Sunday, August 16, 2020

Revolt Against The Modern World, Chapter 2 - Regality (Notes)

As I make my way through this book, you can find previous notes here:

Photo by Tiffany Davidson

Notes: Chapter 2 - Regality

In this chapter, Evola discusses how kingship was viewed in the pre-historic world of Tradition. He also provides various descriptions of what constituted a good leader, and what still constitutes a good leader if you believe these principles to be axiomatic and enduring.

This chapter can be difficult, or triggering, for the modern mind which touts democracy as the most superior form of governance. We are accustomed to living in an age that worships the common man, where decisions are made by the whims of the masses. 

But hierarchy is dharma; it follows the natural way of the universe.

It's also worth mentioning that according to the cycles of the ages, we're currently living in the Kali Yuga, which is characterized as an age when humanity degenerates spiritually. So kingship in a fallen age is certainly difficult to imagine in any non-corrupt virtuous form. ("modern monarchies merely imitate the past, they wear the dress but lack the inner constitution")

But in pre-historic societies, kings were loved and revered and viewed as a source of true inspiration and as a link between the physical and metaphysical. It was essential the king have a strong connection to the Transcendent in order to be a respected ruler that the people could trust to act as a bridge, or pontifex, between the material and spiritual realms.

I've selected some passages from this chapter (in italics), paired with my own notes (non-italics), to help illuminate the ways in which regality was viewed in Traditional societies.

"Every traditional civilization is characterized by the presence of beings who, by virtue of their innate or acquired superiority over the human condition, embody within the temporal order the living and efficacious presence of a power that comes from above."

In understanding the nature of a true King, it's of paramount importance to grasp that it was the inner nature of a man which brought about his regality. We aren't speaking of a kingship that is simply handed down through a bloodline. The position was very much earned.

A king could not expect to achieve victory in the external world without first having achieved it internally.

"Pontifex means 'builder of bridges,' or of  'paths' connecting the natural and supernatural dimensions. The pontifex was traditionally identified with the king. Servius, a late fourth-century commentator on Virgil's works, reports: 'The custom of our ancestors was that the king should also be pontifex and priest.' A saying of the Nordic tradition reads: 'May our leader be our bridge.'"

"Thus, real monarchs were the steadfast personification of life 'beyond ordinary life.' ... These influences [of the monarch] permeated people's thoughts, intentions, and actions, ordering every aspect of their lives and constituting a fit foundation for luminous, spiritual realizations."

"Traditional civilization, unlike those of decadent and later times, completely ignored the merely political dimension of supreme authority as well as the idea that the roots of authority lay in mere strength, violence, or natural and secular qualities such as intelligence, wisdom, physical courage, and a minute concern for the collective material well-being. The roots of authority, on the contrary, always had a metaphysical character."

"In an ancient Indo-Aryan text it is written: 'The dignity a god enjoys on earth is splendid, but hard to achieve for the weak. Only he who sets his soul on this objective, is worthy to become a king.'"

In a sense, the King was the idyll- an ultimate role model, a motivation for people. It didn't matter a person's place in society, they devised a noble path for their own role, rather than aspiring to be something else or something more. This is a side tangent, but I do think it's worth thinking on- that is, the notion of desire. Today, we desire to climb the ladder and to become something more, always looking to some future point when we will be more, have more. Hindus value the caste system, and this was a system common in pre-historic cultures too. This sort of system, knowing one's place in society, helped rid the mind of desire, and individuals were free to pursue a path of transcendence whether they were king, butcher, priest, milkmaid, monk, or blacksmith. Contrast this with the striving for material gain so common now in the modern world.

"The ultimate aim [of a Traditional community] would be to achieve a society in which every individual was living in a state of high vibration."  (source)

Moreover, a nations fortune or misfortune was thought to be dependent on the kings behavior and inner metaphysical state:

"The common assumption was that the fortunes or misfortunes of the kingdom, as well as the moral qualities of his subjects (it is the virtue in relation to the being of the monarch, and not his actions, that carries positive or negative influences on them), secretly depended on the monarch's behavior. The central role exercised by the king presupposed that the king maintained the aforesaid triumphal inner way of being."

The power of the king was only given to him so long as he maintained his inner equilibrium and transcendent nature. If he failed to do this, the force would be transferred to someone more worthy.

Contrast this to modern times when we feel rulers should be help accountable by the people. In Traditional times, it was thought that the King was held accountable by God (note that by using this term I'm not referring to a Christian God, but God as the divine foundation from which all physical and metaphysical spring. I'll be able to elaborate on this in the future after I've spent more time studying the Vedas).

"The king, empowered with a non-terrestrial force, with its roots in something that is 'more than life,' naturally appeared as one who could eminently actualize the power of the rites and open the way leading to the superior world. Thus, in those traditional forms of civilization in which there was a separate priestly class, the king, because of his original dignity and function, belonged to this class and was its true leader."

Mere physical force is nothing compared to spiritual might, this is why the ultimate king is not of the warrior caste, but the priestly caste.

"We yearn to live in harmony with the natural order, to be connected to the great source once again, and we long for a divine leader. When he holds steady the center of the wheel of Dharma, society is imbued with grounding force."

"wheel of Dharma" images were found on Google and are not owned by me

Veda and Physics: The Science and Technology of the Unified Field

The unified field discussed in this insightful lecture can be experienced in meditation. And if felt in meditation enough, can be connected to throughout daily life.

Tesla, who was highly influenced by Vedic philosophy, [re]discovered the unified field theory shortly before his death.