NOOMAKHIA: GEOSOPHY – The Horizons of Cultures: The Geography of Logoi

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 1 of Noomakhia: Wars of the Mind – Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations
(Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

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The Horizons of Cultures: The Geography of Logoi

Virtually all of the books of the Noomakhia series are dedicated to what might be called “Geosophy” or “plural anthropology.”

In the first volume of Noomakhia, The Three Logoi [1], we offered a most general representation of the Three Logoi as three basic paradigms within the framework of which one can interpret the semantic structures of any culture and civilization. In the very least, we have proceed from precisely such a possibility as our initial position, allowing for the possibility of this tripartite reading in each and every society with numerous overlaps and combinations. As we proceed to examine different civilizations, we are faced with either accepting the conviction that such an approach, upon which all of Noomakhia is based, is indeed competent or, upon encountering insurmountable obstacles, recognizing the limited applicability of this noological methodology. The triplicity of the fundamental Logoi constitutes the essence of Noomakhia, and we will pursue this in the most diverse historical, religious, and social contexts. The main substance  which we understand by the “Three Logoi” described in the first volume will be further refined as we examine the most diverse civilizations and cultures, first and foremost the Hellenic and Byzantine, where the corresponding figures of Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele attained their clearest and most generalized expression. We have taken the latter to be a universal structural template, a paradigm. Thus, the two volumes of Noomakhia dedicated to the Greeks are of great importance to any correct and complete understanding of the foundational paradigms on which our study is based.

In the present work, we will examine yet another aspect of the plurality of Logoi. In the first book, we described – in the most general contours and primarily based on the example of the Hellenic cultural circle which determined the destiny of Western Europe for the last two and a half millennia – the structure of the three fundamental paradigms of thinking corresponding to three types of philosophy, religion, mythology, ritual, symbolism, gnoseology, ontology, and anthropology. The three paradigms which we distinguished – those of Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele – can be considered the main constituent moments of the vertical topography. In our point of view, these three paradigms comprehensively exhaust all the possible variations of the concretization of the Mind (Νοῦς) in the Logos and logological structures. Although we limited ourselves to the Hellenic zone, it is theoretically possible to arrive at an analogous model on the basis of other cultural templates, be they developed and detailed like Indian and Chinese philosophy, or altogether archaic, such as in the case of shamanic complexes or the most elementary mythological systems.

This vertical topography of the Three Logoi can be envisioned as a perpendicular angle constructed upon and penetrating each geographical (or, more precisely, geocultural and geosophical) zone of the world. Every cultural space (cultural-historical type, civilization) by definition can possess Apollonian, Dionysian, or Cybelean dimensions as three dimensions of  its (cultural) space, i.e., height (the Light Logos), breadth (the Dark Logos) and depth (the Black Logos). We say “can”, for this does not mean that each of these Logoi will necessarily be present, much less predominate. The diversity of cultures and societies on earth lies in that every culture and every society presents its own kind of projection of the three vertical Logoi in different proportions and different relations. One of the Logoi might dominate in one place while the others remain in a virtual state; elsewhere, the picture can be more complex. The Three Empires of the Logoi are projected onto each culture not only in terms of this geometrical schema, but always also from different angles, just as one and the same projected image can, taking into consideration different folds, curvatures, breaks, dips, etc., yield different shapes on different surfaces. When reflected upon the sea, the sun’s rays are transformed from straight lines into curved lines, and their constancy gives way to a rhythmically repetitive sinusoid. Light disappears on a dark surface; it is reflected in a mirror, and so on. If we add to this understanding the fact that cultural fields are not strictly horizontal with relation to noetic topography, but are reflected at certain angles which differ from culture to culture, then we can appreciate and estimate just how diverse and multidimensional cultural geography can be, just how multifaceted the field of geosophy is, and, as follows, we can appreciate the richness of anthropological pluralism. The very identification of the presence of three Logoi and the discernment of the dramatic war between their Empires fundamentally enriches our understanding of the structures of the Mind, imparting vital and intense volume. Taking into account the diversity of the projections onto the horizontal plane of human cultures which these Logoi and Noomakhia can yield, turns the whole picture into a grand panorama of qualitative intellectual plurality, a fertile and substantive pluriversum.

In the first book of Noomakhia, we primarily busied ourselves with the vertical symmetries and oppositions of noology, as well as the philosophies and mythologies which express such. Now we shall transition to horizontal symmetries and approach the study of the diversity of the Logoi among civilizations and cultures. In the following books of Noomakhia, we intend to present a number of developed illustrations of how the Logoi independently and distinctly manifest themselves in the most different civilizations, both those close to Europe and those distant. This qualitatively complicates the overall picture of noology. We will see how, in addition to or beyond the war between the Three Empires, the oppositions and conflicts between these Empires are projected onto the horizontal plane, as well as the internal polycentrism and historical dynamics inherent to these projections. This will explain many aspects of inter-civilizational relations and inter-cultural ties, but still the resultant field of geosophy will present itself as an extremely complex model, even in its mere static structure, without taking into account temporal (whether cyclical or unilinear) dynamics. Taking into consideration the dynamic changes in cultural systems which are organized along primordially different lines and represent a field of intense battle between the Three Noetic Empires, promises to transform history, philosophy, religious studies, anthropology and cultural studies into such a complex picture, simultaneously containing such a multiplicity of layers and levels, that it should come as no surprise why no one has undertaken such before. After all, the hands of the most courageous and resolute scholar can waiver in the face of such an abundance of materials and the sheer quantity of relevant factors. Thus, all previous undertakings which, no matter what, pursued something similar, will be made all the more valuable to us.

Yet the horizontality discussed in this volume of Noomakhia is such only in correlation with the verticality of the model of the Three Logoi. Horizontality in itself is multidimensional and polycentric. It harbors not only the static layers of culture that are discernible independently of time and which constitute the structure of permanent identity, but also historical dynamics, over the course of which the very proportions of relations between these layers dialectically change. Thus, in each and every civilization (culture), we must inscribe history into the unchanging synchronic model of identity, as well as situate space in the structure of civilizational time. On this matter, Martin Heidegger posed the followed fundamental question in his Ponderings (The Black Notebooks):

Не является ли пространство временем народа?

Ist das auch der Raum als die Zeit für ein «Volk»?

Is that also space as time for a “people”?

Пространство и время не нечто рядоположенное, что было бы «дано», но прорыв и начало бытия, которое должно быть отвоёвано.

Raum und Ziet nicht das Nebeneinander, das es so «gibt», sondern Ausbruch und Anbruch des Seins, das ersrtitten warden muss.

Space and time not the juxtaposed, which is simply “given,” but instead the opening and upsurge of being, which must be striven for. [2]

Heidegger’s use of the two words Ausbruch and Anbruch is important as a formula for expressing being in both space and time. Both are formed by the common root brechen, that is “to smash”, “to sever”, “to break through”, “to split.” Space corresponds to the Ausbruch of being (Sein or Seyn), and time is the Anbruch of being (Sein or Seyn). Ausbruch can be interpreted as an “invasion”, “breakthrough”, “acute unfolding”, or “upsurge.” Being unfolds as space (living space, the space of the people) and thereby “surges” into existence, making it present. Time begins the being of Anbruch, that is “opening”, “revelation”, “discovery.” Space and time therefore form a common, but differentiated horizon of ontology based on a fundamental trauma – that of the “breaking”, “splitting”, the “glaringness of the abyss”, of the “primordial differential.” The Romanian philosopher Lucian Blaga called this the “divine differential” that lies at the heart of the cosmogonic act [3]. It is on these grounds that Blaga based his analysis of cultural and epistemological forms which he interpreted through the analysis of spatial and temporal horizons.[4]

Time and space, that is to say the dynamism and stasis and of every culture, together compose the intertwined edges of a common semantic horizon which we conceptualize as a horizon only by force of the fact that we are examining it in light of the noological vertical of the Three Logoi. In and of itself, a “horizon” is not flat, but simultaneously contains several dimensions – both spatial and temporal.

Therefore, we can envision the structure of this horizontal topography which is of priority interest to us in this work as a spatial-temporal whole. If we evaluate it from the synchronic perspective, then it can be seen as qualitative space or “living space” (Lebensraum a la Friedrich Ratzel [5]), i.e., a field which harbors events and meanings (Raumsinn or “spatial meaning” [6]) The discipline of Geopolitics as it developed over the 19th and 20th centuries was founded on this principle, yet this view can also be detected – indeed, like virtually everything else – in ancient Hellenistic culture, especially in the Neoplatonists and above all in Proclus.

If we approach this horizon from a diachronic point of view, then we will have to deal with the phenomenon of “history” in the form of a chronological sequence strung out along a semantic axis. History here opens up as a semantic sequence. Heidegger called this understanding of history “onto-history”, Seynsgeschichte.[7] Proceeding from this Hedeiggerian methodology, a closely related concept was proposed by the French philosopher and historian of religions Henry Corbin, who coined the notion of l’historial, or “existential-semantic time”.[8] Insofar as here we are dealing with a semantic chain, the diachronic order of unfolding cannot be free from the structure predetermining it, which in a religious context is usually referred to as “Providence” or “Predestination.” In the historial, everything is determined by the structure, which dictates not so much events themselves as the uniqueness of their interpretation (and, further, their tripartite significance, if we evoke the Three Logoi). The present volume of Noomakhia is devoted to substantiating this methodology. In this study, the phenomenon of culture or civilization is put at the center of attention as the most precise expression of a horizon. The highest form of this refinement is what we call a “Logos of Civilization”, or “Horizontal Logos” (insofar as such represents a shaped and reflected expression of the horizon itself).

The plurality of Daseins

The boundaries and characteristic signposts of different cultural spaces or civilizations can be defined in terms of the most diverse criteria which ultimately yield different results. We should clarify that we do not draw a terminological distinction between “culture” and “civilization”, unless otherwise specifically stipulated, in the spirit of that proposed by Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) [9]. Insofar as there exist many definitions of culture and civilization and many authors who study such, we cannot rely on any established unambiguity in definitions, interpretations, and theoretical generalizations. Therefore, we shall explain right away just which rules we intend to be guided by in the composition of our geosophical map.

First of all, we naturally do not claim to present any complete and detailed description of the Logoi of all different cultures, which is even theoretically impossible. The examples which we have taken for examination are rather arbitrary and are evoked only to illustrate the general approach to the plurality of Logoi which we have developed over the course of Noomakhia. For this reason in some cultures and societies we have chosen only that which interests us as a priority and that which most explicitly resonates with the three Logoi that we have distinguished. We consider the very notion of a “cultural Logos” or “Logos of a given culture”, i.e., the Logos of a people, religion, society, or civilization, to be a projection of the three universal (vertical) Logoi onto a given horizon (whose complex nature we have hitherto emphasized). Thus, the Horizontal Logos (the Logos of Civilization) is unpacked into three vertical, noological vectors. In other words, every concrete culture is a most complex code consisting of three fundamental elements.

Secondly, between all the different criteria for “culture” and intellectual expression, we primarily aspire to emphasize and take into consideration the existential dimension. Such a conceptualization is founded on the theory of the plurality of Daseins which we have outlined in our other works, first and foremost those dealing with Martin Heidegger [10]. This means that we believe that the basic, phenomenological level of the “thinking presence” of man in the world differs in its deepest roots, and this difference is the foundation upon which the structures of culture, society, philosophy, politics, knowledge, science, and art are built. We consider the Dasein of each civilization, in its approach to death, to be unique, and it is this existential plurality that determines differences in secondary significations and configurations.

Dasein is the root structure of man’s presence in the world, the fundamental backdrop of his existence. Although Heidegger himself, as befits a true European, was ethnocentric and believed the fate of Western European civilization to be the fate of all of humanity and the European Logos to be the universal Logos, we can nevertheless attempt to isolate Heidegger’s deep insight into the essence of the existential roots of man, taken as “thinking presence” (Dasein), from such claims to universality. In such a case, we acquire the concept of the plurality of Daseins as several existential poles corresponding to the nomenclature of civilizations. Consequently, we have the following picture:

I. At the heart of every civilization lies a special “thinking presence”, Dasein.

II. This “thinking presence”, Dasein, determines the structure of a given civilization’s Logos, that is to say it lies at the basis of the metaphysics which can subsequently be built upon the root structure of the Dasein.

III. The “thinking presence” of Dasein is responsible for both the basic structure of the Logos that is a result of its unfolding as well as this Logos’ transformation over the course of the whole cycle of a civilization’s historical being. We can see this in Heidegger’s analysis of the onto-history, Seynsgeschichte, of Western civilization, as well as in Henry Corbin’s concept of the historial [11].

IV. The plurality of “thinking presences” can be postulated both outside of a concrete civilization (as an other Dasein), as well as, with certain nuances, within it. Accordingly, in Mediterranean civilization, Hellenic, Roman, as well as Egyptian, Semitic, Chaldean, and Anatolian poles were all present, as are Germanic, Celtic, Latin, and other poles present within European civilization. Each of these poles can be analyzed on the basis of its existentials.

V. From the point of view of Noomakhia, the Logos of a given civilization (even in the form of its own inter-civilizational versions) can be subjected to spectral analysis with the aim of identifying the proportions between the three fundamental types of noology – the Logos of Apollo, the Logos of Dionysus, and the Logos of Cybele – the proportions of which can, theoretically, differ in any possible manner within any given civilization.

VI. Hypothesis: The differences in the concrete spectral structure of the Logoi of civilizations must be rooted in the differences of their root foundations, the “thinking presence” of their Daseins.

VII. Thus, on the basis of an Heideggerianism that has been expanded in all directions, and on the basis of Hedeiggerianism’s experience of the “destruction” of Western European metaphysics and the Western European historial, we can develop a methodological foundation for building a plural anthropology and a geosophical map of civilizations, where the Logos of each civilization corresponds to a special Dasein.

On these grounds, we can correlate the model of Heidegger’s existential analysis of the history of the Western Logos with those of other philosophies and civilizations – not to accept such as universal, but with the aim of seeking those possible homologies or, on the contrary, differences which, by virtue of the developed state of studies on European civilization and the relatively underdeveloped state of other civilizational studies, might turn out to be extremely useful and substantive. We have already accomplished something of this sort in the book The Possibility of Russian Philosophy [12] where, in trying to apply the Dasein’s existentials to the Russian “thinking presence”, we developed an extremely substantive and impressive framework qualitatively differing from the one which Heidegger cited as the quality of the existentials of Dasein in Sein und Zeit [13].

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Thus, it has been revealed in practice that, when speaking of Dasein, Heidegger was in fact dealing with the European, Indo-European, Hellenic, Apollonian, and Germanic Dasein. The Russian Dasein looks significantly different, and it is completely obvious that the Russian Logos, when we try to reconstruct its main features, should also look completely different, for such explains to us the differences between civilizations and, indeed, justifies those intuitions as to the uniqueness and originality of Russian civilization advanced by the Slavophiles, Danilevsky, the Eurasianists, Spengler, and many other authors. It is only obvious that such differences should also be found in the existential structure of the “thinking presences” of other civilizations as well. Accordingly, the Heideggerian methodology for studying Dasein, ingeniously applied by Heidegger himself to his own civilization, can, given appropriate corrections and generalizations, be successfully applied to others (as the first approximation of the Russian Dasein has shown [14]).

The observant reader who has attentively read the first book of Noomakhia, The Three Logoi, could remark at this point: If we have correlated the philosophical phenomenology upon which Heidegger based his views of Dasein with the Logos of Dionysus, then would it really be justified for us to take precisely this Logos – as one of the vectors of the common noological map, as the intellectual jurisdiction of only one of the three Empires of the Mind) – to be the main quality of a cultural unit? This objection is well founded, but we would like respond to it thusly: The Logos of Dionysus to which phenomenology indeed corresponds, is in a certain sense intermediary between the two other poles of Noomakhia; therefore, we can correlate this Logos with the “middle world”, that is the horizontal section located strictly between the Logos of Apollo and the Logos of Cybele, between Heaven and Hell. Thus, we very well can begin precisely with this Logos as the phenomenological fixation of civilization (cultural space). This does not mean that, upon defining (however roughly) the zone of a concrete Dasein, we must stop there. On the contrary, we are faced with discerning the very structure of the correlation between the Three Logoi projected upon a given area, their balances and proportions. In other words, proceeding from an existential analysis, we will try to reconstruct both the Uranic (the Apollonian, the celestial) and the Chthonic (the maternal, the subterranean) dimensions of the cultures under examination. Of course, in some cases we will have to deviate from this application, such as if the Apollonian element or Cybelean Logos clearly predominate and clearly define the morphology of the Dasein. One example of this is the strictly Apollonian Iranian logos [15] or, conversely, the titanic Logos of the Semites [16], in which the intermediary, Dionysian dimension is weak, secondary, or derivative.

Thirdly, we do not wish to pass any final judgements regarding the scale which we have employed. We know some civilizations, such as the European and Russian, much better for a number of quite understandable reasons, hence logically follows our more detailed description of their particular points, such as our discernment in the field of European civilization multiple versions of this Dasein and their pronouncements in particular dimensions of the Dasein of the cultures of North and South America. We know much less about Asian and African cultures and the cultural circle of Oceania, so in examining them we have restricted ourselves to rather approximate generalizations, a point which concerns our own cultural limitations and does not reflect any simplicity or schematics of the cultural worlds under examination. In all of their regions, Asia, Africa, and Oceania present an astonishing ethnic, cultural, intellectual, and existential originality and a most wealthy plurality not only of shades, but also of colors, figures, thoughts, and theories.

The ensuing compilation of this map of geosophy can be continued in this direction to any and all points of the Earth’s space inhabited by people – among technologically developed cultures as well as among the archipelagoes of archaic societies, ethnoi, and tribes whose wealth, diversity, and originality were discerned by the new anthropology of the “cultural school” of Franz Boas, the “social school” of Bronisław Malinowski , and the “structural school” of Claude Lévi-Strauss.[17] 

Ethnocentra and Ethnocentrism

The notion of a connection between thinking and geography can be found among different peoples in Antiquity. Various ethnoi explained the extraordinary qualities of (as a rule, their own) cultures in terms of special geographical conditions. This is the subject of what in the 20th century came to be defined as the field of “sacred geography” and, in its more pragmatic application, Geopolitics [18]. The Ancient Chinese, for instance, were convinced that their country lies in the center of the world, and it is precisely on these grounds that the Chinese called their state the Middle Empire or Middle Kingdom. In the view of the Ancient Jews, Israel, the “promised land” is also to be found at the center of the world, with its center in Jerusalem. It is telling that, according to Judaism, Jerusalem is home to the gates leading both down below the earth, to Sheol, to hell, as well as up to Heaven, are located. The Greeks also placed the region of their Mediterranean resettlement at the center of the Earth, and Proclus argued that the people of Attica were, unlike the populations of the hotter and colder countries, predisposed towards philosophy by virtue of the influence of this temperate climate. The Ancient Persians were convinced that the territory of Iran (Iranshahr) stood at the center of the Earth. The name of the city Babylon meant “Gate of God” and thereby implied a chosen point in space through which the gods enter and exit, i.e., the middle place between the sky and the underworld. In the Temple of Apollo in Delphi to this day rests the Omphalos, the sacred stone whose location was held to determine the center of the world. In the Christian era, the Byzantines believed the center of the ecumene to be Constantinople, the New Rome with its spiritual center in the Hagia Sophia. In the Scandinavian Eddas we find the term Midgard, or “Middle Earth.” We also find such views among the Ancient Slavs, the Irish (who saw Ireland as the island at the center of Earth), the Japanese, and so on. These perspectives are religious reflections of what we propose to represent as the projection of the vertical noetic topography onto the horizontal. Every culture (civilization) conceives itself as being the middle plane in the vertical model of the three worlds. But this vertical centrality is valid for all points on Earth and, as follows, for all ethnoi and cultural zones and, according to the logic of the ethnocentrum, is affirmed along the horizontal plane in contrast to other surrounding, differing cultures and peoples (hence the phenomenon of “ethnocentrism”). This is in line with the stable mythological practice of placing the dwelling place of a people in the center of the horizontal space of Earth, a theme which we invariably encounter in the views expressed by both great civilizations as well as small and archaic tribes.

If in the vertical sense this topography can be recognized as justified, with the nuance that different cultural spaces (in different periods), while existing on one “physical” plane, can find themselves under the preeminent influence of one or another Logos which renders their common vertical “centrality” more differentiated (some contemporary civilizations may be located closer to the subterranean zones of the Great Mother, while others closer to the celestial worlds of the Apollonian Logos), then in the horizontal sense this gives rise to the problem of situational relativity. The center is defined as a special space endowed with special and unique characteristics in comparison (contrast) with those of surrounding territories. Thus, the question of the plurality of horizontal centers raises the problem of “cultural relativity”, or the plurality of ethnocentra. Every culture proceeds from the fact that it itself is in the center of the intellectual universe. Consequently, every culture is built upon the presumption of its own uniqueness, universality, and “singularity.” Its Logos and the less obvious Dasein at its heart are taken as a point of reference and paradigm. This is how the ethnocentrum is formed. Man believes the Logos of the ethnocentrum to which he relates (which is almost always his own ethnocentrum or, in some cases, the ethnocentrum which he believes to be normative, e.g. the “Europe” of Russian “Westernizers” or the “Europe” of Asian “globalists”) to be “universal”, “obvious,” “self-evident”, and the “best.”

Here we arrive at the main methodological quality of geosophy. In order to correctly interpret the structures of a given civilization (culture), we must deliberately, consciously refrain from projecting our own ethnocentric views. Here we should turn to the phenomenology of philosophy, deconstruction, and apperception to bracket our own “ethnocentrism” which leads us to believe that the methods and criteria for evaluating our own civilization are a universal scale for interpreting all other cultures. In contrast to the semantic structure of the ethnocentrum which structures space, and departing from its exceptionalism and implicit superiority, we must consciously allow for the plurality and qualitative equality of ethnocentra, we must recognize every ethnocentrum to have the right to its own cultural topography, and we must share this topography to the extent that we wish to conceptualize the roots of its existential structure.

One advocate of the phenomenological method in the history of religions, Henry Corbin, who devoted many years to the study of Shiism and its philosophy, in some of his texts arrived at a complete identification with the society he studied, even using the phrase “We, Shiites.” While himself a Protestant Christian by confession and a phenomenologist in the field of the comparative study of religions, Corbin recognized that studying another religion is fully possible only if one abstracts himself over the course of study from his own established dogmatic and confessional positions – otherwise, we will be left with a variety of apologetics and insistences on the universality of our ethnocentrum. However, this need not entail an irreversible change of confession and cultural code. Corbin himself remained a Christian even though in his studies of Shiism he adopted the positions of another ethnocentrum for the sake of fuller understanding, and as a result of which his works were rendered more weighty, authoritative, and foundational. The point is not to leave the zone of one ethnocentrum only to enter another, but to accomplish the process of transparent philosophical apperception, to conceptualize one’s “natural”, “historical” position as ethnocentric and, without departing from one’s loyalty to such, to recognize that other studied cultures are just as ethnocentric and just as well claim “universality”, “exclusivism”, and “obviousness” as our own.

We cannot abolish the ethnocentrum, for in such a case we would be left without any philosophical territory, without any place for situating ourselves and our study; we would be left outside of the phenomenon we are examining. The only solution is to consciously accept the plurality of ethnocentra as founded on the plurality of Daseins, to accept that each and every one is built on the implicit recognition of its own (and not someone else’s or any outsider’s) centrality and exclusivity. In order to break through to cultural codes, we must recognize their existential rules. If not, we will remain within the confines of our own ethnocentrum and will not be able to travel beyond it. Even if we decide to act strictly impartially, still the Dasein embedded deep inside us will make itself known, albeit indirectly. And if we attempt to uproot it without accepting a new one, then we will simply disappear as a “thinking presence.” All that remains is to enter ethnocentra by accepting their structures, while also preserving consciousness of the fact that we are dealing not with anything “universal”, but with “relative universality” – not with a universum, but a pluriversum, in which any “exclusivity” and “self-evidence” are in essence no more than established protocol necessitated for the sake of free intellectual movement throughout a given cultural zone.

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Footnotes: 

[1] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia: Wars of the Mind – The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele (Moscow: Academic Project, 2014)

[2] Martin Heidegger, Überlegungen II-VI (Schwarze Hefte 1931-1938) (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2014), p. 18. English translation from Martin Heidegger, Ponderings II-VI (Black Notebooks 1931-1938), translated by Richard Rojcewicz, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016), p. 14.

[3] Lucian Blaga, Les differentielles divines (Paris: Librairie du savoir, 1990).

[4] Lucian Blaga, Trilogie de la culture (Paris: Librairie du savoir, 1995); Ibidem, Trilogie de la connaissance (Paris: Libraire du savoir, 1992).

[5] Friedrich Ratzel, Anthropogeographie, Bd. 1-2 (Stuttgart: J. Engelhorn, 1882-1891).

[6] Friedrich Ratzel, Politische Geographie (Munich/Leipzig: R. Oldenbourg, 1897).

[7] Martin Heidegger, Geschichte des Seyns (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2012).

[8] Corbin employed the archaic French term historial in 1938 in his French translation of the fifth chapter of Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit to convey the difference between the German words historische (in French historique) and geschichtliche (historial). The first – historische or das Historische – denotes the totality of historical facts and their correlations, while the second – geschichtliche or das Geschichtliche (l’historial being the French substantive) bears the meanings of existence, fate, and predestination.

[9] Oswald Spengler, Zakat Evropy. Obraz i deistvitel’nost’ (Moscow: Nauka, 1993).

[10] Alexander Dugin, Martin HeideggerVozmozhnost’ russkoi filosofii [“The Possibility of Russian Philosophy”] (Moscow: Academic Project, 2012).

[11] Alexander Dugin, Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning (Moscow: Academic Project, 2010)/ (Arlington: Radix/Washington Summit Publishers, 2014).

[12] See footnote 10.

[13] Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer, 1972).

[14] See footnote 10.

[15] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Iranian Logos: The War of Light and the Culture of Awaiting (Moscow: Academic project, 2016).

[16] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Semites: The Monotheism of the Moon and the Gestalt of Baal (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016).

[17] Alexander Dugin, Etnosotsiologiia [“Ethnosociology”] (Moscow: Academic Project, 2011). Partially in English: Ethnos and Society (translated by Michael Millerman, London: Arktos, 2018). 

[18] Alexander Dugin, Geopolitika (Moscow: Academic Project, 2011).

 

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NOOMAKHIA: Wars of the Mind

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

“A philosophical-methodological introduction and companion to the Greater Noomakhia cycle

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TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

Part I: The Basic Concepts of Geosophy

Chapter 1: The Horizons of Cultures: The Geography of Logoi

Chapter 2: Deconstructing Eurocentrism

Chapter 3: Defining Civilizations

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 the Plans of Greater Noomakhia

Chapter 44: The Logos of Europe: A History of Rise 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: The Horizons of the Pacific

Conclusion

 

 

 

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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 Heidegger 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 Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Wars of the Mind – The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele (Moscow: Academic Project, 2014). 

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The Open Triadic Method

The Noomakhia series consists of five books written methodically and following an initial plan. This first book, The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele, represents the philosophical part which establishes and describes the methodology 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, The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele, to be the continuation of another book: In Search of the Dark Logos [1]. We believe that this search was initiated, but has been 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 this exposition conceived as open, as reflecting 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 rather 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 came to be treated like the discourse of children or teenagers – albeit genius, 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, immersion into Platonism itself, and the assimilation of 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 this black logos, this “third logos” which least of all resembles the 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 relations.

In the following four books of Noomakhia (The Logos of Europe: Mediterranean Civilization in Time and SpaceBorder CivilizationsBeyond the West: Part I – The Indo-European Civilizations of Iran and India, and Beyond the West: Part II – China, Japan, Africa, and Oceania) we will shift the focus of our study to transition to the subject of the horizontal multiplicity of Logoi (whereas in this first part we focus on studying their 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 (a la 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 correspondences 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 the cultural complexes of philosophy, myths, metaphysics, rites, etc., whether in the context of large spaces with developed or, conversely, implicit self-reflection (on the basis of the large-scale reconstructions of ancient cultures accomplished 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 who 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 distinct, 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 hitherto 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 least of all wish 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 one or another situation. And in such a case, we shall agree to restricting our reconstruction of this or that society, ethnos, or community’s civilizational (horizontal) Logos, and present it 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 on the basis of 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” or “War of the Intellect” (“Noomachy”, “War of the Nous) [4] – and which can also be conceived as “war within the mind”, “war of the minds”, or even “war against the mind” – is intended to emphasize the conflictual nature of Logological structures as well as the multiplicity of noetic fields, in each of which surprises, conflicts, aporias, struggles, contradictions, and oppositions lie in wait for us. The field of thinking is a 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 along different geometries. Wars between people, including even the most cruel and bloody, are but pale comparisons to the wars of the gods, the 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 Noomakhia, even that which is greater 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.

***

Footnotes:

[1] A.G. Dugin, In Search of the Dark Logos: Philosophico-Theological Outlines (Academic Project/Department of the Sociology of International Relations, Faculty of Sociology, Moscow State University: 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”].

 

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NOOMAKHIA: Wars of the Mind