Tag Archives: agony

The Comedy of Agony

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Comedy of Agony: A Book of Poisonous Contemplations by Christopher Spranger from Leaping Dog Press:

Christopher Spranger's The Comedy of Agony from Little Dog Press

 

This slender volume of aphoristic meditations can be read in a variety of ways. One possibility is to consider it to be instructional scripture by Tyler Durden. Another would be a rich mine of sigfile quotes guaranteed to offend the pious and conventionally-minded. I think this one may need to go in my Christmas cards: “Had she only miscarried, the Virgin Mary could have saved the world.”

Spranger’s religious reflections presume a Biblical-Miltonian narrative, although his atheology has a wide scope, including admiration for the metaphysically sadistic aesthetics of Asian Buddhism. There’s no indication of familiarity with Aleister Crowley’s work, but Spranger’s strong affinity for and constant allusion to Nietzsche (who, unnamed throughout, is referenced once as “a certain leg-puller”) makes him a close cousin to Thelemites, at any rate. In particular, his piece on “The Attractions of Rage” makes a fine complement to Crowley’s chapter on love in Little Essays Toward Truth, and he makes some insightful remarks on the Thelemically-vexed term “compassion”: “Men to whom agony is unknown have grabbed a hold of this concept and perverted it completely, reducing it to something low and effortless, when in fact compassion requires risk and presupposes rank.”

Spranger is evidently resigned to embodiment, attachment, strife and sorrow, but he writes that like it’s a bad thing. One wonders what the return of Saturn has in store for the 28-year-old author. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

All Night in White Stains by Aleister Crowley.

“But raise no head; I know thee, breast and thigh,
Lips, hair and eyes and mouth: I will not die
But thou come with me o’er the gate of death.
So, blood and body furious with breath
That pants through foaming kisses, let us stay
Gripped hard together to keep life away,
Mouths drowned in murder, never satiate,
Kissing away the hard decrees of Fate,
Kissing insatiable in mad desire
Kisses whose agony may never tire,
Kissing the gates of hell, the sword of God,
Each unto each a serpent or a rod,
A well of wine and fire, each unto each,
Whose lips are fain convulsively to reach
A higher heaven, a deeper hell.” [via]

All Conquering

 

“All Conquering” by Crimea from Secrets of the Witching Hour (entire album available as a free download)

“If you sit there and think, Who am I ? How did I get here? What is going to happen when I die? You can scare the hell out of yourself. For all our science and philosophy, nobody actually knows what happens after the last gasp where we go? Or what we become? After the last gasp.”

 

“If we don’t believe we are all conquering
how shall we conquer?
If we don’t believe we can deceive
what can we achieve?

Our love is blown to smithereens
The future bleeds
broken dreams.
The agony and ecstasy,
the inbetween,
no man’s land.
Our love is…

If we don’t believe we are all conquering
how shall we conquer?
If we don’t believe in ourselves
who else is there?

Our love is blown to smithereens
The future bleeds
broken dreams.
The agony and ecstasy,
the inbetween,
no man’s land.
Our love is…

Our love is blown to smithereens
The future bleeds
broken dreams.
The agony and ecstasy,
the inbetween,
no man’s land.

When hell freezes over,
suddenly everything’s clear.
Our love is…”