Men love those enticements. The alternative is to purge one’s mind of all vain opinions, desires, fears, anxieties, and so on. Men fear to do that, since they believe there will be nothing left, they will no longer have a self or an identity. On the contrary, in that clearing the Spirit will generate a new Self, the Logos, the opposite of the satanic chaos of the mind. ~ Day of the Dead and Signs of Life.
Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:10
And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away. ~ Matthew 11:12
Being a review of Political Platonism by Alexander Dugin.
This book is a collection of outtakes. To ruin a mystery, we turn to the end first, where Dugin explains:
Our task is the construction of a philosophy of Chaos.
Dugin has neglected to construct such a philosophy. Chaos is matriarchal, inclusive, anti-hierarchical, anti-violence, and so on; certainly, all ideas opposed by Logos. Unfortunately, Dugin gets off to a bad start when he asserts:
Logos is based on the exclusion of Chaos, on the affirmation of a strict alternative to it.
Logos does not seek the exclusion of Chaos. Rather it seeks mastery over Chaos. That is the masculine way that Dugin rejects. After rejecting some scientific misunderstandings of Chaos, Chaos begins to sound like the prime matter of Aristotle and the Scholastics. As such, it is an object of Thought, not of Being. You can show me a squirrel but you cannot show me a piece of Chaos: it has no Being.
He then claims that Chaos contains all possibilities. We addressed this same issue several years ago in Chaos in Mathematics. Chatin’s Constant does indeed contain all possibilities, but only by accident. Moreover, only the Logos can recognize those pseudo-regularities in the digits of the Constant, although they are actually random.
Dugin gives us two choices: start at the beginning of philosophy or start at the end “when the disappearance and liquidation of philosophy is occurring”. Although Chaos is “eternal”, there is no beginning, i.e., we can’t anticipate the beginning of the next cycle. Hence, we shall start at the End, since we can look back over the history of philosophy from the Greeks, through the Medievals, and into modernity.
We have documented the “liquidation of philosophy” many times, e.g., from Hobbes, Bacon, Descartes, and so on. Anyone can see that. However, we encounter a serious problem whenever we try to penetrate to the prior period. The Medieval period is opaque to the modern mind, which cannot penetrate into a proper understanding of it. The texts can be analyzed, but the mindset is beyond mysterious. Only a remnant, born with a still archaic mind, can understand that period.
Hence, the fundamental premise that the philosophy of Logos contains the seeds of its own dissolution. Modernity is based on inferior rational thinking, whereas the Tradition of the Middle Ages is based on Being, an intuition of the whole, which is itself beyond logic, yet not illogical.
Dugin then tries to enlist Rene Guenon in support of his unfinished, or rather unstarted, project. This is a tactical error since there is no support from Guenon. Guenon accepts Aristotle and the Scholastics as representatives of Traditional metaphysics. Guenon rejects philosophy. On the other hand, metaphysics is eternally true and does not contain any seed of its dissolution. Moreover, once the metaphysical principles are realized, there is no way to return to error.
As Guenon explains, the unactualized possibilities are included in non-Being. The Void, which seems to be what Dugin means by Chaos, has no Being. Rather, the possibilities reside in the Mind of God as ideas or essences. To develop a philosophy that includes possibilities that can never manifest sounds like a fool’s errand.
Nevertheless, Guenon agrees with Dugin about the decline of philosophy in modernity. Moreover, he also agrees that philosophy declines over time. However, that is not a logical decline. Specifically, it is not an object of Thought but rather a change of Being. There is no inner logic in true metaphysics that leads to Chaos, never mind a philosophy of Chaos.
If there is no inner logic within Tradition that leads to Chaos, then there must be transcendent forces that bring such changes about. This is documented in Angels and Demons. So, if European philosophy has failed, that is not a result of bad logic. Rather, it is a symptom of the effects of diabolical forces infecting the European mind.
Chaos, as described by Dugin, has much in common with the time of the Kali Yuga. Specifically, it is undifferentiated. It rejects hierarchy. There is no need to repeat what has previously been described.
There are some deeper ways to deal with the idea of Chaos.
The Cabala describes certain world periods as Chaos. In particular, the three world ages—in Christian terms, the ages of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—correspond to Chaos, Logos, and the Messiah. These refer to Being, not abstract Thought.
Jacob Boehme, Meister Eckart, inter alia, have had intuitions of non-being beyond Being.
The writings of Vladimir Solovyov on the Divine Sophia are helpful. Sophia, as the Soul of the World, keeps Chaos in check insofar as she is immaculate. That gives rise to the Logos.
The point is that there is no philosophical solution to the problem of Chaos. Only a metaphysical one.
Part 2 of this review, titled “Political Platonism”, will appear on Tuesday evening.