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lundi, 11 janvier 2021

L'œil  du cyclone - Julius Evola, Ernst Jünger

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Luc-Olivier d'Algange:

L'œil  du cyclone

Julius Evola, Ernst Jünger

                                   « Comme Jack London, et divers autres, y compris Ernst Jünger à

                                   ses débuts, des individualités isolées se vouèrent à l'aventure, à

                                   la recherche de nouveaux horizons, sur des terres et des mers

                                   lointaines, alors que, pour le reste des hommes, tout semblait

                                   être en ordre, sûr et solide et que sous le règne de la science

                                   on célébrait la marche triomphale du progrès, à peine troublée

                                   par le fracas des bombes anarchistes. »

                                                                                                                       Julius Evola

                                    « Ta répugnance envers les querelles de nos pères avec nos grands

                                   pères, et envers toutes les manières possibles de leur trouver une

                                   solution, trahit déjà que tu n'as pas besoin de réponses mais d'un

                                   questionnement plus aigu, non de drapeaux, mais de guerriers, non

                                   d'ordre mais de révolte, non de systèmes, mais d'hommes. »

                                                                                                                         Ernst Jünger

On peut gloser à l'infini sur ce qui distingue ou oppose Ernst Jünger et Julius Evola. Lorsque celui-là avance par intuitions, visions, formes brèves inspirées des moralistes français non moins que de Novalis et de Nietzsche, celui-ci s'efforce à un exposé de plus en plus systématique, voire doctrinal. Alors que Jünger abandonne très tôt l'activité politique, même indirecte, la jugeant « inconvenante » à la fois du point de vue du style et de celui de l'éthique, Evola ne cessera point tout au long de son œuvre de revenir sur une définition possible de ce que pourrait être une « droite intégrale » selon son intelligence et son cœur. Lorsque Jünger interroge avec persistance et audace le monde des songes et de la nuit, Evola témoigne d'une préférence invariable pour les hauteurs ouraniennes et le resplendissement solaire du Logos-Roi. Ernst Jünger demeure dans une large mesure un disciple de Novalis et de sa spiritualité romane, alors que Julius Evola se veut un continuateur de l'Empereur Julien, un fidèle aux dieux antérieurs, de lignée platonicienne et visionnaire.

l-operaio-nel-pensiero-di-ernst-j-nger.jpgCes différences favorisent des lectures non point opposées, ni exclusives l'une de l'autre, mais complémentaires. A l'exception du Travailleur, livre qui définit de façon presque didactique l'émergence d'un Type, Jünger demeure fidèle à ce cheminement que l'on peut définir, avec une grande prudence, comme « romantique » et dont la caractéristique dominante n'est certes point l'effusion sentimentale mais la nature déambulatoire, le goût des sentes forestières, ces « chemins qui ne mènent nulle part » qu'affectionnait Heidegger, à la suite d'Heinrich von Ofterdingen et du « voyageur » de Gènes, de Venise et d'Engadine, toujours accompagné d'une « ombre » qui n'est point celle du désespoir, ni du doute, mais sans doute l'ombre de la Mesure qui suit la marche de ces hommes qui vont vers le soleil sans craindre la démesure.

         L'interrogation fondamentale, ou pour mieux dire originelle, des oeuvres de Jünger et d'Evola concerne essentiellement le dépassement du nihilisme. Le nihilisme tel que le monde moderne en précise les pouvoirs au moment où Jünger et Evola se lancent héroïquement dans l'existence, avec l'espoir d'échapper à la médiocrité, est à la fois ce qui doit être éprouvé et ce qui doit être vaincu et dépassé. Pour le Jünger du Cœur aventureux comme pour le Julius Evola des premières tentatives dadaïstes, rien n'est pire que de feindre de croire encore en un monde immobile, impartial, sûr. Ce qui menace de disparaître, la tentation est grande pour nos auteurs, adeptes d'un « réalisme héroïque », d'en précipiter la chute. Le nihilisme est, pour Jünger, comme pour Evola, une expérience à laquelle ni l'un ni l'autre ne se dérobent. Cependant, dans les « orages d'acier »,  ils ne croient point que l'immanence est le seul horizon de l'expérience humaine. L'épreuve, pour ténébreuse et confuse qu'elle paraisse, ne se suffit point à elle-même. Ernst Jünger et Julius Evola pressentent que le tumulte n'est que l'arcane d'une sérénité conquise. De ce cyclone qui emporte leurs vies et la haute culture européenne, ils cherchent le cœur intangible.  Il s'agit là, écrit Julius Evola de la recherche « d'une vie portée à une intensité particulière qui débouche, se renverse et se libère en un "plus que vie", grâce à une rupture ontologique de niveau. » Dans l'œuvre de Jünger, comme dans celle d'Evola, l'influence de Nietzsche, on le voit, est décisive. Nietzsche, pour le dire au plus vite, peut être considéré comme l'inventeur du « nihilisme actif », c'est-à-dire d'un nihilisme qui périt dans son triomphe, en toute conscience, ou devrait-on dire selon la terminologie abellienne, dans un « paroxysme de conscience ». Nietzsche se définissait comme « le premier nihiliste complet Europe, qui a cependant déjà dépassé le nihilisme pour l'avoir vécu dans son âme, pour l'avoir derrière soi, sous soi, hors de soi. »

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Cette épreuve terrible, nul esprit loyal n'y échappe. Le bourgeois, celui qui croit ou feint de croire aux « valeurs » n'est qu'un nihiliste passif: il est l'esprit de pesanteur qui entraîne le monde vers le règne de la quantité. « Mieux vaut être un criminel qu'un bourgeois », écrivit Jünger, non sans une certaine provocation juvénile, en ignorant peut-être aussi la nature profondément criminelle que peut revêtir, le cas échéant, la pensée calculante propre à la bourgeoisie. Peu importe : la bourgeoisie d'alors paraissait inerte, elle ne s'était pas encore emparée de la puissance du contrôle génétique et cybernétique pour soumettre le monde à sa mesquinerie. Dans la perspective nietzschéenne qui s'ouvre alors devant eux, Jünger et Evola se confrontent à la doctrine du Kirillov de Dostoïevski: « L'homme n'a inventé Dieu qu'afin de pouvoir vivre sans se tuer ». Or, ce nihilisme est encore partiel, susceptible d'être dépassé, car, pour les âmes généreuses, il n'existe des raisons de se tuer que parce qu'il existe des raisons de vivre.  Ce qui importe, c'est de réinventer une métaphysique contre le monde utilitaire et de dépasser l'opposition de la vie et de la mort.

Jünger et Evola sont aussi, mais d’une manière différente, à la recherche de ce qu'André Breton nomme dans son Manifeste « Le point suprême ». Julius Evola écrit: « L'homme qui, sûr de soi parce que c'est l'être, et non la vie, qui est le centre essentiel de sa personne peut tout approcher, s'abandonner à tout et s'ouvrir à tout sans se perdre: accepter, de ce fait, n'importe quelle expérience, non plus, maintenant pour s'éprouver et se connaître mais pour développer toutes ses possibilités en vue des transformations qui peuvent se produire en lui, en vue des nouveaux contenus qui peuvent, par cette voie, s'offrir et se révéler. » Quant à Jünger, dans Le Cœur Aventureux, version 1928, il exhorte ainsi son lecteur: « Considère  la vie comme un rêve entre mille rêves, et chaque rêve comme une ouverture particulière de la réalité. » Cet ordre établi, cet univers de fausse sécurité, où règne l'individu massifié, Jünger et Evola n'en veulent pas. Le réalisme héroïque dont ils se réclament n'est point froideur mais embrasement de l'être, éveil des puissances recouvertes par les écorces de cendre des habitudes, des exotérismes dominateurs, des dogmes, des sciences, des idéologies. Un mouvement identique les porte de la périphérie vers le centre, vers le secret de la souveraineté.  Jünger: « La science n'est féconde que grâce à l'exigence qui en constitue le fondement. En cela réside la haute, l'exceptionnelle valeur des natures de la trempe de Saint-Augustin et de Pascal: l'union très rare d'une âme de feu et d'une intelligence pénétrante, l'accès à ce soleil invisible de Swedenborg qui est aussi lumineux qu'ardent. »

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Tel est exactement le dépassement du nihilisme: révéler dans le feu qui détruit la lumière qui éclaire, pour ensuite pouvoir se recueillir dans la « clairière de l'être ». Pour celui qui a véritablement dépassé le nihilisme, il n'y a plus de partis, de classes, de tribus, il n'y a plus que l'être et le néant. A cette étape, le cyclone offre son cœur  à « une sorte de contemplation qui superpose la région du rêve à celle de la réalité comme deux lentilles transparentes braquées sur le foyer spirituel. » Dans l'un de ses ultimes entretiens, Jünger interrogé sur la notion de résistance spirituelle précise: « la résistance spirituelle ne suffit pas. Il faut contre-attaquer. »

Il serait trop simple d'opposer comme le font certains l'activiste Evola avec le contemplatif Jünger, comme si Jünger avait trahi sa jeunesse fougueuse pour adopter la pose goethéenne du sage revenu de tout. A celui qui veut à tout prix discerner des périodes dans les œuvres  de Jünger et d'Evola, ce sont les circonstances historiques qui donnent raison bien davantage que le sens des œuvres. Les œuvres se déploient;  les premiers livres d'Evola et de Jünger contiennent déjà les teintes et les vertus de ceux, nombreux, qui suivront. Tout se tient à l'orée d'une forte résolution, d'une exigence de surpassement, quand bien-même il s'avère que le Haut, n'est une métaphore du Centre et que l'apogée de l'aristocratie rêvée n'est autre que l'égalité d'âme du Tao, « l'agir sans agir ». Evola cite cette phrase de Nietzsche qui dut également frapper Jünger: « L'esprit, c'est la vie qui incise elle-même la vie ». A ces grandes âmes, la vie ne suffit point. C'est en ce sens que Jünger et Evola refusent avec la même rigueur le naturalisme et le règne de la technique, qui ne sont que l'avers et l'envers d'un même renoncement de l'homme à se dépasser lui-même. Le caractère odieux des totalitarismes réside précisément dans ce renoncement.

La quête de Jünger et d'Evola fond dans un même métal l'éthique et l'esthétique au feu d'une métaphysique qui refuse de se soumettre au règne de la nature. Toute l'œuvre de Jünger affirme, par sa théorie du sceau et de l'empreinte, que la nature est à l'image de la Surnature, que le visible n'est qu'un miroir de l'Invisible. De même, pour Evola, en cela fort platonicien, c'est à la Forme d'ordonner la matière. Telle est l'essence de la virilité spirituelle. Si Jünger, comme Evola, et comme bien d'autres, fut dédaigné, voire incriminé, sous le terme d'esthète par les puritains et les moralisateurs, c'est aussi par sa tentative de dépasser ce que l'on nomme la « morale autonome », c'est-à-dire laïque et rationnelle, sans pour autant retomber dans un « vitalisme » primaire. C'est qu'il existe, pour Jünger, comme pour Evola qui se réfère explicitement à une vision du monde hiérarchique, un au-delà et un en deçà de la morale, comme il existe un au-delà et un en deçà de l'individu.

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Lorsque la morale échappe au jugement du plus grand nombre, à l'utilitarisme de la classe dominante, elle paraît s'abolir dans une esthétique. Or, le Beau, pour Jünger, ce que la terminologie évolienne, et platonicienne, nomme la Forme (idéa) contient et réalise les plus hautes possibilités du Bien moral. Le Beau contient dans son exactitude, la justesse du Bien. L'esthétique ne contredit point la morale, elle en précise le contour, mieux, elle fait de la résistance au Mal qui est le propre de toute morale, une contre-attaque. Le Beau est un Bien en action, un Bien qui arrache la vie aux griffes du Léviathan et au règne des Titans. Jünger sur ce point ne varie pas . Dans son entretien séculaire, il dit à Franco Volpi: « Je dirai qu'éthique et esthétique se rencontrent et se touchent au moins sur un point: ce qui est vraiment beau est obligatoirement éthique, et ce qui est réellement éthique est obligatoirement beau. »

A ceux qui veulent opposer Jünger et Evola, il demeure d'autres arguments. Ainsi, il paraît fondé de voir en l'œuvre de Jünger, après Le Travailleur, une méditation constante sur la rébellion et la possibilité offerte à l'homme de se rendre hors d'atteinte de ce « plus froid des monstres froids », ainsi que Nietzsche nomme l'Etat. Au contraire, l'œuvre d'Evola poursuit avec non moins de constance l'approfondissement d'une philosophie politique destinée à fonder les normes et les possibilités de réalisation de « l'Etat vrai ». Cependant, ce serait là encore faire preuve d'un schématisme fallacieux que de se contenter de classer simplement Jünger parmi les « libertaires » fussent-ils « de droite » et Evola auprès des « étatistes ».

Si quelque vertu agissante, et au sens vrai, poétique, subsiste dans les oeuvres de Jünger et d'Evola les plus étroitement liées à des circonstances disparues ou en voie de disparition, c'est précisément car elles suivent des voies qui ne cessent de contredire les classifications, de poser d'autres questions au terme de réponses en apparence souveraines et sans appel. Un véritable auteur se reconnaît à la force avec laquelle il noue ensemble ses contradictions. C'est alors seulement que son œuvre échappe à la subjectivité et devient, dans le monde, une œuvre à la ressemblance du monde. L'œuvre  poursuit son destin envers et contre les Abstracteurs qui, en nous posant de fausses alternatives visent en réalité à nous priver de la moitié de nous-mêmes. Les véritables choix ne sont pas entre la droite et la gauche, entre l'individu et l'Etat, entre la raison et l'irrationnel, c'est à dire d'ordre horizontal ou « latéral ». Les choix auxquels nous convient Jünger et Evola, qui sont bien des écrivains engagés, sont d'ordre vertical. Leurs œuvres nous font comprendre que, dans une large mesure, les choix horizontaux sont des leurres destinés à nous faire oublier les choix verticaux.

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La question si controversée de l'individualisme peut servir ici d'exemple. Pour Jünger comme pour Evola, le triomphe du nihilisme, contre lequel il importe d'armer l'intelligence de la nouvelle chevalerie intellectuelle, est sans conteste l'individualisme libéral. Sous cette appellation se retrouvent à la fois l'utilitarisme bourgeois, honni par tous les grandes figures de la littérature du dix-neuvième siècle (Stendhal, Flaubert, Balzac, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Léon Bloy, Barbey d'Aurevilly, Théophile Gautier, Baudelaire, d'Annunzio, Carlyle etc...) mais aussi le pressentiment d'un totalitarisme dont les despotismes de naguère ne furent que de pâles préfigurations. L'individualisme du monde moderne est un « individualisme de masse », pour reprendre la formule de Jünger, un individualisme qui réduit l'individu à l'état d'unité interchangeable avec une rigueur à laquelle les totalitarismes disciplinaires, spartiates ou soviétiques, ne parvinrent jamais.

Loin d'opposer l'individualisme et le collectivisme,  loin de croire que le collectivisme puisse redimer de quelque façon le néant de l'individualisme libéral, selon une analyse purement horizontale qui demeure hélas le seul horizon de nos sociologues, Jünger tente d'introduire dans la réflexion politique un en-decà et un au-delà de l'individu. Si l'individu « libéral » est voué, par la pesanteur même de son matérialisme à s'anéantir dans un en-deçà de l'individu, c'est-à-dire dans un collectivisme marchand et cybernétique aux dimensions de la planète, l'individu qui échappe au matérialisme, c'est-à-dire l'individu qui garde en lui la nostalgie d'une Forme possède, lui, la chance magnifique de se hausser à cet au-delà de l'individu, que Julius Evola nomme la Personne. Au delà de l'individu est la Forme ou, en terminologie jüngérienne, la Figure, qui permet à l'individu de devenir une Personne.       

9782844453501_1_75.jpgQu'est-ce que la Figure ? La Figure, nous dit Jünger, est le tout qui englobe plus que la somme des parties. C'est en ce sens que la Figure échappe au déterminisme, qu'il soit économique ou biologique. L'individu du matérialisme libéral demeure soumis au déterminisme, et de ce fait, il appartient encore au monde animal, au « biologique ». Tout ce qui s'explique en terme de logique linéaire, déterministe, appartient encore à la nature, à l'en-deçà des possibilités surhumaines qui sont le propre de l'humanitas. « L'ordre hiérarchique dans le domaine de la Figure ne résulte pas de la loi de cause et d'effet, écrit Jünger mais d'une loi tout autre, celle du sceau et de l'empreinte. » Par ce renversement herméneutique décisif, la pensée de Jünger s'avère beaucoup plus proche de celle d'Evola que l'on ne pourrait le croire de prime abord. Dans le monde hiérarchique, que décrit Jünger où le monde obéit à la loi du sceau et de l'empreinte, les logiques évolutionnistes ou progressistes, qui s'obstinent (comme le nazisme ou le libéralisme darwinien) dans une vision zoologique du genre humain, perdent toute signification. Telle est exactement la Tradition, à laquelle se réfère toute l'œuvre de Julius Evola: « Pour comprendre aussi bien l'esprit traditionnel que la civilisation moderne, en tant que négation de cet esprit, écrit Julius Evola, il faut partir de cette base fondamentale qu'est l'enseignement relatif aux deux natures. Il y a un ordre physique et il y a un ordre métaphysique. Il y a une nature mortelle et il y a la nature des immortels. Il y a la région supérieure de l'être et il y a la région inférieure du devenir. D'une manière plus générale, il y a un visible et un tangible, et avant et au delà de celui-ci, il y a un invisible et un intangible, qui constituent le supra-monde, le principe et la véritable vie. Partout, dans le monde de la Tradition, en Orient et en Occident, sous une forme ou sous une autre, cette connaissance a toujours été présente comme un axe inébranlable autour duquel tout le reste était hiérarchiquement organisé. »

Affirmer, comme le fait Jünger, la caducité de la logique de cause et d'effet, c'est, dans l'ordre d'une philosophie politique rénovée, suspendre la logique déterministe et tout ce qui en elle plaide en faveur de l'asservissement de l'individu. « On donnera le titre de Figure, écrit Jünger, au genre de grandeur qui s'offrent à un regard capable de concevoir que le monde peut être appréhendé dans son ensemble selon une loi plus décisive que celle de la cause et de l'effet. » Du rapport entre le sceau invisible et l'empreinte visible dépend tout ce qui dans la réalité relève de la qualité. Ce qui n'a point d'empreinte, c'est la quantité pure, la matière livrée à elle-même. Le sceau est ce qui confère à l'individu, à la fois la dignité et la qualité. En ce sens, Jünger, comme Evola, pense qu'une certaine forme d'égalitarisme revient à nier la dignité de l'individu, à lui ôter par avance toute chance d'atteindre à la dignité et à la qualité d'une Forme. « On ne contestera pas, écrit Julius Evola, que les êtres humains, sous certains aspects, soient à peu près égaux; mais ces aspects, dans toute conception normale et traditionnelle, ne représentent pas le "plus" mais le "moins", correspondent au niveau le plus pauvre de la réalité, à ce qu'il y a de moins intéressant en nous. Il s'agit d'un ordre qui n'est pas encore celui de la forme, de la personnalité au sens propre. Accorder de la valeur à ces aspects, les mettre en relief comme si on devait leur donner la priorité, équivaudrait à tenir pour essentiel que ces statues soient en bronze et non que chacune soit l'expression d'une idée distincte dont le bronze ( ici la qualité générique humaine) n'est que le support matériel. »

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Ce platonisme que l'on pourrait dire héroïque apparaît comme un défi à la doxa moderne. Lorsque le moderne ne vante la « liberté » que pour en anéantir toute possibilité effective dans la soumission de l'homme à l'évolution, au déterminisme, à l'histoire, au progrès, l'homme de la Tradition, selon Evola, demeure fidèle à une vision supra-historique. De même, contrairement à ce que feignent de croire des exégètes peu informés, le « réalisme héroïque » des premières œuvres de Jünger loin de se complaire dans un immanentisme de la force et de la volonté, est un hommage direct à l'ontologie de la Forme, à l'idée de la préexistence. « La Figure, écrit Jünger, dans Le Travailleur, est, et aucune  évolution ne l'accroît ni ne la diminue. De même que la Figure de l'homme précédait sa naissance et survivra à sa mort, une Figure historique est, au plus profond d'elle-même, indépendante du temps et des circonstances dont elle semble naître. Les moyens dont elle dispose sont supérieurs, sa fécondité est immédiate. L'histoire n'engendre pas de figures, elle se transforme au contraire avec la Figure. »

Sans doute le jugement d'Evola, qui tout en reconnaissant la pertinence métapolitique de la Figure du Travailleur n'en critique pas moins l'ouvrage de Jünger comme dépourvu d'une véritable perspective métaphysique, peut ainsi être nuancée. Jünger pose bien, selon une hiérarchie métaphysique, la distinction entre l'individu susceptible d'être massifié (qu'il nomme dans Le Travailleur « individuum ») et l'individu susceptible de recevoir l'empreinte d'une Forme supérieure (et qu'il nomme « Einzelne »). Cette différenciation terminologique verticale est incontestablement l'ébauche d'une métaphysique, quand bien même, mais tel n'est pas non plus le propos du Travailleur, il n'y est pas question de cet au-delà de la personne auquel invitent les métaphysiques traditionnelles, à travers les œuvres de Maître Eckhart ou du Védantâ. De même qu'il existe un au-delà et un en-deçà de l'individu, il existe dans un ordre plus proche de l'intangible un au-delà et un en-deçà de la personne. Le « dépassement » de l'individu, selon qu'il s'agit d'un dépassement par le bas ou par le haut peut aboutir aussi bien, selon son orientation, à la masse indistincte qu'à la formation de la Personne. Le dépassement de la personne, c'est-à-dire l'impersonnalité, peut, selon Evola, se concevoir de deux façons opposées: « l'une se situe au-dessous, l'autre au niveau de la personne; l'une aboutit à l'individu, sous l'aspect informe d'une unité numérique et indifférente qui, en se multipliant, produit la masse anonyme; l'autre est l'apogée typique d'un être souverain, c'est la personne absolue. »

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Loin d'abonder dans le sens d'une critique sommaire et purement matérialiste de l'individualisme auquel n'importe quelle forme d'étatisme ou de communautarisme devrait être préféré aveuglément, le gibelin Julius Evola, comme l'Anarque jüngérien se rejoignent dans la méditation d'un ordre qui favoriserait « l'apogée typique d'un être souverain ».  Il est exact de dire, précise Evola, « que l'état et le droit représentent quelque chose de secondaire par rapport à la qualité des hommes qui en sont les créateurs, et que cet Etat, ce droit ne sont bons que dans le mesure où ils restent des formes fidèles aux exigences originelles et des instruments capables  de consolider et de confirmer les forces mêmes qui leur ont donné naissance. » La critique évolienne de l'individualisme, loin d'abonder dans le sens d'une mystique de l'élan commun en détruit les fondements mêmes. Rien, et Julius Evola y revient à maintes reprises, ne lui est aussi odieux que l'esprit grégaire: « Assez du besoin qui lie ensemble les hommes mendiant au lien commun et à la dépendance réciproque la consistance qui fait défaut à chacun d'eux ! »

Pour qu'il y eût un Etat digne de ce nom, pour que l'individu puisse être dépassé, mais par le haut, c'est-à-dire par une fidélité métaphysique, il faut commencer par s'être délivré de ce besoin funeste de dépendance. Ajoutées les unes aux autres les dépendances engendrent l'odieux  Léviathan, que Simone Weil nommait « le gros animal », ce despotisme du Médiocre dont le vingtième siècle n'a offert que trop d'exemples. Point d'Etat légitime, et point d'individu se dépassant lui-même dans une généreuse impersonnalité active, sans une véritable Sapience, au sens médiéval, c'est-à-dire une métaphysique de l'éternelle souveraineté. « La part inaliénable de l'individu (Einzelne)  écrit Jünger, c'est qu'il relève de l'éternité, et dans ses moments suprêmes et sans ambiguïté, il en est pleinement conscient. Sa tâche est d'exprimer cela dans le temps. En ce sens, sa vie devient une parabole de la Figure. » Evola reconnaît ainsi « en certains cas la priorité de la personne même en face de l'Etat », lorsque la personne porte en elle, mieux que l'ensemble, le sens et les possibilités créatrices de la Sapience.

Quelles que soient nos orientations, nos présupposés philosophiques ou littéraires, aussitôt sommes-nous requis par quelque appel du Grand Large qui nous incline à laisser derrière nous, comme des écorces mortes, le « trop humain » et les réalités confinées de la subjectivité, c'est à la Sapience que se dédient nos pensées. Du précepte delphique « Connais-toi toi-même et tu connaîtras le monde et les dieux », les œuvres de Jünger et d'Evola éveillent les pouvoirs en redonnant au mot de « réalité » un sens que lui avaient ôté ces dernières générations de sinistres et soi-disant « réalistes »:  « ll est tellement évident que le caractère de "réalité" a été abusivement monopolisé par ce qui, même dans la vie actuelle, n'est qu'une partie de la réalité totale, que cela ne vaut pas la peine d'y insister davantage» écrit Julius Evola. La connaissance de soi-même ne vaut qu'en tant que connaissance réelle du monde. Se connaître soi-même, c'est connaître le monde et les dieux car dans cette forme supérieure de réalisme que préconisent Jünger et Evola: « le réel est perçu dans un état où il n'y a pas de sujet de l'expérience ni d'objet expérimenté, un état caractérisé par une sorte de présence absolue où l'immanent se fait transcendant et le transcendant immanent. » Et sans doute est-ce bien en préfiguration de cette expérience-limite que Jünger écrit: « Et si nous voulons percevoir le tremblement du cœur jusque dans ses plus subtiles fibrilles, nous exigeons en même temps qu'il soit trois fois cuirassé. »

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Foi et chevalerie sont les conditions préalables et nécessaires de la Sapience, et c'est précisément en quoi la Sapience se distingue de ce savoir banal et parfois funeste dont les outrecuidants accablent les simples. La Sapience advient, elle ne s'accumule, ni ne se décrète. Elle couronne naturellement des types humains dont les actes et les pensées sont orientés vers le Vrai, le Beau et le Bien, c'est-à-dire qu'elle vibre et claque au vent de l'Esprit. La Sapience n'est pas cette petite satisfaction du clerc qui croit se suffire à lui-même. La Sapience ne vaut qu'en tant que défi au monde, et il vaut mieux périr de ce défi que de tirer son existence à la ligne comme un mauvais feuilletoniste. Les stances du Dhammapada, attribué au Bouddha lui-même ne disent pas autre chose: "« Plutôt vivre un jour en considérant l'apparition et la disparition que cent ans sans les voir."

Le silence et la contemplation de la Sapience sont vertige et éblouissement et non point cette ignoble recherche de confort et de méthodes thérapeutiques dont les adeptes du « new-age » parachèvent  leur arrogance technocratique. « L'Occident ne connaît plus la Sapience, écrit Evola: il ne connaît plus le silence majestueux des dominateurs d'eux-mêmes, le calme illuminé des Voyants, la superbe réalité de ceux chez qui l'idée s'est faite sang, vie, puissance... A la Sapience ont succédé la contamination sentimentale, religieuse, humanitaire, et la race de ceux qui s'agitent en caquetant et courent, ivres, exaltant le devenir et la pratique, parce que le silence et la contemplation leur font peur. »

Le moderne, qui réclame sans cesse de nouveaux droits, mais se dérobe à tous les devoirs, hait la Sapience car, analogique et ascendante, elle élargit le champ de sa responsabilité. L'irresponsable moderne qui déteste la liberté avec plus de hargne que son pire ennemi ( si tant est qu'il eût encore assez de cœur pour avoir un ennemi) ne peut voir en la théorie des correspondances qu'une menace à peine voilée adressée à sa paresse et à son abandon au courant d'un « progrès » qui entraîne, selon la formule de Léon Bloy, « comme un chien mort au fil de l'eau ». Rien n'est plus facile que ce nihilisme qui permet de se plaindre de tout, de revendiquer contre tout sans jamais se rebeller contre rien. L'insignifiance est l'horizon que se donne le moderne, où il enferme son cœur et son âme jusqu'à l'a asphyxie et l'étiolement. « L'homme qui attribue de la valeur à ses expériences, écrit Jünger, quelles qu'elles soient, et qui, en tant que parties de lui-même ne veut pas les abandonner au royaume de l'obscurité, élargit le cercle de sa responsabilité. » C'est en ce sens précis que le moderne, tout en nous accablant d'un titanisme affreux, ne vénère dans l'ordre de l'esprit que la petitesse, et que toute recherche de grandeur spirituelle lui apparaît vaine ou coupable.

417cSOhYCdL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgNous retrouvons dans les grands paysages intérieurs que décrit Jünger dans Héliopolis, ce goût du vaste, de l'ampleur musicale et chromatique où l'invisible et le visible correspondent. Pour ce type d'homme précise Evola: « il n'y aura pas de paysages plus beaux, mais des paysages plus lointains, plus immenses, plus calmes, plus froids, plus durs, plus primordiaux que d'autres: Le langage des choses du monde ne nous parvient pas parmi les arbres, les ruisseaux, les beaux jardins, devant les couchers de soleil chromos ou de romantiques clairs de lune mais plutôt dans les déserts, les rocs, les steppes, les glaces, les noirs fjords nordiques, sous les soleils implacables des tropiques- précisément dans tout ce qui est primordial et inaccessible. » La Sapience alors est l'éclat fulgurant qui transfigure le cœur qui s'est ouvert à la Foi et à la Chevalerie quand bien même, écrit Evola: «  le cercle se resserre de plus en plus chaque jour autour des rares êtres qui sont encore capables du grand dégoût et de la grande révolte. » Sapience de poètes et de guerriers et non de docteurs, Sapience qui lève devant elle les hautes images de feu et de gloire qui annoncent les nouveaux règnes !

« Nos images, écrit Jünger, résident dans ces lointains plus écartés et plus lumineux où les sceaux étrangers ont perdu leur validité, et le chemin qui mène à nos fraternités les plus secrètes passe par d'autres souffrances. Et notre croix a une solide poignée, et une âme forgée dans un acier à double tranchant. » La Sapience surgit sur les chemins non de la liberté octroyée, mais de la liberté conquise.  « C'est plutôt le héros lui-même, écrit Jünger, qui par l'acte de dominer et de se dominer, aide tous les autres en permettant à l'idée de liberté de triompher... »

gondenholm.jpgDans l'œil du cyclone, dans la sérénité retrouvée, telle qu'elle déploie son imagerie solaire à la fin de La Visite à Godenholm, une fois que sont vaincus, dans le corps et dans l'âme, les cris des oiseaux de mauvais augure du nihilisme, L'Anarque jüngérien, à l'instar de l'homme de la Tradition évolien, peut juger l'humanisme libéral et le monde moderne, non pour ce qu'ils se donnent, dans une propagande titanesque, mais pour ce qu'ils sont: des idéologies de la haine de toute forme de liberté accomplie. Que faut-il comprendre par liberté accomplie ? Disons une liberté qui non seulement se réalise dans les actes et dans les œuvres mais qui trouve sa raison d'être dans l'ordre du monde. « Libre ? Pour quoi faire ? » s'interrogeait Nietzsche. A l'évidence, une liberté qui ne culmine point en un acte poétique, une liberté sans « faire » n'est qu'une façon complaisante d'accepter l'esclavage. L'Anarque et l'homme de la Tradition récusent l'individualisme libéral car celui-ci leur paraît être, en réalité, la négation à la fois de l'Individu et de la liberté. Lorsque Julius Evola rejoint, non sans y apporter ses nuances gibelines et impériales, la doctrine traditionnelle formulée magistralement par René Guénon, il ne renonce pas à l'exigence qui préside à sa Théorie de l'Individu absolu, il en trouve au contraire, à travers les ascèses bouddhistes, alchimiques ou tantriques, les modes de réalisation et cette sorte de pragmatique métaphysique qui tant fait défaut au discours philosophique occidental depuis Kant. « C'est que la liberté n'admet pas de compromis: ou bien on l'affirme, ou bien on ne l'affirme pas. Mais si on l'affirme, il faut l'affirmer sans peur, jusqu'au bout, - il faut l'affirmer, par conséquent, comme liberté inconditionnée. » Seul importe au regard métaphysique ce qui est sans condition. Mais un malentendu doit être aussitôt dissipé. Ce qui est inconditionné n'est pas à proprement parler détaché ou distinct du monde. Le « sans condition » est au cœur. Mais lorsque selon les terminologies platoniciennes ou théologiques on le dit « au ciel » ou « du ciel », il faut bien comprendre que ce ciel est au coeur.

L'inconditionné n'est pas hors de la périphérie, mais au centre. C'est au plus près de soi et du monde qu'il se révèle. D'où l'importance de ce que Jünger nomme les « approches ». Plus nous sommes près du monde dans son frémissement sensible, moins nous sommes soumis aux généralités et aux abstractions idéologiques, et plus nous sommes près des Symboles. Car le symbole se tient entre deux mondes. Ce monde de la nature qui flambe d'une splendeur surnaturelle que Jünger aperçoit dans la fleur ou dans l'insecte, n'est pas le monde d'un panthéiste, mais le monde exactement révélé par l'auguste science des symboles. « La science des symboles, rappelle Luc Benoist, est fondée sur la correspondance qui existe entre les divers ordres de réalité, naturelle et surnaturelle, la naturelle n'étant alors considérée que comme l'extériorisation du surnaturel. » La nature telle que la perçoivent Jünger et Evola (celui-ci suivant une voie beaucoup plus « sèche ») est bien la baudelairienne et swedenborgienne « forêt de symboles ». Elle nous écarte de l'abstraction en même temps qu'elle nous rapproche de la métaphysique.  « La perspective métaphysique, qui vise à dépasser l'abstraction conceptuelle, trouve dans le caractère intuitif et synthétique du symbole en général et du Mythe en particulier un instrument d'expression particulièrement apte à véhiculer l'intuition intellectuelle. »écrit George Vallin. Les grandes imageries des Falaises de Marbre, d'Héliopolis, les récits de rêves, des journaux et du Cœur aventureux prennent tout leur sens si on les confronte à l'aiguisement de l'intuition intellectuelle. Jünger entre en contemplation pour atteindre cette liberté absolue qui est au cœur des mondes, ce moyeu immobile de la roue, qui ne cessera jamais de tourner vertigineusement.  Dans ce que George Vallin nomme l'intuition intellectuelle, l'extrême vitesse et l'extrême immobilité se confondent. Le secret de la Sapience, selon Evola: « cette virtu qui ne parle pas, qui naît dans le silence hermétique et pythagoricien, qui fleurit sur la maîtrise des sens et de l'âme » est au cœur des mondes comme le signe de la « toute-possibilité » . Tout ceci, bien sûr, ne s'adressant qu'au lecteur aimé de Jünger: « ce lecteur dont je suppose toujours qu'il est de la trempe de Don Quichotte et que, pour ainsi dire, il tranche les airs en lisant à grands coups d'épée. »

Luc-Olivier d'Algange.

mercredi, 23 décembre 2020

Evola et l'espace germanophone

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Evola et l'espace germanophone

Alberto Lombardo

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

L'Allemagne et, en général, le monde de la culture allemande ont eu une importance centrale pour Evola. Dès son plus jeune âge, il apprend l'allemand afin d'aborder les œuvres de la philosophie idéaliste ; sa doctrine philosophique doit beaucoup à l'idéalisme, mais plus encore à Nietzsche, Weininger et Spengler. En 1933, il fait son premier voyage en Autriche ; tout au long des années 1930 et 1940, il continue à se tenir au courant des productions littéraires et philosophiques allemandes en lisant des essais scientifiques sur les différents sujets qu'il traite lui-même : de la Rome antique (Altheim) à la préhistoire (Wirth, Günther), de l'alchimie (Böhme) à la raciologie (Clauß, Günther encore), de la théorie politique (Spann, Heinrich) à l'économie (Sombart), etc. En général, compte tenu de l'appareil de notes, des références culturelles, et dans un équilibre qui tient compte de toutes les contributions, je ne pense pas du tout exagérer en affirmant que le poids des études publiées en allemand est au moins égal à celui des études italiennes dans l'ensemble de l'œuvre d'Evola.

41Dk9HPOYoL._SY445_QL70_ML2_.jpgTout cela est très révélateur de l'influence de la culture allemande sur l'œuvre d'Evola. Mais il faut ajouter d'autres données : en rappelant ici ce qui a été mentionné dans la biographie d’Evola, au premier chapitre, je me souviens de l’évocation des longs séjours d'Evola en Autriche et en Allemagne, des nombreuses conférences qui s'y sont tenues, de ses relations avec les représentants de la tradition aristocratique et conservatrice d'Europe centrale et de la révolution conservatrice, etc. En outre, dans les pays germanophones, Evola jouissait, au moins jusqu'à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, d'une notoriété différente de celle qu'il avait en Italie, car il y fut reçu comme l'exposant d'un courant particulier de la pensée italienne, et cela depuis 1933, année de la publication de Heidnischer Imperialismus. Voici l'opinion d'Adriano Romualdi sur le sujet : "L'action d'Evola en Allemagne n'était pas politique, même si elle a contribué à dissiper de nombreux malentendus et à préparer une entente entre le fascisme et le national-socialisme. Elle a investi le sens de ces traditions qui, en Italie et en Allemagne, ont été évoquées par les régimes, comme le symbole romain et le mythe nordique, le sens du classicisme et du romantisme, ou des oppositions artificielles, comme celle entre la romanité et le germanisme".

À partir de 1934, Evola tient des conférences en Allemagne : dans une université de Berlin, à la deuxième Nordisches Thing de Brême, et au Herrenklub de Heinrich von Gleichen, représentant de l'aristocratie allemande (il était baron) avec lequel il noue une "amitié cordiale et fructueuse". Evola a rappelé cette expérience importante en 1970 : « Chaque semaine, une personnalité allemande ou internationale était invitée à ce club de Junkers. Je dois dire, cependant, que si nous nous étions attendus à voir des géants blonds aux yeux bleus, la déception aurait été grande, car pour la plupart, ils étaient petits et ventrus. Après le dîner et le rituel des toasts, l'invité devait donner une conférence. Pendant que ces messieurs fumaient leurs cigares et sirotaient leurs verres de bière, j'ai parlé. C'est alors qu'Himmler a entendu parler de moi ».

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Il est en effet très probable que l'attention des milieux officiels pour Evola soit née après ses premières conférences en Allemagne. Ses relations avec le national-socialisme étaient ceux d’une collaboration externe, et surtout avec divers secteurs de la SS, dont l'Ahnenerbe ; Evola a exprimé des paroles très positives à l'égard de "l'ordre" dirigé par Himmler, même dans l'après-guerre, ce qui lui a valu, d'une part, la critique prévisible de ses détracteurs et, d'autre part a conduit à une réinterprétation - dans l'historiographie et le même "sentiment mondial" de la droite radicale d'après-guerre - du national-socialisme en tant que mouvement populaire dirigé par une élite guerrière-ascétique. Des nombreuses données d'archives publiées aujourd'hui, il ressort une image d'Evola qui a été prise en considération mais toujours soigneusement observée par les milieux officiels allemands.

Après la guerre mondiale, la renommée d'Evola dans les pays germanophones a diminué; son immobilité physique semble l'avoir empêché, entre autres, de poursuivre ses voyages à l'étranger. Ce n'est qu’au cours de ces dernières décennies qu'Evola a fait l'objet d'une sorte de redécouverte, grâce surtout à Hans Thomas Hansen, qui a traduit (et retraduit) une bonne partie de ses œuvres, avec le consentement d'Evola lorsqu'il était encore en vie, et qui est considéré à juste titre comme l'un des plus grands connaisseurs de la pensée et de la vie d'Evola. Outre la revue fondée et animée par Evola, Gnostika (qui, comme son titre l'indique, a des intérêts essentiellement ésotériques), ces dernières années, diverses activités sont nées qui s'inspirent de diverses manières de l'œuvre d'Evola, parmi lesquelles méritent d'être mentionnées les revues allemandes Elemente et Renovatio Imperii et surtout la revue autrichienne Kshatriya, dirigée par Martin Schwarz (auteur de la bibliographie la plus complète d'Evola à ce jour), avec une empreinte "d’orthodoxie évolienne" plus marquée. En outre, des conférences sur le penseur et des traductions de ses autres œuvres commencent s’organiser.

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En outre, le centenaire de la naissance d'Evola, en 1998, a été l'occasion pour diverses publications allemandes de se souvenir de lui avec de nombreux articles, parmi lesquels ceux qui ont été publiés dans la revue Nation & Europa (qui a été publié pendant un demi-siècle, et auquel Evola lui-même a collaboré au début des années 50), Criticon et la prestigieuse Zeitschrift für Ganzheitforschung, autre revue à laquelle Evola a contribué (au début des années 60) et qui a été fondée et dirigée pendant longtemps par Walter Heinrich (jusqu'à sa mort en 1984), qui était un grand ami d'Evola. Par curiosité, nous tenons à signaler que pour l'occasion, de nombreux groupes et ensembles musicaux allemands et autrichiens ont consacré un disque à l'écrivain traditionaliste, intitulé Riding the Tiger.

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Bien que certains éléments politiques de l'histoire de l'Italie et de l'Allemagne semblent similaires (le processus d'unification nationale dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle, la participation commune à la Triple Alliance, l'Axe Rome-Berlin), Evola identifie dans la "tradition germanique" des traits qui différencient clairement - dans un sens positif - les pays germanophones de l'Italie. Ainsi, tout d'abord, "on peut dire qu'en Allemagne, le nationalisme démocratique de masse de type moderne n'a fait qu'une apparition fugace. […]. Le nationalisme en ce sens, sur fond démocratique, n'a pas dépassé le phénomène éphémère du parlement de Francfort de 1848, en liaison avec les soulèvements révolutionnaires qui, à cette époque, faisaient rage dans toute l'Europe (il est significatif que le roi de Prusse Frédéric Guillaume IV ait refusé l'offre, qui lui avait été faite par ce parlement, de devenir le chef de toute l'Allemagne car en l'acceptant, il aurait également accepté le principe démocratique - le pouvoir conféré par une représentation populaire – l’obligeant à renoncer à son droit légitime, même s'il était limité à la seule Prusse). Et Bismarck, en créant le second Reich, ne lui a pas du tout donné une base "nationale", voyant dans l'idéologie correspondante le principe de désordres dangereux pour l'ordre européen, tandis que les conservateurs du Kreuzzeitung accusaient le nationalisme d'être un phénomène "naturaliste" et régressif, étranger à une tradition et à une conception supérieures de l'État". En marge de cette forme "naturaliste" de nationalisme, les pays germanophones ont cultivé un esprit différent, celui du Volk, qui a animé l'esprit pangermanique. Le courant Völkisch, qui a également joué un rôle considérable dans la genèse du national-socialisme, trouve ses racines dans les discours de Fichte à la nation allemande, dans Arndt, Jahn et Lange et surtout dans le Deutschbund et la Deutsche Bewegung . C'est dans cette diversité d'origines que nous avons le premier écart entre l'Italie et l'Allemagne.

unnamedjessd.jpgMais les différences, du point de vue de l’environnement, sont beaucoup plus marquées. Dans son essai sur le Troisième Reich, qui décrit les courants culturels complexes et souvent irréductibles qui ont coopéré à sa genèse, Evola écrit : "Après la Première Guerre mondiale, la situation en Allemagne était nettement différente de celle de l'Italie. [...] Mussolini a dû créer presque tout à partir de rien, en ce sens qu'au moment de combattre la subversion rouge et de remettre l'État sur pied, il ne pouvait pas se référer à une tradition au sens le plus élevé du terme. Tout bien considéré, ce qui était menacé n'était que l'extension de l'Italie démocratique du XIXe siècle, avec un héritage du Risorgimento influencé par les idéologies de la Révolution française, avec une monarchie qui régnait mais ne gouvernait pas et n’avait pas d’articulations sociales solides. En Allemagne, les choses étaient différentes. Même après l'effondrement militaire et la révolution de 1918, et malgré le marasme social, il y avait encore des vestiges profondément enracinés dans ce monde hiérarchique, parfois encore féodal, centré sur les valeurs de l'État et de son autorité, faisant partie de la tradition précédente, en particulier du prussianisme. […]. En fait, en Europe centrale, les idées de la Révolution française n'ont jamais pris autant d'ampleur que dans les autres pays européens" .

A une occasion bien précise, Evola mentionne la théorie juridique du droit international de Carl Schmitt. Le philosophe politique allemand avait exprimé l'idée de l'effondrement du droit international coutumier européen (ius publicum europaeum), qui s'est produit, approximativement, après 1890, et l'affirmation conséquente d'un droit international plus ou moins formalisé. Ici, cependant, nous ne sommes pas entièrement de l'avis de Schmitt", écrit Evola, expliquant que "contrairement à l'opinion de beaucoup, en ce qui concerne l'action menée par Bismarck, tant en Allemagne qu'en Europe, tout n'est pas "en ordre". […]. Plus que Bismarck, il nous semble que Metternich a été le dernier "Européen", c'est-à-dire le dernier homme politique qui ait su ressentir le besoin d'une solidarité entre toutes les nations européennes qui ne soit pas abstraite, ou dictée uniquement par des raisons de politique "réaliste" et d'intérêts matériels, mais qui fasse également référence aux idées et à la volonté de maintenir le meilleur héritage traditionnel de l'Europe". Contrairement à Baillet, Evola était donc plutôt critique à l'égard de Bismarck, qui n'avait pas, selon la vision traditionnelle des évoliens, le courage de s'opposer de manière systématique et rigoureuse au monde moderne et à la subversion (sous sa forme économico-capitaliste), mais devait dans certains cas s'y résoudre.

411o7TsazkL.jpgLa même Allemagne de Frédéric II puis de Guillaume II, tout en conservant les structures et l'ordre d'un État traditionnel (Obrigkeitsstaat), dans lequel la même bureaucratie et le même appareil d'État apparaissaient presque comme les organes d'un ordre, contenait les germes de la dissolution, due aux idées des Lumières qui avaient commencé à filtrer - de façon plus subtile qu'ailleurs - dans les différentes instances. Si le jugement d'Evola sur le code de Frédéric, préservant l'ordre divisé en Stände est positif, c'est parce que, pour l'époque où il a été créé, ce code a mieux préservé que tout autre les structures féodales et hiérarchiques précédentes. Celles-ci, à travers la tradition prussienne, s'enracinent dans l'Ordre des Chevaliers Teutoniques et leur reconquête des terres baltes : un ordre ascético-chevaleresque formé par la discipline et une organisation hiérarchique stricte. Ainsi, dès son plus jeune âge, Evola pressent l'absurdité de la "guerre civile européenne" qu'il va devoir néanmoins mener, en tant que très jeune officier, à la frontière austro-italienne, celle du Karst : l'Italie prend parti contre ce qui reste de la meilleure tradition européenne. "En 1914, les Empires centraux représentaient encore un vestige de l'Europe féodale et aristocratique dans le monde occidental, malgré des aspects indéniables d'hégémonie militariste et quelques alliances suspectes avec le capitalisme présent surtout dans l'Allemagne wilhelminienne. La coalition contre eux était ouvertement une coalition du Troisième pouvoir contre les forces résiduelles du Deuxième pouvoir [...]. Comme peu d'autres dans l'histoire, la guerre de 1914-1918 présente toutes les caractéristiques d'un conflit non pas entre États et nations, mais entre les idéologies de différentes castes. Les résultats directs et attendus ont été la destruction de l'Allemagne monarchique et de l'Autriche catholique, les résultats indirects l'effondrement de l'empire du tsar, la révolution communiste et la création, en Europe, d'une situation politico-sociale si chaotique et contradictoire qu'elle contenait toutes les prémisses d'un nouvel embrasement. Et ce fut la Seconde Guerre mondiale" .

Comme mentionné ci-dessus, Evola a exprimé une opinion nettement positive sur la tradition autrichienne. La ligne dynastique continue des Habsbourg a joué un rôle important dans cette évaluation (Evola s'était exprimé en termes très positifs envers Maximilien Ier) ; dans la période où il vivait à Vienne, Evola a respiré ce qui restait de l'ancienne atmosphère de la Felix Austria (de « l’Autriche heureuse », et il est entré en contact avec ce climat culturel et spirituel et surtout avec des hommes chez qui, pour reprendre les mots d'Ernst Jünger, "la catastrophe avait certes quitté ses ombres [...], mais elle s'était limitée à en effacer la sérénité innée sans la détruire. On pouvait parfois voir [...] une patine de cette souffrance que l'on pourrait appeler autrichienne et qui est commune à tant de vieux sujets de la dernière vraie monarchie. Avec elle, on a détruit une forme de plaisir de vivre qui était inimaginable dans d'autres pays européens depuis des générations, et les traces de cette destruction se font encore sentir chez les individus. […]. Ici, dans le Reich, si l'on ne tient pas compte de l'épuisement général des forces, on commence tout au plus à constater la disparité des couches sociales ; ici, en revanche, les différences entre les différentes ethnies s'ouvrent comme des gouffres".

fotografia(6)95.jpgDans cet humus historique des années de l'entre-deux-guerres, dans lequel les liens sentimentaux et éthiques de beaucoup avec la tradition impériale précédente étaient encore forts - la monarchie des Habsbourg d'Autriche avait au moins formellement conservé, jusqu'au Congrès de Vienne, la propriété du Saint Empire romain - Evola a également eu l'occasion de percevoir directement l'attachement populaire généralisé à la monarchie, et de l'expliquer en ces termes : "Sans exhumer des formes anachroniques, au lieu d'une propagande qui "humanise" le souverain pour captiver les masses, presque sur le modèle de la propagande américaine pour les élections présidentielles, il faut voir dans quelle mesure les traits d'une figure caractérisée par une certaine supériorité et dignité innées peuvent avoir une action profonde, dans un cadre approprié. Une sorte d'ascétisme et de liturgie du pouvoir pourrait jouer un rôle ici. Précisément ces traits, s'ils renforceront le prestige de celui qui incarne un symbole, devraient pouvoir exercer sur l'homme grossier une force d'attraction, voire une fierté à l'égard du sujet. En outre, même à une époque assez récente, nous avons eu l'exemple de l'empereur François-Joseph qui, tout en plaçant entre lui et ses sujets le vieux cérémonial sévère, sans pour autant imiter du tout les rois "démocratiques" des petits États du Nord, jouissait d'une popularité particulière, non vulgaire". Dans la même veine, en 1935, écrivant sur la possibilité d'une restauration impériale en Autriche, Evola rapporte ce que les représentants de la pensée conservatrice et monarchique dans ce pays préconisaient : "Le postulat, quant à lui, est celui auquel tout esprit non encombré de préjugés peut également adhérer, à savoir que le régime monarchique, en général, est celui qui peut le mieux garantir un ordre, un équilibre et une pacification intérieure, sans avoir à recourir au remède extrême de la dictature et de l'État centralisé, à condition qu'il subsiste chez les individus la sensibilité spirituelle requise par tout loyalisme. Cette condition, selon ces personnalités, serait présente dans la majeure partie de la population autrichienne, ne serait-ce que pour la force d'une tradition et d'un mode de vie pluriséculaire".

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Le problème de l'Anschluss, de l'annexion de l'Autriche à l'Allemagne nationale-socialiste, a été, dans les années qui l'ont précédé, au centre d'un vaste débat international. Les juristes et les hommes politiques l'ont abordée sous des angles différents ; Evola n'était pas d'accord sur ce point avec son ami Othmar Spann, qui, écrit Evola, n'était apprécié ni en Autriche ni en Allemagne pour la courageuse cohérence de ses idées. En parlant du sociologue viennois, Evola a déclaré : "Les Autrichiens ne lui pardonnent pas ses sympathies pour l'Allemagne, tandis que les Allemands ne lui pardonnent pas les critiques qu'il a formulées à l'encontre du matérialisme raciste". Elargissant son regard à l'école organiciste viennoise et au monde culturel autrichien, Evola a exposé ses vues en ces termes : "On ne peut pas se résigner à abaisser une nation, qui a la tradition que l'Autriche a eue, au niveau d'un petit Etat balkanique. Ce n'est pas une simple question d'autonomie politique, c'est essentiellement une question de culture et de tradition. Historiquement, la civilisation autrichienne est inséparable de la civilisation germanique. Il n'est pas possible aujourd'hui pour l'Autriche de s'émanciper à cet égard et de commencer à suivre sa propre voie. C'est précisément parce qu'elle est paralysée, réduite à l'ombre de son ancien moi, qu'elle est obligée de se lier le plus étroitement possible à l'Allemagne, de s'appuyer sur elle, d'en tirer les éléments qui peuvent garantir l'intégrité de son patrimoine allemand". Evola a poursuivi en affirmant que, du côté positif, l'Autriche aurait à son tour beaucoup à transmettre à l'Allemagne en termes de tradition culturelle. Mais au-delà du niveau purement intellectuel, "Dans le domaine des traditions politiques, l'antithèse est encore plus visible. Il faut demander à ces intellectuels germanophiles ce qu'ils entendent par tradition germano-autrichienne. La tradition autrichienne était une tradition impériale. Héritier du Saint-Empire romain, le Reich autrichien, du moins formellement, ne pouvait pas se dire allemand. En droit, elle était supranationale, et en fait elle négligeait un groupe de peuples dont la race, les coutumes et les traditions étaient très différentes, un groupe dont l'élément allemand ne constituait qu'une partie. Il n'est pas non plus nécessaire de dire que la direction de l'Empire autrichien avait néanmoins un caractère allemand et était dirigée par une dynastie germanique. Du point de vue des principes, cela compte aussi peu que le fait que les représentants du principe supranational de l'Église romaine étaient en grande partie italiens. Si l'on doit parler d'une tradition autrichienne, conclut Evola, c'est à une tradition impériale qu'il faut se référer. Maintenant, qu'est-ce qu'une telle tradition peut avoir à faire avec l'Allemagne, si l'Allemagne signifie aujourd'hui le national-socialisme" . Francesco Germinario a écrit à ce propos que pour Evola "une Autriche liée à ses racines catholiques, et dans laquelle, surtout, la mémoire des Habsbourg est restée vivante, était beaucoup plus proche des valeurs de la Tradition qu'une Allemagne submergée par la nouvelle vague de modernisation promue par le nazisme".

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Les positions critiques d'Evola à l'égard du nazisme s'exprimaient déjà en ces termes en 1935, dont le philosophe traditionaliste accusait les excès populistes, sociaux et gauchistes. Le ton est particulièrement critique dans ce cas, car la comparaison est avec l'Autriche, en laquelle Evola a vu précisément l'héritière spirituelle de la plus haute tradition européenne. D'autre part, c'est une ligne d'interprétation et d'historiographie appréciable, et qu'Evola a maintenue même dans l'après-guerre, tendant à séparer les différents éléments et les divers courants qui opéraient dans le national-socialisme pour les juger séparément. Il a conclu sa lecture politique de la situation internationale en déclarant : "Si l'on ne veut pas se résigner à la perte de l'ancienne tradition supranationale d'Europe centrale, l'Autriche devrait tourner son regard non pas tant vers l'Allemagne que vers les États qui lui succéderont, en ce sens qu'elle devrait voir dans quelle mesure il est possible de reconstruire une conscience commune d'Europe centrale comme base non seulement pour la solution de problèmes économiques et commerciaux très importants mais éventuellement [...] aussi pour la formulation d'un nouveau principe politique unitaire de type traditionnel".

En ce qui concerne la Seconde Guerre mondiale, dont l'issue est sans doute considérée par Evola comme la dernière phase de l'effondrement de la civilisation européenne, l'écrivain traditionaliste dénonce les fautes morales des puissances occidentales : "Himmler a été responsable d'une tentative de sauvetage in extremis (considérée par Hitler comme une trahison). Par l'intermédiaire du comte Bernadotte, il a transmis une proposition de paix séparée aux Alliés occidentaux afin de pouvoir poursuivre la guerre uniquement contre l'Union soviétique et le communisme. On sait que cette proposition, qui, si elle avait été acceptée, aurait peut-être pu assurer un destin différent à l'Europe, en évitant la "guerre froide" qui a suivi et la communisation de l'Europe au-delà du "rideau de fer", a été clairement rejetée sur la base d'un radicalisme idéologique aveugle, tout comme l'offre de paix faite par Hitler, de sa propre initiative, à l'Angleterre en des termes raisonnables dans un célèbre discours de l'été 1940, lorsque les Allemands étaient le camp vainqueur.

71g63lXeJ6L.__BG0,0,0,0_FMpng_AC_UL320_SR218,320_.pngMême après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Evola a gardé un œil sur les pays germanophones. Sa vision était celle d'une admiration pour la nouvelle résurrection économique opérée par les Allemands après être sortie du champs de ruines qu’elle était dans la seconde période de l'après-guerre ("cette nation a pu se relever complètement d'une destruction sans nom. Même sous l'occupation, elle a surpassé les nations victorieuses elles-mêmes sur le plan industriel et économique et a repris sa place de grande puissance productrice"). et pour le courage avec lequel la République fédérale avait banni le danger communiste de sa politique ("Les Allemands font toujours les choses avec cohérence. Donc aussi dans le jeu de la conformité démocratique. Ils ont mis en place une démocratie modèle comme un système "neutre" - nous dirions presque administratif, plutôt que politique - à la fois équilibré et énergique. Contrairement à l'Italie, l'Allemagne, précisément du point de vue d'une démocratie cohérente, a proscrit le communisme. La Cour constitutionnelle allemande a statué ce qui correspond à l'évidence même des choses, à savoir qu'un parti qui, comme le parti communiste, ne suit les règles démocratiques que dans une fonction purement tactique et de couverture, ayant pour objectif final déclaré la suppression de tout courant politique opposé et l’avènement de la dictature absolue du prolétariat, ne peut être toléré par un État démocratique qui ne veut pas creuser sa propre tombe") . Mais, malgré cela, la guerre avait alors produit un vide, un vide spirituel qui n'était plus comblé : "Contre tout cela, il est surprenant, en République fédérale, l'absence de toute idée, de tout "mythe", de toute vision supérieure du monde, de toute continuité avec l'Allemagne précédente". Toujours dans le domaine de la culture, Evola constate un glissement général, une sorte d'"échec" général aux positions courageuses et avant-gardistes des intellectuels allemands dans les années - selon Evola, très prospères et rentables sous le profil culturel - du Reich national-socialiste. Dans son jugement négatif, Evola prend comme exemple de cet effondrement Gottfried Benn et Ernst Jünger (tombant avec cela dans des erreurs de vue assez grossières).

* * *

Extrait de Via della Tradizione 125 (2002), pp. 37-50.

Cet article a été republié sans les notes de bas de page.

lundi, 14 décembre 2020

Le chemin de la montagne : la mystique alpine de Francesco Tomatis

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Le chemin de la montagne: la mystique alpine de Francesco Tomatis

Giovanni Sessa

Ex : https://www.ereticamente.net

Dans le monde de la marchandisation universelle, chaque aspect de la réalité est réduit à la dimension de pure « chose » (est choséifié). Même la nature, réduite à une simple res extensa par le calcul, est vécue seulement dans la catégorie de l'utilité et se voit réduite, selon la leçon de Rosario Assunto, à la dimension inanimée du « vert équipé ». Dans cette réduction de l'espace à une quantité homogène, toute différence environnementale semble avoir disparu. Les montagnes elles-mêmes, qui, pendant des millénaires, ont été considérées comme sacrées, ont été réduites à un simple site de consommation par l'industrie touristique.

41c-D03APKL._AC_SY400_.jpgQuelques penseurs isolés contestent cette réduction. Parmi eux, en Italie, Francesco Tomatis, spécialiste de la philosophie de Schelling, s'est distingué avec son livre monumental, La via della montagna (Le chemin de la montagne), aujourd'hui en librairie chez Bompiani Editore, qui reprend une conception mystique de la pratique de l'alpinisme (686 pages, € 20,00). Selon Tomatis : "Grâce à la concentration en montagne des éléments de vie [...] ; ils sont utilisables [...] pour la régénération cyclique mais aussi innovante et évolutive de tout être vivant" (p. 9). Aller à la montagne ouvre à la connaissance, à condition toutefois de laisser dans la vallée des instances purement subjectivistes et volontaristes : "Personne ne peut ouvrir la voie de la montagne. Elle s'ouvre plutôt à nous" (p. 9), c’est-à-dire à ceux qui l'abordent avec humilité et audace, motivés par la recherche de l'original, dans la conscience de la mortalité constitutive de chaque entité. Celui qui marche sur les sentiers ou grimpe sur les parois verticales, s'il est animé par de telles intentions, peut vivre : "une conversion à la richesse foisonnante du monde de la montagne [...], une descente sur le versant ensoleillé [...], révolutionnaire et archétypale pour tout être vivant, précisément parce que le re-cordo de l'ascension extatique, perpétuellement vivant dans son vertige, dessine un simple "ça", bien réel et vide" (p. 10). La rencontre avec la multiplicité vivante de la montagne, révèle une connaissance qui dit la présence de la souveraineté dans chaque entité, en effet elle découvre dans la présence, au sens émirati, la seule façon de se donner au "supervectorat" (p. 10). C'est l'acquisition spontanée d'une vision verticale, qui transforme sans violence celui qui en est le porteur, le rendant ainsi en phase avec la métamorphose cyclique et toujours égale mais différente (semblable à ce qu’en disait Klages) de toute chose.

unnamedrdma.jpgLa pratique de l'alpinisme se traduit, comme l'a rappelé René Daumal dans son Mont Analogue, en termes poétiques : un savoir qui s'applique dans une action, comme dans l'art entendu au sens traditionnel. Tomatis y explique, verum et factum convertuntur, réalisant la coïncidence entre l'ascension et la descente. La recherche spontanée de la divinité se manifeste dans la marche en montagne, elle donne lieu à une connaissance naïve, non achevée sur elle-même, se référant à autre chose, à l' « ultériorité hyperbolique » qui regarde à la verticale, exposée à la hauteur. Le livre se développe en deux parties, une partie ascendante et une partie descendante. L'itinéraire proposé semble structuré sur la voie épistrophique et hypostatique du néoplatonisme, car la "source nivelée" que l'on atteint verticalement est la même que celle qui, au retour, innerve, par sa présence, la vie multiforme de la montagne. L'ascension et la descente se développent autour de la montagne, symboliquement comprise comme axis mundi, suspendue entre la limite mortelle et la dimension verticale à laquelle nous tendons.

La révolution mystique alpine n'implique pas seulement l'alpiniste, mais au fil du temps, elle a eu des répercussions sur la vie alpine. Pour faire participer le lecteur à ce vécu "poétique" spécifique du monde, Tomatis rappelle les positions d'auteurs tels que Caveri, Bartaletti, Zanzi et d'autres, s'attardant notamment sur la civilisation occitane qui : "a permis, grâce à son langage et à son artisanat raffiné, à l'écoute de la transcendance de Dieu dans chaque petit aspect naturel [...] de redécouvrir la nature paradigmatique de l'homme alpin face à la mortalité quotidienne [...] en encourageant l'épanouissement lent et vif de la vie" (p. 12).

Tomatis décrit l'ascension par la voix d'alpinistes, de poètes et de scientifiques qui sont arrivés dans une cordée invisible jusqu'à la falaise du sommet où : "tout devient lumineux, brillant et éblouissant en même temps" (p. 13) et on rencontre le néant du sommet qui bientôt, sur le chemin du retour, sera transformé en un essaim vital. C'est à ce point du mouvement de la montagne que l'auteur présente les expériences de vie de Thoreau, De Luca et Roberto Einaudi, témoins "d'une méthode spirituelle capable de s'enraciner dans les terres les plus élevées, comme celles des bois et des montagnes" (p. 13).

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De telles expériences conduisent à la rencontre avec l'être montagneux, magistralement témoigné (entre autres) par Heidegger et Pareyson et par l'alpinisme ouvert au mystère de Bonatti et Messner. Ce dernier nous dit : "par la voie [...] de l'alpinisme extrême mais en style alpin, le long duquel il a touché les limites de la vie [...] il a expérimenté et élaboré une "philosophie du renoncement"" (pp. 525-526). L'auteur présente et discute, en outre, quelques expressions artistiques qui permettent, comme avec les photos de Pellegrino, de se rapprocher de l'âme des habitants des villages alpins. La conclusion, dans ce volume, nous semble la plus pertinente, représentant son cœur vital. Ici, la différence entre la philosophie ascétique et unidirectionnelle de la montagne chez Evola et sa position alpino-mystique est abordée.

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Tomatis reconnaît que la vision d'Evola était "une contribution extraordinaire à la compréhension de la dimension, à la fois spirituelle et physique, de la montagne" (p. 603), qui manquait à une vision claire de la coincidentia oppositorum alpino-mystique. Cela a conduit Evola à réduire l'expérience de la montagne à une ascension unilatérale, excluant la dimension du retour, de la descente. Tomatis attribue ce choix à la prééminence dans l'univers théorique evolien de la leçon subjectiviste fichtéenne. Cette explication nous semble peu convaincante : seul Evola dans ses travaux spéculatifs avait parfaitement compris, grâce à la réflexion consignée dans les pages consacrées à Schelling, que la liberté et la nécessité sont com-possibles, tout comme la montée et la descente. De plus, souligne Tomatis, l'interprétation du taoïsme qu’a élaborée Evola en 1959, montre un net dépassement des hypothèses subjectivistes. En tout cas, ce qui distingue les deux philosophies de la montagne est que la voie d'Evola est : "directement intuitive et réalisable", celle de Tomatis est : "vide et prédisposée à l'acceptation d'une grâce ou d'un événement aussi imprévisible, non possible, plus éloigné" (p. 606).

La première est la voie ascétique, la seconde la voie mystique : ce sont là les expressions de différentes équations personnelles. La voie mystique, à l'époque contemporaine, a trouvé un interprète en Mauro Corona, dont les mains : "savent embrasser la montagne, tester la roche [...] avec un souci tissé d’intelligence, respectueux de l'aura mystérieuse qui enveloppe encore plus sa nature" (p. 607).

C'est un livre stimulant que celui de Tomatis, très riche en informations, fabuleux du point de vue de la narration. L'auteur conduit, en tant que guide expert, le lecteur sur les chemins du "Royaume perdu" de la montagne.

Giovanni Sessa.

vendredi, 11 décembre 2020

Julius Evola | The Sufi Of Rome

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Julius Evola | The Sufi Of Rome

Julius Evola: The Sufi of Rome
 
 

00:24 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : julius evola, tradition, traditionalisme, soufisme | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

jeudi, 10 décembre 2020

La fin d'un monde : quand Evola a anticipé Orwell et Huxley

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La fin d'un monde : quand Evola a anticipé Orwell et Huxley

Andrea Scarabelli

Ex : https://blog.ilgiornale.it/scarabelli

La-Torre_1-213x300.jpegLa nouvelle édition de La Torre, la revue mythique dirigée par Julius Evola en 1930, vient d'être publiée par la maison d’édition Mediterranee ; c’est une version critique, remise à jour, comprenant des notes, des bibliographies et des analyses approfondies. En plus d'être un document historique comme il y en a peu d'autres, cette réédition témoigne d'une approche "métapolitique" et "spirituelle", qui a tenté d'orienter la politique de l'époque dans un sens différent de celui pris dans les années ultérieures. À l'occasion de cette nouvelle édition, nous rapportons, avec l'aimable autorisation de l'éditeur, une note signée par Evola dans le quatrième numéro de la revue, le 16 mars 1930, dans la rubrique qu'il a dirigée, la rubrique L'Arco e la Clava. Ici, le philosophe répond clairement à tous ces périodiques (La Volontà d'Italia, Roma Fascista, L'Italia Letteraria, L'Ora, etc.) qui l'accusent de "catastrophisme", car, comme on le sait, il s’était penché sur le thème de la fin des civilisations. Dans cette réponse, Evola anticipe non seulement des analyses plus connues aujourd’hui de par le monde, contenues par exemple dans des textes tels que Le meilleur des mondes de Huxley (1932), La dialectique des Lumières d’Adorno de Horkheimer (1947), le 1984 d’Orwell (1949) et L'homme unidimensionnel de Marcuse (1964).De surcroît, iloffre un portrait impitoyable, une analyse quasi chirurgicale, de notre monde. Dans cette singulière variation sur le thème de la "fin du monde" (dont le spectre erre encore dans le débat public actuel), Evola imagine néanmoins une calamité bien différente de celles, littéraires et dystopiques, auxquelles nous nous sommes habitués, pour finir par décrire en fait... notre contemporanéité, avec ses tics et ses tabous, avec tous ses masques et ses acteurs que le lecteur - nous en sommes sûrs - n'aura pas de mal à reconnaître. C'est aussi parce qu'il n'y a souvent pas besoin de catastrophes naturelles - ou de pandémies, pourrait-on ajouter, pour basculer dans la dystopie. Une civilisation peut aussi mourir d'une mort naturelle. C'est peut-être le cas de la nôtre.

Andrea Scarabelli.

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Texte de Julius Evola

Le monde occidental se dirige vers sa "fin". Mais c'est précisément ce que signifie "fin" qui doit être compris ! Nos points de référence ne sont pas du tout ceux qui ont cours actuellement. Nous ne prophétisons pas, nous démontrons - par l'observation de personnages et de processus précis de l'histoire et de la culture - le déclin d'une civilisation, et ce même fait, aux yeux de la plupart des gens, pourrait prendre un aspect très différent et pas du tout alarmant.

Expliquons cela à l'aide d'un exemple. Nous ne pensons pas du tout que la fin du monde occidental devrait nécessairement avoir cet aspect chorégraphique et catastrophique auquel la plupart des gens pensent immédiatement. Il ne s'agira pas nécessairement de cataclysmes, ni même de ces nouvelles guerres mondiales, sur les horreurs desquelles on a déjà maintes fois disserté et sur les résultats d’une éventuelle extermination de la race humaine ; non, plus simplement, de nombreuses personnes bien vivantes nous montrent déjà ce déclin, de manière lugubre. Au contraire, une guerre... un autre bon mais radical écrasement définitif - que peuvent espérer de plus ceux qui espèrent encore?

On voit encore plus noir. Voici, par exemple, l'une des formes sous lesquelles, entre autres, nous pourrions aussi dépeindre la "fin du monde".

Plus de guerres. La fraternité universelle. Nivellement total. Le seul mot d'ordre : obéir - incapacité, de devenir « organique » vu la contre-éducation des générations successives, alors qu’il faudrait faire tout sauf obéir. Pas de dirigeants. La toute-puissance de la "société". Les hommes, des moyens d'action sur les choses. L'organisation, l'industrialisation, le mécanisme, le pouvoir et le bien-être physique et matériel atteindront des sommets inconcevables et vertigineux. Soigneusement libérés scientifiquement de l'ego et de l'esprit, les hommes deviendront très sains, sportifs, travailleurs. Parties impersonnelles de l'immense agglomération sociale, rien, après tout, ne les distinguera les uns des autres. Leur pensée, leur façon de ressentir et de juger seront absolument collectives.

Avec les autres, même la différence morale entre les sexes disparaîtra, et il se peut aussi que le végétarisme fasse partie des habitudes rationnellement acquises de ce monde, se justifiant sur la similitude évidente des nouvelles générations avec les animaux domestiques (les animaux sauvages n'étant alors plus autorisés à exister que dans quelques jardins zoologiques). Les dernières prisons enfermeront dans l'isolement le plus terrifiant les derniers agresseurs de l'humanité : les penseurs, les témoins de la spiritualité, les dangereux maniaques de l'héroïsme et de l'orgueil guerrier. Les derniers ascètes vont s'éteindre un à un sur les sommets ou au milieu des déserts. Et la messe se célébrera par la bouche de poètes officiels et autorisés, qui parleront des valeurs civiles et chanteront la religion du service social. À ce moment-là, une grande aube se lèvera. L'humanité sera véritablement régénérée, et elle ne conservera même plus le souvenir des temps passés jugés désormais « barbares ».

Maintenant : qui vous permettrait d'appeler "fin" cette fin ? Pour voir, avec nous, l'effondrement total, la chute finale ? Seriez-vous capable de concevoir un mythe plus splendide, un avenir plus radieux pour l'"évolution" ?

jeudi, 01 octobre 2020

Titus Burckhardt: Compte rendu : « CAVALCARE LA TIGRE » (Chevaucher le Tigre)

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Ex: https://dinul-qayyim.over-blog.com

Compte rendu paru dans Etudes Traditionnelles juillet-octobre 1962

Par son récent livre intitulé Cavalcare la Tigre, Julius Evola veut montrer comment l'homme « naturellement traditionnel », c'est-à-dire conscient d'une réalité intérieure dépassant le plan des expériences individuelles, puisse non seulement survivre dans l'ambiance traditionnelle du monde moderne, mais encore l'employer à son propre but spirituel, selon la métaphore chinoise bien connue de l'homme qui chevauche le tigre : s'il ne s'en laisse pas désarçonner, il finira par en avoir raison.

51kteUI0tYL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_ML2_.jpgLe tigre, au sens qu'envisage Evola, c'est la force dissolvante et destructive qui entre en jeu vers la fin de tout cycle cosmique. En face d'elle, dit l'auteur, il serait vain de maintenir les formes et la structure d'une civilisation désormais révolue ; la seule chose qu'on peut faire, c'est de porter la négation au-delà de son point mort et de la faire aboutir, par une transposition consciente, non pas au néant mais à « un nouvel espace libre, qui sera peut-être la prémisse d'une nouvelle action formatrice ».

Le monde qui doit être nié parce qu'il est voué à la destruction, c'est avant tout la « civilisation matérialiste et bourgeoise » qui représente déjà en elle-même la négation d'un monde antérieur et supérieur. - Sur ce point, nous sommes d'accord avec l'auteur, mais nous constatons immédiatement qu'il ne distingue pas entre les formes propres à cette civilisation « bourgeoise » et l'héritage sacré qui survit en elle et malgré elle. De même, il semble englober dans le destin de cette civilisation tout ce qui subsiste des civilisations orientales, et cela également sans faire une distinction entre les structures sociales et leurs noyaux spirituels.
 
Nous reviendrons sur cette question. Relevons d'abord un autre aspect de ce livre : il s'agit de la critique souvent magistrale, des différents courants de la pensée moderne. Evola ne se place pas lui-même sur le terrain des discussions philosophiques, car cette philosophie moderne n'est plus une « science du vrai » ; – elle n'a même plus la prétention de l'être ; – il la considère comme un symptôme, comme un reflet mental d'une situation vitale et existentielle, essentiellement dominée par le désespoir : depuis qu'on a nié la dimension de la transcendance, il ne peut y avoir que des impasses ; il n'y a plus de sortie hors du cercle infernal du mental livré à lui-même ; tout ce qui reste, c'est la description de la propre défaite. Comme point de départ de cette analyse, l'auteur choisit la « philosophie » de Nietzsche, chez lequel il découvre un pressentiment des réalités transcendantes et comme une tentative de dépasser l'ordre purement mental, tentative vouée à l'échec par le manque d'une directive spirituelle.
 
Avec la même acuité, l'auteur analyse les fondements de la science moderne. De ce chapitre, nous citerons le passage suivant qui répond avec pertinence aux illusions spiritualistes de certains milieux scientifiques : « … De ce dernier point de vue, la science la plus récente n'a aucun avantage sur la science matérialiste d'hier. À l'aide des atomes et de la conception mécanique de l'univers, on pouvait encore s'imaginer quelque chose (bien que d'une manière très primitive) ; les entités de la dernière science physico-mathématique, par contre, sont absolument inimaginables ; elles ne constituent plus que les simples mailles d'un filet fabriqué et perfectionné non pas pour connaître au sens concret, intuitif et vivant du terme – c'est-à-dire selon le seul mode qui avait de la valeur pour une humanité non abâtardie –, mais uniquement pour avoir une prise pratique toujours plus grande, mais toujours extérieure, sur la nature qui, dans son fond, reste fermée à l'homme et mystérieuse plus qu'auparavant. Ses mystères ont seulement été « recouverts » ; le regard en a été distrait par les réalisations spectaculaires de la technique et de l'industrie, sur un plan où il ne s'agit plus de connaître le monde mais seulement de le transformer pour les buts d'une humanité devenue exclusivement terrestre... »
 

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« Répétons que c'est une mystification que de parler de la valeur spirituelle de la science récente parce qu'en elle, au lieu de matière, on parle d'énergie, parce qu'elle porte à voir dans la masse des irradiations coagulées, et quasi de la ''lumière congelée'' ou parce qu'elle envisage des espaces à plus de trois dimensions... Ce sont là des notions qui, une fois substituées à celles de la physique précédente, ne changent absolument rien à l'expérience que l'homme d'aujourd'hui peut avoir du monde... Quand on nous dit qu'il n'existe pas de matière mais seulement de l'énergie, que nous ne vivons pas dans un espace euclidien à trois dimensions, mais un espace ''courbé'' à quatre ou plus de dimensions, et ainsi de suite, les choses restent comme auparavant, mon expérience réelle n'est changée en rien, le sens dernier de ce que je vois – lumière, soleil, feu, mer, ciel, des plantes qui fleurissent, des êtres qui meurent –, le sens dernier de tout processus et phénomène n'est nullement devenu plus transparent pour moi. Il n'y a pas lieu de parler d'une connaissance qui transcende les apparences, qui connaisse en profondeur, au sens spirituel et vraiment intellectuel du terme... »

Non moins pertinentes sont les remarques de l'auteur sur les structures sociales et les arts dans le monde contemporain. Il nous faut cependant faire une réserve pour ce qui est de sa thèse de l'« asservissement de la force négative », appliqué à certains aspects de la vie moderne. Citons un exemple typique : « Les possibilités positives (du règne de la machine) ne peuvent concerner qu'une minorité exiguë, à savoir les êtres dans lesquels préexiste la dimension de la transcendance ou chez lesquels elle peut être réveillée... Eux seuls peuvent donner une toute autre valeur au ''monde sans âme'' des machines, de la technique et des métropoles modernes, en somme de tout ce qui est pure réalité et objectivité, qui apparaît froid, inhumain, menaçant, privé d'intimité, dépersonnalisant, ''barbare''. C'est précisément en acceptant entièrement cette réalité et ces processus que l'homme différencié pourra réaliser son essence et se former lui-même selon une équation personnelle valable... ».

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« Sous ce rapport, la machine même et tout ce qui, dans certains secteurs du monde moderne, a été formé selon les termes d'une pure fonctionnalité (notamment dans l'architecture) peut devenir symbole. En tant que symbole, la machine représente une forme née d'une équation exacte et objective des moyens à une fin, excluant tout ce qui est superflu, arbitraire, dispersant et subjectif ; c'est une forme qui réalise avec précision une idée (celle de la fin à laquelle elle est destinée). Sur son plan, elle reflète donc d'une certaine manière la valeur même que possédait, dans le monde classique, la pure forme géométrique, le nombre comme essence, de même que le principe dorique du rien de trop... ». Ici, l'auteur oublie que le symbole n'est pas une forme « objectivement adéquate » à n'importe quelle fin, mais une forme adéquate à une fin spirituelle ou à une essence intellectuelle ; s'il y a coïncidence, dans certains arts traditionnels, entre la conformité à un but pratique et la conformité au but spirituel, c'est que dans ce cas le premier ne contredit pas le second, ce qu'on ne saurait affirmer de la machine qui, elle, n'est pas concevable hors du contexte d'un monde désacralisé. En fait, la forme de la machine exprime exactement ce qu'elle est, à savoir une sorte de défi lancé à l'ordre cosmique et divin ; elle a beau être composée d'éléments géométriques « objectifs » tels que des cercles et des carrés, dans son ensemble et par son rapport – ou son non-rapport – avec l'ambiance cosmique, elle ne traduit pas une « idée platonique » mais bien une « coagulation mentale », voir une agitation ou une ruse. Il y a certes des cas-limites, comme celui d'une machine encore proche d'un simple outil, ou celui d'un navire moderne dont la forme épouse à un certain degré le mouvement de l'eau et du vent, mais ceci n'est qu'une conformité fragmentaire et ne contredit pas ce que nous venons de dire. Quant à l'architecture « fonctionnelle », y compris l'urbanisme moderne, elle ne peut être appelé « objective » que si l'on admet que sa fin même est objective, ce qui n'est évidemment pas le cas : toute architecture est coordonné à une certaine conception de la vie et de l'homme ; or Evola lui-même condamne le programme social sous-jacent à l'architecture moderne. En réalité, l' « objectivité » apparente de celle-ci n'est qu'une mystique à rebours, une sentimentalité congelée et déguisée en objectivité mathématique ; l'on a d'ailleurs vu combien vite cette attitude se convertit, chez ses protagonistes, en un subjectivisme des plus arbitraires et des plus flottants.
 
Certes, il n'existe pas de forme totalement retranchée de son archétype éternel ; mais cette loi trop générale ne saurait être invoquée ici, et cela pour la raison suivante : pour qu'une forme soit un symbole, il faut qu'elle se situe dans un certain ordre hiérarchique par rapport à l'homme. Distinguons, pour être précis, trois aspects du symbolisme inhérent aux choses : le premier se réduit à l'existence même d'une forme, et en ce sens, toute chose manifeste son origine céleste ; le second aspect est le sens d'une forme, sa portée intellectuelle, soit à l'intérieur d'un système donné, soit encore en elle-même par son caractère plus ou moins essentiel et prototypique ; enfin, il y a l'efficacité spirituelle du symbole qui présuppose chez l'homme qui l'utilise, une conformité à la fois psychique et rituelle à une certaine tradition.

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Nous avons insisté sur ce point, parce que Julius Evola méconnaît l'importance cruciale d'un rattachement traditionnel, tout en admettant la possibilité d'un développement spirituel spontané ou irrégulier, guidé par une sorte d'instinct inné et éventuellement actualisé par l'acceptation de la crise du monde actuel comme une catharsis délivrante. C'est là presque l'unique perspective qui resterait ouverte à l' « homme différencié » de nos temps, car l'appartenance à une religion se réduit, pour Evola, à l'intégration dans un milieu collectif plus ou moins décadent, tandis que la possibilité d'une initiation régulière serait à écarter : « ...Retenons que de nos jours, elle (cette possibilité) doit être pratiquement exclue ou presque, par suite de l'inexistence quasi complète des organisations respectives. Si les organisations de ce genre ont toujours eu, en Occident, un caractère plus ou moins souterrain à cause du caractère de la religion qui parvint à y prédominer et de ses initiatives de répression et de persécution, elles ont entièrement disparu dans les derniers temps. En ce qui concerne d'autres régions, l'Orient surtout, ces organisations y sont devenues toujours plus rares et inaccessibles, à moins que les forces dont elles étaient les véhicules n'aient été retirées d'elles, parallèlement au processus général de dégénérescence et de modernisation qui a fini par envahir même ces régions. De nos jours, même l'Orient n'est plus capable de donner autre chose que des dérivés ou un ''régime de résidus'' ; on est forcé de l'admettre rien qu'en considérant le niveau spirituel des Asiatiques qui ont commencé à exporter et à divulguer chez nous la sagesse orientale... »
 
Ce dernier jugement n'est absolument pas concluant : si les Asiatiques en question étaient les vrais représentants des traditions orientales, les divulgueraient-ils ? Mais supposons qu'Evola ait raison avec son jugement des organisations traditionnelles en tant que groupements humains : sa façon de voir n'en comporte pas moins une grave erreur d'optique, car aussi longtemps qu'une tradition conserve intactes ses formes essentielles, elle ne cesse d'être le garant d'une influence spirituelle – ou d'une grâce divine – dont l'action, si elle n'est pas toujours apparente, dépasse incommensurablement tout ce qui est dans le pouvoir de l'homme. Nous savons bien qu'il existe des méthodes ou des voies, comme le Zen, qui se fondent sur le ''pouvoir de soi-même'' et qui se distinguent en cela d'autres voies se fondant sur le ''pouvoir de l'autre'', c'est-à-dire en dehors du cadre formel d'une tradition donnée. Le Zen notamment, qui offre peut-être, l'exemple le plus saillant d'une spiritualité non formelle, est parfaitement, et même particulièrement, conscient de la valeur des formes sacrées. On dépasse les formes, non en les rejetant d'avance, mais en les intégrant dans leurs essences supra-formelles.  

D'ailleurs, Evola défnit lui-même la fonction médiatrice de la forme quand il parle du rôle du « type » spirituel, qu'il oppose à l'individu ou à la « personnalité » au sens profane et moderne du terme : « Le type (la tipicità) représente le point de contact entre l'individuel et le supraindividuel, la limite entre les deux correspondant à une forme parfaite. Le type désindividualise, en ce sens que la personne incarne alors essentiellement une idée, une loi, une fonction... ». L'auteur précise bien que le type spirituel se situe normalement dans le cadre d'une tradition, mais il ne conclut pas, apparemment, à la nature typique, c'est-à-dire implicitement supraindividuelle, de toute forme sacrée, sans doute parce qu'il n'envisage pas ce que les religions monothéistes appellent révélation. Or, il est inconséquent d'admettre la « dimension transcendante » de l'être – autrement dit la participation effective de l'intellect humain à l'intellect universel – sans admettre également la révélation, c'est-à-dire la manifestation de cet Intellect ou Esprit en formes objectives. Il y a un rapport rigoureux entre la nature supraformelle, libre et indéterminée de l'Esprit et son expression spontanée – donc « donnée par le Ciel » – en des formes nécessairement déterminée et immuables. Par leur origine, qui est illimitée et inexhaustible, les formes sacrées, bien que limitées et « arrêtées », sont les véhicules d'influences spirituelles, donc de virtualités d'infini, et à cet égard il est tout à fait impropre de parler d'une tradition dont il n'existerait plus que la forme, l'esprit s'étant retiré d'elle comme l'âme a quitté un cadavre : la mort d'une tradition commence toujours par la corruption de ses formes essentielles.

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Selon toutes les prophéties, le dépôt sacré de la Tradition intégrale subsistera jusqu'à la fin du cycle ; cela signifie qu'il y aura toujours quelque part une porte ouverte. Pour les hommes capables de dépasser le plan des écorces et animés d'une volonté singulière, ni la décadence du monde environnant, ni l'appartenance à tel peuple ou tel milieu, ne constituent des obstacles absolus.  

Quaerite et invenietis.

Revenons un instant au titre du livre d'Evola : l'adage qu'il faut « chevaucher le tigre » si l'on ne veut pas être déchiré par lui, comporte évidemment un sens tantrique ; le tigre est alors l'image de la force passionnelle qu'il faut dompter. On peut se demander si cette métaphore convient réellement à l'attitude de l'homme spirituel à l'égard des tendances destructives du monde moderne : remarquons d'abord que n'importe quoi n'est pas un « tigre » ; derrières les tendances et les formes que Julius Evola envisage, nous ne trouverons aucune force naturelle et organique, aucune shakti dispensatrice de puissance et de beauté ; or, l'homme spirituel peut utiliser rajas, mais il doit rejeter tamas ; enfin il y a des formes et des attitudes qui sont incompatibles avec la nature intime de l'homme spirituel et avec les rythmes de toute spiritualité. En réalité, ce ne sont pas les caractères particuliers, artificiels et hybrides du monde moderne qui peuvent nous servir de support spirituel, mais bien ce qui, dans ce monde, est de tous les temps.

Titus Burckhardt

jeudi, 17 septembre 2020

Immobile Warriors: Evola’s Post-War Career from the Perspective of Neville’s New Thought

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Immobile Warriors:
Evola’s Post-War Career from the Perspective of Neville’s New Thought

What has got to be gotten over is the false idea that a hallucination is a private matter.

— P. K. Dick [1] [1]

There is no fiction. What is fiction today will be a fact tomorrow. A book written as a fictional story today comes out of the imagination of the one who wrote it, and will become a fact in the tomorrows.

— Neville [2] [2]

4127dlLdp6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgGianfranco de Turris’ newly translated book on Julius Evola’s war years [3] [3] is a veritable secret archive of obscure and obscured information on Evola’s activities in the last two years of the Second World War and the immediate aftermath, all of which is used by the author to throw light on many occurrences that have remained poorly documented and, inevitably, subject to more or less informed speculation, if not outright gossip.

One of these is the injury Evola received in Vienna, which left him an invalid for the remainder of his life. Collin Cleary, in his review [4], gives a nice summary:

On January 21, 1945, Evola decided to take a walk through the streets of Vienna during an aerial bombardment by the Americans (and not the Soviets, as has been erroneously claimed). While he was in the vicinity of Schwarzenbergplatz, a bomb fell nearby, throwing Evola several feet and knocking him unconscious. He was found and taken to a military hospital. When the philosopher awoke hours later, the first thing he did was to ask what had become of his monocle. Once the doctors had finished looking him over, the news was not good. Evola was found to have a contusion of the spinal cord which left him with complete paralysis from the waist down. As Mircea Eliade notoriously said, the injury was roughly at the level of “the third chakra.” It resulted in Evola being categorized as a “100-percent war invalid,” which afforded him the small pension he received for the rest of his life.

An all-too-common tragedy of wartime. Yet with Evola, nothing is so simple. Speculation and rumor have swirled around this incident. If this is how Evola was injured, why was he engaged in such an apparently suicidal act (and indeed, “taking a walk . . . during an aerial bombardment” was actually a habit with him)? And if it wasn’t the cause, what was? As in the title of de Turris’ book, Evola is known as not only a philosopher but a magician: surely something spookier was involved? And indeed, since Evola was apparently in Vienna to examine Masonic documents, including rituals, the latter of which he intended to “rectify” and purify of anti-traditional elements, the idea of his being injured by an esoteric ritual gone wrong becomes possible (if one takes such things seriously).

De Turris deals with all these issues magisterially and has surely produced a definitive account (unless more documents turn up; he is a scrupulous scholar who admits when something is still unclear, and corrects his own earlier accounts when new information has appeared).

One amazing bit of information de Turris provides concerns novelizations of Evola’s situation, which inevitably take the Dan Brown path of giving magical accounts; no less than three, and two of them by Mircea Eliade! Both Il segerto del Graal by Paolo Virio (1955) and Diciannove rose by Eliade (1978) appeared after the incident (and in Eliade’s case after Evola’s death). The third novel, the first of Eliade’s two, is the most interesting; here is de Turris’ description:

It is also necessary to make reference to another novel by the Romanian author that is a most bewildering coincidence if not a real prophecy. Upon his return from his stay in India in 1931, Mircea Eliade would write some novels and short stories within that setting with its appropriate allusions; among this literary output is Il Segreto del Dottor Honigberger, published in 1940. The protagonist was a Saxon physician in the 1800s who had really existed. It first appeared in two parts in a magazine and a few months later, slightly but significantly expanded, in the form of a book accompanied by Notti a Serampore. The author makes reference to an inexperienced disciple who has remained paralyzed for having not known to thoroughly master the knowledge of his own discoveries on the spiritual plane when seeking to perfect a “yoga initiation.” The stupefying fact is that the name of this tragic character is J. E.! The young Mircea Eliade had known Julius Evola in Rome during his travels to Italy in the years 1927 to 1928, which was at the time of the Ur Group, and maintained a correspondence with him when he was in India. Is it perhaps possible that he just might have named the unfortunate spiritual researcher with the abbreviation J. E., since he was impressed by his personality and by his “occult” interests? Whatever it might be, the paralysis is described five years before the bombardment of Vienna, and the antecedents ascribed to it are the very rumors that surrounded Evola once he returned to Italy in 1951. Eliade probably had only learned of it on the occasion of another journey to the Italian Peninsula, where in 1952 he had another encounter with Evola. Or perhaps even after having only read Il cammino del cinabro [Evola gifted him a copy of the first edition in 1963]. Hence he consciously and deliberately made use of this for Diciannove rose. But to write of it before it had ever occurred in 1940. . . . [Author’s ellipsis, for spooky effect?]

So the stunning aspect in these novels is that both the authors, Paolo Virio and Mircea Eliade, knew what they were talking about. Both could boast of having sufficient experiences with initiatic methodologies, and both had long-lasting personal friendships with Julius Evola. . . . Had they deemed as insufficient the explanation of the bombing, considering it to be too prosaic, too banal for someone like him? And so they dreamed up in an equally effective and powerful evocation to describe the protagonist in their works.

EldritchEvola-KindleCoverB-200x300.jpgYou can buy James O’Meara’s book The Eldritch Evola here. [5]

Perhaps, but we should note again that this novel was published in 1940, “five years before the bombardment of Vienna, and the antecedents ascribed to [his injury] are the very rumors that surrounded Evola once he returned to Italy in 1951.” Surely a coincidence, says the man of common sense. Yet of course, Evola himself was not such a dreary man of sense, and as we’ll see he was certainly open to such esoteric interpretations.

Consider this [6]: Futility is a novella written by Morgan Robertson and published as Futility in 1898, and revised as The Wreck of the Titan in 1912.

It features a fictional British ocean liner Titan that sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. Titan and its sinking are famous for similarities to the passenger ship RMS Titanic and its sinking fourteen years later. After the sinking of Titanic, the novel was reissued with some changes, particularly in the ship’s gross tonnage.

Although the novel was written before RMS Titanic was even conceptualized, there are some uncanny similarities between the fictional and real-life versions. Like Titanic, the fictional ship sank in April in the North Atlantic, and there were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers. There are also similarities in size (800 ft [244 m] long for Titan versus 882 ft 9 in [269 m] long for the Titanic), speed, and life-saving equipment. After the Titanic’s sinking, some people credited Robertson with precognition and clairvoyance, which he denied. Scholars attribute the similarities to Robertson’s extensive knowledge of shipbuilding and maritime trends.

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As it happens, I was alerted to this historical oddity a while ago as a result of reading one of Neville’s lectures, “Seedtime and Harvest,” which articulates the principle that “there is no fiction [7].”

14 years before the actual harvest or that frightful event of the sinking of the Titanic a man in England wrote a book. He conceived this fabulous Atlantic liner and there he built her just like the Titanic, (only the Titanic was not built for 14 years) but he, in his imagination, conceived the liner of 800-ft. She was triple screw, she carried 3000 passengers, she carried few lifeboats because she was unsinkable; she could make 24 knots; and then one night he filled her to the brim with rich and complacent people, and on a cold winter night he sunk her on an iceberg in the Atlantic. 14 years later the White Star Line builds a ship. She is 800 ft., she is a triple screw, she can make 24 knots, she can carry 3000 passengers, she has not enough lifeboats for passengers but she, too, is labeled unsinkable. She is filled to capacity with the rich, if not complacent, but the rich, because her passenger list was worth in that day, when the dollar was one hundred cents, two hundred and fifty million dollars was the worth of the passenger list. Today [1956] it would be a billion dollars. All the wealth of Europe and the wealth of this country was sailing on that maiden voyage out of Southampton. Five nights at sea in this wonderful glorious ship and she went down on a cold April night on an iceberg.

Now that man wrote a book either to get something off his chest because he disliked the rich and the complacent, or he thought it might sell or he thought this is the means of bringing him a dollar as a writer. But, whatever was the motive behind his book which, by the way, he called Futility to show the utter futility of accumulated wealth, but the identical ship was built 14 years later and carried the same kind of a passenger list and went down in the same manner as the fictional ship.

Is there any fiction? There is no fiction! Tomorrow’s world is today’s fiction. Today’s world was yesteryear’s fiction — the dreams of men of yesteryear. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could talk with someone across space and just use a wire? And I couldn’t see that one: it would be a mile away beyond the range of my voice — then maybe five miles and maybe a thousand miles — fantastic dreams — then they came true. When they came true, suppose I could do it without the means of a wire. And it came true; suppose now I could do it not just in an audio sense but in a video sense. Suppose I could be seen? And that came true, but when they were conceived, they were all fictional, all unreal.

And how can this be [8]?

Now, am I responsible for others in my world? I certainly am! When I take my little mind, my little imagination and think because it’s mine — my Father gave it to me, that I can simply misuse it, it isn’t going to hurt another. I tell you you do have to use more control for the simple reason I am rooted in you and you are rooted in everyone and all of us are rooted in God. There is no separate individual detached being in my Father’s Kingdom. We are one. I am completely responsible for the use or misuse of my imagination.

Now, I’m sure all this just sticks in the craw of those self-styled “rationalists” or “materialists” out there (including many who idolize the political Evola and wish everyone would forget about all that magical stuff). I won’t try to gainsay that here, but as I said above, Evola certainly agreed with this basic idea (without going the full “we are all one” New Age route politically), [4] [9] and I think it’s worthwhile to put our rationalism “in parentheses,” as the phenomenologists would say [10], and explore some of the ramifications.

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What Neville’s talking about is an extension of the notion of magical combat into the realm of the involuntary or accidental — as if you gave a monkey a machine gun. [5] [11] Guénon believed he himself had been paralyzed for six months due to such a magical attack in 1939, recovering only when an “evil influence” was deported from Egypt. On this basis, he suggested Evola “reflect upon it” and “see if something similar could not have been around you.” [6] [12] As Evola later recalled,

I told Guénon that a similar attack would be an unlikely cause in my case, not least because an extraordinarily powerful spell would have been necessary to cause such damage; for the spell would have had to determine a whole series of objective events, including the occurrence of the bombing raid, and the time and place in which the bombs were dropped. [7] [13]

Evola’s reasoning here is interesting, because Neville addresses exactly this point, and denies it; in fact, rejecting it is a key part of his “method for changing the future.” [8] [14] One is to imagine the end, being in the state of the desire satisfied; not the means. To dwell on the means is unnecessary and even counterproductive, as thereby one remains in the state of lack; [9] [15] instead, when the future state is imagined so clearly as to feel real, the larger world itself will arrange things in ways you could never have imagined. A “bridge of incidents” will be constructed for you to cross; your materialist friends will point to this sequence of “objective” events and call it “coincidence,” and claim it would have happened anyway. Indeed, since most of us have little control over our thoughts, we may have no recollection of the idle thought in the past that led to a current situation. [10] [16]

The more careful one is with what thoughts we allow ourselves to entertain, and the more outlandish the apparent means used to bring about a desired outcome, the more likely one is to make the leap from mere coincidence to meaningful coincidence — i.e. synchronicity.

Thus, Neville’s stories tend to involve improbable means; in his most famous story, “How Abdullah Taught Neville the Law [17],” Neville’s hoped-for escape from a New York City winter occurs when his brother “decides” to have to whole family together for Christmas, and sends him a ticket and expenses for a voyage back to Barbados. [11] [18] The family business — today’s massive Caribbean conglomerate, Goddard Enterprises [19] — is founded when, after his brother spends two years of lunch hours gazing at a business rival’s building, imagining his family name on the side, a stranger, “looking for a better return on his savings,” walks up with an offer to buy him the building [20]. His two brothers visit New York and want to see a sold-out production of Aida; Neville goes to the Met box office, foils a con man (because Neville’s tall enough to look over the man’s shoulder and recognize the short change scam he’s “attempting”), and is rewarded with VIP tickets [21].

I’ve used scare quotes because in each case a third party — brother, stranger, con man — thinks he is just going about his business, exercising his free will, when actually they are essential parts in the bridge of incidents invoked by Neville himself.

On the other hand, the lack of specific means — “a way you could never imagine” — leaves open the possibility of foul play. Neville consoles a follower who had wished to be rid of neighbor — who (consequently?) dies. [12] [22] Another listener asks point-blank if one can wish for someone’s death, and Neville sort of side steps in his answer: no one really wants someone to die, just to go away, which could involve a change of jobs or retirement to Florida. [13] [23] In general, one should only wish for the best, not only for oneself but for others — who, after all, are us as well. [14] [24]

In any event, there is no need to try to determine if someone, perhaps Eliade, launched a magical attack on Evola, perhaps inadvertently; Evola himself attributed a different, though related, supervening cause. Perhaps the best way to shift gears here is to again aver to our skeptical readers, who have no doubt already asked themselves: well, if Evola was such a great magician, why didn’t he just heal himself?

Remarkably, De Turris presents evidence that Evola simply didn’t want to. [15] [25] He quotes the recollections of a distinguished Orientalist:

“One day, probably in 1952, Colazza, Scaligero, and I had been to see Evola in his apartment in Corso Vittorio. I had noticed that Evola could move his legs, despite the paralysis that we knew he had. After visiting, we left Evola’s house. As we went down the stairs, I heard Scaligero saying to Colazza: ‘But Evola could not. . . .’ As he was talking about certain practices, a certain subtle operation, a kind of exercise to which Colazza answered suddenly, in an almost clipped tone: ‘Of course he could! But he doesn’t! He does not want to do it.’”

The professor was convinced that Evola could have resolved his partial invalidity, if he were willing to practice some exercises on the etheric or subtle body that were most definitely known by Colazza, Scaligero, and Evola himself. The reason why Evola did not want to operate in this direction remains a mystery and, for Professor Filippani, even this fact goes back to Evola’s “peculiar bad character.”

The abrupt but anguished response from the anthroposophist, Dr. Colazza, who the philosopher had asked for advice and explanations about his disability, makes it clear Evola possessed psychospiritual resources and an immeasurable inner being on the subtle plane to the point that he could “self-heal.” But he did not want to do it. One must ask why?

edb21aa27bdc8120f66092847c81f7ec--fantasy-weapons-vampire-armor.jpgIndeed, we must; surely the only thing stranger than someone walking around during an aerial bombardment is that same person refusing to “self-heal.” What the professor calls Evola’s “bad character” was his stubborn refusal to take an interest in anything, however important, that, in fact, did not currently interest him; a character flaw he no doubt considered part of his prerogative as either an aristocrat or a genius. In particular, the three Anthroposophists who visited him may have tried to have him accept their assistance through what Evola’s UR group would have called a “magical chain,” [16] [26] exactly the sort of outside cause we have seen Neville discuss. [17] [27]

De Turris, however, suggests a more developed reason, which also brings us back to Neville. In a letter from 1947, Evola writes:

What is not clear to me is the purpose of the whole thing: I had in fact the idea — the belief if you want to call it, naive — that [when testing fate] one either dies or reawakens. The meaning of what has happened to me is one of confusion: neither one nor the other motive.

Evola will expand on this in The Path of Cinnabar:

What happened to me constitutes an answer that however wasn’t at all easy to interpret. Nothing changed, everything was reduced to a purely physical impediment that, aside from the practical annoying concerns and certain limitations of profane life, it neither affected nor effected me at all, my spiritual and intellectual activity not being in any way whatever altered or undermined. The traditional doctrine that in my writings I have often had the opportunity to expound — the one according to which there is no significant event in existence that was not wanted by us before birth — is also that of which I am intimately convinced, and such a doctrine I cannot but apply it also to the contingency now referred to. In reminding myself why I had wanted it is to however grasp its deepest meaning for the whole of my existence: this would have been, therefore, the only important thing, much more important than my recovery, to which I haven’t given any special weight. . . . But in this regard the fog has not yet lifted. Meanwhile, I have calmly adjusted myself to the situation, thinking humorously sometimes that perhaps this has to do with gods who have made the weight of their hands felt a little too heavy for my having joked around with them. [18] [28]

For some reason de Turris elides the following passage after “weight,” which seems to state the whole issue in a nutshell:

Besides, as I saw it, had I been capable of grasping the “memory” of such a wish by the light of knowledge, I would no doubt also have been capable of removing the physical handicap itself — if I had wished to.

The idea of our making a choice before birth – which Evola contrasts to mere amor fati, a la Nietzsche – can be found at least as far back as Plato’s Myth of Er [29]. [19] [30] And here again we can find a parallel with Neville’s teachings.

Unlike most New Thought teachers, who either rely on an accepted Christian terminology, or else posit a vague sort of Original Substance, Formless Substance, Formless Stuff, Thinking Substance, or Thinking Stuff, [20] [31] Neville offered something of an explanation, principally in the previously cited Out of This World: Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally [32]:

At every moment of our lives we have before us the choice of which of several futures we will choose. [21] [33]

How on Earth is that supposed to happen? Well, speaking of “Earth,” Neville posits a four-dimensional universe. [22] [34] The fourth dimension of course is time, and each of us — like everything in this three-dimensional world — is a sort of cross-section of a higher, fourth-dimensional being. Through the faculty of imagination — by a kind of controlled dreaming — one can rise to a level at which the whole time-line is laid out before us; we can both see the already determined future, and, by concentrated thought, enter it, and alter it.

918YDe-tmfL.jpgRemember when we were talking about not worrying about the means? It’s the fourth-dimensional self that takes care of them, having means available we know not of.

The method works, because it is, in fact, “the mechanism used in the production of the visible world.” Mitch Horowitz uses quantum physics to explain this:

Neville likewise taught that the mind creates multiple and coexistent realities. Everything already exists in potential, he said, and through our thoughts and feelings we select which outcome we ultimately experience. Indeed, Neville saw man as some quantum theorists see the observer taking measurements in the particle lab, effectively determining where a subatomic particle will actually appear as a localized object. Moreover, Neville wrote that everything and everyone that we experience is rooted in us, as we are ultimately rooted in God. Man exists in an infinite cosmic interweaving of endless dreams of reality — until the ultimate realization of one’s identity as Christ.

In an almost prophetic observation in 1948, he told listeners: “Scientists will one day explain why there is a serial universe. But in practice, how you use this serial universe to change the future is more important.” More than any other spiritual teacher, Neville created a mystical correlate to quantum physics. [23] [35]

Neville has taken Evola’s “naïve idea” and projected it beyond a single, prenatal moment and onto every moment of our subsequent life. [24] [36] Evola believed “this truth should be sufficient to render all events that appear tragic and obscure less dramatic; for — as the Eastern saying goes — ‘life on Earth is but a journey in the hours of the night’: as such life is merely one episode set in a far broader framework that extends before and beyond life.” [25] [37] And for Neville, “This world, which we think so solidly real, is a shadow out of which and beyond which we may at any time pass.” [26] [38]

What, then, was the meaning of Evola’s injury, what he calls “the purpose of the whole thing”? De Turris admits this “has always remained a personal, private mystery, clearly and definitely one that is internal,” but tries to essay an “external response” based on “what happened after the end of the war.”

This man, immobilized in bed, wrote letters and articles with a copying pencil on a lectern placed leaning in front of him or at the typewriter seated at the desk in front of the window. After having been an “active” personality in every sense of the word, culturally and worldly, a mountaineer and traveler about the whole of Europe, he now engaged his intellectual and spiritual forces for those who, starting in the late forties, thought of reconstructing something. He used his symbolic vision, present since his first letters to friends back in 1946, “among the ruins” in Europe and Italy. He used a political movement of the right that kept in mind not only the negative but also the positive lessons of Fascism and National Socialism, in the way Evola and others had envisioned it to be after July 25 and September 8. An “immobile warrior,” as he was defined by his French biographer in an effective and suggestive image, and which — not without equivocations and misunderstandings — was an example for everyone. [27] [39]

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You can buy James O’Meara’s book Green Nazis in Space! here. [40]

In short, Evola turned from direct engagement with the world to an attempt to influence and, moreover, inspire the next generation of European youth, the “men among the ruins,” still standing; or Spengler’s Roman soldier buried under the ashes of Pompeii because he was never ordered to leave.

Indeed, such was his influence that “he was tried by the Italian democracy for ‘defending Fascism,’ ‘attempting to reconstitute the dissolved Fascist Party’ and being the ‘“master’ and ‘inspirer’ of young Neo-Fascists. Like Socrates, he was accused of not worshipping the gods of the democracy and corrupting youth.” [28] [41] As John Morgan says, he became “something of a guru to the various Right-wing and neo-fascist groups which emerged in Italy in the first three decades after the war.” [29] [42]

In a previous essay, I briefly compared Evola’s last years to the dénouement of Hesse’s novel The Glass Bead Game. [30] [43] Joseph Knecht, the Game Master, disillusioned with an institution he finds to be intellectually sterile and doomed by its political naivety, resigns to become a tutor to the son of an old friend, Designori, who had already left for the “real” world, hoping to thereby provide some influence on the next generation. On their first morning stroll together, however, Knecht — unwilling to seem shy or cowardly — dives into a nearby lake and, overcome by cold and fatigue, drowns.

It seems anticlimactic as a novel, and futile and senseless as an act; as senseless, perhaps, as “questioning fate” by taking a walk during an aerial bombardment. The fact that Knecht dies in this effort, however, does not constitute failure. Hesse makes it clear from his portrait of Designori’s highly physical, yet still malleable and spiritually pure son Tito, that the incomplete work of Knecht and Designori might come to full fruition in him. A child of the world, Tito yet seems to sense the spiritual duty laid upon him by Knecht’s sacrifice, and the text suggests he will rise to meet it:

And since in spite of all rational objections he felt responsible for the Master’s death, there came over him, with a premonitory shudder of awe, a sense that this guilt would utterly change him and his life, and would demand much greater things of him than he had ever before demanded of himself. [31] [44]

91kbe+gMmxL.jpgNeville, of course, was no kshatriya. In fact, I have described him as a member of the haute bourgeoise — and that’s a good thing! The merchant is a legitimate class, very populous, especially today. [32] [45] Neville is an excellent model for the average man in today’s world; [33] [46] really the perfect mid-century American life, exactly what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have had if Matthew Weiner didn’t have an axe to grind. [34] [47]

His early first marriage, with a son, and second, lifelong marriage with a daughter [48], are a social idea, and compares favorably with many “alt-right” figures. He traveled between furnished, upscale residential hotels in New York City (Washington Square) and Los Angles (Beverly Hills), as he alludes to in his lectures, and the “success stories” he tells come from the same upper-middle-class milieus of nice houses, restaurants, and vacations. [35] [49] He was from a family of merchants, and mostly lived on various stipends from his family, as well as the high dividends paid out by the family-held corporation, even during the Depression. [36] [50] This enabled him to lecture with minimal admission costs to cover the rental of the hall, self-publish about ten small books, and allow — and encourage — his lectures to be taped without charge. [37] [51]

So much not a kshatriya that another of his most famous stories is how he imagined himself out of the Army! Despite being a middle-aged father of two and a non-citizen, Neville — perhaps due to the ex-dancer’s superb physical condition — was drafted in November 1942; effectively shanghaied into the fight against the forces Evola was willingly supporting as a noncombatant. [38] [52] How he extricated himself is one of his most interesting stories:

In 1942 in the month of December, this direction came down from Washington DC, any man over 38 is eligible for discharge, providing his superior officer allows it; if his superior officer, meaning his battalion commander disallows, there is no appeal beyond his battalion commander. You could not take it to say to the divisional commander, it stops with the battalion commander. This came down in 1942 in the month of December. They gave a deadline on it. This will come to an end on March 1st of 1943 so anyone 38 years, before the first of March, 1943 was eligible. All right. That is Caesar’s law. I got my paper, made it out. They had my record, my date. I was born in 1905 on the 19th of February, so I was 38 years old before the 1st of March of 1943 so I was eligible.

My battalion commander was Colonel Theodore Bilbo. His father was a senator from Mississippi. I turned [in my application for discharge], in four hours it came back “disapproved” and signed the colonel’s name. That night I went to sleep in the assumption that I am sleeping in my apartment house in New York City. I didn’t go through the door. I didn’t go through the window. I put myself on the bed. So I slept in that assumption. At 4:00/4:15 in the morning here came before my inner eye a piece of paper not unlike the one that I had signed that day. On the bottom of it was “disapproved.” Then came a hand from here down holding a pen and then the voice said to me “That which I have done I have done. Do nothing.” It scratched out disapproved and wrote in a big bold script “Approved”. And then I woke. I did nothing.

Nine days later that same colonel called me in. He said, “Close the door, Goddard.” “Yes, sir.” He said “Do you still want to get out of the army?” I said “Yes, sir.” He said “You’re the best-dressed man in this country, who wears the uniform of America,” I said, “Yes, sir.” “You still want to get out of the Army?” “Yes, sir.” Yessed him to death as I sat before him. He said, “All right, make out another application and you’ll be out of the Army today.”

I went back to my captain, told him what the colonel had said, made out another application and he signed it and that day I was out of the Army, honorably discharged. That’s all that I did. I went right into my home as a discharged soldier of our army and I’m a civilian. I slept that night in my home in New York City though physically my body was in Camp Polk, Louisiana. That’s how it works!

The colonel, when I went through the door that evening, he came forward and he said “Well, good luck Goddard. I will see you in New York City after we have won this war.” I said “Yes, sir.” And that was it. I share this with you to tell you how it works. This is not good and that is wrong. We are living in a world of infinite possibilities.” [39] [53]

Did this happen? Mitch Horowitz has established the external facts: that the Army discharged Neville in March, 1943 so as to “accept employment in an essential wartime industry”: delivering metaphysical lectures in Greenwich Village. [40] [54]

Remember, Neville was 38 years old, a non-citizen, had a wife and a young daughter; moreover, he fails to add, in the version above, that his son from his previous marriage was already drafted and serving at Guadalcanal. Apparently all that was being ignored now in the name of more cannon fodder for Churchill’s war. [41] [55] The military draft itself is a perfect example of the modern “reign of quantity,” in which all are regarded as interchangeable “individuals,” and I can see no reason why Neville, a true member of the merchant caste, should not have availed himself of a perfectly legal avenue of escape (“Caesar’s law”).

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It’s also interesting to note that his commanding officer was a Col. Theodore Bilbo, son of Sen. Bilbo. [42] [56] One wonders if he shared his father’s interest in the resettlement of America’s negroes, [43] [57] and if Neville revealed to him that his guru, Abdullah, was involved with Marcus Garvey and Ethiopianism, [44] [58] leading him to look with favor on Neville’s application; could Neville have used not Abdullah’s teaching, but his connection with Ethiopianism, to smooth his eventual premature, but honorable, discharge from the Army?

But from our perspective here, the most interesting features of this story are, first, that Neville’s “essential wartime activity” was delivering metaphysical lectures — that is, instructions in his “method of changing the future” — which is not entirely unlike Evola’s wartime activities among the archives of secret societies that had been confiscated by the Germans; has there been any modern war in which magicians — Evola, Neville, Crowley — have played so great a role?

And secondly, this:

I had my 13 weeks’ basic training, and then when I came out, they gave me my citizenship papers. Back in 1922 I could have been an American, but I just didn’t have the time or the urge to get around to become a citizen; so I drifted on and drifted on and drifted on until after this little episode. That’s why I went into the Army, or I would still be drifting through, being a citizen of Britain. But now I’m an American by adoption. And they gave it to me because I did fulfill a 13-week training course in the American Army. So, I tell you, I know from experience how true this statement in [The Epistle of] James is. [45] [59]

Have we found here the key to the whole puzzling incident: the government’s dogged determination to press-gang [60] Neville like Billy Budd, only to then dangle a tantalizing offer of a get out of jail card, complete with citizenship? Once again, we see, perhaps, the unintended consequences of imagination; was the whole draft incident, seemingly absurd, the “bridge of incidents” leading to Neville’s desired naturalization as an American?

And in any event, Neville’s teaching evolved in a way very congruent to Evola’s aristocratic reserve and dedication to doing what has to be done.

51hQWvEIk2L.jpgAfter a mystical experience of being reborn from his own skull (Golgotha) in 1959, Neville’s teaching bifurcated: in addition to The Law (which became Oprah’s “Law of Attraction”), he also began to teach The Promise. The Law was given to enable you to live in the material world; the Promise was that you could then work to obtain union with God; a path suitable to the Dark Age:

One day you will be so saturated with wealth, so saturated with power in the world of Caesar, you will turn your back on it all and go in search of the word of God . . . I do believe that one must completely saturate himself with the things of Caesar before he is hungry for the word of God. [46] [61]

In short, Riding the Tiger. Interestingly, then as now, Neville’s listeners were more interested in The Law than in The Promise; they wanted him to return to stories about how people had obtained new cars and bigger houses. As Horowitz recounts [62] it:

Many listeners, the mystic lamented, “are not at all interested in its framework of faith, a faith leading to the fulfillment of God’s promise,” as experienced in his vision of rebirth. Audiences drifted away. Urged by his speaking agent to abandon this theme, “or you’ll have no audience at all,” a student recalled Neville replying, “Then I’ll tell it to the bare walls.” [47] [63]

Warrior or not, the picture of Neville standing on stage, lecturing to bare walls, recalls again Spengler’s Roman soldier, buried at Pompei because no order to stand down was given. From the start of his career:

He stood very still for an appreciable time, looking straight before him. Then he said, “Let us now go into the silence.” He squared himself on his feet, shut his eyes, flung his head sharply back, and became immobile. [48] [64]

And a few years from the end:

I know my time is short. I have finished the work I have been sent to do and I am now eager to depart. I know I will not appear in this three-dimensional world again for The Promise has been fulfilled in me. [49] [65] As for where I go, I will know you there as I have known you here, for we are all brothers, infinitely in love with each other. [50] [66]

It’s an attitude fully in keeping with New Thought, despite its reputation as encouraging an airy-fairy dreamworld attitude to life. Evola’s own attitude is actually not far from what the apostle of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale, would counsel:

The tough-minded optimist takes a positive attitude toward a fact. He sees it realistically, just as it is, but he sees something more. He views it as a challenge to his intelligence, to his ingenuity and faith. He seeks insight and guidance in dealing with the hard fact. He keeps on thinking. He knows there is an answer and finally he finds it. Perhaps he changes the fact, maybe he just bypasses it, or perhaps he learns to live with it. But in any case his attitude toward the fact has proved more important than the fact itself. [51] [67]

Or Biblical scholar — and Lovecraft authority — Robert M. Price:

We will never really finish. Our quests will be rudely suspended when the Grim Reaper taps us on the shoulder. “What the hell?” you say. Then why bother in the first place? Because it’s the chase. It’s the hunt. It’s acting without the fruits of action. You needn’t be bitter about it, like the fellow who wrote Ecclesiastes 2:21, “sometimes a man who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by a man who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.” No, it isn’t! Better that someone pick up where you left off! Pass the torch! Doing your part is all you can do, and that should be satisfaction enough. It is for me. [52] [68]

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Speaking of the Bhagavad Gita — “acting without the fruits of action” — a somewhat similar attitude is demanded of us who would listen to Evola or Neville (just as Knecht’s sacrifice lays a burden on the pupil Tito); as John Morgan said in his speech on Evola:

The fact that we may lose the battle doesn’t mean that we are absolved of the responsibility of fighting it and standing for what is true. The best illustration of this that I know of comes from the Bhagavad Gita. . . .

And that’s how I see those of us here tonight. In spite of the million other things you could have been doing in this enormous and hyperactive city tonight, you decided to come here and meet with a group of some of the most hated people in America to listen to a lecture on Julius Evola. That clearly indicates that there’s something in you that has decided that there are more important things than just doing what everyone else expects you to do. So really, we’re already creating the “order” that Evola called for in order to preserve Tradition in the face of degeneracy. So let’s not despair about the latest headlines, but keep our heads up in the knowledge that, whatever happens, we are the ones who stand for what is timeless, and our day of victory will come, whether it is tomorrow or a thousand years from now. [53] [69]

Arguably, we have an easier time of it today; Neville allowed his lectures to be freely taped and transcribed, and they now live on through the intertubes; the books of both he and Evola are available in electronic formats you can read on the subway without fear of discovery. So ride that technological tiger! And as you do so, spare a thought for those who make them available, such as Counter-Currents, and consider what you can do to keep them standing [70].

If you want to support our work, please send us a donation by going to our Entropy page [71] and selecting “send paid chat.” Entropy allows you to donate any amount from $3 and up. All comments will be read and discussed in the next episode of Counter-Currents Radio, which airs every Friday.

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Notes

[1] [73] Exegesis, 15:87 (The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick; edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Letham; Erik Davis, annotations editor (Houghton Mifflin, 2011).

[2] [74]Believe It In [75],” Neville Goddard, 10/06/1969.

[3] [76] Gianfranco de Turris, Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943–1945 (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2020), reviewed by Collin Cleary here [4].

[4] [77] See my Mysticism After Modernism: Crowley, Evola, Neville, Watts, Colin Wilson & Other Populist Gurus [78] (Melbourne, Australia: Manticore Press, 2020), especially the title essay, “Magick for Housewives: The Not So New and Really Quite Traditional Thought of Neville Goddard.”

[5] [79] Evola mocks materialists who think they have acquired “power” because they’ve devised a missile they can launch by pressing a button, while still being psychologically as underdeveloped as a monkey; see “The Nature of Initiatic Knowledge,” reprinted in Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2001); compare: Dr. Ian Malcolm: “If I may. . . Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table] you’re selling it, you wanna sell it.” — Jurassic Park (Spielberg, 1993). Evola brought the original Ur and Krur articles with him to Vienna and was reworking them into the three volumes that would appear in 1955 as Introduction to Magic (and apparently bankrupted his publisher: de Turris, p. 145).

[6] [80] Letter to Evola; see de Turris, p. 148.

[7] [81] De Turris, loc. cit., quoting The Path of Cinnabar (London: Arktos, 2012), p. 184. I have substituted the latter translation by Sergio Knipe, as the one in de Turris seems garbled: “I explained to Guénon that nothing of the sort could be of value for my case and that, on the other hand, he would have had to come up with a most potent spell to cast because it would have had to determine a whole set of objective circumstances: the air strike, the moment, and the point of the bomb release, and so on.”

[8] [82] “The first step in changing the future is desire — that is: define your objective — know definitely what you want. Secondly: construct an event which you believe you would encounter following the fulfillment of your desire — an event which implies fulfillment of your desire — something that will have the action of self predominant. Thirdly: immobilize the physical body and induce a condition akin to sleep — lie on a bed or relax in a chair and imagine that you are sleepy; then, with eyelids closed and your attention focused on the action you intend to experience — in imagination — mentally feel yourself right into the proposed action — imagining all the while that you are actually performing the action here and now. You must always participate in the imaginary action, not merely stand back and look on, but you must feel that you are actually performing the action so that the imaginary sensation is real to you. It is important always to remember that the proposed action must be one which follows the fulfillment of your desire; and, also, you must feel yourself into the action until it has all the vividness and distinctness of reality.” Out of this World: Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally (1949); Chapter 1, “Thinking Fourth Dimensionally”; online here [83].

[9] [84] “The end of your journey is where your journey begins. When you tell me what you want, do not try to tell me the means necessary to get it, because neither you nor I know them. Just tell me what you want that I may hear you tell me that you have it. If you try to tell me how your desire is going to be fulfilled, I must first rub that thought out before I can replace it with what you want to be. Man insists on talking about his problems. He seems to enjoy recounting them and cannot believe that all he needs to do is state his desire clearly. If you believe that imagination creates reality, you will never allow yourself to dwell on your problems, for you will realize that as you do you perpetuate them all the more.” 10/6/1969, “Believe It In [75].”

[10] [85] “All cause is spiritual! Although a natural cause seems to be, it is a delusion of the vanishing vegetable memory. Unable to remember the moment a state was imagined, when it takes form and is seen by the outer eye its harvest is not recognized, and therefore denied.” Neville, “The Spiritual Cause [86],” May 3, 1968.

[11] [87] You can hear him narrate it here [88].

[12] [89] “If Any Two Agree. . . [90]” March 22, 1971. Rather like the classic tale “The Monkey’s Paw,” a woman’s wish to be rid of a disturbing neighbor seemingly results in his death, leaving three orphans. In this context, one might imagine someone fervently wishing “to be rid of this meddlesome Evola” or some such thing; a neighbor, an academic rival, perhaps a landlady?

[13] [91] “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest [92]?”

[14] [93] On another occasion, Neville’s idle wish to get out New York after a disappointing lecture seems to have sped up his mother’s not entirely unexpected death:

The war in Europe was on. England was at war. No ships were plying the Atlantic. They were going down faster than they could build them, and we were almost at war, and then came the month of August, and I received a cable from my family saying: “We didn’t tell you, because we knew you couldn’t come to Barbados. There aren’t any ships,” (and certainly in those days there were no planes) and they said: “Mother is dying. She’s been dying for two years, but now, this is it, and if you want to see her in this world once more, you’ve got to come now,” I mean, now. I received that cable in the morning, and my wife and I sailed the very next night. But it taught me a lesson: not to use this law idly, not to use it to escape, but to use it deliberately because you cannot escape from it. A series of events will mold themselves, across which you will walk, leading up to the fulfillment of that state. And so here I put myself, just to escape from the cold and the disappointment of the evening, in Barbados of all places. Then something happens, and I am compelled to make the journey, the last place in the world we intended to go. And we sailed at midnight, and got there four and a half days later on this “Argentine” ship. (It was an American ship, but it was called the Argentine.) Mother dies, as they all said she would, and I returned to the States with the knowledge of what I had done and began to teach it.

Faith [94],” 7/22/1968.

[15] [95] “The first step in changing the future is desire — that is: define your objective — know definitely what you want.” Neville, Out of This World, loc. cit.

[16] [96] See Magic, op. cit., especially “Opus Magicum: Chains” by “Luce.”

[17] [97] Evola’s relations with Anthroposophy are a puzzle to me; the UR and KRUR group included disciples of Steiner, and Evola maintained friendly relations with them, as with these three; see Magic, op. cit., “Preface: Julius Evola and the UR Group” by Renato del Ponte. His Sintesi di dottrina della razza even presents two photos of Steiner to illustrate the Aryan “solar” type. Yet officially, as a “traditionalist,” Evola had to treat Anthroposophy as yet another grave “deviation” and “counter-tradition” worthy of extermination, even by the National Socialists. Was he ambivalent to Steiner because of the similarity of their intellectual development — from German Idealism to esotericism? (Both essentially claimed to have completed the system of German Idealism [98]). Was he afraid of being accused of hypocrisy; or of having to admit, if the treatment had succeeded, that Steiner was a legitimate psychic researcher?

[18] [99] De Turris, p. 166; this translation of a passage from Cinnabar would correspond to p. 183 of the abovementioned English translation. Again, this seems garbled; “neither affected nor effected me” is nonsense, but Knipe renders it as simply as “remained unaffected.”

[19] [100]

The end of the Republic is somewhat disconcerting. It ends with a strange myth about the afterlife. In this myth, people have the potential to choose the kind of life that they would like lead in their next incarnation. The dialogue concludes on this oddly apolitical note. But I want to argue that actually the whole purpose of the Republic is to lead up to this issue of choosing one’s life, of what kind of life is most choiceworthy.

The theme of choosing your life appears throughout the Republic. It appears in Book I, Book II, Book VII, Book IX, and Book X. There are different ways of formulating the choice of lives. It’s the choice between the private life and the public life, the philosophical and the political life, the life of justice versus the life of injustice, the contemplation of reality versus the manipulation of appearances.

Greg Johnson, “Introduction to Plato’s Republic [101],” reprinted in his From Plato to Postmodernism [102] (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2019).

[20] [103] All terms used at various times by Wallace D. Wattles [104], author of The Science of Getting Rich and various similar books.

[21] [105] Out of This World, op. cit., Chapter One, “Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally.”

[22] [106] This, we’ll see, is the “serial universe” of quantum physics, or the “block-universe” of Michael Hoffman, who posits that the ancient Mystery Religions used psychoactive or “entheogenic” drugs to induce a vision of this state of total determinism and loss of agency, then proposed a liberating Savior, such as Mithras or Christ; see, generally, the research collected at egodeath.com [107]. Neville finds freedom rather than determinism here. If Neville were more than fitfully in a philosophical mood, he might admit that our preference in futures is “determined” as well, but might insist that the only meaningful notion of “freedom” is “free to do what we in fact want, unhindered” rather than “free to choose, include what to want,” the so-called liberum arbitrium. As he says in Feeling is the Secret: “Free will is only freedom of choice.”

[23] [108] “In essence, more than eighty years of laboratory experiments show that atomic-scale particles appear in a given place only when a measurement is made. Quantum theory holds that no measurement means no precise and localized object, at least on the atomic scale. In a challenge to our deepest conceptions of reality, quantum data shows that a subatomic particle literally occupies an infinite number of places (a state called “superposition”) until observation manifests it in one place. In quantum mechanics, an observer’s conscious decision to look or not look actually determines what will be there.” All quotes from Horowitz, “A Cosmic Philosopher,” in At Your Command: The First Classic Work by the Visionary Mystic Neville (New York: Snellgrove Publications, 1939; Tarcher Cornerstone Editions, 2016), reviewed here [109] (and reprinted in Mysticism After Modernism).

[24] [110] Ironically, Neville also insists that “Creation is finished,” meaning that all possibilities are already there, four-dimensionally, and need only be chosen in order to be actualized; no “work” is needed to “bring them about.” See “Faith [111],” where Neville compares his doctrine to Richard Feynman [111], who had recently received the Nobel Prize: “I didn’t know it as a scientist. I knew it as a mystic.” Feynman states in a paper from 1949 that “We must now conclude that the entire concept that man held of the universe is false. We always believed that the future developed slowly out of the past. Now, with this concept which we have seen and photographed, we must now conclude that the entire space-time history of the world is laid out, and we only become aware of increasing portions of it successively.”

[25] [112] Path of Cinnabar, p. 230.

[26] [113] Out of This World, loc. cit. Cf. Blake, as frequently quoted by Neville: “All that you behold, though it appears without, it is within, in your imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” If all this seems opaque, maybe you should see Nolan’s new film, Tenet; a commenter on Trevor Lynch’s review [114] says “Tenet is about belief. The main character is not conscious in what he does, yet his deeper self is looking out for him. Time doesn’t exist to his deeper self, only the present. There’s no point in trying to rationalise or moralise it all, what happens is what happens and that is that; much like life. Be in touch with your spirit, act in accordance with it, possess plentitude and be the true protagonist of your own world. You are complete, a part of existence and exactly where you need to be. Such is freedom. Surrender.”

[27] [115] De Turris, 167-68; he also refers the reader to his Elogio e difesa di Julius Evola: Il barone e it terrroristi (Rome: Edizioni Mediterrranee, 1997).

[28] [116] E. Christian Kopff, “Julius Evola, An Introduction” in Julius Evola, A Traditionalist Confronts Fascism: Selected Essays(London: Arktos, 2015).

[29] [117] See “What Would Evola Do? [118]”, the text of the talk delivered to The New York Forum.

[30] [119] See “Two Orders, Same Man: Evola, Hesse [120],” reprinted in Mysticism After Modernism, op. cit.

[31] [121] Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game, translated from the German Das Glasperlenspiel by Richard and Clara Winston, with a Foreword by Theodore Ziolkowski (New York: Bantam, 1970), p. 425.

[32] [122] Culturally, at least; in the current economy, of course, Neville’s lifestyle seems more out of reach.

[33] [123] There’s no “sin” in being a merchant. Sure, some picturesque versions of Hinduism would claim (re)birth in a lower caste is some kind of punishment, but that’s just what you’d expect a “high” caste person to claim, isn’t it? Evola rejected such “moralistic” accounts of karma — remember, every significant event in one’s life is chosen before birth; he even disparaged Heidegger’s claim that “authentic” “Dasein” must feel “guilty” over its “thrownness” as mere disguised Christianity (see his Ride the Tiger, chapter 15). As Nicholas Jeelvy says [124] about Boomer who “just want to grill”:

Do understand that I’m not knocking these people. They were born with average or below-average IQ and a weaker will than others. This is something they have zero control over. Low IQ and low thumos aren’t crimes. These people very prudently do not want to be involved in politics — they’ve neither the ability nor the inclination. Indeed, they are forced into politics by the republican-democratic system and the concordant liberal culture of “the good citizen” who is engaged with grand ideas. Really, the best these people can muster is local politics, which is why they expect small institutions to scale up. To them, the American federal government is a massive homeowner’s association and the FBI is their local sheriff’s department writ large. Small minds (which are small through no fault of their own) cannot comprehend the nature of macroentities. If they knew what we know about globohomo’s various institutions and agendas, they would be so thoroughly demoralized that they’d either be too depressed to leave their homes or the human submission instinct would kick in and they’d immediately convert to globohomo.

[34] [125] For more on Don Draper, see my End of an Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015) as well as more recent essays here on Counter-Currents.

[35] [126] After the war, Evola was given lifetime use of an apartment in Rome by a princely admirer.

[36] [127] He left Barbados for New York City at seventeen, eventually became a successful professional dancer on Broadway [128], but also working such jobs as an elevator operator. “I made thousands in a year, and spent it in a month.” Evola boasted of never receiving a paycheck, but this is difficult to reconcile with the evidence de Turris presents of his desperate letters to various officials to try to continue his “stipend” from the Fascist government as the latter collapsed, as well as his journalistic activities; a “paycheck” may suggest subservience to an employer, but Evola’s “stipend” was hardly passive income; if he was a “Baron,” it was more in the style of “Baron” Corvo’s: fiercely independent, but often hand-to-mouth.

[37] [129] “With Neville there’s nothing to join, nothing to buy.” — Mitch Horowitz.

[38 [130]] [130] Evola, though a veteran, was unable to rejoin the Italian military forces because, feeling himself to be “more fascist than the fascists,” he had never joined the party, which was now required for service; see de Turris, p. 69.

[39] [131] “The Secret of the Sperm,” 1965. Hear Neville tell it at 17:50 here [132].

[40] [133] “A Cosmic Philosopher,” pp. 83-84. The lectures are covered in a typically snarky article in The New Yorker (from September 11, 1943!), “A Thin Blue Flame on the Forehead,” scanned here [134].

[41] [135] Even the frickin’ Chinese emperor in Mulan only drafts her elderly father because he has no military age boys.

[42] [136] See Beau Albrecht’s discussion of Sen. Bilbo’s book Take Your Choice, “Part One: Strange Times Ahead [137]” and “Part Two: Stop the Hate [138]!”

[43] [139] See Kerry Bolton, “Ethiopia Pacific Movement: Black Separatists, Seditionists, & How “White Supremacists” Stymied Back-to-Africa,” Part I [140] and Part II [141].

[44] [142] Horowitz’s speculations on the identity of the mysterious Abdullah are in “A Cosmic Philosopher.”

[45] [143] “The Perfect Law of Liberty [144],” 4/2/71. The Epistle of James reads: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourself. For he who is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like one who looks into the mirror and sees his natural face; and then he goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But he who is a doer, he looks into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and perseveres. And when he does that, he is blessed in his doing.” (Chapter One).

[46] [145] Mitch Horowitz notes “This passage sounds a note that resonates through various esoteric traditions: One cannot renounce what one has not attained. To move beyond the material world, or its wealth, one must know that wealth. But to Neville — and this became the cornerstone of his philosophy — material attainment was merely a step toward the realization of a much greater and ultimate truth.” See “A Cosmic Philosopher.”

[47] [146] Op. cit.

[48] [147] “A Thin Blue Flame,” p. 64.

[49] [148] “Criswell departed this dimension in 1982” — Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 1992), final credit sequence. Criswell, a very Neville-like figure, also appears in Ed Wood’s last “legit” film, Night of the Ghouls [149] (1957, released 1984), in which a phony psychic (not Criswell!) gets his comeuppance when it turns out he really can raise the dead; again, be careful what you wish for.

[50] [150] “No Other God [151],” 5/10/1968.

[51] [152] Have a Great Day: Daily Affirmations for Positive Living by Norman Vincent Peale (Ballantine, 1985); September 2.

[52] [153] Holy Fable Volume 2: The Gospels and Acts Undistorted by Faith by Robert M. Price (Mindvendor, 2017).

[53] [154]What would Evola Do [155]?”

Article printed from Counter-Currents: https://counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://counter-currents.com/2020/09/immobile-warriors/

URLs in this post:

[1] [1]: #_ftn1

[2] [2]: #_ftn2

[3] [3]: #_ftn3

[4] his review: https://www.counter-currents.com/2020/08/julius-evola-the-philosopher-and-magician-in-war-1943-1945/#more-121292

[5] here.: https://counter-currents.com/2014/08/now-available-in-hardcover-paperbackthe-eldritch-evola-others/

[6] this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wreck_of_the_Titan:_Or,_Futility

[7] there is no fiction: http://realneville.com/txt/there_is_no_fiction.htm

[8] And how can this be: https://youtu.be/O1cEjBxjmm0

[9] [4]: #_ftn4

[10] as the phenomenologists would say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epoch%C3%A9#Phenomenology

[11] [5]: #_ftn5

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[13] [7]: #_ftn7

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[17] How Abdullah Taught Neville the Law: https://maxshenkwrites.com/2017/03/24/how-abdullah-taught-neville-the-law-he-turned-his-back-on-me-and-slammed-the-door/

[18] [11]: #_ftn11

[19] Goddard Enterprises: https://www.goddardenterprisesltd.com/history

[20] an offer to buy him the building: https://counter-currents.com/2019/07/artist-autist-crowley-in-the-light-of-neville-part-2/

[21] rewarded with VIP tickets: https://counter-currents.com/2019/05/a-word-from-the-wise-guy-part-ii/

[22] [12]: #_ftn12

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[29] Myth of Er: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_Er

[30] [19]: #_ftn19

[31] [20]: #_ftn20

[32] Out of This World: Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally: https://coolwisdombooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/WB8A942.jpg

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[40] here.: https://counter-currents.com/2015/12/green-nazis-in-space-2/

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[48] marriage with a daughter: https://coolwisdombooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/S75Wrlm.jpg

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[60] press-gang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressment

[61] [46]: #_ftn46

[62] recounts: https://www.harvbishop.com/neville-goddard-a-cosmic-philospher/

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[70] what you can do to keep them standing: https://counter-currents.com/2020/09/the-counter-currents-newsletter-august-2020-year-of-decision/

[71] our Entropy page: https://entropystream.live/countercurrents

[72] sign up: https://counter-currents.com/2020/05/sign-up-for-our-new-newsletter/

[73] [1]: #_ftnref1

[74] [2]: #_ftnref2

[75] Believe It In: http://realneville.com/txt/believe_it_in.htm

[76] [3]: #_ftnref3

[77] [4]: #_ftnref4

[78] Mysticism After Modernism: Crowley, Evola, Neville, Watts, Colin Wilson & Other Populist Gurus: https://manticore.press/product/mysticism-after-modernism/

[79] [5]: #_ftnref5

[80] [6]: #_ftnref6

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[82] [8]: #_ftnref8

[83] here: http://www.navigatingtheaether.com/2013/10/03/out-of-this-world-by-neville-goddard/

[84] [9]: #_ftnref9

[85] [10]: #_ftnref10

[86] The Spiritual Cause: https://freeneville.com/the-spiritual-cause-may-3-1968-free-neville-goddard-pdf/

[87] [11]: #_ftnref11

[88] here: https://youtu.be/6t6jGfUp5Ps

[89] [12]: #_ftnref12

[90] If Any Two Agree. . .: http://realneville.com/txt/if_any_two_agree.html

[91] [13]: #_ftnref13

[92] Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_no_one_rid_me_of_this_turbulent_priest%3F

[93] [14]: #_ftnref14

[94] Faith: http://realneville.com/txt/faith.htm

[95] [15]: #_ftnref15

[96] [16]: #_ftnref16

[97] [17]: #_ftnref17

[98] completed the system of German Idealism: https://counter-currents.com/2017/03/trump-will-complete-the-system-of-german-idealism/

[99] [18]: #_ftnref18

[100] [19]: #_ftnref19

[101] Introduction to Plato’s Republic: https://www.counter-currents.com/2014/05/introduction-to-platos-republic-part-1/

[102] From Plato to Postmodernism: https://www.counter-currents.com/from-plato-to-postmodernism-order/

[103] [20]: #_ftnref20

[104] used at various times by Wallace D. Wattles: https://www.constructivescience.com/2012/11/a-readers-question-about-original-substance-and-other-terms.html

[105] [21]: #_ftnref21

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[107] egodeath.com: https://d.docs.live.net/d97440f64d6c8811/Documents/egodeath.com

[108] [23]: #_ftnref23

[109] here: https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/12/lord-kek-commands-a-look-at-the-origins-of-meme-magic/

[110] [24]: #_ftnref24

[111] Faith: https://coolwisdombooks.com/neville-goddard-feynman-time-creation-is-finished/

[112] [25]: #_ftnref25

[113] [26]: #_ftnref26

[114] a commenter on Trevor Lynch’s review: https://www.unz.com/tlynch/review-tenet/#comments

[115] [27]: #_ftnref27

[116] [28]: #_ftnref28

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[118] What Would Evola Do?: https://web.archive.org/web/20191228161320/https:/www.counter-currents.com/2017/05/what-would-evola-do/

[119] [30]: #_ftnref30

[120] Two Orders, Same Man: Evola, Hesse: https://web.archive.org/web/20191228161320/https:/www.counter-currents.com/2017/06/two-orders-same-man-2/

[121] [31]: #_ftnref31

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[124] says: https://counter-currents.com/2020/09/blackboxing-q/

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[127] [36]: #_ftnref36

[128] a successful professional dancer on Broadway: https://coolwisdombooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Screenshot_2020-06-09-Clipping-from-The-Tribune-Newspapers-com-1.png

[129] [37]: #_ftnref37

[130] [38: #_ftnref38

[131] [39]: #_ftnref39

[132] here: https://youtu.be/o3dtnDsy52U

[133] [40]: #_ftnref40

[134] here: https://coolwisdombooks.com/neville/neville-goddard-1943-new-yorker-article-a-blue-flame-on-the-forehead/

[135] [41]: #_ftnref41

[136] [42]: #_ftnref42

[137] Part One: Strange Times Ahead: https://counter-currents.com/2020/08/take-your-choice-part-i-strange-times-ahead/

[138] Part Two: Stop the Hate: https://counter-currents.com/2020/08/take-your-choice-part-ii-stop-the-hate/

[139] [43]: #_ftnref43

[140] Part I: https://counter-currents.com/2020/09/ethiopia-pacific-movement-part-one/

[141] Part II: https://counter-currents.com/2020/09/ethiopia-pacific-movement-part-ii/

[142] [44]: #_ftnref44

[143] [45]: #_ftnref45

[144] The Perfect Law of Liberty: https://nevillegoddardbooks.com/neville-goddard-text-lectures/the-perfect-law-of-liberty/

[145] [46]: #_ftnref46

[146] [47]: #_ftnref47

[147] [48]: #_ftnref48

[148] [49]: #_ftnref49

[149] Night of the Ghouls: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Ghouls

[150] [50]: #_ftnref50

[151] No Other God: http://realneville.com/txt/no_other_god.htm

[152] [51]: #_ftnref51

[153] [52]: #_ftnref52

[154] [53]: #_ftnref53

[155] What would Evola Do: https://counter-currents.com/2017/05/what-would-evola-do/

dimanche, 09 août 2020

Julius Evola: The Philosopher & Magician in War: 1943-1945

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Julius Evola:
The Philosopher & Magician in War: 1943-1945

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

Gianfranco de Turris
Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943–1945
Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2020

julius-evola-9781620558065_hr.jpgThis English translation of Gianfranco de Turris’s Julius Evola: Un filosofo in guerra 1943–1945 has come along at just the right time, for it shows us how a great man coped both with societal collapse and with personal tragedy. As the title implies, the book focuses on Evola’s activities during the last two years of the Second World War. However, de Turris goes considerably beyond that time frame, dealing with much that happened to Evola after the war, up until about 1950.

De Turris’s main objectives in this work are to solve a number of mysteries about Evola’s activities at the end of the war, and in the post-war years, and to respond to the philosopher’s critics. Because, until now, so little has been known about these years in Evola’s life, they have been the object of a great deal of speculation, especially on the part of hostile, Left-wing writers. De Turris has uncovered fascinating new information about Evola’s activities and provided definitive answers to a great many lingering questions.

The book begins with an episode that will doubtless be the focus of most critical reviews: Evola’s journey to Hitler’s headquarters in August–September 1943. As the war dragged on, public opinion in Italy had begun to turn against Mussolini, especially after Rome was bombed by the Allies for the first time on the 19th of July. Several members of the government had turned against Mussolini, and the Duce felt compelled to summon the Fascist Grand Council for the first time since the beginning of the war. This turned out to be a mistake, for it passed a motion of no confidence in Mussolini, effectively giving King Victor Emmanuel the power to dismiss him. Mussolini, however, behaved as if nothing of significance had occurred. He appeared for an audience at the royal palace the next day, prepared to brief the King on recent events. Instead, the King had Mussolini arrested and imprisoned in a hotel atop Gran Sasso mountain, the highest peak in the Apennines.

The story of Mussolini’s daring rescue (on the 12th of September) by German commandos flying gliders, led by the legendary Otto Skorzeny, is one of the most famous episodes of the war. Mussolini was immediately flown to Munich and then to Hitler’s HQ (“Wolf’s Lair”) in East Prussia. When he arrived on the 14th of September, Julius Evola had already been there for several days. The philosopher was part of a delegation chosen by the Germans to help advise them on what course to take in Italy. The delegation also included the Duce’s son, Vittorio.

Their journey from Italy was undertaken at considerable risk. The plane carrying Evola narrowly escaped interception by Allied aircraft. On the ground, Evola and others were disguised for part of their journey in Waffen SS caps and coats. Once the philosopher had arrived at Wolf’s Lair, he and the other members of the delegation were received by Joachim von Ribbentrop who communicated to them Hitler’s wish that “the Fascists who remained faithful to their belief and to the Duce were to immediately initiate an appeal to the Italian people announcing the constitution of a counter-government that confirmed loyalty to the Axis according to the commitment first declared and then not maintained by the King” (quoting Evola’s account, p. 20).

Believe it or not, this is one of the less interesting parts of de Turris’s book. Far more interesting is what happens to Evola later. Those already familiar with the details of Evola’s life will know what is coming: his flight from Rome, his injury in Vienna, and his long recovery in the years immediately following the war. This part of the book is more interesting not just because it fills in many blanks in Evola’s biography, but because it reveals a more “human” side to the philosopher. I apologize if this seems a somewhat maudlin way to speak of a man like Evola, but I can think of no alternative.

Those who have read Evola extensively know that the philosopher can often seem as remote as the peaks he climbed in his youth. In de Turris’s account, however, we find an Evola who is initially depressed and dispirited by the outcome of the war, and by his injury. He struggles to make sense out of why these things have occurred, and he struggles to define what his mission must be in the post-war situation. Eventually, he emerges triumphant, but it is instructive to see not only how he overcomes his struggles, but that he struggles. In facing our current situation, in which the Western world (especially the US) seems to be falling down around our ears, Evola’s example gives us strength. We see that even Evola, even this “differentiated type” (to use his terminology) had to struggle with adversity — but that he overcame.

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On June 4, 1944, the Allies captured Rome. One of the first things their agents did, just hours after entering the city, was to pay Julius Evola a call. Allied intelligence had learned that Evola’s name was on a list of intended agents of a German-led “Post-Occupational Network” for espionage and sabotage (his codename was “Maria”). They showed up at Evola’s apartment, no doubt with the intention of arresting and interrogating him. However, Evola’s elderly mother detained them at the entrance, while the philosopher slipped unnoticed out a side door. The one thing he took with him was a suitcase containing the materials that would eventually become the three-volume Introduction to Magic (Introduzione alla magia).

Evola then embarked on a long and arduous journey. On foot, he made his way out of the city and located the retreating German troops. They gave him shelter, and eventually, he wound up in Vienna, where he lived under an assumed name. Exactly why Evola headed for Vienna has been something of a mystery, and de Turris spends a good deal of time on it. Incredibly, it appears that Evola went to Vienna to undertake research on Freemasonry at the request of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst; the “Security Service” of the SS)! The SD’s “Office VII” had been engaged in Freemasonic studies, and they were not going to interrupt it for a small thing like the apocalypse.

Evola later told an associate that the SD had assigned him the task of “a purification work and ‘return to the origin’ of the Freemasonic rituals found during the war by the German troops in various countries” (p. 158). Evola was not sure exactly why the SD was interested in this. Had they sent him in search of the Ark of the Covenant, it would hardly be more surprising. In case it is not obvious what Freemasonry had to be “purified” of, Evola actually makes this clear in his autobiography The Path of Cinnabar (Il cammino del cinabro): “[Freemasonry] initially had an initiatic character but later, in parallel with its politicization, had moved to obey and subject itself to anti-traditional influences. The final outcome was to act out the part as one of the main secret forces of world subversion, even before the French Revolution, and then in general solidarity with the revolution of the Third State [sic]” (quoted in de Turris, p. 159; The translator means “Third Estate,” which, in the French Ancien Régime, was made up of the peasants and bourgeoisie).

Luftangriffe.jpgOn January 21, 1945, Evola decided to take a walk through the streets of Vienna during an aerial bombardment by the Americans (and not the Soviets, as has been erroneously claimed). While he was in the vicinity of Schwarzenbergplatz, a bomb fell nearby, throwing Evola several feet and knocking him unconscious. He was found and taken to a military hospital. When the philosopher awoke hours later, the first thing he did was to ask what had become of his monocle. Once the doctors had finished looking him over, the news was not good. Evola was found to have a contusion of the spinal cord which left him with complete paralysis from the waist down. As Mircea Eliade notoriously said, the injury was roughly at the level of “the third chakra.” It resulted in Evola being categorized as a “100-percent war invalid,” which afforded him the small pension he received for the rest of his life.

Why did Evola go for a walk during a bombing raid? Eliade erroneously claimed that Evola “went to fight on the barricades against the Soviet Russian advance on Vienna” (p. 128). Evola provides an answer himself, in a hitherto unpublished letter to the wife of the Austrian conservative philosopher Othmar Spann:

. . . I would always challenge destiny, so to speak. And from here originate my acts of folly on the glaciers and mountains: hence the principle of my not caring or having any concern about the aerial bombardments. And the same goes for when I was in Vienna when the situation had exacerbated to the point of severe danger. . . . In the end I was caught by a carpet bombing in Schwarzenberg. [p. 125]

But when Evola went out walking that fateful day, he had expected that his destiny would be either to live or to die. He was not expecting that he might be destined to live out the rest of his days as a cripple. This turn of events seems to have utterly perplexed the philosopher, and he struggled to make sense of why this had happened to him, and at that point in his life. Matters were complicated by Evola’s belief, stated years later in The Path of Cinnabar, that “there is no significant event in existence that was not wanted by us before birth” (quoted in de Turris, p. 169).

In the same letter to Erika Spann, Evola writes: “What is not clear to me is the purpose of the whole thing: I had in fact the idea — the belief if you want to call it, naïve — that one either dies or reawakens. The meaning of what has happened to me is one of confusion: neither one nor the other motive” (p. 170). De Turris refers to the “incomprehension and disillusionment” Evola experienced “at the outcome and aftermath of the war” (p. 54). The philosopher had been struggling to understand the cataclysm that had engulfed Europe and destroyed Fascism and National Socialism, concerning which he had cautiously nurtured certain hopes. Now, additionally, he had to make sense of why fate had chosen to permanently cripple this Western kshatriya, this man of action. It is difficult to imagine the desolation and inner turmoil Evola had to endure in the years immediately following the war. Again quoting the letter to Frau Spann: “In this world today — in this world of ruins — I have nothing to do or look for. Even if tomorrow everything magically returns to its place, I would be here without a goal in life, empty. All the more so in this condition and in this clinic” (pp. 199-200).

AK-OÖ-Bad-Ischl-Kur-Erholungsheim-Salzkammergut.jpgEvola was eventually transferred to a hospital in Bad Ischl, where he received better treatment. De Turris offers a rather harrowing account of the various operations and therapies used to treat Evola, mostly without success. Despite his condition, while at Bad Ischl, Evola actually traveled to Budapest, where he remained for a couple of months before returning to Austria. Little is known about what Evola was doing in Budapest or who helped him get there (though we now know the address at which he was living). De Turris argues persuasively that Evola went there to be treated by the famous Hungarian neurologist, András Pető, who had some success in the treatment of paralysis using unconventional methods. Unfortunately, he was not able to help Evola.

From the beginning, Evola had entertained the possibility that his paralysis was “psychic” in nature. He was encouraged in this belief by René Guénon, with whom he continued to correspond from his hospital bed in Bad Ischl. Guénon wrote to him:

According to what you tell me, it would seem that what really prevents you from recovering is more of a psychic nature than physical; if this is so the only solution without doubt would be to provoke a contrary reaction that comes forth from your own self. . . . Besides, it isn’t at all impossible that something might have taken advantage of the opportunity provided by the lesion to act against you; but it’s not at all clear by whom and why this may have occurred. [p. 148]

In fact, there does seem to be something mysterious about Evola’s condition. In 1952, he was visited in his apartment by several associates, including the anthroposophists Massimo Scaligero and Giovanni Colazza. During this visit, the men saw Evola move his legs – something that, given his paralysis, should have been completely impossible. After leaving Evola’s presence, they were naturally eager to discuss this. It was reported that Colazza said to Scaligero, “Of course he could! But he doesn’t! He does not want to do it” (p. 197).

Setting this mystery aside, Evola appears to have become reconciled to his condition by reminding himself that, after all, the body is but a temporary vehicle for the spirit. In a letter to a friend, he states that “in regard to my situation — even if I had to remain forever like this, which is not excluded — it spiritually does not signify anything more for me than if my car had a flat tire” (p. 168). Another friend, a Catholic priest, naïvely suggested that Evola travel to Lourdes in hopes of a miracle cure at the Sanctuary of our Lady. Evola responded with kindness and patience, saying, “I have already told you how little this thing means to me . . . The basic premise, which is that of an ardent desire for a healing, is first of all lacking. If grace were to be asked for, it would rather be to understand the spiritual meaning as to why this has happened — whether it remains this way or not; even more so, to understand the reason for my continuing to live” (pp. 168-69).

Julius Evola.jpgAnd, in time, Evola does seem to have come to some understanding of why fate had dealt him this hand, though he never made public these very personal reflections. On the eve of the philosopher’s return to Italy in August 1948, his doctor at Bad Ischl reported that “the general state of the patient has improved considerably in these last days, the initial depressions have become lighter, the irascibility and the problems of relationship with the nursing staff and patients have declined markedly” (p. 176). Indeed, one imagines that Evola was not an ideal patient. He wrote to Erika Spann of the “spirit-infested atmosphere of the diseases of these patients” (p. 193; italics in original).

What undoubtedly lifted Evola’s spirits is that he had at last defined what was to be his post-war mission. In The Path of Cinnabar, he writes that

The movement in the post-war period should have taken the form of a party and performed a function analogous to that which the Italian Social Movement [MSI] had conceived for itself, but with a more precise traditional orientation, belonging to the Right, without unilateral references to Fascism and with a precise discrimination between the positive aspects of Fascism and the negative ones. [Quoted in de Turris, p. 54]

Concerning this, de Turris comments that “all of his [post-war] publishing activities and book-writing projects were specifically oriented in this direction” (p. 54). In 1949, Evola began writing again, initially under the penname “Arthos.” He wrote in bed, in pencil, with a lap desk placed before him, or he used a typewriter, seated at his desk in front of the window. His French biographer, Jean-Paul Lippi, referred to him as “an immobile warrior.”

Around this time, Evola learned that he had become an idol of Right-wing youth in Italy. In September 1950, he addressed the National Youth Assembly of the MSI in Bologna. The inclusion of Evola seems to have been last-minute. The organizers heard that the philosopher was staying at a nearby hospital and paid him an impromptu visit. One of the men present offers this moving account of what happened next:

We introduced ourselves and invited him to attend the assembly. He made himself immediately available and expressed great interest. He asked us if he could have the time only to change and shave. I remember that in his haste he had a small cut on his cheek. We carried him in our arms and placed him in the German military truck. Upon entering the assembly hall he was warmly welcomed by our group and since Evola was unknown to me as a thinker, Enzo Erra introduced him as a heroic invalid of the Italian Social Republic. On stage, while I was supporting him, I noticed that he was pleasantly surprised and moved by the welcome of hundreds of young people. He silently fixed his attention and listened intently to the various interventions, and at the end of the proceedings we took him back to the hospital. It was at that moment that we had the idea of asking him to write a booklet that would be a guide, and that was how the Orientamenti was born. The next day we accompanied him to a small mountain hotel in the Apennines. [p. 207]

unnamedcivilta.jpgJulius Evola was back. Indeed, he wrote some of his most important books in the post-war years: Men Among the Ruins, The Metaphysics of Sex, Ride the Tiger, The Path of Cinnabar, Meditations on the Peaks, and others. Arguably, he enjoyed far more influence after the war than he ever did before. Disturbed by his influence on the youth, Italian authorities arrested Evola in May 1951 and put him on trial for “glorifying Fascism.” He was acquitted — something that would be unimaginable in today’s world, given its unironic concern with “social justice.”

This book is required reading for admirers of Evola, and students of traditionalism generally. It should also be read by Leftist critics of Evola — though it will not be, or, if it is, the contents will be distorted and misrepresented. You see, de Turris does almost too thorough a job of demolishing Evola’s detractors. One wishes, in fact, that he had spent a little less time jousting with these people, as they all come off as dishonest lightweights. Still, I suppose it is necessary. And “jousting” is an appropriate term, as de Turris’s defense of his mentor is gallant and virile in the best tradition of the “aristocrats of the soul.” He has learned from a master, and in his voice we sometimes hear an echo of Evola’s own. De Turris is well-qualified to tell Evola’s story: he knew the philosopher personally, and is the executor of his estate.

Among the fine features of this volume are two interesting appendices. The first consists of illustrations, some of which are fascinating. One is a reproduction of the top of a cigar box signed by the men present at Wolf’s Lair, including Evola, Vittorio Mussolini, and others. The second appendix consists of hitherto-unpublished translations of several articles Evola wrote in 1943 for La Stampa, the daily newspaper in Turin. I will close with a quote from one of these, which is not only prescient, given Evola’s fate after 1943, but also particularly relevant to the situation in which we now find ourselves:

From one day to another, and even from one hour to another, an individual can lose his home to a bombardment: that which has been loved the most and to which one was most attached, the very object of one’s most spontaneous feelings. . . . It has become blatantly clear . . . as a living fact accompanied with a feeling of liberation: all that is destructive and tragic can have value to inspire. This is not about sensitivity or badly understood Stoicism. Quite the contrary: it is a question of knowing and nurturing a sense of detachment from oneself, people, and things, which should instill calm, unparalleled security, and even . . . indomitability. . . . A radical breakdown of the “bourgeois” that exists in every person is possible in these devastating times. . . . [To] make once more essential and important what should always be in a normal existence: the relationship between life and more than life . . . During these hours of trials and tribulations the discovery of the path, where these values are positively experienced and translated into pure strength for as many people as possible, is undoubtedly one of the main tasks of the political-spiritual elite of our nation. [pp. 261–62]

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lundi, 29 juin 2020

Salut à la victoire !

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Salut à la victoire !

par Thierry DUROLLE

L’œuvre de Julius Evola aura marqué d’une empreinte indélébile la Droite européenne et nord-américaine. Et, bien tenu, Europe Maxima ne fait pas exception. Il reste encore des textes inédits en français, sans parler de plusieurs ouvrages qui ne sont plus réédités. Les prix de l’occasion pour certains de ces livres sont tout simplement exorbitants !

Les éditions Kontre Kulture ont beaucoup œuvré pour la redécouverte des livres rares. Leur réédition du maître-ouvrage Révolte contre le monde moderne fut une initiative sans doute attendue depuis fort longtemps, d’autant plus qu’il est fortement conseillé de commencer par cet ouvrage riche, ouvrage qui pose les fondations de la pensée évolienne.

C’est au tour de l’opuscule La doctrine aryenne du combat et de la victoire d’être réédité. Autrefois disponible en supplément du septième numéro de la revue Totalité, ce discours délivré en allemand le 7 décembre 1940 à Rome était devenu lui aussi difficile à se procurer.

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L’intérêt d’un ouvrage ne faisant pas partie des « classiques » de l’œuvre évolienne doit se trouver dans son format d’une part, et dans son contenu d’autre part. À l’heure où la lecture livresque rebute de plus en plus de monde, surtout parmi la jeunesse, un format court permet de focaliser l’attention et de ne pas effrayer le lecteur. Son contenu, ensuite, à l’instar d’un autre livre d’Evola sur la guerre, met en lumière l’aspect spirituel de la guerre.

En préambule, Julius Evola tient à faire le point sur les concepts a priori antagonistes, ou présenté comme tel par René Guénon par exemple, que sont « Action » et « Contemplation » chez les peuples aryens : « L’opposition entre action et contemplation était, en fait, inconnue des anciens Aryens. Action et contemplation n’étaient pas conçues par eux comme les termes d’une opposition. Elles désignaient seulement deux voies distinctes pour parvenir à la même réalisation spirituelle (p. 10). »

Puis de préciser que « [l]a tradition de l’action est typique des races aryano-occidentales. Mais cette tradition a progressivement subi une déviation (p. 10). » Chez ces peuples, la guerre renvoie à une lutte spirituelle cosmique mais à une échelle microscopique en quelque sorte : « D’une part, il y avait le principe olympien de la lumière, la réalité ouranienne et solaire; d’autre part, il y avait la violence brute, l’élément titanique et tellurique, barbare au sens classique du terme, féminin-démonique. Le thème de cette lutte métaphysique réapparaît de mille façons dans toutes les traditions d’origine aryenne (p. 11). »

 

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Evola, pour appuyer son propos, convoque ensuite plusieurs traditions d’origine aryenne. La première qu’il cite est la tradition spirituelle d’Europe du Nord, plus particulièrement celle que l’on qualifie de nordico-germanique. Impossible de faire l’impasse sur le Valhalla (la halle des morts tombés au combat) et des Einherjar de Wotan, ces guerriers dont le Destin final est de combattre lors du Ragnarök. À noter, qu’Evola passe sous silence le fait que, selon certaines sources, la moitié des morts tombés au combat revient à la déesse Freya, déesse qui revêt certes des aspects guerriers, mais qui de par son essence (elle est une déesse Vane, c’est-à-dire de la Fertilité) n’a rien d’ouranien ni de solaire…

L’islam est ensuite abondamment cité par Evola pour son aspect belliqueux, à la nuance près que le concept de « Guerre sainte (Djihad) » couvre à la fois une conception martiale (le petit Djihad) et une conception spirituelle (le grand Djihad). « La petite guerre sainte est […] la lutte physique, matérielle, la guerre menée dans le monde extérieur. La grande guerre sainte est la lutte de l’homme contre les ennemis qu’il porte en lui-même. Plus précisément, c’est la lutte de l’élément surnaturel en l’homme contre tout ce qui est instinctif, lié à la passion, chaotique, sujet aux forces de la nature (pp. 13-14). »

Enfin, l’auteur de Révolte contre le monde moderne s’attarde aussi sur la Bhagavad-Gita, texte d’une importance capitale pour lui. Effectivement le caractère actif et spirituelle de la Bhagavad-Gita ne fait aucune doute. « Si nous savons apercevoir ici la forme la plus haute de réalisation spirituelle par le combat et l’héroïsme, nous comprenons alors combien est significatif le fait que cet enseignement soit présenté dans la Bhagavad-Gita comme dérivant d’un héritage primordial aryen et solaire. En effet, il fut donné par le “ Soleil ” au premier législateur des Aryens, Manu, avant d’être gardé par une dynastie de rois sacrés. Au cours des siècles, cet enseignement fut perdu, puis de nouveau révélé par la divinité, non à un prêtre, mais à un représentant de la noblesse guerrière, Arjûna (p. 17). »

Evola évoque aussi ces esprits, ces doubles que sont les Daimons, Valkyries et Fravashi perses qui sont en lien avec la mort héroïque et le combat. Encore une fois, c’est l’exemple des Valkyries qui est le plus parlant.

En guise de conclusion, Julius Evola affirme que « bien des choses dépendront de la façon dont l’individu pourra donner une forme à l’expérience du combat : c’est-à-dire s’il sera en mesure d’assumer héroïsme et sacrifice comme une catharsis, comme un moyen de libération et d’éveil intérieur. Cette entreprise de nos combattants – intérieure, invisible, éloignée des gestes et des grands mots – aura un caractère décisif, non seulement pour l’issue définitive et victorieuse des vicissitudes de cette époque particulièrement troublée, mais pour donner une forme et un sens à l’ordre qui naîtra de la victoire. C’est dans la bataille elle-même qu’il faut réveiller et tremper cette force qui, au-delà de la tourmente, du sang et des privations, favorisera,avec une splendeur nouvelle et une paix toute-puissante, une nouvelle création (p. 25) ».

La doctrine aryenne du combat et de la victoire est un vibrant appel à l’action en soi et à l’extérieur de soi via le prisme de la guerre. De nos jours, en ce monde iréniste, le propos de Julius Evola semble dater d’un autre temps. C’est effectivement le cas puisqu’il s’agit d’un temps éternel en quelque sorte, celui d’un Âge d’Or. Pour le retrouver, il faut agir sur soi, mener une guerre intérieure (car les forces ténébreuses de l’Âge du Loup sont aussi en nous, chacun porte en lui un loup Fenrir), lutter contre le dragon, contre son propre dragon.

Thierry Durolle

• Julius Evola, La doctrine aryenne du combat et de la victoire, Kontre Kulture, 2020, 32 p., 9,50 €.

00:44 Publié dans Livre, Livre, Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : tradition, traditionalisme, julius evola, livre | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 14 juin 2020

Letter from Evola to Carl Schmitt (I)

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Letter from Evola to Carl Schmitt (I)

via Facebook (Antonio Andreas)

Among the 19,000 pieces of correspondence found in Carl Schmitt’s personal library, there were eight letters from Julius Evola over a period of several years. There were none found in the opposite direction. From the letters, it is obvious that Evola was very interested in Schmitt’s book on Donoso Cortes, whom they both regarded quite highly. As a public service, we have made available Donoso’s book, Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism, and Socialism. Since it is hardly likely that Evola was interested in Donoso’s take on Catholicism, we can assume the other essays are more pertinent. At the very least, they are a counter-balance to the absurd meme floated by the Nouvelle Droite regarding the intellectual source of liberalism. More likely, Evola and Schmitt were impressed by Donoso’s defense of authoritarianism.

The letters were written in German, using the polite form of “you”. The translations here derive from an Italian translation of the original. Evola’s first letter to Schmitt follows:

15 December 1951

Dear Professor!

I owe your address to Dr. Mohler; therefore, I am able to take the initiative—which I gave been thinking about for some time—après le déluge. I have often requested news about you: primarily, our common friend, Prince Rohan, has assured me that you have at least physically moved beyond the period of the fall. Subsequently, I learned of your controversial “reappearance” and new works. Regarding this, I thank you very much for the booklet “Recht und Raum”, that I received hear in Rome.

51ReOD99aPL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAs far as my own person, things have not always gone the best for me: a war wound prevents me from walking and I can remain seated only for a few hours a day. I returned to Italy in 1948, but I’ve had to stay in nursing homes, so that I returned to my former home in Rome only last May. Subsequently a strange thing happened: I was … arrested. At the margins of so-called “neofascism” (MSI – Movimento Sociale Italiano) groups were formed that committed some foolish acts (bombings). Since my writings were read in those circles with great frequency and my person was rather highly regarded as a “spiritual father”, they wanted to attribute to me the responsibility of a movement of which I knew almost nothing, and they accused me of the alleged defense of “fascist” ideas (“apologist for Fascism”). The story ended last month with my complete innocence; the only consequences were free publicity in my favour and a bad impression for the imposing, far-sighted state police.

Apart from this, after my return I took up again unchanged my old activity in the teaching and politico-cultural fields (conservative revolutionary, as Dr. Mohler would say). Nevertheless, the situation here is not very easy and not only because of the Christian-social democracy, but also for the heavy legacy of the so-called “second Fascism” (republican and “social”) of the neo-Fascists.

A short time ago Revolt against the Modern World was published in a new and expanded edition. The same for my works of a spiritual and “esoteric” character that had gone out of print and in the meantime other translations were published in English (The Doctrine of Awakening). It is a way of trifling the time.

After having briefly told you about me, I would be happy to know something of you and your projects, since I would give great value to remaining in contact with you. I would also have to ask you one thing: could you possibly procure for me a copy of your new writing on Donoso Cortes? I myself, in fact, am interested in this author and intend to deal with him in an essay—Menschen und Trummer—on which I am currently working.

Well, I offer you my best wishes for the upcoming Holiday.

I remain with old friendship.

P.S. Did something happen to your old house in Dahlem?

I will send you a pamphlet, Orientamenti [Orientations], which constituted the principle corpus delicti [body of the crime, evidence] of my trial.

00:32 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : julius evola, carl schmitt, courrier, lettres, allemagne, italie | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

jeudi, 04 juin 2020

Le Traditionalisme en Turquie

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Tibet DIKMEN:

Le Traditionalisme en Turquie

Il est difficile de dire que le traditionalisme a été suffisamment discuté et diffusé dans la sphère intellectuelle turque. Malgré le fait qu’une majorité des livres traditionalistes importants aient été traduits en turc, la conscience de ce courant philosophique est assez limitée à une «élite» particulière. Bien que la plupart des œuvres de René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martin Lings, Titus Burckhardt et Julius Evola soient toujours publiées par 'İnsan Yayınları', de nombreux Turcs ignorent à quel point l'école traditionaliste est un mouvement politico-philosophique actif, comment les traditionalistes sont connectés les uns aux autres, jusqu’où s'étendent les grandes et petites veines qui les alimentent, et à quelle distance les vaisseaux qui en résultent se propagent.

Rene Guenon - Modern Dünyanın Bunalımı.jpgRené Guénon est naturellement le premier nom traditionaliste à atteindre la Turquie. Le plus ancien document portant son nom remonte à 1938, dans l'intitulé d'un article de journal affirmant: «René Guénon, le philosophe français perdu depuis sept ans a finalement été retrouvé à la célèbre université Al-Azhar au Caire. Tout le monde à Paris est étonné par l’aventure étrange et curieuse du philosophe. » Cependant, cet article s'avère peu pertinent. Les œuvres intellectuelles de Guénon n'atteindront les intellectuels turcs qu'au début des années 80. Cela a commencé par la publication de petits articles dans un magazine conservateur appelé «Résurrection», appartenant à un parti islamo-conservateur qui a ensuite été fermé pour avoir refusé de participer aux élections trois fois d'affilée. À la suite de cette introduction, la traduction de ses livres a été entamé par Nabi Avcı, chroniqueur aux journaux Yeni Şafak, conseiller principal du Premier ministre Erdogan en 2003, ministre de l'Éducation nationale entre 2013-2016, puis ministre de la Culture et Tourisme jusqu'en 2017. Nous constatons déjà que des universitaires et intellectuels particulièrement bien placés ont tenté d'être les «précurseurs» du Traditionalisme en Turquie.

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Nabi Avci.

Après les traductions d'Avcı, des deuxièmes éditions ont été publiées, toutes chez 'les éditions ‘Insan', sous la direction du Prof. Dr. Mahmut Erol Kılıç, également écrivain à Yeni Şafak et académicien célèbre pour son travail sur Ibn-Arabi et René Guénon, actuellement ambassadeur de Turquie en République d'Indonésie. Jusqu'à très récemment, on pouvait observer que le contenu traditionaliste ne se trouvait que dans les arènes islamo-conservatrices telles que les facultés de théologie. Cependant, le courant anti-moderne vit, à ce jour, son apogée en Turquie. De nombreuses nouvelles traductions s'additionnent et les idées gagnent chaque jour plus d'interlocuteurs.

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Mahmut Erol Kiliç.

Outre que le traditionalisme devient une énorme influence pour les ordres soufis actifs, certains conservateurs ont commencé à essayer d'utiliser le traditionalisme comme une philosophie rigide et forte contre l'opposition laïque.

Un effort accru peut également être remarqué pour introduire l'école de la pensée à la jeune génération. GZT (la section jeunesse du journal Yeni Şafak que nous avions abordé plus tôt, un quotidien conservateur connu pour son soutien intransigeant au président Erdogan, entretenant des relations étroites avec le régime de l'AKP et fréquemment accusé pour discours de haine excessif et antisémitisme) a écrit un article approfondi et bien documenté sur le Traditionalisme destiné à la jeune génération, et a même réalisé une vidéo YouTube de 20 minutes expliquant l'héritage de Guénon. Cette `` gazette de la jeunesse '' qui, avec Yeni Şafak, appartient à Albayrak Holding, un conglomérat d'un milliard de dollars impliqué dans les télécommunications, l'immobilier, la production de moteurs, le textile et le papier, a également organisé une diffusion en direct avec Ibrahim Kalin (l'actuel conseiller en chef du président Erdogan), où il a sévèrement critiqué la modernité et recommandé à la jeune population turque de lire «L'Homme et la Nature» de Seyyed Hossein Nasr. De nouveaux articles sur les écrivains traditionalistes paraissent très fréquemment dans les revues de jeunesse de nombreuses universités allant d'Istanbul à Erzurum. On peut donc constater que, contrairement à l'Europe où il apparaît comme un courant dissident, le traditionalisme en Turquie se retrouve entrelacé dans la classe dirigeante, l'endroit auquel on s'attendrait le moins.

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Compte tenu de tous les différents facteurs, même si elles s’avèrent inconscientes et imprévues, une renaissance se produit dans la branche conservatrice de la Turquie et cela est directement liée au point de vue traditionaliste. Alors que les soufis et les ordres religieux ont tendance à se concentrer sur la tangente ‘pérennialiste’ plus passive, la "Révolte contre le Monde moderne'' de Julius Evola gagne en popularité auprès des militaristes: ceux qui adhèrent fermement à la devise "la Turquie n'est pas un pays avec une armée, l'armée turque est une armée avec un pays".

La croissance de l'influence traditionaliste a atteint une telle ampleur que Abdul-Wahid Yahya Guénon, fils de René Guénon, a été invité à Istanbul en 2015 pour recevoir le prix d'honneur de “Ami spécial” (décerné à ceux qui auraient grandement servi et contribué l'Islam) par une fondation soufie aux racines profondes (Kerim Vakfı). Au cours de son discours, le fils de Guénon a partagé des faits inédits sur son père. Le plus étonnant d’entre eux est le fait qu'un élève d'Albert Einstein aurait écrit une lettre à René Guénon déclarant que «son professeur était fortement influencé par ses travaux sur la métaphysique» et «qu'il les recommandait à ses élèves». Le fils de Guénon a également déclaré que même s'il était heureux que les œuvres de son père soient louées en Turquie, seulement 13 de ses 28 livres ont été traduits à ce jour.

N'oublions pas non plus l'opposition. L’opposition la plus forte à Guénon est venue de Zübeyir Yetik (du Milli Görüş d’Erbakan) qui a consacré tout un livre sur la critique des positions ésotériques et «suprareligieuses» de Guénon, intitulé «La suprématie de l’homme et l’ésotérisme guénonien».

Yetik affirme avec force que «les résultats des efforts visant à faire revivre le« patrimoine commun de l'humanité »sous le nom de« tradition », qui est constamment porté à l'ordre du jour par René Guénon et ses disciples, comme moyen alternatif de salut, est une triche et une escroquerie à ce sujet, portant préjudice à l’individu et à la société ». A côté de ces critiques, on peut également constater que les francs-maçons turcs ne sont pas non plus satisfaits de sa popularité. Selon une recherche effectuée par Thierry Zarcone, bien que la bibliothèque de la Grande Loge d'Istanbul disposait de nombreux livres de Guénon, ils l'ont délibérément ignoré et ont même fait preuve de consternation envers sa philosophie.

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Nous pouvons facilement remarquer l'attention croissante envers le traditionalisme, en particulier avec l'arrivée d'Ernst Jünger sur les étagères turques. Jünger est le plus récent penseur qui est entré dans cette «renaissance intellectuelle» en cours et, curieusement, le premier livre traduit était «Gläserne Bienen» (Abeilles de verre) en 2019, suivi de «In Stahlgewittern» (Orages d’acier) plus tard cette année-là. Ainsi, il a fallu 99 ans à Ernst Jünger pour atteindre un public turc. Nous pouvons donc conclure que le traditionalisme s'installe et crée des changements intellectuels significatifs dans différentes parties du monde, chacun dans des contextes indépendants et que la Turquie n'embrasse que récemment mais complètement cette vision du monde éternelle.

Sources :

https://www.gzt.com/mecra/gelenekselci-ekol-3426042v

http://www.insanyayinlari.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nseIBrYVhY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13K4--Hdup0

https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/kultur-sanat/einstein-babamdan-cok-etkilenmis/496404

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabi_Avc%C4%B1

https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albayrak_Holding

https://www.yenisafak.com/hayat/rene-guenon-ve-krizdeki-dusunce-2532911

https://www.religion.info/2003/01/26/rene-guenon-influence-en-iran-et-en-turquie/

https://books.google.be/books?id=zesfgcT_xtUC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=traditionalisme+turquie+gu%C3%A9non&source=...

mardi, 02 juin 2020

Traditionalism in Turkey

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Tibet DIKMEN:                                                       

Traditionalism in Turkey

It is difficult to say that Traditionalism has sufficiently been discussed and spread in the Turkish intellectual sphere. Despite the fact that a majority of the important Traditionalist books have been translated into Turkish , the awareness of this phylosophical current is quite limited to a peculiar ‘elite’. Although most of the works of René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martin Lings, Titus Burckhardt and Julius Evola are still being published by ‘İnsan Yayınları’, many Turks ignore how the Traditionalist school is an active politico-philosphical movement, how the Traditionalists are connected with each other, where the large and small veins that feed them extend, and how far the vessels that extend from these range.

3115huqBuNL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgRené Guénon is naturally the first Traditionalist name to reach Turkey. The oldest document bearing his name dates back to 1938, in the heading of a newspaper article stating : «  René Guénon, the French philosopher who was lost for seven years has been finally found at the famous Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Everyone in Paris is astonished by the philosopher’s weird and curious adventure. » However, this article proves irrevelant. The intellectual works of Guénon will only reach Turkish intellectuals at the beginning of the 80’s. It began with small articles being published on a conservative magazine called ‘Ressurection’, belonging to an islamo-conservative party that was later closed down for refusing to participate in elections thrice in a row. Following this introduction, the translation of his books were lead off by Nabi Avcı, who was a column writer at Yeni Şafak newsapapers, the chief advisor of Prime Minister Erdogan in 2003, the Minister of National Education between 2013-2016 and then the Minister of Culture and Tourism until 2017. We already notice that peculiarly high placed academicians and intellectuals have tried to be the ‘precursors’ of Traditionalism in Turkey.

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Nabi Avci.

After Avcı’s translations, second editions have been published, all at ‘Insan Publishing’, under the editorship of Prof. Dr. Mahmut Erol Kılıç, also a writer at Yeni Şafak and an academician famous for his work on Ibn-Arabi and René Guénon, currently the Turkish ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia. Until very recently, we could observe that Traditionalist content was only to be found in islamo-conservative arenas such as Theology faculties. However, the anti-modern current is, as of today, living its apogee in Turkey. Many new translations are adding up and the ideas are gaining more interlocutors every day.

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Mahmut Erol Kiliç.

Besides Traditionalism becoming a huge influence for active Sufi orders µ, some conservatives have began to try using Traditionalism as rigid and strong philosophy against the secular opposition.

41hyBPE8C5L.jpgAn increased effort can also be noticed in introducing the school of thought to the younger generation.  GZT ( the youth section of the Yeni Şafak newspaper we had pointed out earlier, a conservative daily newspaper known for its hardline support of president Erdogan, having close relations with the AKP regime and frequently accused of  using excessive hate speech and anti-semitism) has written a thorough and well-researched article about Traditionalism aimed at the younger generation, and has even made a 20 minute YouTube video explaining the legacy of Guénon. This ‘youth gazette’ which, along with Yeni Şafak, belongs to Albayrak Holding, a billion-dollar conglomerate involved in telecommunication, real estate, engine production, textile and paper, has also organised a live stream with Ibrahim Kalin ( the current chief advisor of president Erdogan ) where he harshly criticised modernity and recommanded the young Turkish populations to read Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s ‘Man and Nature’. New articles about Traditionalist writers appear very frequently in youth magazines of many universities ranging from Istanbul to Erzurum. We can therefore observe that, unlike in Europe where it appears as a dissident current, Traditionalism in Turkey can be found intertwined in the ruling class, the place you would least expect it.

Considering all the different factors, even if it’s unconscious and unplanned, a renaissance is happening in the conservative branch of Turkey and that is directly linked with the Traditionalist point of view. While the Sufis and religious orders tend to focus on the more passive Perennialist tangent, Julius Evola’s ‘Revolt against the Modern World’ is gaining popularity along the militarists : those who comply firmly to the motto ‘Turkey is not a country with an army, the Turkish army is an army with a country.’

The growth of Traditionalist influence has reached such an extent that, Abdul-Wahid Yahya Guénon, son of René Guénon, has been invited to Istanbul in 2015 to receive the honorary prize of ‘Special Friend’ (given to those deemed to have greatly served Islam) by a deep-rooted Sufi foundation (Kerim Vakfı). During his speech, Guénon’s son has shared some previously unheard facts about his father. The most astonishing of these was the fact that a student of Albert Einstein wrote a letter to René Guénon stating that “his professor was greatly influenced by his works on metaphysics” and that “he recommended it to his students”. Guénon’s son also stated that even though he is happy that his fathers are praised in Turkey, only 13 of his 28 books have been translated so far.

f4e1e4969b0dc2e5c01e6fb89d3b14a3.jpgLet us not omit the opposition as well. The strongest opposition to Guénon came from Zübeyir Yetik ( from Erbakan’s Milli Görüş) who consecrated a whole book on critisizing Guénon’s  esoteric and ‘suprareligious’ positions, called “Man’s supremacy and Guenonian esoterism”.

Yetik strongly affirms that “The results of the efforts to revive the "common heritage of humanity" under the name of "tradition", which is persistently brought to the agenda by Rene Guénon and his disciples, as an alternative way of salvation, cheats and stalls on this subject, and is a damage to the individual and to society”. Alongside such critics, we can also observe that Turkish freemasons are not fund of his popularity either. According to a research made by Thierry Zarcone, eventhough the Grand-Lodge of Istanbul’s library had many of Guénon’s books at disposal, they somehow deliberately ignored it and even showed dismay towards his philosophy.

31JvSjfFXNL._AC_SY400_.jpgWe can easily take notice of the growing attention towards Traditionalism, particularly with arrival of Ernst Jünger on Turkish shelves. Jünger is the most recent thinker who has entered this ongoing ‘intellectual renaissance’ and oddly enough, the first translated book was ‘Gläserne Bienen’ (Glass Bees) in 2019, followed by ‘In Stahlgewittern’ (Storms of Steel) later that year. Thus, it took 99 years for Ernst Jünger to reach a Turkish audience. We can therefore conclude that, Traditionalism is still settling and creating significant intellectual changes in different parts of the world, each in independent contexts and Turkey, is only recently but thoroughly embracing this perennial worldview.

Source :

https://www.gzt.com/mecra/gelenekselci-ekol-3426042v

http://www.insanyayinlari.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nseIBrYVhY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13K4--Hdup0

https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/kultur-sanat/einstein-babamdan-cok-etkilenmis/496404

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabi_Avc%C4%B1

https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albayrak_Holding

https://www.yenisafak.com/hayat/rene-guenon-ve-krizdeki-dusunce-2532911

https://www.religion.info/2003/01/26/rene-guenon-influence-en-iran-et-en-turquie/

https://books.google.be/books?id=zesfgcT_xtUC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=traditionalisme+turquie+gu%C3%A9non&source=...

mardi, 12 mai 2020

Mysticism After Modernism: From Meme Magick to Evolian Populism

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Mysticism After Modernism:
From Meme Magick to Evolian Populism

mysticismaftermodernism-198x300.pngJames J. O’Meara
Mysticism After Modernism: Crowley, Evola, Neville, Watts, Colin Wilson & Other Populist Gurus
Melbourne, Australia: Manticore Press, 2020

“For me real and imagined, by the way, is just the same. Because the world is our imagination.” — Aleksandr Dugin [1] [1]

“The whole vast world is nothing more than the confused imaginations of men and women.” — Neville [2] [2]

A new book from James O’Meara is always a treat, but until that long-awaited collection of film reviews arrives, this will serve to assuage the hungry public. Astute readers here at Counter-Currents will immediately perceive that this is a new, slightly but cunningly revised edition [3] of Magick for Housewives: Essays on Alt-Gurus (Manticore, 2018). Although the title was intended as an homage to Crowley titles like Yoga for Yahoos and Yoga for Yellowbellies, I am told that the publishers found that too many potential buyers were unable to look past the thumbnail online and took it to be a work of “kitchen magic,” which is a new one on me but apparently is a real thing.

I myself miss the perky housewife of the original cover, an icon of American postwar ascendancy who not only alluded to the “ladies who lunch” that filled Neville’s audiences, [3] [4] but also connected it to the author’s End of An Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility [5] (Counter-Currents, 2017). Arguably the new cover, a moody, misty collage of the subjects, is more appropriate to the contents as a whole.

The subtitle also frees the book from any links to the late, mostly unlamented “alt-right.” Strange as it may seem to our grandchildren — or children — there was a time when anything “hip” was linked to the “alt” phenomenon; sort of like those funny haircuts in old pictures. Potential readers were left asking, along with Steve Bannon:

“But why does a guy who is that sophisticated get hooked up with Richard Spencer? [He’s] a goofball, and you can’t get in business with goofballs like that.” [4] [6]

For the new edition, the contents have been carefully revised, occasional misprints silently corrected, and an index of gurus added for the reader’s convenience.

Since all but the title essay — a synoptic look at the Hermetic tradition from Plotinus to Evola to Neville, demonstrating the author’s easy mastery of the field, which first appeared in Aristokratia IV — appeared in some form here on Counter-Currents, the high level of scholarship and presentation can be taken for granted. But what is the principle of selection for this motley crew, ranging from the infamous Crowley and the underground magic of Evola, to the misunderstood “popularizer” Alan Watts, then to modern chaos magic and Colin Wilson’s Outsider, finally back to the barely remembered midcentury phenomenon who called himself Neville?  As O’Meara explains it,

You can buy James O’Meara’s book The Eldritch Evola here. [7]

51OCsL3ZCNL.jpgIn the wake of the populist revolt against globalist tyranny, and its controversial tribunes like Trump, it’s time for a look at what can now be discerned as an equally new development, on the fringes of Western civilization, among what came to be known as “popular culture,” during the so-called pre- and post-war eras: a new kind of spiritual teacher or “guru,” one more interested in methods, techniques and results than in dogmas, institutions, or — especially — followers.

In the wake of even more recent developments, what O’Meara previously styled “alt-gurus” he now calls “populist gurus.” An equally good term, if we extend our temporal limits back into the 19th century, and acknowledge how geographically American this phenomenon is, [5] [8] might be what Arthur Versluis has dubbed “American gurus,” who espouse what he calls “immediatism.”

[Immediatism is] the assertion of immediate spiritual illumination without much if any preparatory practice within a particular religious tradition. Some call this “instant enlightenment.” [Its] origins precede American Transcendentalism, [6] [9] and whose exemplars include a whole array of historical figures, right up to contemporary New Age exponents. In this line, a figure like Timothy Leary, and other erstwhile psychedelic evangelists, play a significant role because what could be more immediate than the result of taking a pill? [7] [10]

Immediatism is based, in turn, on “an underlying metaphysics” which Versluis calls “primordialism”: “We as human beings have access to blissful awareness that is not subject to temporal or spatial restriction [and] is always present to us.” [8] [11] Since it is always present, it pops up from time to time in history, only to be occulted again by mainstream dogmatism, until rediscovered once more; it endures in time not by institutions but by texts and gurus, [9] [12] and above all by techniques: from Crowley’s convoluted and obscurantist rituals and doctrines to Wilson’s “pencil trick” and, perhaps most archetypally, Neville’s “simple method to change the future”; as Neville says repeatedly, “Go home and try it tonight — prove me wrong!”

So it’s no surprise that immediatism should be so prevalent today, and especially in the United States: in the Kali Yuga, where institutions are in decay, or, as in America, they never really existed.

Immediatism is sort of the Dark Twin of Traditionalism; or rather, seeing it from our Yankee perspective, it’s the Bright Twin. To Traditionalism’s innate pessimism — “You must submit to an orthodox tradition to have even a glimmer of a change, after arduous labor, to achieve enlightenment or even a fully human life; oops, looks there aren’t any around these days, too bad, better luck in the next kalpa” — Emerson, the original American Guru, asks bluntly:

The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? [10] [13] Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also. [11] [14]

This may all seem too airy-fairy, but if you want a practical application, consider, as O’Meara does here, the role played by “meme magick” in the Trump phenomenon; it can also provide the key to understanding Steve Bannon’s surprising and complex relationship with Traditionalism.

Benjamin Teitelbaum, in his War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers, devotes considerable attention to Bannon’s idiosyncratic reading of Guénon and Evola. He never discusses Bannon’s American intellectual heritage, which is a pity, since it would help explain what he calls Bannon’s “horizontal Traditionalism”: rather than bemoaning the confusion of the castes in the modern world, and futilely wishing for a “return of kings” (with oneself, of course, as a king, or at least on the general staff), Bannon tips the hierarchy on its side, and puts his faith in the ordinary working-class Joe Schmoe (Bannon calls them “serfs”) as a perennial source of traditional values to counterbalance the elite’s secular globalism. It’s basically Jeffersonian “natural aristocracy” and a political application of Emerson’s primordialism. [12] [15]

But how does Evola fit in here, with all these mystical Yankee peddlers, these Melvillian confidence men, and lightning-rod salesmen? Was Evola not the proponent of capital-T Tradition with its hierarchies and fatalism?

Indeed; but before he became the darling of alt-rightists seeking “our Marcuse, only better,” before reading a word of Guénon, he was a magician; that is, neither a dogmatic theologian or a materialistic scientist, but an esotericist. That Evola is quoted as the epigraph of the work under review:

One can expect that one day religion, as well as theology itself, will become an experimental science, certainly an upheaval, not lacking interest, that leads us back to a proper view of mystical and traditional esotericism. [13] [16]

This was the “good” Evola. The “bad” Evola arose from what Pierlo Fenili, in an eye-opening article in Politica Romana — “The Errors of Evola” — calls the “wrong choice of traditions;” as Jocelyn Godwin explicates: [14] [17]

Fenili points out that of the four protagonists who were left at the end of the Western Empire in 476, only the Roman Senate and the Eastern Empire had authentic Roman roots. The other two players were the Church, whose origin was in the Near East, and the Germanic peoples of the north, and it was with these enemies of Romanity that Evola chose to align himself.

You can buy James O’Meara’s End of an Era here [5].

51mlLDdbThL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgFrom this followed another error, “alienation from the ancestral tradition.” [15] [18] The true Western Tradition was

[Carried] onward by such figures, ignored by Evola [and loathed by Guénon], as. . . Boethius. . . who worked under a Gothic emperor to preserve all he could of Greco-Latin learning; Michael Psellus. . . the Byzantine Platonist; the early Humanists from Petrarch onwards, whom Evola dismisses as merely safeguarding the “decadent forms” of Antiquity; Ficino, who continued Boethius’s project by translating the works of Hermes, Plato, and the Neoplatonists; Pico della Mirandola with his defense of the dignity of man [which Evola] censured for its “rhetorical exaltation of individuality.” 

The choice is not between secular science and “Tradition” in the form of dogmatic religion. [16] [19] The true “Roman” tradition is the one that gave birth to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, the bug-bears of both Traditionalists and Neo-Reactionaries. Needless to say, this is the Platonic tradition — pro-science but anti-scientism, pro-spirituality but anti-“churchianity” — to which Emerson and the “American Gurus” belong.

And this is why Evola belongs here; Fenili insists that “the most important part of Evola’s creative oeuvre consist[s] of the works of esoteric, orientalist and philosophic character,” which include The Doctrine of Awakening, The Hermetic Tradition, and The Yoga of Power, which, together with Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, are the works constantly cited by O’Meara to explicate and justify what he calls “America’s homegrown Hermeticism, native Neoplatonism, and two-fisted Traditionalism” — a more authentic Tradition than anything dreamed up in Guénon’s cork-lined bedroom.

Bringing these figures together illuminates a uniquely American and Modernist phenomenon, excavates a third stream — esotericism — between science and religion, and de-occultates the hidden passage from Evola’s magic to post-Trump populism.

There is another thread of continuity in the studies presented here. Starting from reminiscences of teenage years listening to early Sunday morning radio broadcasts of Alan Watts, through the dense accumulation of names and references, surfacing in the clear, easy mastery of his presentation of Neville as the greatest voice of hermetic tradition in the 20th century, we have here, intended or not, an intellectual biography, a more modest version of Evola’s Path of Cinnabar.

And so we can say, as Teitelbaum says of the Brazilian Traditionalist and populist Olavo de Carvalho:

Thinking in these terms. . . made his ostensible journey seem like no journey at all: his activities since discovering Traditionalism in the 1970s would instead appear variations on a theme rather than a dilettantish succession of gimmicks and reinventions. [17] [20]

Whitman, one of the great voices of American immediatism, comes to mind. “This is no book, cammerade [sic]. Who touches this touches a man. . .”

If you want to support our work, please send us a donation by going to our Entropy page [21] and selecting “send paid chat.” Entropy allows you to donate any amount from $3 and up. All comments will be read and discussed in the next episode of Counter-Currents Radio, which airs every Friday.

Notes

[1] [22] Quoted in Benjamin Teitelbaum, War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers (New York: HarperCollins, 2020), p. 153

[2] [23] “Neville’s Purpose Revealed,” in Let Us Go Into the Silence: The Lectures of Neville Goddard, compiled by David Allen (Kindle, 2016)

[3] [24] Described in the title essay, “Magick for Housewives: The (Not So) New (and Really Rather Traditional) Thought of Neville Goddard.”  Neville, by his own admission, was known as “The Mad Mystic of 48th Street.” The haute bourgeois ladies Tom Wolfe later called “Social X-Rays,” looking for a new thrill, would say to each other: “Oh, do come along and hear him, it’s free and he’s terribly funny!”

[4] [25] Teitelbaum, op. cit., p.267.

[5] [26] Watts were British, but Watts emigrated to the US and gained fame there, while Wilson always felt like an “outsider” in British culture and openly preferred Americans. Neville was from Barbados, emigrated to New York at seventeen, and was given citizenship after being drafted in World War Two. The outlier is Crowley, but he would be an outlier anywhere, and at least spent some time in the US.

[6] [27] Versluis traces it back to Plato, via Emerson: see American Gurus, Chapter 2, “Revivalism, Romanticism, and the Protestant Principle.” Camille Paglia also delineates a “North American Literary Tradition” that originates in the collision of American Puritanism with European Romanticism; see my review “The Native American Nietzsche: Camille Paglia, Frontier Philosopher [28].”

[7] [29] See his interview here [30].

[8] [31] American Gurus: From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion (Oxford, 2014), p 248.

[9] [32] Like Zen, a “special transmission outside the scriptures” – Heinrich Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 1: India and China, World (Wisdom Books, 2005), pp. 85-94.

[10] [33] Neville: “Religious progress is a gradual transition from a god of tradition to a God of experience.” (“Control Your Inner Conversations [34],” 4-26-1971.

[11] [35] “Nature” (1844).

[12] [36] “When I was drafted, called, and sent, it was with the command, ‘Down with the bluebloods.’ In other words, down with all church protocol, with anything that would interfere with the individual’s direct access to God. There is only one foundation upon which to build. That foundation is I AM, and there is no other.” Neville, “No Other Foundation [37],” 11-04-1968.

[13] [38] Julius Evola, “The New Spirit Movement”; originally published in Bilychnis, June, 1928.

[14] [39] See Jocelyn Godwin, “Politica Romana Pro and Contra Evola,” in Arthur Versluis, Lee Irwin, and Melinda Phillips (eds.), Esotericism, Religion, and Politics (Minneapolis, MI: New Cultures Press 2012). I don’t read Italian and haven’t read the article itself, so I am relying on Godwin’s presentation.

[15] [40] Guénon, for his part, never even pretended to be “Roman” and in fact despised the Classical world, no doubt a reaction to a typical French education; after years of trying to interest the Catholic Church in his ideas, he eventually converted to Islam. Why rightists think he has anything to contribute to their struggle is a mystery.

[16] [41] Commenting on 1 Corinthians, Robert Price notes that in the “Catholic anti-wisdom section” of Chapter 3 we find “once again, the opposite of [worldly] wisdom is not esotericism but simplicity. The pious attitude is that which regrets the sampling of the knowledge tree in Eden, the erection of the Babel tower. Such a one is happy to mortgage his faith to the Grand Inquisitor.” The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2012); compare Evola’s The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 1995), especially the “Introduction to Part One: The Tree, the Serpent, and the Titans.”

[17] [42] Teitelbaum, op. cit., p.260.

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

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2020/05/hes-our-bannon-only-better-from-meme-magick-to-evolian-populism/

vendredi, 27 mars 2020

Evola and Italian Philosophy, 1925–49: Three Biographical and Bibliographical Essays

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Evola and Italian Philosophy, 1925–49: Three Biographical and Bibliographical Essays

by Gianfranco de Turris, Stefano Arcella & Alessandro Barbera

Translation by Fergus Cullen

The following essays all appeared in Vouloir 119–121 (1996), the supplement to the revue Orientations, edited by Robert Steuckers. They centre on Julius Evola’s relations with the two major figures of Italian philosophy in the interwar period.

In “Evola, ultime tabou?” (pp. 1–3), Gianfranco de Turris asks if the rehabilitation enjoyed by such philosophers as Giovanni Gentile, previously denounced as Fascist, might be afforded to Evola. He briefly sketches the case in his favour: unlike the marginal crank of post-War imagination, Evola seems to have maintained relations with such figures of the first rank as Gentile and Benedetto Croce. In “Gentile/Evola: une liaison ami/ennemi…” (pp. 3–5) Stefano Arcella examines Evola’s fertile collaboration with Gentile and Ugo Spirito on the Enciclopedia Italiana. And in “Quand Benedetto Croce ‘sponsorisait’ Evola” (pp. 5–7) Alessandro Barbera investigates the Croce connection, looking in some detail at the correspondence between Evola, Croce, and the publisher Laterza.

French originals:

1—http://www.archiveseroe.eu/evola-a48672110

2—http://www.archiveseroe.eu/gentile-a126198308

3—http://www.archiveseroe.eu/croce-a126196870

PDF of this translation:

https://www.academia.edu/42191919/Evola_and_Italian_Philo...

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Gianfranco de Turris

Evola: the Last taboo?

by Gianfranco de Turris

gdtlivre.jpgWe will surely remember 1994 better than 1984, which Orwell immortalised by writing his celebrated apocalyptic book predicting an ultra-totalitarian world in which we all would have been irredeemably crushed. We will not remember it solely for the political event of 27 March in Italy, but above all for the consequences that this “reversal” might (I insist on the conditional!) have in the cultural sphere. Whatever one may thing of the victory of Berlusconi and his allies, it has already had a first result: the organisation of a colloquium dedicated to the personality of Giovanni Gentile; it was held in Rome on 20 and 21 May 1994 on the initiative of the leftist municipal council (which does honour to the Italian left, as does the other colloquium it dedicated to Nietzsche). We remember he whom we always defined as the “philosopher of Fascism,” fifty years after his death, when he was assassinated by a commando of communist partisans in Florence on 15 April 1944. After having beaten a long and sinuous intellectual course, many post-Marxist philosophers, such as Colletti, Marramao and Cacciari, claimed him for an authentic figure of the left, at least in a decent part of his work.

So Gentile recovers all his dignity for the “official” culture in Italy: of course, this concerns first of all Gentile the philosopher, and not the man and political militant. All the same, his rehabilitation as a philosopher marks a step forward in the liberation of spirits. So the last taboo for Italian intellectuals remains Julius Evola, as Pierluigi Battista nicely put it in the columns of Tuttolibri. Now, this year we also commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Evola’s death (11 June 1974). For Gentile, Italian official culture has at last come to accept, after a half-century and only some years before the year 2000, the position and importance of the “actualist” and Fascist philosopher. For Evola, on the contrary, a silence is always held, even is, imperceptibly, one feels that something is in the process of changing.

Luciferian Dilettante

Evola, in official culture, is thrown from one extreme to the other: on the one hand, he’s a demon, the Devil, an almost Luciferian personage, an ultra-racist to whom salvation is never to be granted; on the other, he’s culture’s sock-puppet, the inexact dilettante, unscientific and superficial, a clown of esotericism, “il Divino Otelma.” In interesting ourselves in him, we then risk toppling into the laughable, unless a more authorised voice begins to speak of him.

So there is still much work to be done on Evola, whether it be as a thinker of multiple interests, as an organiser of colloquia and promoter of intellectual initiatives between the Wars, as a man of culture and innumerable contacts, who received many suggestions from his contemporaries and gave in his turn.

During the twenty years that have passed since his death, few things have been done on his work and person in Italy; and these were the work of a small number of those who had always referred to Evola. We’ve found neither the time nor the manpower. It’s a bitter truth; but it’s so. It suffices to consider archival research: to reconstitute the facts and ideas, to fill in the “voids” in the life and in the evolution of Evolian thought, we need the documents; and these are still not all archived. The documents exist: it suffices to go and search where one thinks they might be found…

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For example, we don’t have access to the complete documentation on the relations between Evola and the Italian philosophical world of the ’20s and ’30s: Croce, Gentile, Spirito, Tilgher… We only finally know what Evola recounts of himself in his “spiritual autobiography,” The Path of Cinnabar. Ultimately, we know what we can deduce of his positions on diverse philosophical systems and on what we surmise intuitively. In general, we only know the views and opinions on Evola of the historians and academics who have especially studied that period of Italian culture: and they say that Evola was an isolated, marginal figure; that his ideas were not taken into consideration; that he was a singular, if not folkloric, figure. But do these opinions really correspond to reality?

We believe that we can today affirm that things were not so simple: that Evola was more relevant in his epoch than we’ve believed him to be. And we affirm this on the basis of a series of indications, hidden until today. The Roman weekly L’Italia settimanale is cataloguing these indications for the first time in a special supplement, in the hope of provoking debate and research.

Sponsored by Croce?

Evola maintained far more complex relations with Croce and Gentile that we’ve believed for many decades. Can we imagine an Evola “sponsored” by Croce? An Evola, collaborator with the Enciclopedia Italiana, patronised by the Mussolinian regime and directed by Gentile? An Evola close to Adriano Tilgher? An Evola in direct contact with Ugo Spirito? We can now divine that these relations were pursued more than we imagined them; but we have neither formal proofs nor the documents that definitively attest to them. The “isolated figure” was not, ultimately, isolated; the marginalised personage, as well, was not marginalised as we wished to say; the intellectual who, under Fascism, had amounted to not much, or missed out on everything, had been, ultimately, of more impact that we’d thought him. I think that we must seek out and recognise our fault: that of not having contemplated this sooner, and having given a truncated picture of Evola; with a complete vision of Evolian words and deeds, we may be able to refute many commonplaces. This won’t be possible unless the Croce Archives at Naples and the Gentile Foundation at Rome agree to let us consult the documents they hold and that concern the relations of Croce and Gentile with Evola.

Better late than never. The future will tell, after our work is done, whether Evola will always be, for progressivist culture, a taboo, will be the Devil, a clown…

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Stefano Arcella

Gentile and Evola: Friends and Enemies

by Stefano Arcella

The relations between Evola and Gentile have always been seen from the perspective of conflict, from the perspective of profound differences between the respective philosophical orientations of the two men. Evola, in his speculative period (1923–7), elaborated a conception of the absolute individual, representing a decisive overcoming of idealist philosophy in all its multiple formulations—notably those of Croce’s idealism and Gentile’s actualism. Evola, in reaching the end of his speculations, already approached the threshold of tradition, understood and perceived as openness to transcendence, and towards esotericism (as an experimental method for the knowledge and realisation of the self). His speculative period had thus been a necessary step on his path towards Tradition.

For all that, in the history of the relations between these two thinkers, there is an element that has remained utterly unknown before now: if we make ourselves aware of it, we acquire a clearer, more direct and more complete vision of the bond that united these two men—enemies to all appearances. This element is the correspondence between Evola and Gentile, which we can now consule, thanks to the courtesy the Fondazione Gentile has shown. This correspondence dates to the years 1927–9, to the time during which Evola directed the revue Ur, a publication aimed at working out a science of the Self, and which was subsequently titled a “revue of esoteric science.”

It was at this time that Gentile, with his collaborators, prepared a work of great scientific importance: the Enciclopedia Italiana, of which he was the first director. The first volume of this gargantuan work, commissioned by the Mussolinian regime, was produced in 1929. The following tomes appeared quarterly.

The most significant letter, at least from an historico-cultural perspective, is that sent by Evola to Gentile on 2 May 1928 (the year in which Imperialismo pagano was published). This letter is on paper with the letterhead of the revue Ur; it thanks Gentile heartily for having acted upon his wish to collaborate on the Enciclopedia Italiana; and Evola, in what follows, makes reference to his friend Ugo Spirito regarding the areas that might fall within his expertise.

This collaboration is confirmed in a letter of 17 May 1929, in which Evola reminds Gentile that the latter entrusted the writing of certain entries to Ugo Spirito, who in turn entrusted them to him. In this letter, Evola doesn’t specify precisely which entries are concerned, which makes our researches more difficult. Currently, we have identified with only one entry with certitude, relating to the term “Atanor,” signed with the initials “G.E.” (Giulio Evola).

These points can be verified in the volume Enciclopedia Italiana: Come e da chi è stata fatta, published under the auspices of the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana in Milan in 1947. Evola is mentioned in the list of collaborators (Evola, Giulio, p. 182); and also mentioned are the initials which he used to sign the entries of his expertise (G. Ev.), as well as the specialism in which his expertise was incorporated: “occultism.” This term designates the specialisation of the Traditionalist thinker, and not an entry in the Encyclopaedia. Furthermore, the citations, which this little introductory volume indicates beside the matter treated, suggest the volume on which Evola collaborated especially: it was vol. V, published in 1930, whose first entry was “Assi,” and last “Balso.”

Currently, we seek to identify precisely the notes prepared by Evola himself for this volume. We account for the fact that a good number of entries weren’t signed, and that the preparatory material for the Encyclopaedia must constantly be recategorised and put in order under the auspices of the Archivio Storico dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, because these masses of documents were dispersed in the course of the Second World War. Indeed, one part of the documentation had been transferred to Bergamo under the Social Republic.

Another element lets us verify Evola’s participation in this work of broad scope: Ugo Spirito mentions the name Evola in a text of 1947 among the writers of the Encyclopaedia in the domains of philosophy, economy and law. Identical indications are found in vol. V of 1930.

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On the basis of his data, further considerations are in order. The fact that Evola wrote to Gentile on paper with the Ur letterhead, on 2 May 1928, is not random.

Evola was not a man who acted at random, above all when he might be put in contact with a philosopher of Gentile’s standing, a figure of the first rank in the Italian cultural landscape of the era. Evola then didn’t present himself to the theoretician of actualism in a personal capacity, but as the representative of a cultural thread which found its expression in Ur, the revue of which he was the director. Evola hereby attempted to formalise esoteric studies and sciences within the bounds of the dominant culture, at the historical moment at which Mussolinian Fascism triumphed. This purpose is divined immediately when one knows that the discipline attributed especially to Evola in the Encyclopaedia was “occultism.”

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Giovanni Gentile

Gentile then accepts Evola’s collaboration, which represents, in fact, an avowed recognition of the qualifications of the theoretician of the absolute individual, as well as an indication of the attention given by Gentile to the themes treated in Ur, beyond the convictions that oppose one man to the other, and the irreducible differences of a philosophical order that separate them. Evola’s collaboration on the Encyclopaedia directed by Gentile proves that the latter counted him among the first rank of scientific minds, the cultural prestige of which was incontestable in the Italy of that epoch. From these epistolary exchanges between Evola and Gentile, we can deduce, today, a lesson which the two philosophers bequeath us in concert: they both show themselves capable of harmoniously integrating coherences to which they are strangers—coherences which contradict their own principles—which attests to an openness of spirit and a propensity for dialogue; to fertile confrontation and to collaboration, even and above all with those who express a marked otherness in character and ideas. Coherence is a positive force: it is not the rigidity of him who shuts himself up in sterile isolation. A fair play upon which it suits to meditate at this moment, at which some shout their heads off for a new inquisition.

For fifty years, we have witnessed an uncritical, misguided and unfounded demonization of our two thinkers; we’ve observed a gulf of incomprehension, of barriers which, happily, we might begin to break today, in view of the processes of transformation at work in the world of culture. All the same, the degradation of cultural debate in the aftermath of anti-fascism or party spirit is an unhappy reality of our era. To reverse the trend, it suits to return the spotlight on these bonds between Evola and Gentile—between two philosophers belonging to entirely different and opposite schools—in order to launch a debate at the Italian national level; to re-examine the roots of our recent history; to recuperate what has been unjustly stifled since 1945 and scrubbed from our consciousness in a burning fever of damnatio memoriae.

In conclusion, besides the path that the consultation of the Laterza archives offers us to explore the relations between Croce and Evola, we would also like to consult the letters of Croce; but alas, the Croce Archives have told us in so many words that “those letters are not consultable.” These are politics diametrically opposed to those practiced by the Fondazione Gentile, which itself permits one to consult, without difficulty, the letters of which I’ve informed you.

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Alessandro Barbero

When Benedetto Croce “Sponsored” Evola

by Alessandro Barbero

Julius Evola and Benedetto Croce. In appearance, these two thinkers are very distant from one another. That said, for a certain period of their coexistence, they were in contact. And it wasn’t an ephemeral episode, but a link of long standing, lasting for almost a decade, from 1925 to 1933. To be more precise, we should say that Croce, in this relation, played the part of “protector,” and Evola the role of “protégé.” This relation began when Evola entered the prestigious Areopagus of authors at the publisher Laterza of Bari.

In the ’30s, Evola published many works with Laterza, which have been reissued post-War. Now, today, we still don’t know the details of these links within the publisher. In fact, two researchers, Daniela Coli and Marco Rossi, have already furnished us in the past with intelligence on the triangular relation between Evola, Croce and the publisher Laterza. Daniela Coli approached the question in a work published ten years ago with Il Mulino (Croce, Laterza e la cultura europea, 1983). Marco Rossi, for his part, raised the question in a series of articles dedicated to the cultural itinerary of Julius Evola in the ’30s, and published in Renzo de Felice’s review Storia contemporanea (6, December 1991). In his autobiography, The Cinnabar Path (Scheiwiller, 1963), Evola evokes the relations he maintained with Croce, but tells us very little, ultimately: far less, in any case, than we can divine today. Evola wrote that Croce, in a letter, did him the honour of appraising one of his books: “Well ordered, and underpinned by reasoning quite exact.” And Evola adds that he knew Croce well, personally. The inquest leads us straight to the archives of the publishers at Bari, currently deposited at the State archives of that town, which might consent to furnish us with far more detailed indications as to the relations having united these two men.

The first of Evola’s letters that we find in Laterza’s house archives isn’t dated, but must trace to the end of June 1925. In this missive, the Traditionalist thinker replies to a preceding negative response, and pleads for the publication of his Teoria dell’individuo assoluto. He writes:

It is assuredly not a happy situation in which I find myself, I, the author, obliged to insist and to struggle for your attention on the serious character and interest of this work: I believe that the recommendation of Mr. Croce is a sufficient guarantee to prove it.

Theory of the Absolute Individual

The liberal philosopher’s interest is also confirmed in a letter addressed by Laterza to Giovanni Preziosi, send on 4 June of the same year. The publisher writes: “I have had on my desk for more than twenty hours the notes that Mr. Croce sent me concerning J. Evola’s book, Teoria dell’individuo assoluto; and he recommends its publication.” In fact, Croce visited Bari around 15 May; and it was on this occasion that he transmitted his notes to Giovanni Laterza. But the book was published by Bocca in 1927. That was the first intervention, of a long series, by the philosopher in Evola’s favour.

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Some years later, Evola returned to knock at the door of the Bari publisher, in order to promote another of his works. In a letter sent on 23 July 1928, the Traditionalist proposed to Laterza the publication of a work on alchemical Hermeticism. On this occasion, he reminded Laterza of the Croce’s intercession on behalf of his work of a philosophical nature. This time once more, Laterza responded in the negative. Two years passed before Evola reoffered the book, having on this occasion obtained, for the second time, Croce’s support. On 13 May 1930, Evola wrote: “Senator Benedetto Croce communicated to me that you do not envisage, in principle, the possibility of publishing one of my works on the Hermetic tradition in your collection of esoteric works.” But this time, Laterza accepted Evola’s request without opposition. In the correspondence of that era between Croce and Laterza that one finds in the archives, there are no references to this book of Evola’s. This is why we may suppose that they had spoken of it in person at Croce’s house in Naples, where Giovanni Laterza has in fact stayed some days previous. In conclusion, five years after his first intervention, Croce succeeded finally in getting Evola into Laterza’s catalogue.

The third expression of interest on the part of Croce probably originated in Naples, and concerns the reedition of Cesare della Riviera’s book, Il mondo magico degli Heroi. Of the dialogues relative to this reedition, we find a first letter of 20 January 1932, in which Laterza complains to Evola of having failed to find notes on this book. A day later, Evola responds and asks that he be procured a copy of the original second edition, that he might cast an eye over it. Meanwhile, on 23 January, Croce wrote to Laterza:

I have seen in the shelves of the Biblioteca Nazionale that book of Riviera’s on magic; it’s a lovely example of what I believe to be the first edition of Mantova, 1603. It must be reissued, with dedication and preface.

The book ended up being published with a preface by Evola and his modernised transcription. A reading of the correspondence permits us to admit the following hypothesis: Croce had suggested to Laterza to entrust this work to Evola. The latter, in a letter to Laterza dated 11 February, gave his view and judged that “the thing was more boring that I’d thought it would be.”

The Anthology of Bachofen’s Writings

The fourth attempt, which was not welcomed, concerned a translation of selected writings by Bachofen. In a letter of 7 April 1933, to Laterza, Evola wrote:

With Senator Croce, we once mentioned the interest which might receive a translation of passages selected from Bachofen, a philosopher of myth much in vogue today in Germany. If this thing interests you (it might eventually join the “Modern Culture” series), I can tell you what it concerns, taking into account the opinion of Senator Croce.

In fact, Croce was preoccupied by Bachofen’s theses, as a series of articles from 1923 demonstrates. On 12 April, Laterza consults the philosopher: “Evola wrote me that you had spoken of a volume that would compile passages selected from Bachofen. Is it a project that we ought to take into consideration?” In Croce’s response, dated the following day, there is no reference to this project; but we ought to account for one fact: the letter has not been conserved in its original form.

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Benedetto Croce

Evola, in any case, had not rejected the idea of producing this anthology of Bachofen’s writings. In a letter of 2 May, he announces that he proposes “to write to Senator Croce, that he might remind him of to what he had alluded” in a conversation between the two. In a second letter, dated to 23, Evola asked of Laterza if he in turn had asked the opinion of Croce, while confirming that he’d written to the philosopher. Two days later, Laterza declares not “to have asked Croce for his opinion” regarding the translation, because, he adds, “he fears lest he approve of it.” This is clearly a deceit. In fact, Laterza had asked the opinion of Croce; but we still don’t know what this opinion was, nor what had been decided. The anthology of selected writings of Bachofen was finally produced, many years later, in 1949, by Bocca. From 1933, the links between Evola and Croce seem to come to an end, at least from what the Laterza house archives permit us to include.

To find the trace of a reconciliation, we must refer ourselves to the post-War period, when Croce and Evola almost met once more in the world of publishing, but without the Traditionalist thinker noticing. In 1948, on 10 December, Evola proposed to Franco Laterza, who had just succeeded his father, to publish a translation of a book by Robert Reininger, Nietzsche e il senso de la vita. After having received the text, on 17 February, Laterza wrote to Alda Croce, the daughter of the philosopher: “I enclose to you a manuscript on Nietzsche, translated by Evola. It seems to me a good work; might you see if we can include it in the ‘Library of Modern Culture’?” On 27 of the same month, the philosopher responds. Croce considers that the operation might be possible; but he provides a few reservations all the same. He postpones his decision till Alda’s return, who was a few days in Palermo. The final decision was taken in Naples, around the 23 March 1949, in the presence of Franco Laterza. The opinion of Croce is negative, seemingly under the influence of his daughter Alda. On 1 April, Laterza confirms to Evola that “the book was much appreciated [without specifying by whom] on account of its quality,” but that, for reasons of “expediency,” it had been decided not to publish it. The translation appeared much later, in 1971, with Volpe.

This refusal to publish puzzled Evola, who didn’t know the real whys and wherefores. A year later, in some letters, returning the issue to the table, Evola raised the hypothesis of a “purge.” This insinuation irritated Laterza. Following this controversy, relations between the writer and the publisher cooled. In the final analysis, we can conclude that Evola was introduced to Laterza thanks to Croce’s interest in him. He left on account of a negative opinion offered by Alda, Croce’s daughter, on one of his proposals.

mardi, 24 mars 2020

Interview de Monsieur K à l'occasion de la réédition de "Révolte contre le monde moderne" de Julius Evola

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Interview de Monsieur K

à l'occasion de la réédition de "Révolte contre le monde moderne" de Julius Evola

 
L’équipe d’E&R Lille recevait Monsieur K le 21 décembre 2019 pour une présentation du livre de Julius EVOLA « RÉVOLTE CONTRE LE MONDE MODERNE », et a profité de sa présence pour lui poser quelques questions diverses et variées.
 

samedi, 22 février 2020

Un auteur et son oeuvre : Julius Evola (1898-1974)

julius-evola-rytger-staahlberg.jpg

Un auteur et son oeuvre : Julius Evola (1898-1974)

par Michel Malle

Ex: https:lemondeduyoga.org

De l’orient tantrique au club des seigneurs, en passant par l’hermétisme et le spiritualisme masqué, nombreux sont les sujets de réflexion de Julius Evola. Mais il est des caractéristiques que l’on retrouve dans chacun de ses écrits, donnant à l’ensemble de son œuvre une certaine unité : une compréhension particulière de la magie, l’aspiration à des altitudes inconnues …

« L’homme dont nous allons tracer le portrait tenta de suivre la voie d’un karma yogi, c’est-à–dire qu’il choisit l’action comme voie de réintégration spirituelle : l’action conforme au Dharma (la Norme Universelle). Il a toujours dit: « René Guenon fut mon maître », c’est pourquoi nous envisagerons son oeuvre en rapport avec celle de Guénon, et cela d’autant que, dans son testament, fondant l’association qu’il a laissé, Evola précise ainsi le but visé: « Défendre les valeurs traditionnelles au sens où l’entendait René Guénon, Julius Evola et d’autres auteurs de même doctrine ». Même si nous devrons nous opposer à lui, ce sera donc dans cette sienne optique. « Je ne me suis pas borné à exposer les doctrines traditionnelles, j’ai cherché quels pouvaient être leurs aboutissements dans la réalité » dit-il, en entendant par là « dans l’action « . « J’ai donc cherché les conséquences à tirer des doctrines traditionnelles dans le sens d’une organisation sociale et politique de l’État », et aussi, avec plus de succès selon nous, dans le sens d’une éthique et d’une pratique pour l’homme traditionnel contemporain. Cette volonté d’engagement a conduit Evola à travailler de concert avec les divers mouvements fascistes de ce siècle. Cet aspect de sa vie, indissociable de son oeuvre, est problématique et, pour cette raison, nombre de « spiritualistes » n’osent pas l’aborder ou la déforment. Cette couardise ne sera pas nôtre : l’oeuvre mérite d’être connue, les questions qu’elle pose doivent l’être, et si les réponses ne nous satisfont pas toujours, il nous faudra en trouver de meilleures.
[…]

[…] Il semble qu’il ait dirige lui-même sa formation humaine très tôt et très indépendamment: on ne sait d’ailleurs pratiquement rien de son enfance. Il fit des études techniques et mathématiques qui le menèrent au titre d’ingénieur mais, s’il en garda une tournure d’esprit « scientifique  » (à ne pas confondre avec « matérialiste »), il ne pratiqua jamais, pour des raisons éthiques délibérées. L’attitude anti–bourgeoise, qui est l’un des traits marquants de sa personnalité, semble avoir été précoce. Il en est de même de son caractère guerrier, puisqu’il « s’engage peine âgé de 20 ans et qu’il prend part à la première guerre mondiale en tant que sous-lieutenant d’artillerie sur le plateau d’Asiago » […] Chez lui, la pensée et l’action se développèrent toujours conjointement, ainsi, deux ans avant son engagement, il commença à écrire des poèmes en italien et en français (outre le grec et le latin, il maîtrisait parfaitement les principales langues européennes, ce trait dénote aussi la précocité de son européanisme, qui devait se développer dans le cadre d’une vision impériale). Parallèlement à la poésie, il pratiqua la peinture abstraite. Ce fut sa période « Dada »: il fut en effet, à l’époque, l’un des représentants italiens du mouvement : « J’ai adhéré à ce mouvement comme mouvement limite, et non pas comme mouvement artistique. Si l’on était sérieux, on ne pouvait en rester là. A partir de 1922, je me suis séparé des dadas » […]

Alors commença ce qui fut appelé sa « période philosophique » (1923-1927). II publia deux ouvrages sur « l’individu absolu », dont « la Théorie et la Phénoménologie de l’individu absolu », qui reflètent certaines idées de Nietzsche, Weininger et Michelstädter. II en dira finalement: « Je ne conseillerai à personne de les lire tant ils sont écrits en jargon universitaire ». […]

PREMIER APERCU SUR L’ORIENT TANTRIQUE

JE-yoga.jpgEn 1926 parut: « L’homme en tant que puissance ». C’est un premier essai qui, bien des fois repris, donnera en 1949 « Le yoga tantrique, sa métaphysique, ses pratiques ». Evola s’ouvre à l’Orient, en l’occurrence à la tradition hindoue, et cela est d’autant plus intéressant que l’orient d’Evola n’est pas le même que celui de Guénon, il s’agit essentiellement de doctrines émanant de la caste des ksatriyas, la caste guerrière, et par cet aspect on trouve quelque chose qui consonne remarquablement avec l’ancienne tradition occidentale: il s’agit aussi de science « magique ». Prévenons tout de suite une équivoque possible : ce qu’Evola nomme magie n’a pas grand-chose à voir avec ce que désigne le mot dans le langage courant actuel. […]

LE SPIRITUALISME DEMASQUE ET LA QUESTION DU CHRISTIANNISME

Prolongeant les oeuvres équivalentes de Guénon, il fait paraître en 1932 « Masques et visages du spiritualisme contemporain ». Le grand intérêt de cet ouvrage vient de ce qu’il aborde certains aspects du spiritualisme contemporain que Guenon n’avait pas analysés. […]

REVOLTE ET REVOLUTION TRADITIONNELLE

En 1934, Évola publia « Révolte contre le monde moderne ». Ce livre est considéré par ses disciples comme le plus important. Lorsque, du point de vue des idées, on se questionne sur la valeur de l’apport d’Evola, cette oeuvre, finalement, se dégonfle un peu. Elle présente l’intérêt d’une fantastique érudition retraçant l’histoire du point de vue d’une vision traditionnelle cyclique. De nombreux aspects du monde moderne y sont envisagés, que Guénon n’avait pas soulignés: aspects qui, sans être fondamentaux, méritaient d’être si remarquablement analysés. Le style est fort et, pourrait-on dire, vengeur. Mais, à notre point de vue, ce livre est entaché de cette idée, qui s’affirmera plus encore dans le suivant, que la caste noble est supérieure à la caste sacerdotale. La seule question qui nous intéresse est celle-ci: la connaissance est-elle supérieure à l’action, oui ou non? Si non, l’action ne peut plus se distinguer de l’agitation. Si oui, le spirituel est supérieur au guerrier, il convient alors qu’une civilisation traditionnelle reflète cette hiérarchie et peu importe que le spirituel et le temporel soient aux mains d’un même homme ou aux mains d’hommes différents, reliés hiérarchiquement. Ceci étant établi, l’importance qu’Evola a pu attacher à cette question reste problématique et la façon dont elle est abordée aussi. Dans « la Crise du Monde Moderne », c’est le monde moderne qui est en crise, non celui qui s’y oppose: si une révolution, au sens strictement étymologique, peut être traditionnelle, ce ne saurait être le cas d’une révolte.

Quoi qu’il en soit de ces critiques,  » Révolte contre le Monde Moderne » est un livre à lire, c’est probablement le plus important livre de « métaphysique de l’histoire » qui soit. […]

chev.jpgL’EPEE DE LUMIERE ET LE CHEVALIER D’OCCIDENT

En 1937, dans « Le mystère du Graal et l’idée impériale gibeline », Évola apporte une nouvelle contribution importante à la restauration doctrinale de la tradition occidentale. Malheureusement, et encore une fois, il fausse en partie l’idée civilisatrice traditionnelle. Toute l’argumentation d’Evola consiste à dire que l’Église, en développant les valeurs d’une religiosité féminine, mystique, passive face au monde spirituel se révèle être inférieure à la tradition du Graal, qui représente l’idéal chevaleresque. Mais l’argument est spécieux car, si cette démonstration va de soi, elle ne permet pas d’en conclure que la contemplation puisse être au-dessous de l’action. La Chevalerie est supérieure parce qu’elle est plus profondément spirituelle, et non parce qu’elle manie les armes: quant à l’Église, tant qu’elle ne consiste qu’en un exotérisme religieux, elle ne représente pas la pure autorité spirituelle, elle n’est qu’un pouvoir religieux. Si bien que, si l’Église et la Chevalerie étaient vraiment ce qu’en dit Evola il faudrait dire que la Chevalerie est supérieure à l’Église parce qu’elle est plus spirituelle et non dire que le guerrier est supérieur au contemplatif. Tout ce qu’apporte Evola dans l’affaire c’est une fâcheuse équivoque, car, une fois posé que le guerrier est au-dessus du prêtre, il se laisse aller à considérer toute éthique guerrière comme potentiellement porteuse d’une plus haute spiritualité que le Christianisme ; de là découle l’erreur de son « action politique ».

Quoi qu’il en soit, ce livre se pose comme « une étude sérieuse et engagée sur le Graal et le gibelinisme « , ce qu’il est, incontestablement. […]

LA CHUTE DU CLUB DES SEIGNEURS

Cette même année 1937, il publia « Le mythe du sang » en rapport très étroit avec les doctrines racistes allemandes. Certes, dans cet ouvrage, et dans celui qui suivra en 1941 «Synthèse des doctrines de la race », Evola s’oppose aux idées racistes matérialistes d’un Rosenberg et leur substitue l’idée d’une race de l’esprit » dans laquelle la race physique n’est qu’un élément d’une vaste équation: « L’idée d’une race allemande – dit-il – est une absurdité ». « Mais -dit Guénon de ce livre – le mot même de race nous parait être employé d’une façon assez impropre et détournée car au fond, c’est bien plutôt de caste qu’il s’agit en réalité… alors pourquoi parler encore de « race », si ce n’est par une concession plutôt fâcheuse à certaines idées courantes, qui sont assurément fort éloignées de toute spiritualité? ». En 1941, et toujours dans le même genre d’équivoque, Evola publia « La doctrine aryenne de lutte et de victoire « . […]

Pour situer historiquement son action, précisons qu’il fut très proche des milieux germaniques conservateurs et aristocratiques qui se réclamaient du « prussianisme et cultivaient la nostalgie des chevaliers teutoniques ». « Himmler – continue Evola -me portait un intérêt particulier » ainsi que « le baron von Gleichen, dont j’étais un ami intime » et qui était lui-même le chef du « club des seigneurs ». « Je connaissais en outre intimement le chancelier von Pappen et, en Autriche, Karl Anton von Rohan, dans ce milieu opposé au « populisme dictatorial » du national socialisme ». Voici ce qu’il en fut en Italie du côté fasciste: « Au tout début de la guerre, Mussolini lut ma « Synthèse d’une doctrine de la race » et me fit chercher pour me féliciter et me demander de collaborer avec lui -Mais Duce, je ne suis pas fasciste- car je n’ai jamais été d’aucun parti…  » En fait, il travailla, comme écrivain et comme conférencier en Italie, en Allemagne et en Autriche, à la formation doctrinale de certains milieux proches du pouvoir. […]

Standing_Bodhisattva_Gandhara_Musee_Guimet.jpgLA GRANDE LIBERATION DU PRINCE SIDDHARTA

Très étonnamment, au milieu de tout cela, Evola publia en 1943 « la Doctrine de l’Éveil, essai sur l’ascèse bouddhique ». Le fait que ce livre essentiel et vraiment spirituel ait été publié au coeur de cette période truffée d’erreurs logiques et de drames montre que la personnalité et l’oeuvre d’Evola sont très difficiles à aborder. II existe le double risque d’adhérer à certaines voies d’action sous prétexte qu’elles ont été formulées par un homme dont la doctrine est souvent transcendante et de repousser une doctrine dont l’action qui prétend en découler s’est par trop évidemment fourvoyée.
[…]

L’ASCENSION SOLITAIRE OU LE SOUFFLE LIBRE DE L’ESPRIT

Dans un appendice sur « les limites de la régularité initiatique », Évola reconsidère les notions guénoniennes sur l’initiation dans une optique qui nous parait aussi indispensable qu’intéressante. « Contre le schéma guénonien en lui-même il n’y aurait pas grand-chose à objecter », dit-il, tout en soulignant malicieusement le « caractère presque bureaucratique de cette régularité ». Néanmoins sa critique porte sur plusieurs points. D’abord sur les « débouchés »: « Le Compagnonnage est une organisation initiatique résiduelle d’origine corporative, de portée fort restreinte et d’ailleurs limitée à la France »; « La Franc–Maçonnerie moderne est l’un des cas d’organisation dont l’élément vraiment spirituel s’est « retiré » et chez lesquels le « psychisme » restant a servi d’instrument à des forces ténébreuses, pour qui s’en tient au principe de juger de l’arbre à ses fruits »; quant au « christianisme, c’est une tradition mutilée en sa partie supérieure », toutes choses nous semble-t-il indéniables; ce qui permet à Evola d’ironiser, peut-être un peu facilement,sur les « rares allusions des premiers siècles chrétiens de notre ère ou de certains rites de l’Église grecque orthodoxe à la chasse desquels sont partis certains guénoniens ». Outre ces problèmes pratiques, Évola affirme: « La continuité – « des influences spirituelles » – est illusoire lorsque n’existent plus de représentants dignes et conscients d’une chaîne initiatique donnée ».Il se propose d’éviter deux écueils: d’une part, les fantasmes auto-initiatiques à la Steiner qui ne font qu’appliquer au « domaine de l’esprit l’idéal américain du self made man » et, d’autre part, « une conception proche de celle du – « péché originel » -selon laquelle l’homme, irrémédiablement taré, ne pourrait rien par lui-même ». […]

LE VISIONNAIRE FOUDROYE

« Il fut blessé à Vienne d’un éclat d’obus dans la colonne vertébrale vers les derniers jours d’avril 1945 au cours d’un bombardement aérien soviétique. A partir de cette date il resta paralysé des deux jambes sans aucun espoir de guérison » […]

UN EXPOSE DE LA VRAIE DOCTRINE TRANTRIQUE

C’est en 1949 qu’Évola reprit ses publications avec « Le yoga tantrique, sa métaphysique et ses pratiques », livre qui développait le premier essai de 1926.  » S’il advenait un jour -écrit Jean Varenne à propos d’Evola et de Guénon que fussent éditées les oeuvres complètes de ces deux seigneurs de la pensée, on verrait à quel point elles représentent les deux visages d’un seul et même mouvement ». « L’Homme et son devenir selon le Védanta » et « le Yoga Tantrique » illustrent parfaitement ce propos. […]

je-rcmm.jpgLES HOMMES AU MILIEU DES RUINES

En 1951 il publie un livre au titre évocateur de son sentiment « Les hommes au milieu des ruines ». Il s’agit, comme pour faire le point d’une action passée, de poser les principes d’une reconstitution européenne traditionnelle. Sont envisagées les notions de révolution traditionnelle, d’autorité, de hiérarchie et d’état organique. Evola y développe aussi d’intéressantes considérations sur l’économie moderne et les corporations, sur la stratégie de la guerre occulte et sur le problème de l’explosion démographique. La doctrine y est solide, mais lorsqu’il s’agit de désigner le milieu humain propre à servir de moteur à un tel mouvement, la solution apparaît presque débile: en étant à peine méchant, on pourrait penser qu’un recyclage métaphysique de quelques divisions de parachutistes nourrirait l’espoir d’Evola.

METAPHYSIQUE DU SEXE

Fruit d’une fabuleuse érudition, cet ouvrage parut en 1958. Évola commence par l’indispensable nettoyage d’un terrain qui est loin d’être « vierge ». « Ce n’est pas l’homme qui descend du singe par évolution, mais le singe qui descend de l’homme par involution ». […]

Ceci posé, la doctrine traditionnelle s’épanouit: « de la fréquentation, même sans contact, d’individus des deux sexes, naît, dans l’être le plus profond de l’un et de l’autre, une énergie spéciale ou « fluide » immatériel, appelé « tsing ». Celui-ci dérive uniquement de la polarité du ying et du yang ». Cet enseignement de la tradition chinoise se trouve confirmé par Swamy Shivananda Sarasvati: « La semence est une énergie dynamique qu’il faut convertir en énergie spirituelle (ojas) ». Cette opération, qui va à contresens de l’écoulement nature! des forces, « est appelée viparîta-karanî (opération de l’inversion) ». « Un homme n’aime pas une femme parce qu’elle est belle »; Evola, reprenant une idée connue dit: « Il aime parce qu’il aime, au–delà de toute logique, et précisément ce mystère révèle le magnétisme de l’amour ». « Le substratum du sexe est super-physique, il a son siège dans ce que, avec les Anciens, nous appelons l’âme du corps — »le corps subtil  » – « . « Le sexe qui existe dans le corps, existe aussi et d’abord dans l’âme et, dans une certaine mesure, dans l’esprit même ».
[…]

CHEVAUCHER LE TIGRE

Avec « Chevaucher le tigre », en 1961, Evola fait oeuvre vraiment originale. I! pousse jusqu’à !’extrême ses audaces de pensée et formule un guide de conduite pour l’homme qui doit vivre dans un monde où tout hurle à la face du ciel et qui, refusant de « hurler avec les loups  » veut faire de leurs cris une musique pour son âme. […]”

Les carnets du yoga, n°43, novembre 1982, pp. 2-26.

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lundi, 27 mai 2019

Analysis of "Men Among the Ruins" (Kulturkampf Podcast)

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Analysis of "Men Among the Ruins" (Kulturkampf Podcast)

Full episode about Julius Evola's most political work - "Men Among the Ruins" which was written after the second World War. It has previously been taken off youtube.
 

vendredi, 10 mai 2019

Evola and Neo-Eurasianism

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Evola and Neo-Eurasianism

Ex: https://www.geopolitica.ru

We must understand Julius Evola’s work in the same vein as we understand Heidegger’s approach to metaphysics and Western civilization.

While we can know, for sure, that the current state of Western civilization no longer resembles, in toto, the idealistic image once pictured by Heidegger and Spengler, we must be aware that their work constitutes an important and vital watershed.

The spirit of of old Europe is alive in Heidegger’s work, just as much as in Evola’s work. Both represent the spirit of an age that knew – intimately, perhaps – the Nietzschean drive to its deep modernistic roots and its essence, and perhaps could be depicted in a certain sense as representing the age of the (aspiring) Overman, the active nihilist, and of the regimes that sought a new model of man – many of them Fascist, Communist or even Liberal – as opposed to the current age of the Last Man, a man who has lost the Faustian drive almost entirely and therefore succumbed to passive nihilism, and to the spirit of an age that has fully transitioned from Modernity to Post-Modernity. An age that now consequently, in our current epoch, faces complete dissolution.

Evola addresses this age of dissolution just as intensively and concisely as Heidegger deconstructs the essence of Western logos and of its Metaphysics focused on unreal abstract presences, on reified essences, and on the thinking subject.

We must understand Evola as a savant who was deeply aware of his own role within the End Times, and the sort of distillation, of objectivity (sachlichkeit), that would be necessary in confronting the dimensions and challenges given in our age. We must sense, in him, a man who grasped the inevitable dissolution and destruction of the standards of the bourgeois era, and the age of so-called “Old” Europe, of the Europe that was still recognizable to a man like Oswald Spengler, and about whose inevitable destiny Goebbels firmly proclaimed – as he spoke, during the aftermath of the Dresden bombing and the late 2nd major global confrontation: “all of old Europe comes crashing down, and will be buried, with this war. With this conflict, comes down the ruin of the bourgeois age.” [rough translation]

Even if this fundamentally correct intuition did not come in the style of perverted Nazi dreams, with the construction of the fascist Neue Ordnung, but instead with the building of a demented, sick, geriatric and nihilistic liberal regime within an Americanized mold, we must still see in Evola a sort of logical conclusion to the presuppositions that have so far underlined the later stages of European reaction.

Evola must be understood as constituting the bridge from late Western European continental thought, to Tradition as we should know, and properly understand in the conception that must underlie the foundations of a new, post-liberal civilization that we – as men of the Midnight – must necessarily aspire to.

The very movement of Evola’s life, from the Absolute Idealism of his youth, towards the Neo-Platonic intellectual rigidity, the cemented and refined orthodoxy of the “late” Evola, is indicative of the way that we should take in our age.

Evola wrote precisely for us, the men of the midnight. His writings concerned not just the critique of late Western metaphysics, from a partial point of view that is perhaps much more complete in the work of Rene Guenon and Martin Heidegger, but carries in itself the apocalyptic and eschatological vision of the End – although within Evola’s work, we must understand the undertones of this view of the End Times as being fundamentally different from the Semitic bluster of emotions that have characterized our understanding of the term within Christian civilization.

Evola’s view of the End Times is strictly aligned with a different Orthodoxy, namely, that of Platonism, Hermeticism, Buddhism in its early purer form, and also Samkhya, Advaita and other such currents that can still be discerned in our age. In them, while the End Times and the Dark Age form a coherent given, there’s a marked absence of the pathos of the Semitic type within the scope of these alternative traditional teachings.

The current age of liberal decadence, of the end of Western humanity, must be understood within the aegis and scope of the broad movement of dissolution, of fragmentation, that precedes the end of the cycle. And this is followed, markedly, by the search for transcendence in a world that has become meaningless, formless, objectified, banal and the passive receptacle of a process very similar to the fetish of commodities described by Marxist ideologues. And within this dystopian world of the late times, we can also witness the correspondence made in a very precise fashion with the age of the fourth caste, the age of the Sudra – characterized for instance by the domination of the formless mass man, of pure quantity and of machines – as opposed to the previous bourgeois age that retained the remnants of deeper, older organic elements.

eurasia.jpg

Within this age, and within the West, we must acknowledge that everything that was still organic and traditional in the previous “bourgeois” age, that ended most definitely in 1945, is now coming to an end or has already been destroyed. The anti-modernist teaching of the Roman Church was killed and buried together with its ceremonial and liturgical core, and so were the remnants of the organic, pre and anti-modern social elements, like the aristocracy, the clergy, and the broad aristocratic and hierarchical structures that still played their role in granting a deep and effective sense of societal and personal differentiation no longer present in our day and age.

In our age, which is marked deeply by the liberal and also former Communist erosion of all the remaining standards of organic civilization, we cannot count on the luxury of having the old models and superstructures present within our current milieu. The organic society of the Renaissance, and its predecessor, the organic society of the Middle Ages, are now but a distant memory. What is present right now is precisely the inorganic model of the civilized, late liberal world, that drags itself inexorably towards a vortex of imbecility, downwards leveling of the social structure, and also self-disintegration. Of this, we can only take into account the brilliant work “Jihad vs McWorld”, the sort of book that bears a title very fitting to the current age of Spenglerian early Caesarism, money politics, and solidification.

We have already discussed briefly here and elsewhere the nature of this age. And now, we must understand that when the West lies close to its stage of effective mortality, the initiative must be seized decisively towards a new direction. This initiative consists in the gathering of the men of the Midnight, the differentiated men who “ride the tiger”, to the construction of a new paradigm that must necessarily come after the deep, dark night of Western modernity, and that shall come to the fore as the necessary civilizing Traditional force over a world in ruins. Of a world that has lost sight of itself, and has submerged itself into the most elementary and animal-like barbarity.

L’altro ’68 tra Julius Evola e Jan Palach

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L’altro ’68 tra Julius Evola e Jan Palach

da Giovanni Sessa
Ex: http://www.barbadillo.it

Molti dei mali del nostro tempo hanno avuto una lunga incubazione storica. Non può, però, essere messo in dubbio che, un momento di evidente accelerazione dei processi di crisi, si sia mostrato, in modo lapalissiano, nel tanto mitizzato 1968 e nella contestazione studentesca. Due recenti pubblicazioni vengono, opportunamente, a ricordarcelo. Si tratta di Julius Evola, Scritti sul ’68, comparso nel catalogo dell’editore l’Arco e la Corte (per ordini: arcoelacorte@libero.it, pp. 130, euro 15,00), e del volume di Petr Vyoral, Jan Palach, Praga 1969. Una torcia nella notte, di recente nelle librerie per Ferrogallico (per ordini: info@ferrogallico.it, pp. 111, euro 15,00).

9788894398328_0_306_0_75.jpg   Il primo libro, come ricorda nell’informata Premessa Alessandro Barbera, raccoglie gli articoli che Evola pubblicò su il Borghese nel biennio 1968-1969, aventi per tema la contestazione, due suoi scritti apparsi su Il Conciliatore, nonché un’intervista rilasciata, per lo stesso mensile, a Gianfranco de Turris. Infine, un articolo pubblicato sul Roma nel 1971 e il capitolo tratto da L’arco e la clava, intitolato La gioventù, i beats e gli anarchici di destra. Chiude il volume, un’Appendice che riunisce scritti di Mario Tedeschi, Giano Accame ed Adriano Romualdi. Dalla lettura è possibile evincere l’effettiva posizione che il filosofo assunse nei confronti del movimento studentesco. Evola iniziò la propria collaborazione a il Borghese di Tedeschi, per chiamata diretta dello stesso Direttore. Questi non condivideva le posizioni fatte proprie, in tema di movimento studentesco e «cinesi» all’Università, da Giano Accame, intelligenza scomoda formatasi sui testi di Evola, ma aperta, lo ricorda Barbera, alla modernità. Mentre Accame rilevava assonanze teoriche di fondo tra il pensiero di Tradizione ed alcuni assunti teorici espressi dai francofortesi, gli interventi Evola, misero in luce come, nell’antropologia disegnata da Marcuse, emergesse un debito rilevante nei confronti del freudismo.

   L’uomo che i contestatori avevano in vista per il superamento della società ad una dimensione, vedeva il prevalere della spinta meramente pulsionale, legata ad un’idea di libertà quale puro svincolo, libertà-da e non libertà-per. Inoltre, Evola espresse una critica radicale del maoismo, ideologia sostanziata dal marxismo e da un nazionalismo collettivistico, del tutto alieno dall’idea di comunità tradizionale. Ciò lo indusse a prendere, con chiarezza, le distanze dai gruppi nazi-maoisti che sostenevano di ispirarsi alle sue idee, come ribadito anche nell’intervista concessa a de Turris. Sulle medesime posizioni si schierò lo stesso Adriano Romualdi. La vera urgenza, per Evola, non andava individuata nella contestazione al sistema, ma nella Rivolta contro l’intera civiltà moderna. Non esistendo strutture politiche, né partitiche, atte a tanto, sarebbe stato necessario dedicarsi alla formazione personale, spirituale ed esistenziale, per farsi trovare pronti al momento opportuno. Evola fu, dunque, lungimirante.

    Comprese che il ’68 era funzionale al sistema e che i contestatori avrebbero semplicemente scardinato, a favore dei padroni del vapore, il ruolo dei corpi intermedi, della famiglia, avrebbero soprattutto messo in atto l’assassinio del Padre, indispensabile figura della trasmissione della Tradizione, al fine di liberare l’energia sovversiva del capitalismo, fino ai limiti estremi. Coglie nel segno, nella postfazione, Manlio Triggiani nel sostenere che Evola criticò, ad un tempo, i contestatori, e quanti a destra svolsero il ruolo di guardie bianche del sistema, «liberando» le Università dai «cinesi» che le occupavano. Comprese, che, per costruire un Nuovo Inizio europeo, sarebbe stato necessario lasciarsi alle spalle la mera nostalgia, così come gli sterili richiami patriottardi.

   Il secondo volume che presentiamo è dedicato a Jan Palach e richiama l’attenzione sull’Altro Sessantotto, quello combattuto, oltre la cortina di ferro, non dai figli della borghesia americanizzata dell’Occidente, dai narcisi à la page, ma dai figli del popolo che lottavano per affermare, sacrificando la propria vita, la dignità dell’uomo e della Tradizione. Il libro è costituito da testi e da disegni. Presenta in modalità decisamente accattivante, nel fumetto ottimamente realizzato da Vyoral, la storia, personale e politica, di Jan Palach, «torcia n. 1» che il 16 gennaio 1969, in piazza  san Venceslao a Praga, si diede fuoco per protestare, non solo contro l’occupazione del suo paese da parte delle truppe sovietiche ma, ancor di più, per suscitare una reazione forte nei confronti dell’asfissia prodotta dal sistema comunista. La primavera di Praga era stata stroncata nel sangue: non si trattava di «riformare» il comunismo, ma di sconfiggerlo. Il fumetto è accompagnato e completato dai testi di Emanuele Ricucci, autore della Prefazione, e di Umberto Maiorca, a cui si deve la Postfazione. Il primo ricostruisce, con toni lirici e appassionati, le tragiche vicende del giovane studente universitario ceco, ricordando quanto asserito da Marcello Veneziani: «i sessantottini incendiarono il mondo pensando a sé stessi, mentre Palach incendiò se stesso pensando al mondo» (p. 7). Maiorca ripercorre, in modo organico e compiuto, la breve esistenza di Jan, sottolineando, a beneficio del lettore, che nei Paesi dell’Est europeo, molte furono, in quegli anni, le torce che si accesero, perché la verità tornasse a riempire, luminosa, la vita offesa dal comunismo. Il 25 gennaio 1969, si svolsero i funerali del martire: «in una Praga avvolta dal silenzio e da una pioggia sottile […] sotto un cielo grigio seicentomila persone scendono in strada» (p. 96).

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  I suoi resti mortali non trovarono pace. La sua tomba divenne luogo di culto e di pellegrinaggio, che il regime non poteva tollerare. Il corpo venne riesumato, cremato, e le ceneri consegnate alla madre. Solo nel 1974 furono nuovamente sepolte, ma sulla tomba, perché non fosse riconosciuta, comparvero le sole iniziali del nome, «J. P.». Il senso comune contemporaneo tende a relegare gesti come quelli di Palach, nelle forme del patologico, riducendolo alla categoria della «follia». Ciò è naturale, la società post-moderna non riconoscendo più il Padre, il precedente autorevole, può mai comprendere la quint’essenza dell’Eroe? Jan Palach l’ha pienamente incarnata. Resterà per sempre simbolo del nostro Sessantotto.

@barbadilloit

Di Giovanni Sessa

lundi, 01 avril 2019

Julius Evola pour tous (les hommes différenciés)

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Julius Evola pour tous (les hommes différenciés)

par Thierry DUROLLE

L’un des plus célèbres penseurs de la Droite radicale européenne fait toujours parler de lui, quarante-quatre ans après sa disparition. Ce penseur est Julius Evola. Nous préférons le qualifier de penseur plutôt que d’intellectuel, terme originellement péjoratif et qui d’ailleurs ferait bien de recouvrir sa définition initiale. Gianfranco de Turris, président de la Fondation Evola en Italie et auteur d’un magistral Elogio e difesa di Julius Evola, nous rappelle qu’Evola fut « peintre et philosophe, poète et hermétiste, morphologue de l’histoire et politologue, critique des mœurs et sexologue, orientaliste et mythologue, spécialiste des religions et de la Tradition. Mais ce fut aussi un alpiniste chevronné,il fut journaliste, conférencier et universitaire (p. 6) ».

Julius Evola est-il toujours actuel ? N’a-t-il pas été relégué dans la poubelle de l’Histoire par les forces de la subversion ? Et, est-ce que ses idées demeurent pertinentes encore aujourd’hui ? « Au début de l’année 2018, le 12 février, le principal quotidien italien de gauche, La Repubblica, publia en première page un article au titre exceptionnel et extravagant : “ Evola et le fascisme inspirent Bannon, le cerveau de Trump. ” […] Le philosophe et politologue russe Alexandre Douguine admit dans plusieurs interviews que sa pensée avait été profondément influencée par celle de Julius Evola […]. Or, le fait est que Douguine est assez proche du président russe, et fut même présenté comme son “ conseiller ” (p. 8). »

Deux exemples plutôt maladroits pour tenter de justifier de l’actualité de la pensée du Baron. Deux éminences grises déchues, l’un publiciste, l’autre « Raspoutine de sous-préfecture », pour reprendre l’amusante expression d’un traducteur à l’ego hypertrophié. Deux agents de l’anti-Europe, l’un national-libérale (sioniste ?) et l’autre néo-eurasiste pan-russe, deux formes de soumission politiques et spirituelles. Bref, rien d’évolien là-dedans. À noter qu’un certain Jason Horowitz s’émut, dès février 2017, de la possible influence d’Evola sur Bannon dans un article intitulé « Steven Bannon cited Italian thinker who inspired fascists ». La pensée de Julius Evola représente toujours un danger pour l’ennemi.

Il est évident que l’œuvre de Julius Evola reste d’actualité, puisqu’elle met en exergue notre européanité d’une part (sur les plans mythologiques, culturels, spirituels, et politiques) et la Tradition d’autre part. « Ses » idées sont d’actualité aussi car il fut un temps où elles furent la norme, l’évidence même. Ceux qui connaissent bien les différents écrits d’Evola peuvent témoigner de la présence constante de la Tradition comme principe ordonnateur et, en ce sens, cosmique. La pensée de Julius Evola est authentiquement de Droite, d’une Droite métaphysique, éternelle, verticale, ordonnée du haut vers le bas. La cohérence entre le verbe et l’action chez Evola suscite le respect et l’admiration : rares sont ceux qui unirent les deux à un tel niveau.

Pénétrer la pensée protéiforme du penseur italien n’est pas forcément chose aisée. Cela peut demander une certaine persévérance mais aussi une entrée adéquate. Par où commencer ? En ce qui nous concerne, nous avons toujours conseillé, dans la mesure du possible, de lire en premier Révolte contre le monde moderne pour avoir, au minimum, le « décor » de la pensée évolienne. Puis Orientations et Les hommes au milieu des ruines nous semblaient être deux ouvrages politiques fondamentaux à lire à la suite du maître-ouvrage mentionné. Mais il s’agit là d’une première approche au caractère politique. Elle ne permet pas d’avoir une vue d’ensemble des thèmes évoliens.

C’est là que toute la pertinence du Petit livre noir s’offre aux néophytes. Et nous ne pouvons que nous réjouir de la réédition augmenté de ce vade mecum grâce à la toute jeune maison d’édition helvète Lohengrin ! Clin d’œil anti-marxiste-maoïste au malheureusement célèbre Petit livre rouge, ce recueil de citations représente probablement l’une des meilleures façons d’aborder l’œuvre d’Evola dans son intégralité. Les extraits – qui furent soumis en leur temps à l’auteur – sont classés dans onze catégories distinctes et sont issus de quasiment tous les ouvrages d’Evola, dont certains toujours en attente d’une traduction française (!) en plus d’articles et de divers entretiens.

La préface de Gianfranco de Turris se veut aussi synthétique que le contenu de l’ouvrage. Turris fait une présentation de l’homme et ses idées qui, ici aussi, sera idéale pour les nouveaux venus. Enfin, la couverture bien que de noire vêtue, arbore dorénavant un magnifique portrait de Julius Evola signé Jacques Terpant, illustrateur et peintre de grand talent. En quatrième de couverture cette citation d’Evola fait figure de programme : « Seule un retour à l’esprit traditionnel dans une nouvelle conscience unitaire européenne pourra sauver l’Occident. » Gageons que la lecture du Petit livre noir éveille une nouvelle génération d’Européens à un tel impératif.

Thierry Durolle

• Julius Evola, Le petit livre noir, édition augmentée, Éditions Lohengrin, 2019, 175 p., 18 €.

jeudi, 28 juin 2018

La solitudine siderale di Evola

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La solitudine siderale di Evola

Marcello Veneziani

Ex: http://www.marcelloveneziani.com 

“Ho dovuto aprirmi da solo la via…Quasi come un disperso ho dovuto cercare di riconnettermi con i miei propri mezzi ad un esercito allontanatosi, spesso attraversando terre infide e perigliose”. Così Julius Evola descrive nella sua autobiografia la solitudine siderale del suo cammino. Mezzo secolo fa Evola scese dal cavallo altero dell’impersonalità e si raccontò in un’autobiografia intellettuale che intitolò con spirito alchemico Il cammino del cinabro.

Evola racconta la sua vita attraverso le sue opere e i suoi snodi fondamentali: l’esperienza della Grande Guerra, poi il periodo di pittore dada, quindi la fase filosofica, poi il suo percorso esoterico, infine il suo cammino nella Tradizione. E sullo sfondo, i suoi rapporti con gli artisti e gli iniziati, gli scrittori e i filosofi del suo tempo, le trasgressioni, il suo controverso rapporto col fascismo tra sostegno e dissenso, superfascismo e antifascismo, e poi con i giovani della destra postbellica.

C’è anche il capitolo scabroso del razzismo. Evola fu teorico di un razzismo spirituale che non piacque ai razzisti doc e ai nazisti ma gli restò addosso come il suo peccato originale. Non c’è in lui odio antisemita né alcun fanatismo, c’è perfino una dignitosa coerenza, riconobbe Renzo De Felice. Ma Evola prescinde totalmente dai fatti e dalla tragedia dello sterminio e si attesta solo sui principi; ciò infonde un tono astratto alle farneticazioni della razza, qui ridotte peraltro da lui a “una parentesi” nella sua vita e nella sua opera.

Evola confessa di aver rasentato da giovane “l’area delle allucinazioni visionarie e fors’anche della pazzia” e “una specie di cupio dissolvi, un impulso a disperdersi e a perdersi”. Nelle pagine del Cinabro, a fianco del pensiero e delle opere, scorre la vita, la storia – arricchita dalle note dei curatori – gli ambienti a lui vicini e a lui avversi, le note ostili della questura ai tempi del fascismo, perfino la vicenda di un duello rifiutato da Evola per non abbassarsi al rango dello sfidante che però gli costò la rimozione del grado di ufficiale e gli impedì di partire volontario nella seconda guerra mondiale.

Ci sono gli scontri con alcuni fascisti, c’è la sua fama di mago e c’è perfino l’accenno di Evola al Mussolini superstizioso: “aveva un’autentica paura per gli iettatori di cui vietava che si pronunciasse il nome in suo cospetto”. C’è la storia assurda del processo nel dopoguerra a un gruppo di giovani neofascisti in cui fu coinvolto un Evola del tutto ignaro e ormai paralizzato, vittima di un bombardamento a Vienna. C’è la sua scelta antiborghese e anticonservatrice rivendicata in Cavalcare la tigre ma c’è poi la critica di stampo conservatore al ’68 e alla dissoluzione in atto.

E ci sono gli ultimi capodanni di Evola nella sua casa romana, la sua tazza di brodo di tartaruga, un sorso di champagne e il concerto di Capodanno in tv.

E la cronaca della sua morte, l’11 giugno di 40 anni fa, quando si fece portare davanti alla finestra e morì in piedi, guardando al Gianicolo; e poi i funerali con la sua bara senza croce e senza corteo funebre, secondo le sue volontà, e le sue ceneri disperse dopo vicissitudini tra le cime delle Alpi, che aveva amato e scalato. Evola fu un mito già da vivente, avvolto in un alone di magia.

In queste pagine aleggia un paradosso: un pensatore isolato e in disparte che incrocia nella sua vita e nella sua opera, gli autori, le correnti, gli eventi più salienti del Novecento. A questo paradosso ne corrisponde uno inverso sul piano del pensiero: Evola, fautore della Tradizione e del Sacro, fonda la sua opera su un Individualismo Trascendentale, non solo teorico e psichico ma pratico e magico. Per Evola la verità è solo “un riflesso della potenza: la verità è un errore potente, l’errore è una verità debole”. Un relativismo imperniato sulla potenza, che ne decide il rango e il valore. “Essere, verità, certezza non stanno dietro ma avanti, sono dei compiti”, non dei fondamenti.

Grandiosi piani metastorici in nome della Tradizione, templi sacri, civiltà millenarie dell’Essere ma in piedi resta solo la solitudine stellare dell’Io. Solipsismo eroico. “Debbo pochissimo all’ambiente, all’educazione, alla linea del mio sangue – scrive Evola in queste pagine, sottolineando la sua assoluta estraneità alla tradizione cristiana, famigliare e patriottica – il mio impulso alla trascendenza è centrato sull’affermazione libera dell’Io”. Anzi, avverte Evola, “non vi è avvenimento rilevante dell’esistenza che non sia stato da noi stessi voluto in sede prenatale”. Siamo quasi all’autocreazione, al “self made man” metafisico. Resta sospesa nei cieli la domanda che qui si pone Evola: “Che cosa può venire dopo il nichilismo europeo?… Dove si può trovare un appoggio, un senso dell’esistenza, senza tornare indietro?” Evola rispose che l’unica soluzione era “essere se stessi, seguire solo la propria legge, facendone un assoluto”. Ma non è proprio questa incondizionata libertà la punta più avanzata del nichilismo europeo, non è di questo individualismo assoluto che sta morendo la nostra civiltà? E se fosse l’Individuo Assoluto l’ostacolo estremo alla rivelazione dell’Essere?

Un titanico e aristocratico disdegno del mondo accompagna il racconto biografico di Evola. Ma ogni tanto si apre uno squarcio nel suo severo stile impersonale. Ad esempio quando riporta in queste pagine i giudizi lusinghieri sulle sue opere. Fa tenerezza notare che per lenire il suo isolamento Evola citi queste sporadiche e spesso modeste attenzioni alla sua opera. O quando sfugge al suo stoicismo imperturbabile qualche umanissima amarezza per la scarsa risonanza delle sue opere e per il mancato riconoscimento del suo pensiero: “La grande stampa e la cultura ufficiale rimasero, e anche in seguito dovevano rimanere, sorde”.

Lo stesso Cammino del Cinabro, confessa nella nota d’esordio, fu scritto “nell’eventualità che un giorno l’opera da me svolta in otto lustri sia fatta oggetto di un’attenzione diversa da quella che finora le è stata concessa”. Altri lustri sono passati dalla sua morte ma non sembrano ancora bastati. La solitudine di Evola sfida i secoli.

MV, relazione al convegno su Evola nel 2014, poi pubblicato dalla Fondazione  Evola con le edizioni de Il Borghese

mardi, 22 mai 2018

What Would Evola Do?

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What Would Evola Do?

The follow is the text of the talk that Counter-Currents editor John Morgan delivered to The New York Forum on May 20, 2017.

Tonight I thought I’d talk about Julius Evola, since yesterday (May 19) was his 119th birthday, and I have overseen the publication of many of Evola’s texts in English. Evola’s the sort of figure who people seem to either love or hate, although he’s someone more often referenced than actually read on the Right, which is unfortunate. And really, in order to appreciate Evola, you need to be willing to step back from the everyday world and look at just about everything from the exact opposite perspective that we’re conditioned to look at them these days, and that’s not easy for most people. So in that sense, Evola most definitely isn’t a thinker for everyone. And to be fair, he made it clear in his work that he wasn’t interested in addressing himself to the masses. He wanted to speak to the spiritual elite which he believed was the real driving force behind culture and history. So from a modern perspective, the sort of ideas that Evola propagated are about as far removed from our present-day reality as possible, and yet I think he remains relevant to us, as I’ll get into later. Certainly, the mainstream media thinks Evola is relevant. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the article [2] The New York Times ran in February, which tried to suggest that Steve Bannon is supposedly some sort of disciple of Evola, and which resulted in my inbox becoming clogged with messages from people sending me the link and asking, “Did you see this?”

I have to address this briefly, as it became the source of a lot of annoying rumors. As much as I would like to believe that the White House Chief of Staff is an Evolian, an objective look at the facts quickly dispels this idea. It’s true that Bannon mentioned Evola once in passing in a talk he gave to the Vatican [3] in 2014 where he was speaking about “the global tea party movement,” but to read any significance into it is really making a mountain out of a molehill. Here is everything Bannon has ever said about Evola publicly:

When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an advisor [Alexander Dugin] who hearkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early twentieth century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.

evola1.jpgAll this proves is that Bannon has heard of Evola. It no more indicates that Bannon is a traditionalist than Obama referencing Mao in passing means that he is a Maoist. And it isn’t even an accurate statement, since it certainly can’t be said that traditionalism led to Fascism, as it didn’t even exist prior to the advent of Fascism in Italy in 1922, so clearly Bannon doesn’t even have a good understanding of it, nor is he speaking of it favorably.

Bannon went on to say:

One of the reasons is that they [the traditionalists] believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism – and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. . . I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes – particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism – and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing.

What he said is a bit confusing, since he’s equating Evola and traditionalism with Fascism, and then in turn with Putin, which is pretty ridiculous in itself, but it seems that what he means by “tradition” is “family values” and conservative canards of that sort which wax lyrical about the wonders of the 1950s or the nineteenth century (or I guess these days even the 1980s, which, as an American in his 40s who lived through Reagan’s America, is still baffling to me). What Evola meant by capital-T Tradition was something very different from the lower case-t traditions so beloved by conservatives, but I’ll get into that later.

So really, given that this is the sole reference to Evola that Bannon has ever made, while he is most likely the first major American political figure who has even heard of Evola, it’s nevertheless pretty clear that Evola doesn’t have any real significance for him, and still less for Trump. All it really demonstrates are the failing standards of journalism in America and the increasing stupidity of the Left. It’s just yet another attempt by them to try to link Trump’s administration to fascism. On the plus side, it did have the interesting effect of sending Evola’s main work, Revolt Against the Modern World [4], to the number one spot [5] in Amazon’s “New Age” category for a couple of months. Although I don’t want to sound as if I’m belittling Bannon, since he does have some fascinating interests, including one report I read which claimed that Bannon has studied the Hindu Bhagavad Gita [6] and cited it on occasion – something which Evola would certainly have approved of.

But before I get into what Evola has to tell us today, I want to tell a bit about his background. Evola never wrote much about himself, but he did pass on a few things, and scholars have pieced together some of the rest. He was born in 1898 as Giulio Evola in Rome, where he was to live for his entire life, but as an adult he assumed the ancient Roman form of his name, Julius. He’s often referred to as “Baron” Evola, although as far as has been determined, he held no actual title and never used one himself, and thus it seems to be an honorific bestowed by his admirers in reference to his aristocratic origins – Evola’s family originally came from the Sicilian nobility.

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He studied engineering at university, although he refused to take a degree since he considered doing so too bourgeois – which is the exact opposite of the attitude of most American university students today, where they’d be happy to forego all the studying and just get the degree. By then, the First World War had broken out, and Evola served as an artillery officer in the Italian army. He didn’t stick with engineering, however, and after the war he soon became the leading exponent of the Dadaist avant-garde art movement in Italy. In fact, I don’t know if this is still the case, but I have heard that at least at one time, one of Evola’s paintings [7] used to be on display in the entrance hall of the Modern Art Museum in Rome.

Not much is known about Evola during this period, but he sometimes hinted at having led a rather bohemian existence. He did write about taking psychedelic drugs at this time, which was one of the experiences which led him to take an interest in mysticism. We also know that he was friends with the Russian Satanist and occultist Maria de Naglowska, who wrote a series of books on sex magick, some of which Evola wrote introductions for – so read what you want into that. Evola was also an avid mountain climber.

The 1920s saw Evola pass through several phases which ended with him coming around to the traditionalist perspective that would remain more or less the same for the rest of his life. He found the nihilism inherent in avant-garde circles untenable, and soon became interested in the Idealist philosophical tradition. It was here that he first encountered the idea that the world which we experience through our senses isn’t the “real” world, something which is also a fundamental teaching of many of the ancient religious and mystical traditions. He also developed the idea of what he termed the “Absolute Individual,” and he called the system of thought surrounding it “Magical Idealism.” Already drawing on Asian sacred doctrines, Evola identified the Absolute Individual with certain Taoist notions, in that the Absolute Individual is a type of man who frees himself from the limitations of the individual ego and attains a transcendent, impersonal perspective akin to what is usually attributed to the gods. He wrote several large books on this theme, which were his first publications.

Evola ultimately found Western philosophy too narrow, however, and before long he became much more interested in occult and religious doctrines, especially, but not only, those of the East. In 1927, Evola was one of the founding members of the UR Group, which many scholars and practitioners have agreed was one of the most serious attempts to study and practice occult techniques anywhere in modern times. Evola’s involvement was short-lived, however, and he left the group the following year.

The 1920s were also, of course, the time when Mussolini and the Fascists took power in Italy. Evola greeted the rise of the Fascists favorably. Early on, the Italian Fascists were strongly Nietzschean and hostile to Christianity, as was Evola himself, as he considered Christianity to be a foreign, weak, Judaic element that had imposed itself on essentially pagan and imperial Europe, and he believed that the egalitarianism and universalism of Christianity’s teachings opened the door for liberalism and Communism. This argument is not unique to Evola, and I’m sure many of you have heard it reiterated elsewhere.

traditionalism-propaganda41.pngBy the late 1920s, however, Mussolini recognized that he needed to reconcile with the Catholic Church if he was going to retain power. Alarmed by this development, Evola published perhaps his most controversial book, Pagan Imperialism, where he called for Fascist Italy to reject Christianity and return to its roots in the ancient traditions of the Roman Empire. The book didn’t have the desired effect, however, as Mussolini signed a pact with the Vatican in 1929, which among other things established it as an independent state. In addition to the book being blacklisted by the Vatican, Evola also earned himself a lot of enemies, including many prominent people within the Fascist Party itself, and for years he only went out in public accompanied by bodyguards. Evola regretted this book in later years, not because of the backlash against it but because he felt that the ideas he had expressed in it weren’t yet mature enough. While Evola always considered Christianity to be something inappropriate for Europeans, his stance on it softened, and in later years it’s clear from his writings that while it wasn’t his ideal, he recognized that a Christian Europe was far preferable to a secular or a Communist one.

By the end of the 1920s, Evola had also discovered the thinker who was to have a more decisive influence on his life than any other: René Guénon. Guénon was a French metaphysician who was, from the standpoint of religious studies, very possibly the most important thinker of the twentieth century.  He wrote dozens of books describing the worldview that he saw as being common to all the world’s religious and esoteric traditions, and cataloguing and explaining their sacred symbols.

Guénon decried all forms of progressivism, and upheld the teachings found in many of the world’s religious traditions which teach that, contrary to the modern view, civilizations begin in a state of perfection and then gradually decay into degeneracy, and that the forms of technical and scientific progress that modern man is so proud of are in fact mere illusions, and that while he gains greater power over the material world, man is in fact becoming weaker and sicker in a physical and spiritual sense.

Another of Guénon’s crucial insights was the idea of Tradition. This idea of Tradition holds that at the core of all the world’s religious and mystical traditions, there is a single metaphysical reality which reveals itself to men at certain crucial points in time, and that it assumes different outward forms depending on the place and time that it manifests itself and solidifies as religion. This may sound suspiciously New-Agey, but Guénon was quite strict on the fact that he did not believe that one could combine several different traditions into one, but had to accept each on its own terms as a metaphysical whole, and also he believed that esoteric knowledge could only be conveyed by properly initiated authorities, and as a result he rejected all of what we would call “New Age” thought as subversive and counter-traditional.

As I mentioned before, it’s important to distinguish between Tradition and tradition in the usual sense. A tradition, as in for example giving gifts to loved ones at Christmas, might be a positive form of cultural continuity, and it might even be connected to the metaphysical in some way (in this case, to the celebration of a holy day), but these lesser traditions form the outermost layer of tradition, and can change with time, whereas the core of Tradition is eternal and unchanging throughout time.

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The last important element of Guénon’s worldview that is important to mention is the cycle of ages. All the ancient civilizations, including both the Nordic and Greco-Roman traditions, had a sense of time as occurring in a sequence that begins with a Golden Age, and then passes through a series of gradually declining ages until it reaches a final age of darkness after which everything is destroyed, and then the entire cycle repeats itself. Guénon and Evola, consistently with most other modern spiritual figures, identified the age we are living in now as the final age, or Kali Yuga, as it is called in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In the ancient Scandinavian religion, the equivalent age was the Wolf Age. Lest this seems like just some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, let me quote a few examples from the Hindu scriptures that describe the characteristics of Kali Yuga:

In Kali Yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man’s good birth, proper behavior, and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one’s power.

Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction, and success in business will depend on deceit. Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to one’s expertise in sex.

A person’s propriety will be seriously questioned if he does not earn a good living. And one who is very clever at juggling words will be considered a learned scholar.

He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert man, and the principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of reputation.

Cities will be dominated by thieves, the Vedas will be contaminated by speculative interpretations of atheists, political leaders will virtually consume the citizens, and the so-called priests and intellectuals will be devotees of their bellies and genitals.

When irreligion becomes prominent in the family, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood comes unwanted population.

These are just a few of many such examples. Whatever one thinks of Hinduism as a religion, this description certainly seems uncannily accurate in our present world.

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To get back to Evola, he quickly came to see Guénon as the definitive scholar of esotericism, and many of Guénon’s basic ideas were to form the basis of Evola’s work for the rest of his life. He was no uncritical disciple, however, and there were significant differences in their respective approaches to Tradition. Evola, for instance, identified the Primordial Tradition from which all the other religions later emerged as being the same thing as the Hyperborean, Aryan, masculine, and solar tradition, and saw later religions, especially the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as lunar, feminine, degenerated forms of it. He still believed that they were legitimate vehicles for esoteric knowledge, but that they were lesser forms of religion than, for example, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or the pre-Christian religions of Europe. By the same token, Evola was not a neo-pagan. While he respected the pagan European religions and frequently referenced them in his work, he thought their time had passed and that there was no meaningful way to resurrect them in the modern world – in fact, he thought that people who try to bring them back were actually counter-traditional.

But while Evola saw religion as the key to overcoming the problems of the modern world, he didn’t understand it in the sense of going to church on Sundays or following the Ten Commandments. He thought that those outer forms of religion were necessary for the normies, but Evola’s interest was always in the spiritual elite, and the aspects of religion that most interested him were those that could be used to overcome the self and to increase one’s power to a godlike state – essentially the same as the goal of the Absolute Individual that he had written about earlier, but relying on the practices of the mystics and ascetics of the ancient religions. And while the idea of aiming at becoming a god may sound crazy to modern ears, I should point out that many of the pre-Christian religious texts maintain that such a thing is indeed possible for a very few superior, self-realized individuals.

I’ve scarcely done justice to Evola’s esoteric thought, but it’s so massive and complex that there’s no way I can give a comprehensive overview of it in the time I have tonight. Those who are interested in learning more about it should consult Evola’s books on the subject – most of the major ones have already been translated – and especially his main work, Revolt Against the Modern World, where he really outlines his entire worldview. The Path of Cinnabar [8], his autobiography, also gives a good overview of his ideas.

reco.jpgIntroducing Evola’s concept of Tradition, however, is necessary for understanding his relationship with politics, which is what I want to talk about now. As I said, Evola was on the outs with the Fascists after he published Pagan Imperialism. But Evola saw Fascism – not just Italian Fascism, but all the fascist movements of Europe – not as something Traditional in the true sense, since fascism by its very nature was something very modern and revolutionary, but at least as something which preserved certain elements of the traditional world, and which could possibly serve as a bridge toward an eventual restoration of Tradition. For Evola, Tradition could only be maintained in a civilization which had a legitimate hierarchy, in which the priesthood and the warrior class stood in a privileged position over the lower classes. To a Traditionalist, the only legitimate form of government can be a monarch and a nobility ruling in tandem with a priesthood, since, as all sacred traditions have held, the King acts as the bridge between the spiritual and the material worlds. This is necessary so that these upper castes can act as the guardians of Tradition and make sure that the society as a whole continues to be guided by it.

In a time when Europe was torn between Communism on one side and liberal democracy on the other, it was clear to Evola that fascism was by far the best alternative. To Evola, Communism and democracy, especially as represented by the United States, were just two sides of the same coin, since both civilizations have equality as their goal and both allow no place for the sacred to enter into politics. He also saw Fascism as flawed, especially in its socialist aspects – Evola had no tolerance for any form of socialism, whether nationalist or internationalist – but he nevertheless believed that it had the potential to become something better, especially if it were to become guided by Traditional principles.

Evola had no illusions that he could convert the entire Fascist movement into a Traditionalist one, but he did hope that he might be able to help to forge a Traditionalist elite within the Party by influencing some of its intellectuals and leaders. And indeed, Evola did succeed in winning friends among the Fascist elite who were receptive to his message, and in the 1930s Evola was able to begin publishing articles in some of the official Fascist newspapers and journals. He never joined the Fascist Party, however, and in fact referred to his standpoint as “supra-fascist”: transcending what Fascism was already offering. A quote which seems to encapsulate Evola’s attitude toward Fascism is, “To the extent that Fascism follows and defends our principles, so far can we consider ourselves Fascists. So far and no further.” (A quote which I’ve paraphrased to describe my own attitude toward both Trump and the Alt Right.)

youth.jpgEvola didn’t limit himself to Italy, and he forged contacts with fascist and nationalist movements all over Europe during the 1930s. He held Romania’s Iron Guard and its leader, Corneliu Codreanu, in particularly high esteem, respecting them for combining Romanian Orthodox mysticism and rites with their political activities. He also had many contacts among the radical Right in Germany, although during the 1930s the National Socialists kept their distance from him, as they were suspicious of his aristocratic ties (the Nazis saw the old German aristocracy and the Kaiser as an obstacle to their own revolutionary aims). And in fact, Evola didn’t think very highly of the Nazis, either. If you read what he wrote about them, especially in his post-war book, Notes on the Third Reich [9], he doesn’t have much good to say about them, apart from admitting that the milieu they emerged from in the 1920s had had potential, and that he had respect for the SS for being an order along the lines of what he had desired to see in Italy. But the Third Reich itself he faulted for being too populist and bourgeois, and he disliked the Nazis’ scientific, dogmatic approach to race and their obsession with racial purity. If you compare what he says about the Nazis with his book on Italian Fascism, Fascism Viewed from the Right [10], it’s quite clear that he believed that Fascism was the more dynamic and less reactionary of the two movements, and he appreciated the fact that Italy had retained its monarchy, whilst Germany was led only by a “bohemian Corporal,” to quote von Hindenburg.

The early 1940s saw the pinnacle of Evola’s involvement with Italian Fascism when he published a book called Synthesis of a Doctrine of Race. In this book, Evola outlined his idea of the various races of humanity as being like Platonic ideal types, and held that character was as important as biological factors in determining one’s racial essence. While Evola by no means discounted the importance of biology – this is something that his critics often get wrong – he did believe that it was possible for someone of purely Aryan blood to exhibit characteristics one usually finds among Jews or blacks, and that the converse was possible as well. Mussolini himself read the book and was very impressed with it, as he had been looking for a form of racial ideology which Fascism could adopt that would be distinct from Nazi race theory. He invited Evola for a meeting and tasked him with helping to develop a uniquely Fascist form of racialism.

Evola’s involvement with Fascism was cut short in July 1943, when Mussolini was overthrown by his own Fascist Grand Council after the Allies invaded the southern tip of Italy. Evola travelled to Germany and joined with those Fascist leaders who sought to reconstitute a new Fascist state in northern Italy, plans which came to fruition when Mussolini was rescued from prison by Otto Skorzeny in September. Evola was present at Hitler’s headquarters with other Italian leaders when Mussolini was brought there, and he assisted in setting up what became known as the Italian Social Republic. Evola returned to Rome and remained there until it was occupied by the Allies in June 1944. According to Evola’s diary, secret service men came to his mother’s door looking for him, and his mother delayed the men while Evola escaped out the back and then travelled north.

evola13.pngEvola found the Italian Social Republic disappointing, as it was even more strongly socialist in nature than Fascism’s original incarnation. But by this time, in the aftermath of their defeat in Russia and the imminent invasion of the Reich itself by the Allies, the National Socialists in Germany were becoming a lot less strict about picking their allies. Some researchers have claimed that Evola, acting on the Germans’ behalf, made use of his many contacts in the fascist and nationalist groups across Europe to keep many of them engaged in the war. We also know that in 1944, the SS brought Evola to Vienna, where they had archived the many esoteric and Masonic texts they had confiscated during their sweep across Europe. Evola was tasked with cataloging the materials and determining exactly what it was they had. And this was the work that Evola was engaged in during late 1944 and early 1945, while Allied bombers streaked overhead. Evola relates how, during this period, he “tested his fate” by going on solitary walks through the city during air raids, when everyone else was cowering in shelters. And on March 12, 1945, a Russian bomb exploded near Evola on one of these walks, injuring his spine, and he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

After the war, Evola never again engaged with practical politics in any way, but he remained unapologetic for his views on Fascism and National Socialism, and even in his post-war writings he always restated that they had been superior to anything in our contemporary world. He also became something of a guru to the various Right-wing and neo-fascist groups which emerged in Italy in the first three decades after the war. Indeed, in 1951 he was charged with conspiring to revive Fascism. He was ultimately acquitted of the charges, and as part of his defense, he said, “My principles are only those which were accepted and seen as normal by every well-born person everywhere in the world prior to 1789.”

Although he remained on friendly terms with political activists, it seems that Evola himself gave up on the idea of a political solution to the problems of our age after 1945. His advice, as he offered in post-war writings such as his book Men Among the Ruins [11], was to establish orders of elite individuals who could preserve Traditional principles and pass them down through a chain of initiations until an age would return in which their seeds could again bear fruit. But Evola had no interest in the democratic party politics of our age.

Evola continued to write after the war, but his life otherwise remained unremarkable due to the constraints of his injury. He died at his apartment in Rome on June 11, 1974. But he had already left his mark on the Italian political scene. The leader of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, Giorgio Almirante, famously remarked of Evola that he was “our Marcuse, only better.”

So what does Evola have to say to us today? Would he tell us to vote for Trump or Le Pen? Would he tell us to build bombs and blow up the local shopping mall? Would he tell us to find a cave in a mountain somewhere and meditate for the rest of our lives?

yoga.jpgEvola never developed anything like a political program or a plan of action, so in that sense I don’t think he has anything to offer. Evola always addressed the individual who has higher aspirations. So where I think he has value is in helping a Right-inclined individual to cope with living in a liberal, degenerate age.

First of all, I would say that, regardless of what one thinks of the heavy-duty metaphysics underlying his ideas, the concept of Tradition is a valuable one regardless. In our time, when politics is getting pettier than it has ever been before, I think it’s important that we keep in mind that our final goal is not simply ending immigration or voting out the liberals. Ultimately, we stand for a set of principles that have guided our civilization from its origins and that stand above everyday politics. Even if we could send out all of the non-whites from America and Europe tomorrow, the rot that is afflicting all of our minds and souls would still be there. We have to try to put ourselves in the mindset of our ancestors and what made them great. Our approaches might change, but the principles we stand for are timeless. When I’ve tried to think about what it is that most fundamentally distinguishes the various and sundry strands of the Right from the liberals, what it ultimately comes down to is that we believe that there is an essential meaning to things. There is something essential in being an American or a German or an Italian, and that’s why not just anyone can become one, just as there is something essential in being a man or a woman . . . and similarly, there is an essential difference between being a white person engaged in the life of your civilization as opposed to being a pop culture, fast food junkie sleepwalking through history who happens to have white skin.

Second, Evola was certainly hostile to political movements that relied on the masses rather than an elite, and even Fascism was woefully inadequate for him, which means that he no doubt wouldn’t have thought very highly of the populism of our time. But rather than being a dogmatist, I think Evola is just being realistic here. I’ve been involved with the Right in some capacity for about twenty years now, and there’s an ever-growing list of saviors that the Right has latched onto, developed unrealistic expectations for, and then become disillusioned with. Twenty years ago there was Jörg Haider. Ten years ago there was Ron Paul. Three years ago there was Putin. Last year, of course, we had Trump. I don’t mean to suggest that these people aren’t worth supporting or that there is no difference between them and their opponents. Nevertheless, we have to bear in mind that none of these people are Rightists in the true sense, and could not act as true Rightists even if they wanted to be, so any support we give to them or people like them is simply to choose the least bad option, not a good option. The system as it is currently constituted will never allow a candidate with genuine Right-wing principles to attain real power. This is something that Evola recognized and why he held himself aloof from the endless games and maneuverings and compromises of party politics, and this is why we should try not to pin our hopes and dreams to any of democracy’s shooting stars, but recognize that we’ve got to keep working in the shadows regardless of whatever’s happening on stage.

And lastly, the idea that we are living in Kali Yuga and that everything is inevitably doomed to collapse may seem like quite a black pill. But as I said before, I think it does accurately describe our situation. And also I think some people who claim to be Traditionalists tend to be too pessimistic when it comes to this, and actually overlook what Evola actually said about the possibilities of our time. In later life, Evola advocated for what he terms apoliteia, by which he meant disengagement from political affairs. But if you really examine what he says on the subject, he never advised that one shouldn’t become involved in politics. Rather, what he meant is that one shouldn’t become attached to whatever result might come from such activities. In this, again, Evola is being consistent with what many of the sacred texts have to say on this. So in other words, sure, get involved with a political party or join the military or vote for Trump or whatever, but do so because it helps you to attain the goals that you set for yourself rather than because you have staked everything on its success and will be shattered if it fails. In Kali Yuga, political restoration may not be possible, but the opportunity still remains for the individual to triumph over modernity in his own way. Besides which, the fact that we may lose the battle doesn’t mean that we are absolved of the responsibility of fighting it and standing for what is true.

32708evola1.jpgThe best illustration of this that I know of comes from the Bhagavad Gita. At the opening, a Prince, Arjuna, is preparing to fight a battle against an opposing army. Although he knows his cause is just, he hates war, and knows that there are members of his own family on the other side who he may have to kill in order to win. The god Krishna is acting as his advisor. Just before the battle, Arjuna loses his resolve, and tells Krishna that he will put down his weapons and go into the forest to meditate instead of fighting. Krishna basically says to him, “Stop being such a pussy! You’re a kshatriya (the Hindu warrior caste)! It’s your job to do your duty and fight for justice. Meditating in the forest is for brahmanas (priests).” The rest of the Gita is Krishna explaining the entire metaphysics of existence, and Arjuna’s place in it, and at the end, of course Arjuna does his duty.

And that’s how I see those of us here tonight. In spite of the million other things you could have been doing in this enormous and hyperactive city tonight, you decided to come here and meet with a group of some of the most hated people in America to listen to a lecture on Julius Evola. That clearly indicates that there’s something in you that has decided that there are more important things than just doing what everyone else expects you to do. So really, we’re already creating the “order” that Evola called for in order to preserve Tradition in the face of degeneracy. So let’s not despair about the latest headlines, but keep our heads up in the knowledge that, whatever happens, we are the ones who stand for what is timeless, and our day of victory will come, whether it is tomorrow or a thousand years from now.

Thank you.

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

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/05/what-would-evola-do-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/5-19-18-1.jpg

[2] article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html

[3] talk he gave to the Vatican: https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world?utm_term=.qjWj7aJzb#.pjOBl849J

[4] Revolt Against the Modern World: http://amzn.to/2qTdDpP

[5] number one spot: http://alt-right-news.blogspot.com/2017/02/evola-soars-to-top-of-amazon-charts.html

[6] Bhagavad Gita: http://amzn.to/2qTebfv

[7] paintings: http://www.juliusevola.net/paintings.html

[8] The Path of Cinnabar: http://amzn.to/2qT6iqs

[9] Notes on the Third Reich: http://amzn.to/2qe14Ci

[10] Fascism Viewed from the Right: http://amzn.to/2qTddja

[11] Men Among the Ruins: http://amzn.to/2ry5Oqd

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samedi, 05 mai 2018

Evola’s Nietzschean Ethics: A Code of Conduct for the Higher Man in Kali Yuga

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Evola’s Nietzschean Ethics:
A Code of Conduct for the Higher Man in Kali Yuga

The subtitle of the English translation of Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger (Cavalcare la Tigre) promises that it offers “A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul.”[1] [2] As a result, one comes to the work with the expectation that it will constitute a kind of “self-help book” for Traditionalists, for “men against time.” One expects that Evola will offer moral support and perhaps even specific instructions for revolting against the modern world. Unfortunately, the subtitle proves misleading. Ride the Tiger is primarily devoted to an analysis of aspects of the present age of decline (the Kali Yuga): critiques of relativism, scientism, modern art, modern music, and of figures like Heidegger and Sartre; discussions of the decline of marriage, the relation between the sexes, drug use, and so forth. Many of the points Evola makes in this volume are made in his other works, sometimes at greater length and more lucidly.

JEv-FN.jpgFor those seeking something like a “how to” guide for living as a Traditionalist, it is mainly the second division of the book (“In the World Where God is Dead”) that offers something, and chiefly it is to be found in Chapter Eight: “The Transcendent Dimension – ‘Life’ and ‘More than Life.’” My purpose in this essay is to piece together the miniature “survival manual” provided by Chapter Eight – some of which consists of little more than hints, conveyed in Evola’s often frustratingly opaque style. It is my view that what we find in these pages is of profound importance for anyone struggling to hold on to his sanity in the face of the decadence and dishonesty of today’s world. It is also essential reading for anyone seeking to achieve the ideal of “self-overcoming” taught by Evola – seeking, in other words, to “ride the tiger.”

The central figure of the book’s second part is unquestionably Friedrich Nietzsche, to whom Evola repeatedly refers. Evola’s attitude toward Nietzsche is critical. However, it is obvious that Nietzsche exercised a profound and positive influence on him. Indeed, virtually every recommendation Evola makes for living as a Traditionalist – in this section of the work, at least – is somehow derived from Nietzsche. This despite the fact that Nietzsche was not a Traditionalist – a fact of which Evola was well aware, and to which I shall turn later.

In the last paragraph of Chapter Seven, Evola announces that in the next chapter he will consider “a line of conduct during the reign of dissolution that is not suitable for everyone, but for a differentiated type, and especially for the heir to the man of the traditional world, who retains his roots in that world even though he finds himself devoid of any support for it in his outer existence.”[2] [3] This “line of conduct” turns out, in Chapter Eight, to be based entirely on statements made by Nietzsche. That chapter opens with a continuation of the discussion of the man who would be “heir to the man of the traditional world.” Evola writes, “What is more, the essential thing is that such a man is characterized by an existential dimension not present in the predominant human type of recent times – that is, the dimension of transcendence.”[3] [4]

Evola clearly regarded this claim as of supreme importance, since he places the entire sentence just quoted in italics. The sentence is important for two reasons. First, as it plainly asserts, it provides the key characteristic of the “differentiated type” for whom Evola writes, or for whom he prepares the ground. Second, the sentence actually provides the key point on which Evola parts company with Nietzsche: for all the profundity and inspiration Nietzsche can provide us, he does not recognize a “dimension of transcendence.” Indeed, he denigrates the very idea as a projection of “slave morality.” Our first step, therefore, must be to understand exactly what Evola means by “the dimension of transcendence.” Unfortunately, in Ride the Tiger Evola does not make this very easy. To anyone familiar with Evola’s other works, however, his meaning is clear.

“Dimension of transcendence” can be understood as having several distinct, but intimately-related meanings in Evola’s philosophy. First, the term “transcendence” simply refers to something existing apart from, or beyond the world around us. The “aristocrats of the soul” living in the Kali Yuga must live their lives in such a way that they “stand apart from” or transcend the world in which they find themselves. This is the meaning of the phrase “men against time,” which I have already used (and which derives from Savitri Devi). The “differentiated type” of which Evola writes is one who has differentiated himself from the times, and from the men who are like “sleepers” or pashu (beasts). Existing in the world in a physical sense, even playing some role (or roles) in that world, one nevertheless lives wholly apart from it at the same time, in a spiritual sense. This is the path of those who aim to “ride the tiger”: they do not separate themselves from the decay, like monks or hermits; instead they live in the midst of it, but remain uncorrupted. (This is also little different from what the Gurdjieffian tradition calls “the fourth way,” and it is the essence of the “Left-Hand Path” as described by Evola and others.)

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However, there is another, deeper sense of the “dimension of transcendence.” The type of man of which Evola speaks is not simply reacting to the world in which he finds himself. This is not what his “apartness” consists in – not fundamentally. Nor does it consist in some kind of intellectual commitment to a “philosophy of Traditionalism,” as found in books by Evola and others. Rather, “transcendence” in the deepest sense refers to the Magnum Opus that is the aim of the “magic” or spiritual alchemy discussed by Evola in his most important works (chiefly Introduction to Magic and The Hermetic Tradition). “Transcendence” means the overcoming of the world and of the ego – really, of all manifestation, whether it is objective (“out there”) or subjective (“in here”). Such overcoming is the work of what is called in Vedanta the “witnessing consciousness.” Evola frequently calls this “the Self.” (For more on this teaching, see my essays “What is Odinism? [5]” in TYR, Vol. 4 [6], and “On Being and Waking” in TYR, Vol. 5, forthcoming [7].)

These different senses of “transcendence” are intertwined. It is only through the second sense of “transcendence,” of the overcoming of all manifestation, that the first sense, standing apart from the modern world, can truly be achieved. The man who is “heir to the man of the traditional world” can retain “his roots in that world” only by the achievement of a state of being that is identical to that of the “highest type” of the traditional world. That type was also “differentiated”: set apart from other men. Fundamentally, however, to be a “differentiated type” does not mean to be differentiated from others. It refers to the state of one who has actively differentiated “himself” from all else, including “the ego.” This active differentiation is the same thing as “identification” with the Self – which, for Evola, is not the dissolution of oneself in an Absolute Other, but the transmutation of “oneself” into “the Self.” Further, the metaphysical differentiation just described is the only sure and true path to the “differentiation” exhibited by the man who lives in the Kali Yuga, but stands apart from it at the same time.

Much later I will discuss how and why Nietzsche fails to understand “the dimension of transcendence,” and how it constitutes the fatal flaw in his philosophy. Recognizing this, Evola nonetheless proceeds to draw from Nietzsche a number of principles which constitute the spirit of “the overman.”[4] [8] Evola offers these as characterizing his own ideal type – with the crucial caveat that, contra Nietzsche, these principles are only truly realizable in a man who has realized in himself the “dimension of transcendence.” Basically, there are ten such principles cited by Evola, each of which he derives from statements made by Nietzsche. The passage in which these occur is highly unusual, since it consists in one long sentence (lasting more than a page), with each principle set off by semi-colons. I will now consider each of these points in turn.

1. “The power to make a law for oneself, the ‘power to refuse and not to act when one is pressed to affirmation by a prodigious force and an enormous tension.’”[5] [9] This first principle is crucial, and must be discussed at length. Earlier, in Chapter Seven (“Being Oneself”), Evola quotes Nietzsche saying, “We must liberate ourselves from morality so that we can live morally.”[6] [10] Evola correctly notes that in such statements, and in the idea of “making a law for oneself,” Nietzsche is following in the footsteps of Kant, who insisted that genuine morality is based upon autonomy – which literally means “a law to oneself.” This is contrasted by Kant to heteronomy (a term Evola also uses in this same context): morality based upon external pressures, or upon fealty to laws established independent of the subject (e.g., following the Ten Commandments, conforming to public opinion, acting so as to win the approval of others, etc.). This is the meaning of saying, “we must liberate ourselves from morality [i.e., from externally imposed moral commandments] so that we can live morally [i.e., autonomously].” In order for the subject’s standpoint to be genuinely moral, he must in a sense “legislate” the moral law for himself, and affirm it as reasonable. Indeed, for Kant, ultimately the authority of the moral law consists in our “willing” it as rational.

Of course, Nietzsche’s position is not Kant’s, though Evola is not very helpful in explaining to us what the difference consists in. He writes that Nietzsche’s notion of autonomy is “on the same lines” as Kant’s “but with the difference that the command is absolutely internal, separate from any external mover, and is not based on a hypothetical law extracted from practical reason that is valid for all and revealed to man’s conscience as such, but rather on one’s own specific being.”[7] [11] There are a good deal of confusions here – so much so that one wonders if Evola has even read Kant. For instance, Kant specifically rejects the idea of an “external mover” for morality (which is the same thing as heteronomy). Further, there is nothing “hypothetical” about Kant’s moral law, the “categorical imperative,” which he specifically defines in contrast to “hypothetical imperatives.” We may also note the vagueness of saying that “the command” must be based “on one’s specific being.”

jev-cumbres.jpgStill, through this gloom one may detect exactly the position that Evola correctly attributes to Nietzsche. Like Kant, Nietzsche demands that the overman practice autonomy, that he give a law to himself. However, Kant held that our self-legislation simultaneously legislates for others: the law I give to myself is the law I would give to any other rational being. The overman, by contrast, legislates for himself only – or possibly for himself and the tiny number of men like him. If we recognize fundamental qualitative differences between human types, then we must consider the possibility that different rules apply to them. Fundamental to Kant’s position is the egalitarian assertion that people do not get to “play by their own rules” (indeed, for Kant the claim to be an exception to general rules, or to make an exception for oneself, is the marker of immorality). If we reject this egalitarianism, then it does indeed follow that certain special individuals get to play by their own rules.

This does not mean that for the self-proclaimed overman “anything goes.” Indeed, any individual who would interpret the foregoing as licensing arbitrary self-indulgence of whims or passions would be immediately disqualified as a potential overman. This will become crystal clear as we proceed with the rest of Evola’s “ten principles” in Chapter Eight. For the moment, simply look once more at the wording Evola borrows from Nietzsche in our first “principle”: the “power to refuse and not to act when one is pressed to affirmation by a prodigious force and an enormous tension.” To refuse what? What sort of force? What sort of tension? The claim seems vague, yet it is actually quite clear: autonomy means, fundamentally, the power to say no to whatever forces or tensions press us to affirm them or give way to them.

The “forces” in question could be internal or external: they could be the force of social and environmental circumstances; they could be the force of my own passions, habits, and inclinations. It is a great folly to think that my passions and such are “mine,” and that in following them I am “free.” Whatever creates an “enormous tension” in me and demands I give way, whether it comes from “in me” or “outside me” is precisely not mine. Only the autonomous “I” that can see this is “mine,” and only it can say no to these forces. It has “the power to refuse and not to act.” Essentially, Nietzsche and Evola are talking about self-mastery. This is the “law” that the overman – and the “differentiated type” – gives to himself. And clearly it is not “universalizable”; the overman does not and cannot expect others to follow him in this.[8] [12]

In short, this first principle asks of us that we cultivate in ourselves the power to refuse or to negate – in one fashion or other – all that which would command us. Again, this applies also to forces within me, such as passions and desires. Such refusal may not always amount to literally thwarting or annihilating forces that influence us. In some cases, this is impossible. Our “refusal” may sometimes consist only in seeing the force in question, as when I see that I am acting out of ingrained habit, even when, at that moment, I am powerless to resist. Such “seeing” already places distance between us and the force that would move us: it says, in effect, “I am not that.” As we move through Evola’s other principles, we will learn more about the exercise of this very special kind of autonomy.

2. “The natural and free asceticism moved to test its own strength by gauging ‘the power of a will according to the degree of resistance, pain, and torment that it can bear in order to turn them to its own advantage.’”[9] [13] Here we have another expression of the “autonomy” of the differentiated type. Such a man tests his own strength and will, by deliberately choosing that which is difficult. Unlike the Last Man, who has left “the regions where it is hard to live,”[10] [14] the overman/differentiated man seeks them out.

Evola writes that “from this point of view everything that existence offers in the way of evil, pain, and obstacles . . . is accepted, even desired.”[11] [15] This may be the most important of all the points that Evola makes in this chapter – and it is a principle that can serve as a lifeline for all men living in the Kali Yuga, or in any time. If we can live up to this principle, then we have made ourselves truly worthy of the mantle of “overman.” The idea is this: can I say “yes” to whatever hardship life offers me? Can I use all of life’s suffering and evils as a way to test and to transform myself? Can I forge myself in the fire of suffering? And, going a step further, can I desire hardship and suffering? It is one thing, of course, to accept some obstacle or calamity as a means to test myself. It is quite another to actively desire such things.

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Here we must consider our feelings very carefully. Personally, I do not fear my own death nearly as much as the death of those close to me. And I fear my own physical incapacitation and decline more than death. Is it psychologically realistic for me to desire the death of my loved ones, or desire a crippling disease, as a way to test myself? No, it is not – and this is not what Evola and Nietzsche mean. Rather, the mental attitude in question is one where we say a great, general “yes” to all that life can bring in the way of hardship. Further, we welcome such challenges, for without them we would not grow. It is not that we desire this specific calamity or that, but we do desire, in general, to be tested. And, finally, we welcome such testing with supreme confidence: whatever life flings at me, I will overcome. In a sense, I will absorb all negativity and only grow stronger by means of it.

3. Evola next speaks of the “principle of not obeying the passions, but of holding them on a leash.” Then he quotes Nietzsche: “greatness of character does not consist in not having such passions: one must have them to the greatest degree, but held in check, and moreover doing this with simplicity, not feeling any particular satisfaction thereby.”[12] [16] This follows from the very first principle, discussed earlier. To repeat, giving free rein to our passions has nothing to do with autonomy, freedom, or mastery. Indeed, it is the primary way in which the common man finds himself controlled.

To see this, one must be able to recognize “one’s own” passions as, in reality, other. I do not choose these things, or the power they exert. What follows from this, however, is not necessarily thwarting those passions or “denying oneself.” As Evola explains in several of his works, the Left-Hand Path consists precisely in making use of that which would enslave or destroy a lesser man. We hold the passions “on a leash,” Evola says. The metaphor is appropriate. Our passions must be like well-trained dogs. Such animals are filled with passionate intensity for the chase – but their master controls them completely: at a command, they run after their prey, but only when commanded. As Nietzsche’s words suggest, the greatest man is not the man whose passions are weak. A man with weak passions finds them fairly easy to control! The superior man is one whose passions are incredibly strong – one in whom the “life force” is strong – but who holds those passions in check.

4. Nietzsche writes, “the superior man is distinguished from the inferior by his intrepidity, by his defiance of unhappiness.”[13] [17] Here too we have invaluable advice for living. The intrepid man is fearless and unwavering; he endures. But why does Nietzsche connect this with “defiance of unhappiness”? The answer is that just as the average man is a slave to the passions that sweep him away at any given time, so he is also a prisoner of his “moods.” Most men rise in the morning and find themselves in one mood or another: “today I am happy,” “today I am sad.” They accept that, in effect, some determination has been made for them, and that they are powerless in the matter. If the unhappiness endures, they have a “disease” which they look to drugs or alcohol to cure.

evola-the-yoga-of-power.jpgAs with the passions, the average man “owns” his moods: “this unhappiness is mine, it is me,” he says, in effect. The superior man learns to see his moods as if they were the weather – or, better yet, as if they were minor demons besetting him: external mischief makers, to whom he has the power to say “yes” or “no.” The superior man, upon finding that he feels unhappiness, says “ah yes, there it is again.” Immediately, seeing “his” unhappiness as other – as a habit, a pattern, a kind of passing mental cloud – he refuses identification with it. And he sets about intrepidly conquering unhappiness. He will not acquiesce to it.

5. The above does not mean, however, that the superior man intrepidly sets about trying to make himself “happy.” Evola quotes Nietzsche as saying “it is a sign of regression when pleasure begins to be considered as the highest principle.”[14] [18] The superior man responds with incredulity to those who “point the way to happiness,” and respond, “But what does happiness mean to us?”[15] [19] The preoccupation with “happiness” is characteristic of the inferior modern type Nietzsche refers to as “the Last Man” (“‘We have invented happiness,’ say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth.”[16] [20]

But if we do not seek happiness, in the name of what do we “defy unhappiness”? Answer: in the name of greatness, self-mastery, self-overcoming. Kant can be of some limited help to us here as well, for he said that the aim of life should not be happiness, but making oneself worthy of happiness. Many individuals may achieve happiness (actually, the dumber one is, the greater one’s chances). But only some are worthy of happiness. The superior man is worthy of happiness, whether he has it or not. And he does not care either way. He does not even aim, really, to be worthy of happiness, but to be worthy of greatness, like Aristotle’s “great-souled man” (megalopsuchos).[17] [21]

6. According to Evola, the superior man claims the right (quoting Nietzsche) “to exceptional acts as attempts at victory over oneself and as acts of freedom . . . to assure oneself, with a sort of asceticism, a preponderance and a certitude of one’s own strength of will.”[18] [22] This point is related to the second principle, discussed earlier. The superior man is master, first and foremost, of himself. He therefore seeks opportunities to test himself in exceptional ways. Evola provides an extended discussion of one form of such self-testing in his Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest (and, of course, for Evola mountain climbing was not entirely metaphorical!). Through such opportunities, one “assures oneself” of the strength of one’s will. But there is more: through such tests, one’s will becomes even stronger.

“Asceticism” suggests self-denial. But how does such testing of the will constitute “denying oneself”? The key, of course, lies in asking “what is my self?” The self that is denied in such acts of “self-mastery” is precisely the self that seeks to hold on to life, to safety, to security, and to its ephemeral preoccupations and possessions. We “deny” this self precisely by threatening what it values most. To master it is to progressively still its voice and loosen its hold on us. It is in this fashion that a higher self – what Evola, again, calls the Self – grows in us.

7. The superior man affirms the freedom which includes “keeping the distance which separates us, being indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privations, even to life itself.”[19] [23] This mostly reaffirms points made earlier. But what is “the distance that separates us”? Here Nietzsche could be referring to hierarchy, or what he often calls “the order of rank.” He could also be referring to the well-known desire of the superior man for apartness, verging sometimes on a desire for isolation. The superior man takes himself away from others; he has little need for the company of human beings, unless they are like himself. And even then, he desires the company of such men only in small and infrequent doses. He is repulsed by crowds, and by situations that force him to feel the heat and breath and press of others. Such feelings are an infallible marker of the superior soul – but they are not a “virtue” to be cultivated. One either has such feelings, or one does not. One is either the superior type, or a “people person.”

jev-bow.jpgIf we consult the context in which the quote appears – an important section of Twilight of the Idols – Nietzsche offers us little help in understanding specifically what he means by “the distance that separates us.” But the surrounding context is a goldmine of reflections on the superior type, and it is surprising that Evola does not quote it more fully. Nietzsche remarks that “war educates for freedom” (a point on which Evola reflects at length in his Metaphysics of War), then writes:

For what is freedom? Having the will to responsibility for oneself. Maintaining the distance that separates us. Becoming indifferent to trouble, hardships, deprivation, even to life. Being ready to sacrifice people to one’s cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts, the instincts that celebrate war and winning, dominate other instincts, for example the instinct for “happiness.” The human being who has become free, not to mention the spirit that has become free, steps all over the contemptible sort of wellbeing dreamt of by grocers, Christians, cows, women, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free human being is a warrior.[20] [24]

The rest of the passage is well worth reading.

8. Evola tells us that the superior man rejects “the insidious confusion between discipline and enfeeblement.” The goal of discipline is not to produce weakness, but a greater strength. “He who does not dominate is weak, dissipated, inconstant.” To discipline oneself is to dominate one’s passions. As we saw in our discussion of the third principle, this does not mean stamping out the passions or denying them. Neither does it mean indulging them: the man who heedlessly indulges his passions becomes “weak, dissipated, inconstant.” Rather, the superior man learns how to control his passions and to make use of them as a means for self-transformation. It is only when the passions are mastered – when we have reached the point that we cannot be swept away by them – that we can give expression to them in such a way that they become vehicles for self-overcoming.

Evola quotes Nietzsche: “Excess is a reproach only against those who have no right to it; and almost all the passions have been brought into ill repute on account of those who were not sufficiently strong to employ them.”[21] [25] The convergence of Nietzsche’s position with Evola’s portrayal of the Left-Hand Path could not be clearer. The superior man has a right to “excess” because, unlike the common man, he is not swept away by the passions. He holds them “on a leash” (see earlier), and uses them as means to transcend the ego, and to achieve a higher state. The common man, who identifies with his passions, becomes wholly a slave to them, and is sucked dry. He gives “excess” a bad reputation.

9. Evola’s penultimate principle is in the spirit of Nietzsche, but does not quote from him. Evola writes: “To point the way of those who, free from all bonds, obeying only their own law, are unbending in obedience to it and above every human weakness.”[22] [26] The first words of this passage are somewhat ambiguous: what does Evola mean by “to point the way of those who . . .” (the original Italian – l’indicare la via di coloro che – is no more helpful). Perhaps what is meant here is simply that the superior type points the way for others. He serves as an example – or he serves as the vanguard. This is not, of course, an ideal to which just anyone can aspire. But the example of the superior man can serve to “awaken” others who have the same potential. This was, indeed, something like Nietzsche’s own literary intention: to point the way to the Overman; to awaken those whose souls are strong enough.

10. Finally, Evola tells us that the superior type is “heir to the equivocal virtus of the Renaissance despots,” and that he is “capable of generosity, quick to offer manly aid, of ‘generous virtue,’ magnanimity, and superiority to his own individuality.”[23] [27] Here Evola alludes to Nietzsche’s qualified admiration for Cesare Borgia (who Nietzsche offers as an example of what he calls the “men of prey”). The rest of the quote, however, calls to mind Aristotle’s description of the great-souled man – especially the use of the term “magnanimity,” which some translators prefer to “greatness of soul.”[24] [28] The superior man is not a beast. He is capable of such virtues as generosity and benevolence. This is because he is free from that which holds lesser men in thrall. The superior man can be generous with such things as money and possessions, for these have little or no value for him. He can be generous in overlooking the faults of others, for he expects little of them anyway. He can even be generous in forgiving his enemies – when they are safely at his feet. The superior man can do all of this because he possesses “superiority to his own individuality”: he is not bound to the pretensions of his own ego, and to the worldly goods the ego craves.

FNiet-dessins.jpgEvola’s very long sentence about the superior man now ends with the following summation:

all these are the positive elements that the man of Tradition also makes his own, but which are only comprehensible and attainable when ‘life’ is ‘more than life,’ that is, through transcendence. They are values attainable only by those in whom there is something else, and something more, than mere life.

In other words, Nietzsche presents us with a rich and inspiring portrayal of the superior man. And yet, the principles he discusses will have a positive result, and serve the “man of Tradition,” only if we turn Nietzsche on his head. Earlier in Chapter Eight, Evola writes: “Nietzsche’s solution of the problem of the meaning of life, consisting in the affirmation that this meaning does not exist outside of life, and that life in itself is meaning . . . is valid only on the presupposition of a being that has transcendence as its essential component.” (Evola places this entire statement in italics.) In other words, to put the matter quite simply, the meaning of life as life itself is only valid when a man’s life is devoted to transcendence (in the senses discussed earlier). Or we could say, somewhat more obscurely, that Nietzsche’s points are valid when man’s life transcends life.

Evola’s claim goes to the heart of his criticism of Nietzsche. A page later, he speaks of conflicting tendencies within Nietzsche’s thought. On the one hand, we have a “naturalistic exaltation of life” that runs the risk of “a surrender of being to the simple world of instincts and passions.” The danger here is that these will then assert themselves “through the will, making it their servant.”[25] [29] Nietzsche, of course, is famous for his theory of the “will to power.” But surrender to the baser impulses of ego and organism will result in those impulses hijacking will and using it for their own purposes. One then becomes a slave to instincts and passions, and the antithesis of a free, autonomous being.

On the other hand, one finds in Nietzsche “testimonies to a reaction to life that cannot arise out of life itself, but solely from a principle superior to it, as revealed in a characteristic phrase: ‘Spirit is the life that cuts through life’ (Geist ist das Leben, das selber ins Leben schneidet).” In other words, Nietzsche’s thought exhibits a fundamental contradiction – a contradiction that cannot be resolved within his thought, but only in Evola’s. One can find other tensions in Nietzsche’s thought as well. I might mention, for example, his evident preference for the values of “master morality,” and his analysis of “slave morality” as arising from hatred of life — which nevertheless co-exist with his relativism concerning values. Yet there is so much in Nietzsche that is brilliant and inspiring, we wish we could accept the whole and declare ourselves Nietzscheans. But we simply cannot. This turns out to be no problem, since Evola absorbs what is positive and useful in Nietzsche, and places it within the context of Tradition. In spite of what Nietzsche himself may say, one feels he is more at home with Tradition, than with “perspectivism.”[26] [30]

Evola’s ten “Nietzschean principles,” reframed for the “man of Tradition,” provide an inspiring guide for life in this Wolf Age. They point the way. They show us what we must become. These are ideas that challenge us to become worthy of them.

Notes

[1] [31] Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul, trans. Joscelyn Godwin and Constance Fontana (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2003).

[2] [32] Evola, 46, my italics.

[3] [33] Evola, 47.

[4] [34] Übermensch; translated in Ride the Tiger as “superman.”

[5] [35] Quoting Nietzsche, Will to Power, section 778.

[6] [36] Evola, 41. Translator notes “adapted from the aphorism in Kritische Gesamtausgabe, vol. 7, part 1, 371.”

[7] [37] Evola, 41.

[8] [38] There is a great deal more that can be said here about the difference between Kantian and Nietzschean “autonomy.” Indeed, there is an argument to be made that Kant is much closer to Nietzsche than Evola (or Nietzsche) would allow. Ultimately, one sees the stark difference between Kant and Nietzsche in the “egalitarianism” of the different formulations of Kant’s categorical imperative. How can a man who is qualitatively different and superior to others commit to following no other law than what he would will all others follow? How can he affirm the inherent “dignity” in others, who seem to have no dignity at all? Should he affirm their potential dignity, which they themselves simply do not see and may never live up to? But suppose they are so limited, constitutionally, that actualizing that “human dignity” is more or less impossible for them? Kant wants us to affirm that whatever men may actually be, they are nonetheless potentially rational, and thus they possess inherent dignity. For those of us who have seen more of the world than Königsberg, and who have soured on the dreams of Enlightenment, this rings hollow. And how can the overman be expected to adhere to the (self-willed) command to always treat others as ends in themselves, but never as means only – when the vast bulk of humanity seems hardly good for anything other than being used as means to the ends of greater men?

[9] [39] The translator’s note: “Adapted from Twilight of the Idols, ‘Skirmishes of an Untimely Man,’ sect. 38, where, however, it is ‘freedom’ that is thus gauged.” Beware: Evola sometimes alters Nietzsche’s wording.

[10] [40] Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, “Zarathustra’s Prologue,” 5.

[11] [41] Evola, 49.

[12] [42] Evola, 49. The Will to Power, sect. 928.

[13] [43] Will to Power, sect. 222.

[14] [44] Will to Power, sect. 790.

[15] [45] Will to Power, sect. 781.

[16] [46] Thus Spake Zarathustra, “Zarathustra’s Prologue,” 5.

[17] [47] Aristotle also said that the aim of human life is “happiness” (eudaimonia) – but “happiness” has a connotation here different from the familiar one.

[18] [48] Will to Power, sect. 921.

[19] [49] Twilight of the Idols, “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man,” sect. 38. Italics added by Evola.

[20] [50] See Twilight of the Idols, trans. Richard Polt (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1997), 74-75.

[21] [51] Here I have substituted the translation of Walter Kaufmann and R. G. Hollingdale for the one provided in Ride the Tiger, as it is more accurate and concise. See The Will to Power, trans. Kaufmann and Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1967), 408.

[22] [52] Evola, 49.

[23] [53] The translators of Ride the Tiger direct us here to Beyond Good and Evil, sect. 260.

[24] [54] Grandezza d’animo literally translates to “greatness of soul.”

[25] [55] Evola, 48.

[26] [56] Evola writes (p. 52), “[Nietzsche’s] case illustrates in precise terms what can, and indeed must, occur in a human type in which transcendence has awakened, yes, but who is uncentered with regard to it.”

 

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URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/04/evolas-nietzschean-ethics/

lundi, 26 février 2018

“Da Wagner al jazz”, un nuovo libro su Julius Evola

Giuseppe Brienza

mardi, 09 janvier 2018

Marcos Ghio - Pensamiento Fuerte o pensamiento Débil: Julius Evola o Gianni Vattimo

marcos11.jpg

Marcos Ghio - Pensamiento Fuerte o pensamiento Débil: Julius Evola o Gianni Vattimo

Conferencia organizada por el CENTRO EVOLIANO DE AMÉRICA, brindada el 22.11.16 en la ciudad de Buenos Aires Argentina. Expone el Lic. Marcos Ghio. Título: "Pensamiento Fuerte o Pensamiento Débil: Julius Evola o Gianni Vattimo.