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samedi, 26 février 2011

The Radical Tradition

  • TOMISLAV SUNIC – History and Decadence: Spengler’s Cultural Pessimism Today
  •  
  • JONATHAN BOWDEN – A Polyp Devours Its Feed, Paracelsus Unzipped: An Analysis of F.W. Murnau’s Film, Nosferatu
  • TROY SOUTHGATE – Heidegger: The Application of Meaning in An Increasingly Transient World
  •  
  • WAYNE JOHN STURGEON – Anarcho-National-Syndicalist: Some Reflections on Being Shot by Both Sides
  •  
  • ALEX KURTAGIC – Lessons From the Music Industry

BRETT STEVENS – The Civilisation Cycle and its Implications for the Individual

MAXIM BOROZENEC – An Introduction to Intertraditionale

DR. K.R. BOLTON – The Art of Rootless Cosmopolitanism: America’s Offensive Against Civilisation

VINCE YNZUNZA – The Manifesto of the Psychedelic Conservative

TROY SOUTHGATE – Schopenhauer and Suffering: Eternal Pessimist or Prophet for our Times?

WAYNE JOHN STURGEON – Anarcho-Gnosticism: Golgotha of the Absolute Mind 

SEAN JOBST – Towards a Sufi Anarch: The Role of Islamic Mysticism Against Modernist Decay

BEN CRAVEN – Are Human Rights a Fiction of Modern, Western Liberal Democracies That Bring Us No Closer to a Shared Ethical Framework?

TONY GLAISTER – 50 Years On: Notes on the New Right

WAYNE JOHN STURGEON – The Impossible Dream: An Introduction to Christian Anarchism

KEITH PRESTON – The Nietzschean Prophecies: Two Hundred Years of Nihilism and the Coming Crisis of Western Civilization

TROY SOUTHGATE – Transcending the Beyond: Third Position to National-Anarchism

GWENDOLYN TOYNTON – Reforming the Modern World: Addressing the Issue of Cultural Identity

You may recognize some of these names from around here. We’re looking forward to this interesting release which takes politics from beyond the narrow linear confines of self-interest into a concept of human life as more than the sum of its parts.

Available in March 2011 from Primordial Traditions.

jeudi, 24 février 2011

Futurisme et dadaisme chez Evola

Futurisme et dadaïsme chez Evola

 

Salvatore FRANCIA

 

653-b.jpgNous devons également mentionner l'influence qu'exerça sur Evola adolescent le groupe qui s'était constitué autour des revues de Giovanni Papini et du mouvement futuriste. Le jeune Evola ne tarda pas à reconnaître toutefois que l'orientation générale du futurisme ne s'accordait que fort peu avec ses propres inclinaisons. Dans le futurisme, beaucoup de choses lui déplaisaient : le sensualisme, l'absence d'intériorité, les aspects tapageurs et exhibitionnistes, l'exaltation grossière de la vie et de l'instinct, curieusement mêlée a­vec celle du machinisme et d'une espèce d'américanisme, même si, par ailleurs, le futu­risme se référait à des formes chauvines de nationalisme.

 Justement, à propos du nationalisme, ses divergences de vue avec les futuristes appa­raissent dès le déclenchement de la première guerre mondiale, à cause de la violente campagne interventionniste déclenchée par le groupe de Papini et le mouvement futuris­te. Pour Evola, il était inconcevable que tous ces gens, avec à leur tête Papini, épousas­sent les lieux communs patriotards les plus éculés de la propagande anti-germanique, croyant ainsi sérieusement appuyer une guerre pour la défense de la civilisation et de la liberté contre la barbarie et l'agression.

 Evola, à l'époque, n'avait encore jamais quitté l'Italie et n'avait qu'un sentiment confus des structures hiérarchiques, féodales et traditionnelles présentes en Europe centrale, a­lors qu'elles avaient quasiment disparu du reste de l'Europe à la suite de la révolution française. Malgré l'imprécision de ses vues, ses sympathies allaient vers l'Autriche et l'Al­lemagne et il ne souhaitait pas l'abstention et la neutralité italiennes, mais une interven­tion aux côtés des puissances impériales d'Europe centrale. Après avoir lu un article d'E­vola dans ce sens, Marinetti lui aurait dit textuellement : « Tes idées sont aussi éloignées des miennes que celles d'un Esquimau ».

Après 1918, Evola est attiré par le mouvement dadaïste, surtout à cause de son radicalis­me. Le dadaïsme défendait une vision générale de la vie sous-tendue par une impulsion vers une libération absolue se manifestant sous des formes paradoxales et déconcertan­tes, accompagnées d'un bouleversement de toutes les catégories logiques, éthiques et esthétiques. « Ce qui vit en nous est de l'ordre du divin, affirmait Tristan Tzara, c'est le ré­veil de l'action anti-humaine ». Ou encore : « Nous cherchons la force directe, pure, sobre, unique, nous ne cherchons rien d'autre ». Le dadaïsme ne pouvait conduire nulle part : il signalait bien plutôt l'auto-dissolution de l'art dans un état supérieur de liberté. Pour Evo­la, c'est en cela que résidait la signification essentielle du dadaïsme. C'est ce que nous constatons en effet à la lecture de son article « Sul significato dell'arte modernissima », re­produit en appendice de ses Saggi sull'idealismo magico, publiés en 1925. En réalité, le mouvement auquel Evola avait été associé n'a réalisé que bien peu de choses. Evola en avait espéré davantage. Si le dadaïsme représentait la limite extrême et indépassable de tous les courants d'avant-garde, tout ne s'auto-consommait pas dans l'expérience d'une rupture effective avec toutes les formes d'art.

Au dadaïsme succéda le surréalisme, dont le caractère, du point de vue d'Evola, était ré­gressif, parce que, d'une part, il cultivait une espèce d'automatisme psychique se tour­nant vers les strates subconscientes et inconscientes de l'être (au point de se solidariser avec le psychanalyse elle-même) et, d'autre part, se bornait à transmettre des sensations confuses venues d'un « au-delà » inquiétant et insaisissable de la réalité, sans aucune ou­verture véritable vers le haut.

 Il est difficile de parler de la peinture d'Evola, vu l'abstraction des sujets. En contemplant les tableaux d'Evola et en lisant ses poèmes dadaïstes, on comprend que le monde mo­derne, tel que le percevaient les élites des premières années de notre siècle, apparais­sait comme le symbole du dénuement et de la purification. Ces élites rejetaient les ori­peaux de la culture bourgeoise du XIXème et voulaient créer rapidement une « nouvelle objectivité » que certains ont cru découvrir dans le bolchevisme et d'autres dans le nazis­me.

 À 23 ans, Evola cesse définitivement de peindre et d'écrire des poésies. Ses intérêts le portent vers une autre sphère.

 (Extrait de Il pensiero tradizionale di Julius Evola, Società Editrice Barbarossa, Milano, 1994 ; ouvrage disponible auprès de notre service librairie. Prix: 240 FB ou 45 FF, port compris).

vendredi, 11 février 2011

Julius Evola's Concept of Race: A Racism of Three Degrees

Julius Evola’s Concept of Race:
A Racism of Three Degrees

Michael Bell

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

EvolaTrent'AnniDopo.jpgSince the rise of physical anthropology, the definition of the term “race” has undergone several changes. In 1899, William Z. Ripley stated that, “Race, properly speaking, is responsible only for those peculiarities, mental or bodily, which are transmitted with constancy along the lines of direct physical descent.”[1]

In 1916, Madison Grant described it as the “immutability of somatological or bodily characters, with which is closely associated the immutability of psychical predispositions and impulses.”[2] He was echoed a decade later by German anthropologist Hans F. K. Günther, who in his Racial Elements of European History said, “A race shows itself in a human group which is marked off from every other human group through its own proper combination of bodily and mental characteristics, and in turn produces only its like.”[3]

According to the English-born Canadian evolutionary psychologist J. Philippe Rushton:

Each race (or variety) is characterized by a more or less distinct combination of inherited morphological, behavioral, physiological traits. . . . Formation of a new race takes place when, over several generations, individuals in one group reproduce more frequently among themselves than they do with individuals in other groups. This process is most apparent when the individuals live in diverse geographic areas and therefore evolve unique, recognizable adaptations (such as skin color) that are advantageous in their specific environments.[4]

These examples indicate that, within the academic context (where those who still believe in “race” are fighting a losing battle with the hierophants of cultural anthropology), a race is simply a human group with distinct common physical and mental traits that are inherited.

Among white racialists, where race has more than a merely scientific importance, a deeper dimension was added to the concept: that of the spirit. In The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler set forth the idea of the Apollinian, Faustian, and Magian “soul forms,” which can be understood as spiritual racial types.[5] In his highly influential Spenglerian tome Imperium, Francis Parker Yockey elaborated this notion, asserting that while there are genetically related individuals within any particular human group, race itself is spiritual: it is a deeply felt sense of identity connected with a drive to perpetuate not just genes, but a whole way of life. “Race impels toward self-preservation, continuance of the cycle of generations, increase of power.”[6] Spiritual race is a drive toward a collective destiny.

The spiritual side of race, however, was never systematically explained to the same extent as the physical. Its existence was, rather, merely suggested and taken for granted. It was only in the writings of the much overlooked Italian Radical Traditionalist and esotericist Julius Evola that the spiritual dimension was finally articulated in detail. One who has studied race from the biological, psychological, and social perspectives should turn to Evola’s writings for a culminating lesson on the subject. Evola’s writings provide a wealth of information that one cannot get elsewhere. Through a careful analysis of ancient literature and myths, along with anthropology, biology, history, and related subjects, Evola has pieced together a comprehensive explanation of the racial spirit.

My purpose here is simply to outline Evola’s doctrine of race. Since Evola’s life and career have been thoroughly examined elsewhere,[7] the only biographical fact relevant here is that Evola’s thoughts on race were officially adopted as policy by Mussolini’s Fascist party in 1942.[8]

Body and Mind

Evola’s precise definition of “race” is similar to Yockey’s: it is an inner essence that a person must “have”; this will be explained further below. In the meantime, a good starting point is Evola’s understanding of distinct human groups.

Evola agrees with the physical anthropologists that there are distinct groups with common physical traits produced by a common genotype: “the external form . . . which, from birth to birth, derives from the ‘gene’ . . . is called phenotype.”[9] He refers to these groups as “races of the body,” and concurs with Günther that suitable examples include the Nordic, Mediterranean, East Baltic, Orientalid, Negroid, and many others.[10]

Evola decribes the “race of the soul” as the collective mental and behavioral traits of a human stock, and the outward “style” through which these are exhibited. Every race has essentially the same mental predispositions; all human peoples, for example, desire sexual satisfaction from a mate. However, each human stock manifests these inner instincts externally in a different way, and it is this “style,” as Evola terms it, which is the key component of the “race of the soul.”

To illustrate this point, compare the Spartan strategos (Nordic soul) to the Carthaginian shofet (Levantine soul)[11]: the Spartan considers it heroic to fight hand-to-hand with shield and spear and cowardly to attack from a distance with projectiles, whereas the Carthaginian finds it natural to employ elephants and grand siege equipment to utterly shock and scatter his enemies for an expedient victory.

The names of these races of the soul correspond to those of the body, hence a Nordic soul, a Mediterranean soul, Levantine soul, etc. Evola devotes an entire chapter in Men Among the Ruins to comparing the “Nordic” or “Aryo-Roman” soul to the “Mediterranean.” The Nordic soul is that of “‘the race of the active man,’ of the man who feels that the world is presented to him as material for possession and attack.”[12] It is the character of the quintessential “strong and silent type”:

Among them we should include self-control, an enlightened boldness, a concise speech and determined and coherent conduct, and a cold dominating attitude, exempt from personalism and vanity. . . . The same style is characterized by deliberate actions, without grand gestures; a realism that is not materialism, but rather love for the essential . . . the readiness to unite, as free human beings and without losing one’s identity, in view of a higher goal or for an idea.[13]

Evola also quotes Helmuth Graf von Moltke (the Elder) on the Nordic ethos: “Talk little, do much, and be more than you appear to be.”[14]

The Mediterranean soul is the antithesis of the Nordic. This sort of person is a vain, noisy show-off who does things just to be noticed. Such a person might even do great deeds sometimes, but they are not done primarily for their positive value, but merely to draw attention. In addition, the Mediterranean makes sexuality the focal point of his existence.[15] The resemblance of this picture to the average narcissistic, sex- and celebrity-obsessed American of today—whether genetically Nordic or Mediterranean—is striking. One need only watch American Idol or browse through the profiles of Myspace.com to see this.

Race of the Spirit

The deepest and therefore most complicated aspect of race for Evola is that of the “spirit.” He defines it as a human stock’s “varying attitude towards the spiritual, supra-human, and divine world, as expressed in the form of speculative systems, myths, and symbols, and the diversity of religious experience itself.”[16] In other words, it is the manner in which different peoples interact with the gods as conveyed through their cultures; a “culture” would include rituals, temple architecture, the role of a priesthood (or complete lack thereof), social hierarchy, the status of women, religious symbolism, sexuality, art, etc. This culture, or worldview, is not simply the product of sociological causes, however. It is the product of something innate within a stock, a “meta-biological force, which conditions both the physical and the psychical structures” of its individual members.[17]

The “meta-biological force” in question has two different forms. The first corresponds to an id or a collective unconscious, a sort of group mind-spirit that splinters off into individual spirits and enters a group member’s body upon birth. Evola describes it as “subpersonal” and belonging “to nature and the infernal world.”[18] Most ancient peoples, as he explains, depicted this force symbolically in their myths and sagas; examples would include the animal totems of American aborigines, the ka of the Pharaonic Egyptians, or the lares of the Latin peoples. The “infernal” nature of the latter example was emphasized by the fact that the lares were believed to be ruled over by an underground deity named Mania.[19] When a person died, this metaphysical element would be absorbed back into the collective from whence it came, only to be recycled into another body, but devoid of any recollection of its former life.

The second form, superior to the first, is one that does not exist in every stock naturally, or in every member of a given stock; it is an otherworldly force that must be drawn into the blood of a people through the practice of certain rites. This action corresponds to the Hindu notion of “realizing the Self,” or experiencing a oneness with the divine source of all existence and order (Brahman). Such a task can only be accomplished by a gifted few, who by making this divine connection undergo an inner transformation. They become aware of immutable principles, in the name of which they go on to forge their ethnic kin into holistic States—microcosmic versions of the transcendent principle of Order itself. Thus, the Brahmins and Kshatriyas of India, the patricians of Rome, and the samurai of Japan had a “race of the spirit,” which is essential to “having race” itself. Others may have the races of body and soul, but race of the spirit is race par excellence.

Transcendence is experienced differently by different ethnic groups. As a result, different understandings of the immutable arise across the world; from these differences emerge several “races of the spirit.” Evola focuses on two in particular. The first is the “telluric spirit” characterized by a deep “connection to the soil.” This race worships the Earth in its various cultural manifestations (Cybele, Gaia, Magna Mater, Ishtar, Inanna, etc.) and a consort of “demons.” Their view of the afterlife is fatalistic: the individual spirit is spawned from the Earth and then returns to the Earth, or to the infernal realm of Mania, upon death, with no other possibility.[20] Their society is matriarchal, with men often taking the last names of their mothers and familial descent being traced through the mother. In addition, women often serve as high priestesses. The priesthood, in fact, is given preeminence, whereas the aristocratic warrior element is subordinated, if it exists at all.

This race has had representatives in all the lands of Europe, Asia, and Africa that were first populated by pre-Aryans: the Iberians, Etruscans, Pelasgic-Minoans, Phoenicians, the Indus Valley peoples, and all others of Mediterranean, Oriental, and Negroid origin. The invasions of Aryan stock would introduce to these peoples a diametrically opposed racial spirit: the “Solar” or “Olympian” race.

The latter race worships the heavenly god of Order, manifested as Brahman, Ahura-Mazda, Tuisto (the antecedent of Odin), Chronos, Saturn, and the various sun deities from America to Japan. Its method of worship is not the self-prostration and humility practiced by Semites, or the ecstatic orgies of Mediterraneans, but heroic action (for the warriors) and meditative contemplation (for the priests), both of which establish a direct link with the divine. Olympian societies are hierarchical, with a priestly caste at the top, followed by a warrior caste, then a caste of tradesmen, and finally a laboring caste. The ruler himself assumes the dual role of priest and warrior, which demonstrates that the priesthood did not occupy the helm of society as they did among telluric peoples. Finally, the afterlife was not seen as an inescapable dissolution into nothingness, but as one of two potential conclusions of a test. Those who live according to the principles of their caste, without straying totally from the path, and who come to “realize the Self,” experience a oneness with God and enter a heavenly realm that is beyond death. Those who live a worthless, restless existence that places all emphasis on material and physical things, without ever realizing the presence of the divine Self within all life, undergoes the “second death,”[21] or the return to the collective racial mind-spirit mentioned earlier.

The Olympian race has appeared throughout history in the following forms: in America as the Incas; in Europe and Asia as the Indo-European speaking peoples; in Africa as the Egyptians; and in the Far East as the Japanese. Generally, this race of the spirit has been carried by waves of phenotypically Nordic peoples, which will be explained further below.

Racial Genesis

Of considerable importance to Evola’s racial worldview is his explanation of human history. Contrary to the views of most physical anthropologists and archaeologists, and even many intellectual white racialists, humanity did not evolve from a primitive, simian ancestor, and then branch off into different genetic populations. Evolution itself is a fallacy to Evola, who believed it to be rooted in the equally false ideology of progressivism: “We do not believe that man is derived from the ape by evolution. We believe that the ape is derived from man by involution. We agree with De Maistre that savage peoples are not primitive peoples, but rather the degenerating remnants of more ancient races that have disappeared.”[22]

Evola argues in many of his works, like Bal Ganghadar Tilak and René Guénon before him, that the Aryan peoples of the world descend from a race that once inhabited the Arctic. In “distant prehistory” this land was the seat of a super-civilization—“super” not for its material attainments, but for its connection to the gods—that has been remembered by various peoples as Hyperborea, Airyana-Vaego, Mount Meru, Tullan, Eden, and other labels; Evola uses the Hellenic rendition “Hyperborea” more than the rest, probably to remain consistent and avoid confusion among his readers. The Hyperboreans themselves, as he explains, were the original bearers of the Olympian racial spirit.

Due to a horrible cataclysm, the primordial seat was destroyed, and the Hyperboreans were forced to migrate. A heavy concentration of refugees ended up at a now lost continent somewhere in the Atlantic, where they established a new civilization that corresponded to the “Atlantis” of Plato and the “Western land” of the Celts and other peoples. History repeated itself, and ultimately this seat was also destroyed, sending forth an Eastward-Westward wave of migrants. As Evola notes, this particular wave “[corresponded] to Cro-Magnon man, who made his appearance toward the end of the glacial age in the Western part of Europe,”[23] thus lending some historical evidence to his account. This “pure Aryan” stock would ultimately become the proto-Nordic race of Europe, which would then locally evolve into the multitude of Nordic stocks who traveled across the world and founded the grandest civilizations, from Incan Peru to Shintoist Japan.

Evola spends less time tracing the genesis of nonwhite peoples, which he consistently refers to as “autochthonous,” “bestial,” and “Southern” races. In his seminal work Revolt Against the Modern World, he says that the “proto-Mongoloid and Negroid races . . . probably represented the last residues of the inhabitants of a second prehistoric continent, now lost, which was located in the South, and which some designated as Lemuria.”[24] In contrast to the superior Nordic-Olympians, these stocks were telluric worshippers of the Earth and its elemental demons. Semites and other mixed races, Evola asserts, are the products of miscegenation between Atlantean settlers and these Lemurian races. Civilizations such as those of the pre-Hellenes, Mohenjo-Daro, pre-dynastic Egyptians, and Phoenicians, among countless others, were founded by these mixed peoples.

Racialism in Practice

Racialist movements from National Socialist Germany to contemporary America have tended to emphasize preserving physical racial types. While phenotypes were important to Evola, his foremost goal for racialism was to safeguard the Olympian racial spirit of European man. It was from this spirit that the greatest Indo-European civilizations received the source of their leadership, the principles around which they centered their lives, and thus the wellspring of their vitality. While de Gobineau, Grant, and Hitler argued that blood purity was the determining factor in the life of a civilization, Evola contended that “Only when a civilization’s ‘spiritual race’ is worn out or broken does its decline set in.”[25] Any people who manages to maintain a physical racial ideal with no inner spiritual substance is a race of “very beautiful animals destined to work,”[26] but not destined to produce a higher civilization.

The importance of phenotypes is described thusly: “The physical form is the instrument, expression, and symbol of the psychic form.”[27] Evola felt that it would only be possible to discover the desired spiritual type (Olympian) through a systematic examination of physical types. Even to Evola, a Sicilian baron, the best place to look in this regard was the “Aryan or Nordic-Aryan body”; as he mentions on several occasions, it was, after all, this race that carried the Olympian Tradition across the world. He called this process of physical selection “racism of the first degree,” which was the first of three stages.

Once the proper Nordic phenotype was identified, various “appropriate” tests comprising racism of the second and third degrees would be implemented to determine a person’s racial soul and spirit.[28] Evola never laid out a specific program for this, but makes allusions in his works to assessments in which a person’s political and racial opinions would be taken into account. In his Elements of Racial Education, he asserts that “The one who says yes to racism is one in which race still lives,” and that one who has race is intrinsically against democratic ideals. He also likens true racism to the “classical spirit,” which is rooted in “exaltation of everything which has form, face, and individuation, as opposed to what is formless, vague, and undifferentiated.”[29] Keep in mind that for Evola, “having race” is synonymous with having the “Olympian race” of the spirit. Upon discovering a mentality that fits the criteria for soul and spirit, a subsequent education of “appropriate disciplines” would be carried out to ensure that the racial spirit within this person is “maintained and developed.” Through such trials, conducted on a wide scale, a nation can determine those people within it who embody the racial ideal and the capacity for leadership.

Protecting and developing the Nordic-Olympians was primary for Evola, but his racialism had other goals. He sought to produce the “unified type,” or a person in whom the races of body, soul, and spirit matched one another and worked together harmoniously. For example: “A soul which experiences the world as something before which it takes a stand actively, which regards the world as an object of attack and conquest, should have a face which reflects by determined and daring features this inner experience, a slim, tall, nervous, straight body—an Aryan or Nordic-Aryan body.”[30]

This was important because “it is not impossible that physical appearances peculiar to a given race may be accompanied by the psychic traits of a different race.”[31] To Evola, if people chose mates on the basis of physical features alone, there is a good chance that various mental and spiritual elements would become intermingled and generate a dangerous confusion; there would be Nordics with Semitic mental characteristics and Asiatic spiritual predispositions, Alpines with Nordic proclivities and fatalistic religious attitudes, and so on. Such a mixture was what Evola considered to be a mongrel type, in whom “cosmopolitan myths of equality” become manifested mentally, thus paving the way for the beasts of democracy and communism to permeate the nation and take hold.

Evola cared more about the aristocratic racial type, but he did not want the populace to become a bastardized mass: “We must commit ourselves to the task of applying to the nation as a whole the criteria of coherence and unity, of correspondence between outer and inner elements.”[32] If the aristocracy had as its subjects a blob of spiritless, internally broken people, the nation would have no hope. For the Fascist state, he promoted an educational campaign to ensure that the peoples of Italy selected their mates appropriately, looking for both appearances and behavior; non-Europeans would of course be excluded entirely. The school system would play its role, as would popular literature and films.[33]

Another way to develop the “inner race” is through combat. Not combat in the modern sense of pressing a button and instantly obliterating a hundred people, but combat as it unfolds in the trenches and on the battlefield, when it is man against man, as well as man against his inner demons. Evola writes “the experience of war, and the instincts and currents of deep forces which emerge through such an experience, give the racial sense a right, fecund direction.”[34] Meanwhile, the comfortable bourgeois lifestyle and its pacifist worldview lead to the crippling of the inner race, which will ultimately become extinguished if external damage is thenceforth inflicted (via intermixing with inferior elements).

Conclusion

American racialists have much to gain from an introduction to Evola’s thoughts on race. In the American context, racialism is virtually devoid of any higher, spiritual element; many racialists even take pride in this. There are, without a doubt, many racialists who consider themselves devout Catholics or Protestants, and they may even be so. However, the reality of race as a spiritual phenomenon is given little attention, if any at all. For whatever reason, American racialists are convinced that the greatness of Western civilization, evinced by its literature, architecture, discoveries, inventions, conquests, empires, political treatises, economic achievements, and the like, lie solely in the mental characteristics of its people. For instance, the Romans erected the coliseum, the English invented capitalism, and the Greeks developed the Pythagorean theorem simply because they all had high IQs. When one compares the achievements of different Western peoples, and those of the West to the East, however, this explanation appears inadequate.

Intelligence alone cannot explain the different styles that are conveyed through the culture forms of different peoples; the Greeks’ Corinthian order on the one hand, and the Arabs’ mosques and minarets on the other, are not results of mere intellect. Sociological explanations do not work either; the Egyptians and the Mayans lived in vastly different environments, yet both evoked their style through pyramids and hieroglyphs. The only explanation for these phenomena is that there is something deeper within a folk, something deeper and more powerful than bodily structures and mental predispositions. As Evola elucidates through his multitude of works—themselves the result of intense study of ancient and modern texts from every discipline imaginable—race has a “super-biological” aspect: a spiritual force. Ancient peoples understood this reality and conveyed it through their myths: the Romans used the lares; the Mayans used totemic animal symbols; the Persians used the fravashi, which were synonymous with the Nordic valkyries[35]; the Egyptians used the ka; and the Hindus in the Bhagavad-Gita used Lord Krishna.

To better understand the spiritual side of race, the best place to look is Julius Evola. Through his works, which have greatly influenced the European New Right, Evola dissects and examines the concept of the Volksgeist, or racial spirit. It is the supernatural force that animates the bodies of a given race and stimulates the wiring in their brains. It is the substance from which cultures arise, and from which an aristocracy materializes to raise those cultures to higher civilizations. Without it, a race is simply a tribe of automatons that feed and copulate:

When the super biological element that is the center and the measure of true virility is lost, people can call themselves men, but in reality they are just eunuchs and their paternity simply reflects the quality of animals who, blinded by instinct, procreate randomly other animals, who in turn are mere vestiges of existence.[36]

Nowhere would Evola’s racial ideas be more valuable than in the United States, a land in which the idea of transcendent realities is mocked, if not violently attacked. Even American racialists, who nostalgically look back to “better” times when people were more “traditional,” are completely unaware of how the Aryan Tradition, in its purest form, understands the concept of race. Many of these people claim to be “Aryan” while simultaneously calling themselves “atheist” or “agnostic,” although in ancient societies, one needed to practice the necessary religious rites and undergo certain trials before having the right to style onself an Aryan. Hence the need for these “atheist Aryans” to become more familiar with Julius Evola.

Notes

1. William Z. Ripley, The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1899), 1.

2. Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race (North Stratford, N.H.: Ayer Company Publishers, Inc., 2000), xix.

3. H. F. K. Günther, The Racial Elements of European History, trans. G. C. Wheeler (Uckfield, Sussex, UK: Historical Review Press, 2007), 9.

4. J. Philippe Rushton, “Statement on Race as a Biological Concept,” November 4, 1996, http://www.nationalistlibrary.com/index2.php?option=com_c...

5. Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, 2 vols., trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (New York: Knopf, 1926 & 1928), vol. 1, chs. 6 and 9; cf. vol. 2, ch. 5, “Cities and Peoples. (B) Peoples, Races, Tongues.”

6. Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium (Newport Beach, Cal.: Noontide Press, 2000), 293.

7. See the Introduction to Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins, trans. Guido Stucco, (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 2002).

8. Evola, Men Among the Ruins, 47.

9. Julius Evola, The Elements of Racial Education, trans. Thompkins and Cariou (Thompkins & Cariou, 2005), 11.

10. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 34–35.

11. For more on the Levantine “race of the soul” see Elements of Racial Education, 35.

12. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 35.

13. Evola, Men Among the Ruins, 259.

14. Evola, Men Among the Ruins, 262.

15. Evola, Men Among the Ruins, 260. Evola’s descriptions of Nordic and Mediterranean proclivities show the strong influence of Günther’s The Racial Elements of European History.

16. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 29.

17. Julius Evola, Metaphysics of War: Battle, Victory & Death in the World of Tradition, ed. John Morgan and Patrick Boch (Aarhus, Denmark: Integral Tradition Publishing, 2007), 63.

18. Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, trans. Guido Stucco (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1995), 48.

19. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 48.

20. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 40.

21. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 48.

22. Julius Evola, Eros and the Mysteries of Love, trans. anonymous (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1991), 9.

23. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 195.

24. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 197.

25. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 58.

26. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 170.

27. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 30.

28. Julius Evola, “Race as a Builder of Leaders,” trans. Thompkins and Cariou, http://thompkins_cariou.tripod.com/id7.html.

29. Evola, The Elements of Racial Education, 14, 15.

30. Evola, The Elements of Racial Education, 31.

31. Evola, “Race as a Builder of Leaders.”

32. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 33.

33. Evola, Elements of Racial Education, 25.

34. Evola, Metaphysics of War, 69.

35. Evola, Metaphysics of War, 34.

36. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 170.

Source: TOQ, vol.9, no. 2 (Spring 2009).

jeudi, 10 février 2011

La chandeleur sans les crêpes

chandeleur.jpg

La chandeleur sans les crêpes

Ex: http://www.insolent.fr/

110203Il paraît que le président Obama se dit chrétien. Je lui dédie donc ce texte avec plaisir.

Du temps de nos grands-mères, on n'eût pas imaginé, au soir du 2 février, chaque année, de ne pas faire des crêpes. Ce très vieil usage français remontait à on ne savait quand. Aujourd'hui, bien des gens soupirent, peut-être à juste titre, à propos de la déchristianisation de la France. Mais ils ne font en général que ronchonner, pour la plupart d'entre eux, comme s'il s'agissait d'une simple perte purement esthétique de ce qu'on appelle l'identité, sans jamais dire de quoi il retourne.

Chacun pourtant devrait s'interroger. Les origines de cette coutume et même la signification de cette fête de la chandeleur semblent ignorées du plus grand nombre.

Commençons par les crêpes. On attribue cet usage au pape nord-africain Gélase Ier (492-496) qui aurait imposé à Rome cette fête dite aussi la Sainte Rencontre. Adversaire ardent de l'hérésie monophysite, il voyait dans l'épisode évangélique, propre à saint Luc, chapitre II, versets 21 et suivants, une illustration des deux natures, divine et humaine, du Christ. En cette occasion auraient été distribuées les fameuses crêpes dont la coutume a été conservée, avec plus ou moins de talent culinaire, jusqu'à nos jours. Cette festivité fut aussi imposée aux habitants de l'ancienne Rome et aux occidentaux comme substitut de cérémonies païennes d'hiver, à Rome les lupercales, en Scandinavie et en Germanie le culte de la fécondité qui deviendra la sainte Brigitte, en Gaule et en Irlande la lustration d'Imbolc prendra le même chemin.

Mais en réalité cette commémoration de la présentation au Temple de l'Enfant Jésus, lors de son 40e jour a été instituée en Palestine. Elle existait déjà à l'époque du pèlerinage d'Éthérie à Jérusalem, c'est-à-dire au IVe siècle, plus de 150 ans avant Gélase.

Sur la rencontre, le récit de Luc est parfaitement explicite. On peut regretter à ce sujet que les lectures liturgiques commencent au verset 22.

Car, si l'on prend l'épisode, ce que les exégètes appellent la "péricope" évangélique dans son entier, à partir du verset 21, il y est d'abord mentionné la circoncision de l'enfant au 8e jour, selon la loi du Seigneur.

Puis, les deux parents, et pas seulement la sainte Vierge, verset 22 (1) observent une période de purification de 40 jours. Ce délai, que l'on retrouve dans toute la vie chrétienne reprend les 40 années de passage des Hébreux dans le désert, épreuve nécessaire, aux yeux des rédacteurs de la Bible, à ce que le peuple reçoive sa terre et sa loi. À la suite de quoi ils font l'offrande si poétique des deux tourterelles. (2)

Et enfin, c'est aussi en application de la Loi de Moïse que l'enfant premier-né est présenté au temple de Jérusalem. (3)

L'évangéliste Luc, comme l'on sait, écrivait directement en grec pour les païens de culture grecque. Il se basait en grande partie sur les souvenirs de témoins oculaires et notamment sur ceux de Marie elle-même (4).

Or, il souligne par ce récit, et il le fait précisément à l'usage des convertis venus du paganisme, que le Seigneur et Sauveur est bel et bien né dans le judaïsme (5). On peut en tirer, et on en a tiré, au cours de l'Histoire, des conclusions très contrastées. Les faits sont sacrés les commentaires sont libres.

Mais relativement à cette donnée scripturaire, que tout chrétien doit recevoir et comprendre, cette présentation de l'Enfant devient "sainte Rencontre", du fait de la présence de deux personnages prophétiques qui attestent la continuité des deux "alliances" : le vieillard Syméon et la prophétesse Anne. L'un comme l'autre reconnaissent en Jésus le Messie. Le consolateur d'Israël est entré dans son Temple.

Finalement, cette fête nous donne la clef de toute notre "culture de l'Incarnation", laquelle a toujours rencontré sur sa route les fausses gnoses, les diverses hérésies, y compris celle que combattait Gélase à Rome et qu'avait anathématisée, un demi-siècle plus tôt, en 451, le concile de Chalcédoine.

Affirmée en Égypte par le moine Eutychès cette doctrine dite "monophysite" (6) ne veut voir, au contraire, dans le Christ que la nature divine en laquelle la nature humaine aurait été "absorbée comme une goutte d'eau l'est par la mer". Mais cette tendance se retrouve tout au long de l'Histoire du christianisme. La gnose de l'hérétique Marcion (dès le IIe siècle) ne dit déjà pas autre chose, dans son désir d'évacuer l'Ancien Testament. Maurras aussi quoiqu'en disent les maurrassiens catholiques, parlait du "venin juif du Magnificat". En occident, un croyant aussi ardent que Pierre Chaunu allait jusqu'à reconnaître "au fond nous sommes tous monophysites. Nous avons beaucoup de mal à concevoir la nature humaine de Jésus".

Pour dire les choses crûment beaucoup de chrétiens ne veulent pas entendre parler, par exemple, du "Christ hébreu".

Il fallait bien pourtant qu'Il appartienne à un peuple pour faire partie de l'humanité.

Oui, le Christ est né dans une patrie, oui, il a grandi dans une famille, oui il a exercé un travail.

Proclamer ou même imaginer le contraire serait le commencement de l'affreuse et sanglante utopie mondialiste. C'est au nom de cette lubie, que certains trouvent normal, depuis Washington ou depuis Paris, de juger de la vie des autres pays sans la connaître. Mais je m'égare, j'ai l'impression de revenir à une certaine actualité médiatisée, et mondialisée.
JG Malliarakis


Apostilles

  1. Luc 2,22 : "Puis, une fois passé le temps prescrit par la Loi de Moïse pour leur purification (texte grec originel :"katharistou auton" génitif pluriel), les parents de Jésus l’emmenèrent à Jérusalem pour le présenter au Seigneur."
  2. Lévitique 12.8 : "Si elle n’a pas de quoi offrir un agneau, elle prendra deux tourterelles ou deux pigeonneaux, l’un pour l’holocauste et l’autre pour le sacrifice pour le péché ; le prêtre accomplira le rite d’expiation pour elle, et elle sera rituellement pure."
  3. Exode 13.2 : "Consacre-moi tout premier-né qui naîtra parmi les Israélites ; qu’il s’agisse d’un garçon ou d’un animal, il m’appartient."
  4. Médecin et peintre, l'évangéliste réalisa les trois premières icônes en réalisant le portrait de celle que l'orthodoxie appelle la Mère de Dieu. L’une d'entre elles fut acquise en Palestine par l'impératrice Placidie. Rapportée dans la capitale de l'Empire, elle sert aujourd'hui encore de modèle à la "Conductrice" (Hodigitria) indéfiniment reproduite par les iconographes. On peut aujourd'hui encore la vénérer, sinon la contempler car elle est conservée à l'abri de la Lumière du jour, dans le monastère de Kykko, à Chypre.
  5. Dans son homélie du 2 février 2006, premier sermon comme pape de Rome, Benoît XVI donne un éclairage auquel les catholiques peuvent se référer.
  6. Ses adeptes s'adossaient à une citation malheureuse de saint Cyrille d'Alexandrie "une seule nature du Christ incarné". Le patriarche reniera plus tard cette formule.

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mardi, 08 février 2011

Sulla via del risveglio

La-dottrina-del-risvegllio.jpg

Domenico Turco
SULLA VIA DEL RISVEGLIO
 L’Idealismo “esistenziale” di Julius Evola

 

C’è una fondamentale differenza tra l’idealismo classico e l’idealismo magico o “concreto” di Julius Evola, il quale assegna al pensiero una funzione attiva ed affermativa, in vista della messa in pratica di principi di saggezza utilizzabili nella ricerca interiore dell’uomo.

 

Ex: http://www.mondo3.it/

Da qui deriva la successiva attenzione per le più diverse tradizioni spirituali, ampliando lo schema di riferimento del Tradizionalismo integrale, mediante la scoperta o la rivalutazione di insegnamenti alternativi, come la dottrina del risveglio buddhista, lo Shintoismo e altre religioni, valorizzate in relazione al percorso evolutivo dell’esistenza individuale verso il risveglio o l’illuminazione spirituale dell’io.

Rispetto ad altri esponenti della corrente tradizionalista, Evola si distingue per la sua originale formulazione del problema esistenziale, in genere scarsamente frequentato da Guénon e seguaci. L’interesse per l’esistenza si giustifica con la finalità prevalentemente pratica del Tradizionalismo evoliano, diretto alla realizzazione dell’io in termini spirituali e trascendenti, ma riconducibile anche ad un orientamento etico, relativo ad una trasformazione delle istanze valoriali.

La dimensione esistenziale era presente già prima della svolta tradizionalista degli anni Trenta, all’epoca dell’Idealismo magico, orientamento filosofico tendente a oltrepassare le ristrette vedute della concezione idealistica di origine hegeliana.

L’espressione idealismo magico non presuppone un riferimento alla magia nel significato corrente del termine; per magia infatti Evola intende un’attività demiurgica sull’io che porti al dominio di sé e al rigetto della realtà empirica, secondo un principio ascetico che verte sulla nozione di purificazione, peculiare di ogni visione spirituale che si rispetti.

È con atteggiamento quasi mistico che Evola parlerà di una estinzione del legame tutto terreno e immanente tra noi e gli enti. La possibilità di una realizzazione del nostro mondo interiore nel segno della personalità autentica risiede nel rivolgimento all’io come centro di gravitazione spirituale, e non certo nel banale commercio consumistico con l’ente in qualità di “semplice-presenza”.  

Il compimento dell’esistenza consiste in una graduale liberazione dalla “sete” o “brama” nel senso della <<dottrina del risveglio>> buddhista, liberazione come e in quanto liquidazione di ogni compromesso tra le cose e l'uomo, secondo una significativa ed efficace espressione evoliana.            

Il trapasso dell’Idealismo prevede appunto un concentrarsi su quella prospettiva magica individuata nell’autorealizzazione di un io in via di costruzione o di cristallizzazione, per usare un termine tecnico dell'alchimia.

Qui entra in gioco l’ideale della personalità, che da mezzo dell’esistenza deve tornare ad esserne il fine...

La persona immemore di sé stessa può guadagnare la sua liberazione evolvendo in personalità, dimensione di una rinnovata consapevolezza spirituale, che Evola definisce come potenza e che deriva dal riconoscimento di un principio divino immanente nell’io, secondo un’ottica da illuminazione buddhista, sia pure nel quadro di una terminologia ancora influenzata dall’Idealismo.

In ogni caso, l’Idealismo evoliano denota una forte volontà di emanciparsi dal paradigma hegeliano, in cui la realtà era subordinata alle ragioni dell’Assoluto. Evola modifica l’Idealismo riportandolo alle origini, al suo fondo spirituale.

La concezione idealistica è qui interpretata solo come presa di contatto con una realtà più ampia di quella proiettata dai nostri sensi e rielaborata dall’intelletto, ma senza nessuna concessione ai deliri visionari della riflessione romantica.

Evola accentua soprattutto la funzione formatrice del pensiero metafisico, gli attribuisce una vocazione didattica, che è riconosciuta sin dagli inizi della sua attività di pensatore-scrittore. Consapevole che la filosofia idealistica era giunta al crepuscolo, Evola rimarrà fedele alla propria equazione personale di "idealismo," riformato profondamente in senso esistenziale, esoterico e metafisico nell’accezione aristotelica, relativa alla dimensione che va al di là del semplice piano “fisico”, sovra-naturale in un significato superiore.

L’attenzione di Evola al problema dell’esistenza può sorprendere, considerata la successiva sconfessione dei vari esistenzialismi contemporanei.

In realtà la sua critica sarà in seguito indirizzata all’ Esistenzialismo come filosofia del piagnisteo, che abbandona ogni programma di riscatto sul piano ascetico o eroico , per lasciare il posto ai remissivi miti del vivere-per-la-morte e del naufragio nichilistico.

Evola  rende ragione dell'importanza della corrente esistenzialistica come pensiero della coscienza infelice sperimentata dall’uomo-massa contemporaneo, pensiero della crisi che per sortire una valenza positiva deve essere superato, attraverso una messa in questione della realtà di tutti i giorni, in direzione della Trascendenza.

Evola propone un rifiuto delle sovrastrutture che soffocano il nucleo fondamentale della dottrina idealistica, che pone una realtà superiore a quella suggerita dai sensi della comune esperienza, e come tale determinante un principio peraltro già presente nella filosofia perenne e nelle prospettive spirituali, religiose o di carattere esoterico, che saranno discusse a vario titolo nel successivo sviluppo tradizionale della riflessione evoliana.

L’esistenza è interpretata come laboratorio, opera in divenire e luogo di scontro con le forze occulte sovrastanti il singolo, che ha l’obbligo di costruire la sua personalità e così identificarsi progressivamente nel ruolo di uomo differenziato, che è un ruolo estremamente complicato nell’era del secolarismo contemporaneo e delle sue contraddizioni.

La differenziazione come modalità di intervento sull’io sembra rinviare a un concetto di autocompimento esistenziale assimilabile alla posizione del Buddhismo, qui inteso come prassi di dominio della coscienza e tecnica d’ascesi.

Il senso dell’illuminazione ascetica presuppone un processo di graduale liberazione dagli orpelli della conoscenza ordinaria, che ha come suo fine specifico il purificare la dimensione umana dalle cose.

Nella prospettiva evoliana, non è essenziale assumere integralmente gli aspetti confessionali del messaggio di Siddharta: al Buddhismo si attribuisce soprattutto una funzione pratica, come complesso di metodologie dirette al prodursi di una forza interiore, di una potenza esotericamente orientata.

Il Buddhismo delle origini pone inoltre l’accento su un percorso di salvezza individuale non consolatorio, che è particolarmente congeniale alla sensibilità di Julius Evola, e in linea con l’ideale della spiritualità virile.

Evola sente una profonda vocazione a diffondere un messaggio che è sì filosofico, ma che sarebbe del tutto incomprensibile senza la preventiva adozione di una prospettiva di vita individuale, di sperimentazione attiva e in prima persona di un percorso di cambiamento. 

L’esistenza reclama una filosofia che ne guidi l’orientamento nel mondo, la quale, tornando a essere amore della sapienza, deve necessariamente alimentarsi dell’esistenza, di una progettualità esistenziale di origine alchemica, finalizzata alla trasmutazione e quindi all’autorealizzazione dell’io, al dominio di sé e delle vere leggi della realtà.

Evola caldeggia l’ipotesi di una filosofia sperimentale, che vincoli il sapere all’agire, e l’agire al vivere nel mondo, assumendo una missione esistenziale, che consiste nel promuovere una visione spirituale trascendente.

E, di contro, è espresso con forza il rifiuto di una statica e passiva adesione a quelli che sono i valori correnti, le categorie negative del nichilismo, dell’edonismo esasperato, del materialismo, e del dogmatismo fine a sé stesso.

La ragione della differenza peculiare da Guenon consiste anche nel fatto che Evola non si accosta al mondo della Tradizione da un punto di vista meramente teorico, ma solo dopo aver sperimentato di persona e sulla propria pelle quell’esigenza di autorealizzazione spirituale che è l’obiettivo principale di ogni ricerca sull’essenza della verità, e quindi sul valore da assegnare alla nostra esistenza…

lundi, 07 février 2011

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Ex: http://traditionundmetaphgysik.wordpress.com/

Er [Carl Schmitt] sagt mir, er sei ein Optimist in Bezug auf die Zukunft Europas. Nationalismus wie Internationalismus sind gleichermaßen überholte Modelle.
(Eintrag vom Mai 1944, S. 108)

eliadeJP.jpgDie State University of New York Press hat die englische Übersetzung des „portugiesischen Tagebuchs“ (Jurnalul portughez) von Mircea Eliade – er war von 1941-45 rumänischer Botschafter in Lissabon – veröffentlicht:


Mircea Eliade: The Portugal Journal. Translated with a preface and notes by Mac Linscott Ricketts. SUNY Press, 296 Seiten, Hardcover/Paperback, Neu-York 2010.
(Rumänische Ausgaben:

Ernst Jünger hatte in den „Strahlungen“, seinem Kriegstagebuch, Carl Schmitts Bericht von Eliades Besuch in Berlin wiedergegeben (Eintrag vom 15.11.1942, über Jüngers Gespräch mit Schmitt über Eliade wird dieser wiederum am 27.12.1942 informiert, siehe S. 54). In Eliades Tagebuch findet sich nun sein Bericht über die Begegnung, demzufolge Eliade von Schmitts Werk nur „Die romantische Politik“ [recte: Politische Romantik] kenne, die in Rumänien großen Einfluß auf Nae Ionescu und dessen Kreis ausgeübt habe. Aber Schmitt zeigt kein Interesse, das Gespräch in diese Richtung lenken zu lassen, lieber spricht er über die Politik der Regierung Salazars. Allerdings noch mehr lebt Schmitt zu dieser Zeit im symbolischen Gehalt des „Leviathan“ auf (vier Jahre nach Erscheinen des Buches, aber sicher vor allem auch im Hinblick auf die im Jahr 1942 erscheinende weltgeschichtliche Betrachtung „Land und Meer“), erwähnt selbstverständlich „Moby Dick“ und wünscht sich von Eliade entsprechende Literatur über Mythen und Symbolik, insbesondere „Zalmoxis“. Und nun unsere Übersetzung des restlichen Eintrags, der nur auf „Berlin, September [1942]“ datiert ist:

Was mich an Schmitt beeindruckt, ist sein metaphysischer Mut, sein Nonkonformismus, die Weite seiner Sicht. Er bietet uns eine Flasche Rheinwein an und bedauert, daß ich morgen bereits nach Madrid abreise. Er sagt, der interessanteste lebende Mensch ist René Guénon (und er ist erfreut, daß ich ihm zustimme).
(S. 32)


In „Der Leviathan in der Staatslehre des Thomas Hobbes. Sinn und Fehlschlag eines politischen Symbols“ (1938, Nachdruck Köln 1982) erwähnt Schmitt bekanntlich Guénons „La crise de la monde moderne“ aus dem Jahr 1927 in einer Fußnote auf S. 44 mit dessen Feststellung daß

„die Schnelligkeit, mit der die ganze mittelalterliche Zivilisation dem Vorstoß des 17. Jahrhunderts unterlag, unbegreiflich sei, ohne Annahme einer rätselhaften, im Hintergrund bleibenden ‘volonté directrice’ und eine ‘idée préconçue’.“

Die von Schmitt zitierte Stelle lautet in der deutschen Übersetzung „Die Krisis der Neuzeit“ (Köln 1950), S. 33:

Wir wollen uns hier nicht unterfangen, den gewiß sehr verwickelten Beweggründen nachzugehen, die sich zu diesem Wandel vereinigten. So grundstürzend war er, daß schwerlich anzunehmen ist, er habe ganz von selbst eintreten können ohne das Eingreifen einer lenkenden Willensmacht, deren wahres Wesen notwendigerweise rätselhaft genug bleibt. Es gibt da Umstände, die im Hinblick darauf doch recht sonderbar sind: Dinge, die in Wirklichkeit längst bekannt waren, werden zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt der Allgemeinheit zugänglich gemacht und dabei als neu entdeckte hingestellt; bis dahin waren sie um gewisser ihrer Nachteile willen, die ihre Vorteile aufzuheben drohten, in der Öffentlichkeit unbekannt geblieben.

Schmitt erwähnt dies im Zusammenhang mit den rosenkreuzerischen Verbindungen des offiziellen Vaters der Neuzeit, René Descartes. Interessanterweise hat Schmitt gerade, wie wir seit Mehrings Biographie wissen, in dem Jahr der Enstehung des „Leviathan“ häufiger Julius Evola getroffen (ebenso Johann von Leers, der eine Besprechung des „Leviathan“ für den „Weltkampf“ verfaßt und ironischerweise in den Fünfziger Jahren – wie Guénon – nach Kairo übersiedeln und sich zum Islam bekennen wird.)

eliade_portugal_journal.jpgEvola hat 1942 „Il filosofo mascherato“, die Besprechung eines Buches von Maxime Leroy über Descartes’ deviantes Rosenkreuzertum und seine Rolle im Rahmen der Gegeninitiation, in „La Vita Italiana“ veröffentlicht. (Deutsche Übersetzung: Der Philosoph mit der Maske, in: Kshatriya-Rundbrief, Nr. 7, 2000) Schmitts „Leviathan“ besprach Evola bereits 1938 in „La Vita Italiana“ (nachgedruckt in zwei weiteren wichtigen italienischen Zeitschriften). Evola kommt im übrigen in Eliades Tagebuch laut Index nicht vor.

Am 17. Februar 1943 trifft Eliade jedenfalls den Pariser Korrespondenten der „Kölnischen Rundschau“, Dr. Mário, der einst für den „Cuvântul“ geschrieben hat und sich als Freund von Nae Ionescu bezeichnet.

Wir sprachen eine lange Zeit. Er ist gerade aus Paris gekommen. Er scheint kein großer Anhänger von Hitler zu sein. Er ist der Überzeugung, daß René Guénon die interessanteste Person unserer Zeit sei. (Ich glaube das nicht immer, tue es aber oft. Obwohl ich Aurobindo Ghose für „verwirklichter“ halte.)
(…) Ich berichte ihm über mein Gespräch mit Carl Schmitt im Sommer vergangenen Jahres. Er ist überrascht, daß Schmitt Guénon schätzt.
(S.37)

Selbstverständlich finden sich in Eliades Tagebuch zahlreiche Eintragungen über Nae Ionescu, Emil Cioran, Constantin Noica, und im Westen weniger bekannte Vertreter dieses Kreises, und auch über den eigenständigen Religionsphilosophen Lucian Blaga (in dessen Raumkonzeption Schmitt interessante Aspekte zu finden hoffte, den er aber in Bukarest nicht treffen konnte, S. 108).

Zum Kontext des Kreises der „Generaţia nouă“ um ihren Lehrer Nae Ionescu und „Cuvântul“ siehe:

Corneliu Codreanu und die „Federn“ des Erzengels
Constantin Noica, der letzte große Metaphysiker

Cristiano Grottanelli hat das Gespräch Eliade/Schmitt über den abwesenden Guénon bereits zum Thema eines Aufsatzes gemacht:

Mircea Eliade, Carl Schmitt, René Guénon, 1942.

Jurnalul portughez si alte scrieri, Bukarest 2006, Jurnalul portughez, Bukarest 2010)

dimanche, 06 février 2011

Vor 100 Jahren starb Carlo Michelstaedter

michelst.jpg

Vor 100 Jahren starb Carlo Michelstaedter

Ex: http://traditionundmetaphysik.wordpress.com/

„Carlo ist das empfindsame Bewußtsein des Jahrhunderts, und der Tod hat keine Macht über die Konjugation des Seins, nur über das Haben.“ (Claudio Magris, S. 46)


Am 17. Oktober 1910 tötete sich der Görzer Philosophiestudent Carlo Michelstaedter im Alter von 23 Jahren mit einer Pistole, die ihm ein Freund überlassen hatte, nach einer Auseinandersetzung mit seiner Mutter an deren Geburtstag. Die Mutter sollte drei Jahrzehnte später im Alter von 89 Jahren im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz ums Leben kommen. Der Freund Enrico Mreule war zwei Jahre zuvor nach Argentinien abgereist um dem Wehrdienst zu entgehen, die Pistole hatte er nicht mit aufs Schiff nehmen dürfen. Die Isolation, in die der junge Maler, Poet und Philosoph nach diesem entfernungsbedingten Verlust des engen Freundes und durch zwei Selbstmorde – seines Bruders Gino in Neu-York zur gleichen Zeit und einer Freundin zwei Jahre zuvor – geraten war, dürfte wesentlich zur impulsiven Tat, der kein schriftlicher Abschied vorausgegangen war, beigetragen haben. Manche wollen in der gerade für die Universität Florenz fertiggestellten philosophischen Dissertation „Überzeugung und Rhetorik“ einen solchen Abschied vor einem „metaphysischen Selbstmord“ sehen. Dies ist aber nicht zwingend, vielleicht war es eher die Anstrengung und Erschöpfung der intellektuellen Leistung als der Inhalt, der zu der Tat beigetragen hat. Zehn Tage vor dem Tod hatte er auch seine zweite wichtige philosophische Arbeit, den „Dialog über die Gesundheit“ fertiggestellt. Beigesetzt ist Michelstaedter auf dem hebräischen Friedhof, der heute im slowenisch annektierten Teil von Görz, „Nova Gorica“, liegt. (Eine aktuelle Abbildung des Grabsteins: La tomba di Carlo Michelstaedter al cimitero ebraico di Gorizia (Nova Gorica)

Der „Buddha des Westens“

Carlo Michelstaedter, geboren am 3. Juni 1887, der in den Schulregistern noch als Karl Michlstädter geführt worden war, entstammte einer deutsch-jüdischen Familie, die im österreichischen Görz, einer multikulturellen – italienisch-slowenisch-deutschen -Stadt eine Heimat gefunden hatte. Der jüdische Aspekt der Familiengeschichte hat im Leben von Carlo Michelstaedter praktisch keine Rolle gespielt. Carlos Vater, ein Direktor eines Versicherungsinstitus, war als Positivist der jüdischen Religion völlig entfremdet. Carlo durchschaute die Rhetorik der wissenschaftliche Zivilisation und des bürgerlichen Lebens, beschäftigte sich mit dem Judentum aber kaum, mit der Ausnahme eines gewissen Interesses für einen entfernten Verwandten, Isacco Samuele Reggio, der als Verfechter der Übereinstimmung des jüdischen Gesetzes mit der –aufklärerischen – Philosophie in Görz im 19. Jahrhundert von Bedeutung gewesen war. Carlos hauptsächlichen intellektuellen Bezugspunkte waren aber die griechische Antike und die deutsche Philosophie: Homer, Platon, Aristoteles, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, dazu die Literatur von Leopardi, Ibsen und Tolstoj. Die Lehren Christi und Buddhas übten wie die Veden und Upanishaden ebenfalls einen Einfluß aus, der aber durch das platonisch-schopenhauerische Prisma gebrochen war. Im Gymnasium wurde Michelstaedter von einem bemerkenswerten Mann unterrichtet: Richard von Schubert-Soldern, der von seinem Lehrstuhl an der Universität Leipzig an das Görzer Gymnasium gekommen war, Vertreter eines erkenntnistheoretischen gnoseologischen Solipsismus oder Immanentismus (Verneinung der – erkenntnismäßigen, nicht praktischen – Transzendenz der Außenwelt.)

Ein abgebrochenes Studium der Mathematik in Wien, das den künstlerischen Neigungen weichen mußte, ergänzt noch das Bild eines vielseitig begabten Mannes, „der gelehrt hatte, daß Philosophie – die Liebe zur ungeteilten Wahrheit – bedeutet, ferne Dinge zu sehen, als wären sie nah, und das brennende Verlangen auszulöschen, sie zu ergreifen, denn sie sind einfach da, in der tiefen Stille des Seins.“ So der italienische Germanist Claudio Magris in seinem Roman „Ein anderes Meer“, der die Geschichte von Carlos Freund Enrico, beginnend mit der Überfahrt nach Argentinien bis zu seiner Rückkehr nach Görz und die darauffolgenden Jahre des Faschismus und der jugoslawisch-kommunistischen Annexion, aus dessen Perspektive schildert. Die eigentliche Hauptfigur ist jedoch der abwesende Carlo, der „Buddha des Westens“. Enrico wie auch die anderen engeren Freunde und Familienmitglieder läßt die zeitlich so kurze Bekanntschaft mit Carlo und die von ihm auf Dauer ausgehende Herausforderung nie mehr aus dem Bann. Es „war etwas Einfaches und Endgültiges geschehen, war eine unwiderrufliche Aufforderung ergangen.“ Eine Aufforderung zur Eigentlichkeit des Lebens, wie man mit Heidegger sagen könnte, dessen Existenzphilosophie Michelstaedter nach der Auffassung von manchen vorweggenommen hat. Michelstaedter spricht nicht von Eigentlichkeit sondern von „Überzeugung“, die er in einem Kommentar zu Aristoteles „Rhetorik“ als Gegenbegriff, mehr noch als Gegenwelt zur „Rhetorik“ entwickelt. Magris erläutert:

„Die Überzeugung, sagt Carlo, ist der Besitz des eigenen Lebens und der eigenen Person in der Gegenwart, die Fähigkeit, ganz den Augenblick zu leben, ohne ihn einer Sache zu opfern, die noch kommen muß und von der man hofft, daß sie so schnell wie möglich eintritt, denn so wird das Leben mit der Erwartung zerstört, daß es so schnell wie möglich vorbeigehen möge. Doch Zivilisation ist die Geschichte von Menschen, die unfähig sind, überzeugt zu leben, die die kolossale Mauer der Rhetorik errichten, die soziale Organisation des Wissens und Handelns, um den Anblick und das Bewußtsein ihrer Leere vor sich selbst zu verbergen.“


Julius Evola und Carlo Michelstaedter

„Überzeugung und Rhetorik“ wurde bereits 1913 herausgegeben. Giovanni Papini und der Kreis der Triester Zeitschrift „La Voce“ gehören zu den ersten, die den Ruhm des früh verstorbenen Genies begründen und erweisen daß die „unwiderrufliche Aufforderung“ auch auf Menschen übergehen kann, die Michelstaedter nicht persönlich gekannt haben. So wird auch Julius Evola von ihm erfahren haben, er war jedoch auch mit einem Cousin Carlos bekannt und hatte dadurch Zugang zu nicht publizierten Informationen. In seinen „Saggi sull’ Idealismo magico“ hat er schließlich 1925 Carlo Michelstaedter als ersten von fünf in die Richtung des „magischen Idealismus“ führenden Persönlichkeiten gewürdigt, neben Otto Braun, Giovanni Gentile, Octave Hamelin und Hermann Keyserling.
Evola sieht den Weg zu dem „magischen Idealismus“, den er in seinen drei philosophischen Werken dargelegt hat, als logische Konsequenz in Michelstaedters philosophischem Hauptwerk bereits angelegt. Michelstaedters „Weg der Überzeugung“ reduziere die Möglichkeiten der menschlichen Existenz irrtümlich auf das Aufgehen in der (endlichen) Vielheit (der Ablenkung von der eigenen Leere, der Verfallenheit) und die – letztlich ebenfalls leere – absolute (unendliche) Reinheit der Negierung. Wie Evola betont, sind Endlichkeit und Unendlichkeit aber als zwei Weisen des Seins beide unabhängig von irgendeinem Objekt oder irgendeiner Aktion. Was Evola als Macht bezeichnet und schließlich später mit der Initiation und der Tradition zu verbinden versucht, ist das Sein oder das Handeln (diese Unterscheidung verschwindet in der reinen Aktion) ohne Begierde und ohne Gewalt. Das „absolute Individuum“ ist der Mensch als Macht – wie auch sein ebenfalls 1925 erschienenes Buch über den Tantrismus heißt – , als Einheit von Sein und Handeln, von Negation und Affirmation. Ob der Anspruch Evolas die innere Logik Michelstaedters zu Ende zu denken, zu Recht besteht, ist umstritten, denn Michelstaedters anspruchsvolles Hauptwerk wird durchaus unterschiedlich verstanden. Der von uns zitierte Claudio Magris präsentiert eine schophenhauer-buddhistische Variante der Auflösung des Willens im Augenblick der (selbst-)negierenden Präsenz. Evolas Verständnis des Buddhas des Ostens, wie er es in „La dottrina del Risveglio“ (1943) entwickelt hat, steht mit seiner Philosophie der Macht, des absoluten Individuums, im Einklang. Seine Begegnung mit dem „Buddha des Westens“ hat jedenfalls Evolas gesamte denkerisch-existenzielle Bahn geprägt. Diesen Einfluß hat Evola in der 1963 erschienen Quasi-Autobiographie „Il Cammino del Cinabro“ bekannt, auch die Wiederaufnahme des Michelstaedter-Abschnitts aus den „Saggi“ (die zu Lebzeiten Evolas keine Neuauflage erfahren durften) in das im Todesjahr erschienene Buch „Ricognizioni. Uomini e problemi“ spricht eine deutliche Sprache. Letztlich verhält es sich mit Michelstaedter wie mit jedem wirklichen Meister: er ist für den Schüler keine Kopiervorlage, sondern ein Spiegel mit dessen Hilfe er sein eigenes Selbst sehen kann.

Literaturangaben:
Julius Evola, Saggi sull’ idealismo magico, Opere di Julius Evola, Roma 2006.
Claudio Magris, Ein anderes Meer, München / Wien 1992.
Carlo Michelstaedter, Überzeugung und Rhetorik, Frankfurt am Main 1999.
Robert W. Th. Lamers, Richard von Schubert-Solderns Philosophie des erkenntnistheoretischen Solipsismus, Frankfurt am Main 1990.

samedi, 05 février 2011

Sostener el cosmos: conocimiento y sabiduria en el politeismo

cosmos-wallpaper.jpg

SOSTENER EL COSMOS : CONOCIMIENTO Y SABIDURÍA EN EL POLITEÍSMO.

 

Plan

SOBRE LA HOMOLOGIA

1 - Ciclos temporales y verdad

2 - Renovar de un ciclo a otro.

3 - Mentira y decadencia

4 - Construir la armonía

ORDEN CONCRETO : EL DEBER

NOCHE Y PRINCIPIO VITAL

UNA TRADICIÓN DE LAS INSTITUCIONES

1 - La familia

2 - Ni dios ni ley

3 - Organizar la diversidad : castas y comunidades.

EN PRÁCTICA, el politeísmo vive en el marco de instituciones a temporales que aseguran la transmisión de su tradición cuya origen comenzó cuando este universo se desplegó. Ningún universo fue creado. La tradición inicia con el despliegue de aquel universo o, sino, cuando ha terminado el caos original.

EN PENSAMIENTO, el politeísmo razona por medio de símbolos que permiten relacionar los niveles de realidad entre si, con una doble lógica de equivalencia y de jerarquía. Cualquier hecho siempre está colocado en el cruce de dos ejes: horizontal (equivalencias) ; vertical (jerarquia). El eje vertical termina con el desconocido por una parte y con el caos (en Grecia) o el principio neutro (caso de la India) por otra parte. Toda la diversidad del mundo está integrada por el método de la homologia

SOBRE LA HOMOLOGIA

Entre todos los aspectos de la vida se encuentran equivalencias y paralelismos : sonidos, formas, números, colores, ideas, etc. Representar una cosa en términos de algo diferente necesita un sistema de correspondencia. La base fundamental de la representación del mundo es el ciclo, que siempre inicia abriendo una “puerta” : la Aurora y la Primavera.

La Aurora del ciclo cósmico es homóloga de la del año y de la del día. En el caso de Grecia, la Aurora cotidiana se llamaba EOS, cuando las dos otras, año y cósmica se llamaban Afrodita quien, por esa razón, era la diosa del amor. El poema La Iliada, expone como la unión amorosa de Zeus y Hera inicia la Primavera, teniéndose sobre una montaña, lugar en que se observa el regreso del sol. Las auroras salen de la montaña en Grecia como, en el Veda, las Auroras salen de una gruta (la gruta Vala).

Los ciclos son el marco del culto y también su objeto. Los seres humanos deben asegurar el regreso del sol y de las estaciones. Tal preocupación sirve de modelo tan a la verdad como al orden social.

1 -  Ciclos temporales y verdad

En el sanscrito, el nombre de las estaciones es rtavah, semejante al nombre de la verdad, rta, los dos dimanando de la raíz indo-europea AR  “ajustar, articular, adaptar lo correcto”. La definición, es muy probable, viene de la dificultad que tropezó a los sabios en su esfuerzo para determinar con exactitud el año y la concordancia entre ciclos solares y lunares. El ciclo del año sostiene la verdad y expresa una concepción técnica de ella. La verdad es lo que está bien ajustado, lo que concorda. El regreso de las estaciones y en particular de la buena época del año es la imagen de la verdad, poste del orden en el mundo y en la sociedad.

Considerar que la Verdad significa “ajuste correcto” es la característica fundamental del politeísmo cuyos efectos fueron fundamentales para el pensamiento y la civilización. La necesidad de buscar la verdad dio forma a la ciencia y a la técnica como a la mentalidad crítica y filosófica. No existe un corpus de verdades todas hechas desde siempre, impuesto por un poder político-religioso. La verdad se quedó el objeto de un libre examen, de una investigación sin fin contestando el adquirido sin cesar.

2 - Renovar : de un ciclo al otro.

Pasar de un ciclo al otro, a cualquier nivel, día, año, cosmos, supone la intervención de algunas fuerzas. Por medio del método simbólico se establecen correspondencias entre el día y la vida, entre la noche y la muerte. Durante el año, el invierno se asimila a una muerte y para el cosmos, la noche de los tiempos es el caos de donde emergerá la vida. La fuerza de renovación cambia según las zonas culturales, pero está asimilada a una divinidad. Por ejemplo, Es Zeus en Grecia y Agni en la India.

El mundo nocturno contiene entidades que atan el Sol, las Auroras, o las Aguas. El poder de las entidades nocturnas, el poder de las fuerzas que se manifiestan en la noche se caracteriza por una parálisis. Por eso, en la sociedad, garantizan los juramentos, aseguran la buena fin de las promesas solemnes.

A las entidades nocturnas, se rinde un culto “negativo” : se les honra al no ofenderles. De aquí viene la concepción de que la mentira y el engaño traducen la ruptura de un compromiso.

El cambio de una fase del ciclo a la otra, de la noche al día, del invierno a la primavera resulta de un conflicto entre las potencias de contención y las fuerzas de restauración. Una de ellas, es la palabra de verdad que surtes la energía para fracturar las potencias de contención. Palabra que se expresa en formas diversas : la palabra sagrada del sacerdote (el braman por ejemplo) ; la palabra inspirada por la emoción o el temor ; la fórmula bien pensada y reflexionada (el mantra) ; la voz que canta o grita. La palabra de verdad puede expresarse directamente, como una flecha, cuando su contenido carece de ambigüedad, que todo aparece claro sin nada en la sombra, pero también la palabra se revela inaudible a veces para los que no saben interpretarla. Ciertas aserciones valen en algunos casos como verdades en otros como mentiras, por ejemplo la poesía, por que el conocimiento se adquiere con esfuerzos y los niveles más profundos se comprenden con educación : la muchedumbre no puede acceder a tal nivel.

3 - Decadencia y mentira

La mentira se relaciona con el inicio del caos cosmológico, con la noche y el invierno. Son el odio y el desdén hacia el cumplimiento de sus deberes que provocan el desorden “oscuro”. Una categoría de gente, los brujos, a través de sus mentiras y sus palabras engañosas rompe el espíritu de buen acuerdo dentro del grupo social. Los enemigos del culto y del orden social utilizan la calumnia y las insultas para incitar a la violación de los contratos. En el mundo escandinavo por ejemplo, según la EDDA, la decadencia inicia con el perjurio de los dioses frente al constructor de su palacio, el Valhalla. La origen del perjurio la tiene la culpa el dios Loki, personificación de la palabra de fuego de los calumniadores.

La verdad es el pilar de la concepción politeísta del mundo. A la vez con la ética de la verdad, apoyada en divinidades que se honran en evitando ofenderlas, por que vigilan el respecto de los contratos, y a la vez con la religión de la verdad, manifestada por dioses a los cuales se rinde un culto positivo. La ética de la verdad, con el respeto a los compromisos se aplica a los contratos, juramentos, enlace social y el reparto de las riquezas.

4 - Construir la armonía.

La sociedad armoniosa significa la conformidad entre realeza y verdad. En el orden social, eso se traduce por el comportamiento conforme a su posición social y a sus funciones. Es un ideal que fija una norma para el comportamiento, con necesidad de reanimarlo cada mañana, cada primavera y a lo largo de los siglos para luchar en contra del caos. La investigación de la verdad, la del comportamiento perfecto según su rango y su función llevan al orden y la armonía.

El divino está en el ser humano que puede despertarlo a partir de cualquier situación, con tal de que sigue un camino que reproduce, simbolícamente, la carrera del sol. Todos los caminos son aceptables, lo que fundamenta la tolerancia. Todos podemos subir hacia la perfección, hacia el absoluto.

La renovación de la armonía cotidiana, anual y cosmica necesita artesanos muy adiestrados con calidad de artistas para que el nuevo ciclo sea similar (y no idéntico) al anterior. En cada tradición se encuentra esta función : los Rbhu en la India, los Alfes en escandinavia, hasta en Roma que humanizó la función en la persona de Veterius, capaz producir once escudos semejantes. La armonía se construye gracias a la competencia técnica y con la destreza de los que utilizan la palabra. Ellos, por función, luchan

en contra de las mentiras, directamente por vía de sus palabras, o al movilizar los dioses guerreros que golpean los calumniadores. Una actitud valorizada por la ética de la verdad es la ausencia de malignidad, del malo espíritu.

EL ORDEN CONCRETO : EL DEBER.

El deber de cada uno contribuye a la armonía social. Si cada uno respeta su deber la sociedad será bien “ajustada”. La sociedad politeista define la armonía social como la interdependencia entre tres funciones sociales : la soberanía, la fuerza, la abundancia. En cada una, los deberes difieren. Los miembros tienen que aprender el deber de su función y actuar para que sus actas sean conformes al ideal :

- El soberano. Su deber abarca la justicia equitativa y la paz interna. El nacimiento no da los atributos del poder, solo lo merece el que tiene las calidades adecuadas.

- El guerrero. Muchas leyendas describen el deber del guerrero. En Grecia, por ejemplo, Heraclés encarna esa función. Debe de alejarse de las culpas hacia los dioses, hacia el enemigo, hacia los demás.

- La abundancia. Supone saber elegir los elementos del crecimiento y, en cada actividad saber ejercer su arte con eficacia.

De eso sobresale el héroe, lo mejor en cualquier actividad, consecuencia de la escala establecida entre los dos polos extremos : hombres de un lado y dioses al otro. Toda una gama de posibilidades se abre, puesto que los hombres pueden acercarse a los dioses y al revés, algunos dioses caen. El héroe se detiene a la confluencia entre hombres y dioses. Proporcionan una imagen de la perfección en su dominio de excelencia y escapen a la segunda muerte del anonimato.

LA NOCHE Y EL PRINCIPIO VITAL

Pasar de un ciclo a otro supone que algunas divinidades cambian de partido, abandonan los dioses de la fase a la cual pertenecen y toman el partido de las nuevas fuerzas que van a acompañar la nueva fase. En Grecia, Zeus toma el poder después de haberse rebelado en contra de Ouranos. En la India, algunos de los Asuras (divinidades nocturnas) toman el partido de Indra, jefe de los Devas, el partido luminoso. La noche, la oscuridad contiene un principio de cambio, lo que los Indues han llamado el principio vital o ASU.

La noche se relaciona a la muerte. A la escala de una jornada, durante la noche, el ser humano que duerme está como muerto. Cuando despierte, el ser humano retoma posesión de su principio vital (ASU) que rechaza la noche a favor de la luz. Este principio vital conoce dos estados : latento, en la noche y el sueño ; patento cuando el ser despierta. En la noche, como en la muerte se encuentra el inicio y el fin.

También, el sueño fundamenta la función del silencio. El sueño prepara el terreno para el rejuvenecimiento del universo que intervendrá a la próxima aurora. Una correspondencia entre el silencio y el sueño explica el rol de ese. Durante la noche, el terreno lo ocupan los hechiceros, las fuerzas negativas. Al mismo tiempo, no hacer nada, no decir nada protege lo que se prepara, el brote de la nueva época. La inactividad de los seres de luz, durante la fase oscura, su silencio entonces, empide los rayos lanzados por las fuerzas maléficas aplastar la semilla del rebrote. Sin embargo, el silencio no se concibe como estado de ánimo pasivo. El sabio silencioso ilumina su ser, a dentro, con conocimiento y concentra su pensamiento.

UNA TRADICIÓN DE LAS INSTITUCIONES

Los politeistas afirman que lo esencial para cada uno consiste en entenderse a si mismo y, después, realizarse. Por eso, la teología no se mezcla con la Iglesia. La autoridad es la de las instituciones : familias, castas, gremios. El hombre piensa lo que quiere, pero tiene que respetar los ritos que caracterizan su deber social, el enlace entre generaciones y la continuidad de la tradición. Es normal boicotear a los que desdeñan a las tradiciones aunque acepten vivir en esta sociedad.

1 - La Familia

Es el grupo familiar que fundamenta todo. No la pareja. La familia, con les hermanos y hermanas, tíos y tías,

esposas y esposos es sagrada. Uno alaba su familia. Como institución, aquella se somete a reglas y preceptos religiosos. Según las castas, las leyes son más o menos rígidas y estrictas. Pero, como se trata de una unión moral y material, los miembros viven según una jerarquía precisa que fija a cada uno sus derechos y deberes, como su manera de vestirse y dirigir la palabra a los demás. 

Cada individuo es orgulloso de sus ancestros y considera que ellos han sido engendrado por un ser glorioso en una actividad. Cada uno mira a sus papás con respeto, de tal manera que es inconcebible desobedecerles. Es imposible actuar sin su aprobación puesto que ellos representan la suma autoridad humana. Encarnan el enlace real entre todos los seres vivientes de la familia y los ancestros cuyo culto se celebra a diario. El culto a los ancestros toma la forma del respeto y transmisión de la doble herencia cultural y social que nos han legado.

El matrimonio no se limita a un permiso para fornicar. Se arregla según las costumbres de la casta, del clan, del linaje. Como organiza la aparición de un nuevo escalón de la familia, el matrimonio con personas de grupos étnicos o raciales diferentes es un ultraje a la creación y a la armonía del mundo.

2 - Ni dios ni ley. Elogio de la jerarquía : el caso de China.

Ni dioses ni ley. Las costumbres, los modales son los fundamentos de la vida social en China. Se observa

cuatro tipos de devociones religiosas : el taoísmo ( de origen china, del siglo VI antes de la era cristiana. Instaurador principal del TAO : Lao-Tseu) ; el budismo ( llegó desde India en el siglo I) ; el confucianismo, filosofía en la cual descansó el Imperio a partir del siglo II antes de la era cristiana); el maoísmo, ajuste del comunismo al estilo chino incluyendo además procedimientos abusivos.

Los chinos tienen para resolver sus problemas una cosmovisión holística : Una percepción global del mundo. No aplican el método de disgregación de los problemas que enseño el filósofo francés René Descartes (1596 - 1650). Para ellos el contexto tiene una mayor preponderancia que el análisis de las causas del contexto.

Practican el pensamiento concreto a base de experiencia y de observaciones. Utilizan refranes y metáforas. El aspecto explícito transpira en su arte de la caligrafía. En dicho arte se dibujan cosas concretas por medio de figuras.

Los patrónes de conductas privilegian la asociación. La antigua tradición taoísta explica el mundo a través de la interdependencia entre el Ying y el Yang. Vivir en harmonía con la naturaleza resulta esencial. En la vida práctica eso significa que el principio de contradiccíon se rechaza. Lo que es verdad desde un punto de vista, se revela falso desde otro punto y vice versa.

Los chinos acuerdan menos importancia a las palabras que otros pueblos. Están más a gusto actuando a partir de imágenes que reflejan un complejo de realidades, sentimientos y emociones. El dicho famoso de MAO lo dice todo : « Una imagen vale más que mil palabras ».

Una concepción circular del tiempo. Lo que ya pasó puede repetirse, no de forma igual en sus elementos constitutivos, pero semejante en sus estructuras y sus significados. Es el concepto de la homología. Jamás se puede hablar de cosas totalmente nuevas, porque a los fenómenos no existe ningún principio ni fin.

La verdad se ve muy relativa y se aproxima con matices. La verdad es efímera, para una configuración definida y no en el absoluto. 

 

3 - Organizar la diversidad : castas y comunidades. El caso de la India.  Los grupos son distintos y relacionados por tres caracteres :

- Separación para los matrimonios y ningún contacto directo o indirecto.

- División del trabajo. Cada grupo tiene una profesión cuyos miembros pueden alejarse en limites estrechas.

- Jerarquía. Los grupos son ordenados en relativamente superiores o inferiores.

Al final, todos los grupos son interdependientes y complementarios.

Una vía se salud personal está abierta : la del renunciante. 

CONCLUSIÓN : ENSEÑANZAS

1 - El politeismo no tiene inicio histórico. La origen es cósmica. Entonces, las variantes son poco relevantes. El punto fundamental es la comprensión de que los dioses son entidades espacio temporales a las cuales uno puede prestar une realidad. La realidad dada a los dioses es una construcción que cada uno puede rehusar considerándola como falsa. El paso, lo salvaron los filósofos griegos quienes, renunciando a los relatos míticos decidieron pensar el mundo a través de la razón. La vía, siempre será abierta.

2 - Sin revelación, cualquier texto puede guiar o educar. La necesidad de cumplir con sus deberes sociales se mantiene a pesar de elegir un camino personal. El yo no se opone a las convenciones sociales.

De igual forma, la fe resulta necesaria para fundamentar un sistema de valor por el cual vale la pena sacrificarse. La fe en algo funciona a la manera de un clavo que fija y entonces disuelve la duda. La fe significa fe en la naturaleza cósmica de nuestro ser. La fe toma la forma de una convicción en el sentido de la vida (homóloga a la des cosmos), que en cada uno se encuentra el divino, que somos más que materia. 

3 - La estructura social en la cual vivimos pide respecto de normas y ritos. Participar a ellos es afirmarse solidario de la vida social. Es cierto que cualquier sociedad siempre conoce tensiones cuyas causas son recurrentes. En particular, dos fenómenos son peligrosos :

- Grupos que se organizan para apoderarse las funciones de los otros. Poco a poco se expande el desorden y la incompetencia. Unas jerarquías se instituyen en base a las intrigas y la suerte. Cuando unos grupos se atribuyen las prerrogativas de varias funciones, entonces entramos en una tiranía unilateral.

- Grupos quieren privar a los otros de lo que no pueden o no quieren tener. Actitud anti social que justifica una restricción de sus tejemanejes.

Es así que, en una época, el conocimiento no se transmite, los deberes se olviden, etc. Aberraciones se observan. Sin embargo, no vienen del politeísmo. Es la consecuencia de otros factores.

 ¿ QUE HACER ? 

Durante nuestra vida, cualquier sea la época, es preciso guardar su moral personal, transmitida por su cultura o linaje. Para cada uno, la búsqueda de perfección es la norma, gracias a la cual siempre se manifiesta la voluntad de hacer algo mejor en el triple nivel de la virtud, de la riqueza y del amor.

Si el entorno se presenta como muy hostil, es fundamental practicar una vida “secreta” a la manera de los heréticos de la edad media en Europa. Por ejemplo, el mundo actual destruye las condiciones de vida digna de las clases medias. En importante saber reducir sus necesidades para no caer en la esclavitud voluntaria del trabajo no elegido. También, en algunos casos es preferible salir del marco social e ir a vivir en otras estructuras.

En un mundo en transformación permanente, la tiranía desaparecerá algún día. Todo debe de ser preparado para un renacimiento.

Bernard Notin

00:10 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : cosmos, traditions, traditionalisme, polythéisme, tradition | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

vendredi, 04 février 2011

Evola: de Mafarka a Mitra

Mafarka.jpg

Evola: de Mafarka a Mitra 

Jean-Marc Vivenza representa a vanguarda musical futurista europeia. Conjugando teoria e prática, inscreve-se na história das vanguardas culturais europeias afirmando, alto e forte, uma revolução política, espiritual e artística, através do que não é música, no sentido que lhe dão os «modernos» e que só merece o seu nome. Bruitismo. Este artigo, publicado em Volonté Futuriste (1989), prova, caso fosse necessário, que da colisão de duas visões, aparentemente antitéticas, pode  nascer uma análise clara e sem falhas que poderá enriquecer cada um dos campos.

* * *

Para muitos espíritos, o futurismo estaria numa posição absolutamente antitética em relação à Tradição europeia. O percurso de Julius Evola dá-nos, sobre esse assunto, uma resposta de uma singular recorrência contra os a priori e os pronto-a-pensar.

 


Julius Evola nasce em Roma a 19 de Maio de 1898 - no seio de uma família da nobreza rural pela parte do seu pai, Vincenzo e, durante toda a vida, ficará ligado a esta cidade onde morre em 14 de Junho de 1974. Este pensador representa hoje uma das maiores figuras da filosofia tradicional. Partindo das fontes da mais longínqua antiguidade indo-europeia, constituiu, através da publicação dos seus livros, de um dos mais violentos requisitórios contra a ilusão moderna e os seus mitos contemporâneos: «a igualdade», «o regime da quantidade» e «o materialismo».

  


Romano em todas as fibras do seu ser, é sob a protecção do Império que ele coloca todas as perspectivas do seu combate «contra o mundo moderno». Eterno gibelino ao serviço do Imperium de forma quase sacerdotal, faz da sua vida uma luta contínua, luta contra as forças do niilismo actual (ou idade do ferro, segundo uma expressão sua). Teorizando, de uma forma determinista, o desaparecimento inevitável de todos os valores e concluindo pela necessidade de um retorno ao caos original através de uma paróptica «final dos tempos», tempera o seu pessimismo com nuances de uma eventual esperança de endireitamento provisório e momentâneo. No entanto, se este pensamento parece à primeira vista, na sua estrutura interna, estranho à teoria da «excitação dinâmica da História», tão cara aos futuristas, é bom conhecermos o papel que exerceu sobre Evola a vanguarda do princípio do século XX e o lugar (pouco conhecido) que ele aí detinha e a influência que isso teve na sua reflexão posterior.

Um artista de vanguarda

  


É, primeiro, como pintor e como poeta que Julius Evola se exprime no quadro da actividade artística das vanguardas. Pondo-se em contacto com a revista futurista Lacerba, descobre os fundamentos de uma crítica radical do sistema burguês, o anti-democratismo, ao mesmo tempo que nasce, segundo alguns autores, o seu interesse pelos místicos alemães e a tradição esotérica.

  


Lembremo-nos que numerosos artistas futuristas introduzem-se na pesquisa profunda e concreta do pensamento oculto. Bastará citar o caso muito conhecido de Russolo de que a obra «Para além da matéria» é uma exposição magistral de esoterismo operativo, para nos convencermos da permanência de uma curiosidade instintiva desta escola de arte sobre este assunto.
 
É necessário saber que Evola, mesmo durante o período do movimento futurista, nunca deixou de manifestar interesse pelo pensamento tradicional. Com efeito, bastará ler o seu texto Arte abstracta para melhor compreendermos o mecanismo intelectual do jovem Evola.

  


Vejamos o que ele escreve: «A consciência abstracta, suporte da estética mais acabada, liga-se, de facto, a um outro plano (quase a outra dimensão) do espírito, o qual não tem nada a ver com o que se desenrola a vida quotidiana prática e sentimental até àquele que encontra um eco nos clamores da humanidade trágica. E a via que aí conduz é difícil e dolorosa porque, para a percorrer, é necessário queimar tudo o que habitualmente os homens consideram como a sua vida mais profunda e mais autêntica. Se, por acaso, nos perguntarem a que devemos comparar isto, encontraremos, talvez, em alguns místicos qualquer coisa de aproximativo: na interioridade silenciosa e glacialmente ardente de um Ruysbroek ou de um Mestre Eckhart, por exemplo. Uma lógica que não tem mais nada a ver com aquela que todos os dias rege este mundo: nele, as luzes mais banais como as mais gloriosas enfraquecem, à imagem das débeis vegetações subterrâneas; a vontade comum reina, como que ébria; as palavras tornam-se incompreensíveis como se pertencessem a uma língua estrangeira. Diríamos que toda a vegetação se desagrega como que sugada por uma extrema rarefacção, e renova com o caos elementar, seco e ardente, ardente e monótono. Mas, para aquele que penetrou totalmente na natureza da arte abstracta, parece que esta incoerência, esta loucura, não é mais do que aparência, por detrás da qual palpita, numa luminosidade metálica, o sentido da absoluta liberdade do Eu».


Esta descoberta da expansão virtual dos sentidos e da matéria desenvolve um estudo preciso destes novos estados de consciência, regidos por esta luminosidade metálica, que ele recebe daquilo que podia, e pode ainda, aparecer como arte informal, caótica e sem ordem.

Uma nova objectividade

As pinturas de Evola que foram, na totalidade, objecto de compra por parte dos museus italianos não serão estranhas aos familiares da obra ulterior.


Elas apresentam todos os sinais da presença simbólica. «Ali encontramos», diz Romualdi *, «a interioridade ardente que Evola menciona no seu ensaio L'Arte Astratta. Os globos, de um vermelho ardente ou de um verde magnético, como acetato de cobre incandescente, de uma luz irreal sob os céus devastados; os cilindros rodam como as fábricas de fogo na noite; as formas luminosas ascendem ao céu enquanto se formam nuvens inquietantes. É uma visão poderosa do elementar apanhado, por meio de uma linguagem de formas geométricas, num espaço invisível procedido do espaço visível (comparável à Hiper-urânia platoniana ou ao goetiano "mundo das mães").»
Quando examinamos os quadros de Evola (da mesma forma que outros testemunhos do futurismo), compreendemos porque o décor do mundo moderno pode ser adaptado por algumas elites que, deixando para trás os tarecos burgueses herdados do século XIX, marcham em passo rápido para uma neue sachlichkeit, uma nova objectividade que pensam encontrar no bolchevismo, no fascismo ou no nazismo. É a eles que se destinam as formulações de O Trabalhador ** de Jünger: "Ao menos, em certos resumos parciais, o século XX oferece já as linhas mais puras e mais seguras... Começamos a ver o sentido das altas temperaturas, os frios geométricos das luzes, a incandescência do metal. A paisagem torna-se mais fria e mais ardente, com ela desaparecem os últimos rastos das "delicadezas" e da "cordialidade que fala à alma".

De Mafarka a Mithra
Se prosseguirmos a nossa análise filosófica comparada, descobrimos, no coração dos princípios evolianos, o idealismo absoluto de inspiração hegeliana incarnada na exigência fundamental de uma «realização espiritual absoluta pela acção», paralelo evidente com o axioma da trindade futurista: ARTE, VIDA, ACÇÃO.
Da mesma forma, como não reconhecer o idêntico combate e uma vontade parecida entre o instintivo manifesto futurista de 1909, que termina pela célebre frase: «Hirtos no cume do mundo, lançamos uma vez mais o nosso desafio às estrelas!...», espécie de profissão de fé gnóstica e da consciente e reflectiva reactivação do culto de Mithra no pensamento evoliano: «O dominador do Sol, o matador do touro, o padrão de uma raça real regenerada na "Força Forte das Forças"».

Entre Apolo e Dionísio, a majestade doriana do vencedor pindárico encontra numa espécie de futurismo solar a «religião da Vida», a «religião do Devir» cara a Mafarka, promessa de eterno retorno.

Este telurismo dinâmico é o ponto de contacto entre as duas experiências. Futurismo e tradição. O próprio Evola convida-nos a «abolir o limite e o apoio que representa a visibilidade das coisas para nos pormos em contacto com as existências vertiginosas». O processo pelo qual a vida orgânica está agarrada na sua raiz profunda, sem apoio, arrancada à sua natureza... arrebatada para além de si ao longo de uma vida vertiginosa onde se alumia a ordem das diferentes forças cósmicas».

Em Evola, o ultrapassar do futurismo não se operou pela sua negação. Pelo contrário, sublinha a sua importância como resposta num tempo histórico num dado período e, nota o estranho desempenho que este tem no seu espírito e no desenvolvimento do seu pensamento.

A título de purificação
Presentemente, longe do maniqueísmo de fachada, é possível entender a utilidade, da forma que o próprio Evola a entendia, da necessária acção regeneradora que podem ter certos fenómenos criativos.
O convite que ele formulava para um «salto no brutal a título de purificação» é a exacta busca que, da via tradicional à disciplina do manifesto técnico futurista, exige do aluno ou do discípulo este rigor, esta contingência afim de atingir a mestria da sua arte, isto é, de si mesmo pela revelação da energia pura, numa espécie de metalurgia espiritual onde o metal vil é rudemente malhado afim de se tornar num ferro flamejante.

Esta ascese comum não deve escapar ao observador. As vias parecem diferentes, os caminhos comunicam.

Do futurismo à tradição, é o mesmo pensamento de ordem e o ultrapassar hierárquico pelo valor que se afirma. Exprime a permanência, através das épocas e das formas, de uma doutrina que extrai profundamente as suas raízes específicas da cultura indo-europeia.

(Jean-Marc Vivenza)

Notas:
* Adriano Romualdi, Julius Évola, l?homme et l?oeuvre, Guy Trédaniel, 1985.
** Ernst Jünger, O Trabalhador - Domínio e Figura, introdução, tradução e notas de Alexandre Franco de Sá, prefácio de Nuno Rogeiro, Hugin Editores, 2000.

jeudi, 03 février 2011

L'antiamericanismo di Evola

L’antiamericanismo di Evola non è pregiudizio, ma parte d’una visione coerente del mondo

di Francesco Lamendola

Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

 
civilta-americana-193x300.jpgRecentemente la Fondazione Julius Evola ha curato la seconda edizione (dopo quella del 1983) dell’antologia di testi evoliani dedicati alla civiltà statunitense, a cura di Alberto Lombardo, intitolata «Civiltà americana».

Si tratta di una raccolta di quattordici scritti, apparsi fra il 1930 e il 1968, ossia da prima dello scoppio della seconda guerra mondiale a pochi anni prima della scomparsa del filosofo, avvenuta nel 1974. Il primo testo è il celebre «Noi antimoderni»; l’ultimo s’intitola «Suggestione negra». Fra i più significativi, come appare già dai rispettivi titoli, «”Libertà dal bisogno” e umanità bovina» (del 1952) e «Difendersi dall’America» (del 1957).
  
Molto è stato detto e scritto sull’antiamericanismo di Evola, nonché sulla circostanza, invero eloquente, che la sua produzione su questo tema è perfino più abbonante di quella dedicata all’anticomunismo; per cui riteniamo che questa ripubblicazione di una serie di scritti evoliani, dispersi su svariate riviste oggi in gran parte introvabili, sia di per sé una operazione culturale meritoria e di alto profilo.
  
Coglie perfettamente nel segno Alberto Lombardo allorché osserva che tutta la discussione in merito è sostanzialmente viziata dal fatto che americanismo e antiamericanismo, nel panorama politico e culturale italiano (ed europeo), hanno finito per assurgere al ruolo di bandiere di due co0ntrapposte - ma non opposte - visioni del mondo, che neppure la fine della Guerra Fredda, in apparenza, è riuscita a comporre o a rendere obsolete.
  
E questo per la buona ragione che tanto gli americanisti quanto gli antiamericanisti continuano a muoversi entrambi sul medesimo terreno culturale, proprio della modernità intesa in senso puramente quantitativo: democrazia, capitalismo, egualitarismo, cultura dei diritti, scuola di massa, dominio di una vociante “opinione pubblica” che non si rende conto di essere strumentalizzata, dietro la maschera della demagogia più sfrenata, da una rete occulta di “poter forti” di matrice finanziaria ed economica.
  
In questo senso, ha ancora ragione Lombardo quando osserva che l’antiamericanismo superficiale e viscerale di casa nostra non è affatto una alternativa ai valori, se così vogliamo chiamarli, rappresentato dalla civiltà americana, perché, in ultima analisi, si riduce ad un americanismo purgato dai fast-food di McDonald’s e dalla Coca-Cola.
La vera alternativa all’americanismo non è, pertanto, una modernità che vorrebbe accettare tutto il regno del quantitativo, rappresentato allo spirito americano, ma senza i suoi simboli più vistosi e appariscenti, per non dire più chiassosi e volgari; ma un lucido, ragionato rifiuto di tutto l’universo spirituale (o piuttosto anti-spirituale) sotteso a quella civiltà. 
  
Diversamente, l’antiamericanismo nostrano si riduce a quella misera cosa che in realtà è: una servile accettazione della sua essenza profonda, pretendendo però di nascondere alla vista - ipocritamente - certe forme esteriori.
  
Osserva, infatti, Antonio Lombardo a questo proposito (op. cit., 16-18):

evolaincisione.jpg

«L’antiamericanismo, che un autore apprezzato dagli americani nostrani ha definito “una malattia psicologica”, non è sufficiente ad accostare Evola al movimento no/new global o ad altre correnti di pensiero. In Evola l’avversione al modello di civiltà propugnato dagli Stati Uniti non è un pregiudizio, come vorrebbe Massimo Teodori, ma parte da un’autentica visione del mondo e della storia. Già in due capostipiti della rivoluzione conservatrice tedesca, Oswald Spengler e Arthur Moeller van der Bruck, vi è una critica all’occidentalismo di marca anglosassone che è il risultato di un’analisi storica e geopolitica; analoghe posizioni si trovano in Johann von Leers e in Carl Schmitt. Vi è, soprattutto, il richiamo alla tradizione politica europea e la teorizzazione di una sua rinascita n forme nuove. Al contrario, tanto nei laudatori dell’americanismo che nei suoi detrattori, si osserva un’attitudine prona e remissiva che altro non è che una forma di disfattismo o di incoscienza. Anche i più accalorati antiamericani infatti non dubitano della validità dei dogmi  egualitari, della sacralità della democrazia, dell’importanza del meticciato come mezzo per abbattere le costrizioni di un modo che ha ancora troppe differenze.  Entrambi, americanofili e americanofobi, sognano un mondo on più ricchezza diffusa meno frontiere e più libertà di scambi e movimenti, con la peculiare variante della presenza, o meno, delle catene dei McDonald’so della Coca-Cola.

La recente elezione negli Stati Uniti del primo Presidente di colore della storia avrebbe certo dato lo spunto a Evola per qualche articolo, non tanto per la persona considerata in se stessa (Barack Obama), quanto per il valore simbolico e sintomatico del fato. Non vi è alcun dubbio che vedesse nella componente di colore della popolazione nordamericana la componente più tipica dello “spirito americano”: “L’America è ‘negrizzata’ in termini non semplicemente demografici, ma altresì di civiltà e di sensibilità,, quindi anche quando non esistono che scarse relazioni col sangue negro” (in “Il popolo italiano”, 12 luglio 1957). Evola avrebbe indubbiamente interpretato questo fatto come una conferma della degenerazione spirituale american, tanto più considerando che è stata una maggioranza bianca ad eleggere un presidente negro.
  
Comunque non è paradossale che proprio in America, a partire dagli anni Novantadel secolo corso, Evola abbia goduto di una marginale ma non del tutto trascurabile fortuna, dovuta soprattutto alla traduzione delle sue opere principali da parte della casa editrice Inner Traditions, oltre che ala presentazione del pensiero evoliano (in termini assai diversi) da parte di Thomas Sheehan, Richard Drake e Joscelyn Godwin. Ed è piuttosto significativo che in internet, dove il nome di Evola compare in centinaia di migliaia di pagine in tutte le lingue, uno dei primi testi integralmente tradotti e disponibili i inglese (così come in altre lingue) sia stato proprio il volumetto “Civiltà americana”.
  
A ben vedere, infatti, l’autentica opposizione al modello americano è proprio quella teorizzata da Evola, che punta al primato della qualità sulla quantità, dello spirito sulla materia dell’organicità sull’individualismo e della politica sull’economia. Però, così come la Tecnica è per sua natura universale, lo sono anche il modello economico capitalistico e l’ideologia egualitaria. Storicamente, laddove un’idea particolare si oppone ad una universale, la prima è destinata a venire travolta. Il messaggio fondamentale di Evola è proprio quello di interpretare e vivere i valori tradizionali in una prospettiva più che storica, assolutizzarli: solo con ciò potranno essere opposti a quelli dominanti, indipendentemente a ogni effettiva speranza pratica.»
Quello che non può trovarci d’accordo, nel pensiero di Evola sulla civiltà americana, è, d’altra parte, il suo atteggiamento nei confronti della questione degli afroamericani, che risente di un biologismo estraneo, a ben guardare, alle stesse motivazioni ideali del pensiero del filosofo e che si presta ad una lettura in chiave francamente e inaccettabilmente razzista.
  
Se la questione si riducesse ad un fatto puramente biologico, allora l’unico (ed ultimo) uomo politico europeo apertamente evoliano sarebbe Berlusconi, con la sua mediocrissima battuta sull’«abbronzatura» di Barack Obama. 
  
Invece, per le stesse ragioni per cui non è accettabile una critica all’americanismo che ne lasci intatte le base ideologiche e si fermi ad alcuni simboli e funzioni materiali, del pari ci sembra non sia accettabile una lettura in chiave razzista della questione afroamericana. 
  
Al contrario, ci sembra che proprio la sorte dei due gruppi umani che più hanno sofferto della intrinseca malignità dello “spirito americano”, sempre camuffata dietro una roboante enfasi retorica, i neri vittime della schiavitù e gli indiani vittime della “pulizia etnica”, dovrebbe essere vista come un perenne monito contro le sirene di quella ideologia che proclama diritti e libertà per tutti, ma non esita a spazzar via con le bombe al napalm chiunque osi attraversarle il cammino, come si vede, anche ai nostri giorni, per esempio, in Iraq e in Afghanistan.
  
Occorre demistificare l’intrinseca ipocrisia del “sogno americano” e la brutalità, eretta a sistema, dello “spirito della frontiera”, entrambe versioni rivedute e corrette di quel “destino manifesto” che ha fatto del nazionalismo statunitense la molla di una feroce volontà di sopraffazione a livello planetario, realizzata attraverso le immani distruzioni di due guerre mondiali, l’uso spregiudicato dei bombardamenti a tappeto e delle bombe atomiche, la cinica dottrina della “guerra preventiva” e la regia occulta delle lobbies politiche e finanziarie che hanno i loro centri nevralgici non solo a New York, ma anche a Londra e Gerusalemme.
  
E che il pensiero di Evola non sia immune da una certa vena razzista, lo dimostrano le pagine dedicate alla questione dell’apartheid nell’Africa australe; ove ad alcune osservazioni giuste e condivisibili, si intrecciano altre, che dovrebbero ripugnare non diciamo ad una coscienza cristiana - ed Evola è stato, infatti, un pensatore dichiaratamente pagano -, ma anche a quel tanto di coscienza morale che l’umanità ha comunque elaborato sotto l’influsso del Cristianesimo, anche senza rendersene conto o magari, come nel caso dell’Illuminismo, in antitesi ad esso e in aperta polemica contro di esso.
Queste riflessioni ci riconducono anche al discorso sulla posizione di Evola di fronte all’alternativa fra capitalismo di matrice americana e comunismo di modello sovietico. Per lui, si tratta di una falsa alternativa, e questa è la ragione per la quale rifiuta di farsi arruolare, sotto ricatto, nelle file degli “americanisti”. Capitalismo e comunismo non sono alternativi, proprio come, per Nietzsche, non lo sono liberalismo e marxismo: al contrario, si tratta di ideologie simmetriche e complementari, frutto, entrambe, della degenerazione quantitativa della modernità e dell’avvento di una concezione materialista, economicista, radicalmente laicista e avversa all’idea stessa del sacro, della gerarchia, del primato spirituale.
Alberto Lombardo osserva che, quando un’idea particolare si scontra con una universale, finisce per essere travolta. Come è stato fatto notare da diversi studiosi, la forza dell’americanismo sembra consistere proprio nel suo apparente universalismo; che, ad esempio, rende simili a penose battaglie di retroguardia gli sforzi della Francia di preservare la propria identità linguistica e culturale, dato che una strategia rigida soccombe sempre davanti ad una elastica.
Ebbene, si tratta di mostrare che il re è in mutande e cioè che l’americanismo, lungi dall’essere quella ideologia universalistica che cerca di apparire, è, in effetti, la più compiutamente particolaristica e la più ottusamente nazionalistica fra tutte quelle finora apparse durante il processo della modernità: l’ultimo e più abnorme frutto di una parabola degenerativa e non già il primo di un’epoca nuova e di un mondo nuovo.
Del resto, la cosa è evidente anche a livello puramente numerico. Estendere il “sogno americano” all’umanità intera, ad esempio a quei due miliardi e mezzo di Cinesi e di Indiani che bussano energicamente per sedere anch’essi alla tavola del capitalismo trionfante, prima che venga sparecchiata, è cosa semplicemente impossibile, e gli Stati Uniti saranno disposti a qualunque cosa pur di opporvisi. 
A quel punto, però, dovranno gettare la maschera e tutto il mondo potrà vedere che l’americanismo altro non è ce un meschino nazionalismo elevato all’ennesimo potenza e che, per oltrepassare le sue mendaci promesse, occorre ripensare radicalmente il posto dell’uomo nel mondo, il ruolo dell’economia e della tecnica, e soprattutto la dimensione trascendente dell’anima, che la cultura materialista e liberale ha voluto rinnegare e che ha cerato in ogni modo di estinguere.
Molto di più che una questione puramente politica, dunque: ma una vera e propria rifondazione dei valori ideali e perenni dello spirito umano.
In questo senso, ci sembra che la rilettura degli scritti di Evola sulla civiltà americana, nonché del saggio introduttivo di Alberto Lombardo, possa costituire un utile laboratorio di riflessioni e una autentica miniera di spunti critici per chi voglia porsi in maniera consapevole, e al tempo stesso propositiva, nei confronti della sempre più allarmante deriva nichilista di questa nostra tarda modernità.

 

 


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

mardi, 01 février 2011

Modern War as Purge of the Unwanted

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Modern War as Purge of the Unwanted

Sometimes what goes on in international politics these days seems incredibly puzzling. If you look at contemporary wars as an example it seems that the “bad guys” are fighting other “bad guys”, while both sides are claiming to be fighting for a righteous cause. In this article I will attempt to give an explanation as to what the underlying reason for these wars is.

Modern War & Ideology.

Most of the readers of this blog are aware of the fact that there were no “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and that the American government knew it before invading Iraq. The so-called weapons were just a pretext. They were part of the rhetoric about protecting the ‘free world’ (especially the United States) from the ‘evil dictator’, Saddam Hussein, who could ‘threaten our freedom’ to consume what we like in unlimited quantities and thus our very ‘way of life’. Thus, Mr. Saddam was declared part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ and removed by the righteous forces of ‘God’s own country’. The same thing happened in Afghanistan and may or may not happen in Iran.

If we asked the Taliban why they are fighting the Americans, or if we asked Mr. Ahmadinejad why he is so hostile towards them, then I am sure they would say that the Americans are the actual axis of evil (or the “big Satan”), manipulating their allies (the “small Satan”) into fighting for them for an unrighteous cause.

Superficially it seems that there are conflicting views and ideologies causing conflicts and wars.

Ideology: Real or Pretext?

On one level this is certainly correct. But I think most of the readers of this blog will agree with me that neither side really is righteous by any real standard. It is probably not necessary to discuss the American situation in detail save to say that its government is among the most degraded in the world, being habituated as it is to lies, manipulation, double-standards, cultural imperialism, and deep hypocrisy. The above example concerning ‘weapons of mass destruction’ is sufficient to show that.

What about Iran and the others? Are they righteous? I wish they were, but it really seems doubtful. Saddam was just a petty old-fashioned megalomaniac dictator – nothing righteous about him. The Taliban? Well, in my understanding genuine religious governments (for the most part even Islamic ones) were, in the ancient world, always rather liberal. The reason is that the rules of a religion are followed due to cultural conditioning – people follow the tenets of religion because they were brought up with them and because the rest of their family and society around them do. The culture – not external force – was what maintained the sanctity, decency and morality of traditional, religious societies. It was therefore never (or rarely) necessary in Islamic societies to forbid men from shaving or to collapse walls on top of barbers, to shoot or harass girls studying in primary school or dismember women who chose to wear jeans (the last example, to be fair to the Taliban, is from Iraq). Then there is the fact that the rules the Taliban are enforcing are almost certainly not genuinely Islamic. So the Taliban cannot be said to be righteous.

The Islamic Republic? This is probably the one with the most legitimate claim to being a righteous government. On the face of it they have a semi-traditional political system, where the clerics supervise the politicians and make sure all law is within the purview of Islamic teachings. But in practice in Iran’s Islamic teachings are often pushed on a partially unwilling population in a forceful manner – often leading the teachings to be followed in an external, ritualistic way by people who by mentality are modern and would not have cared for tradition if not for state enforcement. This enforced conformity was amply demonstrated with the latest rigged elections and the way demonstrators were brutally arrested, tortured, and even killed. It’s not really that the Iranian opposition is less Islamic than the current conservative government. So if the present conservative, Revolutionary Guard-led government were really concerned about Islam (rather than their own interests) why would they cling to power so desperately? So, even if Iran is better than the others I still think they are at most only 50% righteous.

In conclusion, one could say that although the different parties accuse each other of being unrighteous and use some ideology to justify their war they fall short of the standards they purport to be setting themselves. The whole thing appears to be nothing more than a simple struggle between power-hungry men with big words and big egos but no sense of ‘practice what you preach’.

The Bhagavat Explanation

So, what does this all mean? The ‘bad guys’ are fighting the ‘bad guys’. But what is the underlying reason for it, other than ideological differences? This Srimad Bhagavatam verse, commenting on the battle of Kurukshetra, gives an answer:

“The Lord [Sri Krishna] was pacified after killing those kings who were burdensome to the earth. They were puffed up with their military strength, their horses, elephants, chariots, infantry, etc. He Himself was not a party in the fight. He simply created hostility between the powerful administrators and they fought amongst themselves. He was like the wind which causes friction between bamboos and so sparks a fire.”

In the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada comments:

“He does not favor either of the unwanted administrators but by His potential power He creates hostility between such unwanted administrators as the air creates fire in the forest by the friction of the bamboos. The fire in the forest takes place automatically by the force of the air and similarly the hostility between different groups of politicians take place by the unseen design of the Lord. The unwanted administrators puffed up by false power and military strength thus become engaged in fighting amongst themselves over ideological conflicts and so exhaust themselves of all powers.”

The purport goes on to explain that the materialistic politicians of today are “the lowest of mankind” because they, being materialistic “fools of the first order” and having a “demoniac mentality”, do not take interest in the “supreme science”. Their interest is limited to things which are temporary and “end with the end of the material body”. (His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 1, Chapter 11, Text 34.)

What does this mean? Since all the worlds’ governments have been corrupted by either the demoniac spirit of democracy or some brutal dictator dressed as a saint there are no righteous governments in existence today. Why do they go to war? By the arrangement of Sri Krishna, who causes friction among un-aryan leaders to wear them down through war. Thus, modern war is a manifestation of Krishna’s divine mercy, by which He kills the unrighteous and protects “the sane portion of humanity” for the eventual re-establishment of dharma.

The Eldritch Evola

The Eldritch Evola

James J. O'Meara

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

And thus, as a closer and still closer intimacy admitted me more unreservedly into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe, in one unceasing radiation of gloom. — E. A. Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Old Castro remembered bits of hideous legend that paled the speculations of theosophists and made man and the world seem recent and transient indeed. There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth, and They had had great cities. Remains of Them, he said the deathless Chinamen had told him, were still be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before men came, but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. — H. P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds . . . — Algernon Blackwood

A little while ago, I decided to use up more of my enforced leisure by reading Part Two of Baron Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World, or at least the first few chapters, with an eye towards once and for all getting a straight picture of the various ‘ages’ and ‘races’ that constitute his take on Tradition, filtering Guénon’s model through the more historically oriented work of Wirth and Co. (See Evola’s “My Explorations of Origins and Tradition” in his The Path of Cinnabar.)

Damned if I didn’t start coming all over with fear and dread, and not just in my attic (if I had one), not unlike those that prevented me from reading completely through Guénon’s Reign of Quantity until several false starts over 25 years.

This time I decided to try and analyze what this dread consisted in, and I think I’ve got it:

By the time one reaches the farthest limits of recorded, or even archeologically validated history, the worst has already happened, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And is this not indeed the theme of “horror” fiction?

Now, I’ve never paid attention to the occasional ‘smart’ comments about Traditionalism as reading like “science fiction,” based largely on supposed borrowing from Theosophy. In fact, I agree with this guy, who makes a modus tollens out of the mockers’ modus ponens:

What is one to do then with a writer of foresight, whose literacy and education remain indubitable, who nevertheless serves up his social and political analysis, however trenchant it is, in the context of an alternate history, the details of which resemble the background of story by Lord Dunsany or Clark Ashton Smith? I am strongly tempted to answer my own question in this way: That perhaps we should begin by reassessing Dunsany and Smith, especially Smith, whose tales of decadent remnant-societies — half-ruined, eroticized, brooding over a shored-up luxuriance, and succumbing to momentary appetite with fatalistic abandon — speak with powerful intuition to our actual circumstances. I do not mean to say, however, that Evola is only metaphorically true, as though his work, like Smith’s, were fiction. I mean that Evola is truly true, on the order of one of Plato’s “True Myths,” no matter how much his truth disconcerts us. — Thomas F. Bertonneau, “Against Nihilism: Julius Evola’s ‘Traditionalist’ Critique of Modernity

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read more than one C. A. S. story, and that years ago in some Lovecraft Mythos anthology, but I’m more inclined anyway to take this back to the Master himself, Lovecraft. How much does Lovecraft resemble Evola, and moreover, is this superficial, or is there a reason?

The answer may lie here:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.– H. P. Lovecraft, “Supernatural Horror in Literature”

In a 1927 letter to Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright, Lovecraft writes: “I consider the touch of cosmic outsideness–of dim, shadowy non-terrestrial hints–to be the characteristic feature of my writing.”

Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden eons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. — H. P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

Lovecraft takes fear as his theme, and he knows that the greatest fear is inspired not by ghoulies and gore but by the dread of nameless eons. Nameless eons are the stock in trade of Traditionalist cyclical cosmology.

It’s no surprise that today’s Prince of Nihilism gets it:

The human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. — Michel Houellebecq, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life (1999).

But surely Evola and Co. are not frivolous entertainers, but serious initiates. If Lovecraft seeks to inspire fear, does Evola, and if so, how is that connected to initiation?

We could try this: if Evola inspires new respect for the Lovecraftians, then what if we read Lovecraft as if he were Evola?

It was Alisdair Clarke who called my attention to Polaria: The Gift of the White Stone by W. H. Muller. I’ve never seen more than a couple other references to it (such as this amused and bemused review by one Julianus here) and copies of the barely 200 page paperback seem to have become quite rare, fetching over $200.00 on Amazon.

Muller takes off, with all apparent sincerity, from the preposterous thesis that H. P. Lovecraft “was a Practicing Occultist and that the Lovecraft Circle was a group of High Adepts,” despite overwhelming evidence, found in literally dozens of volumes of letters and innumerable personal reminiscences, to say nothing of S. T. Joshi’s many works, of being a cast-iron materialist of the village atheist ilk. As Julianus says:

The book itself is a Vast Muddle of Mystical Verbiage that draws on Sufism, Theosophy, Rene Guenon, Robert Graves, and others to create a bizarre Syncretic Symbolism from “Phonetic Encodings” in Lovecraft’s work. The Linguistic Fog is comparable only to the work of Kenneth Grant, and it is truly strange that Herr Muller nowhere acknowledges his debt to the Typhonian Titan.

Actually, in its preposterous thesis defended with po-faced sincerity by means of vast scholarship and word and letter mumbo-jumbo, as well as its overall atmosphere of occult doom, I was more put in mind of such works of Ariosophic fascism as Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels’ Theozoology.

Never the less, there are some good bits, relevant to our theme; if Lovecraft‘s tales can be given an initiatic spin, then the connection with Evola becomes clearer:

Lovecraft cloaked his profound esoteric insight in an imagery of horror. . . . Thus it was given a subtle but clear initiatory nature. Many feel attracted by Lovecraft’s forceful imagery, but only a very few know the reason. Only those with a preparedness and already drawn toward the Threshold would be ready to delve into Lovecraft’s work and recover from its depths the eonian Polar message.

Remember, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.”

For Fear read “initiation via experiencing the death of the ego and its world.”

Both ego-less animal existence and man’s ego, which is but matrical sensory cognition, originate in the same Matrix of Dream. This must be transcended. It is Polar insight, the inward-looking way that leads out of this cyclic Matrix. However, the man’s ego, being the man-god, fears mystical dissolution, because it fears its “death”. Only if “death” is realized as illusion by experiencing it mystically in life, [perhaps by reading some 'weird tales'] can essencification and spiritual unity be achieved. The ego fears “death” because it does not know that there is none. ‘Fear’ is the sword the ego wields, yet its iron melts away in the black heat of Wisdom.

In Lovecraft’s stories the elements of decay and death prevail. These are the emotional patterns of one approaching the seventh plane of the Threshold. The transformative Way across the Bridge of Fog, from animal-man to god-man, is painful. Everyone claiming the contrary, is speaking with a Minotaurian voice. [Man-animals? Ruh-roh, here comes that Theozoology again!]

The Way leads through the Tomb of the Individual toward the Emergence of the Entity. The same is applicable to humanity. Saturn is throwing its charnel light toward this planet. But the Pilgrim must know that Saturn is but the Threshold, not the Destination. — W. H. Muller, Polaria, p.113

“The Minotaurian voice that Muller refers to is the voice that asserts the supremacy of the ego. It is the animal-man trapped in the labyrinth of ordinary, uninspired consciousness.” — A. Clarke, “Ego Death, Destiny and Serpents in Germanic Mythology

Both Evola and Lovecraft also drew the same or similar immediate political conclusions, both under the influence of cycles, those of Guénon and Spengler, respectively:

Lovecraft saw cultural decline as a slow process that spans 500 to 1000 years. He sought a system that could overcome the cyclical laws of decay, which was also the motivation of Fascism. Lovecraft believed it was possible to re-establish a new “equilibrium” over the course of 50 to 100 years, stating: “There is no need of worrying about civilization so long as the language and the general art tradition survives.” — Kerry Bolton, “Lovecraft’s Fascism

(For the Fascist theme of regeneration or palingenesis, see Roger Griffin’s Modernism and Fascism, reviewed here by Alisdair Clarke.)

Continuing that somewhat optimistic note, perhaps even ego death may not be so bad; In “Calling Cthulhu,” Erik Davis described the then-nascent cult of pop-Cthulhu, and noted that Lovecraft’s “dread” and “horror” seemed to belong to a 19th century materialist confronting vast new vistas opened up by science, not unlike those opened by drugs; as he describes it in a more recent article on Cthulu porn:

In this tangy bon-bon of nihilistic materialism, Lovecraft anticipates a peculiarly modern experience of dread, one conjured not by irrational fears of the dark but rather by the speculative realism of reason itself, staring into the cosmic void. . . . This terror before the empty and ultimately unknowable universe of scientific materialism is what gives the cosmic edge to the cosmic horror that Lovecraft, more than any other writer, injected into the modern imagination (though props must be given up as well to Arthur Machen, William Hope Hodgson, and, in the closing chapters of The Time Machine at least, H. G. Wells). While many secular people proclaim an almost childlike wonder at the mind-melting prospect of the incomprehensibly vast universe sketched out by astrophysics and bodied forth by doctored Hubble shots, Lovecraft would say that we have not really swallowed the implication of this inhuman immensity—that we have not, in other words, correlated our contents. — Erik Davis, “Cthulhu is not cute!”

By contrast, we in the 20th (now 21st) century have actually come to welcome such derangement of the senses, like teenagers love glue huffing.

This seems discount the value of the fear and terror aspect itself, but it’s more soundly based on the real Lovecraft, cowering in his attic, than the “alchemical master” postulated by Muller.

But maybe the kids do have something to teach us:

For those who need a quick refresher:

Editor’s Note: For more imaginative Lovecraft tributes and parodies, see Under Vhoorl’s Shadow: http://www.3×6.net/vhoorl/

lundi, 31 janvier 2011

Portrait of Julius Evola - Alexander Slavros

Portrait of Julius Evola by Alexander Slavros

Ex: http://alexander-slavros.deviantart.com/

00:10 Publié dans art, Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : peinture, art, tradition, traditionalisme, evola, italie | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

La religione solare nell'impero romano

La religione solare nell’impero romano

Autore: Giovanni Pellegrino

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

In questo articolo prenderemo in considerazione l’importanza rivestita dalla religione solare nell’impero romano a partire dall’introduzione del culto solare da parte di Elagabalo, avvenuta nel 218.

Nel III ancor più nel IV secolo nell’universo pagano romano esistevano diverse correnti di pensiero in assoluto contrasto tra di loro. Come abbiamo messo in evidenza in due nostri libri, ovvero Il neopaganesimo nella società moderna ed Il ritorno del paganesimo questa conflittualità esistente nel mondo pagano nell’età imperiale favorì senza dubbio la vittoria del cristianesimo sul paganesimo. Senza dubbio la causa più importante che determinò nell’universo pagano romano la formazione di tali correnti in aperto conflitto tra loro fu la crisi della religione politeistica tradizionale.

Premesso ciò torniamo ad occuparci della religione del “Sol Invictus” che era una divinità originaria dell’Oriente particolarmente venerata in Siria: nel III e nel IV secolo diverse religioni orientali fecero il loro ingresso nell’impero romano. La religione solare fu introdotta a Roma nel 218 dal giovanissimo imperatore Elagabalo che decise che il dio solare, venerato nella sua patria, diventasse una divinità onnipotente alla quale avrebbero dovuto assoggettarsi tutti gli altri dei della tradizionale religione romana, ivi compreso Giove. Il tentativo di Elagabalo, già di per se stesso prematuro ed anacronistico, venne inoltre condotto senza nessuna prudenza e senza il minimo rispetto della mentalità e dei costumi socio-religiosi romani. Per tali ragioni esso causò una violenta reazione nell’impero, in quanto profanava i simboli più sacri della tradizione religiosa romana.

Alla fine i romani eliminarono in poco tempo sia l’imperatore Elagabalo sia il suo dio solare di origine siriana. Tale reazione del popolo romano indusse il successore di Elagabalo, ovvero suo cugino Alessandro, a tralasciare in tutto il territorio dell’impero qualsiasi rito che riguardasse la divinità solare, sebbene questa avesse grande importanza presso tutti i membri della famiglia imperiale.

Tuttavia, poco dopo nel paganesimo orientale ebbe grande vigore la riflessione teologica sulla divinità solare. La nuova teologia solare divenne ancora più raffinata a partire dalla metà del III secolo, ricollegandosi a concezioni sempre più chiaramente monoteizzanti. Nella nuova teologia solare Helios acquistò la sua definitiva dimensione, che rimarrà tale anche nel tardo paganesimo. In tali riflessioni la divinità solare era sempre la più importante delle divinità, ma veniva subordinata all’Uno, la somma divinità dei filosofi neoplatonici, che affidava a Helios, come ad un demiurgo, il controllo di tutte le parti dell’universo.

La creazione teologica di un principio universale di tipo monoteizzante suscitò grande interesse nella società dell’epoca. Infatti la teologia solare non solo interpretava in maniera efficace sul piano religioso molte delle più importanti esigenze di quel periodo storico ma diventava anche causa di rilevanti conseguenze in ambito politico, in un’era storica nella quale la dimensione religiosa e quella politica erano strettamente collegate. In questo periodo della storia dell’impero romano la già avvenuta trasformazione dello stato romano in una moltitudine di popoli differenti tra loro per costumi, tradizioni, sistemi politici provocò come importantissima conseguenza sul piano politico una forte conflittualità tra imperatore e senato: la romanizzazione spesso poco efficace e superficiale delle province di recente conquista faceva sì che l’impero dovesse temere non solo il conflitto con i nemici esterni ma anche e soprattutto il conflitto permanente che si sviluppava all’interno dei territori dell’impero.

Considerata sotto questo aspetto, la crisi economica e sociale del terzo secolo fu in gran parte conseguenza dello scontro tra due opposte ideologie, l’una conservatrice tendente a restaurare nell’impero i valori tradizionali della “romanitas”, l’altra modernizzante tendente a dare importanza nell’impero romano a tradizioni religiose, sociali, politiche e culturali che erano in aperto conflitto con gli ideali della romanizzazione. Questo conflitto ideologico -culturale ebbe notevoli conseguenze sul piano politico poiché secondo l’ideologia conservatrice l’imperatore doveva essere scelto secondo il principio dell’adozione del migliore mentre secondo l’altra ideologia l’imperatore doveva essere scelto secondo i criteri di una stabile monarchia ereditaria.

Questo conflitto ideologico, culturale e politico divenne particolarmente forte dopo l’età di Marco Aurelio. Dopo il regno di tale imperatore entrò in crisi il principio dell’adozione del migliore e si affermò sempre più il principio della monarchia ereditaria, che presentava maggiori garanzie di stabilità e continuità rispetto all’altro principio. Anche negli ambienti intellettuali pagani si affermò sempre più il principio della monarchia ereditaria e si comprese che tale ideale politico poteva affermarsi con maggiore facilità se avesse avuto il supporto di una religione adatta a tale scopo. Proprio la religione solare venne considerata negli ambienti intellettuali pagani la più adatta a sostenere questo nuovo tipo di ideologia politica. In sintesi l’imperatore veniva considerato come una persona che godeva dell’appoggio del dio solare, che forniva il suo appoggio anche a tutti i membri della famiglia imperiale. Prendendo le mosse dalle concezioni astrologiche dominanti in quel periodo storico, la religione solare divenne un ottimo supporto per la monarchia ereditaria: tali concezioni astrologiche partivano dal presupposto che le anime preesistenti nell’empireo, allorquando si abbassavano verso la Terra per animare i corpi cui erano destinate, attraversavano la sfera dei pianeti e ne ricevevano determinate qualità. Partendo da tali concezioni astrologiche si affermò la convinzione che il Sole, re degli astri, era egli stesso il padrone del destino degli imperatori, poiché Helios dava a quelle persone che aveva scelto come imperatori la virtù dell’invincibilità, e inoltre li assisteva continuamente nella loro opera di governo proprio come un compagno ed un protettore personale. L’imperatore era perciò legato ad Helios da un rapporto di intima comunione e ne costituiva in qualche modo l’incarnazione sulla Terra: egli era pertanto imperatore per diritto di nascita, perché fin dalla sua venuta al mondo gli astri lo avevano destinato a diventare imperatore (si noti come il determinismo astrologico giocava un ruolo importantissimo nella religione solare non solo per l’imperatore ma per tutti gli esseri umani dal più potente al più umile). L’imperatore, che secondo la religione solare era disceso dal cielo prima di diventare quello che era, dopo la morte risaliva in cielo per vivere in eterno con gli dei; inoltre molti teologi della religione solare sostenevano che l’imperatore dopo la morte fosse portato in cielo dal Sole in persona nella sua quadriga risplendente.

Da quanto abbiamo detto appare evidente che la religione solare e le teorie politiche ad essa collegate davano una giustificazione religiosa al crescente assolutismo degli imperatori romani, ragion per cui molti di essi vennero attratti da tale religione. Per fare un esempio, nella seconda metà del III secolo l’imperatore Gallieno volle che venisse collocata a Roma una statua gigantesca del dio Helios.

Tuttavia fu soprattutto alcuni anni più tardi che il culto del “Sol Invictus” rivestì un ruolo importantissimo a Roma all’epoca degli imperatori illirici. Essi ritennero la religione solare per i suoi stessi intrinseci caratteri il supporto più efficace della monarchia ereditaria che volevano instaurare. Dobbiamo dire che dal punto di vista storico-sociale e politico tali imperatori restaurarono l’unità politica e militare dell’impero romano ed inoltre riuscirono a garantire la pace sociale promuovendo la conciliazione tra le necessità economiche delle varie classi. La religione solare raggiunse il suo apogeo nell’impero romano nel 274 quando Aureliano proclamò il “Deus Sol Invictus” la divinità ufficiale dell’impero e in suo onore costruì a Roma un tempio di straordinaria bellezza, al cui servizio fu preposto un apposito collegio di sacerdoti che presero il nome di “pontifices Dei Solis”. Inoltre molti storici sostengono che in quel periodo la religione solare era ufficialmente imposta ai soldati romani nonché ai capi delle legioni.

Anche i successori di Aureliano continuarono a proteggere ed appoggiare la religione solare. Tuttavia le cose cambiarono radicalmente quando salì al trono Diocleziano. Infatti tale imperatore si prepose come scopo principale del suo regno la restaurazione della romanitas. Nell’ambito di tale restaurazione Diocleziano attribuì grande importanza alla religione tradizionale romana. Diocleziano attribuì grande importanza al culto delle divinità classiche quali Marte, Mercurio, Pallade, Giove ed Ercole. Egli inoltre perseguitò con grande durezza i cristiani, ritenendoli dei pericolosi nemici degli ideali e della religione tradizionale del popolo romano. Per questi motivi la persecuzione voluta da Diocleziano fu una delle più dure della storia del cristianesimo: moltissimi cristiani vennero uccisi, a cominciare da quelli che rivestivano ruoli importanti nell’impero.

Diocleziano costituì anche un sistema di governo che prese il nome di tetrarchia, nel quale il potere sovrano era affidato a quattro persone, ovvero due Augusti e due Cesari. In tale sistema di governo la successione veniva assicurata non per diritto di nascita ma attraverso il tradizionale sistema dell’adozione del migliore. Da quanto abbiamo detto è facile comprendere che l’impero di Diocleziano trovava il suo fondamento etico, politico e religioso non nella religione solare ma nelle divinità della religione tradizionale romana. Tuttavia tutti gli sforzi di Diocleziano di restaurare la romanitas e di far ritornare l’impero romano ai suoi antichi splendori fallirono, tanto che Diocleziano si ritirò amareggiato e deluso a vita privata e non ne volle più sapere di riprendere il suo posto nella tetrarchia.

Dopo il ritiro di Diocleziano dalla scena politica romana ricominciarono le guerre civili originate dai conflitti tra i tetrarchi ed il principio dell’ereditarietà del potere imperiale tornò ad affermarsi e con esso tornò in auge la religione solare. Costantino in gioventù fu un fervente adepto della religione solare, anche perché suo padre, verso il quale il futuro imperatore provò sempre un’ammirazione assoluta ed incondizionata, era a sua volta un convinto adepto del dio Helios. Nella biografia di Costantino scritta da un autore anonimo si sostiene che nel 310 a Costantino sarebbe apparso il dio solare mentre il futuro imperatore era intento a pregare in Gallia in un tempio dedicato alla divinità solare.

Molto complessa da interpretare e da comprendere è la politica religiosa instaurata da Costantino dopo la sua conversione al cristianesimo (Costantino abbandonò la religione solare e si convertì al cristianesimo poiché prima della battaglia di Ponte Milvio, nella quale egli sconfisse Massenzio, gli apparve in cielo una croce. Costantino ordinò che la croce fosse posta sullo scudo di tutti i suoi soldati, in quanto era convinto che in tal modo avrebbe sconfitto Massenzio, conquistando il potere imperiale. Dopo aver sconfitto Massenzio Costantino si convertì al cristianesimo). Tuttavia nessuno può negare che la politica religiosa di Costantino fu dominata dal sincretismo religioso, non solo dopo la vittoria di Ponte Milvio su Massenzio, ma anche dopo che Costantino sconfisse Licinio diventando l’unico imperatore romano (mentre in precedenza Costantino governava la parte occidentale dell’impero e Licinio quella orientale).

Gli storici si sono chiesti come è possibile spiegare il persistente sincretismo religioso di Costantino, pur considerandone sincera la conversione al cristianesimo. A nostro avviso è possibile solo se si tiene presente che la maggior parte dei sudditi di Costantino erano pagani, mentre i cristiani costituivano una minoranza nella popolazione dell’impero. Inoltre i cristiani erano una minoranza quasi totalmente incapace di gestire il potere, poiché Diocleziano, come detto in precedenza, aveva fatto uccidere la maggior parte dei cristiani che avevano qualsiasi tipo di potere.

Nella parte finale di questo articolo cercheremo di dimostrare due cose: in primo luogo che non è corretto sostenere che Costantino si sia convertito al cristianesimo per un puro calcolo politico (in tal caso Costantino dovrebbe essere considerato un politico molto scadente, cosa molto lontana dalla realtà); in secondo luogo che per salvare la vita e il trono Costantino non poteva far altro che una politica religiosa imperniata sul sincretismo, poiché la maggioranza dei suoi sudditi erano adepti o della religione solare o della religione tradizionale romana politeistica, e la scelta del sincretismo fu quindi dovuta a un calcolo politico.

La scelta di Costantino di convertirsi alla religione cristiana non fu calcolo politico per almeno due ragioni. In primo luogo i cristiani erano una minoranza della popolazione dell’impero romano (secondo la maggior parte degli storici costituivano poco meno del 10% della popolazione dell’impero), e per di più quasi totalmente priva di uomini dotati di potere; in secondo luogo Costantino non avrebbe abbandonato la religione solare per un puro calcolo politico, anche per rispetto della memoria di suo padre Costanzo Cloro, il quale non solo era un convinto adepto della religione solare ma aveva più volte invitato Costantino a non abbandonare mai il dio Helios; e dopo la morte eroica di Costanzo Cloro in Britannia l’ammirazione di Costantino verso il padre era aumentata considerevolmente.

Riteniamo opportuno dire qualcosa su Costanzo Cloro che deve essere considerato un buon generale ed un valente uomo politico. Egli rivestì il ruolo di Cesare nella tetrarchia di Diocleziano, poi dopo l’abdicazione di Diocleziano e Massimiano divenne Augusto insieme con Galerio. Costanzo Cloro dimostrò di essere un valoroso condottiero in quanto combatté diverse battaglie per difendere i confini dell’impero. Morì eroicamente in battaglia in Britannia dove si era recato per guidare una spedizione romana contro gli abitanti di quella provincia dell’impero.

Per quanto riguarda la decisione di Costantino di adottare una politica religiosa basata sul sincretismo dobbiamo dire che si trattò di un calcolo politico molto intelligente ed anche inevitabile. Dobbiamo tenere presente che al tempo di Costantino la maggior parte di coloro che facevano parte degli ambienti politici, militari ed intellettuali dell’impero romano erano adepti della religione solare, mentre tra le masse popolari e il proletariato erano prevalenti gli adepti della religione romana tradizionale. Se Costantino si fosse posto in contrasto contro la religione solare si sarebbe messo contro i suoi stessi soldati che lo ammiravano in maniera incondizionata, non solo perché erano in maggioranza adepti del dio Helios, ma anche perché erano stati in gran parte agli ordini di Costanzo Cloro.

D’altra parte se Costantino avesse dimostrato pubblicamente di disprezzare la tradizionale religione romana si sarebbe attirato l’odio delle masse popolari, a quel tempo molto turbolente e frustrate. Di conseguenza Costantino praticò un evidentissimo sincretismo religioso adottando simboli e comportamenti in linea a volte con la religione solare e a volte con la religione tradizionale romana. Inoltre pur essendosi convertito al cristianesimo nel 312 non si fece mai battezzare se non quando si trovava già sul letto di morte gravemente ammalato.

Dopo Costantino i suoi successori praticarono una politica religiosa sempre più filocristiana ed ostile al paganesimo fino a che la religione cristiana divenne la religione ufficiale dell’impero romano. Al declino progressivo del paganesimo non sfuggì neanche la religione solare, che divenne sempre meno importante anche negli ambienti dove aveva esercitato una notevole influenza al tempo di Costantino.

Chiudiamo questo articolo mettendo in evidenza che il paganesimo nel V secolo era quasi totalmente sparito negli ambienti urbani mentre continuava ad essere praticato negli ambienti rurali dove riti come la lustratio finalizzata ad aumentare la fertilità dei campi erano considerati così importanti dalla maggior parte dei contadini che a volte accadde che i cristiani che si rifiutavano di partecipare a tale rito subissero il martirio anche nel V secolo e all’inizio del VI secolo, come attestano alcune iscrizioni trovate in varie province dell’impero.

* * *

Riferimenti bibliografici
G. Pellegrino, Il neopaganesimo nella società moderna, Edisud, Salerno, 2000.
G. Pellegrino, Il ritorno del paganesimo, New Grafic Service, Salerno, 2004.
M. Sordi, L’Impero Romano, Laterza, Bari-Roma, 2003.

The Warrior & the City

The Warrior & the City

Dominique Venner

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

Translated by Greg Johnson

Hoplite_Armour.jpgIn 1814, at the end of the Napoleonic wars, Benjamin Constant wrote with relief: “We have arrived at the age of commerce, the age that must necessarily replace that of war, as the age of war necessarily had to precede it.” Naïve Benjamin! He took up the very widespread idea of indefinite progress supporting the advent of peace between men and nations.

The age of soft commerce replacing that of war . . . We know what the future made of that prophecy! The age of commerce was imposed, certainly, but by multiplying wars. Under the influence of commerce, science, and industry—in other words “progress”—wars even took on monstrous proportions that nobody could have imagined.

There was, however, some truth in Constant’s false forecast. If the wars continued and even thrived, on the other hand, the figure of the warrior lost his social prestige to the profit of the dubious figure of the tradesman. This is the new age in which we still live, for the time being.

The figure of the warrior was dethroned, and yet the institution of the military has endured more than any other in Europe after 1814. It has endured from the time of the Iliad—thirty centuries—while transforming, adapting to all changes in ages, war, societies, and political regimes, but still preserving its essence, which is the religion of pride, duty, and courage. This permanence in change is comparable only to that of another imposing institution, the Church (or the churches). The reader is shocked. A surprising comparison! And yet . . .

What is the army since Antiquity? It is a quasi-religious institution, with its own history, heroes, rules, and rites. A very old institution, older even than the Church, born from a need as old as humanity, and which is nowhere near ceasing. Among Europeans, it was born from a spirit that is specific to them and which—unlike the Chinese tradition, for example—makes war a value in itself. In other words, it was born from a civic religion arising from war, whose essence, in a word, is admiration for courage in the face of death.

This religion can be defined as that of the city in the Greek or Roman sense of the word. In more modern language, it is a religion of the fatherland, great or small. As Hector put it 30 centuries ago in Book XII of the Iliad, to deflect an ill omen: “It is not for a good outcome that we fight for our fatherland” (XII, 243). Courage and fatherland are connected. In the last battle of the Trojan War, feeling beleaguered and doomed, Hector tears himself from despair with the cry: “Oh well! No, I do not intend to die without a fight, nor without glory, nor without some great deed that is retold in times to come” (XXII, 304–305). One finds this cry of tragic pride in all epochs of a history that glorifies the ill-fated hero, magnified by an epic defeat: Thermopylae, the Song of Roland, Camerone, or Diên Biên Phu.

Chronologically, the warrior band comes before the state. Romulus and his bellicose companions first traced the future boundaries of the City and laid down its inflexible law. For having transgressed it, Remus was sacrificed by his brother. Then, and only then, did the founders seize the Sabine women to ensure their descent. In the foundation of the European state, the order of free warriors precedes that of families. This is why Plato saw Sparta as far closer to the model of the Greek city than Athens.[1]

Weak though they may be, today’s European armies constitute islands of order in a crumbling environment where fictions of states promote chaos. Even diminished, an army remains an institution based on strong discipline and participating in civic discipline. That is why this institution carries in it a genetic seed of restoration, not by seizing power or militarizing society, but by reasserting the primacy of order over disorder. It is what the compagnonnages of the sword did after the disintegration of the Roman Empire and so many others after that.

Note

1. In Les métamorphoses de la cité, essai sur la dynamique de l’Occident (Paris: Flammarion, 2010), based on the reading of Homer, Pierre Manent highlights the role of warlike aristocracies in the foundation of the ancient city.

Source: http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/#/edito-nrh-52-homme-de-gue...

samedi, 29 janvier 2011

Jacqueline de Romilly et la bonne Grèce

20070402_WWW000000512_6911_1.jpg

Jacqueline de Romilly et la bonne Grèce

par Claude BOURRINET

Assurément, il n’est guère correct de s’en prendre à une défunte et à son œuvre. La seule excuse à donner est que l’académicienne n’aurait pas pris la peine de réfuter ce qui suit. Cependant, le ton dithyrambique et l’encens qui ont accompagné les obsèques de l’illustre helléniste avait de quoi irriter, non seulement parce que la flagornerie, même quand il s’agit d’un mort, horripile, comme si ce supplément d’âme eût l’heur de faire oublier la catastrophe annoncée qui ruine l’enseignement du latin et du grec en France, mais on ne s’est guère demandé, et pour cause, si la bonne dame du Collège de France avait fait tout ce qu’il fallait pour qu’une telle tragédie fût devenue impensable. Il y eut bien des pétitions, des murmures de couloir, mais Jacqueline de Romilly était bien trop intégrée pour ruer comme une bacchante ou poursuivre les assassins du grec comme une Érinye assoiffée de sang.

À vrai dire, je n’ai jamais essayé de lire un de ses ouvrages sans que le livre me tombe des mains, tellement il est farci de bons sentiments, et de cette manie anachronique de démontrer l’impossible, à savoir que les Grecs, c’était nous, les modernes de 1789, de la République etc. Le paradigme politique a radicalement changé, tant le christianisme a bouleversé notre manière de voir le monde et les hommes, l’individualisme, la marchandisation, la coupure avec un ordre holiste du monde ont contribué à broyer ce qui demeurait de l’Antiquité. Au demeurant, Walter Friedrich Otto le dit très bien dans Les dieux de la Grèce; comme le souligne Détienne dans la préface de cet ouvrage fondamental : « il faut […] prendre la mesure de ce qui nous sépare, de ce qui nous rend étrangers à l’esprit grec; et en conséquence dénoncer les préjugés [positiviste et chrétien] qui nous empêchent de comprendre «  les dieux de la Grèce ” ».

Et si, bien sûr, la Grèce est à l’origine de l’Europe, ce n’est pas dans le sens où les héritiers de la IIIe République l’entendent. D’une certaine manière, même si je me retrouve dans cette époque, en en partageant tous les fondements, y compris les plus scandaleux pour un moderne, et qui sont très éloignés de l’idéologie néochrétienne des droits de l’homme, la Grèce antique est complètement différente du monde contemporain. À son contact, on est en présence avec la véritable altérité (en fait notre identité). Hegel disait que pour un moderne, un Grec est aussi bizarre et étrange qu’un chien.

Voilà ce que qu’écrivait Hegel de l’Africain dans La Raison dans l’Histoire : « C’est précisément pour cette raison que nous ne pouvons vraiment nous identifier, par le sentiment, à sa nature, de la même façon que nous ne pouvons nous identifier à celle d’un chien, ou à celle d’un Grec qui s’agenouillait devant l’image de Zeus. Ce n’est que par la pensée que nous pouvons parvenir à cette compréhension de sa nature; nous ne pouvons en effet sentir que ce qui est semblable à nos sentiments. »

Le fondement de la pensée véritable, c’est ce sentiment d’étrangeté, un arrachement aux certitudes les plus convenues, pour parvenir à notre vérité profonde.

Un Grec est plus proche du Sioux, d’une certaine façon, que du kantien.

Maintenant, avec un effort d’imagination et beaucoup de caractère, on peut se sentir plus proche du Sioux que du kantien.

Jacqueline de Romilly n’a eu donc de cesse d’invoquer la Grèce antique pour louer les vertus supposées de la modernité : la démocratie, dont chacun sait qu’elle est une « invention des Grecs », l’égalité, notamment entre hommes et femmes, les droits de l’homme, etc. La presse ne s’est pas fait faute de le rappeler à satiété, comme si le retour à l’hellénisme ne pouvait que passer par les fourches caudines du politiquement correct.

La source des confusions, lorsqu’on s’avise de s’inspirer des théories politiques de l’Antiquité pour définir les modèles organisationnels de la meilleure société possible, est que nous avons affaire à deux mondes différents, et l’erreur de perspective conduit à des décalages conceptuels et symboliques, à des malentendus. Les notions qui font l’objet d’un glissement suprahistorique fallacieux, confinant à l’anachronisme, sont aisément repérables dans cette phrase, tout à fait représentative du style qu’on trouve chez nos universitaires : « Un sens de l’humanité sorti de l’histoire dont les valeurs et les idées sont toujours dans l’actualité, surtout si on a à l’esprit les remises en cause actuelles des valeurs républicaines de liberté, d’égalité et de fraternité, au nom du droit à la différence confinant à la différence des droits, du communautarisme encouragé par le clientélisme politique, d’un retour radical du religieux et du patriarcat déniant aux femmes qu’elles puissent être les égales de l’homme ! » (Guylain Chevrier, docteur en histoire, cf. http://www.agoravox.fr)

Tout y est, avec même le ton déclamatoire.

La réduction, dans les classes de collège et de lycée, de l’apport hellénique à la démocratie a de quoi irriter. Luciano Canfora , pour ne parler que du terme « démocratie », a démontré que, dans le préambule à la Constitution européenne de 2003, ses concepteurs, par « « bassesse » philologique », ont falsifié les « propos que Thucydide prête à Périclès » (qui était, de facto, prince – prôtos anêr, dixit Thucydide – d’Athènes) en assimilant démocratie et liberté. La « gaffe » provient de leur formation scolaire, qui leur a révélé que « la Grèce a inventé la démocratie » (« formule facile, tellement simplificatrice qu’elle se révèle fausse », écrit Canfora), sans entrevoir qu’« aucun texte écrit par un auteur athénien ne célèbre la démocratie » ! Celle-là, dans l’histoire des Grecs antiques, a été un régime minoritaire, ramassé dans le temps, qu’il n’a pas été si démocratique que cela (au sens moderne), et qu’il a été méprisé par pratiquement tous les penseurs, à commencer par le premier, Platon, qui lui reprocha d’avoir assassiné Socrate. Il faudrait analyser de plus près ce que dit Aristote, qui est plutôt pour le gouvernement des meilleurs.

D’autre part, la notion d’égalité est aussi un piège : Agamemnon par exemple est le primus inter pares. Il n’est pas question d’égalité entre êtres humains, mais entre aristocrates, entre rois. Thersite en sait quelque chose, qui reçoit de la part d’Ulysse un coup de sceptre pour avoir prôné le défaitisme, et, avant tout, pour avoir pris la parole.

Pratiquement personne n’a remis en cause l’esclavage.

Ce que l’on omet de dire, c’est que, si l’on survole l’histoire hellénique jusqu’à Rome et au-delà, le régime qui s’impose et qui, justifié par les stoïciens, les platoniciens et d’autres, semble le plus légitime, surtout après Alexandre, c’est la monarchie. L’Empire romain est fondé sur cette idéologie, comme l’a montré Jerphagnon.

Qu’en est-il de l’égalité entre l’homme et la femme ? Ce n’est pas à un Grec qu’on va faire passer cette baliverne ! Il en aurait bien ri, lui qui, sur cette question, ressemble beaucoup à un musulman, en remisant son épouse dans le gynécée. Lysistrata est une COMÉDIE, destinée à FAIRE RIRE ! Autant dire que l’idée d’égalité entre hommes et femmes était présentée comme une bouffonnerie.

Je renvoie à Vernant pour ce qui est du « mythe d’Œdipe », qu’il dénonce savamment en montrant que Freud s’était trompé sur toute la ligne.

Loin de moi l’idée de démolir la statue funèbre de Jacqueline de Romilly, mais j’avoue que les éloges actuels m’énervent un peu.

Pour apprécier en profondeur la pensée grecque (et subsidiairement romaine), autant lire Vernant, Jerphagnon (l’exquis !), Friedrich Otto, Paul Veyne, qui me semblent plus incisifs que la bonne dame pour classes terminales…

Claude Bourrinet


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

URL to article: http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=1846

Celtic Woman - Caledonia by Lady Avalonya

Celtic Woman

Caledonia by Lady Avalonya

jeudi, 27 janvier 2011

Germanic concepts of Fate

Der Germanische Schicksalsglaube by Walther Gehl (1939)

A couple of things made me want to have a look at the explanations that I was offered of the terms “Ørlögr” and “heilagr” and this book was suggested. I got a copy through my library, so I had only 3 weeks to study the book. The Germanic Belief In Fate is a very interesting work, offering tons of information about the subject. Gehl does not really work towards the explanations that I was after, but there are things to work with. I want to introduce you to this book and because this text is too lengthy for a book review, this turned out to be an ‘article’. Of course I read the book with a certain idea in mind, so this review may turn out to be a bit onesided.

Ørlög

Gehl has found a staggering amount of terms to describe “Schicksal” (“Fate”), but most of them do not really have the meaning that we give to that term today. How could it be, with so many words? On page 16 (in the introduction) Gehl writes that words like “sköp” and “ørlög” were used to describe “fate”. Both terms are written with a “.” below the “o”, but I cannot reproduce that character, so I use the nowadays more common way of writing with “ö”. There we have the term that I was looking for, but in another meaning.

On page 19 Gehl writes: “Die gleichmäßigste Verbreitung under den germanischen Worten für “Schicksal’ zeigen die Ableitungen zu den germanischen Stämmen *laga, *gaskapa und *wurði (“the orderly spreading of the Germanic word “Fate” show deductions of the Germanic stems *laga, *gaskapa and *wurði“). Then follow terms from different Germanic languages such as gilagu, aldrlagu, ealdorlegu, feorhlegu, lög, forlög and urlac. The line of terms is interesting since the term “ørlög” seems to be present in most (all?) of the Germanic languages. An interesting remark is made on p.21: “Während as. orlag, ags. orlæg stark zurücktreten, scheint im Ahd. urlac das weitaus verbreiteste Word für “Schicksal” gewesen zu sein. old Norse ørlög is, im Gegensatz zu aldrlag, sköp usw., typisch für die mythologische Dichtung, wird aber auch von der Heldendichtung verwendet, wenn eine Steigerung ins Mythische beabsichted ist”. (“As old Saxon orlag, Anglo-Saxon orlæg are hardly present, it seems as if in old High German urlac is by far the most widely spread word for “Fate”. An. ørlög, contrary to aldrlag, sköp, etc., is typical for the mythological poetry; it is also used in the heroic poetry, but only when when it appears in a mythological context.”) A little further (p.22) Gehl writes that “sköp” is more ‘active’ and “ørlög” more ‘passive’. Later (p.37) Gehl makes that into “Weltlich” (“wordly” for “sköp”) and “mythogisch” (for “ørlög”). Towards the end of the book, the writer speaks about personal and impersonal fate and heroic versus organic.

In another article I have given my ideas about the terms “ørlögr” and “heilagr” and it is in that context that I use these terms. The reason that I started to look into the subject is that the major works about Germanic mythology such as De Vries’ or Meyer’s Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte or Simek’s Dictionary of Northern Mythology hardly (or not at all) speak about “ørlögr” and some of the modern books that I read give other explanations. Gehl seems to do the same. When he quotes texts such as the Eddas or the Gautreksaga, the term seems to use simply “fate” and not “primal law”. Ask and Embla are ørlöglausa (“without fate”) before before the three Gods visit them. Starkadr is given ørlög during a þhing. This seems to be ‘very personal’, even when there is another term for ‘personal ørlög’ being førlög.

On the other hand, “Snorri erzählt in seiner Edda, daß Alföðr (Allvater) zu Anfang stjórnarmenn, “Regenten”, eingesetzt habe mit dem Auftrag, at doema með sér ørlög manna (“das Schicksal der Menschen under sich durch Urteilsspruch zu bestimmen”)”, which means that Odin gave mankind “ørlög” and appointed regents to bestow judgements on it. That would mean that “ørlög” is Divine and further ‘handed down’ to mankind and that is the meaning that I give to the term.

 
On page 175 Gehl says that Odin knows “Seiðr” and “ørlög manna” (the “ørlög” of man) and when quoting Friedrich Kauffmann on p.225 Gehl speaks about “Urgesetz” and “Urprinzip” and “die tiefe Hintergründe alles Geschehens”, which lives up to my ideas a lot better, since “Urgesetz” is best translated by “primal law” in my opinion, “primal principle” says enough and especially the sentence “the deep background of everything that happens” does not miss much clarity. I would love to read this book by Kauffmann, but I have not been able to track down a copy, it seems unavailable from any Dutch library… But since Gehl also speaks about “überpersönliche schicksalhaften Urgesetse”, maybe in the end he presents what I was looking for anyway.

The rest of the book

Like I said, I was preoccupied when I read this book, but I made a lot more notes than those I gave above. So that you also learn a bit of other things that Gehl describes, here comes ‘the rest of the book’.

When the term “ørlög” is mentioned in the poetic Edda, somewhere near you will also see the term “leggia”, which I myself linked to the Norns (also present in each quote) and which Gehl translates as “schicksalhaft bestimmen”, or “‘fately’ determine”. This usually refers to the personal level. “þær lög lögðu, þær líf kuru, alda börnum, örlög seggja” (Völuspa 21) which is translated: “Laws they established, life allotted, to the sons of men; destinies pronounced” (Thorpe verse 20), “destiny”, a translation that I do not really like personally, but perhaps it says what it should in a way. “Law” for “lög” is more like it and the “ør” part I take for “Ur” or “primal”.

Gehl concludes that “der germanische Schicksalsglaube” is “gemeingermanisch” (pan-Germanic) since he has found terms referring to fate in every text that he studied. As appendix he gives a gigantic list with terms with their sources! This is extremely usefull for other people who want to have a look into the subject. Like I said, “Schicksal”, or better said, the terms that Gehl collected, do not always mean what we do with the term “fate”. A fairly large part of the book is about “Glück”, or “luck”. Terms such as Hamingja, goefa, gipt(a) refer to luck in connection with fate. That first term I would have explained in another way, but on page 67 Gehl writes: “Auch die hamingja is the Summe der körperlichen und geistlichen Vorzüge einer Menschen, oder vielmehr ihre sichtbare Wirkung in then Außenwelt. Auch Character und geistlichen Anlagen einer Menschen kann man auf seine hamingja schließen”. (“Also the hamingja is the sum of the physical and mental parts of men, or perhaps more even it is the visible result in the outer world. Also character and spirit of a man can be seen as his hamingja.”) (p.67)

“Hamingja” is often seen as (a part of) the soul, just as “fylgja”. About the latter Gehl says that the term is to be linked to the idea of heritable luck (p.68). Luck again, but then again: “[...] das Glück [ist] eine selbständig wirkende Macht” (“luck is an independently working force”) (p.67). This is shown when Gehl names terms that seem to refer to both luck and fate. “Heill” (“magisches Glück”) and “goefa”, “gipt(a)”, “hamingja” (“personsgebundenes Glück”) (p. 78).

The writer has a complete chapter about “fylgja”, which he even equates with the “hamingja” on page 145. 15 Pages earlier, Gehl speaks about “fyljur” in animal form and “fylgjur” in the form of a woman. The first appear in dreams and do not live longer than its carrier, man, because it is only the “Doppelgänger” of man. Another word for animal form “fylgja” according to Gehl, is “Hamr”. The “fylgja” in the form of a woman is connected to a person’s death, but this fylgja does survive its carrier, its goes over to “Sippengenossenen”.

Besides all this, but writer also touches upon subject such as magic (Spá, Seiðr, Útiseti / sitjar a haugi, etc.), ideas such as Sipp-/clan-luck and even “aldar rok” (“Welten Schicksal”) and “Weltenglück”, of course about the Norns, “Wurd”, etc., concepts of the soul, such as önd, hugr (“animus nie anima”), etc. and all that with many quotes in the original languages and, as said, a list with all terms and their sources. A wonderfull book with a much wider subject than I was looking for and inspite of the fact that there are more books dealing with this subject, Der Germanische Schicksalsglaube supposedly is the standard work on the subject to the present day.

mercredi, 26 janvier 2011

On honour

abH.jpg

On honour

Compensation systems, of which the Old Frisian penalty lists are an example, appear in many societies. [...] The meganism flourishes in a society without a strong (central) authority – in which the government has the monopoly of violence – and where free men form a constitutional state. Such a society is often typified as being a feuding society. In a feuding society an insult or physical violence (sometimes) leads to revenge and revenge (sometimes) to a feud. The state of enmity that rises between two groups of people can be reconciled, compensation plays an important part.

p. 53 (my translation from Dutch to English)

Honour is brused, the dishonoured person is the same as the group (s)he is part of, so anyone of this group can restore the balance by taking revenge of anyone of the group of the offender. This can again lead to counter-action and to avoid that things run out of hand, the initial offence can be compensated with money (or valueble goods). This system is hard to imagine for us individualised Westerners without any notion of honour and we take offence when in other cultures (within our own) (Muslim for example) a system like this starts to operate. So what is that “honour”?

The idea of ‘an eye for an eye’ means that when somebody hits you and you do nothing back, people will say you are a pussy, so you hit back. In the Middle Ages only the people who fought could have honour, so honour came with status. Therefor honour did not have to be defended against anyone, some people simply are not important enough to take offence of. The people whose opinions did count are called honour group and this usually implies family and the small society that a person is member of. A person’s honour therefor is the same as the honour of his group or family and since honour is the highest of goods, it must be defended at every cost.

The author continues with describing honour economy. In the most simple explanation this means that there is a certain ‘amount’ of honour in a certain society, so when somebody’s honour rises, somebody else’s honour deminishes.

The amount of honor in the Icelandic universe was perceived to be constant at best, and over the long run, it seemed to be diminishing. [...] Honor was thus, as a matter of social mathemetics, acquired at someone else’s expense. When yours went up, someone else’s went down.

(a quote from William Miller’s Bloodtaking and Peacemaking.)

This goes very far, another quote from Miller:

The game was a laborious one because it demanded the greatest sensitivity to insult and challenge and because there were no intermissions once it started in earnest at the onset of physical maturity. And old man could no relax, nor even the corpse that had suffered violent death, for the final assessment of the victim’s honor depended on how much compensation or how great a vengeance his kin could exact on his behalf. The interminability of the enterprice is but one reason why this ‘game’ needs quotes. It was a game only in the sense that honor necessarily meant competition. There was nothing trivial about the ‘game’; it was, for people of self-respect, coterminous with social existence itself.

There being one ‘amount of honour’ did not mean that ever member had the same sized piece of the pie. The social position resulted in a larger or smaller piece and somebody ‘stealing somebody’s honour’ resulted in a need to put things back the way they were.

The book as a whole speaks mostly about the financial ways of balancing, but that is not the subject of this short article. Also more at length the writer speaks about the feuds, justice and the rules around those which are also far from the Westerner’s bed. Strange how rapidly our society (contrary to most other societies worldwide) have lost these values and systems. It speaks about texts upto the 17th century.

Lichaam , Eer en Recht in Middeleeuws Friesland – een studie naar de Oudfriese boeteregisters (Body, Honour and Right in Medieval Frisia – a study of Ancient Frisian compensation tariff registers) by Han Nijdam will be reviewed in the book reviews section when I finished it.

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mardi, 25 janvier 2011

Fire in Northern Mythology

viking-fire-paul-boast.jpg

Fire in Northern mythology

Creation

There are two primal forces in Nordic myths, two forces that are known under the names, “fire” and “ice”. Before there was anything, there was Ginungagap, a “yawning gap”. In the south of it, fire ‘resided’ and in the north, ice. When these two came together, everything started. So, fire is the primal force, one side of the Divine. Some symbology!

It is not strange that fire keeps coming back in the symbology of Nordic mythology. What may be strange is that fire is much better represented than ice, but this is not the subject of this article.

Later in the creation myth, the triple divinity Odin, Hænir (sometimes Hoenir, or Hnir) and Lodur give capacities and make man. “Spirit gave Odin, “óður” gave Hoenir, “lá” gave Lodur and the form of gods”. This is how Rydberg translates Völuspa 18. More often you will read something like “Soul gave Othin, sense gave Hnir, Heat gave Lothur and goodly hue”. (Ari Odhinnsen) In the Prose Edda it is Odin, Vili and Vé who are the givers of these things.

Loki

Lodur is often said to be Loki. In the preface to the Reginsmal Odin, Hænir and Loki are named together, so this is not strange. Loki is the most famous of ‘fire Gods’ from the Northern pantheon. The name Loki has been explained in different ways of which two are most interesting in our story. “Logi” supposedly means “flame” and the terms “liuhan” (Gothic) and “lecht” (Anglo-Saxon) are linked to the English word “light”, but also to the term “flame”. The same goes for the term “Lód”.

Fiery triplicity

When you think of it, there are three Gods connected to the concept of fire and also connected to eachother: Heimdallr, Balder and Loki. Heimdallr is the “white As”, the watchman on the Bifrost bridge and is therefor the middleman between the world of men and the world of the Gods. Heimdallr is not only the connecting smoke-pillar representing the Irminsul in the fire ritual, but also unchanging fire. He is the metaphysic flame, beyond time and space. In this regard Heimdallr can be equated with Brahman of the Hindus.

The second name that I mentioned is that of Balder. Balder is Heimdallr, but on another plane. We can place Heimdallr on the godly level, Balder on the human level and Loki on the underwordly level (or Asgard, Midgard and Utgard). Balder is the incarnated fire, the fire in ‘our world’ so to say. He is the warmth of our heart, the sun, the ancestral hearth-fire. To use another Hindu term, Balder may be seen as Atman.

I have already said a few things about Loki, but you can imagine that in regard of the previous, Loki is the destructive, incinerating, consuming fire. Loki is longing and desire.

When I draw this line further, I can say that Balder and Loki are dual aspects of Heimdallr, but on other levels.

Lightning

Lightning is often connected to fire and when I say lightning, I say Thor. Lightning is sparks of fire when Thor’s hammer hits something. The hammer makes an interesting connection, since with his Mjölnir, Thor kills giants (ice-giants!), but the Mjölnir is also connected with right (the judge’s hammer), consecration (for example of marriages) and initiations (a ‘higher’ form of consecration).

Ragnarök

To bring the above together, we get the following picture. Loki, the lower self, turns against the higher self (Balder), causing Ragnarök. During this Ragnarök, Thor kills the Midgard-snake (‘manifestation’), Heimdallr (our divine spark) fights Loki and all this in order to have our higher self ‘become divine’ (in other words: to develop and realise our Balder to become Heimdallr).

An interesting point that does not fit completely in the above is that Surtr, the leader of the fire-giants who raise up to fight the Aesir, also seems to be the cause of the sparks coming from Muspelheimr and thus creation. During Ragnarök Surtr destroys the Bifrost-bridge (Heimdallr’s ‘domain’), kills Freyr and sets the world to flames. Whereas Heimdallr seems to be some ‘overhuman’ fire-aspect, Surtr is more of an ‘underhuman’ aspect. Both larger than our petty selves, but completely opposital. In this regard Surtr maybe represents the outside forces that try to disconnect us from our divine origin. Whatever we may call “evil” maybe. Surtr seems to have always been there and whereas Loki, Balder and Heimdallr are ‘part of us’, Surtr is not.

Of course there are more figures that can be connected to fire, but here I present a certain aspect that may shed light on some of the symbolism in Northern mythology.
-13/3/07-

lundi, 24 janvier 2011

Kinship, gift-exchange, honour and feud in Medieval Frisia and Iceland

Ancient Icelandic Manuscript depicting Odin
Kinship, gift-exchange, honour and feud in Medieval Frisia and Iceland

Ex.: http://www.gangleri.nl/

In this article I want to say a thing or two about a few interrelated ‘processes’ in the Medieval Germanic society. How groups form and how they are maintained and how ‘mechanisms’ such as honour and feudwork. These at first sight varied subjects will prove to be interwoven.
For this article I have used a few books that you will find listed at the bottom. All authors more or less treat parts of the whole, but from different perspectives and speaking about different societies. It seems as if all of these kinds of works owe a great deal to Willam Miller’s Bloodtaking and Peacemaking which is one of the books that I used. Miller is mostly concerned with Medieval Iceland. Another author I consulted is Jos Bazelmans who dived deeply into the Beowulf story and therefor Anglo-Saxon culture. Another Dutch author, Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld wrote a book about gift-giving mostly concerning people and the Church in the late-medieval Netherlands, a period in which little empires started to arise and this lord-civilian bond is also very present in Bijsterveld’s book. Further I used two articles and last but not least, the inspiration to start this little investigation came from Han Nijdam’s excellent Lichaam, Eer en Recht which is about Medieval Frisian society, with many references to Medieval Iceland.

The individual

Nowdays we speak of an individualistic society, people are atoms in a society and hardly connected to anybody. This was different in times past. In fact, it is not entirely true nowadays either. When you think of who a person is, you think how that person relates to other people to ‘define’ that person. Han Nijdam says: “a person [is] dividable because it is defined in terms of the relationships that he and other members of the society maintains” (Nijdam 50). He continues with a simple example refering to a short film in Sesame Street in which a boy is the newspaper boy for one person, the grandchild of the next and the little brother of the third. The boy is ‘defined’ by the people he relates to. Or the other way around, who he is, depends on the person who describes him.

“If we could abstract a person’s movements and graph them into a network, we would find that the greatest predictor of the identity of the various households in which he or she gained entry, either as visitor or lodger, would be the presence of kin within that household.” William Miller writes (Miller 139), meaning that the visitor would define the persons in the houses he visits by looking at the other people present. Since it still works that way, one can hardly speak of an individual.

So if an individual is defined by his or her surroundings, what are these surroundings? “Family”, “kin”, “sib” , “tribe” perhaps? Just as with an individual, these terms are not so easy to describe, because they too are dependent on the situation. “The oldest Germanic societies that can be reconstructed using historical sources possessed, according to the most widely held opinion, a relatively stable order that was based on the natural principle of blood-relationship. Relationships of descent, whether fictional or not, gave each person a place within the tribal collective.” (Bazelmans 13) On a smaller scale Miller does not only speak of “regional variation[s] in householding practices” (Miller 113), but he continues with saying “that the precise sense of household might change depending on the context in which it is invoked. A household unit as identified for recruitment to the feud is not the same as the household unit used to determine whether someone qualifies for service on a jury or is required to attach himself to a chieftain for the purposes of Thing attendence.” (Miller 114). “Ego-focused kin groupings of shifting composition [...] were quite important in Iceland in a multitude of social and legal settings, even if these groupings were variously constituted depending on a number of personal, social, and other contextual factors and did not include all eligible members. Kinship mattered, even if not all people related to a person felt obliged to assist him or her.” (Miller 140) Or in the words of Jos Bazelmans: “The tribe consisted of a large number of relatively autonomous elements. These were not descent groups in the sense of lineages or clans, but name-bearing groups of disparate size which recruited their members on the basis of kinship and residence in the same geographical area. Each person was not only a member of such corporate, regional groups, but also of an open network of persons related on the father’s or the mother’s side along with dependents (the kindred). Such networks played an important rold especially in the resolution of feuds.” (Bazelmans 3)

“The extend of the kindred, that is, how genealogically distant two people can be and still count each other kin, is formally set in some provisions in the laws at fourth cousins.” (Miller 145) (addition: a fourth cousin is a person of my own generation with whom I share great-great-great-grandparents, in our reckoning that is an 8th grade kinship! Some texts speak of seventh cousins!!)

“Kinship mattered”. But what is a person’s kin? The people he is related to by blood of course, but both in the old and in the current view of things, blood-relations go in two directions, the father’s and the mother’s side. “Bilateralism, the tracing of relationship through links of both sexes, meant that not all a person’s relatives were related to each other. [...] An important feature of bilateral kinship reckoning is that your kin will not entirely coincide with your cousin’s kin; or, from another perspective, you are by virtue of kinship eligible for membership in several different kin groups with different overlap. [...] The kin group, in other words, was not a closed corporation of determinate membership; it did not constitude itself automatically. It always fell to someone to recruit his of her kin for the particular enterprise at hand.” (Miller 155)

You have family on both your father’s and your mother’s side, but the uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces of either side are probably not related to eachother, their kin is different from yours. Therefor the situation exists in which an uncle of both your father’s and mother’s side are called upon, but when one of these uncles invites (or whatever) his kin, he will most likely not ask your other uncle. With that in mind you can only conclude that kinship differs in different situations.

A similar situation goes for “households”, a group of people living in the same house or on the same piece of land under guard of a “householder”. A household is something quite different from kin, since aunts and nieces do not often live in your house and the servants that do, are usually not related by blood. A household surely is a unit of society to take a look at, especially because often it is said that in governmentless society such as in Medieval times there first were separate households:
“Inevitably the attempt was made to add early Iceland to the number of regions that socialized people in nuclear families within simple households. As we shall see, what the sources tell us about the shape of Icelandic householding must compel a different conclusion. The sources, both sagas and laws, are not without their own special problems in this particular topic. For one thing, the laws take an explicit interest in households and even define what constitudes a household unit. But the “juridical” household does not seem to correspond with what archeological evidence there is, nor with saga descriptions of how the main economic unit, the farm, was populated and managed. Outside passages in the laws directly dealing with the legal household, information on householding must be culled from passing comments in the laws and sagas and inferred from contexts devoted explicitly to other matters. The fact that most of our information is acquired incidentally is in its way quite reassuring. Even the most committed member of the Icelandic school of saga scholarschip would have a hard time giving any reason as to why a thirteenth-century saga writer would want to situate his characters in households that had no basis in reality.” (Miller 112/3)

“While the laws formally imposed kinship out to fourth cousins, kinship in the practical or world depended on more than just biological or affinal connections. Just who would be counted kin was clearly subject to much situational variation and was quite context-specific. A second, even a third cousin with whom one shared common interests and with whom one consequently acted or consulted would be counted kin, while a first cousin with whom one was less involved might cease, for practical purposes, to be counted kin at all. Nor might the people with whom one claimed kinship for the purpose of invitations to feasts and weddings be the same people one counted as kin when it came time to assist in a lawsuit or help pay compensation for their wrongdoings.” (Miller 156) Miller calls this “recruitable kin” (Miller 156) and of course the situation is not different nowadays. I suppose the “common interest” could also be with a non-kin version but a friend.

Earlier we saw Jos Bazelmans speaking of “fictional relationships of descent”. This can refer to the famous, but in the used books little described subject of blood-brothership. “Blood-brothership was a formalized relation undertaken between two or more men in which each vowed to avenge the death of the other, just as if he were his own brother.” (Miller 173) And thus a new member of the kin was a fact.

What might sound strange in our logic is that “[i]n various places in the law a sister’s husband is considered an especially close relation. “He is disqualified for interest from sitting on juries and from judging his affine’s cases just as if he were a blood relative.” (Miller 162) This does not count for a wife’s brother!

“People looked to kin and affines for aid in law and life. They avenged each other’s wrongs; they invited each other to weddings and funerals; they gave each other gifts. They stood surety for each other hired on their poorer cousins as servants.” (Miller 178) This had the result that “[o]ne of the chief activities kin undertook with eachother was mutual consultation. Since the target of a vengeance killing might not be the wrongdoer himself, but one of his kin, there was every reason why kin would want to have some say in actions for which others might hold them to account. [...] Uncounseled deeds were considered reckless deeds.” (Miller 164)

The consulting of kin is very different from how things go today. When I do something to somebody, that somebody in most cases will not know my family and if (s)he does,

vendredi, 21 janvier 2011

Frans Eduard Farwerck

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Frans Eduard Farwerck

by Roy

Ex: http:://www.new-antaios.net/

Some 8 years ago I met my girl­friend. We were both involved in a short-lived Dutch ‘spir­i­tual mag­a­zine’ that liked to treat con­tro­ver­sial sub­jects. Through the edi­tor of the mag­a­zine my girl­friend got acquinted with a Flem­ish ‘Asatru’ group and later so did I. At the time my inter­est still mainly laid at Renais­sance eso­teri­cism, Medieval magic, etc. This was already a bit closer to home, since before I had an inter­est in more exotic, East­ern sub­jects. In any case, meet­ing Asatru excelled my shift towards even more domes­tic inter­ests, the old reli­gion of North­ern Europe. While becom­ing active in the group I ini­tially sticked to my inter­ests, but I heard a lot of inter­est­ing new paths.

In the Nether­lands and Flan­ders we have a chain of fairly large anti­quar­ian book­shops called “De Slegte” and at the time I fre­quently vis­ited our local store. Nowa­days I specif­i­cally hunt for titles instead of just see­ing what I run into. Con­trary to my hab­bits of the time, I took a look through the folklore/faery tales sec­tion and my eye fell on the back of an enor­mous, red book. I took it from the shelf, paged through it and I realised that this had to a be title often used by the founder of the Asatru group. Sim­i­lar ideas, sim­i­lar sub­jects. The back said: Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën. It was not cheap, but I bought it, read it and was blown away.

Since that time, this book has become a true cult-work among Dutch speak­ing hea­thens. The book has been out of print since 1978, but as there is demand for it, the price is pushed upwards. It has not yet become another Alt­ger­man­is­che Reli­gion­s­geschichte (Jan de Vries, 1956 and 1974, this two vol­ume work is usu­ally sold for sev­eral hun­dreds euros), but you do not just visit a (web)shop and buy it. Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën is not impos­si­ble to find and it does not even have to be really expen­sive, but you have to look around not to pay an absurd price for it, since espe­cially after the inter­net cat­a­logues of anti­quar­ian book­shops, some peo­ple fig­ured out what they can ask for the title.

Con­trary to Alt­ger­man­is­che Reli­gion­s­geschichte, Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën is writ­ten in Dutch (De Vries’ book is in Ger­man), nar­row­ing its audi­ence. This and the fact that is no longer in print, caused the fact that the book is unknown and over­looked in the non-Dutchspeaking world, espe­cially in the English-speaking world. I hope that this small arti­cle might change that. Of course, this might put even more pres­sure on the price, but per­haps a for­eign pub­lisher gets the idea of repub­lish­ing or even trans­lat­ing it. But at least, peo­ple who ‘should’ know the book, might now hear of it.

The book I am talk­ing about has the full title Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën en hun sporen tot heden. This is trans­lated as ‘Northern-European mys­ter­ies and their traces to the present’. We know about the mys­tery cults of the medit­er­anean area, Greece, Egypt, etc.; we know about the mys­tery reli­gions of the near and far east, but mys­ter­ies in North­ern Europe? Was ancient North­ern Europe not inhab­ited by stu­pid plun­der­ing bar­bar­ians? Some schol­ars even doubt our ances­tors had a reli­gion to start with, let along a mys­tery cult. This book shows us oth­er­wise and shows more, much much more.

Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën is the result of a life­long inves­ti­ga­tion and the result of a respect­full list of pub­li­ca­tions of the Dutch­man Frans Eduard Far­w­erck who lived from 1889 to 1978. Far­w­erck was a suc­ces­full trader of car­pets and joined Freema­sonry in 1918. It took a while before his first pub­li­ca­tion saw the light of day, in 1927 he pub­lished a book about the world’s mys­tery reli­gions through a reg­u­lar pub­lisher, but under the obvi­ously Masonic pseu­do­nym B.J. van der Zuylen (“Zuylen” is an old way of writ­ing “zuilen”, “pil­lars” and the ini­tials of course refer to Boas an Jachin). This impres­sive 565 paged book gives but lit­tle room to Ger­manic and Celtic mys­ter­ies, but they are already present. Farwerck’s next book is a truly Masonic one about the Hiram myth, pub­lished by “the lodge”. Then the Ger­mans raised to power, Far­w­erck joined the NSB (“nationaal-socialistische beweg­ing”, the Dutch national social­ist party) and he was expelled from “the lodge” in 1934 after a 16 year car­reer in which he reached the absolute high­est rank in his order.

With his national social­ist friends he founded a pub­lish­ing com­pany called “Der Vaderen Erfdeel” (losely trans­lated with “fathers’ her­itage”) through which in 1938 he pub­lished his clas­sic work Lev­end Verleden set­ting the tone for his later writ­ings. Far­w­erck trav­elled exten­sively, mak­ing count­less pho­tos, inves­ti­gat­ing local myths, sto­ries and folk­lore and ‘liv­ing past’ is a col­lec­tion of mostly build­ing and frontage sym­bol­ism, the ori­gins of which he traces back to the prechris­t­ian past. Then a few years of silence follow.

Again as Van der Zuylen in 1953 Far­w­erck pub­lishes Noord-Europese Mys­ter­iën en Inwi­jdin­gen in de Oud­heid (‘Northern-European Mys­ter­ies and Ini­ti­a­tions in ancient times’), a rough ver­sion of his much later Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën. In the same year Far­w­erck pub­lished a book about that mys­te­ri­ous object that is nowa­days called the “Frank’s cas­ket” and after that the extremely inter­est­ing and (almost) impos­si­ble to find Noord-Europa, een der bron­nen van de Maçonieke sym­bol­iek (‘North­ern Europe, one of the sources of Masonic sym­bol­ism’ 1955). This lit­tle book con­tains infor­ma­tion that Far­w­erck appar­ently did not want/dare to pub­lish in his pub­lic pub­li­ca­tion, but roughly it rep­re­sents the next step in his inves­ti­ga­tions that would lead to Noordeu­ropese Mys­ter­iën.

This time under his own name, Far­w­erck again pub­lishes about the mys­tery reli­gions in gen­eral in 1960 and 1 year later fol­lows the final result, the man’s mag­num opus. It is sold out in no-time, but has but one reprint, since Farwerck’s war-past sud­denly became an obsta­cle. The sec­ond print­ing did not sell too well either.

Unfor­tu­nately the war past is a big issue in these parts. Many authors with inter­est in the pagan past of North­ern Europe thought that join­ing the national social­ists could be good for their cause and after the dis­as­ter of WWII they all remained with an inerad­i­ca­ble stain on their per­sons. Some even kept the ide­ol­ogy, oth­ers realised their mis­take, but the result remains that when some peo­ple started to raise ques­tions about cer­tain author’s past, they were banned. Their books were no longer printed or repub­lished, new authors who had no war-past what­so­ever can­not use these authors as their sources. The col­lec­tive shame for the actions of some of our peo­ple have made inves­ti­ga­tions in the sub­ject of the prechris­t­ian reli­gion of North­ern Europe vir­tu­ally impos­si­ble. Even the stan­dard works of Jan de Vries (1890–1964), no mat­ter how highly acclaimed by schol­ars, are no longer avail­ble. Iron­i­cally enough among schol­ars De Vries is pop­u­lar enough to give him some credit, so his Edda trans­la­tion can be found in most book­shops to this day and many authors cite him by lack of bet­ter sources. I do not expect a reprint, let alone a trans­la­tion of the Alt­ger­man­is­che Reli­gion­s­geschichte any time soon. The same goes for Farwerck’s superb work.

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But enough about all that, let us talk a bit about the ideas in the book. Of course in a small arti­cle in which I want to give a biog­ra­phy and sum­merise the find­ings of half a decade of inves­ti­ga­tions, I can­not go into much detail. I hope to present you just enough to sparkle your inter­est in the sub­ject and/or inspire peo­ple to learn Dutch and/or do their own investigations.

Noord-Europese Mys­ter­iën

Far­w­erck starts with describ­ing “reli­gious and myth­i­cal con­cep­tions of the Ger­mans con­cern­ing rites of ini­ti­a­tion”. Death and the under­world, bur­ial prac­tices, life after death, imag­i­na­tions of the dead. This is all infor­ma­tion you can also find else­where, but it of course sets the tone, since the next part is about can­di­dates for the Ger­manic God of ini­ti­a­tion. Is it Wodan, is it Balder, is it Donar? Most exten­sively treated is Wodan/Odin. His con­nec­tion to the dead (con­form Mer­cury), his wolves, the eight-legged horse, hang­ings, offer­ing rit­u­als, the Ein­her­jar, all ele­ments that, put in the right per­spec­tive, could sug­gest Wodan has some­thing to do with ini­ti­a­tions. An entire chap­ter is ded­i­cated to the wild hunt(er) that goes around the nightly sky in the Yule-period, Wodan with his legion of the dead. Far­w­erck quotes from folk­lore and local myths to show that the idea of the Wild Hunt(er) can be found from France to Nor­way and from Slavic coun­tries to Ire­land. Wodan in con­nec­tion to fer­til­ity (and there­for again with the dead) is the sub­ject of the next chap­ter. After this Far­w­erck starts look­ing for infor­ma­tion about rites of ini­ti­a­tion, and we are not talk­ing about rites de pas­sage in which a boy becomes a man and a girl a woman. The first story that comes to mind is of course the story of Balder’s death and res­ur­rec­tion, the sec­ond Odin hang­ing down the world tree and learn­ing the runes or the hang­ing of king Vikarr by Starkadr, but first we go to another subject.

Män­ner­bünde

After the ground­break­ing work Kul­tische Gehe­im­bünde der Ger­ma­nen (‘cul­tic secret soci­eties of the Ger­mans’ 1934) the sub­ject of “Män­ner­bünde” (‘men bonds’) was ‘hip’ for a while. But… also Höfler became a mem­ber of the Ahnenerbe and the NSDAP so after WWII this was another sub­ject ‘not done’. Only recently schol­ars start to write about the sub­ject again. Even Eng­lish writ­ing schol­ars usu­ally use Höfler’s term “Män­ner­bünde”, so let us stick to that tra­di­tion. Män­ner­bünde, as the term sug­gests, are groups of men that stand with one leg out­side nor­mal soci­ety, they are secret groups. In the con­text of North­ern Euro­pean peo­ples we quickly think about some sort of elite war­rior groups such as the Ein­her­jar, the Uld­hed­nar and the Berz­erkr, but Far­w­erck sug­gests that many of the names that we think were tribes in the writ­ings of the Romans, actu­ally referred to such elite war­rior groups. The Harii, the Chat­tii, the Lan­go­b­ards, even the Vikings in the orig­i­nal mean­ing sup­pos­edly were such groups. Should the Män­ner­bünde have been mere war­rior groups, they would have not been as inter­est­ing as they are though.

When not at war, mem­bers of these groups had all kinds of spe­cial priv­iledges. The right of rep­ri­mand, the right to steal, they had cer­tain dances, fes­tiv­i­ties, dress­ing (such as ani­mal cloth­ing) and spe­cial roles in pub­lic cer­e­monies for fer­til­ity or sea­sonal feasts. Many things sug­gest that mem­bers of these groups ful­filled a spe­cial role in soci­ety, a role which even came with oblig­a­tions such as that of secrecy and sev­eral duties. Far­w­erck shows what he finds around these sub­jects and con­tin­ues to show that such groups have sur­vived much much longer than we may expect. They were cul­tic groups that sur­vived the com­ing of Chris­tian­ity by remod­el­ing to Chris­t­ian groups that we came to know as guilds. Besides such ‘reli­gious guilds’, there were of course the famous work­ers guilds of the masons, the tim­ber­men and the tan­ners, groups that have remark­able sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Män­ner­bünde of old.

Far­w­erck sums up a stag­ger­ing amount of folk­loris­tic hab­bits and other remains that are unmis­tak­enly con­nected to these groups. All kinds of saints seem merely Chris­tian­i­sa­tions of pagan deities and the tra­di­tions around them have but a thin layer of var­nish. Horn– and Mor­ris­dances, Mummer’s plays, sword dances, Schlem­laufen and Klaus­ja­gen, Far­w­erck lets a lot of these nice folk­loris­tic feasts pass the reader. It is amaz­ing how the steal­right or the right to rep­ri­mand are still rights of youth-groups as late as the early 20th cen­tury, groups that have some watered-down ele­ment of wear­ing ani­mal skin and cer­tain dances that have been per­formed in churches until the Ref­or­ma­tion. Of course much infor­ma­tion comes from Chris­t­ian sources try­ing to ban these pagan prac­tices, but this often did not work too well so they were tried to be Christianised.

Recon­struc­tion of ancient initiations

Chap­ter 10 is ded­i­cated to the sum­ming up of infor­ma­tion that Far­w­erck has been able to find to see if he can recon­struct the rites. He starts with the pos­si­ble places where the cer­e­monies would be held. Of course lakes, for­rests, hills, etc. were the sacred places for Ger­mans and Celts alike. There are many toponyms (place names) that sug­gest cer­tain cer­e­monies. Mur­der pits, wolf pits, devil’s hills even  “woensberg”en or places named “Woensel” (now part of the city of Eind­hoven) and “Woens­drecht” all clearly refer to Wodan and in the case of the mur­der pits, could there death-and-resurrection cer­e­monies have been held? There are also toponyms that seem to refer to (sacred) meals (cul­tic meals?), so called “troja burchten” (con­struc­tions or draw­ings in the form of a spi­ral) about which a lot is to say (Far­w­erck uses 24 pages). Then we have the sacred times of the sol­stices and equinoxes around which (folk)stories exist that sug­gest cul­tic rites vague shad­ows of which have been kept in folk­lore and recent fes­ti­vals. After this Far­w­erck comes to cloth­ing, sacred weapons, cer­tain songs and dances, hang­ings and spear-woundings, trav­els to the under­world and res­ur­rec­tions there­from, new names, the sacred potion (usu­ally some­thing made with honey) and old and less old ref­er­ences to broth­er­hoods of all sorts.

Far­w­erck con­tin­ues with guilds. Since they are fairly recent there is more infor­ma­tion avail­able about their struc­ture, hab­bits, legal sta­tus, etc. Not only workers-guilds are spo­ken about, but also for exam­ple shoot­ing guilds, a beloved sub­ject for peo­ple who want to find the traces back to a fur­ther past.

With “build­ing huts” and build­ing guilds we are a step closer to our own time, because you will prob­a­bly know that they are well rep­re­sented in the his­tory the Freema­sons give them­selves. Dif­fer­ent kinds of guilds have all kinds of secrets that are both prac­ti­cal, but also reli­gious. You can read all about it in the pop­u­lar his­to­ries of Freema­sonry, but Far­w­erck presents a nice overview and very inter­est­ing details. Now also fol­low more pho­tos that Far­w­erck took in churches with faces with a hand below their chin, sup­pos­edly a secret sign of mas­ter masons. Of course there are also the master-signs (some sort of sig­na­tures) that often remind of runes, but we are already talk­ing about the 11/12th cen­tury here. Quite some infor­ma­tion about these guilds seems to come directly from Masonic writ­ings, but of course, Masons says that these guilds are their pre­de­ces­sors. And then we get pho­tos of all kinds of strange orna­ments in churches with one-eyed fig­ures (Wodan?), mock­eries of the church, pic­tures of men in strange pos­tures and all kinds of sug­ges­tive scenes that seem too unchris­t­ian to be built into a church.

Freema­sonry

And there we have it, Far­w­erck spends the last 150 pages of his book show­ing that “Freema­sonry [is] one of the youngest descen­dants of the ancient men bonds”. Hav­ing been a high-ranking Mason him­self, he quotes all kinds of Masonic texts, rit­u­als, etc. (but I think he tells us noth­ing he should bet­ter not) and com­pares them to what we find in myths, sagas, pagan art or folk­lore. The form of the tem­ple, the place where the dif­fer­ent offi­ciants can be found, rit­u­al­is­tic sym­bol­isms such as the limp­ing or signs of recog­ni­tion, sym­bol­ism on the “tableau”, the three pil­lars, the large and the small lights, Masonic cloth­ing (Thor’s iron gloves and gir­dle), the con­se­crat­ing ham­mer and even the open­ing and clos­ing rites, they all seem to have North­ern Euro­pean ori­gins rather than Jew­ish or Egyptian.

There is a lot more to say, but here you have the red thread. In work­ing to his con­clu­sion, Far­w­erck sheds light on a great many ele­ments of folk­lore and (folk) sym­bol­ism, giv­ing new inter­pre­ta­tions of tales, sagas and texts that we know, cross ref­er­enc­ing dif­fer­ent myths and dif­fer­ent folk­tales and all together his book is a true gold­mine and a just rea­son to have grown into being a cult book. This is the kind of book that I hope to run into some time again, but I doubt I ever will. Besides all the works that I own of Dumézil, Eli­ade, Guénon or De Vries, I often first check Far­w­erck, then the rest. Espe­cially when I am look­ing for visu­als, I go to Far­w­erck, since his books are as much stuffed with pho­tos and draw­ings as they are with infor­ma­tion and until this day, he has col­lected an unprece­dented amount of visu­als of details and sym­bol­ism. These alone are a rea­son to get the book.

Even when you are not inter­ested in the North­ern Euro­pean his­tory of Freema­sonry (most peo­ple who buy this book are not), you will find enough infor­ma­tion in the uplighted parts that Far­w­erck needs to present his proof. Per­son­ally I admire the book too for being a non-Traditionalist, he presents a story that almost no Tra­di­tion­al­ist has ever told even though (s)he should have: the unbro­ken chain has been kept in the West though West­ern organ­i­sa­tions until this very day.

jeudi, 13 janvier 2011

Evola on the Egyptian & Tibetan Books of the Dead

Evola on the Egyptian & Tibetan Books of the Dead

Translation anonymous, revised by Greg Johnson

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

Boris De Rachewiltz
Il libro dei Morti degli antichi Egiziani
Milan: All’Insegna del Pesce d’Oro, 1958

egyptelm.jpgThis publication fills a gap long felt by the many students of the history of religions, since previous editions of the Book of the Dead, this most important document of ancient Egypt, have long been unavailable. The works of Lepsius (1842), Naville (1886), Pierret (1882), Sir Peter Le Page Renouf (1904), and Schiaparelli (1881–1890) can only be found in libraries. The only edition reprinted has been the 1953 edition by E. A. Wallis Budge with facsimiles of the papyri.

Mention should also be made of the G. Kolpaktchy edition published in French and Italian. But it is of little use from the scientific point of view, for the author, animated by the praiseworthy desire to give the inner esoteric sense of many passages of the text has too often been carried away by his imagination, or, worse still, allowed himself to be influenced by dubious ideas taken from modern Theosophy.

The edition and translation by De Rachewiltz—handsomely printed—is based on the Turin papyrus, photographic reproductions of which face the pages of the translation so that any who wish may compare the two. The text is of the Saite Book of the Dead, which is more recent than the Theban version. It was studied and reproduced only by Lepsius, and it is more complete than the Theban version, as it represents the final stage of its development in which the basic themes have been preserved apart from several re-elaborations and additions.

The translation is such that it can serve the purposes of both the specialist and the cultured reader interested in the documents of traditional spirituality. For such readers a little glossary has been added to the translation, which explains the leading themes of the Egyptian mythical-religious world that recur in the text. The translation adheres in the main to the literal meaning of the text, but it does so generally in a way that does not hinder a symbolic or esoteric interpretation, which texts of this kind always allow.

It would be interesting—and would come within the scope of this Review—to draw a comparison between the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Tibetan, Bardo Thödol, first made known by Evans Wenz and later by Professor Tucci, who used more complete text. The idea common to both is that after death the soul still has the ability to take actions on which its fate will depend. It can, in a certain way, overcome destiny, modifying the course it would otherwise follow. To express it in oriental terms, it may be said that it has the power of suspending the effects of the karma.

 

It should however be noted that this does not refer to just any kind of soul. The Tibetan text shows that the soul is always that of a person who had already travelled part of the way to liberation during his life.

In the case of the Egyptian text, De Rachewiltz points out that it became the Book of the Dead in general only through a process of “democratization,” for in the ancient Empire it had been reserved exclusively to members of the Royal House and of the high priesthood. Indeed, originally the so-called “Osirification” was reserved for them only, and only to them was attributed the ka, the “double,” destined to make way for the sahu, the immortal body that “stands up,” that “does not fall.”

The real title of the Egyptian text is The Book to Lead out to the Day. The real meaning of this expression, imperfectly understood by several translators, alludes to the supreme purpose: to go out into the day means to go out into the immortal light, the invisible light of Amenti. In the Tibetan ritual, as is known, the meeting with absolute light is the first experience and the first test the soul of the dead encounters. An essential part of the Egyptian ritual is overcoming “the second death,” that is to say the disintegration of the spiritual and psychic nucleus detached from the body by the first death (the death of the physical organism). In this connection the motive of an existential danger, of a fundamental risk encountered in the beyond, often acquires highly dramatic features in the Egyptian text. At the same time, the Egyptian text attributes more importance to behavior of a magic and determinative character than does the Tibetan, which accentuates rather the importance and power of knowledge.

tibetlm.jpgNevertheless, there are many parallel points between the two texts dealing with the liberating identifications. Just as in the Tibetan ritual the destruction of the appearance of distinct entities, which all things perceived in the experiences of the other world may acquire, is indicated as a means of liberation, so in the Egyptian text formulae are repeated by means of which the soul of the dead affirms and realizes its identity with the divine figures.

In addition to these, there are the formulas for “transformation.” The soul acquires the capacity of making itself manifest in the form of one or other of the cosmic powers, which in the text are made to correspond mostly to the symbolic theriomorphic figures. It is only through a misinterpretation of these references that some have been led to suppose that the doctrine of reincarnation was part of the ancient esoteric teachings of the Egyptians.

Unfortunately, the Egyptian text as it has come down to us is not systematic in character. The formulas are often presented miscellaneously. Apart from spurious features of a folkloric character, the positions taken fluctuate frequently. There are spiritual ups and downs, inner shortcomings, invocations of a religious and mystical nature.

Yet spite of all this, the prevailing character of the most ancient, clear, and essential portions of the text is most certainly inspired by magic. The soul humbles itself so little in the presence of the ultramundane divinities that it sometimes threatens them with destruction. This is the case even with Osiris and Ra, with reference to the principle of a kind of “transcendent virility.” The soul even asserts a substantial metaphysical connection between itself and the divine essences, sometimes even declaring that its salvation is also theirs. The “opening of the mouth,” by which is meant the reacquisition of the magic power of the word, which can render the formulas efficient and irresistible, “breathing the breath of life,” thus becoming a Living Being, having power over the Waters, taking a Name which does not die, these are the most luminous themes in the vicissitudes of the other world.

The Egyptian text was recited at funerals, as the Tibetan Bardo Thödol was read to the dying and even after their death. In either case the purpose was to help the soul not to forget, to stand up and remain active. De Rachewiltz, moreover, rightly calls attention to the fact that several passages suggest that the Egyptian formulas were used also during life and were held to be useful to the living, so one may recognize in the text the character of a magic ritual in the proper meaning of the words. This may indeed apply not only to some special formulas but to the text as a whole if it be referred to the rites of initiation, for it was unanimously believed in the ancient world that the experiences of initiation corresponded to those of life beyond the grave and that therefore the proceedings required in either case to overcome the “second death” and reach “Osirification” were the same.

In calling attention to this new publication, we would again point out that it makes an important contribution also to those who wish to make a comparative study of Oriental and Western traditions which, in a certain sense, find a connecting link in the traditions of ancient Egypt.

East and West, vol. 10, nos. 1 and 2 (March–June 1959): 126–27.

mardi, 04 janvier 2011

Frans Boenders over Oost en West, primordiale traditie...

Frans Boenders, een Vlaamse Mishima-kenner, over o.a. Oost en West, primordiale traditie en de culturele kaalslag in China

Ex: http://www.h-vv.be/50-jaar-de-pil-Frans-Boenders-over-Oos...

20060221-frans-boenders-3.jpgFrans Boenders gaf begin dit jaar aan de FVG een lezing met als thema Oost en West. Een enorm omvangrijk thema, maar twee kernwaarden kwamen snel bovendrijven: verlichting en verlossing. Verlichting associeerde hij met het Oosten, verlossing met het Westen!

Frans Boenders: Dat komt omdat bij ons de leidende godsdienst of levensvorm er een is van verlossing. De mens is zwak, is wel een afspiegeling van God, maar hij moet zich realiseren hoe zwak hij is en hij moet zich eigenlijk overgeven. Dus de overgave impliceert dat je ergens ook wordt opgevangen, en dat is dan de verlossing, de basisbeweging of de basis dubbele richting. Er is een enorme liefde die de verlossing in het vooruitzicht stelt en de mens moet vertrouwen hebben, bijna blind, in die liefde, en dan zal hij verlost worden. Wat is nu verlichting? Verlichting is iets wat je zelf kunt doen, want we hebben allemaal een bewustzijn gekregen dat kritisch is, sceptisch moet zijn volgens de Boeddha. Het boeddhisme is dan toch immers de enige universele religie die in het Oosten is ontstaan en universeel is geworden, net zoals het christendom ontstaan is in het Nabije Oosten en universeel is geworden. Die laten zich dus uitstekend vergelijken. In het boeddhisme is Boeddha trouwens niets anders dan ‘bodhi’, wat licht is, of wijsheid, als je het anders interpreteert. Je hebt dus een bewustzijn, en met dat bewustzijn moet je het doen. Er zijn modellen, Boeddha zelf zegt: als je dat wilt, kun je mij als model nemen, maar je zult toch altijd kritisch moeten blijven, want je moet het zelf doen. Het zelf doen betekent niet dat je op een arrogante manier op je kennis en je eruditie berust; ik denk zelfs dat te veel kennis en te veel eruditie wegen zijn die niet direct leiden naar de verlichting. Maar je moet bij wijze van spreken eerst tabula rasa maken, een soort leegte in jezelf maken, om het licht te laten schijnen. Dat is natuurlijk maar een metafoor, maar dat zegt wat verlichting is, versus de verlossing.

Maar eigenlijk gaat het dan toch wel om een heel fundamenteel verschil, en dat komt ook tot uiting wanneer je het hebt over denken en bewustzijn! Bijvoorbeeld: ‘ ik BEN een bewustzijn’ tegenover ‘ik HEB bewustzijn’!

Wij zeggen: ‘ik HEB een bewustzijn’. Denk aan Descartes! En we leven toch nog altijd onder die fantastische revolutie. Descartes heeft gezegd: ik kan aan alles twijfelen behalve aan het feit dat ik twijfel, dus dat ik denk. En dus, dat heb ik omdat ik een bewustzijn heb. Ik heb alles, eigenlijk bezitten wij alles, vinden wij. Als we nu even God, de Schepper of de Natuur opzijzetten. Die Natuur werkt ook in mij, maar eigenlijk sta ik boven de Natuur door het hebben van dat bewustzijn. In het Oosten gaat het over: ‘ik BEN bewustzijn’. Dat wil zeggen dat ik een onderdeel ben van het bewustzijn dat eigenlijk het universum is. Het universum denkt in mij. Het vreemde is dat dat in de Franse filosofie ook werd gezegd, door hen die je kunt noemen de poststructuralisten of de late structuralisten: ‘ça pense en moi’, het denkt in mij. Dus die komen daar een beetje in de buurt. Alleen Heidegger, overigens niet mijn favoriet, een westerse filosoof, vond eigenlijk ook dat we een onderdeel zijn van iets wat veel groter is. En de Japanse boeddhisten zijn Heidegger gaan bestuderen, die, toen hij nog leefde, het fantastisch vond dat hij aansluiting kon vinden bij hen. Maar inderdaad, het verschil is dus: in het Oosten houdt men veel minder vast, men bezit veel minder, men hecht ook minder aan bezit. Natuurlijk, met onze kapitalistische uitstraling is dat nu wel allemaal anders geworden, maar traditioneel is het wel zo. Men voelt zich een onderdeel van iets heel groots, en of je dat nu kosmos, universum of de wereldgeest noemt, lazert eigenlijk niets; het is gewoon een manier van leven die toch totaal anders is en die verklaart waarom sommige auteurs, maar daar ben ik het eigenlijk niet mee eens, hebben gezegd dat het Westen altijd het Westen en het Oosten altijd het Oosten zal blijven. ‘And the twain shall never meet’, zoals Kipling het zegt. Daar ben ik het niet mee eens. We kunnen zeker elkaar begrijpen en dat is ook volop bezig, denk ik.

Vaak zie je de opdeling: in het Westen streeft men naar iets, er is een doel, er is een project. In het Oosten zou men zich eerder onderwerpen aan het geheel, zou men eerder berusten! Maar in hoeverre beantwoordt zo’n opdeling nog aan enige realiteit? Economisch bijvoorbeeld zijn nu net India en China dé grote groeiers op wereldniveau!

Dat is de grote paradox vandaag. Tot hiertoe heb ik in zeer algemene termen (want anders kun je het niet, je hebt het in het begin zelf gezegd) Oost en West vergeleken. Ik ging uit van de traditionele levensvormen, om dat wittgensteiniaanse woord te gebruiken. De traditie die dieper gaat dan de verschillende tradities. De traditie die we eigenlijk niet meer kunnen benoemen, maar die de basis vormt van de tradities. Dus ik ben heel ver teruggegaan. Ik heb het boeddhisme ook gezien als een offshoot, als een scheut aan een boom die veel ouder is en die teruggaat tot de vedische tijd, misschien tot de zoroastrische tijd enzovoorts. Aan de andere kant heb ik het christendom ook beschouwd als een scheut van een veel grotere boom, waar natuurlijk het jodendom in het vizier komt, maar ook vele andere dingen. Ook een stuk van het zoroastrisme. Dus uiteindelijk zouden we weer terug kunnen komen. Zo ver ben ik teruggegaan. Dat is natuurlijk gedeeltelijk geïdealiseerd, om niet te zeggen sterk geïdealiseerd. Vandaag zien we dat er maar één ideologie meer bestaat, en dat is het kapitalisme. Of men dat nu in communistische termen of linkse termen het laatkapitalisme noemt, in de hoop dat het zal verdwijnen, dat durf ik niet te zeggen. Ik zie alleen dat het kapitalisme bloeit op een verschrikkelijke manier en dat, zoals je zelf hebt geïmpliceerd in je vraag, China maar ook India (India, waarvan we altijd gedacht hebben dat het veel spiritueler was dan wij) nu plotseling onze meesters worden in het hedendaagse kapitalisme, in onze manier om de informatica en de technologie te gebruiken, allemaal dingen die in wezen van ons komen, dus de westerse wetenschap, dat is het enige geüniversaliseerde kennen. Dat heeft men dan ogenschijnlijk op dit moment, ik zou zeggen, allemaal naar voren geschoven in de hoop, voor sommigen althans, in China en zeker in India, dat datgene wat eronder ligt en waaraan ik daarnet refereerde, als de basis van de tradities, uiteindelijk toch wel zal overleven zoals het altijd heeft gedaan. Maar men begint eraan te twijfelen. En versta onder men, ik begin daar ook aan te twijfelen.

Zeker in China zie je dat. Ik ben toevallig vorig jaar nog naar de Heilige Bergen geweest, die gedeeltelijk boeddhistisch en taoïstisch zijn en eigenlijk die twee religies syncretiseren. Daar blijft niets van over! Wat men heeft gedaan en wat de Chinezen altijd doen, is alles eerst afbreken tot op het bot en dan op hun manier, vanuit hun visie, heropbouwen. Dus wat ik daar zag, was een volkomen loze, valse en misleidende vorm van taoïsme en boeddhisme. Alleen erop gericht om toeristen te lokken, vooral de binnenlandse toeristen overigens, want het is ook een bekend fenomeen dat de hedendaagse Chinezen die vandaag weer internationaal gaan reizen (dat wil zeggen die nieuwe rijken tussen dertig en vijfenveertig jaar, de middenmoot die rijk is, heel rijk is in China), toch die leegte aanvoelen en nu overal in het Oosten, maar ook in het Westen, tempels en kerken gaan bezoeken in de hoop daar iets van op te steken. Ze snappen er dus geen moer meer van en het is een heel rare situatie. Mensen die veel meer vertrouwen hebben in de gang van zaken, los van de interventies van de mens, die zeggen: ‘Dat zal zijn tijd wel hebben, dat komt weer terug. In China heb je altijd van die periodes.’ Ik heb daar mijn twijfels over. Laten we niet vergeten wat er gebeurd is tijdens de culturele revolutie, die officieel maar tien jaar heeft geduurd, van ’65 tot ’75 in de vorige eeuw, maar die eigenlijk al begonnen is in voorbereiding vanaf 1950, de stichting van de volksrepubliek, en geduurd heeft tot het aantreden van Deng Xiaoping in 1979. Dus dat zijn twee generaties die zijn opgevoed zonder enige vorm van religie in de zin van een verbinding van geestelijke solidariteit. En dus, zal dat terugkomen? Ik mag het hopen. Maar een teken aan de wand vond ik dat, toen Deng Xiaoping aantrad en ik voor de BRT toen die documentaires maakte over oosterse religies, dat iemand die later mijn vriend is geworden, de grote specialist op het gebied van het taoïsme, Rik Schipper, gevraagd werd in China om de leden van de Sociale Academie, dus de intellectuele top van China, onderricht te geven in het taoïsme. Want nagenoeg alles was verdwenen. De tempels waren verwoest, de teksten waren vernietigd en diegene die over waren gebleven, werden bestudeerd in het Westen. Op zichzelf is het natuurlijk interessant dat wij in het Westen nu niet de pretentie, maar misschien wel de knowhow hebben om de traditie van de Chinezen en de Indiërs weer nieuwe bedding te geven. Dat is vroeger nog gebeurd met het christendom en de islam, wat de Griekse traditie van ons betreft. Dus het kan wel, maar ik vrees, samenvattend, dat het kapitalisme op dit moment zo allesomvattend is, en dus ook niet te bestrijden valt omdat er niemand is die verantwoordelijk is voor het kapitalisme als ideologie. Het is dus bij wijze van spreken een sluipende ideologie die zich niet kenbaar maakt, maar die wel overal aanwezig is, zodat ik op dit moment niet zie hoe ze tot een einde kan komen. En ik denk wel dat het nodig is om terug te komen tot een waarachtige spiritualiteit.

jeudi, 30 décembre 2010

Monotheïstische religies bedreigen rechtsstaat

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Ex: http://opinie.volkskrant.nl/artikel/show/id/7482/Monothe%...

Monotheïstische religies bedreigen rechtsstaat

Meindert Fennema


Goddelijke bevelstheorie ontkent individuele autonomie
In de afgelopen tien jaar is vrij plotseling het idee ontstaan dat wij in
een joods-christelijke traditie staan en dat wij die moeten verdedigen tegen
aanspraken die moslims maken op een eigen traditie, gebaseerd op
islamitische wetten die zich niet verdragen met de democratische rechtsorde.

Die stelling impliceert dat de joods-christelijke traditie zich wél laat
combineren met een democratische orde. In zijn recente boek The Secular
Outlook beweert Paul Cliteur echter dat de joods-christelijke traditie net
zo min als de islamitische een positieve bijdrage levert aan de democratie,
omdat ook het jodendom en het christendom gebaseerd zijn op een goddelijke
bevelstheorie die de morele autonomie van de mens ontkent. En zonder morele
autonomie geen liberale democratie.

Als Cliteur gelijk heeft, dient de democratische rechtsorde erop gericht te
zijn alle goddelijke bevelstheorieën buiten de deur te houden. Cliteur noemt
dat in zijn boek ‘het seculiere perspectief’. Burgers die het
‘joods-christelijk perspectief’ omhelzen, staan niet afwijzend ten opzichte
van een rechtsstaat die het christendom een geprivilegieerde positie
toeschrijft. In hun ogen is niet elke goddelijke bevelstheorie een vijand
van de democratie, maar alleen die van de islam.

In dit laatste perspectief herkent men onmiddellijk de opvatting van Frits
Bolkestein over de vrijheid van onderwijs, en de standpunten van de PVV.
Paradoxaal genoeg ligt het standpunt van Rob Riemen, auteur van De eeuwige
terugkeer van het fascisme, daar niet ver van af. Ook Riemen verdedigt onze
cultuur als een joods-christelijke, tegen het platte materialisme van de
PVV: ‘Wat ons daadwerkelijk wordt geboden door de Partij voor de Vrijheid,
is het schaamteloze tegendeel van de joods-christelijke en humanistische
tradities: plat materialisme, benauwend nationalisme, vreemdelingenhaat,
voedsel voor ressentiment, een diepe afkeer van de kunsten en van oefening
in geestelijke waarden, een verstikkende geestelijke bekrompenheid, een fel
verzet tegen de Europese geest en het voortdurend liegen als politiek.’

Riemen beschouwt de PVV daarom als het fascisme in nieuwe gedaante.
Tegenover dat soort fascisme stelt hij een vroeg 20ste-eeuws elitisme dat
hij in een vorig essay ‘adel van de geest’ noemde. Riemen is een groot
bewonderaar van Thomas Mann en een intellectuele erfgenaam van het elitaire
humanisme zoals dat voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog tot vervelens toe
uitgedragen werd door Dirk Coster en door Anthonie Donker, wiens roman
Schaduw der Bergen (1935) sterk geïnspireerd was door Thomas Manns De
Toverberg.

Zij verdedigden een religieus humanisme, dat voor Ter Braak en Du Perron te
esoterisch was, ook al deelden zij hun bewondering voor Thomas Mann en hun
afkeer van het fascisme. Slechts op één punt stemmen de elitaire humanisten
en de fascisten merkwaardig overeen: dat is in hun kritiek op de
massacultuur en op de politieke en intellectuele elite die zijn rol als de
drager van hogere geestelijke waarden verzaakt en het volk geen leiding meer
geeft.

Ook Ella Vogelaar en een deel van haar partijgenoten zien de sociale
democratie in het verlengde van de joods-christelijke traditie, al wil zij
daar de islamitische aan toevoegen.

Wij staan dus voor de keuze tussen een ‘seculiere staat’ die zich niet
uitspreekt over waarden, maar alleen over normen (die van de procedurele
democratie en de rechten van de mens) en de ‘joods-christelijke staat’, die
zijn culturele waarden verdedigt tegen hetzij de islam, hetzij het xenofobe
‘populisme’.

De cultuurhistorische vraag achter dit politiek-filosofische debat is deze:
is de liberale rechtsstaat een vrucht van de christelijke traditie of juist
van een radicale emancipatie van die traditie. De geschiedenis van de Franse
Revolutie lijkt de laatste interpretatie te ondersteunen, terwijl de
Amerikaanse Revolutie de eerste interpretatie aannemelijker maakt.

De encyclopedisten die de intellectuele voorlopers waren van de Franse
Revolutie waren immers bijna allen atheïst of agnost en keerden zich lang
voor 1789 tegen de macht en de moraal van de katholieke kerk. De kerkelijke
goederen werden in de Franse Revolutie genationaliseerd en de katholieke
moraal zou vervangen moeten worden door de religie van Newton.

In de Amerikaanse revolutie is van een onteigening van kerkelijke goederen
nooit sprake geweest. Er was in Noord-Amerika ook geen katholieke kerk die
als grootgrondbezitter optrad. De christelijke religie was wel prominent
aanwezig, maar was georganiseerd in democratische congregaties met weinig
bezit.

Het bijzondere aan de Amerikaanse founding fathers was dat zij ook in
religieuze zin dissenters waren. Velen van hen waren naar Amerika gegaan,
omdat zij vervolgd werden door de Anglicaanse kerk. Het zou de VS maken tot
een samenleving waar de scheiding tussen kerk en staat op religieuze gronden
wordt verdedigd, maar ook uit pragmatisme: men wilde voorkomen dat
rivaliserende kerkgenootschappen zouden proberen zich van de staat meester
te maken om hun theologische conflicten te beslechten.

Het religieus pluralisme werd in de VS zodoende de grondslag van de
scheiding van kerk en staat. Die scheiding was ook onderdeel van het
anti-etatisme dat bij de Amerikaanse revolutionairen sterk leefde:
‘Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst
state, an intolerable one.’ (Tom Paine) De Amerikaanse nationale identiteit
is dus ten diepste religieus, maar tegelijk wars van enige vorm van
staatsbemoeienis in religieuze zaken.

In West-Europa daarentegen wordt de staat van oudsher niet alleen beschouwd
als motor van maatschappelijke vernieuwing, maar ook als hoedster van
religieuze waarden. Alleen Frankrijk kent een rigoureuze scheiding van kerk
en staat, maar in de Scandinavische landen, Duitsland, Nederland, Italië en
Spanje zijn er altijd institutionele banden geweest tussen kerk en staat.

De hoop van 19de-eeuwse politiek filosofen dat religie in het
moderniseringsproces vanzelf zou verdwijnen, is ijdel gebleken. De discussie
over de scheiding van kerk en staat heeft sinds 9/11 een nieuwe urgentie
gekregen, waarin theologische discussies weer oplaaien. Is de islam een heel
unieke en gewelddadige religie, of is zij één van de drie abrahamitische
religies die naar hun aard botsen met de democratische rechtsstaat, omdat
zij de morele autonomie van de mens ontkennen?

Volkskrant-redacteur Chris Rutenfrans verdedigt de joods-christelijke
traditie tegen die van de islam. Alleen de laatste leidt in zijn ogen tot
moord en doodslag. Rutenfrans brengt in debat met Cliteur (Opinie & Debat, 4
december) twee argumenten in. Ten eerste zegt hij dat christendom en
jodendom vandaag de dag toch niet of nauwelijks terroristen voortbrengen,
terwijl dat bij de islam wel het geval is. Cliteur antwoordt dat zijn
filosofische verhandeling niet bedoeld is om tot empirisch toetsbare
hypotheses te leiden, maar om in algemene zin de tegenstrijdigheid aan te
tonen tussen de grondslagen van de democratische rechtstaat en de goddelijke
bevels-theorieën, die kenmerkend zijn voor alle monotheïstische
godsdiensten.

Rutenfrans’ tweede argument is van theologische aard. Volgens hem is Allah
meedogenlozer jegens ongelovigen dan JHWH, die zich volgens hem beperkt tot
het doen doden van vijanden van Israël. Cliteur vindt dat onderscheid niet
relevant, omdat hij onderzoekt in hoeverre een principiële incompatibiliteit
bestaat tussen goddelijke bevelstheorieën en de moderne democratie. Hij is
niet geïnteresseerd in de vraag welke van de drie monotheïstisch religies
het meest gewelddadig is.

Mij dunkt dat het perspectief van een seculiere staat inderdaad het beste
antwoord is op de religieuze en exclusivistische eisen die aan de overheid
gesteld worden. De debatten tussen joden, christenen en moslims lijden
veelal aan een ongemak dat door Freud het narcisme van het kleine verschil
genoemd is.

Meindert Fennema is hoogleraar politieke theorie van etnische verhoudingen
aan de UvA.