The fear for Death is something that, since the beginning of the history of religions, has formed the general perception of metaphysics, magic and religion. The purpose of this article is to describe the role of Death in Samaelism (1) and, more specifically, its declination in the spiritual path defined within the canonic brotherhood of the Filii Polemos Immaculate. It is our aim, for this reason, to better understand Death not only on an eschatological level, but also as a strong initiatory symbol related to the human experience of the sacred.
A short panoramic on Death
Talking about the soul, death and life after death is always extremely difficult and is never done willingly. Man has always been afraid of death: it is an ancestral fear, inherent in the human being, which even if accompanies him every, is perceived as a failure and something that should not be accepted very easily. Despite this, in ancient times, death was seen as something natural, inevitable, of course, but it was accepted; today, on the other hand, the lengthening of average life expectancy, the progress of science and medicine have made death one of the few taboos left in modern culture and it is stille perceived as an absolute evil, since too much value has been placed on the individual.
Epicurus asserted that death is nothing, because as long as we are there, there is no death, and when there is death, we are no longer.
It is indeed the fear of nonexistence that grips man, for he is too anchored in existence itself, it is the fear of losing consciousness of who we are, of our loved ones, our habits, our possessions, the totality of life. Arthur Schopenhauer, on the other hand, believed that the fear of death in men was due to his being aware of it. The animal, quite the opposite, by not possessing reason, is not aware that his life will end and his existence is characterized only by the survival instinct that leads it to feed itself, defend itself from danger and to care for its offspring to enable the continuation of the species. All of this is not accompanied by that strong anguish over death, which, on the other hand, characterizes human beings for whom the idea of not existing and plunging into nonbeing is frightening. But why does man grieve at the thought of non-being, when before coming into the world we were that? One must ask oneself what what we were before we were born and what condition we were in.
If prior to this existence our being had been nothing, and we do not worry about that, it would not make sense to not even suffer from the annihilation of the self entailed by death, nor the return to a
situation entirely analogous to the prenatal one in which we spent eternity, without having any
One factor affecting the greater or lesser fear is certainly that of expectation. Each religion, current, initiatory path or philosophical thought has its own view and belief about the life after death and the survival of the soul.
In Christianity there is the prospect of the resurrection of the flesh and a better afterlife, in the presence of God, or of eternal punishment after judgment; hell and heaven have been placed before man as real Dantean places, located in the abysses or in heaven, and used as deterrents to arouse worries and fears of all kinds in the faithful.
Judaism, because it is more focused on life than on death, is not dogmatic on this subject and leaves much room for personal opinion. In the Torah it is written that death is connected to Adam's sin, as it is a consequence of it. All the dead, righteous and unrighteous, descend into the Sheol, an underground place where they live as shadows and in the absence of relationship with God. All spiritistic and necromantic practices that summon the dead and bring them up from the Sheol.
Orthodox Judaism, on the other hand, upholds the principle of the bodily resurrection of the dead and the belief in a future world in which the righteous get their true reward and the wicked their deserved punishment.
«To Allah we belong and to Him we return» (Qur'an: II, 156)
This verse is what every Muslim remembers when he is in the presence of death. The Qur'an maintains that after death human existence continues with a spiritual and physical resurrection. Depending on the behavior in life, the afterlife will be a life of rewards or punishments, and it will be God, at the time of the resurrection of the dead, to judge everyone and decide the final destination, whether hell or heaven.
Eastern religions have a very different idea of death. In Buddhism, for example, it is believed that, after death, the soul reincarnates in another body and continues to repeat the cycle of birth and death until the fulfillment of its karma and the attainment of a higher state, Nirvana, which, once attained, will cause the cycle of reincarnations to cease. Hinduism, on the other hand, calls Samsara the cycle of life and death. When a body dies, the soul leaves the body and wanders through three eras to
find a new one.
Reincarnation in another body depends on Karma: if the subject has lived a life full of positive actions then his life condition will improve, if not, it will worsen; only with neutral Karma will it be possible to go to the afterlife. There are also different paradises, understood as places of passage before the soul is reborn on Earth. Hell, heaven, nirvana, samsara are evidently political instruments: if one considers heaven as a place of reward for how one has conducted one's life and hell as a place of punishment for evil done, here then you have a powerful means of control over the population. In summary: whatever expected after death, from the end of everything to the prize to the punishment, this fuels surely the sense of anguish and fear for the fateful moment.
Death in Samaelism
The Samaelite Doctrine stands in a completely antithetical position to that held by the major monotheisms. To understand our eschatology in depth we must take a path backwards, that is, from the beginning of everything: the Nothingness, the Void, the Abyss, states of existence in which being is superimposed on non-being, where all potentialities, both negative and positive, reside, matter and antimatter. This is the "zero" point.
The connection to the First Immovable Motor Aristotelian, which is the first cause of all movement, is motor as final purpose, and is immovable as the uncaused cause, becomes quite obvious. The "zero" point is the Farmacon, self-substantiated substance emanating from Nothingness, the constituent of all forms of existence.
The Samaelite doctrine embraces the theory of the existence of the soul, but conceives of it identifying it with the Farmacon itself. The pre-Socratic philosophers of the School of Miletus sought the archè, the beginning and end of all things: assuming that the soul is part of the Farmacon and, therefore, of Nothingness itself, we can assert that Farmacon itself is the archè of the human soul and consequently of life itself. The Farmacon is not static, but oscillates and seethes, and is subject to Polemos, without which nothing would exist, and is the vehicle of disintegration and aggregation, by which the balance of the cosmos is maintained. By disintegrating, the Farmacon creates life and, consequently, also the soul, of which it is composed. At the moment of disintegration, the "giving" of the Farmacon is completely random and unconscious.
By virtue of the above, death can be nothing more than its consequent aggregation. At the moment of departure, when the body ceases its vital functions, the Farmacon, which had disintegrated to instill life, begins the new aggregation to reunite with Nothingness, that is, itself, which we know to be that infinite essence with infinite potentialities of life. In this completely random aggregation the
space and time, of course, do not exist.
Looking at a deceased person, one can see that at a certain point in time, which varies from case to case in terms of time, the facial features change. The expression of the one or she whom we knew in
life vanishes and the body becomes just a corpse. That may be just the signal of the beginning of aggregation, the moment when pneuma (the soul according to Greek philosophers) leaves the deciduous body and begins its journey. However, it is not known to us how much time elapses between the moment of physical death and the fulfillment of Phacacon aggregation, which could explain the fact that some people experience visions and perceptions of ghosts or spirits, as well as justify the practice of necromancy. Space and Time are purely human conceptions.
And here we come to the problem of fear: If we assume the belief that we ourselves are Farmacon and that death initiates an aggregation that leads us back to the original substance, i.e., to Nothingness, we need not fear the end of the physical body, which is simply a temporary carrier. The Samaelite doctrine, for its part, promises nothing. The Samaelite does not live life as a function of what awaits him after death: no redemption, no expectation of an afterlife in the presence of divinity, nor of an Eden or Nirvana, where pain and suffering do not exist.
Only ethics and our conscience conduct behavior, since the only “sin" existing is to contravene one's nature and break one's destiny: no atonement, no Karma to be cleansed or guilt to be served, no Hell or place of suffering eternal. Everything returns to Nothingness, our souls return to Nothingness, in the fullness of emptiness, in the perfection of Nothingness which, at the same time, is equivalent to the All.
The purpose of our life, and our destiny, is therefore annulment , that is, a return to that Nothingness from which we came.
It is important at this point to make a due distinction between annihilation and annulment.
If the word “annihilation” means the total abolition of self and one's personality and also indicates any renunciatory and negative attitude toward the world and a feeling of general despair derived from the belief that existence has no purpose. The Samaelite does not yearns for this, does not annihilate his self, rather he values it through gnosis and awareness, follows a well-defined ethic, values life and respects it, his own and that of others. Man does not deprive himself to enjoy the hic et nunc, does not have to flagellate himself or live a life of renunciation, otherwise he would fall back into the aberration of earthly expiation of guilt. In mathematics, nullification or annulment means reduction of a polynomial or function to zero; metaphorically speaking, it is precisely to that zero, the First Principle, to which we must strive. The zero, the Nothingness, which envelops our thoughts and turns toward our thoughts, mutates them and mutates our lives. Not annihilation, then, but annulment. Nothingness is the purpose and ultimate goal of our existence, for which we yearn already in life; understanding this is not easy, nor is it comfortable.
Regarding reincarnation, there are many theories about it, but we prefer to talk about Palingèneṡi (from Latin palingenesĭa, from Greek παλιγγενεσία, compound of πάλιν "again" and γένεσις "generation"). We have already explained that at the moment of death of the body begins that process of aggregation of the Farmacon, of which the soul is constituted, that leads it to reunite with the Nothing.
We have also said that the ultimate goal of the Samaelite is annihilation (understood as return to the Nothingness), a goal that should already be achieved in life, through knowledge, devotion and meditation. Very often, however, one lifetime is not enough to overcome all the attachments and attachments that chain us to the bodily envelope (which is of matter). In this case, therefore, the aggregation of the Farmacon does not come to fruition, as the momentum is not strong enough, and it disintegrates again, renews itself, originating new material life. This aggregation is purely random, and there is no reminiscence of previous lives; this can occur even several times, until the disintegration impulse has reached such a potency that it leads the Farmacon to its original abode.
(1) Ordo Adamantis Atri, Treatise on Samaelite Doctrine, Amazon 2022, pp. 354sgg.