Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Warrior Aesthetic: the Perennial understanding of Jihad

The call of Jihad, or holy war , appears in all traditions. Even in Christianity which, as it is characterized by pacifism, seems diametrically opposed to a religious sanctification of organized murder, there is an understanding of the Warrior Aesthic. By this I mean the spiritual, almost purgatorial, purification of the warrior through the horrors of combat. In the world of tradition, the “Solar Path” of enlightened gnosis that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the beatific communion with the demiurgic godhead, is to be found in aesthetic martyrdom of Jihad.

“The aesthetic warriors who gave up the pleasures of the world in order to pursue a discipline not practiced in the monasteries but on the battlefield, and who were animated by a faith consecrated more by blood and victory than by prayer.” [Evola RatMW p.86]

“[in the] Persian-Aryan and also Hellenic view of the world, which often saw in material warfare the reflection of a perennial cosmic struggle between the spiritual Olympian-Uranian element of the cosmos and the Titanic, demonic-feminine unrestrained elements of chaos on the other hand.” [Evola RatMW p. 166] “This is the metaphysical justification of war... the transcendent war waged by the “form” against chaos and the forces of the inferior nature that accompany it.” [Evola RatMW p. 123]

The Olympian vs. Titan struggle that he's referring to was symbolic of the eternal conflict between civilizaiton and barbarism, between order and chaos, between constructed and natural, between masculine and feminine, between soul and body. Evola alludes also to how the conflict between warriors is connected to the internal conflict within the warrior between the rational Logos (which in the platonic/christian/hindu understanding is synonymous with the gnosis or communion with the demiurgic godhead) and the Pathos (bodily passions of materialism and sin). In overcoming the natural material animalistic passions and aesthetically sacrificing in the “cleansing almost purgatorial fire that one experiences before death(St. Bernard of Clairfax)” “the warrior evokes in himself the transcendent power of destruction; he takes on, becomes transfigured in it and free, thus breaking loose from all human bonds.[Evola RatMW p.123]”

"I am all powerful time which destroys all things, and I have come here to slay these men. Even if thou dost not fight, all the warriors facing thee shall die. Arise therefore! Win thy glory, conquer thy enemies and enjoy thy Kingdom. Through fate of their own karma I have doomed them to die: be thou merely the means of my work... tremble not, fight and slay them. " -Krishna Bhagavadgita

Koran- “Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter fight for the cause of Allah; whether they die or conquer, we shall be richly rewarded” [Koran 4:76]”

“the Greater Holy War is of an inner and spiritual nature; the other is the material war waged externally against an enemy population with the particular intent of bringing the “infidel” population under the rule of “God's Law” (Al-Islam). The relationship between the “greater” and “lesser” holy war however mirrors the relationship between the soul and the body;” -Evola p. 119

Gospels- “Whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it” [Mathew 16:25]”

Hindu Scripture- “In death, thy glory in heaven, in victory thy glory on Earth. Arise therefore, with thy soul ready to fight.” [Bhagavadgita 4.1-2]

“The military profession, both worthy and necessary, has been instituted by God himself” [John of Salibury]
Chinese texts- “Prepare for war with peace in thy soul. Be in peace in pleasure and pain, in gain and loss, in victory or in loss of a battle. In this peace there is no sin.” []Mencius 3.2]

With the above evidence of the connection between the spirit and the warrior, what are we to make of the Patriotic warrior of 21st century America who worships the divinity of the state, and the secular enlightenment principles on which it was founded? How can the intimitely spiritual nature of the Warrior Aesthetic be reconciled with the Godless and secular nature of the State and modernity in general?

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