Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who are Zos and Kia in the work of A. O. Spare? Logomachy Three

by A. O. Spare

Much of the writings we have of Austin Osman Spare are automatic writings
originating from Zos. Thus there is the Anathema of Zos and the text we have been
looking at The Logomachy of Zos. Beyond this there is The Focus of Life in which
both Zos and Kia speak of each other. (His other books include The Book of Satyrs
made up primarily of his art and both The Book of Pleasure and The Zoetic Grimoire
of Zos
which contain his occult philosophy and system.) The question then is, who or
what are Zos and Kia?

 Kenneth Grant, in his book Cult of the Shadows identifies the two key terms of
what he calls the Zos-Kia-Cultus thuswise: Zos is the Living Flesh. Kia is the mystical
state of Neither-Neither, the Atmospheric ‘I’.

Spare himself, in The Book of Pleasure defines Kia as: “The absolute freedom
which being free is mighty enough to be ‘reality’ and free at any time: therefore is not
potential or manifest (except as it’s instant possibility) by ideas of freedom or ‘means’,
but by the Ego being free to receive it, by being free of ideas about it and by not
believing. The less said of it (Kia) the less obscure is it. Remember evolution teaches by
terrible punishments – that conception is ultimate reality but not ultimate freedom from
evolution.” Later he characterizes Kia in its Transcendental and Conceivable
Manifestation: “Of name is has no name, to designate. I call it Kia I dare not claim it as
myself. The Kia which can be expressed by conceivable ideas, is not the eternal Kia,
which burns up all belief but is the archetype of 'self', the slavery of mortality.
Endeavoring to describe 'it', I write what may be but not usually-called the 'book of
lies'. The unorthodox of the originable-a volant 'sight', that conveys somehow by the
incidental, that truth is somewhere. The Kia which can be vaguely expressed in words is
the 'Neither-Neither', the unmodified 'I' in the sensation of omnipresence, the
illumination symbolically transcribed in the sacred alphabet, and of which I am about to
write. Its emanation is its own intensity, but not necessariness, it has and ever will exist,
the virgin quantum-by its exuberance we have gained existence. Who dare say where,
why and how it is related? By the labour of time the doubter inhabits his limit. Not
related to, but permitting all things, it eludes conception, yet is the quintessence of
conception as permeating pleasure in meaning.” (Note the heavy echoes of the “Tao Te
Ching” here: “That Tao which is called Tao is not Tao.” “Yet Heaven and Earth and all
the space between are like a bellows: Empty but inexhaustible, always producing more.”)

Incidentally, we have mentioned the principle of Self-Love a few times, here is
Spare’s definition of that as well. “Self-Love: A mental state, mood or condition caused
by the emotion of laughter becoming the principle that allows the Ego to appreciate or
universal association in permitting inclusion before conception.” Later Spare further
states that “The wise pleasure seeker, having realized they (Heaven, Hell or Purgatory)
are 'different degrees of desire' and never desirable, gives up both Virtue and Vice and
becomes a Kiaist. Riding the Shark of his desire he crosses the ocean of the dual
principle and engages himself in self-love.”

Let’s throw in a word about the self. Spare states: “What is there to believe, but in
Self? And Self is the negation of completeness as reality. No man has seen self at any

What are we to make of Zos as the living flesh? In the Zoetic Grimoire Spare
states: “Flesh exists to be exploited. It is in all things and all things will be through it. All
emanations are through the flesh and nothing has reality for us without it.”
Finally another statement from the Logomachy of Zos which seems to tie into
Zos as living flesh: “However great your reach, whatever you touch, shall touch flesh.”
This brings to mind the work of the French Philosophy and Phenomenologist
Merleau-Ponty. Here is a quotation for his work The Intertwining – The Chiasm:
“What there is then are not things first identical with themselves, which would then offer
themselves to the seer, nor is there a seer who is first empty and who, afterward, would
open himself to them – but something to which we could not be closer than by palpating
it with our look – things we could not dream of seeing ‘all naked’ because the gaze itself
envelops them, clothes them with its own flesh.”

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