The Third Reich and Gnosticism

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012

And the Third Reich
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
"The old beliefs will be brought back to honor again.
The whole secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the demonic.
We will wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race."

Adolf Hitler

National Socialism, the political philosophy of the Third Reich, is a unique phenomena in the history of political thought - paradoxically, because National Socialism is not strictly speaking a political philosophy.
National Socialism is not a political and economic ideology, because it is a gnostic-religious philosophy - a quasi-religion - a separate understanding of the cosmos - which, while looking to the future, has its roots in the distant, ancient past.
And the essence of the National Socialist 'religion' is Gnosticism.


Gnosticism (from gnostikos, "learned", from Greek: gnosis, knowledge) is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism (especially Zurvanism), and Neoplatonism.

The word 'Gnosticism' is a modern construction, though based on an antiquated linguistic expression: it comes from the Greek word meaning 'knowledge', gnosis.
However, gnosis itself refers to a very specialised form of knowledge, deriving both from the exact meaning of the original Greek term and its usage in Platonist philosophy.
Unlike modern English, ancient Greek was capable of discerning between several different forms of knowing.
These different forms may be described in English as being propositional knowledge, indicative of knowledge acquired indirectly through the reports of others or otherwise by inference (such as "I know of George Bush" or "I know Berlin is in Germany"), and empirical knowledge acquired by direct participation or acquaintance (such as "I know George Bush personally" or "I know Berlin, having visited").
Gnosis refers to knowledge of the second kind.
Therefore, in a religious context, to be 'Gnostic' should be understood as being reliant not on knowledge in a general sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical or esoteric experiences of direct participation with the divine.
Indeed, in most Gnostic systems the sufficient cause of salvation is this 'knowledge of' ('acquaintance with') the divine.

This is commonly identified with a process of inward 'knowing' or self-exploration, comparable to that encouraged by Plotinus * (c. 205–270 AD) (see left).

Πλωτῖνος - Plotinus (ca. AD 204/5–270) was a major Greek philosopher of the ancient world.

In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul.
His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition. Historians of the 19th century invented the term Neoplatonism and applied it to him and his philosophy which was influential in Late Antiquity. Much of the biographical information about Plotinus comes from Porphyry's preface to his edition of Plotinus' Enneads.
His metaphysical writings have inspired centuries of Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Gnostic metaphysicians and mystics.
Plotinus taught that there is a supreme, totally transcendent "One", containing no division, multiplicity or distinction; likewise it is beyond all categories of being and non-being.
The concept of "being" is derived by us from the objects of human experience called the dyad, and is an attribute of such objects, but the infinite, transcendent One is beyond all such objects, and therefore is beyond the concepts that we derive from them.
The One "cannot be any existing thing", and cannot be merely the sum of all such things (compare the Stoic doctrine of disbelief in non-material existence), but "is prior to all existents".
Thus, no attributes can be assigned to the One.
We can only identify it with the Good and the principle of Beauty.
The One, therefore, could not be associated with Yaweh of the Jews or the Christian Trinity
This process of inward 'knowing', or self-exploration, is what helps separate Gnosticism from proto-orthodox views, where the orthodox views are considered to be superficial.
The inadequate take then requires a correct form of interpretation.
With 'gnosis' comes a fuller insight that is considered to be more spiritual.
Greater recognition of the deeper spiritual meanings of doctrines, scriptures, and rituals are obtained with this insight.
However, as may be seen, the term 'gnostic' also had precedent usage in several ancient philosophical traditions, which must also be weighed in considering the very subtle implications of its appellation to a set of ancient religious groups.
A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis (esoteric or intuitive knowledge), is the way to salvation of the soul from the material world.
They saw the material world as created through an intermediary being (demiurge) rather than directly by God.
In most of the Gnostic systems, this demiurge was seen as imperfect, in others even as evil.
Different gnostic schools sometimes identified the demiurge as Adam Kadmon, Ahriman, El (deity), Saklas, Samael, Satan, Yaldabaoth, or Yahweh.
The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire; it continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
As referred to above, Gnosticism derives much of its outlook from Platonist influences.
Typically, it depicts creation in a series of emanations from a primal, monadic source, finally resulting in the creation of the material universe.
As a result, there is a tendency in these schools to view evil in terms of matter which is markedly inferior to goodness, evil as lacking spiritual insight and goodness, rather than to emphasize portrayals of evil as an equal force.
These schools of gnosticism may be said to use the terms 'evil' and 'good' as being relative descriptive terms, as they refer to the relative plight of human existence caught between such realities and confused in its orientation, with 'evil' indicating the extremes of distance from the principle and source of goodness, without necessarily emphasizing an inherent negativity.

Gnostic and pseudo-gnostic ideas became influential in some of the philosophies of various esoteric mystical movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and North America, including some that explicitly identify themselves as revivals or even continuations of earlier gnostic groups.

A number of 19th century thinkers such as William Blake,
Arthur Schopenhauer (see left), Albert Pike
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and Madame Blavatsky (see left) studied Gnostic thought extensively and were influenced by it, and even figures like Herman Melville and W. B. Yeats (see below right) were more tangentially influenced.

Jules Doinel "re-established" a Gnostic church in France in 1890, which altered its form as it passed through various direct successors (Fabre des Essarts as Tau Synésius and Joanny Bricaud as Tau Jean II most notably), and which, although small, is still active today.

Early 20th century thinkers who heavily studied and were influenced by Gnosticism include Carl Jung (who supported Gnosticism) (see left), Eric Voegelin (who opposed it), Jorge Luis Borges (who included it in many of his short stories), and Aleister Crowley (see below right), with figures such as Hermann Hesse being more moderatedly influenced.

Rene Guenon founded the gnostic review, Le Gnose in 1909 (before moving to a more "Perennialist" position)
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Gnostic Thelemite organizations, such as Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica and Ordo Templi Orientis, (see right) trace themselves to Crowley's (see left) thought.

In the 20th Century there have been two major developments which have changed what we know about Gnosticism.
One is the discovery of major documents and treatises either by leading gnostics or by their closest disciples and followers.
The other development is the interest shown by leaders of the Third Reich in these movements, and the subsequent study of the ideology in terms of such thought.
Among the major works to appear reinterpreting the National Socialist movement in such terms are Pauwels and Bergiers' 'The Morning of the Magician' (in French, and translated into many languages - 'The Dawn of Magic' in English), Ravenscroft's 'The Spear of Destiny' and 'The Cup of Destiny' and Angebert's 'The Occult and the Third Reich'.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
Many of the groups referred to above influenced or were related to the the seminal groups that fed into the development of the German Workers Party (DAP).
These included the Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Theosophical Society which greatly influenced the Thule Gesellschaft (see left), Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels Order of the New Templars (Ordo Novi Templi, or ONT), the Kosmotechnische Gesellschaft and the Hörbiger Institute, and the Vril Society (see right).

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
click below for a fully expanded text and photos

All these groups were opposed to the simplistic faith in a personal god, and instead looked to an impersonal 'One', as invoked by Plotinus and the Neo Platonic, Hellenistic Gnostics.
From this it was an easy step to identifying the Christian and Jewish God with the Demiurge*.

The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently also adopted by the Gnostics.

Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not quite the creator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense; both the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are considered the product of the One.

The word demiurge is an English word from a Latinized form of the Greek δημιουργός demiourgos, common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually it came to mean "producer" and eventually "creator".
The philosophical usage and the proper noun derives from Plato's Timaeus, written circa 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe.
This is accordingly the definition of the demiurge in the Platonic (ca. 310 BC-90 BC) and Middle Platonic (ca. 90 BC-300 AD) philosophical traditions.
In the dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil while the non-material world is good.
Accordingly, the demiurge is malevolent.

For many Gnostic thinkers the Demiurge is identified with the Jewish god Yaweh.
The logical conclusion then follows that as the Jews worship Jaweh they are worshiping an evil entity, and therefore the jews themselves are evil - and it is from these conclusions that anti-Semitism had its origins in Classical culture, and was later transmitted to the Christian culture of Europe.
In the 19th century, with the development of renewed interest in Gnosticism, combined with the Occult revival, anti-Semitism once gain became a commonplace among the intellectual elite.
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click below for a discussion of

While many have looked to experiences in Hitler's early life to explain his anti-Semitism - ranging from a syphilitic infection received from a Jewish prostitute, to his desire for revenge against the Jewish doctor who treated his mother during her last illness - none of these theories are really tenable.
Kubizek makes it clear that Hitler had no interest in prostitutes, and that his relations with the opposite sex - Sophie - were romantic and idealised.
Equaly Hitler was grateful, for the remainder of his life, for the care that Dr Eduard Bloch gave to his mother, and made every effort to enable Bloch to escape the pogrom against the Jews which occurred after he came to power.
In fact Hitler's anti-Semitism was not a personal vendetta against that particular race, but rather a mystical imperative which he had learned from his understanding of the Theosophical and Gnostic ideas that were an essential part of the weltanschauung of Dietrich Eckart (see right) and the Thule Gesselschaft.

click below for a fascinating insight into the occult source of Hitler's power
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Baron Julius Cesare Andrea Evola is one of history's most enigmatic occult and parapolitical figures.
Little-known outside Europe, Evola is often cited as the Godfather of contemporary fascism and radical politics.
A close examination of the historical record reveals a more complex figure.
Evola wore many masks: a parapolitical philosopher who ranked with Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee, a religious historian who coresponded with Mircea Eliade, and a provocateur who dabbled in Dada.

Born to a Catholic aristocratic family on May 19, 1898, Barone Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (May 19, 1898 – June 11, 1974) led an extraordinary life as a mountaineer, philosopher, solider, religious historian, artist, magician and political theorist.
Evola regarded his stances and spiritual values as aristocratic, masculine, traditionalist, heroic and defiantly reactionary.
Evola believed that mankind is living in a Dark Age of unleashed materialistic appetites, spiritual oblivion and organised deviancy.
To counter this and call in a primordial rebirth, Evola presented his world of Tradition.
The core trilogy of Evola's works are generally regarded as 'Revolt Against the Modern World', 'Men Among the Ruins' and 'Ride the Tiger'.
According to one scholar, "Evola’s thought can be considered one of the most radically and consistently antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular systems in the twentieth century."
Much of Evola's theories and writings are centred on spiritualism and mysticism; the inner life. He authored books covering themes such as Hermeticism, the metaphysics of war and of sex, mountaineering, the Holy Grail, the essence and history of civilisations, decadence and various philosophic and religious Traditions dealing with  the Classics.
Though never a member of the National Fascist Party itself, or advocate of the term to describe his stances, Evola regarded his position as that of a sympathetic right-wing intellectual, who saw potential in the movement and wished to guide or reform its errors through criticism, to a position inline with his own views.

Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola was born in Rome to a noble Sicilian family.
His father, Vincenzo Evola, was born in Cinisi.
Fluent in French and German, the young Evola was significantly influenced by the virtue theory of German philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche.
As an ardent Mountain climber, the young Italian found spiritual invigoration upon the peaks of the Alps.
Coming to age on the dawn of the First World War, Evola joined the Italian Army serving in the Mountain Artillery as an artillery officer on the Asiago plateau.
After the war, attracted to the avant-garde, Evola briefly associated with Filippo Marinetti's Futurist movement, but became a prominent representative of Dadaism in Italy through his painting, poetry, and collaboration on the shortly published journal, 'Revue Bleu'.
In 1922, after concluding that avant-garde art was becoming commercialized, he reduced his focus on artistic expression such as painting and poetry.
Around 1920, his interests led him into spiritual, transcendental and "supra-rational" occult studies.
He began reading various esoteric texts and gradually delved deeper into the occult, alchemy, magic, and Oriental studies.
In 1927, along with other Italian esotericists, he founded the Gruppo di Ur.
The group's aim was to provide a "soul" to the burgeoning Fascist movement of the time through the revival of an ancient Paganism.
While he was generally sympathetic with its aims and ideology, Evola never joined Mussolini's National Fascist Party.

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At one point, the Duce (see left) asked Evola why he hadn’t joined the Fascist Party proper.
Evola replied that the continued existence of the party proved the failure of fascism, after all, if the state had become all and absorbed all lesser allegiances, how could there be such a thing as a “party,” which, as the word indicates, represents a partial or special interest ?
Evola was one of a number of right-wing ideologues who opposed Benito Mussolini's Lateran Accords with the Roman Catholic Church and rejected the Fascist party's nationalism and its focus onmass movement mob politics; he hoped to influence the regime toward his own variation on fascist racial theories and his "Tradionalist" philosophy.
Mussolini read Evola's 'Sintesi di Dottrina della Razz'a in August 1941, and was impressed enough to personally meet with Evola and offer him his praise.
Evola later recounted that Mussolini had found in his work a uniquely Roman form of fascist racism distinct from that found in Nazi Germany.
With Mussolini's backing, Evola launched the journal 'Sangue e Spirito' (Blood and Spirit).
In order to further study German racial theorists, Evola traveled to Germany in February 1942 and obtained support for German collaboration on 'Sangue e Spirito' from leading Nazi race theorists.
Evola supported Fascism for his own ends, but was rebuked by the regime because his ends were not always theirs.
Italian Fascism went into decline when, during the midst of the War in 1943, Mussolini was deposed and imprisoned.
Evola, although not a member of the Fascist Party,  was one of the first people to greet Mussolini when the latter was broken out of prison by Otto Skorzeny in 1943.
After the Italian surrender to the Allied forces on September 8, 1943, Evola moved to Germany, where he spent the remainder of World War II, also working as a researcher on Freemasonry for the SS Ahnenerbe in Vienna.
It was Evola's custom to walk around the city during bombing raids in order to better 'ponder his destiny'.
During one such Soviet raid, in March or April 1945, a shell fragment damaged his spinal cord and he became paralyzed from the waist down, remaining so for the remainder his life.

There was much in National Socialism that attracted Evola: the concept of a state ruled by an Order, which he felt was embodied by the SS.
'We are inclined to the opinion that we can see the nucleus of an Order in the higher sense of tradition in the 'Black Corps,' he wrote in Vita Italiana (August 15, 1938).
Again in Vita Italiana (August 1941, 'Per una profonda alleanza italo-germanica' [For a Deep Italian-Germanic Alliance]) he writes: 'Beyond the confines of the party, and of any political-administrative structure, an elite in the form of a new 'Order'—that is, a kind of ascetic-military organization that is held together by the principles of 'loyalty' and 'honor,' must form the basis of the new state.'
As mentioned, Evola held the SS, which Himmler strove to design according to the model of the Teutonic Order, to be this elite.
The Burgs of the SS Order, with their 'initiations,' the emphasis on transcending the purely human element, the prerequisite of physical valor, as well as the ethical requirements (loyalty, discipline, defiance of death, willingness to sacrifice, unselfishness), strengthened Evola in his conviction.

After World War II, Evola continued his work in esotericism.
He wrote a number of books and articles on sexual magic and various other esoteric studies, including 'The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way' (1949), 'Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex' (1958), 'Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest' (1974), 'The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries' (1977).
He also wrote his two explicitly political books 'Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist' (1953), 'Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul' (1961), and his autobiography 'The Path of Cinnabar' (1963).
In the post-war years, Evola's writings were held in high esteem by members of the Neo-fascist movement in Italy, and because of this, he was put on trial from June through November 1951 on the charge of attempting to revive Fascism in Italy.
He was acquitted because he could prove that he was never a member of the Fascist party, and that all accusations were made without evidence to prove that his writings glorified Fascism.

Evola died unmarried, without children, on June 11, 1974 in Rome.
His ashes were deposited in a hole cut in a glacier on Mt. Rosa.


Friedrich Nietzsche heavily affected Evola's thought.
However, Evola criticized Nietzsche for lacking the "transcendent element" in his philosophy, thus ultimately leading to the latter's mental collapse.
A reference point is needed according to Evola, and this point can not be reached with senses or logic but with transcendental experiences achieved through symbolism of the heroic element in Man.

Evola's systematic and detailed references to ancient and modern texts make it difficult to speak about influences, though affinities could exist between Evola and Plato, Oswald Spengler (see right), Houston Stewart Chamberlain (see left), 
Arthur de Gobineau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Meister Eckhart, Homer, Jacob Boehme, René Guénon and certain Catholic thinkers like Juan Donoso Cortés and Joseph de Maistre.

The Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico provided Evola with the concepts of primordial heroic law, "natural heroic rights" and the meaning of the Indo-European Latin term vir as indicative of "wisdom, priesthood and kingship."
Crucial to Evola's formulation of the idea of "solar masculinity" versus "chthonic masculinity" and matriarchal regression was the maverick 19th century Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bachofen. Other prominent, philosophically foundational influences for Evola include the ancient Aryo-Hindu scripture that teaches the concept of "detached violence", and the Bhagavad Gita.
Like Guénon (see right), he believed that mankind is living in the Dark Age of unleashed, materialistic appetites.
This Dark Age is the last of four ages, which form a cycle from the Golden Age through the Hesiodic Iron Age.
Evola argued that both Italian fascism and National Socialism held hope for a reconstitution of the primordial "celestial race."

For Evola, the word Tradition had a meaning very similar to that of Truth.
The doctrine of the four ages, a broad characterization of the attributes of Tradition and their manifestations in traditional societies makes up the first half of Evola's major work 'Revolt Against the Modern World'.

In 'Revolt Against the Modern World', he expounds according to the ancient texts that there is not one Tradition, but two: An older and degenerate tradition that is feminine, matriarchal, unheroic, associated with the telluric negroid racial remnants of Lemuria (continent); and a higher one that is masculine, heroic, "Uranian" and purely Aryo-Hyperborean (see right) in its origin.
The latter one later gave rise to an ambiguous Western-Atlantic tradition, which combined aspects of both through the historical Hyperborean migrations and their degenerating assimilation of exotic spiritual influences from the South.
According to Evola, in the Golden Age there existed in the dominating elites, the "Divine Kings", a convergence of the two powers, namely the spiritual principle and the royal principle.
From the Aryan tradition, he sees the human type of the Divine King as an embodiment of the Golden Age ideal.

The classical Traditional polity is structured according to a strict hierarchy of sociopolitical functions, where the lower functions are concerned with mere matter and organic vitality and the ascending functions progressively ruled by spirit.

This order, in which powers of spirit correlate to societal status, Evola finds crystallized in the Republic of Plato (see left), ancient Iranian society and the medieval hierarchical class divisions between peasants, burghers, nobility and the clergy and military religious orders (see estates of the realm).
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The involution through the cycle of the ages was mirrored in the law of the regression of the castes, from the primal "heaven-born" kings to the deconsecrated slavish usurpers and raceless pariahs of the present.
Evola saw the Ghibelline dynasty of Hohenstauffen emperors (see right) (1152–1271) as the Germanic champion of the primordial "sacred regality" in a renewed Holy Roman Empire.
Once the solar, golden, sacred regality of the mythical first age fell, power devolved upon a lunar, silver, feminized priestly caste before an unconsecrated warrior nobility struggled against it, announcing the Bronze Age.
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Then power shifts to the mercantile caste, represented by the Italian comune, Freemasonry (see left), the Jewish financial oligarchy of the Renaissance, and New World American Judeo-Protestant plutocracy.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, organized labor and Marxist-Trotskyite subverters sought to transfer power to the last caste of slaves, or the consumer-pariah, reducing all values to matter, machines, dysgenic egalitarianism and the reign of abstract quantity.

The path to enlightenment is the chief subject of a number of Evola's works.
He tries to show the ways that allow a man to survive spiritually intact in the modern age of obscuration and to achieve supra-human liberation or transcendence.

Even in his book 'Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest' Evola discussed mountaineering as a possible approach or support on the way of initiatic ascesis in which heroic action is combined with specialized knowledge and training culminating in an initiation — the climbing of the mountain (see right).
In this way, and not as a sport or a recreation, mountaineering can be a "spiritual quest," as the subtitle of the book suggests.

According to Julius Evola, tradition in its purest form encompassed asceticism, which he described in 'The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery'.
He describes two basic and complementary types of asceticism — that of action and that of contemplation. The asceticism of action is personified by the warrior while that of contemplation by the pure ascetic.

In 'The Metaphysics of War - Battle, Victory & Death in the World of Tradition' Evola describes how war can be a means through which the warrior can be called to a higher form of spiritual existence.
He mentions many armies that have waged war for a spiritual purpose, for example the Christian knights during the crusades, the Islamists' Jihad, the pagan Asatru, etc, where those who died in battle were seen as heroes and went to a "higher place" after they died.
Evola rejected pacifism as it, according to him, was materialistic and made people comfortable and weak in their existence, while war breaks the routine of "comfortable life" and offers a transfiguring knowledge of life: "life according to death".
Evola writes that war always has an anti-materialist value, a spiritual value.
In his works Evola calls for the "reawakening of heroic ideals" and spiritualism through war.

In 'Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex', Evola described the practice of sexual magic as an asceticism of action that allows one to achieve transcendent states through physical action, primarily sex.
To explain the metaphysics of sex, Evola cites the original meaning of the word "orgy" as "the state of inspired exaltation that began the initiatory process in the ancient Greek mysteries, but when this exaltation of eros, itself akin to other experiences of a supersensual nature, becomes individualized as a longing that is only carnal, then it deteriorates and ends finally in the form constituted by mere "pleasure, or venereal lust" (The Metaphysics of Sex, p. 48).
Evola considered sex as being "the greatest magical force in nature".

There are contradictory views among scholars as to Evola's political categorization and his possible relationship with fascism and neofascism.
Evola held that politics, like everything else in life, should look upward and beyond the self. Evola's main argument against modern "demagogic" politics is its inverted materialistic focus and mentality, stemming from an inverted order of castes.
According to Evola, in modernity, due to what he calls the regression of the castes, the once-preeminent warrior caste (crystallized in the medieval military religious orders and ethical chivalry and its warrior code) has been downgraded into the figures of the mere democratic soldier and mercenary, who are servants of the artificial, soulless needs of the now-dominant mercantile and industrial interests.
As Evola states, "Opposite to the 'soldier' was the type of the warrior and the member of the feudal aristocracy; the caste to which this type belonged was the central nucleus in a corresponding social organization. This caste was not at the service of the bourgeois class but rather ruled over it, since the class that was protected depended on those who had the right to bear arms"
On the meaning of his anti-middle-class stance, Evola stated:
We are "anti-bourgeois" not in the descending sense of subversive collectivists but in the sense of opposing the dominance of the lower manifestations of the modern bourgeois spirit (effeminate materialism, commercialism, gangsterism, etc.).
The bourgeois tendency has its inevitable role in society, but must not be absolutized; rather, the bourgeoisie must be purified, contained, its values given their space but subordinated to superior values.
We are anti-bourgeois because the bourgeois type, while ranking above the proletarian, yet stands inferior to the soldierly-heroic and spiritual-priestly orders.
The bourgeois type, compared to the sacral-warrior, only represents a lesser degree of progressive manhood (unedited Italian edition of 'Men Among the Ruins').
Evola attempted to influence Italy's fascist movement in the conservative-revolutionary direction he believed it should go — the direction of radical Traditionalism; i.e. away from the exoteric modern Christian Church, the bourgeoisie, and the masses.
In the decade immediately following the war, Evola wrote two books which fall loosely into the categories "asceticism of action" and "asceticism of contemplation" in their prescriptions for political action.
In 'Men Among the Ruins', Evola described a Traditionalist attitude — possibly leading to a reactionary revolution — like what he had hoped Fascism could have been with the right leaders.
This attitude is a sort of asceticism of action calling for political action to reform current society in a conservative-revolutionary/radical Traditional direction.


A number of Evola's articles and books deal explicitly with the subject of race.
In the German translation of 'Imperialismo pagano' Evola considered principled anti-Semitism one of the essentials of a salvific 'racial rebirth' in the modern world.
Not only did Evola make a point of identifying Karl Marx (see right), one of the architects of the modern world of materialism, inferiority, pretended equality, and cultural decay, as a Jew - but he spoke of a Jewish capitalistic yoke that obstructed every effort at racial regeneration".
Evola accused Jews, as well as what he termed the "semitic spirit," of having a corrosive effect on the "Nordic" race (a race that was, in Evola's mythology, analogous to the Nazi's "Aryans"). Evola argued that not only Jews, but even non-Jews "Judaicized in their souls" must be combated by a "coherent, complete, impartial" anti-Semitism given the means to "identify and combat the Jewish mentality."
Evola supported the Nazi anti-Semitic view that there was a hidden form of Jewish power and influence in the modern world; he thought this Jewish power was a symptom of the "modern" world's lack of true aristocratic leadership.
Evola further held that Jewish people denigrated lofty "Aryan" ideals (of faith, loyalty, courage, devotion, and constancy) through a "corrosive irony" that ascribed every human activity to economic or sexual motives (à la Marx and Freud).

In a 1938 article Evola accused Sigmund Freud (see left), Karl Marx, and Cesare Lombroso of being "proponents of Jewish materialistic culture in the nineteenth century; two years later, in an essay entitled "Jews and Mathematics," Evola characterized Judaism as the antithesis of "Aryan civilation," and broadly attacked a range of what he considered examples of Jewish influences, from Pythagoreanism to mathematics.
The article was illustrated with pictures of notable Jews interspersed with classic anti-Semitic representations.
In 'The Metaphysics of Sex' (Inner Traditions, 1st US edition 1983, pps. 9-10), Evola discoursed on his philosophy of de-evolutionary spiritual racism: "Our starting point will be not the modern theory of evolution but the traditional doctrine of involution. We do not believe the man is derived from the ape by evolution. We believe that the ape is derived from man by involution. We agree with Joseph De Maistre that savage peoples are not primitive peoples, in the sense of original peoples, but rather the degenerating remains of more ancient races that have disappeared. We concur with the various researchers (Kohlbrugge, Marconi, Dacque, Westenhofer, and Adloff) who have rebelled against the evolutionary dogma, asserting that animal species evince the degeneration of primordial man's potential. These unfulfilled or deviant potentials manifest as by-products of the true evolutionary process that man has led since the beginning."
Evola believed that a race of "Nordic" people, anciently emanating from Golden Age Arctic Hyperborea, originally semi-immaterial and "soft-boned", had played a crucial founding role in Atlantisand the high cultures both of the East and West.

In Evola's eyes, half-remembered, cryptic memories of a "more-than-human race" once existing in a "northern paradise" (see right) constitute the patrimony of the traditions of many diverse peoples.
In this occult belief, Evola posited the polar North as the original home of the white Ur-Aryan tribes.
According to Joscelyn Godwin's research: "the basic outlines of Evola's prehistory resemble those of Theosophy, with Lemurian, Atlantean, and Aryan root-races succeeding each other, and a pole-shift marking the transition from one epoch to another" (Arktos, p. 60).
Evola's dualism between the Northern Light and the Southern Light, and also the capture of the Atlanteans by the latter, is also found in the writings of Theosophy's co-founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky:
“ The Atlanteans gravitated toward the Southern Pole, the pit, cosmically and terrestrially -- whence breathe the hot passions blown into hurricanes by the cosmic Elementals, whose abode it is."
“Every beneficent (astral and cosmic) action comes from the North; every lethal influence from the South Pole. They are much connected with and influence right and left hand magic."
Dr. Victor A. Shnirelman, a cultural anthropologist and ethnographer, has noted that cosmological racial ideas also appear in the Neo-Theosophical writings of H. P. Blavatsky's one-time disciple Alice Bailey.
Shnirelman wrote that in Bailey's teachings, "Jews were depicted as the 'human product of the former Solar system,' linked with 'World Evil'"; he identified "similar ideas" in the works of Bailey and Evola.
According to Evola, the hierarchy of races is really a hierarchy of embodied spiritualities; the spirit, rather than ethnic substance, determines culture; but at the same time race is the biological "memory" of a certain spiritual orientation.
In order to describe what he called the lower, telluric, Negroid races, he frequently made use of the term "Southern" whereas to him higher races were "Northern."
"North" and "South" are indicated as having simultaneously metaphysical, geographical and anthropological meanings:
Especially during the period of the long icy winter, it was natural that in the northern races the experience of the Sun, of Light, and of Fire itself should have acted in a spiritually liberating sense.
Hence natures which were Uranian-solar, Olympian or filled with celestial fire would have developed much more from the sacral symbolism of these races than from others.
Moreover, the rigor of the climate, the sterility of the soil, the necessity for hunting, and finally the need to emigrate across unknown seas and continents would naturally have molded those who preserved that spiritual experience of the Sun, of the luminous sky, and of fire into the temperament of warriors, of conquerors, of navigators, so as to favor that synthesis between spirituality and virility of which characteristic traces are preserved in the Aryan races (Revolt, p. 208).
According to Evola, the more recent Northern, White and Aryan peoples (despite racial mixing) implicitly preserved more of the primordial Arctic Hyperborean blood-memory and are objectively spiritually superior to the archaic, matter-obsessed degenerate remnants of the races of the South.
On the "demonic" nature of the lower negroid races and their degenerating remnants, Evola relies on an old Aryo-Zoroastrian tradition that teaches negroids belonged to the dark side.
Flowering forth in the Greek, pre-Celtic, Aryan, Roman, Germanic representatives, with more or less ethnic but great spiritual purity, the "Northern Light" was considerably lost to the Atlantean offshoot which defiled itself through spiritual integration into the spiritual lunar sphere of the world of the "Mother" or "Earth" of the "Southern Light" and further miscegenation with bestial, dark Lemurian stocks.
'Revolt Against the Modern World' presents world-history to be the saga of dualistic conflict between the "Northern Light" and the "Southern Light": on one side stand the Uranian, patriarchal stocks of purer Hyperborean lineage, climatically harshly conditioned and heroic-minded celebrators of the winter solstice, on the other stand the chthonic and titanized inferior races and the spiritually/ethnically bastardized heirs of the fallen Atlantean civilization captured by the "Southern Light" and its sacerdotal and naturalistic-pantheist religion of promiscuous vegetal and animal fertility.
Evola cites Plato's description of the fall of Atlantis by Atlantean miscegenation with humankind (Critias, 110c; 120d-e; 121a-b) and the biblical myth of the benei elohim, the Sons of God catastrophically mixing with the "daughters of men" (Genesis 6: 4-13) as support for his esoteric, Aryanist anthropogenesis.
Evola interprets archeological findings of semi-human hominid fossils as not purely primordial but evidence of the mismating of the celestial boreal race with inferior animalistic breeds as well, and most often, as remnants of degenerating, bestialized races in their final involutionary stages preceding extinction.
Just as Evola affirmed the natural hierarchy between different individuals of the same race, so he affirmed a natural rank ordering of the different human races.
As the best-preserved remnants of the primordial celestial Hyperboreans, Evola affirmed the white race in its different branches as the creator of the greatest planetary civilizations:
"We have to remember that behind the various caprices of modern historical theories, and as a more profound and primordial reality, there stands the unity of blood and spirit of the white races who created the greatest civilizations both of the East and West, the Iranian and Hindu as well as the ancient Greek and Roman and the Germanic" (The Doctrine of Awakening, p. 14).
While characterizing race as something hereditary and biological, Evola also claimed that race was not simply and linearly defined by mere skin color and the various other hereditary factors. In other words, in addition to predominantly "Aryan" or, more broadly, "Northern" biology, the initial necessary precondition for further racial differentiation, one must prove oneself spiritually "Aryan".
The fact that in India the term Arya was the synonym of dwija, "twice-born" or "regenerated" supports this point.
To him higher race implied something akin to supra-human, spiritual caste.
Evola wrote, "the supernatural element was the foundation of the idea of a traditional patriciate and of legitimate royalty."
Evola prided himself on developing a theory of races that went beyond the merely biological to the spiritual.
What constitutes a superior race for Evola is the spiritual orientation of a given stock, the subsumption of the requisite biological material (and that did mean the Aryan races) under a qualitatively elevating form, namely reference to the realm of the spirit.
Evola argues that it is out of the creativity of an 'ur-Aryan' and 'solar-Nordic' blood that world culture emerges.
Conversely, culture decline is a function of the feckless mixture of Aryan, with lesser 'animalistic,' blood.
According to 'Imperialismo pagano', the 'natural' and endogamous caste system of antiquity that sustained the 'purity' of the culture-creating 'Hyperborean-Nordics' slowly disintegrated over time under the corrosive influence of Semitic religion and the 'Semitic spirit'.
While Evola was clear about the relative insignificance of the physical attributes of race, he did acknowledge that the 'original Hyperboreans,' which he was critically concerned, were probably 'dolichocephalic, tall and slender, blond and blue-eyed' (Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza, p. 67).
Evola held that the physical mixture of races, particularly between Aryans and races that were 'alien' (i.e., non-Aryan), was always hazardous — but mixture between 'related' races might produce hybrid vigor. Given his generous notion of what constituted an Aryan race (Evola was convinced of the Hyperborean origins of most Europeans), those candidate races Evola considered to be truly 'alien' were never explicitly catalogued—except in terms of Semites and the deeply pigmented peoples of sub-Saharan Africa (see Evola, 'Psicologia criminale ebraica,' Difesa della Razza 2, no. 18, pp. 32–35; Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza, pp. 74, 237).
What seemed eminently clear, for all the qualifiers, was that all the material races Evola identified as capable of serving as hosts for the extrabiological and supernatural spiritual elements were purportedly biological descendents of the 'Aryan-Nordics' of Hyperborea.
In the golden age, the celestial race was spiritual—only gradually, over time, taking on material properties.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
As a necessary consequence of miscegenation, there was a continual and irreversible decline of the celestials in ancient times (Evola identifies the Jews as providing a 'ferment of decomposition, dissolution and corruption' in antiquity; see Evola, Sintesi di Dottrina della Razzap. 160; Rivolta contro il mondo moderno, p. 314), a tenuous revival under the Romans, and another by the Nordic-Germans during the course of the Holy Roman Empire (see right) - but by the time of the Renaissance, with its humanism, rationalism, universalism and its gradual submission to the theses of the equality of all humans, humankind had entered the terminal age of 'obscurity,' the end of this current race cycle.
For Evola, given the fateful path traversed by history, there remained only one course for contemporary humanity: an attempt at reconstitution of the primordial celestial race, amid the debris of previous race cycles, employing the racial remnants of the Hyperboreans.
For Evola, spiritual forces shaped races for their own inscrutable purposes.
The notion that mutations, governed from 'on high,' might be the source of raciation was a relatively common conviction among German esoterics (See Pauwels and Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, pp. 400–5).
Geneticists, Evola argued, failed to provide a compelling account of how mutations occur.
He maintained, as a consequence, that 'the cause is to be found elsewhere, in the actions of a superbiological element not reducible to the determinism of the physical transmission of genetic materials.' The true cause of hereditary variation was to be found 'rather by starting from another point of view that affords one an entirely different set of laws' than those of empirical science.
Given this supposition, Evola proceeded to argue that Fascism or National Socialism—with their heroism, their sacrificial and ascetic ethic, their authoritarian and hierarchical order, together with their appeal to myth and ritual—provided an environment compatible with the 'spirit' of the celestials.
That might be enough to prompt a cosmic, if gradual, reemergence of the celestial race.
In such circumstances, the formative spiritual principle that, in the ultimate analysis, governs the transcendent 'superhistory' of humankind might literally reconstitute the individuals of the primordial creative race of Hyperborea.
Evola sought to show that such an outcome would not be essentially determined by biology, but by the cosmic spirit—that its formative influence could transform individuals into persons accommodating a properly corresponding soul and spirit—to render them once again 'pure.'

Evola's writings have continued to have an influence both within occult intellectual circles and in European far-right politics.
He is widely translated in French, Spanish and German.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
click below for a fully expanded text and photos

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012

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