Due to the nature of blog posts, you may feel like someone watching a movie starting from the middle. Nevertheless, there is an architectonic plan as summarized:
- Thesis: Tradition is the normal state for human spiritual well-being.
- Hypothesis: The Western world is in crisis due to its forgetting of Tradition.
- Antithesis: The proper response, then, is to revolt against the modern world
- Synthesis: Some few men will undertake the effort to restore Tradition
Rene Guenon’s The Crisis of the Modern World is the fundamental text that proves the hypothesis. Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World is the text of the antithesis. By understanding the thesis, hypothesis and antithesis, work can begin on the synthesis.
What follows can only be an outline, since all of the topics have been developed in full in other posts. The quotes are from Guenon’s book.
Since we are concerned primarily about the West, that is where the focus will be. Moreover, we agree with Evola that Guenon is the master of the 20th century. If you have any objections to Gornahoor, most likely they begin with an objection to Guenon. If you disagree with the thesis, there is nothing much here for you; there is no desire to convert anyone. You are part of the anti-Tradition, which most people today consider sane and normal.
The more insidious movements are the counter-tradition. They claim to be part of Tradition, or “influenced” by Tradition as it is usually put. People gravitate to it since they are still under the sway of the modern world, while pretending to be in revolt. Or else, the “revolt” is strictly on the material plane. There is no “influence”; you have to decide to go “all in” or not at all.
The Western Tradition
Both Guenon and Evola postulate a polar or Hyperborean origin of our Tradition. If you prefer, you can presume this to refer to a “spiritual north”. It began with a Primordial Solar Monotheism. From there, the next step was the religion that developed around the Vedas in India, then the paganisms in Europe, and finally the Catholicism of the Middle Ages. As St Augustine wrote, “there is but one Tradition, which is now called Catholicism.” As Guenon wrote:
It is moreover quite certain that it is in Catholicism alone that all that may still remain of the traditional spirit in the West has been preserved.
Hence, that is where we start to begin the synthesis. Guenon confirms that:
The least fantastic venture, in fact the only one that does not come up against immediate impossibilities, would therefore be an attempt to restore something comparable to what existed in the Middle Ages, with the differences demanded by modifications in the circumstances
The counter-tradition rejects that in favor of some imaginary past or future paganism. This is hardly necessary, since all that is valuable in paganism has been preserved, as we have repeatedly demonstrated. These are some highlights:
- The Church Fathers regarded Christianity as the esoteric aspect of Greek philosophy
- Evola, no friend of Christianity, conceded that the Middle Ages preserved essential pagan elements.
- Pope Benedict XVI made the point that once the Logos was admitted into the Gospel, the whole of Greek philosophy came along with it.
We can rightly extend that idea. Once Greek philosophy is becomes a part of Western Tradition, then we are justified to also pull in the Vedic Tradition. We have been justifying that point. Moreover, Guenon claims it is a necessary step:
If the [Catholic Church] could thus be brought into touch with representatives of the Eastern traditions, it would be a preliminary step.
We have taken that step, and several others, relying on the likes of Bede Griffiths and Guido De Giorgio. Anyone still interested in debating “paganism vs Christianity” is wasting your time and has nothing to say in regard to the proposed synthesis.
Types of Religion
Any discussion of the religions of the West needs to take into account three degrees of its manifestation, which correspond to Evola’s three stages:
- Folk religion
- Exoteric religion
- Esoteric religion
The folk stage is tied up with superstition, the desire for material protection, unusual phenomena, and so on. The exoteric stage is roughly what is called “organized religion”. Beyond doctrine, there is a lot of focus on “churchy” news and so on. We are not concerned with that here, while not rejecting it. A fortiori, we don’t identify a Tradition solely with those in whom it is entrusted. What some bishop does or does not do or say is not relevant to the synthesis.
We don’t need to dwell on the esoteric aspect here, since it has been covered many times. So, if someone wants to reject the Western tradition and replace it with some “neo-paganism”, the obvious question, is which form? They deny the pagan folk religion with its belief in bodily gods and so on. They can try to convince a population to adopt some new exoteric form, but for what end? Ultimately, they need to deal with the esoteric aspect and, in that, no such replacement is possible. Perhaps a development or a deepening, but that can be accomplished more easily with the forms that currently exist.
The entire concept is pointless. As a personal example, there are two Indian colleagues with whom I have frequent conversations. When we discuss meditation, witnessing thoughts, staying watchful, and so on, there is mutual understanding, despite our different exoteric commitments.
Race and Tradition
We can say a word about this, based on the interest in recent posts. First of all, the task is the return to Tradition. It is not to “save” some ill-defined “Western civilization”, nor especially is the goal to “save the white race”, assuming that is even necessary. Since Evola wrote more on this than did Guenon, we can fill in some details as he saw them.
Based on Bachofen’s studies, Evola accepted the early existence of gynocratic and matriarchal societies in remote history or pre-history. However, the Hyperborean peoples never went through that stage. He attributed that to the masculine spirit of the Hyperboreans and their branches. However, even within the Hyperboreans, the feminine race has more in common with the gynocratic societies. The Hyperborean branches decline when they start adopting the feminine perspective. You can read his descriptions and decide if they match what you see.
One of the hallmarks is the lack of a sense of differentiation. For example, those who call for a united “white race” lack that sense. It simply is not a “possibility of manifestation” in Guenon’s phrase. Were it a real possibility, it would have happened by now. The desire for unity on the material plane is a feminine trait, suitable for women or those beings with a man’s body but a feminine spirit.
Men understand differentiation, since there are many kinds of people and ways of being in the world. There are various castes, for example, or “races of the spirit” as Evola calls them, and so on. There may be little in common between them, despite outward racial characteristics. For our purposes, especially, this brings up Guenon’s ideal of the “elite”, which is the greatest differentiation.
Intellectuality and the Elite
Guenon is emphatic that Tradition can only be restored by an “intellectual elite”. By necessity, an intellectual understanding is possible only for a few. Guenon writes:
This is why a true understanding can come only from above and not from below; and this should be taken in a twofold sense: the work must begin from what is highest, that is, from principles, and descend gradually to the various orders of application, always keeping rigorously to the hierarchical dependence that exists between them; and it must also of necessity be the work of an elite in the truest and most complete meaning of this word: by this we mean exclusively an intellectual elite, and in reality, there can be no other.
Hence, the synthesis must begin with an understanding of principles, not from political concerns and most definitely not from biological concerns. Unfortunately, I cannot just tell you what such an elite would think. There are certainly texts and the best place to start is with your own Tradition. We have convincingly demonstrated that the Western tradition is still alive and viable.
As Guenon points out, such an elite is beyond all forms, so it doesn’t help to look for another organization or formal order. Rather they will arise as needed. Meanwhile, there are certainly some things to do to prepare or to be able to recognize an elite. The first requirement is an intellectual conversion which represents the return to the center. For this, a sane and normal way of life, in its traditional understanding, is a prerequisite. Then, the practice of one’s exoteric religion, for reasons that we’ve discussed many times.
If you choose to ignore opportunities in your life that come up, ask yourself where your life is headed. I watched a few episodes of a TV show called Dig, based on its premise. I once thought it may be worth reviewing, but that won’t happen. However, there was one incident that raised this thought.
One of the characters is a boy who was being groomed to be the next High Priest of Jerusalem. One of his handlers, a prole woman and former junky, got it into her mind to rescue the boy from that, so she kidnapped him. It got me to wonder. On the one hand, he is on a high spiritual path (speaking figuratively, not that I am endorsing the specifics of the show). But what is she offering him against that, except a life of TV, video games, pop tarts, and so on?
One thing for certain is that the end of this world is a possibility of manifestation. Where will you be?