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mercredi, 22 avril 2009

L'éveil du traditionalisme en Allemagne

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1997

 

L'éveil du traditionalisme en Allemagne

 

Le terme “traditionalisme” n'a pas de définition précise en langue allemande. Il peut s'appliquer au catholicisme pré-conciliaire ou, plus généralement, à des personnes ou à des mouvements qui persistent à défendre le point de vue d'une tradition qui leur a été léguée. Dans les pays de langues romanes, le “traditionalisme” est quelque chose de plus précis: les vocables “traditionnel” ou “traditionalisme” y détiennent un sens particulier, surtout lorsqu'ils se réfèrent au groupe des écrivains ou des philosophes de la religion qui entendent demeurer fidèles au “traditionalisme intégral”, c'est-à-dire à “un héritage non humain”, déterminé par un “absolu d'origine divine”. Ces formules, nous les devons à l'Italien Julius Evola qui, à côté du Français René Guénon, est l'une des principales figures de proue du Traditionalisme.

 

Depuis quelque temps, des ouvrages importants d'Evola ont été traduits en allemand, comme Revolte gegen die moderne Welt (chez Arun à Engerda), Das Mysterium des Grals (chez AAGW à Sinzheim) et Menschen inmitten der Ruinen (chez Hohenrain à Tübingen). Ces ouvrages abordent principalement la “théologie politique” d'Evola et moins l'autre aspect majeur de sa pensée, les doctrines ésotériques. Toutefois, en 1989 déjà, le livre Hermetische Tradition était paru chez Ansata à Interlaken et, dix ans auparavant, chez le même éditeur, Magie als Wissenschaft vom Ich, un livre qu'Evola avait cosigné avec le “Groupe d'Ur”. Ce recueil important ne nous livrait finalement qu'une esquisse; il vient toutefois d'être complété de son deuxième volume (Schritte zur Initiation, chez Scherz, une maison d'édition très importante, établie simultanément à Berne, Munich et Vienne). Ce nouveau volume compte près de 500 pages et contient, outre des écrits d'ordre hermétique dans une traduction nouvelle, de nombreux articles qui traitent pour l'essentiel de diverses questions de “pratique magnétique”, dans une acception assez inhabituelle du terme.

 

Si l'œuvre d'Evola se limite encore essentiellement à l'Italie et à la France, si, jusqu'ici, elle n'a soulevé que peu d'intérêt en Allemagne (à l'exception notoire de Hermann Hesse, Gottfried Benn, Edgar J. Jung et Ernst Jünger, plus récemment de Botho Strauss), les études traditionnelles font désormais lentement leur chemin en Allemagne. La preuve: la parution récente d'une nouvelle revue, Gnostika (c/o AAGW, Lothar-von-Kübel-Straße 1, D-76.547 Sinzheim; cette publication paraît quatre fois par an; l'abonnement coûte 40 DM). Le premier numéro est paru à l'automne dernier. Jusqu'ici trois livraisons ont été envoyées aux abonnés. L'éditeur est l'AAGW ou Archiv für Altes und Geheimes Wissen (= Archives pour le Savoir Ancien et Occulte). Cet éditeur offre également une édition bibliophilique du livre d'Evola Mysterium des Grals. Nous avons affaire ici à un organe très différent de toutes ces publications sans relief émanant de la sphère “New Age”: le niveau intellectuel en est très élevé, les auteurs traitent des matières ésotériques avec une grande compétence. Beaucoup de contributions de Gnostika  n'éveilleront que l'attention des spécialistes, mais la présentation succincte de l'histoire de l'hermétisme, des travaux de Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke sur les rapports entre Rosicruciens et philosophie des Lumières, de même qu'un essai du Dr. H. Th. Hakl, publié en plusieurs parties, sur le national-socialisme et l'occultisme méritent d'être connus d'un public plus large.

 

Si en général l'on désigne aujourd'hui le traditionalisme comme un phénomène propre aux pays de langues romanes, il convient, me semble-t-il, de faire quelques exceptions. Surtout si l'on se souvient du poète et penseur religieux Leopold Ziegler. Après avoir connu une gloire beaucoup trop brève dans les années 20, cet Allemand a sombré dans l'oubli. Mais on vient de le réhabiliter. Une revue qui a l'habitude de nous surprendre, Tumult/Schriften zur Verkehrswissenschaft  vient de consacrer son n°23 à Ziegler (Verlag Turia und Kant, Weinberggasse 17, A-1190 Wien; cette revue paraît deux fois par an; abonnement: 32 DM; prix au numéro: 26 DM; le n°16 avait été consacré à Ernst Kantorowicz; le n°18 à Georges Dumézil). Le n°23, consacré à Ziegler, présente cinq essais de cet auteur, dont le livre Überlieferung (= Tradition), paru en 1936, a joué un rôle essentiel et constitue très certainement la profession de foi traditionnelle la plus solide en Allemagne. Ziegler se réfère aux conceptions de Guénon, qu'il complète de ses propres réflexions, mûries au départ d'un livre de 1922, Gestaltwandel der Götter. Rappelons la phrase récente de Botho Strauss: “Eh oui, Leopold Ziegler fait bien partie de cette liste d'auteurs qu'il faut absolument redécouvrir”. Cette nécessité ne doit pas valoir pour Ziegler seul, elle doit s'étendre à tous les traditionalistes, qui représentent une branche injustement oubliée de la pensée européenne.

 

Karlheinz WEISSMANN.

(article paru dans Criticón, n°154/1997; trad. franç.: Robert Steuckers).

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mardi, 14 avril 2009

Danses dionysiaques

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

 

Danses dionysiaques

 

Une savante étude sur Les danses dionysiaques en Grèce Antique vient de paraître. Il s'agit de la troisième partie d'une thèse de doctorat soutenue par Marie-Hélène Delavaud- Roux en 1991 et dont les deux parties précédentes ont été publiées sous les titres de Les danses armées en Grèce Antique et de Les danses pacifiques en Grèce Antique. L'auteur écrit: «Dans ce qui suit, je donnerai aux qualificatifs des danses dionysiaques ou bachiques un sens très large. Il s'agit en fait d'un type de danse qui peut concerner d'autres divinités que Dionysos —Déméter, Cybèle et Adonis. Nous prenons donc les mots “dionysiaque” et “bachique” dans le sens d'“orgiaque”, par opposition aux manifestations orchestiques armées et pacifiques. Dans cette étude, nous engloberons aussi bien les danses liées à l'extase que celles liées à l'ivresse. Les premières semblent féminines, tandis que les secondes paraissent plutôt masculines. Cependant, nous verrons que les hommes peuvent dans certains cas effectuer des danses mystiques, rappelant les danses des derviches tourneurs». Le livre est abondamment illustré de dessins figurant sur les céramiques grecques. Il permettra à certains une approche intéressante des musiques traditionnelles de ce pays. La Grèce est un des rares pays européens où les traditions musicales (entre autres) sont encore réellement  vivantes. Pour les découvrir, il faut éviter les soirées “pour touristes”, se munir de l'excellent L'été grec  de J. Lacarrière, et emprunter des chemins qui, parfois, ne mènent nulle part (JdB).

 

Marie-Hélène DELAVAUD-ROUX, Les danses dionysiaques en Grèce Antique, Publications de l'Université de Provence, 29 avenue Robert Schuman, F-13.621 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 1,1995, 256 p.,170 FF.

samedi, 11 avril 2009

Pour une mise en pratique des enseignements de Castaneda

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

 

POUR UNE MISE EN PRATIQUE DES ENSEIGNEMENTS DE CASTAñEDA

 

Nombreux sont les lecteurs d'auteurs “traditionnels” comme Evola, Guénon et d'autres qui se demandent comment mettre en pratique cette vision du monde. Le passage du cérébral à l'acte, quel qu'il soit, s'avère difficile et délicat. Pourtant, il est indispensable pour celui qui, soucieux d'authenticité, veut réellement faire sien et incarner ce qui a été lu. Cela doit être la conséquence de toute lecture portant sur l'essentiel. Sinon celle-ci devient lettre morte, donc vaine.

 

L'ambition du livre de Victor Sanchez, Les enseignements de Don Carlos, est justement d'inciter les lecteurs de Carlos Castañeda à accomplir un travail sur eux-mêmes. Pour cela, après une présentation des principaux éléments de la pensée de Castañeda, il expose différents exercices qui visent précisément à réaliser en soi-même, seul ou en groupe, ces enseignements. Il convient de rappeler en quelques mots le parcours de Carlos Castañeda. Etudiant américain en anthropologie au début des années 60, il entre en contact, pour les besoins de sa thèse, avec un vieil indien yaqui, Juan Matus. Ce dernier, détenteur d'un savoir ancestral de type chamanique, fut le maître spirituel du jeune étudiant. Celui-ci a rapporté par la suite ces années d'expériences qui l'ont totalement transformé dans neuf ouvrages (1). Son œuvre connaît un succès international.

 

Victor Sanchez est un Mexicain qui depuis de nombreuses années expérimente au sein de groupes qu'il a constitué les traditions chamaniques des indiens, notamment des Huichols et des Nahuas, tribus du centre du Mexique au sein desquelles il a longuement séjourné. Il a également, par la suite, rencontré Castañeda. C'est donc l'ouvrage d'un "opératif" qui n'est pas sans rappeler les études regroupées sous le titre Ur et Krur  de Julius Evola.

 

Le point capital de la pensée de Castañeda est l'affirmation qu'il existe une autre réalité à laquelle il est possible d'avoir accès grâce à un travail sur soi-même. Il appelle tonal  la réalité ordinaire et nagual, l'autre réalité, infiniment plus vaste et plus complexe que la première. Celui qui part en quête de cet autre monde et qui tente de relier en lui les deux réalités est nommé le guerrier (il rejoint un thème cher à Evola, à savoir celui de la grande guerre sainte, c'est-à-dire du combat intérieur —par opposition à la petite guerre sainte, la lutte temporelle de l'être en quête de la Connaissance. Le guerrier, nous dit Sanchez, recherche l'impeccabilité,  il faut entendre «donner en tout le meilleur de lui-même, utiliser toutes les ressources de l'énergie» (p.54). Pour cela il s'appuie sur sa résolution et sa volonté. Pour parvenir à ses fins, il lui faut préserver et même accroître son énergie ou pouvoir personnel. Une des économies d'énergie des plus substantielles est réalisée par l'abandon de l'ego. En effet, «nous vouons la plus grande part de notre énergie à des activités liées à l'importance personnelle, qui dépasse largement ce que nous appelons la vanité. L'importance personnelle, c'est la forme qu'adopte notre moi pour manipuler la réalité afin de se réaffirmer et de se convaincre qu'il est bien réel» (p.76).

 

Parmi les autres thèmes, et techniques attenantes, qui sont développés, citons: L'art du guet, Le "non-agir" du moi, qui a de fortes similitudes avec les enseignements taoistes, Arrêter le dialogue intérieur, qui est également un thème central dans la pratique du bouddhisme zen, Gouverner les rêves, etc.

 

Il peut paraître étrange de s'inspirer d'une pratique chamanique méso-américaine pour des Européens. Mais celui qui a quelque peu travaillé les traditions indo-européennes y retrouvera nombre d'éléments identiques. Il est vraisemblable, pour ne pas dire certain, que le fond religieux indo-européen est chamanique. Malheureusement, cet héritage n'est plus depuis longtemps opératif. Les diverses "sorcelleries" et les sagesses populaires ne sont que des bribes transmises en-dehors de toute véritable connaissance, ce qui a conduit à une dégénérescence. Il est pour nous vital de retrouver la source d'où proviennent ces traditions. D'ailleurs, c'est là le sens de la quête du Graal. Les travaux comme celui de Victor Sanchez sont susceptibles de nous aider, par comparaison, à mieux comprendre et à vivre  nos plus lointaines racines ainsi qu'à retrouver notre être le plus profond.

 

Christophe LEVALOIS.

 

Victor SANCHEZ, Les enseignements de Don Carlos. Applications pratiques de l'œuvre de Carlos Castañeda, Editions du Rocher, 1996.

 

Note:

(1) Le premier, Les leçons de don Juan, a été publié en France pour la première fois en 1972 sous le titre L'Herbe du diable et la petite fumée. Le neuvième est paru en français en 1994, aux éditions du Rocher. Il s'intitule L'art de rêver. Il est actuellement disponible en livre de poche, comme la plupart des autres ouvrages de Castañeda.

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jeudi, 09 avril 2009

Grigori P. Yakoutovski, prophète slave

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

 

Grigori P. Yakoutovski, prophète slave

 

Grigori Pavlovitch Yakoutovski, né en 1955 à Moscou de père biélorusse et de mère russe, est “bachelier de psychologie” de l'Université de Moscou, thérapeute-psychologue et auteur de manuels présentant des méthodes pratiques d'entraînement psychologique. Après ces études, il s'est plongé dans l'histoire, la philosophie, l'ethnographie, l'histoire de l'art, les sciences religieuses, les sciences occultes et mys­tiques, ce qui a changé radicalement son existence et ses activités professionnelles.

 

Depuis 1990, il est actif comme lecteur, narrateur, chanteur, organisateur de fêtes et de cérémonies ins­pirées par les réflexes religieux innés des Slaves de l'Est. Les prêtres de l'Eglise orthodoxe l'appellent le “prophète slave”. Désignation significative car une prophétie a annoncé qu'à la fin du XXième siècle un Slave fera renaître la foi païenne et que l'orthodoxie ne réussira pas à redevenir la religion de la Russie nouvelle.

 

Grigori P. Yakoutovski est l'auteur de plusieurs livres, dont Langue de la magie et magie de la langue  (une étude sur la mystique traditionnelle slave et une tentative de la réactiver dans nos temps présents) et Monde russe et paradis terrestre  (une étude sur l'histoire, l'ethnographie, la mythologie et la magie des Slaves de l'Est).

 

L'essentiel de la vision de l'auteur se résume ainsi: il faut considérer la mythologie, la mystique, la philo­sophie et la culture des Slaves de l'Est comme un élément prépondérant dans la civilisation mondiale, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine indo-européen, et il faut tenir compte des particularités historiques et ethno-psychologiques de ce peuples est-slave qui a joué un rôle déterminant dans le destin du monde et continuera à le jouer pour l'avenir de l'humanité tout entière. En fait, Yakoutovski nous explique qu'il faut davantage réveiller et réactiver les traditions que les faire renaître.

 

En 1992, naît la société ”Koupala” (Centre pour l'Unité Culturelle des Slaves de l'Est). Elle organise des fêtes et des cérémonies selon l'esprit immémorial et traditionnel du peuple, ainsi que des expositions pour les artistes et les artisans qui s'inspirent de cette tradition populaire slave. Elle organise également des séminaires et collecte des informations sur l'histoire, l'ethnographie et la culture du peuple.

 

La mission historique que s'assigne le centre “Koupala” est, pour l'essentiel, de diffuser de l'information, à l'échelle la plus large possible. “Koupala” respecte le choix des autres et se porte garant afin que les opi­nions, points de vue et thèses de tous les invités soient pris en considération et que tout cela soit coor­donner pour qu'une vaste coopération puisse s'établir dans le pays et en dehors. “Koupala” ne travaille pas comme une entreprise commerciale, n'impose à personne une organisation strictement hiérarchisée et n'est pas une communauté religieuse au sens traditionnel du terme. C'est une association regroupant des hommes et des femmes qui partagent une même vision mystique de la vie et de l'homme, supposant une prédominance des forces divines sur les spéculations humaines, trop humaines. “Koupala” se place en dehors de toute lutte politique, de tout esprit de concurrence et de toutes les discussions strictement scientifiques.

 

“Koupala” est ouvert à tous les contacts avec tous les représentants de toutes les traditions païennes, afin d'enrichir le patrimoine commun de tous ceux qui s'inspirent des religions enracinées et visent à pro­mouvoir de concert des idées communes.

 

Anatoly Mikhaïlovitch IVANOV.

 

Contact téléphonique à Moscou: (07) (095) 948.08.42.

dimanche, 05 avril 2009

Tantra-Sangha: tantrisme en Russie aujourd'hui

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

 

 

Tantra-Sangha: Tantrisme en Russie aujourd'hui

 

L'association religieuse tantrique “Tantra-Sangha” a été fondée en 1991 par un moine tantrique d'origine russe, Shripada Sadashivacharya, qui avait reçu sa consécration en Inde. Ont adhéré à la “Sangha” les adeptes russes du tantrisme classique, de forme shivaïte-shaktiste, et des éléments se réclamant du paganisme slave; ils sont présents dans toutes les grandes villes de Russie et des pays de la CEI.

 

Les tantristes russes retournent aux sources de la culture spirituelle russe, vers la religion de tous les anciens Indo-Européens et tendant d'enrichir la tradition païenne russe en s'appuyant sur la tradition hin­douiste-tantriste, qui en est fort proche. Ils essayent d'éviter deux travers extrêmes: 1) promouvoir une “renaissance” artificielle du paganisme slave, tel qu'il a été anéanti par le christianisme et 2) introduire l'hindouisme sans tenir compte des conditions spécifiques russes. Les hindouistes d'Inde, du Népal et des autres pays considèrent que les “Hindous russes” sont leurs véritables coreligionnaires.

 

Les tantristes adorent un dieu-père, Roudra, qui est en fait Shiva, et une déesse-mère, Shakti, dont la force est illimitée. Les éléments les plus anciens de ce double culte témoignent de l'antiquité véritable de cette religion et, en la pratiquant, les tantristes russes ont l'avantage de s'appuyer sur des sources ex­clusivement indo-européennes. Selon la tradition, effectivement, les adorateurs de Roudra sont venu de Russie en Inde, il y a 7000 ans. Ces adorateurs de Roudra sont les fondateurs de la tradition shivaïste-tantriste, religion des centaines de millions d'Indiens et de Népalais contemporains. Aujourd'hui, après l'effondrement du système marxiste et avec la déliquescence du christianisme, cette religion revient en Russie, pays qui fut jadis la patrie des Aryens d'Inde, avant qu'ils ne déboulent dans le sub-continent, au-delà de l'Indus.

 

La “Tantra-Sangha” coopère avec les organisations hindouistes et cherche à obtenir que l'on bâtisse à Moscou le premier temple hindouiste de Russie. L'association refuse tout contact avec les pseudo-tan­tristes qui ridiculisent le tantrisme en en faisant une sorte de “yoaga sexualiste”.

 

La “Tantra-Sangha” a une activité “missionnaire” et édite une revue, La Voie tantrique,  ainsi que des bro­chures et des livres. En 1992, deux communautés importantes, issues de la “Tantra-Sangha” étaient en­registrées officiellement à Moscou et à Nijni-Novgorod. L'activité de la “Tantra-Sangha” est pilotée par l'Ordre des Avadhoutas et le Gourou Shripada Sadashivacharya.

 

Anatoly Mikhaïlovitch IVANOV.

 

Adresse de la “Tantra-Sangha”, Tikhvinski per. 13-73, Moscou, Russie. Téléphone: (07) (095) 972.02.30. Cette adresse est également celle du temple. Pour toute correspondance, écrire: “Tantra-Sangha”, P.O.Box 70, Moscou 103.055, Rép. de Russie.

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mardi, 31 mars 2009

Evola, un penseur "gramscien" à historiciser

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES  - 1995

Evola, un penseur «gramscien» à historiciser

 

Entretien avec Marco Fraquelli

 

Récemment les pages culturelles de la presse quotidienne d'Italie se sont préoccu­pées d'Evola, parce qu'un philosophe en vue, Marco Fraquelli, classé à “gauche”, venait de publier un livre inattendu sur le penseur traditionaliste, intitulé significati­vement Il filosofo proibito (= “Le philosophe prohibé”), auprès de la maison d'édition milanaise Terziaria. Fraquelli travaille actuellement dans le domaine de la communi­ca­tion d'entreprise. Son travail fouillé sur Evola est issu d'une thèse universitaire qu'il avait présentée il y a quelques années sous la houlette de Giorgio Galli, qui lui est resté fidèle: il a rédigé pour l'édition grand public de cette thèse une introduction aussi pertinente que provoquante. Le Dr. Luca Gallesi a rencontré Fraquelli pour le mensuel politico-culturel romain, Pagine Libere. Voici une version française de leur entre­tien:

 

Q.: Vu la place que consacrent à votre livre les grands quotidiens nationaux, on pourrait croire que le nom et l'œuvre d'Evola soient enfin sortis du “ghetto” où on les avait exilés pendant tant d'années. La démoni­sation d'Evola n'est-elle plus qu'un souvenir? Le cordon sanitaire impénétrable que les bien-pensants avaient dressé autour de lui vient-il d'être levé?

 

MF: Sincèrement, j'aurais bien du mal à vous dire si cette démonisation vient de cesser ou non. En réalité, l'attention qu'une grande partie de notre presse consacre à mon livre, et donc à Evola, a une origine “anecdotique” et n'a rien à voir avec le contenu de mon travail. L'anecdote qui a déclenché cet intérêt, c'est le fait que j'ai présenté mon essai à la Casa della Cultura de Milan, un lieu où, traditionnellement, les gens de lettres classés à gauche se rencontrent. Le fait qu'on y parlait tout d'un coup d'Evola a suscité la curiosité des média... Evidemment si cela peut contribuer à évacuer le cordon sanitaire, tant mieux. Mais, entendons-nous bien, si je suis contre la démonisation d'Evola, je ne suis pas pour autant en faveur de sa revalorisation: je ne peux que répéter mon jugement critique et négatif à l'encontre d'Evola, mais je crois qu'il est plus utile pour tout le monde de présenter une approche exacte de l'œuvre évolienne, une ap­proche que je qualifierais d'“historicisée”, rien de plus.

 

Q.: En incluant Evola dans sa Storia delle dottrine politiche [= Histoire des doctrines politiques], Giorgio Galli, dans le chapitre qu'il consacre aux “théories élitistes”, réintroduit le penseur traditionaliste dans la culture universitaire officielle et hisse Evola au rang des auteurs qu'il s'agit désormais d'approfondir. Galli conclut les pages qu'il consacre à Evola en citant un passage de Chevaucher le Tigre  qui nous rappelle que l'apolitia  doit être le principe de l'homme différencié. Est-ce un mes­sage qu'il adresse aux lecteurs d'Evola qui auraient choisi la voie du militantisme politique?

 

MF: Sans doute. Mais je crois qu'il a voulu dire davantage que cela. Personnellement, je suis convaincu que l'œuvre d'Evola dans son ensemble  —et je fais allusion ici à toute sa production “métapolitique” des années 50 et 60—  avait pour but précis de fournir au néofascisme des référents idéels et politiques en vue de revitaliser une vision du monde antidémocratique. Mais cela n'implique pas, bien sûr, qu'il y ait un rapport mécanique entre la doctrine et la pratique. Cette dernière relève exclusivement de la responsabi­lité des militants. Quant au concept plus spécifique d'apolitia  —qu'une grande partie de la droite radicale, surtout celle qui se définit comme “traditionaliste”, utilise pour démontrer l'“impolicité” de la pensée évo­lienne—  je vous rappelle que pour Evola lui-même, il est évident que se référer à une dimension intérieure ne doit nullement bloquer l'action extérieure. Cela a été souligné par des exégètes reconnus de l'œuvre évolienne comme Freda et Romualdi, pour qui l'apolitia ne devait pas être une invitation à “se croiser les bras”, mais  —je cite Anna Jellamo—  devait être considérée “comme un moment de lutte, comme l'expression d'une non-action idéologiquement motivée et politiquement orientée, qui porte en soi les germes d'une victoire possible”.

 

Q.: Dans l'introduction à votre livre, Galli parle d'Evola comme “du fil rouge qui tra­verse toutes les expé­riences du néofascisme” et bon nombre de pages analysent la polémique anti-évolienne de ce qu'il est convenu d'appeler la “nouvelle droite” qui, en Italie, accuse la doctrine évolienne d'être un “mythe inca­pacitant”. Vous affir­mez, au contraire, qu'Evola est bien plus “gramsciste” que les “nouveaux gram­scistes de droite». Dans quel sens?

 

MF: Si on accepte, comme j'accepte, la définition que donne Revelli de la “nouvelle droite”, où cette droite est précisément celle qui fait sienne les conclusions du débat sur la crise de la politique, débat qu'avait proposé la gauche à partir de 1977. En acceptant les conclusions de ce débat, cette “nouvelle droite” (ND) choisit  —au détriment de tout politique institutionnelle, du moins temporairement—   de se consacrer à une action de “pénétration capillaire et extensive dans la société civile afin d'en orienter les mœurs et d'y enraciner sa propre conception du monde, c'est-à-dire, en termes gramsciens, afin de s'assurer l'hégémonie”. En tenant compte de cette définition de Revelli, on s'aperçoit immédiatement quel risque court la ND: celui d'être prisonnière d'un déterminisme, c'est-à-dire celui de croire que l'hégémonie poli­tique doit automatiquement suivre l'hégémonie culturelle. Ce risque, comme je le rappelle d'ailleurs dans mon livre, a pourtant été mis en évidence dans les cercles mêmes de cette droite, par exemple par Giano Accame  —qui affirme la nécessité d'ancrer le discours [révolutionnaire/rénovateur] dans un référent po­litique précis qui n'est autre que la “communauté nationale”—  et par Francesco Fransoni, jeune plume de la Nuova Destra italienne, qui a consacré tout un livre à cette problématique. Pour ce qui concerne Evola, je pense pouvoir dire que ce risque, justement, ne se pose pas. Dans l'œuvre évolienne, on ne trouve par la moindre faiblesse de type déterministe: la politique et la culture sont des entités qui avancent toujours d'un même pas, en s'informant et en se complétant tout à tour. C'est en ce sens-là qu'Evola est “gramscien”.

 

Q.: En posant votre regard sur l'enseignement d'Evola, vous soutenez la thèse que les analyses des nouvelles droites sur son œuvre révèlent des limites majeures, no­tamment dans cette attitude à vouloir coûte que coûte isoler la catégorie du “politique” de toutes les autres catégories. Dans quelle mesure?

 

MF: Je me rappelle d'un thème récurrent de la ND italienne: celui de l'“impolicité” de l'œuvre évolienne. La ND soutient que la seule issue du traditionalisme intégral d'Evola ne peut être que l'“impolicité”; en d'autres termes, que le traditionalisme ne peut avoir aucune influence du point de vue existentiel. Je me demande quelle autre finalité pourrait avoir une attitude existentielle précise sinon celui de prédisposer l'individu à une vision du monde qui comporte inévitablement un choix de type politique, voire implique un positionnement politique. Sans doute suis-je un peu trop “pasolinien” [disciple de Pasolini]  —en cela je dois reconnaître que cet autre exégète d'Evola, Gianfranco De Turris, a probablement raison—  mais ja­mais je ne me risquerais à affirmer que la sphère politique est entièrement détachée de toutes les autres sphères de l'existence (sphère culturelle, sphère religieuse, etc.), comme me semble l'avoir fait cette pensée de droite.

 

Q.: Etes-vous d'accord avec ceux qui disent que si Evola était né cinquante ans plus tard, il aurait été hippy? Car, au fond, il a été dadaïste, a goûté à tous les types de drogue, et a toujours été, en tout, un véritable anti-conformiste...

 

MF: Franchement, non, je ne suis pas d'accord. Mais je ne veux par formuler de jugement de valeur. La culture hippy se caractérise par une soif quasi inextinguible de liberté [au sens libertaire du terme], qui domine les rapports entre les individus. Evola a fait et expérimenté tout ce que vous venez d'évoquer (et même plus...) mais il n'a certainement jamais été un “libertaire”; Evola a été  —ce que souligne très bien Giorgio Galli dans la préface à mon essai—  un représentant significatif d'une culture occidentale, certes “alternative”, mais de type traditionaliste, se basant sur les valeurs organiques et hiérarchiques.

 

Q.: Dans votre conclusion, vous soulignez l'actualité de la doctrine politique d'Evola, qui, selon vous, a été sanctionnée par la mobilisation des thèmes évoliens chez bon nombre de protagonistes de la “droite effervescente” (c'est-à-dire celle qui a recouru au terrorisme et au “spontanéisme armé”). Ne vous semble-t-il pas que le “spontanéisme armé”, romantique, passionnel et irrationnel, ou que les vilénies du terrorisme  —dont la matrice politique reste entièrement à démontrer!—  ont finale­ment très peu de choses en commun avec celui qui a préconisé la distance absolue et l'“agir sans l'agir”?

 

MF: Je pourrais vous répondre par une provocation: seule une distance absolue peut soutenir l'action de celui qui se prépare à commettre un acte terroriste, voire un massacre d'innocents... Mais le problème est ailleurs, au-delà des sentiers battus. Comme je vous l'ai déjà dit, je crois avoir été très clair: il serait par­faitement malhonnête, sur le plan intellectuel, de chercher des connexions mécaniques entre les paroles du “Maître” et les comportements des certains de ses “élèves”. Mais je n'accepte pas pour autant l'image d'Epinal, totalement “impolitique”, qui est celle de l'Evola que veulent nous vendre les droites depuis une vingtaine d'années; j'ai voulu démontrer que l'œuvre d'Evola est difficilement “transférable en actes”, tâche qui pourrait même être carrément impossible, mais qu'elle reste néanmoins une pensée politique, dont les catégories ont été utilisées par d'autres hommes politiques ou idéologues, n'appartenant pas à la “droite effervescente”, mais à une tradition antérieure à Evola, pour orienter leur praxis politique. Reste à évoquer l'influence générale de nature existentielle qu'à mon avis l'œuvre d'Evola a indubitablement exer­cée; cette quête et cette exploration de l'œuvre, quand elles ont été poursuivies avec lucidité, quand elles se sont évidemment démarquées de toutes expériences “effervescentes” [“éversives”] ou terro­ristes, ont plus simplement voulu fournir des directives politiques, donner des lignes de conduite idéales, afin de maintenir à flot ou de sauver une vision du monde rigoureusement anti-démocratique.

 

(propos recueillis par le Dott. Luca Gallesi, parus dans le mensuel romain Pagine Libere, n°4/1995; adresse: Pagine Libere, Via Margutta 19, I-00.187 Roma; abonnement annuel, douze numéros: Lire 85.000).

dimanche, 29 mars 2009

La "Communauté païenne russe" d'Alexandre Belov

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

La «Communauté païenne russe» d'Alexandre Belov

 

Vers la fin des années 80, pour la première fois à cette époque, quelques hommes décident de fonder une «Communauté païenne» officiellement, dont l'objectif est d'“éclairer les esprits”. Cette Communauté évite de se sur-déterminer dans les domaines de la religion, du dogme et de la politique, ce qui est, générale­ment, la tare de pareilles organisations. C'est le célèbre écrivain ruraliste Alexandre Belov qui en fut l'initiateur et l'organisateur. La Communauté réussit d'emblée à donner un élan à la morale sociale nou­velle qu'elle entend promouvoir. Mais, malgré tous ses efforts, elle n'a pas pu excercer une influence idéologique en profondeur. Le point fort de cette Communauté, là où elle s'est consolidée, c'est quand elle a tablé sur les arts martiaux traditionnels. Belov, outre les romans qui l'ont rendu célèbre dans le monde entier, est aussi le créateur d'un art plus affiné du combat singulier, basé sur les traditions nationales russes. La convergence entre les diverses tendances du paganisme s'est donc effectuée dans la revita­lisation de l'art martial russe traditionnel, dit la “combat montagnard slave”.

 

La Communauté s'est aussi donné pour tâche de lutter contre les profanations, parodies, travestisse­ments et primitivisations du paganisme par des néophytes zélés, croyant avoir trouver une “formule libé­ratrice” simple. En se montrant intransigeante, en s'imposant des critères qualitatifs élevés, la CPR se heurta à certains paganismes qu'elle jugeait “insuffisants” ou “inférieurs”, provoquant ainsi de vives ten­sions: notamment avec V. Emilianov, qui simplifiait à outrance le paganisme pour masquer maladroite­ment un “anti-sionisme” politique; ou avec A. Dobrovolski qui confondait paganisme et conduite immorale; ou encore avec les Païens de Léningrad, dirigés par Bezverkhi et Sidazouk. Cette dernière opposition ré­sultait de la volonté de ces païens de Léningrad de réconcilier la paganisme slave avec l'église orthodoxe et de leurs prises de positions “pro-ukrainiennes” qui les amenaient, à mon avis, à déformer l'histoire de la culture slave.

 

Dès le début des années 90, la Communauté, toujours dirigée par A. Belov, concentre son activité à cons­truire des castes, principalement une caste militaire, capable de dominer et de gérer l'Etat. Dans cette optique, la CPR élabore un système bien circonscrit des valeurs spirituelles, impulse des orientations mo­rales et affermit la connaissance du paganisme slave-russe. Le fondement idéologique du mouvement est la création et la diffusion d'une “géo-mentalité paneuropéenne”. Cette géo-mentalité découle de la simili­tude entre les paganismes antiques (gréco-romains), celtiques, germaniques et slaves. Les principales caractéristiques de la CPR sont donc: 1) une orientation claire en direction des arts martiaux et de leur spiritualité; 2) une élévation du paganisme au niveau proprement conceptuel, où le concept de paganisme compte plus que ces manifestations circonstancielles. Cette volonté bien tranchée a provoqué une po­lémique avec les théoriciens du paganisme (exclusivement) slave, comme A. Barkachov, qui estiment que ses arguments sont au-dessus de toute critique.

 

En mars 1995, les deux mouvements, celui des amateurs de combat “slave-montagnard” (dont le nombre s'élève à 20.000 en Russie) et la CPR d'Alexandre Belov (culte du Dieu du Tonnerre) s'unissaient pour poursuivre un même but: créer un Etat militaire nouveau et reconstruire la société en la hiérarchisant au­tour de castes. Parmi celles-ci, la caste militaire doit pouvoir jouer un rôle dominant dans la structure so­ciale. Elle doit être formée de militaires de carrière, de policiers et de personnalités animés intérieurement par des valeurs de type “kshatrya”.

 

Vladimir Avdeyev, théoricien et idéologue du paganisme moderne en Russie, aide à construire cet “Etat militaire”. Avec A. Belov, il est l'un des membre du “Conseil de coordination” du mouvement.

 

Adresse de la Communauté: Alexandre Belov, 3me Krasnogvardeyskaya 2-24, 123.317 Moscou, Russie; tél.: (7)(095) 323-20-87.

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vendredi, 27 mars 2009

Vladimir B. Avdeyev: écrivain et philosophe païen

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Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1995

 

Vladimir B. Avdeyev: écrivain et philosophe païen

 

Vladimir Borissovitch Avdeyev, né en 1962, est un écrivain russe contemporain. Il a commencé sa car­rière littéraire par la publication d'une série d'essais de “style romain” (notamment dans la rubrique “Prose d'élite” de la revue littéraire moscovite Literatournaïa Gazeta  en 1989) et par deux romans remarqués, La Passion selon Gabriel (1990) et Le facteur de membres artificiels (1992). Ces romans s'inscrivent dans une tradition littéraire plus philosophique et européenne que classique et russe.

 

Le dépassement du christianisme (1994), troisième grande œuvre de cet auteur, est un traité d'histoire et de philosophie, axé principalement sur les problèmes des religions non conventionnelles. Ce livre contient notamment une analyse des différences structurelles existant entre les religions monothéistes et poly­théistes. Il ouvre de nouvelles perspectives sur le développement des conceptions religieuses de notre monde contemporain.

 

Les déductions tirées par l'auteur sont dépourvues de toute ambigüité: nous sommes à la veille d'une nouvelle ère cosmique, l'ère du Verseau, qui apportera un changement complet dans les paradigmes reli­gieux dominants, annonciateur d'un épanouissement nouveau des religions panthéistes et polythéistes. Vladimir Avdeyev est païen par conviction: ses œuvres sont polémiques contre le christianisme, hostiles aux monothéismes. Il exprime clairement ses convictions, ce qui le rapproche d'une certaine “nouvelle droite”. Avdeyev critique le christianisme non dans le cadre d'une nouvelle école historique ou mytholo­gique, mais le définit comme un phénomène à la fois “occulte” et politique.

 

Vladimir Avdeyev théorise également la “contre-révolution païenne”, ce que ne font pas les autres idéo­logues contemporains de la “révolution conservatrice” en Russie, dont, en particulier, Alexandre Douguine, plus connu dans les médias occidentaux, qui propage un mélange théorique peu convention­nel, où confluent les constructions nées dans les salons européens et les archétypes de l'orthodoxie russe.

 

Vladimir Avdeyev est aujourd'hui membre du Conseil de Coordination de l'Union des Communautés Païennes Russes, dirigé par le célèbre écrivain ruraliste Alexandre Belov. Un congrès de ces “communautés païennes russes” a eu lieu à Moscou en mars 1995. Les congressistes ont décidé de for­mer en Russie une caste de “kshatryas”, c'est-à-dire de militaires et de combattants, vivant en confromité avec les fondements de la conception païenne du monde.

 

Anatoli Mikhaïlovitch IVANOV.

 

(pour tous renseignements: V.B. Avdeyev,113.162 Mytnaya, 23-1-47a, Moscou, Russie).

mercredi, 25 mars 2009

Metaphysics of War : Battle, Victor & Death in the World of Tradition

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Metaphysics of War: Battle, Victor & Death in the World of Tradition

by Julius Evola, Integral Tradition Publishing, 2007

Reviewed by David J. Wingfield - Ex: http://www.rosenoire.org/

BOOK REVIEW

Metaphysics of War: Battle, Victor & Death in the World of Tradition by Julius Evola

Reviewed by David J. Wingfield

METAPHYSICS of War is the first publication of the Integral Tradition Publishing team and is the first stage of a projected endeavor to make Julius Evola’s thought and works more accessible in the English language. As such it represents a continuation of the spirit of the Inner Traditions publishing house, which first made Evola’s social writings Revolt Against the Modern World and Men Among The Ruins available in English back in the 1980s.

The book consists of a collection of sixteen essays on the spiritual and heroic aspects of war and combat, all but one of which appears in English for the first time. The material spans the fifteen turbulent years between 1935 and 1950, with the majority being written during the high tide of the European fascist experiment in the nineteen thirties up to nineteen forty three. The final piece of the collection, The Decline of Heroism written after the post war dust had settled, is a rallying call to the human spirit against the impersonal mediocrity of the encroaching cold war. It shows all the hallmarks of Evola’s post-war social Traditionalist thought, as expressed in the great manifesto Men Among the Ruins. Metaphysics of War therefore spans the period between Evola’s two major “political” works, starting as they do a year after the publication of “Revolt” and should properly be read against the philosophical bedrock of these books.

This is the voice of the political Evola, written during the time of his much maligned engagement with Italian fascism and German National Socialism, when he still considered these movements, despite their shortcomings, to be potential vehicles for a Traditionalist renewal across Europe. This will account for the rhetoric of fascism that permeates some of these essays. As such, it represents a personal period of passionate change and development in Evola’s philosophy. The metapolitical theme is a continued exhortation for the European peoples to transcend their stagnant bourgeois societies and the turbulence of their war ravaged times, by a sustained appeal to embrace the heroic traditions of their ancient heritage. In fact, despite his tacit support, Evola fell foul of the authorities in both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy for his “reactionary” opinions and repudiation of purely scientific reductionist racism and was only able to publish outside the beady eye of the censors due to the patronage of some time National Fascist Party chairman Roberto Farinacci. Seven of the essays in this work appeared originally in Evola’s Philosophical Dioramas column of Farinacci’s newspaper “Il Regime Fascista”. This is a series of articles elaborating on Evola’s theory of sacred war mentioned in Revolt. The essay “The Greater war and the Lesser war” is taken almost Verbatim from the chapter in Revolt of the same name for a July 1935 edition of the “Regime” . Others appeared in the state organs La Difesa della Razza (The Defense of The Race) and La Vita Italiana. Others, such as the controversial Aryan Doctrine of Combat and Victory and The Meaning of the Warrior Element for the New Europe were produced during Evola’s abortive flirtation with Heinrich Himmler’s SS.

As always in his writings, both esoteric and social, Evola’s preoccupation is with the transcendent esoteric spiritual virility that he saw underpinning all traditional social and philosophical systems. As such he takes examples from medieval Europe, Islam, ancient Imperial Rome and Indo-Aryan traditions to underline his thesis. This is, that through the extreme existential existence of a warrior in protracted combat, an individual may overcome the limitations of human existence and partake in a level of human consciousness bordering on the divine. Thus parallels are drawn between the Nordic conception of Valhalla and the idea of the “Heavenly Jerusalem” envisaged by the Frankish crusaders, as a state of “immortal” being for heroic souls. The true warrior ethos and life can be seen in this view as a method of, or extension of an initiatory process. Evola deplores the mass soldier armies of the twentieth century and emphasizes the path of Holy War as an interior as well as exterior struggle.

Throughout the series of essays, The Baron outlines a theory of Holy War which goes beyond individual historical and religious concepts. For Evola, heroism could take two forms. The experience of battle could awaken “sub-human” animal instincts of savage ferocity and self-destructive bravery which transmutes the individual into a beast of prey, devoid of spirit and individuality. Evola notices that this heroism was notably present during the First world conflagration and is well expressed in the characters of Remarque’s famous novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” , where the protagonists of the book are dehumanized by their experience, despite acts of blind valour. This highly collectivized heroism is also a characteristic of the primitive “Races of Nature” and is evident in the behavior of Russian soldiers fighting for the Soviet Union in the early 1940s. For a member of a “Race of the Spirit” such as those of Roman-Germanic heritage, this form of heroism should really be seen as an involutionary process. Contrary to this is the second form of heroism, whereby the warrior accesses the root spiritual strength of his race in an exultation of victorious self-sacrifice and overcoming. Here a theory of holy war is developed, paralleled in both medieval Christianity and Islam, where the “Lesser Holy War” against external enemies mirrors the “Greater Holy War” against internal enemies with the same perceived characteristic traits. In this Weltanschauung of ecstatic and victorious self-overcoming even death itself is a laughable impossibility, for the hero achieves a divine immortal dynamism in the “hall of heroes” outlined by Evola in several Aryan traditions. Throughout Metaphysics, the author also delves into the idea of the divine feminine as initiatrix in the guise of the Germanic Valkyries and the Fravashi of the Aryo-Iranian Mithras cult. This is interesting to read alongside Evola’s exposition of the spiritual aspects of medieval knighthood in Revolt. Clear parallels can be made between the “true love” of medieval romance and the initiating spirit of divine wisdom she represents and the Roman and Teutonic “Goddess of Battle”, through whom the higher aspects of the warrior/initiate are “given birth”. Throughout his explorations, Evola is consistent in presenting the ancient warrior ethos as a viable initiatory ‘modus operandi’ for his contemporary world and presents a vision of how “warlike” ethics and a heroic spirituality can revitalize a moribund society.

Metaphysics of War is a lucid translation, which allows the reader to access Evola’s fervently intense prose and encyclopedic knowledge of Tradition with relative ease. However, this is not a book I would recommend as a starting point for those without a general familiarity with Evola’s life and ideas or grounding in the historical context in which the essays were given birth. Being a series of essays written over a wide span of years and journal issues, each offering contains a fair degree of recapping and repetition of core themes and material common to serializations. Saying that, however, this collection is by no means a dry assembly of “Evoliana” or apocryphal relics. Rather, these writings contain meta-historical insights and inspiration that are still valid and interesting, over sixty years after their writing. Interesting comparisons are drawn in John Morgan’s introduction between the aristocratic self-sacrifice of the Japanese Kamikazes of World War Two and aspects of the cult of martyrdom evident in present day resurgent Islam. Certainly the living Tradition revealed by Evola still offers food for thought in the fragmented world of the 21st century west, much as it did when this book was written. To conclude simply, this book is well worth a read and I look forward to future Evola related publications from this company.

mercredi, 18 mars 2009

Julius Evola - Acerca de la "Contestacion Total"

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Julius Evola - Acerca de la "Constestación Total"

Ex: http://elfrentenegro.blogspot.com/

La “contestación total” es una fórmula puesta en boga. Asumida en varios ambientes de protesta, especialmente jóvenes, hay quien se inclina a reconocerle cierta validez. En éste, como en otros tantos casos, es preciso profundizar las ideas.

¿Contestación a qué cosa? Se dice: al “sistema"; “sistema" es, por su parte, otra expresión devenida habitual, que alude al conjunto de las estructuras y de las ideologías de la sociedad y de la civilización occidental, con particular referencia a las formas más avanzadas de la civilización industrial del consumo y de la tecnología, con sus condicionamientos. A causa de todo este, por lo general, se toman prestadas las ideas de Marcuse y otros pensadores por el estilo. En realidad, si pretendemos discutir seriamente, tendríamos que hablar más bien de “civilización" y “sociedad" moderna, en general, no siendo la primera sino una derivación ésta, un aspecto particular, si se quiere, su reducción al absurdo por lo cual el sentido de una verdadera “contestación total" tendría que ser el de una rebelión contra el mundo moderno.

Dada la actual situación, habría que ver, sin embargo, qué todo esto no se redujera a fantasías y a agitaciones sin sentido. La perspectiva, trazada en su momento por Alexis Carrel, de un mundo devastado por una bella guerra total en donde sobre una isla el único grupo de sobrevivientes de la catástrofe (de “buena raza" suponía Carrel. con alguna mente genial entre ellos) reconstruya y cree una civilización, pero en una dirección distinta, habiendo finalmente aprendido la lección, sería seductora, pero hay que descartarla. Quien se ensaña sólo con la sociedad tecnológica organizada, tendría que preguntarse, por lo demás, si estaría dispuesto a renunciar, sinceramente, a todas las posibilidades prácticas que ofrece para regresar, en mayor o menor medida, al estado de naturaleza de Rousseau. Para nosotros, cada hombre que tenga un dominio sobre sí mismo puede siempre hacer un uso equilibrado de tales posibilidades, reduciendo a un mínimo los correspondientes "condicionamientos" niveladores y espiritualmente deletéreos.

Si, sin embargo, se tuviese que plantear el problema para las masas, es utópico pensar en poderlas separar de los ideales, en gran parte realizados de una sociedad de una comodidad generalizada y de un hedonismo burgués, si no se encuentra el modo de suscitar en ella una tensión espiritual, un clima que, en cierta medida, invadió a las naciones que ayer habían lanzado el desafío, tanto a la plutocracia como al comunismo.

Profundizando el problema, se percibe que el objeto de una protesta y de una rebelión legítima tendría que ser, en general, una civilización invadida por lo que hemos llamado como el "demonismo de la economía", es decir en donde los procesos económicos y productivos se encuentran en primer lugar sofocando en modo prevaricador a cualquier otro valor verdadero. Hemos ya recordado que, en su examen del alto capitalismo, Werner Sombart usó la imagen del "gigante desencadenado”, referida al proceso económico-productivo que, en cierto modo, se autonomiza, arrastrando, junto a los que lo padecen, a sus mismos actores, es decir a los managers, a los promotores y a los organizadores del mismo, hacia la sociedad del consumo.

Entre los partidarios de la "contestación" hay quien ha afirmado lo necesario de "redimensionar" las necesidades, en el sentido de reducir las parasitarias y creadas artificialmente por la producción y de contener los procesos productivos, poniéndoles, por decirlo de algún modo, riendas. Ahora bien, es evidente que nada puede ser hecho en tal sentido en un clima de democracia y de aparente liberalismo. Lo hemos ya dicho: la economía puede dejar de ser aquel "destino" que Marx había visto en ella, puede ser controlada y frenada sólo por obra de un poder y de una autoridad superiores, los cuales pueden ser únicamente un poder y una autoridad políticas. Es lo que también Oswald Spengler había considerado para la fase terminal de un ciclo de civilización.

Pero esto equivale a reconocer como condición imprescindible una verdadera “revolución de Derecha”, con una nueva valorización antidemocrática de la idea del Estado en cuanto poder autónomo que tiene justamente el carisma de una autoridad superior y los medios idóneos para mantener bajo control el mundo de la economía, romper su tiranía y limitar sus paroxismos. (Por lo demás es evidente que para tener un órgano adecuado de vinculación y de control se tendría que sustituir el régimen partitocrático por un sistema de representación corporativa en el sentido ya indicado). Ahora bien, nos gustaría justamente ver cuántos entre los “protestatarios”, que suelen enmascarar su vinculación a tendencias anárquicas y de izquierda, serían capaces de reconocer que, saliendo de las utopías apocalípticas, ésta sería la única vía a tomar, para realizar una revolución digna de tal nombre.

Pero una acción en el campo interno no sería menos necesaria que una en el campo externo, político-social. Sería imprescindible formularse el problema de la visión del mundo y de la vida, y uno de los objetos principales de una "contestación total" debería ser el volver a plantear lo que hace de trasfondo y de presupuesto del mundo moderno en general. Habría que considerar un sector sumamente más amplio al que se refiere la mera economía, y entonces el discurso se haría largo. Nos limitaremos a recordar que la perversión de la cultura moderna ha comenzado con el advenimiento de la ciencia, a la cual se han asociado el racionalismo y el materialismo. Y también, a tal respecto, se puede hablar de procesos que se han convertido en autónomos, los cuales han arrastrado al hombre quien, por decirlo así, no puede mantener el rumbo con su misma criatura.

No se trata naturalmente de negaciones prácticas, sino de lo que ha incidido en la visión del mundo, desde hace tiempo, justamente, condicionada por la ciencia: la filosofía y las mismas creencias religiosas en cambio han pasado a un plano secundario y prácticamente irrelevante. Se tendría que combatir pues el "mito" de la ciencia, es decir la idea de que la ciencia conduzca a aquello que es verdaderamente digno de ser conocido, que la misma, en sus aplicaciones, vaya más allá del dominio de simples medios y dé alguna contribución a la solución de los problemas fundamentales de la existencia. Progresismo y cientificismo van, por lo demás, del brazo, y hoy se asiste a un retorno de los olvidados motivos patéticos del tiempo del ballet Excelsior, con la ciencia vencedora del "oscurantismo" e impulsora de un radiante porvenir. Que ideas de este tipo no encuentren eco sólo en mentalidades cursis, hace evidentes diversos síntomas. Demos un solo ejemplo: Hugo Spirito, en su momento fascista y gentiliano, hoy comunista, profesor en la universidad, es como pensador una nulidad, pero es sintomática su actitud de pregonero de un "nuevo humanismo”, en el cual se le da a la ciencia el valor de una metafísica (!) y se indica en ella la base para la verdadera renovación de una humanidad unificada. En esta falsificación, Spirito, por lo demás, se encuentra con el llamado "humanismo socialista" infectado hasta la médula con el cientificismo; tampoco falta en Spirito una simpática alusión a la China maoísta, lo cual marca el límite de su desviación intelectual y de la mistificación. En verdad, lo que se debería plantear en una auténtica contestación total sería efectivamente una "revolución cultural": pero no en el sentido de la de los Guardias Rojas chinos, la cual más bien ha sido una “revolución anticultura”, que no ha percibido que el primer objetivo contra el cual debería haber apuntado es el llamado "marxismo científico" el cual permanece como uno de los dogmas fundamentales inatacables de la doctrina (si se puede llamar así) de Mao Tse-tung.

Junto a una toma de conciencia de aquella crítica de la ciencia que ya posee una seria tradición (partiendo de Poincaré, Le Roy, de Boutroux. del mismo Bergson, etc.) a la cual se han agregado las válidas contribuciones del pensamiento tradicional (Guénon, Schuon, Burckhardt, aunque ya en su momento De Maistre había puesto en su lugar a los “savants” y a los cientificistas de su tiempo), se debería pues asumir una actitud de desapegada frialdad con respecto a todo el mundo de la ciencia y de la misma técnica; las mismas invenciones espaciales deberían ser consideradas como una especie de juegos para niños grandes que pueden impactar sólo a espíritus simples. Por lo tanto, la bandera debe ser la de una desmitificación anticientificista y la lucha por una diferente visión del mundo.

En correlación con esto, el mismo problema de la enseñanza y de la formación de la juventud debería ser enfrentado en términos mucho más serios que ciertas contestaciones universitarias de hoy. que apuntan sólo sobre problemas de estructura y de didáctica. Aquí la verdadera contestación. La “revolución cultural” debería retomar aproximadamente los términos de la polémica desarrollada por W. von Humboldt y su grupo, hace casi un siglo y medio, en el arranque de la industrialización, en contra de todo lo que es especialización mutiladora e instrumentalización práctico-utilitaria del saber. Se deberían exigir formas de una enseñanza que, en vez de tender únicamente a adiestrar a nuevas camadas para insertarlas en la sociedad tecnológica del consumo y de la superproducción, tuviese como fin, no ya un "humanismo", en el sentido descolorido y literario del término, sino una formación del hombre integral, enfatizando los valores espirituales, considerando como agregado y, en un cierto modo, desapegado, a todo el saber especializado que se presta a una instrumentalización en función del “sistema", con los relativos condicionamientos del sujeto: pero lamentablemente no distinto es el móvil que impulsa hoy a la gran mayoría de los jóvenes hacia estudios superiores, asegurarse títulos para insertarse mejor y de la forma más ventajosa posible.

Este sería el único modo serio de concebir hoy una "revolución cultural", la cual tendría consecuencias incalculables y en la cual la palabra "cultura" reencontraría su significado más auténtico. Pero aparte del bajo nivel vocacional y del embotamiento de la mayoría de la juventud actual, ¿dónde encontrar eventualmente a maestros en grado de adecuarse a tales exigencias?

No es necesario decir que éstas son sólo menciones más que sumarias acerca de las direcciones que una seria "contestación total" debería tomar, como una acción severa y sistemática muy distinta de las veleidades de los agitados protestaríos de hoy, los cuales no saben lo que quieren verdaderamente y demasiadas veces dan la impresión de avispas encerradas en un recipiente de vidrio que se atropellan vanamente contra las paredes del mismo.

mercredi, 25 février 2009

The Hyperborean Theme

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The Hyperborean Theme

 Julius Evola

Julius Evola, The Mystery of the Grail Another fundamental traditional teaching, which I have discussed elsewhere with corresponding documentation,[1] is the location of the center or primordial seat of the Olympian civilization of the Golden Age in a Boreal or Nordic-Boreal region that became uninhabitable. A tradition of Hyperborean origins, in its original Olympian form or civilizing deeds performed by races that spread into the Eurasian continent during the period from the end of the glacial age through the Neolithic Era. Some of these races must have come directly from the North; others seem to have had as their country of origin a Western-Atlantic land in which some kind of replica of the Northern center had been established. This is the reason why various concordant symbols and memories refer to a land that sometimes is Northern-Arctic and other times Western.

Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World Among the many designations of the Hyperborean center that came to be applied also to the Atlantic center was Thule, or “White Island”, or “Island of Splendor” (the Hindu Sveta-dvipa; the Hellenic Leuke island;[2] the “original seed of the Arian race” or Ariyana Vaego in ancient Iran); and “Land of the Sun”, or “Land of Apollo”, that is, Avalon. Concordant memories in all Indo-European traditions talk about the disappearance of such a seat (which later on was mythologized) following an ice age or a flood. This is the real, historical counterpart of the various allusions to something that, beginning with a given period, has allegedly been lost or become hidden and untraceable. This too is the reason why the “Island” or “Land of the Living” (the term “living” here referring to the members of the original divine race), which is the land to which the well-known symbols of the Supreme Center of the world allude, was often confused with the “region of the dead” (the term “dead” here referring to the extinct race). Thus, for instance, according to a Celtic doctrine, mankind’s primordial ancestor was the god of the dead (Dispater) who dwells in a faraway region beyond the ocean, in those “faraway islands” whence, according to the Druids’ teachings, some of the prehistoric inhabitants of Gaul came directly.[3] Moreover, according to a classical tradition, after having been the lord of this earth, the king of the Golden Age, Kronos-Saturn, was dethroned and castrated (that is, deprived of the power to beget, to give life to a new stock); he still lives, though asleep, in a region located in the Far North, close to the Arctic sea, which was also called the Cronid Sea.[4]

Julius Evola, The Hermetic Tradition This generated various conditions, but essentially it is always the same transposition in superhistory, under the species of a latent or invisible reality or center, of ideas referring to the Hyperborean theme. For my purposes, I will need to discuss briefly the form that these memories assumed in the Celtic and especially in the Irish cycle; the traditions concerning Avalon, the Tuatha de Danaan, and the kingdom of Arthur. The scope of these traditions is more than local and historical; often, even the geographical data appearing in them have a merely symbolic meaning, as is often the case in these instances.

Notes

[1] Revolt Against The Modern World, Chapters 24-26.
[2] Especially in the tradition referred to by Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca Historica II, 47), the…White Island, is identified with the land of the Hyperboreans; it was situated in the ocean, before the land of the
Celts; it is also indicated as Apollo’s island.
[3] The Irish name “Land Beneath the Waves” (Tir fa Tonn), applied to an image of this region, incorporates a memory of its sinking and submersion.
[4] Here it is the land of Thule, which, according to Strabo (ca. 63 B.C.E. — after 21 C.E.) was located at six days of navigation from the coast of Britannia, close to the frozen sea. In regard to the heroes of the primordial age, there is an interesting tradition according to which Kronos, already king of that age, often appears as king of heroes (Hesiod, Opera et dies, 168-71).

Excerpt from Julius Evola, The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit, from http://www.galacticapublishing.com/HyperboreanTheme.htm.


Julius Evola

mardi, 24 février 2009

Goethe and the Indo-European Religiosity

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Goethe and the Indo-European religiosity

Hans Friedrich Karl Günther

The greatest ideas of mankind have been conceived in the lands between India and Germania, between Iceland and Benares (where Buddha began to teach) amongst the peoples of Indo-European language; and these ideas have been accompanied by the Indo-European religious attitude which represents the highest attainments of the mature spirit. When in January 1804, in conversation with his colleague, the philologist Riemer, Goethe expressed the view that he found it “remarkable that the whole of Christianity had not brought forth a Sophocles”, his knowledge of comparative religion was restricted by the knowledge of his age, yet he had unerringly chosen as the precursor of an Indo-European religion the poet Sophocles, “typical of the devout Athenian… in his highest, most inspired form”,41 a poet who represented the religiosity of the people, before the people (demos) of Athens had degenerated into a mass (ochlos). But where apart from the Indo-Europeans, has the world produced a more devout man with such a great soul as the Athenian, Sophocles?

Where outside the Indo-European domain have religions arisen, which have combined such greatness of soul with such high flights of reason (logos, ratio) and such wide vision (theoria)? Where have religious men achieved the same spiritual heights as Spitama Zarathustra, as the teachers of the Upanishads, as Homer, as Buddha and even as Lucretius Carus, Wilhelm von Humboldt and Shelley?

Goethe wished that Homer’s songs might become our Bible. Even before the discovery of the spiritual heights and power of the pre-Christian Teuton, but especially after Lessing, Winckelmann and Heinrich Voss, the translator of Homer, the Indo-European outlook renewed itself in Germany, recalling a world of the spirit which was perfected by great German poets and thinkers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Since Goethe’s death (1832), and since the death of Wilhelm von Humboldt (1835), the translator of the devout Indo-European Bhagavad Gita, this Indo-European spirit, which also revealed itself in the pre-Christian Teuton, has vanished.

Goethe had a premonition of this decline of the West: even in October 1801 he remarked in conversation with the Countess von Egloffstein, that spiritual emptiness and lack of character were spreading — as if he had foreseen what today characterises the most celebrated literature of the Free West. It may be that Goethe had even foreseen, in the distant future, the coming of an age in which writers would make great profits by the portrayal of sex and crime for the masses. As Goethe said to Eckermann, on 14th March 1830, “the representation of noble bearing and action is beginning to be regarded as boring, and efforts are being made to portray all kinds of infamies”. Previously in a letter to Schiller of 9th August 1797, he had pointed out at least one of the causes of the decline: in the larger cities men lived in a constant frenzy of acquisition and consumption and had therefore become incapable of the very mood from which spiritual life arises. Even then he was tortured and made anxious, although he could observe only the beginnings of the trend, the sight of the machine system gaining the upper hand; he foresaw that it would come and strike (Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Third Book, Chapter 15, Cotta’s Jubilee edition, Vol. XX, p. 190). In a letter to his old friend Zelter, on 6th June 1825, he pronounced it as his view that the educated world remained rooted in mediocrity, and that a century had begun “for competent heads, for practical men with an easy grasp of things, who [...] felt their superiority above the crowd, even if they themselves are not talented enough for the highest achievements”; pure simplicity was no longer to be found, although there was a sufficiency of simple stuff; young men would be excited too early and then torn away by the vortex of the time. Therefore Goethe exhorted youth in his poem Legacy of the year 1829:

Join yourself to the smallest host!

In increasing degree since approximately the middle of the nineteenth century poets and writers as well as journalists — the descendants of the “competent heads” by whom Goethe was alarmed even in the year 1801 — have made a virtue out of necessity by representing characterlessness as a fact. With Thomas Mann this heartless characterlessness first gained world renown. Mann used his talent to conceal his spiritual desolation by artifices which have been proclaimed by contemporary admirers as insurpassable. But the talent of the writers emulating Thomas Mann no longer sufficed even to conceal their spiritual emptiness, although many of their readers, themselves spiritually impoverished, have not noticed this.

The freedom of the Press, which was introduced through the constitution of May 1816 into the Duchy of Weimar and which had already been demanded by Wieland with his superficial judgment would, Goethe declared, do nothing more than give free rein to authors with a deep contempt of public opinion (Zahme Xenien, Goethes Sämtliche Werke, Cotta’s Jubilee edition, Vol. IV, p. 47; Annalen (Annals) 1816, same edition, Vol. XXX, p. 298). In the Annalen of 1816, he remarked that every right-thinking man of learning in the world foresaw the direct and incalculable consequences of this act with fright and regret. Thus even in his time, Goethe must have reflected how little the men of the Press, were capable of combining freedom with human dignity.

When the descendants of the competent heads of the beginning of the nineteenth century rose, through their talents, to the upper classes, where due to a lower birthrate their families finally died out, the eliminating process of social climbing in Europe seized hold of less capable heads and bore them away into the vortex of the time. Their culture has been described most mercilessly by Friedrich Nietzsche in his lectures of the year 1871-72: Concerning the Future of Our Educational Institutions (Pocket edition, Vol. I, 1906, pp. 314, 332-333, 396). Nietzsche above all concentrated on famous contemporary writers, “the hasty and vain production, the despicable manufacturing of books, the perfected lack of style, the shapelessness and characterlessness or the lamentable dilution of their expressions, the loss of every aesthetic canon, the lust for anarchy and chaos” — which he described as if he had actually seen the most celebrated literature of the Free West, whose known authors no longer mastered their own languages even to the extent still demanded by popular school teachers around 1900. These vociferous heralds of the need for culture in an era of general education were rejected by Nietzsche who in this displayed true Indo-European views — as fanatical opponents of the true culture, which holds firm to the aristocratic nature of the spirit. If Nietzsche described the task of the West as to find the culture appropriate to Beethoven, then the serious observer today will recognise only too well the situation which Nietzsche foresaw and described as a laughing stock and a thing of shame.

In the year 1797, Friedrich Schiller composed a poem: Deutsche Grösse. Full of confidence in the German spirit he expressed the view that defeat in war by stronger foes could not touch German dignity which was a great moral force. The precious possession of the German language would also be preserved. Schiller (Das Siegesfest) certainly knew what peoples had to expect of war:

For Patrocles lies buried
and Thersites comes back;

but he must have imagined that the losses of the best in the fight could be replaced. The dying out of families of dignity and moral stature (megalopsychia and magnanimitas), had then not yet begun in Europe.

In the year 1929, just a decade after the First World War had ended, that Peloponnesian war of the Teutonic peoples, which caused both in England and in Germany excessively heavy losses of gifted young men, of officers and aristocrats, Oskar Walzel (Die Geistesströmungen des 19. Jahrhunderts, 1929, p. 43), Professor of German literature at the university of Bonn, gave it as his opinion that after this war the trend to de-spiritualise Germany had gained ground far more rapidly than hitherto: “Is there in German history in general such an identical want of depth in men to be observed as at present?” But for the Germans it is poor consolation that this “de-spiritualising” is just as marked in other Western countries. Another sign of this trend is that today many famous writers are no longer capable of preserving the precious possession of the German language. Other Western languages are also neglecting their form and literature, but this again is poor consolation for the Germans. Such neglect is considered by many writers today as characteristic of, and part of the process of gaining their freedom and liberation from all traditional outlooks. Goethe criticised this as a false idea of freedom (Maxims and Reflections, Goethes Sämtliche Werke, Cottas Jubiläumsausgabe, Vol. IV, p. 229) in the following words:

“Everything which liberates our spirit, without increasing our mastery of ourselves, is pernicious.”

Thus, by freedom Goethe also understood the dignity of the freeborn, not the nature and mode of life of the freed slave.

* * *

From The Religious Attitudes of The Indo-Europeans, London 1967. Translated by Vivian Bird. Original Source.


Hans Friedrich Karl Günther

lundi, 23 février 2009

La religion cosmique et l'habitat circumpolaire des Indo-Européens

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La religion cosmique et l’habitat circumpolaire des Indo-Européens

Jean Haudry

J’ai nommé ainsi (La religion cosmique des Indo-Européens, Paris/Milan : Archè, 1987) un ensemble de conceptions cosmologiques et religieuses centrées autour de la notion de «ciel du jour»: en indo-européen, où il n’existe pas de nom ancien du «ciel», un même vocable – tantôt masculin, tantôt féminin (cf. ci-dessous) - désigne soit le jour (latin diēs), soit le soleil (hittite sius), soit à la fois le ciel et le jour (vieil-indien dyaus). Cette notion est divinisée (Jūpiter, Zeus, Dyaus, Sius), et les dieux sont nommés «ceux du ciel du jour»: elle est au centre d’une religion qui peut donc être qualifiée de «cosmique».

D’autre part, elle implique l’existence d’une cosmologie particulièrement archaïque qui comporte également un «ciel de la nuit», l’«Ouranos étoilé» d’Homère. Le ciel de la nuit est le domaine des démons et des âmes des morts; sa principale divinité est le dieu Lune, ennemi des démons et roi des morts, en tant que «premier mort». La triade des couleurs (ci-dessus § 1.4.2) suggère que le ciel blanc du jour et le ciel noir de la nuit étaient séparés par un ciel rouge, le ciel des deux crépuscules. Les principales divinités de ce ciel rouge sont l’Aurore «fille du Ciel du jour (masculin)» ou «Fille du Soleil (féminin)» et les Jumeaux divins «fils du Ciel du jour (masculin)», selon le formulaire traditionnel. Une part de leur mythologie consiste dans le retour de l’Aurore fugitive ou enlevée, et ramenée par ses deux frères. Les Jumeaux peuvent aussi être fils du Ciel du jour (masculin) et de sa fille l’Aurore, à la suite de l’inceste cosmique primordial. L’alternance annuelle du jour et de la nuit a été conçue comme la captivité dans un rocher ou une caverne de la déesse Ciel du jour / Soleil (féminin) et sa libération, d’où la notion de «ciel de pierre».

La mythologie de ces divinités exprime principalement le désir du retour de la belle saison, dite Aurore de l’année, ou Aurores de l’année, comme dans le nom allemand de la fête de Pâques, Ostern. Plus généralement, la correspondance observée entre les parties du jour de vingt-quatre heures et les trois saisons de l’année (le jour et l’été, la nuit et l’hiver, «les aurores » et le printemps), correspondance qui donne un sens à l’union de Zeus Ciel du jour et Héra Belle saison (anglais year, allemand Jahr «année»), indique une familiarité avec les réalités circumpolaires, également attestée par le groupe formulaire de notions traverser l’eau de la ténèbre hivernale (§ 1.4.2).

Le conte scandinave du géant maçon qui demandait pour salaire le Soleil, la Lune et la déesse Freyja, Aurore de l’année, qui a été comparé à la légende grecque de la première destruction de Troie, exprime la crainte d’une éternelle nuit hivernale sans soleil, sans lune, sans aurore. C’est probablement à cette période que remonte la double homologie établie entre la lumière, la vérité, le bien d’une part, les ténèbres, le mensonge, le mal de l’autre, la division du monde surnaturel en deux classes antagonistes de dieux diurnes et de démons nocturnes, ainsi que les récits et les rituels concernant le retour de la lumière ou la lenteur des Aurores; par la suite, des puissances nocturnes ont été intégrées au panthéon, et l’on chante volontiers les bienfaits de la nuit.

Cet ensemble de conceptions remonte à une période très ancienne de la communauté linguistique et ethnique, et à une culture épipaléolithique (mésolithique) ou paléolithique, où la vie était précaire et dépendait étroitement du cycle de saisons. Le cheval n’était pas encore domestiqué: les Jumeaux divins, qui seront ultérieurement associés au cheval (les Aśvins indiens, les Dioscures cavaliers, Hengest et Horsa), le sont à l’élan, comme en témoigne le nom des Dioscures germaniques, les jumeaux Alces de la Germanie de Tacite. La société ne connaissait aucun groupe supérieur à la «bande» primitive: seule sa désignation est sûrement ancienne; celles du lignage et de la tribu sont plus récentes (§ 1.9). On supposera donc une société peu différenciée, donc peu concernée par le politique, sans autre stratification que celle des sexes et des classes d’âge. Les rites de passage de l’enfance à l’âge adulte des garçons ont laissé des traces à l’époque historique, notamment dans la cryptie lacédémonienne. C’est aussi à cette forme ancienne de la société que remontent les légendes de jumeaux (humains) expulsés en compagnie de leur mère et qui vont fonder une nouvelle communauté ou reviennent dans leur communauté d’origine pour y punir leur persécuteurs et s’emparer du pouvoir. Leur légende comporte souvent des traits similaires à ceux des contes merveilleux, dont l’origine paléolithique a été démontrée. A cette période où ni l’élevage ni l’agriculture n’étaient pratiqués se rattache l’idée que les enfants naissent par réincarnation de l’âme d’un ancêtre, sans que le lien soit établi avec la fécondation. Enfin, les vestiges de filiation matrilinéaire, comme le rôle privilégié de l’oncle maternel ou la transmission du pouvoir au gendre (la succession des rois du Latium), qui sont en contradiction avec le caractère exclusivement patrilinéaire de la filiation dans les époques historiques, ont chance de remonter à cette période, et de concorder avec le genre féminin de la divinité suprême, le Ciel du jour, qui sera remplacé par le «Ciel père», Jūpiter, Zeus patēr, etc.

L’identification archéologique la plus probable est la culture épipaléolithique (mésolithique) de Maglemose, avec ses prolongements circumpolaires (Carl-Heinz Boettcher, Der Ursprung Europas, St.Ingbert : Röhrig, 1999). L’arbre (*de/oru-) par excellence est le pin nordique: l’adjectif tiré de son nom, *derwo-, désigne le goudron (germanique *terwa-). Plus tard, ce sera le chêne.


Jean Haudry

samedi, 21 février 2009

Ossendowski, l'ultimo avventuriero

Ossendowski, l’ultimo avventuriero

Francesco Boco

Ferdynand Ossendowski (1876-1945)

L’avventura non è cosa da minimalismo postmodernista. Il fatto che la maggioranza della produzione letteraria e cinematografica contemporanea, nonché l’educazione scolastica, eviti di addentrarsi negli inquietanti reami dell’autentica avventura, ha un che di significativo. Il grande avventuriero dei fumetti, Mister No, non viene più pubblicato, se non raramente, e in libreria le cose non vanno meglio. Solo qua e là emerge qualche perla di vita vissuta, qualche libro in cui si respirano il profumo del muschio e del vino forte, del tabacco trinciato e dei fiori al mattino, ma per il resto tutto tace. Certo, c’è chi prova ad affrontare l’argomento, chi s’impegna, ma nei libri come nei film, la vera avventura viene dal profondo, perché è una questione di sapienti, e non di dotti. Di quei folli, per dirla con Kerouac, che preferiscono bruciarsi che spegnersi lentamente.

Il viaggio avventuroso rappresenta un mito per i giovani inquieti, per coloro i quali sentano il bisogno di una ricerca fuori dagli schemi. La cultura di un Pasolini, tanto per dire, non potrebbe mai concepire il viaggio in sé come un’esperienza di vita, un’occasione di crescita e riflessione, perché il viaggio, in questa mentalità, è semplice tragitto, una questione burocratica da espletare che deve condurre ad una meta precisa.

Ma i grandi viaggiatori non sono coloro che raggiungono molte mete, sono quelli che invece visitano molti luoghi, conoscono genti e storie, si perdono, volutamente, durante il percorso, come dei viandanti in cerca della saggezza. Nietzsche fu un grande viaggiatore e un avventuriero del pensiero, altri, specie dopo di lui, furono solo principianti della vita, impauriti dall’esistenza preferirono ritirarsi nel buio del loro studiolo. Per dirla con il provocatorio Deleuze, il pensiero nietzscheano, il vero pensiero non-conformista, è il riflesso della vita, è frutto dell’esperienza, cresce e si sviluppa nella terra e nel tempo. Perciò la biografia del filosofo tedesco è così importante.

«La terra e il cielo cessavano di respirare. Il vento non soffiava più, il sole si era fermato. In un momento come quello, il lupo che si avvicina furtivo alla pecora si arresta dove si trova; il branco di antilopi spaventate si ferma di botto [...]; al pastore che sgozza un montone cade il coltello di mano [...] Tutti gli esseri viventi impauriti sono tratti involontariamente alla preghiera e attendono il fato. Così è accaduto un momento fa. Così accade sempre quando il Re del Mondo nel suo palazzo sotterra prega e scruta i destini di tutti i popoli e di tutte le razze». Così, con la straordinaria capacità evocativa che gli è propria, narra della sua ricerca della mitica Agartha sotterranea, centro spirituale che alcuni sembrano collocare a Lhasa, il celebre avventuriero Ferdinand Ossendowski (1878-1945). Il racconto si svolge in Mongolia nel 1921; il palazzo dove prega il Re del Mondo si trova nel regno di sotterra, un territorio immenso nascosto alla vista degli uomini e popolato da esseri semidivini, vero e proprio centro spirituale del pianeta. Quel regno esiste fin dalla notte dei tempi: per tutto il remoto periodo denominato dai miti “Età dell’Oro” aveva prosperato alla luce del sole con il nome di “Paradesha” (in sanscrito Paese supremo, da cui Paradiso ); poi, nel 3102 a.C, all’inizio del Kali Yuga della tradizione indù (il termine significa Età Nera e designa il periodo in cui viviamo), i suoi abitanti si erano trasferiti nel sottosuolo per evitare di essere contaminati dal male, e il nome della loro terra era stato trasformato in Agharti, “l’inaccessibile”. La sua opera più conosciuta Bestie, uomini e dèi, tuttora ristampata, viene citata da Guénon nell’introduzione al libretto dedicato precisamente alla figura esoterica del Re del mondo.

Corto Maltese. Corte Sconta detta Arcana

Corto Maltese. Corte Sconta detta Arcana

In quelle stesse pagine, Ossendowki, descrive la figura leggendaria del barone Roman Fiodorovic von Ungern Sternberg, a cui negli anni diversi hanno rivolto il loro interesse, fino alla recente pubblicazione del testo La cosacca del barone von Ungern da parte de Le librette di controra. Terrore dei bolscevichi, questo condottiero dei “bianchi” controrivoluzionari, oppose una strenua resistenza ai sovietici, guadagnandosi sul campo la fama di “sanguinario”. Il suo mito si diffuse a tal punto, che in una delle sue storie più belle, Corte Sconta detta arcana, Hugo Pratt lo rappresenterà in modo assai evocativo, e alla sua figura, negli anni immediatamente successivi alla sua morte, si ispirò ad esempio il film russo Tempeste sull’Asia.

Naturalmente le avventure dello studioso Ossendowski non si limitarono a quanto narrato nel famoso libro edito dalle Mediterranee, ma già nel 1899 viaggiò nelle steppe siberiane, tra i monti Abakani e la città di Biisk, in un percorso che ebbe sempre come sfondo il Lago Nero e la selvaggia natura siberiana. Una recente pubblicazione per Le librette di controra, Il lupo del Lago Nero, raccoglie tre racconti avventurosi dell’autore polacco, che si collocano negli anni precedenti a quanto descritto in Bestie, uomini e dèi.

Immagini vivide di tradizioni primordiali, questo riesce a trasmettere con grande efficacia l’autore. Una steppa selvaggia e battuta dal vento, in cui si incrociano i destini di piccole comunità. Con il gusto del vero avventuriero Ossendowski ci prende per mano e ci conduce in mondo di misteri e di grandi profondità. In cui a usanze precristiane si uniscono talvolta le superstizioni di fanatici santoni e in cui l’amore e la passione sono vissuti come devozione nei confronti di un signore.

La scrittura è vigorosa e asciutta, elegante nella sua efficacia, capace di tenere desto l’interesse lungo tutta la lettura, che scorre rapida e piacevole. Non mancano i colpi di scena, a completare un quadro in cui a farla da padrone è la natura selvaggia della steppa siberiana, un paesaggio che sembra vivere con i suoi abitanti, come se l’ordine degli uomini e quello della natura, in condizioni particolari, possano entrare in contatto. Ecco allora il cielo turbinare e ribellarsi alla pazzia del santo apocalittico, o ancora fare da sfondo vivido alle discussioni erotiche tra l’autore e la sua devota prima moglie. Un contatto con la natura che d’altronde si respira anche nei romanzi avventurosi di un altro grande, Knut Hamsun, autore di Pan e Fame, che scrisse: «Era in uno strano stato d’animo, invaso dalla soddisfazione, con ogni nervo teso e una musica nel sangue. Si sentiva parte della natura, del sole, delle montagne e di tutto il resto; alberi, erba e paglia gli infondevano col loro fruscio il senso del proprio Essere. L’anima gli divenne grande e sonora come un organo, non dimenticò mai più come quella dolce musica gli si infondesse nel sangue».

Jon Krakauer, Nelle terre estreme

Jon Krakauer, Nelle terre estreme

Il sublime non ha bisogno di orpelli per manifestarsi, e l’Ossendowski riesce alla perfezione a raffigurare un mondo di tradizioni e riti perduti. Ma ciò che più colpisce, è che è tutto vero.

La fortuna, per chi non voglia accontentarsi della letteratura per animi tiepidi, è che periodicamente in libreria compaiono libri davvero capaci di emozionare e sollecitare la voglia di andare scoprire il mondo. È stato così con lo straordinario Nelle terre estreme di Krakauer, da cui è stato tratto anche un film. La storia di un giovane americano che decide di lasciarsi la vecchia vita di comodità alle spalle, per vivere una vita selvaggia e rischiosa nella natura del Nord America. Anche questa è una storia vera, che non ebbe un “lieto” fine. E ancora più recente è l’uscita del libro di Ernst Jünger Visita a Godenholm che, come altre dello stesso autore, è un’avventura in gran parte immaginaria, scritta da un grande avventuriero e viaggiatore del secolo scorso, all’inquieta ricerca della vera libertà..

In occasione di un’intervista televisiva il grande Andrea G. Pinketts ha detto di preferire agli scrittori come Leopardi, chiusi nella loro torre d’avorio, quelli che scendono nelle strade, che vivono la vita autentica e vivono pericolosamente, perché lì si trovano quelle emozioni genuine capaci di strapparci all’abitudine. La vita sottocasa ci sta aspettando.


Francesco Boco

00:15 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : traditionalisme, russie, sibérie, aventure | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

vendredi, 20 février 2009

Tradizione: il segreto della grandezza di Roma

Tradizione: il segreto della grandezza di Roma

Ex: http://augustomovimento.blogspot.com/



Ci sono termini ed espressioni che hanno uno strano destino, soprattutto se si tratta di traduzioni. Una di queste è l’espressione latina “mos maiorum”. Purtroppo in ambito accademico i traduttori di opere greche e latine ci offrono spesso versioni letterali, orribili e – va detto! – “sbagliate”. Sbagliate non già sotto un aspetto prettamente semantico (la traduzione è, in fin dei conti, accettabile), ma perché non tengono conto di una più libera ma esatta equivalenza tra termini di lingue diverse e, soprattutto, eludono – per stanca e incolore prassi scientifico-accademica – il fattore estetico. Per rendere mos maiorum troverete, infatti, “usanze dei padri”, “costume degli antenati” e altre formulacce del genere. Al contrario, per tradurre esattamente il termine, esiste una e una precisa parola: Tradizione (in greco èthos). Che altro sono “i costumi dei padri” se non princìpi e valori verso i quali i membri di una comunità devono osservare venerazione ed emulazione? “Tradizione”. Punto.

Il mos maiorum è inoltre assolutamente necessario per comprendere veramente la Romanità: esso, infatti, era alla base e si manifestava in ogni aspetto (diritto, famiglia, politica, cultura, religione…) della vita comunitaria e privata dei cittadini romani.

Il diritto romano, anzitutto, fu da principio regolato unicamente dalla tradizione non scritta che gli avi trasmisero ai posteri: prima della codificazione delle leggi delle XII tavole non esisteva, infatti, legge (lex da lego, cioè che deve esser letta in quanto scritta). «La concezione romana rifiuta in linea di massima la codificazione e mostra una forte riluttanza nella emanazione di singole leggi. Il popolo del diritto non è il popolo della legge»: questa la celebre formula coniata da F. Schulz nei Prinzipien des römischen Rechts (Princìpi del Diritto romano). Da qui nasce, in ambito giuridico, la dicotomia/antitesi tra mos e lex, tra costume che viene dalla veneranda tradizione e la legge. Così Cicerone, nelle Catilinarie, invoca il mos maiorum contro la legge scritta per poter mettere a morte Catilina: secondo la Tradizione era possibile condannare a morte i nemici della Patria, non per le leges Valeriae-Semproniae che proibivano la pena capitale per un cittadino romano. Questo esempio mette in evidenza l’enorme potere che la Tradizione esercitava nel diritto romano, molto spesso superiore alla stessa legge.

La Tradizione era altresì fondamentale nella vita politica e, in particolar modo, per il Senato. I membri di quest’ultimo, infatti, erano i discendenti degli eroi che fecero grande Roma e, giacché secondo i Romani la virtus maiorum si trasmetteva di padre in figlio, la auctoritas e la legittimazione del potere dei senatori venivano direttamente dalla gloria dei loro antenati. Tale principio si manifestava al massimo grado nei funerali pubblici delle famiglie patrizie, in cui tutte le imagines degli antenati della gens (maschere di cera che riproducevano le fattezze degli avi) sfilavano in lunghi cortei che si concludevano con l’orazione celebrativa, nella quale si lodavano, oltre alle virtù del defunto, le gloriose gesta dei suoi progenitori. Era quindi obbligatorio per gli eredi delle grandi famiglie di Roma conoscere le imprese dei propri antenati, e l’educazione dei giovani nobili verteva eminentemente sulla trasmissione dei mores maiorum. È emblematica al riguardo l’immagine, lasciataci dalla letteratura antica, di Scipione Emiliano che ritrova vigore e propensione a grandiose gesta osservando le immagini dei suoi avi.

Ma tale culto della Tradizione non esisteva esclusivamente nelle autorevoli famiglie patrizie, ma era altresì venerata la gloria populi Romani, ossia la Tradizione comune a tutto il popolo di Roma.
Ogni cittadino romano ha dunque il dovere di mantenere e, possibilmente, di accrescere la gloria dei padri, praticando la via della virtus.

Parimenti in ambito militare e religioso il mos maiorum è un elemento inscindibile dall’essenza stessa della Romanità. Le virtù dei maiores, come ce le tramandano gli scrittori greci e romani, sono le seguenti:

- Fortitudo: capacità, coraggio;
- Fides: fedeltà (verso gli altri);
- Pietas: fedeltà (verso gli dèi, la Patria, la famiglia);
- Iustitia: senso della giustizia;
- Audacia: coraggio;
- Constantia: costanza;
- Magnitudo animi: nobiltà d’animo;
- Aequitas: equità;
- Probitas: probità;
- Auctoritas: autorità;
- Honestas: onestà;
- Temperantia: misura;
- Clementia: moderazione.

La tradizione romana si fondava, in ultima analisi, sugli exempla maiorum, ossia le eroiche gesta compiute dagli avi, le quali spingevano i giovani a rendere sempre più grande Roma: e questo proprio perché gli esempi di virtù degli antenati erano tali in quanto volti all’accrescimento della gloria dell’Urbe. Si capirà meglio, quindi, il motivo per il quale l’educazione dei fanciulli romani si basasse sugli exempla maiorum: non precetti ma esempi, giacché il precetto istruisce, ma è l’esempio che trascina e muove gli animi.

In conclusione, vediamo che sia gli antichi che i moderni ravvisarono nel culto della Tradizione (il mos maiorum) il segreto della grandezza di Roma; e tanto più i romani se ne discostavano, tanto più era lecito parlare di decadenza e degenerazione dei costumi.
Non a caso lo storico greco Polibio canta la gloria di Roma spiegando ai propri compatrioti che Roma ha conquistato il mondo grazie alle sue istituzioni e alla forza che le viene dall’osservanza della sua nobile Tradizione.

Ora, dunque, potremo comprendere più a fondo il celeberrimo verso del poeta Ennio che, scolpendo il suo esametro come solido marmo, cantò: Moribus antiquis res stat romana virisque, «Roma si fonda sulla Tradizione e sui suoi eroi»!

El viento divino o la muerte voluntaria

 

kamikaze.jpg

 

EL VIENTO DIVINO O LA MUERTE VOLUNTARIA

ISIDRO JUAN PALACIOS

Nuestra sombría discusión fue interrumpida por la llegada de un automóvil negro que venía por la carretera, rodeado de las primeras sombras del crepúsculo".

Rikihei Inoguchi, oficial del estado mayor y asesor del grupo Aéreo 201 japonés, charlaba con el comandante Tamai sobre el giro adverso que había tomado la guerra. Aquel día, 19 de octubre de 1944, había brillado el Sol en Malacabat, un pequeño pueblo de la isla de Luzón, en unas Filipinas todavía ocupadas por los ejércitos de Su Majestad Imperial, Hiro-Hito. "Pronto -recuerda Inoguchi- reconocimos en el interior del coche al almirante Takijiro Ohnishi..." Era el nuevo comandante de la fuerzas aeronavales japonesas en aquel archipiélago. "He venido aquí -dijo Ohnishi- para discutir con ustedes algo de suma importancia. ¿Podemos ir al Cuartel General?"

El almirante, antes de comenzar a hablar, miró en silencio al rostro de los seis oficiales que se habían sentado alrededor de la mesa. "Como ustedes saben, la situación de la guerra es muy grave. La aparición de la escuadra americana en el Golfo de Leyte ha sido confirmada (...) Para frenarla -continuó Ohnishi- debemos alcanzar a los portaviones enemigos y mantenerlos neutralizados durante al menos una semana". Sin una mueca, sentados con la espalda recta, los militares de las fuerzas combinandas seguían el curso de las palabras del almirante. Y entones vino la sorpresa.

"En mi opinión, sólo hay una manera de asegurar la máxima eficiencia de nuestras escasas fuerzas: organizar unidades de ataque suicidas compuestas por cazas Zero armados con bombas de 250 kilogramos. Cada avión tendría que lanzarse en picado contra un portaviones enemigo... Espero su opinión al respecto".

Tamai tuvo que tomar la decisión. Fue así como el Grupo Aéreo 201 de las Filipinas se puso al frente de todo un contingente de pilotos que enseguida le seguirían, extendiéndose el gesto de Manila a las Marianas, de Borneo a Formosa, de Okinawa al resto de las islas del Imperio del Sol Naciente, el Dai Nippon, sin detenerse hasta el día de la rendición.

Tras celebrar una reunión con todos los jefes de escuadrilla, Tamai habló al resto de los hombres del Grupo Aéreo 201; veintitrés brazos jóvenes, adolescentes, "se alzaron al unísono anunciando un total acuerdo en un frenesí de emoción y de alegría". Eran los primeros de la muerte voluntaria. Pero, ¿quién les mandaría e iría con ellos a la cabeza, por el cielo, y caer sobre los objetivos en el mar? El teniente Yukio Seki, el más destacado, se ofreció al comandante Tamai para reclamar el honor. Aquel grupo inicial se dividiría en cuatro secciones bautizadas con nombres evocadores: "Shikishima" (apelación poética del Japón), "Yamato" (antigua designación del país), "Asahi" (Sol naciente) y "Yamazukura" (cerezo en flor de las montañas).

Configurado de este modo el Cuerpo de Ataque Especial, sólo restaba buscarle una identidad también muy especial, como indicó oportunamente Inoguchi; y fue así como se bautizó a la "Unidad Shimpu". Shimpu, una palabra repleta de la filosofía del Zen. En realidad no tiene ningún sentido, es una mera onomatopeya, pero es otra de las formas de leer los ideogramas que forman la palabra KAMIKAZE, "Viento de los Dioses".

"Está bien -asintió Tamai-. Después de todo, tenemos que poner en acción un Kamikaze". El comandante Tamai dio el nombre a las unidades suicidas japonesas, llamando a sus componentes los "pilotos del Viento Divino".

La escuadrilla Shikishima, al frente de la cual se hallaba el teniente Seki, salió, para ya no regresar, el 25 de octubre de 1944, desde Malacabat, a las siete y veinticinco de la mañana. Sobre las once del día, los cinco aparatos destinados divisaron al enemigo en las aguas de las Filipinas. El primero en entrar en picado y romperse súbitamente, como un cristal, fue el teniente Seki, seguido de otro kamikaze a corta distancia, hundiendo el portaviones "St.Lo", de la armada norteamericana. Ante los ojos incrédulos de los yanquis, los restantes tres pilotos se lanzaron a toda velocidad en su último vuelo, a 325 kilómetros por hora en un ángulo de 65 grados, hundiendo el portaviones "Kalinin Bay" y dejando fuera de combate los destructores "Kitkun" y "White Plains". Siguiendo su ejemplo, la unidad Yamato emprendió vuelo un día después, el 26 de octubre, al encuentro certero con la muerte, después de brindar con sake y entonar una canción guerrera por aquel entonces muy popular entre los soldados:

"Si voy al mar, volveré cadáver sobre las olas.

Si mi deber me llama a las montañas,

la hierba verde será mi mortaja .

Por mi emperador no quiero morir en la paz del hogar".

Tras el primer asombro, un soplo gélido de terror sacudió las almas del enemigo, los soldados de la Tierra del Dólar.

Lo asombroso del Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial no fue su novedad, ni siquiera durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Fue su especial espíritu y sus numerosísimos voluntarios lo que les distinguió de otras actitudes heroicas semejantes, de igual o superior valor. La invocación del nombre del Kamikaze despertaba en los japoneses la vieja alma del Shinto, los milenarios mitos inmortales anclados en la suprahistoria, y recordaba que cada hombre podía convertirse en un "Kami", un dios viviente, por la asunción enérgica de la muerte voluntaria como sacrificio, y alcanzar así la "vida que es más que la vida".

De hecho, la táctica del bombardeo suicida ("tai-atari") ya había sido utilizada por las escuadrillas navales en sus combates de impacto aéreo contra los grandes bombarderos norteamericanos. Pero aisladamente. Asímismo, otros casos singulares de enorme heroísmo encarando una muerte segura tuvieron lugar durante esa guerra. Yukio Mishima, en sus "Lecciones espirituales para los jóvenes samurai", nos narra una anécdota entre un millón que, por su particular belleza, merece ser aquí recordada. Y dice de este modo: "Se ha contado que durante la guerra uno de nuestros submarinos emergió frente a la costa australiana y se arrojó contra una nave enemiga desafiando el fuego de sus cañones. Mientras la Luna brillaba en la noche serena, se abrió la escotilla y apareció un oficial blandiendo su espada catana y que murió acribillado a balazos mientras se enfrentaba de este modo al poderoso enemigo".

Más lejos y mucho antes, también entre nosotros, tan acostumbrados a la tragedia de antaño, de siempre, en la España medieval, se produjo un caso parecido a este del Kamikaze, salvando, claro está, las distancias. Con los musulmanes dominando el sur de la Península, surgieron entre los cristianos mozárabes, sometidos al poder del Islam, unos que comenzaron a llamarse a sí mismos los "Iactatio Martirii", los "lanzados", los "arrojados al martirio", es decir, a la muerte. Los guiaba e inspiraba el santo Eulogio de Córdoba, y actuaron durante ocho años bajo el mandato de los califas, entre el año 851 y el 859. Su modo de proceder era el siguiente: penetraban en la mezquita de manera insolente, siempre de uno en uno, y entonces, a sabiendas de que con ello se granjeaban una muerte sin paliativos, abominaban del Islam e insultaban a Mahoma. No tardaban en morir por degollamiento. Hubo por este camino cuarenta y nueve muertes voluntarias. El sello lo puso Eulogio con la suya propia el último año.

kamikazessss.jpg

Tampoco se encuentra exenta la Naturaleza de brindarnos algún que otro ejemplo claro de lo que es un kamikaze. De ello, el símbolo concluyente es el de la abeja, ese insecto solar y regio que vive en y por las flores, las únicas que saben caer gloriosas y radiantes, jóvenes, en el esplendor de su belleza, apenas han comenzado a vivir por primavera. Igual que la abeja, que liba el néctar más dulce y está siempre dispuesta para morir, así actúa también el kamikaze, cayendo en a una muerte segura frente al intruso que pretende hollar las tierras del Dai Nippon. El marco tiene todos los ingredientes para encarnar el misterio litúrgico o el acto del sacrificio, del oficio sacro.

En "El pabellón de oro", Yukio Mishima describe una misión simbólica. Una abeja vela en torno a la rueda amarilla de un crisantemo de verano (el crisantemo, la flor simbólica del Imperio Japonés); en un determinado instante -escribe Mishima- "la abeja se arrojó a lo más profundo del corazón de la flor y se embadurnó de su polen, ahogándose en la embriaguez, y el crisantemo, que en su seno había acogido al insecto, se transformó, asimismo, en una abeja amarilla de suntuosa armadura, en la que pude contemplar frenéticos sobresaltos, como si ella intentase echarse a volar, lejos de su tallo". ¿Hay una imagen más perfecta para adivinar la creencia shintoísta de la transformación del guerrero, del artesano, del príncipe, del que se ofrenda en el seno del Emperador, a su vez fortalecido por el sacrificio de sus servidores? Desde hace más de dos mil seiscientos años, el Trono del Crisantemo (una línea jamás ininterrumpida) es de naturaleza divina: ellos son descendientes directos de la diosa del Sol, Amaterasu-omi-Kami; los "Tennos", los emperadores japoneses, son las primeras manifestaciones vivientes de los dioses invisibles creadores, en los orígenes, de las islas del Japón. No son los representantes de Dios, son dioses... por ello, Mishima, en su obra "Caballos desbocados", define así, con absoluta fidelidad a la moral shintoísta, el principio de la lealtad a la Vía Imperial (el "Kodo"): "Lealtad es abandono brusco de la vida en un acto de reverencia ante la Voluntad Imperial. Es el precipitarse en pleno núcleo de la Voluntad Imperial".

Corría el siglo XIII, segunda mitad. El budismo no había conseguido todavía apaciguar a los mongoles, cosa de lo que más tarde se ha ufanado. Kublai-Khan, el nieto de Temujin, conocido entre los suyos como Gengis-Khan, acababa de sumar el reino de Corea al Imperio del Medio. Sus planes incluían el Japón como próxima conquista. Por dos veces, una en 1274 y otra en 1281, Kublai-Khan intentó llegar a las tierras del Dai Nippon con poderosos navíos y extraordinarios efectos psíquicos y materiales; y por dos veces fue rechazado por fuerzas misteriosas sobrehumanas. Primero, una tempestad y después un tifón desencadenados por los kami deshicieron los planes del Emperador de los mongoles. Ningún japonés olvidaría en adelante aquel portentoso milagro, que fue recordado en la memoria colectiva con su propio nombre: "Kamikaze", viento de los kami, Viento Divino.

El descubrimiento del país de Yamato, al que Cristobal Colón llamaba Cipango, y que fue conocido así también por los portugueses y después por los jesuitas españoles, por los holandeses e ingleses que les siguieron en el siglo XVI, no fue del todo mal recibido por los shogunes del Japón. Sin embargo, un poco antes de mediados de la siguiente centuria, el shogunado de Tokugawa Ieyashu había empezado a desconfiar de los "bárbaros" occidentales, por lo que decide la expulsión de los extranjeros, impide las nuevas entradas y prohibe la salida de las islas a todos los súbditos del Japón. En 1647 se promulga el "Decreto de Reclusión", por el cual el Dai Nippon se convertiría de nuevo en un mundo interiorizado, en un país anacoreta. Japón se cerró al comercio exterior y a las influencias ideológicas de Occidente, ya tocado irreversiblemente por el espíritu de la modernidad. De esta forma es como se vivió en aquellas tierras hasta bien entrado el siglo XIX, de espaldas a los llamados "progresos". Japón ignorará también el nacimiento de una nueva nación que para su desgracia no tardará en ser, con el tiempo, la expresión más cabal de su destino fatídico, como le sucedería igualmente a otros pueblos de formación tradicional. La nueva nación se autodenominará "América", pretendiendo asumir para sí el destino de todo un continente. Intolerable le resultará al Congreso y al presidente Filemore la existencia de un pueblo insolente, fiel a sí mismo, obstinado en seguir cerrado por propia voluntad al comercio y a las "buenas relaciones". Japón debía ser abierto, y, si fuera preciso, a fuerza de cañonazos. Todo muy democráticamente. Todavía hoy, en el Japón moderno y americanizado, los barcos negros del almirante Perry son de infausta memoria.

Los estruendos de la pólvora y el hierro hicieron despertar bruscamente a muchos japoneses, para quienes la presencia norteamericana indicaba con claridad que la Tierra del Sol Naciente había descendido a los mismos niveles que las naciones decadentes, de los que antes estuvieron preservados. Muchos pensaron que la causa de tal desgracia le venía al Dai Nippon por haberse olvidado de los descendientes de Amaterasu, del Emperador, recluido desde hacía centurias en su palacio de Kioto. Por ello se alzó enseguida una revuelta a los gritos de "¡Joy, joy!" (¡fuera, fuera!, referido a los extranjeros) y de "¡Sonno Tenno!" (¡venerad al Emperador!). La restauración Meiji de 1868 se apuntaló bajo el lema del "fukko", el retorno al pasado. Pero la tierra de Yamato tuvo que aceptar por la fuerza la nueva situación y ponerse a rivalizar con el mundo moderno, pero sin perder de vista su espíritu invisible, al que siguió siendo fiel. Cuando Yukio Mishima escribe sobre esa época, piensa lo que otros también pensaron como él. Y, así, anota: "Si los hombres fuesen puros, reverenciarían al Emperador por encima de todo. El Viento Divino (el Kamikaze) se levantaría de inmediato, como ocurrió durante la invasión mongola, y los bárbaros serían expulsados".

Año de 1944. Mes de octubre. El Japón se encuentra en guerra frente a las potencias anglonorteamericanas. La escuadra yanqui está cercando las islas Filipinas, y en sus aguas orientales se aproxima, golpe tras golpe, hacia el mismo corazón del Imperio... El almirante Onhisi concibe la idea de lanzar a los pilotos kamikaze...

El mismo día en que el Emperador Hiro-Hito decide anunciar la rendición incondicional de las armas japonesas y se lo comunica al pueblo entero por radio (¡era la primera vez que un Tenno hablaba directamente!), el comandante supremo de la flota, vicealmirante Matome Ugaki, había ordenado preparar los aviones bombarderos de Oita con el fin de lanzarse en vuelo kamikaze sobre el enemigo anclado en Okinawa. Era el 15 de agosto de 1945. En su último informe, incluyó sus reflexiones finales...: "Sólo yo, Majestad, soy responsable de nuestro fracaso en defender la Patria y destruir al ensoberbecido enemigo. He decidido lanzarme en ataque sobre Okinawa, donde mis valerosos muchachos han caído como cerezos en flor. Allí embestiré y destruiré al engreído enemigo. Soy un bushi, mi alma es el reflejo del Bushido. Me lanzaré portando el kamikaze con firme convicción y fe en la eternidad del Japón Imperial. ¡Banzai!". Veintidós aviadores voluntarios salieron con él, sólo por seguirle en el ejemplo de su última ofrenda. No estaban obligados. La guerra había concluido. Pero... no obstante, tampoco podían desobedecer las órdenes del Emperador, que mandaba no golpear más al adversario. Se estrellaron en las mismas narices de los norteamericanos, que contemplaron atónitos un espectáculo que no podían comprender... Ugaki hablaba del Bushido -el código de honor de los guerreros japoneses-. ¿Acaso no es el kamikaze, por esencia y por sentencia, un samurai?

En los botones de sus uniformes, los aviadores suicidas llevaban impresas flores de cerezo de tres pétalos, conforme al sentido del viejo haiku (poema japonés de dieciséis sílabas) del poeta Karumatu:

"La flor por excelencia es la del cerezo,

el hombre perfecto es el caballero"

El cerezo es una flor simbólica en las tierras japonesas, nace antes que ninguna otra, antes de iniciarse la primavera, para, en la plenitud de su gloria, caer radiante; es la flor de más corta juventud, que muere en el frescor de su belleza. Siempre fue el distintivo de los samurai.

Al encenderse los motores, los pilotos kamikaze se ajustaban el "hashimaki", la banda de tela blanca que rodea la cabeza con el disco rojo del Sol Naciente impreso junto a algunas palabras caligrafiadas con pincel y tinta negra, al modo como antaño lo usaron los samurai antes de entrar en batalla, al modo como cayeron los últimos guerreros japoneses del siglo XIX con sus espadas catana siguiendo al caudillo Saigo Takamori frente a los "marines" del almirante Perry. En la mente fresca y clara, iluminada por el Sol, no había sitio para las turbulencias. Sobre todos, unos ideogramas se repetían hasta la saciedad: "Shichisei Hokoku" ("Siete vidas quisiera tener para darlas a la Patria"). Eran los mismos ideogramas que por primera vez puso sobre su frente Masashige Kusonoki cuando se lanzó a morir a caballo, en un combate sin esperanzas, allá por el siglo XIV; los mismos ideogramas que se colocó alrededor de la cabeza Yukio Mishima en el día de su muerte ritual.

Yukio Mishima, obsesionado por la muerte ya desde su niñez y adolescencia, estuvo a punto de ser enrolado en el Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial. Se deleitaba pensando románticamente que si un día se le diera la oportunidad se ser un soldado, pronto tendría una ocasión segura para morir. Sin embargo, cuando fue llamado a filas y se vio libre de ser incorporado al tomársele erróneamente por un enfermo de tuberculosis, el mejor escritor japonés de los tiempos modernos no hizo nada por deshacer el engaño del oficial médico, saliendo a la carrera de la oficina de reclutamiento. Aquello, pese a todo, le pareció a Mishima un acto de infamante cobardía, como lo confesará más tarde en repetidas ocasiones. El desprecio de su propia actitud fue uno de los factores de menor importancia en el día de su "seppuku" (el "hara-kiri", el suicidio ritual), pero que le llevó a meditar durante años sobre la condición interior del kamikaze. Para Mishima no cabía la menor duda: aquellos pilotos que hicieron ofrenda de sus vidas, con sus aparatos, eran verdaderos samurai. En "El loco morir", afirma que el kamikaze se encuentra religado al Hagakure, un texto escrito entre los siglos XVII y XVIII por Yocho Yamamoto, legendario samurai que tras la muerte de su señor se hizo ermitaño. El Hagakure llegó a ser el libro de cabecera de los samurai, el texto que sintetizó la esencia del Bushido. En cinco puntos finales, venía a decir:

- El Bushido es la muerte.

- Entre dos caminos, el samurai debe siempre elegir aquél en el que se

muere más deprisa.

- Desde el momento en que se ha elegido morir, no importa si la muerte

se produce o no en vano. La muerte nunca se produce en vano.

- La muerte sin causa y sin objeto llega a ser la más pura y segura,

porque si para morir necesitamos una causa poderosa, al lado

encontraremos otra tan fuerte y atractiva como ésta que nos impulse a vivir.

- La profesión del samurai es el misterio del morir.

Para el hombre que guarda la semilla de lo sagrado, la muerte es siempre el rito de paso hacia la trascendencia, hacia lo absoluto, hacia la Divinidad; por esa razón suenan, incluso hoy, sin extrañezas, las primeras palabras del almirante Ohnisi en su discurso de despedida al primer grupo de pilotos kamikaze constituido por el teniente Seki:

"Vosotros ya sois kami (dioses), sin deseos terrenales..."

Ya eran dioses vivientes, y como tales se les veneraba, aunque todavía "no hubieran muerto"; porque, sencillamente, "ya estaban muertos". Los resultados de sus acciones pasaban al último plano de las consideraciones a evaluar. No importaban demasiado... Aunque realmente los hubo: durante el año y medio que duraron los ataques kamikaze, fueron hundidos un total de 322 barcos aliados, entre portaviones, acorazados, destructores, cruceros, cargueros, torpederos, remolcadores, e, incluso, barcazas de desembarco; ¡la mitad de todos los barcos hundidos en la guerra!

Para Mishima, el caza Zero era semejante a una espada catana que descendía como un rayo desde el cielo azul, desde lo alto de las nubes blancas, desde el mismo corazón del Sol, todos ellos símbolos inequívocos de la muerte donde el hombre terreno, que respira, no puede vivir, y por los que paradójicamente todos esos hombres suspiran en ansias de vida inmortal, eterna. "Hi-Ri-Ho-Ken-Ten" fue la insignia de una unidad kamikaze de la base de Konoya. Era la forma abreviada de cuatro lemas engarzados: "La Injusticia no puede vencer al Principio. El Principio no puede vencer a la Ley. La Ley no puede vencer al Poder. El Poder no puede vencer al Cielo".

Aquel 15 de agosto de 1945, cuando el Japón se rendía al invasor, el almirante Takijiro Ohnishi se reunió por última vez con varios oficiales del Estado mayor, a quienes había invitado a su residencia oficial. ¿Una despedida? Los oficiales se retiraron hacia la medianoche. Ya a solas, en silencio, el inspirador principal del Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial se dirigió a su despacho, situado en el segundo piso de la casa. Allí se abrió el vientre conforme al ritual sagrado del seppuku. No tuvo a su lado un kaishakunin, el asistente encargado de dar el corte de gracia separándole la cabeza del cuerpo cuando el dolor se hace ya extremadamente insoportable... Al amanecer fue descubierto por su secretario, quien le encontró todavía con vida, sentado en la postura tradicional de la meditación Zen. Una sola mirada bastó para que el oficial permaneciera quieto y no hiciera nada para aliviar o aligerar su sufrimiento. Ohnishi permaneció, por propia voluntad, muriendo durante dieciocho horas de atroz agonía. Igonaki, Inoguchi y otros militares que le conocían que el almirante, desde el mismo instante en que concibiera la idea de los ataques kamikaze, había decidido darse la muerte voluntaria por sacrificio al estilo de los antiguos samurai, incluso aunque las fuerzas del Japón hubieses alcanzado finalmente la victoria. En la pared, colgaba un viejo haiku anónimo:

"La vida se asemeja a una flor de cerezo.

Su fragancia no puede perdurar en la eternidad".

Poco antes de la partida, los jóvenes kamikaze componían sus tradicionales poemas de abandono del mundo, emulando con ello a los antiguos guerreros samurai de las epopeyas tradicionales. La inmensa mayoría de ellos también enviaron cartas a sus padres, novias, familiares o amigos, despidiéndose pocas horas antes de la partida sin retorno. Ichiro Omi se dedicó, después de la guerra, a peregrinar de casa en casa, pidiendo leer aquellas cartas. su intención era publicar un libro que recogiese todo aquel material atesorado por las familias y los camaradas, y fue así como muchas de aquellas cartas salieron a la luz. Bastantes de éstas y otras fueron a parar a la base naval japonesa de Etaji. Allí también peregrinó Yukio Mishima, poco antes de practicarse el seppuku, releyéndolas y meditándolas. Una, sobre las otras, le conmovió, actuando en su interior como un verdadero koan (el "koan" es, en la práctica del budismo Zen, la meditación sobre una frase que logra desatar el "satori", la iluminación espiritual). Mishima tuvo la tentación de escribir una obra sobre los pilotos del Viento Divino, y así apareció su obra "Sol y Acero". Un breve párrafo de estas cartas y algunos otros de las tomadas por Omi son las fuentes de esta antología:

"En este momento estoy lleno de vida. Todo mi cuerpo desborda juventud y fuerza. Parece imposible que dentro de unas horas deba morir (...) La forma de vivir japonesa es realmente bella y de ello me siento orgullo, como también de la historia y de la mitología japonesas, que reflejan la pureza de nuestros antepasados y su creencia en el pasado, sea o no cierta esa creencia (...) Es un honor indescriptible el poder dar mi vida en defensa de todo en lo creo, de todas estas cosas tan bellas y eminentes. Padre, elevo mis plegarias para que tenga usted una larga y feliz vida. Estoy seguro que el Japón surgirá de nuevo".

Teruo Yamaguchi.

"Queridos padres: Les escribo desde Manila. Este es el último día de mi vida. Deben felicitarme. Seré un escudo para Su Majestad el Emperador y moriré limpiamente, junto con mis camaradas de escuadrilla. Volveré en espíritu. Espero con ansias sus visitas al santuario de Kishenai, donde coloquen una estela en mi memoria ".

Isao Matsuo.

"Elevándonos hacia los cielos de los Mares del Sur, nuestra gloriosa misión es morir como escudos de Su Majestad. Las flores del cerezo se abren, resplandecen y caen (...) Uno de los cadetes fue eliminado de la lista de los asignados para la salida del no-retorno. Siento mucha lástima por él. Esta es una situación donde se encuentran distintas emociones. El hombre es sólo mortal; la muerte, como la vida, es cuestión de probabilidad. Pero el destino también juega su papel. Estoy seguro de mi valor para la acción que debo realizar mañana, donde haré todo lo posible por estrellarme contra un barco de guerra enemigo, para así cumplir mi destino en defensa de la Patria. Ikao, querida mía, mi querida amante, recuérdame, tal como estoy ahora, en tus oraciones".

Yuso Nakanishi

"Ha llegado la hora de que mi amigo Nakanishi y yo partamos. No hay remordimiento. Cada hombre debe seguir su camino individualmente (...) En sus últimas instrucciones, el oficial de comando nos advirtió de no ser imprudentes a la hora de morir. Todo depende del Cielo. Estoy resuelto a perseguir la meta que el destino me ha trazado. Ustedes siempre han sido muy buenos conmigo y les estoy muy agradecido. Quince años de escuela y adiestramiento están a punto de rendir frutos. Siento una gran alegría por haber nacido en el Japón. No hay nada especial digno de mención, pero quiero que sepan que disfruto de buena salud en estos momentos. Los primeros aviones de mi grupo ya están en el aire. Espero que este último gesto de descargar un golpe sobre el enemigo sirva para compensar, en muy reducida medida, todo lo que ustedes han hecho por mí. La primavera ha llegado adelantada al sur de Kyushu. Aquí los capullos de las flores son muy bellos. Hay paz y tranquilidad en la base, en pleno campo de batalla incluso. Les suplico que se acuerden de mí cuando vayan al templo de Kyoto, donde reposan nuestros antepasados".

kamikazeyyyyy.jpg

 


jeudi, 19 février 2009

Julius Evola on Ernst Jünger

Julius Evola on Ernst Jünger

East and West – The Gordian Knot

Ex: http://eisernekrone.blogspot.com/

The name of Ernst Jünger has achieved an almost European notoriety. However the importance of this writer as a philosopher concerns above all the early period of his activities. An ex-service man in the first World War, he appeared as a spokesman of what in his day was already known as the “burnt out generation.” His ideas were drawn not from abstract writing-desk speculations, but from a heroic experience which he had lived through, whence they gradually extended to the problem of the meaning of the human person in an epoch of nihilism and of the all-powerful machine. His watchwords were those of “heroic realism” and of the ethics of the “absolute person.” Unfortunately Jünger’s later production, while it registered an apparent progress from the point of view of pure literature and style, showed a visible decline of level and of tension from the point of view of world outlook. The tendency of somewhat suspect humanism, associated with myths which by reaction have become fashionable in certain circles even of Central Europe after the late break-down, has somehow influenced his later writing.


We have had occasion to peruse a recently-published book of Jünger’s entitled “The Gordian Knot” (Der gordische Knoten. Frankfurt a.M., 1953). It professes to deal with relations between East and West, regarded as a basic historical theme, with the encounters which have taken place between Europe and Asia from the days of the Persian wars to the present time. It is not easy to circumscribe the domain considered by Jünger. It hovers essentially between politics and ethics, while the religious and purely intellectual element is almost overlooked, a fact which proves prejudicial to the whole work, because, if we do not consider this element as the fundamental background of traditional Oriental civilizations, the whole problem appears badly presented. In this book we find a number of interesting observations, but they are scattered about here and there as if in a conservation and there is a lack of systematic unity. But the fundamental defect of the book is that it presents in terms of historical antitheses and of antithetical civilizations what are instead antitheses of universal spiritual categories, having no compulsory relations with particular peoples, civilizations or continents. Jünger often finds himself forced to admit it, as when he speaks of East and West, of Europe and Asia, not as of two historical and geographical concepts, but as of two possibilities which every man in every age carries within himself. Every people would indeed possess them, because, for instance, the typical features of Asiatic incursions into Europe and of the “Oriental” manner of warfare would reappear in civil wars in their opposition to regular wars. But how can we then fail to notice that the greater part of the author’s considerations, which resort to historical and geographical references, whereas they should limit themselves to the domain of a morphology or a typology of civilizations and of world outlooks, and which claim actually to conclude with a diagnosis of the present situation, are compromised by a fundamental one-sidedness and ambiguity?
That this is the case can be easily proved if we examine some of the main motifs of the book, in the first place, that whence its very title, i.e. the Gordian knot, is drawn. The Gordian knot should represent the problem which always arises with every encounter between Asia and Europe when domination over the world is in question. The Gordian knot should represent Asia, the sword of Alexander Europe. The former should be the symbol of destiny of an existence bound by elementary or divine forces, of a world characterized by a lack of limits, of a political society essentially despotic and arbitrary. The sword of Alexander should instead represent the luminous element, spiritual power, and be the symbol of a world acknowledging freedom, law, human respect, a greatness which cannot be reduced to mere power. At one point of the book the antithesis is even made equivalent to that between the Titanic powers, vast and shapeless, and the Olympic powers eternally fighting against them, because the former also represent the substratum of elementary forces ever re-emerging from the depths and offering possibilities for new triumphs and further progress.


We need only bear this formulation in mind to realize the absurdity of talking about East and West. In fact that antagonistic myth is invested with an universal character, it is found in the mythologies and sagas of all civilizations, and in the East it has been formulated not less distinctly than in Hellenic civilization (we need only remember the dualism of Mazdaism, the Hindu themes about the struggle between deva and asûra, or the exploits of Indra, etc.); it reflects therefore a vision of life by no means specifically European. Moreover, if we refer to a metaphysical plan, it is quite absurd to associate the East with an existence subject to the powers of destiny and of the earth. If there is a civilization which has not only formulated the notion of an absolute freedom, of a freedom so high that even the realm of the heaven and the realm of the pure Being appear as a form of bondage, but which has furthermore known a definite technical tradition to realize that ideal, such a civilization is definitely that of the East.


But Jünger seems to wish to keep to a more conditioned plan, closer also to that of political forces. But here too the argument does not hold water. The antithesis of the Western ideal of political freedom as against Asian despotism is an old story, which may have been a “myth” dear to certain Hellenic historians, but which is devoid of all serious foundation. To justify it we should limit ourselves to considering certain inferior by-products of a degenerating and barbarous East, with local sartraps and despots, with hordes of Tartars, Huns and Mongols, and some aspects of the latest Arabo-Iranian and Arabo-Persian cycles. At the same time we should overlook the recurrent phenomena of the same kind in the West, including the methods of those tyrants and princes who were devoid all human respect in the age of the Italian Renaissance. Indeed Jünger himself goes counter to his own thesis when he points out that in the evolution of Roman history, especially during the Imperial period, both forms were present. He fully realizes that it is not possible here to bring forward an eventual Asiatic racial contribution as the only capable of giving an explanation, so that he has to resort, as we have pointed out, not to a historic Asia, but rather to an Asia as a permanent possibility latent in everyone. In any case, coming down to modern times, the impossibility of sensibly utilizing that antithesis in any way, appears ever more obvious to Jünger himself. Here then his antithesis on the one hand almost identifies itself with that proper to the political terminology of today, in which the “West” is identified with the Euro-American democratic world and the “East” with Bolshevik Russia; in addition with regard to certain features drawn by him from the “Asiatic” style, concerning the manner of waging war, of estimating the individual, of despotism, of exploiting vanquished peoples and prisoners of war, of wholesale slaughter, etc. he tends to perceive them, in a rather one-sided manner, actually in Hitler’s Germany. What can all this mean?


In any case even in this connexion things are not quite right and it is odd that Jünger has not noticed it. Leaving Asia and Europe aside, and considering instead these conceptions in themselves, the true synthesis does not lie between freedom and tyranny, but rather between individualism and the principle of authority. Of a system based on the principle of authority everything like tyranny, despotism, Bonapartism, the dictatorship of tribunes of the people, is nothing more than a degeneration or an inverted falsification. By reverting to the domain of historical civilizations it would be easy indeed to show to what extent the traditional East, as far as concerns the doctrine of the Regnum, admitted ideals very different from individual despotism. We need only refer to the Far Eastern Imperial conception, with its theory of the “mandate from Heaven” and the strict political ethic of Kong-tse. In the Nitisara we are asked to explain how he who cannot dominate himself (his own manas) can dominate other men, and in the Arthaçâstra the exercise of royal functions is conceived as tapas, i.e. ascetism, ascetism of power. We might easily multiply references of this kind.


There is no doubt that the East has had a characteristic tendency toward the Unconditional, which has been the case only merely sporadically with the West, by no means to its advantage. This might shed a different light even on what Jünger calls the Willkürakt, and which in him seems almost to play the part of an anguish complex. As a matter of fact a world outlook, wherein the extreme point of reference is the Unconditional, law in actual practice or in the abstract, can never constitute the extreme instance on any plane, neither on the human nor on the divine plane. We do not wish to dwell here on an evident contradiction into which Jünger falls: how can he conciliate the idea of the East as a world subject to the bonds of destiny and of necessity with that other idea, according to which the absolute act, the Willkürakt, is alleged to be an Eastern category? Furthermore, although it is a case of horizons already different, by such implications we had to recognize Asia in its purity, well, in Nietzsche and in Stirner.


But it is more important to consider another aspect of the question. Jünger tells of a visit by the Count of Champagne to the head of the Order of the Ishmaelites at the time of the Crusades. At a sign from his host some knights threw themselves down from the top of a wall. Asked if his own knights were capable of similar obedience and fealty, the Count replied in the negative. We have here, Jünger declares – something which a European mind cannot grasp, because it borders on the absurd, on folly, because it offends all human values. We have the sentiments before the Japanese airmen devoting themselves to death. In the late war, he adds, in Italy and Germany exploits were conceived and actually carried out which involved extreme risks, but not a previous acceptance of irrevocable sacrifices by the individual.


Now these considerations are in part one-sided, in part due to misunderstanding. With regard to the first point we shall mention a single instance. Ancient Rome, which certainly did not belong to “Asia,” knew the ritual of the so-called devotio: a military commander volunteered to die as a victim of the infernal powers in order to promote an outbreak of them, and thus to bring about the defeat of the enemy.


The second point, however, is more important. Jünger should have known that the Ishmaelites were not merely a military Order, but also an Order of initiates. Within the orbit of initiation all ethics of a merely human nature, however elevated, cease to have any validity. Even on the level of mere religion we find the sacrifice of Isaac as a trial and a disciple of absolute “corpse-like” obedience – perinde ac cadaver according to the formula of the Jesuits¬ – in the domain of monastic ascetism. Calvin went so far as to consider the possibility of renouncing eternal salvation for the sake of love of God. As for the Order of the Ishmaelites, there is a specific point which should be born in mind: absolute obedience to the extreme limit, as illustrated in the above-mentioned episode, had also the value of discipline and was limited to the lower ranks of the initiatic hierarchy; once the individual will is eliminated, above the fourth degree an absolutely contrary principle reigns, that of absolute freedom, so much so that some one referred to the Order of the Ishmaelites the principle that “Nothing exists, everything is permitted.” A mere Crusading knight could hardly attain such horizons: a Knight Templar might perhaps done so, for the Order of the Templars also had an initiatic background. Were Jünger to realize all this he might begin to understand what was the right place even for what he calls the Willkürakt and the limitations of the validity for ethics of personality and for an ideal of purely human civic greatness.


Here indeed higher existential dimensions come into play, and not only in the case of an organization of initiates. For instance, when it comes to those “absolute sacrifices” of a heroic nature, we should not forget that it is, in a general way, a question of civilizations, in which the human earthly existence is not considered, as it is with us, unique and incapable of repetition. Even on the level of popular religion and of the normal outlook of life in those civilizations the individual has the feeling or foreboding that his existence does not begin with birth nor end with death on earth; thus we find potentially present that consciousness and that higher dimension, to which only in exceptional case the religious views which have to come to prevail in the West offers a suitable atmosphere.


The most important result of these latter considerations is probably the following. Putting aside East and West, Asia and Europe as civilizations and as historic realities, we may place our consideration on the plane to which Jünger has in his book been more than once forced to shift himself, i.e. on the plane of a morphological determination of the various layers and possibilities of the human beings. We should then have three levels. On the lowest we should place all those possibilities which Jünger has associated with the “Gordian knot,” with elementary and savage forces, with everything that is limitless, with the daemonism of destruction, with that which is ruthless, with an absence of all human respect, with affirmation devoid of all law. In an intermediate zone we should place the sum total of possibilities contained within the framework of a civilization which recognizes the value of humanitas, of law, of individual and civil freedom, of culture in the ordinary meaning of the word. The higher level is here represented by that spirituality which Jünger associates with the symbols of Alexander’s sword, while the lower level is made up of the values which have provided the foundations of the latest bourgeois and liberal civilization. But we must recognize as the highest zone that of possibilities which through the formal analogies which two opposite poles ever present reflect certain features of the first zone, because here it is a domain wherein the human tie is surpassed, where neither the mere human individual nor the current criterion of human greatness any longer represents the limit, because within it the Unconditional and the absolutely transcendental asserts itself. Some of the culminating points of Oriental spirituality refer in fact to this zone. If only a limit as slender as a razor’s edge at times separates this domain from the former, yet the difference between the two is abysmal, whereas opposition to what is merely human is common to both.


Now it is important to point out that wherever forces belonging to the first of the three domains emerge and break forth, only the possibilities of the third domain can really face them. Any attempt to stem on the basis of forces and values of the intermediate zone can only be precarious, provisional and relative.


To conclude, we may associate with this a remark concerning that diagnosis of the present situation, to which Jünger’s book claims to have contributed. In the first phase of his activities, and above all in his books “Feuer und Blut” (1926) and “Der Arbeiter” (1932), he had rightly perceived that the age beginning in the West with the advent of mechanical civilization and of the first “total” wars is characterized by the emergence of “elementary” forces operating in a destructive manner, not only materially, but also spiritually, not only in the vicissitude of warfare, but also in cosmopolitan mechanized life. The merit of Jünger in that first phase of his thought is that he had recognized the fatal error of those who think that everything may be brought back to order, that this new menacing world, ever advancing, may be subdued or held on the basis of the vision of life of the values of the proceeding age, that is to say of bourgeois civilization. If a spiritual catastrophe is to be averted modern man must make himself capable of developing his own being in a higher dimension – and it is in this connexion that Jünger had announced the above-mentioned watchword of “heroic realism” and pointed out the ideal of the “absolute person,” capable of measuring himself with elementary forces, capable of seizing the highest meaning of existence in the most destructive experiences, in those actions wherein the human individual no longer counts: of a man acclimatized to the most extreme temperatures and having behind the “zero point of every value.” It is obvious that in all this Jünger had a presentiment of the metaphysical level of life in the third of the domains which we have mentioned. But in this new book we see that he confuses this domain with the first, and that the chief points of reference for everything which Jünger associates with the symbol of the West are drawn to a great extent from the intermediate zone – still far enough from the “zero point of every value” and not wholly incompatible with the ideas beloved in the preceding bourgeois period, even if raised to a dignified form and integrated with some of the values of the good European tradition.


This leads to a dangerous confusion of horizons, and at all events marks a retrogression from the positions already achieved by Jünger in his first period. His more recent works, including the one which we have been discussing, while they are rich in interesting suggestions, offer us nothing which has a real basic value. We have moreover seen that in this book on the Gordian knot the East is an one-sided and partly arbitrary notion which has nothing to do with the actual reality of the higher traditional Oriental civilizations, while throughout the whole work we perceive with sufficient clarity the reactions of those who, without having any adequate sense of distance, draw conclusions from the most recent political vicissitudes and who would reduce the conflict between East and West merely to that between the world of the democratic Euro-American nations, with their own outworn ideals which are trying to present themselves in terms of a new European humanism, and the world of Soviet Communism.

Julius Evola

(East and West, V, 2, July 1954)

mardi, 10 février 2009

An European Pagan and Non Western Perspective

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An European Pagan and Non Western Perspective

Christopher Gerard

Dear Hindu Brothers and Sisters,

To begin with, I would like to pay tribute to Ram Swarup, a man of great importance to our Indian brothers as a sage of the Vedic renaissance, but also to me personally as a young European whom he welcomed so kindly.

To our Indian brethren I have nothing to teach about this remarkable man who played such an essential part in defending and explaining the Tradition. His friends have paid tribute to him with reverence: Sita Ram Goel (the courageous publisher of Voice of India, who ensured that the sage, who was ostracised for a time, could express his thought despite the censorship, hostility and indifference he faced), and David Frawley in his superb preface to the posthumously published work of Ram Swarup On Hinduism.(1) Your Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rightly said that he was "a representative of India¹s rishi tradition in the modern age".

As for me, I can never adequately express my debt to Ram Swarup whom I first met three years ago. We had corresponded before I came to India, and I had published a long interview with him (and Sita Ram Goel and K.R. Malkani) on Hindutva, which was undoubtedly the first special issue published in French with the participation of intellectuals of the Vedic renaissance (2). Ram Swarup approved of the approach of my journal Antaios, which deals with the awakening of the native ­ Pagan - religions of Europe, and with freedom from the dogma of the Semitic religions and materialism. The first thing he did when he saw me was to put his hand on my shoulder as a father would and say, his eyes sparkling with kindness: "Ah, you are young, so you will be able to fight for a long time". This remark, coming from the old combattant that he was, who had actively fought the major deceptions of the century (colonialism, Marxism, anti-Hindu secularism, Christian missions, islamophilia, etc.), was a compliment. He seemed to trust the young foreigner who had come to meet him. It was above all a call to lucidity, a call to battle. Not a battle to be waged exclusively with the outside world, but also a battle against the enemy within, for the old sage knew that our worst enemy is within us and that our internal enemy is the most difficult to conquer. In the course of our long subsequent discussions, I came to appreciate the immense breadth of his culture, his generosity, and also his sense of humour. To have met a man of such human value is a privilege for which I cannot thank the Gods enough. It was Ram Swarup who gave me my first lessons in Sanatana Dharma. He encouraged me on the difficult path of rediscovering my identity which had been repressed first by the imprint of centuries of Christianity then with the stamp of materialism. It was he who, on the last occasion we met and when the time came to say goodbye, was able to find the right words to encourage and advise me to practice mental yoga so as to face up to a hostile or at the least an indifferent world. His friendship was both deep and dispassionate, and for this his influence was all the more striking. I have dwelt on these very personal considerations to show you how important this man was and remains for all those who strive for the restoration of the Dharma. Ram Swarup is an example to be followed, a true spiritual guide.

As a result of the contacts we had with Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel and so many other Hindu friends, our European group came to understand that we were not alone, and that our work found its echo at the other end of the continent. Let us now make a brief overview of the work of the Polytheistic journal Antaios that I have been directing since 1993. Mircea Eliade, a specialist on India, founded the review in 1959. In the 1920s, he had been a disciple of Surendranath Dasgupta, the well-known historian of Indian philosophy, and the German writer Ernst Jünger (a disciple of Nietzsche among others) who said in 1959: "a free world can only be a spiritual world". The periodical was published in German until 1971. Its objective was to combat Western nihilism by a return to classical sources. In 1993, a small group of us revived Antaios with the blessing of the venerable German writer Jünger, who remained interested in our work until his death in 1998 at the age of 103. He was our oldest reader. We are also followers of another great example : Alain Daniélou, the French indologist, initiated to traditional Shaivism in Kashi where he lived more than 15 years. Danielou devoted his entire life to the defense of Hindu Dharma. He was himself a follower of Swami Karpatriji. He worked with Karpatriji, translated some of his texts in several languages (and also translated in Hindi texts of René Guénon, for instance in Karpatriji¹s journal Siddhanta). In his passionate autobiography The way of the Labyrinth, Daniélou wrote these lines : " I tried to offer an insight into the profound values of this extraordinary civilisation, the only one of all the great civilisations of the ancient world that has survived, whose contribution, were it better known, could revolutionize modern thinking and bring a new Renaissance. This was probably why people are so afraid of it " (3). When I red these lines fifteen years ago, it was a sort of revelation. Since then , I have never forgotten Daniélou¹s fundamental message.

From its beginnings, the orientation of Antaios has been clearly pagan: to restore in Europe ­ and on other continents ­ the polytheist and non-dualist wisdom of the eternal tradition, which you refer to as Sanatana Dharma. This is not a new philosophical direction in Europe. Since Antiquity, and despite the censorship of Christianity, there have always been more or less hidden dissidents. Today, the Church has lost the total power it previously possessed, and thus it has become possible to challenge secular cultural and spiritual self alienation and to reaffirm, finally, after centuries of being in hiding, Paganism - that is to say the restoration of non conversion-based beliefs, non dogmatic approach, self- and God-realization, and wisdom such as Vidya, the way of knowledge. All this, which still exists in India despite Muslim, Christian and materialistic aggressions, also existed in Europe. But in Europe, the work of the missionaries has been successfully achieved: temples have been burnt or converted to other uses; holy books have been consigned to the flames; priests (our ³Brahmins²) have been killed, and our beliefs have been ridiculed. In summary, a veritable spiritual genocide, like all the initiatives in favour of conversion on the five continents by the protagonists of the one and only deity, i.e. the jealous God of the Monotheists.

How was pagan thought able to survive the catastrophe caused by the christianisation of Europe? To reinforce its hold over the minds of the people, the Church needed the help of the stalwarts of pagan thought and rituals. Thus, it appropriated for its own use ­ often superficially - the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus, the old festivals, rituals and symbols. Despite this, scholarly Christian priests were fascinated by the very pagan wisdom that they had persecuted, but which lived on in their memories (and their libraries) as a living reproach.

For serious students of Greek philosophy, particularly of the Pre-Socratic philosophers (Pythagorus, Empedocles), the link with Brahmanic thought is obvious: transmigration of the soul, concept of eternal return, importance of harmonics and primordial sounds, ascetic way of life, vegetarianism, etc. As our beloved Ram Swarup reminds us so well in his spiritual legacy "the Greece of Pythagoras, Plato and Plotinus has more in common with Hindu India than with Christian Europe" (On Hinduism, p. 98). Books have been written about the links between Greece and India : for instance R.Baine Harris ed., Neoplatonism and Indian thought (Delhi 1992). Greece and India, and also the Celtic world (the Celtic Druids are the cousins of the Brahmins) may be distant in space but they are close in spirit. Their origins are identical, since the brilliant Vedic and Hellenic civilisations go back to a common pre-Vedic and pre-Hellenic source. This was probably a polar source, as Lokamanya Bal Gangâdhar Tilak has capably demonstrated in his book which should be essential reading (and was partly written in prison because of his involvement in the Indian liberation movement) The Arctic Home of the Vedas (1903). The polar source explains the common structure of the Indo-European languages, from Lithuanian to Sanskrit, as well as obvious relationships between the indo-european mythologies, and between the archaic roman religion and the Vedic religion. For example, the sacrifice of the horse, which took place in Rome each October in honour of the god Mars, corresponds to the Vedic asvamedha in honour of Indra. A similar ritual of the sacrifice of a horse can be found in pagan Ireland. Let us be clear; this does not represent an Indian influence over Rome or Ireland, or a Roman or Irish influence over India, but a relationship due to a common origin, and one which dates back in time to when our common Indo-European (the term ³Aryan² is awkward to use in Europe because of its nazi connotations) ancestors still formed a single tribe (4).

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In his famous book Shiva and Dionysus, Daniélou demonstrates that between Lord Shiva and the Greek Dionysus, the pre-aryan gods of ecstasy and ways to harmony with nature and cosmos, there is a common link, a 6000 years old way to unity with the divine (5).

Among the ordinary folk, the old traditions survived with a very thin veneer of Christianity. Christianity (mainly Catholicism, more than Protestantism) has retained many pre-Christian traditions (6). Good examples are the feasts of the Nativity and that of St John, which correspond to the winter and summer solstices respectively. The title of "pope" comes from the liturgy of the mysteries of Mithra, an indo-iranian God honoured by the armies of Rome. There are many similar examples, which demonstrate that Europe is not fundamentally Christian any more than India is fundamentally Muslim or China fundamentally Marxist. All these alien ideologies have been imposed from the outside, and as such their trace will be washed away with time, like a bad painting on the hull of a ship.

If ancient India and ancient Europe both have common roots, so modern India and modern Europe are both faced with common threats. Threats to the ecosystem, climate changes, and other threats that mankind must face up to. But there is another threat, which springs from the Judeo-Christian way of thinking and is thus alien to our not-dogmatic, non-proselytising and tolerant tradition: the phenomenon of conversions. Conversion to the single model, be it the one God, the single party system or the single market, or the supremacy of any socio-political institution over the entire society.

Conversion to the one God, in the tradition of the religions of Abraham. Conversions that Christian missionaries want to impose on Indians crudely or by more subtle means. To some, the advantages of egalitarianism, more preached than practiced by Christians, are extolled. For others the civilizing character of conversion and the possibility to forget their ancestral inheritance (thus betraying their ancestors) is put forward. Manipulation by suspect persons such as Mother Theresa, all the devices of systematic anti-Hindu propaganda, have managed to make a considerable number of Hindus, who for long have but weakly defended their traditions against these deceptions, feel guilty. Fortunately, this period of alienation seems to have ended with the coming to power of people prepared to defend Hinduism (7). Let us hope that the harmful role of the Christian missionaries will soon be neutralised, both in India and elsewhere. Besides, our group is following with interest the work of the Hindu Vivek Kendra to defend Hindu traditions against missionary aggression and hate-propaganda (8).

Today in Europe, the danger no longer comes from the Catholic Church, for it has run out of steam.

Since the Council of Vatican II in the sixties, the Church has openly proved its decline : the sacred language ­ Latin (our " perfect " language)- has been neglected and all the old mantras disappeared from the Catholic pujas. The Catholic priests now turn their back to their God, i.e. to the East, looking to the assistance (i.e. to the West), which is complete inversion. Christianity is an historical religion with a beginning and thus an end. For us, followers of Sanatana Dharma, Eternal Tradition, this is absurdŠ but their conception of time is linear, not cyclic. So it is logic to say that the Christain reign will finish one day, as it started 2000 years ago. This cycle is slowly but firmly closing. This does not mean that the Church is not a danger anymore : it is still (politically, financially) powerfull. The declarations of the Pope about the so-called conversion (i.e. spiritual agression) of India can be interpreted as a political error (he was invited by " uggly " Hindu fundamentalists and insulted the whole Indian people. Can we imagine an Indian President urging the Italians to become followers of Shiva or Vishnu ?) but also as a sort of escape, out of reality for in the West, churches are getting unoccupied, day after day. The Church is now unable to find priests and must import African priests, often ignorant. Contemporary Christians are really ignorant : most of them believe in reincarnation, astrology, ignore hell and paradise, in a word they ignore everything about theology but are fascinated by Pagan heritage. Rather the main danger comes from the colonisation of our countries by immigrant Muslim North-African populations. One of our friends, the writer and sociologist G. Faye published a controversial book on this phenomenon. It has already caused considerable scandal in France, although this has been kept from te readers by the ³right-thinking² press. The phenomenon is that of massive immigration into the country by populations from Africa and the Maghreb (coming from the lower levels of the social hierarchy) and through births in the immigrant population. This is combined with an assault on Europe by an aggressive form of Islam, supported by foreign powers such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (9). Our proximity to North Africa, where there is a rapid population increase, whilst in Europe the population is in decline, and the serious imbalance between the two sides of the Mediterranean, constitute serious threats and undermine Europe¹s cultural and ethnic homogeneity. Islamisation, particularly in France but also in Great Britain and Germany, goes hand in hand with this invasive immigration ­ and criticism of it is forbidden for fear of being accused of "racism" (a good example of cultural and political auto-alienation). Faye., who is also a Pagan, reminds us in his "shocking" book that Islam is "absolute and proselytising universalism with an imperative vocation to conquer the entire world". He is right. Islam, a religion born of the desert, is above all a religion that creates new mental, psychic and spiritual deserts; it is ethnically and politically imperialistic; and one which believes in universal conquest through violence, assisted by its ethics of exclusion and intolerance. We have seen this in IndiaŠ. But Europeans are not interested in the history of real India, Hindu India. Dazzled by Christian or Marxist ways of thinking, they prefer the fascination of Muslim India. A revealing example: the most popular French tourist guide to Delhi provides full information on the mosques in the capital, but practically nothing on the temples! Faye also reminds us that the Koran is above all a manual of subversive warfare, which nobody reads. Those who have read it know that the book justifies conquest in three stages:

1) Dar al Sulh: in this stage the Muslim community is a minority community and momentarily adopts a peaceful attitude all the better to dupe the infidel, who thus naively allows his soil to be proselytised. (According to Le Monde of 9.12.99, 50,000 French people have converted to Islam up till now). This is the position in Europe today.

2) Dar al Harb: the territory of the infidel becomes a war zone. Perhaps there is resistance to Islam, or perhaps the Muslim population has reached a critical mass. In Europe, we now see the first signs of a low-intensity civil war: ethnic disturbances (which are not reported in the press), and widespread rioting by the younger generations of North Africans (who foray out from their no-go areas).

3) Dar al Islam: Muslims dominate the population and infidels are at best tolerated (as dhimmis: " protected" and required to pay a special tax) and at worst expelled or massacred. This was visible in Algeria and Morocco following independence. And I will not insult you with an explanation on the situation in Pakistan and Bangladesh after partition and also the forcefull mass-conversion of defeated Hindus during 10th to 16th centuries in India.

Some imams have quite plainly stated that the objective, according to God¹s will, was to transform Europe into Dar al Islam. In all evidence, the coming century will see a second wave of Muslim expansion in the West. The first was successfully repulsed from the 8th century onwards. But to make such a statement in Europe today makes one liable to prosecution (and Faye has just been indicted). Politically correct dogma requires peaceful coexistence between cultures; this is an utopic view that a basic study of history (for example that of India) will destroy. A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting a very brave man, Ibn Warraq, in Paris, on the occasion of the publication of the French version of his book: Why I am not a Muslim. The book is the first criticism of substance of Islam. The author confirmed the facts to me. Another author, Pierre Gallois, a French Air Force General, instigator of the French nuclear deterrent and a specialist of military strategy, has just published a book with an evocating title: Le soleil d¹Allah aveugle l¹Occident (The West is blinded by the sun of Allah) (10). These authors warn us against the utopia of pacifism, and of the danger of remaining totally blind to Islam as a deadly threat to secular traditions.

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Another friend of ours, a political scientist and a specialist in geopolitics, and a follower of General Gallois, has published a book which also created a furor among ³right-minded thinkers² (11). His name is A. del Valle and his book demonstrates in a highly credible fashion that, in Islam, faith is indissociable from political theocracy. He further states that agressive Islamism is not "heretical" for it represents an application of the dogma of jihad, a traditional and perfectly legitimate dogma for Muslims. Moreover, del Valle proves that Islam, aggressive and expanding from Europe to India, has found an ally as formidable as it is surprising: the United States. For, ever since the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the Americans have armed and trained ­ often with the help of their Saudi ally ­ the toughest Islamic movements. Our friend also shows that Muslim fundamentalism cohabits perfectly with the most ferocious capitalism. In the scenario of a confrontation between civilisations predicted by a Pentagon analyst, S. Huntington, the USA would arm Islam against Europe, Russia and India. As a result of the Gulf War, the USA has total control over the oilwells of this strategic region. To justify their support to the state of Israel, they support for example the Muslims against the orthodox Slav block (Serbian war) in the Balkans. They approve the indiscriminate immigration of Muslims to Europe. They support the Turkish (neo-Ottoman) designs in Central Asia (against Moscow) and support Turkey in its bid to join the European Union. I will not lecture you on the role played by the Americans against Delhi in Pakistan, which America considers as one of its colonies: the aim, as in the case of Europe and Russia, is to weaken an emerging power, in this case India.

Conversion to the single party system, for example Marxism. The collapse of the USSR in recent history has clearly shown the limits of Marxism as a totalitarian doctrine, which cannot understand any other civilisation than its own. And yet, despite the human failures, the spiritual disasters, and the economic catastrophe it brought about, there are still many firm believers in Marxism whose theories continue to influence many people even in Europe. For instance, too many journalist or scholars are still infected with marxist dogmatism and intolerance. Marxism is clearly linked to Christianity : same premises (linear conception of time, refuge in outer worlds : celestial Jerusalem or communist paradise, totalitarian egalitarianism which condemns differences, inquisition and physicall elimination of any opposition, etc). Christian and marxist propaganda agree to demonize the old cast system, which preserved during centuries the identity of India against all exterior agressions. Due to this intellectual terrorism, it is now difficult to tell the truth about casts, which are an important part of India¹s genius. Authors like Daniélou or Dumont (in his book Homo hierarchicus) dare to say the truth : casts are inherent in human nature.

In today¹s context, the third form of conversion is, in my opinion, the most dangerous. It is the conversion to the single market which the media, as the agents of consumer propaganda, refer to as globalisation. Globalisation is not unavoidable, a sort of inevitable progress, which will bring peace and prosperity throughout the world as liberal propaganda maintains. Behind the concept of globalisation lies the United States of America¹s ambition to dominate the world economically, militarily and culturally. This is not "globalisation", but imperialism to colonise the world by any means. So-called "globalisation" means making the planet American. There is no such thing as "globalisation", which some represent as progress, others as fate, but an all-out offensive campaign run from Washington to impose North American models, which are but are universally-formatted specific characteristics, on the whole planet.

The mask of capitalism, today in full expansion, is what I would call humanitarian materialism. It dominates people¹s minds thanks to a gigantic mass violation of them. The media has become a propaganda machine using a clever mixture of stick and carrot to ³jam² the mind, and its purpose is to gain the acceptance in the mentally confused masses of the official credo: market democracy. As the American linguist Noam Chomsky describes it so well: "propaganda is to democracy what force is to a dictatorship, in effect its essence". And yet, there really is confrontation between different imaginary worlds; the North American realm of fancy against the other imaginary realms. This confrontation creates other tensions of a political and economic nature.

In this war of colonisation, Europe in the midst of political and economic unification, India in full expansion, and Russia in full decline, all constitute obstacles to America¹s hegemonistic strategy. In its overall strategy to weaken its opponents and gain overall control, Washington uses all available means: financial weapons (competition in the banking sector, rigged neotiations in the framework of the WTO), food resources (OGM), military pressure (Balkan War), espionage (Echelon network), cultural weapons (television, CNN, destabilising advertising: Coca Cola is more dangerous than the 6th Fleet). Humanitarian materialism postulates a necessary but fatal "freedom" of the individual from all his affiliations (race, class, profession, religion, and even sex with the exaltation of homosexuality) and turn him into a conditioned consumer, slave to the worst of masters, a faceless master: the market (12).

These three main threats, conquest by Islam, Christian missions and humanitarian materialism are all occurring simultaneously, and they are self-reinforcing. Protestant missions, whether in India or in South America or in Russia, prepare the coming of the American traders. Islamic networks are supported by Washington indirectly through its Sunni Saudi or Pakistani allies. The example of the oil kingdoms shows clearlyl that Muslim or Protestant fundamentalism is compatible with consumerism, as these ideologies postulate the tabula rasa or clean slate and consider all ancestral traditions as obstacles to be pushed aside.

What to do?

It would be silly to give up in despair, for the very fragile system described above - one based on illusion ­ Maya - (typical of the great dissolution of Kali Yuga), will only last for a short time. One of our masters, René Guénon, a traditionalist thinker, already said in 1927, in his famous The Crisis of the modern world : " confusion, error and darkness can win the day only apparently and in purely ephemeral wayŠ and nothing can ultimately prevail against the power of truth ". (13) Oscar Wilde once said that the United States had passed directly from a state of savagery to a state of decadence. For the successors of the great civilisations such as India and classical Europe, it is clear that our potential destiny of becoming an annex of the American market (Bible and Business) is unacceptable. Our work, and it is a noble task, is to restore the Dharma, each according to his own traditions.

In Belgium, Antaios is modestly working towards this end, as does Voice of India in Delhi and so many others (Hindu Vivek Kendra in Mumbai for instance). We have founded the Society of Polytheistic Studies to raise funds, support our journal Antaios and organise meetings. Our last meeting was in Paris with a lecture given by prof. Maffesoli, one of the most influent French sociologistŠ who is a Polytheist ! For the moment, we are just a minority, slowly growing, sometimes demonised or ignored by the press and the University (but in England there are some Pagan scholars). I myself plan to publish a Pagan manifesto in october : Parcours païen (Pagan Itinerary) (Ed. L¹Age d¹Homme, Lausanne) in the same publishing house than Ibn Warraq¹s book Why I am not a Muslim.

In Lithuania, the World Congree of Ethnic Religions has been created : it would be nice that Hindus become members of this association devoted to the defense of Paganism. WCER organises an annual meeting with people coming from Poland, Iceland, Russia, Belgium, France, etc. (www.wcer.org)

In France, a more radical movement (closer to RSS style) has started to be spoken about: Terre et Peuple. Its president, a professor of medieval history and a well-known indophile, has recently published a manifesto in which he calls upon Europeans to rid themselves of consumerism and nihilism, to rediscover their pagan origin (14), and to combat the development of Islam on the continent. These constitute the modest signs of a reaction to the deep crisis. There are others, much more important. The Seattle demonstrations; the coming to power, in the world¹s biggest democracy, of a party which openly dares to defend the Dharma; the still embryonic renaissance of native religions; and the interest in the environment worldwide: all these are signs of a reply to the disorder engendered by liberalism.

In the battle we find the same ennemy, our worse ennemy : our own weakness, our own ignorance and divisions.

We Resistance fighters all over the eurasiatic continent, from Ireland to India, need a large alliance against chaos and destruction, for the defense of Dharma, the noblest task for our generation.

Europeans can warn you against dangers of modernity and we can find in India an ally able to assist us in a return to our native culture ³out of the ruins of the West². Europe has to free itself from the West and re-discover its true identity, true to the Dharma. In this endeavour, the rediscovery of India and the ancient relatonship between the Vedic civilisation and the ancient Greek and Celtic civilisations will, for example, be of great assistance. As the philosopher Nietzsche said: "the man of the future will be the man with the longest memory". Ram Swarup, sage of the Vedic renaissance, says the same thing in his spiritual legacy. I shall quote it as my concluding remark: "The Ramayana and the Mahabharata can help in restoring this lost dimension". Let us follow in his footsteps and re-read the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers and the Upanishads of India to obtain our self-rediscovery.

We know that as we say in Latin " Vincit omnia veritas ". In your sacred language, you would say " Satyam eva jayate ". (15)

Thank you for your attention.

New Delhi, 22nd July 2000

The lecture was organised by Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra, held in Constitution Club, New Delhi, with prof L. Chandra and K.R. Malkani.

 

References:

(1) Ram Swarup, On Hinduism. Reviews and Reflections, Voice of India, Delhi 2000.

(2) Antaios X, Hindutva, Interviews with Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel (in French), Brussels 1996.

(3) A. Daniélou, The way of the Labyrint. Memories of East and West, New Directions Paperbook, New York 1987. First edition in 1981, in French.

(4) J. Haudry, The Indo-Europeans, Institut d¹Etudes Indo-Européennes, Lyon 1994. See also B. Oguibenine, Essays on Vedic and Indo-European Culture, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1998.

(5) A. Daniélou, Shiva and Dionysus, Inner Traditions Intern., New York 1984

(6) R. Fletcher, The Conversion of Europe. From Paganism to Christianity 371-1386 AD, Harper Collins, London 1997. And the remarkable work of two Pagan scholars: P. Jones & N. Pennick, A History of Pagan Europe, Routledge, London 1995.

(7) K. Elst, Psychology of Prophetism. A Secular Look at the Bible, Voice of India, Delhi 1993. See also Sita Ram Goel, Jesus Christ. An Artifice for Aggression, Voice of India, Delhi 1994 and, Defense of Hindu Society, Voice of India, Delhi 1994.

(8) A.V. Chowgule, Christianity in India. The Hindutva Perspective, Hindu Vivek Kendra, Mumbai 1999.

(9) G. Faye, La Colonisation de l¹Europe. Discours vrai sur l¹immigration et l¹islam, Aencre, Paris 2000.

(10) Ibn Warraq, Pourquoi je ne suis pas Musulman, L¹Age d¹Homme, Lausanne 1999. See also P.M. Gallois, Le soleil d¹Allah aveugle l¹Occident, Age d¹Homme, Lausanne 1998.

(11) A. del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis. Une alliance contre l¹Europe, Age d¹Homme, Lausanne 1997.

(12) See Le Monde diplomatique, mai 2000: " L¹Amérique dans les têtes ".

(13) R. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, Indica Books, Benares 1999.

(14) P. Vial, Une Terre, un peuple, Ed. Terre et Peuple, Lyon 2000 email: terrepeuple@hotmail.com ).

(15) R. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, op. cit., p. 142.

[Public speech held in July 2000 in India, taken from SYNERGON, 10th September 2000]

mardi, 27 janvier 2009

Pinoch : Un mito moderno

 

 

pinocchio.png

Pinocho: Un mito moderno

 

por Primo Siena / http://www.arbil.org

Las aventuras de Pinocho nos proporcionan un mito actual y, al mismo tiempo, perpetuo. Es decir, el mito que encierra el destino eterno e inmutable del hombre en la expresión simbólica de la realidad, el mito que exprime la realidad espiritual y existencial del hombre en el cosmo.

"Te envío esta chiquillada; haz lo que tú quieras". Así escribía Carlos Lorenzini, inventor de Pinocho, al enviar el primer capítulo de la "Historia de un muñeco" al director-gerente del Diario de los Niños que se imprimía en Roma en el año 1881.

 

Sin embargo, Carlos Lorenzini - quien desde 1860 ya escribía bajo el seudónimo de Carlos Collodi, por ser Collodi el pueblecito de Toscana donde había nacido su madre - en aquel entonces no imaginaba de componer una obra maestra. Pero el libro, nacido por necesidades económicas de su autor y, casi por broma, se convertiría, a lo largo del tiempo, en el libro más traducido después de la Biblia hasta alcanzar fama universal.

 

La universalidad de la fama de Pinocho deriva del hecho que esta historia de un muñeco gusta tanto a los adultos como a los niños; tanto es así que justamente se ha observado que esta obra maestra de literatura para niños, más que ser leída por los niños, es leída a los niños por los adultos.

 

Otros han destacado que Pinocho es un libro dirigido a los adultos, sólo con la excusa de que está escrito para niños.

 

Opinamos que es inútil discutir si Pinocho sea un libro para adultos o para niños. Más bien se puede decir que este libro toma la realidad de la vida disolviéndola en lo fabuloso y en lo mágico; y por lo tanto encierra costumbres, modalidades y símbolos de todo un pueblo; símbolos aflorados desde un Inconsciente Colectivo que - de acuerdo con el psicólogo Jung - envuelve cada ser humano, sin distinción de edad.

 

Desde esta perspectiva es posible y plenamente legítima una lee tura analógica y metafórica -y no sólo lógica y racional- de las aventuras de Pinocho bajo distintos puntos de vista.

 

El simbolismo del muñeco Pinocho

 

El primer significado simbólico nos lo proporciona el protagonista de la historia: el mismo muñeco Pinocho. En efecto, Pinocho está hecho de madera, y la palabra madera tiene su origen en la palabra latina materia, a través de la cual los latinos se referían, precisamente, a la madera para la construcción. Pero la misma palabra madera comparte su raíz con la palabra latina mater, es decir: la madre que es la matriz de la vida. Pinocho entonces no tiene sólo un padre, como todos opinan y que es Geppetto, maestro de madera; él tiene también una madre: la madera que es su matriz y desde la cual sale el muñeco, así como el niño sale desde el útero de su madre natural.

 

El trozo de madera, además, nos lleva al simbolismo de la redención porque la madera indica - en el plan físico - la materia que necesita ser transformada en el plan metafísico. ¿Y dónde está la madera? En el bosque, en la foresta, en la selva; otros elementos simbólicos, porque el bosque, la foresta, la selva indican el mundo inferior de las tinieblas desde el cual es necesario salir. Pensamos en la selva agreste y fuerte de Dante (en el primer canto del Infierno) y en el aventuroso y místico camino hacia la expiación - la catarsis de los griegos - y la redención.

 

Geppetto ha olvidado de hacer a su muñeco las orejas. Ahora bien, las orejas en el simbolismo tradicional indican el medio a través del cual se escucha la verdad (pensamos en las grandes orejas del Buddha). Por e so Pinocho no puede entender y enterarse de los buenos consejos que recibe de Geppetto, del Hada de cabellos azules y del Grillo hablante.

 

Por el contrario, Pinocho tiene una buena nariz; es decir, pose e destacada intuición y notable fantasía, pero la falta de oído hace que su intuición y fantasía se desarrollen en las mentiras. Consecuentemente, Pinocho actúa estimulado sólo por el corazón que no oye la verdad y que, por lo tanto, se equivoca o se porta tontamente siguiendo malos ejemplos; como es el caso del encuentro con el Zorro y el Gato y, después, con Lucignolo.

 

En el cuento de Collodi, el simbolismo que envuelve las figuras del Zorro y del Gato está pintado con sabrosa ironía. El Gato simula de estar ciego, dejándose guiar por el Zorro que - a su vez - simula de ser cojo, y por lo tanto se apoya al Gato; es decir: la malicia que el Zorro representa se hace conducir por parte del Gato que, aquí, representa la mentira disfraza da como una verdad sólo aparentemente auténtica. El Gato, además, repite como Loro todo lo que el Zorro propone.

 

Sentido de las alegorías simbólicas

 

Los símbolos que los dos animales representan, aquí se integran en perfecto equilibrio.

 

El niño Lucignolo representa también una interesante alegoría simbólica, pero en un sentido casi contrario a lo que nos proporciona el muñeco Pinocho.

 

Si Pinocho -en cuanto muñeco de madera- representa el hombre mecánico producido por el maquinismo técnico, Lucignolo por ser un niño de carne y hueso, nos indica la dignidad humana del hombre.

 

Si Pinocho no posee orejas, por el contrario Lucignolo las tiene y bien puestas; pero a él de nada le sirven. Entonces, por no haber sabido disfrutar positivamente su dignidad humana, por no haber escuchado la voz de la verdad con sus orejas de niño normal y bien nacido, Lucignolo es condenado a transformarse - y para siempre - en un burro con dos largas orejas peludas.

 

También Pinocho es transformado en burro, por haber seguido tontamente los consejos de Lucignolo, que los llevaron a ambos a la "Ciudad de los juguetes".

 

Pero Pinocho, al tener las largas orejas de burro, aprende el valor de los consejos sabios que antes había eludido; aprende además a reflexionar sobre lo bueno que la vida proporciona a quien sigue el camino recto. Por eso Pinocho puede redimirse, puede abandonar su condición de burro dejando, en fin, de ser el muñeco de antes y transformarse en el niño de carne y hueso que él había anteriormente imitado.

 

La figura alegórica del burro tiene un clásico antecedente simbólico en El burro de oro de Apuleio; del cual aprendemos que el "transformarse" - según el mito de la metamorfosis al cual Apuleio se refiere - indicaba una experiencia catártica, redentora, necesaria para lograr el verdadero conocimiento metafísico.

 

Collodi – claro - nos proporciona el mito del burro en un sentido menos esotérico y más simple; porque nos indica que la condición de animal - después de todo- resulta ser una manera por salir de la mecanicidad del muñeco a la vitalidad - por animal que ésta sea- de un ser viviente; y además resulta una manera de acercarse a la dignidad superior del ser humano.

 

El itinerario catártico de un Ulises infantil

 

 Por medio de una alegoría sagaz, Carlos Collodi nos da aquí una lección transparente de moral práctica: por ser muñeco Pinocho es mucho menos responsable que Lucignolo, niño de verdad. Por eso Pinocho merece más comprensión; mientras que el castigo de Lucignolo no tiene remedio y debe ser irrevocable porque - como nos enseña la ley del contrapeso dantesco - la pena tiene que ser proporcional al delito; y el delito de Lucignolo reside en el hecho de no haberse portado según la dignidad de una criatura humana, haciéndose el burro.

 

El itinerario "catártico" de Pinocho resulta muy interesante. Una vez transformado en burro, Pinocho es comprado por el director de un circo ecuestre y tiene que aprender a bailar y saltar en los círculos, hasta que un día cae de mal modo y queda cojo. Por este motivo, el director del circo vende el burrito Pinocho a un viejito que quiere la piel del burro para hacer un tambor para la banda municipal.

 

El viejo lleva el burro a las orillas del mar, le pone una gruesa piedra al cuello y lo hecha a las aguas para ahogarlo. Los peces, por orden del Hada de cabellos azules, comen la piel asnina dejando al muñeco nuevamente su cuerpo de madera que flota en el mar. Pero, después, el pobre muñeco es tragado entero por un enorme tiburón.

 

En el vientre del tiburón, Pinocho encuentra un atún y, luego, atraído por la luz de una velita que brilla de lejos, descubre a su padre Geppetto, quien vive desde hace dos años en el vientre del tiburón. Con el auxilio del atún, Pinocho y Geppetto logran salir del tiburón, el cual duerme con la boca abierta porque sufre de asma. 

 

Una vez recuperada la libertad, Pinocho se pone a trabajar duro para ganar el dinero que Geppetto enfermo necesita para comprar remedios y comida. De día Pinocho confecciona canastos de mimbre y de noche escribe y lee. Cuando aprende que su Hada de cabellos azules se ha enfermado y no tiene plata, Pinocho le proporciona todos sus ahorros y, además, hace trabajos extraordinarios para ayudarla; en una sola noche confecciona ocho canastos en lugar de cuatro. La mañana siguiente, cuando se mira en el espejo, Pinocho no ve la figura de un muñeco de madera, más bien ve, en cambio, la figura de un niño alegre e inteligente.

 

Hasta Geppetto está sano y alegre, como hace tiempo y explica a Pinocho que los niños, al transformarse de malos en buenos, tienen facultad de proporcionar una vida serena y tranquila también a sus familiares.

 

La conclusión del itinerario catártico de Pinocho involucra una moral; no se trata de una moral sublime, pero más bien de una moral práctica: existe una justicia superior que recompensa el bien y castiga el mal. Por lo tanto hacer el bien tiene sus ventajas, mientras que - a la postre - no conviene portarse mal.

 

Carlos Collodi presenta esta moral de una forma alegre que facilita a los niños la captación espontánea de la filosofía pedagógica involucrada en el cuento; es decir, que a través de la experiencia el niño adquiere paulatinamente su autonomía alcanzando la plenitud de su ego en la dignidad y libertad del ser humano integral.

 

Pinocho enfrenta sus aventuras y recorre el camino de la experiencia mágica, expiando sus culpas para poder dejar finalmente su condición de muñeco de madera y renacer como niño de verdad; y por eso, alguien comparó Pinocho a un Ulises infantil sus aventuras a una "Odisea de niños".

 

Y por arriesgada que sea esta comparación, las aventuras de Pinocho resultan muy adecuadas a la psicología edénica del niño, quien concibe el dolor y la muerte sólo como una suspensión de la felicidad, una pausa que ampara la niñez del peligro del dolor y del mal absoluto, porque la niñez no concibe ni el dolor ni la muerte como algo permanente y definitivo.

 

En esta perspectiva, el tiburón, el atún y el mar, que Pinocho encuentra mientras se aproxima el fin de sus aventuras de muñeco travieso, resultán ser los símbolos de la vida futura que la "renovación", proporcionada por las aguas de la vida nueva, va a permitir.

 

El tiburón creado por la fantasía de Collodi, es muy parecido a la ballena que se tragó Jonás; y como Jonás también Pinocho sale del vientre del enorme monstruo marino, listo para ser rescatado a una nueva vida.

 

La fábula de Collodi tiene un desenlace feliz que la distingue de las fábulas anglosajonas, en las cuales los niños protagonistas (como Pe-ter Pan, por ejemplo) parecen vivir la nostalgia de un paraíso perdido, culti vando el deseo de ampararse para siempre en el jardín de la niñez.

 

Pinocho, por el contrario, manifiesta el modo típicamente latino de entender la niñez, porque en los países de cultura latina, en efecto, los niños son considerados pequeños aspirantes al oficio de los adultos.

 

El muñeco de Carlos Collodi simboliza el deseo que cada niño tiene de crecer y hacerse adulto; este deseo está amparado por el Hada de cabellos azules. Pero el Hada expresa la forma femenina del fatum latino; es decir: la personificación del destino que vigila la sucesión de los acontecimientos humanos. El Hada de Pinocho lleva en sus cabellos azules, además, la serenidad del cielo limpio y claro que anticipa la conclusión positiva y alegre de las aventuras del muñeco de madera, destinado a rescatarse como hombre de verdad.

 

El libro de Collodi tiene todos los ingredientes clásicos de los cuentos mágicos para niños: lo aventuroso, lo milagroso, lo bestial y monstruoso, lo fantástico; pero todos esos ingredientes están balanceados para una adecuada medida de jovialidad y de buen sentido. De este equilibrio entre lo fantástico y lo cómico, constituyen un ejemplo los personajes de Manducafuego ("Mangiafuoco") y del Pescador Verde.

 

Manducafuego parece un hombre espantoso, pero en el fondo no es un hombre malo; y cuando Pinocho pide ser quemado, en sustitución de su amigo el muñeco Arlequín para cocinar el almuerzo, Manducafuego se conmueve: deja libre a Pinocho y le regala incluso cinco monedas de oro.

 

La cólera del Pescador Verde, al ver que el pescado que el quería comer, es robado por un perro, de pronto se acaba con golpe de tos; lo que transforma una escena turbulenta en una escena cómica.

 

Considerando el humorismo típico que caracteriza las aventuras de Pinocho, el crítico italiano Piero Citati ha observado justamente que sólo Collodi podía oler los aromas de una hostería toscana en el vientre de un tiburón.

 

A pesar de todos sus ingredientes humorísticos, el libro de Collodi pertenece a la literatura del mito que, por medio de una interpretación fantástica de la realidad, proporciona al hombre adulto las distintas exigencias de su espíritu, buscando en la simbología del mito una "terapia del alma" capaz de satisfacer sus inquietudes. En este sentido los elementos característicos del libro de Collodi se conforman con las aspiraciones arquetípicas de la psiquis humana y, al mismo tiempo, con el código alegórico de las más profundas intuiciones metafísicas y metapolíticas del hombre.

 

Por lo tanto, el elemento aventuroso no es el ingrediente de un juego, sino un camino por el cual alcanzar el conocimiento esencial; el elemento monstruoso es el símbolo del Mal que tiene que ser vencido y el elemento bestial saca del mundo de los animales los modelos de las distintas virtudes e inclinaciones del hombre y nos las proporciona con eficacia didáctica.

 

En esta perspectiva, los símbolos del cuento encierran hasta un sentido teológico por el cual el Tiburón se manifiesta como el símbolo de un "purgatorio" para los hombres; la Velita de Geppetto que brilla en el vientre del Tiburón, aparece como una antorcha de la fe que nunca se apaga. El propio muñeco de madera se muestra como el símbolo del existencialismo moderno: el ser ignaro que huye de sí mismo, hasta que - buscando en el gran libro de la vida - después de un largo viaje por caminos equivocados, logra los conocimientos que necesita el hombre consciente de sus valores inmanentes y de su destino trascendente.

 

Podemos, entonces, concluir que las aventuras de Pinocho nos proporcionan un mito actual y, al mismo tiempo, perpetuo. Es decir, el mito que encierra el destino eterno e inmutable del hombre en la expresión simbólica de la realidad, el mito que exprime la realidad espiritual y existencial del hombre en el cosmo.

 

Claro está que Carlos Collodi estuvo bien lejos de atribuir a su libro todos estos significados; pero - a pesar de eso- su mano, su mente, su imaginación se hicieron instrumentos creadores de un mensaje providencial, sin que él supiera de actuar según el plan de la misteriosa providencia de Dios; la cual - como hemos aprendido del metapolítico Juan Bautista Vico - guía el destino de los hombres y de las naciones, a lo largo de los siglos.

·- ·-· -······-·
Primo Siena

Les Hunza, peuple montagnard sur la Route de la Soie

hunza2.jpg

Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPÉENNES - ORIENTATIONS (Bruxelles) - Juillet 1988

Les "Hunza", peuple montagnard sur la route de la soie

Recension: Hilde u. Willi SENFT, Hunza. Bergvolk an der Seidenstrasse, Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz/ Stuttgart, 1986, 236 S., DM 45.

Couple de reporters et d'excellents photographes, Hilde et Willi Senft parcourent la Haute-Asie depuis quelques années et s'intéressent à la vie des peuples du "toit du monde". Les Hunza ont particulièrement attiré leur attention car ils sont installés au point d'intersection de l'Islam et du bouddhisme tibétain et se souviennent de la religion des anciens Perses. Ainsi, le livre des deux explorateurs allemands dévoile pour la première fois en Occident les aspects du chamanisme hunza. Le reportage s'est également déroulé au Baltistan et au Chitral où vit un autre peuple: les Kalash, qui se sont toujours soustraits à l'Islam et que les Musulmans appellent les "Kafirs" (= infidèles). De complexion claire et de souche indo-européenne, les Kalash, affirme-t-on, descendraient des soldats d'Alexandre le Grand en marche vers l'Indus. L'ethnologie retient l'hypothèse et les historiens pensent que les Kalash sont des réfugiés gréco-bactriens ou gréco-indiens qui ont fui dans les hautes montagnes après l'aventure d'Alexandre. Une récit d'exploration passionnant qui en complète d'autres, notamment celle du Français Jean-Michel Guillard (cf. Seul chez les Kalash,  Carrefour des Lettres, Paris, 1974).

(Robert STEUCKERS).

 

dimanche, 25 janvier 2009

El mito del rey perdido

El mito del rey perdido



ORIGEN DE LA FUNCION REAL

La etimología de la palabra "rey" es importante a la hora de determinar el concepto que el mundo antiguo se hacía de la función y del símbolo real. Se admite unánimemente que se trata de un término indo‑europeo cuya huella se encuentra desde el área extrema de expansión celta (Europa Occidental) hasta la india védica.

Siempre, en todas partes, se encuentra la raíz reg‑ que da lugar a las variaciones rex (latino), el raj (hindú) y el rix (galo), presentes en palabras y nombres como dirigere, Mahararajh, o Vercingetorix. En general la raíz reg‑ indica a "aquel que traza el camino", es decir, define la jefatura y el mando.

De esta misma raíz deriva la palabra y el concepto de derecho (trazar el camino implica, en definitiva, enunciar un derecho, promulgar una ley): right (en inglés), recht (irlandés antiguo), recht (alemán), y encontramos la misma simetría en la lengua latina entre rex y lex.
Al establecer que la función real era "trazar el camino", los pueblos indo‑europeos hacían algo más que calificar al jefe político‑militar.

De hecho la historia nos enseña que no fue sino en un período tardío cuando los monarcas asumieron la conducción militar de su pueblo, mientras que la política estaba delegada a la nobleza. El "dux" -palabra próxima a rex- indicaba a los caudillos militares que asumían el mando en momentos de crisis y en los que el rex delegaba la función guerrera. Luego, cuando se superaba la crisis, desaparecía el cargo de "dux bellorum", caudillo de las batallas, literalmente."Trazar el camino", guiar a su pueblo por las seis rutas del espacio definidas por la cruz tridimensional que marca las direcciones del espacio. El rex tenía el poder de guiar a su pueblo en todas estas direcciones.

La función real primitiva se justificaba en que reyes y dioses no eran sino una misma persona. En el Apocalipsis de Juan se encuentra un eco de este orden de ideas: "Aquel que se sienta sobre el trono" declara "Yo soy el Alfa y el Omega, el Principio y el Fin".

El rey era pues concebido como un punto de irradiación, no humano, encarnación directa de poderes trascendentes y, en tanto que tal, digno de ser obedecido; el mando, no era obtenido ni mediante elección, ni por aclamación, sino que procedía de un contacto tangible con entidades superiores, condición imprescindible para que los súbditos aceptaran la sumisión a su voluntad.



LA IDEA DE ORDEN

La prosperidad del reino, la victoria en las batallas y la justeza de sus decisiones, es decir, el Orden, eran muestra del origen divino y legítimo del poder. Si se producía un descalabro militar, una mala cosecha, si la injusticia se enseñoreaba, todo ello mostraba el debilitamiento del vínculo que unía el rey al supramundo y a los poderes trascendentes. Entonces sus súbditos podían destronarlo.

La vieja leyenda itálica del Rey de los Bosques de Nemi, cuenta que este rey está siempre en guardia bajo un árbol sagrado, y seguirá siendo rey hasta que un esclavo fugitivo consiga sorprenderlo y arrancar una rama del árbol que custodia. Por "esclavo fugitivo" hay que entender un hombre emancipado de los lazos de la materia y que ha logrado establecer un vínculo con la trascendencia.

El mismo símbolo del árbol es reiterativo, indica la fuente de un poder y se relaciona habitualmente en el universo simbólico indo‑europeo con la montaña, el centro, la isla, el jardín bienaventurado, etc. Todos estos símbolos suponen lugares inaccesibles, en los que reina el Orden, mientras que a su alrededor, todo fluye, es caos y dinamismo contingente. Residir o tener acceso a uno de estos símbolos supone conquistar la función real. La montaña del Grial, el castillo de Camelot, la isla de Avalon, el Roble del Destino, el Jardín de las Rosas, el Omphalos de Delfos, etc. pueden ser relacionados fácilmente con lo que decimos y constituyen centro de un período dorado para la humanidad.

Ahora bien, el hecho de que todo en el mundo tradicional indo‑europeo esté sometido a ciclos ‑ciclo de las estaciones, ciclos lunares, rotación sideral, vida humana‑ hace que la Edad Dorada no se prolongue hasta el infinito. El tiempo la va desgastando hasta que se produce una caida de nivel que registran todas las tradiciones. Sin embargo, el centro, la montaña, el jardín, o la misma función real no desaparecen, sino que entran en un estado de latencia; se vuelven inalcanzables para los hombres comunes y dejan de influir en los destinos contingentes del mundo. El Jardín del Edén, no desaparece tras la caída de Adán, simplemente se hace inaccesible; otro tanto ocurre con el castillo del Grial, solo visible para las almas puras; en el caso del Jardín de las Rosas del Rey Laurin -que todavía puede visitarse en Bolzano- un hilo de seda lo convierte en impenetrable. La idea es siempre la misma: algo visible, pasa a otra dimensión, no muere, sin embargo, solo se oculta temporalmente, "hasta que los tiempos estén prestos", es decir, hasta que una nueva renovación del cosmos, haga posible la manifestación del centro supremo. Y lo mismo ocurre con los monarcas.



EL REY PERDIDO, NO-MUERTO, AGUARDA SU HORA

En este contexto los pueblos indo‑europeos han tenido siempre muy arraigado en su estructura mental, el mito del Rey Perdido: un rey querido por todos, justo, amado por su pueblo, deseado, en un momento dado, desaparece; su pueblo se niega a creer en su muerte; no es posible que los dioses hayan abandonado a un ser tan noble y justo, se dicen, "no a muerto, está vivo en algún lugar, y un día regresará para ponerse al frente de sus fieles". Esta estructura se repite una y otra vez en las viejas tradiciones de las distintas ramas del tronco común indo‑europeo.

Podemos establecer que los últimos reflejos en estado puro de tal mito terminan con Federico I Barbarroja y, ya en una dimensión esotérica, con la marcha de los Rosacruces de Europa al inicio de la Guerra de los Treinta Años. Pero el mito, ha reaparecido insistentemente en la edad moderna e incluso contemporánea, mostrando la fuerza de su arraigo en la mentalidad indo‑europea.



EL GRAN MONARCA Y EL REY DEL MUNDO

Dos autores de singular personalidad han recuperado tradiciones relativas a este mito. De una parte Nostradamus en sus célebres "centurias" alude al "gran monarca", mientras que René Guenon, consagra uno de sus ensayos más esmerados al tema del "rey del mundo".

Nostradamus en una cuarteta de sus famosas "Centurias" se hace eco de tradiciones más antiguas sobre el "gran monarca" y las incorpora a sus profecías, donde el "gran príncipe" es llamado el "gran monarca". Su advenimiento se producirá después de una guerra de 27 años, que empezará en 1999, único año que se menciona con todos sus números y de forma explícita en las profecías de Nostradamus.

Esta leyenda tiene su origen en las décadas inmediatamente anteriores al año 1000, se trata pues, de un mito milenarista, de una promesa de renovación. Los primeros rastros de tal tema se encuentran en los escritos del abad Adson de Montier‑en‑Der (muerto en el 992). Pero Adson recoje fuentes anteriores, una de ellas el testimonio escrito de Isidoro de Sevilla (siglo VII) y otra, incluso anterior, debida a Cesario de Arles (siglo VI).

Es evidente que profecías de este tipo ganan fuerza justo en momentos de crisis y devastación. En el período posterior a las invasiones bárbaras, cuando los movimientos migratorios remiten, cobra fuerza la añoranza y el recuerdo del Imperio Romano, incluso entre los mismos pueblos germánicos invasores, la idea de que Roma representaba el Orden gana fuerza y se produce un sincretismo entre los mitos nórdico‑germánicos, aun con fuerza en esas razas, y los temas propios de la romanidad.

Esa añoranza del Imperio Romano se traduce en la aspiración a renovar el Imperio. Cuando Clovis (Crodoveo) es entronizado rey de los francos en el 496, recibe del Emperador de Oriente, la dignidad de Patricio y de César y, por este acto se considera renovado y regenerado el antiguo Imperio Romano. En siglos siguientes, a partir de Carlomagno y de los Hohenstaufen, la fórmula de consagración será calcada de la entronización de los Césares de Roma.

Pero la baja edad media supone una sucesión trepidante de convulsiones que crean en las poblaciones la sensación de que un ciclo está a punto de terminar. Los grandes príncipes son pocos y sus reinados breves, su recuerdo histórico se va diluyendo y entran vertiginosamente en el campo de la leyenda. Es en esa situación cuando se suceden las profecías, todas interpretando el mismo deseo subconsciente: un gran príncipe ‑el gran monarca‑ reunirá a todos los pueblos de Occidente para librar la última batalla contra las fuerzas del anticristo. Aquí podemos ver cristianizado el tema de la "orda salvaje" de Odín y de sus guerreros que esperan en el Walhalla la hora de la batalla contra las fuerzas del mal.

Ahora bien, en el tema del "gran monarca" existe un ápice de nacionalismo galo. El gran monarca nace en Francia, en Blois concretamente, y queda ligado indisolublemente a la corona de ese país; contrariamente, el tema del "rey del mundo" tiene un carácter más universal.



LA UNIVERSALIDAD DEL MITO

A principios de siglo dos relatos traen a Occidente el recuerdo aun vivo del "rey del mundo". Saint Yves d'Alveydre en su "Misión de la India" y Ferdinand Owsendowsky en "Bestias, Hombres y Dioses" hablan, respectivamente de un reino subterráneo, Agartha o Agarthi, al que se refieren tradiciones vivas de Mongolia y la India, transmitidas por monjes budistas, en el que moraría el "rey del mundo", el "chakravarti".

En la tradición budista el "chakravarti" es el "señor de la rueda", o si se quiere "el que hace girar la rueda". Guenon nos dice al respecto: <>. Esa rueda está habitualmente representada con la forma de una svástica, símbolo que ante todo, indica movimiento en torno a un centro inmóvil.

El "rey del mundo" no es un tema exclusivamente budista. La Biblia registra la misteriosa figura de Melkisedec, rey y sacerdote de Salem, señor de Paz y Justicia. Salem, es equivalente al Agartha y Melkisedec el "chakravarti" judeo-cristiano.

El lugar de acceso a ese centro del mundo aparece en distintas tradiciones: son muchas las leyendas de cavernas que dan acceso al centro del mundo, también montañas que tienen la misma función, islas, lugares marcados con monumentos megalíticos (menhires frecuentemente), lugares "Omphalos" (ombligos del mundo como el santuario de Delfos), todos estos puntos tienen como denominador común el constituir "centros espirituales", es decir, lugares en los que se favorece el tránsito entre el mundo físico y el metafísico, entre lo contingente y lo trascendente. Todos estos símbolos facilitan la entrada a otro nivel de la realidad, aquel que se ha hecho invisible para los hombres dada su impiedad o simplemente a causa de la involución cíclica del mundo. Entrado éste en la Edad Oscura (Kali Yuga, Edad del Hierro o Edad del Lobo), lo que antes era visible y accesible se convierte en secreto y oculto. No puede llegarse hasta él sino a través de pruebas iniciáticas y de un ascesis interior: tal es la temática de la conquista del Grial, de las grandes rutas de peregrinación, de temas masónicos como el de la "búsqueda de la palabra perdida", etc.

En esos lugares mora un rey supremo, indiscutible, acaparador del poder espiritual y del temporal, oculto e inaccesible, señor de paz y justicia: el rey del mundo, el rey perdido.



LA RENOVACION DEL MUNDO A TRAVES DEL REY PERDIDO

Existe una interferencia de temas entre los temas del Rey del Mundo y el Gran Monarca de un lado y los del Rey Perdido de otro. Este último es un gran monarca que ha desaparecido misteriosamente y al que sus súbditos se niegan a creer que haya muerto. Las tradiciones indo‑europeas, hablan de reyes que se ocultan en cavernas, o simplemente que desaparecen pero que no han muerto. Pues bien, este es el punto de interferencia entre una y otra tradición.

El tema del "rey perdido" alude a reyes históricos que la crónica ha revestido de contenidos míticos; por el contrario el tema del "rey del mundo" pertenece exclusivamente al úniverso mítico. Cuando un rey histórico no muere sino que desaparece, oculto en una cueva, en una montaña o en una isla, es que ha pasado al dominio del Rey del Mundo, ha establecido contacto con él y ha tenido acceso a ese reino latente que está oculto por culpa de la degeneración del mundo. En todas las tradiciones el "rey perdido", al desaparecer y entrar en contacto con el "rey del mundo", legitima su poder y alcanza un rango divino.

Ahora bien, esa situación no durará siempre. Finalizado el ciclo, la espada vengadora del "rey perdido" se manifestará de nuevo y, gracias al poder de su brazo, el mundo quedará renovado, habitualmente tras una gran batalla.

En el Tíbet solo los monjes budistas que han alcanzado un más alto grado de perfección, tienen acceso al reino oculto de Shambala, del cual el Dalai Lama es su delegado y embajador. Allí reside Gesar de Ling, rey histórico que vivió aproximadamente en el siglo XI y gobernó el Tíbet. Las leyendas locales afirman que Gesar no ha muerto sino que retornará de Shambala al mando de un ejército, para someter a las fuerzas del mal y renovar el mundo agotado y caduco.



ARTURO Y FEDERICO BARBARROJA EN LAS LEYENDAS MEDIEVALES

En la Edad Media europea, mientras tanto, aparece una leyenda que fue considerada como verdad histórica, la del Preste Juan, el Rey Pescador. En Oriente, en un lugar impreciso entre Abisinia e India, existía un reino inmenso gobernado por un avatar de Malkisedec, el Rey Pescador. En su castillo se alojó Perceval en el curso de su conquista del Grial y fue allí donde vió la preciada copa y donde le fueron formuladas las preguntas fatídicas que Perceval en ese momento no supo contestar. Robert de Boron llega a calificar a Perceval de sobrino del Rey Pescador.

En el terreno de la historia se sabe que el Emperador Federico I recibió tres regalos del Preste Juan, (un abrigo de piel de salamandra, que le permitía atravesar las llamas, un anillo de oro y un frasco de agua viva) que suponían un reconocimiento de la dignidad imperial de Federico I por parte del "Rey del Mundo". Así pues, el Rey del Mundo es aquel rey superior a los demás reyes y que los legitima para su misión.

En diversas ocasiones, monarcas europeos organizaron expediciones para establecer el contacto con el mítico reino del Preste Juan, que invariablemente se perdieron y jamás regresaron. Pero el tema subsistió en las leyendas del Grial.

Arturo, despues de la batalla contra las fuerzas del mal representadas por Mordred, se retira a la isla de Avalon. De Carlomagno se dirá lo mismo: que no está muerto, sino que, aguarda el tiempo en que sus súbditos vuelvan a necesitarlo. Federico I y su hijo Federio II, alcanzarán el mismo rasgo legendario, morando en el interior de montañas como el Odenberg o el Kyffhäuser, volverán cuando se produzca la irrupción de los pueblos de Gog y Magog, aquellos que Alejandro Magno ‑otro rey perdido‑ encerró con una muralla de hierro.

Es también en el período medieval en el que se establece la festividad de los Reyes Magos, personajes misteriosos que siguen a la estrella que marca el lugar de nacimiento de Cristo. Su triple imagen es un desdoblamiento de la figura de Melquisedec. Si en el rey de Salem está concentrado la triple función de "Señor de Justicia", "Sacerdote de justicia" y "Rey de Justicia", en los Reyes Magos, esta función está separada e individualizada en cada uno de ellos.



EL MITO DEL REY PERDIDO EN LA PENINSULA IBERICA

Sobre el suelo de la península ibérica florecieron también leyendas del mismo estilo. Jamás se encontró el cadáver de Roderic o Don Rodrigo, último rey godo; su recuerdo y el de la monarquía legítima animó a su portaespadas, Don Pelayo a iniciar la reconquista en su nombre nombre.

Más tarde, floreció el mito de Otger Khatalon, héreo epónimo de Cataluña; oriundo de Baviera, empuñaba como el Hércules mítico una pesada maza; liberó el valle de Arán y el valle de Aneu del dominio musulmán; una vez cumplida su obra desapareció, no está muerto, solo oculto, y solo volverá cuando se produzca una nueva crisis desintegradora.

Alfonso el Batallador y Don Sebastián de Portugal, desaparecido tras la batalla de Alcazalquivir, dejaron tras de sí un álito de misterio; años después todavía se creía que seguían vivos e incluso algunos impostores pretendieron usurpar su personalidad.



LAS ULTIMAS MANIFESTACIONES DEL MITO

A mediados del siglo XIX aun debía manifestarse el tema del rey perdido en Francia. La historiografía oficial no ha logrado desenmarañar el destino del Delfín de Francia, Luis XVII, desaparecido en la Torre del Temple de París tras el guillotinamiento de sus padres. Ni siquiera se sabe si el relojero holandés Naundorff, que llegó un día a París demostrando conocer con una precisión absoluta la infancia del Delfín, era el hijo de Luis XVI.

Setenta años después, algunos rusos blancos exiliados tras la Revolución Rusa, quisieron creer que la Gran Duquesa Anastasia jamás había muerto, sobrevivió a la masacre de Ekhaterinemburgo y daría continuidad a los Romanov.

Finalmente hubo muchos que se negaron a creer en la muerte de Hitler y durante años estuvo bien extendido la idea que había logrado sobrevivir al cerco ruso de Berlín y huir al Polo en donde prepararía el retorno y la venganza.

La fuerza de la leyenda tuvo aun un postrero coletazo en el "affaire" de Rennes le Chateau, cuyo tema central era la supervivencia de la dinastía merovingia y el hallazgo del "rey perdido" en la figura de un astrólogo y documentalista que decía ser gran maestre de un "Priorato de Sión". Postreros ecos en los que laa credulidad de las masas arraiga en un sustrato de la psicología profunda de los europeos. Y es que, en el fondo, el "rey perdido" no es sino el arquetipo simbólico de una calidad espiritual próxima a la trascendencia, latente en todos los hombres, olvidada, más no perdida.



A MODO DE CONCLUSION

Caudillo derrotado en ocasiones (Dagoberto, Arturo), en otras muerto, pero cuyo cadáver jamás se encuentra (Barbarroja, Rodrigo), o simplemente líder victorioso de un período áureo (Guesar de Ling), consciente de que los ciclos históricos han decaido y que decide pasar a un estado de latencia hasta que se produzca la renovación del tiempo (de la que él mismo será vehículo), este mito es transversal en el espacio y en el tiempo, reiterándose en todo el ciclo indo‑ario.

Siempre la morada de este rey perdido es un símbolo polar: una montaña inaccesible (Barbarroja), una isla dorada (el Avalon de Arturo), el "centro" de la tierra (Cheng Rezing, el "rey del mundo" extremo‑oriental), un castillo dorado (Otger Khatalon). El presentimiento de su existencia anima a otros a emprender gestar y hazañas imposibles (la reconquista de Don Pelayo en relación a Rodrigo, los atentados del "Wherwolff" en relación a Adolfo Hitler, la conquista del Grial por los caballeros del Arturo muerto en Avalon) o estar a la espera de la llamada del monarca para acudir a la última batalla (el tema del Räkna-rok y de la morada del Walhalla, el tema del último avatar de Buda y de Shambala).

Lo que se pretende en otros casos es tomar el mito del rey perdido de una forma utilitarista: sería él y sus presuntos descendientes los que garantizarían la legitimidad dinástica (los descendientes de Dagoberto II en el affaire de Rennes le Chateau, los partidarios de Naundorf en la cuestión del Delfín, los de Juan Orth en la dinastía austro‑húngara, incluso los de la gran duquesa Anastasia en el caso de la herencia de los Romanov, etc.).

El mito del Rey del Mundo, las leyendas de los reyes perdidos y de los monarcas que aguardan la batalla final rodeados de sus fieles guerreros, pertenece a nuestro pasado ancestral. Es una parte de nosotros mismos, algo que debemos conocer y encuadrar en un universo simbólico y mítico, hoy perdido, pero del cual no podemos prescindir si queremos conocer nuestro origen y nuestro destino.

(c) Ernesto Milá - infokrisis - infokrisis@blogia.com -http://infokrisis.blogia.com/

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lundi, 19 janvier 2009

The Legacy of a European Traditionalist: Julius Evola in Perspective

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The Legacy of a European Traditionalist: Julius Evola in Perspective

Guido Stucco

This article is a brief introduction to the life and central ideas of the controversial Italian thinker Julius Evola (1898-1974), one of the leading representatives of the European right and of the “Traditionalist movement” 1 in the twentieth century.  This movement, together with the Theosophical Society, played a leading role in promoting the study of ancient eastern wisdom, esoteric doctrines, and spirituality.  Unlike the Theosophical Society, which championed democratic and egalitarian views,2 an optimistic view of progress, and a belief in spiritual evolution, the Traditionalist movement adopted an elitist and antiegalitarian stance, a pessimistic view of ordinary life and of history, and an uncompromising rejection of the modern world.  The Traditionalist movement began with René Guénon (1886-1951), a French philosopher and mathematician who converted to Islam and moved to Cairo in 1931, following the death of his first wife.  Guénon revived interest in the concept of Tradition, i.e., the teachings and doctrines of ancient civilizations and religions, emphasizing its perennial value over and against the “modern world” and its offshoots: humanistic individualism, relativism, materialism, and scientism. Other important Traditionalists of the past century have included Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon, and Julius Evola.

This article is addressed, first, to persons who claim to be conservative and of rightist persuasion.  It is my contention that Evola’s political views can help the American right to acquire a greater intellectual relevance and to overcome its provincialism and narrow horizons The criticism most frequently leveled by the European “New Right“ against American conservatives is that the ideological poverty of the American Right lies in its circling its wagons around a conservative agenda, in its inability to see the greater scheme of things.3 By disclosing to his readers the value and worth of the world of Tradition, Evola has shown that to be a rightist entails much more than taking a stance on civic and social issues, such as abortion, capital punishment, a strong military, free enterprise, less taxes, less government, fierce patriotism, and the right to bear arms, but rather assessing more crucial matters involving race, ethnicity, eugenics, immigration, and the nature of the nation-state.

Second, readers with an active interest in spiritual and metaphysical matters may find Evola’s thought insightful and his exposition of ancient esoteric techniques very helpful. Moreover, his views, though at times very discriminatory, have the potential of becoming a catalyst for personal transformation and spiritual growth.

To date, Evola’s work has been subjected to the silent treatment. When Evola is not ignored, he is usually vilified by leftist scholars and intellectuals, who demonize him as a bad teacher, racist, rabid anti-Semite, master mind of right-wing terrorism, fascist guru, or so filthy a racist even to touch him would be repugnant.  The writer Martin Lee, whose knowledge of Evola is of the most superficial sort, called him a “Nazi philosopher” and claimed that “Evola helped compose Italy’s belated racialist laws toward the end of the Fascist rule.4 Others have minimized his contribution altogether.  Walter Laqueur, in his Fascism: Past, Present, Future, did not hesitate to call him a “learned charlatan, an eclecticist, not an innovator,” and suggested “there were elements of pure nonsense also in his later work.”5 Umberto Eco sarcastically nicknamed Evola “Othelma, the Magician.”

The most valuable summaries to date of Evola’s life and work in the English language have been written by Thomas Sheehan and Richard Drake.6  Until either a biography of Evola or his autobiography becomes available to the English-speaking world, these articles remain the best reference sources for his life and work.  Both scholars are well versed in Italian culture, politics, and language.  Although not sympathetic to Evola’s ideas, they were the first to introduce the Italian thinker’s views to the American public.  Unfortunately, their interpretations of Evola’s work are very reductive. Sheehan and Drake succumb to the dominant leftist propaganda according to which Evola is a “bad teacher” because he allegedly supplied ideological justification for a bloody campaign by right wing terrorists in Italy during the 1980s.7  Regrettably, both authors have underestimated Evola’s spissitudo spiritualis as an esotericist and a Traditionalist, and have written about Evola merely as a case study in their fields of competence, i.e., philosophy and history, respectively.8

Despite his many detractors, Evola has enjoyed something of a revival in the past twenty years.  His works have been translated into French, German,9 Spanish, and English, as well as Portuguese, Hungarian, and Russian.  Conferences devoted to the study of this or that aspect of Evola’s thought are mushrooming everywhere in Europe.10 Thus, paraphrasing the title of Edward Albee’s play, we may want to ask: “Who’s afraid of Julius Evola?”  And, most important, why?
Evola’s Life

Julius Evola died of heart failure at his Rome apartment on June 11, 1974, at the age of seventy-six.  Before he died he asked to be seated at his desk in order to face the sun’s light streaming through the open window.  In accordance with his will, his body was cremated and the urn containing his ashes was buried in a crevasse on Monte Rosa, in the Italian Alps.

Evola’s writing career spanned more than half a century.  It is possible to distinguish three periods in his intellectual development.  First came an artistic period (1916-1922), during which he embraced dadaism and futurism, wrote poetry, and painted in the abstract style.  The reader may recall that dadaism was an avant-garde movement founded by Tristan Tzara, characterized by a yearning for absolute freedom and by a revolt against all prevalent logical, ethical, and aesthetic canons.

Evola turned next to the study of philosophy (1923-1927), developing an ingenuous perspective that could be characterized as “transidealistic,” or as a solipsistic development of mainstream idealism. After learning German in order to be able to read the original texts of the main idealist philosophers (Schelling, Fichte, and Hegel), Evola accepted their chief premise, that being is the product of thought. Yet he also attempted to overcome the passivity of the subject toward “reality” typical of idealist philosophy and of its Italian offshoots, represented by Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce, by outlining the path leading to the “Absolute Individual,” to the status enjoyed by one who succeeds in becoming free (ab-solutus) from the conditionings of the empirical world.  During this period Evola wrote Saggi sull’idealismo magico (Essays on magical idealism), Teoria dell’individuo assoluto (Theory of the absolute individual), and Fenomenologia dell’individuo assoluto (Phenomenology of the absolute individual), a massive work in which he employs the values of freedom, will, and power to expound his philosophy of action.  As the Italian philosopher Marcello Veneziani wrote in his doctoral dissertation: “Evola’s absolute I is born out of the ashes of nihilism; with the help of insights derived from magic, theurgy, alchemy and esotericism, it ascends to the highest peaks of knowledge, in the quest for that wisdom that is found on the paths of initiatory doctrines.”11

In the third and final phase of his intellectual formation, Evola became involved in the study of esotericism and occultism (1927-1929).  During this period he cofounded and directed the so-called Ur group, which published monthly monographs devoted to the presentation of esoteric and initiative disciplines and teachings. “Ur” derives from the archaic root of the word “fire”; in German it also means “primordial” or “original.”  In 1955 these monographs were collected and published in three volumes under the title Introduzione alla magia quale scienza dell’Io.12  In the over twenty articles Evola wrote for the Ur group, under the pseudonym “EA” (Ea in ancient Akkadian mythology was the god of water and wisdom) and in the nine articles he wrote for Bylichnis (the name signifies a lamp with two wicks), an Italian Baptist periodical, Evola laid out the spiritual foundations of his world view.

During the 1930s and 1940s Evola wrote for a number of journals and published several books.  During the Fascist era he was somewhat sympathetic to Mussolini and to fascist ideology, but his fierce sense of independence and detachment from human affairs and institutions prevented him from becoming a card-carrying member of the Fascist party.  Because of his belief in the supremacy of ideas over politics and his aristocratic and anti-populist views, which at times conflicted with government policy—as in his opposition to the 1929 Concordat between the Italian state and Vatican and to the “demographic campaign” launched by Mussolini to increase Italy’s population—Evola fell out of favor with influential Fascists, who shut down La Torre (The tower), the biweekly periodical he had founded, after only ten issues (February-June 1930).13

Evola devoted four books to the subject of race, criticizing National Socialist biological racism and developing a doctrine of race on the basis of the teachings of Tradition: Il mito del sangue (The myth of blood); Sintesi di una dottrina della razza (Synthesis of a racial doctrine); Tre aspetti del problema ebraico (Three aspects of the Jewish question); Elementi di una educazione razziale (Elements of a racial education).  In these books the author outlined his tripartite anthropology of body, soul, and spirit.  The spirit is the principle that determines one’s attitude toward the sacred, destiny, life and death.  Thus, according to Evola, the cultivation of the “spiritual race” should take precedence over the selection of the somatic race, which is determined by the laws of genetics and with which the Nazis were obsessed.  Evola’s antimaterialistic and non-biological racial views won Mussolini’s enthusiastic endorsement.  The Nazis, for their part, were suspicious of and even critical of Evola’s “nebulous” theories, accusing him of watering down the empirical, biological element to promote an abstract, spiritualist, and semi-Catholic view of race.

Before and during World War II, Evola traveled and lectured in several European countries, practicing mountain climbing as a spiritual exercise in his spare time. After Mussolini was freed from his Italian captors in a daring German raid led by SS-Hauptsturmführer Otto Skorzeny, Evola was among a handful of faithful followers who met him at Hitler’s headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, on September 14, 1943.  While sympathetic to the newly formed Fascist government in the north of Italy, which continued to fight on the Germans‘ side against the Allies, Evola rejected its republican and socialist agenda, its populist style, and its antimonarchical sentiments.

When the Allies entered Rome in June 1944, their secret services attempted to arrest Evola, who was living there at the time.  As his elderly mother stalled the MPs, Evola slipped out of the door undetected, and made his way to northern Italy, and then to Austria.  While in Vienna, he began to study secret archives confiscated from various European Masonic lodges by the Germans.

One day in 1945, as Evola was walking the deserted streets of the Austrian capital during a Soviet air attack, a bomb exploded a few yards away from him. The blast threw him against a wooden plank.  Evola fell on his back, and awoke in the hospital.  He had suffered a compression of the bone marrow, paralyzing him from the waist down.  Common sense tells one that walking a city’s deserted streets during aerial bombardments is madness, if not suicide.  But Evola was used to courting danger.  Or, as he once put it, to follow “the norm of not avoiding dangers, but on the contrary, to seek them out, [i]s an implicit way of questioning fate.”14 That is not to say that he believed in “blind” fate.  As he once wrote:
There is no question that one is born with certain tendencies, vocations and pre-dispositions, which at times are very obvious and specific, though at other times are hidden and likely to emerge only in particular circumstances or trials. We all have a margin of freedom in regard to this innate, differentiated element. 15

Evola was determined to question his fate, especially at a time when an entire era was coming to an end.16 But what he had anticipated during the air raid was either death or the attainment of a new perspective on life, not paralysis. He struggled for a long time with that particular outcome, trying to make sense of his “karma”:
Remembering why I had willed it [i.e., the paralysis] and to understand its deeper meaning was to me the only thing that ultimately mattered, something far more important than to “recover,“ to which I never really attributed much importance anyway.17

Evola had ventured outdoors during the air raid in order to test his fate, for he firmly believed in the Traditional, classical doctrine that all the major events that occur in our lives are not purely casual or the outcome of our efforts, but rather the deliberate result of a prenatal choice, something that has been willed by “us” before we were born.

Three years prior to his paralysis, Evola wrote:
Life here on earth cannot be viewed as a coincidence. Moreover, it should not be regarded as something we can either accept or reject at will, nor as a reality that imposes itself on us, before which we can only remain passive, or display an attitude of obtuse resignation. Rather, what arises in some people is the sensation that earthly life is something to which, prior to our becoming terrestrial beings, we have committed ourselves, both as an adventure and as a mission or a chosen task, undertaking a whole set of problematic and tragic elements as well.18

There followed a five-year period of inactivity.  First, Evola spent a year and a half in a Vienna hospital. In 1948, thanks to the intervention of a friend with the International Red Cross, he was sent back to Italy.  He stayed in a hospital in Bologna for at least another year, where he underwent an unsuccessful laminectomy (a surgical procedure in which part of a vertebra is removed in order to relieve pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord).  Evola returned to his Roman residence in 1949, where he lived as an invalid for the next twenty-five years.

While in Bologna, Evola was visited by his friend Clemente Rebora, a poet who became a Christian, and then a Catholic priest in the order of the Rosminian Fathers. After reading about their friendship in one of Evola’s works, in 1997 I visited the headquarters of the order and asked to talk to the person in charge of Rebora’s archives, in hopes of discovering a previously unknown correspondence between them.  No correspondence surfaced, but the priest in charge of the archive was kind enough to give me a copy of a couple of letters Rebora wrote to a friend concerning Evola. The following summary of those letters is revealing of Evola’s view of religion, and of Christianity in particular.19

In 1949 a fellow priest, Goffredo Pistoni, solicited Rebora to visit Evola.  Rebora asked permission of his provincial superior, and upon receiving it traveled from Rovereto to Evola's hospital in Bologna.  Rebora was animated by the desire to see Evola embrace the Christian faith and intended to be a good witness of the gospel.  In a letter to Pistoni, Rebora asked for his assistance so that he would not spoil the “most merciful ways of Infinite Love, and, if [my visit was to be] unhelpful, at least not [turn out to be] harmful.” On March 20, 1949, Rebora wrote to his friend Pistoni on the letterhead of the Salesian Institute of Bologna:
I have just returned from our Evola: we talked at great length and left each other in a brotherly mood, though I did not detect any visible change on his part which after all I could not expect. I have felt him to be like one yearning to “join the rest of the army,” as he said himself, waiting to see what will happen to him. . . .  I have sensed in him a thirst for the absolute, which nevertheless eludes Him who said:  “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”20

Rebora’s frustration with Evola’s unwillingness to abandon his views and embrace the Christian faith is evident in the comment with which he closes the first half of his letter:
Let us pray that his previous books, which he is about to reprint, and a few new titles that will be published soon, may not chain him down, considering the success they have, and may not damage people’s souls, leading them astray in the direction of a false spirituality, as they “follow false images of the Good.” [Probably a quote from Dante’s Divine Comedy. —G.S.]

Rebora concluded his letter on May 12, 1949, adding:
Having returned to headquarters I am finally concluding this letter by telling you that a supernatural tenderness is growing in my heart for him. He [Evola] told me about an inner event that occurred to him during the bombing of Vienna, which, he added, is still mysterious to him, as he undergoes this present trial. On the contrary, I trust I am able to detect the providential and decisive meaning of this event for his soul.

Rebora wrote again to Evola, asking him if he was willing to travel to Lourdes on a special train on which Rebora served as a spiritual director.  Evola politely refused and the contact between the two eventually ended.  Evola never converted to Christianity. In a 1935 letter written to a friend of his, Girolamo Comi, another poet who had become a Christian, Evola claimed:
As far as I am concerned, in regard to the “conversion” that really matters, and not that which is based on feelings or on a religious faith, I have been all right since thirteen years ago [i.e., 1922, the transition year between the artistic and philosophical periods].21

René Guénon wrote to the convalescent Evola22 suggesting that the latter had been the victim of a curse or magical spell cast by some powerful enemy.  Evola replied that he considered that unlikely, for the circumstances to be summoned (e.g., the exact moment of the bomb’s landing, the place where Evola happened to be at that moment), would have required too powerful a spell.  Mircea Eliade, the renowned historian of religion, who corresponded with Evola throughout his life, once remarked to one of his own students: “Evola was wounded in the third chakra—and don’t you find that significant?”23 Since the corresponding affective forces of the third chakra are anger, violence, and pride, one may wonder whether Eliade meant that the wound sustained by Evola could have had a purifying effect on the Italian thinker, or whether it was the consequence of his hubris.  In any event, Evola rejected the idea that his paralysis was a sort of “punishment” for his “promethean” efforts in the spiritual domain. For the rest of his life he endured his condition with admirable stoicism, in rigorous coherence with his beliefs.24

For the next two decades Evola received visitors, friends, and young people who regarded themselves his disciples. According to Gianfranco de Turris, who met him for the first time in 1967, one could sense that he was a “person of high caliber,” though he did not show off or assume snobbish attitudes.  Evola would wear a monocle and rest his cheek on a clenched fist, observing his visitor with curiosity. He did not like the idea of having “disciples,” and jokingly referred to his admirers as “Evolomani” (“Evola maniacs”). In not seeking to recruit followers, he was probably mindful of Buddha’s injunction to proclaim the truth without attempting to persuade or dissuade: “One should know approval and one should know disapproval, and having known approval, having known disapproval, one should neither approve nor disapprove, one should simply teach dhamma.”25


Central Themes in Evola’s Thought

In Evola’s literary production it is possible to single out three major themes, which are strictly interwoven and mutually dependent.  These themes represent three facets of his philosophy of action.  I have designated these themes with terms borrowed from ancient Greek. The first theme is xeniteia, a word that refers to the condition of living abroad, or of being absent from one’s homeland.  In Evola’s works one can easily detect a sense of alienation, of not belonging to what he called the “modern world.”  According to ancient peoples, xeniteia was not an enviable condition.  To live surrounded by barbarous people and customs, away from one’s polis, when not the result of a personal choice was often the result of a judicial sentence.  We may recall that exile was often meted out to undesirable elements of an ancient society, e.g., the short-lived practice of ostracism in ancient Athens; the fate that befell many ancient Romans, including the Stoic philosopher Seneca; the deportation of entire families or populations, etc.

Throughout his life, Evola never really “fit in.” Whether during his artistic, philosophical, or esoteric phase, he always felt like a straggler, seeking to link up with “the rest of the ‘army.’”  The modern world he denounced in his masterpiece, Revolt against the Modern World, took its revenge on him: at the end of the war he was surrounded by a world of ruins, isolated, avoided, and reviled.  Yet he managed to retain a composed, dignified attitude and to continue in his self-appointed task of night-watchman.

The second theme is apoliteia, or abstention from active participation in the construction of the human polis.  Evola’s recommendation was that while living in exile from the world of Tradition and from the Golden Age, one should avoid the encroaching embrace of the multitudes and refrain from active participation in ordinary human affairs.  Apoliteia, according to Evola, refers essentially to an inner attitude of indifference and detachment, but it does not necessarily entail a practical abstention from politics, as long as one engages in it with a completely detached attitude:  “Apoliteia is the inner, irrevocable distance from this society and its ‘values’: it consists in not accepting being bound to society by any spiritual or moral bond.”26 This attitude is to be commended because, according to Evola, in this day and age there are no ideas, causes, and goals worthy of one’s commitment.

Finally, the third theme is autarkeia, or self-sufficiency.  The quest for spiritual independence led Evola far away from the busy crossroads of human interaction, in order to explore and expound paths of perfection and of asceticism.  He became a student of ancient esoteric and occult teachings on “liberation,” and published his findings in several books and articles.


Xeniteia


The following words, spoken by the Benevolent Spirit to the Destructive Spirit in the Yasna, a Zoroastrian collection of hymns and prayers, may serve to characterize Evola’s attitude toward the modern world: “Neither our thoughts, nor teachings, nor intentions, neither our preferences nor words, neither our actions nor conceptions nor our souls are in accord.”27 Throughout his entire life Evola lived in a consistent and coherent fashion that could be simplistically dismissed as intellectual snobbism or even misanthropy. But the reasons for Evola’s rejection of the socio-political order in which lived must be sought elsewhere, namely in a well-articulated Weltanschauung, or worldview.

To be sure, Evola’s sense of estrangement from the society in which he lived was reciprocated. Anyone who refuses to recognize the legitimacy of  “the System,” or to participate in the life of a community which he does not recognize as his own, professing instead a higher allegiance to and citizenship in another land, world, or ideology, is bound to live like a metic in ancient Greece, surrounded by suspicion and hostility.28  In order to understand the reasons for Evola’s uncompromising attitude, we need first to define the concepts of “Tradition” and “modern world” as employed by Evola in his works.

Generally speaking, the term tradition can be understood in several ways: (1) as an archetypal myth (some members of the political Right in Italy have rejected this view as an “incapacitating myth”); (2) as the way of life of a particular age, e.g., the Middle Ages, feudal Japan, the Roman Empire; (3) as the sum of three principles: “God, Country, Family”; (4) as anamnesis, or historical memory in general; and (5) as a body of religious teachings to be preserved and transmitted to future generations.  Evola understood tradition mainly as an archetypal myth, that is, as the presence of the Absolute in specific historical and political forms.  Evola’s Absolute is not a religious principle or a noumenon, much less the God of theism, but rather a mysterious domain, or dunamis, power.  Evola’s Tradition is characterized by “Being” and stability, while the modern world is characterized by “Becoming.”  In the world of tradition stable socio-political institutions were in place.  The world of Tradition, according to Evola, was exemplified by the ancient Roman, Greek, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese civilizations.  These civilizations upheld a strict caste system; they were ruled by warrior nobilities and waged wars to expand the boundaries of their imperiums.  In Evola’s words:
The traditional world knew divine kingship.  It knew the bridge between the two worlds, namely initiation.  It knew the two great ways of approach to the transcendent, namely heroic action and contemplation.  It knew the mediation, namely rites and faithfulness.  It knew the social foundation, namely the traditional law and the caste system. And it knew the political earthly symbol, namely the empire.29

Evola claims that the traditional world’s underlying belief was the “invisible”:
It held that mere physical existence, or “living,” is meaningless unless it approximates the higher world or that which is “more than life,” and unless one’s highest ambition consists in participating in hyperkosmia and in obtaining an active and final liberation from the bond represented by the human condition.30

Evola upheld a cyclical view of history, a philosophical and religious view with a rich cultural heritage.  Though one may reject it, this view deserves as much respect as the linear view of history upheld by theism, to which I subscribe, or as the progressive view championed by Engels’ “scientific materialism,” or as the hopeful and optimistic view typical of various New Age movements, according to which the universe is undergoing a constant and irreversible spiritual evolution.  According to the cyclical view of history espoused by Hinduism, which Evola adopted and modified to fit his views, we are living in the fourth age of a complete cycle, the so-called Kali-yuga, an era characterized by decadence and disruption. According to Evola, the most remarkable phases of this “Yuga” (era) included the emergence of pre-Socratic philosophy (characterized by rejection of myth and by overemphasis on reason); the birth of Christianity; the Renaissance; Humanism; the Protestant Reformation; the Enlightenment; the French Revolution; the European revolutions of 1848; the advent of the Industrial Revolution; and Bolshevism.  Thus, the “modern world” for Evola did not begin in the 1600s, but rather in the fourth century B.C.


Evola and Eliade

Evola’s rejection of the modern world can be contrasted with its acceptance, promoted by Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), the renowned historian of religion whom Evola met in person several times, and with whom he corresponded until his death in 1974.  The two men met for the first time in 1937.  By that time, Eliade had compiled an impressive academic record that included a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Bucharest and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy from the University of Calcutta.  Evola was already an accomplished writer and had published some of his most important works, such as The Hermetic Tradition (1931), Revolt against the Modern World (1934), and The Mystery of the Grail (1937).31

Eliade had read Evola’s early philosophical works during the 1920s and “admired his intelligence and, even more, the density and clarity of his prose.”32 An intellectual friendship developed between the young Romanian scholar and the Italian philosopher, who was nine years Eliade’s senior.  Their common interest in yoga led Evola to write L’uomo e la potenza (Man as power) in 1926 (revised in 1949 with the new title The Yoga of Power 33) and Eliade to write the acclaimed scholarly work Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (1933).  As Eliade recalls in his autobiographical journals:
I received letters from him when I was in Calcutta (1928-31) in which he instantly begged me not to speak to him of yoga, or of “magical powers” except to report precise facts to which I had personally been a witness.  In India I also received several publications from him, but I only remember a few issues of the journal Krur.34

Evola and Eliade’s first meeting was in Romania, in conjunction with a luncheon hosted by the philosopher Nae Ionescu. Evola was traveling through Europe at the time, establishing contacts, and giving lectures “in the attempt to coordinate those elements who could represent, to some degree, the [T]raditional thought on the political-cultural plane.”35 Eliade recalled the admiration that Evola expressed for Corneliu Codreanu (1899-1938), the founder of the Romanian nationalist and Christian movement known as the “Iron Guard.” Evola and Codreanu had met the morning of the luncheon.  Codreanu told Evola of the effects that incarceration had had on his soul, and of his discovery of contemplation in the solitude and silence of his prison cell.  In his autobiography Evola described Codreanu as “one of the worthiest and most spiritually oriented persons I ever met in the nationalist movements of that period.36 Eliade wrote that at the luncheon “Evola was still dazzled by him [Codreanu].  I vaguely remember the remarks he made then on the disappearance of contemplative disciplines in the political battle of the West.”37 But the two scholars’ focus was different indeed.  As Eliade wrote in his journal:
One day I received a rather bitter letter from him, in which he reproached me for never citing him, no more than did Guénon. I answered him as best as I could, and I must one day give reasons and explanations that that response called for.  My argument could not have been simpler.  The books I write are intended for today’s audience, and not for initiates.  Unlike Guénon and his emulators, I believe I have nothing to write that would be intended especially for them.38

I must conclude from Eliade’s remarks that he did not like, share, or care for Evola’s esoteric views and leanings.  I believe there are three reasons for Eliade’s aversion.  First, Evola, like all traditionalists, presumed the existence of a higher, solar, royal, and esoteric primordial tradition, and devoted his life to describing, studying, and celebrating it in its many forms and varieties.  He also set this tradition above and against what he dubbed “telluric” modern popular cultures and civilizations (such as Romania’s, to which Eliade belonged). In Revolt against the Modern World one can read many instances of this juxtaposition.

Eliade, for his part, rejected any emphasis on esotericism, because he thought it had a reductive effect on the human spirit.  Eliade claimed that to limit the value of European spiritual creations exclusively to their “esoteric meanings” repeated in reverse the reductionism of the materialistic approach adopted by Marx and Freud.  Nor did he believe in the existence of a primordial tradition: “I was suspicious of its artificial, ahistorical character,” he wrote.39 Second, Eliade rejected the negative or pessimistic view of the world and the human condition that characterized Guénon’s and Evola’s thought.  Unlike Evola, who believed in the ongoing “putrefaction” of contemporary Western culture, Eliade claimed:
[T]o the extent that I . . . believe in the creativity of the human spirit, I cannot despair: culture, even in a crepuscular era, is the only means of conveying certain values and of transmitting a certain spiritual message. In a new Noah’s Ark, by means of which the spiritual creation of the West could be saved, it is not enough for René Guénon’s L’esotérisme de Dante to be included; there must be also the poetic, historic, and philosophical understanding of The Divine Comedy.40

Finally, the socio-cultural milieu that Eliade celebrated was very different from the one favored by Evola.  As India regained its independence, Eliade came to believe that Asia was about to re-enter history and world politics and that his own people, the Romanians, “could fulfill a definite role in the coming dialogue between the [] West, Asia and cultures of the archaic folk type.”41 He celebrated the peasant roots of Romanian culture as they promoted universalism and pluralism, rather than nationalism and provincialism.  Eliade wrote:
It seemed to me that I was beginning to discern elements of unity in all peasant cultures, from China and South-East Asia to the Mediterranean and Portugal. I was finding everywhere what I later called “cosmic religiosity”: that is, the leading role played by symbols and images, the religious respect for earth and life, the belief that the sacred is manifested directly through the mystery of fecundity and cosmic repetition. . . .42

These conclusions could not have been more diametrically opposed to Evola’s views, especially as he formulated them in Revolt against the Modern World.  According to the latter’s doctrine, cosmic religiosity is an inferior and corrupt form of spirituality, or, as he called it, a “lunar spirituality” (the moon, unlike the sun, is not a source of light, and merely reflects the latter’s light, as “lunar spirituality” is contingent upon God, the All, or upon any other metaphysical version of the Absolute) characterized by mystical abandonment.

In his yet untranslated autobiography, Il cammino del cinabro (“The cinnabar’s journey”), Evola describes his spiritual and intellectual journey through alien landscapes: religious (Christianity, theism), philosophical (idealism, nihilism, realism), and political (democracy, Fascism, post-war Italy).  For readers who are not familiar with Hermeticism, we may recall that cinnabar is a red metal representing rubedo, or redness, which is the third and final stage of one’s inner transformation.  Evola explains at the beginning of his autobiography: “My natural sense of detachment from what is human in regard to many things that, especially in the affective domain, are usually regarded as `normal,‘ was manifested in me at a very tender age.”43


Autarkeia

Various religions and philosophies regard the human condition as highly problematic, likening it to a disease and setting forth a cure.  This disease is characterized by many features, including a certain spiritual “heaviness,” or gravitational pull, drawing us “downwards.”  Humans are prisoners of meaningless daily routines; of pernicious habits developed over years, e.g., drinking, smoking, gambling, workaholism, and sexual addictions, in response to external pressures; of an intellectual and spiritual laziness that prevents us from developing our powers and becoming living, vibrant beings; and of inconstancy, as is often painfully obvious from our ever-renewed “New Year’s resolutions.”  How often, when we commit ourselves to practice something on a daily basis over a period of time, does the day soon come that we forget, find an excuse to abandon our commitment, or simply quit!  This is not merely inconsistency or a lack of perseverance on our part: it is a symptom of our inability to master ourselves and our lives.

Moreover, we are by nature unable to keep our minds focused on any object of meditation. We are easily distracted and bored.  We spend our days talking about unimportant, meaningless details. Our conversations, for the most part, are not real dialogues, but rather exchanges of monologues.

We are busy at jobs we do not care about, and earning a living is our utmost concern. We feel bored, empty, and sexually frustrated by our own or our partners’ inability to deliver peak performance.  We want more: more money, more leisure, more “toys,” and more fulfillment, of which we get too little, too seldom.  We succumb to all sorts of indulgences and petty pleasures to soothe our dull and wounded consciousness.  And yet all these things are merely symptoms of the real problem that besets the human condition. Our real problem is not that we are deficient beings, but that we don’t know how to be, and don’t desire to be, different.  We embrace everyday life and call it “the real thing,” slowly but inexorably suffocating the yearning for transcendence buried deep within us.  In the end this proves to be our real undoing; we are not unlike smokers who, after being diagnosed with emphysema, keep on smoking to the bitter end.  The problem is that we deny there is a problem.  We are like a psychotic person who denies he is mentally ill, or like a sociopath who after committing a heinous crime insists that he really has a conscience, producing tears and remorse to prove it.

In the past, movements like Pythagoreanism, Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Mandaeanism, and medieval Catharism claimed that the problem beleaguering human beings is the body itself, or physical matter, to be precise.  These movements held that the soul or spirit is kept prisoner inside the cage of matter, waiting to be freed. (Evola rejected this interpretation as unsophisticated and as the product of a feminine and telluric worldview.)  Buddhism declared a “polluted” or “unenlightened mind” to be the real problem, developing in the course of the centuries a real science of the mind in an attempt to cure the disease at the roots.  Christian theism identified the root of human suffering and evil in sin.  As a remedy, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy propose incorporation into the church through baptism and active participation in her liturgical life.  Many Protestants advocate, instead, a living and personal relationship with Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior, to be cultivated through prayer, Bible studies, and church fellowship.

Evola regarded acceptance of the human condition as the real problem, and autarchy, or self-sufficiency, as the cure.  According to the ancient Cynics, autarkeia is the ability to lead a satisfactory, full life with the least amount of material goods and pleasures.  An autarchic being (the ideal man) is a person who is able to grow spiritually even in the absence of what others consider the necessities of life (e.g., health, wealth, and good human relationships).  The Stoics equated autarchy with virtue (arête, which they regarded as the only thing needed for happiness.  Even the Epicureans, led though they were by a quest for pleasure, regarded autarkeia as a “great good, not with the aim of always getting by with little, but that if much is lacking, we may be satisfied with little.”44

Evola endorsed the notion of autarkeia out of his rejection of the human condition and of the ordinary life that stems from it.  Like Nietzsche before him, Evola claimed that the human condition and everyday life should not be embraced, but overcome: our worth lies in being a “project” (in Latin projectum, “to be cast forward").  Thus, what truly matters for human beings is not who we are but what we can and should become.  Humans are enlightened or unenlightened according to whether or not they grasp this basic metaphysical truth.  It was not snobbism that led Evola to conclude that most human beings are “slaves” trapped in samsara like guinea pigs running on a wheel inside their cage.  According to Evola, sharing this state, among those one encounters each day, are not only persons with low paying jobs, but also one’s coworkers, family members, and especially persons without a formal education.  This is of course difficult to acknowledge.  Evola was consumed by a yearning for what the Germans call mehr als leben (“more than living”), which is unavoidably frustrated by the contingencies of human existence.  We read in a collection of Evola’s essays on the subject of mountain climbing:
At certain existential peaks, just as heat is transformed into light, life becomes free of itself; not in the sense of the death of individuality or some kind of mystical shipwreck, but in the sense of a transcendent affirmation of life, in which anxiety, endless craving, yearning and worrying, the quest for religious faith, human supports and goals, all give way to a dominating state of calm. There is something greater than life, within life itself, and not outside of it. This heroic experience is valuable and good in itself, whereas ordinary life is only driven by interests, external things and human conventions.45

According to Evola the human condition cannot and should not be embraced, but rather overcome. The cure does not consist in more money, more education, or moral uprightness, but in a radical and consistent commitment to pursue spiritual liberation.  The past offers several examples of the distinction between an “ordinary” life and a “differentiated” life.  The ancient Greeks referred to ordinary, material, physical life by the term bios, and used the term zoe to describe spiritual life. Buddhist and Hindu scriptures drew a distinction between samsara, or the life of needs, cravings, passions, and desires, and nirvana, a state, condition or extinction of suffering (dukka).  Christian scriptures distinguish between the “life according to the flesh” and the “life according to the Spirit.”  The Stoics distinguish between a “life according to nature” and a life dominated by passions.   Heidegger distinguished between authentic and inauthentic life.

Kierkegaard talked about the aesthetic life and the ethical life.  Zoroastrians distinguished between Good and Evil.  The Essenes divided mankind into two groups: the followers of the Truth and the followers of the Lie.

The authors who first introduced Evola to the notions of self-sufficiency and of the “absolute individual” (an ideal, unattainable state) were Nietzsche and Carlo Michelstaedter.  The latter was a twenty-three year old Jewish-Italian student who committed suicide in 1910, the day after completing his doctoral dissertation, which was first published in 1913 with the title La persuasione e la retorica (Persuasion and rhetoric).46 In his thesis, Michelstaedter claims that the human condition is dominated by remorse, melancholy, boredom, fear, anger, and suffering.  Man’s actions reveal that he is a passive being.  Because he attributes value to things, man is also distracted by them or by their pursuit.  Thus man seeks outside himself a stable reference point, but fails to find it, remaining the unfortunate prisoner of his illusory individuality.  The two possible ways to live the human condition, according to Michelstaedter, are the way of Persuasion and the way of Rhetoric.  Persuasion is an unachievable goal.  It consists in achieving possession of oneself totally and unconditionally, and in no longer needing anything else.  This amounts to having life in one’s self.  In Michelstaedter’s words:
The way of Persuasion, unlike a bus route, does not have signs that can be read, studied and communicated to others.  However, we all have within ourselves the need to find that; we all must blaze our own trail because each one of us is alone and cannot expect any help from the outside. The way of Persuasion has only this stipulation: do not settle for what has been given you.47

On the contrary, the way of Rhetoric designates the palliatives or substitutes that man adopts in lieu of an authentic Persuasion.  According to Evola, the path of Rhetoric is followed by “those who spurn an actual self-possession, leaning on other things, seeking other people, trusting in others to deliver them, according to a dark necessity and a ceaseless and indefinite yearning.”48  As Nietzsche wrote:
You crowd together with your neighbors and have beautiful words for it.  But I tell you: Your love of your neighbor is your bad love of yourselves. You flee to your neighbor away from yourselves and would like to make a virtue of it: but I see through your selflessness. . . .  I wish rather that you could not endure to be with any kind of neighbor or with your neighbor’s neighbor; then you would have to create your friend and his overflowing heart of yourselves.49

The goal of autarchy appears throughout Evola’s works.  In his quest for this privileged condition, he expounded the paths blazed by various movements in the past, such as Tantrism, Buddhism, Mithraism, and Hermeticism.

In the early 1920s, Decio Calvari, president of the Italian Independent Theosophical League, introduced Evola to the study of Tantrism.  Soon Evola began a correspondence with the learned British orientalist and divulger of Tantrism, Sir John Woodroffe (who also wrote with the pseudonym of “Arthur Avalon”), whose works and translations of Tantric texts he amply utilized.  While René Guénon celebrated Vedanta as the quintessence of Hindu wisdom in his L’homme et son devenir selon le Vedanta (Man and his becoming according to the Vedanta) (1925), upholding the primacy of contemplation or of knowledge over action, Evola adopted a different perspective .  Rejecting the view that spiritual authority is worthier than royal power, Evola wrote L’uomo come potenza (Man as power) in 1925.  In the third revised edition (1949), the title was changed to Lo yoga della potenza (The yoga of power).50  This book represents a link between his philosophical works and the rest of his literary production, which focuses on Traditional concerns.

The thesis of The Yoga of Power is that the spiritual and social conditions that characterize the Kali-yuga greatly decrease the effectiveness of purely intellectual, contemplative, and ritual paths.  In this age of decadence, the only way open to those who seek the “great liberation” is one of resolute action.51  Tantrism defined itself as a system based on practice, in which hatha-yoga and kundalini-yoga constitute the psychological and mental training of the followers of Tantrism in their quest for liberation.  While criticizing an old Western prejudice according to which Oriental spiritualities are characterized by an escapist attitude (as opposed to those of the West, which allegedly promote vitalism, activism, and the will to power), Evola reaffirmed his belief in the primacy of action by outlining the path followed in Tantrism.  Several decades later, a renowned member of the French Academy, Marguerite Yourcenar, paid homage to The Yoga of Power.  She wrote of “the immense benefit that a receptive reader may gain from an exposition such as Evola’s,”52 and concluded that “the study of The Yoga of Power is particularly beneficial in a time in which every form of discipline is naively discredited.”53

But Evola’s interest was not confined to yoga.  In 1943 he wrote The Doctrine of the Awakening, dealing with the teachings of early Buddhism.  He regarded Buddha’s original message as an Aryan ascetic path meant for spiritual “warriors” seeking liberation from the conditioned world.  In this book he emphasized the anti-theistic and anti-monistic insights of Buddha.  Buddha taught that devotion to this or that god or goddess, ritualism, and study of the Vedas were not conducive to enlightenment, nor was experience of the identity of one’s soul with the “cosmic All” named Brahman, since, according to Buddha, both “soul” and “Brahman” are figments of our deluded minds.

In The Doctrine of the Awakening Evola meticulously outlines the four “jhanas,” or meditative stages, that are experienced by a serious practitioner on the path leading to nirvana.  Most of the sources Evola drew from are Italian and German translations of the Sutta Pitaka, that part of the ancient Pali canon of Buddhist scriptures in which Buddha’s discourses are recorded.  While extolling the purity and faithfulness of early Buddhism to Buddha’s message, Evola characterized Mahayana Buddhism as a later deviation and corruption of Buddha’s teachings, though he celebrated Zen54 and the doctrine of emptiness (sunyata) as Mahayana’s greatest achievements.  In The Doctrine of the Awakening Evola extols the figure of the ahrat, one who has attained enlightenment.  Such a person is free from the cycle of rebirth, having successfully overcome samsaric existence.  The ahrat’s achievement, according to Evola, can be compared to that of the jivan-mukti of Tantrism, of the Mithraic initiate, of the Gnostic sage, and of the Taoist “immortal.”

This text was one of Evola’s finest.  Partly as a result of reading it, two British members of the OSS became Buddhist monks.  The first was H. G. Musson, who also translated Evola’s book from Italian into English.  The second was Osbert Moore, who became a distinguished scholar of Pali, translating a number of Buddhist texts into English.  On a personal note, I would like to add that Evola’s Doctrine of Awakening sparked my interest in Buddhism, leading me to read the Sutta Pitaka, to seek the company of Theravada monks, and to practice meditation.

In The Metaphysics of Sex (1958) Evola took issue with three views of human sexuality.  The first is naturalism.  According to naturalism the erotic life is conceived as an extension of animal instincts, or merely as a means to perpetuate the species.  This view has recently been advocated by the anthropologist Desmond Morris, both in his books and in his documentary The Human Animal.  The second view Evola called “bourgeois love”: it is characterized by respectability and sanctified by marriage.  The most important features of this type of sexuality are mutual commitment, love, feelings.  The third view of sex is hedonism.  Following this view, people seek pleasure as an end in itself.  This type of sexuality is hopelessly closed to transcendent possibilities intrinsic to sexual intercourse, and thus not worthy of being pursued.  Evola then went on to explain how sexual intercourse can become a path leading to spiritual achievements.


Apoliteia

In 1988 a passionate champion of free speech and democracy, the journalist and author I. F. Stone, wrote a provocative book entitled The Trial of Socrates.  In his book Stone argued that Socrates, contrary to what Xenophon and Plato claimed in their accounts of the life of their beloved teacher, was not unjustly put to death by a corrupt and evil democratic regime.  According to Stone, Socrates was guilty of several questionable attitudes that eventually brought about his own downfall.

First, Socrates personally refrained from, and discouraged others from pursuing, political involvement, in order to cultivate the “perfection of the soul.”  Stone finds this attitude reprehensible, since in a city all citizens have duties as well as rights.  By failing to live up to his civic responsibilities, Socrates was guilty of “civic bankruptcy,” especially during the dictatorship of the Thirty.  At that time, instead of joining the opposition, Socrates maintained a passive attitude: “The most talkative man in Athens fell silent when his voice was most needed.”55

Next, Socrates idealized Sparta, had aristocratic and pro-monarchical views, and despised Athenian democracy, spending a great deal of time in denigrating the common man.  Finally, Socrates might have been acquitted if only he had not antagonized his jury with his amused condescension and invoked the principle of free speech instead.

Evola resembles Socrates in the attitudes toward politics described by Stone.  Evola too professed “apoliteia.”56 He discouraged people from passionate involvement in politics.  He was never a member of a political party, refraining even from joining the Fascist party during its years in power.  Because of that he was turned down when he tried to enlist in the army at the outbreak of the World War II, although he had volunteered to serve on the front.  He also discouraged participation in the “agoric life.”  The ancient agora, or public square, was the place where free Athenians gathered to discuss politics, strike business deals, and cultivate social relationships. As Buddha said:
Indeed Ananda, it is not possible that a bikkhu [monk] who delights in company, who delights in society will ever enter upon and abide in either the deliverance of the mind that is temporary and delectable or in the deliverance of the mind that is perpetual and unshakeable. But it can be expected that when a bikkhu lives alone, withdrawn from society, he will enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind that is temporal and delectable or in the deliverance of mind that is perpetual and unshakeable . . . . 57

Like Socrates, Evola celebrated the civic values, the spiritual and political achievements, and the metaphysical worth of ancient monarchies, warrior aristocracies, and traditional, non-democratic civilizations.  He had nothing but contempt for the ignorance of ordinary people, for the rebellious masses, for the insignificant common man.

Finally, like Socrates, Evola never appealed to such democratic values as “human rights,” “freedom of speech,” and “equality,” and was “sentenced” to what the Germans call “death by silence.”  In other words, he was relegated to academic oblivion.

Evola’s rejection of involvement in the socio-political arena must also be attributed to his philosophy of inequality.  Norberto Bobbio, an Italian senator and professor emeritus of the philosophy department of the University of Turin, has written a small book entitled Right and Left: The Significance of a Political Distinction.58 In it Bobbio, a committed leftist intellectual, attempts to identify the key element that differentiates the political Right from the Left (a dyad rendered in the non-ideological American political arena by the dichotomy “conservatives and liberal,” or “mainstream and extremist”).  After discussing several objections to the contemporary relevance of the Right-Left dyad following the decline and fall of the major political ideologies, Bobbio concludes that the juxtaposition of Right and Left is still a legitimate and viable one, though one day it will run its course, like other famous dyads of the past: “patricians and plebeians” in ancient Rome, “Guelphs and Ghibellines” during the Middle Ages, and “Crown and Parliament” in seventeenth century England.

At the end of his book Bobbio suggests that, “the main criterion to distinguish between Right and Left is the different attitude they have toward the ideal of equality.”59

Thus, according to Bobbio, the views of Right and Left on “liberty” and “brotherhood” (the other two values in the French revolutionary trio) are not as discordant as their positions on equality.  Bobbio explains:
We may properly call “egalitarians” those who, while being aware that human beings are both equal and unequal, give more relevance, when judging them and recognizing their rights and duties, to that which makes them equal rather than to what makes them un-equal; and “inegalitarians,” those who, starting from the same premise, give more importance to what makes them unequal rather than to what makes them equal.60

Evola, as a representative of the European Right, may be regarded as one of the leading antiegalitarian philosophers of the twentieth century.  Evola’s arguments transcend the age-old debate between those who claim that class, racial, educational, and gender differences between people are due to society’s structural injustices, and those who, on the other hand, believe that these differences are genetic.  According to Evola there are spiritual and ontological reasons that account for differences in people’s lot in life.  In Evola’s writings the social dichotomy is between initiates and “higher beings” on the one hand, and hoi polloi on the other.

The two works that best express Evola’s apoliteia are Men among Ruins (1953) and Riding the Tiger (1961).  In the former he expounds his views on the “organic” State, lamenting the emerging primacy of economics over politics in post-war Europe and America. Evola wrote this book to supply a point of reference for those who, having survived the war, did not hesitate to regard themselves as “reactionaries” deeply hostile to the emerging subversive intellectual and political forces that were re-shaping Europe:
Again, we can see that the various facets of the contemporary social and political chaos are interrelated and that it is impossible to effectively contrast them other than by returning to the origins.  To go back to the origins means, plain and simple, to reject everything that, in every domain, whether social, political and economic, is connected to the “immortal principles” of 1789 in the guise of libertarian, individualistic and egalitarian thought, and to oppose to it a hierarchical view.  It is only in the context of such a view that the value and freedom of man as a person are not mere words or pretexts for a work of destruction and subversion.61

Evola encourages his readers to remain passive spectators in the ongoing process of Europe’s reconstruction, and to seek their citizenship elsewhere:
The Idea, only the Idea must be our true homeland. It is not being born in the same country, speaking the same language or belonging to the same racial stock that matters; rather, sharing the same Idea must be the factor that unites us and differentiates us from everybody else.62

In Riding the Tiger, Evola outlines intellectual and existential strategies for coping with the modern world without being affected by it.  The title is borrowed from a Chinese saying, and it suggests that a way to prevent a tiger from devouring us is to jump on its back and ride it without being thrown off.  Evola argued that lack of involvement in the political and social construction of the human polis on the part of the “differentiated man” can be accompanied by a sense of sympathy toward those who, in various ways, live on the fringe of society, rejecting its dogmas and conventions.


The “differentiated person” feels like an outsider in this society and feels no moral obligation toward society’s request that he joins what he regards as an absurd system.  Such a person can understand not only those who live outside society’s parameters, but even those who are set against such (a) society, or better, this society.63

This is why, in his 1968 book L’arco e la clava (The bow and the club), Evola expressed some appreciation for the “beat generation” and the hippies, all the while arguing that they lacked a proper sense of transcendence as well as firm points of spiritual reference from which they could launch an effective inner, spiritual “revolt” against society.



Guido Stucco has an M.A. in Systematic Theology at Seaton Hall and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology at St. Louis University. He has translated five of Evola’s books into English.

 

End Notes

1. For a good introduction to this movement and its ideas, William Quinn, The Only Tradition, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

2. The first of the Theosophical Society’s three declared objectives was to promote the brotherhood of all men, regardless of race, creed, nationality, and caste.

3. Tomislav Sunic, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, New York: Peter Lang, 1991; Ian B. Warren’s interview with Alain de Benoist, “The European New Right: Defining and Defending Europe’s Heritage,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol.13, no. 2, March-April 1994, pp. 28-37; and the special issue “The French New Right,” Telos, Winter 1993-Spring 1994.

4.  Martin Lee, The Beast Reawakens, Boston: Little, Brown, 1997.

5. Walter Laqueur, Fascism: Past, Present, Future, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 97-98.  Despite his bad press in the U.S., Evola’s works have been favorably reviewed by Joscelyn Godwin, “Evola: Prophet against Modernity,” Gnosis Magazine, Summer 1996, pp. 64-65; and by Robin Waterfield, “Baron Julius Evola and the Hermetic Tradition,” Gnosis Magazine, Winter 1990, pp. 12-17.

6. The first to write about Evola in this country was Thomas Sheehan, in “Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist,” Social Research, Vol. 48, Spring 1981, pp. 45-73.  See also Richard Drake, “Julius Evola and the Ideological Origins of the Radical Right in Contemporary Italy,” in Peter Merkl (ed.), Political Violence and Terror: Motifs and Motivations, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986, pp. 61-89;  “Julius Evola, Radical Fascism, and the Lateran Accords,” The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 74, 1988, pp. 403-19; and the chapter “The Children of the Sun,” in The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989, pp. 116-134.

7. Philip Rees, in his Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right since 1890, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991, devotes a meager page and a half to Evola, and shamelessly concludes, without adducing a shred of evidence, that “ Evolian-inspired violence result[ed] in the Bologna station bombing of 2 August 1980.” Gianfranco De Turris, president of the Julius Evola Foundation in Rome and one of the leading Evola scholars, suggested that, in Evola’s case, rather than “bad teacher” one ought to talk about “bad pupils.”  See his Elogio e difesa di Julius Evola: il barone e i terroristi, Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1997, in which he debunks the unfounded charge that Evola was responsible either directly or indirectly for acts of terrorism committed in Italy.

8. See for instance Sheehan’s convoluted article “Diventare Dio: Julius Evola and the Metaphysics of Fascism,” Stanford Italian Review, Vol. 6, 1986, pp. 279-92, in which he tries to demonstrate that Nietzsche and Evola mirror each other.  Sheehan should have rather spoken of an overcoming of Nietzsche’s philosophy on the part of Evola. The latter rejected Nietzsche’s notion of “Eternal Recurrence” as “nothing more than a myth”; his vitalism, because closed to transcendence and hopelessly immanentist; his “Will to Power” because: “Power in itself is amorphous and meaningless if it lacks the foundation of a given being, of an inner direction, of an essential unity” (Julius Evola, Cavalcare la tigre [Riding the tiger], Milan: Vanni Scheiwiller, 1971, p. 49); and, finally, Nietzsche’s nihilism, which Evola denounced as a project that had been implemented half-way.

9.  H.T. Hansen, a pseudonym adopted by T. Hakl, is an Austrian scholar who earned a law degree in 1970. He is a partner in the prestigious Swiss publishing house Ansata Verlag and one of the leading Evola scholars in German-speaking countries. Hakl has translated several works by Evola into German and supplied lengthy scholarly introductions to most of them.

10. See for instance the topics of a conference held in France on the occasion of the centenary of his birth: “Julius Evola 1898-1998: Eveil, destin et expériences de terres spirituelles,” on the web site http://perso.wanadoo.fr/collectif.ea/langues/anglais/acteesf.htm. 

11. Marcello Veneziani, Julius Evola tra filosofia e tradizione, Rome: Ciarrapico Editore, 1984, p. 110.

12. This work has been translated into French and German.  My translation of the first volume is scheduled to be published in December 2002 by Inner Traditions, with the title Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus.

13. Marco Rossi, a leading Italian authority on Evola, wrote an article on Evola’s alleged antidemocratic anti-Fascism in Storia contemporanea, Vol. 20, 1989, pp. 5-42.

14. Julius Evola, Il cammino del cinabro, Milan: Vanni Scheiwiller, 1972 , p. 162.

15. Julius Evola, Etica aria, Arian ethics, Rome: Europa srl, 1987, p. 28.

16. When Evola and a few friends came to the realization that the war was lost for the Axis, they began to draft plans for the creation of a “Movement for the Rebirth of Italy.” This movement was supposed to organize a right-wing political party capable of stemming the post-war influence of the Left. Nothing came of it, though.

17. Julius Evola, Il Cammino del cinabro, p. 183.

18. Julius Evola, Etica aria, p. 24.

19. In the beginning of his autobiography Evola claimed that reading Nietzsche fostered his opposition to Christianity, a religion which never appealed to him.  He felt theories of sin and redemption, divine love, and grace as “foreign” to his spirit.

20. Rebora was imprecisely quoting from memory a saying by Jesus found in John 7:37.  The exact quote is “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.” (Revised Standard Version.)

21. Julius Evola, Lettere di Julius Evola a Girolamo Comi, 1934-1962, Rome: Fondazione Julius Evola, 1987, p. 17. In 1922 Evola was on the brink of suicide.  He had experimented with hallucinogenic drugs and was consumed by an intense desire for extinction.  In a letter dated July 2, 1921, Evola wrote to his friend Tristan Tzara: “I am in such a state of inner exhaustion that even thinking and holding a pen requires an effort which I am not often capable of. I live in a state of atony and of immobile stupor, in which every activity and act of the will freeze. . . . Every action repulses me. I endure these feelings like a disease. Also, I am terrified at the thought of time ahead of me, which I do not know how to utilize. In all things I perceive a process of decomposition, as things collapse inwardly, turning into wind and sand.” Lettere di Julius Evola a Tristan Tzara, 1919-1923, Rome: Julius Evola Foundation, 1991, p. 40.  Evola was able to overcome this crisis after reading the Italian translation of the Buddhist text Majjhima-Nikayo, the so-called “middle length discourses of the Buddha.” In one of his discourses Buddha taught the importance of detachment from one’s sensory perceptions and feelings, including one’s yearning for personal extinction.

22. For a brief account of their correspondence, see Julius Evola, René Guénon: A Teacher for Modern Times, trans. by Guido Stucco, Edmonds, WA: Holmes Publishing Group, 1994.

23. Joscelyn Godwin, Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival, Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1993, p. 61.

24. In two letters to Comi, Evola wrote: “From a spiritual point of view my situation doesn’t mean more to me than a flat tire on my car”; and: “The small matter of my legs’ condition has only put some limitations on some profane activities, while on the intellectual and spiritual planes I am still following the same path and upholding the same views,” Lettere a Comi, pp. 18, 27.

25. The Middle Length Sayings, vol. III, trans. by I.B. Horner, London: Pali Text Society, 1959, p. 278.

26. Julius Evola, Cavalcare la tigre, p. 175.

27. Yuri Stoyanov, The Hidden Tradition in Europe, New York: Penguin, 1994, p. 8.

28. The Latin word hostis means both “guest” and “enemy.” This is revealing of how ancient Romans regarded foreigners in general.

29. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1995, p. 6.  The first part of the book deals with the concepts noted in the extract cited. The second part of the book deals with the modern world.

30. Ibid.

31. All of these works have been translated and published in English by Inner Traditions.

32. Mircea Eliade, , Exile’s Odyssey, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, p. 152.

33. Julius Evola, The Yoga of Power, trans. by Guido Stucco, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1992.

34. Mircea Eliade, Journal III, 1970-78, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, p. 161.

35. Julius Evola, Il cammino del cinabro, p. 139.

36. Ibid.

37. Eliade, Journal III,1970-78, p. 162.

38. Ibid., pp. 162-63.

39. Mircea Eliade, Exile’s Odyssey, pp. 152.  See also Alain de Benoist and quote him at length.

40. Ibid.  This criticism was reiterated by S. Nasr in an interview to the periodical Gnosis.

41. Mircea Eliade, Journey East, Journey West, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981-88, p. 204.

42. Eliade, Journey East, Journey West, p. 202.

43. Evola, Il cammino del cinabro, p. 12.

44. Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus, p. 47.

45. Julius Evola, Meditations on the Peaks, trans. by Guido Stucco, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1998, p. 5.

46. Carlo Michelstaedter, La persuasione e la retorica, Milan: Adelphi Edizioni, 1990.

47. Ibid., p. 104.

48. Il cammino del cinabro, p. 46.

49. F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. by R.J. Hollingdale, London: Penguin Books, 1969, p. 86.

50. Evola, The Yoga of Power, trans. by Guido Stucco, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1992.

51. Evola would probably have liked Jesus’ saying (Luke 16:16): “The law and the prophets lasted until John; but from then on the kingdom of God is proclaimed and everyone who enters does so with violence.”

52. Marguerite Yourcenar, Le temps, ce grand sculpteur, Paris: Gallimard, 1983, p. 201.

53. Ibid., p. 204.

54. Julius Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1995.

55. I. F. Stone, The Trial of Socrates, New York: Doubleday, 1988, p. 146.

56. Julius Evola, Cavalcare la tigre, pp. 174-78.

57. Mahajjima Nikayo, p. 122.

58. Norberto Bobbio, Destra e sinistra: ragioni e significati di una distinzione politica, Rome: Donzelli Editore, 1994. This book has been published in English as Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction, Cambridge, England: Polity Press, 1996.

59. Ibid., p. 80.

60. Ibid., p. 74.

61. Julius Evola, Gli uomini e le rovine, Rome: Edizioni Settimo Sigillo, 1990, p. 64.

62. Ibid., p. 41.

63. Julius Evola, Cavalcare la tigre, p. 179.

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dimanche, 18 janvier 2009

Odal: Germaanse Gewoonterecht en Eigendom

1420065-62557047.jpg

Odal: Germaans Gewoonterecht en Eigendom

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samedi, 17 janvier 2009

L'héritage de Sparte

Leonidas_in_Sparta.jpg

 

Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPÉENNES - CRITICON (Munich) - ORIENTATIONS (Bruxelles) - Février 1990

L'héritage de Sparte:

Hommage à la Prusse de la Grèce antique

par Gerd-Klaus KALTENBRUNNER,

Si la Prusse-Brandebourg fut le "pôle nord" et l'Autriche le "pôle sud" de l'histoire allemande mo-derne, la politique et la civilisation hellé-niques furent marquées pendant des siècles par l'opposition entre Athènes et Sparte. L'Autriche et la Prusse ne furent pas seulement des constructions étatiques: elles ont également in-carné une manière d'être, un état d'esprit, un style, une éthique. Il en est de même pour Athènes et Sparte. Ce dualisme resta d'ailleurs bien vivace longtemps après que les deux cités-Etats grecques eurent perdu leur puissance et même leur indépendance. A l'instar de l'ancien Empire allemand, qui comprenait une multitude d'Etats dont certains étaient de taille mi-cro-sco-pique, la Grèce antique ne formait pas une unité politique; c'était une mosaïque de villes et de confédé-rations, toutes jalouses de leur indépen-dance. Cer-taines de ces poleis  jouèrent, en leur temps, un rôle éminent, politiquement ou cultu-rellement. Citons par exemple les villes grecques d'Asie mineure, Ephèse, Milet et Smyrne, les colonies grecques de la Mer Noire, de Sicile ou d'Italie du Sud. Sur le continent hellénique, ce furent Corinthe et Thèbes, Argos et Némée, Eleusis et Delphes, sans oublier les nombreuses villes-Etats de la Mer Egée: la Crète, Chypre, Rhodes, Samos, Lesbos, Delos, Chios, etc...

Chacun de ces noms renvoie à une facette de l'"hel-lénité", incarne un aspect unique, irré-ductible, de la culture grecque. Pourtant, seules Athènes et Sparte ont acquis une dimension historique mondiale. C'est qu'elles furent, avant tout, des "idées" au sens plato-nicien, c'est-à-dire susceptibles, selon les circons-tances, de se réactualiser, de se réincarner sans cesse. Elles ne furent pas des concepts abstraits mais des modèles vivants d'existence historique pouvant à tout moment orienter l'histoire réelle. La Guerre du Pélo-ponnèse, cette "guerre mondiale grec-que" selon la formule magistrale de Thucydide, constitue l'épiphanie de cette opposition, où se résorbe l'insurmontable dualité Sparte-Athènes. Pour Platon mais aussi pour Rousseau et, plus récemment, pour Maurice Barrès, Sparte était l'archétype de l'"Etat vrai". Or, cet arché-type sert depuis longtemps de repoussoir à une politologie qui s'est dégradée en "science de la démocra-tie" au service de l'"esprit du temps".

Sparte ou Spartacus?

On peut, bien entendu, être spartakiste, puisque ce terme ne renvoie pas à un groupe d'extrême-droite mais à un mouvement communiste (le communisme passant déjà pour une forme de démocratie). Etre spartakiste, cela n'a plus rien de dégradant. Le sparta-kisme, c'est de gauche, donc c'est bien. Le mot n'évoque-t-il pas l'es-clave Spartacus, originaire, non de Sparte, mais de Thrace, qui avait organisé la révolte contre ses maîtres romains? Sparte, en revanche, voilà le diable. La "spartitude", c'est synonyme de ru-desse, de dureté, de vexations inutiles... Mais que valent les beaux discours sur la "démo-cratie" quand survient l'Ernstfall:  le cas d'ur-gen-ce, la situation périlleuse, exception-nelle? L'ins-tant où la question n'est plus de savoir si l'on va se permettre un peu plus ou un peu moins de confort "démocratique"? Où le défi existen-tiel se résume en deux mots: se battre ou dispa-raî-tre...

Combien pèsent, sur le plateau de la balance, les so-phismes libéraux-démocratiques le jour où les armées ennemies franchissent la frontière, saluées par des cin-quièmes colonnes qui déroulent joyeusement le drapeau de l'étranger et s'ali-gnent pour la collabora-tion? A ce moment-là, la seule alternative n'est-elle pas: Aut Spartiates aut Spartacus  (Etre Spartiate ou Spartakiste)?

Aujourd'hui, au nom de Sparte, qui se souvient du mythe d'Hélène, la plus belle femme du mon-de? Qui se souvient que Castor et Pollux, le cou-ple inséparable des deux frères héros qui recevra plus tard une patrie céleste en devenant la constellation zodiacale des Gé-meaux, étaient d'o-ri-gine spartiate et furent honorés à Sparte? On a oublié que Cythère, île fortunée dédiée à Aphro-dite, faisait partie du territoire de Sparte. Révolu est le temps où les écoliers découvraient, le coeur bat-tant, les légendes de l'Antiquité classi-que et s'enthousiasmaient de ce que Sparte, pour-tant située au centre de la plaine de l'Eurotas, ait renoncé, jusqu'à la période hellénistique, à se construire des remparts. Si les Spartiates n'ont pas voulu ériger des fortifica-tions artificielles et des forteresses, c'est parce qu'à Sparte, les hommes, c'était l'Etat. Ces hoplites, qui misaient sur la force de leurs poings et de leurs armes, savaient que chacun était une pierre d'un rempart vi-vant: l'esprit de défense de la Polis. Qui se rappelle en-fin ce que rapportaient Aris-tote, Plutarque et d'autres écrivains antiques: nulle part ailleurs, dans aucun autre Etat grec, la femme n'avait autant de droits civils et publics que dans cette cité dorienne qui exaltait comme nulle autre la fraternité virile?

La Gérousie

On oublie souvent, semble-t-il, que Sparte fut le pre-mier Etat au monde à posséder une sorte de tribunal constitutionnel. Il s'agit des cinq épho-res ou "gardiens des lois" qui pouvaient même traduire les rois (il y en avait toujours deux à la tête de la polis) devant leur ju-ridiction. Il faut rappeler que Sparte, justement parce que sa constitution était "spartiate", a toujours su étouf-fer dans l'oeuf l'émergence de tyrans populaires, ce qui ne fut pas le cas des autres cités-Etats grecques. Soucieux de donner une expression politique à la sa-gacité, à l'expérience et à la sa-gesse des Anciens, les Spartiates créèrent la Gé-rousie: aucune affaire impor-tante de l'Etat ne pouvait être tranchée sans l'assentiment préala-ble de ce Conseil des Anciens qui, avec les deux rois représentant le couple de Gémeaux mythologi-ques, Castor et Pollux, comprenait trente mem-bres au total. Pour siéger à la Gérousie, il fallait avoir au moins soixante ans. L'appartenance à ce corps, incarnation politique du principe de sénio-rité, était définitive: seule la mort pouvait y met-tre fin. Il ne fait guère de doute que la stabilité politique de Sparte, pendant des siècles, était due en partie à cette institu-tion, capable de dé-jouer à temps tous les projets préci-pités, les ini-tiatives inconsidérées ou les idées non mû-ries.

Mais ni la belle Hélène ni les dioscures siégeant au firmament étoilé ni la sagesse du Conseil des Anciens n'ont aujourd'hui droit de cité lorsqu'il est question de Sparte. Même le poète Tyrtée, qui vivait au VIIième siècle avant notre ère et dont les éloges de Sparte sont nombreux, paraît oublié. Et pourtant, Tyrtée était Athénien de naissance. On dit qu'il boitait et avait été maître d'école. Ce n'est que plus tard qu'il devint pa-né-gyriste de Lacédémone et citoyen spartiate. Plus de deux mille ans après, le Souabe Hegel allait bien à Berlin où il devint... philosophe de l'Etat prussien! C'est dans la guerre, disait Hegel, que se manifeste la cohésion de chacun avec l'ensemble. Et il ajoutait que la guerre était l'esprit et la forme où se focalisait l'essentiel de la sub-stance éthique d'un peuple ou d'une nation.

Quant à Tyrtée, j'hésite à le citer car, s'il vivait de nos jours, ses éloges de l'héroïsme spartiate lui vaudraient certainement d'être marqué du signe infamant d'"extrémiste de droite". Une de ses élégies, consa-crée aux héros de la deuxième guerre médique, paraî-trait presque obscène à des oreilles pacifistes, à l'instar du fameux vers d'Ho-race selon lequel "il est doux et honorable de mourir pour la patrie" (Carmina  III, 2, 13), ou encore de Hölderlin dont on s'obstine —sans suc-cès— à faire un Jacobin en puissance:

"Sois grande, ô ma patrie,

Et ne compte point les morts;

pour toi, ma bien-aimée

Aucun mort ne sera de trop!".

Le Romain Horace et l'Allemand Hölderlin sont en fait des fils posthumes de Tyrtée, Spartiate d'adoption, qui, dès le VIIième siècle avant no-tre ère, proclamait son mépris pour l'homme, fût-il par ailleurs de qualité ou de haut rang, qui ne fît pas ses preuves sur un champ de bataille. Voici les premiers vers d'une élégie à laquelle se réfère explicitement Platon dans son dia-logue Des Lois  (629, a-e):

"Je ne ferais nulle mention ni ne tiendrais compte d'un homme,

Quand il serait couronné à la course ou à la lutte,

Aurait la taille et la force d'un cyclope,

serait aussi rapide que le vent de Thrace,

Serait plus beau que Tithonos

Et plus riche que, jadis, Midas et Kinyras;

quand il serait de sang plus noble que Pélops, fils de Tantale,

et aurait la magie du verbe d'Adraste,

et serait grand en toutes choses,

s'il n'est pas grand dans la tourmente du combat!

Car il ne sera pas brave à la guerre

Celui qui ne supporte pas de regarder la tuerie sanglante

Et n'attaque pas l'adversaire

en l'affrontant de près.

C'est la vraie vertu, le plus beau et le meilleur des prix

Que le jeune sang puisse un jour conquérir (1)".

L'Etat guerrier

Les vers de Tyrtée, Spartiate d'adoption, nous rap-pel-lent sans équivoque possible que Sparte fut un Etat guerrier au sens le plus vrai du terme. Un Etat enca-serné, a-t-on pu dire, un Etat pratiquant l'élitisme eu-géniste et dont certains as-pects évoquent le commu-nisme de guerre. Le mo-dèle de la politeia  selon Pla-ton, aristocrate athénien mais spartanophile. Une synthèse appa-remment perverse entre prussianisme et so-cia-lisme. Et le cauchemar de tous les libéraux, de Wil-helm von Humboldt à Karl Popper et à Hen-ri Marrou.

Il ne faut pas s'illusionner: toutes ces descrip-tions, même exagérées dans les détails, même caricaturales (et caricaturées pour les besoins de la polémique) ont un fond de vérité. Athènes exceptée, aucun autre Etat antique ne nous est mieux connu que celui des Spar-tiates qui se nom-maient eux-mêmes Lacédémoniens (le Spartiate était l'homme libre, citoyen à part entière). Les anecdotes les plus effarantes reposent sur de so-lides témoignages. Il est hors de doute que Spar-te, même et surtout à une époque avancée de l'his-toire an-tique, était, comparée à Athènes, un Etat extrême-ment archaïque, rude et xénophobe. Et il est indéniable que jusqu'à la fin, cet Etat a veillé jalousement et or-gueilleusement à préser-ver cette différence-là. Inutile de broder sur l'orgueil ostentatoire, sur la morgue du Spartiate, fût-il citoyen ordinaire. Chaque Spartiate était moi-tié roi moitié brigand. Les textes authen-ti-ques de Tyrtée lui-même sont là pour infirmer toute tentative de banalisation. Tyrtée nous mon-tre sans conteste un Etat où le guerrier l'empor-tait sur le bel esprit et le marchand. Toute la cul-ture était axée sur la chose mi-litaire et l'idéal était le sous-officier d'active. Quand une mère avait perdu son fils à la bataille, elle refusait la-co-niquement (c'est le cas de le dire) toutes con-do--léances: "Je n'ignorais pas qu'il était mortel", et ce que proclame solennellement le choeur de la pièce de Schiller Die Braut von Messina:  "La vie n'est pas le bien suprême" (acte 4, scène 10), était, à Sparte, le b.a.-ba de la formation po-li-tique de n'importe quelle recrue. L'épigramme du lyrique Simonidès dédié aux Spartiates tom-bés aux Thermopyles exprime lapidai-rement ce que l'on attendait du soldat:

"Passant, va dire à Sparte

Que tu nous as trouvés, gisants

Conformément à ses lois".

Vouloir minimiser a posteriori la sévérité spar-tiate est une entreprise vouée à l'échec. La civi-lisation lacédé-monienne n'était guère littéraire mais très athlétique. A Sparte, la poésie fut un produit d'importation, comme en témoigne l'exem-ple des trois grands poètes, Tyrtée, Ter-pandros et Thaletas: le premier venait d'Athènes, le second d'Antissa (Ile de Lesbos), le troisième de Crète. Sparte les fit venir comme poètes offi-ciels, un peu comme la Prusse prendra à son service les Souabes Hegel et Schelling, le Baron de Stein, origi-naire de Nassau, le Hessois Sa-vigny et le Saxon Ranke. La cuisine était aus-tère, c'était le cauchemar des gosiers corinthiens, crétois ou sybarites. Les dis-tributions collectives de "soupe au sang" étaient considérées, hors de Sparte, comme un vomitif.

Un système d'éducation terrible

A sept ans révolus, les enfants appartenaient à l'Etat qui prenait en charge leur éducation. Les garçons, no-tamment, devaient gravir, échelon par échelon, les étapes de la hiérarchie dans les formations de la jeu-nesse d'Etat. La musique et la poésie étaient considé-rées comme des acces-soires de la pédagogie d'Etat. L'autonomie du sens et du goût esthétiques n'était guère prisée: la danse réduite à un exercice gymnique, la poé-sie au rôle d'auxiliaire de l'éducation politique et la musique à un instrument de drill et de dres-sage. Outre le chant choral, musique militaire et chansons de marche au son de la flûte (qui jouait dans l'Antiquité, on le sait, le rôle de nos tam-bours et trompettes): tel était le parnasse spar-tiate.

La vertu suprême était le patriotisme poussé jus-qu'au sacrifice et la subordination des intérêts in-dividuels au salut de l'Etat. Obéissance, endurcis-se-ment des corps et des âmes, frugalité et dis-cipline faisaient partie des règles de vie les plus na-turelles. La discipline, surtout, imprégnait et mo-delait toutes choses: celle des enfants et des adul-tes, discipline à l'école, discipline à table, discipline du corps et de l'esprit, de la concep-tion à la tombe: c'était l'art de gouverner à la spartiate. Est-il besoin de souligner que dans cet-te polis dorienne, la pédérastie, amours "inver-ses d'homme à homme", comme disait Hans Blü-her, était omniprésente? Force est de la considé-rer comme une devotio lacedaemonia,  spéci-fique d'un Etat organisé en Männerbund  (con-frérie virile). Dans ce domaine comme dans d'au-tres, n'enjolivons rien.

Le Taygète

Même observation à propos d'une loi que Plu-tarque fait remonter à Lycurgue, le législateur semi-légendaire de Lacédémone: à sa naissance, l'enfant est examiné par les Anciens du clan. S'il est jugé sain, bien fait et vigoureux, il est dé-claré digne d'être éduqué. Si en re-vanche, le Con-seil des Anciens le trouve malingre et mal constitué, l'enfant est "exposé" au fond d'un précipice rocailleux du Taygète. Car "ils pensaient que pour un être incapable, dès le début de sa vie, de se développer et de devenir sain et fort, il vaut mieux ne pas vivre du tout car il ne sera utile ni à lui-même ni à l'Etat" (Lycurgue, 16).

De l'eugénisme spartiate à l'avortement libéral

Cette loi est à mes yeux la seule dans la constitution de Sparte qui devrait trouver grâce auprès des tenants ac-tuels de l'ordre libéral-dé-mo-cratique, quoique pour des raisons opposées: les Lacédémoniens formés à l'école de Lycurgue avaient une pensée eugéniste alors que nos parasites obéissent à des motivations essentielle-ment individualistes et hédonistes: ce n'est pas pour "améliorer la race", c'est pour augmenter leurs chances d'"épanouissement personnel" qu'ils souscri-vent à l'adage selon lequel "être né ne confère aucun droit à la vie": de nos jours, le "citoyen adulte" ne se laisse nullement prescrire si l'enfant venu au monde doit vivre ou non. Le Conseil des Anciens, institution "réactionnaire", a été remplacé, en ce qui concerne le sort du nouveau-né ou du foetus, par l'auto-détermi-na-tion du "conseil parental" et, si ur-gence il y a, par le droit de la mère dans le sein de laquelle se développe, tel un abcès, le fruit de ses en-trailles. La possibilité, admise par la société, de prati-quer, comme à Sparte, l'"exposition" de l'enfant (à ce détail près que l'opération est chronologiquement avancée au stade du foetus) contraste favorablement avec les méthodes "barbares" de Sparte où la mort n'était même pas intra-utérine. L'avancement progres-sif du meurtre silencieux à une période comprise entre le premier et le si-xième mois de la grossesse, et son remplace-ment, au niveau du vocabulaire, par un doux eu-phémisme, l'"interruption de grossesse" (IVG), sont considérés comme des acquis d'une civili-sation qui paraît avoir définitivement surmonté Sparte. C'est ainsi qu'en Allemagne par exem-ple, on considère comme un "progrès" le meurtre d'enfants par le Ge-bärstreik  ou "grève des ventres" bien que cette grève-là fasse cha-que année mille fois plus de victimes en-fantines que n'en fit, en sept siècles d'histoire spartiate, l'exposition rituelle sur le Taygète...

 

La liberté de la femme

La sympathie du démocrate sincère est toujours allée à Athènes, jamais à Sparte. L'homme de par-ti, l'honnête homme respectueux de l'ordre libéral-démocratique, se voudrait Périclès, au moins en miniature. Personne, en revanche, ne souhaite passer pour un héritier ou un disciple de Lycurgue! Athènes est synonyme, on le sait, de Lumière, de Culture, de Démocratie et Périclès est la superstar de ces divinités éthérées. Par contre, la Sparte de Lycurgue passe pour avoir été pire que la Prusse frédéricienne, pres-que une préfiguration an-tique de l'Etat national-so-cialiste!

"Louons ce qui nous affaiblit et nous désarme! Mé-fions-nous de ceux qui nous parlent d'union, de force, de grandeur, de discipline, de cohésion! Ou nous ris-querions de glisser vers le fascisme —et Hitler de re-venir!". C'est à peu près le discours que tient, la main sur le coeur, l'Occident démocratiste et bien-pensant. L'objur-gation, tantôt articulée du bout des lèvres tantôt hurlée, se gonfle démesurément dans le bour-don-ne-ment des médias. Il existe donc bien ce que j'ap-pe-lerais une réaction émotionnelle antispar-tia-te. Elle nour-rit la lutte contre tout ce qui, de près ou de loin, pourrait évoquer l'ascèse, l'hé-roïsme ou la disci-pline. Se recommander de Spar-te, admirer Sparte comme paradigme d'éta-tici-té sévère, certes, mais puis-sante et capable, voilà qui, aujourd'hui, choque. Comme pou-vait choquer, voici cinq siècles, le fait de nier la tri-nité divine ou l'incarnation du Christ.

Et pourtant, sur les traces de Plutarque et de Platon, j'ai rassemblé ici quelques bons points en faveur de Sparte. Il faut tout d'abord signaler que dans cette Sparte au "conservatisme" rigide, les femmes pou-vaient faire tout ce qui leur était strictement interdit à Athènes-la-libérale. A La-cé-dé-mone, les femmes étaient beaucoup plus libres que les hommes. Non seulement en amour mais en affaires. Elles jouissaient de droits in-connus partout ailleurs. Au IIIième siècle, par exem-ple, les femmes spartiates possédaient plus de richesses (y compris des biens fonciers éten-dus) que leurs maris, leurs frères ou leurs amants (Plutarque, Agis,  5, 23, 29). Aristote, déjà, reprochait à Ly-curgue de n'avoir pas extir-pé le "dérèglement et le matriarcat" des femmes spartiates (Politique,  2, 1270a, 6). A l'étranger habitué à un strict et exclusif patriarcat, la ville de Sparte offrait presque le spectacle d'un Etat "exotique", dominé par les femmes (Plu-tarque, Numa,  25,3): "Les femmes spartiates ont sans doute été assez irrévérencieuses et se sont sans doute comportées de façon extrêmement virile, surtout à l'égard de leurs maris puisqu'à la maison, elles déte-naient un pouvoir sans partage et qu'à l'extérieur elles intervenaient en toute liberté dans les affaires d'Etat les plus impor-tantes". Et pourtant, elles n'avaient rien de spa-dassins hirsutes et grivois: leur charme un peu abrupt était proverbial dans toute l'Hellade. Leur li-berté semblait excessive même aux Athéniens les plus "progressistes" et les plus "éclairés".

La rigueur d'un Etat guerrier résolument viril était adoucie par la grâce souriante, la malice, l'élégance spontanée de ses jeunes femmes qui, contrairement à leurs soeurs d'Athènes, avaient accès aux exercices sportifs et gymniques. Com-me les hommes, les fem-mes lacédémo-nien-nes étaient célèbres pour leur sens de la répartie et leur laconisme (le mot, d'ailleurs, nous est resté: Sparte est située au centre de la Laco-nie). Plu-sieurs anecdotes témoignent de cette vivacité de l'esprit, de cette concision propres aux Spartia-tes. Comme une étrangère disait à Gorgo, épou-se de Léo-nidas, roi de Sparte: "Vous autres La-cédémoniennes êtes bien les seules à pouvoir dominer vos maris", Gorgo répliqua avec su-perbe: "Après tout, c'est nous, et nous seules, qui les mettons au monde!" (Plutarque, Lycur-gue,  14, conclusion).

Sans Sparte, pas d'Athènes

Mais concluons. Nous venons d'inscrire le nom de Léonidas. Nous avions, au début de ce texte, cité Si-mo-nidès célébrant les Lacédémoniens morts aux Ther-mopyles face à la supériorité numérique des Perses: "Voyageur, va dire à Spar-te...". Disons-le la-conique-ment: si l'on con-si-dère la civilisation grecque comme le fon-dement permanent de la culture euro-péenne, on ne peut ignorer Sparte. Toute la culture de la Grèce classique, que l'on identifie volontiers à Athènes, n'aurait jamais pu s'épanouir si un peuple de guerriers, comparativement prosaïque, discipliné, en odeur de quasi barbarie, n'avait pas combattu jusqu'à la mort, pour sauver l'Hel-lade, aux Thermopyles, à Sa-la-mine et à Platée. Les victoires militaires, qui ne fu-rent possibles que grâce à la présence spartiate, ont alors conquis, préservé et élargi cet espace où purent s'épanouir librement le théâtre grec, la philo-so-phie grecque, la science grecque et même la démocratie grec-que. C'est ce qu'il faut se garder d'oublier.

Regardons Sparte, presque étrangère dans sa rudesse. Cette société a pu pervertir jusqu'à la caricature des traits qui ont existé, à un degré moindre, dans toute polis grecque. Mais surtout, Sparte, qui incarnait au plus haut point toutes les potentialités de la polis, nous rappelle brutale-ment combien toute l'Antiquité clas-si-que nous apparaîtrait étrangère si nous cessions d'y pro-jeter notre propre humanisme. Sparte nous fait éga-lement saisir le sens du mot "politeia" à l'état chi-miquement pur: l'Etat, "le plus froid de tous les mons-tres froids", comme l'affirme le Zarathoustra de Nietzsche. On peut ne pas aimer Sparte. Mais qui-con-que se sent une attirance pour l'héritage grec doit se souvenir que toutes ces merveilles, toute cette splen-deur, tout ce qui, en nous, "parle" et nous en-thou-siasme (au sens étymologique du terme), que tout cela n'a pu s'épanouir et se déployer que dans un monde soustrait à la menace du despotisme oriental par le sacrifice suprême de quelques dizaines de milliers d'hommes.

Mais Sparte nous remet aussi en mémoire les fonde-ments de la culture européenne sur les-quels on fait si volontiers l'impasse aujourd'hui: l'espace où cette cul-tu-re a pu éclore n'était certes pas défendu par des déserteurs ou des objecteurs de conscience! Il était dé-fendu par des soldats résolus face à la supériorité nu-mérique écrasante de l'adversaire. Les meilleurs guer-riers, la plus belle discipline militaire, étaient à Lacé-démone. Après la victoire sur les Perses, aucun équi-libre harmonieux ne put s'établir entre les deux types de société grecque qu'incarnaient respective-ment Spar--te et Athènes. Peut-être fut-ce là la grande tragédie de la Grèce antique. Culturellement, Sparte fut une im-passe. Mais Athènes elle-même, la "voie" athénienne, nous le pres-sentons aujourd'hui, pouvait-elle se poursuivre en ligne droite jusqu'à nous?

Peut-être, après tout, la culture n'est-elle qu'un inter-mède, un gaspillage stérile d'énergie sur l'arrière-plan des espaces cosmiques infinis. Un certain défaitisme gagne autour de nous. Il déclare publiquement que l'orientalisation de l'Eu-rope, si elle s'était accomplie beaucoup plus tôt, nous aurait épargné bien des maux. Pour ce genre de discours, les victoires grecques sur les Perses ne signifient donc rien. Mais c'est déjà une autre histoire. Il reste que Sparte nous rap-pelera tou-jours, de façon lancinante, une vérité éternelle, large-ment occultée de nos jours: sans un certain degré de "spartitude", non seulement aucun Etat n'est possible, mais aucune civilisation ne peut vivre et… survivre.

Il faut redécouvrir notre héritage lacédémonien.

Gerd-Klaus KALTENBRUNNER.

(texte paru dans Criticón, n°100, März-Juni 1987; traduction française: Jean-Louis Pesteil; adresse de Criticón: Knöbelstraße 36/V, D-8000 München 22; prix de l'abonnement annuel (six numéros): DM 57; étudiants: DM 38).

Note

(1) Dans le dialogue de Platon, Clinias ajoute: "C'est un fait que (ces poèmes) sont venus jusque chez nous, im-portés de Lacédé-mone" (ndt).  

vendredi, 02 janvier 2009

Julius Evola: Idée d'Empire et universalisme

 

 

evola_rid.jpg

 

Archives de SYNERGIES EUROPÉENNES - VOULOIR (Bruxelles) - Avril 1991

Julius EVOLA: Idée d'Empire et universalisme

Quiconque s'interroge sérieusement sur le nouvel ordre européen perçoit de plus en plus nettement l'importance et la force révolutionnaire des idées de "grand-espace" (Grossraum) et d'"espace vital" (Lebensraum). Cependant, au lieu de "grand-espace", nous préférons ici parler d'"espace impérial", d'espace "reichisch", c'est-à-dire déterminé par l'idée de Reich, ou encore d'"espace de Reich". Il s'agit en effet de dissiper l'idée selon laquelle l'ordre nouveau serait essentiellement dicté par des facteurs matériels plutôt que par une idée ou par un droit supérieur qui fonde l'autorité. Bien entendu, l'"espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich" englobe aussi ce que nous appelons "l'espace vital"; mais il peut en dépasser les limites, soit en fonction de considérations militaro-stratégiques, soit en raison d'influences indirectes, de relations affinitaires ou de ces affinités électives qui poussent les petits peuples à se grouper autour d'un "peuple impérial".

Nous ne sonderons pas ici la notion générique de "grand-espace" ou d'espace "déterminé par l'idée de Reich" (reichisch). Nous nous pencherons plutôt sur un de ses aspects particuliers, qui dépasse à la fois le mythe nationaliste et le mythe universaliste.

En ce qui concerne le mythe nationaliste, il connaîtra dans l'avenir une double limitation: d'abord, aucun peuple ne peut assumer et exercer une fonction supérieure de direction s'il ne s'élève pas au dessus des intérêts et des allégeances de type particulariste. Ensuite, les petits peuples devront réapprendre qu'il existe une subordination qui, loin d'être un "esclavage", peut au contraire être source de fierté puisqu'elle permet l'intégration à une communauté culturelle plus vaste et la participation à une autorité plus haute et plus forte. On peut ici songer à des exemples historiques comme le Saint-Empire romain dont les souverains incarnaient une autorité et une fonction dissociées et distinctes de celles qu'ils détenaient en tant que princes d'un peuple particulier. Il pouvait même arriver que des peuples sollicitent d'eux-mêmes l'honneur d'être rattachés à une communauté qui était plus que nationale puisqu'elle se définissait par l'emblème impérial.

En ce qui concerne maintenant le second aspect, par lequel l'espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich apparaît comme le dépassement non seulement du nationalisme étriqué mais du mythe universaliste, il faut préciser que cet espace n'est pas un "espace impérial": il faudrait plutôt penser à des entités distinctes, caractérisées par des idées et des traditions spécifiques, mais agissant conjointement et solidairement. Seule, à l'évidence, cette idée peut dépasser l'universalisme, que ce soit sous sa forme utopique ("le royaume mondial") ou sous sa forme juridico-positiviste qui postule des principes rationnels, universellement valables et obligatoires.

Quant à l'"espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich", il ne faut pas y voir un assemblage plus ou moins lâche, mais un véritable organisme défini par des frontières précises et axé sur une idée centrale imprégnant toutes les forces qu'il rassemble.

Si l'espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich ne constitue pas un tout cohérent puisqu'il se présente sous la forme d'un ordre dynamique, il obéit cependant toujours à une certaine loi d'évolution et s'articule autour de valeurs fondamentales qui constituent son "principium individuationis":

Par son caractère organique, vivant, et par les conditions géopolitiques nécessaires qui sont les siennes, l'idée d'espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich s'oppose notamment à ce que nous appelerions "l'impérialisme qui se cherche" (vortastender Imperialismus) et dont le prototype est l'Angleterre. Pour des raison identiques, il s'oppose également à toute conception abstraite, "spiritualiste", du Reich, qui bien souvent n'est qu'un paravent de l'universalisme. or, en Italie, la compréhension de ce dernier point a été obscurcie par nombre d'idées fausses et de lieux communs désuets.

L'exemple de l'idée romaine

Le grand-espace dont l'Italie peut éventuellement se réclamer est essentiellement méditerranéen. A ce titre, sa référence "impériale" et supranationale ne peut être que l'idée romaine. Or, certains milieux développent à propos de Rome une rhétorique telle que l'on éprouve une sensation de lassitude chaque fois qu'il est question de Rome et de la romanité. Et pourtant, l'Italie n'a pas d'autre choix. Mussolini l'a dit: "Rome est notre point de départ et notre référence: c'est notre symbole et notre mythe".

La difficulté que nous venons de signaler provient de ce que, pour beaucoup, romanité et universalisme sont synonymes. L'"universalisme romain" est un slogan qui, visiblement, sert les ambitions douteuses de certains milieux. D'autres s'eforcent bien de faire une distinction entre le principe universel de Rome et l'universalisme de type démocrate, franc-maçon ou humanitariste, ou encore celui de l'Internationale communiste. Mais cela ne dissipe pas le malentendu.

Est universaliste tout principe qui prétend à la validité générale. Le rationalisme franc-maçon, la démocratie, l'internationalisme et le communisme sont, de fait, des idées qui se répandent dans le monde entier et qui pourraient donc effectivement devenir "universelles" –à condition de déraciner d'emblée et de niveler méthodiquement tous les peuples et toutes les cultures. On retrouve à peu près un projet identique dans les très controversés "Protocoles des Sages de Sion".

Le symbole de Rome –s'il ne s'épuise pas dans une rhétorique creuse– implique tout au contraire quelque chose de concret et de défini: nul ne songe sérieusement à unifier tous les continents et tous les peuples sous l'égide de Rom. Telle est pourtant l'intention des utopies antitraditionnelles, niveleuses et collectivistes. Rome, pour nous, peut effectivement signifier quelque chose et si ce "quelque chose" n'est pas "l'universalisme", ce sera l'idée fondamentale, la force qui met-en-forme, la loi inhérente à un certain "espace déterminé par l'idée de Reich"

D'ailleurs, il n'en allait pas autrement dans l'Antiquité, Rome était l'axe sacré d'une communauté soudée de peuples et de cultures, mais en dehors de laquelle il existait d'autres cultures, ce que traduit du reste l'expresion de "barbare" qui, à l'origine, n'avait aucune connotation péjorative et servait simplement à désigner l'étranger.

Dans l'Empire romain finissant, il a pu, certes, exister –dans les limites de cet espace où soufflait l'esprit d'empire– un certain "universalisme": on laissa s'introduire à Rome des éléments hétérogènes et des races inférieures dont on fit abusivement des "Romains". La ville du Tibre intégra sans difficulté des cultes et des mœurs allogènes dont le contraste avec la romanité des origines était parfois stupéfiante, comme le notait Tite-Live. C'est dans cet universalisme-là que réside l'une des pricnipales raisons de l'effondrement de Rome. Voir dans un tel universalisme une caractéristique propre au "principe romain" serait le plus grave des contresens. Le principe romain vrai, c'est-à-dire viril et hiérarchisé, celui qui a fondé notre grandeur, n'a absolument rien à voir avec cet universalisme de la Rome tardive et abâtardie.

Nous vivons une époque de rassemblement, d'organisation et de structuration de forces, où le discours universaliste abstrait n'a pas sa place. Une époque où la dimension spirituelle ne doit pas nous conduire à des déviations ni à des transgressions mais sublimer le sens des forces et des contraintes d'une réalité concrète. Que Rome ait fait don au nom de la "lumière de la culture", que l'esprit romain soit illimité, que tous les peuples doivent à Rome des éléments de culture, voilà qui est bien. Il reste cependant à tester la vitalité actuelle de cet héritage millénaire au regard d'entreprises moins poétiques mais plus précises. Pour celui qui ne se satisfait pas du verbiage, la moindre des choses à exiger de la force de l'idée romaine est qu'elle puisse faire naître, à partir des peuples que rassemblera notre grand-espace, un organisme véritablement déterminé par l'idée d'Empire, un "reichischer Organismus" doté d'une structure solide, d'un visage et d'une culture propre, ce que permettrait, par exemple, un recours à l'idée organique et hiérarchique du Moyen-Age aryen et combattant. Ce n'est que lorsque que cet exemple aura pris consistance que le prestige de l'idée romaine franchira de nouveau les limites de notre espace. Alors, d'autres pays se demanderont si ces idées fondamentales peuvent être adoptées et façonner le réel selon des formes propres au type d'humanité auquel ils appartiennent.

Julius Evola

(traduction: J.L.P.).

 

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