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mercredi, 14 novembre 2018

Evola’s Other Club: Mitch Horowitz & the Self-Made Mystic


Evola’s Other Club:
Mitch Horowitz & the Self-Made Mystic

mhmc.jpgMitch Horowitz
The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality
Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2018

“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. . . . When you decide to be something, you can be it. That’s what they don’t tell you in the church.”[1] [2]

The latest meme promulgated by the Dissident Right, which seems to be driving the Ctrl-Left and its media mouthpieces even more crazy than they were by Pepe the Frog, is the NPC [3] (Non-Player Character). And why shouldn’t it? It’s funny because it’s true. But it’s also more common than the 4Chan crowd might think.

As Mitch Horowitz says at the beginning of The Miracle Club, “the basic sense of human identity,” at least since Shakespeare expressed it in Macbeth, has been pretty much indistinguishable from the NPC:

Each of us “plays his part,” living, serving, struggling, until “mere oblivion.” We sometimes bring a ripple of change to our surroundings. . . . But overall, we remain bound to a familiar pattern.

Just one modern idea[2] [4] has “suggested that we are not ‘merely players,’ but also possess a creative agency”: thoughts are causative. As Neville Goddard, whom Horowitz considers the greatest figure of this alternative school of thought, says:

It is my belief that all men can change the course of their lives. By our imagination, by our affirmations, we can change our world, we can change our future. I have always preached that if we strive passionately to embody a new and higher concept of ourselves, then all things will be at our service. Most men are totally unaware of the creative power of imagination and invariably bow before the dictates of “facts” and accepts life on the basis of the world without. But when you discover this creative power within yourself, you will boldly assert the supremacy of imagination and put all things in subjection to it.[3] [5]

This is the uniquely American thought-phenomenon called “New Thought” (how American a name!), which should be regarded, as I’ve argued in a number of essays, [4] [6] as our homegrown Hermeticism, native Neoplatonism, and two-fisted Traditionalism.[5] [7]

Yet for almost a century now, New Thought has been the punchline and punching bag of everyone from learned scholars and hard-nosed scientists, to journalists looking for a feature full of cheap laughs.[6] [8] As religious scholar Jeffrey J. Kripal says in his blurb for Horowitz’s book:

The American lineage of mind metaphysics, or positive thinking, takes a beating from both the religious right and the intellectual left, who seem to share in little other than this fear and loathing of the possibility that we might actually be able to imagine ourselves into other realities, histories, and humanities.

Indeed, not only the “religious” Right; concurrent with the NPC meme, another frequently-encountered theme among the “Alt Right” of late is the disparagement of “magical thinking,” presented as something unique to the Left,[7] [9] despite the election of Donald J. Trump, a devotee of Normal Vincent Peale’s “Positive Thinking.”[8] [10] One is tempted to respond in the Trump persona: “I’m the billionaire president, and you’re not. You’re fired!”

At least one cause – or effect? – of this mockery has been that New Thought hasn’t been seriously studied since William James (who both studied and practiced what he called “the religion of healthy-edness”) died in 1910; and, as a consequence, New Thought itself hasn’t intellectually developed. [9] [11]

Comes now Mitch Horowitz[10] [12] to move the discussion of this very American stream of thought onto that very American methodological ground of proof by experience. In short, try it!

By this strategy, Horowitz first reaches back to evoke the original Miracle Club, a gathering of esoteric experimenters who banded together in New York City back in 1875, when their President received a mysterious letter reading, “Don’t give up thy club. TRY.” And in the end, he will propose that the reader join him in a new, informal miracle club.

But “club” also suggests, to me at least, Baron Julius Evola, who ran his own series of magical clubs, UR and KRUR, back in the 1920s.[11] [13] Moreover, after disbanding these groups, he founded a periodical titled La Torre (The Tower); in his autobiography, he notes that:

Backlash followed – and not because of the doctrinal or cultural content of the magazine (which, given its elevated standard, was largely ignored by Fascists), but on account of one rubric entitled ‘The Bow and the Club’ (‘L’arco e la clava’: where the bow strikes at a distance, the club does so only within range of one’s hands).[12] [14]

Without pressing the analogy too far, I would suggest that Horowitz has set himself a similar task: to deal with the far (skeptics and scientific materialists) and the near (the all-too-frequently naïve and even childish proponents of “The Secret” or “The Law of Attraction”)[13] [15] to arrive at a true, rectified picture of New Thought: “For all its shortcomings, and for all its being disparaged by critics as a dogma of wishful delusion, New Thought, in its essentials, is true – and can be tested in your experience.”

First, some terminological matters:

Some colleagues have cautioned me that terms like positive thinking seem old-fashioned and musty; the phrase puts off younger or more sophisticated readers. But the “power of positive thinking,” to use the title phrase of Peale’s 1952 book, has so fully entered the public mind that most people have an immediate association with it. It is plain. For that reason I have continued to use Peale’s phraseology, musty or not.

I am also wary of jettisoning old terms, such as ESP, New Age, and occult, simply because they have taken on critical baggage, and one hopes to arrive at something more “respectable.”

Here, too, the note is Evolian; the latter had no hesitation to use the term “magic,” despite its modern “show business” connotations; not even, like Crowley, adding a “k”.

As another, even more important preliminary, Horowitz is quick to emphasize that he writes as a participant-observer. While acknowledging the need for some level of objectivity, he rightly points out that we are quite used to, for instance, histories of Mormonism written by Mormons, or accounts of the Inquisition, say, written by Roman Catholics. And if we are to prove a method by experience – otherwise, in what sense are we being empirical? – then we must have these experiences. “The perspective of the critics requires leavening by experience. But experience will not touch the staunchest among them simply because they avoid participation in ideas.”

Even worse than professionally skeptical scientists are the half-baked journalists. Some, like Tom Wolfe, will express some sympathy with these ideas in private, but for public consumption fear it to be too infra dig to do their reputation any good. Others, like Lewis Lapham – who went all the way to India to hang out with the Beatles and the Maharishi, and even got a mantra, but couldn’t be bothered, then or in the ensuing fifty years, to actually try meditation – seem to exhibit what René Guénon considered to be a typical “Western mental distortion”: to prefer the theory of knowledge to knowledge itself.[14] [16]


As a participant-observer, Horowitz starts, appropriately enough, with himself. At some point those journalists, or TV producers, or academics, will ask him: “You don’t believe this stuff, do you?” Yes, he does:

I believe that thinking, in a directed, highly focused, and emotively charged manner, expands our capacity to perceive and concretize events, and relates us to a nontactile field of existence that surpasses ordinarily perceived boundaries of time and thought.

Or, even more concretely:

Your mind is a creative agency, and the thoughts with which you impress it contribute to the actualized events of your existence.

This is less a doctrine than a “line of experimentation” that he invites the reader to join in with. In any event, New Thought has been very good for Mitch Horowitz. In fact, despite being the son of a bankrupt Long Island attorney, he’s now a millionaire! Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bring up such personal matters, but he talks about it himself, quite openly and out of the gate. It’s actually a legitimate part of his participant/observer model.

And why not talk about money and success? One of the most basic, and laziest criticisms, of New Thought has been to deplore it as “materialistic.” Horowitz is having none of that. Although he believes in “labor unions, moderately redistributive tax policies, and personal thrift,” he also knows that we live in a material world, and we need money to obtain power, and thus to be able to actualize our basic desires.

Horowitz deplores the “recycle[d] ideas from the Vedic and Buddhist traditions,” such as “nonattachment” or “transcendence,” which have been “cherry-picked from religious structures that were . . . highly stratified and hierarchical” and which “would have regarded social mobility almost as unlikely as space travel.”[15] [17]

This ersatz “Easternism” . . . has not provided Westerners with a satisfying response to materialism because it often seeks to divert the individual from the very direction in which he may find meaning, which is toward the compass point of achievement.

My conviction is that the true nature of life is to be generative. I believe that in order to be happy, human beings must exercise their fullest range of abilities – including the exertions of outer achievement.

I believe that the simplest and most resounding truth on the question of the inner life and attainment appears in the dictum of Christ: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s.”

I do not view nonattachment as a workable goal for those of us raised in the West, and elsewhere, today. Rather, I believe that the ethical pursuit of achievement holds greater depth, and summons more from within our inner natures, than we may realize.

Although Horowitz seems to assume this is a function of the modern, globalized world (“the West and elsewhere, today”), I would suggest that this is actually true of something uniquely, essentially, and timelessly Western: what Spengler, and others after him, have called Faustian Man.[16] [18] And this is another point of contact with the work of Evola, who argued that both original Buddhism and Taoism were essentially Aryan paths to personal power.[17] [19]

Horowitz himself sees a connection with Nietzsche and . . . Ayn Rand.

New Thought at its best and most infectious celebrates the primacy of the individual. Seen in a certain light, the mystical teacher Neville Goddard, the New Thought figure whom I most admire, was a kind of spiritualized objectivist. Or perhaps I could say that Ayn Rand, the founder of philosophical Objectivism, and an ardent atheist, was a secularized Neville.

How can this be?

The motivated person must select among the possibilities and circumstances of reality.[18] [20] In their view, the individual is solely responsible, ultimately, for what he does with his choices. Rand saw this selection as the exercise of personal will and rational judgment; Neville saw it as vested in the creative instrumentalities of your imagination. But both espoused the same principle: the world that you occupy is your own obligation.[19] [21]

mhoa.jpgSpeaking of obligation, having “promised you a philosophy of results,” Horowitz feels obligated to provide early on “two vital, inner steps to opening yourself to money.” The first – I’ll let you read the book to find the second – could have come from Howard Roark himself:

You must know exactly what you want to accomplish, and you must feel it passionately, even obsessively. You must be willing to turn aside everything and everyone who doesn’t contribute to your realization for that aim. . . . If that strikes you as ruthless or extreme, it is because you do not yet possess, or are not yet honest about, your definite aim. When you find it, it will be like finding breath itself.

As Neville insisted, your desires are clues given to you by God, to guide your actions in life, and should be followed without guilt, modesty, or shame. And they can be realized, precisely because they accord with the will of God, the greatest power in the universe, who is ultimately “your own wonderful human imagination.”[20] [22]

In a key chapter, “The Centrality of Neville Goddard,” Horowitz expands on his earlier precis of New Thought, presenting a three-step method, based on Neville’s many books and lectures:

First, clarify a sincere and deeply felt desire. Second, enter a state of relaxed immobility, bordering on sleep. Third, enact a mental scene that contains the assumption and feeling of your wish fulfilled. Run the little drama over and over in your mind until you experience a sense of fulfillment. Then resume your life. Evidence of your achievement will unfold at the right moment in your outer experience.

As I’ve noted before, this is exactly the method that Evola espoused in his magickal writings; first, create an image of the desired state, then:

In order for any image to act in the way I am talking about, it must be loved. It must be assumed in a great, inner calm and then warmed up, almost nourished, with sweetness, without bringing the will or any effort into play, and much less without expectations.[21] [23] The Hermeticists called this agent “sweet fire,” “fire that does not burn,” and even “fire of the lamp” since it really has an enlightening effect on the images.[22] [24]

Although in contexts such as this one here at Counter-Currents, I’ve been calling attention to how Traditional the method is, Horowitz is right to emphasize how profoundly American it is. Deriving in the first instance from Emerson, it is indeed, as Horowitz says, “applied Transcendentalism.”

In fact, it is clearly a manifestation of what Camille Paglia has called “The North American [Literary] Tradition.” Paglia argues that the confrontation of Romanticism with North American Protestantism “achieved a new fusion of ideas – a sensory pragmatism or engagement with concrete experience, rooted in the body, and at the same time a visionary celebration of artistic metaspace – that is, the fictive realm of art, fantasy and belief projected by great poetry and prefiguring our own cyberspace.”[23] [25]

This uniquely American “synthesis of the pragmatic and the visionary,” from Emerson to James, continues, I would say, in Neville’s method, which crucially combines both physical relaxation (the body) and visionary intensity (mind and will); [24] [26] conversely, Horowitz notes that most New Age practitioners of “the law of attraction,” “the Secret,” and so on fail because they seem to think they can rely on thought and wishing alone.

We saw how Horowitz disparages the “ersatz Hinduism” derived from socially stagnant societies, and Paglia notes that American democracy and capitalism “enhanced individualism and promoted social mobility.” So at first glance it may seem somewhat ironic that he devotes two chapters to Neville, born in Barbados, and James Allen (author of the New Thought classic As a Man Thinketh), an Englishman. Yet their stories are almost archetypically American.

Neville, like so many before him, emigrated from Barbados to New York to make his fortune.[25] [27] Though the Great Depression caused his Broadway career to flame out, his career as a “metaphysical lecturer” led to a certain amount of prosperity (to judge from his teaching stories, he and his small family seem to have lived one of those Nick and Nora Charles lifestyles, moving from one swanky hotel or apartment house to another), while his extended clan in Barbados used the same methods to expand a grocery store into the food services conglomerate Goddard Enterprises, still the largest multinational headquartered in the Caribbean. [26] [28]

It was James Allen’s father who emigrated to New York, but with less success, being murdered and robbed two days after arrival; as a result, young Allen had to leave school to support the family. He married, lived quietly, produced more than one book a year, and died from tuberculosis at the age of forty-seven.

Allen’s story is compelling not because he became rich – he didn’t, monetarily, at least – but for the way it brings together Horowitz’s other themes of power, self-effort, and testing by experience.

The noblest aspects of human nature emerge when the individual is striving toward something. When the thing striven for is attained, however, such as a comfortable and prosperous old age, the human mind often redirects its attention onto the smallest and most fleeting details of quotidian life.

James Allen, by contrast, was compelled to struggle most of his life. But that struggle never deformed him. The decisive factor in his life . . . was that he saw life’s upward hill not as a path toward comfort but toward refinement.

mhoroot.jpgOne is reminded of Colin Wilson’s frequent observation, that those born well-off tend to develop a lazy and pessimistic view of life, while those who need to constantly struggle acquire an optimistic attitude; positive thinking, indeed. Allen’s wife’s description of her husband also reminds us of Wilson’s concept of existential philosophizing;

He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.

As I said above, Horowitz devotes much attention to critiquing the intellectually stagnant, naïve, and, sometimes, dishonest forms of New Thought today, as well as the unfair attacks of the sciencey folks; he also marshals fascinating evidence that mainstream, not even “cutting edge,” science provides ways to understand how and why New Thought – Neville’s method in particular – works.

Most quantum physicists wouldn’t be caught dead/alive as Schrodinger’s cat dealing with the theories of Neville. But there is an elegant intersection of possibility between his theology and the quantum theorizing of Schrodinger and Everett.

Everett’s concept of multiple worlds and outcomes could be the key to why thoughts are causative, or, put differently, why reality bends to the vantage point of the observer.

It’s not so much that our thinking and perspective make things happen, but that we choose from among things that already exist in potential – like the superposition of a particle in a wave state.

If thoughts register data, then a shift in the use of the sensory tool of thought – like a physicist deciding whether to take a measurement and the perspective from which it is taken – determines or alters what data is experienced. Based upon how your thoughts and feeling states are used, they expose you to different, and coexisting, phenomena.

Neville argued that everything you see and experience, including others, is the product of your own individual dream of reality. Through a combination of emotional conviction and mental images, he taught, you imagine your world into being – and all people and events are rooted in you, as you are ultimately rooted in God, or an Over-Mind. When you awaken to your true self, Neville argued, you will know yourself to be a slumbering branch of the Creator clothed in human form and at the helm of infinite possibilities. We all have this experience within our own dreams of reality.

As noted in my review [29] of one of Horowitz’s previous books,[27] [30] I find this sort of thing intriguing, but not necessarily entirely compelling – and Horowitz doesn’t insist he has all the right answers, anyway; as always, your mileage may vary.[28] [31]

New to me, and more intriguing, are examples he draws from biology and medicine: he concludes that “we are living through a period of new findings in placebo research, ranging from placebo surgeries to myriad studies liking positive expectancy to a strengthened immunological response, as well as widely accepted findings in the nascent field of neuroplasticity, in which redirected thoughts are seen to alter brain biology.”

Perhaps more important are his attempts to tease out some consistency and plausibility in the claims of New Thought practitioners and what passes for theorists among them.

One of his most important contributions is emphasizing one reason why it doesn’t always appear to work: most New Thinkers not only seem content to just vaguely hope for the best, they also seem to believe that thought is the only power at work.

If I posit a connection between the individual and some kind of higher capacity of the mind, that does not mean that only “one thing” – a law of mentation – is going on in your life. Lots of events, whether biological, mechanical, or metaphysical, can be simultaneously occurring. We live under many laws and forces, of which the impact of the mind is one.

The law of gravity is ever operative, but it is mitigated by other laws, such as mass. The experience of gravity radically differs on the moon, Earth, and Jupiter. So it is with the mind: surrounding events and realities matter.[29] [32]

I would suggest – and hope to develop in a future essay – that even if, as Neville insists, we are “all imagination,” and that imagination is God, that there are levels of power or accomplishment here as with other cosmic forces or natural talents;[30] [33] it may be possible to train one’s imagination, as an athlete or dancer (like Neville, remember) trains their body, to attain greater mastery, but there are limits. As Horowitz says:

Contrary to many purveyors of spiritual self-help, I reject the notion that we can become anything we dream of. Not all desires are realistic. . . . Your age, training, and education matter – as do geography, finances, and time. These are not to be seen as barriers – but they are serious considerations.

“There are surprises,” he adds – as he says elsewhere, there have been notably short basketball stars – but don’t bet on it.[31] [34]

Understanding the hand you’ve been dealt is all part of the preliminary step of finding one’s true aim; and this in itself may be the most valuable part of the practice of positive thought:

Positive-mind philosophy places a demand on us, one that we may think we’ve risen to but have never really tried. And that is: To come to an understanding of precisely what we want. When we organize our thoughts in a certain way – with a fearless maturity and honesty – we may be surprised to discover our true desires.


The need to recognize that we work within cosmic limits is complementary to Horowitz’s ethical meditations. All this talk of Rand and Nietzsche might make some readers (though not many on this site, perhaps) a little uneasy. And isn’t actually existing New Thought a part of the whole “Social Gospel” wing of Progressivism?

Is there a dichotomy between Neville’s radical individualism and the communal vision of [for example, early twentieth-century socialist and New Thought guru Wallace D.] Wattles? Not for me. . . . Not only do opposites attract, but paradoxes complete.

Neville’s vision of individual excellence, and Wattles’ ideal of community enrichment are inextricably bound because New Thought – unlike secular Objectivism and varying forms of ceremonial magick or Thelemic philosophy – functions along the lines of Scriptural ethics. New Thought . . . promulgates a radically karmic ethos, in which the thoughts and actions enacted toward others simultaneously play out toward the self; doing unto others is doing unto self – the part and the whole are inseparable.

Must a seeker choose between a nice car and “awareness”? Must I choose between Wallace D. Wattles and Neville? Both were bold, beautiful, and right in many ways; both had a vision of ultimate freedom – of the creative individual determining rather than bending to circumstance.

If Horowitz sees Neville as not that different from free-marketeer Rand or socialist Wattles, perhaps that’s because he hearkens back to an earlier kind of Progressive thought, also part of Paglia’s North American tradition rather than the Frankfurt School of pessimistic European thinkers she deplores. This kind of Leftism preached action (Reform! Progress!) rather than passive nursing of grievances and demands for special privileges and reparations; the Left that used to sing “Don’t mourn, organize [35]!” rather than “Born this way [36].”

This contrast is manifested here in a blistering, several-page critique of modern Progressive Barbara Ehernreich’s critique of positive thinking, which “stems from laziness of research . . . willful neglect of facts for the sake of scoring a witty point,” and a shallow, entirely secondhand approach to its intellectual history.[32] [37]

Her sloppiness stems from her elitism, which he contrasts with her former co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of American, Michael Harrington (who died in 1989):

You cannot love a country in any authentic sense when you offhandedly disparage – and make no effort to take full measure of – an outlook embraced by varied millions of Americans, of all backgrounds and classes.[33] [38]

In my review of Horowitz’s edition of Neville’s At Your Command, I noted that it appeared at a synchronous moment – Election Day – and provided a useful guide to understanding Trump’s meme mastery as the key to his victory.[34] [39] I’ve argued that Positive Thinking ultimately gave America Trump. If the Left actually want to avoid another Trump, they will need to engage in the kind of self-analysis Horowitz advises here – what do they, or rather the voters, really want? – and move back to Harrington’s kind of working-class solidarity. As Spencer J. Quinn has argued on this site [40]:

Carlson sees a civil war on the horizon and argues that the Left and Left-leaning members of the Right are the ones who are primarily responsible. They are also the reason why we got Donald Trump in 2016. If the Left wishes to not have populist nationalists like Trump in the White House, then they’d better clean up their acts and start catering to the needs of the majority.[35] [41]

Just as Horowitz’s edition of At Your Command arrived on Election Day, so Horowitz’s latest comes at a propitious time, just as the Dissident Right has created a new meme, the NPC. “Offhandedly disparage” does indeed suggest the literally mindless sloganeering of the Left’s minions.[36] [42] Horowitz’s discussion would lead us to think it is hardly confined to the Left, however; it is a result of eschewing the supposedly lazy and self-indulgent world of Positive Thinking for the “hard-headed” philosophy of materialism.

But as Horowitz shows, it is Positive Thinking – Blake’s “mental strife” – that requires work, while as Kathleen Raine said of Blake’s war against Locke and Newton:

The Big Brother of materialist philosophy must of necessity become a tyrant because he compels humanity (in Yeats’ words) to become passive before a mechanized nature.[37] [43]

Identity politics is pure passivity: their constituents want benefits. It is only “dreamers” like Neville or Horowitz who want to work.[38] [44]

With all this talk of integrity and right action, it’s no surprise that Horowitz eventually gets around to offering some life coaching, which, given the reversal of causality postulated by quantum mechanics,[39] [45] he presents as advice for the past you. It bears being quoted in extenso, since it’s pretty good in itself, and also seems like the sort of thing our own Jef Costello, or even Jack Donovan, but probably not Jordan Peterson, might offer as well:

Immediately disassociate from destructive people and forces, if not physically then ethically – and watch for the moment when you can do so physically.

Use every means to improve your mental acuity. Every sacrifice of empty leisure or escapism for study, industry, and growth is a fee paid to personal freedom.

Train the body. Grow physically strong. Reduce consumption. You will be strengthened throughout your being.

Seek no one’s approval through humor, servility, or theatrics. Be alone if necessary. But do not compromise with low company.

At the earliest possible point, learn meditation (i.e., Transcendental Meditation), yoga, and martial arts (select good teachers).

Go your own way – literally. Walk/bike and don’t ride the bus or in a car, except when necessary. Do so in all weather: rain, snow, etc. Be independent physically and you will be independent in other ways.

Learn-study-rehearse. Pursue excellence. Or else leave something alone. Go to the limit in something or do not approach it.

Starve yourself of the compulsion to derive your sense of wellbeing from your perception of what others think of you. Do this as an alcoholic avoids a drink or an addict a needle. It will be agonizing at first, since you may have no other perception of self; but this, finally, is the sole means of experiencing Self.

At the end, he issues a challenge to the presumably now buff and fully intellectually-prepped reader: a specific practice that will allow you to join your will to his and whoever else has the courage to take it up. As we’ve seen throughout, from the title on, there are echoes of Evola here; for the aim of UR and KRUR was also the creation of such “magical chains.”[40] [46]

There are some arguable points in Horowitz’s exploration of Positive Thinking, and even some missteps. As an example of the latter, several pages devoted to Senator Cory Booker as an exemplar of positive thought will likely produce a different impression after his buffoonish performance at the recent Kavanaugh hearings, as well as more recent allegations [47]; perhaps he exemplifies Horowitz’s sound advice about taking an honest inventory of your strengths and limits before formulating a goal.

On the other hand, Jef Costello will be pleased to find Jonathan Frid’s landing the role of Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows adduced as an example of perseverance in pursuit of one’s true goal.

Horowitz also distances himself from many New Thought figures by demurring from the idea that the human imagination is God, tout court; he finds room for a personal God, and even insists on the efficacy of icons, medallions, and so forth. Horowitz even goes so far as to endorse William James’ notion of a deity created or supported by our prayers. One recalls how Jason Jorjani handles the same material – parapsychology and the gods – with the suggestion that these so-called “gods” are higher, but not necessarily “divine,” powers, or even extraterrestrials, ruthlessly exploiting us.[41] [48]

By contrast, Neville, for example, always insisted that “God is your own wonderful human imagination,” and heaped scorn on those who not only worship an external deity, but focus their attentions on “little medals and statues.”

Here again, Evola has preceded us; Evola, in fact, explains the differences between the “dry” and “wet” paths by considering their use of images. The pupil first constructs an image of his ideal Self, concentrating all his thoughts and will on it. In the wet path, the duality remains, the Self is worshipped from afar; while in the dry path, one attempts to gradually achieve unity, to become the Self.[42] [49]

Perhaps most importantly, one might also ask whether the example of quantum superposition (in layman’s terms, the observer determining the observed), adduced to explain the possibility of “changing the future,” as Neville would say, contradicts or makes questionable the value of Horowitz’s participant/observer model?

In the end, how are we to evaluate Horowitz’s project? Positive Thinking turns out to be not at all like the airy-fairy, feel-good notions peddled by Oprah and Co.[43] [50] It’s about the hard work of analyzing your own self to find out what it is you truly want, the honesty of admitting what that deepest desire is (power, money, success, fame, glamour), and the integrity and commitment to concentrate on it to the exclusion of anything else.

Going back to my reference to Colin Wilson’s notion of existential philosophy – that is, a philosophy developed and tested in one’s real life – we can add something Kathleen Raine said about Blake, Neville’s favorite writer (other than the author of the Bible):

He understood that ideas, like passions, cannot otherwise exist than in men; and for Blake the final test of any philosophy is the kind of human beings it produces.[44] [51]

So take the challenge, join the Miracle Club, and see what you can make of yourself – and thus, what you can make of your world. It might even be, as David Lynch suggests on the cover, “solid gold.”[45] [52]


[1] [53] Frank Costello, The Departed [54] (Martin Scorsese, 2006).

[2] [55] Mitch Horowitz, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life (New York: Crown, 2014).

[3] [56] What appears to be a linked series of quotations from the back cover of a collection of his lectures entitled Be What You Wish (Floyd, Va.: Sublime Books, 2015).

[4] [57] These essays, published variously in Aristokratia and on Counter-Currents, are now collected in Magick for Housewives: Essays on Alt-Gurus [58] (Melbourne, Victoria: Manticore, 2018).

[5] [59] Which is not to say that important contributions haven’t come from furriners, such as Emile Coué (remembered for his mantra, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”) and the Englishmen James Allen (to whom Horowitz devotes a chapter) and Arnold Bennett.

[6] [60] Even Adlai Stevenson got into the act. When running for president in 1956, Peale said that Stevenson was unfit because he was divorced; Stevenson famously quipped, “I find Saint Paul appealing and Saint Peale appalling.” In 1960, Peale called Kennedy unfit, as a Catholic, and Stevenson responded thus: “America was not built by wishful thinking. It was built by realists, and it will not be saved by guess work and self-deception. It will only be saved by hard work and facing the facts.” Says the guy who lost. Twice. See the section on “Peale and Stevenson” on Wikipedia [61].

[7] [62] For example, Ramzpaul, here [63].

[8] [64] Did positive thinking help elect Trump? See my Kindle single, Trump: The Art of the Meme [65] (Amazon, 2016).

[9] [66] One might compare the situation of institutions and disciplines dominated by the PC mentality – bereft of any need to actually defend their ideas, the academic Left has intellectually degenerated to a point where its ideas are preposterous, and its spokesmen incapable of mounting a defense, anyway.

[10] [67] “Mitch Horowitz is a PEN Award-winning historian, longtime publishing executive, and a leading New Thought commentator with bylines in The New York TimesTimePoliticoSalon, and The Wall Street Journal and media appearances on Dateline NBCCBS Sunday MorningAll Things Considered, and Coast to Coast AM. He is the author of several books, including Occult America and One Simple Idea. He lives in New York City.”—Publisher’s note.

[11] [68] Reprinted in three volumes several decades later; the first volume has been translated as Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2001), and the second volume is due out next year. Inner Traditions also happens to publish The Miracle Club.

[12] [69] The Path of Cinnabar: An Intellectual Autobiography; translated by Sergio Knipe (London: Artkos Media, 2009), p. 107.

[13] [70] “I want to strike at the blithe, sometimes childish tone that pervades much of its culture. . . . Services at many New Thought-oriented churches are a cross between pep rallies and preschool birthday parties, with attendant exhortations from the pulpit: ‘Isn’t this the most fun ever?’” Camille Paglia describes “New Age” as “all-accepting and undemanding, suspending guilt and judgement. It offers a psychology without conflict and a subjective ethics without challenge or moral responsibility.” See “The Mighty River of Classics: Tradition and Innovation in Modern Education,” reprinted in Provocations: Collected Essays (New York: Pantheon, 2018).

[14] [71] “It is truly strange that proof is demanded concerning the possibility of a kind of knowledge instead of searching for it and verifying it for one’s self by undertaking the work necessary for its acquisition. For those who possess this knowledge, what interest can there be in all this discussion? Substituting a ‘theory of knowledge’ for knowledge itself is perhaps the greatest admission of impotence in modern philosophy.” “Oriental Metaphysics [72],” from Tomorrow, Vol. 12, No. 1. (Winter 1964) (the journal later continued as Studies in Comparative Religion).

[15] [73] Unless, of course, the Ancient Astronaut theorists are right about vimanas [74].

[16] [75] See Collin Cleary, “What is Odinism?, Part III: The Odinic & the Faustian [76],” and Ricardo Duchesne, “Oswald Spengler & the Faustian Soul of the West [77].”

[17] [78] See Julius Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts (London: Luzac &  Co., 1951; Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 1995) and Julius Evola, The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, trans. Guido Stucco (Rochester, Vt. Inner Traditions, 1992); as well as his “Spiritual Virility in Buddhism [79]” and “What Tantrism Means to Modern Western Civilization [80],” included in Julius Evola, East and West [81] (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2018).

[18] [82] As we’ll see, this is not just an offhand remark; both Neville and quantum mechanics postulate a four-dimensional, serial universe in which the future is determined only by the choice of the observer in the present.

[19] [83] For example, Horowitz notes the importance of the New Thought principle, that you tend to become what you think about, dwell on, hate, or envy; we might compare this to the classic scene where Toohey asks Roark, “What do you think of me?” and Roark replies, “But I don’t think of you.”

[20] [84] “God’s a champ,” as Dr. Hannibal Lecter says, adding that, “It feels good because God has power. If one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is” (Red Dragon, aka Manhunter). Conversely, it doesn’t work for “manifesting” trivial desires, or parlor tricks to satisfy skeptics, like King Herod: “Prove to me that you’re no fool / Walk across my swimming pool” (Jesus Christ Superstar). As Alan Watts said, the Westerner thinks that if you say, I am God, then you should be able to “prove it” by doing random, meaningless things like make lightning strike. But if you are God, what you want to do is exactly what’s happening now all around yourself and within yourself; you’ve simply chosen to get out of your own way.

[21] [85] No expectations, because, as Neville would say, you assume that what you wish for already exists; he calls this “thinking from the end.”

[22] [86] “Commentary on the Opus Magicum,” in Evola, Introduction to Magic , op. cit., p. 57. Dr. Lechter’s protégé, The Tooth Fairy, a kind of perverted New Thinker, comes to mind: an investigator, Buffalo Bill, muses over one of his tell-tale moths, “Somebody grew this guy. Fed him honey and nightshade, kept him warm. Somebody loved him.” Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990).

[23] [87]The North American intellectual tradition [88]; Paglia: To hell with European philosophers: The breakthroughs of non-European thinkers are the 1960s’ greatest legacy,” Salon.com, March 4, 2000; reprinted in Provocations: Collected Essays.

[24] [89] Paglia cites the “exploration of the body [which] inspired the revolutionary choreography of Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham” [see “Isadora Duncan: Pagan Priestess of Dance [90]”] and “the Stanislavskian ‘Method’ of Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio” as examples of “the primacy of the body in the North American intellectual tradition.” Neville was initially both a dancer and an actor on Broadway, and although Duncan would likely have hated his act, Horowitz and others believe his physical training suggested, and added, his ability to attain states of deep relaxation. Horowitz also explicitly mentions “method” acting as an analogy to Neville’s own “method.”

[25] [91] On the basis of the same itinerary, today’s SJWs claim Alexander Hamilton as an immigrant of color and the hero of the hip-hip hit Hamilton [92]; in realty, of course, he was not only white but an elitist. Neville’s “English background and elegant bearing” might lead one to think him another toff, but Horowitz notes that Neville, unlike the historic Hamilton, thought that “privilege did not belong to the rich but to the truly imaginative,” in the manner of Jefferson’s natural aristocracy (thought the latter certainly opposed unlimited immigration [92]). In one of his visions, Neville heard the words, “Down with the blue bloods!”

[26] [93] Drafted in late 1942, Neville used his methods to obtain an honorable discharge by early 1943, so as to perform “necessary war-related work” – metaphysical lectures in Greenwich Village – as well as automatic American citizenship. Horowitz has done considerable legwork to verify such stories.

[27] [94]Lord Kek Commands: A Look at the Origins of Meme Magic [29],” now reprinted in Magick for Housewives, op. cit.; see also Trump: The Art of the Meme, op. cit.

[28] [95] For an equally recent book-length treatment, see Dean Radin’s Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe (New York: Harmony, 2018); Radin figures in a couple of Horowitz’s anecdotes.

[29] [96] “The bird attained whatever grace its shape possesses not as a result of the mere desire for flight, but because it had to fly in air, against gravitation.” T. E. Hulme, quoted by Colin Wilson in The Age of Defeat (1959; London: Aristea Press, 2018). Though no friend of what he calls “magical thinking,” the ZMan makes a similar point [97] when he attributes the fanaticism of the Left to the loss of the “leash” or “governor” of Christianity, which put limits on the zeal with which one could pursue heavenly perfection.

[30] [98] As Jesus says, in one of Neville’s favorite quotes, “I and the Father are one; yet the Father is greater than me.” Kathleen Raine says that for Blake (Neville’s favorite source outside the Bible), “All spaces and places are in reality created by the one universal imagination which in every individual being varies the ratio at will.” Kathleen Raine, Blake and the New Age (New York: Routledge, 2011), p. 172.

[31] [99] Despite the medical evidence of efficacy of what Horowitz calls “hopeful expectancy,” he calls this a “complement” to recognized medical treatment; if a belief deters you from seeking treatment, it is not a hope, but “a delusion.” He also firmly condemns New Thought theorists and practitioners who, when their methods fail, try to save their theories by “blaming the victim” for lack of faith.

[32] [100] “How can the leading critic of positive-mind mechanics evidently not have read . . . the very philosopher who made the movement possible to begin with? If a freshman quoted Emerson from secondary sources in a term paper I’d have questions for that student.”

[33] [101] Ehrenreich’s elitist disdain is of a piece with Obama’s “bitter clingers to God and guns,” Hillary’s disparagement of half the electorate as “a basket of deplorables,” the general media attitude to positive-thinking Trump, and indeed just about any media treatment of the Dissident Right. “Progressive politics is now [1995!] too often merely empty rhetoric, divorced from the everyday life of the people for whom liberals claim to speak.” Camille Paglia, “Language and the Left,” The Advocate, March 7, 1995; reprinted in Provocations, op. cit.

[34] [102]Lord Kek Commands: A Look at the Origins of Meme Magic [29].”

[35] [103] Spencer J. Quinn, “Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools [40].”

[36] [104] In Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny (New York: Dell, 1951), Lieutenant Keefer calls Captain Queeg “a Freudian playground,” mentioning his manner of conversing “in second phrases and slogans: ‘I kid you not’.”

[37] [105] Op. cit., pp. 157-158. Jason Jorjani gives a similar analysis of eighteenth-century materialism, arguing that De Sade can be understood as articulating the logical result of the “claustrophobia of the Cartesian ego” trapped in a mechanical universe; see his Prometheus and Atlas (London: Arktos Media, 2016), Introduction, loc. 189-196 (quote at loc. 2201).

[38] [106] “Who the hell is in charge? A bunch of accountants trying to make a dollar into a dollar ten? I want to work. I want to build something of my own. How do you not understand that? You did it yourself forty years ago.” Don Draper to Bert Cooper, Mad Men S03E13, “Shut the Door, Have a Seat.”

[39] [107] “This chap is called Feynman, Richard Feynman, Professor Feynman at Cal. Tech. He is considered one of the world’s greatest physicists. . . . He wrote a paper which came out in 1949. It was printed in what is known as The Science Newsletter and he was describing the behavior of a little particle which is produced by atomic disintegration. It is named today by our scientists as the positron. He wrote of the positron that ‘it starts from where it hasn’t been and speeds to where it was but an instant ago; arriving there it is bounced so hard its time sense is reversed, and it returns to where it hasn’t been.’” Neville, “On the Law [108],” February 19, 1965.

[40] [109] “[There] is an interesting and enigmatic account in the last chapter of the third volume [of Magic, still untranslated] entitled ‘”La Grande Orma”: la scena e le quinte’ (The ‘Great Trail’: The Stage and the Wings), signed by a mysterious ‘Ekatlos.’ In it the author strives to point out the traces of a long-perpetuated, ancient initiatic chain in the very bosom of the land around Rome, and its attempt, however futile, to exert a rectifying influence within the sphere of the Fas­cist movement during the first years in which it took power. In regard to this, Evola himself wrote that the aim of the ‘chain’ of the UR Group, aside from ‘awakening a higher force that might serve to help the singular work of every individual,’ was also to act ‘on the type of psychic body that begged for creation, and by evocation to connect it with a genuine influence from above,’ so that ‘one may perhaps have the possi­bility of working behind the scenes in order to ultimately exert an effect on the prevailing forces in the general environment.’ Although this attempt did not meet with its hoped-for success . . .” Introduction to Magic, op. cit., Preface by Retano Del Ponte. For a critique by The Archdruid, and my response, see “Battle of the Magicians: Baron Evola between the Dancer & the Druid [110],” reprinted in Magick for Housewives, op. cit.

[41] [111] Jorjani, op. cit.

[42] [112] “You must generate – first by imagining and then by realizing it – a superior principle confronting everything you usually are (e.g., an instinctive life, thoughts, feelings) [This is the bondage of experiences]. This principle must be able to control, contemplate, and measure what you are, in a clear knowledge, moment by moment. There will be two of you: yourself standing before ‘the other.’ All in all, the work consists of a ‘reversal’: you have to turn the ‘other’ into ‘me’ and the ‘me’ into ‘the other.’

“Then, in contrast to the mystical, or Christian, path, where the Other remains Other, and the Self remains in the feminine position of need and desire . . . In the magical, dry, or solar way, you will create a duality in your being not in an unconscious and passive manner (as the mystic does), but consciously and willingly; you will shift directly on the higher part and identify yourself with that superior and subsistent principle, whereas the mystic tends to identify with his lower part, in a relationship of need and of abandonment.

“Slowly but gradually, you will strengthen this ‘other’ (which is yourself) and create for it a supremacy, until it knows how to dominate all the powers of the natural part and master them totally. Then, the entire being, ready and compliant, reaffirms itself, digests and lets itself be digested, leaving nothing behind.” Julius Evola, Introduction to Magic, op. cit., pp. 88-91. The process of lovingly “cultivating” the Other as part of the process of initiation is referenced in The Silence of the Lambs, by the aforementioned Buffalo Bill. I consider this process of imaginal magic in the context of two Hollywood films in my essay “Of Costner, Corpses, and Conception: Mother’s Day Meditations on The Untouchables and The Big Chill,” here [113] and reprinted in my collection The Homo and the Negro [114] (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2012; 2nd, Embiggened Edition, 2017).

[43] [115] One “expert” interviewed for Rhonda Byrne’s Oprah-approved video The Secret [116] says that one day, checks just started arriving in the mail, golly gee!

[44] [117] Kathleen Raine, op. cit., p. 156.

[45] [118] Lynch also says: “Dear Twitter Friends, Please check out my interview with Mitch Horowitz on @RadioInterfaith [119].” Or take a look at the transcript here [120]. We learn that “every morning since 1973, he has gotten up. . . closed his eyes . . . slowed down his breathing . . . and ‘gone fishing’ in the ocean he calls the ‘unified field,’ using Transcendental Meditation.”

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

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/11/evolas-other-club/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/11-6-18-1.jpg

[2] [1]: #_ftn1

[3] NPC: https://www.startpage.com/do/asearch

[4] [2]: #_ftn2

[5] [3]: #_ftn3

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[26] [24]: #_ftn24

[27] [25]: #_ftn25

[28] [26]: #_ftn26

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

[30] [27]: #_ftn27

[31] [28]: #_ftn28

[32] [29]: #_ftn29

[33] [30]: #_ftn30

[34] [31]: #_ftn31

[35] Don’t mourn, organize: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=AwrJ6yvK591bWW4AajFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyZTRpYjU3BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjYwNTdfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=joan+baez+joe+hill+woodstock+youtube&fr=yset_widemail_chr_win&turl=https%3A%2F%2Ftse4.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOVT.VF_YSm1qgdyz0lTGg_1540936141%26amp%3Bpid%3DApi%26w%3D144%26h%3D77%26c%3D7&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dl-JW4DKxwQM&tit=Joan+Baez%2C+%26quot%3BJoe+Hill%26quot%3B+live+at+the+Woodstock+Festival%2C+1969&w=144&h=78&pos=1&vid=4c393430bd2454f202c433dcaa4732d4&sigr=11bm7tcl3&sigt=124t08j2s&sigi=12qk41vlp

[36] Born this way: https://youtu.be/XTWoTR2a7JM

[37] [32]: #_ftn32

[38] [33]: #_ftn33

[39] [34]: #_ftn34

[40] argued on this site: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/10/tucker-carlsons-ship-of-fools/?fbclid=IwAR0DIWLnz3M_jda7hDK_EqWP2VC3uTJSoqW2zAzA0plChVo7Minsu0GuGLw

[41] [35]: #_ftn35

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[47] more recent allegations: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-21/spartacus-falls-cory-booker-accused-sexually-assaulting-man-restroom

[48] [41]: #_ftn41

[49] [42]: #_ftn42

[50] [43]: #_ftn43

[51] [44]: #_ftn44

[52] [45]: #_ftn45

[53] [1]: #_ftnref1

[54] The Departed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhqhP58t5O0

[55] [2]: #_ftnref2

[56] [3]: #_ftnref3

[57] [4]: #_ftnref4

[58] Magick for Housewives: Essays on Alt-Gurus: https://manticore.press/product/magick-for-housewives/

[59] [5]: #_ftnref5

[60] [6]: #_ftnref6

[61] Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale

[62] [7]: #_ftnref7

[63] here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXVtEH8Ng74

[64] [8]: #_ftnref8

[65] Trump: The Art of the Meme: https://www.amazon.com/Trump-Meme-James-J-OMeara-ebook/dp/B01NBLFMIR/

[66] [9]: #_ftnref9

[67] [10]: #_ftnref10

[68] [11]: #_ftnref11

[69] [12]: #_ftnref12

[70] [13]: #_ftnref13

[71] [14]: #_ftnref14

[72] Oriental Metaphysics: http://www.studiesincomparativereligion.com/public/articles/Oriental_Metaphysics-by_Rene_Guenon.aspx

[73] [15]: #_ftnref15

[74] vimanas: https://www.gaia.com/article/do-hindu-texts-describing-the-flying-vimanas-also-detail-a-nuclear-war

[75] [16]: #_ftnref16

[76] What is Odinism?, Part III: The Odinic & the Faustian: https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/08/the-odinic-and-the-faustian/

[77] Oswald Spengler & the Faustian Soul of the West: https://www.counter-currents.com/2015/01/oswald-spengler-and-the-faustian-soul-of-the-west-part-1/

[78] [17]: #_ftnref17

[79] Spiritual Virility in Buddhism: https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/06/spiritual-virility-in-buddhism/

[80] What Tantrism Means to Modern Western Civilization: https://www.counter-currents.com/2010/10/what-tantrism-means-to-modern-western-civilization/

[81] East and West: https://www.counter-currents.com/product/east-westcomparative-studies-in-pursuit-of-tradition/

[82] [18]: #_ftnref18

[83] [19]: #_ftnref19

[84] [20]: #_ftnref20

[85] [21]: #_ftnref21

[86] [22]: #_ftnref22

[87] [23]: #_ftnref23

[88] The North American intellectual tradition: https://www.salon.com/2000/03/04/inteltrad/

[89] [24]: #_ftnref24

[90] Isadora Duncan: Pagan Priestess of Dance: https://www.counter-currents.com/tag/isadora-duncan/

[91] [25]: #_ftnref25

[92] the hero of the hip-hip hit Hamilton: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/09/hamilton-and-white-centrist-delusions/

[93] [26]: #_ftnref26

[94] [27]: #_ftnref27

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[97] makes a similar point: http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=15461

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[108] On the Law: https://freeneville.com/on-the-law-feb-19-1965-neville-goddard-pdf-lecture/

[109] [40]: #_ftnref40

[110] Battle of the Magicians: Baron Evola between the Dancer & the Druid: https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/07/battle-of-the-magicians/

[111] [41]: #_ftnref41

[112] [42]: #_ftnref42

[113] here: https://www.counter-currents.com/2012/05/of-costner-corpses-and-conception/

[114] The Homo and the Negro: https://www.counter-currents.com/product/the-homo-and-the-negro-second-ed/

[115] [43]: #_ftnref43

[116] The Secret: https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrJ7FzoGd9biNAA3ZBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEydTlsZjJwBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDQjYwNTdfMQRzZWMDc3I-/RV=2/RE=1541376617/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.imdb.com%2ftitle%2ftt0846789%2f/RK=2/RS=ut0Yk2KFIAZ0M.MvfC1Fi.qAy8g-

[117] [44]: #_ftnref44

[118] [45]: #_ftnref45

[119] @RadioInterfaith: http://bit.ly/2fRL

[120] here: https://medium.com/galleys/david-lynch-uncut-1fd6fb15e5e

00:55 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : mitch horowitz, occultisme, états-unis | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 11 novembre 2018

Le symbolisme du « Pôle » et du « Nord »


Le symbolisme du « Pôle » et du « Nord »

par Pierre-Yves Lenoble ( Articles )

Ex: https://sophiaperennis.unblog.fr

« (…) nous considérons l’origine des traditions comme nordique, et même plus exactement comme polaire, puisque cela est expressément affirmé dans le Vêda, aussi bien que dans d’autres livres sacrés. La terre où le soleil faisait le tour de l’horizon sans se coucher devait être en effet située bien près du pôle, sinon au pôle même », René Guénon, Formes traditionnelles et cycles cosmiques (Gallimard, 1970, p. 37).

Chez un nombre considérable de traditions et de sacralités humaines, généralement issues de la sphère civilisationnelle indo-européenne et de l’hémisphère nord, le symbolisme du « Pôle » ou du « Nord », sous des formes mythologiques diverses et variées, a joué un rôle central et primordial.

On ne compte plus en effet les récits et les écrits sacrés faisant état de l’archétype, tant micro- que macrocosmique, du continent (de l’île ou de la montagne) situé dans les lointaines régions polaires ou circumpolaires, et considéré à la fois comme une terre réelle et une terre céleste, à la fois foyer originel de l’humanité et séjour spirituel suprême, à la fois « Centre » du monde et de l’être, à la fois lieu bien réel et état ontologique surhumain, ainsi que l’exige la pensée traditionnelle faisant de la géographie terrestre un reflet analogique de la géographie de l’âme.

Mettant en parallèle les traditions avestique et islamique de Perse, Henry Corbin montre bien l’omniprésence et l’importance de cet archétype imaginal du « Nord cosmique », de la « Montagne polaire » ou du « Pôle céleste » dans leurs enseignements cosmologiques et métaphysiques, et écrit par exemple que « (…) les Hyperboréens symbolisent l’homme dont l’âme a atteint une complétude et une harmonie telles, qu’elle est sans négativité ni ombre ; elle n’est ni de l’orient ni de l’occident. (…) un paradis terrestre dans l’Extrême-Nord dont la configuration est celle d’un carré parfait, comme le var de Yima, comme les cités d’émeraude Jâbalqâ et Jâbarsâ, comme la Jérusalem céleste » (L’homme de lumière dans le soufisme iranien, Présence, 1971, p. 65).

Nous élargirons le propos en rappelant l’universalité et la floraison du symbolisme polaire, et surtout, en précisant qu’un grand nombre de civilisations traditionnelles à travers l’histoire — de l’Arabie musulmane à l’Antiquité gréco-latine en passant par l’Europe nordico-celtique, du Moyen-Orient mazdéen à la Sibérie chamanique en passant par l’Inde brahmanique, des diverses traditions amérindiennes à la Chine confucéenne en passant par les steppes païennes d’Eurasie — ont toutes connu des récits sacrés, des mythes et des légendes autour d’un situs nordique primordial, d’une région septentrionale, mi-tangible mi-éthérée, en tant que berceau géographique de l’humanité et terre édénique des Immortels.

Donnons donc quelques illustrations caractéristiques, de façon non-exhaustive bien entendu, des plus célèbres traditions autour du « Pôle » symbolique et du « Nord » cosmique.

vendidad.jpgAinsi, dans l’ancienne religion iranienne la contrée nordique et archétypique est l’Airyanem Vaejah (ou Erân-Vêj), le lieu d’origine des fameux Aryens (et plus généralement de l’humanité entière), aujourd’hui rayé des cartes suite à une terrible glaciation planétaire provoquée par les puissances ahrimaniennes. Selon le Vendidad (II, 21), le dieu céleste Ohrmazd demande à Yima, le premier homme, de construire le Var — sorte d’enclos paradisiaque incorruptible, éclairé de l’intérieur par une lumière supra-sensible — afin de se prémunir contre la catastrophe à venir et pour y rassembler les meilleurs de tous les êtres. Notons que ce territoire fortifié, situé idéalement dans les hautes régions polaires (assimilées au sommet du mont cosmique Alborj), doit être avant-tout conçu comme un domaine supra-terrestre en dehors de notre espace/temps et se présente donc comme un monde spirituel, tant génésiaque qu’eschatologique.

Des archétypes et des symboles tout à fait similaires se rencontrent aussi chez les voisins de l’Inde védique et brahmanique. Les textes de l’hindouisme parlent à cet égard d’une fabuleuse Île Blanche primordiale (Shwêta-dwîpa), située dans l’ « océan de lait » à l’extrême-nord du monde habité et considérée comme un âge d’or intemporel (on la surnomme l’ « île de la splendeur » ou le « séjour des Bienheureux »). Sur cette île trans-mondaine (amalgamée symboliquement avec le sommet du mont cosmique Mêru où se trouve l’Étoile Polaire flamboyante, le pivot central de l’univers) vivent harmonieusement tous les yogis et les hommes libérés des liens de la matière, réunis autour du dieu Vishnu sous sa forme solaire (il est présenté comme le « Blond », le « Doré » et le « portier du ciel », son palais brille de mille feux). Ce peuple d’élus est connu comme la race des Uttarakura (uttara signifiant en sanskrit « nord » ou « région la plus élevée » ; les auteurs grecs évoquent quant à eux les Attacori ou les Ottorokorai) ou les « fils de Brahma » ; voici comment les protagonistes du Mahâbhârata (III, 38-39) décrivent les habitants de ce paradis polaire : « Là nul n’était supérieur aux autres, tous avaient la même luminosité, d’un blanc étincelant. Nous pensâmes que ce continent était le séjour de la lumière des origines »…


Notons enfin que toutes ces traditions concernant le foyer arctique primitif des peuples indo-iraniens — qui revêtent prioritairement un caractère symbolique et qui sont porteuses de multiples enseignements métaphysiques — se présentent également comme un lointain souvenir d’un précédent cycle d’humanité, historique bien qu’antédiluvien. Effectivement, l’éminent savant indien Lokamanya Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak (dont la vie est aussi instructive que l’oeuvre), dans son livre d’un intérêt majeur intitulé explicitement Origine polaire de la tradition védique (Archè, 1979, p. 363) a indiscutablement démontré que les sacralités indo-aryennes proviennent d’un ancien peuple unique, originaire des régions polaires et circumpolaires, obligé de descendre vers des contrées plus méridionales suite à une catastrophe naturelle (vraisemblablement une glaciation soudaine) : « Notre objet était simplement de montrer qu’il y a suffisamment de preuves dans les Védas et l’Avesta pour établir l’existence d’une origine arctique des Aryens à l’époque interglaciaire, et le lecteur qui nous a suivis tout au long de notre exposé peut voir à présent que la théorie que nous avons tenté de démontrer est fondée sur un solide ensemble de textes et de passages qui ont été préservés par la tradition, qui appartiennent aux deux plus anciens recueils de la race aryenne, et qui trouvent une confirmation indépendante à partir de sciences telles que la géologie, l’archéologie, la paléontologie linguistique, la mythologie comparée et l’astronomie ».


En ce qui concerne les ancestrales traditions extrême-orientales (Chine, Tibet et Sibérie), le mythe universel de l’île/continent septentrionale en tant qu’ailleurs béatifique éthéré est également bien présent. Songeons par exemple aux aventures des héros civilisateurs Yu-le-Grand et Mou, les empereurs légendaires naviguant chacun vers une terre arctique merveilleuse, sorte de pays de Cocagne habité perpétuellement par les « hommes transcendants » et autres sages immortels (les textes parlent de « la race aux os mous et aux corps souples », d’hommes blancs comme la neige et volant à travers les airs) qui s’abreuvent à la fontaine de jouvence ; dans le Lie-Tseu (V, 6), nous lisons ainsi : « Alors que le grand Yu mettait de l’ordre sur terre et canalisait les eaux, il s’égara, contourna la mer du nord, et arriva, très loin, tout au septentrion, dans un pays sans vent ni pluie (…). La région est très salubre, ses habitants sont doux et simples. (…) Ils apaisent leur soif en buvant l’eau du geyser merveilleux et réparent leurs forces par un bain dans ces mêmes eaux. », et plus loin, il est dit : « Le roi Mou de Tcheou, voyageant dans le Nord, atteignit, lui aussi, cette contrée et s’y oublia durant trois années. Quant il eut rejoint son palais de Tcheou, il fut pris d’une si grande nostalgie pour ce pays qu’il fut frappé de mélancolie : il refusa de toucher à la nourriture et au vin, il refusa de voir ses femmes et ses serviteurs ».

Pour le Bouddhisme tibétain, le séjour spirituel suprême, réservé aux pieux et aux justes, est incarné symboliquement par le fameux territoire caché d’Agartha et sa capitale mystique de Tshang Shamballa, surnommée de façon explicite la « Cité du Nord » ou la « Cité de la Paix » (entendu comme la paix intérieure) ; les yogis utilisent d’ailleurs l’expression caractéristique de « chemins du Nord » pour parler de la voie initiatique menant à la délivrance finale (cela équivaut à la « voie lactée » des cultes païens, la « voie des dieux » platonicienne, la Dêva-yâna de l’Inde, le Tao chinois, le Shinto japonais ou la « voie droite » islamique).


Dans un registre similaire, les traditions ésotériques de l’Islam évoquent également une terre transfigurée (de nature psycho-cosmique dira-t-on) localisée à l’extrémité septentrionale du monde connu, pour ne pas dire au seuil de l’autre-monde. Selon les récits et les légendes du Soufisme, il est possible pour l’être engagé dans une voie de libération spirituelle — via une ascèse constante et une vision théophanique provoquée par l’imagination active, en faisant fonctionner « l’œil du coeur » — d’accéder à la cime imaginale de la montagne polaire de Qâf située in medio mundi, que l’on atteint « ni par terre ni par mer », qui est insubmersible lors des déluges et qui abrite saints et autres immortels. Sur le blanc sommet de Qâf, en ce domaine subtil des Lumières incréées, des Formes parfaites et autres Archétypes apparitionnels, les voyageurs de l’âme, revenus à « l’état primordial » d’avant la Chute, ont l’occasion de contempler et de découvrir divers endroits (ou plutôt des envers) tous plus magico-idylliques les uns que les autres, à l’image de la terre mystique de Hûrqalyâ et ses cités rayonnantes, de la Sphère des Sphères planétaires ou du Plérôme archangéliques, de l’inébranlable Rocher d’émeraude communiquant son reflet à tout le cosmos, de la Source de Vie, du Huitième Continent central (notons qu’à notre époque de souillure généralisée, le « huitième continent » désigne un gigantesque amas de déchets en plastique répugnant), ou encore de la mystérieuse Île Verte au milieu de la mer blanche.

Nous terminerons ce rapide tour d’horizon de la symbolique du « Pôle » en évoquant bien sûr les traditions de l’Antiquité gréco-latine et de l’Europe barbare nordico-celtique. Songeons simplement à la légende très connue de l’Apollon Hyperboréen (célébré notamment dans le prestigieux sanctuaire de Delphes), le dieu de la lumière civilisatrice venu des terres polaires originelles, guidé par des cygnes sacrés…

apollonleukos.jpgDe même, de nombreux philosophes antiques (Pythagore, Homère, Plutarque, Diodore, Pindare, Strabon, Pline, Cicéron… etc.) ont fait mention d’un mystérieux continent perdu (ou d’une île inaccessible) situé tout au nord de la planète, près du pôle, et considéré, comme il se doit dans la perspective traditionnelle, tel un Élysée mirifique, un jardin des délices supra-terrestre et achronique, où héros et bienheureux vivent des jours heureux. La meilleure description de cette terre céleste nous est donnée par Hécatée d’Abdère (cité par Diodore de Sicile au Livre II de sa Bibliothèque historique) plusieurs siècles avant notre ère : « Vis-à-vis de la contrée des Celtes‚ dans les parties de l’Océan‚ il y a une île appelée Leuké‚ c’est-à-dire Blanche. Latone‚ mère d’Apollon‚ y naquit‚ et à cause de cela‚ Apollon y est vénéré plus que les autres dieux (Apollon était appelé Apollon LeukosLeukiosLeukaios). Parce que les Hyperboréens de l’Île Blanche célèbrent ce dieu chaque jour et lui rendent les plus grands hommages‚ on dit que ces hommes sont les prêtres d’Apollon. (…) De cette île on peut voir la Lune‚ peu éloignée. Les souverains sont les Boréades‚ descendants de Borée. On appelait aussi cette île Helixea (Felicia) ou l’île des Bienheureux ».

D’autres auteurs ont particulièrement insisté sur les caractères éthérique, surnaturel, intemporel et paradisiaque de l’Île Blanche boréenne. Le poète Pindare, dans sa dixième Ode Pythique, précise bien que « Ni par bateaux ni par terre vous ne pourrez trouver la merveilleuse route qui vous mènerait chez les Hyperboréens » ; dans le même esprit, le navigateur semi-légendaire Pythéas le Massaliote, dans ses récits de voyage en mer du Nord (qui sont connus grâce à son De l’Océan dont de rares bribes nous sont parvenues), dépeint l’extrémité septentrionale du monde comme une zone « où on ne trouve plus de terre proprement dite, ni de mer, ni d’air, mais un mélange de tous ces éléments ». Dès lors, nous dirons simplement que l’île nordique de l’Ultima Thulé (similaire à la Tula des Hindous ou la Tullan des vieux Toltèques), de Leuké ou d’Hyperborée des traditions antiques, au même titre que l’Ogygie homérique, n’est localisable sur aucune mappemonde et est bel et bien, comme ses surnoms l’indiquent, la « terre du brouillard » ou la « terre au-delà des brumes », pour ne pas dire la terre subtile située dans les nuées des « eaux supérieures »…

Les traditions celtes et scandinaves des barbares européens ne furent pas en reste quant à ce continent polaire primordiale, d’une nature plus imaginale que géographique. Pensons par exemple aux mythiques Boréens, ces fameux « descendants de Borée » évoqués par Diodore, qui sont identiques aux « fils de Bor » de la tradition nordique (surnommés la « race d’or » et siégeant intemporellement dans le Midgard)‚ c’est-à-dire proprement les “fils de l’Ours”‚ les racines bor, bur ou bar désignant « l’ours ». Du reste, selon certains linguistes, le terme « barbare » proviendrait de l’expression wisigothique Bär Baur signifiant « fils de l’ours », et serait vraisemblablement à l’origine de notre mot « baron » ; on retrouve aussi cette dénomination chez certains peuples anciens comme les Burgondes, les Bouriates ou les Borussis (anciens noms des Prussiens).


De même‚ les racines celtes arca ou arth servent à désigner l’ours‚ la Grande Ourse ou le nord, ce qui permet d’avancer que cette “terre de l’ours” est bien située en Arctique (pensons aussi aux régions d’Arcadie ou d’Artois) ; rappelons au passage que le blason des Goths était l’ours et que les Aïnous du Japon (peuple non-asiatique d’origine paléosibérienne) se rangent eux-aussi parmi les “peuples de l’Ours” puisque leur cosmogonie affirme que l’ours divin Aïoïna a été envoyé sur terre par la divinité suprême pour les enfanter et les instruire.

Enfin, à titre anecdotique, nous tenons à citer ce curieux passage d’Hérodote (Clio IV, 7) qui rapporte une étrange croyance scythique faisant référence à une terre nordique cachée, vraisemblablement plus aérienne que physique : « Les lieux les plus lointains, au nord des régions habitées, ne sont, disent les Scythes, ni visibles ni abordables, à cause des plumes répandues en l’air et sur le sol : leur abondance est telle qu’elles interceptent la vue »…

A travers cet article et à la suite de tous ces exemples (tout à fait concordants entre eux bien qu’issus de traditions complètement disparates), l’idée principale nous souhaitions dégager est celle-ci : à une époque fort reculée, la région polaire et circumpolaire ― qui devait jouir en ces temps-là d’un climat tempéré ― a été l’un des plus importants foyers de l’espèce humaine (nous ne disons pas Le foyer de l’humanité, tel R. Guénon, mais l’un des foyers car il en existe d’autres selon nous), et, à la suite d’une catastrophe naturelle (vraisemblablement une terrible glaciation, mais certains auteurs parlent d’une inclinaison de l’axe terrestre), les hommes ont émigré vers le sud pour y fonder diverses civilisations.

Cependant, selon la loi traditionnelle d’analogie entre les causes physiques et les causes spirituelles, la question de la provenance géographique de l’humanité n’a qu’une importance secondaire. En effet, si l’on se penche de plus près sur tous les textes et les récits sacrés évoquant la terre nordique originelle, on en arrive vite à la conclusion que ce lieu idyllique devait être avant-tout d’une nature supra-terrestre : nous sommes là en face du mythe universel de la chute des anges rebelles, de l’expulsion du paradis ou de la fin de l’âge d’or, dont la signification première est celle de la solidification du proprium humain, de la dégradation ontologique de l’homme (en ce sens, on peut dire qu’il a « perdu le nord »), voyant ce dernier quitter son origine subtile et parfaite au sein de la Terre céleste éternelle pour se retrouver ici-bas, incarné dans un corps de chaire corruptible…

lundi, 22 octobre 2018

Le paradoxe de la modernité japonaise


Le paradoxe de la modernité japonaise

par Matthieu Giroux

La modernité, telle qu’elle est apparue au Japon au XIXe siècle, déroute l’Occidental qui envisage de l’interroger. Parce qu’elle est souvent perçue à tort comme un phénomène exclusivement européen, son expression japonaise se voit réduite à une tentative d’imitation ayant pour but de combler un retard économique, politique et militaire. Pourtant, dans Moderne sans être occidental : aux origines du Japon d’aujourd’hui (NRF, Gallimard, 2016), le spécialiste de l’histoire du Japon Pierre-François Souyri démontre que la modernité japonaise, loin d’être un ersatz de la modernité occidentale, possède une identité et une genèse qui lui sont propres.

nouyri.jpgL’identité entre modernisation et occidentalisation du Japon est un des lieux communs les plus véhiculés. Les écrivains, les cinéastes, mais également, ce qui est plus grave, les historiens décrivent souvent un archipel féodal qui aurait embrassé la modernité occidentale en découvrant la puissance nouvelle des empires européens en pleine expansion au milieu du XIXe siècle. Les canonnières britanniques auraient suscité chez ce peuple de tradition isolationniste un sentiment d’urgence et de faiblesse, l’obligeant à rattraper son retard technique, économique et politique. Cette approche considère donc que la modernité japonaise est le produit de l’Occident, que les causes profondes de la transformation de la société japonaise sont exogènes et que ce changement radical peut se comprendre sur le mode de la pure et simple imitation, notamment à travers des tendances nouvelles comme le nationalisme, l’impérialisme ou encore le capitalisme à la japonaise.

Pourtant, dans Moderne sans être occidental : aux origines du Japon d’aujourd’hui, Pierre-François Souyri défend la thèse d’un développement autonome en soulignant les causes internes qui ont poussé l’archipel à embrasser une modernité spécifique et, précisément, non occidentale. À ses yeux, si la modernité trouve bien son origine dans l’Europe du XVIe siècle, elle a également trouvé son expression dans le Japon du XIXe siècle qui a connu, indépendamment de l’arrivée des Américains sur son territoire, des bouleversements qui ont redéfini en profondeur l’organisation de la société japonaise ainsi que la mentalité même de son peuple. Selon lui, « la vision européenne de la modernité […] imprégnait les discours japonais, au point que certains y voient présente comme une “colonisation spirituelle de l’intérieur” qui aurait pollué leur imaginaire historique pendant plus d’un siècle ». En d’autres termes, les Japonais eux-mêmes étaient jusqu’à récemment incapables de penser leur propre modernité en dehors du paradigme occidental. Ils ont « longtemps cherché à penser l’écart qui séparait le Japon du modèle, faisant, consciemment ou pas, du “comparatisme eurocentré” ». Il n’agit pas ici d’affirmer que la modernité japonaise ne doit rien à la modernité occidentale, il s’agit bien plutôt de restituer l’originalité d’un phénomène historique en évitant de pratiquer la comparaison systématique avec le modèle européen. « Depuis une vingtaine d’années, on a en effet beaucoup revisité au Japon cette manière de voir les choses, au point que l’histoire de la modernisation japonaise se conçoit désormais à un rythme identique à celui des “grandes puissances”, avec des décalages souvent moins pertinents que l’on n’a pas voulu le penser. » Dès lors, la modernité japonaise n’est plus à appréhender négativement, c’est-à-dire en cherchant toujours ce dont le Japon ne dispose pas par rapport aux Européens, mais positivement, c’est-à-dire en réfléchissant sur la nature de cette modernité. En bref, il ne s’agit plus de raisonner en termes d’échec mais de différence. « L’histoire nous invite en effet à voir que des formes spécifiques de la modernité sont nées au Japon, avec leurs dimensions propres, hybrides et hétérogènes, et qu’elles peuvent parfois s’exporter. »

Les « Lumières » japonaises

Le changement de régime est décisif pour comprendre cette période de l’histoire du Japon. La restauration de Meiji (1867-1912), le retour au premier plan de l’empereur après plus de deux siècles de domination du shogunat des Tokugawa (1603-1867), s’inscrit dans le cadre des « Lumières » japonaises (bunmei kaika). Au IXe siècle, avec la faillite de l’État central à défendre les provinces, le pouvoir politique de l’empereur s’était estompé pour laisser place à un Japon féodal dominé par des daimyos (seigneurs) et à plusieurs siècles de guerre civile jusqu’à l’arrivée au pouvoir de Tokugawa Ieyasu au début du XVIIe siècle. L’autorité du shogunat Tokugawa s’était en partie fondée sur sa capacité à pacifier le Japon mais, face à la supériorité militaire et technique de l’Occident, le régime ne semblait plus avoir les moyens de protéger le pays. Dès lors, seul un État central doté d’une armée moderne serait en mesure d’assurer la sécurité du peuple japonais face à un éventuel envahisseur. Les partisans des « Lumières » japonaises avaient été particulièrement impressionnés par Bismarck lors de la mission Iwakura qui sillonna l’Europe de 1871 à 1873. La restauration de l’Empereur s’inscrit donc dans un contexte de modernisation et de « civilisation » mais, contrairement à la modernité occidentale, cela n’implique pas la création d’un nouveau type de régime comme en France ou aux États-Unis. L’écrivain et théoricien des idées politiques Fukuzwa Yukichi évoque une « restauration révolutionnaire ». La modernité politique japonaise a d’emblée quelque chose de « conservateur » et les occidentalistes se sont parfaitement accommodés du caractère autoritaire du nouveau régime. Le cas japonais est donc très différent des cas français et américains marqués par des révolutions intrinsèquement progressistes. De plus, si l’Occident apparaît comme un modèle sur le plan technique et militaire, il est également un rival, un ennemi qu’il faut imiter pour mieux s’en protéger. C’est donc un double-mouvement, à la fois xénophile et xénophobe, qui conditionne l’avènement de la modernité japonaise.


Cela dit, de nombreux partisans des « Lumières » estimaient que le changement politique était insuffisant et qu’il fallait également transformer la société en profondeur en influençant les mentalités. C’est le cas de la Société de l’an VI qui a importé d’Europe la pratique du débat public jusque là complètement absente dans l’archipel. « On connaissait le palabre ou la discussion informelle en petit groupe, mais le débat conflictuel n’était guère en usage. Il aurait même été choquant », explique Pierre-François Souyri. Muragaki Norimasa, chef adjoint de la délégation japonaise qui s’était rendue à Washington en 1860, avait été très surpris de la violence verbale de certains échanges au parlement. « Tel ministre pris à parti par un député répondait calmement, là où le samouraï aurait dégainé un sabre ! » Le Japon féodal était administré par les samouraïs qui respectaient un code d’honneur strict. Les élites étaient forgées par une mentalité guerrière et non politicienne. Aux insultes, on répondait par les armes. Il y avait donc un long chemin à parcourir pour faire passer cette société de la hiérarchie et de l’honneur à une société d’individus libres pratiquant le débat public et l’échange entre citoyens égaux. Certains membres de la Société de l’an VI avaient bien compris le lien qui existait entre la nature du régime politique et les mentalités individuelles, le despotisme n’étant pas vraiment en mesure de produire des individus « civilisés » comme en Occident. Le philosophe Nishi Amane affirmait : « La docilité est une qualité importante pour les Japonais. Dans un régime despotique, c’est en effet une qualité fort prisée. » Nakamura Masano, quant à lui, estima très tôt qu’il fallait créer des assemblées et des conseils élus par le peuple pour rompre avec cette tradition despotique et éveiller les Japonais à la pratique de la politique.

La « doctrine de la quintessence du pays »

Okakura_Tenshin.jpgLa modernité japonaise se caractérise également par l’émergence de nationalismes de nature différente. Si les premiers intellectuels de la période Meiji s’interrogèrent sur la possibilité d’un changement de régime pour permettre aux Japonais de disposer de plus de droits individuels (liberté de réunion, d’association, d’expression…) et de véritables libertés politiques, le débat s’est ensuite orienté sur la question de la définition de cette nouvelle identité japonaise. « À partir des années 1887-1888 […], les termes du débat évoluèrent et se cristallisèrent désormais sur la question des identités à l’intérieur de la nation, avec un balancement entre trois éléments, l’Occident et son influence toujours fascinante et menaçante, l’Orient (mais il s’agit surtout de la Chine) qui devint une sorte de terre d’utopie ou d’expansion, et le Japon enfin, dont il fallait sans cesse redéfinir l’essence entre les deux pôles précédents. » Ce qui est particulièrement intéressant dans le cas japonais, c’est que le nationalisme, qui est par excellence une doctrine politique moderne, ne s’est pas seulement constitué à partir du modèle occidental.

Okakura Tenshin (photo)

C’est notamment le cas d’une tendance nommée la « doctrine de la quintessence du pays » (kokusui shugi). « Ils se voulaient les défenseurs et les promoteurs d’une identité nationale pure, d’une forme de nationalisme d’une nature nouvelle, d’un idéalisme national », souligne Pierre-François Souyri. Dès lors, il ne faut pas imiter aveuglément le modèle occidental qui détruit ce qui fait l’identité japonaise mais construire un nationalisme capable de saisir, de respecter l’histoire et l’ethos japonais. En adoptant les mœurs et les techniques occidentales, le Japon risque de perdre son âme, de perdre ce qu’il a de spécifiquement japonais. Ceux qui défendent la « doctrine de la quintessence du pays » estiment que le Japon ne doit pas être absorbé par la modernité mais qu’il doit inventer sa propre modernité, notamment en conservant ce qu’il a de proprement asiatique.

Une notion ancienne a permis au gouvernement de Meiji de définir la nature de la nation japonaise pour faire face aux revendications populaires en même temps qu’aux tenants de l’ancien régime féodal : le kokutai qui « désigne […] la particularité nationale que constitue la dynastie impériale qui dirige le pays depuis toujours et pour l’éternité ». Pourtant, au départ, le kokutai signifiait seulement la forme et l’identité d’un État, japonais ou non. C’est une forme de nationalisme mystique au XIXe siècle qui donna au kokutai un sens nouveau et spécifiquement japonais : une doctrine conservatrice, nationale et antiféodale. L’idée de kokutai vint bouleverser les anciennes hiérarchies féodales qui structuraient la société sous la dynastie Tokugawa. Elle servit à construire un État central fort qui prônait l’égalité de tous les sujets face à la personne divinisée de l’empereur, un moyen particulièrement efficace de favoriser l’émergence d’une nation moderne. « L’empereur cumule l’autorité politique et un prestige de nature spirituelle. Il est à la fois le kaiser allemand et le pape de Rome incarné en un seul individu. » Encore une fois, on observe que la modernité politique japonaise s’est construite en empruntant et en refondant des notions héritées de la tradition, et non en faisant table rase du passé. Le terme de kokutai figurera dans la Constitution impériale de 1889. Son article premier affirme : « L’Empire du Grand Japon est placé sous le gouvernement de l’empereur dont la lignée règne sur notre pays depuis la nuit des temps. » La continuité historique de l’Empire japonais, malgré les périodes de mise à l’écart notamment sous le shogunat Tokugawa, permettait aux défenseurs du nouveau régime Meiji de se faire les garants d’une autorité politique absolue, capable de résister aux Occidentaux et de défendre une identité japonaise ancestrale menacée. Paradoxalement, cette forme nouvelle de nationalisme, par rejet des valeurs occidentales, se tourna notamment vers le confucianisme. « Si doctrine il y a, c’est plutôt une forme de syncrétisme dans lequel la pensée confucéenne la plus conformiste s’allie avec les préceptes nationaux de la pensée autochtoniste, se mélange avec des formes de darwinisme social et de nationalisme moderne », estime Pierre-François Souyri.

L’antimodernisme japonais

En 1886, Shiga Shigetaka va fonder un nouveau type de nationalisme de type culturel. Dans Des paysages du Japon (1894), il explique que la beauté de la nature japonaise est supérieure à celle des pays occidentaux et que de cette supériorité esthétique doit découler un sentiment de fierté. « Shiga fait le lien entre un discours poétique et impressionniste, et un discours naturaliste scientifique mais fondé sur la comparaison, implicite ou non, avec le reste des pays. » L’objectif de ce livre consistait à décomplexer les Japonais vis-à-vis des Occidentaux en insistant sur la beauté naturelle de l’archipel mais également en louant la grandeur de leur poésie. La pensée de Shiga va donc à l’encontre de l’universalisme des Lumières pour développer une forme nouvelle de particularisme mais sans verser dans la xénophobie de la « doctrine de la quintessence du pays » dans laquelle il ne se reconnaît pas. « Plus qu’une idéologie politique, c’est une pensée à vocation culturelle », insiste Pierre-François Souyri. Dans la même veine, on peut citer Okakura Tenshin, célèbre pour son Livre du thé, qui comprit tôt l’importance de la valorisation de l’art japonais dans la sédimentation du nouvel État. Il participa à la création de musées, à la protection du patrimoine et à l’enseignement de l’art. À ses yeux, « les beaux-arts sont la quintessence et la splendeur d’une nation ». Alors que les Japonais étaient fascinés par l’art occidental, Okakura Tenshin, qui en était un fin connaisseur, avait pour ambition de faire connaître à l’Occident l’importance de l’art japonais traditionnel. Il « [fut] à l’origine de cette image d’un Japon antimoderniste s’appuyant sur une culture japonaise mystérieuse et raffinée ». En cela, la modernité d’Okakura Tenshin peut se rapprocher de la modernité antimoderne d’un Baudelaire définie par Antoine Compagnon. Son antimodernisme est une réaction à la domination culturelle occidentale qui cherche à réactiver, dans le cadre du développement de l’État moderne, les formes esthétiques de la tradition japonaise. Ce faisant, il aurait tout de même participé à créer « une sorte d’invariance, le “Japon éternel” » ainsi que son « propre orientalisme ».

Le livre de Pierre-François Souyri permet donc de comprendre que la modernité japonaise s’est structurée autant en imitant le modèle occidental qu’en le rejetant. S’il y eut bien, dans l’histoire du Japon, un premier mouvement influencé par les Lumières européennes, il fut rapidement contrebalancé par des doctrines politiques qui cherchaient à préserver l’identité spirituelle et culturelle du Japon, en puisant dans des éléments hétérogènes : l’asiatisme, le confucianisme mais aussi dans un kokutai réinterprété. Cet ouvrage est donc une invitation à se détacher de tout ethnocentrisme pour mieux saisir les conditions de possibilité de l’émergence d’une modernité proprement japonaise. « [Cela] nous oblige à assimiler dans nos schémas mentaux cette idée simple : nous ne sommes pas les dépositaires uniques de la modernité. Celle-ci n’a pas été inventée une fois pour toutes par les Européens, et la modernité européenne n’est peut-être pas un phénomène exceptionnel et quasi miraculeux. D’autres formes de modernité se sont manifestées ailleurs, et singulièrement au Japon. »

jeudi, 18 octobre 2018

Peut-on encore soigner l’âme post-Européenne ?...


Peut-on encore soigner l’âme post-Européenne ?...

par Jure Georges Vujic

Ex: http://metapoinfos.hautetfort.com 

Nous reproduisons ci-dessous un point de vue de Jure Georges Vujic, cueilli sur Polémia et consacré à la maladie de l'âme post-européenne... Avocat franco-croate, directeur de l’Institut de géopolitique et de recherches stratégiques de Zagreb, Jure Georges Vujic est l'auteur de plusieurs essais, dont Un ailleurs européen (Avatar, 2011) et  Nous n'attendrons plus les barbares - Culture et résistance au XXIème siècle (Kontre Kulture, 2015).


L’ère de l’après Europe

Il n’y a pas si longtemps, le philosophe tchèque Jan Patocka, développait dans son livre L’Europe après l’Europe la thèse selon laquelle nous vivions dans le monde de l’« après Europe », que Patocka situe dès la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale. Une Europe dévoyée spirituellement par la « globalisation marchande » et « l’ère planétaire ». S’ interrogeant sur l’héritage européen, Patocka constate avec raison que l’Europe a renié son identité originelle et sa vocation première – celle du « soin de l’âme » – en reprenant ce thème socratique, le sacrifiant à l’adoption généralisée et démesurée du seul calcul de la puissance et des reliquats de sa suprématie déchue.

Patocka – dans la lignée des intellectuels anti-totalitaristes et libéraux tels que Kundera – élabore ensuite une analyse de l’identité de l’Europe, laquelle serait « étrangère à toute notion réductrice d’appartenance et à toute illusoire spécificité ». Bien sûr, à l’heure de la domination planétaire du marché, il serait bien  opportun de s’interroger s’il demeure encore quelque chose de « l’héritage spirituel européen »  qui pourrait nous permettre de cultiver et prendre soin de son âme, et peut être même de nous ouvrir au monde autrement, tout en ne versant pas dans un eurocentrisme étriqué ou dans un universalisme irénique et béat.

Il persiste néanmoins une aporie propre à la pensée Patockienne qui semble arraisonnée à l’horizon indépassable de la démocratie libérale : comment se soucier uniquement de l’âme européenne (enfin ce qu’il en reste) en faisant abstraction de son corps collectif que constitue ses milliers de patries charnelles ? Comment ne pas prendre acte de l’état de déliquescence morale, démographique, culturelle et identitaire de ce même corps à l’heure de l’immigration massive, la perte de sens et de la dé-souverainisation généralisée ? Comment renoncer à l’aspiration vers la puissance, seule à même de préserver l’identité propre à cette âme dans son ancrage tellurique et géopolitique qui  fait d’elle une âme-continent ?

Patries charnelles et esprit européen

Faut-il rappeler que, même si l’âme constitue l’incarnation de cette « étincelle d’éternité » en tant que fondement de notre philosophie, le corps est consubstantiel  et « représente cette enveloppe charnelle de l’âme ».
Souvenons-nous de Lucrèce : « Le corps est l’enveloppe de l’âme, qui, de son côté, en est la gardienne et la protectrice » et de Leibniz sur la nature divine du corps : « Chaque corps organique d’un vivant est d’une espèce de machine divine, ou d’un automate naturel, qui surpasse infiniment tous les automates artificiels ».

Ce corps mystique que constituent les patries charnelles de l’Europe qui, depuis l’antiquité gréco-romaine a nos jours, ont été porteuses de cette esprit et de cette spiritualité européenne, à la fois singulière et universelle.
Et c’est la raison pour laquelle on peut tout à  fait faire preuve d’ouverture spirituelle au monde tout en conservant l’identité  des peuples qui sont à la fois les composantes ethniques et les émanations identitaires subtiles et vulnérables de cette âme européenne.

Ce corps européen est à la fois  le bouclier et la cage de résonance de cet esprit européen. Charles Péguy l’affirmait : « On n’atteint le spirituel qu’à travers une patrie charnelle; il faut s’incarner ». Souvenons nous que la France est, aux yeux de Péguy, le corps qui reçoit, soigne le mieux la vérité et la justice, entendu qu’un corps peut toujours tomber malade, tuer en lui la fraternité sensible, sombrer dans la terre et le sang du nationalisme ou se dissoudre dans l’abstraction bourgeoise des droits formels.
D’autre part, cette thèse essentialiste semble aujourd’hui conforter le déni de réalité et le paradigme victimaire occidental, dont se font les portes paroles les élites politiques libérales, tout en trouvant une légitimation dans  le discours multiculturaliste et relativiste.
Ainsi, Leszek Kolakowski affirme « qu’à la même époque où l’Europe a acquis – peut-être surtout grâce au danger turc – la conscience claire de sa propre identité culturelle, elle a mis en question la supériorité de ses propres valeurs et ouvert le processus de l’autocritique permanente qui est devenue la source de sa puissance ainsi que de ses faiblesses et de sa vulnérabilité ». Si l’on suit ce discours – corroboré par  l’ethnomasochisme et l’idéologie de repentance pleurnicharde du passé colonialiste -, soigner son âme consisterait, pour l’Europe, à persévérer dans son déni de puissance.

Maladies de l’âme et post-humanité

Et pourtant, il convient de rappeler que Patocka développe sa thèse à l’aide d’un paradigme de la philosophie antique, « les soins de l’âme » étant la préoccupation première de la philosophie grecque, en tant que « philosophia medicans ».
Au regard de cette philosophie, prendre soin de l’âme consistait à éviter que les passions prennent le dessus sur la raison, étant susceptibles de nous faire souffrir.

Plutôt que la domination de l’epithumia, le siège des désirs présent dans toutes les âmes, il fallait conserver l’hêgemonikon de la raison, seul gardien de l’équilibre et la santé spirituelle et corporelle.
Diogène Laërce use de la même comparaison : « Comme on parle des infirmités du corps, la goutte, le rhumatisme, il y a aussi dans l’âme l’amour de la gloire, le goût du plaisir et choses semblables. »
La post-Europe déspiritualisée et colonisée est devenue la demeure des corps déchus et impuissants. Ce que Patocka n’a pas vu, c’est que la post-Europe semble anticiper l’après-anthropologie classique et l’impact corporel du darwinisme social postmoderne, lequel apparait sous les traits de l’ultralibéralisme global qui ne laisse plus aucune place à la sollicitude de l’âme des  peuples.

C’est sous les traits d’une hybridation généralisée et d’une consommation uniformisante qu’une nouvelle forme d’hominisation globale de l’être humain apparaît avec le globalisme, par la création et la promotion d’un génotype générique, docile consommateur entièrement conditionné par l’idéologie dominante. Cette nouvelle hominisation est à l’opposée de la bio-pluralité des peuples et de la terre qui tend de plus en plus à disparaître. Car, bien sûr, afin de détruire la singularité et l’identité spirituelle, on s’attaquera non seulement aux fondements historiques et philosophiques mais aussi en affaiblissant de l’intérieur les capacités de cette corporéité défensive.
La post-Europe est à l’image de cette post-humanité expérimentale, qui  – au nom du progrès infini, des chimères transhumanistes, du marché et du capital – réifie le monde et les peuples en valeur d’échanges.

Ainsi, l’Europe ne renouera avec son âme originelle qu’en prenant conscience de cette maladie de la démesure, de l’hybriséconomique et marchand, de l’individualisme libéral et hédoniste qui gangrènent et handicapent son corps charnel, ses ressorts virils de défense et d’affirmation souveraine.
Cette prise de conscience collective a eu lieu a l’Est européen, dans les patries charnelles de Patocka, Kundera, Kolakowski, Czeslaw Milosz qui, conscientes des menaces de cette maladie contaminatrice venue de l’Occident libéral, ont pris soin de leurs âmes mais aussi de leur corps collectif et, de ce faits sont devenues, comme Valery le préconisait, les porteurs d’une nouvelle espérance, les porteurs du renouveau de la « politique de l’esprit », une authentique « puissance de transformation ».

Jure Georges Vujic (Polémia, 15 octobre 2018)

vendredi, 14 septembre 2018

Leopold Ziegler. Eine Schlüsselfigur im Umkreis des Denkens von Ernst und Friedrich Georg Jünger


Leopold Ziegler.

Eine Schlüsselfigur im Umkreis

des Denkens von Ernst und

Friedrich Georg Jünger

ISBN: 978-3-8260-3935-5
Autor: Kölling Timo
Year of publication: 2008
Price: 26,00 euro

Pagenumbers: 172
Language: deutsch

Short description: Der große Einfluß, den das Werk des Philosophen Leopold Ziegler (1881-1958) auf das Denken der Brüder Ernst Jünger und Friedrich Georg Jünger ausgeübt hat, ist bislang nicht nur unterschätzt, sondern im Grunde überhaupt noch nicht zur Kenntnis genommen worden. Die vorliegende Studie, die zugleich als Einführung in Zieglers Werk gelesen werden kann, legt diesen Einfluß erstmals frei. Im Zentrum steht der Nachweis, daß Ernst Jüngers umstrittene und in vielerlei Hinsicht rätselhafte Konzeption des „Arbeiters“ als metaphysische „Gestalt“ sich in allen ihren wesentlichen Momenten auf Leopold Zieglers Buch „Gestaltwandel der Götter“ zurückführen läßt. Der entscheidende Grundgedanke Zieglers wird von Jünger aber in sein Gegenteil verkehrt: aus der philosophisch fruchtbaren Konzeption einer mystischen Teilhabe wird die theoretische Sackgasse einer magischen Identitätstheorie. Der Aufweis dieser Differenz erlaubt es, Zieglers Denken, das in seinem Kern der Versuch einer zeitgemäßen Erneuerung der Philosophia Perennis mit den Mitteln einer negativen Geschichtsphilosophie ist, gegen das Konstrukt der sogenannten „Konservativen Revolution“ abzugrenzen. Der Autor Timo Kölling lebt und arbeitet als freier Schriftsteller in Frankfurt am Main. Seit März 2007 Arbeitsstipendium der Leopold-Ziegler-Stiftung. http://www.leopold-ziegler-stiftung.de

leopold ziegler,révolution conservatrice,livre,tradition,traditionalisme,ernst jünger,friedrich-georg jünger,allemagne,philosophie

Leopold Ziegler,

Philosoph der letzten Dinge.

Eine Werkgeschichte 1901-1958.

Beiträge zum Werk, Bd. 4

ISBN: 978-3-8260-6111-0
Autor: Kölling, Timo
Band Nr: 4
Year of publication: 2016
58,00 EUR - excl.Shipping costs
Pagenumbers: 540
Language: deutsch

Short description: Leopold Ziegler (1881–1958) ist der Poet unter den deutschsprachigen Philosophen des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts. Seiner Philosophie eignet ein künstlerischer Zug, der ihren sachlichen Gehalt zugleich realisiert und verschließt, ausdrückt und verbirgt. Ziegler hat sein Anliegen in Anknüpfung an Jakob Böhme, Franz von Baader und F. W. J. Schelling als „theosophisches“ kenntlich gemacht und damit die Grenzen der akademischen Philosophie seiner Zeit weniger ausgelotet als ignoriert und überschritten. Timo Köllings im Auftrag der Leopold-Ziegler- Stiftung verfasstes Buch ist nicht nur das erste zu Ziegler, das nahezu alle veröffentlichten Texte des Philosophen in die Darstellung einbezieht, sondern auch eine philosophische Theorie von Zieglers Epoche und ein Traktat über die Wiederkehr eines eschatologischen Geschichtsbildes im 20. Jahrhundert.

Der Autor Timo Kölling ist Lyriker und Philosoph. Als Stipendiat der Leopold-Ziegler-Stiftung veröffentlichte er 2009 bei Königshausen & Neumann sein Buch „Leopold Ziegler. Eine Schlüsselfigur im Umkreis des Denkens von Ernst und Friedrich Georg Jünger“.

Paganisme et christianisme populaire, remparts de la civilisation européenne


Paganisme et christianisme populaire, remparts de la civilisation européenne

par Thomas Ferrier

Ex: http://thomasferrier.hautetfort.com 

Le Parti des Européens souffre d’un malentendu quant à ses positions sur les questions de religion, donnant parfois l’impression aux euro-chrétiens qu’il s’oppose à eux. 

Pourtant, le programme du parti explicite clairement la défense des religions d’Europe dans leurs espaces enracinés, à savoir non seulement l’euro-paganisme sous ses différentes « chapelles » mais aussi les trois christianismes (catholicisme, réforme et églises orthodoxes nationales), le judaïsme en raison de l’ancienneté de sa présence historique en Europe, comparable au parsisme en Inde, et l’islam enraciné qu’on retrouve dans les Balkans, dans le Caucase et dans certaines républiques autonomes de Russie (comme le Tatarstan). C’est la notion d’enracinement sur la longue durée qui est ici essentielle.

L’analyse historique des origines proche-orientales du christianisme, tant sur le plan historique (Ramsay Mac Mullen, Thomas Römer…) que philosophique (Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Soler, Michel Onfray…), ne saurait se confondre avec une démarche politique. 

La réalité sombre de la christianisation, à partir du règne de Constantin, loin du conte pour enfants d’une conversion spontanée et heureuse des Européens, doit être acceptée comme le fait historique indiscutable qu’il est. Le christianisme était l’une des religions orientales qui s’est développée au bas-empire, comme le mithraïsme et le manichéisme, et Constantin fut un Açoka qui a réussi (le roi indien Açoka échoua à imposer le bouddhisme aux Indiens). 

Constantin y trouva son intérêt, considérant l’adhésion au monothéisme comme une manière de renforcer l’autocratisme et tous les rois « barbares » qui l’imiteront agiront dans le même sens. « Un seul Dieu, un seul roi ». La disparition de la démocratie scandinave à l’époque viking au profit de la monarchie est concomitante de l’adoption du christianisme. Les résistances furent nombreuses et ce pendant des siècles. Ainsi trois siècles après la conversion de Vladimir, des prêtres païens animent encore la révolte à proximité de Kiev. Et cinq siècles après la loi de Théodose de 392 interdisant le culte des dieux, suivi en 394 de l’interdiction des Jeux Olympiques, la Laconie autour de Sparte était encore majoritairement païenne.

Le pape Grégoire Ier autour de l’an 600, confronté aux résistances des Européens païens, décida d’une politique audacieuse, qui a été de récupérer les lieux de culte et les divinités locales des païens, de les christianiser en offrant aux populations des substituts acceptables. C’est ainsi que des saints imaginaires succédèrent aux dieux, que les fêtes païennes devinrent les fêtes chrétiennes, et que des pans entiers de la tradition indo-européenne furent sauvés par une église qui trois siècles avant ne rêvait que de la faire disparaître.

C’est ce que l’on nomme le pagano-christianisme ou la double foi (en russe : двоеверие) et qui a été la religion de l’Europe chrétienne médiévale. C’est ce christianisme populaire et laïc, s’opposant aux dogmes du clergé, qui constitue encore la religiosité de l’Europe contemporaine, avec ses baptêmes et ses mariages à l’église. Il est bien différent des « valeurs devenues folles » fustigées par G. K. Chesterton et en revanche encensées par le pape François et par un clergé fondamentalement athée et qui ne prône plus d’un vague globalisme moral. C’est le christianisme du bon sens de l’Européen moyen, qui refuse l’implantation de migrants, comme en Pologne et en Hongrie. C’est le christianisme de Salvini ou d’Orban face au pape. C’est le christianisme modeste et sans excès de Vladimir Poutine. C’est moins le cas de Jaroslaw Kaczynski, qui paraît trop bigot.

Le christianisme populaire n’est pas en effet la bigoterie sectaire, mais une religiosité tolérante et la manifestation de la fidélité à ses ancêtres, à ses parents. Un tel christianisme ne s’oppose pas à la renaissance païenne mais l’accompagne même avec bienveillance.

Car la révélation de ce début du XXIème siècle en Europe, c’est le retour du paganisme ou euro-paganisme (pour le distinguer des polythéismes non-européens), et notamment en Europe scandinave et en Europe centrale et orientale. Il n’est pas tant une réaction au christianisme clérical qu’une affirmation identitaire d’une religiosité plus nationale, plus enracinée encore, mais aussi plus proche de la nature. La « vraie religion de l’Europe » n’entend pas reprendre sa place ancienne en imitant la religion qui s’est substituée à elle. Elle ne rêve pas d’une revanche ni d’un nouveau Julien. Peut-être espère-t-elle en revanche un Numa Pompilius pour l’organiser et lui donner les moyens de son culte.

En effet, sous la forme d'asatru dans les pays germano-scandinaves, de la rodnoverie « foi native » dans les pays slaves, en Ukraine comme en Russie pourtant contextuellement opposées, et sous divers noms partout sur le continent (suomenusko en Finlande, hellenismos en Grèce, Ősmagyar vallás en Hongrie, religio romana en Italie, draiocht « druidisme » en Irlande, romuva en Lituanie, hetanosyun en Arménie), l’euro-paganisme est à nouveau présent en 2018. Beaucoup d'euro-chrétiens l'acceptent volontiers et sont loin de s'en offusquer, à la différence du Vatican qui s'en inquiète.

Il ne faut pas opposer euro-paganisme et euro-christianisme ou « christianisme populaire européen », mais les associer pour susciter le renouveau spirituel qui fait défaut à l’Europe et pour en faire les instruments de la résistance au globalisme, un globalisme soutenu par l’actuel Vatican comme paradoxalement par ses pires adversaires. Le bon sens de l’Européen, chrétien comme païen, sera la réponse appropriée pour en triompher.

Thomas FERRIER (Le Parti des Européens)

dimanche, 02 septembre 2018

La mode : les manipulations physiques de la subversion mondiale


La mode : les manipulations physiques de la subversion mondiale

par Pierre-Emile Blairon

Nous avons plusieurs corps

Les traditions indoues distinguent chez l’individu cinq types de corps subtils, par ordre ascendant de l’immatérialité : le corps physique, puis éthérique, astral, causal, et mental.

La Tradition primordiale, qui inclut les traditions indoues et toutes les autres, admet comme seule hiérarchie celle qui va du haut vers le bas, donc du supérieur à l’inférieur, de la Tradition aux traditions, du spirituel au matériel, de l’intérieur à l’extérieur, du naturel à l’artificiel, du fondamental au superficiel, de l’être au paraître, principe que nous avons signifié symboliquement par la roue[1] où le moyeu immobile, au point le plus central et le plus intérieur, représente le fondement immuable, intangible, permanent, celui qui ne tourne pas, et, au bout des rayons qui convergent vers ce centre, en contact direct avec le sol et la matérialité, le cercle de fer ou de bois, le point le plus extérieur.

Comme tout est analogique, le corps humain procède du même principe. Le plus vulnérable, soumis à toutes les agressions, est sa surface, sa peau, tout comme l’écorce de la Terre est la partie la plus fragile de son entité.

Cette hiérarchie s’applique avec toute sa force au début d’un cycle civilisationnel (ce que les Grecs appelaient l’Age d’or) mais, les civilisations étant aussi mortelles que tout ce qui vit, le déclin advient lentement, amenuise leurs défenses immunitaires et les rend plus vulnérables, les sciences sacrées cèdent la place aux profanes, les exigeants fondements spirituels sont grignotés par les besoins matériels créées artificiellement.

Des fonctions qui ne sont plus vitales

Les fonctions qui étaient vitales et nécessaires autrefois : se nourrir, se protéger des variations climatiques (les vêtements) et des agressions (la maison) n’ont cessé de grossir artificiellement – le règne de la quantité, qui est aussi celui de l’argent - (prolifération des obèses, accroissement de l’offre vestimentaire, envolée des prix du logement) alors mêmes qu’elles sont devenues superflues puisqu’abondantes dans nos sociétés occidentalisées. D’autres fonctions sont apparues, communication, déplacements, loisirs… qui ne sont ni vitales ni nécessaires mais tout aussi superflues et pléthoriques.

A la fin du dernier Age, l’Age de fer, celui dont nous vivons les derniers instants, les valeurs positives de bon sens, de respect et de rectitude qui maintenaient l’équilibre de la société et réglaient sa bonne marche sont désavouées, ignorées, méprisés et périclitent sous les coups de boutoir des populations fanatisées ou décérébrées par les gourous du désordre mondial et du chaos qui prêchent l’uniformité, la confusion, la facilité, l’hédonisme, l’égalitarisme et l’anarchie. Toutes les fins de cycle civilisationnelles voient l’apparition de non-valeurs qui sont l’inversion systématique de celles qui constituaient la colonne vertébrale des dites civilisations.

Le corps vestimentaire

A la liste des cinq types de corps subtils, nous ajouterons un corps de plus, dans le sens de la matérialité : le corps vestimentaire, qui constitue comme une seconde peau de l’Homme.

Sans remonter aux débuts de notre cycle (ni même à celui de notre dernier Age, le Kali-Yuga, qui a commencé son processus involutif 4500 ans avant notre ère), en s’en tenant aux temps historiques bien plus récents, on sait que le vêtement était très codifié, en accord avec le type de culture que s’était donnée la communauté de sang et de sol qui l’avait adopté ; parmi les exemples les plus intéressants, celui des clans écossais qui portaient des tartans (kilts) dont les couleurs étaient tirées de plantes qui poussaient sur le sol qu’ils occupaient. Cette coutume est très ancienne puisqu’on a retrouvé des momies tokhariennes dans le désert du Tarim en Chine, qui vivaient 3500 ans avant notre ère ; ces momies portant des tartans sont supposées être indo-européennes, voire ancêtres des Celtes.

Le vêtement, à l’origine marque d’une tribu, d’une communauté, d’un clan, d’une fonction, s’est ensuite individualisé chez presque tous les peuples du monde, pour s’uniformiser en même temps que progressait l’emprise du mondialisme initié par la sous-culture américaine destructrice des cultures natives. L’Homme est passé, sans se révéler entièrement en tant qu’être humain, du statut naturel à celui de la machine et même de « produit ».

Le vêtement : voile ou dévoilement de l’être intérieur ?

En Europe, les familles royales qui voulaient s’accaparer le plus de territoire possible ont pratiqué une centralisation effrénée et ont exigé de leurs vassaux l’abandon des langues, coutumes et vêtements régionaux bien vite méprisés. La « mode » en pratique dans les cours royales, commune à toute l’Europe, est née mais le rapport avec les fondamentaux traditionnels a subsisté sous d’autres formes et l’élégance qui a remplacé la tradition est l’une des formes de cet héritage ancien.

Quelques princesses ont été remarquées et admirées dans ces cours, non seulement pour leur beauté, mais aussi pour leur maintien, leur port de tête. Certains hommes, princes et officiers, se distinguaient par leur stature, une élégance désinvolte et une prestance qui les supposaient aussi à l’aise à cheval sur un champ de bataille que sous les lustres des salons royaux.

Les cas extrêmement rares où la beauté extérieure reflète parfaitement la beauté intérieure sont une résurgence miraculeuse des temps anciens où cette adéquation était la règle ; où le paraître était l’expression de l’être ; la cohésion de la personne était assurée par la cohérence de ses divers composants ; c’était de vrais aristocrates, qui n’avaient pas besoin de prouver leurs quartiers de noblesse qui trouvaient leurs sources dans les traditions enfouies.

Chez les Européens de l’Ouest, certains peuples ont conservé cet héritage à travers leurs traditions, comme en témoignent encore de nos jours les Arlésiennes ou les Bavarois. Les Françaises, d’une manière générale, ont su longtemps imposer leur distinction naturelle et leur grâce au monde jusqu’à une période très récente ; ce fut ensuite la dégringolade et la disparition quasi-totale de tout ce qui pouvait se rapporter à cette intelligence du goût et de la beauté.


La dictature de l’informe

On peut facilement situer ce basculement qui a vu disparaître toute trace de raffinement en France après les manifestations des « révoltés » de mai 68, petits-bourgeois, enfants de grands bourgeois, ceux-là même qui sont maintenant au pouvoir.

La forme a alors disparu au profit de l’informe et la prestance au profit de l’inconsistance. Le vêtement reflétait bien la décomposition des caractères et des corps.

Les pseudo-rebelles de 68 se sont insurgés contre les uniformes (surtout militaires)… pour en adopter d’autres ; après le passage de ces gauchistes qui prétendaient s’affranchir de la pesanteur américaine sur la culture mondiale, on a vu déferler en France et en Europe le « style » américain : baskets, jeans, tee-shirts, casquettes ; les petits écoliers français et européens ont été sommés d’adopter cet uniforme sous peine d’être exclus des cours de récréation.

Les enfants du nouveau système, lentement dépossédés de toute éducation, d’exemple, de repères et, plus encore, d’héritage culturel, se glissèrent avec joie sous le rouleau compresseur de Big Brother ; le mimétisme et le paraître devinrent pour eux les seules attitudes gratifiantes, l’argent, qui leur permettait d’acheter les gadgets à la mode, la seule valeur susceptible d’éveiller chez eux un soupçon d’intérêt.

Des trous à l’âme

Le débraillé vestimentaire, l’absence de recherche esthétique, a ensuite franchi un nouveau pas au début du XXIe siècle avec la mode des jeans troués qui nous fait penser aux « trous » du corps astral, lorsque l’individu est en état d’agression ou de faiblesse, et nous pensons aussi aux trous de la couche d’ozone, agression opérée par l’être humain sur la nature.

Pendant ce temps, les couturiers invertis – il fallait bien ceux-là dans une société en inversion complète des valeurs - qui donnent le ton de ce qu’on appelle la « mode » dans les salons parisiens, anglais, italiens ou américains ne visent qu’à ridiculiser les femmes et efféminer les hommes. Il suffit de voir les vidéos des défilés conçus par ces « génies » de la « haute » couture pour réaliser à quel niveau de perversité le citoyen est tenu d’adhérer[2]. Le « show » que nous avait offert le Président de la République sur le perron de l’Elysée le 21 juin 2018 procède de la même démarche « esthétique ».

C’est vrai qu’il n’y a là qu’un très lointain rapport avec cette mode populaire somme toute banale, et presque innocente, des jeans troués. Encore faut-il bien comprendre ce que cette démarche qui consiste à acheter un jeans usagé (quelquefois beaucoup plus cher qu’un neuf) dans une boutique représente d’absurde et de pathologique.


Une ethnospiritualité de l’enveloppe

Mais il y a plus grave. Le jeans troué est le symptôme de l’attaque de forces négatives sur le processus même de la vie, le processus vital. Le vêtement, symboliquement, est une protection (sans doute illusoire concrètement) contre les agressions extérieures. Le triomphe de la matière advient quand elle commence à grignoter ce qui n’est plus de son domaine. Sous son action, le corps vestimentaire se délite, devient poreux, le chemin vers le centre intérieur s’insinue par les brèches ouvertes. L’usure de l’enveloppe, qui était naturelle et l’œuvre du temps, est devenue artificielle et l’œuvre de puissances malsaines.

Mais les forces de la subversion mondiale ne s’en sont pas tenues là ; l’objectif, leur semble-t-il, est à leur portée.

Sous le corps vestimentaire commence le corps physique qui, tout physique qu’il est, n’en fait pas moins partie des cinq corps subtils de la Tradition. La peau est son enveloppe extérieure. Première ou ultime protection selon qu’on l’envisage de l’extérieur ou de l’intérieur. Notre corps recèle en effet d’autres système de protection, contre les multiples agressions, extérieures ou intérieures (les maladies). Mais la peau constitue aussi l’interface entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur, entre la matière et le spirituel. Et elle donne aussi à connaître au monde le mode de vie et le sol que le divin, qui n’aime pas l’uniformité, a choisi pour matérialiser l’âme que transporte ce corps sur notre Terre : notamment sa couleur.

Les forces anti-traditionnelles s’efforcent de nier cette évidence par tout un système de propagande que nous connaissons bien. Ceci reste du domaine de l’idéologie mais ces forces négatives s’attaquent désormais concrètement, matériellement, à cette protection naturelle et à cette forme d’identité qu’est la peau par le biais, encore une fois, de la mode.

Il faut sauver sa peau !

Toutes les formes d’agression sont utilisées pour décomposer et meurtrir cette enveloppe. La contre-tradition, comme son nom l’indique déjà, est une imposture qui s’efforce de reprendre maladroitement les codes présumés et incompris de la Tradition qui seraient restés vaguement ancrés dans les esprits, comme une mémoire collective. C’est ainsi que prolifèrent sur les visages des jeunes gens (mais aussi des plus âgés, mais aussi ailleurs que sur les visages) toutes sortes d’anneaux ou de bijoux accrochés, insérés, à toutes les parties symboliques du corps comme il était souvent coutume chez les peuples dits primitifs (lesquels sont en réalité des peuples tardifs découlant d’un processus dégénératif, mais ceci est une autre histoire[3]). De même que les scarifications en pratique chez ces peuples lors de rites initiatiques sont reprises sous forme de tatouages indiscrets et pléthoriques qui font ressembler de frêles jeunes filles européennes à de vigoureux camionneurs ou à des membres de la secte japonaise des Yakuzas.

La subversion mondiale, qui croit avoir déjà gagné, n’a qu’un but : atteindre le centre de la Tradition pour le détruire et empêcher le retour à un nouveau cycle. Le corps humain est la représentation analogique du corps de la Tradition et la plus vulnérable. Il convient que chacun résiste à cette intrusion.


Face à ces agressions, que doivent faire les hommes différenciés ?

Les hommes différenciés sont, selon l’expression employée par Julius Evola, cette infime minorité de personnes lucides et responsables, celle-là même qui est investie d’une mission propre à faire repartir la roue du temps pour un nouveau cycle.

Selon Guénon, les individus n’ayant pas su conserver dans leurs différents êtres une cohérence et une consistance seront irrémédiablement condamnés à disparaître, à se « volatiliser »  lorsqu’adviendra, inévitablement, la catastrophe finale ; seule, une minorité, dotée encore de la conscience des valeurs traditionnelles primordiales, un souvenir de l’Age d’Or, ayant conservé les repères naturels, biologiques, spirituels, culturels, intellectuels, émotifs, de la Tradition, sera sauvegardée afin d’accomplir sa mission de transition, cette mission consistant à semer les germes du nouveau cycle.

L’on n’est pas toujours maître de son apparence physique mais on est presque toujours responsable de l’aspect de son corps vestimentaire et, plus intimement, de son enveloppe corporelle.

Il convient donc pour ces personnes appartenant à cette minorité de ressembler à ce qu’elles sont, ou à ce qu’elles essayent d’être sans qu’il y ait, entre les différents corps, de visible différence. Le principe étant celui de l’équilibre et du bon sens. Il est indispensable de recentrer ses différents corps pour les besoins de sa cohérence psychologique et de sa cohésion physique. La tradition exige de disposer d’une colonne vertébrale solide et de présenter une forme définie dans toutes les circonstances de la vie. Il appartient à chacun, à la fois dans sa démarche spirituelle et dans son comportement extérieur, d’être à la hauteur de ce qu’il est ou de ce qu’il prétend être, dans son désir d’être perfectible.

La vie est faite de signes perceptibles et apparents ; mais les symbolistes savent qu’un monde parallèle existe qui est fait de signes imperceptibles et apparents seulement à certains, et que ces signes sont aussi nombreux, aussi clairs et aussi évidents que ceux du monde directement perceptible. Le paraître est une composante essentielle de la vie ; il n’est superficiel, inconsistant, que si on l’est soi-même profondément. Le paraître est le miroir de ce que nous sommes au regard des autres ; il n’est l’œuvre que de notre intelligence, de notre sensibilité et de notre volonté ; il est un aspect de l’exercice de notre responsabilité, de notre libre-arbitre, il reflète, dans la forme, le respect que nous avons de nous-mêmes et des autres. Il nous situe, et nous revendiquons cette situation.


[1] Pierre-Emile Blairon, La Roue et le sablier, Amazon

[2] https://www.vogue.fr/video/vogue-hommes/videos/les-backstage-du-defile-man-printemps-ete-2019-a-la-fashion-week-de-londres/34833

[3] Julius Evola : La Métaphysique du sexe, éditions L’Age d’Homme, page 18.

dimanche, 05 août 2018

Invoquons Mars, père des Européens !


Invoquons Mars, père des Européens !

Mars, père des Européens

par Thomas Ferrier

Ex: http://thomasferrier.hautetfort.com

Il est le dieu latin de la guerre, et si son nom de Mars est connu de tous, il était également appelé Mamers et surtout Mavors, directement issu de son nom indo-européen originel *Maworts (génitif *Mawertos), désignant le dieu de l’orage et de la guerre, correspondant au dieu letton Martins et aux divinités indiennes de l’orage, les Maruts, qui font partie du cortège d’Indra. Sous d’autres noms indo-européens, Mars correspond au Thor scandinave ou au Perun slave, et bien sûr à l’Arès grec.

C’est le dieu du « printemps sacré » (uer sacrum), lorsque toute la jeunesse d’une tribu est envoyée fonder une nouvelle cité guidée par un animal sacré associée au dieu. Les Mamertins furent guidés par le dieu en personne sous sa forme physique, comme leur nom l’indique. Les Eques furent guidés par un cheval envoyé par Mars, tandis que les Taurins avaient été guidés par un taureau, les Hirpins pas un loup, les Picéniens par un pivert, et toute la nation italique, le nom originel étant Vitalia, le pays des (troupeaux de) veaux, est en réalité associée au dieu Mars.

Parmi tous les peuples et au sein des peuples latins, la cité de Rome est des plus éminentes. La tradition attribue sa fondation à deux jumeaux, Romulus et Rémus, fils de Mars et de la vestale Rhea Silvia, elle-même fille de Numitor, le roi d’Albe, et que son oncle Amulius avait fait enfermer. Les jumeaux furent protégés par un pivert et une louve envoyés par leur père. Et un couple de bergers les adopta, ignorant leur origine divine et royale. C’est ainsi que Mars fut qualifié de « père des Romains ».

Lorsque Romulus et ses hommes enlevèrent les filles sabines, les mariages furent bénis par Venus Cloacina, épouse de Mars. C’est ainsi que Rutilius Namatianus, douze siècles plus tard, dira des Romains qu’ils associent les qualités réunies de Mars et de Venus, mère d’Enée par ailleurs. C’est sous la forme d’un nuage d’orage que Mars enlèvera par la suite son fils Romulus, devenu alors le dieu Quirinus, et l’emmènera sur l’Olympe.

Père des Romains, il s’assura toujours d’intervenir aux côtés des légions face au danger et plusieurs soldats à plusieurs époques témoigneront de la présence à leur côté d’une figure puissante galvanisant leur élan guerrier. Il est vrai que les Grecs aussi chantaient le péan afin qu’Arès soit parmi eux. Protecteur de César, qui dédaigna malgré tout ses avertissements, comme lorsque le dieu fit tinter ses lances dans la Regia la veille de son assassinat, il veilla auprès d’Octavien et d’Antoine afin que le dictateur soit vengé. C’est Mars Vengeur (Ultor) qui porta la colère des légions contre Brutus et Cassius. C’était aussi Mars Vengeur qui avait incité Brutus l’ancien à chasser les rois étrusques, Brutus qui avait dédié le poignard de Lucrèce au dieu puis offert un champ à celui-ci, le Champ de Mars (Campus Martius).

A la tête des armées de la république, il était Mars Gradivus, qui parcourt le champ de bataille afin d’occire les ennemis de la cité. Et en temps de paix, il devenait Mars Quirinus, « rassembleur du peuple », et à l’occasion protecteur du blé contre la rouille, agissant en guerrier même sur le champ du paysan latin.

Par la guerre, il amenait la paix. On l’honorait comme Mars Pacifer, lorsqu’il apportait la paix, et comme Mars Pacator, quand il revenait vainqueur de la bataille. Bien avant le dieu du soleil (Sol Invictus), Mars était dit Invictus, c’est-à-dire invaincu et invincible. Il était souvent simplement vainqueur, Mars Victor, aux côtés d’une Venus Victrix l’accompagnant tout comme Nerio, Bellone et Minerve au combat.

Au sein de la légion, Mars était devant et harcelait l’ennemi, il était Propugnator. Les cris de colère des Gaulois invoquant leur dieu champion, Camulos, lui répondaient. Et lorsque la légion était triomphante, et que l’empire s’étendait, il était honoré comme dieu Propagator. C’est ainsi que les valeurs de la Rome italique s’étendaient jusque dans les provinces orientales, sans grand succès ceci dit dans ce dernier cas.
L’empereur Maxence, face à Constantin qui se tournait vers un dieu étranger, honora à son tour Mars Propagator et donna même à son propre fils le prénom de Romulus. Il reconstruit quatre-vingt temples à Rome comme l’empereur Auguste en son temps s’en était vanté dans ses Res Gestae. Et Julien lui-même voulut sacrifier à Mars avant sa guerre contre les Perses. Mais le dieu ayant envoyé des signes contraires, tout comme César avant lui, Julien négligea son message et trouva la mort au combat, transpercé d’une lance revendiquée par le parti chrétien.

Mais Mars était là en témoin silencieux lorsque l’armée européenne d’Arbogast fut écrasée par l’armée chrétienne de l’empereur Théodose. Il ne sauva pas Rome car il avait promis douze siècles, et pas un de plus, à Romulus, comme les douze vautours que ce dernier avait vus dans le ciel.

Et aujourd’hui, alors que l’Europe est menacée comme jamais elle ne l’a été de toute son histoire, et que son existence même est en question, il est temps d’invoquer la puissance de celui qui ne fut pas seulement le père des Romains mais qui est aussi celui de tous les Européens, amis de la bravoure comme les qualifiait Hippocrate il y a 2.500 ans, de tous ces *Āryōs ancestraux dont Arès porte le nom.

Mars, uigila !

mardi, 17 juillet 2018

Tolkien & the Kalevala


Tolkien & the Kalevala

Among the vast array of sources that influenced Tolkien in the creation of his legendarium was the Kalevala, a collection of Finnish folk poetry compiled and edited by the Finnish physician and philologist Elias Lönnrot. Much scholarship exists on Tolkien’s Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon influences, but his interest in the Kalevala is not as often discussed. 

kalevala.jpgThe Kalevala was first published in 1835, but the tales therein date back to antiquity and were handed down orally. The poems were originally songs, all sung in trochaic tetrameter (now known as the “Kalevala meter”). This oral tradition began to decline after the Reformation and the suppression of paganism by the Lutheran Church. It is largely due to the efforts of collectors like Lönnrot that Finnish folklore has survived.

Lönnrot’s task in creating the Kalevala was to arrange the raw material of the poems he collected into a single literary work with a coherent arc. He made minor modifications to about half of the oral poetry used in the Kalevala and also penned some verses himself. Lönnrot gathered more material in subsequent years, and a second edition of the Kalevala was published in 1849. The second edition consists of nearly 23,000 verses, which are divided into 50 poems (or runos), further divided into ten song cycles. This is the version most commonly read today.

The main character in the Kalevala is Väinämöinen, an ancient hero and sage, or tietäjä, a man whose vast knowledge of lore and song endows him with supernatural abilities. Other characters include the smithing god Ilmarinen, who forges the Sampo; the reckless warrior Lemminkäinen; the wicked queen Louhi, ruler of the northern realm of Pohjola; and the vengeful orphan Kullervo.

Much of the plot concerns the Sampo, a mysterious magical object that can produce grain, salt, and gold out of thin air. The exact nature of the Sampo is ambiguous, though it is akin to the concept of the world pillar or axis mundi. Ilmarinen forges the Sampo for Louhi in return for the hand of her daughter. Louhi locks the Sampo in a mountain, but the three heroes (Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen, and Lemminkäinen) sail to Pohjola and steal it back. During their journey homeward, Louhi summons the sea monster Iku-Turso to destroy them and commands Ukko, the god of the sky and thunder, to incite a storm. Väinämöinen wards off Iku-Turso but loses his kantele (a traditional Finnish stringed instrument that Väinämöinen is said to have created). A climax is reached when Louhi morphs into an eagle and attacks the heroes. She seizes the Sampo, but Väinämöinen attacks her, and it falls into the sea and is destroyed. Väinämöinen collects the fragments of the Sampo afterward and creates a new kantele. In nineteenth-century Finland, Väinämöinen’s fight against Louhi was seen as the embodiment of Finland’s struggle for nationhood.

It is likely that Finland would not exist as an independent nation were it not for the Kalevala. The poem was central to the Finnish national awakening, which began in the 1840s and eventually resulted in Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia in December 1917. It also played a role in the movement to elevate the Finnish language to official status.

The publication of the Kalevala brought about a flowering of artistic and literary achievement in Finland. The art of Finland’s greatest painter, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, is heavily influenced by Finnish mythology and folk art, and many of his works (The Defence of the Sampo, The Forging of the Sampo, Lemminkäinen’s Mother, Kullervo Rides to War, Kullervo’s Curse, Joukahainen’s Revenge) depict scenes from the Kalevala. The Kalevala has also influenced a number of composers, most notably Sibelius, whose Kalevala-inspired compositions include his Kullervo, Tapiola, Lemminkäinen Suite, Luonnotar, and Pohjola’s Daughter.

Tolkien first read the Kalevala at the age of 19. The poem had a great impact on him and remained one of his lifelong influences. While still at Oxford, he wrote a prose retelling of the Kullervo cycle. This was his first short story and “the germ of [his] attempt to write legends of [his] own.”[1] His fascination with the Kalevala during this time also inspired him to learn Finnish, which he likened to an “amazing wine” that intoxicated him.[2] Finnish was an important influence on the Elvish language Quenya.

In the Kalevala, Kullervo is an orphan whose tribe was massacred by his uncle Untamo. After attempting in vain to kill the young Kullervo, Untamo sells him as a slave to Ilmarinen and his wife. Kullervo later escapes and learns that some of his family are still alive, though his sister is still considered missing. He then seduces a girl who turns out to be his sister; she kills herself upon this realization. Kullervo vows to gain revenge on Untamo and massacres Untamo’s tribe, killing each member. He returns home to find the rest of his family dead and finally kills himself in the spot where he seduced his sister. The character of Kullervo was the main inspiration for Túrin Turambar in The Silmarillion.


There are a handful of other parallels. The hero Väinämöinen likely provided inspiration for the characters of Gandalf and Tom Bombadil, particularly the latter.[3] Tom Bombadil is as old as creation itself, and his gift of song gives him magical powers. The magical properties of singing also feature in The Silmarillion when Finrod and Sauron duel through song and when Lúthien sings Morgoth to sleep (as when Väinämöinen sings the people of Pohjola to sleep). Ilmarinen likely inspired the character of Fëanor, creator of the Silmarils.[4] The Silmarils are much like the Sampo in nature, and the quest to retrieve them parallels the heroes’ quest to capture the Sampo.

The animism that pervades Tolkien’s mythology (as when Caradhras “the Cruel” attempts to sabotage the Fellowship’s journey or when the stones of Eregion speak of the Elves who once lived there) also hearkens back to the Kalevala, in which trees, hills, swords, and even beer possess consciousness.

For Tolkien, the appeal of the Kalevala lay in its “weird tales” and “sorceries,” which to him evinced a “very primitive undergrowth that the literature of Europe has on the whole been steadily cutting away and reducing for many centuries . . . .” He continues: “I would that we had more of it left — something of the same sort that belonged to the English . . . .”[5]

The desire to create a national mythology for England in the vein of Lönnrot’s Kalevala was the impetus behind Tolkien’s own legendarium. Not unlike Lönnrot, he envisioned himself as a collector of ancient stories whose role it was to craft an epic that would capture the spirit of the nation. He writes in a letter:

. . . I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands. There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing in English . . . . I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and the cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story — the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths — which I could dedicate simply to England; to my country . . . . The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.[6]

Tolkien had England in mind, but his mythology is one that all whites can unite around, in the same manner that the races of the Fellowship united to save Middle-earth. The heroic and racialist themes in Tolkien’s mythology are readily apparent, and the fight against the forces of evil parallels the current struggle.


The role of the Kalevala in Finland’s fight for independence attests to the revolutionary potential of literature and art. Tolkien’s mythology offers rich material from which to draw and indeed has already inspired many works of art, music, literature, etc., as Tolkien himself hoped.[7] Perhaps the revolution will be led by Tolkien fans.


1. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Story of Kullervo, ed. Verlyn Flieger (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), 52.

2. Ibid., 136.

3. Gandalf’s departure to Valinor also brings to mind when Väinämöinen sails away to a realm located in “the upper reaches of the world, the lower reaches of the heavens” at the end of the Kalevala.

4. Ilmarin, the domed palace of Manwë and Varda, is another possible allusion to Ilmarinen, who created the dome of the sky. The region of the stars and celestial bodies in Tolkien’s cosmology is called Ilmen (“ilma” means “air” in Finnish). Eru Ilúvatar also recalls Ilmatar (an ancient “air spirit” and the mother of Väinämöinen).

5. The Story of Kullervo, 105. This comes from his revised essay, which was written sometime in the late 1910s or early 20s.

6. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981), 144.

7. Here could be the place to note that a major exhibit of Tolkien’s papers, illustrations, and maps recently opened in Oxford and will soon be accompanied by a book (Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth).


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jeudi, 28 juin 2018

Guénon et l'interminable crise de la modernité


Guénon et l'interminable crise de la modernité

par Nicolas Bonnal

Ex: http://www.dedefensa.org 

Dans ce livre étonnant écrit il y a presque cent ans Guénon faisait le lien entre la constatation de notre abrutissement et la situation de l’après-guerre mondiale (crise culturelle, sociale, communisme, tiers-mondisme, etc.). Il reconnaissait aussi la montée de l’occidentalisme en orient.

Il évoquait déjà notre abrutissement qui est très grand, qui est même hallucinant. Michael Hoffman évoque les trois « A » : apathie, aboulie, amnésie. Guénon souligne que comme le chien Ran-Tan-Plan de Lucky Luke l’avant-garde modeste des occidentaux « sent confusément » la crise :

« Que l’on puisse parler d’une crise du monde moderne, en prenant ce mot de « crise » dans son acception la plus ordinaire, c’est une chose que beaucoup ne mettent déjà plus en doute, et, à cet égard tout au moins, il s’est produit un changement assez sensible : sous l’action même des événements, certaines illusions commencent à se dissiper, et nous ne pouvons, pour notre part, que nous en féliciter, car il y a là, malgré tout, un symptôme assez favorable, l’indice d’une possibilité de redressement de la mentalité contemporaine, quelque chose qui apparaît comme une faible lueur au milieu du chaos actuel. »

Le progrès ne serait donc pas ce qu’on avait promis au cycliste Virenque : notre civilisation serait mortelle… Or comme on sait grâce à Philippe Grasset elle est surtout mortifère car c’est une anti-civilisation ; mais en étant mortifère elle en devient immortelle. Je me souviens de ce documentaire US consacré à l’adoration des méduses, seule « bête » survivante du pauvre golfe du Mexique. Le commentaire satanique en était enthousiaste, comme ces foules qui vont voir le dernier produit Marvel sur leur extermination prochaine. Guénon :

« C’est ainsi que la croyance à un « progrès » indéfini, qui était tenue naguère encore pour une sorte de dogme intangible et indiscutable, n’est plus aussi généralement admise ; certains entrevoient plus ou moins vaguement, plus ou moins confusément, que la civilisation occidentale, au lieu d’aller toujours en continuant à se développer dans le même sens, pourrait bien arriver un jour à un point d’arrêt, ou même sombrer entièrement dans quelque cataclysme. Peut-être ceux-là ne voient-ils pas nettement où est le danger, et les craintes chimériques ou puériles qu’ils manifestent parfois prouvent suffisamment la persistance de bien des erreurs dans leur esprit ; mais enfin c’est déjà quelque chose qu’ils se rendent compte qu’il y a un danger, même s’ils le sentent plus qu’ils ne le comprennent vraiment, et qu’ils parviennent à concevoir que cette civilisation dont les modernes sont si infatués n’occupe pas une place privilégiée dans l’histoire du monde, qu’elle peut avoir le même sort que tant d’autres qui ont déjà disparu à des époques plus ou moins lointaines, et dont certaines n’ont laissé derrière elles que des traces infimes, des vestiges à peine perceptibles ou difficilement reconnaissables. »

Une civilisation peut être crevée et durer encore. Relisez la Charogne de Baudelaire…

La crise suppose un point critique qu’on n’a toujours pas passé un siècle plus tard (on y revient) :

« Donc, si l’on dit que le monde moderne subit une crise, ce que l’on entend par là le plus habituellement, c’est qu’il est parvenu à un point critique, ou, en d’autres termes, qu’une transformation plus ou moins profonde est imminente, qu’un changement d’orientation devra inévitablement se produire à brève échéance, de gré ou de force, d’une façon plus ou moins brusque, avec ou sans catastrophe. »

Guénon évoque le kali-yuga, notion fourre-tout, bas de gamme aujourd’hui :

« Le monde moderne ira-t-il jusqu’au bas de cette pente fatale, ou bien, comme il est arrivé à la décadence du monde gréco-latin, un nouveau redressement se produira-t-il, cette fois encore, avant qu’il n’ait atteint le fond de l’abîme où il est entraîné ? Il semble bien qu’un arrêt à mi-chemin ne soit plus guère possible, et que, d’après toutes les indications fournies par les doctrines traditionnelles, nous soyons entrés vraiment dans la phase finale du Kali-Yuga, dans la période la plus sombre de cet « âge sombre », dans cet état de dissolution dont il n’est plus possible de sortir que par un cataclysme, car ce n’est plus un simple redressement qui est alors nécessaire, mais une rénovation totale. »

Tragique il rappelle que le désordre règne partout et se répand comme les méduses :

« Le désordre et la confusion règnent dans tous les domaines ; ils ont été portés à un point qui dépasse de loin tout ce qu’on avait vu précédemment, et, partis de l’Occident, ils menacent maintenant d’envahir le monde tout entier ; nous savons bien que leur triomphe ne peut jamais être qu’apparent et passager, mais, à un tel degré, il paraît être le signe de la plus grave de toutes les crises que l’humanité ait traversées au cours de son cycle actuel. Ne sommes-nous pas arrivés à cette époque redoutable annoncée par les Livres sacrés de l’Inde, « où les castes seront mêlées, où la famille même n’existera plus » ?

La famille tout le monde s’en fout maintenant, y compris la distraite Eglise de Rome. Guénon conclut en termes évangéliques :

« Il suffit de regarder autour de soi pour se convaincre que cet état est bien réellement celui du monde actuel, et pour constater partout cette déchéance profonde que l’Évangile appelle « l’abomination de la désolation ».

Plus important pour moi et la thématique de la Fin de l’histoire, du temps immobile depuis des siècles, cette notation sur la France de Louis XIV, déjà aride et moderne, et même anti-traditionnelle (pensez aux bourgeois de Molière) :

« Ce qui est tout à fait extraordinaire, c’est la rapidité avec laquelle la civilisation du moyen âge tomba dans le plus complet oubli ; les hommes du XVIIe siècle n’en avaient plus la moindre notion, et les monuments qui en subsistaient ne représentaient plus rien à leurs yeux, ni dans l’ordre intellectuel, ni même dans l’ordre esthétique ; on peut juger par-là combien la mentalité avait été changée dans l’intervalle. »

Le jeune bourgeois qui douterait des ténèbres du moyen âge ne trouverait pas à se marier, disait Léon Bloy (Exégèse, CXXVII)…

Guénon :

« Il est bien invraisemblable aussi que la légende qui fit du moyen âge une époque de « ténèbres », d’ignorance et de barbarie, ait pris naissance et se soit accréditée d’elle-même, et que la véritable falsification de l’histoire à laquelle les modernes se sont livrés ait été entreprise sans aucune idée préconçue… »

J’ai déjà parlé de Michelet pour qui le moyen âge avait disparu depuis longtemps. Il s’était conservé comme hystérésie (un peu comme la France qui n’est plus rien qu’un sac à stupre, il est temps de le reconnaître en arrêtant d’y pleurnicher) :

« Le vrai moyen âge, pour nous, s’étend du règne de Charlemagne au début du XIVe siècle ; à cette dernière date commence une nouvelle décadence qui, à travers des étapes diverses, ira en s’accentuant jusqu’à nous. C’est là qu’est le véritable point de départ de la crise moderne : c’est le commencement de la désagrégation de la « Chrétienté », à laquelle s’identifiait essentiellement la civilisation occidentale du moyen âge ; c’est, en même temps que la fin du régime féodal, assez étroitement solidaire de cette même « Chrétienté », l’origine de la constitution des « nationalités ». Il faut donc faire remonter l’époque moderne près de deux siècles plus tôt qu’on ne le fait d’ordinaire ; la Renaissance et la Réforme sont surtout des résultantes, et elles n’ont été rendues possibles que par la décadence préalable… »

Les Illuminati dont on nous gave aujourd’hui ne sont en effet que les reproductions des kabbalistes et des sorciers, des alchimistes et des escrocs de tout poil de la Renaissance, espions britanniques y compris. Mais poursuivons car le problème suivant nous importe aussi : l’orient est devenu aussi nul que l’occident. Et si l’occident est crevé, l’orient est en phase terminale de décadence (regardez la numérisation de son humanité à cet orient, que ce soit en Chine ou en Inde – sans parler du monde musulman devenu un zombie comme le christianisme occidental :

« Le désordre moderne, nous l’avons dit, a pris naissance en Occident, et, jusqu’à ces dernières années, il y était toujours demeuré strictement localisé ; mais maintenant il se produit un fait dont la gravité ne doit pas être dissimulée : c’est que ce désordre s’étend partout et semble gagner jusqu’à l’Orient. Certes, l’envahissement occidental n’est pas une chose toute récente, mais il se bornait jusqu’ici à une domination plus ou moins brutale exercée sur les autres peuples, et dont les effets étaient limités au domaine politique et économique ; en dépit de tous les efforts d’une propagande revêtant des formes multiples, l’esprit oriental était impénétrable à toutes les déviations, et les anciennes civilisations traditionnelles subsistaient intactes. »

L’occidentalisation (voyez le ridicule Kim, un sosie CIA selon certains) est donc totale :

« Aujourd’hui, au contraire, il est des Orientaux qui se sont plus ou moins complètement « occidentalisés », qui ont abandonné leur tradition pour adopter toutes les aberrations de l’esprit moderne, et ces éléments dévoyés, grâce à l’enseignement des Universités européennes et américaines, deviennent dans leur propre pays une cause de trouble et d’agitation. »

Guénon nous rassure sans nous rassurer :

« L’esprit traditionnel ne peut mourir, parce qu’il est, dans son essence, supérieur à la mort et au changement ; mais il peut se retirer entièrement du monde extérieur, et alors ce sera véritablement la « fin d’un monde ». D’après tout ce que nous avons dit, la réalisation de cette éventualité dans un avenir relativement peu éloigné n’aurait rien d’invraisemblable ; et, dans la confusion qui, partie de l’Occident, gagne présentement l’Orient, nous pourrions voir le « commencement de la fin », le signe précurseur du moment où, suivant la tradition hindoue, la doctrine sacrée doit être enfermée tout entière dans une conque, pour en sortir intacte à l’aube du monde nouveau. »

L’occident reste un virus en fait :

« Mais laissons là encore une fois les anticipations, et ne regardons que les événements actuels : ce qui est incontestable, c’est que l’Occident envahit tout ; son action s’est d’abord exercée dans le domaine matériel, celui qui était immédiatement à sa portée, soit par la conquête violente, soit par le commerce et l’accaparement des ressources de tous les peuples ; mais maintenant les choses vont encore plus loin. »

Guénon évoque aussi ce besoin démoniaque de prosélytisme humanitaire que j’ai évoqué dans mon texte sur la théosophie et le mondialisme :

« Les Occidentaux, toujours animés par ce besoin de prosélytisme qui leur est si particulier, sont arrivés à faire pénétrer chez les autres, dans une certaine mesure, leur esprit antitraditionnel et matérialiste ; et, tandis que la première forme d’invasion n’atteignait en somme que les corps, celle-ci empoisonne les intelligences et tue la spiritualité ; l’une a d’ailleurs préparé l’autre et l’a rendue possible, de sorte que ce n’est en définitive que par la force brutale que l’Occident est parvenu à s’imposer partout, et il ne pouvait en être autrement, car c’est en cela que réside l’unique supériorité réelle de sa civilisation, si inférieure à tout autre point de vue. »

Rappel des déguisements humanitaires :

« L’envahissement occidental, c’est l’envahissement du matérialisme sous toutes ses formes, et ce ne peut être que cela ; tous les déguisements plus ou moins hypocrites, tous les prétextes « moralistes », toutes les déclamations « humanitaires », toutes les habiletés d’une propagande qui sait à l’occasion se faire insinuante pour mieux atteindre son but de destruction, ne peuvent rien contre cette vérité, qui ne saurait être contestée que par des naïfs ou par ceux qui ont un intérêt quelconque à cette œuvre vraiment « satanique», au sens le plus rigoureux du mot. »

Guénon a tenté et échoué. Comme beaucoup. Cette société est satanique et crèvera après avoir tout souillé et corrompu. Le salut sera personnel.

« Et les folles dirent aux prudentes: Donnez-nous de votre huile, car nos lampes s’éteignent.

Mais les prudentes répondirent, disant: [Non], de peur qu’il n’y en ait pas assez pour nous et pour vous; allez plutôt vers ceux qui en vendent, et achetez‑en pour vous-mêmes. »

Or en grec phronéo veut dire penser et concevoir, pas être prudent ! Etre lucide c’est être - surtout avec des fêtes de la musique comme celle que nous venons de vivre.

Et comme on citait Baudelaire et sa charogne vivante et mélomane qui évoque notre « chienlit » cadavérique et increvable :

« Le soleil rayonnait sur cette pourriture,

Comme afin de la cuire à point,

Et de rendre au centuple à la grande Nature

Tout ce qu’ensemble elle avait joint ;

Et le ciel regardait la carcasse superbe

Comme une fleur s’épanouir (…) »

Cette forme de vie cadavérique exprime bien la vie occidentale contemporaine.

« On eût dit que le corps, enflé d’un souffle vague,

Vivait en se multipliant.

Et ce monde rendait une étrange musique,

Comme l’eau courante et le vent,

Ou le grain qu’un vanneur d’un mouvement rythmique

Agite et tourne dans son van. »



René Guénon – La crise du monde moderne

Bonnal – La culture comme arme de destruction massive

Léon Bloy – Exégèse…

Baudelaire – Les Fleurs du mal

La solitudine siderale di Evola


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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.)


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.


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.


[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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mardi, 17 avril 2018

Frithjof Schuon et la grandeur des indiens


Frithjof Schuon et la grandeur des indiens 

par Nicolas Bonnal

Ex: http://www.dedefensa.org

« Sa tête rasée de très près n’offrait d’autres cheveux que cette touffeque l’esprit chevaleresque des Indiens conserve sur le sommet de la tête, comme pour narguer l’ennemi qui voudrait le scalper… » (Le dernier des Mohicans).

Pour mieux apprécier les références à Frithjof Schuon, on se reportera au film d’Elliott Silverstein, un homme nommé cheval ; à celui de mon regretté ami Irvin Kershner, la revanche d’un homme nommé cheval. Au Dernier des mohicans de Michael Mann (scénario tarabiscoté mais fantastique partition de Trevor Jones), mais aussi à la version de 1936 avec Randolph Scott dans le rôle de Hawk Eye. Enfin bien sûr à Danse avec les loups qui en dépit de son catéchisme bon enfant, sensibilisa une opinion distraite.

FS-p1.jpgIci on va juste tenter d’élever le débat américain (en oubliant Trump, ses tweets et ses bombes) avec Frithjof Schuon, immense ésotériste suisse de culture alémanique et musulmane, qui a vécu en Amérique du Nord auprès de ses chers sioux lakotas…

Il est amusant avant de commencer de rappeler que les costumes indiens dans un homme nommé cheval venaient d’Hollywood ! Cette anecdote digne de Baudrillard rappelle que nous sommes tombés si bas que même quand nous parlons de tradition, nous évoluons dans le simulacre.

On ne va pas pleurnicher, on va citer Schuon.

Schuon écrit dans Avoir un centre, le message d’un art vestimentaire :

« Le vêtement indien des Plaines « humanise » la Nature vierge, il transmet quelque chose de l’immensité des prairies, de la profondeur des forêts, de la violence du vent et autres affinités de ce genre. On aurait du reste tort d’objecter - comme aiment à le faire les « démystificateurs » professionnels - que le vêtement indien n’avait qu’une portée sociale et pratique limitée, que tous les individus ne le portaient pas, d’autant que la nudité, pour les Peaux-Rouges, avait elle aussi sa valeur à la fois pratique et symbolique ; mais ce qui importe ici, ce n’est pas le flottement des modalités, c’est le génie ethnique qui, s’il peut s’extérioriser de diverses façons, reste toujours fidèle à lui-même et à son message foncier.

C’est un fait curieux que beaucoup de gens aiment les Indiens mais n’osent pas l’avouer, ou l’avouent avec des réticences de commande, en se désolidarisant ostentatoirement du « bon sauvage » de Rousseau aussi bien que du « noble sauvage » de Cooper, et surtout de tout « romantisme » et de tout « esthétisme » ; sans oublier le souci de ne pas être pris pour un enfant. »

Sur la plume d’aigle Schuon rappelle :

« La plume d’aigle, comme l’aigle lui-même, représente le Grand-Esprit en général et la présence divine en particulier, nous a-t- on expliqué chez les Sioux ; il est donc plausible que les rayons du soleil, lui-même image du Grand-Esprit, soient symbolisés par des plumes. Mais ces plumes très stylisés, qui constituent le soleil à cercles concentriques, représentent également le cocon, symbole de potentialité vitale ; or la vie et le rayonnement solaire coïncident pour d’évidentes raisons.

Un des symboles les plus puissants du soleil est la majestueuse coiffure en plumes d’aigle ; celui qui la porte s’identifie à l’astre solaire, et il est facile de comprendre que tout le monde n’est pas qualifié pour la porter ; sa splendeur - unique en son genre parmi toutes les coiffures traditionnelles du monde suggère la dignité à la fois royale et sacerdotale ; donc le rayonnement du héros et du sage. »

FS-p2.jpgIci le grand esprit inspire notre sage alsacien :

« Le vêtement du chef ou du héros suggère l’aigle s’élevant vers le soleil : la nature de l’aigle, c’est de voler vers le haut, donc aussi de voir les choses de loin, « de haut » précisément : l’aigle monte et ensuite plane dans une lumineuse solitude. »

L’aigle va ici au-delà du message impérial européen :

« Selon une tradition quasi universelle, l’aigle symbolise lui- même le soleil ; ce qu’exprime précisément la parure de plumes d’aigle. Autrefois, chaque plume devait être gagnée : l’identification de l’homme avec l’astre solaire exige un drame héroïque. »

Sur les vêtements et leurs franges Schuon ajoute – et sur le calumet :

« Les objets les plus divers peuvent être ornés de broderies et de franges ; l’un des plus importants est le sac contenant la « Pipe de Paix » et le tabac rituel, la fonction de ce dernier étant de se sacrifier en brûlant et de monter vers le Grand-Esprit. Ce sac fut apporté aux Indiens, avec le Calumet, par la « Femme Bisonne-Blanche » (Pté- San Win en lakota) ; et c’est elle - ou plus précisément son archétype céleste, Wohpé - qui fait monter la fumée et nos prières vers le Ciel. »

Après il ne faut pas s’étonner du prestige de ces indiens de notre volonté de les imiter, même quand c’est pour les combattre.

Schuon ajoute, toujours dans Avoir un centre :

« Le prestige dont jouissent les Indiens dans les milieux et les pays les plus divers s’explique par la coïncidence proprement fascinante de qualités morales et esthétiques, par la combinaison d’un courage intrépide et stoïque avec une extraordinaire expressivité des physionomies, des vêtements et des ustensiles.

Le fait que l’Indien se perpétue dans les jeux des enfants presque dans le monde entier, et parfois dans les jeux des adultes, ne peut être un hasard sans signification ; il indique un message culturel d’une puissante originalité, un message qui ne peut mourir et qui survit, ou plutôt rayonne, comme il peut. »

Un peu de Nietzsche (« royauté d’un enfant », dit son maître et ancêtre Héraclite bellement) pour nous rapprocher des enfants et des indiens : 

« L’enfant est innocence et oubli, un renouveau et un jeu, une roue qui roule sur elle-même, un premier mouvement, une sainte affirmation.

Oui, pour le jeu divin de la création, ô mes frères, il faut une sainte affirmation : l’esprit veut maintenant sa propre volonté, celui qui a perdu le monde veut gagner son propre monde.

Je vous ai nommé trois métamorphoses de l’esprit : comment l’esprit devient chameau, comment l’esprit devient lion, et comment enfin le lion devient enfant. »

FS-p3.jpgLa destruction des indiens a été mille fois plus dénoncée par Hollywood que l’esclavage. Ce n’est pas un hasard : le sujet était jugé plus noble notamment par Tocqueville.

Schuon note sur cette destruction bien démocratique :

« La démocratie est pratiquement la tyrannie de la majorité ; la majorité blanche, en Amérique, n’avait aucun intérêt à l’existence de cette minorité rouge ; de ce fait l’armée - qui dans certains cas aurait dû défendre les droits des Indiens, droits solennellement garantis par des traités - défendait les intérêts des Blancs à l’encontre de ces accords. Qui dit démocratie dit démagogie ; en un tel climat, une criminalité populaire « de fait » devient une criminalité gouvernementale « de droit », du moins quand la victime se situe en dehors de la collectivité incluse dans telle légalité démocratique. »

Mais dans REGARDS SUR MONDES ANCIENS, Schuon est presque optimiste. Cette destruction devait hélas avoir lieu pour des raisons cycliques (le Kali-Yuga pour tout le monde) et elle n’a pas empêché un paradis de mille ans ou plus !

« Pour bien comprendre le destin abrupt de la race indienne, il faut tenir compte du fait que cette race a vécu pendant des millénaires dans une sorte de paradis pratiquement illimité ; les Indiens de l’Ouest s’y trouvaient encore au début du XIXesiècle. Ce fut un paradis rude, certes, mais offrant une ambiance grandiose à caractère sacré, et comparable à bien des égards à ce que fut l’Europe nordique avant l’arrivée des Romains »

Schuon rappelle notre âge de fer :

« Comme les Indiens s’identifiaient spirituellement et humainement à cette nature inviolée, et inviolable selon eux, ils en acceptaient toutes les lois, donc aussi la lutte pour la vie en tant que manifestation du « principe du meilleur » ; mais avec le temps, et en fonction des conséquences de l’« âge de fer » où prédominent les passions et où disparaît la sagesse, les abus se répandirent de plus en plus ; un individualisme héroïque, mais vindicatif et cruel obscurcissait-les vertus désintéressées, comme ce fut du reste le cas chez tous les peuples guerriers. »

Tout cela était condamné comme le monde elfique et oublié de Tolkien (il y a des ressemblances troublantes entre le style du Seigneur des Anneaux et le Dernier des Mohicans) :

fs-p4.jpg « La situation privilégiée des Indiens - en marge de l’« Histoire » et des écrasantes civilisations citadines - devait finir par s’épuiser ; il n’y a rien d’étonnant à ce que cet épuisement d’un paradis en quelque sorte vieilli coïncidât avec les temps modernes. »

Comme Tocqueville Schuon rappelle que la triste destruction s’est fait au nom des idéaux modernes :

« Mais de toute évidence, cet aspect unilatéral de fatalité ne saurait atténuer ni excuser aucune des vilenies dont l’Indien a été la victime depuis des siècles, sans quoi les notions de justice et d’injustice n’auraient pas de sens et il n’y aurait jamais eu d’infamie ni de tragédie. Les défenseurs de l’invasion blanche et de toutes ses conséquences font volontiers valoir que tous les peuples ont de tout temps commis des violences ; des violences, oui, mais non pas forcément des bassesses, perpétrées, par surcroît, au nom de la liberté, de l’égalité, de la fraternité, de la civilisation, du progrès et des droits de l’homme... La destruction consciente, calculée, méthodique, officielle - et non point anonyme - de la race rouge, de ses traditions et de sa culture, en Amérique du Nord et aussi en Amérique du Sud, loin d’avoir été un processus inévitable - et éventuellement excusable par des lois naturelles à condition qu’on ne prétende pas les avoir dépassées grâce à la « civilisation » - cette destruction, disons-nous, demeure en réalité l’un des plus grands crimes et l’un des plus insignes vandalismes dont l’Histoire ait gardé le souvenir. »

Tocqueville sur le même sujet :

« Les Espagnols, à l'aide de monstruosités sans exemples, en se couvrant d'une honte ineffaçable, n'ont pu parvenir à exterminer la race indienne,ni même à l'empêcher de partager leurs droits;les Américains des États-Unis ont atteint ce double résultat avec une merveilleuse facilité, tranquillement, légalement, philanthropiquement, sans répandre de sang, sans violer un seul des grands principes de la morale aux yeux du monde. On ne saurait détruire les hommes en respectant mieux les lois de l'humanité… »

Schuon rajoute magnifiquement : On condamne le mal pour sa nature, non pour son caractère inévitable.

Le passage :

« Ceci dit, il reste l’aspect inéluctable des choses, celui de la fatalité, en vertu duquel ce qui est possible ne peut pas ne pas se manifester en quelque manière, et tout ce qui arrive a ses causes proches ou lointaines ; cet aspect du monde et du destin n’empêche toutefois pas les choses d’être ce qu’elles sont : le mal reste le mal sur son propre plan. On condamne le mal pour sa nature, non pour son caractère inévitable ; ce dernier, on l’accepte, car le tragique entre nécessairement dans le jeu divin, et ne serait-ce que parce que le monde n’est pas Dieu… »

fs-p5.jpgNous avons écrit un livre sur le paganisme au cinéma. Schuon établit lui une comparaison entre les indiens et LES japonais des grands temps :

« Certaines tribus - les Algonquins surtout et les Iroquois - distinguent le démiurge d’avec l’Esprit suprême : ce démiurge a souvent un rôle quelque peu burlesque, voire luciférien. Une telle conception du Pouvoir créateur, et du dispensateur primordial des arts, n’est point particulière aux Peaux-Rouges, comme le prouvent les mythologies de l’Ancien Monde, où les méfaits des titans voisinent avec ceux des dieux ; en langage biblique, nous dirons qu’il n’y a pas de Paradis terrestre sans serpent, et que sans ce dernier il n’y a pas de chute et pas de drame humain, ni aucune réconciliation avec le Ciel. Comme la création est malgré tout quelque chose qui s’éloigne de Dieu, il faut bien qu’il y ait en elle une tendance déifuge, si bien qu’on peut considérer la création sous deux aspects, divin l’un et démiurgique ou luciférien l’autre ; or les Peaux-Rouges mélangent les deux aspects, et ils ne sont pas seuls à le faire ; rappelons seulement, dans la mythologie japonaise, le dieu Susano-o, génie turbulent de la mer et de la tempête. »

Art de l’espace, le cinéma était fait pour célébrer les indiens. Schuon encore :

« L’on sait le rôle crucial que jouent les directions de l’espace dans le rite du Calumet. Ce rite est la prière de l’Indien, dans laquelle l’Indien parle, non seulement pour lui-même, mais aussi pour toutes les autres créatures ; l’Univers entier prie avec l’homme qui offre la Pipe aux Puissances, ou à la Puissance. »

Schuon évoque ensuite les rites. Nous les citons pour le principe :

« Mentionnons ici également les autres grands rites du Chamanisme peau-rouge, du moins les principaux, à savoir la Loge à transpirer, l’Invocation solitaire et la Danse du Soleil1; nous choisissons le nombre quatre, non parce qu’il marque une limite absolue, mais parce qu’il est sacré chez les Peaux-Rouges et qu’il permet, en fait, d’établir une synthèse qui n’a rien d’arbitraire.

La Loge à transpirer est le rite purificatoire par excellence : par lui, l’homme se purifie et devient un être nouveau. Ce rite et le précédent sont absolument fondamentaux ; le suivant l’est aussi, mais en un sens quelque peu différent.

L’Invocation solitaire - la « lamentation » ou l’« envoi d’une voix » - est la forme la plus élevée de la prière ; elle peut être silencieuse2, suivant les cas. C’est une véritable retraite spirituelle, par laquelle tout Indien doit passer une fois dans sa jeunesse - mais alors l’intention est particulière - et qu’il peut renouveler à tout moment suivant l’inspiration ou les circonstances.

La Danse du Soleil est d’une certaine façon la prière de la communauté entière ; pour ceux qui l’exécutent, elle signifie - ésotériquement tout au moins - une union virtuelle qu’il a été décrit comme un homme sincère par des blancs qui pourtant n’avaient aucun préjugé favorable ; la vérité est sans doute qu’il a été, lui aussi, une victime des circonstances. Pour ramener tout ce mouvement à ses justes proportions, il faut le regarder dans son contexte traditionnel, le « polyprophétisme » indien et l’« apocalyptisme » propre à toute religion, puis dans son contexte contingent et temporel, l’écroulement des bases vitales de la civilisation des Plaines. »

Autre grand moment sur cette splendide destinée initiatique et chevaleresque :

« La fascinante combinaison de l’héroïcité combative et stoïque et de l’allure sacerdotale conférait à l’Indien des Plaines et des Forêts une sorte de majesté à la fois aquilin et solaire, d’où cette beauté puissamment originale et irremplaçable qui s’attache à l’homme rouge et contribue à son prestige de guerrier et de martyr1. Comme les japonais du temps des samouraïs, le Peau-Rouge était profondément artiste dans sa manifestation personnelle même : outre que sa vie était un jeu perpétuel avec la souffrance et la mort2et de ce fait une sorte de karma-yogachevaleresque, il savait donner à ce style spirituel un revêtement esthétique d’une expressivité insurpassable. »

L’indien devient un vrai héros de western qui va déteindre sur le pauvre homme blanc déraciné (hélas il va déteindre en solo pas au collectif) :

fs-p6.jpg« Un élément qui a pu donner l’impression que l’Indien est un individualiste - par principe et non de facto seulement - c’est l’importance cruciale que revêt chez lui la valeur morale de l’homme, le caractère si l’on veut, d’où le culte de l’acte. L’acte héroïque et silencieux s’oppose à la parole vaine et prolixe du lâche ; l’amour du secret, la réticence de livrer le sacré par des discours faciles qui l’affaiblissent et le dilapident, s’expliquent par là. Tout le caractère indien se laisse en somme définir par ces deux mots, si de telles ellipses sont permises : acte et secret ; acte foudroyant, au besoin, et secret impassible. Tel un roc, l’Indien d’autrefois se reposait en lui-même, en sa personnalité, pour ensuite la traduire en acte avec l’impétuosité de l’éclair ; mais en même temps il restait humble devant le Grand Mystère dont la nature environnante était, pour lui, le message permanent. »

Enfin ces lignes sur la nature qui ne sont pas si éloignées (hélas pour nous) que cela de notre saint Bernard de Clairvaux :

« La nature est solidaire de la sainte pauvreté et aussi de l’enfance spirituelle ; elle est un livre ouvert dont l’enseignement de vérité et de beauté ne s’épuise jamais. C’est au milieu de ses propres artifices que l’homme se corrompt le plus facilement, ce sont eux qui le rendent avide et impie ; auprès de la nature vierge, qui ne connaît ni agitation ni mensonge, l’homme a des chances de rester contemplatif comme l’est la nature elle-même. »

Quand l’homme est tombé si bas, peut-il encore rêver ?

Tiens, un peu de Fenimore Cooper, pour vous donner envie de le relire, ce plus grand classique de la littérature initiatique pour enfants :

« Il serait impossible de donner une idée du respect et de l'affection que témoigna toute la peuplade en voyant arriver inopinément un homme qui semblait déjà appartenir à un autre monde. Après quelques instants passés dans un silence commandé par l'usage, les principaux chefs se levèrent, s'approchèrent de lui tour à tour, lui prirent une main et l'appuyèrent sur leur tête, comme pour lui demander sa bénédiction. Les guerriers les plus distingués se contentèrent ensuite de toucher le bord de sa robe. Les autres semblaient se trouver assez heureux de pouvoir respirer le même air qu'un chef qui avait été si vaillant et qui était encore si juste et si sage. »


Frithjof Schuon – Avoir un centre ; regards sur les mondes traditionnels (archive.org)

Fenimore Cooper – Le dernier des Mohicans (ebooksgratuits.com)

Nicolas Bonnal – Le paganisme au cinéma (Dualpha ; Amazon.fr)

Tocqueville – De la démocratie en Amérique, I, deuxième partie, dernier chapitre

Nietzsche – Les trois métamorphoses, dans Zarathoustra

vendredi, 23 mars 2018

The Black Sun: Dionysus, Nietzsche, and Greek Myth


The Black Sun: Dionysus, Nietzsche, and Greek Myth

Gwendolyn Taunton

Ex: https://manticorepress.net

Affirmation of life even it its strangest and sternest problems, the will to life rejoicing in its own inexhaustibility through the sacrifice of its highest types – that is what I call the Dionysian…Not so as to get rid of pity and terror, not so as to purify oneself of a dangerous emotion through its vehement discharge – it was thus Aristotle understood it – but, beyond pity and terror, to realize in oneself the eternal joy of becoming – that joy which also encompasses joy in destruction…And with that I again return to that place from which I set out –The Birth of Tragedy was my first revaluation of all values: with that I again plant myself in the soil out of which I draw all that I will and can – I, the last disciple of the philosopher Dionysus – I, the teacher of the eternal recurrence(Nietzsche, “What I Owe to the Ancients”)

It is a well known fact that most of the early writings of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, revolve around a prognosis of duality concerning the two Hellenic deities, Apollo and Dionysus. This dichotomy, which first appears in The Birth of Tragedy, is subsequently modified by Nietzsche in his later works so that the characteristics of the God Apollo are reflected and absorbed by his polar opposite, Dionysus. Though this topic has been examined frequently by philosophers, it has not been examined sufficiently in terms of its relation to the Greek myths which pertain to the two Gods in question. Certainly, Nietzsche was no stranger to Classical myth, for prior to composing his philosophical works, Nietzsche was a professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel. This interest in mythology is also illustrated in his exploration of the use of mythology as tool by which to shape culture. The Birth of Tragedy is based upon Greek myth and literature, and also contains much of the groundwork upon which he would develop his later premises. Setting the tone at the very beginning of The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche writes:[spacer height=”20px”]

We shall have gained much for the science of aesthetics, once we perceive not merely by logical inference, but with the immediate certainty of vision, that the continuous development of art is bound up with the Apollonian and Dionysian duality – just as procreation depends on the duality of the sexes, involving perpetual strife with only periodically intervening reconciliations. The terms Dionysian and Apollonian we borrow from the Greeks, who disclose to the discerning mind the profound mysteries of their view of art, not, to be sure, in concepts, but in the intensely clear figures of their gods. Through Apollo and Dionysus, the two art deities of the Greeks, we come to recognize that in the Greek world there existed a tremendous opposition…[1]

Initially then, Nietzsche’s theory concerning Apollo and Dionysus was primarily concerned with aesthetic theory, a theory which he would later expand to a position of predominance at the heart of his philosophy. Since Nietzsche chose the science of aesthetics as the starting point for his ideas, it is also the point at which we shall begin the comparison of his philosophy with the Hellenic Tradition.


The opposition between Apollo and Dionysus is one of the core themes within The Birth of Tragedy, but in Nietzsche’s later works, Apollo is mentioned only sporadically, if at all, and his figure appears to have been totally superseded by his rival Dionysus. In The Birth of Tragedy, Apollo and Dionysus are clearly defined by Nietzsche, and the spheres of their influence are carefully demarcated. In Nietzsche’s later writings, Apollo is conspicuous by the virtue of his absence – Dionysus remains and has ascended to a position of prominence in Nietzsche’s philosophy, but Apollo, who was an integral part of the dichotomy featured in The Birth of Tragedy, has disappeared, almost without a trace. There is in fact, a simple reason for the disappearance of Apollo – he is in fact still present, within the figure of Dionysus. What begins in The Birth of Tragedy as a dichotomy shifts to synthesis in Nietzsche’s later works, with the name Dionysus being used to refer to the unified aspect of both Apollo and Dionysus, in what Nietzsche believes to the ultimate manifestation of both deities. In early works the synthesis between Apollo & Dionysus is incomplete – they are still two opposing principles – “Thus in The Birth of Tragedy, Apollo, the god of light, beauty and harmony is in opposition to Dionysian drunkenness and chaos”.[2] The fraternal union of Apollo & Dionysus that forms the basis of Nietzsche’s view is, according to him, symbolized in art, and specifically in Greek tragedy.[3] Greek tragedy, by its fusion of dialogue and chorus; image and music, exhibits for Nietzsche the union of the Apollonian and Dionysian, a union in which Dionysian passion and dithyrambic madness merge with Apollonian measure and lucidity, and original chaos and pessimism are overcome in a tragic attitude that is affirmative and heroic.[4]

The moment of Dionysian “terror” arrives when […] a cognitive failure or wandering occurs, when the principle of individuation, which is Apollo’s “collapses” […] and gives way to another perception, to a contradiction of appearances and perhaps even to their defeasibility as such (their “exception”). It occurs “when [one] suddenly loses faith in […] the cognitive form of phenomena. Just as dreams […] satisfy profoundly our innermost being, our common [deepest] ground [der gemeinsame Untergrund], so too, symmetrically, do “terror” and “blissful” ecstasy…well up from the innermost depths [Grunde] of man once the strict controls of the Apollonian principle relax. Then “we steal a glimpse into the nature of the Dionysian”.[5]

apollonooooooo.jpgThe Apollonian and the Dionysian are two cognitive states in which art appears as the power of nature in man.[6] Art for Nietzsche is fundamentally not an expression of culture, but is what Heidegger calls “eine Gestaltung des Willens zur Macht” a manifestation of the will to power. And since the will to power is the essence of being itself, art becomes “die Gestaltung des Seienden in Ganzen,” a manifestation of being as a whole.[7] This concept of the artist as a creator, and of the aspect of the creative process as the manifestation of the will, is a key component of much of Nietzsche’s thought – it is the artist, the creator who diligently scribes the new value tables. Taking this into accord, we must also allow for the possibility that Thus Spake Zarathustra opens the doors for a new form of artist, who rather than working with paint or clay, instead provides the Uebermensch, the artist that etches their social vision on the canvas of humanity itself.  It is in the character of the Uebermensch that we see the unification of the Dionysian (instinct) and Apollonian (intellect) as the manifestation of the will to power, to which Nietzsche also attributes the following tautological value “The Will to Truth is the Will to Power”.[8] This statement can be interpreted as meaning that by attributing the will to instinct, truth exists as a naturally occurring phenomena – it exists independently of the intellect, which permits many different interpretations of the truth in its primordial state. The truth lies primarily in the will, the subconscious, and the original raw instinctual state that Nietzsche identified with Dionysus. In The Gay Science Nietzsche says:

For the longest time, thinking was considered as only conscious, only now do we discover the truth that the greatest part of our intellectual activity lies in the unconscious […] theories of Schopenhauer and his teaching of the primacy of the will over the intellect. The unconscious becomes a source of wisdom and knowledge that can reach into the fundamental aspects of human existence, while the intellect is held to be an abstracting and falsifying mechanism that is directed, not toward truth but toward “mastery and possession.” [9]

Thus the will to power originates not in the conscious, but in the subconscious. Returning to the proposed dichotomy betwixt Dionysus and Apollo, in his later works the two creative impulses become increasingly merged, eventually reaching a point in his philosophy wherein Dionysus refers not to the singular God, but rather a syncretism of Apollo and Dionysus in equal quantity. “The two art drives must unfold their powers in a strict proportion, according to the law of eternal justice.”[10] For Nietzsche, the highest goal of tragedy is achieved in the harmony between two radically distinct realms of art, between the principles that govern the Apollonian plastic arts and epic poetry and those that govern the Dionysian art of music.[11] To be complete and  to derive ultimate mastery from the creative process, one must harness both the impulses represented by Apollo and Dionysus – the instinctual urge and potent creative power of Dionysus, coupled with the skill and intellectualism of Apollo’s craftsmanship – in sum both natural creative power from the will and the skills learnt within a social grouping. This definition will hold true for all creative ventures and is not restricted to the artistic process; ‘will’ and ‘skill’ need to act in harmony and concord.


In Nietzsche’s philosophy, Apollo and Dionysus are so closely entwined as to render them inseparable. Apollo, as the principle of appearance and of individuation, is that which grants appearance to the Dionysian form, without for Apollo, Dionysus remains bereft of physical appearance.

That [Dionysus] appears at all with such epic precision and clarity is the work of the dream interpreter, Apollo […] His appearances are at best instances of “typical ‘ideality,’” epiphanies of the “idea” or “idol”, mere masks and after images (Abbilde[er]). To “appear” Dionysus must take on a form.[12]

In his natural state, Dionysus has no form, it is only by reflux with Apollo, who represents the nature of form that Dionysus, as the nature of the formless, can appear to us at all. Likewise, Apollo without Dionysus becomes lost in a world of form – the complex levels of abstraction derived from the Dionysian impulse are absent. Neither god can function effectively without the workings of the other.  Dionysus appears, after all, only thanks to the Apollonian principle. This is Nietzsche’s rendition of Apollo and Dionysus, his reworking of the Hellenic mythos, forged into a powerful philosophy that has influenced much of the modern era. Yet how close is this new interpretation to the original mythology of the ancient Greeks, and how much of this is Nietzsche’s own creation? It is well known that Nietzsche and his contemporary Wagner both saw the merit in reshaping old myths to create new socio-political values. To fully understand Nietzsche’s retelling of the Dionysus myth and separate the modern ideas from that of the ancients, we need to examine the Hellenic sources on Dionysus.

apolyre.jpgMyths of Dionysus are often used to depict a stranger or an outsider to the community as a repository for the mysterious and prohibited features of another culture. Unsavory characteristics that the Greeks tend to ascribe to foreigners are attributed to him, and various myths depict his initial rejection by the authority of the polis – yet Dionysus’ birth at Thebes, as well as the appearance of his name on Linear B tablets, indicates that this is no stranger, but in fact a native, and that the rejected foreign characteristics ascribed to him are in fact Greek characteristics.[13] Rather than being a representative of foreign culture what we are in fact observing in the character of Dionysus is the archetype of the outsider; someone who sits outside the boundaries of the cultural norm, or who represents the disruptive element in society which either by its nature effects a change or is removed by the culture which its very presence threatens to alter. Dionysus represents as Plutarch observed, “the whole wet element” in nature – blood, semen, sap, wine, and all the life giving juice. He is in fact a synthesis of both chaos and form, of orgiastic impulses and visionary states – at one with the life of nature and its eternal cycle of birth and death, of destruction and creation.[14]  This disruptive element, by being associated with the blood, semen, sap, and wine is an obvious metaphor for the vital force itself, the wet element, being representative of “life in the raw”. This notion of “life” is intricately interwoven into the figure of Dionysus in the esoteric understanding of his cult, and indeed throughout the philosophy of the Greeks themselves, who had two different words for life, both possessing the  same root as Vita (Latin: Life) but present in very different phonetic forms: bios and zoë.[15]

Plotinos called zoë the “time of the soul”, during which the soul, in its course of rebirths, moves on from one bios to another […] the Greeks clung to a not-characterized “life” that underlies every bios and stands in a very different relationship to death than does a “life” that includes death among its characteristics […] This experience differs from the sum of experiences that constitute the bios, the content of each individual man’s written or unwritten biography. The experience of life without characterization – of precisely that life which “resounded” for the Greeks in the word zoë – is, on the other hand, indescribable.[16]

Zoë is Life in its immortal and transcendent aspect, and is thus representative of the pure primordial state. Zoëis the presupposition of the death drive; death exists only in relation to zoë. It is a product of life in accordance with a dialectic that is a process not of thought, but of life itself, of the zoë in each individual bios.[17]


The other primary association of Dionysus is with the chthonic elements, and we frequently find him taking the form of snakes. According to the myth of his dismemberment by the Titans, a myth which is strongly associated with Delphi, he was born of Persephone, after Zeus, taking snake form, had impregnated her. [18] In Euripides Bacchae, Dionysus, being the son of Semele, is a god of dark and frightening subterranean powers; yet being also the son of Zeus, he mediates between the chthonic and civilized worlds, once again playing the role of a liminal outsider that passes in transit from one domain to another.[19] Through his association with natural forces, a description of his temple has been left to us by a physician from Thasos: “A temple in the open air, an open air naos with an altar and a cradle of vine branches; a fine lair, always green; and for the initiates a room in which to sing the evoe.”[20] This stands in direct contrast to Apollo, who was represented by architectural and artificial beauty. Likewise his music was radically different to that of Apollo’s; “A stranger, he should be admitted into the city, for his music is varied, not distant and monotone like the tunes of Apollo’s golden lyre”. (Euripides Bacchae 126-134, 155-156)[21]

Both Gods were concerned with the imagery of life, art, and as we shall see soon, the sun. Moreover, though their forces were essentially opposite, they two Gods were essentially representative of two polarities for the same force, meeting occasionally in perfect balance to reveal an unfolding Hegelian dialectic that was the creative process of life itself and the esoteric nature of the solar path, for just as Dionysus was the chthonic deity (and here we intentionally use the word Chthon instead of the word Gē  – Chthon being literally underworld and Gē being the earth or ground) and Apollo was a Solar deity; but not the physical aspect of the sun as a heavenly body, this was ascribed by to the god Helios instead. Rather Apollo represented the human aspect of the solar path (and in this he is equivalent to the Vedic deity Savitar), and its application to the mortal realm; rather than being the light of the sky, Apollo is the light of the mind: intellect and creation. He is as bright as Dionysus is dark – in Dionysus the instinct, the natural force of zoë is prevalent, associated with the chthonic world below ground because he is immortal, his power normally unseen. He rules during Apollo’s absence in Hyperborea because the sun has passed to another land, the reign of the bright sun has passed and the time of the black sun commences – the black sun being the hidden aspect of the solar path, represented by the departure of Apollo in this myth.


Apollo is frequently mentioned in connection to Dionysus in Greek myth. Inscriptions dating from the third century B.C., mention that Dionysos Kadmeios reigned alongside Apollo over the assembly of Theben gods.[22] Likewise on Rhodes a holiday called Sminthia was celebrated there in memory of a time mice attacked the vines there and were destroyed by Apollo and Dionysus, who shared the epithet Sminthios on the island.[23] They are even cited together in the Odyssey (XI 312-25), and also in the story of the death of Koronis, who was shot by Artemis, and this at Apollo’s instigation because she had betrayed the god with a mortal lover.[24] Also, the twin peaks on Parnassos traditionally known as the “peaks of Apollo and Dionysus.”[25] Their association and worship however, was even more closely entwined at Delphi, for as Leicester Holland has perceived:

(1) Dionysus spoke oracles at Delphi before Apollo did; (2) his bones were placed in a basin beside the tripod; (3) the omphalos was his tomb. It is well known, moreover, that Dionysus was second only to Apollo in Delphian and Parnassian worship; Plutarch, in fact, assigns to Dionysus an equal share with Apollo in Delphi[26]

A Pindaric Scholiast says that Python ruled the prophetic tripod on which Dionysus was the first to speak oracles; that then Apollo killed the snake and took over.[27] The association of Apollo and Dionysus in Delphi, moreover, was not limited to their connection to the Delphic Oracle. We also find this relationship echoed in the commemoration of the Great flood which was celebrated each year at a Delphian festival called Aiglē, celebrated two or three days before the full moon of January or February, at the same time as the Athenian Anthesteria festival, the last day of which was devoted to commemorating the victims of the Great Flood; this was the same time of the year when Apollo was believed at Delphi to return from his sojourn among the Hyperboreans. Moreover, Dionysus is said to have perished and returned to life in the flood.[28] Apollo’s Hyperborean absence is his yearly death – Apollonios says that Apollo shed tears when he went to the Hyperborean land; thence flows the Eridanos, on whose banks the Heliades wail without cease; and extremely low spirits came over the Argonauts as they sailed that river of amber tears.[29]

This is the time of Dionysus’ reign at Delphi in which he was the center of Delphic worship for the three winter months, when Apollo was absent. Plutarch, himself a priest of the Pythian Apollo, Amphictyonic official and a frequent visitor to Delphi,  says that for nine months the paean was sung in Apollo’s honour at sacrifices, but at the beginning of winter the paeans suddenly ceased, then for three months men sang dithyrambs and addressed themselves to Dionysus rather than to Apollo.[30] Chthonian Dionysus manifested himself especially at the winter festival when the souls of the dead rose to walk briefly in the upper world again, in the festival that the Athenians called Anthesteria, whose Delphian counterpart was the Theophania. The Theophania marked the end of Dionysus’ reign and Apollo’s return; Dionysus and the ghosts descended once more to Hades realm.[31] In this immortal aspect Dionysus is very far removed from being a god of the dead and winter; representing instead immortal life, the zoë, which was employed in Dionysian cult to release psychosomatic energies summoned from the depths that were discharged in a physical cult of life.[32]


Dionysus is the depiction of transcendent primordial life, life that persists even during the absence of Apollo (the Sun) – for as much as Apollo is the Golden Sun, Dionysus is the Black or Winter Sun, reigning in the world below ground whilst Apollo’s presence departs for another hemisphere, dead to the people of Delphi, the Winter Sun reigns in Apollo’s absence. Far from being antagonistic opposites, Apollo and Dionysus were so closely related in Greek myth that according to Deinarchos, Dionysus was killed and buried at Delphi beside the golden Apollo.[33] Likewise, in the Lykourgos tetralogy of Aischylos, the cry “Ivy-Apollo, Bakchios, the soothsayer,” is heard when the Thracian bacchantes, the Bassarai, attacks Orpheus, the worshipper of Apollo and the sun. The cry suggests a higher knowledge of the connection between Apollo and Dionysus, the dark god, whom Orpheus denies in favour of the luminous god. In the Lykymnios of Euripides the same connection is attested by the cry, “Lord, laurel-loving Bakchios, Paean Apollo, player of the Lyre.”[34] Similarly, we find anotherpaean by Philodamos addressed to Dionysus from Delphi: “Come hither, Lord Dithyrambos, Backchos…..Bromios now in the spring’s holy period.”[35] The pediments of the temple of Apollo also portray on one side Apollo with Leto, Artemis, and the Muses, and on the other side Dionysus and the thyiads, and a vase painting of c.400 B.C. shows Apollo and Dionysus in Delphi holding their hands to one another.[36]

An analysis of Nietzsche’s philosophy concerning the role of Apollo and Dionysus in Hellenic myth thus reveals more than even a direct parallel. Not only did Nietzsche comprehend the nature of the opposition between Apollo and Dionysus, he understood this aspect of their cult on the esoteric level, that their forces, rather than being antagonistic are instead complementary, with both Gods performing two different aesthetic techniques in the service of the same social function, which reaches its pinnacle of development when both creative processes are elevated in tandem within an individual. Nietzsche understood the symbolism of myths and literature concerning the two gods, and he actually elaborated upon it, adding the works of Schopenhauer to create a complex philosophy concerning not only the interplay of aesthetics in the role of the creative process, but also the nature of the will and the psychological process used to create a certain type, which is exemplified in both his ideals of the Ubermensch and the Free Spirit. Both of these higher types derive their impetus from the synchronicity of the Dionysian and Apollonian drives, hence why in Nietzsche’s later works following The Birth of Tragedy only the Dionysian impulse is referred to, this term not being used to signify just Dionysus, but rather the balanced integration of the two forces. This ideal of eternal life (zoë) is also located in Nietzsche’s theory of Eternal Reoccurrence – it denies the timeless eternity of a supernatural God, but affirms the eternity of the ever-creating and destroying powers in nature and man, for like the solar symbolism of Apollo and Dionysus, it is a notion of cyclical time. To Nietzsche, the figure of Dionysus is the supreme affirmation of life, the instinct and the will to power, with the will to power being an expression of the will to life and to truth at its highest exaltation – “It is a Dionysian Yea-Saying to the world as it is, without deduction, exception and selection…it is the highest attitude that a philosopher can reach; to stand Dionysiacally toward existence: my formula for this is amor fati”’[37]  Dionysus is thus to both Nietzsche and the Greeks, the highest expression of Life in its primordial and transcendent meaning, the hidden power of the Black Sun and the subconscious impulse of the will.


To order at: https://manticorepress.net


[1]James I. Porter, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy, (California: Stanford University Press, 2002), 40

[2]Rose Pfeffer, Nietzsche: Disciple of Dionysus, (New Jersey: Associated University Presses, Inc. 1977), 31

[3] Ibid.,31

[4] Ibid., 51

[5] James I. Porter, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy, 50-51

[6] Ibid., 221

[7] Ibid., 205-206

[8] Rose Pfeffer, Nietzsche: Disciple of Dionysus, 114

[9] Ibid, 113

[10] James I. Porter, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy, 82

[11] Rose Pfeffer, Nietzsche: Disciple of Dionysus, 32

[12] James I. Porter, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy, 99

[13]Dora C. Pozzi, and John M. Wickerman, Myth & the Polis, (New York: Cornell University 1991), 36

[14]Rose Pfeffer, Nietzsche: Disciple of Dionysus,  126

[15] Carl Kerényi, Dionysos Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, (New Jersey: Princeton university press,  1996), xxxxi

[16] Ibid., xxxxv

[17] Ibid., 204-205

[18] Joseph Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and its Origins (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 378

[19]Dora C. Pozzi, and John M. Wickerman, Myth & the Polis,  147

[20]Marcel Detienne, trans. Arthur Goldhammer Dionysos At Large, (London: Harvard Univeristy Press 1989), 46

[21]Dora C. Pozzi, and John M. Wickerman, Myth & the Polis,   144

[22] Marcel Detienne, trans. Arthur Goldhammer Dionysos At Large, 18

[23] Daniel E. Gershenson, Apollo the Wolf-God in Journal of Indo-European Studies, Mongraph number 8 (Virginia: Institute for the Study of Man 1991), 32

[24]Carl Kerényi, Dionysos Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, (New Jersey: Princeton university press,  1996), 103

[25] Dora C. Pozzi, and John M. Wickerman, Myth & the Polis,  139

[26] Joseph Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and its Origins (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 375

[27] Ibid., 376

[28]Daniel E. Gershenson, Apollo the Wolf-God in Journal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph number 8, 61

[29] Joseph Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and its Origins (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 387

[30] Ibid., 379

[31] Ibid., 380-381

[32] Ibid., 219

[33] Ibid., 388

[34] Carl Kerényi, Dionysos Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, (New Jersey: Princeton university press,  1996), 233

[35] Ibid.,217

[36] Walter F. Otto, Dionysus: Myth and Cult, (Dallas: Spring Publications, 1989) 203

[37] Rose Pfeffer, Nietzsche: Disciple of Dionysus,  261

mercredi, 21 mars 2018

EURASISME & TRADITION - La pensée d'Alexandre Douguine


La pensée d'Alexandre Douguine

Samedi 31 mars 2018 – Conférence de Christian Bouchet

A l’occasion de la sortie du nouveau livre de l’intellectuel russe Alexandre Douguine, l’équipe d’E&R Lille accueillera son éditeur, Christian Bouchet,  le samedi 31 mars 2018 à 15h00 pour une conférence intitulée « Eurasisme et tradition, la pensée d’Alexandre Douguine ».

Réservations : reservation.erlille@outlook.fr

dimanche, 18 mars 2018

Sugimoto Gorō & Soldier-Zen


Sugimoto Gorō & Soldier-Zen

Asceticism often has a bad reputation in vitalist circles. The idea of the sexless, passionless, passive, world-rejecting monk seems self-evidently maladaptive, an evolutionary dead end, as Nietzsche and Savitri Devi surmised. Yet the fact is that monks have often been warriors, and the monarchs of ascetic religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism, have often been great conquerors. The Christian monastic orders contributed greatly to the fight against Muslim aggression in the Middle Ages and proved capable of exterminating the last pagan holdouts in the Baltic region.

In Japan, Zen Buddhism was the religion of the samurai, who developed a warrior ethos, Bushidō, which was one of the most profound and spiritual of its type in the entire world. Whereas Buddhism today is often associated with a kind of rootless, feel-good pacifism, in the first half of the twentieth century, the Zen schools of Imperial Japan enthusiastically supported national military power and selfless service to the Emperor as the divine embodiment of their nation. Zen monks and leaders developed a so-called “soldier-Zen” (gunjin-Zen) and strongly supported Japan during the Second World War, both in its imperial ambitions and in its resistance to the Allies. In the post-war years, many liberal Western converts to Zen were shocked to discover that their “enlightened” masters had supported authoritarian militarism and imperialism.

Personally, I have long thought that Zen spiritual practice could lead either to world-rejecting withdrawal or to detached, possibly violent, self-sacrifice of the kind evocatively described in the Hindus’ Bhagavad Gita. The Zen practitioner trains himself to tolerate discomfort, self-discipline, self-awareness, and ultimately a kind of transcendence of the self as illusory. One realizes, intimately, that one is nothing but a part of a boundlessly greater whole and a web of interdependent relationships. At the same time, there is a grim quality to Buddhism in general: Gautama’s insight was in recognizing the transience of all things: not merely of nations and empires and of one’s life and possessions, but even of one’s mind, even of the gods (on which the Nordic Eddur agree, for they foresee the inevitable Twilight of the Gods), perhaps even of the universe itself. In Zen in particular, all is “vacuity,” and one learns to stare into the void with serenity, without flinching, even cultivating a quiet, transcendent joy. However, not all are so strong. The “abyssal realization” can easily lead one to fall into despondent discouragement or withdrawn nihilism. There is little emphasis in Zen on building something that might outlive us, on the cultivation of Life.

Brian Zaizen Victoria, a Western Zen practitioner, has written a great deal on the now-politically incorrect attitudes of the Imperial Zen schools. In “A Buddhological Critique of ‘Soldier-Zen’ in Wartime Japan,”[1] [2] Victoria provides an overview of soldier-Zen and translated extracts from its promoters (the quotes from Buddhist texts and Zen practitioners cited in this article are all drawn from Victoria’s chapter). Victoria argues that “soldier-Zen” was in fact non-Buddhist, claiming that Gautama himself was a preacher and practitioner of non-violence:

[W]hen looking at records of Buddha Śākyamuni’s life, we find his actions to be totally consistent with his earliest teachings. Śākyamuni peacefully sought to prevent war, as can be seen in his initial successful attempt to prevent an attack on his own country. Further, he successfully dissuaded King Ajātasattu from attacking the Vajjians. Still further, even when the very existence of his own homeland was at stake, he did not mobilize the members of the sangha as monk-soldiers to defend his country, nor did he use force to enlarge the power and landholdings of the sangha itself (as was later done in medieval Japan).[2] [3]

However, Victoria recognizes that early on in the Mahayana tradition,[3] [4] violence could be religiously sanctioned, which he claims were monastic rationalizations in the service of pro-Buddhist monarchs, and that such violence has been a recurring feature in Buddhist history. The first-century Nirvana Sutra had commanded “protecting the true Dharma [Buddha’s teaching] by grasping swords and other weapons.” In passing, it appears that the ancient Greek converts to Buddhism of Gandhara had, as monks and kings, a certain role in shaping and spreading Mahayana.

One can easily see how a belief in the transient unreality of the world could lead to an unsentimental attitude towards life. A seventh-century Chan (Chinese Buddhist) text, the Treatise on Absolute Contemplation, argued that killing is ethical if one recognizes that the victim is only empty and dream-like.[4] [5] A millennium later, the seventeenth-century Zen master Takuan Sōhō wrote that:

The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness. It is like a flash of lightning. The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword. None of them are possessed of a mind that has any substantiality. As each of them is of emptiness and has no “mind,” the striking man is not a man, the sword in his hands is not a sword, and the “I” who is about to be struck down is like the splitting of the spring breeze in a flash of lightning.[5] [6]

The samurai appear to have had little difficulty in reconciling their Zen religion with their warrior ethos.

sm-chevel.jpgIn the twentieth century, the Imperial Japanese developed soldier-Zen as a particular spiritual ethos compatible with their nation and state. This was advocated in particular by Lieutenant Colonel Sugimoto Gorō (1900-1937), who died in battle in China, and was honored by the Zen orders as a “military god” (gunshin).

Here are some passages from Sugimoto’s writings and sayings:

The Zen that I do . . . is soldier-Zen. The reason that Zen is important for soldiers is that all Japanese, especially soldiers, must live in the spirit of the unity of sovereign and subjects, eliminating their ego and getting rid of their self. It is exactly the awakening to the nothingness of Zen that is the fundamental spirit of the unity of sovereign and subjects. Through my practice of Zen I am able to get rid of my ego. In facilitating the accomplishment of this, Zen becomes, as it is, the true spirit of the Imperial military.

* * *

The emperor is identical with the Great [Sun] Goddess Amaterasu. He is the supreme and only God of the universe, the supreme sovereign of the universe. All of the many components [of a country] including such things as its laws and constitution, its religion, ethics, learning, art, etc. are expedient means by which to promote unity with the emperor. That is to say, the greatest mission of these components is to promote an awareness of the non-existence of the self and the absolute nature of the emperor. Because of the nonexistence of the self everything in the universe is a manifestation of the emperor . . . including even the insect chirping in the hedge, or the gentle spring breeze. . . .

* * *

If you wish to penetrate the true meaning of “Great Duty,” the first thing you should do is to embrace the teachings of Zen and discard self-attachment.

* * *

War is moral training for not only the individual but for the entire world. It consists of the extinction of self-seeking and the destruction of self-preservation. It is only those without self-attachment who are able to revere the emperor absolutely.

* * *

Life and death are identical. [Compare the Zen concept: “Unity of life and death” (shōji ichinyo)] . . . Warriors who sacrifice their lives for the emperor will not die, but live forever. Truly, they should be called gods and Buddhas for whom there is no life or death. . . . Where there is absolute loyalty there is no life or death. Where there is life and death there is no absolute loyalty. When a person talks of his view of life and death, that person has not yet become pure in heart. He has not yet abandoned body and mind. In pure loyalty there is no life or death. Simply live in pure loyalty!

* * *

In Buddhism, especially the Zen sect, there is repeated reference to the identity of body and mind. In order to realize this identity of the two it is necessary to undergo training with all one’s might and regardless of the sacrifice. Furthermore, the essence of the unity of body and mind is to be found in egolessness. Japan is a country where the Sovereign and the people are identical. When Imperial subjects meld themselves into one with the August Mind [of the emperor], their original countenance shines forth. The essence of the unity of the sovereign and the people is egolessness.

sm-debout.jpgThere is an almost “national-pagan” quality to soldier-Zen’s sublimation of the self into an assertive nation mystically united around a divine monarch.

Following his death in battle, Sugimoto was honored as a national hero by Yamazaki Ekijū, the head of the Rinzai Zen school. This is unsurprising given that Yamazaki’s Zen was firmly national and self-sacrificing. He said, “Japanese Buddhism must be centered on the emperor; for were it not, it would have no place in Japan, it would not be living Buddhism. Even Buddhism must conform to the national structure of Japan. The same holds true for Shakyamuni [Buddha]’s teachings.” He claimed that the Japanese had so cultivated selflessness that, “[f]or Japanese there is no such thing as sacrifice.”[6] [8]

Yamazaki described Sugimoto’s death thus:

A grenade fragment hit him in the left shoulder. He seemed to have fallen down but then got up again. Although he was standing, one could not hear his commands. He was no longer able to issue commands with that husky voice of his. . . . Yet he was still standing, holding his sword in one hand as a prop. Both legs were slightly bent, and he was facing in an easterly direction [toward the imperial palace]. It appeared that he had saluted though his hand was now lowered to about the level of his mouth. The blood flowing from his mouth covered his watch.

In the past it was considered to be the true appearance of a Zen priest to pass away while doing zazen [seated meditation]. Those who were completely and thoroughly enlightened, however, . . . could die calmly in a standing position. . . . The reason this was possible was due to samādhi [concentration] power.

To the last second Sugimoto was a man whose speech and actions were at one with each other.

When he saluted and faced the east, there is no doubt that he also shouted, “May His Majesty, the emperor, live for 10,000 years!” [Tennō-heika Banzai]. It is for this reason that his was the radiant ending of an Imperial soldier. Not only that, but his excellent appearance should be a model for future generations of someone who lived in Zen.[7] [9]

For Yamazaki, Sugimoto “demonstrated the action that derives from the unity of Zen and sword [zenken ichinyo].” Furthermore, “[t]hrough the awareness Sugimoto achieved in becoming one with death, there was, I think, nothing he couldn’t achieve.”[8] [10]

Takuan.jpgSocrates is supposed to have said that all philosophy is a preparation for death. By that definition, there is no doubt that Zen is a true philosophy. The Soto Zen leader Ishihara Shummyō said:

Zen master Takuan taught that in essence Zen and Bushidō were one. . . . I believe that if one is called upon to die, one should not be the least bit agitated. On the contrary, one should be in a realm where something called “oneself ” does not intrude even slightly. Such a realm is no different from that derived from the practice of Zen.[9] [11]

This sentiment is perfectly in accord with ancient Western philosophy’s attitude towards death, from Socrates to Marcus Aurelius.

I cannot say whether Mahatma Gandhi was right in claiming that all forms of violence are immoral. However, I observe that, in any case, the vast majority of mankind does not abjure violence. For most, then, the martial self-sacrifice of soldier-Zen cannot be bad in itself, but merely depends on the morality of the cause which it serves. Nor can I say whether Friedrich Nietzsche was right in claiming that the ascetic ideal is inherently emasculating and one needs a more primal, spontaneous, Dionysian way of life. However, we would have to admit that ascetic practices appear to have been central to the martial prowess of fighters as diverse as the ancient Spartans, the medieval Christian warrior-monks, and the Imperial Japanese. No doubt, different individuals will flourish and better actualize their potential in following a more ascetic or more “barbaric” ethos, depending on their temperament.

After the Second World War, the Americans demanded that the Japanese Emperor renounce his claims of godhood. This may have been understandable from a rationalist and materialist liberal perspective, which saw these claims as not only self-evidently false and even deceitful, but also as having provided part of the foundation for Japanese militarism and international aggression. But there was also a price to be paid: the disenchantment of Japan, the reduction of that nation from a mystical family with a special destiny to a mere population of consumers. Human life, no doubt, suffers and becomes impoverished from a lack of a sense of higher purpose. I will not bore you by citing the various psychological studies suggesting this. Each one who, with but a little sensitivity, looks into his own heart will know it to be true.

I do not accept that nothing exists besides this transient world and that, therefore, nothing in a sense ultimately exists. Even when the Himalayas are ground to dust, humanity goes extinct, and this universe itself is torn asunder, some things, I can sense, will always remain and are eternal: the principles of reason and the yearning-for-life. Individual human life, in all its arbitrariness and brevity, seems to have meaning only if that existence can truly be recognized and lived as part of a greater whole. That was evidently one of the ambitions of soldier-Zen.



[1] [12] Brian Zaizen Victoria, “A Buddhological Critique of ‘Soldier-Zen’ in Wartime Japan,” in Michael Jerryson & Mark Juergensmeyer (eds.), Buddhist Warfare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 105-30.

[2] [13] Ibid., p. 126.

[3] [14]Mahayana, or the “Great Vehicle,” refers to the great branch of Buddhism largely coterminous with the East Asian nations. It is often contrasted with Theravada Buddhism, which is often criticized by Mahayana Buddhists as aiming for a “nirvana” which means non-existence or oblivion.

[4] [15] Ibid., p. 123.

[5] [16] Ibid., p. 118.

[6] [17] Ibid., p. 111.

[7] [18] Ibid., p. 115.

[8] [19] Ibid., p. 114.

[9] [20] Ibid., p. 119.


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

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/03/sugimoto-goro-soldier-zen/

lundi, 26 février 2018

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

Giuseppe Brienza

mardi, 13 février 2018

Bêtes, hommes et dieux - L’énigme du Roi du Monde


Vient de paraître aux editions Déterna :

Bêtes, hommes et dieux

L'énigme du Roi du Monde

de Ferdinand Antoni Ossendowski, préface de Michel Gaudart de Soulages.

« On lira avec plaisir ce livre de Ferdinand Ossendowski
qui retrace son voyage véritablement initiatique
et qui le conduira non seulement
à des rencontres avec des êtres de légende,
mais aussi à le faire pénétrer dans les mystères
d’une Asie immémoriale et éternelle »


(propos sélectionnés par Fabrice Dutilleul)



Qui était Ferdinand Ossendowski ?


Nommé ministre des finances des forces anti-bolcheviques durant la guerre civile russe, par le Gouverneur Suprême de la Russie Alexandre Vassilievitch Koltchak (1874-1920). En 1920, dans une Russie toujours déchirée par la guerre civile entre les Bolcheviques et les Blancs, l’auteur, brillant ingénieur géologue polonais au service de la Russie tsariste, va être arrêté par un détachement de l’Armée rouge voulant le fusiller.

Pour sauver sa vie, il décide de traverser à pied la Sibérie, la Mongolie et le Tibet pour atteindre l’Inde anglaise ; ce périple lui fait traverser une nature hostile, à cheval et bien armé avec des compagnons de voyage tout aussi menacés. Son récit n’est pas une simple histoire de fuite et de survie : il rend hommage à la beauté âpre de l’Asie.

Après de nombreuses péripéties – comme la débâcle de l’Iénisséi : les énormes blocs de glace qui partent à la dérive dans des claquements assourdissants entraînent derrière eux les cadavres encore frais des innombrables victimes de l’automne précédent– qui le conduise à Pékin, après une tentative manquée pour s’échapper par le Tibet.


Grand amateur de mystères, Ferdinand Ossendowski donne enfin une dimension ésotérique à son odyssée…


Oui, lorsqu’il évoque ses expériences chamaniques et sa révélation du mythe du Roi du monde : en Mongolie, il rencontre ainsi des personage historiques, tel le Bouddha vivant, le « roi du monde », le Bogdo Khan, des chamans visionnaires, des lamas empoisonneurs, un monde de magie et de folie mystique…

Dans le présent ouvrage est relaté sa rencontre de dix jours avec le premier, Roman Fedorovich von Ungern Sternberg (1886-1921), dernier khan de Mongolie, surnommé après sa mort le « baron fou » par ses détracteurs.


Remarquable notamment est l’évocation faite de l’Agarttha…


En effet, rappelons que l’Agarttha est ce sanctuaire souterrain caché sous la chaîne de l’Himalaya où officieraient les Maîtres du Monde : « Le roi du Monde appraîtra devant tous les hommes quand le temps sera venu pour lui de conduire tous les bons dans la guerre contre les méchants ; mais ce temps n’est pas encore venu. Les plus mauvais de l’humanité ne sont pas encore nés. »


On lira avec plaisir ce livre de Ferdinand Ossendowski qui retrace son voyage véritablement initiatique et qui le conduira non seulement à des rencontres avec des êtres de légende, mais aussi à le faire pénétrer dans les mystères d’une Asie immémoriale et éternelle.


Bêtes, hommes et dieux. L’énigme du Roi du Monde – Ferdinand Antoni Ossendowski, préface de Michel Gaudart de Soulages (éditions Déterna, 334 p. – 31 euros)


à renvoyer à : Francephi diffusion - Boite 37 - 16 bis rue d’Odessa - 75014 Paris - Tél. 09 52 95 13 34 - Fax. 09 57 95 13 34 – Mél. diffusion@francephi.com

Commande par internet (paiement 100 % sécurisé par paypal ou carte bancaire) sur notre site www.francephi.com.

Bêtes, hommes et dieux - L’énigme du Roi du Monde


Vient de paraître aux editions Déterna :

Bêtes, hommes et dieux

L'énigme du Roi du Monde

de Ferdinand Antoni Ossendowski, préface de Michel Gaudart de Soulages.

« On lira avec plaisir ce livre de Ferdinand Ossendowski
qui retrace son voyage véritablement initiatique
et qui le conduira non seulement
à des rencontres avec des êtres de légende,
mais aussi à le faire pénétrer dans les mystères
d’une Asie immémoriale et éternelle »


(propos sélectionnés par Fabrice Dutilleul)



Qui était Ferdinand Ossendowski ?


Nommé ministre des finances des forces anti-bolcheviques durant la guerre civile russe, par le Gouverneur Suprême de la Russie Alexandre Vassilievitch Koltchak (1874-1920). En 1920, dans une Russie toujours déchirée par la guerre civile entre les Bolcheviques et les Blancs, l’auteur, brillant ingénieur géologue polonais au service de la Russie tsariste, va être arrêté par un détachement de l’Armée rouge voulant le fusiller.

Pour sauver sa vie, il décide de traverser à pied la Sibérie, la Mongolie et le Tibet pour atteindre l’Inde anglaise ; ce périple lui fait traverser une nature hostile, à cheval et bien armé avec des compagnons de voyage tout aussi menacés. Son récit n’est pas une simple histoire de fuite et de survie : il rend hommage à la beauté âpre de l’Asie.

Après de nombreuses péripéties – comme la débâcle de l’Iénisséi : les énormes blocs de glace qui partent à la dérive dans des claquements assourdissants entraînent derrière eux les cadavres encore frais des innombrables victimes de l’automne précédent– qui le conduise à Pékin, après une tentative manquée pour s’échapper par le Tibet.


Grand amateur de mystères, Ferdinand Ossendowski donne enfin une dimension ésotérique à son odyssée…


Oui, lorsqu’il évoque ses expériences chamaniques et sa révélation du mythe du Roi du monde : en Mongolie, il rencontre ainsi des personage historiques, tel le Bouddha vivant, le « roi du monde », le Bogdo Khan, des chamans visionnaires, des lamas empoisonneurs, un monde de magie et de folie mystique…

Dans le présent ouvrage est relaté sa rencontre de dix jours avec le premier, Roman Fedorovich von Ungern Sternberg (1886-1921), dernier khan de Mongolie, surnommé après sa mort le « baron fou » par ses détracteurs.


Remarquable notamment est l’évocation faite de l’Agarttha…


En effet, rappelons que l’Agarttha est ce sanctuaire souterrain caché sous la chaîne de l’Himalaya où officieraient les Maîtres du Monde : « Le roi du Monde appraîtra devant tous les hommes quand le temps sera venu pour lui de conduire tous les bons dans la guerre contre les méchants ; mais ce temps n’est pas encore venu. Les plus mauvais de l’humanité ne sont pas encore nés. »


On lira avec plaisir ce livre de Ferdinand Ossendowski qui retrace son voyage véritablement initiatique et qui le conduira non seulement à des rencontres avec des êtres de légende, mais aussi à le faire pénétrer dans les mystères d’une Asie immémoriale et éternelle.


Bêtes, hommes et dieux. L’énigme du Roi du Monde – Ferdinand Antoni Ossendowski, préface de Michel Gaudart de Soulages (éditions Déterna, 334 p. – 31 euros)


à renvoyer à : Francephi diffusion - Boite 37 - 16 bis rue d’Odessa - 75014 Paris - Tél. 09 52 95 13 34 - Fax. 09 57 95 13 34 – Mél. diffusion@francephi.com

Commande par internet (paiement 100 % sécurisé par paypal ou carte bancaire) sur notre site www.francephi.com.

lundi, 05 février 2018

Spiritualité, Ontologie, Métaphysique et Musique industrielle


Spiritualité, Ontologie, Métaphysique et Musique industrielle

par Thierry DUROLLE

La Tradition constitue pour beaucoup à la fois un point de départ et un point d’arrivée; elle suscite l’intérêt de personnalités variées dont le point commun réside dans le fait que leur regard est dirigé vers le « plus-que-vie », le « principe suprême », et les questions d’ordre ontologique et métaphysique en général. Jean-Marc Vivenza compte parmi ces chercheurs d’Absolu.

JMV-couv.jpgSa créativité se manifesta dans sa jeunesse, et en parallèle de ses études de philosophie et d’histoire de l’art, dans la musique industrielle, courant singulier, transgressif et atonale que l’on nomme, sans aucune connotation péjorative, « bruitisme ». Précurseur en la matière, le sérieux de la démarche, ainsi que son talent, amenèrent Vivenza à se produire dans toute l’Europe.

L’artiste, fortement influencé par le futurisme, se doublait d’un homme spirituel et spirituellement conscient du monde dans lequel il vit. Ce lecteur d’Evola, puis de Guénon, de Maistre et de beaucoup d’autres abandonna la musique bruitiste pour se développer intérieurement. Son cheminement il le relate dans son dernier ouvrage en date, Entretiens spirituels et écrits métaphysiques.

Dans la première partie de l’ouvrage, le lecteur trouvera plusieurs entretiens, dont le premier est centré justement sur le parcours de l’auteur. Là où la Tradition amenèrent certains à se convertir à l’islam par exemple, elle orienta Jean-Marc Vivenza sur les chemins de ce qu’il considère comme un véritable ésotérisme chrétien, bien que celui-ci soit un ésotérisme chrétien franc-maçon inspiré de Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.

Fortement influencé par ce dernier, mais aussi par Joseph de Maistre, Jean-Marc Vivenza expose ses vues de manière limpide bien que le sujet en lui-même s’adresse avant tout à un public averti, ou plutôt, devrions-nous dire, initié. Cet ouvrage va au-delà de la Tradition où bon nombre de lecteurs de Guénon et consorts l’entendent. D’ailleurs, Vivenza se montre souvent critique envers René Guénon, d’autant plus critique qu’il connaît très bien sa pensée. En dépit d’une évolution bien différente, l’on sent toujours chez lui une sympathie certaine pour Julius Evola. La première annexe du livre lui est d’ailleurs consacrée, plus précisément la période de sa vie où il fut proche de certains futuristes lorgnant justement vers l’ésotérisme et la Tradition.

Nous ne serons pas d’accord avec toutes les vues de Jean-Marc Vivenza, notamment sur sa critique de la doctrine des cycles cosmiques, mais nous ne pouvons que saluer la somme de connaissance, dans son domaine, à savoir l’illuminisme (qu’il ne faut évidemment pas confondre avec les Illuminés de Bavière) et les doctrines ontologiques et métaphysiques.

Ouvrage intéressant mais épineux pour le néophyte, Jean-Marc Vivenza nous plonge dans une facette de l’histoire spirituelle de l’Europe méconnue de certains mais riche à sa manière.


• Jean-Marc Vivenza, Entretiens spirituels et écrits métaphysiques, Le Mercure Dauphinois, 2017, 376 p., 21,50 €.

vendredi, 02 février 2018

Avondland en Rijksgedachte


Avondland en Rijksgedachte

door Jonathan Van Tongeren

Ex: https://www.novini.nl

Er wordt veel gesproken over Europa of het Avondland. Maar wat is Europa? Velen hebben al gewezen op de betekenis van het Romeinse recht en het Griekse denken en sommigen noemen de Europese cultuur daarom zelfs excentrisch. Zij zien echter iets cruciaals over het hoofd. Kenmerkend voor het Avondland is de spanning tussen universaliteit en particulariteit. Dit laat zich het beste illustreren aan de hand van de Rijksgedachte.

Enerzijds is Europa voor een klein continent zeer rijk aan volken en naties, kent het een grote diversiteit aan regionale culturen en levenswijzen, anderzijds leeft nergens het universele denken sterker dan in Europa. Dat universele denken heeft bijvoorbeeld betrekking op het denken in termen van Europa of Avonland; ondanks de niet geringe culturele onderscheiden tussen de volken en regio’s van Europa, bestaat er toch een besef dat de Europeanen iets gemeen hebben, in zekere zin bij elkaar horen. Verder heeft het universele denken ook betrekking op de hele mensheid. Nergens wordt er zo sterk in termen van de gehele mensheid gedacht als in de Europese cultuurkring.

Aanvankelijk was Europa vooral een term die betrekking had op de klassieke beschaving ten westen van de oostkust van de Middellandse Zee. Het Romeinse Rijk breidde zich echter uit naar Gallië, Iberië en Germanië en incorporeerde Galliërs, Germanen en anderen in het Romeinse Rijk, ging ze op enig moment als Romeinse burgers beschouwen. Zo werden deze Germanen en anderen vanuit hun particulariteit opgenomen in de universaliteit van de Pax Romana. Hier werd een belangrijk fundament gelegd voor wat Europa later zou worden.

In de nadagen van het Romeinse Rijk organiseerde zich buiten het bereik van Rome, aan de andere kant van Rijn en Donau een confederatie van Germaanse stammen. Zij noemden zich de Franken, dat wil zeggen de vrijen, vrij van Romeinse overheersing. Deze Franken zouden later net als de Alemannen en anderen het Romeinse Rijk binnenvallen, zich vermengen met de lokale Gallo-Romeinse bevolking en er eigen koninkrijken vormen.

Nog later zou echter juist een Frankische koning de draad van het gevallen West-Romeinse Rijk weer opnemen: Karel de Grote. Dit is het eerste rijk, hier begint de Rijksgedachte. Het Rijk van Karel de Grote stond natuurlijk niet alleen in de universele traditie van het Romeinse Rijk, de Franken namen ook hun particulariteit mee. Hier zien we de typische spanning die kenmerkend is voor Europa. De Franken waren de dragende natie van het nieuwe Rijk, maar voor andere volken was zeer beslist plaats daarbinnen.

Zo hebben we gezien hoe het Romeinse en het Germaanse een rol speelde in de totstandkoming van het Europese. Ook het christendom speelde echter een belangrijke rol, het faciliteerde het samengaan van het Romeinse universele en het Germaanse particuliere. Het christendom kon de samenvloeiing van het Romeinse en het Germaanse faciliteren, doordat het zelf al de spanning tussen het universele en het particuliere in zich draagt. Dit zien we bijvoorbeeld als de apostel Paulus vanuit Klein-Azië naar Europa is gekomen en op de Areopagus in Athene met de mensen spreekt. We lezen hierover in Handelingen 17:15-34. In vers 26 zegt de apostel dan: “Hij [God] heeft uit één enkele [mens]het gehele menselijke geslacht gemaakt om op de ganse oppervlakte van de aarde te wonen en Hij heeft de hun toegemeten tijden en de grenzen van hun woonplaatsen bepaald.” Enerzijds is de hele mensheid dus verwant, anderzijds wil God dat de mensen zich verspreiden op de aarde en volken zich ergens vestigen om eigen particuliere tradities vormen.


We zien in de geschiedenis ook terug dat dit denken heeft postgevat bij de gekerstende Germanen. Zonder Clovis die zich liet dopen, was er geen Karel de Grote geweest die bij Byzantium erkenning zocht van zijn rijk als opvolger van het West-Romeinse Rijk. Waar het Romeinse Rijk nog uitging van het opnemen van Galliërs en Germanen in het Romeinse Rijk door assimilatie, is deze neiging nauwelijks  aanwezig in het Rijk van Karel de Grote. Waar Rome zijn particulariteit expandeerde tot universele proporties, neemt de universaliteit van het Frankische Rijk andere particulariteiten in zich op zonder die op te heffen.

De Rijksgedachte leeft later voort in het Heilige Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie. De Duitse natie is daarin dragend, maar andere naties hebben een plaats binnen het rijk dat zich uitstrekt naar Bohemen en Italië. Nog later zien we nog het meeste van de Rijksgedachte terug in de Oostenrijks-Hongaarse Dubbelmonarchie. Dat rijk wordt na de Eerste Wereldoorlog echter onder het mom van Wilsons idee van nationale zelfbeschikking aan stukken gereten. Deze schending van de Rijksgedachte zal grote gevolgen hebben voor Europa. “Dat is nu eenmaal”, zoals Schiller dicht, “de vloek van de euvele daad, dat ze, zich voortplantend, steeds nieuw kwaad baart.”

Hieruit komt dan ook de geperverteerde Rijksgedachte van een door de afloop van de Eerste Wereldoorlog gefrustreerde Oostenrijkse korporaal in Duitse dienst voort. Zijn zogenaamde Derde Rijk heeft niets uit te staan met de oude Rijksgedachte, het gaat hem om Lebensraum voor de Duitse natie en andere volken moeten daarvoor wijken of zelfs uitgeroeid worden. Om deze demonische pervertering van de Rijksgedachte uit te bannen moest alles uit de kast getrokken worden.

Maar na het uitbannen van deze geest, is Europa niet teruggekeerd naar de Rijksgedachte. Zo zitten we nu met een ten diepste on-Europese ‘ever closer union’. De vraag is of een terugkeer naar de Rijksgedachte om die onder de nieuwe omstandigheden opnieuw vorm te geven nog mogelijk is. Een appreciatie van het Europese erfgoed lijkt daarvoor niet toereikend. De Britse Conservatieve politicus, wijlen sir Fred Catherwood bracht het treffend onder woorden: “We have swept our European house clean of fascism and of communism. We now have democracy and  freedom of speech from the Atlantic to the Urals. But we also now have a Europe emptier than before of the Christian faith. In the words of Christ’s parable, Europe is a house swept clean, ready for seven devils worse than the first to come in.”

mardi, 23 janvier 2018

Religious Piety in Sparta & Rome


Religious Piety in Sparta & Rome

As (post-)Christian moderns, we are twice handicapped in trying to understand the religions of the ancient pagan states such as Sparta and Rome. Where we tend to think of religious belief as universalistic, other-worldly, monolatrous, and dogmatic, ancient paganism was particularistic, world-embracing, polytheistic (almost ecumenical), and non-dogmatic (but ritualistic). 

FdC-CA.jpgThe nineteenth-century French historian Fustel de Coulanges memorably showed, in his La Cité antique, the fundamental role which the religion had in shaping the laws, families, and very statehood of Greek and Roman societies. The ancient family and state were presided over by fathers also playing the role of priests. Participation in the religion defined who was a member of the community, whether familial or political, what were the inviolable sacred spaces were (the household, the city, the federal sanctuary), what were the duties of each, and who were the ancestors and gods one had to live up to. The religious-familial-political community – all the associated sentiments reinforcing one another in wondrous harmony – and its rules were constantly reinforced by regular and mandatory ritualistic activity featuring sacrifices, a set calendar, festivals, and so on. Coulanges says:

The comparison of the beliefs and laws [of the Greco-Romans] shows that the primitive religion created the Greek and Roman family, established marriage and paternal authority, fixed the categories of kinship, consecrated the right of property and the right of inheritance. This same religion, after having enlarged and extended the family, shaped a wider association, the city, and reigned in it as in the family.[1] [2]

He stresses furthermore: “There was not a single act of public life in which one did not have the gods intervene.”[2] [3] This cannot be overemphasized: all ancient Greco-Roman government buildings (including the treasury) were in fact temples. Assembly meetings and court cases were held under the auspices of the gods. Hence, selection of officials by lot was thought to be the gods’ choice and meetings could only be held on propitious religious days. Even on military campaigns, one finds the general acting as head priest, making regular sacrifices to the gods and looking for omens, and making decisions on that basis. Where Christianity has often been separated from the state (“Render unto Caesar . . .”), Coulanges is at pains to emphasize that in pagan Greece and Rome, religion was the state.

We are struck at how “scientific” the Greeks could be. Sophists, historians, and philosophers could explain phenomena in often surprisingly naturalistic and rational ways: that dreams are the return of what concerned us during the day, that the Nile Delta was formed by the river’s steady depositing, or that fossilized shells found in the mountains are proof that the seas used to be high. We find philosophers like Xenophanes criticizing the inherited tales about the gods in a surprisingly free spirit. Then there is Anaxagoras’ memorable claim that the sun was a “a hot stone larger than the Peloponnese”! The historian Thucydides is also remarkable for his lack of religious interpretation.

Yet, these “rationalists” seem to have been very much the exception in these societies, or at least, religious piety and superstition nonetheless dominated daily life. The ancient religion seems to us exceedingly superstitious in many ways. Look at what the most pious Xenophon has his idealized Cyrus say on his death-bed:

Zeus, god of my fathers, and you, O Sun, and all you gods, accept this sacrifice, my offering for many a noble enterprise, and suffer me to thank you for the grace you have shown me, telling me all my life, by victims and by signs from heaven, by birds and by the voices of men, what things I ought to do and what I ought to refrain from.[3] [4]

xenophon03.jpgWe are shocked to see, throughout Greco-Roman history, government and even military business being significantly affected by apparently trivial “omens” such as the weather, the entrails of animals, the flight of birds, dreams, sneezes, the inscrutable sayings of the oracles, to not speak of more significant events such as earthquakes and eclipses. All these were interpreted not as chance occurrences but as manifestations of divine will.

This was not merely a matter of form: one constantly sees ancient generals, say, delaying their action because of a religious festival or because the day’s sacrifice has not yielded an “auspicious” omen (e.g. the Spartans’ not coming to help the Athenians at Marathon, the Athenian Nicias’ passivity in Sicily). We also see religious controversies – such as the vandalization of the Athenian herms or the failure to to recover bodies at the Battle of Arginusae – leading to serious political crises.

On the subjective level, the Ancients experienced the world in a different way from us. Mystery and meaning were everywhere, and that is why they saw “omens” everywhere. On the sociological level, however, the religion clearly served a useful social purpose (otherwise, some tribe of atheists would have conquered their superstitious counterparts, something which never happened until the modern era).[4] [5]

Requiring all members of the community (family or city) to participate in given rituals and festivals no doubt fostered social unity. If men could agree on the interpretation of an omen, this could create social consensus when a decision had to be made, as the decision was considered to have been made by the gods. These decisions could indeed concern whether to undertake a particular military course of action or whether to launch a colonial expedition. We also witness occasional manipulation of omens for political ends. Wandering “seers” also seem to have used claims of divine insight for economic ends, and were sometimes dismissed as charlatans.

In any event, the piety of ancient societies, and in particular of the most successful states, is beyond doubt. Take Sparta for instance. The Spartans were famously pious and punctilious in respect of ritual. Herodotus says that for them “divine matters took precedence over human ones.”[5] [6] Xenophon, in his account of the Spartan state, unsurprisingly emphasizes Spartan martial prowess. However, it is after giving an account of the excellence of the Spartans’ rituals while on campaign that he says: “if you witnessed this you would think that militarily others are amateurs, whereas Spartans alone are real masters of the craft of war.”[6] [7] How telling that the warrior Xenophon reserves the term “craftsmen of war” for experts in religious ritual.

The social sense in this is no doubt in the powerful psychological impact of communal religious ritual in creating feelings of harmony, purpose, and steadfastness. On one occasion, Xenophon says that the Spartans were inspired with confidence, not only by the presence of many weapons in the city, but by the sight of their priest-king:

And here was another sight to warm the heart – the soldiers, with Agesilaus at the head of them, coming back from the gymnasia with their garlands and then dedicating them to Artemis. For where you find men honoring the gods, disciplining themselves for war and practicing obedience, you may be sure that there everything will be full of good hope.[7] [8]

We emphasize: the sight of and participation in a familiar ritual makes everything “full of good hope.”

PLU-VP.JPGPlutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus, attributes a similar role to religious ritual in promoting hope and courage (my emphasis):

Once their phalanx was marshaled together in sight of the enemy, the king sacrificed the customary she-goat, instructed everyone to put on garlands, and ordered the pipers to play Castor’s Air. At the same time he began the marching paean, so that it was a sight at once solemn and terrifying to see them marching in step to the pipes, creating no gap in the phalanx nor suffering any disturbance of spirit, but approaching the confrontation calmly and happily in time to the music. In all likelihood men in this frame of mind feel neither fear nor exceptional anger, but with hope and courage they steadily maintain their purpose, believing heaven to be with them.[8] [9]

Nor are such comments restricted to Sparta. We find similar observations on Rome, that other very great martial republic of the ancient world. Religious life was just as pervasive in Rome as in Greece. Livy says of Rome: “There was nowhere in this city that was not imbued with religion and which was not occupied by some divinity . . . The gods dwell there.”[9] [10] Indeed, one has to walk amidst the ruins of the Roman Forum to realize this: one is stunned to see such a concentration of religious-governmental buildings, the inevitable urban over-development produced by a vast empire.

The Greco-Roman historian Polybius, who like Xenophon was also an experienced politician and military officer, explicitly cites religious piety as a fundamental source of Roman power:

But the respect in which, in my opinion, the Roman constitution is most markedly superior is in its view of the gods. It seems to me that superstition, which we criticize in other people, is precisely what gives the Roman state its cohesion. In Rome, nothing plays a more elaborate or extensive role in people’s private lives and in the political sphere than superstition. Many of my readers might find this strange, but it seems to me that it has been done for the sake of the common people. In a state of enlightened citizens, there would presumably be no need for such a course. But since the common people everywhere are fickle – since they are driven by lawless impulses, blind anger, and violent passion – the only option is to use mysterious terrors and all this elaborate drama to restrain them.[10] [11]


Again, it is striking that Polybius claims that religious piety was the aspect of Rome which was most superior to other states, promoting cohesion and morality among the people. It is also noteworthy that the emperor Marcus Aurelius, whose religious beliefs could be deemed deist or sometimes agnostic, took his role as Rome’s head priest very seriously: the father of the family and the state, by his pious example, shows the way for his flock.

Religion then played a fundamental role in the construction and cohesion of Greco-Roman societies. Religious practice, no doubt, reflects not only custom but deep-seated and in-born human psychological mechanisms, which seek to find meaning in the world and community with others. These mechanisms find their satisfaction through compelling existential narratives and pious rituals in common. The powerful effects are plain for all to see, both in the history of religions, and, for those who have not fully severed themselves from the ancestral ways, in individual experience.


[1] [12] Fustel de Coulanges, La Cité antique (Paris: Flammarion, 2009 [1864]), 36.

[2] [13] Ibid., 230.

[3] [14] Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, trans. Henry Graham Dakyns (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1914), 8.7.3.

[4] [15] Actually, we should not think that atheistic liberals and communists, when they have engaged in some “crusade,” were not acting in a de facto religious spirit of fanaticism.

[5] [16] Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 5.63.

[6] [17] Xenophon, Spartan Constitution, 13, in Plutarch, On Sparta, trans. Richard Talbert (London: Penguin, 2005).

[7] [18] Xenophon, A History of My Times [Hellenica], trans. Rex Warner (London: Penguin, 1966), 3.4.18.

[8] [19] Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus, 22, in Plutarch, On Sparta.

[9] [20] Quoted in Coulanges, La Cité, p. 202.

[10] [21] Polybius, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2010), 6.56.

mercredi, 17 janvier 2018

Le bushidô selon Mishima


Le bushidô selon Mishima

Rémy Valat

Ex: https://metamag.fr

Mishima est le nom de plume que se prêtait Hiraoka Kimitake (1925-1970). Le suicide de Hiraoka au moment d’une tentative avortée de coup d’État nationaliste le 25 novembre 1970 au siège des forces d’autodéfense à Tôkyô a été interprété de différentes manières, soit comme l’acte d’un déséquilibré, d’un martyr de la cause impériale, voire du geste du dernier samouraï.

Hiraoka Kimitake aurait intériorisé les appels au sacrifice du temps de guerre, puis arrivé à maturité, sa critique acerbe de la société de consommation avec laquelle il se sentait en décalage et son désir de retour à la tradition, l’auraient poussé à former une milice, éduquée sur le « pur » modèle japonais, une force paramilitaire qui aurait été l’embryon d’une nouvelle armée fidèle à l’empereur et à la tradition.

mishimasunsteel.jpgMishima, l’écrivain devenu l’homme d’un seul livre : le Hagakure

On comprend aisément le rejet de Hiraoka Kimitake pour la vassalisation du Japon par Washington après 1945 : une mise sous tutelle économique et culturelle, renforcée par la démilitarisation politique et morale du pays. Si le Japon dispose d’une armée conséquente, elle ne peut encore aujourd’hui être librement déployée sur un théâtre d’opération extérieur. Mais, Mishima-l’écrivain était avant tout un grand lecteur des œuvres occidentales (il appartient à la même génération que les étudiants-pilotes tokkôtai) et a, aussitôt le succès venu, vécu confortablement selon les valeurs de la société de consommation, qu’il vînt plus tard à critiquer. Surtout, Mishima était séduit par l’esthétique chrétienne de la mort et du sacrifice. Le tableau Saint Sébastien de Guido Reni, représentant le martyr le torse nu transpercé de flèches, le poussa même à reconstituer le tableau in vivo, en posant pour le photographe Hosoe Eikō (né en 1933) pour son album Ordalie par les roses (Barakei, 1963).

Hiraoka, l’homme avait une forte attirance pour l’esthétique de la souffrance et de la mort, stimulée par un désir d’exhiber son corps et ses préférences sexuelles, ces manifestations seraient peut-être le fruit d’une éducation perturbée (reçue d’une grand-mère et d’un père autoritaires, contre-balancée par une mère aimante). Cette fascination morbide est aussi le fruit de la propagande du temps de guerre (qui invitait au sacrifice), mais n’ayant pas eu le courage de s’engager (prétextant des douleurs pulmonaires), le don de sa personne pour l’empereur et la patrie sont restés pour lui un acte manqué qui l’emplissent de remords.

Ainsi, Mishima grand lecteur et grand écrivain s’enfermera dans la lecture d’un seul livre, le Hagakure de Yamamoto Jōchō (ou Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Jōchō est le nom qu’il prit après sa rupture avec son nouveau maître et l’adoption d’une vie recluse), auteur en qui il se reconnaissait et qu’il considèrait comme le samouraï modèle. Pourquoi ?

Yamamoto Tsunetomo (1659 – 1719) était un lettré, fidèle vassal du seigneur Nabeshima Mitsushige de la province de Saga. À la disparition de son maître (1700), il ne put pratiquer le suicide par accompagnement, pratique traditionnelle attestant de la dévotion du samouraï envers son seigneur. Yamamoto Tsunetomo a reçu une stricte éducation de guerrier, mais la bureaucratisation des missions des samouraïs a condamné à jamais la réalisation de ses rêves de jeunesse emplis de combats glorieux et d’honneurs acquis sur le champ de bataille. Le samouraï vécu mal la double interdiction de son suzerain, qui ne préconisait pas cet acte, et du gouvernement shôgunal, qui l’interdisait officiellement : accompagner son maître dans la mort aurait été pour lui la preuve ultime de sa loyauté et de son état de samouraï. Néanmoins, on ignore les motivations de son auteur aux différents stades de son existence (sa relation intime avec la mort), et il n’est pas à exclure qu’il puisse également s’agir d’une posture : Yamamoto Tsunetomo n’a jamais pris les armes de sa vie, il est mort dans son lit en ruminant un passé idéalisé…. Il est donc facile d’inviter les autres au sacrifice.

Son livre, en 11 rouleaux, le Hagakure (littéralement « à l’ombre des feuilles ») qui met notamment en avant plusieurs aspects de l’éthique des samouraïs et chers à Mishima : une ferme résolution à mourir (et donc à vivre au temps présent), le soin particulier à donner à l’apparence extérieure et l’acceptation de l’homosexualité, comme preuve de l’attachement suprême entre combattants. Mais, quoi qu’est pu en croire Mishima, ce texte n’a eu aucune influence à l’époque d’Edo, les rares samouraïs qui en connaissaient l’existence n’en recommandaient pas nécessairement la lecture, preuve du décalage de mentalité entre son auteur et son groupe social.

L’inspiration occidentale du bushidô moderne : le drame de la méconnaissance

L’esprit de sacrifice que Mishima emprunte au christianisme est aussi un héritage du Bushidô. The soul of Japan (ou Bushidô, l’âme du Japon, écrit directement en anglais et paru en 1900) de Nitobe Inazô (qui était de confession chrétienne). Celui-ci a rassemblé selon une grille de lecture moderne des traits culturels de la société japonaise et de la classe guerrière, les bushis, pour en dégager une éthique, faite de courage, de bienveillance, de courtoisie, du don de la personne, de sincérité, d’honneur, de loyauté, du contrôle de soi et d’esprit de justice, qu’il élève au rang de religion. Mais, cette morale des samouraïs est une tradition inventée, modernisée sur le modèle occidental. Celle-ci n’a jamais existé d’une manière aussi lisible : elle est une assimilation aux codes des chevaleries médiévales occidentales, une chevalerie qui est elle aussi pour une bonne part une tradition rénovée. Or, les anciens « codes des maisons» ou buke kakun, font peu ou pas référence à un « code des guerriers » et, depuis le XIXe siècle, les documents systématiquement mis en avant par les historiens japonais, peu nombreux et toujours les mêmes, ne se conforment pleinement ni aux mœurs ni aux pratiques sociales des samouraïs toutes époques confondues.

mishimaswordart.jpgLe terme « bushidô », utilisé en ce sens serait apparue pour la première fois dans le koyo gunkan, la chronique militaire de la province du Kai dirigée par le célèbre clan des Takeda (la chronique a été compilée par Kagenori Obata (1572-1663), le fils d’un imminent stratège du clan à partir de 1615. L’historien japonais Yamamoto Hirofumi (Yamamoto Hirofumi, Nihonjin no kokoro : bushidô nyûmon, Chûkei éditions, Tôkyô, 2006), constata au cours de ses recherches l’absence, à l’époque moderne, de textes formulant une éthique des guerriers qui auraient pu être accessibles et respectées par le plus grand nombre des samouraïs. Mieux, les rares textes, formulant et dégageant une éthique propre aux samouraïs (le Hagakure de Yamamoto Tsunetomo et les écrits de Yamaga Sôkô) tous deux intégrés dans le canon des textes de l’idéologie du bushidô, n’ont eu aucune influence avant le XXe siècle.

Ce fort désir de créer et de s’approprier une tradition s’intègre dans un contexte plus large et plus profond. L’intensification des échanges internationaux et le rapide processus de modernisation des sociétés au XIXe siècle a posé la question de la place du groupe et de la nation. Cette quête a pris la forme d’une modernisation de la tradition, en prenant le meilleur de ce qui est considéré être l’essence de la nation. Ce besoin identitaire était encore plus fort pour les pays colonisés, ou comme le Japon, pays en voie de développement ayant refusé d’emblée l’occidentalisation par la force. La puissance militaire des pays occidentaux ne pouvait s’expliquer que par une mentalité guerrière particulière (la chevalerie chrétienne) à laquelle il fallait trouver un pendant japonais (les samouraïs et le bushidô). Le samouraï deviendrait ainsi le symbole, l’outil assurant la cohésion de la société, et dont les valeurs soigneusement sélectionnées seraient érigées en une idéologie dépeignant une éthique purement japonaise.

Si le Bushidô et le Hagakure ont été sévèrement condamnés par l’occupant nord-américain et mis à l’index après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les Japonais ont intériorisé et ont fait leur l’éthique du Bushidô imaginée par Nitobe Inazô. La samouraïsation de la société, et en particulier les films de propagande de la guerre Asie-pacifique, ont contribué à façonner, après épuration des traits militaristes du message initial, l’idéal de « japonéité » et l’image contemporaine du samouraï. Après la défaite de 1945 et deux bombardements atomiques, la population était en quête de sens. Le besoin de se sentir fort a contribué à l’émergence d’une mentalité nouvelle, démilitarisée, mais combative et héritée de la période expansionniste en Asie, construite autour de l’idéal d’une essence et d’un esprit typiquement japonais. Mais ce bushidô-là, n’est plus celui des samouraïs.

Mishima : le dernier samouraï

En somme, l’homme Hiraoka Kimitake était déchiré par des luttes internes, mélangées aux questionnements de la société japonaise de l’après guerre. Son suicide marque une volonté de dépassement…En apparence, sa vie et son dernier geste paraissent en contradiction avec l’éthique communément admise et « christianisée » du samouraï, qui est un mélange d’humilité, de discrétion, même dans la mort. Or, Mishima aimait être vue et admiré, trop attaché à son corps et aux apparences, il a préféré disparaître avant le déclin physique. La tentative de coup d’État était un coup de dé, en cas de réussite : la gloire ; en cas, d’échec : une mort longtemps désirée et mise en scène. Néanmoins, son geste est paradoxalement le plus représentatif de ce que furent réellement les guerriers japonais : individualistes, aimant être vus et attachés à leur honneur, ceux-ci défendaient becs et ongles leur liberté. Une liberté d’action que leur offrait le métier des armes et une possibilité d’intervention dans le domaine public. Comme eux, s’étant mentalement préparé à mourir, et quelques puissent être ses motivations personnelles, son suicide spectaculaire pour une cause légitime est le geste d’un homme libre et maître de son destin.

vendredi, 12 janvier 2018

L'Algérie célèbre le Nouvel An berbère 2968, férié pour la première fois


L'Algérie célèbre le Nouvel An berbère 2968, férié pour la première fois

par AFP & http://www.h24info/ma