“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Ɯbermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarÄ«, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arthur Machen on "The Aryan Kabbala"

On the Kabbalah by Arthur Machen

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the second of Arthur Machen's autobiographical works Things Near and Far (Alfred Knopf, 1923). PUBLIC DOMAIN

Now and then in the older books I came across striking sentences. There was Oswaldus Crollius, for example -- I suppose his real name was Osvald Kroll -- who is quoted by one of the characters in "The Great God Pan." "In every grain of wheat there lies hidden the soul of a Star." A wonderful saying; a declaration, I suppose, that all matter is one, manifested under many forms; and, so far as I can gather, modern science is rapidly coming round to the view of this obscure speculator of the seventeenth century; and, in fact, to the doctrine of the alchemists. But I would advise any curious person who desires to investigate this singular chamber of the human mind to beware of over-thoroughness. Let him dip lightly from the vellum quarto into the leather duodecimo, glancing at a chapter here, a sentence there; but let him avoid all deep and systematic study of Crollius and of Vaughan, the brother of the Silurist, and of all their tribe. For if you go to far you will be disenchanted. Open Robert Fludd, otherwise Robertus de Fluctibus, and find the sentence: Transmutemini, trasmutemini de lapidibus mortuis in lapides philosophicos vivos -- Be ye changed, be ye changed from dead stone into living and life-giving stones. This is a great word indeed, exalted and exultant; but beware of mastering Fludd's system -- if confusion can be called a system -- of muddled alchemy, physical science, metaphysics and mysticism. Get Knorr von Rosenroth's "Kabala Danudata" [1] vellum, in quarto, and find out a little about the Sephiroth: about Kether, the Crown, Tipereth, Beauty; Gedulah, Mercy; Geburah, Justice or Severity. Really, you will discover very curious things, and the more easily, if instead of Knorr von Rosenroth, you chose A. E. Waite's "Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah." [2] It is odd, for example, to discover that the side of Mercy is the masculine side, that Justice of Severity is feminine; and that all will go amiss till these two are united in Benignity. Again, it is interesting form another point of view to discover that three of the Sephiroth are called the Kingdom, the Victory and the Glory. Is there any connection between these and the ancient liturgical response to the Pater Noster: "or Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory"? And then that matter of Lilith and Samael and the Shells of Cortices, the husks of spirits from a ruined world that brought about the Fall of Man; the strange mystery of that place "which is called Zion and Jerusalem" -- duly here comparing Bohme on the Recovery of Paradise when innocent man and maid are joined in love -- all this is wonderful and fascinating regon of thought. And beautiful indeed is the saying of one of the Fathers of Kabbalism: That when the lost Letters of Tetragammaton, the Divine name, are found there shall be mercy on every side. And here perhaps, prehaps, but not certainly, light may be thrown on certain obscure matters of Freemasonry. Dip then, and read and wander in the Kabbala, but do not become a kabbalist. For if you do, you will end up transliterating you name and the letters of your friends into Hebrew letters and finding out all sorts of marvellous things, till at last you back Winners -- which turn out to be Losers -- on purely Kabbalistic principles.

And here, by the way, I may remark that I have long meditated writing an article called "The Aryan Kabbala," keeping the requirements of occult magazines strictly in view. It would make a pretty article. I should begin by a brief note on the Hebrew Kabbala, explaining how the Sephiroth tell in a kind of magic shorthand the whole history amd mystery of man and all the worlds form their source to their end. The Tree of Life -- as the Sephiroth arranged in a certain scheme are called -- is, in fact, I would point out, as once an account of how all things came into being and a map and an analysis of all things as they now are. As an occult friend once said to me by my hearth in Gray's Inn: "The Tree of Life can be applied to that poker." The Tree of Life, then, is a key to the secret generation of being of all souls and all heavens; it will also analyse for you the little flower growing in a cranny of the wall.

Well; this made clear, I would go on to say: "But what if there be a Kabbala and a Tree of Life of the Aryans as well as of the Semites? What if it tells all the hidden secrets of our beginning and our journey and our ending? What if its August symbols are known of all of us, in everyday and common use amongst us, remaining all the while as undiscerned as the most sacred and mystic hieroglyphics? What if the office boy and the grocer handle every day the signs which tell The Secret of Agents?"

And then, after all due amplifications and ponderous circumnavigations it would all come out. The Aryan Kabbala is, in fact, the Decad; the ten first numbers. They embody an age-old tradition dating from the time when the ancestors of the Greek and the Welshman, the Persian and the Teuton were all one people. They contained the secret mystery religion of this primitive race, they sank by degrees from their first August significance to become instruments of common use and commercial convenience, just as vestments become clothes. The proof is easy enough. Take the first number of the Decad: one in English, en (in the neuter) in Greek, [3] unus in Latin, Un (produced "een") in Welsh, ein in German. And then compare another series of words in these languages: wine, oino, vinum, gwin, wein. Then: two, duo, duo, dau, zwei: and compare with water, idor, udus, wy (and dwr) wasser. I drop the other terms, or Sephiroth of the Decad -- in Mrs Boffin's presence -- and come to the last two numerals: nine, ennia, novem, naw, neun compared with new, neos, novus newydd, neu. Then finally, ten, deka, decem, deg, zehn: compare with deck (bedeck), doxia, decor, teg, schon.

The conclusion, I hope, is evident: we (and all things) proceed from Unity, which is wine, decline to Duality (or a weakened, fallen nature), which is water. Then, after passing through many changes, adventures, transformations, transmutations -- undescribed for the reason given -- we are renovated, made New -- "I will make all things new" -- in the last number but one of the Decad, and, in the final term, which is Ten, are reunified in Beauty and Glory.

There! It seems to me wonderfully plausible, and I really think I should have written the article and sent it to some suitable quarter. It all nonsense, of course, but ...does that matter?


[1] Knorr von Rosenroth, Kabbala Denudata (Frankfort, 1677-84) A Latin anthology of Kabbalistic texts which was very influential throughout Christian Europe. S. L. MacGregor Mathers' translation The Kabbalah Unveiled (1887) was published by George Redway during the period that Machen worked for that publisher.

[2] A. E. Waite, Doctrine and Literature of the Kabala (Theosophical Publishing Co., 1902).

[3] Words in italic were in Greek letters in the original text, and several rather faintly printed, so I make no claims for accuracy in my transliteration skills.

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