Contemporary Esotericism

III. Esoteric Transfers

11. Discursive Transfers

Kocku von Stuckrad


12. Political Esotericism

Jacob Christiansen Senholt


13. New Age Spirituality

Eduard ten Houten


14. Deep Oikology

Joseph Christian Greer




III. Esoteric Transfers

11. Discursive Transfers

Kocku von Stuckrad


p. 238 nominalism

"nominalism ... the question of whether the nomina, the names, of things ... are carriers of essentia or universalia, is fraught with theological problems. ... The medieval nominalists thus suggested that by studying the nomina, humans are not intermingling with the divine, because the names are not linked to any sort of transcendent or divine knowledge (in contrast to Platonism). This strategy led to ... the tragedy of nominalism : ... it was no longer possible to establish a rational and reliable knowledge of the "deep structure" of the revealed world ... . The idea ... that knowledge of nature is arbitrary and imperfect, while

true knowledge of the divine world is impossible ..., is part and parcel of Western concepts of scientific knowledge that fully emerged during the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries."

{The eventual effect of a view that "knowledge of the divine world is impossible" hath gradually become nextly, a tendency to regard the divine world as irrelevant (as in Epikoureanism), then as effectively significant, trivial, and finally as non-existent. [written July 15 2014]}

{The initial stage, the mere view that "knowledge of the divine world is impossible" is that still held by reactionary (so-called "conservative") types of Muslim clerics, who have not as yet gone all the way to sheer atheism as have their countreparts among European "Christians". In actualily, all forms of "Christianity" and of "Islam" are covert atheisms, which employ the ruse of "nominalism" (or the like) as an excuse for their de facto extremist atheism.}

pp. 238-9 esoteric alternatives (to materialism) in metaphysics

p. 238

"Esoteric discourses abound with alternatives to the nominalist protection of borders between the divine and the human. ...

{This sort of gratuitously feigned "protectionism" hath gradually developed from a feigned wishing to protect the divine from incursions by mortals (passive anti-theism), to an outright wishing to protect mortals from the divine (defensive anti-theism), and then to a praeponderant hostility to the divine (aggressive anti-theism). [written July 15 2014]}

p. 239

Examples would include the large field of magic (including, but not restricted to magia naturalis) ..., or the ... natura naturans in F. W. J. Schelling and other philosophers."

p. 239, fn. 49

"As a comparison between early modern magic and the "disenchanted magic" of modernity, see Hanegraaf, "How Magic Survived the Disenchantment of the World.""

p. 239, fn. 50

"For a more detailed discussion ..., I refer the reader again to my Locations of Knowledge".

p. 239, fn. 51

"See von Stuckrad, "Rewriting the Book of Nature"; Kay, "In the Beginning was the Word?".

p. 239, fn. 52

"See also the classic study by Lakoff & Johnson, Metaphors We Live By."

Wouter J. Hanegraaf : "How Magic Survived the Disenchantment of the World." RELIGION 33(2004).4:357-80.

Kocku von Stuckrad : Locations of Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe : Esoteric Discourse and Western Identities. Leiden : Brill, 2010.

Kocku von Stuckrad : "Rewriting the Book of Nature". J FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGION, NATURE, AND CULTURE. 2(2008).4:419-42.

Lily E. Kay : "In the Beginning was the Word?" In :- Mario Biagioli (ed.) : The Science Study Reader. London : Routledge, 1999. pp. 224-33.

George Lakoff & Mark Johnson : Metaphors We Live By. Univ of Chicago Pr. 1st edn 1980. Updated 2nd edn 2003.

p. 240 spiritual dimension (quoted from "RBL")

"God created the universe. ... God created life"

{But is this wild allegation intended to imply the existence, and domination of the universe by some conjectured autokratic tyrant, whose conjectured existence is used monarchists and ploutokrats as an excuse for imposing tyranny on humanity?}

"science cannot approach ... the ethical, moral and spiritual dimension of ... cherished human values. ...

{Is "cannot approach" intended as a defense of the working class? -- Or, is it intended as an excuse for enslaving the working class by ploutokrat "values" of exploitation of the working class?}

But ... we must also not retreat from our oldest and most cherished human values."

{But what are said "human values"? Are they protection of the working class from the ploutokrats? -- Or, are they protectionism of the ploutokrateia from the commoners?}

"Alexander Pope wrote :

'Know then, thyself.

{But which "self"? "The soul" (which can be understood as the divine element within living beings, and as the source of ethical commitments)? -- Or, alternatively, "the gross material body" (lacking in any ethical values)? This terminology is totally ambiguous.}

Presume not God to scan. ...'"

{"Do not praesume that the divine can be scanned with the mere material instruments of mere materialist science?" -- Or, alternatively, "do not praesume to entertain any ethical commitments for the welfare of living beings?" This phraseology is slipperily ambiguous -- able to be understood in two opposite ways, either as anti-materialist or as anti-ethical.}

"RBL" = "Reading the Book of Life". NEW YORK TIMES online for 27 June 2000.

p. 240 "transgressive potential"

"Francis S. Collins is also very much of the transgressive potential of his endeavour. ...

{But, a potential to transgress what? The rights of free workers against the capitalists -- or, the privileges of ploutokrats against an enslaved working class? What could be the motive for making such a contrivedly ambiguous statement?}

It may be questioned whether Alexander Pope's prescription is a solution to the transgressive danger that Collins intends to avoid,

{Indeed, how can such a deliberately ambiguous statement as Pope's possibly be any "solution" to anything?}

but it clearly shows his concerns."

{But, a concern for what?}

{Craftily sidestepping the issue of the class-struggle would bode the direst of consequences to the future of the working class.}

p. 241 more ambiguous evasions ...

"Venter provided some hints ... : "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life", which is taken from James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man;

{This statement is, in itself, utterly ambiguous! Hardly any hint at all, unless mayhap the context within James Joyce's book be implied.}

"See things not as they are but as they might be", which comes from American Prometheus, a biography of nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer;

{The only potential future which Oppenheimer arranged was an intended annihilation of humanity by means of atomic bombs -- and that he did as a hireling of ploutkrat-tyrants fanatically intent on extermination of all living beings (his planned "might be"?).}

and the famous words by physicist Richard Feynman : "What I cannot build I cannot understand."}

{Feynman also helped build atomic bombs -- but could he understand the workings of karman (the law of cosmic retribution for the annihilation of humanity which he was plotting, as a hireling of ploutokrat war-mongers)?}

p. 242 "why we are here"

[quoted from Hawking 1988, p. 15] "Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we have come from. ... And our goal is nothing less then {read "than" -- perhaps "then" is a reflection of the title of Hawking's book} a complete description of the universe

{But, by "universe" would he intend the true universe of meaningfulness (which is the co-operative collectivity of transcendental planes-of-existence) -- or are his notions restricted to the material plane, which is quite lacking any meaning and (in-and-of-itself) any purpose?} {To seek meaningfulness within the meaningless material universe would be aequally absurd as is the outrageously self-contradictory title of book ("history of time"!!).}

we live in."

{Actually we travel among, and reside in, a succession of many universes -- not only the waking universe, but also various dream-universes, between-lives universes, etc. etc. (and of them, the waking universe is the least significant, quite lacking any meaning).}

Hawking 1988 = Stephen W. Hawking : A Brief History of Time. London : Bantam Pr.


III. Esoteric Transfers

12. Political Esotericism

Jacob Christiansen Senholt


pp. 245-6 Integral Traditionalism

p. 245

""Integral Traditionalism" ... upholds ... perennialism ... of the existence of universal, transcendent truths, which unite disparate religious traditions. Key Traditonalist thinkers are Rene' Gue'non, Frithjof Schuon and Ananda Cooraraswamy."

"the esoteric fraternity Gruppo di Ur, co-founded by Evola, Arthuro Reghini and Giovanni Colazza in 1927 ... provided Evola with ... esoteric ... ideology. [fn. 8 : "For more on Evola and his involvement with Gruppo di Ur see ... Evola [2009], 88-95".] ...

Taking a cue from Traditionalism, in particularly ... Julius Evola, the radical right has adapted ...

{This self-styled "radical right" in Italy was (and is) actually a socialist group feigning sympathy for fascism in order thereby to have opportunity to subvert-from-within the fascist league. It hath been so successful in doing so, that by now similar groups have come into existence (or, as in the case of the FreeMasons, have historically anteceded the Italian group) in other countries.}

p. 246

quasi-esoteric symbolism into its ideology ... . A key concern for the radical right is

religious and cultural ... resurrection {i.e., restoration}. These ideas are often directly coupled to ... politicized neopaganism,

{This is a liberalized form of Hellenistic culture, and commonly implemented by the historic Renaissance.}

as well as attacks on Christianity,

{attacks on mainline (Catholic and Protestant) Christianity, but promotion of Gnostic Christianity}

which is perceived as being the cause of ... capitalism

{These radicals are socialistic (Swedish-style) anti-capitalists.}

and egalitarianism.

{Where the general population is quite ignorant and would vote against its own class-interests (such as in southeastern U.S. of A.), too much so-called egalitarianism (i.e., voting-privileges) could be used by it to harm itself.}

Evola 2009 = Julius Evola : The Path of Cinnabar : an Intellectual Autobiography. London : Integral Tradition Publ.

p. 247 Radical Traditionalism

"The Radical Traditionalists are best known for their journal Ty[`]r, edited and published by Joshua Buckley and Michael Moynihan, where the movement is described as a

rejection of ... the materialist ... .

{rejection of the capitalist}

They deplore ... a decline and absence of spiritual values, and

{This decline is caused by greed-maddened capitalist materialism.}

the lack of true concern for the environment. ...

{This "lack of true concern for the environment" is capitalism-caused.}

... the New Right actually promotes collective rights, ... while at the same time opposing ... capitalism".

{This "New Right" is a communistic subversion penetrating the structure of the capitalist class.}

pp. 247-8 national political parties constituting the internationalist "New Right"

p. 247

"the Nouvelle Droite in France whose main exponents are Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye, and

the Neue Rechte in Germany with representatives such as Pierre Krebs and Karlheinz Weissmann.

Pierre Vial has identified five distinct ... strands of thought in the New Right, and Michael O'Meara has added a

p. 248

sixth to these. The six ... are :

1. "The Anti-modern traditionalism of Rene' Gue'non and Julius Evola".

2. "Vo:lkisch and commutarian nationalism".

3. "Neopaganism as opposition to the Judaeo-Christian heritage".

4. "Postmodernism, celebrating cultural pluralism".

5. "Scientism, focusing on life sciences".

6. "Geopolitics, such as the ... Eurasianism promulgated by Alexandr Dugin."

pp. 248-9, 254 neo-Eurasianism

p. 248

"Eurasianism ... also referred to as neo-Eurasianism, ... is a geopolitical theory which interprets ... through geographical factors rather than through cultural ones, and posits

a Euro-Asian "heartland", ... centred in Greater Russia ... .

{Euro-Asia is, most proprely, defined as that region disputed by geographers as to whether it be in Asia or in Europe. Herodotos regarded the potamos Tanais (river Don) river as the boundary betwixt Europe and Asia, whereas modern geographers regard the Ural as the boundary. The disputed region, which is mainly the drainage of the potamos Oaros/Rha (river Volga) is Great Russia.}

Its most prominent contemporary spokesman, Alexandr Dugin, began his political career

p. 249

as a dissident opposing the Soviet system. ... In 2001, founded the Eurasian Movement ... . ... In 2008, ... he was appointed ... professor ... at Moscow State University. There he teaches ... Western philosophy, mysticism and Traditionalism."

p. 254

"the Eurasian Movement ... members wave black banners portraying a classical symbol of chaos in bright yellow, an eight-pointed star, a symbol also used in Chaos Magick".

pp. 250-2 FreeMasonry & Wagner

p. 250

"George Washington and Benjamin, were Freemasons, were most of the kings of the Danish royal family since Frederick V (1723-6). ... .

p. 251

Trevor Ravenscroft's The Spear of Destiny (1972) ... provided ...

p. 252

details of ... the Grail mythos, insired by the medieval novel Parzival and Wagner's Parsifal and Lohengrin".

"we see the adaptation of occult and esoteric symbolism ... within certain music genres such as Black Metal" (Granholm 2011).

Granholm 2011 = Kennet Granholm : "Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music". NUMEN 58.4:514-44.

pp. 253-4 ultima Thoule & the "Black Sun"

p. 253

"around 300 BCE Pytheas of Massilia {Marseilles} makes reference to a mysterious land called Thule ... . [Godwin 1993, pp. 47-8] ...

Also, the name Thule occurs ... prominently in relation to the German leading group Thule-Seminar, led by Pierre Krebs. In addition to having adopted the name Thule for its group, ... the group also makes frequent use of ... the Black Sun ["from a medieval Merovingian design on brooches" (fn. 39)] ... on the cover of the Thule-Seminar's magazine Metapo".

p. 254

"Flowers and Moynihan have even published [2007] a selection of the writings by Karl Maria Willigut, ... creator of the Black Sun symbol in its contemporary form."

Godwin 1993 = Joscelyn Godwin : Arktos : the Polar Myth ... . London : Thames & Hudson.

Flowers & Moynihan 2007 = Stephen E. Flowers & Michael Moynihan : The Secret King. Port Townsend (WA) : Feral House.

p. 255 European heathen magazines

"the Swedish Heathen Front [Svensk Hednisk Front] published the magazine Bukavlen, featuring articles on the ... vo:lkisch occultists. ...

In Italy we likewise find ... a group called Centro Studi la Runa which publishes the magazine Algiza on religion, mythology, and Indo-European tradition."

pp. 256-8 European books of heathenry

p. 256

"The French organization GRECE (Groupement de recherche et e'e'tudes pour la civilisation europe'enne) contributed ... by publishing Les Traditions d'Europe; an attempt at an overview of all the different non-Christian European traditions.

Another leading figure ... was Jean Haudry, a professor at the University of Lyon whose Les Indo-Europe'ens was translated into both English and German. ... Haudry ... supports the so-called "arctic hypothesis" of the Indo-European homeand."

p. 256, fn. 58

"The thesis of "arctic" home of the Indo-Europeans was first put forth by the Indian nationalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his book The Arctic Home in the Vedas (1903)."

{This copied directly from the mythic geography of the Puran.a-s, which assign to mt Meru (abode of the most principal deities) to a situation aequivalent to the north pole, but without cold (the weather being perpetually warm at mt Meru), and with (instead of any Arctic Ocean) fertile land. The Arctic region could well be warm and lush in other planes-of-existence, which the Puran.a-s may be understood to be describing.}

p. 257

"Sigrid Hunke in her book Europas andere Religion ... identifies certain ideological patterns which she claims are part of European consciousness, patterns which manifest as heresy during the time of Christianity [de Benoist 2004, p. 172] ... . ...

p. 258

"De Benoist states [2004, p. 15] that a "spiritual" and "intunitive" familiarity" with bthe Indo-Europeans is necessary in order to understand the underlying values that are also relevant to Europeans today."

de Benoist 2004 = Alain de Benoist : On Being a Pagan. Atlanta : Ultra.

pp. 258-60 "othering" & recent countre-cultural trends

p. 258

"theories of polemical discourse, "othering", and the construction of "grand polemical narratives" ... may help explain the structural and ideological similarities present in

the radical right

{meaning, secretive groups which feign agreement with capitalist society in order to penetrate and subvert it}

p. 259

and esotericism."

{meaning, secretive groups which feign agreement with nonmystical society in order to penetrate and subvert it}

p. 259, fn. 68

"to explain the theories of polemics within religion and esotericism in detail ..., see Hammer & von Stuckrad [2007]."

p. 259

"Esotericism experienced a popularization in the 1960s ... as part of the blossoming milieu of the 1960s counterculture, both in the United States and in Europe. The trends of the counterculture and the sexual revolution persisted ..., becoming "a permanent feature of contemporary culture. [Hanegraaff 2001, p. 18]

The New Right ideologically belongs to, or at least draws great inspiration from, what Hanegraaff calls the "religionist-counterculturalist" understanding of esotericism, which was primarily represented by the Eranos meetings in Ascona." (Hanegraaff 2001, p. 7)

{That the so-called "New Right" is sympathic with countreculturalist anti-capitalist pacifist mystics (such as, hippies) is a definite indication that it is only feignedly loyal to any materialistic ruling-class, and is in actuality a means of communist subversion.}

p. 260, fn. 74

"Ellwood [1999] ... provides an overview of the political views implicit in the theories of three influential counterculturalists : Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade and C. G. Jung."

Hammer & von Stuckrad 2007 = Olav Hammer & Kocku von Stuckrad (edd.) : Polemical Encounters : Esoteric Discourse and Its Others. Leiden : Brill.

Hanegraaff 2001 = Wouter J. Hanegraaff : "Beyond the Yates Paradigm : the Study of Western Esotericism between Counterculture and New Complexity". ARIES 1.1:5-37.

Ellwood 1999 = Robert Ellwood : The Politics of Myth. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

p. 260 Hermeticism vs Christianity

"a narrative of esotericism where the "Hermetic Tradition" is seen as a countercultural undercurrent battling Christianity ... was ... established by Frances Yates through her influential Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. ... this narrative ... posits a suppressed and traditional counterculture as [Hanegraaff 2001, pp. 16-18] "rebelling against the forces of the establishment"".

Frances Yates : Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964.

p. 261 surviving European paganism's defense of legitimate tradition

"When Hunke identifies ... representatives of "Europe's other religion" ... as bearers of a mythic mentality that has secretly survived .., ... The "heretics" of Hanegraaff become Hunke's "pagan representatives of Europe's other religion". The devil-worshipping Knights Templar, the ... Cathars and the many witches ... all become the true defenders of "pagan tradition"".

Sigrid Hunke : Europas Eigene Religion. Tu:bigen : Grabert Verlag, 1997.


Egil Asprem & Kennet Granholm (edd.): Contemporary Esotericism. Equinox Publ Ltd, Sheffield, 2013.