On Magic, Metaphysics and God
Interviewer: Very often it has been stated that you provide magical practices, Black Masses or those of the Tantric path of the Left-Hand path. What’s your opinion on such rumours or presuppositions?
Julius Evola: 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, 28 and 29, 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, etc. 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.
I: 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 more or less contingent aspects such as those linked to the consumerist societies or the arise of technocracies, etc., 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.”
I: 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.
I: Your idea that there is not “another world” but only one world embedded with an invisible dimension of the world. Do you consider such “beyond” as “God”?
JE: I do not understand.
I: This invisible dimension of the world that is in all your books, this supernatural dimension, do you consider it as “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.
I: 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 this is metaphysics; the metaphysical realm according to the Traditional worldview, 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, etc.; 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.