Orientations: Point 9

⇐ Point 8  Point 10 ⇒

In Point 8, Julius Evola rejects the “solutions” offered by the modern world. First of all, it is not simply a matter of preserving a certain “culture”, which is the superficial, but rather of developing an entire “worldview”, in the heart of man’s being, from which culture will arise as an effect.

This worldview does not come from reading books and, we should add in our age of mass media, it definitely cannot arise from passively absorbing the ideals, values, and opinions of main sources of public discourse today. The “right” worldview cannot only arise within, from living a noble life, perhaps following, as Evola said in different circumstances, the Path of the Gods. Personally, I find that the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha expresses this idea: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Evola then singles out three modern worldviews for a withering critique: darwinism, pschoanalysis, and existentialism. All three—and even today they form the foundation for the modern and postmodern wordlview albeit in somewhat mutated forms—reduce man to the lowest level. He is an “evolved” animal, he is the plaything of unconscious forces, he is dominated by feelings of angst and meaninglessness. Anyone who opposes these worldviews is then branded as ignorant or even evil. As he points out, the worst invective is directed to those who refuse to accept darwinism as a valid understanding of the origin of man; the darwinian dogma is enforced more strictly than any previous Inquisition.

Something needs to be said about the problem of culture. Not beyond measure. We in fact do not overvalue culture. What we call a “worldview” is not based on books; it is an inner form that can be more precise in one person without a particular culture than in an “intellectual” or a writer. We must ascribe the fact that the individual is left open to influences of every type to the weight of everything among the bad omens of “free culture”, even when he is to not able to be active in relation to them, to know how to discriminate, and to judge according the right judgment.

Thus the discourse cannot be here if not to point out that, as things currently stand, there are specific currents from which the youth of today must defend themselves interiorly. We spoke initially of a style of rectitude, of inner resistance. This style implies a right knowing and young men, especially, must take account of the intoxication working on the totality of a generation from concordant varieties of a distorted and false vision of life, that have affected men’s internal strength. In one form or another, these toxic elements continue to act in the culture, in science, in sociology, in literature, as so many points of infection that must be identified and beaten. Aside from historical materialism, which we already mentioned, Darwinism, psychoanalysis, and existentialism are among the major ones.

The fundamental dignity of the human person must be asserted against Darwinism, recognizing his true place, which is not that of a particular, more or less evolved type of animal among so many others, differentiated through “natural selection” and always tied to bestial and primitivistic origins, but he is to elevate himself virtually beyond the biological plane. If today no one speaks much anymore about Darwinism, its substance nevertheless remains. The biological, Darwinian myth, in one or another of its variants, is counts for the precise value of a dogma, defended by the anathemas of “science”, in materialism, whether of the Marxist or American civilization. Modern man is addicted to this debased idea, he recognizes himself in it comfortably, finds it natural.

Against psychoanalysis the ideal of a Self (or “I”) must be validated, a Self who does not abdicate, who intends to remain conscious, autonomous, and sovereign in the confrontation with the dark and subterranean part of his soul and the demon of sensuality; that does not mean either “repression” or a psychotic scission, but he brings about an equilibrium of all his faculties ordered to a higher meaning of living and acting. An obvious convergence can be pointed out: the disempowerment of the conscious principle of the person, the prominence given to the subconscious, the irrational, the “collective unconscious” and similar ideas from psychoanalysis and analogous schools, corresponds in the individual precisely to what the urgency, the impulse from below, the subversion, the revolutionary substitution of the inferior to the superior, and the disdain for every principle of authority, represent in the modern social and historical world. The same tendency acts on two different planes, and the two effects cannot avoid being mutually integrated.

As for existentialism, even to distinguish in it what is properly a philosophy—a  confused philosophy— it remained, until our time, of pertinence to restricted circles of specialists. It is necessary to recognize the state of soul in crisis that became a system and was adulated, the truth of a broken and contradictory human type who experiences, with anxiety, tragedy, and the absurd, a freedom from which he does not feel elevated, and to which he instead feels without escape and responsibility, condemned in the midst of a world deprived of value and meaning. All this, when the best Nietzsche had already indicated a way to recover a meaning for existence and to give to oneself a law and an intangible value even in the face of a radical nihilism, in the sign of a positive existentialism, according to his expression: from a “noble nature”.

Such are the lines of surpassing that must not be merely intellectualized but lived, realized in their direct meaning for the interior life and one’s own conduct. To lift oneself up is not possible as long as one remains as though he is under the influence of similar forms of false and deviant thinking. Detoxified, a man can pursue clarity, rectitude, strength.

⇐ Point 8  Point 10 ⇒

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