Spirit of the Occident

Western Civilisation is composed of three elements;

  1. Roman Ethos[1]
  2. Christian Pathos[2]
  3. Greek Logos[3]

It was Aristotle, in fourth century BC Greece, who first defined Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.[4] We have to praise Thomas Aquinas for bringing “ancient Athens to medieval Paris,” and of course, Dante Alighieri for not only reinterpreting Tradition but also for playing an active role in an “authentic esoteric tradition” in the West.[5] Thus it was thirteenth century Western Europe — the last Traditional civilisation[6] — that embodied these elements through these great men and its structure. It is pleasing to know that as one attracted to the Middle Ages, it seems that I was not mistaken in my youthful curiosity, now that I see that men of sagacity “regarded the Middle Ages as exemplifying the Traditional spirit.”[7]

I believe this stream of thought is at odds with what the writers at Right On call “the rising True Right of Europe” — what they see as the only way forward — towards “building a radical, non-violent, principled, and effective new Right in Europe.”[8] It would be naive and petty to disregard or needlessly criticise a fellow “reactionary” site, although distinctions should be noted, e.g. the desire for “an alternative” suggests that there is nothing of worth in the West now; nor is it my intention to deal in the profane, rather I wish to create depth.[9] To summarise, Right On is part of the growing discontent across Europe on both sides of the political spectrum with the establishment, in that sense it is profane.

We see a dichotomy between the Christian Reactionaries and the New Right, the latter using Evola’s thought — though incorrect in part — may explain their dislike for Christianity.[10] It would seem then that traditionalists — if we can call them that, given that they should have chosen a tradition — would either fall into the former camp if they identified as Christians, or the latter if they did not, but perhaps this is too simple a categorisation for such a broad milieu such as our own. However, what can be said here is the Roman Ethos and the Greek Logos (at least) are at work here, potentially the Christian Pathos too in regard to Christian Reactionaries.

Next we have Progressivism, Liberalism (in the modern, not classical, sense), general Leftism which has ditched the Roman Ethos and the Greek Logos in favour of a degraded Christian Pathos without any checks or context, or structure: All is permitted and is chaos. In addition we recognise classical liberalism, libertarianism, free speech advocates such as the “Milo Yiannopoulos and Sargon of Akkad milieu.” Here we see no Ethos, Pathos may or may not be present, whereas the Logos is lost or hidden. This distinction is explored by Cologero Salvo,[11] where he dissects Alexander Dugin’s theory of the metaphysics of chaos, which claims that Logos contains within itself “the germs of its own decay.” To recover Logos, it needs a “saviour” which is hidden in Chaos.[12]

My attention was drawn to a three part article published recently at Right On; “The Return of Zarathustra.”[13] I very much agree with the author’s implicit statement on what is lacking about “Faustian Civilisation” as it is an entirely Jacobin notion derived from the break with Tradition at the Protestant Reformation, the lurch towards materialisation at the Industrial Revolution, and the vanishing of chivalry at the French Revolution — the metaphysical Fall of Rome — to quote Edmund Burke:

The age of chivalry is gone. — That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

For the author, the progressive philosophy of Zarathustra should be adopted rather than the opposed cyclical Greco-Roman, Celto-Germanic, and the Hindu philosophies, if Europe’s vital interests are to be protected in the imminent world war with Islam. What he overlooks is the inability of Islam to dominate Europe — now and in the future — as it is incompatible with the European mind. The basic fact remains that Europe is Christian not Islamic, to quote Hilaire Belloc;

The faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.

The “orthodox Catholicism” of Belloc and G.K. Chesterton et al.[14] goes hand in hand with a criticism of the modern world. Writing in 1936 — in an essay entitled “The Counter-Attack Through History” — he (Belloc) challenged Catholics to approach their writing, history, philosophy, and even friendly debates with a distinctly Catholic worldview so as to call into question the very basis of prevailing secular histories.[15]

The history books since the French Revolution (if not before) have been greatly distorted so that today even the most commonly held beliefs of previous times are viewed with complete indifference, scorn and even apoplexy. What the article over at Right On shows is that on both the “Right” and “Left” there is a reorganising and reconstituting taking place yet while they claim to be the “True Right” they are just as far away as if they were on the “Left.” While it is fascinating to see the resurgence of nationalism across Europe it is far removed from a desirable awakening of spirit, we can hope that through such a resurgence a Traditional outlook will emerge given time. Our aim should be to return to “principles,” to quote Julius Evola;

…that before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.

From Rome, Western Civilisation sprang — preserved yet adapted — into the civilisation of the Middle Ages, through the Catholic Church. In the institution of the Church we see combined the three elements of Roman Ethos, Christian Pathos, and Greek Logos: Her name was Ecclesia[16] — a great power in which all strata of society could find a home — one and the same with the feudal system which was essentially a system of castes. In this period we see a great outpouring of creative energy in art, architecture — construction and new forms — the people of the time being so industrious in coming together to work on these great communal projects. One of our best examples of this is the mathematical genius of ecclesiastical structures such as Charters Cathedral in France. In artworks of the time we too see the influence of classical antiquity and Iranian motifs, suggesting that an influx of muses from outside were quickly understood and reformulated. Comparably, the Franks, who according to John Ruskin;

…thus conquering and thus ruled, founded the arts and established the laws which gave to all Europe her virtue joy and virtue.[17]

Not to mention the ease at which the Franks chose to follow Christianity, and, in doing so, transformed the Imperium which they had won through strength — for they saw themselves as Romans — into a fuller manifestation of Tradition.[18]

It was from Ancient Greece, through Rome and Christianised Franks, that Western European Civilisation and Tradition was formed. On the other hand, it would be prudent to restate Logres’ remark that;

… Western Christians have to see, at one and the same time, both the limitations of its Tradition (a warrior-religion) and the timelessness of it (a true reflection of something Transcendent, which was worth defending, albeit with more wisdom). This will involve restoring the “Vedantic wing” of the Faith, which will include esoteric studies. All resurgences, ill-fated or blessed, of Christianity have begun with the return to “Christ the King.”

Perhaps one way this could be achieved is through an outside influence, a notion that I agree on with the author of the Right On article. Luckily, Cologero — while positing a different view to the above author — writes;

In summary: to recreate a Western metaphysic for our time one would:

1. Begin with Thomism.
2. Incorporate an understanding of non-being, infinity, and non-duality from the Vedanta and Taoism.
3. Develop more fully the understanding of tripartite nature of man.
4. Integrate it with the ancient Hermetic tradition.
5. Integrate this with a spiritual practice so it arises from a true gnosis and does not devolve into yet another intellectualizing philosophy or theology.

The young man who will take up this task may already have been born.[19]

[1] http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/01/the-spirit-of-roman-civilization/
[2] Summarised concisely by Hermann von Keyserling’s “Pragmatic Test” quoted here http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=7423
[3] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=1299
[4] https://christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/ethospathoslogos-the-image-of-god/
[5] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=1326
[6] Ibid.
[7] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=4798
[8] https://www.righton.net/about-right-on/
[9] https://westcoastrxers.com/2016/07/02/any-port-in-the-storm/
[10] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=6109
[11] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=4842
[12] Has Dugin been watching the Matrix?
[13] https://www.righton.net/2016/07/19/the-return-of-zarathustra-part-i/ et al.
[14] Frithjof Schuon viewed Orthodoxy favourably for its potential for esotericism, and Rene Guenon saw the Catholic Church as the last route for a reawakening of the modern European — even Julius Evola, a notable critic of Christianity, saw in the Roman Rite something far older than itself.
[15] https://secondnaturejournal.com/thinking-trivially-about-radical-orthodoxy/
[16] https://youtu.be/8Rn4CRu9pa4?t=4m26s
[17] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=5233
[18] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=6605
[19] http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=1261

Auld Wat

Delving into the depths of Medieval Europe; the last great Traditional Aryan civilisation.

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