Thursday, March 12, 2020

Revolt against the modern world

I've just started a long-awaited book: Revolt Against The Modern World by Julius Evola. An esoteric and oft misunderstood piece of work, I am seeking to sincerely study, not just blow through, what I think is a very important text that I hope will address some things that have been on my mind for several years.

To prepare, I've been listening to a series on Youtube, which I'll link to below. Here are some initial notes.

The degeneracy of the modern world-- frenetic energy without purpose.

What is the aim of modern man? To create an exact replica of himself (AI) with no soul as his crowning achievement? This in itself is a symptom of the plague of modernity: no higher purpose, dogmatic attachment to the physical.

What is meant by modern? To Evola, we can begin seeing the forces of modern decadence around 8,000 BC, with a second phase occurring during the Roman Empire with the advent of Christianity, and a third phase during the feudalism of the Middle Ages. From there, a rapid downward trajectory began.

If modernity encapsulates all of this time, then where do we find Tradition?
Evola says we must look to pre-historic civilizations; the mythological.
According to Evola, to understand we must imagine our way out of linear time, as pre-historic civilizations would not have had the same kind of linear relationship with time that modern civilizations do, due to the daily connection they had with the metaphysical, which is on a different dimensional plane than our physical one. This linear experience of time is a key feature of modernity.

When looking for the world of Tradition, it's imperative to try to understand time through this pre-historic lens.

Disconnect from the metaphysical, from the transcendent, is a large part of the degeneracy of modernity. Epistemological Materialism is everything to modern man. Even our own Science stumbles upon the quantum world, finally!-- Materialism brushes up against the Metaphysical and yet it's called one of the most controversial "problems" in modern physics. Having many possible quantum states, as wave functions do, seems to point to a non-linear nature of time.  (To learn more about quantum physics, which might be our first true observation of metaphysics, however paradoxical that sounds in language, this is a good starting point as is the book The Quantum Enigma).

How to revolt against the modern world? Not through protest or reaction, but action from an inner dimension which testifies to a principle or center. True Tradition is not mimicking the past, but orienting toward these inner principles. Recreate the original. Make an art of living.

Evola states he will be drawing from Eastern and Western traditions to find the best examples of concepts of Tradition possible, though this Traditional method is more abstract and ephemeral than rational. 

We will transition from deductive reasoning to inductive.

My hope is that this book will become a roadmap to rediscovering the world of Tradition.