Baphomet O9A

Notes On The Esoteric Learning Presenced Through Pathei-Mathos

The term pathei-mathos (πάθει μάθος) expresses the essence of the esoteric ethos of the Order of Nine Angles: the personal learning, by individuals, that often results from consciously undertaking practical exeatic experiences conventionally described as both ‘numinous’ and ‘sinister’.

Often simply translated as ‘learning from suffering’, the Greek term πάθει μάθος implies much more:

(i) The Aeschylian term – in the context of the original Greek – imputes that πάθει μάθος is a new logos; that is, is a guide to individuals living in a way that is more reasonable than hitherto.
(ii) The Greek term πάθος imputes more than the English word ‘suffering’. For example, it means or can imply – depending on context – misfortune, or what befalls a person, or personal adversity.
(iii) Similarly, the Greek term μάθος means or can imply – depending on context – not ‘learning’ per se but acquiring knowledge or acquiring understanding or acquiring instruction or acquiring insight (qv Thucydides, 1.68). This insight is or can be an insight into the physis (Φύσις) of beings and of ‘things’, but is often an insight into one’s own physis {1}.

Thus, a more accurate interpretation of the term πάθει μάθος is personal misfortune can be the genesis of insight.

Esoterically, Anton Long used the term in its original context; that is, as a logos: an individual perceiveration of the type described in the Pymander tractate of the Corpus Hermeticum. As a perceiveration, it is presenced via the O9A’s Seven Fold Way, which is basically a practical guide to acquiring a personal insight, a self-knowing, and thence wisdom, via various experiences and ordeals both numinous and sinister, with the raison d’etre of the Seven Fold Way being that it is a means to consciously – deliberately – acquire the insight that some individuals acquire (and have acquired over millennia) as a result of having to endure the ‘misfortune’ of a natural, unbidden, pathei-mathos.

Furthermore, no one O9A has ever claimed that the seven fold way is the ‘only way’ to obtain such insight and thus wisdom deriving from it; it’s just one practical way among others.

Also, the insight resulting from pathei-mathos is a ‘wordless knowing’, and which wordless knowing includes an intimation of acausality {2}. For the personal insight which is (i) naturally acquired from unfortunate experiences and/or (ii) deliberately acquired via esoteric techniques such as the O9A Seven Fold Way, is often difficult or impossible to describe in words, and/or the person is often unwilling or unable to talk or write about such very personal experiences.


{1} Physis is one of the central themes of the Pymander section of the ancient Greek text the Corpus Hermeticum. A theme somewhat neglected until Myatt published his translation of and commentary on that text, a text available as (i) a printed book: David Myatt, Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary, ISBN 9781495470684, and (ii) as a free pdf download: pymander-hermetica.pdf

{2} qv. Myatt’s essay Towards Understanding The Acausal.