Once the Christian church reached its position of world power it destroyed basically everything pertaining to any existence of the Gnostic cultus. This cycle of destruction is seen time and time again, those who’ve reached a level of seriousness and stability realize that their efforts could easily be thwarted by their beginnings (See: Academia). Anyway, these Gnostics interpreted Christian Mysteries according to pagan symbolism. Once again, taught to a small, select group and concealed from the muck.
Simon Magus is supposedly the founder of Gnosticism;
“Everything with which the enthusiasts of the early Christian Church might not agree they declared to be inspired by the Devil.” – p53
An early form of ‘they’ thought as it’s seen within contemporary society, that which does not cohere to our aims is clearly the work of evil and is deserved of a punch and no platform from which to speak. One key fact about Simon Magus however, is that even his enemies conceded that he had mysteries and supernatural powers – like the Russians admitting the U.S. flag is on the moon. The superiority of Christian power of pagan/Gnosticism was maintained when St. Peter ordered the demons which Simon Magus controlled to drop him as he ascended to heaven – they did so.
“Of the universal Aeons [periods, planes, or cycles of creative and created life in substance and space, celestial creatures] there are two shoots, without beginning or end, springing from one Root, which is the power invisible, inapprehensible silence [Bythos]. Of these shoots one is manifested from above, which is the Great Power, the Universal Mind ordering all things, male, and the other, [is manifested] from below, the Great Thought, female, producing all things.” – p55
Hell, Deleuze and Guattari almost want to be sued for plagiarism here, twin shoots, give me the lobster pincers please! These shoots, in their ‘unification’ manifest a middle distance (or middle), a temporality without beginning or end. A manifestation as the result of a positive and negative principle – the pleroma – the point of equilibrium. Out of which was “individualized the Demiurgus, the immortal mortal, to whom we are responsible for our physical existence and the suffering we must go through in connection with it. In the Gnostic system, three pairs of opposites, called Syzygies, emanated from the Eternal One.” – p55
There’s a six (three pairs) system with regard to the Aeons of Simon Magus’ Gnosticism.
Mind (Nous) – Thought (Epinoia)
Voice (Phone) – Name (Onoma)
Reason (Logismos) – Reflection (Enthumesis)
In their unification came the Eternal Flame, came for the Angels who formed the lower worlds through the direction of the Demiurgus. (See Blavatsky for more.)
Anyways, this system was divided into the Syrian Cult and the Alexandrian Cult. The Formed was predominantly dualist and the latter pantheistic.
The Alexandrian Cult is where it all starts to get very…interesting.
“An outgrowth of the philosophical deductions of a clever Egyptian Christian, Basilides by name, who claimed to have received his instructions from the Apostle Matthew…with Neo-Platonic inclinations…emanations as being the logical connection between the irreconcilable opposites Absolute Spirit and Absolute Substance. – Basilides inculcated Egyptian Hermeticism, Oriental occultism, Chaldean astrology, and Persian philosophy in his followers,” – p56
“To him is attributed the formulation of that peculiar concept of the Deity which carries the name Abraxas” -p56.
A rather heavy handed sentence here from Hall, only to state that Basilides formed Abraxas – ‘the concept of the deity’ hey Hall, strange way to put it, and a rather banal view of manifestations. Many of us may know – and Hall states this, whilst glancing at Celtic knowledge – the word Abraxas has great numerological power, the letters when added = 365. According to Basilides the powers of the universe were divided into 365. Out first Qabbalistical appellation, Abraxas
I will, of course expound in great detail upon Qabbalah later on, but for now let us continue…
“One group of the Gnostics was of the opinion that the Demiurgus was the cause of all misery and was an evil creature, who by building this lower world had separated the soul of men from truth by encasing them in mortal vehicles.” – p57
Now it’s getting good. Ah yes, the ‘mortal vehicles’, the ego, the human security system. The grand cage of the flesh locking presentation into representation, that’s a little slack, for that is down the the workings of the mind and functions of conscious, but the metaphor stands. The dice roll of humanity, a complete lock in into material, into matter, and the processes work through matter…the outside processes work through matter, let them in.
After the death of Basilides, Valentinus became the leading inspiration of the Gnostic movement. He still further complicated the system of Gnostic philosophy by adding infinitely to the details. Though the fragments are few are far between, and the Gnostic system is a little archaic for my tastes, however:
“Even today there are evidences of Gnostic philosophy in the modern world, but they bear other names and their true origin is not suspected.” – p58
And now, I simply must…
A Note on Hyperstition:
What is hyperstition?
“hyperstitions act as catalysts, engendering further (and faster) change and subversion. Describing the effect of very real cultural anxieties about the future, hyperstitions refer to exponentially accelerating social transformations.
Hype actually makes things happen and uses belief as a positive power. Just because it’s not ‘real’ now, doesn’t mean it won’t be real at some point in the future. And once it’s real, in a sense, it’s always been” – Hyperstition
Let’s deconstruct some Nick Land and get at the route, because ultimately, if you’d like to know why ‘occultism’ – whatever that means – ‘works’…whatever that means, then you need to grasp hyperstition. I imagine it has actually had many roughly synonymous names throughout history, cultural propagation, transcendental tradition, cultural temporalities etc…hyperstition gets to its nuts and bolts though.
“What is concealed (the Occult) is an alien order of time, which betrays itself through ‘coincidences’, ‘synchronicities’ and similar indications of an intelligent arrangement of fate. An example is the cabbalistic pattern occulted in ordinary languages – a pattern that cannot emerge without eroding itself, since the generalized (human) understanding and deliberated usage of letter-clusters as numerical units would shut down the channel of ‘coincidence’ (alien information). It is only because people use words without numerizing them, that they remain open as conduits for something else. To dissolve the screen that hides such things (and by hiding them, enables them to continue), is to fuse with the source of the signal and liquidate the world.” – Land (here)
Go on then, I’ll drag this paragraph apart for you.
What is concealed (the Occult) is an alien order of time, which betrays itself through ‘coincidences’, ‘synchronicities’ and similar indications of an intelligent arrangement of fate.
Not all that tough for those caught under the spell of Kantianism. But, and I imagine my description would be a little too practical/pragmatic for Land, but hey, I gotta get you kids deterritorialized somehow. Time and space, the two a priori means for experience, for perspective (to put it very simply). The way in which you – literally – view time and space is via only your own means, your eyeballs…which are connected to your brain, your own machinery, and as such, the presentation you get of the world is a representation. That is the ‘real’ of the world has to be filtered through your system before you get to ‘interpret’ it, as such, what you’re getting is a ‘vision’ and ‘experience’ of time and space (spatio-temporality) in some sense, but it is only the one that your machinery will allow.
And so, what is concealed (the Occult) is an alien order of time – what is more ‘alien’ that the Outside of your machinery, wherein time and space (though time’s where it gets more interesting in my opinion) act not within the bounds of your fleshy, human-machine lock-in. Crawling back into the cave yet? No? Good. So what of these ‘coincidences’. Well, we might as well call them time-slippage or Occultist-slips, indications of an underlying process greater than oneself, though ‘greatness’ here shouldn’t be thought of in the human sense of ‘great’.
“An example is the cabbalistic pattern occulted in ordinary languages – a pattern that cannot emerge without eroding itself, since the generalized (human) understanding and deliberated usage of letter-clusters as numerical units would shut down the channel of ‘coincidence’ (alien information)”
Land is talking of the Cabbalisitic system of numerical reduction here, or: digit-sum reduction.
>He said, “Sir, you speak blaspheme! You are no Kabbalist! You don’t even pronounce the word correctly — it is Kahb- bah-‘law! Kahb-bah-‘law! What you teach is not Kabbalah! It is.. .it is…”
The poor mans face turned bright red and his whole body began to shake as he searched his mind for a word fowl [sic] enough to describe my work.
“It is — it is — Chicken! Chicken Kahb-bah-‘law!”
t was instantly obvious to everyone in the room that he was painfully embarrassed at the ill-chosen and infantile words that blurted mindlessly out of his mouth. People start- ed to chuckle. He then became so flustered that he spat upon the floor and said, “You and your teachings merit only spit! Spit!” and then he stormed out of the hall.
As I am vowed to interpret every phenomenon as a direct communication from God to my soul, I recognized this awful slobbering man as an angel of the Lord, sent to reveal to me the name of the spiritual science that would forever cling to my name. That night in meditation I examined his message Qabalistically. T
he Hebrew word for phlegm or spittle is IT— (KICh), and the word for merit is 71i (NE). To my great joy, the phrase merit spit,” IT— HJ, enumerates 1 to the number 93, one of the holiest of numbers. Number 93 relates not only to the divine concepts of Love and Will, but also to the great secret Word by which we triumph over death. I then looked down at my notes to discover that the very same letters arranged in the very same order rendered in English characters the word IT 2 nj (Chi KEN). – The Chicken Kabalah
Here you can see how in a very practical sense, one can interpret the world via Kabalist means. But what the hell has that got to do with ‘alien’ time?Most commentators interpret Kant here to be indicating why the principles of mathematics, which have to do with pure space and time, are applicable to the appearances: the appearances can only be represented “through the same synthesis as that through which space and time in general are determined” (A161/B202). – hereSo yes, mathematics has its intrinsic links to…things, and may offer up some oddities in relation to that which may be(?) behind the curtain. Or perhaps, mathematics just helps us interpret the writing on the wall better? (Enough breadcrumbs for you!)
“It is only because people use words without numerizing them, that they remain open as conduits for something else. To dissolve the screen that hides such things (and by hiding them, enables them to continue), is to fuse with the source of the signal and liquidate the world.”
Land (for me) here is actually channeling some Deleuze and Guattari, the numerical system can be viewed as the plane of immanence and each intensity firing off is a conduit for a line of flight, pure numerics sit as placeholders for intensity, often quite clear intensity. Modes of desire, strata and organ(ic)s cover the numeric intensity with a wash of all-too-human Oedipal malaise.
“Hyperstition is a positive feedback circuit including culture as a component. It can be defined as the experimental (techno-)science of self-fulfilling prophecies. Superstitions are merely false beliefs, but hyperstitions – by their very existence as ideas – function causally to bring about their own reality. Capitalist economics is extremely sensitive to hyperstition, where confidence acts as an effective tonic, and inversely. The (fictional) idea of Cyberspace contributed to the influx of investment that rapidly converted it into a technosocial reality.
Abrahamic Monotheism is also highly potent as a hyperstitional engine. By treating Jerusalem as a holy city with a special world-historic destiny, for example, it has ensured the cultural and political investment that makes this assertion into a truth. Hyperstition is thus able, under ‘favorable’ circumstances whose exact nature requires further investigation, to transmute lies into truths.
Hyperstition can thus be understood, on the side of the subject, as a nonlinear complication of epistemology, based upon the sensitivity of the object to its postulation (although this is quite distinct from the subjectivistic or postmodern stance that dissolves the independent reality of the object into cognitive or semiotic structures). The hyperstitional object is no mere figment of ‘social constuction’, but it is in a very real way ‘conjured’ into being by the approach taken to it.” – Land (here)
Culture as a component is clear here, and perhaps I’ll play nice and not make you wrestle for the meaning you so crave…Oedipally addicted wretches! All these cultures I speak of exist as a ‘reality’ of some ‘form’, the group hyped superstition in relation to a mass belief is that which causes the birth of a quasi-reality, you cannot ignore the murmurs of a million believers, as much as their belief itself cannot be ignored. Something springs up. The engines of belief, the motors of tempo-cultural potency. Abraxas can be if you believe him to be, and as such the archaic Occulted alien modes of skewing the world to your will are often the more powerful, for their systems, motors and engines have had far more space and time to play with.
Cast for Crowley and you’ll find pithy hedonism ramped up to 11…worthless. Cast for Abraxas and you’ll find the limitrophe of the Outside…he’s been there a while.
I’ll end it here for this one.