De Maistre on Human Nature

It’s Too Late for The West

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 “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.”
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Thus goes W.B. Yeats lament regarding the degradation in character and morals of the Irish middle class in the early 20th century. It’s ironic that this is found in his poem September 1913 when you consider that just three years after the date the Irish would participate in a brave rebellion against the British in Dublin, a rebellion they knew would end in failure and their blood sacrifice. In other words, Yeats was wrong, there was an aspect of romantic Ireland which survived, inside the hearts of every Irish man and woman as a spark of nationalist sentiment, a spark which was fanned into a veritable inferno by the events of September 1916. What is the point of this? The point is that people are always lamenting the degradation of what they hold dear, society is always collapsing, even when it isn’t. Man holds a certain pessimism for the progress of society. But I will venture to say it again, we, the west, are in decline. I am so sure of the downward direction our society is advancing in that I am now convinced there is no hope of redemption. The West is dead.
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Now, some may say my pessimism is unfounded and badly timed, giving the growth of the alt right, nationalist politics, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. All these are signs that most people are throwing off the cosy liberal consensus and returning to a more reactionary approach to governance. This provides some hope, but ultimately it is motivated by the same motives as those who vote for liberal policies. In each case people vote based on the prospects of their finances under whatever leadership. Who will make them wealthiest, give them the most benefit for 4 years. No one votes on ideals, and the constant drive for economic prosperity is part of the reason the West is doomed. For it, we have sacrificed much, but the greatest sacrifice of all was morality. The West cannot survive because it is decadent. In our material comfort, we have lost reverence and respect for the ideals which were the formation of the West.
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The educated are resented, knowledge is scoffed at, philosophy and theology are seen as a joke, simply leaching off the more noble field of science, which guarantees continuing prosperity and comfort for us. Religion is seen as one hobby among many, no greater or worse than yoga, though perhaps worse for the hatred it inspires, though this can’t be said regarding Islam, for most muslims are non whites and thus immune to any criticism. Political correctness has stifled free debate, and shown us that liberalism as it ultimately manifests itself is little more “free” than medieval political arrangements. With the sacrifice of morality we can not recover. Even if there is a great awakening in the West, a massive reaction against the liberal consensus, the reactionaries will not know with what principles to replace those they rebel against. Rome did not collapse because it over extended itself or because it embraced Christianity, it collapsed for the same reason every great empire has – having long enjoyed prosperity created by men of belief, it fell into unbelief and decadence. The weak, nihilistic men this decadence spawned drove their inheritance into destruction. It has happened to every great civilization, it will happen to the West. Many on the left may embrace this, but what could possibly follow it is more worrying. Lament the death of the West, the Moslem barbarians wait at the crumbling walls of our civilisation.

Dala Paintings 1780-1870 – Swedish Folk Art

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Ålderstrappan, The Stairway of Age, Winter Carl Hansson, Danielsgården, Bingsjö, 1799

 

The province of Dalarna, meaning the Dales, is held as being the heart of Sweden. Located in the central part of the country, it has been the economic backbone of Sweden, owing much to its copper and coal mining as well as the strong and free-minded people of Dalarna residing there since hedenhös, heathen days.

It was in these lands, primarily in the parishes of Rättvik and Leksand, where a distinct rural art form took root. Stricken by famine plaguing years, coupled with frequent crop failures, the people of Dalarna were forced to turn towards alternative forms of craftsmanship for income and survival. Different schools of techniques sprang forth and some came and went, and many melded together.

It was the decorating of furniture that would grant recognition in times to come. Their skill in decorating coffers and cupboards with myriads of florae and vines became popular. Soon after, they expanded their craft into the realm of tapestry paintings, adorning once again cottages with their peculiar, yet diverse art.

As time passed, this comprised community of itinerant and untrained artists from all walks of life – peasants, soldiers and village school teachers – were taking their art into a new realm. A spiritual realm. There, they infused their everyday struggles with the stories of the Bible. Prophets, Apostles and Kings became Dalkarlar or Dalecarlians, and the lands of the Dalecarlians became the lands of Egypt, Israel and Babylon.

Traveling and selling their work from village to village, it brought in a modest income, but the artists were not only driven by mere need for extra earnings. It is no surprise to find that many of the artists were village school teachers, a group close-knit with priests as educators in the ways of the Christian faith.

Later on, they would collectively become immortalized in the poetic works of fellow Dalecarlian poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt as Dalmålare, Dala painters, and their work would cement into public conscious as Dalmålningar, Dala paintings, a name given by the art enthusiasts and National Romanticists of their days. Another name given posthumously to their craft is Kurbitsmålningar, Kurbits paintings, from the recurring Kurbits motif of florae and vines as mentioned before.

The Kurbits, which derives from the Latin Cucurbita and the German Kürbis designation of gourd, was in the older Swedish translations of the Bible used to refer to ricin bush that God lets grow and shade Jonah from the scorching sun. Jonah 4:6-7. Despite its name, it is an ambiguous term for a fantastical plant.

One of the finest works of the Dala paintings and possibly even all Swedish folk art is Ålderstrappan, the Stairway of Age. No longer treating the Kurbits as a mere background decoration, Winter Carl Hansson goes for a depiction of the Kurbits as interwoven with the lives of the subjects.

It shows a man – later a man and a woman in arms – ascending the staircase of life from the age of 1 to the age of 100; from a rocking baby crib to a deathbed. On the left side, we see the Kurbits blossom and tower over the couple, reaching the skies – the frame of the picture. On the far right, we see a leafless tree tilting over from age and dying roots, just like the couple approaching the age of a 100.

Underneath the staircase, we see a different plane of existence. In the middle, underneath the 50 year old couple, stands a tree surrounded by two plants. In the same plane, on the left, a baby lies on the ground, and the right, Death is in plain sight in his skeleton shape with his scythe.

In contrast to the crudely portrayed and two-dimensional human subjects, the Kurbits stand out with its fine symmetry. One is compelled to think that it was all intentional and not a matter of coincidence on the part of the artists’ lack of higher art training. The fact that the Dala painters saw the Kurbits as symbolizing the transcental, that which does not die, can be summarized in the words of Winter Carl Hansson: “Här finns Både Rosur och Blåmmor Som Wäccsa Både Winter och Såmmar.”

Here are found both roses and flowers that grow both winter and summer.

 

 

Media’s ‘Alternative Facts’ Concerning Russia

During US President Donald Trump’s pre Superbowl interview with Fox News veteran Bill O’Reilly, Trump was challenged over his contact with Russian president Vladimir Putin. O’Reilly seemed horrified that Trump, who he supported throughout his campaign, would even consider amicable relations with the leader of the largest country in the world. “He’s a killer!” O’Reilly boldly claimed at an undaunted Trump. No facts were provided to support this very serious claim, but then, when Russia is discussed in the western media it generally is a fact free zone.

Much of the media still seems to be in arrested development, believing the Cold War is ongoing and Russia is still a communist state. Of course, the current Russia is about as far away from the USSR in ideology as possible. It’s also common knowledge that Russia wants to control all of Eastern Europe, and would do so were it not for the United States and it’s allies holding Putin, the modern day Hitler back. Again, comparing Putin to Hitler is as ridiculous as comparing him to Stalin.

Putin is a nationalist, plane and simple. He took over from Boris Yeltsin, who was widely disdained by the Russian people for prostituting Russia out to the western globalisation process and almost destroying the Russian economy. He took over the largest nation in the world, which faces violent dissidents and separatists in volatile locations such as Chechnya. He took over a people who for years had atheism enforced on them as state policy, and some of their most beautiful churches destroyed by the evil communist regime, a people that have since returned to religion and tradition en masse, presumably with a new found appreciation for the old after seeing what the alternative looked like under years of atheistic communism. So when Putin behaves as a strong leader, tries to keep Russia protected from the worst effects of globalism, and uses the law to try and protect and enforce a traditional morality, it doesn’t make him Hitler or Stalin, who forced a rationalist ideology on their subjects in place of existing structures, it makes him a true representative for the Russian people.

And this is born out by the statistics. Putin is often polled at a 90 percent plus approval rating. Some in the West will decry any statistics on his support, or any election in Russia as a fraud, but without doubt the majority of Russian people are happy with Putin’s leadership  – certainly happier than they would be with the kind of leader the West would like to force on them. As to the charge of being a killer, I wonder what is O’Reilly referring to. Is he talking about the Russian interference in the Ukraine, brought on by a Western backed coup over a democratically elected, pro Russia regime? Or is he referring to the Russian support for the Syrian army, an army who has single handedly been preventing Syria from falling into the hands of ISIS and other radical extremists for 6 years now? To state the obvious, if one were to label any world leader a killer in the last few years it would have been Nobel peace prize winner Barrack Obama. Obama dropped over 26 thousand bombs in his final year in office. Like Russia, he also oversaw a bombing campaign in Syria, except unlike Putin, he intervened in Syria without the permission of the regime there, launching a bombing campaign which Bashar Al-Assad said was unhelpful in fighting extremists. Hardly surprising, considering the uprising in Syria was almost entirely a creation of the US, who armed and funded terrorists there as far back as 2011.

These are facts. When Russia is slated regularly in the media, it is generally slander appealing to people’s prejudices and ignorance on the topic. The media decries the era of ‘post truth’ and ‘alternative facts’, yet when it comes to discussing Russia they repeatedly show how little they regard the truth.

Contributors Wanted

As part of the new site, I am looking for regular contributors to the blog. Anyone with a knowledge of traditionalism is invited to write on their chosen topics. Feel free to apply using the contact section.

#10: The Appearance Of Christ Before The People

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The Appearance Of Christ Before The People, Alexander Ivanov – 1837-57

A Call To Tradition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of today this blog has been renamed The Traditionalist, and it’s new url is radicaltraditionalism.com. I feel it would be remiss of me to let this opportunity pass without explaining my decision to make it explicitly a space for the promotion of traditionalism.

The story of my journey to an embrace of traditionalism probably may not be captivating, but in many ways it seems to parallel the journey humanity has been on the past few centuries, though the conclusion is far from certain to be the same. What i mean is, I was raised with a romantic and firm belief in a religious mythology, began to embrace it intellectually, then encountered certain heresies against those beliefs and, after a rather poor intellectual examination of those original beliefs dropped them, first in favour of agnosticism or a kind of deism, and then in favour of full fledged materialism and atheism. I then faced the consequences of such a belief and, still desiring something greater than myself to believe in, I turned my passion to radical politics. Having seen the failings in such views, I then again dropped into a kind of nihilism, before embracing a return to traditionalism. Were my story to be akin to that of humanities, it would seem we are at the penultimate stage of development, though I am less than hopeful that is how it will pan out.

Raised a Catholic, I was quite devout as a child and for a time I even wanted to be a priest when I grew older. Around a certain age, say 14, an older family member introduced me to a YouTube documentary which viciously attacked religion and the Catholic Church in particular, and then casually “refuted” Christianity with it’s explanation of how the story of Jesus had been fabricated, taking common aspects from other religious myths such as Horus, Mithra and Krishna to construct a satisfying fairytale to keep stupid poor people under the thumb of the all powerful church. Of course, at the time I neither had the critical faculties nor the knowledge to challenge these shocking claims, and thus left my faith.

Despite losing my faith in any and all religion, I always remained an agnostic rather than an atheist, and still had a certain intuition that bare faced atheism could not be true, but I did not trouble myself with thinking over the matter. is there a God? Who knows? Better not to trouble oneself with such unanswerable questions and get on with life. My first great intellectual interest was politics, and I dived into it with all my heart and soul. The same family member who showed me the falsehood of all religion pointed my intellectual endeavors in the direction of radicalism, expressing his horror at the evils of capitalism and the crimes of the US. Once again, he seemed right minded on this, and I became quite left wing for a time, being convinced that socialism was the answer to the ills of mankind.

it is interesting looking back to see how tied my socialism was to my belief in determinism. Before any foray into philosophy, practically from the moment I dropped religion, I was convinced that free will was an illusion. I did not know such a theory even existed outside my own head, but it seemed clear that humans are impacted by the outside world the same way a stone or a tree is, and our movements are similarly determined. How did this tie into my radicalism? If there were such a lack of free will, the result of anyone’s position in society was there upbringing. The poor were poor because they were born into conditions destined to make them poor. The rich were rich by chance, being born into a wealthy family which had similarly won the lottery ticket of birth and been born into favorable circumstances. Having accepted this as true, what option was there other than to enforce a leveling on society, and ensure that all were given the same opportunity (and outcome). If no one was responsible for their position in life, what else could be fair? Of course, I was not so naive as to embrace a bare faced communism, the ideology which had caused the deaths of tens of millions and failed in practically all of it’s aims. I needed an alternative which was just as radical, but avoided the trappings of “orthodox communism”. Aided by reading a lot of Chomsky, I found this in anarchism, anrcho syndicalism, libertarian socialism or whatever other name is being used for it nowadays.

My faith in this belief system was also motivated by another thinker who I had come to love, Friedrich Nietzsche. As he is with many, Nietzsche was the first philosopher I read seriously,in fact, I did not just read him, i devoured him. Nietzsche opened my eyes to a terrible realisation I had somehow always avoided, unintentionally or not. If there was no God, if God really was dead, then everything was fundamentally meaningless. Concepts such as right or wrong, good or evil, better or worse, were just subjective preferences, statements of belief with no objective validity. This meant my passion for radicalism was basically just a silly little passion of mine. No system of governance was really better than another, because to believe that you had to believe in a right and wrong, and the reality we all faced was that in the end we will all die, all our suffering, all our joy, misery, success or failures will all come out in the wash the same. Infinity +1 is still infinity. However, I still had a strong sense of justice, and so I found a new, more Nietzchean way to justify my radicalism. A form of anarchism, it seemed, could be constructed which did not rely on resentment or the remnants of a Christian morality. Rather, this was a more positive system which sought to maximise the potential of all rather than maintain the narrow aims of ensuring everyone got their share of bread and water.

It would be much more simple to point out some moment where my whole perspective entirely changed, but belief is much more complex than that. Over the next few years I studied economics, politics and especially philosophy intently. I came to disregard Nietzsche and actually think him a quite worthless philosopher. I was drawn to the perennial philosophy. It seemed incredible to me to see the enormous similarity found in the doctrines of Eckhart and other Christian mystics, Lao Tzu, the Buddha, Sufism and the Upanishads. I especially took an interest in Eastern philosophy, and after intense study of it’s teachings saw Vedanta, the philosophical school of Hinduism, as the culmination of all philosophy, and it’s Brahman as being the absolute reality of which all religion attempts to express and celebrate. I also became convinced of the truth of idealism, and came to see materialism as an empty and fundamentally false philosophy, laced in error. During this time I became almost apolitical, I had given up on leftism, gradually feeling disdain for the tactics and arguments leftists used to advance their ideology, which to me seemed to appeal to nothing but man’s desire for comfort, before I had any stronger beliefs this always seemed to be an attitude worthy of disgust. I had hated the conservatives for always seeming to appeal to nothing but their constituents greed and desire to become wealthy, but now I realised those on the left appealed to desires just as base. People voted liberal or conservative, basically, based on which one would be most to their advantage, generally financial.

I came to see the whole of modern politics, and the whole of the modern world, as being built on a lie. The lie was never actually spoken, but it was ever present, underlying all discourse and argument. The lie was the promise of heaven on earth. It was the conviction that materialism was true, that God was dead and that the only real truth was the self. We can not believe anything to be absolutely true, and thus we can not believe that anything could be greater than the self, the medium which relegates these other potential truths to mere relativity. And the unavoidable conclusion of such belief is that the only path left for the human race is to pursue a logical path to both ever increasing personal freedom and manipulation of nature through science with the intent of increasing it’s potential to alleviate our suffering and increase our pleasure. The world is slowly moving from what remains of the Christian slave morality to a new utilitarian approach, which trusts in science and personal preferences to dictate the direction of human progress.

I realised this was the spirit of the age, and I detested every aspect of it. The utopianism, the promise of paradise on earth, that same promise which the communists and the fascists had used to justify their grave crimes against humanity. The positivism and scientism, which assumed science could answer all our questions, and anything that could not be answered in such a way was a not a meaningful question in the first place, thus relegating philosophy and religion without even bothering to debate them in any fair way. The belief that nothing was greater than pleasure. That art, education, literature, poetry, beauty, adventure, discovery, invention, religious experience, all of these only had worth in so far as they were enjoyable to the person experiencing them or benefited the survival and pleasure of the human race as a collective. That morality was non existent, that we could not condemn certain behavior or praise virtuous behavior. I detested these views, and I saw that they were not really separate beliefs at all, but rather branches on the one tree, sprouting from the one, fundamental belief which characterised the age they dominated. The belief was materialism. Liberals and conservatives are left and right on a spectrum which operates entirely in a materialist framework, a framework established during the Enlightenment by figures like Rousseau and Locke. Thus, the only alternative was not another place on that spectrum, another point on the compass, rather, the alternative would be to leave that spectrum entirely. To throw away materialism and modernism having accepted it’s failure, and to return to the kinds of beliefs which birthed Western civilization and all it’s fruits.

The alternative? Well, as the Traditionalist writers often point out, all religions have both an exoteric and an esoteric aspect. The exoteric aspect is that expressed to the masses, it is heaven and hell, God in heaven and people on earth, angels and demons, sins and sainthood. The esoteric aspect is that common to all religion. It is the mystical aspect, the one truth expressed by all great mystics and spiritual teachers, which the exoteric side is a simplified, doctrinal version of. These two options seem to be two alternatives to the modern dichotomy. In other words, one could embrace an exoterism, and thus embrace the absolute truth of one religion and struggle for it’s implementation as an alternative to the very post modern malaise we find ourselves in. The other option is esoterism, which would amount either to a form of paganism or an embrace of unity and detached, compassionate action, which could manifest politically as the promotion of spiritual seeking in all it’s forms. This is rather vague, and there’s a reason for that. The esoteric attitude is fundamentally a detached, apolitical one, which does not concern itself with the trivialities of organising the material world when the more fundamental task of achieving gnosis or enlightenment is ever present, and is something the individual must do alone. As such, embracing this spirit seems to land one in a new age, hoky, ultra liberal embrace of humanity which will struggle with relativity of liberalism, and which also lacks an absolute morality.

Thus, the solution, in my view, is a synthesis. A middle way between the esoteric and exoteric sides of traditionalism. This was the case in many ways while Europe was dominated by Christianity, for Christianity is perhaps the only religion which synthesises estoericism and exotericism It is exoterically esoteric, and it thus achieves the unity of the positive aspects of each. Thus, a Christian renaissance would be ideal for the kind of synthesis I believe is now desirable. Nevertheless, the point remains, that a return to the kind of traditionalism once enjoyed is not possible, as the subconscious prejudices and beliefs which enforced it have been challenged and called into question, and that alone is enough to derail the validity of the system they enforced. And so, my firm conviction is that our future, if we are to have one, rests in a ‘Neo Traditionalism’ which can find the best aspects of Traditionalism and a way to synthesise them with aspects of modern life and development which either will not or should not go away. The search for, promotion, and refinement of this viewpoint will be the purpose of this website.

The Frankfurt School: Who They Were And Why They Matter

You may or may not have heard of the Frankfurt School. Though they may not be as well known as other philosophers or social critics, their influence on the world can not be doubted but is grossly underestimated.

The Frankfurt School was founded in Germany by a group of Jewish intellectuals as the Institute for Social Research in the University of Frankfurt, hence the name. Among their best known members were Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. In order to understand their foundation, one must look to Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.

Gramsci wrote in his famous prison diaries on the nature of communism and the reasons for it’s failure in generating a mass revolt of the proletariat and destruction of capitalism. Gramsci placed the blame for this failure in the proletariat’s ideology, manifest in culture. Gramsci lamented that people maintained traditional loyalties to ideas such as the family, religion, morality and race. Gramsci was intelligent enough to realise that communism could never win substantial support while people maintained a love for these things – the only way to win people over to communism would be to undermine and destroy their competing loyalties. Marxism would have to switch from a focus on economics to a focus on culture if it was to be successful.

Taking up this idea, the Frankfurt school, who were forced to emigrate to the US due to the rise of Nazism in Germany, attempted to critique and undermine traditional social bonds and loyalties. They fused the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud with a Neo Marxist view of of society and economics to create a new way of critiquing and understanding culture, hence the common label for their ideas as Cultural Marxism. Their chief weapon came in the form of critical theory, now thought across universities.

Why is this significant? After all, surely a few philosophers writing on culture and the state can’t do much harm. The fact is the Frankfurt school achieved the ultimate success, their ideas have infested the mainstream of culture. What are characteristics of their approach? There is the attempt to pathologise anyone who does not share their communist world view as being mentally ill, or being motivated by an irrational hatred like homophobia. There is also the denouncing of religion as being oppressive and archaic, the support for extreme versions of feminism, the promotion of globalism over nationalism and the equating of nationalism with racism at every opportunity.

Essentially, any of the traditional bonds which traditionally have kept people away from the lure of communism were and are under attack by the Cultural Marxist approach. Nationalism is undermined by it’s association with Nazism and racism. Traditional views on marriage or other social issues are deemed to be motivated by a pathology. Any promotion of Western culture or values is also deemed racist, while one is an Islamophobe if one holds the opinion that the West becoming Islamic, or Islam influencing western culture would be a bad thing.

The above all undermine Western culture and promote an intellectually grey, vapid communist approach to understanding the world. Fundamentally however, the chief way of undermining traditional values and morality is by promoting it’s polar opposite – unabashed materialism. This is now ongoing at an unstoppable rate, people are becoming more and more self centered, dull, shallow and materialistic. They see nothing beyond their most base material desires and consumer goods capable of satisfying them. While it may at first seem absurd to suggest that it is in the interest of communists to have the masses engaging in greedy unabashed consumption, the reality is this consumption is a symptom of what the Marxists really want – a materialistic outlook which ultimately rejects the higher and embraces the promised paradise on Earth of Karl Marx.

HR/Hari/Eli/Helios:The Primal Revelation at the Heart of Civilization

The more we study the infinite Holy Name of Hari the more we realize that the various forms of the name Hari are not late borrowings within the various traditions of the world. Rather they are foun…

Source: HR/Hari/Eli/Helios:The Primal Revelation at the Heart of Civilization

Frithjof Schuon on Christianity and the Bible

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Taken from The Fullness of God Chapter 9 – Keys to the Bible.

In order to understand the nature of the Bible and its meaning, it is essential to have recourse to the ideas of both symbolism and revelation; without an exact and, in the measure necessary, sufficiently profound understanding of these key ideas, the approach to the Bible remains hazardous and risks engendering grave doctrinal, psychological, and historical errors. Here it is above all the idea of revelation that is indispensable, for the literal meaning of the Bible, particularly in the Psalms and in the words of Jesus, affords sufficient food for piety apart from any question of symbolism; but this nourishment would lose all its vitality and all its liberating power without an adequate idea of revelation or of suprahuman origin.

Other passages, particularly in Genesis, though also in texts such as the Song of Songs, remain an enigma in the absence of traditional commentaries. When approaching Scripture, one should always pay the greatest attention to rabbinical and cabalistic commentaries and—in Christianity—to the patristic and mystical commentaries; then will it be seen how the word-for-word meaning practically never suffices by itself and how apparent naïveties, inconsistencies, and contradictions resolve themselves in a dimension of profundity for which one must possess the key. The literal meaning is frequently a cryptic language that more often veils than reveals and that is only meant to furnish clues to truths of a cosmological, metaphysical, and mystical order; the Oriental traditions are unanimous concerning this complex and multidimensional interpretation of sacred texts. According to Meister Eckhart, the Holy Spirit teaches all truth; admittedly, there is a literal meaning that the author had in mind, but as God is the author of Holy Scripture, every true meaning is at the same time a literal meaning; for all that is true comes from the Truth itself, is contained in it, springs from it, and is willed by it. And so with Dante in his Convivio: “The Scriptures can be understood, and ought to be explained, principally in four senses. One is called literal. . . . The second is called allegorical. . . . The third sense is called moral. . . . The fourth sense is called anagogical, that is, beyond sense (sovrasenso); and this is when a Scripture is spiritually expounded, which, while true in its literal sense, refers beyond it to the higher things of the eternal Glory, as we may see in that Psalm of the Prophet, where he says that when Israel went out of Egypt Judea became holy and free. Which, although manifestly true according to the letter, is nonetheless true in its spiritual meaning, namely, that the soul, in forsaking its sins, is made holy and free in its powers” (Trattato Secondo, I).

As regards Biblical style—setting aside certain variations that are of no importance here—it is important to understand that the sacred or suprahuman character of the text could never be manifested in an absolute way through language, which perforce is human; the divine quality referred to appears rather through the wealth of superposed meanings and in the theurgic power of the text when it is thought and pronounced and written.

Equally important is the fact that the Scriptures are sacred, not because of their subject matter and the way in which it is dealt with, but because of their degree of inspiration, or what amounts to the same, their divine origin; it is this that determines the contents of the book, and not the reverse. The Bible can speak of a multitude of things other than God without being the less sacred for it, whereas other books can deal with God and exalted matters and still not be the divine Word. The apparent incoherence in certain sacred texts results ultimately from the disproportion between divine Truth and human language: it is as if this language, under the pressure of the Infinite, were shattered into a thousand disparate pieces or as if God had at His disposal no more than a few words to express a thousand truths, thus obliging Him to use all sorts of ellipses and paraphrases. According to the Rabbis, “God speaks succinctly”; this also explains the syntheses in sacred language that are incomprehensible a priori, as well as the superposition of meanings already mentioned. The role of the orthodox and inspired commentators is to intercalate in sentences, when too elliptic, the implied and unexpressed clauses, or to indicate in what way or in what sense a certain statement should be taken, besides explaining the different symbolisms, and so forth. It is the orthodox commentary and not the word-for-word meaning of the Torah that acts as law. The Torah is said to be “closed”, and the sages “open” it; and it is precisely this “closed” nature of the Torah that renders necessary from the start the Mishnah or commentary that was given in the tabernacle when Joshua transmitted it to the Sanhedrin. It is also said that God gave the Torah during the day and the Mishnah during the night and that the Torah is infinite in itself, whereas the Mishnah is inexhaustible as it flows forth in duration. It should also be noted that there are two principal degrees of inspiration, or even three if the orthodox commentaries are included; Judaism expresses the difference between the first two degrees by comparing the inspiration of Moses to a bright mirror and that of the other prophets to a dark mirror.

The two keys to the Bible are, as already stated, the ideas of symbolism and revelation. Too often revelation has been approached in a psychological, hence purely naturalistic and relativistic, sense. In reality revelation is the fulgurant irruption of a knowledge that comes, not from an individual or collective subconscious, but on the contrary from a supraconsciousness, which though latent in all beings nonetheless immensely surpasses its individual and psychological crystallizations. In saying that “the kingdom of God is within you”, Jesus Christ means not that Heaven—or God—is of a psychological order, but simply that access to spiritual and divine realities is to be found at the center of our being, and it is from this center precisely that revelation springs forth when the human ambience offers a sufficient reason for it to do so and when therefore a predestined human vehicle presents itself, namely, one capable of conveying this outflow.

But clearly the most important basis for what we have just spoken of is the admission that a world of intelligible light exists, both underlying and transcending our consciousness; the knowledge of this world, or this sphere, entails as a consequence the negation of all psychologism and likewise all evolutionism. In other words, psychologism and evolutionism are nothing but makeshift hypotheses to compensate for the absence of this knowledge.

To affirm then that the Bible is both symbolistic and revealed means, on the one hand, that it expresses complex truths in a language that is indirect and full of imagery and, on the other, that its source is neither the sensorial world nor the psychological or rational plane, but rather a sphere of reality that transcends these planes and immensely envelops them, while yet in principle being accessible to man through the intellective and mystical center of his being, or through the “heart”, if one prefers, or pure “Intellect”. It is the Intellect which comprises in its very substance the evidence for the sphere of reality that we are speaking of and which thus contains the proof of it, if this word can have a meaning in the domain of direct and participative perception. Indeed the classical prejudice of scientism, or the fault in its method if one wishes, is to deny any mode of knowledge that is suprasensorial and suprarational, and in consequence to deny the planes of reality to which these modes refer and which constitute, precisely, the sources both of revelation and of intellection. Intellection—in principle—is for man what revelation is for the collectivity; in principle, we say, for in fact man cannot have access to direct intellection—or gnosis—except by virtue of a pre-existing scriptural revelation. What the Bible describes as the fall of man or the loss of Paradise coincides with our separation from total intelligence; this is why it is said that “the kingdom of God is within you”, and again: “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” The Bible itself is the multiple and mysterious objectification of this universal Intellect or Logos: it is thus the projection, by way of images and enigmas, of what we carry in a quasiinaccessible depth at the bottom of our heart; and the facts of sacred History—where nothing is left to chance—are themselves cosmic projections of the unfathomable divine Truth.