Counterfeit Visionary

Whether the world will go with a bang or with a whimper is a big question of modernity. T.S. Eliot’s famous sentence on “broken jaw of our lost kingdoms” and the world as “a valley of dying stars” is pretty close poetic image to what Guenon calls deviation.

The existence of Tradition implies that civilization which turns away from It, necessarily deviates to a point when it begins to develop counter-Tradition, i.e. becomes consciously opposed to it’s Origin. This process is pushed forward by counter-initiation, by which Guenon means activity of producing qualifications for exercising first and foremost the mock spirituality.

Intrinsic need of human soul to be illuminated by Spirit gets transformed into thirst for spiritual experience, and who ever can provide it is welcomed by the masses. This is an instance of what Guenon calls counterfeit – the being bearing closest possible resemblance to something real but inverting it’s sense and purpose, i.e. it’s essence, while retaining the appearance. So, for instance, we have a practice of experimenting with religions – some people change confessions as socks or, if the money is involved, as jobs – or striving to reach religious experience. This is counterfeit because experimental method does not proceed from principle and is essentially meant to master something – to gain control over it through understanding. However, religion expresses that which is ultimately higher and cannot be conceived in the terms of lower, as should be the case in experiment, because the experiment is a method of dealing with matter in controlled environment for the purpose of control. There is no way to control Spirit, therefore there’s no way to experience it too.

Counterfeit is essentially pseudo-something, a parasite festering on a dead body of what was once a living tradition. One curious aspect of it is it’s tendency to eradicate the past existence and keep the consciousness of it’s recipients in the present. In this regard it is quite similar to a term simulacrum, only it presupposes deliberating will as it’s creator. Namely counterfeits exist in order to bring about anti-Tradition, i.e. pseudo-Spirit and pseudo-quality to the world. They are therefore fruits of inverted, but quite deliberate, spirituality endeavoring to mimic reawakening of religion and metaphysics. How would this false dawn look like is something Guenon declines to describe because he considers it imperative only to describe what will inevitably ensue afterwards.

When subversion reaches the lowest point, releasing, quite literary, hell on earth, things immediately have nowhere else to go but upwards. Once the lie is absolutely realized it loses every ground because it can exist only as a parasite on the body of truth. The end of the world is simply a complete revelation of lie qua lie, therefore nothing else but a revelation of truth. Once the absolute power is reached it turns against itself, not seldom in the form of unintentional parody and satire on it’s own expense. So we can safely conjecture that the end of the world will be very much like a final joke the Devil plays on himself, a mockery of the professional mocker.
Branko Malić

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