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

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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

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Words of Wisdom #58 & #59

“Difficult to fight against desire: what it wants, in fact, it buys it by paying with the soul”.

-Heraclitus

“Discipline is a limit and a condition of our liberty, in order to conform both to a precise ethics of life and the will of a leader”.

-Corneliu Z. Codreanu

Live always your life as if a specific person that you hold in high regard was watching you: by doing so you’ll become virtuous and you’ll be able to tame the beast of degeneration!

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The Universe in Flames

Giordano Bruno was an Italian philosopher, burned at the stake in 1600 after being declared guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition, in consequence to his criticism of Christianity and to the cosmological conclusions he had reached during his search for truth through philosophy. Bruno considered Christianity as a degenerative process that reached its culmination during the Counter-Reformation, however, what actually interests me is his cosmology, because it makes sense: I will describe it briefly.

According to Bruno the Universe is eternal (indeed, in order for something to have a beginning there must already be a space in which such a beginning can manifest itself) and infinitely extended (if instead it was spatially finite, in what would be contained? Keep in mind that all that is spatially finite must inevitably be contained in a larger space), whereby motionless and without a center. It is a unitary and vast living organism, animated and endowed with intellect, a homogeneous and indivisible whole governed by the interdependence of all its parts, which are in relation to the organism in its unity (i.e. an organism made up of organisms), unity that coincides with the concept of divinity: consequently the divine resides in the multiplicity that exists in the Universe, in every part of nature and, therefore, also in ourselves. For Bruno everything is matter, i.e. life, and the Universe consists in infinite matter that changes perennially, able to transform itself continuously in an incessant becoming, passing from one extreme to the other, from an opposite to the other. The universal matter is infinite energy provided with intellect, unity in which lies a multiplicity, multiplicity in which lies a unity!

“Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it”.

-Giordano Bruno

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Related posts: Eternal Regret (Part 1 of 2), The Harmony of OppositesEternal Regret (Part 2 of 2)Words of Wisdom #51

Words of Wisdom #57

“Who (then), my friend,
Can climb up to the sky?
Only the gods live there,
In company of Shamash, forever!
Men, for their part,
(Have) the days numbered:
Everything they do
Is (nothing more than) wind!”.

-Gilgamesh to Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Everything we do is nothing more than wind, but when a strong wind hits us it remains imprinted in our minds and we remember it, because it has challenged and fascinated us at the same time. Then someone among us will try to improve himself, with the aim of being able to oppose to that wind, and finally to prevail on it. When this happens, an even stronger wind is born!

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Related posts: Sumerian Mists (Part 1 of 3)Sumerian Mists (Part 2 of 3)Sumerian Mists (Part 3 of 3)

Seneca: about Life, Destiny, Adversities, Willpower and Virtue

“Gold is tried by fire, brave men by adversity”.

-Seneca

“Has not relevance what you have to endure, but how you are able to endure it”.

-Seneca

“To know yourself is necessary to test yourself; only in this way a man can know what is his worth”.

-Seneca

“The safe road is followed by the weak and the cowards; the virtue seeks high and steep trails”.

-Seneca

“Is it any wonder if those who have faced an arduous climb do not reach the summit? If you are a man, however, admire the one who attempts great feats, even if you see him falling”.

-Seneca

“The well-being can happen even to the common and modest people; to dominate the adversities and the misfortunes is instead precisely of the great men. To always be happy and pass life without the bite of pain means to ignore half of life”.

-Seneca

“Therefore we accept with serenity all that for law of the universe we have to bear. We have committed ourselves to this, to tolerate our mortal condition and to not be upset for what is not in our power to avoid”.

-Seneca

“The upright man differs from the divinity only for his mortal condition”.

-Seneca

The best men are tested by destiny and consequently their life is studded by adversities, so that they can manifest their virtues before the eyes of ordinary people, so that they can become role models. They are born to serve as examples, to become archetypes and teach to endure and overcome the difficulties of life. From the best we demand more and destiny acts in the same way!

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Related post: About Stoicism

Words of Wisdom #54, #55 & #56

“But this man was convinced of knowing while he did not knew, and instead I, as I did not knew, neither I thought of knowing. Anyway, I seemed to be wiser than this man, at least in this little thing, namely for the fact that what I don’t know, I don’t think of knowing it”.

-Socrates

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

-Tao Te Ching

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

-Seneca

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 motive that will push us to seek our subjective 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!

Words of Wisdom #51

“Remember that you are an actor who interprets a part in a drama that is like the playwright wants it to be. A short part, if he wants it to be short, long if he wants it to be long. If he wants you to interpret the part of a beggar, try to interpret this role with skill: or that of a lame, or of a magistrate, or of a private citizen. Indeed this is your task: to interpret well the role that has been assigned to you. But the choice of this role is up to someone else”.

-Epictetus

Maybe it will be useful to remember that the “playwright” to which Epictetus refers is nothing else than the Logos, the Universal Law, the divine essence that flows through all matter in the Universe, the reason, order, logic, necessity and harmony that govern the Cosmos (from Greek “kósmos”, “order”, in reference to an orderly and harmonic system). There is no randomness, everything is in its right place, as in heaven so on earth, as in the macrocosm so in the microcosm, though apparently it may seem the opposite is true. It is not the first time that I propose such a vision of destiny, according to which literally everything that happens during our individual lives has been predisposed and “sewn” for us, without there being any real free will and any real possibility of forging our own destiny in the meaning that we usually give to this potentiality. However, even if we assume that this is the truth, i.e. predestination, we can not but acknowledge that we live inside a sort of illusion, of such a power that we can’t live even a day without acting and thinking as if we were the real masters of our destiny. In this perspective the best thing to do would be to see our being (our external appearance and the way in which we tend to think and act) as the result of our previous lives, of our conduct in a previous existence. So we start with a basis, a form that comes from the past, but we can choose in which way we should live our lives and act accordingly, affecting in this way – for better or for worse – what will be our future existence.

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Other posts about Epictetus: About Stoicism, Words of Wisdom #32

Words of Wisdom #37

“Why then all the Ancestries have fought, fight and will always fight for the defense of the Land? The Land is the base of the life of the Ancestry. As a tree, the Ancestry stands with the roots deep in the Land, from which receives life and vigour. As there is no tree that lives hanging in the air, so there is no Ancestry that can live without its own Land. Without possessing its own Land an Ancestry can’t live – unless it settles on the Land of another Ancestry or on the body of this one, sucking all its energy”.

-Corneliu Z. Codreanu

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Words of Wisdom #28 & #29

“As a fish that swims in the water and doesn’t understand the nature of the sea, or a bird that flies in the air and doesn’t understand the sky, so man in his finite mind doesn’t understand the infinite. The only reality is for the bird to fly and of the fish to swim. So, in the same way, the only reality of man is to live: to live the life, to die the death. Living with awareness every moment, accepting not to understand the ultimate meaning, this is illumination”.

-Eihei Dogen

“Time, place and space are illusions, having no existence save in the mind of men, which must set limits and bounds in order to understand”.

-Robert E. Howard