Mysticism, Time

Stags and Unicorns: The Alchemical Root of the Normalisation of Cheating

The Book of Lambspring, Musaeum Hermeticum, Frankfurt 1625. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The Sages say truly
That two animals are in this forest:
One glorious, beautiful, and swift,
A great and strong deer;
The other an unicorn.
[..]
He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.
For we rightly judge
That he has attained the golden flesh,
And may triumph everywhere;
Nay, he may bear rule over great Augustus.

The Book Of Lambspring

 

To anyone paying attention, it should be obvious that the inverted moral value (vice) of infidelity that is actively and very profitably promoted in the half light of public consciousness, in adultery-themed “dating” sites, apps, and “reality” TV, is now being actively normalised by mainstream media, along with ‘liberal’ academia.

 

@PolNewsInfinity

 

This “normalisation” of cheating has exactly the same root as the accounting, banking, and money systems.

As we have seen recently, the first step in an alchemical experiment is called nigredo (“blackening”; a synonym for corruption, decay, sacrifice, death, negation).

In double entry bookkeeping, the foundation of the accounting, banking, and money systems, the first rule is also an act of negation:

For every debit there must be an equal credit, and for every credit there must be an equal debit.

In Cabala, the first act of creation by “Ein-Sof” (Infinite God) is said to be an act of self-negation (“tzimtzum”; contraction, concealment).

In mainstream “financial intermediation” theory of banking, the first principle is a pretence of self-negation: supposedly, the mere coupling together of two opposites, Savers and Borrowers.

This “normalisation” of cheating – a direct attack on the cornerstone social bonds of traditional marriage and family – aims to bring about the corruption – and destruction – of human society.

Or, as the “philosophers” of the “royal Art” prefer to frame it, the “transformation” of human society.

The first step in the “experiment”, is the decay, destruction, or negation, of traditional moral values. Only then can the alchemist bring forth “gold” from the “base”; the “higher”, from the “lower”; Order, out of Chaos.

“I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”

“You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”

1984

Barent Coenders van Helpen series L'Escalier des Sages, Cologne, 1693_CH02

Barent Coenders van Helpen, L’Escalier des Sages (“The Stairs of the Wise”), Cologne, 1693. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Cui bono? (to whose benefit?)

The money-lenders.

Or, as I have taken to saying, the Usurocracy*.

It should not be necessary to spell out the myriad economic impacts of broken marriages, and broken homes, inclining “preferences” toward an increased “demand” (need) for debt: the Usurocracy’s exclusive monopoly “product”.

One can only wonder at the magnitude of economic inefficiencies – and wealth inequality – associated with the increased “need” to pay billions in fees to the “family” lawyer class, for example.

I would like to draw public attention to the alchemical symbolism evidencing this once covert, and now increasingly overt goal, of normalising infidelity – that is to say, lying and cheating.

In previous essays we have seen that the ancient “Art” of alchemy is an andocentric, misogynous, predatory sex magic system, whose hidden goal is the theft, manipulation, and domination, of the feminine birth-force (life, “growth”) energy, or “gynergy”.

For power and profit.

Throughout recorded history, alchemical adepts have advanced their deception by combining exoteric (outer) and esoteric (inner) doctrines, with the difference between the two cloaked in metaphor, allegory and symbolism – in particular, by means of the rebus (Latin rēbus “by means of objects”) or punning principle – thus hiding the truth in plain sight:

The Rebis (from Latin res bina, meaning dual or double matter) is the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or great work.

Sixth woodcut from Basil Valentine's Azoth

Heinrich Nollius, Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae, 1617. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

As we have also seen, the alchemical “Art” is based on two philosophical principles: the Unity of Opposites (exoteric), and the Law of Inversion (esoteric).

The “profane” are gulled – enchanted – by the outward appearance of beauty, nobility and virtue. Only the “illuminated” understand that the appearance cloaks a diabolic inner doctrine of inversion, that is explicitly contra naturam.

To illustrate this, let us now consider the alchemical allegory of the Stag and the Unicorn, from the Book of [Abraham] Lambspring (Frankfurt, 1625):

It seems that this little book was first published under the title De Lapide Philosophico Triga Chemicum (Prague 1599) compiled by the Frenchman Nicolas Barnaud prominent in the alchemical circles around Rudolf II.

Appearing at face value to be a work of “spiritual” alchemy, “[i]ts verses point to the soul and spirit involved in the alchemical transformation and its fifteen emblems are evocative symbols of these inner processes.”

The parable of the “deer” and the Unicorn appears to explain that the forest is “the Body”, the deer is “the Soul” , and the unicorn “the Spirit”. Knowing how to master all three “by Art” appears to be the goal aspired to.

The tinctures in alchemy relate also to the substances of the Mass, the red wine, the blood, and the white wafer, the body of Christ. Administration of the Sacraments was seen as spiritualising the souls of the partakers. In alchemical terms these white and red stones or tinctures served much the same purpose, though the alchemists achieved this, not through the intermediacy of a priest but by their own inner work of transmutation. Here alchemy links directly with the Grail stories which use similar parallels between the Grail and the Sacraments. The red tincture was occasionally symbolised by a stag bearing antlers. The stag being seen as a noble masculine animal. This links in with the Unicorn as a symbol of the white or feminine tincture. In some alchemical illustrations, such as that of the late 16th century Book of Lambspring, the Stag and Unicorn meet in the forest of the soul as part of the process of inner transformation.

We have already learned, however, that the secret inner doctrine of alchemy is one of sexual magic, and that the inversion (or reversal) of values lies at its heart.

Mylius version of Donum Dei Series_MD01

J.D. Mylius, Rosary of the Philosophers (Rosarium philosophorum sive pretiosissimum donum Dei), 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The Stag as a symbol is often associated with the Sun [Sola ☉, Mars ♂, Asset, active, creditor] and the Unicorn is usually linked with the Moon [Luna ☽, Venus ♀, Liability, passive, debtor]. These polarities are to be coupled together through the alchemist’s work.

Seen in this hidden ‘light’ – from the “other side” of the Sun or “Black Sun” – the parable of the Stag and the Unicorn is actually a metaphor for the infidelity and promiscuity (Latin infidēlitas: unfaithful, disloyal, treacherous) that is essential to the alchemists’ sex magic rituals; where, in the act of “coupl[ing] them together”, the initiated adept uses a cunning trick (upaya, method) to steal the seed of the woman for his own empowerment, and enrichment:

He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.

Rather than the “deer” representing nobility of the Soul, for the alchemical adept it represents the rutting Stag’s “active” (creditor) sexual activity with all the females (debtor) in the herd.

stag (n.)
late 12c., probably from Old English stagga “a stag,” from Proto-Germanic *stag-, from PIE root *stegh- “to stick, prick, sting.” The Old Norse equivalent was used of male foxes, tomcats, and dragons; and the Germanic root word perhaps originally meant “male animal in its prime.”

Adjectival meaning “pertaining to or composed of males only” (as in stag party) is American English slang from 1848. Compare bull-dance, slang for one performed by men only (1845); gander (n.) also was used in the same sense. Stag film “pornographic movie” is attested from 1968. Stag beetle, so called for its “horns,” is from 1680s.

Rather than the Unicorn representing the Spirit, for the initiated it represents a cynical mockery of what is to him a mythical creature – the chaste and faithful female; symbolic also of the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom of God, the Virgin Mary, and the Christian saint.

Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived c. 490 to 425 BC, wrote that “the foulest Babylonian custom” was the practice of sacred prostitution. Once in their lifetimes, all women were required to sit in the temple of Ishtar/Inanna (“Aphrodite” to the greek Herodotus) and “have intercourse with some stranger” in return for money which was given to the temple:

Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. [..] So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four.

It is noteworthy that “a fraction of female gender researchers” dispute Herodotus’ account, claiming that the entire notion began with a few “patriarchal” Greek writers concocting defamatory tales about cultural or political enemies.

What is of importance is that the existence of “holy prostitution” in Babylon has been the widely-held belief, for thousands of years. Given this accepted milieu then, it is little wonder that the adepts of “Hermes, the Sage, the Babylonian” are seen in alchemical texts referring to the “base” subjects of their experiments as “whores”, and in at least one instance, as “the Babylonian whore”.

The final four verses of the parable clearly allude to what is the true goal of the alchemist: the attainment of “golden flesh”, that he may “triumph everywhere” and “rule over great Augustus” (the first Roman emperor).

As we saw in Cheating Females: The Production Of Inequality, By Illusions of Equality, the “gold” sought by the alchemists is threefold:

[T]he “Alchemy of life: he can make his life last as long as the sun and moon[; the] Alchemy of body: he can make his body eternally be but sixteen years old[; and the] Alchemy of enjoyments: he can turn iron and copper into gold”. These three experiments, then, primarily concern two goals: firstly the attainment of immortality, and secondly the production of gold, that is, material wealth.

I would draw your attention to two further points of special interest, before leaving you to contemplate the entire parable for yourself.

Firstly, bear in mind that the exoteric (public) doctrine actively promotes the idea of “equality” of the two “universal” genders. Then observe the subtle, egocentric misogyny implied by the lyrical praise of the Male (“glorious, beautiful and swift”, “great and strong”, etc), sharply contrasted by the absence of any adjectives, much less any superlatives, applied to the Female. One might get the impression (“The other an unicorn”) that the Female is merely an afterthought, barely worth mentioning at all.

Secondly, observe that the Stag is depicted as proudly boasting six (6) tines on each of its antlers, and bear in mind that a stag’s antlers function as objects of sexual attraction, and as weapons in fights for control over harems.

 

The Book of Lambspring,
A Noble Ancient Philosopher,
Concerning the Philosophical Stone;
Rendered into Latin Verse by
Nicholas Barnaud Delphinas,
Doctor of Medicine, a zealous Student of this Art.

Figure III

HEAR WITHOUT TERROR THAT IN THE FOREST ARE HIDDEN A DEER AND AN UNICORN

The Sages say truly
That two animals are in this forest:
One glorious, beautiful, and swift,
A great and strong deer;
The other an unicorn.
They are concealed in the forest,
But happy shall that man be called
Who shall snare and capture them.
The Masters shew you here clearly
That in all places
These two animals wander about in forests
(But know that the forest is but one).
If we apply the parable to our Art,
We shall call the forest the Body.
That will be rightly and truly said.
The unicorn will be the Spirit at all times.
The deer desires no other name
But that of the Soul; which name no man shall take away from it.
He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.
For we rightly judge
That he has attained the golden flesh,
And may triumph everywhere;
Nay, he may bear rule over great Augustus.

 

For further reading on the topic of sexual “freedom”, I can recommend E. Michael Jones’ Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control:

“Thus, a good man, though a slave, is free; but a wicked man, though a king, is a slave. For he serves, not one man alone, but, what is worse, as many masters as he has vices.”

– St. Augustine, City of God

Writing at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, St. Augustine both revolutionized and brought to a close antiquity’s idea of freedom. A man was not a slave by nature or by law, as Aristotle claimed. His freedom was a function of his moral state. A man had as many masters as he had vices. This insight would provide the basis for the most sophisticated form of social control known to man.

Fourteen hundred years later, a decadent French aristocrat turned that tradition on its head when he wrote that “the freest of people are they who are most friendly to murder.” Like St. Augustine, the Marquis de Sade would agree that freedom was a function of morals. Unlike St. Augustine, Sade proposed a revolution in sexual morals to accompany the political revolution then taking place in France. Libido Dominandi – the term is taken from Book I of Augustine’s City of God – is the definitive history of that sexual revolution, from 1773 to the present.

Unlike the standard version of the sexual revolution, Libido Dominandi shows how sexual liberation was from its inception a form of control. Those who wished to liberate man from the moral order needed to impose social controls as soon as they succeeded because liberated libido led inevitably to anarchy. Aldous Huxley wrote in his preface to the 1946 edition of Brave New World that “as political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.” This book is about the converse of that statement. It explains how the rhetoric of sexual freedom was used to engineer a system of covert political and social control. Over the course of the two-hundred-year span covered by this book, the development of technologies of communication, reproduction, and psychic control – including psychotherapy, behaviorism, advertising, sensitivity training, pornography, and plain old blackmail – allowed the Enlightenment and its heirs to turn Augustine’s insight on its head and create masters out of men’s vices. Libido Dominandi is the story of how that happened.

*******

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

– Jesus of Nazareth (Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5:27-28)

*******

* Credit for the term “Usurocracy” goes to Dr John Dunn, author of Renaissance: Counter Renaissance

REFERENCES

Abraham Lambspring, The Book of Lambspring, Nicholas Barnaud Delphinas Ed.
Adam McLean, A Threefold Journey Through The Book Of Lambspring
Adam McLean, Animal Symbolism In Alchemy
Herodotus, The Histories (1.199), A.D. Godley Ed., Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1920
V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny

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Mysticism, Time

Ode To Debt (18+)

Come, my love, my dove, & pour
From thy cup the serpent wine
Brimmed & breathless -secret store
Of my crimson concubine
Surfeit spirit in the shrine-
Devil -Godess -Virgin -Whore.

Lyric of Love to Leah

Leah Hirsig as “Alostrael” (Source: Wikipedia)

In my recent two-part essay “Cheating Females” (Part 1, Part 2) we traced evidences back to circa 3200 BC showing that the ‘modern’ accounting, banking, and economic systems are built on two fundamental principles of cabalist alchemy – the Unity of Opposites, and the Law of Inversion – and are nothing less than a predatory, radically misogynous metaphor for ancient Babylonian sex magic.

A few quotations as a reminder:

“the woman … involved is an object, a representation of power … women are merely spiritual batteries..”

“In European alchemy the coarse starting material for the experiments is known as the prima materia and is of a fundamentally feminine nature. Likewise, as in the tantras, base substances such as excrement, urine, menstrual blood, part of corpses and so forth are named in the alchemic texts, no matter which culture they belong to, as the physical starting materials for the experiments. Symbolically, the primal material is described in images such as ‘snake, dragon, toad, viper, python’. It is also represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the ‘dragon mother’ so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine…”

“These misogynous terms for the prima materia are images which on the one hand seek to describe the untamed, death-bringing nature; on the other one readily admit that a secret force capable of producing everything in the phenomenal world is hidden within ‘Mother Nature’. Nature in alchemy has at its disposal the universal power of birth. It represents the primordial matrix [▽] of the elements, the massa confusa, the great chaos, from which creation bursts forth.”

One text talks of ‘the transformation of the Babylonian whore into a virgin’..”

“The general term for body orifice, KA in Sumerian or bãbu in Akkadian, is expressly liminal because it also means door or gate. The vaginal opening, bãb uri and the anus bãb šuburri are imagined then as thresholds. From literary and incantation texts we know that the body and its orifices were regarded as sites of transition, especially when aroused.”

“In an Old Babylonian incantation (spell) .. the ‘chief tools of magic making are the female’s aroused body orifices’.”

“If one sips the sukra out of his mudra’s genitals with his mouth, then the process is described as being ‘from mouth to mouth’. [..] Through this oriental ‘Last Supper’ the power and the strength of the women are passed over to the man.”

Those who have read my two essays should now be able to recognise the alchemical and financial significance of key metaphorical concepts (eg, “spend”) embedded in the following poem written by the infamous ‘magician’, Aleister Crowley, to his “wisdom consort”, the Swiss-American Leah Hirsig:

In 1919, after seeking out Aleister Crowley due to her interest in the occult, she was consecrated as his Babalon or, “Scarlet Woman”, taking the name Alostrael, “the womb (or grail) of God.” Leah Hirsig wrote in her 1921 diary: “I dedicate myself wholly to The Great Work. I will work for wickedness, I will kill my heart, I will be shameless before all men, I will freely prostitute my body to all creatures”.

18+  Do not read if extreme vulgarity offends.

Crowley’s own comments that “I think I’ll collect all my filth in one poem and mark it Leah..” and “an occasional publishable line thrown in when I weakened” should serve as fair warning.

My bold and/or italicised emphasis is added.

Leah Sublime

by Aleister Crowley

Cefalú, Italy
1920

MONDAY JUNE 21 1920
5.25pm to 5.15am

Against all principals, and in breach of two promises, I have sat up all night in the snows, writing a poem to Leah.
One long poem — an occasional publishable line thrown in when I weakened.
7.00 am: I think I’ll collect all my filth in one poem and mark it Leah in plain figures.
10.00 am: I think I did.

Leah Sublime,
Goddess above me!
Snake of the slime
Alostrael, love me!
Our master, the devil
Prospers the revel.

Tread with your foot
My heart til it hurt!
Tread on it, put
The smear of your dirt
On my love, on my shame
Scribble your name!

Straddle your Beast
My Masterful Bitch
With the thighs of you greased
With the Sweat of your Itch!
Spit on me, scarlet
Mouth of my harlot!

Now from your wide
Raw cunt, the abyss,
Spend spouting the tide
Of your sizzling piss
In my mouth; oh my Whore
Let it pour, let it pour!

You stale like a mare
And fart as you stale;
Through straggled wet hair
You spout like a whale.
Splash the manure
And piss from the sewer.

Down to me quick
With your tooth on my lip
And your hand on my prick
With feverish grip
My life as it drinks—
How your breath stinks!

Your hand, oh unclean
Your hand that has wasted
Your love, in obscene
Black masses, that tasted
Your soul, it’s your hand!
Feel my prick stand!

Your life times from lewd
Little girl, to mature
Worn whore that has chewed
Your own pile of manure.
Your hand was the key to—
And now your frig me, too!

Rub all the much
Of your cunt on me, Leah
Cunt, let me suck
All your glued gonorrhea!
Cunt without end!
Amen! til you spend!

Cunt! you have harboured
All dirt and disease
In your slimy unbarbered
Loose hole, with its cheese
And its monthlies, and pox
You chewer of cocks!

Cunt, you have sucked
Up pricks, you squirted
Out foetuses, fucked
Til bastards you blurted
Out into space—
Spend on my face!

Rub all your gleet away!
Envenom the arrow.
May your pox eat away
Me to the marrow.
Cunt you have got me;
I love you to rot me!

Spend again, lash me!
Leah, one spasm
Scream to splash me.
Slime of the chasm
Choke me with spilth
Of your sow-belly’s filth.

Stab your demonic
Smile to my brain!
Soak me in cognac
Cunt and cocaine;
Sprawl on me! Sit
On my mouth, Leah, shit!

Shit on me, slut!
Creamy the curds
That drip from your gut!
Greasy the turds!
Dribble your dung
On the tip of my tongue!

Churn on me, Leah!
Twist on your thighs!
Smear diarrhoea
Into my eyes!
Splutter out shit
From the bottomless pit.

Turn to me, chew it
With me, Leah, whore!
Vomit it, spew it
And lick it once more.
We can make lust
Drunk on Disgust.

Splay out your gut,
Your ass hole, my lover!
You buggering slut,
I know where to shove her!
There she goes, plumb
Up the foul Bitch’s bum!

Sackful of skin
And bone, as I speak
I’ll bugger your grin
Into a shriek.
Bugger you, slut
Bugger your gut!

Wriggle, you hog!
Wrench at the pin!
Wrench at it, drag
It half out, suck it in!
Scream, you hog dirt, you!
I want it to hurt you!

Beast-Lioness, squirt
From your Cocksucker’s hole!
Belch out the dirt
From your Syphillis soul.
Splutter foul words
Through your supper of turds!

May the Devil our lord, your
Soul scribble over
With sayings of ordure!
Call me your lover!
Slave of the gut
Of the arse of a slut!

Call me your sewer
Of spilth and snot
Your fart-sniffer, chewer
Of the shit in your slot.
Call me that as you rave
In the rape of your slave.

Fuck! Shit! Let me come
Alostrael—Fuck!
I’ve spent in your bum.
Shit! Give me the muck
From my whore’s arse, slick
Dirt of my prick!

Eat it, you sow!
I’m your dog, fuck, shit!
Swallow it now!
Rest for a bit!
Satan, you gave
A crown to a slave.

I am your fate, on
Your belly, above you.
I swear it by Satan
Leah, I love you.
I’m going insane
Do it again!

******

Source: Hermetic Library

UPDATE:

From Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (h/t twitter user @HereIsJorge). Emphasis in original:

In his essay on cocaine [Freud] gave an account of the religious practices associated with it among South American Indians. [..] These rather irresponsible activities in the quest for a “magical drug” to achieve mood modification, are reminiscent of the whole history of magic. As we shall see when we discuss his essay on demoniacal possession, Freud cites overcoming incapacity for work as a major motive for entering a pact with the Devil. [..] Indeed, perhaps, one of the important reasons for the aversion to “magical drugs” is that they are reminiscent of  black magic. A major psychological feature of black magic is that it provides immediate gains without immediate payment. The payment is feared as “really” both deferred and excessive. Thus deferred and excessive payment for immediate gain is characteristically associated with pacts with the Devil. The aversion towards usury, in current times as well as throughout the history of Christianity, is not completely coincidental. For usury is exactly a social expression of the Satanic Pact, immediate gains and excessive deferred payment.



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Mysticism, Time

Cheating Females: Milk And Honey Were Their Lies

Gold on silver
Is the Autumn
Soft and tender
Are her skies
Yes and no
Are the answers
Written in
My true love’s eyes[43]

Frontispiece from Christopher Love Morley Collectanea chymica Leydensia, Leiden, 1693

Christopher Love Morley, Collectanea chymica Leidensia contracta, Leiden, 1693. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

[If you have not yet done so, I urge you to read Part 1 of this essay, before continuing with this Part 2.]

 

To fully understand the base principles of alchemical cheating through the ages – did you see what I did then? – we need to travel back in time, to ancient Mesopotamia.

It is here, in the Fertile Crescent – the Cradle of Civilisation – that archaeologists have uncovered abundant evidence for the earliest recorded origins of two fundamental concepts, or principles, that are still with us today. Together, they are the foundation for fully understanding what George Orwell (1984) described as doublethink – “a vast system of mental cheating”.

These two principles are embedded not only in the monetary art of males cheating females but also in Eastern and Western philosophy, politics, religion, occultism, economics (but I repeat myself), science; indeed, in all realms of human thought, belief, and activity.

The Unity (or Union) of Opposites.

And the Law of Inversion (or reversal).

The Unity of Opposites is an abstract idea – a belief – that all things are created out of the union – the Sacred Marriage – of two equal, “gender” opposites.

A male principle (active, creative, “light”, positive, good).

And a female principle (passive, destructive, “dark”, negative, evil).

This is the exoteric (suitable for the public) principle in alchemy – the manipulated or engineered “transformation” of something, from a “lower” form into a “higher” form.

Like, let’s say, “transforming” a female (evil) into a male (good).

Or, “transforming” your promise to pay the customer real cash (liability), into a record of an unsecured, borrowed from the customer “deposit” (asset).[44]

Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica Physica Atque Technica Historia, 1617-1621

Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica Physica Atque Technica Historia, 1617-1621. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

As the alchemical principles are believed to be universal, in theory everything can be manipulated and transformed, including minerals (eg, lead into gold), biological matter, ideas, markets, society, and even human consciousness itself.

The only way to do so, however, is by a precise inversion, or reversal, of values.

Lying, and cheating.

In other words, by faking it.

Counterfeiting.

According to Ahmad al-Hassan (Arabic Alchemy ‘Ilm al-San’a: Science of the Art), the Unity of Opposites principle first appears in ancient Babylonia:

The Babylonians believed that the universe originated from water. They noticed also that the universe contains opposite elements. Thus there is day and night; light and darkness; male and female; hot and cold; wet and dry. There is also the good and the evil, and in general, there is for every feature an opposite one. It is also possible to divide matter into two opposite elements, and from these two opposite elements everything can be generated.

De Alchimia opuscula complura veterum philosophorum, Frankfurt, 1550

De Alchimia opuscula complura veterum philosophorum (“Rosary of the Philosophers”), Frankfurt, 1550. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The Babylonians were keen observers of the stars; and from their early history they believed that the gods are in control of the planets. They believed also that the sun, the moon and the other planets [five then known; with sun and moon, seven “gates”] have influence on what happens on earth. This was the beginning of astrology. The influence of the planets involves metals; thus sun influences gold, and the moon influences silver, and the other planets control the remaining metals.

Engraving from Musaeum hermeticum, Frankfurt 1625

Musaeum hermeticum, Frankfurt 1625. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The principle of the two opposites of the Babylonians was inherited by Greek philosophers who were thinking about the nature of matter and whose theories were based in part on the Babylonian concept.[45]

The alchemy of the Middle Ages – and the Hermetic Reformation (Renaissance, french “rebirth”), and the 18th century Enlightenment – was built on this Babylonian belief in a cosmic, sexual duality:

[T]he alchemic world view was, just like that of Tantrism, dominated by the idea that our universe functions as the creation and interplay of a masculine and a feminine principle and that all levels of existence are interpenetrated by the polarity of the sexes. “Gender is in everything, everything has masculine and feminine principles, gender reveals itself on all levels”, we can read in a European treatise on the “great art”.[46]

This is also the origin of the Duality Principle in medieval and ‘modern’ bookkeeping by double entry. The Duality Principle is really just the Babylonians’ Unity of Opposites by another name:

For every debit there must be a credit, and for every credit there must be a debit – Alas! How few consider that if this must be the case, the rule to go by, nothing is more easy than to make a set of books wear the appearance of correctness, which at the same time is full of errors, or of false entries, made on purpose to deceive![47]

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906):

The whole dualistic system of good and of evil powers, which goes back to Zoroastrianism and ultimately to old Chaldea, can be traced through Gnosticism; having influenced the cosmology of the ancient Cabala before it reached the medieval one. So is the conception underlying the cabalistic tree, of the right side being the source of light and purity, and the left the source of darkness and impurity [..] The fact also that the “Ḳelippot” (the scalings of impurity), which are so prominent in the medieval Cabala, are found in the old Babylonian incantations [..] is evidence in favor of the antiquity of most of the cabalistic material.

Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla, Portae lucis, 1516

Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla, Portae Lucis (Latin translation of Gikatilla’s work Shaarei Ora – “Gates of Light”), 1516. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

It stands to reason that the secrets of the theurgic [from Latin theūrgia:magic”] Cabala are not lightly divulged; and yet the Testament of Solomon recently brought to light the whole system of conjuration of angels and demons, by which the evil spirits were exorcised; even the magic sign or seal of King Solomon, known to the medieval Jew as the Magen Dawid [✡], has been resurrected.[48]

Tree of dark and light from Valentine Weigel Studium Universale, 1695

Tree of dark and light from Valentine Weigel, Studium Universale, 1695. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The prehistoric clay token/envelope record-keeping system of the Fertile Crescent is the earliest evidence for the Unity of Opposites.

Accounting scholars call it the Input-Output principle; a dualistic, abstract re-presentation of real economic exchanges. Like, let’s say, a transfer of “seed” from a male (Output) to a female (Input) … or vice versa:

[The] ancient people of the Middle East had record keeping systems, the basic logical structure of which was virtually identical to that of modern double entry.[49]

[T]he token-accounting of the ancient Middle East, as well as modern accounting, deal with two distinct but related duality aspects. The first kind of duality involves concrete transactions and belongs to physical reality, while the second kind of duality arises out of ownership and debt relations which belong to social reality.

[The] inconspicuous impressing of the clay tokens upon the surface of the receptacle [..] [was] the precursor of modern double entry bookkeeping; more importantly, it was the major impetus to cuneiform writing as well as abstract counting.[50]

bulla-envelope-ms-4631_f

Bulla-envelope with 11 plain and complex tokens inside, representing an account or agreement, tentatively of wages for 4 days’ work, 4 measures of metal, 1 large measure of barley and 2 small measures of some other commodity. (Source: The Schoyen Collection)

Cuneiform (Latin cuneus: “wedge”) writing was created by making impressions on a wet clay tablet with a stylus made from a reed (Sumerian gi-dub(-ba), Akkadian qan-tuppi; literally “tablet reed”), with its tip cut into a triangular wedge.

cuneiform_stylus

As cuneiform clay tablet writing gradually replaced token/envelope record-keeping, naturally there was a need to continue recording this double duality.

The mutual obligations of a Sacred Marriage – a mutual exchange of promises to pay – involves two different identities (a male and a female), and eight recordable actions in total when the promises are both honoured.

The promises to pay and repay “seed” – an abstract Ownership-Debt exchange – is one inverse pair of Output-Inputs (4).

The actual payment and repayment of the “seed” – a real exchange – is another inverse pair of Output-Inputs (8).

But when considered from only one perspective (the male’s), there are two identities, and only four recorded actions.

The abstract Output of the (male) promise (his liability), and the abstract Input of the (female) promise (his asset).

Then, on the honey-moon, the real Output of the promised (male) “seed” (his expense, cancelling his liability), and 9 months later again, the real Input of the promised (female) repayment of the “seed” (his income, cancelling her liability/his asset).

All “square”.

This was now reflected in the number of sides the ancient scribe needed to record different kinds of transactions:

Four-sided tablets were utilized for financial transactions and two-sided clay tablets were reserved for agricultural records.[51]

Frontispiece from Christian Adolf Balduin, Aureum superius et inferius aurae superioris et inferioris Hermeticum, Amsterdam, 1675

“Aurum Aura” (Air of Gold); Christian Adolf Balduin, Aureum superius et inferius aurae superioris et inferioris Hermeticum, Amsterdam, 1675. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Early proto-cuneiform (pictogram) writing was steadily refined, and by 3000 BC scribes were able to convey word-concepts (honour), not just word-signs (an honourable man).[52]

By 2600 BC, it was also possible to isolate the phonetic (sound) value of a certain sign. This is known as the rebus principle (Latin rēbus “by means of objects”) – using existing symbols just for their sound, to represent or allude to other words or abstract concepts. It became a favourite form of expression in heraldry of the medieval era – the rebus of Bishop Walter Lyhart of Norwich, for example, consisted of a stag (or hart) lying down.[53]

Ancient scribes – an elite class, thanks to their special knowledge – could now record their puns – “magic” words, that minds inclined to double entendres, deception, or secrecy, purposed to carry double or multiple meanings.

Indeed, scholars believe that cuneiform writing, hieroglyphs, and alphabets, were all based on punning:

The Rebis (from Latin res bina, meaning dual or double matter) is the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or great work.[54]

Sixth woodcut from Basil Valentine's Azoth

Heinrich Nollius, Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae, 1617. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

As we have already seen (Part 1), when stripped bare of all its “authoritative” pretences to mathematical precision, “balance”, and objective impartiality, bookkeeping by double entry is really nothing more than story-telling … with equal positive and negative numbers added.

(Did you see what I did then … for the second time? Loθok again.)

Clock-pendulum

A pendulum-governed escapement of a clock, ticking every second. (Source: Wikipedia)

Most importantly, it is always a story of two (2) opposite perspectives, but it is told from only one perspective – the bookkeeper’s.

By telling his story using puns – words with double or multiple meanings – a cunning bookkeeper can easily deceive any reader or auditor who has not been “initiated” into the occult (hidden, secret) meanings of his code words and symbols:

Legally, [banks] do not take deposits, they borrow from the public. The expressions in banking are designed to mislead what’s really happening.[55]

Basil Valentine 'Azoth' series

Azoth (from Arabic al-zā’būq: “Mercury”) | Fourth woodcut from Basil Valentine’s Azoth (1613). © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Thoughout the “Dark” and Middle Ages, the practice of usury (lending at “interest”) – a mortal sin – was officially banned by the Church-State authorities. Following the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), it was also mandatory to make a full confession of one’s sins, at least once a year.

For merchants and money-lenders, it was now all the more important to have trading records with code words and symbols “hidden in plain sight”.[56]

Hermetic silence - emblem from Achille Bocchi Symbolicarum quaestionem de universo genere, 1574

Hermetic silence – Achille Bocchi, Symbolicarum quaestionem de universo genere, 1574. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Though not as drastic as the penalty imposed by the Babylonian Hammurabi Code No. 7 for issuing fraudulent “deposit” receipts (“that man is a thief: he shall be put to death”), the penalties for practicing usury were still severe.

Not only was there a spiritual threat of the soul’s eternal damnation to the lowest of circles in the seventh circle of hell in the afterlife[57], there was also the ever-present, material threats of social condemnation and ostracisation, physical expulsion from the town, city or state, and of gravest concern for most, asset forfeiture:

Giovanni di Bicci de Medici, founder of the Medici Bank and Cosimo de Medici’s father … died intestate because in making out a will “he would have denounced himself as a usurer and might have caused considerable trouble for his heirs.”[58]

Accounting is a form of story telling – giving an account – and stories require an audience, listeners; auditors. In late medieval Italy, the auditor was God. One historian of accounting, James Aho, argues it’s no coincidence that double entry emerged at a time when confession became compulsory for ordinary Catholics. [..] [K]eeping the fullest possible set of accounts is a bit like confessing your sins. Even if you are doing something morally suspect, at least you are making a clean breast of it.[59][60]

[The “Father of accounting”, Luca] Pacioli [c. 1447-1517] advises merchants to incorporate explicit signs of Christianity into their books as a way of legitimising their profit-seeking activities.  The use of double entry itself was like the Catholic confession: if a merchant confessed – or accounted for – all his worldly activities before God, then perhaps his sins would be absolved.[61]

Remarkably, there is a compelling analogue to this in a cuneiform text from the 7th century BC. It comes from the same “fertile” region that had previously birthed the Unity of Opposites principle, punning, primitive record-keeping by double entry, and all the foundational beliefs of alchemy, including – as we will see – the “mystery” cult sex magic rituals, based on the Law of Inversion.

The text is known as the Netherworld Vision or Underworld Vision of an Assyrian Crown Prince, and is the “oldest known visionary journey to hell”[62]:

Scholars have [..] agreed that the text has a great significance for the history of religions and literature. But no one can agree precisely on what that significance is. The text’s interpretation has been hampered by its very distinctiveness: in 2,000 years of cuneiform literature, there are no other examples of the genre it represents…[63]

There are many fascinating and important analogous details to be found in this unique text – so many as to warrant a comprehensive separate study.

Our key observation is that – just as with medieval double entry – in the Underworld Vision it is the telling of the story .. twice .. seemingly from two perspectives .. but both told by the same person .. that absolves the story-teller of “the sin that the vision condemns”.[64][65][66]

The tale tells of a crown prince, “surrounded by luxury” and “piling up jewels like dirt”, who is having a profound personal crisis – sleepness nights, uncontrollable weeping, the whole box and dice.

(Did you see what I did then? Try again.[67])

As it turns out, the “prince” (and narrator) also just happens to be a scribe.

After twice praying to the Queen of the Underworld – the first resulting in a dream (šuttu) where the Queen appears and tells him “I shall not answer” – he has a vision (tabrītu) of himself visiting the Underworld[68].

The word tabrītu “appears frequently [in period texts] to describe building projects – actually existing physical objects.”[69]

So then, we have the story of a progression from the abstract (šuttu), to the real (tabrītu).

The prince’s “vision” (real building project) begins with … “an overwhelming, pedantic scholarly list of gods and demons”[70].

These are described by scholars as “hybrid monsters” or “monster-demons”. Most of the monsters have “feet like a man”. About one it is said that “with its left foot it was treading”[71] – a metaphor for conquering and domination.

Woodcut from Petrarch, Das Glüchbuch, Augsburg, 1539

Woodcut from Petrarch, Das Glüchbuch, Augsburg, 1539. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Frontispiece from Johann de Monte-Snyders, Metamorphosis planetarum, Amsterdam 1663

Johann de Monte-Snyders, Metamorphosis planetarum, Amsterdam 1663. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Morienus from Michael Maier, Symbola aurea mensae, Frankfurt, 1617

Morienus from Michael Maier, Symbola aurea mensae, Frankfurt, 1617. © Adam McLean (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission,

 

One is said to be standing upright; another, lacking its hind leg – it will walk with a limp.

 

Sendivogius from Maier Symbola aurea mensae, Franckfurt, 1617

Sendivogius from Michael Maier, Symbola aurea mensae, Frankfurt, 1617. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Johann Joachim Becher, Natur-Kündigung der Metallen, Frankfurt, 1661

Johann Joachim Becher, Natur-Kündigung der Metallen, Frankfurt, 1661. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The list ends with an ominous[72] figure called the “one” or “unique man” (ištēn etlu) – depicted as the “ideal king”, the mediator between god and man, the “exalted shepherd”, who is given everlasting dominion over all nations from the god(s).[73]

The prince is told that this is his ancestor, a “conqueror” and “high priest of Assur”[74] – a role exclusively reserved for Neo-Assyrian kings. He is also told that this ancestor “ate the taboo and stamped on the abomination” – two noteworthy points, as we will see.[75]

His body is said to be “black like pitch”, his face “like the Anzû bird,”[76] and he is wearing a red robe.[77]

Eyes Wide Shut

“Eyes Wide Shut” Artist Print (AP), J.S. Rossbach (Click to enlarge)

zu_1

The Anzû or “storm-bird” (Sumerian IM.DUGUD, “heavy rain”, i.e., a flood of waters; in Akkadian, “the wise one of heaven”) is a famous mythic creature – depicted as an eagle with a lion’s face – that is first recorded in the Old Babylonian era.

It is said to be a “worker of evil, who raised the head of evil”[78]. In the Epic of Anzû, this brazen rebel lusts after the Tablets of Destiny – the key to world rule – and proceeds to steal them from the supreme deity, thus gaining total control over the universe, the gods, and the fates of all.

In other words, Anzû was a thieving “time god” … remarkably reminiscent – or rather, prescient – of Mercury-Hermes, “the Sage, the Babylonian”, god of the alchemists.

The “vision” concludes with Nergal, the King of the Underworld, sparing the prince’s life – why? – so that “he may return penitent to the upper world to begin the glorification of Nergal”[79].

Assyriologists have identified the “crown prince” as Assurbanipal, who “alone among Neo-Assyrian kings, described himself as a scribe”[80]. Indeed, in another text he is depicted in a personal dialogue with Nabû, the god of writing.[81]

Assurbanipal is a most interesting figure for other reasons too, as we will see.

His deceased “father” ([šu]-u zār[û ]ka : “he is your ancestor”) – the “one” or “unique man” referred to in the Vision – is identified as Assurbanipal’s grandfather, Sennacherib (Akkadian: Sîn-ahhī-erība, “Sîn has replaced the brothers”), king of Assyria 705-681 BC.

In biblical texts, Sennacherib is recorded as having besieged Jerusalem, the capital of the rebellious kingdom of Judah, and finally left Hezekiah on the throne as a vassal ruler (c. 701 BC).[82]

Lachishsiege1

Judean captives being led away into slavery by the Assyrians after the siege of Lachish in 701 B.C. (Source: Wikipedia)

In a striking similarity to other idolised figures in freemasonry and related secret societies (King Solomon, Hiram “King of Tyre”[83], etc), Sennacherib was a great builder – his “Palace Without Rival” is thought to have been the prototype for, or even the actual Hanging Gardens of (not) ‘Babylon’.[84]

Sennacherib is famed for his military campaigns to put down repeated Babylonian rebellions against Assyrian rule.

Taylor Prism

Hexagonal clay prism, foundation record lists campaigns of Sennacherib until the start of his final war against Babylon, and includes a description of the tribute received from Hezekiah, King of Judah in 701 BC. British Museum #91032. (Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, published 31 March 2014 under Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence)

His assassination “in obscure circumstances”[85] – believed to have been at the hand of one or more of his own sons[86] – was seen as divine vengeance, a punishment for his complete destruction of Babylon in 689 BC.

 

“Rabbi Nathan met the prophet Elijah. He asked him, ‘What was the Holy One, Blessed be He, doing in that hour?’

“Said Elijah, ‘He was laughing and saying, “My children have defeated me, my children have defeated me.””‘

Babylonian Talmud, Bava Mezia 59b[87]

Petrus Bonus Series_PB01

First engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Petrus Bonus Series_PB02

Second engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Maier- Atalanta Fugiens_AF48

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Maier_Atalanta Fugiens-AF44

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Maier_Viatorium_MV04

Michael Maier, Viatorium, Oppenheim, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Petrus Bonus Series_PB11

Eleventh engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Petrus Bonus series_PB12

Twelfth engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Petrus Bonus series_PB13

Thirteenth engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Petrus Bonus series_PB14

Fourteenth engraving (of 14), ‘Petrus Bonus’ series, Pretiosa margarita novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide, Venice, 1546. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Sennacherib is identified in the Underworld Vision text as the one who built “the Akitu house.” This was the temple for the twice-yearly festivals celebrating the sowing and reaping of the barley crop.

Importantly, other sources[88] show that Sennacherib rebuilt the Akitu temple, in 683 BC – two of them, one outside the walls of Assur, the other outside Nineveh – some six years after his total destruction of Babylon and its Akitu temple, located directly outside the famous Ishtar gate.

The Akitu (“barley”) New Year festival had begun with the Sumerians. Their calendar had featured two Akitu festivals: one in the Autumn in the month of Tashritu, which celebrated the “barley-sowing”; the other, in Spring in the month of Nisannu, which celebrated the “barley-cutting”.

The Babylonians also celebrated the Akitu but only the Spring (“reaping”) Nisannu – an eleven day festival honouring their supreme god Marduk, and his crown prince Nabû, the god of writing.[89]

Sennacherib was hated by the Babylonians, not only for his dominion over their former empire and ultimate destruction of their capital city but also for his apparent disregard for their religious beliefs, gods, and ceremonies.

The Akitu temple was known as the “House Which Binds Death/the Sea.”[90][91]

Abraham Eleazar, Uraltes chymisches Werck, 'Flamel', Erfurt, 1735_EL04

Chronos (“Time”) and Mercury-Hermes. Dragon symbolises the female (debt) principle | Abraham Eleazar, Uraltes chymisches Werck, ‘Flamel’, 1735. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The Law of Inversion (or reversal) has a close relationship with the Unity of Opposites principle – like two sides of the same coin. It follows by deductive reasoning.

Because all things are believed to be created out of the natural union of two equal opposites, it is therefore possible to manipulate, and dominate all things, by developing methods to attract (“charm”), and “bind”, the “light” (or, the “dark”) “force” – gender – that one wishes to control.

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens, Emblemata Nova De Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens, Emblemata Nova De Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

To do so implies the “need” for deception, and, the precise inversion of natural and sovereign laws, traditional moral and ethical values, and social taboos.

This Law of Inversion (or reversal) is the esoteric (for initiates-only), “revolutionary” principle that lies at the heart of all forms of alchemical “magic” or “transformation”.

In other words, it is the principle of lying, and cheating.

It is the principle of re-presenting the true, with the un-true.

Faking it.

Creating an illusion, or counterfeiting the real thing.

The earliest overt evidence for the practice of values inversion is found in the cult worship of Inanna, the Mesopotamian “goddess” of Sex (union, creation, life) and War (separation, destruction, death).

A vivid embodiment of the Unity of Opposites androgyne principle, “she” was also known – in some or all of “her” aspects – as Ishtar (Akkadia, Assyria and Babylonia), as Ashtoreth or Astarte (Canaan), as Venus (Greece), and as Aphrodite (Rome).

Inanna’s cult celebrations were debauched – meaning, de-valued – “carnivalesque” affairs that deliberately broke all laws, social taboos, natural and social boundaries. They were a time for “disorder and antistructure”.

In a word, chaos.

Barent Coenders van Helpen series L'Escalier des Sages, Cologne, 1693_CH02

Barent Coenders van Helpen, L’Escalier des Sages (“The Stairs of the Wise”), Cologne, 1693. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The rituals were “creative negation” that reminded Inanna’s devotees of “the need to reinvest the clean with the filthy, the rational with the animalistic”.

They are said to “confirm the endless potentiality of dirt and the pure possibility of liminality” – meaning, the ambiguity, and disorientation that is felt by a ritual initiate when “standing at the threshold” of transformation from a previous state into a new, opposite state (from Latin līmen, “a threshold”)[92].

Through the deliberate inversion of values, Inanna’s cult personnel – transvestites[93] – “attack[ed] the basic categorical differences between male and female, human and animal, young and old”[94]:

To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inanna….
Business, great winning, financial loss, deficit are yours, Inanna.

She (Ishtar) [changes] the right side (male) into the left side (female), she [changes] the left side into the right side, she [turns] a man into a woman, she [turns] a woman into a man, she ador[ns] a man as a woman, she ador[ns] a woman as a man.[95]

Mylius version of Donum Dei Series_MD01

J.D. Mylius, Rosary of the Philosophers (Rosarium philosophorum sive pretiosissimum donum Dei), 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The representations of the “goddess” are their own testament to this shattering and confusion of boundaries – the “Queen of the Night” is a deity in human form, and also, part woman and part owl.

“She” has been compared to the Jewish demon Lilith, a seducer, a kidnapper and slayer of children “who appear[s] to human beings, to men in the likeness of women and to women in the likeness of men” – “[t]he traditional depiction of Lilith from ancient Mesopotamia through medieval Kabbalah presents an antitype of desired human sexuality and family life.”[96]

INANNA_DESCENT_691x940

The Burney (Queen of the Night) Relief; c. 1800-1750 BC (Old Babylonian). British Museum 2003,0718.1

Pleased to meet you,
Hope you guessed my name,
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer

 

The medieval alchemists saw their androgyne “time god” – the “Grand Sorcerer”, Mercury-Hermes: a silver-tongued liar and thief, a “producer” of gold, a hegemonic “Master of the Universe” who transcends life and death, a traveller and merchant, a mediator between the real and unreal worlds – as boasting the same power of inversion, enabling mimickry (i.e., faking it, counterfeiting):

The male tantric master [..] has the power to assume the female form of the goddess (who is of course an aspect of his own mystical body), that is, he can appear in the figure of a woman. Indeed, he even has the magical ability to divide himself into two gendered beings, a female and a male deity. He is further able to multiply himself into several maha mudras.[97]

Maier_Atalanta Fugiens_AF10

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Outside of Luciferianism, Satanism, and various “magick” cults and male-only (“brotherhood”) societies of the ancient past and present, the primary purveyor of the Law of Inversion in the modern era is Jewish Cabala. In particular, the world-wide Chabad-Lubavitch sect, founded in 1775.

As we have seen, its theurgic (“magic”) doctrine has been traced back “ultimately to old Chaldea”. The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us that “the apocalyptic literature belonging to the second and first pre-Christian centuries contained the chief elements of the Cabala”.[98]

Unsurprisingly then, the Law of Inversion principle also appears in Cabalist doctrine, precisely as it does in the Inanna-Ishtar cult, medieval Tantric Buddhism, and medieval Western alchemy:

It appears that the acosmic background of Habad thought influenced the acceptance of the nihilistic doctrine of inversion, for in a doctrine where the existence and nonexistence of reality are one and the same for God, and a religious view in which Yesh [Something] and Ayin [Nothing] are equal, good and evil are also equated with one another, as are positive religious action and transgression [..] The more extreme formulations, which deny the substantiality of every gradation and commonly accepted dichotomy, doubtless influenced the denial of significant value to reversals, inversions, and oppositions. [..] if “everything is absolutely as nothing and naught in relation to His being and essence,” then neither traditional distinctions nor relative and absolute values have any validity.

“Worship in inversion,” “descent for the purpose of rising up” [..] were seen to be theurgical [“magic”] missions [..] fulfilling the reverse of the divine commandment for the sake of the divine will to be revealed in all dimensions.[99]

Hans Karl von Ecker, Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems Amsterdam, 1779 _ER12

Hans Karl von Ecker, Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems Amsterdam, 1779. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

[T]hrough breaking a taboo for which there is often a high penalty, the adept confirms the core of the entire Buddhist philosophy: the emptiness (shunyata) of all appearances. “I am void, the world is void, all three worlds are void”, the Maha Siddha Tilopa triumphantly proclaims — therefore “neither sin nor virtue” exist. The shunyata principle thus provides a metaphysical legitimization for any conceivable “crime”, as it actually lacks any inherent existence.[100]

In both Eastern and Western alchemy, the starting point for an alchemical “transformation” is the realm of primal matter – the impure, ignoble, or base.

The female (passive, negative, liability; also, since the 1789 French Revolution, “conservative”, “Right”).

According to the Law of Inversion – and a monstrous Ego – the “skilled” magician can transform it (the “female”) into something pure, noble and divine.

The male (active, positive, asset; since 1789, “progressive”, “Left”):

DEB-Ortes-Hedonistic-Balance-Sheet

In European alchemy the coarse starting material for the experiments is known as the prima materia and is of a fundamentally feminine nature. Likewise, as in the tantras, base substances such as excrement, urine, menstrual blood, part of corpses and so forth are named in the alchemic texts, no matter which culture they belong to, as the physical starting materials for the experiments. Symbolically, the primal material is described in images such as “snake, dragon, toad, viper, python”. It is also represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the “dragon mother” so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine [..] Shakyamuni compared women in general with snakes, sharks and whores.[101]

Engraving from Valentine's 'Twelve Keys' in the Musaeum hermeticum, Frankfurt 1678

Engraving from Valentine’s ‘Twelve Keys’ in the Musaeum hermeticum, Frankfurt, 1678. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

These misogynous terms for the prima materia are images which on the one hand seek to describe the untamed, death-bringing nature; on the other one readily admit that a secret force capable of producing everything in the phenomenal world is hidden within “Mother Nature”. Nature in alchemy has at its disposal the universal power of birth. It represents the primordial matrix [▽] of the elements, the massa confusa, the great chaos, from which creation bursts forth.[102]

Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622 © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

 

There are also European manuals of the “great art” which require that one work with the “menstrual blood of a whore”.[103]

 

Engraving of Flamel's hieroglyphic figures from Des beruhmten Philosophi Nicolai Flamelli , Chymische Werke, 1751

Des beruhmten Philosophi Nicolai Flamelli, Chymische Werke, 1751. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

 

One text talks of “the transformation of the Babylonian whore into a virgin”.[104]

 

J.D. Mylius Donum Dei series

J.D. Mylius, Anatomia Auri, 1628. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

But in order to transform the female into the male, a negative into a positive, a liability into an asset, lead into “gold”, evil into “good” – and so possess the secret birth-force in himself – there is something the lying cheating “time god” must do.

He must kill the essential feminine.

He must destroy the “mother” nature:

Experimenting around with the primal material sounds quite harmless to someone who is not initiated. Yet a symbolic murder is hidden behind this. The black matter, a symbol of the fundamental feminine and of powerful nature from which we all come, is burned or in some cases vaporized, cut to pieces or dismembered. Thus, in destroying the prima materia we at the same time destroy our “mother” or, basically, the “fundamentally feminine”.

Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622_slay dragon mother

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The European adept does not shy away from even the most crass killing metaphors: “open the lap of your mother”, it says in a French text from the 18th century, “with a steel blade, burrow into her entrails and press forward to her womb, there you will find our pure substance (the elixir)”. Symbolically, this violent first act in the alchemic production is located within a context of sacrifice, death and the color black and is therefore called nigredo, that is “blackening”.[105]

Aurora consurgens

Aurora Consurgens, 15th century. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

A sacrifice of the feminine [..] may be found in the logic of the entire Buddhist doctrine. Woman per se – as Buddha Shakyamuni repeatedly emphasized in many of his statements — functions as the first and greatest cause of illusion (maya), but likewise as the force which generates the phenomenal world (samsara). It is the fundamental goal of every Buddhist to overcome this deceptive samsara. This world of appearances experienced as feminine, presents him with his greatest challenge. “A woman”, Nancy Auer Falk writes, “was the veritable image of becoming and of all the forces of blind growth and productivity which Buddhism knew as Samsara. As such she too was the enemy — not only on a personal level, as an individual source of temptation, but also on a cosmic level”. In this misogynist logic, it is only after the ritual destruction of the feminine that the illusory world (maya) can be surmounted and transcended.[106]

Basil Valentine keys_VK12

Last of Basil Valentine’s Twelve Keys, from Michael Maier, Tripus Aureus (Golden Tripod), Frankfurt, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

“In … Tantrism … woman is means, an alien object, without possibility of mutuality or real communication”. The woman “is to be used as a ritual object and then cast aside”. Or, at another point: the yogis had “sex without sensuality … There is no relationship of intimacy with an individual — the woman … involved is an object, a representation of power … women are merely spiritual batteries”.[107]

 

Autumn’s leaving
And Winter’s coming
I think that I’ll be moving along
I’ve got to leave her
And find another
I’ve got to sing my heart’s
True song

Thurneisser_TH13

Leonard Thurneisser, Archidoxa, 1575. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Is it for this reason that maya (illusion), the mother of the historical Buddha, had to die directly after giving birth? In her early death we can recognize the original event which stands at the beginning of the fundamentally misogynist attitude of all Buddhist schools. Maya both conceived and gave birth to the Sublime One in a supernatural manner. It was not a sexual act but an elephant which, in a dream, occasioned the conception, and Buddha Shakyamuni did not leave his mother’s body through the birth canal, but rather through her hip. But these transfeminine birth myths were not enough for the tellers of legends. Maya as earthly mother had [..] to be proclaimed an “illusion” (maya) and destroyed.[108]

Michael Maier, Viatorium, Oppenheim, 1618, MV01

Michael Maier, Viatorium, Oppenheim, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Every type of passion (sexual pleasure, fits of rage, hate and loathing) which is normally considered taboo by Buddhist ethical standards, is activated and nurtured in Vajrayana with the goal of then transforming it into its opposite. The Buddhist monks, who are usually subject to a strict, puritanical-seeming set of rules, cultivate such “breaches of taboo” without restriction, once they have decided to follow the “Diamond Path”. Excesses and extravagances now count as part of their chosen lifestyle. Such acts are not simply permitted, but are prescribed outright…

[T]he Kalachakra Tantra exhorts its pupils to commit the following: to kill, to lie, to steal, to break the marriage vows, to drink alcohol, to have sexual relations with lower-class girls. A Tantric is freed from the chains of the wheel of life by precisely that which imprisons a normal person.[109]

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia reformata, Book 4 1622_MY09

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia reformata, 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

A central role in the rites is played by the tantric meal. It is absolutely forbidden for Buddhist monks to eat meat or drink alcohol. This taboo is also deliberately broken by Vajrayana adepts. To make the transgression more radical, the consumption of types of meat which are generally considered “forbidden” in Indian society is desired: elephant meat, horsemeat, dogflesh, beef, and human flesh. The latter goes under the name of maha mamsa, the “great flesh”.

Frontispiece engraving from Microcosmische vorspiele des neuen Himmels und der neuen Erde, 1744

Microcosmische vorspiele des neuen Himmels und der neuen Erde, 1744. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

In the Hevajra Tantra the adept must drink the menstrual blood of his mudra out of a skull bowl. But rotten fish, sewer water, canine feces, corpse fat, the excrement of the dead, sanitary napkins as well as all conceivable “intoxicating drinks” are also consumed.[110]

As a tantric saying puts it, “What binds the fool, liberates the wise”, and another, more drastic passage emphasizes that, “the same deed for which a normal mortal would burn for a hundred million eons, through this same act an initiated yogi attains enlightenment”. According to this, every ritual is designed to catapult the initiand into a state beyond good and evil.[111]

Frontispiece engraving from Joannis Agricola Commentariorum, Notarum, Observationum & Animadversionum in Johannis Poppii chymische Medicin, Leipsig, 1638

Joannis Agricola, Commentariorum, Notarum, Observationum & Animadversionum, in Johannis Poppii chymische Medicin, Leipsig, 1638. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

[The third] justification for the “transgressions” of the Vajrayana consists in the Bodhisattva vow of Mahayana Buddhism, which requires that one aid and assist every creature until it attains enlightenment. Amazingly, this pious purpose can render holy the most evil means. “If”, we can read in one of the tantras, “for the good of all living beings or on account of the Buddha’s teaching one should slay living beings, one is untouched by sin. … If for the good of living beings or from attachment for the Buddha’s interest, one seizes the wealth of others, one is not touched by sin”, and so forth. In the course of Tibetan history the Bodhisattva vow has [..] legitimated numerous political and family-based murders, whereby the additional “clever” argument was also employed, that one had “freed” the murder victim from the world of appearances (samsara) and that he or she thus owed a debt of thanks to the murderer.[112]

 

These two principles – the Unity of Opposites and the Law of Inversion – were evidently the foundation of all human reasoning for the “philosophers” of  the “royal art” of cheating “females” in ancient Mesopotamia.

The Unity of Opposites explained all things, in the heavens (Above) and the earth (Below).

The Law of Inversion explained how to gain control over all things, Above and Below.

By deception, and reversal.

All that remained, is a question of method.

Since all things are believed to contain both a masculine and a feminine principle, then the method for gaining control over all things, is to use the “magnetic” power of sexual attraction, to tempt or “draw in” the force or power that one wishes to “bind”.

Which organ has maximum utility (usefulness) for achieving this?

In Inanna’s words to her shepherd-king “bull” bridegroom Dumuzi, a “honey-sweet” tongue[113]:

Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom,
My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk,
Wild bull, Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick.
I will drink your fresh milk.
Let the milk of the goat flow in my sheepfold,
Fill my holy churn with honey cheese,
Lord Dumuzi, I will drink your fresh milk.

Marriage_of_Inanna_and_Dumuzi

Sacred Marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi. (Source: Wikipedia. Public Domain licence)

My honey-man, my honey-man sweetens me always.
My lord, the honey-man of the gods,
He is the one my womb loves best.
His hand is honey, his foot is honey,
He sweetens me always.

He laid me down on the fragrant honey-bed,
My sweet love, lying by my heart,
Tongue-playing, one by one,
My fair Dumuzi did so fifty times.[114]

[There ended the “honey-moon”]

 

Or, in Mercury-Hermes’ words, a mercurial (quicksilver) tongue:

Copy of copy of original_NOT by Durer

“Allegory of Eloquence”, Albrecht Dürer, c. 1498. (British Museum)

Since at the end of the sexual magic rituals the masculine principle alone remains, the verbal praise of the goddess, beauty and love could also be manipulative, designed to conjure up the devotion of a woman. [..] [W]e must regard such charming flattery of the female sex as at the very least a non-committal, albeit extremely lucrative embellishment. But they are more likely to be a deliberately employed manipulation, so as to draw attention away from the monstrosities of the tantric ritual system. Perhaps they are themselves a method (upaya) with which to appropriate the “gynergy” of the women so charmed. After all, something like that need not only take place through the sexual act. There are descriptions in the lower tantras of how the yogi can obtain the feminine “elixir” even through a smile, an erotic look or a tender touch alone.[115]

Basil Valentine Keys_VK03

Third of Basil Valentine’s Twelve Keys, from Michael Maier, Tripus Aureus (Golden Tripod), Frankfurt, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

One example of this manipulation of sexual “magnetism”, is an Old Babylonian method for controlling the forces of good or evil fortune, by an incantation (“s.p.e.l.l.”) spoken over a magic figurine:

A pair of supernatural beings, demons of some kind, are said to accompany man [..] one is called mukīl rēš daniqti, or rabis damiqti, “he who offers good things,” or “good demon”; the other is mukīl rēš lemutti, or rabis lemutti “he who offers misfortune” or “evil demon.” [..] A similar reference can be found in Greek literature – suffice it to mention here the scales of Zeus and his mixing of the “good and bad things” from the two jars (Iliad 24:527).[116]

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, Book 4, 1622

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Mukīl rēš lemutti, inscribed in cuneiform Sumerian syllabograms as (d)SAG.ḪUL.ḪA.ZA and meaning “he who holds the head of evil”, was an ancient Mesopotamian winged leonine demon, a harbinger of misfortune associated with benign headaches and wild swings in mood, where the afflicted “continually behaves like an animal caught in a trap.”[117]

The [evil] demon frequently appears in prescriptions such as those for the fashioning of a figurine for a neurological disorder caused by a pursuing ghost, where “The evi[l confusional stat]e (causing ghost or) mukīl rēš lemutti-demon [which] was set [on] (personal name) son of (personal name)–he is your husband. You are given [t]o him (as wife).”[118]

Naya,_Carlo_(1816-1882)_-_n._157_-_Venezia_-_Leone_in_Piazza_san_Marco

The Lion of Venice in Piazza San Marco, 1870s (Photo: Carlo Naya, 1822-1881, via Wikipedia)

Holborn Viaduct Lions

Winged lions on Holborn Viaduct, City of London.

The production of magico-religious objects such as figurines and erotic plaques was widespread in Old Babylonia. They were strategically positioned at thresholds – zones of transformation, or a change in state between two equal opposites.

Like, say, the transition between Inside and Outside your house.

Or, let’s say, between a Credit and Debit “balance” of your “account” rented from a cheating time lord:

Ancient Mesopotamians envisioned liminal zones in general as having great magical potency, for better or for worse. Gates, doorways, windows, crossroads, shrines, beds and even the sexually aroused body, to name some, were the perceived spacial correlates of an invisible membrane through which the worlds of the seen and the unseen, of the magical and the mundane interacted. Since these intersections amplified paranormal activity, they were usually manipulated to ensure activity of a positive nature.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 4.32.37 PM

J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002). (Photo: J. Assante, courtesy of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)

Old Babylonian plaques were themselves liminal, serving as points where inhabitants of the non-physical universe could emerge and affect every day reality.

Masonic_alchemical image from Die Theoretischen Brüder oder zweite Stufe der Rosenkreutzer, 1785

Masonic alchemical image from Die Theoretischen Brüder oder zweite Stufe der Rosenkreutzer, 1785. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Old Babylonian visual erotica inserts the liminal by structuring scenes around sexual anatomy. The general term for body orifice, KA in Sumerian or bãbu in Akkadian, is expressly liminal because it also means door or gate. The vaginal opening, bãb uri and the anus bãb šuburri are imagined then as thresholds. From literary and incantation texts we know that the body and its orifices were regarded as sites of transition, especially when aroused. In the Old Babylonian period, it is usually Inanna’s excited thresholds that work to effect white magic [..] whereas in the first-millennium BCE Gilgamesh Epic Ishtar and her vulva bring only death or castration.[119]

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 1.09.01 AM

SAL (Sumerian: “woman”) | J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002)

We have already seen that what many call “white” and “black” magic are closely associated with the Cabala of Old Chaldea, and the “All-Wise” alchemical King Solomon – he of the “magic sign or seal” “known to the medieval Jew as the Magen Dawid” [✡], the Cabalistic key to “the whole system of conjuration of angels and demons.”

The development of the rēbus (punning) principle in ancient Sumer helps shed light on the true origin of a biblical saying that, according to rabbinic tradition, was written by King Solomon.

“Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days, Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth”, has long been used by slick salesmen – including economists, financial advisors, fund managers, televangelists, trans-national corporate executives, politicians and bankers – in their sales pitches for charitable giving, diversified investing, and globalised “free” trade.[120]

Michael Maier's Viatorium, Oppenheim, 1618_MV05

Michael Maier, Viatorium, Oppenheim, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

 

The Marriage of the Sea
Every year on Ascension Day, the doge of Venice dropped a consecrated ring into the sea, and with the Latin words “Desponsamus te, mare, in signum veri perpetuique domini
(“We wed thee, sea, as a sign of true and everlasting domination”) declared Venice and the sea to be indissolubly one.[121]

 

Maier, Atalanta Fugiens_AF31

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

In Sumer, most aspects of life appear to have revolved around the production and consumption of beer. This was the official libation (ritual drink offering) to Inanna-Ishtar, patron goddess and harimtu (prostitute, or libidinous single female)[122] of the tavern.

It was also a common cause of insolvency due to unrepayable bar debts, incurred by offering alcohol on credit[123] – a trading method that was broadly repeated in the Russia Empire in the 18th-19th centuries.[124]

In Sumer, beer was made by casting bread into jars of water:

The passage of Qoh. xi 1-2 has traditionally been understood as a call for charity or international trade. However, in the light of the procedure by which beer was made in the ancient Near East … a more likely interpretation is that Qoheleth is recommending beer production and consumption in perilous times.[125]

In other words, this “wisdom of Solomon” is a (profitable, for some) command to brew, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.

1024px-Pictographs_Recording_the_Allocation_of_Beer_(London,_England)

Cuneiform Pictographs Recording the Allocation of Beer. Thought to be from southern Iraq Late Prehistoric period, about 3100-3000 BC. (Source: Jim Kuhn [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

For the Sumerians, beer was considered a magical potion. It was commonly compared to an attractive and promiscuous female. Both had the ability to “seize” or “bind” the drinker. In an Old Babylonian incantation (spell) recited by a woman “to bend her straying lover to her will”, the “chief tools of magic making are the female’s aroused body orifices”.[126]

Inanna-Ishtar is the central figure in these rites and incantations. An Old Babylonian hymn to “Inanna-Nine-galla” (galla: androgynous demons) is set at dusk, when the two clear opposites of day and night blur.

Exactly like Lucifer in biblical writings, Inanna-Ishtar identifies “her”self in the texts with both the morning and evening star.

Inanna’s celestial body has the nature of a shape-shifter: as “her” star rises through the transition of light to dark (and vice versa), so too does Inanna-Ishtar the harimtu. When named Kilili (“Lady Owl”), “she” is “the harlot who like the owl comes out at dusk”[127], and sits at the door of the tavern to entice customers.

From a namburbi incantation, we learn that Inanna’s presence was invoked to create an ambiance of enchantment, with the purpose being to “effect magical gains of a non-sexual nature” – that is, to secure “brisk trade”.[128]

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 1.30.43 PM

J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002). (Photo: J. Assante, courtesy of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin)

It is here too, that archaeologists have discovered cuneiform fragments in Nineveh and Babylon, from which we learn that alchemists have had secret recipes for creating fake silver since before the reign of Nebuchadnezzar I (c. 1124-1103 BC). Word puns in the recipe suggest that it was made in a form that counterfeited the royal standard ingots:

“When rubbed and polished these (objects) are ziqpu (or ziqiptu) of silver. This (kind of) silver [can]not [be detected].”

What makes this severely mutilated prescription so interesting and intriguing is the [..] passage which addresses the chemist directly: “Do not be careless (with respect to these instructions). Do not [show] (the procedure) to anyone!” References to secrecy do not occur anywhere else in the cuneiform texts dealing with instructions written for specific crafts.[129]

British Muséum, London,

These recipes are remarkable for a multitude of reasons.

The older of the two ends in a colophon stating that it is a copy, and is the property of Nebuchadnezzar I, King of Babylon.

The other (above) was found as part of the famous royal library of King Assurbanipal (c. 685 BC – 627 BC) in Nineveh; a collection of around 30,000 tablets and fragments, said to be the most compelling discovery of the ancient Near East. Assurbanipal – who we met earlier – is the Assyrian “prince” who (as king) is reported to have taken the Israelite population into captivity, and replaced them with a mixture of tribes from other parts of his empire.[130]

(This may offer an explanation for why archaeologists have discovered evidence in Israel from the 7th century BC, of the Epic of Anzû – the rebel “storm-bird” who stole the Tablets of Destiny.[131])

Epiz of Anzu _ Israel 7th century

Source: Anzu and Ziz – Great Mythical Birds in Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Rabbinic Traditions (2008)

There are numerous parallels between the method for producing this fake silver, and the methods cryptically described in medieval alchemical texts for producing the longed for “elixir” or “gold” of “the philosophers”.

Even more remarkable though, is the ingredients.

According to a renowned Assyriologist, whose technical expertise was expressly sought to interpret the two fragments, a “red alkali” used as a “binder” in the recipe “occurs to my knowledge only here” and in no other technical texts from the ancient world.

Similarly, the alchemical texts mention a mysterious substance called “Red Mercury”. What this actually is has been the subject of speculation for hundreds of years – and more recently, lucrative hoaxes, with far-reaching geopolitical, and economic ramifications – because it is supposed to possess a massive destructive power:

When red mercury first appeared on the international black market 15 years ago, the supposedly top secret nuclear material was ‘red’ because it came from Russia. When it resurfaced last year in the formerly communist states of Eastern Europe it had unaccountably acquired a red colour. But then, as a report from the US Department of Energy reveals, mysterious transformations are red mercury’s stock in trade. (New Scientist, 1992)

The only thing we can be sure of is that it’s a ripping yarn. Rumours that Soviet nuclear experts had produced a mysterious explosive material with unimaginable destructive power first circulated in the 1970s, and despite several official investigations and subsequent denials the story refuses to die. (The Guardian, 2004)

For decades, aspiring bomb makers — including ISIS — have desperately tried to get their hands on a lethal substance called red mercury.

Legends of red mercury’s powers began circulating by late in the Cold War. [..] Chief among its proponents was Samuel T. Cohen, the American physicist and Manhattan Project veteran often called the father of the neutron bomb [..] In one edition of his autobiography, he claimed red mercury [..] “is a remarkable nonexploding high explosive…” (New York Times, 2015)

It is an interesting coincidence that this “ripping yarn” first emerged in the 1970s, at the same time a special kind of “gate” opened – one that has flooded the world with a “nonexploding high explosive”, a red “binder”, for the past 45 years.

 

USA

 

Two other ingredients are similarly remarkable. Milk and honey. And in a quantity that “seem[s] excessive”.

It is difficult not to be reminded here of the fascinating tale told in the Old Testament account of the Exodus, written in 273-272 BC by Jewish scholars at Alexandria in Egypt, quite possibly as a reactionary polemic against the Egyptians.[132]

We are told that once upon a time, a messianic intermediary named Moses (meaning “I drew him from the waters”) was saved from infanticide when his mother chose to hide him among the reeds of the river Nile, in a basket weaved from papyrus (used for making writing paper, and boats).

Mercury emerging from the sea, JE Muller_Wunder-materia, 1707

“Our son” | Mercury-Hermes emerging from the sea, JE Muller, Wunder-materia, 1707. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

As an adult, Moses is minding sheep when God “appears” to him – a voice speaking from a “burning bush” which doesn’t burn.

 

Round and round
The burning circle
All the seasons
One, two and three
Autumn comes
And then the Winter
Spring is born
And wanders free

Vajra Yogini in the Burning Circle

Vajra (“diamond scepter”, “thunderbolt”, penis) Yogini in the “Burning Circle”. (Source: Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism)

God tells Moses to throw his “staff” or “rod” on the ground; it is transformed into a “snake”. When God tells him to grab it by the tail, it transforms back again.

A reversal.

Frontispiece engraving from Johann Michael Faust, Philalethes Illustratus, Frankfurt 1706

“Seal of the Wise”, Johann Michael Faust, Philalethes Illustratus, Frankfurt 1706. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

The magic “rod” becomes famous as the “staff of God”, or the “rod of God”.

Michael Maier, Atalatanta Fugiens_AF08

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Moses magically brings a series of ten plagues on the Israelite’s alleged captors, the final plague killing all the “firstborn” of Egypt. On finally being allowed to exodus, he is told to “raise up” his “rod” and “stretch out” his hand over the “Red Sea”, which is divided in two, allowing the “chosen” “children” of Israel to go to the land of the Promise (“Promised Land”).

The “Land of Milk and Honey”.

Indeed, it is said to be “flowing with milk and honey.”[133]

Engraving from Anonymus von Schwartzfuss, Das Blut der Natur, Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1767

Anonymus von Schwartzfuss, Das Blut der Natur, Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1767. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Frontispiece engraving from Urban Hjärne, Actorum Chemicorum Holmiensium, 1753

Urban Hjärne, Actorum Chemicorum Holmiensium, 1753. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Engraving from Robert Fludd, Summum bonum, Frankfurt 1629

“The Rose Gives The Bees Honey” , Robert Fludd, Summum bonum, Frankfurt, 1629. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Frontispiece from Geheimnisse einiger Philosophen und Adepten, 1780

Frontispiece from Geheimnisse einiger Philosophen und Adepten, 1780. © Adam McLean 1997-2017. (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Milk and honey also feature in the alchemical sex magic rituals. Both words are used to describe the “virgin milk”; the female sexual fluids or gynergy which the male adept aims to steal for himself:

Mylius Azoth_MA03

J.D. Mylius version of Basil Valentine ‘Azoth’ series, Philosophia Reformata, 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

As the female correspondence to male sperm the texts nominate the seed of the woman (semen feminile). Among Tantrics it is highly contested whether this is a matter of the menstrual blood or fluids which the mudra [young virgin female] secretes during the sexual act. In any case, the sexual fluids of the man are always associated with the color white, and those of the woman with red. Fundamentally, the female discharge is assigned an equally powerful magic effect as that of its male counterpart. Even the gods thirst after it and revere the menses as the nectar of “immortality”.[134]

Outside of the gynocentric and tantric cults however, a negative valuation of menstrual blood predominates [..] This idea is also widely distributed in Hinayana Buddhism. Menstrual blood is seen there as a curse which has its origins in a female original sin: “Because they are born as women,” it says in a text of the “low vehicle”, “their endeavors toward Buddhahood are little developed, while their lasciviousness and bad characteristics preponderate. These sins, which strengthen one another, assume the form of menstrual blood which is discharged every month in two streams, in that it soils not just the god of the earth but also all the other deities too”. But the Tantrics are completely different! For them the fluids of the woman bear Lucullan names like “wine”, “honey”, “nectar”, and a secret is hidden within them which can lead the yogi to enlightenment.[135]

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 2.31.42 PM

Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic, and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003).

According to the tantric logic of inversion, that precisely the worst is the most appropriate starting substance for the best, the yogi need not fear the magical destructive force of the menses, as he can reverse it into its creative opposite through the proper method.[136]

Pyramid of lions, from Andreas Libavius, Alchymia, Frankfurt 1606

Pyramid of lions, Andreas Libavius, Alchymia, Frankfurt 1606. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

Thousands of years before the medieval Tantrics, we find another remarkable parallel in the ancient mythology of Inanna.

In the tale of Inanna and Šu-kale-tuda, having gone up into the mountains on a quest to “detect falsehood and justice, to inspect the Land closely, to identify the criminal against the just”[137] – in other words, to learn to discern the difference between the moral opposites of right and wrong – Inanna is violated by a callow youth while sleeping under a tree. On waking and discovering the offense, the enraged goddess asks “What should be destroyed?”, and floods the Sumerian water supply with “her” menstrual blood:

[E]very woman knows that she has two kinds of flow that come from her vagina. Ancient sources called these the River of Life and the River of Death, meaning the clear or white flow at the time when a child is more likely to be conceived; and the forbidden flow of menstruation, when it is most unlikely that a child can be conceived.[138]

Similarly, in the tale of the Exodus we are told that the first of the ten biblical plagues invoked by Moses magically transformed the Egyptian water supply into blood. In the river Nile – source of life for the Egyptians – all the fish died, and the river became foul smelling, when Aaron (Moses’ brother) touched the water with the “rod of God”.[139]

The second plague?

The magical invocation of frogs: another classic alchemical symbol of the prima materia or base matter – the “evil” fundamental feminine, containing the secret birth-force.[140]

Maier, Atalatanta Fugiens_AF05

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

It should not surprise us to discover that the biblical “Moses” is revered as a great alchemist in both ancient and not-so-ancient texts.

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica:

The Jewish association with alchemy dates from ancient times. Zosimos, a fifth-century Greek historian, states that the Jews acquired the secrets of the “sacred craft” of the Egyptians and the knowledge of the “power of gold” which derives from it by dishonest means, and they imparted the knowledge of alchemy to the rest of the world. In ancient Greek manuscripts, which contain lists of writings on alchemy, a number of alchemic and magic writings are attributed to Moses…[141]

The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) elaborates:

There is [..] scarcely a single important ancient work upon the science which is not directly related to the Jews, with their traditions and their science.

Alchemy had already in the second or third century assumed a mystical and magical character, exemplified in such recipes as appear in the magic papyri. The whole syncretism of the East—Jewish and Egyptian gnosis, Greek mysteries, and Ophite speculations—combined to produce a current of thought which affected every mental production of the age.

Adam and Abraham have in their turn been described as authors of alchemistic treatises, and Moses is repeatedly met with as the author of such works. To Moses are ascribed the Greek treatise known as “Diplosis” (that is, the art of doubling the weight of gold ), and the treatise “The Chemistry of Moses”…[142]

Ecker_Golden and Rosy Cross Series_ER10

“Trismegistus” (Thrice Greatest – Hermes) – Hans Karl von Ecker, Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems Amsterdam, 1779. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com)

 

“Do not touch the philosopher’s stone with your hands;
you are not of our race, you are not of the race of Abraham.”[143]

 

Maria the Jewess from Maier Symbola aurea mensae, Franckfurt, 1617

Maria the Jewess, from Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 (alchemywebsite.com). Used with permission.

 

Gold and silver
Burnt my Autumns
All too soon
They’d fade and die
And then
Aye, there were no others
Milk and honey
Were their lies

 

autumnal (adj.) 1570s, “maturing or blooming in autumn;” 1630s, “belonging to autumn,” from Latin autumnalis “pertaining to autumn,” from autumnus (see autumn). From 1650s in figurative sense “past the prime.”[144]

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END OF PART II

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POSTSCRIPT

Let us summarise then. Consistent with the alchemists’ Babylonian metaphor, your “account” (story) at the bank, is a magic “threshold”, “gate”, or liminal zone.

An orifice.

A rented hole.

Your bank “account” is a metaphor for ‘cock’ hole, rented from a cheating “time god”.

Within a liminal zone – the “source” of all creation – all opposites are equal. They are “unified”. They become one and the same thing.

Within a liminal zone, any one idea, any one word (the “Word” of “God”), is “magic” – it has two, simultaneous, precisely opposite meanings.

Confusion (“chaos”) reigns.

In your rented orifice, the banking high priest shows a magic number. It represents – to you – either a positive (credit), or negative (debit) “balance”.

It represents the opposite to the banking high priest.

Every time that you make a “payment” to someone, the high priest will reduce the amount of sukra (mixed semen-blood) in the orifice you are renting, and increase the amount of sukra in the orifice they are renting.

Every time that you “receive” a “payment” from someone, the reverse happens.

Emblem 45 from George Withers A Collection of Emblems, Ancient and Modern, 1635_amcl_emb35

George Withers, A Collection of Emblems, Ancient and Modern, 1635. © Adam McLean (alchemywebsite.com)

Even if you have no debt owed to any bank or financial institution, metaphorically, as a “customer”, you are still a “whore” of the bank. You are renting an orifice from the bank, for the purpose of ingesting and regurgitating the sukra rented by other people.

In essence then, by participating in the lying cheating time lords’ “money of account” fake “deposit” payments system, you are acting as a “Babylonian whore” for the “Grand Sorcerer” and misogynist thief, Mercury-Hermes.

Let that sink in.

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My thanks to readers who have confirmed and connected more dots, by informing me that multiple languages (eg, Danish, French, Italian, Russian) use their native words for “Actives” and “Passives” as synonyms for “Assets” and “Liabilities”, in their double entry bookkeeping balance sheets.

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FOOTNOTES

[43] Jackson C. Frank, Milk and Honey, Jackson C. Frank (1965). My thanks to visual artist John Stark for bringing this lyric to my attention.

[44] Richard A. Werner, How do banks create money, and why can other firms not do the same? An explanation for the coexistence of lending and deposit-taking (2014)

[45] Ahmad Y. al-Hassan, Arabic Alchemy ‘Ilm al-San’a: Science of the Art; History of Science and Technology in Islam

[46] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny; p.102, citing Gebelein, 1991, p. 44.

[47] Edward Thomas Jones, Jones’ English System of Book-Keeping by Single or Double Entry, 1796; cited in Jane Gleeson-White, Double Entry: How The Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance, 2013 (Kindle)

[48] Cabalistic Dualism, Jewish Encyclopedia 1906 (online), 30 June 2017

[49] Richard Mattessich, Accounting and the Input-Output Principle in the Prehistoric and Ancient World, ABACUS, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1989, p. 81 — “The significance of the input—output principle for double entry accounting is well recognized in the literature. For example; ‘The writer wishes to emphasize the merit that comes from understanding a double entry bookkeeping as an input-output system of data calculating the amount of capital charged’ (Kishi, 1984, p. 359).” (p. 77, fn 7)

[50] ibid., p. 81 — “[R]elatively soon after the emergence of the original envelopes (c. 3200 BC) it was already customary to impress the softer clay surface of those envelopes with the hardened clay tokens before putting them into the receptacle and sealing the
latter. This enabled one to determine at a first glance the content of the envelope while the seal and other markings may have informed about the debtor and other details. . This enabled one to determine at a first glance the content of the envelope while the seal and other markings may have informed about the debtor and other details. There can be little doubt that inserting a token into a receptacle was equivalent to a debit entry in an asset account. Yet there were two other requirements: first, to indicate, on the outside of the clay envelope, the individual items contained in it; and second, to disclose instantaneously the total equity represented by the receptacle. By a lucky stroke these two requirements could be met in a single step: impressing the hardened tokens upon the softer, unburned surface of the clay container. The resulting indentations are mirror pictures and true counter-entries (credit entries) on the equity side of this prehistoric record keeping system.”

[51] Murray, Stuart (2009) The Library: An Illustrated History. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. pp. 3-10; cited in Ashurbanipal, Wikipedia

[52] Joshua J. Mark, Cuneiform, Ancient™ History Encyclopedia (13 July 2017)

[53] Rebus, Wikipedia (21 June 2017)

[54] Rebis, Wikipedia, (21 June 2017)

[55] Richard A. Werner, To a new understanding of the function of the banking sector: the mechanism of productive credit creation and quantitative easing; presentation to the Russian Academy of Sciences, round table “Anti-crisis fiscal policy of the state in the interests of economic development of Russia” (2015). (watch video)

[56] Miroslav Novák, Heritage of Alchemical Cryptography (2013), Il Chimico Italiano 24: 17-24 — “Medieval European alchemists used a disorganized way of coded expressing together with a very complicated system of diverse graphical symbols... The symbols, besides their shorthand role, also serve as a specific cryptographic system, for very often the alchemists tried to conceal the results from the Christian church, avaricious noblemen and possible competitors. [..] The cryptography (or cryptology; from Greek κρυπτός, “hidden, secret”; and γράφειν, “writing”, or λογία, “study”, respectively) is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties (called adversaries) (Wikipedia). And these adversaries were the main reason, why alchemists coded their written products.

[57] Dante’s Inferno, Canto XIV — Wikipedia: “Ring 3: Against God, Art, and Nature: The third round of the seventh circle is a great Plain of Burning Sand scorched by great flakes of flame falling slowly down from the sky, an image derived from the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24.) The Blasphemers (the Violent against God) are stretched supine upon the burning sand, the Sodomites (the Violent against Nature) run in circles, while the Usurers (the Violent against Art, which is the Grandchild of God, as explained in Canto XI) crouch huddled and weeping. Ciardi writes, ‘Blasphemy, sodomy, and usury are all unnatural and sterile actions: thus the unbearing desert is the eternity of these sinners; and thus the rain, which in nature should be fertile and cool, descends as fire’ (John Ciardi, Inferno, Canto XIV, pg. 112).”

[58] E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism As The Conflict Between Labor And Usury, 2014

[59] Jolyon Jenkins, How Men In Grey Suits Changed The World, 2010

[60] Geoffrey A. Lee, The Coming of Age of Double Entry: The Giovanni Farolfi Ledger of 1299-1300, The Accounting Historians Journal, Fall 1977 Volume 4, Number 2 —

“Francesco di Marco Datini in late 14th century Italy opened a new ledger with the dedication: ‘in the name of God and of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints of Paradise, that they may give us grace to do right both for body and soul.’

His factor, Monte d’Andrea, followed this with the ten commandments – ‘not always to be observed, perhaps – but there at the head of the ledger they stood.'” — (cit. Origo, Iris, The Merchant of Prato: Francesco Di Marco Datini, Penguin Books, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1963, p. 279)

[61] Jane Gleeson-White, Double Entry: How The Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance, 2013 (Kindle)

[62] Seth L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp. 151-169  — “As a forerunner of the apocalyptic otherworldly journey and the visionary tour of hell, its lineage includes the books of Enoch, the Revelation of John, and Dante’s Inferno.”

[63] ibid., p. 151

[64] ibid., p.156 — “[The vision] switches without warning into a first-person confession, and in an exquisite narratological twist, the story itself becomes its narrator’s expiation for the sin that the vision condemns.”

[65] ibid., p. 160 — After the prince awakes from his “vision”, the story changes focus to a character called “that scribe”, who is portrayed as “a double of the crown prince: like the prince a sinner who occupies the post of his father”. It is also noteworthy that the narrator of the vision self-identifies as a scribe (p. 162).

[66] ibid., p.161 — On observing the prince’s actions, “that scribe” also takes the King of the Underworld’s warning to heart: “[the scribe] went and repeated [the story] to the palace, saying ‘Let this be my expiation.’”

[67] What Does “Box and Dice” Mean?, WiseGeek, (17 July 2017) — “‘Box and dice’ is an idiomatic English expression, most common in Australian English, which means ‘the whole thing.’ It is usually part of a longer phrase, most commonly ‘the whole box and dice.” The expression is one of a number of similar terms called merisms.

The phrase ‘the whole box and dice’ probably originates from dice games. In many such games, players store the dice in a small box or cup, often made of wood or leather, when not in use. In some games, the box or cup actually forms part of play. For example, in the game ‘liar’s dice,’ players cover their dice with a box to conceal the value of the score they have rolled.

In games of this type, the box and dice are the only pieces of equipment required to play. To have them is therefore to have everything necessary for the game. This is the most likely origin for the use of this expression as a term for “the whole thing.”

[68] ibid., p.157 — “The prince’s sequence of actions has mythic and ritual connotations, albeit ones we do not fully understand. Certainly, the reference to descent to the netherworld evokes a long tradition in both myth and exorcistic ritual of journeys to the realm of the dead, since both Ishtar and terminally ill patients are said to ‘set their mind to going down to the netherworld.’ This suggests that Kummay [titular name of the “crown prince”] is attempting to deliberately induce a vision or even travel to the netherworld of his own volition.”

[69] ibid., p. 158 — “While a šuttu is simply a dream, tabrītu appears frequently in the vocabulary of Sennacherib and Essarhaddon to describe building projects—actually existing physical objects. It refers to awe-inspiring things seen with the eye. Far from a strictly mental event, numerous Sargonid occurrences of tabrītu refer to material things seen in daylight. The way this vision is narrated emphasizes its reality.”

[70] ibid., p.156

[71] The “gods and demons” are described by various scholars as “hybrid monsters” (Collins 1990) and “monster-demons” (Kvanvig 1981) – that is, they combine animal-bird or human-animal features. Most of the monsters have “feet like a man” (Kvanvig 1981). About one it is said that “with its left foot it was treading” (Kvanvig 1981). One is lacking its hind leg; it will walk with a limp. The last monster is composed of two bodies, has “the head of a man” on the second body, and wears a crown (Kvanvig 1981).

[72] Seth L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 158

[73] Helge S. Kvanvig, An Akkadian vision as background for Dan 7? (1981), Studia Theologica – Nordic Journal of Theology, 35:1, 85-89

[74] Seth L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 160

[75] John J. Collins, Review of Roots of Apocalyptic: The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and of the Son of Man by Helge S. Kvanvig; Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 109, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), p. 717

[76] Seth. L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 158

[77] John J. Collins, Review of Roots of Apocalyptic: The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and of the Son of Man by Helge S. Kvanvig; Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 109, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), p. 716

[78] Donald A. Mackenzie, Myths of Babylonia and Assyria (1915), p. 74 (via Sacred Texts, 17 July 2017) — “Another Sumerian storm demon was the Zu bird, which is represented among the stars by Pegasus and Taurus. A legend relates that this ‘worker of evil, who raised the head of evil’, once aspired to rule the gods, and stole from Bel, ‘the lord’ of deities, the Tablets of Destiny, which gave him his power over the Universe as controller of the fates of all. The Zu bird escaped with the Tablets and found shelter on its mountain top in Arabia. Anu called on Ramman, the thunderer, to attack the Zu bird, but he was afraid; other gods appear to have shrunk from the conflict. How the rebel was overcome is not certain, because the legend survives in fragmentary form.”

[79] Seth. L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 159 — “The vision culminates in a theophany of Nergal, the king of the underworld, enthroned. Kummay quivers in terror at his splendor and falls to his knees before the god. Nergal siezes him by the forelock [..] and roars, intending to kill him, but his advisor Ishum instead advises him to spare Kummay, that he may return penitent to the upper world to begin the glorification of Nergal that results in the story we now read.”

[80] ibid., p.164, citing L4 I. 13 (Streck Assurbanipal: 254), with the variant published by E. Weissert and H.-U. Onasch “The Prologue to Assurbanipal’s Prism E” Or 61 (1992):71.

[81] ibid., p. 165, cf. Dialogue Between Assurbanipal and Nabû — “Of further interest for the identification of the circle in which this text originated is the string of stereotyped wisdom epithets that describe Sennacherib: ‘the eminent one, experienced in matters, wide of understanding, comprehensive in the seat of ordaining fate, who scanned the plans of the foundation of the earth’ (r. 66 u􀃉urāti ša markās qaqqari 􀂪īru).”

[82] 2 Kings 18-19:36, Tanakh, Jerusalem Publication Society (1917)

[83] Temple, Masonic Dictionary (13 July 2017)

[84] Sennacherib, Wikipedia, citing Von Solden (1994) p. 58,100; Foster & Foster (2009) p. 121-123; Stephanie Dalley (2013) The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: an elusive world Wonder traced, OUP — “..his building projects included the beautification of Nineveh, a canal 50 km long to bring water to the city, and the ‘Palace Without Rival’, which included what may have been the prototype of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or even the actual Hanging Gardens.”

[85] Seth. L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 160 — “The specific historical identification with Sennacherib is made clear when Nergal says that he built the Akitu house, an act uniquely identified with Sennacherib in this period.”

[86] Joshua J. Mark, Sennacherib, Ancient™ History Encyclopedia (17 July 2017) — “The Book of II Kings 19:37 states, ‘One day, while [Sennacherib] was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.’ Assyrian inscriptions also maintain that he was killed by his sons but differ on whether he was stabbed or crushed to death. The historian Stephen Bertman writes, ‘Sennacherib was stabbed to death by an assassin (possibly one of his sons) or, according to another account, was crushed to death by the monumental weight of a winged bull that he just happened to be standing beneath’. Whichever way he died, it is thought that he was killed because of his treatment of Babylon.”

[87] Jewish Holy Scriptures: Halakha/Aggadata/Midrash, Encyclopedia Judaica (17 July 2017)

[88] Seth. L. Sanders, The First Tour of Hell: From Neo-Assyrian Propaganda to Early Jewish Revelation (Brill, 2009), Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue 2, p. 160 — “For Sennacherib’s rebuilding of the Akitu-house at Assur, see OIP 2:135-43.”

[89] Given his connection with the “crown prince” and self-professed scribe Assurbanipal – the grandson of Sennacherib – Nabû is an important figure. According to A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (G. Leick, Routledge 1991):

“He was first called the ‘scribe and minister of Marduk’, and when the latter was assimilated into the official pantheon as the son of Ea, Nabû in turn became known as the son of Marduk from his wife Sarpanitum. He was also accorded the office of patron of the scribes [..] With his elevation to the ranks of the great gods, Nabû became a cosmic deity, entrusted with the Tablets of Destiny, ‘pronouncing the Fate’ of mankind. The texts equate him with Ninurta [elsewhere thought to be the god sent to take back the Tablets of Destiny from the thieving Anzû storm-bird]. He was also sometimes mentioned as a god of water and the fertility of fields, maybe through his descent from Ea; he also shares the epitheton of ‘god of wisdom’. (Pomponio 1978)”

[90] Andrew George,  Exit the “House which Binds Death”: the names of Sennacherib’s Akitu temple and its cella, Nouvelles assyriologiques brèves et utilitaires, 1993 (2 no. 43). pp. 34-35.

[91] Meir Malul, The House Which Binds Death/the Sea, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 1993/100, 1993, No. 4, pp. 83-85

[92] Rivkah Harris, Inanna-Ishtar as Paradox and Coincidence of Opposites; History of Religions, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Feb., 1991), pp. 273, 275-276

[93] ibid., p. 276-277 — “The chief participants and actors in the goddess’s cult are well known by name [..] Their transvestism simulated the androgyny of Inanna-Ishtar. It was perhaps the inversion of the male/female binary opposition that thereby neutralized this opposition. By emulating their goddess who was both female and male, they shattered the boundary between the sexes. [..] The cultic personnel of the goddess in their costumes, words, and acts had but one goal: ‘to delight Ishtar’s heart, give themselves up to (otherwise) for[bidden] actions.'”

[94] ibid., p. 273

[95] ibid., p. 265, 270

[96]  Rebecca Lesses, Lilith, Jewish Women’s Archive, citing Montgomery (117). (3 July 2017)

[97] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny; p. 60

[98] Antiquity of the Cabala, Jewish Encyclopedia 1906 (online), 30 June 2017

[99] Rachel Elior, The Paradoxical Ascent to God – The Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasidim (1992), pp. 217-218 — “‘Before Him, blessed be He, for He is omnipotent, Yesh and Ayin are equated with each other, for before Him, blessed be He, heaven and earth are called one, and Yesh and Ayin are entirely equal to each other’ (Rabbi Aharon Halevi, ‘Avodat ha-Levi, I, p. 1)”

“[..] the Habad teachers posited the vital importance of the equalization of the opposites in human worship. The quality of the equalization of opposites that characterizes God deprives contradictions of all validity. Likewise it permits Him to possess dual and contradictory wills that are susceptible to being equalized and unified from the divine point of view. Thus, a divine paradigm is transformed into a pattern for human worship, which also equalizes between nether and upper worlds by descent and ascent, unifying sanctity and sin, commandment and transgression, divine manifestation and inversion.”

“‘Worship in inversion,’ ‘descent for the purpose of rising up,’ ‘self-prostration,’ and ‘sacrifice of the soul’ were seen to be theurgical missions based on the conflict of fulfilling the reverse of the divine commandment for the sake of the divine will to be revealed in all dimensions. [..] This form of worship is the radical conclusion of the view of divinity as the unity of opposites and the understanding of human vocation as being to equalize the opposites.”

[100] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny; p. 75

[101] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny, p. 104, p. 103; cf. p. 80; — “The five taboo types of meat are granted a sacramental character. Within them are concentrated the energies of the highest Buddhas, who are able to appear through the ‘law of inversion’. The texts thus speak of the ‘five ambrosias’ or ‘five nectars’. Other impure ‘foods’ have also been assigned to the five Dhyani Buddhas. Ratnasambhava is associated with blood, Amitabha with semen, Amoghasiddhi with human flesh, Aksobhya with urine, Vairocana with excrement (Wayman, 1973, p. 116).”

“The Candamaharosana Tantra lists with relish the particular substances which are offered to the adept by his wisdom consort during the sexual magic rituals and which he must swallow: excrement, urine, saliva, leftovers from between her teeth, lipstick, dish-water, vomit, the wash water which remains after her anus has been cleaned (George, 1974, pp. 73, 78, 79). Those who “make the excrement and urine their food, will be truly happy”, promises the Guhyasamaja Tantra (quoted by Gäng, 1988, p. 134). In the Hevajra Tantra the adept must drink the menstrual blood of his mudra out of a skull bowl (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 98). But rotten fish, sewer water, canine feces, corpse fat, the excrement of the dead, sanitary napkins as well as all conceivable “intoxicating drinks” are also consumed (Walker, 1982, pp. 80–84).”

“There exists a strict commandment that the practicing yogi may not feel any disgust in consuming these impure substances. ‘One should never feel disgusted by excrement, urine, semen or blood’ (quoted by Gäng, 1988, p. 266). Fundamentally, ‘he must eat and drink whatever he obtains and he should not hold any notions regarding likes and dislikes’ (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 67).”

[102] ibid., p. 104

[103] ibid., p.124 — “In one relevant text can be read: ‘Eve keeps the female seed’ (Jung, 1968, p. 320). Even the retention of sperm and its transmutation into something higher is known in the west. Hence the seventeenth-century doctor from Brussels, Johannes Baptista Helmont, states that, ‘If semen is not emitted, it is changed into a spiritual force that preserves its capacities to reproduce sperm and invigorates breath emitted in speech’ (Couliano, 1987, p. 102). Giordano Bruno, the heretic among the Renaissance philosophers, wrote a comprehensive essay on the manipulation of erotic love through the retention of semen and for the purposes of attaining power.”

[104] ibid., p.104 citing Evola, 1993, p. 207

[105] ibid., citing Bachelard, 1990, p. 282.

[106] ibid., p. 62, citing Gross, 1993, p. 48

[107] ibid., p. 47, citing Shaw, 1994, n. 128, pp. 7, 254–255

[108] ibid., p. 63

[109] ibid, p. 75 — “Suitably radical instructions can be found in the Hevajra Tantra: “A wise man … should remove the filth of his mind by filth … one must rise by that through which one falls”, or, more vividly, “As flatulence is cured by eating beans so that wind may expel wind, as a thorn in the foot can be removed by another thorn, and as a poison can be neutralized by poison, so sin can purge sin” (Walker, 1982, p. 34).”

[110] ibid, p. 80

[111] ibid, p. 75

[112] ibid., p.76 — “The fifth and final argument attempts to persuade us that enlightenment per se arises through the radical inversion of its opposite and that there is absolutely no other possible way to break free of the chains of samsara. Here, the tantric logic of inversion has become a dogma which no longer tolerates other paths to enlightenment.”

“However, this tantric logic of inversion contains a dangerous paradox. On the one hand, Vajrayana stands not just in radical opposition to ‘social’ norms, but likewise also to the original fundamental rules of its own Buddhist system. Thus, it must constantly fear accusations and persecution from its religious brethren. On the other there is the danger mentioned by Friedrich Nietzsche, that anyone who too often looks monsters in the face can themselves become a monster.”

[113] J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002); Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East; proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, 2001, p. 34

[114] Wolkstein D. and Kramer S., The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi; Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer (1983), Harper & Row (New York), pp. 38-39, 48 — “These Sumerian love songs between the shepherd-king and Inanna belonged in Sumerian times to a ritual Sumerologists call the sacred marriage rite. In this ritual, the king of a Sumerian city (usually given the epithet ‘Dumuzi’) symbolically weds the goddess Inanna, who is represented by the high priestess of her city. If the goddess is pleased with her suitor and his gifts, she opens her house to him. The sacred marriage bed is prepared, and there, at the proper time (see ‘The Joy of Sumer’ hymn and commentary), the marriage between king and goddess takes place to the accompaniment of merriment and such songs as those in ‘The Courtship.'” (Kramer, p. 154)

“The ‘always’ ends. Whether by external or internal interference, unending, uninterrupted mutual bliss is not an earthly possibility. Change is the human condition. In this instance, it is the woman Inanna who by calling for the royal marriage bed brings the family and social world into her exclusive relationship with Dumuzi, thus ending ‘the honey-moon.'” (Kramer, p. 153)

[115] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny, p. 91-92, 271

[116] A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, (University of Chicago Press, 1977 ed), p. 204

[117] Mukīl rēš lemutti, Wikipedia, citing F.A. Wiggermann (1997) “Mischwesen, A”. in D.O. Edzard. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Meek – Mythologie. Walter De Gruyter, p. 241 ; and Jo Ann Scurlock, Burton R. Andersen (2005), Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine: Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses. University of Illinois Press, p. 246

[118] Jo Ann Scurlock (2006), Magico-Medical Means of Treating Ghost-Induced Illnesses in Ancient Mesopotamia. Brill, pp. 30, 53

[119] J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002); Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East; proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, 2001, pp. 28-30

[120] Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 (Amplified Bible)

[121] Marriage of the Sea ceremony, Wikipedia, citing Kennedy, Benjamin (1962). “35b”. Revised Latin Primer. Great Britain: Longmans. p. 19; The Bucintoro, Comitato Festa della Sensa (17 Feb 2012). (21 June 2017)

[122] J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002); Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East; proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, 2001 — The traditional scholarly view is that harimtu means prostitute, and refers to a cult of “sacred prostitution”. This view has been challenged by feminist scholars such as Assante (1998, 2000: 10-73), arguing for an interpretation of the harimtu as an unmarried/unattached woman looking for sex, in a culture that had a libertine (my word) view to sexual activity.

[123] Michael Hudson and Marc Van De Mieroop, Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East, pp. 23-35

[124] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Two Hundred Years Together, chapter 3. See also the “Jewish Regulation of 1804”, which included a total prohibition on Jewish distilling and tavern keeping.

[125] Michael Homan, Beer Production by Throwing Bread into Water: A New Interpretation of Qoh. XI 1-2, Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 52, Fasc. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 275-278 — “Beer and bread were intimately linked in the ancient Near East. Breweries from Egypt to Mesopotamia created beer by lightly baking dough composed of ground germinated cereals, and these loaves along with yeast were placed in jars of water, where the maltose sugars were converted to alcohol.”

“In favor of this interpretation are several Akkadian passages which state that beer ingredients (including bappir bread and dates) are thrown into the water to produce beer, with the verb nadu (“to throw”) used in technical language for brewing beer.”

[126] J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002); Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East; proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, 2001, pp. 33-34 —

“With the slap of the face, with the rolling of the eyes,
I have hit you on the head, I have deranged your reason,
Set your will to my will,
Set your decision to my decision,
I hold you fast as Ishtar held Dumuzi,
(As) beer binds her drinker,
I have bound you with my hairy mouth,
With my vagina (full of) wetness,
With my mouth (full of) saliva,
With my vagina (full of) wetness,
No female rival shall go near you!”

“What is important here is that the incantation employs Ishtar’s seizure of her lover and beer’s seizure of the drinker as similes for the state of being spellbound. [..] Ishtar, beer, vagina and mouth all have the power to bind. Here, as elsewhere, the vagina and mouth are interchangeable. The magical body of the divine harimtu binds at both ends. [..] The association between drinking and sex was deeply rooted in the Mesopotamian psyche of the Old Babylonian period [..] For example, beer was firmly equated to saliva and vaginal wetness [..] Mesopotamian beer was normally sweetened with date syrup, called “honey” in modern translations. In most literary erotica the mouth and vulva are honey-sweet, as they are in this Sumerian court poem from Ur:”

“My god, the tavern keeper, her beer is sweet!
And her vulva is sweet like her beer – and her beer is sweet!
And her vulva is sweet like all her mouths – and her beer is sweet!
Her kašbir-beer and her (regular) beer are sweet.”

“In this hymn, the poet adds the anus to the list of transposable body portals, although it is merely alluded to as inferior kašbir beer.”

[127] Rivkah Harris, Inanna-Ishtar as Paradox and Coincidence of Opposites; History of Religions, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Feb., 1991), p. 273

[128] J. Assante, Sex, Magic, And The Liminal Body In The Erotic Art And Texts Of The Old Babylonian Period (2002); Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East; proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, 2001, p. 33

[129] Revue d’Assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale. Given intention to publish a book revealing a host of further evidences, this author apologises for not providing a more detailed citation at this time.

[130] 2 Kings 17:19-24, Ezra 4:9-11, Tanakh, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1917 — 2 Kings 17:19-24
19. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they practised.
20. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
..
22. And the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
23 until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He spoke by the hand of all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria, unto this day.
24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

Ezra 4:9-11
9 ..then wrote Rehum the commander, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinites, and the Apharesattechites, the Tarpelites, the Apharesites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehites, the Elamites,
10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asenappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and the rest that are in the country beyond the River…

[131] Nili Wazana, Anzu and Ziz: Great Mythical Birds in Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Rabbinic Traditions (2008), Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 31 (2009): 111-135 –– “Were the Israelites acquainted with the Epic of Anzu? A seventh century b.c.e. cylinder seal portraying the battle of Ninurta and Anzu was discovered in Israel. While this sporadic, graphic witness cannot count as proof of knowledge of the Epic of Anzu, it does show that symbols of the combat myth had arrived along with the Assyrian army, part and parcel of a general cultural influence. Furthermore, studies have shown that the Bible employs literary motifs and linguistic expressions reflecting royal Neo-Assyrian inscriptions when ‘quoting’ Assyrian speakers, concluding that some biblical authors must have been acquainted not only with the ‘Assyrian experience,’ but also with official royal literary traditions. Considering that the Epic of Anzu played a role in the language of royal Neo-Assyrian inscriptions, underlying the criminal characterization of some of the figures in imperialistic propaganda, it is highly probable that biblical authors were familiar with this creature and its traditions—even if they did not know the epic itself, before the Babylonian exile.”

[132] Russell Gmirkin, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch, 2006 — Gmirkin offers evidence that contradicts a widely-accepted argument concerning the earliest origins of “anti-Semitism”, which is allegedly found in the writings of an Egyptian priest of the third century BC named Manetho, in his history of Egypt (Aegyptiaca). Manetho reported that centuries earlier, a foreign population had entered Egypt from the east via the Nile delta. These foreigners rose in power, and became an increasing problem to the Egyptian natives, who were finally motivated to expel them when the foreign population developed a serious skin disease (leprosy?). According to Manetho, these ejected foreigners relocated to Jerusalem.

Gmirkin argues that the book of Exodus was written by Jewish intellectuals in Alexandria (Egypt) in reaction to Manetho, whose account came first and was more accurate. That is to say, rather than Manetho attacking the Jews, “the borrowing and polemics took place in the opposite direction; the Pentateuch polemicized against the Egyptian expulsion stories in Manetho.” (pp.2-3)

[133] Exodus 3:8, 33:3, Tanakh, Jerusalem Publication Society, 1917 the common interpretation has been that “flowing with milk and honey” is a metaphor for the abundant fertility of the land itself.

[134] V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny, p. 119

[135] ibid., p. 120-121

[136] ibid., 121 — “The embracing of a ‘bleeding’ lover is therefore a great ritual privilege. In his book on Indian ecstatic cults, Philip Rawson indicates that ‘the most powerful sexual rite … requires intercourse with the female partner when she is menstruating and her “red” sexual energy is at its peak’ (Rawson, 1973, p. 24; see also Chöpel, 1992, p. 191).”

[137] Judy Grahn, Ecology of the Erotic in a Myth of Inanna, International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 29(2), 2010, p. 60; citing Black et al., 2004, p. 197

[138] Lishtar, The Avenging Maiden and the Predator Gardener: A Study of Inanna and Shukaletuda (2000), citing Shuttle and Redgrove (1989), p. 21

[139] Exodus 7:14-24, Tanakh, Jerusalem Publication Society, 1917 – “And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their ponds of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’” (verse 19)

[140] Exodus 8:26-29; 9:1-10, Tanakh, Jerusalem Publication Society, 1917

[141] Alchemy, Encyclopedia Judaica, Jewish Virtual Library (17 June 2017) — “The Jewish association with alchemy dates from ancient times. Zosimos, a fifth-century Greek historian, states that the Jews acquired the secrets of the “sacred craft” of the Egyptians and the knowledge of the “power of gold” which derives from it by dishonest means, and they imparted the knowledge of alchemy to the rest of the world. In ancient Greek manuscripts, which contain lists of writings on alchemy, a number of alchemic and magic writings are attributed to Moses…”

[142] Alchemy, Jewish Encyclopedia, (17 June 2017) — “Traces of the connection of Jews with the science of Alchemy are very scanty in Hebrew literature. Not a single distinguished adept is found who has left in a Hebrew form traces of his knowledge of the subject. There is, however, scarcely a single important ancient work upon the science which is not directly related to the Jews, with their traditions and their science. Alchemy, like others of the exact sciences, suffered from the introduction of foreign elements, and developed from a more or less secret science belonging to a particular craft, into a mysterious science dealing with changes in the organic as well as the metallic world.”

“In the evolution of Alchemy there are at least three epochs: The first, the Greek and Egyptian period; the second, the Arabic of the Middle Ages; and the last, or modern, period, extending from the sixteenth century to the present day.”

“Alchemy had already in the second or third century assumed a mystical and magical character, exemplified in such recipes as appear in the magic papyri. The whole syncretism of the East—Jewish and Egyptian gnosis, Greek mysteries, and Ophite speculations—combined to produce a current of thought which affected every mental production of the age.”

“Adam and Abraham have in their turn been described as authors of alchemistic treatises, and Moses is repeatedly met with as the author of such works. To Moses are ascribed the Greek treatise known as ‘Diplosis’ (that is, the art of doubling the weight of gold), and the treatise ‘The Chemistry of Moses’ (dealing with metallurgy), published by Berthelot in his ‘Collection des Anciens Alchimistes Grecs,’ Paris, 1887-88, ii. 300-315, iii. 287-301. In the Greek manuscript of St. Mark of the ninth century Zosimos quotes long passages from ‘The Chemistry of Moses.'”

[143] Vladimír Karpenko, Alchemy as donum dei, HYLE – International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol. 4 (1998), No. 1, pp. 63-80; — “In the Hellenistic world particular attention should be paid to Mary the Jewess, one of the most influential personalities of this science. God appears in connection with her, but in a slightly different manner than later. To Mary, alchemy is donum dei, a gift of God; but this gift was given only to ‘chosen people’, Jews. She is reported to have said: “Do not touch the philosopher’s stone with your hands; you are not of our race, you are not of the race of Abraham.’* Thus alchemy was not for alchemists in general, but for the race of Abraham. Alchemy is presented here as the spiritual property of Jews. As pointed out by Patai, the singular form ‘God’ is used strictly in texts attributed to Mary, and this claim that alchemical secrets were revealed to her by God became a part of the medieval alchemical tradition about her.”

*Patai, R.: 1994, The Jewish Alchemists, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, p. 76.

[144] Autumnal, Online Etymology Dictionary (10 July 2017)

Autumn (n): late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus “increase”).

Harvest (n): Old English hærfest “autumn,” as one of the four seasons, “period between August and November,” from Proto-Germanic *harbitas (source also of Old Saxon hervist, Old Frisian and Dutch herfst, German Herbst “autumn,” Old Norse haust “harvest”), from PIE *kerp- “to gather, pluck, harvest” (source also of Sanskrit krpana “sword,” krpani “shears;” Greek karpos “fruit,” karpizomai “make harvest of;” Latin carpere “to cut, divide, pluck;” Lithuanian kerpu “cut;” Middle Irish cerbaim “cut”).

In Old English with only implied reference to the gathering of crops. The borrowing of autumn and the use of fall (n.) in a seasonal sense gradually focused the meaning of harvest to “the time of gathering crops” (mid-13c.), also to the action itself and the product of the action (after c. 1300), which became its main senses from 14c.

Standard
Time

The Magic Chain of Enchanted Economists

A real transformation of economics first requires its voluntary death

 

“All of the greatest religions speak of the soul’s endurance beyond the end of life. So what then does it mean, to die?”

– Eisenheim, The Illusionist

Our world is dominated by an idea. That by performing evil actions, good will come of it.

It is the black sheep, the dark one of twins. They are the descendants of a higher idea, which is the wellspring (wyllspring; “to wish, will”) of a current of ideas known as apotheosis.

To become a god. Release from earthly life, ascension to heaven; death. In other words, a transformation. Elevation to a transcendent position. The apex, culmination, or climax of something; the highest point in its development.

It is also the name given to the idea of a “latent entity that mediates between our psyche [soul] and our thoughts”. Freudian psychology refers to this entity by the concepts of id, the ego, and superego. This is misleading, and an inversion, as we will see. The true mediator is known by the Wise as the Conscience.

The realm of human existence and daily striving known as economics has been dominated for the past quarter millennium by this dark idea of evil acts resulting in “the greater good”. Until this idea is exorcised instead of being exercised, there can be no genuine progress, no true evolution, no real transformation of economics.

This idea is false. It is an enchanting deception. It enchants by granting licence to our lower instincts, in the full knowledge (of the Wise, the Adept, and the Magus) that repeated actions form habits. By encouraging, by tempting us with the licentious idea that we can act on our lower, darker instincts, our ‘animal spirits’, in the interests of a “greater good”, the Magus of Evil Will knows that our conscience will be destroyed. Death by a thousand cuts. Not only will we (and society) not be transformed for the good by evil actions, on the contrary, our conscience becomes increasingly desensitised, inured, and in a sense dead to the harm caused by our evil actions. We are only drawn onwards and downwards, ever deeper, into ever greater acts of evil.

In his magnum opus Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855), nineteenth century French occult magus Eliphas Lévi explains an eternal truth, one that centuries of “thinkers” have ignored, or swept under the magic carpet of economic theory (emphasis mine):

Not only do the wicked torment the good, but unconsciously the good torture the wicked. The gentleness of Abel was a long and painful bewitchment for the ferocity of Cain. Among evil men, the hatred of good originates in the very instinct of self-preservation; moreover, they deny that what torments them is good, and, for their own peace, are driven to deify and justify evil. In the sight of Cain, Abel was a hypocrite and coward, who abused the pride of humanity by his scandalous submissions to divinity.1

The true Magus, whether of Good or Evil Will, knows that we cannot transcend evil by practicing it. We can only destroy our conscience, creating for ourselves an illusion of evil’s non-existence; becoming, as Lévi eulogises, a “free man” having “liberty” from the “servitude of conscience”. In precisely the same way that practicing evil actions forms evil habits, the practice of good actions forms good habits. Any notion of an inverse correlation is, simply, a lie. If we wish to experience more good in this world, then we must practice the good, and cease from practicing the evil.

But I digress.

While some still debate whether mainstream economics has taken Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor in The Wealth of Nations (1776) out of context, other, and I would argue, more influential early thinkers in the field once known as Moral Philosophy2 cannot be doubted in their clarity of expression.

In his Discourse on the Nature of Pleasures and Pains (1773), Italian Enlightenment philosopher, economist, and member of the Milanese nobility Pietro Verri stresses the positive function of pain. While pain is not good in itself, Verri says that “pain is the moving cause of all mankind” and so “good is generated by evil”.3

Fellow Italian Giammaria Ortes appears at a casual glance to reverse the order of causation. Or does he? In Della Economia Nazionale (1774) he writes that “The wealth of a nation corresponds with its population, and its misery corresponds with its wealth. Diligence in some compels idleness in others. The poor and idle are a necessary consequence of the rich and active.. .”4

A defrocked Camaldolese monk, libertine, and contemporary of another infamous Italian monk, the magician, alchemist, occultist and swindler Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, the Venetian Ortes is a most interesting, though lamentably lesser known figure in the history of economic philosophy. Karl Marx exalts him in Capital as “an original and clever writer”, “one of the great economic writers of the 18th century.” As we will see, his ideas, while undeniably “clever”, are not original. They are very ancient. Their origin, transmission, and far-reaching influence on humanity’s body politic should – like the study of cancer – compel our undivided attention.

Moneta Nostra_Cagliostro

If Ortes were living in our time, we would most likely see him employed in a “leading university”, an international money-lending institution like the IMF, or a neoliberal “think tank”. Many of us would, not inaccurately, refer to him as a shill for the oligarchy. Others of us, even less charitably, might call him a Useful Idiot for the 0.01%. Ortes was “closely associated with one of the most important salons or ridotti of the Venetian aristocracy”, the conversazione filosofica e felice (“philosophical and happy conversation group”), “the ideological arm of a closely allied group of Venetian oligarchical families.”6

From the beginning of his magnum opus, Ortes presents an argument that can only be useful to those wishing to promote the convenient-for-oligarchy idea that sovereign (i.e., papal; today, government) intervention can not contribute to material progress for humanity. Ortes provides a rhetorical segue echoing down to our time in the “Don’t tread on me!” anti-government howlings of libertarians, laissez-faire capitalists, Ayn Rand acolytes and others of similar ilk, by the simple expedient of insisting on the futility of any efforts to do so:

[N]ational economy is a matter which cannot be improved in any way by any particular action, and all attempts by persons seeking to organize national economy according to a better system, as regards provision or increase of goods, have to end up as useless efforts.7

Instead of projecting useless systems for achieving the happiness of people, I shall limit myself to investigating the reasons for their unhappiness.8

In the eighteenth century Age of ‘En-light-enment’, as in all ages, it was of course rather easier to “happily” spout let-us-do-nothing arguments for the status quo when your snout had been buried deep in the oligarchy’s trough.

Over one hundred years before Léon Walras, the alleged pioneer of the idea of “competitive equilibrium” and what has come to be known as the General Equilibrium Theory of neoclassical economics (1874), Ortes promoted the core idea of universal equilibrium, a zero-sum ‘higher’ unity arising from the antagonism of opposites – an ancient occult magic belief system – as a rationalisation for the alleged inevitability of inequality in social wealth, all under the guise of what Marx styled a “general natural law”9 (emphasis mine):

In the economy of a nation, advantages and evils always balance one another: the abundance of wealth with some people, is always equal to the want of it with others: the great riches of a small number are always accompanied by the absolute privation of the first necessaries of life for many others.10

The good therefore, understood as the possession of goods in excess of what is needed, can only be expressed between the individual and the commonality as the number zero, and since there is an inevitable lack of goods for some if these are to be abundant for others, this good can only appear as a mixture of economic good and evil, which tends neither to one nor to the other, or as the vector sum of forces which, operating with equal energy in different and opposite directions, destroy each other and resolve themselves into nothing.11

The observant reader will note the remarkable analogue of Ortes’s theory to a host of widely accepted general equilibrium economic beliefs in our day, such as “perfect markets”, and the fundamental ‘laws’ of supply and demand. Perhaps the most important analogue however, is to the assumptions of financial intermediation theory; a primary rationalisation – most useful for money-lenders – for the pretence that banks and debt don’t matter, since banks, according to the theory, act only as mediator between two opposites – savers and borrowers.

You may detect more than a hint of the idea of deification, of man becoming a god (apotheosis) manifesting in this self-serving theory of bankers being a kind of Kristos, an invisible mediator between God (good, wealthy) and man (evil, poor).

However, as proven empirically for the first time in modern history by Professor Richard Werner12, the real truth is that, progressively, slowly but surely, over millennia, ‘alchemists’ have apotheosised a now “Too Big To Fail” global domination system wherein they – the ‘Masters of the Universe’, ‘doing god’s work’ – represent something even greater than just a deified and transcendent, mediating Man-God. Instead, with the 1971 closure of the “gold window” backing (i.e., materially limiting the issuance of) the $USD as the world’s reserve currency, the 0.01% now represent an analogue to the very apex of the Trinity – the Infinite Creator Himself.

Readers of my earlier essays on the ancient origins and fraud-enabling ‘magic’ of double-entry bookkeeping (here, here, here) will also note the precise analogue of Ortes’s “vector sum of forces” theory to the symbolic representation of what I have christened the Paradox of Opposite Perspectives (POOP, or POP) embedded in double entry bookkeeping-based ‘money’ creation ex nihilo (“out of nothing”):

The primeval sages, when seeking the First of Causes, beheld good and evil in the world; they considered the shadow and the light; they compared winter with spring, age with youth, life with death, and their conclusion was this: The First Cause is beneficent and severe; it gives and takes away life. Then are there two contrary principles, the one good and the other evil, exclaimed the disciples of Manes. No, the two principles of universal equilibrium are not contrary, although contrasted in appearance, for a singular wisdom opposes one to another. Good is on the right, evil on the left, but the supreme excellence is above both, applying evil to the victory of good and good to the amendment of evil.

DEB_complete_Levi-8000ms

Omnipotence is the most absolute liberty; now, absolute liberty cannot exist apart from perfect equilibrium. Magical equilibrium is hence one of the first conditions of success in the operations of science, and must be sought even in occult chemistry, by learning to combine contraries without neutralising them by one another. Magical equilibrium explains the great and primeval mystery of the existence and relative necessity of evil. This relative necessity gives, in black magic, the measure of the power of demons or impure spirits, to whom virtues practised upon earth are a source of increased rage and apparently of increased power.13

Ortes had first written on general equilibrium and the zero-sum antagonism of equal and opposite ‘forces’ twenty years earlier (1754), in a short tract titled Calcolo de’piaceri e de’dolori della vita umana (“A Calculation of Pleasures and Pains of Human Life”). Here we find another quite remarkable analogue to el modo vinegia (the “Venetian Method”) of double-entry bookkeeping.

Academic Marco E. L. Guidi provides us with an invaluable summary (emphasis mine):

Ortes’s exposition moves from a set of hypotheses on [the] human body and on the relation between the physical and the moral constitution, which seem to be derived from Cartesian philosophy. There is also a strong analogy between Hobbes’s and Ortes’s explanation of the origin of sensations. The body is made by more or less elastic fibres and by fluids. When all fibres are in a steady state, fluids freely circulate within the body. This circular flow equilibrium goes along with a state of psychical indifference: a state which seems to be more hypothetical than actual, but nevertheless possible. The contact of human physique with external objects alters the state of fibres, overtending or overrelaxing them, and necessarily driving to a disorder in the circulation of fluids, felt by the mind as pain. Pleasure in [sic] nothing else than the impression produced by a contrary movement of fibres, reestablishing the original state (Ortes 1754: 288-89). This restoration can have two possible effects: either pleasure disappears with the new equilibrium and indifference is felt by the mind (Ortes 1754: 289-90), or the contrary movement which had produced pleasure continues beyond the point of equilibrium, thus altering the state of fibers and producing new pains (Ortes 1754: 292). Therefore, pleasure has a quantitative limit given by the amount of pain it removes. One of the examples given by Ortes is the same that manuals of microeconomics often give to explain to undergraduate students the meaning of Gossen’s laws: hunger which becomes indigestion once the satiety point is reached (Ortes 1754: 307-8). On the contrary, there are no limits to the extent of pain: every pain has a “fecundity” of its own, to the extent that the disorder in fibres can be communicated by fluids to other fibres, and so on in a chain reaction effect.

The assertion that the state of tranquillity can be altered only by pain (Ortes 1754: 307) leads Ortes to conclude that every kind of pain is a positive sensation, whereas pleasure should be defined as a negative sensation, i.e. the reduction of pain (Ortes 1754: 305).

Ortes’s originality can be found in the statement that pleasure is not a condition of tranquillity but a quantity of movement which restores tranquillity.14

For readers who may be unfamiliar with the rules of double-entry bookkeeping, the following chart shows how the entries made on a Balance Sheet are precisely analogous to the rationale of Ortes’s circular flow equilibrium theory of hedonistic calculus.

It requires but a little reflection to see clearly what Ortes was trying to do. By proposing a theoretical correspondence of a universal trinity of paired opposite ideas – physical Pleasure and Pain; the Abundance and Want of material “good” (i.e., possession of wealth); and the moral opposite ideas of Good and Evil – the debauched monk and Venetian oligarchs’ ideological thinker was, from at least as early as 1754, trying to quantify, that is to say, to measure morality.

It is important to note that Ortes sought to measure morality – a perspective of the Higher (non-physical, spiritual) world – by means of hypothetical a priori analogues drawn from the (necessarily finite; that is, limited) perspectives of the Lower world. In other words, Ortes was projecting analogues drawn from the material microcosmos on to the immaterial macrocosmos.

Today, economists do exactly the same thing, in projecting microeconomic analogues (“principles”, “laws”) into macroeconomic models. As the king who is claimed to have received the Wisdom of God and is reverenced to this day in the symbolic Double Triangle of Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun”:

Mercurius Trismegistus begins his admirable symbol known under the name of the “Emerald Table,” by this threefold affirmation: “It is true, it is certain without error, it is of all truth.” Thus, in physics, the true confirmed by experience; in philosophy, certitude purged from any alloy of error; in the domain of religion or the infinite, absolute truth indicated by analogy: such are the first necessities of true science, and Magic only can impart these to its adepts.

As we have already said, according to the sole dogma of the Kabbalah, that which is in visible nature reveals that which is in the domain of invisible nature, or secondary causes are in strict proportion and analogous to the manifestations of the First Cause.

Nature also has four motions produced by two forces which sustain each other by their tendency in an opposite direction. Now, the law which rules bodies is analogous to that which governs minds, and that which governs minds is the very manifestation of God’s secret – that is to say, of the mystery of the creation.

As we have already said, there are two palmary natural laws – two essential laws – which, balanced one against another, produce the universal equilibrium of things. These are fixity and motion, analogous to truth and discovery in philosophy, and in absolute conception to necessity and liberty, which are the very essence of God.

Does not human life present itself also under these four phases or successive transformations – birth, life, death, immortality? And remark here that the immortality of the soul, necessitated as a complement of the tetrad, is kabbalistically proved by analogy, which is the sole dogma of truly universal religion, as it is the key of science and the universal law of nature.

Every individuality is therefore indefinitely perfectible, since the moral order is analogous to the physical, and since we cannot conceive any point as unable to dilate, increase and radiate in a philosophically unlimited circle.15

It should not escape our notice that embedded in Ortes’s moral calculus there are two rather tempting ideas; a paradoxical duality that, from a ‘higher’ perspective, can be seen as a unity of opposites; one that again represents a powerful analogue to the Paradox of Opposite Perspectives in double-entry bookkeeping. These two ideas would doubtless serve as a soothing salve for the seared consciences of the merchants and money-lenders of the Venetian oligarchy: for the wealthy, “the possession of goods in excess of what is needed” actually represents a return to the original state of man (freedom from pain/evil; perfect equilibrium; the number zero; a god-like state of psychical tranquillity and indifference); for others, pain (e.g., the pain of debt) should be thought of as a positive (‘credit’) “movement” or sensation.

Following this chain of reasoning/sophistry then, it is not too difficult to see how, some 250 years on, we find ourselves observing tens of millions actually believing that their favourite “Prosperity Gospel” televangelist, “Christian” businessman, or “conservative” politician simply must be a good man – “approved of God”, indeed – by virtue of his enormous wealth.

According to Jane Gleeson-White (Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance), “Our modern urge to measure everything dates back to the late Middle Ages when a ‘radical change of perception’ took place in which mathematics, Venetian bookkeeping, and [monk, magician] Luca Pacioli played a key role. .. [O]nce you can measure something, then you have a quantitative or numerical representation of your subject which you can manipulate and experiment with, no matter how great its errors or omissions.16 (emphasis mine)

In other words, what you can measure, you can control. At least, you can con-vince yourself (and others) that it is so. After all, it does appear to be so with material examples of measurement; why not with the immaterial as well? Indeed, have not the Ancient and Wise clearly advised that the earthly is a mirror (though darkly) of the heavenly? “That which is above is like or equal to that which is below,” say the magi.17

It stands to ‘reason’ then, that if you can find a way, by analogy, to measure morality – if you can measure Good (“God”) and Evil (“Satan”) – then you can control, that is, attain power over the forces of Good and Evil.

Hedonistic (or “felicific”) calculus is usually attributed to the English philosopher, legal scholar, and founder of so-called “utilitarian [i.e., useful] ethics”, Jeremy Bentham. His efforts, like those of Ortes, can hardly have failed to find favour with the money-lending oligarchy. Indeed, we must acknowledge the great historical significance of the sublime eloquence and cunning casuistry of Bentham, in something other than its useful role in the promotion of his utilitarian calculus. It was also the catalysing force for the final capitulation of the remaining vestiges of sincere community-spiritedness within elite opinion, with regard to the traditional legal restrictions on the practice of usury (since Bentham, conveniently and happily rebranded under the more ‘positive’ appellation of “interest”).

In Defence of Usury (1788) he argued against “the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints on the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains”. Bentham basically opined that what had been considered legal protections against the predations of money-lenders – protections proven to be a genuine necessity for millennia of human history – are instead “Restraints to the Progress of Inventive Industry”.

Liberty, you see, must include a “right” for “free” individuals to offer and/or accept an offer of usurious (etym., a serpent’s biting) “bargains” with other “free” individuals. As usual with Benthamite notions of “useful” ethics, this nod and a wink to evil is allegedly for the greater good. In this especially egregious example of casuistic reasoning (also known as “special pleading”) for the inversion of traditional moral values, serpentine “pecuniary bargains” are now necessary for the greater good of “Progress of Inventive Industry”.

Usury – like the “positive” pain of Ortes – is a “necessary evil”, don’t you see? It is actually “good” for “progress” toward the apotheosis of Inventive Industry. Without the disequilibrating pain of compounding debt, we would have no incentive to work, to constantly “invent” new (or copied) products and services and convince others (by fair means or foul) to buy them (whether needed or wanted or not). In other words, without the “necessary evil” pain of debt that, having “a ‘fecundity’ of its own”, is constantly growing in a “chain reaction effect” (i.e., compounding “interest”) – a type of pain that has no quantifiable limits, according to Ortes, economics textbooks, and many economists – without this “necessary evil”, we would have no ongoing need to compete with each other for money, or to seek “pleasure” (the “reduction of pain”) in the acquisition of money, and so, in the repayment of debt to the money-lenders, spend our lifetimes in a great apotheotic quest – to restore ourselves to our original “higher” equilibrium state of perfect tranquillity.

Clearly the much-lauded Jeremy Bentham was not so great or original a thinker as some have chosen to believe. A sophist, casuist, and intellectual enabler of the money-lending class would appear to be a more accurate appellation. Indeed, it has been soundly argued that “in the entire school of British Philosophical Radicalism after the time of the American Revolution – including Malthus, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), James Mill (1773-1836) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) – there is virtually nothing that cannot already be found in Ortes. The British empiricists were, as usual, obliged slavishly to plagiarize their decadent Venetian originals.”18

Karl Marx offers us a further insight into the “Enlightenment” world of the British empire, where we see that indeed nothing has changed; then, as now, public opinion was invariably moved by the tide of eloquent but unoriginal plagiarists shilling for the oligarchy (emphasis mine):

If the reader reminds me of Malthus, whose “Essay on Population” appeared in 1798, I remind him that this work in its first form is nothing more than a schoolboyish, superficial plagiary of De Foe, Sir James Steuart, Townsend, Franklin, Wallace, &c., and does not contain a single sentence thought out by himself. The great sensation this pamphlet caused, was due solely to party interest. The French Revolution had found passionate defenders in the United Kingdom; the “principle of population,” slowly worked out in the eighteenth century, and then, in the midst of a great social crisis, proclaimed with drums and trumpets as the infallible antidote to the teachings of Condorcet, &c., was greeted with jubilance by the English oligarchy as the great destroyer of all hankerings after human development. .. With the exception of the Venetian monk, Ortes, an original and clever writer, most of the population theory teachers are Protestant parsons.19

If Bentham et al merely re-presented ideas that had first been advanced by Ortes when Bentham was still a child, then where did he get them from? Although praised by Karl Marx a century later as “an original and clever writer”, we have now seen that Marx’s acuity with regard to Malthus seemingly abandoned him with regard to Ortes; the Venetian “charlatan and mountebank” had promoted little more than eloquent self- and banker-serving analogies to the Venetian Method of double-entry bookkeeping.

Around the turn of the 16th century and the high point of the Hermetic Reformation20, better known to us today as the humanist Renaissance (“rebirth” in French), Europe’s most famous living artist, the genius Albrecht Dürer produced a masterful work entitled Allegory of Eloquence*.

A curator at the British Museum informs us that Dürer’s treatment of the subject is “based on a sketch by Hartman Schedel after an antique bas-relief, in his ‘Collectanea’. Schedel’s source for this was the Italian antiquarian and epigraphist, Cyriacus of Ancona (c. 1391-1450). In the legend, used by the ancient Greek satirist Lucian, Hermes (or Mercury) is described ensnaring his audience with the golden chain of his eloquence.”

allegory-of-eloquence_Albrecht-Durer

The trickster god referred to in an early Arabic source on alchemy as “Hermes, the Sage, the Babylonian”21, is depicted by Dürer consistent with classical Greek and mystery school tradition: rising on winged feet, wearing a winged traveller’s hat and bearing in his right hand the double serpents and baculus of the caduceus, symbol of universal generation, eternal life, and universal equilibrium. Over his head shines a six-pointed star, representing the Double Triangle and Keys of Solomon, the “magical law of two forces constituting universal equilibrium”22. Golden chains extend from Hermes’ tongue to the ears of his listeners, including a cleric, a soldier, and a nobleman wearing the familiar tall hat (later silk top hat) satirised throughout the capitalist era to the present day as a quintessential symbol of the oligarchy – that is to say, of the upper class, big business, and bankers.

An inscription in Greek above his captive audience reads: “Hermes, the son of Maia, the son of Zeus, Three Times Great, helper, strong, shining light, who works through law, shepherd, slayer of Argo, with a baculus of gold, herald of the gods, diviner, bearer of fortune, hegemon, who makes profits, a thief, a merchant, who is in the marketplace.”

Eliphas Lévi explains what is the secret of the allegory of Hermes’ golden chain (emphasis mine):

To make the Magic Chain is to establish a magnetic current which becomes stronger in proportion to the extent of the chain.

The Great Work in Practical Magic, after the education of the will and the personal creation of the Magus, is the formation of the magnetic chain, and this secret is truly that of priesthood and of royalty. To form the magnetic chain is to originate a current of ideas which produces faith and draws a large number of wills in a given circle of active manifestation. A well-formed chain is like a whirlpool which sucks down and absorbs all. The chain may be established in three ways – by signs, by speech and by contact. The first is by inducing opinion to adopt some sign as the representation of a force. .. Once accepted and propagated, signs acquire force of themselves.

market-economics-system

Printing is an admirable instrument for the formation of the magic chain by the extension of speech.

The magic chain of speech was typified among the ancients by chains of gold, which issued from the mouth of Hermes. Nothing equals the electricity of eloquence. Speech creates the highest intelligence in the most grossly constituted masses. Even those who are too remote for actual hearing understand by sympathy and are carried away with the crowd.

Two things, as we have shown, are necessary for the acquisition of magical power – the emancipation of will from servitude and its instruction in the art of domination.

We have already said that the devil is not a person. It is a misdirected force, as its name indicates. An odic or magnetic current, formed by a chain of perverse wills, constitutes this evil spirit, which the Gospel calls legion, and this it is which precipitated the swine into the sea – another allegory of the attraction exercised on beings of inferior instincts by the blind forces that can be put in operation by error and evil will.

All enthusiasm propagated in a society by a series of communications and practices in common produces a magnetic current, and continues or increases by the current. The action of the current is to carry away and often to exalt beyond measure persons who are impressionable and weak, nervous organisations, temperaments inclined to hysteria or hallucination. Such people soon become powerful vehicles of magical force and efficiently project the astral light in the direction of the current itself; opposition at such a time to the manifestations of the force is, to some extent, a struggle with fatality.

Hence there are two kinds of bewitchment, voluntary and involuntary; physical and moral bewitchment may be distinguished in like manner. .. Bewitchment by means of currents is exceedingly common, as we have observed already; morally as well as physically, most of us are carried away by the crowd.

The great work is, before all things, the creation of man by himself, that is to say, the full and entire conquest of his faculties and his future; it is especially the perfect emancipation of his will, assuring him universal dominion over Azoth and the domain of Magnesia, in other words, full power over the universal magical agent.

This solar agent subsists by two contrary forces – one of attraction and one of projection, whence Hermes says that it ascends and descends eternally. .. To be acquainted with the movement of this terrestrial sun in such a manner as to be able to take advantage of its currents and direct them, is to have accomplished the great work and to be master of the world. Armed with such a force you may make yourself adored; the crowd will believe you are God.23

It should be fully apparent by now that these two “contrary forces” of “attraction” and “projection” are simply eloquent metaphors for money-lending; the ‘Magical Art’ of “projecting” and “attracting” money.

Indeed, in a chapter entitled “Mastery of the Sun”, Lévi informs us that (emphasis in original):

The work consists entirely in projection, and projection is accomplished perfectly by the effective and realisable intelligence of a single word. There is but one important operation, and that is sublimation24

The thoughtful reader should need no reminder that “Magical equilibrium is one of the first conditions of success” in the great work, and that this ‘magic’ is achieved specifically by “learning to combine contraries without neutralising them by one another”. In other words, by working (like Hermes) “through law” to ensure the “attraction” of payment of compounding usury, in addition to the “neutralising” repayment of the original “projection” of the principal.

In The Eternal Hermes: From Greek God to Alchemical Magus, Antoine Faivre provides an important detail concerning the magnetism of “Hermes in the Western Imagination”. He informs us that the French Renaissance humanist writer and monk François Rabelais “knew that Pan was descended from Hermes and Penelope, and had heard tell of the oracle of Hermes at Pharae” (emphasis mine):

Ludwig Schrader has furnished an excellent study of this subject, his interest being particularly in Panurge. .. Panurge can be identified with Hermes.

Panurge is not only connected to the tradition of Hermetic magic: he also has something of the humanist Hermes, the savant of his time. This does not prevent him from being at the same time a sort of alchemist, for he claims to possess the Philosophers’ Stone: “I have a philosophical stone which sucks money out of purses as the magnet attracts iron.” And in his speech in praise of debtors, he speaks of the “joy of the alchemists when, after long labors, great care and expense, they see the metals transmuted in their furnaces.”25

In my forthcoming book I present a controversial yet robustly-evidenced argument: that the fundamental principles of economic theory and practice – the ‘laws’ of supply and demand, market equilibrium, ‘rational’ self-interest, ‘utility’ (“pleasure”) maximisation, hedonistic calculus, and more – are all derived from the “universal science” of Hermetic-Kabbalist Luciferianism.

This whirlpool of ideas is perhaps better known to us today under the rubric “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” of twentieth century occultist and “Wickedest Man in the World”, Aleister Crowley.

Aleister Crowley

George Cooper (Money, Blood and Revolution) recently observed that “One of [Thomas Kuhn’s] greatest insights came in recognising how paradigm shifts are usually led by laymen and resisted by the incumbent experts who have a vested interest in preserving the status quo. When new thinking is needed, Kuhn showed the experts are usually intransigent, dogmatic and unwilling to objectively criticise their own ideas.”26

In a similar vein, Eliphas Lévi warned that “it is weariness and danger to strive against the fluidic currents stirred up by chains of wills in union. .. The man who is eccentric in his genius is one who attempts to form a circle by combating the central attractive force of established chains and currents.”27

Quite so. No matter how compelling the evidence, no doubt there will be not inconsiderable resistance to my argument that not only economic theory but also a multiplicity of widely-held philosophistries including dialectics, humanism, secularism, liberalism, materialism, evolutionary theory, political science and sociology, are all linked by a golden chain of eloquence veiling a universal temptation – the Pride-ful idea of self-directed apotheosis (“progress”) through values-inversion and practicing evil – passed down through time by the keepers and manipulators of the “universal wisdom” and their Magic Chain of “impressionable and weak” Useful Idiots of “perverse wills”.

American historian and philosopher of technology Lewis Mumford says that the ultimate values of the capitalist era – Power, Profit, Prestige – can all be traced back to Egypt (emphasis mine):

Within a few centuries, the new capitalist spirit challenged the basic Christian ethic: the boundless ego of Sir Gales Overreach and his fellows in the marketplace had no room for charity or love in any of their ancient senses. The capitalist scheme of values in fact transformed five of the seven deadly sins of Christianity – pride, envy, greed, avarice, and lust – into positive social virtues, treating them as necessary incentives to all economic enterprise; while the cardinal virtues, beginning with love and humility, were rejected as ‘bad for business,’ except in the degree that they made the working class more docile and more amenable to cold-blooded exploitation.

In sum, where capitalism prospered, it established three main canons for successful economic enterprise: the calculation of quantity, the observation and regimentation of time (‘Time is Money’), and the concentration on abstract pecuniary rewards. Its ultimate values – Power, Profit, Prestige – derive from these sources and all of them can be traced back, under the flimsiest of disguises, to the Pyramid Age. The first produced the universal accountancy of profit and loss; the second ensured productive efficiency in men as well as machines; the third introduced a driving motive into daily life, equivalent on its own base level to the monk’s search for an eternal reward in Heaven. The pursuit of money became a passion and an obsession: the end to which all other ends were means.28

I argue that the chain of transmission of this magnetic “current of ideas” can be traced back through the adepts of the Art of Alchemy to its earliest recorded origin in the Sumerian-Semitic cult worship of Inanna-Ishtar, the androgyne goddess of Love and War, whose priesthood and royalty strove after ultimate god-like power over the elements – and of course, their fellow man – via esoteric knowledge, self-deification, and the symbolic manipulation (through ritual inversion of values) of the ‘universal’ paradox of achdut hashvaah or coincidentia oppositorum, the Unity of Opposites (emphasis mine):

It is well established that the beginnings of science in general started in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and from thence they were transferred into Greece. It is useful therefore to investigate the beginnings of chemistry in these two ancient civilizations since this may reveal to us the origin of several theoretical concepts in both alchemy and chemistry.

The Babylonians believed that the universe originated from water. They noticed also that the universe contains opposite elements. Thus there is day and night; light and darkness; male and female; hot and cold; wet and dry. There is also the good and the evil, and in general, there is for every feature an opposite one. It is also possible to divide matter into two opposite elements, and from these two opposite elements everything can be generated.

The Babylonians were keen observers of the stars; and from their early history they believed that the gods are in control of the planets. They believed also that the sun, the moon and the other planets [CM: five then known; with sun and moon, seven “gates”] have influence on what happens on earth. This was the beginning of astrology. The influence of the planets involves metals; thus sun influences gold, and the moon influences silver, and the other planets control the remaining metals. This linkage between the planets and metals was the biggest contribution of the Babylonians to alchemy or the Art.

The principle of the two opposites of the Babylonians was inherited by Greek philosophers who were thinking about the nature of matter and whose theories were based in part on the Babylonian concept.29

Central .. to the Mesopotamian perspective is the existence of antitheses and contradictions, the delicate balancing of order and disorder.30

The Babylonian elites’ quest continues to this day, mirrored in post-Renaissance humanism’s continuing belief in the doctrine of progressive transformation towards individual, social, economic, and political apotheosis; not by force of Conscience, guiding man’s exercise of willpower to progressive growth in the practice of good and cessation of the practice of evil, but by force of human Ego, directed by “enlightened” human Intelligence – possessed only by an elite cabal of fully “liberated” “priesthood and royalty”, of course.

Same as it ever was.

In her introduction to Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, the “gifted storyteller and professional folklorist” Diane Wolkstein discusses the legend of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, the earliest written evidence for a preoccupation with apotheosis. Her words hint at the magnetically-attractive power of this idea; the notion of the rebirth to deity, through Self-empowerment, and a dead-conscience attitude of “whatever it takes” (emphasis mine):

I read Inanna’s descent again and again. I was drawn to the story of a woman who gave up, at seven successive gates, all she had accomplished in life until she was stripped naked, with nothing remaining but her will to be reborn.31

How positively inspiring!

Unfortunately, Wolkstein herself has been bewitched by the magnetism of clever sophistries passed down through the aeons by the purveyors of the golden “chain of perverse wills”.

The Inanna myth says no such thing:

The moral which an ancient hearer of The Descent of Inanna might take away from it, far from a `symbolic journey of the self to wholeness’ is the lesson that there are consequences for one’s actions..32

Indeed, Wolkstein’s own representations of co-author Samuel Kramer’s original translations of the Inanna myth, are the strongest evidence giving the lie to her enchanted enthusiasms. Rather than Inanna being the powerful independent “liberated” heroine exalted by modern feminists, a Queen who impliedly saved herself through her “will to be reborn”, the story as rendered by Wolkstein herself irrefutably evidences the fact of Inanna being saved from the Underworld by the intervention of a pair of genderless golems (“demons”33), two androgynous mediators representing a unity of opposites sent by her Father … and even then, she was not permitted to leave without providing “someone in her place”:

From under his fingernail Father Enki brought forth dirt.
He fashioned the dirt into a kurgarra, a creature neither male nor female.
From under the fingernail of his other hand he brought forth dirt.
He fashioned the dirt into a galatur, a creature neither male nor female.
He gave the food of life to the kurgarra.
He gave the water of life to the galatur.
Enki spoke to the kurgarra and galatur, saying:

“Go to the underworld,
Enter the door like flies.
Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, is moaning

The queen will be pleased.
She will offer you a gift.
Ask her only for the corpse that hangs from the hook on the wall.
One of you will sprinkle the food of life on it.
The other will sprinkle the water of life.
Inanna will arise.”

kurgarra_galatur_RLoriented_8000ms

 

The kurgarra and the galatur heeded Enki’s words.
They set out for the underworld.
Like flies, they slipped through the cracks of the gates.
They entered the throne room of the Queen of the Underworld.

The corpse was given to them.
The kurgarra sprinkled the food of life on the corpse.
The galatur sprinkled the water of life on the corpse.
Inanna arose….

Inanna was about to ascend from the underworld
When the Annuna, the judges of the underworld, seized her.
They said:

“No one ascends from the underworld unmarked.
If Inanna wishes to return from the underworld,
She must provide someone in her place.”34

INANNA_DESCENT_691x940

But again, I digress.

Some scholars believe that the ceremonial inversion of values practiced by the Inanna-Ishtar cult may have served a positive social purpose (“They remind us of the existence of rule”35). However, later initiates in the mystery school religions came to believe in apotheosis by “education of the will” in habituated evil acts; that only in this way is it possible to achieve “emancipation of the will”, to “liberate” the “Absolute Reason” of the Individual from “the servitude of conscience”.

Inanna asked:

“What is this?”

She was told:

“Quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect.
They may not be questioned.”36

Outside of the initiatory mystery schools in Freemasonry et al, and secret societies for future US presidents at Yale University, within the realm of economics there has in recent times perhaps been no finer example of the magnetic power of eloquence to deify and justify (“rationalise”) acts of evil, deaden the Conscience (“liberty”), and convince the “impressionable and weak” of the ‘relative’ merit of inverting the moral order in the interests of attaining “the greater good” of illusory utopian aspirations, than the words of economist John Maynard Keynes in his aptly titled Essays on Persuasion (emphasis mine):

I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue – that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honour those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.37

Robert H. Bork (The Antitrust Paradox) wrote that “One of the uses of history is to free us of a falsely imagined past. The less we know of how ideas actually took root and grew, the more apt we are to accept them unquestioningly, as inevitable features of the world in which we move.”

Indeed. So let us conclude back where we began.

Not only the realm of economics but indeed our entire world of ‘thought’, is now dominated – possessed, if you will – by an idea. That by slowly killing our Conscience in a death of a thousand cuts, through repeated, habituated, sometimes enchanted but often plain willful acts of evil, somehow a “greater good” will come of it.

The lesson drawn from deep dark history and the earliest written records of humanity, the lesson that I aim to prove beyond all shadow of doubt in my forthcoming book, is that this idea is false … and the truly Wise have always known it to be false.

It is a deliberate manipulation. An inversion of the truth.

A wise old prophet said:

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever and shrewd in their own sight!38

Perhaps we should leave the final word to the Babylonians themselves. In the Descent of Inanna, we are told that as she languished a corpse on a hook of the wall of the Underworld, her faithful servant Ninshubur – “my constant support, my sukkal who gives me wise advice, my warrior who fights by my side” – following Inanna’s instructions given her “If I fail to return”39, went to the temple of Enlil, and prayed to the Air god to save her:

“O Father Enlil, do not let your daughter
Be put to death in the underworld.”

Father Enlil answered angrily:

“My daughter craved the Great Above.
Inanna craved the Great Below.
She who receives the me of the underworld does not return.
She who goes to the Dark City stays there.”40

********

UPDATE 17/4/2017: Added quotations, footnotes 32 and 33

********

  1. Eliphas Lévi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (AE Waite 1896 ed.), p.132
  2. Michael Hudson, Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to ibn Khaldrun, Counterpunch (June 24, 2016)
  3. Marco E. L. Guidi, Pain and Human Action: Locke to Bentham, (1994), p.17 – Guidi examines theories of human action based on pain and pleasure from Hobbes to Pareto with particular reference to Verri and Ortes. He posits that what has been viewed as a single or ‘sensationalist’ tradition was in fact the result of two different approaches to analysis of human decisions. He contrasts these as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ hedonism (emphasis mine): “Pain and pleasure are for Hobbes (1588-1679) the result of the interaction between two causal mechanisms: the action of external bodies on senses, and from there to the head and to the heart, and the “vital movement” of human body. The confrontation of these causal mechanisms takes place in the heart. Pleasure is experienced when the external causation seconds the internal movement, while pain is the result of the clash between the two mechanisms. However, pain and pleasure are not passive sensations. Human bodies react to the influence of pleasurable and painful events, and are urged to approach the objects which are pleasant, or to escape from those which are unpleasant (Hobbes A: 49-50)1. For this reason, the prime mover of action are inclinations and adversions, i.e. “foreseen and expected” pleasures and pains (Hobbes B: 147; C: I.vi).” p.4
  4. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 1 chap XXV sec 4
  5. ibid., n.6
  6. W.H. Tarpley, Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated The Myth of “Carrying Capacity”
  7. Giammaria Ortes, Della Economia Nazionale, (Milano: Marzorati) edited by Oscar Nuccio; quotation from W.H. Tarpley
  8. Giammaria Ortes, Della Economia Nazionale; quotation from Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 1 chap XXV sec 4, n.26
  9. ibid.
  10. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 1 chap XXV sec 4
  11. Giammaria Ortes, Della Economia Nazionale, (Milano: Marzorati) edited by Oscar Nuccio, p. 45; quotation from W.H. Tarpley
  12. Richard A. Werner, Can banks individually create money out of nothing? — The theories and the empirical evidence (2014)
  13. Eliphas Lévi, Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual (AE Waite 1896 ed.), pp. 46, 74-75
  14. Marco E. L. Guidi, Pain and Human Action: Locke to Bentham, (1994), p. 8
  15. Eliphas Lévi, Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual (AE Waite 1896 ed.), pp. 28, 34, 52, 55-56, 337
  16. Jane Gleeson-White, Double Entry: How The Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance (2013)
  17. Eliphas Lévi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (AE Waite 1896 ed.), p.44; cf. “‘That which is above equals that which is below,’ says Hermes.”, p. 38
  18. W.H. Tarpley, Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated The Myth of “Carrying Capacity”
  19. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 1 chap XXV sec 4, n.6
  20. James D. Heiser, Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, 2011
  21. Vladimír Karpenko, Alchemy as donum dei, HYLE – International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol. 4 (1998), No. 1, pp. 63-80 – “In the Tenth Discourse of his treatise Al-Fihrist,[12] An-Nadim (A.D. 987) writes, after the introductory basmallah, about the origin of alchemy [§ 1]: ‘The adepts of the Art of Alchemy, … assert that the science of the Art was first discussed by Hermes, the Sage, the Babylonian …’.”
  22. Eliphas Lévi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (AE Waite 1896 ed.), p. 291
  23. ibid., pp. 52, 99-100, 106, 129, 229-230, 260-261, 263
  24. ibid., p. 335
  25. Antoine Faivre, The Eternal Hermes: From Greek God to Alchemical Magus (1995), pp. 36-38
  26. George Cooper, Constant Reformation, Equitile Investments, (July 2016)
  27. Eliphas Lévi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (AE Waite 1896 ed.), p. 101, 129
  28. Lewis Mumford, Myth of the Machine (1967)
  29. Ahmad Y. al-Hassan, Arabic Alchemy ‘Ilm al-San’a: Science of the Art; History of Science and Technology in Islam
  30. Rivkah Harris, Inanna-Ishtar as Paradox and Coincidence of Opposites; History of Religions, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Feb., 1991), p. 267
  31. Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (1983), p. xvi
  32. Joshua J. Mark, Inanna’s Descent: A Sumerian Tale of Injustice (2011), http://www.ancient.eu/article/215/
  33. ibid.
  34. Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (1983), p. 64, 67-68
  35. Rivkah Harris, Inanna-Ishtar as Paradox and Coincidence of Opposites; History of Religions, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Feb., 1991), p. 274, n.70; quotation from Umberto Eco, “The Frames of Comic Freedom” in Carnival!
  36. Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (1983), p. 56-60
  37. JM Keynes, ‘The Future’; Essays in Persuasion, pp. 371-372, Norton and Co Edition, New York, 1963
  38. Isaiah 5:20-21, The Amplified Bible
  39. Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (1983), p. 53
  40. ibid., p. 61

* Dürer’s Allegory of Eloquence brought to my attention by Dr. Omar Zaid, published in his paper The Subversion of Reason, SSRN-id2658998 – https://zaidpub.com/

 

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Time

Double (Entry) Trouble

 

Apocalypse (Revelation, uncovering) of St. John 18:6

 

18 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

6 Reward* her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup** which she hath filled fill to her double.

Borrower-CC_DE_red

 

Lender-CC_DE

 

LOAN-STAR-CC_DE_red-borrower

 

Revelation 18-6 Strongs

 

* “Reward” – Strong’s G591 – apodidōmi

Reward

 

** “Cup” (chalice) – Strong’s G4221 – potērion

Cup

 

Dishonourable Debt: Why Borrowers Are Not Legally Bound To Repay Bank Loans.

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Dishonourable Debt: Why Borrowers Are Not Legally Bound To Repay Bank Loans

 

I intend to do what little one man can do to awaken the public conscience, and in the meantime I am not frightened by your menaces. I am not a giant physically; I shrink from pain and filth and vermin and foul air, like any other man of refinement; also, I freely admit, when I see a line of a hundred policemen with drawn revolvers flung across a street to keep anyone from coming onto private property to hear my feeble voice, I am somewhat disturbed in my nerves. But I have a conscience and a religious faith, and I know that our liberties were not won without suffering, and may be lost again through our cowardice. I intend to do my duty to my country.1

Upton Sinclair, Letter to the L.A. Chief of Police, 17 May 1923

 

A classic proverb holds that “there is honour among thieves”.

For 99% of thieves, this proverb is actually true.

But there is a minority of thieves, alas, who have no honour at all. They are the thieves who create 97% of our moneyin the form of debtthrough the magic of double-entry accounting.

Thanks to the added magic of compounding interest owed on all the money, the total amount of debt owed worldwide has grown so large, it is now impossible to repay. Although, truth be told, because all of the ‘money’ is actually debt, it has always been impossible to repay, because repaying all the debt would eliminate all the ‘money’.

As two authorities on the matterone, the High Priest, the other, a mere deacon of the Federal Reserve Bankintoned way back in the Great Depression:

If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.2

If all the bank loans were paid up, no one would have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of currency or coin in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial banks for our money. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money, we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp upon the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible – but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it is widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.3

 

If you were not previously familiar with the illogical, paradoxical, circular pseudo-realities that arise from double-entry accounting, then Welcome to Numberland, Alice.

Even though this is the objective truth, the irrefutable reality of how the debt-based ‘money’ system works, most of us continue to believe in the impossible.

That is to say, we continue to believefalselythat we are bound to honour our debts.

Famed anthropologist and author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber explains:

That common-sensical notion not only that it’s moral to pay one’s debt, but also that morality essentially is a matter of paying one’s debts can bring people to justify things that they would never think to justify in any other circumstance.4

 

Economist and historian Michael Hudson says that the bankers have known about this anthropological discovery since at least the 1980’s:

They found out that the poor are honest. Almost the only people who believe they should repay their debts are the poor people. And in fact, the less money you have, the more you believe the debts should be paid.5

 

Nearly 2500 years ago, the man widely acknowledged to be the foundational figure for Western science, philosophy, law-making, and mathematics, gave this instruction to lenders and borrowers:

μηδὲ νόμισμα παρακατατίθεσθαι ὅτῳ μή τις πιστεύει, μηδὲ δανείζειν ἐπὶ τόκῳ, ὡς ἐξὸν μὴ ἀποδιδόναι τὸ παράπαν τῷ δανεισαμένῳ μήτε τόκον μήτε κεφάλαιον

No one shall deposit money with anyone he does not trust, nor lend at interest, since it is permissible for the borrower to refuse entirely to pay back either interest or principal.6

 

It turns out that Plato was right.

It is permissiblelegallyfor all the world’s borrowers to refuse to honour all their debts to all the world’s banks.

The reason why is becauselegallyno bank has lent us any money.

In factaccording to the banks themselves—legally, all the money in the banks was lent by us to them.

(Feeling dizzy Alice?)

According to Black’s, the most widely used law dictionary in the United States7, “money” is legally defined as (emphasis added):

A general, indefinite term for the measure and representative of value; currency; the circulating medium; cash. “Money” is a generic term, and embraces every description of coin or bank-notes recognized by common consent as a representative of value in effecting exchanges of property or payment of debts. Hopson v. Fountain. 5 Humph. (Tenn.) 140. Money is used in a specific and also in a general and more comprehensive sense. In its specific sense, it means what is coined or stamped by public authority, and has its determinate value fixed by governments. In its more comprehensive and general sense, it means wealth.8

 

Rather than lending us legal money, bankers have misled and deceived us into renting a record of a promise to pay legal money.

They have misled and deceived us into believing that their record of their promise to pay us money, is actually money (legal substance).

They have also misled and deceived us into believing that their record of their promise to pay us money, is actually our money (ownership title).

And here’s the real kicker.

Despite the fact that they claim to have loaned us all this money, thanks to the magical paradox at the heart of double-entry accounting, they also claim, simultaneously, precisely the opposite to be true that we have actually loaned all that money to them.

(We will return to this later – think “bail-in”).

It really does beg the question, “Does anyone really own money?”

Because the ‘money’ that the bankers have purportedly ‘loaned’ to usthat we have loaned to themis neither money in true legal substance, nor is it certain just whose ‘money’ it actually is, we can confidently assert that the bankers have

  • misrepresented the sign, true substance, and true value of the “consideration” component of the loan agreement,
  • engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in the withholding and/or obfuscation of key information pertaining to their capacity to deliver on their promise of performance,
  • made false, misleading, and deceptive statements and representations in the inducement of borrowers to enter into an agreement of exchange of mutual performances (the “offer”),
  • failed to deliver on their promise of performance (“failure of consideration”),
  • engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in obfuscating their failure to deliver on their promise of performance, and
  • gained dishonest advantage (“interest”, “yield”, “return”) through these acts of misleading and deceptive conduct.

You may well be feelinglike Alicerather incredulous about this, and questioning how it is possible. After all, surely the financial accounting standard-setters and our government regulators would prevent such things from happening?

Alas, no.

Just as with double-entry accountingthe magical foundation on which the entire parasite worm-ridden edifice of global banking and finance is built—the truth is exactly the opposite.

Ever since the “financial reporting revolution ushered in by financial economics ascendance in the 1960s”9 and the “increasing hegemony of neo-liberal ideology over issues of public policy and regulation ushered in by Reagan and Thatcher”10, the financial accounting standards bodies and government regulators have aided and abetted the bankers in their misleading and deceptive conduct:

Well documented is the growing dominance of the social sciences and of business education by neoclassical economic ideas (Ferraro, Pfeffer, & Sutton, 2005), which form the intellectual foundation of neo-liberal morality and politics.11

Transforming accounting in the academy into a neoclassical economics sub-discipline (Reiter & Williams, 2002), which the financial reporting revolution accomplished, has impoverished accounting discourse as a moral discourse (Reiter, 1998; Williams, 2000) and led to the understanding of accounting as a practice whose purpose is to cohere with a world made natural by the discourse of neoclassical economics.12

 

For at least four decades, the private not-for-profit (oh really?) financial accounting standard-setters (FASB, IASB) have continued to actively aid and abet the bankers’ misleading and deceptive conduct, despite frequent accounting-enabled corporate scandals and resultant financial crises, and the often stunning revelations and criticisms presented in the peer-reviewed accounting literature (emphasis added):

The savings and loan failures in the late 1980s and 1990s, the Enron, Global Crossing and Tyco corporate scandals, Andersen’s demise, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis all relate to deception [emphasis in original]. All such scandals involved to varying degrees the telling of accounting untruths…13

Accounting representations are true if they predict, or true if they abet the privileged group to pursue its objectives, a quite different notion of true than implied by the popular usage…14

[M]any accounting signs no longer refer to real objects and events and accounting no longer functions according to the logic of transparent representation, stewardship or information economics.15

[A]ccounting today no longer refers to any objective reality but instead circulates in a “hyperreality” of self-referential models.16

The accounting sign now precedes (and even creates through its ‘‘sign value’’) the referent that it once purported to represent. It is no longer an abstraction or an appearance of any ‘‘real’’ thing. It is its own pure simulation, making circular references to other models which themselves make circular references to accounting signs.17

Are such disasters [Enron] necessary before accountants begin to realise how indispensable it is to make a distinction between conceptual representation (including accounting representations and misrepresentations) and the reality to be represented?18

 

As mentioned earlier, around 97% of so-called ‘money’ in ‘circulation’ (hint: it doesn’t actually circulate in the true meaning of the word; it magically disappears in one place, and magically reappears in another) is not actually money (“coined or stamped by public authority”)19. It is bank-created ‘credit’.

By legal definition, bank ‘credit’ is not real money.

Bank ‘credit’ is actually just an electronic double-entry accounting record of the bank’s promise to pay real money.

However, this objective legal reality has not prevented the FASB/IASB from aiding and abetting the bankers in their false, misleading and deceptive misrepresentation of the mere sign of money as actually being real legal money, and consequently inducing prospective borrowers into forming loan agreements for the purpose of gain for the bankers (“interest”, “yield”, “return”) on the basis of this fundamental misrepresentation.

For example, effective July 1, 2009—that is, in the middle of the global banking liquidity crisis known as the “GFC”—the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) introduced Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) §305 Cash and Cash Equivalents. This new standard effectively sanctioned—and obfuscated—the banks’ misleading and deceptive conduct in renting records of promises to pay under the guise of so-called ‘money’ (emphasis added; duplicitous weasel words underlined):

Cash

Consistent with common usage, cash includes not only currency on hand but demand deposits with banks or other financial institutions. Cash also includes other kinds of accounts that have the general characteristics of demand deposits in that the customer may deposit additional funds at any time and also effectively may withdraw funds at any time without prior notice or penalty. All charges and credits to those accounts are cash receipts or payments to both the entity owning the account and the bank holding it. For example, a bank’s granting of a loan by crediting the proceeds to a customer’s demand deposit account is a cash payment by the bank and a cash receipt of the customer when the entry is made.

 

This codification of the bookkeeping entry record of bank ‘credits’—the record of a promise to pay cash—as actually being (is) ‘cash’, is in clear contradiction of the legal definition of money.

An electronic record of a promise to pay cash

  • is not “coin or bank-notes”,
  • is not “coined or stamped by public authority”,
  • is not “currency” or “cash”; that is to say, not in any sense that is or would be “recognized by common consent (Black’s) as being actual “currency” or “cash” (i.e., coin or bank-notes; legal tender).

According to the International Institute of Certified Public Accountants (IICPA) in an Open Letter to both the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in May 2013, this codification of banks’ electronic ‘credits’ as (not representing but) actually being “cash” is also in breach of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); (emphasis added):

Demand deposits referred to by the public as “cash in bank” is recorded and reported by monetary financial institutions (MFI) in units of account by double-entry bookkeeping in a process which the MFIs call “lending” — but which is effectively a nullity — by debiting loans receivable and crediting demand deposits.

These so created units of account are then denominated at will in dollars, pound sterling, euros, etc., depending on the terms of the documentation or underlying promissory note, or whatever is the legal document giving rise to this type of “lending,” using whatever is the name of the currency in the jurisdiction in which it takes place, but legal tender the “demand deposits” are not.

These so-called “loans receivable” that give rise to these so-called “demand deposits”

  • are not assets within the meaning of economic resources,
  • do not have the capacity to eventually result in cash inflows (cash being legal tender or central bank money, so called federal funds),
  • are created bank-internally and therefore in violation of self-dealing,
  • have no cost basis,
  • have no market value except by way of assignment against like-kind-nullities to or from other MFIs never settled in legal tender or central bank money.20

 

If that were not enough, it gets worse.

Astonishingly, the FASB’s ASC §305-10-55-1 Implementation guidance tumbles even further down the rabbit hole of logical and legal unrealitynot to mention amoralityin stating what the bank customers’ perspective of so-called “Cash and Cash Equivalents” “shall” be (emphasis added):

Cash on deposit at a financial institution shall be considered by the depositor as cash rather than as an amount owed to the depositor.

 

This codification by an unelected, private not-for-profit financial accounting standards organisation of how the general public “shall” consider their so-called “cash on deposit”, is in clear contradiction of

  • the legal definition of “money”,
  • the common understanding of the word “cash” as meaning a government-created tangible entity (i.e., legal tender notes and coins),
  • the banks’ own balance sheet records affirming all customer “deposits” as being a Liability (i.e., amounts owed to customers),
  • the banks’ perspective regarding ownership title (claim) on this so-called “cash” (a perspective backed, incidentally, by the Financial Stability Board in its G20-wide “resolution regime” in preparation for “bad” bank bail-ins).

The implications of this are disturbing.

The FASB has ex post facto codified that banks may consider bank ‘credits’ (a record of a promise to pay cash) as actually being “cash” for accounting purposes; that the customers’ perspective of bank ‘credits’ “shall” be that those ‘credits’ are (literal physical) “cash”, and, that they are not amounts owed to them by the bank, wholly irrespective of whether or not the banks have actually met (or will actually meet) their legal obligations under contract law.

While the FASB might imagine that it can—without any practical or legal implications—surreptitiously decree how hundreds of millions of “depositors” “shall” view their “deposit”, the truth of the matter is that an immediate contradiction, and critical conflict of interests arises.

Quite simply, the FASB’s ASC §305 Cash and Cash Equivalents codification does not even comply with the rules of double-entry bookkeeping, much less the common understanding of the true meaning of the word “cash”. It has potentially far-reaching implications for the legal standing of banks’ claims on borrowers for the (re)payment of “consideration” (plus compounding “interest” in addition), in that it serves to highlight the false, misleading, and deceptive statements and representations of banks in the formation of loan contracts.

To illustrate this critical point, the following diagram depicts all of the perspectives (views), concepts, and realities that are inherent in a double-entry bookkeeping-based ‘account’ of the bank Lender – customer Borrower relationship. Keeping in mind that—since the time of the Stoics—it has been considered an “indispensable” fundamental of philosophical and scientific discourse to express clearly the difference and relation between the threefold notions of the sign (sound, written symbol, etc), the conceptual idea (meaning) communicated by the sign, and the real (the actual object or event behind the concept)21, all three notions — “Sign”, Concept, (Real) — are clearly marked for each party and each perspective of the two-sided, legally-binding mutual “exchange” of promises-to-pay.

psalmistice_DE_FASB_ASC-305-10-55-1_ASC-305-10-20

 

Consider carefully the following:

  • Irrespective of whether one adopts the perspective of the Borrower or the Lender, any so-called “cash” or “demand deposit” appears only as a sign (sound, name, symbol, i.e., a misrepresentation) of the Lender’s IOU,
  • The real object or event underlying the purported existence of “cash in bank” (or “demand deposit”), is the Lender’s IOU (promise-to-pay); in other words, the real object or event is the Lender’s promise of performance (“consideration”), and not “coin or bank-notes” “stamped by public authority”,
  • The sign (“cash in bank”, “money”, “funds”, “$”, “€”, “£”, etc) that is purported to the Borrower by the Lender to not merely represent but to actually be the underlying reality, is false, misleading, and deceptive,
  • As the Borrower has been induced to accept the offer to contract with the Lender on the basis of false, misleading, and deceptive representations, the loan contract is unenforceable,
  • The Lender’s IOU is simultaneously an Asset of the Borrower, and a Liability of the Lender (contradicting §305-10-55-1),
  • As a loan agreement requires inter alia the exchange of mutual performances, and the Lender’s obligation is defined as necessarily preceding that of the Borrower, the recording and reporting of the Lender’s IOU as a Liability demonstrates that the Lender has failed to deliver on its promise of performance (“consideration”), i.e., to provide the Borrower with money (“coin or bank-notes” “stamped by public authority”); therefore, the loan contract is unenforceable.

 

There is one final matter to consider.

Since early 2009, the unelected Financial Stability Board (FSB)—perennially chaired by Goldman Sachs alumni—has been working with G20 governments and financial regulatory authorities to implement a global banking “resolution regime”. One of the Key Attributes of this scheme is the passage of legislation granting governments the power to “bail-in” the “deposits” of bank customers in order to save or reestablish a “bad” bank or “systemically-important” financial institution.

Despite the reality that all so-called “customer deposits” have in fact been created ex nihilo by the banks through the act of “lending” to customers, and are reported as a Liability of the banks on their balance sheets (i.e., as ‘money’ still owed to the customer), both the banks and the FSB’s global banking resolution regime consider the customer to be a “creditor” of the bank.

In other words, rather than the bank having purportedly loaned (but not yet delivered) ‘money’ to the customer, the bank and the FSB deem that the situation is precisely the reverse – the customer has purportedly loaned his/her ‘money’ to the bank (note the implicit assumption of customer ownership).

Believe it or not, there is an explanation—albeit a perverse, morally abhorrent and unconscionable explanation—for this, and in turn, for how the creeping global preparations to legally steal the “deposit” assets of bank customers (refer above diagram) is able to be “justified” by the banks, the financial and political authorities, and the unelected, BIS-funded, Goldman Sachs alumni-chaired FSB.

At the heart of the matter is the ever-present paradox of perspective inherent in the Babylonian Duality Principle on which double-entry accounting is based.

Banks are able to create new (so-called) ‘money’ ex nihilo through the loan origination process. As this is recorded using double-entry accounting, every new loan results in a new Asset and a new Liability on the banks’ balance sheet records.

However, because banks act both as new loan (thus, new ‘money’) originators and as financial intermediaries, there is no way of disaggregating the Liability side of any bank’s balance sheet in order to clearly distinguish between those “deposits” that have arisen in consequence of that bank’s own lending (so-called), and those “deposits” that have arisen in consequence of that bank’s intermediation (i.e., ‘transfers’ of ‘money’ from one customer account to another customer account at the same bank, or, from the customer accounts of other financial institutions to customers of the bank).

Whether or not any particular unit of any particular “deposit” amount could truthfully be defined as ‘money’ loaned to the bank by a customer, or, loaned by the bank to a customer, is dependent on knowing with complete certainty how and when each and every unit came to be recorded in the customer account. The only customer account for which such certainty is possible, is a customer account created by the bank at the moment of first originating a loan, and, before any new entry for even one single fractional unit of the denominated currency has been either added to, or subtracted from that customer account.

There is one further exception – an account established for one of the bankers’ favourite clients—arms dealers, drug cartels, mafioso, and other criminal organisations such as the CIA—at the first moment of the client handing over real legal tender cash notes at the bank to open the account.

In any event, since even a ‘transfer’ of ‘money’ from one bank to another still has the same ultimate origin—an out-of-nothing creation of an electronic record of a mutual exchange of promises to pay—then from a whole-of-banking-system perspective it really doesn’t matter; all so-called ‘money’ on ‘deposit’ is simultaneously owned by the customers, and by the banks.

(Oh yes, by the way, since that ‘money’ is really just a record of a promise, and we all buy and sell mostly by way of ‘transfers’ entered in these electronic records, then, strictly speaking, we are all thieves, because none of us is actually giving real legal money in payment to our fellows in exchange for their goods and services, unless we actually “cash-in” the bank’s “offer” (promise) to pay us real money, in order to pay our fellow in real legal money – government-created legal tender cash notes and coins).

The bankersaided and abetted by the FASB, FSB et al—resolve this ownership contradiction by choosing to have their cake and eat it too. That is to say, the bankers take advantage of the embedded paradox of perspective in double-entry accounting, and arbitrarily decide who will be deemed the true owner of any and all “deposits” (i.e., who is debtor and who is creditor), depending—of course—on what suits the bankers’ best interests at any given moment in time.

In good times, it’s business as usual the bankers will consider your “deposit” account to represent ‘money’ owned by and owed to you, and willif they canhonour their promise to give you real legal cash on demand (but will far more commonly just ‘transfer’ your ‘credits’ to someone else’s account).

In not so good times, the bankers will consider your “deposit” account to represent a loan from you to the bank … and so, as you are now just an “unsecured creditor”, what you thought was your ‘money’ in the bank can (and will) be legally purloined, to “bail-in” the “bad” bankers.

One might well ask why it is that the generally “unsophisticated” (i.e., misled and deceived) customers of banks should be made to suffer any loss or damage arising from a “bad” financial institution’s employees or executives’ malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance, and/or from their failure to use record-keeping systems and methods adequate to the task of clearly distinguishing between bank assets, and customer assets.

The answer lies (pun intended) in a relatively recent accounting concept advanced by the standard-setters, in consequence of the neoclassical / neo-liberal ideological takeover of economics, accounting, and financial reporting. This wonderfully Orwellian idea is called “decision usefulness” (emphasis added):

For standard-setters the overriding criterion of decision usefulness, which FASB and IASB narrowly define as helping to predict cash flows, has replaced veracity in financial reporting as an end in itself. The ascension of decision usefulness as a public rationale for FASB actions has produced for the profession the situation .. [of] .. simultaneous committing to two, often conflicting ideas of truth22

Decision usefulness has been and continues to be applied in accounting to justify its activities, a singular emphasis on an accounting discourse which we view as highly problematic and seriously impairing accounting as an ethical practice.23

Truth poses a genuine problem for accounting, one that cannot be so easily finessed by appeals to decision usefulness.24

[A]ccounting standard setters have replaced a responsibility for truth with decision usefulness, which, given the ambiguity of decision usefulness, effectively absolves them of responsibility for the consequences of their actions.25

 

In his recently released book The End of Alchemy, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King makes a similar observation (emphasis added):

“Regulation has become extraordinarily complex, and in ways that do not go to the heart of the problem. … Much of the complexity reflects pressure from financial firms. By encouraging a culture in which compliance with detailed regulation is a defense against a charge of wrongdoing, bankers and regulators have colluded in a self-defeating spiral of complexity.”26

 

Upton Sinclair famously said that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it”.

Indeed, there are many who will doubtless object to the argument here presentedthat it is legally permissible for all the world’s borrowers to refuse to honour all their debts to all the world’s bankswith a reflexive, ill-considered, tediously shallow and laughably ironic dismissal that “this is all just semantics”.

Quite so.

Semantics (from Ancient Greek: σημαντικός sēmantikós, “significant”) is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relationship between signifiers—like words, phrases, signs, and symbols—and what they stand for, their denotation.27

 

The entire matter pivots on the question of truth. More specifically, the legal argument pivots on demonstrating that there has been a mis-representation of the truth, by the bankers.

What is the true reality, the real object or event that has been promised to the borrowers by the bankers—that is to say, what is the true object or event as commonly understood by the borrowersand re-presented to the borrowers by the bankers using the signifiers ‘money’, ‘cash’, ‘funds’, ‘credit’, ‘deposit’, ‘sum’, ‘amount’, ‘$’, ‘‘, ‘£‘, etc?

Has there, or has there not, been any false, misleading, or deceptive statements or representations made by the bankers to the borrowers, in order to induce the borrowers to agree to accept the offer to contract?

Have the bankers made any false, misleading, or deceptive statements or representations to the borrowers, that obfuscate a failure, potential failure, potential unwillingness, reasonably foreseeable or known incapacity of the bankers to deliver on their promise of performance?

And finally, have the bankers gained any advantage (“interest”, “yield”, “return”) from the borrowers through the use of false, misleading, or deceptive statements or representations?

May God grant the reader wisdom, and a sound conscience, to carefully and prayerfully judge the matter for themselves.

********

Regina: This isn’t your pixie dust is it.
Green: Well when you think about it does anyone really own pixie dust?
Regina: The fairies are quite proprietary about it. If they found out you stole it they would…
Green: Don’t worry about me. This is about you.

Once Upon A Time

********

DISCLAIMER: This essay is the opinion of the author. Nothing stated or implied in this essay should be construed to be legal or professional advice. For questions concerning your specific situation, please consult a qualified legal advisor.

********

[1] Upton Sinclair, Wikiquotes, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Upton_Sinclair , 8 May 2016
[2] Mariner S. Eccles, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, testimony to the House Committee on Banking and Currency, September 30, 1941, cited by G. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island (Third Edition, 1998), p. 188.
[3] Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, foreword to Irving Fisher 100% Money (New York: Adelphi, 1936) p. xxii, cited by G. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island (Third Edition, 1998), p. 188.
[4] David Graeber, What We Owe to Each Other, interview in Boston Review, February 15, 2012
[5] Michael Hudson, In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts, Media Education Foundation transcript (pdf), 2006
[6] Plato, Laws, Book V; Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vols. 10 & 11 translated by R.G. Bury. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1967 & 1968.
[7] Black’s Law Dictionary, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black’s_Law_Dictionary, 4 May 2016
[8] What is Money?, Law Dictionary, http://thelawdictionary.org/money/, 4 May 2016
[9] Mohamed E. Bayou, Alan Reinstein, Paul F. Williams, To tell the truth: A discussion of issues concerning truth and ethics in accounting, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 36 (2011), 109-124
[10] ibid.
[11] ibid.
[12] ibid.
[13] ibid.
[14] ibid.
[15] ibid.
[16] Norman B. Macintosh, Teri Shearer, Daniel B. Thornton, Michael Welker, Accounting as simulacrum and hyperreality: perspectives on income and capital; Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 25, Issue 1 (2000), 13-50
[17] ibid.
[18] Richard Mattessich, Accounting representation and the onion model of reality: a comparison with Baudrillard’s orders of simulacra and his hyperreality; Accounting, Organizations and Society 28 (2003) 443–470
[19] Positive Money, How Banks Create Money, http://positivemoney.org/how-money-works/how-banks-create-money/, 4 May, 2016
[20] Michael Schemmann (IICPA), Accounting Perversion in Bank Financial Statements — Demand Deposits Do NOT comply with IFRS (GAAP), 1 May 2013
[21] Richard Mattessich, Accounting representation and the onion model of reality: a comparison with Baudrillard’s orders of simulacra and his hyperreality; Accounting, Organizations and Society 28 (2003) p. 450-451, n. 12
[22] Mohamed E. Bayou, Alan Reinstein, Paul F. Williams, To tell the truth: A discussion of issues concerning truth and ethics in accounting, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 36 (2011), 109-124
[23] ibid.
[24] ibid.
[25] ibid.
[26] Mervyn King, The End of Alchemy, quoted in Bloomberg, The Book That Will Save Banking From Itself, 5 May 2016.
[27] Semantics, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics, 8 May 2016

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“Good luck with your ministry”

Around 2 hours and 180km into my first experience of motorcycle touring, I broke free from my Thunderheader-inspired reverie just long enough to become aware that the air flowing through my perforated leathers was making me decidedly chilly.

And that Nature was calling.

Beneath overcast skies I pulled into a highway-side rest area near Douglas Park, gently rumbled past the rows of fellow travellers, before pulling over parallel the curb, right down the end just before the exit road; a lovely and slightly elevated spot, overlooking a modest dam on the left, and, most importantly, only a short walk from a door marked with the symbol of a man on the right:

Hume Highway NSW, Douglas Park rest area

Hume Highway NSW, Douglas Park rest area, southbound (-34.157157,150.73903)

I briefly contemplated leaving my helmet and gloves behind, perched nonchalantly atop the sissy bar.

Too many folks about.

A few minutes later, as I rummaged through my new leather sissy bar bag — US$59.95 at Jafrum.com — for my 100% pure merino wool long sleeve motorcycle undergarment — $30 at Aldi — a rather tall and slender older gentleman of somewhat distinguished silver-bearded appearance and dignified carriage walked over from a large 4WD that had pulled up immediately behind, and engaged me in conversation.

It’s a 1995 model.

Yes, these old Evolution engines are better than the new Twin Cams.

No, the ape hangers are actually very comfortable.

Et cetera.

As we talked amiably together, perhaps, I confess, somewhat discourteously — or so it seems to me on reflection — I continued with donning my slim woollen jumper, re-packing my bag, re-fastening the small cargo net over top my packed bike cover, and re-zipping my leather jacket.

Although not my conscious intention — although, perhaps, subconscious, given I had over 400km further to travel that day — the friendly stranger identified a hint in my actions, and neatly segued our conversation towards a conclusion.

Then came his parting words.

“Good luck with your ministry”.

I guess he noticed the licence plate.

harley-davidson-softail-springer-1995-bad-boy-FXSTSB-evolution-1340-thunderheader-carlini-evil-apehangers-cycle-vision-tall-sissybar-joker-machine-mirrors-psalmistice_CIMG2061

Presumably he was unaware that the Carlini Design handlebars — with which I change direction — bear the moniker “Evil Ape”.

harley-davidson-softail-springer-1995-bad-boy-FXSTSB-evolution-1340-thunderheader-carlini-evil-apehangers-cycle-vision-tall-sissybar-joker-machine-mirrors-psalmistice_CIMG2054

And perhaps he had failed to notice the words “Bad Boy” — my chosen steed’s model name — clearly inscribed on the air cleaner.

harley-davidson-softail-springer-1995-bad-boy-FXSTSB-evolution-1340-thunderheader-carlini-evil-apehangers-cycle-vision-tall-sissybar-joker-machine-mirrors-psalmistice_CIMG2066

Screen shot 2013-12-25 at 11.25.06 PM

But I digress.

Setting aside my affinity for incongruity and the coincidentia oppositorum, thank you, kind Sir.

I had not thought of it that way.

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