Dark Muse, 3-5



S`at.anic Occultism

125 to 149

pp. 137-40 J. K. Huysmans

p. 137

"Joris-Karl Huysmans was born in Paris in 1848, the only child of a French mother and Dutch father".

"Like Zanoni, La` Bas is ...

p. 138

a kind of encyclopedia of fin de sie`cle occultism masquerading as a novel."

p. 139

"Another occult influence on Huysmans ... was Berthe Courrie`re, mistress of the writer Remy de Gourmont. ... Berthe had ... before becoming Gourmont's paramour, ... been mistress and model for George Sand's nephew, the sculptor Clesinger. ... Berthe harboured ... passion for priests, and made a practice of ... seducing, young confessors with an account of her unusual sexual practices. ...

Huysmans' other dark angel was Henriette Maillat ... --

p. 140

and in La` Bas, Huysmans used many of her love letters to him verbatim. ...

It was through Berthe Courrie`re that Huysmans would meet the defrocked priest Joseph Antoine Boullan ... . ... Boullan ..., if were are to believe Stanislas de Guaita, advocated practices of wild promiscuity, adultery, bestiality, ... incubism, and incest ... . According to Francis King, Boullan ... with his mistress Adele Chevalier, a nun, ... engaged in ... ritual [black masses]."

pp. 143, 148 S`at.anism in Russia

p. 143

"The poet Konstantine Balmont published Evil Spell : A Book of Exorcisms, linking ... the failed revolution of 1905 to the occult. ... Satanic erotica became a familiar part of mainstream journalism ... . ... . Some individuals carried the demonic ... to ... lengths : Scriabin, whose diabolical compositions include a Poe'me satanique, a 'Black Mass' (9th Sonata)".

p. 148, n. 19

"For ... the satanic world of the Russian fin de sie`cle see Kristi A Groberg's essay "The Shade of Lucifer's Dark Wing : Satanism in Silver Age Russia," in The Occult in Russian ... Culture, Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal ed., (Ithaca and London : Cornell University Press, 1997) pp. 99-133."

pp. 144-6 Fiery Angel

p. 144

"Along with producing ... the story "The Republic of the Southern Cross," Briusov is responsible for perhaps the most erotically charged occult novel of the 20th century, The Fiery Angel."

p. 145

"Like La` Bas and Zanoni, The Fiery Angel is encyclopedic ... . ... But the plot ... comes straight out of Briusov's life ... . ...

p. 146

In the novel, Nina is Renata, possessed by demons,

Briusov the knight Ruprecht, obsessed with Nina, and

Bely the satanic Madie:l {Magdi^>el (B-Re>s^it 36:43)}, the fiery angel."



Fin de sie`cle Occultism

150 to 223

p. 152 Henri Bergson

"In Creative Evolution (1907) Bergson ... argued against the by-then triumphant Darwinian picture of a mechanistic evolution, propelled by blind mutation ..., offering instead an eloquent and persuasive vision of an e'lan vital, a transcendent 'life force' which penetrates matter and moulds it to its end. That end, Bergson argued, was a kind of evolutionary spirtuality. As he wrote in his last book, Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932) ... the universe ... was "a machine for making gods." ... Later, Shaw drew on Bergson's ideas again for his futurist fantasy Back to Methuselah (1924),

which introduces a race of supermen living in some unthinkable future, semi-divine human beings who have transcended the earthly lot and occupy themselves solely with the eternal."

pp. 154-5, 158-9 Madame Blavatsky

p. 154

"A reporter with a deep interest in the supernatural, Olcott had heard of a pair of remarkable spirit mediums, the Eddys, who lived on a farm in Vermont. Arriving there he was immediately captivated by the appearance of ... Madame Blavatsky. ...

p. 155

A lifetime association began, and soon after the two became ... flat mates in Manhattan."

"Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (or HPB ...), was born Helena von Hahn in 1831 in Ekaterinoslav in the Ukraine."

p. 158

"In books like Occult Science in India (1875) Jacolliot argued that a society of unknown men actually did exist in India whose influence on world events was paramount. In the 1920s the legend of the 'Nine Unknown' [was to] turn up again in the esoteric fiction of the novelist Talbolt Mundy, himself a member of Katharine Tingley's Point Loma Theosophical Society, and in the 1960s they formed a part of Louis Pauwel's and Jacques Bergier's The Morning of the Magicians (1960). ... From Zanoni, ... Blavatsky ... borrowed the idea of an ancient, secret language, which she called Senzar {Skt. /sena/ 'army' + /jaras/ old age'}, the original tongue of the Book of Dzyan ... . ...

p. 159

Blavatsky spent her last days in Europe, writing the monumental Secret Doctrine ... . She died in 1891 of Bright's disease."

pp. 166, 168, 170 Algernon Blackwood

p. 166

"Algernon Blackwood was born in Shooter's Hill, Kent, on 4 March 1869".

p. 168

"Blackwood ... made ... cosmic novels like The Human Chord (1910) and The Centaur (1911) -- the last ... perhaps the central expression of his mystical beliefs. A Prisoner in Fairyland (1913) was later transformed through the help of Sir Edgar Elgar into the musical The Starlight Express".

p. 170

"in Fontainebleau ... Blackwood made frequent trips to Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. He was not the only literary guest : others included Sinclair Lewis, A. R. Orage -- who, after Ouspensky, became Gurdjieff's right-hand man -- and, famously, Katharine Mansfield, who died there in 1922."

pp. 194, 196-8 Guy de Maupassant

p. 194

"his younger brother Herve' ... would eventually die insane. ... [Guy de] Maupassant himself would succumb to the same fate" [but only because "Maupassant contracted syphilis." (p. 196)]

"Guy De Maupassant was born in Chateau de Miromesnil, near Dieppe in Normandy on 5 August 1850."

p. 196

"ether, he ... used regularly" : "in a short short story, "Re^ves" ("Dreams"), he described how under its influence he felt that "all mysteries were solved;" ... and he saw himself "a superior being, armed with an invincible intelligence"".

p. 197

"In "Was He Mad?" the magnetist is cursed with a kind of telekinetic power, the ability to move objects at a distance ... .

In "Magnetism" Maupassant combines ... strange forces with ... seduction ... precognitive vision leading to a spontaneous erotic encounter ... . ...

In "Who Knows?," inanimate objects move of their own accord, and ... the narrator ... puts himself in an [insane] asylum".

p. 198

"by 1891, Maupassant ... saw his own ghost". [This theme had already appeared in one of his writings : "In "He?" a man ... is plagued by a vision of his doppelga:anger." (p. 197)]

pp. 205-8 Gustav Meyrink

p. 205

"Gustave Meyer (he later adopted Meyrink as a nom de plume and then took it as his legal name) ... was a ... banker. ... The bank he started with a nephew of the poet Christian Morgenstern -- a devotee of Rudolph Steiner -- was a success ... . ... Meyer ... [became] a founding member of the Theosophical Lodge of the Blue Star ... in Prague. ...

p. 206

Meyrink's taste for the occult ... would fully emerge in his first novel, The Golem. Originally published in 1913 in Die Weissen Blatter, ... it appeared in book form two years later".

"Gustav was born in 1868, the illegitimate son of a Jewish actress, Maria Meyer, and an aristocrat, Baron Karl Varnbu:ler von und zu Hemmingen, minister of state for Wu[:]rttemburg."

p. 207

"Meyer also became an Arch Censor in the Mandala of the Lord of the Perfect Circle. Other societies included The Order of Illumination, and the Brotherhood of the Old Rite of the Holy Grail in the Great Orient of Patmos. ... Later Meyrink would be associated with the German guru Bo Yin Ra, correspond at length with Annie Besant, and receive praise from Rudolph Steiner".

p. 208

"1904 ... led Meyrink to leave Prague and move to Vienna ... and in 1906 he moved to Bavaria, after finally divorcing his first wife and marrying Philomena ["in 1895 he met Philomena Berndt, who later became his second wife." (p. 207)] But it wasn't until 1911 that he finaly settled by Lake Starnberg in ... the House of the Last Lamps. Here we would write The Golem ..., and live until his death in 1932."

"By placing the word EMETH -- life {'truth', not 'life'} on its forehead, the Golem is awakened, ready to do the bidding of its master. ... He can be stopped only by rubbing out the initial E, leaving the word METH, death, on its brow."

pp. 212-5 Andrei Bely

p. 212

"Born Boris Nikolaevich

p. 213

Bugaev in Moscow in 1880 (Andrei Bely was a pseudonym ...), Bely was the son of a world-famous mathematician and a St. Petersburg society lady. ...

Bely ... was a follower of the Russian religious philosopher Vladimir Soloviev. ... Bely first came to literary notice with his eccentric prose work Second Symphony (1902), which applied the principle of musical composition to writing. ... Bely composed three further Symphonies ... . ...

p. 214

Bely's most well known work, the novel Petersburg (1916) ..., ... is the most anthroposophical of Bely's creative writing. ... Nikolai undergoes an astral voyage during sleep, in which

p. 215

he sees his father as the pagan god Saturn." {In mythology, Kronos swallowed his own sons, afterwards regurgitating them still alive.}

"Bely was particularly impressed with a series of secret lectures that Steiner gave in 1912-1913, centred around 'activation of the etheric body'. ... Steiner taught that when one begins to sense the etheric body, the feeling is like a sudden expansion into space."

"In a chapter called "The Senator's Second Space" Bely describes the weird hypnagogic visions Nikolai's father has on the point of sleep. "This universe always appeared before he fell asleep; and it appeared is such a way that Apollon Apollonivich, going to sleep, remembered all the ... crystallographic figures, the golden, chrysanthemum-shaped stars racing through the darkness ... ." [P, p. 179] And in the section entitled "The Last Judgement," Nikolai also finds himself thrown out into strange cosmic depths."

P = Andrei Bely (transl. by David McDuff) : Petersburg.

pp. 222-3, n. 43 Vladimir Soloviev

p. 222, n. 43

"Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900), the son of an eminent historian ..., ... underwent ... a series of mystical experiences involving ... the Divine Sophia. ... In 1874 he published a book entitled The Crisis of Western Philosophy which ... affirmed ... spiritual contemplation. ... In 1874, during a sabbatical year, he studied ... medieval texts at the British Museum, where he had the second vision of Sophia. ... During a visit ... in the Suez desert ... The smell of roses awoke him in the morning, and he had the third visitation of Sophia. ...

p. 223, n. 43

In the last years of his life he was obsessed with apocalyptic visions and wrote a book War, Progress and the End of History".



The Modernist Occultist

224 to 265

pp. 228, 231-4 Fernando Pessoa

p. 227

"Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888".

p. 231

"Between 1916 and 1917, Pessoa engaged in a series of automatic writing sessions, making contact with several intelligences ... . ... .

... these sessions produced a variety of occult signs and symbols".

p. 232

[quoted from SPFP, pp. 101-2 :] "I have sudden flashes of 'etheric vision' and can see certain people's 'magnetic auras' and especially my own, reflected in the mirror, and radiating from my hands in the dark. In one of my best moments of etheric vision ... I saw someone's ribs through his coat and skin".

p. 233

"A lifelong opponent of Christianity, Pessoa saw the "Gnostic heresy" surface at different periods in history, appearing in ... the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, the alchemists, and, in most recent times, freemasonry."

"Pessoa first made contact with Crowley when he wrote to the Great Beast ... . In September 1930, Crowley arrived in Lisbon, with his current Scarlet Woman." ("IACFPEW")

p. 234

[quoted from SPFP, p. 259 :] "I believe in the existence of worlds higher than our own and in the existence of beings that inhabit these worlds ..., we can, according to our degree of spiritual attunement, communicate with ever high[er] beings."

SPFP = Richard Zenith (transl.) : Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa. NY : Grove Pr, 2001.

"IACFPEW" = Marco Pasi : "The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Fernando Pessoa's Esoteric Writings". GNOSTICS 3 : E'sote'risme, Gnoses & Imaginaire Symbolique. Leuven (Belgium) : Peeters, 2001. pp. 693-711.

pp. 237, 239-40 Rene' Daumal

p. 237

"With the poet Andre'Rolland de Reneville and other Simplists , the nineteen-year -old Daumal embarked on the short-lived literary review ... Le Grand Jeu (The Big Game). The ... blend of Gue'non, Alfred Jarry's Pataphysics, occultism and arcane scholarship in Le Grand Jeu ... first issue appeared in 1928".

p. 239

"While much of the atutomatic writings produced by Breton, Desnos and others is almost unreadable, Daumal's ... simple prose remains immediately accessible. ... .

... Daumal's work is ... characterized by ... his later, unfinished novel

p. 240

Mount Analogue ... . [pp. 262-3, n. 5:27 : "another mystical novel dealing with a mountain, [is] Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain ... . ... For a study of ... Mann's novel, see Wouter J. Hanegraaf's "Ironic Esotericism : Alchemy and Grail Mythology in Thomas Mann's Zauberberg", E'sote'risme, Gnoses & Imaginaire Symbolique ... pp. 575-594.]

In 1938 Daumal began to work with Gurdjieff directly ... . ...

In April 1944 Daumal died."

pp. 244, 247-51 Oscar Vladislas de Lubicz Milosz

p. 244

"O. V. de L. Milosz was born on 28 May 1877 on the vast family estate of Czerei:a, Lithuania. His father was a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman, his mother was Jewish".

p. 247

"Milosz wrote ... mystery plays, Miguel Man~ara, ... as well as ... Me'phiboseth. 1913 saw ... Milosz's introduction to the esoteric circle surrounding the journal L'Affranchi ("The Liberated"). ... Milosz would bestow upon Schwaller the heraldic title of de Lubicz. [p. 263, n. 5:43 : "Rene' Schwaller de Lubicz is most known ... for his unorthodox theories about ... the construction of the Temple of Luxor."] ...

Milosz underwent the profound experience that would change both his life and his work ... on the night of 14 December 1914 ... . In writing of his relative's [Czeslaw was "nephew" of O. V. (p. 243)] illumination, Czeslaw Milosz compares it to the more famous transfiguration of Blaise Psacal, who ... on 23 November 1654 .... experienced "FIRE/God ... ."

p. 248

To remind himself of what he experienced that night, Pascal wrote a note on a piece of paper which, after his death, was found sewn into his jacket. A decade after his experience, in 1924 Milosz published his first metaphysical work, the long hermetic prose poem Ars Magna, followed three years later in 1927 by The Arcana. ... The metaphysics of Ars Magna and The Arcana is ... the Romantic struggle against the by-now triumphant materialist account of the universe. ...

p. 249

Milosz claimed that until his illumination, he had only a superficial acquaintance with hermetic literature."

[quoted from "Epistle to Storge" in Ars Magna, translated by Czeslaw Milosz in his The Noble Traveler, pp. 244-5 :] "On the fourteen of December, nineteen hundred and fourteen, at about eleven o'clock in the evening, ... I noticed that I was given a power, until that day unknown, of soaring freely through space; and a moment later I found myself near the summit of a mighty mountain shrouded with bluish mists of ...

p. 250

movement. For the mountain, tearing its roots out of the earth, carried me rapidly towards unimaginable heights, towards nebulous regions silent and streaked by immense flashes of lightning.

{According to the Brahman.a-s of the Veda-s, "Indra cut off the wings of the hills and made the earth fast with them. But the wings became storm-clouds." ("LCNB")} {This is "the legend (R 5, I, 125) of Indra cutting off the wings (clouds) of mountains and making earth firm (RV. 2, 12, 2; MS. I, 10, 13)" (EM).} {"Mainaka was the only mountain that escaped or resisted Indra, when the others had their wings cut off" ("MA", p. 358).}

... a very dense cloud, ... its coppery tinge ... .

{This may be one of the two mythic Tamra ('Copper') Mountains in the sea, the divine abodes sacred to Padma-sambhava. "winged mountains ... in the sea" ("BTSGJ") are also mentioned in the Sthala Puran.a-s.}

Above the top of my skull, as little to the rear, a glow then appeared like that of a torch reflected by still water or an old mirror.

{The nad.i Id.a (employed in Hat.ha yoga) commenceth at the back of one's head.}

... an instant later, from regions which I knew were far behind me, a sort of gigantic and reddish egg shot forth, hurled with extraordinary force through space, it reached the line of my forehead in an instant; and there, suddenly changing its movement and colour, it became round and small, turned into a golden lamp, lowered itself until it brushed by face, climbed again, grew in size, recovered its oval shape of an angelic sun, stopped not far above my forehead and looked deeply into my eyes."

"This was the "spiritual sun" he told Carlos Larronde he had seen."

{There is, distinct from the spiritual "moon" at the back of one's head, a spiritual "sun" to be activated at one's forehead, the site of the commencement of the nad.i Pingala. [These distinctions can be observed by an assiduous practitioner who is experiencing these sensations frequently and regularly.]}

"the "Exegetic Notes" to The Arcana alone run some hundred pages".

p. 251

"In his last days, Milosz ... displayed an uncommon intimacy with birds."

{Prompted by his contemplation of the flying mountain?}

"LCNB" = "Legends of Creation, Narratives in Brahmanas" http://www.indianetzone.com/51/legends_creation.htm

EM = E. Washburn Hopkins : Epic Mythology. Strassburg, 1915. http://www26.us.archive.org/stream/epicmythology00hopkuoft/epicmythology00hopkuoft_djvu.txt

"MA" = E. Washburn Hopkins : "Mythological Aspects ... ." J OF THE AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOC, vol. 30 (1910). http://www.archive.org/stream/journaloforiental30ameruoft/journaloforiental30ameruoft_djvu.txt "BTSGJ" = "Balika Tirtha , Somnath, Gir, Junagad & Gondal" http://aachimu.blogspot.com/2009/12/balika-tirtha-somnath-gir-junagad.html

{Milosz failed to achieve this "illumination" on more than merely a single occasion simply because of his erroneous metaphysics (and theology). The deities who provided him with this "illumination" conducted (by telepathic means) a survey of his metaphysics at that time, realized that it was grossly deficient, and therefore resolved not to show to him any further divine manifestations unless and until he would correct his misunderstandings. Such correction was never performed by him. [He was so foolish as ostentatiously to trust in the "Bible" (p. 249) at the time of the "illumination" and afterwards, so that the deities (who had hoped to find him putting his faith in the Puran.a) would never condescend to manifest themselves any further to him on any future occasion.]}

pp. 251-3, 264 Frater Achad

p. 251

"At the summer solstice of 1916, Frater Achad [>ah.ad] {'Brother One-way-or-the-other' (Strong's 258)} -- otherwise known as Charles Stanfield Jones -- ... in Vancouver, Canada, ... had ... undergone a ... visitation by the Secret Chiefs ... . {a hallucinatory vision of them} ...

p. 252

Jones telegrammed his mentor in London ... and announced what had happened. ... Just nine months previously, with two of his Scarlet Women, Crowley had performed

a series of magical operations, the aim of which was to produce a "magical child,"

{This is a Taoist rite.}

an heir to the mysteries inherent in his sacred text, The Book of the Law. ... Crowley's efforts -- which included for the most part having sex in a variety of ways -- had been successful. ...

Frater Achad soon declared that Aiwass, the Great Beast's Holy Guardian Angel, was a malignant intelligence."

{Is Aiwass aequivalent of to A<isa, god of the Mekeo of Central Papua?}

p. 253

"Frater Achad's ... influence would inform ... in Pasadena, California, ... Jack Parsons, Robert Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard."

p. 264, n. 5:46

"In the 1930s, Frater Achad started a magical organization of his own, and one member, Wilfred T. Smith, carried his teaching to California, where he started a group called the Agape Lodge. This would ... include John (Jack) Whitesides Parson[s] ... . Agape Lodge was ultimately under Crowley's guidance, and ... Smith ... was expelled and Parsons given control. ... L. Ron Hubbard claimed to have been sent to investigate ..., and also absorbed enough about Crowley's ideas to use them as a foundation for his Church of Scientology. Hubbard ... knew Heinlein, who visited Parsons' home on a few occasions. ... For more on Parsons and Hubbard, see my Turn Off Your Mind : The Mystic Sixties and The Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius."

pp. 253-7 Malcolm Lowry

p. 253

"Malcolm Lowry was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire in 1909 and died in Ripe, Sussex in 1957 ... . ...

p. 254

Lowry ... first came across ... living ... in Dollarton, British Columbia ... [Charles Stanfield] Jones ... . ... After that meeting, which ... took place in ... 1941 ... Jones returned to Lowry ..., bringing with him copies of two books he had written : Q.B.L. or the Bride's Reception and The Anatomy of the Body of God. ... Frater Achad's other main interest was the Parsifal legend, his studies in which produced The Chalice of Ecstasy, being the Inmost Secret of PARZIVAL by a Companion of the Holy Grail ..., published in 1923 ... .

p. 255

... The aim of the rituals ... is to bring the practitioner to the "knowledge and conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel." To achieve this, the magician must learn how to master the lower demonic forces ... . In Lowry's case, the demonic voices the mescal[-]inspired ... hears come straight out of Mather's text [of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage]. ... Lowry and Margerie visited Jones often. Stan[field] lived with his wife Rubina in Deep Cove, a hamlet not far from Dollarton ... . ... Jones ... was ... the head of the College Ad Spiritum Sanctum, whose base was located in Chicago. ... The two couples became good friends ..., and soon the Lowrys were spending a few evenings a weeks at Jones's house. There he introduced them to a variety of

p. 256

mystical practices ... . ... By the time Lowry met Jones, he ... was a great reader of Ouspensky ... . ... . ... the kind of worl.d Malcolm was entering ... appears in Under the Volcano ... in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where the novel takes place ... . [Cuernavaca ('horn-cow') is a Spanish perversion of its true Aztec name; so it is correctly "Called Quauhnahuac in the novel" (p. 264, n. 5:51), meaning 'Eagle-People'.] ...

p. 257

He even [cited] Ouspensky, saying that he "always believed that, that which impedes the motion of thought is false," a slight paraphrase of Ouspensky's coda to the Tertium Organum itself. (In later years he would also repeat Ouspensky's dictum that "If we could put [metaphysical] questions rightly, we should know the answers," an insight ... in some of Wittgenstein's aphorisms.) ...

A detailed, chapter-by-chapter account of the ... symbolism that fills Under the Volcano can be found in Perle Epstein's exhaustive study, The Private Labyrinth of Malcolm Lowry".


Gary Lachman : The Dedalus Book of the Occult : a Dark Muse. Dedalus Ltd, Sawtry (Cambs, UK), 2003.