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Thread: American "Civilization" [by Julius Evola]

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    Post Evola



    Ogni vero imperialismo deve essere intensamente positivo, epperò riconoscere una sola realitá: quella dell’individuo. L’impero sarà per un individuo, per un individuo superiore, per l’individuo capace di dire: “Lo Stato sono io “e non l’individuo sarà per l’impero”.

    Julius Evola, Imperialismo Pagano. Il Fascismo dinanzi al pericolo Euro-Cristiana. Padova: Edizione di Ar, (1978). p.52

    A literature study would easily reveal Evola's strong indebtedness to authors like Stirner, Michelstaedtner and Weininger, delivering the philosophical ammunition to preserve the Person against naturalistic inclinations and collectivism conform his inner need for autonomy and autarky.

    Above lines are almost paraphrasing Stirner when he doesn't actually denounce the love for one's own nation, but the submission of the individual to the nation, which would posses him and deny any other aspect that makes his very being unique and undetermined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frans_Jozef


    Ogni vero imperialismo deve essere intensamente positivo, epperò riconoscere una sola realitá: quella dell’individuo. L’impero sarà per un individuo, per un individuo superiore, per l’individuo capace di dire: “Lo Stato sono io “e non l’individuo sarà per l’impero”.

    = Every authentic imperialism ought to be intensely positive, recognizing one sole reality: the reality of the individual.
    The empire will be forged for an individual of superior nature, capable to exclaim:The State is I, and he won't be subject to the empire.
    Last edited by Moody; Thursday, February 1st, 2007 at 05:58 PM. Reason: merged consecutive posts

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    Post Julius Evola - Regression of the Castes

    Julius Evola

    REGRESSION OF THE CASTES

    As my intent was to offer a bird's-eye view of history, in the previous pages I have presented all the elements necessary to formulate an objective law at work in the various stages of the process of decadence, that is, the law of the regression of castes (1). A progressive shift of power and type of civilization has ocurred from one caste to the next since prehistoric times (from sacred leaders, to a warrior aristocracy, to the merchants, and finally to the serfs); these castes in traditional civilizations corresponded to the qualitative differentiation of the main human possibilities. In the face of this general movement anything concerning the various conflicts among peoples, the life of nations, or other historical accidents plays only a secondary and contingent role.



    I have alredy discussed the dawn of the age of the first caste. In the West, the representatives of the divine royalty and the leaders who embody the two powers (spiritual and temporal), in what I have called "spiritual virility" and "Olympian sovereignity," belong to a very distant and almost mythical past. We have seen how, through the gradual deterioration of the Light of the North, the process of decadence has unfolded; in the Ghibelline ideal of the Holy Roman Empire I have identified the last echo of the highest tradition.

    Once the appex dissapeared, authority descended to the level inmediately below, that is, to the caste of the warriors. The stage was then set for monarchs who were mere military leaders, lords of temporal justice and, in more recent times, politically absolute sovereigns. In other words, regality of blood replaced regality of the spirit. In a few instances it is still posible to find the idea of "divine right," but only as a formula lacking a real content. We find such rulers in antiquity behind institutions that retained the traits of the ancient sacred regime only in a formal way. In any event in the West, with the dissolution of the medieval ecumene, the passage into the second phase became all-enbracing and definitive. During this stage, the fides cementing the state no longer had a religious character, but only a warrior one; it meant loyalty, faithfulness, honor. This was essentially the age and the cycle of the Great European monarchies.

    Then a second collapse ocurred as the aristocracies began to fall into decay and the monarchies to shake at the foundations; through revolutions and constitutions they became useless institutions subject to the "will of the nation," and sometimes they were even ousted by different regimes. The principle characterizyng this state of affairs was: "The king reigns but he does not rule." Together with parliamentary republics the formation of the capitalist oligarchies revealed the shift of power from the second caste (the warrior) to the modern equivalent of the third caste (the mercantile class). The kings of the coal, oil, and iron industries replace the previous kings of blood and of spirit. Antiquity, too, sometimes knew this phenomenon in sporadics forms; in Rome and in Greece the "aristocracy of welth" repatedly forced the han of the hierarchical structure by pursuing aristocratic positions, undermining sacred laws and traditional institutions, and inflitrating the militia, priesthood, or consulship. In later times what ocurred was the rebelion of the communes and the rise of the various madieval formations of mercantile power. The solemn proclamation of the "rights of the Third Estate" in France represented the decisive stage, followed by the varieties of "bourgeois revolution" of the third caste, which employed liberal and democratic ideologies for its own purposes. Correspondingly, this era was characterized by the theory of the social contract. At this time the social bond was no longer a fides of a warrior type based on relationships of faithfulness and honor. Instead, it took on a utilitarian and economic character; it consisted of an agreement based on personal convenience and on material interest that only a merchant could have conceived. Gold became a means ad powerful tool; those who knew how to acquire it and to multiply it (capitalism, high finance, industrial trusts), behind the appereances of democracy, virtually controlled political power and the instruments employed in the art of opinionmaking. Aristocracy gave way to plutocracy, the warrior, to the banker and industrialist. The economy triumphed on all fronts. Trafficking with money and charging interest, activities previouly confined to the ghettos, invaded the new civilisation. According to the expression of W. Sombart, in the promised land of Protestant puritanism, Americanism, capitalism, and the "destilled Jewish spirit" coexist. It is natural that given these congenial premises, the modern representatives of secularized Judaism saw the ways to achieve world domination open up before them. In this regard, Karl Marx wrote:

    What are the mundane principles of Judaism? Practical necessity and the pursuit of one's own advantage. What is its earthly god? Money. The Jew has emancipated himself in a typically Jewish fashion not only in that he has taken control of the power of money, but also in that through him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit of the Christian people. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the earth. The exchange is the true god of the Jews. (2)

    In reality, the codification of the traffic with gold as a loan charged with interest, to which the Jews had been previously devoted since they had no other means through which they could affirm themselves, may be said to be the very foundation of the acceptance of the aberrant development of all that is banking, high finance, and pure economy, which are spreading like a cancer in the modern world. This is the fundamental time in the "age of the merchants".

    Finally the crisis of bourgeois society, classs truggle, the proletarian revolt against capitalism, the manifest promulgated at the "Third International" in 1919, and the correlative organization of the groups and the masses in the cadres proper to a "socialist civilization of labor" -all these bear witness to the third collapse, in which power tends to pass into the hands of the lowest of the traditional castes, the caste of the beasts of burden and the standardized individuals. The result of this transfer of power was a reduction of horizon and value to the plane of matter, the machine, and the reign of quantity. The prelude to this was the Russian Revolution. Thus, the new ideal became the "proletarian" ideal of a universal and communist civilization. (3)

    We may compare the above mentioned phaenomenon of the awakening and gushing forth of elemental subhuman forces within the structures of the modern world to a person who can no longer endure the tension of the spirit (first caste), and eventually not even the tension of the will as afree force that animates the body (warrior caste), and who thus gives in to the subpersonal forces of the organic system and all of a sudden reacts almost magnetically under the impulse of another life taht replaces his own. The ideas and the passions of the demos soon escape men´s control and they begin to act as if they had acquired an autonomous and dreadful life of their own. These passions pit nations and collectivities against each other and result in unprecedented conflicts and crises. At the end of the process, once the total collapse has ocurred, the awaits an international system under the brutal symbols of the hammer and the sickle.

    Such are the horizons facing the contemporary world. Just as it is only by adhering to free activity that man can truly be free and realize his own self, likewise, by focusing on practical and utilitarian goals, economic achievements, and whatever was once the exclusive domain of the inferior castes man abdicates, desintegrates, loses his center, and opens himself to infernal forces of which he is destined to become the unwilling and unconscious instrument. Moreover, contemporary society looks like an organism that has shifted from a human to a subhuman type, in which every activity and reaction is determined by the needs of the dictate of purely physical life. Man's dominating principles are those of the material part of traditional hierarchies: gold and work. This is how things are today; these two elements, almost without exception ,affect every possibility of existence and give shape to the ideoloies and myths that clearly testify to the gravity of he modern perversion of all values.

    Not only has the quadripartite regression have a sociopolitical scope, but it also inverts every domain of civilization. In architecture the regression is symbolized by the shift from the temple (first caste) as the dominant building, to the fortress and castle (caste of warriors), to the city-state surrounded by protecting walls (age of the merchants) , to the factory, and finally to the rational and dull buildings that are the hives of the mass-man. The family, which in the origins has a sacred foundation, shifted to an authoritarian model (patria potestas in a mere juridical sense), then to a bourgeois and conventional one, until it will finally disolve when the party, the people, and society will supersede in importance and dignity. The notion of war underwent analogous phases: from the doctrine of the "sacred war" and of the mors triumpalis a shift occured to the war waged in the name of the right and of the honor of one's lord (warrior caste); in the third stage conflicts are brought about by national ambitions that are contingent upon the plans and the interests of a supremacist economy and industry (caste of merchants); finally there arose the communist theory according to which war among nations is just a bourgeois residue, since the only just war is the world revolution of the proletarian class waged against the capitalist and the so-called imperialist world (caste of serfs). In the aesthetic dimension a shift occurred from a symbolic, sacred art closely related to the possibilities of predicing future evets and magic (first caste), to the predominance of epic art and poems (caste of the warriors); this was followed by a shift to a romantic, conventional, sentimentalist, erotic, and psychological art that is produced for the consumption of the bourgeois class, until finally, new "social" or "socially involved" views of art begin to emerge that advocate an art for the use and consumption of the masses. The traditional work knew the superindividual unity characterizing the orders: in the West first came ascetics, monastic orders; these were followed by knightly orders (caste of the warriors), which in turn were followed by the unity sworn to in Masonic lodges, which worked hard to prepare the revolution of the Third Estate and the advent of democracy. Finally there came the network of revolutionary and activist cadres of the Communist International (last caste), bent on the destruction of the previous sociopolitical order.

    It is on the plane of ethics that the process of degradation is particularly visible. While the first age was characterized by the ideal of "sipirital virility", initiation, and an ethics aimed at overcoming all human bonds; and while the age of the warriors was characterized by the ideal of heroism, victory, and lorship, as well as by the aristocratic ethics of honor, faithfulness, and chevalry, during the age of the merchants the predominant ideals where of pure economics, profit prosperity, an of science as an instrument of a technical and industrial progress that propels production and new profits in a "consumer society". Finally the advent of the serfs corresponds to the elevation of the slave's principle -work- to the status of a religion. It is the hatred harbored by the slave that sadistically proclaims: "If anyone will not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thess, 3:10). The slave's self-congratulating stupidity created sacred incenses with the exaltation of human sweat, hence expressions such as "Work ennobles man"; "The religion of work"; and "Work as a social and ethical duty". We have previouly learned that the ancient world despised work only because it knew action; the opposition of action to work as an opposition between the spiritual, pure and free pole, and the material, impure pole impregnated only with human possibilities, was at the basis of that contempt. The loss of the sense of this opposition and the animal-like subordination of the former to the latter, characterizes the last ages. And when in ancient times every work, through an inner transfiguration owing to its purity and its meaning as an "offering" oriented upwards could redeem itself until it became a symbol of action, now, following an upheaval in the opposite direction (which can be observed during the age of the serfs), every residue of action tends to be degraded to the form of work. The degeneration of the ancient aristocratic and sacred ethics into the modern plebiean and materialistic morality is expressively characterized by such a shift from the plane of action to the plane of work. Superior men who lived in a not so distant past, eother acted or directed actions. Modern man works (4). The only real difference today is that which exists between the various kinds of work; there are "intellectual" workers and those whose their limbs and machines. In any event, the notion of "action" is dying out in the modern world, together with that of absolute personality. Moreover, among all the commissioned arts, antiquity regarded as most disgraceful those devoted to the pursuit of pleasure -minimaeque artes esa probandae, quae ministrae sunt voluptatum (5), this, after all, is precisely the kind of work respected the most in this day and age. Begining with the scientist, technician, and politician, and with the rationalyzed system of productive organization, "work" supposedly leads to the realization of an ideal more fitting for a human animal: an easier life that is more enjoyable and safer with the maximization of one's well-being and physical comfort. The contemporary breed of artists and of "creative minds" of the burgoise is the equivalent of that class of "luxury servants" that catered to the pleasure and distractions of the Roman patriciate and later on, of the medieval feudal lords.

    Then again, while the themes proper to this degradation find their most characteristics expressions on the social plane and in contemporary life, they do not fail to make an appearance on the ideal and speculative plane. It was precisely during the age of humanism that the antitraditional and plebeian theme emerged in the views of Giordano Bruno who, by inverting traditional values, extolled the age of human effort and work over and against the Golden Age (of which he knew absolutely nothing) in a masochistic fashion and with authentic stupidity. Bruno called "divine" the brutish drive of human need, since such a drive is responsible for producing "increasingly wonderful arts and inventions", for removing mankind further from the Golden Age that he regarded as animalistic and lazy, and for drawing human beings closer to God (6). In all this we find an anticipation of those ideologies that, by virtue of being significantly connected to the age of the French Revolution, regarded work as the main element of the social myth and revived the messianic theme in terms of work and machines, all the while singing the praises of progress. Moreover, modern man, whether consciously or unconsciously, began to apply to the universe and project on an ideal plane the experiences that he nurtured in the workshops and factories and by which the soul became a product. Bergson, who exalted the élan vital, is the one who drew the analogy as only a modern could between technical productive activity inspired by a mere practical principle and the ways of intelligence itself. Having covered with ridicule the ancient "inert" idea of knowledge as contemplation,

    The entire effort of modern epistemology in its most radical trajectories consists in assimilating knowledge to productive work, according to the postulates: "To know is to do" and "One can only really know what one does" (7).

    Verum et factum convertuntur. And since according to the unrealism typical of these currents, (a) "to be" means "to know"; (b) the spirit is identified with the idea; and (c) the productive and immanent knowing process is identified with the process of reality, the way of the fourth caste is reflected in the highest regions and posits itself as their foundational "truth". Likewise, there is an activism on the plane of philosophical theories that appears to be in agreement with the world created by the advent of the last caste and its "civilization of work".

    Generally speaking, this advent is reflected in the abovementioned modern ideologies of "progress" and Evolution", which have distorted a "scientific" irresponsibility any superior vision of history, promoted the definitive abandonment of traditional truths, and created the most specious alibis for the justification and glorification of modern man. The myth of evolutionism is nothing else but the profession of faith of the upstart. If in recent times the West no longer believes in the nobility of the origins but in the notion that civilization arises out of barbarism, religion from superstition, man from animal, (Darwin), thought from matter, and every spiritual form from the "sublimation" or transposition of the stuff that originates the instinct, libido, and complexes of the "collective unconscious" (Freud, Jung), and so on-we can see in all this not so much the result of a deviated quest, but rather, and above all, and alibi or something that a civilization created by both lower beings and the revolutions of the serfs and pariahs against the ancient aristocratic society necessarily had to believe in and wish to be true. There is not a dimension in which, in one form or another, the evolutionary myth had not succeeded in infiltrating with destructive consequences; the results have been the overthrow of every value, the suppression of all sense of truth, the elaboration and connecting together (as in an unbreakable magical circle) of the world inhabited by a deconsecrated and deluded mankind. In agreement with historicism, so-called post-Hegelian Idealism came to identify the essence of the "Absolute Spirit" with its "becoming" and its "self-creation" -this Spirit was no longer conceived as a Being that is, that dominates, and that possesses itself; the self-made man has almost become the new metaphysical model.

    It is not easy to separate the process of regression along the way of gold (age of merchants) from the regression along the way of work (age of serfs), since these ways are interdependent. For all practical purposes, just as today work as a universal duty is no longer perceived as a repugnant, absurd, an unnatural value, likewise, to be paid does not seem repugnant but on the contrary it seems very natural. Money, which no longer "burns" the hands it touches, has established an invisible bond of slavery that is worse and more depraved than that which the high spiritual "stature" of lords and conquerors used to retain and justify.

    Just as any form of action tends to become yet another form of work so is it always associated with payment. And while on the one hand action reduced to work is judged by its efficiency in contemporary societies, just as man is valued by his practical success and by his profit; and while, as someone has remarked, Calvin acted as a pimp by seeing that profit and wealth were shrouded in the mysticism of a divine election-on the other hand, the specter of hunger and unemployment lurks upon these new slaves as a more fearful threat than the threat of the whip in ancient times.

    In any event, it is possible to distinguish a general phase in which the yearning for profit displayed by single individuals who pursue wealth and power is the central motif (the phase that corresponds to the advent of the third caste) from a further phase that is still unfolding, characterized by a sovereign economy that has become almost independent or collectivized (the advent of the last caste)

    In this regard, it is interesting to note that the regression of the principle of "action" to the form proper to the inferior caste (work, production) is often accompanied by an analogous regression with regard to the principle of "asceticism". What arises is almost a new asceticism of gold and work, because as it is exemplified by representatives figures of this phase, to work and amass a fortune become things that are yearned for and loved for their own sake, as if they were a vocation. Thus we often see, specially in America, powerful capitalists who enjoy their wealth less that the last of their employees; rather than owing riches and being free from them and thus employing them to fund forms of magnificence, quality, and sensibility for various precious and privileged spectacles (as was the case in ancient aristocracies), these people appear to be merely managers of their fortunes. Rich though they may be, they pursue an increasing number of activities; it is almost as if they were impersonal and ascetical instruments whose activity is devoted to gathering, multiplying, and casting into ever wider nets (that sometimes affect the lives of millions of people and the destinies of entire nations) the faceless forces of money and of production (8). Fiat productio, pereat homo, Sombart correctly remarked when noticing that the spiritual destruction and emptiness that man has created around himself, after he became "homo economicus" and a great capitalist entrepreneur, force him to turn his activity (profit, business, prosperity) into an end in itself, to love it and will it for its own sake lest he fall victim to the vertigo of the abyss and the horror of a life is totally meaningless (9).

    Even the relationship of the modern economy to the machines is significant with regard to the arousal of forces that surpass the plans of those who initially evoked them and carry everything along them. Once all interest for anything superior and transcendent was either lost or laughed at, the only reference point remaining was man's need, in a purely material and animal sense. Moreover, the traditional principle of the limitation of one's need within the context of a normal economy (a balanced economy based on consumption) was replaced with the principle of acceptance and multiplication of need, which paralleled the so-called Industrial Revolution and the advent of the age of the machines. Technological innovations have automatically led mankind from production to overproduction. After the "activist" frenzy as awoken and the frantic circulation of capital-which is multiplied through production in order to be put again in circulation through further productive investments-was set in motion, mankind has finally arrived at a point where the relationship between need and machine (or work) have been totally reversed; it is no longer need that requires mechanical work, but mechanical work (or production) that generates new needs. In a regime of superproduction, in order for all the products to be sold it is necessary that the needs of single individuals, far from being reduced, be maintained an even multiplied so that consumption may increase and the mechanism be kept running in order to avoid the fatal congestion that would bring about one of the following two consequences: either war, understood as the means for a violent affirmation by a greater economic and productive power that claims not to have "enough space", or unemployment (industrial shutdowns as a response to the crisis on the job and market and in consumerism) with its ensuing crises and social tensions precipitating the insurrection of the Fourth Estate.

    As a fire starts another fire until an entire area goes up in flames, this is how the economy has affected the inner essence of modern man through the world that he himself created.. This present "civilization", starting from Western hotbeds, has extended the contagion to every land that was still healthy and has brought to all strata of society and all races the following "gifts": restlessness, dissatisfaction, resentment, the need to go further and faster, and the inability to posses one's life in simplicity, independence, and balance. Modern civilization has pushed man onward; it has generated in him the need for an increasingly greater number of things; it has made him more and more insufficient to himself and powerless. Thus, every new invention and technological discovery, rather than a conquest, really represents a defeat and a new whiplash in an ever faster race blindly taking place within a system of conditionings that are increasingly serious and irreversible and that for the most part go unnoticed. This is how the various paths converge: technological civilization, the dominant role of the economy, and the civilization of production and consumption all complement the exaltation of becoming and progress; in other words, they contribute to the manifestation of the "demonic" element in the modern world (10).

    Regarding the degenerated forms of asceticism, I would lie o point out the spirit of a phenomenon that is ore properly connected to the plane of "work" (that is, of the fourth caste). The modern world knows a sublimated version of work in which the latter becomes "desinterested", disjoined from the economic factor and from the idea of a practical or productive goal an takes an almost ascetic form; I am talking about sport. Sport is a way of working in which the productive objective no longer matters; thus, sport is willed for its own sake as mere activity. Someone has rightly pointed out that sport is the "blue collar" religion (11). Sport is a typical counterfeit of action in the traditional sense of the word. A pointless activity, it is nevertheless still characterized by the same triviality of work and belongs to the same physical and lightless group of activities that are pursued at the various crossroads in which plebeian contamination occurs. Although through the practice of sport it is possible to achieve a temporary evocation of deep forces, what this amounts to is the enjoyment of sensations and a sense of vertigo and at most, the excitement derived from directing one's energies and winning a competition-without any higher and transfiguring reference, any sense of "sacrifice" or deindividualizing offering being present. Physical individuality is cherished and strengthened by sport; thus the chain is confirmed and every residue of subtler sensibility is suffocated. The human being, instead of growing into an organic being, tends to be reduced to a bundle of reflexes, an almost to a mechanism. It is also very significant that the lower strata of society are the ones that show more enthusiasm for sports, displaying their enthusiasm in great collective forms. Sport may be identified as one of the forewarning signs of that type of society represented by Chigalev in Dostoyevsky's The Obsessed; after the required time has elapsed for a methodical and reasoned education aimed at extirpating the evil represented by the "I" and by free will, and no longer realizing they are slaves, all the Chigalevs will return to experience the innocence and the happiness of a new Eden. This "Eden" differs from the biblical one only because work will be the dominating universal law. Work as sport and sport as work in a world that has lost the sense of historical cycles, as well as the sense of true personality, would probably be the best way to implement such a messianic idea. Thus, it is not a coincidence that in several societies, whether spontaneously or thanks to the state, great sports organizations have arisen as the appendices of various classes of workers, and vice versa.


    NOTES:

    * This artícle is the chapter XIV, 2º Part, of Revolt against the modern world, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, USA, 1995. Trad. by Guido Stucco. (Return)
    1. The idea of regression of the castes, which I had previosly referred to in my pamphlet Imperialismo Pagano (Rome, 1927), was detailed by V. Vezzani and by R. Guénon in his Autorité spirituelle et pouvoir temporel (Paris, 1929); finally, it has been expounded in an independent fashion by H. Berls in Die Heraufkunst des funften Standes (Karlsruhe, 1931). This idea has an analogical correspondence with the tradtional doctrine of the four ages, since each of the four traditional castes embodies the values that have predominated during the quadripartite process of regression. (Ret.)
    2. Deutsch-französiche Jahrbücher, Paris, 1844, pp. 190-212. (Ret.)
    3. D. Merezhkovsky, Les Mysteres de l'Orient: "The word "proletarian" comes from Latin proles, which means posterity, generation. Proletarians 'produce' and generate with their bodies, but are spiritual eunuchs. They are not men or women, but anonymous 'comrades', impersonal ants which are part of the human anthill". (Ret.)
    4. O. Spengler, Untergang des Abendlandes (Wien-Leipzig, 1919, vol. I, pp. 513, 619). Eng. trad.: The decline of the West. The term "action" is here used as synomymous with a spiritual and desinterested activity; thus it may be applied to contemplation, which in the clasical idea was often regarded as the most pure form of activity; it had its object and goal in itself and did not need "anything else" in order to be implemented. (Ret.)
    5. Ciceron, De offic., I, 42. (Ret.)
    6. Giordano Bruno, Spacio della Bestia trionfante, dialogue III. (Ret.)
    7. See A. Tilgher, Homo faber, pp. 120-121, 87. (Ret.)
    8. See M. Weber, The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which the Protestant roots of such an "ascetical" version of capitalism are discussed. Originally there was a separation between earning as a "vocation" and the enjoyment of the riches, the latter being looked down upon as a sinful element of the deification and pride of the human creature. Naturally, in the course of the history the original religious considerations were eliminated; today we only find purely secular and unscrupulous forms. (Ret.)
    9. W. Sombart, Il borghese. (Ret.)
    10. The word "demonic" is obviously not to be understood in the Christian sense of the word. The expression "demonic people" found in the Bhagavadgita applies very much to our contemporaries: "Thus they are beset with innumerable cares which last long, all their life, until death. Their highest aim is sensual enjoyment, and they firmly think that this is all." (16, 11). (Ret.)
    11. A. Tigher, Homo Faber, p. 162. (Ret.)


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    Post Julius Evola - The Doctrine of Awakening

    "In a probing analysis of the oldest Buddhist texts, Julius Evola places the doctrine of liberation in its original context. The early teachings, he suggests, offer the foremost example of an active spirituality that is opposed to the more passive, modern forms of theistic religions. This sophisticated, highly readable analysis of the theory and practice of Buddhist asceticism, first published in Italian in 1943 , elucidates the central truths of the eightfold path and clears away the later accretions of Buddhist doctrine. Evola describes the techniques for conscious liberation from the world of maya and for achieving the state of transcendence beyond dualistic thinking. Most surprisingly, he argues that the widespread belief in reincarnation is not an original Buddhist tenet. Evola presents actual practices of concentration and visualization, and places them in the larger metaphysical context of the Buddhist model of mind and universe. The Doctrine of the Awakening is a provocative study of the teachings of the Buddha by one of Europe's most stimulating thinkers."
    This text is currently being hosted at http://warbase.net/~wiking/doctrine.zip

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    Post Re: Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucifer
    I have copies of both Men Amongst the Ruins and Revolt Against the Modern World. Evola's discussion and advocation of Traditionalism is brilliant and I highly recommend Evola's masterwork (Revolt Against the Modern World) to those interested in European racial, cultural and spiritual preservation as a position from we can attack modern diseases such as Feminism and other forms of decadence.
    I really like his other works like Ride the Tiger...and this one sounds even better...a must have even...if there is anything I love doing its rebelling against the modern world and attacking its mannerisms

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    Post Re: Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World

    I have little patience for Evola, especially his neo-pagan/occult/Hindu views. His theories concerning Christianity are completely wrong and at most are based on out-dated theories that scholars have long refuted.

    As I stated elsewhere, whatever valid points he does make can easily be read in other peoples' works, especially avant-garde/non-conformist Christian writers.

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    Post The Concept of Initiation by Julius Evola and other unpublished works

    For anyone else who enjoys reading Julius Evolas works:


    http://thompkins_cariou.tripod.com/id49.html

    Enjoy!
    Bitte schön!


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    Julius Evola: A Philosopher in the Age of the Wolf

    Baron Julius Evola is correctly regarded as the intellectual figurehead of the Italian Right. Whatever anti-fascist propaganda may say to the contrary, he was never the "gray eminence of Mussolini," but he, above all others, rivals the Duce in his influence over several generations of Italian Right-wingers. The MSI leader Almirante has called him by the memorable term of "Our Marcuse, only better." But "anti-Marcuse" would have been more apt, because while Evola, like Marcuse, diagnoses modern man as "One-dimensional," he does not seek to replace him with new illusions: instead of Utopia, he offers Tradition.

    In France, Evola's influence has been growing since the 1970s, thanks to the circle of thinkers called the "New Right." In Germany, in contrast, Evola's important works have only recently become available, either reprinted or for the first time; but here, too, his name, if not always his work, has inspired a new generation of Right-wing intellectuals. In the 1930s, it was in fact Germany that counted at least as much as Italy for Evola's reception. The great German poet Gottfried Benn wrote enthusiastically about "Revolt Against the Modern World":

    "It is a book whose ideas and assumptions extend the horizons of almost every European problem to a degree hitherto unknown and unseen. Anyone who has read the book will see Europe differently. It is the first broad-ranging presentation of one of the basic spiritual impulses that is still active in Europe today--meaning by "active" that which is epoch-making, far-reaching in its destruction of feelings about the world, changing, and redirecting: it is the impulse that opposes history. For this very reason, it is an eminently important book for Germany, because history is a specifically German problem, and the philosophy of history a professedly Germanic form of self-understanding" ("Die Literatur," 1935).

    Evola himself was seeking contacts not only in National Socialist circles, but also, and preferably, among men of the "Conservative Revolution" who exhibited a strong religious foundation. Wilhelm Stapel, who attempted to give National Socialism a theological basis, Carl Schmitt, the Cathlolic "Crown-Judge of the Third Reich," Othmar Spann, the Viennese theoretician of the composite State, who had a great influence on the nationalistic movement of the Sudeten Germans, Prince Rohan, the nationalist with a European outlook: these were Evola's correspondents and connections of choice in Germany. But Evola was not entirely at home in this camp, either. More than others, he deserves to be called a "loner," a solitary thinker in a derelict landscape: the philosopher in the Age of the Wolf.

    Beside the influence of certain currents of the times such as Dadaism and Existentialism, which Evola soon left behind him, it was above all the experience of Nietzsche that he shared with many others of his generation, together with the biographical fact of action at the front in the First World War. Evola discovered the great teacher in the Frenchman, René Guénon.

    Just like Evola, Guénon had once frequented various theosophical and esoteric-cultic circles, and then, out of disgust with the neo-Spiritualist distortions of ancient traditions and religions (such as would today be called "New Age") developed his own "traditional" doctrines. The commonality of Indo-Germanic and Asiatic traditions led him to discover a Primordial Tradition that had held universal sway before the fall into history. In the Vedanta of India, especially, this tradition was still clearly perceptible. The traditional world was contrasted with the modern world of soulless quantity and the power-grabbing of the masses.

    In addition, Evola was much influenced by researches into prehistory, for instance those of Herman Wirth, which were able to verify the ancient myths of the Nordic, solar origin of culture. However, in Evola's traditional reconstruction of the Primordial Tradition this took on a very different meaning from what Wirth had given it.

    Hierarchy, form, virility, transcendence, authority, sovereignty: these are some of the components of the solar world-image that Evola tries to keep intact through the steady devolution that is part of the cosmic cycle. His first magnificent assault on this condition took the form of his book "Revolt Against the Modern World" (1934, English tr., 1996), whose world-image was commented on thus by Gottfried Benn:

    "What is it, then, this world of Tradition? First, it is a novel and evocative representation; no naturalistic or historical concept, but a vision, an erection, an enchantment. It evokes the world as universal, super-earthly and super-human. But this evocation can only arise and take effect when there are still remnants of this universality present, so that just to approach and grasp it is to be exceptional, elite, elect. This concept allows cultures to be liberated from humanity and from history, and to elevate their differences to a metaphysical plane, where they can be rebuilt in freedom and give birth to a new image of man: the ancient, lofty, transcendent man who is the bearer of Tradition".

    Evola had realized that his previous proposal for a "pagan imperialism" ("Imperialismo pagano," 1928) was unviable, and had abandoned it. He himself thought that he had been forced into a narrow, anti-Catholic direction under the influence of Freemasony. Similarly, he later judged his single-minded fixation on the "Jewish question" of the 1930s governments as a mistake, traceable to those hidden powers that were thus able to pursue their own activities in the background.

    The Ghibelline movement, as Evola presented it, entailed the priority of the Emperor, hence of a secular lord with his own sacral claims, as against the Papacy as bearer of priestly values. Priority did not mean anti-clericalism, because all anti-clericalism has a tendency to deny every sacred value, including those of the warrior and the military leader.

    This already leads us to Evola's next major work, "The Mystery of the Grail" (1937, Eng. tr., 1998), which is concerned with exactly this sacred kingship, as it lived on in the Grail epics. Evola clearly indicates the non-Christian origins of these sagas: the legend of the Grail is the Saga of the Empire. And this Empire is the Imperium that has only been adopted by Christianity: in the last analysis, it is the world ordered according to traditional values. When the world falls into disorder, the secret knighthood that carries on and restores the solar Order of the inner Empire is again concealed, until the Grail is found once more.

    It is absolutely clear from all these works that Evola took no political position, but rather a position that was against all politics, against the trading of political parties, against the wooing of the voting masses, against the predominance of economic over cultural values. Consequently, he never belonged to any party, and never cast a vote. It is from this that the epithet of "fascist thinker" is derived. But then the Fascists would have had to aspire to this, and realize it. Was this the case?

    Certainly there were efforts in this direction in Italy and in Germany, but there were far more that tended to nullify them. Evola drew up the balance-sheet in this regard in "Fascism, viewed from the Right" (1964, unfortunately not translated).

    The two books "Men Among Ruins" (1953, English tr. forthcoming 1999) and "Riding the Tiger" (1961) are both concerned with the new situation of the total victory of Americanism and Bolshevism: they give an orientation to those few who still have the courage to hold themselves upright among the debris. The requirement for this is the inner attitude of "apoliteia," which refuses to get involved in the business of political brawling. It refuses to be used by either of the two materialistic super-powers. There is no inner sympathy for the collapse of existent institutions, because they are built on the sands of democracy--built by Freemasons with the cheap mortar of the Enlightenment. These institutions, no longer even caricatures of the traditional ones, deserve to perish. As Nietzsche says (approximately): if they are falling, one should give them a push. Although one can expect no direct successes, it is rather a matter of one's actions. Evola is not a passive thinker, whining wordily over the miseries of the world, but one who summons to action. It is precisely the man who does not resign himself to a hopeless situation but acts, who shows himself a warrior--a Kshatriya. If Evola lists all the false paths and hindrances, it is not to deter from action, but to avoid illusions.

    Action without illusion and the renunciation of all Utopias: that is the essence of what has been called "Right-wing anarchism." Evola inspired thereby a new generation of the Italian Right, who could find nothing in postwar Italy that was worth defending any more. The brilliant head of this group, Giorgio Freda, proclaimed a battle-cry in his study "The Disintegration of the System." Freda wanted to create a Folk-state through the destruction of the system, which would re-erect the traditional hierarchies and structures. Thus "Nazi-Maoism" was born.

    Another direction was that of the New Right, which drew the absolutely contrary conclusion from the retreat from politics: Meta-politics. Think-tanks and cultural journals are supposed to dominate discourse on behalf of the Right, and only after that can the questions of power be posed. The representatives of this tendency, such as Alain de Benoist, Robert Steuckers, and Marco Tarchi, often refer to Evola... but also to many others, including utterly incompatible modernists such as social biologists, "behavioral researchers," and technocrats--anything that in some way can be assimilated to the Right.

    Recently, Evola has become a leading figure for a completely apolitical youth sub-culture: the intelligent element of the Dark Wave/Gothic scene. Music and fashion alone have long been insufficent here. Evola is presented as the model for an upright lifestyle, without direct political connections. We can see an expression of this in a compact disk that brings together several different music groups for Evola's 100th anniversary ["Cavalcare la Tigre"]. It is a symptom of Evola's new popularity, whose happiest aspect would be the vogue for publication of his works in German, if everything were not so wretchedly done as the unfortunate translation of "Riding the Tiger." It has come to the point of translating Evola not from the Italian originals but from the American editions, in a further symptom of Europe's hopeless collapse: Evola has to be imported from America, because there is apparently no one left in Europe who can speak Italian and German!

    Would Evola have expected to be so popular by the time of his 100th birthday? What significance would he have attributed to the fact? Is the Evola-fashion just another strategy for disconnection from his traditional contents and distortion of them? Is Evola as icon more important than his teachings about the Tradition?

    Action, not questions! But no illusions.




    Source
    Lík börn leika best.

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    United Europe: The Spiritual Prerequisite
    Julius Evola

    The first political step in forging a united Europe would be the withdrawal of all European governments from the United Nations, a hypocritical organisation if there ever was.

    The ground for a European initiative must be carefully prepared; but the problems of concrete political tactics fall outside the scope of this essay. Here we can only point to what we believe must be the form and the spiritual and doctrinal basis of united Europe.

    'Federalist' and 'associative' solutions, economic and military co-operation— these are all the manifestation of presuppositions about the organic character of Europe (or the lack of it). The condition of a truly European entity must be the binding force of an idea and tradition with which Europe is irrevocably linked. Some argue that the nation state, being not divinely ordained but the creation of determined groups successfully rising to a historical challenge, is a model for the merging European nation. According to this view the spiritual precondition for a united Europe exists in the myth of a common destiny defended by the 'national revolutionary' groups of Europe. This view is inadequate. The birth of the European nations was largely the work of dynasties representing a tradition of loyalty to a particular crown. In any case, the factors which created the European nations have been the very ones which have maintained European disunity from the Hundred Years War to the present day.

    Among those who possess a spiritual and traditional understanding of Europe we can distinguish between those who believe in an Imperium of the kind referred to above, and those who talk of Europe as a nation. The concept of nationhood is in my opinion inappropriate. The notion of European unity is spiritual and supranational. Homeland nation, ethnic group subsist at an essentially naturalistic 'physical' level. Europe (Europa una) should be something more than this. The old nationalisms and resentments are only grafted onto Europe when a particular national domination is imposed by one nation upon the rest of Europe. The European Imperium will belong to a higher order than the parts which compose it, and to be European should be conceived as being something qualitatively different from being Italian, Prussian, Basque, Finnish, Scottish or Hungarian, something which appeals to a different aspect of our character. A European nation implies the levelling and cancelling of all 'rival' nations in or beyond Europe.

    So far as 'European culture' is concerned it is these days the stamping-ground of the pragmatic European, the liberal, humanist intellectual. His 'European culture' is an appendage of 'democracy' and the 'Free World'. In this sense 'culture' is the stock-in-trade of the so-called 'aristocrat of thought', in reality the clothing of the parvenu, his badge of success. A genuine aristocracy of the intellect would not in any case be adequate for the task in hand; the re-animation of the European will and the sustaining of a revolutionary elite who could make this a political possibility. What is more, every time that we try to give the notion of 'European culture' concrete significance, we seem to run up against innumerable 'interpretations' which leave us with nothing conclusive at all. Everyone has their own idea about what European culture is and many Europeans feel reticent or even guilty about championing it and so the parvenus can speculate to their hearts' content in the reviews and colour supplements about all the latest developments in this or that field of art in such a way that 'culture' becomes entirely divorced from the 'serious world', from what matters. Ironically, much of what the defenders of culture admire plays a major role in helping to bring about a spiritual crisis and lack of confidence in European culture.

    The 'Westernisation' of the world has meant that this decomposition extends across the world—thus Europe, from illuminism to communism has become the breeding ground of the very forces which work to destroy everything which is specifically European.

    We must create a 'unity of fighters'. That is a pre-requisite. To set a vision of the world and of Europe aside as 'irrelevant' would be to sink into the morass of political partisan politics, a cynical affair without identity, without spiritual meaning. A united Europe, without a communal spiritual identity and sense of direction would become just one more power bloc. In what way would such a United States of Europe be spiritually distinct from the United States of America or China or be anything nobler than the organisation of African Unity? Europe must not be a stage towards the Westernisation of the world but a move against it, in fact a revolt against the modern world in favour of what is nobler, higher, more truly human.
    Lík börn leika best.

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    Facism agains Christianity: The Great Liberation
    Julius Evola

    Let us conclude.

    Today we must absolutely put a stop to Christianity.

    Everything in it is incompatible with and contradictory to the ideals, the morals, the vision of the world and of man that would enable a race to bring about the resurrection of the empire.

    Our sleep has lasted long enough. All the possible compromises and variations have been exhausted. It is time to say "Enough!" No more of Christianity embraced as a whole, in the totality of all its forms! The Latin race in particular must bitterly disavow any descent from the dark object that emerged from the Jewish slums of Palestine to contaminate us. Thus:

    On an ideal and moral level, it is time to unmask Christianity's enormous doctrinal bluff and to refuse to allow it to continue to parade around loaded up with all the values that have been superstitiously and unconsciously attributed to it.

    On a practical level, it is time to become aware of the European danger and the decline of the West and to respond by reviving in the modern world the political and sapiential values characteristic of the Mediterranean tradition.

    Ethical and religious Christianity today is nothing more than a name and a habit, absolutely external to conscience; but nobody, or nearly nobody, has bothered to abolish the name itself and to put its content on trial again, so as to start right back at the beginning, rejecting the "fact" of Christianity, its "tradition" and all the rest.

    This is precisely my intent: to hold such a trial, demanding that every account to be scrutinized with inflexible severity, that all cards be placed openly on the table, and that every way out and every compromise be barred in advance. At stake are not more or less anticlerical polemics but rather a serious, objective examination, unbiased by feeling and belief. A cool-headed examination should suffice to blunt the ecstatic thrill and to unmask the true poverty and inferiority of the Christian vision of the world and of man.

    With regard to fascism I declare:

    Fascism... will blaze the path toward breaking up the monstrous political connivance with the Catholic Church, abetted by the intrigues of that secret and illicit association, the Society of Jesus. It will become aware that it has fallen prey to a suckers' marketplace (marche' de dupes). The petty political advantages to be gained are trivial when compared to the Church's devious efforts to achieve monopoly control over Italy's conscience by mean of public education and clever sophistries that polarize the fascist regime against everything that is not Catholic. To have agreed that a crucifix should be placed not in the universities, not in the coliseum, but on the Campidoglio in place of the eagle and the fasces is a blot without precedent that it will take a lot to wipe away.

    This transpired because fascism still lacks spirituality and culture of its own, as fresh and vibrant as the warrior forces that brought it into being. The result was that fascism's political triumph was unaccompanied by a spiritual-cultural triumph. This transpired because fascism is still crippled by a definition of empire as a simple political, economic, and military organization, based on the industrial-capitalist system and cast in the mold of British and German bourgeois and material imperialism. But such a definition has nothing in common with true imperialism, that spiritual, sacred, and heroic imperialism of ancient Rome, Byzantium, and Persia. The real explanation for the success of Catholic infiltration lies in fascism's actual (though concealed) indifference to spiritual questions, whereby it did not hesitate to embrace new members who could solidify the material structure of the new regime, even at the cost of accommodating the most strident of contradictions.

    Once fascism transcends the bourgeois-industrial definition of empire, once it embraces imperiousness (imperialita') in the true, traditional sense, the problem will be resolved. Fascism will find its soul within itself, a fact that will paralyze all efforts to apply external pressure and render ever more acute the incompatibility between state and Church. "Incompatibility" not as understood by demagogic, anticlerical, or secular ideologies but in the sense that the empire would become the true spiritual reality, the immanent, powerful religion that ousts the dead hierarchies and empty devotional forms that have survived in Catholicism.

    So if the "daring" that fascism regularly exalts is more than rhetorical bluster, here's a first task: deride the arrogance that did not hesitate to call the king of Italy a usurper from on the high at the Vatican and reaffirm the complete dominion of the state over the Church. The Church must be directly controlled by the state. Its every organization must require state approval and sanction... Above all, it must be denied any role in the education of souls during the period in which the will is not yet formed and the conscience is not yet clear. (Though its continuing presence can be tolerated as a feature of popular belief, but only on a temporary basis, until such a time as the Mediterranean and imperial sense of life has fully revitalized everyone's spirit, thanks to pedagogical training carried out over several generations.)

    So much for Catholicism, which on a practical plane must distiguished from Christianity. The latter is mostly to be identified with the forms of Protestantism active in Anglo-Saxon liberal democracies. Here lies the true European danger from which we must protect ourselves, reacting ruthlessly to all the international, unionist, Masonic, anti-aristocratic, anti-Roman, socialist, humanitarian, moralist ferments with which it would seek to infiltrate Italy.

    In the properly cultural field, fascism ought to begin by promoting critical and historical studies, not partisan studies but cold surgical analyses of the essence of Christianity akin to Louis Rougier's work in France, published in his collection, Masters of Anti-Christian Thought. At the same time, fascism ought to promote studies and research on the spiritual side of paganism ( and work to diffuse such knowledge) studies extending from paganism's true vision of life to rigorously appropriate (because many are not) explorations of the Mediterranean tradition in its primitive and metaphysical nature.

    Let the following be stated firmly, absolutely, and unambiguously. We are not destroyers but restorers. When we appear to be destroying we are in fact rearranging and replacing what is on the wane with higher forms, forms more vibrant and glorious. We possess a complete, total, positive system of values, developed in close connection with the forms of contemporary civilization, a system that provides us with a firm foundation and frees us from any fear of the void as we demolish all the the negatives of European decadence.

    From the standpoint of its praxis, Fascism must not betray itself, which is to say, it must deeply embrace those values of affirmation, activity, will to power, antisentimentalism, and antirhetoricism whose imprint it bears (especially in its purest manifestations). Values that are essentially anti- Christian. Values to be raised to a higher internalized and spiritualized form and freed from the inferior and provisional approach based on mere violence and material domination.

    And here there is a precursor, a misunderstood man, who waits in the shadows: Friedrich Nietzsche. The Nietzschean experiment is not yet exhausted because it hasn't even truly begun. What is worn out is the aesthetic-literary or firebrand(baionettista) caricature of Nietzsche found in characters like Corrado Brando, Stelio Effrena, or William II. But very much alive are values that Nietzsche heroically propagated despite no end of suffering, despite the rebellion of his entire being, which, after having given everything without complaint, simply collapsed. These values transcend his philosophy, his "humanity", even himself. They are of cosmic signifance, reflecting the power of the Aeion, the Ur, the terrible fire of magical initiations. These are the values that are still waiting to be understood and taken up. They encompass the sounding of an alarm, an appeal for disgust, the call for an awakening, and a summons to participate in the great struggle in which the destiny of the West will be decided, whether toward twilight or toward dawn. Fascism must begin here: by beginning the slow, tenacious construction of a new and wondrous race.

    Accordingly, education will be reoriented toward pagan and Mediterranean values.

    The "myth" of the crucified God-man who suffers and loves will be opposed that of the man-God, a being radiating light and power, the summit of an imperial ethos. To a dualistic and transcendetal worldview will be opposed a vision of free and immanent unity, withdrawn into itself, matter for domination. To Christianity's race of "slaves and children of God" will be opposed a race of liberated and liberating beings who interpret God as a supreme power that one may freely obey or do battle against in manly fashion with one's head held high, immune to the taint of feelings, vacillations, and prayers. To feelings of dependence and lack will be opposed a feeling of sufficiency; to the will to equality, the will to difference, distance, hierarchy, and aristocracy. To the mystical communist promiscuity will be opposed firm individuality; to the need for love, happinesss, peace, and consolation, the heroic contempt for all this and law of pure will and absolute action. To Christianity's providential vision will be opposed the tragic conception whereby man stands alone facing the contigencies of nature such that either he must redeem himself or redemption will forever elude him. Do away with "sin" and "bad conscience" brashly heap all responsibilities upon one's shoulders, bar the door to any escape, fortify the innermost spirit.

    No more "brothers" or "fathers" but instead a fully autonomous individuals, self-enclosed as if each were a separate world, rock, or peak, individuals clothed only in their strength or in their weakness, each and every one operating like an independent combat post that defends a distinctive quality, life, dignity, unequal strength, indomitable force. No more subjection to the need to "communicate", and to be "understood" or to fraternal bonds or to the sensual pleasure of loving and of feeling loved as equals. All are subtly corrupting and violent forces that weaken aristocracy and individuality. On the contrary, the incommunicability must be celebrated in the name of absolute purity and respect. Stronger forces and weaker forces, the one alongside or against the order, loyally, coldly, acknowledging one another thanks to the discipline of the spirit that burns within but produces an exterior rigid and tempered like steel, forces magnificently infused with the immeasurability of the infinite as found in feats of war and on the battlefield : (this is the ideal). A state of absolute generosity and absolute cruelty insure that some men and races ascend, while others fall with a thud. Nothing "infinite". Precise relations, order, cosmos, hierarchy. Solar and sufficient beings, masters who are far-sighted, fearful, distant, and solitary; who, instead of taking in, give out an overabundance of light and power, who resolutely incline toward ever more dizzying intensities within a hierarchical chain of being that comes not from above but from the dynamic natural interconnection between their natures.

    "How beautiful they are, how pure are these free forces not yet corrupted by the spirit!" wrote the young Nietzsche after an ascent during a storm. In the place of Nietzsche's "not yet", I would substitute "no longer corrupted by the spirit" in the present context, the word "spirit" meaning the unreal: an outer crust of feelings, hopes, doctrines, beliefs, "values", sensations, words, sensual pleasures, and human emotions. But the meaning remains the same. The world is to be cleansed, returned to its pre-Christian state. It is to be returned to a free, overabundant, essential state within which nature is not yet nature or the spirit, in which "things" and "forms" do not exist except as powers; in which every instant of life is a heroic event, made up of acts, symbols, commands, magical gestures, and rituals, accompanied by great waves of sound, light, and terror.

    This is our truth and this is the threshold of our great liberation: the end of faith and the world's emancipation from God. No "heaven" will hover over the land, gone will be "providence", "reason", "good", and "evil", masks for the terrified, pallid escapes for pallid souls. At last, those who think themselves men, unaware that they are sleeping gods, will be left to themselves: everything, all around, will return to a state of freedom; everything will finally breathe. The weak will collapse. The strong will assert themselves and will be rekindled as the "holy race of the kingless" of the ancient Gnostic oracles; the race of "those who are", of the unchained and the unburdened, of reedemed justifiers of the world, lords of necessity and suffering.

    This is our truth. This is the "myth" that we pagans oppose to the superstition of Galilee, the myth that we affirm today as central to the values of our race and to the restoration of the empire in the West.
    Lík börn leika best.

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    Julius Evola on Drugs

    Originally posted by Oskorei over at Skadi.

    ---

    Going beyond music and dance, we are led to an even larger and more problematic realm, which embraces many other methods being increasingly used by the younger generation. The North American Beat Generation, in putting together alcohol, the sexual orgasm, and drugs as essential ingredients to give them a sense of life, radically associated techniques that in reality have a common background that I have alluded to earlier.

    I need not dwell much on this realm. Apart from what will be said of sex in another chapter, I shall adress here only a few considerations on drugs, which are the means that, among all thos used in certain sectors of the contemporary world, most visibly have the goal of an ecstatic escape.

    The increasing spread of drugs among today's youth is a very significant phenomenon. A specialist, Dr. Laennec, writes: "In our lands, the most widfespread category of drug addicts is represented by the neurotics and psychopaths for whom the drug is not a luxury but an essential food, the response to anguish... Toxicomania now appears as an additional symptom of the patient's neurotic syndrome, one symptom among others, a last defense, soon becoming the one and only defense." These considerations can be generalized, or rather extended, to an even larger circle of people who are not clinically neurotic: I am speaking above all about young people who have more or less distinctly perceived the emptiness and boredom of modern existence, and are seeking an escape from it. The impulse can be contagious: drug use extends to individuals who did not have this original impetus as a point of departure, and in such people it can only be regarded as an avoidable bad habit. Once starting on drugs to fit in or be in vogue, they succumb to the seduction of the states caused by the drug, which often wrecks their already weak personality.

    With drugs we have a situation similar to that of syncopated music. Both were often transpositions onto the profane and "physical" plane of means that were originally used to open one up to the suprasensible in initiation rites or similar experiences. Just as dances to modern syncopated music derive from ecstatic [Afrikansk] dance, the various drugs used today and created in laboratories correspond to drugs that were often used for "sacred" ends in primitive populations, according to ancient traditions. This is even true for tobacco; strong extracts of tobacco were used to prepare young Native Americans in their withdrawal from profane life to obtain "signs" and visions. A similar claim can be made for alcohol, within certain limits; we are aware of the tradition centered on "sacred beverages", as in the use of alcohol in Dionysian and similar rituals. For example, alcoholic beverages were not prohibited in ancient Taoism: on the contrary, they were considered "life essences" inducing an intoxication that, like dance, could lead to a "magical state of grace", sought by the so-called real men. In addition, the extracts of coca, mescal, peyote, and other narcotics have been, and often still are, used in the rituals of secret societies of Central and South America.

    No one has a clear or adequate idea about all this anymore, because there is not enough emphasis on the fact that the effects of these substances are quite different according to the constitution, the specific capacity for reaction, and - in these cases of nonprofane use - the spiritual preparation and intent of the user. Lewin has even spoken of a "toxic equation" that is different in every individual, but this concept has not been given the necessary emphasis, given that the blocked existential situation of the great majority of our contemporaries considerably restrics the possible range of reactions to drugs.

    However, the "personal equation" and the specific zone on which drugs, here including alcohol, act, lead the individual toward alienation and a passive opening to states that give him the illusion of a higher freedom, an intoxication and an unfamiliar intensity of sensation, but that in reality have a character of dissolution that by no means "takes him beyond". In order to expect a different result from these experiences, he would have to have at his command an exceptional degree of spiritual activity, and his attitude would be the opposite of those who seek and need drugs to escape from tensions, traumatic events, neuroses, and feelings of emptiness and absurdity.

    I have already pointed out the African polyrythmic technique: one energy is locked into continous stasis in order to unleash an energy of a different order. In the inmferior ecstatism of primitive peoples this opens the way for possession by dark powers. I have said that in our case, this different energy should be produced by the response of the "being" (the Self) to the stimulus. The situation created by the reaction to drugs and even alcohol is no different. But this kind of reaction almost never occurs; the reaction to the substance is too strong, rapid, unexpected, and external to be simply experienced, and thus the process cannot involve the "being". It is as if a powerful current penetrated the consciousness without requiring assent, leaving the person to merely notice the change of state; he is submerged in this new state, and "acted on" by it. Thus the true effect, even if not noticed, is a collapse, a lesion of the Self, for all his sense of an exalted life or of a transcendental beautitude or sensuality.

    For the process to proceed differently, it would go schematically as follows: at the point in which the drug frees energy x in an exterior way, an act of the Self, of "being", brings its own double energy, x + x, into the current and maintains it up to the end. Similarly, a wave, even if unexpected, serves a skilled swimmer with whom it collides by propelling him beyond it. Thus, there would be no collapse, the negative would be transformed into positive, no condition of passivity would be formed with respect to the drug, the experience in acertain way would be deconditioned, and, as aresult, one would not undergo an ecstatic dissolution, devoid of any true opening beyond the individual and only substantiated by sensations. Instead, in certain cases there would be the possibility of coming into contact with a superior dimension of reality, which was the intention of ancient, nonprofane drug use. To acertain degree, the harmful effect of drugs would be eliminated.

    At this point it will be helpful to add some details. In general, drugs can be divided into four categories: stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and narcotics. The first two categories do not concern us: for example the use of tobacco and alcohol is irrelevelant unless it becomes a vice, ie. leads to addiction.

    The third category includes drugs that bring on states in which one experiences various visions and seemingly other worlds of the senses and spirit. On account of these effects, they have also been called "psychedelics", under the assumption that the visions project and reveal the hidden contents of the depths of one's own psyche, but are not recognized as such. As a result, physicians have even tried to use drugs like mescaline for a psychic exploration analogous to psychoanalysis. However, when all is reduced to to the projection of a psychic substratum, not even experiences of this kind can interest the differentiated man. Leaving aside the perilous contents of the sensations and their artificial paradise, these illusory phantasmagoria do not take one beyond, even if one cannot exclude the possibility that what is acting may not be merely the contents of one's own subconsious, but dark influences that, finding the door open, manifest themselves in these visions. We might even say that those influences, and not the simple substratum repressed by the individual psyche, are responsible for certain impulses that can burst out in these states, even driving some compulsively to commit criminal acts.

    An effective use of these drugs would presuppose a preliminary "catharsis", that is, the proper neutralization of the individual unconscious substratum that is activated; then the images and senses could refer to a spiritual reality of a higher order, rather than being reduced to a subjective, visionary orgy. One should emphasize that the instances of this higher use of drugs were preceeded not only by periods of preparation and purification of the subject, but also that the process was properly guided through the contemplation of certain symbols. Sometimes "consecrations" were also prescribed for protective purposes. There are accounts of certain indigenous communities in Central and South America whose members, only under the influence of peyote, hear the sculpted figures on ancient temple ruins "speak", revealing their meaning in terms of spiritual enlightenment. The importance of the individuals attitude clearly appears from the completely different effects of mescaline on two contemporary writers who have experimented with drugs, Aldous Huxley and RH Zaehner. And it is a fact in the case of hallucinogens like opium and in part, haschisch, this active assumption of the experience that is essential from our point of view is generally excluded.

    There remains the category of narcotics and of substances that are also used for total anaesthesia, whose normal effect is the complete suspension of consciousness. This corresponds to a detachment that would exclude all intermediate "psychedelic" forms and the insidious, ecstatic, and sensual contents, leaving a void. However, if consciousness were maintained, with the pure I at the center, it could facilitate the opening to a higher reality. But the advantages would be outweighed by the extreme difficulty of any training capable of maintaing detached consciousness.

    In general, one must keep in mind that drug use even for a spiritual end, that is, to catch glimpses of transcendence, has its price. How drugs produce certain psychic effects has not yet been determined by modern science. It is said that some, like LSD, destroy certain brain cells. One point is certain: Habitual use of drugs brings a certain psychic disorganization: one should substitute for them the power of attaining analogous states through one's own means. Therefore, when one has chosen a path based on the maximum unification of all one's psychic faculties, these drawbacks must be kept firmly in mind.

    The common reader probably finds these ideas tedious, and lacking in personal points of reference to give him bearings. But, again, it is the development of our argument that has required even this brief excursus. In fact, only be dwelling in these possibilities, as unusual as they are, can one adequately identify the necessary antithesis. This shows us the blockage that prevents any positive value in the evocation of the elemenmtal in todays world, leaving only those purely dissolutive and regressive processes that prevail increasingly in the younger generations.

    --Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger, p. 166-170

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