Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: When did you first . . . become . . . well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: Well, I, uh, I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
Group Capt. Mandrake: Hmm.
General Ripper: Yes, a, uh, a profound sense of fatigue . . . a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
Group Capt. Mandrake: Hmm.
General Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake. But I do deny them my essence.
Ah, Spring! And a young man’s fancy turns to . . . well, that.
I remember reading someone, somewhere that I can’t recall – James Hillman? Colin Wilson? – that the kinship of man and monkey was most clearly on display in their reliance on onanism while in captivity. Indeed, Colin Wilson was fond of pointing out that the fact that a human being can achieve orgasm through an imaginary act alone is proof of the role that intentionality plays in consciousness, which he saw as being the product of evolutionary advancement towards a type of man who could affect reality itself using his mind.
First, it indicated that they were capable of boredom – which, as Schopenhauer tells us, is one of the two poles of existence. Of course, other animals might get bored, but how could we tell?
That leads to the second point: the recourse to onanism in case of boredom. This, of course, proves the existence of the faculty of imagination, the ability to conjure up an illusory reality so potent as to lead to physical satisfaction, a result in the empirical world.
Lanz von Liebenfels, the Grand Old Man of Nazi Occultism, brings these themes together:
The lewdness of apes, especially of the baboon, exceeds all imagination. They are Sodomites, pederasts and onanists; they also act in a disgraceful manner toward men and boys. It is universally agreed upon that baboons will attack and mistreat little girls, and that in zoos, women are inconvenienced by their vile forwardness and shamelessness. . . . It is now incumbent upon us to investigate as to why sexual activity with animals is also called Sodomy. The more usual designation is “bestiality.”
Despite its bad press, masturbation has a fine pedigree – in fact, a sacred one. Onanaism, as indicated, is connected with both boredom and imagination; and imagination is the power of God in us; perhaps, simply God in us.
For it is a basic principle of the Hermetic tradition that “[w]hat we think about constantly, what we imagine constantly, we usually end up assuming feeling as being real.”
And as Neville constantly reminds us, what we assume, if persisted in, will become reality.
Imagination, then, is the golden chain that links the universe, from ape to man to . . . God. For what the ape imagines darkly, man can imagine with feeling and persistence, and so bring about.
And God? Well, as Dr. Lecter says, “God’s a champ.” His imagination is the real, right thing, and what he imagines immediately becomes real.
And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. Through him was made everything, that was made.
So let’s look at the other end, as it were: boredom. Are we not made in his image? Does God masturbate, because God, being eternal, all-knowing, and so on is eternally, all bored?
I am speaking not even metaphorically but mythologically. And why not? As Watts would insist, if we are bore-able, amorous, ecstasy-seeking creatures, the God/universe that creates us must in some sense be the same:
A universe which grows human beings is as much a human, or humaning, universe as a tree which grows apples is an apple tree. . . . There is still much to be said for the old theistic argument that the materialist-mechanistic atheist is declaring his own intelligence to be no more than a special form of unintelligence . . .
If it seems odd to consider God becoming bored, think of how bored we would be if we found ourselves faced with immortality. After all, as we’ve seen, our finite lives are already stuffed to the gills with boredom.
The Christian notion of immortality, at least of the heavenly sort, has always been a bit rum, a bit, well, embarrassing. One the one hand, there is the sense that you only get there by practicing self-denial here and now, and so presumably these same “bad” things will be excluded, a fortiori, in the Great Good Place, leading to somewhat uneasy jokes about “there is no beer in Heaven” or wanting to go to The Other Place because that’s where all one’s friends or all the interesting people will be.
On the other hand, we are given literal promissory notes that Something Else will take the place of earthy pleasures, and will be so satisfying that boredom will be evaded. But What, exactly? Ah, there’s the rub. The “Beatific Vision” of Dante and the various mystics supposedly does the job, but it’s hard for us mortals to be fobbed off with “something so good you literally can’t describe it.” Right, tell us another.
The “admittedly symbolic” substitutes – endless harping, or, as Watts quotes the hymn, the “eternal cricks in the neck of “prostrate before thy throne to lie / And gaze and gaze on thee” – don’t help.
It all calls to mind Watts’ story of the curate who attended a dinner party where the conversation turned to ideas of Heaven. Growing increasingly agitated, when it came to his turn, the cleric finally burst out with, “I expect to participate in eternal bliss, but I do wish the conversation could be turned to less unpleasant subjects!”
This conflict goes back at least to Jesus times. In Mark 12:25:
Our Lord gives his authority to one of the two attitudes current at the time…. Popular opinion sometimes thought of it [afterlife] simply a resumption, with certain modifications, of life as we know it in this world; but some striking rabbinic saying show that at any rate a little later a view similar to that of Jesus was also current. [For example,] the Rab, a third-century Babylonian teacher: “the world to come is not like this world. In the world to come there is no eating or drinking or begetting or bargaining or envy or hate or strife’ but the righteous sit with crowns on their head and are satisfied with the glory of God’s presence.”
Crowns, great. Like getting socks at Christmas. At least they are spared the “eternal cricks in the neck” that Watts predicted.
This explains a curious feature of the Muslim Heaven. We’ve all heard and laughed at the “seventy-nine virgins,” but criticism of Muslim Heaven as crudely materialistic and even downright hedonistic goes back to the Crusades. Indeed, it has been pointed out that the Muslim lifestyle, being so enormously burdensome, positively requires a more robustly imagined Heaven as a reward: the terms need to be spelled out quite plainly. “And I get what you say?” As a result, deadly sins on Earth become rewards in Heaven!
Thus, while only the most benighted Baptist thinks the Bible forbids all alcoholic drink rather than only intoxication (creating a cottage industry of booklets “proving” the word translated as “wine” actually means “grape juice,” then as now the favorite tipple of thirsty, hardworking fishermen), the Muslim is indeed forbidden all alcoholic beverages, for which the reward in Heaven is rivers of wine, of a vintage far superior to those available down here.
And those seventy-nine virgins? You get to choose them from any gender you please. Imagine a Christian preacher thundering that “God hates the homosexual perversion! And if you restrain yourselves here, He’ll give you all the little boys you want, forever and ever, Amen!”
Which is to say that the harsh discipline of the Muslim way of life, balanced by what to the unbeliever seems an almost comically materialistic Heaven, is from some angles not a bug, but a feature; why else would Islam have appealed to so many, including (hold your ears, conservatives!) many a European, who found it preferable to really-existing Christendom, including the most intelligent and skeptical (e.g., Shelley and Goethe).
Less salacious, though equally crude, is the Mormon Heaven, where doughty patriarchs are given their own planets to farm, and multiple wives to bear them sturdy farmhands.
At this point, some New Age goof will smugly point out that “everyone else” believes in reincarnation, but this is hardly a solution. These doctrines seem to imagine some kind of Ur-soul that persists in life after life, which René Guénon and Julius Evola both condemned as far from authentically Traditional, and which in any case merely postpones the problem of boredom. Indeed, traditions that seem to incorporate such a notion present it as just more duhka, or suffering, from which nirvana promises complete extinction – a notion to which we shall return.
Anyhow, it’s hard to imagine a form of immortality that wouldn’t be, if you will, a deadly bore; a reward, rather than a Sisyphean punishment.
How, then, do we imagine God makes out? Eternal life, eternal boredom?
Well, we’ve already touched on that. God’s a champ. God, through his imagination, creates this ghastly world, including us. Why, if it’s such a bore? Because, otherwise, God himself would be . . . bored. This, of course, is why magick, the heart of the Western esoteric Tradition, works. As Evola points out, the object of our contemplation must be warmed and smothered by our love if it is to be realized. As the entomologist speculates about Buffalo Bill’s moth cocoons, “somebody had to keep [them] warm. Somebody loved [them].” As Neville says, when asked how we will know when we have imagined enough, “You will know when you are unable to continue, as you are impotent after making love.” And as Dr. Lecter says, “If we do as God does, often enough, we become as God is.”
Remember those Reader’s Digest articles, like “I am Joe’s Spleen”? We are God’s entertainment.
As usual, Watts puts it best, distilling the august doctrines of the Vedanta into a tale told to a curious child:
In the same way, there are times when the world is, and times when it isn’t, for if the world went on and on without rest for ever and ever, it would get horribly tired of itself. It comes and it goes. Now you see it; now you don’t. So because it doesn’t get tired of itself, it always comes back again after it disappears. It’s like your breath: it goes in and out, in and out, and if you try to hold it in all the time you feel terrible. It’s also like the game of hide-and-seek, because it’s always fun to find new ways of hiding, and to seek for someone who doesn’t always hide in the same place.
God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, he has no one but himself to play with. But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.
Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But that’s the whole fun of it – just what he wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self – the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.
If this picture is approximately correct, how do we see our lives?
Little noticed in this sort of picture is that it is, effectively, back at the position of materialistic atheism – “we” do not survive. The “I” that awakens is God’s, not mine.
We seem then to have, as Schopenhauer would have predicted, ricocheted back from boredom to fear. This doesn’t make sense. Why should I want to exit – stage left, even – just to make someone else less bored?
Goddamn it! Might as well just whack your tack.
Wait a minute, that’s it!
All this while, we’ve been bored with ourselves, while, implicitly at least, afraid of death, thought of as a state of nonexistence. We fear hunger, thirst, exposure to the elements, and thus endure the discomfort of striving to prevent or alleviate them (Schopenhauer’s pain and fear). And if we succeed, we succumb to boredom. But boredom begets . . . well, let’s say, imagination.
But imagination is what we share with God; in fact, imagination is God in us. And the more we do as God does, the more we become as God is.
We have feared and deprecated ourselves becoming nothing, when in fact we are already a Creative Nothing, the no-thing from which all arises as imagination:
God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one (Der Einzige).
If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my “emptiness.” I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.
As David Gordon says:
Once insight is gained into the unification experience, it can be seen that what man has depreciated so thoroughly as mere vegetative existence is really the state in which he comes into his own true nature and attains oneness and happiness.
When one relinquishes his self, he lets go of his thoughts, self-consciousness, and the thought process, and he achieves unification. The unification experience is identical to the loss of self.
We have tried to assuage the fears, or overcome the boredom, by telling ourselves absurd tales of Heavens and Stages of Reincarnation – absurd not so much for being false, as for being no answer anyway. And all the while, the answer was right there, in Death itself, which deletes our fearful, boring self and reinstates our status as the Dreamer whose dreams are our reality.
The thing that man fears most is to lose control of himself and his thoughts and to give up his thoughts and the very process of thinking itself. Without his thoughts, he feels he is nothing, but instead of this being the oblivion he fears, it can be his greatest achievement.
Here we find the true meaning of many aspects of Christianity. Resurrection and rebirth, for instance, is not a matter of crude zombie-ism, or an ephemeral heavenly state, but the rediscovery that we are always already God himself; the Kingdom of Heaven is within:
Without the resurrection you would know infinite circuitry, repeating the same states over and over again. But, after moving around the circle unnumbered times, the perfect image is formed, removing you from the circle to enter a spiral and move up as the person who created it all.
Nor are we able to enjoy our lives, as long as we fear death; he that would have his life must lose it:
Living with the constant fear of death, rather than just the awareness of death, contaminates life and adversely affects man’s capacity to enjoy it.
So Blake was right: “The best thing in life is death but it takes man so long to die that his friends never see him rise from the grave.”
Despite our Hamlet-like hesitations, death is indeed a “consummation devoutly to be wished.” It is the end of our boredom, and the birth of a divine, infinite Imagination.
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964). All of the protagonists of the film suffer some kind of sexual malfunction, usually symbolized by their name. In addition to Group Captain Mandrake and General Jack D. Ripper, there’s the crippled Dr. Strangelove, the coitally interrupted General Buck Turgidson, and Sergeant “Bat” Guano, who shoots open a Coke machine and receives a blast of syrup to the face; but the one most relevant to our concerns – and the only somewhat successful one – is Major Kong, the strikingly simian B-52 pilot who achieves the ultimate orgasm by riding a hydrogen gravity bomb down to the famous climax. See my “From Odd John to Strange Love,” reprinted in Green Nazis in Space! (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2016).
2. Except for Alexander Phipps, the protagonist – or subject – of A Young Man’s Fancy, the Electrical Institute’s short film promoting post-war electrical kitchens. There, the young man “has no time for girls” and prefers to discuss efficient kitchen layouts with his friend’s mom. See my “Welcome to the Club: The Rise & Fall of the Männerbund in Pre-War American Pop Culture,” reprinted in Green Nazis in Space!.
4. “Unlike other animals, human beings spend a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them, contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or will never happen at all. Indeed, ‘stimulus-independent thought’ or ‘mind wandering’ appears to be the brain’s default mode of operation. Although this ability is a remarkable evolutionary achievement that allows people to learn, reason, and plan, it may have an emotional cost. Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and ‘to be here now.’ These traditions suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Are they right?” Science say: Yes! Matthew A. Killingsworth & Daniel T. Gilbert, “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind,” Science (November 12, 2010), Vol. 330, Issue 6006, pp. 932.
5. The other, of course, is pain. Pain either drives us to madness or suicide, or we find relief, which leads to boredom, and madness or suicide. Thus, “Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.” See “Schopenhauer on Happiness,” and generally Guillaume Durocher’s “Schopenhauer & Hitler.”
6. “One is bored in a cell; boredom makes for amorousness. Genet masturbates; this is an act of defiance, a willful perversion of the sexual act; it is also, quite simply, an idiosyncrasy. The operation condenses the drifting reveries, which now congeal and disintegrate in the release of pleasure. No wonder Our Lady horrifies people: it is the epic of masturbation.” Jean- Paul Sartre, “Introduction” to Jean Genet, Our Lady of the Flowers (London: Panther Books, 1973), p. 10.
7. Dr. Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels, Theozoology, or The Science of the Sodomite Apelings and the Divine Electron: An Introduction to the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy and a Justification of the Monarchy and the Nobility (Europa House 2004), p. 10. Originally published 1905. The relation of this to Major Kong in Strangelove is clear. Dr. Lanz also comments on Group Captain Mandrake’s name: “If one looks at the dwarf depicted in Fig. 23, a certain outer similarity to roots (Mandrake roots) cannot be missed. Such Sodom entities were intended by Paul in Hebr. XII.15 when he speaks of ‘bitter roots,’ against which Christians have to protect themselves. Fulgentius calls humanity a garden and Christ the gardener. These expressions too stem from Sodomite customs. . . . The Gk. kepos means ‘ape’ and ‘garden’ at the same time, as does Heb. ‘eden.” For more on bestiality, see my “Of Beer, Bestiality, & Cloven-Hooved Bastards: An Ode to Canada Itself!”
8. See Andy Nowicki’s “Masturbation and Misandry.” Utah, my go-to model of a Christian no-homo hellhole (despite reports of it being a favored destination of “gay tourists”) is now taking aim at that old bugaboo, “pornography” – this time, of course, “for the children’s sake.” As CNN pointed out, a 2009 study by Harvard Business School revealed the state with “the highest per capita purchasers of online adult entertainment” was, you guessed it, Utah.
9. Neville Goddard & Tim Grimes, Mindful Manifestation: A Uniquely Effective Way to Practice Mindfulness (Amazon Kindle, 2015).
10. See John N. Deck, Nature, Contemplation, and the One: A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967; reprinted: Burdett. N.Y.: Larson, 1991), which aims to provide an explanation of Plotinus’ claim in Ennead III.8 that “Nature contemplates.”
11. Will Graham: “Why does it feel good, Dr. Lecter?”
Doctor Hannibal Lecter: “lt feels good because God has power. lf one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is. God’s a champ. He always stays ahead. He got one hundred forty Filipinos in one plane crash last year. Remember that earthquake in ltaly last spring?” Manhunter (Michael Mann, 1987). Is this the origin of the taboo on masturbation, hence the supposed sin of “onanism”: if one does what God does enough times, one becomes as God is? Microsoft suggests “oneness” and “animism” as corrections for “onanism.” Of course, Lecter is just stealing his act from Trump’s mentor, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: “By acting as you wish yourself to be, in due course you will become as you act.” Positive Thinking Every Day: An Inspiration for Each Day of the Year (New York: Touchstone, 1993), March 18th.
12. See his Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship (New York: Pantheon, 1965) and my essay “’PC is for Squares, Man’: Alan Watts & the Game of Trump.” Watts provided a blurb – “A little classic” – for the cover of David Cole Gordon’s Self-Love, published by Penguin in 1972; his Overcoming the Fear of Death appeared the same year from Penguin as well, with no blurb from Watts, who chose 1972 as the year to die himself. Gordon’s idea of death as the ultimate form of the desire for self-transcendence – and hence as desirable as auto racing (See my “St. Steven of Le Mans”) or masturbation (the full title of the hardcover, Self-Love and a Theory of Unification shows the connection) – is an obvious influence on the present essay.
13. Watts, Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship.
14. Dr. Ian Paisley, the fiery Irish cleric and politician, was reported to have been preaching one Sunday on the End Times – and in particular on the Day of Judgement. As he reached the climax of his address, he said that on the Day of Judgement “there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” at which point an old woman put up her hand and said, “Dr. Paisley, I have no teeth.” Paisley replied, “Madam, teeth will be provided.” From Sermon Central.
15. The Gospel of St Mark by D. E. Nineham (Pelican Gospel Commentaries), (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1963), pp. 320-321.
16. Mickey Spillane knows the score. “I don’t drink . . . I’ll have a beer once in a while. People say, ‘you have a beer, you’re a Jehovah’s Witness’ . . . but the Bible doesn’t proclaim against drinking, it proclaims against drunkenness . . .” Interview with Crime Time, August 6, 2001.
17. One might compare this to the Wedding Feast at Cana: “When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” John 2:9-11, English Standard Version. Another case of the Qur’an borrowing, or “correcting,” the Biblical stories? In The Purple Cloud, M. P. Shiel writes of “that white wine of Ismidt which the Koran permits,” to which the Penguin edition adds this note: “Wine is forbidden by the Qur’an, but crystal white fountains of wine are forecast in Paradise. Izmit is a wine-producing region of Turkey, within easy reach of Imbros.”
18. “The Moslems, who borrowed the rules of their Religion Game from Jews and Christians alike, did not fail to copy the bad habits of both. Believers were exhorted in the Koran to wage war on the infidel, the slaughter of unbelievers being defined as one sure way of gaining entry into the Moslem heaven (a much lusher paradise than the rather insipid affair offered by their priests to conforming Christians).” Robert S. de Ropp, The Master Game: Beyond the Drug Experience (1968).
19. See René Guénon, “The Origins of Mormonism,” in Miscellanea (Ghent, N.Y.: Sophia Perennis, 2003). Guénon, of course, finds all this typically American and materialistic, though he fails to note the Muslim parallel.
20. “So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.’ And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” Bill Murray, Caddyshack (Harold Ramis, 1980).
21. Pace Camus, whose “we must imagine Sisyphus happy” has never seemed more than desperate hand-waving, to me at least. “The evident absurdity that results when we project our thoughts into the numinous “after life” means that most intelligent people like to keep these things in extreme soft focus, pushing them towards the vaguest and most abstract notions of heaven and hell. So, probably no harps nor angel wings, although I’m sure most Muslims have little problem believing in the promised seventy-two virgins.” See Colin Liddell, “’Love Conquers All’ But It’s Shit At Stopping Terrorist Attacks” at AltRight.com, March 23, 2017.
23. Thus, as we have speculated, God plays with himself.
24. God’s a champ!
25. The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts (London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1969), Chapter One: “Inside Information.”
26. Edina:” I’m sorry if that sounds selfish, sweetie, but it’s me! Me! Me! Me!” Absolutely Fabulous, Season 1, “Birthday.”
27. One early morning, having “pulled an all-nighter” in the grad student office, I overheard the tail end of a conversation as a professor of Thomist philosophy arrived at his office: “Well, what else can you do? Just whack your tack.”
28. “I firmly believe, from my own experiences, that this God of whom the Bible speaks is our own wonderful human imagination; that God and the human imagination are one; that all natural effects in the world, though they are created by the Spirit of God, are caused by Spirit. So, ‘every natural effect has a spiritual cause, and not a natural. A natural cause only seems; it is a delusion of our’ — fading, I would say, ‘memory.’ (Blake, from “Milton”)” Neville Goddard, “The Spirit of God,” lecture from May 10, 1971.
29. Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own, translated by Steven T. Byington (New York: Benjamin R. Tucker, 1907).
30. The pleasurable sense of the loss of self found in activities ranging from sex to sports to stamp collecting; compare my remarks on Steve McQueen and auto racing in “St. Steven of Le Mans: The Man Who Just Didn’t Care.” One might also compare Evola’s remarks in Ride the Tiger on the elite individual who, lacking access to proper initiatory traditions in the modern world, is driven to put himself through various dangerous tests in search of an overcoming of the material ego.
31. Gordon, Overcoming the Fear of Death. “Take this thing [Hannibal Lecter] back to Baltimore!” Senator Martin, Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990). Of Grand Prix racing, Gordon says “Perhaps no other activity in all of sport creates so many and such prolonged states of unification.” Op. cit., p 103.
32. Gordon, op. cit., p. 113.
33. What we might call the Imaginal view, by contrast, is self-evident, as we see from the ability, already noted, of man’s imagination to have effects in the physical world. As usual, the Christian grasped the wrong end of the stick, ageing, as Augustine does, that erections and natural emission “prove” that man is “possessed” by Original Sin. (The City of God, 14.17). By contrast, “The unification experience is not based on an ineffable or mystical experience. On the contrary, it is based on a natural common experience that occurs frequently and spontaneously throughout our lives and can be verified by all of us independently and empirically.” Gordon, Self-Love, p48.
34. Gordon, op. cit., p.57
35. Neville Goddard, “The Perfect Image,” lecture from April 11, 1969.
36. Gordon, Overcoming the Fear of Death, p. 20.
37. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I. René Guénon: “The ‘end of a world’ never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.” The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times (Hillsdale, N.Y.: Sophia Perennis, 2001), p. 279.
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