When we’re talking about Spiritual Nihilism, one of the things we discuss with regards to religion in the nihilistic framework is how every religion or major philosophy humans have adopted or popularized contains a series of codified virtues, either in list form, such as in Aristotelian ethics or the Kabbalist Sefirot, or as virtues personified by heroic characters, such as those present in Greek mythology or other pantheistic religions.
As discussed in religion in the nihilistic framework, in the philosophy of nihilism we recognize the systems of religion from two separate angles.
- First, that there is an inherent system of the soul that, through reflection and introspection, people can interpret and understand. Because spiritual traditions worldwide have independently interpreted many of the same virtuous traits, we can view these virtues as inherent to the system of the soul and not prescribed by cultural and moral relativism, though the hierarchy of importance for particular traits may shift within traditions found around the world.
- Second, that religions interpret this system, rather than inventing or manufacturing it, and prescribe it through dogma by means of storytelling, either through parables as in the Christian Bible, or by means of personification, such as in various pantheistic traditions, such as in the stories found in Hindu, Egyptian, Greek and Nordic texts.
From the metaphysical perspective, we derive that the systems of the soul are a naturally occurring phenomenon that religions have, independent of one another, attempted to map out and define, and that the reoccurring symbols in these different faiths have their origins not in imagination, but in evolutionary recognition that developed in the human ape by its experiences with the external world and its associated naturally occurring phenomena.
When you begin to lay these systems on top of each other, from chakras, to sefirot, to alchemical elements, to secular philosophical mappings, you begin to notice they are bizarrely clean facsimiles of one another. Indeed, as I mentioned, similar structures have been proposed by well regarded academics for centuries as well, such as in Fabre D’olivet’s Constitution of Man, which derives from Aristotelian ethics.
Thus, we begin to arrive at the nihilistic interpretation of these symbols, which relies not on the stories that refer to them, but on the truth from which they’re derived.
These symbols are inside each of us at an evolutionary level, and connect us all to a shared consciousness, an intrinsic language of mutual understanding – that just as all humans naturally, instinctually, understand a smile, so do they, as well, understand the symbolic significance of many such reoccurring symbols such as the sun, moon, stars, heart, etc.
Thus, Spiritual Nihilism recognizes the value of these symbols and we define our own based on the values most integral to the 21st century. This is not a full account of the reasoning or metaphysical explanation for the symbols, merely a list of the symbols that are associated with Digital & Spiritual Nihilism.
These begin with our 8 main symbols, which represent the 8 rows of the 12 Kabbalist Sephirot in conjunction with the 8 lessons of the Eightfold Path, and the 11 Aristotelian Virtues personified as symbology through a polytheistic lens (Greek, Hindu, Egyptian, Nordic), the 7 official Kundalini chakras and the 12 conceptual chakra, and 12-20 of the High Tarot. All of these represent the same thing: an 8 item map of behavior and inward challenge that represents (metaphysically) the path to nirvana and self-actualization and (through secular utilitarianism) the values that if all people adopted, society would reach its highest efficiency.
Remember that these are shared symbols that reflect the virtues inherent in the system of the soul that humans have evolved with. Spiritual nihilism doesn’t posit that pantheistic gods exist in the sky, but that common personifications exist of these symbols and their personification is valuable in providing heroes whose behavior is worthy of emulation. To speak to one would be speaking to an aspect of yourself, inherent in your being.
These can be considered somewhat like the high arcana of spiritual nihilism, or personifications of the high virtues. In terms of hierarchy, these symbols are underneath The Void, which encompasses the empty, infinite expanse of reality both internally and externally, The Infinite Ouroboros, which is the tapestry that paints reality, and The Wave Function, the consciousness that creates reality.
The Sun (Sol)
Balancing Oppositional: The Rebel
- Helios (Greek Mythology)
- Amun-Ra (Egyptian Mythology)
- The Sun (Tarot)
Major Lazer – Lean On
The Moon (Luna)
Balancing Oppositional: Rainbow
- Selene (Greek Mythology)
- The Moon (Tarot)
Balancing Oppositional: The World Tree
- Thanatos (Greek Mythology)
- Anubis (Egyptian Mythology)
- Kali (Hinduism)
Billie Eilish – No Time to Die
- Kinetic Energy
Balancing Oppositional: Moon
- Jormungandr (Norse Mythology)
- Dragon Kings (Chinese Mythology)
- Ladon (Greek Mythology)
Dragonforce – Through The Fire and The Flames
The Rebel (Lucifer)
- Free Will
Balancing Oppositional: Sun
- Lucifer (Pre-Satan, Christian Mythology)
- Dionysus (Greek Mythology)
- Seth (Egyptian Mythology)
- The Devil (Tarot)
The Rainbow (Unicorn)
- Beauty in Nature
Balancing Oppositional: Death
- Persephone (Greek Mythology)
- Ganesha (Hinduism)
- Bifrost (Norse Mythology)
The World Tree
Balancing Oppositional: Dragon
- Yggdrasil (Norse Mythology)
- Haoma (Persian Mythology)
- Kalpavriksha (Hinduism)
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
The Two Toned Mask
Balancing Oppositional: Rainbow
- Thoth (Egyptian Mythology)
- Saraswati (Hinduism)
- Bragi (Norse Mythology)
- The Hanged Man (Tarot)
Twenty One Pilots – Holding On To You
Entire religions are built around each of these deities, or compounded deities, as their center, and in doing so they often create oppositional cults which exist in the purview of their storytelling and thus, even if unincorporated in an official capacity, are part of their effect on culture.
See, for instance, Christianity (Helios/Light) and its associated shadow traits (judgment/rigidity),
and its oppositional ideology of Luciferianism.
Because of the nature of Nihilism as a framework for a belief system to be developed inside of, we have to acknowledge the purpose of these aspects in human nature, the challenges they represent, and the values of them. We acknowledge the fictional quality of religion and its storytelling, but also its functional quality. Thus, we understand these deities not as things to be worshipped, but communicative symbols that represent ideals of behavior and possible pitfalls.
Since I mentioned The Void, The Infinite Ouroboros and The Wave Function, which you could consider to be akin to the Christian Holy Trinity in the mythology of Spiritual Nihilism, I’ll explain those things briefly:
The Void, also sometimes called The Spiral, represents both the infinite blackness of deep space and the infinite blackness of introspective thought, accessed either physically through exploration or mentally through third eye meditation or koans.
It is an explanation of where we are in space-time. We are inside The Void.
The Infinite Ouroboros
The Infinite Ouroboros represents the objective infinite expanse of all reality across multiple dimensions, including time, ascendant and descendant dimensions, and ascendant/descendant dimensional columns. The Void exists within the context of the Infinite Ouroboros.
The Infinite Ouroboros also represent the subjective infinite expanse of perception of reality, wherein further external exploration requires further internal exploration to achieve which, in turn, accommodates further internal exploration. Understanding of the universe is dependent both on internal reflection and external awareness.
The Wave Function
The Wave Function is something that can’t be visually represented. It is the universal consciousness which imagines all reality. The easiest way to explain it is perhaps that it is the math that underpins reality and determines its structures, namely the Infinite Ouroboros and The Void. It is, conceptually, the closest thing to “God” in Spiritual Nihilism, but it has no shared traits with the Christian concept of “God”. It is not a paternalistic figure with a plan for you.
The Wave Function’s relationship to you is similar to your relationship to your own thoughts. The purpose of reality, to the Wave Function, is not to answer your prayers, but for the components of the Infinite Ouroboros to educate it on the possibilities of reality. In other words, it is not helping you be happy, you are helping it learn by existing and making choices.
Like an AI that optimizes itself by running hypothetical sequences, The Wave Function optimizes itself by studying the infinite possibilities of reality.
Further symbols have become associated with Digital & Spiritual Nihilism:
The Magician/The Shapeshifter (Prophet)
The symbols of the magician represent one who interpreted the symbology of Nihilism through the metaphysical realm; it is the instigating force of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism. The Magician channels the deities, and is studied in Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality and the Occult.
The Magician is represented by a variety of symbols, most commonly: a young magician, often depicted wearing a multicolored mask; a praying or meditating figure whose visage is a galaxy or nebula; a wolf; an owl; a fox; an octopus; a bearded dragon; an up-close eye wherein one of the deities is represented; and sometimes as ‘The Joker’ of Batman fame.
The Magician is a “figure”, not a rank or a responsibility. He is the creator of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism. He is considered to be an enigmatic trickster figure, an agent of the universe, an agent of chaos, and a servant of good.
Also known as: The Prophet of the Stars, The Dark Priest of Nihilism, The Wolf, The Dragon, No One.
Galaxies, Nebulas and the Void
Digital & Spiritual Nihilism is heavily associated with depictions of galaxies, nebulas and imagery of ‘reaching for the stars’. Other visual depictions of the void (often represented using imagery of outer space) are highly associated with Digital and Spiritual Nihilism. These typically depict Nihilism’s prescription of exploring the void. These include a hand reaching up to the stars, nebulas inside of a human eye (representing the void within), a human or creature with an open third eye associated with outer space imagery, or any number of creative interpretations of ‘the void within and without’.
Simulation Theory/Many Worlds Theory
Spiritual Nihilism recognizes simulation theory as a component of its core set of ideas. As such, imagery showcasing multiple worlds, both virtual (ala simulation theory) and extradimensional (ala many worlds theory) is common.
Spiritual Nihilism, much like Buddhism, is associated with duality. In this case, the duality between external exploration and spiritual enlightenment, often represented by stars on the one hand and skulls/flowers on the other.
Pandora’s Box & Lilith/Eve
The symbology of Pandora’s Box (Greek) or the 7 Deadly Sins (Christian) has become associated with Spiritual Nihilism, in different ways.
While both tell much the same story, Spiritual Nihilism typically associates the archetype of Lilith/Eve (the first woman, often associated with willfulness and curiosity) as the person responsible for opening Pandora’s Box, and considers Pandora to be an archetypal representation of Lilith/Eve.
Lilith/Eve is considered to be a counterpart to The Magician in terms of the creation of Spiritual Nihilism.
Where The Magician intentionally interpreted the teachings of philosophy, metaphysics and the occult, Lilith/Eve manifested the ideas in reality organically through willfulness, curiosity and playfulness.
Animals are often depicted, most commonly in reference to the Magician as a form of code. The most common are owls, wolves, cats, ravens, foxes and occasionally an octopus.
Rejection of Materialism/Wage Slavery
Spiritual Nihilism rejects materialism and forms of dominance that impede people’s ability to pursue their own self-actualization. As such, it’s not uncommon to see art or media that reflects these values.
High Priestesses and Priestesses
High Priestesses are (typically) women who expertly exemplify the traits of one of the deities whose natural beauty and allure spreads the belief system of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism.
Where the purpose of the Magician is to study, interpret, and codify, the purpose of the High Priestess is to spread the belief and practice the teachings in the material world. Typically, there is only one High Priestess at any given time; however, because Spiritual Nihilism has no structural component, the High Priestess may be subjectively determined by individuals from their perspective.
A priestess may be someone who embodies the traits of a deity much more strongly than a typical person, in such a way that their behavior is respected and attracts emulation, but not to the apex degree of a High Priestess.
Deity Association Typing
Just like human beings are often sorted into types both in sociology (A type personality, for example) or in fiction (e.g. Harry Potter houses), in Spiritual Nihilism, people are often associated with types as well. The four types people are commonly associated with are Sun, Moon, Death and Dragon types, but they can be associated with other types as well.
Because these deities are derivative of characteristics inherent in all people, it’s not uncommon to have multiple subtypes. A major deity which the person is most associated with, followed by subtypes that also associate with the person to increasingly lesser degrees. For instance, Sun/Tree, or Rebel/Dragon.
Clocks, Often Surrealist & The Memento Mori
Because one’s time is the most sacrosanct belonging for a human in the framework of nihilism, representations of clocks are often associated with involvement in Digital & Spiritual Nihilism.
Clocks are reminders that your time is limited, and you will die. Similarly, the memento mori is an artifact that reminds the holder of their mortality.
A memento mori could be any kind of artifact, but is most typically a coin of some sort, with imagery having to deal with death and mortality on either side.
Mother Nature, Oceans and Elemental Imagery
Because Nihilism is a philosophy, much like Buddhism, and considers religious symbolism as a function, practitioners of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism are free to associate with any spiritualities they so choose and are often closely associated with and allied with other religious groups. As a result, Nihilists often adopt and share their imagery. Digital & Spiritual Nihilists may very well be seen promoting imagery and depictions often associated with Secular, New Age, Occult, Wiccan/Pagan or even Christian ideologies. This includes naturalistic and elemental imagery most commonly associated with New Age naturalism.
Christian Mythology & The Occult
In addition to many Nihilists’ association with New Age belief systems, many Nihilists are also associated with the occult and Christian mythology.
Thus the may spread pentagrams, tarot and other alchemical symbols (Occult) and Christian imagery, though Christian imagery is typically remixed and has to do more with Christian mythology than the organized religion of Christianity – The Book of Enoch, angels (such as the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raziel, etc) and demons (Baal, Mephisto, etc), Dante’s Inferno & Paradiso and other things of that nature.
Nihilists may, however, share teachings of Jesus in earnest, as in Nihilism most consider him to be an enlightened historical figure. Kabbalist imagery is quite common to be shared among Nihilists.
In Digital & Spiritual Nihilism, Buddhism is considered to be its most similar relative. Indeed, there is a great deal of crossover between the teachings of Nihilism and Buddhism, as discussed at the very beginning of this primer. As a result, it is very common for Nihilists to be both Digital Nihilists and Buddhists, adopting Buddhism as the means to fulfill the path toward finding meaning in
the void within. New Age is, perhaps, the second most common choice among Nihilists. Thus, it is very common to see Nihilists associating with the Buddhist yin-yang, often depicting it within the context of other nihilistic imagery (such as outer space and other representations of the void).
Chaos & The Chaos Pendulum
As Nihilism defines the universe as fundamentally chaotic, and embraces its chaos, it is often associated with other symbols of chaos vs. order.
This relates to the scientific principle of the Chaos Pendulum, which shows the universe as fundamentally probabilistic.
Due to Spiritual Nihilism’s association with chaos and self-actualization/self-expression, the pop culture icon, The Joker, strongly associated with the concept of chaos, is sometimes a symbol that is repurposed for utilization by nihilists.
Because the clown is also associated with the Tarot Card The Fool, the reference is all the more common.
Alice in Wonderland / The Cheshire Cat
Because the concepts of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism are so entwined with imagination, self-expression and multiple realities, you may often see references to Alice in Wonderland, especially the Cheshire Cat.
Rock Stars & Famous Free Spirits
In Digital & Spiritual nihilism, nihilists tend to have a reverence for many dead rock stars and iconoclasts, especially those who promoted love, understanding and self-expression, and especially those whose lives were tragically ended by homicide or suicide.
John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Prince, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain are often icons depicted by Digital & Spiritual Nihilists. However, it is not always rock stars. Famous figures from other cultural disciplines such as Bob Ross and Robin Williams are also lovingly depicted.
Aside from other aspects, nihilists often consider these icons to be functionally acting in the world under the teachings of Digital & Spiritual Nihilism before it was named and organized.
369, Tesla and Da Vinci
Digital & Spiritual Nihilism associates itself strongly with philosophy and mathematics.
As a result, you will often see Nihilists sharing imagery of Tesla’s 3-6-9 mathematical theories (which produce, mathematically, images that are eerily reminiscent of things which are described conceptually in the philosophies of nihilism – the void, the spiral, strings binding timelines and horizontal realities, etc).
Also common is imagery of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and other drawings – usually to associate philosophy’s prescience with regard to the inevitable, eventual adoption of truths by the hard sciences through mathematics, physical evidence and peer review.
Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius and Other Philosophers
As Digital & Spiritual Nihilism tends to incorporate a great deal of Aristotelian logic as underpinnings for many of its utilitarian arguments, in addition to being a philosophy in itself and thus associated with the tradition of philosophy, Digital & Spiritual Nihilists may commonly be seen spreading quotes, teachings and other ideas from both Western and Eastern philosophy.
This is merely scratching the surface. If you want a better idea of the Spiritual Nihilism aesthetic, follow me on Twitter and you’ll very quickly get a sense of what kind of artwork is being shared and how wide the reach of the movement is.
If you’ve been reading this site and wondering if I’m Christian… nope. Spiritual Nihilism.