The Angel of the Real


Something old and terrible lies deep within the Mind,
a secret prejudice against time…

…………………..We travel among those images
where the visible and invisible begin to tear us
from our lives, seeking that which chance despises;
restless among those fragile thoughts we scatter
all the listless ones who gather round this void;
those remembrances, ghosts of memory and life unlived.
………Who are you to question those who’ve struggled so?
The empty world believes itself to be, and in being
attributes such illusory delights to light and eye
that even the pressure of this black night denies
them the very truth they seek among the blasted ruins;
these trivial games of intent, the subterfuge of ancient substance:
forms, angelic thoughts descending out of a transcendent dream;
fragments of a demented ecstasy, broken vessels
thrown everywhere… and, between…
Much closer to us is this dark impenetrableness, indifferent
to our desires, a realm of nonsense where neither Man nor Nature
holds us anymore, the meanings of our kind dissolved,
where the living take on the hue of the dead.

………………..If I were to hear the Call, the banter of the voices in the void,
how could I know its intention? If something slipped into this night of nights,
some fiery Angel of the Real, her wings frayed and twisted beyond telling
by the very forces of this strange earth, would I know as she knows?
Would I laugh at her weakness for coming here, for entering the blind kingdom,
breaching the gulf of shadows, disturbing the void, subtracting herself;
her voice trembling on the wind like a fallen monarch, whispering nonsense?
We who no longer believe in the myth of sanctity, our scorn
bringing us little comfort in this zone of silence and disparity,
why should we heed the voices of the dead, those Messengers
who walk between worlds, their chattering patter clamoring in the abyss?
Each of us thinks the answer that she seeks is some stable thought,
an idea to end all things, unravel the very texture of being,
reveal at last what is in the moment of its annihilation.

 …..Yet, in these vast silences nothing is and nothing remains
…….accept the impossible
…….and that sad breeze
falling through things, endlessly.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

4 thoughts on “The Angel of the Real

    • Yea, Nietzsche was a proto-gnostic… his nihilism moved past the indifference and toward something else… Dionysus as the acosmic mask of that which cannot be named… a little of H.P. Lovecraft goes a long way… if nihilism is about the indifference of the universe, and shows us that because of this indifference there can be no objective norms, no moral law; then man is thrown back upon himself, upon his existential isolation (Sartre, Heidegger), his freedom, etc. Because of this we are cut off from all forms of transcendence, there being no acosmic God nor any Platonic world of Ideas… this is nihilism purified of all meaning, outward or inward. For Nietzsche the way out of this was to create meaning, a new meaning out of the transvaluation of all past norms, a new Dionysian or atheistic religious path of the acceptance of this indifference within and without, outside and inside. The notion of the will-to-power is not as some assumed about mastery, which is what science seeks in its pursuit of knowledge; knowledge being nothing but a mask for power (Foucault). It’s about the power of creativity, of the ability to overcome our ignorance and nihilistic fatalisms with a new formlessness (Bataille): a since of giving birth to chaos, etc.

      I’m using the gnostic motif as an atheistic indifference which shows exactly what you shared of Nietzsche’s “abyss that looks back at you”. The “abyss” is a place holder for nothingness, emptiness, force, power, etc.; for that which is pure negativity, that which transcends our thought and linguistic modes of conceptuality. In this sense Nietzsche was moving back toward a philosophy of transcendence by way of immanence… who else would those “monsters” he speaks of be, unless the archons of that ancient world? One could say that of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos too: that the elder gods are those very archons under new masks…

      Badiou and Zizek see a gap between us and the Real, a great gulf between us and the terror or horror of that chaos; the one (Badiou) would subdue it with mathematical magic, the other (Zizek) with Hegelian dialectic, but both fear and dread it… those like Land inhabit this abyss of the Real, make it their habitation of Dragons…


      • Applying a hammer to the abyss? The abyss is the unfathomable, how could you apply any critique whatsoever, active or passive? Active nihilism is the creative destruction of all former valuations and the formation of a transvaluation of those so that a confrontation with the abyss is none other than a confrontation with what is oldest within one’s self. I think this is why Nietzsche admired Emerson. Emerson spoke of turning away from Man, of moving into that abyss where humans would confront their future…

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