René Guénon - Critique of Modernism

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
Anyone familiar with his works or how they may be of relevance today? I discovered him rather recently and his philosophy could have interesting applications to our world today.

Thoughts?
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
THE PAST CENTURY HAS WITNESSED an erosion of earlier cultural values as well as a blurring of the distinctive characteristics of the world's traditional civilizations, giving rise to philosophic and moral relativism, multiculturalism, and dangerous fundamentalist reactions. As early as the 1920s, the French metaphysician Rene Guenon (1886-1951) had diagnosed these tendencies and presented what he believed to be the only possible reconciliation of the legitimate, although apparently conflicting, demands of outward religious forms, 'exoterisms', with their essential core, 'esoterism'. His works are characterized by a foundational critique of the modern world coupled with a call for intellectual reform; a renewed examination of metaphysics, the traditional sciences, and symbolism, with special reference to the ultimate unanimity of all spiritual traditions; and finally, a call to the work of spiritual realization. Despite their wide influence, translation of Guenon's works into English has so far been pieceme~l. The Sophia Perennis edition is intended to fill the urgent need to ~esent them in a more authoritative and systematic form. A complete list of Guenon's works, given in the order of their original publication in French, follows this note.
The Crisis of the Modern World (Collected Works of Rene Guenon) Edit. note
 
Oct 2013
1,329
Monza, Italy
I read some of his work, I think his writing style is perfect and clear, anyway I didn't read his more "deep" works (like his studies on Hindu religion, where he shows his wide knowledge).
 
Oct 2013
1,329
Monza, Italy
René Guénon was just a late Romantic.

Romanticism - Wikipedia
I think there are many aspects of Guenon's belief, especially political ones, who don't get along at all with Romanticism (like cult of the nation, of the people, modern intellectualism). Personally I think Guenon's thought comes from Eastern civilization (Islam, Hindu, Chinese civilization), it's hard to interpret it according to Western references and -isms.
 
Nov 2016
1,324
Germany
I can only recommend to read the bullshit of Guénon and his ilk (Schuon, Upton etc.) with the highest possible critical distance. Although there is nothing to be said against criticizing the materialist tendencies from a spiritual point of view, this does not justify constructing, like Guénon and his ilk, a superstitious fiction that stigmatizes the present days to an apocalyptic end-time (Kali Yuga) in which the powers of good and evil are irreconcilably opposed. Of course, these gentlemen represent the good side, while the materialistic side is represented by people whom Guénon calls ´unconscious satanists´, what means that they are unconsciously serving the devil by clinging to materialistic ideals. However, they are, according to him, "in fact satanists" (The Spiritist Fallacy, p. 254). Among these Satanists he counts anyone who doubts the existence of a perfect God.

Whoever finds such a fanatic garbage attractive is well served by reading Guénon. I recommend all others to put on a mental gas mask when reading his texts which can be labeled ´Spiritual Fascism´.
 
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Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,121
Lorraine tudesque
I can only recommend to read the bullshit of Guénon and his ilk (Schuon, Upton etc.) with the highest possible critical distance. Although there is nothing to be said against criticizing the materialist tendencies from a spiritual point of view, this does not justify constructing, like Guénon and his ilk, a superstitious fiction that stigmatizes the present days to an apocalyptic end-time (Kali Yuga) in which the powers of good and evil are irreconcilably opposed. Of course, these gentlemen represent the good side, while the materialistic side is represented by people whom Guénon calls ´unconscious satanists´, what means that they are unconsciously serving the devil by clinging to materialistic ideals. However, they are, according to him, "in fact satanists" (The Spiritist Fallacy, p. 254). Among these Satanists he counts anyone who doubts the existence of a perfect God.

Whoever finds such a fanatic garbage attractive is well served by reading Guénon. I recommend all others to put on a mental gas mask when reading his texts which can be labeled ´Spiritual Fascism´.
Guénon was quite popular in France in the Hippie Years. But Gurdjieff was even more popular.

George Gurdjieff - Wikipedia
 
Mar 2013
1,059
Breakdancing on the Moon.
I can only recommend to read the bullshit of Guénon and his ilk (Schuon, Upton etc.) with the highest possible critical distance. Although there is nothing to be said against criticizing the materialist tendencies from a spiritual point of view, this does not justify constructing, like Guénon and his ilk, a superstitious fiction that stigmatizes the present days to an apocalyptic end-time (Kali Yuga) in which the powers of good and evil are irreconcilably opposed. Of course, these gentlemen represent the good side, while the materialistic side is represented by people whom Guénon calls ´unconscious satanists´, what means that they are unconsciously serving the devil by clinging to materialistic ideals. However, they are, according to him, "in fact satanists" (The Spiritist Fallacy, p. 254). Among these Satanists he counts anyone who doubts the existence of a perfect God.

Whoever finds such a fanatic garbage attractive is well served by reading Guénon. I recommend all others to put on a mental gas mask when reading his texts which can be labeled ´Spiritual Fascism´.
This is a good summary actually. Guenon, Schuon, Evola et al have seen a real resurgence amongst the laity in the past 10 years. It's odd, they paint a picture of history and that few with any direct contact with the underlying evidence would recognise. Yet they write persuasively and simply and so spread.
 
Nov 2016
1,324
Germany
One should try to see the big picture on this subject, of which Guénon's ideology is only a small but unfortunately important part. The so-called Philosophia perennis, or Perennialism/Traditionalism, claims a core common to all great religions, which is regarded as an eternal truth. There are basically two ways to hold this view: 1) a radically authoritarian one, whose most important representative is René Guénon, and 2) a liberal one, whose most important representatives are Aldous Huxley and Ken Wilber.

The authoritarian representatives like Guénon and today Charles Upton, a staunch follower of Guénon, were educated rigidly catholic and then changed to Islam, because Catholicism seemed to them too secularly corrupted. This undoubtedly explains their totalitarian interpretation of Traditionalism. Guénon is a declared opponent of democracy, which he criticizes with the trivial argument that quantity is incapable of producing quality:

(The Illusion of Democracy)

We would have a variety of examples of the nonsense of the "democratic" foundation that affirms the superiority of the majority, in other words, that an opinion of a larger number of individuals is superior to other, defended, for instance, by a qualified minority.

I already mentioned that he accuses opponents and dissenters of a satanic tendency. His follower Charles Upton sees it the same way. In an open letter to Steve Bannon, another follower of Guénon, Upton writes after alluding to the "Rulers of the Darkness of This World", what is a Gnostic term from the 2nd century CE:

And behind both Liberalism and Conservatism lies the Deep State, the cadres of the Global Elites, who believe in nothing whatsoever, only in themselves and in the Satanic principle they worship (...)

This is opposed by the traditionalist teachings of Wilber and Huxley, for example, which have a liberal and pro-democratic tendency. Wilber has clearly favored Obama and is the declared favorite philosopher of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
 
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Mar 2013
1,059
Breakdancing on the Moon.
Was Ezra Pound a self confessed member of this theosophist movement? That seems to ring a bell alongside some of the stuff you've mentioned.