Raciology, 1

The Wikipedia article on “scientific racism” has the input of Jews and white liberals, but substantially edited it contains relevant info:
 

Classical thinkers

Benjamin Isaac, in The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (2006), reports that scientific racism is rooted in Greco-Roman antiquity. A prime example is the 5th century BC treatise Airs, Waters, Places by Hippocrates, about which the Pseudo-Aristotle notes: “The idea that dark people are cowards, and light people courageous fighters, is found already in Airs, Waters, Places.”

A further example is the Roman writer, architect, and engineer Vitruvius (70-25 BC), who, relying upon the racial theories of the Greek Stoic polymath Posidonius (c. 135-51 BC), said:

…those races nearest to the southern half of the axis are of lower stature, with swarthy complexions, curly hair, black eyes, and little blood, on account of the sun. This poverty of blood makes them over-timid to stand up against the sword… On the other hand, men born in cold countries are, indeed, ready to meet the shock of arms with great courage and without timidity.

 
Enlightenment thinkers

Historian Henri de Boulainvilliers (1658-1722) divided the French as two races: the aristocratic “French race” descended from the invader Germanic Franks, and the indigenous Gallo-Roman race (the political Third Estate populace). The Frankish aristocracy dominated the Gauls by innate right of conquest, the contrary of modern nationalism. Despite supporting hagiographies and epic poetry, such as La Chanson de Roland, c. 12th century, he sought scientific legitimating by basing his racialist distinction on the historical existence of genetically and linguistically distinguished Germanic and Latin-speaking peoples in France.

Voltaire found biblical monogenism laughable, as he expressed:

It is a serious question among them whether the Africans are descended from monkeys or whether the monkeys come from them. Our wise men have said that man was created in the image of God. Now here is a lovely image of the Divine Maker: a flat and black nose with little or hardly any intelligence.

The Scottish lawyer Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782) was a polygenist: he believed God had created different races on Earth in separate regions. In his 1734 book Sketches on the History of Man, Home claimed that the environment, climate, or state of society could not account for racial differences, so the races must have come from distinct, separate stocks.

Meanwhile, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish physician, botanist, and zoologist, modified the established taxonomic bases of binomial nomenclature for fauna and flora, and was a pioneer researcher in biologically defining human race. In Systema Naturae (1767), he labeled several varieties of human species: the red Americanus, the Europeanus, the Asiaticus, the Africanus.

In 1775, Immanuel Kant published Über die verschiedenen Rassen der Menschen, which proposed natural or purposive causes of variation, as opposed to mechanical law or a product of chance. He distinguished four fundamental races: whites, blacks, Kalmuck, and Hindustanic, and attributed the variation to differences in environment and climate, such as the air and sun, but clarified by saying that the variation served a purpose and was not purely superficial. Kant argued that “the yellow Indians have a meager talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people.”

Charles White (1728-1813), an English physician and surgeon, tried to scientifically prove that human races have distinct origins from each other. He believed that whites and blacks were two different species. White was a believer in polygeny, the idea that different races had been created separately. His Account of the Regular Gradation in Man (1799) provided an empirical basis for this idea. White defended the theory of polygeny by refuting French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon’s interfertility argument, which said that only the same species can interbreed. White pointed to species hybrids such as foxes, wolves, and jackals, which were separate groups that were still able to interbreed.

Christoph Meiners (1747-1810) was a German polygenist and believed that each race had a separate origin. Meiners studied the physical, mental and moral characteristics of each race, and built a race hierarchy based on his findings. Meiners split mankind into two divisions, which he labelled the “beautiful white race” and the “ugly black race.” In Meiners’ book The Outline of History of Mankind, he said that a main characteristic of race is either beauty or ugliness. Meiners also claimed the “Americans” were an inferior stock of people and wrote that the noblest race was the Celts. They were able to conquer various parts of the world, they were more sensitive to heat and cold, and their delicacy is shown by the way they are selective about what they eat.

 
Post-Enlightenment thinkers

Racial studies by Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), the French naturalist and zoologist, influenced scientific polygenism and scientific racism. Cuvier believed there were three distinct races: the Caucasian (white), Mongolian (yellow) and the Ethiopian (black). He rated each for the beauty or ugliness of the skull and quality of their civilizations. Cuvier wrote about Caucasians: “The white race, with oval face, straight hair and nose, to which the civilized people of Europe belong and which appear to us the most beautiful of all, is also superior to others by its genius, courage and activity.” Regarding blacks Cuvier wrote:

The Negro race… is marked by black complexion, crisped or woolly hair, compressed cranium and a flat nose. The projection of the lower parts of the face, and the thick lips, evidently approximate it to the monkey tribe: the hordes of which it consists have always remained in the most complete state of barbarism.

One of Cuvier’s pupils, Friedrich Tiedemann, was one of the first to make a scientific contestation of racism. He argued based on craniometric and brain measurements taken by him from Europeans and black people from different parts of the world that blacks have smaller brains, and are thus intellectually inferior.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) attributed civilizational primacy to the white races, who gained sensitivity and intelligence via the refinement caused by living in the rigorous Northern climate:

The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste, or race, is fairer in color than the rest, and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmins, the Inca, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands. All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention, because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers, and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want, and misery, which, in their many forms, were brought about by the climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature, and out of it all came their high civilization.

Franz Ignaz Pruner (1808-1882) was a medical doctor who studied the racial structure of blacks in Egypt. In a book which he wrote in 1846 he claimed that Negro blood had a negative influence on the Egyptian moral character. He published a monograph on blacks in 1861, where he said that the main feature of the Negro’s skeleton is prognathism, which he claimed was the Negro’s relation to the ape.

A postscript to my prolegomena

Further to what I said yesterday.

A deeper response to the questions raised by Stubbs would imply reminding my readers that, at the end of his Critique of Practical Reason, Kant said that there are two universes: the empirical universe and the subjective universe. Karl Popper comments that he who doesn’t believe in the second universe would do well to think about his own death—it is so obvious that a whole universe dies when a human being dies!

What I find nauseating in today’s academia is that it is an institution that denies the existence of this second universe. One could imagine what would happen if a student of psychology or psychiatry tried to write a lyric essay about why Nietzsche lost his mind, like the one that Stefan Zweig wrote and I have been excerpting for WDH. (And wait for the next chapters where Zweig’s story reaches its climax…)

A proper response to Stubbs would require an absolute break from the epistemological error, a category error, so ubiquitous in the academia. That is to say, we must approach such questions as if they were questions for our inner worlds.

The best way to respond to Stubbs, following what I have said about psychoclasses, is imagining that few whites have touched the black monolith of the film 2001. Those who have touched it—and here we are talking of the “second” universe that the current paradigm barely acknowledges—know that the most divine creature on Earth, the nymph, must be preserved at all costs.

This is not the sphere of objective science. Since we are talking of the ideals of our souls, let me confess that I became a white nationalist in 2009 when I lived in the Spanish island Gran Canaria, near Africa. The big unemployment that started in 2008 affected me and, without a job and completely broke, I spent a great deal of time in the internet. When I learned that a demographic winter was affecting all of the white population on planet Earth I was watching a Harry Potter film featuring a blondest female teenager. I remember that I told to myself something to the effect that, henceforward, I would defend the race with all of my teeth and claws.

However, to understand this universe I would have to tell the (tragic) story of the nymph Catalina: a pure white rose who happened to live around my home’s corner decades ago, who looked like the girl in that Parrish painting. But I won’t talk about the tragedy (something of it is recounted in Hojas Susurrantes). Suffice it to say that since then my mind has been devoted to her beauty and, by transference, it is now devoted to protect all genotype & phenotype that resembles hers…

Once we are talking from our own emergent universe (emergent compared to the Neanderthals who have not touched the monolith), Stubb’s questions are easily answered if one only dares to speak out what lies within our psyches:

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?

Speaks my inner universe: Because the rest of humans are like Neanderthals compared to Cro-Magnon whites. Here in Mexico I suffer real nightmares imagining the fate of the poor animals if whites go completely extinct (Amerinds are incapable of feeling the empathy I feel for our biological cousins).

Why does it matter if the White race continues to exist if I personally live my life out in comfort?

Speaks my inner universe: Because only pigs think like that. (Remember the first film of the Potter series, when Hagrid used magic to sprout a pig’s tail from Dudley’s fat bottom for gulping down Harry’s birthday cake.) We have a compromise with God’s creation even when a personal God does not exist.

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?

Speaks my inner universe: Because our mission is that we, not others, touch again the black monolith after four million years that one of our ancestors touched it.

Why should I be concerned with the existence of the White race if every White person is mortal, and preserving each one is futile?

Speaks my inner universe: It is a pity that no one has read The Yearling that I had been excerpting recently. I wanted to say something profound in the context of child abuse but that is a subject that does not interest WDH readers. Let me hint to what I thought after reading it.

To my mind the moral of the novel is not the moment when the father coerced his son to shoot Flag, but the very last page of Marjorie’s masterpiece. Suddenly Jody woke up at midnight and found himself exclaiming “Flag!” when his pet was already gone.

moment of eternity

The poet Octavio Paz once said that we are mortals, yes: but those “portions of eternity,” as a boy playing with his yearling, are the sense of the universe. The empirical (now I am talking of the external) universe was created precisely to give birth to these simple subjective moments: figments that depict our souls like no other moments in the universe’s horizon of events.

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?

Speaks my inner universe: The boy suffered horribly when his father obliged him to murder Flag, yes. But the moment of eternity, as depicted in Wyeth’s illustration, had to be lived. It will probably leave a mark if another incarnation of the universe takes place…

Passion for sincerity

der_kampf_mit_dem_daemon

Early in his career Nietzsche had planned to write a work entitled Passio nuovo, or the Passion for Sincerity. The book was never written; but, what was perhaps better, it was lived in Nietzsche’s own person. For throughout the philosopher’s years of growth and change, a fanatical passion for truthfulness remained as the primitive and fecundating element of all he undertook. For such reasons the sincerity of a man like Nietzsche has nothing akin to the trite honesty of a carefully trained gentleman. His love of truth is a flame, a demon of veracity, a demon of lucidity, is a hunting beast ever on the prow.

Such an attitude of mind accounts for Nietzsche’s detestation of those who, through slackness or cowardice in the realm of thought, neglect the sacred task of straightforwardness; hence his anger against Kant, because that philosopher, while turning his blind eye to the postern, allowed the concept of the godhead to slip back into his system. Lacking sincerity, we cannot hope to attain to knowledge; lacking resoluteness, we cannot hope to be sincere. “I become blind from the moment when I cease to be sincere. If I wish to know, I must be sincere, that is to say, I must be hard, severe, narrow-minded, cruel, inexorable.”

Like all fanatics, he sacrificed even those he loved (as in the case of Richard Wagner, whose friendship had been for Nietzsche one of the most hallowed). He allowed himself to become penurious, solitary, detested, an anchorite and miserable, solely with a view to remaining true to himself, in order to fulfill his mission as apostle of sincerity. This passion for sincerity became, as time elapsed, a monomania in which the good things of life were absorbed.

Nietzsche practised philosophy as a fine art; and, as an artist, he was not concerned with results, with definitive things, with cold calculations. What he sought was style, “morality in the grand style,” and as an artist he experienced and enjoyed the pleasures of unexpected inspiration. It may be a mistake to apply the word philosopher to such a man, for a philosopher is “the lover of wisdom.”

Passion can never be wise. More appropriate to him would be the appellation, “philaleth,” a passionate lover of Aletheia, of truth, of the virginal and cruelly seductive goddess who never tires of luring her admirers into an unending chase, and finally remains inaccessible behind her tattered veils. Nietzsche, as the slave and servant of the daimon, sought excitement and movement pushed to an extreme. Such a fight for the inaccessible has a heroic quality, and heroism almost invariably ends in the destruction of the hero.

Excessive claims for truth come into conflict with mundane affairs, for truth is implacable and dangerous. In the end, so fanatical an urge for truth kills itself. Life is, fundamentally, a perpetual compromise. How well Goethe, in whose character the essence of nature was so exquisitely poised, recognized this fact and applied it to all his understandings! If nature is to keep its balance, its needs, just as mankind needs, to take up an average position, to yield when necessary, to concede points, to form pacts.

He who presumes the right of non-participation, who refuses to compromise with the world around him, who breaks off relationships and conventions which have been slowly built up in the course of many centuries, becomes unnatural and anthropomorphic in his demands, and enters into opposition against society and against nature. The more such an individual “aspires to attain absolute integrity,” the more hostile are the forces of his epoch. If, like Hölderlin, he persists in an endeavor to give a purely poetical twist to an essentially prosaic existence, or if, following Nietzsche’s example, he aims at penetrating into the infinitude of terrestrial vicissitudes, in either case such an unwise desire constitutes a revolt against the customs and rules of society, separates the presumptuous being from his fellow-mortals, and condemns him to perpetual warfare which, splendid though it may be, is foredoomed to failure.

What Nietzsche named the “tragic mentality,” the resolve to probe any and every feeling to the uttermost, transcends spirit and invades the realm of fate, thereby creating tragedy. He who wishes to impose one single law upon life, who hopes, amid the chaos of passions, to make one passion (his own peculiar passion) supreme, becomes a solitary and in isolation suffers annihilation.

Nietzsche recognized the peril. But, as a hero in the realm of thought, he loved life precisely because it was dangerous and annihilated his personal existence. “Build your cities on the flanks of Vesuvius!” he exclaimed, addressing the philosophers in the endeavour to goad them into a more lofty consciousness of destiny; for the only measure of grandeur is, according to Nietzsche, “the degree of danger at which a man lives in relation to himself.” He only who takes his all upon the hazard has the possibility of winning the infinite; he only who risks his life is capable of endowing his earthly span with everlasting value. “Fiat veritas, pereat vita”; what does it matter if life be sacrificed so long as truth is realized? Passion is greater than existence, the meaning of life is of more worth than life itself.

The last few steps he took into this sphere were the most unforgettable and the most impressive in the gamut of his destiny. Never before had his mind been more lucid, his soul more impassioned, his words more tipped with joyful music, than when he hurled himself in full consciousness and wholeheartedly from the altitudes of life into the abyss of annihilation.

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.

Another major deception by the Left

Every one either praises or blames the Enlightenment for the enshrinement of equality and cosmopolitanism as the moral pillars of our times. This is wrong. Enlightenment thinkers were racists who believed that only white Europeans could be fully rational, good citizens, and true cosmopolitans.

 

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Read the rest of this scholarly article at Counter-Currents.

Published in: on May 14, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (9)  

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.