The Spiritual Race

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We are now entering territory that serves as the core of Evola’s spiritual principles and if not attuned to properly will cast his take on Buddhism in a negative light—yea, those with limited gnosis will perhaps even label him as a racist. For Evola the path of awakening is:

…called Aryan-ariya magga: the four fundamental truths are Aryan ariya-saccani; the mode of knowledge is Aryan-ariya-naya; the teaching is called Aryan (particularly that which considers the contingency of the world’) and is, in turn, addressed to the ariya; the doctrine is spoken of as accessible and intelligible, not to the common crowd, but only to the ariya. (The Doctrine of Awakening, pg. 13)

This places him squarely in league with the tenants of the Lankavatara Sutra, whose teachings are first and foremost for the Maha-Bodhisattvas, and not for the puthujjanas, the lesser able (Worldlings), who refuse to move from the illusions of their own comfort zone—who will never be attuned with Buddha-gnosis. As Evola will point out, the Buddha also originally taught—not to the common crowd—but only to the ariya, or those attuned to the very spirit that leads one to Noble Self-realization. This was the Doctrine of the Buddha—the Noble Path of Buddha gnosis, the Aryan-ariya-naya, the very Root of the Four Noble Truths themselves. Sadly, this “Noble” truth has been so watered down today that the Buddha and his teachings have been reduced to mere ignoble attention to the psychophysical needs of puthajjanas who wallow in their misery—who want to get all warm and “touchy-feely” with their angst and thus being wholly inattentive to the Real-Stuff of the Buddhadharma. They’re not even being given a watered-down version, but a Non-version of what the Buddha taught for Noble Self-realization.

In the texts of the canon the ariya are the Awakened Ones, those who have achieved Liberation and those who are united to them since they understand, accept, and follow the ariya Doctrine of Awakening. (ibid, pg. 13)

Evola does inject a race component at this junction:

In the first place, we must anticipate those who will put forward the argument of Asiatic exclusiveness, saying that Buddhism is remote from “our” traditions and “our” races. We have to remember that behind the various caprices of modern historical theories, and as a more profound and primordial reality, there stands the unity of blood and spirit of the white races who created the greatest civilizations both of the East and West, the Iranian and Hindu as well as the ancient Greek and Roman and the Germanic… 

As we have pointed out, Buddhist asceticism, when certain supplementary elements have been removed, is truly “classical” in its clarity, realism, precision, and firm and articulate structure; we may say it reflects the noblest style of the ancient Aryo-Mediterranean world. (ibid, pg.14)

For Evola—a staunch Classicist—the noblest style of the ancient world of the Buddha was decidedly an Aryo-affair; hence it would be incorrect to inject any belief that Buddhism is exclusively Asiatic in scope. In a mystical vein, he also throws Meister Eckhart in with the equation, who in his sermons on detachment, had as their thrust the nature of the “Noble Mind”. The one who was to be “The Awakened One”, Prince Siddhartha, was a descendent of the noble warrior race of the Sākiya:

This race claimed descent, like the most illustrious and ancient Hindu dynasties, from the so-called solar race-surya vamsa-and from the very ancient king Iksvaku. “He, of the solar race,” one reads of the Buddha.’ He says so himself: “I am descended from the solar dynasty and I was born a Sakiya,” and by becoming an ascetic who has renounced the world he vindicates his royal dignity, the dignity of an Aryan king.” Tradition has it that his person appeared as “a form adorned with all the signs of beauty and surrounded by a radiant aureole.” (ibid, pg. 15)

When considered from this angle, the much later “spiritual warriors” of the Tathagatas—the Bodhisattvas—are truly spiritual heirs of this mystical solar race—for in them there is no more darkness (Mara’s seed) as they are now a Luminos-race bearing Bodhi seeds that will take root only in Noble Soil—soil that has been tilled with the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Ten-fold Path leading to that “Solar Liberation” of Noble Self-realization.

What Evola is advocating here is a “Spiritual Race”:

The Buddha is an outstanding example of a royal ascetic; his natural counterpart in dignity is a sovereign who, like a Caesar, could claim that his race comprehended the majesty of kings as well as the sacredness of the gods who hold even the rulers of men in their power. We have seen that the ancient tradition has this precise significance when it speaks of the essential nature of individuals who can only be either imperial or perfectly awakened. We are close to the summits of the Aryan spiritual world. (ibid, pg.17) 

Yet this is never “imperial” in tone:

An Aryan mind has too much respect for other people, and its sense of its own dignity is too pronounced to allow it to impose its own ideas upon others, even when it knows that its ideas are correct. (ibid, pg.17)

Evola quotes the Buddha on the type of attitude one needs to bear in order to approach the Ariyan Path:

“He who has eyes will see”-is a much repeated saying of the texts. “Let an intelligent man come to me”-we read-“a man without a tortuous mind, without hypocrisy, an upright man: I will instruct him, I will expound the doctrine. If he follows the instruction, after a short while he himself will recognize, he himself will see, that thus indeed one liberates oneself from the bonds, the bonds, that is, of ignorance.” (ibid, pg.18)

Evola concludes this section by stating that although in the pali text the Buddha does not appear as a ‘supernatural being’ who confers salvation, there is still something in those ancient texts that…

…makes us seek in the Buddha the reemergence of a luminous principle already kindled in preceding generations: this is an idea that agrees perfectly with what we are about to say on the historical significance of the Buddhist Doctrine of Awakening. In any case, whatever his antecedents, it is extremely difficult to draw a line between what is human and what is not, when we are dealing with a being who has inwardly attained deathlessness (amata) and who is presented as the living incarnation of a law bound up with that which is transcendental and that can be “confined” by nothing-apariyāpanna. (ibid, pg.20)

Great insight! Even though the Buddha is no supernatural being who has descended from the heavens, there is in him a “reemergence of a luminous principle (italics mine) already enkindled in preceding generations…” The Luminous Principle thus incarnated in Shakyamuni (as Gautama Nirmanakaya-Buddha) is the Transcendental Element of Bodhi as conferred by the Tathagatas themselves in each consecutive incarnated Buddhahood (e.g.,Dīpankara Buddha before him); their chief characteristic being deathlessness itself.

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