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Operative Traditions Vol. I

Miguel A. Fernandez

A Book where Ernst Jünger and Julius Evola meet at last

Available in early August 2017 from Manticore Press

Operative Traditions ArcherOperative Traditions provides a practical and didactic approach to the heritage of the West and the East, focusing on the core values present in traditional craft and art. Through a deep insight into the operative aspects and spiritual character of such disciplines, this book approaches one of the least studied aspects of modern culture: technique and its importance as a key factor for spiritual development.

Operative Traditions uncovers the important ideas of one of the most obscure philosophical works of the 20th century: Julius Evola’s Theory and Phenomenology of the Absolute Individual. Evola’s gnoseological approach draws from the crisis experienced in modern times by Transcendental Idealism (Kant, Hegel, Schelling) and establishes an immanent critique beyond all discursive relativism and speculation. Evola provides the individual with a series of epistemological “tools” that allow the establishment of transcendent immanence: the projection of the core values of Tradition upon the most diverse and complex human realities. The great value of Evola’s philosophy resides in its capacity to be directly applied in the most materialistic, reductionist, and highly technological conditions of the 21st century. Operative Traditions studies these technical conditions, aiming to describe the fundamental framework that influences an individual’s traits and habits.

Operative Traditions also examines The Worker (Der Arbeiter, 1932), one of the most misunderstood works by Ernst Jünger. This serves to provide a new dignity for technique and work, no longer regulating these activities to economic or class-related factors, but instead as opus, a means for forging the diamond brilliance of the spirit.

Operative Traditions presents a more appealing and highly artistic vision shared by these figures than is commonly found the political context, instead revealing a creative path where the individual can attain the absolute, persuading all the stars to revolve around him.

Operative Traditions offers a multidisciplinary exposition that aims to establish a dialogue between readers who are interested in the metaphysical aspects of Traditionalism and Perennial Philosophy with a broader range readers who are involved in the actual operative conditions of our time. Operative Traditions aims to provide new perspectives, approaches, and disciplines for all those who want to follow Evola’s advice of “riding the tiger”, here and now, who are no longer content living as “men among the ruins”, and want to become men who strive to develop new creations.

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Letter from Nietzsche to Brandes (Aristocratic Radicalism)

Nice, Dec. 2, 1887.

 

My Dear Sir,

A few readers whom one honours and beyond them, no readers at all — that is really what I desire. As regards the latter part of this wish, I am bound to say my hope of its realisation is growing less and less. All the more happy I am in satis sunt pauci, that the pauci do not fail and have never failed me. Of the living amongst them I will mention (to name only those whom you are certain to know) my distinguished friend Jakob Burkhardt, Hans von Bulow, Taine, and the Swiss poet Keller; of the dead, the old Hegelian Bruno Bauer and Richard Wagner. It gives me sincere pleasure that so good a European and missionary of culture as yourself will in future be numbered amongst them; I thank you with all my heart for this proof of your goodwill.

I am afraid you will find it a difficult position. I myself have no doubt that my writings in one way or another are still “very German.” You will, I am sure, feel this all the more markedly, being so spoilt by yourself; I mean, by the free and graceful French way in which you handle the language (a more familiar way than mine). With me, a great many words have acquired an incrustation of foreign salts and taste differently on my tongue and on those of my readers. On the scale of my experiences and circumstances, the predominance is given to the rarer, remoter, more attenuated tones as against the normal, medial ones. Besides (as an old musician, which is what I really am), I have an ear for quarter-tones. Finally — and this probably does most to make my books obscure — there is in me a distrust of dialectics, even of reasons. What a person already holds ” true ” or has not yet acknowledged as true, seems to me to depend mainly on his courage, on the relative strength of his courage (I seldom have the courage for what I really know).

The expression Aristocratic Radicalism, which you employ, is very good. It is, permit me to say, the cleverest thing I have yet read about myself. How far this mode of thought has carried me already, how far it will carry me yet — I am almost afraid to imagine.

But there are certain paths which do not allow one to go backward and so I go forward because I must. That I may not neglect anything on my part that might facilitate your access to my cave — that is, my philosophy —  en bloc. I recommend you especially to read the new prefaces to them (they have nearly all been republished); these prefaces, if read in order, will perhaps throw some light upon me, assuming that I am not obscurity in itself (obscure in myself) as obscurissimus obscurorum virorum. For that is quite possible.

Are you a musician? A work of mine for chorus and orchestra is just being published, a “Hymn to Life.” This is intended to represent my music to posterity and one day to be sung ” in my memory “; assuming that there is enough left of me for that. You see what posthumous thoughts I have. But a philosophy like mine is like a grave — it takes one from among the living. Bene vixit qui bene latuit — was inscribed on Descartes’ tombstone. What an epitaph, to be sure.

I too hope we may meet some day.

 

Yours,

Nietzsche.

 

N.B. — I am staying this winter at Nice. My summer address is Sils-Maria, Upper Engadine, Switzerland — I have resigned my professorship at the University. I am three parts blind.

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Nihilism: An Introduction

void

Nihilism: An Introduction

by Brett Stevens

european enterprise

Among the possibilities that scare humans the most, the potentiality of no meaning — no inherent values, no innate truths, and no possibility of accurate communication — unnerves us the most. It means that we are truly alone with nothing to rely on but ourselves for understanding this vast world and what we should do in it. This belief is called nihilism.

“Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.” – Alan Pratt, “Nihilism,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/

“In the 20th century, nihilism encompassed a variety of philosophical and aesthetic stances that, in one sense or another, denied the existence of genuine moral truths or values, rejected the possibility of knowledge or communication, and asserted the ultimate meaninglessness or purposelessness of life or of the universe.” – “Nihilism,” Encyclopedia Britannica, retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/nihilism

Nihilism rejects the ideas of universalism, rationalism and empiricism which have ruled the West for centuries. These ideas arise from our social impulses, or the desire to include others as a group and motivate them with what is perceived as objective truth.

Universalism holds that all people are essentially the same, and therefore that values are a matter of respecting the choices of each person, truth is what can be verified in a way a group can understand, and communication relies on words which have immutable meaning. Rationalism supposes that the workings our minds can tell us what is true in the world without testing, and implies universalism, or that the workings of our minds are all the same. Empiricism, now linked to its cousin logical positivism, states that truth is only found in observable and testable, replicable observations.

nihilism brett stevensThe essence of nihilism can be found in biology. In the tendency of human minds, many identical pieces work together to form agreement, and then act as one. In biology, abundant unequal pieces serve different roles without knowledge of a centralized plan but work together because they are united by very basic principles which cannot be deconstructed further, such as the need to feed, defend oneself, find shelter, and reproduce. Nihilism follows the organic model of different pieces of a larger puzzle working together because they share principles, but not form or the translation of those principles into specific methods. It adds a layer of abstraction to our understanding of how systems — groups of parts producing an output together — function.

This biological framework reveals a “pattern language,” or index of patterns that match functions, to both human thought and human individuals. We are not all alike, nor do we think alike, and many humans have unique roles they can serve where their proficiency makes them ideal candidates. Within the mind, we can identify patterns at a level below language or even consciousness that reveal our thought and how comparable it is to the reality in the external world. This allows us to use self-discipline to become better able to understand reality.

Without universal truth, we bypass the proxy of socially-defined goals and standards, and instead must judge our potential actions by their likely results in reality. This escapes us from the ghetto of human intent, where we judge our actions as if they were communications to others designed to show our value, instead of actions toward a purpose. We lose self-consciousness, which is really an awareness of ourselves as we appear to the social group, and replace it with world-consciousness.

The most difficult part (for modern people) involved with leaving behind universalism is that we now navigate between two poles: first, the wrong idea that there should be one rule and motivation for every person, and second, the wrong idea that avoiding the first pole means that everyone should do whatever they want. Nihilism is the death of “should.” Instead, there is merely “is,” as in each person is what he is and has the wants inherent to being that person. This means that people have different roles, of both vertical (proficiency) and horizontal (specialization) measurements, like animals and plants in an ecosystem. There is no universal role, only a shared mission, and the knowledge of what actions have produced which results in the past, from which we can derive general principles that fit our roles in the civilization ecosystem.

With this, we return to the Traditionalist idea of cause and effect with the cause being informational instead of physical. Pattern and idea dictate outcome more than the particular material elements or particularities of a time period. Consider the knowledge of man trying to start a fire:

Action                                     Result
1. Rub sticks                             Weak fire, takes a lot of strength.
2. Await lightning                    Starve (usually).
3. Strike flint                            Stronger fire, but flying sparks can cause forest fires.
4. Pray to Xu’ul                        Nothing so far.
5. Bark rope friction               Good, but hard to find the right bark.

Society would insert a third column between those for moral judgments, social feelings, personal desires and other chatter from the incessantly rationalizing mind, which seeks to find a justification for its feelings in the world and remove from itself the need to make hard decisions which remind it of existential questions like death, purpose and meaning.

When Bra’agh the caveman thinks about how he should proceed, he inverts the order of the two natural columns. He knows what he wants, or quickly will have to find out, and so he chooses the outcome that will fit his circumstances, and based on that, chooses the method he will use.

If Bra’agh is strong, he may choose to rub sticks. If he has not eaten and is tired, he may take a little more time to look for bark or flint. As a practical person, he may pray to Xu’ul because it makes him feel better, but he will nonetheless seek his own method of making fire (Xu’ul helps those who help themselves). Having bad past experiences getting very hungry waiting for lightning, he will discard that.

When his circumstances change, Bra’agh makes different decisions. If a thunderstorm has just passed over, he might take an hour to wander around looking for burning trees. If he is in a valley where there is abundant flint, he might go right to that method, almost bypassing choice entirely, which can be risky as he will then be oblivious to the downside of possible forest fires. If he is standing next to a tree with the right bark, the decision also seems to complete itself.

All of us have these columns in our mind, and varying degrees of the third column comprised of social and emotional thoughts. The strongest among us can balance the third column so that it fits in with the advantages and disadvantages of methods, like the possibility of forest fires. The weakest among us will think first of the third column, and then use that to choose the method, and will then rationalize from there that their choice is the best, a process called cognitive dissonance.

Nihilism rejects the third column by recognizing the emptiness of shared experience. Some experiences unify us, like love or comradeship in war, but for the most part, we are alone. What we know cannot be communicated unless the other person is willing to analyze it and us enough to know what we are nattering on about. As far as truth, there are accurate perceptions, but these are not shared among people, not in the least because most people do not care about accuracy.

Suppose that Bra’agh becomes a member of a troupe of cavepeople. They wander the fields and forests, foraging for food and hunting what bush meat they can conquer. Then they retreat to their cave where they feel safe. Bra’agh wants to make a fire, but the others either do not or are apathetic. He cannot argue with them, objectively or subjectively, that fire is needed. After all, they have fruits, berries, roots and bush meat which they can dry in the sun and eat, and they will be just fine.

But Bra’agh, he has a dream. In this dream, there are big hunts once a week and then the food is cooked and preserved, so that they will have more free time and do not have to go foraging every day. Perhaps Bra’agh wants to write the great cave novel, or dream of gods in the sky, or otherwise discover the world. For him, time is more important than convenience. This is not so for the others, and nothing he can say will logically compel them to share his vision.

If he demonstrates his idea by slaughtering a caribou, making a fire and roasting the meat and handing it out to others, they may partake. They might not, however, see the utility in this approach, because it is harder and riskier than gathering roots and killing squirrels with rocks. There is no universal standard for all of them.

Suppose that Bra’agh is a burly caveman who instead of arguing for his idea, simply forces others to do it by beating senseless the dissenters. Soon the troupe of cavepeople are hunting and following his path, and he heaves rocks into the skulls of those who thwart the activity. Over time, the survivors are those who share his vision, and the genes for those who are otherwise inclined have passed into history.

In ten thousand years, a civilization may arise in the place where Bra’agh bashed skulls. It will be based on the idea that some risk and effort that achieves a better result (second column) is worth enduring the harder activity (first column). Applying that principle, the cavepeople will start domesticating caribou and planting crops, giving them even more free time. They will invent language, writing and early technology.

After another ten thousand years, the civilization will encounter its first troubles. The people will take for granted that they will always have civilization and stop bashing in the heads of those who cannot direct themselves toward that purpose. Those, who by nature are less focused, will devote their time to the pleasures of the flesh, and become fruitful and multiplicative. Over time, they will outnumber the others.

The civilization will now take a dark turn. It will abandon the original nihilistic principle, which is that some are of the caliber of Bra’agh and must lead by bashing skulls, and instead turn to the principle of universalism. Everyone is welcome and all are celebrated; in fact, they like to say that they are all one. Quantity replaces quality. Realistic vision is lost. The civilization begins to die.

A strange thing will have happened to the people in this civilization. They will live almost exclusively in the third column, thinking about what others think of them, with the world beyond the ego and the human social circle unknown to them. If someone explains nihilism to them, using the language which sprung up as if out of the ground once it was needed, they will retreat in fear, like monkeys flinging faeces at a feared totem. To them, there can only be one rule for everyone — the rule of the third column — or life has become bad and evil.

Nihilism remains controversial for this reason. It connects us to the nothingness in life, and the necessity of sacrifice in order to achieve quality-enhancing results, which naturally brings up the question of mortality that almost all people (except pasty Goths in black) would rather not discuss. People would rather decrease quality and increase quantity, meaning that all actions would be seen as equal, because this is more emotionally convenient for them. Nihilism erases any importance granted to this emotional state.

The modern West finds itself at a crossroads. The path we are on leads to eventual death and a form of entropy that returns us to the state of the cavepeople before Bra’agh and his vision of fire. A new path beckons which will take us higher than the greatness of the past, continuing the idea that seized Bra’agh as he was wandering the veldt. For us to accept the possibility of the new path, we must first strip away the human-only mental prison in which we exist because of social influences and “peer pressure.”

Nihilism leads to idealism for this reason. When we remove the over-dominance of the methods we use to interact with the world, we see the importance of pattern and arranging ourselves and material according to the idea we seek. This connects to a primal idea, which is that existence itself is biological, and that life extends past the physical into the metaphysical. In short, idea is all; material — including the third column — is a false goal that causes us to rationalize and become confused.

In this sense, nihilism shows us the value of transcendental thought. By facing the darkness of life directly and allowing the cold wind of the abyss to lick our faces, nihilism creates acceptance of the world as it is, and then embarks on a search for meaning that is not “social meaning” because it is interpreted according to the individual based on the capacity of that individual. Nihilism is esoteric in that it rejects the idea of a truth that can be communicated to everyone, but by freeing us from the idea that whatever truths we encounter must include everyone, allows for lone explorers to delve deeper and climb higher, if they have the biological requirements for the mental ability involved.

For this reason, nihilism is transformative. We go into it as equal members of the modern zombie automaton cult, convinced that there is objective truth and we have subjective preferences. We come out realizing that our preferences are entirely a function of our abilities and biology, and that “objective” truth is as much an idol as the Golden Calf of Moses’ time: a fiction and consensual reality created to keep a troupe of slightly smarter than average monkeys working together. Nihilism transforms us from human into beast, and from that, to something which can reach for the stars.

***

In Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness and Eternity, your author explores the possibilities of leaving behind the path to death and choosing the new path instead. This cannot be approached directly, because the path is an effect of a cause, which is our willingness to abandon the solipsistic tendencies of our minds and strive for something greater. It appeals to the Bra’aghs of the world, and not those whose skulls were smitten by his rocks.

Through the course of essays composed in the wilderness over the course of two decades, Nihilism unearths the first steps toward the wisdom of the past. It shows a path to clearing the mental confusion of this time from the mind, and seeing the value of nihilism as a gateway to re-understanding the world in a new light. While it is not for all, if humanity has a future, it is through a thought process like the journey on which it takes its readers.

In contrast to accepted doctrine, this book shows that the lack of meaning in modern society came not from the fall of gods and heroes, but from the insatiable human ego and its collectivized counterpart, “peer pressure” or social control. What remains of the old religion is only the idea of universal truth, and that has been reconfigured into an assumption that all that is human is good, and that nature and metaphysics are irrelevant.

Nihilism remains a terrifying topic because it removes the illusions on which our current worldview is based, but that outlook is rapidly failing. In this alternate view, the tripartite illusion — universal truth among humans, equality-based values, and exoteric communication based on universal tokens — has broken and died, and those who wish to rebuild civilization can use nihilism to detach from it and form the groundwork of a new era.

Touching on ideas from both the occult and mainstream religion as well as philosophies ranging from Germanic idealism to perennialism, Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness and Eternity explores nihilism as a fully-developed philosophy instead of the melange of anarchy and self-centeredness by which it is portrayed in most literature. In doing so, it discovers a way out of our landlocked modern thought, uniting both wisdom of the past and possibilities for the future into a single vision.

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The Impossible John Stuart Mill

Utilitarianism is, from the Nietzschean perspective no philosophy, but imperial bureaucracy put into theory. Like many philosophical forms that appear late in history, it is ultimately, primitive. That is to say, it exhibits an abominable lack of style, as if no human standards were set at all, but only a slavish copying of ‘Nature’ […]

via THE IMPOSSIBLE JOHN STUART MILL — Louise Mabille

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“Borderline: A Traditional Outlook for Modern Man” by Lennart Svensson — Heathen Harvest

“To exist is nothing insignificant.” —Frithjof Schuon Borderline, by the Swedish writer Lennart Svensson, is not a book to read in a sudden burst, but rather, it is a book to take up chapter by chapter, to be read carefully, and to be pondered, which is how it should be. All philosophical books ought to […]

via “Borderline: A Traditional Outlook for Modern Man” by Lennart Svensson — Heathen Harvest

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A Resolution for a Better Life

resolution for a better life

Abir Taha

Except from Twelve Resolutions for a Happy Life: A Manual of Happiness

”The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place.”

– Zen saying

Why is it important to have faith in life, faith in the meaning and purpose of life, and most importantly, faith in oneself? If we are to trust life, it must have a meaning and hence we must have a purpose to fulfil in the grand scheme of the universe, each of us his or her own way and according to his or her own nature, abilities and aspirations. Otherwise, without meaning, all would be vain and nothing would have any value, not even life itself; and the world would become a huge graveyard of souls and an endless sea of heartache and despair.

 From time immemorial, man has asked himself this ultimate existential question: ”does life have a meaning?” And, if so, what is it? If not, why do we bother to exist at all, given that everything is doomed to death and oblivion? Throughout the ages, man has sought to find a meaning in life – or, when he failed to do so, to give life a meaning – and he has striven to achieve the meaning which he has assigned to life. For life is only worth living when we bestow a meaning upon it, our own meaning, according to our own path, the deepest law of our nature, our life purpose and vocation, or what Hindus call Dharma.

Man is the evaluator: he creates symbols and gods, bestows value and meaning upon things and people, as well as upon life itself. Everything that man sees, hears, feels, becomes imbued with meaning. For man cannot live without a purpose; and where he does not find it, he invents it. His Horror Vacui (”fear of the void”) forbids him from living a meaningless life. Atheist philosophers even claim that this fear of the void is the very reason why man invented ”God,” not the other way around. The world should make sense for us to bear to live in it. Hence each one of us has a dream that keeps him alive and makes him get up every morning full of hope and aspiration, despite life’s many trials and tribulations.

However, when tragedy occurs, when there is death, loss, illness, war, violence, injustice, etc… life seems unfair, absurd and meaningless. More often than not, life seems to be a haphazard sequence of random events, blind matter in motion. Life’s absurdity – or rather, what we perceive as life’s absurdity (since we do not behold the bigger picture, being ourselves part of the picture) – leads us to question why bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. In these dark moments, when nothing seems to make sense, we doubt the existence of God and doubt that life has any meaning.

Despite that, most of us still act according to our conscience, guided by that inner voice which tells the good from the bad and the right from the wrong. And yet life does not seem to make sense anymore, in this world of greed, selfishness, and deceit. Thus we fall into disillusionment; we become nihilists and surrender to despair, cursing our dark fate, and even God himself. We lose faith in God and in life, and, most importantly, we lose faith in ourselves.

Is there a God? Is there a higher intelligence that governs our universe? Does life have a meaning and a purpose? And, if so, why does evil exist? Those who firmly affirm that life has a meaning, the religious types, tend to assign an outside meaning to life and hence they believe in an ”afterlife” which is nothing other than an escape from the suffering, woes and ills of the real world. These religious people fall into fatalism: they accept everything that happens to them in this life with resignation, without any resistance, waiting for a better life in the beyond, after the ”liberation” of death. Theirs is not a will to live but a will to die, as death is viewed as the ultimate liberation from an unworthy life of suffering. ”We will get salvation in the other life, the next life,” the religious people thus console themselves, ”now we should endure this life, for all is written.”

The other type, the other extreme, the sceptic atheists, the materialists, affirm on their part that life has no meaning and that the universe is just ”blind matter in motion.” Thus, when bad things happen, they tend to fall into nihilism, which preaches that ”all is vain,” that life is absurd, and that we are doomed to oblivion: ”from dust we are made and to dust we return,” these nihilists affirm. Consequently, they either become nihilistic, even suicidal, or indulge in hedonism, living life ”abundantly.” Life to them becomes a mere pursuit of pleasure and comfort devoid of any higher meaning. However, despite ”living life abundantly” (as they see it), these atheists remain empty inside, hollow shells with souls thirsting for a meaning, for a higher consciousness and self-realisation.

Both the religious and the atheists end up denying life, the former by inventing a ”beyond” as an escape from this life and a ”God” that is above life, forever unreachable and unknown, the latter by denying the higher meaning and dimension of life, and refusing to believe in the spiritual dimension of the material world or the ”God within.” The rest of us – whether realists or idealists – are caught and lost between these two extreme visions of life and, unwilling to kneel or to deny, we struggle through life trying to extract a meaning from its many riddles.

When tragic events occur and we are faced with what we perceive as life’s absurdity and meaninglessness (due to the flawed interpretations and erratic attitudes of both the religious and atheist types), we again ask ourselves the inevitable questions: ”does life have a meaning? Is there a God?”  Yet even in the darkest moments, our will to live pushes us to refuse to give up on our built-in faith; we feel that beneath and behind all the suffering and injustice that characterise our world, still there is a reason why these things happen. We console ourselves by repeating the mantra that God’s will ”acts in mysterious ways,” although we honestly cannot understand why a ”God” would allow so much evil and suffering in this world.

Tragedy causes us to lose faith in life, and yet something, some hidden hope and longing, remains deep within our souls. Our faith is shaken but never totally stifled. That is because the religious feeling is inborn in man. Man has an intuitive affinity with the Divine, a natural propensity to trust and revere life. Even the atheist is merely in a state of denial, denial of his spiritual essence. The truth is that our souls all have a longing for unity with the Source, the Soul of the World, and our lives are a search for wholeness through self-realisation.

By intuition, against all odds and despite the many woes that we endure throughout our life, we feel the presence of a higher Force governing this universe of great beauty, order and harmony. Whether we call this force ”God” or Life or whatever name we choose, this force is also present in us. We are the meaning of life. We are God. We are agents of this superhuman force, co-creators, sons and daughters of Nature.

Thus the meaning of Life becomes intertwined with the meaning of our life. Those of us who adopt this attitude start believing that everything happens for a reason, that we are alive for a purpose and that life is just providing us – whether through challenges, disappointments, or even tragedies – with opportunities for spiritual growth and creative evolution. Indeed, the aim of life is not ”happiness” but endless creation and elevation which take place beyond good and evil, beyond joy and sorrow, even beyond life and death.

In contrast to the fatalists who believe that ”all is written” as well as the nihilists who affirm that ”all is vain,” the ”magical realists” – a new breed of idealists who believe in perfection in the here and now – believe that we are alive for a reason, that life has a meaning, but that this meaning is not to be sought outside but rather inside our very souls. We are here for a reason, and life is nothing but a series of opportunities – and tragedies are also opportunities for spiritual growth – which we either seize or ignore.

Therefore, when we realise that we alone are accountable for our own acts, we stop playing the victims of ”fate” and start taking responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. No one else and nothing else is held accountable for our successes or failures, neither ”God” nor any other force but us. That heroic, Stoic attitude towards life is what Nietzsche called the ”great liberation.”

The Good, the True, the Beautiful, Love, Virtue, Justice… these are all manifestations of the divine Light, what Plato called ”Universals,” objective absolute values. But Light cannot exist without darkness; the Light needs darkness to be. Indeed, we live in a world of opposites, of duality; there are various facets to Being. There is diversity in unity, and unity in diversity. Therefore, God is both light and darkness, life and death, spirit taking form in matter, beyond good and evil. This duality, these dialectics which characterise the human world enable us to become conscious and complete human beings. Through the world of matter, the world of forms, our souls become self-conscious and self-fulfilled. Creation only takes place through dialectics, when Being and Becoming mix and merge.

Life does have a meaning, but that meaning is not outside life and outside man; that meaning is life itself in its totality, in its higher forms and manifestations. The meaning of life is creative evolution and eternal self-overcoming. This higher meaning is not to be sought outside life and outside ourselves, but here on earth and within the depths of our souls. Our life bears the meaning we give it. Each one of us has his own meaning and his own purpose, his own path and his own destiny, according to his own potential and abilities. And yet like the notes of a symphony, we all participate in that cosmic orchestra that is eternal creation.

Life is God, God is Life: this is my pantheistic vision of the universe which, unlike the religious vision, does not separate God from his own creation. There is a ”God,” but God is not outside or above Life. The creator and the creation are one. God is the conscious universe, a living organism; God lives in us and through us, He breathes and thinks through us. Therefore, we must live life in its totality, we must live all the seasons and cycles of existence. Thus we participate in the dance of the universe and sing its celestial melody as sons and daughters of Life.

We should think of ourselves as co-creators connected to the higher Force that moves the worlds. Only thus do we participate in and contribute to life’s evolution. We are agents of change and of evolution, but we can also be agents of destruction and decay if we do not serve life and ennoble and elevate it. The power is within us; how we use it depends on the path that we have chosen for ourselves.

The law of life is evolution; its aim is elevation; its end is eternal creation. Evolution happens in cycles and spirals of birth and rebirth; death is but a prelude for rebirth. We are agents of the divine creative force which pervades and moves the universe. Our purpose on this earth is to fully live our individuality and to awaken to our higher self and fulfil our divine destiny, which is none other than becoming gods ourselves, ”perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.” Our purpose is to fully live our freedom as independent entities whilst being conscious parts of the Whole, microcosms that reflect the timeless, infinite Macrocosm.

 In fact, it is the Spirit of the Earth – Gaïa – which is becoming self-conscious and self-fulfilled through us, its parts. Therefore, we should live life in its totality, for ”all is for the best in the best of possible worlds,” as Leibniz wrote. The world makes perfect sense, and we only realise that when we tune into its universal frequency and forget our individual worries and concerns. We achieve that ”transcendence in immanence” by becoming the higher, better version of ourselves, by developing all the human virtues which are also divine virtues.

”How wonderful! How wonderful! All things are perfect, exactly as they are,” said the divine Buddha: The world makes perfect sense, for there is order, purpose and harmony in life. Therefore, despite evil, chaos, violence, injustice, illness, sorrow, loss, and all the woes that plague existence down under, still, we should maintain our faith in life, because everything happens for a reason in the grand scheme of the universe and serves to awaken and elevate us. Indeed, our purpose in life is to become conscious of our inherent divinity and to evolve into gods. Therefore, we should relish the blessings of life and endure its tragedies, for creation and elevation take place beyond good and evil.

”God gave me nothing I wanted, He gave me everything I needed” said the great Hindu master Swami Vivekananda, who introduced Hinduism to the West. Whatever happens, we should have faith in Life, for Life gives us what we need, not what we want; for what is best for us, for our spiritual evolution, is not necessarily what we desire for ourselves but what life’s higher destiny has in store for us.

We should therefore strive to give meaning to our life, for our life is a blank page upon which we write our own destiny. What we reap is what we’ve sown throughout our life. We write our own story on the pages of history, on the Book of Life, and that story itself determines our fate and our future, whether in this life or ­– for those of us who believe in reincarnation – in the next. The past determines the present, the present determines the future. Thus evolution is endless creation.

Nature revolves in endless cycles of birth and rebirth; and, as we are the sons of nature, our eternal souls, which are the life force that moves us, take on different forms throughout their incarnations. This is what the Hindus and Buddhists call the Law of Karma. We are ruled by this law, as karma is the fruit of our own free will, thoughts and actions; we determine our own karma throughout the ages.

Therefore, there is no accountability; no one but us is responsible for our present situation. There is a higher wisdom behind events which we ourselves have created; these events are symbols of our inner life. The significant people whom we meet and the meaningful events that we live are all reflections and symbols of our inner evolution, our soul’s evolution across the ages.

And so we create our own destiny through our free will and through what C.G. Jung called our ”personal myth.” Our present life is the consequence of our karma, our deeds in a past life and in this life. We created our own circumstances throughout the incarnations and we continue to create our present and our future. We keep recreating ourselves forever anew.

That is why we should trust life, for we have made events happen, we create the future every minute of every day, through our thoughts and our deeds. It is all a question of will. Karma is ”divine” justice that we ourselves create: we have the free will to decide whether we evolve or go backwards, whether we do good deeds or evil ones, whether we elevate life or degrade it. We have a divine gift: the blessing of free will. No one and nothing else is accountable for what befalls us. It is neither ”God’s will” nor random and arbitrary chance. Our will creates our destiny.

Life is but a mirror of our souls; it reflects what it sees. The seeds we sow are the fruits we reap. Life will give us back what we give it. By serving and elevating life, it serves and elevates us; by denying it, it denies us. Therefore, we should have faith in ourselves before we can have faith in life. ”You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself,” said Swami Vivekananda. We have created our own circumstances, our own life, its sorrows and joys, its successes and failures. It is up to us to change it for the better or for the worse.

‘The Lord acts in mysterious ways,” the saying goes (yet the ”Lord” is none other than Karma. We are God). Only by looking at the bigger picture can we understand the wisdom behind every event – good or bad – that befalls us. There are lessons to be learned in everything that happens to us. In fact, something that may seem bad has meaning, serves to turn us into better persons, serves to awaken us. In the world of opposites, the light needs its shadow to be. ”Every cloud has a silver lining”; It is all a question of perspective and attitude: whether we look at the cloud or at the silver lining, whether we act or submit.

My formula for finding inner peace and happiness:

 

”TO MAN BELONGS THE WILL, AND TO GOD BELONGS THE WAY.”