Man, once awakened to a will to create, wants to bypass the limits of the circles of necessity and master the power residing in Fire. ~ Corpus Hermeticum
In Chapter 12 of The Hermetic Tradition, Evola interprets the statement in the Zohar:
“The visible is the reflection of the invisible” to mean “Earth is the visible part of Heaven“. Yet, as Jacques Lacarriere writes in The Gnostics,
Man, like the universe, is a failed creation, a lamentable imitation, the mere semblance of a man, a counterfeit man.
Although the Gnostics adapted much of the esoteric teachings of the early centuries of our era, they made a subtle error. The Marxist Lacarriere expresses it:
It seems a simple, obvious, and irrefutable fact that today, as in the time of the Gnostics, the alienation of man is global; it is also true that the economic, social, and political causes of alienation should be removed first.
Thus, he could recommend “modifying the means of production, transforming the nature of economic exchanges, and the distribution of wealth” as the task of the Gnostic, falsely so-called.
This puts him firmly on the side of revolution and we see this form of spirituality resuscitated in our own time in the various New Age movements. Instead of the futile and erroneous Gnostic path of liberation by throwing off any and all external and conventional structures, Evola quotes Boehme:
Paradise is still in this world, but man is very far from it, so long as he fails to regenerate himself.
Evola explains that it is “the power of Earth in man is that which forces on him, via the physical body, the materialistic vision of the world.” This “petrification of the spiritual world created by the bodily senses” is conditioned by the “dualistic law of I-Not-I” which is “the main obstacle to modern understanding of the traditional sciences.” Evola writes that the solution is to become aware of the Air, Water, and Fire elements which “are other existential states, other modalities of consciousness, quite separate from the body, that can transpose all the principles of things according to their non-corporeal nature.” In contrast the Gnostics believed:
That which weighs us down, makes us heavy, and sends us to sleep, is the cloacal matrix, this borborian matter from which we were extracted; above all, it is this basic flaw in our very structures that renders us incapable of assuming our predestined mission.
In opposition to Evola, the Gnostics took a realist position, postulating that there is some entity that created flaws in our structure. Evola, on the other hand, sees matter, oppressive structures, and so on, as privations, created by ourselves spontaneously and unconsciously. Our task then is to elevate our consciousness and develop the Will to overcome such privations.
Unable to transcend the I-not-I perception, the Gnostics postulated Yahweh as an “evil” demiurge, opposed to the True, Transcendent God. Of course, this is a metaphysical impossibility. The perceived evil is a privation, in this case voluntary. The Traditional esoteric teaching, too, recognizes in Yahweh a being akin to the Demiurge, although with the assigned task of maintaining the laws and structures of the world.