Monday, November 29, 2010

Discreet Influences

Below is a fascinating essay by Olavo de Carvalho about René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon. The article was originally published in Jornal do Brasil, and was translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota and Bruno Mori for the author’s website.

I admit to an unfamiliarity with Guénon and Schuon, but from browsing the online information about the two men, it seems that they would probably have been labeled Theosophists if they had lived in the Anglosphere.

Discreet influences
by Olavo de Carvalho
Jornal do Brasil, May 8, 2008

Translated by Alessandro Cota and Bruno Mori

Frithjof Schuon When the Swiss painter and poet Frithjof Schuon (1907—1998) returned from the East in the forties, transfigured into the supreme master of one of the most influential Muslim esoteric organizations and announcing that he would Islamize Europe, he gave the clear impression of being completely mad. Today it behooves us to examine with humility his words and the course of his actions, whose overwhelming efficiency contrasts with the total discretion with which they were undertaken.

To begin with, the creation of Schuon’s tariqah (Islamic initiation lodge) in Lausanne was hailed by the esoteric writer René Guénon (1886—1951) as the only promising result of his own efforts of four decades. This clearly shows the meaning of those efforts and, the later rupture between Guénon and Schuon notwithstanding, evinces the perfect continuity of the work of these two esoterists, whose respective disciples nowadays prefer hating one another to celebrating the common victory over a spiritually weakened Europe.

René GuénonGuénon, the author of masterly analyses of the decay of the European West, had concluded in the 1920s that only three roads offered themselves to this civilization: the fall into barbarism, the restoration of the Catholic Church, or Islamization. On uttering those words about Frithjof Schuon, he had already given up the second alternative. The fiasco of the Second Vatican Council, whose appearances the popes have in vain been trying to save, proved in the end that his diagnosis was, in outline, correct.

The radically de-Christianized Europe is today the stage of an open strife between barbarism and Islamism. There is no third way, apparently (“secular civilization” is a joke). The possibility of rescuing the Christian option depends entirely on the American influence or on the admirable dedication of Eastern and African priests and pastors, who, in a paradoxical turn of history, have come to try to recatechize the people by whom they were Christianized.

The action of such characters as Guénon and Schuon goes unnoticed by the media, political analysts, and “intellectuals” in general, whose eyes are hypnotically fixed upon the garish surface of events. But without it the “occupation from within” by means of immigration would have remained innocuous for lack of the cultural conditions that disarmed the European intellectual and political elite. Guénon and Schuon contributed much to create them, subjugating the uppermost and most circumspect strata of this elite to the intellectual superiority of the East in every decisive area except the natural sciences and technology.

Guénon wrote his first articles under the pseudonym Sphynx, denoting that his readers had no choice but to profit from his lessons intelligently or to let themselves be dominated without ever understanding them. In a single European country those lessons have been meditated with serious intent by independent thinkers: Romania. When I lived in Bucharest, I found there not a single eminent intellectual who did not have a profound and critical understanding of Guénon’s work.

What has been seen in the rest of Europe is the oscillation between obtuse rejection and devout submission, including a significant number of secret conversions to Islam and the regimentation of many intellectuals and leaders—among them the prospective king of England—into the scheme of state protection of Islamic expansionism. It is no coincidence that Romania is one of the rare European countries where the Muslim penetration is negligible.

To give an idea of how powerful the subtle influence of Guénon and Schuon has been, it suffices to inform that the latter interfered directly in producing the crisis between Monsignor Lefèvre and the Vatican in 1976, and until now the Catholic historians—whether progressive or conservative—have not taken the slightest notice of that.

I know that this article of mine is addressed to few readers and that, among these, some of those who can more or less understand it will definitely hate it. But there are things that one must say just in order not to be accused, in the future, of bearing witness only too late.

Hat tip: LSA.


Martin Baldan said...

I'll take barbarism (aka securarism) over a Christian theocracy any day of the week, thank you very much. BTW, I'd say that's also the EDL position.

goethechosemercy said...

Even the writings of pre-Christian Europe were rational.
If a Westerner can find no vitality of reason in the corpus of Western philosophical and other texts, he isn't looking for it.
Islam is not rational.
If anything, it is the ultimate excuse for acting irrationally, ruling irrationally, and refusing to change.
The people who think that Islam is the new life have refused to study very much of what is right in front of them.

Adam West said...

People don't understand how important it is that we attack the occultists after we push Leftism in the corner and remove Islamism from Europe.

I spend 5 years reading about occultism in my youth and these people are as irrational and fascist as any Leftism and Islamist.

I personally think that after economic and cultural Marxism, Europe will see it's biggest threat develop from a spiritual Marxism; which is actually occultism mixed with Marxist believes.

Anonymous said...

That is very interesting! Isn't Bob Godwin of the One Cʘsmos a big follower of Frithjof Schuon? I always found Godwin's posts to be a bit dense but I would never have guessed the Schuon/Islam connection from what Godwin writes.

Very interesting indeed!


Charles Martel said...

No one today is seriously suggesting a "Christian theocracy" and such a suggestion is a merely straw man argument meant to undercut the larger point being made by Guenon.

Europe was forged in the crucible of the Catholic Church. That is an undeniable historical fact. Without the Catholic Church, Europe is no more for its essence is lost.

Catholic (pre-Vatican II) sensibilities must inform the organization and structure of our civilization if it is to remain recognizably Western. Failure to grasp this essential truth is the proximate cause of our impending demise and collapse into the barbarism of relativism and nihilism.

The ultimate form and structure of governments is not so important as the prevalent Catholic influence. For without the ultimate Authority and structure that a Catholic belief system provides only chaos can reign.

So, Guenon was most certainly correct though his synthesis needless complicated. For, our choice actually boils down to Catholicism vs barbarism (for there can be no doubt, Islam is just a more organized form of barbarism.

goethechosemercy said...

In Christian culture, there is no body of law that is equal to the Sharia.
In every Christian country, the separation of church from state is recognized.

Cyrus said...

If someone could enlighten me...if islam was considered a (the preferable) viable alternative for the future of Europe, why not consider Orthodoxy? Obviously Shuon's prejudice was to islam, but does that necessarily preclude Orthodoxy as an option?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Orthodoxism was as important as distrust of otherness in Romania. I mean, Vlad Tepes, for example, had no compulsion against committing genocide against Muslims, even if they weren't part of the Ottoman war effort. And I didn't find anywhere in the Bible the request to commit genocide.

What Vlad Tepes would do if he was the ruler of France or whatnot would be to round all the Muslims and impale them. That's Christian?

Anonymous said...

And I didn't find anywhere in the Bible the request to commit genocide.

It's in the Old Testament, the Jews were supposedly ordered to wipe out lots of Canaanite tribes. But there was certainly none of that in the New Testament, so you can't call it Christian.

Christian rulers can make war on other countries under some circumstances, so I suppose the question is whether there are circumstances which are a "just war" from one side's point of view and "genocide" from the other's.

goethechosemercy said...

It's in the Old Testament, the Jews were supposedly ordered to wipe out lots of Canaanite tribes.
end quote.

Yes. But if you've read the OT, then you know that the Hebrews did not carry those genocidal orders out completely, did they?

Also, concerning Just War?
It's an Aristotlean principle adopted by the Church.

Anonymous said...

Polymath, Vlad Tepes rounded up Muslims from another country and impaled them. They weren't even on the territory he ruled. You must be insane to consider that just war. :)

Gagdad Bob said...

I am in no way a disciple of Schuon, much less Guenon, but I have profited deeply from Schuon's writings, including unpublished letters and documents that nowhere justify de Carvalho's paranoid claims.

Wisdom said...


If you found Mr. De Carvalho's essay interesting, you might also want to take a look at some other pieces by him at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought website:


There, you can also find two of his lectures on political philosophy and religion:

Keep up the good work,