War Destroys Bourgeois Personality

but Equals Asceticism & Initiation for Heroic Type

as Ancient Greeks, Romans, Irano-Aryans, Frederick I,

Edda & Indo-Aryans Confirm

(from "Metaphysics of War")




[...] dealing with the capacity of war and heroic experience to bring about an awakening of deep forces connected to the substratum of the race, we have seen that, in the most general way, two distinct, and indeed opposite, types appear. In the first type the petty bourgeois personality - tamed, conformist, pseudo-intellectual or emptily idealistic - may undergo a disintegration, involving the emergence of elementary forces and instincts, in which the individual regresses to the pre-personal stage of the 'races of nature', which exhaust themselves in a welter of conservative and affirmative instincts. In the second type, by contrast, the most 'elemental' and non-human aspects of the heroic experience become a means of transfiguration, of elevation and integration of personality in - so to speak - a transcendent way of being. This constitutes an evocation of what we have called 'the race of the spirit', that is, of the spiritual element from 'above', which, in superior stocks, acts formatively on the purely biological part, and is at the root of their 'tradition' and of their prophetic greatness - simultaneously, from the point of view of the individual, these are experiences which antiquity, and specifically Aryan antiquity, considered no less rich in supernatural fruits than those of asceticism, holiness and even initiation. [...]

Broadly speaking, we find that, especially among ancient Aryan humanity, wars were thought of as images of a perennial fight between metaphysical forces: on one hand there was the Olympian and luminous principle, uranic and solar truth; on the other hand, there was raw force, the 'titanic', telluric element, 'barbaric' in the' classical sense, the demonic-feminine principle of chaos. This view' continually recurs in Greek mythology in various symbolic forms; in still more precise and radical terms it appears in the general vision of the world of the Irano-Aryan races, which considered themselves literally as the armies of the God of Light in his struggle against the power of darkness; they persist throughout the Middle Ages, often retaining their classical features in spite of the new religion. Thus, Frederick the First of Swabia; in his fight against the rebellious Commune, recalled the symbol of Hercules and the arm with which this symbolic hero of Dorian-Aryan and Achaean-Aryan stocks fought as all of the 'Olympian' forces against the dark creatures of chaos.

This general conception, intimately experienced, could not help but be reflected in more concrete forms of life and activity, raised to the symbolic and, we could almost say, 'ritual-like' level. For our purposes, it is worth noting particularly the transformation of war into the 'path of God' and 'greater holy war'.

We omit deliberately here any documentation peculiar to Romanity because we will use this when dealing, in the next article, with the 'mysticism of victory'. We will begin instead with the testimonies, which are themselves very well-known, relating to the Nordic-Aryan tradition. Here, Valhalla is the place of an immortality reserved above all for heroes fallen on the battlefield. The Lord of this place, Odin or Wotan, is presented to us in the Ynglingasaga as having shown to the heroes, by his own symbolic self-sacrifice on the cosmic tree Yggdrasil, the path which leads to that divine sojourn, where they live eternally, as if on a dazzling luminous peak beyond the clouds.

According to this tradition no sacrifice or cult is more appreciated by the supreme God than that which is performed by the hero who fights and falls on the battlefield. In addition to this there is a sort of metaphysical counterpart reinforcing this view: the forces of the heroes who, falling, have sacrificed to Odin have gone beyond the limits of human nature, and then increase the phalanx which this god needs to fight the Ragna-rökkr, that is, the 'darkening of the divine', which has threatened the world since ancient times. In the Edda, in fact, it is said that "no matter how great the number of the heroes gathered in Valhalla, they will never be too many for when the Wolf comes. The 'Wolf' here is the symbol of a dark and wild power which, previously, had managed to chain and subdue the stock of the 'divine heroes', or Aesir; the 'age of the Wolf' is more or less the counterpart of the 'age of iron' in the classical tradition, and of the 'dark age' - kali-yuga - in the Indo-Aryan one: it alludes symbolically to an age of the unleashing of purely terrestrial and desecrated forces.




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