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Evola and the myth of Being Special


Mussolini’s favourite occultist, Julius Evola, is enjoying rehabilitation at the moment.  I say “enjoy” – he is actually dead and is not capable of enjoying much.
Julius Evola
Since the war Evola has been ignored in the wider occult community.  There might be some collective embarrassment about him, as he proved quite conclusively that you could be a clever occultist but at the same time be a dog poo of a human being. 
 Evola references and books have been preserved by right wing occultists who have had likewise to keep a low profile.  Now, with the rise of the “other” Now with the rise of the “other” Golden Dawn and Ring Wing groups in France (who are calling for the expulsion of Muslims), Germany, Russia and the UK Evola stuff is being repackaged and it looks rather good.
Intelligent, reasoned, well thought out and practical.  Hell, he had a technique or two that I use.  If you pick up his books you can’t help be impressed by what Evola knows and how he expresses it.  Any experienced occultist find much to agree with and indeed work with. 
This for example explains some of the practical part of magic really well:
Fix your eyes on the goal and never lose sight of it.
Close your eyes. Create an image and look at it. In the dark, learn to discern a light that cannot be seen with physical eyes. This ethereal light carries the first secret of the Work.
Become insensitive to good and evil, upright, absolute, naked.
Learn to will without yearning, without fear or regrets.
Create a power to act without tiring. Let this power be cold, hard, and at the same time labile and flexible. The Secret of the Force consists in willing well, willing long, willing without ceasing—and in never yearning.
Cut yourself free from the bonds of sensuality, intoxication, and passion: reduce yourself to a simplicity that wills.
Violate every need. Use everything and abstain from everything as you please. Become the absolute ruler of your soul.
Create a resistance. What is mobile obeys what is immobile, and the powers of nature become subjected to him who can resist them. Having reached a point when you desire nothing and fear nothing, there will be few things over which you will not rule. However, enjoy nothing until you
have first vanquished it within yourself.
The Force does not give itself up. Take it. Dare.
Being free, well balanced, strong, calm, and pure, and having slain desire, say: “I WANT.”
 
However, he has one problem which undermines the whole of his work and turned him into something that even the Nazis and Italian Fascists thought was too extreme.  
 He thought he was special.
It is a common thing amongst occultists and probably something that we get accused of the most.  There is a belief that knowing the secrets of the universe, or talking to gods and angels and realising the reality of occult knowledge makes us different from other humans.
Quoting Evola:
This shore is the one plagued by misery, darkness, and pollution.  Before you is the mighty current. There lies the other shore. 
On this side are ignorant people, lacking knowledge, pale, passive, intoxicated, whose lives are still outside and on this side of the Waters.  On the other shore you will find virile men, heroic souls, awakened to disgust, to revolt, to the Great Awakening; having left one shore behind, they dare face the current and the undertow, being led by their ever more firm, unshakable will.  Once there, they are known as “Survivors of the Waters,” “Walkers on the Waters,” the “Holy Race of the Free,” “The Conquerors,” “The Lords of Life and Salvation,” “The Radiant Ones.”  They are the “Dragon Slayers,” the “Dominators of the Bull,” “Consecrated to the Sun,” those who have been transformed through Ammon’s power and Wisdom.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it?  There you are, battling against everything to get to the other shore.  Others are just “ignorant people, lacking knowledge, pale, passive, and intoxicated” while you are going to be something much better.
What is scary is that what Evola is saying is sort of true.  An occultist does feel an outsider from their society, and what he is doing is saying “it is just as well they are all scum and you are going to be a hero.”
The thing is that it does feel like that at times.  Magic is a lonely path because it is hard to find those who can share your universe.  However it is a mistake to feel that you are any better than the rest of humanity.  In fact, you are supposed to know better.
All things spring from the mind of the One Thing as expressions of itself.  Since the One Thing is infinite, everything is made from it.  It is an illusion that we are separate from other humans, or even different aspects of creation.
Once you start saying something is better than something else you create a concept of separateness between “us and them.”  If you have the sort of intellect that Evola had it is possible to place more hierarchies of superiority between you and others, reasons why you need to be special.
Evola was a major influence on Mussolini
For example, using Evola logic, if you are special it is logical to assume that others are special too.  Like Plato you can suggest that it would be a better place if instead of being ruled by the great unwashed that you were ruled by enlightened priest-kings (although Plato saw the problems with that sort of society in his description of Atlantis).  These would be small autocratic units that have no monetary interest in ruling.  If the closest political system to this is fascism, well why not, it can be reformed in time to the point where the Hitlers and Mussolinis are replaced by you and your special friends.  
If you and your friends are special, what do you do about those who are different?  Well that just does not make sense does it?  They are different, but they are not occultists, they are black, Chinese or Jewish.  Well there must be a form of spiritual natural selection with each race having to bring about a different expression of spirituality.  We must keep these races apart or we will contaminate our spirituality.  We need to keep races pure, or we will stop being spiritually special.  If they do not go back to where they came from, they need to be exterminated to keep our spirituality pure.
All this is a logical expression of considering yourself special.  However it is not quite, but completely and utterly, wrong.
The wrong Golden Dawn
Take Evola to the top of a mountain and tell him to look at the infinite universe.  Explain the size of it, and the length of time that it has been there, and will remain there.  This universe is the closest expression of the One Thing in matter.  How does the universe see this galaxy, let alone this solar system, planet or country and you?  How will it see a difference between Evola and a beggar? 
Sure Evola has a divine spark within him which gives him the power to observe creation but so does the beggar.  In fact the beggar will do more observing of his immediate surroundings than Evola.
You might think you are pretty neat because you can talk to spirits, but if you can’t mend a fuse, does it make you better than the Polish electrician who does it for you?  Does the fact that you understand 13 ancient languages make you any better than the bloke who knows Java? 
What Evola did not get, is that occultists were not special but were just another specialisation of the powers of the One Thing.
Specialisation does not make something better; it just makes someone able to do something else.  Specialisation is one of humanity’s greatest tools and is what hangs the species together more than anything else.  It has created a species which is actually inter-dependent on each other.
Humanity’s weaknesses are caused by the hierarchies of superiority that Evola and his kind wanted to create.  A more powerful person is one with money, education rather than one who is most themselves.  By favouring an elite, Evola was never going to fix this problem. 
So when the person comes into your news group, occult group, or life waving the writings of Evola as if he were a god, remember that whatever Evola said, wrote or could do, he missed the most important lesson of all.  We are all One Thing expressing itself and therefore missed the whole point of magic.  Accepting Evola’s way is to accept that others are superior to you and you have to be a slave to them.  But on the plus side, other are inferior to you and must be your slaves.
Not in my universe.

15 thoughts on “Evola and the myth of Being Special

  1. epic post Nick, very eloquently put. Evola even sounds like a disease.
    So called ‘inferior’ or ‘ordinary’ people have often shown incredible foresight and accepted tremendous sacrifices, not least against the likes of Mussolini. Occult elitism is myopic and – frankly – disgusting.

  2. Great post. I especially liked this bit –

    “Take Evola to the top of a mountain and tell him to look at the infinite universe. Explain the size of it, and the length of time that it has been there, and will remain there. This universe is the closest expression of the One Thing in matter. How does the universe see this galaxy, let alone this solar system, planet or country and you? How will it see a difference between Evola and a beggar?
    Sure Evola has a divine spark within him which gives him the power to observe creation but so does the beggar. In fact the beggar will do more observing of his immediate surroundings than Evola.”

  3. Evola has, and continues to have, immense influence, notably on the sort of characters who are attracted to the shadier offshoots of esoterism such as branches of Misraim, various Scottish Rites, Kremmerz’s followers… They all have in common the idea that they have a stranglehold on occult practice ; A good example is a certain Jean-Pierre Giudicelli “de Cressac de la Bachelerie” (falsified aristocratic addition), whose key work on the Rose-Cross is openly derived from Evola’s ideas.

  4. Great post Nick, I absolutely agree that occultism is a specialism, and there are other great skills that humanity can learn that are equally cool. Just because you study western esoterism, or practice a religion, does not make you a better person per definition.

    To my opinion it is very important that the differences between the two paths of magic become clearly known to the public and the magical community. In fact we are dealing with two different traditions. To my opinion there is no ‘wrong’ golden dawn, but a left hand path organisation that behaves like a wolf in sheeps cloths.

  5. Joe: No! We needed the Hope, the Faith, the Prayers, the Fears …

    Ed: The Sweat, the Pain, the Boils, the Tears!

    Joe: The Broken Bones!

    Ed: The Broken Homes!

    Joe: The Total Degradation of…

    John Q. Smith: Who?

    Joe: You! The Little Guy!

    Ed: Them too! A lot of Them. Mostly Them and not many of Us! And that’s why we’re here and they’re there! So there, Mr. Monday Morning Quarterback, Mr. Wheelchair General!

    Joe: So how about that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Communist? Mr. College Professor? Mr. Beatnick? Mr. Hippie? What have you done for me lately?

  6. It was from the start extremely critical of both fascism and National Socialism with, especially with regard to the figure of Hitler himself, whom he accused, “because of its populist demagoguery” (which Evola scorned), if, before an alternative to the decadence of the West, one of the last parts of his decadent modern process. That is, it was El Salvador Hitler of Germany, who came to purify the people-and the world-Aryan Weltanschauung bringing a refreshing, but it was the last stone that came to sink even more men. For him, the National Socialist movement (mainly their racism) was the “final blow” to the grim world he called generically decadent modern means to men. Position he held until his death. Evola attacked all theorists of National strange and persistent pointing vigorously toward racial doctrine, sought to dissolve the foundations of the emerging natural scientific worldview.

  7. I understand you are picking Evola as a symbol or example of what should not be the position of the occultist towards his fellow man and the universe in general.
    But I feel uncomfortable because it seems you are decontextualizing and picking isolated excerpts. The danger is we may fall into generalizations, simplification and even prejudice. The famous phrase from Crowley’s work: “Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve.”, taken purely at a literal and decontextualized view, seems utterly Nazi! But we know there is a more profound meaning. There couldn’t be a more profound meaning to many of Evola’s words also?
    Anyway, I can get what you tried to convey with this excelent article. It’s a very good and sounding warning.

  8. There isn’t any “more profound” meaning to this phrase from Crowley. It’s just what it is. The man was a Tory all his life and such views are reflected in his esoteric philosophy. It’s modern people, trying to recontextualize things here, to make them fit smoothly into their own Weltbild.

    Dirkt

    1. interpret *any* qabalistic book by comparing each part with every other part (or at least, grasping its vocabulary that way). Here’s two examples:

      ‘the slaves shall serve./’the prophet & slave of the beauteous one’
      ‘compassion is the vice of kings’/’these vices are my service’.

      right, the anarchist is done ‘railing at the adepts’, back to low grade sorcery ;p

  9. PS, *THE* text for Jewish Anarcho-Kabbalists is Judges 21:25

    ‘In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes’

  10. Nick, I generally like your stuff, however I think sometimes you read too much of your own projections into things you talk about.

    Evola was accomplished enough to be aware that everything is equal. Which is true from an ultimate perspective. I don’t think you have understood something he did not on that level.

    You forget to mention in this post that Evola lived the myth of the Hero to its fullest extent. He wandered around outside even during air raids because he refused to let anyone dictate whether or not he was going to go about his own business. This is why he ended up in a wheelchair. Nonetheless he exemplified adepthood in a true and real way. he lived according his own standards his own beliefs, from the ultimate perspective.

    From the ultimate perspective all is one. Yet in the world of duality the polish electrician and you are not the same being. A tree has less mobility than a fungus than an insect, then you do. From the here and now there are differences.

    If we act from the ultimate perspective we will ourselves create a new level of morality and duality here in the manifest world. This may not be what others think is right.

    From the ultimate perspective, gay rights and homophobia are equally valid. As is humanitarianism and genocide.
    But from here and now, are they?

    Does the same fate await random Joe on the street after death as awaits a high lama or a true western adept? I guess the answer depends on what you place faith in. We can only be certain of one thing and that is the one mystery, everything after that is philosophy, it can never be any other way.

    Therefore as a fellow adept you should take a step back and even though your lunar personality might be all for equality and good things, maybe from a solar perspective you need to praise Evola for being able to fully live the Myth he choose to live in. and give him the benefit of the doubt that it was an enlightened act from the ultimate perspective and not pure stupidity from the dual perspective that lead him to write and act the way he did.

    Best Wishes
    Argent

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