Noomakhia: Great India – Civilization of the Absolute

Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Wars of the Mind: Great India – Civilization of the Absolute
(Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

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Table of Contents:

Introduction: The Indo-Europeans of the Eastern Limits

Part I: Vedic Civilization

Chapter 1: Approaches to Understanding India

Chapter 2: India’s Pre-History

Chapter 3: The Indo-European Ecumene

Chapter 4: Indian Titanomachy

Chapter 5: Varna: Castes of the Great Subject

Chapter 6: Vedic Religion

Chapter 7: The Structure of the Sruti

Chapter 8: The Logos of the Upanishads

Chapter 9: The Religion of Dasa

Chapter 10: The Indian Structure

PART II: The Indian Historial

Chapter 11: Vertical history

Chapter 12: The Conventional History of India

Chapter 13: The Logos of the Sramana: Jainism and Buddhism

Chapter 14: The Mahajamapadas, the Maurya Empire, and Nastika

Chapter 15: The Bhagavad Gita and the Metaphysics of Vishnuism

Chapter 16: Sankhya: The Philosophy of Parkriti and the Awakening of the Snake

Chapter 17: Adi Shakti: Woman vs. Mother

Chapter 18: Brahmasutra: Counter-Strike of the Vedanta

PART III: India in the Middle Ages

Chapter 19: The Structures of the Medieval Historial

Chapter 20: Tantra

Chapter 21: The Three Crowned Kings

Chapter 22: Gondwana: Central and South India in the Middle Ages

Chapter 23:  Advaita Vedanta

Chapter 24: Anti-Advaita

PART IV: Buddhism: Mahayana – The Indian Philosophy of the New Beginning

Chapter 25: The Transformation of Buddhist Metaphysics

Chapter 26: Madhyamaka: How to Philosophize by Emptiness

Chapter 27: Yogachara

Chapter 28: Tathagatagarbha: Non-Duality on the Counter-Attack

Chapter 29: Vajrayana: Sin Transformed

PART V: The Post-Middle-Ages: Islam and India

Chapter 30: After the Middle Ages

Chapter 31: From the Ghaznavids to the Delhi Sultanate

Chapter 32: The Great Moghuls and the Transcendental Unity of the Traditions of Akbar

Chapter 33: The States of North-West India

PART VI: Towards Modernity: From Colonization to Independence

Chapter 34: The European Colonization of India

Chapter 35: Reformed Hinduism

Chapter 36: Fundamentalists and the Politics of Swaraj

Chapter 37: Sanatana Dharma: True Hinduism

Chapter 38: Modern India: Post-Colonial Legitimacy and Deep De-Colonization

Conclusion

Noomakhia: Eastern Europe: The Slavic Logos

Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Eastern Europe: The Slavic Logos – Balkan Nav and Sarmatian Style
(Moscow: Academic Project, 2018)

 

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Table of Contents:

PART I: The Civilization of the Goddess and the Peasant Ecumene of Europe

Chapter 1: Eastern Europe as a Geosophical Concept

Chapter 2: The Matriarchal Pole of Eastern Europe

Chapter 3: The Turanian Invasion

PART II: The Eastern European Nav

Chapter 4: The Worlds of Nav and the Gestalt of the Vampire 

Chapter 5: The Witch, the Idiot, and the Languages of the Nocturne 

Chapter 6: The Indo-European Element: The Homeland of Dionysus

PART III: The Proto-Slavs

Chapter 7: The Structures of Slavic Identity: The Paleo-European Mother and the Indo-European Father

Chapter 8: At the Dawn of Slavic History

PART IV: The South Slavs: Bulgarian Katechon and the Mission of the Bogomils

Chapter 9: The Bulgarian Historial

Chapter 10: The Parallel Historial of Bulgarian Identity

Chapter 11: Macedonia: Gospel of the Vampire 

Chapter 12: The Structure of the Bulgarian Logos

PART V: Illyrian Civilization: Fiery Serbia and other South Slavs

Chapter 13: The Serbian Historial

Chapter 14: Bosnia: Bogomils and Islamization 

Chapter 15: The Serbian Wail 

Chapter 16: In Search of the Serbian Logos

Chapter 17: The Historial of the Croats 

Chapter 18: The Croatian Logos: Pan-Slavism and/or Nationalism

Chapter 19: Slovenia

Chapter 20: Slovenian Style: Euro-Integration and Nihilism

PART VI: The West Slavs: The Moravo-Bohemian Logos

Chapter 21: The West Slavs in the Slavic World

Chapter 22: Sources and Flight of the Czech State 

Chapter 23: The Czech Logos of the Hussites 

Chapter 24: The Czechs and Modernity

Chapter 25: The Philosophy of the Czech Renaissance

PART VII: The Polish Horizon: Sarmatian Spirit and European Mission

Chapter 26: The North-West Slavs in Antiquity 

Chapter 27: The Polish Historial

Chapter 28: The Old Polish Religion

Chapter 29: Union, Partitions, Modernization, Freedom

Chapter 30: Polish Pride and the Polish Logos: The “Christ of Europe”

Chapter 31: Polish Terror

Chapter 32: The Polish Structure

Conclusion: On the Path Towards the Slavic Ereignis

 

“Noomakhia is the war in the sphere of the mind. The author of Noomakhia examines human history and the present as a ceaseless war between diverse civilizational projects founded on three noological paradigms (the Three Logoi of Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele). The panorama of humanity presents in all its fullness and diversity the many dialogues, combinations, juxtapositions, appropriations, and annihilations of the Logoi which yield numerous types of rationality, mythologies, philosophies, religions, metaphysics, and constitute the plurality of civilizational constructs.

The space of Eastern Europe is a frontier between two civilizations – Western European and Russian. Precisely here ran the border between the nomadic, Indo-European, patriarchal civilizations of Turan and the matriarchal civilizations of Old Europe (which emerged in Anatolia and spread to the Balkans and Southern Europe), between the Catholic (Latin) Celto-Germanic West and the Russian-Orthodox East. The mosaic of this pivot region’s peoples and religions has never in history been geopolitically united, but this does not mean that the peoples of Eastern Europe cannot develop civilizational unity in the future and retrieve a cultural identity founded on the common Eastern European Dasein.

Since the fifth-sixth centuries A.D., the Slavic peoples have played a decisive role in the space of Eastern Europe. This volume of Noomakhia examines the Slavic horizon of Eastern Europe, which the author calls “Great Slaviania.” In question is not a concrete polity, but the inner unity of the Slavic Dasein, language, and ethno-sociological structure, constituted by the predominance of the settled agricultural population and the allogenic superstructure of a ruling warrior elite, the latter being an indirect trace of Sarmatian, Turanian, or Germanic influence. Alexander Dugin believes that, despite the powerful impact exerted on Slavic horizon of Eastern Europe by a number of non-Slavic peoples and powerful civilizational poles – such as Byzantium, Rome, Germany, France, England, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire – the mosaic of the West and South Slavic peoples, being the foci of mixed, self-sufficient cultures, can in the future form a multi-faceted and fully-fledged civilizational unity.

Noomakhia: The Logos of Turan – The Indo-European Ideology of the Verticle

Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Wars of the Mind: The Logos of Turan – The Indo-European Ideology of the Verticle (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

 

 

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Table of Contents:

Introduction: Turan as an Idea

PART I: The Indo-European Logos

Chapter 1: Cultures, Peoples, and Languages

Chapter 2: Indo-European Structures

Chapter 3: The Indo-European Proto-Religion: Exclusive Patriarchy

Chapter 4: Dumézil and the Tripartite Ideology

Chapter 5: The Indo-European Foundations of Philosophy

Chapter 6: Marija Gimbutas and the Indo-European Historial

Chapter 7: The Indo-Europeans of the Polar Myth

PART II: The Indo-Europeans Leave the Homeland: The War of Interpretations in Ancient Anatolia

Chapter 8: The Hittites

Chapter 9: The Phrygians and the Descendants of the Hittites

Chapter 10: The Semantic War of Anatolian Horizons: Mutterrecht and Vaterrecht

PART III: The Indo-Europeans Unbroken: The Tocharians, Armenians, and Kurds

Chapter 11: The Tocharians and the “Turanian Language” Hypothesis

Chapter 12: The Armenians: Faithfulness to the Sun

Chapter 13: The Kurds: The Rustling Wings of the Peacock Angel

PART IV: Great Scythia and its Rays

Chapter 14: The Metaphysics of the Great Steppe

Chapter 15: The Scythians: Nomadic Might

Chapter 16: The Peoples of Turan of the Scythian Type

Chapter 17: Afghanistan/Pakistan: The Third Empire

Chapter 18: The Sarmatians: Empire of the Nart

Chapter 19: The Thracians and the Turanian Heritage

Chapter 20: The Germanic Peoples and the Steppe

Chapter 21: The Slavs and Balts in the Horizon of Turan

Conclusion: Turan and the Logos of Apollo in the Indo-European Ecumene

Noomakhia: England or Britain? The Maritime Mission and Positive Subject

Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Wars of the Mind: England or Britain? The Maritime Mission and the Positive Subject (Moscow: Academic Project, 2015).

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction: England – The Homeland of the “Modern World”

Part I: England or Britain?

Chapter 1: From Britain to England: Ethnoi and States

Chapter 2: Anglo-Britain in the Middle Ages: Two Churches

Chapter 3: The Norman Invasion and the House of Plantagenet: The Franco-English Epoch

Chapter 4: English Theology

Chapter 5: Knights, Damsels, and Fairies in the Anglo-British Lai

Chapter 6: The Reformation

Chapter 7: English Thought at the Foundation of the Paradigm of Modernity: Locke’s Heartland

Chapter 8: Dreams on the Eve of Modernity

Chapter 9; The Yates Paradigm

Chapter 10: Pax Britannica: The Mercantile-Maritime Empire

Chapter 11: In Love with the Mind and in Trust of Feelings

Chapter 12: The Romantics: Gods and Titans in the Meadows of Green England

Chapter 13: Liberalism: The Positive Individual Subject

Chapter 14: Realism and Irony

Chapter 15: The Subtle Charm of Decadence: Pre-Raphaelites, the Dandy, and Satanists

Chapter 16: The 20th Century: Historial and Empire

Chapter 17: English Positivity

Chapter 18: Imperialism, Tradition, and Utopia in English Literature

Chapter 19: The British Invasion

Chapter 20: Conclusion

Part II: The Celtic Pole

Chapter 21: The Celtic Pole of Anglo-British Civilization

Chapter 22: Wales: The Titanomachy of Trees

Chapter 23: Scotland: The Drowsy Titans

Chapter 24: Ireland

“Noomakhia: Geosophy, Horizons, and Civilizations”

Alexander Dugin, Noomachy: Wars of the Mind – Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017).

“A philosophical-methodological introduction and companion to the Noomachy cycle”

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

Part I: The Basic Concepts of Geosophy

Chapter 1: Horizons of Cultures: the Geography of Logoi

Chapter 2: Deconstructing Eurocentrism

Chapter 3: Defining Civilization

Chapter 4: The Topography of Geosophy

Part II: Theories of Civilizations: Criteria, Concepts, Correspondences

Chapter 5: Proclus

Chapter 6: Joachim de Flore

Chapter 7: Giambattista Vico

Chapter 8: Johann Gottfried Herder

Chapter 9: Friedrich von Schelling

Chapter 10: Georg Hegel

Chapter 11: Nikolai Yakovlevich Danilevsky

Chapter 12: Johann Bachofen

Chapter 13: Friedrich Ratzel

Chapter 14: Halford Mackinder

Chapter 15: Carl Schmitt

Chapter 16: Robert Graebner and Wilhelm Schmidt

Chapter 17: Moritz Lazarus, Wilhelm Wundt, and Alfred Vierkandt

Chapter 18: Franz Boas

Chapter 19: Oswald Spengler

Chapter 20: Richard Thurnwald

Chapter 21: Leo Frobenius

Chapter 22: Herman Wirth

Chapter 23: Marija Gimbutas

Chapter 24: Robert Graves

Chapter 25: Károly Kerényi

Chapter 26: Sigmund Freud

Chapter 27: Carl Gustav Jung

Chapter 28: Johan Huizinga

Chapter 29: René Guénon

Chapter 30: Julius Evola

Chapter 31: Mircea Eliade

Chapter 32: Ioan Culianu

Chapter 33: Georges Dumézil

Chapter 34: Pitirim Sorokin

Chapter 35: Gilbert Durand

Chapter 36: Nikolai Trubetzkoy

Chapter 37: Petr Savitsky

Chapter 38: Lev Gumilev

Chapter 39: Arnold Toynbee

Chapter 40: Fernand Braudel

Chapter 41: Samuel Huntington

Chapter 42: A Common Nomenclature of Basic Terminologies

Part III: Pluriversum: Geosophy and its Zones

Chapter 43: A Nomenclature of Horizons and Plans of Greater Noomachy

Chapter 44: The Logos of Europe: A History of Flight and Fall

Chapter 45: The Semitic Horizon

Chapter 46: The Horizons of the Two Americas

Chapter 47: The Eurasian Horizon

Chapter 48: The Iranian Logos

Chapter 49: The Indian Logos

Chapter 50: Chinese Civilization

Chapter 51: Japan and its Logos

Chapter 52: African Horizons

Chapter 53: Horizons of the Pacific

Conclusion

geosofiya

Turan: The Key to Understanding the Russian Logos

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

From Ekspertiza Dugina #17. (The following is a partial transcript of Alexander Dugin’s video talk on his recent new Noomachy: Wars of the Mind volume: The Logos of Turan: The Indo-European Vertical Ideology (Moscow, 2017). 

The task of describing Turanian civilization in the recent volume of Noomakhia was inseparable from the fact that Turan is gone. The book was therefore a reconstruction of a past society, an archaeological volume, in which Turanian civilization had to be restored bit by bit on the basis of archaeological research, linguistic analysis, what we know about ethnology and ethnography, and essentially artificial methods.

A few Turanian peoples can be named. For example, the Ossetians are the last heirs of the Sarmatians, there are the various Pashtun tribes, and the direct descendants of the Indo-European nomads in the Great Steppe. There are also descendants in Nuristan, the Kalash in Pakistan and Afghanistan, enclaves of direct Turanian cultures and Indo-Europeans nomadic tribes. But, of course, this is largely a conditional reconstruction.

What is the importance of Turan? The very concept of Turan is sometimes misinterpreted. We know it from Suhrawardi and Shahnameh, which speaks of a confrontation between Iran and Turan. By Iran Shahnameh meant settled Iranian civilization, whereas by Turan was understood nomadic civilization.

Ferdowsi wrote this in a period when the Turkic peoples had already for several centuries largely taken over the role of nomads. Hence the impression that Turan is related to the Turks, ( [the names of] which are of the same or similar root), and as follows, the confrontation between Turan and Iran was between the Turkic and the Indo-European, particularly the Iranian world. But this is not true etymologically or historically, because Ferdowsi took the term Turan from the Avesta, from the oldest layers of pre-Islamic culture where this term existed since time immemorial, when there were still no Turks on the expanses of Eurasia and the Eurasian steppes.

When we begin to consider the term, this Indo-European term, it meant none other than “people.” It is very similar to the Lithuanian concept of Tauta (“nation” or “people”) and Deutschen and Teutonen. In fact, this [Turan] was the name of the very same ancestors of the Indo-Europeans, the very same Iranians, only the nomadic ones, who lived on the territory of the Great Eurasian Steppes. Some of them moved to Persia, closer to Elam, to Media, where they settled and came to be called Iran. Those who continued to live under the same conditions came to be called Turanians. In Iranian civilization, Turan is understood as the realm of the nomadic Iranians, whereas Iran is the area of the settled Iranians.

Thus immediately arises a completely different vision of Turan which has nothing to do with the Turks. If we look closely at where they came from and who the Iranian nomadic tribes in Eurasia were, then it turns out that they were always there – precisely in the Eurasian steppes. Regardless of whichever archaeological hypothesis we accept – that is, regardless of whether the Indo-Europeans originated closer to the Black Sea, the Azov Sea, the Caspian Sea, or in the Southern Urals – in any case we are dealing with the space of Turan, the space of the Great Eurasian Steppe.

The Turanian world was in all actuality represented by none other than the warlike nomadic tribes who domesticated the horse, built chariots, and began to use the wheel, who boasted colossal militancy, and began to spread across the whole Eurasian mainland, going all the way to the West, where their descendants became the Celts, Germans, Italic peoples, the Illyrians, Thracians, and to Greece (as the ancestors of the Hellenes), to Anatolia (one of the first Indo-European tribes, where they laid the basis for Serbian civilization). The Slavs and Balts are bearers of the Turanic element, because these are the same Indo-European peoples who moved together with the Kurgan culture, according to Gimbutas, to the West, at some point settling on different territories. There are the Iranians and Indians as well.

This Turanian world is the key, ancestral homeland and proto-matrix of all of Indo-European civilization.

By what means were they able to extend their influence to practically the whole of Eurasia? The wheel. We can see how this process of the Indo-Europeans’ expansion continued into the colonial period. Even today’s cars are part of the Turanian worldview, the new chariots. This is the line of the expansion of chariots, the expansion of martial style, the Indo-European languages, and the Indo-European political system – which is patriarchal, masculine, and androcratic.

Androcracy is the rule of men. The power of androcratic societies created the historical-political landscape of nearly all of Eurasia, with the exception of the Chinese, Southeast Asia, and perhaps some of the Semitic regions of the Middle East. Palestine was once inhabited by the Hittites, the chariots of the Hurrians, perhaps the Indo-Aryans, and the Mittani went to Egypt – hence the appearance of the chariot in Egypt.

In other words, Turan itself is a kind of paradigm. It is Indo-European nomadism, which most likely spread from the Southern Urals. I think that this is the most accurate hypothesis.

Later this initiative of the Indo-European, patriarchal, androcratic societies was taken on by other peoples, such as the Huns, Turks, and Mongols. And it was then that the space of Turan was brought a very similar nomadic culture by other – non-Indo-European and post-Indo-European – ethnoi.

If we put this all together, then we see a colossal picture of all Indo-European societies, their source model, and their differences, which are relative to degree of remoteness from the Indo-European homeland, which was the Turanian homeland. When the Indo-European peoples moved away from this homeland and mixed with more matriarchal, agricultural societies, they created a mixed type of culture. In the final analysis, Turan thus acquires an entirely different significance, another dimension. If we are not indifferent to our roots, then this Indo-European Turan, as the homeland of Indo-European cultures, is in my opinion an extremely important element for understanding ourselves, because our country is the territory of Turan.

After many centuries and millennia, after Turan had originally been the territory of the Indo-Europeans, after the Indo-European peoples had passed their initiatives to other non-Indo-European peoples, such as the Altaic and partially the Uralic, the heritage of Turan once again returned to Russia. We, the Russian Indo-European people, are the keepers of this gigantic territory of Turan. The mission of the Indo-Europeans has made a full circle, starting with Indo-Europeans and ending with Indo-Europeans, in coming to us.

Thus, Eurasianism acquires an entirely different dimension, and the notion of Turan is transformed radically. And, of course, if we are sensitive towards our own identity, and if we are not indifferent toward our roots, our past, and our future, then I think that this book would find very wide resonance in another state of society…

But we live in a world of some kind of pause. I look to the future with optimism, as the present time of dark mental illness in society will pass, and we will return to the search for ourselves, return to our Russian rebirth, to our roots. And then the idea of Turan, which allows us to look at all of our history in a completely different way, including the Mongol conquests, our relations with the Turks, the Turkic peoples, and projects such as the creation of the Eurasian Union, which has now been declared in policy or is being implemented (albeit in the form of a simulacrum) – all of this will truly acquire meaning. 

Thinking Chaos and the “Other Beginning” of Philosophy

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Yulian Orlov

From Platonizm.ru 

Chaos was not part of the context of Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy was built exclusively as a philosophy of the Logos, and to us such a state of affairs is so normal, that we (probably correctly from a historical point of view) identify philosophy with the Logos. We do not know any other philosophy, and, in principle, if we are to believe Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger along with contemporary postmodernist philosophy, we will have to acknowledge that the very philosophy which was discovered by the Greeks and built up around the Logos has today fully exhausted its contents. It incarnated itself in techne, in the subject-object topography that turned out to be evidentiary for only two or three centuries until the final, sunset note of West-European philosophy. As a matter of fact, today we are standing on the line or endpoint of this philosophy of the Logos.

Today, we can glimpse the entire process of the evolution of logocentric philosophy that began with Heraclitus and the Pre-Socratics, reached its apogee in Platonism and Socrates, was developed fairly violently in Greco-Latin patristics and later in Scholasticism and the Neoplatonic Renaissance and, in the New Era, turned together with Descartes through the subject-object topography onto its last- self-reflective stage that, in turn, ended with Nietzsche.  According to Heidegger, it was precisely Nietzsche who ended West-European philosophy. Thus, we have before us a finished story with a beginning, climax, and end, all about logocentric culture. The Logos, from cradle to grave. But then we have to ask ourselves: who was Heidegger?

On the one hand, Heidegger definitely ends this process of Western philosophy and puts down the final seal, but on the other hand he (potentially) lays the foundations of something new. The end of philosophy is absolutely clear, but the question about the “other Beginning” (der andere Anfang) remains open.

It is totally clear that West-European philosophy, being logocentric, has exhausted its potential. However, we have to ask ourselves the question: what role did chaos play in this logocentric philosophy? It was rejected from the very beginning, left out of account, crossed out, because the Logos is based on the exclusion of chaos, on the affirmation of there being a hard alternative to it. What is the fundamental difference between logos and chaos? The Logos is exclusivity, the Logos is separation, the Logos is a clear idea about the one and the other; it is not by random chance that the Logos received its formalised form in the logic of Aristotle, in its fundamental laws: the law of identity, the law of negation and the law of the excluded third. It is necessary to emphasise that modern and post-modern studies entirely correctly show, that the logocentric understanding of the world is masculinoid, i.e. exclusively male, exclusivist [1]. It is this way, in an explosive manner, that men think of the world and order. The Logos is a male, hierarchised beginning that was simplified in West-European philosophy, reached its high point, and… collapsed, was cast down, dissipated. Today, the “great man”, the “cosmic man” has been shattered into fragments. He collapsed, and together with him his philosophy crumbled, as the Logos and the male beginning are, as a matter of fact, the very same thing. This is where the rightness of the postmodernist, critical term “phallo-logocentrism” comes from. The entire West-European philosophy was built on the male principle from beginning to end. This end is here. We are living through it. This means that the Logos is exhausted. Therefore, we must either meekly slip into the night, or search for new paths.

If we review this process of the appearance, establishment, and downfall of Western European philosophy and the appearance of the Logos in a pure form, consequently, as demasculinisation continues (according to Plato, only the philosopher is a true man; in other words, a man is he who philosophises; therefore, today we can speak of a sweeping degeneration and spiritual castration of men, as they are no longer capable of engaging in philosophy) and the Logos falls, we see before us an image of mixing: dissipated fragments of male logical thought are turbulently mixing amongst each other, thereby forming a post-masculinist amalgamate. It is precisely to this mixing, this phenomenon of the turbulence of parts that are no longer part of something whole that is indicated by those who use the concept of “chaos” in modern science.

Here, we must immediately say that the chaos with which modern science, modern physics, and chaos theory operate is actually a set of structures of order that is more complex. This is nothing else than complex systems that are not at all alternatives to order as such, but are just an extravagant, baroque (here, too, the ideas of postmodernist G. Deleuze from his essay “The Fold: Leibnitz and the Baroque” are valuable) version of a complexified, twisted and significantly perverted order. That was is today called “chaos” by representatives of the scientific and, in part, the cultural establishment is the condition of the post-logical world, a world that is still located, however, within the Logos, inside its orbit, albeit at the most distant periphery, at its last border. A very precise name for such a state of affairs has been given by René Guénon, who called this situation “la confusion” (Fr. “mixing”, “tangle”, “everything getting caught in everything else”.

The concept of “chaos” that is dominant in modern science does not correspond at all to the Greek chaos as something primordial, organic, and spontaneous, but as the product of the collapse of logocentric philosophy and the logocentric culture that was based on it. The fact that we are today dealing with an alleged “chaos” actually refers to the product of the Logos’s collapse and separation into different fragments. It is precisely for this reason that scholars of “chaos” find within it residual or extravagant, eccentric structures of the Logos. These can be studied and quantified only in more complex procedures and with the help of a special device that has been adapted for the quantifying and description of bifurcational processes, non-integrated equations (I. Prigozhin), and fractals (B. Mandelbrot). The theory of “chaos” studies process that are exceptionally dependent on initial conditions. The definition of “chaos” in modern science is today taken to be the following: a dynamic system with the following traits: sensitivity to initial conditions, topological mixing, and the density of periodical orbits. Mathematicians further specify, that a “chaotic system should have non-linear characteristics and be globally stable, but also have at least one unstable point of equilibrium of oscillating type; in addition, the dimensions of the system should be no less than 1,5 (i.e. the order of a differential equation should be no less than 3)” [3].

Actually, it is not the Greek chaos at all that is hinted at in this concept of “chaos”, but a product of the dispersion and disintegration of the Logos. This is so because we have not yet left the bounds of the Logos: the chaos that modern science deals with is integrated into the Logos, it splashes around within its inner space (albeit at the most extreme orbit), as far away as possible from the logocentric axis, in the furthest borderland of the conceptual Platonic cosmos, in the world of the Titans [4]. Therefore, we must, strictly speaking, call this reality a “very remote copy” that has nearly lost its link to the original; we must not in any case, however, call it “chaos”. Here, either the term “mixing” (Guénon’s “la confusion”) is most appropriate or the postmodern concept of the “simulacrum”, which J. Baudrillard interprets as a “copy without an original”. This is an intralogical zone (albeit at a maximum distance from the centre) that has nothing in common with the initial image of Greek chaos, which, according to myth, precedes the Logos, precedes order, i.e. the cosmos. True chaos is pre-cosmic, pre-ontological. The “mixing” or “chaos” of modern science is post-cosmic, and although almost nothing of being remains within it, it still is, which means that it is in some sense ontological. Here, Zeno’s aporia on the quick Achilles and the turtle is entirely relevant. No matter how much the “mixing” might try to run from ontology, it is analytically incapable of doing so; as René Guénon shows, a line x moving towards 0 will never be equal to 0, but will only continually approach 0 while always remaining at an ever diminishing but still infinitely great (although it is infinitely small) distance from it. 

While researching “chaos” (the philosophical Gilles Deleuze describes this as a way of coexistence for incompatible monads [6]; Deleuze himself calls such “monads” “nomads”), modern science is researching the intra-logos, post-logos, dissipative order, instead of an alternative to order, as the nihilistically minded postmodernists had hoped. 

Here, it is important to pay attention to the concept of “nothing”. The Logos draws everything into itself and accords to everything the quality of self-identification with itself, i.e. with the Logos. The Logos is everything and draws everything into itself, with the exception of that which it is not; but that which it is not is nothing, the Logos excludes everything that it does not include, and, as it includes everything, only nothing remains outside of it. However, it interacts harshly with this nothing: according to Parmenides, there is no non-being. Nothing surrounds order and serves as a boundary. As we are looking at nothing through the eyes of the Logos, however, it becomes clear that we cannot reach that boundary. However hard we might strive to words nothing, whatever nihilism we might cultivate, we keep remaining in the limits of something and not nothing, inside of order, under the hegemony of the Logos. And even though this hegemony weakens at its extreme limit, it never entirely disappears. Therefore, on the road towards liberation from the power and domination, the modernists (and the postmodernists after them) find the figure of the “despot” in God and traditional society, in society as such, later in reason, even later in man himself, structures, language, context (poststructuralism) etc. The condition that there is no non-being makes being unbearable for those who consider its weight to be a hindrance. All evocations of “chaos” or calls to “nomadic”, incompatible monads that are incapable of providing the desired result, i.e. the final and irreversible uprooting of the “will to power”, which is the main aim of the liberating program of the Enlightenment cannot and will not succeed by its very definition.

Those who understand the situation of the deep crisis of Modernity (in particular Martin Heidegger) turn to the roots of the West, to the Greek matrix that birthed philosophy. Heidegger meticulously studies the birth of the Logos and tracks its faith, all the way up to the rule of technics, Machenschaft. In order to describe it, he introduces the concept of “Gestell”, in which the referential theory of truth itself is summed up, from Plato (and even from Heraclitus) up to the mechanical mercantile-materialistic civilisation of modern, utmost planetary (but continuously Western-centric) decadence. Having examined the history of philosophy (which also is history as such) from beginning to end, Heidegger finds that it ended so wrongly precisely because it begun so incorrectly. As an alternative, he proposes the project of the “other Beginning” [7].

Having described the first Beginning of philosophy, which led to the logos and, finally, to that dissipative postlogos (and post-masculine) ontological regime that we find ourselves in, Heidegger identifies it as the consequence of a fundamental error that was made in the first, even preparatory stages of the development of West-European philosophy. According to his views, the history of Western European philosophy, culture, and religion is the result of a small, primordial fault in our metaphysical contemplation. According to Heidegger, two-and-a-half thousand years of human history were in vain, seeing as at the very beginning, somewhere in the area of the first formulations of the Logos’ status, a certain error was accidentally allowed to sneak in, an error that, as Heidegger puts it, must first be acknowledged and then be overcome. Thus develops his idea of the two Beginnings of philosophy: the first Beginning, which began, formed, developed, flourished, and eventually degraded and has now become nothing (let us at least remember the modern nihilism that was discovered by F. Nietzsche and magnificently examined by Heidegger), and the other Beginning, which could be found as far back as the roots of philosophy (but this did not happen, and we can see the result: the Logos and its defeat), but, in any case, it should be delineated and initiated now, while everything is clear. But this beginning will begin only when everything truly becomes clear. Everything became clear to Heidegger. The rest is experiencing a “delay”, everything is “still not clear”, noch nicht[8], the eternal “still not”. The other Beginning — der andere Anfang.

If we examine in detail what Heidegger means by the “other Beginning” (the alternative, potential Beginning that has not yet formed or come to pass), and if we trace the line of the grandiose deconstruction of the Logos that he has undertaken, we will be able to view the entirety of West-European philosophy, culture, and history, including religious history; after all, religion is nothing other than the development of constructions of the Logos (which is why Heidegger speaks of “theologica”: the Christian faith, as well as the Muslim kalam and theological Judaism are founded upon the Logos, and, in principle, we know of no other monotheistic religions but for those religions of the Logos). The logocentrism of religions is a very important thing to understand: it shows, that it is futile to turn to religion when searching for an alternative or protection from the downfall of the Logos. The crisis of modern religions is the crisis of the Logos; when the Logos collapses, its entire vertical structure and all its variations (including theological ones) fall with it. This is interrelated: monotheism loses its fascinativeness as the attraction of the Logos weakens, and vice versa. Religions without the Logos cease to be themselves. But even in the case where the Logos is present within them, it will be as a phantom pain, a “confusion”, as the vanity of desemantisised structures (which is what we are seeing today in the form of the dubious phenomenon of a “religious renaissance”, which unambiguously smacks of a simulacrum and a parody).

For this reason, Heidegger proposed to look for an exit in a completely different way: in the sources of Greek philosophy, in the very Beginning (even in the vestibule of this Beginning) on the one hand, and beyond the boundaries of our world on the other, thereby uniting the problem of the moment of philosophy’s birth, its existence in an embryonic, intrauterine state with the problem of the moment of final agony and death. Before Heraclitus, philosophy was located in the uterus, the Logos “swam” in amniotic fluid, in a matrix: today, the Logos is buried in its grave. The grave and the womb have, on the one hand, the meaning of an antithesis: the first signifies death, the second birth; however, at the same time we know, that in the collective unconscious they are synonyms, mutual systems. One can figuratively say, that in both cases it is a night, darkness, existence without distinction, erasure of borders, nocturne [9], all the more so because many intiatic rituals are linked to a descent into the grave as well as the beginning of resurrection, i.e. another, second birth. This is also the rite of Orthodox baptism: water symbolises the earth, the grave, death. The total, three-time immersion of the baptised into the baptistery is a symbol of the three days Christ spent in the grave. It is a descent into the earth, into the grave: the “burial of Christ” is a prerequisite for a new birth.

Thus, if the Logos was born in the first Beginning of Greek philosophy through the rejection of Chaos as an exclusive, central principle of division, hierarchy, exception, and order; that is to say, the male beginning was essentially raised to the level of the absolute; and if all of this began the way it did, and if everything ended with what we have in the modern world, then, accordingly, we must follow Heidegger in finding what was lost, what the mistake of that first impetus, which started the development of a logocentric civilisation, was. Heidegger develops his vision in recapitulative and exceptionally complex book “Beitrage zur Philosophie” [10], which I recommend all readers to familiarise themselves with (the work has not been translated, and I would say that this is excellent; it cannot be translated, and there are things that are not just difficult to translate, but which are criminal to translate, things that require the original language to be learned to be understood). The book directly deals with the “other Beginning”; contrariwise, we find a short and relatively “light” treatment of these ideas in the “Geschichte des Seyns” [11].

Heidegger proposes us to think in a radically different way from the one that is usual in philosophical or philosophical-religious thought. But how is it possible to philosophise differently, how can there be a “different Beginning” of philosophy? If we take a close, detailed look at the moment of the birth of Greek philosophy, we will find a single, essential element: philosophy is born alongside exclusion; what is more, it is Chaos that is the first victim of exclusion. Chaos is not a philosophical concept and never was one, but it enters philosophy exclusively through its intermediary, through its substitute in the person of the choir (cora), Platonic “space” in the “Timaeus”, or later in the person of Aristotle’s “matter” (ulh). However, the view of the choir in the “Timaeus” and the view of Aristotle’s matter is the view of the Logos [12], and all the Logos says it that it has already excluded Chaos during the process of its ascension in a similar fashion to “political propaganda” or a “press release”. What the Logos tells us about matter is an exclusively constructivist Wille zur Macht, the “will to power”, a development of an impassioned and aggressive strategy of male domination, the establishment of hierarchic hegemony, the projection of wishful thinking and self-fulfilling prophecy. From the very beginning of philosophy, the “dog was wagged”. Philosophy tries to force unto us that, which is favourable to itself. This is the hiding place of male cunning, the male drive to the absolutisation of the self, and, accordingly, the exclusion of the female beginning, the “other” beginning. And, if we examine this, we can recognise the total incomprehension of the woman. This is the source of woman being accorded qualities that, in reality, she does not have at all. Thus, the male forms between itself that which is excluded by the male from the intellective process. The Logos rejects the choir because of its (un)intelligibility. However, it does not understand it purely because it does not want to understand and prefers to deal with a representation instead of the female itself. The man thinks, that the only way of knowing the woman is to hide her in inner rooms, separate her from the public, social dimension. Later, he thinks a suitable solution is to chase the female away entirely, etching way her traces through the suffering of lonely male asceticism. Therefore, the opinion of the Logos about chaos is a notorious lie, violence, hegemony, the exclusion of chaos as the other. As the Logos is everything, chaos becomes nothing [13].

If we want to comprehend the very possibility of an “other Beginning” of philosophy, on the one hand, we must come to the moment of the birth of the Logos and fix this transition of the boundary, discern the details and semantics of this rite du passage. How could it have come to pass that the Logos managed to break loose, unbind itself, and who allowed it to issue its own, exclusive decrees concerning chaos? Now we come to the most interesting: if we feel discontent with the dissipative logical and postlogical structures, we must acknowledge, that we must turn to the Logos again, seeing as it was the Logos that created all the prerequisites of its dissipation through its exclusivity. We cannot simply up and return to Platonism: there is no way back. The Logos moves only in one direction: it divides and divides (and divides and divides… and so on into the distance [14]). Gilbert Durand [15] call this logic the regime of the “diurn”: until everything is reduced to a chit and stops. This schizomorphosis [16] directly leads to G. Deleuze and F. Guattari’s concept of “schizomass” [17]. This has been beautifully illustrated in the films of Takeshi Miike, for example, in “Killer Ichi” or “Izo”. In the latter film, an insane samurai, having begun his battle with the world, does not stop until he has cut everyone he encounters into pieces. Izo is the Logos.

The Logos will not help us. If we do not like how the modern, postlogical world is organised, we are forced (if we like it or not) to turn to chaos. We have no other alternative: we must fundamentally step backward towards the first Beginning of Greek culture, in order to make even the smallest step forward, truly forward, and not following the endless arc of the eternally ending world, that is still not capable of finally ending (“still not”). If we do not do this, we will reach the eternal deadlock of the infinite return of dissipative structures and confusions. This is the choice we must make: either we choose the modern, postlogical chaos of confusions, or we break through its boundaries; but the way to break through its boundaries can be found only in chaos, which itself precedes the Logos and is located radically beyond its borders, behind the line of its peripheral agony. 

Chaos can and should be seen as an inclusive order, as an order founded upon a principle that is opposite to the Logos; that is to say, the principle of inclusivity, inclusiveness. Therefore, it is very important to understand what inclusiveness means. Once we have comprehended this term, we will know if it is at all possible to build a philosophy of chaos, that is, a philosophy of the “other Beginning”.

If we see chaos the way it is seen by logocentric models, we will get nowhere. There is nothing logical (exclusive, masculine, no Wille zur Macht) in chaos, and this means, that it becomes ouk on (Greek: “pure non-being”), French “rien”, Spanish “nada” to the Logos and Onto-Logos. – ouk on and not mhon, as the Greeks called the non-being that is capable of producing something from itself, “pregnant non-being”). As the Logos will not see anything except itself, according to the principle of Aristotelian logic, we cannot juxtapose anything to it: either A is equal to A (and, in this case, we find ourselves within logical boundaries) or A is not equal to A; now we are outside of those borders, in nothing. According to Aristotle, the latter situation means that A simply does not exist; the A that was not equal to A does not exist. This is in contrast to, for example, the view of the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who has, in contrast to Aristotle, developed a separate logic of spaces, “basho”, founded upon Zen Buddhist models of thought.

However, outside of the Logos and its hypnotic suggestion, it is entirely possible to conceptualise chaos as a principle of absolute inclusion or an inclusive philosophy. Why is this possible? Because, if we extract ourselves from the political propaganda of the Logos (under the conditions of which we have been living for two and a half thousand years), we will be able to see chaos as it presents itself, and not the way the Logos presents it. Chaos reveals itself as the inclusive, it carries within itself all possibilities, including the possibility of exclusion, right up to the exclusion of the self. Naturally, chaos contains the Logos as it thinks itself, like a seed in a woman’s uterus: it is and it is being born, it will most definitely be born, tear away, mature, and leave: however, something more important is left out of the picture: that which allows it to live, that which produces, nurtures, and feeds it.

The Logos can be seen as a fish swimming in the waters of chaos. Without this water, thrown onto the surface, the fish chokes, and this is, actually, how the structures of the Logos “croaked”. We are dealing with nothing but its dissipative remains. These are the bones of the fish that has hurled itself onto the shore. It is not by chance, that many speak of the symbolism of Aquarius as the new water, without which the old fish could not live.

The philosophy of chaos is possible because chaos, being all-inclusive, all-encompassing, and the antecedent of any exclusion, contains this very exclusion within itself, but carries a different relation to it and itself, as well as differing from the way exclusion itself (i.e. the Logos) relates to chaos and itself. We know only one view of chaos: the philosophical view from the position of the Logos, and if we want to look at the Logos from the point of view of chaos, we are told that this is impossible, seeing as we are used to examining chaos only from the point of view of the Logos. It is thought, that only the Logos is capable of seeing, and that chaos is blind. No, this is not true, chaos has a thousand eyes, it is “panoptic”. Chaos sees itself as that which contains the Logos, which means that the Logos is located within chaos and can always be within it. However, while containing the Logos within itself, chaos contains it in a totally different way the Logos contains itself, which it does by rejecting the fact that it is contained by anything (whatever that container may be) except itself, and, accordingly, placing chaos out of its view, equating it to nothing, rejecting it. Thus, the fish, recognising itself as something different from the water surrounding it, can come to the conclusion that it no longer needs the water and jumps onto the shore. However one might try to throw the stupid fish back, it will try to jump time and time again. They called this insane fish “Aristotle”.

But water is the beginning of everything. It contains the root of other elements and other creatures. It contains that which it is and that which it is not. It includes that which acknowledges the abovementioned fact, but also that which does not.

We can draw the following conclusion: first, a philosophy of Chaos is possible, and second, salvation through the Logos is impossible: the salvation of the Logos is only possible through a correct turn towards chaos.

Chaos is not just “old”, it is always “new”, because eternity is always new: the eternity (l’éternité) that Rimbaud found again (a retrouvé) – c’est la mer allée avec le soleil. Pay attention: la mer. Chaos is the newest, the freshest, the most fashionable, the latest from the current season’s collection (Il faut être absolument moderne. Point de cantiques : tenir le pas gagné) (1). Precisely for the reason that it is absolutely eternal: time ages extremely quickly, yesterday appears archaic (there is nothing more ancient than the “news” of a month old newspaper), only eternity is always absolutely new. Therefore, the discovery of chaos does not equate to an excavation of history or of the structures that are presented to us as conquered by historical time; no, it is an encounter with the eternally young. Chaos was not sometime earlier or before. Chaos is here and now. Chaos is not that what was, as the Logos propagandises. Chaos is that what is, and that what will be.

In conclusion, we return once more to Heidegger. To reach the truth of being (Wahrheit des Seyns) is possible only in two moments of history: in the Beginning, when philosophy is about to be born, and in the End, when the disappearance, the liquidation of philosophy takes place. Of course, individual personalities could reach the truth in different stages as well; however, they could do this, but they could also be satisfied with something else: they lived in the magic of the Logos, warming themselves in the rays of the solar seed.

Today, this is the only thing we have left, all the rest has been bled dry, and to satisfy ourselves with dissolution in an endlessly ending but incapable of truly ending world, in the “not yet” is the fate of nonentities. Apart from this, doing this in our time is easier than it ever was before. You and I, dear reader, are living in extraordinary times, in which we are presented with an entirely unexpected opportunity to directly encounter chaos. This is not an experience for the weak minded. After all, our task is the construction of a philosophy of chaos.

Footnotes: 

[1] See the problem of the “diurn” in the topography of G. Durand’s imaginative structures. Dugin A. G. Sociology of the Imagination. Moscow:Akademichesky Proekt, 2010.

[2] Deleuze, G. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Moscow: Izdatelstvo Logos, 1997.

[3] Gutzwiller Martin. Chaos in Classical and Quantum Mechanics. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990.

[4] See Proclus. Commentaire sur le Timee. Par A.J.Festugiere. t. I. P.:Vrin, 1966.

[5] Guenon René. Les principes du calcul infinitésimal. Paris, Gallimard, 1946.

[6] Deleuze, G. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque.

[7] Dugin A. Martin Heidegger. The Philosophy of Another Beginning. Moscow: Akademichesky Proekt, 2010.

[8] Heidegger M. Sein und Zeit. Erstes Kapitel §§ 46–53. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1952.

[9] Dugin A. G. Sociology of the Imagination.

[10] Heidegger M. Beiträge zur Philosophie. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2003.

[11] Heidegger M. Geschichte des Seyns. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1998

[12] Dugin A. Martin Heidegger. The Possibility of Russian Philosophy. Moscow: Akademichesky Proekt, 2011.

[13] Ibidem.

[14] On “diarhysis” and the structure of the “diurn”, which are distinct features of the Logos’ work, see Dugin A. Sociology of the Imagination..

[15] Durand G. Les Structures anthropologiques de l’imaginaire, Paris: P.U.F., 1960.

[16]  Ibidem.

[17] Deleuze, G., Guattari F. Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Yekaterinburg: U-Faktoriya, 2007.

Translator’s note:

(1): One must be absolutely modern. Never mind hymns of thanksgiving: hold on to a step once taken.

Deconstructing the “Contemporal Moment”: New Horizons in the History of Philosophy

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 1 of Noomakhia: Voiny Uma – Tri Logosa: Apollon, Dionis, Kibela (Noomakhia: Wars of the Mind – Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, Cybele) (Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2014).

 

The contemporal moment: destruction/deconstruction

It is obvious that the history of philosophy must be studied by determining a starting point beforehand. It seems a matter of course that we would automatically take such to be the contemporal moment. The contemporal moment means the “here and now”, hic et nunc. This moment acts as our starting position, as our “observatory point” from which we can survey philosophy as the history of philosophy. The history of philosophy thus unfolds in our direction, towards us. This concerns both time and place: philosophy is historically situated between its “sources” (for example, the pre-Socratics) and the situation in the 21st century (in its philosophical self-reflection). As a rule, this temporal vector is more or less reflexive, hence why the main (axial) discipline in all sectors of philosophy is the history of philosophy. By virtue of fixating on this historico-philosophical vector, we acquire the possibility to be involved in this process, to consolidate our own position as that of a “philosopher” in a historico-philosophical structure. This is the nunc, the “now”, the temporal sector in which our thinking is placed, if it wants to be “philosophical.”

Hence follows the rather important conclusion that was fully drawn between Heideigger and his call for “phenomenological destruction” in Sein und Zeit [1], and Jacques Derrida who developed this thesis into the methodology of “deconstruction” [2]. The history of philosophy, according to Heidegger, is tethered in his case to ontology, to the question of being, and, thereby being an onto-history, Seynsgeshichtliche, is a continuity of stages at each of which the question of being is treated uniquely. As follows, the history of philosophy is a logical structure or a series of logical structures which can be more or less described in ontological terms which in turn determine the place and significance of a philosophy or philosophical school in the overall historico-philosophical process. Determining a philosopher or school’s place in this continuity, which has strict temporal and cultural frameworks (from the pre-Socratics to Nietzsche to Heidegger himself), is equivalent to correctly understanding their philosophy and, accordingly, allows for the meaning of such to be revealed. This is ontological destruction – the placement of a philosopher or philosophical tendency through the revelation of the fundamental paradigm of their ontological positions (often hidden, veiled, or implicit) in a strictly notional sequence: 

The First Beginning (pre-Socratics) -> The End of the First Beginning (Plato and Aristotle) -> the middle – the Middle Ages (Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, etc.) -> The Beginning of the End – New Time (modernity – Descartes, Leibniz, and up to Kant) -> The End of the End (Hegel and Nietzsche).

Destruction is the placement of a philosopher into this sequence in order to reveal his place in the history of philosophy, and thus the meaning of his philosophizing.

For Jacques Derrida, the history of philosophy is a text, the structure of which is determined by the intersections of semantic lines. This is a view which more or less repeats, albeit in nuanced and detailed form, Heidegger’s axial construction. Thus, for both Heidegger and Derrida, it is important to place a philosopher in the context in which the semantics of his constructs are found to represent quotations, polemics, or the overturning or reproduction of the discourses that are at disposal before and around him in the “grammatological fabric.” In this case, deconstruction is the attentive inspection of this fabric’s patterns, in which any “authorship” is conceived as no more than a locus of quotations compiled in an ordered manner. Philosophy, thus, is one field of connotation, and its history comprises changes in the predominant connotative matrices and interpretive algorithms. Between Heidegger and Derrida, we can place Michel Foucault and his epistemology.

Of course, such hermeneutical models of the history of philosophy distinctly crystallized around the end of the 20th century. In the 21st century, and earlier, the “contemporal moment” was described in other terms. For Kant, it was paired with the revelation of the the structures of “transcendental reason”, for Hegel such was the “end of history” and the “objective spirit.” For Nietzsche, there was the maximization of the will to power in the figure of the Übermensch. In Marx, there was the horizon of the world proletarian revolution. In all cases, philosophy has been conceived exclusively as a teleological process – whether by those who have tried to give this teleology fixed forms, or those who, on the contrary, have understood history as the accumulation of a “quantity” of individual freedom (Stirner, Bergson or von Hayek/Popper).

For all of these teleologies – both the naive ones of the 19th century and those 20th century theories based on critical reflection, structuralism, and phenomenological corrections (as well as the philosophy of language and psychoanalysis) – the “contemporal moment” serves as an “observatory point”, and he who stands at this observatory point and has considered the content of the moment itself and its structures (no matter who this “someone” might be – the subject, Dasein, a rhizome, a deciphering system, a “body without organs”, a hermeneutic) is the key to the history of philosophy capable of interpreting it in relation to themselves. This is very important, since in such a perspective any preceding “contemporal moment” is conceived as a “preliminary”, “unfinished”, “incomplete” one compared to the current contemporal moment and, as follows, the nunc cannot be adequately described prius, as it does not convert into the past the “contemporality” of the present. In a certain sense, this is history as such, and the history of philosophy is the philosophical conceptualization of its structure.

The French philosopher Henry Corbin used the neologism historial in order to translate the meaning of Heidegger’s expression Seynsgeshichtliche (“onto-historical”) into French. The historial is the structure of the “contemporal moment” which predetermines its content as a teleological vector whose tip points to the nunc and presumes its beginning in the embryonic formation of the Logos.

In one way or another, any attempt to conceptualize the moments in the history of philosophy (of individual philosophers or their schools) beyond the historial, i.e., without deconstruction taking into account such explicit and convincing reflections (phenomenology, Heidegger, Post-Modernity), will look not simply naive, but ludicrous. In the context of the historial, any attempt to read Plato or Hegel outside of their notional sequence, which was in one way or another noted by philosophers in the last quarter of the 20th century, would mean falling into the self-deceit of unreflexive and unstructured quoting with a guaranteed loss of semantic links. If a reading of this or that philosopher does not flow in the context of this historico-philosophical grille de la lecture, i.e., without a thorough review of this observatory point where it is situated – or, in other words, on the other end of destruction/deconstruction operations – then nonsense is guaranteed. Not a single expression, not a single review, not a single intellectual procedure stands a chance at being correctly conceptualized, and instead of philosophy and the history of philosophy, we are left with the “white noise” of gloomy cognition, a simulacrum of thinking.

This is first and foremost the case with the nunc, the historial, or the temporal aspect of philosophy. The matter stands somewhat differently with the spatial aspect, the hic.

The topos of the present: the West as a spatial telos

The contemporal moment is situated not only in a temporal sequence, but also in space, on a scale of synchronic territory. If modern philosophy has devoted enormous, if not all of its attention to the first aspect of the contemporal moment, then spatiality has been left outside of the sphere of interests. Western philosophy is wholly and completely “tempo-centric.” Consequently, in it Sein is bound to Zeit, and this bondage is absolute, as a result of which Raum, or space, is studied merely as a residual principle, as an accident. Kant placed space closer to the object; Descartes altogether identified the object with “extense” (res extensa) in contrast to the subject (res cogens). In new European philosophy, thought is the property of the subject; consequently, time is the basis of philosophy and its context. Hence the historial as a measure.

It is telling that even critiques of the structuralists’ historico-philosophical understanding have by almost no means whatsoever addressed the fate of space in philosophy and philosophical self-reflection. The principle of “spatiality” has been integrated in the form of a synchronic topology intended to serve as a semantic scale for interpreting the content of time. In other words, structuralist topology only serves the historial in the spirit of the Heideggerian sequence or Derrida’s grammatological field.

But if we upset the habitual frameworks of new European philosophy and nevertheless pose the question of “where?” with regards to the observatory point, and if we fix the hic in the famous expression hic et nunc, then we have a specific civilizational concept of the West. The West in this case strictly fulfills the same teleological function as the “now.” The contemporal moment is situated in the West, and is the point towards which all the rays of possible thinking converge, thus achieving their epiphany in none other than the West. The West is the birthplace of the Logos; the Logos is itself in the “evening land”, Hesper, Abendland. This was more or less obvious for the cultural ethnocentrism of the Greeks. It was the core of the Romans’ legal and political self-consciousness, and it became the axis of ecumenism. Then it was incarnated in the concept of universal progress in modernity. It remains the main driving force of the processes of globalization.

Husserl spoke of “European humanity” as a philosophical quintessence of the human as such. Heidegger directly and explicitly equated philosophy with Europe.

The West is the telos of earthly space just as the present is the telos of the past. Thus, “modern” philosophy can only be Western philosophy, and just as the present is the essence of the past, so is the Western the essence of the non-Western. Between nunc and hic there is thus present a direct analogy: time (the historial, or Karl Jaspers’ axial time) convenes in the “now” and space in the “here”, interpreted as “here in the West.” And in precisely the same way that the past is conceived as the not-yet-present, so is the non-Western (for example, the eastern) thought of as the not-yet-Western.

This Western European, spatio-teleological character of the contemporal moment is conceptualized much less distinctly than the historial and the structures of the history of philosophy. Unlike the paramount discipline that is philosophy which deals with the deconstruction of time, spatial correctives and schematizations are the prerogative of the applied, secondary, and even barely institutionalized sciences with weakly developed philosophical apparatuses, such as geopolitics or international relations. On a more serious level, only the first attempts have been made at relativizing the Eurocentrism of modern philosophy as such, as with Edward Said’s introduction of the notion of “orientalism” or the more foundational but not so generalized studies of cultural, social, and structural anthropology.

It is none other than the West for which the absolutization of time and radical tempo-centrism are characteristic. In reducing the historial to a structure, something constructed, and departing from the present, we automatically produce a concentric model of civilizational space in which the West is situated in the center and all the rest of humanity is in the periphery.

Just as attempting to read this or that philosopher in isolation from the historial (without deconstruction and, consequently, beyond the contemporal grille de la lecture) is today philosophical nonsense, the same status is held by all those attempts at substantiating the relevance of non-Western forms of philosophy  – in the best cases, they can be examined as extravaganza, and in the worst as obtrusive attempts by ignoramuses to force themselves upon a scientific problem on equal terms with the opinion of a scholar. What can a not-yet-Logos tell a Logos that the Logos itself does not know?

Thus we have ascertained the structure of the contemporal moment as analyzed from a temporal and spatial point of view.

Post-Modernity and distance

In the structure of post-modern philosophy, the historial is subject to steadfast analysis, and at times this attention is so detailed that the spatial aspect and characteristic Eurocentrism of Western philosophy also come into view. Combined with an anthropological approach, this yields definite preconditions for not only recognizing the structure of the observatory point as such, but also establishing a certain distance from it. The intensive reflections of post-Heideggerian (post-modern) philosophy on the nature of time, and the first glimpses into conceptualizing the spatial situation of contemporality bring us to an entirely new horizon and radically deeper level of philosophical self-reflection. What if the very observatory point from which we survey the history of philosophy, and from departing which we engage in deconstruction, is in turn nothing more than a “philosophical construct?” In other words, to what extent is the very idea of the teleology of the present moment qualified, and as follows, is tempo-centrism justified? Is the historial that serves us as a reliable tool for interpreting philosophy in turn an ephemeral and non-historical paradigm projected into the present which is not cumulative-teleological (regarding content), but arbitrary or arranged in accordance with a mechanism different from the vector of “axial time?” Finally, is the West the “only place” of the Logos, the zone towards which converge the rays of consciousness, or is this only one of many spatial receptacles of thinking alongside others? Does this mean that Eurocentrism is justified at its heart, and does it not follow that we should look for other, uniquely fully-fledged and complete dialects of the Logos?

These suspicions, of course, are left in the periphery of the philosophy of Post-Modernity, in the shadow of more habitual, inertial trends which, although are enriched, detailed, and introspective procedures, perpetuate the “dogmatic” vector of classical Western rationalism. Post-Modernity usually justifies and substantiates itself with routine practices of the contemporal moment, but the post-modern attitude nevertheless makes such suspicions and conjectures wholly natural. This inspires among those most of all worried about the possibility of breaking with the traditions of Western Modernity rather natural concerns: will Post-Modernity not altogether lead to the liquidation of the fulcra of the Western European Logos as such? If distance from the contemporal moment itself might be, even if only theoretically, justifiable, then all the claims of Western European humanity to universality immediately crumble, and this means no more nor less than the collapse of the Logos. Heidegger clearly recognized this prospect and posited that, nonetheless, the West’s teleology and contemporal moment, exposed to nihilistic catastrophe, should and could be overcome only through this moment and only in the West. This proposal consisted not in retreating from the observatory point, but in deepening the bottomless of its fall in order to, in this dramatic collapse, discover the mystery of its meaning and soar up to thrust forth Another Beginning for philosophy. Heidegger deliberately interpreted the shadow unleashed by Post-Modernity as a refusal of the burden of the “difficult knowledge of nihilism.” The decline of Europe, according to Heidegger, is the decline of being itself, and it should be experienced as such.

In post-Heideggerian philosophy, Heidegger’s tragism and heroism were rather quickly adapted into the routine of the new methodology; the anti-technological call to recognize the bottomless nothingness of such in turn became a technology. But postmodernism, albeit vapid and dubious, perhaps even by virtue of its refusal to sink deeper into the dizzying passivity of desperate Heideggerian nihilism, and at the same time not being in any position to turn Dasein’s mode of existence into authenticity (denying the Decision, Entscheidung), nevertheless slightly opened up the possibility for a step in this direction. If the Logos of the West, as far as one can tell, did not accept the Heideggerian invitation to implode, to explode in its own night, then in the very least it dissipated into bits of postmodern miasma and prepared for the last figure of dissolution. The fixation of distance with regards to the moment of contemporality and the clear and intelligible understanding of its “arbitrariness” (in spatial and temporal senses) is already the fait accompli end of the West, its philosophical end. For those for whom the telos of the historial was the only permissible “lifeworld”, this meant the “end of everything.” But here is where the most significant aspect manifests itself: what if the historial, with its fundamental tempo-centrism and concomitant Eurocentrism, with the structure of its Logos and grating deconstruction/ontological destruction, is but one among numerous and equivalent possibilities for reasonably organizing the world? If this is so, then the finale experienced by Western philosophy is no more than an episode in a more complex and multipolar philosophical picture where there might be multiple observatory points and multiple understandings of time, space, and Logos.

Post-Modernity as a whole, of course, does not gravitate in this direction, remaining as it has under the wonted hypnosis of its Eurocentric contemporality, but the distance in question here becomes an open possibility with the dissipation of the European Logos. In Post-Modernity, the structures of this Logos become so blurred and scattered, so unintelligible and weak, that breaking with their suggestiveness turns out to be an extremely easy endeavor. That the strength of this Logos’ inertia is such that the clutch of its impact on the people of the West themselves does not let up even when the nature of rationality itself withers and dissipates in front of their very eyes – that is another matter altogether. The ends no longer come together and liberation from dogma leads to liberation from the process of liberation by virtue of which the subject itself evaporates – after all, Post-Modernity recognizes not only God, but man himself as an “apparatus of suppression”, a “repressive machine”, and thus the freedom of man transforms into freedom from man. This is the logical result. It is a paradox, but today higher humanism means dehumanization or transhumanization. Tragedy thus imperceptibly slips into farce.

Simply stepping away from the observatory point becomes a simple endeavor only for those capable of digressing from the residual hypnosis of the historial, which means that it is by no means simple. Nonetheless, the philosophical space for this has been prepared, and if the distance which we have been discussing is taken as the object of our heightened attention, then we can rather easily differentiate a spectrum of philosophical procedures with which we can feel out a different fulcrum or even a whole constellation of such fulcra in order to, departing from it/them, observe and subject the contemporal moment to deconstruction, thus demolishing the ponderability of temporal and spatial teleology, i.e., the Western Logos’ claims to exclusivity.

Hence the proposal to move in the direction of this new distance and new fulcra, and let the dead bury their dead.

The phenomenology of philosophy as a method

How can this distance be embodied in philosophical practice? Theoretically, the most principled manner is to escape the hypnosis of the contemporal moment, to calmly and with complete self-control refuse the pressure posed by both the historial (the trajectory of the history of philosophy towards the point at which we find ourselves on the scale of historical temporality) and Eurocentrism. To this end, philosophy can be seized through several strategies:

  • the phenomenological
  • the anthropological
  • the Traditionalist

Surely there are other ways by which to resolve this issue, but for now we limit ourselves to these three trajectories. Let us begin with phenomenology. The phenomenologist philosophers, setting before themselves the goal of clarifying the structure of the processes of logical thinking at the first stage, that preceding the engagement of properly logical (in the spirit of Aristotle) procedures of reasoning, transitioned from revealing the nature of intentionality (Brentano) to the concepts of noesis or noema and the “lifeworld” (Husserl). This line was picked up and developed in a particularly original manner by early Heidegger, as a result of which he arrived at Dasein. Phenomenology proposes that we focus our attention on studying the structures of thinking in their pre-logical phases, when consciousness “naively” and “uncritically” operates with its own “representations” (Vorstellungen), by substituting the objects themselves theoretically outside of the subject with the corresponding noema inhabiting consciousness. This logic is constructed upon ascertaining the obvious (evidential) ostensibility of the object, thus as a matter of course accomplishing the step of transcendentalizing. At the heart of this process lies phenomenality itself, on which consciousness usually does not fixate as it instantly flies above this level. However, in phenomenologists’ opinion, it is none other than this phenomenality which is the most authentic and evidential state, and all other procedures of consciousness, including rational logic, are built on top of such with a greater or lesser degree of self-reflection. Thus, in order to achieve a precise and scientifically credible tracing of the basic processes of gnosiology on which thinking, logic, philosophy and science are built, it is necessary to intentionally study the phenomenal level which affects all other stages, hiding under their complexity and thereby dimming clear representations of nature and basic trajectories of thought.

The phenomenological method has been borrowed by the most diverse humanitarian disciplines from sociology to anthropology and psychology. Everywhere where it has been employed, the point has been explaining the arrangement and mechanisms of those structures on a level lesser and more primordial than that of logical thinking. Heidegger constructed his existential analytics on this basis.

In the field of the history of religions, the phenomenological method was actively used by Henry Corbin, who argued that religious doctrines cannot be understood on the grounds of purely, rationally formulated theological dogma and doctrines or by ignoring the inner experience of religious life. It is precisely studying this experience, which may very well contradict our ideas about the structure of the real, possible, and actual, that only can and should construe more complex religious systems. If we ignore this “lifeworld” of the religious person, then our understanding of religious doctrine will be superficial and completely incorrect. After all, we would miss the main and most essential foundation, that upon which such doctrine is built and whose structures it produces (whether revealing or, on the contrary, veiling them). Therefore, Corbin, who studied Islamic mysticism and Iranian Shi’ism in particular, emphasized that in order to understand religion, one must learn to live it from within. Hence why, in some passages, Corbin, himself a Protestant, wrote “we, Shiites” and believed that without such methodological identification with the sphere under study, without such immersion into the phenomenology of religious experience, no reliable judgement concerning the religion under study is possible.

Franz Boas’ cultural anthropology and Claude Lévi-Strauss’ structural anthropology call for studying archaic societies in a similar manner. Archaic man lives in a phenomenal world qualitatively different from the one in which the man of European Modernity lives. They differ not only on the level of development of logical thinking (as the sociologist and ethnologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl tried to demonstrate), but in the profoundly different organization of the world of phenomena, including taxonomies, the allocation of basic entities, symmetries, and classifications. Lévi-Strauss argued that in archaic tribes and non-literate cultures we are dealing not with a pre-logical type of thinking, but with a different kind of logic that is no less developed than that of European people in Modernity, but is structured around different algorithms and thereby yields different results and gnosiological/ontological systems.

In sociology, an analogous method was employed by Husserl’s student, Alfred Schütz, who proposed to study society by abstracting oneself from the sum of our a priori knowledge of such and any notions of the purported “objectivity” of existing (non-existing) objects of the outside world and their autonomous significance. Different societies, in Schütz’s understanding, operate with different “lifeworld” structures; as follows, they construct different phenomenological systems which at the next stage determine their views of reality, whether internal, external, subjective, objective, etc. Analogous methods were applied by Harold Garfinkel, the founder of “ethnomethodology” who, like Schütz, focused his attention on the “horizons of everyday life” and “practices of everyday life.”

But here is what is interesting: phenomenology as such originally took shape as a philosophical current and was only later applied to other sciences – the phenomenological method was not applied to philosophy itself. Phenomenologist philosophers themselves based their theories on the contemporal moment and, moreover, considered phenomenology to be a more precise and reflective expression of contemporality itself. In its historical movement along the path of scientific process and with its increasing refinement of the methodology of its logical thinking, at one point “European humanity” (Husserl) began developing the sphere of philosophy not in breadth (extensively), but in depth (intensively). This was largely because the expansion of reason had reached its natural borders. This deeper plunge into reason itself is not a step back on the path of singular process in raising the general level of rationality, but a step forward allowing to make those spheres which had previously evaded the arranging and authority of logical procedures into objects of rational attention. Albeit with significant corrections, Heidegger’s philosophy was built in this vein. Philosophical phenomenology, thus, is not only not equivalent to the phenomenology of philosophy, but altogether does not imply the possibility of the latter.

Nevertheless, by making a reverse circle and moving through phenomenological sociology, anthropology, ethnology, and the phenomenology of religion, we can try to apply the phenomenological method to philosophy itself by employing a method opposite to that of deconstruction that reveals the structure of the historial. This is an invitation to perceive this or that philosophical system outside of the context of the history of philosophy, outside of the context of our knowledge about the structure of time, history, reality, the subject and object, and outside of ontology, which we have erected on the basis of the contemporal moment (whether consciously or by inertia). In other words, the phenomenology of philosophy offers the possibility of authentically experiencing the phenomenological basis at the hart of a concrete philosophical Logos, which is taken as a reliable contemporal moment only at a distance from the contemporal moment which constitutes the structure of our philosophical “I.” Thus, an anthropologist immerses himself in the life of an archaic tribe in order to understand its language, its senses, and beliefs from within this life itself, from the experience of being within the tribe, and not from the grounds of superficial comparison with terms, things, practices, meanings, and beliefs which he knows from his personal experience of belonging to modern Western civilization. Since Boas, and especially under the influence of Lévi-Strauss, only field studies grounded in the method of “participant observation”, empathy, and immersion in the phenomenology of the lifeworld of an archaic tribe are considered anthropologically credible. The phenomenology of philosophy should be constructed in a similar way: in order to understand how this or that philosopher thought, it is necessary to trace his thought from the lifeworld to the logical formulation of thought on the high level of logical expression. But this is possible only at a distance from the contemporal moment and its fundamental content, i.e., through the procedure of removing the philosophical identity of the phenomenologist of philosophy. In Heidegger we can see attempts at such a reading of the Greek philosophers and participative immersion into their lifeworld. But the historial in Heidegger supersedes this initiative in full measure, since assigning the pre-Socratics to the First Beginning, and Plato and Aristotle to the end of the First Beginning, forces one to place other relevant doctrines in consciously specified semantic contexts. Heidegger sees the “Greek” and “first beginning” elements in the pre-Socratics on the basis of his reconstruction of the history of philosophy, that is, through performing ontological destruction. Therefore, he also anxiously discarded everything among the Greeks that seemed to him to be “non-Greek” (eastern or oriental – which is clearly evident in his Greece travel journal). In the exact same way, he takes that which does not fall under the “first beginning” among the pre-Socratics (for example, some expressions from Anaximander’s fragments in the likes of the pair of terms γένεσις and φτορά) and attributes such to later contaminations [3]. Furthermore, everything in Platonism which does not fall under his understanding of “finiteness in the First Beginning” – which encompasses no more nor less than the whole scope of “open Platonism”, such as apophatism, the super-essence of the Good in the Republic and the One in Parmenides [4] – is subject to the same censuring. In any case, the level of Heidegger’s self-reflection was so high and transparent that his understanding of the contemporal moment is unprecedented in the profundity of his generalizations of the structure of this moment, which were the most penetrating and convincing (even if their formulation involved his resorting to a certain hermeneutical censorship), and his attempts to immerse himself in Ancient Greek thought were the most successful and authentic among all analogous initiatives.

The phenomenology of philosophy (unlike phenomenological philosophy) proposes that we completely opt out of hermeneutic procedures which presume some starting position (even as a basis for comparison). In clearly accounting for ourselves in the structure of the contemporal moment, in its modernist/postmodernist historial and its Eurocentrism, and in approaching a philosopher or philosophical school separated by time or space from this observatory point, we must effect a radical change in our phenomenological position; we must completely relocate ourselves to a new observatory point where the lifeworld of the person we are studying is situated and from which his ideas and contemplation came. If a philosopher says something about “eternity”, “heaven”, “immortality”, “God”, or “angels”, it follows that such should be understood not in terms of what we know about “time”, the “atmosphere”, the “vacuum”, the “death of God”, or the “naive ridiculousness of faith in angels”, but on the grounds of how this philosopher himself understood, lived, and perceived that of which he speaks. Any discourse on eternity from a human who credibly and absolutely knows (the contemporal moment) that there is no nor can there be any “eternity”, will be perceived either as an allegory, a hyper-exaggerated image, a metaphor, or as a sign without meaning, an empty set. In such a case, one lifeworld (the contemporal) is acting as a judge, prosecutor, and accuser (this is the original meaning of the Greek word διάβολος) of another lifeworld by denying it the right to defend its phenomenological grounds that are completely usurped by contemporaility. If we are capable of logically assessing the arbitrariness of such a loaded approach (explainable through the Nietzschean will to power or Heideggerian Gestell), then the distance from the contemporal moment will take shape on its own, and this means that we are breaking from it and acquiring the ability to embark on a genuine philosophical journey from one observatory point to another observatory point.

The anthropology of philosophy

The case of the anthropology of philosophy is almost the same as that of anthropology. The school of philosophical anthropology of Max Scheler, Arnold Gehlen, etc., took its roots from Kant’s remarks on the anthropological essence of thinking – which can be considered a new formulation of the sophist Protagoras’ maxim that “man is the measure of all things” – a standpoint which was embedded in the language of modernity. However, philosophical anthropology, as a typical product of the contemporal moment, has nothing in common with the anthropology of philosophy. The anthropology of philosophy proceeds from the plurality of human societies and the diversity of their structures as meaningful outside of any hierarchies or subordinations. Man is a plural phenomenon, anthropology (or at least new anthropology) argues, and the societies built by him reflect this essential plurality which can be studied by comparing them, but they cannot be categorically defined on a quantitative scale of primitive/superior, developed/underdeveloped, rational/irrational, savage/civilized, childishly naive/adultly serious and rigorous. A human belonging to a “primitive” (archaic) society and a human formed in a modern, highly-differentiated society (again, the contemporal moment) are both people in a full sense, and their differences are not amenable to hierarchization into greater/lesser, higher/lower, better/worse. It cannot be said that red is “better” than yellow or that savory is “tastier” than sweet, just as it is impossible to argue that larks are “more perfect” than foxes or whales “more perfect” than sharks. Anthropology draws attention to man as a matrix of the society he creates. Once the structure of a human is different, then societies will reflect these differences and repeatedly refract them in the play of reflections, shadows, and flares.

By applying this principle to philosophy – something which anthropologists and even philosophical anthropologists virtually never do – we acquire a myriad of contemporal moments containing historico-geographical (historico-cultural) positions proper to different philosophers, each of which moments should be studied in their internal logic, harmony, symmetry, and by placing the position of the scholar (and his contemporal moment) in brackets. This approach is the qualification of the anthropologist who studies different (archaic) societies and is obliged for the sake of such to operate with a maximally possible pure experience of understanding culture. At the same time, he must obviously, consciously forbid himself from permitting any projections of his own culture and any hierarchizations or hastily drawn systems of correspondences. But anthropologists deal mainly with cultures that are non-literate and have poorly developed systems of rational self-reflection (Lévy-Bruhl’s principle of “mystical complicity”). Myth, ritual, symbol, sacred rite, and initiation by definition deny transparent rationalization. Hence, the open (emphatic) position of anthropologists is considered here to be at once applicable and justified by the difficulty (or impossibility) of establishing precise correspondences between a rational set and set of para-rational (which does not mean “irrational” or “sub-rational” as were so convinced the 19th century evolutionist anthropologists before Boas and Lévy-Strauss). This principle has not been applied to philosophy insofar as it has been believed that transitioning to a rational system means leaving the sphere of the “para-rational” and the implicit (the mythological, symbolic, and mystical) and entering the sphere of universal self-reflection, where such anthropological operations become irrelevant. Thus, from an anthropological point of view, we are affirming a “measure of things” not simply of man, but of modern Western man, and we are assigning the philosophy which has guided this modern Western man the status of a universal algorithm allowing for the interpretation of all other philosophical systems, both non-modern and non-Western. In the study of archaic cultures, such anthropological suprematism (=cultural racism) was categorically rejected for humanistic, ethical, and scientific reasons. But in the sphere of philosophy, it has been implicitly preserved intact and not subjected to any critical reflection. The modern Western philosopher measures all philosophy (ancient and non-Western as well as modern Western) proceeding from the criteria of the absolute superiority of modern Western philosophy as the cumulative telos for all other systems. At the heart of this lies a mono-polar anthropology based in implicit racism.

At first glance, the impression might be had that applying anthropological methodology to philosophy takes us back to a state of naivety and contradicts the methodology of destruction/deconstruction. This is not so. Deconstruction might very well be an excellent propaedeutic for the anthropology of philosophy since it studies in detail the structure of the context in which this or that philosophical system was created or this or that philosopher thought. If we ignore deconstruction, we miss the most important point of language and the semantic structures of the grammatical field in which a particular philosophy is situated. But by including deconstruction as a method, we must simultaneously subject the contemporal moment itself to deconstruction, i.e., deconstruct that which produces deconstruction, which means once again standing at a distance from the observatory point. Deconstruction forbids naively reading a philosopher without indicating his context and semantic ties. This is the force and significance of deconstruction. But in establishing such context and such links, he who engages in deconstruction is in turn operating with the algorithm of the teleological historial which only allows one to order the field of a text. The historial itself is necessary for deconstruction, and the clearer it is realized, the more reliable the result of a deconstruction. But two positions are permissible to take with regards to the historial: one can be under its suggestive, interpretive influence, i.e., be under it, or one can take a certain distance in relation to it, and apply deconstructive reflection and a particular apperception to it. The second case is an invitation to stand above the historial or outside of it. By not curtailing deconstruction in favor of “new naivety”, and by in parallel with this deconstructing the one engaged in deconstructing, we reach the field of the anthropological method in philosophy. In exploring the philosophy of any philosopher and placing it in a well defined context (deconstruction), we should simultaneously perceive such as something open, excluding from our methodology everything that we know with regards to the future and the past vis-a-vis the observatory point in which the philosopher under study is situated. By knowing in advance the end of the play, we unwittingly apply this knowledge to its first acts. It is this which prevents us from genuinely enjoying the action and turns us from participants in the action into the audience or, in the best case, actors ourselves. What truly delights us is the acting of the actors who force us to forget about how the performance will end and who immerse us in the tension of the dramatic moment. Only in this moment, when we seriously begin to believe that the events in the spectacle might actually go quite differently from what we might know from having repeatedly read the script or seen the production, can we talk about any full effect accomplished. The theater becomes what it originally was – an action, a mystery, a transformative act. This is an open theater, a play whose outcome is known neither by the director, the actors, nor, of course, the viewers.

Applying this metaphor to philosophy, he who carries out deconstruction without deconstructing himself and his actions, can be likened to a person who knows the script well and, over the course of the spectacle, obsessively narrates to his neighbor what is happening and how it will end. Sometimes the skeptical and all-knowing expressions of the audience are enough to simply break the spell of theatrical magic. Such annoying companions are capable of nullifying all the drama of the production. Thus, the principle of the “open theater”, in which the content of the drama at its peak breaks away from the rigid frameworks of the script, can be applied to the open history of philosophy based on the anthropological method. If we knowingly rule out that a philosopher whom we are studying might mean something other than what we know of him in identifying his place in the paradigm of the historial, we render ourselves unfit for a real meeting with him. Yet for some reason we dare to describe this weakness of our own spirit as indicating superiority, greater universality of our position, or in accordance with the rules of ethnocentrism and cultural racism. In behaving so, we forbid ourselves from being surprised, and this means we make ourselves completely unfit for philosophy.

Conversely, in applying the anthropological principle to philosophy, we immediately find ourselves in a complex, saturated, and unpredictable world where surprise can seize us at every turn. This is the open philosophy of history, which a priori recognizes the anthropological dignity of all thinkers, none of whom are considered below us, our contemporal moment, or our observatory point regardless of whether it is modern and Western or non-modern and non-Western. The most consistent representatives of postmodern philosophy are moving in this direction as long as they do not stray from this path towards particularities, towards fascination with minor and obsessive details of liberation strategies which in one way or another retain an inertial connection to the arterial tendency of Modernity’s historial, that tendency which has exerted its teleological (anthropologically racist) influence on Post-Modernity in proposing liberation from the details, but remaining in slavery to the overall picture.

Untergang

Before moving on to Traditionalism as the third strategy for attaining distance from the contemporal moment, it is worth dwelling on how Martin Heidegger, the key figure in the clarification of the historial, understood the vector of time in its Seynsgeschichtliche dimension. Heidegger can be seen as a transitional element between those who recognized the indispensability of the contemporal moment in the spirit of Western European philosophy, and the Traditionalists who, on the contrary, as we will see a little later, offered their version of finding the desired distance. The fact is that Heidegger, recognizing the fatality of time confronting the present and the centrality of the West as the birthplace and place of development of the Logos, deciphered the trajectory of time as “descent”, Untergang, “decline”, “flight of the gods”, and as the “abandonment of being” (Seinsverlassenheit). Herein lies the fundamental difference between Heidegger and the majority of philosophers of Modernity and Post-Modernity who, on the contrary and as a rule, treated history as ascent, accumulation, discovery, and movement forwards and upwards. For Heidegger, the contemporal moment is the point of Midnight towards which we are heading from the evening. He decoded the history of philosophy as a process of descent, decline, concealment, immersion, and oblivion. Thus, his philosophy is profoundly tragic, and its eschatology is paradoxical, for at the moment of maximal darkness, Dasein is supposed to remember its Seyn-Being and decipher the pain of its absence as Gottesnacht, “the night of the gods”, as a call to realize Ereignis, “the Event.” Heidegger saw the telos in the moment of Midnight, in the very center of which the sacrament of Dasein switching its mode of existing from the inauthentic to the authentic must be accomplished.

Such a dualistic attitude towards the contemporal moment as a lower threshold, intended as the point from which begins (or should begin) the return, is, however, problematic, as such is not guaranteed. The return might not begin and, at any rate, such presupposes a perspective opposite to that of the historial which inspired Heidegger’s love for Greek thought and his striving to live and think it along with the very creators of the First Beginning of philosophy. Imagining himself as the one completing Seynsgeschichte, Heidegger felt a deep yearning for those who began such. Thus, distance from the contemporal moment was conquered in parallel to phenomenological destruction, without cancelling or replacing it.

The case of Heidegger is unique in many respects, but what interests us in this situation is that the Beginning of philosophy (from the first to the last phase with Plato and Aristotle) in his specific model of the historial is conceived as a philosophical chord followed by descent, Untergang, which leads to the present, and not vice versa as a “childish” and “long-overcome” phase of philosophy. In this regard, the Ancient Greeks and in particular the pre-Socratics are exalted to unattainable heights. As follows, comprehending them is possible only by degree of radically distancing ourselves from the present through the elevation, the “return”, the επιστροφή of the Neoplatonists.

Heidegger distinguishes the Untergang from those who realize themselves in it and see it for what it truly is – the Untergang. One can be simply fascinated by the flow of history, and one can clearly and penetratingly realize that the movement of the historial is a fall into the abyss. Those who recognize time as falling, Heidegger calls “the descending”, the Untergehende. They, unlike all others, descend consciously, clearly perceiving their endeavor without illusions or fears, although not without horror. For them, the Untergang is the Untergang; they see descent as descent, while all others, not being the “descending”, the Untergehenden, can feed themselves with illusions and methodically rise to the luring and guaranteed horizon of “progress.”

Such an interpretation of the historial as Untergang converges Heidegger with the Traditionalists, whose methods we will now examine.

Traditionalism

The philosophy of Traditionalism [5], otherwise termed Philosophia Perennis or “perennialism”, is of colossal significance to our topic. First established and formulated by René Guénon, this philosophy, as correctly noted by René Alleau, can be considered alongside Marxism the “most revolutionary trend in modern philosophy” [6]. If we approach Traditionalism with due scrutiny, we will soon realize that this comparison with Marxism, albeit paradoxical at first glance, is absolutely justified. The Traditionalists’ appraisal of values is, in a whole number of parameters, far more radical, revolutionary, and uncompromising than the ideas of Marx (as well as those of the other “philosophers of suspicion” among whom Nietzsche and Freud are usually numbered).

Of importance to us at the present moment is how Traditionalism helps establish distance with regards to the contemporal moment and, accordingly, why we have distinguished it as an independent strategy. The very structure of Traditionalist philosophy is in many respects close to that of Heidegger’s, insofar as historical time is understood as a downward movement, degradation, a path to the bottom. The Traditionalists extracted this from religious doctrines and myths (including even from the monotheistic religions), as well as from their analysis of the ontological transformations and changes in the state of the cosmos. However, unlike Heidegger, in Traditionalism the scale of degradation takes on a much more extensive scope and goes far beyond European philosophy. If for Heidegger history is the thread of the Logos stretched between the pre-Socratics and himself as an heir and eschatological figure of German classical philosophy, then for the Traditionalists this period is thought of as only one fragment of descent, of the Untergang, amidst more general and fundamental processes.

For Traditionalists, time itself is a fall, or more precisely, a downward spiral. It has ensnared not only the historical European societies known to us, but the entire destiny of mankind, including the societies of the East and those “mythical” epochs from which only the most hazy legends have remained with us (for example, the legends of Hyperborea and Atlantis). Thus, the contemporal moment is conceived by Traditionalists not as a peak or telos, but as a zone of extreme degradation, a lie, oblivion, and delusion. It is the end of the road to the abyss, the moment of reaching the bottom. Accordingly, the observatory point at which modern humanity (in the era of Modernity and Post-Modernity) stands is not the top of a mountain, but the bottom of the world pit from which nothing can be seen besides dark phantoms and unwieldy fantasies. We live in a world of philosophical hallucinations in which the worse we see, the more we flaunt our foresight. Guénon called this the “reign of quantity” and interpreted it as the critical low of spirit.

Accordingly, Traditionalism completely overturns all the proportions assimilated by default by the contemporal moment:

  1. The time in which we live is an era of total poverty and ignorance. If we base ourselves on its “credibility” and “evidences”, it is impossible to correctly decipher the present, let alone the past which was related to more perfect and authentic periods of history.
  2. The West is the cultural field of accelerated degeneration and decline which surpasses other (non-Western) cultures only in the speed of its fall into the abyss.

The distance in relation to the contemporal moment here is maximal: the West and Modernity are thought of as the worst, the sterile, useless, and false which cannot be taken as any kind of reference point for comprehending anything at all. Thus, modern Western philosophy and its axioms are the worst possible philosophy based on ignorance, a wrong decision in its very basic intellectual operations, and completely delusional with regards to nature, the structure of time, space, man, the world, the primordial, the logic of history, the structure of matter, etc. Modern philosophy is arrogant and lofty nonsense. The only way to break through to philosophy lies in absolutely transgressing the foundational paradigms of Modernity and completely overthrowing the dogmas of modern Western culture, science, values, and political and social systems. All of the West and Modernity’s claims to superiority over the past and non-Western societies are completely groundless and unfounded. The modern West is incapable of understanding even its own relatively recent history (the Middle Ages), not to mention Antiquity or the profound, genuine, authentic, and competent philosophies and systems of the East.

In this operation, the observatory point of modern “Western humanity” flies away, and something directly opposite to such is taken as the starting point: Antiquity and the East, which are genuine observatory points and not simulacra. We are proposed henceforth to think against the present and against the West. Thus unfolds a completely different philosophical map on which the vector of authenticity leads not to the contemporal moment, but away from it as if from a black hole, gathering all the more meaningful and enlightening rays the further it is removed from the “center of hell.” The less Western and modern, the more genuine and authentic, the Traditionalists argue. Insofar as degradation is not limited to the West, but has much larger scale boundaries, the distance from the “black point” of reference must be constantly increased. Everything that remotely resembles “modernity” and the West, even in distant periods of history or outside of the European context, must immediately be treated with suspicion. And if we encounter anything similar in philosophy, culture, politics, society, art, etc., then we should be especially careful, for we are likely dealing with things whose trajectory is sharp and rapid fall into the abyss. The West and modernity are the essence of evil, lies, a dead-end, darkness, madness, violence, suffering, and death. And everything that resembles this, even remotely, by virtue of this very fact is dubious, suspicious, and most likely dangerous.

If modernity denies eternity and invests being in the historial of becoming, this means that only eternity is and represents a reliable basis for understanding the nature of time. There is no vice versa. If modernity insists on space being isotropic, i.e., quantitative, then it is obvious that the truth should be the exact opposite, and the anisotropy and “natural places” of Aristotle determine the structures of “sacred geography” and the laws of climate and the elements. If modernity calls reason and corporeality the unquestionably and prime properties of man, then this is in itself sufficient reason to be sure that the body is insignificant and unbinding, nothing more than “leather garments”, and that reason is nothing more than an empty shadow that has accidentally fallen on the temporary surface from the rays of the true, divine, heavenly mind. If modernity proposes to correlate knowledge with experience, then experience as a measure of the authenticity of science should generally be excluded from consideration, for knowledge is realized through contemplation and based on intellectual intuition which grasps the eidetic essence of things rather than their dead shells and “husks.” And so on and so forth.

In other words, in Traditionalism we acquire an operational and fundamental weapon for realizing the most radical postmodernist strategy. No philosophy is capable of so fundamentally relativizing the contemporal moment and exploding the arrogant claims of Modernity and the West to universalism and the teleologicalness of their philosophy. For Traditionalists, the modern Western philosopher is a guaranteed ignoramus or senseless jester, if not a nihilist possessed by infracorporeal entities.

On the other hand, René Guénon’s follower, the Italian Traditionalist Julius Evola, upon developing this line in his book Ride the Tiger [7], came to a very interesting point: if we take eternity seriously, that is, as it was understood and experienced by the philosophers and thinkers of traditional society, then all the content of history should also, in some sense, exist forever and simultaneously. As follows in Evola’s development of this thought, “modernity” as we know it today, what we call the “contemporal moment”, i.e., “the West + Modernity”, should have been present at previous stages as well. In other words, the modern world and Tradition can be considered not in diachronic order, in which Modernity replaces Tradition over the course of degradation and descent, but synchronically, where they coexist with one another simultaneously, even in space. Thus, the forms of Tradition, the philosophy of Tradition, and the Logos of Tradition represent Heaven, and the forms of modernity the worlds of hell, the underworld, Hades, and Tartarus.

Man, as the cosmic mediator, is situated on the border between both worlds, between Tradition (above) and modernity (below). He is always straddling this border, eternally, in both the era of Tradition’s predominance, and in the periods in which modernity temporarily wins. In his eidetic, eternal dimension, man himself is this border, and the movement of his spirit, his thought, his ways and methods of philosophizing, outline the content of that which lies on either side. Through his choice of orientation, spiritual or corporeal, man constitutes the time, the epoch, the age in which he lives.

Thus, residing in the “dark age”, the Kali-Yuga, is neither a fatality, a punishment, nor something arbitrary, but the Night’s testing of the grain of eternity, of the divine center that comprises the essence of man. In other words, no matter how far away the Golden Age might be, a kernel of it remains within man as hope, as opportunity, as a fulcrum, which can always be found in refusing to unconditionally and fatalistically (or unconsciously) accept the conditions of the Iron Age. Time is an illusion. The historial is no more than a sign, a metaphor that can be deciphered in different ways and appealed to freely. We ourselves choose the time in which we live. And if man is born in the modern world and in the West’s zone of influence, this means that he is included in the profound plans of eternity, and this reflects his mission and fate. Modernity is in Tradition, and Tradition is in modernity. But in different sections of the vertical world, their proportions adjust to being polar: in Heaven (Tradition) there is only a drop of hell (the Biblical serpent that first appeared in paradise), and in hell there is a drop of Heaven. But this is enough to stretch a semantic thread of sacred history, or hiérohistoire (in Henry Corbin’s formulation) between these drops.

Thus, Traditionalism offers such a radical revolution in relation to the contemporal moment, which opens up not only the possibility of establishing the desired distance in one direction, but makes available a whole world of mountain peaks consisting of possible observatory points to be sought in Antiquity and in the East, in traditional society and in religious teachings, everywhere and among all, except the modern West and its philosophers. It bears admission that such an open and substantial philosophical perspective cannot but inspire. It proposes to discover what we ourselves have closed, to dive without skepticism and distrust of religion into ancient philosophy, mythology, traditions and beliefs, both those close (European) and distant (Asian). It is tantamount to a proposal to tear off the blindfold covering our eyes which, contrary to the assurances of false doctors, are fully capable of seeing the light and contemplating a world imbued with eidetic, sagacious rays.

We have thus prepared the basis for our further study into the structures and versions of the Logos. We have outlined what in our vision is the field upon which the main strategies of Noomachy, the wars of the mind, should take place. We have relativized the contemporal moment while leaving the possibility for periodically referencing it with the aim of clarifying its ontological content, its place in the overall construct of the different Logos worlds which we will explore along different axes – both vertical and horizontal, moving freely through times (eons) and spaces (layers of being).

In accord with Tradition, the primordial source, the quintessence, the center of all that is the Mind, the νοὖς of the Neoplatonists, the boddhi of the Buddhists, the Mind is eternal and contains everything at once. This means that it also contains us who think of it, and the world that has unfolded before It (before us) in the process of thinking about it. The world exists to the extent that it is conceived by the Mind. But the Mind, containing everything in itself, also encompasses contradictions, conflicts, falls, and descent. It contains modernity as well. Therefore, upon having rejected and undermined modernity at the very outset of our study, we must also find the latter’s rightful place in it. Truth can truly judge not only truth, but also lies, as well as that which lies between truth and lie: the opinion (δὸξα). Thus, the roots of war, tragedy, catastrophe, and problems must be sought within the Mind. In the Mind must be sought the meaning of the night of the gods and the secret of their flight that comprises the essence of modernity. But it is impossible to participate in the Mind and not be involved in the wars which It wages, which are waged within it. We cannot move towards the Logos and remain indifferent to its internal tensions, its splits and its amalgamations.

Philosophy is a mobilization to the front of the spirit. Resolute and irrevocable. We will devote ourselves and one another to such over the course of the unfolding of our book’s subject matter.

Footnotes:

[1] See paragraph six, “Die Aufgabe einer Destruktion der Geschichte der Ontologie”, in Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2006), p. 19.

[2] Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1967).

[3] Martin Heidegger, Holzwege (Frankfurt a. M.: Vittorio Klostermann, 1972), p. 296.

[4] See Aleksandr Dugin, V poiskakh temnogo Logosa (Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2013).

[5] See Aleksandr Dugin, Filosofiia traditsionalizma (Moscow: Arktogeya-tsentr, 2002).

[6] René Alleau, De Marx a Guénon: d’une critique «radicale» à une critique «principielle» de sociétés modernes in Les Dossiers H. René Guénon (Paris: L’Âge d’Homme), p. 193. 

[7] Julius Evola, Cavalcare la tigre: Orientamenti esistenziali per un’epoca di dissoluzione (Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 2008).

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Introduction: The Aims and Tasks of Noomakhia

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold 

Introduction to Noomakhia: Voiny uma – Tri Logosa: Apollon, Dionis, Kibela [Noomakhia: Wars of the Mind – Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele] (Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2014). 

The open triadic method

The Noomakhia series consists of five books written methodically and following an initial plan. This first book, Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele, represents the philosophical part which establishes and describes the method that lies at the heart of all of Noomakhia. A number of preliminary remarks should be expressed regarding this first book.

First of all, we consider Noomakhia, especially this first book, Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele, to be a continuation of another book: In Search of the Dark Logos [1]. We believe that this search has been initiated, but left unfinished, and, who knows, maybe it can never be finished. But it is important that we recognize the persistent need to continue it. As follows, the topics, plots, and trajectories designated in In Search of the Dark Logos will be further developed here in different directions, and perhaps with unexpected consequences. We propose to let the fundamental intuition which lies at the heart of this book unfold of its own will and freely, and we take upon ourselves the conscious risk of such leading to horizons and topoi which justifiably evoke fear and even horror. In this sense is conceived this open exposition, which reflects the landscapes grasped by the intellect over the course of active and free contemplation. We are moving forward in the “search for the dark logos.” And this is the goal. 

Secondly, we are presented with the vitally important question of retrieving Plato, Platonism, and Neoplatonism. We see in Plato not only a philosopher or founder of an individual school, i.e., a phenomenon to be considered alongside other philosophers and other schools, but we are convinced that Plato represents the focus of philosophy as such. He yields the very paradigm of philosophy which all other philosophers are left with comprehending or interpreting. But in order to fully recognize this approach, it is necessary to consciously embrace the standpoint of Platonism or some other philosophico-religious doctrine based on the ontology of eternity. The philosophy of New Time (modernity) dismantled eternity as a “dubious hypothesis”, as a “myth”, as a remnant of the “not-yet-scientific”, as an “archaic” style of thinking. It was replaced with the ontology of time – history, process, development, evolution, etc. In this case, Plato and Platonism came to be associated with a temporal point or moment, and all of Platonism’s theses were interpreted on the basis of the knowledge attained later over the course of the further shaping of philosophy. Therein, with the onset of New Time, Plato is treated like the discourse of children or teenagers – albeit genius, but limited. But everything is completely different if we treat Plato like his contemporaries or he himself did. If he spoke of eternity, god, and ideas, then we should live through and experience these ourselves – as eternity, gods, and ideas – without the smallest tint of conditionality or comedy. Is this possible? We will learn if this is possible only once we try to perceive Plato and Platonism directly, and if we become Platonists in the fullest sense of the word. Whether we will succeed in importing the dimension of eternity into the epochs of Modernity and Post-Modernity, which are explicitly and implicitly founded on the rejection of such, is an open question. In order to undertake such an attempt, it is necessary to accomplish a fundamental revolution in consciousness – a Platonist revolution. We can only approach Platonism, even purely theoretically, if we perceive such as absolute truth demanding our adaptation to it, and not its adaptation to our understanding. This is what we began in In Search of the Dark Logos, in the section “Open Platonism”, and we will continue this in the present work.

Thirdly, studying Platonism (by means of deep philosophical empathy, plunging into Platonism itself, and assimilating its elements) implores us to describe the structures of the light logos, the intellectual worlds of Apollo. This is necessary in order to more clearly understand the structures of the “dark logos” and their differences with those of the light logos. Along with this, as shown in our book In Search of the Dark Logos, we will encounter a number of philosophical plots, topics, and methods which allow us to advance the hypothesis that there exists an even more hidden “black logos”, the Logos of the Great Mother (Cybele), or “black philosophy.” The dark logos of Dionysus thus contrasts not only with the light logos of Apollo, but also with the black logos of Cybele. Thus, our goal is to further study into this black logos, this “third logos” which least of all resembles a logos itself, but rather “matter”, “space”, “autonomous corporeality”, the “insurgent void”, or even “madness.” Here we arrive at a very disturbing zone of ontology and gnosiology which, nonetheless, is up for decisive mastery and conceptualization within the framework of our overall philosophical program. This is the question of Dionysus and Cybele, their correspondences, differences, contrasts, and relation.

In the following four books of Noomakhia (The Logos of Europe: Mediterranean Civilization in Time and Space, Border Civilizations, On the Other Side of the West: Part I – The Indo-European Civilizations of Iran and India, and On the Other Side of the West: Part II – China, Japan, Africa, and Oceania) we will switch our study’s focus and transition to the subject of the horizontal multiplicity of logoi (whereas in this first part we focus on studying the vertical multiplicity). Over the course of our study, the following tasks will be accomplished.

We must decipher the correlation between the existential category of Dasein (Heidegger) and the multiplicity of cultures and their logoi. This requires constructing an existential structure for each concrete Dasein, clarifying the identity of each society we examine and the correspondence between this deep identity and the layers presented by each civilization’s logos – their ontological, or even better (if there is such), “fundamental-ontological” levels [2].

We will illustrate several examples of how existential structures are shaped into cultural complexes of philosophy, myths, metaphysics, rites, etc. in the context of large spaces with developed or, on the contrary, implicit self-reflection (on the basis of the large-scale reconstructions of ancient cultures in the works of Leo Frobenius, Oswald Spengler, George Dumézil, Mircea Eliade, Károly Kerényi, René Guénon, Julius Evola, and other theoreticians of the civilizational approach which offer broad generalizing models), or in the context of more narrow (spatial and historical) borders [3]. The aim is to demonstrate how the concrete historical logoi of this or that culture are built on the foundations of different existential structures and reflect distinguishing, original combinations of the elements of the three vertical logoi. At the same time, we will not restrict our aims to necessarily reducing the logoi of different civilizations to our earlier proposed triadic system of Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele. We are ready to, upon meeting different cultures, religions, and peoples, encounter the most unexpected combinations and variations which might confirm or deny our initial model of three logoi, correct it, or even, perhaps, refute it. We would least of all want to project a dry, deductive model onto the living and dynamic wealth of diverse cultures. We are ready to reconsider our method if it turns out inapplicable in this or that situation. And in such a case, we agree to restricting the reconstruction of this or that society, ethnos, or collective’s civilizational (horizontal) logos and presenting such as is (tel quel) without distorting our starting points. In this consists the openness of Noomakhia as a project. Setting off with our triadic approach based in Platonism (albeit freely interpreted and substantially re-conceptualized, especially with regards the problem of χώρα, “matter” and the feminine element in metaphysics, ontology and cosmology), we will attempt to construct a noological model for all the civilizations we examine. If this is successful, we will consolidate our original position; if this method requires revision and refinement, then we are ready to carry out such; if it turns out to be altogether inapplicable, then we are even ready to desist and proceed to search for a new one based in contemplating the nature and structure of the difficulties and obstacles which we might encounter.

On the “father of all”

The title of Noomakhia, which literally means “war of the mind” (Noomachy) [4] – and which can also be conceived of as “war within the mind”, “war of minds”, or even “war against the mind” – is intended to emphasize the conflictual nature of logoi structures as well as the multiplicity of noetic fields in each of which surprises, conflicts, aporias, struggles, contradictions, and opposition lie in wait for us. The field of thinking is the field of warfare [5]: thoughts wage ceaseless wars not only against phenomenality, matter, and their own reorganization into elements (whether existing or not is an open question), natural law, dispersion, non-structurality escaping the “control” of multiplicity, etc., but also against other types of thoughts, other thoughts, and the complex diversity of vertical and horizontal, noetic and noeric chains which permeate the reality of the world on different planes and different geometries. Wars between people, including even the most cruel and bloody, are but pale comparisons to the wars of the gods, titans, giants, elements, demons, and angels. And these, in turn, are but figures illustrating even more formidable and profound wars unfolding in the Mind, in the sphere of the Nous and its limits in which the Mind itself borders the zone of Madness. Thus, everything is Noomachy, even that which is bigger and came first of all – ϋπερπαντα. War, according to Heraclitus, is the father of all (πολεμος πατηρ παντων). Indeed, it is about this, the “father of all”, that Noomakhia is written.

[1] Dugin, A.G. V poiskakh temnogo Logosa. Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2013.

[2] The meaning of the Heideggerian term “fundamental-ontology” and its differences with the classical ontologies of Western European philosophy are described in our first book on Heidegger. See Dugin, Martin Heidegger: Filosofia Drugovo Nachala (Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2010), translated into English as Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning (Arlington: Radix/Washington Summit, 2014).

[3] Particularly applied to Russian culture, we already began such work in our second book on Heidegger, Martin Heidegger: Vozmozhnost’ russkoi filosofii (Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2011). This will be continued here in the third book, Border Civilizations, which is partly devoted to the Russian logos and particularly the sophiology and culture of the Silver Age.

[4] From the Greek words νοῦς (mind, spirit, intellect, cognition, thinking) and μαχία (war, battle, fight, struggle).

[5] The French poet Arthur Rimbaud justifiably wrote about this in his work Une Saison en Enfer  (“A Season in Hell”): Le combat spirituel est aussi brutal que la bataille d’hommes [“Spiritual combat is just as brutal as the battle of men”].

The Logos of Europe: Catastrophe and the Horizons of Another Beginning

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

From the journal Katehon, no. 2 (2016), pp. 13-27. 

 

Europe à la Dumézil

Modern European civilization is the historical continuation of Mediterranean civilization. The Indo-European element is predominant in this continuity, as the Indo-European tradition makes up Europe’s main linguistic and cultural matrix. If we recall Dumézil’s reconstruction of the trifunctional system here, then we immediately obtain a sociological map of Europe, the social structure of which is dominated by a constantly reproduced principle of three prevailing castes: priests, warriors, and producers. Indeed, we encounter none other than this stratification of European societies at the most different historical stages and under different names and titles.

The classic expression of this order was the ancient epoch of Mediterranean societies beginning with the Achaean conquests and Homeric Greece. Such a system was characteristic of Ancient Greece and Rome with the exception of periods of decline distinguished by a strengthening of the political positions of “urban dwellers”, who represented a mixture of higher castes with uprooted peasants that gave birth to a new type of merchant hitherto alien to classical Indo-European societies. This type of merchant could have taken shape through the degradation and materialization of the warrior caste (which Plato describes in his Republic as the phenomenon of timocracy), or from below through a specific deviation from social type on the part of former peasants or urban artisans. It cannot be ruled out that this was the result of influences that were altogether foreign to the Indo-European cultural circle, such as Phoenician or, more broadly, Semitic cultures, for whom trade was a widespread social occupation. In the city-states of Greece, “urban dwellers” and “citizens”, i.e., “townspeople”, formed a specific social milieu in which the three classical functions of Indo-European society found parodical manifestation. In the very least, this is what Aristotle presented in his Politics. The authority of king-priests (the sacred monarchy) transformed into tyranny. The domination of the warrior aristocracy gave way to domination by a financial oligarchy. The organic self-government of ethnically homogeneous and solidary communities (polity) became “democracy”, or the power of the sporadic and disparate crowd unified only by territory of urban residence.

Over the course of its rise, Rome restored the proportions of the Indo-European trifunctional hierarchy. However, periods of decline in the Roman Empire were characterized by similar phenomena of the rise of an undifferentiated urban majority. The spread of Christianity, which in and of itself is not a typically Indo-European cultural phenomenon, but rather bears essential features of the Semitic tradition, nevertheless spurred the rebirth of the Indo-European societies of the Greco-Roman world, the culmination of which became the European Middle Ages.

By the end of the Middle Ages, “civil society” once again raised its head, the role of the “trading caste” grew, and in the end the bourgeois Europe of England, Holland, and France finally set the normative democratic and social model. It is important that the main figure of this Europe of modernity is the bourgeois (the trader, entrepreneur, or businessman), who in classical Indo-European societies was either on the periphery or altogether absent. Detailed sociological analyses of the role and function of the bourgeois have been presented in the programmatic works of the famous European sociologists Max Weber [1] (in an apologetic spirit), and Werner Sombart [2] (from a critical standpoint).

Thus, according to Dumézil, modern Western-European civilization is Indo-European in its nature and initial structure, which means that it harbors at its core the trifunctional model. But modernity introduced into this structure and gradually established at its heart an element that is altogether genetically alien to Indo-European civilization and which conceptually conflicts with its classical matrix.

The decline of Europe à la Spengler, Danilevsky, and Sorokin

If Dumézil’s trifunctional analysis shows the divergence of the Europe of modernity from its Indo-European paradigm, then other authors practicing a civilizational approach – Spengler, Danilevsky, and Sorokin, etc. – are of the opinion that the cycle of European civilization has entered its stage of decline. The Romano-Germanic world, according to Danilevsky, is experiencing its old age, losing its vitality and energy, and is disintegrating into materiality and sensuality. Spengler, meanwhile, constructed his whole theory in order to substantiate the notion that the West’s Faustian spirit has led it to spiritual catastrophe, with the life of its culture fading away and being replaced by a purely technological and alienated civilization. Pitirim Sorokin, for his part, argued that Europe in modernity has reached the end of its sensual stage in the development of its sociocultural system and is on the edge of the abyss.

All of these testimonies suggest that the contemporary moment of European civilization (whatever the scope of such might be for different authors) is its terminal phase, an era of decrepitude, decline, degradation, and agony. This means that the European Logos is in the final third of its cyclical manifestation, on the opposite end from Europe’s childhood in Greco-Roman Antiquity and maturation in the European Middle Ages.

The desacralization of Europe (à la Guénon and Evola)

An even more brutal diagnosis of Europe of modernity was offered by the Traditionalists. According to Guénon, European Modernity has become an anti-civilization, an embodiment of all that is contrary to the spirit, Tradition, and sacrality. Secularization, humanism, naturalism, mechanism, and rationalism, in Guénon’s view, are the essential manifestations of the spirit of perversion which affects all societies, but which only in modern Europe acquired such absolute and complete embodiment and was elevated to the level of a norm and principle. Traditional societies also knew periods of degradation, but modern Europe has built an anti-society in the fullest sense of the word, in which all normal proportions are inverted: the divine, transcendental dimension has been rejected; religion has been pushed to the social periphery, and matter, quantity, ephemerality, sensuality, individualism, and egoism have been elevated as the highest values.

Guénon argues that everything still related to Tradition in Europe is not actually European, and can in more pure and full form be found among the peoples of the East. What is genuinely European is the fragmentation of Tradition, its distortion and perversion, and its reduction to a lower, human, and rational level. Guénon treats the West literally, as the land where the sun of spirituality disappears and where onsets the “night of the gods.” Nearly the same assessment of modern Europe is present in Evola, who nonetheless believed that the European tradition that existed in Antiquity and the Middle Ages with its roots in the heroic era can still be restored, and that the West can be saved from the abyss into which it has been plunged by modernity.

The restoration of this heroic spirit of the West was Evola’s lifelong pursuit. But with regards to the Europe of modernity, Evola professed the most brutal and negative interpretations, believing that in this period we are dealing with an Anti-Europe with its ultimate degeneration and self-parody. Evola considered the bourgeoisie to be a decadent class, and democracy, rationalism, scientism, and humanism to be forms of a spiritual and socio-political disease.

Guénon and Evola both saw a completely and deeply desacralized Europe, but Evola hoped for the opportunity of resacralization, whereas Guénon thought such unlikely, thus predicting for Europe an imminent and inevitable death.

The gender index of modern Europe

Different authors diverge profoundly when it comes to determining the “gender index” of modern European civilization. On the one hand, according to Bachofen and Wirth’s logic, Europe is founded on patriarchy and patriarchal tendencies (Appolonianism, the domination of masculine rationality) which only increase in relation to gravitating away from ancient matriarchy. Modernity, in the form of rationalistic philosophy and science, at first glance confirms this assessment. Indeed, many philosophers of life have proceeded from this analysis (from Friedrich Nietzsche to Henri Bergson, Ludwig Klages, Max Scheler, Georg Simmel, Theobald Ziegler, Hermann Keyserlingi, etc.), thus calling for liberation from “paternal domination” in European culture. On the other hand, Julius Evola and some other thinkers, such as Otto Weininger, have pointed out that modernity elevated to the position of priority precisely such materialistic, sensual, and empirical values which are rather typical of the feminine cosmos. Evola therefore insisted on his thesis that we live in the age of the Kali-Yuga, in which the principles of “black womanhood”, chaos, confusion, and death, which correspond to the most negative aspects of the feminine element, are celebrated.

In this sense, Europe is the focal point of “black gynecocracy”, the kingdom of the goddess Kali where there is no place for the truly masculine and heroic element. If the origins of the European tradition lay, according to Evola, in the heroic masculine type, then European modernity is the direct antipode of this type. On this matter, however, theorists of civilization have expressed the most contradictory opinions.

Euro-optimism

All of these points of view are typical of those authors who tend to consider European civilization as one among multiple civilizations. Even those who define themselves as supporters of modern Europe (such as Toynbee or Huntington) posited that modernity is not simply the antithesis of the classical foundations of European culture, but one of the scenarios of its development. Therefore, they proposed to strengthen and defend Europe and its values in the spirit of moderate Western conservatism.

The vast majority of Europeans understand modernity completely differently, convinced as they are that Europe was the first to go the furthest along the only possible universal path of historical development, that European values are the best and universal, and therefore obligatory, that there is only one civilization – European – and that all the rest are the essence of half-baked-civilization, i.e., veiled barbarism or savagery, and that modernity promises a level of culture, philosophy, knowledge, technology, morality, law, economics, and socio-political development which fundamentally surpasses not only all the historical stages of non-European societies, but also everything that Europe was before. They treat the origins of European civilization itself positively only insofar as they have led to “blessed modernity”, whereas otherwise such are, compared to modernity, something imperfect, naive, or useless long since overcome by modernity, which features all the best and has rejected and overcome all the worse.

For this official worldview of the modern West, appealing to European antiquity or non-European societies makes no sense, insofar as the truth is contained in the present moment of Western (American-European) history that has developed in the vanguard of all of humanity. This truth must necessarily tomorrow become more perfect and complete than it is today. This theory of progress – even though it has been discarded to a considerable extent by the intellectual, philosophical, and humanitarian elite of the West over the past century – remains the dominant myth of Western politics, Western mass culture, Western economics, Western education, and the ordinary worldview of Western man.

The initial structure of the Mediterranean Logos: The radical victory of Apollo

Now let us relate these models of evaluating modern Western-European civilization to the structure of the three Logoi of Noomachy. But first we should consider one important fact. Mediterranean civilization, which modern Western civilization is and believes itself to be the continuation of, had not only a Greco-Roman and not only an Indo-European (if we consider the barbaric tribes of medieval Western Europe) character. Even the Greek Logos initially comprised Semitic-Phoenician influences, and the ethnocultural origin of the Middle Eastern cults of the Great Mother remains an open question. We have seen that Herman Wirth traced matriarchy back to proto-Indo-European roots with their center in the North Atlantic. According to Frobenius, this (thalasso-oceanic) cultural circle, with an emphasis on the number four, the symbolism of space, and matriarchy, represents the antithesis of the Indo-European civilizational style which considers the sun feminine and the month masculine. Spengler (and Frobenius) traced the Indo-European cultural code back to patriarchic Turan, while Evola saw patriarchal heroism as at the origin of European classics. In any case, Semitic influence and matriarchal motives can (contrary to Herman Wirth’s view) be considered a factor foreign to the normative European cultural code. This is indirectly confirmed by the teachings of the Gnostics who identified the “evil demiurge” as the Jewish God of the Old Testament. The followers of the Gnostic Basilides, who called for overcoming the demiurgical prison, said of themselves: “We are not Jews anymore, bot not yet Hellenes.”[3]

The spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, with the incorporation of the Old Testament as the most important theological component of the new religion, undoubtedly increased the impact of Semitic culture on the European context, although the scope and depth of this Semitic element’s influence can be evaluated variously. In the very least, at an early stage in the Christianization of the Roman Empire and in the Middle Ages, this element did not manifest itself so actively and vividly, as the foundation of Christian society came to be formed by Hellenic philosophy and Roman legal culture, which continued the main line of Indo-European civilization.

Overall, we can envision the cycle of the Western Logos as running from the beginning of the second millennium B.C. (the Achaean invasion of the Mediterranean) to the 2000’s A.D., i.e., to our time, which makes up approximately 4,000 years. It is only natural that over this enormous historical period, the Logos of Mediterranean civilization, even in its Indo-European dimension, changed many times. Nonetheless, some parameters have been preserved unchanged, or transformed along the trajectories peculiar to this civilization – Indo-European and Mediterranean on one end, and modern Western (Western-European) on the other.

We can say that here we are dealing with two polar sections of Noomachy: beginning and end. The same can be said about other civilizations, with which we will deal one by one. Here we are interested in Europe from its origins to the present moment.

There is no doubt that the harbingers of the primordial (Achaean) culture and their related Indo-European tribes in the West (Italy) and East (Anatolia) of the Mediterranean were vivid representatives of the trifunctional ideology, the civilization of the heroic type and masculine, patriarchal, sacred, and warrior-like society. It can be said that their Logos was primarily the light Logos, and Apollo (or his prototypes) and Zeus acted as its main personification in myth. This was heavenly Uranic philosophy dominated by the vertical, a series of male symbols, and diaeretic diurnal regime (according to Gilbert Durand). Therefore, we should presume an Apollonian element to be in the foundations and starting accord of Mediterranean civilization. This was not a result of evolution or the product of external influence. The ancestors of the Ancient Greeks who arrived in this area were (according to Guénon and Evola) bearers of the solar Hyperborean cultural circle. At the very least, this solar Logos was the axis of the political and caste elite of Mediterranean civilization, i.e., its two higher castes – priests and warriors. The domination of the light Logos also affected those of the third function who, with Hellenization, absorbed the structures of Olympic-Uranic ideology.

But the Achaeans did not arrive in an empty place. This zone was once inhabited by peoples with a different culture and ideology (the Pelasgians, Minoans, etc.). This culture was most likely arranged in accordance with a matriarchal cultural code, the manifestations of which we meet in the Logos of Cybele and later epochs.

Bachofen, Wirth, and Frobenius’ studies clearly showed that the very same Mediterranean area was once a cultural field dominated by the structures of the Great Mother. Therefore, the Indo-European, Achaean, Apollonian, and patriarchal Logos asserted its dominance in a space with a hitherto matriarchal-structured culture. The resulting collision between these two Logoi – the Logos of the Apollonian newcomers and the Logos of the matriarchal indigenous ones – i.e., this specific episode of Noomachy, concluded with the full and unreserved triumph of the Logos of Apollo. Mediterranean culture, as a matrix of European culture, was first and foremost, in an external sense, originally and fundamentally a culture of the light Logos. It can be said that Pythagoreanism and Platonism were moments of a conservative revolution, when the intellectual elite of the Hellenic world realized the need to systematize, classify, and “encyclopedicize” its fundamental code. But this Apollonian/Platonic cultural code was dominant and prevalent long before Pythagoras and Plato, being as it was the fundamental constant of this whole civilization as such, from the beginning to the end (that is, to its present state).

Mediterranean civilization was thus founded as the institution of the irreversible Olympic victory of the gods over the titans, of Apollo and Zeus over the creatures of the Great Mother, the light Logos over the black Logos, the world of ideas over a tract of space (χώρα).

In this situation, it is crucial to locate the intermediate Logos – the dark Logos of Dionysus. In the radical victory of Apollo over Rhea-Cybele, Apollo over Python, Olympus over Ortiz, and the gods over the titans, Dionysus was comprehended as a figure who stood on the side of the gods. Through him is channeled the communication between the ontological, teleological, cosmological, and gnoseological top and the ontological, teleological, cosmological, and gnoseological bottom – but on the conditions of the top. Apollo’s domination in Mediterranean civilization determined the fate of Dionysus as well. He was conceptualized as a ray of heaven pointing towards earth and hell, as the beloved son of Olympian Zeus, as the sun descending into night. Hence the very choice of this god’s gender. While androgynous by virtue of his intermediate position, he is thought of as a male god, as a Groom and Savior. His trajectory is from there to here; he is the witness of the gods and a god among gods.

The Logos of Dionysus is the matrix of warriors and peasants. Hence his Indian campaign and accompanying vegetable cults. But his war and his agrarian cults are connected not to material efforts and workdays, but with game and holiday. He is the god of the mysteries which serve to raise the earthly, bring it up to the heavenly, and open up for the mortal the path to eternity. Apollo embodies the divine order that does not know chaos. He is the god of kings and priests, a god who does not tolerate impurity or compromise. He is the god of the upper horizon. He does not bring things to order, he is order.

Dionysus descends to chaos, ready to deal with what is imperfect, but he translates chaos into order, perfects the imperfect. His role in the Mediterranean civilization of the light Logos is also bright, although qualitatively darker than Apollo.

Dionysus acts as the guide for the second and even more so for the third caste of Indo-European society, as well as women who find themselves on the periphery of the patriarchal system, but who through the cult of Dionysus are integrated into the entire civilizational fabric.

Such is the initial and fundamental structure of Noomachy for the Mediterranean region (in its Hellenistic, and then Greco-Roman and Western European version). Such is the primary component of the Logos of Mediterranean civilization – it is dominated by Apollo; Cybele is completely subordinate to and suppressed by it; and Dionysus, fulfilling communication between the top and bottom of the noetic and cosmological topography, transmits mostly eidetic rays from heaven to the masses of the earth and the creatures inhabiting it.

Three views on the fate of the West

The starting accord of Mediterranean civilization predetermined the basic proportions of its historical being up to the present time. Therefore, when we speak of the “decline of Europe”, or the crisis of Western civilization, we consciously or unconsciously have in mind the crisis of the light Logos, the tragedy of Apollo. This is altogether explicitly discussed by Julius Evola, but something analogous was undoubtedly had in mind by all those other authors who have given Western civilization such a fatal diagnosis. Whether freely or instinctively, in speaking about the crisis of the West we mean the crisis of the Apollonian West, the West which we know from Antiquity and the Middle Ages. This is Apollo being mourned by those recording the catastrophe of modern Western culture.

If this is so, then the final episode of the historical cycle of Mediterranean civilization should be considered the “departure of Apollo”, his “withdrawal”, “disappearance”, or “flight.” In this case, the starting point of Mediterranean civilization is the radical moment of Apollo’s victory over Cybele, and the final point is the one in which we find ourselves now with the weakening of Apollo, the fall of Apollo, the end of his reign. The enigmatic myths about the impending end of Zeus’ reign, which are related in particular to the tales of his swallowing of the female titan Metis and the birth of Athena, might be directly related to this. The end of Western civilization is the end of the rule of the light Logos of Apollo.

Thus, from the standpoint of the Logos of Apollo itself, this history is one of downward movement with higher and lower points. The high point is the beginning of Mediterranean culture, and the lowest is the current state of Western civilization. If we imagine this scheme more naturalistically, then in the first phase (the second millennium B.C.) we have an earlier stage, that of the childhood of Apollo, from the middle of the first millennium B.C. to the Middle Ages of Europe, where we have the maturity of Apollo (coinciding with the peak of Platonism), and the enfeeblement and degeneration of the light Logos in the rationalism of modernity up to the irrational agony of Postmodernity.

But if we now follow the same trajectory from the standpoint of the black Logos of Cybele, the picture turns out to be entirely different. The starting point is the subordination of the feminine to the masculine, so for the Logos of Cybele this Apollonian start is not really its own. The Logos of Cybele dates back to the distant pre-Indo-European past or to non-Indo-European, adjacent fields, such as the Egyptian or Semitic ones (if we restrict ourselves to the Mediterranean). Therefore, Cybele sees Apollo’s invasion as an episode that is quite recent in comparison to the deep, underground time of the Great Mother. She admits defeat in Titanomachy and Gigantomachy and mourns her children who fell at the hands of the Olympians. As Apollo’s power weakens, she is gradually liberated, the titans’ wounds are healed, and they slowly begin to make their way up to the Earth’s surface.

The first of the titans to rise to Olympus is Prometheus. This titan seeks to imitate the gods, to share his chthonic wisdom with them, and borrow their sacred skills of rule. For the Great Mother, time is progress, and this is wholly justified insofar as the titans’ strength grows in relation to the weakening of the gods. Modernity (“New Time”) is their time. By “progress” can be understood only the progress of chthonic and hypochthonic forces, the liberation of the ancient powers imprisoned in Tartarus. This is the revanche on Mount Othrys, the counterattack of the giants on the Phlegraean fields. This is the humanism of Modernity. The end of Western civilization, and the drift towards this end is, for chthonic forces, true development, becoming, progress, and the nearing of long-awaited triumph.

On the other hand, the finale of such progress might be the “kingdom of the woman.”[4] This coincides with the Hindu tradition’s definition of the present time as the Kali-Yuga, the kingdom of the black goddess Kali. The Sibylline Books [5] contain a prophecy which specifically relates to Western civilization:

And thereupon [6] 

Shall the whole world be governed by the hands

Of a woman

and obedient everywhere.

Then when a widow shall o’er all the world

Gain the rule, and cast in the mighty sea

Both gold and silver, also brass and iron [7]

Of short lived men into the deep shall cast,

Then all the elements shall be bereft

Of order, when the God who dwells on high

Shall roll the heaven, even as a scroll is rolled;

100 And to the mighty earth and sea shall fall

The entire multiform sky; and there shall flow

A tireless cataract of raging fire,

And it shall burn the land, and burn the sea,

And heavenly sky, and night, and day, and melt

Creation itself together and pick out

What is pure. No more laughing spheres of light,

Nor night, nor dawn, nor many days of care,

Nor spring, nor winter, nor the summer-time,

Nor autumn. And then of the mighty God

The judgment midway in a mighty age

Shall come, when all these things shall come to pass. [8] 

Those for whom Western civilization is not in crisis simply do not belong to it by and large. They are not the voice of Western civilization, but the voice of the black Logos. Today only a non-European can be a Euro-optimist.

Now as for Dionysus. How does he see the fate of the West today? Everything is more complicated here. The zone of Dionysus, his kingdom, is located between the light Logos of Dionysus [sic – Apollo? – J.A.] and the black Logos of Cybele. He is identical to himself both in heaven and on earth – he is close to both natures: divine and human. Dionysus understands the logic of both patriarchy and matriarchy. But in Mediterranean culture, as we have seen, Dionysus turns out to be integrated into the model of Apollonian order and is the distributor of this order to the chthonic levels of being. Dionysus is the Savior, the Initiator. His place is in the army of gods. He has his own scores to settle with the titans, who tear him apart. The fate of Dionysus in the West is inseparable from that of Apollo. Therefore, in following this line, he also perceives modernity as “dark times”, and shares the fate of all the other Olympian gods. In this sense, we can speak of a “flight of Dionysus” (this god’s escape appears repeatedly in, for example, the story of Lycurgus, when he plunges into the sea).

However, Dionysus is not so rigidly bound to Apollo. In the Apollonian kingdom, he acts as the Son of the Father, but if we look at him from the other position, then he can be seen as the Son of the Mother. His link to Cybele, who is recovering from madness, opens from the other side. Here we are approaching a very complex and obviously even dangerous topic that can be formulated as “Dionysus and his double.” [9] The dark Logos which brings light to all those areas of the world which Apollo’s sun does not penetrate, can at “twilight” acquire disturbing traits. In these “twilights” (Wagner’s “twilight of the gods”, Nietzsche’s “twilight of the idols”, or Evola’s “twilight of the heroes”), he can be perceived as a “titan.” After all, Heraclitus said in fragment 15: “Hades is the same as Dionysus.”[10] The meaning of the Logos of Dionysus is that it is “not the same.” But the similarity remains…This is related to the “shadows of Dionysus” [11] and the ambiguity of certain decadent “Dionysian” themes which Gilbert Durand distinguishes in Postmodernity as characteristic attributes [12]. Hence Julius Evola’s apprehension regarding the figure of Dionysus and his endowment of Dionysian civilization with decadent traits that lead to the iron age (the Kali-Yuga). Here we can also recall Guénon’s idea of the “great parody” and “opening of the egg of the world from below”, as well as his warnings against the particular danger posed by certain sacred traditions which emphasize the intermediate cosmic level and are capable of discovering their destructive potential in the critical era of the end of the cycle.[13] 

In this sense is important what we have said concerning the field of Dionysus in Mediterranean civilization and his fate. In the Great Mother’s view, this field is up for questioning, as in the case of the “male” half of the female androgynous Agdistis. Or it can change altogether, and instead of Dionysus the Savior can arise the image of the “Savioress” [14]. This is “another Dionysus”, a non-European one, not the one whom we know from the classical era of history. This is an “other Dionysus”, “proto-Dionysus”, or “post-Dionysus.”

If for solar Dionysus the decline of Europe is this civilization’s midnight followed by a new dawn – the “return of Dionysus” – then for his chthonic double it is the attainment of a secret goal, the center of hell, and the aim is to fix time in its infernal climax, thus making hell eternal and everlasting.

In this case, unlike the straightforward and catastrophic view of the light Logos and the progressive titanism of the black Logos, the relationship of the dark Logos of Dionysus to modern Western (Western-European) culture becomes highly ambiguous, as it is based on the complex operation of the “differentiation of Dionysii.”

 

Footnotes:

[1] Weber, M. Protestanskaiia etika i dukh kapitalizma. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. Moscow: Progress, 1991. 

[2] Sombart, W. Burzhua. Moscow: Nauka, 1994. 

[3] Dugin, A. V poiskakh temnogo Logosa. Moscow: Akademicheskii Proekt, 2013. 

[4] The Christian apocalypse describes this with the symbol of the Babylonian harlot, the  “purple woman.”

[5] Knigi Sivill (Sobranie pesen-prorochestv, napisannykh neizvestnymi avtorami II v. do n.e.-IV v.n.e. Moscow: Engima, 1996.

[6] After the coming of the titan Beliar. 

[7] This is a clear allusion to the four ages of gold, silver, bronze, and iron, which end with the “kingdom of the woman.”

[8] Dugin produces his own translation and reproduces (in this footnote) for comparison the translation by M. Vitkovskaya and V. Vitkovsky found in Knigi Sivill, op. cit., pp. 50.  The English translation provided here is from “The Sybilline Oracles” translated by Milton S. Terry in 1899 and published by sacred-texts.com in December 2001, lines 90-111. 

[9] Dugin, A. Radikalnyi subekt i ego dubl. Moscow: Evraziiskoe Dvizhenie, 2009. 

[10] English Heraclitus translation from heraclitusfragments.com 

[11] Maffessoli, M. L’Ombre de Dionysos, contribution à une sociologie de l’orgie. Paris: Méridiens-Klincksieck, 1985. 

[12] Durand, G., Figures mythiques et visages de l’œuvre . De la mythocritique à la mythanalyse. Paris: Berg International, 1979. 

[13] It is in this sense that Guénon describes the degradation of the Egyptian tradition, some of the currents of which he calls “perverted Hermetism.”

[14] The theory of a “female messiah” can be found in the Jewish sect of Jacob Frank, who influenced a whole number of mystical organizations in Europe in the 18-20th centuries. See Novak, Ch. Jacob Frank: Le faux Messie. Paris: l’Harmattan, 2012. 

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission.