Nature of the Beast: On Perils of the Study of Evil

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Mihai says:

    Great idea for a podcast.

    As people born within modernity we rarely ask ourselves what sort of TRANSFORMATIONS the natures of the things we study bring upon our own natures.
    It is typical in our day and age to view knowledge as something abstract as a sort of accumulation of external facts that have no influence upon our inner being.
    But the Patristic teaching on this- influenced by the earlier Aristotelian concept- says that knowledge leaves its imprint upon the soul, the soul taking so to speak the form of the thing it tries to comprehend.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      earlier Aristotelian concept- says that knowledge leaves its imprint upon the soul

      One of the most fascinating insights on Aristotle’s behalf. Be sure to give a listen to Andy’s podcast.

      • Avatar Silent says:

        The Catholic Hermetist Tomberg, in his ‘Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism’ (where he makes reference to Guénon, but in a somewhat condescending/patronizing manner), also writes on the danger of contemplating Evil, and the invisible hierarchies (by C.S.Lewis half-jokingly labelled ‘lowerarchies’) of darkness in the chapter on the arcanum of The Devil, making the point that in order to know something by direct, unifying intuition you must love it. A recommended read.

  2. Avatar Han Fei says:

    Your problem Mr. Malic is one that you admitted yourself. The pleasant and remote nation of Croatia has been so far largely spared the worst of the Zeitgeist, both in a cultural and material sense. Therefore you can’t form a adequate picture of the indignation felt by persons with strong ties to their country’s traditional and cultural roots in a society where forces of “progress” aggressively seek to wipe out every vestige of such. Nowhere is this sentiment more strongly felt than in Great Britain, a nation which under our eyes, is being torn to shreds in a most horrifying and insidious manner. Therefore you have to understand that the anger that people feel is very much amplified when its object is close enough that they can feel its breath on their necks.

    When an artificially induced economic collapse forces the appointed politicians of your nation to adopt yet another “IMF package of reforms” which will sap your country of whatever national and economic sovereignty you have remaining, when EU mandated cultural conditioning will be aggressively and actively propagandized on every public channel, when at last the very ethnic stock of your country is to be forcibly diluted by serving as the dumping point for vast numbers of “refugees” with a completely alien system of morals (if it can be said they possess one at all), then perhaps you too will seriously ponder the necessity of gas chambers destined for certain people responsible for all this cultural enrichment.

    This explains the surge in alt right, neoreactionary and “populist” movements all across modern Western civilization, and by corollary, also Japan, which has its own analogous movement galvanized by Yukio Mishima and the like. It may not be comfortable to admit this, but nevertheless we can’t escape the fundamental fact that this rise is not a merely spontaneous outburst of extremism fueled by infectious internet memes, but it comes off as a native, innate reaction of the masses towards a direction that they subconsciously, as a group, recognize threatens their existence.

    My criticism is that so far in these last few podcasts, the intellectual and I should say, metaphysical aspect of this counter-phenomenon has been explored. But I yet stress that it’s wrong to ignore the material, socioeconomic aspect of the issue as well.

    I am closely watching the way the discourse on this blog unfolds, because know that despite of where I appear to come off from, I am not fond of the alt-right, or for that matter this pervasive nazi-apologist trend we see everywhere lately. In my previous posts I have observed how 4chan “evolved” from universal youthful nihilism into full blown nashfash. There’s no doubt in my mind that this movement contains very dark and negative undertones, which I wouldn’t deny are very much subhuman in origin. I find it very sad, but nevertheless perfectly understandable, that your friend Andy Nowicki, is apparently writing from this perspective.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      When an artificially induced economic collapse forces the appointed politicians of your nation to adopt yet another “IMF package of reforms” which will sap your country of whatever national and economic sovereignty you have remaining, when EU mandated cultural conditioning will be aggressively and actively propagandized on every public channel, when at last the very ethnic stock of your country is to be forcibly diluted by serving as the dumping point for vast numbers of “refugees” with a completely alien system of morals (if it can be said they possess one at all), then perhaps you too will seriously ponder the necessity of gas chambers destined for certain people responsible for all this cultural enrichment.

      Ha, ha. If there should ever be a dumping ground for “undesirables” it will be an Eastern European one. No one stays here, because they want to make a living while here the most of us are making a dying. About Croatia being cozy materially and not being forcibly pushed into something ideologically, especially in contrast to UK of all places, I cannot take it in otherwise but with copious amount of irony. Breaking of temporal continuity of life is an inner decision on personal level that cannot be undone by political means.

    • Avatar Mihai says:

      @Han Fei: you are describing real causes of the emergence of this phenomenon. But causes are not excuses and two wrongs don’t make a right.

      You are right that we, in Eastern Europe, are further removed from the epicenter of the globalist subversion, but in my country, at least, we are catching up at a frightful pace- ideologically speaking. The subversive ideologies are making more than significant in-roads by way of the new generation of age 20-40 (of which I am by the way part of). There is a systematic on-going process of destroying our traditional heritage here as well…
      Like Branko said, Eastern Europe is not attractive for immigrants right now…but who knows what the future can bring…

      • Avatar Malić says:

        And this globalist subversion is all too often taken as an excuse for people subverting themselves. Nationalism is in no way, shape and form any less nihilistic than globalism. Moreover, they fit hand in glove dialectically.

        • Avatar Ante says:

          Out of curiosity, what alternative do you suggest? I don’t disagree with your criticism of both sides so much and caution is certainly good given how many people seem to be naive but what would you like to see happen? Because so far only lesson I can take is that of total despair or at best hope for a supernatural intervention for those who believe, where I unfortunately can’t count myself. We might be subverting ourselves, I’d say that this actually describes much of what is going on very well, but can this be stopped and reversed?

          Everyone is in on it, no side is right… if this is true (and it very well might be) then what to make of it? Are we doomed to see this downward trajectory hit the bottom? And then what?

          • Avatar Malić says:

            “Nigdar ni bilo da ni nekak bilo”

            I don’t see nihilism as something with dimensions – so those are really not sides but the ways people channel the same nothingness. I don’t see things as being hopeless at all. One thing man must do, I think, is to remember himself, re-attach to the continuity of life which is the most intimate (in the personal sense) and at the same time the most common (in the sense of relationship among the people) thing in the world. Bela Hamvas spoke of this as precondition of conquering the noise (“turba”) of dissolution of the world and called it “return to original position”. It requires sincerity and willingness to look into oneself and one’s place in relation to chaos. After that, there is only “yes” and “no”, as Jesus said. Those Western “traditionalist” don’t realize that to be against the modern world means to cease to be a modern man and this is completely and utterly intimate decision, a choice of being. Than, believe me, the modern world will be against you, whether you like it or not. I don’t think that there’s anything else one man can, or should, do. Mihai’s interpretation of C.S. Lewis kinda makes this point and elaborates on it.

            My take (sorry anglophones, no English translation): http://kalitribune.com/pored-rijeke/

          • Avatar Han Fei says:

            I can understand where you’re coming from as well as the error of terms in which I put my criticism. Nevertheless I can’t entirely accept your view. I, like many other people are thoroughly tied to this world in terms of identity, culture and even daily existence. Politics, or, in more broad terms the “outside world” is an extraneous manifestation of the internal states of being which prevail in each person. The real difference between us lies in the ways in which the self recognizes and responds to the various influences acting upon it. That is why I see something innate in the phenomenon of neo-reaction, although of course there’s’ nothing new about it, as it generally invokes the same patterns as prior 20th century maximalist as well as Islamic political-religious movements.

            Ultimately you are putting the question in a soteriological context, in terms of a choice between either/or. If a person can withdraw into that which in himself he finds significant of a genuine meaning or purpose, upholding it with his circle of social connections you could truthfully say that nothing can act upon him adversely. Indeed that would be splendid, but then I could see no foreseeable need for Christ’s ministry. There was nothing new in Christ’s teachings that wasn’t already contained in moral philosophy of the time, and as such there was nothing that could have stopped a person in those times to live out the “Christian” life without the God Man ever appearing. But I take it this wasn’t what he set out to do. He wasn’t there to administer to the Senecas and Epicteti of his time, but the common people tied to common reality, with all its implications for both good and ill. Christ was political, not in the sense of self-serving republican harlotry of the Caesars, but in the sense that he strove to actively bring into motion the world and society, and urged on his followers to do so.

            This brings me to my next point. This world, this society we live in, wouldn’t have any meaning to me without the people. I am a social being, and a great part of my existence owes to being able to identify with the social group that I belong to. The connection between the person and the human world, regardless of class or level of intelligence and education in a society existing under what we call “tradition” was achieved through a sacred and divine institution which united the discrete parts, rendered solid the dissolute, and unified the higher with the lower. I would like to stress that this was not the product of dogma, clerical authority or commonly held belief, but rather as a result of something internal, innate to the very deepest core of the human soul that was brought out by it. Only by contemplating this fact would one realize the brilliance and superhuman genius behind it. This is also partly why the alt-right tries so hard to supplant concepts of sacred racialism and fascist cultural aesthetics to the Christian ideal of universal unity underpinning an intimate and personal connection to God, as the founding principle of a new beginning of this shared consciousness, even going so far as decrying any fundamental moral concepts (i.e. murder is wrong) of “Jewish weakening influence” upon the utterly ruthless Aryan warrior spirit.

            By saying all this, I am not merely citing causes, but also pointing the foreseeable, and to a certain degree, inevitable conclusions that arise from them. Hard as I may try to play the insight role of a normal member of society, I am merely an atomized individual stranded within the space of rapidly dissolving ethnic enclaves and shopping cart monoculture that prevails in my new home (or perhaps I should say “host”) country. I don’t want to generalize, but I fear that most of the terms that you consider as given in your writings, would be utterly incomprehensible to today’s average white American. Even though you write in plain English, it would be as if you spoke in the vacuum of space. I only understand you as someone who (loosely) shares your ethno-cultural background and even then I can’t entirely accept it because the cultural root of Christian identity is not found in me, as I originate in a large nation to the east of yours which waged a war of extermination against Christ for a very long time. You have to understand that I am not just projecting myself, but speak on behalf of millions like me who are not even remotely aware of the verge of metaphysical hell that we, who are devoid of any “original orientation” to fall back on, are standing on. It is not enough for us to “go to Church”, because there is no living Church that functions beyond the base level of religious belief, whose halls and representatives are largely void of the very substance they profess belief in.

            We stand in a very long, dark hall, at the end of which Heidegger beckons us with his finger (though I suspect that he goes by his true name now). We have nowhere to go but forward. Even those of us conscientious of the moral atrocity of this decision, can’t help but feel justified in hastening the final judgement of this world. You can threaten us with hellfire, but in truth, there is no way for us to avoid that path that would not involve lying to ourselves. Now you understand why we can’t escape the dominating ennui of modernity in the sense of Lenin’s words that politics are interested in us regardless of whether we want it or not. The only thing that increasingly remains ingrained within us is Sin, and the social, religious and even to an extent, political institutions which enabled us to transcend it, are by large no longer extant. That is why I can see the presence of the Devil very clearly in the world, but I can’t see any of God. If this kind of Geistgesprach is not prevalent yet in Croatia, then you should consider your country very wealthy.

  3. Avatar robber chih says:

    Thank you Branko for another great podcast. For some academic pieces I have had to write, I used to do much research into trauma. In relation to the bit of Andy, i am recalled to a source (i can’t place it) which discusses the horrors of ww1 in relation to language; we have suitable language to describe these experiences but the mind resists going beyond the spoken word to actually try to understand the horror of traumatic experience, To place itself into such.

    furthermore, trauma as such can provide a vehicle for inner transformation, re what Andy mentioned regarding everything else seem trivial afterwards. Hence trauma can actually serve as a road to an inner peace and faith, or the opposite.

    good critique on the monolithic culture which recognizes no taboos. It was said during the 70s that “this is the age of freedom, critique and rationalizing of everything, but what will follow?” (i paraphrase idk who here)

    now we find ourselves here. Human sacrifice may not be far off and the way the state in the guise of “to protect and serve” is offing folk, deadly drones on foreign populaces, darn NFL? etc. what’s to say we haven’t arrived at such?

    thanks again.

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