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Thread: American "Civilization" [by Julius Evola]

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    Re: Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World

    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian
    Aside from Revolt his best work without a doubt is The Hermetic Tradition.
    I actually found that one very hard to struggle through. Still haven't finished it. Maybe I'll give it another go soon. What makes it so great, according to you?

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    Re: Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried
    I actually found that one very hard to struggle through. Still haven't finished it. Maybe I'll give it another go soon. What makes it so great, according to you?
    Well, for one, it's about the "great work" .

    All joking aside, I felt that the first part of the book explained with great clarity the universality of the eternal tradition as well as examples how over time it fell into a corrupted form.

    More importantly, this book was written for the practitioner in mind. Along with Introduction to Magic which is considered a "campanion book", the Hermetic Tradition yells out to the reader to do the practices it describes.

    So in terms of actual practice, the royal art is the purest form of heathenism and its central operation which "gave birth" to the eternal religion. And though it's discussed in his other books in other forms, such as the grail, the unification, samadhi, etc., the hermetic operation just seems to be the best form of explaining the process, which I suppose is why he chose it to delve into the practice in great detail.

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    According to Julius Evola
    http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/evol...nuschwarz.html

    It no longer knows the state, the state as value crystallized in the Empire. Synthesis of the sort of spirituality and majesty that shone brightly in China, Egypt, Persia, and Rome, the imperial ideal has been overwhelmed by the bourgeois misery of a monopoly of slaves and traders.

    Europe's formidable "activists" no longer know what war is, war desired in and of itself as a virtue higher than winning or losing, as that heroic and sacred path to spiritual fulfillment exalted by the god Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. They know not warriors, only soldiers. And a crummy little war was enough to terrorize them and drive them to rehashing the rhetoric of humanitarianism, and pathos or, worse still, of windbag nationalism and Dannunzianism.

    Europe has lost its simplicity, its central position, its life. A democratic plague is eating away at its roots, whether in law, science, or speculation. Gone are the leaders, beings who stand out not for their violence, their gold, or for their skills as slave traders but rather for their irreducible qualities of life. Europe is a great irrelevant body, sweating and restless because of an anxiety that no one dares to express. Gold flows in its veins; its flesh is made up of machines, factories, and laborers; its brains are of newsprint. A great irrelevant body tossing and turning, driven by dark and unpredictable forces that mercilessly crush whoever wants to oppose or merely escape the cogwheels.
    Such are the achievements of western "civilization". This is the much ballyhooed result of the superstitious faith in "progress", progress beyond Roman imperiousness, beyond radiant Hellas, beyond the ancient Orient - the great Ocean.

    And the few who are still capable of great loathing and great rebellion find themselves ever more tightly encircled.

    JULIUS EVOLA

    Source:http://www.juliusevola.net/pages/1/index.htm

    Occult War
    (from "Men Among the Ruins")


    Various causes have been adduced to explain the crisis that has affected and still affects the life of modern peoples: historical, social, socioeconomic, political, moral, and cultural causes, according to different perspectives. The part played by each of these causes should not be denied. However, we need to ask a higher and essential question: are these always the first causes and do they have an inevitable character like those causes found in the material world? Do they supply an ultimate explanation or, in some cases, is it necessary to identify influences of a higher order, which may cause what has occurred in the West to appear very suspicious, and which, beyond the multiplicity of individual aspects, suggest that there is the same logic at work?

    The concept of occult war must be defined within the context of the dilemma. The occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography. The notion of occult war belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential the two superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible leaders) but rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the "subterranean" dimension in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a collective level.

    Having said that, it is necessary to specify the meaning of the term subterranean. We should not think, in this regard, of a dark and irrational background which stands in relation to the known forces of history as the unconscious stands to consciousness, in the way the latter relationship is discussed in the recently developed "Depth Psychology." If anything, we can talk about the unconscious only in regard to those who, according to the three-dimensional view, appear to be history's objects rather than its subjects, since in their thoughts and conduct they are scarcely aware of the influences which they obey and the goals that they contribute toward achieving. In these people, the center falls more in the unconscious and the pre-conscious than in the clear reflected consciousness, no matter what they - who are often men of action and ideologues - believe. Considering this relation, we can say that the most decisive actions of the occult war take place in the human unconscious. However, if we consider the true agents of history in the special aspects we are now discussing, things are otherwise: here we cannot talk of the subconscious or the unconscious, since we are dealing with intelligent forces that know very well what they want and what are the means most suited to achieve their objectives.
    The third dimension of history should not be diluted in the fog of abstract philosophical or sociological concepts, but should rather be thought of as a "backstage" dimension where specific "intelligences" are at work.

    An investigation of the secret history that aspires to be positivist and scientific should not be too lofty or removed from reality. However, it is necessary to assume as the ultimate reference point a dualistic scheme not dissimilar from the one found in an older tradition. Catholic historiography used to regard history not only as a mechanism of natural, political, economic, and social causes, but also as the unfolding of divine Providence, to which hostile forces are opposed. These forces are sometimes referred to in a moralistic fashion as "forces of evil," or in a theological fashion as the "forces of the Anti-Christ." Such a view has a positive content, provided it is purified and emphasized by bringing it to a less religious and more metaphysical plane, as was done in Classical and Indo-European antiquity: forces of the cosmos against forces of chaos. To the former correspond everything that is form, order, law, spiritual hierarchy, and tradition in the higher sense of the word; to the latter correspond every influence that disintegrates, subverts, degrades, and promotes the predominance of the inferior over the superior, matter over spirit, quantity over quality. This is what can be said in regard to the ultimate reference points of the various influences that act upon the realm of tangible causes, behind known history. These must be taken into account, though with some prudence. Let me repeat: aside from this necessary metaphysical background, let us never lose sight of concrete history.
    When measured against that of their disguised opponents, the mentality of the great majority of modern men of action appears to be quite primitive. The latter concentrate their energies on what is tangible and "concrete", and are unable to perceive the interplay of concordant actions and reactions, causes and effects, beyond a very limited and almost always coarsely materialistic horizon.

    The deeper causes of history - here we can refer to both those that act in a negative sense and those that may act in an equilibrating and positive sense - operate prevalently through what can be called "imponderable factors," to use an image borrowed from natural science. These causes are responsible for almost undetectable ideological, social and political changes, which eventually produce remarkable effects: they are like the first cracks in a layer of snow that eventually produce an avalanche. These causes almost never act in a direct manner, but instead bestow to some existing processes an adequate direction that leads to the designated goal. Thus, men and groups who believe they are pursuing something willed by themselves become the means through which something different is realized and made possible: it is precisely in this that a super-ordained influence and meaning are revealed. This was noticed by Wundt, who talked about the "heterogeneity of the effects", and by Hegel as well, who introduced the notion of the List der Vernunft (cunning of reason) in his philosophy of history; however, neither of these thinkers was able to fruitfully develop his intuitions. Unlike what happens in the domain of physical phenomena, an insightful historian encounters several instances where the "causal" explanation (in the deterministic, physical sense) is unsatisfactory, because things do not add up and the total does not equal the sum of the apparent historical factors - almost as if someone adding five, three, and two ended up not with ten, but with fifteen or seven. This differential, especially when it appears as a differential between what is willed and what has really happened, or between ideas, principles, and programs on the one hand and their effective consequences in history on the other, offers the most valuable material for the investigation of the secret causes of history.
    Methodologically speaking, we must be careful to prevent valid insights from degenerating into fantasies and superstition, and not develop the tendency to see an occult background everywhere and at all costs. In this regard, every assumption we make must have the character of what are called "working hypotheses" in scientific research - as when something is admitted provisionally, thus allowing the gathering and arranging of a group of apparently isolated facts, only to confer on them a character not of hypothesis but of truth when, at the end of a serious inductive effort, the data converge in validating the original assumption. Every time an effect outlasts and transcends its tangible causes, a suspicion should arise, and a positive or negative influence behind the stages should be perceived. A problem is posited, but in analyzing it and seeking its solution, prudence must be exercised. The fact that those who have ventured in this direction have not restrained their wild imaginations has discredited what could have been a science, the results of which could hardly be overestimated. This too meets the expectations of the hidden enemy.

    This is all I have to say concerning the general premises proper to a new three-dimensional study of history. Now let us return to what I said earlier on. After considering the state of society and modern civilization, one should ask if this is not a specific case that requires the application of this method; in other words, one should ask whether some situations of real crisis and radical subversion in the modern world can be satisfactorily explained through "natural" and spontaneous processes, or whether we need to refer to something that has been concerted, namely a still unfolding plan, devised by forces hiding in the shadows.
    In this particular domain, many red flags have gone up: too many elements have concurred to alarm the less superficial observers. In the middle of the past century, Disraeli wrote these significant and often quoted words: "The world is governed by people entirely different from the ones imagined by those who are unable to see behind the scenes." Malinsky and De Poncins, when considering the phenomenon of revolution, have remarked that in our age, where it is commonly acknowledged that every disease of the individual organism is caused by bacteria, people pretended that the diseases of the social body - revolutions and disorder - are spontaneous, self-generated phenomena rather than the effect of invisible agents, acting in society the way bacteria and pathogenic germs act in the organism of the individual...

    JULIUS EVOLA
    SOURCE:http://www.juliusevola.net/pages/5/index.htm
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, December 11th, 2006 at 01:44 PM. Reason: merged three consecutive posts
    ME NE FREGO

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    Revolt against the modern world [Evola]

    A title of a famous work(of an italian philosopher and writer julious evola)dated thirtyfive years ago.
    Today more than before,this title is right and correct,imo.
    Everywhere in this disastred planet,a lots of negative things...
    Incredible contraddictions and injusticies,mass media dementials and idiots,natural enviroment deturped and sacked in the name the "god"money,pollution,balance of the "rich"countries and "poor"countries day by day more negative(obviously i mean "negative"for the poor countries),bad behaviour from many singles people(in many point of views),poor babies and old people died for "absurd"logicals(for example war in iraq),extremely negative globalization.
    And,for example,what about this "world cup"in Germany...A authentical farse.A great and prosperous nation,where a lots of people(from every corner of the world)are crazy of 22 multi-biliionar "heroes"...in that same germany,where other poor people not work or don't have a home.
    Every "rebel"or anyway,every person of good sense,must reflect.
    Our children,the future generations,need a better dimension of life;a better quality of life,a positive and "intelligent"progress,and not the rubbish-society of today.

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    Re: Sv: Re: Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World

    That is a very nice page, thanks for the link. But I recall a note in Riding the Tiger where Evola refers to one of his own articles about phenomenology. I would very much like to read that one, but can't be able to find anywhere. Do you know which one it is and if has even been translated?

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    Evola on degeneration

    On the Secret of Degeneration
    by Julius Evola



    Anyone who has come to reject the rationalist myth of "progress" and the interpretation of history as an unbroken positive development of mankind will find himself gradually drawn towards the world-view that was common to all the great traditional cultures, and which had at its centre the memory of a process of degeneration, slow obscuration, or collapse of a higher preceding world. As we penetrate deeper into this new (and old) interpretation, we encounter various problems, foremost among which is the question of the secret of degeneration.

    In its literal sense, this question is by no means a novel one. While contemplating the magnificent remains of cultures whose very name has not even come down to us, but which seem to have conveyed, even in their physical material, a greatness and power that is more than earthly, scarcely anyone has failed to ask themselves questions about the death of cultures, and sensed the inadequacy of the reasons that are usually given to explain it.

    We can thank the Comte de Gobineau for the best and best-known summary of this problem, and also for a masterly criticism of the main hypotheses about it. His solution on the basis of racial thought and racial purity also has much truth in it, but it needs to be expanded by a few observations concerning a higher order of things. For there have been many cases in which a culture has collapsed even when its race has remained pure, as is especially clear in certain groups that have suffered slow, inexorable extinction despite remaining as racially isolated as if they were islands. An example quite close at hand is the case of the Swedes and the Dutch. These people are in the same racial condition today as they were two centuries ago, but there is little to be found now of the heroic disposition and the racial awareness that they once possessed. Other great cultures seem merely to have remained standing in the condition of mummies: they have long been inwardly dead, so that it takes only the slightest push to knock them down. This was the case, for example, with ancient Peru, that giant solar empire which was annihilated by a few adventurers drawn from the worst rabble of Europe.

    If we look at the secret of degeneration from the exclusively traditional point of view, it becomes even harder to solve it completely. It is then a matter of the division of all cultures into two main types. On the one hand there are the traditional cultures, whose principle is identical and unchangeable, despite all the differences evident on the surface. The axis of these cultures and the summit of their hierarchical order consists of metaphysical, supra-individual powers and actions, which serve to inform and justify everything that is merely human, temporal, subject to becoming and to "history." On the other hand there is "modern culture," which is actually the anti-tradition and which exhausts itself in a construction of purely human and earthly conditions and in the total development of these, in pursuit of a life entirely detached from the "higher world."

    From the standpoint of the latter, the whole of history is degeneration, because it shows the universal decline of earlier cultures of the traditional type, and the decisive and violent rise of a new universal civilization of the "modern" type.

    A double question arises from this.

    First, how was it ever possible for this to come to pass? There is a logical error underlying the whole doctrine of evolution: it is impossible that the higher can emerge from the lower, and the greater from the less. But doesn't a similar difficulty face us in the solution of the doctrine of involution? How is it ever possible for the higher to fall? If we could make do with simple analogies, it would be easy to deal with this question. A healthy man can become sick; a virtuous one can turn to vice. There is a natural law that everyone takes from granted: that every living being starts with birth, growth, and strength, then come old age, weakening, and disintegration. And so forth. But this is just making statements, not explaining, even if we allow that such analogies actually relate to the question posed here.

    Secondly, it is not only a matter of explaining the possibility of the degeneration of a particular cultural world, but also the possibility that the degeneration of one cultural cycle may pass to other peoples and take them down with it. For example, we have not only to explain how the ancient Western reality collapsed, but also have to show the reason why it was possible for "modern" culture to conquer practically the whole world, and why it possessed the power to divert so many peoples from any other type of culture, and to hold sway even where states of a traditional kind seemed to be alive (one need only recall the Aryan East).

    In this respect, it is not enough to say that we are dealing with a purely material and economic conquest. That view seems very superficial, for two reasons. In the first place, a land that is conquered on the material level also experiences, in the long run, influences of a higher kind corresponding to the cultural type of its conqueror. We can state, in fact, that European conquest almost everywhere sows the seeds of "Europeanization," i.e., the "modern" rationalist, tradition-hostile, individualistic way of thinking. Secondly, the traditional conception of culture and the state is hierarchical, not dualistic. Its bearers could never subscribe, without severe reservations, to the principles of "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" and "My kingdom is not of this world." For us, "Tradition" is the victorious and creative presence in the world of that which is "not of this world," i.e., of the Spirit, understood as a power that is mightier than any merely human or material one.

    This is a basic idea of the authentically traditional view of life, which does not permit us to speak with contempt of merely material conquests. On the contrary, the material conquest is the sign, if not of a spiritual victory, at least of a spiritual weakness or a kind of spiritual "retreat" in the cultures that are conquered and lose their independence. Everywhere that the Spirit, regarded as the stronger power, was truly present, it never lacked for means - visible or otherwise - to enable all the opponent's technical and material superiority to be resisted. But this has not happened. It must be concluded, then, that degeneracy was lurking behind the traditional facade of every people that the "modern" world has been able to conquer. The West must then have been the culture in which a crisis that was already universal assumed its acutest form. There the degeneration amounted, so to speak, to a knockout blow, and as it took effect, it brought down with more or less ease other peoples in whom the involution had certainly not "progressed" as far, but whose tradition had already lost its original power, so that these peoples were no longer able to protect themselves from an outside assault.

    With these considerations, the second aspect of our problem is traced back to the first one. It is mainly a question of explicating the meaning and the possibility of degeneracy, without reference to other circumstances.

    For this we must be clear about one thing: it is an error to assume that the hierarchy of the traditional world is based on a tyranny of the upper classes. That is merely a "modern" conception, completely alien to the traditional way of thinking. The traditional doctrine in fact conceived of spiritual action as an "action without acting"; it spoke of the "unmoved mover"; everywhere it used the symbolism of the "pole," the unalterable axis around which every ordered movement takes place (and elsewhere we have shown that this is the meaning of the swastika, the "arctic cross"); it always stressed the "Olympian," spirituality, and genuine authority, as well as its way of acting directly on its subordinates, not through violence but through "presence"; finally, it used the simile of the magnet, wherein lies the key to our question, as we shall now see.

    Only today could anyone imagine that the authentic bearers of the Spirit, or of Tradition, pursue people so as to seize them and put them in their places -- in short, that they "manage" people, or have any personal interest in setting up and maintaining those hierarchical relationships by virtue of which they can appear visibly as the rulers. This would be ridiculous and senseless. It is much more the recognition on the part of the lower ones that is the true basis of any traditional ranking. It is not the higher that needs the lower, but the other way round. The essence of hierarchy is that there is something living as a reality in certain people, which in the rest is only present in the condition of an ideal, a premonition, an unfocused effort. Thus the latter are fatefully attracted to the former, and their lower condition is one of subordination less to something foreign, than to their own true "self." Herein lies the secret, in the traditional world, of all readiness for sacrifice, all heroism, all loyalty; and, on the other side, of a prestige, an authority, and a calm power which the most heavily-armed tyrant can never count upon.

    With these considerations, we have come very close to solving not only the problem of degeneration, but also the possibility of a particular fall. Are we perhaps not tired of hearing that the success of every revolution indicates the weakness and degeneracy of the previous rulers? An understanding of this kind is very one-sided. This would indeed be the case if wild dogs were tied up, and suddenly broke loose: that would be proof that the hands holding their leashes had become impotent or weak. But things are arranged very differently in the framework of spiritual ranking, whose real basis we have explained above. This hierarchy degenerates and is able to be overthrown in one case only: when the individual degenerates, when he uses his fundamental freedom to deny the Spirit, to cut his life loose from any higher reference-point, and to exist "only for himself." Then the contacts are fatefully broken, the metaphysical tension, to which the traditional organism owes its unity, gives way, every force wavers in its path and finally breaks free. The peaks, of course, remain pure and inviolable in their heights, but the rest, which depended on them, now becomes an avalanche, a mass that has lost its equilibrium and falls, at first imperceptibly but with ever accelerating movement down to the depths and lowest levels of the valley. This is the secret of every degeneration and revolution. The European had first slain the hierarchy in himself by extirpating his own inner possibilities, to which corresponded the basis of the order that he would then destroy externally.

    If Christian mythology attributes the Fall of Man and the Rebellion of the Angels to the freedom of the will, then it comes to much the same significance. It concerns the frightening potential that dwells in man of using freedom to destroy spiritually and to banish everything that could ensure him a supra-natural value. This is a metaphysical decision: the stream that traverses history in the most varied forms of the traditional-hating, revolutionary, individualistic, and humanistic spirit, or in short, the "modern" spirit. This decision is the only positive and decisive cause in the secret of degeneration, the destruction of Tradition.

    If we understand this, we can perhaps also grasp the sense of those legends that speak of mysterious rulers who "always" exist and have never died (shades of the Emperor sleeping beneath the Kyffhäuser mountain!). Such rulers can be rediscovered only when one achieves spiritual completeness and awakens a quality in oneself like that of a metal that suddenly feels "the magnet", finds the magnet and irresistibly orients itself and moves towards it. For now, we must restrict ourselves to this hint. A comprehensive explanation of legends of that sort, which come to us from the most ancient Aryan source, would take us too far. At another opportunity we will perhaps return to the secret of reconstruction, to the "magic" that is capable of restoring the fallen mass to the unalterable, lonely, and invisible peaks that are still there in the heights.



    Deutsches Volkstum, Nr. 11, 1938.

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    Writings of Julius Evola

    A site dedicated to the philosophy of Julius Evola. It will probably be of interest to some of you.

    Welcome to juliusevola.com! The following entries are an attempt at exploring the social, historical, political, philosophical, metaphysical, and rhetorical implications of Julius Evola’s (1898-1974) many writings.
    Here you can find some of his most interesting texts in electronic form.

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    The most comprehensive collection of Evola's writings I know of is an Italian website, which by the way also gathers excerpts and essays translated into several languages. Just browse through the pages.

    Moreover, I've noticed that some texts had been collected and translated by Thompkins and Cariou.

    Another link: Centro Studi La Runa

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    To me Julius Evola is one of the most interesting philosophers to read. I say this because although I agree in general with his diagnosis of contemporary Western culture as pathological, I find his Platonic reasoning to be inherently flawed. I genuinely agree with Alfred North Whitehead's statement that "the safest general characterization of the whole Western philosophic tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato," (from Process and Reality). This also happens to be the same "rock" that the Christian metaphysics of the Middle-Ages (and beyond) have built on. I think that the facts of existence end themselves more readily to the descriptions and elaborations provided by the Process philosophers, whose ranks include A.N. Whitehead, Martin Heidegger, Henri Bergson, Friedrich Nietzsche and it's "founder" Heraclitus. I think that it all comes down to the issue temporatily and Platonic schools of thought in their ultimate denial of the fact of time err in a fundamental way that essentially negates any arguments extrapolated from their metaphysical principles, whereas the Heraclitian philosophers base their ontology on the existentiality of time.

    All of this aside, Evola remains a most worthwhile read for anyone interested in the idea of Integral Culture.
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    I just ordered a couple of his books and look forward to diving into them. Or maybe just read them conspicuously at some liberal university cafe.

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