Julius Evola

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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Sebomai
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Julius Evola

Postby Sebomai » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:36 pm

I considered making this topic about the Traditionalists in general, but I felt that Evola differs enough from the Traditionalist school of writers like Guenon, Schuon, etc. Also, I feel that Evola is a significant enough figure in Western esotericism to warrant his own topic.

I'm currently reading several Evola books at once. The Path of Cinnabar, The Doctrine of Awakening, and re-reading Revolt Against the Modern World. Leaving his politics completely out of it, as this is not the right forum for those matters, what are people's thoughts on Evola?

I feel he tragically underestimates the beauty of the Feminine Divine. As anyone who has read my article on the site knows, the Sacred Feminine is a big part of my devotion. He also does have elements that could be interpreted as racist, despite his protestations that he only means race in a spiritual and not a biological sense.

And yet, every time I read him, I feel renewed in my struggle to not be consumed by Western materialist thinking, and complicit in the modern world's killing of spirituality. It gives me the strength to seek my own path, a path that, in many cases, truly is more "Traditionalist," than modern. I also feel like his views on successive Ages probably had a lot of inspiration, not just from Hinduism, but also from dear Madame Blavatsky.

Any thoughts?
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Nefastos
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Re: Julius Evola

Postby Nefastos » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:25 pm

An important author for sure.

Although I have appreciated Evola's intellect, I strongly agree with you that he made a grave error in what could be called as esoterical machismo, & was thus able to channel only one part of the greater whole. In occultism, such a one-sidedness can end in nowhere but a collapse & catastrophe. And as I wrote in Fosforos, it is even worse if one is strong & can go long in that uneven path of control & power, & take others with him to that one-sidedness. The lack of equilibrium brings anger, insanity & spiritual cruelty towards that which has not been understood. And finally it brings spiritual death, because the inner planet turns in the sun inevitably, the dark parts of our psyche become to light, & that which we saw as the terrifying Other devours us from within.

After letting the Hermetic Tradition of his rest in my bookshelf for eight years, I am finally reading it through, & it has been much what I expected. After reading the ridiculous foreword where the editor really seems to think that no one had given similar ideas before Evola about alchemy, the basic text has been nice in its clarity. The problem only becomes apparent when Evola on the other hand heaps many different symbols – which all have different nuances – & tells they are all the same (the basic New Age error), & on the other hand tells how there is nothing else in the meaning of certain ideas but those interpretations that he gives to them. So, once again extremely separatistic, in parts even childishly so.

If one has sharp mind that points to one certain point, one should certainly work with that, but never tell the others that the truth is only in that direction. Otherwise one, instead of becoming a great helper for the other occultists, becomes a bully who goes insulting something he cannot understand. No one can be an expert in everything, and because of that we need a great deal of patience & humility. That is to say, love towards the difference between the brethren, cultures, aspects.

I take my hat off to Evola's intellect & energy, but I put it straight back when he starts his macho march against everything he doesn't understand.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Benemal
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Re: Julius Evola

Postby Benemal » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:38 pm

I was impressed, with Yoga Of Power, because it was one of those books, that i can't really understand and instead it paints colors and shapes in my mind, in a haunting and intoxicating way. Nothing stimulating happened with Revolt Against The Modern World. It was easily understandable and boring and I left soon after starting. I don't force myself to read books (anymore), that I'd imagined I'm supposed to read, but skip to the next one, which I guess will be The Hermetic Tradition.
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Jiva
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Re: Julius Evola

Postby Jiva » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:47 pm

I have to say I’m quite a fan of Evola – although I’ve only read The Yoga of Power and The Hermetic Tradition – but agree with what everyone’s said so far, especially regarding the feminine aspect and simply attacking things that don’t, or can’t be bent, to comply with his preconceptions. The former is particularly notable – even though he criticised Nietzsche for the same – when the subject is eastern religion as his emphasis was on the masculine Kshatriya caste and deliberately transgressing the traditional Brahmin limitations regarding purity in an attempt to convert these supposed impurities into something with spiritual value. I think this is demonstrated by his published works and the choices he made in life, e.g. he emphasised the aristocratic mentality, but disliked nation states, organised religion and so on.

Something that makes Evola difficult to assess from an investigative perspective is that, unlike most of his contemporaries, he destroyed any correspondence he received and also refused to provide any traditional autobiographical accounts. This can lead to rather bizarre and immediately unexplainable circumstances, such as when Evola ended up publishing an early draft of Crowley’s ‘Liber Aleph’ before it was officially released, something which Hans Thomas Hakl analyses in an appendix of Marco Pasi’s Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics.

Another genuinely perplexing issue for me is how he reconciled his anti-Semitism and occasional use of the Kabbalah. Perhaps he was attempting to utilise the stereotypes of anti-Semitism to manipulate things in what he would have considered a more Aryan direction and simply regarded this as sacrificing an innocent victim for the greater good. After all, he definitely attempted (and succeeded to a degree) at influencing Italian fascism from within.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'

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