Tag Archives: religion

Religion, like nations and individuals, passes through the regular gradation, first of infancy, when religious ideas and thoughts are crude in the extreme; the age of Puritanism, when innocent women and children are burned at the stake for witchcraft, when with gloomy faces and in unsightly dress the poor fanatics sacrificed every pleasure on the altar of duty; the time when Sunday was a day of horror to children from its gloom, a day when every innocent amusement was forbidden. After religion’s infancy comes youth. At that stage, the absurd dress and gloomy faces were not considered essential adjuncts to religion, but free discussion was not allowed upon religious subjects. Everything must be taken for granted, without any investigation on the part of the people. After youth comes manhood, the time when reason has full sway, when superstition and credulities form no part of religious teaching and thought. People are able to think, to reason for themselves. After the age of manhood, comes old age and that is the stage of agnosticism. Questions are being asked, and ideas propounded which must not be overlooked nor treated with contempt. All questions asked in a fair spirit, must be answered in a fair manner. It is not sufficient to say, “it is so”, but good and tangible reasons must be given to prove the truth of an assertion. We are now in the stage of “old age.” Agnosticism and Infidelity are wide spread. After old age comes decay and the decline of the absolutely orthodox. From time immemorial, every religion has passed through the same gradation, of infancy, youth, old age and decay finally comes philosophy.

Lydia Leavitt, Bohemian Society [Amazon, Amazon (Dodo Press), Bookshop (Dodo Press, Gutenberg, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Leavitt Bohemian Society agnosticism infidelity wide spread decay decline absolute orthodox every religion finally comes philosophy

CUTHBERT: Ashton, I’m an adult. I should be treated like an adult. And this is religious intolerance.

ASHTON: Come on!

CUTHBERT: I didn’t attack you when I found you performing your ritual to Atlach-Nacha.

ASHTON: (Pause) You know I don’t like talking about religion.

Alan Ryker, When Cthulhu Met Atlach-Nacha [Amazon]

Hermetic quote Ryker When Cthulhu Met Atlach-Nacha adult religious intollerance attack performing ritual don't like talking about religion

the prudent but strict curtailment of the freedom of the press; the minute police supervision of all teachers and professors; and the ferreting out Illuminism in its most secret recesses…. The result will be that henceforth no one will be able to corrupt the opinion of the people … and that the real happiness of the people will no longer be threatened by the destruction of religion and the subversion of society.

Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Melanson Perfectibilists prudent strict curtailment freedom press police supervision all teachers professors ferreting out illuminism corrupt destruction religion subversion society

“I am all goodness, love, truth, mercy, health. I am a necessary part of God’s universe. I am a divine soul, and only good can come through me or to me. God made me, and He could make nothing but goodness and purity and worth. I am the reflection of all His qualities.” This is the “new” religion; yet it is older than the universe. It is God’s own thought put into practical form.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The Heart of the New Thought [Amazon, Bookshop, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Wilcox The Heart of New Thought goodness love truth mercy health necessary part universe divine soul only good purity worth reflection qualities new religion thought practical form

But they were entirely free from the malignant envy, the panic born of prejudice and the perverse passions produced by hypocritically pretending to suppress natural instincts, which one associates with tradesmen in the West End of London and ministers of religion.

Aleister Crowley, Confessions, Chapter 55

Hermetic quote Crowley Confessions entirely free malignant envy panic born prejudice perverse passions hypocritically pretending suppress natural instincts

Rationalism swept through Germany, more especially the illusion that man’s faculty could establish and secure a single, true, and salvation-guaranteeing religion. This rationalism expressed itself in pamphlets, in systems, in conversations, in secret societies and in many other institutions. It was not satisfied—indeed it did not even bother—to deny the distinctive doctrines of the Catholic church; its basis was rather the simple assertion: nothing in positive Christianity is acceptable except its “reasonable morality,” the doctrine that God is the father of all things, and the proposition that man’s soul is immortal; what goes beyond these three assertions is either poetry or superstition or pure nonsense.

Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Melanson Perfectibilists rationalism pamphlets conversations secret societies institutions nothing acceptable except reasonable morality beyond is poetry superstition nonsense

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Friedrich Nietzsche; trans., introduction, & notes R J Hollingdale.

Nietzsche Hollingdale Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a Bible for the godless, a treasure-trove for reluctant but inevitable onolaters. Although it often seems to offer its message in the simplest and most straightforward terms, it also admits plainly to a crypticism and esoteric character that exceeds the one indicated in Mark 4:11-12. The sage Zarathustra is not merely a cipher for Nietzsche himself, he is putatively the inventor of the notion of good and evil lying at the root of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and thus his creative power both subsumes and stands outside of it.

Many other books could be and have been written in an attempt to comprehend and elucidate this one. Many other writers have tried to assert their own superiority with facile dismissals of the challenges Nietzsche raises here. 

Coming on the heels of several other English translations of Zarathustra, Del Caro’s is a conservative, readable text with minimal commentary and explication. The few explanatory footnotes seem mostly intent on exonerating Nietzsche from charges of misogyny, although some address translation issues. In particular Del Caro tries to justify the existence of his translation over and against that of Walter Kaufmann, whose errors he specifically calls out. 

The long note on page 199 attempts to dispel what Del Caro calls the “myth” of Nietzsche’s inspired authorship of the book. But it is more worthwhile to ask what is being signified by the allegedly rapid writing of Zarathustra, and why, than to merely cast doubt on whether it was “really” written thus. There are also a surprising number of typos in this edition.