A wee peek…

November 13, 2007

…at Spengler, mit hyperlinks.

This – the inward and outward fulfillment, the finality, that awaits every living Culture – is the purport of all the historic “declines,” amongst them that decline of the Classical which we know so well and fully, and another decline, entirely comparable to it in course and duration, which will occupy the first centuries of the coming millennium but is heralded already and sensible in and around us today – the decline of the West. Every Culture passes through the age-phases of the individual man. Each has its childhood, youth, manhood and old age. It is a young and trembling soul, heavy with misgivings, that reveals itself in the morning of Romanesque and Gothic. It fills the Faustian landscape from the Provence of the troubadours to the Hildeshiem cathedral of Bishop Bernward. The spring wind blows over it. Childhood speaks to us also – and in the same tones – out of early-Homeric Doric, out of early-Christian (which is really early-Arabian) art and out of the works of the works of the Old Kingdom in Egypt that began with the Fourth Dynasty. A mythic world-consciousness is fighting like a harassed debtor against all the dark and daemonic within itself and in Nature, while slowly ripening itself for the pure, day-bright expression of the existence that it will at last achieve and know. The more nearly a Culture approaches the noon culmination of its being, the more virile, austere, controlled, intense the form-language it has secured for itself, the more assured its sense of its own power, the clearer its lineaments. We find every individual trait of expression deliberate, strict, measured, marvelous in its ease and self-confidence, and everywhere at moments, the coming fulfillment suggested. Still later, tender to the point of fragility, fragrant with the sweetness of late October days, come the Cnidian Aphrodite and the Hall of the Maidens in the Erectheum, the arabesques on Saracen horseshoe-arches, the Zwinger of Dresden, Watteau, Mozart. At last, in the grey dawn of Civilization, the fire in the soul dies down. The dwindling powers rise to one more, half-successful, effort of creation, and produce the Classicism that is common to all dying Cultures. The soul thinks once again, and in Romanticism looks back piteously to its childhood; then finally, weary, reluctant, cold, it loses its desire to be, and, as in Imperial Rome, wishes itself out of the overlong daylight and back in the darkness of proto-mysticism, in the womb of the mother, in the grave.

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