“Wer war der Thor, wer Weiser, Bettler oder Kaiser? Ob Arm, ob Reich, im Tode gleich,” the slogan reads, or, “Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar or king? Whether poor or rich, all’s the same in death.”
“The Master of Truth in Archaic Greece traces the odyssey of ‘truth,’ Alētheia, from mythoreligious to philosophical thought in archaic Greece. Marcel Detienne’s starting point is a simple observation: In archaic Greece, three figures — the diviner, the bard, and the king — all share the privilege of dispensing truth by virtue of the religious power of divine memory which provides them with knowledge, both oracular and inspired, of the present, past, and future. Beginning with this definition of the prerational meaning of truth, Detienne proceeds to elaborate the complex conceptual and historical contexts from which emerges the philosophical notion of truth still influencing Western philosophy today.” — back cover
Not on the mountain and not in the forest,
Her hermits are Kings and not of the poorest.
Soft beds of purple do they lie upon!
I raise up the cup and adore Babalon!
— In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations to the Scarlet Goddess
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.
“I am the king: you know it, friend! We wed.
That is the tale of how my wooing sped.
And oh! the quest: half won—incredible?
I am so brave, and pure—folk love me well.
But oh! my life, my being! That is dead,
And my whole soul—a whirlwind out of hell!” [via]
“‘King, you are touched!’ ‘Fight on, Earl Lecherer!’
I cursed him to his face—the added spur
Sticks venom in my lunge—a sudden thrust!
No cry, no gasp; but he is in the dust,
Stark dead. The queen—I hate the name of her!
So grew the mustard-seed, one moment’s lust.” [via]
“He gladdened then. I would not slip again,
And baulk the death of half its shame and pain.
I, his best sword, must fall, in earnest fight.
The old despair was coward—he was right.
Now, king, I pay your debt. A purple stain
Hides his laced throat—I sober at the sight.” [via]
“Behold! I came with haggard mien again
Into the hall, and mingled with the train,
A corpse amid the dancers. Then the king
Saw me, and knew me—and he knew the ring!” [via]
“Here, she is willing. Stands the Absolute
Reaching its arms toward me. I am mute,
I draw toward. Oh, suddenly I see
The treason-pledge, the royal prostitute.
One moment, and I should have passed beyond
Linked unto spirit by the fourfold bond.
Not dead to earth, but living as divine,
A priest, a king, an oracle, a shrine,
A saviour! Yet my misty spirit conned
The secret murmur: ‘Gereth, I am thine!'” [via]