Everyone knows the old Franklin D. Roosevelt quote, “The only thing you have nothing to fear is fear itself.” Well, be afraid. Be very afraid. Be afraid, like Zeus. Because this is where the lightning strikes and even gods fall.
We are going to briefly delve into the aphilosophy of Andrei Azsacra, into NihillihiN, into to the nature of the artist, the philosopher, the mystic, into mankind, gods, energy, and into thought and Nothingness. It is very telling that Andrei Azsacra is a poet. The creative force of the artist informs everything he thinks, does, is.
But first, let’s hear a myth. Athena/Mykene/Thebe (among other names) is a Greek goddess of wisdom and courage. She is the daughter of Metis, a demigoddess of crafts and wisdom, and Zeus, the ruler of Olympus and father of gods. In his usual, philandering ways, Zeus slept with Metis and got her pregnant. But then he learned of a prophecy that she would give birth to children more powerful than their sire. In a history repeats-itself moment of cosmological karma, Zeus decides his only recourse is to devour her before a child is born. Zeus should have known better, as per his own rise to power following his destruction of his Titanic father Kronos, as Kronos had killed his father Uranus, ad infinitum. This is, after all, the nature of us all stuck in the ouroboros. Zeus did not learn the lesson and naturally, in due time, he began to have a splitting headache. Unable to get relief, Hephaestus/Vucan forged an axe and Ares split his head open. Athena, his daughter via Metis, now fully grown and fully armored, sprang forth from Zeus’ forehead brandishing her spear of truth.
This should not have been surprising. This was an idea whose time had come.
Athena is the concept which cannot be stopped, even with fear and foreknowledge. As they say, the most powerful thing in the world is an idea whose time has come. Similarly, Azsacra might just be that creative force which tears through our reality, destroying the old order and creating itself fully formed.
Zeus commanded lightning. It was the primal force incarnate, though like other indoeuropean deities Zeus wielded lightning as an ultimate weapon. In Greek, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and other myths, their mythic gods often used tridents to harness this energy (this same imagery later came to reside in the concept of Christianity’s Satan). This is Zeus’ thunderbolt, or in the Germanic version, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. Lightning is powerful. It is pure energy, light and heat. It is the primal force of the universe, life-giving or life-taking. Like nuclear energy in our age, it can be used for good or bad purposes, it can create or it can destroy. It can be contained and utilized in a variety of ways. However, one should never doubt its power.
One could say NihillihiN is lightning in a bottle. It is a metaphysical nuclear bomb. In detonation it destroys all other systems. In this way it is aphilosophical, areligious, and, in fact, aconceptual.
Another way of stating this is something I used to term verbism, or verbal living. In the above Greek myth we see the example of Zeus who wields a lightning bolt. But in a metaphysical way, we must understand that Zeus is the lightning bolt. However, people often think of an object as the source, the power, the end means of the thing they wish to comprehend, and hence the thing they wish to control. Thus people dream of stealing Zeus’s thunderbolt and wielding it themselves (as in Percy Jackson). Thus, a person erroneously believes by stealing/controlling an object they can become omnipotent, god-like themselves.
But sometimes knowing is much more dangerous than being. A verb is not a noun. An object is static, unmoving, unchanging, and thus controllable, usable, and liable to damage or disuse, therefore impermanent and not self-determined. A verb, an action, or an energy is forever in motion, uncontainable, and thus eternal and self-determining. It simply is.
Let us investigate the danger of Knowing. Semele was a Thraco-Phrygian priestess who came to Zeus attention by slaughtering a bull to him on his altar and then swimming nude across the Asopus River to wash off the blood. He flew over her as an eagle and fell in love with this earthly demi-goddess. He repeatedly visited her over time and their son was Dionysus. There will be more on Dionysus dancing like a Wu Li master in a moment. Semele began to brag of her relationship with Zeus, though, and brought down the wrath of Hera, his jealous wife. She was, after all, mother of the gods and much more powerful than lowly Semele could ever dream. Hera enacted her revenge like this. She appeared as an old crone and befriended her, convincing her to force Zeus to share his true nature with her, which
he reserved only for his wife Hera. Semele tricked Zeus into meeting her along the River Styx and granting her one wish. He agreed and swore on the river which he could not then break. Semele then demanded he reveal his full glory to her. Zeus revealed his true all-powerful energy being and she was instantly incinerated by the lightning of his glory.
Thus spake Azsacra Zarathustra and why we must be careful what we wish for when we ask him to reveal the true nature of his NihillihiN.
I was first introduced to the concept of satori by Zen. The koans were greatly revealing to me and I truly understood the concept of a sudden awakening or revolutionary understanding.
We must grasp this when we consider Azsaсra’s concepts. To begin with he is trying to explain the unexplainable. That is a thankless job. But so have shamans,mystics, theologians, and philosophers since time began. Next we must grasp what he is doing. Azsaсra is seizing all the established philosophical, religious, or conceptual systems we have ― even the pop-sensational twins of Nietzsche and Nihilism ― and dashing them to the ground. He is breaking all molds, all constructs, all language, and seeking the source. The ever-changing, ever-new. The eternal now recycling of birth and death which is the creative.
One might say the ever-new is itself old. Everywhere in the world we find the concept of the ouroboros, the snake eating itself throughout eternity. The masters of tao spoke in terms of cyclic yin and yang. Opposites which define themselves. In a way Azsaсra does this. He destroys in order to rebuild, so that we may go through death and be reborn. It is the age old cycle. The Indian religions have been exploring this path far longer than any of the other cultures, and one is tempted to see a many-armed eternity spreading out behind Azsacra. However, this all a universal concept and his new revolution is the same we have and should be having every moment throughout history. But once we grasp the concept, once we open ourselves to the possibility that his destructive construction is valid, then lightning stirkes. That is the moment of satori. The concept of satori is the closest thing I have come to being able to easily explain his aphilosophy.
“Is it true these discredited cosmological dogmas, which are now returning to us as psychological symbols ― is it true that all these archaic propositions, which have been disqualified, from top to bottom, as representations of the macrocosm ― can now be safely restored to favor as a universal revelation of the macrososm? … Or must we judge them, rather, as functions merely of a certain phase or form of
human culture ― not of universal psychological validity but sociologically determined? In the latter event like the carapace of a crayfish or cocoon of a butterfly that has been cracked, sloughed off, and left behind….“ (Joseph Campbell, The Flight of the Wild Gander, 130).
What are we to do with the Promethean Azsacra? Attempt to stop him? Slay him? Chain him to a mountain and let lose the divine eagle of Zeus to torment him for all eternity?
I return to Dionysus, the son of Zeus and Semele above. Dionysus was the god of wine, of ecstasy, of fertility, and ritual madness. He was visceral, sweating, braying, fornicating life. I believe we could say carpe diem ― that he was seizing the day. Unafraid and unapologetic, we must do the same. We must not live in fear of the unknown, of the different, of the new. We must in fact embrace these things if we are truly alive. We must be alive. We must explode and explore and enjoy every single moment.
Furthermore, Azsacra urges us to sacrifice ourselves, like Jesus or Buddha or Odin did, as he hung crucified on the tree of life for nine days seeking ultimate awareness. Azsacra is not afraid to sacrifice himself, physically and mentally, and stare then leap into the Abyss. But as an artist, it is his duty to turn back, paint us a picture, tell us the story, show us the way. The artist/seer is not consumed by the lightning, by the madness of revelation, but transformed into the teacher.
Azsacra wields something different than Odin lightning bolt. He has moved beyond objectification. He has become the lightning. Why weild someone else’s trident or hammer when you can become the essence of the thing itself. Be the power itself, not the vehicle of the power. Be lightning. This is satori. This living inside the lightning strike, the moment of revelation and recreation forever.
In an interview in the journal Aristokratia, Azsacra stated:
“All visible objects, man, are but pasteboard masks. But in each event ― in the living act, the undoubted deed ― there, some unknown but still reasoning thing, puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will wtrike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? Who does say this ― Buddha from the Dhammapada or Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick? I have always tried to accomplish a sacred connection between Occidental Wolf of Nihilism and Oriental Dragon to Power, if to voice this more presicely: at first make from “nothing” the Nothing to Power,
then create from “emptiness” the Emptiness to Supremacy and then unite them in the most rigorous Supremacy of Absence. This (over)synthesis of the Great Negation ― through Absolute Break of the Spirit! ― had to bury any kind of human “nihilism” forever, any forms of “decadence negations” and give the way to initially majestic luxury of the Purest Violence of the Light, namely: a holy Yes to Life! Instead of prior Nihil I have advanced the formula NihillihiN that is eternal Return of Nothing to Nothing for Nothing to Power. Exactly and only according to this formula of the “turn of Over” the Spirit can achieve the sought ― Eternal Recurrence of Over!”
Likewise, and more succinctly, Azsacra Zarathustra wrote in his book The Lotuses of Evil:
Of the Abyss in to
We must awaken, we must undergo metamorphosis, we must nova, and give birth to the future now.
Thomas Fortenberry is an award-winning American author, editor, reviewer, and publisher. Founder of Mind Fire Press and the international literary arts journal Mindfire. He has judged many literary contests, including The Georgia Author of the Year Awards and The Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction. He helped found several literary companies over the years, such as Mind Fire Press, GKSAS, Third Party Productions (film and TV), and Silverline Comics. Fortenberry has a great love of mystery and incorporates it stylistically into a wide variety of genres. He blogs at thomasfortenberry.net.