In Praise of Shadows: A Short Review of the Work of Azsacra Zarathustra

Part Brahman (Hindu priest) and part Kshatriya (warrior) — in terms of “warfare, aggression, and valour” — is how Dr. Santosh Kumar describes Russian author Azsacra Zarathistra. Zarathustra is the author of several works, including TDAS: The Theory of the Destruction of All Systems and Anti-4, Or: AGAINST 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ETC.

He is sometimes described as a “philosopher,” and his work as “philosophy.” But, personally, I disagree with this description. Philosophy is measured and cautious. It is interested in clarification. Moreover, philosophy has become a kind of laboratory science for the mind. It is theory, or theories about theories. It is not something to live by — unless, of course, one is thinking about Confucianism or Hinduism, with which Zarathustra has something — perhaps quite a lot — in common.

Russian philosopher Azsacra Zarathustra with eagle.
Azsacra Zarathustra with eagle.

But if we mean it in the Western sense, it would be more accurate to say that the author is an ”anti-philosopher” and that he espouses “anti-philosophy.” This, in my view is what makes Zarathustra interesting. His work is explicitly anti-rational and amoral. And, importantly, it is anti-rational and amoral in a time in which rationality is dead but in which society believes that it lives and acts rationally and morally no matter what it does.

Unlike the fine artist who exhibits some element of modernity (a toilet or an unmade bed, two take two better-known examples) and says it is art “because I say it is,” Zarathustra’s work is concerned with the annihilation of the self, but in that particular sense that Arjuna on the battlefield had to annihilate his own wishes and fight on the side of the god Krishna, as instructed by the Supreme Deity.

It is the destruction of pretence, the piercing through of modernity by an arrow of raw energy, to discover that visceral being — flesh, muscle, aggression, male and female, life and death, and archetype.

Where can such a man exist? Soren Kierkegaard criticized fellow philosopher Georg Hegel for constructing a “crystal palace” of ideas “in which no one could live.” Of Zarathustra, we might say — though as a kind of praise — that he has constructed a palace — perhaps a fortress as well — of hard-edged mandalas, sharp symbols, and venomous, prophetic phrases. His sentences are non-rational, short, broken up, full of strange punctuation and grammar (there is a reliance of square brackets, though these are not used in the normal, academic way):

In response the Over confirms the Straight-Death of an Over-Man [Without birth!] and then Hunts only after his transcendental counterpart… Overnoumen.

Death, going beyond, going through, ascending, transcending, etc., permeate Zarathustra’s enigmatic work:

Go through Death
Go through Dying
Go through Death of Death…

Again, in his Lotuses of Evil, Zarathustra writes:

the leap
of the Abyss in to
the butterfly
Satori of
Shooting of

Satori (Japanese, Zen) and Samadhi (Hindu) refer to that state of enlightenment acquired through meditation and cultivating a peculiar state of being. Eastern — especially Hindu — mythology and religion play a large role in the Zarathustra’s work. Tibetan wheels, Vajras, bows and arrows, the Hindu deity Rama, European or Eurasian eagles, thunderbolts, all appear throughout his books.

Some images from some of Azsacra Zarathustra's book.
Some images from some of Azsacra Zarathustra’s book.

There are also strange arrangements of symbols and signs, appearing like equations, as if some deity has been scribbling down his plans for the creation of new worlds in a language unintelligible to mortals.

They remind the reader, perhaps, of Robert Oppenheimer who, on witnessing the first atomic explosion, was himself reminded of Krishna who exposed his celestial form of millions of arms and legs, and who then proclaimed: “Now I am become death, the Destroyer of worlds.”

In a certain sense, the phrase from the Bhagavad Gita sums up the work of Azsacra Zarathustra. Approach it as a poetry of aggression — non-rational, anti-rational, a revelation of a battle of archetypes, between men and gods and between the gods themselves — and you might begin to glimpse the meaning of this strange and enigmatic writing and imagery.

You can find a few of Azsacra Zarathustra’s books below:

Azsacra Zarathustra The Creator of Shunyarevolution and Absolute Revolution
Anti-4, or: Against 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Etc.
TDAS: The Theory of the Destruction of All Systems (Extended Edition)
Der Übermensch: Beyond Death of the Overman

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