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IV. Madness and Sacrifice (of the Phoenix)
The man known as Friedrich Nietzsche crossed the Abyss through the auspices of his "Higher Self," Zarathustra, and having crossed the Abyss, the Great Sea (and Zarathustra himself), was no more. One cannot become Dionysus unless one giveth "every last drop of blood," as it is written in the much misunderstood Book of the Apocalypse. There exists a tradition, dating back to biblical times at least, of Masters achieving such exalted states of Initiation and Enlightenment: the parables of Jesus, Dionysus/Bacchus/Osiris, Attis/Adonis, Cybele, Mithras, Siddhartha Gautama, Moses, Lao Tze, Zoroaster, Krishna, Muhammed, etc., bear such witness. However, it is also said that every 2000 years or so, the "formula" for spiritual (i.e., evolutionary) advancement changes. There is nothing mysterious about this. It is merely based on Humankind's differing -- if not increasingly accurate -- representations of the functions of the Universe, just as technological revolutions develop short term patterns in human processes, embedding new coding into the Central Nervous System.
The Secret of the Mystery Schools of Dionysus (more commonly known as Bacchus) was that Man had a role in procreation. This secret became corrupted when the "Rites of Bacchus" degenerated into public spectacle. We now see why these rites were kept secret by those who had a desire to learn and guard against the profane and vulgar; instead, the libidinally repressed nihilist (read: "ascetic") profaned not only the Rites of Bacchus, but the very meaning of this God, with the heavily Manichean adulterations that resulted in "Christianity." This eventually led to the claim attributed to "Jesus Christ" that "The Kingdom of God is within you." This implied the possibility that "the Judeo-Christian God is an intelligent [only sometimes] ape" -- originally predicated on a biological discovery that had been known about animals other than humans for a long time before Bacchus/Dionysus' "secret" got out. (See Sex In History by Rhea Tannahill, and The Golden Bough by Sir J. G. Frazer.)
"Jesus" was put to death for uttering such dangerous ideas, and the character of Friedrich Nietzsche would suffer a role similar to his predecessors, "Socrates" and "Jesus." [A German natural scientist would suffer likewise to this Emotional Plague by having his scientific writings burned under the status quo of Hitler (1930s) and McCarthy (1950s).] Nietzsche had declared a New Age, an Age of "YES!", an Age of the Eternal Recurrence as the new Scientific Law -- replacing the crude superstition of belief in God ("The Death of God").
But as Zarathustra says all too knowingly, "I have come too soon. You are not ready for me yet." So Zarathustra ("Nietzsche") must forge his New Age, "I am dynamite." Whether or not Nietzsche's "insanity" was willed, unwilled, conscious, unconscious, it matters not in the long run: it took the dissolution of even the wedding of Nietzsche and Zarathustra, culminating in the appearance of the "madman" Dionysus, to make the writings of this Master -- in particular those of the Eternal Recurrence -- in demand and popular (aided undoubtedly by an avatar of Apollo, Professor Kaufmann), just like "Socrates" had via his martyrdom (and Plato's vivid imagination). Just like Jesus in the Christian (Pauline) mythos. Perhaps the ultimate irony of all is that the Dionysus of The Birth of Tragedy (not Dionysus the ecstatic wanderer) is so much like the Old Age Prophets of Osiris, Moses, Jesus, etc. , in that a tragic ending to the life proper of the mortal is the springboard for greater life and hope for Horus, Aaron and the Israelites, and all "Christians," respectively. For "Nietzsche," the sacrifice of Zarathustra unto Dionysus for the cementing of a future interest when people will finally "be ready" for Zarathustra's doctrine, is based on the same formula of self-sacrifice as that of Osiris/Jesus. Is this, however, not the ultimate NO to Life?
Given the climate of Nietzsche's time, Zarathustra's Doctrine was too radical to gain Nietzsche's ideas anything but perversion, relative anonymity and even scorn during his lifetime. Most lamas (in particular the scholars) who were reading Nietzsche at the time, if their published analyses of his mistranslated and sometimes forged doctrines are to be considered, had little idea of what he meant. And yet Zarathustra makes it plain that, at "the great noon," such things shall come to a head. Only because, as Dionysus, he has identified himself with all History via accepting the Eternal Return, can the Psychological Hygienist freely perform his catastrophic, historically necessary function.
Zarathustra as Philosophy with a Hammer, the solve of Philosophical History (particularly German, though only germane remarks apply when standing on its Head) to the coagula of Hegel and German Idealism. Zarathustra as the first real Prophet (as well as, of course, the first real Anti-Prophet -- but seriously, once one is standing firm on their head, the annoying distinction disappears), for he had murdered (the belief in) God -- thereby, producing one of those singularities of History: the Idea that "man is something to be overcome." As Aleister Crowley's first thesis point in his "Zarathustra," called,"Liber AL vel Legis" (The Book Not/God of the Law), exhorts us:
"Every man and every woman is a star."
In Crowley's eclectic mix that fused the Seven Sacred Sciences of both "East" and "West" into a "Beyond Good and Evil" fusion himself, Nietzsche resounds louder than any Western Philosopher, satyr, nymph, or even today's "Higher Men," in The Book of The Law. Nietzsche was the first Philosopher "Beyond Good and Evil" known to the West; as was Crowley the Uniter of Eastern, Western, and scientific disciplines. As far as being "Renaissance," both Nietzsche and Crowley were extremely distinguished. Antithesis: Crowley suffered from the Paternalistic Aristocracy which he never fully eradicated; Nietzsche from the Racial Paternalism that he never fully eradicated.
And yet, for each of them it was the woman who was the inspiration for their Work. For Nietzsche, Ariadne. Crowley called her Babalon. They mean the same thing: Understanding -- with a certain sense of constant humour in the face of all things, coupled with "energized enthusiasm" towards all the pleasures that can also aid one on the path. They both condemned asceticism as an End, though each had periods of using it as a Means. Cosima Wagner ("Ariadne") unleashed the fury of passion that is Dionysus, from Nietzsche. And it was, from 1904 until his death in 1947, always a woman who led Crowley into the most fertile soils of his career.
Crowley's Liber AL says: in woman "is all power given." "Let the Woman be girt with a sword before me." And Ariadne seduced Apollo, for having slain him, only Dionysus remained. Crowley, operating via the formula of the child, Horus, called his own Dionysiac formula: To Mega Therion, meaning "Great Wild Beast." The shaman has used such creative powers throughout History. Nietzsche and Crowley, however, demanded the most rigorous scientific method and formulae applied to these Mysteries -- while demanding no less that one no longer exist but Dance; in this Dance many Idols are crushed -- including one's own "Ego." To invoke these trans-dualistic states into our becoming and central nervous system is to lay claim to the treasures buried in Nietzsche and Crowley's prose.
This is the Philosophers Stone. It is indeed for all and none.
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