Hello! Today is another conversation about Platonism and it will be devoted to the metaphysics of the warrior, the metaphysics of the martial principle. Plato did not write much about the martial principle. Warriors act as guardians’ assistants in Kallipolis, the beautiful city (which is usually translated as “ideal state”). From time to time, Plato remembers the warriors, but they certainly do not lie in the center of his attention. He primarily talks about philosophy and philosophers.
Therefore, we cannot single out the theme of warriors in Plato as a separate topic, i.e. thematize this issue, and therefore let’s freely talk about the metaphysics of the warrior, while keeping in mind the general anthropology and ontology of Plato, which in this, perhaps, a more general context of talk or conversation, or rather — thinking, will be quite appropriate.
Three functions of Indo-European societies
It is best, in my opinion, to start the subject of the metaphysics of the warrior with the classic model of (French comparative philologist ) Georges Dumézil about the trifunctional structure of Indo-European societies. In the writings of Dumézil, it is so exhaustively described, deeply and thoroughly presented and fully corresponds to the traditionalist view of the three basic types of man, the three castes (which the great traditionalist René Guénon and all his followers insist on, as well as Evola and Dumézil himself).
On the other hand, anthropological or sociological, Dumézil leads to absolutely identical conclusions about the existence of three castes. True, if for Guenon, the three castes represent the common human model, i.e. from Guénon’s point of view, humanity is divided into three main and one additional caste, and he considers this to be a universal law, explicitly or implicitly expressed in world cultures, but for Dumézil (and this is a significant correction) the unconditional presence of three functionalities is defined only for Indo-European societies (i.e. all Indo-European societies without exception: Eastern – Indian, Iranian, Indo-European peoples of Afghanistan; Central Asia – Tajikistan, Pakistan; ancient Hittites, as well as, according to Dumezil, Slavs, Balts, Thracians, Hellenes, Latins, Germans, Celts, Illyrians and all others)…
Here the question should be posed as follows: do we understand the Genonian and Evolaist model that all societies and all cultures are trifunctional, i.e. have these castes inevitably or is it a feature of Indo-European societies – this is a problem. Dumézil perfectly proves that in the case of Indo-European societies this is an absolute truth, with no doubts. But whether or not to extend the trifunctional model to other societies is another question. Let’s put it aside. Now let us take from Dumézil the positive part of his thesis that all Indo-European societies are undoubtedly trifunctional and have a threefold structure: regardless of whether this structure constitutes a political fact, i.e. acknowledged as three castes, or is it some hermeneutic model for explaining narratives, myths, institutions, ethics models etc.
This is secondary so far. But we take this statement of Dumézil as a basis. Regarding the exclusiveness of the reservation of this trifunctional model only for Indo-European peoples, we put a question mark under this. That is, we will not assert unequivocally that this trifunctionality remains in other cultures as well, but we will not deny it as obviously as Dumézil himself.
Thus, we take what is common that unites traditionalists as Guenon, Evola and Dumézil (and this common ground is the unconditional recognition of the trifunctionality of all Indo-Europeans) and move on.
What is this three-functionality called?
In India: the first caste – brahmins, the second – kshatriyas (Sanscrt. क्षत्रिय, from the proto-Indo-European root “kshatran” and, possibly, goes back to the even more ancient Indo-European “tek”, meaning “to own, acquire”, as well as “kshetra”, “kshatra” meaning “a kingdom or region that is subordinate to someone and which is in the possession”, as well as “tek”, originally meaning “power” or “principality”, i.e. authority over the area that is in someone’s possession — this is the principle of kshatriyas) and the third caste is vaishyas. In Iran, the first caste were Magians or priests, the second was rataeshta (literally “standing on a chariot”: it included warriors, the noble class), the third caste was Grhaspati, “houselords”.
In Medieval Europe, we see: oratores (“those who pray” – sacerdotes, priesthood, prayerful men), bellatores (warriors – those who fight) and laboratores (cultivating the land). These are three castes into which the entire Indo-European society was divided, which was interpreted, as Dumézil shows, in a variety of juridical and legal documents.
In Ancient Rus’ we see tsars and priests. Pre-Christian legends tell about the Sages, priesthood caste. For some time, this first higher function coincided with the royal one, as in the Scythian society, in which there was an integral figure of the kings-priests.
Partly after the adoption of Christianity, the first function was assigned to the clergy, to the priesthood, and primarily to the black priesthood and monkhood, but at the same time, the veneration of the tsar or the Great Knyaz (prince) as a special figure, perhaps, continued the more ancient, pre-Indo-European traditions, when our Slavic ancestors, most likely, had special political structures – either together with the Sarmatians and with nomadic Iranian tribes, or maybe the Germans, either in parallel, or under their influence – this issue is completely unknown, there are no documents, but most likely the Slavs had a figure of a sacred king a very long time ago (judging by legends, traditions, fairy tales, etc.). The second caste is knyazes (princes) and boyars (military squad or “grid’”, prince’s bodyguards). And the third caste is the peasants (Rus. “krestiane” = Christians, and in the pre-Christian era they were called differently, because peasants are simply “Christians”, ordinary people, but possessing the fullness of political rights: a certain household, wealth and rights, i.e. the civil status of free people).
You can also take the Ossetian “Narts” or, more broadly, the North Caucasian Narts, where the Scythian-Sarmatian model of three functionalities is very clearly expressed: alagata (Ossetian and Nartian priests), akhsartagkata” (warriors) and borat — peasants, manufacturers.
And everything that we are talking about today concerns the second function: kshatriyas, rataestra, bellatores, knyazes, boyars and grids and about ahsartagkata – the second Indo-European estate.
And then it becomes clear that if in the Indo-European model we have such a clearly expressed trifunctional system, where the warriors are stable and simply necessary for the entire structure of the myth, politics, ethical system, value model, legal structure — for everything warriors are the second estate, and differ from priesthood, which is considered as superior caste a priori, but they are ranked above the commoners who are considered as inferior estate. Hence the intermediate position of the warrior in the Indo-European model. In effect, this second place defines everything in the warrior.
If we take the theory of the three gunas in Hinduism: sattva, rajas and tamas, i.e. three forms, three elements or three forms of the plastic substance of manifestation, “prakriti” (Sanskrt. “prakṛti”: “cause, matter”, “nature”), then in Hinduism these gunas or qualitative modalities of “prakriti” (such a special plastic substance) are divided into three parts: sattva (light or the guna of white light – the brahmins are created from it), rajas (the guna of red color, denoting fire, extension, ardor – kshatriyas are created from it) and a mixture of black tamas and red rajas creates representatives of the third caste or vaishyas, which is slow warriors, but all the qualitative content of the third caste in Hinduism is associated with rajas, and not with tamas itself (although tamas, as the third guna, the embodiment of the dark substance, exists independently in the structure of the cosmos, and to be revived, to become a living being, this substance must contain the dynamic part, albeit mixed with tamas, therefore vaishyas do not represent the third guna, not tamas. Vaishya is a mixture of the second guna of rajas and the third guna of tamas. It is exactly a mixture. While kshatriya, a representative of the pure military estate is rajas, pure fire and expansion.
Today we are talking about warriors and their second place in this structure as their qualitative definition. That is, when we talk about warriors, we are talking about warriors in a trifunctional society, staying definitely between the first and third castes. At the same time, of course, we can say that in non-Indo-European societies, warriors represent an independent caste, the highest, also standing above the commoners, sometimes subject to higher levels, sometimes not.
The point is that, of course, there are warriors in non-Indo-European societies and, of course, not only in Indo-European societies, they represent noblesse, a kind of aristocracy, a kind of superior estate. But nevertheless, this trifunctional strictness in other societies is not observed according to Dumézil. For us, it is convenient to consider warriors in Indo-European context, because then we are dealing with a clear hermeneutic, interpretive structure, consisting of three floors, where the warrior takes an intermediate (second) place. This second place determines everything in them: in their understandings, roles, interpretations, ethics, in their value system.
Julius Evola: the kshatriya par excellence
Julius Evola – a traditionalist known as well as Rene Guénon, one of his followers. But if Guénon himself embodies classic brahminical streaks of the first caste (intellectualism, stance of distance, aloofness, complementarity — he does not see absolute opposition in anything, but any disorder in his mind becomes part of a more global order, he is tuned in to true, highest contemplation), then Evola himself represents a classical warrior, a kshatriya, and in his writings he even tries to somewhat restructure traditionalism: from the Genonian brahminical approach to the kshatriyan one.
Namely, Evola is a traditionalist who is trying to build traditionalism from the point of view of a warrior. So he is very interesting for our topic, namely — how does he do it?
In fact, all the works (or most of the works and topics) that Evola developed are anyway associated with this warrior type. Starting from early Nietzscheanism, then through politics (in politics, he is a supporter of ghibellism, a supporter of the Staufens, i.e. representatives of the medieval nobility who claimed primacy in the Western Roman Empire and at a certain moment entered into a very serious conflict with the Popes – for Evola the Pope and the Catholic clergy represent the first caste, and the Germanic and European emperors are the second, and in the struggle of the Ghibellines with the Guelphs, Evola sees the struggle of two types of military aristocracy: the Ghibellines put their own model, their own type at the forefront and believe that they should not be higher authority, and the Guelphs (also descendants of the Germanic family), on the contrary, recognize the superiority of the Roman throne, Popes, the catholic church over themselves — not only in spiritual matters, but also in political and legal ones; this is how two views on Medieval History arise, and for Evola the Ghibelline approach was correct).
He called himself “a Ghibelline of the XXth century” and built a model of a medieval system based on the principle of the Emperor’s domination over the Pope (without noticing that something similar existed in the Byzantine Empire, because Evola himself was not a Christian, and he tried to criticize Christianity as a whole, believing that Christian (papal) power constrains imperial power.
But in fact, the very status of the emperor was usurped by Charlemagne at the time of the disorder of the Byzantine Empire exactly from Byzantium. If we look at the Byzantine model, there is a domination of the emperor (basileus), but with complete harmony, a symphony of power with the Patriarch, who represents spiritual dominion. Therefore, temporary power and spiritual dominion (kshatriyan and brahminical principles) in the Eastern Roman Empire were quite harmoniously combined until the end of Byzantium, for a thousand years, while in the West these two principles represented a much more antagonistic model. That being said, let’s fix this ghibellism and note that all politics for Evola — including practical politics of the XXth century, in which he also tried to take part, albeit symbolically at times, but with complete existential engagement, and the interpretation of the past — everything for Evola is colored in this Ghibelline model, where the martial beginning is placed at the center of the entire world system.
Therefore, his book dedicated to the Grail is called like this “The Gibelline imperial idea”, and he considered medieval chivalry as a typical second caste, as the main class, and extolled chivalrous mythology, rituals and way of life as exemplary for a noble person. This is also the subject of his book on alchemy (“Ars Regia” – “Royal art” is the art of kings, as Evola himself emphasizes, not priests). Since the King and Queen often appear in alchemical symbolism, Evola brings this royal art, alchemy, closer to a specific, mystical theory addressed to the warriors, the kshatriyas.
Accordingly, hermeticism and alchemy in his mind become the priority form of the implementation of the military principle. Buddhism, to which Evola devotes the book “The Doctrine of Awakening“, where he is again interested in the figure of Pratyekabuddha (that is, the figure of one who achieves salvation for himself and his own will – almost superhuman Buddhism, unlike Mahayana Buddhism, which knows compassion, Bodhisattva. For Evola, it is the ideal of Pratyekabuddha, who becomes a Buddha by itself, not depending on anyone, relying on its own inherent possibility of the Absolute – this is a warrior path for Evola, which is as close to him as possible). One of his first works was “Theory of the Absolute Individual”. The Absolute individual is also a largely evolaistic model of the warrior beginning: he holds his own from the earliest texts to the latest.
In the same way, Evola considers Indian tantra and especially Shaivism in a broader context as a method of realization of the warrior beginning in particular, an active attitude towards the world of sacredness — not just the perception of sacredness as something that comes “from somewhere” (as Evola interprets Brahmanism), but it is the volitional mastery and subordination to thyself of the sphere of the sacred through interaction with the sacred as feminine energy, which a man subdues, tames and makes his instrument or his element. In “The Yoga of Power”, Evola develops this idea. From the point of view of extreme heroic masculinism, very reminiscent of the warrior archetype described in “The Metaphysics of Sex”, and the same glorification of the masculine martial beginning is articulated in the “Revolt Against the Modern World”, an attempt by Evola to global revolutionary reconstruction of all stages of history — from mythological to modern. We see an equal masculine priority in one of the authors who influenced Evola – Otto Weininger, who dedicated his book “Sex and Character” to the glorification of the masculine warrior principle and, to a large extent, to the criticism of the female principle (openly misogynistic work).
In magic, which Evola was interested in (in particular, the three-volume “Introduction to Magic as a Science of the “I”” — a compendium with a significant part of texts written by Evola) – and he puts as well warrior magic in the center of attention — the magic of the active masculine principle, which subjugates and conquers everything else. He becomes not a kind of recipient of spiritual forces, but he subordinates these spiritual forces to himself and rules over them. Well, properly speaking, in the same collection Evola often refers to Neoplatonism and especially to Plotinus, who is a classical, Roman, Apollonian, extremely military author for him.
So, Evola is such a singer of the second caste, the military principle, and in traditionalism he, along with Guénon, is one of the most important columns. He provides a huge field of meaningful material devoted to the metaphysics of the masculine beginning, and with an approach that obviously justifies this metaphysics.
Naturally, in the context of our civilization, such texts and positions look completely revolutionary, as a challenge to everything and everyone — frank, calm, self-confident and absolutely radical masculinism, heroism and bellicosity of Evola – the peak of politically incorrect discourse today. Even in his time, he evoked a certain horror in Philistines’ eyes and admiration among partisans. And today he is at a completely unattainable height in the glorification of the masculine warrior principle.
I recommend his works – this is a necessary reading in order to comprehend what the masculine principle is. In general, if you are interested in what the masculine principle is, then you cannot do without Evola’s works. Without his work, you don’t understand anything about it at all. This does not mean that you have to follow him in everything. But you must know him. It is not compulsory to be his follower: everyone will decide for himself. But Evola is a reading that absolutely must be read and re-read.
Power: Valor, Welt, Gewalt
The third point worth talking about is that the second principle is related to power. It is clear that power is a huge sphere of philosophy and political science. The only thing that can be said is that the Russian word “vlast’” (power) goes back to the Indo-European root vaale, which means “to be strong, potent” and “to possess,” and the Latin valeo goes back to the same root “power”, whence valor, i.e. value, significance (and this is very important, because the conception of value, if what is worth is associated with power, because power is might.
What is valuable, in itself, has a certain potence, hence the concept of value as worth: it is not a passive, but an active form of power. So, “value” is semantically, conceptually, inextricably linked with power. And here the German word from the same root vaale is the German Walten, which means “rule”, “realize”, and hence the interesting words: Welt (peace) and Gewalt (violence).
Power is inseparably linked with the second caste, since in all Indo-European societies (and in most non-Indo-European ones) it is associated with the warrior caste. Therefore, the warrior is the bearer of power, the will to power, he also creates values (hence the great importance of value (Werte) for Nietzsche). But value is not in the sense of the mercantile (third caste), but in the sense of the second caste, dignity (valeo – valuable/valid, valor), i.e. it is a heroic concept. Because the very origin of value (valor) is from valeo, which means “I command”, “I rule”, “I master”. This is also very important: not an exchange, but a measure of power is a value. By and large, in the very origins of the concept of value and worth lies the imperious, kshatriyan principle, and not the commercial one. Hence the German Walten meaning domination, Herrschaft, Wirken (“to realize”) and the Russian “vlasti“, vlaado, and the Old Slavonic “vlast’” as domination.
Interestingly, even in Tocharian (a very ancient Indo-European language), the Tochars lived on the territory of modern Xinjiang) we meet the root valo, wel or a derivative from it lant (as the name of the king), as ule ente, i.e. wel lant (“ruling”). Of course, the German Welt is striking, that is the world as power, as might — from here Heidegger forms the neologism Welt weltet, i.e. “the world is violent”, “the world exists through the process of itself”). In Russian, “mir” (Rus. world/peace) is more likely silence, tranquility, but in German Welt sounds the raging element of the masculine principle. And if Welt weltet means “the hero is heroic”, “the violent spirit is on a rampage”) — this is how semantics organizes the basic concepts differently. For us, mir is something peaceful, sweet, everyone went to bed, fell asleep well under the Christmas tree, on the bench, and for the Germans, the world is Gewalt, where a violent horseman appears and begins to chop right and left. For the Germans, peace is a storm, Sturm und Drang, for them peace is power, ruling power, the creation of hierarchical asymmetric systems, subordination, war, conquest, putting a boot on the head of a defeated enemy is peace. This is valor, this is valeo, this is value. A completely different basic concept to the most fundamental existentials. This is very important for understanding the metaphysics of the warrior, the metaphysics of the masculine principle, up to the roots and symbols.
Somatology: the human body — intelligent, brave, stupid
Our next part is the somatology of the warrior principle.
But in the beginning, just an easy digression: recently I asked myself this question — is the body of an intelligent person different from the body of a stupid person? With the point of view of modern culture and science — of course not: if there is some kind of equality between people, then this equality is first of all bodily, since smart, and stupid, and rich, and poor, and powerful, and paltry, and marginal — they all with are considered the same in the optic of corporality. This is through the lens of modern physics, biology, chemistry. Yes, a rich or powerful person can afford a little more in taking care of their body. But the very structure of the body remains the same.
But in reality — exactly according to Plato — everything is not at all like this: in traditional society bodies are not alike. If a person is intelligent, he has not just “smart brains”, but they are smart in everything: they are smart in their skin, they are smart in their nervous system, in their breathing, in their heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, veins, tendons… An intelligent person is smart in everything because from the viewpoint of traditional somatology (we talked about it a little in previous conversations about Platonism) the human body is inextricably linked with the chariot of his soul.
If we take the model of the soul, set forth in Plato’s Timaeus dialogue about how the chariot of the soul with two horses and with the charioteer corresponds to the body, then the following picture takes a visible shape. The black horse of the soul (which is called επιθυμια – the horse of lust is what is located in the human body below the diaphragm, in the lower part, which includes liver, stomach, genitals, spleen, gallbladder and all the rest that is below. And this is some “separate body”; yes, this is our body, but this is the “body of a black horse”, the life of a special black essence.
It is interesting that Paracelsus believed that a small alchemist lives in the stomach of a person, who is constantly engaged in the activity of “processing food”: he weaves worlds, creates and reorganizes dreams and desires. The alchemist as black horse is a kind of independent corporeality within us.
The second horse of the chariot of the soul, according to Plato’s Timaeus, is the white horse, the warrior’s body, which is located in the chest. The white horse represents the warrior’s body par excellence. This is the second estate horse (the black horse is the third estate, the white horse is the second estate, and the charioteer is the first estate. White horse, which corresponds to such a concept and name as θυμος, “fury.” This furious principle forms a furious body that corresponds to the thorax, shoulders, arms; all that is close to the heart, lungs, up to the throat.
A very important element in our definition of the warrior’s body are the wings. A full-fledged figure of a man, i.e. – a full-blooded warrior, necessarily has two wings at the back, which accrete to this intermediate chest area, to the area of the white horse (hence, by the way, the image of the Gandharvas (Sanskt. गन्धर्व, gandharva, “exhaling fragrance”) in Hinduism, which we will talk about a little later), appearing as winged horses, simply horses or winged birds. This is associated with the conception that right there, in the area of the chest, in the area of the central part of the human body that a substantial part of the soul resides, which should get off the ground. Precisely because this white horse is more sane – it is able to take wing, return to the divine paths under the influence of the charioteer. Accordingly, the wings belong precisely to this middle line.
And finally, the first level is the head. From a logical point of view, the head is the place of κυβερνηθη, i.e. “driver”, “Charioteer”, “helmsman” is – in its turn – a certain body of Being or the body of a daimon — the body of a deity that lives in us and moves us.
Accordingly, if we approach platonic somatology in this way, then an intelligent person isn’t just not stupid, but, what is important, he is not cunning, not quirky (who knows how to strike through to get somewhere, pierce, to steal something left lying around loose). Such qualities according to Plato are not included in the concept of “mind”. According to Plato, “an intelligent person” refers to the principle of φρόνησις (fronesis) — this is primarily the ability to focus on ideas, thoughts, contemplation of the eternal, as well as the desire to move away from the outside world. So, this is such a person who does not want to achieve success in the outside world, because he simply does not care about this world. From the point of view of the logic of the world, today such a person is contemptuously called “nerd”, “wacky”, “inadequate” and “marginalized”. But it is precisely such a person that Plato calls intelligent, and it is he who has an intelligent body.
Therefore, the smart body of an intelligent person is primarily the head, and if the head is activated, then all the rest: the somatic structure, the body structure is subordinated to the impulses coming from the head. And that is one kind of body. But if a person is a moron, then his lower part begins to awaken and seize control over the body, the organs that are below the diaphragm. But this is a different body, which performs a different activity: there appears a second brain. The black horse is a self-sustained human being with its own special brain, but living below the diaphragm. This is quite a shaped and capable person, but his body structure, all bodily activity is qualitatively modified in comparison with the white horse. He breathes differently, makes his blood flow through his veins differently than a smart body.
Therefore, the body of an intelligent person and the body of a stupid person are two different bodies. And this can be qualitatively measured. When medicine deals with the pulse, pressure, then it deals with the parameters of an object that belongs to something not alive. It treats human as one of its scientific subjects among other scientific subjects. But if we concern the study of the body from the inside, in its relation to the centers that revive it, it will be a completely different, more complex picture and other measures and parameters.
What is important to us in this topic is that the body of a stupid person is not entirely stupid: it can be smart in its own way. For example, it quickly senses where something lie in temptation’s way (fried, appetizing, seductive of the opposite sex) — in this special sense, it is somewhat smarter than everyone else. At the same time, the “nerdish” consciousness of the white horse regularly misses such a chance and “does not understand” that something practical would be profitable to appropriate, to make a career, etc. At this time, the nerd horse continues to attend philosophical seminars, reflect on them and generally think about something paramount…
Thus, in this sense of everyday understanding, one cannot say that the body of an intelligent person is smarter, and the body of a stupid person is more stupid. Not like this. Just the body of a stupid person strives and runs along its stupid trajectory, where there is its own stupid religion, its stupid achievements, its stupid suffering, interests, etc. While the body of a smart person lives along a smart trajectory; and there are the same things – suffering and achievements (and bodily pleasures, and happiness, and sorrow, and pain). But they all (a smart person and a stupid person) have different things …
More about the special position of the warrior’s body. First of all, it is necessary to point out that it is in the middle. And this is important. A warrior’s body is a very special body! The priest has one body, the commoner has another body, but the warrior has a third body. And this third is closely tied to the heart, lungs, shoulders and – with the wings … So, this is the part that is separated from the lower body by the diaphragm, and from the upper body – by the neck and represents an expanded sphere of the heart (as the subtle anatomy of the human being is described in Timaeus). The body of a warrior is the body of a person whose heart predominates. A warrior is a man of heart. He listens to his head, if he is a smart warrior (and a warrior can be both smart and stupid and can take cue from the head or not, obey it or not), but he still follows his heart. Not the liver or stomach, not the lower part of the human organism.
This remark is important for our topic! The one who lives with the heart does not always listen to the voices of his brain, and in the same way he does not always and often with great indignation reject the attraction of his third body, the body below the diaphragm – liver, stomach and other lower organs. But be that as it may, he always does not follow them. In general, we can say that the body of a warrior is a heart body.
The heart in anatomy is associated with the element of fire. Therefore, a warrior is a fiery man. He burns. And Timaeus in one of his speeches says that the Demiurge specially created the lungs, the element of air, so that the easily flammable human heart does not burn the entire body. Because if the heart flares up all the time, it will simply burn it. Therefore, there are lungs – the element of air – that mitigates fire, so that it does not spill in all directions and does not burn everything. Accordingly, the body of a warrior is connected with the central part of the body, with the heart and the middle.
The warrior is the king of the heart. The warrior of the heart is in the center of the windbag, which is the king’s palace – this is his palace. This is the warrior’s mansion. Therefore, he considers his white horse to be himself.
The whole chariot of the soul (black, white horses and the charioteer) can also be represented as three subjects. The charioteer is sure that these are his horses and that he is going to his goal that he knows.
The black horse believes that the white horse, and especially the idiot-charioteer, simply limit the scope of his desires, transgressive aspirations, his own black ideas about what life is. I have already quoted the narrative from Jerome K. Jerome’s novel about the Montmorency dog, whose purpose was to wallow in the mud, attack and bite unsuspecting passers-by and constantly wreak havoc wherever it goes. This is what Montmorency called “life.” The black horse in us also calls “life” something of its own.
In our world there are people of the black horse, there are whole philosophies, states, communities that are completely built on the ideas of the black horse. Plato called it “city of pigs”: where the laws and whims of the black horse dominate, where the state is based on bodily comfort, on increasing GDP, on solving technical problems. Any technological state is a city of pigs according to Plato, and the black horse there, of course, considers itself as a subject, and its desires – as a law.
But the white horse also confidently considers itself a subject. First of all, it believes that the black horse underestimates his ambitions, interferes with him and he hates this horse, which pulls him somewhere down, into the mud, into swinishness, into the slops. And the white horse therefore severely restricts his freedom.
As for the charioteer, here the relationship can go on in different ways. For example, just as we see in relation to the philosophical positions of Evola, Guénon’s disciple and Guénon himself, which purely represent a relationship between a kshatriya and a brahmin.
Here it should be additionally noted that the relationship between the white horse and the charioteer also develops in different ways, but this is a different topic and we will not touch on it.
A white horse is friendly towards the head, since it is closer to it (the chest and head in the body are separated only by the neck). But sometimes it may think “I want to rush in a completely different direction than this stiff harness and the firm hand of the charioteer “from the skull”. After all, the charioteer lives in his palace, the palace of the skull, and the warrior, as we remember, lives in the palace of the chest.
It is interesting that in many traditions the idea of rough (material) body and subtle body is considered as bodies inverted in relation to each other. Hence, by the way, the symbolism of birth: the child is born upside down (if you imagine the woman in labor standing, then it is clear that the child is born head down, in relation to the head of the woman in labor). According to the Indians, this is how the subtle body of a person is arranged, whose head is below in relation to the material body and his head. They believe that a material person has a head at the top, and a subtle person, a spiritual person, has a head at the bottom. And therefore everything is out of place. Accordingly, the main task is to return the head from below (which is forced to coincide with the black horse), to return it to its place, prepared for it in the chariot.
In other words, the delirium that in a person’s natural state is in his head must be brought down into the underground. And this is the task of awakening the subtle body with which, for example, such a tradition as yoga is connected, especially tantra yoga, which is associated with raising energy from the lower chakras (plexus of the subtle body) to the very top. This is not just an ascent from the bottom up, but this is the restoration of the correct orientation, harmony, in which the subtle body corresponds and coincides with the dense body. This is the smart body. While the body of a stupid person is all turned upside down and the soul is in it not in its intended place. And for an intelligent person, everything stands in its place.
So, the property of a warrior is rage – θυμος. The term is also very fiery, especially in Russian: “yarost’” is something bright, fierce, full of light, which very well characterizes the fiery nature of the heart.
This furious principle, this horse, which is located in the middle of our body, is quite lucky. If the head and stomach are out of place in our normal state — in the opposite place of their own — then the heart is approximately where it should always be.
Therefore, the middle position of the heart or warrior’s horse in the organization of the body (and soul) can be said to be privileged. In a normal state, for an ordinary person, the brain is at the bottom (our thin brain, I mean), and the stomach and belly are at the top. And this is tragic. But at the same time, all people – both the awakened and not, the smart and the stupid – have a heart in approximately the same place.
But, with only one amendment: the subtle heart is on the right. And from here we are talking about the awakening and activation of the right heart. So, we have a bodily heart on the left side, and a subtle heart on the right. But all the same, they are close to each other. This problem of hearts is important, but secondary to the fact that we ourselves are totally upside down in relation to our true state … We can say that this is in a sense a more particular problem – whether the heart is on the right or on the left; right heart or left heart is activated. The left heart is activated for everyone, and the right heart is activated only for those who woke up. This is, of course, a significant difference, but more subtle.
Altogether, we can conclude that the heart is the most adequate part of our body. The warrior principle, the violent principle – it is most authentic in humans. If an unawakened person has a belly in his head, this is not normal. His body is stupid, and it thinks about material gain, etc. Such a body becomes a banker, an economist, makes a career for itself, gives money at interest … Because he doesn’t in fact have a head is his head.
Yuri Mamleev has a wonderful story “Popova” about one young woman (at the moment when she comes to the registry office) has something else instead of her face – probably you can guess what … This is to the fact that in the usual state this inversion of belly and brain are truly a disaster. While both for smart and stupid people’s hearts it’s more or less all right.
Therefore, we can conclude the following – the furious warrior principle is subject to less degradation than the charioteer. The military principle, in a sense, is accessible and understandable to smart people and stupid people in equal measure. Our heart works better, it is more reliable, has more reliable information and gives us almost all the knowledge we need for life, telling us what to do after one or another of its swings. It is more reliable than the head if it does not work well, not to mention our lower parts, which obviously, wherever they lead, are in the wrong. This is a feature of the black horse: if given free rein, then it will get out of any course that would be useful, important and would lead the whole soul to happiness, salvation, prosperity and pleasure. Obviously, a black horse is a loser and putting him at the head of civilization with his interests is obviously making a catastrophe inevitable.
The Engastromites and the Minstrels of Morvan: conspiracy against the belly
The figure of the Kshatriya beginning is very witty and extravagantly described by Grasset d’Orcet, an author who was once completely forgotten and unknown by everyone, but later became famous thanks to the alchemist Fulcanelli. In his fragmentary and very exotic texts, he analyzed the novel by François Rabelais “Gargantua and Pantagruel” and in particular the plot with Mr. Gaster. Rabelais narrates about Gaster as a “king-belly”, the owner and master of a certain territory. All his submissions are divided into two categories, two irreconcilable camps — gastrolatres and engastromites. Adepts of Mr. Gaster create a kind of cult of gastrolatres – people of the belly, worshiping Mr. Gaster, their abdomen, and their numerous base desires. This is a ritual – a ritual of gastro-worshipers and belly-bearers, ardent and devoted gluttons.
But besides, there are other subjects on its territory – the engastromites. These are the ones who hate Mr. Gaster and therefore create their own conspiracy theory against him: they do not obey Gaster, in every possible way challenging his authority, being belly haters.
Rabelais’ engastromites are an accurate description of the warriors that interest us. A warrior is one who hates the belly, who must despise and fight the belly. Therefore, the engastromites, according to Rabelais, are Mr. Gaster’s opponents, fighters against “gluttony” (by the way, this is the exact name of one of the grave sins in Christianity). Such is the enemy of gluttony (in all senses of gluttony: erotic, and nutritive, and in all kinds of bodily “meanings”).
If we talk about a stupid body, then it should be noted that in such corporality, besides the fact that vices are concentrated in it, there is also a certain special concentration of virtue. Gastrolatres’ virtues are akin to some kind of brick, heaviness, dung heap. This is in the sense that corporality and carnivorousness of this bodily servant of Mr. Gaster is always strong and manifested in virtues too.
After all, Gaster asserts and speaks not necessarily only about carnal issues (nutrition, etc.), but he can also talk about morality, about religion, science, society, education. However, there is always a well-recognized carnivorousness in it: in the pronunciation of words, in the construction of sentences. Mr. Gaster, in fact, is something total. Gluttony is a cultural phenomenon, it is a whole civilization, a kind of constitution of the city of pigs. The bearer of supreme power in the city of pigs is undividedly Mr. Belly. Mr. Stomach is the sovereign ruler of the entire gastrolatric society.
But Rabelais’ engastromites (according to Grasset d’Orcet) are the type of classical warriors who despise carnivorousness in all its forms. Grasset d’Orcet describes such warriors with a metaphor, where he likens their life to a train ride, in a carriage with closed curtains. Warriors look at the landscape outside the window, see peasants, fields, birds and … lean back in their seats, not stopping their gaze on the window and its views and not getting involved in it. These are people who are not engaged in the material corporality of the surrounding world.
This is the property of a strong heart, the property of being in the chest, the property of the subjectivity of the white horse. Grasset d’Orcet calls people of this type (warrior type – classical kshatriyas) – “people of violet blood”. And again we come to the conclusion that the body is different: for gastrolatres it is one, and for engastromites it is different and another blood flows in their veins – not just “blue”, but exactly violet.
In addition, Grasset d’Orcet develops an interesting idea of the existence of two secret orders – quinta and quarta or minstrels of Morvan and minstrels of Murcia. The first one represents the “conspiracy of the quinta”, they are described as classical kshatriyas. They worship the Goddess of Death. For them, any corporeality is some kind of insult — therefore for them only a dead body becomes first-ever corporeal and not offensive. Although this is an extreme case, it also prompts them to go to war in order to kill and die themselves. Death attracts them like an inner magnet, because their heart cannot stand material reality. Their heart breaks from the chest, and if they had no lungs, it would instantly burn the entire windbag. That’s what I would like to say about the engastromites.
The Inherent Ethics of a True Warrior: The Will to Glory
Now we can say this: a warrior, of course, has his own ethics. And what is very important is ontological ethics. Warriors are those who have not just learned to fight and are trained in some kind of ethical principles. If one approaches a warrior from an ontological and metaphysical standpoint, then, of course, it is impossible to become a warrior. A warrior can only be born. Another thing is that both a lion and a tiger (theriomorphic images of a strong masculine warrior heroic principle) can be reared like a ram, like a domestic sheep. But only up to a certain point. A lion-warrior, a tiger-warrior will sooner or later throw off the alien from himself and burst into his heroic origin of rage.
And vice versa: a domestic sheep can be forced to bark, trained to attack enemies and pounce on strangers. But nothing will come of this and it is impossible to foster from this sheep a warrior by nature.
Warriors are the inborn white horse. This is a soul in which a huge strong white horse lives, with a powerful heart beating. And in this case, the black horse does not even dare to somehow declare itself, and least of all to drag in the wrong way.
But the charioteer’s relationship with this white horse is very different. We are talking about the ethics of warriors as a special military ethics. In Indo-European societies, such ethics never coincided with the ethics of the oratores (priests) and laboratores (commoners-vaishyas). The ethics of warriors (bellatores) were very special: different from the conjunction with the creative, calm and orderly life of the peasantry or with the complete detachment and metaphysical life of the priesthood or monkhood. This is the third type, completely independent ethics. And what is good for a warrior is terrible for a priest or a peasant; what is good for the peasant is terrible for the warrior, and what is good in hid turn for the priest is completely irreconcilable with the warrior.
It is interesting that Plato in “Statesman” asks such a question: what if the state will be ruled by “pure philosophers”, philosophers as brahmins, as those who think exclusively with their heads? And he replies that this is actually not very good, because they will be so soft that they will accept and understand any paradox and any opposition. And their offspring, in its turn, will completely weaken, and much more stupid, but also more aggressive warriors from other states will surely come to the land entrusted to them and easily seize such a “philosophical state” that simply will not understand what and why it should resist – so is the ruler-philosopher abstracted from the world.
But at the same time Plato providentially adds that, on the other hand, if you give the opportunity to build a state to pure warriors, then at the beginning of their reign they usually valiantly defend it from enemies, but then, in more peaceful times, they begin to fight either with each other or during a protracted moment of a military truce, they will think of going on some kind of adventurous campaign against the enemy (whether imaginary or real) – and in the end, not knowing any measure in their furious militancy and not being controlled by the mind, they will come to the same defeat. And in this extreme scenario, the enemy will seize this country either in some cunning way, or in another. Therefore, in the dialogue “Statesman” Plato asserts: it is necessary to teach warriors and philosophers general skills, as a result of which philosophers must be able to fight, and warriors must not be imbeciles.
This is the very necessary establishment of the connection through the neck, which in the body is between the head and the heart; between a philosopher and a warrior. This is the most important guarantee of a full-scale high aristocratic personality.
So the overdevelopment of a head separated from the rest or a separated heart in any case gives disharmony and as a result allows some extraneous principle (or a black horse) to seize power. The same will happen when the warrior starts to fight the priest. As a result, there will be a bourgeois, Mr. Gaster, who will take advantage of their “subtle duels” and establish his own constitution of the great belly.
So, the ethics of the warrior is dual according to Plato. On the one hand, it is associated with valor and glory – τιμή (“time”), which is the positive goal of a warrior who is ready to do anything for the sake of glory. If someone is not ready for everything for the sake of glory, he is not a warrior. That is, if someone says that he came to fight, to carry war, to defend the Motherland — then yes, this is useful and correct. But this is not a warrior. A warrior is one who puts glory above all else and the worst thing for him is dishonor. A warrior is ready not to sleep, not to eat, to accept any restrictions, to engage in non-human physical activity, but just not to hear about himself: “this is a weakling, a coward, not a noble and not honest creature”.
For a warrior, glory and nobility are his power. In fact, power without nobility is not power at all.
Power and nobility are one and the same for a warrior. Power should be light, noble, valiant, fearless.
This power is military power. And if the power is bought, if the power is somehow divided, if it is associated with some kind of compromise – this is not power at all. This is not about a warrior, this is from a different series. Therefore, if a warrior is allowed to create his own world and create his own constitution, then he will build a state of valor, a state of glory and honor. Where the values of courage, audacity and fearlessness will be above all. So, for example, it was in the Scythian society: the generally accepted idea was to die young. If a man did not die young, then he was considered a coward and, accordingly, inhuman in general. Hence the cruel, from our point of view, custom of not having old people in society, because an elderly man was equated with a coward. If he had been brave, he would have died still young. Since the goal of a warrior is not to live, but to gain glory for himself, which can only be gained in battle, through pain and death. This is the path of the warrior.
But Plato warns us this time too: it is important that this quality of a warrior does not turn into its opposite. Doesn’t become insolence, vulgar bravado or just banditry and rudeness. The white horse must also be restrained. And this also requires a second military ideal – σοφρωσύνη (“sofrosune”) – a kind of special “chastity”.
If for the black horse only restraint is necessary, and restraint in everything (from the point of view of the three-caste Indo-European society), then in relation to the white horse, in relation to the chest, the warrior’s heart, a double ethic is practiced: to restrain rabies in a violent beginning, but cultivate brightness. Rage is divided into fury and brightness – for glory, into τιμή (search for glory) and self-will, the sin of the titans – transgression (striving to transcend moral norms). Therefore, the realization of the search for glory in the context of established ethical restrictions is the ideal of the warrior. In other words, in some way he certainly limits his nature, which otherwise would have blown him apart. And in this respect, lungs like air serve as a natural limitation and obstacle on the path of the fiery heart. The fiery heart is blown by the winds of the lungs, and the breath, which itself is heated by the heart, but it also cools the heart and calms its rage. Hence the military duality of τιμή and σοφρωσύνη in his heart.
Charioteer, Horseman, Centaur / Gandharva
Now let’s move on to the next topic – horses and the chariot. In Plato’s model of the chariot of the soul (which we constantly refer to in the course of considering our topic), it should be noted that the charioteer is located on the chariot, but not on the horse itself. He drives the chariot from a certain distance from the horses. And this is the most complete regal representation of a full-fledged person who has a head that rules the heart, which in its turn goes over to the side of the head. The white horse subjugates the black horse of lust, which either diminishes or obediently drags on after the soul traveling on the train of glory and intelligence – the main figures involved, representing the sacred corporeality of a full-blown person.
We continue to consider the warrior archetype and the white horse metaphor. This horse asserts itself as a subject — both in relation to the black horse, the claim to subjectivity of which he immediately rejects; and in relation to the charioteer, to consciousness as such. The last statement, however, is more problematic and refers us to what Rene Guénon called the “Revolution of Kshatriyas”
If the warrior principle begins to completely dominate in a person, then the person ceases to think of himself as being on a chariot, ceases to be at some distance from the horse. In this case, he merges with his white horse and at the moment of this merger becomes a figure of a rider. In other words, the horse and the rider lose the distance that the charioteer and the horses had. In this case, they merge with each other into a kind of new creature.
A person dominated by the warrior principle, i.e. the white horse, becomes not a figure of a king riding a chariot, but a mounted warrior. Moreover, such an equestrian warrior who has grown into his horse. In such a situation, it is difficult to understand where the warrior ends and the horse begins. From warrior’s symbolic point of view, they are one and the same in this version.
Therefore, we now turn to the figure of the centaur. The Greeks represented the centaur as a creature that was half-human and half-horse. However, this definition of a centaur as a half-man, half-horse is the most important and most accurate definition of a warrior.
So, a hero-warrior, a man whose white horse predominates, when becoming a subject, becomes a philosophical and metaphysical centaur. Therefore, centaurs are quite real creatures, because in their description – a synthesis of man and horse – there is a certain absolutization of the heroic principle. Therefore, the centaurs were often the mentors of the Greek heroes. They gave them wisdom and knowledge about the structure of the world. Centaurs are figures of heart, an image of an intermediate (second caste) type. Interestingly, the very word “centaur”, perhaps by chance (and some believe the opposite) is associated with the Indian word gandharva.
In Hinduism, several minor gods (or demigods), who represent the horses and carriers of the chariot of the god Kubera, and who are also associated with the images of birds are called Gandharvas. It is curious that these creatures — both centaurs and gandharvas — possibly depict the figures of Indo-European nomads who remained faithful to the nomadic way of life when other Indo-European peoples moved to sedentism (settling southward, towards the chain of Eurasian mountains and further – on the territory of the Indian Peninsula, in Iran, Anatolia, Greece, etc.). The Scythians for a particularly long time remained in such an primordial Indo-European state, and where, they seemingly assumed the prototypes of the mythological centaurs in the overpassed areas. So, a centaur is not a man on a horse, but a man-horse, this is one that must be opposed to the charioteer.
In other words, the charioteer and the centaur are two actual poles in determining the subtle structure of the soul. The centaur himself is the soul that is maximally connected with the warrior principle. The horse as such, itself is the last of the chariot figures, taking the third position (after the charioteer and the centaur).
And such an extrahuman horse already strongly gravitates towards turning itself into a cannibal (as it happens in a number of famous myths) or into a pig. Therefore, a centaur is a caballine man or a man-horse. It is so animal, in the sense of being vital (ζωή), which already departs from man, but still retains the human structure.
Interestingly, the word “centaur” is formed in Greek from κεντέω “kenteo” (“cleave, chop”) and ταυρος “távros” (“bull”), which possibly means to cleave or chop bulls. It is possible that this motive is associated with cattle breeding (hence the assumption about the origin of the nomadic Indo-European tribes as breeders of horses, bulls and horse herders).
There is also one more important feature of the warrior archetype, but not in the example of Plato’s horses, but in the case of Indian Gandharvas — this is the absence of the institution of marriage (we will talk about this later).
For a warrior as such, marriage is not peculiar. For this, the Hindus even have the concept of “marriage-gandharva” (a combination of a boy and a girl without parental approval). This phenomenon is associated with folk rituals of bride kidnapping. Since the Indo-European (and post-Indo-European) nomadic peoples, as a rule, had either a shortage of women in general, or because they were forced to leave their women to graze and guard livestock. Nomads went on military campaigns, and when they returned, they left again and so on without end. Of course, they did not take women with them, but they abducted them (or rather took them as tribute) from those peoples that they subordinated to themselves, and in other cases they simply stole them. In any case, due to their mobility, they did not have women with them.
Hence the Gandharva marriage: it is the ease in the relationship between a man and a woman, not burdened by the problems of education and household duties. This is a striking difference from the peasants for whom being for the wedding, household, home for a new family is the center and the content of their entire life. While for a warrior, this does not mean anything, and a completely passing and random event. The idea of kidnapping a bride (which is still preserved among many peoples as a formal folklore ceremony or ritual) is probably associated with these very ancient images of centaurs.
Types of weapons. Disappearance of the bow in the icons of Byzantium
Next – the topic of weapons and types of weapons of the warrior. The warrior is associated with weapons, of course, and a whole lot of research could be done here. It should be noted right away that of course the warrior’s weapon ends when the use of gunpowder begins. Everything – a pistol, a rifle, a crossbow, etc. – all these are technical concepts of military equipment that discredit the warrior. The classic warrior’s attribute is a sword, a spear or a bow.
The Romans, for example, depicted Mars, the god of war, in the sanctuaries as a spear (before the Greek model of anthropomorphic figures was adopted). The warrior himself is often depicted only with his military instrument, because he himself is nothing more than an instrument – a sword or a spear.
Interestingly, in Europe, the bow as the third classic weapon after the sword (in the surviving images we also have an ax, Labrys – double-bitted axe (Labris), a halberd as very ancient symbols) was strangely rarely depicted or completely absent. The spear and sword prevail, they are the main attributes of warriors, and the bow appears quite rarely in European imagery (unlike, for example, the Indian or Iranian civilizations, where the bow is the same synonym for a warrior, like a spear or a horse). It is interesting that in Orthodox Byzantine icon painting, and hence in Russian icon painting, the bow is completely absent. This is a strange trait. That is, on frescoes and icons, figures of both foreign and Orthodox warriors are usually armed, as a rule, with spears and swords. Also, a spear and a sword can be present in the saints. For example, the spear of George the Victorious or John the Warrior, or the sword of the Archangel Michael, as well as the angelic hosts are depicted on icons equipped with spears or with swords, but never with a bow.
Of course, you might ask: what about Saint Sebastian? The most famous image of the Roman holy martyr is the miraculous example of the life of Saint Sebastian. He was pierced by arrows, but they did not touch his living organs and he survived. In classical icon painting, his iconography is common for both Latin Catholics and Orthodox. It is he who is depicted as being struck by arrows.
And although here we are talking about the image of a passive weapon, striking, but not attacking (and we actually see not a bow, but arrows) – you can still say: well, this is an exception. However, one should look at the figure of Saint Sebastian in Byzantine iconography. Here we will see that there is no trace of a bow and arrow again – according to his Life, he was a warrior, and therefore is depicted unambiguously with a spear and a sword.
This theme, with all the cosmic significance of the symbolism of the bow and its persistent absence in the icon painting of the warriors of the Byzantine tradition, in itself, in my opinion, requires more careful study. I just wanted to highlight this important topic.
Storming the citadel of consciousness. Hesychasts and the violent
Now that we have switched to Christianity, we can talk about two images of the heart. As we already understood, the heart is closely related to the warrior principle in the subtle anatomy or sacred human somatology.
The most famous and ancient monastic Christian practice – hesychasm – is “to bring the mind into the heart”. It would seem that the mind is higher: why should it descend into the heart? In fact, the mind that resides in the head (from the point of view of full-fledged spiritual tradition) is not the desired mind, and is the “wrong mind”. The “correct mind” is not there, but is hidden in the depths of the bodily cave, and in order to get in touch with it, one must go down. If the mind that is in the head descends into the heart, then the true mind that is hidden and concealed in a subtle person (which, as we said above, is upside down in an ordinary person), will ascend to the same place — and there, in the heart, happens meeting of false and true minds. Hence the meaning of the heart as an inner mountain, as a kind of main organ for contemplating the invisible Tabor Light. The very kinship of the heartfire and the Uncreated Light is also a deep symbolism of Christian (monastic) somatology, which is revealed to us in this topic.
And again we see the enduring significance of the man of the heart (warrior). A monk is a warrior, a warrior is a kind of monk, who, by the way, is a typical Rabelais’ engastromite. The monk also refuses carnal pleasures, marriage, unlimited food, laziness, but devotes himself to the struggle with his black horse. Thus, a monk is a typical representative of the warrior principle. A radical and abrupt heroic principle.
This also includes the most important message of Silouan the Athonite — “keep your mind in hell”. This instruction can also be taken as an indication of the descent of the mind into the heart. We know that the heart is “fire”, and fire in the first approximation can be read as “dark fire” and hell. Tradition tells us that the true heart is on the right – and it is in the right heart that the vision of the true Light of Mount Tabor opens. Therefore, the mind descends into the hell of the “left heart”, in the heart of the left side, in order to change and purify this “unsubtle heart” and gradually transfer it to a different quality. Therefore, “keeping the mind in hell” or keeping the mind in the heart are very subtle monastic operations associated with parallel or spiritual somatology, with the teaching about the sacred structure of the body and the meaning of the warrior dimension in our crude body.
Another important formula is found in the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew (11:12), when He answers the question of the Pharisees about when the Kingdom of Heaven will come: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.”, i.e. the context of the question was the following: «Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, «The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, «See here!́ or «See there!́ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.» (Luke 17:20-21)
Now we will compare these two questions – that “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force”, notably this is about those who use His power and acquire Him. And the second moment from Luke ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν – “is within you”. The fragment “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence” in Greek sounds like this: “βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν” (The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.). The very word “violent” – “βιασταὶ” – means “battle”, “violence”. This is a very harsh and rude verb, which in modern Greek simply means “rape.” So, the Gospel formula says that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by storm and it is within ourselves.
Here we are dealing with a certain belligerent approach – this is precisely our “rage”. The Kingdom of God within us is taken – βιασταὶ – by force, violence, and those who use it (in Old Church Slavonic we translate this term as “нудить”, (“nuditi“, “vynuzhdati“, to violate), there are those who “compel”, “make it necessary” to take It. So the concept of “to force” means to achieve something by force, in the meaning of obtaining a result forcefully. So, these mysterious Gospel words that the Kingdom of God is captured by power and only those who possess it capture (ἁρπάζουσιν) it – all this, as we see, is purely military terminology.
At the same time, we might think that this is a call for a voluntaristic and daring theomachic seizure of Heaven. But no — these are the words of Christ himself, the Son of God. And he, naturally, calls upon the warriors not to rebellion, but to fulfill the Will of God. It is the fulfillment of His Will, addressed to the heart, to the warrior in us, or to some specific full-fledged spiritual warrior — this is a call for us to carry out a furious movement inward. In other words, to take the Kingdom of Heaven by force is to wade with the help of furious energies to your source, deep into yourself. Actually, this is how we approach an important topic — the topic of warriors and subjects.
Warrior as Subject: Radical and Non-Radical
The warrior — the heart part in us — is the subject. But at the same time it is a non-radical subject. The “radical Subject” is deeper than the warrior. We can say that the warrior is not a radical subject. And Christ, when he says that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force, captured and the invaders possess it and “rapture” it (that is, they kidnap it, take it), means that this militancy is not enough, this subjectivity is not enough. But the warrior is a subject: he is active, he is strong and at the same time glorious. This is wonderful and remarquable (especially when compared to the black horse). Compared to it, the white centaur horse – gantharva, the warrior rooted in the saddle, the knight of glory – is flawless. But he is missing something.
And in order for it to become perfect and complete, he must break into its depths. And this Kingdom of Heaven, which is within us and which must be taken by force – this is the real Radical Subject.
So, the task of the warrior as a subject is not to move outside, causing trouble to enemies or heroic deeds to the joy of the people he serves to. No! The true task of a warrior is to fight with himself, to break into his inner sphere, into the secret altar of himself, into the place where the radical subject resides (from the word “radix” – “root”).
It is not just a subject who is active: a stormy, fiery, operative one who fearlessly acts in a man-warrior. But the Radical Subject is what makes this subject the Radical Subject, what constitutes it, makes it the “root” from which it grows.
If the subject does not return to this root of his, does not find his justification in the Radical Subject, in his radicalism, if the warrior does not seize that internal by battle, storm, siege, breach and all his rage — then the internal dimension, which in a certain way is protected from him , then he will be outside himself. The goal of a warrior is to become something more than himself: to break through into his own depth from his subjectivity, to go through and take by storm, to seize by siege that inner dimension that is even more internal to him than himself.
This is a very subtle point that I would like to draw your attention to: the warrior is subjective in us, but this is insufficient subjectivity. In order for him to become a real subject, a Radical subject, he must overcome himself and – only in one direction. It is in that inner direction that our Lord Jesus Christ points to us.
This is a certain order to the warrior, the order to the Kshatriyas, expressed in the Gospel of Matthew – “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.” And to dispel any doubts – the Gospel of Luke (17:20-21) shows where in spiritual geometry, in which direction is located the Kingdom of Heaven, where it is clearly said: “βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζάτουσιν, i.e. “The Kingdom of Heaven is within us.” And not “within you” (!), but precisely “us”.
Souffle, souffle! La loi de ce monde, c’est in bello, non in pace.
Now let’s take a step aside and talk about a poem by Jean Richepin, a French symbolist poet (from the circle of Antonin Artaud and Verlaine), who spoke about alchemy with his poetry.
One of his poems is dedicated to the one that he calls “Le sorcier” (can be translated as “The Wizard”). And now we will see how the figure of the Great Work — the main task of the alchemist — is associated with war. It is appropriate here to recall Julius Evola and his interest for the Hermetic tradition, explicated in the wonderful book La tradizione ermetica (1931).
Richepin’s poem begins like this:
“Souffle, souffle, sorcier du Grand-OEuvre!”
“Souffle, souffle” in French means “to blow” and at the same time to inflate “bellows”, and the forge bellows are a symbol of the lungs. Therefore, “Souffle, souffle, sorcier du Grand-OEuvre!” can be translated as follows: “inflate and inflate the bellows, Magician of the Great Work!”
And further: “Souffle les alambics grondants!” “Blow up the air and inflame your rumbling alambics (flasks).”
Then there is a description of such already quite awful figures: at the edge of the forest at midnight, the Moon kisses the hanged, and in the description of this terrible action a specific formula is used, which Evgeny Golovin often loved to quote – «Trois pas en avant, deux en arrière !
Tel va le Maître aux pieds fendus»
This is a description of the approach to completely ominous levels of the Great Work – the clash and approach of the alchemist close to a certain lower boundary (“Tel va le Maître aux pieds fendus”).
But here the poem comes to a certain declamation related directly to our topic:
“Souffle, souffle! La loi de ce monde, “Keep inflating! Keep blowing! ”- says Richepin and continues: “La loi de ce monde, C’est in bello, non in pace.”. “Therefore, the law of this world is in war, and not in peace.”
“Those who wants the future, ascents to the past” (Qui veut le futur, monte au passé.).
“Ugly is beautiful” (Le laid est beau,),
“Pure is disgusting” (le pur est immonde)
Fragments are lost (Morceaux perdus!).
“The mirror is broken” (Miroir cassé!)
Thus, the process of the Great Work turns into a great battle that breaks out within the alchemist. In this battle, the alchemist immerses in his own structures and discovers in his own body both the abysses of the black horse, which are located in the infernal bottom, and the heights of heavenly light also inside himself.
The man of the alchemical process becomes a kind of flask of chemical transformations. A battle is breaking out within him; the essence of alchemy is war. And this is the main law of the world: a battle, not a truce. Richepin ends with a beautiful and enigmatic passage:
Souffle, souffle encore ! Souffle et souffre !
Beaucoup se trouve en cherchant peu.
C’est d’un caillou gris que naît le feu.
Et dans la chrysalide du soufre
Dort l’aile d’un papillon bleu
“Blow, blow more! Inflate and suffer! ” (Souffle, souffle encore! Souffle et souffre!). Sounds great in my view!
“Much can be found when you seek little” (Beaucoup se trouve en cherchant peu.).
“From a gray stone (a pebble) fire is born.” (C’est d’un caillou gris que naît le feu)
“And in the chrysalis of sulfur The wing of a blue butterfly sleeps ” (Et dans la chrysalide du soufre Dort l’aile d’un papillon bleu)
This is the formula of the inner heroic Work, the transformation of the human body. It is very important to note here that alchemists deal with bodily structures. An alchemical transformation of the dark into the light occurs, the coarse into the subtle, the ugly into the graceful. This is a kind of internal battle that the subject leads in order to awaken — to turn over the wrong structure of the relationship between his subtle body and dense body and to realize the awakened model of truly warrior somatology. And this most complicated process is connected precisely with the war, with suffering and internal tension. Note again that «souffle» is air, lungs. And right there in the quatrain — fire is encountered. Fire and air, heart and lungs — these are the two main elements of this winged masculine hero, this warrior par excellence. It was he who was described by Plato in the form of a white horse in the triad of the soul. The task of the alchemist is to generate something from sulfur chrysolite, or to see how the wing of a blue butterfly sleeping in it is born from a gray cocoon, that is evidence of the reversal of the poles and the awakening of a new intelligent body.
Alchemy as a matter of single men
Continuing the theme of hermeticism, attention can be drawn to one remark of Gaston Bachelard, who in one of his program books (“Psychoanalysis of Fire” — one of the three monographs that Bachelard devoted to the elements: water, air, earth) — makes such an interesting remark about masculine nature of alchemy. He says: «Pour bien comprendre cette sexualisation des feux alchimiques et la valorisation nettement prédominante du feu masculin en action dans la semence, il ne faut pas oublier que l’alchimie est uniquement une science d’hommes, de célibataires, d’hommes sans femme, d’initiés retranchés de la communion humaine au profit d’une société masculine».
Evgeny Golovin often used this formula in conversations even out of context: “Alchemy is the matter of single men.” This is very accurate. A solitary man is a warrior. A warrior, in a sense, is always a lonely man.
Bachelyar writes the following:
“In order to understand the sexualization of the images of alchemical fire and the value (valorization, hence“ valeur ”,“ valeo ”-“ power ”) of the masculine fire in its action on the seed (meaning the seed of metals, which become more and more noble due to alchemical fire), we should not forget that alchemy is the science of men, single (célibataires, celibate) men, men without women, initiated and separated from human communication in favor of a purely masculine society. “
It is a very interesting observation that the warrior as an archetype is a solitary being. It is no coincidence that alchemy is tirelessly claimed to be the occupation of single men. There are exceptions, though. We know about Nicolas Flamel, who is believed to have accomplished the Great Work with his wife Pernella more than once; the hermetic apocrypha of the female alchemist Mary the Jewess, and other texts where the feminine principle appears also survived until our days.
But the particular domination of a man-warrior, a man immersed in himself, where he sees even the feminine principle in himself and deals exactly with it (with his anima, according to Jung) — this is just a very accurate remark.
The warrior archetype is not the archetype of marriage. Therefore, in a sense, a warrior is a celibatery figure: he is in a detachment, in an army — so, he is either alone or surrounded by other men-warriors. His intended is either his soul or Death, and in a sense they may coincide (hence the figure of the Valkyrie in German or Fravashi in Iranian cultures). Women-souls lead the valiantly dead soldiers from the battlefield and carry them to the warrior paradise.
The winged woman-soul (unconscious, anima) of a solitary man-warrior turns into reality and flesh only at the moment of his bodily death. His feminine soul becomes flesh exactly due to this death; she lives the death of a solitary warrior, in order to enter into marriage with him, when he comes to the culmination of his tragic warrior destiny and she also raises him to the heights of glory and immortality. This, at least, is how this situation is described in Iranian and Germanic myths. And here it is just the solitariness of a man-warrior, an alchemist, an active being who, despite the Night, goes to its edge in order to reach Its limit (as described by Louis-Ferdinand Céline in his brilliant novel Journey to the End of the Night) — extremely heroic and masculine position.
Cracks in the Great Wall: The Disappearance of the Warriors
And the last thing I would like to draw your attention to in the proposed rather fragmentary notes on metaphysics of the masculine principle is the topic of the role that warriors play in the history of civilization or in ontology.
We can recall the image of Rene Guenon from his work “The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times “, where Guenon speaks of “the cracks in the great wall.” From his point of view, the world is a territory surrounded by borders (“πειρος” — “clear limits”). Beyond, and, more exactly, under these limits reside so-called “infra-corporal (sub-corporeal) essences”, some posthuman, subhuman, hypochthonic (nonhuman, subhuman worlds or daimons that dwell below the matter). Accordingly, between human culture, civilization and this infrastructural world there is a very thin border — not a bodily one, but a border of understanding and perception of the bodies themselves.
Hence, according to Guénon, it is spiritual people (especially of the last eras, Kali-yuga) that are called to guard this Great Wall, which is becoming more and more permeable, under the blows of the hordes of Gogs and Magogs striving to break into the human world, i.e. into the world as such.
The highest task of a warrior is to be the defender of the Great Wall, to defend it, to try to patch up gaps in it, opposing those expanding cracks and holes into which the infra-corporal posthumanist (liberal-democratic, “politically correct”, etc.) mass invades the human world – object-oriented ontologists, postmodernists and simply contemporary globalists. All this, from the point of view of the ontology of tradition, is the rise and activation of infra-corporal entities, which are opposed by the last warriors, defending the Great Wall to the last.
If we approach this picture phenomenologically (not mythologically and not metaphysically, like Guenon), then we will see that our circle or the civilization we are talking about is the territory of consciousness. In contrast to the peasants and artisans, who build the objective world on the territory of the periphery of this intense consciousness, i.e. create a dwelling, produce food or weave clothes, sow crops, etc., thus placing between consciousness and “nothing” (which is between the sphere “υλε” or “pure privation”, “στερησης” “deprivation”), -hardworking Demiurges (human and spiritual) build the world of objects.
And the warriors, unlike them, do not create anything, but on the contrary only destroy. If a peasant sow crops, the warrior takes it away from him as tribute. The peasant gives birth to children, and the warrior can take them to his army or steal his wife. A warrior is at war, which is destruction and death. At war, nothing is created, but what is present is destroyed.
And now the question arises: how can the warriors, who are pure destroyers, who are Rabelais’ Engastromites, who are in active opposition to everything corporeal, formalized and dense, can defend our dense world and its structure from something? How?
And I wondered: what does a warrior protect from and how does he protect the Great Wall? (speaking in philosophical language). And here’s what can be said here: when the soldiers destroy some object (take it away, break it, take someone’s life), they destroy the “natural attitude”.
Edmund Husserl called “the natural attitude” our uncritical idea, peculiar exclusively to the Modern Age, that beyond the limits of our consciousness there is a world of autonomous things that can be studied using physics, botany, biology and other natural science disciplines.
In other words, this “natural attitude” is a naive belief in the autonomous existence of material objects outside of human consciousness. Of course, a normal peasant knows that his activity — culture and the art of cultivation — is the process of creating things that do not exist and will not exist without him, and by creating them he creates himself at the same time. This is a kind of process in which if the peasant stops participating, is not involved in creating the existence of the world, then there will be no world. A correct sacred peasant knows this.
But some wrong peasant, bourgeois, artisan, left to himself, a lackey may well fall into and falls into this “natural attitude.” It will then be easy for him to believe that things exist without him, but by themselves; that these material points separate from consciousness have their own laws, their own space. Thus, to give this “natural attitude”, which is a ludic hypothesis for a full-fledged peasant a category of reality. “Maybe all this exists,” the sacred worker thinks: there are undeads, there are vampires, there is land, and the harvest and the family — all this equally exists.” There is such a possibility of autonomy and independence of everything. But if you remove the family, remove the rite, then it can easily disappear – the worker knows. Therefore, the sacred peasant is very vigilant about the world: if you quit hold of it too roughly, the world will rush at you and tear you apart.
When the “natural attitude” began to break through, Western European culture gave external objects the status of an independent ontology. And it is with this false status that the warrior fights with and destroys it.
The warrior does not destroy the object, but the illusion that the object exists by itself. The peasant in a sacred society does not fall into this illusion, but still in modern society he can do it and this happens. Therefore, the warrior knowingly destroys the worker’s object, showing him the connection of the object itself with the subject, who creates it, who participates in its appearance. In fact, the destructive side of the warrior, who destroys rather than creates, kills and does not give birth, protects the corporal world and the world of consciousness as a whole (which dwells deeper in the body than the bodily one) from “nothing”. It does not allow the “natural attitude” to be fully established as the illusion of the autonomous existence of the external world of things beyond the limits of consciousness.
By and large, the warrior strikes a blow at “nothing”, bringing back the insignificant to the insignificant — but doing this not from the outside, from the “nothing” itself, but from the side of everything, from the side of consciousness. And through this, he does not allow a too concentrated “nothing” to break into the world of things and – most importantly – create the illusion that things exist beyond the labor of the subject-worker.
The warrior says: “but they do not exist.” And if someone tries to prove it to him, the warrior will simply destroy everything in response (labor, another life, another warrior, including the destruction of himself), in order to demonstrate the lack of value and the transient nature of the bodily world.
The meaning of corporeality is that it moves – corporeality is a process. The warrior, on the other hand, does not allow corporeality to be remain for too long, the warrior does not allow it to petrify to the extent that it will be already unbearable and finally motionless. He pushes and returns the world to its essence all the time, and the essence of the world is movement. Accordingly, that “nothing” that enters as materiality into the structure of this movement, of course, mineralizes the world and its laws, its structures and its processes, trying to convey to them the character of gravity and immobility.
But actually, in reality, it is not “nothing” itself, but it is a black beast, his antics, his modus operandi is the black horse that dwells in us and which somatically gravitates to endowing everything with corporeality and everything that is associated with lower forms of desires and concupiscence. It can be said that the black horse connects everything with some pseudo-being.
So, the warrior acts as the guardian of the border below which one cannot descend. That means that he shows the futility of presence whenever presence begins to think of itself that it can exist on its own without attentive care from the mind and spiritual structures, from the head and heart. The warrior denies that man is the belly and the world of the belly, lust, material atoms, matter. Against the existence of autonomous atoms, which, for example, in scientific laboratories dangle in an accelerator without any sense, only in order to discover another illusory scientific hypothesis. These are the hallucinations of the city of pigs.
And through this false statement and setting, that infra-corporeal, sub-corporeal chorus of subhuman beings that Guenon spoke of — attacking the world “through the cracks in the great wall” —, breaks through into our world.
And the warriors, through war, through extermination, through catastrophes, through destruction, through their very existence, stand against such an attack. When you look at a warrior, you understand that at any moment you can die from him, the one who carries a certain horror in himself. Not because he wants to kill specifically, he can of course. And you can even try to think what can be protected from him by dad, the police, the law, the constitution … And the warrior just looks and thinks: “what are you blathering?” … And if you risk continuing this thought that somewhere inside there is a guaranteed existence, except for the warrior himself, who decides to kill or not to kill here and now, then the warrior will be surprised at the audacity of these unrestrained stupid creatures who take their physical-material presence too seriously.
But! This is not a warrior’s conversation with the inferior estate. The warrior thus conducts a conversation with his own black horse, with his future and longed-for victim, who, with her bastardish existence, is trying to challenge him.
It is interesting that during the bourgeois revolutions, the warrior estate as such was totally discredited. In fact, the modern world does not know the warrior, but only the representatives of the lower classes.
A warrior is not a “military”, not an “officer” and even less a “soldier”. This is a creature that, given special prowess and for glory, can do anything. No more, but no less: the warrior lives by glory, in glory and for glory. And of course, no law is written to such a warrior. He has his own law, he actually is his own law and he moves according to his own logic. Whether in friendship with the charioteer (and this is wonderful), without him or in opposition with him (that is worse, of course).
Despite the fact that the priesthood (people of the head) and warriors (people of the heart) are today aggressively thrown into nowhere by the “constitution of the Modern Age”, the warrior as the “Templar of the Great Wall” still stands guard over the fact that the third caste (the peasantry and the emerging bourgeoisie) did not think to build the science of the Modern Age – with material bodies, physical forces, atoms, so that the world would not be irretrievably penetrated by the powers coming from the lower nihilistic infernal border. In other words, warriors carry out just such a special supervisory- destructive function.
Naturally, along with the Modern Age and bourgeois revolutions, this class of warriors, aristocrats, noblesse is constantly being discredited (what is today called “cancel culture”), that is, the warrior principle is simply exterminated. Instead of them appear mercenaries, bandits, the mafia — i.e. perverse forms, subject to completely different principles. They are not guided by the search for glory, not courage, nor audacity, and not even recklessness (and warriors, as we know, should be not just smart, but extremely brave and extremely proud), but by something infernal and different. In modern times, completely different types appear and thus there is virtually no one else to protect the Great Wall from cracks.
In addition, today it is extremely difficult to even talk about the Great Wall, because the warriors were a fundamental obstacle, one might say – they were the Wall itself, an obstacle to building a global capitalist system, and today they are almost gone and there seems to be nothing to talk about.
Werner Sombart wrote about this beautifully in the book “Merchants and Heroes”. The hero of Sombart is a typical metaphysical warrior, which he very accurately describes as a solar masculinoid, which we are examining with you today.
The situation is unambiguous: either the warrior or the trader should dominate. But it is important to note that the constitution of the tradition is written by a third, spiritual principle and it is not dominated by a merchant or a warrior. It is dominated by the Philosopher – a priest, a brahmin, i.e. representative of the first caste. And it is to him that the warrior obeys in the right society.
But how can a warrior obey? Certainly not in the way the lower castes obey! The Warrior obeys because he agrees with the Philosopher’s reasoning, because he feels that the Philosopher is carrying something beautiful. The warrior obeys the Philosopher, since he wants to take by storm the Wisdom (Sophia) – his secret source, which for him in culture and society is represented precisely by the philosophical, monastic priestly principle. Consequently, the warrior respects and accepts the justice of a brahmin. And not because he has to formally directly obey him: a brahmin has no power and control over a warrior. The brahmin-philosopher rules over him because he is above the warrior as such; for he is deeper and purer than a warrior. The philosopher is pure Light. And the warrior is fire as well. Brahman is least of all connected with materiality, and the warrior (with all his charity and hatred of the carnal) is still more affected by this than a pure brahmin.
And recognizing this, the warrior does not curtail his inherent subjectivity, autocracy and sovereignty of personal decision, in the spirit of a symphony of powers, he nevertheless recognize certain parity for the carriers of spirituality. This is how a sacred three-functional, metaphysically grounded and understood society is being built, in which the brahmins are on top, and then goes the power of the warriors. It should be especially noted that this does not mean that philosophers decide something. No, it’s the warriors who decide. Philosophers talk about what is reasonable and what is not reasonable, but it is the warriors who decide, relying only on themselves.
The relationship between a brahmin and a kshatriya is therefore not such an easy thing. This complex and ambiguous line of brahmin-kshatriya relations is most accurately, in my opinion, described by Guénon, who was opposed by Julius Evola. But Evola should also be given credit for the purely warrior courage with which he substantiated the Kshatro-centrist model, and which in its turn substantially enriched traditionalism.
But all those who are directly connected with the bodily aspect, with the area of lust – they should be on the third floor. And the workers must have an advantage on this third floor: sacred masters of houses, families, estates, allotments, fields and livestock. Free toilers, free peasant farmers – they are the very basis of traditional society. Warriors stand above them, and Philosophers stand above warriors. But, again, every “above” is always different. As in the body: above the liver, spleen and stomach is the heart and lungs, and above them is the head. Such a somatic model of a person forms the basis of a three-functional sacred society.
Such a structure of society as its foundation was destroyed, overturned and frustrated – in the course of bourgeois revolutions, when the European merchant seized all power for the first time. Traders should be discussed separately, since a trader is categorically not a peasant, but a degenerate who has no place in traditional society. It’s one thing to exchange one item for another at a fair. But another thing is to go professionally to buy something from somebody and sell it professionally to others. Only a pig can do this: this is the most ignoble and disgusting “business.”
The merchant can only help the worker in the right society. Help the peasant change the goods he created, take him with the goods to the fair. And the peasant will thank such a person with something that he has. Gingerbread for example. So you – “a merchant” – ate a spice-cake for your help. How good: here is your cart, the sky is above, the earth is below, the birds are singing … This is still acceptable for a properly organized society, but everything else is to go and buy from someone and sell to others – and even to cheat both for price, with the single purpose of profit … this is obviously awful. Like the institute of trade, the department of marketing, the institute of advertising … All this is deliberately humiliating for a human being. Well, which of the decent people can do this? Only “people” with a sick and stupid body can get carried away by the economy and exist and be nourished by it. Therefore, our modern society does not tolerate a warrior or a philosopher.
But it should be noted that this modern society does not tolerate the peasant as well. And this is all the result of the fact that infra-corporal entities penetrated here through the cracks in the Great Wall and already now they openly claim that their infra-corporal laws (wonderfully described by Lovecraft, as well as in the philosophical works of object-oriented ontologists) first become a basic epistemological platform and paradigm, and subsequently – social and political technology.
We are making a beeline for this reality. The loss of the heroic principle that we are witnessing today is, in fact, the end.
If there are no warriors as destroyers, then there will be no peasants as creators, and there will be no philosophers as bearers of the highest metaphysical contemplation.
Warriors are needed as the heart is necessary for the body. They are needed with all their different, sometimes dangerous and alarming features, with their hermetic searches, with their cruelty, with their strength, indomitable lion-like disposition, with their own willfulness. All these elements, which on the one hand it is not desirable for a warrior to cultivate, which must be contained by means of – τιμή and – σοφρωσύνη (as Plato wrote about it), but without them nothing is possible.
The warrior is the most important type. Interestingly, in India, where caste society still exists, Hindus say that Kshatriya warriors are now extremely rare as representatives of this caste. They are much less common than even brahmins. This is very curious in my opinion. Which is to say, in India itself it is very difficult to find several pure Kshatriya lineages. In other words, this is a very, very rare caste. This is a very valuable caste. For the modern world, for the modern society, the presence of this caste is a decisive doom. But at the same time, without it – without the warrior caste – this is the deliberate death of the world.
With that, I would like to end our conversation about the metaphysics of the warrior principle, which was built in direct or indirect connection with Plato. It so happened that throughout the lecture we operated precisely with the Platonic model of the soul. We talked about the chariot of the soul and its relationship with the body, a theme that is developed in detail in his dialogue Timaeus.
Thus, we spoke with you within the framework of classical Platonism, which we analyze in our course and at our seminars. All the best.