The Story of Philosophy, 2

On the uses of philosophy

There is a pleasure in philosophy, and a lure even in the mirages of metaphysics, which every student feels until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag him from the heights of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain.

Some ungentle reader will check us here by informing us that philosophy is as useless as chess, as obscure as ignorance, and as stagnant as content. “There is nothing so absurd,” said Cicero, “but that it may be found in the books of the philosophers.” Doubtless some philosophers have had all sorts of wisdom except common sense; and many a philosophic flight has been due to the elevating power of thin air. Let us resolve, on this voyage of ours, to put in only at the ports of light, to keep out of the muddy streams of metaphysics and the “many-sounding seas” of theological dispute.

But is philosophy stagnant? Science seems always to advance, while philosophy seems always to lose ground. Yet this is only because philosophy accepts the hard and hazardous task of dealing with problems not yet open to the methods of science—problems like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, order and freedom, life and death; so soon as a field of inquiry yields knowledge susceptible of exact formulation it is called science. Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievement.

Philosophy is a hypothetical interpretation of the unknown (as in metaphysics), or of the inexactly known (as in ethics or political philosophy); it is the front trench in the siege of truth. Science is the captured territory; and behind it are those secure regions in which knowledge and art build our imperfect and marvelous world. Philosophy seems to stand still, perplexed; but only because she leaves the fruits of victory to her daughters the sciences, and herself passes on, divinely discontent, to the uncertain and unexplored.

So let us listen to these men, ready to forgive them their passing errors, and eager to learn the lessons which they are so eager to teach, “Do you then be reasonable,” said old Socrates to Crito, “and do not mind whether the teachers of philosophy are good or bad, but think only of Philosophy herself. Try to examine her well and truly; and if she be evil, seek to turn away all men from her; but if she be what I believe she is, then follow her and serve her, and be of good cheer.”
 

______ 卐 ______

 
Editor’s comment:

All this sounds very nice. I will never have a command of the English language as Durant had it. But I had to celebrate more than fifty springs to begin to understand things I did not see when, as a teenager, I wanted to pursue a philosophy course. Now I see things that not only an adolescent is incapable of seeing on his own, but that even when doing a philosophy career the ‘mature’ academic usually doesn’t see.

With elementary knowledge of the central tragedy of the West—the takeover by the Judeo-Christians that destroyed the classical world—, Durant’s exposition seems ignorant. Although he does not devote whole chapters to the scholasticism that he so despises, he does not seem to notice, as Ferdinand Bardamu realised in an entry reproduced this month, that the ‘secular’ liberals, socialists and utopians were influenced by the Christian ethic in an extraordinary way.

But long before I read Bardamu I was extremely irritated by the philosophy of the back doors of Kant and Descartes (and I don’t forget the chapter on ‘The New Understanding of God’ in Does God Exist? by Hans Küng and in his erudite study on Hegel). Descartes alleged that he began his philosophical system in tabula rasa but, as soon as he reached the conclusions he wanted, he immediately went to the church to thank Providence. The self-deception not only of Kant and Descartes but of other modern philosophers is truly overwhelming: everything opposite to the ‘Know Thyself’ that was recorded in the Oracle of Delphi before the damned Christians destroyed it.

Now I see from another point of view what in the academy is called philosophy. The transition from Christianity to an authentic secularism is so traumatic that the so-called modern philosophers were stuck in a sort of chess for the sophisticate: epistemologies and metaphysics, instead of using their minds to culminate the apostatising process from Christianity.

Only Nietzsche started to succeed from the viewpoint of this new understanding of philosophy. Keep in mind that not even the vast majority of secular white nationalists have apostatised altogether, as seen in the fact that they continue to preach love for the Jews, whom they want to deport to Israel. Compare such love with the hatred the Jews feel for the Aryans—no ethnic state for them until they become extinct—and we will see how ‘Neo-Christians’ are still those atheists among contemporary racists. The love that these ‘racists’ feel for the Jews and other races is something that the Greeks and Romans of the ancient world would not have understood. Comparing it to chess again, those who have the white pieces but hold Semitic malware in their minds and ‘love their enemies’, the coloured pieces, are doomed to lose the battle.

In the previous entry about Durant’s book I said that philosophy did not exist. I exaggerated and would like to correct myself. We can rescue the term philosophy as long as we apply it to the thinkers of the Greco-Roman world. There has not been, nor will there be again, philosophy in the West until the day when all the churches that have installed Semitic malware on the Aryan psyche have been brought down by a triumphant Fourth Reich.

As I said a couple of days ago, the message on this site is the very opposite of what Andrew Fraser recently wrote in The Occidental Observer.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 18

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Karl Marx, chief interpreter of the “Protestant Aquinas”

Marxist ideology is neither rationally explicable nor empirically verifiable. This means that Marxism is not subject to revision when its prophecies fail to materialize, or its cardinal doctrines are disproven; instead, like the Christian religionist, the Marxist ideologue is forced to engage in mind-numbing apologetics to maintain a thin veneer of ideological respectability. Despite claims of being “scientific,” Marxism requires a rigid doctrinal orthodoxy that demands excommunication of heretics who deviate from the established creed. Marxism is, in fact, a neo-Christian religious cult with its own prophets, saviors, holy books, holy days, and holy sites, as well as sacred rituals and devotional music.

Marxism shares the same basic doctrines as Christianity, albeit in materialist garb. The Garden of Eden finds its Marxist counterpart in the egalitarian social arrangement preceding the rise of civilization. The Fall from paradise occurs with Adam and Eve’s disobedience; in the Marxist worldview, the Fall occurs with the introduction of the division of labor. In Christianity, there is the devil; in Marxism, the villain is the capitalist. Marx’s historical materialism is merely the eschatological framework of Christian orthodoxy in secularized form. In Christianity, god works through history to redeem the elect. This leads to an apocalyptic showdown between the forces of good and evil, the millennial reign of Christ, and the re-establishment of utopian conditions on earth. The same teleological view of history is found in Marxist ideology. The internal contradictions within the flow of capital resolve themselves in favor of proletarian liberation from capitalist exploitation. The continuous valorization and concentration of financial resources in the hands of the capitalist, combined with the “immiseration” of the proletariat, generate apocalyptic conditions or “revolution.” This leads to the overthrow of the capitalists, seizure of the means of production, dictatorship of the proletariat and finally, the establishment of communist paradise at the end of history.

Marx’s vision of history is so deeply rooted in Christianity that his philosophy would be more accurately classified as a branch of liberal Protestantism. This would situate Marx within a Christian theological tradition beginning with the Jew Saul of Tarsus. Even Marx’s atheism does not exclude him from the Christian tradition; the dialectic in Marx’s philosophy of history possesses the same function as the triune godhead of Christianity; both are abstract agencies whose purpose is to bring the salvation plan of history to its final consummation in apocalyptic conflict, returning all humanity to an imagined golden age that once existed in the remote past. Marx, like the primitive Christians and their Reformed inheritors, takes the anticipatory view of human spiritual equality to its final logical conclusion.

From whence does Marxism acquire its character as a secularized version of the Christian gospel? The philosophical method of dialectical materialism, the cornerstone upon which the entire edifice of “scientific” socialism was constructed, is derived from Hegel’s use of dialectic in Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel, called the “Protestant Aquinas” because of his systematization and unification of a wide variety of topics in philosophy and Christian theology, first conceived of dialectic in his early theological writings. According to the philological and historical evidence, Hegel, after having spent years immersing himself in St. Paul’s Letters as a Protestant seminarian, appropriated the term Aufhebung from Luther’s commentary on Romans. This was Luther’s translation of the messianic term katargesis in the Pauline epistles. Hegel made the term the fundamental axis of his dialectic because Luther’s use of Aufhebung had the double meaning of abolishing and conserving, like its koine Greek equivalent katargesis.

Of greater significance is Hegel’s use of Protestant trinitarian theology to elucidate the underlying structure of objective reality. For Hegel, the Absolute is the complete totality of everything in existence; if this is considered as a unity, the Absolute is god, or the self-consciousness of the universe. The world of sense and experience is necessarily triadic because, as Absolute Mind, it reflects the trinitarian structure of the Christian godhead. This makes everything in the known universe amenable to rational explanation. “Mystery” has no place in Hegel’s version of Protestant theology because faith has been replaced with knowledge.

Hegel’s logical system is divided into three parts, each corresponding to the three persons of the trinity: I. Logic II. Nature III. Spirit. These are each further subdivided into three more categories and so on, reflecting Hegel’s belief that any systematization of philosophical and theological knowledge must faithfully mirror the underlying triadic structure of objective reality to achieve some degree of rational coherence. Even Hegel’s dialectical method, the cornerstone of his philosophy, is triadic in structure. The dialectic has three “moments”: (1.) a moment of fixity; (2.) a dialectical or negatively rational moment and; (3.) a speculative or positively rational moment.

In Hegel’s dialectic triad, a fixed concept (first moment) becomes unstable because of a one-sided or restrictive character (second moment). In the process of “sublation” (or Aufhebung), the concept of the first moment is overcome and preserved, but an inherent instability within the concept leads to the creation of its direct opposite. In the third moment, a higher rational unity emerges from the negation of the original negation. Hegel’s teleological vision of the historical process unfolds according to this three-stage dialectical process of contradiction, sublation and unity of opposites.

This system is by no means strictly deterministic; in Hegel’s view of history, the trinitarian god is revealed as transcendent in the dynamic relationship between historical necessity and contingency, which subsist as overarching unity on a higher rational plane of existence. Without this crucial ingredient of contingency, the telos of history would remain outside humanity’s grasp, frustrating the divine plan of a trinitarian god who reveals himself through the logic of the historical dialectic. The Hegelian telos is the universal self-realization of freedom through the historical development of man’s consciousness of the divine, attaining its highest stage of fulfillment in the elimination of all Christian “mysteries” through complete rational self-knowledge of god. Given the role of freedom in this dialectical view of history, the pivotal significance of the Protestant Reformation for Hegel is easily comprehended. Luther’s iconic enunciation of the doctrine of universal priesthood, combined with his repudiation of medieval ecclesiastical authority, meant that freedom was on the threshold of achieving full actualization within the historical process as a universal phenomenon, bringing us further toward the telos of history in modern times.

Like St. Augustine’s linear view of history in City of God, Hegel’s view is also fundamentally Christian, permeated by the eschatological and soteriological elements of Protestant orthodoxy. The central miracle of Christianity, the Incarnation or Logos made flesh, is further reflected in the unfolding of the historical dialectic. The dialectical overcoming of particularity and universality, finite and infinite at the end of history, when man achieves rational self-knowledge of the absolute, is patterned on the Incarnation, or the dialectical overcoming of the opposition between god and man. The self-manifestation of god in the historical process makes man co-agent in the divine plan of post-historical redemption. This occurs despite man’s alienation and estrangement from god. The “unhappy consciousness,” yearning for god, finally becomes aware of his individual co-agency in god’s plan of universal salvation and achieves liberation from despair. This realization, which is really a collective one, ushers in the end of history by ensuring man’s salvation through the establishment of god’s kingdom on earth.

For Marx, the Hegelian dialectic suffered from an internal contradiction. The logic of dialectic presented human history as an evolutionary process, one of constant motion and change, with no final, absolute form. Yet paradoxically, the laws of dialectic that structured historical development within Hegel’s idealist system were absolutes in a system that was itself final and absolute. How was this contradiction to be resolved? “With [Hegel],” Marx wrote in Das Kapital, “[the dialectic] is standing on its head. It must be inverted, in order to discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.” Inversion of Hegel’s speculative idealism resolves this internal contradiction by recasting the logic of evolution as an open-ended process. The materialist dialectic replaces the idealist teleological-conceptual framework of Hegel’s system with an evolutionary form of human social and biological development. Nothing is absolute in Marx’s system, except the need for continuous dialectical progression through contradiction and unity of opposites. If all substantial being is relative and transitory, it follows that the laws of dialectic can only be applied to it in a relative fashion. If evolution is a continuous and open-ended process, no idealist resolution of its objective material contradictions is possible without fetishizing them as part of some hermetically sealed, closed system. Thus, Marx’s inversion of the dialectic rescued it from Hegel’s absolute Christian idealist framework, giving it a thoroughly natural, anthropological foundation within an evolutionary materialist framework. With a materialized dialectic, Marx was able to formulate a philosophical methodology that could analyze capitalist economic relations from a scientific perspective.

The eschatological conceptualization of history as both linear and teleological is a uniquely Judeo-Christian “contribution” to Western culture. This replaced the earlier Greek view of history as a cyclical process. Hegel translated the eschatological framework of Lutheran Protestant theology into a well-organized philosophical system. The laws of dialectic were simply contradictions within the Christian narrative of redemption. The Marxist theory of historical materialism assimilated this Christian eschatological framework, in “demystified” and rational form, precisely because its philosophical methodology incorporated Hegel’s dialectic as the motor force of historical development. Thus, we have primitive communism for the Garden of Eden, capitalist oppressors for the devil, man’s self-alienation for the effects of original sin, a classless society for the kingdom of god and so forth. In Marx’s secularized Protestant theology, historical evolution proceeds by way of class conflict, leading to proletarian emancipation and communist paradise. In Hegel, man achieves rational self-knowledge of god, whereas for Marx, man achieves rational self-knowledge of himself at history’s end, which is really the beginning of man’s “true” history according to the Marxist plan of salvation.

Marx’s philosophy, when stripped of all socio-economic elements, is the trinitarian and Christological dimension of Hegel’s speculative Protestant rationalism in materialist form. The eschatological and soteriological framework of orthodox Christianity remains intact, although secularized and inverted. Like every good Protestant, Marx acknowledged the influence of the Reformation upon his own ideas, tracing his revolutionary pedigree through Hegel to the renegade monk Luther.

The global dissemination of Marxism has revealed Karl Marx as one of the most influential Christian theologians after St. Paul. This neo-Christianity is potentially even more destructive than the patristic Christianity that infected and nearly exterminated the Western civilization of antiquity. Economic Marxism has killed an estimated 100 million people in the 20th century; if trends continue, cultural Marxism will lead to the civilizational and cultural extinction of the West.

Day of Wrath, 1

In philosophy the concept of alienation appears in the work of German philosophers. Entfremdung for example means “estrangement.” For Hegel alienation and estrangement refer to the moment of beginning to advance in oneself.

Such is my feeling of estrangement, or distance from Spanish speakers, that I stopped blogging in my native language when I realized that people did not leave intelligent comments in my racial blog or my anti-psychiatric blog. In the huge Spanish-speaking metropolis where I live it goes even worse: I do not love a single human being, I just loved my pet.

So in 2009 I started to comment on the forums in English. But it was not long before I began to feel, once again, distanced. In the comments section of Counter Currents for example, Andrew Hamilton once told me that my thinking was unfolding very rapidly. From a normie who knew nothing of the Jewish question, I passed relatively quickly to bicausalism A, then crossed the line to bicausalism B: something that most white nationalists do not like.

To rephrase what Francisco de Quevedo said about time I could say: humankind and I are two. This is probably because when I discovered the racialist sites, the fearsome spider-robot had already unplugged me from the cable that went from my neck to the Matrix. I mean that, unlike the wisdom accepted in white nationalism, the psychical implications of human childrearing is the most powerful taboo of humanity. Awakening to the Jewish question and the transvaluation of values à la Turner’s Diaries was easy compared to the central taboo of human societies. These latter awakenings—race, Jewish issue and fighting for an ethnic state—were easier than what the robot-spider did, like unplugging the secondary wires that went into Neo’s arms and back.

I think the primary unplug of my nape is what makes me feel an Other compared to humans, especially for the implications of that specific unplugging. What are these implications? Even now, ten years after I finished the first book on the subject, regular visitors of this site have no idea where I come from, nor have they realized what it means to be completely awake in the real world.

In the past, I have translated those texts of my book that give an idea of the trauma model of mental disorders: the model that blames abusive parents instead of the brain of their victims. Those translations, which on the way refute psychiatric pseudoscience, did not make a dent in my readers because what causes the disorders does not interest them. To them I tell you: if you are not unplugged from the central cable, you can never be drained out of the Matrix and see the real world with clean and clear eyes.

But the trauma model is only a prelude to understanding the development of human empathy from prehistory to the contemporary West. And an intrapsychic leap from what I call Neanderthalism to an elevated psychoclass evolves into the 4 words and days of true wrath…

I won’t even try to explain these obscure aphorisms in a blog entry. Rather I will add, again, the chapters translated into English that on this site were only available as PDFs. But first I would like to point out that the first two articles of Day of Wrath can already be read, once again, without printing the PDFs:

Dies Irae

Why psychiatry is a false science

If life allows, the following week I will publish here the corrected Introduction. Those interested in the whole book can request it: here.

Liberalism, 3

Imperium Eagle

This piece has been moved
to a single entry: here.

Against the empire of Yin

“The only way to restore vitality
to Western Civilization is to
recalibrate its yin-yang balance.”


Presently, almost all white males are thoroughly and grotesquely feminized (even quite a few white nationalists), most beyond repair. Now that I am reproducing translations of a book on the toughest empire of Yang in western history—Sparta—, I would like to quote what Takuan Seiyo says about the empire of Yin that is destroying our civilization.

What we need is a Hegelian synthesis between yang Sparta and yin Athens: a sort of modern Rome, i.e., national socialism (what half-Jew Seiyo so much fears). Like Rome, the Third Reich incorporated and eliminated—the Hegelian aufheben—the contradictions in both extremes: it was highly cultured as well as a tough military state.

Seiyo wrote (excerpted):


yin-yang

We will examine in later installments in more depth what’s on the scales in the balance that has gone awry. For now it suffices to say that according to Oriental cosmology, the forces in the eternal cosmic play are the hot, male, condensing element, or yang, and the cold and wet, female and expansive element, or yin. Arnold Toynbee, who posited that all democracies die from suicide, applied the ideas of yin and yang to discern patterns in history. For Toynbee, history is like a current alternating between the yin pole, which he equated with a quiescent civilization, and the yang pole, which he equated with turmoil, barbarian conquest and drastic change.

In his 1939 magnum opus, Study of History, Toynbee explained the rise and fall of empires according to this yin–yang paradigm, but a deeper scrutiny of applied Oriental cosmology might find that it was oversimplified. For what is most salient about the force of yin is not its quietism but its expansive femaleness.

The West has careened dangerously out of balance, and its political and philosophical concepts have not been able to identify correctly what it is that’s out of balance. The forces of the West’s postmodern decay are vested disproportionately in such disparate groups as city dwellers, lawyers, teachers, actors, artists, public sector employees, people with graduate degrees and academics; Jews, Swedes, Norwegians, diaspora Irish; blacks; Muslims and Mexican and Central American mestizos (but not in their original countries); women; adolescents; homosexuals.

The entropic motors that seem to be preponderant in these groups may be, singly or in combination, a drive for power or money; identity politics stemming from racial, ethnic, or gender pride wounded in the past but pretending as the present; utopian proclivities combined with naiveté; compassionate feelings overriding empirical analysis; displacement of personal feelings of inferiority—what Nietzsche called ressentiment, or ideological hatred.

People of good faith ought to diagnose and combat in their personal lives the decline that feminism has wrought on them and on the West. Men are at fault here for having caved in completely, instead of employing a reverse Lysistrata tactic, or anything else that might have worked in this dire predicament. At least a varied group of courageous women has begun beating back this particular fungus. The cultural left’s reaction to Sarah Palin shows how effective that can be.

The vast heterosexual majority may want to consider that it’s time to protest the outsize din raised by the homosexual and the comically self-labeled GLBTA minorities. We will not ask if you will not tell; frankly, we don’t want to hear or see too much either. Don’t rub our faces in your orifices.

Maybe it’s time to say to the churches, if this be your retail markup, I am buying directly from the wholesaler. Because, as Chesterton has noted, some humanitarians care only for pity, but their pity is often untruthful.

However mortified by the Holocaust and appreciative of the inestimable contribution that the Jewish minority has made to the West, people of good faith and sound mind may have to start putting public Jewish figures on the spot, as Jews, for the destructive currents they propagate. Because if the establishment club of “racism” “fascism,” “antisemitism” “homophobia” and “sexism” keeps the West’s hundreds of millions of reasonable indigenous people cowering in their diminishing corners, soon the West will have decayed so much that tens of millions of newly-unreasonable people will be rising, and their numbers will be growing at an astonishing rate.

David Friedrich Strauss, 2

The following is excerpted from Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus, published in 1906: a scholarly yet readable introduction to the field of New Testament studies from a modern viewpoint. Schweitzer’s eight chapter is titled “Strauss’ first Life of Jesus”:

DF Strauss

The distinction between Strauss and those who had preceded him upon this path consists only in this, that prior to him the conception of myth was neither truly grasped nor consistently applied.

The principal obstacle, Strauss continues, which barred the way to a comprehensive application of myth, consisted in the supposition that two of our Gospels, Matthew and John, were reports of eyewitnesses.

The main distinction between Strauss and his predecessors consisted in the fact that they asked themselves anxiously how much of the historical life of Jesus would remain as a foundation for religion if they dared to apply the conception of myth consistently, while for him this question had no terrors. He claims in his preface that he possessed one advantage over all the critical and learned theologians of his time without which nothing can be accomplished in the domain of history—the inner emancipation of thought and feeling in regard to certain religious and dogmatic prepossessions which he had early attained as a result of his philosophic studies. Hegel’s philosophy had set him free, giving him a clear conception of the relationship of idea and reality, leading him to a higher plane of Christological speculation, and opening his eyes to the mystic interpenetration of finitude and infinity, God and man.

He sees evidence that the time has come for this undertaking in the condition of exhaustion which characterised contemporary theology. The supernaturalistic explanation of the events of the life of Jesus had been followed by the rationalistic, the one making everything supernatural, the other setting itself to make all the events intelligible as natural occurrences. Each had said all that it had to say. From their opposition now arises a new solution—the mythological interpretation. This is a characteristic example of the Hegelian method—the synthesis of a thesis represented by the supernaturalistic explanation with an antithesis represented by the rationalistic interpretation.

In the stories prior to the baptism, everything is myth. The narratives are woven on the pattern of Old Testament prototypes, with modifications due to Messianic or messianically interpreted passages. Since Jesus and the Baptist came into contact with one another later, it is felt necessary to represent their parents as having been connected. The attempts to construct Davidic genealogies for Jesus, show us that there was a period in the formation of the Gospel History during which the Lord was simply regarded as the son of Joseph and Mary, otherwise genealogical studies of this kind would not have been undertaken. Even in the story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, there is scarcely more than a trace of historical material.

In the narrative of the baptism we may take it as certainly unhistorical that the Baptist received a revelation of the Messianic dignity of Jesus, otherwise he could not later have come to doubt this. But if the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance with a view to “him who was to come,” Jesus cannot have held Himself to be sinless when He submitted to it.

We have, therefore, in the Synoptists several different strata of legend and narrative, which in some cases intersect and in some are superimposed one upon the other.

The story of the temptation is equally unsatisfactory, whether it be interpreted as supernatural, or as symbolical either of an inward struggle or of external events (as for example in Venturini’s interpretation of it, where the part of the Tempter is played by a Pharisee) ; it is simply primitive Christian legend, woven together out of Old Testament suggestions.

The call of the first disciples cannot have happened as it is narrated, without their having known anything of Jesus beforehand; the manner of the call is modelled upon the call of Elisha by Elijah. The further legend attached to it—Peter’s miraculous draught of fishes—has arisen out of the saying about “fishers of men,” and the same idea is reflected, at a different angle of refraction, in John xxi. The mission of the seventy is unhistorical.

Whether the cleansing of the temple is historical, or whether it arose out of a Messianic application of the text, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” cannot be determined. The difficulty of forming a clear idea of the circumstances is not easily to be removed. How freely the historical material has been worked up, is seen in the groups of stories which have grown out of a single incident; as, for example, the anointing of Jesus at Bethany by an unknown woman, out of which Luke has made an anointing by a penitent sinner, and John an anointing by Mary of Bethany.

As regards the healings, some of them are certainly historical, but not in the form in which tradition has preserved them. The recognition of Jesus as Messiah by the demons immediately arouses suspicion. One cure has sometimes given rise to three or four narratives. Sometimes we can still recognise the influences which have contributed to mould a story. When, for example, the disciples are unable to heal the lunatic boy during Jesus’ absence on the Mount of Transfiguration, we are reminded of 2 Kings iv, where Elisha’s servant Gehazi tries in vain to bring the dead boy to life by using the staff of the prophet. The immediate healing of leprosy has its prototype in the story of Naaman the Syrian. The story of the ten lepers shows so clearly a didactic tendency that its historic value is thereby rendered doubtful.

The cures of blindness all go back to the case of the blind man at Jericho. But who can say how far this is itself historical? The cures of paralytics, too, belong rather to the equipment of the Messiah than to history. The cures through touching clothes, and the healings at a distance, have myth written on their foreheads. The fact is, the Messiah must equal, nay, surpass, the deeds of the prophets. That is why raising from the dead figure among His miracles.

The nature miracles, over a collection of which Strauss puts the heading “Sea-Stories and Fish-Stories,” have a much larger admixture of the mythical. His opponents took him severely to task for this irreverent superscription.

The repetition of the story of the feeding of the multitude arouses suspicion regarding the credibility of what is narrated, and at once invalidates the hypothesis of the apostolic authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. Moreover, the incident was so naturally suggested by Old Testament examples that it would have been a miracle if such a story had not found its way into the life of Jesus. An explanation on the analogy of an expedited process of nature, is here, as in the case of the miracle at Cana also, to be absolutely rejected. Strauss allows it to be laughed out of court. The cursing of the fig-tree and its fulfilment go back in some way or other to a parable of Jesus, which was afterwards made into history.

More important than the miracles heretofore mentioned are those which have to do with Jesus Himself and mark the crises of His history. The transfiguration had to find a place in the life of Jesus, because of the shining of Moses’ countenance. In dealing with the narratives of the resurrection it is evident that we must distinguish two different strata of legend, an older one, represented by Matthew, which knew only of appearances in Galilee, and a later, in which the Galilaean appearances are excluded in favour of appearances in Jerusalem. In both cases, however, the narratives are mythical. In any attempt to explain them we are forced on one horn of the dilemma or the other—if the resurrection was real, the death was not real, and vice versa. That the ascension is a myth is self-evident.

Such, and so radical, are the results at which Strauss’s criticism of the supernaturalistic and the rationalistic explanations of the life of Jesus ultimately arrives. In reading Strauss’s discussions one is not so much struck with their radical character, because of the admirable dialectic skill with which he shows the total impossibility of any explanation which does not take account of myth. On the whole, the supernaturalistic explanation, which at least represents the plain sense of the narratives, comes off much better than the rationalistic, the artificiality of which is everywhere remorselessly exposed.

In section after section Strauss cross-examines the reports on every point, down to the minutest detail, and then pronounces in what proportion an alloy of myth enters into each of them. In every case the decision is unfavourable to the Gospel of John. Strauss was the first to take this view. Strauss does not scruple even to assert that John introduces imaginary characters. If this Gospel relates fewer miracles, the miracles which it retains are proportionately greater; so great, indeed, that their absolutely miraculous character is beyond the shadow of doubt; and, moreover, a moral or symbolical significance is added.

Here, therefore, it is no longer the unconscious action of legend which selects, creates, or groups the incidents, but a clearly-determined apologetic and dogmatic purpose.

On this point, he contents himself with remarking that if Jesus had really taught in Jerusalem on several occasions, it is absolutely unintelligible how all knowledge of this could have so completely disappeared from the Synoptic tradition; for His going up to the Passover at which He met His death is there represented as His sole journey to Jerusalem. From the triumphal entry to the resurrection, the difference between the Synoptic and Johannine narratives is so great that all attempts to harmonise them are to be rejected.

The most decisive evidence of all is found in the farewell discourses and in the absence of all mention of the spiritual struggle in Gethsemane. The intention here is to show that Jesus not only had a foreknowledge of His death, but had long overcome it in anticipation, and went to meet His tragic fate with perfect inward serenity. That, however, is no historical narrative, but the final stage of reverent idealisation.

The question is decided. The Gospel of John is inferior to the Synoptics as a historical source just in proportion as it is more strongly dominated than they by theological and apologetic interests.

The Synoptic discourses, like the Johannine, are composite structures, created by later tradition out of sayings which originally belonged to different times and circumstances, arranged under certain leading ideas so as to form connected discourses. The sermon on the mount, the discourse at the sending forth of the twelve, the great parable-discourse, the polemic against the Pharisees, have all been gradually formed like geological deposits. “From the comparison which we have been making,” says Strauss in one passage,

we can already see that the hard grit of these sayings of Jesus (die kornigen Reden Jesu) has not indeed been dissolved by the flood of oral tradition, but they have often been washed away from their original position and like rolling pebbles (Gerolle) have been deposited in places to which they do not properly belong.

And, moreover, we find this distinction between the first three Evangelists, viz. that Matthew is a skilful collector who, while he is far from having been able always to give the original connexion, has at least known how to bring related passages aptly together, whereas in the other two many fragmentary sayings have been left exactly where chance had deposited them, which was generally in the interstices between the larger masses of discourse. Luke, indeed, has in some cases made an effort to give them an artistic setting, which is, however, by no means a satisfactory substitute for the natural connexion.

It is in his criticism of the parables that Strauss is most extreme. He starts out from the assumption that they have mutually influenced one another, and that those which may possibly be genuine have only been preserved in a secondary form. The tendency of the work to purely critical analysis, the ostentatious avoidance of any positive expression of opinion, and not least, the manner of regarding the Synoptists as mere bundles of narratives and discourses, make it difficult—indeed, strictly speaking, impossible—to determine Strauss’s own distinctive conception of the life of Jesus, to discover what he really thinks is moving behind the curtain of myth.

From all this it may be seen how strongly he had been influenced by Reimarus, whom, indeed, he frequently mentions.

Strauss’s Life of Jesus has a different significance for modern theology from that which it had for his contemporaries. For them it was the work which made an end of miracle as a matter of historical belief, and gave the mythological explanation its due.

We, however, find in it also an historical aspect of a positive character, inasmuch as the historic Personality which emerges from the mist of myth is a Jewish claimant of the Messiahship, whose world of thought is purely eschatological. Strauss is, therefore, no mere destroyer of untenable solutions, but also the prophet of a coming advance in knowledge.

David Friedrich Strauss, 1

The following is excerpted from Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus, published in 1906: a scholarly yet readable introduction to the field of New Testament studies from a modern viewpoint. Schweitzer’s seventh chapter is titled “David Friedrich Strauss – The Man And His Fate”:

DF Strauss

In order to understand Strauss one must love him. he was not the greatest, and not the deepest, of theologians, but he was the most absolutely sincere. His insight and his errors were alike the insight and the errors of a prophet. And he had a prophet’s fate. Disappointment and suffering gave his life its consecration. It unrolls itself before us like a tragedy, in which, in the end, the gloom is lightened by the mild radiance which shines forth from the nobility of the sufferer.

After being for a short time Deputy-professor at Maulbronn, he took his doctor’s degree with a dissertation on the apokatastasis (restoration of all things. Acts iii. 21). This work is lost. From his letters it appears that he treated the subject chiefly from the religious-historical point of view.

In October 1831 he went to Berlin to hear Hegel and Schleiermacher. On the 14th of November Hegel, whom he had visited shortly before, was carried off by cholera. Strauss heard the news in Schleiermacher’s house, from Schleiermacher himself, and is said to have exclaimed, with a certain want of tact, considering who his informant was: “And it was to hear him that I came to Berlin!”

Strauss felt himself called upon to come forward as an apostle of Hegel, and lectured upon Hegel’s logic with tremendous success. “In my theology,” he writes in a letter of 1833, “philosophy occupies such a predominant position that my theological views can only be worked out to completeness by means of a more thorough study of philosophy, and this course of study I am now going to prosecute uninterruptedly and without concerning myself whether it leads me back to theology or not.” Further on he says: “If I know myself rightly, my position in regard to theology is that what interests me in theology causes offence, and what does not cause offence is indifferent to me. For this reason I have refrained from delivering lectures on theology.”

Considering its character, the work was rapidly produced. He wrote it sitting at the window of the Repetents’ room, which looks out upon the gateway-arch. When its two volumes appeared in 1835 the name of the author was wholly unknown, except for some critical studies upon the Gospels. This book, into which he had poured his youthful enthusiasm, rendered him famous in a moment—and utterly destroyed his prospects. Among his opponents the most prominent was Steudel, a member of the theological faculty, who, as president of the Stift, made representations against him to the Ministry, and succeeded in securing his removal from the post of “Repetent.” The hopes which Strauss had placed upon his friends were disappointed. Only two or three at most dared to publish anything in his defence.

Towards the end of the ’thirties he became conscious of a growing impulse towards more positive views. The criticisms of his opponents had made some impression upon him. The second volume of polemics was laid aside. In its place appeared the third edition of the Life of Jesus, 1838-1839, containing a series of amazing concessions. These inconsistencies he removed in the next edition, acknowledging that he did not know how he could so have temporarily vacillated in his point of view.

For a moment it seemed as though his rehabilitation would be accomplished. In January 1839 the noble-minded Hitzig succeeded in getting him appointed to the vacant chair of dogmatics in Zurich. But the orthodox and pietist parties protested so vehemently that the Government was obliged to revoke the appointment. Strauss was pensioned off, without ever entering on his office.

About that time his mother died. In 1841 he lost his father. When the estate came to be settled up, it was found that his affairs were in a less unsatisfactory condition than had been feared. Strauss was secure against want. The success of his second great work, his Christian Theology (published in 1840-41), compensated him for his disappointment at Zurich. In conception it is perhaps even greater than the Life of Jesus; and in depth of thought it is to be classed with the most important contributions to theology. In spite of that it never attracted so much attention as the earlier work. Strauss continued to be known as the author of the Life of Jesus. Any further ground of offence which he might give was regarded as quite subsidiary.

And the book contains matter for offence in no common degree. At the end of the second volume, where battle is joined on the issue of personal immortality, all these ideas play their part in the struggle. Personal immortality is finally rejected in every form. It is not the application of the mythological explanation to the Gospel history which irrevocably divides Strauss from the theologians, but the question of personal immortality.

At the very time when Strauss was beginning to breathe freely once more, had turned his back upon all attempts at compromise, and reconciled himself to giving up teaching; and when, after settling his father’s affairs, he had the certainty of being secure against penury; at that very time he sowed for himself the seeds of a new, immitigable suffering by his marriage with Agnese Schebest, the famous singer. After some years they procured a divorce, custody of the children being assigned to the father. The lady took up her residence in Stuttgart, and Strauss paid her an allowance up to her death in 1870.

What he suffered may be read between the lines in the passage in The Old Faith and the New where he speaks of the sacredness of marriage and the admissibility of divorce. The wound bled inwardly. His mental powers were disabled. At this time he wrote little. Only in the apologue “Julian the Apostate, or the Romanticist on the throne of the Caesars”—that brilliant satire upon Frederic William IV, written in 1847—is there a flash of the old spirit.

He had no practice in speaking without manuscript, and cut a poor figure as a debater. When, subsequently, the President of the Chamber called him to order for asserting that a previous speaker had “concealed by sleight of hand” (wegeskamotiert, “juggled away”) an important point in the debate, he refused to accept the vote of censure, resigned his membership, and ceased to attend the diets. As he himself put it, he “jumped out of the boat.” Then began a period of restless wandering, during which he beguiled his time with literary work. He wrote, inter alia, upon Lessing, Hutten, and Reimarus, rediscovering the last-named for his fellow-countrymen.

At the end of the ’sixties he returned once more to theology. His Life of Jesus adapted for the German People appeared in 1864. In the preface he refers to Renan, and freely acknowledges the great merits of his work.

His last work, The Old Faith and the New, appeared in 1872. Once more, as in the work on theology published in 1840-1841, he puts to himself the question. What is there of permanence in this artificial compound of theology and philosophy, faith and thought? But he puts the question with a certain bitterness, and shows himself too much under the influence of Darwinism, by which his mind was at that time dominated. The Hegelian system of thought, which served as a firm basis for the work of 1840, has fallen in ruins. Strauss is alone with his own thoughts, endeavouring to raise himself above the new scientific worldview. His powers of thought, never, for all his critical acumen, strong on the creative side, and now impaired by age, were unequal to the task. There is no force and no greatness in the book.

To the question, “Are we still Christians?” he answers, “No.” But to his second question, “Have we still a religion?” he is prepared to give an affirmative answer, if the assumption is granted that the feeling of dependence, of self-surrender, of inner freedom, which has sprung from the pantheistic world-view, can be called religion. It was a dead book, in spite of the many editions which it went through, and the battle which raged over it was, like the fiercest of the Homeric battles, a combat over the dead.

The theologians declared Strauss bankrupt, and felt themselves rich because they had made sure of not being ruined by a similar unimaginative honesty. Friedrich Nietzsche, from the height of his would-be Schopenhauerian pessimism, mocked at the fallen hero.

Before the year was out Strauss began to suffer from an internal ulcer. For many months he bore his sufferings with quiet resignation and inner serenity, until on the 8th of February 1874, in his native town of Ludwigsburg, death set him free.

He was buried on a stormy February day.

Prolegomena

for the new religion for Whites


In a previous thread Stubbs responded to one of my comments:

I have, and I’m not really a theist. I’m more along the lines of Pierce or Heidegger or something. The problem with trying to emulate the NSDAP on this one is that they were able to use a lot of “meta-political” work done prior. They had Kant and Hegel and Nietzsche and so on, which wasn’t ideal but was at least a start.

Their religious dogmatism was mostly limited to things like banning freemasonry or not letting atheists into the SS, which wasn’t “separation of church and state” but wasn’t exactly a reformation either. They had to deal with the same problem as us: ending nihilistic atheism through something besides Christianity. It requires a new way of thinking, but I don’t see how the German people of 1940 could have been ready for it. They hadn’t witnessed the collapse of their entire civilization, they weren’t going to believe that God was dead just because Nietzsche claimed it. Now we know.

Maybe I’m being a little too bombastic; I don’t really care whether “the Spirit proceeds from the Son who proceeds from the Father” or “both the Spirit and the Son proceed from the Father”, but that doesn’t mean religion shouldn’t be debated in the public sphere, as a matter of right and wrong, and not merely a “personal opinion” to be tucked away. I see secularism as a sort of spiritual pacifism, and pacifism on the highest questions (is there a God?) trickles down to even the most basic issues (who are we to say homosexuals can’t marry?).

So let me think of some fundamental questions that need to be answered: Why does it matter if the White race exists, if the rest of the humans are happy? Why does it matter if the White race continues to exist if I personally live my life out in comfort? Why should I be concerned with the White race if it only recently evolved from our ape-like ancestors, knowing that change is a part of the universe? Why should I be concerned with the existence of the White race if every White person is mortal, and preserving each one is futile? Why should I be concerned with preserving the White race if all White people who live will suffer, some horribly, and none would suffer if they were wiped out? Why should I as an individual put effort into helping my race when it’s very unlikely that my personal effort will tip the scales? Why should I bother living at all, if my life is not immediately entertaining to me?

These are big questions. Maybe no one in the 1930s would ask why Germans must survive, but Pierce’s student has become the norm in 2013. I don’t think we can just give a smattering of different reasons and call it good enough. We’re going to need answers, and we’re going to actually need to agree on what the answers are, and how we got them, and that means no separation between religion and politics. Incidentally, this also makes a Christian-pagan-atheist alliance very difficult, and I think each position will have to divorce itself from and, at most, work in parallel with the others. Eventually something will become “king of the hill” and it will flip the world upside-down.

This is my response:

So let me think of some fundamental questions that need to be answered: Why does it matter if the White race exists, if the rest of the humans are happy?

That and the rest of your questions are easy questions—for me. But I acknowledge that trying to respond in a blog entry is extremely difficult (William Pierce tried to ponder along similar lines in the very first of his weekly speeches). The real problem with this topic is that it involves something that we may call “psychoclasses,” a subject I mention in those pages of my book where I try explain psychohistory.

If regarding music you belong to a superior psychoclass to those of the masses, you will find it impossible to “prove” your superiority unless you are a scholar of musical science (see e.g., this response by Roger to one of James’ articles on music at Counter-Currents). I can grasp what Roger says intuitively. But I am not a music scholar. I can’t use language to prove that those who like the crassest forms of pop music are spiritual degenerates. Similarly, it’s all too easy to recognize a beautiful or an ugly face you see in the real world, but when trying to use mere language to describe that face to, say, the police, you will see that you need a visual representation of it.

It is the same regarding your questions above. As I told you in that thread, to me the beauty of the white Aryan woman (some would argue that leptosomatic ephebes fall in this category too) could transform itself into a new myth. To use Michael O’Meara’s words in Toward the White Republic:

For it is myth—and the memories and hopes animating it—that shape a nation, that turn a “motley horde” into a people with a shared sense of purpose and identity, that mobilize them against the state of things, and prepare them for self-sacrifice and self-rule.

Myth, not race realism, not stats on black-on-white crime or an excruciating analysis on the Jewish problem, will create the white ethnostate. Let us not use only those old tones anymore when trying to communicate with the broader population. Remember those words written specifically by Beethoven (rather than Schiller) for his Choral symphony:

Oh friends, not these tones!
Rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing
And more joyful sounds!

For the emergent individual, classical music is the manifestation of a spiritual stage; the crassest forms of pop music and sexual permissiveness, the manifestation of a degenerative, hedonistic stage. The problem with the new myth that potentially could galvanize Whites is, of course, that like music it cannot be articulated except by means of using the right hemisphere of the brain; in this case, the visual arts.

Terre et Peuple, Blut und Boden

Catalina, the crown of the evolution, a girl I met in 1980

The above illustration comes from the brush of the American painter Maxfield Parrish. That Westerners in general and Americans in particular have been degrading their psyches into descendent spirals since World War 2 is evident when keeping in mind that it was estimated that a copy of one of Parrish’s masterpieces, Daybreak, could be found in one out of every four American households in times when Hitler was in power.

Even later, when I was a child in the 1960s, I remember how the American and British cultures still celebrated spiritually the beauty of the Aryan woman. I was a child when the original Prince Valiant came up in every Sunday paper, a comic-strip where the female characters were depicted as hyper-Nordic beauties and the institution of marriage (and the femininity of women) was solid.

Whites need to evolve, make a quantum leap from their current degeneracy to their previous stage. This cannot be done as some young people in the movement say, by invoking the year of 1936—as the Spanish Civil War was, literally, the last ditch of the Christian era (ask me: who studied in the Madrid High School of Mexico City). Following Hegel’s dialectic I would say that Christian numinousity can be merged within its antithetical secularism, giving birth to a synthesis that would be neither Christian nor secular in the current liberal sense.

Let me finish this post with the last paragraph of my essay “Gitone’s magic,” a sort of Platonic response to Counter-Currents’ explicitly “gay” agenda:

I imagine modifying the Northwest Republic tricolor flag by means of placing the colors horizontally and adding the full image of Parrish’s Garden of Opportunity in its middle. Not because in our search for the inexplicable superiority of the Venusinian we males should try to imitate Gitone or Tadzio, which is impossible. But because only the unreachable archetype of the eternal feminine will lead the white race to the Absolute.

I don’t know why, but I confess that every time I read this last line I find myself almost on the verge of tears…

On Buddha & Evola

Or:

“The existence of Buddhism
should scare the White Nationalists
who can’t think of anything but Jews”

by Cesar Tort


In a previous post I talked about my golden rule: never read those authors or philosophers who write in obscure prose.
I confess that, in the past, when I was researching the pseudoscience called psychiatry, I had to read a book of one of those authors who deliberately and unnecessarily wrote in extremely opaque prose. I refer to Michel Foucault’s analysis of how the “mental health” movement was launched after an edict of Louis XIV that created, under the umbrella name of “General Hospital,” a prison in Paris for people who had not broken any law. While I found historical data in Foucault’s Madness and Civilization germane to my investigation, I also found much tasteless sludge in his text from a strictly literary, didactic viewpoint.

I mention this only to show that I can decipher opaque prose if I wish. But only in an exceptional case, where no other historical works on the same subject were available, I dared to break my rule.

turgid book

Such was not the case when I tried to read Julius Evola’s Metaphysics of Sex. After a few pages I realized that it was written deliberately in opaque prose and, since I was not researching the subject to write a book (as was the case of my study of psychiatry), my copy of Evola’s book ended in the trash can.

This illustrates my extreme passion for crystal-clear and distinct language, and my loathsome even for the great minds of Western thought that refuse to write in readable prose. In fact, what I liked the most in Leszek Kolakowski’s monumental, three-volume deconstruction of Marxism was the passage where he said that every metaphysical insight of Hegel had already been written before him, and in much clearer language. Kolakowski’s honest sentence contrasted sharply with Hans Küng’s dishonest appraisal of Hegel in a heavy treatise of my library that, to date, has escaped the trash can, The Incarnation of God: An Introduction to Hegel’s Theological Thought as Prolegomena to a Future Christology where Küng dishonestly claims that Hegel wrote his philosophy in pristine prose!

One of my favorite books is Matthew Stewart’s The Truth About Everything: An Irreverent History of Philosophy. Stewart goes as far as trying to debunk almost the entire field of philosophy, partly for the specious use of obscure prose in many of the works of the greatest thinkers. Just for the record, of the Western philosophical canon I only like Augustine’s Confessions and Nietzsche’s Ecce homo in spite of the fact that both autobiographers became mad; Voltaire’s Candide, Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms and John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, which I still like because free speech has now been curtailed in Mill’s native country. All of these works were written in clear prose. The Truth About Everything corroborated what I already knew but was afraid to say aloud. I would like to explain this book’s thesis not by quoting Stewart but by pointing out to something that I have figured out by myself.

The accepted view about Kant’s metaphysics is that it’s too complex and profound for the layman to understand. Those who study the snares of language, on the other hand, point out that Confucius detected the trick of using obscure language to pose as a profound metaphysician. Unlike the Chinese, the West hasn’t learned to detect this trick, and even today white nationalist sites such as Counter-Currents have presented obfuscating authors as deep thinkers (Alex Dugin, only the most recent case). A single example will suffice: If the interpretation of the universities is right, that is to say, if philosophers are so profound that only a few can grasp their ideas, how do you explain that Kant, the philosopher who introduced such obscurantism into the modern West, has been interpreted in dramatically different ways by such giants as Schopenhauer and Heidegger?

The answer is obvious. The goal of gratuitously obscuring language is that, by the heaviest and densest imaginable screens of smoke thus lifted, the philosopher’s System becomes impregnable to criticism. For instance, after honest psychologists found fatal flaws in Sigmund Freud’s edifice, the orthodox Freudian Jacques Lacan reacted by translating all of Freud’s claims, written in clear German prose, to an opaque French that only the initiate could understand. But of course: we don’t need to spend precious time trying to decipher the Ecrits of the charlatan Lacan to refute Freud. Just go directly to Freud’s original texts!

Today Counter-Currents published an erudite Evola essay on Buddhism, where Evola tries to spare the founder of Buddhism from any criticism from the Right by claiming that his philosophy was not effeminate like today’s liberals, but virile. But Evola represents exactly what is wrong with complex philosophizing that moved me to put one of his books into the trash can. In his essay published at C-C he even claims that Zen stands for a return to the original Buddhism, something that is patently untrue (see below). If you ask exactly what is Evola leaving out I would say that Buddhism contained the seeds of race treason for the Aryans in India. In a recent comment at this blog, Stubbs said:

Our race has had some really bad ideas over the ages: Alexander the Great telling all his soldiers to miscegenate, the Roman Empire making “citizens” out of aliens, the Aryan prince who founded Buddhism abolishing the caste system, White rulers in Egypt and Persia letting their countries go dark, not to mention the simple infighting and disorganization that would make our race easy prey for Jews or Muslims [and Mongols I would add]. Frankly, the existence of Buddhism should scare the White Nationalists who can’t think of anything but Jews.

Stubbs is right, and to prove it I have no choice but to debunk one of the most venerated religious icons of the West after the 1960s started to replace Christianity with Oriental cults and New Age nonsense.

In my twenties I read The Three Pillars of Zen and was greatly impressed by the enlightenment experience (“satori”) of a Japanese executive in that book of Philip Kapleau. Since there were no Zen schools in the city where I lived it’s no coincidence that the same month that I became interested in Zen I fell, instead, in the Eschatology cult. Infinite soul odysseys I had to cross through before I stopped seeking my salvation in mysticism, cults or the paranormal. In the remainder of this entry I’ll dwell with some of my conclusions about Buddhism after my long, dark night of the soul was finally over.

Pali is an ancient dialect of India, the equivalent for Buddhists of Latin for Roman Catholics. A text called Tripiṭaka, written in Pali, is the oldest about the life of Buddha.

“Tripiṭaka” means three baskets or divisions called the Pali Canon: Digha Nikaya (Dialogues of the Buddha), Majjhima Nikaya (Sayings of average length) and Samyutta Nikaya (Similar sayings). This “Bible” of Buddhism is formidable: a mountain of literature that secular laymen cannot address as easily as the Torah, the New Testament or the Koran. Fortunately, Wisdom Publications sells a splendid English edition with extensive introductions, summaries of the sutras attributed to Buddha, and hundreds of notes and appendices in three volumes which together consist of more than 4,000 pages. Unlike the extensive Talmud the Pali Canon is, as to abstract ideas, very dense. In addition to abstract teachings it contains interpretations and the Order’s rule attributed to Buddha. The recent translation to English is an invaluable collection for those interested in Buddhism who don’t know Pali. However, since I follow my golden rule the dense psycho-metaphysics in The Long Discourses of The Buddha: a translation of the Digha Nikaya by Maurice Walshe (1995), The Middle Length Discourses of The Buddha: a translation of the Majjhima Nikaya by Bhikkhu Nanamoli (1995), and The Connected Discourses of The Buddha: a translation of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi (2002) might find a place in my personal library, but I’ll never read them from cover to cover. Never.

Evola did not read them either, since this translation is so recent. But whether we like it or not we have to start from the Pali Canon, aided by modern commentators, to speculate about who might have been the historical Buddha, if he was a historical figure at all. For the moment I must rely on other scholars for what I venture to say below.


The Buddha of dogma

Buddha was born between the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. in a border of what is now Nepal and India (incidentally, a border crossed by one of my brothers in one of his searches for the “spiritual”). This seems to be true story. But legend says that Buddha was conceived when his virginal mother dreamed with a white elephant, which of course brings to mind the gospel’s nativity legends.

Birthplacebuddha

(Birthplace of Siddhatta in Lumbini)

Very few know that the narrative of the gospels of Matthew and Luke about the virginal conception of Jesus is not original. The Tripiṭaka also mentions a sage and a king worshiping the baby Buddha, which appears centuries after in the gospel narrative of the Magi. Moreover, the texts say that when Buddha was about thirty he suffered temptations by a devil (like Jesus in the desert at the same age) that wanted to prevent his enlightenment. And like the famous Sermon on the Mount of Jesus, Buddha is credited with the famous Sermon of Fire in which he speaks of the passions and human deceit (“Everything is on fire …”).

Like Jesus, Buddha is regarded by tradition as a man of extraordinary compassion for the downcast, and believers also attribute to him diverse miracles, like the Enlightened One having walked on the sea and calmed storms; stopped a plague in a village; more spectacular levitations than the ones attributed to Catholic saints, and even bilocations of his body. Like the Christian gospel, when Buddha died tradition says that the earth trembled and that the light of heaven was darkened. New Testament scholar Randel Helms suspects that the narrative of Jesus walking on the sea was modeled on Buddhist legends.

The Pali Canon claims that at thirty-five Buddha attained enlightenment; that the man reached the level of awakening from a world of illusion and thus became a “buddha” (legend speaks of previous Buddhas, like the Buddha Amida or the Buddha Kakusandha, but according to scholarship they are not historical figures). It is fascinating to compare the oldest and concise narrative of Buddha’s enlightenment with the legends about the same event, developed in much more recent types of Buddhism, like the Japanese Zen. But before doing it let’s think of the development of the Easter story in the New Testament.

The earliest New Testament writing, the epistles of Paul, do not talk of empty tombs, appearances of the risen Jesus, or the Ascension: they are only tortuous proclamations of faith without colorful resurrection narratives.

The Gospel of Mark, the earliest of the canonical gospels, speaks for the first time of the empty tomb but no Ascension or postmortem appearances of the risen Jesus to his disciples.

Matthew and Luke do talk about the apparitions, but Matthew omits Jesus’ Ascension into heaven.

Luke’s Acts mention the ascension but the theological type of Christology like “In the beginning was the Word…” was not yet developed.

Only in the last of the gospels to be written, the gospel of John, appears a developed Christology interwoven with other narratives about Jesus.

For the critical reader it is obvious that the writers of the New Testament added layer after layer of inspiring legends to a more primordial tale. And if the resurrection is the top event in Christianity, the Buddha’s enlightenment after his last meditation under the Bo tree is the maximum event for Buddhism. The story that conquered my imagination about the Buddha when I just left behind my teens was precisely the experience of the satori, or enlightenment, when he saw the planet Venus in the morning after his final session under the tree. “Wonder of wonders!” the Buddha said aloud. “Intrinsically all living beings are buddhas, endowed with wisdom and virtue, but because men’s minds have become inverted through delusive thinking they fail to perceive this.”

The mistake I made at twenty was taking for real the late and extremely elaborated narratives about the Buddha’s enlightenment: the story told by Yasutani-roshi in The Three Pillars of Zen. At that time I could not think as modern historians do: study the oldest texts if you want to speculate about what might have happened in history. However, had I read the new, most scholarly edition of the Tripiṭaka instead of The Three Pillars of Zen, no numinous spirit would have awakened in my mind, a spirit sparked by my reading the words of the roshi.

Once “enlightened,” the official story goes, Buddha’s mission was to teach the dharma to mankind and he delivered his first sermon. Rewording some later texts, the starting point of his teaching seems to be something like this: “Here is the sacred truth of suffering. Birth is suffering, aging is suffering… Here is the truth about the origin of suffering: desire.” And the way to suppress human suffering involves an austere life, a happy golden mean between the ruthless asceticism that the saint practiced and the worldly life. The eightfold path or “path to liberation” leads to nirvana.


The Siddhatta of history?

This eightfold path suggests that Buddha taught a kind of what Scientologists call “OT levels.” We could see the arhats or “perfected ones” as the “clears” or “liberated” in Ronald Hubbard’s psycho-babble cult. The Tripiṭaka also says that the five ascetics who had departed him then recognized the Buddha, underwent their “path to liberation” and reached the level of arhats. Buddha would be the leader of a sect with half hundred arhats or perfected men.

My comparison to modern, destructive cults may sound pretty irreverent, but that’s precisely what the irreverent history of Western philosophy by Matthew Stewart taught me. If we can mock the Wisdom of the West, why aren’t we allowed to mock the Wisdom of the East too?

White nationalist circles are fond of saying that Buddha was ethnically Aryan. But “The Buddha” is a title similar to “The Christ” of Christians to designate the man Jesus, or “The Prophet” of Muslims to refer to Mohammed. Unlike Jesus or Mohammed, the stories about Buddha were written several centuries after his death. If we want to speculate from such late legends, we must start with the name itself. As I never call “Christ” the human Jesus because I’m not Christian, from this line on I won’t call “Buddha” the human Siddhatta because I’m not Buddhist.

Sidhartha Gautama is Sanskrit for Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, the language that perhaps the founder of the religion spoke. If he existed he would have been called “Siddhatta” (Gotama was the name of his father). A person who has reached the “buddha” level simply means that he is an “enlightened one,” as the word Christ means “anointed one” in Greek (i.e., the messiah).

Like the charlatan Hubbard, who obscured his message with a mountain of unnecessary neologisms for terms already known in previous esoteric movements, Siddhatta was not original. Alara Kalama, his first teacher, had told Siddhatta that he, Siddhatta’s master, had reached “the sphere of nothing,” and his second teacher taught him to achieve “the sphere without perception and without no perception.” Whatever they told him in real life, these cryptic thoughts would inspire Siddhatta about his idea of the nirvana. Like Hubbard, all he did was to change the names and claim that “nirvana” was a plane superior to our own plane of existence.

After dropping his first teachers, and like the sanctimonious Christians of later centuries, it seems that Siddhatta practiced severe asceticism, increasingly eating less rice. Later artistic representations depict the anorexic Siddhatta with the skin of his stomach appearing almost next to his spine. The ancient text Majjhima Nikaya puts in Siddhatta’s mouth these words: “My buttocks seem wild ox hoof.” Siddhatta felt the danger of dying and accepted milk and rice offered by a peasant girl. He recovered gradually and his first disciples abandoned him after he quitted ascetics. Legend tells us that after surpassing the temptations of the devil, in his meditation sessions Siddhatta retrieved the memories of his past existences. (The founder of another religion, Hubbard, also claimed having remembered his past lives.)

Whether these stories were historical or not, may I remind my readers the most elementary rules of logic. Clearly, if reincarnation does not exist, both Hinduism and Buddhism are based on deception. Similarly, if Yahweh didn’t speak to Moses at Sinai, Judaism is based on a lie. If Jesus was not resurrected, Christianity is based on a lie. And if the angel did not speak to Muhammad, Islam is based on a lie. The only difference with the doctrine of reincarnation is that it was not original of Siddhatta: it preceded him within the metaphysical tradition of his homeland. But the postmodern psyche is shaped so that the mere fact that such an ancient doctrine enjoys wide acceptance makes it respectable.

Siddhatta visited the house of his father. Legend tells us that Yasodhara, the wife Siddhatta had abandoned, fell under his feet. Siddhatta’s father asked his son to establish the rule that no child could be ordered monk of the new religion, unless he obtained permission of his father. Siddhatta nodded. If the anecdote is historical it proves that the now “enlightened” man allowed himself to be treated like a child, again.

Sarnath

(Dhâmek Stûpa in Sârnâth, India, site of the first teaching of Siddhatta)

In Jetavana Siddhatta founded a famous monastery which became his headquarters and where he gave his sermons. The movement grew and soon many monasteries were founded in the major towns of the valley of Ganges. The Hindus believed that Siddhatta had a special trick for galvanic attraction. As Mother Teresa would later do also in India, Siddhatta visited the patients: a PR trick we see even in the careers of politicians during election campaigns.

Siddhatta died of old age, and it is instructive to know that before dying he became seriously ill. Similar to what the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, said after his guru died in 1986—that Hubbard voluntarily got rid of his body—, Siddhatta’s followers believe that he passed away voluntarily. He was cremated; his relics divided to the satisfaction of the various groups.

The central Buddhist doctrine, that suffering is caused by attachment to life, is a typical oriental escape from Life. After the magnificent sculptures in classical times of young Aryan bodies, the Eastern spirit of apathy and resignation (see my recent quote of Will Durant at Occidental Dissent) was reflected in Greek art through sculptures of sick old men. What a difference with the self-image of the Hellenes when Athens was at its height!

The other Siddhatta doctrine, that overcoming worldly attachment overcomes suffering, is the perfect corollary of such a pessimistic worldview. It is surprising that the religions that arose on dry soil, like Judaism and Christianity, have fantasized about a utopian future while moist religions, such as Buddhism and other Indian cults, preach the annihilation of the desire: one of the oldest definitions of nirvana. The central belief of Buddhism is that, if we get rid of attachment, we free ourselves from suffering. From this standpoint you will understand why devout Buddhists meditate hour after hour. The object is, to put it in contemporary terms, to turn the ego faculty off, an ego from which all suffering is derived.

Anyone who believes that we must cast out our desires would do well to shoot himself: the most direct way to destroy the ego, and forever. Siddhatta’s followers would object because of their sacred belief in the reincarnation chain, which condemns the suicidal individual to another, and probably worse, life. I remember how I was disappointed by the author of The Three Pillars of Zen while reading another of his books in a bookstore. The now “roshi-Kapleau” condemned both suicide and euthanasia. But the concept of nirvana is much like what we may experience after death: going nowhere, as we were before birth.

The painful way that the historical Siddhatta died contrasts with the serene depictions in Buddhist art. This is why in this post I did not reproduce any artistic iconography of India’s saint. They are all flawed and depict the Buddha of dogma, not the Siddhatta of history. More fundamental is the fact that the doctrine of reincarnation, as understood by Hinduists, Buddhists, Scientologists and many New Agers, is cowardly and un-Aryan.

Pace Evola I see no Übermensch in Siddhatta or in early Buddhism.

Clark’s humanness

From Kenneth Clark’s The Other Half: A Self-Portrait (ellipsis omitted between unquoted excerpts):


The last words of the programme were shot in Saltwood, in my study. As if in sympathy the camera broke down, and a new one had to be sent from London. But at last the final words were spoken, including the prophetic lines by Yeats, which I had heard him read soon after he had written them; I walked in to my library, patted a wooden figure by Henry Moore, as if to imply that there still was hope, and out of shot.

It was all over. The crew came over to the Castle for a drink. We had become a band of brothers and were not far from tears at the thought that we should not meet again. I may be fanciful, but I think something of this feeling of comradeship is perceptible in the film. It seems ridiculous to say that the happiest years of my life took place when I was sixty-eight, but so it was.

The communication with simple people was one of the things about the programmes that particularly annoyed intellectuals of the left, who believed that they had a prescriptive right to speak to the working classes. Academics were furious at the simplification of their labours. In fact my approach to history was unconsciously different from that now in favour in universities, which sees all historical change as the result of economic and communal pressures. I believe in the importance of individuals, and am a natural hero-worshiper. Each programme had its hero—Charlemagne, the Abbot Suger, Alberti, Erasmus, Luther and Montaigne, Mozart, Voltaire, Jefferson, Rousseau, Wordsworth, and finally Brunel. One whole programme is called The Hero as Artist. The majority of people share my taste for heroes, and so were glad of an historical survey that emphasised outstanding individuals rather than economic trends.

When the series was shown in the U.S.A. things got out of hand. The number of letters quadrupled, and some of them were rather dotty.

When I arrived in Georgetown to stay with my old friends David and Margie Finley, Carter Brown, the Director of the Gallery [National Gallery at Washington], rang me to say ‘For God’s sake don’t go in through the front door. You’ll be mobbed’. I went in by the back door and down a long underground corridor to a press conference. After it was over I was led back along the same corridor so that I might walk the whole length of the Gallery upstairs. It was the most terrible experience in my life. All the galleries were crammed full of people who stood up and roared at me, waving their hands and stretching them out towards me.

I then went downstairs and retired to the ‘gents’, where I burst into tears. I sobbed and howled for a quarter of an hour. I suppose politicians quite enjoy this kind of experience, and don’t get it often enough. The Saints certainly enjoyed it, but saints are very tough eggs. To me it was utterly humiliating. It simply made me feel a hoax. I came up to lunch with red eyes, and tried to put the experience out of my mind. But, as the reader will have realised, it would not let go, and has not gone. And I record it because I must be one of the few ordinary, normal men on whom this kind of experience has been inflicted. The Finleys drove me home in silence. They felt as embarrassed as I did.

Speech on receiving the National Gallery of Art medal

When I tried to read the great German philosophers, I turned over the pages of Kant and Hegel, and I couldn’t make head or tail of them. I felt absolutely frustrated and humiliated, but I had to go until I thought I understood something, and at least acquired a new mental process.

Now although I believe that this part of education is the most important part, it has a great defect. One may achieve intellectual discipline, but one doesn’t remember a single thing that one learnt in that way, because one doesn’t absorb it. I can’t translate the simplest Latin inscription, and if you ask me what Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is about I couldn’t tell you.

Education has another aspect—what you learn through delight. It is by falling in love with a subject, a period, a style, an individual hero, that one absorbs something so that it becomes a part of one’s living tissue, and one never forgets it. ‘Give all to love,’ your great underrated poet said. It’s true of education as well of life. And the first advice I would give to any young person is, when you fall in love with Roman baroque or with the essays of Montaigne or with whatever it may be, give up everything to study that one, all-absorbing theme of the moment, because your mind is in a plastic condition. A plastic period usually takes place between the ages of about fifteen to the age of twenty-two; and anyone who is learning at that moment will never forget what he has learnt. Read and read, look and look; you will never be able to do it so intensely again. I often wonder if in the last fifty years of grubbing away and reading in galleries and libraries I’ve learned anything compared to what came to me in those plastic moments.

My goodness, if people really began to be sceptical and use their minds, in order to see through cant and humbug and after self-serving lies, advertisers and public relations men and a number of politicians, and even a few favourable philosophers, would be out of business. And the way that education does this is not only by training people to use their minds, but by teaching them history. When you read history you learn that people in the past were just as clever as we are, in fact at some periods they were a good deal cleverer.

I would like to think that these programmes have done two things: they have made people feel that they are part of a great human achievement, and be proud of it, and they have made them feel humble in thinking of the great men of the past.