are Zos and Kia?
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 also The Focus of Life in which
both Zos and Kia speak of each other. Spare's 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 we
should ask, 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 and 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
coolant "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." We
might note here the heavy echoes of the Tao Te Ching: "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."
have mentioned the principle of Self-Love a few times, we might as well add here
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
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 time."
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,
here is 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
This presentation of Spare's position on flesh brings to mind
the work of the French philosopher 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."