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dimanche, 11 novembre 2012

De las "Ruinas" al "Cabalgar"...

De las "Ruinas" al "Cabalgar"...

Ernesto Mila

Ex: http://infokrisis.blogia.com/

Es hora de cambiar Los Hombres y las Ruinas por Cabalgar el Tigre

PD.- Dedico estas líneas a Carlos Oriente Corominas, muy querido camarada, diez o doce años más joven que yo, que ha fallecido en Barcelona este fin de semana de manera inesperada. El hecho de que los “amados de los dioses mueran jóvenes” no implica que muchos dejemos de lamentar su pérdida. Él era uno de esos “tipos humanos superiores” capaces de comprometerse con cualquier causa con una completa entrega. Valiente, con un sentido del humor que impedía aburrirse a su lado, también él pertenecía a otro tiempo.

198457692.jpgEste artículo será entendido perfectamente por los evolianos (gentes familiarizadas con el pensamiento de Julius Evola) y acaso sonará raro a quienes no se hayan aproximado hasta este autor que es considerado como el maestro de la “derecha tradicional” del siglo XX. En efecto, cuando Evola regreso a Italia en 1949 tras su periplo hospitalario tras la II Guerra Mundial, inmovilizado por las heridas en su médula, empezó a relacionarse con los medios activistas de la derecha radical, los neofascistas que formaban en las filas del entonces recientemente constituido Movimiento Social Italiano.

Percibía en ellos las mismas componentes que habían estado presentes en el fascismo de los orígenes con su activismo y su militantismo desenfrenado y en el fascismo de la República Social Italiana, con su fideísmo y su compromiso con una causa irremisiblemente perdida. En ambos casos se entregaba todo a cambio de nada. Evola había identificado en las primeras generaciones del MSI el mismo estado de ánimo y por eso se comprometió con ellos. A finales de los años 40 escribió un pequeño folleto, Orientamenti (Orientaciones), que con 14 breves puntos anticipaba lo que en 1954 iba a ser el verdadero manifiesto político de la “derecha tradicional” en la postguerra: Gli uomini e le rovine (Los hombres y las ruinas). Los dedica a los hombres que representan a un “tipo humano superior”, dotados de un carácter que hace de la acción el centro de su vida casi como si los antiguos guerreros hubieran resucitado entre las ruinas morales y materiales herederas del segundo conflicto mundial.

El libro iba dirigido a los militantes que creían que todavía podía hacerse algo, a aquellos en cuyos cerebros ardía un ideal. En el marasmo de la postguerra, esa generación se preocupaba mucho más de las actitudes que de la doctrina, pero en ese gesto estaba implícito su valía. Evola les facilitó elementos doctrinales y una ideología coherente, completa y orgánica. Muchos, desde las columnas de las múltiples revistas neofascistas de aquellos tiempos asumieron esos ideales y salieron a la calle desarrollando un activismo frenético con el respaldo de un proyecto político.

Pasaron 10 años, en ese tiempo (entre 1950 y 1960) Evola siguió colaborando con los generaciones del MSI, pero también tuvo entre sus alumnos (los que le iban a visitar a su domicilio romano) a cuadros de las organizaciones juveniles que se habían ido desgajando del MSI. Evola colaboró con Ordine Nuovo y con Avanguardia Nazionale. A partir del congreso de Bari del MSI (1950), fueron habituales la presentación de mociones evolianas que intentaron siempre encarrilar a esta organización sobre rieles tradicionalistas.

Justo cuando la “contestación” empezó a despuntar en los primeros años 60 desde los EEUU, Evola que con el tiempo se había configurado como un agudo observador de la sociedad norteamericana entendió cuál iba a ser el signo de los tiempos que estaba por llegar: fue el primero en analizar el pensamiento de Herbert Marcusse y percibió en el underground algo que ya había visto en sus escritos sobre la beat-generation, entendió que la revolución sexual de los 60 y el descubrimiento de la píldora anticonceptiva iban a revolucionar los usos sociales. Entrevió también los contenidos de la agitación estudiantil y empezó a preguntarse si todos estos elementos de crisis afectaban a quienes defendían ideas tradicionales. El fruto de estas reflexiones le llevó a establecer importantes conclusiones que cristalizarían, primero en la publicación de ensayos y artículos en las revistas próximas al MSI y a los grupos extraparlamentarios y luego en la publicación de un libro que todavía hoy no ha perdido actualidad: Cabalcare la tigre (Cabalgar el Tigre).

Esta nueva obra va dirigida a otro público: si Los hombres y las ruinas iba dirigido a los hombres que todavía querían hacer algo, Cabalgar el Tigre lo está a los “hombres diferenciados”, esto es, a aquellos que se sienten alejados de la modernidad, que no tienen sitio en la modernidad, que se reclaman “ciudadanos” de otra realidad (el mundo tradicional) y de otros valores y que no están dispuestos a la “acción exterior” simplemente porque ya no creen que pueda hacerse nada en este terreno. ¿De qué manera hombres así pueden vivir en el seno de la modernidad? Y Evola responde a lo largo de 250 intensas páginas.

El título, como se sabe, responde a la antigua idea oriental de que la única forma con la que alguien puede escapar del ataque de un tigre es… subiéndose a sus espaldas, cabalgándolo. En esa situación el tigre no puede atacar con sus garras y, finalmente, cansado con el peso de alguien que es invulnerable a sus espaldas, se sentirá agotado y se le podrá derrotar. De lo que se trata es, pues, de no dejarse ganar por la virulencia y la omnipresencia del “tigre”, sino vivir en una especie de permanente exilio interior. Evola utiliza entonces una frase de Hoffmansthal para definir un futuro en el que se darán la mano los que han estado en vela en la noche oscura con los que hayan nacido en el nuevo amanecer. Y plantea una imagen evocadora: la modernidad es como un alud que desciende por una montaña cada vez arrastrando más masa y a mayor velocidad: nadie puede detenerlo y situarse ante él para intentar frenarlo constituye la forma más directa de suicidarse. Evola, ya no está hablando de “mantenerse en pie entre las ruinas”, la actitud de aquellos jóvenes de la postguerra que intentaban detener el alud con la mera fuerza de su activismo. Está hablando a otro tipo humano, a los “hombres diferenciados”, aquellos que ESTÁN EN EL SENO DE LA MODERNIDAD, pero que NO SON DE LA MODERNIDAD.

Cabalgar el Tigre es hijo de dos influencias: la de Ernst Jünger, de sus Tempestades de acero y de su Trabajador, y de la experiencia acumulada por Evola a lo largo de su extenso periplo por las doctrinas tradicionales y especialmente por la llamada “Vía de la Mano Izquierda”. Así como en la “Vía de la Mano Derecha” de lo que se trata es de rechazar el mal y combatir las destrucciones, contraponiendo un programa positivo, en la “Via de la Mano Izquierda” de lo que se trata es de “convertir el veneno en remedio”, ver en todos los procesos de disolución, puntos de apoyo. Es evidente que la primera vía es la que corresponde a lo redactado para el “tipo humano superior”, mientras que la segunda es propia del “tipo humano diferenciado”. La primera es la propia de los lectores identificados con el proyecto político de Los hombres y las ruinas, y los segundos con los contenidos de Cabalgar el Tigre.

Evola explica que las destrucciones presentes en la modernidad no deben ser tenidas por el hombre que vive su exilio interior como algo negativo: a fin de cuentas, ese no es su lugar, no es la “sociedad tradicional” la que está en crisis sino la “sociedad moderna”, no es la “familia tradicional” sino la “familia burguesa” y las “nuevas fórmulas familiares” las que están en crisis, no es la “metafísica” la que experimenta una crisis terminal, sino las viejas fórmulas religiosas agotadas e inadaptadas por su dogmatismo y su rigidez; no es la economía orgánica y comunitaria la que vive su período postrero, sino la economía liberal que después de su fase industrial, luego multinacional y finalmente globalizadora, ha llegado a su última etapa; así pues, es la totalidad del mundo moderno lo que está en crisis, no los valores, las ideas y el mundo tradicional. El “hombre diferenciado” no debe entristecerse por estas desintegraciones que no son las de su mundo, sino las de una estructura que no tiene nada que ver con él. No debe hacer, por tanto, nada para defender ese mundo: su hundimiento es garantía de la próxima renovación, del “nuevo amanecer” al que aludía Hofmansthal.

Durante cuarenta años de mi vida he creído que “aún podía hacerse algo”, incluso que era posible hacerlo disponiendo de cuadros políticos perfectamente formados doctrinal y técnicamente. He creído que era posible, utilizando técnicas políticas, generar un movimiento de masas capaz de detener el proceso de disolución de la modernidad y revertirlo. He creído que en la misma lucha política operaría a modo de “fuego purificador” que afectaría en primer lugar a los “combatientes” (los “hombres en pie”, aquellos en cuyo cerebro arde un proyecto político que quieren dar vida) y que sería posible operar una transmutación del mundo: que el poder no estuviera en manos de una casta política degenerada y miserable que considera la política como la mejor relación “esfuerzo-beneficio”, que la comunidad nacional se viera libre de las ideas nacidas en 1789 con la revolución liberal, la ley de la cantidad (la democracia numérica) y el marxismo que vino luego, que desaparecieran partidos y sindicatos como sujetos políticos y fueran las estructuras intermedias de la sociedad quienes asumieran la representatividad en el marco de un Estado Orgánico y Comunitario. He creído incluso que la “construcción de Europa” superaría las carencias de los Estados Nacionales surgidos tras el Renacimiento lograría un marco con “dimensión adecuada” para responder a las necesidades de un tiempo en el que los “bloques” han condicionado le mundo y que una Europa surgida de la hermandad entre combatientes de distintos países estaría en condiciones de ser “primera fuerza” o bien un “espacio cerrado” a la economía globalizada. He creído que la “lucha cultural” era un complemento de la lucha política y que en ese terreno podía realizarse un trabajo que afectaría a toda la sociedad y construiría las bases de un “nuevo orden”. A fin de cuentas, combatir los “productos culturales” que llegan de la “cultura americana”, supone hoy una prioridad en la medida en que se trata de meros productos de intoxicación  contaminación. Todo eso (y mucho más) valdría la pena hacerlo y se podría hacer a través de la lucha política. Nadie me podrá reprochar que no lo intentara hasta el punto de que mi propia vida se ha visto comprometida y que incluso he recibido ataques (en Internet las mentiras sobre mí son uno más de los motivos que inducen a pensar que hoy calumniar salen gratis) de personajillos irrelevantes que jamás me han interesado ni preocupado. Pero todo esto ha llegado demasiado lejos y vale la pena detenerse un momento y reconocer, no solo mi fracaso personal, sino el de todo el ambiente que en un tiempo ya lejano pensó que era posible combatir “a la bestia” e incluso, vencerla.

Cuando escribí las Ultramemorias resultaba evidente mi alejamiento de la extrema-derecha y el análisis crítico que vertía en relación a los últimos 40 años de este ambiente político. Pero no quedaba cerrada la puerta a una acción política posterior. La puerta para desembocar en ella cada vez se ha ido estrechando más y más, y no creo que en la actualidad haya motivos para ser optimista: el percibir en España 7.000.000 de inmigrantes y un signo de desfiguración de la identidad nacional no implica que ese fenómeno vaya a generar una reacción y una respuesta a partir de la cual se vaya a construir un movimiento político sólido y en condiciones de responder a las exigencias de la lucha contra la modernidad, quiere decir solamente que la tierra sobre la que he nacido perderá su rostro y el pueblo al que he pertenecido puede desaparecer… La actual crisis económica es de una envergadura suficiente como para que no nos hagamos ni la más mínima esperanza sobre cómo va a desembocar: en Grecia se ha vivido en los últimos tres años una situación igual y la reacción ha sido mínima, a través del Amanecer Dorado, casi como una respuesta exclusivamente económico-social y el problema trasciende con mucho esa dimensión. En España ni siquiera ha aparecido un fenómeno similar. La economía liberal en su última etapa de desarrollo deglutirá naciones y pueblos enteros y estas naciones y pueblos solamente pensarán –solamente están pensando- como sucumbir antes y de manera más extrema, pues los gobiernos que han elegido democráticamente, ni tienen interés en defender otros intereses que los suyos propios, es decir, los de meros siervos del gran capital financiero internacional. En la modernidad y en la España actual no existen intelectuales y “hombres de tipo humano superior” como para establecer un pensamiento que alguien afecto a los principios tradicionales puede compartir ni mínimamente, ni existe tampoco un “pensamiento crítico” que abarque siquiera a una pequeña élite cultural en condiciones de repercutir sobre un sector social con claridad e impacto suficiente como para hacerse ilusiones de que algo pueda cambiar.

Introducirse en los circuitos culturales y políticos de la modernidad (y, por tanto, tener repercusiones y ver que el trabajo realizado sirve para algo) implica tal nivel de compromisos, renuncias y adaptaciones que, simplemente, no vale la pena ni abordarlo. En cuanto a los que hoy todavía tienden a presentarse como “intransigentes” y activistas que responderían a un “tipo humano superior”, o se engañan, o están en la lucha política por alguna carencia, o simplemente, por una dinámica endiablada, casi como si una fuerza de inercia les impulsase desde el pasado.

Evola me enseñó dos cosas: en primer lugar la necesidad de esforzarse en todo momento, a toda hora, en percibir los rasgos de un tiempo. A eso se le llama “objetividad” (y a definir una “nueva objetividad” utiliza 40 páginas de su Cabalgar…). Hay que esforzarse  continuamente en percibir el mundo tal cual es, intentando sobre todo no engañarse queriéndolo ver tal como a nosotros nos gustaría (o nos interesaría) ver. Objetividad siempre, objetividad ante todo. En segundo lugar me enseñó la importancia de la claridad: renuncias las mínimas, compromisos solamente cuando sean inevitables, calidad anterior y superior a cantidad, élite antes que masa, pero la élite es tal solamente cuando lo demuestra, no cuando se califica así misma como tal; la política no es un fin en sí mismo sino un medio para alcanzar un fin, la construcción de un marco orgánico para la Comunidad del Pueblo, de otra manera no es más que una forma para satisfacer egocentrismos de pobres tontos, carencias afectivas o simplemente para llenar el tiempo libre…

Lo esencial. Lo importante, lo auténticamente importante, es ser “de verdad” o bien un “tipo humano superior” o un “hombre diferenciado”, y demostrárselo a uno mismo, todo lo demás es completamente secundario.  

*     *     *

Por todo esto, estos días, mientras estaba escribiendo un ensayo sobre Julius Evola y el neofascismo que se publicará en los dos próximos meses en la Revista de Historia del Fascismo, he caído en todas estas reflexiones que transmito a los lectores de esta página. Los textos de apoyo pueden encontrarse en http://juliusevola.blogia.com en la Biblioteca Evoliana. No se trata de un debate nuevo sino de la continuación de una conversación que tuve en el invierno de 1980 con Philipe Baillet en París. Era Baillet traductor al francés de los textos de Julius Evola y autor de una notable biografía de Evola que traduje y edité al regresar a España. Un reciente viaje a Sardegna este mes de septiembre me ha dado la ocasión de meditar nuevamente sobre aquella conversación y de realizar una relectura de los textos de Evola para la confección del ensayo sobre las relaciones de Evola con los grupos neofascistas entre 1949  y 1974. Y esas líneas que he escrito suponen un hablar sólo en voz alta. Porque, en realidad, estamos solos, nacemos solos, aunque nos veamos rodeados de seres queridos, mantengamos una vida social intenta, en realidad, siempre estamos solos: dentro de mí no hay nadie… si hubiera alguien no sería yo, sería otro. Y si fuera otro estaría alienado, por tanto, cuando escribimos hablamos sólo para nosotros mismos. Evola lo sabía y sus libros no son más que las reflexiones interiores de un hombre preocupado por el tiempo en el que le había tocado vivir y que, en realidad, no era su tiempo.

© Ernesto Milà – infokrisis – Ernesto.mila.rodri@gmail.com

Henri Corbin, orientaliste et iraniste

Henri Corbin, orientaliste et iraniste

par Jean MONCELON 

 1600079982
 

« Je suis orientaliste et iraniste : tout cela et rien que cela » 

A Matthias Körger

Henry Corbin est né à Paris le 14 avril 1903, dans une famille protestante – sa mère mourra quelques jours après sa naissance. Une licence de philosophie en 1925 et des cours avec Gilson l’orientent vers l’étude de l’arabe (Langues O) et l’École Pratique des Hautes Études d’où il sort diplômé en 1928.

           La même année, il entre à la Bibliothèque Nationale où il rencontre Louis Massignon dont « une inspiration du ciel » va décider de sa vocation : « Je lui parlais des raisons qui m’avaient entraîné comme philosophe à l’étude de l’arabe, des questions que je me posais entre la philosophie et la mystique, de ce que je connaissais, par un assez pauvre résumé en allemand, d’un certain Sohravardî… Alors Massignon eut une inspiration du ciel. Il avait rapporté d’un voyage en Iran une édition lithographiée de l’œuvre principale de Sohravardî, Hikmat al-Ishrâq : « la Théosophie orientale ». Avec les commentaires, cela formait un gros volume de plus de cinq cents pages. « Tenez, me dit-il, je crois qu’il y a dans ce livre quelque chose pour vous. » Ce quelque chose, ce fut la compagnie du jeune shaykh al-Ishrâq qui ne m’a plus quitté au cours de ma vie »  [1]. De cet épisode date ce qu’on pourrait appeler la naissance spirituelle de Henry Corbin, en ce sens, comme il le dira lui-même, que par cette rencontre, « [son] destin pour la traversée de ce monde était scellé ». Sohravardî incarne, en effet, un certain « style de conscience et de vie spirituelle » auquel Henry Corbin restera fidèle toute sa vie, qui ajoute d’ailleurs que le sens et la portée de la philosophie du shaykh al-Ishrâq débordent son cadre : « Elle est une forme de l’aventure humaine, qu’il importe à l’homo viator de méditer spécialement de nos jours. »

           corbin9782226215680g.jpg  Les années suivantes, jusqu’en 1936, le voient suivre les cours de Massignon, Gilson, Puech, Benveniste, Koyré, à Paris et surtout accomplir plusieurs séjours en Allemagne, à Bonn, Hambourg et Marburg, où il découvrira Swedenborg, « dont l’œuvre immense, dira-t-il, allait ainsi m’accompagner tout au long de ma vie », et où il fera la connaissance de Rudolf Otto, en 1930 : « Comment dire l’éblouissement d’un jeune philosophe débarquant à Marburg au début de juillet 1930 ? L’enchantement des lieux, de cette « colline inspirée » ne vivant que par et pour l’Université, les magnifiques forêts alentour… ». Quelques années plus tard, c’est à Freiburg, durant le printemps 1934, qu’il rendra visite au philosophe Heidegger – qu’il rencontrera à plusieurs reprises ensuite et dont il sera le premier traducteur en France, avec Qu’est-ce que la métaphysique ? en 1939.

            L’Iran et l’Allemagne furent assurément les deux patries d’élection de Henry Corbin. L’essentiel, toutefois, est de comprendre, comme il y invite lui-même, que ces deux patries furent, dans sa vie, « les points de repères géographiques d’une Quête qui se poursuivait en fait dans les régions spirituelles qui ne sont point sur nos cartes. » Il dira à ce sujet : « Je ne suis ni un germaniste ni même un orientaliste, mais un philosophe poursuivant sa Quête partout où l’Esprit le guide. S’il m’a guidé vers Freiburg, vers Téhéran, vers Ispahan, ces villes restent pour moi essentiellement des « cités emblématiques », les symboles d’un parcours permanent »[2].

            Henry Corbin s’était marié en 1933 avec Stella Leenhardt, « Stella matutina », à qui il dédicacera son œuvre majeure, En Islam iranien, en 1971, en ces termes : « Stellae consorti dicatum ». Parmi les amitiés de ces années, il faut signaler celle de Jean Baruzi et surtout celle du philosophe russe Nicolas Berdiaev. C’est de lui qu’il tient l’idée d’une Eglise de Jean succédant à l’Eglise de Pierre, qui inaugurerait le règne du Paraclet (selon Joachim de Flore) et qui serait, « non pas la tutrice des pauvres », mais l’Eglise éternelle et mystérieuse « découvrant en elle le vrai visage de l’homme et de son extase vers les sommets »[3].

En 1939, Henry Corbin part pour une mission de six mois à l’Institut français d’archéologie d’Istanbul où la guerre le retiendra finalement jusqu’en 1945. C’est là qu’il préparera l’édition des œuvres de Sohravardî : « Au cours de ces années, pendant lesquelles je fus le veilleur du petit Institut français d’archéologie mis en veilleuse, j’appris les vertus inestimables du Silence, de ce que les initiés appellent la « discipline de l’arcane » (en persan ketmân). L’une des vertus de ce Silence fut de me mettre seul à seul en compagnie de mon shaykh invisible (…). A longueur de jour et de nuit, je traduisis de l’arabe (…). Au bout de ces années de retraite, j’étais devenu un Ishrâqî, et l’impression du premier tome des œuvres de Sohravardî était presque achevée »[4]. A la mi-septembre 1945, il part pour Téhéran et lance le projet d’un département d’Iranologie au sein du nouvel Institut français. Il en assurera la direction jusqu’en 1954 et créera la fameuse « Bibliothèque iranienne ».

Cette « Bibliothèque iranienne » répondait pour Henry Corbin à un double objectif qui était, d’une part, de prouver l’existence d’une « philosophie proprement et originairement shî’ite » et, d’autre part, que l’on prenne « au sérieux », selon ses mots, le projet sohravardien de « ressusciter la théosophie des Sages de l’ancienne Perse ». L’objectif a été pleinement atteint, et nous sommes nombreux aujourd’hui à se reconnaître une dette envers Henry Corbin qui nous aura fait découvrir non seulement Sohravardî, mais aussi Haydar Âmolî, Mollâ Sadrâ Shîrâzî et surtout Rûzbehân Baqlî Shîrazî, pour ne rien dire des extraordinaires textes ismaéliens qui se trouvent désormais à notre disposition, en langue française. A la mort de Henry Corbin, Mircea Eliade fera remarquer : « Il est mort en ayant accompli à peu près tout ce qu’il s’était promis de réaliser », et il devait avoir en tête certainement cette « Bibliothèque iranienne ». C’est d’ailleurs l’existence de celle-ci qui a permis à son promoteur d’écrire, vers la fin de sa vie, en 1978 : « Nous n’en sommes plus, certes, à croire que la pensée en Islam ne soit représentée que par les cinq ou six grands noms de philosophes qui furent connus de la Scolastique latine. Mais combien faudra-t-il de temps encore pour que l’on soupçonne le nombre de monuments de pensées et de chefs-d’œuvre spirituels, tant en arabe qu’en persan, dont l’homme cultivé de l’Occident a généralement tout ignoré jusqu’ici ? Combien plus de temps encore faudra-t-il pour que le trésor de leur pensée rentre dans ce que l’on appelle le « circuit culturel », et vienne fructifier jusque dans les colloques de bonne volonté qui pourraient enfin aborder l’essentiel » [5].

Cela pourrait constituer assurément le programme d’une Unité de recherche « Henry Corbin », consacrée à l’Iran.

Pendant quelque cinquante ans la propriété de Madame Fröbe-Kapteyn, à Ascona, « sur les rives du lac majeur », en Suisse, a été le centre symbolique d’une communauté de chercheurs spirituels, parmi lesquels on peut citer outre Corbin, Massignon, Jung, Denis de Rougemont, Rudolf Otto, Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, etc. Henry Corbin a donné sa première conférence à Ascona en 1949, inaugurant une collaboration qui durera jusqu’à sa mort. Or, Eranos a représenté infiniment pour lui : « Ce que nous voudrions appeler le sens d’Eranos, et qui est aussi tout le secret d’Eranos, c’est qu’il est notre être au présent, le temps que nous agissons personnellement, notre manière d’être. C’est pourquoi nous ne sommes peut-être pas « de notre temps », mais nous sommes beaucoup mieux et plus : nous sommes notre temps. Et c’est pourquoi Eranos n’a même pas de dénomination officielle ; ni de raison sociale collective. Ce n’est ni une Académie, ni un Institut, pas même quelque chose que l’on puisse, suivant le goût du jour, désigner par des initiales. Non, ce n’est pas un phénomène de notre temps »[6].

A partir de 1955, Henry Corbin partagera son temps entre Paris et Téhéran, entre son enseignement à l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (de janvier à juin)[7], où il succèdera à Louis Massignon, à la Section des Sciences Religieuses[8], et la direction du Département d’Iranologie de l’Institut franco-iranien (docteur honoris causa de l’Université de Téhéran en 1958).

corbin_henry.jpgEn 1959, paraît son Imagination créatrice dans le soufisme d’Ibn ‘Arabî dont la rédaction fut, selon ses propres termes, « un nouveau point de départ, un moment privilégié dont la clarté illumina la route suivie depuis lors », puis en 1961, grâce à Marie-Madeleine Davy, Terre céleste et corps de résurrection [9]. Ces deux ouvrages connaîtront l’un et l’autre une deuxième édition, respectivement en 1975 et 1978.

           D’autres ouvrages seront publiés, après 1959, qui récapitulent l’ensemble des travaux de Henry Corbin en matière d’ésotérisme ou de gnose. Il est indispensable de bien comprendre que l’ésotérisme selon Henry Corbin, c’est d’abord la théosophie mystique et surtout la gnose, en relation avec l’enseignement qu’il avait retiré de la fréquentation des textes ismaéliens et qui lui fera affirmer : « La gnose shî’ite est par excellence l’ésotérisme de l’Islam » [10]. En cela, bien sûr, Henry Corbin parait fort éloigné d’un René Guénon, par exemple, et de l’ésotérisme « traditionnel », tandis qu’en termes d’ésotérisme chrétien, cette orientation de son œuvre l’inscrit plutôt dans la lignée de Swedenborg, de Novalis, et surtout de Jacob Boehme. Parmi ces ouvrages, il faut citer, par exemple, son Histoire de la philosophie islamique, en 1968. C’est aussi son Anthologie des philosophes iraniens depuis le XVIIème siècle jusqu’à nos jours. Ce sont surtout ses quatre volumes d’En Islam iranien, publiés à partir de 1971.

            En 1974 vient sa retraite universitaire pendant laquelle il continue à donner des conférences et à séjourner en Iran. Il fonde aussi à Paris une Université Saint-Jean de Jérusalem qu’il définit comme un « Centre international de recherche spirituelle comparée ». « Son esprit : celui d’une chevalerie spirituelle » et quant à sa finalité : « Ménager enfin, écrira-t-il, en la cité spirituelle de Jérusalem, un foyer commun, qui n’a jamais encore existé, pour l’étude et la fructification spirituelle de la gnose commune aux trois grandes religions abrahamiques, bref l’idée d’un œcuménisme abrahamique fondé sur la mise en commun du trésor caché de leur ésotérisme »[11]. Cette idée a occupé les dernières années de la vie de Henry Corbin Malheureusement son Université de Saint Jean de Jérusalem ne lui a pas survécu. Sans doute parce que son ambition était trop élevée, et pourtant s’il est un message de son oeuvre qu’il conviendrait de prolonger, de revivifier, c’est bien celui d’une communauté des ésotéristes « de partout et toujours » unis dans ce projet commun : « Faire face ensemble, nous tous les Ahl al-Kitâb [les Gens du Livre], écrivait-il, en reprenant ensemble notre aventure théologique depuis les origines, pour qu’au lieu de nous séparer, l’aventure cette fois nous rassemble. »

            Henry Corbin meurt à Paris le 7 octobre 1978.

Il n’aura pas de disciples – pas plus que René Guénon – « Il était et reste un maître parce qu’il libérait et libère en chacun de ceux qui le lisent son propre futur »[12], dira de lui Christian Jambet. Mais aussi son œuvre ouvre des perspectives qui ne peuvent plus être ignorées, parce qu’elles intéressent notre avenir, l’avenir même de l’Occident. Sous ce rapport, la comparaison avec l’œuvre d’un René Guénon ne manque pas d’intérêt. C’est ainsi que Michel Le Bris remarque : « Voyez comme l’Orient spirituel de Henry Corbin est éloigné de l’Orient de Guénon ! L’un y apprend à lire, en retour, ce qui fut, sans doute, l’âme vivante de l’Occident, l’autre, quoiqu’il prétende, y trouve le prétexte de s’en écarter toujours plus – la lecture qu’il fait des mystiques d’Occident, de ce point de vue, me paraît catastrophique. L’un veut réconcilier la philosophie des « Orientaux de l’Orient » et des « Orientaux de l’Occident », pour la chance d’une mutation de l’Occident, (…) – l’autre tire une sombre jouissance de la prédication de sa mort fatale »[13].

Pour Henry Corbin, il existait autant d’« orientaux » en Occident qu’en Orient. En aucune manière il ne soumettait la connaissance ésotérique à l’adhésion à une religion et c’est aussi en cela que son propos intéresse notre futur : « Chacun des ‘orafâ [des gnostiques] d’Orient et d’Occident, écrit-il, ne peut penser et peser les choses qu’en termes d’intériorité et d’intériorisation, ce qui veut dire faire en soi-même une demeure permanente aux philosophies, aux religions, vers lesquels le conduit sa Quête. Et il ne peut que garder son secret : Secretum meum mihi. Le secret du château de l’Âme. »

Pour conclure ces aperçus biographiques, on donnera le témoignage d’une Iranienne, Shusha Guppi : « Henry Corbin était un mystique protestant, espèce rare parmi les Français, et il parlait de la façon la plus émouvante de ce qu’il appelait « le génie de la Perse », qui avait produit de grands philosophes et d’immenses poètes, avait presque inventé l’amour, et lui avait en tout cas donné, en poésie, son expression la plus haute pour des générations et des générations futures. Puis exprimant son admiration pour mon pays d’adoption, il me parla des mystiques anglais, tels que Julienne de Norwich, et de toute cette tradition ésotérique dont le monde anglo-saxon a vu le déclin à dater de la Réforme. Nous parlâmes aussi de politique et d’une manière générale, de l’état du monde. Il était très au fait, et se montra préoccupé, de problèmes fondamentaux : la démographie, le pillage des ressources naturelles, l’écart qui allait s’élargissant entre nantis et démunis, avec toutes ses conséquences… Je l’entends encore conclure :

- A propos d’un malade, on dit que son état est grave mais pas désespéré; à propos du monde, on pourrait dire que son état est désespéré, mais qu’heureusement tout cela n’a rien de grave! »[14].

Sohravardî

Le maître de Henry Corbin aura été finalement un jeune théosophe perse, Sohravardî, mort tragiquement le 29 juillet 1191, à l’âge de 36 ans, dont le projet était rien de moins que de « ressusciter la philosophie de la Lumière des sages de l’ancienne Perse ». De ce projet grandiose que Sohravardî paiera de sa vie, puisqu’il fut condamné à mort à Alep, Henry Corbin en a été le commentateur « oriental » en Occident, mais le mot « oriental » est ici placé entre guillemets, selon ce que Henry Corbin en dira dans son Prélude à L’Archange empourpré : « Le Shaykh al-Ishrâq nous a appris les sens spirituel des mots « Orient » et « Occident » (…). Lors donc que nous parlons avec lui de « l’exil occidental », il ne s’agit pas d’une mise en accusation des pays d’occident au sens géographique, pas plus que, lorsque nous parlons de « théosophie orientale », il s’agit tout simplement de se rendre tout simplement à l’Orient géographique pour la trouver » [15].

Cette précision faite, la théosophie « orientale » (hikmat al-Ishrâq) de Sohravardî a inspiré nombre des recherches de Henry Corbin, à commencer par la doctrine ishrâqî elle-même et ses développements à travers les œuvres de ses disciples qu’il nomme « les Platoniciens de Perse ». Mais, elle a surtout influé sa Quête personnelle. Pour cette raison, il n’est pas inutile de rappeler, après lui, les caractéristiques essentielles de la doctrine ishrâqî qui sont, d’une part, « la volonté délibérée de renouer avec la théosophie de la Lumière professée par les sages de l’ancienne Perse », et, d’autre part,  une « spiritualité dont la caractéristique est de conjoindre indissociablement la recherche philosophique de la Connaissance et la fructification de cette Connaissance en conversion, une métamorphose intérieure de l’homme ». Il s’agit là d’un thème majeur de Henry Corbin et qui fait de lui un gnostique, au sens où la gnose est essentiellement une « connaissance salvifique », et même une « connaissance amoureuse » au sens où l’entendra cette fois un autre de ses maîtres, Rûzbehân Baqlî de Shîrâz (1128-1209) dont il parlera comme d’un Maître Eckhart « qui aurait écrit quelque chose comme l’histoire de Tristan et Yseult ». La formule est heureuse, s’agissant de l’« Enfant divin », comme l’appelait Louis Massignon[16].

Pour revenir à Sohravardî deux œuvres en particulier méritent l’attention, Le Récit de l’Exil occidental qui est un traité initiatique, portant sur la voie ésotérique qui conduit « l’exilé » dans le pays d’Occident jusqu’à sa patrie « orientale », sa vrai patrie. (Nous en avons parlé ce matin). Le second traité s’intitule le Vade-mecum des fidèles d’amour. Il s’agit également d’un récit initiatique qui éclaire singulièrement l’expérience intérieure d’un Dante et de ceux que l’on appelle après lui les fedeli d’amore.

A l’origine de toute initiation à l’Ordre des fedeli d’amore se place une expérience amoureuse – qui est le point de départ d’un développement spirituel, au cours duquel l’amour deviendra un amour de passion[17]. Mais ce développement reste réservé à un petit nombre : « Amour n’ouvre pas à n’importe qui la voie qui conduit à lui ». Comme pour n’importe quelle initiation, l’être épris doit en manifester les dispositions. Mais dès qu’Amour en vient à constater qu’il en a les aptitudes, il « envoie vers lui Nostalgie qui est son confident et son délégué, afin que celui-ci purifie la demeure et n’y laisse entrer personne ». Il s’agit donc d’une première étape dans le développement personnel de l’être sincèrement épris qui est celle de l’initiation. Ensuite, « il faut qu’Amour fasse le tour de la demeure et descende jusque dans la cellule du cœur. Il détruit certaines choses ; il en édifie d’autres ; il fait passer par toutes les variantes du comportement amoureux ». C’est au terme de cette seconde étape que se produit « l’illumination » – ce que symbolise le Cuore gentile selon Dante, à savoir « le cœur purifié, c’est-à-dire vide de tout ce qui concerne les objets extérieurs, et par là-même rendu apte à recevoir l’illumination intérieure ». C’est alors qu’Amour « se résout à se rendre à la cour de Beauté ». Dans cette dernière étape, l’être épris devra connaître « les étapes et les degrés par lesquels passent les fidèles d’amour » et surtout il devra « donner son assentiment total à l’amour ». C’est à cette condition que l’initié devient un fidèle d’amour et « c’est après cela seulement que seront données les visions merveilleuses ».

Rulman Merswin et l’Île verte

On ne peut manquer d’évoquer, même brièvement, à propos de l’itinéraire spirituel de Henry Corbin, la figure de Rulman Merswin.

Rulman Merswin, né en 1307 et mort en 1382, issu d’une importante famille de banquiers strasbourgeois, se retira de la vie publique pour entrer en une retraite spirituelle de quatre années (Tauler est alors son confesseur), après lesquelles il fit l’acquisition d’un ancien couvent bénédictin à l’abandon, en un lieu dit l’Île Verte : « L’Île Verte de Strasbourg, écrit Henry Corbin, fut un centre spirituel des chevaliers johannites où se développa au XIVème siècle une forme de spiritualité caractérisée par le nom de ceux qui en sont le centre, à savoir le nom d’ « Amis de Dieu » (Gottesfreunde) » [18]. « Chevaliers johannites », simplement du fait que la présence ecclésiale dans ce couvent de l’Île Verte fut confiée à l’Ordre des Chevaliers hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jérusalem, tandis que Rulman Merswin précisait que le couvent devait être « une maison de refuge où puissent se retirer tous les hommes honnêtes et pieux, laïcs ou ecclésiastiques, chevaliers, écuyers et bourgeois, qui désireraient fuir le monde et se consacrer à Dieu, sans cependant entrer dans un ordre monastique ».

Mais il y a plus dans l’histoire de l’Île Verte. Rulman Merswin et les Amis de Dieu se trouvèrent rapidement en relation avec un personnage mystérieux qui va les guider dans la voie spirituelle qu’ils se sont choisie, par une série de missives (de 1363 à 1380) et d’écrits, parmi lesquels on peut citer Le Livre du maître de la Sainte Écriture, Le Livre des Cinq hommes « qui décrit la société idyllique du Haut Pays ».

Pour Henry Corbin, il paraît superflu de rechercher l’identité de cet « Ami de Dieu du Haut Pays », tout comme il serait vain de tenter de localiser le Haut Pays sur une carte de géographie, car « personne n’en eut connaissance, qui ne s’en approcha par la voie intérieure ». L’essentiel est aux yeux de Corbin que l’« Ami de Dieu du Haut Pays » ait été, selon ses propres termes, « le pôle des Amis de Dieu de l’Ile Verte des Johannites », autrement dit qu’il ait été le Maître intérieur de Rulman Merswin lui-même. Or, qui est le Maître intérieur ? C’est celui qui guide l’initié, non plus en ce monde-ci, mais bien dans les contrées au-delà de l’Orient du monde terrestre.

Tel est le secret de l’identité de l’« Ami de Dieu du Haut Pays ».

Henry Corbin assimila ce dernier au XIIème Imâm [19] de la tradition shî’ite et en tira la conclusion qu’il existe en ce monde « une élite spirituelle commune aux trois rameaux de la tradition abrahamique », dont l’éthique « prend origine aux mêmes sources et vise la même hauteur d’horizon. »

Le monde imaginal

« Le contact entre Dieu et l’homme se fait « entre Ciel et Terre », dans un monde médian et médiateur »

Selon le mot du philosophe Christian Jambet, Henry Corbin a ressuscité « la métaphysique de l’imaginal en terre d’islam ». Et l’on peut tenir cette « résurrection » comme un apport les plus significatifs de son œuvre. Deux ouvrages, déjà cités, permettent de préciser la notion de « monde imaginal ».

corbinhenr9782070724079FS.gifDans le premier de ces ouvrages, L’Imagination créatrice dans le soufisme d’Ibn ‘Arabî, il dira : « Que l’on entende pas le mot « images » au sens où de nos jours on parle à tort et à travers d’une civilisation de l’image ; il ne s’agit jamais là que d’images restant au niveau des perceptions sensibles, nullement de perceptions visionnaires. Le mundus imaginalis de la théosophie mystique visionnaire est un monde qui n’est plus le monde empirique de la perception sensible, tout en n’étant pas encore le monde de l’intuition intellective des purs intelligibles. Monde entre-deux, monde médian et médiateur, sans lequel tous les événements de l’histoire sacrale et prophétique deviennent de l’irréel, parce que c’est en ce monde-là que ces événements ont lieu, ont leur « lieu ».

Dans le second, Corps spirituel et terre céleste, le Prélude à la deuxième édition (1978) s’intitule « Pour une charte de l’Imaginal »[20]. On y lit ceci : « La fonction du mundus imaginalis et des Formes imaginales se définit par leur situation médiane et médiatrice entre le monde intelligible et le monde sensible. D’une part, elle immatérialise les Formes sensibles, d’autre part, elle « imaginalise » les formes intelligibles auxquelles elle donne figure et dimension. Le monde imaginal symbolise d’une part avec les Formes sensibles, d’autre part avec les Formes intelligibles. C’est cette situation médiane qui d’emblée impose à la puissance imaginative une discipline impensable là où elle s’est dégradée en « fantaisie », ne secrétant que de l’imaginaire, de l’irréel, et capable de tous les dévergondages. »

L’apport le plus remarquable chez Henry Corbin est par conséquent d’avoir « revivifié » pour l’Occident ce mundus imaginalis « qui n’est ni le monde empirique des sens ni le monde abstrait de l’intellect » – dont la notion – et donc la réalité – s’était éclipsée depuis plusieurs siècles de pieux agnosticisme et de Lumières. On conviendra qu’il s’agit de quelque chose qui éclaire considérablement le sens de notre pèlerinage vers nos origines, vers l’Orient, cette nostalgie du « paradis perdu », qui aiguise notre sentiment d’exil en ce monde et avive, pour les uns, le désir eschatologique du monde à venir, pour les autres, l’attente de leur délivrance.

L’ismaélisme

« Il y a l’ismaélisme et rien »

            L’ismaélisme est une branche du chiisme.

Que sait-on de l’ismaélisme ? Généralement, on en connaît la légende des Assassins et du Vieux de la Montagne. On connaît également le prodigieux essor culturel et spirituel de la dynastie des Fatimides au Caire (909-1130). On sait parfois qu’il existe des Ismaéliens au Yémen et aussi que l’Aga Khan est le chef spirituel d’une importante communauté ismaélienne. Pourtant l’ismaélisme est beaucoup plus que ces quelques clichés. Nous en donnerons ce bref aperçu historique.

Ja’far al-Sadîq, le sixième Iman de la descendance de ‘Alî ibn Tâlib, avait désigné comme successeur et héritier spirituel son fils aîné Ismâ’il. Celui-ci meurt  prématurément en 754 et Ja’far al-Sâdiq transfère alors son investiture à Mûsâ al-Kâzim, frère cadet d’Ismâ’il, qui deviendra le septième imâm de la lignée, en 756. Mais, autour du jeune Ismâ’il s’était constitué un groupe de disciples particulièrement fervents et de tendance « ultra-chiites », selon le mot de Corbin, qui refusèrent ce transfert et reportèrent leur allégeance sur la personne du fils d’Ismâ’il, Muhammad. Ce sont les premiers Ismaéliens qui forment ce que Henry Corbin désigne comme le proto-ismaélisme. Suit une période assez mal connue durant laquelle se succèdent les descendants de Muhammad, jusqu’à l’avènement de la dynastie des Imams Califes fatimides du Caire. Celle-ci commence en 909, avec le règne de Obadayallah al-Mahdi (mort en 934). Mais deux siècles plus tard, en 1094, le huitième Imam Calife, Al-Mustansir bi’allah, donne son investiture à son fils cadet al-Mustali bi’llâh, au lieu de Nizâr son fils aîné. La communauté fatimide se divise alors et les partisans de Nizâr fondent ce qu’on appellera l’Ismaélisme réformé d’Alamût, du nom de cette forteresse, au sud-ouest de la Mer Caspienne, qui en devient le centre. C’est là que le 8 août 1164, l’Imam Hassan ‘alâ dhikrihi’s-salâm, grand maître d’Alamût, proclame la Grande Résurrection : « Ce qu’impliquait la proclamation, écrit Henry Corbin, ce n’était rien de moins que l’avènement du d’un pur Islam spirituel, libéré de tout esprit égalitaire, de toute servitude de la Loi, une religion personnelle de la Résurrection, parce qu’elle fait découvrir et vivre le sens spirituel des Révélations prophétiques »[21].

L’ismaélisme s’inscrit ensuite dans une hiérohistoire.

Chaque religion est apparue, en effet, successivement à l’un des six « jours » (six époques) de la « création du cosmos religieux ». Ainsi les Mazdéens sont-ils apparus au troisième jour, les Juifs au quatrième, les Chrétiens au cinquième et les Musulmans au sixième jour. Chaque religion a voulu arrêter à son propre « jour » cette création du cosmos religieux, or si chaque « jour » ou période est inaugurée par un prophète, elle se prolonge par une succession d’Imams, jusqu’à ce que Dieu suscite un nouveau « jour ». Ces saints Imams qu’ils soient visibles ou invisibles sont les dépositaires du sens caché de la Loi qui préside à chaque période, de cette Religion divine qui forme l’ésotérisme de la religion littérale et qui est professée par les Amis de Dieu, les disciples, les fidèles de l’Imam. Ce sont eux qui « propagent leur appel en secret et en observant strictement la discipline de l’arcane, car le monde terrestre ne peut jamais resté privé, fût-ce un seul instant, de celui qui en est le contrepoids devant Dieu, qu’Il soit manifesté publiquement et à découvert, ou qu’il doive resté caché et incognito »[22].

Ce « contrepoids », c’est l’Imam, le « pôle mystique » de notre monde[23].

Mais l’Imam est beaucoup plus que cela, ou plutôt de sa fonction de « pôle mystique », découlent nombre d’autres attributions.

Il est celui qui détient le sens ésotérique de la Loi révélée par le Nâtiq, le prophète « énonciateur de la Loi religieuse »[24], et par conséquent le « dépositaire » de la Religion divine.

Il est aussi le Pôle céleste et le Maître intérieur de chacun de ses fidèles.

Il est enfin la « théophanie éternelle », grâce à quoi les adeptes, les amis de Dieu, contemplent le visage divin.

A ce sujet, Henry Corbin usait d’un diagramme explicitant cette dernière idée de « théophanie » : « Si nous voulions nous figurer la situation par un diagramme, écrivait-il, nous pourrions nous représenter deux ellipses se recoupant l’une l’autre, telles que le foyer compris dans le champ de leur intersection soit un foyer commun à l’une et à l’autre. Ce foyer commun figurerait l’Imâm. Il y a polarité entre le Deus absconditus et sa Forme théophanique, sa Face qui est l’Imâm ; et il y a polarité entre cette Face et l’homme à qui elle se montre comme Face divine. Mais il n’y a pas de polarité entre l’Absconditum et l’homme »[25]

            Conclusion

S’agissant de l’ismaélisme, Henry Corbin a accompli pleinement sa vocation de « passeur », car Henry Corbin a été un remarquable « passeur », au moins en un sens profane, – en mettant à la disposition de ses lecteurs occidentaux tout un corpus d’œuvres « orientales » qui demeureraient encore sans lui inconnu, – mais surtout, en un sens ésotérique, dès lors qu’il ne s’est pas contenté de traduire, mais de transmettre quelque chose de leur enseignement ésotérique, en une langue exceptionnelle. Il disait lui-même : « Parler, c’est traduire… d’une langue angélique en une langue humaine. » C’est ce que Marie-Madeleine Davy qui fut intime avec lui avait si bien compris – de même qu’elle avait compris que sa vocation était de vivre pour cette Terre qu’il avait « découverte » et, aussi, qu’il était entré vivant dans la mort : « Henry Corbin, était un homme « ressuscité » avant d’aborder l’autre rive. Il portait sur son visage et dans ses yeux le scintillement de son appartenance. Dans ses ouvrages et lors de ses conférences, il a su faire passer le monde des anges »[26]. C’est bien ainsi qu’il faut comprendre le sens de sa vocation et de sa destinée, l’essentiel restant que l’homme professe « authentiquement » sa Foi.

On peut se faire une idée de cette Foi de Henry Corbin avec ces mots écrits, le 24 avril 1932, au bord d’un lac de Dalécarlie : « Terre, Ange, Femme, tout cela est une seule chose que j’adore et qui est dans cette forêt ».

La Terre dont il est question est le monde de Hûrqalyâ, le mundus imaginalis, ou encore la « Terre des visions », la Terre céleste

L’Ange est l’ange de la destinée, le Double céleste de l’âme « qui lui vient en aide et qu’elle doit rejoindre, ou au contraire perdre à jamais, post-mortem, selon que sa vie terrestre aura rendu possible, ou au contraire impossible, le retour à la condition « célestielle » de leur bi-unité », comme il expliquera dans un autre de ses ouvrages les plus révélateurs, intitulé L’homme et son ange.

C’est en référence à cet ange que Mircea Eliade dira : « Il est mort avec sérénité tant il était sûr que son ange gardien l’attendait. »

Enfin, la Femme – Stella matutina – qui manifeste un mystère qui est celui de l’Eternellement-Féminin – « Un Eternellement-Féminin, antérieur même à la femme terrestre, parce qu’antérieur à la différenciation du masculin et du féminin dans le monde terrestre, de même que la Terre supracéleste domine toutes les Terres, célestes et terrestres, et leur préexiste » [27] – que Corbin interprète ainsi – et nous touchons alors au plus près son secret : « C’est d’un monde où socialisation et spécialisation n’arracheraient plus à chaque âme son individualité, sa perception spontanée de la vie des choses  et du sens religieux de la beauté des êtres ; un monde où l’amour devrait précéder toute connaissance ; où le sens de la mort ne serait que la nostalgie de la résurrection. Si tout cela même peut être encore pressenti, la conclusion du second Faust nous l’annonce comme un mystère de salut qu’accomplit l’Eternellement-Féminin, comme si l’appel ne pouvait venir d’ailleurs pour qu’il y soit répondu avec un assentiment confiant – l’appel impérieux : « Meurs et deviens ! » [28]

Jean Moncelon


[1] Henry Corbin, « Post-scriptum biographique à un Entretien philosophique », Henry Corbin, Cahier de l’Herne, 1981, pp. 40-41

[2] Henry Corbin, « De Heidegger à Sohravardî », Idem, p.24

[3] Nicolas Berdiaev, Le sens de la création, cité par Henry Corbin, En Islam iranien, Gallimard, IV, 1978, p.446.

[4] Henry Corbin, « Post-scriptum biographique à un Entretien philosophique », Henry Corbin, Cahier de l’Herne, op. cit., p.46

[5] Henry Corbin, Corps spirituel et Terre céleste, op. cit., p.137.

[6] Henry Corbin, « Le temps d’Eranos »,  Henry Corbin, Cahier de l’Herne, op. cit. p.260

[7] L’Institut Français de Recherche en Iran a publié un résumé des conférences de Henry Corbin à l’École Pratiques des Hautes Etudes de 1955 à 1979, sous le titre : «Itinéraire d’un enseignement », IFRE, Téhéran, 1993

[8] « Le cher Massignon n’était pas étranger à cette élection. Je connaissais son souci, et quelles que fussent nos différences de pensées, il me considérait comme le plus proche de lui pour prolonger la direction qu’il avait donnée aux recherches, sinon quant à leur contenu, du moins quant à leur sens et à leur esprit » Henry Corbin, « Post-scriptum biographique… », op. cit., p.47

[9] Lors de la seconde édition, en 1978, Corbin modifiera ce titre qui deviendra : Corps spirituel et Terre céleste.

[10] On se rappelle de son mot : « Il y a l’ismaélisme et rien ».

[11] « Post-scriptum biographique à un Entretien philosophique », op. cit. p.53.

[12] Christian Jambet, « Le guide intérieur », in Henry Corbin, Suhrawardî d’Alep, Fata Morgana, p.16

[13] Michel Le Bris, « Pour en finir avec les guerres de religion », René Guénon, Dossier H, L’Age d’Homme, 1984, p.221. Voir aussi dans le même Dossier H, Frédérick Tristan, « Réflexions sur René Guénon : « Je ne doute pas que Guénon aurait suspecté Corbin d’agir en poète, lorsque Corbin l’accuse d’une logique trop étroite. Mais il faut avoir vu le visage anguleux et jaune de Guénon et la face épanouie de Corbin pour comprendre comment la révélation utilise le tempérament autant que la nature. Le dieu du désert n’est pas celui de la forêt ni de l’océan », p.206

[14] Shusha Guppi, A girl in Paris, 1991 (traduction français, Phébus, 1996), p.118.

[15] Henry Corbin, Prélude à L’Archange empourpré de Sohravardî, Fayard, 1976, p.XXIII.

[16] Massignon aurait préféré d’ailleurs que Corbin se complaise plus dans la compagnie de Rûzbehân Baqlî que de Sohravardî ou d’Ibn ‘Arabî. Il le lui écrira, dans une lettre du 8 juillet 1958.

[17] Amour de passion qu’il ne faut pas confondre avec l’amour passion des romantiques !

[18] Henry Corbin, En Islam iranien, Gallimard, 1978, IV, p. 392.

[19] « Il y a un pacte de fidélité conclu pré-existentiellement entre l’Imâm et ses fidèles (…). Et ce ne fut pas le moindre enseignement de nos recherches de constater que nos théosophes shî’ites avaient identifiés le XIIe Imâm aussi bien avec le Saoshyant des zoroastriens qu’avec le Paraclet annoncé dans l’Évangile de Jean », idem, p391.

[20] Cette « Charte de l’Imaginal » a séduit un certain nombre d’intellectuels français comme Christian Jambet, Gilbert Durand, Michel Le Bris, etc.

[21] Pour un exposé complet, voir Henry Corbin, Histoire de la philosophie islamique, Gallimard, 1986.

[22] Henry Corbin, L’homme et son Ange, Fayard, 1983, p.187. Autrement dit, pour les chiites en général, et les Ismaéliens en particulier, « au temps ou au cycle de la mission prophétique (nobowwât) succède le temps ou le cycle de la walayât ou de l’initiation spirituelle par les Amis de Dieu ».

[23] Pour le chiisme duodécimain, ce pôle est le Douzième Imam, qui vit actuellement une période d’occultation.

[24] C’est en ce sens que l’Imâm est appelé al-Sâmit, le Silencieux.

[25] Henry Corbin, Face de Dieu, face de l’homme, Flammarion, 1983, p.247

[26] Elle dira aussi : « L’homme ressuscité porte dans son regard les reflets d’une nouvelle aurore, on pourrait v parler d’un regard d’éternité. Cette éternité colore l’écriture, la sculpte, révèle le secret de la profondeur. A certains instants elle éveille un écho chez le lecteur, le cœur de celui-ci s’anime. Envahi par une chaleur insolite, le cœur devient brasier. »

[27] Henry Corbin, Corps spirituel et Terre céleste, op. cit., p.94.

[28] Cf. Henry Corbin, Cahier de l’Herne, op. cit., p.22

jeudi, 08 novembre 2012

Lycurgus & the Spartan State

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Lycurgus & the Spartan State

By Mark Dyal

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

“And Theompopus, when a stranger kept saying, as he showed him kindness, that in his own city he was called a lover of Sparta, remarked: ‘My good sir, it were better for thee to be called a lover of thine own city.’” – Plutarch[1]

Lycurgus-9389581-1-402.jpgJust as Mussolini looked to Ancient Rome for the model of a healthy, organic society, the Ancient Romans looked to Sparta. In the first century (A.D.), as Rome continued its imperial ascent to near-hemispheric domination, the distance between the virtuous Republican nobility and the garish imperial nobility began to alert many to the potential for social degeneration. One of these was Plutarch, a Roman scholar of Greek birth.

Plutarch is best known for his series of parallel lives of the most virtuous Greeks and Romans, written to explain the particular virtues and vices that either elevate or subordinate a people. His “Life of Lycurgus,” then, is less a celebratory tale of the legendary king who transformed Sparta from typical Greek polis into the greatest warrior state in Western history than a description of that state. Its lessons are no less astounding to contemporary Americans than they were for Imperial Romans. And, while many Greek, Roman, and contemporary writers have explored the origins of warrior Sparta, Plutarch’s “Life of Lycurgus” remains the only necessary source on the subject.

Lycurgan Sparta was born of decadence. As the mentor of the young Spartan king Charilaus, his nephew, Lycurgus played a Cato-esque role. He imparted conservative and austere virtues to the young king, seeking to stem the love of money and ostentatious displays among the city’s nobility. When this tactic ran afoul of the Spartan elite, Lycurgus left the city and traveled around Greece and Asia. He discovered the Homeric epics and visited the Oracle at Delphi. There, Apollo’s priests told him that under his guidance a state would become the most powerful in Greece. So, with Apollo’s backing, he returned to Sparta and was given legal command of the city.[2] He immediately established a social system in which decadence would be impossible.

Lycurgus sought above all to end the vanity, weakness, and extravagance of the Spartan people. Politically, he devised a dually senatorial and monarchical governmental system that governed for the good of the state, not just its wealthiest citizens. Before Lycurgus, the kings of two royal families ruled Sparta, a model already designed to limit tyranny. In adding the senate, Lycurgus sought only further political stability,[3] understanding that democracy was only as valuable as its subjects were noble.[4]

So whereas the Athenians made democracy the reason of the state, Lycurgus made nobility the rationality of Spartan life. Individual Spartan lives were subordinated to that one ideal.[5] But what made Lycurgan nobility so extraordinary was, one, that it was attainable only by the bravest, strongest, and most accomplished warriors – and their women; and two, the lengths to which the state went in breeding this type of nobility.

Just as we have seen in Italian Fascist thought,[6] Lycurgus was interested in human instincts. Contextually speaking, however, we do not give the latter as much credit as the former. For Lycurgus was living at a time far removed from modern assumptions about the separation of mind and body. The Greek ideal, then, was possible precisely because the body was understood to be an outward manifestation of the mind. What is remarkable in Lycurgan Sparta, though, is the understanding of the link between instinct and conception; and it is this understanding that made warriors the most noble of nobles. In other words, Spartan training was not designed to create warrior bodies and concepts, but warrior instincts, of which the bodies were mere symptoms. Thus the importance placed on ethics and environment, as we will see below.

Lycurgus took one ideal and made it the aim of the state and its subjects. But while Greek nobility had become associated with hereditary wealth, creating a self-perpetuating system of luxury and quality (to which moderns owe much of the value of the Hellenic legacy, in particular) Lycurgus transvaluated nobility, making it instead something attainable only in violent service (and the preparation thereof) to the state. He felt more profoundly than other Greeks the relationship between nobility and the human form – conceptually and physiologically – and the idea of training these in concert. And, he reformed the Spartan state to become a factory of bodily nobility. It was his social and physiological reforms to this end that were critical to Sparta’s transformation, establishing, as they did, the messes, agōgē (meaning abduction but also leading and training), and eugenics that gave content to Sparta’s warriors.

Lycurgus’ first tasks, like establishing the senate, were designed to change the immediate political and social climate of the city. He redistributed all the land in Sparta so that each citizen family had a small plot of land to cultivate. He also banned coined money, instituting instead the trade in vinegar-soaked iron bars, thus making it virtually impossible to amass wealth.[7] Almost all forms of iniquity vanished from Sparta, Plutarch writes, “for who would steal or receive as a bribe, or rob or plunder that which could neither be concealed, nor possessed with satisfaction, nay, nor even cut to pieces with any profit?”[8] Elsewhere, Plutarch explains that wealth “awakened no envy, and brought no honor” to its Spartan bearer.[9]

Although most artisans left Sparta when there was no longer a way to trade their goods, Lycurgus compounded their misery by banishing any “unnecessary and superfluous” arts.[10] When not on campaign, Spartan men spent their time in festivals, hunting, exercising, and instructing the youth.[11] Within months of the Lycurgan monetary reforms, it was impossible to buy foreign wares, receive foreign freight, hire teachers of rhetoric, or visit soothsayers and prostitutes in Sparta. Although such restrictions were not motivated by the desire to protect or develop Spartan artisan crafts, locally produced housewares soon became sought after throughout the Greek world.[12] After establishing the limits of what would be permitted in Sparta, Lycurgus set his sights on educating toward nobility.

To ensure the unity and gastronomical fitness of Spartan men, Lycurgus created a mess system wherein men and youthful warriors dined together. Scholars have pointed to the messes as a crucial element of the Lycurgan reforms, and one that only made sense by Lycurgus’ understanding of the close relationship between mind and body. As Plutarch explains, the mess ensured more than social cohesion, providing a forum for the maintenance of the warrior himself:

With a view to attack luxury, [Lycurgus] . . . introduced the common messes so that they might eat with one another in companies, of common and specified foods, and not take their meals at home, reclining on costly couches at costly tables, delivering themselves into the hands of servants and cooks to be fattened in the dark, like voracious animals, and ruining not only their characters but also their bodies.[13]

The infamous agōgē operated with similar motivations. Breaking with Greek tradition – Xenophon explains that Lycurgus literally transvalued all Greek child rearing and education practices[14] – no private tutors or education were allowed in Sparta. The Spartan state, instead, educated all boys from age seven, regardless of his family’s status. In the agōgē boys were trained for discipline, courage, and fighting. They learned just enough reading and writing to serve their purpose as warriors, with their education “calculated to make them obey commands well, endure hardships, and conquer in battle.”[15] Likewise, the boys went barefoot and largely unclothed so that they may function better in rough terrain and in inclement weather. Clothes, Xenophon explains, were thought to encourage effeminacy and an inability to handle variations in temperature.[16]

As well as being scantily clad, boys in the agōgē were underfed and encouraged to steal food. This taught them to solve the problem of hunger by their own hands with cunning and boldness[17] and encouraged the development of warlike instincts.[18] To further this development, the boys were forced to live for a period in the mountain wilderness, without weapons, and unseen.[19] If boys were caught stealing, their agōgē superiors beat them. Kennell debates the legend that these beatings had fatal consequences. After all, a Spartan boy/young man was the focus of the entire social rationale, and would not be killed prematurely. Another part of the legend is not debatable, however: the boys were not beaten for having stolen, but for having been mediocre enough at it to be caught.[20]

Returning to the mess, the boys, as common responsibility of all male citizens of Sparta, were constantly surrounded by “fathers, tutors, and governors.”[21] At dinner, the boys were quizzed on virtues and vices, commanded to answer in a simple and honest style now called laconic (after Lacedaemon). Often these questions demanded that they pass judgment on the conduct of the citizenry. Those without response were deemed deficient in the “will to excellence,” as if any lack of response, whether out of respect or ignorance, was product of an insufficiently critical mind.[22]

In Lycurgan Sparta, the warriors governed because war, and the preparation for war, had made them the most virtuous. Lycurgus is credited with codifying the value of a life cleansed of all superfluous trappings. The life so essentialized not only became the perfect hoplite warrior, moving in concert with his cohorts, but also the most virtuous and reliable citizen. This is because Spartan war training was designed primarily to toughen the mind against fear, adversity, and pain, leaving clarity and the confidence of conquering any foe in any situation.[23]

Steven Pressfield’s Polynikes explains this conception of model citizen:

War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war calls forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all that is base and ignoble.[24]

But what of Spartan men who did not meet these noble and honorable ideals? Xenophon explains that, in Sparta, the cowardly man was, in fact, a man without a city. He was shunned in all areas of public life, including the messes, ball games, gymnasia, and assemblies. This fact of life can be discerned in the “official” Spartan belief that honorable death was more valuable than ignoble life.[25] Xenophon sums the entire Lycurgan social system thus: to ensure “that the brave should have happiness, and the coward misery.”[26] Whereas in Fascist Italy, cowardly men might have been encouraged to “be courageous” in one’s own context, in Sparta, men had only one avenue to courage – war and training for war.

The agōgē has been central to academic and popular visions of Sparta from antiquity to modernity, and justifiably so. The Romans were so enchanted with the agōgē that Roman tourists traveled to Sparta just to visit its sites and temples (Artemis and the Dioscuri each played important roles in the boys’ religious instruction). Indeed, by 100 (A.D.) Rome had re-established the agōgē in Sparta and used it as a finishing school for noble Roman boys. It is only thanks to this period of the agōgē that we know anything about its Classical glory.[27]

And, even though we have been forced to speculate from the few anecdotes provided by Plutarch and Xenophon as to the content of agōgē training, we have a clear delineation of its purpose. As Plutarch explains it, the agōgē was a systematic training regimen in which boys and young men learned warring skills (including the discipline, sense of duty, and leadership already discussed) as well as “the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity and virtue of a city.” These were not merely taught through lecture and regurgitation, but “implanted in the habits and training of [the boys],” through which “they would remain unchanged and secure, having a stronger bond than compulsion”.[28] As Lycurgus is thought to have summarized the agōgē’s rationale: “A city will be well-fortified which is surrounded by brave men and not by bricks.”[29]

Just as the content of the agōgē is speculative, it seems that so to is Lycurgus’ understanding of the links between conceptual and bodily vitality. For up to now, it has only been demonstrated that Lycurgus sought to defeat weakness and vice with strength and nobility. However, Lycurgus’ understanding of the body and mind is best demonstrated by the fate of Spartan women and infants.

As suggested above, sons were not the property of the father in Lycurgan Sparta, but the common property of the state. Unlike other Greek and Roman states, in Sparta the decision to raise a child rested with a council of elders who checked babies for health and stamina. If one was ill born and deformed it was discarded, as life “which nature had not well equipped at the very beginning for health and strength was of no advantage either for itself or the state.”[30]

In many cases, Spartan children were not even the product of random parentage, “but designed to spring from the best there was.” Eugenics. During his time of exile, Lycurgus noticed something peculiar about Greek men. In Athens, Plutarch explains, he saw men arguing over the particular breeding stock of certain dogs and horses. And yet, these same men sired children even though “foolish, infirm, or diseased, as though children of bad stock did not owe their badness to their parents.”[31] Marriages and births were carefully regulated, then, always with an eye to the physical and political wellbeing of the city.

Because of the Lycurgan exaggeration of the Greek educational ideal, Plutarch exclaimed that the education of Spartan children began before birth – an extraordinary concept, considering the 7th Century (B.C.) context. In reality it began prior to conception. Which brings us to Spartan women as mothers. Uniquely in the Classical Greek world, Spartan women exercised alongside men. They ran, wrestled, and threw the discuss and javelin, so that they might struggle successfully and easily with childbirth, and that their offspring would have a “vigorous root in vigorous bodies.”[32]

Lycurgus had a well-conceived eugenic rationale, believing that the human body would grow taller when unburdened by too much nutrition. Things that are well fed, he noticed, tend to grow thick and wide, both of which went against ideals of beauty and divinity. Thus, while leanness marked the human form as most beautiful, it also gave it a kinship with the divine. However, for mothers and their offspring, the benefits were also mundane, as mothers who exercised were thought to have lean children because the lightness of the parent matter made the offspring more susceptible to molding.[33]

After birth, infants were reared without swaddling so that their limbs would develop freely and robustly.[34] Boys in the agōgē wore a simple loin wrap, and men little more. The scores of near-naked men, boys, and unswaddled babies were joined by scores of near-naked women and girls. Perhaps Lycurgus’ most delicious transvaluation of decadent values is his command that in Sparta, the healthy condition of one’s body was to be more esteemed than the costliness of one’s clothes.[35] Nakedness and a strict code of physical beauty – that equated beauty with nobility – seem like potent stimuli to health; to say nothing of the belief that one’s commitment to beauty and nobility was of great benefit to oneself, one’s offspring, and one’s people.

Lycurgus believed that scant dress encouraged in women the habit of living with simplicity. More so, however, he wanted Spartan women to have an ardent desire for a healthy and beautiful body. And because the path to health and beauty led to the gymnasia and sports field, a beautiful female body ensured that the bearer of such possessed “bravery, ambition, and a taste of lofty sentiment.”[36]

Nowhere in the ancient world were women so integrated in the social and political rationale of a people. As a result of the Lycurgan reforms, Spartan girls were educated to similar principles and standards of courage, discipline, and honor, as the boys. They were literate. They performed public rituals to Artemis and Apollo. They were athletic enough to win medals at the Olympic games – even when competing against men. And they were known for their “vitality, grace, and vigor.”[37]

Meanwhile in Athens, girls received no education beyond the domestic duties of a wife and mother. And they lived sequestered lives, with no thought of how their physical degeneration might adversely affect Athens.[38] Thus the scandalous response provoked by Spartan women. For it is the state of women that provoked the idea that Spartan men were mere slaves to women.[39] But it is also the source of the sentiment, expressed so succinctly by Zack Snyder’s Gorgo, that “Only Spartan women give birth to real men.” Incidentally, the line comes from Plutarch and not Frank Miller.[40]

Lycurgus used political philosophy and physiology to fight degeneration. And while Sparta may seem a frightening place to modern men, this is precisely its value. For Sparta stands apart as the singular place that valued the bodily and conceptual nobility of its citizens above all else.

Plutarch described the legacy of Lycurgan Sparta as an example of what is possible when an entire people lives and behaves in the fashion of a single wise man training himself for war.[41] Wisdom, training, and war: three of the Classical traits most damned by modernity – at least as they were understood and practiced by Classical peoples. Above it was suggested that the lessons of Sparta would be read equally as shocking to a Roman as to an American. Yet, this is perhaps not quite true; and the reason is in the nature of Plutarch’s statement about Sparta acting as a single wise man. For, in effect, this was Plutarch’s explanation of the efficacy of the Lycurgan reforms. Just as his portrayal of Lycurgus’ seizure of power focused on Apollo’s blessing and the will of a handful of men, so here Plutarch sees no modern systemic rationale at work; but instead a natural path of choice for truly noble men.

For, according to Plutarch, what Lycurgus did was to establish a divinely sanctioned ethical aristocracy at the expense of a monetary aristocracy. This was an aristocracy into which one must be born, but also for which one must be born. Lycurgus incorporated each living Spartan into the aristocracy, by virtue of being alive. A Spartan boy would know himself worthy of the nobility being demanded of him simply because he had been selected at birth and progressed through the training of the agōgē. One can imagine that the harshness and forcefulness of Spartan life would have been accepted far more readily by one given a hereditary and ethical rationale for inclusion and acceptance than by liberated and atomized modern men.[42]

There is another aspect of Sparta that discomforts modern men even more than the equation of wisdom and war training, however: purity. In the 300 years of strict adherence to the Lycurgan reforms, no Spartan was allowed to live beyond Spartan territory. What’s more, no foreigners without a useful purpose were allowed to stay in Sparta overnight. None of them were allowed to teach vices.

For along with strange people, strange doctrines must come in; and novel doctrines bring novel decisions, from which must arise [disharmony within] the existing political order. Therefore [Lycurgus] thought it more necessary to keep bad manners and customs from invading and filling the city than it was to keep out infectious diseases.[43]

This desire for social purity also works as part of Lycurgus’ system of ethical and physiological transformation. For there is no reason to believe that noble men and women are made less so in an environment that provides only for their nobility. Imagine, instead, that the body becomes what its environment expects and demands of it. Harshness is the only thing productive of bodily vitality. Lycurgus believed that similar bodily harshness was also productive of conceptual nobility. So, instead of teaching such values in a cesspool and hoping that nature would provide a few prime examples each generation, Lycurgus took on nature, providing an environment that afforded Sparta the “good” in every citizen. This meets the definition of utopia, but unlike unnatural, modern, egalitarian utopia, Lycurgus’ Spartan utopia was hyper-natural. As was his ethical aristocracy.

The attainment of a high standard of noble living was a public duty. Youth were often the products of selective breeding, and it was demanded that all people be fit and vital. The greatest and most noble sentiments and characteristics available to man were attainable only through physical exertion and warlike action. Beauty was reserved for the worthy and actively denied the unworthy. In sum, it was demanded that men and women be as noble as was physically and conceptually possible.[44] And, while Fascist Italy did not go as far to promote the “eugenic improvement” of fascists, it too understood the relationship between ethics, behavior, and environment. Oddly enough, postmodern science agrees, even if it would use this knowledge to promote a global bourgeois community devoid of strife. Nonetheless, the next paper in this series will explain how the chemistry of the body is influenced by environment, opening great possibilities for placing the body directly at the center of a war against bourgeois modernity; and further, at the mercy of Nietzsche’s understanding of instincts, the body, and conceptual vitality.

Notes

[1] Plutarch, Lives (Volume One), trans. Bernadotte Perrin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914), 269.

[2] Plutarch 205–17.

[3] Plutarch 219–21.

[4] Xenophon, Scripta Minora, trans. E.C. Marchant (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), 169.

[5] Friedrich Nietzsche, Unpublished Writings from the Period of Unfashionable Observations, trans. Richard T. Gray (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995), 293.

[6] Giuseppe Bottai, “Twenty Years of Critica Fascista,” in A Primer of Italian Fascism, ed. Jeffrey T. Schnapp, trans. Schnapp, Sears, and Stampino (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 192.

[7] Plutarch 227–29.

[8] Plutarch 231.

[9] Plutarch 279.

[10] Plutarch 231.

[11] Plutarch 281.

[12] Plutarch 231.

[13] Plutarch 233.

[14] Xenophon 141.

[15] Plutarch 257.

[16] Xenophon 143.

[17] Plutarch 261.

[18] Xenophon 145.

[19] Nigel M. Kennell, The Gymnasium of Virtue: Education and Culture in Ancient Sparta (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 131.

[20] Kennel 179.

[21] Plutarch 259.

[22] Plutarch 263.

[23] Plutarch 267.

[24] Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 137.

[25] Xenophon 167.

[26] Xenophon 165.

[27] Kennell 117–39.

[28] Plutarch 241.

[29] Plutarch 267.

[30] Plutarch 255.

[31] Plutarch 253.

[32] Plutarch 245–47.

[33] Plutarch 261.

[34] Plutarch 255.

[35] Xenophon 161.

[36] Plutarch 247.

[37] Paul Cartledge, The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece (New York: The Overlook Press, 2003), 36–37.

[38] Cartledge 36.

[39] Xenophon 163.

[40] Plutarch 247.

[41] Plutarch 297.

[42] Nietzsche 363.

[43] Plutarch 289.

[44] Xenophon 169.

 


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mardi, 06 novembre 2012

L’anti-Modernité : une révolte contre-productive ?

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L’anti-Modernité : une révolte contre-productive ?

par Daniel COLOGNE

Je ne regrette pas les années passées dans la compagnie livresque de René Guénon et Julius Evola. L’un a concrétisé sa critique principielle de la modernité en « s’installant en Islam ». L’autre a mené, jusqu’à son décès survenu en 1974, un inlassable combat pour « orienter convenablement tous les révoltés contre le monde moderne » (Georges Feltin-Tracol).

À la fin de la décennie 1970, on commence à parler de « post-modernité », de « condition post-moderne » (Jean-François Lyotard), mais c’est plutôt une « hypermodernité » que d’aucuns diagnostiquent dans les événements de l’histoire la plus récente. On est donc en droit de se poser cette question : la position à contre-courant n’a-t-elle pas eu pour effet d’accentuer ledit courant ? L’anti-modernité serait-elle une révolte contre-productive ?

Ce sont les pays de la plus ancienne sagesse (l’Inde, la Chine) qui mettent aujourd’hui le plus d’acharnement à épouser la cadence infernale du productivisme occidental. « Enrichissez-vous rapidement » : ce mot d’ordre qui fait la synthèse de Guizot et de Marinetti est devenu la devise d’une terre où les sages d’autrefois faisaient équivaloir un million d’années de l’histoire humaine et un instant de la respiration divine. La volonté de puissance matérielle est désormais la seule raison de vivre de la pseudo-élite de milliardaires de cette Extrême-Asie où, il y a 2 500 ans, on cherchait « la Voie » en évitant de « tailler du bois à la place du Grand Charpentier ».

Loin d’offrir à l’Occident, via ses écoles soufies, un modèle de redressement spirituel, l’Islam des dernières décennies est traversé par des tendances qui le font apparaître comme une hideuse « machine à fabriquer de la haine » (Bernard-Henri Lévy) et qui constituent l’expression hypermoderne de la guérilla dont le nom même date de l’enlisement de Napoléon en Espagne (1808). Ce terrorisme aveugle, insoucieux des dégâts collatéraux parmi des milliers d’innocents, est une caricature de la « guerre sainte » (« grande » ou « petite »), une version meurtrière et dévoyée de la mors triumphalis qui promettait au guerrier de la Tradition une ascension paradisiaque dans les bras des Walkyries.

Moins par conviction profonde que par honnêteté intellectuelle, Guénon a examiné les potentialités de l’Église catholique romaine de restaurer spirituellement l’Occident. Dans le sillage de Georges Feltin-Tracol, il n’est pas interdit de penser qu’Evola voyait dans le catholicisme « une adaptation des vieux polythéismes européens ». Force nous est cependant d’admettre que les courants de « renouveau » qui traversent aujourd’hui l’Église vont dans le sens d’une protestantisation : contact direct de l’individu avec Dieu, charismes attribués sans discernement à des laïcs, influence de l’évangélisme nord-américain, sans parler des talibans bien spécifiques, tout aussi dangereux que ceux d’Asie Centrale, réchauffés en leur sein par des sectes manichéennes.

Notamment inspiré par Otto Weininger, Evola développe une Métaphysique du sexe tout en nuances, où la supériorité principielle du H sur le F s’accomode de la bisexualité concrète de tout être humain et de la subtile distinction entre sexe intérieur et sexe apparent. Bien que cet ouvrage ait été revendiqué comme livre de chevet par la célèbre chanteuse Dalida, les media véhiculent plus que jamais, depuis le début des années 2000, l’égalitarisme homme-femme façon Kate Millett et Simone de Beauvoir.

Dans ce domaine, les repères sont tellement brouillés qu’on a vu des chefs de file de partis identitaires mettre l’égalité des sexes au fronton de leur programme. Un ex-commissaire de police ainsi reconverti en suffragette s’est rangé aux côtés des amazones hystériques de la laïcité face aux prétendus périls du foulard et de la burqa. En Belgique et en France, Mesdames Antoinette Spaak et Élisabeth Badinter ont sommé les femmes musulmanes de se dévoiler pour mesurer avec leurs consœurs occidentales « éclairées » tout le chemin parcouru depuis Lucy pour la conquête des droits du « deuxième sexe ».

Nous voici à l’évocation du darwinisme, un des dogmes intouchables de la modernité. Sur ce point aussi, la critique guénonienne et évolienne a eu un effet paradoxal. Censée rebelle à toute vérité absolue, la modernité oppose depuis peu, à ceux qui persistent à se révolter contre elle, son dogmatisme de substitution, sa religion de rechange, ses « valeurs-fétiches » dont Georges Feltin-Tracol a pu écrire qu’elles exercent une « tyrannie morale », voire une « insupportable théocratie ».

Le progressisme est une de ces « valeurs-fétiches ». Encore convient-il d’écouter le sage conseil de Paul Virilio et de ne pas confondre le progrès et sa propagande. Ce n’est pas parce que les média présentent la Gay Pride comme une fête nationale qu’il faut tenir tous les homosexuels pour des exhibitionnistes. Sur les ondes et les écrans, les dépénalisations de l’avortement et de l’euthanasie apparaissent comme d’irréversibles « avancées ». Il ne faut cependant pas réagir comme si Simone Veil et Willy Peers avaient poussé toutes les femmes à se débarrasser de leurs enfants non désirés. Le progrès ne consiste pas à tuer un enfant dans le ventre de sa mère ou à abréger les souffrances d’un vieillard. Il ne réside que dans une édulcoration juridique somme toute banale. Qui oserait en effet traiter d’assassins le médecin qui accorde à son patient le droit de mourir dans la dignité ou la jeune femme qui refuse d’assumer les conséquences d’un moment d’égarement ?

C’est dans la mesure même où la critique anti-moderne s’en prend à « l’état de droit » comme à un bloc monolithique que la modernité impose son « processus d’indistinction » (Alain de Benoist) au bout duquel même les plus légitimes discriminations passent pour des injustices.

Dans l’une de ses livraisons de 2009, la revue Éléments met en garde contre le non-discernement des « articulations historiques contingentes », auxquelles il faut opposer les articulations idéologiques essentielles. L’État de  droit n’est pas indissociable du libéralisme. Le fait que l’embryon des « droits de l’homme » (l’habeas corpus) ait vu le jour en Angleterre au XVIIe siècle n’autorise nullement à penser le « droits-de-l’hommisme » échevelé des années 2000 comme la « super-structure » d’une « nouvelle classe » bourgeoise, dont les intérêts seraient par essence liés au monde anglo-saxon, à la thalassocratie, voire à « l’humanisme occidental » dénoncé d’une manière « sloganique » (Éric Louvier) dénuée de toute réflexion.

Sur la base de critères secondaires (couleur de la peau, appartenance ethno-religieuse, marginalisation sociale, comportement sexuel minoritaire), le principe de non-discrimination de l’État de droit peut parfaitement être respecté par un régime non moderne, dont la doctrine officielle serait le retour aux inégalités naturelles, aux hiérarchies transversales, aux « races de l’esprit ». Pour cette dernière grande idée, les évoliens militent depuis trois décennies pour constater que le discours dominant demeure l’égalitarisme réduisant les humains à ce qu’ils ont de plus ordinaire en commun (double sens du latin laicus), tandis que la révolte anti-moderne reste entachée de racisme, « ennemi gémellaire » de l’universalisme, selon une heureuse formule de Georges Feltin-Tracol. Tradition et modernité seraient-elles des « ennemis gémellaires » ? Posons-nous enfin cette bonne question, sans quoi notre lutte contre un Système doté d’une immense faculté de récupération risque de déboucher sur une « impasse intellectuelle majeure » (Rodolphe Badinand).

La « démonie de l’économie » (Evola) et « le règne de la quantité » (Guénon) nous a préservés de l’absurde tentation de réduire l’homme à sa capacité de travail social. Nous avons mobilisé les plus vieux mythes de l’humanité pour étayer notre vision du travail comme pénible par définition, issu d’une « chute » et d’un « péché originel » (perspective biblique), résultant de la sortie de « l’Âge d’Or » (point de vue des légendes païennes), mais toujours connoté par les idées de souffrance, de peine, voire de torture.

Les utopistes narratifs et programmatiques des temps modernes ont consolidé cette vision. Les récits de voyages nous ont emmenés, non vers des « pays de nulle part » (ou-topos), mais vers des lieux idéaux où l’on se sent bien (eu-topos) parce qu’on y travaille de moins en moins. Les premières doctrines socialistes inscrivaient la diminution du temps de travail dans le développement normal de l’histoire de la « race humaine aux destins d’or vouée » (Émile Verhaeren). En 1911, le gendre de Karl Marx publiait un Droit à la paresse, tandis que jouaient encore en culottes courtes des sociologues qui annonceraient, un demi-siècle plus tard, une « civilisation des loisirs », une « révolution silencieuse » où le progrès technique délivrerait l’humanité d’une large part de pénibilité du travail, une « ère nouvelle » où serait déchiré « le vieux cahier des charges », comme le chantait Nougaro en 1988 (Il faut tourner la page).

On nous dit aujourd’hui que, pour faire face à la crise et relancer la croissance, il faut travailler plus, tant au niveau de la prestation hebdomadaire qu’à l’échelle de la vie tout entière. Presque aussi absurde que le service militaire obligatoire, cette idée figure parmi celles que l’on peut critiquer tant du point de vue traditionnel que moderne. C’est vers ce type de critique qu’il faut braquer de nouveaux faisceaux de clarté, afin de dépasser le clivage dans lequel les pseudo-Lumières cherchent à nous enfermer, pour abandonner le stérile et obsolète antagonisme Tradition – Modernité.

J’ai cité Verhaeren et pour terminer, à travers un coup d’œil sur ses recueils Les Campagnes hallucinées et Les Villes tentaculaires, je vais suggérer aux générations futures de notre famille de pensée l’approfondissement de nos lettres et de nos arts européens, et tout particulièrement de notre patrimoine poétique, qui recèle peut-être de plus vives sources de lumière que les grandes œuvres théoriques du traditionalisme.

Certains poèmes de Verhaeren évoquent la Tradition et la Modernité par des images fortes davantage que par l’enchaînement parfois rébarbatif des concepts, et ce dans la féconde perspective d’une « synthèse des mondes » aux antipodes des lassantes antinomies toujours recommencées.

 

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Mais il faut d’abord faire justice d’un préjugé. Verhaeren n’est pas un chantre du modernisme. Certes, il est fasciné par les cheminées d’usines et les locomotives à vapeur, mais il reste sensible au charme des béguinages et des beffrois. Le rythme de la vie moderne lui inspire une esthétique nouvelle désarticulant la strophe en vers hétérométriques, mais il n’abandonne jamais complètement l’usage de l’alexandrin. Il est socialiste sans jamais oublier que la conquête des droits implique l’assomption de devoirs correspondants. Il perd la foi catholique en 1885, mais dix ans plus tard, il écrit encore :

« Et qu’importent les maux et les heures démentes,

Et les cuves de vice où la cité fermente,

Si quelque jour, du fond des brouillards et des voiles,

Surgit un nouveau Christ, en lumière sculpté,

Qui soulève vers lui l’humanité

Et la baptise au feu de nouvelles étoiles. »

Reflété par l’agglomération urbaine dévorant la campagne, l’affrontement de la Modernité et de la Tradition se poursuit dans l’enceinte même de la cité, où coexistent désormais les joyaux d’architecture passée et le réseau de plus en plus dense du chemin de fer, que le jeune Verhaeren a vu s’étendre dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle.

« Et les vitraux, peuplés de siècles rassemblés

Devant le Christ – avec leurs papes immobiles

Et leurs martyrs et leurs héros – semblent trembler

Au bruit d’un train lointain qui roule sur la ville. »

(Les cathédrales)

 

Lorsque Émile Verhaeren décède en 1916, à l’âge de 61 ans, dans un stupide accident ferroviaire en gare de Rouen, Julius Evola n’est encore qu’un artilleur perdu dans l’anonymat des tranchées et René Guénon n’a pour carte de visite que quelques années d’errance dans l’univers glauque de l’occultisme parisien. Mais les vers prophétiques du poète couvrent aujourd’hui de leur voix sonore les lourdes ratiocinations philosophiques sur le matérialisme devenu planétaire :

 

« Oh l’or, là-bas, comme des tours dans les nuages,

L’or étalé sur l’étagère des mirages,

Avec des millions de bras tendus vers lui,

Et des gestes et des appels, la nuit,

Et la prière unanime qui gronde,

De l’un à l’autre bout des horizons du monde ! »

(La Bourse).

 

Point n’était besoin de déclarer des « guerres en chaîne » (Raymond Aron) et de remplir les rayons des bibliothèques pour deviner que le capitalisme sortirait vainqueur de toutes les révolutions qui ont cherché à l’abattre.

 

L’or de Verhaeren n’est pas seulement l’objet de la quête frénétique du profit. C’est aussi le métal précieux qui symbolise le premier âge du monde bien avant qu’Evola et Guénon n’appellent Hésiode et Virgile à la rescousse pour en célébrer les bienfaits perdus.

 

L’Âge d’Or selon Verhaeren n’est pas une théocratie parfaite, une royauté sacrée, un système de castes que n’altère aucun dysfonctionnement. C’est une source de lumière décrite en termes d’esthète :

« Plus loin que la vertu ou le vice,

Par au delà du vrai, du faux, de l’équité,

Et plus haute que n’est la force et la justice,

Luit la beauté. »

 

(Les idées)

« Clef du cycle humain », la beauté est « large accord » et « totale harmonie ». Toujours dans le même texte, Verhaeren ajoute :

« Les temps sont datés d’elle et marchent glorieux

Dès que sa volonté leur est douce et amie. »

Nous verrons plus loin que le « cycle humain » s’ouvre sur la beauté et se clôt avec la sagesse, mais il arrive que le poète attende aussi la beauté dans le futur,

« Vers les temps clairs, illuminés de fêtes ,

[car]

Quiconque espère en elle est au delà de l’heure

Qui frappe aux cadrans noirs de sa demeure. »

 

Sous les auspices de la sagesse ou de la beauté, ou des deux à la fois, le « temps des Dieux » reviendra et redonnera vie au « cœur antique de la terre » qui « pourrit » dans

« La plaine et le pays sans fin

Où le soleil est blanc comme la faim. »

(Les Plaines).

Dans cette attente alternent des périodes d’assombrissement et des phases de renouveau : l’Égypte, la Grèce, Florence, Paris. Le décadentisme linéaire contre-productif est étranger à Verhaeren qui salue l’humanisme du Quattrocento comme une authentique renaissance et le classicisme français indépendamment de son articulation historique avec l’absolutisme et le centralisme du « Roi-Soleil ».

Étonnante est la place que réserve Verhaeren au Christianisme dans le mouvement général de l’histoire. Le Dieu unique des chrétiens apparaît comme l’ultime avatar du polythéisme. Évoquant les ostensoirs des cathédrales, le poète écrit :

« Ils conservent, ornés de feu,

Pour l’universelle amnistie,

Le baiser blanc du dernier Dieu,

Tombé sur terre en une hostie. »

Certaines strophes ont des accents nietzschéens :

« L’esprit de la campagne était l’esprit de Dieu;

Il eut peur de la recherche et des révoltes;

Il chut; et le voici qui meurt, sous les essieux

Et sous les chars en feu des nouvelles récoltes. »

Mais avant la « mort de Dieu », c’est l’éclipse de l’astre diurne qui hante le poète et ne laisse dans l’obscurité que la crainte de la mort.

« Et les grands bras des Christs funèbres,

Aux carrefours, dans les ténèbres,

Semblent grandir et tout à coup partir,

En cris de peur, vers le soleil perdu. »

Verhaeren semble préfacer ici le monothéisme solaire d’Hermann Wirth (1885 – 1981) et la vision d’une humanité conviée à enrichir le « progrès » (uniquement horizontal et matériel) par une Aufgang (ascension spirituelle, dimension verticale).

« Ô race humaine aux destins d’or vouée. »

Dieu et Satan sont présentés comme des « ennemis gémellaires ». Pour affermir la foi en l’un, l’autre sème la peur. Face aux mauvaises récoltes et à leurs granges ravagées par les intempéries, les paysans ne savent plus à qui adresser leurs prières, à l’Être Suprême qui devrait rayonner de miséricorde ou à son complice destructeur inavouable :

« Le Satan noir des champs brûlés

Et des fermiers ensorcelés

Qui font des croix de la main gauche. »

(Pèlerinage)

Devant les ambiguïtés des chrétiens d’aujourd’hui, Verhaeren récrirait sans doute ces vers qui dépeignent les croyants d’avant 1914 :

« Luttant avec des cris et des antinomies,

Au nom du Christ, le maître abominable ou doux,

Selon celui qui interprète ses paroles. »

(Les idées)

Le matérialisme est évidemment dénoncé comme un symptôme crépusculaire :

« Comme un torse de pierre et de métal debout

Le monument de l’or dans les ténèbres bout. »

La modernité ne coïncide pas pour autant avec l’agonie de la civilisation. Verhaeren place dans la recherche scientifique son espoir d’une définitive résurrection à l’horizon d’un avenir lointain.

« C’est la maison de la science au loin dardée,

Par à travers les faits jusqu’aux claires idées. »

(La Recherche).

La science est à la fois une accumulation de savoir et un trésor de sagesse. Aussi Verhaeren imagine-t-il « les derniers paradis » comme des campagnes à la paix retrouvée, « un monde enfin libéré de l’emprise des villes » et de leur voracité tentaculaire, des champs « délivrés de leur folie » et « affranchis de leurs présages », une terre nouvelle

« Où s’en viendront rêver, à l’aube et aux midis,

Avant de s’endormir dans les soirs clairs, les sages. »

(Vers le futur)

De ce rêve de poète qui unifie le meilleur de la Tradition et de la Modernité en une synthèse « s’élevant au ciel », il y a peut-être beaucoup plus à attendre que des constructions philosophiques, si brillantes soient-elles, qui les opposent en un conflit sans issue et nous entraînent dans une impasse en sous-sol majeur.

Daniel Cologne


Article printed from Europe Maxima: http://www.europemaxima.com

URL to article: http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=2658

 

Entretien avec Gilbert Sincyr

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« Le Paganisme est une Vue du monde basée sur un sens du sacré, qui rejette le fatalisme. Il est fondé sur le sens de l’honneur et de la responsabilité de l’Homme, face aux évènements de la vie »

Entretien avec Gilbert Sincyr, auteur du livre Le Paganisme. Recours spirituel et identitaire de l’Europe

par Fabrice Dutilleul

Votre livre Le Paganisme. Recours spirituel et identitaire de l’Europe est un succès. Pourtant ce thème peut paraître quelque peu « décalé » à notre époque.

Bien au contraire : si les églises se vident, ce n’est pas parce que l’homme a perdu le sens du sacré, c’est parce que l’Européen se sent mal à l’aise vis-à-vis d’une religion qui ne répond pas à sa sensibilité. L’Européen est un être qui aspire à la liberté et à la responsabilité. Or, lui répéter que son destin dépend du bon vouloir d’un Dieu étranger, que dès sa naissance il est marqué par le péché, et qu’il devra passer sa vie à demander le pardon de ses soi-disant fautes, n’est pas ce que l’on peut appeler être un adulte maître de son destin. Plus les populations sont évoluées, plus on constate leur rejet de l’approche monothéiste avec un Dieu responsable de tout ce qui est bon, mais jamais du mal ou de la souffrance, et devant qui il convient de se prosterner. Maintenant que l’Église n’a plus son pouvoir dominateur sur le peuple, on constate une évolution vers une aspiration à la liberté de l’esprit. C’est un chemin à rebours de la condamnation évangélique, originelle et perpétuelle.

 

Alors, qu’est-ce que le Paganisme ?

C’est d’abord un qualificatif choisi par l’Église pour désigner d’un mot l’ensemble des religions européennes, puisqu’à l’évidence elles reposaient sur des valeurs communes. C’est donc le terme qui englobe l’héritage spirituel et culturel des Indo-européens. Le Paganisme est une Vue du monde basée sur un sens du sacré, qui rejette le fatalisme. Il est fondé sur le sens de l’honneur et de la responsabilité de l’Homme, face aux évènements de la vie. Ce mental de combat s’est élaboré depuis le néolithique au fil de milliers d’années nous donnant une façon de penser, une attitude face au monde. Il est à l’opposé de l’assujettissement traditionnel moyen-oriental devant une force extérieure, la volonté divine, qui contrôle le destin de chacun. Ainsi donc, le Paganisme contient et exprime l’identité que se sont forgés les Européens, du néolithique à la révolution chrétienne.

 

Vous voulez donc remplacer un Dieu par plusieurs ?

Pas du tout. Les temps ne sont plus à l’adoration. Les Hommes ont acquit des connaissances qui les éloignent des peurs ancestrales. Personne n’a encore apporté la preuve incontestable qu’il existe, ou qu’il n’existe pas, une force « spirituelle » universelle. Des hommes à l’intelligence exceptionnelle, continuent à s’affronter sur ce sujet, et je crois que personne ne mettrait sa tête à couper, pour l’un ou l’autre de ces choix. Ce n’est donc pas ainsi que nous posons le problème.

Le Paganisme, qui est l’expression européenne d’une vue unitaire du monde, à l’opposé de la conception dualiste des monothéismes, est la réponse spécifique d’autres peuples aux mêmes questionnements. D’où les différences entre civilisations.

Quand il y a invasion et submersion d’une civilisation par une autre, on appelle cela une colonisation. C’est ce qui s’est passé en Europe, contrainte souvent par la terreur, à changer de religion (souvenons-nous de la chasse aux idoles et aux sorcières, des destructions des temples anciens, des tortures et bûchers, tout cela bien sûr au nom de l’amour). Quand il y a rejet de cette colonisation, dans un but de recherche identitaire, on appelle cela une libération, ou une « Reconquista », comme on l’a dit de l’Espagne lors du reflux des Arabes. Et nous en sommes là, sauf qu’il ne s’agit pas de reflux, mais d’abandon de valeurs étrangères au profit d’un retour de notre identité spirituelle.

Convertis par la force, les Européens se libèrent. « Chassez le naturel et il revient au galop », dit-on, et voilà que notre identité refoulée nous revient à nouveau. Non pas par un retour des anciens Dieux, forme d’expression d’une époque lointaine, mais comme un recours aux valeurs de liberté et de responsabilité qui étaient les nôtres, et que le Paganisme contient et exprime.

Débarrassés des miasmes du monothéisme totalitaire, les Européens retrouvent leur contact privilégié avec la nature. On reparle d’altérité plutôt que d’égalité, d’honneur plutôt que d’humilité, de responsabilité, de volonté, de défi, de diversité, d’identité, enfin de ce qui constitue notre héritage culturel, pourchassé, rejeté et condamné depuis deux mille ans.

 

S’agit-il alors d’une nouvelle guerre de religion ?

Pas du tout, évidemment. Les Européens doivent dépasser ce qui leur a été imposé et qui leur est étranger. Nous devons réunifier sacré et profane, c’est-à-dire réaffirmer que l’homme est un tout, que, de ce fait, il est le maître de son destin car il n’y a pas dichotomie entre corps et esprit. Les Européens ne doivent plus s’agenouiller pour implorer le pardon de fautes définies par une idéologie dictatoriale moyen-orientale. Ce n’est pas vers un retour du passé qu’il nous faut nous tourner, gardons-nous surtout d’une attitude passéiste, elle ne serait que folklore et compromission. Au contraire des religions monothéistes, sclérosées dans leurs livres intouchables, le Paganisme, comme une source jaillissante, doit se trouver de nouveaux chemins, de nouvelles expressions. À l’inverse des religions du livre, bloquées, incapables d’évoluer, dépassées et vieillissantes, le Paganisme est l’expression de la liberté de l’homme européen, dans son environnement naturel qu’il respecte. C’est une source de vie qui jaillit de nouveau en Europe, affirmant notre identité, et notre sens du sacré, pour un avenir de fierté, de liberté et de volonté, dans la modernité.

 

Le Paganisme. Recours spirituel et identitaire de l’Europe de Gilbert Sincyr, éditions de L’Æncre, collection « Patrimoine des Religions », dirigée par Philippe Randa, 232 pages, 25 euros.

 

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lundi, 05 novembre 2012

Mégalithisme et tradition indo-européenne

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Mégalithisme et tradition indo-européenne

par

Ex: http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/

1. L’espace, le temps, la mesure dans le monde indo-européen

L’expression des notions d’espace et de temps est manifestement récente dans les langues indo-européennes, mais les notions elles-mêmes, et celle de leur mesure conjointe — base de l’architecture sacrée — certainement anciennes.

  • 1.1. Les noms de l’espace et du temps dans les langues indo-européennes

L’expression des notions d’espace et de temps diffère d’une langue à l’autre, sauf quand elle a été empruntée, et surtout les termes qui les désignent présentent initialement une autre signification. C’est le cas pour le français temps. Il se retrouve certes dans l’ensemble des langues romanes, mais le latin tempus auquel il remonte est isolé en indo-européen. D’autre part, comme le montrent les formes tempête, tempérer, température, intempéries, le “temps qui passe” est initialement lié au “temps qu’il fait”, que distinguent les langues germaniques.

Il n’y a pas non plus d’ancien nom de l’espace, souvent désigné à partir d’une forme qui signifie “espace libre” comme le latin spatium ou la forme germanique d’où est issu l’allemand Raum. Certaines de ces formes peuvent s’appliquer au temps, comme le latin spatium et le français espace. Les seules désignations anciennes sont celles de l’espace libre, notamment la base sur laquelle reposent le latin rûs (campagne) et l’allemand Raum.

  • 1.2 Espace et temps dans le système grammatical

Espace et temps ont une expression grammaticale. L’espace dans les compléments de lieu (lieu où l’on est, où l’on va, d’où l’on vient, par où l’on passe), dont certains sont à l’origine de cas grammaticaux comme l’accusatif d’objet, le temps dans les compléments de temps (instant ou durée), et les propositions subordonnées correspondantes. De plus, le temps s’exprime dans la conjugaison: le verbe indo-européen a un présent, *esti «il est» (grec esti, latin est), un prétérit ou imparfait *êst (grec ê), un futur, dit aussi “subjonctif” *eseti (latin erit). Au futur correspondent, dans le nom, le datif “prospectif” et les adjectifs correspondants, qui expriment la destination, la possibilité, l’obligation. Les 3 temps sont également à la base d’énoncés formulaires du Véda (le géant cosmique Prajâpati est aussi «ce qui fut» et «ce qui sera»), de l’Avesta (qui joue sur les temps du verbe être pour évoquer le présent, le passé et l’avenir, ou les vivants, les morts et les enfants à naître); selon l’Illiade, le devin Chalcas connaît «le présent, le passé et l’avenir»; et, à en juger par leurs noms, les 3 Nornes scandinaves Yrd, Verdandi, Skuld ont été mises en rapport avec les 3 temps. Le verbe indo-européen a de plus un “intemporel” *est (il est) employé pour les procès qui ne se situent pas dans le temps, comme les vérités générales.

  • 1.3 La mesure de l’espace et du temps

Il existe une racine qui désigne la mesure de l’espace, “arpenter”, et du temps, “viser”, 2 procès dont la réalité physique diffère, mais dont le but est identique, et, par extension, diverses activités et diverses situations homologues comme “être en mesure de”, “prendre des mesures”. Elle possède 3 formes liées entre elles par des formes intermédiaires: *meH-, d’où *mê-, *met-, mêt-, *med-, *mêd-. Cette morphologie singulière indique une haute antiquité.

La première forme *meH-, conservée dans le nom hittite du “temps” (mehur) mais qui a évolué en *mê- dans les autres langues indo-européennes, est à la base du nom de la lune (conservé dans les langues germaniques, mais remplacé en latin par lûna) et du mois, que le français conserve aussi dans ses formes “savantes” (empruntées au latin) mensuel, trimestre, semestre. Elle l’est aussi dans le nom des mœurs, issu du latin môrês, pluriel de môs.

La deuxième forme *met-, mêt- est représentée en français par l’emprunt savant au grec mètre avec ses dérivés métrique, métrer, et ses composés diamètre, symétrie, géomètre, et certains composés en métro-: métrologie, métronome. Elle l’est également dans le nom de la mesure, et dans les formes savantes en mens- — immense, dimension, (in)commensurable, mensuration — qui se rattachent au participe passé mênsus du verbe latin mêtîrî: “mesurer” et “parcourir”. On note que cette forme comporte un n comme le nom de la lune (anglais moon, allemand Mond) et du mois (anglais month, allemand Monat).

Dans les langues baltiques, cette forme réunit les notions: “mesurer, en général” (lituanien matas: “mesure”), “mesurer le temps” (lituanien metas: temps, année), mais aussi “viser”, d’où “lancer” (lituanien mesti: “lancer”, d’où “jeter”) et “regarder” (lituanien matyti). Nous reviendrons ci-dessous § 2 sur cette indication significative.

La troisième forme *med-, *mêd-, est représentée en français par divers substantifs qui se rattachent directement ou non au latin modius (boisseau) comme muid, moyeu, trémie, moule ainsi que les invariants comme, comment, combien, qui se rattachent au latin quômodô, et les formes savantes en med-, médecin, remède, méditer, et en mod-, mode, modèle, module, modérer, modeste, moderne, modique. Cette troisième forme est également à la base du verbe “mesurer” des langues germaniques, allemand messen. Dans plusieurs langues, l’un de ses dérivés désigne le destin et, en vieil-anglais, le Dieu chrétien. S’y rattache aussi le perfecto- présent *môt (allemand müssen, anglais must) qui signifie initialement “avoir la place”, d’où “pouvoir”, puis “devoir”.

On voit par là que l’arpentage et la mesure du temps par visée, qui s’expriment par cette même racine, sont dans le monde indo-européen des activités à la fois anciennes et exemplaires. Or la mesure du temps est spatiale. Avant l’invention du sablier et de la clepsydre, qui permettent de mesurer directement une durée, on a mesuré le temps à partir des cycles temporels. Le cycle quotidien et le cycle mensuel s’observent directement, l’un par la place du soleil dans le ciel du jour, l’autre par l’aspect de la lune, et leurs extrémités sont directement saisissables. Mais la mesure du cycle annuel est moins aisée. On emploie à cet effet un instrument nommé gnomon.

2 – Le gnomon

La mythologie védique rend compte de la création de l’espace, ou plus précisément des 3 mondes, par les 3 pas de Vishnou, dieu mineur, mais qui deviendra l’un des 3 grands dieux des temps ultérieurs: son premier pas crée l’espace terrestre, son deuxième pas l’espace intermédiaire (ce que nous nommons l’atmosphère), son troisième pas le ciel. De la provient la fréquente identification de Vishnou au soleil. Mais comme le montre clairement le mythe de la décapitation de Vishnou, c’est la tête du dieu que l’Inde védique identifie au soleil, non le dieu lui-même. Reprenant une hypothèse antérieure, Falk (1987) a identifié Vishnou au gnomon. Le gnomon est l’artefact qui, dès l’époque védique, remplace l’arbre du soleil du stade antérieur de la mesure du temps. Avant de diviser le jour en sous-unités, les peuples primitifs ont cherché à déterminer les solstices. À cet effet, ils ont pris comme points de repère (que l’on vise, *met-) des sommets de montagnes ou des arbres: d’où par ex. l’arbre du Soleil (féminin) Saule, des Chansons mythologiques lettonnes (Jonval 1929 : 65 et suiv.). Ainsi la strophe 227:

Un tilleul touffu aux branches d’or
Pousse au bord de la mer, dans le sable;
Sur la cime est assise la Fille de Saule
Saule elle-même sur les branches d’en bas.

Un passage de la Taittirîya Samhitâ conserve le souvenir de cette notion. Après avoir indiqué que celui qui désire la splendeur doit offrir une vache blanche à Sûryâ (Soleil féminin, comme Saule, dont le nom est apparenté), et que le poteau sacrificiel doit être en bois de l’arbre bilva, le texte poursuit: «l’endroit d’où le soleil d’en haut naquit, c’est là que s’éleva l’arbre bilva. Le sacrifiant gagne la splendeur grâce au lieu d’origine du soleil». Ce “lieu d’origine” du soleil est manifestement l’arbre qui servait à déterminer le terme de sa course annuelle, comme l’arbre du soleil des chansons mythologiques lettonnes. Mais l’arbre du soleil a pu servir ultérieurement à subdiviser le jour, d’abord par la mesure de l’ombre portée, puis par sa place sur un cadran. Or c’est à partir de l’arbre que s’interprète l’image de la décapitation. Le soleil rouge du soir ou du matin qui s’éloigne de l’arbre pris comme repère peut être assimilé à une tête coupée qui se détache du tronc. Le gnomon en conserve parfois le souvenir: ainsi celui que décrit Pline l’Ancien, Histoire Naturelle, 36, 72-73: sa pointe était surmontée d’une boule dorée assimilée à une tête humaine.

À partir de ces considérations, j’ai proposé une nouvelle interprétation de la comparaison effectuée antérieurement par G. Dumézil entre la décapitation de Vishnou et celle du géant Mimir de la légende scandinave, ainsi qu’une étymologie du nom de Vishnou (Haudry 2001).

3 – Mégalithes et cycle annuel

Nombre de constructions mégalithiques d’Europe ont été édifiées sur la base du cycle annuel, comme le rappelle Vadé (2008 : 9 et suiv.):

«On sait depuis longtemps que Stonehenge n’est pas un monument isolé. Ce n’est que l’exemple le plus considérable d’une série de constructions circulaires de l’époque néolithique, soit en pierres, soit en bois, dont on trouve des vestiges depuis l’Europe du Nord jusqu’au Proche-Orient. En France, les enclos circulaires de plus de 100 m. de diamètre découverts à Étaples (Pas-de-Calais) et dépourvus de toute trace liée aux fonctions d’habitat présentent de fortes similarités avec les henges d’outre-Manche. Leur destination cultuelle, notent prudemment les archéologues, “ne semble pas totalement exclue”.

Mais c’est surtout en Allemagne qu’on a retrouvé de semblables constructions. La plus notable est le cercle de Goseck en Saxe-Anhalt, énorme ensemble tumulaire de 75 m. de diamètre, daté du début du Ve millénaire. Il comporte 3 cercles concentriques de terre et d’épieux et s’ouvre par 3 portails, dont l’un est orienté au nord et les 2 autres, au sud-est et au sud-ouest, correspondant au lever et au coucher du soleil au solstice d’hiver. Ensembles analogues au Portugal, avec les cercles de pierres de l’Alentejo également datés du Ve millénaire. Sensiblement à la même époque, en Nubie, l’important champ mégalithique de Nabta Playa, à une centaine de kilomètres à l’ouest d’Abou Simbel, comporte des alignements marquant le nord, l’est et le lever du soleil au solstice d’été ainsi qu’un petit cercle de pierres dont les couvertures correspondent également à l’axe nord-sud et à l’axe solsticial».

Il conclut :

«On est loin d’avoir fini d’établir la liste des lieux d’Europe comportant des “portes solsticiales” dûment aménagées. Une exposition récente [hiver 2006] sur L’Or des Thraces au Musée Jacquemart-André donnait l’occasion d’en découvrir plusieurs. Le plus spectaculaire est peut-être le monument mégalithique de Slantcheva Vrata dominant la “Vallée des rois thraces” près de Kazanlak. Plusieurs blocs empilés de main d’homme figurent une véritable porte, d’où l’on embrasse du regard tout le territoire sacré des rois odryses. Au moment du solstice d’été, le soleil passe par l’ouverture.

Il faudrait parler encore du site de Kokino en Macédoine (à 75 km environ de Skopje). L’archéologue Jovica Stankovski y a découvert en 2002, au sommet d’une colline de plus de 1.000 m. d’altitude, “un observatoire” daté d’environ 1800 avant notre ère. Selon l’astronome Gjorgii Cenev, de l’observatoire de Skopje, on y observait les solstices et les équinoxes, ainsi que la constellation des Pléiades, depuis d’énormes “trônes” de pierre face à l’horizon de l’est, où des repères marquaient les directions remarquables».

Mohen (2008 : 48 et suiv.) en cite quelques autres:

Newgrange (co. Meath, Irlanda).

Newgrange (co. Meath, Irlanda).

«L’un des plus beaux exemples de cette intention précise est constituée par le couloir du grand tumulus dolménique de Newgrange (Co. Meath) en Irlande. Le fouilleur, M. Herity, constata en1963 qu’un linteau décoré, placé au-dessus et en arrière de la dalle de couverture de l’entrée du couloir, était en réalité le sommet d’une ouverture qui permaittait à un rayon du soleil levant de parcourir le couloir jusque dans la chambre. L’angle de cette ouverture, appelé roof-box, laissant passer le rayon lumineux rectiligne du soleil levant, le jour du solstice d’hiver, illuminait le fond du dolmen de plan cruciforme. Ainsi, comme le niveau du sol à l’entrée du couloir était à 2 m., en-dessous du sol de la chambre, lieu funéraire sacré, l’ouverture de la lucarne située au-dessus des 2 m., à l’entrée du couloir, permettait au rayon d’éclaircir la chambre. Impressionnés par cette précision, et le rôle du soleil solsticial, les archéologues ont pensé que les motifs spiralés ornant les grandes dalles disposés devant et à l’arrière du tumulus ou encore au pourtour de nombreux tumulus irlandais, dont ceux de Knowth ou de Dowth dans la même région irlandaise orientale, étaient peut-être en relation avec le mouvement perpétuel du soleil.

L’autre exemple qui prouve que l’observation des constructeurs préhistoriques de mégaliques pouvait être d’une précision extrême est celui de la dernière phase du monument de Stonehenge, système de fossés circulaires et de pierres dressées, délibérément orienté à partir d’un aménagement des trilithes disposés en U, entourant l’observateur situé au centre du dispositif en cercle, et visant à travers 2 pierres rapprochées l’endroit exact où le soleil apparaît à l’horizon, le jour du solstice d’été. Si cet axe de la phase 1, antérieure aux trilithes, reste approximatif en cadrant un angle entre 27°N et 24°N, le nouvel aménagement est très précis et juste; il est celui de la quatrième et dernière phase, contemporaine de l’implantation de 2 nouveaux menhirs laissant passer exactement la ligne d’observation allant du centre du site au point d’apparition du solstice d’été, selon l’axe principal de 24°N. Cette troisième phase est datée de 2250 à 1900 avant notre ère. C’est elle qui est encore, de nos jours, le cadre des célébrations contemporaines du solstice d’été».

Il mentionne également les alignements de Carnac, dont l’étude a permis à Alexandre Thom de déterminer l’unité de mesure utilisé, le “yard mégalithique” valant 0,829 m., et observe à ce propos:

«Il semble bien que le fait de dresser des monolithes réponde à un besoin de concrétiser un repère spatial que la lumière révèle, d’où l’attention particulière à l’emplacement topographique de la pierre dressée, d’où aussi les déplacements fréquents des pierres depuis les gîtes géologiques. L’endroit choisi pour l’implantation de la pierre est donc sans doute minutieusement choisi. La notion d’espace est de la même manière minutieusement calculée et se retrouve dans l’aménagement du territoire que les recherches archéologiques peuvent, dans le meilleur des cas, révéler. La place des mégalithes y est essentielle» (p. 51).

4 – Interprétations

Les mégalithes font l’objet de multiples interprétations, dont la conclusion de Mohen (p. 53) donne un aperçu: «Ces mégalithes et monuments sont des indicateurs pour ceux qui les mettent en œuvre. Ils reflètent des visions cosmiques de ces premiers agriculteurs mais aussi des préoccupations ancestrales et topographiques, liées sans doute à la légitimité du terroir et à la protection des aïeuls». Une précédente étude parue dans cette même revue (Haudry 2007-2008) fait écho à la théorie récente de Mahlstedt (2004), qui permet de donner un contenu à l’image indo-européenne du “ciel dans la pierre”, mais on s’en tiendra ici à leurs rapports avec le cycle annuel.

Le fait que les mégalithes apparaissent au Néolithique a suggéré une interprétation des rapports de leur disposition avec cycle annuel [cf. Culture mégalithique et archéoastronomie, Y. Verheyden, in Nouvelle École n°42, 1985]: ils auraient constitué un premier calendrier agricole. Cette utilisation est une possibilité qui ne peut être écartée. Elle est confirmée à l’âge du bronze par la présence, sur le disque de Nebra et à Kokino (Macédoine), comme on l’a vu ci-dessus, des Pléiades, dont Hésiode rappelle que leur lever et leur coucher constituait des signaux pour l’agriculteur:

«Au lever des Pléiades, filles d’Atlas, commencez la moisson, les semailles à leur coucher. Elles restent, on le sait, quarante nuits et quarante jours invisibles ; mais, l’année poursuivant sa course, elles se mettent à reparaître quand on aiguise le fer. Voilà la loi des champs» (trad. Paul Mazon).

Mais elle ne constitue sûrement pas la motivation initiale, comme l’observe Vadé (2008 : 12) :

«A-t-il fallu attendre l’agriculture, comme on le pense généralement, pour repérer les bornes de la course du soleil et en tirer parti pour le choix de certains lieux? Autrement dit, à défaut de structures d’observations construites, des orientations solaires privilégiées ne pourraient-elles être repérées dès le Paléolithique supérieur, à l’époque du grand art pariétal? Il semble bien, grâce aux recherches de Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez, que l’on puisse répondre par l’affirmative. On sait que cette chercheuse indépendante a provoqué une certaine sensation au cours de l’année 2000 en présentant au Symposium d’art préhistorique en Italie une communication sur la vision du ciel des Magdaléniens de Lascaux. On continue à discuter sur les interprétations qu’elle a proposées des peintures de la grotte.

Retrouver des constellations définies beaucoup plus tard et parler de zodiaque primitif ne va pas de soi. Mais ce qui n’est guère contestable, c’est la coïncidence de l’orientation de l’ancienne entrée de la grotte et de la direction du soleil couchant au solstice d’été. Il s’ensuit qu’à cette date le fond de la grande salle se trouve éclairé comme à aucun autre moment de l’année par les rayons du soleil vespéral. À partir de cette constatation, la chercheuse s’est demandé si d’autres grottes à peintures présentaient des particularités analogues. Elle a ainsi engrangé une moisson de résultats dont elle nous donne ici un échantillon concernant la grotte de Commarque — avec une étude parallèle sur la chapelle du château, où des fenêtres dissymétriques répondent au même souci de faire entrer la lumière solsticiale, tant cette préoccupation semble permanente dans les cultures restées traditionnelles».

Cette interprétation “traditionnelle” postule une continuité ininterrompue du Paléolithique au Moyen Âge comme l’indique Jègues-Wolkiewiez (2008 : 25) dans le résumé de son étude:

«Dans le sanctuaire magdalénien de Commarque, comme à Lascaux, le coucher solsticial d’été pénètre la grotte ornée par des artistes paléolithiques. À 50 mètres de distance dans l’espace, mais à douze millénaires de distance dans le temps, au Moyen Âge, les bâtisseurs de la chapelle Saint Jean du château de Commarque ont non seulement mis en valeur le coucher solsticial d’été, mais aussi le lever de l’hiver. Les rayons solaires pénètrent par les fenêtres situées de part et d’autre de l’autel et éclairent celui-ci.

Ces deux temps forts de l’année sont mis en valeur sur le territoire français par l’ornementation préférentielle des grottes ornées paléolithiques. Ce phénomène cyclique partageant l’année en deux temps avait non seulement été remarqué mais aussi exploité par les Paléolithiques. On peut se demander si la mise en scène des rayons de lumière du “roi du ciel”, lors de ces deux moments clefs de calcul du temps par les constructeurs catholiques du Moyen Âge ne relève pas du même concept que celui des païens du Paléolithique? »

Les conceptions sur lesquelles se fonde cette pratique remontant au Paléolithique supérieur ne sont pas attestées directement, faute de textes. Mais la continuité matérielle constatée rend admissible une continuité de la signification qui toutefois ne peut être précisée, et qui n’exclut pas la possibilité d’utilisations et de réinterprétations. La probabilité de la continuité est renforcée par ce que nous savons des courants traditionnels au sein du christianisme tels que les a mis en évidence Paul-Georges Sansonetti dans le numéro précédent de cette revue.

5 Mégalithisme et tradition indo-européenne

  • 5.1 Conception et réinterprétation

Il n’est évidemment pas envisageable d’interpréter l’ensemble des données mentionnées ci-dessus par la tradition indo-européenne: certains lui sont extérieurs, notamment ceux du Proche-Orient et d’Afrique du nord, d’autres, comme l’orientation des grottes paléolithiques, lui sont antérieurs. Mais on peut déterminer les significations qui leur ont été attribuées, même s’il s’agit de la réinterprétation d’édifices conçus et mis en place par une population antérieure qui lui attribuait une autre signification.

  • 5.2 Le symbolisme social de la “concordance”

La proximité formelle entre le nom indo-iranien du “moment propice”, du “temps fixé pour une activité” — *r(a)tu-, terme qui désigne par ailleurs le “modèle”, le “représentant idéal” —, et celui de la “vérité”, (a)rta-, suggère un rapport entre les 2 notions. Ce rapport est confirmé et précisé par le troisième représentant de la base *(a)rt-, l’adverbe grec arti, qui signifie à la fois “justement”, “récemment” et en premier terme de composés “convenablement”, “correctement”. Cet emploi est à la base d’une concordance formulaire que j’ai signalée jadis (en dernier lieu: Haudry 2009 : 84, 119, renvoyant à un travail antérieur) entre 3 composés grecs et leurs correspondants indo-iraniens, reflétant la triade héritée pensée, parole, action. Il semble que les Indo-Européens aient considéré la régularité des cycles temporels comme l’image cosmique de leur valeur suprême, la vérité, c’est-à-dire essentiellement de la “fidélité”, concordance entre ce que l’on dit (notamment ce que l’on promet) et ce que l’on fait. Les Yârya avestiques, génies des 6 saisons de l’année, sont des “modèles de vérité”, ashahe ratavô.

  • 5.3 Concordance et retour annuel de la lumière

L’interprétation à partir de l’image cosmique de la vérité vaut pour la période récente de la période commune, celle dans laquelle les rapports sociaux se sont diversifiés et complexifiés, exigeant loyauté mutuelle entre les clans potentiellement rivaux, voire ennemis. Mais dans la phase la plus ancienne, on est encore loin de cette conception. La “concordance” entre l’événement humain, rassemblement, fête, sacrifice, et la manifestation cosmique, l’arrivée de la lumière solsticiale dans l’ouverture de l’enclos (initialement de la grotte), est l’essentiel. La concordance entre l’événement humain et l’événement cosmique avait sa signification en elle-même, et non par référence aux rapports sociaux. Dans la part de la tradition qui prend son origine dans le Grand Nord (Haudry 2006), le but du rite était d’assurer la régularité du cycle des saisons, et notamment le retour annuel de la lumière.

* * *

De: Hyperborée magazine n°10/11, 2011.

* * *

Bibliographie

FALK Harry, 1987: Vishnu im Veda, Festschrift für Ulrich Schneider: 112 et suiv.
JEGUES-WOLKIEWIEZ Chantal, 2008: Paléoastronomie à Commarque, VADÉ 2008: 23-45.
JONVAL Michel, trad., 1929: Les chansons mythologiques lettonnes, Paris: Picart.
HAUDRY Jean, 2001: Mimir, Mimingus et Vishnu, Festschrift für Anders Hultgård: 296-325.
HAUDRY Jean, 2006: Les Indo-Européens et le Grand Nord, Hyperborée, 3: 5-10.
HAUDRY Jean, 2007-2008: Du ciel de pierre au ciel dans la pierre, Hyperborée, 5 (2007): 18-24; 6 (mai 2008): 37-42; 7 (nov. 2008): 9-15.
HAUDRY Jean, 2009: Pensée, parole, action dans la tradition indo-européenne, Milan: Archè.
MAHLSTEDT Ina, 2004: Die religiöse Welt der Jungsteinzeit, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
MOHEN Jean-Pierre, 2008: Mégalithes européens de la préhistoire et orientations remarquables, in VADÉ 2008: 46-54.
VADÉ Yves (éd.), 2008: Étoiles dans la nuit des temps, L’Harmattan.


mercredi, 31 octobre 2012

Die Deutschen Ordensritter

Die Deutschen Ordensritter

Quotation of René Guénon

RENEGU~1.JPG

Henceforth there was only “profane” philosophy and “profane” science, in other words, the negation of true intellectuality, the limitation of knowledge to its lowest order, namely, the empirical and analytical study of facts divorced from principles, a dispersion in an indefinite multitude of insignificant details, and the accumulation of unfounded and mutually destructive hypotheses and of fragmentary views leading to nothing other than those practical applications that constitute the sole real superiority of modern civilization-a scarcely enviable superiority, moreover, which, by stifling every other preoccupation, has given the present civilization the purely material character that makes of it a veritable monstrosity.
 
René Guénon
 
http://tremblingcolors.tumblr.com/post/33456276670/henceforth-there-was-only-profane-philosophy-and

samedi, 27 octobre 2012

Lange Wapper - Zwaarddansen

Lange Wapper - Zwaarddansen

jeudi, 25 octobre 2012

Leonidas & the Spartan Ethos

gerard11.jpg

Leonidas & the Spartan Ethos

By Theodore J. O'Keefe

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

The Persian rider edged his horse cautiously forward. Just ahead the coastal plain dwindled to a narrow passage between the mountains and the sea, scarcely wider than a carriage track. Somewhere within the pass, the Greeks had massed to deny the Persians entry. It was the duty of the horseman to determine the size and disposition of their forces. Xerxes, his lord, the emperor of the Persians, knew that if his troops could force the pass, which the Greeks called Thermopylae, his armies could then stream unchecked into the heart of Greece.

The scout caught his breath as he sighted the Greeks in the western end of the pass. His trepidation gave way to surprise as he looked more closely. There were only about 300 of them, arrayed before a wall which blocked further access to the pass, and they were behaving most oddly. Some, stripped naked, performed exercises, like athletes before a contest. Others combed their long, fair hair. They gave their observer no notice.

Were these the vaunted Spartans? The Persian turned his horse and rode back to the imperial camp.

Xerxes received the scout’s report with undisguised amazement. The behavior of the Greeks seemed impossible to account for. Until now his advance down the northern coast of Greece had resembled a triumphal procession. City after city had submitted with the symbolic offering of earth and water. When at last the Greeks seemed disposed to stand and fight, their most gallant soldiers, the Spartans, were conducting themselves more like madmen than warriors.

The emperor summoned Demaratus, who had been a king of the Spartans until his involvement in political intrigues had forced him to flee to the Persian court. While Xerxes listened from his golden throne, Demaratus spoke of the Spartans:

“Once before, when we began our march against Greece, you heard me speak of these men. I told you then how this enterprise would work out, and you laughed at me. I strive for nothing, my lord, more earnestly than to observe the truth in your presence; so hear me once more. These men have come to fight us for possession of the pass, and for that struggle they are preparing. It is the common practice for the Spartans to pay careful attention to their hair when they are about to risk their lives. But I assure you that if you can defeat these men and the rest of the Spartans who are still at home, there is no other people in the world who will dare to stand firm or lift a hand against you. You have now to deal with the finest kingdom in Greece, and with the bravest men.”

The year was 480 B.C. During the previous three years Xerxes had assembled what promised to be the mightiest military force the world had ever seen, drawn from every corner of his far-flung realms. Modern historians are properly skeptical of the millions of soldiers and sailors meticulously enumerated by the great historian Herodotus, and of his endless catalogs of camel-riding Arabs, trousered Scythians, and frizzy-haired Ethiopians. Nevertheless, Herodotus’ account gives dramatic expression to the feeling of the Greeks that all the numberless, swarthy hordes of Africa and Asia were advancing on them.

Ten years before, the Athenians, who had aroused the wrath of Xerxes’ father and predecessor, Darius, by aiding their Ionian Greek cousins of Asia Minor in an unsuccessful revolt against their Persian overlords, had all but annihilated a Persian punitive expedition at Marathon, a few miles from Athens. It was Xerxes’ purpose to avenge that defeat and to crush the power of the impudent Hellenes, as the Greeks called themselves, once and for all.

There was more to it than that. Xerxes was a Persian, an Aryan, of the noble Achaemenid line, descended ultimately from the same race as the Hellenes. His ancestors had ranged the mountains and steppes of Iran and Central Asia, proud and free.

But as the Persians had increased their power and then wrested the great empire of the Near East from the Babylonians, their kings had fallen prey to the power and the regalia and the idea of empire. Once the Iranian leaders had regarded themselves, and been regarded, as first among Aryan equals. Now his fellow Persians, like all his other subjects, abased themselves at Xerxes’ feet. And like his imperial predecessors, Xerxes intended to make the remainder of the known world do the same.

As the Persian army moved ponderously across the great bridges with which the emperor had joined Europe and Asia at the Dardanelles, the Hellenes hesitated. Xerxes had accompanied the exertions of his engineers with a diplomatic campaign. While his engineers built the Dardanelles bridges and dug a canal across the Acte peninsula in Thrace by which his fleet could circumvent the stormy cape, his diplomats worked to promote defeatism in Greece. Argos and Crete promised to stay neutral, and the priestess of Delphi muttered gloomy oracles of Persian conquest.

The delegates from the Hellenic city-states who gathered at the Corinthian Isthmus in the spring of 480 were at first divided as to their course of action. The Peloponnesians were for guarding only their southern peninsula, while the Athenians and their allies on the neighboring island of Euboea pressed for an expedition to the north of Greece. Eventually the congress of diplomatic representatives agreed to dispatch a joint force of Athenians and Peloponnesians to the Vale of Tempe, in northern Thessaly, which seemed a fit place to bar the Persians’ way from Macedonia into Greece.

At Tempe, to their dismay, the Hellenes found that other passes afforded the invader entry into Hellas from the north. As the Greek contingent retreated to the south, the northern Greeks abandoned their determination to resist and submitted to the Persian emperor.

As Xerxes’ forces began to advance south from Macedonia into Greece, the Greeks were thrown into something of a panic. Following their first contact with the numerically superior Persian fleet, the Greek navy fled down the straits between Euboea and the Greek mainland. Only the loss of a considerable number of the Persian ships in a storm off the Artemisian cape at the northern tip of Euboea emboldened the Hellenic fleet to sail northward to face the enemy once more. In the meantime the Athenians made plans to evacuate their population to the islands of Salamis and Aegina to the southwest.

One force remained in the field to confront the Persians with determined opposition: Leonidas, king of the Spartans, had occupied the crucial pass at Thermopylae.

The gateway from northern to central Greece, Thermopylae stretched more than four miles between the towering wall of Mt. Oeta and the waves of the Malian Gulf. At both its eastern and western extremities, the pass contracted to a narrow, easily defended pathway. For much of the intervening distance, the pass billowed out into a broader expanse. Here there were a number of thermal springs, both salt and sulfur, from which Thermopylae derived its name, which means “hot gates.”

The garrison which held Thermopylae was at first considerably larger than the 300 Spartans whom the Persian scout had glimpsed at the western entrance to the pass. Behind the wall, which the Greeks had hastily rebuilt after occupying the pass, and along the ridge of Mt. Oeta, Leonidas had stationed nearly 7000 troops. About half of them were men from Sparta’s neighbor cities in the Peloponnesus. The rest were Boeotians from Thebes and Thespiae in central Greece, or hailed from nearby Phocis and Locris.

Although their Greek allies were many times more numerous, Leonidas and his Spartan guard formed the backbone of the Hellenic defense force. In recognition of the peril attending their mission, the 300 consisted exclusively of men with living male heirs, so that names and bloodlines would be carried on if they fell. Leonidas and his men were the elite of an elite, and on their example would depend the conduct of the other Greeks at Thermopylae.

What manner of men were the Spartans, that Xerxes hesitated to pit his myriads against their hundreds?

The origins of Sparta are shrouded in the mists of Greek antiquity, but it is certain that Sparta was founded by the Dorians. The last wave of Hellenic migrants from the north, the Dorians swept their Greek predecessors, the Achaeans, westward into Attica and Asia Minor. From the time of the Dorian migrations, the traditional division of the Hellenes into Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians begins to take shape.

The Dorians were probably more Nordic in type than the other Greek tribes. As the great classicist Werner Jaeger wrote, “The Dorian race gave Pindar [the great poet of Thebes] his ideal of the fair-haired warrior of proud descent.” As Jaeger implies, the Dorians—above all those in Sparta—placed a premium on the preservation and improvement of their native stock.

One branch of the Dorians invaded the district of Laconia in the southeastern Peloponnesus. In the words of the great historian J. B. Bury, “The Dorians took possession of the rich vale of the Eurotas, and keeping their own Dorian stock pure from the admixture of alien blood reduced all the inhabitants to the condition of subjects. . . . The eminent quality which distinguished the Dorians from the other branches of the Greek race was that which we call ‘character’; and it was in Laconia that this quality most fully displayed and developed itself, for here the Dorian seems to have remained more purely Dorian.”

The city of Sparta arose from the amalgamation of several neighboring villages along the Eurotas. The Spartans gradually came to wield political power over the other Dorians in Laconia, the so-called perioeci, who nevertheless retained some degree of self-government and ranked as Laconian, or Lacedaimonian, citizens.

Not so the racially alien helots, the pre-Dorian inhabitants of Laconia, whom the Spartans reduced to serfdom and denied all political rights. The helots bore their servitude grudgingly and threatened constantly to revolt and overthrow their masters. To contain the helots’ revolutionary inclinations, the Spartans organized periodic campaigns, containing something of the spirit of both the fox hunt and the pogrom, in which their young men were given free rein to wreak havoc and eliminate the more truculent and dangerous of their serfs.

During the eighth century, the Dorians conquered the Messenians, who had occupied the remainder of the southern Peloponnesus. A century later, they suppressed a Messenian uprising only after a long and difficult war. From that time on, constrained to manage their own helots and the unruly Messenians as well, the Spartans evolved a unique ethos involving both the preservation of their racial integrity and a comprehensive system of military education and organization.

To a greater extent than any state before or since, the Spartans safeguarded and improved their biological heritage with an uncompromising eugenics program. Marriage outside the Spartan racial community was forbidden, nor was immigration tolerated. There were penalties for celibacy and late marriage, while men who fathered several children could be exempted from standing watch at night, and even from paying taxes.

The Spartans required that the newborn be presented for inspection by officers of the state. Sickly or deformed offspring were left to die.

According to the ancient biographer Plutarch, Lycurgus, the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, made even further provisions for healthy progeny, which continued to be adhered to in classical times. After describing the chaste upbringing of young Spartans of both sexes, Plutarch continues:

After guarding marriage with this modesty and reserve, he [Lycurgus] was equally careful to banish empty and womanish jealousy. For this object, excluding all licentious disorders, he made it, nevertheless, honorable for men to give the use of their wives to those whom they should think fit, so that they might have children by them. . . . Lycurgus allowed a man who was advanced in years and had a young wife to recommend some virtuous and approved young man, that she might have a child by him, who might inherit the good qualities of the father, and be a son to himself. On the other side, an honest man who had love for a married woman upon account of her modesty and the well-favoredness of her children, might, without formality, beg her company of her husband, that he might raise, as it were, from this plot of good ground, worthy and well-allied children for himself. And indeed, Lycurgus was of a persuasion that children were not so much the property of their parents as of the whole commonwealth, and, therefore, would not have his citizens begot by the first-comers, but by the best men that could be found; the laws of other nations seemed to him very absurd and inconsistent, where people would be so solicitous for their dogs and horses as to exert interest and to pay money to procure fine breeding, and yet kept their wives shut up, to be made mothers only by themselves, who might be foolish, infirm, or diseased; as if it were not apparent that children of a bad breed would prove their bad qualities first upon those who kept and were rearing them, and well-born children, in like manner, their good qualities.

As might be gathered, the women of Sparta were regarded, first of all, as the mothers of Spartan children. The young women were educated for childbearing. They engaged in vigorous gymnastic exercises and dances, often while nude, to the scandal of the other Greeks, although the Spartan women were proverbial for their chastity. Doubtless in consequence of heredity as well as a carefully cultivated physical fitness, the women of Sparta were accounted the most beautiful in Hellas.

Despite the emphasis on their role as mothers, Sparta’s women were the freest in Greece. Indeed, they were accused of dominating the Spartan men. When Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, was so taunted, she summed up the situation of the Spartan women succinctly: “We rule men with good reason, for we are the only women who bring forth men.”

The men of Sparta were raised to be soldiers. They left the management of commercial affairs and the trades to the perioeci and devoted themselves exclusively to the business of government and war. Each Spartan citizen supported himself from a hereditary plot of land, farmed by the helots, which could not be alienated by sale or division.

Between the ages of seven and twenty the Spartans received their soldierly training. They acquired far more than a mechanical mastery of military skills. Their instructors strove to inculcate in their cadets an absolute devotion to Sparta, the ability to endure any hardship, and an unwavering courage on the battlefield.

To keep the young men on their mettle, the Spartan training system played off the exigencies of discipline against the defiant and adventurous spirit of youth. Young Spartans were compelled to steal their food, yet subjected to severe punishment if they were caught, a seeming paradox epitomized in the story of the Spartan boy who let the fox he concealed under his cloak tear at his vitals rather than give himself away. The Spartan school was a cruel but effective one, for it caught its students up in the enthusiasm of constant challenge and danger.

When he reached the age of 20 the young Spartan became a full-fledged soldier. For the next ten years he lived the barracks life with his comrades. Allowed to take a wife, he saw her only during brief and furtive visits. In times of peace, the young men were instructors to the Spartan boys.

On his thirtieth birthday the Spartan was invested with the remainder of his civic rights and duties. Thenceforth he attended the apella, the assembly of the people, and could vote on measures proposed by the two kings or by the ephoroi, Sparta’s five-man judiciary. The Spartan could at last establish his own household, although still bound to dine in common with his peers.

The principal fare at these communal messes was a black broth much favored by the Spartans, although the other Hellenes found it hard to stomach. (After sampling it a visitor from opulent Sybarisis supposed to have exclaimed, “Now I know why Spartans have no fear of death!”)

The Spartans spiced their meals with a dry and pithy wit renowned through Hellas as much for its substance as for its sting. As Plutarch tells it, Lycurgus replied to a Spartan who had advocated democracy, “Begin, friend, and set it up in your family.” Or, as the Spartan women are supposed to have said when handing their sons their shields before they marched to battle, “With it or on it.”

Spartan law reinforced its citizens’ contempt for luxury by banning private ownership of gold and silver. The result, according to Plutarch, was that “merchants sent no shiploads into Laconian ports; no rhetoric-master, no itinerant fortune-teller, no harlot-monger, or gold- or silver-smith, engraver, or jeweler, set foot in a country that had no money; so that luxury, deprived little by little of that which fed and fomented it, wasted to nothing and died away of itself.” Like the Spartans’ wills, their coins were made of iron.

Sparta’s military life did not stifle the minds and spirits of its citizens. Early in its history Sparta was a leading center of poetry and music. Terpander and Alcman brought the lyre and lyric from Asia Minor to the banks of the Eurotas. Lame Tyrtaeus, Lacedaimon’s native son, shaped his country’s ethos with his martial songs. Choral songs and dances carried on, in which the Spartan men melodically affirmed their patriotism, and the Spartan maidens urged them on to future deeds of valor. Rightly Pindar sang of Sparta:

“Councils of wise elders here, /And the young men’s conquering spear, / And dance, and song, and joy appear.”

It was not so much the Spartans’ works of art as the Spartan ideal which won the admiration of great Hellenic thinkers such as Plato. There was something noble in the stem simplicity of the Spartan way of life. Sparta’s fundamental laws, the rhetroi, which Lycurgus was said to have received direct from “golden-haired Apollo,” were few, unwritten, and to the point. Their purpose, to mold men of character in the service of the common good, struck a responsive chord through allHellas.

It is not difficult to detect in the wistful praise the Hellenes paid to Sparta a longing for the values and uses of their Indo-European forebears. Outside of Sparta these had all too often been forgotten amid the lures of Oriental luxury, or lost forever due to mixing of Hellenic blood. The Spartans, just as they transformed the rough-hewn, wooden longhouses of their northern ancestors into gleaming Doric temples, developed from their innate, racial outlook a guide and bulwark for their state.

And, of course, it was on the battlefield that the Spartan arete, or manly excellence, found its chief expression. The Spartans asked not how many the enemy were, but only where they were. They were ignorant of surrender, but knew well how to die.

But let Plutarch speak once more: “It was at once a magnificent and a terrible sight to see them march on to the tune of their flutes, without any disorder in their ranks, any discomposure in their minds, or change in their countenances, calmly and cheerfully moving with the music to the deadly fight. Men in this temper were not likely to be possessed by fear or any transport of fury, but with the deliberate valor of hope and assurance, as if some divinity were attending and conducting them.”

Such were the men who faced Xerxes and his host atThermopylae.

Xerxes waited for four days, in the hope that the Greeks would abandon their position, as they had in Thessaly. His attempt at psychological warfare was lost on the Spartans. When a fearful Greek from the surrounding countryside informed the Spartan Dieneces that “so many are the Persian archers their arrows blot out the sun,” Dieneces was unperturbed: “If the Persians hide the sun, we shall have our battle in the shade.”

On the fifth day, seething with anger at the Greeks’ impertinence, Xerxes sent forth an assault force of Medes and Cissians, Iranian kindred to his own Persians.

Xerxes’ troops stormed the western gate to Thermopylae with a valor exceeding their skill in combat. The Spartans met and overwhelmed them in the narrow space between the rocks and the water. Well armored, wielding their long spears expertly, the Spartan heavy infantry was more than a match for the Iranians with their short swords and wicker shields. The Spartans cut them down by the hundreds at close quarters.

From a neighboring hill, seated on his throne of gold, Xerxes watched the fighting, fuming at what he deemed his soldiers’ incompetence. To bring the matter to a quick end, he ordered his elite guard, the King’s Immortals, forward to the deadly pass. Again the Spartans outfought the emperor’s men.

All at once the Spartans turned and fled, seemingly in panicky confusion. With a shout, the Immortals rushed forward in disarray. But the Spartans were all around them in an instant, and they cut the emperor’s picked troops to pieces. According to Herodotus, Xerxes, watching from his hill, “leapt to his feet three times, in terror for his army.”

The next day’s fighting went no better for the Persians. The Greek allies took turns spelling the Spartans at the western approach, and once again the Hellenes reaped a bloody harvest. As the sun set over the western mountains, the waters of the gulf lapped crimson at the heaps of Persians on the shore.

That night, as Xerxes puzzled bitterly how to break the death grip of the Greeks on Thermopylae, a traitor came forth from a local district, looking for a rich reward. The information he gave the emperor was the doom of the men of Thermopylae.

Ephialtes the Malian revealed to Xerxes the existence of a path over the hills and along the crest of Mt. Oetato the rear of Thermopylae. The path was not unknown to Thermopylae’s defenders, and Leonidas had stationed the Phocian troops along Mt.Oela’s ridge to ward off enemy attempts to flank his forces in the pass.

At dawn the next morning, the Phocians heard the sound of marching feet advancing through the fallen leaves which carpeted the floor of the oak forest below the summit of Mt. Oeta. As the Greeks sprang to arm themselves, the Immortals, their ranks reinforced, rushed up the mountainside. The Phocians retreated to the highest point on Mt. Oetaunder a hail of Persian arrows, but the emperor’s picked troops disdained to close with them. Swerving to the left, they made their way down the mountain to a point east of Thermopylae’s rear approach. The Hellenes in the pass were trapped between two Persian forces.

Leonidas learned of the threat from his lookouts along Mt. Oeta and stragglers from the Phocian contingent. He quickly took stock of the changed circumstances. It was evident to the Spartan king that the pass could not be held much longer. The Greeks to the south had need of the troops engaged in Thermopylae’s defense.

But there were other considerations. Leonidas and his 300 men were first of all Spartans. The laws and customs of their native city bade them to conquer or die at the posts assigned them, whatever the superiority of the enemy’s numbers. And there was an oracle, made known at the outset of the Persian invasion, which prophesied that Sparta or a Spartan king must fall in the coming conflict.

Leonidas dismissed the allied troops, all but the men of Thebes and Thespiae. The remainder of the Peloponnesians, as well as the Phocians and Locrians, made their way across the hills between the Persian armies, to fight again another day.

The next morning, after Xerxes had poured a libation to the rising sun, his men stormed Thermopylae from both sides. Scornful of their own lives, Leonidas and his men surged out to meet the Persians on the open ground before the narrow entrance to the pass. Godlike the Spartans swept forward, cutting a swath through the enemies’ ranks. Again they exacted a fearful toll, as the Persian officers drove their men on from the rear, making liberal use of their whips.

The Hellenes fought with reckless courage and with grim determination. When their spears splintered and broke, they fought on with their swords. Leonidas fell, and a fierce struggle raged over the body of the Spartan king. Four times the Persians were repulsed, and many of their leaders, including two of Xerxes’ brothers, were slain.

Gradually the remaining Spartans, bearing the fallen Leonidas, fell back to a small elevation within the pass. There they made a last stand. Beside them fought the brave citizens of Thespiae. The Thebans covered themselves with disgrace by throwing down their arms and submitting abjectly to Xerxes.

After a short but furious resistance, the Spartans and the Thespians were annihilated by the swarming Persian infantry. When all was still, and Xerxes walked among the dead on the battleground he had until then avoided, the Persian emperor was stricken with anger at the tenacity which Leonidas had displayed in thwarting his imperious will. He ordered the Spartan king beheaded, and his head fixed on a stake.

Once more Xerxes summoned Demaratus.

“Demaratus,” he began, “you are a good man. All you said has turned out true. Now tell me, how many men of Lacedaimon remain, and are they all such warriors as these fallen men?”

“Sire,” Demaratus replied, “there are many men and towns in Lacedaimon. But I will tell you what you really want to know: Sparta alone boasts eight thousand men. All of them are the equals of the men who fought here.”

When Xerxes heard this he paled. The memory of Demaratus’s words must have been much with him during the next few months, until Leonidas’ Spartan comrades avenged him at the climactic battle of Plataea and drove the Persian horde forever from Hellenic soil.

The Greeks erected several monuments at Thermopylae, bearing suitable inscriptions. A lion marked the spot where Leonidas perished. But it was the marker the Spartans raised to the memory of their 300 countrymen which best evokes the spirit of their people. With laconic brevity it read:

“Wanderer, if you come to Sparta, tell them there / You have seen us lying here, obedient to their laws.”

Source: Kevin Alfred Strom, ed., The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid (Arlington, Va.: National Vanguard Books, 1984), pp. 127-130.

 


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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/10/leonidas-and-the-spartan-ethos/

mercredi, 24 octobre 2012

Japans geheime Tradition

 Samurai.png

Japans geheime Tradition

von Johannes Seitz
 
 

Ehre bleibt in Japan ein großes Wort. Zu den grausamsten, radikalsten und zugleich faszinierendsten Beispielen gehört die rituelle Selbsttötung der Samurai, das Seppuku.

Denn im Gegensatz zu Europa hat der Zeitgeist die alten Werte und den damit verbundenen Ehrbegriff noch nicht gänzlich aus Japans Gesellschaft tilgen können. Um das Seppuku zu verstehen, ist ein Blick in die jüngere Geschichte des Landes notwendig.

Rasanter Weg zum ersten Industriestaat Asiens

Vor rund 150 Jahren öffnete sich das wirtschaftlich und kulturell bisher isolierte Land den Handelsnationen aus dem Westen. Damals wurde Japan durch das Feudalsystem der Samurai beherrscht. Schnell stellte sich heraus, dass die alte Ordnung nicht mit dem Reformeifer unter Tenno Mutsuhito mithalten konnte. Der Tenno, dessen Titel mit dem europäischen Kaiser vergleichbar ist, führte unter anderem 1889 eine konstitutionelle Verfassung ein und setzte die allgemeine Schulpflicht durch. 1872 wurde die erste Eisenbahnstrecke zwischen Tokio und Yokokama eröffnet.

Innerhalb von 50 Jahren entwickelte sich Japan so von einer Agrarnation zum ersten Industriestaat Asiens. Mutsuhito reformierte unter dem Einfluss westlicher Berater Verwaltung und Militär umfassend. Die feudale Kriegerkaste der Samurai gehörten zu den ersten Opfer der Meiji-​Ara, die 1868 begann. Sie konnten für die moderne Armee nicht mehr eingesetzt werden. Geschulte Beamte ersetzten die mittelalterliche Kriegerkaste in der Verwaltung. So löste sich der Samurai-​Stand auf und verschwand schrittweise aus der japanischen Gesellschaft. Mit dem Ende der feudalen Lebensweise veränderten sich bestimmte Werte und auch Rituale. Im Bushido, der Lebensphilosophie der Samurai, findet sich zum Beispiel noch eine Anleitung dafür, wie sich ein ehrenwerter Krieger zu jener Zeit verhalten sollte. Der Ehrenkodex der Kriegerkaste ermöglicht einen lebendigen Einblick in die Geburt des modernen Japans.

Symbol des Wertewandels: Das Seppuku

Doch die Rituale und der Ehrenkodex der Samurai verschwanden nicht von heute auf morgen. Sie lösten sich eher mit der Zeit auf oder existierten noch bis ins moderne Japan in ihrer Form verändert fort. Vor allem am Beispiel des Seppuku zeigt sich der Wertewandel der japanischen Gesellschaft innerhalb der letzten 150 Jahre.

Unter Seppuku, dass in Europa und Nordamerika auch fälschlicherweise als Harakiri bekannt ist, versteht man eine rituelle Form der Selbsttötung. Dieses Ritual wurde von Samurai oder Adeligen mit der Hilfe eines Assistenten durchgeführt, wenn deren Ehre durch eigene Schuld als verwirkt galt. Auch der Herr des Entehrten konnte den Seppuku des Untergebenen fordern, wenn dieser seinen Vorgesetzten entehrt hatte. Dabei handelte es sich keineswegs um ein juristisch vollstrecktes Urteil wie die Todesstrafe. Der Entehrte sollte durch diese Handlung seinen Ruf wiederherstellen und seinem Herrn die eigene Loyalität beweisen. Er übernahm somit die volle Verantwortung für sein Fehlverhalten.

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Streng ritualisierter Ablauf

Dabei blieb das Seppuku nur den Samurai und Adeligen selbst vorbehalten, während die einfachen Leute durch Henker hingerichtet wurden. Da die Henker aus der untersten Schicht der japanischen Gesellschaft kamen, durften diese nicht Hand an einen Adeligen oder Krieger anlegen. So entwickelte sich das Recht der Selbsttötung für die traditionelle Elite.

Sowohl Assistent als auch Verurteilter mussten sehr strenge Regeln beachten. Nur der kleinste Fehler konnte schon das Ritual und die wiederherzustellende Ehre des Verurteilten gefährden. Es genügte schon, dass der Platz nicht ordnungsgemäß vorbereitet wurde, der erste Sekundant nicht in einem Zug den Kopf abtrennte oder der Verurteilte Schmerzensschreie von sich gab. Es mussten also ein würdiger Platz bestimmt und Sekundanten ausgesucht werden, die bei der Durchführung halfen. Der zum Seppuku Verurteilte durfte dabei unter Umständen seinen Sekundanten und das Schwert, durch welches er enthauptet wurde, selbst wählen. Er musste sich, vor den Anwesenden sitzend, mit einer dolchähnlichen Klinge namens Wakizashi den Bauch aufschneiden. Sobald er die Klinge aus den Körper zog, enthauptete ihn der erste Sekundant.

Bis heute lebt Seppuku im Geheimen fort

Im Zuge der Meiji-​Ära wurde die rituelle Selbsttötung in Japan verboten. Auch das allmähliche Verschwinden der Samurai aus der japanischen Gesellschaft trug dazu bei, dass die Zahl der Seppuku immer mehr zurückging. Nur hohe Beamte des Tenno oder Shogune, die obersten militärischen Befehlshaber des Kriegeradels, Augenzeugen sowie der Herr, auf dessen Grundstück das Seppuku stattfand, verfolgten und ahndeten es zumeist auch. Bis zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges gab es immer wieder Einzelfälle von Seppuku bei hohen Armeeangehörigen, die allesamt dem japanischen Adel entstammten. Gerade nach dem verlorenen Weltkrieg erwartete die japanische Bevölkerung, dass der Kaiser, trotz des Verbotes, die hohen Generäle zum Selbstmord auffordern würde. Doch Tenno Hirohito schwieg und nur einige wenige hochrangige Mitglieder des Militärs, darunter der Kriegsminister Anami Korechika, begingen freiwillig Selbstmord. Durch dieses kaiserliche Schweigen wurde das Ritual in der japanischen Öffentlichkeit als Relikt der Vergangenheit wahrgenommen.

Obwohl das letzte offizielle Seppuku am 25. November 1970 durch den Autor Yukio Mishima ausgeführt wurde, bleibt der Grundgedanke hinter dieser Zeremonie noch immer in Japan lebendig. Bis heute wird es noch in der Kunst der japanischen Gesellschaft thematisiert und auch gewürdigt. Samurai, die diesen Schritt wagten, gilt bis heute Bewunderung. Gerade unter den größten Helden der japanischen Geschichte finden sich viele, die diesen radikalen Weg wählten. Ihre Gräber bleiben bis heute Pilgerstätten, an denen alljährlich Feiern stattfinden. Auch die nach wie vor sehr hohe Selbstmordrate in Japan zeigt, wie sehr sich traditionelle Werte behaupten konnten. Für viele Japaner bleiben selbst mehr oder minder zur modernen Arbeitswelt gehörende Erlebnisse wie eine Kündigung oder Prüfungsversagen eine große Schande. So barbarisch und grausam das Seppuku westlichen Menschen erscheinen mag, spiegelt es doch die im Geheimen fortlebende Kontinuität traditioneller japanische Werte.

samedi, 20 octobre 2012

Ásatrú & the Political

Les-valkyries-et-le-Walhalla.jpg

Ásatrú & the Political

By Collin Cleary 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

This essay is dedicated to George Hocking.

1. Introduction

Is there a connection between Ásatrú and White Nationalism? This has been a controversial issue among Ásatrúar for many years. For me, however, the answer is obvious. I regard Ásatrú and White Nationalism as so inseparably bound to one another that to espouse Ásatrú while rejecting White Nationalism is to involve oneself in a fatal contradiction (fatal, really, in more than just the logical sense).

Before I go any further, let me define my terms. For the uninitiated, Ásatrú refers to the religion of those who believe in the pre-Christian Germanic gods, principally Ódhinn (hence the religion is also sometimes referred to as “Odinism”). I use the term Ásatrú simply because it seems that we need a word to refer to the religion, and this seems as good to me as any.

By “White Nationalism” I mean, very simply, a movement which recognizes White people – people of European stock, in other words – as a distinct nation or race, with its own set of national interests, and that seeks to advance those interests. The principal interests of White people (of any people, actually) are their biological survival and the preservation of their culture. White nationalists believe that White people have as much right to assert and protect their interests as any other people.

Obviously, however, this movement arose because the dominant message communicated to Whites today by the cultural and political establishment is that they have no right to assert their group interests. Other racial and ethnic groups may assert their interests, but when Whites do likewise this is “racism.” This double standard is simply part and parcel of the general anti-White, anti-Western animus that now permeates academia, mainstream media, and politics in Europe and America. White nationalism has become necessary because White interests are genuinely imperiled.

Of course, Whites themselves have done a great deal to bring this peril about. Aside from their remarkably passive, uncomplaining tolerance of persons and ideologies openly hostile to them, Whites have also bought into a vision of the “good life” that emphasizes individualism and hedonism and absolves them of any obligation to bring a new generation into the world. The result is that the White birthrate has declined drastically, and created a situation in which Whites are essentially slated for minority status and dispossession in both Europe and America.

Contrary to how White Nationalism is portrayed by its detractors, it does not spring from hatred of other groups, nor does being a White Nationalist require us to hate non-Whites and wish them ill. It does, however, require us to recognize that our interests may sometimes conflict with those of other groups. And, in such situations, it asks us to choose our own group interests rather than to masochistically sacrifice those interests for the sake of others (something which is expected today of Whites, but not of any other group). White Nationalism, in effect, simply recommends to Whites that they do what we all know other groups are already doing and prioritize their own interests.

To take a familiar example, American Blacks clearly saw the 2008 presidential race in terms of “us vs. them.” Accordingly, 96% of them voted for Barack Obama, a fact which those in the mainstream media found so normal and unremarkable as to be unworthy of comment. On the other hand, when it was revealed that 55% of Whites voted for John McCain this was decried by many as “racism.” White people originated the utopian ideal of a society in which everyone has somehow gotten beyond thinking in terms of their group interests. But it’s time for them to face the harsh reality that this just isn’t going to happen. What this means is that if non-White groups insist on thinking and acting in terms of their group interests, then so must we.

I offer the above as a simple, frank, and accurate encapsulation of the nature of White Nationalism. But why must Ásatrú be linked with it? Why can’t Ásatrú, as a religion, be apolitical?

2. Ásatrú as Ethnic Religion

First of all, let’s begin with a very simple point: Ásatrú is an ethnic, not a creedal religion. Something is an “ethnic religion” if, quite simply, it is the religion of a specific people or ethnic group. Judaism and Hinduism are excellent examples of ethnic religions. One is a member of the religion simply by being born a member of the tribe or the nation.

A creedal religion is one in which membership is defined not by ethnic identity but rather, as the term implies, by profession of a creed. Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism are the three largest creedal religions. Because what counts in creedal religion is belief, not ethnicity, creedal religions are universalistic, accepting adherents from any and all races. On the other hand, because ethnic religions are the religions of a specific people they typically do not admit converts from other ethnic groups. (Both Judaism and Hinduism do admit converts in some cases, but they generally discourage conversion and do not – unlike the Christians and Muslims – proselytize.)

The term “Hinduism” is derived from the Persian word “Hindu,” which actually just denotes the Indian people. The etymology of “Judaism” is similar, deriving ultimately from a word that simply means “Jew.” The words themselves do not distinguish a member of the ethnic group from an adherent to the religion. And this ambiguity exists not just in language but in fact. For most Indians to be Indian is to be a Hindu (which really means, to be Indian is to be an Indian). I have even heard it said that it is possible to be an atheist Hindu. All that this means, of course, is that no matter what an Indian believes he can’t stop being an Indian (just like Karl Marx, who was an atheist, is still referred to as a Jewish, or German-Jewish philosopher). Of course, we might want to qualify this by saying an Indian cannot stop being an Indian in the ethnic sense. But the very identity of a people seems bound up with its religion – often in ways that the people themselves (who may outwardly profess secularism) may not be consciously aware of.  And the identity of an ethnic religion is bound up with its people.

In truth, an ethnic religion flows from the unique nature of a specific people. Culture is a human product, and like all human products it is partially the result of features about us that are innate and unchosen. In recent years, scientists have brought forward overwhelming evidence that proves heredity shapes much about our behavior and personality that we had formerly thought was due to environment or “freedom of choice.” Some of the most impressive evidence – evidence which is quite simply astonishing – comes from studies of identical twins separated at birth.[1] These twins often dress alike, vote alike, have the same hobbies, share the same social attitudes, share the same tastes in art and music, drive the same make and model car, and achieve virtually identical scores on IQ tests.

An ethnic group is essentially a set of genetically similar people. It is more or less a very large extended family. What establishes group identity is relative similarity and relative difference: members of ethnic group X are considered such because, while they are not exactly the same, they are more like one another than they are like the members of group Y. Similarity is founded upon difference (an important point, to which I will return later). At some point in pre-history, members of distinct ethnic groups, made up of genetically-similar members, evolved religions. And these religions are remarkably different from one another. I consider it a truism, at this stage of our knowledge, to assert that these differences flow in part from the genetically distinctive natures of the ethnic groups involved. I say “in part” because obviously other factors were in play: e.g., geographic location, historical circumstances, etc.

We can actually dispense with all this newfangled talk about genetics and boil it down to this: an ethnic religion is a product of the innate, distinctive nature of a people. Differences between ethnic religions are in part attributable to innate, natural differences. And the reason why a particular religion works so well for a given people is quite simply because, individual differences aside, they share the same basic nature (though here again other factors may come into play, such as sharing the same circumstances).

Religions are not floating systems of acontextual abstractions that may be superimposed on any people, willy-nilly. This is true even of creedal religions. Every creedal religion was developed originally by a specific people and only subsequently was membership thrown open to all and sundry. Most famously, Christianity was originally a minor Jewish cult which, in its earliest days, admitted only Jews as adherents. This means that despite whatever universalistic cast it may have, a creedal religion is still shaped by the character of the people that originated it. This is the reason why our Northern European ancestors had to radically reshape Christianity (to “Germanize” it) before they could sign on. This “Germanization of Christianity” was actually a long process, which culminated in the terrific upheaval and bloodshed of the Reformation.[2] A religion forged by one people in one part of the world cannot be imposed upon a completely different people, in a completely different part of the world, without much suffering, violence, and betrayal of conscience.

Ásatrú is the ethnic religion of the Northern European peoples who speak Germanic languages. It is the product of that “ethnic group” (an ethnic group that to a great extent did not and does not to this day see itself as a distinct ethnic group). And it could not be the product of any other group. Oswald Spengler aptly described the soul of Northern European man as “Faustian.” He tells us that the “prime-symbol” of the Faustian is “pure and limitless space”:

Far apart as may seem the Christian hymnology of the south and the Eddas of the still heathen north, they are alike in the implicit space-endlessness of prosody, rhythmic syntax and imagery. Read the Dies Irae together with the Völuspá, which is little earlier; there is the same adamantine will to overcome and break all resistances of the visible.[3]

The Faustian soul is characterized by a solemn inwardness, tending towards solitude and melancholy – but matched by a ceaseless, outward-striving will. European man has always sought to go beyond: to explore, to find adventures in other lands, to conquer, to peer into the mysterious depths of things, to find new ways to control and manipulate his environment. This is not to say that these qualities are never found in other peoples, but – as Spengler recognized – they are most pronounced and developed in Northern European man.

We find the Faustian spirit in our gods. Ódhinn is the ceaseless wanderer, and the leader of the wild hunt. From his throne, called Hlidskjalf, he can survey the entire world. His two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory) fly over the earth, bringing news of all things back to him. But there are secrets concealed even from Ódhinn, and beings (such as the Norns) over which he has no power. Like us, he burns with a desire to know the hidden and to control his fate. So he hung on the windy tree, nights all nine, and won the secret of the runes – the hidden lore that explains all things. He sought wisdom too from Mimir’s well (the well of memory) and sacrificed an eye to drink from it. We are Ódhinn, and he is the embodiment of the Faustian spirit.

Spengler writes:

What is Valhalla? [It] is something beyond all sensible actualities floating in remote, dim, Faustian regions. Olympus rests on the homely Greek soil, the Paradise of the Fathers is a magic garden somewhere in the universe, but Valhalla is nowhere. Lost in the limitless, it appears with its inharmonious gods and heroes the supreme symbol of solitude. Siegfried, Parzeval, Tristan, Hamlet, Faust are the loneliest heroes in all the cultures. The longing for the woods, the mysterious compassion, the ineffable sense of forsakenness – it is all Faustian and only Faustian. Every one of us knows it. The motive returns with all its profundity in the Easter scene of Faust I.

“A longing pure and not to be described
drove me to wander over woods and fields,
and in a mist of hot abundant tears
I felt a world arise and live for me.”[4]

Ásatrú is an expression of the unique spirit of the Germanic peoples. And one could also plausibly claim that the spirit of the Germanic peoples just is Ásatrú, understanding its myth and lore simply as a way in which the people projects its spirit before itself, in concrete form. And this leads me back to where I began, to the “political” point of this essay: to value Ásatrú is to value the people of Ásatrú; to value their survival, their distinctness, and their flourishing. For one cannot have the one without the other.

Ásatrú would have not have been possible without the people who gave rise to it, and it cannot be sustained without that same people. Politically correct Ásatrú organizations like the Troth (formerly the Ring of Troth) essentially reject the idea that Ásatrú is an ethnic religion and treat it more or less on the model of the Unitarian Church, opening their doors to all peoples. But this is simply absurd. Ásatrú is not a trans-national “creed” that may be comfortably “professed” by all peoples. It is the worldview of a specific people, forged in its encounter with a certain part of the earth. The approach of organizations like the Troth does nothing more than demonstrate that their real religion is the civil religion of modern, secular liberalism, to which Ásatrú (and everything else) must be fitted. But no one with any knowledge of the sagas could possibly believe that Ásatrú is compatible with modern liberalism.

I am delighted if non-Whites find the lore of my ancestors fascinating. They may study it all they like – in fact, I would encourage them in this. But it is not their tradition and I would not invite them to consider themselves as “one of us” or to take part in our rituals. I find Shinto fascinating, and in general I am very interested in Japanese culture and have great respect for the Japanese people. But I would never seek to join the Shinto religion, because I am a White Westerner and it is not my tradition. And, by the way, should I seek to join Shinto and should the Japanese politely reject me, no one today would find it the least bit shocking or objectionable. Yet if we Ásatrúar take the same position and declare that our ethnic religion is for those of our ethnicity alone, this is regarded as a hideous form of “racism.” We need to do it anyway, and erect niding poles before the houses of the politically correct.

To repeat: to truly value Ásatrú must involve valuing the people who gave rise to Ásatrú and whose spirit the religion expresses. And valuing our people means seeking to preserve it and our culture, and, in all conflicts of interest between our people and some other, taking the side of our own people.

3. “Us” vs. “Them”

My last statement above reiterates the idea (mentioned early on in this essay) that there are conflicts of interest between human groups. I take this to be a truism, but in fact it is a controversial claim today. The ideal of multiculturalism, after all, is that of a society in which different groups happily coexist and have no fundamental conflicts of interest. But this ideal rests upon a breathtakingly shallow view of what “culture” consists in.

The liberal “celebration of diversity” is in fact a celebration of culture only in its external and superficial forms. In other words, to Western liberals “multiculturalism” winds up amounting simply to such things as the co-existence of different costumes, music, styles of dance, languages, and food. But the real guts of the different cultures consist in such things as how they view nature, how they view the divine, how they view men and women, and how they view the relative importance of their own group in the scheme of things. And it is by no means clear that members of cultures with radically different views on these matters can peacefully co-exist.[5]

It is chiefly affluent, college-educated White people who believe in the possibility of a Star Trek world without conflicts of group interests. Non-Whites typically do not believe that such a world is possible, and do not yearn for it, because they have a much keener sense of group identity than do Whites, and a much keener desire to promote the interests of their own group. White democrats are typically delighted when Black people move into their neighborhoods. When the situation is reversed, Blacks are comparatively less thrilled (the fact that the vast majority of them are also democrats does not seem to make much of a difference). Nor are Asians in Chinatown wringing their hands over why so few Latinos live on their block.

The reason for this is that these groups have a healthy proprietary sense. They believe that their neighborhoods belong to them. If others want to move in, this is perceived as a clear-cut conflict of interests. In fact, conflicts of interest between groups are real and ineradicable. They do not exist merely because individuals think that they exist, thus they cannot be eliminated simply by “changing people’s minds.” Conflicts of interest exist for the simple, metaphysical reason that every individual, and every group is something.

To be always means to be something; to possess a specific identity consisting of certain traits and not others. This is true of all things that exist: rocks, pencils, paramecia, human individuals, and human groups such as races or nations. But every identity is always an identity in difference. In other words, the identity of anything is constituted through the ways in which it is different from other things.

On the table to the left of my computer are two coffee mugs. They possess certain traits in common, in virtue of which I class them both as members of the same kind. But their possession of these traits is marked by difference. Both are ceramic and roughly the same height, but one of the mugs is thicker and heavier. Both can be filled with liquid, but the thin mug (because of its thinness) can contain more liquid. Both are emblazoned with designs, but the designs differ (one is just an image, but the other conveys a “message”: a quote from the agrarian author Wendell Berry).

A coffee mug is what it is by being different from other coffee mugs, but also by being different from everything else. The identity of something can be expressed positively, such as when we say that the mug is thick, four inches high, ceramic, and White. But every positive characteristic is actually a form of “not being”: the mug is thick and not thin, four inches high and not five, ceramic and not metal (or any other material), White and not some other color. The mug, furthermore, is characterized by being incapable of self-generated motion, stopping a bullet, standing for election, and a whole host of other things.

All identity is identity in difference, it does not matter what we are speaking of. And this includes peoples and cultures. The identity of a people is constituted through the ways in which it is not like other peoples. This leads to some peculiar problems that do not occur in the case of coffee mugs. The two mugs on my desk are different, but their differences do not lead to conflict. Only one of them rests on a coaster, but they cannot be said to be in competition for the coaster. With human beings it is quite different. Differences between human groups are always sources of potential conflict. This is also true, of course, of differences between human individuals – and of differences between individual animals, and animal species.

Our different ways of speaking, dressing, eating, practicing religion, making money, doing art, making music, raising children, understanding sex differences, and having sex are all perpetual sources of potential conflict between human groups. As are such things as differences of wealth and geographic location (others may want our land and our loot). To be a distinct human group is to be different from other groups, and where there is difference there is always, of necessity, friction, hostility, conflict, and often war. It is reasonable to see these as negatives, given the suffering they produce. But so long as there are distinct human groups these are ineradicable (which is exactly what some Leftists have realized in advocating miscegenation). Further, if we value the distinctness of our group – which really just amounts to saying if we value our group – then in a sense we have to recognize that friction with other groups is not entirely bad. It is simply a corollary of the fact that our group possesses identity; that it exists at all.

One of the shocking simplicities of multiculturalism is the naiveté with which the word “diversity” is invoked as a kind of feel-good mantra denoting something unqualifiedly positive. Diversity simply means difference, and human differences are not a happy, G-rated, child-friendly parade of colors, sounds, tastes, and scents. Diversity means perpetual conflict, misunderstanding, intolerance, and suspicion. Nevertheless: celebrate diversity! Because without diversity, without difference, we would be nothing at all.

The German political theorist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) is famous for having argued that the “concept of the political” is founded on the distinction between “us vs. them,” or, as he actually puts it, friend and enemy. Do not be thrown by the word “political.” What Schmitt actually means is that human groups define themselves through opposition to an other. What unites a people is the recognition that they and their interests stand opposed to other groups, who have their own interests. From this sense of unity, a structure of power arises – a political order – in response to the opposition of the other. This involves such things as maintaining civil order and maintaining preparedness, so that if the threat of the other becomes acute the group will be ready to act.

Of course, I can easily imagine someone responding to this – quite reasonably – with the following objection: “Why must a group define itself in opposition to an other? Why must a group’s identity be built upon hostility and ill will?” But this objection misunderstands Schmitt’s position, and what the phrase “in opposition” really means. Schmitt’s claim is not specifically that group identity is founded upon hostility to some other group. Rather, what he means is that group identity is founded upon a sense of distinctness from other groups. However, as I have argued above, so long as this distinctness exists there is the ever-present possibility of conflicts of interest and hostility.

Schmitt writes that

The political enemy need not be morally evil or aesthetically ugly; he need not appear as an economic competitor, and it may even be advantageous to engage with him in business transactions. But he is, nevertheless, the other, the stranger; and it is sufficient for his nature that he is, in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in the extreme case conflicts with him are possible.[6]

Schmitt goes on to note that all human divisions become political if they are so strong that they result in grouping human beings according to the friend-enemy distinction. This includes religious divisions. I ended the introduction to this essay with the rhetorical question “Why can’t Ásatrú, as a religion, be apolitical?” But even if we were to take the universalistic position of the Troth and regard Ásatrú as merely a set of “beliefs” that anyone can hold, we would still have to make a distinction between those who hold those beliefs and those who don’t; those within Ásatrú and those without. And we would have to recognize that outsiders are always potential “enemies”; that (as history has shown us countless times) doctrinal, religious differences frequently lead to hostilities.

As I have already shown, however, to understand Ásatrú as a creedal religion is to fundamentally distort and deform it. Ásatrú is an ethnic religion. Its identity – its distinctness – consists not just in its “beliefs,” but in the fact that it is a religion of this people not that one; and it is an expression of the nature of this people, not that one. To value and adhere to Ásatrú must therefore involve valuing the people of Ásatrú. However, we have seen that a people only constitutes itself as a people through difference. And where there is difference there is always the possibility of conflict.

To value the people of Ásatrú means, therefore, to recognize that there is no possibility of eliminating conflicts of interest between our people and other peoples. To value the people of Ásatrú means to be constantly vigilant in securing its interests, and always to choose our interests over those of other groups. “Us” vs. “them” is simply not going to go away. Indeed, as I alluded to earlier in this essay, the conflict between us and them has only intensified in recent years. And it is going to get worse. The survival of the people of Ásatrú itself is at stake. And without that people, there will be no Ásatrú.

So far I have offered a philosophical case for believing that adherence to Ásatrú must involve ethnic partisanism, and indeed that it must involve the uncompromising defense of our people’s interests. But let us set philosophical argument aside for the moment and simply ask what position is most in accord with the spirit of Ásatrú. Is it the position I have outlined, which insists on the organic connection between Ásatrú and our people and calls upon us, therefore, to defend our people’s interests even if that means ostracism, condemnation, or death? Or is it the position that disconnects Ásatrú from its people, insists that that people not commit the intolerable “racist” sin of asserting its interests, and enjoins them to cheerfully accept their dispossession and extinction? Which position is more in accord with the spirit of the sagas?

Those who believe that we can (or should) ignore differences and who dream of an end to all conflict are those who – whether they realize it or not – wish for the eradication of distinct identities. But without identity there is . . . nothing. Life – and being itself – is identity, and thus life is difference and strife. Our way – the pagan way of Ásatrú – is the affirmation of this life, red in tooth and claw. Their way is the way of death, extinction, annihilation. A “liberal pagan” is a contradiction in terms.

4. Just who is “our people”?

I now turn to some thorny questions about who it is that constitutes “our people.” I earlier defined the people of Ásatrú as Northern European people who speak Germanic languages. And I made it clear that I am speaking about a distinct ethnic group. Thus, someone whose ancestry is Nigerian or Chinese and happens to live in Denmark and speak Danish does not count. Ancestry is what counts here.

But at this point one might raise a problem with the argument of this essay thus far. I have attempted to make the case that Ásatrú is, or ought to be, inseparable from White Nationalism. But White Nationalism is not exclusively about defending the interests of the Germanic peoples. It’s also about defending the interests of those who are (again, ethnically) Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Polish, Greek, etc. These are all “White people.” But not all of them can plausibly be called the people of Ásatrú.

Yes, one can argue that Ásatrú is but one variation of Indo-European spirituality, and that all of these people – in pre-Christian times – were practicing folk religions closely related to Ásatrú. But it would be awfully strained and artificial to argue that just because this is the case, we should therefore care about what happens to non-Germanic, European people. It seems like actually the most one can argue, using the sort of logic I’ve employed in this essay, is that Ásatrúar of genuinely Northern European or Germanic stock should care about the interests of other people of similar stock. But it is going too far to say that they should be “White Nationalists.”

This certainly seems like a major problem, but in fact it is not.

Let’s begin with an obvious point that I have so far not mentioned: it is natural for people to prefer others like themselves, and to feel greater sympathy for others like themselves. This has its basis, again, in genetic similarity. Brothers care more about their sisters, typically, than they care about their second cousins – even if they have all grown up in close proximity. Cousins typically care more about each other than they do about the neighbors, even if the neighbors are members of the same ethnic group. And neighbors of the same ethnic group typically care more about each other, and trust each more, than they do the neighbors down the block who belong to a different ethnic group.

It is quite natural for an Englishman to feel a greater tie to other Englishmen than to the French. And it quite natural for me, whose ancestry is predominantly Germanic (despite my Irish name) to feel closer to an Englishman than to a Frenchman. But there are times when I can feel quite close to a Frenchman. For example, if I happen to run into one while visiting Nigeria. In such circumstances, the cultural, temperamental, and even linguistic differences between us are going to feel very slight. Were a Dane around also, I’m guessing I would form a stronger bond with the Dane than with the Frenchman. But I would bond with the Frenchman as well because, after all, he’s like me too (just, perhaps, not as much like me).

So, who is our people? It is quite natural for me and others like me to feel closest of all to others of Germanic ancestry. But other Europeans are like me as well. By extension, they are my people as well. The analogy to family and extended family is useful here. I will always feel the closest bond with my immediate family. But I also feel a bond, though not as close, with my cousins. To take a hackneyed example, if my cousin Alfred were drowning in a lake and a perfect stranger were drowning as well and I could only save one, I would save my cousin. And no one would fault me.

If a White stranger were drowning in a lake and a black stranger were drowning as well and I could only save one, who would I save? I imagine I would probably act instinctively to save the White man – and I submit that this would be as natural (and unmalicious) a reaction as preferring to save one’s family member. Yet it would no doubt be denounced as “racism.” It would not matter to me if the White person were Danish or Greek. I would act instinctively to help him, just because he’s “like me.” This natural preference for one’s own is something to be cultivated and celebrated. It is thoroughly anathema to Christianity (which only permits preferring Christians to non-Christians, and not even that really), and it is thoroughly “pagan.”

My essay so far seems to be enjoining Ásatrúar to start caring about members of their own group. In fact, I am merely encouraging them to reflect on the ties they already feel with their own group – whether they are consciously aware of those feelings or not – and to affirm them without shame. However, today the truth is that I don’t just feel a tie to other Northern Europeans, but with White people generally.

It is natural for us to think of multiculturalism, massive non-White immigration into Europe and America, and the declining White birth rate as unmitigated disasters. But the “cunning of reason” is at work here, as it always is. The positive effect of all of this is that it can forge a sense of European – or White – identity and unity such as has never existed before. It is sobering to look back over the course of European history and to realize that there was a time (very recently, in fact) when it would have been nearly impossible for members of different European nations to see each other as “like us.” That the English used to be mortal enemies with the Spanish, that the Germans fought the Austrians, and the Austrians fought the Italians, and so on, now seems almost incredible. That some of these innumerable, fratricidal conflicts were (ostensibly) over different inflections of Christianity is positively sickening.

Of course, a liberal might object to my argument by saying that changing historical circumstances have also resulted in our feeling greater ties and greater sympathy with members of other races as well. Just as the English and the French now feel that they are basically more alike than opposed, so multiculturalism has resulted in our feeling natural sentiments of sympathy with the Chinese and the Nigerians as well. The evidence for this includes an increase in interracial marriages. Also, the fact that everyone today (excluding White racists) has at least one friend of another race. Doesn’t my position actually hypocritically enjoin us to ignore the natural sentiments we now feel toward other races? Or, putting it another way, aren’t I arbitrarily encouraging my readers to affirm some of their natural sentiments and to deny others?

The trouble with this argument is that it rests both on false claims, and on an overly narrow understanding of what “natural sentiments” are. First of all, it has always been the case that members of different races have been capable of feeling sympathy for, and bonding with one another. It is also the case that humans – of any race – form bonds with members of other species, as any pet owner can attest.

But the truth is that people of different races typically only form deep bonds with each other in unusual and extraordinary circumstances (e.g. if they happen to share the same foxhole). Otherwise, the bonds tend to be mostly temporary and do not go very deep (as is the case with co-worker “friends” of different races). Yes, interracial marriage is more common than it used to be, but the vast majority of people still prefer to marry within their race. And the divorce rate among interracial couples is significantly greater than that of same-race couples. And yes, it is true that everyone today has at least one friend of a different race – everyone on television, that is. The reality is that most people prefer the company of their own kind, and form the deepest bonds with others like themselves – whether we are talking about married couples, friends, roommates, coworkers, business partners, or what have you.

To return to my earlier example: is it possible that in addition to bonding with the Dane and the Frenchman I might also bond with a Nigerian? Absolutely. But the bond is unlikely to be as strong or as deep. And should strife erupt on my visit to Nigeria, should Nigerians begin killing Whites (as is happening right now to White farmers in Zimbabwe), I would unhesitatingly band together with my Dane and my Frenchman, and probably forget about my Nigerian friend entirely. (Disraeli really was right: “Race is everything. There is no other truth.”)

Finally, we must also keep in mind that “natural sentiments” are not confined to sympathy. Another natural sentiment is antipathy. And antipathy is born of difference; the greater the difference the stronger the likelihood of antipathy. Let us affirm all of our natural sentiments, both the bitter and the sweet.

5. Conclusion: Quo Vadis, Ásatrú?

I turn now to another consideration about who “our people” is. I can imagine a follower of Ásatrú objecting to the argument of this essay by saying “Look, why should I give a damn about ‘my people’? The vast majority of them regard Ásatrú as an absurdity. They are a people thoroughly corrupted by modern individualism and consumerism. They are lemmings passively cooperating in their own destruction. They are Last Men. Men without chests. Hollow men. Men without qualities. Trousered apes. Why should I stick my neck out and be a White Nationalist when it would cause most average White people to want spit in my face and call me names?”

I have heard such sentiments expressed not just by Ásatrúar, but by many Whites with no particular interest in Ásatrú. The trouble with this position, though, is that it simply expects too much of our people. It has always been the case, without exception, that the vast majority of the people of any race are essentially conformists who do as they are told, and are often incapable of perceiving what’s really good for them.

The greatness of our people does not consist in our being individualists who are always ready and willing to break with the crowd. The greatness of our people consists in what they are capable of when they are properly led. Yes, the sagas celebrate the deeds of heroic individuals who often break the rules. But such individuals are celebrated because they are exceptional. It is such men who lead, and command the loyalty of others (which is the virtue most conspicuously celebrated in the Germanic tradition). All peoples need leaders; they seldom if ever liberate or enlighten themselves. If great changes are to be made a vanguard is needed, and in the beginning that vanguard will be feared and despised.

Our people have undergone centuries of brainwashing by Christianity, the Enlightenment, and cultural Marxism (three peas in a pod, actually). It is unreasonable to expect them to overcome this quickly, and without a great deal of assistance. Instead of hating our own people for their degraded condition we must instead learn to pity them. And we must learn to love them as we do errant children.

This is, admittedly, not that easy. Especially given that the modern world does all it can to tear us apart from each other. The rapaciousness of capitalism sets brother against brother and uproots us from the towns our families have called home for generations. It turns marriages into “partnerships” of two upwardly mobile consumers who remain together so long as the arrangement is mutually advantageous. Feminism simply aids and abets this aberration of capitalism, setting men and women against each other. Sons are set against fathers by a culture that insists that youth must rebel against age, and that there is value only in youth. And neighbors are set against each other as well; gone is the trust that allowed us once upon a time to leave our doors unlocked.[7] It is a wonder that we are able to feel anything for each other at all. This is a problem that we must work to overcome, not worsen by abjuring the realm and declaring others like ourselves to be “hopeless.”

The culture of our people has changed radically over the centuries, mainly for the worse. Yes, we have been corrupted and so have our values. But in fact we are still fundamentally the same people. Early on in this essay I spoke of how Ásatrú is a product of the unique nature of our people – a product, if you like, of our genetically distinct nature. That nature has not changed. Genetically, we are the same as we were in the time of Arminius. Underneath the veneer of modern decadence we are still the same people who slaughtered 20,000 Romans in the Teutoburg Forest. We are still the same people who carved the runes and thrilled to stories of Ódhinn and the gods. We are still the same people whose ideal of feminine virtue was the bloodthirsty Gudrun. And we are the people of Shakespeare, Schiller, Goethe, Mozart, Beethoven, Nietzsche, and Wagner.

The bloodline still exists, and the potential still exists within the blood. Our religion, Ásatrú, is obsessed with clan and ancestral identity. And we modern Ásatrúar claim to honor our ancestors. So I ask you: is there a greater way to honor our ancestors than to act to safeguard and revivify their bloodline? We like to posture as Norsemen. But the truth is that our ancestors would never recognize most of us, because most of us have committed sins they would find incomprehensible. We have turned out backs on our own people – and are cheerfully, unashamedly in full retreat.

It is time to ask ourselves just exactly what Ásatrú is to us and where it is going. Is our aim simply that Ásatrú be accepted as yet another “lifestyle choice” in the great multicultural stew of New Age “spirituality”? Is it enough simply that we are able to get together with other oddballs like ourselves and put on silly costumes and perform rituals in dead languages? The only thing that can redeem Ásatrú and raise it above the level of being yet another modern form of isolating, self-indulgent eccentricity is if we come to see Ásatrú as requiring something great of us. And, again, what greater task could there be than the salvation of our people? Again, what task is more worthy of Ásatrú, the religion of epic heroes, of our ancestors, the religion in which blood is everything?

Ásatrú just is the heroic commitment to our people and to its spirit. Compared to this all else – the runes, Old Norse, drinking horns, mead, skaldic verse, and so on – is external and inessential. But it is completely unsurprising that so many would choose the external over the essential. This is the modern way. Especially when the essential involves a commitment to something as fundamentally anti-modern, “irrational,” and dangerous as loyalty to those like oneself, simply because they are like oneself. Nevertheless, this is it. Setting all externals and non-essentials aside, this is our ethnic religion; this is Ásatrú. To defend the people of Ásatrú and its spirit is itself Ásatrú.

It is time to reflect on the ambiguity of the term “ethnic religion,” about which I earlier said only a little. An ethnic religion is a religion “of” a people in more than one way. In the deepest way, an ethnic religion is the spirit of a unique people made manifest to itself. In a sense, it is through their ethnic religion that a people worships itself. The religion is the people, and the people are the religion. This is the most fundamental answer to the question of the connection between Ásatrú and “the political,” or the connection of Ásatrú to “White Nationalism.” There is no problem about connecting these, in fact. They are already together – tied together intimately and inseparably, whether this is recognized by all Ásatrúar (or all White Nationalists) or not.[8]

Notes

[1] See Nancy L. Segal, Born Together—Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twins Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012).

[2] See James Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

[3] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. I, trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926), 185-86.

[4] Spengler, 185-86.

[5] Unless, of course all cultural differences are eliminated save the purely external, via the transformation of all peoples into homogenized, interchangeable consumers bereft of any deeply-felt convictions. This is, in fact, the hidden global capitalist agenda of multiculturalism, now being cheerfully advanced by useful idiots on the anti-capitalist Left.

[6] Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, trans. George Schwab (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 27.

[7] Studies have shown that in multicultural neighborhoods distrust is high, even among members of the same group.

[8] An interesting implication of all the above – which I cannot develop here – is the other side of the equation: White Nationalism is inseparably connected to Ásatrú. This will be resisted by many White Nationalists. Some are atheists who reject all religion. Others view Ásatrúar (not without some justification) as, at best, eccentrics in funny hats. But if my basic argument is effective, that Ásatrúar should be White Nationalists because Ásatrú is in fact the expression of the spirit of (Northern European) White people, then we must recognize that this also supports the claim that White Nationalists should be Ásatrúar – at least those of Northern European ancestry. There are movements of other European peoples that seek to revive worship of their old gods – such as the Greek organization Thyrsos Hellenes Ethnikoi – and I applaud them.

 


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mercredi, 17 octobre 2012

Julius Evola e l’esperienza del Gruppo di Ur

Julius Evola e l’esperienza del Gruppo di Ur.

La storia “occulta” dell’Italia del Novecento

Ex: http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/

Evola_l-res.jpgIn Italia gli anni fra il 1927 ed il 1929 sono segnati da una vicenda spirituale, esoterica e culturale, sconosciuta al grande pubblico e poco esaminata dagli storici, ma che, nondimeno, è una esperienza importante perché é la più significativa della cultura esoterica italiana (ed anche europea) del Novecento: il Gruppo di Ur, diretto dal filosofo Julius Evola – e l’omonima rivista Ur negli anni 1927-28, poi divenuta Krur nel 1929. Di questo gruppo esoterico facevano parte le personalità più significative dell’esoterismo italiano di quel tempo, quali Arturo Reghini (studioso del pitagorismo e fondatore del Rito Filosofico Italiano), Giulio Parise, Giovanni Colazza (antroposofo, interlocutore diretto e fiduciario di Rudolf Steiner in Italia), insieme ad altri insigni esoteristi quali, ad esempio, Guido De Giorgio, il poeta Girolamo Comi, forse lo psicanalista Emilio Servadio (ma la partecipazione di quest’ultimo è controversa), il kremmerziano Ercole Quadrelli e vari altri altri.

La peculiarità di questo sodalizio stava nell’essere un momento ed un tentativo di sintesi fra varie correnti di spiritualità esoterica, quindi élitaria, selettiva, non accessibile a tutti. Tale sintesi veniva cercata anzitutto sul piano spirituale, “magico-operativo”, poi anche su quello dell’elaborazione culturale, in termini di dottrina esoterica, quale si esprimeva sulla rivista Ur-Krur. Erano infatti presenti nel gruppo una certa corrente massonica (impersonata da Reghini e Parise) che intendeva riportare la massoneria ai suoi significati originari, depurandola delle degenerazioni profane e mondane che l’avrebbero caratterizzata dall’illuminismo francese in poi, insieme alla corrente di ispirazione kremmerziana (impersonata dall’esoterista che sulla rivista Ur si firmava Abraxa), richiamantesi cioè agli insegnamenti di Giuliano Kremmerz (fondatore della Fratellanza Terapeutica di Myriam) alla corrente antroposofica, fino a quella dell’esoterismo cristiano. Evola impersona la linea di un paganesimo integrale distante sia dall’indirizzo massonico (col quale vi fu una rottura nel 1928), sia dall’esoterismo cristiano.

Ciò che noi conosciamo di questa esperienza lo evinciamo dai contenuti della rivista, nonché da quanto lo stesso Evola racconta nel suo libro autobiografico Il Cammino del Cinabro.

krur.jpg

Diamo al lettore un sia pur sommario inquadramento storico-culturale per contestualizzare il senso e la funzione di Ur. Siamo nell’Italia del fascismo-regime, per dirla col linguaggio di Renzo De Felice. Le leggi speciali che introducono il regime a partito unico sono del 1926. Gli anni di Ur sono quelli delle trattative fra Stato e Chiesa per risolvere la questione romana, rimasta irrisolta dal 1870 con l’annesso problema del rapporto fra cattolici e Stato unitario.

Sul piano internazionale, il Trattato di Versailles del 1919 ha messo in ginocchio la Germania ed ha lasciato nell’opinione pubblica italiana un profondo e diffuso senso di frustrazione per quella che viene considerata la “vittoria mutilata”. L’economia internazionale è alla vigilia di una crisi – quella di Wall Street del 1929, che influirà profondamente sullo sviluppo delle relazioni fra gli Stati. La nascita del fascismo nel 1919 – ossia di un movimento che si richiama al simbolo romano del fascio littorio – e i primi anni del governo Mussolini dal 1922 in poi segnano un momento importante di apertura di nuovi spazi di influenza della cultura esoterica nei confronti del nuovo indirizzo politico e quindi nei confronti dello Stato.

E’ un tema complesso, inedito fino a pochi anni orsono ed approfondito in modo scientifico, per la prima volta, nel libro Esoterismo e Fascismo (a cura di Gianfranco De Turris, Mediterranee, Roma, 2006), cui hanno contribuito ben 35 studiosi, di diversa provenienza culturale e delle più diverse specializzazioni e che ha rappresentato lo sviluppo elaborativo di una monografia della rivista Hera (al tempo in cui era diretta da Adriano Forgione) sullo stesso tema, pubblicata nel 2003, dallo stesso curatore.

Per entrare meglio in argomento, è bene lasciare la parola allo stesso Evola, in un suo brano significativo nel Cammino del Cinabro: “Già il Reghini, quale direttore della rivista Atanor e poi Ignis… si era proposto di trattare le discipline esoteriche e iniziatiche con serietà e rigore, con riferimenti a fonti autentiche e con uno spirito critico. Il “Gruppo di Ur” riprese la stessa esigenza, però accentuandone maggiormente il lato pratico e sperimentale. Sotto la mia direzione esso fece uscire dei fascicoli mensili di monografie destinate ad essere riunite in volumi epperò coordinate in modo che si avesse, in buona misura, uno sviluppo sistematico e progressivo della materia… Fu adottato il principio dell’anonimia dei collaboratori perché – era detto nell’introduzione – “la loro persona non conta, quel che possono dire di valido non è loro creazione o escogitazione ma riflette un insegnamento superindividuale e oggettivo”… Nell’introduzione, come punto di partenza veniva posto ancora una volta il problema esistenziale dell’Io, la crisi di chi non crede più ai valori correnti e a tutto ciò che dà abitualmente, sul piano sia intellettuale, sia pratico, sia umano, un senso all’esistenza. Il presupposto ulteriore era che di fronte a tale crisi non si scartasse, non si ricorresse a dei lenitivi, ma nemmeno si crollasse, che in base al fatto irreversibile ormai determinatosi si fosse invece decisi assolutamente a “dissipare la nebbia, ad aprirsi una via”, volgendo verso la conoscenza di sè e, in sé , dell’Essere” (J.Evola, Il Cammino del Cinabro, Scheiwiller, Milano, 1972, pp.83-84).

Questa conoscenza ha il carattere di una scienza che, pur non avendo a che fare con cose e con fenomeni esteriori, ma concernendo le forze più profonde dell’interiorità umana, procede in modo sperimentale, con gli stessi criteri di obiettività e di impersonalità delle scienze esatte. Ad essa si lega “una tradizione unica che, in varie forme di espressione, si può ritrovare in tutti i popoli, ora come sapienza di antiche élites regali e sacerdotali, ora come conoscenza adombrata da simboli sacri, miti e riti le cui origini si perdono in tempi primordiali, da Misteri e da iniziazioni”.

Il punto di partenza è quindi il rifiuto dei valori correnti, di tutto ciò che abitualmente dà un senso alla vita; il riferimento è ai valori del mondo cattolico-borghese, verso i quali si avverte una profonda insoddisfazione esistenziale. E’ un tema che già compariva, in forme diverse, nella fase artistica di J. Evola, quella del dadaismo, di cui fu il maggiore esponente italiano; il linguaggio artistico del dadaismo si configura infatti, come una rottura verso i canoni tradizionali dell’arte dell’800 e di tutto il mondo che quell’arte esprimeva.

Tale rifiuto non è però fine a se stesso, ma sfocia in una ricerca costruttiva di diversi e più alti orizzonti,verso una conoscenza di sé e, in sé, dell’Essere, che non è una speculazione astratta, ma una concreta e sperimentale ricerca interiore, secondo una precisa metodica che non è una escogitazione individuale di questo o quell’autore, ma il frutto di una scienza antica, millenaria e universale, al di là delle sue varie forme espressive, secondo le diversità di tempo e di luogo.

Il fine di Ur, sul piano operativo-spirituale, è dunque quello di evocare una forza metafisica, attirandola col magnete psichico costituito dalla “catena” di Ur e dalle correlative operazioni di catena sulle quali, nella rivista omonima, si leggono precise istruzioni. Questa “forza” doveva poi trovare un suo sbocco, una sua estrinsecazione sul piano dell’azione culturale ed anche su quello politico.

urflauto5.jpgLe monografie della rivista furono poi raccolte in volume col titolo della rivista e poi, nella loro prima riedizione (1955, a cura dell’editore Bocca di Milano, poi per le Edizioni Mediterranee di Roma nel 1971) presero il titolo di Introduzione alla Magia, aggiungendo come sottotitolo “quale Scienza dell’Io”.

Nell’introduzione del testo si precisava che il termine “Magia” non era adoperato nel senso popolare e nemmeno in quello adoperato nell’antichità, perché non si trattava di certe pratiche, reali o superstiziose, volte a produrre fenomeni extra-normali. Il Gruppo di Ur si riferiva essenzialmente al senso etimologico del termine (nella lingua iranica la radice “Mag” vuol dire sapiente), ossia ci si riferiva al sapere iniziatico in una sua speciale formulazione, ispirata ad un atteggiamento “solare”, ossia attivo e affermativo rispetto alla sfera del sacro. A tal riguardo si può ricordare una celebre frase di Plotino “Sono gli Déi che devono venire a me, non io agli Déi”, per rendere l’idea di questo peculiare orientamento spirituale. Peraltro la radice Ur in caldaico significa fuoco, ma vi era anche un senso aggiuntivo, quello di “primordiale, di “originario” che esso ha come prefisso in tedesco.

I contributi del Gruppo di Ur davano dunque orientamenti, spunti, sollecitazioni con l’esposizione di metodi, di discipline, di tecniche, insieme ad una chiarificazione del simbolismo tradizionale; inoltre con relazioni di esperienze effettivamente vissute e infine con la traduzione e la ripubblicazione di testi delle tradizioni occidentali e orientali integrati da opportuni commenti, quali, ad esempio, il Rituale Mithriaco del Gran Papiro Magico di Parigi, i Versi aurei di Pitagora, testi ermetici come la Turba Philosophorum, alcuni canti del mistico tibetano Milarepa, passi del canone Buddhista, brani scelti di Kremmerz, di Gustav Meyrink, di Crowley. Un quarto profilo di Ur riguardava i contributi di inquadramento dottrinario sintetico nonché puntualizzazioni critiche.

Evola scrive al riguardo “Indirizzi molteplici di scuole varie venivano presentati, a che il lettore avesse modo di scegliere in base alle sue particolari predisposizioni o inclinazioni”.

Ur si presenta quindi come una elaborazione critica della spiritualità esoterica tradizionale e, correlativamente, della cultura esoterica sia sul piano tecnico-operativo che su quello dell’esegesi testuale e dell’inquadramento dottrinario. Esso è, al tempo stesso, un momento di confronto pluralistico fra vari indirizzi iniziatici, in modo che il lettore possa scegliere avendo una panoramica generale, una visione d’insieme dei molteplici indirizzi operativi presenti nella spiritualità esoterica della prima metà del Novecento.

Va peraltro evidenziato che Ur fu il primo sodalizio a pubblicare il Rituale Mithriaco, fuori da ogni consorteria accademica e fu la prima rivista a pubblicare in Italia alcune pratiche del Buddhismo Vajrayana sotto il titolo La Via del diamante-folgore (si tratta della pratica di Vajrasattva – il Buddha della purificazione – e della sua “Sposa”, cioé la sua Shakti), dimostrando una apertura mentale ed una lucidità che ne facevano una vera e propria avanguardia sia sul piano spirituale-operativo, che su quello dell’elaborazione culturale che anticipava di gran lunga, cioè di molti decenni, la diffusione in Italia delle religioni orientali…

Peraltro la pubblicazione del Rituale Mithriaco si inseriva in un disegno – cui lo stesso Evola accenna espressamente nel Cammino del Cinabro – volto ad esercitare una influenza sul regime politico allora vigente, per svilupparne le potenzialità legate all’assunzione del fascio littorio come simbolo. In altri termini, una influenza volta a radicalizzare e potenziare l’anima “pagana” del fascismo, con ripercussioni concrete in termini politici e di orientamento culturale. Il commento di Ur al Rituale Mithriaco non sembra lasciare dubbi al riguardo, visto che si parla di un conflitto fra paganesimo e cristianesimo tuttora attuale e non confinato nella lontana antichità del IV secolo d.C. E’ un tema che, in altra sede, ho già ampiamente approfondito, poiché il disegno spirituale e di sistematizzazione dottrinaria aveva anche un suo profilo politico preciso, forse contando anche sul sostegno di alcune componenti interne al Partito nazionale fascista, sull’anticlericalismo di una certa area liberal-risorgimentale e, come ho già dimostrato altrove, sul tacito sostegno – quantomeno in termini di tolleranza – dello stesso Mussolini, poiché altrimenti non si spiega la libertà di movimento di questa rivista che, in un momento delicatissimo del rapporto diplomatico fra Stato e Chiesa, interviene con una affermazione di antagonismo nei confronti della religione cristiana. Le confidenze del Duce al suo biografo Yvon De Begnac sono eloquenti al riguardo (Y. De Begnac, Taccuini Mussoliniani (con prefazione di Renzo De Felice), Il Mulino, Bologna, 1990). Negli stessi anni – e precisamente nel 1928 – Evola pubblica Imperialismo Pagano, col significativo sottotitolo Il fascismo dinnanzi al pericolo eurocristiano. Le tesi del libro – ossia la necessità per il fascismo di attuare una rivoluzione spirituale in senso “pagano” – suscitarono le proteste dell’Osservatore Romano e contrasti anche nell’area della pubblicistica fascista.

Ur e Imperialismo Pagano si collocano quindi nell’ambito del medesimo disegno – poi storicamente fallito – volto a influire sulla direzione spirituale e politica del regime fascista (cfr. J. Evola, La Via della realizzazione di sé secondo i Misteri di Mithra (a cura di Stefano Arcella), Fondazione J.Evola-Controcorrente, Napoli, 2007).

Al di là di questo profilo esoterico-politico, intendo soffermarmi sui contributi di Giovanni Colazza (che si firmava Leo) e sull’influenza che il suo orientamento ebbe sulla formazione di Evola.

I contributi di questo esoterista si distinguono per una impostazione tutta concentrata sulla interiorizzazione personale di una visione animata e attiva della realtà, del mondo e della vita. Il primo contributo, dal titolo “Barriere”, è molto eloquente in questo senso. Non vi sono riferimenti a rituali magici, né a cerimoniali, ma tutto è imperniato sulla elaborazione cosciente di una visione e percezione più sottile e profonda delle cose. Si insiste quindi sulla responsabilità personale, sullo sviluppo di un percorso di consapevolezza in cui l’uomo opera su sé stesso per trasformarsi.

Nella prospettiva di Colazza, gioca quindi un ruolo fondamentale la volontà unita all’autoosservazione con la calma interiore di un critico. E’ una via dell’anima cosciente in cui ci si osserva come se si stesse osservando un altro. E’ evidente che sulla formazione di Colazza gioca un ruolo fondamentale l’influenza di Steiner e delle sue opere nelle quali viene tramandata la “scienza dello spirito”, che l’esoterista austriaco definisce antichissima e millenaria, non confondibile quindi con una escogitazione intellettuale soggettiva.

I contributi successivi di Leo vanno nella stessa direzione e sono un ulteriore approfondimento della medesima impostazione. Peraltro egli contribuisce all’introduzione ed al commento del Rituale Mithriaco insieme a Pietro Negri (Reghini), a Luce (Parise) e ad EA (Evola), come in Ur è esplicitamente attestato.

Ho avuto modo, già in altra sede, di evidenziare come la lettura evoliana dei Misteri di Mithra risenta dei contenuti della Filosofia della Libertà di Rudolf Steiner soprattutto nel punto in cui parla di questa volontà individuale che afferma la centralità di una coscienza calma ed autosufficiente e rifiuta la dimensione dell’agitazione e della perenne insoddisfazione della vita profana e ordinaria. E l’incontro con Colazza contribuì sicuramente a questo ampliamento di orizzonti del giovane filosofo romano.

E’ degno di attenzione che, nel III volume di Introduzione alla Magia (che corrisponde alla raccolta della rivista Krur del 1929) venga pubblicato un contributo non firmato – e quindi riferibile al direttore di Ur, ossia ad Evola – che si intitola “Liberazione delle facoltà”; si tratta di una sequenza metodica di esercizi personali, che riguardano il dominio del pensiero, il dominio dell’azione, l’equanimità, la positività come nuovo stile di pensiero, l’apertura mentale o spregiudicatezza e, infine, il riepilogo contestuale dei 6 esercizi.

Ognuno di questi esercizi dura 1 mese e vanno praticati nell’ordine in cui li abbiamo menzionati. Il primo riguarda la fortificazione del principio cosciente rispetto al flusso dei pensieri e consiste nella “concentrazione sull’oggetto insignificante”. Il secondo concerne la fortificazione della volontà cosciente rispetto al proprio agire che da agire abitudinario deve trasformarsi in agire consapevole. Il terzo riguarda lo sviluppo di un calmo distacco rispetto agli eventi, piacevoli o spiacevoli che siano, della propria vita, senza che ciò implichi insensibilità o indifferenza, ma la capacità di non lasciarsi trascinare né dalla gioia né dal dolore. Il quarto esercizio attiene allo sviluppo del pensiero positivo, ossia la capacità di saper cogliere gli aspetti positivi, benefici, di ogni cosa e di ogni evento, senza che ciò significhi scadere in un ingenuo ottimismo o non vedere gli aspetti negativi della realtà, ma sapendo valorizzare ciò che, in ogni cosa, può aiutare la nostra evoluzione di coscienza. Il quinto concerne l’apertura mentale, la capacità di saper uscire fuori dagli schemi ordinari, ammettendo la possibilità che della realtà facciano parte altri aspetti non ordinari. Il sesto è un momento di sintesi e di coordinamento dei 5 esercizi precedenti. Ognuno di questi esercizi è integrato da una precisa pratica di visualizzazione di una corrente eterica allo scopo di mettere in movimento le nostre energie che, nella fisiologia occulta, sono quelle del cosiddetto “corpo eterico” e dei “centri energetici”(i “chakra” della tradizione esoterica indiana).

Orbene tali esercizi di liberazione delle facoltà del pensiero, dell’agire, della calma e della solarità nel modo di affrontare la vita, sono esattamente, con un sola variante tecnica nel 1° esercizio, i sei esercizi fondamentali insegnati da Rudolf Steiner e ripubblicati in Italia dall’editrice Antroposofica di Milano. Steiner muore nel 1925 mentre il Gruppo di Ur si colloca negli anni fra il 1927 ed il 1929, per cui l’influenza di Steiner su Ur, sotto questo particolare aspetto, è storicamente documentata.

Eppure lo stesso Evola, nel suo libro Maschera e Volto dello spiritualismo contemporaneo (ora: Mediterranee, Roma, 2008), critica chiaramente e duramente la visione storica e cosmologica di Steiner che giudica come una visione evoluzionista e quindi antitradizionale (Evola si richiamava infatti alla dottrina dei cicli e della “regressione delle caste”, la storia venendo vista come un processo regressivo) ma in Krur riprende un preciso insegnamento operativo steineriano, anche se non cita Steiner.

Orbene, è evidente, a questo punto che, sotto alcuni specifici aspetti operativi, Evola risentì dell’influenza di Steiner attraverso la mediazione e l’insegnamento di Colazza che partecipava ad Ur con precisi insegnamenti di carattere operativo. A volte, i rapporti fra gli studiosi di esoterismo e fra i ricercatori spirituali sono più complessi di quanto possa apparire a prima vista.

* * *

Articolo originariamente pubblicato su Hera di settembre 2012.

The Life of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

The Life of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Rama P. Coomaraswamy (His Son)

lundi, 15 octobre 2012

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Seyyed Hossein Nasr (in Persian: سید حسین نصر) :

The Recovery of the Sacred

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Critique of Modern Philosophy (Schuon)

mercredi, 26 septembre 2012

The Sexual Aesthetics and Metaphysics of Julius Evola

 

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Keith Preston:

Beyond Prudery and Perversion: The Sexual Aesthetics and Metaphysics of Julius Evola

Of course, the ongoing institutionalization of the values of the sexual revolution is not without its fierce critics. Predictably, the most strident criticism of sexual liberalism originates from the clerical and political representatives of the institutions of organized Christianity and from concerned Christian laypeople. Public battles over sexual issues are depicted in the establishment media as conflicts between progressive-minded, intelligent and educated liberals versus ignorant, bigoted, sex-phobic reactionaries. Dissident conservative media outlets portray conflicts of this type as pitting hedonistic, amoral sexual libertines against beleaguered upholders of the values of faith, family, and chastity. Yet this “culture war” between liberal libertines and Christian puritans is not what should be the greatest concern of those holding a radical traditionalist or conservative revolutionary outlook.

Sexuality and the Pagan Heritage of Western Civilization

The European New Right has emerged as the most intellectually progressive and sophisticated contemporary manifestation of the values of the conservative revolution. Likewise, the overlapping schools of thought associated with the ENR have offered the most penetrating and comprehensive critique of the domination of contemporary cultural and political life by the values of liberalism and the consequences of this for Western civilization. The ENR departs sharply from conventional “conservative” criticisms of liberalism of the kind that stem from Christian piety. Unlike the Christian conservatives, the European New Right does not hesitate to embrace the primordial pagan heritage of the Indo-European ancestors of Western peoples. The history of the West is much older than the fifteen hundred year reign of the Christian church that characterized Western civilization from the late Roman era to the early modern period. This history includes foremost of all the classical Greco-Roman civilization of antiquity and its legacy of classical pagan scholarship and cultural life. Recognition of this legacy includes a willingness to recognize and explore classical pagan attitudes towards sexuality. As Mark Wegierski has written:

The ENR’s “paganism” entails a naturalism towards mores and sexuality. Unlike still traditionalists, ENR members have a relatively liberated attitude towards sexuality…ENR members have no desire to impose what they consider the patently unnatural moralism of Judeo-Christianity on sexual relations. However, while relatively more tolerant in principle, they still value strong family life, fecundity, and marriage or relations within one’s own ethnic group. (Their objection to intraethnic liaisons would be that the mixture of ethnic groups diminishes a sense of identity. In a world where every marriage was mixed, cultural identity would disappear). They also criticize Anglo-American moralism and its apparent hypocrisy: ” . . . In this, they are closer to a worldly Europe than to a puritanical America obsessed with violence. According to the ENR: “Our ancestral Indo-European culture . . . seems to have enjoyed a healthy natural attitude to processes and parts of the body concerned with the bringing forth of new life, the celebration of pair-bonding love, and the perpetuation of the race.”

In its desire to create a balanced psychology of sexual relations, the ENR seeks to overcome the liabilities of conventional conservative thought: the perception of conservatives as joyless prudes, and the seemingly ridiculous psychology implied in conventional Christianity. It seeks to address “flesh-and-blood men and women,” not saints. Since some of the Left’s greatest gains in the last few decades have been made as a result of their championing sexual freedom and liberation, the ENR seeks to offer its own counter-ethic of sexual joy. The hope is presumably to nourish persons of the type who can, in Nietzsche’s phrase, “make love alter reading Hegel.” This is also related to the desire for the reconciliation of the intellectual and warrior in one person: the reconciliation of vita contemplative and vita activa.1

It is therefore the task of contemporary proponents of the values of conservative revolution to create a body of sexual ethics that offers a genuine third position beyond that of mindless liberal hedonism or the equally mindless sex-phobia of the Christian puritans. In working to cultivate such an alternative sexual ethos, the thought of Julius Evola regarding sexuality will be quite informative.

The Evolan Worldview

Julius Evola published his Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex in 1958.2This work contains a comprehensive discussion of Evola’s views of sexuality and the role of sexuality in his wider philosophical outlook. In the book, Evola provides a much greater overview of his own philosophy of sex, a philosophy which he had only alluded to in prior works such as The Yoga of Power (1949)3 and, of course, his magnum opus Revolt Against the Modern World (1934)4. Evola’s view of sexuality was very much in keeping with his wider view of history and civilization. Evola’s philosophy, which he termed merely as “Tradition,” was essentially a religion of Evola’s own making. Evola’s Tradition was a syncretic amalgam of various occult and metaphysical influences derived from ancient myths and esoteric writings. Foremost among these were the collection of myths found in various Greek and Hindu traditions having to do with a view of human civilization and culture as manifestation of a process of decline from a primordial “Golden Age.”

It is interesting to note that Evola rejected modern views of evolutionary biology such as Darwinian natural selection. Indeed, his views on the origins of mankind overlapped with those of Vedic creationists within the Hindu tradition. This particular reflection of the Vedic tradition postulates the concept of “devolution” which, at the risk of oversimplification, might be characterized as a spiritualistic inversion of modern notions of evolution. Mankind is regarded as having devolved into its present physical form from primordial spiritual beings, a view that is still maintained by some Hindu creationists in the contemporary world.5 Comparable beliefs were widespread in ancient mythology. Hindu tradition postulates four “yugas” with each successive yuga marking a period of degeneration from the era of the previous yuga. The last of these, the so-called “Kali Yuga,” represents an Age of Darkness that Evola appropriated as a metaphor for the modern world. This element of Hindu tradition parallels the mythical Golden Age of the Greeks, where the goddess of justice, Astraea, the daughter of Zeus and Themis, lived among mankind in an idyllic era of human virtue. The similarities of these myths to the legend of the Garden of Eden in the Abrahamic traditions where human beings lived in paradise prior the Fall are also obvious enough.

It would be easy enough for the twenty-first century mind to dismiss Evola’s thought in this regard as a mere pretentious appeal to irrationality, mysticism, superstition or obscurantism. Yet to do so would be to ignore the way in which Evola’s worldview represents a near-perfect spiritual metaphor for the essence of the thought of the man who was arguably the most radical and far-sighted thinker of modernity: Friedrich Nietzsche. Indeed, it is not implausible to interpret Evola’s work as an effort to place the Nietzschean worldview within a wider cultural-historical and metaphysical framework that seeks to provide a kind of reconciliation with the essential features of the world’s great religious traditions which have their roots in the early beginnings of human consciousness. Nietzsche, himself a radical materialist, likewise regarded the history of Western civilization as involving a process of degeneration from the high point of the pre-Socratic era. Both Nietzsche and Evola regarded modernity as the lowest yet achieved form of degenerative decadence with regards to expressions of human culture and civilization. The Nietzschean hope for the emergence of anubermenschen that has overcome the crisis of nihilism inspired by modern civilization and the Evolan hope for a revival of primordial Tradition as an antidote to the perceived darkness of the current age each represent quite similar impulses within human thought.

The Metaphysics of Sex

a30655.jpgIn keeping with his contemptuous view of modernity, Evola regarded modern sexual mores and forms of expression as degenerate. Just as Evola rejected modern evolutionary biology, so did he also oppose twentieth century approaches to the understanding of sexuality of the kind found in such fields as sociobiology, psychology, and the newly emergent discipline of sexology. Interestingly, Evola did not view the reproductive instinct in mankind to be the principal force driving sexuality and he criticized these academic disciplines for their efforts to interpret sexuality in terms of reproductive drives, regarding these efforts as a reflection of the materialistic reductionism which he so bitterly opposed. Evola’s use of the term “metaphysics” with regards to sexuality represents in part his efforts to differentiate what he considered to be the “first principles” of human sexuality from the merely biological instinct for the reproduction of the species, which he regarded as being among the basest and least meaningful aspects of sex. It is also interesting to note at this point that Evola himself never married or had children of his own. Nor is it known to what degree his own paralysis generated by injuries sustained during World War Two as a result of a 1945 Soviet bombing raid on Vienna affected his own reproductive capabilities or his views of sexuality.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of Evola’s analysis of sex is his rejection of not only the reproductive instinct but also of love as the most profound dimension of sexuality. Evola’s thought on this matter is sharp departure from the dominant forces in traditional Western thought with regards to sexual ethics. Plato postulated a kind of love that transcends the sexual and rises above it, thereby remaining non-sexual in nature. The Christian tradition subjects the sexual impulse and act to a form of sacralization by which the process of creating life becomes a manifestation of the divine order. Hence, the traditional Christian taboos against non-procreative sexual acts. Modern humanism of a secular-liberal nature elevates romantic love to the highest form of sexual expression. Hence, the otherwise inexplicable phenomena of the modern liberal embrace of non-procreative, non-marital or even homosexual forms of sexual expression, while maintaining something of a taboo against forms of non-romantic sexual expression such as prostitution or forms of sexuality and sexual expression regarded as incompatible with the egalitarian ethos of liberalism, such as polygamy or “sexist” pornography.

Evola’s own thought regarding sexuality diverges sharply from that of the Platonic ideal, the Christians, and the moderns alike. For Evola, sexuality has as its first purpose the achievement of unity in two distinctive ways. The first of these is the unity of the male and female dichotomy that defines the sexual division of the human species. Drawing once again on primordial traditions, Evola turns to the classical Greek myth of Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite who was believed to be a manifestation of both genders and who was depicted in the art of antiquity as having a male penis with female breasts in the same manner as the modern “she-male.” The writings of Ovid depict Hermaphroditus as a beautiful young boy who was seduced by the nymph Salmacis and subsequently transformed into a male/female hybrid as a result of the union. The depiction of this story in the work of Theophrastus indicates that Hermaphroditus symbolized the marital union of a man and woman.

The concept of unity figures prominently in the Evolan view of sexuality on another level. Just as the sexual act is an attempt at reunification of the male and female division of the species, so is sexuality also an attempt to reunite the physical element of the human being with the spiritual. Again, Evola departs from the Platonic, Christian, and modern views of sexuality. The classical and the modern overemphasize such characteristics as romantic love or aesthetic beauty in Evola’s view, while the Christian sacralization of sexuality relegates the physical aspect to the level of the profane. However, Evola does not reject the notion of a profane dimension to sexuality. Instead, Evola distinguishes the profane from the transcendent. Profane expressions of sexuality are those of a non-transcendent nature. These can include both the hedonic pursuit of sexual pleasure as an end unto itself, but it also includes sexual acts with romantic love as their end.

Indeed, Evola’s analysis of sexuality would be shockingly offensive to the sensibilities of traditionalists within the Abrahamic cults and those of modern liberal humanists alike. Evola is as forthright as any of the modern left-wing sexologists of his mid-twentieth century era (for instance, Alfred Kinseyor Wilhelm Reich7) in the frankness of his discussion of the many dimensions of human sexuality, including sexual conduct of the most fringe nature. Some on the contemporary “far Right” of nationalist politics have attempted to portray Evola’s view of homosexuality as the equivalent of that of a conventional Christian “homophobe.” Yet a full viewing of Evola’s writing on the homosexual questions does not lend itself to such an interpretation. The following passage fromThe Metaphysics of Sex is instructive on this issue:

In natural homosexuality or in the predisposition to it, the most straightforward explanation is provided by what we said earlier about the differing levels of sexual development and about the fact that the process of sexual development in its physical and, even more so, in its psychic aspects can be incomplete. In that way, the original bisexual nature is surpassed to a lesser extent than in a “normal” human being, the characteristics of one sex not being predominant over those of the other sex to the same extent. Next we must deal with what M. Hirschfeld called the “intermediate sexual forms”. In cases of this kind (for instance, when a person who is nominally a man is only 60 percent male) it is impossible that the erotic attraction based on the polarity of the sexes in heterosexuality – which is much stronger the more the man is male and the woman is female – can also be born between individuals who, according to the birth registry and as regards only the so-called primary sexual characteristics, belong to the same sex, because in actual fact they are “intermediate forms”. In the case of pederasts, Ulrich said rightly that it is possible to find “the soul of a woman born in the body of a man”.

But it is necessary to take into account the possibility of constitutional mutations, a possibility that has been given little consideration by sexologists; that is, we must also bear in mind cases of regression. It may be that the governing power on which the sexual nature of a given individual depends (a nature that is truly male or truly female) may grow weak through neutralization, atrophy, or reduction of the latent state of the characteristics of the other sex, and this may lead to the activation and emergence of these recessive characteristics. And here the surroundings and the general atmosphere of society can play a not unimportant part. In a civilization where equality is the standard, where differences are not linked, where promiscuity is a favor, where the ancient idea of “being true to oneself” means nothing anymore – in such a splintered and materialistic society, it is clear that this phenomenon of regression and homosexuality should be particularly welcome, and therefore it is in no way a surprise to see the alarming increase in homosexuality and the “third sex” in the latest “democratic” period, or an increase in sex changes to an extent unparalleled in other eras.8

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In his recognition of the possibility of “the soul of a woman born in the body of man” or “intermediate” sexual forms, Evola’s language and analysis somewhat resembles the contemporary cultural Left’s fascination with the “transgendered” or the “intersexed.” Where Evola’s thought is to be most sharply differentiated from that of modern leftists is not on the matter of sex-phobia, but on the question of sexual egalitarianism. Unlike the Christian puritans who regard deviants from the heterosexual, procreative sexual paradigm as criminals against the natural order, Evola apparently understood the existence of such “sexual identities” as a naturally occurring phenomenon. Unlike modern liberals, Evola opposed the elevation of such sexual identities or practices to the level of equivalence with “normal” procreative and kinship related forms of sexual expression and relationship. On the contemporary question of same-sex marriage, for example, Evolan thought recognizes that the purpose of marriage is not individual gratification, but the construction of an institution for the reproduction of the species and the proliferation and rearing of offspring. An implication of Evola’s thought on these questions for conservative revolutionaries in the twenty-first century is that the populations conventionally labeled as sexual deviants by societies where the Abrahamic cults shape the wider cultural paradigm need not be shunned, despised, feared, or subject to persecution. Homosexuals, for instance, have clearly made important contributions to Western civilization. However, the liberal project of elevating either romantic love or hedonic gratification as the highest end of sexuality, and of equalizing “normal” and “deviant” forms of sexual expression, must likewise be rejected if relationships between family, tribe, community, and nation are to be understood as the essence of civilization.

The nature of Evola’s opposition to modern pornography and the relationship of this opposition to his wider thought regarding sexuality is perhaps the most instructive with regards to the differentiation to be made between Evola’s outlook and that of Christian moralists. Evola’s opposition to pornography was not its explicit nature or its deviation from procreative, marital expressions of sexuality as the idealized norm. Indeed, Evola highly regarded sexual practices of a ritualized nature, including orgiastic religious rites of the kind found in certain forms of paganism, to be among the most idyllic forms of sexual expression of the highest, spiritualized variety. Christian puritans of the present era might well find Evola’s views on these matters to be even more appalling than those of ordinary contemporary liberals. Evola also considered ritualistic or ascetic celibacy to be such an idyllic form. The basis of Evola’s objection to pornography was its baseness, it commercial nature, and its hedonic ends, all of which Evola regarding as diminishing its erotic nature to the lowest possible level. Evola would no doubt regard the commercialized hyper-sexuality that dominates the mass media and popular culture of the Western world of the twenty-first century as a symptom rather than as a cause of the decadence of modernity.

Originally published in Thoughts & Perspectives: Evola, a compilation of essays on Julius Evola, published by ARKTOS.

Notes:

Wegierski, Mark. The New Right in Europe. TelosWinter93/Spring94, Issue 98-99.

2 Evola, Julius. Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex. English translation. New York: Inner Traditions, 1983. Originally published in Italy by Edizioni Meditterranee, 1969.

Evola, Julius. The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way. English translation by Guido Stucci. New York: Inner Traditions, 1992. Originally published in 1949.

4 Evola, Julius. Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga. English translation by Guido Stucco. New York: Inner Traditions, 1995. From the 1969 edition. Originally published in Milan by Hoepli in 1934.

5 Cremo, Michael A. Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. Torchlight Publishing, 2003.

6 Pomeroy, Wardell. Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

7 Sharaf, Myron. Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich. Da Capo Press, 1994.

Evola, Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, pp. 62-63.

Bibliography:

Cremo, Michael A. Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. Torchlight Publishing, 2003.

Evola, Julius. Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex. English translation. New York: Inner Traditions, 1983. Originally published in Italy by Edizioni Meditterranee, 1969.

Evola, Julius. Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga. English translation by Guido Stucco. New York: Inner Traditions, 1995. From the 1969 edition. Originally published in Milan by Hoepli in 1934.

Evola, Julius. The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way. English translation by Guido Stucci. New York: Inner Traditions, 1992. Originally published in 1949.

Pomeroy, Wardell. Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

Sharaf, Myron. Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich. Da Capo Press, 1994.

Wegierski, Mark. The New Right in Europe. TelosWinter93/Spring94, Issue 98-99.

lundi, 24 septembre 2012

Mercury Rising: The Life and Writings of Julius Evola

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Mercury Rising: The Life and Writings of Julius Evola

 

by Gwendolyn Toynton

Ex: http://openrevolt.info/

If the industrious man, through taking action,

Does not succeed, he should not be blamed for that –

He still perceives the truth.

The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahābhārata (2,16)

 

If we could select a single aspect by which to define Julius Evola, it would have been his desire to transcend the ordinary and the world of the profane. It was characterized by a thirst for the Absolute, which the Germans call mehr als leben – “more than living”. This idea of transcending worldly existence colours not only his ideas and philosophy, it is also evident throughout his life which reads like a litany of successes. During the earlier years Evola excelled at whatever he chose to apply himself to: his talents were evident in the field of literature, for which he would be best remembered, and also in the arts and occult circles.

 

Born in Rome on the 19th of May in 1898, Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola was the son of an aristocratic Sicilian family, and like many children born in Sicily, he had received a stringent Catholic upbringing. As he recalled in his intellectual autobiography, Il cammino del cinabro [1963, 1972, The Cinnabar’s Journey], his favourite pastimes consisted of painting, one of his natural talents, and of visiting the library as often as he could in order to read works by Oscar Wilde, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Otto Weininger.[1] During his youth he also studied engineering, receiving excellent grades but chose to discontinue his studies prior to the completion of his doctorate, because he “did not wish to be bourgeois, like his fellow students.” At the age of nineteen Evola joined the army and participated in World War I as a mountain artillery officer. This experience would serve as an inspiration for his use of mountains as metaphors for solitude and ascension above the chthonic forces of the earth. Evola was also a friend of Mircea Eliade, who kept in correspondence with Evola from 1927 until his death. He was also an associate of the Tibetologist Giuseppe Tucci and the Tantric scholar Sir John Woodroofe (Arthur Avalon).

During his younger years Evola was briefly involved in art circles, and despite this being only a short lived affair, it was also a time that brought him great rewards. Though he would later denounce Dada as a decadent form of art it was within the field of modern art that Evola first made his name, taking a particular interest in Marinetti and Futurism. His oil painting, Inner Landscape, 10:30 a.m., is hanging today on a wall of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome.[2] He also composed Arte Astratta (Abstract Art) but later, after experiencing a personal crisis, turned to the study of Nietzsche, from which sprang his Teoria dell, individuo assoluto (Theory of the Absolute Individual) in 1925. By 1921 Evola had abandoned the pursuit of art as the means to place his unique mark on the world. The revolutionary attitudes of Marinetti, the Futurist movement and the so-called avant-garde which had once fascinated him, no longer appeared worthwhile to Evola with their juvenile emphasis on shocking the bourgeoisie. Likewise, despite being a talented poet, Evola (much like another of his inspirations – Arthur Rimbaud) abandoned poetry at the age of twenty four. Evola did not write another poem nor paint another picture for over forty years. Thus, being no longer enamored of the arts, Evola chose instead to pursue another field entirely that he would one day award him even greater acclaim.

To this day, the magical workings of the Ur Group and its successor Krur remain as some the most sophisticated techniques for the practice of esoteric knowledge laid down in the modern Western era. Based on a variety of primary sources, ranging from Hermetic texts to advanced Yogic techniques, Evola occupied a prominent role in both of these groups. He wrote a number of articles for Ur and edited many of the others. These articles were collected in the book Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, which alongside Evola’s articles, are included the works of Arturo Reghini, Giulio Parese, Ercole Quadrelli and Gustave Meyrink. The original title of this work in Italian, Introduzione alla Magia quale scienza dell’lo, literally translates as Introduction to Magic as a Science of the “I”.[3] In this sense, the ‘I’ is best interpreted as the ego, or the manipulation of the will – an idea which is also the found in the work of that other famous magician, Aleister Crowley and his notion of Thelema. The original format of Ur was as a monthly publication, of which the first issue was printed in January 1927.[4]

Contributors to this publication included Count Giovanni di Caesaro, a Steinerian, Emilio Servadio, a distinguished psychoanalyst, and Guido de Giorgio, a well-known adherent of Rudolph Steiner and an author of works on the Hermetic tradition. It was during this period, that he was introduced to Arturo Reghini, whose ideas would leave a lasting impression on Evola. Arturo Reghini (1878-1946), was interested in speculative Masonry and the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, introduced Evola to Guénon’s writings and invited him to join the Ur group. Ur and its successor, Krur, gathered together a number of people interested in Guénon’s exposition of the Hermetic tradition and in Vedanta, Taoism, Buddhism, Tantra, and magic.

Arturo Reghini was to be a major influence on Evola, and himself was a representative of the so-called Italian School (Scuola Italica), a secret order which claimed to have survived the downfall of the Roman Empire, to have re-emerged with Emperor Frederic II, and to have inspired the Florentine poets of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, up to Petrarch. Like Evola, Reghini had also written articles, one of which was entitled Pagan Imperialism. This appeared in Salamandra in 1914, and in it Reghini summed up his anti-Catholic program for a return to a glorious pagan past. This piece had a profound impact on Evola, and it served as the inspiration for his similarly titled Imperialismo pagano. Imperialismo pagano, chronicling the negative effects of Christianity on the world, appeared in 1928. In the context of this work, Evola is the advocate of an anti-Roman Catholic pagan imperialism. According to Evola, Christianity had destroyed the imperial universality of the Roman Empire by insisting on the separation of the secular and the spiritual. It is from this separation that arose the inherent decadence and inward decay of the modern era. Out of Christianity’s implacable opposition to the healthy paganism of the Mediterranean world arose the secularism, democracy, materialism, scientism, socialism, and the “subtle Bolshevism” that heralded the final age of the current cosmic cycle: the age of “obscurity” the Kali-Yuga.[5] Imperialismo pagano was to be later revised in a German edition as Heidnischer Imperialismus. The changes that occurred in the text of Evola’s Imperialismo pagano in its translation as Heidnischer Imperialismus five years later were not entirely inconsequential. Although the fundamental concepts that comprised the substance of Evola’s thought remained similar, a number of critical elements were altered that would transform a central point in Evola’s thinking. The “Mediterranean tradition” of the earlier text is consistently replaced with the “Nordic-solar tradition” in this translation.[6] In 1930 Evola founded his own periodical, La Torre (The Tower). La Torre, the heir to Krur, differed from the two earlier publications Ur and Krur in the following way, as was announced in an editorial insert:

Our Activity in 1930 – To the Readers: “Krur is transforming. Having fulfilled the tasks relative to the technical mastery of esotericism we proposed for ourselves three years ago, we have accepted the invitation to transfer our action to a vaster, more visible, more immediate field: the very plane of Western ‘culture’ and the problems that, in this moment of crisis, afflict both individual and mass consciousness [..] for all these reasons Krur will be changed to the title La Torre [The Tower], ‘a work of diverse expressions and one Tradition.’”[7]

La Torre was attacked by official fascist bodies such as L’Impero and Anti-Europa, and publication of La Torre ceased after only ten issues. Evola also contributed an article entitled Fascism as Will to Imperium and Christianity to the review Critica Fascista, edited by Evola’s old friend Giuseppi Bottai. Here again he launches vociferous opposition to Christianity and attests to its negative effects, evident in the rise of a pious, hypocritical, and greedy middle class lacking in all superior solar virtues that Evola attributed to ancient Rome. The article did not pass unnoticed and was vigorously attacked in many Italian periodicals. It was also the subject of a long article in the prestigious Revue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes (Partie Occultiste) for April 1928, under the title “Un Sataniste Italien: Jules Evola.”

 

Coupled with notoriety of Evola’s La Torre, was also another, more bizarre incident involving the Ur Groups reputation, and their attempts to form a “magical chain”. Although these attempts to exert supernatural influence on others were soon abandoned, a rumour quickly developed that the group had wished to kill Mussolini by these means. Evola describes this event in his autobiography Il Cammino del Cinabro.

 

Someone reported this argument [that the death of a head of state might be brought about by magic] and some yarn about our already dissolved “chain of Ur” may also have been added, all of which led the Duce to think that there was a plot to use magic against him. But when he heard the true facts of the matter, Mussolini ceased all action against us. In reality Mussolini was very open to suggestion and also somewhat superstitious (the reaction of a mentality fundamentally incapable of true spirituality). For example, he had a genuine fear of fortune-tellers and any mention of them was forbidden in his presence.

 

It was also during this period that Evola also discovered something which was to become a profound influence on many his ideas: the lost science of Hermeticism. Though he undoubtedly came into contact with this branch of mysticism through Reghini and fellow members of Ur, it seems that Evola’s extraordinary knowledge of Hermeticism actually arose from another source. Jacopo da Coreglia writes that it was a priest, Father Francesco Olivia, who had made the most far-reaching progress in Hermetic science and sensing a prodigious student –granted Evola access to documents that were usually strictly reserved for adepts of the narrow circle. These were concerned primarily with the teachings of the Fraternity of Myriam (Fratellanza Terapeutica Magica di Myriam), founded by Doctor Giuliano Kremmerz, pseudonym of Ciro Formisano, 1861-1930). Evola mentions in The Hermetic Tradition that the Myriam’s “Pamphlet D” laid the groundwork for his understanding of the four elements.[8] Evola’s knowledge of Hermeticism and the alchemical arts was not limited to Western sources either, for he also knew an Indian alchemist by the name of C.S. Narayana Swami Aiyar of Chingleput[9].  During this era of history, Indian alchemy was almost completely unknown to the Western world, and it is only in modern times that it has been studied in relation to the occidental texts.

In 1926 Evola published an article in Ultra (the newspaper of the Theosophical Lodge in Rome) on the cult of Mithras in which he placed major emphasis on the similarities of these mysteries with Hermeticism.[10] During this period he also wrote saggi sull’idealismo magico [1925; Essays on Magic Idealism], and L’individuo ed il divenire del mondo [1926; The Individual and the Becoming of the World], this article was to be followed by the publication of his treatise on alchemy, La Tradizione ermetica (The Hermetic Tradition). Such was the scope and depth of this work that Karl Jung even quoted Evola to support his own contention that “the alchemical opus deals in the main not just with chemical experiments as such, but also with something resembling psychic processes expressed in pseudo-chemical language.”[11] Unfortunately, the support expressed by Jung was not mutual, for Evola did not accept Jung’s hypothesis that alchemy was merely a psychic process.

Taking issue with René Guénon’s (1886-1951) view that spiritual authority ranks higher than royal power, Evola wrote L’uomo come potenza [Man as power]; in the third revised edition (1949), the title was changed to Lo yoga della potenza [The yoga of power].[12]This was Evola’s treatise of Hindu Tantra, for which he consulted primary sources on Kaula Tantra, which at the time were largely unknown in the Western world. Decio Calvari, president of the Italian Independent Theosophical League, introduced Evola to the study of Tantrism.[13]Evola was also granted access to authentic Tantric texts directly from the Kaula school of Tantrism via his association with Sir John Woodroofe, who was not only a respected scholar, but was also a Tantric practitioner himself, under the famous pseudonym of Arthur Avalon. A substantial proportion of The Yoga of Power is derived from Sir John Woodroofe’s personal notes on Kaula Tantrism. Even today Woodroofe is regarded as a leading pioneer in the early research of Tantrism.

Evola’s opinion that the royal or Ksatriya path in Tantrism outranks that of the Brahmanic or priestly path, is readily supported by the Tantric texts themselves, in which the Vira or active mode of practice is exalted above that of the priestly mode in Kaula Tantrism. In this regard, the heroic or solar path of Tantrism represented to Evola, a system based not on theory, but on practice – an active path appropriate to be taught in the degenerate epoch of the Hindu Kali Yuga or Dark Age, in which purely intellectual or contemplative paths to divinity have suffered a great decrease in their effectiveness.

In the words of Evola himself:

“During the last years of the 1930s I devoted myself to working on two of my most important books on Eastern wisdom: I completely revised L’uomo come potenza [Man As Power], which was given a new title, Lo yoga della potenza [The Yoga of Power], and wrote a systematic work concerning primitive Buddhism entitled La dottrina del risveglio [The Doctrine of Awakening].”[14]

Evola’s work on the early history of Buddhism was published in 1943. The central theme of this work is not the common view of Buddhism, as a path of spiritual renunciation –instead it focuses on the Buddha’s role as a Ksatriya ascetic, for it was to this caste that he belonged, as is found in early Buddhist records.

The historical Siddharta was a prince of the Śakya, a kṣatriya (belonging to the warrior caste), an “ascetic fighter” who opened a path by himself with his own strength. Thus Evola emphasizes the “aristocratic” character of primitive Buddhism, which he defines as having the “presence in it of a virile and warrior strength (the lion’s roar is a designation of Buddha’s proclamation) that is applied to a nonmaterial and atemporal plane…since it transcends such a plane, leaving it behind.”[15]

The book considered by many to be Evola’s masterpiece, Revolt Against the Modern World was published in 1934, and was influenced by Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West (1918) and René Guénon’s The Crisis of the Modern World (1927), both of which had been previously translated into Italian by Evola. Spengler’s contribution in this regard was the plurality of civilizations, which then fell into patterns of birth, growth and decline. This was combined with Guénon’s ideas on the “Dark Age” or Hindu Kali Yuga, which similarly portrays a bleak image of civilizations in decline. The work also draws upon the writings of Bachofen in regards to the construction of a mythological grounding for the history of civilizations. The original version of Julius Evola’s The Mystery of the Grail formed an appendix to the first edition of Rivolta contra il mondo moderno, and as such is closely related to this work.[16] Three years later he reworked that appendix into the present book, which first appeared as part of a series of  religious and esoteric studies published by the renowned Laterza Publishers in Italy, whose list included works by Sigmund Freud, Richard Wilhelm, and C. G. Jung, among others. In this book Evola writes three main premises concerning the Grail myths: That the Grail is not a Christian Mystery, but a Hyperborean one, that it is a mystery tradition, and that it deals with a restoration of sacred regality. Evola describes his work on the Grail in the epilogue to the first edition (1937).

To live and understand the symbol of the Grail in its purity would mean today the awakening of powers that could supply a transcendental point of reference for it, an awakening that could show itself tomorrow, after a great crisis, in the form of an “epoch that goes beyond nations.” It would also mean the release of the so-called world revolution from the false myths that poison it and that make possible its subjugation through dark, collectivistic, and irrational powers. In addition, it would mean understanding the way to a true unity that would be genuinely capable of going beyond not only the materialistic – we could say Luciferian and Titanic – forms of power and control but also the lunar forms of the remnants of religious humility and the current neospiritualistic dissipation.[17]

Another of Evola’s books, Eros and the Mysteries of Love, could almost be seen as a continuation of his experimentation with Tantrism. Indeed, the book does not deal with the erotic principle in the normal of sense of the word, but rather approaches the topic as a highly conceptualized interplay of polarities, adopted from the Traditional use of erotic elements in eastern and western mysticism and philosophy. Thus what is described here is the path to sacred sexuality, and the use of the erotic principle to transcend the normal limitations of consciousness. Evola describes his book in the following passage.

But in this study, metaphysics will also have a second meaning, one that is not unrelated to the world’s origin since “metaphysics” literally means the science of that which goes beyond the physical. In our research, this “beyond the physical” will not cover abstract concepts or philosophical ideas, but rather that which may evolve from an experience that is not merely physical, but transpsychological and transphysiological. We shall achieve this through the doctrine of the manifold states of being and through an anthropology that is not restricted to the simple soul-body dichotomy, but is aware of “subtle” and even transcendental modalities of human consciousness. Although foreign to contemporary thought, knowledge of this kind formed an integral part of ancient learning and of the traditions of varied peoples.[18]

Another of Evola’s major works is Meditations Among the Peaks, wherein mountaineering is equated to ascension. This idea is found frequently in a number of Traditions, where mountains are often revered as an intermediary between the forces of heaven and earth. Evola was an accomplished mountaineer and completed some difficult climbs such as the north wall of the Eastern Lyskam in 1927. He also requested in his will that after his death the urn containing his ashes be deposited in a glacial crevasse on Mount Rosa.

Evola’s main political work was Men Among the Ruins. This was to be the ninth of Evola’s books to published in English. Written at the same time as Men Among the Ruins, Evola composed Ride the Tiger which is complementary to this work, even though it was not published until 1961.These books belong together and cannot really be judged seperately. Men among the Ruins shows the universal standpoint of ideal politics; Riding the Tiger deals with the practical “existential” perspective for the individual who wants to preserve his “hegomonikon” or inner sovereignty.[19]  Ride the Tiger is essentially a philosophical set of guidelines entwining various strands of his earlier thought into a single work. Underlying the more obvious sources which Evola cites within the text, such as Nietzsche, Sartre and Heidegger, there are also connections with Hindu thoughts on the collapse of civilization and the Kali Yuga. In many ways, this work is the culmination of Evola’s thought on the role of Tradition in the Age of Darkness – that the Traditional approach advocated in the East is to harness the power of the Kali Yuga, by ‘Riding the Tiger’ – which is also a popular Tantric saying. To this extent, it is not an approach of withdrawal from the modern world which Evola advocates, but instead achieving a mastery of the forces of darkness and materialism inherent in the Kali Yuga. Similarly, his attitude to politics alters here from that expressed in Men Among the Ruins, calling instead for a type of individual that is apoliteia.

[..] this type can only feel disinterested and detached from everything that is “politics” today. His principle will become apoliteia, as it was called in ancient times. [..] Apoliteia is the distance unassailable by this society and its “values”; it does not accept being bound by anything spiritual or moral[20]

In addition to the Evola’s main corpus of texts mentioned previously, he also published numerous other works such as The Way of the Samurai, The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries, Il Cammino del Cinabro, Taoism: The Magic, The Mysticism and The Bow and the Club. He also translated Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West, as well as the principle works of Bachofen, Guénon, Weininger and Gabriel Marcel.

In 1945 Evola was hit by a stray bomb and paralyzed from the waist downwards. He died on June 11, 1974 in Rome. He had asked to be led from his desk to the window from which one could see the Janiculum (the holy hill sacred to Janus, the two-faced god who gazes into this and the other world), to die in an upright position. After his death the body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in a glacier atop Mount Rosa, in accordance with his wishes.


[1] Julius Evola, The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1992) ix

[2]Ibid., x

[3] Julius Evola, Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2001) ix.

[4] Ibid., xvii

[5] A. James Gregor, Mussolini’s Intellectuals (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005), 198

[6]Ibid., 201

[7]Julius Evola, Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, xxi

[8] Julius Evola, The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols & Teachings of the Royal Art,  (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1992) ix

[9] Ibid., ix

[10] Ibid., viii

[11]Julius Evola, The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, xii

[12] Ibid., xiv

[13] Ibid., xiii

[14] Julius Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1996) xi

[15] Ibid., xv

[16] Julius Evola, The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1997)  vii

[17] Ibid., ix

[18] Julius Evola, Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1991), 2

[19]  Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2003) 89

[20] Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul , (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2003)174-175

Gwendolyn can be contacted at Primordial Traditions.  Please show support!

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dimanche, 23 septembre 2012

The Crisis of the West and the Decline of Culture

Gwendolyn Taunton :

The Crisis of the West and the Decline of Culture

Ex: http://www.primordialtraditions.net/

"Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit". - Nietzsche

Primordial Traditions BlogWe of the Western world are rapidly forgetting our own culture– for the majority of people the history ofEurope begins and ends with World War II. The phenomenon behind this rising knowledge void is a topic worthy of study itself, for it is not an isolated random incident, but rather a strategy born of ressentiment and revolt against the status quo of the past. The principle cause of the continuing decline of the Occident in world status is born from the fruit of rebellion and the impact of this attack on culture in Western countries will continue to grow until the core of the problem can be satisfactorily resolved.

In this regard the root cause is easily traced back to an earlier source, and I purpose that the current decline began not with a slow disintegration, but was rather born from an arrogance of excess, for all excess inevitably creates decadence - the interior degeneration which begins from within as any civilization begins to erode.

Prior to the advent of modernity, a classical education followed by a sojourn atOxfordorCambridgewas deemed to be the most prestigious educational route. We find here a remarkably different scholastic climate than that which is reflected in current academia; in this era we find education firmly under the rule of the aristocrat - the cultivated man, well versed in Latin, resplendent with knowledge in Classical Literature, and with all the hubris of a Classical Grecian Hero, for like all pride this was to result in a great downfall. This ‘ideal’ scholar of the era, did not indulge in practical form of study or work, for it was deemed ‘unseemly’ for a gentlemen of this standing to participate in work of such a nature. Education and refinement were held to be proof of their status over those who studied work of a more practical nature. They then chose to stigmatize those who worked and studied in these areas – namely the scientists. It was the aristocratic scholar whom excluded the ‘impure’ scientists to work and study in separate areas and separate institutions – regulating them into an enforced lower class of academia, devoid of any respect or recognition.  Prior to the 1900s, science was not deemed to be suitable for the proper education of a gentleman, and the subject faced a great struggle to gain any form of parity within the curriculum. And it is with this original persecution that the downfall of the humanities and culture begins, for all revolution is born of persecution, the master class was destined to be overthrown…and in turn excluded.

C.P. Snow initiated the backlash against the academic disciplines of arts and humanities by publishing his ‘The Two Cultures’  - a series of lectures which call for an outright revolt in academia against the humanities and arts disciplines. Snow had a deep antipathy towards ‘literary intellectuals’ partially based on his personal experiences. In his later works, Snow would even go so far as to refer to literary intellectuals as what he describes as “Natural Luddites”. What Snow heralds is the advancement of a “industrial-scientific revolution’ which he believes is polarized against the work of literary and cultural intellectuals. Gaining popularity and support quickly, this work came to be regarded as seminal literature of modernity – with disciples of Snow appearing in almost every corner of tertiary level academic institutions, the days of the classical scholar he so despised were abruptly becoming numbered.

Now the full consequences of this have come into effect - humanity, the qualities which make us truly human - are regressing. The height of social etiquette is Facebook, the pinnacle of drama - YouTube, and Twilight reigns supreme in literature. Fools use blogs as tools for slander an act like apes on the internet instead of cultivating honor and respect. We have become mindless uncultured automatons who  have no interest in self-betterment or anything noble. Spirituality has become a vessel for organizations to promote esoteric/religious secrets which have no content but are rather employed for unscrupulous authors to justify their sexual fetishes and every core of true faith has ripped screaming form the womb of the Goddess. 

Our highest form of art? A vomit of color on canvas - a moment of 'self expression', a release of emotion, but without the talent. Sculpture?A pile of spray painted socks in the corner of the room. Music? A single drum beat on repeat and a little boy crying 'Baby'. The degradation of the arts has cost us severely; we must now live in a world bereft of beauty. The degradation of the humanities in turn has created a generation of people whom lack the fundamental higher qualities which make them human - their highest aspirations are food, sex, and consumerism.

How do we rectify this, solve the riddle of a world where art and culture are being siphoned away? There is a simple solution - we continue to create. We draw our pens, our paintbrushes and our instruments and we weld them not as tools but as weapons. The pen is mightier than the sword and music charms even the most savage beast - in world where culture and the arts have been reduced to the lowest valued elements in society, we do the most rebellious thing possible.

We show them what we can do.   

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De la déesse de l’aurore

Thomas FERRIER:

De la déesse de l’aurore

Ex: http://thomasferrier.hautetfort.com/

 

Aurora.jpgEn ce 15 août, il me paraissait intéressant de consacrer un article à une déesse fondamentale au sein des mythologies indo-européennes, déité vierge uniquement lorsqu’elle adopte une dimension guerrière, à l’instar de Pallas Athênê en Grèce.

A l’origine, les divinités indo-européennes patronnent les éléments de la nature, et en particulier le ciel, la terre et les astres, mais aussi les phénomènes atmosphériques. Jean Haudry a notamment démontré que le système trifonctionnel indo-européen était appliqué aux cieux, ceux-ci se partageant entre le ciel de nuit, correspondant aux forces telluriques et infernales, le ciel de jour, correspondant à la lumière des divinités souveraines, et enfin le ciel intermédiaire, le *regwos (ou « érèbe »), ciel auroral et crépusculaire, lié à la couleur rouge, mais aussi ciel d’orage. Les trois couleurs sont donc le blanc de la souveraineté, le rouge de la guerre et le noir de la fonction de production. Dans ce schéma, le ciel nocturne, domaine du dieu *Werunos (« le vaste »), qui donnera Ouranos en grec et Varuna en sanskrit, peut être remplacé par la terre, domaine de la déesse *Dhghom (« Dêmêter »), épouse du dieu céleste *Dyeus (« Zeus ») et en ce sens surnommée *Diwona (« celle de Dyeus »), qu’on retrouve dans le nom de la divinité romaine Dea Dia, probablement aussi dans celui de Diane, et dans la grecque Dionè, mère d’Aphrodite, respectant ainsi ce code de couleurs.

Le ciel intermédiaire est patronné par deux divinités fondamentales des panthéons indo-européens, à savoir le dieu de l’orage, *Maworts (génitif *Mawrtos), et la déesse de l’aurore *Ausōs (génitif *Ausosos), l’un et l’autre formant réunis probablement à l’origine un couple divin, couple qui sous la forme de Mars et de Venus inspirera les artistes depuis Homère. *Ausōs portait plusieurs épiclèses importantes, *bherghenti (« celle qui est élevée ») et *Diwos *dhughater (« fille de Zeus »), mais était également liée à la racine *men-, relative à tout ce qui relève de l’intelligence.

La triple aurore grecque.

Le déesse grecque de l’aurore est Eôs, une déesse mineure du panthéon hellénique, qu’Homère qualifie d’ « aux doigts de rose », et pour laquelle peu de mythes sont associés, à savoir celui des amours d’Arès et d’Eôs d’une part et celui de Tithon d’autre part, amant troyen dont elle avait demandé à Zeus de lui accorder l’immortalité, mais en oubliant de lui faire accorder également la jeunesse éternelle, ce qui en fit de fait le premier zombie de la mythologie.

Si Eôs, déesse pourtant fondamentale des panthéons indo-européens, est si mineure, c’est en fait parce que son rôle a été repris par deux nouvelles divinités, qui étaient probablement à l’origine de simples épiclèses de l’Aurore, à savoir Athéna et Aphrodite. Même si leur étymologie est obscure, on peut émettre quelques hypothèses sérieuses. Athéna est formée de la racine *-nos/a qui désigne une divinité (exemple : Neptu-nus à Rome, Ðiro-na chez les Celtes) et de la base athê[- qui pourrait être liée à l’idée de hauteur. Athéna serait ainsi la déesse protectrice des citadelles, comme l’acropole d’Athènes. Elle incarne l’Aurore guerrière, casquée et armée. Quant à Aphrodite, son nom a été rapproché de celui de la déesse ouest-sémitique Ashtoreth (« Astarté »), déesse tout comme elle honorée à Chypre. S’il est probable que les deux déesses ont été associées dans l’esprit des chypriotes grecs, cela ne signifie pas pour autant qu’Aphrodite serait d’origine sémitique. En fait, son étymologie classique de « née de l’écume des mers » pourrait bien être la bonne, car on peut la comparer avec le nom de petites divinités féminines indiennes, les Apsaras, nymphes érotiques peuplant le Svarga (« paradis indien ») du dieu Indra dans la tradition védique, et elles aussi nées sorties des eaux. Elle incarne l’Aurore amoureuse, symbolisée par la rose.

Enfin, Athéna est la fille de la déesse de la sagesse, Mêtis (p.i.e *Men-tis) dont le nom rappelle très précisément celui de la déesse Minerve, son équivalente latine.

Cela nous amène à constater l’existence de trois déesses de l’aurore, celle du phénomène atmosphérique (Eôs), celle de la guerre défensive (Athêna) et celle du désir amoureux (Aphrodite), déesses par ailleurs toutes liées au dieu de la guerre Arês. Eôs et Aphrodite ont en effet été l’une et l’autre la maîtresse du dieu, alors qu’Athéna est présentée comme sa rivale sur les champs de bataille par Homère mais était souvent honorée aux côtés du dieu, comme dans le temple d’Arès à Athènes. En outre, même s’il existe par ailleurs un Zeus Areios, une version guerrière du dieu suprême, parmi toutes les déesses, seules Athéna et Aphrodite sont qualifiées d’Areia. Arês joue ici son rôle originel, celui de dieu de l’orage et de la guerre, même si, sous l’influence crétoise, les Grecs ont préféré conférer désormais à Zeus cette fonction de dieu foudroyant, qu’en revanche son homologue germano-scandinave Thor conservera.

Déesse de l’amour et de la guerre.

*Ausōs est donc une déesse plutôt complexe, liant deux aspects qui peuvent paraître contradictoires. Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas un phénomène propre aux divinités indo-européennes, puisque la déesse proto-sémitique *Ațtartu associait ces deux rôles, tout comme la déesse sumérienne Inanna, même si en revanche elle n’était pas aurorale. Par ailleurs, comme dans le cas grec, la déesse de l’aurore sous son nom propre a bien souvent perdu de sa superbe au profit de divinités nouvelles. Ce n’est toutefois pas le cas partout.

Dans le monde indo-iranien, la déesse Ushas (sanskrit) ou Ushah (vieux-perse) a conservé ses traits originels, même si elle partage désormais son rôle de déesse de l’amour avec la Venus indienne, la déesse Rati, « le Désir », mère du dieu de l’amour Kama comme Aphrodite est celle d’Erôs. Chez les Lituaniens, la déesse lituanienne Aushrinè reste au premier plan, alors que chez les Lettons, pour une raison inexpliquée, elle a changé de sexe et est devenu le dieu Auseklis et personnifie par ailleurs la planète Venus.

En revanche, chez les Romains, même si Aurora a conservé des éléments de culte plus solides, elle connaîtra une évolution parallèle à celle qu’elle a connue chez les Grecs. Si Aurora est Mater Matuta, « la déesse des matins », attestant de son rôle atmosphérique, elle n’est plus une déesse guerrière, son rôle étant repris par Minerve, et plus non plus déesse de l’amour, car Venus a pris le relai.

Dans le rôle de déesse aurorale guerrière, on trouve les Zoryas slaves (au nombre de trois), les Valkyries germano-scandinaves, toutes casquées et armées comme Athéna. Dans le rôle de déesse aurorale de l’amour, c’est en revanche Lada chez les Slaves et Freya chez les Germano-scandinaves. Cela explique pourquoi une partie des guerriers morts ne va pas au Valhalla pour rejoindre Odin mais au paradis de la déesse Freya, illustrant à l’état de vestige un rôle guerrier plus ancien. Freya, dont le nom signifie sans doute « chérie » (p.i.e *priya), est la Venus scandinave, alors qu’Ostara, déesse de l’aurore fêtée au moment de la Pâques germanique, est restreinte aux questions de fécondité de la nature.

La déesse albanaise Premtë, épouse du dieu de l’orage Perëndi, remplace Agim, « l’aurore », de même que la celte Epona, « celle du cheval », car une des représentations les plus anciennes est celle d’une Aurore cavalière. La Brighid celte, déesse vierge comme Athéna, et qui était appelée Brigantia par les Gaulois, patronnait les affaires guerrières, et apparaissait sous son aspect le plus cruel sous les traits de Morrigain.

Déesse de la planète Venus.

Indo-européens et Sémites ont, pour une raison mystérieuse, sans doute liée à la couleur de l’astre, associé l’Aurore et la planète Venus. En revanche, les Sumériens avaient lié la planète Venus à la déesse Inanna, aucune déesse spécifique de l’aurore n’apparaissant dans leur mythologie. Si les Akkadiens ont simplement remplacé Inanna par leur Ishtar, les peuples ouest-sémitiques ont en revanche associé l’astre à leur propre dieu de l’aurore, Shahar.

Une des particularités du dieu Shahar c’est d’avoir engendré deux frères jumeaux, qui sont Helel, dieu de l’étoile du matin, et Shalem, dieu de l’étoile du soir. On retrouve un phénomène comparable chez Aphrodite, Venus et le dieu letton Auseklis. Il est difficile de savoir si c’est un emprunt des Indo-Européens aux Sémites, ou bien des Sémites aux Indo-Européens, et à quelle époque. Chez les Arabes païens également, deux dieux jumeaux patronnent le matin et le soir, à savoir Aziz et Ruda.

Aphrodite est la mère de Phosphoros, également appelé Eosphoros, « porteur d’aurore », ce qui est significatif, et de son frère Hesperos. De la même façon, probablement par imitation de la déesse grecque, Venus est la mère de Lucifer et de Vesper, l’un et l’autre pouvant s’expliquer par le proto-indo-européen (*leuks-bher, « porteur de lumière » et *wesperos, « soir »). Enfin, les jumeaux divins de la mythologie lettone, fils du dieu du ciel Dievs, à savoir Usins (« Aurore ») et Martins (« Mars ») sont également associés au matin et au soir.

Si la planète Venus semble associée dès l’époque proto-indo-européenne à la déesse *Ausōs, l’introduction de deux fils patronnant le matin et le soir, un dieu du matin et un dieu du soir, semblent résulter d’une influence extérieure, sumérienne ou sémitique. Ainsi, chez les Celtes, les Germains, les Slaves par exemple, mais aussi en Inde et en Lituanie, on ne retrouve pas de « fils de l’aurore » patronnant le matin et le soir. Ce n’est le cas concrètement qu’en Grèce et à Rome, cette dernière ayant été en outre considérablement influencée par son aînée en Méditerranée. En outre, les jumeaux divins ne sont pas non plus « fils de l’Aurore », mais fils du dieu du ciel (Zeus en Grèce, Dievas en Lituanie, Dyaus en Inde), rôle repris à Rome par le dieu de la guerre (Romulus et Rémus sont fils de Mars et non de Jupiter).

Le mythe de la déesse-vierge guerrière.

On a pu constater que lorsqu’une déesse a remplacé l’Aurore dans son rôle guerrier, elle y a pris les traits d’une déesse virginale. C’est notamment le cas d’Athéna et de Minerve, comme si une sexualité accomplie était incompatible avec ce rôle plutôt masculin. Et c’est en raison d’une histoire d’amour que la valkyrie Brynhildr, amoureuse de Siegfried, connaîtra bien des tourments. Cette virginité est aussi l’apanage d’Artémis, déesse de la chasse et de la nature sauvage inviolée.

La déesse-vierge a été remplacée dans la mythologie européenne par la Vierge Marie, privée pourtant de tout rôle militaire. L’ « amazone » est devenue une sorcière, promise à la mort, et d’ailleurs Diane est considérée au moyen-âge comme la déesse par excellence du sabbat. La femme européenne pouvait apparaître comme une guerrière, ou en tout cas avait un rôle pour galvaniser les guerriers, même si elle ne participait pas directement au combat. Ce mythe se retrouve pleinement dans celui de Jeanne d’Arc, mais aussi dans les différentes incarnations patriotiques de la nation. Britannia est totalement calquée sur la Minerve romaine, et Germania ressemble à une valkyrie. La république française, incapable de rompre totalement avec le christianisme, a préféré une déesse-mère, Marianne, « petite Marie ». Elle a aussi choisi toutefois de se représenter en Cérès, déesse du blé, la fameuse semeuse, et non en divinité guerrière. On notera enfin que les Sans Culottes, et notamment Hébert, préféraient la déesse Raison, qui n’était autre que Minerve elle-même.

Venus sans Mars, Mars sans Venus.

De l’Athêna Potnia mycénienne à la déesse Raison, on retrouve une filiation que le christianisme même n’a pas réussi à rompre. Et face au puritanisme, la déesse Aphrodite a vaincu elle aussi. C’est dire si la déesse de l’aurore, en tant qu’Athéna comme en tant qu’Aphrodite, a joué et joue un rôle fondamental dans la psychê européenne. C’est elle qui raisonne Mars lorsqu’il est courroucé et l’occupe aux jeux de l’amour, délaissant alors le champ de bataille. Si Rome connut douze siècles de puissance, c’est parce qu’elle était la cité de Mars et de Venus, l’un et l’autre s’équilibrant, comme le souligna le poète Rutilius Namatianus. Et lorsque le politologue américain Robert Kagan définit l’Europe comme le continent de Venus, il nous rappelle que la puissance résulte de l’union des deux divinités, mais le dieu Mars est mal vu depuis un peu plus d’un demi-siècle en Europe. Lorsque Mars triompha, Venus était encore prisonnière des geôles vaticanes. Lorsque Venus triomphe, aujourd’hui, c’est Mars qui est sous les chaînes. Le déchaîner sauvera l’Europe. Car il n’y a pas de paix sans conflit (Venus sans Mars), et pas de science sans puissance (Minerve sans Mars).

Thomas Ferrier (LBTF/PSUNE)

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jeudi, 26 juillet 2012

The Homeric Gods

The Homeric Gods

By Mark Dyal 

Ex. http://www.counter-currents.com

[1]

Athena

Walter F. Otto
The Homeric Gods: The Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion [2]
Translated by Moses Hadas
North Stratford, N.H.: Ayer Company Publishers, 2001

“My goal is to create total enmity between our current ‘culture’ and Antiquity. Whoever wants to serve the former must hate the latter.”—Friedrich Nietzsche[1]

“Every religion and every worldview is entitled to be judged not by the levels where it is flattened, coarsened, and, for want of character, is like any other, but by the clear and large contours of its heights. It is only there that it is what it truly is and what others are not.”—Walter F. Otto[2]

Along with Homer, Nietzsche, Evola, and Schmitt, a name with which every New Right thinker should be familiar is Walter F. Otto. Otto (1874–1958) was a German philologist who held positions in Switzerland and Germany, becoming one of National Socialist Germany’s leading scholars of the Classical world. From 1933 to 1945 he was a member, and administrator, of the Scientific Committee of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar—at the time a sacred site amongst the Nazi “Nietzsche cult.”

Besides writing few books that have been translated in multiple languages, Otto and his blend of Nietzschean and Homeric political philosophy, helped lay the foundation for the contemporary manifestation of the Counter-Enlightenment, which we call the New Right. Indeed, Otto was part of the political evolution of many European New Right thinkers—Guillaume Faye, Alain de Benoist, and Pierre Krebs, to name but three; yet he remains virtually unknown in America, even among scholars.

In Europe, though, the Classical inheritance is lived and understood differently than in America. As Krebs explains, the vitalist natural spirit of the Homeric/Greek religion has stood in continual opposition to Asiatic/Judaic metaphysics since the dawn of the Homeric Age, some 3000 years ago.[3] In America, what we stood to inherit from the Greeks has been, at worst, perverted by Judeo-Christianity’s war on European nobility, and at best, subsumed within the multicultural system of racial and cultural commodity fetishism.

In other words, the Classical world matters to Europeans because they still live in the geographical and geopolitical world of the Greeks and Romans; while in America, bored bourgeois consumers think about Greece and Rome only when Hollywood promotes some democratic and ethically Christian version of a formerly noble tale of heroism and glory.

[3]Thus, it is to the North American New Right’s credit that the Classics and pre-Christian paganism is discussed at all. But even as we occasionally discuss them, they still seem foreign to the essential discourse of creating and being a new American Right. While there are Nazis, Norse pagans, atheists, and Christians—always quick to de-Jew Jesus—aplenty, Olympian, Roman, or even Augustan reform, pagans are seldom identified. Given the lack of Classical feeling in the American psyche, one must assume that these pagans simply do not exist here. Even in the European New Right’s best explanation of paganism, Alain de Benoist’s On Being a Pagan, Athena and Apollo—the most well developed and useful Homeric deities—are never brought to life.[4] Nor is one given a sense of what one would actually believe and do as a result of associating with these gods.

Collin Cleary sensed the “lack of gods” in Benoist’s On Being a Pagan and took offense with its overtly Nietzschean humanism and “moral relativism.”[5] Although the gods are present in The Homeric Gods, Otto’s project, like Benoist’s, is entirely and inherently Nietzschean. In fact, to properly understand Otto’s book, one should begin with Nietzsche, and not Homer.[6]

But this is understandable, assuming that one comprehends why Nietzsche is so central to how and why we know the Greeks today. As the first epigraph makes clear, Nietzsche uses the Greeks (and Romans) as a counter-valuation to the modern Judeo-Christian world. From his first notebooks and lectures to his last written words, Nietzsche’s ideal human types are Greek, nay, Homeric in origin. For it was these men that fought, struggled, killed, and died in a life-affirming quest for glory.

Nietzsche’s ideal form of life, which glorifies warfare, strife, and beauty, is Greek. Indeed, Nietzsche’s naturalization of morality can be found 2200 years prior in Herodotus’Histories. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra virtually summarizes the first book of Histories when he says that, “No people could live that did not first esteem; but if they want to preserve themselves, then they must not esteem as their neighbor esteems.”[7] For while Herodotus included the narratives that brought war to the barbarian peoples of the east, he did so to show that, while each people is motivated by what is good, the only good that matters is that of the Greeks.[8]

Even if Herodotus understood that each of Greece’s enemies had their own moral and ethical system, these systems did not apply to Greeks. The world beyond Greece simply did not exist in moralistic/altruistic terms. This is similar to the motivational thrust of Nietzsche’s critique of Judeo-Christian morality: it might be good for a certain human type, but not for us.

This “us” is a key to understanding why Nietzsche is often embraced by the Left (and New Right thinker Collin Cleary) as a moral relativist, for it assumes a preexisting knowledge of each of Nietzsche’s “mature” works that the large majority of his postmodern readers simply do not have.[9] Everything from Book Five of The Gay Science to the last notebook of the Nachlass is written for a fictitious audience of like-minded “free thinkers” who already embrace Nietzsche’s transvaluative project.

Thus, he never naturalizes morality “in general” but always in contrast to what is useful for a particular (heroic, strong, courageous, harsh) audience. Ultimately, moralities are important because every form of life has one, or some such system of valuation and evaluation; and each morality is the basis of a particular human type—one of which is democratic, soft, lazy, smug, complacent, flabby, in a word, decadent. But, because that human type is the optimal embodiment of its morality, the form of life’s truth regime also promotes its optimal status.

And again, because Nietzsche explains that truth is unknowable without valuation (thus linking truth and morality), and that there are as many truths as there are forms of life, i.e. perspectives, historically speaking, the Left embraces him as a general relativist;[10] just as it critiques Herodotus (and the Greeks) as ethnocentric and xenophobic, and Homer as a violence-obsessed savage.[11]

Otto’s The Homeric Gods embraces this generalization of Nietzsche and sets the Homeric gods in opposition not only to Judeo-Christianity but also to the bourgeois form of life in general. What makes Otto’s book unique and useful is that he actually uses Homer and other archaic and Classical sources to explain the gods. Thus, Judeo-Christian and modern notions of sin, soul, piety, and redemption are nonexistent.

Writing in the Nietzschean spirit, he celebrates the absence of “the holy” in the Homeric Greek worldview. “The somber religious reverberation, that melody of ineffable exaltation and consecration . . . seems to be wanting . . . This religion is so natural that holiness seems to have no place in it” (p. 3).

What we miss, then, is the “moral earnestness” that Judeo-Christianity, as the paradigm of religion, commands us to expect in a religion. Instead, we have gods that are “too natural and joyous to reckon morality as the supreme value” (p. 3). We have, as well, two key points to understanding how the religion works.

First, there is no communion between the gods and man. There is no sacrifice of the self, no intimacy, no oneness of god and man. Man and the gods are separated by each one’s nature.

Second, there is no promise of redemption in the religion. There is no need or desire to redeem man from his earthy existence because love of life and the natural capacities of man are the basis of Homeric religious feeling. As Faye said, “like Achilles [and Odysseus], the original European man does not prostrate himself before the gods, but stands upright.”[12] But as Otto explains, this is because the gods demand instead that one stands and fights—that one makes oneself worthy of the gods’ attention by courageous and heroic action. Otto brings this point home by reminding his readers that, while in the Old Testament, “Yahweh fights for his people, and without making any defense they are delivered from the pursuing Egyptians,” in Homer, “a god whispers a saving device to a baffled warrior at the right instant, we hear that he rouses spirit and kindles courage, that he makes limbs supple and nimble, and gives a right arm accuracy and strength” (p. 6). Man is not miraculously delivered by his God but is, instead, given the inspiration to command his own destiny.

The interaction between gods and man and between man and nature, then, is not only dependent upon man but upon nature. In other words, there is little to no magic, only the divinity of man in nature.

The faculty which in other religions is constantly being thwarted and inhibited here flowers forth with the admirable assurance of genius—the faculty of seeing the world in the light of the divine, not a world yearned for, aspired to, or mystically present in rare ecstatic experiences, but the world into which we were born, part of which we are, interwoven with it through our senses and, through our minds, obligated to it for all its abundance and vitality. (p. 11)

Speaking of its essence, the divine is a vital force that flows through each living thing. However, it is not “made divine” in the sense of the “holy spirit.” There is no need to feel universally connected to, or prohibited from attacking or devouring, one’s brothers-in man. For in nature, all life consumes and devours, but is still part of the richness of the world—a very Nietzschean naturalism this is! Homeric religion, in sum, dismisses morality, promises no redemption, and makes life itself divine.

It is in the descriptions of the gods, themselves that we find the true “plan” that the Homeric religion holds for man: that our divine nature demands that man act, and often heroically. “The gods belong on the side of life. In order to encounter them the living must move, go forward, be active. Then the gods encompass the living with their strength and majesty and in sudden revelation even show their heavenly countenance” (pp. 265–66). It matters not so much that man be patient, pious, or priestly, but that he not act cowardly, brutishly, or without dignity. “The purpose and goal of the Greeks,” Otto quotes Goethe, “is to deify man, not to humanize deity” (p. 236). Even as man in all of his nature is deified, Homer still presents a perfected vision of this nature.[13]

[4]Anyone who has read Homer (or Otto) can hardly disagree that Athena is the most extraordinary of the Homeric deities. Her role in the life of Achilles and Odysseus alone is enough to inspire men to war in hopes of garnering her attention. “First of all it is the warriors whose courage she kindles. Before battle begins they sense here inspiriting presence and yearn to perform heroic deeds worthy of her . . . the spirit of the goddess causes all hearts to thrill with battle glee” (p. 45).

Athena’s association with Heracles insured that she was the deity of choice for virile, athletic warriors, and his glory set the standard for Greek (and Roman) heroic endeavor. Remember correctly, though, that Heracles did not succeed through fury alone. Under Athena’s guidance, prudence and dignity are also necessary. Thus do we see her counseling Odysseus in moments which call not only for force but also shrewd calculation.

While her most celebrated recipients are, indeed, warriors and heroes, Athena’s influence can be seen across a wide spectrum of Greek life. She is a warrior, but she is also the goddess of wisdom. Moderns hear this, and their bourgeois form of life immediately informs them of a contradiction; for how can war and wisdom be unified and idealized to the point of divinity? That this unity is no contradiction, however, says all one needs to know of these Greeks and how far we have fallen from their glorious and heroic ideals.

[5]War and wisdom are related, through Athena, by the type of human perfection needed to be victorious at either. Precision. Precision under pressure. Precision under pressure of death. Precision under pressure of death when only the perfect movement or thought will preserve life and achieve one’s glory. Wisdom can only be gained in similar circumstances—through heroic or precise, pressure-filled, action.

Thoughts gained while sheepishly static and immobile, Nietzsche reminds us, are seldom heroic. Thus warriors in need of the perfect throw of a spear or slice of a sword, in the only instant that will kill their opponent, are united with artisans, artists, precision craftsmen—shipwrights, metalworkers, potters, weavers—and anyone needing intelligence and the will to decisiveness at every moment.

While Athena loves others beside the great heroes and warriors, her spirit and approach does not change circumstantially. She always desires “boldness, the will to victory, and courage,” but these are not fully useful without “directing reason and illuminating clarity” (p. 53). “Whenever in a life of action and heroism great things must be wrought, perfected, and struggled for, there Athena is present. Broad indeed is the spirit of a battle-loving people when it recognizes the same perfection wherever a clear and intelligent glance shows the path to achievement” (p. 53). Broad indeed is the spirit of a battle-loving people when it recognizes the same perfection wherever a clear and intelligent glance shows the path to achievement. Otto has just explained the crux of the Classical inheritance: the will to perfection. Stand alone in postmodern America and ponder the magnitude of a cultural impulse to perfection. Now also consider Otto’s National Socialist audience and one also begins to sense what National Socialism and Fascism were really up to—and how deep was the Fascist critique of modernity.[14]

[6]

Apollo

The perfection attainable through Athena is immediate. The precision to which she inspires is corporeal. She is “the heavenly presence and direction as illumination and inspiration to victorious comprehension and consummation. To Hermes belongs what is clandestine, twilight, uncanny; Athena is bright as day. Dreaminess, yearning, languishing, are alien to her” (pp. 53–54). Similarly obvious is the contrast between Athena and Apollo:

In Apollo we recognize the wholly masculine man. The aristocratic aloofness, the superiority of cognition, the sense of proportion, these and other related traits in a man, even music in the broadest sense of the word, are, in the last analysis, alien to a woman. Apollo is all these things. But perfection in the living present, untrammelled and victorious action, not in the service of some remote and infinite idea but for mastery over the moment—that is the triumph that has always delighted woman in a man, to which she inspires him, and whose high satisfaction he can learn from her. (p. 55)

Apollo is an archer, thus the will to precision is also present in him. But while Athena is immediate and near, Apollo is rational and distant. “In the figure of Apollo,” Otto explains, “man honors the nobility of serenity and freedom, the rays of the sun, which furnish light not for mysteries of the soul but for virile realization of life and worthy achievement” (p. 252). Once again, Otto makes sure we fully comprehend the cultural impetus of these deities. For like Athena, Apollo promotes a world of meaningful action and a life “capable of freedom, which neither follows impulses blindly nor is subjected to the categorical demands of a moral legislation. It is not to dutifulness or obedience that decision is allowed but to insight and taste; thus everywhere the intelligent is bound up with the beautiful” (p. 253).

It was the genius of the Greeks to promote the most exceptional and exemplary capabilities of man as divine; and not only divine but also natural. Thus man did not supplicate himself to a God, or, as Collin Cleary fears for neo-pagans, merely invoke the name of a deity. Instead he made himself worthy. “Wherever a great heart throbs and rages, wherever a liberating thought flares up, there Athena is present, summoned rather by heroic readiness than by humble supplication. From her own lips we hear that she is attracted by prowess, not by good will or devotion to her person” (pp. 238–239). In this we see that the agonic pulse that ran through the Greek world was more than just a will to prepare for war. It was also a means for men to maintain worthiness of the gods. For a perfect throw, a perfect hull, or a perfect word is still perfection and “for the Greeks, this is the prime meaning of insight and intelligence. Without these the truly divine is inconceivable” (p. 247).

Perhaps nothing separates modern man from the Greeks as much as his aversion to thinking about the human in terms of perfection. The artistic embodiment of the Homeric deities served as an optimal status criterion of the form and content of human perfection. Extremely elevated standards were maintained in physiognomy, creativity, and discernment, always with a view to the interconnectedness of warfare, wisdom, and beauty. Grandeur, prowess, dignity, and nobility seem available for all who act heroically and with nobility. However, this is only so because it is not the mediocrity of the rabble that is being elevated to the pinnacle of human worthiness.

Only a modern would think to celebrate (or even care about) the Helots and slaves that toiled in the shadow of greatness. Indeed, the moderns who glorify the non-victorious and the failures—the majority—at the expense of the heroic and life affirming few, dwell in eternal darkness compared to these Greeks.

Instead this is a religion (and form of life) for masters. This is the religion of those who value glory over justice. And, “for a spirit which craves glory rather than prosperity, the justice of divine sway is a different thing from what the husbandman or commoner intent on possessions and gain might wish it to be” (p. 258). Achilles, the bravest and “most loved by the gods” of the Greeks at Troy, has a short life, but it is a life filled with the greatest imaginable glory. As Otto deftly explains, only a spiritually poor age would think to reduce the human capacity for heroic action to a search for bourgeois comfort, safety, and happiness. Likewise, only a spiritually impoverished religion would feel it necessary to make God an arbiter of justice. While the “history of religions” (i.e., modern theology which makes Asiatic monotheistic religions the paradigm of religiontout court) considers it a deepening of divine providence to give God the power of justice, Otto explains that it as a sign of decadence (p. 257).

The Homeric gods, as mentioned above, are solely deities of life. Death, the only fate of man, is controlled by the furies—the archaic deities more closely related to elemental forces than the more spiritual Olympians. It is not fated that a man does anything but die. What he does with his life is up to him, including meting out justice. (In his Oresteia, Aeschylus presents a dramatic account of Athena and Apollo arguing successfully against the furies for the right of man to justice.) While the gods are powerless against death and care nothing for justice, they often work with a man’s fate to allow a maximum amount of honor and glory. For a form of life that spiritualizes life, honor, and glory, a “call to justice is . . . a sign of the de-deification of the world” and evidence of a mobbish right to prosperity and slavish assumption that someone may be blamed for one’s suffering a lack of prosperity (p. 258).

It is important to remember that Homer was the basis of Classical Greek culture. The deities and heroic men and women he described originated the shared values, mores, and conditions of possibility of the many Greek peoples. Homeric models of heroism and nobility became the boundary marker between the Greek and the barbarian. The metaphors used by the nobility and freemen alike came from Homer, as did the bases of truth, beauty, and good reasoning. The Homeric Gods gives ample reasons why this was so. With its Nietzschean undertones (Nietzsche is only mentioned once in the book) and its clear delineation of what separates the Homeric from the Judaic, Otto’s study must have been intended to bolster the Fascist reawakening of Classical feeling in European man; for it paints a picture of the very type anti-humanist (Nietzschean) humanism that characterizes so much of Fascist political mythology and philosophy. What makes Otto’s The Homeric Gods so important, in this light, is its sheer monumentality. It explains that Greek humanism was anything but secular, and deified the greatest potentials of human life. It places life clearly in the control of man, with the understanding that greatness is only achievable through actions worthy of the gods. The book is designed to inspire—to make Athena’s touch be felt again—and to give notice that bourgeois modern men will be unforgivingly outmatched by those seeking glory rather than comfort.

The Homeric Gods is no substitute for the remarkable experience of reading or hearing Homer’s epics. However, it is a companion that will deepen one’s experience of Homer so much that Dominique Venner’s suggestion that his epics act as a “European bible” will make perfect sense.[15] Of course, heroic men of the Homeric ideal have no need of a bible—just as the Nietzschean ideal would chafe at the blasphemy of suggesting Zarathustra as a bible. If bible is a strong word—intended only for the weakest ears, that is—perhaps Homer can instead act as guidebook of the European peoples’ capacity for greatness.

In any case Homer, and Homeric religion, is exemplary, and demonstrate a system of valuation at extraordinary odds with modern bourgeois man. Perhaps modernity has destroyed man’s ability to act as heroically as the ideals and deities of Homer would expect of their heirs. Certainly it has delimited his freedom to do so. But, “history,” Nietzsche advised in a notebook entry, “must speak only of the great and unique, of the model to be emulated.”[16] That, as Venner explains, is exactly what we have in Homer: “To be noble and brave for a man, to be gentle, loving, and faithful for a woman. [Homer] bequeathed a digest of what Greece offered thereafter to posterity: nature as model, the striving towards beauty, the creative force that strives always to surpass, excellence as the ideal of life.”[17]

Notes

[1] Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Early Notebooks, ed. Raymond Geuss and Alexander Nehamas. Trans. Ladislaus Löb (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 203.

[2] Walter F. Otto, The Homeric Gods: The Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion, Trans. Moses Hadas. Reprint Edition (North Stratford, NH: Ayer Company Publishers, 2001), p.12.

[3] Pierre Krebs, Fighting for the Essence: Western Enthnosuicide or European Renaissance? Trans. Dr. Alexander Jacob (London: Arktos, 2012), pp. 46–47.

[4] Alain de Benoist, On Being a Pagan, ed. Greg Johnson, trans. Jon Graham (Atlanta: Ultra, 2004).

[5] Collin Cleary, “Paganism Without Gods,” in Summoning The Gods, ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2011), pp. 62–80.

[6] I assume everyone has read and re-read both The Iliad and The Odyssey. If not, drop everything, get an audiobook, and listen to these epics.

[7] Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ed. Adrian Del Caro and Robert B. Pippin. Trans. Adrian Del Caro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 42.

[8] Herodotus, The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories, ed. Robert B. Strassler. Trans. Andrea L. Purvis (New York: Pantheon, 2007), pp. 112–15.

[9] There is no distinction to be made between postmodern and Left.

[10] Maudemarie Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1990).

[11] Elizabeth Vandiver, Heroes in Herodotus: The Interaction of Myth and History (New York: Peter Lang, 1991).

[12] Guillaume Faye, “Mars and Hephaestus: The Return of History,” trans. Greg Johnson, in North American New Right, Volume 1, ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012), p. 239.

[13] Space and necessity permit only a focus on Athena and Apollo. The Homeric Gods offers chapter-length examinations of Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Hermes; while Ares, Poseidon, and Hephaestus also feature heavily.

[14] Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution, trans. David Maisel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).

[15] Dominique Venner, “Homer: The European Bible,” trans. Greg Johnson, in North American New Right, Volume 1, ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012), pp. 220–36.

[16] Nietzsche, Early Notebooks, 95.

[17] Venner, 226.

 


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/07/the-homeric-gods/

vendredi, 13 juillet 2012

Akhenaton, Fils du Soleil par Savitri Devi

La vie est un culte:
Akhenaton, Fils du Soleil par Savitri Devi

By Mark Brundsen

Traduit par Arjuna / Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

English original here

Akhenaton.jpgSavitri Devi demeure une figure énigmatique dans l’histoire récente. Elle est probablement le mieux connue comme la « prêtresse d’Hitler »,[1] une partisane farouchement impénitente de l’Allemagne nationale-socialiste, et portée au mysticisme. On se rappelle probablement d’elle de cette manière parce que cela nous permet de catégoriser ses idées. Si on se rappelle d’elle un jour, ce sera précisément à cause de l’absence de « mal pur » chez elle, cette étrange qualité qui est attribuée à d’autres figures nationale-socialistes dans le but de les rejeter. Le paradoxe qu’elle incarne, celui d’une nazie déclarée et aimante, est trop incompréhensible pour que certains puissent même l’examiner.

En conséquence, Savitri Devi reste une voie obligatoire dans une vision historique plus réaliste du national-socialisme ; ses écrits révèlent une vision-du-monde implicite qui est activement combative et dynamique, une possibilité inconcevable pour beaucoup de gens qui acceptent la vision d’après-guerre, ossifiée et monolithique, du national-socialisme. Cela ne veut pas dire que ses idées doivent remplacer les autres visions que nous avons du mouvement, mais qu’elles doivent nous en révéler les multiples dimensions, dont les siennes ne sont qu’une partie. Pour cette raison, Savitri Devi offre des leçons précieuses aux nationaux-socialistes d’aujourd’hui, qui peuvent apprendre à défendre un idéal moins dérivé d’une vision mutilée de l’histoire (et de son opposition polaire), tout comme aux accepteurs passifs de cette orthodoxie du mal, construite par leur crainte de tout schéma complexe.

C’est dans cet esprit que je voudrais examiner son livre Akhenaton, Fils du Soleil : la vie et la philosophie d’Akhenaton, Roi d’Egypte,[2] écrit pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, alors que l’auteur demeurait en Inde, loin de la calamité en Europe, regardant anxieusement la tragédie de son mouvement. Le texte est un examen approfondi de la vie d’Akhenaton en tant que Pharaon apostat et des détails de son culte de la puissance solaire, Aton.

Le texte est divisé en trois parties : une description du début de la vie du roi, incluant son ascension et son remplacement de la religion nationale ; une discussion des particularités et des implications de l’atonisme ; et un exposé du déclin conséquent de l’Egypte à cause du refus par Akhenaton de faire des compromis concernant ses croyances, qui se termine par un chapitre examinant les leçons que les gens d’aujourd’hui peuvent tirer de la vie et de la religion d’Akhenaton.

Le chapitre final révèle le but ultime de Savitri Devi, qu’elle expose elle-même, c’est-à-dire présenter pour examen l’œuvre intellectuelle d’un héros oublié : un système de croyance antique, mais étonnamment contemporain, dont elle pensait qu’il avait le potentiel pour éclairer le chemin au-delà de l’impasse de la mentalité moderne, handicapée par la coupure entre science (ou rationalité) et religion, un système à la vision large.

Le style de Savitri Devi révèle sa personnalité ; en lisant Fils du Soleil, on peut voir à l’œuvre une penseuse hautement dévouée et passionnée, qui s’efforce de trouver toutes les informations (employées de manière créative) pour faire avancer sa thèse. Celle-ci peut constituer un choc pour le lecteur contemporain, trop préoccupé par le leurre de l’objectivité en histoire, et  n’est pas aidée par le fait qu’à l’époque il n’y avait qu’une fraction des études sur Akhenaton disponibles aujourd’hui.

Savitri Devi utilise sans vergogne son imagination pour spéculer sur les détails de la vie du roi (en particulier sa description de l’éducation d’Akhenaton, de sa haute considération pour sa femme, de la vie dans sa nouvelle capitale Akhetaton, et la facilité avec laquelle Akhenaton comprenait intuitivement des faits que la science moderne a décrits depuis lors). Cela ne donne pas toujours l’impression d’être érudit, malgré son affirmation répétée de la valeur de la rationalité.

Savitri Devi considère comme son devoir de discuter d’Akhenaton comme d’un génie, d’un maître spirituel et intellectuel, et entreprend sa tâche d’une manière active et créative. Pour accepter ce fait, il faut considérer Fils du Soleil comme un exposé des idées de Savitri Devi tout autant que de la vie d’Akhenaton. Si on peut accepter cela, Fils du Soleil est une lecture riche et gratifiante.

La première partie du livre sert surtout à présenter le contexte dans lequel commença la vie d’Akhenaton, et aide aussi le lecteur à se familiariser au style de Savitri Devi. Celle-ci semble enivrée par sa description de l’Egypte impériale ; elle consacre un temps considérable à décrire la richesse et le pouvoir à la disposition de son roi, et la portée de son règne, qui impliqua une influence à la fois économique et religieuse. Le début de la vie d’Akhenaton est scruté de la même manière, et elle admet que les détails en sont déduits de ce que l’on sait de la fin de la vie de l’homme  (p. 19). Elle fait cela très longuement, incluant la spéculation sur les origines ou les influences de ce qui devait devenir sa religion.

Quelque temps après que le prince soit devenu Pharaon, et ayant subi un changement religieux intérieur, il érigea un temple consacré au dieu Aton, une déité solaire déjà adorée en Egypte, peut-être synonyme de Râ. Si les murs du temple contiennent des images d’Aton aux cotés d’Amon et d’autres dieux nationaux, un peu plus tard la tolérance du roi disparut et toute l’iconographie religieuse fut enlevée, sauf celle d’Aton. C’est la principale trace historique des réformes d’Akhenaton : les influents prêtres d’Amon furent empêchés de pratiquer officiellement et l’atonisme fut déclaré seule religion légitime. Le problème d’Akhenaton, cependant, était que sa religion panthéiste innovante ne plaisait pas aux profanes, et Savitri Devi se demande même si ses adeptes n’ont pas été motivés simplement par un désir de promotion. La résolution d’Akhenaton impliquait la construction d’une nouvelle capitale pour l’Egypte, à nouveau décrite d’une manière glorieuse et créative.

La seconde partie consiste en un examen de l’atonisme, principalement à travers une lecture attentive des deux hymnes survivants d’Akhenaton (dont de multiples traductions sont fournies en appendice), et contient donc à la fois les idées centrales d’Akhenaton et de Savitri Devi. Dans les hymnes, Akhenaton désigne Aton, le disque du soleil, par divers autres termes. Le terme qui intéresse Savitri Devi est « Shu-qui-est-dans-le-disque », où Shu évoque à la fois la chaleur et la lumière. Elle compare cet usage aux références similaires d’Akhenaton aux grondements du tonnerre et de la foudre, qu’il assimile à Aton. Savitri Devi utilise ces deux indications pour suggérer qu’Akhenaton avait une conception profonde de l’énergie, de la chaleur et de la lumière, les considérant finalement comme équivalentes, un fait qui a été ostensiblement validé par la recherche scientifique.

L’indication de cette compréhension poussa Sir Flinders Petrie, dans son History of Egypt [1899], citée par Savitri Devi (p. 293), à remarquer : « Si c’était une nouvelle religion inventée pour satisfaire nos conceptions scientifiques modernes, nous ne pourrions pas trouver de défaut dans la correction de la vision [d’Akhenaton] de l’énergie du système solaire ». Sir Wallis Budge est cité comme affirmant que Akhenaton ne vénérait qu’un objet matériel, le soleil littéral, mais Savitri Devi rejette cela en citant des exemples où Akhenaton parle du Ka du Soleil, son âme ou son essence. Budge reconnaît aussi que la vision d’Akhenaton est celle d’un Disque créé par lui-même et existant par lui-même, ce qui est une distinction marquée par rapport aux vieux cultes héliopolitains qui incluaient une figure créatrice.

Akhenaton semble avoir suivi cette approche religieuse rationnelle avec cohérence. Son enseignement est entièrement dénué de récits mythologiques, de récits de miracles, et de métaphysique. La thèse de Savitri Devi en concevant la religion du Disque est que Akhenaton voyait et adorait la divinité dans la vie elle-même.

Dans ses hymnes, Akhenaton affirme l’origine terrestre du Nil et compare ses bienfaits à ceux des autres fleuves et de la pluie, rompant avec l’idée habituelle de l’origine divine du Nil, ou de tout ce qui était source d’eau. Akhenaton affirme également sa propre origine terrestre, s’opposant à la pratique acceptée des pharaons prétendant à une naissance divine. Akhenaton conserve ainsi sa connexion divine directe – il s’appelle lui-même Fils de Râ – mais transfère sa conception divine à une conception qui est physique sans ambiguïté.

La probabilité de l’accent porté par la religion sur l’immanence est accrue par l’absence d’idolâtrie. Akhenaton n’adore ni « un dieu… à l’image d’un homme, ni même un pouvoir individuel », mais une « réalité impersonnelle » (p. 141). Cela est aussi cohérent avec une absence de prescriptions morales dans le culte, qui contient seulement la valeur (que Akhenaton applique à lui-même, par un surnom régulier) « vivre-dans-la-vérité » : ce qui compte, c’est de mettre un esprit particulier dans ses actions (p. 193).

Une telle absence n’empêche cependant pas Savitri Devi de suggérer ce que cet esprit peut apprécier, par l’examen des hymnes. Alors que de nombreux commentateurs avaient précédemment souligné l’internationalisme et l’« objection de conscience à la guerre » (Weigall cité dans le texte, p. 150) d’Akhenaton, et son amour de tous les êtres humains, Savitri Devi lit les hymnes d’une manière moins anthropocentrique. Elle affirme que les hymnes expriment « la fraternité de tous les êtres sensibles, humains et non-humains » (p. 150, souligné dans l’original), et que par leur nature même les animaux adoraient le Ka du Disque, effaçant ainsi la séparation entre homme et bête, ou matériel et métaphysique (si fortement affirmée par la pensée juive, grecque et chrétienne). Les plantes sont aussi inclues dans l’hymne, bien que pas comme des agents aussi actifs que les animaux.

La discussion de Savitri Devi culmine dans son affirmation que Akhenaton était opposé à l’anthropocentrisme : l’idée que l’homme est un être unique et privilégié et que la seule valeur de l’environnement est son utilité pour l’homme (p. 161). Ses propres idées sur le sujet sont développées plus complètement dans Impeachment of Man. En proposant une telle vision centrée sur la vie, Savitri Devi précède même l’essai majeur de Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic (1949), qui est généralement considéré comme l’année zéro pour l’éthique environnementale moderne et l’écologie profonde. Inutile de le dire, notre but en mentionnant cela n’est pas de présenter Savitri Devi comme la mère de ces développements, car le courant intellectuel dominant n’est pas intéressé par ses idées et celles-ci ont donc eu peu d’influence.

aaadevi.jpg

Savitri Devi interprète aussi les hymnes d’Akhenaton comme encourageant un nationalisme bienveillant. Si Akhenaton percevait la fraternité de toutes les créatures (unissant l’humanité par le fait de leur relation singulière avec Aton), il pensait aussi que Aton « a mis chaque homme à sa place », ce qui inclut la division en peuples « étranges » (et différents) (p. 158, note). Ici Savitri Devi discute en détail des droits de tous les peuples à l’autodétermination et de sa farouche opposition à l’impérialisme.

Finalement, Savitri Devi spécule sur la vision des femmes par Akhenaton, exprimée par le fait que, contrairement à la coutume, il n’eut qu’une seule femme (bien que cela ait ultérieurement été prouvé comme faux), et par l’inclusion de Nefertiti dans les hymnes, apparemment en tant qu’égale d’Akhenaton. Elle reconnaît, cependant, que nous ne savons pas de quelle manière ou à quel degré la reine comprenait la religion de son époux.

La partie finale du livre se concentre sur les résultats de la vision-du-monde du pharaon. A cause de sa négligence de la politique impériale, condamnée par ses croyances, l’Etat déclina. Dans un grand nombre de territoires conquis, des vassaux loyaux, menacés par des invasions et des soulèvements, appelèrent désespérément à l’aide le pharaon, auquel ils avaient payé un tribut régulier et important. Akhenaton refusa d’intervenir, et répondit à peine à leurs lettres, dont la plupart ont été préservées ; il retarda même pendant des mois une audience avec un messager.

Alors que les autres historiens ont interprété cette apathie comme de l’égoïsme, Savitri Devi accorde la bénéfice du doute à Akhenaton et explique cette inaction par sa croyance en l’autodétermination des tribus et des nations, et voit cette tragique effusion de sang comme la seule issue dans une situation bloquée, la véritable mise à l’épreuve pour les principes du pharaon. Il pouvait soit réprimer les soulèvements dans le sang, ce qui aurait entretenu l’hostilité, soit autoriser un conflit sacrificiel final, ce qui mettrait fin à l’escalade de la violence, celle de l’oppression tout comme celle de la résistance. Cette approche est en opposition avec les impératifs dictés par l’individualisme moderne, qui ne possède aucun mécanisme pour stopper un tel processus.

Inutile de le dire, un tel résultat était un suicide politique, et Savitri Devi continue à spéculer sur ce qui aurait pu se passer si Akhenaton avait tenté de répandre sa religion en utilisant la force, décrivant une expansion mondiale du culte. Cependant, cela aurait été contraire à l’essence même de cette religion, qui est élitiste, reposant sur une intuition profonde de l’essence de l’univers et de l’Etre. Le destin d’Akhenaton, consistant à être oublié et de voir sa religion abolie avec hostilité, était donc pour Savitri Devi « le prix de la perfection ». Savitri Devi conclut son ouvrage en examinant directement la pertinence de cette religion pour les Aryens d’aujourd’hui.

D’après cet exposé, il est clair qu’il y a quelques idées contradictoires dans Fils du Soleil, ce qui devrait nous inciter à considérer Savitri Devi comme une propagandiste du mal à l’esprit partisan. Malheureusement, alors que Savitri Devi dépense une énergie excessive à répéter et à souligner ses thèses (au point que le livre est inutilement long), elle néglige pour la plus grande part certains points contradictoires, qui restent ainsi non résolus dans le texte. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’ils compromettent les buts de Savitri Devi, mais que des occasions de développer ses idées ne sont pas exploitées, très probablement parce qu’elle ne voyait pas nécessairement de contradiction, alors que ses lecteurs contemporains en verront probablement une.

Les contradictions centrales sont, d’une part, celle entre son affirmation de la vision universaliste de la vie et la division des races humaines, et d’autre part sa présentation d’Akhenaton comme le premier individu du monde par opposition à l’appui de Savitri à ses politiques anti-individuelles. Ces difficultés finissent par disparaître si l’on fait quelques distinctions subtiles, qui sont si souvent négligées par les nationalistes tout comme par leurs adversaires aujourd’hui, très probablement à cause d’une interprétation orthodoxe de la seconde guerre mondiale.

Les buts du nationalisme ne coïncident pas nécessairement avec ceux de l’impérialisme, et Savitri Devi fait résolument la distinction entre eux. Le fait que l’humanité soit une fraternité sous le regard d’Aton n’exige pas que toutes les cultures effacent leurs différences ; au contraire, cela les encourage à célébrer leurs différents chemins de vie et de culte.

La révélation de la fraternité universelle ne pousse pas non plus Savitri Devi à adopter une position populiste : elle approuve le refus d’Akhenaton d’édulcorer sa religion pour les masses, qui ne feraient que la pervertir. Les gens d’aujourd’hui pourraient se plaindre d’un « double langage » dans la hiérarchie des droits en Egypte, mais Savitri Devi considère naturellement ces différences comme supérieures à une position totalement égalitaire.

Akhenaten_as_a_Sphinx_(Kestner_Museum).jpg

La répugnance d’Akhenaton à se concilier les masses est poétique et pure, mais futile. Cela soulève la question même du règne de l’élite, car si celui-ci est juste mais ne peut jamais être correctement établi, quel est l’intérêt de le théoriser et de le défendre ? La norme politique aujourd’hui est simplement plus populiste, avec l’attente du suffrage universel, qui est lié au concept d’humanité. René Guénon met en garde contre un tel règne lorsqu’il déclare que « l’opinion de la majorité ne peut être que l’expression de l’incompétence ».[3] Mais dès que ces pouvoirs ont été accordés, comment la situation peut-elle être inversée ? Ce problème est éternel, puisqu’il est la question centrale de la politique, et nous ne pouvons pas nous attendre à ce que Savitri Devi le résolve. Comme beaucoup d’autres aujourd’hui, Savitri Devi peut seulement trouver une mauvaise consolation dans la croyance que ses idées, comme celles d’Akhenaton, ont valeur de vérité, quel que soit le jugement des masses.

De même, Savitri Devi fournit un exposé enthousiaste de la richesse et du statut impérial d’Akhenaton, dont elle affirme qu’ils sont la « récompense de la guerre » (p. 14), tout en affirmant ensuite le refus d’Akhenaton de maintenir un tel Etat, son principe du droit à l’autodétermination, et sa croyance que la guerre était « une offense envers Dieu » (p. 242). La position d’Akhenaton peut être excusée par le fait qu’il était né dans une certaine situation et qu’il fit de son mieux pour ne pas la laisser telle qu’il l’avait trouvée, et pour tenter d’améliorer sur le long terme l’état des choses tel qu’il le percevait. Savitri Devi, cependant, ne traite pas de cela dans le texte.

Mais la vision de Savitri Devi se trouve aussi en opposition avec son appui incessant à l’Allemagne nationale-socialiste, bien qu’elle ait écrit Fils du Soleil pendant les années de guerre. Nous devons bien sûr lui reconnaître d’abord la dignité d’avoir des idéaux supérieurs à ses affiliations politiques de compromis, de même que tout partisan d’un parti politique conserve une identité séparée de la politique du parti. Mais Savitri Devi reconnaît aussi la nécessité malheureuse d’une force de changement moralement portée au compromis dans son Europe lorsqu’elle remarque que « la violence est la loi de toute révolution dans le Temps » (p. 241, souligné dans l’original). Elle considère Akhenaton comme un homme « au-dessus du Temps », qui défend ses idéaux seulement pour les voir maudits, en contraste implicite avec Hitler (jusqu’ici implicitement mis en parallèle avec le pharaon), qui reconnaissait l’axiome précité (une ligne de pensée développée dans son ouvrage ultérieur The Lightning and the Sun). Savitri Devi n’expose pas explicitement ses idées sur le Lebensraum, bien qu’il semble que si certains de ses idéaux sont ouverts au compromis par nécessité politique, alors elle ne ferait pas d’exception pour l’expansion.

Elle tient aussi à montrer la continuité entre le culte solaire d’Akhenaton, l’hindouisme, et le national-socialisme moderne, en tentant d’établir divers liens biologiques avec les deux premières idées et en soulignant le fond culturel commun de la centralité du soleil, et de l’importance de la beauté, des castes et du principe. En fin de compte les connexions culturelles sont bien plus fortes que les biologiques, et sur le plan culturel le national-socialisme ne pouvait pas égaler ses prédécesseurs.

Savitri Devi envisage le remplacement de la relation brisée entre religion et Etat par une unité dans l’idée de la « religion de la race » (p. 288). Alors qu’elle approuve initialement un retour à une telle unité matérielle et spirituelle, elle le critique ensuite comme étant de portée  trop étroite pour être fructueux. Elle le compare à un retour aux « dieux nationaux de jadis », qui étaient, notamment, ceux qui furent supplantés par la révolution d’Akhenaton. En fin de compte, Savitri Devi ne peut pas approuver un tel but ; s’il vaut peut-être mieux que les idées de ses « antagonistes humanitaires » (p. 288), il demeure un symbole plus étroit que celui de « l’homme », et peut donc permettre l’exploitation anthropocentrique de la nature ainsi que l’exploitation sélective des autres humains.

Une telle limitation imposée à la « Religion de la Vie » est indéfendable, et Savitri Devi préférerait plutôt l’autre voie, reconnaissant « les valeurs cosmiques comme l’essence de la religion » (p. 289). Cela semble similaire au rejet par Julius Evola de la vision biologique de la race par le national-socialisme, qu’il remplaça par un concept racial spirituel. Une telle vision, bien qu’elle jouait un rôle secondaire dans son courageux optimisme concernant le national-socialisme, nous montre que Savitri Devi tentait d’améliorer le mouvement qu’elle soutenait et qu’il ne la contraignait aucunement à limiter sa pensée.

Les complexités et les contradictions apparentes dans la pensée de Savitri Devi, particulièrement lorsqu’elles sont liées à ses convictions politiques, ne sont certainement pas des impasses et ne doivent pas nous conduire à rejeter sa pensée et à nous souvenir seulement de son action. Au contraire, elles doivent nous pousser à remettre en question notre conception de ses actions (et du contexte national-socialiste lui-même) afin de nous adapter à sa pensée. Vues sous cet angle, ce sont les convictions politiques de Savitri Devi qui nous apparaissent maintenant comme des anomalies ; elle consacra une foi incessante au mouvement national-socialiste d’après-guerre (qui n’aurait certainement pas pu approcher la vie d’après ses idéaux), finalement en vain, ce qui ne pouvait que ternir sa réputation en tant qu’écrivain.

L’exactitude historique de Fils du Soleil n’est pas d’une importance essentielle. Savitri Devi utilisa habilement l’histoire pour sélectionner et développer une religion unifiant les besoins rationnels et spirituels de l’humanité, tout en décrivant à son sommet un génie/héros digne de toutes les tentatives d’émulation. C’est la principale réussite du livre. Si l’obsession moderne de l’authenticité est forte, elle est finalement dépassée par l’obsession moderne pour l’originalité et la nouveauté. L’atonisme, bien sûr, n’a été adopté par personne. Mais son approche naturaliste et esthétique de la vie, et son absence de prescriptions morales, est une leçon inestimable pour les humains modernes. Le livre Fils du Soleil est en lui-même une œuvre de l’esprit solaire qu’il exalte. Akhenaton, Roi d’Egypte, et Savitri Devi peuvent tous deux nous enseigner la vérité selon laquelle la vie est un culte.

Notes

1. Titre d’une récente biographie : Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Savitri Devi, la prêtresse d’Hitler, Akribeia 2000. Edition originale : New York University Press, 1998.

2. Titre original : A Son of God: The Life and Philosophy of Akhnaton, King of Egypt (London: Philosophical Publishing House, 1946), plus tard réédité sous le titre de Son of the Sun: The Life and Philosophy of Akhnaton, King of Egypt (San Jose, California: A.M.O.R.C., 1956).

3. René Guénon, La crise du monde moderne, Gallimard 1946. Traduction anglaise M. Pallis et R. Nicholson (London: Luzac, 1962), p. 72.

Source: http://savitridevi.org/article_brundsen_french.html [6]


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/06/la-vie-est-un-culte-savitri-devis-akhenaton-fils-du-soleil/

vendredi, 29 juin 2012

Loreena McKennitt - The old ways

Loreena McKennitt - The old ways

jeudi, 28 juin 2012

Arthas Destiny - Loreena McKennitt

Arthas Destiny - Loreena McKennitt

mardi, 26 juin 2012

O Pensamento de Julius Evola no Brasil

O Pensamento de Julius Evola no Brasil

por César Ranquetat Jr

Ex: http://legio-victrix.blogspot.com/


 
Procuraremos demonstrar neste artigo, a presença do pensamento de Julius Evola em terras brasileiras. Para este fim, mencionaremos artigos, livros, revistas e sites onde é feita algum tipo de referência ao pensador italiano. Em um segundo momento exporemos de forma sucinta a visão que alguns grupos “alternativos” têm sobre a figura e a obra de J. Evola.

Um rápido panorama da vida intelectual no Brasil atual.

Não muito diferente do que ocorre em outros países latino-americanos, se constata atualmente no Brasil uma hegemonia intelectual da esquerda progressista. Grande parte das universidades (nas áreas das Ciências Sociais, História, Filosofia, Letras), dos centros de pesquisa, revistas, jornais, redes de televisão e rádio e casas editoriais estão sob o controle direto de “intelectuais” vinculados as diversos correntes do pensamento esquerdista. São poucas as vozes que se erguem, neste país, contra o monopólio cultural progressista. Para piorar ainda mais a situação o país é governo por um partido de esquerda o PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores). Não há no país um partido político de “direita” com expressão nacional e uma única revista cultural que defenda princípios intelectuais que se oponham ao discurso esquerdista gramsciano. Diante deste quadro, correntes de pensamento e intelectuais anti-progressistas, não têm vez e são praticamente desconhecidos. Os estudantes universitários (que mais parece um universo de otários) no campo das chamadas Humanidades, conhecem Bourdieu, Foucault, Derrida, Gramci, Marx, Habermas et caterva, mas pergunte a eles e aos seus mestres quem foi Eric Voegelin, Carl Schimitt, Joseph de Maistre, Marcel de Corte, Oswald Spengler,Ernst Jünger, René Guénon, Fritjof Schuon e outros. Se estes pensadores “conservadores” são praticamente desconhecidos nas universidades brasileiras o que dizer de Julius Evola, que foi o mais radical crítico da modernidade, do progressismo e do racionalismo ilustrado.

A presença de J. Evola em livros, revistas, jornais e na Internet.

Até o presente momento um único livro de Evola foi editado no Brasil, se trata de - O mistério do Graal - que foi publicado pela editora pensamento em 1986. Esta mesma editora publicou dois livros de René Guénon - A grande tríade - e - Os símbolos da ciência sagrada e de Fritjof Schuon - O esoterismo como princípio e como caminho - A editora em questão é especializada em publicações de livros de esoterismo, ocultismo e religião. Cabe aqui ressaltar que - O Mistério do Graal - já havia sido editado em língua portuguesa pelo editorial vega de Portugal em 1978. Esta mesma editora portuguesa publicou em 1993 - A Metafísica do Sexo -. Outros dois livros de Evola foram editados em Portugal - Revolta contra o mundo moderno - em 1989, pela editora Dom Quixote, em uma coleção intitulada Tradição-Biblioteca de Esoterismo e Estudos Tradicionais e - A Tradição hermética - pelas edições 70, em 1979. A edição portuguesa de - Revolta contra o mundo moderno - é seguida por uma breve nota sobre a vida de Julius Evola e a obra deste autor em Portugal, realizada por Rafael Gomes Filipe que afirma “Uma obra de Antônio Marques Bessa, Ensaio sobre o fim da nossa idade (Edições do Templo, 1978) acusa uma certa assimilação do pensamento evoliano, sendo inclusivamente este autor citado em epígrafe. Também Antônio Quadros se tem referido com freqüência a trabalhos de Julius Evola, nomeadamente em Portugal - Razão e Mistério - e em - Poesia e Filosofia do Mito Sebastianista - volume 2º[...].”

No ano de 2000 a editora portuguesa Hugin publicou uma pequena biografia de Evola, escrita pelo francês Jean - Paul Lippi que é o autor de um estudo intitulado-Julius Evola, métaphysicien et penseur politique- . Faço esta rápida exposição a respeito dos livros de Evola em Portugal, pois muitos brasileiros tiveram contato com este autor através das traduções portuguesas.

É bastante provável que a primeira referência a Julius Evola em um livro no Brasil tenha sido feita por Fernando Guedes Galvão que foi o tradutor e introdutor de René Guénon neste País e manteve com Guénon longa correspondência. Guedes Galvão traduziu em 1948 pela editora Martins Fontes - A crise do mundo moderno -. A edição traduzida por Guedes Galvão possui um interessante apêndice onde é feita uma exposição sintética das principais obras de René Guénon. Em um determinado momento, o tradutor do metafísico francês trata sobre a campanha de silêncio em torno da obra de Guénon e declara citando Evola: “J. Evola exprime-se assim, - Guénon é combatido em França por todos os meios e modos; tentam até fazer desaparecer os seus livros de circulação.”

Não há dúvida que René Guénon é mais conhecido do que Julius Evola em terras brasileiras. A razão está ligada ao fato da consideração aparentemente mais positiva que o metafísico francês tinha para com o catolicismo.

O IRGET (Instituto René Guénon de Estudos Tradicionais) fundado em 1984, na cidade de São Paulo, pelo jornalista Luiz Pontual se dedica ao estudo e ensino da obra de René Guénon, conforme declara a Homepage [1] deste instituto. É interessante notar que Luiz Pontual é também um admirador da obra evoliana, reconhecendo sua radical oposição ao mundo moderno. Porém no site do IRGET, Pontual afirma: “Partidários de Evola, por outro lado, nos censuram por não nivelá-lo ou colocá-lo acima de Guénon. A estes, remetemos ao próprio Evola, que registrou em seus livros, mais de uma vez, o orgulho em ser um Kshatrya (poder temporal) e o reconhecimento em Guénon de um Brâmane (autoridade espiritual). Isto nos dispensa de maiores explicações.” O jornalista Luiz Pontual demonstra não conhecer a obra de Evola em profundidade, pois o pensador italiano assevera que em tempos primordiais, na Idade de Ouro, não havia uma separação entre a autoridade espiritual e o poder temporal. A figura da realeza sagrada, do rei-sacerdote, do pontifex, do imperador divino nas civilizações tradicionais, atesta a presença de uma autoridade superior à casta sacerdotal e a casta guerreira.

O jornalista e filósofo Olavo de Carvalho, em sua home-page menciona o livro de Evola - A Tradição Hermética - como um dos grandes livros que formarão sua visão de mundo. Olavo de Carvalho é um intelectual que vem escrevendo diversos artigos em jornais e revistas, onde expressa sua revolta diante da hegemonia intelectual esquerdista. Seu pensamento tem certa influência em alguns grupos conservadores brasileiros. O livro - Jardim das Aflições - escrito por O. de Carvalho em 2000, faz uma interessante referência J. Evola, que aqui apresentamos: “Não deixa de ser interessante que a disputa de prioridade espiritual entre as castas sacerdotal e real se reproduza, na escala discreta que convém ao caso, entre os dois maiores escritores esotéricos do século XX: René Guénon e Julius Evola.” O. de Carvalho é um estudioso de Guénon e de outros autores tradicionalistas.” Neste livro trata, entre outras diversas questões, sobre a relação entre a autoridade espiritual e o poder temporal.

A editora revisão, dedicada à publicação de livros revisionistas simpáticos ao nazismo, publicou no ano de 1996 um curioso livro intitulado - O elo secreto - por Hélio Oliveira. O livro em questão procura demonstrar quais são as forças ocultas que conduzem a História. A tese central do autor é que por detrás de tudo está a ação do judaísmo e da maçonaria. Visão reducionista é claro, incapaz de perceber que o próprio judaísmo e a maçonaria moderna são instrumentos de forças superiores. Mas o que nos interessa é a citação que Hélio Oliveira faz de Evola, ao tratar sobre - Os protocolos dos Sábios de Sião -, afirma o autor: “Alguns escritores judeus se manifestaram acerca da fidedignidade do livro. Para Julius Evola, - Nenhum livro do mundo foi objeto de tamanho boicote, como Os Protocolos dos Sábios de Sião. Pode-se dizer sem esforço, que ainda que sejam falsos e seus autores agentes provocadores, neles se refletem idéias típicas da lei e do espírito de Israel.” A citação de Evola é autêntica, porém Hélio Oliveira afirma que o autor italiano é judeu... o que não é verdadeiro.

É preciso destacar aqui o livro do historiador norte-americano Nicolas Clarke - O Sol Negro - publicado pela editora madras no ano de 2004.O livro deste historiador, trata das relações entre o nazismo e o ocultismo, bem como da influência de determinados pensadores “malditos” na formação de alguns grupos neo-nazistas e neo-fascistas. O autor dedica um capítulo inteiro a Julius Evola. Neste capítulo, Clarke procura sintetizar os aspectos principais do pensamento evoliano. Além de Evola, há outros capítulos dedicados, a Savitri Devi, Miguel Serrano e Francis Parker Yockey. A sintetiza feita por Clarke é razoável, entretanto o autor insiste em ressaltar o caráter pagão e anti-cristão de J. Evola. O livro teve algum sucesso entre alguns grupos neo-pagãos brasileiros.

A antropóloga Denise Maldi, já falecida, escreveu um artigo para a Revista de Antropologia em 1997, neste artigo cita Evola em dois momentos. O artigo se intitula - De confederados a bárbaros: a representação da territorialidade e da fronteira indígenas nos séculos XVIII e XIX – é aborda a questão da territorialidade e da fronteira enquanto categorias culturais. Ao tratar o conceito de nacionalidade se remete a Evola citando uma passagem de Revolta do Mundo Moderno que aqui transcrevemos diretamente de seu artigo: “A idade média conheceu nacionalidades, não nacionalismos. A nacionalidade é um dado natural, que circunscreve um certo número de qualidades elementares comuns, de qualidades que mantém tanto na diferenciação quanto na participação hierárquica, a que eles não se opõem de maneira alguma.” No final do artigo a antropóloga se refere novamente a Evola: “ Nesse sentido, o projeto de construção do Estado(a autora trata sobre o Estado - nação moderno) implicou também numa antinomia com relação à diversidade, em moldes completamente distintos do projeto colonizador, em que a naturalidade cedeu lugar à nacionalidade e o ethnos cedeu lugar ao demos, conforme apontou Julius Evola(1989). Isso significa a superação da diversidade no interior da ideologia do Estado e a homgeneização das diferenças étnicas em favor da unidade jurídica e da cidadania.” A antropóloga quer mostrar que o Estado nacional moderno é uma construção artificial, anti-natural , e que o nacionalismo é um produto da modernidade apoiando-se na distinção que Evola traça na - Revolta contra o mundo moderno - entre o princípio das nacionalidades, de origem medieval, e o nacionalismo moderno.

Em 14 de maio de 1995, o Jornal Folha de São Paulo, um dos maiores jornais do país, publicou um artigo do escritor italiano Umberto Eco. O artigo recebia o título de - A nebulosa fascista -. O famoso escritor italiano procurou elaborar um conjunto de traços, características daquilo que ele chamou de “protofascismos ou Fascismo Eterno”. Entre os traços elencados por Eco está o culto á tradição, o tradicionalismo. Acerca disso declara: “Basta dar uma olhada aos patronos de qualquer movimento fascista para encontrar os grandes pensadores tradicionalistas. A gnose nazista nutria-se de elementos tradicionalistas, sincréticos e ocultos. A fonte teórica mais importante da nova direita italiana, Julius Evola, fundiu o Santo Graal e os Protocolos dos Sábios de Sião, alquimia e Sacro Império Romano-Germânico.” É evidente a oposição de Eco ao pensamento de Evola. O escritor italiano não conhece as críticas de Julius Evola ao Fascismo [2] em livros como - O fascismo visto desde a direita e - Notas sobre o terceiro reich. Nestes dois livros, J. Evola demonstra os aspectos anti-tradicionais do fascismo italiano e do nacional-socialismo alemão, como o culto ao chefe, o populismo, o nacionalismo, o racismo biológico etc. Em relação à Nova Direita italiana, esta se nutre de apenas alguns aspectos da obra de Evola. Em todo o caso o artigo de Eco, muito lido pela intelligentsia brasileira, serve apenas para denegrir a imagem de Evola e deformar seu pensamento.

Mais recentemente, em 26 de dezembro de 2003, o historiador da UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), Francisco Carlos Teixeira da Silva, muito conhecido no meio acadêmico, publicou um pequeno artigo no Jornal do Brasil, um dos mais importantes do país, com o nome - Estadista ou pastor de almas -. O artigo em questão tem a finalidade de manchar a figura de do Papa Pio XII. O historiador argumenta que Pio XII silenciou-se diante do holocausto e era no fundo um filo-nazista. No final do artigo declara: “Do ponto de vista puramente teológico e filosófico, os fascismos (alemão ou italiano, pouco importa) são absolutamente incompatíveis com o cristianismo. A base racial e o culto da violência chocam-se inevitavelmente com a solidariedade cristã, fato constantemente lembrado por ideólogos do fascismo, como Julius Evola ou Alfred Rosemberg, que consideravam o cristianismo uma religião montada por mendigos, prostitutas e escravos.” Julius Evola, jamais foi ideólogo do fascismo, em nenhum momento fez parte do partido fascista e mais, escreveu diversos textos onde se opõe claramente a alguns aspectos do fascismo. Em 1930, Evola criou a Revista La Torre, de nítida orientação tradicionalista. A revista teve apenas cinco meses de vida e foi interditada por ordem de alguns elementos do governo fascista que não concordavam com as críticas da Revista La Torre ao fascismo. Em segundo lugar, Evola jamais se referiu ao cristianismo da forma como quer ver o historiador Francisco Teixeira. Se é verdade que Alfred Rosemberg, em seu - Mito do Século XX -, opunha-se radicallmente a tradição católica-cristã associando esta ao universalismo e ao judaísmo, e defendendo uma nova religião do sangue e da raça, Evola não pensava desta forma. O barão J. Evola, estabelecia uma distinção entre o mero cristianismo das origens, que conformava uma espiritualidade lunar, sacerdotal e o catolicismo. Neste reconhecia alguns aspectos positivos e superiores. De acordo com J. Evola a tradição católica romana teria sofrido o influxo da tradição céltica, nórdica-germânica, romana e grega.

A visão dos tradicionalistas católicos brasileiros, dos “perenialistas” e a influência de Evola em círculos ocultistas e neo-pagãos.

Evola é pouco conhecido nos meios tradicionalistas católicos no Brasil, que se agrupam em organizações como a associação cultural monfort, dirigida pelo professor Orlando Fidelli, a TFP (Tradição, Família e Propriedade), criado por Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira, a fraternidade São Pio X e o grupo permanência no Rio de Janeiro que é dirigido por Dom Lourenço Fleichman. Em uma conversa pessoal que mantive com o príncipe Dom Bertrand de Orléans e Bragança, herdeiro da família imperial brasileira, ligado a TFP, e dirigente do grupo pró-monarquia que defende o retorno do sistema monárquico no Brasil, afirmou: “O problema de Evola e que ele é ocultista, esoterista.” Esta é também a opinião de Orlando Fedelli, da associação monfort, que vai ainda mais longe afirmando ser o pensador italiano um gnóstico. A realidade é que os membros destas organizações não conhecem o pensamento evoliano, jamais leram um livro ou artigo de Evola. Por sua vez, todo aquele pensador que destacar a relevância de outras tradições metafísicas, é logo tachado por estes grupos como gnóstico, o que revele o sectarismo e o exclusivismo dessas organizações, incapazes de compreender a “unidade transcendente das religiões”.

Em relação aos “perenialistas” brasileiros, estudiosos e seguidores da “philosophia perennis”,que Evola denominou de Tradicionalismo Integral. Formada por pensadores como Guénon, Schuon, Ananda Coomarawamy, Martin Lings, Titus Burckhardt expressam uma maior simpatia por Evola. Para o professor de Filosofia Murilo Cardoso de Castro, que é um pesquisador e difusor da escola “perenialista” no Brasil por meio de uma excelente site na Internet [3], Julius Evola pode ser definido como um autor “perenialista”. Murilo Castro considera o pensador italiano, um estudioso da “Tradição primordial” um “buscador da verdade”. Em seu site disponibiliza diversos texto de Evola em italiano, espanhol, francês e inglês, indicando também outros sites que tratam sobre Julius Evola. Entretanto, o principal difusor e pesquisador dos autores perenialistas no Brasil, o jornalista e mestre em História da Religião, Mateus Soares de Azevedo com dissertação sobre Frijof Schuon, e autor de alguns livros sobre o tema e tradutor de algumas obras de Schuon, bem como de um livro de Martins Lings e outro de Rama Coomaraswamy, não faz qualquer referência a Evola. O referido jornalista jamais fez menção a Evola em seus escritos, o que é bastane estranho. Considera Guénon o “pai” da escola “perenialista”mas revela sua simpatia maior por Schuon , considerando este superior ao metafísico francês.

É em determinados grupos ocultistas, neo-pagãos e seguidores do hitlerismo mágico de Miguel Serrano que a figura e a obra de Evola têm despertado um maior interesse. A tradução da obra de Nicolas Clarke - o Sol Negro - teve um grande impacto entre tais grupos, que assim tomaram contato com pensamento de Evola. Por outro lado, alguns seguidores de Miguel Serrano no sul do Brasil, demonstram um certo interesse por Evola, devido as várias referências que este escritor chileno faz ao pensador italiano. Por meio da obra de Serrano, de Clarke, estes grupos identificam Julius Evola como um ocultista, um defensor do paganismo e um inimigo do cristianismo. Esta visão distorcida do pensamento evoliano, não tem colaborado para uma maior difusão de Evola no Brasil. Os artigos de Evola - L’equivoco del “nuovo paganesimo”(1936) Hitler e le società secrete (1971)- bem como o livro - Máscara y Rostro del espiritualismo contemporâneo, publicado no ano de 2003 pelas ediciones Heracles, demonstram o aspecto contra-tradicional dos grupos ocultistas, neo-pagãos e espiritualistas que pululam na sociedade moderna. Se estes textos fossem lidos e estudos por tais grupos a imagem de um Evola ocultista e pagão seria desfeita. A verdade é que poucos “neo-pagãos” conhecem as principais obras de Evola.

A guisa de conclusão podemos afirmar que o pensamento de Evola é pouquíssimo conhecido no Brasil. A única obra publicada no Brasil, deste pensador, - O Mistério do Graal - encontra-se fora de circulação. A intelligentsia brasileira desconhece a obra de Evola. O contato com pensamento de Evola é feito pelo esforço individual de alguns poucos que percebem no mestre italiano e em sua monumental obra um conjunto de orientações fundamentais para que um tipo humano diferenciado – o homem tradicional – possa manter-se em pé diante das ruínas desta civilização decadente.

Notas:

(1) http://www.reneguenon.net/oinstitutoindex.html

(2) Ver -Más allá del fascismo, ediciones heracles -, 2º edição, 2006, com introdução do Professor Marcos Ghio do Centro de Estudos Evolianos da Argentina

(3) www.sophia.bem-vindo.net

lundi, 25 juin 2012

Ensiferum - Tears

Ensiferum

Tears

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