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Against Traditionalism

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 01:24:51 PM
I would suggest that strict asceticism is an extreme way to live. Really I would suggest that all ways of living are extreme, the only difference is the extent to which one fully recognizes and benefits from the profundity of life's experiences. But in this view, what's the difference between doing nothing and mountain climbing? I don't see how Evola's actions and experiences can be interpreted as hollow unless their nature is examined to a very deep degree, in which case what's at issue is not so much these actions and experiences per se as much as that which is at the heart of each one of them--Evola himself. He was living an extreme life, the question is to what extent he realized it, and to what extent he conveyed this realization, keeping in mind that such type of realization often gets confused with the simplicity of the mundane.

I don't know anything about this author or traditionalism, but I'm guessing Evola's fault is that he assumes the path he's realized is applicable to all people, which is rubbish.

Just to clarify, then:

Traditionalism is the idea that there is a supra-historical level of reality, of Being so to speak, which has been conveyed by generations of civilization in various forms, i.e., Tradition.  Or so is the definition as Julius Evola and Rene Guenon would put it.  The source of this can be identified, for example, in say works like The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, the original Buddhist Pali Canon, works by Plato and the Neoplatonists, Zoroaster, Mithraic and Hermetic texts, Grail Romances, and so forth.  The forms of Tradition are generally best exemplified in esoteric traditions of religion, which generally tend to take the form of either asceticism of action (Kshatriya/Samurai/Knight errant, etc. i.e. warrior tradition, but also including ceremonial magick), and asceticism of contemplation (yoga/meditation, etc.).  Essentially, these practices are meant to bring those who have the potential into a level of supra-humanity, where they then become a Divine principle manifested on the physical plane (world of manifested forms vs. the unconditioned).  Rome was also an example of such a Traditional civilization, the hallmarks of which are an orientation towards that which is "above".  Essentially, it is a very tangible concept of seeing Reality as it is, and coming to the point where one is "Lord of the Chariot of 5 Horses", and to whom Being is an essential component of one's nature from then on, as opposed to a frantic and feverish Becoming.  This is not however, to be equated with stagnation.

Now, via this definition, wahn's point was not that Evola's experiences were at all hollow, but rather he never reached true knowledge of this state of reality through his practices, therefore, in his argument, somewhat invalidating the entire concept of traditionalism (at least via Evola).

It is important to simply note that there are levels of this philosophy as well.  On one hand, practices like Hermeticism were dubbed "The Royal Art" by Evola because of the caste that would naturally have the potential to practice this.  Evola was not arguing that all people have the potential to become supra-human, but he did believe that the hierarchy of a traditionally oriented society gave the rest of the civilization the ability to participate in this level of reality to a greater extent than otherwise might be, and thus elucidate meaning in the lives of those who are not the rulers through whatever medium their natures were best suited to.  That was the idea of his political writings such as Revolt Against the Modern World and Men Among the Ruins.  Conveyed into the much decayed modern realm, it is the idea politically that the best shall rule, but it does put some additional qualifiers on what that elitism means, essentially asking for qualities in an aristocracy that are transcendental; in particular, the quality of seeing reality beyond the merely physical.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 03:41:16 PM
Just to clarify, then:

Traditionalism is the idea that there is a supra-historical level of reality, of Being so to speak, which has been conveyed by generations of civilization in various forms, i.e., Tradition.  Or so is the definition as Julius Evola and Rene Guenon would put it.  The source of this can be identified, for example, in say works like The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, the original Buddhist Pali Canon, works by Plato and the Neoplatonists, Zoroaster, Mithraic and Hermetic texts, Grail Romances, and so forth.  The forms of Tradition are generally best exemplified in esoteric traditions of religion, which generally tend to take the form of either asceticism of action (Kshatriya/Samurai/Knight errant, etc. i.e. warrior tradition, but also including ceremonial magick), and asceticism of contemplation (yoga/meditation, etc.).  Essentially, these practices are meant to bring those who have the potential into a level of supra-humanity, where they then become a Divine principle manifested on the physical plane (world of manifested forms vs. the unconditioned).  Rome was also an example of such a Traditional civilization, the hallmarks of which are an orientation towards that which is "above".  Essentially, it is a very tangible concept of seeing Reality as it is, and coming to the point where one is "Lord of the Chariot of 5 Horses", and to whom Being is an essential component of one's nature from then on, as opposed to a frantic and feverish Becoming.  This is not however, to be equated with stagnation.

Thank you for the clarification. I don't really care, but you took some time to write it, hehe.

Quote
Now, via this definition, wahn's point was not that Evola's experiences were at all hollow, but rather he never reached true knowledge of this state of reality through his practices, therefore, in his argument, somewhat invalidating the entire concept of traditionalism (at least via Evola).

I just mean that if Evola heavily discusses his experiences in a book the focus of which is enlightenment, then if it is not conveyed how enlightenment is reached through these experiences, then the experiences are hollow insofar as is concerned the focus and purpose of said book.


Quote
It is important to simply note that there are levels of this philosophy as well.  On one hand, practices like Hermeticism were dubbed "The Royal Art" by Evola because of the caste that would naturally have the potential to practice this.  Evola was not arguing that all people have the potential to become supra-human, but he did believe that the hierarchy of a traditionally oriented society gave the rest of the civilization the ability to participate in this level of reality to a greater extent than otherwise might be, and thus elucidate meaning in the lives of those who are not the rulers through whatever medium their natures were best suited to.  That was the idea of his political writings such as Revolt Against the Modern World and Men Among the Ruins.  Conveyed into the much decayed modern realm, it is the idea politically that the best shall rule, but it does put some additional qualifiers on what that elitism means, essentially asking for qualities in an aristocracy that are transcendental; in particular, the quality of seeing reality beyond the merely physical.

Personally I fail to grasp the gist of this whole thread... the subject matter is so complex and there is not even consensus among traditionalists themselves, I cannot see how summary discussion of any of this could bear fruit?

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 04:21:25 PM
Hermeticism? You mean like the Kybalion? You can imagine I have absolutely no soft spot for such contemporary french literary rubbish...

The trascendentality of aristocracy was already discussed by Nietzsche as aristocratic, or Dionisian morals, as opposed to slave morality. He also opposes slave religions to aristocratic or Dionisian religions. "Religiosness" would be a better term, as it evokes an idea similar to that of "morality".

In other words, aristocratic values, being strongly anachronic, are as "trascendental" (or anachronicaly inmanent, if you preffer) as any other value system that pretends itself metaphysical.

You might do well to read a bit deeper into it than that.  Evola's point was simply an extension of the Will to Power/Happiness as Power/Overcoming to a point where that power (one might say the highest) also includes mastery over the Self.  The Kybalion is not the only Hermetic text, and was a summary of earlier works anyways; I only mentioned it because he did indeed write about that practice as well.  In honesty, I don't find Nietzsche and Evola all that opposed, nor definitions here exactly at odds with each other.

I just mean that if Evola heavily discusses his experiences in a book the focus of which is enlightenment, then if it is not conveyed how enlightenment is reached through these experiences, then the experiences are hollow insofar as is concerned the focus and purpose of said book.

Haha, actually you got it backwards.  He discusses methods of attainment, but wahn's argument is that his writing itself reflects an academic study rather than true knowledge and experience of these states.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 05:16:56 PM
You might do well to read a bit deeper into it than that.  Evola's point was simply an extension of the Will to Power/Happiness as Power/Overcoming to a point where that power (one might say the highest) also includes mastery over the Self.  The Kybalion is not the only Hermetic text, and was a summary of earlier works anyways; I only mentioned it because he did indeed write about that practice as well.  In honesty, I don't find Nietzsche and Evola all that opposed, nor definitions here exactly at odds with each other.

There is a fundamental difference between Nietzsche's concept of the Will to Power and Schopenhauer's concept of the Will to Live. One could argue that what Death Metal and Black Metal so strongly emphasize is a Will to Die that parallels Schopenhauer's Will to Live. Actualy, the Will to Die would/could be the same thing as the Will to Live.

But with Nietzche's Will to Power, every idea that Schopehauer wanted to get across the table changes. First of all, Schopenhauer was Lamarckian. He did not get to see the Rise of Darwin.
Second of all, Schopenhauer (due to his mix of Platonism, Kantism, Buddhism, and Hinduism) believed that minerals were -actualy alive and sentient beings-. This shouldn't fucking shock anyone: "Animals, Plants, and Minerals", anyone? Remember that Darwin wasn't even born at the time of Arthur Schopenhauer: the most advanced biological studies were those of Lamarck. And Lamarck was also a biological vitalist.

Nietzsche's concept of the Will to Power is closer to what Heidegger tried to do within Nazi Germany: a military coup.

Wait, when did we start talking about Schopenhauer?  Unless you are positing him as representing the main themes of traditionalism.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 05:39:06 PM
Wait, when did we start talking about Schopenhauer?  Unless you are positing him as representing the main themes of traditionalism.

Absolutely YES to the second. I'm not going to pre-judge you or your ideas: I simply don't know them. Yet. But I will pre-judge every single person currently living on this planet who is NOT a member of this forum and "their" ideas (if they can be called "ideas"...)

An affirmation like "Schopenhauer, to me, represents the main themes of traditionalism" would seem out of place at first glance. But think about it. He is/was the only person on this planet that took traditionalism to its most absurd forms possible. Part of this, if not all of it, is what made him VERY FUNNY. At least to someone like Friedrich Nietzsche, who completely understood Schopenhauer's point (but did not necessarily agree with it).

Ehhh, there`s one distinction you do need to make.  Traditional teaching did not claim that the Objective/Absolute, etc. was unknowable, which is a claim Schopenhauer makes, thus, the nature of his extreme pessimism.  I do agree there's alot of hilarity in Schopenhauer.

I would however, be wary of attributing to traditionalism "the will to live" as opposed to "the will to power".  If anything, traditionalism is not about maintaining existence, but transcending it, gaining a more complete and thorough understanding of it, and self-mastery.  Is there a higher power than self-mastery?

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 05:51:35 PM
I just mean that if Evola heavily discusses his experiences in a book the focus of which is enlightenment, then if it is not conveyed how enlightenment is reached through these experiences, then the experiences are hollow insofar as is concerned the focus and purpose of said book.

Haha, actually you got it backwards.  He discusses methods of attainment, but wahn's argument is that his writing itself reflects an academic study rather than true knowledge and experience of these states.

Eh, I don't think I got it backwards. My original comment wasn't a criticism against Wahn, it was just meant to flesh out in an open-ended way what Wahn was saying. If Evola's writing was overly academic then I would agree he would not have been able to convey the link between his efforts towards realizing enlightenment and the actual state of enlightenment proper itself. Ironically I found Wahn's original post to be arguably rather stuffy in an academic sense considering it's being posted on a discussion forum, so I wanted to be vague in my reply to help disentangle from the devilish details and 'book-informations' of it all. But, my replies don't always work out as they are intended. ;) Also maybe I didn't realize that lots of posters here would be so familiar with Evola, it's true I think DLA is traditionalist-oriented after all.

It was my fault for posting in this thread, I generally do not fare well with specific discussions like these.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 02, 2010, 06:12:47 PM

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 06, 2010, 05:25:14 PM
Uh... yea... so... I'm no expert or anything... but... uh... this may help clear things up...

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 06, 2010, 07:22:46 PM
I would like to raise the following accusation against Julius Evola: his entire thinking hinges on the assumption that an individual can, through certain ascetic practices, attain a form of "knowledge" or being that is absolute. Revolt Against the Modern World speculates how a body politic would be governed by such an individual and critiques the inversion of such a rule (modern). The Yoga of Power interprets yoga as a means to this end, Meditations on the Peaks mountainclimbing, Eros and the mysteries of Love, sex, Intrdocution to Magic, ceremonial magic etc. But, it is my thesis that Evola's writing clearly show that he never had this type of experience (although he spent his life looking for it). His philosophy is a dead end.



"The essence of nihilism is transcendence through eliminating a false "inherent" meaning that is a projection of our minds. When we have cleared away the illusion, and can look at reality as a continuum of cause and effect relationships, we can know how to adapt to that reality."

Vijay Prozak, http://www.anus.com/zine/articles/prozak/belief_in_nothing/

I would suggest that while using nihilism as a method, Prozak managed to clear away many of the illusions, but not all of them. Everything that he does is still tainted by whichever number of illusions he hasn't got rid of, as is the case with any of us. If you don't have a problem with that, I can't see what could be the problem with learning from Evola's works.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 06:56:20 AM
Sometimes quoting is just right.

Do NOT use Prozak as a cheap shield for your own arguments.

Now, back to the topic at hand. If you want to discuss nihilism, do so.

...but do it on another thread. Anyway, thanks for quoting me and  bringing my post to the top of the page.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 09:10:00 AM
Traditionalism, in the sense of which we are speaking here, is in direct conflict with conservatism. Some call it Perennialism, so there can be no need to preserve anything, since the source of ancient teachings is supra-human and not subject to corruption. The original Buddhism did not, for instance, seek to preserve the Vedic teachings (even though it considered them true), but to achieve the unconditioned state through adequate and effective means.

I've just been reading hessian.org and found that one of the authors opposed the ways of jazz and metal performance, based on Evola's judgement that jazz performance is telluric. While it's true that Evola passed that judgement, many modern readers find it hard to accept Evola enjoying jazz. The author (Helmholtz) also compared metal performance (especially headbanging) to the practices of Sufi Dervishes. This is completely false. Sufi techniques are complex, detailed and effective, while headbanging can be effective only in a shamanic (degenerated) sense. Evola enjoyed jazz, which is also degenerated and shamanic, but from a distance. It's just about how you handle what's available to you. I guess somebody could be enlightened enough to develop a headbanging technique that would be as effective and ascetic as Buddhism or Sufism, but I have yet to see that.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 09:39:19 AM
The disconnected violence associated with headbanging perhaps precludes that, however the "windmill" does meet some of these characteristics.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 10:06:27 AM
Traditionalism, in the sense of which we are speaking here, is in direct conflict with conservatism. Some call it Perennialism, so there can be no need to preserve anything, since the source of ancient teachings is supra-human and not subject to corruption. The original Buddhism did not, for instance, seek to preserve the Vedic teachings (even though it considered them true), but to achieve the unconditioned state through adequate and effective means.

I've just been reading hessian.org and found that one of the authors opposed the ways of jazz and metal performance, based on Evola's judgement that jazz performance is telluric. While it's true that Evola passed that judgement, many modern readers find it hard to accept Evola enjoying jazz. The author (Helmholtz) also compared metal performance (especially headbanging) to the practices of Sufi Dervishes. This is completely false. Sufi techniques are complex, detailed and effective, while headbanging can be effective only in a shamanic (degenerated) sense. Evola enjoyed jazz, which is also degenerated and shamanic, but from a distance. It's just about how you handle what's available to you. I guess somebody could be enlightened enough to develop a headbanging technique that would be as effective and ascetic as Buddhism or Sufism, but I have yet to see that.

Well, I noted a resemblance between the two practices, mainly aesthetic.  Specifically, there is an element present in metal that is definitely far removed from any humanity in jazz, which was the essence of the wider point I was attempting to catch.  Bear in mind as well, what I'm attempting more to do here is pick up on subconscious or unconscious elements of more elevated forms present in metal, which can perhaps over time evolve into still more rigorous reflections of a higher wisdom.

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 03:27:41 PM
what I'm attempting more to do here is pick up on subconscious or unconscious elements of more elevated forms present in metal, which can perhaps over time evolve into still more rigorous reflections of a higher wisdom.

I tried to write something more elaborate, but I give up and simply admit you're right, even though I didn't realize you've been implying that in your article. Maybe I'm just slow- anyway, I enjoy deathmetal.org very much, now that I've discovered it.

Texan: "God sent AIDS to destroy homosexuals. That was a reality check for the rest of you."

Another person: "God also sent, many years before, the Ebola Virus, also known as the "Black Death" or -Bubonic Plague-, to destroy European Houses of Nobility. It also destroyed common people, who were not Nobility. It wiped out entire populations, entire countries. It did not fall into moral dilemas of rivalling nations. It simply caused Holy Death. That was a reality check for quite a lot of people, at the time."

I give up. You can stop quoting now.

There is one important thing I'd like to address. Anyone remotely dwelling in Tradition recognizes the problem of initiation. Guenon chose to solve it through joining a very specific religious community, and Evola's skepticism turned him to Buddhism. Both of them were VERY aware of the skim chances of succeeding in complete participation in the Principle. What are your thoughts on the possibility of your own realization?

Re: Against Traditionalism
October 07, 2010, 04:28:52 PM
Trick question for you: "-WHAT- problem?"

Society is unable to provide the necessary structure and methodology for completing an effective initiation in advanced Kali Yuga. We may be in the Satan's Realm, but it's a stage to be surpassed and not held sacred.