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Julius Evola (1898–1974)

Author of Revolt Against the Modern World

123+ Works 2,709 Members 36 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Julius Evola was one of the foremost authorities on the world's esoteric traditions. His other works available in English include The Hermetic Tradition, The Yoga of Power, Revolt Against the Modern World, Eros and the Mysteries of Love, The Doctrine of Awakening, The Mystery of the Grail, show more Meditations on the Peaks, and Men Among the Ruins. show less

Works by Julius Evola

Metaphysics of War (2007) 99 copies
The Path of Cinnabar (1963) 65 copies
Notes on the Third Reich (2013) 28 copies
The Bow and the Club (1971) 28 copies
Heathen Imperialism (2017) 27 copies
Metaphysics of Power (2021) 15 copies
Gli uomini e le rovine (2001) 11 copies
Orientations (1996) 9 copies
Fascismo e Terzo Reich (2001) 6 copies
Tao-te-ching di Lao-Tze (1996) 4 copies
Gerarchia e democrazia (2010) 4 copies
Symboles et mythes (1980) 3 copies
El Misterio Hiperboreo (2006) 2 copies
Ultimi scritti 2 copies
Le taoïsme (2000) 1 copy
Út és ige 1 copy
Carattere (2005) 1 copy
Etica aria (2018) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Decline of the West (1918) — Translator, some editions — 597 copies
Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943-1945 (2020) — Associated Name — 6 copies

Tagged

(10) alchemy (33) Buddhism (27) ebook (16) esoteric (47) esotericism (40) essays (18) Europe (12) European History (13) Evola (44) fascism (39) German (10) grail (10) Hermeticism (33) history (136) Italy (21) magic (27) magick (27) metaphysics (16) mysticism (19) non-fiction (81) occult (44) occultism (19) perennial philosophy (11) philosophy (203) philosophy of history (16) political theory (23) politics (30) religion (45) sexuality (11) sociology (13) spirituality (21) tantra (23) Taoism (10) to-read (178) tradition (17) traditionalism (149) Western esotericism (12) world history (21) yoga (14)

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Reviews

This was a very strange read.

Apologists aside, author was very fond of Fascist rule (not that much of Nazi's that he considered so romantic (as he says, they are Germans after all) that they ultimately strayed from what author thinks is proper path) and this permeates entire book. Considering that book is collection of articles Evola published in Fascist magazine during the WW2 and then in publications in 1950 it is visible that he had change of heart regarding the Fascism but unfortunately not as a critic of the same but because Fascism was flawed and finally failed in the eyes of Evola. His thoughts on the subject are clear when one considers he considers himself supra-Fascist. Which is terrifying in itself. So answer to question where does the author's heart lies politically is pretty obvious even from the introduction. Evola is so right he could pop up on the left any time.

As many of his contemporary philosophers Evola delves way too deep in esoteric areas. We can see mentions of Hyperborians and Aryans from Indoeuropean traditions and mystic stories from further east, Persia and India. There is whole bunch of citations from various holy texts, from Islamic (he as majority of authoritarian regimes is enamored by Islamic approach to holy war) to Christian (although author does not like it that much because of its tame nature) to Indian Hindu traditions. Considering that majority of these literature works are strictly hierarchical it comes as no surprise that author longs for the times when people were split across social strata, or more precise cast system.

Reason is simple, aristocracy was aristocracy for the reason, Evola reasons, they had the pure blood and they are the rulers of the world (personally would not agree considering that same aristocracy due to their way of life caused its own demise). Plebs (or masses) are just slaves, automatons, degenerative and (as Evola says with sadness in his voice) currently in power. When you have masses ruling the world there is nothing good to expect so we need aristocracy back quickly, because they are the ones that are solely qualified to lead and rule (again rather questionable logic and I dont agree with return of degenerative lords of life and death, but OK).

So, as can be seen Evola would aggravate whole bunch of people today. With all this talk about the chosen elites Evola weaves his story of how masses have taken every meaning from ones life because everything needs to be tamed and ridden of goals towards higher level of existence - everyone needs to be molded and controlled. All of this was caused by rise - can you guess it? - of Jewish influence and control of world (again as I said author is Fascist to the core so antisemitism is expected). So when it comes to political manifesto of the Fascist sympathizer, Evola does everything by the book, Thule society and other race superiority cults of early 1900's would be proud of him.

So this is the background. Now we can move to the core of the book - Evola's discussion on nature of war, or better said conflict.

Evola's main comment is that together with progress towards pacifism and humanism (both considered as aberrations by Evola) people have lost their edge, their ruggedness and are tamed and placed under control of forces like bankers and world's financial rulers. Due to this people get slaughtered in new wars but as a form of cattle/cannon fodder that manages to survive only because of the base emotions and drives that enable people to survive - but because of which people degenerate even further. There is no motivation that could help people to rise up and be the best they can be. People are no more people of action but constantly paralyzed by conflicts in their minds that make them powerless and pliable to external forces.

Evola's view of perfect man is someone who manages to place himself under control, manages to control the lower emotions and evolves through danger. It is not that Evola thinks wars are required - although he does consider them excellent means of natural selection - he thinks that man needs to yearn to become best he can be, he needs to engage in the internal war to defeat bad elements in himself and thus rise up. But in order to do this man needs to become man of action, not of constant, self-paralyzing contemplation. Of course true warrior is the person who is best suited to achieve this inner victory because he is accustomed with corporeal warfare and that fact makes him the most qualified when it comes to internal (spiritual) warfare. Arjuna from Hindu tradition pops up every so often - when paralyzed by conflict in his mind he is advised by God of Light to act! and stop contemplating forever.

If above reminds you, beside often cited India's warrior cast logic, of Japanese Bushido you would be right. Same applies to Romans and to Scandinavian/Nordic people. In general it is true for every discipline that deals with life threats - everything is better than non-action, just act and move on the way one thinks its best. We might not like it but nature of life is struggle and this is something that we as society (in large) might have lost contact with. Instead of acting, thinking (just another way of acting but one that has potential for change but not necessarily can make the change) has a very weird effect - majority decides to be pulled this way, that way and thus play the role of play-doh used by the controllers in the shadows (media included). When one realizes that death awaits us all and that one can decide to die under ones own conditions - this is when when ultimate freedom is won. And death is the ultimate terror - just look at what is done by using this fear in last several months.

Here I agree with the author - people need to learn to act and think. And through that action they need to seek their own freedom by conquering their fears. Without action it all remains theoretical and thus creates depression and maladies of the spirit that bring people down and under greater control.

But to be able to act one needs sets of belief that need to be ingrained in oneself to have any effect. I agree with this too - last decade showed that people are actually missing the higher goals (considering that religion or belief system into higher power ran out of favor by majority of intelligentsia and is not considered hip or trendy). Everyday activities are just not sufficient to keep man motivated (imagine getting motivated by never ending cycle of wake up, go to work and repeat - and for majority it seems they are working in fields they dont like at all). To succeed mentally/spiritually man needs a higher goal. And this is where problem arises - if person is not capable to individually identify that higher goal it will be imprinted on him by external forces that have their own goals and imprisonment continues, even worse than before.

In the end we are all warriors in our own right just by living in the world. Through everyday struggles we need to seek enlightenment and become ultimate warriors by making sure we are free as individuals and not controlled by outside forces. We need to control our own fate. Today this would be frowned upon because inner strength and thought chain that goes with it - reasonable stoicism and practice of Musashi's thought for example - would be thought as toxic (omg, new age....). This is greatest hurdle for today's society, return from pure impulse emotional response to acceptance of world as it is and working on improving it.

So it is not that this book does not have its merits it is just it takes awhile to get to it. So if you have patience and will to go through the book and through some pretty disturbing thought chains about race and population structure there are things to learn here.

Just dont make this one starting point in your philosophical reading list - read classics and other authors (preferably even those from the other side of spectrum) so more complete picture of world can be made. Only then you can go through works of Evola and be able to learn something new where possible.
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Zare | 2 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
An excellent account of the Grail cycle and its importance to Western culture. Actually, to say that the Grail cycle is important to Western culture may be a mistake - it practically is Western culture, it's that fundamental. Pre-Christian, of course, but not antithetical to it, necessarily. Evola is the definitive expert and this work stands out like a lighthouse amongst a deluge of later New Age nonsense, which it predicted and opposes. A true eye-opener for any Westerner. It is frustrating in parts, simply because it is short, and functions as a gloss, and the newcomer is sent scurrying to search the internet for references. But shortness is a quality in a book. My first Evola and certainly not my last.… (more)
 
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Quickpint | 5 other reviews | Oct 26, 2023 |
Attuale, a dir poco. Primo libro di Evola letto e davvero positivamente colpito dal suo modo di scrivere, con mente e cuore.
 
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giacomomanta | 3 other reviews | Aug 23, 2022 |
Very little of substance to say and mostly argued through repetition. In essence, uncritical praise of the warrior.
 
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Paul_S | 2 other reviews | Dec 23, 2020 |

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