Dante and the Holy Culmination of the Roman Tradition (4)

The purely exterior literary merits that common men [volgo], the profanum vulgus [unholy rabble], admire in Dante have no importance and would nullify the value of the Comedy in the very eyes of Dante and of those who can and know how to understand the purpose for which the poem was composed.

It would be necessary to feel ashamed to still speak of, and only of, “art”, “poetry”, “brilliant construction”, in the modern sense of the word when one alludes to Dante’s work which is only and eminently sacred in spirit and structure, while the allusions to historical persons are clearly motivated by Cacciaguida at the end of canto XVII of the Paradise. But these allusions hide well dramas other than those that the profane see in it. Regarding these, the central motive, the general orientation, are understood, traditionally speaking, but it is not, nor perhaps will ever be, possible to explain entirely due to the impossibility of retracing the elements of a tradition that, in Dante’s time, was entirely oral. As to the strength and the expressive completeness so steadfast in Dante, it is due to the very substance of the topics treated: it is about poetry of inspiration in the absolutely sacred meaning of the word and those who know what is meant by such an expression, know the imbued power of the realizing wave that moulds the word in a type of revealing plasma where the specular miracle of the perfect reflection is accomplished. The same Rhythm, the homophony is adequate to the state that tries to be expressed in a way to constitute as many topoi or static forms, normative traces in which the transfiguring synthesis from the image to the idea is completed, to substitute for the oral initiatic transmission.

The moderns, therefore, who for centuries have read, studied, and commented on Dante resign themselves to understand nothing of it as long as they persist in not considering him as a prophet, a sacred poet, whose work is the highest expression, perhaps unique, in the Roman Tradition, an eternally new synthesis of the two traditional forms that in Rome, in its occult name, will find their completeness and their perfection. Here is his greatness and his true originality: if the expression reaches a plastic and vibratory perfection never before equaled, that is due to the sacred character of the Poetry which catches the eternal light of revelation in the transience of phantasms and concentrates it in radiant syntheses. In Dante, East and West are balanced in a unique centre that, substantially, is the Primordial Tradition, i.e., the unique most important traditional universality and ultimate realization. Never during the Middle Ages were the relationships between East and West so close: never in those great centuries had the traditional elements completed each other and disclosed each other for oral transmission, direct from master to disciple and from disciple to disciple. Dante appears exactly at the end of this era but in a period in which Dominicans and Franciscans, although already degenerate and hostile, had outlined the two greatest ways of realization of the divine—cherubic and seraphic—homocentric even if divergent by nature and process. He unites these two ways substantially, bundles [fascifica] them without confusing them. And it is necessary to note that when we use the term fascificare, we mean nothing that can be considered, even if only vaguely, syncretism or mixture: to bundle in the pure traditional sense means to give to each way, to each element, a unique direction, a centre, an axis without confusing them: this is the novelty of the traditional steadiness.

There is one bond that captures the twelve rods of the Fascist bundle [Fascio Littorio] and there is one lightening power expressed by the double cut axe: the emblem is traditionally the greatest because it represents the confluence in the vertical direction, i.e., that of elevation and conquest. In Dante fascification is supreme, East and West, ancient and new Rome, temporal and spiritual, heaven and earth, world and afterworld, man and God, everything gets becomes more marked, matches up, is unified at a supreme vertex that is Rome. This is Sacred Fascism, the true triumph of justice and truth in man and in the world: if there are quarrels, battles, falls, these have no importance since they take place in the bosom of a traditional society where everything is formed from the supreme balance assured by key bearers and fasces bearers, by the Regnum and the Imperium forever unified in Rome.

This is the perpetual peace, the universal peace which Dante constantly mentions in De Monarchia and in the Comedy: the reaching of the traditional equilibrium that can only contain and annul in a higher place of harmony the battles and the inevitable disputes in the world, where, since duality reigns, it is not possible to avoid conflict without which the supreme unifying element of Rome would be suppressed. But instead, when this element is restored to its true function and reestablished the bases of the Roman Tradition in their living integrity, a new greatness would rise from under the present ruins of the western world, a new purity of life and thought and the Temple protected by the sword would rise up in the light of Rome for the glory of God in the heavens and the peace of men on earth.

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4 thoughts on “Dante and the Holy Culmination of the Roman Tradition (4)

  1. Thanks, apeiron, for the intriguing comment, but that did not please the questioner. Unfortunately, the vulgar can interpret the Comedy as a travelogue, rather than as a description of states of consciousness on the path to the primordial state.

    To clarify a point, the pagan philosophers and poets inhabit Limbo, just outside of Hell. There is no suffering per se (other than, perhaps, the loss of hope). They live in the natural light of reason and a natural happiness. Their post-mortem state is not a negative judgment of Dante, who greatly respects those poets and philosophers. Rather it is a matter of justice, since that is how the pagans themselves envisioned the afterlife. We alluded to this when we mentioned Virgil’s description of ghosts or shadows, from Aneas’ descent to the underworld.

    In an upcoming post, we will deal with Evola’s description of the afterlife. While we respect Evola, this will show his limitations since he also cannot conceive of higher states. Evola did not know the occult name of Rome.

  2. While the paganism of antiquity could interpret the divine, it only went half-way and this is discounting the prejudices of catholic dogmatism. Discursive thought is not unifying logos. That is the problem with philosophy. No matter how close the articulations are to the primordial (exempli gratia, Heraclitus) it begins the rationalist discursive cycle after the initial divine act has lost its potency. There is more power in the act.

  3. Why did Dante place Plato and the Philosophers in hell?

    Some readers may remember Exit, who until now has honored a voluntary ban on commenting here. However, he did ask a pertinent question about the Comedy. On the assumption his question was sincere, I decided to pass the question on. Perhaps some readers are willing and able to respond to it, keeping in mind all that we have written on the topic, following Guenon and Guido de Giorgio.

  4. Like his colleague Rene Guenon, Guido de Giorgio regards the Divine Comedy as an inspired work describing a spiritual path. Vulgar minds, and de Giorgio would include academics in this category, fail to grasp this aspect of the Comedy. Some even see in the Comedy, nothing but racism, anti-semitism, and homophobia. The many allusions to events in Florence of some 8 centuries ago hide deeper meanings that are lost on them.

    Dante rectifies the division between the East and West, as his goal is the Primordial Tradition. The references to the Dominicans and the Franciscans represent two competing spiritual styles. They can be understood as the difference between Apollonian and Dionysian initiations.

    Given the human situation, men continue to fight illusory battles: between Apollo and Dionysus, pagan and christian, east and west. At a higher level, these views are unified. When this becomes understood by all the parties, then the Western World will return to its previous vigour.

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