Spengler: about Nobility and Priesthood

“The men who belong inwardly to these two castes and not only in name are really different from the others; unlike that of the peasant and of the bourgeois, their life rests entirely on a symbolic dignity. They don’t live to live, but so that life acquires a meaning”.

“The nobility lives in a world of facts, the priest in a world of truths; to the first corresponds the lived experience, to the other the knowledge; to the first corresponds the man of action, to the other the thinker”.

“The nobility is indeed caste in the proper sense, it is a synthesis of blood and race, it is a current of existence in the most perfect form imaginable. This is why the nobility can be conceived as a peasant element of higher order”.

“On the other hand priesthood represents the anti-caste in the proper sense, the caste of those who deny, the non-race, the independence from the soil, the free, atemporal, ahistorical awake being”.

“The caste of the pure awake being and of the eternal truths turns against time, against race, against sex in every sense. Man as a peasant or as a knight is attracted by the woman, in which he feels destiny; man as a priest departs from her”.

“For the man of race dying without heirs is the true, terrible death; who continues to live in the children and grandchildren doesen’t die entirely. But for the true priest is valid the proverb: media vita in morte sumus; he recognizes only spiritual heirs and disregards the meaning of the woman”.

“As a rule, at the beginnings of every culture also arises an original nobility, in whose hands will by now be the destiny of the culture. In a silent but determined way the shaping energy puts <<in shape>> the being, it imprints and fixes a rhythm to the blood, for the whole future. Indeed in every early period this creative ascent towards the living form corresponds to what in every late period will be the power of tradition, that is to say the old and solid discipline, the rhythm become definite and so vigorous that even in the extinction of the ancient lineages knows how to attract continuously in its orbit, from the deep, always new men, always new currents of being. One can not doubt that the history of the later ages in its form and rhythm is already included, potentially but irrevocably, in the first generations. The heights that it can reach depend on the power of the tradition existing in the blood”.

“Similarly, all that happens in the history of the spirit, – and the fact that a history also exists in this domain, is shown by the power that has the blood on perceiving and understanding – all the religions, all the arts, all the ideas in their active and in form awake being, with all their developments, all their symbolisms, all their passion are expression of the blood that flows through such forms in the awake being of entire series of generations. A hero doesn’t need to know of this second world, he is all life, but a saint must bend life in himself through the most severe ascesis in order to be only spirit, and the strength necessary to do that is again life itself”.

“Precisely for this the nobility itself in historical sense is infinitely more than what is thought in the late periods of a comfortable life: it is not a sum of titles, rights and ceremonies, but an internal possession difficult to achieve and difficult to maintain that, once understood, already appears worthy of the sacrifice of a whole life. An ancient ancestry doesn’t mean only a series of ancestors, because everyone has ancestors, but rather of progenitors that lived up to history during generations and generations and that not only had a destiny, but were also destiny”.

“The priest has around the world considered as nature; of this he deepens the image through reflection. Instead the nobility lives in the world as history and deepens it transforming its image. If starting from either one or the other attitude can be formed a great tradition, in the first case it is the result of an intellectual formation, in the other of a discipline”.

“The discipline extends to the blood and continues itself from father to son. Instead the formation in the other sense presupposes a talent, therefore an authentic and strong priestly organization is always based on a complex of spiritual gifts, it is an association of awake beings having no regard for origin or sentiment of race, so much to represent also a negation of time and history. Spiritual affinity and blood affinity – we must reflect on the difference indicated by such expressions”.

“The aristocratic custom is the result absolutely unconscious of a long, continuous formative discipline. You learn it in relationships with others and not through books. It is a felt rhythm and not a concept. Instead the other moral is a set of precepts absolutely based on principles and consequences (therefore you can learn it) and is an expression of a conviction. The first is all historical and recognizes differences in rank and privileges as a fact. The honour is always honour of caste; it doesn’t exist a honour of all humanity”.

“The fundamental principle of every living custom is honour. All the rest, loyalty, humility, courage, chivalric spirit, self-control, decision, is included in it. And honour is a thing of the blood, not of the intellect; having honour as an innate sense is synonymous with having race”.

“To tolerate an offense, forget a defeat, whine before the enemy – all this is sign of a life that has become useless and worthless, yet also something completely different from the priestly morality, which doesn’t grasp a life that has become so despicable but disregards life in general, and only for this also honour”.

“The nobility, that is all <<plant>>, originates from the countryside, from the land understood as the property to which it is organically connected. It has everywhere the fundamental form of the family – of the caste or ancestry – form in which it expresses itself also the <<other>> history, that of the woman, and through her will of duration, through her sentiment of the blood she almost appears to us as the great symbol of time and history”.

“An indomitable joy of life pervades the centuries of the flowering of this caste in eminent sense, that is all direction, destiny, race. The woman, because she is history, and the struggle, because it makes history, are absolutely at the center of the thought and action of it”.

-Oswald Spengler

oswald-spengler

Related posts: Spengler: about Cosmic Anguish and the Religious Sentiment of the World, Spengler: about Time, History and Destiny, Spengler: about Modern Man, Traditional Man and the Historical Destiny of Woman and ManSpengler: about Science, Evolution, Modern Religions, Truth and the Press

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Spengler: about Nobility and Priesthood

  1. “The fundamental principle of every living custom is honour. All the rest, loyalty, humility, courage, chivalric spirit, self-control, decision, is included in it. And honour is a thing of the blood, not of the intellect; having honour as an innate sense is synonymous with having race”.

    Would you be so kind as to inform from which work of his is this quote taken from? Thank you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s