The wise man will rule the stars. ~ Hermetic maxim
During my whole life I have not succeeded in finding a more lucid formula and a more effective general key for understanding the evolution and history of mankind than that given by Fabre d’Olivet. ~ Valentin Tomberg
Fabre d’Olivet was the first, in recent time, to sustain the remote Nordic-Arctic, hyperborean origin. For him that thesis however has less the character of a scientific hypothesis than that of the exposition of a traditional teaching, still preserved in tightly closed circles with which he was in contact. ~ Julius Evola
Rene Guenon mentioned Fabre d’Olivet many times throughout his works and dedicates a chapter on Fabre’s teaching on Providence, Will, and Destiny in The Great Triad. Providence is the Will of God, or natura naturans, nature naturing, while Destiny is the obscure will of God as natura naturata, or nature natured.
In the Philosophical History of the Human Race Fabre follows the Traditional understanding of man as having intellectual, psychic, and instinctive centers or spirit, soul, and body. The will, then, represents the inward and central element which unites and embraces them. That represents the microcosm while Providence, Will, and Destiny represent the macrocosm. Guenon explains that the harmony between Will and providence constitutes the Good while evil is born from their opposition
Man either perfects himself or becomes depraved according to whether his tendency is to merges into the universal Unity or to distinguish himself from it. Either he allies his will with Providence and follows the path of freedom or he allies his will with destiny and follows the path of necessity. The divine man lives a life primarily of the intellect, which is governed by providential law.
Paradoxically, then, the “divine man” is free because he follows the cosmic law, while the natural man believes he is free while he is under the necessity of Destiny.
Alfred North Whitehead in Process and Reality illustrates this triad, if we overlook some errors. At every moment, the “actual occasion” is faced with two forces. The accumulated past is a weight that tends to limit possibilities. On the other side, God is providing a creative option that works to break the weight of the past. The occasion needs to integrate all that. Unfortunately, Whitehead confuses “God” with Providence which leads him to postulate a finite or limited god. Fabre rejects this, since God can never be subject to such conditions:
The three powers constitute the universal ternary. Nothing escapes their action: all in the universe is subject to them; all except God himself who, enveloping them in His unfathomable unity, forms with them the sacred tetrad of the ancients, that immense quaternary, which is all in all and outside of which there is nothing.
The following schema illustrates these powers. The three centers are drive by instinct, passion, and inspiration. The Will is the heart of man when all his centers are in harmony. That is, for example, when his passions and instincts are ruled by the intellect. And conversely, when the intellect supports the true passions and instincts.
|Destiny (psychic)||Instinctive: Instinct|
|Destiny (physical)||Physical: Necessity|
Unfortunately, such as we are, we are not in such harmony. Tomberg relates the triad to the problem of births. Destiny is our heredity, Will is our birth, and Providence is related to salvation. Hence, that is the first task of providence.
Pope John Paul II in the Theology of the Body explains that Adam lost what did not belong to human nature in the strict sense: viz., integrity, holiness, innocence, justice. In other words, these are the qualities of Fabre’s “divine man”. Man is left with his lower intellect or “ratio”, and therefore a weakened will. The threshold of man’s earthly history is crossed with the knowledge of good and evil. Before that, there is only prehistory that is opaque to us.
Boris Mouravieff is in agreement with this. Adam’s fall led to the loss of higher human nature, leaving him with just the lower. Specifically, he is subject to the “general law”, like the animals, motivated primarily by hunger, sex, and fear. He is left with the “ratio”, or lower intellect. He explains that the knowledge of good and evil can only be dualistic knowledge, the knowledge of phenomena, not the transcendental knowledge or gnosis of the higher intellectual center.
This is the Matrix we are caught in, the situation of original sin, as described by Joseph Ratzinger. There is interminable debate without resolution, and the constant battle of good and evil, like a point stuck inside a square in Flatland with no way out. However, if the point became aware of a third dimension, he would easily escape his trap.
It is worthwhile, then, to investigate the qualities that have been lost in the Matrix. For those concerned about tradition, they are all taken from documents and councils over several centuries.
Innocence: In the state of innocence, man does not know good and evil, but rather he knows by direction intuition. His heart is the tranquil witness of consciousness.
Holiness: Holiness is the irradiation of the Holy Spirit, which produces a special state of spiritualization, i.e., participation in God’s inner life. If the lower centers are disordered, they will not reflect that irradiation accurately.
Justice: The just man is in conformance with the Logos or covenant law; he judges impartially.
Integrity: Integrity refers to man as a whole. JPII writes that the heart is the center of man understood as the source of will, emotion, thoughts, and affections. Or, if Fabre’s system, all the centers are in harmonious relationship. Then there can be the determination of the True Will.