Matgioi: about Rebirth, Personality and Individuality

“It is therefore clarified, demonstrated and avenged by every offense the buddhist and pythagorean law of Rebirths, that even many of its followers interpret in a mediocre way. We should not understand it from the point of view of individuals, since it is contrary to their condition; we should understand it from the point of view of personality, that, once an individual passes away, takes possession of another individual, after the death of an individual, is reborn in another individual”.

“The personality, as we have seen, subsists; and it subsists improved and perfected, through the existences that it has lived and the individualities that it has animated: it is improved thanks to its effort, that the individuality in which one is gives back to it at the time of its dissociation. The knowledge that the personality carries with it in other cycles is the sacred heritage of our ideas, conceptions, efforts and sufferings”.

“Our personality, humanely individualized and with the movements proper to it, is the heritage (of which we are not aware) of the previous cycles. We can’t deny it, even if we have no memory of it. We have a clear desire of the future; we have vague memories, like vital flashes, of the past: such desire, and such vague memories, are characteristic of the human state. It is logical that, going back through the cycles, the knowledge of the future and the memory of the past will enlighten our intelligence”.

-Matgioi

Immagine correlata

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Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus

Only by setting the Sun can rise, only by becoming dry, as if they were dead, the majority of seeds can germinate: death is a mill that grinds life. Similarly, in archaic times, the children had to undergo a temporary initiatory death before being able to be reborn to a renewed and more mature form of existence.

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In this article I will focus on a series of themes and symbols that can be found within the so-called Arthurian cycle:

King Arthur (from Welsh arth, Celtic *arto-, Proto-Celtic arthos*, from the PIE root *rtko, always with the meaning of “bear”) is the “Bear King” (the constellation of Ursa Major in Gaelic was called Cerbyd Arthur, “Arthur’s Wagon” [the symbolic function of the wagon is exactly equivalent to that of the horse and the ship, it is the cornerstone that sustains and gives shape to life understood in a higher meaning]), son of Uther Pendragon (from Celtic -penn, “mount” [a symbolic image always referring to the burial mound understood as matrix of rebirth] and “dragon”, maybe with the meaning of “mount of the dragon”): both the bear and the serpent (in Greek “dràkon” means both “dragon” and “serpent”) are archaic symbols of initiation and eternal rebirth, the first in relation to its cyclical apparent death and rebirth during the period of hibernation inside the den, the second in relation to the cyclical renewal of its existence when it hides inside a narrow natural cavity to do the molt; in myths and folklore the gaze of the dragon has the power to petrify, immobilize or paralyse its victim, characteristic attributable to the etymology itself of the word “dragon” (stemming from Greek “dérkomai”, “to gaze intensely”) and comparable to the petrifying power of Medusa’s head: it’s the calcification process to which may incur both the placenta and the child inside the maternal womb, therefore the power of the gaze is synonymous with death.

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Arthur and Uther are therefore two initiates that have accomplished in their youth a ritual process of reincarnation within the ancestry, but their kinship suggests that they may actually be the same identical figure; the medieval sources at our disposal indicate the 26th of November as date of Uther’s death, fifteen days after the anniversary of Saint Martin: Uther dies in the period of the year when the bear begins its hibernation, and simbolically reincarnates in his son Arthur (“bear”), who, as his father, will come into possession of the sword Excalibur (forged in Avalon, the burial mound, and obtained by the legitimate descendant or by extracting it from a stone [i.e. the burial mound] or by taking it from the arm of the Lady of the Lake that comes out from the water wielding it [the symbolism of the water is substantially equivalent to that of the burial mound, it fulfills at the same time a function of grave and matrix and is, especially in reference to the amniotc fluid, a generator and life-giving element), the object with which was buried the divine ancestor and in which his identity is poured and materialized, solemn guarantee of a regal destiny: only the legitimate and predestined descendant can take possession of it and make sure that his own immature and fragmented identity reintegrates with that of the deceased reborn in him, he himself in a previous life.

For what concerns Melin, master of initiation and prophet, it will suffice to remember that according to the tradition he was conceived by a daimon and a mortal woman, his second name was Ambrosius (“he who possesses ambrosia”) and used to prophesy while sitting under an apple tree.

It can be said that, by means of the initiatory process of reincarnation, our ancestors took the responsibility of altering the regular flow and at the same time the intrinsic nature and self-awareness of children; the reincarnation of the spirit, identity, memory and knowledge of a divine ancestor was accomplished in the short period of time in which the initiate resided in the telluric depths of the burial mound. The intuition, realisation and inner possession of the metaphysical truth that allows us to integrate our individual identity within the totality of time is the fundamental purpose of the initiatory process: the eternal flow of time consists in the eternal restoration and reintegration of the same identical living matter, for which reason we have always been and we’ll always be, we are made of the substance itself of eternity and immortality, yet yoked to a temporal and mortal perspective, being no longer able to attain and innerly possess this metaphysical truth.

In relation to sacred kingship is relevant the theme of the “painful blow” that wounds and weakens the Sacred King, called Fisher King, whose indecipherable infirmity is described in terms of a disability in the legs, more specifically in the thigh, with consequent lameness and difficulty of movement (in the Mabinogion, similarly, Brân the Blessed is wounded in the thigh by a spear, wound that results incurable and an inscrutable obstacle to the fulfillment of the regal function; also the hero Celtchar undergoes a very similar destiny): this refers to the recurring symbolism of the femur as a synonymous of movement and life; therefore this enigmatic weakness and infirmity, from which the Sacred King awaits to heal (on the symbolic level “healing” always equals to “rebirth”) while residing in his castle (i.e. the burial mound, the place where the deceased reigns supreme) in a state of symbolic “sleep” (state of being that I will examine further down), consists precisely in a symbolic and temporary apparent death, which has as immediate consequence the sterility of both kingdom and nature, manifesting itself in the symbolism of the “Terre Gaste” (“Wasteland”) and the “Arbre Sec” (“Dry Tree”); the Sacred King is therefore arrived at the conclusion of his annual function, in correspondence of the temporary death of the Sun during Winter, and exclusively the Graal will be able to heal him, the search of which, in this interpretative context, can be understood in terms of a selective competition aimed at restoring and pass down the sacred kingship.

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Note: archaically the states of sleep and death were placed in reciprocal equivalence (Hypnos [the personification of sleep] and Thanatos [the personification of death] are twin brothers in the Greek mythology), indeed a sleeping man and a dead man are outwardly very similar, and both the bed and the grave have always served as a place of rest; these associations led to believe that as well as sleep and night are inevitably followed by awakening and day, death would have been fatally followed by rebirth, that’s why our ancestors often placed the dead in fetal position (position that, significantly, we tend to assume, intentionally or not, during sleep) inside the burial mounds, so that they would become, simbolically, embryos waiting to be reborn from the womb of the earth, source of life.

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At the end of the Battle of Camlann (during which Arthur is mortally wounded by Mordred) occurs an ambiguous episode, the one in which Arthur embraces Lucan, one of his last knights still alive, and by doing so suffocates him causing his death; it has been hypothesized that Lucan may be a figure equivalent to the god Lugh, which was christianized by the Church in Luke the Evangelist: their names would share the same etymological meaning, “bright, shining”, from the PIE root *leuk-, “light, brightness, shininess”, from which also come the Latin lux and the Greek leukos, both with the same meaning; one of the epithets of Lugh is indeed “lámfada”, “of the long arm”, in reference to the solar rays, which arrive everywhere despite coming from the immeasurable celestial heights. The legendary Battle of Camlann took place in coincidence with the festivity of Samhain, celebrated between October 31st and November 1st and today known as Halloween, which from the initiatory side marked the beginning of the ritual of rebirth, whereas from the merely seasonal side marked the beginning of Winter: therefore Lucan, the Sun, must necessarily die, and Arthur, the bear that hibernates, renounces possession of Excalibur and allows himself to be taken to Avalon.

ARTHDEAT

Avalon (etymologically “isle of apples”, from Welsh afal [pronounced “aval”], Breton aval, Celtic *abal-, Proto-Celtic *aballo-, always with the meaning of “apple”; in the Vita Merlini of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Arhtur is taken in the Insula Pomorum), is a legendary isle simbolically located in the west, where the Sun sets: it is the land of the dead, i.e. the burial mound.

Beetween Gavrinis (a small isle – situated in the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany – where there is a prehistoric burial mound) and Avalon there is no difference:
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Avalon is therefore related to the apples of immortality or eternal youth, as in the case of the red apple picked by Eve from the Tree of Life and given to Adam, solemn promise of future rebirth and symbolism that refers to the placenta, which looks like a tree and sustains the life and development of the fetus thanks to the nutrients present in the noble blood that flows in it. In certain versions of the legend Arthur goes to Avalon escorted by three ladies (tripartite manifestation [past, present and future: time] of a single figure symbolizing the circularity of existence), and there nine fairy sisters (personifications of the nine months that make up the symbolic pregnancy) take care of him, so that he can “rest” and “heal”, waiting for the propitious time to return, i.e. to be reborn, and assume kingship.

“Some say, in many places of England, that king Arthur is not dead, but by will of Our Lord carried elsewhere. They also say that he will return…I don’t affirm this, but rather that somewhere in this world his life has undergone a transformation. But many say that in his grave is written this verse: HIC IACET ARTHURUS, REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS”.

-Thomas Malory

Sacred Ambulation

What represent the innumerable mythological figures marked by monosandalism, lameness and other types of afflictions and vulnerabilities to the lower limbs? Several clues indicate an indeterminate state of existence, in the balance between life and death, in the context of an initiatory ritual of rebirth.

Some examples taken from the Greek myths:

Jason (monosandalism).
Perseus (monosandalism according to a version of the myth in which Hermes gives him only one sandal).
Theseus (he retrieves the sandals and the sword of his father Aegeus by lifting the boulder [i.e. the cave or burial mound] under which they had been hidden [i.e. buried]).
Hephaestus (lameness: soon after being born his mother Hera throws him into the sea from the top of Olympus, and he remains for nine years [time frame that indicates the symbolic gestation that will be followed by the initiatory rebirth] inside a cave [i.e. the burial mound] surrounded by water [i.e. the amniotic fluid]); other lame smiths are Trébuchet (“the limping”) of the Arthurian cycle and Völundr (to which are severed the tendons of the legs) of the Norse myths.
Zeus (in a myth his tendons of the feet are severed by Typhon).
Achilles (vulnerable only to the heel).
Dionysus (he experiences a double birth, the physical one from the body of Semele, his mother, and the initiatic one from the thigh of Zeus, his father).

Theseus lifts the boulder:
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Achilles hit at the heel by the deadly arrow:
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They are all figures symbolically devoid of the femur (strictly associated with movement and thus with life) of the divine ancestor that will reincarnate in them, the bone that every child, during an ancestral initiatory ritual, had to retrieve from the deepest chamber of the cave or burial mound, the throne hall where was located the skeleton of the predecessor.

The Trinacria, symbol equivalent to the swastica, portrays Medusa’s head and three bent legs to suggest the concept of movement, synonymous with life:
Risultati immagini per trinacria vespri

To note the fact that in Crete and Delos was celebrated a dance called “crane” (in reference to the habit of cranes to stand upright on one leg) to which participated young boys and girls: the movements of the dance had to evoke the path of the labyrinth from which Theseus came out after killing the Minotaur, labyrinth from which the hero himself went out dancing its figure.

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Why not remember also the famous lameness of the Devil, the result of the intentional distortion applied by the Christians to the divine figures of the legitimate descendant and the reborn ancestor?

Lastly it is necessary to mention some children’s games: the Game of the Goose consists in a labyrinthine and initiatic path, in which is destiny, in the form of dice, that moves the pieces on the squares, which are composed by figures symbol of initiation such as the death, the skeleton, the labyrinth, the well, the prison and the bridge; the Hopscotch consists instead in a numbered path that must be completed hopping on one foot, in which the first square is called earth and the last sky (respectively the entry threshold of the womb of rebirth [i.e. the female principle] and the reaching of the burial chamber of the ancestor [i.e. the male principle], a path of there and back from the earth to the sky.

Comparison between the court of the Hopscotch and a typical burial mound seen from above:
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“Children continue to play the game of hopscotch without knowing of giving back life to an initiatory game, whose purpose is to penetrate and manage to come back from a labyrinth; by playing the hopscotch the children descend symbolically in the underworld and return on the earth”.

-Mircea Eliade

Risultati immagini per mircea eliade

About Zeus and Typhon

For our ancestors the femur was a symbol of movement and thus of the life force, especially in relation to the prehistoric burial mounds – inside which have been found cases of femurs missing or replaced with bear’s femurs – and the initiatory ritual of rebirth that took place inside them: in this article I will try to unveil the symbolic relation between these archaeological finds and the myth of the battle between Zeus and Typhon.

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Typhon is a monstrous creature described in different ways by the various ancient sources, but generally speaking he was a gigantic winged monster with an at least partially serpentine shape.

Typhon:
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In the mythical tale Zeus figths against Typhon and tries to kill him, but the monster manages to immobilize the god by severing the tendons of his hands and feet. The key in this context is to understand that the tendons fulfill the same symbolic function of the femur in relation to the ability to move and the life force of an individual: the tendons perform in the myth the same role that the femur performs in the ritual. Zeus is immobilized, alive but at the same time symbolically dead, awaiting to regain the ability to move (i.e. awaiting to be reborn), exactly like the divine ancestor inside the cave or burial mound.

It will not surprise the fact that at that point Typhon will bring Zeus inside a cave (i.e. the burial mound), where he will hide the tendons of the god inside a bearskin, an extremely archaic symbolism that comes directly from the primordial Bear Cult practiced by the Neanderthals long before the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, i.e. the womb of the earth, is the Korykion Antron (“cave of the leather sack”, from korykos, “leather sack”) and is protected by the dragoness Delphyne (from delph, “womb”).

The Korykion Antron:
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The korykos (“leather sack”):
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But finally Hermes (name that etymologically means “stone”: it is interesting to notice that the Greek word “hermaion” described both a pile of stones [originally in reference to dolmens, cairns and menhirs, which, over time, among the Greeks took the form of the sculptures significantly called “herms”] and a fortunate man) manages to enter the cave (he is a psychopomp god with the privilege of being able to access and return freely from the realm of death) and to recover the precious tendons: immediately Zeus regains the ability to move, i.e. returns to life after an apparent and symbolic death, and defeats Typhon once and for all. The divine child, i.e. Hermes, has found the femur of his ancestor inside the burial mound, and by means of an initiatory ritual has achieved a higher and transcendent spiritual state: he remembers and is aware of his previous existences and consciences, which now are, at the same time, distinct and unified realities in the shape of this reborn divine individual (in the sense of “undivided”, i.e. whole, integral, not fragmented).

Thirst for Immortality

“Honey is the divine nectar that drives away the spectre of death”.

-Pliny the Elder

Previously we have clarified that the concept of “Tree of Life”, understood as axis mundi (“world axis”), consists in a symbolic image that refers to the function carried out by the placenta as cornerstone from which originates life understood in a higher sense: starting from this premise it is easy to understand how the drink of immortality, that in the mythologies is obtained from the aforementioned tree, is nothing but the liquid nourishment that from the placenta reaches the fetus by means of the umbilical cord.

albero-dorme-2Immagine correlata

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In the Vedas and Upanishads the soma or amṛta is a juice that drips from the Tree of Life that is believed to grow in certain mountains (the “sacred” and “cosmic” mountain placed in the “center of the earth” or “center of the world”, and described as “navel of the earth” or “navel of the world” [some examples: the Olympus of the Greeks, the Himinbjörg – “heavenly mountain” or “hidden mountain” – of the Nordics, the Meru of the Indians, the Golgotha – “skull”, the place where the head of Adam was buried – of the Jews] is always the place of conjunction between Sky, the masculine principle, and Earth, the feminine principle, coincidentia oppositorum [“coincidence of opposites”] that results in the birth [the concept of birth is always equivalent to that of rebirth] of the divine child, event to which refer all the myths that describe the sudden separation between Sky and Earth: generally speaking the maternal womb and the cave or burial mound are the matrices that refer, respectively, to the physical rebirth and the initiatory rebirth), juice capable of conferring immortality to those who drink it: the etymology of “amṛta” is similar to that of the word “ambrosia” and means “not death, immortality”. In the Avesta we find instead the haoma, another drink that bestows immortality, obtained in this case too by a Tree of Life, the Gaokorena that grows in the mountains; similarly to the soma or amṛta and the haoma, the melikraton – a libation composed of milk and honey described in the Odyssey – had the power to reanimate the dead and was compared to the very essence of life.

Note: when we talk about immortality, we are not referring to the indefinite extension in time of an individual biological existence, without the occurrence of changes in the state of being: we refer instead to the possibility that, through a strong emotional shock in the context of an initiatory ritual of rebirth and through an induced awakening of the memory of the blood, the achievement of a transcendent state could bring out into the consciousness of a child the memory and awareness of his previous existences.

In the Greek mythology the ambrosia and nectar are both foods that enable the gods to be immortals and perennially young: many have suggested that these mythical foods may be identified with honey (it is not a coincidence the fact that Saint Ambrose has assumed the role of patron saint of bees and beekepers) and mead (a drink that in the Norse mythology was obtained, significantly, by the mixture of honey and blood), i.e. fermented honey (our ancestors compared the fermentation process to the spiritual transformation that occured during initiatory rituals: in both cases a maturation phenomenon was accomplished inside a closed and dark space), since ancient sources decribe honey as the first and primordial nourishment of the gods, while mead was known in antiquity as the drink of the gods. This relation makes sense, even more so when we know that in prehistoric times the child that went inside the cave or burial mound in order to accomplish the rebirth ritual, thus becoming a fetus inside the womb of the earth, carried with him some honey to appease the sorceress or priestess inside the grave, primordially the she-bear, and he himself had to feed with that honey: the symbolical nourishment of the fetus inside the womb.

On a symbolic level it is significant the fact that bees favour tree hollows and rock fissures as dwellings in which to produce honey:
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To reinforce what I have just decribed we can refer to the Norse mythology, where the dew that covers the leaves of the yew Yggdrasill (yes, some ancient sources use the term barr [“needle-shaped leaf”] in relation to its leaves, furthermore the yew is the tree that more than any other can symbolize the placenta, because in it grow red berries that recall the placenta’s red bubbles full of nutritious blood) – in poetic language called “mead tree” – has the taste of honey and is compared to mead: the bees feed on it and, as suggested previously, the child who faced the initiatory ritual was symbolically seen as a bee.

The leaves and berries of the yew:
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In the Völsunga Saga is told that in the hall of Völsung’s house there was a big apple tree (the apples conceal the same symbolism described above in relation to the red berries of the yew, they are the essence of the drink of immortality) whose branches protruded from the roof: this tree was called Barnstokkr (“children’s trunk”, i.e. the placenta).

Barnstokkr and an apple tree:
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The Indo-Iranian god Mitra is born from a rock – “petra genetrix“, originally the cave or burial mound and during classical antiquity the underground temple called “mithraeum”: both symbols of the womb of rebirth – surrounded by a serpent (i.e. the umbilical cord) near a spring (i.e. the amniotic fluid or the liquid nourishment of the placenta) and under a tree (i.e. the placenta).

Now, why not throw into the fray the symbolism of the horn, that often symbolizes the umbilical cord, the bond that unites and makes interact the ancestors with the descendants?

The cornucopia (“horn of plenty”) is a very explicit symbol in relation to the nourishment of the fetus in the womb; in the Mabinogion is described an inexhaustible horn that restores the youth and strength of heroes each time they drink its content. In this context it is relevant to remember the Hindu myth in which the Devas and Asuras grab the opposite ends of Vāsuki – the cosmic serpent wrapped around mount Meru – and twist it to obtain the soma or amṛta; in another myth Indra obtains the same drink from the dead body of the serpent Vritra.

In the Norse mythology Sigrdrífa after being awakened offers to Sigurðr the minnisveig, the “drink of memory” (i.e. the memory of previous lives), a horn full of mead. Mímir (“memory” [of the previous lives]), the possessor of Mímisbrunnr (“well of memory”, located beneath one of Yggdrasill’s three roots and equivalent to the spring Mnemosyne [“memory”] to which refer Orphism), every morning uses the horn Gjallarhorn to drink the precious and sacred liquid – mead according to the Völuspá – contained in the well of wisdom (wisdom is equivalent to memory): also Odin managed to get the chance to drink a sip of that liquid.

I conclude with the Grail, traditionally known as a cup or chalice whose content has vivifying and healing virtues: the cup or chalice and the tree have a very similar shape and, taking into consideration the virtues of the Grail, we can assume that this important object of the Arthurian cycle symbolizes the placenta and its life-giving liquid nourishment.

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It should also be noted that in certain late medieval sources the Holy Grail is called Sangréal; in Old French, san graal and san gréal mean “holy grail” and sang réal means “royal blood”: indeed the blood full of nutrients contained in the placenta is a “royal” and “divine” blood, not an ordinary one. In this context it will be good to remember that for our ancestors wine was a symbol of blood (in Valdôtain the word “gradale” means “cup for wine”), specifically in reference to what I have just explained in relation to the function of the blood contained in the placenta: that’s the reason why Odin, the symbolic fetus, needs only wine (i.e. the blood of the earth [the female principle]) to feed himself.

Now you will also be able to see with different eyes the Christian rite of the Eucharist, during which a mass of crazy fanatics drinks the blood of Christ from a chalice full of wine.

<<What the fuck I’m doing?!>>:
gpii-eucaristia

Evola: about Initiation, Immortality, Death and Rebirth

“To be clear it 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 the nature of the mortals; there is the superior region of <<those-who-are>> and 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 and positive transformation 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 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 and 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 have constituted the beginning and the end – would therefore escape only 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 earth the crowd of those who are not initiated and who are not <<pure>> pressing and pushing themselves in mud and 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. Indeed from the doctrine of the <<two natures>> proceeded the knowledge of the destiny of a death, or of a precarious, larval survival for the ones, and 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 then had broad development with christianism – to give birth to the strange idea of the <<immortality of the soul>>, extended to any soul and distanced from every 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 – immortality is a certainty, not a problematic possibility. Thus established the misunderstanding, thus perverted 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 by continuing to talk of <<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

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Related posts: Evola: about Work, Economy and Life, Evola: about Feminism, the Woman and the Responsibility of ManEvola: about Christianism, Chivalry and the Nordic-Germanic vision of Life

Bhagavadgītā (Part 1 of 2)

The Bhagavadgītā is a Hindu sacred text, a part of the Mahābhārata, the Hindu epic poem. It is a dialogue between the prince of the Pandava, Arjuna, a hero son of the god Indra, and his charioteer Krishna, an incarnation of the divine principle.

The war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas is imminent and the dialogue takes place in the centre of the battlefield, right before the beginning of the Kurukshetra’s battle: Arjuna is confused and torn by moral dilemmas after noticing that among the enemy army there are his relatives, teachers and friends: he seeks advice from Krishna, which reminds him his duties as a kshatriya (i.e. as a warrior) through the exposition of philosophical and religious concepts.

Krishna assists Arjuna:
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In this first part I quote verses that reveal mainly the doctrine concerning the immortality of the spirit, but also concepts in relation with Stoicism and the thught of Parmenides.

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 Second Chant:

12.”In truth, there has never been a time when I was not, nor you, nor these chiefs of peoples; and, in the future, will not come that in which we will not be”.

13.”The soul incarnated in the body experiments childhood, youth and the old age; then it takes another body. The man that knows this doesn’t suffer [any] bewilderment”.

The verses 12./13. begin to expose the doctrine concerning the immortality of the individual spirit and its eternal rebirth (governed by karma, an automatic and inescapable metaphysical law according to which what we are today on one side is the direct result of what we have been in our previous existences, on the other will contribute to determine what we will be in our future existences) through the piṭryāna (“way of the fathers”).

14.”Son of Kunti, the impressions of the senses [born] from contact with material things produces hot and cold, pain and pleasure, they come and go and are impermanent. Endure them, Bhārata”.

Krishna calls Arjuna with many epithets in the Bhagavadgītā: Bhārata, Mahabahu, Pārtha, Kaunteya and Paramtāpa in the verses that I quote here.

15.”Best of men, one who from them [impressions] is not disturbed, [that remains] equanimous and firm in pleasure and pain is worthy of immortality”.

The verses 14./15. express a concept that we find in Stoicism: men must understand that the things that doesn’t depend on us (like the sensations of hot and cold, pain and pleasure) must be endured firmly/indifferently, without being disturbed or fascinated by them.

16.”What doesn’t exist can’t come into being, of the being there is no cessation of existence. This ultimate truth has been unveiled by those who have seen the essence of things”.

This verse expresses a knowledge identical to that of Parmenides: nothing is created from nothing and nothing can be destroyed into nothing.

18.”These bodies of the eternal ātman, indestructible, immeasurable, are called perishable. Fight, then, Bhārata”.

The ātman is the intimate essence of every being, the principle of life (i.e. the individual spirit).

19.”The one who believes to be killed and the one who thinks of killing are both in error. That one [the ātman] can’t kill nor be killed”.

20.”It is never born and never dies. Having always been, it can’t cease to be. Unborn, permanent, imperishable, ancient, it is not killed even when the body is killed”.

22.”Like a man deposing the old clothes takes new ones, so the embodied soul (dehi) deposes the worn-out bodies and enters in other new”.

23.”The weapons doesn’t pierce [the ātman], nor fire burns it, nor is bathed by waters, nor wind dries it”.

26.”If you believe that it is born and dies continuously, likewise, Mahabahu, you must not afflict yourself,”

27.”because, in truth, sure is death for he that is born and sure is rebirth for he that is dead. Therefore, for an inescapable fact, you should not feel pity”.

The verses 19./20./22./23./26./27. continue to expose the doctrine concerning the immortality of the individual spirit and its eternal rebirth, in very explicit terms.

38.”Equally impartial in pleasure and pain, in gain and loss, in victory and defeat, prepare therefore to fight; in this way you will not be able to commit error”.

55.”When, Pārtha, a man eradicates from his mind all desires and finds his satisfaction in the ātman and for the ātman, he is said to have a stable intelligence”.

57.”The one who has given up all attachment, that is not flattered by praises nor offended by reprimand: that person owns a stable intelligence”.

The verses 38./55./57. continue to praise the man who treats the things that doesn’t depend on him as they must be treated: in a detached way and without subjective reactions.

Third Chant:

34.”The attraction and the repulsion for the objects are inherent to the corresponding sense: nobody should submit to these two for they represent the two enemies”.

39.”Knowledge is [so] wrapped by this constant enemy, Kaunteya, insatiable fire that takes the form of desire”.

The verses 34./39. express an explicit critique of materialism, seen as opposed to the pursuit of knowledge.

Fourth Chant:

5.”Numerous are my past lives and yours too, Arjuna. Just that I know them all, while you don’t know them, Paramtāpa”.

Also this verse refers to the eternal rebirth of the individual spirit.

Sixth Chant:

40.”Pārtha, nor in this nor in the other world such a man is lost, because there is no author of beautiful and good deeds that incurs in a bad destiny”.

The content of this verse can be compared to that expressed by this maxim: “there is no death for the honourable, only an eternal rebirth”.

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Eternal Regret (Part 2 of 2)

“What is eternal is circular, what is circular is eternal”.

-Aristotle

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The traditional European vision of life and time is circular, without a beginning and an end: a circle that repeats its course eternally. In this regard we can remember that for the ancient Romans the particle “an” meant “circum” (“around”) and from “an” derive the Latin “annulus” (“ring”), whose shape symbolizes the eternal circularity of time, and “annus” (“year”), that was therefore understood as a circle without beginning and end, not as a finite line, and consisted in an annular temporal cycle destined to repeat itself perennially.

The Sun, the Moon, the Seasons, the Ice Ages and even the Civilizations, their manifestations are marked by cyclical rhythms and the same universal cyclicity applies to men and animals. All that exists moves in circular and eternal cycles, this being also the meaning of the swastica (some of its appellatives are “wheel of time”, “wheel of life” and “wheel of destiny”) in all its forms and representations: its four branches symbolize the eternal cyclicity and rebirth that mark all that has life in the Universe.

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-Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn and again Winter.
-Night, Morning, Day, Evening and again Night.
-New Moon, Rising Moon, Full Moon, Waning Moon and again New Moon.
-Spiritual Life, Rebirth, Life, Death and again Spiritual Life.

“The archaic time is the universe, and like the universe it is circular and definite. Classical antiquity didn’t believe in progress, but rather in eternal returns”.

-Giorgio De Santillana

“The concept of time of our ancestors was very different from the modern one, linear and monotonous. They made of time a structure, a cyclical time, where past and future called each other”.

-Giorgio De Santillana

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Plato and Aristotle defined what we have described above as the state of Becoming (state to which belong our body and identifiable with the Moon and the four branches of the swastica), characterized by mobility, mutability, temporality and multiplicity, equivalent to the Indian concept of the Saṃsāra; its inevitable opposite consisted in the state of Being (state to which belong our spirit and identifiable with the Sun and the central point of the swastica), characterized by immobility, immutability, eternity and oneness, equivalent to the Indian concept of the Nirvāṇa. The Becoming would be the opposite and reflection of the Being and vice versa, two faces of the same reality just like the waves and the sea are a single mass of water, whereby one can not exist without the other: there are no waves without sea and there is no sea without waves, the waves are just sea but despite this they exist as waves, analogously we are simply part of a single living organism, the Universe, but despite this we live our individual existences as human beings. The Being is the One of Plato and the Unmoved Mover (“that which moves without being moved”, a concept equivalent to the wei wu wei [“action without action”] of Taoism and to the axis mundi [some examples: the motionless axial center around which revolves the Earth, the motionless Pole Star around which revolve the circumpolar constellations, the motionless Sun that by means of its gravitational attraction forces the planets of the Solar System to accomplish their motions of revolution around it]) of Aristotle.

Center/Being and Circumference/Becoming:
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Note: the ancient sacred groves, like the Roman lucus and the Celtic nemeton, at whose center there was a circular clearing that allowed the Sun’s rays to penetrate, were a physical image of the metaphysical principles of the center and the circumference. 

“For those who listen not me, but the lógos, is wise to agree that everything is one“.

-Heraclitus

“And from all things the one and from the one all things”.

-Heraclitus

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Therefore two faces of the same coin which complement each other harmoniously, the Universe understood at the same time as container and content, as matrix of all that exists and all that exists, space and matter being synonyms and existing each to the extent that the other exists, the same identical reality observed from different perspectives: then exists really only the Becoming, independent and unbegotten, or only the Being, past and future being nothing but illusory representations created by the mind to compensate the ungraspability of the instant? It seems that the answer, paraphrasing Plato, is this: the Becoming is the moving image of the Being.

The concepts of “past” and “future” exist, if understood respectively as imaginary projection in the past and imaginary projection in the future, but past and future in themselves don’t exist, except in our minds because of the fact that we have been subjected to a sort of metaphysical fall that made us transit toward a temporal existential condition, and a deep comprehension and experience of the eternal, atemporal, motionless and immutable present instant has been precluded us. Maybe we are able to experience eternity, understood as atemporality, only when we remain enthralled by what I would define as platonic ideas, realities having a metaphysical, immutable, eternal, atemporal and archetypical existence, in opposition to the realities having a material, mutable, transient and temporal: it’s in the latter that, although without reaching the ideal perfection proper to the exemplary model, the platonic ideas manifest and incarnate themselves.

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“Wanting to prove, starting from the idea [in itself] that the ideas [in things] are not at all ideas [in themselves], is worth less than wanting to prove starting from the non-idea that the ideas [in themselves] are not the idea [in itself]. Wanting to prove starting from the horse [in general] that [a white] horse is not [a] horse [in general] is worth less than wanting to prove starting from the non-horse that [a white] horse is not [a] horse [in general]”.

-Zhuangzi

Risultati immagini per zhuangzi painting

If you’ve ever been in a condition of momentary metaphysical astonishment, enchantment and serenity, characterized by the sensation of being outside of time and followed by a sort of awakening that leaves you with an unusual melancholy and the regret for having lost that particular condition, then you have probably experienced a platonic idea, a metaphysical intuition (the word “metaphysics” means “the science of what goes beyond the physical”) that manifests itself almost unconsciously, without having a real awareness of it.

Part 1: Eternal Regret (Part 1 of 2)

Some Cases of Burial Mounds (Part 1 of 3)

During his first labor Heracles descended in the cave where resided the Nemean Lion; after killing it the hero fell into a sleep from which he awoke at the thirtieth day from the beginning of the labor and then he crowned himself with some celery. The ancient artists positioned both the lion and celery on graves to adorn them: Heracles is the child that goes inside the cave to face the initiation ritual, his awakening symbolizes his rebirth and he adorns himself with celery because he has “won” death.

London, British Museum

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Tír na nÓg (“land of the eternal young”) is the realm of death in the Celtic mythology, a place at the edge of the world, an isle located west, where the Sun sets, i.e. dies. It is difficult to reach it if not invited by one of the elves that reside there, that is to say if not invited by the spirit of one of your own ancestors. Oisín stays there for a year but on the way back finds out that a hundred years have actually passed in Ireland; it’s a reference to the fact that the mind and spirit of the ancestor are reborn in his descendant: many years have passed since the ancestor died but only one year since Oisín entered the cave or burial mound to accomplish the initiation ritual.

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***

Romulus and Remus, the mythic founders of Rome, were born from Mars and of the vestal virgin Rea Silvia. After their birth they were placed in a basket and entrusted to the waters of the Tiber river: the basket ran aground in a puddle at the foot of a fig tree, the “Ficus Ruminalis” (from Latin “ruma”, “breast”), near a cave, the Lupercal, the two places where, according to the different versions of the tale, a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus. The she-wolf was primordially a she-bear and the cave her lair, symbolically the womb of the earth (i.e. the realm of death), whereas the waters to which the twins are entrusted symbolize the amniotic fluid. Romulus and Remus should be seen as the embryos of the she-bear, that the latter nourishes so that they can develop and be born; the fig tree is the placenta, “ruminalis” (“breast”) because the placenta is in fact the “breast” of the fetus, since it nourishes him during all the pregnancy.

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The Roman Genius

The Genius of the Roman Religion is a guardian spirit that guides, shapes and governs the life of an individual from his birth until death; the etimology of the Latin word “genius” means “guardian deity, spirit, incarnation, inborn nature, talent” and it shares with the Latin word “gens” (“tribe, people”) the root *gene- (“give birth, beget”).

Ancient depiction of a Genius:
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Analyzing these elements in the light of the European initiatory ritual of reincarnation within the ancestry we can note that the figure of the Genius takes shape directly from that ritual and belief, because it symbolizes the ancestor. The festivity dedicated to the Genius coincided with the birthday of the person under its tutelage, the latter being nothing but its reincarnation, and in Rome the thalamus, the bridal bed, was called “lectus genialis” (“bed of the genius”) because it’s thanks to the sexual intercourse that the Genius, i.e. the ancestor, is reborn, through the conception of a new member of the ancestry. The part of the body related with the Genius is the forehead, i.e. the head, since prehistory the part of the body symbolizing the mind, memory and spirit of the individual: the Genius is consecrated to the forehead to symbolize how the descendant has inherited the mind, memory and spirit of the ancestor reborn (rebirth and reincarnation are synonymous in this context) in him. Moreover the Genius was usually depicted in the form of a serpent, which refers to the various serpents or dragons that the heroes of the myths must fight during their initiations: the serpent or dragon symbolizes the umbilical cord that connects the descendant to his ancestors.

The Genius depicted as a serpent:
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The Genius is equivalent to the Daimon of the Greeks and the Guardian Angel of the Christians (…); the Latin word “daemon” and the Greek word “daimon” mean “spirit, divinity, divine power, guiding spirit, tutelary divinity, spirit of the dead, fortune”, and their common PIE root means “divider, supplier (of fortune and destiny): it is no coincidence that with the advent of Christianism the concept of “demon” has become synonymous of evil entity. Other equivalent figures are the Fylgja (literally “someone that accompanies”, sometimes designated as “aettarfylgja”, “fylgja of the ancestry”) and the Hamingja (that in Icelandic means mainly “fortune”) of the Nordics, both being a supernatural form of life connected with the fortune and destiny of a person: the word “fylgja” has the same root of the English word “follow” (from Ancient English “fylgian, fylgan”, with the meaning of “accompany” [referred to a disciple], “move in the same direction”) and the word “hamingja” is composed by “hamr” (“shape”) and “gangr” (“to walk”), with the meaning of “he who walks in the shape” (i.e. the physical shape of the body), in reference to the memory of what there was of noble and honourable in our ancestors, the noble and honourable part that lives on in the ancestry, handed down from body to body, through memory. In addition to the examples described above there are the Fravashi of the Persians and the Ka of the Egyptians. The Fravashi consists in the double of an individual and in his transcendent guardian, often identified with the spirit of an ancestor: the word “fravashi” is commonly reconstructed as *fravarti, from the root -var (“to choose”), with the meaning of “one who has been chosen”, indeed only the child that was chosen or selected to be reborn through the initiation would have obtained the Fravashi of one of his honourable ancestors, i.e. himself in a previous life. The Ka too is the double of an individual: it was often represented in Egyptian iconography as a second image of the king and it was passed down from father to son symbolizing the life force and spirit of an individual. Lastly we can remember that our shadow is the manifestation of the metaphysical reality of the “double”: hence the belief in the dead intended as shadows or intangible ghosts.

We should keep into consideration also the concepts of “fate”, in the sense of a purpose that predetermines the essential course of the individual existence, and “fame”, words that have the same PIE root *bha- (“to speak, tell”) in reference to the honourable fame and reputation attributed to someone, fame and reputation that spread by means of legends, tales and songs. The concepts of “fate” and “fame” are therefore strongly connected to the spiritual heritage obtained by a descendant after his rebirth as one of his ancestors, the one chosen after identifying with him by hearing the tales that concern him, tales handed down from his family and from the members of his tribe.

Note: in this context the personal objects with which the deceased was buried were of fundamental importance, because their primary function was that of awaken, in the descendant, the memories of his previous lives; the Norse mythology provides us with some excellent examples in this regard: the sword Aettartangi [“hilt of the ancestry” or “sword of the generations”], endowed with “heill” [the “fortune of the ancestry”], the armor Finnzleiff and the sword Dáinsleif [“inheritance of Dáinn”, a dwarf whose name means “dead”], whose suffix “-leif” means “inheritance”.

Also the word “fairy” (the Italian equivalent is “fata”) has the same PIE root *bha-, and it is evident the semantic connection between “fairy” and “fate”; the Parcae, the Roman equivalent of the Moirai of the Greeks and the Norns of the Nordics, were also called Fatae by the Romans, from Latin “fatum”(“destiny”), since the Parcae are the entities who preside over destiny: in Rome they were represented inside the Forum by three statues commonly called “Tria Fata” (“the three destinies”).

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Also the concept of “fortune” falls within the same category of entities, having originally the same meaning of “destiny”, and in this context we can remember the Roman goddess Fortuna and the Greek goddesses Ananke (“necessity”) and Tyche (“fortune”), personifications of the concepts of fortune, destiny and fate intended as a necessity. “Fortunate” is therefore he who possesses a metaphysical destiny in a higher sense, he who possesses a Spirit, Genius, Daimon, Fylgja, Hamingja, Fravashi or Ka. “Unfortunate” is instead he who doesn’t possess a destiny and is excluded from the eternal cycles of deaths and rebirths within the ancestry. Indeed the PIE root of the word “fortune” is *bher- (“to carry”), with the meaning of “what is carried on”: what we carry inside us, the honour of a noble ancestry that we embody, that we have inside and guides us, the ancestors that we have brought back to life in ourselves. Fortune, Destiny, Fate, Genius, Daimon, Fylgja, Hamingja, Fravashi, Ka and many other similar entities are all equivalent symbols, their meaning and primordial origin lies in the vision of life of our forebears!

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