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Alan Watts
by Wikipedia
Accessed 8/6/19



Alan Watts
Born: Alan Wilson Watts, 6 January 1915, Chislehurst, London, England
Died: 16 November 1973 (aged 58), Mount Tamalpais, California, US
Nationality: British
Alma mater: Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
Notable work: The Way of Zen (1957)
Spouse(s): Eleanor Everett, (m. 1938; div. 1949)
Dorothy DeWitt, (m. 1950; div. 1963)
Mary Jane Yates King (m. 1964)
Era: Contemporary philosophy
School: Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Christianity, religious naturalism, Taoism
Institutions: American Academy of Asian Studies
Main interests: Personal identity, higher consciousness, aesthetics, cultural criticism, public ethics, individualism
Influences: Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, Confucius, Laozi, Zhuang Zhou, Lie Yukou, Dōgen, Bankei Yōtaku, Hakuin Ekaku, Christmas Humphreys, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, D. T. Suzuki, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Jean Burden, G. K. Chesterton, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Haridas Chaudhuri, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Marshall McLuhan, Robert Theobald
Influenced: John Cage, Mark Tobey, Gordon Onslow Ford, Jean Varda, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Chungliang Al Huang, Monica Furlong, Seraphim Rose, Robert Anton Wilson, Brian Bates, Emerson Barrett Kropp

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British[1] philosopher who interpreted and popularised Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He considered Nature, Man and Woman (1958) to be, "from a literary point of view—the best book I have ever written."[2] He also explored human consciousness in the essay "The New Alchemy" (1958) and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. According to the critic Erik Davis, his "writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity."[3]

Early years

Alan Watts, aged 7

Watts was born to middle-class parents in the village of Chislehurst, Kent (now south-east London), on 6 January 1915, living at 3 (now 5) Holbrook Lane, which was previously lived in by author John Hemming-Clark [4]in the early 1900s. Watts' father, Laurence Wilson Watts, was a representative for the London office of the Michelin Tyre Company.

The father of this prodigy, L. W. Watts, was the treasurer and vice-president of the Buddhist Lodge.

-- The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

His mother, Emily Mary Watts (née Buchan), was a housewife whose father had been a missionary. With modest financial means, they chose to live in pastoral surroundings and Alan, an only child, grew up playing at brookside, learning the names of wildflowers and butterflies.[5] Probably because of the influence of his mother's religious family[6] the Buchans, an interest in "ultimate things" seeped in. It mixed with Alan's own interests in storybook fables and romantic tales of the mysterious Far East.[7]

Watts also later wrote of a mystical dream he experienced while ill with a fever as a child.[8] During this time he was influenced by Far Eastern landscape paintings and embroideries that had been given to his mother by missionaries returning from China. The few Chinese paintings Watts was able to see in England riveted him, and he wrote "I was aesthetically fascinated with a certain clarity, transparency, and spaciousness in Chinese and Japanese art. It seemed to float...".[9] These works of art emphasized the participatory relationship of man in nature, a theme that stood fast throughout his life, and one that he often wrote about. See, for instance, the last chapter in The Way of Zen.[10]


By his own assessment, Watts was imaginative, headstrong, and talkative. He was sent to boarding schools (which included both academic and religious training of the Muscular Christian sort) from early years. Of this religious training, he remarked "Throughout my schooling my religious indoctrination was grim and maudlin".[11]

Watts spent several holidays in France in his teen years, accompanied by Francis Croshaw, a wealthy Epicurean with strong interests in both Buddhism and exotic little-known aspects of European culture. It was not long afterward that Watts felt forced to decide between the Anglican Christianity he had been exposed to and the Buddhism he had read about in various libraries, including Croshaw's. He chose Buddhism, and sought membership in the London Buddhist Lodge, which had been established by Theosophists, and was then run by the barrister Christmas Humphreys. Watts became the organization's secretary at 16 (1931). The young Watts explored several styles of meditation during these years.


Watts attended The King's School, Canterbury, next door to Canterbury Cathedral. Though he was frequently at the top of his classes scholastically and was given responsibilities at school, he botched an opportunity for a scholarship to Oxford by styling a crucial examination essay in a way that was read as "presumptuous and capricious."[12]

When he left secondary school, Watts worked in a printing house and later a bank. He spent his spare time involved with the Buddhist Lodge and also under the tutelage of a "rascal guru" named Dimitrije Mitrinović. (Mitrinović was himself influenced by Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, G. I. Gurdjieff, and the varied psychoanalytical schools of Freud,Jung and Adler.) Watts also read widely in philosophy, history, psychology, psychiatry and Eastern wisdom.

By his own reckoning, and also by that of his biographer Monica Furlong, Watts was primarily an autodidact. His involvement with the Buddhist Lodge in London afforded Watts a considerable number of opportunities for personal growth. Through Humphreys, he contacted eminent spiritual authors, e.g. the artist, scholar, and mystic Nicholas Roerich, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and prominent theosophists like Alice Bailey.

In 1936, aged 21, he attended the World Congress of Faiths at the University of London, heard D. T. Suzuki read a paper, and afterwards was able to meet this esteemed scholar of Zen Buddhism.
[13] Beyond these discussions and personal encounters, Watts absorbed, by studying the available scholarly literature, the fundamental concepts and terminology of the main philosophies of India and East Asia.

Influences and first publication

Watts's fascination with the Zen (or Ch'an) tradition—beginning during the 1930s—developed because that tradition embodied the spiritual, interwoven with the practical, as exemplified in the subtitle of his Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work, and Art in the Far East. "Work", "life", and "art" were not demoted due to a spiritual focus. In his writing, he referred to it as "the great Ch'an (or Zen) synthesis of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism after 700 CE in China."[14] Watts published his first book, The Spirit of Zen, in 1936. Two decades later, in The Way of Zen[15] he disparaged The Spirit of Zen as a "popularisation of Suzuki's earlier works, and besides being very unscholarly it is in many respects out of date and misleading."

Watts married Eleanor Everett, whose mother Ruth Fuller Everett was involved with a traditional Zen Buddhist circle in New York. Ruth Fuller later married the Zen master (or "roshi"), Sokei-an Sasaki, who served as a sort of model and mentor to Watts, though he chose not to enter into a formal Zen training relationship with Sasaki. During these years, according to his later writings, Watts had another mystical experience while on a walk with his wife. In 1938 they left England to live in the United States. Watts became a United States citizen in 1943.[16]

Christian priest and after

Watts left formal Zen training in New York because the method of the teacher did not suit him. He was not ordained as a Zen monk, but he felt a need to find a vocational outlet for his philosophical inclinations. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, an Episcopal (Anglican) school in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied Christian scriptures, theology, and church history. He attempted to work out a blend of contemporary Christian worship, mystical Christianity, and Asian philosophy. Watts was awarded a master's degree in theology in response to his thesis, which he published as a popular edition under the title Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion.

He later published Myth & Ritual in Christianity (1953), an eisegesis of traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and ritual in Buddhist terms. However, the pattern was set, in that Watts did not hide his dislike for religious outlooks that he decided were dour, guilt-ridden, or militantly proselytizing—no matter if they were found within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism.

As recounted in his autobiography, Alan was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1945 (aged 30) and resigned the ministry by 1950, partly as a result of an extramarital affair which resulted in his wife having their marriage annulled, but also because he could no longer reconcile his Buddhist beliefs with the formal doctrine of the church. He spent the New Year getting to know Joseph Campbell and Campbell's wife, Jean Erdman, as well as the composer John Cage.

In early 1951, Watts moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. Here he taught from 1951 to 1957 alongside Saburō Hasegawa (1906–1957), Frederic Spiegelberg, Haridas Chaudhuri, lama Tada Tōkan (1890–1967), and various visiting experts and professors. Hasegawa, in particular, served as a teacher to Watts in the areas of Japanese customs, arts, primitivism, and perceptions of nature. It was during this time he met the poet, Jean Burden with whom he had a four-year love affair.[17]

Alan credited her as an "important influence" in his life and gave her dedicatory cryptograph in his book "Nature, Man and Woman", to which he alludes in his autobiography (p. 297). Besides teaching, Watts served for several years as the Academy's administrator. One notable student of his was Eugene Rose, who later went on to become a noted Orthodox Christian hieromonk and controversial theologian within the Orthodox Church in America under the jurisdiction of ROCOR. Rose's own disciple, a fellow monastic priest published under the name Hieromonk Damascene, produced a book entitled Christ the Eternal Tao, in which the author draws parallels between the concept of the Tao in Chinese philosophy and the concept of the Logos in classical Greek philosophy and Eastern Christian theology.

Watts also studied written Chinese and practiced Chinese brush calligraphy with Hasegawa
as well as with some of the Chinese students who enrolled at the academy. While Watts was noted for an interest in Zen Buddhism, his reading and discussions delved into Vedanta, "the new physics", cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, and the anthropology of sexuality.

Middle years

Watts left the faculty for a career in the mid-1950s. In 1953, he began what became a long-running weekly radio program at Pacifica Radio station KPFA in Berkeley. Like other volunteer programmers at the listener-sponsored station, Watts was not paid for his broadcasts. These weekly broadcasts continued until 1962, by which time he had attracted a "legion of regular listeners".[18][19]

Watts continued to give numerous talks and seminars, recordings of which were broadcast on KPFA and other radio stations during his life. These recordings are broadcast to this day. For example, in 1970 Watts lectures were broadcast on Sunday mornings on San Francisco radio station KSAN;[20] and even today a number of radio stations continue to have an Alan Watts program in their weekly program schedules.[21][22][23] Original tapes of his broadcasts and talks are currently held by the Pacifica Radio Archives, based at KPFK in Los Angeles, and at the Electronic University archive founded by his son, Mark Watts.

In 1957 Watts, then 42, published one of his best known books, The Way of Zen, which focused on philosophical explication and history. Besides drawing on the lifestyle and philosophical background of Zen, in India and China, Watts introduced ideas drawn from general semantics (directly from the writings of Alfred Korzybski) and also from Norbert Wiener's early work on cybernetics, which had recently been published. Watts offered analogies from cybernetic principles possibly applicable to the Zen life. The book sold well, eventually becoming a modern classic, and helped widen his lecture circuit.

In 1958, Watts toured parts of Europe with his father, meeting the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and the German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Dürckheim.[24]

Upon returning to the United States, Watts recorded two seasons of a television series (1959–1960) for KQED public television in San Francisco, "Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life".[25]

In the 1960s, Watts became increasingly interested in how identifiable patterns in nature tend to repeat themselves from the smallest of scales to the most immense. This became one of his passions in his research and thought.[26]

Though never affiliated for long with any one academic institution, he was Professor of Comparative Philosophy at the California Institute of Integral Studies (as mentioned above), had a fellowship at Harvard University (1962–1964), and was a Scholar at San Jose State University (1968).[27] He also lectured to many college and university students as well as the general public.[28] His lectures and books gave him far-reaching influence on the American intelligentsia of the 1950s–1970s, but he was often seen as an outsider in academia.[29] When questioned sharply by students during his talk at University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1970, Watts responded, as he had from the early sixties, that he was not an academic philosopher but rather "a philosophical entertainer".


Some of Watts' writings published in 1958 (e.g., his book Nature, Man and Woman and his essay "The New Alchemy") mentioned some of his early views on the use of psychedelic drugs for mystical insight. Watts had begun to experiment with psychedelics, initially with mescaline given to him by Oscar Janiger. He tried LSD several times in 1958, with various research teams led by Keith S. Ditman, Sterling Bunnell Jr., and Michael Agron. He also tried marijuana and concluded that it was a useful and interesting psychoactive drug that gave the impression of time slowing down. Watts' books of the '60s reveal the influence of these chemical adventures on his outlook.[30]

He later said about psychedelic drug use, "If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen."[31]

For a time, Watts came to prefer writing in the language of modern science and psychology (such as Psychotherapy East and West), finding a parallel between mystical experiences and the theories of the material universe proposed by 20th-century physicists. He later equated mystical experience with ecological awareness, and typically emphasized whichever approach seemed best suited to the audience he was addressing.[citation needed]

Applied aesthetics

Watts sometimes ate with his group of neighbors in Druid Heights (near Mill Valley, California) who had endeavored to combine architecture, gardening, and carpentry skills to make a beautiful and comfortable life for themselves. These neighbors accomplished this by relying on their own talents and using their own hands, as they lived in what has been called "shared bohemian poverty".[32] Druid Heights was founded by the writer Elsa Gidlow,[33] and Watts dedicated his book The Joyous Cosmology to the people of this neighborhood.[34] He later dedicated his autobiography to Elsa Gidlow, for whom he held a great affection.

Regarding his intentions, Watts attempted to lessen the alienation that accompanies the experience of being human that he felt plagued the modern Westerner, and (like his fellow British expatriate and friend, Aldous Huxley) to lessen the ill will that was an unintentional by-product of alienation from the natural world. He felt such teaching could improve the world, at least to a degree. He also articulated the possibilities for greater incorporation of aesthetics (for example: better architecture, more art, more fine cuisine) in American life. In his autobiography he wrote, "… cultural renewal comes about when highly differentiated cultures mix".[35]

In his last novel, Island (1962), Aldous Huxley mentions the religious practice of maithuna as being something like what Roman Catholics call "coitus reservatus". A few years before, Watts had discussed the theme in his own book, Nature, Man and Woman, in which he discusses the possibility of the practice being known to early Christians and of it being kept secretly by the Church.

Later years

In his writings of the 1950s, he conveyed his admiration for the practicality in the historical achievements of Chán (Zen) in the Far East, for it had fostered farmers, architects, builders, folk physicians, artists, and administrators among the monks who had lived in the monasteries of its lineages. In his mature work, he presents himself as "Zennist" in spirit as he wrote in his last book, Tao: The Watercourse Way. Child rearing, the arts, cuisine, education, law and freedom, architecture, sexuality, and the uses and abuses of technology were all of great interest to him.

Though known for his discourses on Zen, he was also influenced by ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Vedanta. He spoke extensively about the nature of the divine reality which Man misses: how the contradiction of opposites is the method of life and the means of cosmic and human evolution, how our fundamental Ignorance is rooted in the exclusive nature of mind and ego, how to come in touch with the Field of Consciousness and Light, and other cosmic principles. These are discussed in great detail in dozens of hours of audio that are in part captured in the 'Out of Your Mind' series.

Watts sought to resolve his feelings of alienation from the institutions of marriage and the values of American society, as revealed in his classic comments on love relationships in "Divine Madness" and on perception of the organism-environment in "The Philosophy of Nature". In looking at social issues he was quite concerned with the necessity for international peace, for tolerance and understanding among disparate cultures.

Watts also came to feel acutely conscious of a growing ecological predicament. Writing, for example, in the early 1960s: "Can any melting or burning imaginable get rid of these ever-rising mountains of ruin—especially when the things we make and build are beginning to look more and more like rubbish even before they are thrown away?"[36] These concerns were later expressed in a television pilot made for NET (National Educational Television) filmed at his mountain retreat in 1971 in which he noted that the single track of conscious attention was wholly inadequate for interactions with a multi-tracked world.


In October 1973, Watts returned from a European lecture tour to his cabin in Druid Heights, California. Friends of Watts had been concerned about him for some time over what they considered his alcoholism.[37] On 16 November 1973, he died in his sleep. He was reported to have been under treatment for a heart condition.[38] His body was cremated very shortly thereafter. His ashes were split, with half buried near his library at Druid Heights and half at the Green Gulch Monastery.

A personal account of Watts' last years and approach to death is given by Al Chung-liang Huang in Tao: The Watercourse Way.[39] His son Mark Watts has prepared a biographical documentary that details questions surrounding his father's death and performed ritual cremation on a nearby beach.[40] His father's ashes were returned to the cabin where he had died.[41]


On spiritual and social identity

In regards to his ethical outlook, Watts felt that absolute morality had nothing to do with the fundamental realization of one's deep spiritual identity. He advocated social rather than personal ethics. In his writings, Watts was increasingly concerned with ethics applied to relations between humanity and the natural environment and between governments and citizens. He wrote out of an appreciation of a racially and culturally diverse social landscape.

He often said that he wished to act as a bridge between the ancient and the modern, between East and West, and between culture and nature.

Watts led some tours for Westerners to the Buddhist temples of Japan. He also studied some movements from the traditional Chinese martial art taijiquan, with an Asian colleague, Al Chung-liang Huang.


In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an "ego in a bag of skin," or "skin-encapsulated ego" is a myth; the entities we call the separate "things" are merely aspects or features of the whole.

Watts' books frequently include discussions reflecting his keen interest in patterns that occur in nature and which are repeated in various ways and at a wide range of scales – including the patterns to be discerned in the history of civilizations.[42][43]

Supporters and critics

Watts's explorations and teaching brought him into contact with many noted intellectuals, artists, and American teachers in the human potential movement. His friendship with poet Gary Snyder nurtured his sympathies with the budding environmental movement, to which Watts gave philosophical support. He also encountered Robert Anton Wilson, who credited Watts with being one of his "Light[s] along the Way" in the opening appreciation of Cosmic Trigger. Werner Erhard attended workshops given by Alan Watts and said of him, "He pointed me toward what I now call the distinction between Self and Mind. After my encounter with Alan, the context in which I was working shifted."[44]

Watts has been criticized by Buddhists such as Philip Kapleau and D. T. Suzuki for allegedly misinterpreting several key Zen Buddhist concepts. In particular, he drew criticism from those who believe that zazen must entail a strict and specific means of sitting, as opposed to a cultivated state of mind available at any moment in any situation. Typical of these is Kapleau's claim that Watts dismissed zazen on the basis of only half a koan.[45]

In regard to the aforementioned koan, Robert Baker Aitken reports that Suzuki told him, "I regret to say that Mr. Watts did not understand that story."[46] In his talks, Watts addressed the issue of defining zazen practice by saying, "A cat sits until it is tired of sitting, then gets up, stretches, and walks away", and referring[47] to Zen master Bankei: "Even when you're sitting in meditation, if there's something you've got to do, it's quite all right to get up and leave".[48]

Watts's biographers saw him, after his stint as an Anglican priest, as representative of no religion but as a lone-wolf thinker and social rascal. In David Stuart's warts-and-all biography of the man, Watts is seen as an unusually gifted speaker and writer driven by his own interests, enthusiasms, and demons.[49] Elsa Gidlow, whom Alan called "sister", refused to be interviewed for this work but later painted a kinder picture of Alan's life in her own autobiography, Elsa, I Come With My Songs.

However, Watts did have his supporters in the Zen community, including Shunryu Suzuki, the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. As David Chadwick recounted in his biography of Suzuki, Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, when a student of Suzuki's disparaged Watts by saying "we used to think he was profound until we found the real thing", Suzuki fumed with a sudden intensity, saying, "You completely miss the point about Alan Watts! You should notice what he has done. He is a great bodhisattva."[50]

Personal life

Watts married three times and had seven children (five daughters and two sons). Watts met Eleanor Everett in 1936, when her mother, Ruth Fuller Everett, brought her to London to study piano. They met at the Buddhist Lodge, were engaged the following year and married in April 1938. A daughter, Joan, was born in November 1938 and another, Anne, was born in 1942. Their marriage ended in 1949, but Watts continued to correspond with his former mother-in-law.[51]

In 1950, Watts married Dorothy DeWitt. He moved to San Francisco in early 1951 to teach. They began a family that grew to include five children: Tia, Mark, Richard, Lila, and Diane. The couple separated in the early 1960s after Watts met Mary Jane Yates King (called "Jano" in his circle) while lecturing in New York. After a difficult divorce he married King in 1964. The couple divided their time between Sausalito, California,[52] where they lived on a houseboat called the Vallejo,[53] and a secluded cabin in Druid Heights, on the southwest flank of Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco.

Watts' eldest daughters, Joan and Anne, own and manage most of the copyrights to his books. His son, Mark, serves as curator of his father's audio, video and film and has published content of some of his spoken lectures in print format.

Jean Burden, his lover and the inspiration/editor of Nature, Man and Woman, remained in his thoughts to the end of his life.


Main article: Works by Alan Watts

Note: ISBN's for titles originally published prior to 1974 are for reprint editions.

• 1932 An Outline of Zen Buddhism, The Golden Vista Press (32 page pamphlet)
• 1936 The Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work and Art in the Far East, E.P. Dutton ISBN 0-8021-3056-9
• 1937 The Legacy of Asia and Western Man, University of Chicago Press
• 1940 The Meaning of Happiness. (reprinted, Harper & Row, 1979, ISBN 0-06-080178-6)
• 1944 Theologia Mystica: Being the Treatise of Saint Dionysius, Pseudo-Areopagite, on Mystical Theology, Together with the First and Fifth Epistles, West Park, New York: Holy Cross Press[54]
• 1947 Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71761-9
• 1948 Zen, James Ladd Delkin, Stanford, California
• 1950 Easter: Its Story and Meaning New York: Schuman
• 1950 The Supreme Identity: An Essay on Oriental Metaphysic and the Christian Religion, Noonday Press/Farrar, Straus & Giroux[55] ISBN 0-394-71835-6
• 1951 The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. Pantheon Books. 1951. ISBN 0-394-70468-1.
• 1953 Myth and Ritual in Christianity, Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0-8070-1375-7, including essay "God and Satan"
• 1957 The Way of Zen, Pantheon Books ISBN 0-375-70510-4
• 1958 Nature, Man and Woman, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-679-73233-0
• 1959 Beat Zen Square Zen and Zen, San Francisco: City Lights Books, ASIN B000F2RQL4
• 1960 This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71904-2
• 1961 Psychotherapy East and West, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71609-4
• 1962 The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness, Pantheon Books
• 1963 The Two Hands of God: The Myths of Polarity, George Braziller
• 1964 Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71923-9
• 1966 The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Pantheon Books. 1966. ISBN 0-679-72300-5.
• 1967 Nonsense, illustrations by Greg Irons (a collection of literary nonsense), San Francisco: Stolen Paper Editions[56]
• 1970 Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71665-5
• 1971 The Temple of Konarak: Erotic Spirituality, with photographs by Eliot Elisofon, London: Thames and Hudson. Also published as Erotic Spirituality: The Vision of Konarak, New York: Macmillan
• 1972 The Art of Contemplation: A Facsimile Manuscript with Doodles, Pantheon Books
• In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965. Pantheon Books. 1972. ISBN 9781577315841., Vintage Books pocket edition 1973, ISBN 0-394-71951-4, New World Library edition, 2007, ISBN 1-57731-584-7
• 1973 Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal, Pantheon Books. Also published in Canada in 1974 by Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0224009729. ISBN 0-394-71999-9

Posthumous publications

• 1974 The Essence of Alan Watts, ed. Mary Jane Watts, Celestial Arts
• 1975 Tao: The Watercourse Way, with Chungliang Al Huang, Pantheon
• 1976 Essential Alan Watts, ed. Mark Watts,
• 1978 Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk: The Mystery of Life
• 1979 Om: Creative Meditations, ed. Mark Watts
• 1982 Play to Live, ed. Mark Watts
• 1983 Way of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of the Self, ed. Mark Watts
• 1985 Out of the Trap, ed. Mark Watts
• 1986 Diamond Web, ed. Mark Watts
• 1987 The Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling, Dennis T. Sibley, and Mark Watts
• 1990 The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of the Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling and Mark Watts
• 1994 Talking Zen, ed. Mark Watts
• 1995 Become What You Are, Shambhala, expanded ed. 2003. ISBN 1-57062-940-4
• 1995 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts A preview from Google Books
• 1995 The Philosophies of Asia, ed. Mark Watts
• 1995 The Tao of Philosophy, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-8048-3204-8
• 1996 Myth and Religion, ed. Mark Watts
• 1997 Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking, ed. Mark Watts
• 1997 Zen and the Beat Way, ed. Mark Watts
• 1998 Culture of Counterculture, ed. Mark Watts
• 1999 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3203-X
• 2000 What Is Zen?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 0-394-71951-4 A preview from Google Books
• 2000 What Is Tao?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-168-X
• 2000 Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-214-7
• 2000 Eastern Wisdom, ed. Mark Watts, MJF Books. ISBN 1-56731-491-0, three books in one volume: What is Zen?, What is Tao?, and An Introduction to Meditation(Still the Mind). Assembled from transcriptions of audio tape recordings made by his son Mark, of lectures and seminars given by Alan Watts during the last decade of his life.
• 2002 Zen, the Supreme Experience: The Newly Discovered Scripts, ed. Mark Watts, Vega
• 2006 Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life: Collected Talks, 1960–1969, New World Library
• 2017 Collected Letters of Alan Watts, Ed. Joan Watts & Anne Watts, New World Library. ISBN 978-1608684151

Audio and video works, essays

Including recordings of lectures at major universities and multi-session seminars.

• 1960 Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, television series, Season 1 (1959) and Season 2 (1960)
• 1960 Essential Lectures
• 1960 Nature of Consciousness (here)
• 1960 The Value of Psychotic Experience
• 1960 The World As Emptiness
• 1960 From Time to Eternity
• 1960 Lecture On Zen
• 1960 The Cross of Cards
• 1960 Taoism
• 1962 This Is It - Alan Watts and friends in a spontaneous musical happening (Long playing album - MEA LP 1007)
• 1968 Psychedelics & Religious Experience, in California Law Review (here)
• 1969 Why Not Now: The Art of Meditation
• 1971 A Conversation With Myself: Part 1 on YouTube, Part 2 on YouTube, Part 3 on YouTube, Part 4 on YouTube
• 1972 The Art of Contemplation, Village Press
• 1972 The Way of Liberation in Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts Journal, vol. 2, nr 1
• 1994 Zen: The Best of Alan Watts (VHS)
• 2004 Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, Sounds True, Inc. Unabridged edition,
• 2005 Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?: How to let the universe meditate you (CD)
• 2007 Zen Meditations with Alan Watts, DVD (here)
• 2013 What If Money Was No Object? (3 minutes) on YouTube
• 2016 "You Are The Universe" Youtube
• 2019 PY1 Multimedia Show

Biographical publications

• Furlong, Monica (1986). Genuine Fake: A Biography of Alan Watts. Heinemann (or titled Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts as published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, ISBN 0-395-45392-5).
• Lhermite, Pierre (1983) Alan Watts, Taoïste d'Occident, éd. La Table Ronde.
• Stuart, David (pseudonym for Edwin Palmer Hoyt Jr.)(1976). Alan Watts: The Rise and Decline of the Ordained Shaman of the Counterculture. Chilton Book Co., Pa. ISBN 9780801959653

See also

• In the Spike Jonze movie Her, set in the near future, Watts's writings were collated and analyzed, and his intellect simulated and made even more brilliant, by a group of AI operating systems. Brian Cox provides the program's voice.
• San Francisco Bay Area portal


1. James Craig Holte The Conversion Experience in America: A 'Sourcebook on American Religious Conversion Autobiography page 199
2. Watts, Alan W. (1973). In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 280.
3. David, Erik (2006). The Visionary State: A Journey through California's Spiritual Landscape. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4835-3.
4. Missing or empty |title= (help)
5. Watts, Alan W. 1973, Part 1
6. Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong, p. 12
7. Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong, p. 22
8. Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 322
9. Watts, Alan W. 1973, pp. 71–72
10. Watts, Alan W. 1957, Part 2, Chapter 4
11. Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 60
12. Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 102
13. Watts, Alan W. 1973, pp. 78–82
14. Watts, Alan W. 1947/1971 Behold the Spirit, revised edition. New York: Random House / Vintage. p. 32
15. Watts, Alan W., 1957, p.11
16. "Alan Wilson Watts". Encyclopedia of World Biography.
17. Hudson, Berkley (16 August 1992). "She's Well-Versed in the Art of Writing Well : Poetry: Author, editor and teacher Jean Burden shares her lifelong obsession through invitation-only workshops in her home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
18. KPFA Folio, Volume 13, no. 1, 9–22 April 1962, p. 14. Retrieved at on 26 November 2014.
19. KPFA Folio, Volume 14, no. 1, 8–21 April 1963, p. 19. Retrieved at on 26 November 2014.
20. Susan Krieger, Hip Capitalism, 1979, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, ISBN 0-8039-1263-3 pbk., p. 170.
21. KKUP Program Schedule Archived 10 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
22. KPFK Program Schedule. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
23. KGNU Program Schedule. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
24. Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 321.
25. Alan Watts, "Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, Season 1 (1959)" and Season 2 (1960), KQED public television series, San Francisco
26. Ropp, Robert S. de 1995, 2002 Warrior's Way: a Twentieth Century Odyssey. Nevada City, CA: Gateways, pp. 333–334.
27. "Alan Watts - Life and Works".
28. "Deoxy Org: Alan Watts". Archived from the original on 19 August 2007.
29. Weidenbaum, Jonathan. "Complaining about Alan Watts". Archived from the original on 3 August 2014.
30. The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (the quote is new to the 1965/1970 edition (page 26), and not contained in the original 1962 edition of the book).
31. The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (the quote is new to the 1965/1970 edition (page 26), and not contained in the original 1962 edition of the book).
32. Davis, Erik (May 2005). Druids and Ferries "Druids and Ferries". Arthur (Brooklyn: Arthur Publishing Corp.) (16). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012. Druids and Ferries.
33. Davis, Erik (May 2005). "Druids and Ferries". Arthur. Brooklyn: Arthur Publishing Corp. (16). Archived from the original on 16 October 2012.
34. The Joyous Cosmology, p. v
35. Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 247.
36. The Joyous Cosmology, p. 63
37. Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong
38. "Alan Watts, Zen Philosopher, Writer and Teacher, 58, Dies" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 November 1973. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
39. Watts, Alan (1975). Huang, Chungliang Al (ed.). TAO: The Watercourse Way (Foreword). New York: Pantheon Books. pp. vii–xiii. ISBN 0-394-73311-8.
41. Live Fully Now: Mark Watts, interview at Druid Heights cabin by Volvo Cars (posted to YouTube on Feb 22, 2017)
42. De Ropp, Robert S. 2002 Warrior's Way. Nevada City, CA: Gateways, p. 334.
43. Watts, Alan W. 1947/1971, pp. 25–28.
44. William Warren Bartley, Werner Erhard, The Transformation of a Man
45. Kapleau 1967, pp. 21–22
46. Aitken 1997, p. 30. [1]
47. Alan Watts: The truth of the birthless mind, from Out of You Mind, Session 8, Lecture 8.
48. Peter Haskel (ed.): Bankei Zen: Translations from The Record of Bankei. Grove Press, New York 1984. Page 59.
49. Stuart, David 1976 Alan Watts. Pennsylvania: Chilton.
50. Chadwick, D: Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, Broadway Books,2000
51. Stirling 2006, p. 27
52. The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
53. Watts, Alan, 1973, pp. 300–304
54. Theologia Mystica at WorldCat
55. The Supreme Identity atWorldCat
56. Nonsense at WorldCat


• Aitken, Robert. Original Dwelling Place. Counterpoint. Washington, D.C. 1997. ISBN 1-887178-41-4 (paperback)
• Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hardcover); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (paperback).
• Furlong, Monica, Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts. Houghton Mifflin. New York. 1986 ISBN 0-395-45392-5, Skylight Paths 2001 edition of the biography, with new foreword by author: ISBN 1-893361-32-2.
• Gidlow, Elsa, Elsa: I Come With My Songs. Bootlegger Press and Druid Heights Books, San Francisco. 1986. ISBN 0-912932-12-0.
• Kapleau, Philip. Three Pillars of Zen (1967) Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-5975-7.
• Stirling, Isabel. Zen Pioneer: The Life & Works of Ruth Fuller Sasak, Shoemaker & Hoard. 2006. ISBN 978-1-59376-110-3.
• Watts, Alan, In My Own Way. New York. Random House Pantheon. 1973 ISBN 0-394-46911-9 (his autobiography).
• Van Morrison "Alan Watts Blues" . Album: Poetic Champions Compose, 1987

Further reading

• Clark, David K. The Pantheism of Alan Watts. Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press. 1978. ISBN 0-87784-724-X

External links

• run by Watts' son Mark, who has produced a documentary about his father's life called Why Not Now?
• "You're It." on YouTube
• Why Not Now? film trailer
• Alan Watts Mountain Center north of San Francisco
• Alan Watts Electronic University – Alan Watts' audio and video courses, co-founded by Alan Watts, Mark Watts, and Henry Jacobs in 1973.
• Alan Watts Podcast – the official podcast
• Master Enlightenments Arts Seminars and Lectures by Alan Watts – looking at many different forms of enlightenment; recorded by Henry Jacobs in 1964/65.
• Alan Watts Online – Project Unicorn (also Archived 31 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine)
• Watts essay on Nothingness
• Alan Watts Lectures and Essays audio, video, essays, and articles – resources from
• Alan Watts' This Is It: The First Psychedelic LP essay by Patrick Lundborg
• Alan Watts Resource Compilation audio and video links of his lectures and essays
• "Alan Watts on YouTube, South Park". Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-09. interview with Mark Watts on the resurgence of his father's work
• "What if money was no object?" interpretation of Watts' lecture at
• Alan Watts on
• Alan Watts page on Facebook public discussion group
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Norbert Wiener
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



Norbert Wiener
Born November 26, 1894
Columbia, Missouri, U.S.
Died March 18, 1964 (aged 69)
Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality American
Education Tufts College, B.A. 1909
Cornell University
Harvard University, Ph.D. 1913
Known for
Awards Bôcher Memorial Prize (1933)
National Medal of Science (1963)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis A Comparison Between the Treatment of the Algebra of Relatives by Schroeder and that by Whitehead and Russell[1]
Doctoral advisors
Karl Schmidt[1]
Other academic advisors Josiah Royce[2]
Doctoral students
Amar Bose
Colin Cherry
Shikao Ikehara
Yuk-Wing Lee
Norman Levinson
Dorothy Walcott Weeks

Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964) was an American mathematician and philosopher. He was a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A child prodigy, Wiener later became an early researcher in stochastic and mathematical noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems.

Wiener is considered the originator of cybernetics, a formalization of the notion of feedback, with implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, neuroscience, philosophy, and the organization of society.

Norbert Wiener is credited as being one of the first to theorize that all intelligent behavior was the result of feedback mechanisms, that could possibly be simulated by machines and was an important early step towards the development of modern AI.[3]



Wiener was born in Columbia, Missouri, the first child of Leo Wiener and Bertha Kahn, Jews[4] from Poland and Germany, respectively. Through his father, he was related to Maimonides, the famous rabbi, philosopher and physician from Al Andalus, as well as to Akiva Eger, chief rabbi of Posen from 1815 to 1837.[5] Leo had educated Norbert at home until 1903, employing teaching methods of his own invention, except for a brief interlude when Norbert was seven years of age. Earning his living teaching German and Slavic languages, Leo read widely and accumulated a personal library from which the young Norbert benefited greatly. Leo also had ample ability in mathematics and tutored his son in the subject until he left home. In his autobiography, Norbert described his father as calm and patient, unless he (Norbert) failed to give a correct answer, at which his father would lose his temper.

He became an agnostic.[6]

After graduating from Ayer High School in 1906 at 11 years of age, Wiener entered Tufts College. He was awarded a BA in mathematics in 1909 at the age of 14, whereupon he began graduate studies of zoology at Harvard. In 1910 he transferred to Cornell to study philosophy.

Harvard and World War I

The next year he returned to Harvard, while still continuing his philosophical studies. Back at Harvard, Wiener became influenced by Edward Vermilye Huntington, whose mathematical interests ranged from axiomatic foundations to engineering problems. Harvard awarded Wiener a Ph.D. in 1912, when he was 17 years old, for a dissertation on mathematical logic, supervised by Karl Schmidt, the essential results of which were published as Wiener (1914). In that dissertation, he was the first to state publicly that ordered pairs can be defined in terms of elementary set theory. Hence relations can be defined by set theory, thus the theory of relations does not require any axioms or primitive notions distinct from those of set theory. In 1921, Kazimierz Kuratowski proposed a simplification of Wiener's definition of ordered pairs, and that simplification has been in common use ever since. It is (x, y) = {{x}, {x, y}}.

In 1914, Wiener traveled to Europe, to be taught by Bertrand Russell and G. H. Hardy at Cambridge University, and by David Hilbert and Edmund Landau at the University of Göttingen. During 1915–16, he taught philosophy at Harvard, then was an engineer for General Electric and wrote for the Encyclopedia Americana. Wiener was briefly a journalist for the Boston Herald, where he wrote a feature story on the poor labor conditions for mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, but he was fired soon afterwards for his reluctance to write favorable articles about a politician the newspaper's owners sought to promote.[7]

Although Wiener eventually became a staunch pacifist, he eagerly contributed to the war effort in World War I. In 1916, with America's entry into the war drawing closer, Wiener attended a training camp for potential military officers, but failed to earn a commission. One year later Wiener again tried to join the military, but the government again rejected him due to his poor eyesight. In the summer of 1918, Oswald Veblen invited Wiener to work on ballistics at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.[8] Living and working with other mathematicians strengthened his interest in mathematics. However, Wiener was still eager to serve in uniform, and decided to make one more attempt to enlist, this time as a common soldier. Wiener wrote in a letter to his parents, "I should consider myself a pretty cheap kind of a swine if I were willing to be an officer but unwilling to be a soldier."[9] This time the army accepted Wiener into its ranks and assigned him, by coincidence, to a unit stationed at Aberdeen, Maryland. World War I ended just days after Wiener's return to Aberdeen and Wiener was discharged from the military in February 1919.[10]

After the war

Norbert Wiener was regarded as a semi-legendary figure at MIT

Norbert (standing) and Margaret (sitting) Wiener at the International Congress of Mathematicians, Zurich 1932

Wiener was unable to secure a permanent position at Harvard, a situation he blamed largely on anti-semitism at the university and in particular on the antipathy of Harvard mathematician G. D. Birkhoff.[11] He was also rejected for a position at the University of Melbourne. At W. F. Osgood's suggestion, Wiener became an instructor of mathematics at MIT, where he spent the remainder of his career, becoming promoted eventually to professor. There is a photograph of him prominently displayed in one of the hallways, often used in giving directions.

In 1926, Wiener returned to Europe as a Guggenheim scholar. He spent most of his time at Göttingen and with Hardy at Cambridge, working on Brownian motion, the Fourier integral, Dirichlet's problem, harmonic analysis, and the Tauberian theorems.

In 1926, Wiener's parents arranged his marriage to a German immigrant, Margaret Engemann; they had two daughters. His sister, Constance, married Philip Franklin. Their daughter, Janet, Wiener's niece, married Václav E. Beneš.[12]

Many tales, perhaps apocryphal, were told of him at MIT, especially concerning his absent-mindedness. It was said that he returned home once to find his house empty. He inquired of a neighborhood girl the reason, and she said that the family had moved elsewhere that day. He thanked her for the information and she replied, "That's why I stayed behind, Daddy!"[13]

In the run-up to World War II (1939–45) Wiener became a member of the China Aid Society and the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars.[14] He was interested in placing scholars such as Yuk-Wing Lee and Antoni Zygmund who had lost their positions.[15]

During and after World War II

During World War II, his work on the automatic aiming and firing of anti-aircraft guns caused Wiener to investigate information theory independently of Claude Shannon and to invent the Wiener filter. (To him is due the now standard practice of modeling an information source as a random process—in other words, as a variety of noise.) His anti-aircraft work eventually led him to formulate cybernetics.[16] After the war, his fame helped MIT to recruit a research team in cognitive science, composed of researchers in neuropsychology and the mathematics and biophysics of the nervous system, including Warren Sturgis McCulloch and Walter Pitts. These men later made pioneering contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence. Soon after the group was formed, Wiener suddenly ended all contact with its members, mystifying his colleagues. This emotionally traumatized Pitts, and led to his career decline. In their biography of Wiener, Conway and Siegelman suggest that Wiener's wife Margaret, who detested McCulloch's bohemian lifestyle, engineered the breach.[17]

Wiener later helped develop the theories of cybernetics, robotics, computer control, and automation. He discussed the modeling of neurons with John von Neumann, and in a letter from November 1946 von Neumann presented his thoughts in advance of a meeting with Wiener.[18]

Wiener always shared his theories and findings with other researchers, and credited the contributions of others. These included Soviet researchers and their findings. Wiener's acquaintance with them caused him to be regarded with suspicion during the Cold War. He was a strong advocate of automation to improve the standard of living, and to end economic underdevelopment. His ideas became influential in India, whose government he advised during the 1950s.

After the war, Wiener became increasingly concerned with what he believed was political interference with scientific research, and the militarization of science. His article "A Scientist Rebels" from the January 1947 issue of The Atlantic Monthly[19] urged scientists to consider the ethical implications of their work. After the war, he refused to accept any government funding or to work on military projects. The way Wiener's beliefs concerning nuclear weapons and the Cold War contrasted with those of von Neumann is the major theme of the book John Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener.[20][full citation needed]

Wiener was a participant of the Macy conferences. He died in March 1964, aged 69, in Stockholm, from a heart attack. Wiener and his wife are buried at the Vittum Hill Cemetery in Sandwich, New Hampshire.

Awards and honors

• Wiener was a Plenary Speaker of the ICM in 1936 at Oslo and in 1950 at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• Wiener won the Bôcher Memorial Prize in 1933 and the National Medal of Science in 1963, presented by President Johnson at a White House Ceremony in January, 1964, shortly before Wiener's death.
• Wiener won the 1965 U.S. National Book Award in Science, Philosophy and Religion for God & Golem, Inc.: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion.[21]
• The Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics was endowed in 1967 in honor of Norbert Wiener by MIT's mathematics department and is provided jointly by the American Mathematical Society and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
• The Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility awarded annually by CPSR, was established in 1987 in honor of Wiener to recognize contributions by computer professionals to socially responsible use of computers.
• The crater Wiener on the far side of the Moon is named after him.
• The Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications, at the University of Maryland, College Park, is named in his honor.[22]
• Robert A. Heinlein named a spaceship after him in his 1957 novel Citizen of the Galaxy, a "Free Trader" ship called the Norbert Wienermentioned in Chapter 14.

Doctoral students

• Shikao Ikehara (Ph.D. 1930)
• Dorothy Walcott Weeks (Ph.D. 1930)
• Norman Levinson (Sc.D. 1935)
• Brockway McMillan (Ph.D. 1939)
• Abe Gelbart (Ph.D. 1940)
• Amar Bose (Sc.D. 1956)
• Colin Cherry (Ph.D. 1956)[23]


Information is information, not matter or energy.

— Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

Wiener was an early studier of stochastic and mathematical noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems. It was Wiener's idea to model a signal as if it were an exotic type of noise, giving it a sound mathematical basis. The example often given to students is that English text could be modeled as a random string of letters and spaces, where each letter of the alphabet (and the space) has an assigned probability. But Wiener dealt with analog signals, where such a simple example doesn't exist. Wiener's early work on information theory and signal processing was limited to analog signals, and was largely forgotten with the development of the digital theory.[24]

Wiener originated cybernetics, a formalization of the notion of feedback, with many implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society.

Wiener's work with cybernetics influenced Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, and through them, anthropology, sociology, and education.[25]

In the mathematical field of probability, the "Wiener sausage" is a neighborhood of the trace of a Brownian motion up to a time t, given by taking all points within a fixed distance of Brownian motion. It can be visualized as a cylinder of fixed radius the centerline of which is Brownian motion.

Wiener equation

A simple mathematical representation of Brownian motion, the Wiener equation, named after Wiener, assumes the current velocity of a fluid particle fluctuates randomly.

Wiener filter

For signal processing, the Wiener filter is a filter proposed by Wiener during the 1940s and published in 1942 as a classified document. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of noise present in a signal by comparison with an estimate of the desired noiseless signal. Wiener developed the filter at the Radiation Laboratory at MIT to predict the position of German bombers from radar reflections. It is necessary to predict the future, because by the time the shell reaches the vicinity of the target, the target has moved, and may have changed direction slightly. They even modeled the muscle response of the pilot, which led eventually to cybernetics. The unmanned V1's were particularly easy to model, and on a good day, American guns fitted with Wiener filters would shoot down 99 out of 100 V1's as they entered Britain from the English channel, on their way to London. What emerged was a mathematical theory of great generality—a theory for predicting the future as best one can on the basis of incomplete information about the past. It was a statistical theory that included applications that did not, strictly speaking, predict the future, but only tried to remove noise. It made use of Wiener's earlier work on integral equations and Fourier transforms.[26] [27]

In mathematics

Wiener took a great interest in the mathematical theory of Brownian motion (named after Robert Brown) proving many results now widely known such as the non-differentiability of the paths. Consequently, the one-dimensional version of Brownian motion was named the Wiener process. It is the best known of the Lévy processes, càdlàg stochastic processes with stationary statistically independent increments, and occurs frequently in pure and applied mathematics, physics and economics (e.g. on the stock-market).

Wiener's Tauberian theorem, a 1932 result of Wiener, developed Tauberian theorems in summability theory, on the face of it a chapter of real analysis, by showing that most of the known results could be encapsulated in a principle taken from harmonic analysis. In its present formulation, the theorem of Wiener does not have any obvious association with Tauberian theorems, which deal with infinite series; the translation from results formulated for integrals, or using the language of functional analysis and Banach algebras, is however a relatively routine process.

The Paley–Wiener theorem relates growth properties of entire functions on Cn and Fourier transformation of Schwartz distributions of compact support.

The Wiener–Khinchin theorem, (also known as the Wiener – Khintchine theorem and the Khinchin – Kolmogorov theorem), states that the power spectral density of a wide-sense-stationary random process is the Fourier transform of the corresponding autocorrelation function.

An abstract Wiener space is a mathematical object in measure theory, used to construct a "decent", strictly positive and locally finite measure on an infinite-dimensional vector space. Wiener's original construction only applied to the space of real-valued continuous paths on the unit interval, known as classical Wiener space. Leonard Gross provided the generalization to the case of a general separable Banach space.

The notion of a Banach space itself was discovered independently by both Wiener and Stefan Banach at around the same time.[28]

The Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications (NWC) in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park is devoted to the scientific and mathematical legacy of Norbert Wiener. The NWC website highlights the research activities of the Center. Further, each year the Norbert Wiener Center hosts the February Fourier Talks, a two-day national conference displaying advances in pure and applied harmonic analysis in industry, government, and academia.

In popular culture

His work with Mary Brazier is referenced in Avis DeVoto's As Always, Julia.[29]

A character named after him appears briefly in the Hugo Award winner The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin.[30]

The song Dedicated to Norbert Wiener appears as the second track on the 1980 album Why? by G.G. Tonet (Luigi Tonet), released on the Italian It Why label.[31]


Wiener wrote many books and hundreds of articles:[32]

• 1914, "A simplification in the logic of relations". Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. 13: 387–390. 1912–14. Reprinted in van Heijenoort, Jean (1967). From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879–1931. Harvard University Press. pp. 224–7.
• 1930, Wiener, Norbert (1930). "Generalized harmonic analysis". Acta Math. 55 (1): 117–258. doi:10.1007/BF02546511.
• 1933, The Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications Cambridge Univ. Press; reprint by Dover, CUP Archive 1988 ISBN 0-521-35884-1
• 1942, Extrapolation, Interpolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series. A war-time classified report nicknamed "the yellow peril" because of the color of the cover and the difficulty of the subject. Published postwar 1949 MIT Press.])
• 1948, Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Paris, (Hermann & Cie) & Camb. Mass. (MIT Press) ISBN 978-0-262-73009-9; 2nd revised ed. 1961.
• 1950, The Human Use of Human Beings. The Riverside Press (Houghton Mifflin Co.).
• 1958, Nonlinear Problems in Random Theory. MIT Press & Wiley.
• 1964, Selected Papers of Norbert Wiener. Cambridge Mass. 1964 (MIT Press & SIAM)
• 1964, God & Golem, Inc.: A Comment on Certain Points Where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion. MIT Press.
• 1966, Levinson, N. (1966). "Norbert Wiener 1894–1964". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 72 (1 Part 2): 1–33. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1966-11450-7. Published in book form.
• 1966, Generalized Harmonic Analysis and Tauberian Theorems. MIT Press.
• 1993, Invention: The Care and Feeding of Ideas. MIT Press. 1993. ISBN 978-0-262-73111-9. This was written in 1954 but Wiener abandoned the project at the editing stage and returned his advance. MIT Press published it posthumously in 1993.
• 1976–84, The Mathematical Work of Norbert Wiener. Masani P (ed) 4 vols, Camb. Mass. (MIT Press). This contains a complete collection of Wiener's mathematical papers with commentaries.


• 1959,The Tempter. Random House.


• 1953. Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth. MIT Press.
• 1956. I am a Mathematician. London (Gollancz).

Under the name "W. Norbert":

• 1952 The Brain and other short science fiction in Tech Engineering News.

See also

• Systems science portal
• List of things named after Norbert Wiener


1. Norbert Wiener at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
2. Leone Montagnini, Harmonies of Disorder – Norbert Wiener: A Mathematician-Philosopher of Our Time, Springer, 2017, p. 61.
3. Research, AI (11 January 2019). "The Beginnings of AI Research". Retrieved 11 January 2019.
4. "Norbert Wiener". NNDB. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
5. Leone Montagnini, Harmonies of Disorder: Norbert Wiener: A Mathematician-Philosopher of Our Time, Springer (2017), p. 4
6. "On June 2, 1964, Swami Sarvagatananda presided over the memorial service at MIT in remembrance of Norbert Wiener – scion of Maimonides, father of cybernetics, avowed agnostic – reciting in Sanskrit from the holy books of Hinduism, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita." , Conway & Siegelman 2005, p. 329
7. Conway & Siegelman 2005, p. 45
8. Conway & Siegelman 2005, pp. 41–43
9. Conway & Siegelman 2005, p. 43
10. Conway & Siegelman 2005, pp. 43–44
11. Conway & Siegelman 2005, pp. 40, 45
12. Franklin biography. Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
13. Adams, Hass & Thompson 1998, p. 8
14. Masani, Pesi R. (2012-12-06), Norbert Wiener 1894–1964, Birkhäuser, p. 167, ISBN 978-3-0348-9252-0, retrieved 2016-03-20
15. McCavitt, Mary Jane (September 2, 2009), Guide to the Papers of Norbert Wiener (PDF), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, p. 15, retrieved 2016-03-20
16. Conway & Siegelman 2005, p. 12
17. Conway & Siegelman 2005, pp. 223–7
18. Letters to Norbert Wiener in John von Neumann: Selected Letters, edited by Miklós Rédei, in History of Mathematics, Volume 27, jointly published by the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society, 2005
19. Wiener, Norbert (January 1947). "A Scientist Rebels". Atlantic Monthly. p. 46.
20. Heims 1980
21. "National Book Awards – 1965". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
22. "Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications". University of Maryland, College Park.
23. Mandrekar, V.; Masani, P. R., eds. (1997). Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics Vol 52: Proceedings of the Norbert Wiener Centenary Congress 1994. Providence, Rhode Island: Michigan State University. p. 541. ISBN 978-0-8218-0452-0.
24. John Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Steve Joshua Heims, MIT Press, 1980
25. Heims, Steve P. (April 1977). "Gregory Bateson and the mathematicians: From interdisciplinary interaction to societal functions". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. 13 (2): 141–159. doi:10.1002/1520-6696(197704)13:2<141::AID-JHBS2300130205>3.0.CO;2-G. PMID 325068.
26. John Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Steve Joshua Heims, MIT Press, 1980, p.183
27. Norbert Wiener, Extrapolation, Interpolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series, MIT Press, 1949. Originally published as a classified document in 1942
28. "Note on a paper of M. Banach". Fund. Math. 4: 136–143. 1923. See Albiac, F.; Kalton, N. (2006). Topics in Banach Space Theory. Graduate Texts in Mathematics. 233. New York: Springer. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-387-28141-4.
29. Reardon, Joan. As Always, Julia. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 223.
30. Liu, Cixin (2015). The Three Body Problem. Chongqing Publishing Group. ISBN 9787229100605.
31. "G.G. Tonet – Why?". Discogs. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
32. A full bibliography is given by the Cybernetics Society Publications of Norbert Wiener

Further reading

• Adams, Colin; Hass, Joel; Thompson, Abigail (1998). How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
• Almira, J. M. (2009). Norbert Wiener. Un matemático entre ingenieros [Norbert Wiener. A mathematician between engineers] (in Spanish). Madrid: Nivola Libros Y Ediciones Sl. ISBN 978-84-92493-49-4.
• Bluma, Lars (2005). Norbert Wiener und die Entstehung der Kybernetik im Zweiten Weltkrieg: eine historische Fallstudie zur Verbindung von Wissenschaft, Technik und Gesellschaft (Ph.D.). Münster. ISBN 3-8258-8345-0. OCLC 60744372.
• Bynum, Terrell W. "Norbert Wiener's Vision: The impact of "the automatic age" on our moral lives" (PDF).
• Conway, Flo; Siegelman, Jim (2005). Dark Hero of the Information Age: in search of Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-7382-0368-3.
• Faucheux, Michel; Wiener, Norbert (2008). le Golem et la cybernetique. Editions du Sandre.
• Gleick, James (2011). The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon Books.
• Grattan-Guinness, Ivor (2000). The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870–1940. Princeton University Press. pp. 290, 296, 394, 395, 410, 419–422, 427, 442, 528, 531, 536, 538, 567. ISBN 978-1400824045.
• Hardesty, Larry (July–August 2011). "The Original Absent-Minded Professor - An MIT institution, Norbert Wiener did seminal work in control theory and signal processing". MIT News.
• Heims, Steve J. (1980). John Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-08105-4.
• Heims, Steve J. (1993). Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America. The Cybernetics Group, 1946–1953. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-58123-3.
• Ilgauds, Hans Joachim (1980). Norbert Wiener. Biographien hervorragender Naturwissenschaftler, Techniker und Mediziner. 45. Teubner..
• Masani, P. Rustom (1990). Norbert Wiener 1894–1964. Birkhauser.
• Montagnini, Leone (2017). Harmonies of Disorder. Norbert Wiener, A Mathematician-Philosopher of our time. New York - Berlin - Heidelberg: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-50656-2.

External links

• Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications
• Norbert Wiener and Cybernetics – Living Internet
• O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Norbert Wiener", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
• Norbert Wiener at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
• Dr Norbert Wiener at Find a Grave
• [1] - Norbert Wiener in Encyclopedia o Com
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:13 am

Dimitrije Mitrinović
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



Dimitrije Mitrinović
Born Dimitrije Mitrinović, 21 October 1887, Donji Poplat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary
Died 28 August 1953 (aged 65), Richmond, United Kingdom
Other names Mita Mitrinović
Education: Mostar Gymnasium
Alma mater: University of Munich
Era: 20th-century philosophy
School: Critical theory
Main interests: Social theory, Futurology, Pan-Europeanism, Third Way
Influences: Plotinus, Lao-Tzu, Böhme, Clement of Alexandria, Adler, Husserl, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Freud, Jung
Influenced: Predrag Palavestra [sr]

Dimitrije "Mita" Mitrinović (Serbian Cyrillic: Димитрије Мита Митриновић; 21 October 1887 – 28 August 1953) was a Serbian philosopher, poet, revolutionary, mystic, theoretician of modern painting and traveler.


Mitrinović was born in 1887 into a family of Orthodox faith and Serbian culture at Donji Poplat, municipality Berkovići in Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian occupation. His father, Mihailo, was in the service of the Austro-Hungarian government and ran an experimental farm. Dimitrije was educated at Mostar Gymnasium. As a young student he was the formulator of the principal program of the political movement Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia), in his country's struggle for independence from Austria-Hungary and in the moves to create a united Yugoslavia. During this period Mitrinović edited the Sarajevo literary paper, Bosanska Vila, whose contributors included poets Risto Radulović and Vladimir "Vlado" Gaćinović. All three were born a few years apart in the late second half of the nineteenth century and all three have been members of secret political societies illegal in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Of the three friends, only Mitrinović survived World War I (Gaćinović died in 1917 and Radulović died in an Austrian prison camp in 1915).

Having studied history of art in Munich, Mitrinović came to England in 1914 to work for the Serbian Legation in London and moved among influential cultural circles in this country. From late 1914 to early 1915, there was an exhibition of work by Ivan Meštrović at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which included a model of a monument he had designed to commemorate the Battle of Kosovo.

A mysterious personality in Serbian and European cultural history, he began his work in the field of art by translating Rig-Veda and the works of Virgil into Serbian. He studied philosophy and art history while staying in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Munich, and Tübingen. He was one of the first advocates of the avant-garde artistic group Der Blaue Reiter and gave a lecture on the art of Wassily Kandinsky.

Being in favour of the building of a universal utopia, like many of the leading minds of his time, he wrote about the inevitable creation of the Pan-European community
.Ten years before La rebellión de las masas by Ortega y Gasset, Mitrinović prophesied: "Being different from the other races, the population of Europe has always given birth to its contradictions and always with the chances of their solution in some ultimate synthesis."

He was a regular contributor to the epoch-making periodical The New Age (the author of the column "World Affairs"), alongside Ezra Pound, and according to Edwin Muir, Mitrinović "has erupted with wild and profound contemplations ... not looking several ages ahead, like Shaw or Wells, but several millennia ahead."

The Utopian and messianic ideas of Mitrinović (incorporating the philosophical concepts of Husserl and Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, the theosophical doctrine of G. I. Gurdjieff, and the psychoanalytical school of Freud, Jung and Adler) were brought to the attention of the public not only in the periodical The New Age but also in the periodical The New Atlantis (which Mitrinović edited) and The New Albion (which he co-edited with A. R. Orage).

Mitrinović founded the Adler's Society (the English Branch of the International Society for Individual Psychology), but later he and Adler went different ways due, allegedly, to "politicizing of his [Mitrinović's] scientific concepts". Mitrinović later founded the New Europe Group.

Mitrinović advocated a metaphysical Utopia (based on Plotinus, Clement of Alexandria, Lao Tzu, Jakob Böhme) but was also politically pragmatic. He published an open letter to Adolf Hitler in 1933 in which he accused Hitler of "behaving and acting as an evil superman ... possessed with some weird vision" which is "incomprehensible for the human mind and belief and quite certainly, and in all forms and essence, directed against the Orthodox soul."

The works of Mitrinović have remained scattered in numerous European periodicals (like the provocative texts based on psychological and philosophical theories, such as: Frojd prema Adleru (Freud versus Adler), Značaj Jungovog dela (The Importance of Jung's Work), Marks i Niče kao istorijska pozadina Adlera (Marx and Nietzsche as the Historical Background of Adler), Načela genija (The Principles of Genius), Carstvo snova (The Realm of Dream). Many of his works (including much of his poetry) were published in Serbian periodicals, and one of his major works, Aesthetic Contemplations, was published in Bosanska Vila.

In addition to the selected works of Dimitrije Mitrinović (published in Serbian language, a number of years after his death) and the special study by Predrag Palavestra, Dogma i utopija (Dogma and Utopia) published in Serbian language in 1977), two books have been distributed by Columbia University Press, New York; the first of them was published in 1984 and the second one in 1987. The authors of these books are Andrew Rigby (Initiation and Initiative: An Exploration of the Life and Ideas of Dimitrije Mitrinović) and H. C. Rutherford (Certainly Future: Selected Writings by Dimitrije Mitrinović).

In 1914, wishing to establish the movement "The Fundamentals of the Future", he maintained correspondence with the following potential associates: Giovanni Papini, Stanisław Przybyszewski, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Upton Sinclair, Henri Bergson, H. G. Wells, Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Leonid Andreyev, Maxim Gorky, Maurice Maeterlinck, Pablo Picasso, Filippo T. Marinetti, Anatole France, George Bernard Shaw, and Knut Hamsun.

Library and archive

The Mitrinović Library contains a collection of over 4,500 volumes, based on Mitrinović's private collection. The Library thus reflects Mitrinović's very wide range of interests and command of languages. Particular areas of strength are philosophy, politics, society, religions and esoterica. The collection includes rare books on art history, literature, psychology, history, science, oriental studies, astrology, Freemasonry, theosophy, and more. Most material is from the nineteenth and early twentieth century; the main languages used are English and German, with also French and some Asian and Eastern European languages.

Part of the library was bequeathed to the Belgrade University Library in 1956 and part of it donated to University of Bradford in 2003 and 2004.

The archive that was donated to the University of Bradford by the Foundation New Atlantis in 2003 and 2004 includes published and unpublished writings of Mitrinović and documents and correspondence produced by members of Mitrinović's circle, of the New Europe Group, and of the New Atlantis Foundation.


• Christophe Le Dréau, «L’Europe des non-conformistes des années 30 : les idées européistes de New Britain et New Europe», dans Olivier Dard et Etienne Deschamps (sous la dir.), Les nouvelles relèves en Europe, Bruxelles, Peter Lang, 2005, pp. 311–330.
• Mairet, Philip, «A.R. Orage: a memoir», London: J.M. Dent, 1936, 132p; reissued under the same title with a new 'Reintroduction,' by Philip Mairet, New Hyde Park, N.Y: University Books, 1966, xxxp + 140p, index. Mairet reveals in his 'Reintroduction,' that the pen-name for the frequent pieces Mitrinović contributed to the 'New Age' was M.M. Cosmoi; Mairet also mentions that he had been "devoted for fourteen years" to Mitrinović's "esoteric school"(p.vii). Mairet was an editorial colleague of Orage's and makes detailed comparisons of Mitrinović's philosophy with the ideas of Orage, Ouspensky and Gurdjieff.
• «Autobiographical and Other Papers by Philip Mairet», edited by C.H. Sisson, Manchester, Carcanet: 1981, 266p, index. Mairet's lengthy additional reminiscences about Mitrinović are well indexed.
• Paul Selver, «Orage and the New Age Circle», London: George Allen & Unwin, 1959, 100p, index. Selver offers a four-page description of his initial meeting with Mitrinović.
• «Certainly, future: selected writings by Dimitrije Mitrinović», edited with introductions by H. C. Rutherford, Boulder: East European Monograph, 1987, 471 p.

External links

• Dimitrije Mitrinovic, pesnik, vizionar, pokretač
• Belgrade University Library Svetozar Markovic
• Dimitrije Mitrinović and New Atlantis Foundation Library and Archive of the University of Bradford
• D. G. Page, Dimitrije Mitrinović
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:47 am

Pan-European identity
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



In 1922, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi launched the Pan European Union, at a founding convention in Vienna, attended by more than 6,000 delegates. Railing against the "Bolshevist menace" in Russia, the Venetian Count called for the dissolution of all the nation-states of Western Europe and the erection of a single, European feudal state, modeled on the Roman and Napoleonic empires. "There are Europeans," Coudenhove-Kalergi warned, who are "naïve enough to believe that the opposition between the Soviet Union and Europe can be bridged by the inclusion of the Soviet Union in the United States of Europe. These Europeans need only to glance at the map to persuade themselves that the Soviet Union in its immensity can, with the help of the [Communist] Third International, very quickly prevail over little Europe. To receive this Trojan horse into the European union would lead to perpetual civil war and the extermination of European culture. So long, therefore, as there is any will to survive subsisting in Europe, the idea of linking the Soviet Union with Pan Europe must be rejected. It would be nothing less than the suicide of Europe."

Elsewhere, Coudenhove-Kalergi echoed the contemporaneous writings of British Fabian Roundtable devotees H.G. Wells and Lord Bertrand Russell, declaring: "This eternal war can end only with the constitution of a world republic.... The only way left to save the peace seems to be a politic of peaceful strength, on the model of the Roman Empire, that succeeded in having the longest period of peace in the west thanks to the supremacy of his legions."

The launching of the Pan European Union was bankrolled by the Venetian-rooted European banking family, the Warburgs. Max Warburg, scion of the German branch of the family, gave Coudenhove-Kalergi 60,000 gold marks to hold the founding convention. Even more revealing, the first mass rally of the Pan European Union in Berlin, at the Reichstag, was addressed by Hjalmar Schacht, later the Reichsbank head, Economics Minister and chief architect of the Hitler coup. A decade later, in October 1932, Schacht delivered a major address before another PanEuropa event, in which he assured Coudenhove-Kalergi and the others, "In three months, Hitler will be in power.... Hitler will create PanEuropa. Only Hitler can create PanEuropa."

According to historical documents, Italy's Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was initially skeptical about the PanEuropa idea, but was "won over" to the scheme, following a meeting with Coudenhove-Kalergi, during which, in the Count's words, "I gave him a complete harvest of Nietzsche's quotes for the United States of Europe.... My visit represented a shift in the behavior of Mussolini towards PanEuropa. His opposition disappeared."

At the founding congress of the Pan European Union in Vienna, the backdrop behind the podium was adorned with portraits of the movement's leading intellectual icons: Immanuel Kant, Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

-- Synarchism: The Fascist Roots Of the Wolfowitz Cabal, by Jeffrey Steinberg

European Union
This article is part of a series on the politics and government of the European Union

Pan-European identity is the sense of personal identification with Europe, in a cultural or political sense. The concept is discussed in the context of European integration, historically in connection with hypothetical proposals, but since the formation of the European Union (EU) in the 1990s increasingly with regards to the project of ever-increasing federalisation of the EU.

Pan-European identity has roots as far back as the Middle Ages, when poet and political advisor Dante Alighieri claimed, "My country is the whole world."[1] Much of its foundational definition emerged during the Renaissance. Artists and scholars of that period collaborated across national boundaries, travelling to centres of activity in their respective fields and believing that freedom came from common bonds and individualism in a way that transcended national allegiances.[2]

Developing of Pan-European identity continued during the Enlightenment. During this time, leading philosophical and political thinkers in Europe articulated a form of nationalism that acknowledged local cultural differences while incorporating a sense of shared, universal values based on the application of reason. Towards the end of the Eighteenth Century, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau remarked that "there are no longer any Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, or even Englishmen; there are only Europeans."[3] Irish statesman and political theorist Edmund Burke spoke of a "European Commonwealth" brought together by commercial and economic bonds, and in 1796 wrote: "No citizen of Europe could be altogether an exile in any part of it... When a man travelled or resided for health, pleasure, business or necessity, from his country, he never felt himself quite abroad."[4][3]

The model of a "pan-European" union is the Carolingian Empire, which united "Europe" in the sense of Latin Christendom.

The original proposal for a Paneuropean Union was made in 1922 by Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi. The term "Pan-European" is to be understood not as referring to the modern geographic definition of the continent of Europe but in the historical sense of the western parts of continental Europe sharing the common history of Latin Christendom, the Carolingian Empire and the early modern Habsburg Empire. Coudenhove-Kalergi saw the Pan-European state as a future "fifth great power", in explicit opposition to the Soviet Union, "Asia", Great Britain and the United States (as such explicitly excluding both the British Isles and Eastern Europe from his notion of "Pan-European").[5]

After 1945, an accelerating process of European integration culminated in the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993. In the period of 1995–2013, the EU has been enlarged from 12 to 28 member states, far beyond the area originally envisaged for the "pan-European" state by Coudenhove-Kalergi (with the exception of Switzerland), its member states accounting for a population of some 510 million, or two thirds of the population of the entire continent.

In the 1990s to 2000s, there was an active movement towards a federalisation of the European Union, with the introduction of symbols and institutions usually reserved for sovereign states, such as citizenship, a common currency (used by 19 out of 28 members), a flag, an anthem and a motto (In Varietate Concordia, "United in Diversity"). An attempt to introduce a European Constitution was made in 2004, but it failed to be ratified; instead, the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007 in order to salvage some of the reforms that had been envisaged in the constitution.

A debate on the feasibility and desirability of a "pan-European identity" or "European identity" has taken place in parallel to this process of political integration. The ideology of pan-European nationalism, which had been a hallmark of neo-fascist or far-right currents of European politics during the 1950s to 1970s, has been largely abandoned in favour of a resurgence of national identity paired with "Euroscepticism", while the proponents of European integration do not connect the "European idea" with nationalism, but rather with a "postmodern world order" characterised by "diversity of identity" combined with a "commonality of values",[6] while the remaining loyalties to national or cultural identities are seen as a threat to the "supranational prospect" of European integration.[7]

A possible future "European identity" is seen at best as one aspect of a "multifaceted identity" still involving national or regional loyalties. Two authors writing in 1998 concluded that "In the short-term it seems that the influence of this project [of European integration] will only influence European identity in certain limited niches and in a very modest way. It is doubtful if this will do to ensure a smooth process of ongoing European integration and successfully address the challenges of the multicultural European societies."[8] Even at that time, the development of a common European identity was viewed as rather a by-product than the main goal of the European integration process, even though it was actively promoted by both EU bodies and non-governmental initiatives, such as the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. [8][9] With the rise of EU-scepticism and opposition to continued European integration by the early 2010s, the feasibility and desirability of such a "European identity" has been called into question.[10]

History of Pan-Europeanism

Main article: Pan-European nationalism

Further information: Ideas of European unity before 1945 and History of the European Union

Pan-Europeanism, as it emerged in the wake of World War I, derived a sense of European identity from the idea of a shared history, taken to be the source of a set of fundamental "European values".

Typically the 'common history' includes a combination of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the feudalism of the Middle Ages, the Hanseatic League, the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, 19th century liberalism and different forms of socialism, Christianity and secularism, colonialism and the World Wars.

The oldest European unification movement is the Paneuropean Union, founded in 1923 with the publishment of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi's book Paneuropa, who also became its first president (1926–1972), followed by Otto von Habsburg (1973–2004) and Alain Terrenoire (from 2004). This movement initiated and supported the "integration process" pursued after World War II, which eventually led to the formation of the European Union. Notable "Paneuropeans" include Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman and Alcide De Gasperi.

European values

Further information: Europeanism and European integration

Especially in France, "the European idea" (l'idée d'Europe) is associated with political values derived from the Age of Enlightenment and the Republicanism growing out of the French Revolution and the Revolutions of 1848 rather than with personal or individual identity formed by culture or ethnicity (let alone a "pan-European" construct including those areas of the continent never affected by 18th-century rationalism or Republicanism).[11]

The phrase "European values" arises as a political neologism in the 1980s in the context of the project of European integration and the future formation of the European Union. The phrase was popularised by the European Values Study, a long term research program started in 1981, aiming to document the outlook on "basic human values" in European populations. The project had grown out of a study group on "values and social change in Europe" initiated by Jan Kerkhofs, and Ruud de Moor (Catholic University in Tilburg).[12] The claim that the people of Europe have a distinctive set of political, economic and social norms and values which are gradually replacing national values has also been named "Europeanism" by McCormick (2010).[13]

"European values" were contrasted to non-European values in international relations, especially in the East–West dichotomy, "European values" encompassing individualism and the idea of human rights in contrast to Eastern tendencies of collectivism. However, "European values" were also viewed critically, their "darker" side not necessarily leading more peaceful outcomes in international relations.[14]

The association of "European values" with European integration as pursued by the European Union came to the fore with the eastern enlargement of the EU in the aftermath of the Cold War. [15]

The Treaty of Lisbon (2007) in article 2 lists a number of "values of the Union", including "respect for freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities", invoking "a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail".[16]

The 2012 Eurobarometer survey reported that 49% of those surveyed described the EU member states as "close" in terms of "shared values" (down from 54% in 2008), 42% described them as "different" (up from 34% in 2008).[17]

Identity factors

It has been for long a matter of discussions[18][19][20] to know whether or not this feeling of belonging was shared by a majority of Europeans, geographically speaking, and the strength of this feeling.

There are discussions as well about the question of the objective factors or "Europeanness". An approach[21] underlines how, for being European, a person would at least have to:

• be a citizen of a state, located by stipulation, to be geographically within Europe;
• speak a language which is officially accepted as one of the official languages of that state;
• share an historical destiny with other people, within that state, speaking the aforementioned language;
share a cultural pattern with other such people, where the cultural pattern is seen as consisting of similar cognitive, evaluative and emotional elements".

Usually four steps are considered as conditions in the building of cultural and political identity:

The recognition of a “self” distinct from others, “them”.
• The recognition that this “self,” this “identification” is in opposition to “them.” In order for an identity to thrive there must be a challenge, a competitive edge or conflicts of interests.
• The establishment of a separate political identity involves a cognitive simplification of the world, where most events are interpreted in dual categories such as “European” versus “non-European”.
• The establishment of common expected and desired goals. Such goals can be elaborated as utopian systems or models, like the federalist and confederalist conceptions of a new European order, or as partial working solutions to pragmatically felt needs, such as those postulated by neo-functionalists.

One of the clearly stated political objectives of the European Union is the deepening of the European identity feeling[22].

Cultural and linguistic identity

Defining an European identity is a very complex processes. From outside, "Europeanness" would be a thing for a Chinese or an American, but on the internal plan geography is not sufficient to define Europe in the eyes of Europeans. According to Jean-Baptiste Duroselle[23], "there has been, since men think, an immense variety of Europes". Paul Valéry cites three major heritages to define the European identity : the Greek democracy, the Roman Law, and the Judeo-Christian tradition[24]. Yet Emmanuel Berl[25] criticizes this thesis as reductive, since it supposes a level of "europeanness", decreasing for West to East. According to him, Europe is shape-shifting, and no culture historically prevails over another, and European Islam, which concerns around 8% of the population, is one of the many sides of European identity.

Eurobarometer surveys on identity

The Eurobarometer surveys show that European and national identities tend to add rather than rule themselves out. In 2009, 3 French out of 5 felt French and European, a feeling that dominated in every socio-political group except the National Front supporters. Yet this tendency is not geographically homogeneous : 63 % of Britons favoured their sole nationalities (which has been one of the main explanations of the Brexit vote), against 27% Luxembourgian. During these surveys, the respondents are asked which notions they spontaneously associate with the EU. Democracy, Human Rights, Freedom of movement and the euro are the most cited. There are divergences between generations : those who knew war directly or through their parents narrations mention peace, while the younger evoke market economy. The idea that identity is built through opposition to other groups is also confirmed since 60 % Europeans state they rather or fully agree with the idea that "compared with other continents, it is distinctly easier to see what Europeans have in common in terms of values"[26]

Linguistic diversity

Five languages have more than 50 million native speakers in Europe: Russian, German, French, Italian and English. While Russian has the largest number of native speakers (more than 100 million in Europe), English has the largest number of speakers in total, including some 200 million speakers of English as a second language[27]. There is no final account of all European languages, but the sole EU recognizes 24 official languages. For some, the linguistic diversity is constituent of European identity[28].

In popular culture

Aspects of an emerging "European identity" in popular culture may be seen in the introduction of "Pan-European" competitions such as the Eurovision Song Contest (since 1956), the UEFA European Championship (since 1958) or, more recently, the European Games (2015). In these competitions, it is still teams or representatives of the individual nations of Europe that are competing against one another, but a "European identity" may argued to arise from the definition the "European" participants (often loosely defined, e.g. including Morocco, Israel and Australia in the case of the Eurovision Song Contest), and the emergence of "cultural rites" associated with these events.[29] In the 1990s and 2000s, participation in the Eurovision Song Contest was to some extent perceived as a politically significant confirmation of nationhood and of "belonging to Europe" by the then-recently independent nations of Eastern Europe.[30]

Pan-European events not organised along national lines include the European Film Awards, presented annually since 1988 by the European Film Academy to recognize excellence in European cinematic achievements. The awards are given in over ten categories, of which the most important is the Film of the year. They are restricted to European cinema and European producers, directors, and actors.[31]

The Ryder Cup golf competition is a biennial event, originally between a British and an American team, but since 1979 admitting continental European players to form a "Team Europe". The flag of Europe was used to represent "Team Europe" since 1991, but reportedly most European participants preferred to use their own national flags.[32] There have also been attempts to use popular culture for the propagation of "identification with the EU" on the behalf of the EU itself. These attempts have proven controversial. In 1997, the European Commission distributed a comic strip titled The Raspberry Ice Cream War, aimed at children in schools. The EU office in London declined to distribute this in the UK, due to an expected unsympathetic reception for such views.[33][34] Captain Euro, a cartoon character superhero mascot of Europe, was developed in the 1990s by branding strategist Nicolas De Santis to support the launch of the Euro currency.[35][36][37] In 2014, London branding think tank, Gold Mercury International, launched the Brand EU Centre, with the purpose of solving Europe's identity crisis and creating a strong brand of Europe.[38][39] There have been proposals to create a European Olympic Team, which would break with the existing organisation through National Olympic Committees.[40] In 2007, European Commission President Romano Prodi suggested that EU teams should carry the EU flag, alongside the national flag, at the 2008 Summer Olympics – a proposal which angered eurosceptics.[41][42] According to Eurobarometer surveys, only 5% of respondents think that a European Olympic team would make them feel more of a 'European citizen'.[43]

Institutional actions to promote European identity

The European institutions made several concrete attempts to reinforce two things: identity contents (what is Europe in people’s minds?) and identity formation (what makes people feel European?)[44]. The .eu domain name extension was introduced in 2005 as a new symbol of European Union identity on the World Wide Web. The .eu domain's introduction campaign specifically uses the tagline "Your European Identity". Registrants must be located within the European Union.

Direct policies

On the cultural plan, the European Union began a policy in the 70's with the directive "Television without Frontiers", which allowed free trade of TV programs and guaranteed more than half of the air time to European operas[45]. The Culture program finances other cultural activities in order to strengthen the European common identity. The European Union also bet on symbols: the flag, the anthem ("Ode to Joy" from the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony), the motto "In varietate concordia", the Europe day. Great cultural unifying events are organised, such as the European heritage days, or the election of the Capital of Culture. The youth mobility has been encouraged since the launching of the Erasmus programme in 1987, which has permitted students to go to 33 European countries.

The challenge of communication, to make the European project more understandable to the 500 million citizens, in 24 languages, has also been addressed: in 2004, the first Vice-President of the Commission has the Communication Strategy portfolio. The common values are reasserted through the judicial action of the European Court of Human Rights. Linked to this, the European Union funds many surveys (such as Eurobarometer) and scientific studies, to improve its identity-building policies. A collection of such studies is for example The development of European Identity/Identities : Unfinished Business[22]

The boundaries of European identity

Just as every sociological identity, the European identity is not as much defined by its contents than by its boundaries[46]. There are today heated political debates on whether to allow or not immigrants coming to Europe, on which criteria. The debate is also on whether to integrate or assimilate people that come form very different cultures, and how to do it. Many European right-wing politicians[47] are now advocating a vision of European identity (often seen as a White and Christian one) as a citadel being threaten by immigration, and thus needing to be defended by harsher policies on this matter. A new far right movement even baptized itself the Identitarians. Their adversaries often say that this vision of Europe is racist[48], and that it symbolically excludes people who are already European by law.

The geographical definitions of Europe do not seem to be a matter of discussions any more, but the question of an European identity merges with this one concerning countries that are part of Asia as well, such as Russia or Turkey (which has more territory in Europe than Belgium). The question of the European frontiers also rises when it comes to European territories outside of Europe, such as the French Guiana. French Guyanese are European citizen even thought they are born and live in South America.


The risk, defining an European identity, is to close up from other cultures that would not correspond to pre-defined criteria. To face this difficulty, vagueness is necessary : the Treaty of Lisbon mentions for example "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance"[49]. Moreover, it would be illusory to impose a principle of cultural homogeneity to states with various national identities. Jean-Marc Ferry considers[50] that the European construction developed new differentiation, between citizenship and nationality for example, with the birth of post national citizenship[51] in 1992. According to Raymond Aron[52], the construction can predate the European sentiment, but the last is essential to avoid a fictional Europe, a Europe that would only be a meaningless word in which the people do not recognize themselves. This idea is backed by Jacques Delors in 1992 who writes that it is needed to "give Europe a soul, (...) a spirituality, a meaning" beyond the simple economic and administrative realities[53].

See also

• Symbols of Europe
• Symbols of the European Union
• Brand EU
• Captain Euro
• Continentalism
• Europe a Nation
• Eurocentrism
• The European Dream (2004)
• Paneuropean Union
• Pan-European nationalism
• Pan-nationalism
• European integration
• Europeanisation
• Europeanism
• Euroscepticism
• Federalisation of the European Union
• Fourth Reich
• Potential Superpowers – European Union
• Pre-1945 ideas on European unity
• Pro-Europeanism
• United States of Europe
• NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum
• Volt Europa


1. Gafijczuk, Dariusz (7 December 2016). "Europe has never liked borders – and it won't be confined by them now". The Conversation. United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
2. Burckhardt, Jacob (1867). The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy[Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien] (in German). Switzerland.
3. Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A history. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780198201717.
4. Welsh, J. (1995). Edmund Burke and International Relations: The Commonwealth of Europe and the Crusade against the French Revolution. Springer. p. 73. ISBN 9780230374829.
5. "Eine Wiederherstellung der europäischen Weltherrschaft ist unmöglich; wohl aber ist es noch möglich, durch Zusammenfassung der europäischen Staaten diesen Erdteil zu einer fünften Weltmacht zusammenzuschliessen und so den Frieden, die Freiheit und den Wohlstand der Europäer zu retten." Coudenhove-Kalergi, Paneuropäisches Manifest (1923).
6. "Nationalism was dead, but it was not replaced by pan-European nationalism or by a pan-European identity", the "European idea" being transformed into an idea of "diversity of identity" combined with a "commonality of values" Anton Speekenbrink, "Trans-Atlantic Relations in a Postmodern World" (2014), p. 258.
7. "The supranational prospect held out by the EU appears to be threatened.... by a deficiency of European identity, in striking contrast to the continuing vigour of national identities, ...." Anne-Marie Thiesse. Inventing national identity. [1]
8. Dirk Jacobs and Robert Maier, European identity: construct, fact and fiction Archived 19 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine in: A United Europe. The Quest for a Multifaceted Identity (1998) pp. 13-34.
9. Pinterič, Uroš (2005). "National and supranational identity in context of the European integration and globalization". Društvena istraživanja. 14(3): 401–402.
10. Kenneth Keulman, Agnes Katalin Koós, European Identity: Its Feasibility and Desirability (2014)
11. Marita Gilli, L'idée d'Europe, vecteur des aspirations démocratiques: les idéaux républicains depuis 1848 : actes du colloque international organisé à l'Université de Franche-Comté les 14, 15 et 16 mai 1992(1994).
12. Serendipities 2.2017 (1): 50–68 | DOI: 10.25364/11.2:2017.1.4 50ARTICLE Kristoffer Kropp, The cases of the European Values Study and the European Social Survey—European constellations of social science knowledge production, Serendipities 2.2017 (1): 50–68, DOI: 10.25364/11.2:2017.1.4.
13. John McCormick, Europeanism (Oxford University Press, 2010)
14. Vilho Harle, European Values in International Relations , 1990, i–x (preface).
15. Adrian G. V. Hyde-Price, The International Politics of East Central Europe, Manchester University Press, 1996, p. 60. "The new nationalist myth in Eastern Europe thus attempts to define contemporary national identity in terms of European values and a European cultural heritage. The desire to return to Europe and embrace European values has led to a growing acceptance in much of East Central Europe of liberal democracy, human rights, multilateral cooperation and European integration."
16. Treaty on the European Union, Title I: Common Provisions.
17. LES VALEURS DES EUROPÉENS, Eurobaromètre Standard 77 (2012), p. 4.
18. Colliver, Chloe (2016). "European Identity : A Crisis of Construction in the 21st Century ?". huffpost.
19. Shqerra, Endri (2013). European Identity : The Death of National Era ?. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. ISBN 978-3659489242.
20. "Europe and Europeans - questions of identity".
21. Bryder, Tom (2005). "European political identity: an attempt at conceptual clarification" (PDF). Psicología Política (31): 37–50.
22. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (2012). The Development of European Identity/Identities: unfinished business: a policy review. Brussel: European Commission.
23. Duroselle, Jean-Baptiste (1965). L’Idée d’Europe dans l’Histoire. Paris: Denoël. p. 17.
24. Hewitson, Mark; D’Auria, Matthew (2012). Europe in Crisis: Intellectuals and the European Idea, 1917-1957. New York ; Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 9780857457271.
25. Berl, Emmanuel; de Fallois, Bernard; Morlino, Bernard (1985). Essais, textes recueillis, choisis et présentés par Bernard Morlino, préface de Bernard de Fallois. Paris: Juillard.
26. "Standard Eurobarometer 77, Page 7" (PDF). Eurobarometer. Spring 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
27. "Ethnologue: languages of the world: summury by country". Ethnologue. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
28. "Directorate-General for Translation". European Commission. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
29. "Eurovision is something of a cultural rite in Europe." Archived 10 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
30. "We are no longer knocking at Europe’s door," declared the Estonian Prime Minister after his country’s victory in 2001. "We are walking through it singing... The Turks saw their win in 2003 as a harbinger of entry into the EU, and after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, tonight’s competition is a powerful symbol of Viktor Yushchenko’s pro-European inclinations." Oj, oj, oj! It's Europe in harmony. The Times, 21 May 2005. ""This contest is a serious step for Ukraine towards the EU," Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko said at the official opening of the competition." BBC, Ukrainian hosts' high hopes for Eurovision [2]
32. "While some fans of the European players in golf's Ryder Cup unfurl the flag of the European Union, many persist in waving their national flags despite the multinational composition of the European team." Alan Bairner, Sport, Nationalism, and Globalization: European and North American Perspectives (2001), p. 2.
33. [3] Archived 11 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
34. "Captain Euro". The Yes Men. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
35. Designweek, 19 February 1998. Holy Bureaucrat! It's Captain Euro! Retrieved 11 June 2014. ... 69.article
36. Wall Street Journal, 14 December 1998. Captain Euro will teach children about the Euro, but foes abound. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
37. Kidscreen, 1 March 1999. New Euro hero available for hire. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
38. Designweek, Angus Montgomery, 29 May 2014. Is it time to rebrand the EU? Retrieved 11 June 2014. ... 21.article
39. CNBC, Alice Tidey, 19 May 2014. The EU's main problem? Its brand! Retrieved 11 June 2014.
40. "European Olympic Team". Archived from the original on 31 March 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2006.
41. Cendrowicz, Leo (1 March 2007). "United in Europe" (PDF). European Voice: 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
42. "Olympics: Prodi wants to see EU flag next to national flags". EurActiv. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
43. Eurobarometer 251, p 45, [4].
44. Recchi, Ettore (2014). "Pathways to European identity formation: a tale of two models". Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. 27 (2): 119–133. doi:10.1080/13511610.2013.873709. ISSN 1351-1610.
45. "Television broadcasting activities: "Television without Frontiers" (TVWF) Directive". Eur-lex. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
46. Barth, Frederik (1969). Ethnic Groups and Boundaries : The social organization of culture difference. Bergen; Oslo; London: Universitetsforlaget; George Allen & Unwin.
47. Mandeville, Laure. "Sur les terres de Viktor Orban, l'homme qui défie l'UE avec son projet d'Europe chrétienne". Retrieved 5 July 2019.
48. Courtil, Elise (2017). "Anti-migrants, homophobes, masculinistes, néo-nazis, complotistes : les identitaires européens ratissent large". Bastamag. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
49. "Treaty of Lisbon: Article 1: Preamble". Eur-Lex. Retrieved 5 July2019.
50. Ferry, Jean-Marc (2013). L'Idée d'Europe. Paris: Presses de l'université Paris-Sorbonne. ISBN 2840509121.
51. Margiotta, Costanza (2018). "I presupposti teorici della cittadinanza europea: originarie contraddizioni e nuovi limiti, in". Freedom, Security & Justice: European Legal Studies (1): 49–72.
52. Aron, Raymond (1977). Plaidoyer pour l'Europe décadente. Paris: Robert Laffont.
53. Delors, Jacques (1992). Le nouveau concert européen. Paris: Odile Jacob. p. 25. ISBN 2738101585.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:47 am

Paneuropean Union
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



In 1922, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi launched the Pan European Union, at a founding convention in Vienna, attended by more than 6,000 delegates. Railing against the "Bolshevist menace" in Russia, the Venetian Count called for the dissolution of all the nation-states of Western Europe and the erection of a single, European feudal state, modeled on the Roman and Napoleonic empires. "There are Europeans," Coudenhove-Kalergi warned, who are "naïve enough to believe that the opposition between the Soviet Union and Europe can be bridged by the inclusion of the Soviet Union in the United States of Europe. These Europeans need only to glance at the map to persuade themselves that the Soviet Union in its immensity can, with the help of the [Communist] Third International, very quickly prevail over little Europe. To receive this Trojan horse into the European union would lead to perpetual civil war and the extermination of European culture. So long, therefore, as there is any will to survive subsisting in Europe, the idea of linking the Soviet Union with Pan Europe must be rejected. It would be nothing less than the suicide of Europe."

Elsewhere, Coudenhove-Kalergi echoed the contemporaneous writings of British Fabian Roundtable devotees H.G. Wells and Lord Bertrand Russell, declaring: "This eternal war can end only with the constitution of a world republic.... The only way left to save the peace seems to be a politic of peaceful strength, on the model of the Roman Empire, that succeeded in having the longest period of peace in the west thanks to the supremacy of his legions."

The launching of the Pan European Union was bankrolled by the Venetian-rooted European banking family, the Warburgs. Max Warburg, scion of the German branch of the family, gave Coudenhove-Kalergi 60,000 gold marks to hold the founding convention. Even more revealing, the first mass rally of the Pan European Union in Berlin, at the Reichstag, was addressed by Hjalmar Schacht, later the Reichsbank head, Economics Minister and chief architect of the Hitler coup. A decade later, in October 1932, Schacht delivered a major address before another PanEuropa event, in which he assured Coudenhove-Kalergi and the others, "In three months, Hitler will be in power.... Hitler will create PanEuropa. Only Hitler can create PanEuropa."

According to historical documents, Italy's Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was initially skeptical about the PanEuropa idea, but was "won over" to the scheme, following a meeting with Coudenhove-Kalergi, during which, in the Count's words, "I gave him a complete harvest of Nietzsche's quotes for the United States of Europe.... My visit represented a shift in the behavior of Mussolini towards PanEuropa. His opposition disappeared."

At the founding congress of the Pan European Union in Vienna, the backdrop behind the podium was adorned with portraits of the movement's leading intellectual icons: Immanuel Kant, Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

-- Synarchism: The Fascist Roots Of the Wolfowitz Cabal, by Jeffrey Steinberg

International Paneuropean Union
The stars from the Flag of Europe have in recent years[year needed] been added to the Paneuropean flag.[1]
original flag (1922)
Formation: 1923
Type: European unification movement
Headquarters: Munich
Location: Germany
President: Alain Terrenoire (2004– )

The International Paneuropean Union, also referred to as the Paneuropean Movement and the Pan-Europa Movement, is the oldest European unification movement. It began with the publishing of Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi's manifesto Paneuropa (1923), which presented the idea of a unified European State. Coudenhove-Kalergi, a member of the Bohemian Coudenhove-Kalergi family and the son of an Austro-Hungarian diplomat and a Japanese mother, was the organisation's central figure and President until his death in 1972.

It is independent of all political parties, but has a set of four basic principles by which it appraises politicians, parties, and institutions: liberal conservatism, Christianity, social responsibility, and pro-Europeanism.


The organisation was prohibited by Nazi Germany in 1933, and was founded again after the Second World War. Otto von Habsburg, the head of the Habsburg dynasty and former Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, became involved with the Paneuropean Union in the 1930s, was elected its Vice President in 1957 and became its International President in 1973, after Coudenhove's death. The President of the Union since 2004 is Alain Terrenoire, former Member of Parliament in France and MEP and Director of the French Paneuropa-Union. Otto Habsburg became the International Honorary President of the International Paneuropean Union in 2004. Its Vice President is Walburga Habsburg Douglas, a member of the Swedish Parliament.

The Union has branches in many European countries, with the General Secretariat located in Munich. In France, the Pan-Europa Union was founded by later President Georges Pompidou and later cabinet minister Louis Terrenoire, with the support of Charles de Gaulle. The Union achieved high political influence in France, particularly within the Gaullist segment of French politics.

The Austrian-Hungarian border crossing where the Pan-European Picnic took place in 1989

Among its notable members were Albert Einstein, Fridtjof Nansen, Johan Ludwig Mowinckel, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, Bronisław Huberman, Aristide Briand, Konrad Adenauer, Sigmund Freud, Benedetto Croce, Bruno Kreisky, Léon Blum and Georges Pompidou.[2] Winston Churchill lauded the movement's work for a unified Europe prior to the war in his famous Zurich speech in 1946.[3][4]

In 1947, the group formed around Duncan Sandys, Winston Churchill, Edvard Beneš and others split into newly formed European Movement in opposition of the Union's strong Christian right.

Grounded in liberal values, the Paneuropean Union was considered staunchly anti-communist from its inception and especially during the Cold War. For this reason, the organisation was much reviled by the communist regimes of the Eastern Bloc. The organisation became renowned for its role in organising the Pan-European Picnic, an important event during the Revolutions of 1989.


Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, 1894–1972

• Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi (1923–1972), elected the first International President in 1926.
• Otto von Habsburg, MEP, the former Crown Prince Otto of Austria-Hungary (1973–2004)
• Alain Terrenoire, former Member of Parliament and MEP, France (2004–)

See also

• Pan-European identity
• European integration – mainly through the European Union and the Council of Europe
• Euroscepticism – opposition to the process of political European integration


1. This flag variant was displayed at the funeral procession for Otto of Habsburg in 2011.
2. Richard Vaughan, Twentieth-Century Europe: Paths to Unity, Taylor & Francis, 1979, ISBN 0064971724
3. Michael Gehler; Wolfram Kaiser, Helmut Wohnout: Christdemokratie in Europa im 20. Jahrhundert: Christian democracy in 20th century Europe. Böhlau Verlag Wien, 2001, ISBN 3205993608, Seiten 595.
4. Trevor C. Salmon; William Nicoll: Building European Union: a documentary history and analysis. Manchester University Press, 1997, ISBN 0719044464, Seite 26.

External links

• Official website
• European Society Coudenhove-Kalergi
• Archival sources on the Paneuropean Union at the Historical Archives of the EU in
• Pan-Europa by Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:26 am

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



Karlfried Graf Dürckheim
Born: 24 October 1896, Munich, German Empire
Died: 28 December 1988 (aged 92), Todtmoos, West Germany
Nationality: German
Education: University of Kiel, Ph.D. in Psychology
Occupation: Diplomat, psychotherapist and Zen master
Known for "Initiation Therapy"
Political party: NSDAP, 1933–1945
Spouse(s): Enja von Hattinberg (1888–1939); Maria Hippius (1909–2003)
Parent(s): Friedrich Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin (1858–1939); Sophie von Kusserow (1869–1959)
Awards: Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918; War Merit Cross 1st Class with swords; Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Website: The Dürckheim Center

Karl Friedrich Alfred Heinrich Ferdinand Maria Graf[1] Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin (24 October 1896 – 28 December 1988) was a German diplomat, psychotherapist and Zen master. A veteran of World War I, he was introduced to Zen Buddhism early in life. After obtaining a doctorate in psychology, he became an avid supporter of the Nazi Party. Following World War II he was imprisoned in Japan which transformed him spiritually. Upon returning to Germany he became a leading proponent of the Western esoteric spiritual tradition, synthesizing teachings from Christian Mysticism, Depth Psychology and Zen Buddhism.[2]

Early life

Dürckheim was born in Munich, the son of Friedrich Georg Michael Maria Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin (1858-1939) and Sophie Evalina Ottilie Charlotte von Kusserow (1869-1959).[3] His maternal grandfather was the Prussian diplomat and politician Heinrich von Kusserow (1836-1900). His uncle was General Alfred Karl Nikolaus Alexander Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin (1850-1912), aide-de-camp to King Ludwig II of Bavaria and later commander of the Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment.

A descendant of old Bavarian nobility whose parents' fortune was lost during bad economic times, he grew up at Steingaden and at the Bassenheim Castle near Koblenz.

Military service

In 1914 he volunteered for the Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment and was given a commission.[4] He served on the front lines for 46 months and fought in France, Serbia, Slovenia, Italy and Romania. He saw action at the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of Caporetto, the Battle of the Somme, and the Lys Offensive. By his own account he never fired a shot and was never wounded, "though bullets went through my shirt and coat."[5] Dürckheim considered his war experience fundamental to his later enlightenment: "I discovered...that it was in facing death that we step forward toward true life. That experience was later a part of my teaching: by accepting death, we discover and receive life which is beyond life and death."[6]

In recognition of his military service, Dürckheim was awarded the Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 and the War Merit Cross First Class with swords.

Introduction to Buddhism

In 1919, as a twenty-three-year-old officer on his return after the war, he refused to fight in defense of the Bavarian Socialist Republic, but instead joined the Freikorps under Franz Ritter von Epp (under whom he had served during World War I) and became involved in anti-Bolshevik activities, for which he was briefly imprisoned. Afterwards he worked for a time as a journalist for several small anti-communist publications. He also rejected his inheritance of the family estate at Steingaden, to which he had a right as eldest son.[7]

He then met his first wife Enja von Hattinberg (1888-1939), who introduced him to the Tao Te Ching of Lao-Tzu:[8]

I found myself in the workshop of the painter Willi Geiger in Munich. My future wife, Madame von Hattinberg, was sitting on the table, and next to her was a book...I can still see it now. I opened this book and read out loud the eleventh verse of the Tao-Te-Ching of Lao Tzu. Suddenly it happened! I was listening and lightning went through me. The veil was torn asunder, I was awake! I had just experienced 'It'. Everything existed and nothing existed. Another Reality had broken through this world. I myself existed and did not exist...I had experienced that which is spoken of in all centuries: individuals, in whatever stage of their lives, have had an experience which struck them with the force of lightning and linked them once and for all to the circuits of True Life.

Meister Eckhart became very important for him. "I recognize in Eckhart my master, the master. But we can only approach him if we eliminate the conceptual consciousness."[8]

Academic career

Dürckheim received his doctorate in Psychology from the University of Kiel in 1923 and taught at the Institute of Psychology there for another year,[8] then went to work with Felix Krueger and Hans Freyer at the University of Leipzig[9] where he received his habilitation on 17 February 1930. In 1931 he became a professor at the Medical Academy of Breslau. From 1930 to 1932 Dürckheim also taught at the Bauhaus in Dessau in the field of Gestalt psychology.[10] During the 1930s he was close friends with Karl Haushofer, Else Lasker-Schüler, Paul Klee, Romano Guardini and Rainer Maria Rilke.

On 11 November 1933 Dürckheim signed the commitment of the professors at German universities and colleges to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi state.[11]

Nazi career and years in Japan

In 1933 Dürckheim joined the Sturmabteilung. In 1934 he spent 6 months in South Africa on behalf of the Reich Minister of Education to contact Germans living there and to urge them not to abandon Nazism.[7] During his visit he met secretly with the Afrikaner Broederbond to urge them to follow Nazi ideals, including anti-Semitism.[12] By 1935 he had become chief assistant to Joachim von Ribbentrop, head of the Büro Ribbentrop and later Nazi Germany's Minister for Foreign Affairs. In that year Dürckheim brokered a meeting between Lord Beaverbrook and Hitler.[13] In October 1936 Dürckheim accompanied newly appointed Ambassador Ribbentrop to England, where he was assigned "to find out what the English think of the new Germany." He was introduced to King Edward VIII and Winston Churchill.[14] Dürckheim was at this time a fervent supporter of Nazism, writing in the journal of the Nazi Teachers Association:

"The basic gift of the Nazi revolution is for all occupations and levels across the experience of our common nature, a common destiny, the common hope of the common leader....which is the living foundation of all movements and aspirations."[15]

Then it was discovered that he was of Jewish descent: Dürckheim's maternal great-grandmother Eveline Oppenheim (1805-1886) was the daughter of the Jewish banker Salomon Oppenheim. In fact Dürckheim was also related to Mayer Amschel Rothschild.[16][17] Dürckheim's maternal grandmother was Antonie Springer,[3] who was also Jewish. Under Germany's 1935 Nuremberg Laws he was considered a Mischling (mixed-blood) of the second degree[Note 1] and had therefore become "politically embarrassing". Ribbentrop decided to create a special mission for him to become an envoy for the foreign ministry and write a research paper titled "exploring the intellectual foundations of Japanese education."[18]

In June 1938 he was sent to Japan, residing there until 1947.[5] Soon after arriving in Japan he met the Buddhist scholar Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki who influenced his thinking profoundly.
[19] Professor Fumio Hashimoto, who was sent to Dürckheim as a translator, wrote: "Dürckheim was surrounded by Shinto and Buddhist scholars, as well as military and thinkers of the right, each of which tried to convince him of their importance." These included such leading figures as the Abbot Hakuun Yasutani and the Imperial Japanese Army General Sadao Araki.[20] He became an avid student of Kyūdō (traditional Japanese archery) under the master Awa Kenzô (1880-1939), who had also taught Eugen Herrigel.[21] He wrote in 1941: "Archery is a great exercise that provides a profound silent concentration. In Zen the body is not considered an obstacle to spiritual life, as it is too often regarded in the West. On the contrary, [in Zen] the body is considered instrumental to spiritual advancement."

Under Ribbentrop's guidance, he coordinated the dissemination of Nazi propaganda in Japan, likening German military ideals to Japanese bushido and encouraging the idea that Japan and Germany would share the world.[22] The “Zen Samurai Bushido debate” had evolved in pre-war Germany over the relationship between Nazi ideals and those of the traditional Japanese warrior culture.

On 15 July 1939 Dürckheim published an article in the third issue of the journal Berlin - Rome - Tokio in which he refers to the Japanese state cult, the glorified “Samurai spirit” and its relationship with Nazi ideology and antisemitism in Japan. He wrote:

“Who travels today through Japan experiences at every step the friendship with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to the Japanese people, especially those forces that affect the future more than political power. It is the spirit which connects Japan with us, that spirit which…is related to Japan’s iron will to win the war… In farm houses and businesses hang signs with the words: Everyone must behave as if they were on the field of battle.”[23]

By 1944 Dürckheim had become a well-known author and lecturer in Japan on Zen meditation, archery and metaphysics, and was awarded the War Merit Cross, Second Class on Hitler's birthday, 20 April 1944. The impending surrender of Germany did not prevent him from reasserting his values. "The immeasurable suffering of Germany will bring the German people to a higher level and help give birth to a better, less materialistic nation," he wrote to a friend in the last days of the war.[16]

Arrest and imprisonment

After the war, Tokyo was occupied by the Americans. Dürckheim went into hiding in Karuizawa and was arrested on 30 October 1945 by Special Agent Robie Macauley of the US Counter-Intelligence Corps.[24][25][Note 2] He was imprisoned for 16 months in Sugamo Prison:

"In spite of everything, it was a very fertile period for me. During the first weeks, I had a dream almost every night, some of which anticipated my future work. In my cell I was surrounded by a profound silence. I could work on myself and that is when I began to write a novel. My neighbors simply waited for each day to pass. That time of captivity was precious to me because I could exercise zazen meditation and remain in immobility for hours."[27]

Spiritual rebirth

Dürckheim interpreted his imprisonment as an initiation event that was preparing him for a spiritual rebirth. Influenced partly by the work of Julius Evola, the "conversion experience" later became an essential element of Dürckheim's psychotherapy: "There is real change whenever the individual experiences the supernatural, which alters the meaning of life 180 degrees and moves the axis from the middle of the natural human existence to a supernatural center."[5] The criteria of an initiation conversion are 1) the conscious confrontation with a near-death experience during one's lifetime; 2) the "overcoming of humanity"; and 3) the transition from the everyday mode of being to another, which Evola calls transcendental realism (the transition from the everyday mode of being to another spiritual plane).[28]

Work with Zen and psychotherapy

Dürckheim on a morning walk with Swami Prabhupada in Frankfurt in June 1974.

Dürckheim was repatriated to Germany in 1947 and began a period of training analysis with Leonhard Seif.[7] At this time he began to develop his "Initiation Therapy", in which he merged several psychological directions. There is a strong influence from depth psychology, in particular the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung and the psychodrama of Jacob Levy Moreno. Dürckheim employs similar elements of art (modelling clay, ink drawings) and drama (role-playing) in his form of therapy.[29]

Along with his second wife, psychologist Maria Theresia Hippius (1909-2003), Dürckheim founded the Existential Psychology Training and Conference Center in the early 1950s, located in the Black Forest village of Todtmoos-Rutte. His books were based on his conferences, and were highly influential in Europe and the USA.

"What I am doing is not the transmission of Zen Buddhism; on the contrary, that which I seek after is something universally human which comes from our origins and happens to be more emphasized in eastern practices than in the western."[8]

In 1958 Dürckheim met philosopher Alan Watts, who described him as "...a true nobleman--unselfconsciously and by a long tradition perfect in speech and courtesy--Keyserling's ideal of the grand seigneur."[30]

Dürckheim is identified by Albert Stunkard as the person who suggested that Stunkard should visit D.T. Suzuki in Kita-Kamakura, not far from the Sugamo prison.[31] Stunkard later became Suzuki's physician.[32] Other visitors to the Suzuki residence included writer J. D. Salinger and Philip Kapleau, author of The Three Pillars of Zen and founder of the Rochester Zen Center.

In 1972 Dürckheim received the Humboldt plaque from the Humboldt Society of Science, Art and Culture
, and in 1977 he was awarded the Officer's Merit Cross, 1st Class.

Dürckheim died in Todtmoos on 28 December 1988 at the age of 92.

Theory of therapeutic self-transformation

Dürckheim did not practice psychotherapy in the traditional sense, rather, he tried to teach his clients a process by which they could move towards spiritual self-understanding. He viewed the therapist as a spiritual guide: "A therapy which does not take into account the spirituality of man is doomed to failure...The therapist is not the one who heals, that is, who intervenes with his own skills; he is a therapist in the original meaning of the word: a companion on the way."[8]

Concept of the self

Dürckheim readily acknowledged that he was influenced by other psychologists in the development of his theory of the self:

"In these last twenty years, the work of C. G. Jung and of his disciple Erich Neumann have greatly enriched me. Their theory of "self" corresponds to my concept of essential being. For them the true self is the integration of the deep self with the existential one, which alone gives birth to the person. This is what struck me: C.G.Jung has opened the way to initiation."[8]

Dürckheim's "Initiation Therapy" deals with the encounter between the profane, mundane, "little" self (the ego) and the true Self:[33]

"Man evolves through three kinds of "self": first, the "little self" who only sees power, security, prestige, knowledge. Then the "existential self" which goes much further: it wants to give itself to a cause, to a task, to a community, to a person. It can go beyond egocentrism and that is where it becomes, in my opinion, a human being. Finally what I call the "essential self," the true "I" of the individual and of humanity."[34]

The Wheel of Metamorphosis

An integral concept in this self-understanding is referred to as "The Wheel of Metamorphosis." Dürckheim viewed transformation not as the sudden achievement of enlightenment, but rather as a continuous and cyclical evolution, akin to the motion of a wheel. He posited three stages and five steps in each cycle:[8]

• Stage 1: All that is contrary to essential being must be relinquished.
• Step 1: Practice "critical watchfulness" (analytical awareness of one's own thoughts and behavior).
• Step 2: Let go of all that stands in the way of becoming.
• Stage 2: That which has been relinquished must be dissolved in transcendent Being which absorbs and recreates us.
• Step 3: Union with transcendent Being.
• Step 4: New becoming in accordance with the inner image which has arisen from transcendent Being.
• Stage 3: The newly formed core must be recognized and personal responsibility taken for its growth.
• Step 5: Practicing this new form on a daily basis through critical watchfulness, which leads us back to Step 1.[35]


For Dürckheim, meditation exercises are the key to spiritual change:

"Exercise has a double purpose: to prepare the individual for the possibility of an experience of Being and for his metamorphosis into a witness of this experience awakening within. For illumination does not make an enlightened one! The more I penetrated into the experience and the wisdom of the exercise of Buddhism, the more it was clear that here was a universal understanding of the human being and his possibilities. This was a vision which, taking into account the liberation and salvation of man through health, efficiency and social fidelity, apprehended man in his deepest essence, whose experience and integration were also the conditions for the development of his true Self."[8]


"The man, who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive. Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him. In this lies the dignity of daring."

– from The Way of Transformation, 1988.

"Perseverance can bring a state of ‘self-lessness’ in which you are released from the division of subject and object, which ordinarily dominates consciousness. In that state you can finally experience the perfect enjoyment of the unity inherent in it. You may even taste the joys of an experience which determines all further experience: ‘It is not I who am breathing, it breathes and I merely have a share as a union of body and soul.'"

- from The Japanese Cult of Tranquility, 1960.

"A great deal of my present work is in helping people who underwent great spiritual crisis during the war. We know, of course, that sometimes, in extreme circumstances, people have a natural satori or spiritual awakening when it appears that all is finished for them -- and they accept it. This happened often in the war, and when those who lived through it tried to tell the tale to their friends it was shrugged off as some kind of hallucination, a brief fit of insanity in a desperate situation. When these people come to me, as they often do, I have the happy opportunity of showing them that, for once in their lives, they were truly sane."

- quoted in Alan Watts, In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965, 1973, p. 321.[36]


• Hara: The Vital Center of Man. Inner Traditions. 2004-10-27. ISBN 978-1-59477-024-1.
• Zen and Us. Arkana Publishing, 1991. English. 144 pp. ASIN: B00072HEP0
• The Call for the Master. Penguin (Non-Classics). 1993-04-01. ISBN 978-0-14-019345-9.
• Absolute Living: The Otherworldly in the World and the Path to Maturity. Penguin (Non-Classics). 1992. ISBN 978-0-14-019452-4.
• The Way of Transformation: Daily Life as Spiritual Exercise (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971)
• The Japanese cult of tranquility. Rider, 1960. English. 106 pp. ASIN: B0006AXFRE.
• Our Two-Fold Origin, Allen & Unwin; (January 6, 1983); ISBN 004291017X, 183 pages
• Wunderbare Katze, Otto Wilhelm Barth (February 1, 2011); ISBN 3426291150 (in German)


1. The Reich Citizenship Law: First Regulation (November 14, 1935); Article 2 states "An individual of mixed Jewish blood is one who is descended from one or two grandparents who were racially full Jews...One grandparent shall be considered as full-blooded if he or she belonged to the Jewish religious community." Such individuals were forbidden to hold public office.
2. In 1995 Macauley described Dürckheim inaccurately as "an authentic war criminal".[26]


1. Regarding personal names, Graf is a German title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The feminine form is Gräfin.
2. Frank Gati and Lana Gati, "From what does "the way" start? The "way" starts where ever you are; but to be on the "way", that is a different story. The law of accident." Chapter 10 of My notes on the "Search for the Miraculous" by Ouspensky (Using the Lebovian method)
3. Dürckheim-Montmartin Family Tree
4. Victor Trimondi, "Karlfried Graf Dürckheim"
5. Karlfried Dürckheim, Erlebnis und Wandlung, Bern, 1982.
6. Alphonse Goettmann, Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: The Life and Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, Nottingham Publishing, 1998: p. 7.
7. Günter W. Remmert, "KARLFRIED GRAF DÜRCKHEIM: Sein Beitrag zur Spiritualität."
8. Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann, Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master, Nottingham Publishing, 1998.
9. Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, "Ganzheit und Struktur," (Festschrift z. 60. Geburtstage Felix Kruegers); München 1934 (Beck), Sert.: Neue psychologische Studien; Bd. 12.
10. Roy R. Behrens "Art, Design and Gestalt Theory," Leonardo Online, accessed 7-10-2013.
11. George Leaman, "Heidegger im Kontext," Berlin, 1993; p. 100.
12. Elizabeth Lee Jemison, "The Nazi Influence in the Formation of Arpartheid in South Africa." The Concord Review, 15.1 (2004): 75-103.
13. Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie, Lord Beaverbrook: a life, Knopf, University of California, 2009; p. 331.
14. Cine este Karlfried Graf Dürckheim? (in Romanian)
15. Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, New Germany German spirit - a collection of essays; Japanese-German Cultural Institute of Niigata, Tokyo: Sansyusya, 1942, 170 pp.
16. Gerhard Wehr, Karlfried Graf Dürckheim: Leben im Zeichen der Wandlung,Freiburg, 1996, p. 75.
17. Jacques Castermane, "Karlfried Graf Dürckheim et l'Orient transformé," The Dürckheim Centre.
18. This article was published in 1939 as "Das Geheimnis der japanischen Kraft," (The Secret of Japanese Power) in Zeitschrift für deutsche Kulturphilosophie; N.F. 6,1 (Tübingen 1939).
19. Karlfried Dürckheim, Der Weg ist das Ziel: Gespräch mit Karl Schnelting in der Reihe "Zeugen des Jahrhunderts". Göttingen: Lamuv, 1992; pp. 39-40
20. Brian Daizen Victoria, Zen War Stories, Volume 21 of Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism; Psychology Press, 2003; p. 88.
21. Yamada Shōji, "The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 2001:28/1-2.
22. "Nazi Agents in Japan Rounded Up," The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Thursday 1 November 1945, page 2
23. Berlin – Rom – Tokio Magazine issue 3, 15 July 1939, p. 23.
24. "Nazi Leaders in Japan in CIC Custody: 13 Hitler Operatives Nabbed Without Warning in War Criminal Roundup." Nippon Times, October 31, 1945, p. 11.
25. "26 Germans in Spy Ring Seized," New York Times, Oct 30, 1945, p. 2.
26. Macauley, Robie, "Letters from the Front: Fiction struggles with a war's meaning," in Boston Sunday Globe, 6 Aug 1995: Boston. pp. B33-B36.
27. Quoted in Gerhard Wehr, "The Life and Work of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim," in Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann, Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master, Theosis Books, 2009; p. 29. ISBN 9780966496079
28. Julius Evola, "Über das Initiatische", in Antaios 6: 184–209 (Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger, eds., Stuttgart, 1965).
29. "Initiatic Therapy," The Dürckheim Center.
30. Watts, Alan W. In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965, Vintage, 1973; p. 321. ISBN 0-394-71951-4
31. Albert Stunkard, "Philip Kapleau’s First Encounter with Zen", (Chapter 1) in Zen Teaching, Zen Practice: Philip Kapleau And The Three Pillars Of Zen, Weatherhill 2000, edited by Kenneth Kraft; ISBN 978-0834804401.
32. Vladimir K., "Zen Teaching, Zen Practice: Philip Kapleau and The Three Pillars of Zen," Zen Book Reviews on The Zen Site.
33. Luke Storms, "Tag Archives: Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, A Thousand Secrets."
34. Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, (1991 (1960)). The Japanese cult of tranquility. York Beach, Maine, Samuel Weiser; p. 32.
35. Quoted in Theordore J. Nottingham, "The Wheel of Metamorphosis," in Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann, Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master,Theosis Books, November 23, 2009; pp. 183-84. ISBN 978-0966496079
36. Alan Watts, In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965, Vintage, 1973; ISBN 0-394-71951-4 preview at Google Books


• Alphonse Goettmann; Rachel Goettmann (2009-11-23). Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master. Theosis Books. ISBN 978-0966496079.
• Graf Karlfried Dürckheim; Alphonse Goettmann (1991-01-01). Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: An Introduction to the Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim. Globe Press. ISBN 978-0-936385-27-3.
• Hans Thomas Hakl, "Karlfried Graf Dürckheim", in: Wouter J. Hanegraaff: Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Vol. I. Brill, Leiden 2005, pp. 323–325.
• Gerhard Wehr (1988). Karlfried Graf Dürckheim: Ein Leben im Zeichen der Wandlung. Kosel. ISBN 978-3466342136.

External links

• Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master by Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann, translated by Theordore J. Nottingham
• Alphonse Goettmann, Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: The Life and Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, Nottingham Publishing, 1998.
• The Dürckheim Centre (in German)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Karlfried Graf Dürckheim: A quarter Jew and Zen student serving the Nazi regime
This is a newly edited and supplemented excerpt from the book " Hitler - Buddha - Krishna - An Unholy Alliance from the Third Reich to today "
by Victor & Victoria Trimondi
© Victor & Victoria Trimondi
Translated from German by Google Translate



The second great "patriarch" of German Zen was, next to Eugen Herrigel, Count Karlfried Dürckheim (1896-1988). Dürckheim is celebrated by its followers (and far beyond) as a gifted bridge builder between East and West. He is considered one of the most important Western meditation teachers and therapists. He is said to have attracted countless "truth seekers" of all ages and of every class. His house in Todtmoos-Rütte (Black Forest) became a center for representatives of all faiths. Many experienced the count as an integrative figure, who had penetrated into the innermost core of religions and there, the essence of spirituality herausgeschält.

Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim-Monmartin was born in 1896 in Munich. After passing the emergency exam, the 18-year-old took part in the First World War as a Fahnenjunker of the royal Bavarian Leibregiment. He was confronted with death several times during this time and later interpreted this as an initiation experience. The constant presence of the expectation of death leads to a greater affirmation of life. "It is well known," wrote Dürckheim in the wake of the First World War, "that there is nowhere as exuberant merriment as occasionally among soldiers at the front. [...] And so the soldier at the front with the Live death, so that he no longer scares him, even more, accompanied him like a faithful companion, as in "a bad intoxication" a multi-headed squirrel family to the track. (2) During the First World War, he experiences "a pleasure of deliberately throwing himself into the deadly danger." (3)

From 1919, the conservative set Graf engaged in various anti-revolutionary activities. He cooperated with the "Freikorps", who wanted to liberate Munich from the "Reds". He was imprisoned by them, but lost his life thanks to the intercession of a former servant who had joined the insurgents. He then worked journalistically, his specialty was anti-Bolshevist articles. Already from this time dates the first reading of Buddhist scriptures, "where the doctrine of Buddha's inherent nature immediately became evident." (4) While reading a stanza from the Tao Te King, he had his first enlightenment experience ( Satori): "The curtain ripped, and I woke up I had. It experienced." (5)

I found myself in the workshop of the painter Willi Geiger in Munich. My future wife, Madame von Hattinberg, was sitting on the table, and next to her was a book...I can still see it now. I opened this book and read out loud the eleventh verse of the Tao-Te-Ching of Lao Tzu. Suddenly it happened! I was listening and lightning went through me. The veil was torn asunder, I was awake! I had just experienced 'It'. Everything existed and nothing existed. Another Reality had broken through this world. I myself existed and did not exist...I had experienced that which is spoken of in all centuries: individuals, in whatever stage of their lives, have had an experience which struck them with the force of lightning and linked them once and for all to the circuits of True Life.

-- Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, by Wikipedia

He studied psychology, received his doctorate and was habilitated on February 17, 1930. In 1931 he received a professorship at the Pedagogical Academy Wroclaw. A year later he went to Berlin as a professor.

Among his ancestors count several Jewish bankers, including the famous Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Accordingly, non-Aryan blood flowed in his veins. This fact should have brought him into conflict with the Nazi regime, which excludes all "non-Aryans" from government service in 1933, according to the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service." But the opposite was true: Dürckheim provided his services to the Nazi system with enthusiasm and verve and in 1933 joined the SA. In a publication on the importance of the university it says from the same year: The aim of research is the "education to the political man" and the "foundation of all education is the training of the military," as in the life of the bishop, in military sports and the SA. In the official organ of the NS-Lehrerbund (Gau Schleswig Holstein) he wrote: "The basic gift of the National Socialist revolution: this all professions and stands comprehensive experience of the common essence, the common destiny, the common hope, the common leader, .... ], that is the living reason of all unification movements and aspirations. " (6)

"The basic gift of the Nazi revolution is for all occupations and levels across the experience of our common nature, a common destiny, the common hope of the common leader....which is the living foundation of all movements and aspirations."[15]

-- Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, by Wikipedia

In 1935, during a Wagner performance (The Meistersinger) Hitler presented. In the same year Dürckheim arranged a meeting between Hitler and the English Lord Beaverbrook, the owner of the Evening Standard. (7)

For the Nazis, co-operation with the loyal and urbane count was well-priced, especially because they could use him abroad and his Jewish grandmother had to give it the appearance of the regime's liberality. Dürckheim has been a member of the "Büro Ribbentrop" since 1935 and according to a decree of Rudolf Hess he is targeted to support the "foreign German" parked. He fulfills this task in the spirit of his superiors. Accordingly, in a speech from that time, imperialistic tones resonated: "Overseas Germanism today is experiencing to a greater extent than any other German ethnic group in the world that the birth of National Socialist Germany was also the birth of the German people." (8) In his diary he attacked emigrants, whom he met on his way to South Africa and wanted to flee the Nazi system: "So - ha! There is hatred in there and feeling of liberation." Again a poison stove against Germany outside. " (9) It is written in the same diary: "My fight. This gives the attitude for the day."(10)

Germany can now learn a lot from fascist Japan

In 1938 Ribbentrop sent him to Japan. His mission must have been of the highest diplomatic importance to the Nazi regime, for it is highly probable that Dürckheim is preparing for the "Tripartite Pact" (1940), in which Germany, Italy and Japan receive mutual military support for a "reorganization into Europe and East Asia". This is evident from the fact that he was ordered back to Berlin in 1939 for reporting. In his own words, he was released with a new mandate to maintain contact with Japanese scientists during the war.

After the war, however, Dürckheim refused any participation in the expansion of the political axis Berlin-Tokyo. On the contrary, the Nazis had deported him to the Far East, because he had become unbearable for their system because of his Jewish ancestors and forced him to write a scientific paper entitled "Exploring the spiritual foundations of Japanese education". (11) Considering how politically and militarily important Japan was for the Nazi regime at this time, Dürckheim's mission is unlikely to be considered a "deportation post".

On a closer look, the research commission of the count proves to be a central project of Nazi cultural policy. (12) Even before the First World War, General Karl Haushofer and later again and again had insisted on turning his gaze to the Far East in order to learn from Japanese educational methods. The "National Education of Japan" was a frequent topic in the lectures of the German Japanese Society in the 1930s. In 1934, the chairman of the East Asian Society Kurt Meissner made a presentation in which he highlighted the exemplary nature of the Japanese in matters of education. In a summary of his remarks it says: "The speaker recalls a second Hitler's word, the demand of faith in invincibility: This belief is most prevalent in Japan. The little children are educated in this spirit already by the school through picture books. This is followed by national celebrations at school, purposeful history lessons with hero worship, military instruction and drill exercises at school, references to Shinto shrines [....] novels of knights and heroes in newspapers, film and theater. "(13)

In 1935, the president of the DJG (German Japanese Society) Admiral a. D. Paul Behnke to the Reich Minister of Science, Education and Education Rust with a request for support of Japanese and Japanese knowledge. His letter begins with the sentence: "Germany can now learn a lot from Japan and should study the most diverse areas of Japanese state, national and spiritual life, also for its own benefit." (14) In an activity report from the year 1940 Walter Hautz, who held on behalf of the DJG Japan lectures: "Repeatedly, I was also asked to speak with the Wehrmacht, and found here always very special sympathy in Officer's Corps, whose representatives everywhere the value of remarks on the emphasized the attitude of the Japanese as well as the attitude of our leaders " (15)

Considering the great interest of the Nazi ideologues in the Bushido-inspired education system of Japanese militarism, Dürckheim's work was at the highest level, and it is not out of the question that he was initiated into Zen for its methods of developing a heroic warrior spirit he then wanted to import to Germany, since as early as 1938 he sought the "encounter with Zen Buddhism and its most important representatives." (16) Without exception, these were, as we know from Brian Victoria, sworn to Tenno fascism. In 1941, the count began with an introduction to the "art of archery" and was inspired by the fact that his teacher _____"

Later Japanese professor Hashimoto Fumio, who was then a translator for Dürckheim, described the count's stay as follows: "When Dürckheim first arrived in Japan, he was surrounded by Shintoists, Buddhist scholars, military and right-wing thinkers, each of whom tried to convince him of their importance. "(18) Among the military were such leading figures as the Imperial Navy Vice-Admiral Teramoto Takeharu and the Imperial Army General Araki Sadao, who was sentenced to life imprisonment after the war as an A-class war criminal has been. "The count had difficulty finding out who was right for him, and I volunteered as a consultant. In addition, he was sent a large number of written material, and my job was to sift through it and check its suitability. [...] In the end, it was traditional Japanese archery and Zen that most interested the count. He set up an archery arrangement in his garden and practiced eagerly every day. In addition, he went to Shinkôji Temple [...] and spent several days practicing Zen there. His teacher in Zazen was the Temple Abbot, Master Yasutani. I accompanied the count and practiced with joy."(19)

1942 Dürckheim published by the publishing house Sansyuysha (Tokyo) a Nazi propaganda publication in Japanese entitled New Germany - German Spirit, whose edition (3000 pieces) was out of print within two months. The chapter headings leave no doubt as to the Nazi spirit that pervades this booklet: "Folklore and Weltanschauung ~ German Spirit and Western Spirit ~ Traits of the German Spirit ~ The Heart of German Technology ~ Culture and Cultural Policy in the National Socialist Sense ~ Authority and Freedom ~ Beauty and People ~ Science and the State ~ The National Socialist Image of Man ~ The Völkisch Foundations of Intercultural Understanding"(20) The Count was also a propagandist of the Nazi regime in Japan, and on April 20, Hitler's birthday, he made a speech at the Kumamoto German-Japanese Cultural Institute, whose diary says," Two Hours Lecture on the German spirit, on the birthday of the leader, that's nice! "(21) In addition to Zen meditation, archery and metaphysics, he foamed at the enthusiasm of war: "Japan owned by the whole of Southeast Asia! That's just huge. [....] We rejoice in the blows they have inflicted on our enemies."(22) In 1944, he was carried away to war by a glowing eulogy, invoking "the fascist as well as the National Socialist leader principle" and the role of the two "leader peoples." "Germany and Italy building the new [fascist] order. "(23)

A contemporary witness, Dietrich Seckel - lecturer for German language and culture at Japanese universities from 1937-1947 -- experienced the count as a fanatical "top Nazi": "Dürckheim also went to the monasteries and practiced meditation there." -- So Seckel -- "But this deepening into the Zen Buddhist Japan was in part very exaggerated, especially when you saw him doing Nazi propaganda at the same time [...] I once saw him at a reception in the German Embassy. There he explained the German Reich idea to a famous Japanese economics professor, a distinguished old gentleman in a brown silk kimono, by placing his index finger on his chest. This poor professor slowly backed away until he came to a wall and could not go further back. It was pathetic how Dürckheim tried to indoctrinate him. Count Dürckheim felt above all as a helper and friend of German teachers. He met us with everything he could offer us. He gave lectures everywhere and uninterrupted, translated into Japanese. The German texts were then distributed to all Germans in Japan. Almost every day one received a lecture by Graf Dürckheim. It was terrible. He was, so to speak, a noble intellectual of high intellectual standard, who went through the country preaching Nazism and the idea of ​​the Reich."(24)

On April 20, 1944, the second-class War Merit Cross was awarded to the "politically no longer portable". At the end of the war, the Americans locked him in a detention center for 16 months. The time Dürckheim used for Zen exercises. He did not call the war elusive, which hit him and his family in Germany hard, as the senseless act of a delusional policy, but interpreted it as an "initiation event" that prepared a spiritual rebirth: "The immeasurable suffering that is today in Germany, will bring the German people one step higher and give even more to themselves, and give them deeper attitudes to life." -- he wrote to a friend in the last days of the war. (25) Dürckheim legitimizes the war as a "transformational experience".

Later, he set up a school for "initiate therapy" with Maria Hippius. Both developed a wide-ranging activity that took them to many countries and brought them together with many VIPs from the international spiritual milieu. In Todtmoos-Rütte (Black Forest), a center was created in which the findings of the couple to their students was passed. The honored "Old Master of Zen", Karlfried Graf Dürckheim died there in 1988 at the age of 90 years.

Dürckheim's Japanese Zen master Yasutani Haku'un (1885-1973)

The main spiritual reference for Dürckheim during his stay in Japan was Zen Master Yasutani Haku'un. Brian Daizen A. Victoria, who has studied extensively with this representative of the Soto School, comes to the crushing verdict that Haku'un was a "fanatical militarist", an "ethnic chauvinist", a "sexist" and an "anti-Semite" be. (26) Under the "Great Path of the Non-Self" ( muga) he understood the complete abandonment of life and limb for the sovereign of a country. (27) The Buddhist prohibition of the killing of living beings had no principled meaning for him - on the contrary: "On this point, the following question arises: What should be the attitude of Buddha students as Mahayana Bodhisattvas in relation to the first provision, the it forbids to take life? For example, what should be done in the case to ward off various evil influences for the benefit of society, it is necessary to take the lives of birds, fish, insects, etc., or in a wider context, to condemn extremely evil and brutal persons to death, or engage in a total war for the nation. Those who understand the spirit of Mahayana regulations should be able to answer the question immediately. This is to say: Of course, one should kill, kill as many as possible. You should fight hard, kill everyone in the enemy army. [...] Neglecting a bad man to be killed, or destroying a hostile army that should be destroyed, means deceiving [Buddhist] compassion and respectful obedience, it means breaking the rule that forbids it To take life. This is the special characteristic of the Mahayana rules. "(28) Such rabulistic reversals, that in certain cases the refusal to kill is identical to killing, are also familiar from Tibetan Buddhism. For Haku'un, killing meant executing the orders of Shinto fascism, to answer the question immediately.

Although no Jews lived in Japan until the end of the Second World War, Haku'un adopted the Nazi idea of ​​the Jewish world conspiracy: "We must be aware of the existence of the demonic teachings," he wrote in 1943, "who claim to be in the World of phenomena, there is equality, and thereby disrupt public order in society and destroy control. [...] As a result, they [the Jews] have developed an insidious plan to bring the whole world under their control and dominion. This is the real reason for the great upheavals we are experiencing in our time. " (29)

We must be aware of the existence of the demonic teachings of the Jews who assert things like [the existence of] equality in the phenomenal world, thereby disturbing public order in our nation's society and destroying [governmental] control. Not only this, these demonic conspirators hold the deep-rooted delusion and blind belief that, as far as the essential nature of human beings is concerned, there is, by nature, differentiation between superior and inferior. They are caught up in the delusion that they alone have been chosen by God and are [therefore] an exceptionally superior people. The result of all this is a treacherous design to usurp [control of] and dominate the entire world, thus provoking the great upheavals of today. It must be said that this is an extreme example of the evil resulting from superstitious belief and deep-rooted delusion.88

-- A Zen Nazi in Wartime Japan: Count Dürckheim and his Sources—D.T. Suzuki, Yasutani Haku’un and Eugen Herrigel, by Brian Victoria

It is unlikely that Haku'un knew that his pupil Dürckheim was a quarter Jew.

Brian Daizen A. Victoria concludes in his assessment of Dürckheim's master: "It is also notable that Yasutani went further than the Japanese government of his day, assuring that his feelings of emperorship, his pro-war stance, his Sexist and anti-Semitic attitudes are no less than the 'true Buddha Dharma'. In doing so, it can be said without exaggeration that Yasutani, consciously or unconsciously, had subjected himself so completely to the state that he had indeed reached a state of selflessness. He not only gave the emperor what was due to the emperor, but also offered the entire Buddhist faith. Not content with that, he called on the entire Japanese nation to do the same." (30)

Just like the Count of Germany, convinced by Nazi ideology, Yasutani Haku'un was revered as a highly respected Zen master after the war. In the book The Three Pillars of Zen, Philip Kapleau describes his impression of him with the clichés with which the youth of the West perceived the authoritative and reactionary gurus from the East: "Yasutani Rôshi is as simple and unaffected as his modest temple. His two daily meals contain neither meat nor fish, nor eggs, nor alcohol. You can often see him trotting in shabby robes and canvas shoes on his way to a zazen meeting in Tokyo or even standing in the crowded second class of inner-city trains, his textbooks hanging in a cloth bag over his shoulder. In his perfect simplicity, indifference to all manner of finery, wealth and fame, he follows in the footsteps of a long line of eminent Zen masters.

The life lie of a Zen teacher: "I was not a Nazi -- but not an anti-Nazi"

It is not our concern to present and question Dürckheim's Zen therapy. What we are primarily interested in here is the way in which the count has processed his Nazi past philosophically, mentally, and intellectually.

This question seems to us justified because Dürckheim himself has placed the two metaphors "experience and change" at the center of his practical philosophy and therapy. What does he mean by that? "There is real change wherever man experiences the experience of a supernatural being, turning the meaning of life 180 degrees and moving the axis of life from the center of natural human existence to a supernatural center of meaning." (31)

Does not such a radical turnabout demand the answer to the question: what was wrong with one's own life? Concretely referring to Dürckheim: What was wrong with his National Socialist commitment? Does he have a fascism critique developed out of Zen Buddhism that would have to precede a "genuine change" from the fanatical Zen fascist to the peaceful Eastern wisdom teacher? Or is such a question useless, since Zen and Nazi ideology do not need to contradict each other, as Suzuki meant?

First of all, Dürckheim's analysis of his Nazi past in his writings and utterances proves to be extremely thin and calculating. We have not been able to discover a more comprehensive document, but only a few pithy sentences -- such as when the very old [man] says: "I was not a Nazi, but also no anti-Nazi!" (32) This is -- in view of his Vita -- a lie. It becomes embarrassing when in his autobiographical book Mein Weg zur initiatische Therapie, the fact that he carried Jewish blood was used to portray himself as racially discriminated and as a victim of the Nazi regime. This bigoted attitude is even more repulsive when one learns that the "quarter-Jewish" Nazi diplomat sometimes got carried away by anti-Semitic statements. It is also unbelievable when Dürckheim declared fascism to be the "highest expression of materialism" after the war, because as early as 1934 he pointed out that it was just the concentration on the "inner man" that opposed National Socialism against the other materialistic citizen parties make it so attractive. (33)

The count has also concealed the "Zen Samurai Bushido debate", as it has been practiced in Germany since the mid-30s until the end of the war, and which was able to gain influence on the self-understanding of the SS. He was very well informed, as he himself participated in it. On 15 July 1939 appeared in the third number of the journal Berlin-Rome-Tokyo there, as with us, the stranger fights and unfolds his own, and in spite of all differences in the contents of his faith and the forms which he produces, is related to himself in the iron will. The war, the great teacher of the people, has this will of Japan increased to the highest. In the farmhouses and factories a sign hangs with the words: Everyone behaves as if he were on the battlefield."(34)

Dürckheim is fascinated by how the system in Japan manages to link modern institutions and religious attitudes: "The work service, which is linked to old Japanese institutions, is spreading, the apprentice training of companies is developing new forms, the old-school sports exercises are gaining in importance, the Wehrmacht, the standard bearer of the samurai spirit, is gaining increasing influence, and the millennia-old national religion of the Japanese has proven its popular-education powers. The cult of the state, which is rooted in religious roots, permeates everyday life, and speakers pervade and inflame the country the heart of the people to the service of the gods of the nation, the religious sects reflect on their national duty, and by the hundreds of thousands the workers from the factories are moving into the purification of the spirit, the Shujo-Dan."(35)

Three months later, he reiterated his idée fixe of the "educational nature of war": "The longer the war lasts, the harder its repercussions in the country become tangible, the more it acts as an educator of the people to themselves, he is the sage of all the necessities that must be taken into account by Japan in its interior, if in the great wrestling of today it should only come out victorious externally, but also internally." (36)

From what has been said, it becomes all too clear what Dürckheim's Nazi mission "Exploration of the Spiritual Foundations of Japanese Education" was all about: the count should have the total militarization of Japanese education and its spiritual underpinnings through Zen philosophy, especially through Bushido inspect and represent the spirit. The Nazi regime had less of a scientific interest in such research, but a primary interest in cultural policy. There was a search for orientation models for the construction of a pedagogy in which the values ​​of the warrior caste stood in the foreground together with the subordination under the "leader". Japan proved to be a treasure house in this regard.

Also to the fact that in Japan all Zen schools were enthusiastically subordinate to the fascist Tenno system and supported this in every respect, Dürckheim will never speak later. On the other hand, he immersed himself in this fascist-zenist milieu. His most faithful companion at the time was a Mr. Yanasiga, the secretary of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, of whose writings it was disclosed in Japan that they had "greatly influenced the military spirit of National Socialist Germany." (37)

For these and other reasons, it becomes clear that Dürckheim's own "transformation" to a "supernatural center of meaning" has not taken place as a departure from fascism. The satori (enlightenment), which he experienced in 1938 at his tea ceremony, left his Nazi attitude completely untouched, on the contrary -- it furthered his enthusiasm for the "samurai spirit" of the Japanese army. Thus, the dramaturgically high antagonism between his biographer Gerhard Wehr "between folk ideals and the spiritual life" in the Vita of the Count is another life lie. (38) In truth, this inner dramaturgy never existed All of Dürckheim's Zen initiations took place before 1945 and did not influence his then positive attitude towards National Socialism.

It is obvious that the pupils of the count also cover up his Nazi enthusiasm. In the short biographies they disseminate, Dürckheim's brown past is glossed over, as in the following, which can be regarded as an example for many similar ones: "He perceives National Socialism as something that was once there", a given life situation in which he does not have the Nazi stuff, so he's about to be dismissed from the service, and as a high-ranking employee, as he puts it in a later interview, he does not allow himself to be kicked out so easily the opportunity to go to Japan where, between 1938 and 1948, he was given the opportunity to establish contact with Zen Buddhism.

"The purpose of all soldier training is Hara!"

The most famous book of the count is Hara -- The center of the earth (first edition: 1954) "Hara" means belly. In Japanese culture, concentration on the belly is a world setting. According to the count, the Japanese must be considered balanced, centered, grounded, and consolidated, because he has shifted the "center of gravity" of his being into his hara. In In European culture, the heart is often regarded as the center of the human being, but the focus on the heart means something "quite personal", encourages the restriction to the "small ego", leads to "arrest" and ultimately to "restlessness". Man finds his "peace" only after he discovered and developed his "Hara". This connects him with the "unity of the original life", the "undivided fullness of being" and with the "great nature". (40) According to this doctrine, man first has to descend into his abdomen, in order to be able to "ascend" again. Resting in the Hara is, so to speak, the starting point for all further spiritual developments.

We do not want to open a debate here about whether the middle of the human being, in the "belly" or in the "heart" is to be found. What interests us is the question of whether there is a connection between the Hara philosophy and the military fascism of Japan. The information about this is given by a Japanese general, whom Dürckheim has asked about the significance of Hara for the education of soldiers. The high military was surprised at first. Then he answered: "The purpose of all military training isHara! "(41) This is unmistakable: Hara basically means" training as a soldier ", it is - the count -" the expression of soldierly virtue in all conditions - especially in the face of death. "(42) These virtues are" I overcome "and the" hard way of purification ".

The fact that the "Hara" is particularly well suited for the army, is also evident from the following sentence of the count: "In Hara can otherwise endure unbearable physical pain, offenses are quickly caught, careless reactions easily avoided, but where necessary, too without regard to an anxious ego struck. [!] In Hara the wrong sensibility passes away, also for the other one, an inner power arises, which enables the human being, without fear also dangerous things to come on itself. " (43)

Such a pedagogy, which the To create immunity to pain, which strike vigorously without regard to themselves and others and the fearless to expose the danger - includes a code of conduct, as it was maintained in the SS. These are probably some of the insights left over from Dürckheim's unpublished Nazi research report on Japanese education, which were then incorporated into his post-war book. Bearing in mind that at the end of the Second World War, Japanese teenagers aged 13 to 16 were trained as kamikaze aviators and sent to death with a "non-pathetic matter of course" and without "false sensitivity," the earl's Hara philosophy takes on a bitter aftertaste ,

The bitterness increases when Dürckheim describes how closely the development of the Hara can be connected with the political exercise of power of dictators: "The magical power of spiritual healers and great Rethors, the 'superior' power of the dictators, the staying power and the superiority a leading politician can not be understood without their hara. " (44) Although the count limits, the power can also be abused by an ego "in selfish arbitrariness". (45) But even at this point he is not ready to name the name Adolf Hitler.

The Italian fascist Julius Evola - father of Dürckheim's "initiatischer Therapie"

Dürckheim tries throughout his work - at least at first glance - to teach a path of pure inwardness and body reference, a way of attentive perception, the love of the little things, the self-awareness, the elimination of shadow forces and blockages, bioenergetics, the handling of the subtle body, the meditation in the style of Zen, the maturing, the spiritual-spiritual re-emergence, the healing, the philosophy of wholeness, the awakening of the "inner master" - as if his doctrine had only something in common with human existence and nothing but to create history and society. The "transformations" that the individual traverses seem to affect only one's own "self." To this "self"(the state of enlightenment) is to refer exclusively to the work on the person. The isolated life of the individual becomes an intiatorial event, and the "initiative therapy" developed by him helps to recognize this. Is this isolation of the "experience of being" from all social environments really Dürckheim's view?

In this context, it is noteworthy that the foundations of "initiatory therapy" are not from Zen Buddhism, but from the Italian alto-fascist Baron Julius Evola. This one had in the journal Antaeus(July 1965) published an essay titled "On the Initiative," which became programmatically important for Dürckheim. According to Evola, the criteria of initiation are the conscious confrontation with a death experience during his lifetime, "overcoming man," the transition from everyday being to another, which he calls "transcendental realism." It is produced "by the objective power of the rite of initiation [...], and this power is seen spiritually as objective and impersonal, as detached from all morality, not as a technical accomplishment in the material sphere." (46) The Italian therefore demands that that any real initiation must go beyond the range of self-discovery and require a "top-down" impact. This vertical coupling to a higher power, beyond "all valid moral and cultural values" brings into play forces that Evola does not mention in his essay, but which are recognizable in the context of his fascist warrior philosophy, which we still have to present.

Count Dürckheim is so electrified by the baron's statements that he decides to visit him in Rome. "The encounter with Evola was important to me, he was already a great ghost." (47) This homage to the grand seigneur of Italian fascism is also understandable because at the end of his essay Evola comes to speak of Zen, which represents the intiator in the purest form, "above all because he essentially brusque and direct methods the intiative opening of consciousness (satori). " (48) A comparison between Evola and Dürckheim reveals far more parallels than differences. The already mentioned notion that for the "great liberation" a "

Evola, as we shall show, was endowed with a keen sense of occult power structures. In the book On the Initiate , which bears the same title as the above-mentioned essay, he has attributed to Eugen Herrigel and Mircea Eliade also Count Dürckheim those spirits, "which are connected to a tradition-bound esotericism, namely in accordance with Far Eastern initiate circles . " (50) That's why Dürckheim's "Initiative Therapy", which likes to present itself as an "existential psychology", as a path to "inwardness", is by no means understood as limited to the individual. It is essentially a comprehensive occult doctrine of Zenism. Accordingly, the count and his students repeatedly point out between the lines that he understood himself and like-minded people, such as the Jesuit father and Zen connoisseur Enomiya Lasalle, as a kind of "seismograph for the Zeitgeist". Dürckheim confessed to himself and other chosen ones - in line with the patriarchal tradition of Zen - mysterious microcosmic qualities through which historical processes could be condensed and dismissed. "I hold Father Lasalle" - says the count - "for one of the most important minds of our time, because he lives what he proclaims, his presence in this world is of particular importance." (51)

Karlfried Dürckheim meets Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in Germany

From his pupils Dürckheim was celebrated as the creator of the "new man". Thus, the Munich therapist Norbert J. Mayer ended his eulogy on the Count's 90th birthday with the following sentences: "What you, Karlfried, have created with Mary for the development of the new humanity, as Mary calls it, is a link in the golden chain of the transpersonal growth of man [...] Da - at the apex and at the end of the 20th century - you set your mark as a seer, recognizing this golden bond, we are the witnesses and our task is to carry it on. "(52) Such a view of world history makes the Zen Count - as Evola does right to a tradition-bound esoteric, who metapolitically represents the interests "Far Eastern initiatischer circles" here in the west.

Even though Dürckheim made a great effort with age, cultivating a Christian image and now speaking more of "Christ experience" than of "Zener experience", he nevertheless came back with a commission from Japan and this was: the worldwide spread of Zen Buddhism, taking into account national characteristics. At least that's what Japanese master Yuho Seki said to his German student Dürckheim: "Zen came originally from India, it came from India to China, a Chinese Zen was born in China, then Zen came from China to Japan, and a Japanese one came into being Zen: Today Zen comes to Germany, to Europe, and it is up to you to create a German, a European Zen. " (53) The symbolist Alfons Rosenberg did not want to give the count's Christlike attitudes any real credibility: "It reveals that Count Dürckheim's extremely successful, the Zen mentality, is clothed in a thin mantle of Christian phraseology, in the silence, the security, the inner Introducing freedom and security-demanding Europe. " (54)

Anyone who comes to Germany and wants to work there "spiritually" must not skip Auschwitz and the Nazi period, especially if he himself, like Dürckheim, participated in the power of the horror regime. The shadows of the past could otherwise reappear all too easily. For example, a major Dürckheim student, the aforementioned Munich-based therapist Norbert J. Mayer, has plunged into dangerous "brown waters". In the 1990s he organized shamanistic sessions in which the Germanic god Wotan / Odin and the savage army of the Berserkers were summoned. Chapter four of a book on which Mayer collaborated reads: "Wotan's Warrior and the Heroic Mystic - Berserker Rage and the Rituals of War."

Ethos and feeling - these are the two elements of the condition humaine to which Zen Buddhism has no humanistically satisfying answer. Ethical issues do not concern the core of this religion, which is a technique of the mind, a technique whose main purpose is the absolute mastery, indeed suppression, of all emotions. That can be a spiritual one Dulling, even leading to an automation and therefore promote structures that seeks at the political level repeatedly contact with fascist currents. That's why a debate on "Zen and Fascism" must not only be historically conducted, and it does not stop there when Zen disciples distance themselves from the fascist past of their "patriarchs" and masters. Rather, it requires a core discussion that, if it is to have a reformatory character, firmly integrates Zen into a human political value system. In fact, Dürckheim proclaimed such a way outward. However, a closer look at his life and his philosophy shows that

See also:

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - No fear of contact with fascism

Eugen Herrigel - author of the book Zen and Archery - a convinced Nazi



(1) Karlfried Dürckheim - Experience and Change - Bern et al. 1982, 29

(2) After the squirrel slaughter Dürckheim felt "horror and horror" - a sense of horror, of which never in connection with the Nazi crimes in which he was involved ideologically.

(3) Karlfried Dürckheim - Experience and Change - Bern et al. 1982, 29

(4) Ibid: 37

(5) Ibid: 36

(6) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 75

(7) The Evening Standard was very critical of developments in Germany. Hitler tried to convince Beaverbrook of his "Europe Vision": "The Lord was thrilled." - said Dürckheim - "He said: 'I never again write a bad essay about Hitler! That's great the concept that he has of Europe!' [....] After eight days Lord Beaverbrook was of course back on the old line. " (Karlfried Dürckheim - The way is the goal - Göttingen 1995, 39/40)

(8) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al 1996, 76

(9) Ibid .: 77

(10) Ibid .: 78

(11) Karlfried Dürckheim - Experience and Change - Bern et al. 1982, 42

(12) This mission was related to the "Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the German Reich and Japan" concluded on 25 November 1938. It mentions 12 points: 1. - The establishment of cultural working committees. 2. - The preservation of an extension of the cultural institutions. 3. - The recommendation of teachers. 4. - The relief for official study trips. - 5. - Exchange of students and professors. 6. - The promotion of friendly relations between the youth organizations both countries. 7. - Honored treatment of the schools. 8. - Exchange of books and magazines. 9. - Exchange in the fields of art. 10. - Exchange in the field of film. 11. - Exchange in the field of radio. 12. - Exchange in the field of sport and public health.

(13) In: Günther Haasch (ed.) - The German-Japanese Societies from 1888 to 1996 - Berlin 1996, 228

(14) Ibid .: 322

(15) Ibid .: 233

(16) Manfred Bergler - The anthropology of Count Karlfried von Dürckheim in the context of the reception history of Zen Buddhism in Germany - A contribution to the encounter between Christianity and Buddhism - Fürth 1981, 106

(17) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Transformation - Freiburg et al. 1996, 111

(18) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(19) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(20) Back translation from Japanese. Karlfried von Dürckheim-Montmartin - New Germany - German Spirit - Tokyo 1942

(21) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Transformation - Freiburg et al. 1996, 114

(22) Ibid .: 116

(23) Ibid .: 118/119

(24) Franziska Ehmke and Peter Pantzer - Contemporary History - Everyday Life of Germans in Japan 1923-147 - Munich 2000, 51

(25) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 120

(26) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(27) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(28) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(29) Brian Daizen A. Victoria - Zen, Nationalism and War, an Eerie Alliance - Berlin 1999, 164

(30) Brian Daizen Victoria - Zen War Stories - New York 2004, chapter 5

(30a) Philip Kapleau (ed.): The three pillars of Zen. Teaching - Exercise - Enlightenment - Munich 1992, 56

(31) Karlfried Dürckheim - Experience and Change - Bern et al. 1982, 83

(32) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Transformation - Freiburg et al. 1996, 66

(33) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 81

(34) Berlin - Rome - Tokyo - Issue 3, July 15, 1939, 23

(35) Ibid .: Issue 3, July 15, 1939, 23

(36) Ibid .: Issue 6, Oct. 15, 1939, 28. Also in this issue, he again speaks of the samurai cult in fascist Japan: "The Wehrmacht, the true bearer of the Samurai tradition, is gaining ever-increasing importance as well for the spiritual guidance of the people. " (Ibid)

(37) In: Brian Daizen A. Victoria - Zen, Nationalism and War, an Eerie Alliance - Berlin 1999, 160

(38) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Transformation - Freiburg et al. 1996, 110

(39) Karlfried Graf Dürckheim - in:

(40) Karlfried Dürckheim - Hara - The Earth's Center of Man - Bern, Munich, Vienna 1991, 92 ff.

(41) Ibid .: 30

(42) Ibid .: 30

(43) Ibid .: 176

(44) Ibid .: 62

(45) Ibid .: 63

(46) Julius Evola - "On the Initiates" - in Antaios ed. V. Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger, Vol. VI, No. 2, Stuttgart July 1964, 193/194

(47) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 180

(48) Julius Evola - "On the Initiates" - in Antaios ed. V. Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger, Vol. VI, No. 2, Stuttgart July 1964, 152

(49) Julius Evola - About the Initiates - Sinzheim 1998, 53

(50) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 180

(51) In: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the Sign of Change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 158

(52) Ibid .: 229

(53) Ibid .: 159

(54) Ibid .: 195

(55) See the book by Ralph Metzner - The Well of Remembrance Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe - with contributions by Bärbel Kreidt, Norbert Mayer and Christian Rätsch.
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Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki: No fear of contact with fascism
his is a newly edited and supplemented excerpt from the book " Hitler - Buddha - Krishna - An Unholy Alliance from the Third Reich to today "
by Victor & Victoria Trimondi
© Victor & Victoria Trimondi
Translated from German by Google Translate



The suspicion that there is a historical and substantive link between Zen Buddhism and fascism is not invalidated by the connections that Zen entered into after the Second World War with the capitalist economic system (corporate Zen) and Christianity (Christian Zen) , Certain basic attitudes of this religion of the Far East could, as we shall show, make it attractive again and again to a fascist ideology. Arthur Koestler gives as an example of this the "ethical relativism" and the "cosmic nihilism" of Zen, which denies the outside world any independent reality. (1) After a meteoric upswing of Western Zen adaptation until the mid-1990s, it is now have calmed down a bit. While in the two decades before a tsunami of Zen books flooded the marketplace, dealing with monetary and corporate strategies, the ongoing crisis in the Japanese economy has shown that global expectations of capitalism-zen have been illusory.

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966) is considered the internationally most important theorist of Zen Buddhism. After 1945, Suzuki was the first known Japanese Buddhist to critically discuss the war policy of his country and the opportunist attitude of the Japanese Buddhists in several articles. "As militarism became fashionable in recent years, Buddhism adapted to this situation and relentlessly sought to avoid conflicts with the rulers." (2) With this sentence he describes an attitude that he had chosen during this time, because until 1945 Suzuki cooperated with the Japanese military and contributed in several papers to the formulation of a fascist-Buddhist warrior ethic.

In an article written in 1943, specifically addressing young Buddhists, he legitimized the army's activities: "Though called the 'Greater East Asia War', it is essentially an ideological struggle for East Asian culture participate in this fight and fulfill their essential mission. " (3) Two years earlier, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor (1941), he published together with high-ranking army officers an anthology titled "The Essence of Bushido" ( Bushido no Shinzui). In it, the publisher of the book, Handa Shin, writes: "Bushido is indeed the force that has fueled the development of our nation, and in the future, it must be the fundamental force driving the great blueprint of Asia's development, its meaning for the world history of the day getting bigger by the day. " (4)

In the passage, where Handa Shin introduces the authors of the anthology, it can be read about Suziki: "Dr. Suzuki's writings are said to have greatly influenced the military spirit of National Socialist Germany." (5) Whether this is true or not, it is certain that two books of his were published in German during the war : the introduction to Zen Buddhism in 1939 and Zen and the culture of Japan in 1941 . In particular, the last scripture is of interest in our context, because in the two chapters "Zen and the Samurai" and "Zen and the Sword Championship" they contain Suzuki's ideas on war Buddhism.

The scholar argues that from the beginning Zen has historically and ideologically strengthened the warrior spirit of the Samurai, in a moral and ideological way. Moral, because Zen is a faith, "who teaches not to look back when the direction of the road is decided"; ideological, because "life and death [....] for Zen are not two things". (6) Since Zen is not rational, but intuitive - the author goes on to say - he exerted a great attraction on the warrior caste, whose meaning is simple and does not lean towards philosophizing. The "Zen training [is] simple, immediate, self-confident, self-conquering, and this ascetic direction is close to militant sentiment." (7)

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966)

As Bushido ("the way of the warrior") Suzuki refers to the mental interaction between "priesthood" and "warriorism", which leads to a specific soldier mysticism: "The soldicate, connected with mysticism and the sublimity of worldly concerns, is something that is human Here, Zen corresponds to the spirit of Bushido ("Way of the Warrior"). " (8) The accentuation of the will identifiable by all Nazi ideologues under the influence of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche also applies - according to Suzuki - in Bushido as a commanding driving force: Zen is "a religion of willpower, and willpower is the highest requirement of the warrior, even if it requires enlightenment through intuition. " (9)

Similarly, the death cult of the Japanese warrior caste is a central subject, which Suzuki repeatedly addresses as a quality of Zen: "The question of death is a big question for each one of us, but it is even more urgent for the samurai, whose existence is exclusive to that Fight is consecrated, and fight means death for a fighter. " (10) The author cites a text passage from an old Bushido textbook as proof: "The most necessary and indispensable thought of the Samurai is death, which must be day and night, night and day, from the dawn of the first to the last minute of the last day of the year. " (11) As early as 1906, an essay by him in English, which hailed the Buddhist death cult: " The philosophy of life of Bushido is identical to that of Zen. The calm and even the joy of the heart at the moment of death, which is clearly visible among the Japanese, the fearlessness that Japanese soldiers usually display in the face of an overpowering enemy [...] all this springs from the spirit of Zen training. . "(12) In the already quoted anthology of the Japanese Army (" The Essence of Bushido ") from 1941 concludes Suzuki: "It is the spirit of Bushido to truly give up this life." (13)

A samurai has no soul, but "the sword is the soul of the samurai." - we read at Suzuki. (14) With the so-called "Sword Zen" he presents a worldview that makes this weapon the pivot of all being. (15) If it is directed against the external enemies, then it is called the "sword of death". If it is directed against its own misdeeds such as hatred, anger and folly, then it is called the "sword of life". In the end, the sword becomes an over-symbol of the dialectic of double negation, which recurs again and again in Buddhist thought. As an "absolute sword" it cuts the binary, separates it from separation, kills it death.

Similarly, Heinz Corazza in his SS booklet The Samurai - Knights of the Empire in honor and fidelity emphasizes that the Japanese warrior caste, "make the sword to her soul." (16) Sword fantasies are a popular subject of Nazi culture, and so there is a comparison of cultures: "As with the Teutons, the sword of the samurai has received special veneration. [...] After modern weapons were introduced from Europe, they laid The samurai do not abandon their old swords, and the Japanese officer continues to fight with the inherited samurai sword. " (17) A popular metaphor of the time was that SS men were in "sword mission". In the house organ of the SS Ahnenerbes Germania "iron-haired men who appeal to the sword and ready to fall by the sword" are highlighted. (18) In 1937, on the occasion of the Jubilee, several SS Obergruppenführer and group leaders gave "an old Viking sword to" their "Reichsführer-SS, saying:" May the power of the men who once held this sword in bold deeds honor and honor our nation, You always accompany the Reichsführer, with the vow to unconditionally follow you, revered Reichsfuhrer, without asking where and why. " (19) - This is real samurai spirit. There were also in the SS-owned factories next to a porcelain factory a sword forge. Hitler already had in Mein Kampfused the "sword" as an important symbol: "For oppressed countries are not returned by flaming protests in the womb of a common empire, but by a powerful sword." Forging this sword is the task of the domestic political leadership of a people to secure the forging and conspecifics, the task of foreign policy. " (20)

In Bushido, according to Suzuki, all moral rules are broken if they are to oppose the "way of the warrior". For an outsider, this amorality may seem like a devil's philosophy, but for a samurai, it is a consistent step in his path of enlightenment. As a commentary on the classic Bushido text Hagakure , published in German in 1937 (21), he wrote: "These forces [of the warrior] can sometimes be devilish, but in any case they go beyond what is commonly thought to be humanly possible work wonders [...] Death loses its sting, and here meet the training of the Samurai and Zen. " (22)

Zen does not teach the distinction between good and evil, but Zen teaches only the achievement of the goal, without judging this goal and judging without the means that lead to this goal. The motto is simple: Finish the path you once took. This unwavering determination makes Zen an excellent worldview for military people who do not care about the why ask. "Zen," according to Suzuki, "did not give them [the Samurai] any arguments about the immortality of the soul or the wisdom of God's ways or about moral change, but simply demanded of them, every conclusion to which man came whether it is reasonable or unreasonable to carry it straight forward [....] In this respect, Zen is truly the samurai's religion. " (23)

But Zen is not only the religion for unreflecting warriors, but Zen is universal: "He can - according to Suzuki -" befriend anarchist or fascist, communist or democratic ideals, with atheism or idealism, with any political or economic dogma. " (24) Conclusion: until 1945, Zen was fascist in Japan, Germany and Italy, after the war it was democratic and capitalist in the West, but not in the East, where it was communist, and among the Benedictines, who practice it increasingly, he is Catholic. Satori (enlightenment) and political attitudes have - according to Suzuki - nothing to do with each other. "The Satori is about the world of Satori." - he writes shortly after the war - "Bushido is in a word "war Buddhism as an initiation way".

It was DT Suzuki's essays on Zen Buddhism that brought Martin Martin Heidegger (1989-1976) into contact with Zen Buddhism. The first volume of this essay collection was presented to the philosopher by his Japanese student Keiji Nishitani (1900-1990) as a birthday present. Heidegger was so impressed that he invited Nishitani to a philosophical conversation about the text. That was in 1938. From then on, the writings of Suzuki became a preferred study object of Heidegger's. He met the Japanese for the first time in 1953, was very impressed with the meeting, and is said to have said later, "If I understand this man right, that's what I was trying to say in my writings." (26)

The Heidegger student Keiji Nishitani is considered one of the important Japanese scholars of the Kyoto school , which made a name for itself among other things by the translation of Western thinkers (Aristotle, Plotin, Hegel, Nietzsche) into Japanese. Since 1965 he was together with DT Suzuki editor of the Mahayana Buddhist magazine The Eastern Buddhist, Not only was Heidegger's positive relationship to the Nazi regime problematical after the war, but also that of his pupil Nishitani. From him, the following sentence became known from 1942: "Is the political consciousness of the Germans not more developed? I also believe that in people like Hitler, the awareness of the need to establish an internal order is clearer than with the Japanese rulers . " (27) Karl Löwith, who sought refuge as a Jewish emigre, then in Japan, pushed in his memoirs : "The swastika was also in the East to escape." (28)

See also:

Eugen Herrigel - author of the book Zen and Archery - a convinced Nazi

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim - A Quarter Jew and Zen student in the service of the Nazi regime



(1) Arthur Koestler - Of saints and automatons - Bern 1961, 344/345

(2) In: Brian Daizen A. Victoria - Zen, Nationalism and War, an Eerie Alliance - Berlin 1999, 209

(3) Ibid .: 213

(4) Ibid: 160

(5) Ibid .: 160

(6) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 49

(7) Ibid .: 50

(8) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the culture of Japan - Munich 1959, 34

(9) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the Culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 49, 52. When the German Zen teacher Karlfried Graf Dürckheim states in 1940 about Suzuki's introduction to Zen Buddhism : "Zen is before all a religion of the will and the willpower, as philosophy profoundly averse to the intellect and the discursive thinking, on the other hand relying on the intuition as the direct and immediate way to the truth. " (in: Gerhard Wehr - Karlfried Graf Dürkheim - Life in the sign of change - Freiburg et al. 1996, 96) - so he also shared the idea of ​​the then Nazi ideologues, who put in the wake of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche the omnipotence of the will against the discourse.

(10) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the Culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 60

(11) Ibid .: 60

(12) In: Brian Daizen A. Victoria - Zen, Nationalism and War, an Eerie Alliance - Berlin 1999, 155

(13) Ibid .: 161

(14) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the Culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 75

(15) If one wants to do justice to Suzuki, then one must point out that he recommends the use of the sword as a final consequence and emphasizes that this is not a murder weapon, but a "tool of spiritual self-discipline". But such confessions are common in the warrior chest of all cultures. None of her relatives would ever admit to murder by his bloody craft.

(16) Heinz Corazza - The Samurai - Knights of the Reich in honor and loyalty - Berlin 1942, 14. The thesis of the sword as the soul of the warrior is also in the 1943 essay by Otto Kümmel entitled "Japan and his sword" added. (Martin Schwind - ed. - Japan seen by Germans - Leipzig Berlin 1943, 96)

(17) Otto Mossdorf - "The Soldier Character of the German and Japanese People" - in Walter Donat (ed.) - The Reich and Japan - Berlin 1943, 103

(18) Germania - No. 10/37, 291 - Ernst Schäfer brings a sword hymn from the Himalayas: "This blood-soaked blade is the sword of life." - It says there - "A thousand demons have struck you from the metal of the thunderbolt and a thousand gods have made you holy. [...] You have dived into miraculous poisons and ground on human skulls." (Federal Archives Berlin R 135/30 - "War Dance of the Gods")

(19) Bundesarchiv: NS - 21 - 290 - A / 101/81 - "Wiking Sword"

(20) Hitler, Adolf - Mein Kampf - Munich 1933, 689

(21) In 1937, Nordland Verlag published Inazo Nitobe Bushido - The Soul of Japan . It contains excerpts from the Hagakure text.

(22) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the culture of Japan - Munich 1959, 259

(23) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 73

(24) Ibid: 51. Suzuki's signature Zen and the culture of Japan , the so appeared in 1941 on German in a fascist country was three years earlier (1938) in English, titled Zen Buddhism and its Influence on Japanese Culture in the distributed to democratic countries. With the sentence quoted above Suzuki secures the international dissemination of his text in all social systems at that time including the communist. After the war he published together with the antifascist Erich Fromm a book with the title - Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism - New York 1960.

(25) In: Brian Daizen A. Victoria - Zen, Nationalism and War, an Eerie Alliance - Berlin 1999, 210

(26) In: Willfred Hartig - The Teaching of the Buddha and Heidegger - Contributions to the East-West Dialogue of Thought in the 20th Century - Konstanz 1997, 29

(27) Graham Parkes - "The putative fascism of theKyoto Schooland the political "in Philosophy East and West - Vol.47 No.3, 1997 p.305-336

(28) Karl Löwith - My life in Germany before and after 1933 - A report - Stuttgart 1986, 117
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:40 am

Eugen Herrigel: Author of the book Zen and Archery - a convinced Nazi
This is a newly edited and supplemented excerpt from the book " Hitler - Buddha - Krishna - An Unholy Alliance from the Third Reich to today "
by Victor & Victoria Trimondi
© Victor & Victoria Trimondi
Translated from German by Google Translate



The first German book on Zen Buddhism ( Zen - the living Buddhism in Japan ) appeared in 1925. The two authors were August Faust (1895-1945), later professor of philosophy at the University of Wroclaw, and the Japanese Shuej Ohasama (from the Rinsai School). The Kant and Fichteforscher Faust later developed into a committed Nazi and worked in various Nazi organizations. In 1933 he was still a member of the Hitler Youth at the age of 38, and in 1937 in the German Young People "Fähnleinführer". He was close to circles around Alfred Rosenberg and participated in the "war effort of the philosophers". In the 1930s he published an apologetic work on the philosophy of war, In 1944, he was provided with a contribution to the theme "Forms of Faith of the Reich" in the series, which should be published in the SS Ahnenerbe by Friedrich Hielscher. In August August Faust committed suicide in Breslau.

The Zen book co-authored with Ohasama is largely free of any martial spirit except for a few sentences from the foreword written by the famous religious scholar Rudolf Otto. Otto makes an eulogy of the samurai spirit there: "We also see the images of these iron-firm, volitional men, who ripened in the Zen exercise of the satori, created the warrior nobility of Japan, the samurai, the chivalrous ideal of 'Bushido' and shaped his moral code and gave Japan the backbone that sustained it in the change of its eventful history. " (1) Then Otto, who was later highly esteemed by the Nazi Orientalists, draws a comparison between the Bhagavadgitaand Zen: "Unknowingly, the Japanese knights followed the advice that Krishna gives to Arjuna and through which he returns him, the weak, to his knightly duty internal solution of the scattering and vain sense objects and interests, [...] the duty of the very protective and supportive, intrepid, brave and fighting Kshatriya, the Kshatram itself, which already contains the features of Bushido [...] These and many other features of the Zen ideal are already in the Gita. "(2) Two years earlier, the philosopher of religion had written an essay" On Zazen as the extreme of the numinous irrational. "It read:" Zen is just the irrational in the extreme and almost torn from all rational schemes. "(3)

Fuchs's expert colleague Eugen Herrigel became world famous for his book Zen in the art of archery . In 1936, he gave a lecture in front of the German Japanese Society titled "The Chivalric Art of Archery", which then appeared in the magazine Nippon . This lecture formed the basis for his later book of success. The actual text only appeared after the war in 1948 and soon developed into a classic, translated into numerous languages.

Already in 1921, the author in Heidelberg came into contact with the Japanese Zen philosophy, including through friendly contacts with a number of Japanese students. During his almost six-year teaching career as a lecturer in the history of philosophy at Tohoku Imperial University in Sendai, Japan, he earned a mastery in the discipline of archery. "Japan said that Herrigel was the first European to understand the spirit of Zen." - so the German Buddhist Union. (4) Herrigels teacher was the bow master Awa Kenzo, who, however, had no Zen education. (5)

Awa Kenzo the teacher Herrigels
Source: Oslo Kyūdō Kyōkai (2006/2)

Shoji Yamada has studied in detail how Herrigel mystified the often sober and pragmatic instructions of Awa Kenzo and knit his own spiritual philosophy, which, however, formed the basis for Zen's perception in the West. (6) Herrigel's colleague August Faust, on the other hand, considered the "archers" returning from Japan to be a kind of "showmaster" who reminded him of the famous spiritual charlatan Alessandro Cagliostro. (7)

At the end of his apprenticeship as an archer Herrigel received the Japanese name Bungaku Hakushi. From 1929 he taught philosophy as a professor at the University of Erlangen. On August 20, 1934, he made a vow of loyalty to the German Reich and its leader Adolf Hitler. In 1937 he was in Erlangen Dean, 1938 Vice Rector and 1944 Rector. Herrigel was from the beginning to the end a staunch supporter of the Nazi regime.

From 1939 he wrote an essay entitled "National Socialism and Philosophy". It laments a failure of German philosophy because it did not sufficiently take into account the moral and moral values. Hitler appears as a "miracle" on the horizon of history, which led to the "struggle for the soul of the German people." (8) Likewise, the new German philosophy must demonstrate "their attachment to the German people": Only the future mission to philosophy, which belongs with all the fibers of his heart to the German people, pulsating with him of the same blood, of the same spirit is worn and therefore designed and created out of the deepest reason of his Germanity. " (9) After the war, Herrigel attempted to downplay his support of the Nazi regime by falsely claiming that he had been a "provisional" party member of the NSDAP without a party book. (10)

Eugen Herrigel
Source: Oslo Kyūdō Kyōkai (2006/2)

Basic experience of a Zen archer is the elimination of the own ego. Arrow and target form a unity and the shooter's ego fades. The individual and his will are completely eliminated: "It stands in your way, that you have a much too willing will." - the author teaches us. (11) Herrigel, who chose archery in Japan as a spiritual Zen discipline because of his experience in handling rifles and pistols, sees these purest represented by the spirit of the samurai. This becomes particularly clear at the end of his booklet. On page 81, he apologizes that he has described the handling of bow and arrow as a purely spiritual training: "It is now, I'm afraid, meanwhile, in some of the suspicions have become lively, Archery, since it no longer plays a part in man-to-man combat, has been salvaged into an out-of-the-ordinary spirituality and sublimated unhealthily. And I can not blame it on anyone who feels that way. "(12) In the subsequent sections dealing with Zen and sword art, the well-known glorification of struggle, courage, killing, and death takes place.

With "cool blood" - according to Herrigel - the swordsman performs his deadly ritual. "At the moment of dodging, the fighter already strikes out, and even before he knows it his deadly prank has already been meticulously and irresistibly fallen, it is as if the sword is leading itself, and as must be said in archery that 'It' aims and meets, here too the 'I' has taken the place of the ego. " (13) All thought of life and death is extinguished, the warrior acts out of absolute emptiness. A samurai evades a blank in the given case, because such a fight makes no "honor" to him. A respectable opponent, on the other hand, brings "nothing but honorable death" - either for one or the other fighter. (14) "These are sentiments that have determined the ethos of the samurai, the incomparable 'way of the knight' called Bushido." (15) A samurai likes to live in the world, but is "ready to leave her at any time without being distracted by the thought of death." (16) - "To be free from the fear of death" - was one of the maxims that also played a central role in the moral code of the SS.

If they had dealt with the history of Zen in Japan and its reception in Germany, then American admirers Herrigels would not have been so surprised when they later learned about his active Nazi followers. A Zen master as a Nazi - that did not seem to fit together. As RJ Zwi Werblowsky said in an article on Herrigel, "And the man who wrote one of the bestsellers on Zen, who zealously arouses every Zen enthusiast, was a convinced Nazi and follower of Adolf Hitler Can you be a true Zen? Students, or can you pretend to have experienced enlightenment and at the same time follow a 'leader' who has killed millions of people in gas chambers? " (17) The answer to this question had already given Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. Yes - it is possible because Zen "can" - we repeat - "befriend anarchist or fascist, communist or democratic ideals, atheism or idealism, with any political or economic dogma." (18) One will not contradict this when it comes from such a vocal mouth.

Also, Herrigel emphasizes that a samurai "becomes more inaccessible by the day", which sounds macabre given the fact that the SS was inspired by the samurai spirit. (19) Arthur Koestler, in his book Of Saints and Vending Machinescritically dealing with Zen and also with Herrigel concludes: "Zen always radiates a fascination for a category of people mixing brutality and pseudo-mysticism, from samurai to kamikaze to beatniks. [....] The case of Herrigel [...] is typical of this: he was a star pupil among the Western [Zen] converts both before and after his Nazi career. " (20) Similarly, Gershom Scholem, the scientific authority for Jewish mysticism, writes that Herrigel was a convinced Nazi: "This was not noted in some biographical notes about Herrigel issued by his widow, who built his image as a person, which dealt exclusively with the higher spiritual spheres. "(21) The cover-up was deliberately pursued:" Herrigel's translators and publishers concealed any information that related him to the Nazis. They implied that Herrigel had penetrated into the heart of Zen with his sublime spirituality and introduced him to the West. No doubt they did not want anyone to know that he was a Nazi. "(22)

Herrigel's methodical considerations about Japanese archery have become the basis of Western Zen reception and have become an unmistakable literature that turns Zen into a passe-partout that lets every imaginable art be learned. Including titles such as: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974); Zen in the Art of Writing ( 1989); Zen and the Art of Internet (1992); Zen and the Art of Making a Living (1993); Zen and the Art of Screenwriting (1996); Zen and the Art of Murder (1998); Zen and the Art of Postmodern Philosophy (2000); Zen and the Art of Diabetes Maintenance(2002) All these texts refer directly or indirectly to Herrigel's understanding of Zen.

See also:

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - No fear of contact with fascism

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim - A Quarter Jew and Zen student in the service of the Nazi regime



(1) August Faust and Schuej Ohasama - Zen - Living Buddhism in Japan - Stuttgart 1925, IV

(2) Ibid: V

(3) Ernst Benz - Zen in the West - Zen Buddhism - Zen Snobbery - Weilheim 1962, 8

(4) DBU (German Buddhist Union) - Chronicle of Buddhism in Germany - Plochingen 1985, 108

(5) Shoji Yamada - Shots in the Dark -Japan, Zen, and the West - Chicago 2009, 66

(6) Shoji Yamada - Shots in the Dark -Japan, Zen, and the West - Chicago 2009, 46 ff.

(7) Hermann Glockner - Heidelberger Bilderbuch - Bonn 1969, 234

(8) Bergler, Manfred - The anthropology of Count Karlfried von Dürckheim in the context of the reception history of Zen Buddhism in Germany - A contribution to the encounter of Christianity and Buddhism - Fürth 1981, 8

(9) Ibid .: 8

(10) Shoji Yamada - Shots in the Dark -Japan, Zen, and the West - Chicago 2009, 97 ff.

(11) Eugen Herrigel - Zen in the Art of Archery - Bern / Munich / Vienna 1999, 41

(12) Ibid .: 81

(13) Ibid .: 88

(14) Ibid .: 90

(15) Ibid .: 90

(16) Ibid: 90 - 91

(17) The Center Magazine - March / April -

(18) Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - Zen and the Culture of Japan - Berlin 1941, 51

(19) Eugen Herrigel - Zen in the Art of Archery - Bern / Munich / Vienna 1999, 90

(20) Arthur Koestler - Neither Lotus nor Robot - in: Encounter , Vol. XVI,London 1961, 59

(21) Gershom Scholem - "Zen Nazism?" - Encounter Vol. XVI,London 1961, 96

(22) Shoji Yamada - Shots in tne Dark -Japan, Zen, and the West - Chicago 2009, 103
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:34 am

Part 1 of 2

Julius Evola
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/6/19



When the SS decided to evaluate the ideological standpoint of Evola, the Italian idealist philosopher, Weisthor was consulted. Baron Julius Evola (1898-1974) preached a doctrine of elitism and anti-modernity based on an Aryan-Nordic tradition defined by solar mythology and the male aristocratic principle as opposed to the female principle of democracy. These ideas found expression in his books on racism, grail-mysticism, and archaic traditions. Not entirely acceptable to the official fascist party line in Italy, Evola had begun to seek recognition abroad: his German editions comprised Heidnischer Imperialismus [Pagan Imperialism] (1933) and Erhebung wider die moderne Welt [Revolt against the Modem World] (1935). In early 1938 the SS started to investigate his ideas and Weisthor was asked to comment on a lecture delivered by Evola at Berlin in December 1937. Three further lectures were given in June 1938 and again Himmler referred the matter to Weisthor, with the additional request that he review Evola's book on pagan imperialism from the perspective of his own traditions. Weisthor replied that Evola worked from a basic Aryan concept but was quite ignorant of prehistoric Germanic institutions and their meaning. He also observed that this defect was representative of the ideological differences between fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and could ultimately prejudice the permanency of their alliance. Wiligut's report was evidently respected. In due course the SS ordered that Evola's activities in the Third Reich should be discouraged.

-- The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Arisophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935, by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

Julius Evola: A fascist Tantric

It was not just the ideologists and theoreticians of national socialism who were closely concerned with Tibet, but also high-ranking intellectuals and scholars closely linked to Italian fascism. First of all, Giuseppe Tucci, who attempted to combine Eastern and fascist ideas with one another, must be mentioned (Benavides 1995).

A further example is the work of the Italian, Julius Evola (1898-1974), for a time Benito Mussolini’s chief ideologist (mainly in the forties). In numerous books and articles he has investigated and further developed the relationship between tantric rituals and power politics. He has followed “tantric trails” in European cultural history and come across them everywhere: among the Cathars, the troubadours, the Knights Templar, in the work of Alighieri Dante, the mysticism surrounding the holy grail, European knighthood, alchemy.
Using criteria drawn from Vajrayana, he propounds a cultural history of sexuality in his most famous book, Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex. Evola was not just a theoretician, he also practiced sexual magic rites himself. There are unmistakable statements from him about the “tantric female sacrifice” and the transformation of sexuality into political power. Like almost no other, the Italian has openly named the events that unfold in the mysteries of the yogis and then confessed to them: “The young woman,” he writes, “who is first ‘demonized’ and then raped, ... is essentially... the basic motif for the higher forms of tantric and Vajrayanic sexual magic” (Evola, 1983, p. 389). In dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini he saw the precursors of future Maha Siddhas who would one day conquer the world with their magic powers: “The magician, the ruler, the lord”, he proclaims in regard to Tantrism, “that is the type of the culture of the future!” (Evola, 1926, p. 304). He recommends Tantrism as “the way for a Western elite” (Evola, East and West, p. 29).

In the Shambhala myth he sees a confirmation of the European tradition of the savior king, especially the myth of the grail: “At a particular time decreed by one of the cyclical laws, a new manifestation of the solar principle from above will occur in the form of a sacred ruler who gains victory over the ‘dark age’: Kalki Avatara. Symbolically Kalki will be born in Shambhala — one of the terms in the Indian/Tibetan tradition for the holiest hyperborean [Nordic] center” (Evola 1955, p. 56).

We could fill many pages illustrating the influence of Vajrayana (Tibetan Tantrism) on Evola’s work. But however, we will instead concentrate on a detailed discussion of the ideas of one of his pupils, Miguel Serrano. Serrano combines Evola’s fascist philosophy of power warriors with the national socialist thoughts on race. His works are particularly interesting for us not just because he is still alive (in 1999), but also because he has been linked with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama several times....

The “alchemic female sacrifice”:

"The Kalachakra Tantra”, writes the American David Gordon White in his comprehensive history of Indian alchemy,”.... offers us the most penetrating view we have of any specifically Buddhist alchemical system” (White, 1996, p. 71). In the fifth chapter of the Time Tantra, the “great art” is treated as a separate discipline (Carelli, 1941, p. 21). In his commentary on the Kalachakra text, Pundarika compares the whole sexual magic procedure in this tantra with an alchemical work.

In India, alchemy was and still is a widely spread esoteric body of knowledge, and has been since the fourth century C.E. It is taught and employed as a holistic healing art, especially in Ayurveda. Alongside its medical uses, it was considered (as in China and the West) as the art of extracting gold (and thus wealth and power) from base substances. But over and above this, it was always regarded as an extremely effective means of attaining enlightenment. Indian yogis, especially the so-called Nath Siddhas, who had chosen the “great art” as their sacred technique, experienced their alchemic attempts not as “scientific” experimentation with chemical substances, but rather as a mystical exercise. They described themselves as followers of Rasayana and with the use of this term indicated that had chosen a special initiatory path, the “Path of Alchemy”. In their occult praxis they combined chemical experiments with exercises from Hatha Yoga and tantric sexual rites.

Arabic influences upon Indian alchemy are presumed, but the latter certainly predates these. Even older are the sophisticated alchemic–sexual magic experiments of the Taoists. For this reason, some important Western scholars of Asia, for example, David Gordon White, Agehananda Bharati, and Joseph Needham, are of the opinion that China could be considered a possible origin for both the “high art” and Indian Tantrism. On the other hand, European alchemy of early modern times (16th to 18th century) has so many similarities to the symbolic world of tantric-alchemic India, that — since a direct influence is difficult to imagine — one must either posit a common historical, most probably Egyptian, origin, or must assume that both esoteric currents drew upon the same archetypal reservoir of our collective unconsciousness. Most probably, both are the case.

In the West, the close relationship between occidental alchemy and Tantrism has been thematized by, among others, the religious studies scholar Mircea Eliade and Carl Gustav Jung, the depth psychologist. Jung more than once drew attention to the parallels between the two systems. His introduction to a quasi-tantric text from China with the title Das Geheimnis der goldenen Blüte [‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’] is just one example from many. Mircea Eliade also saw “a remarkable correspondence between Tantrism and the great western mysteriosophical [sic] current ..., in which at the beginning of the Christian era gnosis, hermetics, Greek/Egyptan alchemy and the traditions of the mysteries flowed together” (Eliade, 1985, p. 211). Of the more modern authors, it is primarily David Gordon White who deserves mention; he has exhaustively studied the close link between alchemic ideas and experiments and the Indian Siddhas (sorcerers) and their tantric practices. Without doubt, Tantrism and alchemy, whether of Indian or European provenance, share many fundamental images with one another.

Just like their oriental colleagues, the occidental alchemists expressed themselves in a twilight language (sandhabhasa). All the words, signs, and symbols, which were formulated to describe the experiments in their obscure “laboratories”, possessed multiple meanings and were only comprehensible to the “initiated”. Just as in some tantra texts, “secret” practices were represented by “harmless” images in the European treatises; this was especially true of the topic of erotic love and sexuality. This strong link to the erotic may appear absurd in the case of chemical experiments, but the alchemic world view was, just like that of Tantrism, dominated by the idea that our universe functions as the creation and interplay of a masculine and a feminine principle and that all levels of existence are interpenetrated by the polarity of the sexes. “Gender is in everything, everything has masculine and feminine principles, gender reveals itself on all levels”, we can read in a European treatise on the “great art” (Gebelein, 1991, p. 44).

This was also true for the sphere of chemical substances and compounds, the metals and elements. Both the tantric and the alchemic writings are therefore maps of the erotic imagination and anyone with a little speech psychology can recognize the pervasive sexual system of reference hidden in a hermetical text from the 16th century. At that time people did not have the slightest qualms about describing chemical processes as erotic events and erotic scenarios as chemical fusions. They behaved in exactly the same manner in the West as in the East.

Let us now examine tantric alchemy a little more closely. The Tibetan lama, Dragpa Jetsen, for example, distinguishes three aspects of the royal art: the “Alchemy of life: he can make his life last as long as the sun and moon [; the] Alchemy of body: he can make his body eternally be but sixteen years old [; and the] Alchemy of enjoyments: he can turn iron and copper into gold” (quoted by Beyer, 1978, p. 253). These three experiments, then, primarily concern two goals: firstly the attainment of immortality, and secondly the production of gold, that is, material wealth. Correspondingly, in a commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra we can read: “Then comes the practice of alchemy, which in this case means the production of gold through the use of the elixirs” (Newman, 1987, p. 120).

But for the “true” adept (whether Tantric or European alchemist) it was not just a matter of the actual yellow metal, but also the so-called “spiritual gold”. In the West this was understood to mean the “Philosopher’s Stone” or the “hermetical elixir”, which transformed the experimenter into a superman. Alchemy and Tantrism thus have the same spiritual goal. In order to achieve this, numerous processes of conversion were needed in the laboratory of the adept, which did not just take the form of chemical processes, but which the alchemist also experienced as successive transmutations of his personality, that is, his psyche was dissolved and then put together again a number of times in the course of the experimentation. Solve et coagula (dissolve and bind) is for this reason the first and most well-known maxim of the hermetical art. This principle too, controls the tantric ritual in numerous variants, as, say, when the yogi dissolves his human body in order to reconstruct it as a divine body.

Without going into numerous further parallels between Tantrism and the “great art”, we would like to concentrate here upon a primary event in European alchemy, which we term the “alchemic female sacrifice” and which plays an equally central role for the adept of the high art as the “tantric female sacrifice” does for the Tantric. There are three stages to be examined in this sacrificial event:

The sacrifice of the “dark woman” or the “black matter” (nigredo)
The absorption of the “virgin milk” or gynergy (albedo)
The construction of the cosmic androgyne (rubedo)

1. The sacrifice of the black matter (karma mudra):

The starting point for an alchemical experiment is in both systems, the European and the Indian, the realm of coarse matter, the ignoble or base, so as to then transmute it in accordance with the “law of inversion” into something beneficent. This procedure is — as we have shown — completely tantric. Thus the Buddhist scholar, Aryadeva, (third century C.E.) can employ the following comparison: “Just as copper becomes pure gold when it is spread with a wonder tincture, so too will the [base] passions of the Knowing become aids to salvation” (von Glasenapp, 1940, p. 30). The same tantric view is taken up in the eighteenth century by the French adept Limojon de Saint-Didier, when he ascertains in his Triomphe Hermétique that, “the philosophers [alchemists] say, that one must seek perfection in imperfect things and that one finds it there” (Hutin, 1971, p. 25).

In European alchemy the coarse starting material for the experiments is known as the prima materia and is of a fundamentally feminine nature. Likewise, as in the tantras, base substances such as excrement, urine, menstrual blood, part of corpses and so forth are named in the alchemic texts, no matter which culture they belong to, as the physical starting materials for the experiments. Symbolically, the primal material is describe in images such as “snake, dragon, toad, viper, python”. It is also represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the “dragon mother” so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine, as we also know it from as far back as the early phase of Buddhism. We may recall that Shakyamuni compared women in general with snakes, sharks and whores.

These misogynous terms for the prima materia are images which on the one hand seek to describe the untamed, death-bringing nature; on the other one readily admit that a secret force capable of producing everything in the phenomenal world is hidden within “Mother Nature”. Nature in alchemy has at its disposal the universal power of birth. It represents the primordial matrix of the elements, the massa confusa, the great chaos, from which creation bursts forth. On this basis, Titus Burckhardt, an enthusiastic expert on the great art, brings the western prima materia into direct comparison with tantric Shakti and the black goddess, Kali: “On the idea of Shakti are based all those tantric spiritual methods which are more closely related to alchemy than to any other of the spiritual arts. The Hindu, indeed, regard alchemy itself as a tantric method. As Kali, the Shakti is on the one hand the universal mother, who lovingly embraces all creatures, and on the other hand the tyrannical power which delivers them over to destruction, death, time, and space” (Burckhardt, 1986, p. 117). The alchemic first substance (prima materia or massa confusa) cannot be better personified in Tantrism than by Kali and her former retinue, the crematoria-haunting, horrifying dakinis.

Experimenting around with the primal material sounds quite harmless to someone who is not initiated. Yet a symbolic murder is hidden behind this. The black matter, a symbol of the fundamental feminine and of powerful nature from which we all come, is burned or in some cases vaporized, cut to pieces or dismembered. Thus, in destroying the prima materia we at the same time destroy our “mother” or, basically, the “ fundamentally feminine”. The European adept does not shy away from even the most crass killing metaphors: “open the lap of your mother”, it says in a French text from the 18th century, “with a steel blade, burrow into her entrails and press forward to her womb, there you will find our pure substance [the elixir]” (Bachelard, 1990, p. 282). Symbolically, this violent first act in the alchemic production is located within a context of sacrifice, death and the color black and is therefore called nigredo, that is “blackening”.

2. The absorption of the “virgin milk” or gynergy (inana mudra):

The “pure substance” or the “elixir”, which according to the quotation above is obtained from the entrails of Mother Nature, is in alchemy nothing other than the gynergy so sought after in Tantrism. Just like the Tantric, the alchemist thus draws a distinction between the “coarse” and the “sublime” feminine. After the destruction of the “dark mother”, the so-called nigredo, the second phase follows, which goes by the name of albedo ("whitening”). The adept understands this to mean the “liberation” of the subtle feminine ("pure substance”) from the clutches of the coarse “dragon” (prima materia). The master has thus transformed the black matter, which for him symbolizes the dark mother, following its burning or cutting up in his laboratory into an ethereal “girl” and then distilled from this the “pure Sophia”, the incarnation of wisdom, the “chaste moon goddess”, the “white queen of heaven”. One text talks “of the transformation of the Babylonian whore into a virgin” (Evola, 1993, p. 207).

Now this transmutation is not, as a contemporary observer would perhaps imagine the process to be, a purely spiritual/mental procedure. In the alchemist’s laboratory some form of black starting substance is in fact burned up, and a chemical, usually liquid substance really is extracted from this material, which the adept captures in a pear-shaped flask at the end of the experiment. The Indians refer to this liquid as rasa, their European colleagues as the “elixir”. Hence the name for Indian alchemy — Rasayana.

Even though all the interpreters in the discussion of the alchemic “virgin image” (the subtle feminine) are of the unanimous opinion that this is a matter of the spiritual and psychological source of inspiration for the man, this nevertheless has a physical existence as a magical fluid. The “white woman”, the “holy Sophia” is both an image of desire of the masculine psyche and the visible elixir in a glass. (In connection with the seed gnosis we shall show that this is also the case in Tantrism.)

This elixir has many names and is called among other things “moon dew” or aqua sapientiae (water of wisdom) or “white virgin milk”. The final (chemical) extraction of the wonder milk is known as ablactatio (milking). Even in such a concrete point there are parallels to Tantrism: In the still to be described “Vase initiation” of the Kalachakra Tantra, the ritual vessels which are offered up to the vajra master in sacrifice, represent the wisdom consorts (mudras). They are called “the vase that holds the white [the milk]" (Dhargyey, 1985, p. 8). Whatever ingredients this “moon dew” may consist of, in both cultural circles it is considered to be the elixir of wisdom (prajna) and a liquid form of gynergy. It is as strongly desired by every European adept as by every Tibetan tantric master.

We can thus state that, in Tantrism, the relation between the real woman (karma mudra) and the imaginary spirit woman (inana mudra) is the same as that between the dark mother (prima materia) and the “chaste moon goddess” (the feminine life-elixir or gynergy) in European alchemy. Therefore, the sacrifice of karma mudra (prima materia), drawn usually from the lower classes, and her transformation into a Buddhist “goddess” (inana mudra) is an alchemic drama. Another variation upon the identical hermetic play emerges in the victory of the vajra master over the dark horror dakini (prima materia) and her slaughter, after which she (post mortem) enters the tantric stage as a gentle, floating figure — as a nectar-giving “sky walker” ("the chaste moon goddess”). The witch-like cemetery whore has transformed herself into a sweet granter of wisdom.

3. The construction of the cosmic androgyne (maha mudra):

Following the consumption of the “virgin milk”, the drawing off of the gynergy, the ethereal feminine is dissolved in the imagination of the alchemist and now becomes a part of his masculine-androgyne being. Thus, the second sacrifice of the woman, this time as “Sophia” or as an independent “spiritual being” takes place here, then the goal of the opus is reached only when the adept, just like the Tantric, has completely obliterated the autonomy of the feminine principle and integrated it within himself. To this end he works on and destroys the “chaste moon goddess” or the “white woman” (inana mudra), once more through the element of fire. The Italian occultist, Julius Evola, has described this procedure in clear and unvarnished terms: in this phase “sulfur and fire become active again, the now living masculine exerts an influence on the substance, ... gains the upper hand over the feminine, absorbs it and transmits its own nature to it” (Evola, 1983, p. 435). Accordingly, the feminine principle is completely absorbed by the masculine. Somewhat more prosaically expressed, this means the alchemist drinks the “virgin milk” mentioned above from his flask.

In summary, if we compare this alchemical process with Tantrism once more, then we can say that the alchemist sacrifices firstly the feminine “mother of all” (prima materia), just as the Tantric sacrifices the real woman, the karma mudra. From the destruction of the karma mudra the vajra master then obtains the “spiritual woman”, the inana mudra, just as the alchemist obtains the “Sophia” from the destruction of the prima materia. Then the Tantric internalizes the “spiritual woman” as maha mudra ("inner woman”), just as the adept of alchemy takes in the “white virgin” in the form of the luck-bringing feminine “moon dew”.

Once the work is completed, in both cases the feminine disappears as an external, independent and polar correspondence to the masculine and continues to function solely as an inner force (shakti) of the androgyne tantra master, or androgyne alchemist respectively. Within alchemy this internalization of the feminine principle (i.e., the construction of the maha mudra in Tantrism) is known by the term rubedo, that is “reddening”.

Since the symbolic sacrifice of the woman in both cases involves the use of the element of fire, in alchemy just as in Buddhist Tantrism we are dealing with an androcentric fire cult. Within both contexts a bisexual, ego-centered super being is produced via magic rites — a “spiritual king”, a “grand sorcerer” (Maha Siddha), a powerful “androgyne”, the “universal hermaphrodite”. “He is the hermaphrodite of the initial being,” C. G. Jung writes of the target figure of the alchemic project, “which steps apart in the classic brother–sister pair and unites itself in the ‘conjunctio’” (Jung, 1975, pp. 338, 340). Consequently, the final goal of every alchemical experiment which goes beyond simple moneymaking is the union of the sexes within the person of the adept, in the understanding that he could then develop unlimited power as a man–woman. The identical bisexual definition of the occidental super being is mirrored in the self-concept of the Tantric, who following his mystic union (conjunctio) with the feminine — that is to say, after the absorption of the gynergy — is reborn as the “lord of both sexes”.

In the West, as in the East, he then experiences himself to be the “father and mother of his self” — as a “child of his self” (Evola, 1993, p. 48) — “He marries himself, he impregnates himself”. He becomes “known as the father and begetter of all, because in him lives the seed and template of all things” (Evola, 1993, p. 35) To put it in one sentence — the mystic king of alchemy is in principle identical with the tantric Maha Siddha (grand sorcerer).

It would spring the bounds of this study to examine further patterns which link the two systems to one another. We shall, however, return to this where it seems necessary. In our opinion, all the events of Tantrism can be rediscovered in one form or another in the symbolic scenario of alchemy: the eroticization of the universe, the deadly dangers which are associated with the unchaining of the feminine elements, the “law of inversion”, the play upon fire, the swallowing of the “moon” (of the feminine) by the “sun” (the masculine), the mystical geography of the body, the mantras and mandalas, the mysticism surrounding the planets and stars, the micro-macrocosmic theory, the dark light and the clear light, the staged apocalypse, the grasp for power over the universe, the despotism of the patriarchal hermit, and so forth. We would like to let the matter rest with this list and close the chapter with a succinct statement from Lhundop Sopa, a contemporary Tibetan specialist on the Kalachakra Tantra: “Thus, the Kalachakra path becomes in the end like a kind of alchemy” (Newman, 1985, p. 150). Both systems are thus based upon the same original script.

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

Baron Julius Evola
Evola in early 1940s
Born Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola
19 May 1898
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died 11 June 1974 (aged 76)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Notable work
Revolt Against the Modern World (1934)
School Traditionalism
Institutions School of Fascist Mysticism
Notable ideas
Fascist mysticism, spiritual racism, transcendental realism
Influences: Buddha, Nietzsche, Plato, Guénon, de Maistre, Jünger, Wilde, Michelstaedter, Weininger, Stirner
Influenced: Hesse, Serrano, Moynihan, Limonov, Dugin, de Benoist, Rauti, Eliade, Jocelyn Godwin, Yockey, Tucci

Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (/ɛˈvoʊlə/; Italian: [ˈɛːvola];[1] 19 May 1898 – 11 June 1974), better known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, spiritualist, and esotericist. He has been described as a "fascist intellectual",[2] a "radical traditionalist",[3] "antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular",[4] and as having been "the leading philosopher of Europe's neofascist movement".[4]

Evola is popular in fringe circles, largely because of his extreme metaphysical, magical, and supernatural beliefs (including belief in ghosts, telepathy, and alchemy),[5] and his extreme traditionalism. He himself termed his philosophy "magical idealism". Many of Evola's theories and writings were centered on his hostility toward Christianity and his idiosyncratic mysticism, occultism, and esoteric religious studies,[6][7][8] and this aspect of his work has influenced occultists and esotericists.

According to the scholar Franco Ferraresi, "Evola's thought can be considered one of the most radical and consistent anti-egalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, and anti-popular systems in the 20th century". It is a singular (though not necessarily original) blend of several schools and traditions, including German idealism, Eastern doctrines, traditionalism, and the all-embracing Weltanschauung of the interwar conservative revolutionary movement with which Evola had a deep personal involvement.[9] Historian Aaron Gillette described Evola as "one of the most influential fascist racists in Italian history".[10] He admired SS head Heinrich Himmler, whom he once met.[11] Evola spent World War II working for the Sicherheitsdienst.[8] During his trial in 1951, Evola denied being a fascist and instead referred to himself as a "superfascist". Concerning this statement, historian Elisabetta Cassina Wolff wrote that "It is unclear whether this meant that Evola was placing himself above or beyond Fascism".[12]

Evola was the "chief ideologue" of Italy's radical right after World War II.[13] He continues to influence contemporary traditionalist and neo-fascist movements.[13][14][15][16]


Giulio Cesare Evola was born in Rome[17] to Vincenzo Evola, born 4 May 1854 [18], and Concetta Mangiapane, born 15 August 1865 [19]. They were both born in Cinisi, a small town and municipality in the Province of Palermo in the north-western coast of Sicily. The paternal grandparents of Giulio Cesare Evola were Giuseppe Evola and Maria Cusumano. Giuseppe Evola is reported as being a joiner in Vincenzo's birth record. The maternal grandparents of Giulio Cesare Evola were Cesare Mangiapane and Caterina Munacó. Cesare Mangiapane is reported as being a shopkeeper in Concetta's birth record. Vincenzo Evola and Concetta Mangiapane married in Cinisi the 25 November 1892 [20]. Vincenzo Evola is reported as being a telegraphic mechanic chief, while Concetta Mangiapane is reported as being a landowner. Giulio Cesare Evola had an elder brother, Giuseppe Gaspare Dinamo Evola, born the 7 August 1895 in Rome [21], therefore, following a slight variation on the Sicilian naming convention of the era, being the second male child, Giulio Cesare Evola was partly named after the maternal grandfather.

Evola has been often been reported as being a baron,[22] probably in reference to a purported distant relationship with a minor aristocratic family (the Evoli who were the barons of Castropignano in the late middle age[23]) of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Little is known about his early upbringing except that he considered it irrelevant. Evola studied engineering in Rome, but did not complete his studies because he "did not want to be associated in any way with bourgeois academic recognition and titles such as doctor and engineer."[6]:3[24]

In his teenage years, Evola immersed himself in painting—which he considered one of his natural talents—and literature, including Oscar Wilde and Gabriele d'Annunzio. He was introduced to philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Otto Weininger. Other early philosophical influences included Carlo Michelstaedter and Max Stirner.[25]

Evola served in World War I as an artillery officer on the Asiago plateau. He was attracted to the avant-garde and after the war, Evola briefly associated with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Futurist movement. He became a prominent representative of Dadaism in Italy through his painting, poetry, and collaboration on the briefly published journal, Revue Bleue. In 1922, after concluding that avant-garde art was becoming commercialized and stiffened by academic conventions, he reduced his focus on artistic expression such as painting and poetry.[26][non-primary source needed]

Julius Evola was arrested in 1951 and tried. He was a suspected to be an ideologist of the militant neofascist organization Fasci di Azione Rivoluzionaria.[27]

Evola died on 11 June 1974 in Rome.[28][how?]



In 1928, Evola wrote an attack on Christianity titled Pagan Imperialism, which proposed transforming fascism into a system consistent with ancient Roman values and the ancient mystery traditions. Evola proposed that fascism should be a vehicle for reinstating the caste system and aristocracy of antiquity. Although Evola invoked the term "fascism" in this text, his diatribe against the Catholic Church was criticized by both the fascist regime and the Vatican itself. A. James Gregor argued that the text was an attack on fascism as it stood at the time of writing, but noted that Benito Mussolini made use of it in order to threaten the Vatican with the possibility of an "anti-clerical fascism".[6][29]:89–91 On account of Evola's sentiment, the Vatican-backed right wing Catholic journal Revue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes published an article in April 1928 entitled "Un Sataniste Italien: Julius Evola."[8]

The Mystery of the Grail discarded Christian interpretations of the Holy Grail. Evola wrote that the Grail "symbolizes the principle of an immortalizing and transcendent force connected to the primordial state ... The mystery of the Grail is a mystery of a warrior initiation." He held that the Ghibellines, who fought the Guelph for control of Northern and Central Italy in the thirteenth century, had within them the residual influences of pre-Christian Celtic and Nordic traditions that represented his conception of the Grail myth. He also held that the Guelph victory against the Ghibellines represented a regression of the castes, since the merchant caste took over from the warrior caste.[30] In the epilogue to this text, Evola argued that the fictitious The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, regardless of whether it was authentic or not, was a cogent representation of modernity.[31] The historian Richard Barber said, "Evola mixes rhetoric, prejudice, scholarship, and politics into a strange version of the present and future, but in the process he brings together for the first time interest in the esoteric and in conspiracy theory which characterize much of the later Grail literature."[31]


In The Doctrine of Awakening, Evola argued that the Pāli Canon could be held to represent true Buddhism.[32] His interpretation of Buddhism is that it was intended to be anti-democratic. He believed that Buddhism revealed the essence of an "Aryan" tradition that had become corrupted and lost in the West. He believed it could be interpreted to reveal the superiority of a warrior caste.[32] Harry Oldmeadow described Evola's work on Buddhism as exhibiting Nietzschean influence,[33] but Evola criticized Nietzsche's anti-ascetic prejudice. The book "received the official approbation of the Pāli [text] society", and was published by a reputable Orientalist publisher.[32] Evola's interpretation of Buddhism, as put forth in his article "Spiritual Virility in Buddhism", is in conflict with the post-WWII scholarship of the Orientalist Giuseppe Tucci, which argues that the viewpoint that Buddhism advocates universal benevolence is legitimate.[34] Arthur Versluis stated that Evola's writing on Buddhism was a vehicle for his own theories, but was a far from accurate rendition of the subject, and he held that much the same could be said of Evola's writing on Hermeticism.[35] Ñāṇavīra Thera was inspired to become a bhikkhu from reading Evola's text The Doctrine of Awakening in 1945 while hospitalized in Sorrento.[32]


Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World is a text that promotes the mythology of an ancient Golden Age. In this work, Evola described the features of his idealized traditional society. Evola argued that modernity represented a serious decline from an ideal society. He argued that in the postulated Golden age, religious and temporal power were united. He wrote that society had not been founded on priestly rule, but by warriors expressing spiritual power. In mythology, he saw evidence of the West's superiority over the East. Moreover, he claimed that the traditional elite had the ability to access power and knowledge through a hierarchical version of magic which differed from the lower "superstitious and fraudulent" forms of magic.[6] Evola insists on "nonmodern forms, institutions, and knowledge" as being necessary to produce a "real renewal ... in those who are still capable of receiving it."[35] The text was "immediately recognized by Mircea Eliade and other intellectuals who allegedly advanced ideas associated with Tradition."[12] Eliade, one of the most influential historian of religions of the last century, was one of Evola's closest friends, and, in his youth, a fascist sympathizer associated with the Romanian christian right wing movement Iron Guard.[8] Evola was aware of the importance of myth from his readings of Georges Sorel, one of the key intellectual influences on fascism.[8] Hermann Hesse described Revolt Against the Modern World as "really dangerous."[30]

E. C. Wolff noted that in Ride the Tiger "Evola argued that the fight against modernity was lost. The only thing a 'real man' could just do was to ride the tiger of modernity patiently". Evola wrote that the events of the period would have to run their course but he "did not exclude the possibility of action in the future." He argued that one should be ready to intervene when the tiger "is tired of running."[12] Goodrick-Clarke notes that, "Evola sets up the ideal of the 'active nihilist' who is prepared to act with violence against modern decadence."[14] According to European Studies professor Paul Furlong, this text presents Evola's view that the potential "elite" should immunize itself from modernity and use "right wing anarchism" to rebel against it.[6]

Other writings

In the posthumously published collection of writings, Metaphysics of War, Evola, in line with the conservative revolutionary Ernst Jünger, explored the viewpoint that war could be a spiritually fulfilling experience. He proposed the necessity of a transcendental orientation in a warrior.[36]

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke has written that Evola's 1945 essay "American 'Civilization'" described the United States as "the final stage of European decline into the 'interior formlessness' of vacuous individualism, conformity and vulgarity under the universal aegis of money-making." According to Goodrick-Clarke, Evola argued that U.S. "mechanistic and rational philosophy of progress combined with a mundane horizon of prosperity to transform the world into an enormous suburban shopping mall."[14]

Occultism and esotericism

Around 1920, Evola's interests led him into spiritual, transcendental, and "supra-rational" studies. He began reading various esoteric texts and gradually delved deeper into the occult, alchemy, magic, and Oriental studies, particularly Tibetan Tantric yoga. A keen mountaineer, Evola described the experience as a source of revelatory spiritual experiences. After his return from the war, Evola experimented with hallucinogens and magic.

When he was about 23 years old, Evola considered suicide. He claimed that he avoided suicide thanks to a revelation he had while reading an early Buddhist text that dealt with shedding all forms of identity other than absolute transcendence.[6] Evola would later publish the text The Doctrine of Awakening, which he regarded as a repayment of his debt to Buddhism for saving him from suicide.[32]

Evola wrote prodigiously on Eastern mysticism, Tantra, hermeticism, the myth of the Holy Grail and Western esotericism.[6] German Egyptologist and esoteric scholar Florian Ebeling has noted that Evola's The Hermetic Tradition is viewed as an "extremely important work on Hermeticism" in the eyes of esotericists.[37] Evola gave particular focus to Cesare della Riviera's text Il Mondo Magico degli Heroi, which he later republished in modern Italian. He held that Riviera's text was consonant with the goals of "high magic" – the reshaping of the earthly human into a transcendental 'god man'. According to Evola, the alleged "timeless" Traditional science was able to come to lucid expression through this text, in spite of the "coverings" added to it to prevent accusations from the church.[38] Though Evola rejected Carl Jung's interpretation of alchemy, Jung described Evola's The Hermetic Tradition as a "magisterial account of Hermetic philosophy".[38] In Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition, the philosopher Glenn Alexander Magee favored Evola's interpretation over that of Jung's.[39] In 1988, a journal devoted to Hermetic thought published a section of Evola's book and described it as "Luciferian."[8]

Evola later confessed that he was not a Buddhist, and that his text on Buddhism was meant to balance his earlier work on the Hindu tantras.[32] Evola's interest in tantra was spurred on by correspondence with John Woodroffe.[40] Evola was attracted to the active aspect of tantra, and its claim to provide a practical means to spiritual experience, over the more "passive" approaches in other forms of Eastern spirituality.[41] In Tantric Buddhism in East Asia, Richard K. Payne, Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, argued that Evola manipulated Tantra in the service of right wing violence, and that the emphasis on "power" in The Yoga of Power gave insight into his mentality.[42]

Evola advocated that "differentiated individuals" following the Left-Hand Path use dark violent sexual powers against the modern world. For Evola, these "virile heroes" are both generous and cruel, possess the ability to rule, and commit "Dionysian" acts that might be seen as conventionally immoral. For Evola, the Left Hand path embraces violence as a means of transgression.[7]:217

According to A. James Gregor Evola's definition of spirituality can be found in Meditations on the Peaks: "what has been successfully actualized and translated into a sense of superiority which is experienced inside by the soul, and a noble demeanor, which is expressed in the body."[29]:101–102 Goodrick-Clarke wrote that Evola's "rigorous New Age spirituality speaks directly to those who reject absolutely the leveling world of democracy, capitalism, multi-racialism and technology at the outset of the twenty-first century. Their acute sense of cultural chaos can find powerful relief in his ideal of total renewal."[14] Thomas Sheehan wrote that to "read Evola is to take a trip through a weird and fascinating jungle of ancient mythologies, pseudo-ethnology, and transcendental mysticism that is enough to make any southern California consciousness-tripper feel quite at home."[43]

Magical idealism

Thomas Sheehan wrote that "Evola's first philosophical works from the 'twenties were dedicated to reshaping neo-idealism from a philosophy of Absolute Spirit and Mind into a philosophy of the "absolute individual" and action."[44] Accordingly, Evola developed the doctrine of "magical idealism", which held that "the Ego must understand that everything that seems to have a reality independent of it is nothing but an illusion, caused by its own deficiency."[44] For Evola, this ever-increasing unity with the "absolute individual" was consistent with unconstrained liberty, and therefore unconditional power.[6] In his 1925 work Essays on Magical Idealism, Evola declared that "God does not exist. The Ego must create him by making itself divine."[44]

According to Sheehan, Evola discovered the power of metaphysical mythology while developing his theories. This led to his advocacy of supra-rational intellectual intuition over discursive knowledge. In Evola's view, discursive knowledge separates man from Being.[44] Sheehan stated that this position is a theme in certain interpretations of Western philosophers such as Plato, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Heidegger that was exaggerated by Evola.[44] Evola would later write:

The truths that allow us to understand the world of Tradition are not those that can be "learned" or "discussed." They either are or are not. We can only remember them, and that happens when we are freed from the obstacles represented by various human constructions (chief among these are the results and methods of the authorized "researchers") and have awakened the capacity to see from the nonhuman viewpoint, which is the same as the Traditional viewpoint ... Traditional truths have always been held to be essentially non-human.[44]

Evola developed a doctrine of the "two natures": the natural world and the primordial "world of 'Being'". He believed that these "two natures" impose form and quality on lower matter and create a hierarchical "great chain of Being."[44] He understood "spiritual virility" as signifying orientation towards this postulated transcendent principle.[44] He held that the State should reflect this "ordering from above" and the consequent hierarchical differentiation of individuals according to their "organic preformation". By "organic preformation" he meant that which "gathers, preserves, and refines one's talents and qualifications for determinate functions."[44]

Ur Group

Evola was introduced to esotericism by Arturo Reghini, who was an early supporter of fascism. Reghini sought to promote a "cultured magic" opposed to Christianity and introduced Evola to the traditionalist René Guénon. In 1927, Reghini and Evola, along with other Italian esotericists, founded the Gruppo di Ur ("Ur Group").[6] The purpose of this group was to attempt to bring the members' individual identities into such a superhuman state of power and awareness that they would be able to exert a magical influence on the world. The group employed techniques from Buddhist, Tantric, and rare Hermetic texts.[45] They aimed to provide a "soul" to the burgeoning Fascist movement of the time through the revival of ancient Roman religion, and to influence the fascist regime through esotericism.[46][6]

Articles on occultism from the Ur Group were later published in Introduction to Magic.[29]:89[40] Reghini's support of Freemasonry would however prove a bone of contention for Evola; accordingly, Evola broke with Reghini in 1928.[6] Reghini himself broke from Evola, accusing Evola of plagiarizing his thoughts in the book Pagan Imperialism.[8] Evola, on the other hand, blamed Reghini for the premature publication of Pagan Imperialism.[6] Evola's later work owed a considerable debt to René Guénon's text Crisis of the Modern World,[35] though he diverged from Guénon on the issue of the relationship between warriors and priests.[6]

Views on sex and gender roles

Julius Evola believed that the alleged higher qualities expected of a man of a particular race were not those expected of a woman of the same race. He held that "just relations between the sexes" involved women acknowledging their "inequality" with men.[6]In 1925, he wrote an article titled "La donna come cosa" ("Woman as Thing").[13] Evola later quoted Joseph de Maistre's statement that "Woman cannot be superior except as woman, but from the moment in which she desires to emulate man she is nothing but a monkey."[47] Evola believed that women's liberation was "the renunciation by woman of her right to be a woman".[48] A woman "could traditionally participate in the sacred hierarchical order only in a mediated fashion through her relationship with a man."[8]He held, as a feature of his idealized gender relations, the Hindu sati, which for him was a form of sacrifice indicating women's respect for patriarchal traditions.[49] For the "pure, feminine" woman, "man is not perceived by her as a mere husband or lover, but as her lord."[50] Women would find their true identity in total subjugation to men.[8]

Evola regarded matriarchy and goddess religions as a symptom of decadence, and preferred a hyper-masculine, warrior ethos.[51]

Evola was influenced by Hans Blüher; he was a proponent of the Männerbund concept as a model for his proposed ultra-fascist "Order".[8] Goodrick-Clarke noted the fundamental influence of Otto Weininger's misogynist book Sex and Character on Evola's dualism of male-female spirituality. According to Goodrich-Clarke, "Evola's celebration of virile spirituality was rooted in Weininger's work, which was widely translated by the end of the First World War."[14] Unlike Weininger, Evola believed that women needed to be conquered, not ignored.[8] Evola denounced homosexuality as "useless" for his purposes. He did not neglect sadomasochism, so long as sadism and masochism "are magnifications of an element potentially present in the deepest essence of eros."[8] Then, it would be possible to "extend, in a transcendental and perhaps ecstatic way, the possibilities of sex."[8]

Evola held that women "played" with men, threatened their masculinity, and lured them into a "constrictive" grasp with their sexuality.[10] He wrote that "It should not be expected of women that they return to what they really are ... when men themselves retain only the semblance of true virility",[50] and lamented that "men instead of being in control of sex are controlled by it and wander about like drunkards".[7] He believed that in Tantra and in sex magic, in which he saw a strategy for aggression, he found the means to counter the "emasculated" West.[7][52] According to Annalisa Merelli, Evola "went so far as to justify rape" because he saw it "as a natural expression of male desire".[50] Evola also said that the "ritual violation of virgins",[8] and "whipping women" were a means of "consciousness raising",[8] so long as these practices were done to the intensity required to produce the proper "liminal psychic climate".[8] He wrote that "as a rule, nothing stirs a man more than feeling the woman utterly exhausted beneath his own hostile rapture."[50]

Evola translated Weininger's Sex and Character into Italian. Dissatisfied with simply translating Weininger's work, he wrote the text Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, where his views on sexuality were dealt with at length.[8][6] Arthur Versluis described this text as Evola's "most interesting" work aside from Revolt Against the Modern World.[35] This book remains popular among many New Age adherents.[53]

Views on race

Evola's dissent from standard biological concepts of race had roots in his aristocratic elitism, since Nazi völkisch ideology inadequately separated aristocracy from "commoners."[8] According to Furlong, Evola developed "the law of the regression of castes" in Revolt Against the Modern World and other writings on racism from the 1930s and World War II period. In Evola's view "power and civilization have progressed from one to another of the four castes—sacred leaders, warrior nobility, bourgeoisie (economy, 'merchants') and slaves".[6] Furlong explains: "for Evola, the core of racial superiority lay in the spiritual qualities of the higher castes, which expressed themselves in physical as well as in cultural features, but were not determined by them. The law of the regression of castes places racism at the core of Evola's philosophy, since he sees an increasing predominance of lower races as directly expressed through modern mass democracies."[6]

In 1941, Evola's book Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race (Italian: Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza) was published by Hoepli. It provides an overview of his ideas concerning race and eugenics, introducing the concept of "spiritual racism",[54] and "esoteric-traditionalist racism".[55]

Prior to the end of War, Evola had frequently used the term "Aryan" to mean the nobility, who in his view were imbued with traditional spirituality.[6] Wolff notes that Evola seems to have stopped writing about race in 1945, but adds that the intellectual themes of Evola's writings were otherwise unchanged. Evola continued to write about elitism and his contempt for the weak. His "doctrine of the Aryan-Roman 'super-race was simply restated as a doctrine of the 'leaders of men' ... no longer with reference to the SS, but to the mediaeval Teutonic knights of the Knights Templar, already mentioned in Rivolta."[12]

Evola spoke of "inferior non-European races".[8] Peter Merkl wrote that "Evola was never prepared to discount the value of blood altogether". Evola wrote: "a certain balanced consciousness and dignity of race can be considered healthy" in a time where "the exaltation of the negro and all the rest, anticolonialist psychosis and integrationist fanaticism [are] all parallel phenomena in the decline of Europe and the West."[56] While not totally against race-mixing, in 1957, Evola wrote an article attributing the perceived acceleration of American decadence to the influence of "negroes" and the opposition to segregation. Furlong noted that this article is "among the most extreme in phraseology of any he wrote, and exhibits a degree of intolerance that leaves no doubt as to his deep prejudice against black people."[6]

National mysticism

For his spiritual interpretation of the different racial psychologies, Evola found the work of German race theorist Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss invaluable. Like Evola, Clauss believed that physical race and spiritual race could diverge as a consequence of miscegenation.[10] Evola's racism included racism of the body, soul, and spirit, giving primacy to the latter factor, writing that "races only declined when their spirit failed."[14]

Like René Guénon, Evola believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga of the Hindu tradition—the Dark Age of unleashed, materialistic appetites. He argued that both Italian fascism and Nazism represented hope that the "celestial" Aryan race would be reconstituted.[57] He drew on mythological accounts of super-races and their decline, particularly the Hyperboreans, and maintained that traces of Hyperborean influence could be felt in Indo-European man. He felt that Indo-European men had devolved from these higher mythological races.[6] Gregor noted that several contemporary criticisms of Evola's theory were published: "In one of Fascism's most important theoretical journals, Evola's critic pointed out that many Nordic-Aryans, not to speak of Mediterranean Aryans, fail to demonstrate any Hyperborean properties. Instead, they make obvious their materialism, their sensuality, their indifference to loyalty and sacrifice, together with their consuming greed. How do they differ from 'inferior' races, and why should anyone wish, in any way, to favor them?"[29]:106

Concerning the relationship between "spiritual racism" and biological racism, Evola put forth the following viewpoint, which Furlong described as pseudo-scientific:

The factor of "blood" or "race" has its importance, because it is not psychologically—in the brain or the opinions of the individual—but in the very deepest forces of life that traditions live and act as typical formative energies. Blood registers the effects of this action, and indeed offers through heredity, a matter that is already refined and pre-formed ...[6]
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