Monday, January 10, 2011

Nuclear Presuppositional Apologetics, Centuries Before Van Til

The abovementioned polemical remark against those who think of the world as illusion was obviously aimed at that current of thought whose most extreme expression was represented by the Vedantic doctrine of Shankara. It is not meaningless, at this point, to see how that polemic was conducted. Vedanta claims that the only reality is that of the plain Absolute, in its formless and undetermined aspect, the so-called nirguna-brahman. Everything else, the world and all its manifestations, is "false," a mere product of the imagination (kalpana), a mere appearance (avastu): here is the well-known and much -abused concept of maya, of the world as maya. A hiatus is thus established: nothing unites the real, brahman, with the manifestation, the world. Between them there is not even an antithesis, since one is and the other is not.

In the polemics carried on by the Tantras, their orientation toward concreteness is confirmed. It is true that from the point of view of the Absoute, the manifestation cannot exist in and by itself, since there cannot be a being outside of Being. A question may be asked, however, as to what exactly is one who professes the doctrine of maya: if he is Brahman itself or one of the beings that exist in the realm of maya. As long as one remains a human, namely a finite and conditioned being, one certainly cannot be calle nirguna-brahman, which is the unchanging pure Absolute without determinations and forms. Therefore, such a person cannot be but maya, since outside of nirguna-brahman one finds only maya. But if that person - the extremist Vedantist - in his existential reality, as a human, a jiva, a living being, is maya, then everything that he claims will be but maya (appearance and falsehood), including hs theory according to which only nirguna-brahman is real while everything else is illusion and falsehood.

J. Evola on the Yoga of Power


  1. After having googled Presuppositionalism I think I can see how it relates to this. However, would you explain?

  2. Presuppositional apologetics is a pale, intellectual reflection of the method which acknowledges the power of the worldview to "co-arise" with the world in the mind, as well as the mind's ability to deceive itself. Evola actually explains the metaphysics of such (he whose illusion is real to himself will necessarily propagate illusion in his "logic"), whereas Van Til and others can only give an exegetical account/justification of their view in terms of "wisdom" or "not-wisdom", which leaves out the mechanics of how logic actually functions, what it is, how it's intertwined with the Psyche, etc. All of which Evola addresses (although perhaps not as extensively as the Desert Fathers).