Evola: about Initiation, Immortality, Death and Rebirth

“To explain ourselves, is necessary to refer to a fundamental traditional teaching, after all already mentioned: to the one concerning the two natures. There is the nature of the immortals and there is the nature of the mortals; there is the superior region of <<those-who-are>> and there is the inferior region of the <<becoming>>”.

“The passage from the one to the other was considered possible, but on an exceptional basis and under the condition of an essential and effective transformation, positive, from a way of being to another way of being. Such transformation was achieved by means of the initiation in the strictest sense of the term. Through the initiation some men escaped from one nature and conquered the other, thus ceasing of being men. Their appearance in the other form of existence constituted, in the order of this last, a rigorously equivalent event to that of the generation of the physical birth. They were therefore re-born, they were re-generated”.

“To the eternal sleep, to the larval existence in Hades, to the dissolution thinked as destiny of all those for whom the forms of this human life constituted the beginning and the end – would not escape therefore that those who already alive have been able to orient their consciousness towards the superior world. The Initiated, the Adepts are at the limit of such path. Obtained the <<remembrance>>, according to the expressions of Plutarch they become free, they go without constraints, crowned they celebrate the <<mysteries>> and see on the earth the crowd of those who are not initiated and that are not <<pure>> press and push themselves in the mud and in the darkness”.

“To tell the truth, the traditional teaching about the postmortem has always stressed the existing difference between survival and immortality. Can be conceived various modalities, more or less contingents, of survival for this or that principle or complex of the human being. But this has nothing to do with immortality, which can only be thinked as <<olympic immortality>>, as a <<becoming gods>>. Such a conception lasted in the West until the hellenic antiquity. From the doctrine indeed of the <<two natures>> proceeded the knowledge of the destiny of a death, or of a precarious, larval survival for the ones, of a conditioned immortality (conditioned by the initiation) for the others”.

“It was the vulgarization and the abusive generalization of the truth exclusively valid for the initiates – vulgarization that began in some degenerate forms of orphism and had then broad development with christianism – to give birth to the stange idea of the <<immortality of the soul>>, extended to any soul and subtracted to each condition. Since then until today, the illusion continues in the various forms of the religious and <<spiritualistic>> thought: the soul of a mortal is immortal – the immortality is a certainty, not a problematic possibility. Thus established the misunderstanding, perverted in that way the truth, the initiation could no longer appear necessary: its value of real and effective operation could no longer be understood. Every really transcendent possibility was little by little abolished. And when they continued to talk about <<rebirth>>, the whole thing by and large ran out in a matter of sentiment, in a moral and religious meaning, in a more or less indeterminated and <<mystical>> state”.

-Julius Evola


Related posts: Evola: about Work, Economy and Life.Evola: about Christianism, Chivalry and the Nordic-Germanic vision of Life

Words of Wisdom #54, #55 & #56

“This man was convinced to know while he did not knew, and instead I, as I did not know, so neither I thought I knew. Anyway, I seemed to be wiser than this man, at least in this little thing, namely for the fact that I do not think that I know what I do not know”.


“The knowledge of not knowing is the supreme knowledge.
Not to know believing to know is the disease”.

-Tao Te Ching

“But man is still too much mortal to conquer the knowledge of the immortal things”.


We don’t really know the mystery of life, the mystery of death, the mystery of the universe, the mystery of eternity and the mystery of time. We can only aspire to get closer to the truth, and at best we will be able to discern something that is merely similar to it. Ultimately, we’ll have to accept of not knowing, and give up the presumption of owning a metaphysical knowledge that might give definitive answers to the fundamental questions. This awareness is the fundamental reason that will push us to seek our personal answers to these dilemmas. We are surrounded by a mass of conceited ignorants, sure to know the truth and to have the answers to every question. Ignorants unaware of being such. Beware of these individuals! The best among us are those who know that they don’t really know!

Sumerian Mists (Part 2 of 3)

Let’s continue with the Epic of Gilgamesh.

At a certain point in the tale Gilgamesh and Enkidu make their way into the Cedar Forest, located in Kur (“mountain that gives life”), to meet and kill Humbaba, the guardian of the forest.

The initiation ritual took place in the burial mound but in our mythologies and fairy tales mountains, waters and forests are initiation sites par excellence and symbolize the realm of the dead/burial mound, or passages to reach it. Kur, “mountain that gives life”, is a clear reference to the grave of the ancestor and to the ritual that gave new life, through rebirth, to the young initiate. Thus, the Kur and the Cedar Forest are an image for the burial mound and its inner chambers.

The burial mounds, which repeat the shape of the hills, just like these symbolize the womb during pregnancy:

One of the epithets of Humbaba is “god of the fortress of intestines”.


Troy Town/Prehistoric Labyrinth:

The Troy Town/Prehistoric Labyrinth is a symbol that refers to the womb of the earth/burial mound/realm of the dead. You can certainly interchange “fortress of intestines” with the definition you prefer among those I have used above, since they all recall the same concept/place.

So Humbaba is the god/lord of the burial mound and you can easily see him as the dead ancestor of the brave child, who wants to become that ancestor. Gilgamesh decapitates Humbaba, i.e. performs the rebirth ritual. Indeed, as we know, the child had to take the skull (the mind/spirit) of the dead ancestor – at that point reborn in him – and take it out of the grave, by now foreign to the place where he reigned as a king.


On a totally different perspective you can compare Humbaba to the Jötnar of the Nordic mythology. Humbaba is defined “enormity”, “ferocious giant” and under this light he represents the vices, the passions, the uncontrollability and generally speaking the negative aspects of the human being. That’s why those who get close to the forest are “overwhelmed by weakness” (note: also because to enter the grave you need to be yourself one of the dead, and the dead are much weaker of the living…) and why the giant “never sleeps” (note: sleep is our “little death”, that’s why the ancestor in the grave never sleeps, because he is already living his “great death”; Hypnos [the personification of sleep] and Thanatos [the personification of death] are twin brothers in the Greek mythology), since the negative in men is always ready to manifest itself, if we allow it. Furthermore, “his weapons are such that no one can resist them”, because are required a strong mind and a strong will to never be reached by the Jötnar’s weapons, bearers of degeneration, and “mysterious is his form”  because the negative in man has many and always different shapes, it is misleading and not easily recognizable!

Part 1: Sumerian Mists (Part 1 of 3)
Part 3: Sumerian Mists (Part 3 of 3)

Words of Wisdom #21

“Great son of Tydeus, why you ask me who I am? The generations of men are like leaves: the wind makes them fall but others will sprout on the flowering trees when spring comes. So the races of men, one is born, the other fades”.

-Glaucus to Diomedes in the Iliad

The crown of the tree represents the future, our future lives, when we’ll be reborn in the bodies of our descendants. The trunk of the tree represents the present, our current life. The roots of the tree represent the past, our past lives, when we died in the bodies of our ancestors. This is the European vision of life!

The Swans are our Ancestors!

As explained by Varg Vikernes in his books, the word “elf” derives from the PIE root *albho- and it means simply “white”. This matches with the fact that the elves represented the spirits of the dead. It makes sense because the dead were buried with white clothes, their dead bodies became quickly very pale and they were purified by death (white is the colour of purity/purification).

In my opinion swans are an avatar/manifestation of the elves and thus of the ancestors. The word “swan” derives from the proto-germanic *swanaz (“singer”), in the meaning of “singer bird”, and from the PIE root *swen- (“to sing, to make sounds”).

Swans are white, as the elves; they live in the water (which symbolizes the amniotic fluid), regenerator element…waters in the European mythologies are at times indicated as portals or passages for the realm of the dead/burial mound. Finally, swans are believed to “sing” before their death and we know that the elves traditionally like to sing, recite poetry, poems and tell stories. They do it as often as they could. Elves and swans sing because they are the ancestors: they try to keep alive their memory in the ancestry, keep alive the remembrance of their glory, wisdom and honour, of their deeds and achievements,
to become eternal ideals for their descendants and in this way conquer immortality. To later be chosen by a young of the ancestry and be reborn in him.

Note: The youngs that goes through the initiation ritual are also the spirits of the dead. At Yule the spirits of the dead were returning amongst the living and their families welcomed them, i.e. the dead were reborn in those children that came out from the burial mound and returned to their homes the day of Yule/Winter Solstice. The honourable dead were once again alive!

Sing, swan! Death awaits you! Memory and rebirth!