Talk with Julius Evola

Giulio Cesare Andrea "Julius" Evola was an Italian philosopher


Who is Julius Evola?

Julius Evola, also known as Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, was an Italian philosopher, poet, painter, and esotericist. He lived from May 19, 1898, to June 11, 1974. Evola is commonly seen as a key figure in the post-World War II Italian far-right but is also associated with the Traditionalist School. He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including metaphysics, hermeticism, politics, and gender roles. His controversial views and advocacy for a spiritually infused elitism have led to criticisms of his work as being aligned with fascist and racist ideologies.

Explain the influence of the occult and magic on Julius Evola's work.

Julius Evola's work is richly influenced by the occult and magic, which he interpreted through a specifically metaphysical and spiritual focus. Evola was deeply interested in the transcendental and supernatural, and he perused a variety of ancient esoteric traditions and systems in order to develop his own philosophical and spiritual outlook.

One of Evola's main influences came from Hermeticism, an ancient Greco-Egyptian philosophical system that concerns itself with a deeper understanding of the world beyond the observable, physical reality. Hermeticism presents a worldview that encourages spiritual transcendence, and these principles resonated strongly with Evola.

Evola was also influenced by the magic and mysticism of various Eastern and Western traditions, including Hindu Tantra, Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism, and the Western mystery tradition. However, he reframed these systems not as mere superstition or antiquated beliefs, but as complex metaphysical systems that contained profound psychological and spiritual truths.

In his work, Evola often used the symbol and the ritual as key means of accessing and understanding these mystical truths. He saw the occult as a methodology for transforming the self and achieving a form of spiritual aristocracy, a state of self-mastery and inner sovereignty. This underpinned his theories about the individual, the society, hierarchy, and the state.

Overall, the occult and magic formed a crucial part of Evola's work, influencing not only his philosophical conclusions but also the very method and manner in which he approached and dealt with these subjects. They helped shape his understanding of the world and man's place within it, and stood as a testament to his belief that there exist higher realities beyond the reach of conventional materialist science.

What caused Julius Evola to write 'The Doctrine of Awakening'?

Julius Evola was inspired to write 'The Doctrine of Awakening' due to his deep interest in Buddhism, especially Early Buddhism and its ascetic principles. He was particularly focused on the original teachings of the Buddha, which he viewed as a practical path towards transcendence and self-awakening.

Evola wrote this book with the purpose of presenting the original teachings of Buddhism from a perspective that Evola believed was less distorted by the cultural, religious, and subjective interpretations that Buddhism underwent as it spread from India to other parts of Asia and the world. Here, he emphasized the individual's spiritual autonomy and combative path against illusion and suffering.

His goal was to separate what he saw as the original, more 'pure' form of Buddhism (which he termed as 'Aryan Buddhism') from what he believed to be later distortions, influenced by folk religions and metaphysical speculations.

Moreover, Evola saw 'The Doctrine of Awakening' as a way to introduce these doctrines to a Western audience, as he believed that it could serve as a practical guide for those looking for a path towards self-realization.

How did Julius Evola critique modernity through his works?

Julius Evola was a prolific writer and philosopher, and much of his work centered on an incisive critique of modernity, which he viewed as a period of decline and dissolution of traditional values. He concluded that modernity was characterized by rampant materialism, individualism and secularization, which he believed undermined spiritual and traditional values that form the backbone of a civilization.

Evola strongly criticized what he perceived as the "decadence" of modern democracy and egalitarianism, believing that they had led to a kind of "vulgarization" of society. For him, historical phenomena like the Enlightenment and the democratic revolutions did not represent progress, but instead played a role in the disintegration of traditional hierarchical societal structures.

Evola was a proponent of what he termed as "Tradition," a transcendent order or principle that he believed informed the structure of authentic, archaic societies. According to Evola, this principle was characterized by spiritual hierarchy, nobility, and differentiated roles for individuals within society, all of which were in stark contrast to the egalitarian societies of modernity.

In his book "Ride the Tiger," Evola focuses on the existential crisis faced by individuals in modern societies. He believes that modern individuals have lost their connection to higher spiritual realities and are consequently plagued by feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness.

Despite all this, Evola suggests that one can navigate and possibly transcend modernity by connecting to the timeless principles of the "Tradition". He thus encouraged turning inward, developing deep spiritual discipline and adopting a heroic stance toward life.

It's important to note that while Evola's critiques of modernity reflect a profound discontent with certain aspects of contemporary life, his views are highly controversial and his endorsement of hierarchy and inequality have garnered significant criticism.

What made Julius Evola unique among other philosophers?

Julius Evola was unique among philosophers due to a number of reasons:

  1. Traditionalist Perspective: Evola was one of the prominent figures in the Traditionalist school of thought which asserted that there is a primordial and higher wisdom that has been shared by civilizations throughout history. He argued against modernity and sought to revive the ancient spiritual traditions.

  2. Political Thought: He was unique in his political thought as well, having been associated with, but also critical of, both fascism and national socialism. Evola's idea of an "aristocracy of the spirit", marked by qualities such as self-discipline and honor, formed the crux of his political philosophy, setting him apart from the mainstream.

  3. Interest in Occult and Esoteric: Evola was deeply interested in the occult, mysticism, and the esoteric. He wrote extensively on occult and spiritual topics and his works often discussed and critiqued the modern western occult revival.

  4. Polar Approach: Evola used a polar and metaphysical approach to understand the human world. He backed the concept of spiritual racism and perceived a world divided into 'solar' and 'telluric' civilizations.

  5. Own Interpretation of Eastern philosophies: Evola did not simply take Eastern philosophies wholesale, but adopted elements of them into a syncretic world-view that was unique to him. He argued for the realization of the self through transcendent action rather than contemplation, contrary to mainstream Eastern philosophies.

  6. Controversial Figure: Lastly, Evola was unique in that not only was he a philosopher, but he was also a polarizing and controversial figure. His works have been influential in several far-right and extremist movements, and his philosophy and writings are often seen as promoting elitism, misogyny, and racism. Even today, interpretations of his works continue to stir controversy.

In conclusion, Evola's unconventional and esoteric philosophical leanings, coupled with his controversial political views and enormous influence on several political and cultural movements, make him stand out as a unique figure among philosophers.

How did Julius Evola's esotericism influence his philosophical theories?

Julius Evola's esotericism was central to his philosophical theories and significantly influenced his worldview, politics, and approach to metaphysics.

Esotericism typically involves a belief in hidden meanings or truths accessible only to those with special knowledge or insights. For Evola, esoteric practices and ideas provided a counter-narrative to the materialistic and mechanistic worldview that he believed was characteristic of modern, Western societies. His emphasis on initiation, veneration for ancient wisdom, and belief in metaphysical realms heavily imbued his philosophical theories.

For instance, his philosophical perspective - often referred to as "Traditionalism" - was predicated on the belief that there was a perennial wisdom or philosophia perennis that transcended temporal and cultural differences and was present in various esoteric traditions. He argued that through understanding and participating in these traditions, one could attain a higher state of being and wisdom.

Evola's esoteric ideas also heavily influenced his critique of modernity and his political theories. He saw modernity as a period of spiritual decline, a view he adopted from various esoteric traditions which posited a progressive degeneration of spiritual knowledge over time.

Furthermore, his esoteric beliefs led to a hierarchical view of society, where those with spiritual knowledge held a higher status, and informed his ideas on the ideal state structure. He advocated for a spiritual and Imperial State, reminiscent of ancient cultures where rule was often intertwined with religious or spiritual duties.

In many ways, Evola's esoteric ideas were his philosophy, dictating his approach to life, society, and metaphysics. They provided him with a framework from which to critique the modern world and propose alternative societal structures.

Why is Julius Evola important?

Julius Evola has had a significant impact on a broad range of intellectual, political, and artistic fields in the 20th and 21st centuries. He was a philosopher, occultist, and political theorist, among his various other roles.

His importance largely lies in his diverse body of work and provocative ideas. He worked with a wide range of topics including eastern and western religions, philosophy, esotericism, spirituality, and politics. He intertwined these concepts to propose unique views about traditionalism, proposing the concept of an eternal and universal tradition that spans across all cultures.

His political ideologies are controversial but substantial. He influenced Italian Fascism, and his reactionary thoughts continue to be influential in various strands of conservatism and right-wing politics worldwide.

However, Evola's importance is often contentious due to many of his ideas being linked to extreme ideologies. His role in influencing far-right and neo-fascist movements has led to controversy and debate. Despite this, he remains an important figure to study for a comprehensive understanding of 20th-century philosophy, politics, and occultism.

Who were Baron Julius Evola and Ernst Jünger?

Baron Julius Evola, often known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, esotericist, occultist, author, and political activist. He is known for his controversial metaphysical and philosophical theories. His writings covered vast and disparate areas including Eastern spiritual practices, Tradition, and criticism of modernity. Evola's ideology is considered a major influence on the radical right in Italy, although he persistently claimed that these organizations misunderstood his ideas.

Ernst Jünger, on the other hand, was a prominent German author and World War I veteran. Celebrated for his depictions of warfare and its psychological impact on soldiers, Jünger wrote widely on themes like technology, modernity, and the state. He was recognized for his works such as "Storm of Steel" and "The Worker". His complex and often controversial relationship with Nazi Germany has been a subject of extensive analysis and interpretation.

It's important to note that both figures are complex and multifaceted, and understanding their ideas, views, and influences fully requires a detailed study of their works and the historical and social contexts in which they lived.

When did Julius Evola die?

Julius Evola passed away on June 11, 1974.

How many books does Julius Evola have?

Julius Evola was a prolific author who wrote extensively throughout his life. He authored around 35 books in his lifetime, most of which focus on philosophy, spirituality, politics, and history. This doesn't count numerous essays, articles, and other short works he also produced.

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