The Kingdoms Fell into Disorder

Cologero has been channeling me for quite some time now and much of what he takes credit for is really mine. Nevertheless, he recently got a little huffy about it — or so it seemed — and he challenged me to write the material directly. Now the last thing I need is for a bunch of curiosity seekers attempting to invoke me. Cologero assured me that very few people read his blog, so I decided to risk it. In particular, he asked me to explain Chapters 18 to 21, regarding the deterioration of a civilization (18 & 19) and the character of a Taoist sage (20 & 21).

[Note: See Principle and Action 18-21 for Julius Evola‘s translation of and commentary on these chapters of the Tao Te Ching

I know I have a reputation for being “inscrutable”, although – in my opinion – that is due more to poor translations than to the difficulty of the material. In other words, it is the Tao that is inscrutable, not me. Unfortunately, any attempt to scrutinize the inscrutable is fraught with issues. Have you ever told a joke to your girlfriend and got nothing back but a blank stare? Eventually, she will protest, “I don’t get it.” After explaining the joke, she finally claims to “get it”. Yet, at that point it is no longer a joke, but something else, something markedly inferior. A joke depends on provoking a sudden shift in perceptions.

Likewise, knowing the Tao works the same way. There is a sudden “aha” experience, a sublime and rapid change of viewpoint, or what is called “getting it”. The danger of an explanation is that it may preclude that very aha experience. That is why I wrote:

The (discursive, reasoning) intellect is the source of sorrow
What consistency do dialectical distinctions have?

Once you get it, there is no point in explaining, debating, or analyzing it. Right? Or debating a joke? Wrong. I’ve heard that your civilisation will debate jokes incessantly. That’s because you’ve lost the natural sense of what is funny, and that’s not all you’ve lost. Following the Tao means a return to a natural primordial state. When that state is lost, then the discursive intellect tries to replace what was lost with something artificial and factitious.

In your society, there is a lot of talk about benevolence, justice, and so on. Now there may indeed be acts of benevolence and compassion, but there is simultaneously a lot of hypocrisy. There should be a natural connection with your ancestors and family. But even that is lost, and replaced with “definitions” of a family. Do you see what happened? What was natural and spontaneous becomes suddenly a matter for scrutiny and debate. The result is hardly a clarification, since no one is even sure what a family is any longer.

In the primordial state, the chatter about “humanitarianism and morality” will disappear, to everyone’s benefit. Can anyone who watches your news shows for 10 minutes doubt this? Your partisans claim to have a monopoly on morality within the system, each party accusing the other of evil. Then as a whole, you boast about your high standards vis-à-vis the rest of the world. This is not a critique, but rather an observation since everything is a mixed bag. If you understood good and evil, there would be little discussion of it.

As I pointed out some time ago (really, what has changed since then, despite all the warning?), the mass of people are seeking little more than pleasant diversions. There is no morality in following one’s vain desires, tendencies, orientations, and interests. Quite the contrary, although you would never believe it, the way people talk about it. I assure you, however, that there is nothing “natural” about them at all. Emphatically not, since the path to true liberation is to become free of such things.

Instead of liberation, those who become aware of those dangers, impose instead a moral code. But that is suppression, not liberation, just adding another layer on top of the already unnatural layer. It leads away from not to the natural state.

Following desires, seeking pleasure, defining morality, and rational thought do not lead to the Tao, then what does? I tried, in Chapter 21, to show, by way of personal example, the alternative. I am not moved by feelings, but live in the calm waters below their current. I am at home no matter the outward circumstances. While the world seeks excess, I seek simplicity. Those with superficial vision may consider me to be simple-minded, incompetent, and impractical. I prefer to live in silence than in conversation, to be alone rather than in a crowd. I live like the ocean, wave after wave, without pause. Yet, since I am not battered about by desires, I am a Real I.

The manifest world is the exteriorization of the Tao. Although undifferentiated and unintelligible, it nevertheless contains all things as possibilities. Existing things are contained in the Tao, as well as their essences. The world cannot keep us safe, our safety resides in the Tao. The Tao does not change, yet everything proceeds from it.

How do I know this? Through direct “super-rational” intuition. Do you get it now?

7 thoughts on “The Kingdoms Fell into Disorder

  1. Morality is not something that just happens by itself but neither is it contrived. It cannot be proclaimed or claimed through rationalization, and neither is it negatively the result of suppression or opposition. It must rather be a positive.

    Societal solidarity is not worth much when enforced through socialism, destroying organic possibilities for moral activity.

    Lately I have converged with people who are into self-sufficiency as a lifestyle. Some were self-professing anarchists who it turns out nevertheless supports a socialistic redistribution of wealth, seemingly incapable of conceiving of wealth-creation in the first place, but adhering to a worldview where anything of value must at one point have been illicitly stolen. Extending that sad outlook to the moral realm, morality is reduced to a zero-sum game where if one person is to be moral another must be immoral. Following its logic they should be deeply gratuitous to those reactionary “villains” who make their own fake morality possible in the first place, since they are by all accounts (even theirs) the only ones who possess a moral that can stand on its own. All leftist ethics is fundamentally based on the existence of “bad guys” and other horrible things to overthrow. It is the expression of a sorry second-hand existence removed from truth and even indirectly sustained by the very truth that it denies, which only serves to aggravate it even more in coming to terms with its own futility and meninglessness. Marxism agrees with theism in the sense that all value must have been mysteriously created prior to time by supernatural means, only reversing the relationship by saying that it is the thief who is right. A positivist ideology must acknowledge wealth creation as a supreme and inviolable reality to subsequently possess and defend.

    You cannot act morally by only grounding behaviour on a rule, regardless of whether it is assented to or opposed. Although loyalty is claimed as a virtue, a rule is not a being, and that might be a source of confusion. What is thus more important, a commandment or the one who issues the command? Can I be loyal to a person while ignoring his rule? Can I be loyal to a regulation while disregarding who stands behind it? Modernity’s laws are void unless they have an actual being behind them, that is unless they also happen to coincide with natural law, which a small number admittedly still do. According to tradition, the rule of law only applies to those who are loyal to the lord who issues and enforfces it. Those who have no loyalties are legally lawless and are by justice to be treated as outlaws. The rule of law is not something that automatically encompasses everybody indiscriminately but is a privilege, and if you dispense with personal allegiances you dispense of the foundation of law since law is upheld by beings rather than some abstract force that carries out its own wish. Allegience is nevertheless not restricted to those who are currently alive but also extends to founders of states and lineages as an example. Anarchism as the striving for a state of “no ruler” still contradictorily wants to preserve the benefits of lawffulness, stemming from the parasitic wish to live in an ordered society while at the same time claiming that no one holds any authority over them. Now, a just ruler would declare such persons outlaws that could be captured into slavery without legal consequeces. Fortunately for them however, there are no just rulers, and we are in fact already living in their ideal state of arbitrary law without responsibilities.

    Another aquintance is reasonably intelligent but says that the greatest possible virtue consists of “being nice”. I jokingly countered that I conceive of my purpose in life as the opposite of being nice, producing an awkward moment where everybody looked as if having seen a ghost, although and I did not feel like explaining a joke. (Ok, I will explain it now. I put no value on “niceness” as such, he says he does, and yet the voluntary choice of actually spending time in my company directly refutes his professed ethics, that is, unless I was secretly menacing him by my mere presence all the while and he remained too afraid to speak up, or the unlikely possibility that I am just such an inherently nice person that i cannot help myself).

    There is a lesson for counter-revolutionaries in the story, namely that what people think and asserts about their convictions is largely irrelevant. If someone wants to erect a false god out of “niceness” let them do it, their actions still speak louder than words. A wise ruler does not get hung up on what people say – they are irrational, their words betray a childs mind, and you cannot hold them accountable for what they are oblivious about. Just nod and affim that “isn’t it really good with niceness?” and carry on as unfased as before. One have to be able to identify who have a potential to understand the inner teaching and not demand the impossible from the rest. There are hundreds of millions of leftists in the world with an identical set of beliefs and yet they all squabble endlessly amongst each other. Thus we see clearly that ascribing to certain beliefs is not a valid condition for friendship despite what they tell us. Niceness is the highest virtue of the lunar man as Evola would have said, but those who value niceties as a highest striving still fails to achieve any pleasant manners or decent politeness because of their character, so regardless of its vacuous and insipid nature, it still remains a distant mirage.

    The current “enlightened” legal system is coming undone by its adherents anti-traditional principles, and is by construction only enforcable through terror and intimidation. A supplanting legal system will grow invisibly out of a renewed set of allegiances, meaning that the fealty of the Lord and his knights has not by far played out its role in the world, grounded as it is on eternal truth and the ordering of the cosmos. Law is nothing but the exteriorization of the Principle effected through a hierarchy of allegiances. What is missing is not law as such, but allegiances, since law is an effect rather than the cause. Without a competent second estate society becomes lawless regardless of how many laws it institutes. The laws of modern states mostly resembles the annoying wailing of children – you cannot take it seriously but yet feel sorry for them while having to pretend that the matter is important.

    The ability to inspire allegiance has absolutely nothing to do with being nice. People do not have to agree with us as long as they are loyal – to demand absolute consensus is a feminine attitude that does not serve good. As we detach from appearances, we daily come to observe how actions betray professed beliefs. Instead of argumentatively demanding a particular belief to no benefit whatsoever, we take advantage of the fact of that discrepancy. Before even knowing what has happened they will have become reactionaries through life choices while remaining free to call themselves whatever they like. If the revolution came about through arousing the intellect towards disorder, will the counter-revolution come about through arousing the will towards order?

  2. ‘Sufism and Taoism’ by Izutsu is another useful study that I highly recommend.

  3. Two Taoists walk into a mechanized society

  4. Regarding channeling and communication with sages, Goethe once popped up in my dream just to tell me that he achieved some kind of divinity, a ”godhood” to use his own words. It was a very vivid, unusual dream. I wonder if I was trolled by some astral being in disguise, or fell victim to my own mind’s play.

    Great text by the way. I’m reading ”The Great Triad”, my first serious introduction to Taoism. And Evola’s commentary on ”Tao Te Ching” somehow slipped me, until now. This site is truly full of hidden gems.

  5. That’s true about channeling. Certain kinds of deceased saints and sages, however, exist in states where they may easily interact with people in our world in a recognizable form. One should keep in mind that other beings of the subtle planes may masquerade as something they are not as a deception.

  6. Thanks for a great post.

  7. Fun fact: when Eliphas Levi channeled Apollonius of Tyana the only answer he received was “death”. I see Lao Tzu is a nicer person.

    Also, according to Guenon’s “the spiritist fallacy” you can’t really channel the soul of a dead man, only his ‘ob’ (the word used in the Bible). Sort of a shade, but not his actual self. I don’t remember the egyptian word, but it’s that thing they tried to preserve inside mummies.

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