Tag Archives: arthur versluis

Song of the Cosmos

Julianus reviews Song of the Cosmos: An Introduction to Traditional Cosmology by Arthur Versluis in the Bkwyrm archive.

The thing to get straight about this book right from the beginning, is that the word “Traditional” in the title refers to the Traditionalist school of Rene Guenon and his followers. As such our author operates under the assumption that all “authentic” religions are descended from one unified “Primordial Tradition,” and so tries to somehow get us to accept any number of differing, mutually contradictory doctrines simultaneously. Now, while there is a great convergence among the world’s many systems of cosmology, Versluis tends to somewhat spoil the effect by insisting that relatively recent doctrinal developments are in fact part of the one original religion. He also has a tendency to fill in “gaps” in one culture’s worldview with elements from another wholly unrelated culture. He is also maddeningly vague on certain points one might think to be crucial, not the least being the literal existence of ancient “Titanic” races.

All this aside, this book is a fairly good cross-cultural overview, and we would recommend this as a starting-point for the subject.

Find this book at Amazon, Abebooks, and Powell’s.

Recent Traditionalists blog post links to Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy

Recent Traditionalists blog post at “Anarchist Traditionalism: Hakim Bey” links to Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy and is a bit of analysis related to the previously mentioned interview with Peter Lamborn Wilson at “In Conversation with Hakim Bey“.

“Arthur Versluis’s recent interview (see below) with the American anarchist Peter Lamborn Wilson, who also writes as Hakim Bey, suggests that Lamborn Wilson’s anarchism is a leftist form of Political ‘Soft’ Traditionalism.” [via]

“Although some critics of Lamborn Wilson dismiss his work as no more than an attempt to justify his own practice of ‘man-boy love,’ in my view that work is too substantial and influential to be so dismissed.

In the Versluis interview, Lamborn Wilson makes clear that what he now values in Traditionalism is its critique of modernity, not its ‘proposal’ for responding to modernity. As an anarchist, Lamborn Wilson gives the state–and especially the all-powerful contemporary state–a prime position in his own critique of modernity. His own proposals lead in a number of directions, none of them revolutionary in the normal sense, given his perception that the state always manages to co-opt revolutions. He stresses that his proposals should be taken in a poetic as much as a literal sense. The most famous of them is the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ),’an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerrilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it’ (TAZ, quoted in Sellars 2011).” [via]