The Lost Symbol

topic posted Fri, November 18, 2011 - 10:37 AM by  Auton
One of the most interesting presentations about the year 2012.
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  • Re: The Lost Symbol

    Fri, November 18, 2011 - 11:53 AM
    And so it begins...

    Just as "The Celestine Prophecy," "The Blair Witch Project," "The Passion of the Christ," "Apocalypto," "2012," "Anonymous," and most recently "11-11-11" have been successfully promoted through undercover marketing, so Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol"--the movie version of which is scheduled to open in 2012--will be the next blockbuster to benefit from low-budget spinning of blogs, chatrooms, YouTube, Twitter, and the buzz of behind-the-scenes rumor mills.

    Underground marketing

    Expect to learn a lot about Freemasonry (both fact and myth) between now and the film's DVD sales, undoubtedly scheduled for Black Friday through Christmas shopping season in 2012.

    The commodification of myth in a hype- and consumer-driven economy makes it easy to predict the future.
    • Re: The Lost Symbol

      Fri, November 18, 2011 - 12:46 PM
      This isn't just marketing, but mass conditioning or cultural engineering, if you wish.

      Since Freemasonry is the father of New Age, I don't see any problem why this wouldn't be a social experiment mixed with actual technological-biological repercussions.

      But, as Freemason yourself, Hoopes, I'm sure you know much more about this than any of us here. ;)

      Come on, spill us some beans.
      • Re: The Lost Symbol

        Sat, November 19, 2011 - 11:32 PM
        Precious secrets just for the asking? Dream on, Dracula.
        • Re: The Lost Symbol

          Mon, November 21, 2011 - 4:52 AM
          >>Precious secrets just for the asking? Dream on, Dracula.<<

          I was appealing to your altruistic humanism, Hoopes. Don't you want to make the world a better place?
          The old B.R. Hoopes and T.C. Hoopes wants to be proud of you.
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Mon, November 21, 2011 - 6:50 AM
            Ah, well. Here's a clue: The Masonic secrets are Jewish teachings assembled by Christian gentlemen who longed to understand Jewish wisdom but who were loathe to associate with actual Jews. The "secret" of Freemasonry is that Judaism is right but must be presented within the allegorical context of a Christian mythos. Naturally, that gets complicated.
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Mon, November 21, 2011 - 11:40 AM
              Interesting thread for a change. Thanks for the info on Freemasonry. My grandfather was a Freemason and one of the Knights of Columbus. Neither are part of my path, but it's interesting nonetheless.
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Mon, November 21, 2011 - 12:53 PM
              Well, here's another clue: Christianity was a very different religion and philosophy until Jewish gentlemen didn't infiltrate into the highest ranks of it and hijacked it into a very different direction. Freemasonry is far from being exclusively Jewish or to be based on Judaism- it is a similar syncretistic ideology just like the off-spring, New Age.

              Blavatsky, Besant and other members of the Theosophical Society were enthusiastic Masons and this line has been continued in the New Age as well. I also think that there's a world of difference between the Zohar (Kabbalah) and Judaism.

              Anyway, it is funny what kind of personalities show up in your club sometimes, isn't it?
              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                Mon, November 21, 2011 - 5:59 PM
                "Well, here's another clue: Christianity was a very different religion and philosophy until Jewish gentlemen didn't infiltrate into the highest ranks of it and hijacked it into a very different direction."

                Huh? Unless you're talking about Paul of Tarsus, I don't get it.
                • Re: The Lost Symbol

                  Tue, November 22, 2011 - 3:34 PM
                  >>Huh? Unless you're talking about Paul of Tarsus, I don't get it. <<

                  Not an easy subject, but you can pick your favorite source.



                  You never wondered why the fundamentalist Christian churches in the US are always die-hard Zionists as well?
                  Or why the mainstream media is keen to publish the stories of Catholic priests giving blow jobs to teenage boys?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: The Lost Symbol

                    Tue, November 22, 2011 - 4:58 PM
                    The Catholic Church and Christianity are two entirely different things though both source themselves to Judaism. Saying Jews hijacked Christianity is an oxymoron since Jews founded it in the first place.
                    • Re: The Lost Symbol

                      Tue, November 22, 2011 - 6:05 PM
                      >>The Catholic Church and Christianity are two entirely different things though both source themselves to Judaism. Saying Jews hijacked Christianity is an oxymoron since Jews founded it in the first place. <<

                      Sweet Jesus, Steven. I guess, the history of Rome and the Empire wasn't a strong subject in the American schools. Empires invent Messiahs- the previous one did it just as this one is doing it right now. Full cycle.
                      • Re: The Lost Symbol

                        Tue, November 22, 2011 - 6:26 PM
                        "Sweet Jesus, Steven. I guess, the history of Rome and the Empire wasn't a strong subject in the American schools. Empires invent Messiahs- the previous one did it just as this one is doing it right now. Full cycle. "

                        I think something is getting lost in the discussion. Christianity is a religion and the Church is a religious institution established by the Romans (Paul specifically). There is a whole lot of theology in play concerning whether or not Christianity superseded Judaism and in fact Paul claimed that it did not. His point was if one was gentile they did have the requirement to be grounded in Judaism.

                        You said that Jews hijacked Christianity, I am arguing that perhaps you are confusing Christianity with the Church which is inherently a political institution anyway so there various elements seeking to hijack it to meet their own ends and needs.
                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                          Wed, November 23, 2011 - 7:55 AM
                          >>You said that Jews hijacked Christianity, I am arguing that perhaps you are confusing Christianity with the Church which is inherently a political institution anyway so there various elements seeking to hijack it to meet their own ends and needs. <<

                          There is no Christianity without the Church- let it be the Catholic or Protestant, so we can't talk about Christianity without including the religious, political, theological or philosophical foundations of the Church. The relationship of Christianity, Judaism and Freemasonry is a far more complex issue so we could come to "definitive" conclusions here.

                          The best example of the Roman approach towards Judaism and the Jews can be found in the historical records, most specifically in the Bar Kokhba revolt.


                          It is obvious that with the creation of diaspora the most effective and most practiced method of exercising authority was through infiltration. No doubt, the art of latent, undiscovered influence is taken to perfection by the Rothschilds, Warburgs etc. Freemasonry has certainly proved to be very effective in the concentration of power in the hands of the "chosen few".
                          • Re: The Lost Symbol

                            Wed, November 23, 2011 - 11:33 AM
                            I'm not sure if this is off topic at this point, but the Jews that started Christianity hijacked both Judaism and pagan religions. Christians practice both religions poorly. They did so for a high minded purpose that was hijacked once again by Pope Charlemagne when his conference made changes in the Bible. Now, it is a religion of subjugation that pretends to be pious and has been instrumental along with Islam with causing corruption of people's minds and hearts in order to profit financially. It always comes down to money and power. Media is used to spin false tales in order to make wars like the Crusades sound inevitable. When it isn't religion that is starting wars, it's the money lenders.
                          • Re: The Lost Symbol

                            Wed, November 23, 2011 - 1:57 PM
                            "There is no Christianity without the Church"

                            But their are Christians without the Church which was rolled up in the point I was trying to make.

                            "The best example of the Roman approach towards Judaism and the Jews can be found in the historical records, most specifically in the Bar Kokhba revolt. "

                            And Romans through the Christians into the Lions for entertainment. I'm not sure what point you're making Auton other than to establish a demarcation of Jews into the Diaspora which serves to back-up the notion of infiltration as condemned "outsiders" into "insider" institutions that are somehow legitimate in their "pure" or otherwise uncorrupted existence.

                            I am interested in the relationship between Freemasonry and Judaism because I don't know much about it. Have you got any balanced sources you can point to on this?
                            • Re: The Lost Symbol

                              Wed, November 23, 2011 - 5:26 PM
                              >>I am interested in the relationship between Freemasonry and Judaism because I don't know much about it. Have you got any balanced sources you can point to on this? <<

                              The best source for me on this issue is Julius Evola. I think that his assessment in this problem is accurate if you can read his work objectively. It is certainly interesting that the Italian Fascism was jammed with Jewish Masons...which might be very uncomfortable to some here. ;)

                              "While the National Socialist leadership had led an uncompromising all-out fight against Masonry (see, for instance,, the Judaic-Masonic presence was pervasive within Fascism : Grandi, Balbo, Bottai, Acerbo, Farinacci, Finzi, many of the figureheads of Fascism, were Masons ; there were some Jewish ministers and ambassadors, etc. ; in the great Council which declared the fall of Fascism, there were fourteen Masons out of nineteen members, and some argue that it is Mussolini's decision to introduce racial laws in 1938 which sealed his fate."

                              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                Thu, November 24, 2011 - 12:33 AM

                                Steven asked for *balanced* sources. That wouldn't include Evola.
                                • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                  Thu, November 24, 2011 - 5:34 PM
                                  "Steven asked for *balanced* sources. That wouldn't include Evola. "

                                  This article explains a lot about Evola and might give some insight into Auton's views on these matters. A Noble Antisemitism...

                                  • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                    Thu, November 24, 2011 - 5:56 PM
                                    From your link, Steven:

                                    "In his “spiritual autobiography,” The Road of Cinnabar (1972), Evola writes that following the Second World War he thought it “absurd” to continue stressing the white man’s superiority over the Jew “because the negative behavior [traditionally] attributed to Jews had now become that of the majority of ‘Aryans.’” That is, in an age where the Jewish spirit of liberal modernity prevailed and most whites had succumbed to it, it was futile to exalt Aryan values, for whites, the Aryans’ alleged heirs, now behaved no differently than Jews. "

                                    This is why I call Evola balanced. He has seen the signs clearly but not much he could do. But, here we are, in this wonderful, new world where we can enjoy the achievements of the Judeocracy. I think, we shouldn't go too far in this direction; I know very well the position you take (have to take!) and Hoopes' relentless Zionism.

                                    I pray to see the end of this darkness in my lifetime.
                                    • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                      Thu, November 24, 2011 - 6:21 PM
                                      "I pray to see the end of this darkness in my lifetime. "

                                      And I pray that you can overcome this destructive mindset. It is also interesting that Evola's epiphany came with the re-establishment of Israel - which could be equated to all other Kingdoms he idealized and distorted into a false utopian view. Now all you can see (as did he) was/is a resulting dystopia that you believe will eventually crumble away into a new Golden Age.

                                      You miss the Aryan elements within Judaism (that are front and center to me in my esoteric studies) and you miss the Lunar aspects of the Pagan world. There was/is no clear cut division - it is/was an illusion that the world succumbed to in its WWII manifestation.

                                      The War is over. It's time to go home and integrate these projected elements in your own world. The out only reflects the in - you know this. Your well-being is at stake. The darkness begins from within - not without.

                                      Your hero is a fake.
                                      • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                        Fri, November 25, 2011 - 1:02 AM
                                        I'm not sure about all the other hub-bub you guys are talking about, but to say the darkness comes from within shows you have no actual experience with it. First of all we have free will. Evil beings have the free will to bring misery to others just as good beings have the capacity to bring compassion to others. The darkness within blocks you from your own "light" making you vulnerable to the actions of evil beings. Restoration of light can come from a priest's blessing though long term relief means coming to terms with your own mistakes and seeking amends. Darkness is successful largely because it doesn't need permission. It takes what it wants and sometimes that is necessary to survive. Good is always struggling because people take their life and good fortune for granted. Appreciation, gratitude and compassion seem weak to people who are focused on winning which is what evil is all about. To find the darkness, look to the actions being taken in order to win or control a situation and that includes passive/aggressive behavior. It's prominent in all governments. When it causes unwarranted suffering, it is unnecessary evil unlike killing your dinner which is necessary evil performed purely to survive. Follow the money and you'll find the darkness. To blame any one individual for it, is pointless. Taking to the streets to protest or help someone in need is where the effort is needed. Fortunately, people are waking up to that fact. God bless Occupy Wall Street. Aloha, Kahuna Lamaku.
                                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                          Fri, November 25, 2011 - 9:50 AM
                                          "To blame any one individual for it, is pointless."

                                          No, it's not. It is only by blaming those individuals and calling them out one-by-one that we can work towards making the darkness go away.
                                          • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                            Fri, November 25, 2011 - 4:56 PM
                                            Hoopes. The people with the true power in the world are beyond the reach of any of us. They are the Rothchilds, Bilderberg group and upper echelon of the Masons. The only thing we can do is hope for periods of respite when they are preoccupied. The darkness is spread by believers who are prone to peer pressure and have no ability to think critically. They believe what they read and are easily fooled. The ones we have access to are the "fall guys" like our current president. He can take the blame and be rewarded for it. Unless gold and silver are reinstated as the only money in this country, corruption will continue. Printed money allows all the evil we are talking about to exist in a hidden fashion. Having large stores of gold and silver makes it hard to hide. It also makes collecting taxes more difficult, so the powers that be will assassinate anyone attempting to put things right. Unfortunately, the dark will probably win. When the world starts again, the same problems will arise. It is the fate of man to repeat the past. So, to reiterate, the dark cannot be taken down without the majority recognizing that it is necessary. As of now, they believe everything is pretty much as it should be. Unless the world's news sources all start reporting the truth, it will stay as it is and begin to crumble to pieces just before the majority of the population dies from famine and disease. The end. Sincerely, Kahuna Lamaku.
                                            • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                              Fri, November 25, 2011 - 5:18 PM
                                              The darkness is all too real in terms of archetypal evil. My teacher performed many exorcisms some of which were demonic where pictures were flying off the wall at him. He took a lot of physical damage over the years. At one point his blood pressure was 260/170. I can assure you that a demonic entity used to obsess the crowds when Adolph Hitler spoke. He was possessed by it when he spoke and when he wasn't public speaking it wasn't present. Reality is far more complicated and terrifying than most people can cope with. That is why we need medicine men and shamans. I've had unexplained physical reactions when attempting normal everyday stressful activities such as sex. Under spiritual attack I'm far more calm than most people. Weird. I know. The fall of mankind has been predicted by many holy people who have had visions over the last 1/2 century including my own teacher. Believe me, if it were possible, the people behind the world's evil would have been hindered. The next year should be the time to prepare for the worst. If nothing bad happens, at least you'll have all the camping gear and supplies you'll ever need. Peace, Kahuna Lamaku.
                                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                          Fri, November 25, 2011 - 10:43 AM
                                          "I'm not sure about all the other hub-bub you guys are talking about, but to say the darkness comes from within shows you have no actual experience with it."

                                          I am talking in metaphysical terms. Sorry for the long read but the article is embedded within the site link below.


                                          "The Doctrine of Coincidentia Oppositorum in Jewish Mysticism

                                          Sanford L. Drob

                                          The doctrine of coincidentia oppositorum, the interpenetration, interdependence and unification of opposites has long been one of the defining characteristics of mystical (as opposed to philosophical) thought. Whereas mystics have often held that their experience can only be described in terms that violate the “principle of non-contradiction,” western philosophers have generally maintained that this fundamental logical principle is inviolable.[1] Nevertheless, certain philosophers, including Nicholas of Cusa, Meister Eckhardt and G.W.F. Hegel have held that presumed polarities in thought do not exclude one another but are actually necessary conditions for the assertion of their opposites. In the 20th century the physicist Neils Bohr commented that superficial truths are those whose opposites are false, but that “deep truths” are such that their opposites or apparent contradictories are true as well.[2] The psychologist Carl Jung concluded that the “Self” is a coincidentia oppositorum, and that each individual must strive to integrate opposing tendencies (anima and animus, persona and shadow) within his or her own psyche.[3] More recently, postmodern thinkers such as Derrida have made negative use of the coincidentia oppositorum idea, as a means of overcoming the privileging of particular poles of the classic binary oppositions in western thought, and thereby deconstructing the foundational ideas of western metaphysics. [4]

                                          In this paper I explore the use of coincidentia oppositorum in Jewish mysticism, and its singular significance for the theology of one prominent Jewish mystical school, Chabad (or Lubavitch) Chasidism. It is the achievement of Elior[5] and other modern scholars of Jewish mysticism to have brought the Chasidic use of the coincidentia doctrine to our attention. In this essay I hope to move beyond mere explication by introducing two models through which we can begin to understand the Kabbalistic and Chasidic conception of the coincidence of opposites rationally, in philosophical and theological terms. These models each rest upon, and develop, the Kabbalistic/Chasidic view that language (or representation in general) sunders a primordial divine unity and is thus the origin of finitude and difference. The first, cartographic model, draws upon the idea that seemingly contradictory but actually complementary cartographic representations are necessary in order to provide an accurate two-dimensional representation (or map) of a spherical world. The second, linguistic model, draws upon Kabbalistic and postmodern views on the relationship between language and the world, and in particular the necessity of regarding the linguistic sign as both identical to and distinct from the thing (signified) it is said to represent. In the course of my discussion, I hope to provide some insights into the relevance of coincidentia oppositorum to contemporary philosophical, psychological, and especially, theological concerns.

                                          Coincidentia Oppositorum in the Early Kabbalah

                                          The Kabbalists use the term, achdut hashvaah, to denote that Ein-sof, the Infinite God, is a “unity of opposites,”[6] one that reconciles within itself even those aspects of the cosmos that are opposed to or contradict one another.[7] Sefer Yetzirah, an early (3rd to 6th century) work which was of singular significance for the later development of Jewish mysticism, had said of the Sefirot (the ten archetypal values through which divinity is said to constitute the world) “their end is imbedded in their beginning and their beginning in their end.”[8] According to Yetzirah, the Sefirot are comprised of five pairs of opposites: “A depth of beginning, a depth of end. A depth of good, a depth of evil. A depth of above, a depth of below, A depth of east, a depth of west. A depth of north, a depth of south.[9]

                                          The 13th century Kabbalist Azriel of Gerona was perhaps the first Kabbalist to clearly articulate the doctrine of coincidentia oppositorum. For Azriel “Ein Sof …is absolutely undifferentiated in a complete and changeless unity…He is the essence of all that is concealed and revealed.”[10] According to Azriel, Ein-sof unifies within itself being and nothingness, “for the Being is in the Nought after the manner of the Nought, and the Nought is in the Being after the manner [according to the modality] of the Being… the Nought is the Being and Being is the Nought.[11] For Azriel, Ein-sof is also “the principle in which everything hidden and visible meet, and as such it is the common root of both faith and unbelief.”[12]

                                          Azriel further held that the very essence of the Sefirot, the value archetypes through with Ein-sof is manifest in a finite world, involves the union of opposites, and that this unity provides the energy for the cosmos.[13]

                                          The nature of sefirah is the synthesis of every thing and its opposite. For if they did not possess the power of synthesis, there would be no energy in anything. For that which is light is not dark and that which is darkness is not-light.

                                          Further, the coincidence of opposites is also a property of the human psyche; “we should liken their (the Sefirot) nature to the will of the soul, for it is the synthesis of all the desires and thoughts stemming from it. Even though they may be multifarious, their source is one, either in thesis or antithesis.”[14]

                                          Azriel was not the only Kabbalist to put forth a principle of coincidentia oppositorum. The early Kabbalistic Source of Wisdom describes how God’s name and being is comprised of thirteen pairs of opposites (derived from the 13 traits of God enumerated in Chronicles), and speaks of a Primordial Ether (Avir Kadmon), as the medium within which such oppositions are formed and ultimately united.[15]

                                          Coincidenta Oppositorum in the Lurianic Kabbalah

                                          The concept of achdut hashvaah figures prominently in the Lurianic Kabbalah, which became the dominant theosophical and theological force in later Jewish mysticism and Chasidism. Isaac Luria (1534-72) wrote very little, but his chief expositor, Chayyim Vital (1543-60) records:

                                          Know that before the emanation of the emanated and the creation of all that was created, the simple Upper Light filled all of reality…but everything was one simple light, equal in one hashvaah, which is called the Light of the Infinite.[16]

                                          While Vital’s account suggests a unity of opposites in the godhead only prior to creation, a close examination of the Lurianic Kabbalah reveals a series of symbols that are applicable to God, the world and humanity, and which overcome the polar oppositions of ordinary (and traditional metaphysical) thought. Indeed, each of the major Lurianic symbols expresses a coincidence of opposites between ideas that are thought to contradict one another in ordinary thought and discourse. For example, Luria held that the divine principle of the cosmos is both Ein-sof (without end) and Ayin (absolute nothingness), that creation is both a hitpashut (emanation) and a Tzimtzum (contraction), that Ein-sof is both the creator of the world and is itself created and completed through Tikkun ha-Olam, the spiritual, ethical and “world restoring” acts of humanity, and, finally, that the Sefirot are both the originating elements of the cosmos and only fully realized when the cosmos is displaced and shattered (via Shevirat ha-Kelim, the Breaking of the Vessels).

                                          A closer examination of two key elements in the Lurianic system, Tzimtzum (concealment/contraction) and Shevirat ha-kelim (the Breaking of the Vessels) can provides further insights into the Lurianic conception of the coincidence of opposites.

                                          In the symbol of Tzimtzum (the withdrawal, concealment and contraction of the infinite that gives rise to the world) there is a coincidence of opposites between the positive acts of creation and revelation and the negative acts of concealment, contraction and withdrawal. For Luria, God does not create the world through a forging or emanation of a new, finite, substance, but rather through a contraction or concealment of the one infinite substance, which prior to such contraction is both “Nothing” and “All.” Like a photographic slide, which reveals the details of its subject by selectively filtering and thus concealing aspects of the projector’s pure white light (which is both “nothing” and “everything”), Ein-sof reveals the detailed structure of the finite world through a selective concealment of its own infinite luminescence. By concealing its absolute unity Ein-sof gives rise to a finite and highly differentiated world. Thus in the symbol of Tzimtzum there is a coincidence of opposites between addition and subtraction, creation and negation, concealment and revelation. In order to comprehend the notion of Tzimtzum, one simultaneously think two thoughts, for example, one thought pertaining to divine concealment and a second pertaining to (this concealment as) creation and revelation.

                                          For Luria, the further realization of Ein-sof is dependent upon a second coincidence of opposites; between creation and destruction, symbolized in the Shevirat ha-Kelim, the “Breaking of the Vessels.” Ein-sof is only fully actualized as itself, when the ten value archetypes which constitute the Sefirot are shattered and are subsequently restored by humankind (Tikkun ha-Olam). While Ein-sof is the source and “creator[17]” of all, Ein-sof paradoxically only becomes itself, through a rupture which results in a broken and alienated world in need of humanity’s “restoration” and repair (Tikkun). For Luria, Ein-sof is propelled along its path from “nothing” (Ayin) to “something” (Yesh), through the creative and restorative acts of humankind; for it is only humanity acting in a broken and displaced world, that can undertake the mitzvoth, the creative, intellectual, spiritual and ethical acts that fully actualize the values and traits that exist only potentially within God. It is for this reason that the Zohar proclaims ”He who ‘keeps’ the precepts of the Law and ‘walks’ in God’s ways…‘makes’ Him who is above.”[18] Thus, just as humanity is dependent for its existence upon Ein-sof, Ein-sof is dependent for its actual being upon humanity. The symbols of Ein-sof, Shevirah (rupture) and Tikkun (Repair) thus express a coincidence of opposites between the presumably opposing views that God is the creator and foundation of humanity and humanity is the creator and foundation of God.

                                          Chabad Hasidism: The Unification of Opposites as the Purpose of the World

                                          The doctrine of coincidentia oppositorum, which is an important if not dominant theme in the Kabbalah, achieves its fullest Jewish expression in the philosophy of the Chabad Hasidim, where it becomes the governing principle for both God and the world. For Chabad, all things, both infinite and finite, involve a unity or coincidence of opposites. These Chasidim held that the very purpose of creation was the revelation of these opposites, precisely in order that they should be articulated and then overcome. One of the early Chabad thinkers, R. Aaron Ha-Levi Horowitz of Staroselye (1766-1828), a pupil of the first Chabad- Lubavitcher rabbi, Schneur Zalman (1745-1813) held that “the revelation of anything is actually through its opposite,”[19] and that “all created things in the world are hidden within His essence, be He blessed, in one potential, in coincidentia oppositorum...”[20] Schneur Zalman ‘s son, Rabbi Dov Baer, wrote “within everything is its opposite and also it is truly revealed as its opposite.”[21] According to Dov Baer, the unity of worldly opposites brings about the completeness (shelemut) of God on high: “For the principal point of divine completeness is that…in every thing is its opposite, and…that all its power truly comes from the opposing power.”[22] Within the godhead, earthly opposites are united in a single subject. According to R. Aaron Ha-Levi: “He is the perfection of all, for the essence of perfection is that even those opposites which are opposed to one another be made one.”[23] Indeed, the Chabad philosophy which developed contemporaneously with German idealism, bears a striking resemblance to the philosophies of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. It is interesting to compare Dov Baer’s or Rabbi Aaron’s pronouncements to Hegel’s claim that:

                                          every actual thing involves a coexistence of opposed elements. Consequently to know, or, in other words, to comprehend an object is equivalent to being conscious of it as a concrete unity of opposed determinations.[24]

                                          The coincidence of opposites that characterizes God, humanity and the world can be approximately understood by the simultaneous adoption of two points of view. As put by the founder of the Chabad movement, Schneur Zalman of Lyadi (1745-1813):

                                          (Looking) upwards from below, as it appears to eyes of flesh, the tangible world seems to be Yesh and a thing, while spirituality, which is above, is an aspect of Ayin (nothingness). (But looking) downwards from above the world is an aspect of Ayin, and everything which is linked downwards and descends lower and lower is more and more Ayin and is considered as naught truly as nothing and null.[25]

                                          Indeed, Chabad understands the world in each of these two ways simultaneously: as both an illusory manifestation of a concealed divine essence and as the one true actualized existence. For Chabad, it is indeed simultaneously true that God is the one reality that creates an illusory world, and that the world, in particular humankind, is the one reality that gives actuality to an otherwise empty, if not illusory, God.[26]

                                          While the Chabad Hasidim generally speak as if the divine perspective upon the world is its “inner truth,” it becomes clear that on their view this truth is itself completely dependent upon its opposite, the perspective from which humanity and the material world are fundamentally existent and real. In this they were in accord with the early Chasidic leader, the Maggid of Mezrich (1704-1772), who held that while God is the foundation of all ideas, the very significance of divine thought is contingent upon its making its appearance in the mind of man. For the Maggid, God is the source of thought but actual thinking can only occur within the framework of the human mind.[27]

                                          Chabad takes seriously, and attempts to spell out the full implications of the Zohar’s dictim: “Just as the Supernal Wisdom is a starting point of the whole, so is the lower world also a manifestation of Wisdom, and a starting point of the whole.”[28] For Chabad, the highest wisdom, and the fullest conception of the divine is one in which both perspectives (one beginning with God and the other with humanity) are included. For Chabad, the divine is truly a coincidence and unity of opposites, and the fullest understanding and realization of the divine is one that includes each pole of the Zohar’s “dialectical inversion.” It is only by thinking in both directions simultaneously that one can fully grasp the original mystical insight that the divine is present in all things. One implication of the Chabad view is that a God who simply creates man (direction one) is far less complete than a God who is both creator of, and created by, humankind (directions one and two), and it is only the latter bi-directional thinking that captures what the Kabbalists designate with the term “Ein-sof.” According to Elior:

                                          Hasidic thought is strained to the ultimate stage in a dialectical way; just as there is no separate reality and no discriminative essence in the world without God, so also God has no revealed and discriminate existence without the world, that is, just as one cannot speak of the existence of the world without God, so too one cannot speak of the existence of God without the world.[29]

                                          Dialectical Process in Chabad Thought

                                          For Chabad, “divinity is conceived as a dialectical process comprising an entity and its opposite simultaneously,”[30] as Ein-sof embodies the opposites of being” (yesh) and “nothingness” (ayin), emanation (shefa ve-atsilut) and contraction (Tzimtzum), ascent (ratso) and descent (vashov), revelation and concealment, annihilation and embodiment, unity and plurality, structure and chaos, spirit and matter. [31] In addition, these Hasidim held that Ein-sof unifies divine and human perspectives on the world, and that the coincidence of opposites applies not only to God but to the world and humankind.[32] Finally, each pole of these various oppositions is thought to be both necessary and determinative for its opposite.[33] As Elior puts it: “The principle emerging from these concepts states that divinity possesses two opposing aspects that condition one another.”[34]

                                          For Schneur Zalman, the truth of the opposite perspectives is necessary in order for both God and the world to actualize their unified essence. Schneur Zalman held that the very meaning of the cosmos involves a dialectical movement from non-being to being and back to nothingness. He writes: “the purpose of the creation of the worlds from nothingness to being was so that there should be a Yesh (Creation), and that the Yesh should be Ayin (Nothing)[35] For Chabad, in order for Ein-sof to fulfill its essence as the infinite God, it must differentiate itself and actualize all possibilities in existence (Yesh) only to have them each return to itself in nothingness(Ayin). According to Rabbi Aaron Ha Levi it is the basic divine purpose that the world should be differentiated and revealed in each of its finite particulars and yet united in a single infinite source.[36] Rabbi Aaron states:

                                          ...the essence of His intention is that his coincidentia be manifested in concrete reality, that is, that all realities and their levels be revealed in actuality, each detail in itself, and that they nevertheless be unified and joined in their value, that is, that they be revealed as separated essences, and that they nevertheless be unified and joined in their value.[37]

                                          We can interpret the process that Schneur Zalman and Rabbi Aaron describe in the following way. Ein-sof, which is initially actually nothing but potentially all things, differentiates and actualizes itself into each of the innumerable manifestations of a finite world. It does so precisely in order that these finite entities can actualize the sefirotic values (e.g. wisdom, understanding, kindness, beauty, compassion, etc.) which are only divine abstractions prior to the world’s creation. By instantiating these intellectual, spiritual, ethical and aesthetic values, the entities of the finite world (i.e. human beings) negate their individual desire and will and “return” to Ein-sof (Ayin or “nothing”). From another perspective, humanity actually constitutes the source of all value, the infinite, Ein-sof, and in this way achieves unity with the divine. For this reason, a world that is alienated from and then reunited with God is superior to one that had never been alienated or divided at all.

                                          There is thus a practical, spiritual and ethical dimension to the “coincidence of opposites” that finds its expression in the Chabad system of belief. Schneur Zalman implores his followers both to nullify (bittul) the self and matter in favor of the Godhead and to bring about the infusion of the divine will into the material world through religious worship and the performance of divine mitzvoth (commandments). According to Schneur Zalman:

                                          there are two aspects in the service of the Lord. One seeks to leave its sheath of bodily material. The second is the… aspect of the drawing down of the divinity from above precisely in the various vessels in Torah and the commandments.[38]

                                          Further: “Just as one annihilates oneself from Yesh (Existence) to Ayin (Nothingness), so too it is drawn down from above from Ayin to Yesh, so that the light of the infinite may emanate truly below as it does above.”[39] Again, there is a coincidence of opposites on the level of spiritual and moral action. One must annihilate one’s finite separate existence in favor of the infinite God, and in the process one is paradoxically able to draw down the divine essence into the vessels of the finite world. For Chabad, there is thus an “upper unification” (Yichud ha-elyon) in which the world and self are annihilated in favor of their re-inclusion within the godhead, and a “lower unification” (Yichud ha-tachton) in which there is an influx of divinity into the world. What’s more, each of these “unifications” is fully dependent upon the other. It is thus through a doctrine of the coincidence of opposites that Chabad is able to combine the opposing principles of mystical quietism and an active concern with the material world.[40]

                                          Incidentally, I believe that through their doctrine of achdut hashvaah, the coincidence of the dual aspects of infinite and finite existence, the Chabad Hasidim are able to avoid the pantheistic implications that might originally attach to the view that there is nothing outside of God. Although Schneur Zalman and others in the Chabad movement make such acosmic pronouncements as: “Everything is as absolutely nothing and nought in relation to His (God’s) being and essence,”[41]“For in truth there is no place devoid of Him…and there is nothing truly beside Him,[42] and ”although the worlds seem like an entity to us, that is an utter lie,”[43] such pronouncements are only from one of two equally valid points of view, the supernal one. In Chabad the traditional Jewish distinction between God and creation, is not discarded but is dynamically transformed into two “starting points” or “points of view,” which though dialectically interdependent, must at the same time remain distinct in order to fulfill the purpose of both God and the universe. Chabad is actually typically Jewish in its view that God’s presence and glory fills the whole earth, but that humanity must be distinguished from God and granted a measure of freedom, in order that it may return to Him through worship and mitzvoth. Metaphysically speaking, Chabad again bids us to think two opposite thoughts simultaneously; the thoughts (1) that God is all and there is nothing beside Him, and (2) that God and humanity are separate and distinct and humanity is implored to return to, and in effect constitute God, through divine worship and the performance of the mitzvoth.

                                          It is, I believe, the double movement of Chabad thought, its insistence on a coincidence between two opposing perspectives on the reality of God and humanity that differentiates it from most other forms of mysticism, and underscores its significance for philosophy and theology. While according to Elior, “The great intellectual effort invested in Chabad writings is meant to bring one as close as possible to the divine point of view, according to which every creature is considered as nothing and nought with respect to the active power within it, ”[44] a close reading of Chabad formulations as they are found even Elior’s own writings suggests a much more subtle theology. The goal of Chabad thought, it seems to me, is to bring us as close as possible to simultaneously realizing both the worldly and divine points of view, thinking them simultaneously, and recognizing their complete interdependence; thereby providing us with an intimation of the fullness of divinity as it is manifest in the world and humankind.

                                          Understanding the Mystical Paradox

                                          Is it possible to rationally comprehend the paradoxes of Jewish mysticism, e.g. that God creates humanity and humanity creates the divine, that the world is both an illusion and reality, that Ein-sof is and is not identical with the world, that creation is at the same time a negation, that values must be destroyed in order to be actualized? Mystics of various persuasions have generally held that such paradoxes are the best means of expressing within language, truths about a whole that is sundered by the very operation of language itself. Any effort, it is said, to analyze these paradoxes and provide them with logical sense is doomed from the start because logic itself rests upon assumptions, such as the laws of “non-contradiction” and “the excluded middle,” that are violated by the mystical ideas.

                                          Hegel was the last great philosopher to hold that the identity of opposites could be demonstrated rationally. His view that coincidentia oppositorum yields a logical principle was treated with such scorn by later generations of philosophers that the idea of finding a rational/philosophical parallel to the mystic quest became an anathema to serious philosophers. Even W. T. Stace, who was highly sympathetic to mysticism eventually came to the view that in trying to make a logic out of the coincidence of opposites Hegel fell “into a species of chicanery. According to Stace, “every one of [Hegel’s] supposed logical deductions was performed by the systematic misuse of language, by palpable fallacies, and sometimes…by simply punning on words.”[45] Stace, who early on wrote a sympathetic, and now much maligned, book on Hegel’s system, gave up the idea that coincidentia oppositorum could be shown to be a rational principle, holding that “the identity of opposites is not a logical, but definitely an alogical idea.”[46]

                                          It is thus with a certain trepidation that in the following sections, I offer two strategies or models that I believe will enable us to comprehend in rational terms how the overcoming, or simultaneous assertion of opposite, apparently contradictory, ideas can provide a more complete account of both particular phenomena and the “world as a whole” than the privileging of one pole of an opposition and the exclusion of the other. The first of these models is “cartographic” and the second “linguistic,” but each are founded broadly on the view that representation sunders a unified theological or metaphysical whole. It is my hope that the model I offer can provide a degree of insight into the Kabbalistic/Hasidic view that both God and every actual thing in the world is a coincidentia oppositorum.

                                          Model 1: Lessons from a Two-Dimensional World

                                          The first model can best be introduced via an analogy, one that is derived from Edwin Abbott’s 1884 book, Flatland.[47] Our analogy we will prompt us to temporarily adopt a perspective on the world that is less complete than our own. (In Kabbalistic terms, we will be compounding the effects of the Tzimtzum --the contraction and concealment which the Kabbalists held gives rise to both partial ignorance and the finite world.) The process of working out certain conundrums about the physical world from a more limited perspective than our own will, it is hoped, shed considerable light on certain metaphysical and theological questions that are difficult to resolve from within our actual epistemic situation.

                                          Imagine for the moment a world that is virtually identical to the world we live in, but for the fact that the inhabitants are unable to represent, or even conceptualize, anything in more than two dimensions. It is not necessary that we fully imagine ourselves into this world, only that we accept the fact that even though the inhabitants of this world live in a world of three dimensions, they can only conceptualize themselves within two (in much the same manner that we, for example, cannot conceptualize the curvature of space-time, or the existence of extra dimensions that modern physics insists complement the three [or four] of human experience).

                                          One of the consequences of the inability to conceptualize experience in more than two dimensions (and the most important consequence for our current purposes) is that all representations of the spherical earth would be constructed in two-dimensions rather than three. In short, our “2D people” would have maps but no globes, and, however advanced their knowledge about their world, they would be continually faced with the epistemic problem of having to represent a round, spherical earth, on a flat, two-dimensional plane. This is, in fact, precisely the problem we have in creating our own maps, with the exception that, unlike the ‘2D people’, we have the capacity to represent the earth synoptically with a globe, and thereby immediately intuit the limitations of our two-dimensional cartographic projections.

                                          It has long been a principle of cartography that it is impossible to perfectly represent a spherical earth on a two-dimensional plane. Every cartographic “projection” of the whole earth suffers from one or more serious defects. In the so-called “Mercator” projections, for example, the lines of latitude and longitude, which are parallel on the globe, are kept parallel, but only at the expense of creating gross distortions in the size and shape of land masses near the earth’s poles. “Polar projections” solve this problem but distort the shape and size of land masses near the equator, and create the further problem of requiring two circular projections, two maps in order to represent a single world. Certain, so-called “equal-areas” projections create the impression that there are huge ‘gaps’ in the earth, which are arbitrarily but conveniently placed in the oceans, creating the so-called “flattened orange peel” effect. Like the Mercator projection, these maps suffer from the problem of non-continuity at the equator, and as with all cartographic projections, one is unavoidably left with the impression that the world is flat and bounded by an edge; children often wonder what lies past that edge, and the ancients speculated that one could perhaps fall off into an abyss. (Actually, the space beyond the edge of a full-world cartographic projection is an artifact of the means of representation, and from within the scheme of the map, strictly speaking, does not exist. One would imagine, however, that the 2D people might have various theories concerning this region of “non-being”).

                                          For us, each of the various two-dimensional projections of the world is a ‘perspective’ upon the three-dimensional earth: each is suited to a particular purpose, and each has the practical advantage of being amenable to major increases in size and detail without concomitant geometric increases in their bulk. Their limitations are, however, readily apparent to us precisely because we can compare them to the “perfect” representation of the three-dimensional globe. Our two-dimensional counterparts however, have no such recourse to a “perfect model,” and we might imagine that their various maps would, for them, engender a number of scientific and philosophical puzzles, which they would seek to resolve through a variety of models and theories, just as our inability to see the world sub-species aeternae generates scientific and metaphysical theories designed to reconcile our various perspectives on a reality much broader than the earthly globe.

                                          One particular feature of the two-dimensional people’s descriptions of the world is that they would naturally be prompted by their projections into offering a number of interesting propositions about the world as a whole. For example, cartographers from the “2-D” world, might argue (and they would be correct in doing so) that each of their projections were complete maps of the world. Likely they would also realize that two (or more) projections were mutually corrective in that the distortions of the first were not present in the second, and vice versa. For example, the Mercator projection gives the misleading impression that the equator is non-continuous and that land masses at or near the poles are immense. The dual polar projection corrects for these defects, though it has deficiencies of its own (not the least of which is that it gives the impression of two earths as opposed to one), and these defects are in turn ‘corrected” by the Mercator projection.

                                          In considering their various projections, some of the 2-D people might be inclined to hold that one or the other of their maps were “true” and that the others were either false or imperfect approximations of their favored forms of representation. Others, less inclined to such dichotomous thinking, might hold, for example, that both their Mercator and polar maps were valid, that the world was both one and many, linear yet curved, rectangular yet circular, broken yet continuous at the equator, with parallel lines of longitude that are nevertheless widest at the equator and converge near the poles, etc. In short, their forms of representation might prompt them to utter a number of paradoxical, seemingly contradictory ideas about their world that their limited epistemic position would make very difficult or even impossible for them to express or resolve in any other manner. (Further, as I have suggested above, their limited form of representation might prompt them into uttering such other propositions of variable merit as the world lays situated against the background of non-being, that it changes with the perspective of the observer, that at points it is both infinitely extended and minutely small, that there are as many “worlds” as there are perspectives, and that the idea of “one world” is not a given, but a construction or achievement.)

                                          Certain philosophers in the 2D world might argue (as certain 3D thinkers argue in our world) that the various propositions derived from maps are simply an artifact of language and representation, that the dichotomous thinking, arising in cartography, though necessary for practical purposes (i.e. map-making) leads to metaphysical conclusions that are neither justified nor necessary, or that the dichotomous expressions and points of view are permeable to, and actually dependent upon, one another. In short certain philosophers might hold (as do mystics and Wittgensteinians) that the world is inherently distorted through our efforts to represent it, and others might argue (as Neils Bohr did with respect to wave-particle physics) that in order to think about the world as a whole one would need to actually think that seemingly contradictory maps were both true (and complimentary).

                                          The analogies with our own epistemic predicament should by now be amply clear. Like the 2D people, who have no synoptic means of representing the earthly globe, we have no synoptic means of speaking about or representing such totalities as God, man, and the universe. We have perspectives on all of these matters but no super-perspective from which we can gain a perfect, integrated point of view. Our conceptions of the world are of necessity expressed via a series of dichotomies, but on closer analysis, these dichotomies, though necessary, are seen, at least by certain mystics and philosophers, to be either misleading or “permeable” to one another and interdependent. On this view creation is interdependent with negation; values are interdependent with their own abrogation; truth is interdependent with error, God is reciprocally dependent with humanity, good is interdependent with evil, language is completely interdependent with, and not fully distinguishable from the world, etc. Indeed, these are the very reciprocities that constitute the Kabbalistic/Chabad, and to certain extent, postmodern world-view. However, whereas the postmodern tendency is to avoid any hint of synopsis or totalization, the Kabbalistic/Chabad view is that such reciprocities between dichotomous conceptions, like the reciprocities involved in the 2D maps we have been discussing, point to a single, unified cosmos, which for the Kabbalists is a union of our necessarily partial perspectives upon it. Our failure to see or intuit this unified world is akin to the failure of our hypothetical 2D people to intuit the globe they live on; like them, we can only approximate a synoptic perspective through an extensive analysis of the reciprocity of our many partial and seemingly contradictory, points of view.

                                          The Coincidence of Opposites: From Analogy to Analysis

                                          Thus far I have provided an analogy that I hope renders plausible the idea that in order to understand God, humanity and the world as a whole, we must surrender our dichotomous thinking and think two or more seemingly contradictory thoughts at once. Here I would like to offer the beginning of an analysis of why such bilinear thinking is necessary in philosophy and theology.

                                          Elsewhere I have attempted such an analysis with regard to perspectives on the human mind in psychology. [48] There I suggested that a synoptic view of the human mind can only be attained once we recognize the mutual interdependence of such dichotomies as determinism and free will, objectivism and constructivism, facts and interpretations, individualism and collectivism, and public vs. private psychological criteria. Here I will suggest how a similar analysis is necessary with respect to certain metaphysical and theological ideas, and further that such an analysis is necessitated by the very nature of linguistic representation.

                                          As we have seen, a close examination of major symbols of the Lurianic Kabbalah, symbols that were adopted by the Chabad Chasidim, reveals that they each cut across, and are in effect “undecidable” with respect to one ore more of the classic dichotomies of western metaphysics, and that they each express an understanding of one or more of these dichotomies as a coincidentia oppositorum. The most important example is the symbol Ein-sof, literally “without end”, a term the Kabbalist’s use to refer to the metaphysical ground of both God and the cosmos, and which cuts across the dichotomies of being and nothingness, universal and particular, origin and end, divine and human, personal and impersonal, and faith and disbelief. It is almost as if the Kabbalists invoke the term Ein-sof to point to a “metaphysical whole” that is unavailable to us in the same way that a three dimensional globe is unavailable to the hypothetical “3-D blind” denizens of “Flatland.” Just as the globe is a physical whole “prior” to its being sundered into an indefinite array of imperfect cartographic projections (maps), Ein-sof is a metaphysical whole prior to its being sundered into a variety of imperfect conceptual dichotomize that seek to represent God and the world. In each case, a primal, inexpressible whole,[49] has been ruptured by the very system of representation that seeks to express it; the globe is ruptured by the system of representation that seeks to represent a 3-dimensional sphere in a 2-dimensional plane, and Ein-sof is sundered by the very system of representation (i.e. language) that seeks to speak of a unity, but which has dichotomy and distinction as the very condition of its expressing anything at all.

                                          As we have seen, in the case we have been examining, cartography, it is the system of representation, the attempt to represent three dimensions on a two dimensional plane, that sunders the globe into a series of only partially adequate and seemingly contradictory maps. Is it possible that the metaphysical case follows the cartographic and that our inability to comprehend the world and cosmos as a unified whole is a function of our attempts at linguistic representation?

                                          Model 2: Overcoming the Distinction between Words and Things

                                          The Chabad Chasidim held that the Tzimtzum, the act of contraction and concealment which wrought all distinctions and brought the world into being, was a linguistic act. According to Schneur Zalman, the Tzimtzum is a revealing/concealing act in which the infinite, Ein-sof, contracts itself into language, specifically in the combinations of letters which comprise the so-called “ten utterances of creation.”[50] Such contraction into language is both a concealment and revelation of the divine essence.[51] The Tzimtzum inaugurates a distinction between language and the world which conceals the singular unity of Ein-sof but reveals an infinite multitude of finite objects and ideas. These notions suggest the intriguing possibility that by undoing the Tzimtzum, i.e. by overcoming the distinctions between words and things and thus language and the world, we can return to the primal unity of Ein-sof, the infinite God.

                                          In this connection we should note that Schneur Zalman’s understanding of the Tzimtzum arising through language accords well with the view, suggested by Derrida, that the most fundamental dichotomy, one that inaugurates the history of western philosophy is the distinction between the signifier and the signified, i.e. between words and things. In can further be said that this distinction inaugurates all other distinctions and, as such, is the very foundation of language and thought. If words could not be distinguished from the things they refer to or represent, no distinctions, no ideas, no descriptions whatsoever could be expressed. For these reasons, the signifier/signified or word/thing distinction is a critical, even “foundational” “test case” for our consideration of the coincidence of opposites in philosophical theology. If this distinction can be overcome, if it can be shown that there is a coincidence of opposites between word and thing than we will have arrived at an intellectual (as opposed to intuitive) vehicle for realizing the primal unity (between language and world, subject and object) that was sundered by creation.

                                          Such a vehicle is indeed provided by recent philosophers, including Wittgenstein and Derrida, who have suggested that in spite of the fundamental role that the distinction between words and things plays in language and thought, this distinction is philosophically untenable. I will explore the reasoning that leads to this conclusion below, but for now it is sufficient to comment that it rests on the observation that the very process of pointing to or referring to a thing involves an infinite regress of words that disambiguate what one is referring to, but only relatively and always within a further linguistic context.

                                          Interestingly, the Kabbalists themselves questioned the distinctions between language and both the world and God. Indeed, Moshe Idel has argued that Jacque Derrida’s now famous aphorism “There is nothing outside the text,” which in 1967 announced the collapse of the signifier-signified distinction, may actually derive from the Kabbalist, R. Menahem Recanti’s dictum that there is nothing outside the Torah. Recanti, writing in the early fourteenth century, held “All the sciences altogether are hinted at in the Torah, because there is nothing that is outside of Her…Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, is nothing that is outside the Torah, and the Torah is nothing that is outside Him, and this is the reason why the sages of the Kabbalah said that the Holy One, blessed be He, is the Torah.” [52]

                                          While the Kabbalists may have intuitively understood that both the world and God are, to use Idel’s metaphor, “absorbed” by language, contemporary philosophers have offered reasons why this must be the case. It will be worthwhile to review the chain of reasoning that leads to the dissolution of the signifier/signified distinction in some detail. In doing so we will see that there is a coincidentia oppositorum not only between words and things (signifier and signified) but also between the view that the signifier/signified distinction is spurious and the view that this distinction is absolutely essential.

                                          Several considerations can be marshaled in favor of the idea that there is no absolute distinction between signifier and signified, i.e. between words and the things they presumably represent. The first of these is that one speaks and writes on the basis of all the other words and texts one has encountered and not through any presumed direct connection between one’s words and a transcendental signified or thing in itself. Second, language is a highly complex system, a differential matrix in which each word is defined via its place amongst and contrast with other words. Third, many words do not have clear empirical referents (what, for example, are the referents of “superior”, “induce”, “good”, and “sad”) and even when one can point to an object in the world that a word is supposed to represent, one’s pointing is inevitably equivocal until it is clarified via other words. If I point to a banana and say “banana,” how does my listener know that my reference is not to “yellow,” or “fruit,” or “food’? Further, nothing guarantees that my pointing or use of a particular word or phrase means precisely some unique state of affairs in a world that is somehow on the other side of language, and thus beyond all possible reinterpretation. One cannot delimit and control the meaning of ones words; they are always at least potentially subject to an indefinite series of recontextualizations and reinterpretations as they are heard or read by different listeners and readers at different times. Words such as those that I am writing now can and will be understood against the background of other texts (e.g. Derrida, Wittgenstein) and not simply as a de novo expression about the relational state of affairs between the fixed and clear notions: words and things. A related consideration is the oft-made observation, perhaps initially attributable to Nietzsche, that there are no facts, only interpretations. Just as all presumed facts in science are “laden” with and constituted by one or another theory, what counts as a “thing” (any thing) is laden with and constituted by our use of language, the words we have available to us (think of the Eskimos numerous words for types of snow), and the purposes we have in speaking and writing. In discussing the relationship between words and things we must remember that “thing” itself is another word and derives its meaning from the place it has in our discourse. This is another very concrete sense in which the signified (thing) is another signifier (word). One would have to, in effect, stop speaking, stop using language altogether in order to somehow grasp a “thing” that was “pre- or non- linguisticized,” and in such a case this non-linguisticized x could no longer be said to be a “thing.” Certainly, one does not grasp a non-linguisticized thing with words.

                                          If signs and signifiers were truly distinct, and words attached themselves directly to objects, unmediated by other words, in a hypothetically pre-linguisticized world, we would not be able to say anything at all, because such objects or “transcendental signifieds” would lie completely outside the matrix of signification. In such a case one could make a noise or a mark and point to a presumed object, but one would not be able to say what aspect of the thing one was pointing to, what kind of thing it was, and how it differed from other things. In actual fact, when we point to an object and make meaningful reference to it we do so only because our pointing and reference carries with it an entire language.

                                          Still, as Derrida and others have suggested, one could not use language at all without the very word-thing distinction that we have here been arguing against. One could not speak about anything whatsoever unless one assumed a distinction between one’s words and their subject matter. Indeed, the very deconstruction of the word-thing distinction is itself dependent upon the very distinction it undermines. While it is true that when we refer to purported objects, referents or signifieds, we are only using language to refer to something that is constructed by consciousness and language itself, consciousness, as Marc Taylor has observed, understands itself as using language to refer to an object outside of itself, and in the process obscures from itself its own role in constructing such objects (this is a perfect human parallel to the Lurianic notion of divine self-concealment or Tzimtzum). As Derrida points out, even though the distinction between the signifier and the signified is specious, we could neither speak nor function without it. In order to say anything at all we must (at least temporarily) set up a distinction between what we are saying and what we are speaking about. (For example, we must speak about language or speak about consciousness constructing objects, etc.). Thus the identity of word and thing is a doctrine that can be written or uttered, but which can never be fully assimilated or understood. This is because the signifier/ signified distinction is a necessary assumption of language; without it we literally would not be talking about anything. Sense and nonsense, truth and error, reality and illusion, and what’s more all “subject matters,” e.g. science, history, psychology, etc. ultimately depend upon the signifier-signified distinction. Now while one implication of the deconstruction of this distinction is that our belief in “meaning,” “truth” and “reality” is in a sense undermined, if we abandoned these notions altogether, we could neither speak nor think at all.

                                          We are left with the paradoxical conclusion that if language is to function at all, the two propositions “the signified is another signifier” and “the signified and signifier are distinct” must both be true. While on the one hand the very distinction between words and things is itself dependent upon a use of language that actually overcomes or obliterates this distinction, on the other hand, in order to use language, in order to even think, we must assume the very distinction between words and things that our deconstructive analysis has overcome.

                                          There is a coincidentia oppositorum not only between words and things but between the (second order) philosophical views that words are distinct from things and words are not distinct from things.[53] Hegel taught that the history of philosophy is the history of developing a perspective opposing the last presumably all-encompassing one, finding arguments on each side, generating a new all-encompassing point of view, which is itself proven incomplete, etc. (Deconstruction, in effect, recognizes this as an infinite regress and thus refrains from the claim that there is any possibility of reaching an ultimate philosophical synthesis).

                                          The signifier/signified distinction is thus like the dual and multiple two-dimensional maps that our 2D people must continue to use even after they have realized that the world exists in three dimensions and that their maps are reciprocally corrective and determinative, and point to an undifferentiated globe or whole. However, we can also say that that the realization that the signifier/signified distinction is ultimately untenable is as close as our intellect can come to conceiving the metaphysical “globe” or unity that underlies the multiplicities of the finite world.

                                          In recognizing the coincidentia oppositorum between signifier and signified we have an intellectual apprehension of a unified whole; a whole that unites the distinctions between language and world, and subject and object, and which is very much akin to the mystical union of opposites that is spoken of as Ein-sof in Jewish mysticism. Indeed, the Kabbalists held that Ein-sof (in at least one of its moments) is the primal, undifferentiated unity that is prior to the advent of the finitude and difference produced by Tzimtzum and language. In a logically later moment, Ein-sof is the union of opposite, even “contradictory” ideas. In comprehending the coincidentia oppositorum between words and things as well as the coincidence between the views that words can be distinguished from things and that they cannot, we begin to grasp how an integrated web of subject and object, and language and world, is implicit in each and every linguistic utterance or proposition. The deconstruction of the signifier-signified distinction provides us with a hint of a unitary whole that “antedates” language, or, put another way, restores the unity that had been sundered by language. However, as the very process of thought is predicated on the distinction between signifier and signified, our conception here is fleeting, as our deconstruction involves thoughts which necessarily again sunder the world into a multitude of entities and ideas, distinct from, and presumably represented by, words.

                                          Interestingly, the Kabbalists sometimes speak of Ein-sof as equivalent to or a product of language, and sometimes as the origin of all linguistic representation. On the one hand, the Kabbalistic work Sefer Yichud recites “each and every one [of the people of Israel] ought to write a scroll of Torah for himself, and the occult secret [of this matter] is that he made God Himself.” [54] On the other hand, Sefer Yetzirah expresses the apparently opposite view: “Twenty-two foundation letters: He engraved them, He carved them, He permuted them, He weighed them, He transformed them, And with them, He depicted all that was formed and all that would be formed.[55] Whereas in Sefer Yichud Ein-sof is the ultimate signified, in Sefer Yetzirah it is the original signifier.

                                          Strictly speaking, “Ein-sof” should be used neither as a signifier or a signified, for to do so necessarily involves it in the very bifurcating, sundering process that it is meant to escape or transcend. To use “Ein-sof” as a word or to classify it as an object, however sublime or exalted, is to place it as one amongst others in a system of differences, and to have Ein-sof simply become the role that the term “Ein-sof” plays in, say, the language of Jewish mysticism. Ein-sof can only be used as a pointer, or, to use Heidegger’s expression, a “formal indicator” of that which is unsundered, and which for that very reason cannot be pointed to or said. Even using Ein-sof as a pointer in this way runs the risk of having it become just another word or thing. We might therefore say that Ein-sof is no-thing (Ayin), and its (non) character is such that it can best be conveyed through non-representation or silence. We might also say with the Kabbalists and Schneur Zalman that Ein-sof is the Ayin (nothingness) that is logically prior to all distinctions resulting from the Tzimtzum and language.

                                          While the Kabbalists and Chasidim often state that Ein-sof is itself a coincidentia oppositorum, I believe that it would, at least initially, be more illuminating to say that the coincidence of opposites is a logical echo of the primal unity, after that unity has been wrenched apart and dichotomized by thought and language. The recognition that each pole of a dichotomy is fully dependent upon its presumed opposite, and (perhaps more fundamentally) that words are fully interdependent with things, provides a sign or echo within thought and language of the primal unity that was sundered by thought and language itself. A philosophical comprehension of the coincidence of opposites is a means of undoing the bifurcating tendencies of the intellect and moving back in the direction of an original unity.

                                          For the Kabbalists, however, this return to the primal unity is all the more exalted for having passed through the dichotomies and multiplicities of a finite world; for such a restored unity is not simply a restoration of the original divine oneness, but is actually the completion and perfection of Ein-sof itself. According to the Kabbalists, it is incumbent upon humankind to recognize and even facilitate the distinctions within the finite world, while at the same time, through an appreciation of the coincidence of opposites, to comprehend the unity of all things. I believe that one implication of this view is that in disciplines as diverse as philosophy, psychology and theology, we must guard against a form of dichotomous “either/or” thinking that permanently excludes, and thus fails to recognize the necessity of, ideas and points of view that are seemingly opposite to our own. More positively, we must seek integration in our thinking by exploring the possibility that opposing ideas and points of view are actually complimentary. Amongst the candidates for such complementarity are theism/atheism, rational/irrational, being/nothingness, and freedom/necessity. From a Kabbalistic point of view, these and many other seemingly contradictory ideas are not only complementary but are fully interdependent. Indeed, it is the task of a theology which seeks to comprehend the “whole”, to articulate the manner in which presumably polar opposites are permeable to, and interdependent with, one another. In doing so, we participate in forging the “unity of opposites” that is said by the Kabbalists to constitute Ein-sof, the Infinite God.

                                          Readers may also be interested in: S. Drob: Fragmentation In Contemporary Psychology: A Dialectical Solution

                                          The Lurianic Kabbalah is treated in detail in Sanford Drob's Symbols of the Kabbalah and Kabbalistic Metaphors ."
                                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                                          Fri, November 25, 2011 - 6:49 PM
                                          >"I'm not sure about all the other hub-bub you guys are talking about, but to say the darkness comes from within shows you have no actual experience with it. "

                                          And here we go with the predictable I-know-better-than-you-do schitck.
              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                Mon, November 21, 2011 - 10:04 PM
                "I also think that there's a world of difference between the Zohar (Kabbalah) and Judaism."

                That makes little sense, since the Kabbalah is Jewish mysticism.

                The author of the Zohar--like Blavatsky & Co.--was also a fringe writer.
                • Re: The Lost Symbol

                  Tue, November 22, 2011 - 2:08 PM
                  "The author of the Zohar--like Blavatsky & Co.--was also a fringe writer. "

                  So John - who's the author of the Zohar?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: The Lost Symbol

                    Tue, November 22, 2011 - 7:35 PM
                    OK so there is no definitive answer as to who wrote the Zohar which would cast doubt on a "fringe" writer unless that writer can be placed into an historical context.

                    For a great discussion on the origins see what Chabad has to say (sorry need a definitive Jewish source here).

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: The Lost Symbol

                    Thu, November 24, 2011 - 12:31 AM
                    Who's the author of the Zohar? Moses de Leon seems to be the most likely suspect:

                    • Re: The Lost Symbol

                      Thu, November 24, 2011 - 7:04 AM
                      "Moses de Leon seems to be the most likely suspect:"

                      That's who Scholem and Tisby suggested but further analysis by others, including Moshe Idel refutes it.


                      "The Zohar As A Source Book

                      For earlier sources than Rabbi Moshe de Leon (e.g. the Gaonim) who quote or rely on Zohar, see Rabbi David Luria's Kadmut HaZohar. In addition, see Dr. Chaim David Chavel's article Sefer HaZohar k'makor Chashuv l'Pirush HaRamban and Rabbi Reuven Margolis's article HaRambam v'HaZohar. Also, the latest academic opinions disagree strongly with Scholem; see Prof. Moshe Idel's "Kabbalah, New Perspectives". One of the areas Prof. Moshe Idel examines is the Zohar as a source of Christian mysticism, proving the opposite conclusion of earlier academics such as Graetz (who believed that Christian Gnosticism influenced the author of the Zohar)."
                      • Re: The Lost Symbol

                        Thu, November 24, 2011 - 8:02 AM
                        Can Hasidic scholarship be trusted? Don't they insist that Moses wrote the Torah? Would you rely upon Christian fundamentalists' accounts of who wrote the Bible? How about Muslim fundamentalist opinion about the authorship of the Koran?

                        Another example of the invention of sacred tradition?

                        Who wrote the Book of Mormon? Would you rely on Mormon scholarship for that?
                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                          Thu, November 24, 2011 - 8:09 AM
                          "Who wrote the Book of Mormon? "

                          Not my department but wasn't there something about Joseph Smith using magical yellow plates to view tablets that were then translated?

                          Zohar is another one of those lighting rods that piss of people that don't like mystery and prefer tidy explanations. Sacred Tradition? It's considered an important mystical commentary on the Torah so perhaps by association.
                        • Re: The Lost Symbol

                          Thu, November 24, 2011 - 8:16 AM
                          It was an academic article examining the same material Scholem used but evidently was misleading as he claimed certain rationale for his conclusions that don't stand up to a broader textual read. That's all the Chabad article asserts and sources appropriately.

                          Moshe Idel is the current Chair of Mysticism at Hebrew University and comes to the same conclusions as the Hasidim. I've read both Scholem and Idel and I have to say that Idel is heads and shoulders above Scholem in his ability to connect with Kabbalah. Scholem worked mainly to get it into an academic stature. That's why he stayed away from conversion positions that might put the mystical into Jewish Mysticism.
    • Re: The Lost Symbol

      Sun, November 20, 2011 - 5:04 AM
      @Hoopes, "The commodification of myth in a hype- and consumer-driven economy makes it easy to predict the future."

      Funny Hoopes, real funny :)

      I thought you taught, and too often than not, preach that no one can "predict" future events as a rule... Just saying, this statement lit up the funny bone of humor for you to state such and come out with a prediction like this when you often point out to us that we "can't" predict future events:)))

      I agree though that you can often predict the results of certain actions especially in scientific experiments through educated knowledge and in advertisement the myth- and consumer-driven economy makes it easy to predict the future, it's just that you often criticize others for doing so, so your statement just stood out by you actually making such a 'BOLD' statement when this usually is not your nature... You usually ask an open ended question to see if it may come true and lots of times your questions regarding such matters do come true but this time you actually came out of the closet so to speak. I am amused at your boldness today of such and it struck me as out-of-character for you and one has to laugh. You are just as human as the rest of us, thanks for brightening my day :)

      I'm guessing, since you have often 'hinted' at so many ‘predictions’ that have to do with other events such as the rapture and 11:11 etc. that have never panned out and you seem to think that you called it, that maybe you are gaining confidence in your own predictive nature of such events not panning out? In other words, you are going down the same path that you so often try to mock... This is the funny part, even though you are right, you are practicing exactly what you are trying to mock. Just saying, this makes me laugh :) So in doing so, I don't want to 'mock' you but I see humor in it and there really is nothing wrong in you 'predicting' that these other 'predictions' never come true, so remember this the next time someone states a prediction based on evidence and you shoot them down and try to put the prediction in the same category as mysticism because not all predictions are base in mysticism but are based on evidence at hand which make it easy to predict the future, in some instances :)

      I see your point though, many things you 'shoot down' are NOT based on any scientific evidence and should be shown in the light they are founded but just remember that the predictive nature of the human intellect is based on reason and even you are not immune to the temptation of showing your wit in the arrogance of a prediction coming true through knowledge :)
      • Re: The Lost Symbol

        Sun, November 20, 2011 - 11:56 AM
        My point is that planning for consumer-driven events--such as the 2012 opening of the film "The Lost Symbol"--generates opportunities for trendspotting. Expect Masonic-themed jeweley to become 2012 fashion chic along with new Maya-themed designs. Lady GaGa will lead the way.

        The 2012 dance trend? World Order is cool, especially for mass demonstrations:
  • Re: The Lost Symbol

    Fri, November 25, 2011 - 3:14 PM
    Aryan Mysticism and Judaeo-Christianity

    By Bill White

    While the past century has shown the rebirth of study of the traditions of Indo-European culture and the manifestations of the primal tradition which infuses it, scholars in this area of occultism have generally shied away from an understanding of the root of the relationship between these faiths and that Judaeo-Christian paradigm which has dominated the Western cultures for the better part of the past two millennia. While it is common to denounce the destructive natures of the Semitic faiths in terms of the real, practical effect that can be felt in the past century, a study of the origin of their roots and their imagery in the context of their relation to Tradition has been lacking. While Julius Evola did make some investigation into this in his "Revolt Against the Modern World", the investigation is superficial - and for good reason: Evola was much busier trying to discover the fundamentals of the true path then to divert significant attention to the false ones.

    One of the many reasons for the neglect of Judaic tradition is, to take a cue from the historian David Irving, its boringness. While Madonna may find salvation in the Kabballah, the serious student of occult truth is, like Evola, more focused on the pre-Judaic origins of faith than the more modern corruptions of it.

    But yet with the rise to power of a Judaic, or really, Judaeo-Christian, elite, living off the fat of our land as their forbears did in Egypt millennia ago, it behooves the adherent of Tradition engaged in the political sphere to investigate the roots of modern Judaeo-Christian doctrine and perhaps pull out of the ruins those Western individuals who have been misled into the Semitic heresies. As Evola put it in his "Against the Neo-Pagans":

    It is worth repeating that the principal thing is not the rejection of Christianity: it is not a matter of showing the same incomprehension towards it as Christianity itself has shown, and largely continues to show, towards ancient paganism. It would rather be a matter of completing Christianity by means of a higher and an older heritage, eliminating some of its aspects and emphasizing other, more important ones, in which this faith does not necessarily contradict the universal concepts of pre-Christian spirituality.

    What one discovers through investigation is that Judaism and the subsequent Semitic faiths inherited symbolism from higher, creative cultures. And while stories of the Judaeo-Christian mythos mirror the stories of Tradition, it is in interpreting those stories that the Semites have perverted their meaning so as to create a religious tendency that adheres its followers to a cultural soul alien to that of the original order.

    In this essay I explore three aspects of the Judaeo-Christian tradition - Jerusalem, the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar, and the crucifixion of Christ - to see what substance of pre-Judaic meaning may have been hidden in the symbolic nature of these events, and what evidence exists that these occult meanings have been lost due to the Semites’ lack of understanding and lack of initiation into the Aryan mysteries. What is discovered through this process is that Judaism and Christianity are imitations of the true faith that invert the meaning of occult symbology, thereby contributing to the decadence of Western civilization.


    An investigation of the relationship between the Aryan Tradition and Judaeo-Christian mysticism has to start with the city of Jerusalem - the place that Jews wished for two millennia to meet in next year.

    According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the city of Jerusalem was given its name, Ursaliimmu, by the Assyrians. In 1400 BC Assyrian records refer to the city as Urusalim. The word is derived from the root "Ur-" and the secondary root "-Saliimm". "Ur" is very clear - it is a root shared by Indo-European and Semitic languages from which modern words such as "origin" are derived. The Germanic roots "ur-" and "or-" are related, as is the Hebrew root "Ir-".

    According to an unpublished paper "The Well of Urth and the Will of Man" by Glenn A. Magee:

    The or is the ancestor to modern German ur as in Ursprung, ‘origin,’ and Ursache, ‘cause.’ Perhaps a better illustration would be Goethe's Urpflanze, the ‘originary plant,’ from which he thought all plants had developed. What is ur or or is primal, originary, ultimate.

    The second root "-Saliimm" is recorded by the Old Testament as being the Hebrew word "Salem". According to Genesis chapter 14, verse 18:

    And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

    That statement alone is interesting. Melchizedek was a king, and one wonders if he could be both that and a Hebrew. As is said in Samuel:

    But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us; and Samuel prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

    One can see that the Judaeo-Christian God does not approve of royalty, leading one to question whether the Jerusalem ruled by a class of priestly kings was Semitic, as some assert. The rule of Melchizedek is similar to the Pharoah of Egypt, the Sol Invictus of Rome, the Emperor of China, or other similar sun-king hierarchies found in cultures of Tradition.

    The character of Melchezedik’s rule is also of interest. Besides there being no evidence that he is ethnically or culturally of the Jewish tradition, and given the timeframe in which his reign occurred (prior to the 8th and 9th Century BC Jewish conquest of Jerusalem) it is reasonable to postulate he was not; there is reference to a mystical Order, possibly initiatic or Traditional in nature, that springs from his kingship. According to Pslams 110:4: "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."

    Melchizedek is referred to in some texts as the "Heralded Prophet Messenger of Elohim" and the Dead Sea Scrolls often use his name as one of the names of the Messiah (Michael and Hashem being the other two.) In modern times, there are still orders of Elohim occultists who engage in some form of mystical training. And in Europe during the time of the revival of the Holy Roman Empire, the order of Melchizedek was one of the strongest partisans of the German monarch against the Pope.

    Returning to the meaning of the city, accepting the roots "Uru-" and "-Salem" we get Urusalem the "origin of peace". According to Evola, Tradition sees the origin of peace as being the center of the wheel of generation - the kyklos ths genesews - and Melchizedek figures prominently in that understanding. As Evola states:

    ‘Peace’ and ‘Justice’ are two more fundamental attributes that have been preserved in Western civilization. … These attributes were also found in the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, king of Salem … [Rene] Guenon has pointed out that in Hebrew, mekki-tsedeq means ‘king of Justice’ … Tradition upholds the superiority of Melchizedek’s royal priesthood over Abraham’s. It is not without reason … that he declared that neither Christianity nor Islam knew any longer which … is the true religion.

    This same king of justice was known as the dharmanga in Aryan India, and as the giver of that caste system which divided all people according to svad-dharma, their nature. The concept of innate differentiation is equivalent to Plato’s oikeiopragia or cuique sum - the just order meant by Plato’s idea of dikaiosynh.

    That Jerusalem was not originally a Jewish city, but was conquered by the tribes of Judah and Israel, under Joshua, is significant. The Bible describes the capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites as a process of the assimilation into Judaism of the alien element:

    As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. (Joshua 15:63)


    And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day. (Judges 1:21)

    It appears likely that in addition to integrating the physical people, that the Jews also integrated those people’s spiritual tradition, and appropriated the idea of the origin of peace, integrating it into a religious way of thinking that they did not naturally possess.

    When the people of Tradition, represented by the Romans, retook the city near the end of the First Century AD, Latin writers such as Pliny, Tactitus, and Cicero had already been referring to it as "Hierosolyma," a word with an interesting formulation: Latin treats its root as "Hierosol-", with the ending "-yma" and "-orum". The title given to Pompey after capturing Jerusalem, according to Cicero, was "Hierosolymarius." This spelling closely follows two Greek and Latin roots in use at that time: "Hiero-" Greek for "holy" and "Sol", Latin for "sun". While it is true that a word cannot have mixed Greek and Latin origins, (with the exception of some hybrid words of 18th and 19th Century European science), one should remember that the root of Jerusalem was "Urusalem", and that "Heirosolyma" reflects a transmutation of that root by scholars who were likely unaware of that origin, and who adopted the name to the languages in common use among the educated at that time - Greek and Latin.

    That the city of the "origin of peace" would become the "holy city of the sun" indicates that the city has a central-masculine-solar connotation, and that its reverence would be what one would expect from a civilization of Tradition, rather than one of the external civilizations of the destructive principle. It is thus a paradox that Judaism, whose followers have generally built cultures based on destructive egalitarianism, would base their religion on Aryan symbolism. One sees in it an undercurrent of desire to be like the Aryan - an undercurrent that has carried through to modern Jewish schools of thought like Freudian psychoanalysis, Zionism, and neo-conservatism - each of which represents an imitation of a non-Jewish ideology which proceeded it, and each of which has turned into a parody of its original pattern.

    A particularly telling quote on Jerusalem is from Psalms 125:1-3, where one is told:

    They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.

    As Evola says, the mountain and particularly the rod are two of several occult symbols of the Divine Kingship and his peace. In Evola’s words:

    One of the fundamental symbols of regality was the scepter, the main function of which is analogically related to the ‘axis of the world’.

    This mirrors the medieval Traditional Catholic view of Jerusalem as the center around which the world revolves, and the function of Jerusalem as axis helps explain the Medieval aspirations of the Ghibellines - those who wished to reinstate the Holy Roman Empire - to return Christianity to the "true religion of Melchizedek."

    But to the modern Judaeo-Christians, terms such as these are typically taken naively and literally, and thus lose all real meaning --in fact taking on the opposite of that which was intended. The uninitiated, like the early Jews, have access to the substance of a mystery, but not its proper interpretation. In fact, the idea of losing Jerusalem - of losing the origin of peace and rule of the holy sun - is central to a major Jewish mythical event - the Babylonian captivity. As is said in 2 Kings 23-27:

    And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there."

    or in Isaiah 3:8:

    Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory"

    The idea of this loss repeated was for millennia the defining center of the Jewish faith, and clearly these stories tell of the people of Judah being found unfit heirs of Tradition and unable to hold onto the regality associated with the origin of peace. This loss brings us to the story of Nebuchanezzar, a holy king of the Babylonian Tradition, and the horrid misinterpretation the Jewish soothsayer Daniel makes of his dream.

    The Dream Of Nebuchadnezzar

    Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2 31 - 35)

    This was the dream of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Jews while they were in captivity. To the student of Aryan occultism this dream, and its meaning, is no mystery. The idea of the Golden Age, and the subsequent cyclical decline, is the doctrine known to the Persians as the time of the realm of Tina, or to the Greco-Romans of the reign of Saturn-Kronos, where according to Hesiod mortal people live "isos tetheoi" - as if they were Gods. As Evola describes in the "Doctrine of the Four Ages":

    According to Tradition … [there is] a process of gradual decadence through four cycles of ‘generations’ … Hesiod wrote about four eras symbolized by four metals (gold, silver, bronze, iron) … The Hindu tradition knows the same doctrine in the form of four cycles … Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga ... The Persian version of this myth is similar to the Hellenic version: the four ages are known and characterized by gold, silver, steel and an "iron compound". The Chaldean version articulated this same view in almost identical terms. … Egypt knew the tradition mentioned by Eusebius … Likewise the ancient Aztec traditions …

    What Nebuchadnezzar dreams is of the destruction of the Aryan through the cyclical spiritual collapse of his people. Daniel, in seeing this, is clearly imitating religious forms that predate both him and his people, and which are universal to the Indo-European cultures.

    But not understanding the Semitic God as an agent of destruction, and the adherents of Judaeo-Christianity as the instruments heralding this destruction, Daniel puts an amusing spin of the dream, inverting its true meaning. He tells Nebuchadnezzar that:

    Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise … And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    What he has done is take the doctrine of cycles and turning the lesson of it on its head - praising the act of destruction and labeling that act as consecrated to his God. It is like seeing Ragna Rokkr from the perspective of the Fenris Wolf. As Evola put it, this represents the essence of the Semitic faiths, characterized by:

    the transformation into sin of what in the Aryan version of the myth was considered heroic. … These elements … reveal a curious oscillation, which is typical of the Jewish soul, between a sense of guilt, self-humiliation, deconsecration and carnality, and almost Luciferian pride and rebelliousness.

    To Daniel the destruction of the Aryan Middle Eastern peoples represents the triumph of the spirit he embodies. The king, already existing in a stage of decadence, accepts this interpretation without question. According to the Old Testament:

    Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon.

    Of course Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who have assumed Babylonian names -- immediately begin to plunder the kingdom and exploit its inhabitants. As the Babylonians complain:

    There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

    The story that follows - the attempted purge of the three Jews, and the parallels between this and the ascension of Joseph to power in Egypt -- are instructive as to the nature of the Semitic people. Suffice to say that the three Jews survive, and eventually the Jewish people leave captivity and return to Palestine, where time passes and eventually a Christ arises for them to crucify.

    Christ-Odin and Sacrifice

    The idea of Messianic redemption in a time after the destruction of the world is not one that is unique to Judaeo-Christianity. As Amber Ravensong tells us in her "The Balder Myth from a Jungian Perspective":

    Many have interpreted [the Balder] myth as the hope of mankind, because as long as Balder remains in Hel he will not die in Ragnarok and will come to rule with the other survivors in the new order of the world. … Odin’s plan was for Balder to succeed him after Ragnarok and so he must keep Balder safe in Hel.

    For those not familiar with the story, Balder’s mother, Frigga, had extracted a promise from all things not to harm her son - all things except the mistletoe - and Balder invites the other Gods to play a game where they hurl sharpened sticks from various trees at him. Loki puts the mistletoe into the blind god Hodr’s hand and he throws it, ending Balder and sending him to the Norse underworld of Hel.

    It is interesting that the instrument of Balder’s destruction would be the mistletoe - a symbol of life among the pre-Christian Northern European peoples (reference my essay "Merry Pagan Christmas", []). As Lewis Spence tells us in his History and Origins of Druidism:

    The mistletoe or branch was ... the life of the divine representative. … It was regarded as the semen of life essence ... the glutinous matter that was contained in its berries was though of as the spermatozoa, or impregnatory fluid of the gods.

    And thus we see that the instrument of Balder’s death is also the generative power of new life.

    So can the Tradition of the redemption of the world through Balder after Ragna Rokkr be compared to the final Messianic redemption of Christ after Armageddon? G. du Purucker, writing in 1938 in the Journal of Theosophy on the "Story of Jesus", states that the Martyrdom of Jesus was in fact a mimicry of the act of sacrifice of Odin. In du Purucker’s words: "The Gospel story is merely an idealized fiction, written by Christian missionaries in imitation of the esoteric mysteries of the Pagans."

    Odin himself is said to have written in the Nordic Edda Havamal:

    I hung on that windy tree nine whole days and nights, stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin, myself to mine own self given, high on that Tree, of which none hath heard, from what roots it rises to heaven.

    In the literal sense the act of crucifixion seems to bear a strong resemblance. Witness the description given in the Bible in the book of John:

    They had crucified Jesus … One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear … Jesus said … ‘I am ascending to My Father and Your Father, and to My God and Your God.’

    Michael Moynihan argues, though, in an unpublished essay entitled "The Hanged Man versus the Crucified Criminal," that the two acts cannot be compared except in the superficial sense, as:

    [T]he specific details of Odin's and Christ's sacrificial ‘deaths’ can be recognized in many respects as nearly diametrically opposite. …

    The nature of Odin's self-hanging can be viewed as a reaching, faring forth, or ‘descent’ to another realm (since he describes gazing ‘below,’ presumably this is to Hel, the land of the dead, in order to acquire the knowledge and wisdom of its denizens …While the means employed are painful and unpleasant, his ultimate goal is unquestionably a positive one. By enduring and overcoming his trial, Odin returns to the worlds of gods and men a superior being with newfound illumination and powers. Thus his rite is successful, and it ensures his place as the supreme entity among the gods of the Aesir.

    The crucifixion of Jesus is a wholly different type of event …Viewed from a historical/realistic perspective, the crucifixion of Christ is not even a ritual at all, but rather an entirely mundane act …Crossley-Holland asserts that Christ's death is ‘voluntary’ like Odin's, but this is questionable. True, it may be voluntary in the sense that Jesus brings it down upon himself through his actions which are perceived as blasphemous by his fellow Jews … However, this form of ‘voluntary’ death is entirely pacifistic and submissive at root.

    But du Purucker, discussing Odin and the tree, sees a similarity there with Christ and the Cross, saying: "The reference … to ‘hanging on a tree’ is most suggestive, because the very phrase was frequently used in the early Christian writings as meaning ‘hanging on the cross.’"

    Du Purucker also discusses the Christ’s last words, claiming:

    ’Eli, ‘Eli, lamah shavahhtani. These words, called the ‘cry on the cross", have been translated into Greek … and this is the English rendering of the Greek translation: ‘My God! My God! Why hast though forsaken me?’ This is a false translation into Greek, although correct in English from the Greek, because these words in the original Hebrew mean "My God! My God! How thou hast glorified me!" For these words are good ancient Hebrew, and the verb shavahh means ‘to glorify’, certainly not ‘to forsake’. Then in the twenty second Psalm of the Old Testament in the first verse, there are the following words in the original: ‘Eli, ‘Eli, lamah ‘azavtani which mean ‘My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?

    So one sees at the root of Christianity, just as at the root of Judaism, the appropriation of Aryan symbols by Judaic myths which then reinterpret the symbols and invert their meaning. Balder-Odin and the Wyrd (an Anglo-Saxon concept roughly equivalent to the Tao of the Chinese) becomes the Son-Father and Holy Ghost, and in that transformation loses its heroic characteristics and instead becomes the anti-thesis of the hero - the condemner of "sin".

    As Moynihan writes:

    [Christ’s] teachings only become unique and imperative in the face of the ‘spiritual extortion’ which results [from the] Christian doctrine [that salvation can only be reached through Christ.] … If, on the other hand, one were to view Christ as a historical or mythical role-model [in the Aryan sense of the idea of God], he would be difficult to emulate, and many of his actions appear downright absurd. His ‘reality’ is so far removed from our indigenous European one as to be practically incomprehensible."


    What one sees in Judaeo-Christian myth is imitation and perversion of Aryan and Indo-European Tradition. The ideas that existed before the Jews or Christian got to them are stood on their head in the translation from Aryan to Semitic, and the moral lessons become confused. To the adherent of Judaeo-Christian Semitic values, Aryan heroics become sinful, while the mentalities and traits that tend to destroy society and bring misery in the material world become virtuous.

    When viewed from this perspective the "prophetic" nature of the Judaeo-Christian faith is subsumed into the Aryan concept of the destruction of the world through cyclical collapse of Tradition. The Jewish messiah becomes for the Western man what the Fenris Wolf was for Odin - an all-consuming adversary, not a God to be followed. Odin and the Aryan father-god is the Semitic Anti-Christ, because he represents the character of civilization that Semitic nihilism seeks to defile. The Semitic-Messianic victory in the battle of Armageddon is the victory of death over life - his reign is the destruction of earth by fire. The Semitic Messiah’s role is one opposed to that of the Norse Balder, who restores the Golden Age, rather than making permanent the dark one.

    And this is not to glorify what the Christians know as "Satan worship", "Lucifer worship" and the like. Each of these are inappropriate for the people of Tradition for such worship implicitly accepts the Semitic valuations of Semitic people as the good and as those outside of Semitism as the evil. One sees in the concept of Satan/Lucifer the alien evil, seeing itself as good, trying to understand the true good, and not a true representation of the pantheon of deities those names subsume.

    As Evola puts it:

    There are ancient traditions according to which Typhon, a demon opposed to the Gods, was the father of the Hebrews; various Gnostic authors considered the Hebrew God as one of Typhon’s creatures.

    And therefore solarity in the Semitic faith must always manifest itself as a Titanic character:

    a materialized violent race that no longer recognizes the authority of the spiritual principle … ; this race … attempt[s] to take possession, by surprise and through inferior types of employment, of a body of knowledge that grant[s] control … This represents an upheaval and counterfeit of the privilege of the previous ‘glorious men.’

    Perhaps no other words can better define the Judaeo-Christian usurpation of Western society - an imitation that has counterfeited and usurped the glory of the original. Through this understanding, and through understanding exactly how the original Tradition has become perverted through misinterpretation and through time, can the initiated begin to return society to the original faith.

    Understanding the nature of the Judaic roots, can we see ahead to a time when the avatar of the Sun God will return to the origin of Peace and re-establish his divine rule over all the nations of Earth? Such a time is told of after the destruction of the earth by fire. Until then, we can only educate ourselves in order to teach these others their error.
    • Re: The Lost Symbol

      Fri, November 25, 2011 - 8:21 PM
      Well I wish I could actually find the debate that Richard Poe had with Bill White but alas it seems to have evaporated

      Nevertheless, it is just more Flatland as far as I'm concerned. It is a limited debate between two ages caught best by Piscean fish swimming in opposite directions.

      Has Evola or Guenon ever brought the Denhera Zodiac to your attention? This will take you out of Flatland and realize that the narrative is constantly changing - constantly re-imagining itself.

      While I'm not totally in agreement concerning the dates in this article nor it's vision of the future necessarily, it brings into focus the point I am attempting to make here that the limited story you've boxed yourself into is just one of many "plays" designed for various purposes.
      • Re: The Lost Symbol

        Sat, November 26, 2011 - 3:51 PM
        >>Has Evola or Guenon ever brought the Denhera Zodiac to your attention? This will take you out of Flatland and realize that the narrative is constantly changing - constantly re-imagining itself.<<

        I am interested in the unchanging. The Metaphysical Absolute isn't changing or re-imagining itself- otherwise it wouldn't be an Absolute.

        You are hopelessly tangled up in Evola's person, Steven and as far as I can see, you are attempting a character assassination without addressing a single issue, historical, metaphysical or philosophical outlined in his or others articles.

        I know from experience that Evola is extremely irritating to the current Judeocratic-Zionist paradigm. He was an extremely sharp observer and meticulous researcher; what he does is only holding a mirror where you can face your fears.

        I'm not your enemy, Steven. I know that you are a serious student of Kabbalah, the only Jewish Tradition that seeks the true transcendence and the realization of the Metaphysical Absolute. Judaism and Zionism are both racist-nationalist ideologies- they can't serve as means to an end.

        I'm not sure what "box" you mean I locked myself in. I'm very well aware of the complete deviation of mainstream Christianity and if I have to, I stand up against it. This is the same way I feel about mainstream Buddhism as well!

        In this age, the Tradition manifests faintly, reserved only in individuals- then there might be times coming when it will completely disappear from the human-terrestrial life. Perhaps, this is your last chance to follow something true and leave the crap behind.
        • Re: The Lost Symbol

          Sat, November 26, 2011 - 4:50 PM
          "I am interested in the unchanging. The Metaphysical Absolute isn't changing or re-imagining itself- otherwise it wouldn't be an Absolute. "

          Aryan memes are not part of the Absolute - that's the Box I'm referring to. The only Absolutes I've come upon are the Universal Laws that were exoterically delivered as the 10 Commandments. They are referring to the Laws of Unity, Fulfillment, Attraction, Karma, Conservation, Balance, etc. I've written extensively about them in the God Code Tribe. There are no Absolutes beyond these as far as I can see. This is the fallacy I see when all of this tied up into the notion of superior and inferior states that the adherents of the Aryan meme seems to embrace.

          Civilizations have come and gone. I've read Rudolf Steiner in depth. His views I can stomach but don't necessarily totally agree with but he recognized a turning point 2,000 years ago when the Romans reached their pinnacle (this civilization's pinnacle) of material deadness. From that point a Solar twist was added that manifested into Christianity. Call it a pole-reversal if you 'd like. The point is that an insert or a new template (not new to Kabbalists) if you will was introduced that spoke of the Kingdom within - not the Kingdom without which I would think would have been the greatest undermining element to a Traditionalist agenda. If Christians truly understood the message, there would probably be no Traditionalists left to contend with.

          As far as considering Evola's rationale and position, I require a site without reverse type. That in and of itself is as off-putting as anything else I can think of. Every time you've linked to Evola the type is reversed. Maybe that's supposed to be a subliminal message that one must reverse their entire worldview to be able to get into the mindset and the logic he presents. Mirror is a good adjective to describe this.

          Broad brush terms like the Judeocratic-Zionist paradigm are also off-putting and seem to be devices crafted to recruit followers into the fold of a philosophy that wishes to expunge anything to do with what these societies might have brought to the party that is productive and uplifting. You are referential to Kabbalah but probably don't realize that the temple services of most congregations were designed by Kabbalists to help introduce the esoteric through ritualistic means. Some congregations understand and embrace that understanding and intention and some don't have a clue. But many are made up of a good people who can be charitable and stalwarts of the community.

          Whether the Book (Torah) captures an upside down world to Aryan notions or not is pointless to me. The Book is constantly changing. Here's an excerpt from the rewrite of my book that I am currently in the process of:

          "The Tree of Life

          My discussions of the symbols and signs of the Phoenix Lights event are informed by the ancient Jewish mystical system of traditional Kabbalah, especially the Tree of Life and the Gematria (numerology) system. This chapter is a very limited introduction to the subject.

          I use a method of interpretation called “hyperliteral.” This analysis relies on an associative methodology, not unlike Apple Computer’s original Hypercard application. Each idea is not only explored within its own symbology, it is used as a leaping off point to other ideas that are related by way of intuitive connections grounded in textual references. This is not very different from the practice of exegesis which is a critical search for meaning within biblical or sacred texts. It is also not meant to infer that this is similar to a literal or fundamental approach which is not associative or intuitively based at all. I also don’t limit myself to one religious text or set of writings because I start with the assumption that everything is related to a common source.

          An example might help: God created the world in seven days. I’ve already spoken about seven layers or levels in the Tree of Life – just as in the Yogic Chakra system. Each layer embodies an evolving movement from the spiritual to the material. Each layer is a cycle – or a day. Spiritual time moves like a pebble thrown in a pond – from the center outwards, as in vibration and sound – Aum as the Eastern religions call it – or Shal-Aum (Shalom – meaning hello, good-bye and peace), in its Hebrew derivative. Linear time has no meaning in this spiritual evolution, as is affirmed in 2 Peter 3:8: “With the Lord, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

          The hyperliteral method of interpreting text offers the reader a much richer meaning, just as stereo offers a much richer listening experience than mono or single-channel sound can provide. Hyperliteral takes the literal text from the left side of the brain and marries it with the intuitive symbols and insights found in the right side of the brain. When we open ourselves to the inclusion of texts or myths across various traditions, we are metaphorically experiencing Surround Sound.

          While Torah is the basis for Kabbalah, contemporary writers such as Dr. Sanford Drop recognize that Torah constantly changes with the times. He writes “According to the Kabbalists, it is the Torah which mediates the creative power of the holy letters, and the Torah itself is understood to be a changing organism whose very structure is transformed in response to alterations in the cosmos and the life of man.”

          Moshe Idel wrote “The Bible’s lack of Hebrew vowels creates an indeterminacy in pronunciation and sense that leaves it open to a multiplicity of interpretative possibilities. The mid-thirteenth century Kabbalist, R. Jacob ben Sheshet of Gerona, wrote ‘it is a well-known thing that each and every word of the Torah will change [its significance] in accordance with the change of its vocalization though its consonants will not be changed.’ A slightly later, anonymous Kabbalist, expanded upon R. Jacob’s notion in writing that ‘the vowel [system] is the form of, and is soul to, the consonants…and if we should vocalize the scroll of the Torah [i.e. insert vowels] it would receive a limit and measure, like the hyle [primordial undifferentiated matter] that receives a peculiar form’ thus limiting the Torah to a single interpretation. Thus the prohibition against vocalizing [adding vowels to] the Torah scroll guarantees a hermeneutic freedom permitting unlimited interpretations of the scriptural text. Any particular vocalization or interpretation, grants form to the hyle, and thereby makes the reader a cocreator, with god, of the Torah, and ultimately, of the world. According to R. Bahya ben Asher ‘The scroll of the Torah is written without vowels, in order to enable man to interpret it however he wishes…as the consonants without vowels bear several interpretations…’”"

          I know you are not my enemy Auton. The problem is that the Aryans have declared me as their enemy. The question is how tied up your own personal views are within this declared war. Do you think the average Aryan cares one iota about my Kabbalah? Or is an average Aryan an oxymoron anyway?
        • Re: The Lost Symbol

          Sat, November 26, 2011 - 8:35 PM
          Well he was certainly an enigma...

          Evola's Attitude Toward the Jews

          In the above-mentioned polemic, Grimaldi characterized Evola as a "Jew lover." It goes without saying that this misses the mark by a long shot and merely
          reflects the anger of the attacker. There are so many comments against the Jews inEvola's work, ranging from simple criticisms to truly painful ones, that there can be nodoubt about his basic attitude. Evola himself would have been the last to deny that. Buthere a distinction has to be made. His writings never spoke out against orthodoxreligious Judaism. On the contrary; as an example, he writes in his Tre aspetti delproblema Ebraico (Three Aspects of the Jewish Problem), Rome, 1936, p. 23: "Thereare elements and symbols in the Old Testament that possess metaphysical and thereforeuniversal value." Or in Re-volt Against the Modern World (p. 281): "In contrast toorthodox Judaism, early Christianity can at most claim a mystical character on the sameline as the prophets. . . . And whenever a true esotericism was subsequently created inthe West, it was essentially found outside of Christianity with the help of non-Christiancurrents, like the Hebraic Kabbalah...." Evola even names operative Kabbalah as one ofthe few paths that can still be followed successfully in the West today.
          Evola's attacks are more often directed against the Jews as symbol of the rule ofeconomic-materialistic individualism and the hegemony of money. In other words: in theJews he is fighting materialism. The fact that in doing so he again brings up all the well-known prejudices and generalizations shows that he too was dependent on thepreeminent Zeitgeist. Thus, he speaks of the groveling hypocrisy, the Mammonism ofthe Jews, and their desire to dissolve hierarchical societies, as well as of a "Jewishthreat" in general. These are the same accusations that Martin Luther brought up, andwhich Karl Marx presented in his tract Zur Judenfrage (Concerning the JewishQuestion), published 1844 in the Deutsche finnzosischeJahrbiicher in Paris. The worstpassages seem to be those to which Professor Franco Ferraresi of the University of Turinrefers in his contribution "Julius Evola et la Droite radicale de 1'apres-guerre" ("JuliusEvola and the Radical Right in the Postwar Era," in Politica Hermetica, I, p. 100) andwhich deal with the death of Corneliu Codreanu.
          Codreanu, the charismatic leader of the simultaneously political and mysticalChristian "Iron Guard" movement in Romania, which saw itself as a part of the army ofthe Archangel Michael, was definitely one of the very few indisputable "heroes" andmodels for Evola. Everything he wrote about him amounted to a panegyric and thereforethe pain about Codreanu being "shot while escaping," which he attributed to the Jewsseems to have been genuine and to ex-plain the decline of his high standards. (De Felicewrites in his Der Faschism ts:
          Ein Interview, p. 98: "Strictly speaking, Codreanu is no Fascist. He fights against middle-class values and institutions. His movement is everything but petit-bourgeois; it is rather a movement of students of the lower classes, a popular peasant movement. Anything but a middle-class movement.")
          It general, it is obvious that Evola chose a much more incisive and polemical tone in his newspaper articles than in his books. But we do not believe that Evola aimed at a "gripping journalistic style" (as still practiced today), used for effect; rather, it seems likely that he wrote these articles under the pressure of a deadline, and therefore in a tone that was much too immediate and emotional. In any case, the fact remains as such.
          A lot certainly has to be attributed to the Zeitgeist, which apparently included certain patterns of thought that were never questioned. It is indeed astonishing that even recognized critical minds like Karl Kraus (a Jew himself) continually spouted the usual anti-Jewish prejudices (regarding this, see the interesting research of Jacques le Rider, Der Fall Otto Weininger [The Case of Otto Weininger], Vienna, 1985, and Das Ende der Illusion [The End of Illusion], Vienna, 1990). If one adds the amount of slander that was spread about the Jews in the Fascist era by newspapers that are still important to the present day, such as La Stampa and Corriere della Sera, then the situation becomes a little easier to understand (regarding this, see excerpts in Renzo de Felice's Storia degli Ebrei Italiani sotto il Fascismo [The History of the Italian Jews under Fascism], Turin, 1972, p. 260).
          In light of all of Evola's well-known anti-Jewish remarks, how could he ever have been called a "Jew lover"? We have already shown a few reasons. Since Evola set supreme importance on the spiritual attitude, a Jew could of course also espouse "Aryan" thought (see "Scienza, razza e scientismo" [Science, Race, and Scientism], in Vita Italiana, XXX, no. 357, December 1942, pp. 556–563; there, he writes verbatim: "For example, can an `Aryan' have a Jewish soul or inner race and vice versa? Yes, it is possible. . . ."). And Evola had surely noticed that especially in Germany some Jews felt more "Aryan" than many Germans, and this was not only in intellectual circles. In exactly this sense one must assume that Evola did not at all regard the Jews Weininger and Michelstaedter, to whom he owed so much, as "Jews," independently of their heritage. That an opinion like this was a danger to mass propaganda could not go unnoticed by the political observers of the day. Basically, Evola did not indict the Jewish people (although naturally there were exceptions), for
          he did not even acknowledge them as a "biological" race, due to the miscegenationthat they themselves admitted; it was Jewry as an idea and "spiritual race" that hadbeen forged together by a common, strictly preserved body of thought (Oldtestament, Torah, Talmud, for example). If one rereads (see above) what OttoWeininger said about Jewry as "spiritual direction," "psychic constitution," and"Platonic idea," one will understand what Evola really meant. Contemporary quotefrom his own hand will underscore this view.
          Thus he writes in the aforementioned Tre aspetti del prohlema Ebraico (p. 42):
          Are "rationalism" and "calculation" purely Jewish phenomena? If one wanted to answer "yes," one would also be forced to believe that the first antitradi-tional, critical, antireligious, and "scientific" upheavals of ancient Greece had also been introduced and supported by Jews; that therefore Socrates was a Jew, and that not only the medieval nominalists, but also llescartes, Galileo, Bacon, etc., were Jews.... Even if the passion for the lifeless number and abstract reason is an outstanding characteristic of the Semites . . . , it nevertheless seems clear that one can speak of a Jewish spirit in this regard only if it destroys every-thing through rationalism and calculation, if it leads to a world ti tat consists only of machines, objects, and money instead of persons, traditions, and fatherlands, and if one uses the expression "Jewish" in a symbolic sense, without necessarily referring to the race.... In the concrete development of modern civilization, the Jew can be seen as a force that worked together with others for the prolif-eration of the "civilized," rationalized, scientific, mechanistic, modern deca-dence. But he certainly cannot be singled out as the single, far-seeing cause. It would be nonsense to believe anything of the kind. The actual truth is that one would rather fight against personalized forces than against abstract principles and general phenomena, because the former can also be attacked in a practical manner. And so people have turned against the Jew to the degree that he seems to embody a type that is also present in other areas, and even in nations that have been virtually unaffected by Jewish immigration.
          Even in his introduction to the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which wewill deal with later, he writes on page xix: "We want to mention right away that wepersonally cannot follow a certain fanatical anti-Semitism that sees the Jewseverywhere as dens ex machina and finally ends in a kind of ambush itself. Guenonhimself has referred to the fact that one of the means used by the masked forces todefend themselves consists of directing the entire attention of their enemies in atendentious way toward those who are only partially the real cause
          of certain upheavals. Once they have created a scapegoat in this manner, which suffers the full brunt of reaction, they themselves are free to continue with their intrigues. In a certain way, this is also true of the Jewish question....
          In "Inquadramento del problemo ebraico" (Categorization of the Jewish Question; in Bibliografia Fascism, XIV, no. 8/9, 1939, pp. 717-728), he writes concerning the same question: "A serious formulation of the Jewish problem cannot overlook that which concerns the `Aryan' peoples themselves: the Jew must be prevented from becoming a kind of scapegoat for everything that in reality the non Jews also have to answer for."
          In 1942, Evola writes in his above-mentioned essay "The Misunderstanding of Scientific Racism": "Because it is useless to try to hide it from oneself, people today are often wondering if the Jew isn't ultimately a kind of scapegoat. The cases are so frequent in which the characteristics that our doctrine attributes to the Jews are fully and brazenly exhibited by `Aryan' speculators, profiteers, upstarts, and—why not—even by journalists, who do not hesitate to use the most twisted and disloyal means for polemical ends."
          Even in a publication such as La Difesa della Razza, which was remarkable for its viciousness concerning the Jewish question and sometimes included despicable articles of the Stzirrner variety, Evola expounded his views (for example, in the article "Razza, eredita, personalita" [Race, Heredity, Personality], April 5, 1942).
          Evola also confirms his values in his book Il Fascismo (p. 180), although this was not written until 1970: "One must realize that with Hitler anti-Semitism had the role of a veritable obsession, whereby it is not possible to fully explain the causes of this anti-Semitism in its almost paranoid aspect, which had such tragic consequences." Then Evola adds: "Hitler's anti-Semitism had a forced, fanatical character and points to a lack of inner control. This has led to a stain of infamy on the Third Reich that will be very hard to wash away."
          We have already discussed the difficulties that Evola had to deal with during the Fascist era on account to his opinions, which may well stand as evidence for the integrity of his attitude. Despite her understandable condemnation of Evola's views, even Adriana Goldstaub admits that Evola did not deem all Jews, nor the Jews exclusively, responsible for the decline of the modern world (see her contribution to the debate at the symposium at Cuneo in 1982: "Fascismo Oggi: Nuova destra e Cultura reazionaria negli anni ottanta," Istituto storico Bella Resistenza in Cuneo, p. 175).
          The oft-quoted and knowledgeable expert Renzo de Felice confirms in hisHistory of the Italian Jews under Fascism (p. 465):
          ... we are forced to admit that among the creative and cultured ones—as among the politicians—seen from a certain standpoint, the most respectable ones were the convinced racists. With this we do not mean a Landra or a Cogni, those pale and submissive "vestal virgins" of Nazi racism, but an Evola and an Acerbo, who both created their own path that they followed to the end with dignity and seriousness. And this in contrast to many who chose the way of the lie, of slan-der, and the total obscuration of every cultural and moral value. . . . Evola him-self also very decidedly discounted any theory of pure biological racism, going so far that he attracted the attacks and sarcasm of the Lanclras upon himself. I do not mean by this that the "spiritual" theory of races is acceptable, but it at least had the advantage of not completely discounting certain values. It also renounced the German and German-derived contusions and tried . . . to con-fine racism to the plane of a cultural problem worthy of the name.
          The attitude of Evola toward the Jews that we have sketched here—that is, to see"Jewishness" as a certain "spiritual attitude," an idea derived from Weininger wasanything but singular or rare. As Jacques le Rider shows in his book The End oflllusion, this attitude characterized a whole epoch: the era of fin-de-siecle Vienna,which Wcininger was a part of. And perhaps we should not underestimate theinfluence of Michelstaedter, who studied in Vienna at this time and was surelymuch affected by the intellectual life that flourished there. Because not only "antiJewishness" characterizes the Viennese modern era (even though the Jews werethe essential proponents of that modernism); it was marked also by "anti-democratism," "antifeminism," and "anti-intellectualism," which are all found inEvola's work in modified form. Even the passion for Meister Eckhart wasespecially pronounced during this time and, for example, influenced the phi-losopher Fritz Mauthner, who was also interested in Buddhism.
          In his study, Jacques le Rider introduces many examples and an interestinganalysis of this negative attitude toward the Jews. We have mentioned Karl Krausand his famous publication Fackel (Torch). Even the intellectual poet HermannBahr, copublisher of Die Zeit, who is above suspicion, speaks of the "judaicizedViennese" whereby he obviously means the intellectual attitude and not thebiological heredity. According to him, the Viennese were already judaicized"even before the first Jew arrived" (quoted after Jacques le Rider, Das Ende derIllusion, p. 239). Le Rider shows further that Sigmund Freud him-
          dei protocolli provata dalla tradizione ebraica" [The Authenticity of the Protocols as Proved by the Jewish Tradition]) in which he included a mass of quotations allegedly from the Talmud and other Jewish religious writings. How-ever, these quotes were taken not from the original writings but from second-or thirdhand sources, such as Rohling's Talmudjuden and Theodor Fritsch's Handbuch der Judenfrage, whose dubious scholarship and zealous bias should have been obvious to Evola. In making such a serious accusation it would have been his duty either to look up the primary sources himself or to consult knowledgeable and unbiased experts. Evola certainly did this in other areas: his studies of the ancient scriptures of Buddhism and Tantrism, Zen and alchemy were marked by an all-encompassing meticulousness. As Professor di Vona of the University of Naples confirms (Hermeneutica, 6, p. 84), Evola's esoteric studies were far more important and their research methods more strict than his comparable political works, which were characterized by an emotionality rooted in the times.
          Carlo Mattogno, who is probably more partial toward Evola, in a series of articles for Orion examined the aforementioned quotes allegedly stemming from old Hebrew sources, and proved that they were either falsified (though long before Evola), taken out of context, or in some cases freely invented. Barely a single quote was reproduced correctly! (See Carlo Mattogno's articles in Orion, no. 22, July 1986, p. 169; vol. IV no. 12, December 1987, p. 94; vol. VI, no. 3, March 1989, p. 232.)
          Even if some things announced in the Protocols, although already easy to recognize at the time of their publication, such as Liberalism and Rationalism and the dissolution of family ties, have come to pass, there are scores of contradictions and absurdities in them that destroy their "authenticity." In his preface, Evola himself described certain parts of the Protocols, especially toward the end, as "fantasy." A list of these contradictions is presented in Pierre Charles's Les Protocoles des sages de Sion (Paris-Tournai, 1938). A condensed Italian version of (his book also appeared in Orion (no. 46, July 1988, a National-Bolshevist magazine that even partially subscribes to these conspiracy theories, and there-fore can hardly be classified as pro Jewish). Further details regarding the Protocols can he found in the works listed in the bibliography [see page 104]. The thirteenth chapter of Men among the Ruins contains Evola's detailed views regarding this subject.
          In spite of these factual and intellectual derailments, we do not wish to
          ascribe any malice, dishonesty, or egotism to Evola in this matter—just sheer carelessness, a lack of serious research, and the reckless assimilation of prejudices that happened to coincide with his own views. But here it also applies that it is easier to recognize the prejudices of others in the past than our own current ones. Without wanting to belittle them, because these questions can rightly unleash incredible emotional currents (and, of course, quite apart from the much greater personal suffering of those who were affected) there seems to be a certain psychological analogy between the past persecution of the "Jew" and today's hunt for the "multinational." In this century, mechanization, technological advance, dehumanization, and the dire dependence of large parts of the world have grown to such an extent that one simply longs for clear, simple, monocausal explanations for the misery. And "proof" for the "guilt" of the Jews yesterday and the "multinationals" today can be found or constructed again and again, which does not necessarily imply malice, but can be an expression of mere overzealousness. As is so often, here too the road to Hell can be paved with good intentions. After all, the real direction of both attacks is essentially the same. One is aiming for "free capital" that according to our economic laws is always invested where the highest returns are expected, with-out caring much for the resulting human consequences. But the much despised "capitalists," or rather the "managers" who actually wield the power today, are, in the present as in the past, the expression of a materialist worldview to which we all contribute our support. Only a different order of values, in which the material values are important but do not occupy the highest position, can change this situation. 1 he mere search for scapegoats certainly will not solve any-thing, for he who seeks will always find. And those somewhat familiar with the shadow problem of psychology will know that the "scapegoat" thus discovered is nothing but a rejected, suppressed part of our personality that is forcibly projected to the outside.
          To conclude this chapter on Evola's racism, we want to mention Robert Melchionda's thesis that views Evola as "antiracist" par excellence (II volto di Dionisio, p. 208). The reasoning behind this thesis, which seems strange after all the foregoing arguments, is as follows: since someone's race, in the usual sense of the word, is connected to the corresponding physical characteristics that cannot be changed at will, the word "race" really expresses the "unchangeable," the "immutable." In contrast, to Evola it is the spirit and not the body that contains the primary racial characteristics. But according to Evola, the
          spirit above all represents "absolute freedom"and rules the physical body. However, this"absolute freedom" also makes a change in the "spiritual race" possible and thus race has ceased to be the deciding, unchangeable factor. The reality is a "freedom of race" of a scope not even postulated by the "antiracists."
          In summarizing, we will let Giovanni Monastra have the final word (Anthropologie aristocratique et Racisme): "Evola's ambition was to apply the traditional worldview as he understood it to a specific aspect of reality: the differences thatcan be found in humans, both collectively and individually."
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Sat, November 26, 2011 - 10:50 PM
            "Codreanu, the charismatic leader of the simultaneously political and mystical Christian 'Iron Guard' movement in Romania, which saw itself as a part of the army of the Archangel Michael, was definitely one of the very few indisputable 'heroes' and models for Evola."

            It's noteworthy that Codreanu was also a major influence on Mircea Eliade, whose work in turn has had a profound influence on current thinking about archetypes, mysticism, religious studies, and shamanism.

            The Fascist Roots & Branches of 2012 Mythology
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Sun, November 27, 2011 - 1:24 PM
              Thanks John - your other thread on the Fascist Roots and Branches of 2012 Mythology contains a link that brings the thread back on-topic.


              "Nazi and Fascist publications leave no doubt of their belief that all evil in the world, from the high mortality rate among the dinner guests of the Borgias down to the Versailles Treaty, has been the work of Freemasons, alone or with the help of Israel. In "Mien Kampf", Hitler merges his twin phobias:

              "The general pacifistic paralyzation of the national instinct of self-preservation, introduced into the circles of the so-called `intelligentsia' by Freemasonry, is transmitted to the great masses, but above all to the bourgeoisie, by the activity of the great press, which today is always Jewish."

              And one of the first official statements made by Hermann Goering in his capacity as Prime Minister of Prussia, when the Nazis took over power in 1933, was that "in National Socialist Germany there is no place for Freemasonry.: That view was not news. It had run through all the Nazi propaganda and had been an intrinsic part of the Fascist attitude in Mussolini's realm.

              After the German debacle of 1918, the frustrated man who had been the virtual master of Germany's destinies, General Erich Ludendorff, south an outlet for his bitterness in diatribes against Freemasonry. Right up to his death, Ludendorff devoted himself wholly to propaganda intended to prove that the war, the ensuing German revolution, and most other world ills had been the doing of the Masons. He published a pamphlet entitled "Annihilation of Freemasonry Through the Revelation of Its Secrets" wherein the so-called secrets of Freemasonry were "revealed" for the hundredth time since the foundation of the Order in 1717, without, however, annihilating Masonry. The senile general's main thesis was that Freemasonry is a Jewish device intended to make "artificial Jews." On one page the hand that had led Germany to disaster in 1918 wrote: "It is cheating the people to fight the Jew while allowing his auxiliary troop, Freemasonry ... to function.""
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Sat, November 26, 2011 - 11:16 PM
            I think it's intriguing that Evola's work has been revived and republished by Inner Traditions, the same imprint that has published key books on 2012 by Arguelles, Jenkins, Calleman, Hand Clow, and others.

            Julius Evola | Inner Traditions

            Even more so given the biography of Inner Traditions founder Ehud Sperling:

            "Born December 6, 1949 to parents who fled Hitler's Germany to become pioneers in the founding of Israel, Ehud Sperling was one of the first sabras, or native-born Israelis. His father, Julius, was a member of the underground military arm of Israeli independence, and his mother was a nanny."
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Sun, November 27, 2011 - 10:56 AM
              "I think it's intriguing that Evola's work has been revived and republished by Inner Traditions, the same imprint that has published key books on 2012 by Arguelles, Jenkins, Calleman, Hand Clow, and others."

              Maybe this article will shed some light although it doesn't answer the question on Sperling. While Evola revolts against the Modern World, I find it revolting to "use" Jews once again as the de-facto rallying point. Long article but worth putting into the post.


              "Revolts Against the Modern World
              The Blend of Literary and Historical Fantasy in the Italian New Right
              By Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University

              Editors' Note: Though coming from an academic and materialist perspective, and highly critical of Evola and what the author terms the 'sacred Right,' we felt this piece to be of interest to readers of SYNTHESIS because of the amount and detail of well-substantiated information, for its erudition, and for certain interesting conclusions and parallel correspondences to be found within. It is being reprinted here with the kind permission of the author on condition that it is understood that he dissociates himself from the ideological thrust of any of the other material available on this website. This is a corrected but unrevised version of the article first published in Literature and History, vol. 11, no. 1, (Spring 1985), pp. 101-124. The Editors would like to give their sincere thanks to Professor Griffin for permission to reprint this work.

              Never had I more excited, passionate, fantastical imagination, nor an ear and eye
              That more expected the impossible.

              -- W. B. Yates, The Tower (1926)

              On 10 September 1983 there appeared in the cultural supplement of La Stampa among a group of articles marking the publication of Tolkien's biography a piece written by the president of the Tolkien Society in Italy entitled 'Why He Became a Cult for Us'. A hidden dimension of significance to this innocuous title begins to open up when it turns out to have been penned by Gianfranco de Turris, not only one of Italy's major publishers and cognoscenti of literature of the fantastic, but also a prominent propagandist of the neo-fascist Right. Another propagandist of ultra-Right ideas is Marco Tarchi, who in his programmatic Beyond Right and Left (meaning conventional definitions of these two positions) writes 'we had an example of what it means to belong spontaneously to a cohesive group-mind without any leadership in the years in which many of us discovered Tolkien, the fantastic, the saga'.[1] Perhaps the most striking symptoms of the Italian neo-Right's adoption of Tolkien as one of its official sources, however, lies in the fact that the neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano chose to call the summer camp organized for its youth section, Il Fronte della Gioventù, in the Abruzzi 'Camp Hobbit'. No less significantly, the volume commemorating the foundation of the Italian New Right in 1977 was called Hobbit/Hobbit and the title of its publishing cooperative is 'The Rock of Erec'.

              Such facts underline how erroneous it would be to approach Euro-fascism simply in terms of a mimetic revival of the fascist creeds of the thirties. Academic attempts to characterise 'classical' fascist ideology have always had to contend with the problems of classifying and assessing the significance for theory and practice of a bewildering array of different component ideas and positions coexisting even within ostensibly the same national movement. As a result it is even a matter of considerable debate whether fascism can be used as a generic term at all, let alone whether it has any ideology in the stricter senses of this intrinsically loose term, beyond a nebulous 'irrationalism' or 'negativity'.[2] The same dilemma is posed in an even more acute form in the context of contemporary New Right /fascist (even here distinctions are subtle) 'culture', for here so many factions proliferate with their own formulations or rationalisations of radical anti-communism and anti-liberalism that commentators have recourse to distinctions that to the uninitiated can sound scholastic. For example Furio Jesi in his Cultura di Destra,[3] which concentrates on the contemporary Italian scene, extends the distinction conventionally made by Italian historians between 'respectable' and 'violent' fascism with the categories 'profane/ exoteric', (involving secular, pseudo-scientific arguments and goals) and 'sacred/esoteric', (drawing on a legacy of occultist or quasi-mystical notions).[4] Sheehan, in an article for the New York Review,[5] refers to an 'ideological tension' between de Benoist's 'Nietzschean nominalism' which underlies some of the French ultra-Right groupings and the 'bizarre metaphysics' that are invoked by such Italian factions as Third Position.[6] Giorgio Galli is also aware of the complex elements which constitute 'Right-wing Culture', but picks out as the most 'interesting' strand of the New Right the one which draws on the counterculture of the nineteen-sixties.[7] It is precisely within this 'sacred', 'metaphysical' Right that de Turris and Tarchi are to be situated.

              But the three have something else in common which puts the taste for Tolkien in another perspective again, namely a profound debt to a figure who, though conspicuous by his absence from the annals of Europe's 'official' post-war culture, is arguably the most important single influence on neo-fascist thought in Italy: Julius Evola. Jesi concentrates extensively on him in his Cultura di Destra and claims 'Neo-fascism needs Evola, especially to feed the minds of the youngest recruits',[8] while for Galli he is 'one of the most qualified representatives of Right Wing culture'.[9] In similar vein Sheehan argues that Evola is the major source of the 'metaphysics' on which neo-fascist violence is based.[10] More to the point, all three Tolkien aficionados already considered testify to the impact Evola has had on them. Tarchi has not only written on him and been interviewed as an 'expert' on him in the Right Wing press, but also directs the Rome-based Evola Foundation which reissues choice samples of his master's voice. (His right to do so is hotly disputed by Renato del Ponte who from his Genoan base has poured his energies into the magazine Arthos and the Evolian Study Centre to keep followers informed.)[11] Even more prolific has been de Turris, who, apart from writing numerous articles, produced his Homage to Julius Evola,[12] and edited the voluminous Testimonies[13] in which some thirty representatives of the 'sacred' New Right in Europe bore witness to the seminal importance of their guru. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then the most eloquent testimony to Evola's influence is perhaps the MSI deputy and 'intransigent' Fascist Pino Rauti, who heavily plagiarised him to set forth his own political vision in The Ideas that Moved the World and is able to apply Evolian principles to the policies he advocates in the Italian parliament.[14]

              But what are these principles? For over fifty years, till he died in 1974 at the age of seventy-six, Evola was a highly prolific writer producing a stream of articles, essays, translations and substantial tomes expounding his analysis of philosophical, cultural and political issues. Accordingly his work is far from simple to summarise, especially in view of the highly 'unorthodox' ideas it expresses, but the best introduction to the principles at the heart of all his writings is probably The Revolt Against the Modern World,[15] published in 1933, and reissued with significant revisions to reach the second reprint of the fifth edition by 1980. In it, with seemingly compendious scholarship, Evola establishes the typology of two fundamentally opposed forms of society: the 'modern', essentially secular and based on the 'inferior realm of becoming', represents an onslaught on the original type based on the 'superior invisible realm of being', the only one with any substantial reality. This latter is called 'Traditional', a key term for the understanding of contemporary neo-fascist thought. (Evola only hypostatises the nominal form 'Tradition' but to avoid confusion I will do so also when using the adjectival form). A Traditional society is one in which the individual is an organic part of a hierarchical state governed by a caste of warrior-priests, custodians of supra-temporal, metaphysical truths, and headed in their turn by a monarch. Such a state, echoes of which Evola sees in the hierarchical social systems, myths and legends past of various civilisations, cultivates life as an essentially initiatic experience from which the degenerative forces of secularism, egalitarianism and individualism are kept at bay by ritual and the iron rule of law and caste.

              However in accordance with the pattern of decay and rebirth operating gradually through the life-cycle of entire civilisations, such Traditional societies as have existed in history have been subject to an insidious decadence. As a result twentieth-century Western society now finds itself at the nadir of the cycle, nearing the end of what is known to the Hindus as the 'kali yuga', the black age. All the social institutions and spiritual forces that constitute the 'modem' age are symptoms of an irreversible decline from the world of Tradition which set in perceptibly with Greek rationalism of the sixth-century B.C. and was only temporarily retarded by the Roman empire and the Ghibelline phase of the Middle Ages in Europe: the principles of the Holy Roman Empire, through a fusion of military and priestly virtues, were already a pale reflection of the true hierarchic state.

              It is at this point of Evola's epic 'history' that a significant difference emerges between the 1934 and 1951 editions of the Revolt, for whereas the pre-war version looks to international fascism as holding out the prospect of a cultural rebirth, marking a re-entry into a new golden age of Traditional values, the post-war edition can only advocate a stoic inner resistance to a world in which 'Bolshevism and Americanism' will eclipse the true 'immortal principles' (so different from their Enlightenment travesty of 1789) for the foreseeable future. Both Evola's charges against the modern world as well as the predicament of those spiritually rooted in the 'world of Tradition' are given more extended treatment in his most influential post-war work, Riding the Tiger. First published in 1961 and revised in 1971 this is an indictment of the philosophical, sociological, and political manifestations of the 'kali yuga', the terminal phase of the decadence of contemporary culture: existentialism, relativism, rock music, drugs, the decay of the family ethic, the general levelling tendencies of a materialistic society, the proliferation of political parties in 'democratic' Italy all point to a terminal phase of dissolution. Since no party or movement can now reverse this degenerative process till the disease has run its course, the exile from the 'Tradition' has no option but to 'ride the tiger' of modernity, confident in the knowledge that sooner or later it must collapse exhausted (the phrase is taken from a 'saying in the Far East'). Meanwhile the only suitable political response, there being 'nothing any more that really deserves a full dedication and profound commitment', is one of 'apolitiá',[17] i.e. a refusal to dedicate oneself to any existing political 'cause'. However this does not exclude political acts as long as they are carried out disinterestedly, gratuitously.

              This, in its essentials, is the Traditionalist world-view, and Evola applies it to the condemnation of features of post-war society that the uninitiated might take to be allies of his crusade, such as attempts to revive the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini or the growing interest in Eastern metaphysical systems of thought. According to Evola, Nazism and Fascism were doomed from the start because, instead of seeking to re-establish an 'organic' state on the Traditional model, they create its travesty, the totalitarian state, flawed in its very conception, both by the levelling forces exerted by the masses it had to enlist in its support, and in its exaltation of 'modern' technology and bureaucratic apparatus, not to mention the blinkered nationalism so far removed from a genuine 'imperialism'.[18] In a similar way he argues that the process of dissolution is only accelerated by those who look to some mythical "East" to supply the inspiration of cultural regeneration, for without the key to Traditional principles fragments of archetypal wisdom cannot be integrated into a healthy world-view. The New Right is to be something generically different from the old.[19]

              But no matter how 'new' the Italian New Right's message may be, it is an essential component of guru-like Evola's aura for his followers that he had been preaching the ideas on which it is based as a voice crying in the wilderness long before he was 'discovered' in the late sixties. He was already over seventy when, as de Turris writes in his biographical appendix to the Testimonies, 'a sense of urgency seized many young people, an almost physical necessity' to have more books by Evola to read, to show, to give as presents, to lend'.[20] The Evola boom had started. The image of a solitary prophet, Nietzschean in both his genius and the uncompromising radicalness of his message to an age too corrupt to appreciate it, but moreover endowed with the initiatic paranormal powers of a seer, recurs frequently in tributes to Evola. In them we encounter such phrases as 'the perennial watch', 'the flight of the dragon', 'the icy way', 'the guardian of the threshold', 'the guide to the primordial realm of being', 'the crystal of the absolute', 'the Master of the spirit', 'the son of Hermes', 'the revealer of the forces of light'. Giovanni Volpe, who, with his distinguished Fascist pedigree,[21] is one of the most prominent publishers of ultra-right authors, talks of Evola as 'a man of another age', 'of another mettle', making 'no concessions to the human need to adjust to the moment'.[22]

              This particular aspect of Evola does suggest some real if superficial parallels with Tolkien. Born six years before Evola (he died a year before him in 1973), Tolkien in the late nineteen-twenties started work on the narrative cycle that was to eventually embrace The Hobbit, (1936), The Lord of the Rings, (1954) and The Similarion (uncompleted). At first he had a small cult following. It was only in the mid-sixties that his works became internationally famous, firmly establishing themselves in the counter-culture 'top ten' of prescribed texts. De Turris himself stresses the fact that Tolkien's vision long predates his fame: 'The Lord of the Rings is a rare phenomenon because it is not a product of the "cultural industry" which makes and destroys fashions and best-sellers on a day to day basis, manipulating the taste of the readers, it is not an "instant book"'.[23] What Tolkien and Evola thus share in the eyes of their Neo-Right adulators is an importance in inverse proportion to their recognition by the prevailing aesthetic or ideological norms of society: thus de Tunis speaks of the growing Tolkien cult in Italy existing 'despite the indifference and hostility of "official culture"'.[24] Similarly Romualdi declares that his intention in writing Evola: The Man and the Work (published by Volpe) is to demonstrate that 'the name ignored by "official culture" means something to a growing number of readers'.[25]

              However the paths which led to both Evola and Tolkien acquiring a similar status as heroes of the New Right in Italy could hardly have been more contrasting. Tolkien's career is now legendary: the Magdalen professor of English literature with a life-long passion for Celtic mythology who in a moment of boredom while marking Schools exam papers wrote the line 'In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit' and in terms of literary success, at least, never looked back. Evola, who never completed his engineering degree apparently out of 'disdain for academic titles'[26] first surfaced in Italian cultural life as a teenage member of the circle round Papini, who had published A Nationalist Programme in 1908 and was now bringing out the 'Nietzschean' periodical Lacerba. He quickly ran through the gamut of avant-garde art movements of the day, in his own words graduating 'from decadentism, symbolism and analogism right through to "abstract" and dadaist composition',[27] (futurism he came to reject characteristically as a symptom of degenerate modernism).[28] In practice this meant several slim collections of highly cryptic alogical poems (some in French) and some sixty non-figurative (almost constructivist!) paintings, such as 'Inner Landscape 10.30 A.M.',[29] which still hangs in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. The contradiction of this ultra-modernism with the ultra-conservatism of Evola's later years turns out on closer inspection, however, to be only apparent. The central theme of the theoretical essay on modem art published in the Collection Dada in 1920 is that only Abstract Art 'is capable of expressing the existence of a Self beyond categories [...] for which everyday life appears alien and unreal excrescence, an unintelligible swelling and corruption of my nocturnal spheres (sic!) Je est un autre'. The Self, we learn, is completely ignored in the 'non-life' of the 'man of the market-place' based on 'indolence, cowardice and corruption'.[30]

              Here we already are presented with the kernel of all Evola's subsequent thought, for it was a short but logical step from this highly intellectual form of aestheticism which he adopted as 'Italy's foremost exponent of Dada'[31] to unabashed occultism. Dedicating himself to four years of voracious reading into the world's mysticism, religion and mythology, and with none of the inhibitions, scruples (or irony) of a professional philologist, Evola reconstituted to his own satisfaction the archetypal Truths buried in the cultural debris left over from centuries of decline. He was able to convince himself that at the core of all the heroic cultures of the past lay the experience of an immortal Self rooted in a timeless, invisible realm of true power on which the whole edifice of religion, government and social life was based. This enormously extended the historical scope and empirical arsenal of his contempt for the conventional values and life-styles characteristic of the modern world. He now had a total cosmology with which to castigate his contemporaries. The result was a series of works on occultism: Essays on Magic Idealism[32], Man as Power[33], The Individual and Becoming[34], The Theory of Absolute Idealism[35], Pagan Imperialism[36]. By the end of 1926 he had formed an occultist group, Ur (later called Krur) which for three years published a review, the articles from which were later published in a limited edition as Introduction to the Magic and Science of the Self[37].

              Meanwhile Mussolini's regime had firmly established itself and was embarked on its attempt at the total transformation of Italian culture. In 1930 Evola entered the political arena, not in an overtly propagandistic way, but using a strategy which has been crucial to all 'Evolian' politics ever since, namely the critique of various features of the contemporary age from the Olympian heights of the 'supra-temporal', essentially metapolitical world-view now to be called 'the Tradition'. Modelling himself on Papini's Lacerba of twenty years before, Evola and some of his followers brought out The Tower[38], a monthly magazine of articles on topics ranging from the decline of the west to a criticism of psychoanalysis, from Robespierre to the metaphysics of fairy-tales. The Tower, once its abstruse style has been decoded, is a scathing indictment not only of democracy in any form, but also of the Fascist travesty of a 'true' hierarchical state, and was suspended after ten issues in June 1933. In 1977 all the issues were republished in one volume by none other than Marco Tarchi, who writes at the end of his preface that Evola intended to relaunch The Tower in the early sixties, and that 'By renouncing this idea he has deprived us of an interesting document of the revolt of an "integral" and "radical" Right in the face of an anti-fascist regime.'[39]

              But the suspension of his magazine could not dampen the ardour of Evola for his cultural mission. 'Traditional' metaphysics and attacks on its various travesties were the theme of the three books which appeared over the next four years: The Hermetic Tradition,[40] The Mask and True Face of Contemporary Spiritualism,[41] and then the work for which he became most famous, The Revolt Against the Modem World.[42] The culmination of his occultist phase is reached with The Mystery of the Grail (1937) [43] in which the Ghibelline Empire of the Middle Ages presented in 'Traditional' light. By now, however, Evola was channeling most of his prodigious intellectual energy into a particular application of his personal cosmology, namely to the question of race. He had already written on the subject in The Tower a piece entitled 'The Races Are Dying' as part of his general theme of a culture in decay, but from 1934 till 1942 numerous articles presenting his Traditional view of race appeared in seven Fascist newspapers and over twenty periodicals, notably La Difesa della Razza and Il Regime Fascista.[44] More significant were the extensive treatments of racial theory in four books: The Aspects of the Jewish Problem,[45] The Myth of Blood,[46] Outline of a Racist Education,[47] and finally The Synthesis of Racial Doctrine.[48] It was this self-appointed role as Italian racial theorist that secured Evola a small but notable role in the official history of Fascism, for against the background of the 'rapprochement' between Mussolini and Hitler, and especially after the Fascist regime's adoption of the Nazi-style race laws in November 1938, Evola suddenly found himself in demand. He was sent by Bottai, now minister of culture, to give lecture tours to Italian universities,[49] he addressed SS study groups in Berlin, where his ideas were subjected to scrutiny for their compatibility with official German Weltanschauung by Himmler's Ahnenerbe,[50] and he was finally invited in 1941 to Palazzo Venezia when Mussolini apparently told him that The Synthesis, by now translated into Germany as An Outline of Fascist Racial Doctrine, was 'the book we needed'.[51] Certainly the Duce's annotated copy of The Synthesis convinced Renzo De Felice that he had genuinely adopted Evola's theory of race.[52]

              The key to the distinctiveness of Evola's racism, as he repeatedly stresses, is the overarching philosophy of history and total cosmology expounded in The Revolt Against the Modern World. Rejecting any biological or Darwinistic approach (intrinsically decadent in its materialism), Evola maintains that there are three dimensions to human existence: the body, the soul and the spirit, the latter being a metaphysical element systematically eroded by centuries of secularisation. Contrary to the claims of German 'experts' the Aryans left 'not one but two main branches in Europe, the Ario-Germans and the Ario-Romans. In terms of the residue of racial soul and spirit the Italians are superior to the Germans as raw material for a cultural rebirth. Though he agrees with his German counterparts that the Jews represent the anti-race par excellence, being deficient in all three departments of racial superiority, he repudiates the need for any eugenic or 'surgical' intervention to rectify the situation. It is sufficient to create an organic state with the right climate of heroism and ethical austerity for the dormant Aryan forces in the Italians to be reawakened. The work ends with an appendix containing photographs which illustrate acceptable and unacceptable racial types found in Italy, backed up by the evidence bequeathed by classical Roman sculpture for the potential of the Italians as a super-race.

              It would be erroneous to attribute too much practical significance to Evola's Traditional or 'spiritual' racism. Its official sponsoring by the regime was prompted by pragmatic considerations of Realpolitik rather than any deep commitment to a racial ideology and was in any case short-lived. Evola's continued attacks on Catholicism and Nazi theory in the fascist press, not to mention the un-Traditional features of Mussolini's totalitarian state, soon made him more of a liability than an asset and an article by Interlandi in Difesa della Razza in 1942 attacking his 'nebulous spiritualism'[53] marked his fall from grace. In Germany the reaction was predictably even more hostile. The verdict was telling: 'Evola's doctrine is neither National Socialist nor Fascist. What separates him in particular from the National Socialist world-view is his radical neglect of the concrete, historical facts of our national past in favour of an abstract spiritual Utopia based on fantasy.'[54] The reaction of the German Racial Policy Office to The Synthesis in September 1942 is even more damning: it is dismissed as an illustration of 'the low spiritual level of modern Italy' due to centuries of 'racial decline'.[55]

              Subsequent events spelled not only the end of any chance Evola might have had of making his Traditionalism the official ideology of Fascism, but of all the hopes he had nurtured that the advent of the totalitarian Right in Europe marked the close of the kali yuga and the dawn of a new golden age. He spent the rest of the war in isolation working once more on occultist doctrines to produce The Doctrine of Awakening,[56] a copy of which graces the shelves of the Indian Institute in Oxford, despite such phrases as 'We have to remember that behind the caprices of modem historical theories there lies as a more profound and primordial reality; the unity of the blood and spirit of the white races who created the greatest civilisations both of the East and West'.[57] Orientations,[58] which appeared in 1950, shows that Evola's Traditional world-view had if anything been strengthened rather than weakened by the triumph of the decadent forces of democracy in its American and Bolshevik forms, only that the tone of apocalyptic expectancy has given way to the profound pessimism, resignation and call for a stoic 'apolitiá' that characterised his post-war message.

              For the next two decades he was to maintain his self-appointed role as a beacon of Traditional values illuminating the dark plain of modernity, little known except to small groups of neo-fascist youths such as the Fasces of Revolutionary Action and the Black Legions whose acknowledgment of Evola as their 'master' and 'inspiration' caused him to appear before a Rome court in 1951 accused of attempting with his 'nebulous theories' to 'reconstitute the disbanded Fascist party' (a crime under post-war Italian law).[59] He was acquitted after an eloquent self-defence that has become part of Evolian legend. It was only when the joint impact of the Hippy movement and student power turned 1968 in Italy, as in so many other countries, into a year of 'contestation' that Evola emerged from obscurity. Almirante, leader of the MSI described him in a celebrated phrase 'Our Marcuse, only better'.[60] Ultra-Right bookshops, such as the Basilisk Bookshop of the Tradition in Genoa now sell Evola's works, all of which have been reprinted except the overtly racist ones,[61] alongside shelves of writings on mythology, occultism, Fascism and the fantastic. Jesi goes so far as to declare his conviction that the 'ravings' of Evola 'have played a considerable role in the terrorist actions of the last years'. 'Within sixteen months of the publication of these words the neo-Right bombing in Bologna took place, killing eighty-four and injuring a further two hundred and fifty. Romualdi, one of Evola's adulators, tells us not to be surprised 'if the extreme Right youth has looked to Evola as its master, with veneration, at times with a sectarian spirit', and that Evola's teachings 'critically rethought could constitute the ideal buttresses of a political Right'.[64]

              Despite Romualdi's assertions, from a 'liberal academic' stand-point (itself doubly illegitimate to a Traditional way of thinking) it is not self-evident why what seems on casual perusal no more than metaphysical and anthropological 'ravings' could help inspire ultra-Right activism some half-century after their author was being cold-shouldered by an official Right-wing regime, particularly when the political circles that now take him seriously invoke in practically the same breath the name of an Oxford don who lived a life of apolitical scholarship and seclusion within his Magdalen sanctuary. Even though cultural history is an even less exact science than 'intellectual history', especially when it is dealing with phenomena which are popular, 'irrational', contemporary and taking place in another society, an attempt will now be made to suggest an interpretation both of Evola's success and of how his name can become associated with Tolkien. The tentative, 'heuristic' nature of this explanatory framework should be obvious.

              An initial problem arises which concerns only Evola, namely how his message of stoic resignation and 'apolitiá' can be translated into a licence to carry out terroristic actions against liberal democracy and communism. One clue is given in Romualdi's phrase 'critically rethought', in other words with the 'apolitiá' edited out. In fact Romualdi in his assessment of Evola makes no reference to apolitiá and elsewhere calls for true 'conservative revolutionaries' to fight for the restoration of the European Nation. The French Evolian Baillet makes a similar call to go 'beyond Evola'.[65] Secondly Evola, as we have seen, does not object to acts of violence as long as they are disinterested gestures, thus leaving the door open for a type of political 'actes gratuits' whose very nihilism gives it the stamp of sovereign disdain for pragmatic considerations. Finally a more esoteric possibility is added by Jesi's contention that the Evolian elite consciously instruct fascists at a lower grade of initiation to carry out acts of violence as part of their training, the true nature of the strategy being revealed only once they have proved themselves worthy heirs of the Tradition.[66] This concept presumably relates to the left-handed path of Tantric Hinduism which produced the Thugees and which Evola frequently alludes to.[67] If such speculation is justified then it would cause fascist acts of violence associated with the 'Strategy of Tension' in recent years to be seen in a somewhat new light, but by definition hard proof is difficult to come by.

              With the more central question of the sudden success of figures such as Tolkien and Evola, we are dealing with waters which at least have been already partly charted. For at the heart of it lies the youth movement of the sixties. Galli seems to be on safe ground when he underlines the debt of Tarchi's invocation of 'a collective rediscovery of the East, [...] of deeper roots of being and feeling' to the widespread quest for 'non-intellectual consciousness'[68] of which Roszak presented such an idealistic panorama in The Making of a Counter Culture.[69] Another contributor to Beyond Left and Right, Cardini, writes 'Restoring the feast means rediscovering the non-primacy of economics and productivity in history, rediscovering the whole man',[70] and has himself written on witchcraft, magic and medieval chivalry. In this contest the exploration of myths and legends from the East, not in an academic but a purportedly 'experiential' spirit is equated with the attempt to by-pass the reductionist intellectualism which is associated with secular, 'technocratic' reason and get in touch with a saner, more integrated, 'primordial' vision of reality. In Evola's words, intellectuality 'develops in a sphere detached from the living totality of the individual'.[71] Clearly this quest for 'anoetic' insight, for 'gnosis' rather than mere knowledge, forms the background to the sixties cult of such visionary writers and theorists as Blake, Jung, Ginsberg, Hesse, Watts and Castaneda. It was this climate of grass-root revolt against modern rationalism and secular humanism that saw a boom in literature on occultism, mysticism, alternative cosmologies, para-normal and super-natural phenomena as well as 'journeys to the East' both metaphorical and literal. It is no wonder that Tolkien's work also came to the fore in this modern Sturm und Drang of the imagination to the point where Hobbit graffiti such as 'Frodo Lives' started invading the New York subway.

              It is in this context that Almirante's famous phrase 'Our Marcuse, only better' acquires a deeper significance. Marcuse, born the same year as Evola, was contributing to the Frankfurt School's revision of Marxism in the same years as Evola was formulating his Traditionalism. The now famous result was a blend of Freudian theory of repression with a Marxist concept of alienation to provide the basis for a radical critique of the insidious forms taken by dehumanisation in an advanced consumer stage of capitalism. With little prospect of successful revolution there is little more that the disaffected can do than reintegrate the principles of pleasure and play in his own life to break out of the 'one-dimensionality' that threatens to reduce all life to an efficient, soulless function. When the counter-culture Left looked for an ideologue, Marcuse's name soon became a shibboleth for an up-to-date, switched on Marxism rejection of the 'technocracy', often 'critically rethought' so as to ignore his pessimistic diagnosis of the possibility of imminent revolution now that the world was dominated by 'one-dimensional' men.

              In Italy, where a small but dedicated ultra-Right had survived the fall of Mussolini to become a permanent strand of youth culture, 1968 created a climate in which if Evola had not existed it would have been necessary to invent him. Moreover Evola's credentials seemed to the Italian New Right as impeccable as Marcuse's were to the New Left. Marcuse had an impressive 'academic baggage', having graduated from Freiburg in philosophy, worked alongside distinguished confreres in Frankfurt, and then held prestigious posts in Columbia, Harvard and Brandeis. Even the uncompromising intellectuality of his prose only underlined his authority for his adepts. Paradoxically for the Right it was Evola's very lack of and claimed disdain for established academic qualifications that enhanced his credibility, meaning he was able to devote himself totally to his quest for truth, his intuitive vision uncorrupted by the pernicious influence of secular intellectuality so symptomatic of the decline of the west. This emerges from Romualdi's opening paragraphs of Evola: the Man and the Work, which explain his neglect in the following terms: 'Who would remember an author as awkward and isolated, so difficult to label or classify, aloof from all the cliques, Mafias and universities which in Italy, by ancient tradition, form 'culture'? Not academics, those technicians of an increasingly myopic specialism, a caste proud and jealous of its techniques like the caste of mummy embalmers in ancient Egypt.'[72]

              This explains a feature of Evola's work that can act as an effective barrier to assessment of its significance by scholars whose minds are trained in the Enlightenment conventions of intellectual scepticism and empiricism: his application of an 'alternative' methodology. In the introduction to The Revolt Against the Modern World Evola gives his own account of the principles on which the work is based.[73] Having dismissed any concessions to the 'corpse wisdom' of the positivist tradition, he anticipates the anathemas which will be used by hostile critics: 'arbitrary, subjective, fantastic'. But 'what is objective and scientific is not as the moderns conceive it. All that is outside the Tradition. The truths that can make the world of the Tradition intelligible are not ones that can be 'learned' or 'discussed'. They are or they are not'. He will reconstruct the Tradition referring to various cultures and their literatures, 'each time choosing the ones that represent most neatly and exemplify most completely the same spiritual principle or phenomenon'. This he distinguishes from eclecticism because it is based on the Traditional principles of 'correspondence' and 'intuition'. This circular argument which makes any dissent a sign of not being rooted in the Tradition acquires sinister connotations in his Synthesis of Racial Doctrine when he states 'the law of elective affinity: to react against racism, to feel an inner revolt when faced with its arguments, means to reveal to oneself that all is not right racially.'[74]

              What results from the license to roam through the store-houses of the world's anthropology, mythology and esoteric doctrines unencumbered by conventional standards of evidence or 'objectivity' is the characteristic trait of all Evola's writings: a tone of unassailable authority in the revelation of eternal truths corroborated by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of quotations and references. The Revolt alone contains over twelve hundred allusions to over three hundred authors in a style that seems a cross between Spengler, Sir James Fraser and Gobineau. The frontiers between speculation and science, propaganda and research, ravings and erudition blur in a way that has anyone 'contaminated' by positivism leaping for his or her Occam's razor. But it is precisely this cosmological 'faction' defying sceptical dissection which made Evola so ideally qualified to become a guru of the counter-cultural Right and explains the ecstatic eulogies we read in the Testimonies,, for as one of the contributors points out 'obviously all this is not material for the high and mighty professors of philosophy, for the unassailable adorers of the self-evident process of historical change or the collectors of facts proved and documented by the sacred light of modern science'. Evola, 'intransigent in his task of memory and custodian of values to be passed on for a future rebirth of the Traditional world',[75] is not just the equivalent of Marcuse, whose own career and sources underline how blinded he is by 'modern' concepts, but genuinely 'better'.[76] Evola is not a mere academic but a 'sage', or as Jesi calls him in a phrase taken from Castaneda 'a man of knowledge'.[77]

              The deeper correspondences between Tolkien and Evola for the counter cultural Right should now be emerging. The sixties' thirst for visionary knowledge, for alternative cosmologies and arcane realities ignored or suppressed by the modern age was slaked by an orgy of eclectic, experimental, and experiential reading. The autodidactic 'anti-positivist' nature of 'gnostic' reading meant that categories sacrosanct for specialists became blurred, and traditional compartments of knowledge mixed, under the millenaristic banner of the May 1968 bearing the slogan 'L'imagination au pouvior'. To make distinctions between myth and history, fiction and fact, literature and cultural analysis, theory and practice, play and work was a sign that dimensions of being had been lost, whether the loss-assessor invoked was Blake or Marcuse. Evola offered a total world-view expressed in tomes of visionary erudition. Tolkien created a mythical cosmology. To someone seeking the key to the ailments of the modem world in metaphysical rather than material terms the two writers could appear almost as incarnations of the Jungian archetype of the 'old man' (another 60s guru with a fascist past) endowed with superior insight not of this world, irrespective of the vast differences between them that might strike the academic mind. In any case were the differences so vast? For both authors reality was presented as essentially metaphysical, a battle ground for a Manichean struggle between good and evil clothed in pagan myth and fought out by warriors of the spirit. The Star Wars cycle could be construed by the Italian New Right as a pathetic Hollywood travesty of this arcane struggle marketed by one of the twin citadels of modern decadence, America. Certainly Boorman's more orthodox treatment of the Arthurian legends in his film Excalibur was widely received in Italy as 'a Right-wing film'!

              But a serious point is raised here which, even if alien to the liberal spirit of academic criticism spirit, is surely to be taken seriously if contemporary historians are to come to terms with some of the more obscure mythic forces at work in the shaping of modern society. Central to the cult of figures such as Tolkien and Evola is the nostalgia for a total world view, a holistic understanding of existence, warm and 'alive', immune to the icy winds of scepticism and relativism that waft from the official institutions of culture and learning. In his Death of the Past[78] J. H. Plumb expresses the paradox that 'history, which is so deeply concerned with the past, has, in a sense, helped to destroy it as a social force, as a synthesising and comprehensive statement of human destiny. Because of this, most historians in this century avoided any attempt to explain the history of man. This has been left to the journalists, the prophets or the philosophers, but some of those who have attempted it acquire great success. H.G. Wells, Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee, who sought to mould history into a meaningful past, secured millions of readers but the almost universal condemnation of historians'.[79] Significantly, though, Plumb, writing in 1969, makes no reference to the counter culture which was then at its height, as if unaware of the storm of mythic energies that was raging around him for the younger generation as he reflected on the nature of history. Thus he is able to end with the blithe assertion: 'The old past is dying, its force weakening, and so it should. Indeed the historian should speed it on its way'.[80]

              The implication that the erosion of a meaningful past by science should not give academics pause is surely highly complacent and takes no account of the extent of the vacuum created over the last hundred years in the course of which official science has largely withdrawn from the field of holistic explanations. This vacuum has been filled in the ebb and flow of events and fashion with the influx of the most bewildering array of 'alternative' cosmologies, often combined indiscriminately, or so it appears to the sceptical outsider, in the quest for substitute values. One historian who recognises this problem as a major feature of the modern age is the Californian historian William Irwin Thompson, who, writing at the same time as Plumb (they could be taken for incarnations of Professors Swallow and Zapp in David Lodge's Changing Places!) set out in At the Edge of History[81] to 're-imagine' the relationship between visionary and scientific understanding of the past. Deeply impressed by the Hippy counterculture he found all around him in Los Angeles, his book is partly a compendium of the new idols of the Aquarian Age from Blake to Edgar Cayce, from the I Ching to Velikovsky, from the Mayas to Arthur C. Clarke. In one passage he reports a conversation with a hitch-hiker who recommends him to read The Lord of the Rings, telling him 'It's a real history of this planet. [...] Tolkien gets by the grown ups as a fantasy, and even some of the kids take it in that way, but once it's inside, the unconscious takes off the fantasy wrapper and knows it's the real story'.[82] So swayed is he by the psychedelic prospects opened up by such Extra-Mural studies that he seriously poses the question 'What if the history of the world is a "myth", but myth is the remains of the real history of earth?'[83] To show how much he is in earnest he proceeds to formulate his own theory of cultural dynamics along Jungian lines, with results strangely reminiscent at times of Evola himself. Such capitulation of citadels of learning to what Roszak in his study of the counter culture calls the 'invasion of centaurs',[84] paralleled by his own hip brand of cultural sociology, is arguably more of a symptom of cultural malaise than a diagnosis of it. While orthodox philosophers of history such as Mandelbaum and Hempel draw up abstruse escape plans to break out of the prison of relativism[85] and others such as Karl Popper and B. T. Wilkins debate whether history has any 'meaning',[86] those with a strong enough need for personal 'past masters' have found them. To ignore the cults and New Religions growing up outside academia, to put one's faith in them as the dawning of a new post-industrial society, or to indulge in breast-beating about the threat they pose to high culture may throw considerable light on the psychological make-up of the academic but little on history itself. What the historian is surely called upon to do is identify causal, structural factors shaping events, and what is being argued in this article is that the Italian 'sacred Right' demonstrates how important the nostalgia for a holistic cosmology can be as a component of the ideological forces at work in contemporary history. If Thompson had used his conversations with West coast hippies as an empirical basis for research into such a thesis, instead of succumbing to the temptation of writing his own Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy he would have rendered a greater service to his profession. It is not the job of historians even to explain the world but to explain history. If there are 'two cultures', then the divide is between those who learn to live with partial knowledge and the intrinsic limitations of their incomplete understanding of life and those who feel at home in a total explanatory system, who need a 'vision of the world' at all costs.

              It is this that the protagonists of a counter cultural Right seek in their masters. De Turris writes in his articles on Tolkien that 'the cult presupposes a vision of the world which the reader makes his own, making it immediate, giving it his total commitment.[87] In similar vein Romualdi writes 'The minorities who are in the vanguard of the forces making up the nations have felt for years that the hour has come for the Right to finally emerge from the ambit of sentimentalism and qualunquismo (indifference to orthodox politics) to give itself a Weltanschauung, a vision of the world. The hour of Evola, in fact'.[8] It is thus to their success in seeming to offer a comprehensive 'alternative' explanation of the state of the modern world and of the feeling of not 'belonging' to it, of 'anomie', that Tolkien and Evola owe their cult following in Italy's neo-Right.

              If the approach suggested in this article is on the right lines, it is no coincidence that an Italian publishing house, the Editions of Ar (the root of 'Aryan') lists in its catalogue works by Hitler, Goebbels and Gobineau alongside novels by the Prague occultist Meyrink, essays by Evola and a book devoted to The Metaphysical Roots of Hungarian Fairy-Tales.[89] If it is no coincidence it is also important, for what emerges is the existence of a mode of autodidactic speculation in the suburbs of academia in which the frontiers between history and literature blur, where anthropological fantasy, esoteric literature and alternative cosmology can fuse into a potent 'faction' capable of supplying the ideological fuel to violent political 'factions' but largely ignored by official historians because marginal to main-stream culture. Paul Wilkinson's otherwise excellent The New Fascists,[90] for example, makes no reference to the 'sacred' Right so prominent not only in Italy but also in France where the esotericist René Guénon plays a parallel role to Evola as resident esotericist and Jeremiah of the modern age of decay. Furio Jesi is an exception, not only documenting the existence of Traditionalist politics but stressing that 'history' is its greatest enemy'.[91] This confirms Plumb's general analysis with the difference that Jesi is writing to alert the public to the way political subcultures, contemptuous of the apparent prohibition against grand narratives and totalising 'visions of the world' enforced by the bastions of 'official culture' are brewing their own in backroom stills and consuming them in activist speak-easies, sometimes with lethal results. The tendency to consign all such phenomena to the waste-paper basket of 'irrationalism', to underestimate the importance of the 'charismatic' sphere of cultural life coexisting with the 'legal-rational',[92] increases the likelihood that intellectual mavericks will move in where licensed academics do not even put in a tender. Thus when Pauwels and Bergier researched the occult dimension to Nazism in their highly suspect The Dawn of the Magicians[93] they were generally ignored by specialists in Nazism but were soon added to the counter-culture reading list. 'Metahistory' will not simply wither away any more than its political blood-brother 'terrorism', and deserves to be treated seriously by all disciplines concerned with history if only so that the conditions of Enlightenment humanism and liberalism are as firmly rooted and thriving as exotic fledgling Traditions that strive to supplant it. The past is not dead but alive and kicking.

              A final point must be considered which if valid would undermine a central premise of the argument so far, namely that Tolkien's name does not legitimately belong in the company of an ultra-Right conservative mystagogue like Evola. Yet there are some grounds for thinking that the sacred Right has not needed to stray so far from the spirit of Tolkien's work in their adoption of him as might at first be imagined. William Dowie in J. R. R. Tolkien, Scholar and Story-teller[94] makes a convincing case for the 'far reaching applicability'[95] of the anthropological theories of Mircea Eliade to the Ring cycle. Quoting extensively from The Sacred and the Profane, Dowie analyses how the mythological narrative 'evokes participation in a secular religion - that is a religion in which all is sacred because all things, even the most natural, are related to one another and to a founding transcendence'.[96] Referring to the theme of initiation in the novels, Dowie cites Eliade's observation that 'death signifies passing beyond the profane, unsanctified condition, the condition of the natural man, who is without religious experience, who is blind to spirit [...], human life is preceded by a pre-existence and continued in a post-existence'.[97]

              What puts such an 'Eliadic' interpretation of Tolkien in a new light (or a new Right) is that the central themes of Eliade's pronouncements on sacred Time, cosmological myths and shamanism made from his Chair at Chicago University had already been close to his heart on an experiential level when he was a leading light in the occultist right wing circles in his native Bucharest in the late 1930s and became extremely impressed by the esoteric 'religion of death' of the Rumanian Iron Guard. By 1937 he was expressing in the popular press such sentiments as 'May the Rumanian race put an end to a life exhausted by poverty and syphilis, invaded by Jews and debilitated by foreigners. The revolution of the Legionaries must achieve its supreme goal: the redemption of the race'.[98] Moreover there is evidence that Evola was in direct contact with Eliade and the Rumanian fascists before the war and that his belief in the 'kali yuga' and the Tradition was formulated partly under Eliade's influence.[99] Certainly he is quoted as an authority several times in The Revolt. If there are, as Dowie claims, correspondences at a structural level between Eliade's anthropological and Tolkien's literary cosmologies, there may therefore be a sense in which Tolkien's sagas, irrespective of his conscious intention, genuinely harmonise with 'esoteric' neo-fascism's 'revolt against the modern world'. Certainly this impression is confirmed when Dowie stresses 'the profound religious significance' of festivity in Tolkien's cycle because 'by it one makes a commitment both to a historical world and to a moment of ideal parousia that anticipates the hopeful future'.[100] He goes on to quote approvingly Harvey Cox's The Feast of Fools: 'The Religious man is one who grasps his own life within a larger historical and cosmic setting [...] Festivity periodically restores us to our proper relationship to history and history-making. It reminds us that we are fully within history but that history also is within something else'.[101] This is uncannily parallel to the idea expressed in the reflections on festal time of a member of the Italian 'sacred' New Right intelligentsia, Cardini. The passage from Beyond the Left and Right already cited continues 'restoring the feast means rediscovering an "extraordinariness" which acts as a limit to everyday reality and so reshapes that reality'.[102] When Dowie concludes that 'Tolkien's whole creation of the perilous realm of Middle-earth is an effort to transport us from a positivist, mechanist, urbanised and rationalist culture into one in which man is in contact with his own desires and the significance of the cosmos around him',[103] the spectre of the sacred Right looms large.

              There thus seems to be an area of genuine common ground on which a Califomian hippy, a university don[104] and a member of the Italian 'sacred' Right can agree in their reading of Tolkien. Dowie assures us that the Ring cycle is 'based on Christian experience'[105], and certainly Tolkien dissociated himself from any sympathy for the racist policies of his native South Africa when he declared in his valedictory Address at Oxford that he had 'the hatred of apartheid in (his) bones'.[106] What is rather to be inferred from the ease with which Tolkien's work lends itself to being taken as runic prophecy by a 'sacred Right' is that a deep-rooted sense of disaffection with the world in which one is condemned to live may be a fertile stimulus to the literary imagination, but can equally well nourish historical myth which, as Sorel understood so well, can be translated, if believed intensely enough, into political ideology and thence into action.[107] This much historians have already understood from extensive research into the links between German Romanticism, idealism, neo-paganism and the rise of Nazism.[108]

              But some lessons, it seems, are easily forgotten when it comes to understanding contemporary phenomena, as if the Second World War had laid the ghost of the 'revolt against positivism' for good. Dowie's approval of Tolkien's castigation of the 'rawness and ugliness of modern European Life' (to which he adds 'American'),[109] points to considerable naivety (if not to something more sinister still) about the historical implications of radical anti-modernism and the concomitant need for heroic teleological myth. It is an unfortunate consequence of excessive specialisation and compartmentalisation that 'literature' and 'history' tend to look in different directions and ignore those areas where they complement each other to throw light on powerful cultural forces actively shaping society past and present.[110]

              Perhaps Tolkien's intuition was sound when in The Two Towers he portrayed the modern, secular intellect as the evil Saruman, divorced from his physical self and guardian of the tower Orthanc (cunning mind). His 'intellectual perversion' has shaped his tower to his 'shifting purposes' and he now 'gazes myopically in a vain attempt to boost his own knowledge and power'.[111] But some of the 'hobbits' who are planning the revolt against the Sarumans of the modern world are not mythical, but specially educated to become political hobbits in educational summer camps held in the Abruzzi, confident in the knowledge that they are remaining true to the spirit of Julius Evola, 'closed in his tower which is certainly not of ivory, romantic and decadent, but the tower of a castle, a fortress, classical and aristocratic'.[112]
              Biographical Postscript (2002)

              This article was submitted before the publication of Franco Ferraresi (ed.), La Destra Radicale, (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1984), a comprehensive and impressively documented analysis of the various currents of the Italian radical and 'New' Right, repeatedly underlining the crucial importance of Evola to its whole ethos and strategy, both cultural and terroristic. It also stresses that the central concern of the European radical right is to formulate a holistic 'vision of the world' or Weltanschauung to combat the relativism and materialism of the 'modern world', and expands on the significance of literature of the fantastic, in particular of Tolkien in this enterprise (especially pp. 119-135. 192-193). For those who with a reading knowledge of Italian, this book is an important supplement to this article. Other texts which subsequently appeared in English and corroborate or substantiate the argument developed here are:

              Franco Ferraresi, 'Julius Evola: Tradition, Reaction, and the Radical Right', European Journal of Sociology, no. 28, 1987, pp. 107-51.
              P. Bologna and E. Mana (eds). Nuova destra e cultura reazionaria negli anni ottanta, (Notiziario dell?Istituto storico della Resistenza in Cuneo, no. 23, 1983), especially the chapter by Alessandro.Porrelli, 'Tradizione e meta-tradizione: appunti su Il Signore degli anelli, pp. 287-310; Giorgio Galli, 'La componente magica della cultura di destra', pp. 279-286. Both Evola and Tolkien figure prominently in the 'Bibliografia essentiale per la conoscenza della nuova destra italiana', pp. 419-436 compiled by Patrizia Guerra and Marco Revelli.
              The importance of Evola to neo-fascist activism in the years of the 'Strategy of Tension' is borne out Richard Drake, The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy, (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989). It is also stressed in Franco Ferraresi, Minacce alla democrazia, (Feltrinelli, Milan, 1995).


              Quoted by G. Gialli, La Destra (Milan: Gaminalibri, 1983). p. 24. [Back]
              Cf. W. Laqueur (ed.) Fascism: A Reader's Guide, (London: Penguin, 1976). especially the chapters by J. J. Linz, A. Lyttleton and Z. Sternhell. [Back]
              F. Jesi, Cultura di destra, (Milan: Garzanti, 1979). [Back]
              Ibid., pp. 67 ff. The Italian terms that Jesi uses are 'neofascismo dalla faccia feroce e in doppio petto'. [Back]
              'Italy: Terror on the Right', New York Review, 22 January 1981. [Back]
              Ibid., p. 26. Thomas Sheehan has also written on the subject in the article 'Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist', Social Research, Vol.48, No.1, Winter 1980-1. [Back]
              Galli, La Destra, p. 26, [Back]
              Jesi, Cultura di Destra, p. 101. [Back]
              Galli, La Destra, p 25. [Back]
              Sheehan, 'Italy: Terror on the Right', p. 38. [Back]
              Cf. Bolletino del Centra Studi Evoliani, no. 16 (April 1975), p. 15 [Back]
              Gianfraco de Turris, Omaggio a Julius Evola, per il suo LXXV compleanno (Rome: Volpe, 1973). [Back]
              G. de Turris (ed.) Testimonianze su Evola, (Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1973). [Back]
              cf. Sheehan, 'Italy: Terror on the Right', p. 26. Rauti's book is called Le idee che mossero il mondo (Rome: Europa, 1976). [Back]
              J. Evola, Rivolta contra il mondo moderno (Milan: Hoepli, 1934; 2nd revised ed. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1969; 5th ed. 1976). For the basic scheme of this work, i.e. the theme of the decadent modem world as the nadir of a cyclic process of decay and rebirth, the concept of the kali yuga and the special connotations of the term 'traditiona1 (un-hypostatsed), Evola is deeply indebted to the works of René Guénon, particularly La crise du monde moderne (1927) which Evola translated, [Milan: Hoepli, 1927) and clearly influenced the title of his own hook. However Evola's elaboration of the Traditional world is much more extensive and draws on his own readings in comparative religion and occultism carried out in the twenties. Elsewhere he criticises the limitations of Guénon's Traditionalism (cf. L'arco e la clava, 2nd ed. Milan: Scheiwiller, 1971, pp. 175-176). Bulletin no. 18 of The Centro Studi Evoliani reprints Evola's article 'René Guénon e la "scolastica" guenoniana"' and in a postscript explaining the reprinting of this piece Del Ponte explains it is a riposte to an attack on Evola in Rivista di Studi Tradizionali (no.16) as a counterfeiter of Guénon. The R.S.T. is accused of being run by socialists and Freemasons, 'pseudo-Traditionalists of the Left', and Del Ponte warns that bona fide Guénonians have now been alerted to their 'dirty game'. This is a sample of the seriousness with which different groupings of the 'sacred' Right (and Left?) take ideological niceties. [Back]
              J. Evola, Cavalcare la tigre (Milan: Scheiwiller, 1961; 2nd revised ed. 1971), also published by Il Falco (Milan) in 1981). For a full bibliography of Evola's major writings see the bibliography appended to de Turris, Testimonianze. [Back]
              Evola, Cavalcare la tigre, op.cit, pp. 171-176. [Back]
              Cf. particularly J. Evola, Il Fascismo visto dalla Destra (Rome: Volpe, 1979; 1st ed. 1964). [Back]
              J. Evola, 'Il mito d'oriente e "l'incontro delle religioni"', L'arco e la clava, pp. 174-208. [Back]
              De Turris, Testimonianze, p. 226 [Back]
              Cf. Jesi, Cultura di destra, p. 68 [Back]
              De Turris, Testimonianze, pp. 208-209. [Back]
              La Stampa, 10 September 1983, supplement, p. 6 [Back]
              Ibid. [Back]
              A. Romualdi, Julius Evola: L'uomo e l'opera (Rome, Volpe, 1979), p. 4 [Back]
              Cf. de Turris, Testimonianze, p. 220. A brief outline of Evola's career has recently appeared nearer home in The Scorpion, no. 6 (Spring 1984), which published the article 'Julius Evola: An Introduction to his Life and Work' by Mario Aprile. The periodical is dedicated to helping create the nucleus in Britian of a radical right 'culture' emulating France's Nouvelle Droite and Italy's Nuova Destra, to which frequent references are made. Aprile sees Evola's importance in the fact that he 'awakens in us the values and possibilities of a different world and order'. The same issue contains articles on Celtic and Wagnerian mythology. [Back]
              J. Evola, 'Simboli delle degenerazione moderna: il futurismo', Raag Bland, (Rome: Edizioni del Sole Nero, nd.), p. 7. [Back]
              Cf. J. Evola, La Torre (Milan: Il Falco, 1977), originally published in issue 6, 15 April, 1930 [Back]
              The cover of de Turris, Testimonianze reproduces Evola's 'La parola oscura del paesaggio interiore', and four other of his paintings in black and while are to be found between pp. 96 and 97. [Back]
              J. Evola, 'Arte astratta' (reprinted by Fondazione Julius Evola, Quaderni di Testi Evoliani, no. 3 (undated), p. 5. This essay is also available with his poem in its French version 'La parole obscure du paysage intérieur' (Rome: II Falco, 1981) but was originally written in 1920 [Back]
              de Turris, Testimonianze, p. 219. [Back]
              J. Evola, Saggi sull'idealismo magico (Rome: Atanor, 1925) [Back]
              J. Evola, L'uomo come potenza (Rome: Atanor, 1925) [Back]
              J. Evola, L'individuo e il divenire del mondo (Rome:, Libreria di Scienze e Lettere, 1926) [Back]
              J. Evola, Teoria dell'indiviudo assoluto (Turin: Bocca, 1927 [Back]
              J. Evola, Imperialismo pagano (Rome: Atanor, 1928) [Back]
              J. Evola, Introduzione alla magia quale scienza dell'Io (private edition, 3 vols, 1926-7-8). Reprinted as Introduzione alla magia, (Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1971). [Back]
              J. Evola, La Torre [Back]
              Ibid., p. 16 [Back]
              J. Evola, La Tradizione ermetica (Bari: Laterza, 1931; 3rd ed. Rome, Edizioni Mediterranee, 1971) [Back]
              J. Evola, Maschera e volto dello spiritualismo contemporaneo (Turon: Bocca, 1931; 3rd revised ed. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1971) [Back]
              Op. cit. [Back]
              J. Evola, Il mistero del Graal e la tradizione ghibellina dell'impero(Bari: Laterza, 1937; 3rd revised ed. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1971) [Back]
              For a more complete list see de Turris, Testimonianze, pp, 223-224. [Back]
              J. Evola, Tre aspetti del problema ebraico, Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1936) [Back]
              J. Evola, Il mito del sangue(Milan, Hoepli, 1937) [Back]
              J. Evola, Indirizzo per una educazione razziale (Milan, Hoepli, 1941) [Back]
              J. Evola, Sintesi della dottrina della razza (Milan, Hoepli, 1941) [Back]
              Cf. de Turris, Testimonianze, p. 224. Also see M, Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978). For Evola's own account of this phase see his Cammino del conabro (Milan: Scheiwiller, 1963, revised 2nd ed. 1972), pp. 136-160 [Back]
              The Bundesarchiv material relating to Evola is the Himmler file, orange folder, drawer II, folder 126. I am grateful to Nicholas Goodrick-Clark for making this material available to me. [Back]
              J. Evola, 'Mussolini e il razzismo', Il Merdiano d'Italia, no. 49, Dec. 16, 1951, p. 3. [Back]
              R. de Felice, Storia degli ebrei italiani sotto il fascimso(Turin: Einaudi, 1961), pp. 251-152. [Back]
              La Difesa della Razza, 20 April, 1942 [Back]
              Report on Evola's series of lectures given to the German-Italian Society on 13, 20 and 27 June 1938, Bundesarchiv, op.cit. [Back]
              Quoted by Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews, p. 330. [Back]
              J. Evola. La dottrina del risveglio (Bari: Laterza, 1943; 3rd revised ed. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1972. The English edition was published by Luzac & Co. (London) in 1951, who also published Guénon's Crisis of the Modern World (1975). In their preface the translators M. Pallis and R. Nicholson claim, writing in 1961, that 'certainly the tendencies that Guénon appraised (in 1927) with such acuteness have gone on manifesting themselves in the world with undiminished force'. It was on sale in a bookshop that is generally associated with literature of the radical and 'alternative' Left. [Back]
              Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening, p. 17. [Back]
              J. Evola, Orientamenti (Rome: Imperium, 1950). [Back]
              Julius Evola, Autodifesa (Fondazione Julius Evola, Quaderni di Testi Evoliani, no. 2, undated). Cf. Il cammino del cinabro, p. 165. [Back]
              Cf. G. Galli, La Destra; Sheehan, 'Italy: Terror on the Right', p. 25; Jesi, Cultura di destra, p. 93. [Back]
              The Centro Studi Evoliani was advertising copies of La sintesi di dottrino della razza on application only in bulletin no. I8. [Back]
              Jesi, Cultura di destra, p. 85. [Back]
              Romual, Julius Evola,. p. 91. [Back]
              ibid. p. 95. [Back]
              Cf. Jesi, Cultura di destra, pp. 99-99 for a more detailed discussion of this point [Back]
              Ibid. 93-94. [Back]
              J. Evola, Il cammino del cinabro, p. 190 for importance he attaches to Tantrism. [Back]
              G. Galli, La Destra, p. 25. [Back]
              Theodor Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture (London: Faber and Faber, 1970). It underlines the leftist connotations of the counter-cultural assault on rationality in the Anglophone world that The Economist should have recommended this book to those 'who do not be surprised by the stamina and extent of the New Left in Europe', a phrase cited on the inside cover. [Back]
              cf. G. Galli, La Destra,. p. 25. [Back]
              Quoted by J. V. Borghese in his introduction to Evola's Gli uomini e le rovine, p. 11. [Back]
              Romaldi, Evola, p. 5 [Back]
              Evola, La rivolta, (5th ed.) pp. 7-16 [Back]
              J. Evola, Sintesi, p. 99. [Back]
              De Turris, Testimonianze, pp. 34-5. The contributor is S. Bartolini, art lecturer in Pistoia. [Back]
              Cf. J. Evola, 'Il mito Marcuse', Gli uomini e le rovine, pp. 263-269. [Back]
              Jesi, Cultura di Destra, p. 99. [Back]
              J. H. Plumb, The Death of the Past (London: Macmillan, 1969) [Back]
              Ibid. p. 136. [Back]
              Ibid. p. 145. On p. 137 Plumb concedes that 'it would seem that man in the West still seeks a meaningful past', but goes on to argue that history 'can still teach wisdom, and it can teach it in a far deeper sense than was possible when wisdom had to be taught through the example of heroes' (p. 142), as if the spread of Enlightenment is enough to compensate for the loss of teleological world-views. [Back]
              W. I. Thompson. At the Edge of History (New York: Harper Colophon, 1972). [Back]
              Ibid. p. 29. [Back]
              Ibid. p. 175. [Back]
              Roszak, The Making of a Counter-Culture, especially chapter two. [Back]
              Cf. P. Gardiner (ed.), The Philosophy of History (Oxford: OUP, 1977); see too M. Mandelbaum, The Problem of Historical Knowledge: An Answer to Relativism (New York, Harper & Low, 1967, 1st ed.1938). [Back]
              See B. T. Wilkin Has History any Meaning (New York: Cornell, 1978). [Back]
              La Stampa, op. cit. [Back]
              Romualdi, Julius Evola, p. 7. Later in the book, (p. 81) Romualdi expresses concisely the issue at stake here, namely the gap between the understanding that 20th century science can offer of the world and the total meaning craved by those who are temperamentally or intellectually frustrated by partial, relative truths. He writes, 'Science, which a century ago the positivists saw as heir of philosophy, has passed through a radical phase of reorientation (non-Euclidean geometry, quantum theory etc.), with a result that it now presents itself as a construction site for working hypotheses, effective in practical terms but incapable of giving us any general truths. There is at the heart of science an absolute nihilism because even if it puts at the disposal of man increasingly huge material forces, it is not able to make man stronger or more sure of himself, while the latest hypothesis precludes the possibility that science can ever tell us something about the ultimate truths of life and death. Even if some people have deluded themselves that the contrary is true, the fact remains that science is fundamentally impotent to give us a vision of the world'. Cf. Evola, Cavalcare la tigre, pp. 127-134, 'Dissoluzione della conoscenza: Il relativismo. I procedimenti della scienza moderna'. Cf. also the article 'Reductionism and Nihilism' by V. Frankl in A. Koestler and Smythies (ed.), Beyond Reductionism (London: Hutchinson, 1969) which fully recognises this problem from a non-right wing perspective. [Back]
              Jesi, Cultura di Destra, pp. 98-99. [Back]
              P. Wilkinson, The New Fascists (London: Pan, 1983). For a good example of the literature of the 'sacred' Right generated by Génonians cf. D. Cologne, Julius Evola, René Guénon et le Christianisme, (Paris: Vatré, 1978). Cologne presents the Tradition and the kali yuga as the key to understanding the modern age and to the creation of a genuine Right: 'only men of the Tradition are authentic men of the Right. The great error of the present pseudo-Right is to leave the monopoly of Utopia to the Left', (p. 89). Though he asserts that the pre-Christian Traditionalism of Guénon is to be preferred to the paganism of Evola he concludes the book with the stricture 'any man who claims to be and calls himself "right wing" must at least read the books of Julius Evola and René Guénon'. It also appears from p. 45 that there is a 'Centre d'Etudes Doctrinales Evola' in Paris publishing cahiers such as Introduction à lOeuvre de Julius Evola. [Back]
              P. Wilkinson, The New Fascists, p. 102. [Back]
              The allusion here is, of course, to Weber's terminology usually applied to types of political authority, cf. A Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, (Cambridge: CUP, 1971), esp. pp. 157-163. The distinction between extreme Right (and Left) political ideology based on 'holistic' schemes and the liberal-democratic programmes based on humanism and pluralism is illuminated by Weber's distinction between 'Gesinnungsethik' and 'Verantwortungsethik' (ethics based on conviction, ethics of ultimate ends, as opposed to ethics based on answerability, responsibility). It is relevant to the thesis of: this article that Weber stresses that not only does the essentially 'religious' character of the former make proponents of Gesinnungsethik' impervious to empirical argument, but that 'science' can do nothing to resolve the conflict between the two types of political behaviour: 'scientifically the "middle course" is not truer even by a hair's breadth than the most extreme party ideals of the right or left'. See Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, pp. 134-138. Perhaps the finest statement of the unbridgeable gulf that separates scientific investigation of the world from the sense of its meaning also comes from Weber: "The fate of an epoch which has eaten from the tree of knowledge is that it must know that we cannot learn the meaning of the world from the results of its analysis, be it ever so perfect; it must rather be in a position to create this meaning for itself. It must recognise that general views of life and the universe can never be the product of increasing empirical knowledge, and that the highest ideals, which move us most forcefully, are always formed only in the struggle with other ideals which are just as sacred to others as ours are to us', (quoted Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, p. 136). [Back]
              L. Pauwels and J. Bergier, Le Matin des Magiciens (Paris: Gallimard, 1960). [Back]
              In M. Sadu and R. T. Farrell (ed.), J. R. R. Tolkien, Scholar and Story-teller, (New York: Cornell University Press, 1979). [Back]
              ibid, p 268 [Back]
              ibid. p. 267 [Back]
              ibid. p. 273 [Back]
              Quoted Jesi, Cultura di Destra, p. 38. For an extended treatment of Eliade's involvement with Romanian 'sacred' fascism see pp. 30-50. [Back]
              Cf. J. Evola, Il cammino del conabro, pp. 139-40, in which he claims not only to have been in personal contact with Codreanu 'one of the most illustrious and spiritually oriented figures that I ever met among the national movements of the day', but also Mircea Eliade, 'who after the war was to become famous for numerous works on the history of religion, and with whom I have remained in contact to this day'. Cf. also Galli, La destra, p. 64 where he refers to R. Scagno's fortcoming Cultura e politica nella Romania tra le due guerre: Eliade e Codreanu, to be published by Fondazione Agnelli. Cologne also invokes Eliade (op. cit., p 88) as an 'authority', and his name occurs frequently in the writings of the French Nouvelle Droite on the 'sacred'. [Back]
              Dowie, Tolkien, p. 281. [Back]
              Ibid. p. 282. [Back]
              Galli, La destra footnotes 68 and 70. [Back]
              Dowie, Tolkien, p. 283. [Back]
              William Dowie lectures at Southeast Louisiana University. It is interesting in this connection that in C. Evan's Cults of Unreason, (London: Harrap, 1973), which perceptively analyses some of the contemporary cults 'arising to fill gaps in cosmology caused by the onslaught of science', looks on the Tolkien cult as benign. Typical of the standard Anglophone view of the politics of anti-rational cosmological speculation, Dowie treats the hippy magazine Gandalf's Garden as an example of 'the good-natured outlook of the new wave of occultists', and commenting on the fact that in the 1968 American presidential elections the wizard Gandalf won a 'substantial number of write-in votes', states 'perhaps what the world really does need is a bit of a mystical shake-up'. The magazine presented itself as 'the cry of the Now Generation seeking an Alternative to the destructive forces of today's world', (p. 257). [Back]
              Dowie, Tolkien,. p. 284 [Back]
              Ibid., p. 31. [Back]
              Evola specifically invokes Sorel's concept of myth as 'idée-force' to justify his cosmology as a source of meaning and basis of action, cf. La sintesi di dottrina della razza, p. 4, as well as bulletin no. 16 of the Centro Studi Evoliani: 'Monarchia come principio e come Idea-forza'. [Back]
              Cf. Z. Sternhell, 'The Ideology of Fascism', pp. 385-387, in which he reviews recent publications in this area. [Back]
              Dowie, Tolkein, p. 285 [Back]
              There are of course some honorable exceptions to this generalisation such as Fritz Stern's The Politics of Cultural Despair (Berkeley: ?, 1961). [Back]
              J. C. Nitzsche, Tolkien's Art. A Mythology for England (London: Macmillan, 1979), pp. I11-113. [Back]
              De Turris, Testimonianze. This is how Aniceto del Massa opens his piece entitled 'The Tower as a Symbol', pp. 97-101. [Back]
        • Re: The Lost Symbol

          Sat, November 26, 2011 - 11:51 PM
          "the only Jewish Tradition that seeks the true transcendence and the realization of the Metaphysical Absolute"

          I'm curious to know what you mean by "true" here, Auton, since I see ALL Jewish tradition as oriented towards seeking, realizing, embracing, and honoring the "Metaphysical Absolute."

          Does this Jewish tradition not qualify?

          "Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
          Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One."

          How about this?

          "V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf'sh'kha uv'khol m'odekha.
          And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."

          Aren't the 613 mitzvot a relevant tradition directed towards this goal?

          613 Mitzvot

          It seems to me you are completely misinterpreting Judaism by focusing on a specific mystical tradition rather than recognizing that Jewish worldview and practice seeks to reveal the sacred and holy in EVERY human experience, rather than just "special" ones. That it finds metaphysical qualities in the everyday and mundane is frequently misinterpreted as "materialism" when in fact it is a denial of a separation--a false and spurious distinction--between the physical and the metaphysical.

          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Sun, November 27, 2011 - 9:46 AM
            It's quite apparent the Evola made the whole thing up as expediency to "brand" his Traditionalist Movement beyond the abstract terms of Tradition vs. Modernity. He personalized Modernity as Jews - on purpose - as it related to the Zeitgeist of the times. He was a politician not unlike the Karl Roves of today. He was also inconsistent as he gives Orthodox Jews a pass but condemns the Torah and Talmud which they adhere to. Perhaps we can lose the Branding and talk in the Abstract terms he avoided?

            he did not even acknowledge them as a "biological" race, due to the miscegenation that they themselves admitted; it was Jewry as an idea and "spiritual race" that had been forged together by a common, strictly preserved body of thought (Old testament, Torah, Talmud, for example). If one rereads (see above) what Otto Weininger said about Jewry as "spiritual direction," "psychic constitution," and "Platonic idea," one will understand what Evola really meant. Contemporary quote from his own hand will underscore this view.
            Thus he writes in the aforementioned Tre aspetti del prohlema Ebraico (p. 42):

            Are "rationalism" and "calculation" purely Jewish phenomena? If one wanted to answer "yes," one would also be forced to believe that the first anti-tradtional, critical, antireligious, and "scientific" upheavals of ancient Greece had also been introduced and supported by Jews; that therefore Socrates was a Jew, and that not only the medieval nominalists, but also Descartes, Galileo, Bacon, etc., were Jews.... Even if the passion for the lifeless number and abstract reason is an outstanding characteristic of the Semites . . . , it nevertheless seems clear that one can speak of a Jewish spirit in this regard only if it destroys everything through rationalism and calculation, if it leads to a world that consists only of machines, objects, and money instead of persons, traditions, and fatherlands, and if one uses the expression "Jewish" in a symbolic sense, without necessarily referring to the race.... In the concrete development of modern civilization, the Jew can be seen as a force that worked together with others for the proliferation of the "civilized," rationalized, scientific, mechanistic, modern decadence. But he certainly cannot be singled out as the single, far-seeing cause. It would be nonsense to believe anything of the kind. The actual truth is that one would rather fight against personalized forces than against abstract principles and general phenomena, because the former can also be attacked in a practical manner. And so people have turned against the Jew to the degree that he seems to embody a type that is also present in other areas, and even in nations that have been virtually unaffected by Jewish immigration. "
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Sun, November 27, 2011 - 4:02 PM
            "It seems to me you are completely misinterpreting Judaism by focusing on a specific mystical tradition rather than recognizing that Jewish worldview and practice seeks to reveal the sacred and holy in EVERY human experience, rather than just "special" ones. "

            I don't think you get it John. Jews are just a symbol, a reference point, a pointer if you will to the problem/cause of Modernity. It's an interesting position since you can't really defend something that's not on trial - Really. Thus the no-win argument that's been set-up by the Traditionalists that is a Catch 22. If anything rational is presented then one is assumed guilty of being a Rationalist and therefore.......

            This is my take with a limited understanding of it to this point. I do know that there is room for metaphysical traditions that are based in a desire to rise above the purely egoistic (separation) consciousness but if there are deceptive practices involved such as what I describe in relationship to Jews, then beware of the Karma incurred.
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Mon, November 28, 2011 - 11:51 PM
              "I don't think you get it John. Jews are just a symbol, a reference point, a pointer if you will to the problem/cause of Modernity."

              Maybe so, but there's also something very sophisticated and nuanced about Jewish perspectives that lend themselves well to Modernity. For example, I was fascinated how our local Borders bookstore couldn't seem to help interfiling books on Judaica with books on atheism. There was something odd at work there.

              I think Jewish tendencies to infuse "mundane" activities such as eating, sleeping, and sex with sacredness while at the same time avoiding discourse about an eternal soul or an afterlife is indicative of a tacit denial of any separation between physical and metaphysical. I think that's very important. No special techniques are required to have a direct, personal, mystical revelation of the divine in every person and in everyday existence. No priest or altar or temple is necessary. Just a minyan. And not even that.
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Tue, November 29, 2011 - 10:11 AM
            >>I'm curious to know what you mean by "true" here, Auton, since I see ALL Jewish tradition as oriented towards seeking, realizing, embracing, and honoring the "Metaphysical Absolute." <<

            All Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim etc, traditions are oriented towards " seeking, realizing, embracing and honoring the "Metaphysical Absolute" but orientation doesn't mean anything in the lack of content or worse, in the lack of actual methodology. We can give Nobel peace-prizes to mass murderer butchers, yet the peace will remain far from being realized.

            Most mainstream religions while supposed to maintain a connection with the metaphysical have become essentially coreless, empty shells, mere institutions to entertain the masses. I actually severed my ties with mainstream Buddhism for the same reason; the love'n'light, syrupy, "let's just be compassionate" bullshit has taken over to such an extent that the actual content and purpose of Buddhism is completely lost.

            Perhaps, you noticed before that the orthodox Jews are not exactly happy with the Zionist endeavors. You need to sit down with one of them and ask some questions.
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Tue, November 29, 2011 - 8:57 PM
              "the actual content and purpose of Buddhism is completely lost"

              This should probably become another thread, but what are the actual content and purpose of Buddhism for you, Auton?

              Compassion is apparently out, even as a methodology.
        • Re: The Lost Symbol

          Sun, November 27, 2011 - 10:59 AM
          "Steven and as far as I can see, you are attempting a character assassination without addressing a single issue, historical, metaphysical or philosophical outlined in his or others articles. "

          I'll tell you what Auton. You pick a book of his for me to read (I will purchase it in type I can read) and I will pick a book for you. Deal?
          • Re: The Lost Symbol

            Sun, November 27, 2011 - 8:17 PM
            John and others: Isn't this Auton-Steven dialogue/diatribe fascinating but also off--putting?

            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Sun, November 27, 2011 - 8:48 PM
              "John and others: Isn't this Auton-Steven dialogue/diatribe fascinating but also off--putting?"

              Are you putting this thread on trial Will?

              Personally, I'm done with all the trials and tribulations of this subject that has popped up time and again on this board. I've learned quite a lot in the research I've presented here concerning where many of the themes have come from over the years. Now that I understand the roots of it, I'm satisfied that there really isn't much more to say about it.
              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                Mon, November 28, 2011 - 5:55 AM
                Personally, I thought that being Jewish was supposed to be a leading role of humility and understanding as a people that show the world a peaceful way to lead life. You know, since the Jewish people have been treated so badly throughout the ages, even so, they are suppose to show the world their compassion and lead as an example and show how you can be the leaders of peace even with such ridicule they have had to endue throughout history. Am I wrong in what the 'God' of the Jewish people 'expected' from them?

                I myself thought this role of leaders in peace in the face of diversity was what the main points of their religion, all point towards... Maybe I was wrong all this time.... Everything else is just 'drama'.
                • Re: The Lost Symbol

                  Mon, November 28, 2011 - 8:55 AM
                  "Personally, I thought that being Jewish was supposed to be a leading role of humility and understanding as a people that show the world a peaceful way to lead life."

                  Obviously you're mixing up your Testaments :-)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: The Lost Symbol

                    Mon, November 28, 2011 - 11:58 PM
                    "Obviously you're mixing up your Testaments :-)"

                    Good call, Steven!
              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                Mon, November 28, 2011 - 12:44 PM
                >"Personally, I'm done with all the trials and tribulations"

                I hope that goes for your obsessive cut-and-pasting as well.
                • Re: The Lost Symbol

                  Mon, November 28, 2011 - 1:31 PM
                  "I hope that goes for your obsessive cut-and-pasting as well. "

                  with all due respect TMP - it was copy and pasting and more compulsive than obsessive - thank you very much.
            • Re: The Lost Symbol

              Mon, November 28, 2011 - 11:56 PM
              "John and others: Isn't this Auton-Steven dialogue/diatribe fascinating but also off--putting?"

              The only thing I've found off-putting is the massive amount of reposted text. Otherwise, I think it's a fascinating exchange. I keep thinking it could have taken place in the 1930s, either in Hungary or Romania. It would be enlightening to know more of Auton's backstory, and of Steven's.
              • Re: The Lost Symbol

                Tue, November 29, 2011 - 9:42 AM
                I've reposted large amounts of text for one of three reasons.

                1. The site does not link directly to the article so I need to bring it all in.

                2. The piece I needed was part of a larger PDF file which would not be practical to search through for the pertinent piece.

                3. The site itself looks like it may be shut down such as the Anarchist site I found the academic article on which I would hate to link to since future readers may lose out on important content.

                Apologies if this is viewed as flooding - that was not my intent.

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