”I have loathed Form, I have loathed Perception, I have loathed even Knowledge itself, for the thought does not survive the transitory fact which caused it; and mind, like all else, is only an illusion. All that is engendered will perish; all that is dead must live again; the beings that have even now disappeared shall sojourn again in wombs as yet unformed, and shall again return to earth to serve in woe other creatures. But inasmuch as I have rolled through the revolution of an indefinite multitude of existences, under the envelopes of gods, of men, and of animals, I renounce further wanderings; I will endure this weariness no more! I abandon the filthy hostelry of this body of mine, built with flesh, reddened with blood, covered with a hideous skin, full of uncleanliness; and, for my recompense, I go at last to slumber in the deepest deeps of the Absolute—in Annihilation.”
– Flaubert: The Temptation of St. Anthony
Translated by Lafcadio Hearn.
And why do we want – this might be asked – to use the same symbolic approach than the erring church? Why do we speak of trinity, Father and Son, why of temple and sanctity, of perdition and sin, if all its doctrines are false? Why indeed, if we are Satanists? We answer: Because all those symbols, emblems, words, signs and allegories are based upon the foundation of truth, and their essence is true; it is only the twisted interpretation that has made church that institution that lives of delusions and weakness that it nowadays is.
But is our trinity therefore just a new presentation of the old Christian faith in its gnostic form? – Not at all. Every manmade, religious allegory manifests a picture of the worls in a certain emphasis, according to the spirit of time. And even though the understanding of humankind has developed very little in the time of the last twenty centuries, it has gone through even greater upheavals on its outer surface – and this changes both make possible and demand that different approach unto which we lean. Behold the religions of the world, those manifold, well known, great and small, orthodox and sectarian groups with multitude of orientations, combinations, and heretical branchings – how all of them have lost their their essence, their vitality: the fundamental essence of religiosity has been misunderstood in our societies. Reformation must be brought about with rebellion and fire; the old temple must be toppled over – for could the spark it still holds to be corrupted of the ruin of its edifice? What good is the salt that has lost its savour, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men?1 Yes, my friends, we must burn the church, desecrate the mosque, torn the synagogues to the ground; for even if truth would live in them or true metaphor, could it be realized by the simple and sluggish crowds, whose leaders are nothing but the walkers in the same tether themselves? Yet we must not stop to this, let us not think that the new age could begun simply by the destruction of the form of idolatry that is called faith. Let us not stop to the middle way, but also destroy the academies, schools, societies, organizations based on the laws of material reason, and all the flags under which men have gathered to confess to themselves their own excellence. Burn, tear, destroy! Not matter, but the perverted pattern, which as the program of matter keeps its forms in futility and twisted operation.
Only as the old dies completely may the purity born in its original state. Even while in vain, even without hope we would still raise our hatred against this repugnant illusion of creation. But not with hands, not with acts of violence, for in that kind of work we would quickly be held by man and nature both, and the suffocating mass of mediocrity would obstruct the completion of our sacred work. Instead, let us focus our thought, whose magical power is miraculous, and let us make our feelings as a crystal unblemished, our body as made of fire, in order that through that purified instrument would the power of the Master be channeled without being clung to vain images of unnecessary humanity. Death to all that breathes. Our work is sacred, as we reject the bestiality of zeal, and the humanity of reason; we reject the grace of divinity and turn our eyes to the night. Bless our work, Master! Let everyone make oneself as the channel of Satan, let everyone hurl oneself into perdition. All forms are futile, only the cold core remains forever.[*71]
*71 Where Satan presents himself, there will also necessary be present his Dark Face – the mask, through which we must be able to see. As tempting it might be to close our eyes from this possibility of downward path and the abyss that opens on the both sides of the narrow bridge of the sword, it is not permitted. Desolation, ruin, death, and ”burning of the temple” – these are things that we must in one way or the other merge within our work, like they belong to the work of Nature itself. And in this the only actually improving way is to realize and accept these things by destroying ”not the matter, but the pattern”. This is how the initiate on the path of ascension will get to possess the powers of black magic, the deep forces of destruction and karma, sacred energies of Ego and matter and separatism, in order to use them always to beneficent and never to selfish or violent means.
Considering how terrorist attacks have been grown in number in the last fifteen years after writing this text, and how it would be extremely difficult to distinguish actual agitation to violence from a metaphor of this kind, I would not dare to use this kind of mixed and ambiguous wording like this nowadays. The aim of the text to help people wrestling with hatred (which I see as a valid and necessary emotion) to purify that hatred instead of simply suppressing it, and channel that hatred to spiritual and intellectual use, is still too close to be used simply as a weapon that is just used from a distance. After the writing of this text, the same kind of "alchemy of the transmutation of hatred" has been used in a diametrically different direction, and too often it has been veiled to seem exactly like this. The extremely important difference, i.e. that in the one the violence is absolutely prohibited, and in the other the violence is silently (or even aloud) encouraged, escapes easily those who are not able or willing to read the nuances of texts, but instead catch the hashtags only. This writing was made only for a handful of people, but most of all nowadays one can never know who will read what is written and in what context. People read less & less of whole books and more only glimpses and separated fragments, and this must be understood by the authors also, to some point.
Once again I am extremely glad that the work of the Star of Azazel (founded soon after the first publishing of this text along with Fosforos and other writings) has during these years accomplished the change in the underlying paradigm of hatred in our Satanism in a way that these phrases used back then seem instantly alien. They were not so back then, for the very Satanist scene was much less refined and closer to the emotional roots, coping with the challenges of basic energies. (How to channel primal hatred, for example.) This is, at least, my experience.
Overall, there were a couple of interesting ideas to come back to the Gospel of Saturn, but as its whole it is outdated and unnecessary book, sketching out ideas that have been presented much better in the publications since. I would say that its message of tearing down the form that has been transcended is well placed upon itself as the last flag of the era that could tolerate ambiguous form of speech. In the rise of social media in the last fifteen years has been making up a society which faces quite the different challenges than the "sluggishness of crowds" mentioned here. There is much greater problem of too much agitation and too nervous responses than the lack of vitality and response, I think.