René Guénon - Critique of Modernism

Nov 2016
1,276
Germany
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.
I would not include Ezra Pound in the fascist version of Traditionalism that originates in Guénon. Both represented fascist and anti-democratic ideas, but very different from Pound Guénon had no sympathies for Hitler and Mussolini. Pound cannot be called a true fascist Traditionalist either, he was interested like them in the non-Christian mystical religions, ancient philosophies and Theosophy, but, as far as I know, he did not--like the paranoid Guénon school--combine this with the idea that materialistic worldview was a satanistic phenomenon. Only in Pound´s Canto VXXII is Satan mentioned in connection with Churchill, what is probably only intended as a metaphor:

il gran’ usuraio Satana-Gerione, prototipo
Dei padroni di Churchill


(the great usurer Satan-Gerione, prototype of the masters of Churchill)

As far as Theosophy is concerned, Guénon is rooted in it, but he has developed ideas that sometimes differ considerably from Theosophy, e.g. regarding reincarnation and karma. I will go into the various systems in more detail on occasion.
 
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Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
7,024
Romania
I read some of his books during my early youth, I liked the most Le règne de la quantité et les signes des temps /The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times and Les états multiples de l'Être /The Multiple States of the Being, but generally I found them to contain profound ideas mixed with some too far-fetching interpretations.
 
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Aug 2019
89
North Dublin
In this vein, someone mentioned Coomaraswarmy, who seems to be a kind of Vedic Fascist, but I don't know why, since I am more interested in Aegypt, Hermes, Gnosis, Jewry, German folk-magick, & so forth.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
7,024
Romania
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.
He didn't start with the Eastern thought, but came to believe that the kernel of every "tradition" represents the same universal and ultimate Truth, and that during his times living "traditions" can still be found only in the Orient, so he embraced Islam, because joining a Sufi order which for him partook to such a living "tradition" was the most accessible path he could take for being initiated into the "mystery" of a "tradition".
 
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Mar 2013
1,049
Breakdancing on the Moon.
I would not include Ezra Pound in the fascist version of Traditionalism that originates in Guénon. Both represented fascist and anti-democratic ideas, but very different from Pound Guénon had no sympathies for Hitler and Mussolini. Pound cannot be called a true fascist Traditionalist either, he was interested like them in the non-Christian mystical religions, ancient philosophies and Theosophy, but, as far as I know, he did not--like the paranoid Guénon school--combine this with the idea that materialistic worldview was a satanistic phenomenon. Only in Pound´s Canto VXXII is Satan mentioned in connection with Churchill, what is probably only intended as a metaphor:

il gran’ usuraio Satana-Gerione, prototipo
Dei padroni di Churchill


(the great usurer Satan-Gerione, prototype of the masters of Churchill)

As far as Theosophy is concerned, Guénon is rooted in it, but he has developed ideas that sometimes differ considerably from Theosophy, e.g. regarding reincarnation and karma. I will go into the various systems in more detail on occasion.
Thanks - do you have any recommended books to read on this?
 
Oct 2019
12
Hainaut
I advise you the Mark Sedgwick book: Against the modern world. Traditionalism and the secret intellectual history of the twentieth century. Very interesting, I give a very complete, and non partisan view of all the movements born on the Guenon's ideas, and also its roots. It shows its spreading shall not be limited to "fascism" but at several intellectuals in art or university as Yourcenar, Breton, Eliade...
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
7,024
Romania
I advise you the Mark Sedgwick book: Against the modern world. Traditionalism and the secret intellectual history of the twentieth century. Very interesting, I give a very complete, and non partisan view of all the movements born on the Guenon's ideas, and also its roots. It shows its spreading shall not be limited to "fascism" but at several intellectuals in art or university as Yourcenar, Breton, Eliade...
Just to balance your claims about the book, I recommend the three reviews available at Mark Sedgwick biography and reviews of "Against the Modern World".
 
Oct 2019
12
Hainaut
Thank you! It's always good to have others points of views. To be more accurate, I read the French version, which is augmented and commented by the translator. For me, a good sign about this book, it is the fact that it is criticized both by the "pro" and the "anti". It's often the sign of a balanced analysis.
 
Nov 2016
1,276
Germany
According to Him Buddhists are Satanists?
He had no authentic understanding of Buddhism, but received it through Brahmanic lenses.

It shows its spreading shall not be limited to "fascism" but at several intellectuals in art or university as Yourcenar, Breton, Eliade...
Well, one would have to evaluate in detail the exact places where these authors adopted Guénon´s ideas. Eliade was very close to fascism anyway. Yourcenar was interested in Asian philosophy and could certainly find some interesting things with Guénon in this respect. As for Breton, he was less fascinated by Guénon's content than by the method or style with which he thought and argued:

If I have been quoting Rene Guénon and will undoubtedly be doing so again, this is because of my respect for the disciplined way in which he unfolds his thoughts; however, I am not willing to take upon me the act of faith on which he originally founded his line of reasoning.

(Conversations, 128)