The intuitive perception, more or less obscure, translated in given images provided by particular a attractive force, of such a mystery, is the true essence of the legends of the origins. Therefore, Cesaro continues:
Legend and history are strictly connected; the former proceeds through interiorization and is deployed by means of images, and the latter proceeds by exteriorization, in facts and events. The images are the result of living formative forces; the facts are organised by human thought. There, one is carried away by formative forces; here, there is a thought-out coordination of facts. But the legend is the invisible part of history, it is the root of history; it is not poetry, rather, it is a more vast reality than history itself. The threads of the destiny of a people that are untied invisibly in the most various ways in their historical development, rise to the impulses, to the creative spheres, with which the heroes of its legends were tied.
Therefore, the latent consciousness or memory of the same mission is conserved in legends, and is handed down to those who, in later times, will be capable of recognizing it, which, on a spiritual, super-historical plane, a people and a civilization had on its own. Where they cease to have value as positive documents of the material history of the origins, they assume that of the documents, no less positive, of their spiritual history.
As we noted, we consider it salutary that these criteriological views of a traditional and anti-modern type were reaffirmed decisively by Cesaro and, to tell the truth, not in terms of simple statements, but on the basis of a serious close examination of criteria adopted by various contemporary historical-mythological schools and of a persuasive assessment of their one-sidedness and insufficiency. Yet, at the same time, it is regrettable that Cesaro, at the moment of passing to the application of the principles and therefore of exploring the secret of ancient civilizations and of Rome itself, finishes in positions of questionable consistency, thereby giving ammunition to his adversaries and critics that seek at every occasion to demonstrate the arbitrariness of the constructions of whoever departs from their presumed serious, positive criteria.
To indicate what it is about, we will say that when an argument like that which Cesaro clarifies in the introductory part of his book is confronted, it is not possible of stop at compromises, to formulate conciliations. There exist some modern exponents of the hoped-for methods of Cesaro — we will cite Dacque, Bachofen, Wirth, Baumlet, and in part, even Vico — but that does not prevent that in its essence this method ought to be called traditional, that is of pertinence to an mentality irreducible to everything that is modern and informed by principles and the consciousness of a super-individual character, completely detached from everything that is the construction or interpretation of individuals. Now, whoever wants to pass coherently from the statement to the application, it is necessary that from views and teachings equally traditional he draws his guidelines, his points of orientation, and nourishes a fundamental suspicion towards everything that feels the affects any modern influence whatsoever.
Such, unfortunately, is not the case with Cesaro. In the reconstruction of that secret spiritual history of the origins and mission of Rome, the part played by the fascination of an Anthroposophical or Steinerian type is too evident.
We are not certain of the philistines capable of being alarming as soon as one speaks of occultism and theosophy and to seize in this regard, as do so many dilettantes, the watchwords of hebraism and masonry. In La Vita Italiana where systematically we are clarifying the ideas to serve as guidelines for the new fascist culture, in regards to the study of the “occult powers” and even also very recently in the writing of Arthos published in a preceding article [on the occult war], there was occasion to indicate what should be thought in regard to forms similar to “neospiritualism”. It is necessary to see in it a vague desire for the recovery of some traditional conceptions, however associated with the dross of every type and especially of those deformations which often entirely falsify the original meaning and that, in the field of the “occult war”, are destined to throw disrepute and ridicule also on those traditional views, partially and inadequately taken up, in themselves.
In such terms it is necessary to nourish a fundamental suspicion of all the modern forms of spiritualism and esoterism; which should be subjected to a severe discrimination that will confirm the legitimacy of the ideas being raised in it only in the measure in which these find exact, rigorous, and univocal confirmation with traditional conceptions, the patrimony, one in its essence, but various in the forms of expression of pre-modern wisdom. With that, we don’t mean that, in a field where a living knowledge must have a fundamental part, everything must be reduced to a type of scholastic exegesis and that every intuition would have to be banned. Instead, we mean that the aberrations of which the above mentioned schools and cults in modern times give us a great abundance of examples, impose, in this regard, a criterion analogous to that of the Catholic Church: which leaves to the mystics the freedom of personal excursions in the supersensible, however with the provision that the corresponding results are conformed to dogma and traditional teaching; without which, a verdict of “heresy” will be pronounced. Now, on the basis of an “orthodoxy” that, by being differently defined and of a more subtle and impalpable order, is not less rigorous than the Catholic one, on the basis of a traditional “orthodoxy” in the higher sense, heresy can really be denounced, the heresy of the great part of the new swarming forms of occultism, theosophy, neo-mysticism, and modern Rosicrucianism.
⇐Previous Next ⇒