The poets and artists and philosophers, resistance activists, secret scouts and troublemakers, had become, as they must, soldiers.
What Sarah kept to herself was the incredible feeling that some of the subject matter of these ancient poets, mystics and philosophers resonated powerfully with the research that she surreptitiously snooped on, attending seminars on the latest advances in theoretical cosmology
Oliver Harris, The Dulwich Horror
A Course in Demonic Creativity: A Writer’s Guide to the Inner Genius by Matt Cardin is available for download again, as a free ebook.
“Where does creativity come from? Why do ideas and inspiration feel as if they come from ‘outside,’ from an external source that’s separate from us but able to whisper directly into the mind? Why have so many writers throughout history — and also composers, painters, philosophers, mystics, and scientists — spoken of being guided, accompanied, and even haunted by a force or presence that not only serves as the deep source of their creative work but that exerts a kind of profound and inexorable gravitational pull on the shape of their lives?
These are all questions addressed by A Course in Demonic Creativity: A Writer’s Guide to the Inner Genius. The book’s starting point is the proposition that we all possess a higher or deeper intelligence than the everyday mind, and that learning to live and work harmoniously and energetically with this intelligence is the irreducible core of a successful artistic life. We can call this inner force the unconscious mind or the silent partner. We can call it the id or the secret self. But muse, daimon, and genius are so much more effective at conveying its subversive and electrifying emotional charge, and also its experiential reality.
Your unconscious mind truly is your genius in the ancient sense of the word, the sense that was universal before it was fatefully altered several centuries ago by historical-cultural forces. Befriending it as such, and interacting with it as if it really is a separate, collaborating presence in your psyche, puts you in a position to receive its gifts, and it in the position to give them to you.” [via]
“Theology is God-talk. It is a relatively recent discipline. They did not have this in ancient, pre-Christian times. They did philosophy and that served in the same role as what will become theology. When you wanted to discuss what is meant by myth and ritual, or what the world is, or how life should be lived, this was called by Pythagorus first ‘philosophy’, or the love of wisdom. Those called the ‘theo-logoi’ in the ancient world where the poets like Homer and Orpheus, and but at times even Empedocles and Plato, because according to Porphyry, they wrote allegorically and had hidden meaning in their writings, not because they wrote rationally. Philosophy had the exegetical task of trying to tease out the meaning buried in the poem and dialogues. The philosophers therefor developed methods for interpreting the poems and myths created by the theologians and developed all the major categories of what will become theological discourse, as well as the culture to critique them.” [via]
“These Thrones, who are assigned to govern this heaven, are not great in number, though the philosophers and the astrologers have estimated it diversely according to how diversely they have estimated its rotations, although all are agreed on this point: that there are as many of them as there are movements made by the heaven.” [via]
You may be interested in Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits by Friedrich Nietzsche, recently released over at Project Gutenberg.
“All philosophers make the common mistake of taking contemporary man as their starting point and of trying, through an analysis of him, to reach a conclusion. ‘Man’ involuntarily presents himself to them as an aeterna veritas as a passive element in every hurly-burly, as a fixed standard of things. Yet everything uttered by the philosopher on the subject of man is, in the last resort, nothing more than a piece of testimony concerning man during a very limited period of time. Lack of the historical sense is the traditional defect in all philosophers. Many innocently take man in his most childish state as fashioned through the influence of certain religious and even of certain political developments, as the permanent form under which man must be viewed. They will not learn that man has evolved, that the intellectual faculty itself is an evolution, whereas some philosophers make the whole cosmos out of this intellectual faculty. But everything essential in human evolution took place aeons ago, long before the four thousand years or so of which we know anything: during these man may not have changed very much. However, the philosopher ascribes ‘instinct’ to contemporary man and assumes that this is one of the unalterable facts regarding man himself, and hence affords a clue to the understanding of the universe in general. The whole teleology is so planned that man during the last four thousand years shall be spoken of as a being existing from all eternity, and with reference to whom everything in the cosmos from its very inception is naturally ordered. Yet everything evolved: there are no eternal facts as there are no absolute truths. Accordingly, historical philosophising is henceforth indispensable, and with it honesty of judgment.”
@Demon_Writer: I’d start a Platonic motorcycle club/gang called the Logoi, except for the not having a motorcycle thing. Or a gang.
@jgbell: And @LogoiMC in 3 … 2 … 1 …
@hermeticlibrary: My biker gang of dead white guys can beat up your biker gang of dead white guys.
@Demon_Writer: Zombie philosophers gang war!
@hermeticlibrary: Now I just have to come up with my rival biker gang name …
I helped grab the twitter for @LogoiMC so no one would squat in before Jeffrey got around to it and turned that over this morning. (I really should have held it hostage for coup! I may be too nice to be the leader of my own gang.) But, now I’m in a pickle. Can’t let this go unanswered. Must represent!
So, what is the motorcycle gang for the Hermetic Library to be called? Shall it be the Pneumatikoi MC? Perhaps the Eleutheroi MC? Then again, what about a Liber OZ inspired Anthropoi MC? οί ελεύθεροι άνθρωποι? Or something else entirely?
And, does any one or more people want to take a run at creating a design for the gang’s colours and patches? I’d think seriously about putting Abraxas on a motorbike (on a penny-farthing?!) for this, but I fear it would look like cosplay for George A. Romero’s Knightriders … but, maybe that’s going so far as to come around the other side to being cool again.
I like the motto “My biker gang of dead white guys can beat up your biker gang of dead white guys.” But, I’ve also got stickers over in the swag shop with “This machine kills Old, Dead White Guys” which would be perfect for this also. No reason to settle on just one, of course.
I have the vaguest memory left over from being in The Orpheum, a specialty music shop, on the north end of Broadway atop Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA back in the 90s. One of the guys that worked there, and I think lived in the house behind the place, had on a leather jacket with a motorcycle club patch on it. I’m pretty sure it was for the Illuminati MC. Did they exist then? Anyhow, that patch immediately caught my eye. When I asked about it, the guy, who I only really knew because I was hanging out in the store regularly, asked if I wanted to join. I thought about it, asked if I’d actually need a motorbike which I didn’t have; and, reflecting on how I’d probably end up killing myself way too easily riding; I declined. I think about that moment every once in a while as a missed opportunity of epic proportions.