Translated by Minerva Peana
Edited by Adam Wallace
Interviewer: Dominique Roux
Question: Julius Evola, could you talk to us about your origins, your youth and your spiritual formation?
Julius Evola: My origins: I was born in Rome. Regarding my purely biographical side, I will not expose it — I have buried it. Regarding my intellectual formation, my official studies were in the domain of mathematics and at the same time, after my youth, I felt very interested in philosophy and its mystical aspects. A little later I delved into the history of religions, into orientalism, and particularly the study of subjects which were linked to Traditional doctrines, which allowed me to learn a critique of our modern civilisation. And at last, the subject that I was devoted to was sexology, corresponding to a work published in French: The Metaphysics of Sex.
Q: We know that you participated, during your youth, in vanguard movements. What are, in this period, your relations with Futurism and Dadá?
JE: In regard to Futurism, it emerged autonomously, since in Italy Futurism didn’t exist as vanguardist art. I met [Filippo] Marinetti, one of the main exponents of the Futurist movement, but a little after I perceived that no homogeneity existed between my orientation and that of Futurism, which I accused of a sort of chaotic dynamism, a sort of elan vital of a chauvinist kind and a problematic exaltation of “future.” I didn’t appreciate many of these things. Contrarily, I was therefore immediately interested in the Dadáist movement that emerged after the [First World] War during 1919; I was acquainted with Tristan Tzara and we both understood each other well; and during those times, I provided my contribution in the art of painting and in the art of poetry.
In the case of poetry, what assisted me was my previous formation that, as an axis, was characterised by the symbolic French currents (Rimbaud, Mallarmé and so fourth). As I said before, Tristan Tzara and I understood each other well, but also in his case, he rather had some misunderstandings regarding some particular interpretations of Dadáism, not only as an artistic movement, but as the passage from a conception where the main interest is a sort of “absolute devotion.” I would say that this rather mystical aspect of Dadáism was denounced by me when, giving speeches around Italy, I encountered some incomprehension on the part of Tzara. That part of Tzara is little known.
Q: We are aware that in 1923 you ceased being interested, in an active manner, both in painting and in poetry. What were the causes of this change?
JE: As I formerly said, for me all these artistic experiences did not only have an artistic value, but were a reflection of a deep existential crisis which emerged within me after the War – when returning from the War. Therefore, I could not remain in that crisis or state. This is the difference, I think, between the abstract art of those days, and the abstract art of nowadays. At that time, abstract art had a deep existential dimension, and today, it is rather a “fashion” or “cliché” having no deeper dimension. Therefore, it is obvious that when I overcame the crisis that the exterior expression in the artistic domain no longer made sense. But if one had seriously lived in such a deep crisis, there was no other alternative to choose: one could commit suicide or one could withdraw — which is what some Dadáists did, after the case of [Louis] Aragon, for example — or rather, one could experience another path towards a dominion of interior experience, which is what I attempted.
Q: In 1925 and until 1930 you formulated the theory of “magical idealism,” and that of the “absolute individual,” as exposed in your book The Path of Cinnabar. Could you explain this doctrine to us?
JE: In order to explain it I would have to delve into technical and philosophical domains. However, I will say that this doctrine is a synthesis between the Absolute Idealism exposed by the successors of [Emmanuel] Kant ([Friedrich] Schelling, [Johann] Fichte, et cetera); Existentialism before it was even grasped intellectually with an esoteric dimension; and thirdly, a Doctrine of Power. And as it might be easy to guess, one of the authors who exerted upon me a particular influence was [Friedrich] Nietzsche, even though I don’t share all of his views. Therefore, it is a certain synthesis. The theory of the Absolute Individual starts from a gnoseological standpoint, or “doctrine of knowledge,” where there is an established doctrine of the “I.” Then, I consider the further possible developments of this “I” towards the ideal, since the Absolute Individual is rather a chimera. The phases of this development were exposed in the second volume of The Theory of the Absolute Individual, which is called The Phenomenology of the Absolute Individual. The word “phenomenology” refers to the same Hegelian meaning; phanomenologie der geist [phenomenology of the spirit]; in the sense, more or less, of a collection of diverse phenomena.
Q: Was Novalis [Georg Hardenberg] an influence for you?
JE: Partly. In part because at that time I was intoxicated by the academic methods and in Novalis I perceived a deep intuition, but what actually attracted me was his poetical aspect and his intuitive one — which were all but systematic.
Q: Your book The Hermetic Tradition is an exposition of the secret doctrines that are hidden behind the symbols of alchemy. Are there any relations between these teachings and those that you expose in another book also translated into French called The Doctrine of Awakening?
JE: No, there are differences. The Doctrine of Awakening corresponds to a systematic exposition of ascesis, coming from the Buddhist ascesis that I recovered based on the original Páli texts — to such an extent that the English translation of it was recommended by the Páli Society of London and is acknowledged in their references. Thus, the book is considered to be a “classic” regarding the study of Buddhism, even though its thesis for the common mind, or average culture, is very revolutionary since from my viewpoint I consider the deformation which took place in Buddhism if it is considered as an ascetic vision of “life as suffering,” and nirvana as a sort of greater or lesser evasion which denies existence and escapes from pain – I demonstrate quite the opposite, since in each page’s footnotes one can find quotes and references of all sorts.
In the beginning, Buddhism was a doctrine of initiation, and the true meaning of such a doctrine and of ascesis is the consideration of a very particular fight of almost a scientific sort since there are in no cases any religious or moral presuppositions. This is why the ultimate aim of such a discipline is the “realisation of the unconditioned.” The authentic nirvana is the unconditioned, which Buddhism places beyond the realm of the gods.
Q: What is the difference with The Hermetic Tradition?
JE: As I’ve already said, The Hermetic Tradition is a book devoted to the exposition and interpretation of this secret doctrine which is hidden behind the symbols of alchemy and the metallurgic operations. Thus, there exists a fundamental difference between the profane interpretation of profane history provided by Mister [Carl] Jung, since he considers all of that — the alchemical domain — not as a material domain composed of substances, but rather as the projection of the libido of the architects. I rather expose it as an initiatory teaching, referring to actual non-physical forces that ultimately aim towards the inner transformation of men.
Therefore, what I mean is that in The Doctrine of Awakening and The Hermetic Tradition are two possible paths. One consists of a “dry” and virile ascesis based upon detachment; accomplishing the Olympic realm of Being through absolute detachment in relation to everything, both terrestrial as well as heavenly attachments. Contrarily, The Hermetic Tradition has a spirit that is rather Western, I would suggest. That is to say that it has an operative character, and an immanent realisation where the aim is based on the ultimate realisation founded upon royal symbols: the crown; the king; the emperor. It is no longer about the white colour of contemplation but the red colour of fire. Thus, it is a very interesting tradition from the viewpoint of its affinity with the core Western spirit. I believe that my exposition, I would like to add, is the most complete, and the deepest in comparison to other teachings that exist on the subject. Also, Jung was driven by the need to quote my book as a systematic exposition of Hermeticism.
Q: Based on your views, and basing my approach on an essential part of your exposition, can one become detached from oneself?
JE: That is the presupposition of all the ascetic doctrines, even the mystical aspects, but overall, the initiatic ones.
Q: Your book Revolt Against the Modern World was published in 1934 and is the foundation of a revolt of Right-wing movements that, based upon your affirmations, is presented in a way that is much more radical than today’s protests which you reproach the value they grant to Herbert Marcuse. Could you explain this? Could you briefly explain to us the subjects and orientations of Revolt Against the Modern World?
JE: The Revolt Against the Modern World, which is extensive and intense, is composed of two parts. One part is called “The World of Tradition,” where I intend to expose that which in philosophy is called a doctrine, based on categories of the Traditional world. These are the constant forms by which Tradition is presented through diverse modes that are not specified, and yet do not hide the identity of the substantial aspects that are present in the fundamental structures of a society. These are, starting with royalty, the state, space, time, war, the relation between sexes, games, et cetera. All of this is backed up very powerfully by precious bibliographical references coming from the Far East to pre-Columbian America; from the Middle Ages to the Ancient Mediterranean, et cetera.
The second part: while I call the first part morphological, the second is rather a philosophy of history. Starting with the most distant prehistory I intend to reconstruct, or to reinterpret, if you prefer, the currents of history. A series of currents where, for me, the key is the idea of involution, not of evolution. And in this regard, I found such an assumption not in my personal ideas, but rather in the doctrine of the Four Ages which can be encountered in the most diverse traditions with considerable homogeneity based on the idea of the four Yuga; reaching Hesiod’s consideration of the Four Ages — the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age — until the teachings of the Nordic spirit. Therefore, based on this assumption, I perceive the main phases in Europe of this Western decline. The final point of this interpretation has actually been quite prophetic, since the title of the corresponding chapter is “The Cycle Closes: Russia-America,” and I propose the image of both Bolshevist Russia and capitalist America as two branches of the same thing which, despite some differences, have however the same sense of strangling whatever survives of Traditional Europe; which happened thereafter, considering also that the book appeared in 1933 in Italy and 1934 in Germany.
Therefore, given such a structure of the book, one can deduce that the title, “Revolt Against the Modern World,” doesn’t correspond entirely to the actual content since it is not a controversial book, even though the controversy appears on its own since looking at how things actually are, it is quite natural that anyone who cherishes any spiritual sensitivity will say “No!” to the modern world. This is the difference with Marcuse in regards to all these groups of protesters who might be right in their critique, but when one asks them: “Revolt in order for what?” they know absolutely nothing, and it is better for them to do so because when one listens to Herbert Marcuse in relation to what he proposes as a better society, one can’t help but be shocked since his sociology is inspired by the coarsest Freudianism — which is ridiculous! […]
Q: In regard to Tradition in its most eminent sense, you are considered in Italy the main theoretician of Tradition. Which are the relations between your ideas and those of René Guénon who also has the same Traditional and anti-modern orientation?
JE: There is difference which arises from what is called the “personal equation” because my constitution and tradition are different to those of Guénon. Guénon is definitely an intellectual, I am rather focused in the domain of action; in the facet of action, et cetera, and to some extent this difference becomes projected as well in the respective interpretations we grant to all the Traditional inheritance. While Guénon emphasizes overall the role assigned to contemplation and knowledge, I rather don’t completely deny the role of knowledge nor that of contemplation, but I affirm that both aren’t possible without that of action, and in my interpretation I very often emphasize the tradition of action. And in the same way, it can be observed the fact that Guénon grants higher priority to the priestly caste as the depositories of contemplation, while I grant pre-eminence to the royal and warrior traditions.
This difference is also reflected in the role we grant both to the Church and to the Empire. Guénon deemed that if the West is linked to Tradition, it is due to the Church and to the Catholic tradition. But I affirm, as Dante [Alighieri] would affirm too, that the Ghibelline Imperial Tradition is an exponent of a tradition with the same dignity with a supernatural dimension, which is very clear in the Ghibelline ideology of the Hofenstaufen in the German Empire. I went for the search of the documents and testimonies of the secret vein in the chivalric literature, and most of all in the mystery of the Grail which, as I see it, is absolutely a Ghibelline mystery.
Therefore, by choosing testimonies of imperial spirituality and that of the Ghibelline linked to the chivalric traditions particularly, I interpreted the tradition of the Grail in a book that appeared in France called The Mystery of the Grail and the Ghibelline Tradition, showing how the Grail must be found again in order for the fallen kingdom or wasteland to flourish. This is precisely the heritage of this unitary tradition; Royal and Priestly at the same time. Since, contrary to Guénon, who conceives and openly admits that both authorities are projected in both spiritual and temporal authorities which still existed even recently in Japan, by considering here a civilisation of such kind or in order, to define it as such, and then a division takes place of both powers. But given already this division, he estimates that by being founded in the spiritual authority, it is actually a feasible Traditional reconstruction — which is quite an arbitrary and fragmented perception.
Another initiative can be conceived however, emerging from the other side, which corresponds to the royal integration of the spiritual dimension, and from this, several consequences arise. Guénon deemed that today’s Catholic Church could be the starting point in order to re-establish Tradition — but if we consider where the Church is heading to today..! But these are his considerations. Retrospectively, I maintained with Guénon a continuous correspondence where I expressed my rejection of such a conception — to me it was rather an unfounded possibility. However, I was aware that he would not agree with my arguments. The opening to the Left of today’s Church impedes such a restoration.
The other aspect of non-agreement is in regards to Masonry, of Francmasonry [Freemasonry], which he considers — due to its formal character – actually constituting an organization of a Traditional sort which keeps intact its rites, its ceremonies and all its operations, believing that they still kept their value. But from a practical viewpoint, all of that suffered a degeneration; I’m however not of the same view. I can’t help but see all of these organizations today from an anti-Traditional perspective, that since the outburst of the French Revolution to the Masonry of recent times as well as a sort of religion, it has promoted the Third Estate. I do however consider that originally, Masonry did actually have an initiatic character, but such a Masonry was further influenced to an extent which impelled it towards a completely different direction.
Q: Would you personally agree that the most mysterious book of Guénon’s is The King of the World?
Q: What are your thoughts on it?
JE: By resorting to a general observation of a documented nature, he shows how the idea of a supreme center of the world reappears in the most diverse traditions, and he describes these different traditions, and describes as well that there is a function attributed to such a center. In regards to the issue of if such a center exists or not, he believes it exists but he doesn’t venture much on such a dangerous affirmation. The king controlling the destiny of humanity: what can he do about it? Since it’s obvious that after a long time, after the path of decline and our time’s involution, and even that of previous times — what can he do about it? So he can do nothing, or he can’t even intervene; thus we have a dilemma here.
Q: In the domain of action, which are your relations with National Socialism and Fascism? Do we actually have to consider in this regard your book Fascism: Critical Essay from the Right and notes on the Third Reich?
JE: I am neither a Fascist nor a National Socialist, nor have I been enrolled in any political parties; I have not participated in any elections. Regarding such movements, there are two aspects to consider: one which is negative, that is their denying aspects — and I can agree with a movement that declares to be against all democracies and Marxism — I could, however, accept such positioning but regarding the positive aspects. There are positive and valuable aspects. Those which I could value are the reconstruction of the authority of the state and the idea of overcoming class conflict towards a hierarchical and corporative formation, to some extent of a military and disciplined style within the nation, in addition to some of their anti-bourgeois proposals — to me all of that is positive. What I cannot approve is the dictatorial aspect. In our case [Italy] the bad is not so much since the monarchy is still theoretically Christian. Contrarily, the actions of National Socialism has been to some extent very destructive since it denies to a great extent the tradition that still existed after the First World War.
Therefore, these are my relations with such movements: I did not participate in the realm of Fascism, both due to particular reasons based on my personality and due to a sort of “masonry” that was formed there; a sort of closed group. However, I took into consideration Germany, but in groups that were not properly National Socialist but rather conservative-aristocratic. I was a very good friend of Baron Von Gleichen who was the president of a Herrenklub whose role was well known during the preceding period. It is clear that in no case I am linked to Nazism, I had no affinity with Hitler whatsoever since, overall, I discovered that he had proletarian tendencies, and secondly because he was a dangerous, possessed kind of man.
In relation to the SS, the issue is quite different since, in general, the SS has been condemned in regard to the most factious aspects (concentration camps, Gestapo, etc.), but we should recall that [Heinrich] Himmler was dealing, flirting, with the ideals of an Order — which is called, also in French books, a Black Order — and he was willing to resurrect in the same form the ancient Teutonic or German knighthood of the twelfth century — and in this regard I worked providing specific information; half Spartan, half Prussian. So I was chosen once again in order to approach issues about race, since he only had military information about it. Thus, in this sense, whenever he also looked for a sort of consecration for such an Order, he also showed interest in primordial symbols and all that was related to the primordial Tradition, and in this regard he focused his attention on me. And thus I gave speeches in Germany for the SS leaders, precisely in relation to this particular topic — and that is all. I had no other relation with the Germans.
Q: Did he actually aim to effectively constitute the genesis of a Black Order?
JE: Who? Himmler? He actually formed it. Whether he completely embodied such an ideal is quite another matter.
Q: Could you tell us which is your concept of race and why you were accused by your adversaries as a racist?
JE: As you know, “fascist,” “racist,” etc., are merely labels used when one is not willing to descend to the depths of true ideas. Regarding the issue of race, it would be rather a long topic since Fascism is largely linked with the racist orientation.
I worked in Germany during the birth of what I could call the “biological-scientific racism,” and I could see it because I am Italian, and anybody who in Germany was not aware of it would very likely end up in a concentration camp. Thus, getting back to the main point, I did actually treat the issue of racism — but aiming to rectify it by means of a specific doctrine of the race. It is obvious that, as any other conception, even that of race depends on the idea one has of the nature of man. A materialistic idea is obviously projected in conceptions that are founded in materialistic assumptions and that are different depending on the basis we refer to. Therefore, I do not agree with the biological conception of the human being but rather a Traditional conception in which a man is composed by spirit, soul and body, and this is why I approached the issue of race by all of these three categories, and formulated a theory of race of the body, which more or less corresponds to common anthropology; a theory of the race of the soul, which studies the typology, the habits, reactions, feelings, aspirations, all of this can a have a particular style that can be typical of some human groups; and finally there exists a race of the spirit which corresponds to the typical forms existent in the studies that refer to the spiritual domain, to life and death in general, the supernatural, et cetera. This way, therefore, I presented a more complete, more integral framework of the issue on race.
There is also an interesting little aspect and it is that Mussolini — whom I do not know at all as that “Grey Eminence” as I am called here in France — whom I saw in the occasion of the reading of the book which is called Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race — in Italy there is a difference in the title — and he was delighted about the book to the point that he wanted to convert it into a doctrinal text precisely during those times when Italy had constituted an active and direct alliance with Germany. When it came to discuss the superiority and completeness of the text and the thesis I employed, that was the first occasion I saw Mussolini, the war had already begun, and all speculation about the large relationship between Mussolini and me is pure fantasy. I must also add that racism is not a synonym of anti-Semitism: the problem of Judaism such as it exists must not be confused… […]
Q: In Men amid the Ruins you present a doctrine that can be summarised as follows: “Act in such way that if you do not have the power, you still do not allow power to control you, and ride the tiger.” Could you explain this doctrine to us?
JE: Well, I must say that in that there is a little confusion since here we are dealing with two different books; one is called Men amid the Ruins, this is about those men who are amid a world characterised by the spiritual and material decay of the Last Age; the other is called Ride the Tiger. The first book is to some extent positive as I intend to expose the elements of a doctrine of the state, of a vision on life on specific ethics, a critique of economy thus overcoming the capitalist/socialist dichotomy, the issues regarding the arising of the “occult war,” et cetera, until we get to the final chapter which is called “Europe: Its Unity and Conditions” where I intend to solve the problem from a Traditional viewpoint. This was first edited in Italy as well as a couple of years ago, where the point was constructed from a starting point for a group of Italian Right-wing men. It is needless to recall that whenever I refer to “Right” I definitely do not refer to the economic classes which, for me, would seem as subversive as Marxism. I refer to a “Right” conceived in political and aristocratic sense, as in the case of types of men like [Klemens von] Metternich or [Otto von] Bismarck, if you wish. Therefore, it serves as a starting point of action for this human group, as an ideological foundation. And after the War, this book was the first to expose systematically an anti-democratic doctrine, and also an anti-socialist one, et cetera. I also wanted to publish it in France, thus I tried as I thought it would be positive since there were groups there requiring a precise orientation.
Q: What about Ride the Tiger?
JE: While the first book has a positive orientation and consists in a starting point for reconstruction, even though hypothetical and utopian, the second book has a negative orientation/presupposition. That is to say, it affirms that we are living in an age of complete dissolution in which there are processes taking place that have arrived to a phase where nobody can stop them. And in no case one must be directly in opposition to such processes or phenomena or one will be risking to be overthrown by them, and yet there still remains an alternative, not that of acceptance but rather the “driving” towards a different direction, and this is the “ride the tiger” formula. The tiger is running amok, to “ride” means to dominate from above until the animal finally gets tired, exhausted and obeys commands. And there is also another factor, it is actually a Tantric formula: “Transform the poison into a medicine.” So in this book I consider a set of domains: religion, morals, science, arts, politics, world-views, society, family, the sexes, et cetera, and I examine the dissolutive elements which animate these domains and then I indicate in which way this dissolution can be positively used, in order to not have negative results like those suffered by the vast majority of individuals, but only designed for a man I call the “Differentiated Man,” aiming to attain a superior liberation by introducing also those forms that do not belong to the Traditional world but to that of the bourgeois civilisation, so that a superior form of freedom can be attained — this is definitely the main subject of this book.
Q: You dealt a lot with the topic of sex, and mostly with the metaphysics of sex in your work, which appeared in France and was well received there. Could you talk to us about it?
JE: I dealt with the topic of sex quite recently. This book takes as a starting point another work quoted by me several times, the book of Otto Weininger: Sex and Character. I then realised that the subject could be developed by compiling other texts and sources, so then I wrote the book and one could say, using these words, that such a book is the “anti-Freud,” [or] the “anti-standpoint” of [Sigmund] Freud. One could affirm that while Freud had discovered the transcendent and even demonic, sub-personal, dimension of sex, I attempted to re-encounter in the sexual experience a transcendent dimension in a superior sense that flows upward, “anagogically” so to speak, in opposition to the “catagogic” tendency to flow downwards. Thus there is there an examination not only of the profane forms of love and sexual love such as everybody knows them. In order to discover their deeper experiences which even those who are interested in this book cannot even perceive, that being however, the most important dimension: that of the sexual orgasm. In such a book are described, from a viewpoint I would call phenomenological, such aspects of the sexual experience, taking into consideration aspects that are in total opposition. I verified how in all civilisations such a dimension has always been acknowledged, known as the sacrum sexuale, that is, a sacred character of sex that constitutes the foundation not only of the rites spread around the world but also of very specific practices in order to impel the sexual experience to provoke magical or ecstatic, mystical phenomena. There I accomplish a compiling of traditions of all sorts, as I am accustomed to doing, starting from the Far East (Taoism, Tantrism), the Arabic countries up to the demonology of the Middle Ages, et cetera. Therefore, to some extent, by being founded in Freudian premises, I however aimed to point out a dimension of sex that is supra-rational, supra-personal, deep as that which Freud was obsessed about, but here, contrarily, the deepest and most transcendent aspect is taken and I have to add that to me the key of the whole interpretation is the myth of the androgyny, as it can be found and known in Europe, in Plato’s Symposium which provides the key of the interpretation of sex as a confused drive (impulsion), which is also irresistible, and that tends to restore the primordial unity.
Q: Therefore, do you consider that sex can constitute an element of reconstruction?
JE: Not that of reconstruction. It can be used in a purely individual domain, that is to say it can be used to deepen the experience in order to detect and assimilate such a transcendent domain. It is obvious that a clear opposition exists between today’s sexual freedom and such a doctrine, since we are living in times of a sort of sexual “demonism,” a sort of tendency that goes parallel to drug consumption; having the need to evade and escape from existential forms of anxiety and therefore it all ends in feelings that are more or less spasmodic or chaotic, that in no case constitute the solution of the problem. This aspect is also exposed by me in another of my books, in French called L’Arc et la Massus [The Bow and the Mace].
Q: You never married. Why was that?
JE: Because this way I had my absolute freedom available. By making this decision I did not even get to acknowledge my family, that is, it exists, but I rather acted independently and absolutely in an anti-bourgeois way. I never had an occupation in an office, et cetera. I preferred to have less possibilities and full freedom. Plus, from a sexual point of view, I am not into monogamy.
Q: Very often it has been stated that you teach magical practices, Black Masses or those of the Tantric path of the Left-Hand path. What’s your opinion of such rumours or presuppositions?
JE: As I formerly said, there are people who want to create myths, even of the most comical sort, in order to find self-satisfaction. It was even stated in France that in my presence Black Masses were celebrated with young blondes every week. Given my condition we could recall a German saying that can be translated as “He got it wrong because it was true.”
Therefore I can only say in this regard that during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929, I organised what is called the Ur Group, which did not deal with magic, but rather with initiatic operations. And after this period it is important to distinguish between the magical practices and the initiatic ones which are quite different — and I must say that from the Ur Group arose a work of three volumes called Introduction to Magic which is composed of anonymous monographies since the names that appear are not those of the authors of the diverse subjects, translations and comments. Thus, I believe that anyone who aims to explore such a subject seriously, and in a multifaceted way, should resort to this indispensable work. A third edition in Italian appeared with the same title.
Going back to your question, you know very well that in addition to the strictly theoretical part one can obviously suppose the existence of corresponding practices, and I was the first in Italy to bring Tantrism to be known as well as the rites of the Right-Hand path, the Left-Hand path, et cetera, and also to examine the ethics of the so-called kaula which is a branch of Tantrism that proposes a sort of “superhumanism”; a sort of doctrine of the superman who is beyond good and evil, and is allowed to do anything when formerly founded on an ascetic preparation. This is its singularity, even by considering ascetics in these branches not as a means to become detached from the world but to be free and unconditioned. Based on this presupposition, one is permitted to do anything, which is actually quite dangerous given nowaday’s human weakness. Thus, founded on this presupposition and exposition, and also comprehension of the doctrine I propose there, it is rather understandable that I had dealt with such things.
Q: You assert that we are going through the Dark Age that the Hindu traditions refer to. Which is your take on the remedy to the dissolution of today’s civilisation?
JE: My answer is a negative one: nothing can be done. According to this doctrine of the philosophy of history, or metaphysics of history, which is the base of involutionary presuppositions I was referring to in the previous question. We are at the end of a process of dissolution which did not actually start just yesterday and does not consist in its moreorless contingent aspects such as those linked to the consumerist societies or the arise of technocracies, et cetera, but that is rather acknowledged during previous eras, with the progressive loss of all sense of reality regarding the supernatural and the rupture of that link that connected men to that which transcends man himself. So, given this process that occurred already centuries ago, we are now living in its last phases and it is absurd to search for a detention of the process, it is as absurd as intending to stop an avalanche. The end of the cycle takes place when the avalanche ends up in the valley and thus the only path available is the one exposed in the doctrines of Ride the Tiger that one can easily understand. There is not much more to say than stating here that what is important is this person (Absolute Individual) to be the aim in order to continue even in a “subterranean” mode of existence. I often quote the great verses of the poet Hofmannsthal who says: “The solution is that those who have been awaken during the long night to re-encounter those that shall arrive with the new dawn.”
Q: Do you have any hope of an eternal life?
JE: In the traditional doctrines there is no such thing as “hope.” I can tell you that in the case of the traditional paths such an issue is completely discarded. It is rather more important to consider, instead of the “eternal life,” the issue that refers to survival, thereafter to distinguish the different kinds of survival and at last distinguish the survival of “immortality,” and so on. Considering the “first death,” than the “second death” – all this is a rather wide domain that I approach in my books.
Q: Your idea that there is not “another world” but only one world embedded with an invisible dimension of the world, do you consider this “beyond” to be “God”?
JE: I do not understand.
Q: This invisible dimension of the world that is in all your books, this supernatural dimension, do you consider it to be “God”?
JE: I am afraid to say that the question is proposed in the wrong way. There is no such thing as reality “beyond” another reality but rather, different means of experiencing one unique thing. The material, the phenomenological domain is a projection of the immaterial one. Whenever a man changes his state of being he will eventually perceive reality in different forms. It is therefore like the radio: one can change the tuner to different positions and other channels will be perceived. So no such things exist as a relative world and an absolute world but rather relative eyes and absolute eyes, and “God” is something that does not deserve any consideration since for metaphysics, “God” is linked exclusively to religious conscience, not to metaphysical consciousness. According to the Hindu doctrines, and also according to some Western mystics as Dionysius the Areopagite or even Plotinus and Meister Eckhart, they all consider something beyond divinity itself or beyond “God,” since from an Eastern or Hindu viewpoint “God” is the principle of Being, but the principle of Being exists in correspondence to the non-Being and there are things that transcend both Being and non-Being.
Q: Going back to the question, you are saying that there is Being and non-Being.
JE: I am saying that “God” is a category that overall belongs to the religious domain, especially in the West. It is thought in terms of a theistic God, God as a person, thus this does not correspond to a concept or category of metaphysics. Because such a theistic God can only be considered, maximally, as the principle of Being, but the same being, due to its particular nature, has the opposition of the non-Being. It can be considered that there are things beyond both Being and non-Being and that this is metaphysics; the metaphysical realm according to the Traditional world-view, and this is what Plotinus refers to as Gottheit, this is the God also conceived by Meister Eckhart, and this is beyond any theistic God. Anywhere where there are the deepest experiences, even those of the mystics who describe the truth of initiation, it is an always present idea that there exists an Absolute, a “beyond-God” that overcomes mostly that of the Christian theistic conceptions.
I would like to add in regard to the Left-Hand path, or Vamachara in Hindu, that it provides a more complete conception of divinity, and this divinity, when expressed in its most popular forms, is that which is called Trimurti; this is the three phases of the divine, one is Brahma, the second is Vishnu and the third is Shiva. The first divinity, or first power of the divine, is creation; the second is conservation which is attached to whatever devotion or respect of existence itself, whatever is referred to the creator, et cetera; and Shiva, contrarily, is the divinity of destruction, but destruction conceived in transcendent terms, being the representation of that which is unconditioned and as such, cannot help but act in a destructive manner in whatever is conditioned. Therefore, while the first divinity of creation and that of conservation belong to the Right-Hand path, the third, Shiva, symbolises the Left-Hand path which integrates forms of ritual destruction, the orgasm or whatever in its own paroxysm overcomes the conditioned, and the perception of such limits is neither assailable nor specialised as in the case of Tantrism, but if you have a look at the text that in India has the same popularity as the Bible among us, that is the Bhagavad-Ghita, in the tenth chapter you find that the supreme form of God reveals itself in a frightful way as a force that destroys everything, as a potential that triggers a circuit or path. And it is interesting that this revelation of the divine in its supreme form goes in correspondence with a warrior Arjuna who during the combat experience encounters family and friends in the enemy army that he has to fight, and the divinity encourages him by saying: “All those you see over there are already dead, since they are born they are all transported by a destructive force since none of them is the author of the transcendence I am. So advance towards the enemy without fear, become my man and fight with no concerns or fears.” I believe this is the highest and most sacred justification of war that one can find in the traditional world.