We have often made the point that the analog of Spiritual Unity in the world is Harmony, not identity of opinion. Just as there are six different Orthodox schools in Hinduism, seemingly at odds with each other, there are, and should be, different schools of thought in the West, which, despite that, are all reflective of Tradition, but from different perspectives. To expect Guenon and Evola to be the same is akin to trying to describe the motion of cars on the highway according to the laws of gravity. Their apparent differences result from thier different perspectives and differing specific interests.
In our time, we often see a split between self-described followers of the one or the other, a split that would have astonished both of them. As we can see from this correspondence from Guenon, there was not enmity between them, but rather a sense of a common mission. Guenon reviewed several of Evola’s books, Evola had several of Guenon’s books published in Italy. Guenon even published articles in a Fascist newspaper (Regime Fascista). Rather than take sides, we feel it is better to bring out exactly what their views were. A balanced discussion is helpful to that end. However, the goal must be kept in view: to clarify the ideas, not to win an argument. Gornahoor’s position is simple: Those ignorant of Guenon will never understand Evola; those who do not recognize Tradition in Evola, demonstrate their ignorance of Guenon.
There is much ado about the minor differences between the two writers. For example, in his review of Revolt, Guenon opposed Evola’s view of Buddhism, and also the notion of a regal initiation. (Keep in mind that it was Guenon who eventually altered his opinion of Buddhism. And he also conceded the existence of a regal initiation in earlier ages. In Christianity the idea of Christ as both Priest and King reflects that ancient tradition, not that Evola would want support coming from that angle!) But in a 400 page book, should we not expect some errors, misjudgments, disagreements, differences of opinion? That does not alter the fundamental value, but gives us latecomers some work to do.
Guenon’s overall judgment of Evola’ book is this:
[these disagreements] should not prevent us from recognizing, as is right, the merit and interest of the work as a whole, and to bring it in a particular way to the attention of all those who are concerned with the “crisis of the modern world”, and who think like us [my emphasis] that the only efficacious means of rectifying it would consist in a return to the traditional spirit outside of which nothing truly constructive could be validly undertaken.
Similarly, Amanda Coomaraswamy had many specific reservations about “Revolt”, although he published an excerpt and a review in an Indian publication (The Visva-Bharati Quarterly, Feb-Apr 1940). Having made his objections, this is his overall judgment:
Nonetheless, this book constitutes a remarkable presentation and exposition of traditional doctrine [my emphasis] and could well serve as an introductory text for the student of anthropology and as a guide for the Indologist [my emphasis], especially for anyone interested in Hindu mythology and has not understood that, in the words of Evola, “the passage from mythology to religion constitutes a humanistic decadence.” The chapter, “man and woman” was chosen for the translation because of its clear, intransigent, and — we can add — tight peroration of the principles, that are reflected in the institutions and the ideals, such as that of sati, that is often no more comprehensible and that certainly are no longer held dear, even as memories by our politicians and reformers who, “whether by force or consensus, were induced to accept Western models.”
There is a lesson here to those who want to excommunicate Evola in the names of Guenon and Coomaraswamy.