Julius Evola

Elemental Emptiness Month 12: From Zero to One

9-24-09 I haven't been able to update since the esoteric book convention. It highlights how busy my schedule has become and how problematic that can be at times. I'm not sure I like that, so I'm looking at what I can change in my life to give me a bit more time. As this elemental working winds down to a close, what I mostly feel is tired. This has been such an intense year, and the second intense year in a row. I need a break from intense years...and although it has been an intense year for me, I feel like I've drifted away from my spirituality to some degree in the process of doing this elemental work. And I guess that makes sense, because in some ways I've had to let go of everything important to me, to make this year's emptiness working work. The path of the abyss is one where everything is sacrificed as journey through it. At the same time, I feel a kind of anticipation about the end of this one. I know all the work I've put in is going to payoff and that the payoff, for me, is really being able to move past so many conditioned responses and behaviors that used to hold me back. I'm tired, but I'm also at that last part of the journey, where you push through the tiredness and make it to the end, because you know its part of the journey. 9-28-09 There's not really much to write. Unlike all the other months, what I really feel right now is anticipation, or being in the center of the eye of the hurricane. I can look around me and see everything I've been dealing, but also recognize where I am and know I've moved past everything. Now it feels more like making a choice and getting ready to move ahead, free of the rotting putrefaction I went through, because the refinement is here.

10-01-09 I've been playing the Force Unleashed recently. When I first started my emptiness working, I played that game a fair amount. It represented, for me, the feeling of emptiness at the beginning. It doesn't really anymore because I no longer see emptiness as an antagonist. It's something I can see as part of me, instead of against me.

10-02-09 I reflected today that to truly experience emptiness I've had, in one form or another, to really become empty, to really see everything I hold dear fall through in some form or manner, if only to convey to me the full depths of emptiness. Recognizing that everything could be taken away, that's been hard, but useful as well.

10-06-09 On a really deep level I wonder how much this year's working has really helped me. I've been exposed to what drives me toward feeling empty, come to a really good understanding of it, but I don't feel like its really solved. There's still a part of me that just wants to find someone, something that will somehow meet this very intangible need I have. It's a very primal, emotive part, not something rational that can be reasoned with. And it's likely always going to be there. I guess I've learned better strategies for handling it and recognizing it when it comes out...and maybe I feel a bit less driven than I did before, but I also feel like somehow I just haven't really "solved" the core issue for me. I don't know if I ever will. Maybe, all I'll really come away is a better grasp of my emptiness and a better way of handling it, when it comes up in potentially unhealthy situations.

10-08-09 I woke up this morning thinking about D. D was someone I met when I was twenty. We became lovers. She was seventeen years older than I was, a gifted magician, and very experienced when it came to life, and for that matter sex. I never fully, consciously realized until now just how deeply she imprinted me, or how much the relationship not working out would affect me. The majority of women I've been attracted to have always had a connection to Babalon, Lililth, or a similar type of goddess, i.e. the sacred whore archetype and I think it's because of that imprint from D. This person made a really strong impression and I never fully got to satisfy or see where that relationship would go. So I see it as the root of a lot of my longings and seeking when it came to possible partners and sex in general. I've been trying to find someone with this particular current for a long time but I never fully understood why that was the case. And now I do...I really understand some of my choices in a very different light now than I did before.

10-10-09 I've been thinking further about what I wrote above, about the person I contacted, etc. I look back at various activities, various sexual encounters and I see this particular need trace itself through most of my relationships in a manner that never fully addresses it in a satisfactory way. The two partners I ended up with in long term relationships never embraced that particular archetype of the sacred whore. And conversely I've put myself in situations where I could almost have that relationship with someone who embodied that archetype, but then would take it away from myself, too afraid perhaps of getting what I wanted, or perhaps just not ready. I'm tired of that pattern. I'm tired of the hurt it's caused me and others. And while I do love my wife very much and take genuine pleasure and joy from her presence in my life, I also have to acknowledge that this current is in my life and likely always will be. It's something I want to explore with someone, safely and sanely.

10-11-09 One of my problems or flaws is that I put expectations on a lot of experiences, people, etc. In a conversation with a friend this morning, I thought about that...really thought about how much those expectations have actually caused me to miss out on some good experiences. I know I've placed expectations on so much of my life, and I'm even relatively sure of where that pattern came from. I also know those same expectations create a lot of the emptiness I feel as well.

I've been reading the Doctrine of Awakening by Julius Evola. It looks at some of the earliest tenets of Buddhism. I'm finding a lot of it speaking to some of the struggles I've been experiencing for a long time. And I've been reminded that I'm not really drawing on all the tools available to me. But I'm not surprised by that either. I've needed to fall apart this year, to see my flaws up close and personal as well as understanding the cause. It's when you know the cause that you can start at the beginning with awareness and readiness to move forward. So falling apart has been discovering the causes...and starting the healing. I'm just about ready to move forward.

She said: "all you have to do is look around you and really see, not the image of your life but the real life. When you can define yourself alone, all the emptiness goes away" The image of my life is the desires, the expectations, the fixations, everything that haunts me because it isn't realized. The real life is accepting how little any of that matters and how much what does matter is less about expectation and a lot more about the experience.

10-12-09: Further discussion with D, as well as thinking about something written in The Doctrine of Awakening, which stated that when a person "needs" another person they are spiritually weak. Not need as in rely on a person to back you up, but need as in codependent need, trying to find someone to fulfill something within you. As we all know by now, my emptiness working has at its core been dealing with that very issue, and on a very primal level, sex as a shadow activity can be expressed that way. Sex becomes a connection, the intimacy a doorway...the problem is it can also be addictive...it's a drug like any other. You become a junkie, looking for your next fix. And for me, sex, like so much else, has been a way to avoid emptiness, to try and fill it up, and otherwise shut it out, but it's always been a temporary fix. And it's always been more about a constructed reality than an actual acceptance of this reality.

I know that now. That's really what this year has been about, is finally, finally tracing the emptiness to every single root event and coming away with a profoundly different awareness of my emptiness in the process, as well as myself. And always going away with the awareness that I have a choice, have always had a choice, but now have more awareness in making that choice.

10-16-09 I volunteered at a play party tonight, to help out with one of the communities I'm part. After finishing up volunteering, I watched some people play and was struck with a feeling of incredible loneliness, and later a feeling of anger at myself and others for the last few years. I feel really alone. I have for a while. And a lot of it's my own making. Seeing the fun and intimacy others were experiencing tonight just brought it home to me.

10-18-09 I ended up writing a long post about how I was feeling the other night on another site and got some useful feedback. But it also seems that the last couple of days has conspired to put me in touch with some possible interests...and I kind of laugh about that, because it's the end of the emptiness working...and that ending is going to be opening a lot up for me. Last night I had a dream of a silver web and in the middle was a glowing orb and cracks were starting to appear in it.

10-20-09 I went and got the tattoo for Xah. The artist, Alice Kendall did an excellent job . You can see a picture below of the sigil for Xah, as well as the saying "From 0 to 1" Tonight, I went into my ritual room, and painted my body with the sigil of Xah, while vibratingh isn ame over and over again. Eventually, the fox lord came, eyes laughing, tongue lolling out. "You've been through a lot this year. What have you learned?"

"I've known myself at my weakest, all my faults, flaws, and reactions exposed to myself. I've known myself at my strongest, confident, secure in who I am, able to achieve anything. And I've known myself as a mixture, and I am humbled by everything I've experienced. And I'm ready to move from 0 to 1, from a place of reactions to the past and old wounds, to a place of conscious decision and acceptance of the consequences."

Then I, for a while, just meditated on this last year, on what I'd learned about myself, and my choices. This has been the hardest year of my life, in terms of really facing myself, and fully coming to terms with my emptiness. I've had to dig up all my core wounds, come to terms with some different people and their effect on me and also more importantly come to terms with my choices and how those have really effected others. I can't say I'm a better person, so much as I'm a much more aware person after this year, after, the last five years really...and that awareness provides me an opportunity to be much more mindful of my choices. This year has been the culmination of a lot of internal work. I don't even recognize myself sometimes, because so much has changed...but I'm ready to embrace this person I've become, and let go the weight of the past.

At times I wondered if I could make it...I spoke for a while just to myself about this last year, about what I learned, about who I've decided to be. And then I told Xah I was ready to finish this year, and move into the next one. I decided to use a bit of sex magic and brought myself to ecstasy, and in that ecstasy gave myself to Xah again and felt him enter through the sigil I'd placed on my arm and then felt the zero crack open and from it came forth the direction I've chosen...then a shower to wash the paint off...and now it is the 21st my Birthday. And I've made it through this year of emptiness and found myself and found clarity and sanity and peace with myself. For yes, there is emptiness, but now I no longer need to fight it or run from it. Finally, finally, I have accepted it.

I read through my entries on emptiness...it's about a good four pages worth Just re-read everything...from start to now. If you go to the categories dropdown, you can select emptiness and read every entry...go back four pages or so...start at the beginning...You'll read a journey of this last year, of a person's journey to find himself and find resolution and closure with an element that most of us in the West would rather ignore.

Below is a picture of the tattoo I got as a tribute to this last year.

Happy Birthday to me.


Are you a Traditionalist?

A reader asked me yesterday, after I posted my review of Evola's book on Buddhism, if I agreed with Evola's  traditionalist views in other areas, because I liked Evola's work. When I posted the review to Amazon, I'd noticed traditionalism come up as a possible tag, first time I ever came across the word actually. Let me just say that assuming I'm anything based on what I read is at best an erroneous assumption. It's true I like Julius Evola's writing. And if we were to research Julius the person, we would find out he was a fascist and I guess a traditionalist as well (maybe they are even one and the same!). But I'm not interested in Evola's political beliefs and don't find them relevant to my practice. Nor, really, am I concerned with labeling his spiritual practices or my own as traditionalist.

In fact, I'm not really interesting in trying to label my own practices either. The most I've ever done is to label myself as an experimental magician, an even that label is one I rely on less these days. What's really important afterall is not the label, but rather what one is actually doing.

So for me, Evola's writing, which I like because he's a good scholar and offers some intriguing perspectives on what he writes about, whether it's Buddhism or Tantra, or Hermeticism, or an article on time magic, is important because I find it relevant to my spiritual practice. Frex, the book on Buddhism offered some useful insights into early Buddhist texts and practices, and proved helpful in my emptiness working.

But even though I like his works, it shouldn't be assumed that I'm a traditionalist or anything else that Evola was. I am, after all, not Julius Evola (last I checked). Nor because I've read Edward Hall and liked his work, should it be assumed I hold to his political beliefs or his approach to anthropology or anything else. Liking someone's writing doesn't mean you agree with all of it or that you hold the same beliefs as someone.

But really what I'm saying is this: Labels are at best an illusion crafted to provide us and others the security (a false one) of being able to say this person is this or that. But what if I'm not?

I read what I read because I find it important to cultivate an awareness of a wide variety of perspectives and beliefs so that I can see how those perspectives inform my spiritual and indeed, overall life. So am I a traditionalist? Likely not.

But I am me...and I do enjoy learning and applying what I learn toward living a better life. I hope you do as well.

Review of The Silent Language by Edward T. Hall

In this book, Hall explores the intricacies of time and space from a cultural studies perspective. Although this book is a bit dated, the information is still very relevant, and what Hell offers is an examination of how much our perception of time influences our cultural and everyday interactions. For example, learning just how tightly time is wound for Americans as opposed to other cultures is quite insightful to the workaholicism that pervades American culture. Hall touches on some aspects of space as well, though you'll find more of his thoughts on it, in the hidden dimension. What I most enjoyed about this book is an exploration of time from a social science perspective as opposed to a hard science perspective.  I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in understanding concepts of space and time.

5 out of 5 stars

Review of The Doctrine of Awakening by Julius Evola

The Doctrine of Awakening by Julius Evola As always, I find myself intrigued by the depth of exploration that Evola brings to any of his books. In this book he discusses the earliest Buddhist texts and makes some persuasive arguments against how Buddhism is currently perceived. The analysis of the texts and techniques as well as instructions on the techniques makes for a very insightful read. I got a lot out of the book and undoubtedly will get even more when I re-read the book.

This book isn't for the casual reader. Evola's writing is very dense and heady. You will likely need to re-read some of his passages to fully grasp what he is conveying, but once you do grasp, your understanding will be solid. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Buddhist mysticism or meditational practices.

5 out of 5

Review of Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex by Julius Evola

Eros and the Mysteries of Love by Julius Evola I found this book fascinating to read, in part because I had to monitor my own reactions to some of his statements, and in part because as always Evola does such a thorough job of supporting his arguments that even when I disagree with him, I'm also filled with a sense of acknowledgment toward the work he was clearly doing. At the same time, this book mainly stayed in the theoretical and philosophical domains of the metaphysicals of sexual love, as opposed to focusing on the concept on any practical level.

My main knee jerking with this book has a lot to do with Evola's depiction of women and also his stance on polarity when it comes to sex magic. I think to some degree his belief in fascist ideology also comes through, but not to a large degree.

Evola does a fairly in-depth exploration of the metaphysics of love via a variety of fields, including psychology, Platonic and neo-platonic thoughts on love, as well as some of the occult perspectives on sex magic, including references to Crowley and Randolph's works. Throughout that exploration he weaves in his own thoughts and perceptions about the metaphysics of sexual love in a manner which clearly shows his stance as well as his arguments against other perspectives.

I'd recommend checking this book out if you're interested in sex magic. I'll note that you may find yourself re-reading some passages. Evola is not an easy author to read. He can be fairly dense in his take on the subject matter. It is, however, worth your time to re-read the passages...I know I'll be reading this book again down the line because there is so much information he conveys in it.

Five out of five stars.

Some thoughts on time

After reading Evola's article on precognition and time in Introduction to Magic, and in particular two passages, I've been musing further about the illusory nature of time and how much a sense of time is derived moreso from routines than we might think. The passages in question is: "The overwhelming majority of people are so enslaved to habits, craving, instincts, and fixed reactions, they are such slaves to things and to their selves, that it would truly be surprising not to be able to forecast their future. Knowing the so-called 'character' of a person, we can already know in an approximate way what he or she will do in certain circumstances" (Evola and the Ur Group 2001, p. 310).


"Wherever the basic condition of 'desire' is overcome, and thereby the object is purified from an object of desire into an object of contemplation, the overcoming of the temporal condition ensues naturally. I am referring here to the liberation of the self and of the object and thus to the possibility of capturing in a synthetic way what ordinary consciousness would regard as events analytically arranged along a temporal series, as a mere sequence of 'facts' or events more or less endured" (Evola and the UR Group 2001, p. 313).

A lot of what Evola writes about in terms of habits, cravings, etc is is quite true. Contemporary studies in neuroscience show the people act more so on emotions and cravings and desires and then after that initial impulse end up rationalizing their choices. Given that the amount of neural connections that go from the emotional systems to the rational sections of the brain is substantially more than the connections going from the rational systems to the emotional systems, it's fair to say that the emotions have a significant impact on our choices (no matter how we might like to conceive of ourselves as rational thinkers). Add in the fact, that in sales it's recognized that you sell the feeling in order to hook a potential buyer, and you have people who do in fact plan on the future likelihood that a person will react in an expected manner.

A conversation with my neighbor tonight yielded another insight, which is that if a person feels really good about the lifestyle s/he has, s/he may be perfectly content with the predictability of hir routines. This then brings into question what the motivation for change needs to be to shake up that routine...point is though that time becomes more of a reality through the predictable routines we use to navigate life. In fact time can be conceived as a measurement of those routines. this is most noticeable in the eight hour workday, where time is used to measure how long a person has to stay at work. But it can also be seen in other activities...Calculating the commute for instance.

An astute reader will note that I mentioned time's nature is illusory, but might wonder if that's really the case, given what I just wrote above. But what I wrote above amply demonstrates the illusory nature of time in the sense that time is used as a predictor and measurement of activities...when they should occur, when they could occur, etc....We use time as a measurement to determine and predict when something happens, and create routines out of that prediction.

The second passage of Evola's is intriguing to me, mainly because I've experienced it...i.e. the alignment of events and occurrences that cause a situation to manifest favorably for me. And I think he hits on a key point, that the overcoming of desire greatly enhances the potential of the events aligning in a person's favor. The reason is because you're no longer engaged in specific routines that you believe will get you what you want. We use routines to provide us comfort as well as to fulfill desires, but those same routines are predictive of the actions we'll take, and can limit the possibilities/opportunities a person could manifest.

The choice to overcome the basic condition of desire is really the choice of being able to perceive the desired outcome in a dispassionate manner...to no longer want it, and thus to no longer need your fixed routines that you'd normally use to get it. Unsurprisingly the result of this is that a person is much more open to possibilities or opportunities that are unconventional, yet still lead to the same outcome. A personal example I'd use is my deliberate choice to not concern myself about the out come of my most recent job hunt. Instead of worrying about when I'd get a job, I focused instead on other matters that I cared about. I did of course still do some job hunting, but ultimately the job I ended up with came through a different venue than what I'd normally have found. Everything came together at at exactly the right time.

It occurs to me that linear time is really another means of measuring desire, measuring how much effort you will put into getting something...whereas non-linear time  is an acceptance that the desire isn't essential, and consequently this opens up new vectors which can bring that desire into fruition...the act of not wanting it causes it to occur. Sounds contradictory, but the more desire we emotionally feel, the more invested we are in attempting to obtain something, and as Evola notes and I have noted myself, both from personal experience and from reading a variety of texts on the subject, the feeling of desire can trap us into particular routines, while blinding us to different perspectives that may not be as based in desire (or linear time), but are based on being open to the random opportunities that cause reality to align and manifest what the person was seeking. It's exactly when you give up desire on an emotional level, that you open up to non-linear time and allow what you wanted to come to you through unconventional methods.


Review of Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola and the UR Group

Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola

The title of this book could be a bit misleading, as it's fair to say that the majority of the articles in this book are not intended for people who are just coming into magical practice. The articles requires at least an intermediate knowledge in Hermeticism, Alchemy, or Buddhist Meditation techniques, for the most part. With that said, I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in reading and practicing the different techniques described and discussed in this book.

These articles were written in the late 1920's by a group of experimental magicians called the UR group, lead by Julius Evola. This book presents a fascinating glimpse into ceremonial magical work being done in that time by magicians who weren't overtly associated with magical orders such as the OTO or Golden Dawn. The articles are detail oriented, but all of the writers manage to discuss the concepts with enough brevity to explain what needs to be done and how to do it, without unnecessarily waxing poetic about it.

One article I particularly liked was what I would suggest was the first article ever written on space/time magic...but rather apt for what it suggests about the nature of time and how a person interacts with it. This is definitely a book I will read again and again and get more out of each time I read it. I recommend it to any person who wants to either get a better historical perspective of magical practices or wants to continue honing his/her practices.

Some occult authors to look into

In my last post about Julius Evola's works, one of my commenters asked if I'd include a list of lesser known occult authors that people might consider looking into. So here's a small (and not complete) list of occult authors that I personally think people should read. Note that I'm not including Crowley's work or any work derived from Crowley, as obviously they are already very well known. I want to focus on the authors people may not know about.

So the list:

Franz Bardon. He only wrote three books on magic (not counting the fictional book Frabato the magician): Initiation into Hermetics, Evocation, and The Key to the True Quaballah. I've only read the first two at this point, but I'd suggest both as excellent books that detail how hermetics work without the usual flowery language or focus on obsfucation.

Julius Evola. He wrote a number of books, some of which were political commentaries, and some of which were occult works. His political commentaries would be far right/fascist works, which I'm sure would upset some of the more activism/leftist oriented occultists I know, but might be a good read precisely because they represent a different perspective than is usually found in occult activism. The books on magic Tantra: the Yoga of Power and Introduction to Magic are useful books to read. He does an excellent job of presenting an accurate perspective of Tantra and what I've read so far in Introduction to Magic is also an excellent work. He's written other books on the occult, some of which are in print, some of which are not. I haven't read them as yet, but most of them either focus on sex magic or hermeticism, and I'm sure are worth getting. They are on my amazon wishlist.

William G. Gray is another writer who presents some excellent works on both quabalah and ceremonial Magic. One of my favorite books is Modern Ritual Methods, but Inner Traditions of Magic is also good as is his books focused on quabalah: Ladders of Light, The Talking Tree, and Quabalistic Concepts. Recently some of his books have gone back into print, so now would be a good time to pick them up.

On a side note, Gray and Evola's works are some of the few occult works I'd consider spending money at this point, in part because what they write about are advanced concepts, and also because of the thoroughness of what they write about.

Kaostar by Francis Breakspear looks to be an intriguing work...and I'd also recommend the Art of Memetics by Edward Wilson and Wes Unruh for contemporary perspectives on magic.

To get an alternate take on demonology, check out books on Demonolatry by S. Connolly and J. Thorp They provide an alternate take which is useful to read, and will provide some intriguing perspectives in that area.

Jan Fries is an intriguing author who offers up different perspectives on chaos magic, seith workings, runic workings and even a perspective on celtic. I've read several of his works and found them to be insightful.

Dale Pendell offers a trilogy called pharmakon...not overtly occult, it still is some useful works to read.

There's more authors I could refer to...many, many different authors on a variety of topics ranging from Far Eastern energy work and mysticism to alchemy, but what I mentioned here is a good start to expanding the foundation of knowledge a person has as well as getting different perspectives on occult practices.

Revisiting well worn trails

I'm starting to read Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus by Julius Evola and the UR group. It's my first time reading this book, but not my first time reading Evola's work. I first encountered Evola's work when I read his book on Tantra: The Yoga of Power. I find Evola's writing to be intriguing, if hard to read, which is to be expected given that the original language was Italian (and thus translated into English) and it was written in the Early Twentieth century. I find it's important to acknowledge those two points, because I'm not just reading a work on magic from a different culture, but also from a different time period, and in my experience a time period has it's own culture as well, which informs the context of what is being read or worked with. I think Julius Evola is one of those magicians who often is not known about or read by many contemporary occultists, likely because many people just don't know what to read from the early to mid twentieth century beyond the usual Golden Dawn or Crowley material. So you might wonder where the title revisiting well worn trails comes from and that is due to the content of the book, which is focused on Hermeticism and western ceremonial magic.  For me, while reading this book will definitely get me in touch with some new ideas or perspectives, it's also revisiting trails I've been on before and will walk on again.

Another work I'm reading is The places that scare you by Pema Chodron, which is again a revisiting of a Buddhist perspective to a lot of the internal work I'm currently doing for myself. I have no doubt that the internal work will intersect with the work I do in the book by Evola. As above so below, as within, so without.

It's a continuing journey on well-worn trails.