Corpus Nine Thirteen


§ What this is, what this is not


The present is a short but precise comment on Corpus 913 (as of 2017), and which comment has been allowed to be written because the author of said document, Mr. Hutchins, values objective and impersonal evaluation and respectful communication in favor of a healthy development of ideas. What we have here is a discussion of the contents of Corpus 913 in light of published and shared ONA MSS that are widely available; it is not to be taken as anything else but one more entry in the lists of different commentaries on this website. It is a commentary on and around Corpus 913 given in earnest to whoever might find value in it, and there is not the least trace of interest in an eventual discussion through Internet posts of any kind.

The present is a series of observations by an outsider, an observer and, quite simply, a reader of the materials at hand. It is, furthermore, not an evaluation per se, but a discussion of certain aspects of Corpus 913, and thence an extension into related topics, in an effort to clarify and contribute as best one can in the form of thought, as far as one’s own partial and admittedly imperfect vision can see. Furthermore, and most importantly, this is specifically and exclusively a literary commentary on ideas proposed, because it is all that can be had from an online compilation of texts.

The present is not an evaluation of Nexion Nine Thirteen in itself, its members or their actions in the real world, whoever and whatever they might be. It is not a supposition of absolute authority over or ego-aggrandizing, not only because nothing of the sort could realistically come about from such a pretension but because such an attitude and diversion cannot be conducive to self-development. Finally, this is not an entry into the time-wasting online ‘occult polemics’ that appears to consume forum lurkers and such individuals with priorities obviously widely differing from one’s own.


§ Strengths and Potential


The first thing that stands out about Corpus 913 is an outline for a plan of action in Section 1, which pertains the fostering of a certain tribal culture through the specification of life stages. There is also to be found, in a sub-section immediately following, a brief overview of the different Aeons or dialectical stages in the decay of modern human civilization, along with the actions which N913 proposes should be a priority and a goal during each. Such a discussion is valuable in that, although still highly speculative, sets the tone for an eventual planning out of increasingly concrete, readily-visible, or foreseeable, situations and corresponding actions.

These types of outlines are sorely missing from the rather hulking quantity of MSS from different sources floating around the Internet. There may be, however, a reason for this, and it is that ONA appears to have an organic-growth view in mind from its inception; requiring the first generation or two, at least, to discover and attain practical knowledge from their particular situations and local environment means that they could then start to gradually systematize their propositions. Though not explicitly stated, it seems a very logical development after having read and digested the general and evolving statements of official ONA documentation.

It makes sense, therefore, that Nexion Nine Thirteen’s practical outlines are brief and paint only broad strokes, for realistically, only practical experience can properly dictate exact protocols and procedures in more detail. These would and should take several generations to grow naturally and effectively, if an evolving culture is to be fostered. The alternative is a military and soviet-like imposition from above which treats human beings like blank slates; that latter approach, however, disregards the fact that humans have natural tendencies predisposed and dictated by an evolutionary path, and which path appears to be one that affords possibilities that are not unlimited.

Despite this, the outlines given in Corpus Nine Thirteen, especially those pertaining the stages of a commune member, could use more specific details. This could be, perhaps, done through exemplification and even through story-telling, in order to project a picture that could be emulated as one would an archetype; such stories could become the archetypes of Nexion Nine Thirteen, rather than the unclear dialectical Cyborg Mythos. The Cyborg Mythos itself is more of a very brief, sci-fi-esque picture with a Soviet-specific interpretation of dialectical materialism (a pseudo-scientific ideological simplification of the earlier materialist philosophy), than it is a complete proposition in its own right.


§ Wasting Resources


Starting with section 3, ‘N913 Science and Philosophy’, the document eventually descends, most clearly when arriving at sub-section 3.4,  into something that is less of a proposal and a reactionary comment on ONA. This contrasts starkly with the aloof and rich proposition from the earlier sections, especially as the discussion turns quickly from what one would consider ‘probably actual ONA people’ to those simply criticizing people on the Internet. Diverting attention from the concrete and lofty goals in the shape of general community rules and education guidelines, to a defense of Nexion Nine Thirteen. It should be remembered that if their document is written for those of us who are not really familiar or care for the bickering, and especially for future generations, nobody is going to know, remember or care about the 600 Club or other posers.

By diverting such a large portion of an otherwise serious document to an almost casual criticism of entirely temporal affairs (commercialization of ONA groups, accusations by non-serious practitioners, negative rants that constantly turns towards self-reference), and devoting a considerable space to the latter, the overall quality is lessened and the focus is pulled away from what is initially an Aeonic vision. It would make much more sense to do away with the current Section 3 as a whole, place essential extracts from the main points on definitions in an appendix, and keep Section 4 as a main, originating body of reflections. Moreover, because section 4 contains ‘historical documents’ which seem to demonstrate the origin of the postures of Nexion 913, it would make sense to move these to an earlier position, allowing the practical propositions on tribal organization of life stages to fall towards the end in a from-theory-to-praxis type of scheme.

Section 4 is the clearest and carries the most weight, probably because it is a selection of outstanding texts (at least in appearance). They are instigating, inspiring and full of information, which makes them much more than the rants of Section 3. The difference lies is that Section 4 discussions are far more relevant as they exemplify and extrapolate, and so are far more philosophical than those that bear that title in Section 3. There is, furthermore, a strong link between Section 2 and Section 4, both in continuity of thought, sobriety and relevance, which should be capitalized upon and further expanded into more detailed and concrete practical outlines.


§ Exoterizations of the Esoteric


As a further note, it is appropriate here to at least mention a certain malady that appears to affect the tones in which certain nexions project themselves on an exoteric level, at least on the Internet. Exoteric presentations are reflections of Esoteric depths, the concretion of apprehensions and intuitions understood and brought under a manner of order, and which is represented by the Apollo-Dionysus symbolization of the infamous Friedrich Nietzsche. The relationship between the two is strong, as one realizes that they are inherently interdependent, rather than being simply the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ of a fabricated structure (in contrast to an living organism, whose exterior matches internal states, and whose exterior has as much impact on its interior as the latter has on the former).

Proper esotericism, it would seem,  is a double edged sword, which hides as much as it reveals, and whose revelation cannot be unbound from its hiding. That is to say, it is the layers of exoteric exposition which themselves constitute the symbolic graduation of the esoteric essence. It does not, and should not, need to be explained, since the explanations themselves incur a debasing, a reduction and almost certainly a distortion of the esoteric essence. There lies the connection with the practical, with direct experience, and the putting together of the pieces of existence and reality “beyond denotatum“.

When, therefore, the different analyses of practitioners or occult commentators take issue with the symbols used by ONA, with the sketchiness of its apparent design, they seem to do so from a purely exoteric perspective. That is to say, not as exoteric linking to esoteric and concretely revealing fault or mistake, but as exoteric as pure appearance of symbols in a catalogue. Discussions on ONA names, stories, rituals, etc. end up being reduced and compressed into what feels tangible. Such a proclivity appears to be predominantly American, and which proclivity leads many towards dialectical materialism. In lieu of the truly unspoken, unspeakable mystical experience, the average American mentality seeks this tangibility because American culture lacks the essence of said experience: it needs the theatrical, which is an exoteric form, and confuses it with the esoteric essence itself. It ignores that the mystical, the esoteric, is not the fireworks of the symbols but the every-day, instant-to-instant living through this existence.

The problem with this materialism is that it is itself a reduction of idealism, and whose relation is very much like that of pathetic Humanist values that clearly stem from Christian dogma. The situation in the latter case is that when atheism arrives at the door under the flag of Humanism, it does away with dogma but retains all the idealistic mumbo-jumbo and is forced to justify it through materialist means. That is to say, where dogma caused value, dogma was removed but value was retained as if it were a given, thereby causing the necessity of making all sorts of excuses for the maintenance of the value. The illusion lies in thinking that because materialist, because only looking for tangibility, the explanation is scientific; through such misconception is pseudo-science born.

Something similar appears happen with de-esotericized interpretations of the ONA, which do not seem to comprehend that ONA proposes methods that develop the individual but also dissolve interpretations of reality in favor of a constant immediate apprehension of the same. Thus, while a method of confrontation and self-challenge may be to adopt the aforementioned Soviet denotatum, to turn it into a conclusion implies the falling into the trap of its indirect apprehension of reality. The method is confused with the goal, and a same ghost-dogma-to-value interplay occurs where the “sovietization” of the mind becomes not a door and an exoteric presentation of the esoteric anti-dote, but the reductionist end-point.


§ Intrinsic Self-Culling Design of the ONA


 Such a confusion in great numbers is one of the stated purposes of the Labyrinthos Mythologicusand it is what makes it inherently elitist at every level. That is to say, it is not elitist because it brags or because there is an authority denying entry, but because it asks from the practitioner a wide variety of abilities, at least in potential, and the willingness to develop them through hard work. Some of these are stated explicitly, and others are required by the sheer complexity or lack of explanations of certain things, which end up pushing the seriously interested practitioner to find ways, bridge gaps, interpret and discover his own unique way. Being unable to do so, either out of incompetence or mental intransigence, is to be culled by the design of the ONA, or to be culled out of the loop by one’s own mediocrity, incapacity or emotional blockage and blinding (often the case among clever occultists).

From its inception, the Seven-Fold Way was intended to see most fail, to see most crumble under pressure, by a reluctance to try again, by carelessness leading to mental or physical injury or destruction. It should be clear to any objective and intelligent student of the materials (not to speak to a practitioner, I presume) that personal discernment is the foremost of all ONA requirements, once a holistic and balanced view of its rather wide assortment of ideas throughout the decades has been at least partially digested. To even suggest that the failure of many (most?) ONA would-be initiates is a sign of failure of the system, or to suppose that the bickering between ONA-inspired/derived groups implies an alarming state of affairs threatening to take it down, is to not to be able to see beyond the proverbial nose.

As far as one can tell, the Seven-Fold Way was meant to be not only highly individualistic and mutable, because of its framework for local and personal adaptation, but for the same reason disconnected and anarchic as seeds. That is to say, ONA nexions need not be brothers, nor should they need to maintain communication at all, especially if after a certain period of time Adepts had already been disseminated geographically after an initial round of tutelage from the origin, as it were. As the original proponents of the Seven-Fold Way sort of said, the worth or value or applicability of the system will only be proven if it eventually reaches its Aeonic goals. To say this goal, the initial stages of which require centuries and generations after generations of Adepts, has been thwarted because certain groups crumble, is to not understand the implications of what is being said. While there is at least one Master, or while the corpus’ materials can interact with human minds to produce Adepts and the information is available where there is potential, there exists the hope that a certain causal iteration of the ONA presents itself that can eventually lead towards the accomplishment of said Aeonic goals.

Friedrich Nietzsche Ecce homo


§ Humour


Humour chracterises much of Nietzsche’s writing, always allowing himself to laugh rather than grow angry at anything. One can see him prancing around, smashing lilies underfoot, uncaring of what sacred cows he throws dirt on. But there is always a reason behind everything he says in this tone, even though it might not be explicitly stated around the infringing statement, and must instead be figured out by the audience from the afterthoughts of the context as a whole.

Humour prevents one from falling into the stagnation that comes about as a result of unyielding emotional obsession with issues under discussion; light feet allow the un-German germanic thinker1 to always move on as if without greater consequence. Some have considered Nietzsche to be a “thoroughly irresponsible thinker”, because the norm of the (superficially) sanitised West is to tip-toe around everything hypocritically while sacrificing those around in order to feel better. Nietzsche says what needs to be said, by transmitting the bare truth as he sees it, divested from personal desires and simply as it presents itself.

Humour also allows for an easy way through honesty, avoiding being chocked with the grave seriousness that his statements are bound to instill in whoever hears or read or heard him. That is not to say that Nietzsche detracts from their importance, but that he can by applying to a humourous mood treat them efficiently, with an agile mind and without reservations.


§ Pride and Earnestness


Nietzsche has always embraced a healthy, flexible pride which has been misrepresented more often than not, and perhaps by those who judge others by their own limitations. This is a pride that is sure of the individual’s worth, not as a mantra, but as a plain recognition of proficient abilities, thus of worth and reach. It is also a pride which may appear to fall into the trap of ego-bloating, but the latter is soon understood as device rather than as the shield and justification of weaker fatalist minds of today.

In contrast with the Socratic method of covert insubordination and dishonest double-facing, Nietzsche chooses the way of open dissent. This dissent is, moreover, wielded as a weapon rather than becoming an all-consuming end in itself —In this lies the greatest difference between prophets with a mission, like Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, and the rebels without a transcendent cause which plague a modernist landscape onto which they project all manner of self-justifications.

Nietzsche never concedes to having to justifying himself; he presents, he elaborates, and the burden of going beyond prejudices is left to the reader, who has to learn of the point of view of the thinker. This has actually proven to be too much for most people, and where he is not outright rejected as heretic against everything, he is wrongfully appropriated into camps where he does not belong.

At the very bottom of it all, under all his witty prose and rhythmic expression, lies the hard content —the actual proposition. Most people, even professionals, seem to get stuck in the outer layers, trapped in whatever their own ego cannot let go, or whatever makes it feel larger —the trap of Nietzschean literature. The essence of Nietzsche’s thought is highly impersonal, though stated unapologetically in a very personal tone and idiosyncratic expression.


Footnotes

1 While Nietzsche’s allusions to a Polish nobility descent can be taken as his exemplification of an illustration of freedom from morality through appropriation, contrary to what he despised in contemporary German culture; however, Nietzsche was thoroughly German. Nietzsche detested German idealism, and probably ran in the contrary direction to find in the lack of accountability of the Polish nobility —and probably self-interested individualism— an extreme symbol for his utter rejection of idealism.

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice


§ Feminine subtlety


Without falling into crass prejudices, we may observe that women are very often more sensitive to a whole range of human emotions and details than men are; to be more precise, women are aware things in a way in which men generally cannot readily comprehend without a rationalization of some kind. Rather than being a weakness as many a narrow-minded individual would suggest, it implies a different set of strengths; these are utilized by Jane Austen in the writing of a novel that is timeless in its essence, even if dressed in the garments corresponding to a certain time period.

Following from that same thought, we may describe Pride and Prejudice as a very feminine novel. And although some would think that such a remark conceals a derogatory intent, it is only an observation of nature. The ways in which situations are developed and, perhaps even more importantly, the way in which they are treated as perceptions of the main character, display that dangerous, double-edged intuition that swings the nuanced feminine sensitivity towards love-or-hate valuations.

It should also be mentioned that Jane Austen is not just any woman writer, but a very smart one who does not need the mention of her particular sex to be raised into the pantheon which she so rightfully inhabits. To place her in a list of ‘woman writers’ per se is more of an insult to someone of her stature, for she needs no special treatment (no ‘affirmative action’) in order to be recognised as one of the greatest.


§ Introspection


In order to not spoil the story, and because this is not the point of this commentary, we will not provide a sketch of the story. However, a few bits of information will not be out of place to give context to the comments themselves. The story places at its center Elizabeth Bennet, a young lady of uncommon sagacity and a somewhat melancholic predisposition. The relative point of reference character of the story is a certain Mr. Darcy, a taciturn individual more prone to maintaining a prideful distance from those around him.

A class or two in social strata separate them, not only through wealth but also in that the latter is part of the nobility, adding to the complexity of their interaction. Moreover, where the one is flexible the other in inflexible; where one is prudent and respectful, the other is unmoved by the sensibilities of the general public. Their first encounters leave an impact of dissimilar character, though equal magnitude, on each others’ minds. The story’s underlying knot comes about smoothly, as each individual is drawn towards each other through the arousal of challenging emotions that run a course contrary to their inner norm.

 From the outside, and in the usual appreciation of the story, it may seem obvious to relate the title of the book to the attitudes with which one associates Mr. Darcy. Less often mentioned, because not as obvious, is the fact that the pride and prejudice of Ms. Bennet towards Mr. Darcy is, in fact, at least as grave as his. A more nuanced diplomat, the witty and aloof Elizabeth Bennet often escapes our judgement, despite her suffering from the same malady as her male counterpart.

And it is because we see far less of his thought process than hers, except as a revelation towards the end of the story, that we may find, as a logical conclusion, that Jane Austen’s truest intention lay in making an example of the masterfully buried, emotional transformation of Ms. Bennet, rather than that of Mr. Darcy.

Having finished reading the book, one might observe that upon their meeting early on in the story, Mr. Darcy began a process caused by his meeting of ‘Eliza’ resulting in a severe self-evaluation and effort to improve on the deficiencies she made known to him in the most unapologetic manner. Our main character, on the other hand, becomes deeply ensconced in her determination to place blame and disdain upon the shoulders of an individual whom she knows only in passing and by the references of others. It is only upon the gradual discovery of his noble actions that she learns that he is not who she thought.


§ A timeless parable


To the attentive and sensible reader, it should also be apparent that the moral of the story is an unstated call to learn about people through our own personal knowing of them through time and within context, and not merely to form images based on first impressions and rumors. The idea becomes more obvious in light of the parallel unraveling of the Wickham knot, whose initial reception as a charming man leads everyone to confuse the all-round agreeable demeanor that he artfully projects with character and moral worth.

Essentially, this is the story of two exceptional individuals coming together in a gradual discovery of their imperfection, and their eventual triumph in not only surrendering to self-honesty, but in rising up to the challenge of meaningful learning. This is not, however, a tale of social class merging or mobility, as simpler and more ideologically-inclined minds of the intellectually bankrupt leftist camp often suggest. Instead, we may see through the difficulty, that the story emphasizes the value of prudence and decisiveness in action, rather than glorifies exceptionalism or maverick daring per se.

To come back to our first and perhaps most important point: Pride and Prejudice is most valuable where it is most subtle; for it is in these underlying and overarching concepts, which Jane Austen made only aurally perceivable, as it were, that we find the richer gems under layers of wit and more transient matters. There is much that is not said, much that is only implied, but it is by the echoes that resonate in one’s soul, beyond any direct link with the story, that the masterful author drives her deepest rapier-thrust.

Philippe Herreweghe Johann Sebastian Bach: Ich elender Mensch, Leipzig Cantatas


§ Conspicuous yet Invisible


There are few people today who are not at least aware of J.S. Bach’s fame as a composer. Yet, for most so-called educated people this awareness does not extend beyond a mere recognition of a famous name. Even among those actually acquainted with his music, those who profess delight upon listening to his great art, there seems to be but little, or a shallow, perception of it as “peaceful” or “spiritual”, or other such vague terms which render an appreciation of his great as little more than another page in the catalogue of classical music.

As a layman himself, the author does not presume to possess a detailed knowledge of the theoretical organization of the music of J.S. Bach, but this is not a prerequisite for serious listening and the development of a profound acquaintance with layers of music and the relations between its elements. There is nothing stopping us from using our brain’s innate ability for selective attention and classification, which allied with an open listening channel to intuition can be used to find a plethora of beautiful proportions and patterns; this would enable us to start to understand the relations the latter have with the effects they produce inside and around us.

The appreciation and attention that is lacking is not of a technical kind, for academicians and musicians of all stripes have used and abused the lessons and voices found on the surface of J.S. Bach’s music. Disgraceful depictions in the metal genre appear in the most tackiest of fashions, dragging crown jewels through the mud and excrement of sub-par music limited by a limited understanding and a mundane mentality. A higher vision would allow one to see into patterns and then into the multitude of connections and the effects thereof as far as the eye can see (or the ear can hear), thus being able to abstract and carry the lessons discovered in three-fold attainment.


§ Weaving with Voices


The underlying methodology of Western classical music could be described metaphorically as the weaving of threads into a tapestry; very little other musical tradition, if in fact any at all, anywhere else, developed the art of music-making to such a degree. As one approaches Bach on the timeline of this tradition, one sees music evolving in the way that genres of any kind do, independently of the area of human endeavor, that is, by developing permutations and variations of a seed idea.

The advent of J.S. Bach, however, marked those particular discrete points in a tradition when a leap and transformation is achieved by a stroke of genius, whatever the so-called genius actually implies (most probably dedication, devotion, talent and something else, perhaps); he thus marks a towering achievement on dimensions beyond the normal permutations and variations that are normally brought forth as grains of sand.

For Bach, all instruments are to be treated as singing voices, but human interpreters are also brought closer to an instrumental usage; a special kind of baroque music is thus created, a profound and non-trivial methodology is birthed from this man that essentially opens up a new dimension (spans a new linear space?); this stands rather at odds with the Italian school of Opera, its divas, and represents a stark contrast on a deeper level of attitude towards life; where the one is transcendental, impersonal and devoted, the other is narcissistic and emotionally dependent on the attention of others —it would seem that the religious of music of J.S. Bach could actually exist in a void, and it would gain a life of its own, but Opera, on the other hand, exists for the soul purpose of feeding egos and tickling sensual emotions.

We might attribute the origin of this development to the particular soil on which J.S. Bach planted himself; being an adept of the organ, it does not seem, in retrospect, a surprise that the concept of music as series of pure threads of sustained vibrations would lead to the aforementioned melding of human vocal chords and instruments into the purest concept of musical voices to be used as variations in timber as phenomenal manifestations in the service of music, rooted in the noumenal organ arrangements from which they were likely, conceptually born.

What separates J.S. Bach from the rest is not merely the technical and theoretical solutions which he brought about, but the fact that he produced these in order to bring about such merging and purification of the musical ideal as his holistic vision demanded; he carved a new musick in order to crystallize a bridge, a link, which would work through a more organic instrumentality —in essence, an auditory spell that would evoke the sinking and consuming aura that his soul appears to have longed for.


§ Herreweghe’s Touch of Life


There are plenty of recordings of J.S. Bach’s music, though sadly most are oriented towards producing commercial products for the refined or the pretentious, pandering to today’s would-be elites and erudites. The explorations are not exhaustive nor spiritual, but rather educational, in that stale way that only modernity can produce, and often feel detached.

What stands out in Herreweghe’s several interpretations of J.S. Bach’s cantatas is his talent from bringing out the most expressive in singular voices, while at the same time emphasizing their place in the midst of the sonic tapestry; that is to say, he does not turn the cantatas into opera jingles for the ego-stroking of singers and soloists, nor does he flatten everything in order to present a monolithic face as a testament to the greater whole.

Herreweghe seems to accomplish this feat of uniting an apparent duality through a dynamic approach that does not require the performance of discrete switches between modes, or at least he does not order these to be done in an overt manner; instead of clearly defined areas where main voices are chosen to lead, and others where the tutti is executed, the potential of the thread-weaving embedded in J.S. Bach’s masterful composition is allowed to shine through and assume organic form in this interpretation.

The result is a constant cooperation amongst the instruments that allows for a alternation and tagging, breaking with static functions and rather allowing for a limited kind of mobility within hierarchical functions; spontaneity works by changes being organically allowed to enter on a continuous rather than step-like manner which may also allow for the deeper impact of digressions while at the same time sustaining them with grace.

Leading voices are clear, but they are joined, rather than merely supported by the other instruments; and though not all can be prominent at once, nor in the same manner, the presented dynamic answers to the needs for an organic whole that may coalesce into an elemental force of its own, as true musick must of necessity become when properly performed.

Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil


§ An inscrutable thinker


To begin with, and despite the title of the section under which this article is posted, this is not a review, and perhaps not even a commentary on this great work, but rather a series of thoughts around impressions of it held by several groups, in contrast to what may be a more accurate consideration of the man in question and his work. It seems that all that is needed to claim Nietzsche’s ideas as support for an ideological stance is to have somewhat of a thick skin or simply be alright with blunt criticism of anything one disagrees with. The interesting thing about Nietzsche is that he is at once glorified and vilified by people with widely differing ideologies across the full spectrum, with the exception of those explicitly following a Judeo-Christian kind defense of the weak, the mediocre and anything “human, all too human”.

Atheists claim him as one of their own, as they superficially read his words and take them to mean that Nietzsche was the highest kind of independent mind there was. In truth, Nietzsche can be seen criticizing both the dogmatic religious and the modern hubris of the modern atheist, even if he does not name each specifically and in quite such words. The attention of his sledge hammer is directed most of all to the flowering atheism and scientism that was taking Europe by storm at the time of his writing Beyond Good and Evil, and which atheism (or at least crypto-atheism disguised as a kind of philosophical pantheism) and scientism has since become the norm among the educated, and especially among the liberal-minded. Nietzsche dispenses as much injury upon the religious as upon the anti-religious. What he argued for was not the absence of a morality or a tradition, but the distinction between qualities of it, and their origin.

There is MASTER-MORALITY and SLAVE-MORALITY,—I would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities, but one finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes their close juxtaposition—even in the same man, within one soul.

Aristocrats claim him, even though he devotes large portions of his thought to demolishing any claims of nobility that modern aristocrats might still hold on to. The nobility to which Nietzsche so often alludes is one that is proven through spirit and resulting action thereof: that is, the Will; the Will to Life and Power (alluded to here in the sense that Gwendolyn Taunton has exposed in the past1). His is a nobility that self-creates through this Will, and whose decisions are based upon results and high aims with a vision of centuries, and which does not rest upon vainglorious pride, but rather the question of how to improve. This nobility, however, does reserve a right to determine notions of what should be or what should not be, and there lies the difference between literal nobility, of which Nietzsche speaks, and the allegorical nobility which the humanist modern man would like to believe in.

Purists, and National Socialist types would cringe if they would have actually studied Nietzsche. For, while he deals a significant amount of damage to the Jew, enough to actually garner enough merit to be awarded the title of “anti-semite” he also gives them credit where it is deserved in a manner not unlike Hitler in Mein Kampf, actually, though with different aims and perhaps coming to different practical conclusions. The nobility of action, which was that of a created spirit, could perhaps be better aligned with Julius Evola’s nobility of the spirit, which was not independent of blood but rather worked through and above it in a supra-eugenic manner.

It stands to reason that the more powerful and strongly marked types of new Germanism could enter into relation with the Jews with the least hesitation, for instance, the nobleman officer from the Prussian border: it would be interesting in many ways to see whether the genius for money and patience (and especially some intellect and intellectuality — sadly lacking in the place referred to) could not in addition be annexed and trained to the hereditary art of commanding and obeying — for both of which the country in question has now a classic reputation.

Anarchists claim him, even though he clearly believes only an incredibly small percentage of the population can be truly free, as a result of innate abilities that not all possess and the opportunities to develop them. Rather than push towards the idea of a world where every individual is completely independent, a natural hierarchy is deemed by Nietzsche as inevitable, whatever social constructs humans might like to dream on about. The roots for these lie deep in our nature and in Nature, and attempting to change them is usually a path towards self-annihilation, and an overall sentiment that is anathema to Life itself.

“We truthful ones”—the nobility in ancient Greece called themselves. It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were at first applied to MEN; and were only derivatively and at a later period applied to ACTIONS.

It is then also common to hear people who in their youth upheld Nietzsche as a pillar of their own ideology, only to later reject what they thought his philosophy consisted of, on the basis of them changing the emphasis and focus of their own narrow-minded understanding. The former anti-religious communist becomes a progressive advocate of combinatorics chaos theory and real politik in an attempt to out-intellectualize the philosopher, while of course, distancing himself from the word ‘intellectual’, even as he poses as one. The former modern aristocrat finds the truth about the depth of corrupt modernity and so turns against the philosopher as if he were part of this, and as if tradition as the answer were wholly incompatible with the ideas of Nietzsche. Each of them have only moved from one misapprehension into another, without ever actually having captured the essence of Nietzsche’s thought.

What is he really about, then? Nietzsche was, in fact, terribly honest and direct, even though people seem to insist upon reading him in the most cryptic of ways, perhaps in an attempt to validate themselves and avoid what he was actually urging humanity towards. In truth, it is quite difficult to finish creating a personal picture of Nietzsche, because one has to read his particular takes on so many things before one can even begin to glimpse what his stated proposal of the Übermensch actually entails. The statement “beyond good and evil” entails precisely what it seems to state, rather than an allegorical turn of phrase, a state in which the superior individual does not concern itself with dichotomies and labels, and rather finds the reality of self-determined action beyond them. Since the great majority of humanity functions through and lives by these symbols, faiths and abstractions, the immediate reality, and more importantly, the patterns and not the appearances that constitute this reality2, to which Nietzsche constantly refers eludes them every time as they refuse to see what is in front of them in favor of their own construct thereof.


Footnotes

1 “To Nietzsche, the figure of Dionysus is the supreme affirmation of life, the instinct and the Will to Power, with the Will to Power being an expression of the Will to Life and Truth at its highest exaltation.” —Gwendolyn Taunton, ‘The Black Sun’, Primordial Traditions, Vol I.

2 A notion elegantly and concisely explained by Brett Stevens in his book Nihilism, as a condensation of Nietzsche, Spinoza and Plato, perhaps even through the digestion of others.

Obskure Torture Spilling the Blood of the World

The present is a doom metal compilation consisting of a demo, an EP and an additional track written exclusively for the release, written and performed by one man and released in 2010. After this release, the individual behind it appears to have only released a two-track full length, whose actual length and specific development is not fully unknown to the writer; the project Obskure Torture was shortly shut down for reasons not publicly given, though one might, given the stated practice of Hebdomadry of the artist, surmise a number of possible interruptions along the Way that might have drawn him (?) away from the artistic effort. In any case, seven compositions of pensive doom metal for the solitary mind have been left as a testament of an evolving mind throughout the span of six years.

Despite the traditional adoption of a doom metal sound, an evaluation of the approach along the whole of the compilation displays a laudable attempt at fusing different interpretations of the subgenre under a single voice. We may hear an overarching tendency towards a deathly slow take on Black Sabbath’s most foreboding compositions in Paranoid, though reduced and compacted to power chords rather than the freer melodies used by Iommi, and then stretching the usage of sections into an almost Funeral Doom template. Now, despite some of the harmonic and rhythmic motions might echo a lamentable Stoner influence, these gestures are kept under control and never become a crutch, and rather remain a wink to the listener.

As a whole, we could call Obskure Torture a ritual doome metal, for its emphasis on deep-state repetition of long though simple sequences of a character aimed at entrancing and sinking. The ideas, and the lengths to which they are taken, may somewhat strain one’s patience, but the core of these is not deficient in themselves —quite the contrary, there is promise in the overall relation of parts especially when one considers the interplay between two different long sections, which seem to appropriately “speak to each other”1.

It is a pity not to have heard much more from this project, as in the last song written and published here, ‘A Gift for the Prince’, Obskure Torture showed a kind of adventurousness and creativity that had, however, yet to break completely so that it would venture not only vertically in layering and granularity, but also also in other dimensions: transitioning functionally and coherently into different harmonic spaces, which would have added a great sense of progression and elaborate narrative to the composition.

While not an impregnable masterpiece, such as Skepticism StormcrowfleetSpilling the Blood of the World gives us a patient collection of phrases which, though a bit strained, provide a passageway into a different dimension by the familiarity and closeness which its different ideas throughout different songs bear —thus a total experience seems to be had from the collection of pieces, rather than from singular ones, which are rather austere in strict content. As a whole, this is music for very specific mindsets, and its power lies in patience and the subtle versatility in the gathering of influences under a minimalist and personalised banner.


1 A first variation of this expression was most probably coined in the context of metal riff relations by Brett Stevens (www.amerika.org), and has served as a most efficacious turn of phrase that encapsulates a holistic understanding of music pattern as communication.

…And thus the Elixir of Recalling flows
And the Dark Gods become manifest…

Riddle of Meander Orcus

Riddle of Meander play what we could easily describe as “standard black metal”, in that it adheres to the usage and application of technique and composition style that characterizes the genre; such strict adherence, however, does not in any way impede them from presenting ideas of their own as someone who is expressing himself in any human spoken or written language does not need to reinvent the wheel of the language or the way ideas are expressed in order to deliver a valuable insight. The music here remains mostly at around a guarded slow-to-slightly-fast pacing, while introducing blast beats for intensifying effect without letting them be an afterthought; this is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of this album: that despite the non-innovative approach it is able to subsume a variety of vocabulary to its own purposes without them ever feeling out of place or as a collection of tropes, as one spirit is expressed through them.

Orcus is the second full-length album by Riddle of Meander coming out two years after their debut, End of All Life and Creation, and greatly improving upon it in terms of dynamism (in the sense of organic mobility between more distinct modes of expression) without losing in the strengths of the first; we find here that the composer of the music is more sure of his decisions, and while we saw a prudent shyness about the adventurousness and twists in the music in the first album, Orcus embraces what were occasional jumps and reserved hints and now makes use of them unabashedly to move the music forwards with increased potency, allowing the music to thrust not only forward but farther into different territories.

The music in this mature release shows a band that is in dominion and has a certain focus, thereby carrying the music beyond, or raising it above itself; and while this statement might be misconstrued by applying a dualistic interpretation of a separation between form(aesthetic) and meaning(essence), what is actually meant here is that one can perceive and trace a goal in the music, perhaps expressed through the progression of moods and changes, however small they are, that makes the music not about its presentation or about a conceptual idea to which the music is soundtrack, but as the music as the enacting of the action itself. In effect, this is music as it should be, encapsulated and holistic, well-rounded and concise despite expressiveness.

In light of these highly positive traits, there is something to be said for the lyrical content, at least in what one may glimpse from the titles of the songs; for now it may suffice to say that one may find here more than your average satanic expression, divested from the usual mother worship or simpleton craving for destruction that one may see more commonly paraded elsewhere; instead, there is an interesting combination of references to witchcraft in its very earthy and private sense —the only way it can be remotely in touch with reality— and a black alchemy, the ars regia of self-realization and self-overcoming, thus hinting at a more Traditional approach to living that address the need to counter the tide of the current era.

Monarch Exile

This is an underground, self-released EP/demo that outwardly evokes traits of Infester and the likes of Cianide, thus utilizing a cross between doom metal, death metal and progressive rock. The latter is the greater influence in the structural approach of the album, but the spirit is permeated by the esotericism and medieval-macabre surrealism of classic death metal. The release’s aura resembles these medieval dark mystic paintings in that it would appear as if the music attempts to trespass beyond the rationalizing agency and into the darkness of the unconscious. That said, there is no proper abandonment of the a logic of structure or coherence of expression.

Such a feeling of alienation transports the listener into an opaque world of grim fantasy that seems always submerged in a dream-like brume. It is recordings such as this one which represent a true underground spirit, not in that it is not associated with a label (for that is meaningless nowadays), but in that its free, wild and personal recordings seem to speak from and to the author himself. The work, in other words, is cryptic and hermetic in the full sense of the word —hermetic in that the meanings and the symbols perused here are shown in an outward, opaque presentation to the listener but are disclosed to the author alone.

Monarch’s Exile, however, only presents a brief picture that does not seem to finish unfolding itself and disappears out of sight when one barely steps into it. Half of the content seems introductory or would give one the impression of being a preparation to the actual material. The last two tracks, furthermore, seem slightly out of touch with the main piece of the work, and they seem to constitute more of an afterthought than a meaningful addition to the present work.

We can only hope that the artists behind Monarch will move forth and present a development of these ideas so reminiscent of the mystic expression that Hieronymus Bosch transmitted through painting. There is great potential in the seed ideas that are only barely articulated in Exile, and where one sees limitation and incompleteness, one may also sense dormant forces awaiting the kiss of life.

Problems With Perennial Philosophy

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I. Admitting biases


Before starting this brief recount of reasons for rejecting some of the aspects of Perennial Philosophy (later ‘Primordial Tradition’), it would only be fair to admit to some of the own biases that affect this judgement. In so doing it will also be useful to point out how this background, and a particular take on them, results in a discrepancy with what I understand to be Perennial Philosophy and what seems apparent from a direct experience and pondering on the general subjects (rather than specific expertise in the contents of The Book of the Dead, for instance).

First of all, my first serious introduction to esoteric studies was through Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, which I grew to respect a lot without necessarily believing everything it asserted —something the author of the work herself constantly stresses is relevant here: she admits to the fallibility of her writings and constantly reminds the reader she is interpreting and re-transmitting what she thought was an ancient set of teachings. This attitude and approach were more valuable to me in this area of intellectual inquiry than any claims to complete validity (which are only marginally supportable in the social sciences —including History).

Secondly, I received a rather brief but effective introduction to the premises of Perennial Philosophy by a scholarly friend who had spent some time studying them and adhered to them. Our conversation was especially effective because we quickly came to the points of contrast between what I had taken (and personally interpreted) from Blavatsky and the views of Perennial Philosophy behind which my friend stood in a more reasonable and conservative stance than my own burgeoning and militant attitude regarding what is and what can be.

Lastly, my foremost reference regarding the idea of a Tradition from the Golden Age and beyond comes from Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World. Evola is sometimes mentioned by those who adhere to Perennial Philosophy, but he was not himself an adherent in the same way that Alduous Huxley, for instance, was. The degree of compatibility extends to where all agree that there are teachings and practices from so-called pre-historical times that seek to connect human beings with the greater aspects (whether higher or lower) latent in themselves, and through them towards a greater occult reality. Evola himself, it must be said, was strictly discriminatory between what he found as ‘better’ and ‘worse’ approaches to transcendence; and his specific opinions on those matters I respectfully ponder on and pay attention to although I do not necessarily share.

Most recently, my on-going reading of Gwendolyn Taunton’s Primordial Traditions, Vol I. has brought me back to the subject. Taunton made it possible for me to very clearly see what things my own thought shares with Perennial Philosophy and where the great basic points of divergence are. More of a collection of essays in and around the Primordial Tradition (another, more organic, name for Perennial Philosophy), Primordial Traditions, Vol I. presents the reader with a good introduction to the modern form of a Tradition of and for transcendence.

In general, the greatest value of Perennial Philosophy is as a gateway for scholars into a greater reality, which enables us to also peruse their abilities as researchers, thus excavating and re-discovering much knowledge and teachings in a spreading area of subjects. While a subject remains stuck in the ideas of Perennial Philosophy, he will be tied down by civilized, and thus temporal, thought.


II. Blinded by inclusiveness 


The first thing one notices about Perennial Philosophy is that emphasizes the inclusion of all religious ideas, wishing to see beyond the gaping differences between them. The method followed is not difficult to see: cherry-pick the similarities, especially those that align with tolerance and love (because they are nice and marketable), interpret some aspects to match their vision, and simply dismiss discrepancies and the more violent aspects as temporal cultural distortions of the ‘truth’. Now, besides the obvious difference of opinion, I have no problem with the method itself so long as they acknowledge that theirs is a particular interpretation of traditions as per their own premises and even prejudices; but they do not and as good modern scholars, hide behind the facade of academic pretense to attain the closest thing one can get in the ‘modern age of science’ to a kind of supernatural authority.

Whatever Blavatsky did with Theosophy, I never cared much for; I rather followed the wise advice of an older person in holding on to my own ideas while openly exploring and considering new ones insofar as I could learn from them unbound. At the end of the day, the greatest ‘sins’ to modern eyes of both Blavatsky and Evola, are that they outright rejected Judaism as degenerate, though each in their very own and detailed way. When doing so, they both presented specific reasons that were logical and sound, but most would not accept them simply because today’s status quo demands inclusiveness and brainwashes the population into an emotional need for it.

In hindsight, I find Blavatsky’s approach in The Secret Doctrine to be of a more healthily skeptical and having a scientific mentality than the little I’ve read and heard from Perennial Philosophy. This statement may leave some flabbergasted because Perennial Philosophy is the academically accepted account, which to some of us implies something very different than to others; to the majority, the endorsing by at least a certain percentage of academia means there is a degree of ‘objective truth’ in whatever is being endorsed; to others of us, it only signifies that the ideas do not present a direct or drastic threat to the modes of thinking typical of academia grounded in intellectual discourse and tolerance. In other words, academic endorsement in the social sciences is more of a political and emotional marker than anything else.

The most important point of divergence for my own thinking lies in that while Perennial Philosophy asserts that the differences between religions represent the re-discovery of exact same eternal truths through the lenses of individuals in different historical and cultural contexts that distort those teachings, Blavatsky rather posited the idea of a “Secret Doctrine”, which stood since time immemorial and the knowledge of which sipped through the cracks of not-so-hermetic circles of keepers and adherents to take on interpretations and forms that were closer to the truth in different degrees. Basically, where Perennial Philosophy offers a picture of all religions singing Cumbaya in a circle of irrelevant and superficial differences (a similar dismissal of racial differences is advocated by Politically Correct scientists) that ultimately has no bearing upon the ‘inalienable truth that all of them connect to’, Blavatsky talks about religions that got it certain things right and other things wrong, religions that were simply degenerated beyond recognition, and those that maintained a semblance of the original teaching.

One acquainted with Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World might notice the similarity in at least this admission of religions differing in terms of relations to the truth rather than simply being equally valid yet distinctly reflecting versions and interpretations of it. Where the one emphasizes reality and human fallibility, the other swims in a mystic pool of happy feelings that wishes to grant equal footing to the ‘subjective opinion’ of all religions.

In holding on to a kind of democratic/humanist ideal in mind, the Perennial Philosophers argue for this dream of human-wide brotherhood, even if they do not themselves like democracy or humanism in themselves; the reason for this is that the disease behind them is the same: the unwillingness to see that there is better and worse, even though this leads to the danger of mass prejudices. Modern intellectual types, especially those involved in academia and recognized by society as authorities have a hard time discriminating against certain kinds of characteristics; in today’s world, you can discriminate against political ideas and such, but you should not make differences of race or belief a central subject in anything. Truth and reality in all this is utterly unimportant; thus we distinguish…


III. Not far enough in either direction


Typical of any idea on spirituality that is well-received among circles of academics and well-to-dos, the present ‘Perennial Philosophy’ / ‘Primordial Tradition’ is theoretically one of commitment but mainly one of moderation where the typical social norms of the time are left relatively respected; never mind the more extremist solutions placed forth by those who would act in the plane of the relevant; never mind even those crazy and (oh, the Horror!) of those  shady and less than acceptable connections of Evola.

The desire of Perennial Philosophers to be accepted leads them to put logic aside in place of rationalizations (these two are not the same, for those not paying enough attention). They talk about faith and the necessity of pragmatic asceticism, both of which I would agree in a way, it is not so in the extremist or wholly committed way that would break rightfully and inevitably break this society apart and bring the opportunity of reconstruction. What is more, because Perennial Philosophy is primarily academic and over-intellectual  it is at the same time in a constant fear of not being deemed reasonable enough.

At the end of the day, it is not logical and skeptical enough as to uphold reason completely, nor is it fanatic enough to attain the occult power of the true ascetic. It defends this mediocre stance by stating that art and religion escape logic and reason, and that it thus can only be apprehended but never understood. With this, I might generally agree, but again, they do not go far enough; they do not go far enough to understand that all such divergences in perceptions are the illusion, and that even if they acknowledge it in words they are not actively realizing that all reality is one.

If art and religion have a connection to human reality and emotion, there is also a logical (because structured) explanation to it that does not demean or decrease its power and truth. In reality, everything with an order should be explainable logically; that we cannot explain the next level only points out a present limitation in our capacity and understanding.

 

Arthame Fiendish Symphonies

arthame-flyer-aDark ambient of the type that can fall into categories such as dungeon synth or the more cosmic variety type of spacing out is an interesting companion of black metal that retains the whole atmosphere minus the transcendental aggression of the former. The way texture tends to vary throughout rather constant expanses and the attachment to long and simple but expressive melodies is itself a refinement of the musical spirit of black metal. Arthame’s Fiendish Symphonies, in particular, is a clear attempt to fuse the two together in an obvious acknowledgement of this kinship.

The writing methodology for each song is exactly the same, producing something akin to constant-texture riffs that are entirely adequate for synthesizer. The sounds selected for the synthesizer are not changed and they are kept minimal so as to further enhance the sense of a certain approach. These effects are changed a bit in different tracks depending on the wanted effect, but they always remain in the vicinity so that the artistic voice in the writing is further enhanced and supported by a particular instrumental timber. As an additional touch, there are brief inclusions of rasped vocals in the background of this pensive music.

Given these observations, it is only fair to look at Fiendish Symphonies as distilled black metal; we can hear the sombre and impersonal mood that alludes to night-sky contemplation along with a self-realization away from the mediocrity of the crowd; there is loneliness in this music, and yet, a soft whispering of a serpent perhaps, or of the Earth itself, or is it the Moon itself drawing us towards it? Is it the memory of blood and soil that links us to this planet in different ways? Is it a call to the stars? I am inclined to believe it is all of these, and a shadow-call for us to reconnect with what saw us become human, and what gave rise to our dark beauty that cannot be contained in deterministic models.

Arthame communicates this vision and leaves us wondering of a possible brethren amongst the stars, although we cannot tell if such a cosmic desolation is a premonition of the future of humanity in projections based on an ancestral memory of our more primitive past here on Earth. As a fulfillment of the black metal ideal, Arthame conjoins all of these together beyond rationality, and in individual discernment beyond opposites in a holistic apprehension of reality that is at once intuitive and logical.