The God that dare not speak its Name

I have a major theological dispute with Islam, and it’s not the one that you might think.

Well, it is the one you might think, but that’s not what I’ll be discussing here. I’d like to focus on a particular point of departure that ties into some neoreactionary ideas.

Islam considers Azrael, the angel of Death, to be one of the archangels that serves God. I think they’ve got it wrong. To co-opt their particular language for a second, Death is not AN archangel. It is THE archangel, and none of the other servants of God can hold a candle to it. Death is the highest of the high, holiest of the holy, and it is to be exalted above all other of the angels.

That language doesn’t quite convey exactly what I mean to say, but it’s how I describe it to people of the monotheistic traditions. When I put it like that, they know exactly what I am talking about.

Death is the great force that shapes nature and the universe. Death is the thing that carves all that has been created. Death is the lord of life. In a very real and visceral sense, Death is God.

Not exactly, of course, but that turn of phrase is hits home in a way that I think is necessary in order to begin laying out my view. Bear with me here.

If I say that all things are carved by a great cycle of creation and destruction and we are all a reflection of this great current that drives the continuation of the universe, people think it sounds all vague and mystical but that it makes sense. They think it sounds all fancy, but then they think nothing of it. The ramifications don’t sink in unless I scream into their faces DEATH IS GOD.

Life makes no sense except in the presence of death.

Death is not God, but it is the highest tool of the thing that philosophers and theologians have attempted to discuss when the refer to the highest entity of the universe.

The Natural Order

The Structure of the Cosmos

The First Mover

The Final Cause



We can never experience this thing, whatever you wish to call it, but we can certainly experience death, and the experience of death is the closest that we can ever come to understand whatever thing it is that we think we are referring to when we speak whatever term we use to refer to it. Whatever this thing is, and whatever its name may be, what we can know about it is that Death is its most exalted servant.

We may not understand GOD (or whatever you want to call it), but we can understand Death, which in the context of our lived experience, acts as “God”.

This specter of death hanging over us all is the that thing that neoreactionaries commonly refer to when they evoke the name of “Gnon”. Those things that preserve that fragile ember of life are those that are said to comply with the will of Gnon. Those that would send us hurtling into the howling dark are said to violate the will of Gnon.

Gnon has no will. He just is, and he is nothing more than that which he is, and death is his most loyal servant, the one who executes his law upon those who rebel against him. Gnon IS a law, and death is the judge, jury, and executioner who would uphold it.

Blood for the blood god. Death for the death god. Sacrifice for the reaper.



6 thoughts on “The God that dare not speak its Name

  1. Urban IX 01/21/2015 / 10:12 PM

    This is a good conception of an atheistic God. But Gnon may well have a will (any Christian must believe it does). Remember that the term is meant to be agnostic; it does not describe an intelligence nor does it describe an unintelligent thing. I know it upsets some of NRx to hear the idea of gnon possibly having a will, but I must assert it was originally meant to be a neutral terms and shifted definitions to refer to a mechanistic Spinozan pantheistic deity. So for their sake I will just use Nature instead of Gnon from here on out.

    Anyway, overall, this post says to me that death becomes God (effectively) in an objectively meaningless universe. I don’t personally believe in an objectively meaningless universe, but if I did, I can see where you would be coming from.

    The counter, that I can think of to this (and I’m not a theologist at all) is that life has actual meaning. Just as much at least as death does. And that people can know God through ritual, faith, and revelation. And that God is Meaning. And that all life and death serves God. I suppose this is, overall, however, a difference of axioms.

    • Legionnaire 01/21/2015 / 10:42 PM

      “I assert it was originally meant to be a neutral term and shifted definition to a mechanistic Spinozan pantheistic deity”

      I agree with you, and I was trying to treat the term in the vein of the former, but I think I ended up treating it more as the latter. It seems pretty clear now that this was a flaw in my thought process. Gnon as conceptualized in the latter meaning has no will, but we do not know if Gnon is the former or the latter, and it seems this point really depends on which one it is.

      Still, I guess I can take solace in how that error does not impact the point you picked up on, which is that in the presence of God, death is the second-highest power, and in the absence of God, death becomes God.

      • Urban IX 01/21/2015 / 10:48 PM

        “Still, I guess I can take solace in how that error does not impact the point you picked up on, which is that in the presence of God, death is the second-highest power, and in the absence of God, death becomes God.”

        On this, I offer no argument.

  2. aramaxima 01/26/2015 / 1:05 AM

    Death is a tool of Gnon is a tool of God.

    That is how I conceptualize it.

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