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Towards an Analysis of The Logomachy of Zos


Who are Zos and Kia?

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 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."
We 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 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 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 flesh."
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."

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