Reflecting upon Pathei Mathos

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The philosophy of Pathei Mathos, while genuine and tragic in nature, (the concept of Pathei Mathos itself could be best represented by Sophocle -Oedipus) also leaves behind a trail of fundamental questions, even more so in the context of the Order of nine angles. This article will focus mainly on the nature of Pathei Mathos from an analytical perspective. It might lead us to understand the current opinions of Myatt a little better and why he chose that term over many others to express his rejection of extremism. His conclusions, while still fallible, cannot be ignored, as they are the culmination of years of esoteric research and practical experiences, many of which involved extremism and insight roles.

Questions such as:

  • Pathei mathos is the authentic expression of human nature. We, as fallible beings, endowed with a personal ἄνοδος and weltanschauung, are meant to sometimes, succeed, sometime fail miserably because of our juvenile understanding, our ignorance (in whatever the field of study or practical experience we decide to participate in). In O9A tradition, it is made clear that there is no authority and that the practitioner should be the one to decide what to include/exclude from his spiritual agenda, still he is expected to perform certain tasks to gain a certain knowledge/wisdom that is only attainable through praxis. For some, this will mean isolating themselves in the forest for a few months, to some other it might be an insight role or a service in the military or to perform a very long meditation. How far, should a niner go in the name of “personal” (egoistic) pathei mathos? Should this elitist desire for evolution and alchemical changes be so reckless that it harms others?


  • It seems to me that pathei mathos is an automated process. It can be imbued with a deeper understanding or willingness to learn from sufferings/hardship, but in essence, all human beings are subject to its influences. In this perspective what is our argument(s), our right(s) to intrude and disrupt someone else’s pathei mathos for the nourishment of our own, apart from the sempiternal argument of “might is right” that is yet, just another manufactured human abstraction that may or may not be completely erroneous.


  • There are great examples of mastery, discipline and wisdom that involve hardship, going beyond fears, self inflicted violence, determination and years long commitment that are experimental in nature but does not condemn the practitioner to commit numinous mistakes such as: acting with hubris toward others, killing another individual, insight roles that involves baleful conclusions (…) Aghori’s or stylite’s are excellent example of this because they do confront what could be termed as “Darkness” but they remain conscious of the unity of the Kosmos (κόσμος) which as Myatt stated, is hinted by empathy itself. A wordless expression/experience.


“we may refer to as the dialectic of egoism: of ourselves as one distinct,self-interested, human being contrasted with (or needing to be contrasted with) and often opposed to (or needing to be opposed to or seen to be opposed to) other humans. Thus, for millennia we have manufactured causal abstractions and identified with one or more of them, saught to bring them into being; as we have opposed other abstractions and especially those humans who identify with some abstraction or whom we have assigned to some abstraction, such as some group or some faith or some nation or some ethnicity or some ideology regarded as ‘inferior’ to ‘ours’ or as ‘bad’ compared to ‘ours’. Similarly, we humans have for millennia often felt compelled to place our own self-interest, our welfare, before that of other humans – and before the welfare of Nature – just as we have been often compelled and often are still compelled to strive, competitively or otherwise, against other humans in order to establish or reaffirm our personal identity, our difference from them (or their ‘inferiority’ compared to us). Thus has there been, and thus is there, hubris and suffering. Thus has there been, and thus is there, a lack of appreciation of the numinous and a lack of understanding of our φύσις and that of the φύσις of the other living beings (including other humans) who share this planet with us. In summary, applying causal time to living beings creates and maintains division and divisiveness; while the perception of acausal time brings an appreciation of the numinous and thus a knowing of the inherent unity behind our ordinary understanding of separate living beings. […] Essentially, therefore, acausality – as part of such a formal theory – is an axiom, a logical assumption, not a belief. This axiom about the nature of the cosmos is one that derives not from the five Aristotelian essentials that determine the scientific method, but from the intuition of empathy and from deduction relating to observations of living beings.” -David Myatt

Also important is the following: (2011)

 “…In fact, we positively encourage amoral experiences, heresy,  and the transgression of accepted norms. Therefore in specific matters – such as the nature and reality of the being described by the exoteric name Satan, and the nature and reality of what we have termed acausal entities [the Dark Gods et al] – we expect individuals to arrive at their own conclusions, based on their own practical experience and learning, since we have no dogma about such matters, no orthodoxy, and certainly make no claims that we possess the truth or have all the answers, and certainly never claiming that we possess some sort of absolute authority: diabolical, supra-personal, revelatory, or whatever. Our authority, such as it is, is that deriving from and  manifest in the accumulated individual pathei-mathos – the experience and the learning – of our members.” -David Myatt

Here is an excellent french commentary in which the author dismembered the word πάθει μάθος. It shows that fundamentally, pathei mathos is a natural but transitory state in humans and that we, as all life, alter ourselves perpetually. Now, death might be just another alteration but that’s for another article to discuss. Point is, Myatt might have chosen that word to illustrate his latest philosophy (rejection of extremism) because it also holds the weight of thousands of years of human evolution (of which, according to him, we have learned very little because we still prioritize hubris which leads to war, conflict, destruction … over the respect of the pathei mathos of others).

Commentary by Stefan Hassen Chedri

Références : Erwin Strauss, Henri Maldiney et Jacques Schotte.

L’être humain est un être pathique.
Il est pathique au sens où il n’est pas une donnée naturelle et qu’il advient « conflictuellement ». Il est pathique parce que susceptible d’altération, de changement, de trans-formation : être patho-logique.
Il est pathique au sens où il éprouve, est éprouvé dans le champ vital de la sensation (αἵσθησις). La sensation est l’épreuve de l’existant . Elle l’affecte en « l’affectant », le destine en le disposant. La constitution pathique de l’existant témoigne donc de l’importance de la sensation.

« Au moment pathique s’applique intégralement la parole d’Eschyle “πάθει μάθος” l’épreuve enseigne. Non par raisons, mais par sens. » (Maldiney,Regard, Parole, Espace, p. 71).

Reprenons la notion de pathos à partir d’Aristote pour éclairer la dimension pathique (et patho-logique) de l’homme comme « ψυχή / psyché » et être-au-monde , avec-le-monde.

« Pathos » signifie ce à partir de quoi et ce vers quoi quelque chose passe et transite. Pathos est, « en un premier sens, la qualité suivant laquelle un être peut être altéré » mais « en un autre sens, c’est l’acte de ces qualités et dès lors les altérations elles-mêmes » (Aristote, Métaphysique D 21, 1022b,15).

L’accent est mis sur le passage entre un point de départ et un point d’arrivée. « Le changement … est transition continue entre deux extrêmes dont l’un est la privation de l’autre » (Brun, Aristote et le Lycée, p. 57).

C’est la qualité qui est altérée ; c’est un mouvement (κίνησις ) selon la qualité : ἀλλοίωσις  (μεταβολή κατά τό πάθος ) mouvement d’un contraire à un autre.

Link to complete article:,075


And to conclude, here is also the opinion of Christian Culak, the creator of a formidable philosophical mixture called “Eihcophe”. Divided in various points, it is also ever changing, altering itself according to Mr Culak practical and intellectual experiences;

“As Pathei Mathos embraces the struggling experiences of life (i.e. suffering), there is a moderation – a balance – that is sought within it.  One may embrace and deal with an extremism acted upon them, but it’s not within the nature of Pathei Mathos to seek extremism.  Specifically, it is handling extremism; to counterbalance it while simultaneously understanding it.  This counterbalance is the flow of enantiodromia.  Enantiodromia provides an understanding beyond dichotomies.  Pathei Mathos provides an understanding that is beyond paradigms. Both resonate together as productive and efficient tools in philosophical development.”

Link to Christian Culak Eihcophe:

-Beldam, 128 yf


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