In this second section of the article «Death and Samaelism» we will deepen the subjects of the first part and explore the religious choice of a deep death-oriented life.
Introduction to Samaelite Philosophy: Neikos and Thanatos
To introduce a complex subject such as the samaelite philosophy is not a simple thing: not because Samaelism is intrinsically better than other religions or LHP philosophies, but because it is founded on concepts imported from the ancient and classical traditions, especially the Greek one, that is necessary to know before being able to have an in depth analysis of Samaelism itself.
For this reason, it is necessary to start from an open question: «What is Samaelism?»
Samaelism is a new kind of religion, born in Italy by the philosophical speculation of our Order and recognised by academic organisations such as the C.E.S.N.U.R.
Samaelism is based on the idea that any distinction between "right hand path" and "left hand path" is not only useless, but even counter productive to the evolution of the individuality.
The main purpose of Samaelism is, for this very reason, to unify what can be unified in the the right-hand path and the left-hand path speculations. In our spiritual practice, for example, there are not Qliphoth and Sephiroth, but only what we call «spheres of creation» that can be influenced, as explained in our publications (1), by the polarities of the Universe.
The main axiom of samaelite philosophy is that everything is dual: influenced, in a few words, by two different polarities, called Neikos and Philia.
This two concepts, imported directly from the speculation of the Greek philosopher Empedocles, are indeed common to many other philosophical speculations, such as the Heraclitus’ one, the Pythagorean one or the gnostic one. All these philosophies were based on the idea that the Universe is influenced by two archetypes or forces, dichotomous and opposed, to which the ancients gave different names.
The samaelite idea is that these two forces are common to all the Creation and are related to one another by the action of a third force, which is called Polemos.
As the reader might know, Polemos is a Greek word that can be translated as «war» or «conflict». In ancient mythology Polemos was a demon commanded by the war God Ares and was the embodiment of the conflict, intended not in a violent way but as an inevitable force that is common to all the beings. This idea was then proposed again by Heraclitus in his speculation, and in particular in the fragment 22B41DK by Diels and Krantz where the author writes:
«Polemos is father of all things, of all the king»
or again in the fragment 22B80DK where we can read:
«It is necessary to know that Polemos is xynos (common) to all things, that justice is conflict and that everything happens due to conflict and necessity.»
As we can see, the idea of Polemos was something that transcended the mythological language and that managed, even thanks to authors as Heraclitus, to enter the philosophical field. Samaelism proposes again this vision of Polemos as an archetype that is xynos (common) to all the Universe and that creates the relationship between the two aforementioned contraries of Neikos and Philia. All these archetypes must be, however, seen as part of a bigger element which is called Farmacon.
In the samaelite doctrine the Farmacon is the pre-logical but yet ontological stage of the Creation, only deducted by logic but never perceivable by human beings. Farmacon is a neutral word that means both cure and poison, being so a linguistical tool to describe the totality of the Universe. The Farmacon is everything and it is seen, in Samaelism, as the zero point in which all the powers of existence coincide. For this reason, the Farmacon is also interpreted, in a very Aristotelian way, as the power of powers, in which everything exists without existing.
In a more cabalistic way, the Farmacon can be seen as the Deus Absconditus of a Deus Conditus who is, therefore, the embodiment of the Farmacon itself and its called Sama’El. The choice of the name of our Deity is merely linguistical: we do not believe that God has a name, of course, but we think that Sama’El is quite useful to connect linguistically our Deity to the Farmacon itself, being both of these names connected to the idea of poison/cure (2).
It should be now easier to understand the samaelite cosmology, composed by four elements: the Farmacon/God (Sama’El), Neikos, Philia and Polemos.
These elements should be seen as an unicum and not as something separated and divided.
In a similar way, the creative processes as identified in the samaelite doctrine (self-enclosure; reflection; emanation) are divided in this threefold way only for academic purposes. The reality of fact is quite different from the aforementioned academic distinction: all the elements of the samaelite universe are connected to each other to form a unique system in which every element can exists only because even the others exist.
For this reason, when we look at the samaelite cosmos, we should understand why the couple of contraries Neikos/Philia has such a preeminent role: they are of course opposite in their essences, being one a force of aggregation and the other one a force of destruction, but they are complementary in their function: without one the other cannot exist.
In the same way we use to identify and distinct two elements within the same polarity; Neikos is therefore seen both in a positive and in a negative way, being both a medium of positive conflict and a medium of negative conflict or envy (cfr. Friedrich Nietzsche). Philia, on the other hand, is seen both as cosmological principle of aggregation, but even as Anteros, a principle of unrequited love between the devotee and the Deity. As we have written in the fifth volume of the Exalogy of the Serpent:
«Devotion understood as love, both paid and unrequited at the same time, toward a metaphysical entity or a physical entity that, in turn, enables us to grow and evolve. It is through Anteros, that the samaelite is able to water and ripen the seed of spiritual completation; that is, to connect to the highest spheres of existence and evolve into the best version of himself.» (3)
Philia is therefore an ambivalent principle and so are Neikos and Polemos themselves. Everything in the samaelite cosmos can be seen as ambivalent and double, since nothing has only one sense, only one meaning. The only Being that has only one meaning within the samaelite vision of the universe is God itself, the Great Serpent. Despite this unity of meaning, it is completely impossible for us to know It, since the samaelites do practice the apophatic method in the theological field. The apophatic method consist in the total suspension of any affirmative sentence regarding God. This implies that is completely impossible to say anything about God that is different from its existence.Therefore we know that It exists, but we cannot affirm anything else about it.
To answer to the question made at the beginning of this article, we could say that Samaelism is the religion of knowledge, because the samaelite, more than anyone else, aspires to understand the universe and the Creation. But at the same time, Samaelism is even the religion of the suspension of the judging since it recognises the intrinsic limits within the gnosiological aspects of our knowledge. For example, we do not believe that is possible to know anything about God and therefore we suspend our affirmations about It.
And why should one be a samaelite?
Simply, because it is the most reasonable thing to do as human beings of the XXI century and with a strong perception of the invisible, the spiritual. Samaelism do not promises anything in the afterlife, do not think that renouncing at the pleasures of this life is a valid way to reach the enlightenment, since man is, in the samaelite vision, both spirit and matter, both celestial and infernal.
The philosophy of polarities is therefore so common (xynos) in all the samaelite view that plurality becomes an incredible wealth and not something to be afraid of.
A Death-oriented life
For all the reasons seen above, it is quite logical that Death covers a very important role within the whole Samaelite perspective on life. Such as birth, Death is not something that we can choose, but that accompanies us anyway in each moment of our lives. Thinking about Death is, for this very reason, not something of a taboo as it is often perceived in our contemporary society, rather it is a proper spiritual practice that helps the Samaelite into getting in touch with a specific aspect of the Farmacon itself. Living a Death-oriented life means to think about that and, above all, to accept Death as the accomplishment of one's own destiny since Death itself is the sublimation of our lives, experiences, pleasures and pains. Within the experience of Death everything were have passed through during our lives becomes the epitome of our own being, getting us, finally, in touch with our own essence.
To think about and to comprehend Death does not mean, on the other hand, to aspire to it. The samaelite does not aspire to Death neither, generally, should aspire to commit suicide; Death must comes exactly as birth came in the beginning of our lives: without a decision of ours, without any will or awareness. This is the real mystery of Death.
(1) cfr. Ordo Adamantis Atri, Treatise on Samaelite Doctrine, Amazon 2022, pp.157-181
(2) to deepen this point of view please cfr. Ordo Adamantis Atri, Exalogy of the Serpent IV, Amazon 2021
(3) Ordo Adamantis Atri, Exalogy of the Serpent V, Amazon 2022