Nero Redivivus
"Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number - Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you
- Ye are many - they are few."
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Mask of Anarchy"

The following are excerpts from Nero Redivivus.  The full text of each chapter may be accessed by clicking on the title heading.

Chapter One:    The Return of the Serpent
Nowadays, the common understanding of “usury” is the practice of charging excessive interest on loans, usually in violation of legal limits. This is an example of the ongoing corruption of language in our times in the interest of legitimizing the existing order of inequity. But the original meaning of “usury” was the exacting of any interest on a loan. How that kind of usury could, not so long ago, have been considered among the blackest of transgressions is a good indicator of how much our World has changed in the last few centuries – and not for the better! We “free people” of the 21st Century are the virtual slaves of Geryon, compelled to incur debt constantly, even to put a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our backs… and all the while not even suspecting that something is terribly wrong here – until, perhaps, at last we join the growing legions of the homeless, hungry and humiliated.

The nigh universal acceptance of usury as the “norm” is even more incredible when one considers that the most important ethical teachers of human history – Moses, Aristotle, Jesus, Mohammed, Aquinas – are unanimous in denouncing usury. Of all the vile sins that Christ witnessed during his sojourn here on Earth, the only one that drove him into a violent fury was the usury of the moneychangers in the Temple. The fact that almost all of us today are totally clueless as to what could possibly be bad about charging interest on loans is an example of the most extreme form of mass amnesia – a testament to a system of thought control so effective that it surpasses the Orwellian as much as the year 2012 surpasses the year 1984.

The ancient Jews likened the consequences of usury to neschek, the bite of a serpent. The snake is not alarming or threatening in its approach, but subtle and unnoticed. Its bite initially is but a minor discomfort, and the victim obliviously carries on while the deadly venom spreads through his body. Just as neschek slowly but inevitably poisons the body of an individual, so does usury subtly but surely poison mankind’s social body, so that society’s productive capacities become instruments of impoverishment, injustice, oppression, violence and war. The very processes meant to expand and sustain life are perverted to promote death. Culture ceases to be an avenue of self-expression and fulfillment, and becomes instead a channel of indoctrination and conformity, a media-driven juggernaut, beneath which the human spirit is crushed as never before in history.

Chapter Two:    In the Cave of the Sibyl
The cave of the Sibyl in Cumae, Italy, in the first year of the 68th Olympiad (508 BC). Two women are seated in the large audience chamber of the cave. Amaltheia, the older of the two women, has a wild, almost savage appearance, with spiky sprays of platinum-grey hair framing a face that seems at once ancient and yet child-like. The younger woman, Taraxandra, has a lithe, athletic build and large emotive eyes. They sit together talking on stone bench. Behind them through a half-opened oak door a dimly-lit inner chamber, the Adyton, can faintly be glimpsed. The audience chamber has a high, vaulted ceiling pierced by a myriad of openings, large and small, admitting light at odd, glancing angles, so that figures within the chamber cast multiple shadows, some looming titanic, others barely a wisp. In the foreground, the cave’s entrance is at the end of a long trapezoidal passage cut through the volcanic rock. As the scene opens, it is early morning. Taraxandra is seen bending over to examine a large pile of oak leaves lying at her feet.

Chapter Three:    The Sibylline Prophecies
While fable attributed to the Sibyls a longevity of thousands of years, they did in fact maintain an amazingly coherent continuity from antediluvian times to the end of the Roman era. So faithful was the succession between one priestess and the next that it seemed for all intents and purposes that there was but one superannuated Sibyl who lived on and on. This Sibylline succession was crucial in creating a linkage between the Golden Ages Past and Future, a linkage which otherwise would have been lost during the Age of Darkness. They kept alive the memory of the Before Time, which contains within it the memory of the Time to Come. Although only fragments of Sibyl’s prophecies have survived – and even those have been interlaced with bogus interpolations by Jewish and Christian emendators – they possess an underlying holographic structure that infuses each iota with the meaning of the whole. Somehow their entire world is still alive and present in the few remaining words of the Sibylline oracles that are left to us. These words, which we are about to examine, are truly the foundation upon which a remnant of the human race – winnowed by the impending breakdown of both natural and social orders – will one day construct the New Jerusalem.

Chapter Four:    Nero in the Underworld 
When the toxins of usury have thoroughly poisoned the streams of human commerce and sundered all ties of community, so that the delusion of separateness spreads like a blanket of fog over consciousness, then the desolate day of the Hollow Man will dawn. Here at last is the man who will stare vacuously at the glittering idols of Falsehood and blink, accepting as valid and valuable only the static surfaces of things, hearing only the churning of money replicating itself, virus-like. Here at last is the vortex sucking in the draft of Voidness that disperses the collective Soul and severs every cord of empathy that connects man to his brother. Then at last the vacuity of your inner World, Nero, will expand to take in the entire planet – a World of empty shells, never touching anything Real, only the tokens of illusory wealth, created out of Nothing and bound to return to Nothing. Then, indeed, they will dance like straw-men to your tune.

Chapter Five:    The Bonfire of the Vanities 
In Savonarola’s time, the Vanities targeted for immolation were the trappings of wealthy ostentation and narcissism tied to a superficial patrician culture. In our own time, after five centuries of usurious idolatry, the Vanities are much more deeply ingrained in our individual psyches, blocking our participation in any form of meaningful collective redemption. So we must begin this healing process by each one of us igniting the Bonfire of the Vanities within the mind-space inhabited by our analog self and consigning the Specter, as often as he/she appears, to those flames. Like Christ in the Wilderness, we must each of us first purge our own phantom selfhood before we can join together in the Great Jubilee that ends the reign of usury and the passive perception it begets. When the countless flames of Specter-free individuals finally merge, they will make one great Bonfire that will consume Falsehood forever.

Chapter Six:    The Night of Screams 
Sixty-four years – to the day – after the Blessed Virgin first appeared at Fatima, the events she foretold in her Third Secret began to unfold. On May 13, 1981, the Pope was shot and nearly killed by an assassin who later testified that he was motivated to fulfill the Third Secret of Fatima. The “Deep State” intelligence apparatuses of both the Eastern and Western blocs seemed to be involved with this attempt; the ultimate responsibility was unclear, though Western propaganda succeeded in pinning it on the Soviets. Within weeks of the shooting, however, renewed apparitions of Our Lady commenced in the obscure village of Medjugorje in what was then Yugoslavia. Our Lady predicted that the great Soviet monolith would crumble and Christianity would be restored in Russia. After its miraculous conversion, She said Russia would become the source of mankind’s spiritual renewal. Her messages culminated in a Great Prophecy, in which Our Lady declared: “Russia will come to glorify God the most; the West has made civilization progress, but without God, and acts as if they are their own creator.”