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The Black Ferris
04-23-2009, 06:48 AM
The following is a brief treatise on the Frankists, an antinomian
religious group from the eighteenth century who practiced a creed
which bore no small resemblance to the Gnostics and whose nihilistic
teachings are not entirely dissimilar from an anti-cosmic perpsective:

Named after their prophet Jacob Frank(1726-1791) , the Frankists were a
group of Jews living in Poland in the eighteenth century who followed
a radically antinomian and nihilistic spiritual path characterized by
willful violation of the laws of the Torah and orgiastic religious
practices. The purpose of these acts was to "annihilate every religion
and positive system of belief". Through this nihilistic regimen, Frank
promised to lead his followers to the abyss known as the kingdom of
Edom wherein the delusions of the cosmos would be dissolved and the
"true God" revealed. "It involves not only the destruction of
established institutions but also absolute denial of the world of
creation, in an attempt to destroy the very structure of the visible
universe" writes Pawel Maciejko in an article written for the Yivo
Insitute for Jewish Research.

Noted Jewish scholar Gershom Scholem wrote of Frank's teaching that
"It is a veritable myth of religious nihilism, the work of a man who
did not live at all in the world of rational argumnent and discussion,
but inhabited a realm entirely made up of mythological entities.
Indeed, to anyone familiar with the history of religion it might seem
far more likely that he was dealing here with an antinomian myth of
the second century composed by such nihilistic Gnostics and
Carpocrates and his followers than that all this was actually taught
and believed by Polish Jews living on the eve of the French Revolution."

Here are a selection of quotes from Jacob Frank which demonstrate the
quality of his teachings, I think:

"It is one thing to worship God--and quite another to follow the path
that I have taken"-Jacob Frank

"Wherever Adam trod a city was built, but wherever I set foor all will
be destroyed, for I cam into this world only to destroy and
annihilate. But what I build, will last for forever."-Jacob Frank

"This much I tell you: Christ, as you know, said that he had come to
redeem the world from the hands of the devil, but I have come to
redeem it from all the laws and customs that have ever existed. It is
my task to annihilate all this so that the Good God can reveal
himself." -Jacob Frank

"I did not come into this world to lift you up but rather to cast you
down into the bottom of the abyss."-Jacob Frank

Sources: "The Messianic Idea in Judaism" by G. Scholem
"Kabbalah" by G. Scholem

Aetherwing
04-23-2009, 09:58 AM
Ferris, I want to say that it took a titanic effort of will to not reply to this thread with "Only if I can be Ernest!" Wait, I did it anyway-- Ha-ha, good joke. Roll on snare drum, everyone laugh...

Seriously, however: I have never heard of Frank and his beliefs. It does seem to share some similarities to several of the more offbeat Gnostic sects, as you point out.

I'm wondering, was Kenneth Grant influenced by these ideas--do you know?

-J

Russell Nash
04-23-2009, 10:20 AM
...nihilistic spiritual?

...religious nihilism?

Two contradictions. Allow me to add one more, "a religious atheist".

MorganScorpion
04-23-2009, 11:20 AM
Ferris, I want to say that it took a titanic effort of will to not reply to this thread with "Only if I can be Ernest!" Wait, I did it anyway-- Ha-ha, good joke. Roll on snare drum, everyone laugh...



-J

Damn, I was going to type that!

The Black Ferris
04-23-2009, 12:53 PM
I'm wondering, was Kenneth Grant influenced by these ideas--do you know?
-J
I would say it was a good possibility. Just like anything else, when you start delving into occult history, occult history starts delving into you, leading you down one path or another and pointing out the scenery.
That's how I found Mr. Frank, Mr. Grant and, all told, Mr. Ligotti as well.
Guideposts on the left hand path.
(A quick side note-
Howard Philips Lovecraft- HPL
Left Hand Path- LHP
People write LHP and my mind asks "Lovecraft?")
Have you read Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden? His werk is very difficult, but I find his point of view indispensable.
Occultists to the hippie side hate his stuff.
"Once again Mr. Grant is dredging up old Lovecraft tales and presenting them as occult truth..."
which, of course, isn't really true. He uses the characters and ideas to tell parables. But then the very nature of this kind of werk is that it is not meant for everyone to understand. Thus, occult.
For he who has ears, let him hear.
For he who has eyes, let him see.
Maybe I should post this as one of my favorite non Lovecraft, mythos pieces.