Changing of the Guard

The third dimension of history understood as the impact of imaginal world on human history. Wars, migrations, expansions, conversions, and so on, need to be seen in the light of this higher dimension, above and beyond the material, biological, economic, and ideological causes.

We have seen that Julius Evola attributes the movements of human events to hidden, transcendental forces. However, he gives no details about those forces. If we turn to Rene Guenon, we find an acknowledgment of those forces, but treated in a superficial way. Guenon distinguishes between the Unmanifested, Formless Manifestation, and Formal Manifestation.

Formal Manifestation is our human state, body and soul, along with the existing world. Guenon’s writings are oriented to pure metaphysics, transcending all states, what he calls the Supreme Identity from Sufi teachings. Formless manifestation includes beings that are not individuated in the material world. As part of manifestation, its study is not properly metaphysics, but involves the traditional sciences, e.g., cosmology. This is not Guenon’s task as he sees it.

There are two ways to look at formless manifestation. From the strictly human perspective, it is transcendent to the human state. However, from the perspective of the Being, the human state is just one possible state, among many other higher states of formless manifestation. Thus, in the Multiple States of the Being, Guenon mentions the angels, which are seen as exterior beings in exoteric religion. However, esoterically, they are higher states. These states are between the Absolute and the human state. For details of those states, we need to look elsewhere.

Please don’t think of “angels” in the merely sentimental way that you may be accustomed to. We mean, by “angels”, those superior Intelligences which form part of formless manifestation. Just focusing on one part of hidden history, namely, the history of nations and races, we find this from Thomas Aquinas:

For in human affairs there is a common good which is, in fact, the good of a state or a people, and this seems to belong to the order of Principalities. … the arrangement of kingdoms and the changing of domination from one people to another ought to belong to the ministry of this order. Also, the instruction of those who occupy the position of leaders among men concerning matters pertinent to the administration of their rule seems to be the concern of this order. (~ Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, III, 80)

So there is an order of the angels, called Principalities, who influence or direct the various nations, ethnicities, and races. Wars, migrations, expansions, conversions, and so on, need to be seen in the light of this higher dimension, above and beyond the material, biological, economic, and ideological causes.

Book III of the Summa deals only with topics that can be known solely from human experience and reason, and do not depend on any special revelation. So what evidence is there to indicate that human events are subject to hidden, transcendental forces? We can propose these three:

  1. The rapidity with which certain ideas and intellectual movements can grab hold of a nation, or particular segments of a nation. Seldom are they the result of intelligent forethought, but instead seem to arise spontaneously.
  2. The actual results of revolutions or political programs do not comport with the original intentions. Even if this is not noticed right away, then certainly over time, any initial successes will be followed by stages of decline, until the final result is the complete opposite of the original movement.
  3. It was the common experience of traditional cultures.

The first two are clear and obvious enough, so we can focus on the third. We recently posted an article by Guido de Giorgio about the recovery of the past. As he writes: whoever intends to remain in the pure domain of traditional truth, always turns, logically, toward the past, to retrace the stages of certitude and add them to his experience.

So, if we can no longer experience the world as our ancestors once did, we need to retrace our steps. The way to start is a form of Hermetic Meditation, what Henry Corbin calls creative imagination. In the Middle Ages, the imagination was counted as one of the inner wits.

As an example, in the Trojan War, the gods and goddesses took different sides in the conflict. In the Convivio, Dante relates this to the higher Intelligences, or principalities. He writes:

There are others like the eminent Plato who maintain that not only are there as many Intelligences as there are spheres in heaven, but also as many as there are species of things, for example one for men, another for gold, another for dimension, and so on. He held that just as the heavenly Intelligences each brought their sphere into being, so other Intelligences brought into being all other things and exemplars, each in its own species; and Plato called them Ideas, that is to say universal forms and natures. … The pagans called them God and Goddesses

Dante is saying much more here than that these higher intelligences are involved in human affairs in terms of politics or war. The gods and goddesses also represented certain qualities: beauty, wisdom, martial spirit, and so on, what Plato called the Ideas. In Guenon’s scheme, the ideas are possibilities in the Infinity of the unmanifest Absolute. However, they have another existence in the imaginal world of formless manifestation, where the ideas are experienced not as abstractions, but as living beings.

As De Giorgio pointed out, we cannot simply regard the past as simply of antiquarian interest, as something exterior to us. Rather, traditional truths must be “found again and vivified”. Specifically, one must live them as these higher states of being. As Evola never tires of pointing, the way of action leads to the awareness and achievement of these higher states. Effective action, or the recovery of Tradition, can only arise out of these higher states.

2 thoughts on “Changing of the Guard

  1. Very good.

    “The heroic magical point of view that we have always held will not be abandoned; in reality it alone will constitute the point of reference and justification for the task of critique and examination…It is our intention to erect an unbreachable bulwark against the general decline of every value in life; our claim to know and point out vaster horizons, beyond the usual ones of humanity’s small constructions; our proposal to stand firm on the ramparts, ready for both offense and defense, isolated and closed to any escape.

    …crisis or radical upheaval is necessary. This is why it is necessary to set everything aside, and to become detached from everything. The mutation of one’s deepest structure is the only thing that matters for the purposes of higher knowledge. This knowledge, which is at the same time wisdom and power, is essentially non-human; it can be achieved by following a way that presupposes the active and effective overcoming of the human condition.

    This “divine” technique, traditional in the higher sense of the word affords real possibilities to those who, after the previously mentioned crisis find in themselves the strength and calmness to overcome it in a positive manner and to experience it as a catharsis and purification from everything that is merely human. Moreover, this science offers real possibilities to another category of beings, namely those few individuals in whom, in mysterious ways, an ancient legacy reemerges and grows again, almost like the instinct of another race that has disappeared in the course of millenia.

    The hierarchy proceeds from “sign” to “sign,” from “name” to “name” until it reaches a state of perfect superrational, intellectual vision, of full actualization or realization of the object in the Self and the Self in the object. This is a state both of power and of absolute evidence in regard to what is known; once this state is reached, every rationalization and speculation appears superfluous and every discussion meaningless.

    …the ideal of power here is that of an action occurring not subject to natural laws, but above them; not among phenomena, but among the causes of phenomena, with the irresistibility and the right proper to him who is superior.

    Read the sacred scriptures of every people on earth: through all of them runs the scarlet thread of the secret doctrine of awakening.

    If you want to overcome death itself, whose armor is sleep, dream, and dullness, you must climb from one step of awakening to the next. Imagine: the lowest step of this heavenly ladder is called “genius.” What name shall we then give to the highest ones? They remain unknown to the multitudes and are considered to be legend.

    Then you will be able to perform miracles at will [siddhis], without having to wait humbly like a whimpering slave for a cruel God to bestow his grace upon you, or strike your head off.

    Nobody knows if you will be allowed to share in the prodigious forces once possessed by ancient prophets, or if you are destined to enter enternal peace. Our path leads to the threshhold of maturity. Once you arrive at it, you are also worthy of receiving that gift. In either case you will have become a phoenix: it is up to you to get there by force.

    One of those who still have the key of magic has remained behind on earth, to seek and to rally those who have been called.

    The only true immortal being is the awakened man. Stars and gods disapear; he alone endures and can achieve anything he wants. There is no God above him.

    That which a religious man believes about God is nothing but a state that he himself could achieve, if he could only believe in himself. But he obtusely sets up obstacles over which he does not dare to jump. He creates an image to worship, instead of transforming himself into it.

    …if we see in the priest one who simply mediates the relationship between the human and divine worlds and if in the king (according to his original dignity) we recognize one who is instead a directly divine being, so that he represents with his mere presence a mediating function – then we must recognize that the regal tradition is much closer than the priestly tradition to the primordial tradition, and consequently to the supreme ideal of adeptship.

    [For those who misunderstood the term solar:]

    Keep in mind that for modern man, the Royal Path usually starts from the humid principle, even though immediately after, this water must be made dry and arid. A spiritual hunger or the despotic need to entirely own yourself often leads to the Way.

    In the magical, dry, or solar way, you will create a duality in your being not in an unconscious and passive manner (as the mystic does), but consciously and willingly; you will shift directly on the higher part and identify yourself with that superior and subsistent principle, whereas the mystic tends to identify with his lower part, in a relationship of need and abandonment. Slowly but gradually, you will strengthen this “other” (which is yourself) and create for it a supremacy, until it knows how to dominate all the powers of the natural part and master them totally. What is required of you is a discipline of firmness and sobriety until an equilibrium is created, namely the quality of a life that owns itself and is free with regard to itself, cleansed from instincts and from obscure appetite of the natural being, in both flesh and mind. Only then will you be able to employ, usefully and in an auxiliary fashion, some “corrosive water” (an alchemical term denoting violent methods such as toxic substances, the use of wine and sex, suspension of breath, and so forth). By attacking the natural connections, these give the fixed and preestablished nucleus the possibility of expanding and bursting forth more energetically. However, if this nucleus were not already established, the “corrosive waters,” by dissolution, would lead you not above but below the condition from which you first started.

    The affirmative discipline is enhanced by transformations provoked by some direct method, upon which the entire being, ready and compliant, reaffirms itself, digests and is itself digested, leaving nothing behind. These leaps are faster rhythms in which you must be able to transform the slow tempo of your incarnated being, in the same way that a surfer rides a wave; wherever the wave goes, so does the surfer, thus rejoining himself, remaining affirmative, firm, and centered.

    Then the solar and golden nature in you will be able to break the equilibrium and be the stronger one: the other nature (your Self, your Senses, and your mind) will be under your control. At that point you can even suspend them, make them inert, neutralized, fixed. This is Silence, the “extinction of mania,” the dissolving of the fog. Then, in your clarified eye, the cyclical integral vision will shine forth; you will see your transcendent essence, the destiny of beings and of all things, and the “Kingdom of Those Who Are.” You will grasp the mode of action in a pure stsate, and you will grasp the mode of immaterial motion that operates every space or body in a timeless, creative rapidity. The center in you will amalgamate with the universal, non-becoming nature, and will derive from it a divine strength that expresses itself through miraculous powers. You will be able to focus on the Knowledge of the Names and on the wedding with the letters. You will be initiated.”

  2. I’ve put the turkish translation of your article to here:

    that is a great summary.

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