Originally published in 1995 in Limonka, the official newspaper of the National Bolshevik Party. First ran on Open Revolt in 2011. We are now very pleased to present a more accurate and better proofread version for our readers of this important, many of us might say, life-changing work.
The Gnostic by Alexander Dugin
The time has come to reveal the truth, to expose the spiritual essence of what boot-licking ordinary people call “political extremism.” We have confused them enough by changing the labels of our political sympathies, the color of our heroes, and by passing from fire to cold, from “rightism” to “leftism” and back again. All of this has been but an intellectual artillery barrage, a kind of ideological warm-up.
We have frightened and tempted the extreme right and extreme left, and now both, and others, have lost their way, strayed from the beaten tracks. This is amazing. As the great Evgeniy Golovin liked to repeat: “He who goes against the day, should not fear the night.” There is nothing more pleasant than when the group is slipping out from under your feet. This is the first experience of flight. It kills vermin. It tempers angels.
Who are we, really? Whose menacing face is it all the more clearly peering out from the paradoxical, radical political movement with the terrifying name “National Bolshevism?”
Today we can respond without any ambiguity and vagueness. But this necessitates a brief excursion into the history of the spirit.
Mankind has always had two types of spirituality, two paths – the “Right Hand Path” and the “Left Hand Path.” The first is characterized by a positive attitude towards the surrounding world, in which harmony, balance, bliss, and peace are seen. All evil is but a particular instance, a local deviation from the norm, something insignificant, transient, having no deep, transcendental causes. The Right Hand Path is also called the “Milky Way.” It does not subject man to any particular suffering; it protects him from radical experiences, leads him away from immersion in suffering, and away from the nightmare of being. This is a false path. It leads to slumber. It leads to nowhere.
The second path, the “Left Hand Path”, sees everything in the reverse. There is no milky bliss, but black suffering; no silent calm, but the festering, fiery drama of split being. This is the “path of wine.” It is destructive, terrifying. Wrath and rage reign on it. In this path, all reality is perceived as hell, as ontological exile, as torture, as submersion into the heart of some kind of unthinkable catastrophe originating from the very heights of the cosmos.
If on the first path everything appears to be good, then on the second path everything appears evil. This path is monstrously difficult, but it is the only true one. On this path it is easy to stumble and even easier to disappear. It guarantees nothing. It entices no one. But only this path is correct. He who takes this path will gain fame and immortality. He who survives it will prevail and receive an award that is higher than being.
He who goes down the Left Hand Path knows that it will end. The dungeon of matter will collapse and be transformed into a heavenly city. A chain of initiates passionately prepares the desired moment, the moment of the End, the triumph of total liberation.
These two paths are not two different religious traditions. Both are possible in all religions, in all confessions, in all churches. There are no external differences between them whatsoever. They concern the most intimate parts of man, his secret essence. They cannot be chosen. They themselves choose a man to be their victim, their servant, their instrument, their weapon.
The Left Hand Path is called “gnosis”, “knowledge.” It is just as bitter as knowledge and it generates sorrow and cold tragedy. Once upon a time in antiquity, when mankind still attached decisive importance to spiritual things, the Gnostics created their own theories on the level of a philosophy, a doctrine, the cosmological mysteries, and on a cult level. Gradually people degenerated, stopped paying attention to the sphere of thought, and plunged into physiology in search of individual comfort in everyday life.
But the Gnostics did not disappear. They moved the dispute to a level of things understandable to modern citizens.
Some of them proclaimed slogans of “social justice”, developed theories of class struggle, and communism. The Mystery of Sophia became “class consciousness”, and the “struggle against the evil Demiurge, the creator of the cursed world” took the shape of social battles. The threads of ancient knowledge stretched to Marx, Nechaev, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Che Guevara. The wine of socialist revolution, the joy of rebellion against the forces of fate, and the sacred, berserker passion for total destruction of all that was black for the sake of obtaining a new, otherworldly Light.
Others opposed the ordinariness of everydayness with the secret energy of race, the noise of blood. Against mixing and deformity they raised laws of purity and a new sacrality, a return to the Golden Age, the Great Return. Nietzsche, Heidegger, Evola, Hitler, and Mussolini draped the Gnostic will in national, racial teachings.
It is quite right that the communists didn’t care much for workers, nor Hitler for Germans, but not out of cynicism. Both were obsessed with a deeper, more ancient, more absolute aspiration, the common Gnostic spirit, the secret and terrible light of the Left Hand Path. What workers, what “Aryans”… The point is totally different.
Other creative personalities summoned to the Left Hand Path, the path of gnosis, also floundered between “reds” and “blacks” and “whites” and “browns” in their spiritual quests. Entangling themselves in political doctrines, going to extremes, and yet unable to clearly express the metaphysical contours of their obsession, artists from Shakespeare to Artaud and from Michelangelo to Eemans, from the troubadours to Breton, have drunk the secret wine of suffering, greedily soaking up in society, passions, sects and occult brotherhoods the disparate fragments of a terrible teaching that leaves smiling impossible. The Templars, Dante, Lautréamont. They never smiled in their lives. This is a sign of a special chosenness, a trace of a monstrous experience of something that has been common for all Left Hand Pathers.
The Gnostic looks at our world with his severe gaze – the same gaze as that of his predecessors, the links in the ancient chain of the elect of Horror. A repulsive picture reflects in his eyes. A mad West in consumer psychosis. An East whose dullness and pathetic submissiveness disgusts. A sunken world, a planet lying on the bottom.
“In underwater woods, rush is useless and motion ceases…” (Golovin)
But the Gnostic does not abandon his cause. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Moreover, he has every reason to celebrate on the inside. Did we not tell the naive optimists of the “Right Hand Path” where their excessive ontological trust will lead? Did we not predict the degeneration of their creative instinct down to the grotesque parody that is today’s conservatives, who have reconciled with everything that horrified their more sympathetic (but no less hypocritical) predecessors just a few millennia ago? They didn’t listen to us. Now let them blame themselves and read New Age booklets or marketing handbooks.
We have forgiven no one. We have forgotten nothing.
We have not been deceived by the changes in social decorations and political (wanna-be) actors.
We have a very long memory. We have very long hands.
We have a very severe tradition.
The labyrinths of being, the spirals of thoughts, the whirlpools of anger…
– Alexander Dugin