There are times in certain people's lives when they feel that all their certainties are wavering, all their lights dimming, all the voices of their passions and affection falling silent, including everything that enlivens and moves their being. Thus, being led back to his own center, the individual confronts the problem of all problems: What am I? Then, in almost every case, he begins to see that everything he does, not only in his ordinary life but also in the domain of higher values, only acts as a distraction, creating the illusion of a "purpose" and a "reason," or something that allows him not to think deeply and to go on living. Daily routines, moral codes, faiths and philosophies, intoxication of the senses, and even disciplines appear to have been created or pursued by people in order to hide from their inner darkness, to escape the anguish of the vast fundamental solititude and to elude the problem of the Self. In some cases, such a crisis can have a fatal outcome. In other cases, one reacts and shakes it off. The impulse of an animal energy that does not want to die reasserts itself, inhibits that which has been briefly intuited through such experiences, and makes one believe that it was just a nightmare, a momentary weakness of the mind, or a nervous imbalance. Then, new adjustments are made in order to return to "reality." Beyond the reasoning intellect, beyond beliefs and what passes today for science and culture, there is a higher knowledge. There the anguish of the individual ceases, the darkness and the contingency of the human condition dissolve, and the problem of Being is resolved. This knowledge is transcendent also in the sense that it presupposes a change of state. It can be achieved only by transforming one's way of being into a new one, changing one's consciousness. Just as it is absurd for a person holding a burning coal to expect that the pain will cease before he drops the coal, likewise it is absurd to think that one can open a path beyond the fundamental darkness of existence while the individual remains what he is. To transform oneself this is the necessary premise of higher knowledge. Such knowledge does not know "problems" but only tasks and realizations.


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Introduction to Magic - Julius Evola