After I have stood behind the bar all night, it may already be light out,
often close to noon, by the time I awaken – but I am still lying in the dark,
for I sleep behind a thick curtain in the alcove. I then spend another quarter
hour in bed before getting up.
If I say, “in order to pray” it may sound strange. Of course, this word is
quite worn, and it has been corrupted by the padres. Religio, as we know,
harks back to a word (re-ligo) meaning “bond”; and that is precisely what
the anarch rejects. He does not go in for Moses with the Ten Commandments
or, indeed, for any prophets. Nor does he wish to hear anything concerning
gods or rumors about them, except as a historian – or unless they appear to
him. That is when the conflicts begin.
So if I state, “in order to pray,” I am following an innate instinct that is
no weaker than the sexual drive – in fact, even stronger. The two are alike
insofar as foul things can happen when they are suppressed.
Regarding this need, the anarch is again no different from anyone else.
But he does not like to attach himself. He does not squander his best
energies. He accepts no substitute for his gold. He knows his freedom, and
also what it is worth its weight in. The equation balances when he is offered
something credible. The result is ONE.
There can be no doubt that gods have appeared, not only in ancient times
but even late in history; they feasted with us and fought at our sides. But
what good is the splendor of bygone banquets to a starving man? What good
is the clinking of gold that a poor man hears through the wall of time? The
gods must be called.
The anarch lets all this be; he can bide his time. He has his ethos, but not
morals. He recognizes lawfulness, but not law; he despises rules. Whenever
ethos goes into shalts and shalt-nots, it is already corrupted. Still, it can
harmonize with them, depending on location and circumstances, briefly or at
length, just as I harmonize here with the tyrant for as long as I like.
One error of the anarchists is their belief that human nature is
intrinsically good. They thereby castrate society, just as the theologians
(”God is goodness”) castrate the Good Lord. This is a Saturnian trait.
Natural law has been twisted every which way – from legitimation to
brutal violence to a paradisal idyll. This is grounded in the possibility of
reading anything at all into nature. “It is everything at once.” Well, fine;
then let every human being get his own bit from Being.
The random and the arbitrary begin in the realm of molecules. There must
be a crack in the universe from the very start. The very word “nature”
contains a “nay.” Genesis offers marvelous hints, but only rumors, as if a
shepherd had been listening at an unclosed door.
Lawfulness must be sought in the atoms and even deeper, including our
own atoms. From these depths, the ethical and aesthetic judgment reacts to
the finest variations. That is why injustice usually appears as ugly. The
dangers increase in the ascent, as on a tightrope without a safety net, or as on
the Sirat, that sliver of a bridge across the chasm of hell. Never is the
temptation to summon the gods more powerful and never is there greater
merit in resisting it.
As a historian, and only as such, I am a positivist. Lawfulness is valid so
long as it is observed and can be observed. A good conscience – though not,
of course, in the form of moral arrogance – is one of the prerequisites. It is
not only the fit who survive, but also the honest. The fact that these two
survivals do not coincide in time goes back once more to Genesis, to the
separation of the Tree of Life from the Tree of Knowledge.
Needless to say, when praying, the anarch neither requests nor thanks.
Nor does he seek a magical force in prayer. How many ardent prayers have
not been heard? As a historian, I linger in the cells of the condemned; as an
anarch, I would like to offer them posthumous solace; and I know that the
guilty need this even more than the innocent.
I was in the dungeon with Boethius and in the temple with Marie
Antoinette when her hair turned white. I was there when the mob was
howling outside and the father put on his prayer thongs. The child groped for
his hand. But neither the father nor the child was heard.
Nevertheless, prayer comes from an innate drive. It is more important
than food and drink, since it testifies to more than transient life. It takes us
behind the bleak stage set with which knowledge disguises the universe.
Water is seen differently in retorts than in the aqueducts leading to big
cities, and differently again in the ocean – and as the water of life in prayer.
The padres set great store by addressing prayers to personal gods:
“Genuine prayer exists only in religions in which there is a God as a person
and a shape and endowed with a will.”
That was stated by a famous Protestant. The anarch does not want to have
anything to do with that conception. As for the One God: while he may be
able to shape persons, he is not a person himself, and that he is already a
A neuter One is beyond our grasp, while man converses with the Many
Gods on equal terms, whether as their inventor or as their discoverer. In any
case, it is man who named the gods. This is not to be confused with a high-level
soliloquy. Divinity must, without a doubt, be inside us and be
recognized as being inside us; otherwise we would have no concept of gods.
“For a God reigns within us” (Hölderlin). “ONE is the start of everything”
(Philolaus). “A God is the greatest among gods and among men, not
comparable to mortals in shape or thought” (Xenophanes). “A whirlwind of
multiple shapes detaches itself from the Totality” (Democritus).
And, over and over again, Heraclitus. We should not make a fuss about
the numinous; it lights on everyone – every man has his Sinai and also his