Being Versus Becoming
The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler is considered by many to be an excellent book. But I take it a step further—I consider it a necessity for any true dissident.
It was one of the first that truly showed the spiritual decay of physical systems (civilization). And because of that, it is required reading in my opinion.
I have been skimming parts of it lately, and came upon an interesting quote that really points to rationalism issue I have been hammering on about for the past month:
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Here is the relevant quote:
I was originally brought to reflect on this fundamental question of our world-consciousness through noticing how present-day historians as they fumble round tangible events, things-become, believe themselves to have already grasped History, the happening, the becoming itself. This is a prejudice common to all who proceed by reason and cognition, as against intuitive perception. And it had long ago been a source of perplexity to the great Eleatics with their doctrine that through cognition there could be no becoming, but only a being (or having-become).
Oswald includes a footnote which goes even deeper:
The philosophy of this book I owe to the philosophy of Goethe, which is practically unknown today, and also (but in a far less degree) to that of Nietzsche.
His place vis-a-vis Kant is the same as that of Plato—who similarly eludes the would-be systematizer—vis a vis Artistotle. Plato and Goethe stand for the philosophy of Becoming, Aristotle and Kant the philosophy of Being. Here we have intuition opposed to analysis.
Goethe: “The God-head is effective in the living and not in the dead, in the becoming and the changing, not in the become and set-fast; and therefore, similarly, the reason is concerned only to strive towards the divine through the becoming and the living, and the understanding only to make use of the become and the set-fast“.
If you have not yet studied the “being” versus “becoming” philosophical question, now is the time. Give it a search and do a quick review.
There are two specific terms Oswald Spengler uses: “Civilization” and “Culture”. These two words mean peculiar things to Oswald that differ from our modern usage. Consider them as the following: Civilization is the “being” (thing-become). Culture is the “becoming”.
In short, what he is getting at is this:
- Civilization is what culture becomes. It is its ending.
- This occurs once the cultural spirit is overwritten by the physical/rational mind.
- Rationalism rules once the spirit has fallen away.
- Therefore: the culture is already dead once the civilization stage arrives.
Oswald uses three examples: Rousseau, Socrates, and Buddha. Each of these figures is representative of when a culture turned into a civilization, because each of these figures largely eviscerated (through their movements) centuries of spiritual growth and development by instead presenting every single thing in physicalist, intellectual terms.
What this means is that the culture had finally “become”; it was done becoming. From this point on it would only be decline. Which is accurate, especially with Enlightenment thinkers like Rousseau who lead us to where we are now in clown world.
It is not that these individuals were bad, but that they were pivotal instruments in the transition of culture to its lower form. The intellect and fragile human rationalism now superseded spiritual and cultural intuition.
It is no surprise that now we are in our own decline and worship thinkers like them once again.
As they say: “The intellect comes to rule once the soul has abdicated.”
Through Oswald’s work, we once again see that the spirit is higher than the physical. It is more important.
We know the decline is in progress when the physical (rationalism, intellect) rules over the spirit.
This is as true for civilizations as it is for nation-states as it is for humans. All of which are higher-conscious living organisms, which is why they all share the same cycle.
When humans lose the Spirit, they often become hyper-rational. Everything is material and data, which leads them to absolute insane conclusions that I have documented extensively before. It is because the intellect is the lower form. The civilization and nation-states do the same exact thing once they become “Civilizations” according to Oswald’s definition.
Once this system and civilization crashes, do your part to return the spirit. Put down the rationalism and constant secular materialism, and pick up the sword of the spirit. Stop philosophizing everything.
Do this so we may escape the common prejudice of today and return to the higher form of tradition.
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