Sunday, 20 December 2009

BPM: 5. Baphomet

‘All the gods died of laughter to hear one among them proclaim himself unique!’ Pierre Klossowski, The Baphomet

The disembodied soul of Øysten Aarseth, exhaled in his last dying breath and born on the icy winter wind, howled through the window of an old house outside Oslo. Dead lay there, still dead, half of his head still pressed up against the wood panelling, his knife and shotgun by his side, the floor splattered with dried blood and brain matter. Suspended in time, Dead’s last exhaled breath picked off the remaining layers of blasted skull and scooped out the putrefying tissue to disclose another head made of gold. A metalhead.

Aarseth was returned to his final state, on the day of his fatal stabbing. As the new golden-headed Dead seemingly arose from the dead, Aarseth got down on his knees before the strange goatlike yet godly creature, ‘My saviour!’ he stammered. ‘Why do you call me saviour and kneel to me like a God’ said Dead, ‘I am not a creator who enslaves being to what he creates, what he creates to a single self, and this self to a single body. Øysten, the millions of selves that you oppress within yourself are dead and have resurrected millions of times in you, unbeknownst to your single self’.

‘Is it not myself that you have rescued from the knife of Vikernes?’
‘In the suspension of historical time, events echo throughout infinity and individuals eternally. But everything a breath has perpetrated through its body can remain without consequence once it has left its body, since we differ in no wise from the winter wind’.

At this point another chill entered the room as the already-dead breath of Varg Vikernes merged with the breath of his victim, finding himself much weaker than the latter as he quickly sought to separate. Greeted with no sense of moral atonement, Vikernes was struck by a violence of another order to the one he perpetrated: one of total indifference, the worst kind of violence, an indifference that left no trace.

Dead’s golden head glinted in the darkness as he explained that the Judgement of God had been infinitely suspended since He became consumed in flames. ‘Henceforth humankind has changed in substance: it can be no more damned than saved’. Divine Judgement has been overturned, indeed displaced. In this atemporal space memories of the past are revived as momentary states of intensity, a funeral fog of fallen souls which, without identity or propriety, are exchangeable from soul to soul. ‘Here is no peace made of human flesh’ said Dead and prepared himself to breeze through the leaves of the forest.

‘You’re leaving me? Stop’, Aarseth begged. ‘By what name may I invoke you?’
‘What does my name matter to you? In truth I tell you: the millions of brothers and sisters inside you, who have died for your high idea of yourself – Euronymous! – know my name well, and are reborn in it; no proper name exists for the hyperbolic breath that is my own, anymore than anyone’s high idea of himself can resist the vertigo of my great height; my forehead dominates the stars and my feet stir the abysses of the universe’.

‘Spell it for me, I beg you, so I will have invoked you but once!’
Dead began:
‘Ba ...? repeated Euronymous.
‘P-H-O ...’ continued Dead.
‘... Met!...’

Baphomet, otherwise known as Prince of Modifications, opposed to the Christian principle that guarantees the identity of the soul and the unity of being. To quote Pierre Klossowski, ‘Basilieus philosophorum métallicorum: the sovereign of metallurgical philosophers, precursors of black metal theorists, that is, of the alchemical laboratories that were supposedly established in various chapters of the knights Templar’. ‘The Prince of Modifications overturns all identity and absorbs being into the principle of radical multiplicity, that is to say within the principle of blackness.

Dead’s death-rattle laughter clattered through the night and the antichrist scuttled out from behind his feet in the form of an anteater. Friedrich the anteater in a high-pitched German accent affirmed, 'When one god proclaimed himself unique, all the other gods died of laughter!' Reborn in the breath of this laughter the million godlike hands find themselves again with something holy to burn, as the black metal circle turns eternally in a clamour for being that unfolds a process of becoming as infinite non-self-identical multiplicity beyond all figures of unity or of the One. ‘Anything can happen’, said Dead, ‘in the infinite blackening of the universe’.

‘Be faithful to your oblivion!’

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

BPM 4: Metaloricum

‘It's hard to imagine that Theory can bring much to Black Metal ... Blackened Theory -- destructive, chaotic evil, inhuman -- is imaginable. Theoried Blackness is harder to imagine. Can the tools of Theory be tools for Blackness?’ Raw, Obsolete

‘Although I have been involved in the BM scene for many years myself and listen mostly to BM today, I refuse to recognise any (substantial) intellectual achievements of this movement, because there aren't any’. Andreas Bauer

Certainly it is vain for theory to aspire to the condition of black metal, just as it would be for theory to aspire to the condition of any music at all even though, maybe, it achieves it all the time. Such an aspiration is familiar from Western philosophy generally, at least since Romanticism, wherein music is attributed with meaning and significance beyond language, an attribution precisely correlated to the degree to which music is also regarded as deficient, purely imaginary, devoid of theory, vehicle of base emotions ... etc. What devilish alchemy is this that turns base material into sonic gold only for it to turn to shit as the goat glances in the mirror? Oh black Narcissus, the exquisite horror of self-reflection! Black metal has no meaning, of course – but then neither does any music – even as it opens up, in the non-sense, the excess of meaning that it evokes; the domain of non-knowledge.

Black metal theory is forged through the process of its ‘tools’ being placed in the icy furnace of blackened affinities and affections, giving itself over to the power of modification to which BM is itself an effect, heterogeneous no doubt, but one that opens onto the same Night. Let us say that black metal theory cannot know – can never know – its object: the black metal that rings out in the impenetrable darkness of its so-called intellectual emptiness. Like an object sovereign in its exteriority, an object that is precisely not a thing – a thing for us – such an object would be God; that is to say the God that BM invokes in order to banish Him, the God that sits, perpetually exchanging places with Satan, at the mediating position between the possible and the impossible.

‘I myself am in a world I recognize as profoundly inaccessible to me’ (Bataille). ‘Faded am I, behind a wall of consciousness / Still feeling a different World / Surrounding Me’ (Darkthrone). Black metal, for some, for a few, provides the locus of this in-accessibility, provides the experience of non-knowledge that communicates ecstasy, that is to say places someone at the limit of being in a radical questioning of being itself. This questioning occurs in and as an inchoate experience that nevertheless provides the (groundless) ground of self-reflection in a speculation that reflects, interminably, on the im-possibility of indefinite and limitless being.

From the ground, frozen yet fulminating in the accursed seeds cast away by a thousand years of Christian frostiness, Northern Protestantism, the castrated hedonism dedicated to servicing the Goods, comes, in seven chapters, the
Kathaarian Life Code of Non-Knowledge (Darkthrone avec Bataille)

1. ‘The Triumph of chaos - Has Guided our Path / we Circle the holy Sinai’. Black metal blackening thought blackening metal blackening theory ... Like the circularity of the spectral drive that invokes God simply in order to exorcise Him from the vast nocturnal landscape that his death discloses. Black metal theory is circular; circular theory is the only plausible theory. ‘To be of one’s time is quite simply to be a stooge’ (Bat. SN: 107), the exploited dupe of slavish exigencies.
2. Circular theory must begin, which is to say continue, not from a proposition but from the blackness that precedes it, just as it culminates, which is to say begins, in the blackened knowledge that is non-knowledge. ‘A strong light – the only Night’.
3. Black metal glints in sparks mixed with Coyote eyes and resonates in shortened cycles which black metal theory can only describe, knowledge fired across the desertified landscape; instances of the nonknowledge of the moment.
4. ‘Face of the goat in the mirror’: the horror of self-reflexive nonrecognition discloses the black metal Baphomet, ‘Baphomet in steel’, the prince of modifications: ‘I entered the soul of the snake’, the one, no doubt, that consumed itself in a blaze of icy fire.
5. The dis-identification of Satan and the death of God, of the erotic and the laughable, the playful and the stupid, the poetic and the amusical, with the unknown is the key to all theoretical difficulties. Recognizing its worthlessness, its good-for-nothingness, theoretical knowledge returns with the dream of making its own God, a Paragon Belial, the sum and sublimation of all earthly insufficiencies. And yet ...
6. The substitution of absolute dissatisfaction, the invisible force of an abyssic hatred, for relative insufficiencies results in the passage from insubordination to sovereignty in a blasphemous cyclone of infernal in-difference, stirring in the metalorical furnace ...
7. The final nature of dissatisfaction is the truth of awakening:
For this Eternal Winter
A New God Ruled the Sky
The Million Hands Of Joy
Have something holy to Burn
A new God is invoked but only for the joy of again consuming Him in flames, for igniting the divine in-existence in a blaze in the Northern sky.