Julius Evola - Against The Neopagans (25.0 Kb)
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Extracted from "Grundisse" by Julius Evola The Misunderstandings of the New "Paganism". It is perhaps appropriate to point out the misunderstandings that are current at the moment in some radical circles, who believe that a solution lies in the direction of a new paganism. This misunderstanding is already visible in the use of terms such as "pagan" and "pagandom". I myself, having used these expressions as slogans in a book that was published in Italy in 1928, and in Germany in 1934, have cause for sincere regrets. Certainly... More >>>
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Extracted from "Grundisse" by Julius Evola The Misunderstandings of the New "Paganism".
It is perhaps appropriate to point out the misunderstandings that are current at the moment in some radical circles, who believe that a solution lies in the direction of a new paganism. This misunderstanding is already visible in the use of terms such as "pagan" and "pagandom". I myself, having used these expressions as slogans in a book that was published in Italy in 1928, and in Germany in 1934, have cause for sincere regrets. Certainly the word for pagan or heathen, paganus, appears in some ancient Latin writers such as Livy without an especially negative tone. But this does not alter the fact that with the arrival of the new faith, the word paganus became a decidedly disparaging expression, as used in early Christian apologetics. It derives from pagus, meaning a small town or village, so that paganus refers to the peasant way of thinking: an uncultured, primitive, and superstitious way. In order to promote and glorify the new faith, the apologists had the bad habit of elevating themselves through the denigration of other faiths. There was often a conscious and often systematic disparagement and misrepresentation of almost all the earlier traditions, doctrines, and religions, which were grouped under the contemptuous blanket -term of paganism or heathendom.
To this end, the apologists obviously made a premeditated effort to highlight those aspects of the pre- Christian religions and traditions that lacked any normal or primordial character, but were clearly forms that had fallen into decay. Such a polemical procedure lead, in particular, to the characterization of whatever had preceded Christendom, and was hence non-Christian, as necessarily anti-Christian.
Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (19 May 1898 - 11 June 1974), better known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, and esotericist. Evola regarded his perspectives and spiritual values as aristocratic, masculine, traditionalist, heroic and defiantly reactionary.
Evola believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of unleashed materialistic appetites, spiritual oblivion and dissolution. To counter this and call in a primordial rebirth, Evola presented his world of Tradition. The core trilogy of Evola's works are generally regarded as Revolt Against the Modern World, Men Among the Ruins, and Ride the Tiger. According to one scholar, "Evola's thought can be considered one of the most radically and consistently antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular systems in the twentieth century." Much of Evola's theories and writings is centered on Evola's own idiosyncratic spiritualism and mysticism--the inner life. The philosophy covered themes such as Hermeticism, the metaphysics of war and of sex, Tantra, Buddhism, Taoism, mountaineering, the Holy Grail, the essence and history of civilisations, decadence, and various philosophic and religious Traditions dealing with both the Classics and the Orient.
Evola was notable as a critic of fascism and Nazism from the right and his Traditionalist sociopolitical philosophy is more right wing than fascism. Evola's work was influential on fascists and neofascists, though he was never a member of the Italian National Fascist Party or the Italian Social Republic and declared himself an anti-fascist. He regarded his position as that of a sympathetic right-wing intellectual, saw potential in the movement and wished to reform its errors, to a position in line with his own views. One of his successes was in regard to the racial laws; his advocacy of a spiritual consideration of race won out in the debate in Italy, rather than a solely biological reductionism concept popular in Germany. Since World War II many Radical Traditionalist, New Right, Conservative Revolutionary, fascist, and Third Positionist groups have taken inspiration from him, as well as several apolitical occultists, such as Thomas Karlsson and Massimo Scaligero.
Around 1920, Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola's interests led him into spiritual, transcendental, and "supra-rational" studies. He began reading various esoteric texts and gradually delved deeper into the occult, alchemy, magic, and Oriental studies, particularly Tibetan Lamaism and Vajrayanist tantric yoga. He had also used hallucinogenic drugs to experience altered states of consciousness during this period, but later came to criticize such drugs in Ride the Tiger, as he did not consider stimulation as a means to transcendence.
In 1927, along with other Italian esotericists, he founded the Gruppo di Ur (the Ur Group). The group's aim was to provide a "soul" to the burgeoning Fascist movement of the time through the revival of an ancient Roman Paganism.
Evola was one of a number of right-wing intellectuals who opposed Benito Mussolini's Lateran Accords with the Roman Catholic Church and rejected the Fascist party's nationalism and its focus on mass movement mob politics; he hoped to influence the regime toward his own variation on fascist racial theories and his "Tradionalist" philosophy. Early in 1930, Evola launched La Torre [The Tower], a bi-weekly review, to voice his conservative-revolutionary ideas and denounce the demagogic tendencies of official fascism; government censors suppressed the journal and engaged in character assassination against its staff (for a time, Evola retained a bodyguard of like-minded radical fascists) until it died out in June of that year. From 1934 to 1943, he edited the cultural page of Roberto Farinacci's journal Regime Fascista [The Fascist Regime].
Friedrich Nietzsche heavily affected Evola's thought. However, Evola criticized Nietzsche for lacking the "transcendent element" in his philosophy, thus ultimately leading to the latter's mental collapse in 1889. A reference point is needed according to Evola, and this point cannot be reached with senses or logic but with transcendental experiences achieved through symbolism of the heroic element in Man.
Evola's systematic and detailed references to ancient and modern texts make it difficult to speak about influences, though affinities could exist between Evola and Plato, Oswald Spengler, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Arthur de Gobineau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Meister Eckhart, Homer, Jacob Boehme, Rene Guenon and several Catholic thinkers like Juan Donoso Cortes and Joseph de Maistre. The Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico provided Evola with the concepts of primordial heroic law, "natural heroic rights", and the meaning of the Indo-European Latin term vir as indicative of "wisdom, priesthood and kingship." Crucial to Evola's formulation of the idea of "solar masculinity" versus "chthonic masculinity" and matriarchal regression was the maverick 19th century Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bachofen. Other prominent, philosophically foundational influences for Evola include the ancient Aryo-Hindu scripture that teaches the concept of "detached violence", the Bhagavad Gita, and the Aryan kshatriya sage Siddartha Gotama, the historical Buddha.
Evola's writings have continued to have an influence both within occult intellectual circles and in European far-right politics. He is widely translated in French, Spanish and partly in German. Amongst those he has influenced are Miguel Serrano, Savitri Devi, GRECE, the Movimento sociale italiano (MSI), Falange Espanola, Gaston Armand Amaudruz's Nouvel Ordre Europeen, Guillaume Faye, Pino Rauti's Ordine Nuovo, Troy Southgate, Alain de Benoist, Michael Moynihan, Giorgio Freda, the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei), Eduard Limonov, Forza Nuova, CasaPound Italia and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia. Famed author Herman Hesse was an admirer of Evola, calling him "A very dazzling and interesting, but also very dangerous author". Giorgio Almirante referred to him as "our Marcuse--only better." According to one leader of the neofascist "black terrorist" Ordine Nuovo, "Our work since 1953 has been to transpose Evola's teachings into direct political action." The now defunct French fascist group Troisieme Voie was also inspired by Evola. Jonathan Bowden, English political activist and chairman of the New Right, spoke highly of Evola and his ideas and gave lectures on his philosophy. German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Durckheim based part of his "initiatory therapy" on Evola's work.
Evola died unmarried, without children, on 11 June 1974 in Rome. His ashes were deposited in a hole cut in a glacier on Mt. Rosa.
Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola's selected books and articles:
- Arte Astratta, posizione teorica (1920)
- La parole obscure du paysage interieur (1920)
- Saggi sull'idealismo magico (1925)
- L'individuo e il divenire del mondo (1926)
- L'uomo come potenza (1927)
- Teoria dell'individuo assoluto (1927)
- Imperialismo pagano (1928; English translation: Heathen Imperialism, 2007)
- Introduzione alla magia (1927-1929; 1971; English translation: Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, 2001)
- Fenomenologia dell'individuo assoluto (1930)
- La tradizione ermetica (1931; English translation: The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art, 1995)
- Maschera e volto dello spiritualismo contemporaneo: Analisi critica delle principali correnti moderne verso il sovrasensibile (1932)
- Rivolta contro il mondo moderno (1934; second edition: 1951; English translation: Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga, 1995)
- Tre aspetti del problema ebraico (1936; English translation: Three Aspects of the Jewish Problem, 2003)
- Il Mistero del Graal e la Tradizione Ghibellina dell'Impero (1937; English translation: The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit, 1997)
- Il mito del sangue. Genesi del Razzismo (1937)
- Indirizzi per una educazione razziale (1941; English translation: The Elements of Racial Education 2005)
- Sintesi di dottrina della razza (1941; German translation: Grundrisse der Faschistischen Rassenlehre, 1943)
- Die Arische Lehre von Kampf und Sieg (1941; English translation: The Aryan Doctrine of Battle and Victory, 2007)
- Gli Ebrei hanno voluto questa Guerra (1942)
- La dottrina del risveglio (1943; English translations: The Doctrine of Awakening: A Study on the Buddhist Ascesis, 1951; The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts, 1995)
- Lo Yoga della potenza (1949; English translation: The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, 1992)
- Orientamenti, undici punti (1950)
- Gli uomini e le rovine (1953; English translation: Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, 2002)
- Metafisica del sesso (1958; English translations: The Metaphysics of Sex, 1983; Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, 1991)
- L'"Operaio" nel pensiero di Ernst Junger (1960)
- Cavalcare la tigre (1961; English translation: Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul, 2003)
- Il cammino del cinabro (1963; second edition, 1970; English translation: The Path of Cinnabar: An Intellectual Autobiography, 2009)
- Il Fascismo. Saggio di una analisi critica dal punto di vista della destra (1964; second edition, 1970; English translation: Fascism Viewed from the Right, 2013)
- L'arco e la clava (1968)
- Raaga blanda , Composizioni 1916-1922 (1969)
- Il taoismo (1972; English translation: Taoism: The Magic, the Mysticism, 1994)
- Meditazioni delle vette (1974; English translation: Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest, 1998)
- Il Fascismo visto dalla destra; Note sul terzo Reich (1974; English translation: Notes on the Third Reich, 2013)
- Ultimi scritti (1977)
- La via della realizzazione di se secondo i misteri di Mitra (1977; English translation: The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries, 1994, ISBN 1-55818-228-4)
- Lo Zen (1981; English translation: Zen: The Religion of the Samurai, 1993)
- Un Maestro dei tempi moderni: Rene Guenon (1984; English translation: Rene Guenon: A Teacher for Modern Times, 1994)
- Metaphysics of War: Battle, Victory and Death in the World of Tradition (2007)