This is the first of several posts about the various races of the spirit by Julius Evola: The Solar Race. Evola owes his typology of spirits of the race to J J Bachofen‘s study of Mother Right, although with a creative misreading of the text, Evola extracts a deeper meaning from it.
Bachofen delineated a historical process of cultures from haeterism to matriarchy, culminating in patriarchy, which he admitted was
the highest calling, the sublimation of earthly existence to the purity of the divine father principle.
Bachofen traces the patriarchal system in the ancient world to Athens and to the Roman Imperium. In them, there was Solarity.
As we have seen, however, Evola rejects any notion of “progress” in history. Rather he sees a degeneration. Certain ancient peoples were feminine in nature, and hence endured various matriarchal systems as described by Bachofen. On the other hand, the Hyperborean, or Nordic, peoples, were originally masculine, or equivalently Solar. Subsequent racial degeneration has led to the situation of the present era.
Although Evola gives us a very brief outline, he entire oeuvre is dedicated to the description of the Solar race. Fire and Ice are the paradoxically conjoined symbols of the Solar qualities. The Solar beings are described by Evola as being in this world, but not of it: they feel themselves as strangers in a strange land. Only ignorance or a waking “sleep” keep them bound to specific modes of being in the world. Gnosis, or awakening, what Guenon calls the Supreme Identity, liberates them from attachment to the world. Evola claims that such doctrines of awakening can only apply to the Solar race; attempts to extend such ideas as universal can lead only to misunderstandings.
This series, we hope, should make clear that the problem of the modern world is not a problem of thinking but rather of being. The error of the intellectual type is the belief that thinking the correct thoughts will somehow rectify things. Hence, there is incessant chatter and debate, which, apart from a few random conversions, always ends up in aporia.
The fundamental thing that matters is a change in the level of being.