The Lightning and the Sun
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
“Many the wonders, but none stranger than man,” observed the Greeks—and they might as well have added “and woman” too, for certainly nothing is or indeed was stranger than this: Hannah Arendt, chronicler of the Eichmann trial and anatomist of totalitarianism, and Savitri Devi—Hitler fangirl #1, “To the most God-like individual of all times…Adolf Hitler, a tribute of unfailing love and loyalty forever, and ever,” reads the dedication page in The Lightning and the Sun—reached identical conclusions about what ails the contemporary world; although, as you may have guessed, they had somewhat divergent views as to what to do about this problem.
Of course, women like Arendt and Devi are never really women as such; they are genuine bluestockings, spiritual lesbians—if not, despite their marriages, actual lesbians; for both Devi and Arendt kept close female companions. Both were ultra-smart, Devi held a doctorate in the philosophy of mathematics and knew ancient Greek, Sanskrit, and a clutch of other languages; and she also acquired a master’s degree in chemistry—Arendt was trained, by elite German universities (i.e. by the best), in philosophy and theology and also knew several languages; probably Devi was smarter—her doctorate was on simplicity in mathematics, whereas Arendt’s was on St. Augustine. As genuine bluestockings—Camille Paglias of the their day, except serious—they never had children.
Like a woman, I have resorted to credentialism; and I suppose that is because the thesis Savitri Devi—born Maximiani Portas, to a Greek father and an English mother—puts forward in The Lightning and the Sun is so anomalous and, frankly, what most people would call insane that it actually needs to be undergirded with an acknowledgement that this was a woman with considerable intellectual achievements who had her wits about her. Devi deserves a certain respect because she was a courageous woman; whereas lesser men, such as, for example, the historian David Irving, have attempted to minimise or apologise for Hitler—to suggest that, for example, his holocaust and other activities were not as extensive as the contemporary record holds—Devi, by contrast, goes right for the jugular: she says that Hitler did nothing wrong whatsoever; and that the activities credited to him more or less really happened—and the only problem is that he did not complete his program. This is creditable on Devi’s part because, unlike the Irvings of the world, she faces straight up to the matter—honestly, i.e. with honour—and says, “It is more or less exactly what it looks like, it was meant to be that way, and, furthermore, it was a good thing—my only regret is that Hitler did not kill all his enemies.” Hence, in her preface to The Lightning and the Sun, she says, as regards the book, “And I know very many people will not like it.” No, indeed, Ms. Devi; no, indeed.
What unites Arendt and Devi is a similar view as regards modernity. For Arendt, true thought has been lost; true thought—true philosophy—took place as follows: the philosopher withdrew to a cave; there, in solitude, he allowed his mind to split into two different parts; and these parts would dialogue with each other, in self-dialogue the philosopher was never alone—solitude is not loneliness. The dialogue allowed the philosopher to awake to the eternal cosmic order and his place in it; eventually, he would leave the cave and go to the marketplace—in the marketplace he would engage in spontaneous dialogue with other people; as he did so, the two halves that had been split apart would fuse together and the unitary philosopher would reemerge. What has replaced this genuine thought—genuine attempt to gather wisdom—is techno-industrial civilisation; we live in a civilisation that solves problems but does not genuinely think—it does not dwell on the eternal.
I think Devi—fanatical anti-Semite that she was—would not object to a single sentence in that paragraph; she also holds that we have forgotten the eternal—except, for her, steeped in Hindooism, the concept is a little more religious; for Devi, the eternal cosmos has been lost due to an inevitable cycle of the ages—we have fallen into the Kali Yuga (Dark Age), the lowest time, and now everything around us is corrupt; we wait for this age to end, for Kalki the Destroyer to come, so the cycles can begin again with a new Golden Age. Really, the philosopher’s activities, as described by Arendt, are no different from the Buddhist or Hindoo ascetic—and Devi would say, “Naturally so, it is a common Indo-Aryan tradition that has been forgotten and substituted by a lower spirituality, Christianity—and it will fall lower still, until the age dies.”
So there is complete agreement between the two women as to what has been lost; although not exactly as to the why, or what should be done about it; for although both women would see techno-industrial industrial civilisation as being at fault—the privileging of the cogito, of cogitation, over real thought—Devi would put a strong racial complexion on the decline and see it in terms of cyclical historical phases, whereas for Arendt the end of thought happens to have arisen due to the arrival of techno-scientific cogitation and its mastery over technical operations—although there is no historical impetus that caused it to arise, nor will necessarily cause it to end.
The difference between the two women—aside from the obvious, that Devi would see Arendt’s race, the Jews, as being directly implicated in this decline—lies in their attitude towards modernity: Arendt was a social-democratic Marxist and basically quite a moderate person in her political beliefs—she had the more sceptical philosophical temperament; Devi, by contrast, had a fanatical temperament—as evidenced by her conversion to Hindooism, let alone her unreserved Hitler-worship—and also had a mathematical mind; so she just took her positions, with complete coldness, to their logical conclusions; and in this sense she was a genuine extremist—a much over-used term—in that you can literally use mathematics to explore an extreme point, to push an analysis to the limits.
As a religious fanatic, Devi had a historical context for “the end of thought” and a prescription for how this situation could come to an end; as someone trained in philosophy—perhaps someone less logical—Arendt had a philosopher’s natural inclination not to rely on faith or revelation but to probe all matters, even quasi-religious matters, such as eternity, in a somewhat tentative way and without any wider historical narrative to support or “solutions” to offer. Nonetheless, the two women were basically in complete agreement as to the contemporary human condition: in modernity, we have lost eternity—lost real thought as the Ancients knew it—and the results are quite grim.
Devi’s true spiritual heir today is her fellow mathematician, the now somewhat aged Ted Kaczynski, aka “the Unabomber”, whose basic contention is that industrial society has so distorted man as to make him a grotesque caricature; and so it would be better if industrial civilisation collapsed, even if it took 98% of the world’s population with it—similar views were voiced by the late Finnish hermit Pentti Linkola, who once said that if he were offered the “nuclear button” he would happily press it to extinguish the parodies of “life” that walk the earth today.
Devi’s fanaticism is partially feminine: women are true fanatics, unreasoning although somehow logical in their unreason; and that is why Westerners often find Muslim men to be girly and fey; it is just not within the Western sphere—steeped in a tradition that goes back to questioning Socrates—to take anything quite so whole-heartedly as Muslims take Islam, with quite such feminine fanaticism; even the most, as they say, fundamentalist Christians have encoded in their beliefs elements from Aristotle and Plato that lead them to be a bit tentative and exploratory—the Muslim true believer is something else altogether; and, of course, Hitler admired Islam over Christianity and CG Jung dubbed him a “German Muhammad”.
However, I also think that there is something about mathematics that inclines a person to what I am forced to call, in the genuine sense, extremism; i.e. it is the mathematician who will take a proposition to its logical conclusion no matter what, mathematics is something like pure intellectuality; the parabola will be explored to its limits. GK Chesterton once observed that poets seldom go mad, whereas “chess players” (logicians or mathematicians) frequently do so—Chesterton was wrong about that, poets definitely go mad and do so quite often; and, if he really thought about it, he could have linked poetry back to mathematics, back to logic—poetry is music with words, music is mathematics; the rhythm of life can be literally geometrically represented, if you want to. Anyway, it is definitely true that mathematicians also go mad about as frequently as poets; notable examples include John Nash and Bobby Fischer—the latter being another man, who, despite being a Jew himself, ended his days ranting about the “world Jewish conspiracy”.
The madness in poets and mathematicians is, in my view, divine. This is because, if we go back to the ancient Greek, manthanein, from which “mathematics” ultimately derives, we find it means “to learn”; yet this is more than just to say mathematics is the tekne of learning—that mathematics is “manth-tekne”, i.e. “the technique or technology of learning, of knowledge”; rather, the word also carried implications of initiation for the Greeks. The Academy famously had a motto emblazoned over its entrance to the effect: “No one without knowledge of geometry may enter here.” To be initiated was to learn—for Plato, to remember those forms that were always locked within you; and what you learned concerned the geometrical elements and how these related to reality, particularly music—and, in turn, these geometries could be related to the Chakras in Hindooism, the sacred geometry; for, really, the Greek philosophical tradition, as Devi would be quick to remind us again, was isomorphic with Hindooism and Buddhism. Further, manthanein relates to mantis—a seer, a rishi, someone whose divine insights were certainly uncanny and often came about in ecstatic states.
So this idea that divine insight and mathematics are connected is not so strange; although it is contrary to how we think about mathematics today, as a very staid and certain business with absolutely no room for “ecstatic revelation”. Indeed, when people want to complain about totalitarian tendencies or “the woke” they will often take an example from Orwell’s 1984 where Winston Smith valiantly insists that whatever the Party says “2 + 2 = 4”; hence mathematics is seen as the opposite to totalitarian fanaticism, delusion, and instability: political regimes may change, history can be altered, cadres unpersoned—but 2 + 2 will always equal 4, certainty in a world of lies. The problem with this view is, perhaps, that Orwell was a journalist and not a mathematician—actually, journalists are notoriously bad at mathematics. Rather, at the higher levels, mathematics is, as Ted Kaczynski himself observed, an art—mathematicians are actually creative artists, with all the instability that implies.
Hence, for example, Wittgenstein once ran a series of seminars in Cambridge where he outlined a mathematical system that contained various contradictions and yet still “worked”. Alan Turing, the cryptographic computer man, turned up to one seminar and never returned on the grounds that while what Wittgenstein had outlined might be interesting in itself, it was worthless because if you used it to build a bridge the bridge would fall down. In other words, what Wittgenstein had done was more akin to a painting or a novel; perhaps elegant in its own way, perhaps beautiful—yet definitely not practical, and not exactly what people mean by certainty; not the certainty we imagine 2 + 2 grants us.
This all has implications for religion; as mentioned above, there was once a rather firm notion of sacred geometry—a cosmos in harmony; hit the right wavelength and everything, from health to family to spiritual salvation comes good; and this notion has informed Gnosticism—when CG Jung said he “knew” God existed it was, in part, because he drew mandalas; geometric forms that aligned his soul with the cosmic harmony. Even in Christianity, these ideas persisted and were often encoded in church architecture. So, up until the mid-19th century, Western schoolchildren had two pillars to stand on when it came to the truth: the Bible and the propositions of Euclid. Men might have many opinions, but, a bit like Winston Smith and his 2 + 2, they could all agree that the propositions of Euclid were demonstrated truth and that the Bible was revealed truth. The Sun never set on the British Empire, the crows were at the Tower of London, and there were always two things men knew to be true—and, indeed, the truths in Euclid seemed to support, despite certain ructions and rumblings from geologists, the view that there was a Creator, “God the great geometer”.
By the century’s end, the two pillars had been pushed aside—as Samson pushed down the pillars he was chained to. On the one hand, careful textual analysis had shredded the Bible; as Nietzsche, a genius in the Classics noted, roughly, “God speaks such bad Greek.” The inconsistencies in revelation were now fully revealed, the texts had been picked apart—particularly by those great artist-autists, the Germans—and so it was no longer possible to be as sure as regards the Bible as men had once been. The 18th-century philosophes had thrown brickbats at the Bible and Christianity, but there had always lurked the fear that they were wrong; however, by the 19th century the hard yards had been covered—the Bible now presented a great many doubts. This is why people today, just ordinary people on the street, will doubt the Bible outright and even that Jesus ever existed; they have absorbed, at fifth-hand, the detonation that 19th-century philology carried out on the Bible—although these operations technically cast extreme doubt and opened ambiguities, the CliffsNotes version is: “It’s all made up, mate”.
Funnily enough, the philologists never managed to do the same to the Koran, because the Muslims cannily refused to give up the necessary documentation; since Western scholarship has subsequently collapsed and there will never be a Nietzsche who could navigate the Classical Arabic in the Koran with the dexterity of the 19th-century scholars who mastered Greek, Hebrew, and Latin to navigate the Bible, it may well prove to be the case that the Koran will escape without the great doubtful shadow that has been cast over the Bible falling over it too; and, from a Muslim perspective, the fact Western scholarship has undermined the Bible but not the Korean merely suggests that the Koran is, as they always said, a superior document. Time to mull submission…
The second pillar, Euclid, was undermined in the early 19th century when it became apparent that it was possible to derive a non-Euclidian geometry—or geometries. The implications took a while to filter down and be worked out; so a schoolchild in 1854 could still be reasonably certain that Euclid and the Bible were as solid as the Bank of England. Indeed, in Sherlock Holmes, written in the late 1800s, Holmes confidently tells Watson to remember his Euclid—and assures him that his deductions are as certain as any proposition in Euclid’s geometry; even in the late 1800s, Euclid was a byword for reliability and certainty. Yet, by the century’s close, this pillar had also fallen. One reason why everything is “relative” today is not because postmodernism happened; postmodernism, as an intellectual movement, was really the latest—not even the most significant—in a long line of relativisation.
Relativism started in earnest when people realised that there was more than one geometry—God was no longer one “God the great geometer”; and, similarly, when they realised that the Bible was patched together from many documents and versions—suddenly it was all very ambiguous; it was no longer possible to tap the King James Version and say, “It’s solid.” I mean, imagine if just one word is wrongly translated in the Bible—let alone pages—the implications for the entire faith could be considerable, perhaps everything you thought Christianity was about is actually contrariwise. Aside from these two developments, Darwin arrived to propose evolution by natural selection; and, as the 20th century dawned, Einstein stuck his oar in to suggest a literal theory of relativity. In turn, this relativised another “one truth”, the once steady Newtonian physics was now just true at a certain level; and in the 20th century everything would become even more quantum, complex and ambiguous.
This is why Nietzsche remains so significant, even today. Nietzsche unites all these “relativisms” through an aesthetic philosophy, an artist’s philosophy, that intuited and, to an extent, reasoned out, mainly from his own subject, philology, how the pillars had fallen and how the building was about to collapse—as it did, very shortly, about fourteen years into the 20th century. The schoolboy in 1854 who still learned his Euclid and his Bible quotes would live long enough to be a mature man when, in 1914, it all tumbled down and everything was cast into doubt—and his grandchildren would not be drilled in Euclid, the Bible, and Homer; they would be taught “the modern way”, prepared for a specific technical role with no connection to “the truth”; instead they would merely be taught provisional scientific and technical ideas grounded in relativism and the formulation of hypotheses. No more Holmes rousing the embers in his Baker Street fireplace with his poker and expostulating to Watson that, “It is as certain as a proposition from Euclid.” Further, the Bank of England was looking none too sound post-1914 either.
So, in upshot, we are all relativists now—and we have been for sometime, Nietzsche rules; and, in popular speech, people say, “Well, that’s just your opinion, man. People are different, you know?” The general trend has spawned some truly asinine pseudo-philosophies or journalistic philosophies—“bad takes” as we say today—some not much above the line, “The physicists say everything is relative, so it’s all relative right? You do you.” And yet, in a sense, these pop-Nietzschean takes—of the type that particularly proliferated in the 1960s with figures like Robert Anton Wilson—understand the situation quite well in a general way. The sacred geometry is shattered, and with it so is God. Mathematics is not unitary, you choose the mathematics you require to solve the problem you have to solve—the one sure and sound Euclid is one possibility for problems at a particular level, just as Newton works in his way at his level; and so what once seemed to be a strong support for the idea that there was one Creator being is just one neat trick among many neat tricks, or reality hacks.
If you follow the online right, you will often see a division between traditionalists and what I refer to as “the cold right”. Traditionalists, such as Peter Hitchens, basically hold on to, in one form or another, the world around 1854: they pretend there is still one geometry, the Bible is revelation—there is an eternal order, and it is even mathematically expressed; even the Greek philosophers learned this order when they studied geometry in the Academy—and Christ is one expression of the order. “Traditionalists” with a capital “T”—people who follow Guénon and Evola—go much further into this idea, grounding the Greek geometry in Hindooism, in a lost Indo-Aryan tradition, and ultimately in such places as Atlantis, Thule, and Hyperborea; for them not “places” in the geographical sense, but rather places that manifest when a person vibrates at the right frequency—the same can be said for the Holy Grail, not a cup but a frequency. Although she is not an esotericist and is a much less subtle thinker than Evola or Guénon, Devi fits with the Traditionalist school—basically because she is an old-fashioned Hindoo, and Traditionalism sees Hindooism as among the few operative links to a much older religious tradition.
On the other side, you have “the cold right”—chiefly resented by men like Nick Land. This group welcomes non-Euclidian geometry; they welcome relativity—they welcome the strange shapes and forms thrown up by novel mathematical investigation; and they welcome the materialist science that goes along with it—as with Nietzsche, who, despite Gnostic elements in his work, was not initiated, they want to push the new relativity to the limits in order to step over man; they have no interest in “thought” as Arendt and Devi conceptualise it—they want greater cogitation, represented by AI, so as to explore not one “eternity” but rather the multiplicities that bubble around us, as diverse as the mathematics we can artistically, a very Nietzschean sentiment, develop to explore these realities.
Hence HP Lovecraft is important for this school, for Lovecraft peopled his stories with architectural non-Euclidian geometries and horrors that lurked within these structures—for without the eternal order set by God the great geometer who knows “what” is out there? A Dalí painting, complete with melting clocks, might well be real; and, so too, could be the world of Ridley Scott’s Alien—or, indeed, Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. The tentacled one, the chaos demon, waits at the end of time; and he wails and calls to his worshippers…to you, perhaps.
For the Traditionalists—for Devi, too—this situation merely indicates that the Kali Yuga is upon us: all order has collapsed, from the family right the way down to geometry itself. Everything is in uproar and decay: monsters from the abyss, as intuited by HP Lovecraft, pour into our dimension; and in all probability they, as bad vibrations, control the world around us—literally possess people through profane and demonic music (except, perhaps, for the rather Aryan Beach Boys).
Just look at architecture, contemporary skyscrapers look as if they have melted and twisted, they reach for that Lovecraftian non-Euclidian geometry that lurks under Antarctic ice. Where is the austere Apollonian architecture seen in classical times? Where is the eternal order? Everything is liquid now, feminine—the wine of Dionysus sloshes about and the Moon is high, men surgically remove their testicles and climb high buildings at midnight in Athens to get closer to the Moon; closer to the feminine. Zaha Hadid, a noted architect, designed a stadium in the Middle East that resembled a giant vagina when viewed from above. In the Kali Yuga, the feminine—narcissistic self-worship and materialism—abounds. This melted architecture is not so different from the shapes found in Lovecraft’s stories; and, indeed, it is made possible by the same non-Euclidian geometry that Lovecraft writes about—except now instantiated in CAD and various architectural software packages.
For the Traditionalists, this is the end; almost all spiritual traditions have dwindled to nothing—people believe that life is about shopping and fucking, even the priests in various religions think this is so really; at most, religions are useful stories to be deployed to keep the system ticking over. Otherwise, the situation is complete debasement. As Devi would say, we simply have to wait for Vishnu to instantiate as an avatar in order to purify and cleanse this age so that we can start again at the top with the Satya Yuga—a new Golden Age.
The reason the Traditionalists and the cold right—effectively the Nietzscheans—are on the same side is that, unlike the flabby middle, the Nietzscheans do respect responsibility and hierarchy in one particular dimension: in the respect that scientific and technological research, in a particular interpretation of Nietzsche, should be pushed to the limit to step over man—who is seen, in a way analogous to man’s fallenness in Christianity, as much less than he could be. Further, the Nietzscheans “push what is falling”, and so could be seen as the most complete nihilists who yearn for annihilation—as a force inspired by Vishnu to end the Dark Age. To end darkness, per magical thought, so explains Devi, one most use darkness; hence, in her interpretation, the SS wore black, not because they were evil, but because they had to instantiate the evil of the age in order to end that evil.
The situation is summed up by the biblical quotation, “God spits out the lukewarm”. The Traditionalists are warm for the divine, the Nietzscheans absolutely reject the divine and are cold about it—Hell is a cold place; and yet God prefers an outright atheist to a lukewarm phoney who turns up to church because, “It’s good for the kiddies to ‘ave some values, ain’t it? Don’t believe it meself, mind.” The corruption in the Dark Age is very much mushy, mediocre, “reasonable”, and gooey; it does not have the courage Nietzsche had: “Christianity is dead, so too the Christian ethic—act accordingly.” Rather, “the mush”, even now, ticks on with the Christian ethic even though there is no basis to it—and, ironically, at the same time the lukewarm congratulate themselves as the most rational, scientific, and Darwinian people. From the Traditionalist perspective, the cosmic order—the cycle of ages—has a role for the Nietzscheans: to annihilate everything that exists.
Hence, for the Traditionalists, a figure like Nick Land—with his homespun Kabbalah and techno-materialist take on esoteric matters—represents a profane inversion of Tradition, and yet insofar as his outlook “pushes what is falling” it represents a necessary movement to end the Kali Yuga; such an initiative will not come from those who talk about “rational altruism” or who profess to “love science”, since they do not take the implications from scientific investigations to their logical conclusion (e.g. eugenics); truly Satanic activity conceals, the lukewarm might be “nice” but in their niceness they maintain an age of hedonistic mediocrity which is neither really spiritual nor really Luciferian—just plodding along, plodding along with pleasant lies; a really Satanic situation.
For Devi, there are three types of men: men within time, men against time, and men above time. The men within time are essentially those I have described as “the lukewarm”; they go with the flow, not in some Zen-like sense, but rather in the sense that they are complicit in the general trend towards mediocrity, materialism, and hedonism; the men above the time are the saints and awakeners, the Christs and Buddhas, who have identified with eternity and so stand beyond the stream of time—obviously, such men, being saints or the founders of faiths, are rare and practically non-existent in this age; finally, there are the men against time—these are men who sense that the general spirit of the age is decline yet do not disidentify with it but rather decide to destroy the profane material reality. Devi’s interest is primarily in these “men against time”, these avatars of Vishnu—among whom I would include Nietzsche, as a man who pushed against a mediocre age and longed for aristocratic purity and yet was obviously not an entirely spiritual figure like Buddha or Christ; more typical examples, for Devi, would be Genghis Khan and, of course, Hitler.
These “men against time” are the proverbial forest fire that necessarily occurs once every few years to rebalance the forest ecosystem; in a sense the fire is “evil”, it is, indeed, unpleasant to see koalas burned down to the flesh—and yet without the fire the forest would grow “flabby”, the new roots could not grow; and some trees, evolved to reproduce as such, could not germinate. This attitude is quite an artistic one; the idea that chaos leads to creation—chaos is necessary to creation—and that should include the political realm, too. For Devi, the destroyers are the greatest creators—just as every month a woman’s body tears itself apart and flushes the menses out, so too we must shed blood as a precondition to create. Devi’s attitude is, therefore, artistic—mathematics is an art after all—and non-dualist, as her Hindooism would recommend. Technically, people who oppose her ideas are not “evil”—although she does call them as such—they are just unbalanced; they think the world can just be all sweeties and frappucinos from Starbucks, sickly sweet; and yet such a world is unbalanced, non-procreative, and ultimately dead in the deepest sense.
In line with her non-dualism, Devi seeks to integrate—individuate—her heroes through a reconciliation of opposites. So she characterises the “men above time” as the Sun; they are the Apollonian type, the Buddha or Christ who smiles down on every living thing from eternity—they have unlimited compassion for all, and they know that, in the cycle of ages, all souls that can be saved will be saved. “Why raise a hand against what is? For the Enlightened person, it is all, ultimately, as it should be. It will all turn out in the wash.” However, Devi allows that certain “Sun people” may choose to return to Earth to become violent “men against time”—or “Lightning people”—in order to hasten the progression of the ages; unlike pure “Lightning”, these people unite the Lightning and the Sun and so become achieve a holistic state, they reconcile Heaven and Earth. Although they fight ferociously and with absolute ruthlessness, they are completely unattached, in the Buddhistic sense, to their actions; they derive no pleasure or pain from their campaigns and massacres. The idea owes something to Shinto and Buddhist military codes where men would be trained to wield their swords with complete indifference, without joy or hatred—the action is entirely for its own sake, again it is an art.
Naturally, Devi sees Hitler as a man who combines “the Lightning and the Sun”; so he is a whole type person and most analogous to Genghis Khan, about whom Devi writes about extensively—including a rather obvious rape fantasy where she imagines herself carried off by the “Great Khan” himself so that he can have his wicked way with her. With this worldview in place, Hitler is no longer “the most evil man of the 20th century”—if not all time—as he is currently retailed, rather he is an almost saintly man whose artistic sensibility allowed him to intuit the fallenness of the world and take the necessary action to correct it. Forces then worked through him to undertake a purification—this man was a forest fire—and end the Kali Yuga; unfortunately, he failed—and so we wait for another avatar to complete his task, the final avatar. We wait for the man who will go one better.
As Devi notes, Hitler was a strict vegetarian. “He loved animals and children!” This seems a little too “nice” for a great destroyer, a new Khan. Yet this is entirely in keeping with his position as a “man above time” voluntarily returned to earth. Even if you accept the most elementary conservatism, such as Burke’s contention that there are “rights of Englishmen” but no such thing as “the rights of man”, there is no unitary “humanity” except at the most elemental level. It follows that, in fact, some animals will be higher than some people; in other words, there are tigers that are as noble as Englishmen or Germans, and there are certain tribes that are much less noble than tigers.
You have probably seen such types in the wild. Have you not been to the zoo and seen some wretchedly obese child waddle about, mask firmly in place over his mouth, whining and complaining to his mother—perhaps ignoring the beautiful animals and trees about him to play with his stupid phone (Beep! Boop! Beep!)? Then you see some poor tiger, possibly slightly drugged to help it endure its time in the pit—vile children are paraded before it and call it names; sometimes they throw drink cartons at the tiger to get a reaction. They sneer, they make passive-aggressive remarks, and they whine—the zoo is boring; they want to go torture a cat or another small animal or play computer games. Well, let us say you see that obese boy leaning over the rail at the tiger enclosure. Why not just gently lift him up, up and into the pit? After all, the tiger is so much more noble; he has spent his life in that concrete pit and never known the joy found in real pursuit—the activity he was born to do. Here is the chance. Do you really think that boy is worth more than that cat?
And, after the cat has a taste for man’s blood, why not sneak round behind the enclosure and unbolt the doors? Imagine that tiger as it chases those vile little children about the zoo; previously, they were obsessed with their sneakers and Fortnite and their malicious little games—their plans to torture innocent animals, to sneer and lie and cheat, and to obliterate beauty and innocence everywhere they find it. Now they are pinned down under a great cat’s paw.
Imagine the heavy pad on your back, the creature’s weight as it holds you down; the breath is hot against your neck. The jaws close, your body tugs left and right—something (an arm?) snaps, but the adrenaline means you feel nothing—“I’m being eaten. I’m being eaten. Oh God. I’m being eaten.” From the outside, it seems slightly strange and almost comic—yet it is true, the prey, in its disbelief as to what has happened to it, simply says, “I’m being eaten. I’m being eaten.” After less than a minute—though it feels longer—your ears start to ring. You cannot move now, but somehow it no longer matters; suddenly everything is very calm and distant—very peaceful. The ringing stops, it is quiet; you want to go to bed, to sleep, a nice gentle sleep…ah, yes, just the thing…the darkness closes, and then there is the light. The cat does not lie or cheat, the cat is not cruel—it snaps necks quite quickly; it is almost as gentle as a gas chamber…
Hence Hitler was a strict vegetarian; he just happened to think animals—some animals, not all—are worth much more than some humans. The degree to which you think it was wrong for German scientists to dump concentration camp inmates into freezing waters to accrue very accurate information as regards the onset of hypothermia in their airmen downed in the North Sea depends on how far you think humans are valuable in and of themselves—how far you think they are “nice”.
If you support “Human Rights”, just use animals—just like that nice Dr. Fauci. Make the beagles smoke the cigarettes and drop chemicals in their eyes. Devi’s view is, as expected, quite logical and consistent: man is an ugly animal—many animals are superior to him, or most men anyway—and it is intrinsic to our ugliness that we torture beautiful innocent animals. You complain about Auschwitz; well, replies Devi, you slaughter innumerable noble and beautiful animals without a thought every year, torture them for cosmetics to put on ugly women or to keep people alive who, due to their sexual incontinence and filthy practices, have contracted AIDS—it is “animal Auschwitz” every day of the week; and yet those animals are so much better than most humans, at least they never told a lie—and there is a beauty to that.
Devi says, if you want these treatments and beauty lotions then why not experiment on people first? Why do we have to kill and torture beautiful innocent animals so that some ugly man can slurp his McDonald’s and never leave his car and watch his porno and lie and steal and cheat? If we are going to invent drugs to extend his ugly and worthless life, why not experiment on him first? Any volunteers? No, because you have no courage. You like to say you care about “humans” but you would never be experimented on to save them—well, maybe a few people would do so; but they are the minority—if they are noble enough to volunteer, to really care about “humanity”, they are almost already inhuman Devi-ites.
This is why “animal rights activism” slides into neo-fascism and, in particular, neo-Nazism—as endless cautionary news shows intone. If you think animals are more noble than many humans—possibly most humans—then when you consider how humans treat animals you will be appalled. The nobility in animals derives from their unselfconsciousness; they can hardly dissimulate or calculate from behind a mask—if they bite, they bite frankly and without malice aforethought. Without language, animals cannot really betray—certainly not in the sophisticated ways humans do, anyway.
In her defence brief for Hitler, Devi appeals to honesty: violence and murder are constant and general in the world—the Allies supported Stalin’s Russia and kept his Gulags ticking over, and then flattened the Japanese with atom bombs in what was, in essence, a race war. Later, they held the Nuremberg Trials in an act of victor’s justice; the Soviet judges who sat in judgement came from a camp system almost identical to the one they condemned—except, rather than a selective and discriminative slaughter, the Soviets just killed anyone; the Communists were very democratic—they would kill anyone, not just Jews and gypsies; and, actually, they were perverse—they started with the healthy people, the kulaks, first. Stalin had shot eight million Russians before Hitler started; and yet he was our closest ally—no “genocide” there, apparently.
Similarly, Devi condemns men like Gandhi for hypocrisy. Gandhi acted as if the Golden Age were here again, an age without violence or coercion. Yet, really, he was violent: he used moral violence—“non-violent activism” is manipulative, it does moral violence to the other person; it puts them in a double-bind, to use psychological jargon. Devi says that it is much more frank and honest to be straightforwardly violent, rather than, as with Extinction Rebellion, lying on the road until enraged motorists drag you away: “I’m a victim! I’m a victim! Look at the violence inherent in the system!” This passive-aggressive outlook is, ironically, classical bullying behaviour—and it is why it is well known that teachers often intervene to punish a child who stands up against his bully; the bully has been engaged in passive-aggressive moral violence for months, the other child has snapped and acted with frank violence—now he is punished.
Devi would say roughly the same happened to Hitler: the Jews carried out passive-aggressive moral violence against Germany—which it is claimed is not “real violence”—and then complained when frank and straightforward methods were used against them. Violence is a violation, it derives from the same root as “viol”—rape; it is to make someone do something against their will, to get inside them—to violate the integrity of their will. Devi’s point is that it is better to come at someone like, frankly, some SS man with his baton than to get inside someone, as with a Christian priest or Jewish intellectual, and coerce them invisibly. Man coerces man through violence, better to show the cards openly than do it covertly—to lie about what you are about.
A similar point was recently made by the pop academic Lacanian Slavoj Žižek, who pointed out that in the old days when a child visited his grandparents the grandmother would squeeze him and kiss him goodbye and the boy would squirm away from the embrace and the oppressive odour of lavender talc and go, “Ugh, gross.” Then the father, at home, would say, “You may not like it, but if you don’t hug and kiss grandma back, I’ll spank you.” Today, the modern parent would say, “Now, look, if you don’t hug and kiss grandma back she’ll feel very sad, she’ll feel you don’t love her. You don’t want that, do you? You don’t want to make grandma sad. Don’t you want to hug and kiss her back now?” Žižek’s point is that the real “love” comes from the child who straightforwardly knows he puts up with his grandmother—or any overly demonstrative female relative—and her embraces because otherwise he will be physically chastised. It is the “kinder” non-physical option, the one that seeks to confuse the child as to his real motivations and emotions about the embrace, that is actually much more cruel—much more coercive and manipulative, more violent in fact; it violates at a deeper level than physical coercion.
Devi would agree with Žižek, she would say that we live in a world of coercion through violence—because we live in the Dark Age—so let us at least be honest about what we are really about and not do moral violence to a person as well; let them experience the ferocity, the real, directly—and let us use this violence to end the Dark Age. If you morally coerce someone, they will not even be able to stand up for themselves when directly threatened because they will be confused as to who has transgressed against whom. The spanked child at least knows he acts under coercion—perhaps he will eventually push back against that coercion, whereas the psychologically manipulated child is denied the chance to finally say, “You held ‘the stick’ against me, but now I’m as big as you, Dad, and I don’t have to listen anymore.” The psychologically manipulated child, by contrast, remains permanently neutered and has lost his locus of control because he no longer experiences his own ambivalence—no longer knows that he dislikes mwah mwah and cuddles from female relatives, he cannot admit that to himself. Instead, he tries to imagine what the other person feels and then to please them—a narcissistic trait.
Incidentally, this is not about a parent who delivers a savage thrashing to child in what could be called a genuinely “abusive” act; perhaps the father in question only spanked his son mildly once and every other occasion has been a threat—yet the point remains; there is still a real threat, even if the chastisement is mild or a theoretical threat that references one original spanking. Ironically, “the spank” is somewhat closer to “real love”; and doubtless Žižek would have some Lacanian bromide to explain why “real love” only happens when we have a stick behind us, not when we are manipulated “voluntarily” into sweet sentiments. Probably Žižek would imagine a wife who says to her husband: “You never even slap me, do you think so little of me? If you really loved me, you’d…”
To foreground her main case, Devi presents two men to exemplify “the Lightning” and “the Sun”: Genghis Khan and Akhenaten. We have already dealt with the Great Khan, and he is simple enough: he was born with a clot of blood in his hand and he dotted the world with piles of skulls. He is still with us now, so many women did he take—and that is why the Russians look rather Asian. When he died, his body was taken back to his birthplace and his entourage killed everyone they encountered on that journey and burned their settlements—it was the Mongol way.
Akhenaten, on the other hand, was Devi’s true passion: the Egyptian king, who lived about 3,300 years ago, overturned the priests and old gods of Egypt and replaced them with the Sun. This was not exactly a new God; it was, for Devi, a rational and scientific religious reform—the Sun does give all that lives on earth life, even a contemporary scientist would grant that. Therefore let us worship it, since it instantiates the cosmic order. Unfortunately for Akhenaten he was a bit too early in his ambitions; a gentle “man above time” he sought to live as if the peaceful Golden Age were now—rather as Gandhi tried to use techniques suited to the Golden Age in an age of gloom and violence. Consequently, Akhenaten was overthrown and his new solar capital destroyed—another lone genius overthrown and destroyed by disloyalty and envy (remind you of anyone yet?).
There are Nietzschean elements in Devi’s account of Akhenaten; the lone genius who fights against priestly superstition, the Gnostic who offers each man his own path to salvation without bureaucrats or “experts” in the way. Akhenaten also exemplifies Devi’s general thrust—common to all Gnostics, even the slightly soppy Robert Anton Wilson—that the division between man and nature, so central in Abrahamic religions, is false; man and animals may be judged on the same plane. There is only nature; man is nature knowing itself—and in the process this makes the cosmos; for Aryan man there is no need for superstition because science and religion are one—hence Sun worship is not to substitute the being “God” for a “solar god” but rather to give reverence, rationally, to an element in nature that can be demonstrated, on a scientific basis, to sustain life. “Savitri”, in fact, refers to a Hindoo Sun god, so Devi directly links herself to the sunny side and Akhenaten; and it is the Sun-pharaoh and his cats—Devi was, as with many radical rightists, a “cat person”—whom Devi truly admires. Further, it should also be remembered that the swastika symbolises both the Sun and the Little Bear’s rotation about the Pole Star—so when Devi worships the Sun-swastika she works on multiple symbolic levels.
Strictly, Devi holds there is no afterlife; and yet, at times, she definitely thinks certain men “return” from another realm—either she means certain psychological types return, especially in the endlessly repeated cycles, the eternal return of time, or else she means that non-material consciousness represents another realm that interacts with the material plane and could be, prospectively, scientifically understood. However, she never really fills in the details; so she hovers between something akin to 19th-century Positivism—we worship the Sun because it sustains life, it has been demonstrated scientifically—and something a little more esoteric where a consciousness-form or “something” survives, somewhere, in the cosmic system; although definitely not in an Abrahamic Heaven—an idea she dismisses as an irrational superstition.
Incidentally, I think the composer Philip Glass is somewhat an adherent to Devi’s ideas—despite being a Jew himself. If not Devi’s ideas, Glass has imbibed ideas very similar to Devi’s notions; perhaps something from the Traditionalist school. I say this because he penned an opera all about Akhenaten—an opera that was not critical; secondarily, he provided the score for the film Koyaanisqatsi, a film that has a title that literally means “life out of balance” or “Dark Age”; thirdly, Glass also provided a score for a film about Yukio Mishima, the radical rightist Japanese writer who in his traditional Japanese religious outlook was a Sun-worshipper. Since Devi is against the Jews in every respect, I doubt she would be pleased by this and it is somewhat unlikely Glass would be inspired by her; perhaps he was inspired by ideas that are collateral to Devi’s notions, if only unconsciously—further, we should so remember that, per my opening quote, nothing is stranger than man; people have been attracted to men and ideas that call for their destruction and persecution before—such is man’s strange nature.
With the saintly Akhenaten (Sun) and the ferocious Genghis Khan (Lightning) set out, Devi then offers up the man who reconciles these two poles: Hitler—the man who was, in Devi’s estimation, both a warlord and a saint. After all, the saintly Sun people may, Devi explains, choose to return from their Enlightened state to aid the unEnlightened. In her view this is how you arrive at a man who is “the Lightning and the Sun” of the book’s title: Akhenaten + Genghis Khan = Hitler.
Incidentally, for those among you who quite like Devi’s general line but are a bit squeamish about all the mass murder, there is another option: in esoteric terms, you may take “the path of milk”—become a pure “Sun person”, in Devi’s terminology. However, if you do so, Mistress Devi expects you to take this commitment very seriously and to its logical conclusion. No banal anti-war marches or “yeah, I just think we should try to be nicer to each other” or donations to charity allowed. No, you better be prepared to be like the Jain sect in India; a people who take, much to Devi’s approval, the Sun principle to its logical conclusion and do so consistently—the religion’s ultimate goal is to starve yourself to death.
Devi says: “Look, if you really find all this cruelty and murder—murder of the Aryans, of the animals, and even of low people such as the Jews—too much, then by all means do as the Jains do. If you say you simply must love every thing in existence, from leeches to lions, and think that, in the end, every soul that can be saved will be and it all turns out in the wash, then refuse to kill even the lice that crawl all over you; and prepare to starve yourself to death. I fully respect that; it is as valid as the bloody iron path trod by the SS. Otherwise, I simply think you are a hypocrite who doesn’t really love every thing in existence—no, you are just a coward who wants to weasel out of a spiritual war, have a good time, and say you ‘love everyone and don’t want to hurt anyone’ as an excuse to live easy. You will, of course, continue to eat meat and be protected by the military…So if you really love everything, put up or shut up—otherwise, I suspect you are part of the problem that needs to be eliminated.” Mathematical, you see.
Oddly, Devi is in many ways just a conventional conservative—albeit one who takes everything within conservatism to its logical conclusion, as we have already seen with “the rights of Englishmen” and the men who are lower than certain animals. Hence, for Devi, the Golden Age represents a time when there is total non-violence and non-coercion; in Traditionalist terms, the cosmic geometry and its harmonies are aligned. Of course, this world is the libertarian or classical liberal paradise; a world where there is no non-voluntary cooperation at all—hence Savitri Devi is, at heart, a classical liberal or libertarian. Naturally, she recognises we are far from that age and must use methods appropriate to a coercive age.
Further, somewhat amusingly, Devi, in a typical “moderate centrist” move, is keen to say that she is against all “-isms” and ideologies—men should just use their common sense, bind themselves loyally to their comrades and families, and not worry about ideas. She somewhat contradicts herself here, for elsewhere she is very keen on one particular “-ism”—National Socialism. Yet, generally, Devi simply repeats a fairly standard conservative point; if you give men the freedom to exercise their common sense you will arrive at an emergent order—not the ideological uniformity found on the left but rather a rough agreement as to what reality is. Men such as Eisenhower, Napoleon, and Cromwell are all recognisably of “a type”—the statesman-general type—and yet they only became this type through the exercise of their own judgement, their own common sense, and determination to maintain their loyalties. Hence the left sees “Hitler” or “Mussolini” anywhere they see a man who uses his own judgement, common sense, and maintains his loyalties—e.g. Donald Trump—because if you let men “off the moral leash” they reach roughly similar conclusions, albeit with their own quirks.
Napoleon, Hitler, and Eisenhower did not believe in the same things in the way Stalin and Mao both believed in Marxism—and yet somehow the former men resemble each other, despite their differences; and this is because they were men involved in an engagement with reality mediated by their particular temperaments—the same, yet different. These men tend to be dynamic and changeable precisely because they react to a changing reality—a complicated place; this is not, as the left says, hypocrisy; it is just what engagement with reality looks like—rather, it is the left that is susceptible to hypocrisy because it must maintain a rigid moralised belief system, even when it contradicts reality. In all this, Devi is just a standard conservative—how many times have you seen someone caution against “totalitarianism”, “-isms”, and “ideological thinking”? Similar points are repeatedly made by the right today—as I say, all she does is push an idea to its logical conclusion.
Unfortunately, it is when it comes to Hitler that Devi starts to lose her logical consistency—it is with Hitler that the giddy fangirl takes over. If Devi had only said Hitler was a man like Genghis Khan, a man purely “against time”, then it would have been fine. To view Hitler as a warlord with a warlord’s ethic and without the moralisation involved in the contemporary accounts—Hitler as absolute evil, our Satan—would be a useful corrective; judge him as a warlord, judge him on the same terms as Genghis Khan. Unfortunately, Devi does not want us to do so. For her, Hitler is Akhenaten and Genghis Khan in one—or, really, Nietzsche’s overman: “The soul of Christ in the body of a caesar.”
Yet, when you look at Hitler, you do not see Olympian indifference, you do not see the returned Buddha who sets about his mission to end the Dark Age by, regrettably, violent methods. Instead, you see a man who tended to rant and rave. I am not even sure Genghis Khan ranted and raved, probably he did—yet surely Akhenaten, Devi’s saint, would be coldly indifferent; he would be a surgeon who cuts out unfortunate human material; though it causes him pain, he has no emotional entanglement with it. Hitler, by contrast, seems to me to have been very emotionally entangled in his ideas about the world, to say the least. The view that he was coolly measuring the situation and taking terrible—if necessary—measures simply does not reflect the historical Hitler we see, just watch the newsreels where he really “goes for it.”
As an artist, Hitler undoubtedly had shamanistic powers. I am sure he did channel spiritual entities; yet I do not get the impression that this was a man who was balanced and knew exactly what he was about as he did so. Hitler’s actual religious beliefs are difficult to ascertain; however, he seems to have been in many ways a conventional 19th-century materialist, a Machiavellian who used Christianity and neo-Paganism as they suited him, and also a man who thought that his Will was projected into the universe to become Providence and fate—so if he talked about Providence and someone happened to think he meant “God” or a divine order he did not mind, but it was not what he really meant. He was dismissive as regards Himmler’s esoteric pursuits and neo-Paganism. Overall, this does not really fit with the idea that he was a returned Enlightened man; it seems rather that he was a Machiavellian artist who happened to be possessed by various entities, perhaps including the entire consciousness and repressed desires of the German nation—he was possessed by an entire people and their resentment over Versailles and the Great Depression.
All this leads Devi to become silly; although she is relatively better than many apologists when she at least admits Hitler killed vast numbers and this was okay—i.e. she does not pretend he did not exterminate the Jews and others—she begins a campaign late in this book to make out the war was thrust upon Hitler, and that he really did not want to hurt anyone. How the Second World War came about is immaterial here, for, in Devi’s own estimation, Hitler came to end the Dark Age through…mass murder. She has already said this is necessary hygiene, if not “good” then an essential facet in the cosmic order—an ugly job, but someone has to do it. Now she jumps back and tries to make out that Hitler never intended to hurt a fly and was forced to be beastly. This makes no sense in her own terms; he is meant to be like Genghis Khan, just in an indifferent way—he is meant to cleanse with a Sun-like indifference. If this is so, why would he not want war?
Now, says Devi, he just wanted to quietly build up Germany but was interrupted by the Jews who thrust the war upon him. If only Devi had stuck to her guns and said, “He was sent precisely to kill millions of people. And he did it—the only disappointment is that he was not the final avatar and he didn’t kill more to end the Dark Age.” The problem is that she knows, really, nobody is that logical—she could never convince people if she said that, it is too inhuman even for her; and, anyway, she is still all dizzy for Hitler. She is the mother at the school gates whose son is universally reviled as a bully but who says, “Oh, he’s never hurt a fly; he’s my little angel.”
Similarly, although Devi is throughout a strict non-dualist—not least in her central idea that there are Lightning-Sun people who reconcile two opposites—when it comes to the Jews she becomes a complete dualist, if not Manichaean; and this is ironic, for elsewhere she attributes such dualism to Abrahamic and Jewish contamination—to Pauline Christianity and Islam. Paracelsus famously said—very scientifically, so Devi should approve—that poison depends on amount; a tiny droplet of cyanide can cure, a full droplet can kill. Yet, when it comes to the Jews, Devi just rules them out absolutely; they are just bad, beyond redemption—she cannot even say a tiny droplet of the Jews could be good; hence she contradicts her own non-dualist perspective.
Devi is also confused as to who “the Jews” are. She says the Jews are a tight ethnocentric conspiracy—much tighter than the Aryans, she laments—and yet, at the same time, she says the Jews are not really a race; they are more like a criminal conspiracy anyone can join. This is contradictory: either “the Jews” are a criminal conspiracy, an ideology like Marxism open to all, or they are a tightly-knit race—you cannot have both, and Devi’s strict racialist thinking would exclude both on her own terms; she thinks racially, but if “the enemy” is not a race then why think racially? Actually, this whole idea is not put forward in good faith; it is said by people as a double-bind to delegitimise the Jews and antagonise them as a prelude to their destruction. “You are a tight blood-brotherhood and that is how you are so effective; but you’re not a real race, anyone can join and actually you’re a criminal conspiracy and you stole your religious rites from other peoples.” This is meant to bewilder and delegitimatise people through an intentionally contradictory statement—and Devi, who earlier was so keen to say she valued honesty, has forgotten it here; for people who issue these contradictory statements know what they are about really.
Consequently, since Devi thinks that anyone can be “a Jew”, her anti-Semitism becomes incoherent; she might as well say: “Communists”, “internationalists”, “people who want to mix races”, “liberals”, “the forces of dissolution”, “the Satanists”—or even “the left” or “bad people”. Indeed, she slides between all these groups and more, yet all are “the Jews really”; except the category is now so general as to be meaningless—except it is simultaneously completely organised and completely disorganised. Of course, it is so because Devi has abandoned a good faith investigation at this point and has reverted to propaganda mode; and not very convincing propaganda either.
I am willing to credit the Jews are more involved in the left—in progressivism and Marxism—than other groups; and I am willing to entertain strong criticism; however, the way Devi tackles the issue is not even in keeping with her own religious views. Men like Guénon, frankly more spiritual than Devi, perfectly accepted that Judaism contained an extant spiritual tradition; for sure, in esoteric terms, the Jews identify with the heart Chakra—as represented by the Star of David symbol and the number 666, so leading to the Christian notion of “a synagogue of Satan”—and yet this merely means earthly success or rule; it is not “bad” or “evil” as such—except as with all such matters when it is excessive; and all it means is that the Jews have a lower spiritual awakening, in esoteric terms. This statement would be considered outrageous enough in the contemporary world, yet it is very different from Devi’s notion that all Jews and Judaism itself constitute an absolute evil. The thing with Devi is she really is the type to have taken a religious path—a primordial Indo-Aryan religious path—primarily because she had a political bee in her bonnet and wanted to use various religious ideas for political purposes.
Yet the Hindoos and Buddhists have no particular animus towards the Jews, whereas the Christians and Muslims certainly do. Probably Hitler partially admired Islam because it is even more anti-Semitic than Christianity. While it is true that Hindooism and Buddhism are more Indo-Aryan, there is little to suggest Hitler respected them at all aside from the way he utilised the swastika as a general racial symbol, though not as a religious symbol as such—as Devi seems to hope he would.
Indeed, a weakness with her is that although she worked for German secret intelligence in the Second World War she never actually went to Hitler’s Germany or joined the NSDAP; so her perspective is very much idiosyncratic, Hitler as she imagined him from a distance—and not necessarily as he was. Devi is a great anti-humanist—except with Hitler, where she becomes gushy and soft; with Adolf she becomes human, all too human. Certainly, with Hitler’s dramatic death and shamanistic sensibility Hitlerism has all the ingredients for a religious movement, and I think it probably is one and will continue as a religious undercurrent for centuries; and yet I am more inclined, given its Machiavellian origins, to think it is more akin to what Guénon called a “counter initiation”. Evola, who actually spent time with the SS in Hitler’s Germany and who was familiar with esoteric matters and Eastern religions, did not think that what was going on there, contra Devi, was generally spiritual or anything more than a nationalistic answer to Communism based in materialist ideas about race; albeit with vaguely spiritual and hierarchical themes.
The reason Christianity and Islam are more hostile to the Jews than the Eastern religions is because they are so like Judaism; as with brothers, the most brutal strife occurs between people or ideas that resemble each other—between National Socialism and Communism, for example. It is all Cain and Abel; and this is why the Anglo-Americans tended to fight with the Germans so much; not due to Jewish influence primarily, as Devi thinks, but precisely because these Germanic peoples are similar, and compete over similar “territory”—sometimes literally.
So it has all gone wrong in the final furlough for Devi; she really was a fanatic and completely infatuated with Hitler. Further, she admits that Hitler is not the “final avatar”, not Kalki the Destroyer who will end the Kali Yuga. Very well, then why expend so much effort in his rehabilitation and justification? If you really want to end the Kali Yuga you would just look forward to the next avatar—the real, final avatar. Devi is much more interested in the “failed avatar”—almost like she does not really believe her theory but thinks it is a clever rhetorical move to rehabilitate National Socialism, a political belief system she will turn into a religion, in a postwar world where it is widely reviled and discredited; perhaps, admittedly, to turn it into a religion that will spawn the “next avatar”. Yet given that she was already a Hindoo, why does the world need another religion—one forged in the Dark Age by gloomy people?
Technically, you are never meant to read Devi’s books unless you already believe what she is going to say—and if you do not believe you are meant to preface the piece with all sorts of warning signals and perhaps say unkind things about her style or appearance to emphasise that you think she is an evil Nazi evil evil. For me, the lesson from Devi is slightly different; the lesson is this: women cannot think. The same problem is evident in Arendt; her mind is a palimpsest for all her former lovers. In her work you will see: St. Augustine, courtesy her first mentor Karl Jaspers; then you will see references to language and technology, from her lover Heidegger; and, finally, she will cap it off with references to the working class and the Paris Commune—from her husband, a social-democratic intellectual. All the different levels never knit together, because all are contradictory—these are just the ways in which the woman’s intellect has been written and overwritten by her various lovers. Devi’s problem is slightly different; she seems to have been a chaste woman—yet, as noted, this just made her like a giddy teenage girl for Hitler, after the coveted signed copy of Mein Kampf (she faints after she gets it). She has a mother’s attitude to Hitler, he is a substitute for the children she never had: “My little darling angel; he’s the best boy, the most powerful boy—he never hurt anyone, though!”.
No matter how intelligent or capable women are they are all like this, so that their works are either detached from reality—start off logically and then lose the plot, as with Devi—or are just copies designed to please their former lovers; so they can clearly explicate ideas, as Arendt and Devi do, but never come up with anything really powerful or original; and, further, they will corrupt what they know at key moments. Nietzsche said all this long ago: it is a waste to teach a girl to read—even a smart girl, just get her pregnant or confine her to a nunnery.