert to being dust.”


Article source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/telesmata-in-the-picatrix/


Zionism And The Zeitgeist Of The West

odal3

Editorial Note: We reproduce the following article not because we agree with all of the opinions expressed by its author [1] but because, after a long preamble, it has – in our opinion – some intriguing things to say about David Myatt, Vindex, and the Order of Nine Angles.

We have replaced some of the links to pdf files available from that blog to ones available via this blog.

RDM Crew
July 2018

[1] See the Disclaimer at https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/about/

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Zionism And The Zeitgeist Of The West

The actual zeitgeist of the governments of the modern West – as opposed to the imagined zeitgeist that many people seem to believe in – was evident in a recent event. Which event was the attack in May 2018 on unarmed Muslim civilians by the army of the Zionist entity that currently occupies Palestine and which attack resulted in 58 Muslims killed with over 2,000 injured. The Muslims were protesting at the American government moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in compliance to Zionist demands.

Officials of the American government failed to condemn the massacre of civilians, with the Zionists blaming Muslim “terrorists” for the violence, even though not one Zionist soldier was injured or killed. In addition, the governments of Europe merely expressed “some concern” at the events, although had some Muslims, somewhere in the world, killed 58 civilians and injured over 2,000, those governments would assuredly have stridently condemned such an attack, called it “an atrocity”, and demanded that the killers “be brought to justice.”

The zeitgeist is also evident in another recent event. The imposition by the government of America, again at the behest of the Zionist entity, of even more punitive sanctions on Iran with the excuse being to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons even though the Zionist entity has – in violation of international treaties – developed nuclear weapons and has not been, is not being, and will not be, subject to international sanctions for so developing such weapons.

       The zeitgeist is thus one of hypocrisy, of double standards, and of uncritical support – economic, financial, military, propagandistic and otherwise – for the Zionist entity that currently occupies Palestine, with overt criticism of that entity and of its policies deemed to be, especially in European countries, “anti-Semitism” and regarded by all Western governments as “morally repugnant” and as “hate speech.” The career of any Western politician who dares to criticize, for whatever reason, the Zionist entity will be over, as the recent case of Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, illustrates.

The new zeitgeist of the West is founded – as the Zionist entity was – on one modern legend and one old myth. The old myth is that God intended Palestine for those who consider themselves “the chosen people” and who thus regard themselves as the descendants of the Hebrew tribes mentioned in the Old Testament, and who sincerely believe that

                  “The Jews were chosen to act as pathfinders for the world, and Israel has a special place as an instrument to effect the Jew’s social engineering upon the world.” {1}{2}

The modern legend is of “evil Nazis” who persecuted and then deliberately exterminated millions of “the chosen people” leaving those who remained with a duty to emigrate to and settle in Palestine and thus force (or by various means persuade) the Muslims who lived there to leave.

This zeitgeist – and the uncritical support engendered, especially by both past American governments and the current government of America – has assured the present success of the Zionist entity, commercially, financially, economically, and military. A success and a zeitgeist evident, for example, in that the entity is now advertised and accepted as a “European-type” tourist destination for Western peoples and is included in the “Eurovision Song Contest” even though it is not, geographically, in Europe.

Yet successful as the Zionist entity now appears to be, what its government, and those in the Western governments who support it, forget or do not know – what those who resort to “in time” methods and tactics always forget or never seem to know – is the Aeonic, the “above time”, aspect and perspective. {3}

An Aeonic Perspective

Perceived Aeonically, the Zionist entity may well be successful, for a while: be it for some decades, be it for a hundred years or perhaps more. However, their success is dependant on the continuing support of America, on a continuing belief among the peoples of the West in both the legend of the holocaust, and in the myth supported by evangelical/traditionalist Nazarenes (especially in America) that their support for the Zionist entity that currently occupies Palestine is authorized by Nazarene Scripture which they believe revealed that their Nazarene God intended Palestine for those who consider themselves “the chosen people” as thus who regard themselves as the descendants of the Hebrews tribes mentioned in the Old Testament.

However,

§ Regarding American support, both the demographic and the belief of the people of America are changing. Demographically, the move is away from a White majority toward those hitherto ethnic minorities – the Hispanic and the Negro – who have an instinctive aversion to the policies and politics espoused by people such as The Vulgarian {4}. In terms of belief, it is estimated that, in America, every year around 3,000 Nazarene churches close due to falling congregations, with a 2017 study by the American based Public Religion Research Institute revealing that in 1996 around 65% of Americans identified themselves as White Christians while a decade or so later only 43% did so.

Thus it is reasonable to conclude that in a hundred or so years time the people of America, and their beliefs, will be different from that of today, with there being no guarantee of American support for the Zionist entity that currently occupies Palestine.

§ Regarding belief among the peoples of the West in the legend of the holocaust, although it is likely that over the next three or four decades more Western lands will introduce Zionist-supported tyrannical laws making questioning “the holocaust” a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment, the history of Western peoples over the last three millennia reveals that rebellion against tyrannical laws is inevitable, sooner or later, be that later a century or more. For every tyranny, every Empire, has its day with none, in the entire history of humanity, lasting more than three or four centuries. There is always a revolution or rebellions; there is always the death – from natural causes or otherwise – of a tyrant or potentate; there is always a change of government; always the removal, the overthrow – violent or otherwise – of a ruling cabal. And there are always new ideals, new ideas, new ways of living, which replace – gradually or otherwise – the old.

§ Regarding the belief among Nazarenes that support for the Zionist entity that currently occupies Palestine is authorized by Nazarene Scripture, the Nazarene religion itself is currently threatened by the spread of Islam which of course is why the Zionist entity – and supporters of that entity, such as the current American government – have waged and are waging both a propaganda and an actual or a proxy or an economic war against Muslim influence in the Middle East and elsewhere: such as in Afghanistan (actual war and invasion), Iraq (actual war and invasion), Syria (proxy war), Yemen (proxy war), Iran (economic war and agitation for regime change), Sinai (proxy war), Rakhine State (proxy war), Somalia (proxy war).

While Zionist and Western propaganda describes this war against Muslim influence as a “war on terror” it is in reality – as the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has revealed – a war against Muslims living without Western influence and according to Shariah in their own lands. The hypocrisy of calling it a “war on terror” is evident in the fact that Western wars and invasions and proxy wars, and the Zionist entity, have killed far more Muslim civilians – tens upon tens of thousands – than Muslim “terrorist” groups have killed Western civilians and residents of the Zionist entity.

Zeitgeist Of The West, Heresy, And The O9A

That the original zeitgeist of the West has been replaced by the aforementioned Zionist-loving zeitgeist was explained in Myatt’s 1984 essay Vindex: Destiny Of The West {5}. In that text Myatt described the replacement zeitgeist as Magian and concluded that National Socialism – what it actually was, not what Zionist propaganda and the modern legend of ‘the holocaust’ has made it appear to be – was an expression of the original, Faustian, zeitgeist of the West, and that

                  “in its relation to what we have called the ethos of the West, National-Socialism, from its very beginnings in Munich in 1919, stands as an embodiment of that ethos. National-Socialism was a resurgence of basically Faustian values over and above the cultural dominance of the Magian.”

That National Socialism – correctly perceived and understood, as for example by means of the life and writings of Waffen-SS General Leon Degrelle {6} – is now a modern heresy, with promotion of such heresy and denial of modern legend of ‘the holocaust’ made illegal in several European lands, should be obvious.

Enter, into this heretical milieu, the esoteric Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA). Which modern esoteric movement {7} has antinomian Insight Roles {8} some of which involve supporting National Socialism and denying the modern legend of ‘the holocaust’, and which esoteric Order

                  “has always praised the warrior ethos, Hitler, and the Waffen-SS, and propagated the Vindex mythos, and emphasised the idea of a Galactic Imperium; and why the O9A values, and emphasises, both ‘the clan’ and ‘the tribe’ and such pagan ancestral European traditions as the Rounwytha.” {9}

In addition, the O9A has always promoted the idea – founded on scholarship – that

                  “as described in the O9A text The Geryne of Satan – (i) hasatan – the satan – refers (in the Septuagint) to the chief adversary (of the so-called ‘chosen ones’) and to the chief schemer against those who regard themselves as the chosen people of God/Jehovah, and (ii) “a satan” historically (in the Septuagint) refers to someone who is an adversary of and who thus is pejoratively regarded (by those so opposed) as scheming, as plotting against those who regard themselves as the chosen people of God/Jehovah.” {10}

That this heretical understanding of Satan and of Satanism has been usurped by the Media-supported egoistic, Magian, ‘satanism’ manufactured and propagated by Howard Stanton Levey (the Yahoudi, a.k.a. Anton Szandor LaVey) – and accepted by most self-described “neo-nazis” as defining Satanism – should be sufficient of itself to understand (i) how the Faustian zeitgeist of the West has been replaced by one based on a modern legend and an old myth, and (ii) what the O9A with its Aeonic understanding, its “sinister dialectic”, and its practical dangerous heresy, is all about, and (iii) why that acausal “sinister dialectic”, undermining as it does the status quo, is based on the knowledge, the wisdom, of the inevitable decline and fall of those individuals – and of those governments and entities – who are “in time” and who thus are enamoured of, and by, simplistic causal abstractions.

R.S.
May 2018 ev

{1} Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Dr. Jakobovits, The Guardian newspaper (London), 7th August 1982.

{2} In this context, “social engineering” refers both (i) to government and State efforts (through for example laws, centralized planning, and propaganda) to influence the attitudes and ideas of people and the structure of society, and (ii) to efforts by the Media and special interest groups to bring about certain changes in society.

{3} The categories “in time” and “above time” refer to Savitri Devi’s book The Lightning and the Sun in which she describes three basic types of leaders. Those “in time” – like Genghis Khan – who concentrate on military might; those “above time” – like the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten – who are otherworldly; and those “against time” – like Adolf Hitler – who are both “in time” and “above time”, both Lightning and Sun. A similar though not identical concept occurs in the Sea of Fertility novels of Yukio Mishima in the characters of Kiyoaki Matsugae, Isao Iinuma, Ying Chan, and Toru Yasunaga.

{4} qv. (i) https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/the-vulgarian-gift-from-our-goddess/ and (ii) https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/the-vulgarian-archetypal-homo-hubris/

{5} Myatt’s Vindex essay is available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/vindex-destiny-of-the-west.pdf. Caveat: While kudos is due to the person who transcribed Myatt’s 1984 essay and made it available as an e-text, the digital text does contain some typos and a few errors and omissions.

{6} 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.

{7} As described by Professor Monette on page 89 of his book Mysticism in the 21st Century published in 2013 by Sirius Academic Press, the O9A “is not a structured lodge or temple, but rather a movement, a subculture or perhaps metaculture that its adherents choose to embody or identify with.”

{8} By means of Insight Roles, the Order of Nine Angles “advocates continuous transgression of established norms, roles, and comfort zones in the development of the initiate […] This extreme application of ideas further amplifies the ambiguity of satanic and Left Hand Path practices of antinomianism, making it almost impossible to penetrate the layers of subversion, play and counter-dichotomy inherent in the sinister dialectics.” Faxneld, Per & Petersen, Jesper Aagaard, The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity. 2013. Oxford University Press, p.15

{9} The O9A, Hitler, Vindex, And National Socialism, in the compilation The Order of Nine Angles And National Socialism, available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/o9a-and-ns-v1a.pdf

{10} Understanding Neo-völkisch Satanism. {External Link]


Article source:
https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/zionism-and-the-zeitgeist-of-the-west/