God on the Cross
I have never wanted to search for Christ. I have no backwards-looking, conservative care for Christianity as a heritage or religion; I have no care or attachment to the Church or its traditions from my childhood; I have no aesthetic care for the themes, style or art of Christianity; I have no care for the community or identity of Christianity; and I have no care for the teachings of Christ or the morality of the Church.
On the contrary, I have always felt – and still feel – a strong repulsion for all of this, against the whole pathos and ethos of Christianity. Felt that I do not want any of this in my body. Felt within my body the call for a pure, Earthly force to be nurtured and affirmed, a creative, bodily, pagan force of these fallen times of ours – a force which one day will tear itself apart, by the fact that this force, this artistic expression, always wants to be greater and more powerful, even if it must pay for this with its own destruction. Yes, it is even a passionate affirmation of this destruction in itself, as an artwork of Death.
I of course do not mean this force to be Earthly in the sense of personal passions or lust for glory, of affirming my own existence in itself, of merely repeating the cycle of Nature or of trying to live on in the false immortality of my people. To be honest – in comparison with this force I speak of – I could not care less if I, and all these things of the Earth that are my own, simply disappeared tomorrow, leaving no trace.
But I have also always felt the Sky within me, wanting to return home, to reunite with the Sky above. And so, no matter how far I have striven away from Christianity in my spiritual and artistic search, I have never been able to escape Christ himself. Every movement away from Him only resulted in Him returning in even greater purity and strength, for He truly is the Sky itself – the Sky which has tread down.
There is nothing which can match the clarity, infinitude, eternity and tranquility of Christ – the absolute God himself, made into the flesh of a simple man. And there is no sacrifice or glory which can ever match the sacrifice of God – Eternity itself choosing to bleed upon the cross, for the sake of those who were so far below. And there is no victory which can ever match the resurrection of Christ, as he both died and defeated Death itself, carrying with him the whole world and mankind back towards eternal Life.
The greatness of it all is simply too overwhelming. And when one has finally opened one’s heart to Him, there is no turning back; in that moment, one’s whole body is struck away, and from its depths rise an all-engulfing wave of pure, black Sky – purity beyond beauty, beyond all suns and stars. There is nothing to do, but to strike one’s forehead against the ground, not out of submission or self-denial, but in total affirmation of one’s true Life above, which he has brought down to fill this Earthly life of man with Eternity.
But still, I do feel this Earthly force, matching and warring with the Sky. Something which can not be put in the same clear words as the calm logos of the Sky, but which roars with an equally pure, but wordless, howl. A wave of the Body, waiting for a moment to strike itself with full power and passion against the cliffs of the world.
It is not a mere lack of Sky I talk of, not a foul desire for temptations and bodily delight, but a force all its own, which can not be united with the heritage of Christianity. A force which wishes that there were no apostles, no church and no tradition – that Christ was known only through this one fact, that the one and only God has chosen to die as a mere man, because he loved the world, and he has thus brought the world back to him.
And this force wishes that this sentence had first been heard by a violent, healthy people of the Northern steppes – a people riding along the edge of a seemingly never-ending horizon, with no veils between their Earthly struggle and the open Sky above. For imagine knowing nothing of sin, knowing only a free power beyond good and evil, and in this state imagine hearing this Truth! One would come to the conclusion that one too must die – that one must destroy oneself, in an unending conquest of the world, in order to affirm that the world belongs to Him. It would whirl this people of Northern steppes into a holy scourge, striking back against all peoples and all lands. Yes – striking the world herself, engulfing her in the fires of Heaven.
Images of pure destruction, of the end of a cycle, a war free of meek morality or the concept of sin – but still, a war waged in union with the absolute Sky above.
But of course, this is not Christianity. For Christ is not a mere sentence, which a Northern people was given to affirm by their own spirit. He was an actual man, and the starting point of his Tradition – the downwards movement of the Sky – was that which he showed and carried on to his apostles. The church is the act of Christ – the only thing which carries on his downward movement – and without affirming the Church, it is very doubtful if one affirms any Tradition at all.
This Earthly force of which I am speak seems to put me in the same position as any other pagan. It seems to force me to choose either an “idea” of Christ which has no actual, living presence of the Sky (in the same way that the neo-pagan worships the empty forms of his dead gods, mixed with his own projections) or to choose a position of only waiting, of “riding the tiger” in the hopes that someone else will come in the future, one who can unite this Earthly force with the Sky above.
In my previous essays, I have clearly chosen the second option, projecting the qualities of Christ upon some Sky Father assumed to stand at the beginning of the Aryan tradition, and awaiting his return at the end of the cycle. But this is of course only emptiness – repeating already in my youth the sad failure of the old Evola. For like him I am turning my back unto Christ, but with no possibility whatsoever to replace the downwards movement of God, and so I am dooming myself to merely wither away as an old man, waiting for someone else to come and rekindle the flame of Tradition.
But yet, I feel this power I speak of to be True, equally True as the purity of Christ. Waging a war against all that he has left behind him, yet at the same time wanting to join Him, now in a downward crash of pure destruction and violence. A wish for a pure Death matching the pure Life of Christ – a wish for a fully developed force of the Earth, to match the eternal lordship of the Sky.
As of now, I do not know the answer to this problem. These two principles only stray further and further away from each other, in an oscillation which only grows more violent as it stretches towards two infinities at once. But I do hope that they are destined to reach each other – I hope that if someone is able to endure and fulfill the torsion of them both, the two will coincide in one single, steady line, piercing both the Earth and the Sky to its fullest.
But of course, this hope might only be the desperate projection of a dream, which could prove both impossible and false. Maybe this earthly, bodily force I speak of is just a fetish or delusion of my own, which only blocks my understanding of a God who has already shown himself. Maybe I am not really interested in Tradition at all, but only in a powerful, beautiful and frightening art of this world. But I cannot help but feel that I am talking of something true and important, and that this deepest dream of mine – of a unity between these two forces – is a true calling.
Farewell to Tradition
I write this last section some time after the completion of the essay above. For this essay, and my spiritual search as a whole, has been nothing but a confused waddling back and forth, with no real conclusion, and it will remain worthless if it does not amount to any true leap of faith. I have been forced to return to the final words of this essay, and to the depths of my own soul, again and again, in an attempt to squeeze out some drop of actual spirit. And I find it in a sentence which almost slipped out of me, which I did not really want to admit, but which nevertheless is the key to what I have written so far: “Maybe I am not really interested in Tradition at all”. Or, to phrase it in line with what I have come to realize: maybe I do not believe in Tradition at all.
By this negation of Tradition, I do not at all deny what I have written about the Sky and God – for these have been the most sincere and true words I have ever uttered; rather I have only come to admit what I have always felt: that this spirit and transcendence cannot be inherited or carried on. That the Sky, like the realm of art, must be recreated in every age, and that it can only be known by men who have discovered it within themselves, and who will strike the world into the image of what they have seen and loved.
If there has been any leitmotif of my writings, any overarching dream and hope, it has been that of men who only act out of what they have seen within themselves – men who seek not to be given the Sky from outside, but to unearth it within themselves. The Aryan poetry of heroes; the overman of Nietzsche; the personal leap of faith of Kierkegaard; the Futurist love of violent action and speed; the self-sufficient will of Stirner; Fascism, in its purest form of creative destruction and will to a new Order; and of course, Christ without the baggage of Christianity – while these are many contradictory influences of mine, what binds them all together is the dream of knowing within oneself a spirit as self-sufficient as the Sky above, and of carrying it out in an all-engulfing will to power, as destructive as it is creative.
Tradition has only been an ill-fitting justification for what I have wanted to say – for I have not looked back at the heroes and teachings of old in the hope that the spirit and Truth they lived could be transferred to our age, but rather in the will to find and create in our own age a spirit which is not a mere inheritor, but a true successor. I have sought an act and spirit, which burns down every empty and dead residue of the old days, yet within itself carries the same Sky which our ancestors knew.
I have, in all honesty, only felt a disgust for tradition in reality – for the clinging to old and lifeless forms in the hope of tasting some small, muddy drop of Sky, passed down from mouth to mouth for thousands of murky years. No, I have always felt that only the Sky itself is enough, rediscovered fresh and youthful within every new generation, and that it is far more noble to fail in the search for this Sky within oneself and perish like a dog in that attempt, than to glimpse the sky merely through the murky forest of dead and withered ancestors.
Yes, Tradition is in essence something feminine, something suited to the great mass of the people, who cannot know the Sky for themselves. For Tradition, like the process of childbirth, is a process of receiving, nurturing and carrying on the life-force of great men, only repeating their spirit through the cycle of Nature, without reaching any true spirit oneself. But the men who are at the fountainhead of Tradition are the men who were able to know the Sky within themselves – who knew how to both destroy and create, in order to once again repeat the Sky here on Earth, to fill the womb of Nature with true Life and Eternity.
This unfortunate clinging to Tradition has forced me into an unwanted dialogue with Christianity – an attempt to reconcile myself with a teaching and heritage to which I have never felt a true calling – only because Christianity is indeed the single living Tradition. But I now know that this sort of Tradition is not something which I really desire.
I wrote in the essay above that Evola failed because he denied the one still living Tradition; but in reality, the true reason that I have been drawn to and appreciated Evola so much – much more than any other Traditionalist – is precisely because he really does not care so much about being part of any Tradition, but rather aims to rediscover in his own time the Truth which was at the fountainhead of the Traditions of old. If anything, he failed to revive this Truth because he relied to much on these Traditions, which were already dead – because he could not fully embrace the forces of his time, and turn them into a new manifestation of the Sky above.
But what about the downward movement of God that I talked of — that element still missing in the work of Evola? I still know this salvation to be both the condition and completion of any striving towards the Sky – I just do not think that this downwards movement can be fully carried on through Tradition.
I believe that this movement of God is only available to those few men who have by themselves seen the Sky within themselves, and that He in these extraordinary cases makes himself truly known, as a lightning bolt from the clear sky, igniting the much fainter fire which later generations venerate as Tradition. And thus I do not believe this salvation to be given beforehand, nor do I believe that it is a matter of faith; rather, it appears as a living fact whenever a man of great spirit manages to reach out and receive it.
Maybe this rejection of Tradition puts me at the final stage of postmodernism and degeneration – for maybe I have not only rejected the Traditions of old but also inverted them, putting in the place of the true Sky above and its law the chaos of an imagined Sky within man himself.
But maybe I have actually unearthed some faint shard of the original spirit and Sky at the beginning of all Traditions – for maybe I have remembered an age of golden men, who lived as a part of the Sky itself, and maybe I have seen their return at the coming end of this age and its withered Traditions.
This ambiguity is in itself enough to arouse my interest, for it is really fitting to the end of an age, balancing both an absolute fall and an absolute redemption, on an edge as sharp and dangerous as the mythical twilight of the gods and end of the world-cycle, where the lowest abyss and highest peak paradoxically meet at a single point. But of course, I do also believe this to be the true path, uniting in one movement the yearning for the pure Sky above with the creative destruction of Earthly power below.
Finally, I have also realised why I feel such a disgust against all forms of neopaganism – for they are just like me, except that they do not do what I deem necessary. They are, like me, not interested in being a part of an actual living Tradition (otherwise they would be Christians), but rather they seek a new spirit of our time, to reignite the light of a lost Golden Age through the struggle of Tomorrow.
But they do not fully affirm this rejection of Tradition and throw themselves against the horizon of Tomorrow, where the pure Sky meet the absolute darkness and death of Earth. They do not affirm the destruction of everything old, as a rebirth of that which was at the beginning of it all. Rather, they choose to pretend that they are a part of some old Tradition that is long since dead. They choose to submit themselves to gods they know do not exist, they choose to worship the womb of the people and Nature, and they perform empty rites that are a mockery of everything divine. They do not have what it takes to make the leap towards a new Age, and they can thus never fulfill our common dream – a dream which they are not even aware of having. For that I despise them.
But I would love to see them as brothers – I would love it if I could create something, which could awaken within them the same pure Sky which I have felt hidden within myself. For in reality, it is among them that the spiritual virility of our age is hidden – in those who have grown tired of Christianity, yet dream and fight for a new Order and a new Age. It is only among men like this that the dream of the Sky and a new Morning could root itself.
I cannot really blame them for clinging to these dead Traditions as a substitute for their true spiritual calling, so long as there are no men who can create a new expression of this dream, reaching forward to the innermost depths of their hearts. My despite for them is really quite childish, and should rather be transformed into a criticism of my own attempts to show or act upon the Sky I wish to be seen.
Yes, it is on these acts and creations of my own that the path I have chosen relies: either they fail, and I perish as a delusional, postmodern dog, or else these things do win the favour of God, and, bestowed by His grace, show the world some small shard of that Sky which is at the fountainhead of it all. Save as something like that happens, my work is indeed only empty words and a vain play on artistic expressions. But this uncertainty and this gamble is precisely what I want and deem necessary for our Age, even if I most certainly have doomed myself to perishing into nothing – to never knowing or living the Sky.
But this dream of mine, of a new brotherhood of European men, riding along the edge of the horizon, binding together the calm heavens above with the sound of thundering hooves below, reaching the deepest depths of Time through the dawn of Tomorrow, repeating the eternal lordship of the Sky through the conquest of every people and the very woman known as Nature herself – this dream is far too great for me to ignore. Yes, the dream of such men of the Sky once again striking the face of the Earth is truly worth sacrificing everything for.
Henrik Jonasson, What I extract from your three posts is a desire for a virulent, primordial system of thought. I would suggest that it is a religion, indeed a type of Christianity—though I do not think that you would approve of that shoeboxing. I suggest that you would like to de-differentiate essentially all of Christianity into something that you can remold and syncretistically fuse with a more raw, perhaps Nordic, spirit of life. I endorse the apprehending of the heaven-earth salvific mission of Christ. I also very much agree with you, and many, that Christianity, especially Catholicism, in A.D. 2020 has been evacuated of all vitality. The temptation to want to do religion-making is one to be avoided. It will not turn out well for your psyche, and if you are partially successful, for others—perhaps many others.
You have some valuable and valid impulses. My advice would be to channel them, wrestle with them and try to integrate the best of you desire for your European-Scandinavian spirit with the rich depths of Catholic Christianity. That provides something that–I promise–will be spiritual reliable and still provide every bit of risk that a healthy, full-blooded man of action needs to lead a life of heroism.
Most of all, engage in that most dangerous and exhilarating battle of all: pray unceasingly. —David Schmitt
Patriotic Americans are the real minority! Almost nobody is patriotic to America anymore. Even most “Conservatives” are more loyal to The State of Israel than to their own country.
Henrik, I found this article very interesting. As always, magnificent artwork.
You encapsulate many perennial ideas here. The only thing I wondered about it is why you choose to embrace the somewhat imbalanced dichotomy between man/woman and sky or spirit/earth or matter. I believe the conventional religious view in its institutionalized form caused an imbalance where there was supposed to be an equilibrium to begin with. In other words, spirit is the cause of matter, but both have to reconstitute each other in the physical existence. You seem to favor the primacy of spirit overall.
Stefan Werner, referring to your analogy employing “sky” (” “spirit,” and I would suggest that these are placeholders for God) and “matter,” ‘equilibrium’ by definition implies a dynamic exchange back and forth between one state or makeup of parts (heaven, sky, God), to another state or makeup of parts (matter, man, earth). Neither an equivalence nor balance of abundance, concentration, or equal potentiality is implied or necessary by the term ‘equilibrium’. That is, as in chemistry, an equilibrium may be so shifted in the direction of reactant or product that the opposite hardly exists at all. Much as with Henrik’s three-part piece, I am left uncertain regarding what the terminology refers to a why one asserted definition or relationship should obtain over another. For example, why is it stated that “spirit is the cause f matter,” or that both [spirit and matter] “reconstitute each other in the physical existence.” Why should I not be equally given to believe that these principles reconstitute each other in the spiritual? What warrant is there for any of the propositions you fellows are making?