Lao-tzu says: people do not know what action is. Today we have the religion of “effort,” “becoming,” “action.” What matters is not to arrive, but to “aim at the infinite,” the “struggle,” the “eternal aspiration.” Men need action in order to be aware of themselves, rather than to attain. The more they are caught, excited, and carried away, the happier they are. Thus they feel more, because naturally they need to “feel themselves” … What a disaster, the day they no longer encounter resistance! They would burst like the soap bubbles they are. And this is exactly what happens at death, when the solid shell that helped them to “reflect” their consciousness is broken; then the knot is untied and dissolved into the infinite ether, in which there is no support or direction, namely into the dragon’s domain.

“Just as the fish could not live if it left the dark abysses, likewise the ordinary person cannot know the weapon of this lordly wisdom.” -Lao-tzu

To level out, be silent, to disappear; the voice without words; sight without objects; possession without touch; action without movement. This the way of the Tao. Is it a paradox? Is it nonsense? These are mere words, which swarm around the royal elephant like so many tiny flies. But pay attention to what Lao-tzu says, you who wishes to reach the other bank of the river: “Just as

the fish could not live if it left the dark abysses, likewise the ordinary person cannot know the weapon of this lordly wisdom.”

Endnotes

1 Bhagavad Gita, 2:38, 47-8; 3:30; 7:11.

  1. Evola is making an untranslatable word-play here in the Italian, using the words angelo (angel) and antico gelo (ancient ice).
  2. The English version here closely follows the translation of Lao-tzu edited by Evola, Il libro della Via e della Vita di Laotze, Carabba, Lanciano, 1921.

THE OCCULT WAR: Excerpt From Men Among the Ruins

JULIUS EVOLA

Various causes have been adduced to explain the crisis that has affected and still affects the life of modern peoples: historical, social, socioeconomic, political, moral, and cultural causes, according to different perspectives. The part played by each of these causes should not be disputed. However, we need to ask a higher and essential question: are these always the first causes and do they have an inevitable character like those causes found in the material world? Do they supply an ultimate explanation or, in some cases, is it necessary to identify influences of a higher order, which may cause what has occurred in the West to appear very suspicious, and which, beyond the multiplicity of individual aspects, suggest that there is the same logic at work?

The occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography.

The concept of occult war must be defined within the context of the dilemma. The occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography. The notion of occult war belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential the two superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible leaders) but rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the “subterranean” dimension in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often not than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a collective level.

Having said that, it is necessary to specify the meaning of the term subterranean. We should not think, in this regard, of a dark and irrational background that stands in relation to the known forces of history as the unconscious stands to consciousness, in the way the latter relationship is

discussed in the recently developed “Depth Psychology.” If anything, we can talk about the unconscious only in regard to those who, according to the three-dimensional view, appear to be history’s objects rather than its subjects, since in their thoughts and conduct they are scarcely aware of the influences that they obey and the goals they contribute toward achieving. In these people, the center falls more in the unconscious and the preconscious than in the clear reflected consciousness, no matter what they—who are often men of action and ideologues—believe. Considering this relation, we can say that the most decisive actions of the occult war take place in the human unconscious. However, if we consider the true agents of history in the special aspects we are now discussing, things are otherwise: here we cannot talk of the subconscious or the unconscious, for we are dealing with intelligent forces that know very well what they want and the means most suited to achieve their objectives.

These forces are sometimes referred to in a moralistic fashion as “forces of evil,” or in a theological fashion as the “forces of the Antichrist.”

The third dimension of history should not be diluted in the fog of abstract philosophical or sociological concepts, but rather should be thought of as a “backstage” dimension where specific “intelligences” are at work.

An investigation of the secret history that aspires to be positivist and scientific should not be too lofty or removed from reality. However, it is necessary to assume as the ultimate reference point a dualistic scheme not dissimilar from the one found in an older tradition. Catholic historiography used to regard history not only as a mechanism of natural, political, economic, and social causes, but rather as the unfolding of divine Providence, to which hostile forces are opposed. These forces are sometimes referred to in a moralistic fashion as “forces of evil,” or in a theological fashion as the “forces of the Antichrist.” Such a view has a positive content, provided it is purified and emphasized by bringing it to a less religious and more metaphysical plane, as was done in Classical and Indo-European antiquity: forces of the cosmos against forces of chaos. To the former corresponds everything that is form, order, law, spiritual hierarchy, and tradition in the higher sense of the word; to the latter correspond every influence that disintegrates, subverts, degrades, and promotes the predominance of the inferior over the superior, matter over spirit, quantity over quality. This is what can be said in regard to the ultimate reference points of the various influences that act upon the realm of tangible causes behind known history. These must be kept into account, though with some prudence. Let me repeat: aside from this necessary metaphysical background, let us never lose sight of concrete history.

Methodologically speaking, we need to be careful to prevent valid insights from degenerating into fantasies and superstition, and not develop the tendency to see an occult background everywhere and at all costs. In this regard, every assumption we make must have the character of what are called “working hypotheses” in scientific research—as when something is admitted provisionally, thus allowing the gathering and arranging of a group of apparently isolated facts, only to confer on them a character not of hypothesis but of truth when, at the end of a serious inductive effort, the data converge in validating the original assumption. Every time an effect outlasts and transcends its tangible causes, a suspicion should arise, and a positive or negative influence behind the stages should be perceived. A problem is posited, but in analyzing it and seeking its solution, prudence must be exercised. The fact that those who have ventured in this direction have not restrained their wild imaginations has discredited what could have been a science, the results of which could hardly be overestimated. This too meets the expectations of the hidden enemy.

This is all I have to say concerning the general premises proper to a new three-dimensional study of history. Now let us return to what I said earlier on. After considering the state of society and modern civilization, one should ask if this is not a specific case that requires the application of this method; in other words, one should ask whether some situations of real crisis and radical subversion in the modern world can be satisfactorily explained through “natural” and spontaneous processes, or whether we need to refer to something that has been concerted, a still unfolding plan devised by forces hiding in the shadows.

“The world is governed by people entirely different from the ones imagined by those who are unable to see behind the scenes.” -Disraeli

In this particular domain, many red flags have gone up: too many elements have concurred to alarm the less superficial observers. In the middle of the past century, Disraeli wrote these significant and often quoted words: “The world is governed by people entirely different from the ones imagined by those who are unable to see behind the scenes.” Malinsky and De Poncins, when considering the phenomenon of revolution, have remarked that in our age, where it is commonly acknowledged that every disease of the individual organism is caused by bacteria, people pretended that the diseases of the social body, namely revolutions and disorder, are spontaneous, self-generated phenomena, rather than the effect of invisible agents, acting in society the way bacteria and pathogenic germs act in the organism of the individual.

WEAPONS IN THE OCCULT WAR

For practical purposes, too, it is very important to recognize the instruments of the occult war, namely the means employed by the secret forces of global subversion to conceal their action, prevent their opponents’ action, and continue to exercise their influence. I will now say something in this regard, drawing inspiration from some of the points developed by René Guénon, who was one of the most perceptive people in reference to the secret backgrounds of many upheavals of modern times.

Let us begin with the tool of scientific suggestion. I believe that the so-called “scientific” method of considering events and history is more the consequence of a suggestion spread in modern culture by antitraditional

forces in order to conceal their action than the natural orientation of a short- sighted mentality. Those who believe that history is only made by the men on the stage and determined by the most evident economic, social, political, and cultural factors, do not see and do not seek any other explanation; and yet this is exactly what every force operating in secret desires. A civilization dominated by the positivist prejudice offers the most fertile ground to an action arising from what! I have called the “third dimension.” In great part this is the case of modern civilization. It is a civilization rendered myopic and defenseless by the positivist, rationalist, and scientist prejudice. We have scarcely begun to expose all the ideas that remain at the basis of the modern mentality and education; these ideas are not so much errors and limitations as they are suggestions spread and promoted for precise reasons by antitraditional forces.

I have already mentioned some non-positivist views of the course of events that introduce various entities, such as the “absolute Spirit,” or the élan vital, or “History.” In this we can see an example of the possible application of a second instrument of the occult war, namely the tactic of replacement. This tactic is employed every time there is the danger of an awakening on the part of “history’s objects,” or when some ideas that facilitate the occult game of the forces of global subversion have lost their power of suggestion. In the above-mentioned case, such confused philosophical views act as a sort of bait for those who are unsatisfied with positivist views, so that their eyes may not look in the direction where they should. Due to the vagueness of these notions, the field is not any less concealed than by positivist blindness. People will play around with “philosophical ideas” while the plan continues to unfold.

Often the tactic of replacement develops efficaciously in the form of a tactic of counterfeits.

Often the tactic of replacement develops efficaciously in the form of a tactic of counterfeits. It may happen that after the effects of the destructive work reach the material plane, they become so visible as to provoke a reaction, and thus ideas and symbols are employed for a defense and a reconstruction. In the best case they are values of the traditional past, which come back to life thanks to this existential reaction of a society or civilization threatened by dissolution. Then the occult war is not waged in a direct manner; often attention is paid to promoting only distortions and counterfeits of these ideas.

In this way, the reaction is contained, deviated, or even led in the opposite direction.

Those who believe that history is only made by the men on the stage and determined by the most evident economic, social, political, and cultural factors, do not see and do not seek any other explanation; and yet this is exactly what every force operating in secret desires.

Such a tactic may be employed in various domains, from the spiritual and cultural to the political. An example is given by “traditionalism.” I have already discussed what the term tradition signifies in the higher sense of the word: it is the form bestowed by forces from above upon the overall possibilities of a given cultural area and specific period, through super- individual and even antihistorical values and through elites that know how to derive an authority and natural prestige from such values. In our days it often happens that a confused desire to return to “tradition” is purposely channeled to the form of “traditionalism.” The content of this “traditionalism” consists of habits, routines, surviving residues and vestiges of what once was, without a real understanding of the spiritual world and of what in them is not merely factual but has a character of perennial value. Thus, such non-traditional, or should we say, “traditionalist” attitudes offer an easy target to the enemy, whose attack mounted against traditionalism is only the opening barrage preceding an attack against Tradition itself: to this purpose the slogans of “anachronism,” “anti-history,” “immobilism” and “regression” are employed. Thus, reaction is paralyzed as the maneuver leads successfully to the preestablished goal.

From the general plane it is easy to shift to particular cases, since recent history is full of them. Thus, in the political context, the Roman idea with its symbols, the “Aryan” idea, and the idea of the Empire or Reich—to all this, the tactic of misleading substitutions and counterfeits has been applied with deprecative effects that cannot elude an attentive observer. Therefore, it is possible to understand the validity of the points I made in the first chapter.

Another method is the tactic of ricochet. This tactic is employed in cases where the traditional forces being targeted take the initiative through an action against other traditional forces, an action that eventually ricochets back at its

promoters.

Fourth, we must point out the tactic of inversion. Let us take a typical example. The secret forces of global subversion knew exactly that the basis of the order to be destroyed consisted in the supernatural element—that is, in the spirit—conceived not as a philosophical abstraction or as an element of faith, but as a superior reality, as a reference-point for the integration of everything that is human. After limiting the influence that could be exercised in this regard by Christianity, through the spread of materialism and scientism, the forces of global subversion have endeavored to conveniently divert any tendency toward the supernatural arising outside the dominant religion and the limitation of its dogmas. So-called “neo-spiritualism,1 not only in its more deleterious spiritualist forms, but also in its pseudo-Eastern and occultist forms (not to mention the theories concerning the unconscious, the irrational, and so on), is greatly influenced by the tactic of inversion. Instead of rising toward what is beyond the person as a really supernatural element, here we remain in the subpersonal and in the infrarational, according to an inversion that quite often has sinister characteristics.