Hamsun, Tolkien, the Aryan and Nature

Hamsun, Tolkien, the Aryan and Nature


Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Hyperborean Resonances: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Metapolitical Sense of the Name of Rome



Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Wagnerian Texts


Wagner, by Ramón Bau




On Poetry and Composition

Know Thyself

What Boots This Knowledge?

On the Womanly in the Human Race

Art and Revolution



Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Montserrat: The Magic Mountain of Heinrich Himmler

Montserrat: The Magic Mountain of Heinrich Himmler

National Socialism, History and Myth
By: Ignacio Ondargáin
(Text revised in December 2007)
Translated by: Franz Berg
“In the sky there is a castle and her name is Montserrat.”
On October 21st, 1940, Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer and Chief of the SS, travelled to Madrid to organise and coordinate the meeting between the Führer and Franco that would take place on the 23rd in the French-Basque border town of Hendaye.

Upon arriving at the North Station in the Spanish capital Himmler was received by Serrano Suñer, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs. In compliance with protocol the train station was festively decked out with the flags and symbols of Spain and Germany. When Himmler had just stepped down from the train two children, with charming and impeccable ceremony, gave him beautiful bouquets as hundreds of people showed their sympathy and joy.

After the relevant meetings to organise the summit between Hitler and Franco in Hendaye and various meetings for protocol, Himmler put immediate political affairs aside and went to Barcelona.

On October 23rd Hitler met Franco. Meanwhile, on that same day, the city of Barcelona was festooned to receive Himmler. On the morning of that same day, the swastika and Spanish flag were to be seen throughout the El Prat airport. When the plane of the German dignitary arrived what stood out most was the military demeanour of the troops. Once Himmler was descended from the plane the delegation went in caravan to Barcelona. In Prat de Llobregat the people had erected a laurel arch to greet the German leader.

After the national demonstration, Himmler went to the Hotel Ritz in the centre of Barcelona. The entire city is decorated with National Socialist banners and the flags of Spain. Opposite the Ritz a crowd gathered awaiting the arrival of the Head of the SS. The enthusiasm was such that, after entering the Hotel, Himmler had to go out to salute from the balcony. He does so accompanied by General Luis Orgaz, the Captain General of Catalonia.

On the same day, after eating at the Ritz, at 15:30, the German chiefs went towards the mountain of Montserrat. General Karl Wolf and Gunter d’Alquen, the National Socialist journalist in charge of Das Schwartze Korps, the official media organ of the SS, together with other officials, formed part of Himmler’s entourage. Various Spanish authorities also accompanied him: the Mayor of Barcelona, Miquel Mateu Pla, members of the Falange and prominent military officers, among them Luis Orgaz.

Montserrat is forty kilometres by road from Barcelona. Her powerful vertical formations stand out from and tower over the smooth worn terrain of the province.

(…) We can state that, as Reichsführer, Himmler visited Montserrat to carry out a high-level secret mission.

On the following day, his mission accomplished, Himmler returned to Berlin in a military plane. On the return journey, amid magical images of the mountain of Montserrat, he recalled the immortal echoes of a Wagnerian Opera: “In the sky there is a castle and her name is Montserrat”.


“Montserrat, Cathedral of nature,
Power of the Grail woven into the material world;
Stand up boldly and defiantly skyward, like the cypress in the square.

1 – Formation of the Mountain
2 – A visit to Montserrat
3 – Montserrat: Land of Spirit
1-Formation of the Mountain

In the heart of the Province of Barcelona, in the Cordillera Prelitoral, and amid silhouettes of gentle and worn hills. rise up the bold and imposing forms of the massif of Montserrat. Their elegant, clear and meticulous vertical formations are a true show of defiance against the tedium and weariness of the world; Montserrat is the victory of Life, Spirit and verticality over chaotic, formless and decadent matter.

In the formation of the mountain we can see an “intra-terrestrial” emanation of Force that reaches to verticality like a flame of fire. The degree of wave generated by this “intra-terrestrial” Force created the mountain when leaving its mark on the cosmic plasma. And this happens precisely in this place because the interior of Montserrat remains hollow and holds within herself an entire inner world connecting the mountain to other fantastic worlds. That is why the Montserrat formations are phantasmal, magical and defiant, like another universe. The rocks of Montserrat are hardened agglomerate boulders, pebbles, clay, sedimentary materials…shaped by the “intra-terrestrial” spirit. During the process of solidification of the agglomeration, the matter took the tendency of the Force of spirit projected in this location of space-time. We find this to be the moulding cause of the mountain shaped to the action of a Force and its subsequent wave degree. That Force is linked to the underground world of Agartha which is “the underlying root” of the mountain of Barcelona.

Montserrat is a gateway between worlds whose wave degree distorts space-time throughout the surrounding region, making a bridge between different dimensions and universes. There are various strata in the rock of the mountain clearly differentiated one from another by the different colours of the stone (redder, more gray…) and by the degrees of evident wear. Various sections in the rock differ due to their formation or creation, with the more worn ones generally found in the least elevated parts, while the younger and less worn agglomerates are in the highest and boldest parts. As an example, in the area of Agulles, on the northwest of the mountain, the rocks of the Cadireta and Foradada are in a more worn and reddish layer, while the rocks of the needles or spikes of Agulles are much younger stone, less worn and greyish in colour.
2 – A Visit to Montserrat

Mountain forever magic, Montserrat is situated on the right bank of the Llobregat River. The Llobregat is the Barcelonian river par excellence. Born in the pre-Pyrenean Sierra Cadi, at over 2000 metres in elevation, the river flows near to Barcelona forming a broad delta.

At the height of Montserrat, the bed of the Llobregat is at an altitude just over 100 metres above sea level. The highest peak of Montserrat is San Jeronimo (Sant Jeroni), rising to 1224 metres. On the mountain those on the north and west sides stand out for their audacious formations. At the far west end are the “Agullas”, where countless needles accumulate in vertical rocks of amusing formation.

If from Agullas we go to the north towards the east, we find La Cadireta in the region of the Frares. La Cadireta is located on the northern edge of the mountain and the curve of the road that borders her has an esplanade that is ideal for observing the night sky and the northerly direction. La Cadireta has a very curious and enigmatic shape. In fact, she is a small extension of some 200 metres from the mountain to the north. A triangular hole through which pass the last rays of the day, crossing through the middle, give the name Foradada (meaning “cavern” – Translator)… And on the northern tip we see a formation with the image of a legendary dragon, perhaps looking north to the Pole Star. Below, following the chain of Les Pujades, there is a rock resembling an altar.

The entire north face of Montserrat is formed by high walls and stone needles rising above the lowlands. Outstanding among these needles the Cavall Bernat, rising 1100 metres above sea level above the town of Monistrol, which is 150 metres above sea level, along the banks of the Llobregat. The Cavall Bernat is a very high stone needle, the most vertical, bold and stylised on Montserrat. The word Cavall (horse) is nothing but a Puritan recourse to hide the true sense of the verticality of this entire cathedral of stone that is Montserrat.

A little farther to the east of the mountain, we find the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat, located 721 metres above sea level. Nowadays the monastery is a tourist centre of the first order.

To enter the grounds of the monastery by car one must pass through a toll that costs 4 Euros (in 2007).

The other option is to leave the car outside, beyond the toll, and walk to the monastery from there. The distance is about a kilometre and a half, depending on where the car has been left. During the week there are no problems, but on weekends or holidays things can get a bit complicated.

We left the car outside the toll, at the first bend in the road towards Can Masana. From this same bend in the road, going up the mountain, we take a little path that leads us to the picturesque road of “Els Degotalls” or “Las Goteras” (meaning “The Leaks” – Translator). This road is replete with mosaics of the various regional Virgins in Catalonia. After twenty minutes of distracted walking we arrive on the grounds of the monastery.

A modern restaurant made of concrete, a fast construction of questionable aesthetic taste, looks out over the gorge of Santa Maria, where we see the cable on which the
Aerial Tram ascends, a cable car manufactured before the war in Germany. At a height of over 600 metres, down below, we see riverbed of the Llobregat, with its clear waters of earthy brown colour. In the distance, 30 kilometres in a straight line to the southeast, we make out Tibidabo Mountain, with the basilica building at its peak, looking to the other side. To the right of this, the modern communications tower of Collserola. Hiding out of sight beyond the Tibidabo, the bustling city of Barcelona and beyond we can see the Mediterranean.

We approach the monastery. The Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat was founded in 1027 by Abbot Oliva and is located on the southeastern slope of the mountain. Only the portal remains from the early church in Romanesque style. In 1537 it was enlarged and restored in the Gothic style. The present church dates from the second half of the Sixteenth Century and consists of a single nave with twelve side chapels.

The oldest parts of the monastery date from the Eighteenth Century, because in 1811 the monastery was destroyed by the French. It is said Napoleon’s troops destroyed the monastery when searching for the Grail, but they failed to find it.

The image of Our Lady is inside the basilica and she presides within a chapel of Romanesque style built in 1878 by Francisco de P. del Villar and decorated with stain glass and polychrome marble. Carved from white poplar, the image of Our Lady dates from the Ninth Century.

Visiting throughout the grounds of the basilica and monastery, we find tourists from all over Europe, mainly French, German, Italian and from Slavic and Hispanic American countries.

At the end of the esplanade where we find the monastery, there is a small square with two exemplary specimens of yews, magic trees since Antiquity. The entire tree is poisonous (and hallucinogenic) except for the fruit. We encounter various types of yew everywhere on Montserrat, some of which, those in the more inaccessible places, are of considerable age and size. Due to the quality of its wood, the hand of man has made this tree disappear from the mountains of the region, but on Montserrat they have survived thanks to the difficulty of access and expulsion of the more earthly-minded. On this magic mountain we find them almost everywhere in the spaces among the vertical stone formations, like guardians of the narrow road to higher elevations.

From the Monastery, 721 metres above sea level, we start the climb to the summit of San Jeronimo (Sant Jeroni), situated at 1224 metres. That is, the gap to overcome is 503 metres. To do so at a leisurely pace will take about an hour fifteen minutes.

After climbing 1024 steps we arrive at the “Pla dels Ocells”, or Plana de los Pajaros, at 930 meters in altitude. Now we continue along the riverbed of Santa Maria which almost always remains dry, because the karst nature of the mountain precludes the existence of streams of water on the surface. We walk through various shady oak forests interspersed with some maples and dotted with holly trees and other shrubs, arriving at the hermitage of San Jeronimo, at an altitude of 1150 metres, on the Tabor of the mountain. This area is habitually the residence of a colony of small kittens and cats.

From the hermitage of San Jeronimo we climb a final gap of 74 metres to reach the namesake peak at 1224 metres, the greatest height on Montserrat. For this we walk for 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the state of health and strength of each one), ascending a flight of stairs and steep slopes.

We have privileged views already at the summit of San Jeronimo (Sant Jeroni), dominating the whole mountain of Montserrat. At the summit in the centre of the small circular plaza 5 metres in diameter, we have a “rose of the winds” made of steel indicating and pointing out the mountains that can be distinguished. If we stand at the railing at the edge of the north ravine, we see 700 metres of free fall. In winter the snow blankets the peaks of the Pyrenees with white that can be seen on the northern horizon and in the mornings fogs like to ascend sinuously stretching away from and abandoning the valleys. On a very clear day, which are very few, one can see the island of Mallorca to the south crowned with its mountain of the Puigmajor. In the first place, towards the north, in the valleys we see the salt mines of Cardona, and beyond are the Rasos de Peguera, first elevation over two thousand metres high in the Southern Pyrenees. Further north, the Puigmal and towards the northeast the Canigo, already in French Roussillon. Turning a little to the north stands the Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, and to the northwest we see the entire Central Pyrenees. Twenty kilometres to the northeast as the bird flies, in the same Cordillera Prelitoral in which we find ourselves, we see Sant Llorenç de Munt, a mountain with notable similarities to Montserrat, and beyond that Montseny, composed of Matagalls (left) and Turo del Home (right), at over 1700 metres altitude above sea level. On Montserrat herself, towards Can Masana (to the west), we see the graceful and slender mountains Brothers (Frares) and Agulles. To the south and west of Montserrat are stony mountains of poor lands in which pine forests grow (afforestation), native oak and some small-leaved oaks (roure martinenc), and further, to the south, the wine region of Penedes.

Descending down the San Jeronimo, back to the monastery, we again pass through a helicopter pad, where we are surprised to find an Hispanic ibex. True, a few years ago some specimens of this animal had been introduced into the area…and it seems some have adapted. The ibex seemed to wait for something to eat, but we had nothing to give.

Back in the monastery, my attention is fixed on a natural formation, a rock that stands as guardian from across the Santa Maria to the south. It is a rock figure that calls my attention with its defiant form, reminding me of a powerful winged being like ancient Sumerian, Persian and Hittite statues. Thus I think: “You are a guardian keeping the heart of the mountain, lest anyone unworthy might try to access her”.

The evening darkens and clouds illuminated by the last rays of the sun stand out against the sky. To the south, towards the valley of the Llbregat and the city of Barcelona, electric streetlights come on and artificially illuminate the world of men, as if attempting to prevent the dark light of the mystery from shining in their world.
3 – Montserrat: Land of Spirit

The “Black Madonna”, as noted above, is the wood engraving made from white poplar that was discovered in the late Eleventh Century by shepherds who roamed the nearby valleys with their herds. Guided by angelic sounds and lights over seven consecutive Saturdays, seven shepherds from Monistrol saw various lights descend over a particular place on the mountain where there is a cave. Brought to the cave, illuminated by a supernatural glow, they found the image of what was the Patroness of Catalonia: a “Black Virgin”. When the bishop of Barcelona ordered the image to be taken to the Cathedral of Barcelona, the figure became so heavy that every effort to move her was useless. She remained in place and a hermit built a chapel for her. Over this place with time the Benedictine monastery was constructed as well as the basilica that renders her worship.

On the 21st of February, 1345, hundreds of people could see how a light coming from Montserrat came through the old church of Carmen de Manresa, light that “seems to be a star”, divided into three parts, regrouping again in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, from there flying away towards Montserrat. This phenomenon caused such an impact that every 21st of February the feast of “La misteriosa Llum” (the mysterious light) is still celebrated in its memory.

Each anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Montserrat, which took place on February 2, 1592, the feast is celebrated in the liturgical calendar. Montserrat, besides being a Marian shrine, stands out as one of the most important “UFO Sanctuaries” in Spain. Since 1977 Lluis Jose Grifol reserves each 11th day of the month for as many people as want to spot “ship sightings”.

Montserrat is a massif of impressive geological formations. Officially the form of the mountain is attributed to rational and “logical” explanations, but none of these theories provide an explanation sufficient for such an excess of natural beauty and suggestive forms. Montserrat has inspired mystics, hermits, great artists…What is the treasure hidden inside her? What energy or Force has come to shape such beautiful forms that always point to the vertical?

One of the greatest mysteries of Montserrat is her underworld. Among the multitude of caves and passages hidden inside the mountain, only the 549 metres that make up the “visitor’s zone” of the Salnitre Cave can be visited without difficulty. At the end of that passageway is the immense central hall, or Cathedral Cave, in which on occasion concerts are held, as well as the spectacular “Pou del Diable” (Devil’s Well) and the Cave of Cambrils. The numerous geologic formations of these caves inspire the most fantastic interpretations of devils, fairies and supernatural beings. None less than Antonio Gaudi was inspired in his works by what he saw in the subterranean and exterior world of Montserrat.

The truth is that Montserrat is a mountain in which disturbing energy manifestations are produced. Among the most enigmatic events are the disappearances of various people without a trace. So, on the night of Saint John in 1975, Pep, a resident of Collbató (on the southern slope of the mountain, where the Salnitre Cave is located), disappeared from this world when he returned from putting out a fire in an area that presented no difficulties…and his body was never found. There have been innumerable other disappearances in the vicinity, but there is no need to itemise the list and detail such cases.

Montserrat…there are inter-dimensional portals in this mountain. There is a direct connection between the Inner Earth, Agartha (The Underground Kingdom of the Gods) and Montserrat. The energy flowing from the Magic Mountain comes from this subterranean world. In short, a door to another world.

When Atlantis fell destroyed by her own errors disappearing beneath the face of the earth, a group of Atlantean survivors created this “portal”, thus shaping the bold forms of Montserrat. As we have seen, the mountain is an inter-dimesional door that ensures the nexus with the world of the Ancients and the Gods.

As noted earlier, some studies claim that Montserrat is a hollow mountain, inside which there is also an underground lake. Many claim that within this “intra-terrestrial” place hidden from the world, the Grail is kept, precious object guarded by angels and creator of every magic present in the Barcelonian mountain. Many believe the Montserrat of the Grail Legends is Montserrat and have searched unsuccessfully through its caverns. The Nazis collected these witness accounts and searched for the Grail inspired by esoteric doctrines. Otto Rahn, SS officer from 1934, inspected Montserrat after his stay in the region of Montsegur in the French Pyrenees and Himmler, the SS Reichsführer, visited Barcelona and Montserrat in 1940. The Nazis sought the Force emanating from this object (the Grail) to become invincible. Himmler showed special interest in the geologic formations of the mountain, as well as in access to their underworld.

Montserrat is linked to various other places scattered around the world, forming fortresses of Agartha. Their initiates come to these fortresses of “natural” spirit to receive initiation from Agartha. The “intra-terrestrial” world shows through Montserrat: the countless sightings of UFOs point us in this direction.

The ancient prophecies of the Indo-Europeans tell us when human beings forget the divine, corruption will reign and dominate the world. Then men will be bloodthirsty beings who despise their brothers and the crowns of kings shall fall. Chaos will bring a terrible war that will strike and destroy the whole world. What will happen in such a Dantesque scenario is that the Sovereign of Agartha and his loyal followers will come up to the surface of the earth to establish the reign of tspirit…uprightness, wisdom, peace. And the demons will be thrown into fires that consume every impurity…

“Master, what is Zen?” asks the disciple.

The teacher replies: “Zen is the cypress in the courtyard.”

The cypress is verticality, the spirit. Such are the stone spires of Montserrat that stand up straight and conquer this world of death and decadence. Because the spirit is vertical: Spirit never dies. Such is the Force that gives shape and life to Montserrat. Life conquers death. For that reason Montserrat is Agartha: The vertical energy of the spirit manifests on this mortal world.

At the entrance to the Basilica of Montserrat, on the left, there is a small patio with several Romanesque columns. In the midst of this small austere courtyard, by “chance”, a cypress with all its force rises skywards.

“Agartha stands up over the world: Montserrat is her temple for eternity.”

Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 5:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Carlos Alberto Disandro

(Translator: Franz Berg)

St. Benedict of Nursia (480 – 547)

Saint Benedict is a powerfully Romanized Italian, perhaps of Umbrian-Sabine race and native to Umbria, that mysterious Italic land the mother of poets and saints, which encourages us to imagine him as a distant effulgence of Numa Pompilius. He was no dialectician of illustrious academies, but instead wielded the Virgilian plow in the fields of his parents and his race. Not a theologian of great conciliar debates, but a maker of men, a maker of indestructible paths for men. He is not a poet of happy lyric utterances, like his compatriot Propertius; he is a founder who modified and perfected the world with his Rule. He is not the artist of great Augustan convocations, but a new man inspired by the Muses for the high arts of the Europe then newly born. As his illustrious disciple St. Gregory the Great has said, his doctrine is his life: quia vir sanctus nullo so potuit aliter docere quam vixit (PL LXVI. col. 200 C-D). This life, or rather this teaching, or doctrine, or life, is built simply as the life of praise, with no other principle than the bonds of hierárkhico between men, angels and the Trinitarian Life. In 480 when St. Benedict was born everything seemed lost. Yet in praise nothing is lost, as our Maestro says and teaches. In the fifteenth centenary we are celebrating, the far-reaching impact of his Rule, or his doctrine, or his life, pleases and encourages us. Against the gloomy kingdom of the Antichrist, already installed, we piously recall the triumph of Saint Benedict, victorious through song, praise and work. Cf.Dom Paul Delatte, Commentaire sur la Regle Saint Benoit, Paris, Plon 1913. Cardinal Ildefonse Schuster, Saint Benoit et son temps, Paris, Laffont 1950.


Saint Benedict and the Transfiguration of Absolute Man and Woman
Saint Benedict and the Empirical Foundations of Western Monasticism
Saint Benedict, Gregorian Chant and the Feeling of Divine Manhood
Saint Benedict and the Transfiguration of Absolute Man and Woman

The understanding of Saint Benedict of Nursia, the original genius who makes intelligible the open nature of man, must be difficult in the darkened contemporary Western world. An almost unknown name in the Americas, these vast territories linked to the dispensation of post-Tridentine rationalism, yet also to vast expectations for the new beginning of a cycle declaring the celestial home of man through song and prayer. Fifteen centuries after his birth, Saint Benedict proclaims and proposes the primacy of the contemplative life, art and aesthetics with the same amazing characteristics as in his own tumultuous times. And as in that Sixth Century, in the midst of daily contempt for contemplation in praise, Saint Benedict no doubt shines for his prudence, density and creative interior provocation. But the characteristic connotations of our century are also immense, in which despite everything the circumspect persistence of the Benedictine life remains with us, or the outline of a founding aura is consolidated according to an historical-philological reflection able to honour the Americas with the establishment of the life of praise.

Meanwhile, vast spiritual modulations stand between those Benedictine origins and the decadence of contemplation in the West. I mention several milestones that certainly pertain to the emergence of a new sense of man, and therefore new spiritual resources, that nullify or divert precisely that nostalgia for the heavenly mysteries, although ostensibly done with the same human face. Between Saint Benedict and those everyday trends there is therefore a radical opposition.

Those milestones or modulations also act with contrasting force and have left or leave a serious illusion in the body of a civilisation, founded in cognitive power and magic, in the image and in their intervening instruments, and which illusion also keeps other deep energies away from that same heavenly mystery.

Among those milestones or modulations we must note the currents during the Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries that can be symbolised in their definitive maturity as Franciscan ideals. Then came the transformations of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, proof of which can be adduced in Lutheran, Erasmist and Jesuit ideals. In 1580, that is eleven centuries after the birth of Benedict of Nursia, we can say that Benedictine ideals were in retreat or withdrawal, were not involved in the construction of modernity and that from the Fifteenth Century Benedictine men were in radical contradiction with Lutheran, Erasmist and Jesuit men. The four subsequent centuries, until this Fifteenth Centenary, are precisely those of the construction of modern man, those of the competing spiritual claim by routes opposed to those of the Benedictine monastic way. To what extent this monasticism also suffers from the impact of modernity is certainly another fundamental question, yet one that does not override the profound denotations of the origins, here considered in their own particular way. We should therefore address this vast historical philological curve until 1580, to confirm the uniqueness of each semantic field. Historical, since in the order of empirical manifestation men make men according to complex temporal functions. Philological, since in so far as we would have recourse to unmistakable texts reserved within their own considerable semantic undercurrents for an intelligibility of man according to men. A text thus retrieved is categorised as foundational and as a guiding light, more profound than crude facts that have already happened.

However our purpose is much more modest. Against the resplendent or hazy unfolding of that curve and its complex resonances through four dense centuries, we attempt to reflect on Benedictine ideals per se, so that the contour of their prophetic-celestial aura will stand out and so that through an inevitable confrontation we may detect the other lines of a prophethood that in my view excludes the essence of Benedictine life, or conversely indicates that Benedictine life implies the renunciation of worldly prophecy of man by man. In any case, the positive collateral lines of approach will be dealt with, following somewhat the model of Saint Gregory the Great in his presentation and interpretation of the Great Western Patriarch. Thus when Saint Gregory, in an often quoted passage from his biography, emphasises the coincidence between experience and life, interiority and manifestation, mystic depth and temporal realisation, he places Saint Benedict in the perikhóresis of the Spirit, for whom there is henceforth no difference between inspiration and manifestation. The aforementioned passage (PL. LXVI. Prolegomena, chapter XXXVI, column 200 C-D) says: Hoc autem nolo te lateat, quod vir Dei inter tot miracula quibus in mundo clarit, doctrinae quoque verbo non mediocriter fulsit. Nam scripsit monachorum regulam, discretione praecipuam, sermone luculentam. Cujus su quis velit subtilius mores vitamque cognoscere, potest in eadem institutione regulae omnes magisteri illfus actus invenire: quia sanctus vir nullo modo potuit aliter docere quam vixit. That is: “Nevertheless I do not want to hide from you that among so many miracles with which this man of God shone in the world, he was also quite significantly resplendent through the vocation of doctrine. Then he wrote the Rule for Monks, notable for its discretion, and full of substantial reflexions. If someone is more insistent to know his style and life, in this same Rule every action of his teaching can be found. Thus this holy man could not teach differently from the way he lived.” (See the Spanish translation of Bruno Avila, O.S.B., Bs. As. 1938, page 95).

The passage occurs within the pious hagiography, in the midst of the Golden Legend of Saint Benedict himself, relevant testimony for a remarkable empiricism, as befits the style of Saint Gregory. Concerning this Life one often reads mismatched superficial judgments, incoherent discriminations and corrections in the costly style of 19th Century philology. It is not my present intention to review those frontiers. One just emphasises that this paragraph makes the greatest miracle of the Spirit stand out with a concise and clear imprint, present in the empirical evidence of the Rule that anyone can review, almost everyone can understand and only a few can comply with. But Saint Gregory discretely defines the inspired bond that, through the mediation of Benedict, unites in him the depths of the Spirit and the concrete mystic historic event, and what is from above with the magisterii actus. or with the embodied achievements of a century, in the tumultuous and tragic critical situation of the Empire and the confusion of Roman institutions, resulting in a work unmistakeable for its balance and beauty coordinated with celestial virtue restoring the unity of verbum doctrinae and actus magisterii. Through this heavenly virtue even the moderation of fallen nature is restored and the abyss between word and thing vanishes. In the period preceding the definitive restoration and exaltation of man, Benedict inaugurated with his founding gesture (in which verbum and actus aligned and converged) a path of return to the original plenitude, a way of passage through the Post-Adamic and Post-Cainite contradiction, a purgative and illuminative way on which to reach the Mystery of Transfiguration.

The importance the theme of the mystical paradise has among the Fathers (as much among the Latins as among the Greeks) is well-known. With Saint Gregory himself this mysticism decides fundamental aspects of the Gregorian doctrine at the dawn of the Middle Ages, even though veiled by his Roman temperament and contained within everything suggested by the expression actus magisterii. So that the empirical evidence of that unfathomable depth is the Institutio Regulae Monachorum, which is in turn to us many centuries later the clear conjunction of mysticism and culture, art and theology, empirical dispensing and alert creative imagination, in summation the government of men and full exercise of aesthetic virtue as something much more vast than moral virtue. The Regula Monachorum is for Saint Gregory nearly contemporary with his original background, engaged in his mysterious expression of life and doctrine, the true testimony of his primary fundamental resources and hence the Rule is for the great Pontiff the numeric figure and empirical-doctrinal sum of religion and culture, understanding for the former the everyday living together amid divine banquets and for the latter an act of coherent fertility that for man recovers a certain aftertaste of paradisical labours thereby transcending the immense labours of Virgil and Augustan Rome. In turn the Rule is for us after the first Benedictine millennium, or rather until the birth of Martin Luther (1483), the inequivocable sign of an affirmative demiurgic function founded in the power of song, and after the five subsequent centuries during which the forces destructive of the Old Christendom are seen, the Benedictine Rule defines, in contrast with the dismal and contradictory pedagogies of modernity, the refuge of a fruitful leisure, the veneration of men’s hands, excluding Cainite violence, and above all the certainty the banqueting life of the Gospels that is summarised in a certain way in one of the fundamental sentences of the Prologue to the Rule: Constituenda est ergo a nobis dominici schola servitii; in qua institutione nihil asperum nihilque grave nos constituturos speramus (See PL. LXVI. column 218 C; Dom P. Delatte, page 21 – 22). Once more we face a semantic problem. What does the following mean: dominici schola servitii?

First, let us cite the testimony of a distinguished commentator, a master of the Benedictine life itself. I refer to Dom Paul Delatte, then Abbot of the Abbey of Solesmes. In effect he says in the pertinent passage of his commentary on the Rule: “In what comforts and stimulates souls, St. Benedict was finally obliged to define the particular form of the religious life, which he came to offer to them in the name of the Lord. Until this moment (in the Prologue) he limited himself to enquire whether they were able to embrace the Christian life in all its depth. Here he states what a monk is: a dominici schola servitii. Let us hold forever this definition of our monastic life. The monastery is not a place of dispensations, not a house of retirement, nor a branch of Academia. It is no doubt a place of leisure, liberty and calm (hence the primitive meaning of the term schola: skholé); but this leisure has for its end the study of the things of God, the understanding and education of his warriors. The Ancients gave the name schola to the places where Belles-Lettres, the sciences, liberal arts, gymnastic and military exercises were taught. As well as to military companies forming the palace guard and personal guard of the prince, to those places reserved for their barracks or where they performed their military exercises. It is not impossible that Saint Benedict also referred to meeting places of the Roman colleges or associations.” (The author refers to the work of G. Bossier: La religion Romaine d’Auguste aux Antonins, Book III, chapter III.)

Hence the monastic life is the “school of the Lord’s service”, the school in which one learns how to serve him, where the only exercise consists constantly in this: In the noviciate that lasts an entire lifetime. However, the service of God consists of two elements: worship or the exercise of the virtue of religion, and since the value of worship is confirmed according to the dignity of adoring, also personal sanctification in fidelity to the law of God, through the union of our will with his. This is an adoration in spiritu that comes from the interior man, in veritate, or rather from where none of the faculties of men are excluded. (…) Finally this adoration is collective, social and public”. Thus far the words of the illustrious Abbot. Without intending to thereby complete the page, but rather to reread the Rule and his magisterial commentary with philological listening, there subsists in the Latin expression of the furnished text an unexpected semantic vibration we must unravel. Well, everyone knows what servus means, servitium, servile in Classical or Imperial Latin; everyone knows what dominus means with its derivations and compounds. But what is surprising is the slant given to the meaning of the epitet dominici, being syntactically the ultimate stage of the subordination, therefore semantically reiterating the meaning of each term and context, exchanging the meaning with the working framework of the divine humanity of Christ.

Much ink has flowed from the Sixteenth Century to the present day on the dialectics of servus and dominus; much debris has accumulated from these dialectic, speculative, semantic and empirical ruins, which seem to take care not to notice that the expression of Saint Benedict echoes the theology of Saint John which precisely rescinds such dialectics: ouketi lego hymas doulous, hoti no doulos ouk orden ti poiei autoú kyrious, hymas de eíreka philous, hoti panta ha hekousa para tou patrós mou, egnoórisa hymin (XV. 15). From this beloved theology comes the empirical expression of the Rule, and this through a passage that goes from time to the Transfiguration presenting the characteristics and effective conditions opening, deciding and completing this itinerary.

Servitium dominicum and opus divinum are two semantic marks with strong transformative meaning that lead back to the sources of Christian Antiquity and propose an order of realisation that attempts to codify the Rule within the meaning of high art in a living form. The Orphic-Pythagorian congregations of Magna Grecia and the Platonic Academy in Athens were moved by the splendour of poetry, the Aristotelian Lyceum and Epicurean communities in the South of Italy, among whom Virgil lived during his first spiritual turn, presented in Greco-Roman Antiquity features we can reencounter in the monastic foundation of Saint Benedict. But what seems absolutely characteristic as the centre of totalising reference in the work of this Patriarch is precisely the foundation of man in the perspective of the Transfiguration. This in turn provides us with two fundamental recapitulatory phases: the restoration of the creative energies oriented by that word servitium and that word otium, which are both opus divinum (what has been called in a general and allusive way the mystica paradisíaca) and the real though inchoate actualisation of the eschatological Transfiguration according to the Rule proposed as a certain scope of theandric activity. Mystica paradisíaca and magical Transfiguration renew the roots of the Kosmos, resume the operational paradisiacal ties between visibilia and invisibilia Dei; faced with the task of preparing the New Heaven and the New Earth, and therefore anticipating in time the audition and vision of God: from audition in vision and from vision in audition progresses the ascent or anabasis of the monk, the analogy between his hands and mind and comes the expectation of the final cycle in the manifestation of Spirit. But in turn the monk also has the characteristics of a Platonic demiurge because he allows the temporal society of men, or what we call culture, to be imbued with such servitium dominicum, and such opus divinum becomes the space of the tenth choir of praise, as Dom Delatte defines collective, social and public worship. Thus the ascent or anabasis of the monk is premonition of the descent of the Pneuma, which as Saint John says does not measure its gifts (ouk gar ek metrou didoosin to Pneuma). So one discerns, on the monastic horizon so described, the Mystical and Angelic Theology of Dionysius the Areopagite, except that within the space of the Benedictine Abbey there appears the schola, opus, one could almost say workshop when we consider the powerful images of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Scola because each monk, the community of monks and the temporal city that shelters them live amid leisure. Hence the link between verbum and actus, life and doctrine, the image heard and the image of realised forms as well. Opus, because men enter into the sense of being founders and finally into the consummative sense of coronation. Workshop or studio, because although each celestial stone or gem corresponds to the mystery of a word pronounced only for She, who is the feminine Mysteries, nevertheless the sense of the realisation of Absolute Man and Absolute Woman always corresponds to their mutual insertion into the living display of those luminous, clear and incorruptible walls. Interestingly enough, in this transfigurative itinerary the monk rediscovers the supreme divine community, the intimate commerce of the spirit and every trace of loneliness vanishes.

Saint Benedict and the Empirical Foundations of Western Monasticism

The first section of these reflections came from a text of Saint Gregory the Great. We now confront the interpretation of a modern historian who relocates Saint Benedict in a vast phenomenological system of Hegelian origin, vigilantly focusing on the semantic centre, highlighting partial operational aspects without hint of some primary development of the whole. I refer to Arnold J. Toynbee. In the Third Volume of his Study of History, after systematising what he calls the “growth of civilisations” in his chapter on “the process of growth”, Toynbee analyses the dialectic of “retirement and return”. There among the models studied from East and West, which are numerous, appears the subtitle: “Two Saviors: Saint Benedict and Saint Gregory”. It is not my purpose here to confront Toynbee’s questionable thesis, neither to minimise or to readjust it. I just want to recap a modern critical counter melody that is nevertheless an obstacle to understanding the whole. Therefore let us read the fundamental passages of this critical reconstruction (op. cit. Vol. III, page 295). Toynbee writes: “One of the most important features of the Benedictine Rule was the prescription of manual labour, since first and foremost this meant agricultural work in the fields. In fact, economically the Benedictine movement was a resurrection of agriculture, the first successful resurrection of agriculture in Italy since the failure of innumerable attempts made since the destruction of the old Italian peasant economy during the Second Punic War, seven and a half centuries earlier. The Benedictine Rule managed to achieve what not even the Agrarian Laws of the Gracchi or imperial power had done.”

No doubt the diligence that was and is constructive, ceaseless and fundamental in the hands of Benedictines for fifteen centuries cannot be unknown or begrudged by anyone. But certainly this is not the deep historical-theological meaning of the Rule, or Saint Benedict or the complex European millennium marked by those virtues that, as previously noted, prepare for or make a man destined to Transfiguration. Hence it is also true that the specific Roman virtues of Benedict and Gregory correspond to the Virgilian dimension of the land, the empirical ability to found, order, administer, lead This is a height of initiating dispensations without which it is impossible to understand the character of this monasticism and the sense of its insertion among the ruins of the Empire. In this regard Jacques Fontaine, in an interesting paper entitled Antiques valeurs and valeurs chretiennes dan la spiritualité des grands Terriens propriétaires á la fin du IV siècle occidental (in Askese und Mönchtum in der alten Kirche. Herausg von K. Suso Frank. Wissenscht. Buchgeselschaft. Darmstadt. 1975. Page 281-324) has drawn attention to the link between Western monasticism, its development and initial expansion and the situation of rural properties whether affected by the diffusion of the Church and Christianity or by the collapse that accompanied the Germanic Migrations. In Gaul, Italy and Spain the religious conversion or continuity of some of these families or owners would not be outside the physiognomy taken by the monastic foundations and the style of this monasticism, or in its connection with the land, as seen in the history of the Benedictine Rule, and in the same Saint Benedict, a powerfully Romanised Umbrian, or in Saint Gregory, Prefect of the City of Rome, as they surely transferred the empirical Roman sense or administrative ability to be initiator, executor and solicitous appeal over to an expanding and consolidating order achieved within their monastic foundations, within a broad horizon of tensions, ruins, wars, pillaging, depredations and looting. Nevertheless however important this Benedictine stamp, this is not the in any way the semantic centre of their dispensation of restoration. Toynbee simply misinterprets the totality of the Benedictine visage when he illicitly stresses the rural economic aspect of an agriculture that reestablished itself amid the ruins. That semantic centre on which Benedictine agrarian work depended between the Sixth and Ninth Centuries is what we call the existence of praise. Without losing its rooted telluric Roman context, this semantic centre opens to the advancement of paradisiacal magic and takes its landscape, foreshadowing and mundane resonance in the Mystery of the Transfiguration of men. In the Rule we see precisely the contours of that praise-filled existence in which we intuit the historic arc that stretched between Saint Benedict and Saint Gregory compares to a rousing backdrop whose only comparison is with the origins of Greek civilisation, but that in the case under consideration involves the ultimate revelation of men in their active status of praiseful worship. In this sense the first Benedictine millennium, from the Sixth to the Sixteenth Centuries, would suggest a level then different from the experience of Deity and Kosmos through what is primordially aesthetic, lyric, poetic, or as we would say in a phrase already expressionless for us, a musical manner. We shall consider this issue later.

Saint Benedict in effect presents a physiognomy that surprises his biographers and researchers, whether ancient or modern, in sum the interpreters of monastic life or the medieval origins. Cardinal Ildefonso Schuster in his beautiful and notable reconstruction of the Sixth Century (Saint Benoît et son temps, French translation by Dom J.-B. Gai. Laffont. Paris 1950), in order to relocate the saint and his work into the context of his dramatic century, never stops raising questions about the spiritual direction of this Umbrian who founds a new Empire against the ruins of the Roman Empire that is then accepted and enables his fecund shift between them. For our part we intend to define the specific features of a fructifying, ordering and regent talent, the unitive character of musical life and the worshipful life of praise. Because ultimately everything tends to ensure the exercise of choral monastic life, without which the unmistakable seal of the order cannot be explained.

In effect, Saint Benedict went to Subiaco after his terrible experience with the monks of Vicovaro, preparing the foundation of the twelve monasteries that can be said to be the cradle of the Benedictine Order. Among the landscapes of the former imperial villa of Nero and Claudius, the Order rearranged abandoned lands and this would be the mark of their indispensable crop cultivation. The story of the German who asked to be accepted as a novice and who the Saint dedicated to working the land, the loss of the sheet iron from his work tool (hoe or sickle), the miracle of the Saint who recovered the tool from the lake bottom with only the wooden handle damaged in the tranquil waters, no doubt presents us with a Saint Benedict as the Maestro of Agriculture.

Then when he moved to Monte Cassino thirty years after moving to Subiaco, he promptly transformed the ancient buildings of walls, temples, spaces for old altars, sacred woods, aqueducts, etc. Saint Benedict personally oversaw what appears to be the distribution of parcels of land, certainly involving the entirety of Benedictine life. Hence Saint Benedict as Maestro of architectonic space in this unusual acropolis in the Campania will order vast cosmic-telluric relations, retrieving a religious past otherwise outdated, establishing the mystery cult of choral celebrations.

Finally this monk who was first a hermit and then the founder of a cenobitic rule retains the features of his Roman studies and in some manner, about which we are uninformed, is deeply attached to the literary culture of his era, which is to say the knowledge of biblical texts. Therefore he is the magister litterarum for the young novices. But above all this, and this is the question we should ask, where did Benedict learn the art of music? What teachers did he follow in Nursia and Rome, or did he take with him to Subiaco and Monte Cassino? What place did musical training occupy in the monastic outline of the early years and how was the culmination reached, implicit in the Rule?

If we accept the assumption of Dom Schuster that there was a relationship between the families of Benedict, based in ancient Nursia, and the family of Saint Gregory, certainly securely placed in Rome; if we notice the presence in the first half of the Sixth Century of figures like Cassiodorus and Boethius, and if we remember the radiant influence of Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine; if we consider these as complementary pieces of information, we must agree there is a rare artistic-theological equilibrium prevailing in Saint Benedict, a rare sense of the mysterious sacredness of the cult. In his active hands the plow transfigures the earth in Virgilian perspective; in his powerful ideas of space sealed by the Vitruvian science we see the accurate gaze of the Roman augur. But it is his subtle ear that separates and transfers and finds in the Pythagorean mystery of rhythm and interval the definitive model for the Transfiguration of men: the union of diatonic musical rhythm and Latin semantics reconciles the secret of this new Orphic power. Over the abolished temple of the ancient Apollo on Monte Cassino, ending perhaps a millennium of ancient and sometimes corrupt consecrations, now rises up the sung prayer which opens with the impetus of its constructive pace and semantic unison into the anabasis or ascent of men: first the abbey, then the surrounding lands, then the village, city, culture, science, knowledge as subtle congruence of correlative pairs enter into the Benedictine anabasis and secure what can be called paradisiacal mystic magic, return to the origins, foundational donation of grace, sublime harmony of souls in the objective glory of song.

It is thus not surprising how much the compositional structure of the Rule teaches in this respect, as Saint Gregory says, everything then known by empirical data. Dom Delatte observes that in effect the structure of the Rule itself enables us to establish what in another language we call the semantic centre, and thus the meaning of Saint Benedict as founder of the life of praise. After the Prologue and Chapters One to Seven, which according to the illustrious Abbot refer to the education of the individual monk, the text then proceeds to delineate in Chapters Eight to Twenty the life of the monastic saint and magician. Dom Delatte says: “Is there not then an intention in this Order? It is licit to think so, although it may be difficult to define a concrete proof. The evidence is clear that Saint Benedict has clearly defined the character of the cenobitical life; what holds the decisive place in his Rule is the liturgical life which organises the official prayer with more precision and care than anything else, leaving the extent and manner of private prayer to each soul; and that finally emphatically recommends nothing be preferred to the work of God, the sacred choir. In fact ever other monastic labour is referred to the chorus which determines the cycle of every schedule; virtually every hour calls for choral song and the better part of the monastic day. While a life consecrated to study makes use of the silence of the early morning hours and the mental lucidity that accompanies them, in order to progress in the consistent effort of the intelligence, the monk consecrates those hours to sing the same Psalms before the same God. (…) Moreover it matters little whether the world actually comprehends this work of sung prayer, or that it can not discern the true value of their mandatory presence. No monk would give a thought to reduce his life to what the world can understand; this life is what God, Saint Benedict and the discrete Benedictine temperament have established. The disagreement with the world, is that not for us a principle as old as the Gospels and the Rule: a saeculi actibus se facere alienum? Is not irreligion the character of the age, the parti pris of atheism, an atheism sometimes measured knowing how to distribute the dosages of its malice, but at the same time frequently a militant atheism that does not flinch from any procedure or proscription? If the world understands nothing about the work of contemplatives, why then does the world find its true predilection in their persecution? Because the hatred of those who inspire the persecution is much more clairvoyant. To irreligion must be added the vague religious sentimentalism of so many Christians and in an age of frenetic activism and unlimited utilitarianism, an almost general lack of knowledge concerning the value of prayer. Fas est et ab hoste deceri: in the face of this naturalist and impious conspiracy the duty of the monk is to be, more than anything, completely uniquely religious, frankly affirming what they deny or forget”. Nothing is wasted in these ten pages of Dom Delatte who with his masterly experienced hand and with diaphanous knowledge sets forth the essence of the Benedictine life and Regla Monachorum, and finally according to the paradigm of Saint Gregory, illustrates his actually plain and profound prose, vita et doctrina Benedicti, and thereby opens the upright intelligence of our theme: the transfiguration of man.

We are not monks. We adopt the masterly interpretation of Dom Delatte without hesitation, but we must relocate Saint Benedict into a vast semantic curve able to define our present situation. Hence the claim to establish a Christian humanism, detached from these venerable currents, has misinterpreted the opus divinum of the Regla Monachorum and caused inestimable doubts throughout the final spiral of Western man, now standing before the abyss of his own hubris, exactly opposed to Benedictine Transfiguration.
Saint Benedict, Gregorian Chant and the Feeling of Divine Manhood

As I said, it is impossible to answer questions about the musical education of Saint Benedict, and to us the question even tends to resonate with modern connotations. So let us first outline the contours of the question and then establish the requirements affirmed in the Benedictine musical experience of a millennium, fundamental to aesthetic intelligence.

When we speak of “musical formation” we do not allude to anything that recalls the studies of composition theories, tonal structures, suitable instruments or musical compositions or genres that open the way to aesthetic innovation. Hence we must represent something completely distinct from the musical training of the past five or six centuries, particularly since the Seventeenth Century. We must moreover also put aside the consolidated training and rigorous aesthetic plenitude of the Tenth to Thirteenth Centuries, whose creations correspond to an artistic expertise contained within the conditions of late medieval life, as much religious as profane. Therefore the musical formation of Benedict is situated between the final stage of the music of the late Roman Empire and the institution of the Rule. Nevertheless such training corresponds with a highly refined Christian cultural environment that retained from Ancient music the rhythmic capacity for union with the word, and also incorporates the experience of the goal of an objective diakósmesis teándrica that therefore excludes every subjective psychic connotation, including what might correspond with the fervour of individual prayer. The speculative sense derived from the Greek philosophical schools found in writings such as those of Saint Augustine or Boethius, for example, should also be emphasised. To this should be added the sense of Latin phrasing, the religious density of Latin semantics and the recovery of an expressive rhythm in harmony with the sacred action of the cult.

These are the unmistakable conditions to represent the musical environment in which the skill of the monk flourished, applying with artistic rigour the definition of the line between text and melody, between semantics and rhythm, between the ascent of the soul and resulting interval, according to the sonorous resonance of the chorus of praise. We thus obtain the elemental setting of the music, seen anew again with the original and originating virtues, stripped of the luxuriant claims of post-classical Greek music and with the Dorian severity of the lyric or tragic chorus restored. Although the comparison may seem exaggerated, in empirical terms Saint Benedict and his monks reconciled the tradition of a melody preserved through vast historic cycles and the agapeistic religion of the Gospels during the first half of the Sixth Century. This is what reopened the Kosmos and mankind to a new sense of the whole, and therefore to a new semantics and a new music. The archaic resonances of racial origins, in which words and melody flow from identical correspondences, in which rhythm and meaning buttress one another, such resonances purified by the requirements of the mystery cult define the character of the song and melody such that we can intuit them through the Gregorian heritage. They consolidate the subjection of the Biblical letter to a living essence of that totality in progress, making the end of the musical experience of monastic life the point of departure for a recovery of the origins of revelation, without denying the constructive drive that identified and transformed their empirical and historic surroundings. In this sense the union of music and prayer, mystery rite and agapeistic song, prayer and poetry, aesthetics and doctrine, empirical gesture supercharged with transrational semantics and fitting all-encompassing rhythm, repeats the Greek aesthetic model, even though the elements of space, situation and the complex resonances of this transfiguring and docent song is quite different. In the ontic melody of the Greek chorus and Benedictine chorus we may find the interface enabling us to understand the growth from remote origins then purified in another historic cycle, to the mature aesthetic-religious manifestation of Gregorian Chant, whose power would no doubt saturate the medieval millennium.

We spoke precisely of a new feeling of totality that guides us through the conditions of this ontic music. First they incorporated with new melodic features what could be considered the presence of cosmic-physical relations and their opening to a Kosmos that is invisible and noetic, yet actual. Such is the powerful semantics, expressed theologically by the Nicene Creed, and no doubt recovered in the aesthetic of Gregorian Chant and the forms preceding it since the Sixth Century. We call this first condition the praising totality of Ktisis, expressed by the Christian theology in the Davidic text: caeli enarrant gloriam Dei.

Then comes the spectacle of man, his location in paradisiacal and theandric mystic magic. The sentiment of divine-humanity invades the mind of Saint Benedict in a particular way and is unambiguously expressed in the art of opus divinum, or rather primarily in the entire art of unisonous expression of the choir, the sensible, audible and intelligible expression of the Theandric Mystery: semantics and melody, image and rhythm, narrative and mystic magic proclamation, resuming within the totality of the ktisis, the link of the God-man union, or man-within-God. Here the Benedictine chorus of Subiaco or Monte Cassino, however incipient their forms, however simple and solemn the resulting rhythms, intervals or cadences, has a theological integration in the cultic mystic magic that completes and perfects the heavenly mysticism or magic and therefore reflects the substantival resources of the priestly gesture of men consecrated to prayer.

Finally, while the monk is worker, reader and architect; clears the land, founds and builds; defines an empirical itinerary in a suitable institution within which choral singing, as we have said, represents the guiding plan of that monastic pedagogy, a powerful link must be supposed with the concrete-historic surroundings (Italy, Gaul, Germany, etc.) in a double sense: in so far as the chant clarifies the spiritual and cultural trends on the one hand and on the other in so far as the chant is sung with the greater or lesser density and prolix lushness of the objective conditions of this human environment. This aesthetic-religious interrelationship between monastic chorus and historical dimension is essential in the Benedictine origins, although after an entire Gregorian millennium it is not easy for us to reconstruct the empirical conditions of the relationship, or its semantic and structural effects. But that connotative power and its effects are real, and without them we would lack the key to interpret Germanic-Roman history during a decisive millennium.

We stress that the three conditions establishing the sound of the monastic Chant in Subiaco, Monte Cassino and then through the immensity of medieval time is dense with mysterious space within which coexist works and lineages of doubtlessly providential weight.

First, the sound of the choir as Pythagorean model knotting together every ostensible diakósmesis, every cosmic link, every telluric dispensation. The ancestral inheritance of the ancient melody converges in this first condition in which the aesthetic principle of a founding diatonic selection occurs.

Then, the diatonic condition as such. Through her the Benedictine choral choir reopens the mystery of the humanity of Kristos, as inexhaustible paradigm of every possible creation, including a link between semantics and time that does not cancel the blind spring condition of the first nor negate the transfiguring pathway of the second.

Finally, the choral resonance that governs the experience of men beyond the scope of monasticism. This exteriority is however charged with the interior of praise and maintains the resources of a life given to transfiguration.

The three conditions for the monastic choir, namely, configurative diakosmesis, union of semantics with time, resonance beyond the abbey – these three conditions seal the beginning of Benedictine life and entail the presence through a millennium of what has been called the transfiguration of man.

We must now tie every thread provided or recovered in our brief exposition, attempting to describe a consistent and systematic pattern radiant precisely with what is called the Mystery of Transfiguration. Should we delve for a time into the reconstruction made by Dom Schuster, we would begin by first noting that the shock voltage of this monk and his monasticism, which we would call a constructive shock, is opposed to a century of manifestly devastating and tragic jolting shocks. Here we locate the operational semantic virtues of agriculture, architecture, literature and music, with which Benedict establishes an empirical foundation with remarkable conditions. The origins of these operational semantic virtues are varied and complex, but none of them by themselves explain the aesthetic-religious emersion of the living whole. And that is what matters.

Saint Benedict is hermit, monk and legislator of the monastic life. Here we discover a second contrasting theme. The confrontation with Eastern Greek-Oriental-Syrian monasticism unequivocally shows the function of these operative lines, subordinated to the community life of praise. The characteristics of Saint Basil, dead in the year 379, and the characteristics of Saint Benedict, born in 480, would suffice to resolve two fertile orientations in those Christian centuries. Benedict emphasises what I, a little improperly, call theandric Super-humanism, held firmly in place on a remarkable empirical foundation.

And should we extend our gaze to the entire Church of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries filled with profound doctrinal commotions, which is to say semantic commotions – Saint Benedict seems on the one hand to be a kind of space immune against those quakes, and to affirm traits of organic living continuity, a theological charisma that builds precisely a space of Transfiguration initiated by Chant.

Finally, one ultimate congruence of singular impact. In the Benedictine life of praise, in the labouring and musical monasticism, in the mystic magic of glory, become unifying principle of empirical pathways, knotting together undercurrents from White Hebrew prophesy, ontic resources of the Greek mind and Roman foundations and government; knotting together the superior agapeistic creativity of the Gospels thereby allowing the opening and consolidation of the path of Transfiguration of men and the world. In this sense Benedictine monasticism articulates in a remarkable way paradisiacal mystic magic and eschatological mystic magic, resurrection of the origins and translation to a novus ordo saeclorum, to a different eón that is the source of other eons unnoticed according to the resonance of Greek doxology.

Thus we close our journey. Benedict and the Benedictine monastery, at that time in the concrete kairos of the abolished and convulsed Empire, found a monastic theology of Transfiguration. That theology does not ignore the unmistakable kairos, and never has anything to do with any other through later times. The schola dominici servitii integrates the high art of joining together paradisiacal and eschatological mystic magic, and opus divinum, the life of praise we have set as the semantic centre of the Rule, proposed the founding path, the pneumatological life, where the measureless gift of the Most Holy Pneuma is achieved. The opus divinum, the life of praise and in praise, is the definitive means of Trinitarian perikhóresis that gathers together the unforeseen gyre perfecting the world and men and already in the present makes them inhabit the Transfiguration of Glory. Song articulates the entire celestial diakósmesis. We are at the threshold of what the Liturgy states in the Greek doxology.

(This is the text of the speech delivered in the city of Córdoba, to celebrate the fifteenth centenary of the birth of Benedict of Nursia. The conference occurred on May 22, 1980, in the hall of the College of Notaries of the city, and was sponsored by the Institute of Classical Culture “Saint Athanasius” (Córdoba, Argentina). The author, Carlos A. Disandro, is professor of Latin and Classical Philology at the National University of La Plata and Buenos Aires. The text was published a posteriori in the 3rd issue of the journal Caput Anguli.)

Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 4:58 am  Comments (1)  



Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 4:57 am  Comments (1)  


Written by: Criss Salazar

Translated by: Franz Berg
Last February 28th dawned cloudy and rainy. Lightning bolts cut the day, roaring from the starry realms and trying to terrify men with divine wrath, something they have not feared now for centuries past. An unusual, unwonted eventuality; something unexpected in midsummer Santiago de Chile.

It was nevertheless a beautiful day on which Don Miguel Serrano Fernandez took his exit and parental leave of the Fatherland for which he had dreamed and fought so much, fiercely believing in his Idea. He always believed in synchronicities. Such was one summer day though with rain and lightning bolts falling from the sky, in a storm filled with the blows of Thor’s Hammer, that was then using the celestial vault of heaven like an anvil.

Serrano always lived in the exception, in dissent, in rebellion: in what can not be, but is. He rowed against everything and everyone, without skimping on the consequences this would bring to his career, his prestige and his recognition in the world of letters, valuing only a handful of loyal writers and professional colleagues. He also loved our city, our Santiago del Nuevo Extreme, as only he could: its nooks and corners, through which he travelled and went round as if for the first time among them:

“I feel nostalgic every day, he once declared when interviewed by the website Nuestro.cl. Yet Santiago still exists, secret, the little neighbourhoods, the old barrios, Avenida Matta, Mapocho. In every part secret places, secret plazas. Despite the skyscrapers. The Barrio Concha and Toro, Valparaiso. Carmen Street, Marcoleta Street. Santa Lucia Hill. I am nostalgic about conversations in the bars until dawn, the meaning of friendship.”

The same people who helped sweep the horrific Odes by Pablo Neruda to the crimes of Stalin under the rug, or handled with opaque silk gloves the incendiary speeches of Volodya Teiteilboim fanatically justifying the massacres of Bolshevik tyranny, would even so never forgive Serrano his “incorrect” political affiliations. They preferred to present him as the mad Nazi, clutching one straw after another to maintain the anathema that in fact only existed to deny him the possibility of any awards or recognition for his work.

Thus Serrano was a stranger to literary prizes, but not to the affection of those who knew him. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety among those attending his last Adieu: intellectuals, artists, musicians, poets and, of course, his circle of comrades. His death may perhaps have brought forth the same unanimity as surrounded his life, even when some found this incomprehensible, affected as they were by the prejudices that revolved around his person like the planets around the blinding brightness of the sun.

Miguel Serrano Fernandez was born on September 10, 1917, on the street with the name Santo Domingo de Santiago de Chile, in the city from which he could never release himself in any definitive way even when several times he had to leave her: “Next to the high peaks of my country”, as he would say, describing an intimate connection with the meaning of the name of Chile’s capital city. He lost his parents at an early age and was enrolled in the Barros Arana Boy’s School, where he studied together with several other boys who would be among the most important figures in the world of the arts and culture. Another curious coincidence, in fact.

His youth was incubated within a miraculous flower of our cultural and artistic history: The literary generation of 1938, perhaps the most prolific and valuable in the entire chronology of Chilean literature. Serrano was part of a kind of Round Table of literary friends young and old, who were permanently reunited sending volcanic creative outpourings of fresh lava during their daily meetings in San Diego Street and the Avenida Matta. Hector Barreto, Teofilo Cid, Juan Emar, Guillermo Atias, Braulio Arenas, Enrique Gomez Correa, Jaime Rayo and Eduardo Anguita were there, among others. Each among them shaped the features in Chilean literature and poetry they would make their own, something that would in the eyes of many make them the most relevant among the generations of our written arts.

Although he was the favoured nephew of the foremost Chilean poet of the time, Vicente Huidobro, and several of the writers and poets were sympathisers of the Spanish Republican cause (with the outbreak of the Civil War), Serrano did not adhere to those tendencies until 1936, when his young friend the writer Hector Barrto fell dead in a skirmish between Socialists and Nazis in one of the restaurants frequented by young writers, a fight that had ended in bullets, with Barreto dead. After that Serrano dabbled in drafting policy papers with a political orientation, taking part in several socialist journals. He never abandoned his effort to rescue the dead poet’s work, becoming virtually his ambassador to the world of the living. This flirtation with the Left allowed him to meet the resident Uruguayan poet in Chile, Blanca Luz Brum, who would also tend towards more Nationalist ideas in his later years.

Though he was a loner, this Steppenwolf, apart from groups of poets such as “Mandrake” or “David”, Serrano not only formed an essential part of this generation, but he helped to forge it with the publication of his work “Anthology of the Realist Short Story in Chile” in 1938, when he was only 21 years old. This work is considered, in its value and transcendence, to be among the greatest milestones in the national literature. With an audacity that caused great controversy among his professional colleagues, he included among them the stories of several of his young friends who were almost unknown at the time, except among themselves.

Professional writers such as Carlos Droguett ferociously disputed Serrano’s right to make such particular judgements, but time has proven the correctness of the author. Anguita would say of his “Anthology” that throughout this anthology Serrano “would claim to establish the absolute axiom by which the short story genre was to be the exact and exclusive way of being Chilean.”

That same year, on September 5, 1938, took place one of the most horrific events in Chilean history: The Massacre of the Seguro Obrero, in which 59 young National Socialists, inspired by the Third Reich and opponents of Government of Arturo Alessandri, were brutally assassinated in the Worker’s Insurance Building (currently the Ministry of Justice in Constitution Square), with an insanity and violence that caused a stir in Chilean society, to the point that the official Presidential candidate, Gustavo Ross Santa Maria, saw his chances of victory in the next election undone in favour of Pedro Aguirre Cerda, who narrowly won.

Serrano was shocked by the events of the Seguro Obrero and sought contact with one of the movement’s leaders, Carlos Keller, seeking some explanation for what had occurred. The conversation he had with Keller made a deep impression on the young writer who, after pondering over what had been said, offered his support to the then “Boss” of Creole Nazism, the lawyer Jorge Gonzalez Marées, with an exchange of letters published in the press. From that moment, Serrano was convinced of the National Socialist Idea and declared his adherence to Germany, ardently taking part in the newspaper “Labour”, the official voice of the Movement.

Meanwhile in 1939 he published his work “A Discourse on South America”, based on a speech he had pronounced in the Hall of Honour at the University of Chile. There the original matrix of orientations of the Serrano discourse would first take shape, championing a national identity and predicting the great changes that were then entering history.

At the outbreak of the Second World War he did not hide his sympathy for Hitlerism, coming to appear on the “Black Lists” that the Allies circulated in Chile during the great conflagration. Ultimately this would condemn him to the ingratitude and contempt of the official circles of national culture, depriving him of every award or recognition as punishment for the controversial choice he made for himself and to which he nevertheless remained loyal throughout his earthly existence, motivated by energies and convictions from other worlds, and from other lives.

With this Idea already set up in his person, Serrano wrote in 1941 one of his most important works: “The Darkest Era”, published under the seal of the Editorial Zig-Zag. Huidobro defined this book as “the most remarkable in the entirety of modern literature”, before later falling out with his nephew for political reasons. Moreover for many this book of short stories is one of the those that set the identity of the Generation of ’38 in motion. During the world war he also published the magazine “New Age” in which he dealt with totally new and controversial themes on the deep roots of the European conflict, motivated by an intimate confrontation between the elementary principles of the world, repeating a cosmic battle that goes back to beginnings of Creation. Concepts that, strange as this may sound to many at present, were to become popular many years later, although in a more whimsical manner, through such authors as Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier.

In later years Serrano admitted that having received initiation from an esoteric master, he then turned to an eclectic and philosophical discipline that he never ceased to practice, so that his publications during those troubled years were only his first forays into Esoteric Hitlerism, which would henceforth implicitly or explicitly remain the central line of his writings.

His books that were most committed to the theme were nevertheless much later: “The Golden Band”, “Adolf Hitler: The Ultimate Avatar” and “Manu: For the Man to Come”, about which more below. For many the apology for Esoteric Hitlerism and vindication of the swastika made in this trilogy was what ended his career and condemned him to disdain and the heavy burden of those who prefer to judge him for his thought rather than for his work. Still it should be noted that these convictions of Miguel Serrano have always been based on esoteric knowledge, some shared with his readers and some stored in the depths of his Creed. “Only myth inspires me,” he has said in his writings, always constructed with poetic ethereal prose, made of worthy figures and metaphors, and in which codes, symbols and languages of specialised jargon are much appreciated.

Despite the Pagan-philosophical orientation that dominated much of his social role and political vision, he was no stranger to the issues related to the serious contingencies of his day: For example, he attempted to convince Chancellor Joaquin Fernandez y Fernandez not to consent to the breaking of relations with the Axis Powers. In vain, since President Juan Antonio Rios had to cede to the pressure from the Allies at any cost.

This break with the Axis and the submission of the Government to the will of the United States, principal interested party in the isolation of Germany and Italy, was taken badly by the Chilean military who, urged on by their Argentine counterparts in the Peronist Movement, seriously considered the toppling of Rios. But Serrano and other Nationalists at the time did not support that or subsequent seditious attempts, as we shall see.

By then Serrano was working for the Panagra Press Agency in Huerfanos with Morande, employment secured for him by Blanca Luz who, as we have said, went from the Left towards Nationalism, much the same as Serrano. The director of Panagra was married to the poetess. At this stage in his life Serrano denounced and thwarted an intended military coup led by officers allied with General Ibanez del Campo and secretly directed by Argentine Nationalists who, in 1948, would attempt the overthrow of Chilean President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla.

This plot, known as the “Legs of Pork”, was described by Leonidas Bravo in his well-known book “What I Learned as an Auditor of War”.

“If not for my intervention,” Serrano wrote, “the plot would have succeeded. I saw the President and he received me at his office in La Moneda. I had been arrested and he released me; and Oscar Jimenez and Sergio Onofre Jarpa as well. I stood in for Oscar’s total loyalty. He would never betray anyone. I decided to go back to see Gabriel Gonzalez Videla and visited him in the Castillo Cerro Palace, in Villa del Mar. He was sprawled in a chair, almost like a boy, nervously listening to my opinions and quickly interrupting me to declare:

‘Look, do not talk any more, say no more. You are a pure young man, knowing nothing about politics. This is very dirty and I’m up to the neck in mud…’

He made a quick gesture with his hand. We said goodbye. And we would never see one another again.”

This event would mark a break between Serrano and another man concerned with Chilean National Socialism, Guillermo Izquierdo Araya, who had signed up with the conspirators. Despite everything Serrano never soiled the prestige and memory of his former comrades on the Left, for whom he professed great admiration.

On January 27, 1947, the construction of the first Chilean base in the Antarctic Territory began, the boundaries of which had been declared during the government of Aguirre Cerda. The base was named “Sovereignty”, later renamed “Arturo Prat” and was designed by architect Julio Barros Ripamonti with a dock and a prefabricated cabin, to one up the Navy. Built in Bahia, Chile, on Greenwich Island in the South Shetlands, the base had antennas, warehouses, radio stations, kitchens and permanent heating, being officially inaugurated on February 6 by the Commodore of the Antarctic Flotilla, Federico Guesalaga Toro.

A large number of civilians of renown took part in this exploit together with the uniformed military, such as the future Director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, Oscar Pinochet de la Barra; the distinguished ex-ambassador Jose Miguel Barros and the journalist Oscar Vila Labra, author of the book “Chileans in the Antarctic”, prefaced by the writer Francisco Coloane, also a participant in these expeditions. Miguel Serrano assisted as a reporter for Zig-Zag magazine and “El Mercurio” newspaper (Translator: the foremost and most prestigious newspaper in Chile).

Years later Serrano admitted he had joined this expedition convinced one could draw near the mythical “polar entrances” to the Inner Earth in which, according to legend, the Führer and his most loyal followers had taken refuge at the end of the Second World War, awaiting the End Times. Serrano, of course, knew the details concerning the enigmatic German Antarctic mission by Captain Ritscher ten years earlier, and therefore his hopes.

The extraordinary experience of the author during that legendary expedition has been the subject of profound inspiration throughout his vast work and those of other analysts of Antarctic Myths. (Translator – this was the famous occasion on which Serrano first met Adolf Hitler in person.) Thus was born his lecture “Antarctica and Other Myths” from 1948. In “The Compass of the Soul Points South”, he recalls those adventures and constantly returns to the theme of Antarctica. “Antarctica is the sexual organs of the world” and “Chile is near to the Muladhara Chakra of the earth”. With this the poet explained the reason for the highly sexual orientation of Chilean society.

In recognition of his participation in the expeditions, Miguel Serrano also had an Antarctic mountain named after him during the voyage. But as part of the destruction and punishment meted against the author, the name was later changed.

The magic journey of Serrano then ushered in another gem of Chilean literature: “Invitation to the Icefields” from 1957, one of his books of greatest international distribution, despite having left inconclusive the most mysterious highlight of the story. Here the author writes, for example, with an incomparable poetic sweetness:

“With eyes focused, mesmerised, the image was fixed of the ice over my head. An immense chunk tilted over, reverberating in the sun. Above, the ice ended in battlements. The light broke into deep tones of dark greens, yellows and blacks. Fear and the sensation of beauty became intermixed. I did not know whether that wall was moving, but I knew that something of great intimacy was drawing towards me, more and more. Then I heard a small rustling, like sighs and snaps, and several drifting small white plumes began to fall from the castle parapets, that on crossing through the light glowed fantastically iridescent, assuming strange shapes. They fell over me, caressing me, millions covering the small beach. I ceased my fear. The vision was so unreal that it would have been good to die in that instant. Everything was covered with little souls of ice, drenched in the cold of that extra-human light, weeping with emotion. And amid tears, I heard a hidden music made of sighs, cracking from the parapet and the flight of those crystals, water vapour solidified in the dry, cold air. Why did I not die in that moment?”

Below, we shall see that Serrano had a powerful inspiration as he wrote those words, based not only in his Antarctic memories. We will see that the Antarctic theme would also concern him during his diplomatic activities.

Miguel Serrano inaugurating the Cross at the O’Higgins Antarctic Base. Image taken from “Sovereignty and Other Antarctic Memories,” by Oscar Pinochet de la Barra.


During this period the writer began to write this third work: “Neither By Land Nor By Sea”, a book that would remain incomplete when published in 1950, until the appearance of its sequel, “Invitation to the Icefields”.

Thus baptised by alluding to a phrase of Nietzsche (“Neither by land nor by sea will you find the way to the Hyperboreans”), this is one of the greatest books produced by and known to Chilean culture, one that writers such as Enrique Lafourcade have cited as among the best works produced by Chilean authors.

In this magnificent publication Serrano narrates – what a chronicler of the soul – his own discovery of Chile, sharing this with his colleagues among his literary gatherings with old friends in Santiago, and then travelling to the South, confronting the myths, mysteries, legends of an almost wild country, where the two horns of Mount Melimoyu, the magic mountain of southern Chile, stand to the heavens beneath the Venusian light of the Morning Star. Being convinced that earthly or external trips are reflections of the voyage of the soul to its own inner being, through sacred geography, he writes thus:

“Chile is like a hollow in the mountains. Who falls here can no longer escape. An anguished and penitent cavity. The slippery walls do not allow climbing. Legs and hands are wounded in the attempt and one’s nails are shattered on the rock. What to do? Why are we here? But we owe everything to this land. And seeing our brothers in distress we feel solidarity. In their misery and bitterness, there is a greatness that is not found anywhere else in the world. A silent aspiration, an unconfessed faith. The sickness of Chile is like the terrible red diseases of dreams, like sacred diseases that destroy and kill; but that a little before the end create geniuses or saints. Chile is like a sacred and penitent hole that destroys but intensifies consciousness to the extreme of allowing an understanding and depth nonexistent elsewhere on earth. Anything that in Europe required centuries to mature in the minds of men, here under the mortal influence of the earth can be realised in the time of a generation. Life is short, but deep. The years and centuries are fulfilled inwardly, revealing the cosmos in the depths of a drop of water, or in a grain of soil detached from the mountains.”

His path is nevertheless what leads him to the mythical City of the Caesars, the Caleuche:

“The legend lives and feeds on a deep emotion. An event that affects the roots of the imagination, surviving, expressing itself in symbols spanning ages. In the most distant past of this world there was certainly a catastrophe that dismembered the land. By the action of Providence some men escaped in boats. Perhaps a primitive “dalca”, some farmer’s boat, that was covered by the raging waves most of the time, sailing almost under water, and this was the Ark of Salvation. And those who were saved would see floating boats manned by the dead, swept away by the currents of the ocean.”

“…The Legend of the City of the Caesars was joined with that of the Caleuche. Father Mascardi searched for the City through the lakes and mountains of the South. Can anyone find it? The Caleuche sails like a submarine. Will she cross beneath the ice of the South Pole? Is that where one will find the immortal City?”
Commissioned by “Panagra”, Serrano had to travel to Europe in 1951 for the first time in his life, as part of the delegation that was in charge of covering the World Congress of the Press in France.

This was an enriching trip for the poet, enabling him to spy out those corners of the Old World where the conflicts of the Second World War took place, places that he had until then only known and felt the excitement of from a distance.

And it was on this adventure that he was inspired to visit Casa Canuzzi in Montagnola, Italian Switzerland, where the writer Hermann Hesse lived at a time when the world had only recently discovered him, despite his having received the Nobel Prize a few years earlier.

It was July 1951. The meeting was amazing: both authors were not only able to understand one another, overcoming the limitations of language, but they also began a solid friendship that would endure through space and time in an almost supernatural way, exchanging correspondence until the day of the death of the great German author in 1965.

In this way Serrano was able to access hitherto unknown material about Hesse, concerning his memories, his biographical sketch and his works. A treasure of incalculable value. He became a great opponent of the artificial interpretation of Hesse in the West, adapted and accommodated to shifting movements prevailing mainly in American society. For example, he opposed the filming of “Steppenwolf”, completely adapted and modified contrary to the original, and which passed unnoticed through the cinemas of the world without shame or glory. He devoted part of his labours not only to deny such misrepresentation, but, and for that reason, to rescue the essential meaning of the writer. One of his most recent efforts in this regard was published in “El Mercurio”, Arts and Letters section, March 10, 2002:

“Unfortunately, the profound writer and poet Hermann Hesse was falsified and vulgarised by a decadent world. He needs to be reread today by those who once shuddered with his mystery. ‘Demian’, for example, was always understood by the serious readers of that time as a symbolic work reflecting the Masonic legend of Eve and the ‘Sons of the Widow’ (Demian among them), and Sinclair (name representative of the great hereditary masters of Scottish Masonry), which also interprets the Jungian concept of the ‘Self’, or Oneself, with the ‘anima’ already attached to Oneself; the Absolute-Man. This is the character of Demian (the ‘Self’, of Sinclair). Demian is also a follower of the Gnostic God Abraxas, who unifies the opposites within himself.”

It is no coincidence that Serrano resorted to Jung to interpret Hesse: After his experience with the German author, a further step remained to close the circle of destiny, towards the end of 1959, when his life intersected with the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.

How powerful this meeting between the two must have been, so that their archetypes seemed to merge into the coincidence of the East Indian lands where they then happened to be, and Jung in an act he never again repeated in his life, offered to write the Prologue to a book by Serrano that was about to appear: “The Visits of the Queen of Sheba”. Below we shall have more to say about this experience of Serrano in India. Jung meanwhile died soon after in 1961, but left an undeniable influence on the Chilean poet.

Having been associated with Hesse and Jung was something decisive for Serrano, who felt himself to be a link between the two authors, so influential in our time from their respective disciplines. That was why, in 1965, he wrote one of his most beautiful and internationally disseminated works: “C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships”, in which he presents a series of revelations with dialogues, documents, anecdotes and materials never before published concerning both figures.

It was definitely one of the books that assured Miguel Serrano his international recognition.

Miguel Serrano and Hermann Hesse


His symbolic-existential experiences with both authors are also reflected in the poetic content of books such as “The Ultimate Flower”, from 1969, illustrated by Julio Escámez, and that has been praised by other writers such as Armando Uribe, Hernán del Solar and Hernán Diaz Arrieta (Alone), no less. Serrano’s pen glides beautifully with his passion for landscapes and their sacred geography, as we have said:

“I believed in the Queen; I still believe in her. I knew I was about to enter into the City. Because of this I never became discouraged. When, after stubborn wanderings over peaks and chasms discouragement pressed hard around me, the vision of her dark eyes sustained me, urging me on…”

“I went halfway around the world spellbound by the City, or by those eyes, almost without knowing. I discovered waters no one had seen, summits on which strange plants and lilies of fire flowered, plains of pure sonorous light, snows like silver froth. I dove into the waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi, cold as death, in which angels washed their wings. And in the nights I prostrated myself under lost beeches and conifers, about to discover a sign of Our Lord in the sky, a friendly light.”

“Nothing, no one, not even San Javier knew how near the city was; at times I thought I was treading upon her. I encountered a lone traveller in Patagonia. A white dog was at his side. He was far away but I called out to him. He was Spanish. I asked him whether he wanted to make confession. He looked at me strangely; his eyes reminded me of the Queen. I remember his words: ‘Who needs confession is you, although not with a priest of your class, but with another I know. You go in search of something that can not be seen in our time. Make confession to yourself, but tell the truth, say that you are an Ancahuinca…”.

The Ultimate Flower is thus an archetype of immortality. Non-existent, but more real than the flowers of every flower in every garden in the world. As the author himself explains, in an interview in the journal “Ercilla” of December 23, 1970, the origin of the concept would be the following:

“…it had its origin in what Jung called The Self, and defined as an ideal point in the person equidistant between the conscious and unconscious, something that does not really exist, but that is more real than everything that does exist. It is the dream, myth, the ideal, the legend. They are ghosts, the dream of eternal love, for which some sacrifice their lives, and in the moment of losing their life they doubt. And nevertheless the doubt is no longer able to distort destiny. That is the Ultimate Flower.”

Miguel Serrano and the Dalai Lama in Chile, 1992.


Love touched Serrano with tragedy. A tragedy so great, so painful, that he only dared to tell it in its entirety many years later, in his “Memoirs of He and I”. A tragedy nevertheless become anthologised and the archetypal myth of true love like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Jason and Medea, Osiris and Isis… “The Archetype of Eternal Love,” as he himself would say.

Serrano formed a friendship with a beautiful young German woman named Irene Klatt. A most beautiful woman with golden hair and eyes of diamonds, “transparent, illuminating the night in that room.” We would like to reproduce the images of a beautiful woman here, but out of respect for the book in which the author did so, we resist this desire. Only Serrano had the right to present her as she was, with her golden divine beauty.

Despite her youth and healthy life which enabled her even to be a horse riding champion, Irene suffered a complex respiratory disease and, in fact, Miguel had known her in the Sanatorium of San Jose de Maipo. He approached her only in October 1951, when he needed her assistance translating some texts of the Czech writer Gustav Meyrink, through the recommendation of his friend Nino Corradini, or at least with this excuse to go to the house of Irene, in the old quarter of Avenida Suecia, in Providencia.

Irene was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, moreover possessing incredible culture and sensitivity. She painted and sculpted, especially “works extraordinarily strange for their extraterrestrial beauty,” as Serrano said. We prefer to save the adjectives in order to leave the masterful depiction of this angel to the author himself. This, combined with a charm and a wonderful sweetness, ended with the writer hopelessly in love… Or more than that, even. And with both in reality sunk in one of the stories of most dolorous true and tragic Love that has ever been told.

“Princess Papan,” he called her, alluding to the sister-beloved of Emperor Moctezuma who, in his famous onyx mirror, predicted the return of the Gods, those being confused with the Spanish Conquistadors. Serrano, who was married and had children, simply lost himself in this dream relationship, from which he recognised the concepts of “He” and “She”, now united in the magic of “He-She”, the alliance of love between a man and a woman, between lovers.

The author had begun writing “Invitation to the Icefields”, as the continuation of “Neither By Land Nor By Sea”. Every time he wrote some pages he would read them to Irene sitting in the patio of her house. The book, then, was conceived in the spiritual fecundity of love. But it was also condemned to be rendered inconclusive: Irene’s health worsened, before the anguish of her family and the desperation of Serrano. Drownings and bloody sputum, specific to tuberculosis. The bitter details of this amazing story of love and agony, heartbreaking, almost unbearable, have already been related by their own author, as we have said, so it is not for us to touch on them here. The drama can not be explained in words other than those already used by he who lived it.

Irene’s death in March 1952 was a catastrophe, a rupture in the life of Serrano. He never fully recovered. The beautiful history of love was sealed in tragedy. He never completed “Invitation to the Icefields”, but from then on archetypal love, the idea of He-She, would be present in his works as the most powerful principle of the esoteric alliance between man and the divine. Only tragedy could open the way for this knowledge and only through them could be proposed the fulfilment of the promise “to resurrect” Eternal Love (A-Mor, which means Without Death).

The book he dedicated entirely to this magic of immortal love and Tantrism is entitled “ELELLA: Book of Magic Love”, from 1973, and there he says:

“The knight discovered the face in the rock of the grotto, in the darkest place. It was a woman’s face with loosened hair and, in her gaze, in everything, he felt a primeval touch that filled him with recollection. The design of the face was realised by the indentations and promontories in the wet rock. Perhaps drawn by the ice of a lost age, or by the men of a dead race. There was something that drove him to adore the image. He made his sanctuary in that corner of the cave.”

“The torrent flowed on in the distance. In the solitude of the nights he heard voices, as coming from the most distant times. The words were incomprehensible to him, but they were there, as though suspended in the humid air.”

Clearly, the influence of Jung allowed him to develop his marvellous interpretation of magic love, following the tragic death of Irene. “Never again will I ever love anyone like that. I only loved Irene,” he wrote in his Memoirs.

By 1953, President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo appointed Serrano as Trade Representative to India, later promoting him to Ambassador. Serrano had earned this award for himself, with secret personal connections as we shall see, but without neglecting his diplomatic mission, successful in every way. And it was owing to him that the first commercial treaty between Chile and India was reached.

In fact, this voyage achieved and matured the esoteric vision of the poet, opening doors of unique knowledge to him, the birthplace of his teachings. In the first place he learned of the sacred Mount Kailas, spiritual antipode to Mount Melimoyu. “I came from Melimoyu to Kailas,” he would say in his speech when presenting his ambassadorial credentials, Melimoyu also being the actual geographic antipode to the mysterious Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

Almost as soon as he touched down in New Delhi, he immersed himself in the mysterious lands of Brahmanism, in the symphonies of the waters of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. There he witnessed firsthand the exile of the then adolescent Dalai Lama, to whom he offered the first helping hand after his painful departure from Tibet, occupied by Red China. He opened the gates of the embassy and gave him refuge during moments when no one would assist the small and vulnerable Lama for fear of the Chinese reactions. The same nations that now claim the symbol of the struggle and freedom of the Dalai then refused any such recognition for many years, when the Tibetan leader only counted on the meagre assistance proportioned to him by his friends, as he in his limited way had done for the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, another Nazi who would write of his experiences in his famous best-seller “Seven Years In Tibet”, relating the visible part of the strange mission he undertook in the name of his country in the Himalayas, in some way confirming the esoteric motivations that hovered within German National Socialism.

The Dalai Lama never forgot the gesture made by Serrano, acknowledging his friendship with him and even provoking an incident during his first trip to Chile 40 years later and after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, advancing to greet Don Miguel present at the Santiago Airport and bypassing the official delegation, in 1992. Although the government security guards forced Serrano to retreat, the world’s cameras recorded the unusual scene.

It was there in India, too, where Serrano received visits from travellers like his friend the painter Julio Escámez, who illustrated some of his books, and the poet and future Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. He was also visited by such international figures as the beautiful actress Jennifer Jones and even the guerrilla Ernesto “Che” Guevara during his mission through Asia, with whom he shared several yoga sessions, as later recounted. However the luminaries among his milieu were no doubt the local figures of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the immortal Man of the Rose, and his daughter, the memorable statesman Indira Gandhi, a great friend of Serrano. Her son, Rajiv, played on his knees in those meetings with the great woman. Ironically, mother and son became leaders of their country, both dying under the same circumstances, as victims of political assassinations.

Jung, meanwhile, would enter into the fullness of his innovative ideas on the psychology of spirituality, through those blessed lands. When Serrano fell ill with malaria, for example, Jung noted that his fall coincided with the devastating earthquake in Valdivia. Hence both were prostrated by the “synchronicity” existing between Serrano and his homeland.

Serrano wrote two other works that embody this harmony with landscape through his colourful mix of prose and poetry, exquisitely rendered: “The Visits of the Queen of Sheba” and “The Mysteries”, both from 1960, and “The Serpent of Paradise”, from 1963. “The Mysteries” is moreover one of Serrano’s least known works, originally published on fine handmade paper from Nepal with designs by Escámez. “The Serpent of Paradise” is better known and more popular. It relates his experiences in India, his spiritual travels and completes the “Trilogy of the Search Through the Exterior World” (together with “Neither By Land Nor By Sea” and “Invitation to the Icefields”), which the author published in one volume with the same title in 1974. He writes there about the birthplace of Hinduism:

“The external fire can not melt opposites. There is a great difference between the androgynous Elephant God and the hermaphrodite youths of Chandni Chowk. One has surpassed man, the others have denied man.”

“Several times I have found myself amid processions advancing through nights of fable, dripping stars, sweat and smells. And I have gone with them without knowing who I am, where I go or whether one day I would be able to return to my homeland.”
Presenting credentials in India.
In addition to the rich adventure Serrano lived in this surreal atmosphere, the Chilean representative would see himself involved in the vital defence of the rights of Chile in the Antarctic territory, thus establishing at the same time a truly magic triangle between three blessed mystic poles of three continents that in the archaic past had already been united: From the Andes to the Himalayas, and from the Himalayas to Antarctica. We shall see what this is about.

Meanwhile it happened that the representative of India to the UN, Krishna Menon, made an official proposal for the internationalisation of Antarctica. The idea could count on the sympathy of countries without Antarctic rights that did not recognise the alleged claims of other nations, in part motivated by the riches of the continent. Alerted to this dangerous situation, the Argentine Ambassador to India, Vicente Fatone, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with the authorities in New Delhi. Neither could the North American representative, John Sherman Cooper. Washington D.C. decided to send Ambassador Cabot Lodge as its extraordinary delegate to persuade India to withdraw the proposal. None of this worked.

Noting the responsibility that rested on his shoulders, Serrano wanted to persuade the Indian government to withdraw from the project. At first he obtained no better results than the rest of the diplomatic corps. But using his friendship with the unforgettable Indira, he was able to get an interview with her father, Prime Minister Nehru.

The Man of the Rose listened attentively to the words of the Chilean, for whom Menon’s proposal would destroy years of Chilean efforts to achieve the recognition of territorial rights over Antarctica, a land with which Serrano himself as well as his beloved Chile maintained intimate and indescribable ties, as we have detailed above. The Indian leader understood the message. Nodding, he placed his own signature red rose in the lapel of the ambassador, by way of sealing the agreement and as his next act he ordered the proposal withdrawn. This extraordinary meeting between the two very important men is detailed by Serrano himself, in his autobiography “Memoirs of He and I”.

Obsessed with his proposals, Menon tried to present the project at least once more. Nevertheless Nehru insisted on the final withdrawal. The representatives Cabot Lodge and Fatone formally thanked Serrano for this achievement, since in practice Antarctica was saved from what would have been her immanent internationalisation and submission to a chaotic regime, which would have dragged the continent into the larger planetary conflicts and made her subject to the interests that would gain from the exploitation of her resources.

While permanently putting a brake on the attempt to make Antarctica a no man’s land, the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, extended an invitation to the 12 participating countries of the International Geophysical Year for a conference on the future of Antarctica. Hence, on December 1, 1959, the twelve participating countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, forcing them to submit the territory to peaceful purposes and preventing installations with military or armed characteristics. The continent remains open to wider international scientific research and leaves the territorial claims of each signatory nation frozen as a status quo for the duration of the treaty, with recognition of their respective territorial pretensions, thereby blocking the emergence of new territorial claims by other nations.

Nor was any special recognition given to Miguel Serrano for this administrative achievement, noted as among the few major transcendent diplomatic successes accorded to Chile in international diplomacy.

Miguel Serrano and Pablo Neruda in India.

After being ambassador to India, Serrano held diplomatic posts in Yugoslavia, during which he managed Marshal Tito’s visit to Chile. His last work in diplomacy was as the representative of Chile to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, and to the United Nations Agency for Industrial Development.

The intrigues and actions of his enemies nevertheless forced him to leave the diplomatic field. On the coming to power of the Popular Unity government, through dark manoeuvres made by the then Chancellor Clodomiro Almeyda, he was retired from active service.

Pensioned off under such unfortunate circumstances, he traveled to Italian Switzerland where, from 1972, he resided in the famous and ancient Casa Canuzzi in Montagnola, where among others Hermann Hesse had also lived, as we have seen. Despite still defending his Esoteric Hitlerism, many international authors associated Serrano with the New Age Movement of those years, drawing him near to the style associated with the inspirations of Timothy Leary or Aldous Huxley, towards whom Serrano never expressed much confidence or empathy. Even so, visitors to Casa Canuzzi were well received by him, especially those who came with the desire to know the former residence of Hesse.

In this prodigious environment for creation, he wrote “Nietzsche and the Eternal Return” in 1974, where he realised an interpretation achieved with the maturity of his consciousness and knowledge, based on Nietzscheanism, Brahmanism and Jungian symbolism, as well as universal mythology and Pagan theosophy, his main strands of inspiration (Translator: not to mention the great wealth of inspiration he derived from his compassionate Wagnerianism and aristocratic Esoteric Kristian Catholicism as well):

“I feel a knot tightens around my throat. Will the memories of my youth return at once? No, it is something that comes from somewhere outside of me, because ‘this noble human figure’, who was once here, is become a sign up above that does not darken, to be taken up by the chain of successive generations, thought again with urgency so that the species does not sink destroyed by machines and vulgarity, so that the male seed is not annihilated.”

Forty years later, in 1978, the first part of his great trilogy, loved by some and hated by others, “The Golden Band: Esoteric Hitlerism”, was born. On this occasion his entire philosophical heritage gives him a definitive role as prosecutor for Esoteric Hitlerism, but his “racist” vision will be far from the white supremacist and Aryan fever that some charge him with at present, with ignorance of what were the true dictates of his Idea (Translator: an Idea absolutely contrary to the materialist biological determinism of Darwinism and classical liberal Freemasonry!):

“So now, we the South Americans, the mixed races, belonging to this “armpit of the world” on the earth’s surface, to use the expression of the Peruvian writer Antenor Orrego, the ploughed under, i.e., the Nordics of the South, the Great South, what are we to do in all this, what part do we represent in the Great Game?”

“…The answer lies in the assertion that the race which this entire cosmic theme concerns is a Race of Spirit and Legend. Nothing in this refers to biology, to the purely physical of the sciences of the exterior earth. Myth and Legend are indivisible, as is the Archetype. One certain point of the planet does not take possession of this more than another point except momentarily and then only to invest it inside and out within the same Unus Mundus. Only during certain historic times do they perch on some centre of the living body of the earth and, working from there, are embodied in men, to deliver their message within Destiny as the White Spirit or Ghost my Maestro saw leaving Germany, having exhausted the exact part in the Drama.”

The years in Europe allowed Serrano small and great personal achievements. He met the great philosopher Julius Evola in person, and the great poet Ezra Pound as well, probably the greatest poet of the Twentieth Century in his genre, yet punished harshly at the end of the Second World War for his adhesion to the Nazi-fascist phenomenon. In fact Serrano followed through with the only existing monument of Pound in the world, in Medinaceli, Spain, in 1973. Many years later he recalled this tribute, in the “El Mercurio” of November 2, 2002, the day of the 30th anniversary of the death of Pound:

“What more can a great poet wish than that his poems are recited by things? What more could he want than a blackbird singing in his honour? What greater proof can be given that a man is great, that a poet is so, than that the sky, or nature, thus manifests to confirm him?”

“A blackbird still sings in Medinaceli. And he sings for Ezra Pound.”

Only in much later times, already relatively free from the demonising prejudices of politicking, has the work of Pound begun to be revealed and rescued from the oblivion that was intended for it. Serrano was perhaps the first to propose such clarity.

Oblivious to the grave political ruptures strangling his homeland, he returned to Chile in 1980. He arrived in a divided country that at times left him a stranger. His friends were no longer there, nor their meeting places of yesteryear. Nor were the lights, the shadows, the colours. Still, he loves Santiago, the Mapucho River, Santa Lucia Hill, the Alameda. He can not get away from them.

Following the Nietzschean and Hindu line, that year he published “Nietzsche and the Dance of Shiva”. It then becomes clear that Serrano has definitively opted for ideological literature, a decision for which many of his closest associates would reproach him forever, unable to explain such a sacrifice for his poetry.

Avoiding difficulties, he went to live in the beautiful old neighbourhood of Santa Lucia in the Boat Building, in Merced, designed by the architect Sergio Larrain with his characteristic Bauhaus forms. Now they call the neighbourhood Barrio Beaux Arts. In his apartment on the sixth floor the walls of the main room are green. Around this arises a museum of his life, his memories, his adventures, his enviable experiences of the rest of the world. Various people visit him. With singular patience he serves them all. Later he alternated days at his house-castle in Valparaiso, Avenida Alemania, where he has his sheepdogs and also keeps many of his memories.

Despite everything, he has not lose touch with the Old World. For example, in 1984 he traveled to Madrid. He met in person the Belgian hero of the Second World War, Leon Degrelle, with whom a friendship would endure longer than life. Like Degrelle, Serrano would also make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most potent symbols of Hyperborean emigration that Serrano would read in the maps of the antediluvian world, where his troubadour chronicles live. He always emphasised the meaning that linked his city Santiago del Nuevo Extremo to Santiago de Compostela, in the Mother Country, convinced of a symbolic thread that united them beyond the merely heraldic.

Over here, in this Santiago, he is usually seen walking daily through the streets of his neighbourhood, watching the transformation of the city with his eyes the colour and brightness of emeralds. People recognise and greet him. He does not deny his hand to neighbours or shopkeepers, or drivers or the many waiters serving the bars and restaurants along those streets. People who live or work in the area always find him circling the hill, with his dapper trousers and walking staff. A good-natured, sympathetic man, so different from the cartoon monster many of his enemies try to fabricate. He never lacks a clean transparent smile.

Nevertheless we shall see that his short notes and reflections on the patrimonial value of Santiago must be combined with the energetic activity he undertook shortly after completing his first decade back in town, before the territorial threats would then hold the country in a delicate diplomatic situation. Serrano participated actively organising meetings, get togethers and lectures and writing a string of letters in the press presenting with his particular style a passionate defence of Chile in the disputes with Argentina, from his nationalist and esoteric perspective. During the same maturity when other men prefer to pass their lives in repose and tranquility, Serrano raised his fists to fight tirelessly for his country, despite the wear of such a burdensome business, as we shall see.

Following the publication of “The Golden Band”, Miguel Serrano had no reason to soften or hide his fervent sympathy for the Third Reich and for the reflection the international phenomenon had in his country. Thus he began to publish books that have been categorised as more “rabid”, falling inevitably under anathema as Anti-Semitic and racist.

In 1981 he published the controversial work “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its Application in Chile”, where he expands on one of the themes that has been a pillar of international Anti-Judaism, although he claims not to be “anti-anything” when they hang those labels on him. And the following year he launched the second book of his Esoteric Hitlerist trilogy, explicitly titled “Adolf Hitler: The Ultimate Avatar”. There he maintains a revisionist view of the history of German Nazism and the relationship of Chile with the international phenomenon, from his esoteric perspective clearly stating that the Führer occupies the role of the Tenth Avatar or ultimate incarnation of the god Vishnu, who for him is none other than the god Wotan or Odin. He emphasises the esoteric roots of Aryan India.

His Luciferian worldview has a pessimistic orientation: We are in the Kali Yuga, in the Darkest Age, the Age of Kali according to Hinduism. He sees the germ of self-destruction in the Latin American peoples, devastated by decadence, abused by globalist forces and the vice within their societies. In “The Chilean Racial Cycle”, 1982, he senses the Chilean race, the same race that Nicolás Palacios once praised, has already entered into an inevitable cycle of self-destruction. Although in part defending the ideal of the Chilean mestizo that Palacios proposed (he would even help with the re-publication of Palacios’ work “Chilean Race”), his forecasts are not encouraging. Later, in 1986, he extends his critical view of the region, in his “National Socialism, Only Solution for the Peoples of South America”. These books express in the clearest sense Serrano’s opinion on the issue of race, ethnicity and human culture, based on studies such as those of Jacques de Mahieu:

“It is not for us to detail here a description and commentary on the circumstantial investigations and discoveries made concerning a prehistoric American world populated by a race of white giants, demigods and whose legend is still preserved in traditions and documents, before the arrival of Columbus and the Jesuits to these lands. The natives, the coloured peoples of this continent, called them “White Gods”, transposition of Weisegoten, or Visigoth”.

Serrano does not abandon his Esoteric Kristian roots, nor his passion for myth. This same year he published “The Resurrection of the Hero”, one of his most philosophical works. There he says:

“Alchemy enables the Hero, the God here imprisoned, to escape from the prison, taking some comrades with him (like the Torch Bearers Cautes and Cautopates) and even a few beings native to this concentration camp Other Universe, those redeemed through the sacrifice of miscegenation, or a ‘racial sin’, accepted as strategy. (This is the ‘descent of Kristos into Hades’). And the reward will be precisely the perpetuation of a terrestrial ‘I’, the immortality of the consciousness here acquired, the possibility to give a Face to the undifferentiated Monad, a Face and a terrestrial visage, of a man, become the Star into which the Hero transmutes. Thus he will be more than the Gods. More than the God who enters here and divides into many equals. Because only one of those many will be immortalised. Into an ‘I’, into a ‘Self’.”

In the following year, he resumed the speech with a new work: “Against Usury”, where he returns to vindicate his beliefs and specifically the abolition of speculative capital. His defense is primarily concentrated on the work of the German economist Gottfried Feder, which he reproduces in the book, perhaps with the greatest emphasis on the social question of any published by Serrano:

“Although big moneylender capital deliberately tries, as the personification of the principle of charging interest, to conceal the right of its lust for absolute dominance, more than anything through every legislation based on Roman Law, or rather the right to protection money to service a plutocracy, which has been infiltrated into the consciousness of our people, the destruction of the interest slavery of money must come as the only solution to the looming economic enslavement of everyone by the Gold International, as the only means to expel the venom of Mammonism that infects and degrades the mentality of our time.”

The critical discourse is repeated in his controversial book “The Andean Plan”, also from 1987, where he asserts the existence of a plot to establish a new republic on the present Patagonian territory.

This is a period when his writings are principally committed to spreading ideological propaganda. In 1989 he published “The Leuchter Report”, which reproduces the controversial results of investigations into the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz done by the engineer Leuchter, made as part of the defense in the trial of a revisionist. One should recall that Serrano had long before maintained his incredulity about the alleged Holocaust, earning the scorn of many more in the long list of his eventual enemies. He even wrote in his Memoirs that, had he ever seen some Jewish friend entering a gas chamber, “I would have gone in with him”.

In this climate, he closed his Esoteric Hitlerist trilogy in 1991 with the book “Manu: For the Man to Come”:

“The storyline of History is archetypal. Already experienced and suffered in another Round by ‘someone’ who also felt himself ‘I’ as I feel myself today; the difference of form, if there were one, in truth does not matter, since I have become conscious of an Eternal Motif through myself. And the Archetype, being one and indivisible, though dividing itself into several, makes the self incarnated in the time of another Round be ‘I’ myself, in the Self, the Selbst, in the Eternity of the Archetype, now become conscious, now attained, touched. And thus as reincarnated inside the Eternal Return a fixed number of times, also with archetypal numbers, given to that and me correspond to my Noontide and are my Tuning Fork. Within them is given me to conquer or disappear. Within them I play Resurrection and Immortality. These fixed reincarnations by my Numbers are my Family House, my Lineage, which has now reached its Full Noontide in the Nietzschean Revelation on the Rock of Zarathustra. And if I do not go forth in a ‘sigh of Time,’ by the blinking of Kronos, reaching something never dreamt of, then it is possible but not certain that the Archetype would return to incarnate once more in the same Self, ‘possessing it’ in the immensity of another Kalpa, another Manvantara or another Yuga. But with less force.”

Although Serrano never identified with the military regime, the advent of the concertationist democracy (Translator: a political consensus in which the Chilean political parties have agreed simply to alternate in power no matter how the voters may choose to vote) caused him deep suspicion, especially when he learned about the efforts of powerful international magnates in the South of Chile to amass vast tracts of land including private monopolies over some of the largest aquifers on earth, a situation which in his judgement proved that warnings about conspiratorial plans for Patagonia were absolutely real. For that reason in 1991 he published “The New World Order and Patagonia”, reproducing his speech before the Monument to the Martyrs of the Worker’s Insurance Building Massacre in the Cementerio General, on September 5, 1991. The following year saw the publication of “Defend Our Patagonia”, in the same style.

In 1992 the Five Hundred Year Anniversary of the “Discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus led to a heated atmosphere of historical revisionism that then took hold of Hispanic American intellectuals, especially concerning the human and cultural cost the continent paid for the ensuing Conquest. That year Serrano published “We Do Not Celebrate the Death of the White Gods”, in which he defended the theory that ancient Nordic settlers had colonised the Americas prior to any other culture, and that every vestige was eventually destroyed by the arrival of the European Conquistadors. Interestingly, this theory based on the findings of De Mahieu has been substantiated in recent years by several archaeological discoveries.

The realities of parallel worlds intersect in the author’s works: In 1993 he published “The U.F.O.s of Hitler Against the New World Order” in which he argues these ships were the legacy of the German Third Reich, a theory by no means only supported by him but also by numerous other scholars of the Second World War, strange as this may seem. The following year, returning to doctrinal scriptures, he published the first complete edition of “Mein Kamph” translated into Spanish. On the death of his friend Leon Degrelle, he wrote “Our Honour is Called Loyalty” as a tribute to the leader of Belgian Rexism, in 1994.

This was a difficult year for Chile: An unfortunate agreement between Presidents Aylwin and Menem had ceded the settlement of the territorial dispute over Laguna del Desierto to a totally partial international tribunal created in the interests of the Argentine side of the dispute. Accordingly the judgement of 1994 was completely averse to Chile and based on criteria indifferent to the original delimitation of the area, for which reason Serrano, alongside his friends and comrades Juan Diego Davila, Dr. Jorge Vargas and the Academician Erwin Robertson made a controversial public statement in the Hotel Tupahue, protesting the partiality of the court’s ruling and placing the blame on the Chilean Foreign Ministry and La Moneda (Translator: the Presidential Palace). This thrust Don Miguel into the public spotlight.

Given the circumstances, Serrano believed this again confirmed his suspicions regarding a conspiracy against Patagonia which he repeated in his “Globalist Conspiracy and the Betrayal of Chile” and “Globalist Conspiracy II: Laguan del Desierto and N.A.F.T.A.”, based mainly on the loss of the Laguna Desert. His innumerable letters to the media were summarised in a paper entitled “Correspondence to Prevent the End of Chile” in 1995. In 2001 he again dwelled on the subject in “Chile is Finished” and then “The Surrender of Patagonia” in 2003, in which he warns in a dramatic, almost desperate, tone:

“The Apocalyptic Vision is such that, even considering the suicidal mentality of the Chileans, we find it impossible to think the matter is so simple as to attribute it only to stupidity, ignorance, cowardice or appeasement. Especially since we have felt deep indignation, bitterness and rage with the humble and simple Chilean people who have accepted the decision to deliver a territory that belongs to them.”

The format of the pamphlets with his controversial denunciations are repeated in several of the author’s titles, such as “Imitation of Truth”, from 1996, in which he critiques the unreality of the Internet, the virtuality and cancellation of personal relationships in the digital world. Bewildered by the political manipulation that became the Valech Report, he published “Hypocrisy: Torture in Chile”, in 2005.

Miguel Serrano in a literary cafe, 2004.

In parallel, already partially retired from public life and in the maturity of a man’s life, Serrano then decided to begin his memoirs, in an originally planned three-volume series, but actually divided into four. To many these are the best memoirs any national writer has ever published in Chile.

The first of these books appeared in 1996, entitled “Memoirs of He and I, Volume One. Emergence of the Self. Withdrawal of He”. He reviews his childhood and youth with an abundance of documentary materials, through his years in the Barros Arana Boy’s Boarding School and his entry into the prodigious Generation of ’38. The title of the book is an esoteric concept of ubiquity: the Self has two states, one lower and earthly, and the other superior, a reflection of the spirit. This book is bound in black because it symbolises the black phase, the Nigredo in the Alchemic Opus.

In the next volume, “Memoirs of He and I. Volume Two. Adolf Hitler and the Great War”, from 1997, Serrano strolls through the main part of his conversion to National Socialism, from his literary generation, his Antarctic adventure and his tragedy of love with Irene. The Massacre of the Worker’s Insurance Building and the coming to power of the Popular Front are highlighted. It almost seems a retelling of the history of Chile during and after the Second World War. His voyage to Europe and his friendship with Hermann Hesse are vivid and detailed portraits. It is an intense, dramatic and nostalgic book, perhaps with the most innovative contents of any autobiography ever written, since it reveals his own hitherto unpublished life history and environment. (Translator: Adolf Hitler!!!) The drama of Irene, his beloved “Princess Papan”, appears there. The colour of the book cover is white, Albedo in the Alchemic Opus.

The next memoir will be red, Rubedo, the last step in the Opus of Transmutation of Alchemy. It is the most anecdotal, perhaps because it covers the most awarded stage of Serrano in his travels: “Memories of He and I. Volume Three. Mission in the Trans-Himalayas”. Published in 1998, names such as Jung, Indira, Nehru, the Dalai shine brightly, together with the heights of Kailas and the waters of sacred rivers. With almost boyish excitement he relates his attempts to find a lost Esoteric Order that once supported Adolf Hitler from the secret recesses of the mountains of Tibet, the actual motivation of this voyage to these sacred lands.

Finally in 1999 his “Memoirs of He and I. Volume Four. The Return” saw the light, recounting his personal experiences with President Allende, the military junta, his diplomatic mission in Yugoslavia, his trip to Austria (also motivated by Hitlerism) and his life in Montagnola. He tells the details of his return to his native land, his frustrated projects to colonise Melimoyu and insists on denouncing the sacking of Patagonia in the hands of powerful international businessmen. The colour of this publication is gold, symbolising the final transmutation into gold, the alchemic aureum.

While his memoirs ended with the fourth volume, there was still something of introspection in his book from 2003 entitled “Son of the Widower”, where he made a synthesis of this entire esoteric thought, summarised as Pagan Esoteric Kristianity against the official Roman Christianity that he considered a Judaic impostor. He also reviews the esoteric roots of the S.S. and Islam.

His last book was published in 2005, after “Hypocrisy: Torture in Chile”. The title was “Maya: Reality is an Illusion”. There he adheres to the theory of the ability of the scientists of the Third Reich to produce exact “doubles” of people, and that these duplications would be done on the leaders of the regime. For example, he recalls a night in Austria, with a most special person:

“It is night. The city is in darkness. We walked until a pallid light appeared, it was a poorly lit kiosk with a large door emblazoned with a Coca-Cola sign. I feel that we have lost our way, that this cannot be our destination. Inside the kiosk is a man in shirtsleeves, folding newspapers on a table. Mund introduces me: He is the secret weapons engineer and this is the only work he can engage in without divulging his identity. He received me in a cordial manner, as though he had already been informed of my coming. To my question as to what he believed about Bormann, he responded in a most unexpected and strange way, with another question: ‘Who was Hitler?’
Rather surprised, I answered: ‘Of course I know him! How would I not?’
‘No,’ he told me, “you cannot because no one knew him, nobody knew him for certain… Did you know that in the bunker under the Chancellery building in Berlin they found fourteen corpses of Hitler, each the same? The one who left for Antarctica? The same with Martin Bormann and Rudolf Hess. Who was the real Bormann, the one in Chile or the one in Moscow?”
While this was happening, he did not lessen his perseverance in sending letters to the media, especially concerning his opinions on the preservation of the heritage of Santiago. For example, he proposed the conservation of the trails around Santa Lucia Hill, or warned against the desecration of the Mapocho River by aggressive new road projects that did not respect the sacred geography of the city he loved and which he defended to the final twilight of his powers. “Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura, unique in the world, with two haunted hills: San Cristóbal (Tupahue, Abode of God) and Santa Lucia (Huelén, or Pain),” he wrote in one of his letters to the national newspapers.
He never let go of this neighbourhood: He sold his beautiful house in Valparaiso; in Santiago he only moved a few blocks away from the Boat Building to the Maximo Humbser quarter, taking only a few paintings with him, yet always residing on the slopes of Santa Lucia Hill, his dear and beloved Huelén.
One of his last public appearances, the homage to Nicolás Palacios, 2006. (image source: extrados.mforos.com).

Obviously, Serrano’s declared National Socialism had costs for him in a visibly adverse cultural and political milieu. Besides the lack of public recognition, he was sometimes subjected to direct persecution, as when his home was ransacked and destroyed in the early nineties when important documents of his unpublished works were stolen. Curiously. He was also never forgiven for having undertaken a crowded meeting in El Arrayán on the centenary of the birth of Hitler, in 1989, whose images still roam the documentaries of the world. Whereas those who annually celebrate the bloody and brutal Russian Revolution received awards and public recognition denied to him for “politically correct” reasons, for the same cynicism.
Ostracised and regarded almost as a necessary evil in bookstores, one will understand why Serrano was never awarded the National Prize for Literature, which he had earned twice, thrice or quadruple times over for the length, depth and significance of his work, compared with other authors who leading a much more modest life easily received an award sometimes severely politicised and due to paid favours. Only a few braved the cynicism of the media and publicly acknowledged his work in various letters or articles, like the poet Christian Warnken, who invited him to his well-known television program, “The Beauty of Thinking”.
Armando Uribe, poet, former ambassador of Allende and worthy recipient of the 2004 National Book Award, meanwhile also decided to break the government hypocrisy and challenge the system. So he wrote a beautiful letter to Miguel Serrano, read on the day of his 88th birthday (2005), in a mystical ceremony attended by the foremost Chilean literary elite:

Miguel Serrano is a poet of prose. Do not confuse him with authors of ‘poetic prose’, outbursts of lyricism in the midst of prose, using the more conventional and hackneyed clichés: flowers, love, stars and other vague fumes that seem to raise the spirit to a world distinct from the everyday.
Serrano’s poetry comes from the plot of his stories and the surprising naturalness of his unusual characters.
While reading a book of this poet of prose, his reasoning from another world, with perfect rational syntax expresses what would be unspeakable to any other writer, convincing the reader so that he becomes an inhabitant of the unique world of Miguel Serrano, natural to his planet. He is the truest poet.
In the totality of his work, created almost ex nihilo (but with strong ties to history and geography, and recognising his predecessors, forging his own implicit genealogy) his mythological Chilean universe.
He raises a magic Chile to the universal. I believe he is the only poet among us that, having this tremendous ambition (making its home in our country that took the name Chile in the Sixteenth Century), has been able to do so on the grand scale.
One must consider Serrano’s work as a whole, a cosmos of his offered to us as a gift, giving his Memoirs in four volumes a high literary, emotional and intellectual place. His experiences are facts. His fantasies are as well, such is the force of his words and phrases, his prose and the poetry of his prose.
Today celebrating his passage marked by time, we render an act of human justice and, one must repeat, poetry.
Armando Uribe Arce, September 10, 2005”.
But, despite the vote of Uribe, the awards continued to be denied to him, completing almost 30 years (or more) of evasions and fear.
Don Miguel Serrano Fernandez died on the morning of Saturday, February 28, 2009, due to a cerebral stroke. His remains lie buried in the Cementerio General in the city of Santiago; the same city in which he was to be born, to leave, to come back and to die.

Of course the better part of his work runs the risk of being only superficially studied, with the permanent supply of anathema which also weighed on Pound and Evola, his friends, his comrades. The effort to demonise will emphasise in his individuality the portrait of the monster some have used to hide the significance of “condemned” literature. This is nothing new: To deny the prize to Maria Luisa Bombal it was necessary to emphasise her drinking vice. To deny recognition to Lafourcade he was accused of “lack of seriousness”. Huidobro was too young and presumed to have a pact with the Devil; Teillier was also deemed guilty of the bottle. And Serrano, well, it costs nothing: He was a Nazi, that’s enough, because the National Prize for Literature has become a reflection of good political behaviour to exalt the clique that makes scant contribution to letters or, conversely, give a blind eye to the compromised extra-literary curriculum of the prizes. Hence every author who inconveniences is the expiatory scapegoat, like Serrano.
Some will say he was a crazy old man stuck in antiquated fantasies; the same “madman” who nevertheless , without raising his voice in the neighbourhood restaurants, monopolised the voluntary attention of everyone present, mesmerised by the amount of knowledge, his culture, the vastness of his language, by the rationality of his judgements. Others will never let you forget his racial statements, recalling words against Jews, Negroes or Indians… And they will never know what was happening in his home when he cordially received young men of Jewish origin visiting him seeking information or guidance; or when justifying the Mapuche race, considering it the bastion of our Chileanness, active in our national miscegenation. Not even the warm recognition he gave to the quality of authors of Jewish origin like Paul Rée, Gustav Meyrink or Stefan Zweig, nor the friendship he maintained with Volodya Teiteilboim until his death, free him from the absolutist drama when quoting various lines of the most polemic text he could have written.
For my part, I will forever remember there in Lastarria or Victoria Subercaseaux, walking in his brimmed hat, while passing dogs celebrated as if he were their owner. In fact, the only official prize he could receive for his work was a simple recognition that came from the Society for the Protection of Animals, after publishing in Argentina a beautiful writing for his Himalayan dog Dolma, when she died. He treasured this simple award as a testament to his love for animals.

Or I can remember well drinking a glass of the digestive liquor, the “Araucano”, that he enjoyed, always inviting guests to taste some in his green room full of symbols, flags, portraits and a beautiful sword Excalibur hanging on the wall. An octogenarian who never felt uncomfortable with his young friends and admirers, in the “Leopard”, or the literary cafe “Mosqueto”, with Christian Warnken, where there was a time the curious could find him almost daily. I had after all the privilege to meet him in person, through chance, symbols, paradoxes or whatever that great will of his arranged. Also to know his nicotine fiend tendencies at a popular restaurant “Lili Marleen”, in Providencia, where the talks stretched until dawn. Some of the nearby diners offered to take us back downtown, where most of us lived in the same neighbourhood, when the opportunity arose. There, in the small car, Don Miguel went cheerful and laughing as one among close companions, celebrating the surprised faces of passersby who managed to recognise him among the packages, tangled hair and acrobatic positions within the moving vehicle.
It is clear Serrano won an honourable place in the national arts, beyond what many dwarves intended when they went attempting to deny him burial while his body was still warm; but it is clear that the seat of honour was denied him throughout his existence. As with Pound, perhaps a long time must pass to accept that geniuses of literature are not required to think for the charm of tickling the fancy of we who, just barely, are his readers. Just barely readers.

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 4:52 am  Comments (1)  


Christ and Mithras-Two Sides of the Same Coin

Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 2:05 am  Comments (2)