THE PRIMACY OF SPIRIT, HIERARCHY, TRADITIONALISM AND METAPOLITICS
It was a long time ago I joined this forum and one of the first things I ever posted here was this thread. I know the issues and topics discussed on the sites I quote here are, due to their complexity, very difficult to understand and grasp. I don't claim to fully understand everything said. But I have a very strong hunch - an intuitive gut feeling - that the answer to our current very dark world lies buried within the ideas these words convey.
Recently, I've watched a couple of documentaries, one a speech by Michael Ruppert on CIA global drug trafficking, and the other one with Alex Jones called "9/11: Martial Law".
Although these documentary films are very informative within the specific issues their dealing with, their focus is very regional and don't go back far enough in history and hence don't even begin to explain the very pressing SPIRITUAL problems that are the core to the present crisis of the modern world. Make no mistake: this problem and its causes are OCCULT. That means HIDDEN. Yes, most people employing these occult powers are evil but the knowledge itself is NOT EVIL. The main problem is the decadence of SPIRIT in Modern Man, a degeneration and corruption of the divine purity that it once had.
What both these films do is merely scratch the surface of the MATERIAL aspects of the conspiracy. If we are to understand the whole scope of the Evil threatening the souls of men we have to understand the IMMATERIAL aspects of the conspiracy, that is the METAPHYSICAL or ESOTERIC aspects.
(John 3:3-7) "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
Therefore I think it's imperative to revive this thread and I hope that even if people don't feel the need to post any answers or comments I do hope you read it and contemplate over the implications of everything written here and hopefully go on to follow your own line of research along these lines.
Truth, Beauty, Love
<a href="http://www.geocities.com/integral_tradition/tradit.html">THE PRIMACY OF SPIRIT, HIERARCHY, TRADITIONALISM AND METAPOLITICS</a>
THE PRIMACY OF SPIRIT AND INITIATION
A fundamental part of the answer to the crisis of the modern world is restoration of contact with tradition and the transcendent. Since the main reason for the fall is the materialistic view of life, human nature and history a renewal can only be found by a spiritual view. This means to fight against the consumerism empty of spirituality to restore the traditional view and way of being. The problems are deeply rooted, and have even affected all parts of human life. The transcendent order known through tradition must be regained. A first step is to acknowledge that reality goes far beyond the sensual. Thus, opposition to all forms of Materialism is central. It is an integral part of both cultural and political European tradition that Man is, self-evidently, a complex of Spirit and Matter, and that the primacy lies with the Spirit. "... the 'spirit' in the traditional conception has always meant something supernatural and super-individual; it has therefore nothing to do with the common intellect and even less with the pale world of the 'thinkers' and the 'men of letters.' It is rather the element which becomes the focus of any virile ascent, and heroic elevation, any effort to achieve in life that which is 'more than life' itself." (Julius Evola) "The Initiate is a being who has learned how to take control of the totality of the cravings and deficiencies which urge him internally. He has learned how to resist them, and has the power to say NO, and how to break their law and how to develop a new life without them." (Julius Evola)
“In both individual and collective life the economic factor is the most important, real, and decisive one . . . An economic era is already by definition a fundamentally anarchical and anti-hierarchical era; it represents a subversion of the normal order . . . This subversive character is found in both Marxism and in its apparent nemesis, modern capitalism. Thus, it is absurd and deplorable for those who pretend to represent the political ‘Right’ to fail to leave the dark and small circle that is determined by the demonic power of the economy – a circle including capitalism, Marxism, and all the intermediate economic degrees. This should be firmly upheld by those today who are taking a stand against the forces of the Left. Nothing is more evident than that modern capitalism is just as subversive as Marxism. The materialistic view of life on which both systems are based is identical.” (Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, Rochester, VT, 2002, p. 166. “Absurd and deplorable” is for assurdo peggiore, literally, “the worst absurdity;” circolo buio e chiuso “dark and small circle,” literally “dark and closed circle.” Chiuso is used in weather reports for “overcast.”)
“The Idea, only the Idea must be our true homeland. It is not being born in the same country, speaking the same language or belonging to the same racial stock that matters; rather, sharing the same Idea must be the factor that unites us and differentiates us from everybody else.” (Julius Evola, Gli uomini e le rovine, Rome: Edizioni Settimo Sigillo, 1990, p. 41)
There are many varieties of traditionalism in the West, but only one that really deserves a capital 'T', and only one that modified the understanding of both Islam in the West and modernity in the Islamic world. This is 'Guénonian' Traditionalism, the fruit of the marriage of 19th-century oriental scholarship with the Western esoteric tradition, a movement established by the work of the French religious philosopher René Guénon (1886-1951). Born in the provincial French city of Blois, Guénon lived the last twenty years of his life in Egypt, where he died a Muslim and an Egyptian citizen just before the 1952 Revolution. Despite this, his books and articles draw far more heavily on Hinduism than Islam, and were all written in French and published in Paris. At first, Traditionalists were all Europeans, mostly converts to Islam; today, their number includes born Muslims in the Islamic world and the West.
The term Tradition has its root in the latin word traditio. It implies something that is transferred and transmitted from one generation to another, and sometimes shared between many different classes in one distinct culture. In modern use Tradition also implies those currents of thought, science, interpretative exegesis, jurisdiction and so forth which has received enough recognition and precedence to be carried further, from one original source or hermeneutical milieu to another. A Tradition emerges as a consequence of one or another contest about authority over meaning and implied "truths". A traditional approach is one that recognizes and respects the integrity of the existing framework and context for an activity, a project of society, a developement. Inasmuch as a Tradition serves as an amplification of a specific framework, one tradition should not be confused with another. They can be compared, and impressions from contesting traditions can be shared. If this sharing of impressions overshadows the concerns of the integrity for instance of a religion or a dicipline in science, there is great probability, some would say danger, that a new Tradition emerges out of this exchange. Traditions, like the Gnoses have the characteristic that their presence and influence are hardly noticed, before they appear to disappear - it is more a way things are ordered and given a context within a structure than a thing in itself.
Evola distinguishes two aspects of the concept of tradition. Firstly, it refers to "a primordial tradition of which all particular, historical, pre-modern traditions have been emanations." Secondly, and more importantly, Tradition has nothing to do with conformity or routine; it is the fundamental structure of a kind of civilisation that is organic, differentiated and hierarchic in which all its domains and human activities have an orientation from above and towards what is above. Such civilisations of the past had as their natural centre an elite or a leader who embodied "an authority as unconditional as it was legitimate and impersonal." "Traditionalism really is a vision of the future based on restoration and creative renewal of the wisdom of the past. It is a vision of justice, order, and freedom based on a transcendent source of values." (René Guénon) The term "Tradition" refers to the concept that all authentic religions derive from a single Primordial Tradition and are therefore equally valid paths to Salvation. "Traditionalism" is therefore the school of religious studies that strives to illuminate the unifying Principles underlying the various manifest Traditions of the world. "... The 'spirit' in the traditional conception has always meant something supernatural and super-individual; it has therefore nothing to do with the common intellect and even less with the pale world of the 'thinkers' and the 'men of letters.' It is rather the element which becomes the focus of any virile ascent, and heroic elevation, any effort to achieve in life that which is 'more than life' itself." (Julius Evola)
Traditionalism is at its heart a view which reverses the usual connotations of the terms 'traditional' and 'progressive,' so that 'traditional' is good and 'progressive' bad * or rather, an illusion. There is indeed a progression in human affairs, but the direction is invariably one of decline, and 'progressive' thus becomes a synonym for 'corrupt'. The impact of Traditionalism derives from this essence; once the modern world is understood in terms of decline rather than progress, almost everything else changes. For a Traditionalist, truth is to be found not in the future or in the trivial discoveries of natural science, but in the past. That this is so little recognized today is a natural consequence of the final Dark Age in which we live * an age identified with the Hindu final age, the kali yuga * where (in many senses) quantity reigns and quality is eclipsed. To the extent that it is possible, salvation lies in salvaging what remains of the past from the general collapse of the present. For the individual, this means following an orthodox master in a valid 'initiatic' tradition. Guénon believed that the last chance of the West as a whole lay in the influence of a spiritual and intellectual elite composed of such individuals. (Against Modernity, Mark Sedgwick)
The concept of tradition from its etymological root has nothing to do with peoples' usages or customs from old, but is understood as truths and principles of divine order revealed or unveiled to mankind. Without an all-pervading spiritual revolution - a method of purification and improvement carried on by the individual for a life time even the best men will not differ in any essential sense from the degenerates who have given rise to the horrors of the modern world, and who have acted upon a purely materialist conception of Life and History. As each individual develops his spiritual qualities, Europe will move forward thereby to a New Imperium. The social structure of traditional societies is hierarchical because they are a reflection of the hierarchy of the cosmos, timeless realitiy and are a realisation of the rule of the sacred. Traditionalism is to become aware of God and to carry out the resulting responsibilities, that is, to pursue truth and justice and thereby transform the world. Its goal is the transformation of thought and imagination. Tradition has nothing to do with local colour or popular customs nor with curious local activities collected by some students of folklore. It is concerned with origins: tradition is the handing on of a complex of established means of facilitating our understanding of the immanent principles of universal order, since it has not been given to mankind to understand unaided the meaning of his existence. The idea most nearly equivalent and most able to evoke the meaning of the word tradition would be that of the spiritual relationship between a master and a pupil. That is to say of a formative influence analogous to that of spiritual vocation or inspiration, as actual for the spirit as heredity is for the body. What we are concerned with here is an inner knowledge coexistent with life itself; a coexistent reality, but at the same time an awareness of a superior consciousness, recognized as such, and at this level inseparable from the person it has brought to birth and for whom it constitutes their reason for existence. From this point of view the person is completely what he transmits, he only is in what he transmits, and in the degree to which he does transmit. Independence and individuality are thus seen to be relative realities only, which bear witness to our progressive separation and continuous falling away from the possession of an all-embracing original wisdom, a wisdom which is quite compatible with an archaic way of life.
This original state can be equated with the concept of a primordial centre of which, in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the Earthly Paradise is one of the symbols; with the proviso that we always recall that this state, this tradition, and this centre only constitute three expressions of the one reality. Thanks to this tradition, which antedates history, knowledge of principal truth has been, from the beginning, the common property of all humanity, and has subsequently been revealed in the highest and most perfect theological systems of the historic age. But a natural degeneration has given rise to specialization and obscuration which have resulted in an ever-increasing gap between the message, those who transmit it, and those who receive it. Some explanation became more and more necessary since a polarization occurred between the external literal aspect expressed in ritual and the original meaning, which became more and more hidden within and obscured, and so, hard to unde! rstand. In the West this exterior aspect was generally expressed in religious terms. Intended for the general mass of the faithful, the doctrine split into three elements, dogma for the reason, morals for the mind, and rites and ceremonies for the body. During the time in which this split was taking place in the West, the deeper meaning became esoteric and was gradually reduced to greater and greater obscurity, so that now we are compelled to refer to parallel examples from Eastern spirituality to understand the coherence and validity of our own tradition.
The progressive lack of real understanding of the idea of tradition has for a long time past prevented us from grasping the true nature of ancient civilizations, both eastern and western, and at the same time has made it impossible for us to return to that inclusive point of view which they had. Only as we return to basic principles can we gain a comprehensive understanding without suppressing anything. This will enable us to make a breakthrough to a new use of language, restore our power to remember and facilitate our inventive faculties, and so establish links between the most seemingly diverse branches of knowledge. All this is only possible as we acknowledge the privileged centre as possessing an inexhaustibly rich store of possibilities which are mediated to us by means of symbols. The school of Traditionalism was founded by the French scholar Rene Guenon. Other notable Traditionalists include Julius Evola, Frithjof Schuon, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Lord Northbourne, Titus Burkhardt, Martin Lings, Seyyed Hossain Nasr, Marco Pallis, Whitall Perry, Robin Waterfield, Arthur Versluis, and William Stoddart. Thinkers sympathetic to some extent or other to the Traditionalist view include Mircea Eliade, Huston Smith, Jacob Needleman, and Joseph Campbell. The traditionalist movement was one of the most important anti-modernist movements of the twentieth century. The Traditionalist school, composed of a number of often secret and sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, affected the lives of many individuals and entered into both mainstream and radical political life in several European countries. It also influenced the development of religious studies in the United States and the muslim world. The history of Traditionalism illuminates all these areas - religious life, politics, and scholarship.
There are a few basic assumptions on which all advocates of the "Integral Tradition" agree, and without whose acceptance one cannot be an advocate of the Tradition. The fundamental tenets are well-known, and without pretence to completeness, they include these: the acknowledgment of a world of spirit transcending that of nature; the basic division of man into body, soul, and spirit; a cyclical, devolutionary theory of time in the world; the division into castes, though neither sociological nor biological or racist; the rejection of the doctrines of progress and evolution; the rejection of the psychologizing (C. G. Jung) and socializing (Eliade) of traditional myths; the existence of a primordial, hence universal Tradition.
The present situation requires a total reorganisation of state and nation according to a traditional order. The question of bourgeois morality arises here, which Evola rightly rejects totally, but at the same time tends to undervalue the significance of traditional morality. The goal of the ascent of man to the Absolute, "initiation," is achieved through the elimination of the ego and its desires. Evola emphasizes this in his analysis of asceticism. But there is another path, which first uses the desires as the means to free oneself from them and from the ego in an act of ecstatic liberation. This left-hand path is dangerous, but does not differ in any essential way from the goal of asceticism; the difference has nothing to do with universal morality-it only violates bourgeois morality! The left-hand path that is followed here is not at all the same as general immoral behavior. Traditional morality embraces a few social regulations, as banal as the law of driving on the left or right, mainly for controlling the ego in everyday life; but it also embraces altruism, as an aid to liberating the true Self. Sin is anything that stands between the Self and the Absolute. Penance is anything that helps to heal the hurts done to the Self by falsification of it, and that frees the integral (sacred) Self with an unbroken connection to the absolute source of being and life. Bourgeois morality is just the opposite: it serves to sustain and strengthen the ego so that it can function in capitalist society, and especially pay no attention to anything that transcends the material plane. The battle against bourgeois morality and the battle for a traditional morality thus compliment and demand each other.
The rules of politics today are determined by the politicians of today, who have made it a sordid practice of mob manipulation and ankle-biting. You can't really play the game without at least recognizing, understanding, even using their rules and tactics. The Man of tradition will avoid to get involved in present politics. There is hardly any sense in political action today. No organization is favorable or worth working with. This leads to resigning to metapolitics.
"Every traditional civilization is characterized by the presence of beings who, by virtue of their innate or acquired superiority over the human condition, embody within the temporal order the living and efficacious presence of a power that comes from above." (Julius Evola)
Hierarchy can be unterstood as politics based upon the principles of Tradition as a means to create a new fearless individual, a higher human and a political method of embodying esoteric wisdom. Esoteric knowledge demands that one not only deal with esoteric truth intellectually, but as a living practice. The restructuring of Europe needs the absolute value of the individual consciousness in a time of increasing spiritual and cultural mediocrity.
In his revealing work, The Aryan Doctrine of Fight and Victory, Julius Evola wrote the following about the ancient Roman Victory celebrations: "The Victor, by wearing the insignia of the chief and Supreme God, at the moment of victory, united himself with Him, and went to place in the hands of this God the victory laurel, as homage to the real victor... The Imperator, originally, was the military commander who took the salute on the field of the battle at the moment of victory: but at this time, he also appeared to be transfigured by a force from on high, terrifying, yet marvellous." The point that Evola sought to make was that the Warrior was not merely of this world, that he was not merely a being exercising purely material force; he was a man who united his temporal power with the supernatural and divine, and thereby became transformed in the struggle against those who were merely soldiers, men who fought on a lower and inferior plane. Evola demonstrated his thesis by reference not only to ancient Rome, but also to Christian Europe, to the medieval Islamic warriors, to the warriors of Indo-Europe. In our time we can testify to a similar phenomenon in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Revolutionary Guards are not mere troops, or even soldiers imbued with ideology - they see themselves as Hezbollah, the Party of God, thus a force sanctioned and propelled by the Will of the Creator. The truth or falsity of their position is of little real consequence, for the belief has transformed the Revolutionary Guards into a force that terrifies the materialist for these young men not only do not fear death, they welcome it! Such an attitude can only result in final victory whatever losses are incurred, whatever setbacks may emerge. This is so because it is a battle between the Infinite and Finite, between Spirit and Matter, between Eternity and Time.
The lesson to be drawn from the Evolan thesis is that we, as Political Soldiers, must unite our efforts with those Higher Powers, with the Logos, for in so doing we will guarantee that our victory will be secured. This unification of forces is not going to be an easy affair, for we live in a world of ruins, but it is the task that must be undertaken as a sacred duty." "In the list of knightly virtues given by Redi, first came wisdom followed by faithfulness, liberality, and strength... Hugh of Tabaria, in his Ordene de Chevalrie portrayed the knight as an "armed priest," who by virtue of his two dignities (military and priestly), has the right to enter a church and to keep the order in it with the sword. In the Indo-Aryan tradition we see members of the warrior aristocracy competing victoriously in wisdom with the brahmana ... becoming brahmana, or, just like other brahmana, being "those who tend the sacred flame." This confirms the inner character of chivarly and, in a wider sense, the warrior caste in the world of Tradition." [Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World (Inner Traditions, 1995), 84-85]
The traditional world knew divine kingship. It knew the bridge between the two worlds, namely initiation. It knew the two great ways of approach to the transcendent, namely heroic action and contemplation. It knew the mediation, namely rites and faithfulness. It knew the social foundation, namely the traditional law and the caste system. And it knew the political earthly symbol, namely the empire. It held that mere physical existence, or “living,” is meaningless unless it approximates the higher world or that which is “more than life,” and unless one’s highest ambition consists in participating in hyperkosmia and in obtaining an active and final liberation from the bond represented by the human condition. (Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1995, p. 6. )
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon