North and South (RATMW 26)


Chapter 26

North and South


In chapter 26 of Revolt Against the Modern World, Julius Evola extends the discussion from the last chapter and stops for a while to give the reader some more information regarding not only the Northern (Polar) versus Western (Atlantic/Atlantean?) myth as origin or point of reach with the divine, but also the distinction between the general Northern male-solar versus the Southern female-lunar orientation of cults in general and their eventual blending and transformation as a result of migrations.

Now, besides going further into the details that distinguish the northern from southern cults, Evola engages in judgement of the moral worth of each of these. It is evident beyond doubt that he has a strong predilection for the patriarchal, the masculous, while immediately writing off anything with overtones of femininity as either out of balance and degenerate. This is very telling, and if I am perceiving this correctly, the balance that Evola adheres to is not so much a balance as a domination of the masculine.

However, the way Evola explains this, is that the realms of the feminine and the masculine are supposed to play different roles. When we look at some of his favorite examples, like the Roman, we find something that does not appear to be in balance at all. What is even more evident from this chapter is that the author considers the Hyperborean through Aryan principles of conquest and imposition to be the only and the best way. This is, of course, not explained and is only heard as a background assumption.

This reading between the lines of what Julius Evola exposes is very important. While his book is a very good source of information, and his observation are invaluable, one must be able to appreciate this without letting his bias creep and hide behind unjustified assumptions. While he decries the overtaking of effeminate qualities over modern society, he does not explain why this is wrong. Furthermore, rather than the other host of obvious problems with the overtaking of materialism and a forgetting of the meaning ancient rites, it would appear from the last chapter of the first section of Revolt Against the Modern World as if he wants to blame the root of the problem of modernity on the preponderance of a feminine judgement.

I believe his mistake is in believing that the feminine cannot be deadly, that it cannot be decisive. What he is referring to is actually a weakening of the spirituality, an increasing dependency  on the material for meaning, as well as the gradual overtaking of the power of a plebeian mentality. Julius Evola does a very good job in pointing these out, and goes over them through different angles, yet seems to remain stubborn in his underhand implication of the inferiority of the feminine as a guiding principle.

There are other implications in Evola’s exposition that have a more apparent reasonable explanation, which is why I am inclined to give thought and consideration to their validity. This is that the warmer climates tend to produce more contemplative and relaxed traditions, while those of the north tend to strive for excellence and the most suitable as well as pragmatic. The environment of each place seems to give place to each of these different general attitudes. However, I believe there are a lot of holes in these, his more general assumptions that seem to stem out more from dogma than from the scholarly esoteric study that he otherwise so marvelously presents.

For one, great civilisations seem to spring in places where race mixture happened, and therefore most probably a mixture of cultures happened. But my observation should not be taken as favouritism for this outcome, because I personally find the ultimate result of civilisation to be rather negative. It protects people and it gradually foments living in an illusory human-made world that makes them insensitive and greedy. On the other hand, it may also be the case that we simply have not learned to handle the power of civilisation well enough to be responsible and maintain a clear head with the power it affords human beings.

The Northern-Atlantic Cycle (RATMW 25)


Chapter 25

The Northern-Atlantic Cycle


Julius Evola now takes us on the second cycle, the one assigned the precious metal silver to it, and termed by Evola as the Northern-Atlantic cycle. The idea is that the original dwellers of the polar regions were forced to migrate from north to south and then from west to east. These series of migrations are said to have taken place over time and have eventually covered many places around the world, though not every place (Australia, for instance, would seem to me excluded from this). Julius Evola states that this primordial set of races have been identified by anthropology as the Cro-Magnon man, who is recognised as being culturally superior to its contemporary humanoids.

As conquering races advanced, they would enslave or kill off the native races, although they would end up mixing sooner or later. Independently of the mixing, the culture and tradition would naturally evolve into variations befitting place, times and people, possibly reflecting their very particular conditions and character. Since Evola identifies the northern, polar races with the divine and the light, he identifies the chthonic cults of the Earth as dark and demonic.

I understand that Evola is being expedite in his explanations, but it would seem as if he cuts categories too perfectly, which does not seem to reflect reality. Perhaps his theory is right, however, and what we detect and see today is only manifested chaos through entropy at work. It may be that initially things were really that clear, after all, humanoid population numbers had not reached a fraction of the infestation levels that plague the face of the Earth today. Be that as it may, Evola identifies two groups, one which retained the northern, polar or Uranian orientation and spirit; and a latter which became transformed by its contact with southern and demonic influences.

The famous flood, or other cataclysms recorded by culture across the globe, is the memory of the event that separates this cycle from the previous one. The myth of a primordial land either to the North or the West also remains, although the Western seat actually comes after in chronological terms. These memories become confused through long periods of time. What is interesting about these myths is that, like H.P. Blavatsky never tired of saying, they contain several levels of knowledge ranging from the historical and very concrete to metaphysical descriptions of the nature of man to descriptions of the nature of the universe and reality itself. The voyage to the ethereal and unreachable seat in the West or North then becomes an allusion to spiritual transcendence through ritual.

“The mystery of the West always marks a particular stage in the history of the spirit that is no longer the primordial one; it corresponds to a type of spirituality that cannot be considered to be primordial and therefore it is defined by the mystery of transformation. It is characterized by a dualism and by a discontinuous passage: a light is kindled, another fades away. Transcendence has cone underground. Supernature, unlike the original state, is no longer nature: it is the goal of an initiation and the object of a problematic quest.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 25: ‘The Northern-Atlantic Cycle’

A Child’s Solitary Pact


§ The Event

Around the age of six, most probably even before that, a child may become aware of the huge rift that separates their pure understanding from the complex and often twisted way of seeing things of the adults. As children who have just come into our basic rational and logical faculties, some of us quickly realize the degree of contradiction and nonsense that seems to drive the adult world. I cannot be sure what percentage of the population suffers this subtle awakening right after leaving the toddler stage, but if they do, few make it to their teenage years —not to mention their young adult age— without having complied with the system to a certain degree and given up on their inner compasses.

What has prompted this memory in me is Brett Stevens‘ illustrative story in the earliest section of his new book, Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity. Although set in a very different context (for I was not a suburban, Generation X kid in “America”), the general feeling and experience remains the same, with the exception that unlike the kid in the story, I outwardly displayed the necessary behavior patterns that would mean the authorities leaving me alone. Like him, I told myself that I would not forget myself, that I would not forget that children know and understand much more than the condescending and nonsensical adults knew.

“In that clearing, which would soon be bulldozed flat to make room for more houses, he made a pact with himself: he would see things as they were here, always, no matter what the adults said. But he feared the day he would become an adult, too, and worried that the hidden thing inside people would take him, too.”

—Brett Stevens, Nihilism, Introduction, page 131.

Brett Stevens also makes a point of describing that his impression of the adults’ motivations and guiding emotion is fear. In world dictated by fear of the natural, raised by a fear-driven family and society, there seems as if there is little else to hold on to but nihilism. As paradoxical as that may sound, the simple answer is that nihilism is in accordance with reality to its furthest consequences, materialism and duality on the other hand and as Brett Steven explains, are self-serving denials of it.

“Nihilism grows from a conceptual seed: neither universal truth nor subjectivity exists. Both are human constructions designed to remove fear of unknowns in our world. All we have is reality and our ability to adapt to it.”

—Brett Stevens, Nihilism, ‘Nihilism’, page 162.

§ An Innocent Self-Initiation

What this act of solitary mental contrivance ultimately resulted in was an unwitting self-initiation into a state that insulated a perceptive and logical internal system from the communal delusions which held this fragile system. For frail and disconnected from reality it is, and this is precisely the source of fear in which this society and civilization lives. It knows it is at odds with nature, but it is too selfish and lazy to change. In its narcissism and mediocrity it damns what is truly excellent and attuned with reality with words pulled out of a ready-made cache of buzzwords. Rather than face up to the facts, hallmark epithets drilled into the minds of sheep through brainwashing education will make sure no manner of reason will defeat their emotionally-sealed myths and beliefs.pine-690555_960_720

It was a self-initiation in the sense that it consciously set my mind on a different path, even though this was to be confused and then buried for a while. My own weakness and stalled inner death played tricks and delayed advancement. In the end, I owe a debt of gratitude and respect to those who gave me the gift of their mental nursing, those who distinguished a seed and deemed it worthy enough to prevent me from hitting rock bottom. I myself do not cower from it, and it may be that in the future I choose to forcefully enter the abyss against my loved ones’ wishes and better judgement. But when that day comes, it will be in conscious steps and not pure nihilistic free fall.

Nihilism is a curious concept which, much like the trials of an initiate, may serve the double function of separating the worthy from the lesser as well as exercising a transforming effect in the individual. He who is both willing and awake enough to go through a spiritual self-immolation may, like the Phoenix, return to the egg and then rise victorious upon a wider arc.

“To create new values that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish : but to create itself freedom for new creating that can the might of the lion do.
To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
To assume the ride to new values that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, ‘The Three Metamorphoses’

§ A Path (Re)Discovered

I do not believe in accidents not anymore, at least not in the conventional sense. Occurrences lack of purpose or meaning in the human sense, perhaps, but they are not devoid of an ulterior motive. Synchronicity —discovered through awareness in real life, not merely theorized— has allowed for a new way of seeing life that allows one to move like water, at least mentally and spiritually. An active will, then, allows one to move like fire —a much more rare and volatile characteristic found in the spirits of a very few only.

Like the child in Brett Stevens’ Nihilism, I too grew through abrasive nihilism, although my own experience was much more furious and long-winded, having developed an intense and passionate Christian faith in my early years as well. My childhood was defined by both that promise and the natural and secretive Christian initiation I was led into; the reconciliation of both resulted in a concept which functioned as a knight’s armor against modernity. It would rust and fall into disuse throughout my teenage years, and it would be cast off as utterly outdated in my young adulthood.

perseus-296915_960_720Nihilism had then finally taken me to its utmost confines, leaving me spiritually naked and alone, no matter what the optimistic reassurances of others may be —such is the nature of extreme and empirical realism. How does this differ, then, from empiricism and realism? It differs in the psychological extent and emphasis which leads not to a mediocre accepting of reality, but rather to an extreme unveiling which ultimately leaves two options: suicide or heroism.

Heroism here is not to be understood in the mundane way as sacrifice for the (often physical) welfare of others, but in victorious and willful transformations. The hero does not seek to either control the universe nor leave himself at its mercy, but to be in an ever-changing state of knowing that implies a changing through its motions as the cosmos within and without are eternally explored. Control is achieved, but not in a greedy manner nor in wanting to bend nature. It is rather the gradual acquiring of a deeper and vaster consciousness which, through understanding the occult workings is better equipped to adapt and act accordingly to reach its own goals within that wondrous transcendent reality.

“But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to be come a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed the holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world’s outcast.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, ‘The Three Metamorphoses’

§ Towards the Unknown, Into Darkness

The Path will surely not be easy. It will involve much learning and much suffering. Or more precisely, learning through suffering. This is not to say that suffering itself will be sought, but the path that maximizes the balanced (thus staying within the path) obtainment of knowledge incurs in more suffering. Why is knowledge and learning to be paid for in suffering? Is this masochism? No, and no. Anything of worth requires payment in time, attention and effort. In short, you pay for these things with your life.light-1345753_960_720

The mental aspect is the first of the tripartite spear of development to pierce self and kosmos with. Out of the three, it will come easiest since it comes more naturally to those of us used to dive into books. However, since time is of the essence, it will be of far more importance to discriminate and know what lies on our own path. Furthermore, here lies the piercing side of evaluation that many a modern occultist shuns, usually as an excuse to indulge in their own feelings and narcissism, which they confuse with intuition or empathy.

The physical aspect will surely be one of the most difficult aspects of this journey, for it requires gradually pushing boundaries till reasonable limits are reached. While I am used to physical training, the life I have led until now has always steered me away from full engagement, full commitment, to the physical aspect of my being. This has been gradually changing in the last few years, within reasonable boundaries and cycles. However, in looking forward to the upcoming change and new life, my conscious grew with a vitality and purpose for training that I had never before experienced. Some of us need a transcendent and spiritual dimension to everything we do, apparently. Still, running 32 kilometers in 2 and a half hours will require more than a little willpower and elan.

lightning-342341_960_720The spiritual aspect I associate directly with the power of intuition and the receptive agencies — and thus with the feminine and naturally noble side. The two others are but ways to solidify this last aspect that engulfs our whole being and moves between them. To know the darkest and yet the most luminous to then be able to move beyond both and into an attunement with and apprehension of nature at every level is a goal that immediately resounded with me. The internet being what it is, I had already bumped into the necessary information several years ago, but I was not ready for it at all. To immediately recognize the way when you see it is a characteristic of esoteric paths; to find the teacher when you are ready for the lesson. Sometimes that teacher is yourself, sometimes it is life itself. Learn from life, and especially from death; rejoice in death for only in death does life acquire meaning.

“And then-but I beheld not, nor can tell,

What further fate befell:

But this is sure, that Calchas’ boding strain

Can ne’er be void or vain.

This wage from justice’ hand do sufferers earn,

The future to discern:

And yet-farewell,

O secret of To-morrow!

Fore-knowledge is fore-sorrow.

Clear with the clear beams of the morrow’s sun,

The future presseth on.

Now, let the house’s tale, how dark soe’er,

Find yet an issue fair!

– So prays the loyal, solitary band

That guards the Apian land”

—Aeschylus, Agamemnon, ‘Antistrophe 6’. Translated by E.D.A. Morshead

1 “Thou art the death of me. I am slain in my love for Thee, O devouring serpent, O immortal python, O crushing Wisdom.”

2 “Strike! O, take me now, in an instant. Strike! with the passionate strength of thy love to overwhelm this silly thought I have of Thee, this struggling artifice. Flood the channels of my nerves with the lightning current of Thyself.”

The Pole and the Hyperborean Region (RATMW 24)


Chapter 24

The Pole and the Hyperborean Region


 In chapter 24 of Revolt Against the Modern World, Julius Evola provides a brief overview of the notion of polar/hyperborean region as the origin of higher mankind in the myths of different traditional cultures around the world. The references are either to a place that lies “higher” or surrounded by water; besides this, there are also legends and data indicating an origin and center of the world (in the spiritual sense) up North.

“Aryan texts from India, such as the Vedas and the Mahābhārata preserve the memory of the Artic seat through astronomical and calendar-related allusions that cannot be understood other than through an actual reference to such a seat.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 24: ‘The Pole and the Hyperborean Region’

It is important, however, to distinguish between legends containing this Artic theme, which Evola calls ‘the mystery of the North’, from those that make allusions to an Atlantic theme, which Evola calls ‘the mystery of the West’, because although related and often confused, they have different origins and overall meanings. The first cycle is supposed to have come to an end because of a tilting of the axis of the earthand was followed by a second cycle which Evola terms “the Atlantic cycle”, because of the dominance of a (now) West-oriented origin/center of spiritual/higher mankind.

Here follows a summary table of some of the references that Evola makes to different traditions regarding this idea.

India References in the Kūrma Purāṇa [1] [2] [3] and the Padma Purāṇa [1] [2]. (All 18 Major Puranas)
China References in Lieh-tzu. [1] [2]
Iran/Persia References in the Vendidad. [1]
Scandinavia References in Gylfaginning. [1] [2] [3]
Tibet In the memory of Tshang Shambhala. [1]
Quiches In the memory of Tulla, the region of light: “When they [the four primordial ancestors] get there they only find ice; also, the sun seldom appears.” [1]
Toltecs In the memory of Tula/Tullan, the original homeland of the Toltecs’ forefathers.
Azetecs In the memory of the region of Aztlan. [1]
Greece In the memory of the region of Thule.

The interested reader may also want to reference The Artic Home of the Vedas by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

1 Julius Evola here references the writings of Lieh-tzu who “describes the myth of the giant Kung-Kung who shatters the ‘column of heaven,'”. Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 24, page 189

The Golden Age (RATMW 23)


Chapter 23

The Golden Age


 This is a very brief chapter in Evola’s book which concisely sums up the similitudes and most prominent points of the glorious first ages that are described by different civilizations in the most distant path. The most prominent feature of this golden age, no matter what the culture that expressed it, was one of man living in the most natural symbiosis with the universe around it. This did not imply a “primitive” stage, but rather in one the higher faculties of man were involved and in which what became the “customs” and “rules” of Tradition were simply common sense.

“The first era is essentially the era of Being, and hence of truth in a transcendent sense. This is evident not only from the Hindu designation of Satya Yuga (sat means being, hence satya or “truth”) but also from the Latin name “Saturn”, who is the king or god of the Golden Age.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 23: ‘The Golden Age’, page 184.

 The second great feature of this age is its ‘deathlessness”, which might be interpreted in a variety of ways which we will not currently go into. This had to do with the spiritual overcoming of death, which was not granted but earned through excellence and struggle. The idea is that in this Golden Age the gods living on Earth (humankind of the highest order) were so endowed by a “purity of heart, justice, wisdom” that this overcoming was simply something natural to them.

The adjective “golden” is in relation to an esoteric application of the properties with which we associate the elemental metal: “incorruptible, solar, luminous and bright”.

“In the Vedic tradition the ‘primordial germ,’ hiraṇya-garbha, was golden; it was also said: ‘For gold indeed is fire, light, and immortality.’

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 23: ‘The Golden Age’, page 186.

Frequent were also the references in cultures from the Indian, Chinese, Greek to the Aztec about the abode of the gods during this golden age being in a “middle land” of some sort, or an island of bliss. This forgotten or now non-existent place was also said to lay either at a very high place or far to the north.

It is also said by these ancient traditions that this Golden Age will come back because such is the cyclic nature of the universe and everything that exists within it. This does not mean that things will be exactly the same, but that a new reincarnation and revival of the old gods will take place1.

“According to the Eddic myth, immediately following the ragna-rokkr(“the twilight of the gods”) a new race and a new sun will rise; then the Aesir will be brought together again, and they will discover the mysterious golden tablets that they possessed in the time of the origins.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 23: ‘The Golden Age’, page 186.

Evola’s source: Gylfaginning, 52.

1 The simplified popular myths of Christianity’s “Kingdom of God / New Jerusalem” are a gross vulgarization and misinterpretation of the esoteric messages behind much older and complex traditions. This is precisely the root of the failure of Christianity: it’s cutting away from esoteric truths and its eventual floating around towards fantastical dogmatism. Curiously, as Catholics priest became more “involved”, they started to imbue themselves with Qabalistic notions. Christianity did a good job destroying the variety and depth of knowledge that existed before, doing as much as it could to destroy the Greek tradition, and now it turns to the only thing that survived as a living esoteric tradition: Jewish mysticism. Ironic, perhaps… though some would differ.