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'Life is Struggle on Earth'
The Sacrality of War by Julius Evola, June, 8 1935

I have read Evola's collection of essays under the title Metaphysics of War, three times now and am finally ready to continue with Evola's deeply considered and anciently informed ideas on the masculine soul.

The Sacrality of War is arguably the most important chapter, at a mere 7 pages, in this most important of books. Evola makes three major points in this discussion of the ancient Roman view of the cosmos as a universal power grid accessed simultaneously through the crimson prism of War [a sacral realm] and the equally ancient mystical arts:

1. The Roman legionnaire was no mere soldier and his monumental achievements as the most successful infantryman in human history relate to his status as a proto-crusader, a universalist holy warrior, a warrior of virtue—perhaps not the modern liberal virtue, but virtues more vital than those that fail to sustain the modern mind, which must instead be drugged and entertained. This pre-Christian holy warrior marched along lines of power and fought at sacral junctures, at those places and times when the greater powers of the universe overlapped in such a way as to permit man's collective heroic action to advance the cause of the elemental, cosmic and ancestral forces he was aligned with.

Terms crucial to this understanding include:

-Aeternitas the goddess force which was "the eternity of Roman rule"

-Imperium, the power vested in the leader via divine sanction

-Devotio, the combat suicide of a general as a sacrifice to the higher powers

-Numen, the power from a higher plane which works upon the earth through the person of the leader

-Ascesis, "lines" or supernatural-natural pathways of power, to be harmonically addressed to permit the warrior's actions to effect change on heaven and earth, to literally shake the gods in their cosmic retreats

2. The metaphysical nature of the Roman drive to conquer for conquest's sake, to grow the goddess which was Roman power, cannot and was not confined to racial identity, nor should such surpahuman notions of the sacrality of War have race as the primary element, but rather a secondary one. [He notes with disfavor the gross and bombastic imagery employed by National Socialist Germany.] The warrior fights against the "darkening of the divine" and has done so since the beginning of creation. An important element of this expression is:

-Triumph, victory expressed in a parade held in the context of civic virtue, much as a primal warrior might eat an enemy heart to acquire his essence

3. That life is a struggle on earth between dark and light and this struggle continues beyond life, with the fallen hero reinforcing the forces of the higher planes and that this universal Indo-European concept is what drives the crusading notion of Christen soldiery, not the biblical inheritance.

-Mors triumphalis, a variation of the common Indo-European notion of heroic ascension, such as "the palace of the chosen" [Valhalla] the Celtic acceptance of death in battle as the liberation of the soul and the Iranian notion of rising from the battlefield "faithful to the God of Light," all notions that a man's honorable death in battle formed a transcendent moral and spiritual reservoir for his higher cause and also his kind continuing the struggle on earth, inclusive of Persian Favrishi and Nordic Valkyries

Considering my crude summation above of Evola's thoughts on this juncture in human action, considering further that I have failed to impart the reality of these concepts as they existed in the Roman mind, one must understand, that by postmodern standards, the ancient Roman legionnaire was far more insane than the Jihadist or the Crusader, a mad man capable of conquering most of the then known world on foot, usually against superior odds, with a utilitarian blade no longer than his arm. Evola's induction of the reader into the Roman worldview is the first description of the Roman psyche that fits the reality of Roman accomplishments.

Obviously, Rome died in the mind of Marcus Aurelius quite naturally as he maintained the Pax Romana, the abomination of Peace, ironically brought about by the perfect war creed, the fulfillment of heroics suitably grounded to extinguish their own gods, to break the ascesis to the higher plane, a tragedy to which Constantine found a solution in the form of a brutally transformed Christianity, the passively suffering Rabbi brought into Late Antiquity as a war god, the world ultimately subdued in his name.

This subject is addressed by Evola directly in his next essay, The Meaning of the Crusades.

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