Knowing, Information, and The Discovery of Wisdom
Knowing and Information
In my view, both the importance and the usefulness of the impersonal ‘world wide web’ for esoteric groups – for a living esoteric tradition – has been overestimated by many people. I remember growing up in an overseas land where there was no television, where news was received by short-wave radio, and where communication with friends and nearest neighbours meant either taking the trouble to visit them personally, as there were few telephones outside of the major cities or towns, or writing then posting a letter and awaiting the reply. Newspapers, when they were available, were generally a few days old.
Although perhaps difficult for many people, today, to appreciate and understand this meant that one acquired a particular way of viewing the world and of doing things. The personal way, that often of necessity involved a certain effort and a certain amount of waiting. For instance, I can remember, later on in another overseas land, waiting weeks or more usually several months, for a book to arrive; since acquiring knowledge meant finding and asking someone who knew, or visiting a (usually poorly stocked) library some distance away, or purchasing a book from the nearest bookshop (also usually some distance away) and often then waiting because the book was not in stock and had to be specially ordered. Once such information was obtained, available, there then followed a learning of and from it, which itself took a certain amount of time, followed, in turn, by a period of reflecting upon – and often enjoying – the new knowledge so slowly and with effort acquired. There was also the feeling that one was on a long journey of discovery and that there may well be, and probably was, more to be found on a particular subject ‘out there’ – in some books or books, to be learned from someone else, or found in some scholarly journal.
This personal effort, this wait, to find and then acquire knowledge was itself instructive, personally beneficial, although again many people, today, will not understand nor appreciate this older way; a way that, for centuries, formed the basis for traditional esoteric groups and a way I deliberately made part of The Order of Nine Angles.
This is why, for example, I consider and have always considered that the ‘world wide web’ is now, has been for a decade or so, and may continue to be for a while, basically just a useful, convenient, medium for personal communication, a means of dissemination of information among our people, and a useful accessible informational resource for our people and others. Anything else – such as incitement of others, the possibility of recruiting a few people using this new medium – is secondary to this, and always has been.
For example, from the beginning, and for over two decades, when some new ONA MS was written, or when an aural tradition was written down, it was by means of a manual typewriter, and the resultant sheet or sheets of typewritten paper had to be photocopied, and then circulated either by means of posted letters or by being personally handed-over to others.
Now, today, that type of process is used only occasionally, with many of our newer MSS being available and having been made available on our nineangles website, just as my own ‘weblog’ allows not only the dissemination of new MSS but also of occasional articles giving my personal view of certain matters. But what is presented by this new medium is information, not knowledge. Knowledge of some-thing is – as the Old Icelandic kunnleik suggests – an intimate, detailed, knowing of and acquaintance with that ‘thing’, whereas information (enformation) is merely a statement or a collection of statements about or concerning some-thing.
Or expressed in our now familiar terms, knowledge – as we understand it – is numinous, a part of one’s life, whereas information is lifeless, causal, an outer form. For in terms of esoteric, Occult, matters, to know is both to learn from personal experience and to place what is so learnt in a particular context, that of one’s personal internal and external journey along the particular way or path that one has, by initiation, chosen to follow.
What has thus occurred is that many people have or seem to have confused information – accessible and communicated by the medium of the ‘world wide web’ – for knowing. That is, they by means of some computer monitor or some other modern means read or access some information about, for example, the ONA and then presume they ‘know’ about the ONA or have knowledge of an esoteric topic written about by the ONA, whereas all they have done is make assumptions concerning or form a personal opinion about such matters, with some people even going so far as to then develop an opinion concerning the person they assume wrote such information.
For the meaning is in, acquired from, discovered by, the personal knowing. By taking the time, making the effort, to learn; to acquire a detailed, personal knowing of, and then to place that knowledge in the context of one’s own knowledge and that of knowledgeable others and which others one knows and respects personally or who have acquired respect by virtue of their practical experience and/or their scholarly knowledge . The meaning, the knowledge, is not in the information; not in the medium that might be used to convey such information.
The reality is that the ‘world wide web’ encourages a pretentious, spurious, or illusory, ‘knowing’, the rapid communication of this, as well as a pretentious, spurious, ‘respect’ among and of anonymous others – something especially true regarding the relaying of messages by diverse people by means of some ephemeral ‘forum’ or ‘discussion group’ or something similar where those who do not know converse with, and argue with, others who either do not know or who pretend to know something about that which they have no direct personal experience of and have not spent years acquiring a scholarly, a detailed, knowledge of. In short, the ‘world wide web’, while having some advantages in respect of making information accessible, has the disadvantage of having become the medium of choice for a certain type of Homo Hubris and for the rapid circulation of their vapid, plebeian, opinions and assumptions .
The Discovery of Wisdom
One of the main reasons for the existence of esoteric groups, a clan, such as The Order of Nine Angles is to be a living hereditary repository of a certain type of knowledge and to personally, directly, encourage some individuals to acquire the culture, the habit, of learning – practical, scholarly – and thus enable them to move in the traditional manner toward the goal of discovering and acquiring knowledge and thence wisdom . In the process of this moving-toward, some of these individuals may or will be changed, and thus become a breed apart, one of our kind; indeed, over almost forty years, the ONA has had some success in producing some such individuals of our particular, peculiar, sinister kind.
All the ‘world wide web’ has done – as, previously, photocopied material posted to unknown others did – is enable us to present information, possibly incite some people, and provide an opportunity, to and for more unknown others. An opportunity, for some of these unknown others, of learning, and of using, applying, our Dark Arts such as that of Pathei-Mathos, and which opportunity some have availed themselves of, leading to a few – and only a few – becoming part of the ONA and thus beginning their own guided esoteric journey according to our sinister Way.
That some or many individuals – using the ‘world wide web’ to spew forth their opinions and assumptions – seem to have mistaken the presentation of such information, and such an opportunity, for the ONA reveals something about those individuals, especially when they congratulate themselves, and are congratulated by others of their ilk, for their pretentious, illusive, ‘knowing’ via some ephemeral aspect of something as ephemeral as the ‘world wide web’.
As I wrote over twenty years ago:
” Satanism is elitist. It does not compromise – its tests, ordeals, methods and character-building experiences are severe and will never be made easier to make them acceptable to more people or easier to undertake.” The Hard Reality of Satanism
For the discovery of wisdom, esoteric and otherwise, involves an arduous journey of decades, and which journey is replete with much practical, personal, learning and many dark experiences.
Order of Nine Angles
 As mentioned elsewhere, by scholarly is meant both learned and having undertaken meticulous, unbiased, research on a specific subject over a period of some years.
 One distinguishing mark of such types of Homo Hubris is their arrogant unbalance, deriving from a lack of pathei-mathos, that is a lack of certain Occult skills and never having experienced grief, severe trauma (physical and/or emotional), personal loss, nor an encounter (or many encounters) with the imminent possibility of their own death, never mind never having experienced over years and in practical ways both the numinous and the sinister. Refer, for example, to Pathei-Mathos and The Initiatory Occult Quest.
 As mentioned elsewhere, by the term wisdom is meant not only the standard dictionary definition – a balanced personal judgement; having discernment – but also the older sense of having certain knowledge of a pagan, Occult, kind to do with livings beings, human nature, and concerning Nature and ‘the heavens’. To wit, possessing certain faculties, such as esoteric-empathy, a knowing of one’s self; possessing an Aeonic knowing; and thus knowing Reality beyond, and sans, all causal abstractions.