“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reminder of Death (Memento Mori) from the German Renaissance

This is an outstanding example of a memento mori, or “reminder of death”: a gruesome skeleton clothed in tattered flesh holds a scroll bearing the Latin inscription, “I am what you will be. I was what you are. For every man this is so.”

That the artist has depicted the cadaver in a graceful pose that mimics that of Adam in Albrecht Durer’s famous engraving of Adam and Eve is probably intentional; it was due to Adam’s sin that humans were subject to death. This carving was surely made for a sophisticated collector – Archduke Ferdinand of Austria owned one that is not as good – and such a collector would have recognized the source of the pose.

The complexity of the carving of this statuette demonstrates the qualities of boxwood. The carver was able to hollow out the gut and peel away the skin without the form collapsing.


Hadding said...

Memento is an imperative and mori is an infinitive. Literally it means Remember to die, but I suppose that mori there is used as a verbal noun so that a better translation might be, Remember dying.

Hadding said...

The statue looks like somebody that forgot to die.

Delta said...

Beyond Awesome!!!