Knowing the Nature of Things

Fr Alois Wiesinger then provides some detail of the inner life of Adam, or, for our purposes, that of the primordial state. According to Fr Alois, Adam “intuitively beheld God, the creation of the world and the purpose thereof, the principles of law and morals and all that was necessary for him as head and instructor of the human race.”

This is not purely speculation since it is based on metaphysical principles and also on the writings of saints and mystics. The latter, through their ascetical practice, were able to transcend the attachment to the corporal soul and reach similar states. As St Bernard, the patron of the Templars, explained it this way:

It was only through sin that reason was thus imprisoned in the senses; once man also had a spiritual eye, that did not need the senses in order to know God, but this has now been clouded and darkened by sin and can only be cleansed for contemplation by asceticism.

This teaching, and it agrees with Oriental teachings insofar as they also seek to overcome the attachment to the senses by asceticism, has far reaching consequences. Specifically, those who have lost the primordial state and never made the effort of reintegration are ignorant of the purpose of the world and the principles of law and morals. At best, they can understand such things indirectly by studying the works of metaphysicians and contemplatives. Otherwise, this knowledge is lost and they can only grasp things through the senses.

In a traditional society, there will be those who know and the people accept this knowledge to the best of their ability, some better than others, and the result is a hierarchically arranged society. Obviously, there is no way to convince the modern mind of this because they regard it as an infringement on their intellectual freedom rather than as a liberation from sin and/or ignorance. That is acceptable and understandable. However, what is disappointing is the number of those who call themselves traditionalists who would reject such notions.

The Names of Things

Adam’s genius shows itself in the fact that he gave names to the animals. St Augustine rated it as an act of the highest wisdom and Pythagoras recognized that the wisest man was the one who first gave names to things. In the mentality of traditional man, the name indicates the nature of a thing, and the man who knows the name of a thing fundamentally knows its nature. Here, without going into detail we can point to the Hindu doctrine of nama-rupa (i.e., name and form) in which nama is the essential properties of a being.

There are two ways to grasp the nature of a thing. The ordinary way is by discerning the non-essential properties by abstracting from the sensual image; this requires protracted study and experience. The extraordinary way is by the intuitive understanding of pure spirits. However, in general, the mass of men fail to achieve much understanding at all, except perhaps in a particular field of study, because their understanding is hampered by passions, undisciplined imagination, evil disposition, the requirement to provide for one’s support, and the weakness of forgetfulness.

We can postpone examples of all these for a future posting, but it should be clear that there can be no general agreement on anything because the knowledge of the true nature of things is so rare. As a matter of fact, “naming” is by now the total opposite of the knowledge of the true nature of things. Instead, the modern mind believes it can actually change the nature of a thing by changing its name. I’m certain readers can find many examples of this as it goes by the term “political correctness”. This is nothing but group delusion and it is virtually an inescapable trap because there is no effort at all made to understand the true nature of things beyond the word for it.

The Law of Accidents

If you know the true nature of things and circumstances, you will not make errors and mistakes. Hence, Adam was able to avoid suffering and all dangers to his health and well-being. Adam was not naturally immortal, but he had the possibility of not dying. Hence, he was not subject to accidents externally nor sickness and old age, internally. In this, even the saints and mystics cannot avoid. Some mystical thinkers such as Aurobindo Ghose and Charles Fillmore (the founder of the Unity churches) believed they could achieve immortality, but time proved them wrong. Transhumanists believe they can achieve immortality mechanically, biologically, or computationally, but it seems unlikely.

The will of Adam in the primordial state was the master over the body and the lower parts of the soul, and it was not subject to concupiscence. Nevertheless, their bodies were powerful and healthy and they could still experience the delights of the senses. Of course, unlike men and women today whose inordinate and irrational desires lead them into all sorts of trouble, Adam easily avoided such problems.

Fr Alois claims that Adam had powers over material things. Presumably he would have had the paranormal powers, or “siddhis”, such as telekinesis, that are described in his book.

16 thoughts on “Knowing the Nature of Things

  1. And, Azkartu, repeating the same text over and over is not the same as putting the matters in many words. Please be careful.

  2. To Cologero : Yes , you got it , for I trekked all along the “Chemin des Anabaptistes” / “the Anabaptists’ way” in Switzerland (Cantons de Berne , Jura Suisse & Neuchâtel ) last Summer , ‘hope you’ll do it some day ! …

    To “JA” : Frankly , and seriously : I am NOT “new-age” or “new-aged” in ANY way , and , in fact , I knew about the “dark side of Cathars” , even if I haven’t read yet what Evola wrote about the matter : and I shall in fact enjoy these readings you mention …
    ( … Cf. explanations in my other answers please …)

    And this is what I meant , but perhaps I was too lazy to explain it with details .
    We all know here how hard it is to put these matters in a few words , don’t we ?

  3. To “JA” : Frankly , and seriously : I am NOT “new-age” or “new-aged” in ANY way , and , in fact , I knew about the “dark side of Cathars” , even if I haven’t read yet what Evola wrote about the matter : But I would LIKE indeed to read these texts ! – Now , if you read my former answer or comment carefully , you will realize that ONE THING is what Cathars were (sth. difficult to digg , and yet Evola was quite successful) , and ANOTHER VERY DIFFERENT THING is what Cathars’ stake in Montségur ( as well as their general slaughter in Occitània … ) represented in the History of Church and , thus, the History of whole Europe : it was the “inflexion point” -as we say in Mathematics- , the precise moment since Church (helped by these bunches of savages called Franks ) became only a mere power , political institution , and that from then on the Christic message of Love , which meant really something for the People & Peasants in the Pyrenees and in whole Occitània till mid XIIIth Century A.C. , was nevermore the same .

  4. To “JA” : Frankly , and seriously : I am NOT “new-age” or “new-aged” in ANY way , and , in fact , I knew about the “dark side of Cathars” , even if I haven’t read yet what Evola wrote about the matter . Now , if you read my former answer or comment carefully , you will realize that ONE THING is what Cathars were (or represented , which is slightly different in fact , but this is another subject …) , and ANOTHER VERY DIFFERENT THING is that Cathars’ stake in Montségur , as well their general slaughter (or the complete slaughter they suffered from ) all over Occitània … was the “inflexion point” -as we say in Mathematics- , the precise moment since Church (helped by these bunches of savages called Franks ) became only or mostly a mere power , political institution , and that from then on the Christic message of Love , which meant really something for the People & Peasants in the Pyrenees and in whole Occitània till mid XIIIth Century A.C. , was nevermore the same .

  5. To Cologero : Yes , you got it , for I trekked all along the “Chemin des Anabaptistes” / “the Anabaptists’ way” in Switzerland (Cantons de Berne , Jura Suisse & Neuchâtel ) last Summer , ‘hope you’ll do it some day ! …

    To “JA” : Frankly , and seriously : I am NOT “new-age” or “new-aged” in ANY way , and , in fact , I knew about the “dark side of Cathars” , even if I haven’t read yet what Evola wrote about the matter .

    Now , if you read my former answer or comment carefully , you will realize that ONE THING is what Cathars were (or represented , which is slightly different in fact , but this is another subject …) , and ANOTHER VERY DIFFERENT THING is that Cathars’ stake in Montségur , as well their general slaughter (or the com

  6. JA, what you bring up involves serious medical and psychological issues that are not to be settled here. In “The Metaphysical Principles of Infinitesimal Calculus”, Guenon argues that manifestation, i.e., space and time, are continuous, unlike contemporary physicists who understand them as discrete. Analogously, sexuality, as manifested, would also be more like a sliding scale than the two sides of a coin. Weininger famously held a similar idea.

    For example, in the case of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, the body is unable to process male hormones. Hence, a person with AIS would appear, feel, and act completely feminine despite the genetic presence of a Y chromosome. A person born with AIS would not typically realize it until she failed to menstruate. I suppose this is an argument against biological determinism; even the Olympics had to stop relying on genetic testing for female athletes. Yet, even AIS manifests on its own scale, with various admixtures of male and female features.

    Of course, these are objective, corporeal medical conditions, and it is up to the person to decide her sexuality, not some spiritual master. Now, if you are speaking about purely psychological issues in which one’s self image is at odds with the manifest conditions of corporeality, the situation must be different. As you point out, we are born with various degrees of psychological brokenness; nevertheless, it should first be solved on that level before a medical solution is tried.

  7. People who like the Cathars need to read Evola’s critique of them in Mystery of the Grail. New Age mysticism does not truth make………

  8. Perhaps, Azkartu, you will find the Baptists more interesting, since they claim descent from the Cathars!

  9. Yes , but the main problem with Christianism is that the Vatican leaders did ERASE all interesting things (for instance : GNOSIS , but several other interesting points or disciplines ! …) since as far as IXth century , and , at any rate , for sure since the XIIth and XIIIth centuries ! :
    – In fact , to put it into a few words : for us who come from the Pyrenees & Brittany , Church became totally uninteresting after CATHARS’ slaughter .

    After MONTSEGUR ‘s STAKE , Christianism lost its Soul …

  10. a waste of time for some but not to others……each has their own obstacles to face as they climb the mountain…….if your personality isn’t messed up, which is near impossible in today’s world…..you have a good chance of going insane if you don’t succeed in the path……look at the stories around people who studied under Crowley……many are called but few are chosen.

  11. Perhaps try re-reading The Beautiful Soul. I can’t figure out how to link it for you or I would. I think it might clear up any misconceptions about the gender of the soul. It seems that Evola was somewhat clumsy with his formulation of the masculine and feminine, so I would perhaps rely on another source.

    I’m not sure why you’re even concerned with transsexuals…seems like a waste of precious time.

  12. I think the best way to clarify my thought would be – firstly to state that on a metaphysical level there is no such thing as a sex change as a person is either male or female, the question I have is simply is it possible that a feminine essence can be encased in a masculine body ? Julius Evola following Weinenger said yes, I think in Evola’s case he went beyond the case of transsexuality to include many modern weak males as female souls, he was not an advocate for such people to say the least. I believe all the non Christian religions, Islam (google Khomeini sex changes), Hinduism (the hijra third gender), Buddhism (says transsexuality is a punishment for adultery in a past life) accept such a possibility of a person’s true gender not being in the correct body. I’m trying to figure out why the Catholic church which teaches that humans are fallen from the original state, which is why people are born with all kinds of sickness, then does a reverse and says that creation is perfect in the case of gender.

    Perhaps the best way to test it would be for someone who thinks they are transsexual to visit a spiritual master while dressed in their birth genders clothes, and ask the master what gender he/she is………..if a person is a woman stuck in a man’s body on the spiritual level the master should be able to read the femininity…….does that sound like an interesting exercise ?

  13. Thanks, Scardanelli. Good point about the personal name. There are many examples of men and women who have taken a new name that may be closer to their essence. Obviously, Sarah and Abraham. But even monks take a new name with their vows. E.g., Lao Tzu means “old master”, I believe, which better describes his essence.

  14. JA, I think you profoundly missed the point about naming, probably because your dualism can’t account for the connection between name and form. The ability to name things truly is a rarer power, as it required the recognition of name and form; I believe I pointed out that the modern mind thinks that just by naming things, it can change the essence. However, that is the result of the widespread philosophy of nominalism.

    The angel’s advice sounds suspect, so I would recommend to your friend that he try for two out of three.

  15. “If my mother names me Lexus does that make me a car ?”

    JA, I believe this is what Cologero refers to when he says “the modern mind believes it can actually change the nature of a thing by changing its name.”

    To truly know the name of something is to know it’s essence, and one knows the essence of something through intuition, rather than through the senses or thinking mind. Tomberg refers to this type of knowing as gnosis. Perhaps the upcoming discussion of MOT may be fruitful in gaining this type of “knowing.”

    It would seem to me that our given name simply refers to our ego, that is, the individuality rather than the personality, or true self. Thus, it is not a true name.

  16. I am still having a hard time with the A-T seeing of form and essence as interconnected as opposed to Platonic matter-spirit dualism. There are some spiritual experiences I’ve seen that defy reason.

    To know a person’s name is to know the person but how can one know a name ? Is your name the name your parents gave you for often in these days the most vulgar of reasons (oh how different from the Chinese who truly understand the importance of a name and spend years before giving their children a final name !) or something else more interior ? If my mother names me Lexus does that make me a car ?

    From the Catholic perspective is the astral body the same gender as the physical body ? I think of Steiner’s claim that the astral and mortal bodies are always opposite each other. A person I know who is male had a vision of himself in another dimension as a woman – when he then made contact with his angel, the angel told him that he should have a sex change to follow his true will.

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