If you’ve moved in conspiracy circles for long enough you will have heard the name of Albert Pike, and his prophecy of three future great wars, one which would see the old empires of Europe mutually annihilate each other, another that would see extreme nationalism and extreme communism mutually annihilate each other, and a third that would see Judaism and Islam mutually annihilate each other. This essay reveals a few truths about these prophecies.
In Pike’s time, freethinkers faced the problem of not being allowed to discuss intellectual subjects freely because of the paranoia of the ruling classes. This necessitated that free thinkers met behind closed doors, and that those who sought entry were heavily vetted. Recognising that these efforts to suppress the truth were grossly immoral, some schemers got together and hatched a scheme that would destroy all opposition to free inquiry and free speech.
Their plan was to use the principle of coincidentia oppositorum to destroy all of the corrupt institutional forces that made it impossible to honestly study and discuss the natural world and the things in it. This involved setting those institutional forces against each other in a series of wars, in blocs of equal power that would bleed each other dry. The kings would be first to go, then the dictators and finally the priests.
All of this is a great work of alchemy. As followers of this newspaper are aware, there are three masculine elements of iron, silver and gold, and each of them has a corrupted form that must be dissolved for the truth to shine through.
The corrupt form of iron was destroyed in World War One when the great European Empires that had developed from the military caste (i.e. the men of iron) destroyed each other. The corrupt form of silver was destroyed in World War Two when the great political falsehoods (i.e. the products of silver) in the form of national socialism and communism destroyed each other. The corrupt form of gold is destined to be destroyed in World War Three, when the great religious falsehoods (Judaism and Islam) destroy each other.
This is the great secret that you’re not privy to. Once you are privy to it, the rest of it all makes sense.
This is the reason why the Western world, whose politicians are beholden to the schemes of the great schemers, moved so certainly after the conclusion of World War Two to secure the position of Israel. The relentless pushing of the Holocaust religion ties into this as well – it has come to be considered extremely immoral to oppose a Jewish homeland in the Middle East.
The ceaseless propagandising on behalf of Israel serves two purposes.
First, it flushes out Jews from among Western populations and induces them to emigrate to Israel. Concentrating all of the world’s remaining Jews in one spot is an important precursor to exterminating Judaism – after all, if they were all in Israel it could be done with a handful of nuclear missiles.
Second, it primes the Western World for the massive retaliation against the Muslim World that we are intended to engage in once Israel is destroyed. The Illuminati scheme calls for the West, insane with rage and fear after Israel’s annihilation, to itself annihilate the Muslim world in revenge for their unthinkable crime against Israel. To this end, we are artificially being induced, by ceaseless media bombardment, to pay attention to the impending Middle Eastern cataclysm.
On the surface of it, allowing mass Muslim immigration to the West seems like absolute insanity. It has long been known that those who live among Muslims come to hate them, and for good reason, since Islam is an ideology of hate. Too many Muslims genuinely believe, as Christians once did, that their superstition is destined to rule over the whole world by the Will of God, and that violent acts that hasten this end are justified.
But stoking this hate is part of the plan. The people of the West have to be conditioned to despise Muslims so that we are motivated to provide the righteous flames of revenge to them after they destroy Israel. We become conditioned to despise them as a result of their presence and behaviour in the West. Therefore, opening the borders to them now causes Westerners to become ready to play their role in the third part of this great scheme.
Male infant genital mutilation is another part of it. Abrahamists would have you believe that the practice of male infant genital mutilation is not harmful and does not cause any trauma to the infant boy. To the contrary, it causes a massive amount of trauma, proportionate to having one’s earlobes sliced off, but this is desired and is intentional, because of the psychological malleability it produces.
This trauma makes the victim exceptionally receptive to certain suggestions, in particular suggestions to do violence against others. This is why the vast majority of the world’s terrorists, mass murderers and serial killers are mutilated. Revenge-fuelled outbursts of violence are natural for innocent beings who have been forced to undergo such a severe trauma for no good reason.
The three most notable areas of male infant genital mutilation are the Muslim world, America and Israel. The reasons for this are simple: these are the people who have been selected to play the starring roles in World War Three. Therefore, they have to be mutilated so that they’re submissive and malicious enough to follow the orders to destroy huge numbers of people when they are given them.
How this will come about has long been foreshadowed: Israel has been claiming for over two decades that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons. Iran might be, Iran might not be, but the point is that it is part of the plan for them to develop nuclear weapons, and it’s part of the plan for them to use those weapons on Israel.
When this happens, the world will be so shocked, horrified and traumatised that we will be in a prime state to accept the introduction of a New World Order that promises to keep humanity permanently free from the great corruptions. This will involve the introduction of a world religion based on the perennial philosophy, and a world political system based on what we have learned scientifically from psychology and evolutionary biology about how the human species actually functions.
When this day comes, borders (iron) politics (silver) and religion (gold) will all be obsolete, because all humans will have been reunited with their birthright to know the truth. This will signify the end of the Kali Yuga and the start of a new Golden Age.
Of course, none of this really is a secret – you can find all these plans on the Internet if you have the patience to collate them. The real secret is whether or not what I’m saying is true. Is it truth, or it is bullshit dreamed up by some schizophrenic cannabis addict larping as a publisher while living at his mother’s house? You don’t know, you can’t know, unless and until you do the research, and in any case there’s nothing you can do about it. So enjoy the ride.
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Tyler Durden in Fight Club told Generation X that “Our Great War is a spiritual war.” This is the truth, and we have been too slow to see it. The narrative has changed since our parents’ and grandparents’ time: the major struggle of human life is no longer physical survival, but making sense of our lives.
Durden was speaking directly to Generation X because ours is a different story. The Great Depression that our elders endured, while terrible, was ultimately a financial one, and we were guaranteed to get out of it once the markets reset. What we have to endure is also worthy of the epithet Great Depression, only what we have to endure is spiritual.
This Great Spiritual Depression has been caused by a perfect storm of factors.
The first major factor is the rottenness of what passes for spiritual tradition in our culture. It’s obvious to any outside observer that the Christian rituals are empty and meaningless – this can be determined simply by speaking to the average Christian and hearing his hatred of other religions, of homosexuals, and of drug users. It’s apparent from that that Christians do not have any privileged access to understanding the mind of God.
A person who enters a Christian church to hear a sermon from a learned man is far more likely to hear something political about the need to obstruct progress on gay rights or drug law reform. If that person stays to talk to those who think they understand the nature of God, those people will say that a women’s place is subordination, and that anyone who doesn’t worship the Magic Jew will be condemned to an eternity of hellfire.
If there was ever anything spiritual in the Abrahamic tradition it has rotted away centuries ago.
The second major factor is that all of our cultural and political narratives are entirely materialistic. It’s materialist capitalists versus materialist socialists. Whichever side wins, we get materialism. Neither side has a solution to the problems of human existence that goes beyond accumulating more physical resources or power.
This materialism has arisen as a reaction to the fact that religion, in the guise of Christianity, retarded progress in the West for over 1,000 years. Because of this, the people and societies that developed an interest in discovering the truth naturally came to distrust anyone who spoke about non-materialist concepts. Moreover, most of the advances in alleviating human suffering made in recent centuries have come through materialist sciences such as medicine, engineering, biology, chemistry and physics.
The problem with this materialism is that people have been thinking in these terms so so long that most of us have forgotten that any other terms are possible, or even sometimes necessary. Emotional, intellectual and spiritual paradigms have all been forgotten in favour of who controls the most stuff. Even psychiatrists – supposedly doctors tasked with healing the soul – can only think in terms of chemical imbalances and pharmaceuticals.
As Terence McKenna was fond of saying, “the way out is back”. Westerners have historically shown themselves capable of exceptionally sophisticated metaphysical thought – one only need read Plato for ample proof of this. The solution is the revival of the perennial philosophy and the perennial, universal, cosmic religion, in a form that suits the world of today.
This will have two major benefits.
The first will be the return to each human being of their birthright to be initiated into the spiritual truths. Instead of being brainwashed from birth with some horseshit story about being specially chosen by God, virgin births or last prophets, and how God’s love is conditional upon obeying the moral dictates laid down by the political authorities of the time, people shall be instructed truthfully from the beginning.
This means that something like the Eleusinian Mysteries will have to be reinstated, and the ceremonial mass public consumption of psychedelics encouraged, but in a highly ritualistic and orderly manner. This will mean that the public at large will once again be connected with God, and all will know the truth. This will lead to our spiritual elders transmitting useful information to the youth instead of old Middle-Eastern stories that justify genital mutilation and slavery.
Because the spiritual elders will no longer be lying, there will no longer be cause for the men and women of silver to respond by going in the other direction. Thus, being a freethinker will no longer correlate highly with being a materialist (as it has for the past three or four centuries). People will be free to discuss metaphysical subjects without the assumption that they are dangerous fanatics.
The second major benefit will be to cause the coming of new political ideologies that are not based on materialism. These will transcend the ancient capitalist-communist paradigm. In other words, they will not be grounded in settling arguments about who gets what stuff, and who can extort what labour, taxes and rent out of who. These ideologies will be much better suited to meet the challenges we face because they will reflect reality more accurately and faithfully.
What exact form they do take is not clear, but it is likely that they will be grounded in reducing the amount of suffering in the world rather than the redistribution of resources. This specifically means reducing the suffering of sentient beings, through all of their thwarted desires.
It’s certain that cognitive liberty will play a central role here, as it has been the lack of cognitive liberty that caused this Dark Age in the first place. We can guess from this that the social sharing of consciousness-altering sacraments will flourish – not merely alcohol and cannabis, but psychoactives that are capable of a wide range of desirable effects.
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A previous essay looked at alchemical silver, silver magic and silver magicians. This essay does the same for alchemical iron, iron magic and iron magicians.
Iron represents the masculine, in contradistinction to the clay of the feminine. It arose as an adaptation to scenarios in which clay was too soft, although like the clay, and unlike the silver and gold, iron is also base. Iron is heavy, like the clay, but unlike the clay it is hard and unyielding. This makes it an ideal substance from which to shape tools – and weapons.
This metaphorical use of iron is everywhere. Iron is used almost universally as a metaphor for men who are firm, determined, strong, protective – the kind of guy who would win the Hawaiian Ironman. This is why a person will say to a young man that he needs to “harden up” if he should adopt an attitude appropriate to war. Ozzy Osbourne, revealing his occult education, described things well in the lyrics of Iron Man, a song about a being that doesn’t seem to be alive and doesn’t seem to think (i.e. it lacks clay, silver and gold).
Iron is best found on the outside, protecting the three softer elements within. This is necessarily the case, except for very simple forms of life, in the biological world, which has evolved to reflect these fundamental principles. In creatures such as crabs, the iron forms an exoskeleton, on the outside. In humans, the iron takes the form of bones and muscles, which serve to protect the clay (in the torso), the silver (in the head) and the gold (the spinal column).
Even on the macro level this is the case – as below, so above. Groups of early proto-humans and even of primates are capable of organising themselves so that strong young men are on the outside, facing other iron magicians in the form of enemy warriors or dangerous creatures, and leaving the women and children on the inside. More notably, it is the instinct of almost every man to step in the way if he observes a physical threat approaching his wife or children.
In some ways, this is a tragic position, and a thankless one. It could also be considered an honourable position that demanded sacrifice, in the sense that it is the duty of a man to protect his wife and children from wild animals and from the elements etc. In this sense, iron is synonymous with masculine strength and virility.
A person who can be described as ‘anaemic’ is one who is physically weak and lethargic, and this condition arises from an absence of iron. So above, so below. A doctor might note that a person’s body lacks iron, but an alchemist might point out that a person’s spirit might also be lacking iron.
The elementary action of iron is to divide. This starts by dividing the clay. A lion that tears up the body of a zebra is essentially acting as iron naturally acts – to divide the clay. Iron is so good at this that it can also divide silver and gold – which is a point long understood by the creatures of silver and gold, who prefer to stay well out of the way of creatures of iron.
Iron magic, therefore, is the magic of dividing, of bringing chaos to order while preserving one’s own order – otherwise known as the art of war. After all, war is little more than maintaining structure while weakening or breaking the structure of the enemy. Indeed, the first time a group of natives saw a firearm discharged in their direction they usually thought it a form of magic.
A professional boxer or soldier is an example of a top-class iron magician. The boxer can throw his fists and cause chaos to a their opponent’s physical structure – a soldier does the same but with bullets. In either case, the methodology used to get past to opponent’s defences and take him out with a shot to a vital area is iron magic.
The Conceit of Iron is that might makes right. It’s easily possible for a man of iron to think that, just because he’s capable of beating everyone up if they disagree with him, that he must therefore be the right one to be in charge. The danger of this conceit is that it can reduce human interaction to an essentially chimp-like level, where power is little more than a matter of force.
Iron can clash with clay, and with silver, mostly because of the Conceit of Iron but also for other reasons. The hardness of iron can feel like fire to those it touches, and this can lead to extreme agitation. It’s common for iron to unwittingly cause discord with the softer elements through a lack of subtlety or caution. For its part, iron can easily become paranoid, and afraid of revenge for past brutalities.
Silver can intimidate iron with its brilliance, which is the main way iron loses to the precious elements. Furthermore, silver is not immediately yielding like clay and gold, and this resistance is usually enough to cause iron to think twice. As any seasoned fighter knows, simply having to think twice is often enough to cause a man to lose the will to fight, and in this sense silver magic can trump iron magic.
For fear of counterattack or future reprisals, iron tends to be wary about moving into silver or gold. If iron is capable of learning, it will quickly learn that silver is capable of anticipating its actions and accounting for them. Therefore, risking a direct attack is unlikely unless the silver already looks weak, or tarnished for some reason. It will also quickly learn that attacking gold invites massive reprisals from all quarters.
When it does, silver tends to become very resentful, because they may be forced to harden up in order to deal with the aggressive intrusion (and, in hardening, become more material and therefore less intelligent). Silver likes to think that iron serves it and works according to its direction. When the opposite happens it feels like a violation.
Traditionally speaking, men of iron were associated with the colour blue, because iron swords and armour have a blue tinge. This is the reason why Police forces in Western countries that have followed the Western alchemical tradition have blue uniforms – the Police are the wall of iron between the soft elements of women, children and the elderly ruling class against the criminal element.
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The elementary masculine division is into precious and base, into good and bad. The secondary masculine division is the further division of the precious into silver (colourless precious) and gold (colourful precious). This essay describes more closely the paradigm of silver and the phenomena associated with it.
In biological terms, silver represents intelligence. It is the quality that arises from finding the correct balance of masculine and feminine to suit the situation, instead of the masculine extreme (represented by iron) or the feminine extreme (represented by clay). This means that silver does not win by violence, as does the iron, but rather by deception. It’s no coincidence that spiders spin silvery webs.
Characteristic of silver is that it shines or dazzles – hence the metonymn “silver screen” for the cinema screen. Silver is so amenable to polishing that it can be made into a mirror. This is symbolic for how a man of silver can be highly educated – to the point of being able to shine in oratory, scientific achievement, philosophy or letters. People of iron or clay cannot be polished so brightly on account of their inherent baseness.
Science, knowledge and social status is the paradigm of silver. This is its own hierarchy, entirely different to the hierarchy of iron, which is all about who can beat who in a fight. A college of men of silver would frown most heavily on the use of iron magic within their group. The hierarchy of silver is who knows the most about something. More esoterically, it refers to whoever can see physical reality the most accurately.
This is the basis for the power that silver magicians have over iron. It isn’t obvious how a physically weaker person can dominate a physically stronger one, and in a state of raw, primal nature it’s extremely difficult. It’s not necessarily enough to be more intelligent, because the physically stronger man might not respect that the man of silver is more intelligent, or they might simply not care. One must make use of that intelligence by performing silver magic.
Crucially, iron may be harder than silver and dominate it when it comes to physical battle, but silver will dominate it on all other occasions. Therefore, peace, order, civilisation and goodwill are all cultivated by the man of silver. Inventing alcoholic beverages, by means of which the muscle advantage of the man of iron can be neutralised, is an example of silver magic.
It’s necessary to note here that silver itself has no moral sense. For a person of silver, any non-violent way of gaining power is legitimate, including fraud. After all, fraud can be considered a battle of intellect, in which the person defrauded lacked the wit to defend themselves against the fraud attempt.
That doesn’t mean that silver is immoral, per se, rather that morality belongs to the paradigm of gold. Silver is perfectly capable of reducing the amount of suffering in the world. Indeed, it must do so to some extent, because it must bring peace and civilisation to all in order to counteract the physical dominance that the men of iron have.
Also characteristic of silver – and this is the crucial way in which it is different to gold – is a cold, ruthless elitism. This elitism is capable of manifesting all as kinds of narcissisms and resentments. This is otherwise known as the Conceit of Silver – it is bedazzled more than anyone else by its own reflection, by its own glory.
Neither does silver have any sympathy for the resentment caused by its apparent brilliance. In the mind of a person in the paradigm of silver, it’s simply natural for beings of clay and iron to understand that they are of lesser value to the person of silver. The conceit of silver is such that it cannot countenance the thought that everything has its own value, in its own niche.
Having said that, much of the self-regard that silver possesses is fair. The man of silver knows that if it had not been for his predecessors, the human animal would still be much like a monkey – it was he who mastered fire, he who developed the flint axe, he who understood the military advantage of a spear. That the man of iron has resented him ever since is due that the baseness inherent within iron.
It’s common for men of silver to identify with this as their primary characteristic and to eschew bonds of nationality, race or religion. Voltaire once wrote “When it comes to money, everyone is of the same religion”. Indeed, to the men of silver, being wealthy (in the sense of possessing alchemical silver) makes you part of an elite inner circle of initiates.
This can easily be observed in places of heavy concentration of silver, such as universities or the CBDs of major financial centres. In such places, it’s rare for anyone to express a will to enforce the rigid divisions between groups of people that the man of iron loves to enforce. No-one cares if you’re black, or gay, or from a religion that worships goats – as long as you have class.
To the silver magician, bonds of blood and solidarity are for plebs. All that matters is wealth. If I am wealthy and you are wealthy, then you are part of my ingroup, even if we are of different races, peoples, cultures etc. The man of iron sees this as a betrayal of blood, which helps to fuel his resentment and chagrin.
Previous essays here have discussed the difference between the four feminine elements and the four masculine elements, and the four elementary perceptions. This essay looks more closely at the four masculine elements and, more specifically, how awareness of them arises in perceptual space.
According to one manner of thinking, masculinity is judgment in the place where femininity is perception. Where feminine divides into light and dark (where both have equal value), masculine divides into good and bad, where one is prized and the other despised.
Thought of in terms of elements, the basic masculine division is into precious and base. This means that applying the simplest possible masculine lens to the world will divide it into things that are valuable and things that are not valuable. Those things that are already valuable don’t need to be (or ought not to be) acted upon, because they are good as they are. That which does not have value can be freely acted upon, because such actions do not (or ought not) destroy value.
The elementary masculine action is to impose order upon chaos. This means to impose order upon the world. Before this can be done, the masculine perception must be adopted, so that the world can be divided into precious and base. The precious does not need to have order put to it; it has value inherently. The base, however, can freely be worked because in doing so one cannot damage anything valuable, and can in fact improve the value of it if the correct order is imposed.
Regarding the base, the natural masculine question is to ask: can some of this be shaped into a tool? If a blob of clay – which is simply an ordinary part of the natural world – can be shaped into an object that is useful as a tool, then the crafter has performed an act of basic alchemy: through an application of will he has turned clay into iron. This he has done by imposing a useful order upon it.
Imposing useful order upon clay makes it more valuable than mere clay, because it is possible for information to have value, and if that information is encoded into the shape of an object then that object also has value. A worthless blob of clay can be thrown into a pot, and a pot has value as a tool because it can be used to store things. A stick can be fashioned into a spear; rocks can be melted to produce copper and iron, which can themselves be formed into tools.
The two precious elements – those which are perceived to be good and valuable instead of otherwise – are silver and gold. Both of these are very bright in comparison to the base elements, which is how their essential masculinity manifests – as light. Because these elements manifest themselves as light, and because light is associated with valuable things (like warmth, the Sun, daytime etc.), these elements have inherent value.
Ultimately, the reason why gold is more valuable than silver is because it is richer. Gold is shiny like silver, but where silver is colourless, gold is a vibrant kind of yellow. In this sense, gold contains all of the range of colours that clay does – all the colours of life. Thus, it is easier to distinguish gold from iron than it is to distinguish silver from iron, which means that the gold is more obviously valuable.
Metaphysically speaking, this arrangement of the world into four elements of increasing rarity and value tells an entirely different creation story to the seemingly random appearance of the feminine elements of earth, water, air and fire. It tells a story of order emerging out of an ocean of chaos by means of an act of will, first hardening itself, then polishing itself, then finally refining itself to become something immensely valuable that somehow stood as an avatar for all of life – a God.
This reading continues on from here.
The 27th essay in Ride the Tiger is called ‘Relations Between the Sexes’ and seeks to cover a different range to the essay about marriage. When the order of the world is dissolving, men and women are naturally separated. Our sexual prejudices have contaminated our ethics. Nowhere is this more evident that in the idea of sexual revolution.
Processes have worked towards a freeing of sex, but not a freeing from sex. The sexual revolution has not liberated us from the suffering caused by sexual desire; to the contrary, we are now intoxicated by it. This is contributing to the collapse of society, but we can use the space afforded by the chaos to assert higher values. Bourgeoisie values, being materialistic, cannot conceive of woman in anything more than her anatomical capacity as instrument of reproduction – in reality, she has a spiritual value.
Sexual liberty therefore leads to materialism, and thereby away from spirituality. Incredibly for the 1960s, Evola is already able to anticipate how widespread pornography has affected the “polarity” between men and women. Nowadays a naked woman doesn’t stir much more interest than the sight of a cat. This is a tragedy because the sexual union is capable of acting as a bridge to higher consciousness via “an existential rupture of planes”. Making love can be Dionysian.
Part Eight of Ride the Tiger is where Evola finally gets to the spiritual side of things. This final section is titled ‘The Spiritual Problem’, and consists of two essays. The first of these is called ‘The “Second Religiosity”‘.
In this essay Evola decries what he calls “neospiritualism”, which he describes as an attempt to lead people beyond the material without giving any credence to the old, dogmatic religious movements. He has no time for the “movements, cults, sects, lodges, and conventicles” of the modern day, and considers them also a phenomenon of dissolution. In fact, things have gone so far that we are now in the rigor mortis stage, and all that awaits is the decomposition of the corpse.
When man closed himself off to the higher, transcendent world in the 19th century, this did not liberate him from superstition but merely opened him up to the lower, primitive emotional world in the 20th. We are now in the “soulless, collectivistic and materialistic phase corresponding to the closing of a cycle of civilisation”. All of these neospiritual movements thus represent an excess of the feminine. Evola is highly cynical and dismissive of these movements.
It’s difficult to correctly discriminate between all the garbage thrown up by neospirituality and the wisdom of genuine value. The emphasis ought to go on the deconditioning of the spirit. Here, Evola is at pains to emphasise that a person cannot achieve initiation by themselves, in contrast to the belief espoused by many. One is either born initiated, or one achieves initiation by way of spiritual emergency or ordeal, or one is initiated deliberately by someone who is part of a tradition and who knows what they’re doing. This is hard to achieve because the organisations that do so hardly exist any more.
The 30th and final essay is titled ‘Death – The Right Over Life’. Evola begins here by talking about the common belief, held by Heidegger (as well as by Socrates) that life is in some way a preparation for death. Death appears to be the end of the “person”, and atheism and materialism have made this simpler to deal with. Contemplation of death is a noble endeavour, as it can lead to a heightened state of appreciation of one’s life.
The traditional doctrines had the correct approach to death. The truly differentiated man cannot believe that his being began with the beginning of his physical body. He must solve the problem of nihilism by “displacing the I towards the centre of ‘being'”. Here Evola is talking about consciousness: “the human condition οf earthly existence is only a restricted section in a continuum, in a current that traverses many other states.” This eternal truth is not easy to grasp in an age of dissolution like ours, but it is much better than the lies of theistic creation myths.
A truly differentiated man, much like the Stoics and the Pythagoreans, could never take his own life, no matter how poor his conditions. This is because to do so would acknowledge that he was not strong enough to overcome the irrational part of his being. However, one always has the moral right to exit the world, should one decide that remaining ordeals are not meaningful. The differentiated man would be extremely disinclined to take this option in any case, right or otherwise. This is because of the possibility that one has chosen and said yes to – whether before or beyond this life – all of the ordeals in it.
In the final analysis, one can say that, no matter how degenerate and dissolute the world, it can still have value. It might be that, in order to achieve the highest state of being, consciousness must challenge itself as intensely as possible. To that end, there’s little more challenging than existing in a world where everything is contrary to one’s nature.
This reading continues on from here.
The 22nd essay in Ride The Tiger is called ‘Dissolution of Modern Art’. Much like everything else, Evola contends that art has also degenerated. In the case of art, it has degenerated into a feminine subjectivity that is too afraid to say anything. Now we can no longer even speak of traditional art because no-one has any idea what that even is.
In this essay Evola echoes Plato’s description of the degeneration of political forms, only applied to the world of art. Modern art would be best served by achieving maximum craptitude, because that would provide the clean spiritual slate upon which something authentic could be written. Literature is also criticised as “fetishising” human relationships and merely documenting them with full banality.
As in many previous essays, Evola concludes that art has been given too great an importance, to the detrimental of the spiritual. What gives meaning to life can exist “even in the virtual absence of art”. Art has, in reality, undermined idealism, especially in the modern world. Positive realism lies in the assertion of values such as truth and spiritual courage. That which truly has value needs no consensus to agree.
The 23rd essay is ‘Modern Music and Jazz’. Evola has a keen interest in music and understands its development over the course of recent centuries. Perhaps weirdly, Evola writes here about the “preponderance of dance music over vocal and emotional music” – a sentiment shared by many today. He considers that the drift towards nihilism in philosophy and art has been echoed by one in music.
Music has, according to Evola, developed in ways that mirror the development of all other social movements. Therefore, the advent of jazz is no surprise – it is merely the democratisation of music, something “primitively ecstatic”. This doesn’t mean that jazz is crude, though, or that jazz players are unskilled musicians. It simply heralds the return to the world of fundamental, elemental forces.
This “Negro music” is associated with “dark forms of ecstasy” in Evola’s reckoning. He compares the feelings that arise from dancing to rhythmic music to the frenzies of the dervishes: “possessions of savage ritual”. Despite frequently being paired with drugs, these occasions cannot be compared to the ancient rites of Dionysus etc. because there is nothing sacred about them – they are mere escapism.
On the subject of drugs, the 24th essay is ‘Excursus on Drugs’. Evola considers drugs to “most visibly have the goal of an ecstatic escape”. Some of the people who choose such an escape are those who have perceived the meaninglessness of human existence. Others are “neurotics and psychopaths”. Part of the danger of drugs is, like rhythmic music, they can be used to open up awareness to a suprasensible world, such as in initiatory ritual.
Despite this caution, Evola gives due credit to the use of various drugs in sacred ritual. The Taoists considered even the use of alcohol to have a kind of magical effect, and he mentions the Central American shamanic traditions that made much use of mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms. However, he also points out that no-one really understands how to use these sacraments anymore, because no-one is capable of the necessary spiritual preparation. This leads to the risk of “possession by dark powers”.
If used correctly, nonprofanely, drugs offer the possibility of coming into contract with a superior dimension of reality. Stimulants and depressants can more or less be ignored for these purposes. Hallucinogens are excellent but have many drawbacks; their ancient use involved guiding the trip with symbols and a preliminary catharsis of emotion, two things that are seldom done today. Narcotics can be useful for the sake of dissociating from the mundane but the experience is hard to control.
If one wishes to divide the world into two halves, a problem immediately arises: on what basis does one make the division? There seem to be an infinite number of dimensions that a division can be made along. This essay argues that there are two orthogonal, fundamentally different ways to divide the world in two, and this leads to four elementary perceptions.
In its initial state, perception is untrammelled. When consciousness is united with God, one is aware of everything. From this state, the only way that change is possible is for this perfect perception to become occluded somewhere. Somewhere, consciousness must turn to unconsciousness, light to dark, warm to cold.
There are two ways to look at this inevitable fall from union with God. The first way is to simply perceive the change; the second way is to judge the change. This dichotomy is true of all distinctions between feminine and masculine, as the feminine is associated with the perception end of the perceiving-judging spectrum, and the masculine with the judging end.
This first way, making the choice to perceive, is the feminine way. This way divides the world into light and dark or hot and cold, where no judgment is made about one of the two being better than the other. The feminine way of dividing the world does so horizontally, in that the halves are seen as interdependent and as feminine and masculine.
The second way, making the choice to judge, is the masculine way. This way divides the world into good and bad, where good and bad are different to (but overlapping with) the feminine division of yin and yang. This way of dividing the world does so vertically, in that one half is judged to be worth more than the other half. Good is set above bad.
These two perceptions are just perceptions. Neither of them is right or wrong, and that isn’t important in any case. What is important is when these perceptions are useful, because either is useful in some situations and not in others.
Masculine is good when you have just come inside from the rain. Then, masculine is a warm cup of coffee. Feminine is good when you have just come inside from a hot day of playing sport in the Sun. Then, feminine is a cool beer. So either masculine or feminine can be good or bad in the moment, without a moral judgment needing to be made.
Likewise, judging is good when deciding whether to let a person into your house. It’s important to make sure that a person is not bad before opening your doors to them. Perceiving is good when trying to enjoy a piece of music, because it’s enough to just experience the sound and to let oneself by raised and lowered by it. Judging might take the fun out of it.
So the decision whether to perceive or to judge in any given moment depends on the environment a person is in and the situation around them. Generally speaking, if things are relaxed then people are inclined to perceive and if they are stressful people are inclined to judge. It also depends on inherent personality characteristics: women are more likely to break towards perceiving if in doubt, while men are more likely to break towards judging.
In all, this means that there are four different perspectives that one can take to anything in the world. Any other thing can be treated as either good, evil, yang or yin, depending on whether one chooses to primarily judge it or to primarily perceive it. Whichever of the four is chosen only makes sense in reference to the other three not chosen: bad is non-perceptive, non-good; good is non-perceptive, non-bad; feminine is non-judgmental, non-masculine, and masculine is non-judgmental, non-masculine.
This way of thinking (of dividing four elementary perceptions into two groups of two, based on approach) represents a middle point between the vertical, masculine logic of clay-iron-silver-gold and the horizontal, feminine logic of earth-water-air-fire. It might therefore claim to be a way of thinking that represented a higher degree of balance than the other two.
It also leads to them both after a small amount of extrapolation, because the distinction between good and evil is essentially identical to the distinction between precious (gold and silver) and base (iron and clay). Here gold distinguishes itself from silver by being double good, because silver is relatively bad as far as precious elements go. Likewise, iron is good in comparison to clay, because it is hard and can be used in tools, and is therefore relatively good as far as base elements go.
Likewise, the distinction between masculine and feminine is essentially identical to the distinction between warm (fire and air) and cold (water and earth). Here, fire distinguishes itself from air by being double masculine (i.e. it is hot and dry, not just hot), and earth distinguishes itself from water by being double feminine (i.e. it is cold and unyielding, not just cold).
Socrates was not wrong when he said “those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.” The best thing a person can ever do is to accustom themselves to the fact that they are mortal and therefore that time on this planet is limited. To the extent that this can be achieved, a person can be liberated from a tremendous range of miseries.
All fear ultimately comes from a fear of death. The reason why pain is frightening is because we have evolved an instinctual appreciation that pain is a harbinger of death. When you are in pain, it means that Death has you in its sights. Pain gives us energy because we can instinctively appreciate the seriousness of the threat.
When kids fight each other in the playground, and they learn to force each other’s wills through violence, the natural fear of death possessed by each child makes this easy. A little bit of pain from a twisted arm, in the mind of someone young and inexperienced, is tantamount to a near-death experience, and so compliance is easily given. A little bit of social disapproval in the form of a stern teacher likewise.
It’s expected that adults will be a bit braver and harder to manipulate. Adults have had longer to come to terms with death, and in that time they might have overcome their fear of it. Failing that, they might have learned to behave in ways that hide their fear of it. Failing that, they might at least have found a way to trick themselves into going forward with some semblance of dignity.
The less fear of death any given adult has, the more powerful they will be. This is fundamentally a spiritual power, but it works its magic by way of its gradual effect on the people around its possessor (much like gold does). Someone unafraid of death will have charisma, they will inspire confidence, people will follow them, and people will respect them for having found existential solace. It’s a power more subtle than silver, but at the same time one with a much greater reach.
On the other hand, no-one is expected to make peace with death, or at least not entirely, for there is no public consensus of any kind as to what befalls consciousness upon the expiration of the physical body. Conviction in the matter of what does befall consciousness is reserved for a very few, most of whom are readily and fairly dismissed as some kind of religious fanatic who is merely parroting what they have been brainwashed with.
The gnosis of those who have seen beyond and know what lies beyond death is almost never accepted by the masses, and for good reason: the vast bulk of the people claiming to know are patently scammers, and so distrust is necessary and natural. Selling tickets to an afterlife in exchange for worldly goods has always been the default con job of the black priesthood, and one that may even have been practised in prehistory.
The Tao teaches us that, even in the time of the total triumph of yin, there is invariably a tiny speck of yang that will grow to impose a new order upon things. In a similar manner, all of these religious scammers have, in common, certain insights about the nature of life as a material being that remain true despite the horseshit layered on top of them. We all die, and we’re all afraid of it, and we’re all willing to take action to ameliorate that fear.
This column is willing to give you gold for free: once you make peace with death you are invincible, for all psychological weakness flows directly from the fear of it. Without a fear of death one cannot be threatened with torture, because death would simply mean a sweet release from such, and no other physical threat is as bad as torture. Without a fear of death, one cannot be intimidated in any way, for there is no reason to bow the knee to an oppressor if they are not able to materially hurt you.
A person who has made peace with their mortality will stand, on the metaphysical plane, like a great boulder of granite, which cannot be moved or damaged. The winds and waves of fear and dread will not impact such a person; they will barely change the expression on the face of one. A person who has made peace with death knows that there’s nothing more but to sit back and watch as the wave breaks upon the shore. The dissolution of the wave is something to be experienced, not feared.
However, there’s a risk.
The more you look into the face of death, the deeper you look into the void. What happens then is not necessarily up to you, not even with all the will in the world. As Nietzsche warned us, the void will also look into you. When it does, you might come to decide that life itself is evil on account of the inevitable suffering it promises and that death is to be welcomed and encouraged as a release from same and as a reunion with God.
And at that point it’s extremely easy to make a terrible mistake.
Do you have the courage to look into the very back of the void, with nothing more than a hope that one will be rewarded? This column can give no assurance that any person who does look will be the better off for it. Madness is an ever-present threat for those who do, for one might find that one’s will disintegrates under the weight of this hidden knowledge. All we can say is that one ought to prepare oneself thoroughly, for one is staking a claim to godhood and ought to expect that it will be commensurately challenging.