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Thoughts Personal & Superpersonal (Excerpt)

Jean Delville, "Prometheus," 1907

Jean Delville, “Prometheus,” 1907

2,005 words

Edited by Kerry Bolton

No European can ever know the price, quality, and intensity of the love which a colonial brings to the history and the works of the Western culture. No matter how sensitive he is by nature, no matter how high the cultural-historical focus to which he contain and hold, the European—and I have in mind such beings as Goethe, Fichte, Carlyle, and Leonardo—must of necessity take many things for granted. The houses, the streets, the society, the universal diffusion of culture—he grows up in this atmosphere, having nothing with which to contrast it. Not only concepts, but feelings also, form themselves by polarity. Hence it is that weak heads in Europe—like Lafayette, Ortega, Keyserling, the English plutocracy of the 20th century, Ferrero, Santayana, Croce—not being able, through complete lack of imagination, to compare Europe with that outside, fail utterly to realize the rarity and exquisiteness that are Europe. They lack the sense of value. This sense is born, but it can be sharpened and intensified by privation. Thus it is that the colonial—when he does have the sense of value and the hypersensitivity that have always characterized higher Europeans, from Hohenstaufen to Hitler, has a heightened love of everything European which arises almost to the pathological. For him every paving stone, every street, every European human type, every place that has been a focus of Destiny, even in the most recent items, has a magic force.

***

A new type of love and affection can even arise in the colonial who returns o the soil of his spiritual origins. He can experience warm feelings even for those individuals and types which would be repellent for him according to his personal taste, but who are clothed also with their quantum of the magic which bathes everything European. He can love a person as a product and a part of Europe. Such a feeling is of necessity unknown to the native European.

***

On the other side there is a lack of feeling in the colonial: Owing to his generalized love of the entire organism, he may be unable to feel the inner poles, the inner discord of the Culture. In the 19th century, both Washington Irving and Emerson evinced this lack. In the age of Absolute Politics, this lack is no defect, but an asset. Absolute Politics means politics between a Culture and extra-Cultural forces. This struggle for power is unmitigated, unconscious, the total Culture against the totality without. To such a struggle, the colonial brings the true, synthetic, creative feeling; for him the Culture is a perfect unity, while for the natives, the memories of past discords linger: Versailles versus Potsdam, Habsburg versus Bourbon, Socialism versus Capitalism.

***

In one word: for the colonial who is capable of creative and appreciative feelings, the Culture is Religion. Culture embraces the totality: the soul of the organism, every event in its life, every product of its soul, every possibility it still contains of creation. Religion is the form of all awakening creative life; it is creation, it is youth. Religion is the formulation of the deepest feelings of harmony, which turn themselves into the truths in the process of developing.

***

The feeling of Culture-as-Religion is the interim religion of Europe. It is itself a highly refined autumnal product of the culture. It is the last but one of the religious phases of the Culture. It is a bridge, from the larger standpoint, over the debris of critical-atheist-materialism of the age of Rationalism, connecting the Gothic origins to the Gothic future. But for those of us who live at this period, its moment is a life. This is our religion, and if any religion in all the history of High Cultures was ever exclusive, it becomes almost popular compared to this. How many souls can make of the materials of history and skepticism a profound and divine world-outlook? They are counted in Europe in hundreds.

***

Perhaps there are a few souls in Europe who feel within them the religious imperative of the future. Unlikely, but possible, just as Nietzsche and Carlyle were utterly improbable in the desert of mechanistic criticism that was the 19th century. If so, they are the summit of the religious pyramid of Europe. Beneath them is the stratum of our precious and strong interim religion, making out of skepticism a Faith, and out of History a sacred philosophy. Beneath this is the great mass of the population which is still, in the religion of the 19th century, that grotesque materialization of the spiritual, profanation of divine, mechanizing of the organism and insolent disrespect to the Awful and the Unknowable. This god-killing mockery took two forms, in Europe, Christian-social politics, and in America, compulsory social entertainment in the Sunday meeting-houses. These forms it still, has, and this is today what calls itself religion in the Western Civilization. Below this stratum in the religious pyramid—not in any absolute spiritual sense, but only in a chronological sense—is the Jesuit level, the plane that regards religion as a matter of knowledge, formula, law, and in case of doubt, of authority. This is simply the Counter-Reformation, and includes members of both sides of that era. Below this is the Reformation level. Still today in Germany there are many, and elsewhere there are some who have remained permanently in the Lutheran stage. To that they attained in their personal forming, and there they stay. Below them—are there any left who feel the old, pure, monastic religiousness of the pre-Renaissance period of true religion? Yes, there must be, although they are not to be found in the offices of the church, wearing the purple, or engaging themselves to the hilt in those banking operations which constitute religious administration today. They would be in some monastery, in an isolated rural district, the plains of the Romagna, or the Spanish Sierras. This type simply, could not survive in a city. But these, together with those others of problematical existence, the religionists of the 21st and 22nd centuries, are the only true religionists in Europe; for these two groups—and for them alone—religion is directed to the transcendent, it knows and loves the Unknowable, it personalizes the impersonal, it cares for the indifferent.

***

For the other aspect of our interim religion is that the object of its tremendous feelings is unworthy of it. God and the Gods are still asleep, still in the deep slumber into which the Counter-Reformation lulled them. For when Western man introduced militarism and politics into religion, he expelled God and the Gods. Religion is the window of the Culture looking out into the cosmos, and when the culture becomes obsessed with the surface of the earth, that window is closed. But it is only the cosmos—the entirety of all things, organic, inorganic, man, culture, and meaning—that is the proper object of religion. Culture is not worthy. But there is nothing else; the divine aspect of the cosmos—god and the gods—cannot be violently reawakened. It is slowly awakening, but not for us, for those who come 2 or 3 generations after us. Every religion has its mysteries, its idiom, and even its painful point. This is ours, that our religion takes the form of a yearning which sees its satisfaction beyond its grasp, that the last perfection of religious feeling is forever denied us, moving across our dark golden-brown autumnal bridge of culture-religion, bathed in the dying light of the second twilight of our superpersonal Western life.

***

Just as every religion has its point of unbearable sensitivity, so does it have its peculiar joys. The joy of our religion is precisely in is radical aristocracy. If only a few are capable of complete skepsis, fewer still can make a faith of their skepticism.

***

But it is precisely this that is the organic necessity for those who will to be the creators, and, like the historicists that we are, we know and love this necessity.

***

The present is the point of tension between the past and the future. This fertile insight is the source of another of the heightened joys that are reserved for us believing skeptics: while all other religious feelings whatever, present anywhere in the West are directed to the past—or toward the future—we alone are the present, the noon. One can labor for the future, dream it, build for it, deliver it—but not live in it. Thus ours is the religion of the times. All others belong to the blind and the inferior.

***

Our further joy: we know the coming religious forms, but after they have come and taken up their sway, those in their service will no longer know them, but will be in them and surrounded by them. What to them will be the totality is only to us one more item of knowledge. We know their world, and they will not know it.

***

We are thus Classical and Romantic in one. We are the synthesis of everything past, the prefiguration of everything future, we are the highest attainable point of the Western free spirituality. Classical: ours is the religion of the Age; Romantic: the active side of our religion is a labor and a yearning for the future, an affirmation, a conservation, a love and a yearning for our Past.

***

Our religious interregnum, alone of all the religious phases of our culture, will have no descendants. Jesuitry, Enlightenment, Atheism—a certain form of physiological inferiority—all will continue to have some form of existence at related two centuries from now. But the felling of Culture-as-Religion will have disappeared then, and it will leave no memory, for the possibility of seeing things our way will have disappeared. The other religions all represented possibilities more widely diffused in human nature than the possibility of skepticism. Think of Frederick Hohenstaufen, alone of the ice-cold skeptical height which was his dwelling place. Think of Socinus, who had not the courage of his skepticism and lapsed into vulgar belief. Ours is thus a great collective loneliness. We have no ancestors on this plane, for no previous High Culture ever had our archaeological tendency which alone is the source of our intense historicism. We shall have no descendants— as far as we can see. Once more—our uniqueness.

***

Never before has a superpersonal feeling so completely subjugated the world to such a profound and total knowledge. We are thus the highest form of which Culture-man has ever attained, since Culture-man is the creature who knows. We know that knowledge is not knowledge, that it is belief, and in our knowledge we believe, we will to believe, we are impelled to believe. We know that words destroy thoughts, and thus we leave the formulae and the words to the believers without faith, retaining for ourselves, the devout skeptics, the thoughts with words.

***

Skeptical historicism is at once the greatest affirmation and the greatest negation. It is thus capable of the most extravagate creation and of the most complete destruction. It combines delicacy and barbarism, Crusades and Rococo. It is the synthesis of all the ideas and mores of the Culture.

***

An example: the tasks of our time are frankly irreligious tasks. No religionist of any older variety is equal to them; the true religionists of the future are not yet here, nor will they interest themselves. We skeptics alone can bring to them the necessary religious zeal, for all older religions are stifled in logic and mechanism. Our feeling alone is once more pure; ours is the clean slate, the primitive chaos side by side with over-refined urbane intellectuality. But this purity is itself true religion.

***

If the Inscrutable permits the West to fulfil itself, we shall undertake such projects, erect such structures, create such a State, and hew such deeds, that our remote descendants, hearing the legends of our race, and gazing at its remains in walls and monuments, will tell their children that once a race of Supermen dwelt on earth.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Masterful, and another reason why it is of critical importance to contribute to counter-currents, each and every month.

    Thank you.

  2. Just Captain
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Great to read Francis Parker Yockey as always.
    By the way Jean Delville (though a great painter) was a freemason.
    I try to avoid him like the plague.

  3. Michael O'Meara
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    “Thus it is that the colonial—when he does have the sense of value and the hypersensitivity that have always characterized higher Europeans, from Hohenstaufen to Hitler, has a heightened love of everything European which arises almost to the pathological. For him every paving stone, every street, every European human type, every place that has been a focus of Destiny, even in the most recent items, has a magic force.”

    I lived two years in Germany (as a soldier, then a factory worker) and then a decade later I lived nearly four years in Paris (as a Ph.D. candidate). I lack Yockey’s sensitivity and culture. But I too, even as a young Bolshevik, felt the same religious awe for the Father Culture.

    Only discovering these writings years later — in Kerry’s original xeroxed reproductions of them — did I begin to understand this awe (as something other than an alternative to America’s primitive Anglo-Protestant culture). Every anti-system oppositionist needs to discover this awe in himself if he wants to know what we are truly fighting for and why it matters.

    Thanks are due to Kerry Bolton for rescuing these writings from certain oblivion and to Greg for deciding to publish them. I await the hardcopy, which will put C-C Publishing on the world map.

  4. Harry in PA
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I get that “White” (call it European if you like) culture is by far the highest. Every non-white is in a rage-like envy of white nations and with a rabid desire to enter white nations wherever on earth they may be found proves their hunger for the products of “whiteness.”

    Beyond this, for me, this essay is impenetrable.

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