Perennialism and Cthonic forces

Although I had tended to see Julius Evola as something of a pagan, he did make some good points on “mysticism.”  One of the most dangerous things one can do is “open yourself to the beyond,” or let your reason go.  This opens the self to “cthonic forces.” This isn’t good.  It is descending to the lower levels.  You become less god-like and more bestial.

This sheds some light on demon possession.

This also explains a problem that arose in the 4th Political Theory.  Unlike the racist Western liberal, we believe each culture has its own Dasein, its mode of existing that doesn’t have to be determined by NATO and the World Bank.  Since each culture is finite and no one has a God’s-eye view on history, then there is a legitimate motion in each culture.

So far so good, but here are some problems.  What about widow-immolation in Hindu India?  What about female circumcision in Muslim Africa?  Is not our revulsion and, yea moral duty to stop it a form of Western hegemony?

Maybe.  But it doesn’t have to be Western hegemony.  Ancient Israel, by no means a Western Enlightenment outpost, condemned similar practices.  Whether Ba’al was a hypostasized god is beside the point. Those who worshiped him descended to cthonic levels and were violently opposed by the prophets.

One can probably find similar actions in other ancient societies.  So Perennialism offers a model of opposing cthonic practices but not from a standpoint of Western Liberalism.


About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in Cults, politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Perennialism and Cthonic forces

  1. cal says:

    Though, Israel only policed Baal worship on the Land God gave. When typologically considered and realized in Christ, this isn’t a justification for armies to break up practices. No nation is Israel, so I’m not sure that logic fits.

    But I am curious to think about mysticism and cthonic forces. I do work in the 17th and 18th century, and I’m always fascinated with the wide-spread of schismatics (as historical reality, not pejorative) and pseudo-Christian cults. How do you see reason and emotion interact, coexist? What do you think of the phenomenon of Revivalism?


  2. Per policing Baalism: In any case, Israel didn’t have the military ability to police Ba’alism outside their borders. Notwithstanding, Solomon did expand Israel’s borders.

    No, I am not arguing that one should engage in empire to stamp out barbaric practices. But if one is capable within one’s jurisdiction (however that might be established), then it’s legit.

    Revivalism is a tricky subject. I don’t think Edwards and Whitefield are in the same category as Finney. But contrary to Calvinists, there was A LOT of emotionalism in said revivals. I think when you get into the frontier by the time of the 1800s, revivalism becomes less Christian and more “mystical/theosophist/what have you.”

    I don’t think it is accidental that the later 1800s gave us people like Mdme Blavatsky. Even good men like Vl. Soloviev engaged in occultic practices (autowriting, etc).


    • cal says:

      Edwards is kind of an exception, due to his attempt to reign in the emotion (his sermon delivery was pretty dry, but his imagery was dazzling and terrifying). So he seems to be more of a rhetorician, and the same goes with Whitefield and even Finney (sorta), though they’re more showmen. I guess I wonder when does appealing to the emotions become “cthonic”? Is it when reason is disparaged (as per quite a few Pietists, Evangelicals and Revivalists)? Or is it more of a matter of praxis, when revivals tolerate rolling on the floor etc., and other ecstatis physical effects??

      Is the difference between emotion and dabbling with the cthonic forces of psyche the same as the difference between reason and rationalism? Or are both perversions (of reason and emotion) result in a kind of tampering of the Human imagination, thus we end up with mental and spiritual illness on both sides (the psychotic tend to be either hyper emotional or hyper rationalist).


      • That’s a good question on the second paragraph, and one for me that the jury is still kind of out on. I sort of fall back on Lewsis’s “materialist magician” at that point.


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