His real name was Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, aka Baron Evola, aka Julius Evola. When he died he was seventy-six years old, had never married, had no children and no remaining family.
Born in Rome into an aristocratic Sicilian family, Evola inherited enough wealth to make him independent. A natural yet ultraistic intellectual, after participating as an officer of artillery in the Italian Army in World War I, he sought out the eccentric isms of his era, becoming part of the Futurist movement, which he quickly discarded. Dadaism was his next depot; its meaninglessness inspiring his poetry, essays and paintings.
Soon though, Evola decided that even the meaningless nothing of Dadaism was corrupt, since it was being cloned and marketed to the general public. In protest, he stopped painting and writing poetry, limiting himself to prose alone.
Seeking the newest new-thing, he immersed himself in soi-disant (so called) spiritual studies, which had assumed the grandiose name of ‘supra-rationalism.’ This mystical nonsense appealed directly to the elitism of his mind. He believed he had found illumination in the esoteric books he purchased and devoured. Books on the occult, alchemy, magic and Eastern mystical studies, such as Lamaism and tantric yoga.
Cultists desire to have other cultists to socialize with, that way they can bolster each other’s silly ideas and they all feel superior to those not so enlightened. Thus it was only normal that Evola founded a group called Gruppo di Ur, ‘group of the original.’ This group thought they could influence the actual course of world events – history – through the rituals of magic. And as a sideline, they would attempt to win converts to magic through the publication of commentaries on the study of magic. This sideline – the narration, clarification and dissemination of occultism, which Evola called a philosophy – would become Evola’s lifework.
Simply put, Evola and his gang were pagans.
Evola referred to himself as a Traditionalist, which, technically, is defined as belief in a religion handed down from an original divine revelation. Traditionalism, then, would rely heavily upon unwritten opinions, doctrines, practices, rites and customs delivered orally from generation to generation.
But Evola did not use the word technically. Rather, Traditionalism to him was Truth. A universal Truth which just happened to be known by a few, primarily himself and one or two others. Such ‘knowing’ came from individual enlightenment. What quickened this enlightenment is never made clear. Which leads me to believe that only special people received it. And there was no doubt in Evola’s mind that he was special.
Evola’s Traditional philosophy is eclectic. He grabs at ideas willy-nilly, then molds them to fit his grand classical Traditional polity. Basically, it’s gobelldeegook – a mishmash of new age spiritualism and ancient Gnosticism. Which, in reality, means it is whatever Evola wanted it to be, and he was the only one who could properly elucidate it. Traditionalism as expounded by Evola had no meaning, no tenets, no foundation, no system, and no coherency. Finally, it had no system at all.
Not surprisingly, Evola’s philosophy was rabidly racist. He supported the Radical Fascists in Italy during World War II. But at the same time, he disliked Mussolini, fingering him as a demagogue. After the surrender of Italy in 1943, Evola moved to Germany, where he did state sponsored research on Freemasons for the Nazis. He favored Aryan superiority, and was anti-semitic, because Jews in his words were a “corrosive irony.”
In the end, though, his racism was even extended to those who were enlightened, and those who were not enlightened – to everybody. Those not enlightened, without a doubt, were of an inferior race. And those who were enlightened had missed out on true enlightenment, nothing more than dilettantes.
Evola’s writings and ideas continue to influence occultists in today’s world, and even persuade European politics, especially the ultra-conservative, ultra-violent revolutionary groups. I think this would have pleased him. For he desired to see a secular Armageddon, a great battle to purge the earth. And when it was all over, magical mysticism would gain ascendancy because finally the world would see it as the true truth, realizing the modern truths had resulted in only destruction.
This kind of thinking, of course, is contradictory. He wanted to destroy everything – the modern truths – so that he could then blame these modern truths for the destruction. Yet he is the one who wanted to destroy everything. Insanity!
While living in Germany during World War II, Evola, in the night, liked to walk through the city streets during bombing raids. On one such night-loving jaunt, he suffered spinal injury from a bomb fragment in 1945. Evola heard the air-raid warning sirens, but paid them no heed. Allied bombs exploded nearby. Paralyzed from the waist down, he spent the next twenty-nine years in a wheel chair.
No wonder he is buried in a hole in a glacier on the Italian side of Monte Rosa. For it is fitting that a man, who believed in nothing and espoused nothing but spiritual, philosophical and physical anarchy should be buried in the midst of nothing.
I own copies of Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World; Men in the Ruins; and The Metaphysics of Sex. I have tried to read them and understand them. I was ready to be enlightened. I wanted to understand – to learn the secret knowledge. Sadly, all I can attest to is reading them. I have no clue what he is trying to say, and I firmly maintain that he doesn’t either. The language is beautiful. His vocabulary is erudite, his sentences are controlled and grammatically and syntactically correct. But there is no point to what he is saying. It is more meaningless prolixity than anyone can stand. The conclusion I came to is this: nihilism. Nothing.
So either Evola was a madman, or his books are his idea of a great joke: everything is nothing, so he would write nothing. Let’s see if anyone gets it.
Julius Evola was an imperialistic supreme white power dude. A poor, self-deluded nut case, who wanted to transcend his mortal body through sexual magic, but denied himself orgasm because semen is the stuff of life. He assured himself that he was enlightened, and diligently tried to lead others to a similar enlightenment. Of course he failed because he was not enlightened. He was full of nothing, which is not enlightenment of any sort.
Evola was like the pea in Han Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea. Insulated from any type of reality by twenty layers of mattresses and twenty layers of quilts, all he could do was irritate. An irritant that left others black and blue all over, shouting, “It’s horrible!” Only in this instance it would be, “He’s horrible!”
Like the pea, buried in darkness beneath all those mattresses, Evola was buried in the occult, burrowing ever deeper and deeper into a prototype of mystical insanity called Nonsense. I could find no reference to any virtue in him. No kind deed, no gift to a favorite charity; indeed, it appears that he never touched another human being nor was touched in return (outside of his physicians). Newborn babies who aren’t touched eventually – sooner rather than later – die. What happens to adults who aren’t touched?
Perhaps they die inside.