I. Stoicism is characterized by a rejection of pleasure as the standard of human happiness and human felicity. Stoicism takes the position that the wise man —the good man, the philosopher— is a man who lives in accordance with nature. He fears only abdicating his moral responsibility. He is not afraid of pain; he is not afraid of death; he is not afraid of poverty’ he is not afraid of any of the vicissitudes of the human condition. He fears only that he should let himself down, and that he should be less than a complete human being.
II. Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius.
III. The stoic man is never any place but home. His polis is the kosmos.
IV. Marcus Aurelius is a standing reproach to our weakness, to our self-indulgence; to our willingness to give in to what we want; to our inclination to make excuses about things that are entirely up to us, and to try and act as if we are[sic] not responsible for our behavior.
V. We might wanna say that Marcus Aurelius is an important step in the construction of the Western conception of the self, or the ego.
VI. The key idea behind Marcus Aurelius is something like this: that it’s just the human condition for us to have troubles and worries and anxieties and problems. Don’t torture yourself by worrying about things that aren’t in your control —leave that in the hands of God, leave that in the hands of nature. Do your best to control the things that you do have control over: yourself, your behavior, your intentions, and your actions. If you do that, you will live a blessed and happy and virtuous and wise life. You will be a real human being. If you fail to do that, gradually, the inclination towards debauchery, evil, vice, sin —to put it in theological terms— will become greater and greater. And unless you can arrest this slide towards self-indulgence, you will harm yourself, and you will harm the people around you.
VII. The stoic man says that a virtue that is possible for one man is accessible to all of us. There is no excuse for us not being that good. If we provide such excuses for ourselves, we harm ourselves and we harm others, by preventing us from recognizing our true moral obligations.
VIII. Marcus Aurelius let’s us know that all people suffer, but not all people pity themselves. Marcus Aurelius let’s us know that all men die, but that not all men die whining.
[Written originally as a casual response in conversation with V.K. Jehannum, then organically turned into a closer look at Typhonian Trilogies references to Azoth.]
In reference to this: https://vkjehannum.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/atazoth-at-taghut/
And to a lesser degree, to this: https://vkjehannum.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/regarding-the-scandalous-origins-of-satanism/, wherein said conversation with V.K. Jehannum is found.
WS was on point, whatever else she was saying, that there is no conclusive linkage, other than speculation, between ‘Atazoth’ and ‘Azathoth’. Also, O9A (in Anton Long’s hand) never claims a link to Lovecraft’s ‘Azathoth’, and distinctly names and defines ‘Atazoth’ as something different. I will explain why a step at a time. Your essay basically jumps to the conclusion:
“All of the ONA’s descriptions of Atazoth find their origin in the Typhonian Trilogies by Kenneth Grant.”
Then you proceed to jump between mentions of ‘Atazoth’ and ‘Azathoth’, but nowhere in any of the documents are these two actually linked, and that claim supported by concrete analysis. The only mention that jumps out is Peter Carroll’s of Azathoth as increase in ‘Azoth’, but this is published in 1992, claimed only at a point where he could have been said to be taking influence from the O9A (Naos, Hostia, etc. predate it by many years and at least an article or two by him make a curious and illogical addition in a relatively early issue of Fenrir zine).
It is worthy to mention that Opus Vrilis, not a central O9A document, or an official order document as far as I understand, contains mentions of both Atazoth and Azathoth, but as entirely different entities and meanings1.
I checked out the relevant literature (said book by Grant, The Magical Revival, from 1972), and while Grant’s juxtaposition of the Lovecraftian mythos with Crowlean derivations is interesting in its own way, there does not seem to be anything concrete linking ‘Azathoth’ to ‘Azoth’ itself, except the insignificant claim, and there is certainly no mention of ‘Atazoth’ in Grant’s work.
There also seems to be a discrepancy in the nuance of understanding of the full meaning of ‘Azoth’ between the Golden Dawn line and the Traditional Alchemy line, which might further enhance the discrepancies between O9A’s and Typhonian ideas, reinforcing the lack of borrowing by the former from the latter.
In MS ‘Azoth’, O9A states: “Unsurprisingly, therefore, and for quite some time – since at least the days of A.E. Waite, Crowley, et al – ‘azoth’ has been (mis)understood as Mercurius, and connected to the Qabalah.
However, esoterically – and anciently, in alchemy – azoth was the term used to describe not ‘mercurius’ but rather the stable amalgam of the three basic alchemical elements: mercury, sulphur, and salt; a combination which many alchemists sought to find by various alchemical processes.”
While Crowley writes in 777: “Binah is connected with the Azoth, not only because the Azoth is the lower Moon, but because the Azoth partakes also of the Saturnian character, being the metal lead in one of the Alchemical systems.”
You might want to read, in detail, Julius Evola’s Introduction to Magic (1971)2. He makes mention of that “Philosophical Lead or Philosophical Azoth” but with a more complex understanding the nuance of which makes it differ from the distortions (intended or not) of the Golden Dawn: “We find this metal in the mine of Saturn. Root of the perfect metals, just as of the imperfect ones, it is endowed with a certain saturnine spirit and is manifested as the mine of Mercury. It is called Philosophical Lead or Philosophical Azoth, from which we are used to distil the Virgin’s Milk, and it has a venereal property.” Thus showing us how that misunderstanding of ‘Azoth’ equating ‘Mercury’ or ‘Lead’ might have come about, and how the original understanding was pointing at properties and origins more complex.
Curiously enough, between 1972 and 1977, Kenneth Grant does alter his concept of ‘Azoth’ from the previous interpretation which had led him to link Crowley’s ‘Thoth’ with ‘Azoth’ and so with Lovecraft’s ‘Azathoth’, to one that slightly conforms ‘Azoth’ to O9A’s reading of Alchemical texts. Despite the critical alteration to the original error3, which was responsible for linking Azathoth with Azoth in the first place, is never properly corrected although the concepts are discretely separated and no longer associated4.
“With thy hands thou shalt touch, and with thy eyes thou shalt see Azoth! The Universal! Which alone, with the internal and external fire in harmonious sympathy with the Olympic Fire, is sufficient for thee: by inevitable necessity, physicochemically united for the consummation of the Philosopher’s Stone” —Khunrath, Amph. Sap. Etern., Isag. in fig. Cap. 8., quoted in M.A. Atwood’s A Suggestive Inquiry Into the Hermetic Mystery (1850).
WS’s mention of the alchemical tractates is relevant insofar as the concept of ‘Azoth’ differs from Crowley’s, and so from the way in which O9A would conjure up a deity named ‘At-Azoth’ (‘an increase of azoth’), with a completely different meaning than that interpreted by Kenneth Grant from Lovecraft’s ‘ Aza-thoth’5 at which point he jumps from using Crowley’s ideas regarding ‘Azoth’ towards a new interpretation based on the partition and the reading of ‘Thoth’ in it. Word games and clever-sounding claims often based on numerology, but nothing more. These poetical conjectures are all right as creative writing, which is what I do for a free-style meaning-finding and creation, but they do not constitute concrete proof of anything.
Furthermore, the O9A’s own definition of At-Azoth as ‘increasing of Azoth’ is free of any link to Lovecraft, even if it is made up by appending the prefix ‘At-‘ to signal ‘an increase of’. And nothing at all links this to Grant’s work, but to the traditional term in the far older tradition of Alchemy, itself based on Greek notions.
Then again, Kenneth Grant never links ‘Atazoth’ to ‘Azathoth’, and the definitions of each in the respective camps appear to mean wildly different things: increase of universal alchemical magnetic unification, versus evil-demon-mother chaos-at-the-centre-of-the-universe Egyptian-magic-god/Hebrew-occult-descended-knowledge-Daath.
I appeal to your reason.
1 Handling ‘Atazoth’ within the ‘Nythra Kthunae Atazoth’ context as the traditional O9A’s ‘increasing of Azoth’; while elsewhere, in a local Typhonian-Lovecraftian-mythos ritual, ‘Azathoth’ is mentioned as “center of the cosmos” and “acausal force of Chaos”.
2 In p. 240, for a far more involved discussion of Azoth in Alchemy than that presented by Kenneth Grant (who does more Crowlean numerology and derives his concepts from that line of thinking). Also, in the same work in pages 278 and 279, Evola mentions and discusses Azoth in connection with Basilius Valentinus, who is directly mentioned in O9A’s MS ‘Azoth’, wherein O9A focus on said author’s linking of Azoth with the Graeco-Roman tradition, predating Qabalistic adoptions of it.
3 In The Magical Revival (1972): “Azoth, the alchemical solvent; Thoth, Mercury; Chaos is Hadit at the centre of Infinity (Nuit)”. In contrast, in Nightside of Eden (1977), p. 259: “Azoth: An alchemical term for the fluid. The combined essences of the fully polarized power zones in the human male and female organs“. However, in p. 182 of the latter book, Grant describes ‘Azoth’ as a dissolving secretion of “infinitely corroding light“, and then simply claims that “Lovecraft has conceptualized this notion in terms of his own scientific materialism as Azathoth, the blind and idiot chaos as the centre of Infinity”. Nothing actually maintains this link between ‘Azoth’ and ‘Azathoth’ except Grant’s ignoring the corrected definition of ‘Azoth’ that he includes, while forgetting said link was based on an older concept he gradually leaves behind. In time, only the concept of the link remains, while the link itself is eroded.
4 Kenneth Grant’s Outside the Circles of Time (1980) reads, in its single mention of ‘Azoth’:”The number 401 is that of ATh, ‘essence’, a precise definition of Orissor and a synonym for Azoth, ‘the sum and essence of all, conceived as one’.“I.e., Azoth is no longer linked to ‘Thoth’ and ‘Chaos’. In this book, no mention of ‘Azathoth’ is made. Then, in Hecate’s Fountain (1992) Grant revives Azathoth as “An entity given prominence in the Necronomicon Mythos because it typifies the supreme reflex of Daath in the form of Aza.” In this last book, no mention of ‘Azoth’ appears any longer.
5 In Keneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden (1977), p.182: “The name Azathoth is composed of two distinct concepts, Aza and Thoth“. Wherein ‘Aza’ is defined as “The evil mother of all demons.” and ‘Thoth’ explained as “The Egyptian god of magic whose vehicle is the kaf-ape. In an occult sense Thoth is synonymous with Daath.”
From Martin Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics, translated by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt:
For a more precise account we would have to distinguish here between the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John. But in principle we can say: in the New Testament, from the start, logos does not mean, as in Heraclitus, the Being of beings, the gatheredness of that which contends, but logos means one particular being, namely the Son of God. Furthermore, it means Him in the role of mediator between God and humanity. This New Testament representation of logos is that of the Jewish philosophy of religion which was developed by Philo, in whose doctrine of creation logos is determined as the mesites, the mediator. Why is the mediator logos? Because logos in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint) is the term for word, “word” in the particular meaning of an order, a commandment; hoi deka logoi are the ten commandments of God (the decalogue). Thus logos means: the keryx, angelos, the messenger, the emissary who transmits commandments and orders; logos tou staurou is the word of the Cross. The announcement of the Cross is Christ Himself; He is the logos of salvation, of eternal life, logos zoes. A world separates all this from Heraclitus.
Knowledge from books is only as good as what we read into them and choose to later (attempt to) apply in action. Not long ago, I as encouraged by a certain individual to try and read texts for what they have to offer me, even going beyond what I could properly understand at the time of such reading, instead of engaging in a critical exercise. This was advised in the context of occult-minded works, and at the time the simple concept worked pretty well at opening up a hubristic mind in search of liberation from its own, self-imposed shackles. At the time, as well, the teaching also revealed that the human mind can grasp and make use of concepts beyond its normal apprehension capabilities if one is willing to consider things deeply and with some empathy. That is, it is not only the reading of something, but the act of changing positions, going to the point of embracing unknown or differing concepts, that can truly teach one something. The epitome of such an extended exercise comes in the form of true Insight Roles such as those stipulated by the Order of Nine Angles, which require one not just to change perspectives and even habits and routines, but to engage from these newly attained vantage points in extremis.
“One essential aspect of an Insight Role is that it requires the novice to change their life-style and usually their place of residence. Another, is that it tends to isolate them from non-Satanists. Third, it often brings them into conflict and confrontation – with others, and themselves. Fourth, it tests them – forcing them to find inner strengths and reserves. Or, of course, it destroys them – or makes them renounce their Satanic quest and vows. All these are necessary.” —Hostia, Vol. I, ‘Insight Roles – A Guide’
The philosophical corpus that surrounds these practices is deemed, though supplementary in the sense that action and experience are the essence of learning and change, necessary for the rational development and understanding of the person treading this sinister path. Furthermore, a different way of looking at the world, at people, beings, and information itself can have a drastic effect on the finding of meaning, motivation and inspiration in the amoral struggle for total personal excellence and thence transformation towards and beyond the Self. Energy, both mental and physical, is managed differently then: saved, gathered and focused from what is vain or passing in the context of our paths and towards the attainment of goals.
One of the most interesting and useful insights shared through Order MSS is a short etymological discussion on a few words that our society, based as it is on a Nazarene ideological grain, associates with negative and fantastical concepts that find their origin in Judeo-Christian distortions which have been preserved by both the ignorance and conceited fear of human simians. Among the listed terms is evil, traced etymologically to the Gothic ubils which, like diabolic, has in its origins a meaning that aligns itself with the going beyond or over limits; that is, to cross and reach across laid out demarcations even, perhaps.
With this in mind, we can try to replace the word ‘evil’, for which we have been trained to respond in a certain way, with ‘ubils’. Soon enough, this should have become an automatic equivalence, and so the word ‘evil’ should represent transgression; that is, both a Bataillean transgression of the mystical kind, and that of arete and exeat in the way that the order has come to rediscover them. So, rather than misunderstanding the path of sinister adepthood to mean that one should indulge in every perversion because that is what the Nazarene ideology conflates all transgression with, one can understand ubils, and thus go beyond the mere act in a purposeful and magickal Tantric act. Vastly numerous texts containing the term ‘evil’ may be found, and the insights garnered by the new understanding of replacing that loaded term with ‘ubils’ will start to spread marvelously like a flower of infinite colors, dizzying at first, and ending in pitch-black nothingness.
Lastly, this requires a movement towards the pure ‘pagan’ traditions and thought modes akin to those of Ancient Greece and India1, and away from the especially sickly and handicapped Jewish dualistic principles that results in illusion-based system such as the idea of the Qliphoth. One would then understand murder, sacrifice, extreme self-discipline, purposeful abandonment, etc. as ascetic acts towards the Abyss (and beyond? always beyond?), and not as ridiculous caricature demon impersonations, and the empty idea of being evil for the sake of being seen as special, an outsider, and attaining a free ride from duties and a status within the ‘bad boys club’. The sinister quest should not be about escapism, but an escape from the illusions of a sickly humanity and an ever more raw engagement with reality.
1 Gwendolyn Taunton has written a knowledgeable article or two about the origins of sorcery in ancient paganism that were later distorted and civilized by Judeo-Christian thought.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the most ancient Aryan philosophies is the way in which antagonists and enemies are recognized as eminent and respectable in their very own way. Such a mentality contrasts in no small manner with the modern tendency to propagate a false conception of the adversary. in what translates as a reflection of an unconscious awareness of the unworthiness of the war at hand. For to fight a great and admirable foe with his demise in mind, the reasons to engage in battle must be urgent; the situation deemed irredeemable through other means.
Where the ancients showed honor and invest their own struggle with a higher meaning by acknowledging the enemy for who they truly were, thereby reaffirming the pressing nature of the military enterprise against them in light of deep-seated incongruences between the parties, what we witness in our era is a disgusting arrogance devoid of self-awareness and a projection of inner complexes to those considered enemies. The schism is a clear contrast between the Aryan spirit on the one hand, and the spirit of the Kali Yuga on the other which imbues the monotheistic desert religions.
A clear picture of the realist and holistic mentality of Aryan philosophy can be found in the classic epic of the Ramayana, where Ravana, the king of raksasas who seeks to bring down and submit the devas to his will, is said to have come into great power through discipline, self-sacrifice and devotion. The struggle against him, then, is not one against a petty and inept coward who came to exert great influence through deceit and sheer luck, but a formidable opponent who is only faced in arms to preserve the honor of both parties, thus exalting the spirit of the whole race in an eternal ideal.