Saint, hero, and poet are all inspired; the difference is that saint and hero work in their “… own flesh and blood and not in paper or parchment…” (PASL, 333). Their very lives are works of art, because they have permanently found the anti-self, and so, live in an inspired ecstasy. The poet lives in the tension between inspiration and the workaday world. According to this theory, the ecstatic state of mind, immersion in the anti-self, allows the daimon to inspire the artist.
An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 21st, 2014
- “Why everything you know about wolf packs is wrong” — Lauren Davis, io9
“A key problem with [Rudolph] Schenkel’s wolf studies is that, while they represented the first close study of wolves, they didn’t involve any study of wolves in the wild.”
“‘The concept of the alpha wolf as a ‘top dog’ ruling a group of similar-aged compatriots,’ [David] Mech writes in the 1999 paper, ‘is particularly misleading.'”
“And perhaps someday, our popular culture will more closely resemble our modern behavioral science rather than the results of outdated research.”
- “Angels, Toilets and Graffiti Revealed at Sudanese Monastery” — Past Horizons
“Cleaning of the plaster also allowed us to discover dozens of previously unknown inscriptions and drawings depicting both saints and images of Jesus. The study of the inscriptions is carried out by Dr. Grzegorz Ochała from the University of Warsaw. His analysis shows that, as in many other places in medieval Nubia, the cult of angels was extremely popular in al-Ghazali. Among the inscriptions on the walls of the North Church, Dr. Ochała identified the names of the four archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.”
- “50 Years Ago: Testimony of Kerry Wendell Thornley” — Historia Discordia
All right. I take it from the remark you have made in your reflecting on this matter that you were you devoted yourself to some fairly considerable extent to reading?
And in what fields?
Completely omniverous. Anything that I would happen to get a hold of I would read. At that time I was reading, well, at [Lee Harvey] Oswald’s advice I read ‘1984.’ At someone else’s advice I was reading a book called ‘Human-ism,’ by Corliss Lamont, as I remember, and I was reading either ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ or the ‘Idiot’ by Dostoievsky, I forget which, at that time.
But your reading had some reasonable amount of organization or direction?
None whatsoever; no, sir. It never has.”
- “Thirty Years of ADF Part 1: An Incomplete Memoir of the First Ten Years” — Ian Corrigan, Into the Mound
“The work of organizing is the ditch-cutting and rock-hauling of our spiritual path. May the gods and spirits bless the laborers.”
- “What words do we have to describe transcendent religion?” — April D DeConick
“I want to thank all of you who have responded to my request for a word to describe a particular worldview that sees all religions as inadequate human constructions of our experience of a transcendent sacred, rather than divine revelations of God to different local populations (pluralism/universalism/perennialism). I need this word for a new book project (after The Ancient New Age) where I am describing three options that have been emerging in the modern world to deal with religious intolerance. The third is the option without a name, at least yet!”
- “Discovering the Artists of the Eastern Sahara” — Past Horizons
“Recently discovered rock art on the walls of a cave in the Egyptian Western Desert has been provisionally dated by a Cambridge University archaeologist as between 6,000 and 7,000 years old, created at least 1,000 years before the building of the pyramids. The drawings add weight to the argument that Egyptian culture drew on cultural influences from Africa and not only from the Near East.”
- “Scientists find way to turn light into matter” — RT News
“Researchers in London have found a way to make matter from light, using high powered lasers. The idea behind the theory was first thought up 80 years ago by two physicists, who were to work later on creating the world’s first atomic bomb.”
“They have managed to create a machine called a photon-photon collider, which would turn light into matter. However, the type of matter they are looking to create will be invisible to the naked eye.”
- “Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start” — Laura Hudson, Wired Underwire
“Really, freedom of speech is beside the point. Facebook and Twitter want to be the locus of communities, but they seem to blanch at the notion that such communities would want to enforce norms—which, of course, are defined by shared values rather than by the outer limits of the law. Social networks could take a strong and meaningful stand against harassment simply by applying the same sort of standards in their online spaces that we already apply in our public and professional lives. That’s not a radical step; indeed, it’s literally a normal one.”
“Ultimately, online abuse isn’t a technological problem; it’s a social problem that just happens to be powered by technology. The best solutions are going to be those that not only defuse the Internet’s power to amplify abuse but also encourage crucial shifts in social norms, placing bad behavior beyond the pale.”
- ‘Madness’ of Nietzsche was cancer not syphilis — Robert Matthews, The Telegraph
“A study of medical records has found that, far from suffering a sexually-transmitted disease which drove him mad, [Friedrich] Nietzsche almost certainly died of brain cancer.
The doctor who has carried out the study claims that the universally-accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was actually concocted after the Second World War by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche’s most vociferous critics. It was then adopted as fact by intellectuals who were keen to demolish the reputation of Nietzsche, whose idea of a ‘Superman’ was used to underpin Nazism.”
“Despite the lack of documentary or medical evidence, the allegation has since been repeated without question by generations of academics, said Dr [Leonard] Sax. ‘Extraordinarily, this single passage in Lange-Eichbaum’s obscure book is the chief foundation, cited again and again, that Nietzsche had syphilis.’
Nietzsche scholars welcomed the new findings and said that they would help in the rehabilitation of the philosopher. ‘Nietzsche was not anti-semitic or a nationalist, and hated the herd mentality,” said Prof Stephen Houlgate, a Nietzsche scholar at Warwick University. ‘If this new research gets rid of another misconception about him, I’m delighted.'”
- “Intro to Thelema — Three Recommended Books” — Brandy Williams, Star and Snake
“[Aleister Crowley’s] language is Edwardian English, educated, dense, and often offensive — in fact deliberately so. Not only that, he sometimes wrote in code or symbolic language, not unusual in magic, but requiring a key to decode. It takes some time to develop the Crowley Filter translating what he says into understandable and useful information. When his work is not confusing or upsetting, it is knowledgeable, insightful, and deeply inspiring.”
- “In Addition to What Thou Wilt: Our Thelemic Temple’s Revised Rules” — Zak Parsons, Something Awful [HT Quadrivium Supplies]
“Your journey to understanding may be long and arduous, but that is no reason not to close the chip bag.”
- “The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age” — Joshua Benton, Nieman Journalism Lab
“We must push back against our perfectionist impulses. Though our journalism always needs to be polished, our other efforts can have some rough edges as we look for new ways to reach our readers.”
- “Sturgill Simpson Puts a Metamodern Spin on Country Music” — Stephen M Deusner, CMT News
“Sturgill Simpson was recently accosted after a show in Wisconsin by a woman who accused him of promoting Gnosticism with his new single, ‘Turtles All the Way Down.’ The song discusses Jesus, Satan, Buddha and ‘reptile aliens made of light’ before revealing that ‘love’s the only thing that ever saved my life.'”
“It’s not every country singer who gets accused of Gnosticism — or even knows what it means.”
- “Between Alchemy and Pietism” — Mike A Zuber, Correspondences 2.1
“A minor figure undeservedly forgotten, Wilhelm Christoph Kriegsmann (1633–1679) has received only limited attention from historians of alchemy and church historians. He is known chiefly either for his idiosyncratic Phoenician reconstruction of the Tabula Smaragdina, a foundational text of alchemy attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, or alternatively for writing one of the earliest sustained defenses of Pietist conventicles to appear in print. In an attempt to bridge this unsatisfactory segregation, this paper argues that the notion of ancient wisdom (prisca sapientia) provided a crucial link between these seemingly disparate areas.”
- “20 Questions With Gary Lachman” — Jason Mankey, Raise the Horns
“11. There were a lot of moments in your Crowley book that had me laughing at some of his antics. I know a lot of Thelemites and fans of Crowley who take everything the man ever wrote, said, or did extremely seriously. How do you think Crowley would feel about that? Was he capable of laughing at himself?
He could laugh at himself on occasion, but I think he was too involved in what other people thought of him, of his effect on them, to be really un-selfconscious in the way you need to be to have a sense of humor about yourself. He was very rarely out of character. He can be very funny though. Someone asked him what one should call a young, male swan. He answered ‘Why not call him Edgar?’ He had a quick, intelligent wit and I found myself laughing quite a few times while doing the research.”
“15. I sometimes find myself referring to Crowley affectionately as ‘Uncle Al,’ but Crowley was certainly not all sunshines and rainbows. How do you feel about the modern tendency to overlook many of Crowley’s faults?
That’s one aspect of the book. Yes, let’s clear up all the tabloid rubbish that was published about him in his day, but let’s also not make him out to be some liberating hero. He was a brilliant, highly talented individual who had more than a few flashes of genius, but he was a colossal pain to practically everyone around him. In other words, let’s not be hero-worshippers or ignorant detractors, but serious about understanding who and what he was. There’s no point in approaching him or anyone else in any other way.”
- An excerpt posted by Gary Lachman from his book Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World can be found at “Crowley on the Bowery”
- “The Strange, Secret History of Isaac Newton’s Papers” — Adam Mann, Wired
“When Sir Isaac Newton died in 1727, he left behind no will and an enormous stack of papers. His surviving correspondences, notes, and manuscripts contain an estimated 10 million words, enough to fill up roughly 150 novel-length books. There are pages upon pages of scientific and mathematical brilliance. But there are also pages that reveal another side of Newton, a side his descendants tried to keep hidden from the public.”
“The story of Newton’s writing and how it has survived to the modern day is the subject of a new book, The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts. Author Sarah Dry traces their mysterious and precarious history and reveals both the lucky twists and purposeful turns that kept the papers safe.”
- “The Rules of the New Aristocracy” — J Michael Straczynski [HT Boing Boing]
“We are the New Aristocracy because we were born into it. We got our money the old fashioned, Medieval way: our parents gave it to us. We were born into the wealth that we stole from you and your family over the last fifty years. You were not born into anything other than poverty and struggle. You will never be us. You will never have our advantages. And we like it that way.”
“And you are the New Peasants.”
- “Announcing: The Diotima Prize!” — Sam Webster, Pantheon Foundation [HT Spiral Nature]
“The Pantheon Foundation announces The Diotima Prize to help support the educational goals of one Pagan student who is currently in an accredited seminary program.
The merit-based Prize is named for Diotima of Mantinea, the philosopher and priestess who is the teacher of Socrates in the Symposium of Plato, explaining to him the path of Divine ascent through the contemplation of Eros and Beauty.”
- “Hermetic Intelligence” — zeteticus, Soul Spelunker
“The primary way the soul is deepened is through imagination.”
- Eliza Gauger, tumblr
“Susan Schoon Eberly, an expert on congenital disorders, delineates the origins of fairy lore through a historical-biological lens, matching discernable patterns of appearance and behavior from changeling legends to disabilities now understood by medical science.”
“‘there are a number of fairy characters…who seem so clearly to represent certain congenital disorders that they are difficult to interpret as purely the products of imagination'”
- Hermetic Library anthology artist Pandemonaeon, Sharon Knight and Winter, are going on summer tour and have a new “secret society for creative dreamers” called Ring of Enchantment for fans to become patrons in order “to generate tour support for us while bringing inspiration and beauty to you”.
- Hermetic Library anthology artist SickTanicK has produced and appears on the new SKR mixtape release, which includes the single “Teach Me How To Satan”, SKR Made You Do It, being made available at no cost for streaming and download.
I would like to PROUDLY present to you…. SKR THE MIXTAPE VOLUME 3 "SKR Made You Do It" http://t.co/ZgozOw5tEn
— SickTanicK (@sicktanick) May 20, 2014
- American Atheists, tweet
When the religious right talks about "religious freedom", they usually mean the "freedom" to impose their religion. pic.twitter.com/YRcQSaZASe
— American Atheists (@AmericanAtheist) May 15, 2014
- Buddy Baphomet, tweet
Sometimes I need a snack so I melt some Dark chocolate & marshmallows on Billy Graham crackers. I call them "Smores of Babylon". }=9> #eyum
— Buddy Baphomet (@BuddyBaphomet) May 15, 2014
Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions by Guillermo Del Toro and Marc Zicree is due to release on October 29th, 2013.
“Over the last two decades, writer-director Guillermo del Toro has mapped out a territory in the popular imagination that is uniquely his own, astonishing audiences with Cronos, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and a host of other films and creative endeavors. Now, for the first time, del Toro reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, sharing the contents of his personal notebooks, collections, and other obsessions. The result is a startling, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of the world’s most creative visionaries. Complete with running commentary, interview text, and annotations that contextualize the ample visual material, this deluxe compendium is every bit as inspired as del Toro is himself.
Contains a foreword by James Cameron, an afterword by Tom Cruise, and contributions from other luminaries, including Neil Gaiman and John Landis, among others.” [via]
Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman:
Hillman is a Jungian psychologist, and this volume is a secularized treatment of the attainment of daimonic inspiration, written for a popular audience. Most of the book treats its topic through extensive biographical anecdotes, and the conclusion foregrounds a phallic symbolism of creativity and destiny. Recommended to Thelemites. [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.
The queen has tipped her chalice to my lips and her intoxicating contents run down my chest soaking my body in her scent
I have been anointed by the daughter of heaven and been named by her heir apparent to the kingdom of her for this moment
She is the mother of my lust and my tower topples under her toplessness only to rise again in anticipation of another impending confusion of tongues
And the babel of the workers as they rush in becomes a ritual song rising and descending without and within, above and below, solve et coagula
At her next touch I dissolve into nothing and then surge forth resolving into pure gold
She is an inspiration to greater and greater intention and the mystery of her religion is the secret sanctuary of my excess
Her dance inspires me to religion within the pylons of her temple and the hieroglyphics there in her inner precincts teach me all the secret spells necessary to survive another afterlife
I am her rememberer and she is my passage to the underworld, and we abide in the darkness lit by an inner light
My negative confession is nothing but stuttering and slips of the tongue in the shadows of her inner temple where the sacred waters are stored for the worthy worshippers to wash themselves
Going down in the dark, I am drowning in light
The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition.
“when man’s desire to rest from spiritual labour, and his thirst to fill his art with mere sensation and memory, seem upon the point of triumph, some miracle transforms them to a new inspiration” [via]
“Inspiration was to see the permanent and characteristic in all forms, and if you had it not, you must needs imitate with a languid mind the things you saw or remembered, and so sink into the sleep of nature where all is soft and melting.” [via]
“The limitation of his view was from the very intensity of his vision; he was a too literal realist of imagination, as others are of nature; and because he believed that the figures seen by the mind’s eye, when exalted by inspiration, were ‘eternal existences,’ symbols of divine essences, he hated every grace of style that might obscure their lineaments.” [via]
“The struggle of the first part of his life had been to distinguish between these two schools, and to cleave always to the Florentine, and so to escape the fascination of those who seemed to him to offer the sleep of nature to a spirit weary with the labours of inspiration” [via]
“Blake represented the shapes of beauty haunting our moments of inspiration: shapes held by most for the frailest of ephemera, but by him for a people older than the world, citizens of eternity, appearing and reappearing in the minds of artists and of poets, creating all we touch and see by casting distorted images of themselves upon ‘the vegetable glass of nature’; and because beings, none the less symbols, blossoms, as it were, growing from invisible immortal roots, hands, as it were, pointing the way into some divine labyrinth.” [via]