fredag 8 maj 2015

Castaneda: Words and Concepts: A List

Carlos Castaneda was a man. Now he is no more. He died in 1998. Before he left this world he wrote some 12 books on shamanism, magic, flying like a crow and speaking to lizards, about meeting Mescalito high on psychotropic cacti and a metaphysical view of the world. That view was fascinating as it used concepts mostly alien to western esotericism, so to decode Castaneda's concepts this overview might be of some help.

As intimated, the Castaneda creed is a bit odd. A bit insular, a bit specific. It employs a specific vocabulary, not encountered anywhere else. But in essence, the ontological truth Castaneda divulges is the same as that of The Perennial Tradition. And below, in this Castaneda Wordlist, I try to be intelligible for the reader steeped in Perennialism, in the Esoteric Tradition of the Old World.

- - -

Assemblage point -- encasing our physical body is an aura and on that aura (Castaneda says) there's a certain assemblage point, assembling our perceptions. The place of this point decides what we see and how we see it, in other words how the world appears to us. If the assemblage point is moved then we see "something else" and Castaneda experiences this many times with his guru don Juan.

Assuming responsibility -- "Assuming responsibility for your actions means that you are ready to die for them." -- don Juan

Awareness -- consciousness, mindfulness. A glorified, clairvoyant state of mind.

Breaking routines -- in order to release energy you can break everyday routines. You are forced to look at things differently, thus becoming more spiritually limber and agile.

Controlled folly -- consciously acting the fool, taking things seriously only "as if" they were important. For example, to go after things in everyday life such as status and material success but only using the experience as a means to spiritual fulfillment. This technique of gaining Knowledge (q v) is depicted in "A Separate Reality", book 2 in the series.

Death as an adviser -- we're all going to die and by realizing that (= memento mori) you are being taught the essence of being, i e that your physical existence is limited while your spiritual, post-mortal life is infinite. Book 2 in the series, "A Separate Reality", has a lot on this.

Dreaming, the art of dreaming -- how to steer your dreams by will. For starters, try to get sight of your hands when dreaming. Castaneda himself learns this technique. Three other techniques to help you in dreaming are (q v) breaking routines, power gait/gait of power and not-doing. Book 9, "The Art of Dreaming" specializes on dreaming but the concept is mentioned throughout the series.

Dreaming body -- a special body that emerges when you dream, maybe the same as the astral body you read about in western esoteric literature. This astral body, maybe equal to "the soul", is out flying in impossible worlds while the physical body lies sleeping, protected by the coil of the etheric body.

Earth's boost, the -- the power from the earth. Mother Earth is always there to nurture us, protect us and give us energy, "imperceptible jolts of invigourating energy" (book 8, "The Power of Silence"). Earth is a sentient being endowed with an aura. (Book 7, "The Fire From Within", p 222). See also book 8, p 100: the earth is spiritually alive, its mind kan affect the mind of a person. Like Plotinos said: "The earth hears our prayers; she has no organs but she's got senses."

Erasing personal history -- toning down the role of the ego by eradicating your existential footprints and becoming someone else -- yourself.

First attention -- normal consciousness, everyday consciousness, "right side awareness". It belongs to the physical body (while "second attention/left side awareness" belongs to the aura).

Gazing -- to fixedly look at some natural phenomenae like clouds, smoke or running water. Thereby you saturate your first attention giving room for your second attention, and thus for a trip out into the Wild Blue Yonder.

Having to believe -- well, you have to believe...! Like someone said: "Stick to your illusions. There might come a day when they're all that you have left."

Impeccability -- being beyond reproach, sinless. A kind of quietist moral with lodestars like modesty, thoughtfulness, simplicity, lack of pride and self-reflectiveness. Instead of endlessly going over personal problems you rise yourself to the level of impeccability.

Inner silence -- with inner silence you reach silent knowledge. See "The Power of Silence", book 8 in the series. It's a way of finding calm, silencing your inner monologue. Thereby you activate the higher levels of your mind (q v nagual, second attention).

Intent -- "the Spirit", Tao, God, divine energy. Naming God "the Spirit" is fairly common among North American Indians. Castaneda's "intent" is not primarily a being, it's a force you can learn how to use, divine energy as mentioned.

Knowledge -- don Juan's way is called "acquiring Knowledge", "becoming a man of Knowledge". The means for this are (q v) stalking, awareness, intent and dreaming.

Left side awareness -- the other world, the unknown, the separate reality. See also second attention and nagual.

Losing the human form -- when your tonal and nagual minds are united you reach the totality of oneself.

Losing self-importance - to realize your limitations, toning down your sense of importance. You have to be able to take a joke, withstand ridicule, all in order to release energy to reach Knowledge. Cf what's said in book 5, "The Second Ring of Power", chapter 8: you have to break the mirror of self-reflection. "I used to live in a room full of mirrors / all I could see was me" like Hendrix said.

Nagual -- (pronounced nah-wal), the unknown, das Unbedingte, the virgin lands of the metaphysical realm. It reminds you of Tao: "the Tao that can be named is not the True Tao" (Lao Tse). To nagual you can be led by psychotropic drugs (mushrooms, peyote, Jimson Weed, q v book 1, "The Teachings of Don Juan") but this is a somewhat primitive technique, don Juan says. It's better to go the spiritual way, using strategies like (q v) erasing personal history, losing self-importance, assuming responsibility and death as an adviser. -- Nagual (capital N) is also the title of the head magician in the circles that Castaneda depicts: "the Nagual don Juan" and, from the fifth book on, "the Nagual Carlos Castaneda".

Not-doings - freeing yourself of everyday doings, executed with strategies like (q v) erasing personal history, losing self-importance, breaking routines. Book 3, "Journey to Ixtlan" treats not-doing rather extensively.

Places of power -- places of energy. Certain spots in the landscape bring you energy, energetic zones helping you to focus and meditate. In all times churches and temples have been built on such places; Christianity raised its temples on heathen temple grounds, not only to stamp out the old religion but to gain access to these energetic sweet spots.

Power -- energy, probably equal to God and divine energy (q v "intent"). The book "Tales of Power" might then be considered as "Tales of God"...! Don Juan says: "Power provides according to our impeccability." In other words, if we purge our minds of greed and fear then we can more easliy approach God. -- Don Juan also says that this and that is "a sign form Power", "Power pointed it out" etc. Good portents are seen as given by Power. A Christian, a Hindu, a Jew or a Muslim might for their part say that this is a work of God, a sign of God etc.

Power gait -- an occult technique whereby your way of walking might take you to other worlds. How...? Beats me. But Castaneda's world is full of mysteries and shamanic doings. I don't reject their plausibility, I'm just saying that I'm no magician, just an adept and a scholar.

Recapitulation -- to scrutinize your past life in the uttermost detail, noting all mistakes done, admitting the faults and thereby releasing energy for new ventures, new vistas. It's the same as penitence, confessing your sins and repenting but Castaneda never expresses his system in such Christan terms -- almost never.

Right side awareness -- normal consciousness linked to this world, the everyday world. See also first attention and tonal.

Second attention -- the supernatural, higher consciousness, "left side awareness". Second attention belongs to the aura, "the luminous body"; first attention (q v) for its part belongs to the physical body. - There is also third attention which is the highest you can get: seeing God (or seeing "the Eagle's emanations" as don Juan would put it.)

Seeing -- clairvoyance. Emerges when you've (q v) stopped the world by not-doing.

Stalking, the art of stalking -- to mysteriously reach (q v) Knowledge by sneaking around in metaphysical hunting grounds.

Stopping the world -- to realize à la zen that "it's the mind that moves, not the world". Having reached total inner calm then you've "stopped the world". Book 3 ("Journey to Ixtlan") is about don Juan's concept of "stopping the world" which is done by venturing out on a vision quest, a traditional one-man journey into the wild when you shall meditate, fast and wait for the ensuing visions. Castaneda duly obeys and goes out into the wild, eventually striking up a conversation with a coyote. This is ably parodied in a certain "Simpson's" episode with Johnny Cash doing the coyote's lines, but the truth is fascinating also: the original scene in "Journey to Ixtlan". In Swedish I've blogged about it here.

Ascended Masters -- Some Notes
In Swedish: Hur det började
In Swedish: Castaneda = kastanj
In Swedish: Review of "The Eagle's Gift"

onsdag 29 april 2015

Lästips: antiken

Summary in English: these are some reading tips on ancient history. -- Härmed några lästips. De rör antiken, Grekland, Rom och Indien i forn tid. Samt lite arisk historia för svenska nejder.

För att få ett grepp om antiken rekommenderar jag två böcker i Bonniers Världshistoria från 1980-talet. De slår mig som, med dagens mått, rätt konservativa. Det är "Grekernas värld" av Hans Furuhagen samt "Romarriket" av Erling Bjöl och Leo Hjortsö.

När jag läste på universitetet hette basboken om antiken "Medelhavsvärldens historia till 476 e Kr" av Hugo Montgomery. Torr, men korrekt och utan bilder (Bonnierböckerna har bilder vilket kanske är störande).

När man läst dem kan man läsa biografier. Bäst är greken Plutarchos, som dels finns på svenska, men jag läste honom på engelska i Penguin Pocket i "Makers of Rome", "Fall of the Roman Republic" (läs om Caesar, Marius, Sulla, Cicero), "The Rise and Fall of Athens" (Themistokles, Alkibiades, spartanen Leonidas) och "The Age of Alexander" (med bland annat Alexanderbiografin). Plutarchos är lättläst och koncis. Andra bra antika historiker är Caesar själv (Om det galliska kriget), Polybios (mycket krigshistoria) samt Tacitus om man gillar intriger i den tidiga kejsartiden. Herodotos ("Historia") skildrar både det antika Grekland och Persien. Även Plutarchos gjorde intjack i Persien, som i Crassusbiografin.

- - -

För antiken kan även moderna biografier rekommenderas. Som J. F. C. Fullers Caesarbiografi och diverse andras över Alexander. Poängen är att biografier ger en bra bild av en epok. Alltså: även mer nutida sådana kan nog läsas. Folk vill ju läsa om krig och fälttåg och då tror jag inte författaren ids komma med pekpinnar jämt.

Vad gäller indoeuropéer rekommenderar jag en antologi med Marija Gimbutas texter från 1997: "The Kurgan culture and the Indo-Europeanization of Europe". Annars kan man läsa om båtyxefolket, som var de första indoeuropéerna i Norden, i till exempel "Svensk historia 1" av Jerker Rosén eller 1980-talsboken "Den svenska historien 1". Det står väldigt lite om arier i dem, uttryckligen inget alls egentligen, men båtyxefolket var arier och de behandlas kort där. Alltid något.

- - -

Fältet det gäller, antiken, är stort. Vill man ha allmän introduktion i till exempel Mesopotamiens äldsta tid tror jag random översiktsbok kan duga. Det står ungefär samma saker i dem. Även lite äldre böcker (allt från 1800-talet till idag) kan ge basfakta. Så värst mycket nya rön kommer egentligen inte fram genom åren.

Med andra ord: den konservativa synen har dominerat i all andlig odling i västerlandet från begynnelsen till cirka år 2000. Så ta dig an handböcker och biografier från klassisk tid och allt ska gå dig väl i livet, min son.

Fler lästips
Tänk på döden
Bilden har inget med inlägget att göra. Men den föreställer Lidingö, Stockholm.

måndag 6 april 2015

Radikalkonservativ litteratur

Summary in English: this post gives you links to some reviews etc on this blog, entries with a radical conservative slant. -- Den här bloggen har funnits i drygt sju år. Den startades i november 2007. Här ska jag berätta om denna bloggs politiska sida. För att vara exakt ska det handla om länkar till diverse högerpräglad, radikalkonservativ litteratur jag behandlat genom åren. I vid mening högerradikala böcker ska jag avhandla nedan.

Denna blogg är ingen nischblogg. Den innehåller inte bara politik.

Svenssongalaxen innehåller ett och annat. Gå till denna innehållsförteckning och botanisera. Först listar den engelska inlägg, därefter svenska. I förteckningen ges länkar till artiklar om bilar, om politik, om science fiction och annat. Ni finner inlägg om filosofi, esoterism, historia och mitt liv. Och ni finner noveller och länkar till mina romaner, som kan laddas ner före sista april i år.

Men om vi nu pratar politik, vad har jag då att komma med där? Om vi, som utlovat, talar högermässig litteratur, vad kan jag bjuda på?

- - -

Till vad kan jag guida er inom radikalkonservativ litteratur? Jo, detta.

Om vi börjar med högervinklad science fiction kan jag ge dessa två länkar:

. Robert Heinleins "Starship Troopers" var en kontroversiell bok när den kom 1959, ja även senare. Den gav inblick i det operativa, viljedrivna sinnelaget. Mer här.
. Frank Herberts "Dune" kan sägas vara "arkeofuturism i aktion". Boken skildrar en ålderdomlig framtid, en framtid där det nya och skenbart ålderdomliga samsas. Här är texten som tolkar det hela.

Det om sf. Om vi ser till politiska essäer, vad har jag då recenserat? Jo, till exempel detta:

. Julius Evolas "Ride the Tiger" (1961). Det är en bok om att, som radikalkonservativ, i viss mening bejaka den moderna tidens nihilism och materialism. Förutsatt att man har ordning inom sig, och har en tro på högre värden, kan nihilismen vara en renande kraft. Mer här.
. Oswald Spenglers "Västerlandets undergång". Spengler såg, till skillnad från liberaler, inga "eviga framsteg". Nej han ansåg att kulturer lever upp, blomstrar och går under i ett fast mönster. Även om jag är mer av optimist än pessimist så är Spenglers syn berikande. Den är ett rungande alternativ till förnumstiga liberalers framstegstro. Gå hit.
. Friedrich Nietzsche var, utåt sett, en ateist-nihilist. Men under ytan fanns en tro på något högre, det fanns "gudomliga begär", "evig återkomst" och annat esoteriskt. Se här.

Nietzsche påverkade för sin del både Spengler och Evola. Och han påverkade Ernst Jünger, som jag skrivit en del om. Ett axplock ur mina Jüngerartiklar är dessa:

. En biografisk skiss över Jüngers bravader tiden 1945-1998. (Han levde 1895-1998.)
. En recension av romanen "Heliopolis" från 1949.
. En recension av "Das abenteuerliche Herz" från 1938.

Det var några länkar till högerradikala texter på denna blogg. Väl bekomme.

Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait
Ambrose: Eisenhower -- Soldier and President (1991)
Arméstaben: SoldF 1957
Göteborgs konstmuseum

söndag 8 mars 2015

Science fiction: på denna blogg: länkar

Jag gillar science fiction. Denna genre har alltid varit en ledstjärna för mig. Man kan även kalla den "fantastik". Hur som helst har jag recenserat min beskärda del av fantastiska böcker här på bloggen. Genom åren har det blivit en del: man ser i andanom framför sig ett veritabelt länkbibliotek, ett rent fantastikhelvete. Här ska jag försöka guida er genom detta helvete.

1. Teknokrater

För moderna, tekniskt sinnade sf-författare kommer jag osökt att tänka på en sådan som Frederik Pohl. Dennes berättelser är mycket rymd, högteknik och utomjordingar, ofta med en tanke på att det ska vara drabbande och episkt. Han lyckas inte alltid med det som jag påstår i länken. En mer helgjuren sf-man, en som är mer medveten om sina begränsningar än Pohl, är Larry Niven. Med dessa begränsningar skapar han ändå odödlig symbolism som den artificiella jättevärlden Ringworld. Mer om detta i länken.

En finurlig teknokrat synes mig Arthur C. Clarke vara. Han hade alltid en öppning mot esoterism och det gudomliga, samtidigt som hans berättelser var nyktra och strikt vetenskapliga. Slå det om ni kan.

En höjdpunkt i modern sf är i mina ögon "Neuromancer" av William Gibson. Den så kallade cyberpunkrörelsen var egentligen bara denna enda roman: Gibsons övriga romaner var lite lama och övriga författare i denna rörelse var inte lika stilmedvetna och gosiga som Gibson.

2. Stilen

En remarkabel krigsbok är Robert Heinleins "Starship Troopers". Nog sagt.

Heinleins polare Isaac Asimov hade likt Clarke en viss majestätitsk lyftning trots nykterheten och den enkla prosan. Och likt Clarke och Niven var Asimov medveten om sina begränsningar som stilist.

A. E. van Vogt var generationskamrat med Asimov och Heinlein. Alla debuterade i decembernumret av Astounding. van Vogt var dock en mer gåtfull, mer stilmedveten författare, även om han inte var någon James Joyce eller Ernst Jünger. Men van Vogts berättelser tenderar att stanna i minnet.

När det gäller stilmedveten sf så hände det en del på 60-talet. Michael Moorcock redigerade tidskriften New Worlds och sprängde gränser. (Länken ifråga handlar dock mer om hans fantasyromaner, som är goda de med.) Jim Ballard förekom ofta i New Worlds och tog sf till tidigare osedda marker, dock samtidigt mer vardagliga eftersom han bara skrev om människor här och nu. Det märkliga finns mitt ibland oss, det är Ballards budskap från industriområden, forskningsstationer, motorvägar och flygplansvrak.

3. Allting finns

Än mer än Ballard framstår Philip K. Dick som en genuint stor författare, en författare med en speciell röst. En författare som också förmedlar lite godhet bland alla cynismer och eländen som 1900-talsprosaister tenderade att skildra i denna Kali Yugas sista tid. På en lägre stilistisk nivå, men samtidigt på en högre mytisk, befinner sig Frank Herberts "Dune". Jag upphör aldrig att fascineras över sandmaskar, drogen melange och religiösa sekter i hans avlägsna, galaktiska framtid.

Därmed är vi inne på arkaiska tongångar. Robert Holdstocks "Mythago Wood" skildrar hur en forskare dras in i en skog inpå knuten, ett tillhåll för mytiska varelser, tomtar och huldror: the deeper you look into it, the deeper it looks into you. Denna recension rekommenderas starkt, denna bok är unik: en fantasyroman med ett bärande idéinnehåll, Jung och arketyper och skogsäventyr. Det kan inte bli bättre än så här.

4. Egendomligt

Amerikansk weird fantasy har alltid fascinerat mig. Tidigt läste jag Edgar Allan Poes sällsamma berättelser. "Det här är sällsamt" sa jag till mig själv efter att ha läst om den svarta katten, det skvallrande hjärtat och Huset Ushers fall. "Detta är egendomligt, gåtfullt och tankeväckande!" Jag kunde inte för mitt liv förstå hur Poes hjärna var konstruerad. Hur kunde han komma på dessa bisarrerier?

Och det var ändå inget mot för hur jag något senare reagerade på H. P. Lovecrafts noveller. Lovecraft var amerikan likt Poe men tog skräcken och fantasyn till en högre nivå. Samtida med Lovecraft var Clark Ashton Smith som vistades i mer skimrande städer. Båda var inspirerade av engelsmannen Lord Dunsany som helt enkelt är förtjusande, dock med vissa underströmmar av fasa.

Vi närmar oss slutet på denna exposé över Galaxens bokrecensioner, fantastikdelen. J. R. R. Tolkien är förstås central när det gäller meningsfull fantasy. Tolkien är idealist, inte nihilist, och det är viktigt.

5. Svensk fantastik

Åke Ohlmarks var den förste svenske översättaren av Tolkien. Han var den störste! Och den förste - och den siste. Han var den siste swashbucklern, en fejdande man, en resande man. Han visade mer än någon annan vad det är att ha personlighet och förmedla den i sina texter.

En svensk fantasyroman som ännu lever är annars "Maktens vägar" av Bertil Mårtensson. Den är en trilogi med heroiska förtecken men skiljer sig ändå från Tolkien i sitt direktare tilltal, sin svenskhet och elegans. Kolla upp!

Mårtensson för mig osökt in på ämnet svensk fantastik idag. Vill ni veta något om Granström, Alf Yngve och Bjällerstedt-Mickos ska ni klicka på den länken. Det skrivs mycket fantasy och framtidsaktigt i detta land. Kultursnobbarna ignorerar det dock. Tidigare i höst kunde till exempel Horace och Stig Larsson sitta i TV:s Babel och säga, "det finns ingen svensk sf idag"...! Det kan man förstås säga om man är ignorant, blind och döv för Wela förlag, för Alf Yngves och mina texter, för Anders Fager och hela fantasygänget.

Horace och Larsson är obildade. Det beror på att de inte läser denna blogg och därmed inte får tillgång till alla länkar till fantastik som finns här. Vilka länkar? Ja, dessa har jag ägnat detta inlägg att berätta om. Läs om från början ifall ni missat dem.

Katedralbyggare och kritiker
Adams, Dick, Donaldson...
Illustration Esteban Maroto

måndag 2 februari 2015

Junge Freiheit reviews "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait"

In my Jünger biography I say this: Ernst Jünger was unique, a great author, maybe Germany's greatest author since Goethe. Not everyone has this outlook. But a review of my book in the German periodical Junge Freiheit has noted this strain, this way of lifting Ernst Jünger to the realm of classics.

Junge Freiheit is a German political weekly, a radical conservative forum for debate, culture and politics. The title means "Young Freedom". The paper was founded in 1986 and immediately, or shall we say, in the 1990's, became a subject of controversy, at least for the leftist German mainstream. Otherwise it's rather natural for a country like Germany, with its conservative past, to have a political magazine covering issues with some footing in tradition, moderation, anti-communism and anti-globalism.

The circulation of Junge Freiheit is 22.000 (2012 figure by courtesy of Wikipedia.) I even mentioned Junge Freiheit in my biography. In chapter 4 I touched upon how Jünger apreciated this right-wing, radical conservative newspaper. Therefore I was glad to hear that Karl-Heinz Schuck in Junge Freiheit 6/2015 has read my Jünger bio. Here I'll try to summarize his review, with quotes translated from the original German into English by me.

- - -

Schuck begins by intimating that "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" is no academical biography but a portrait by a devoted reader: "To Svensson, Jünger is the greatest German author since Goethe, and this admiration for him shows through the almost 300 pages like a red thread."

Schuck notes how my book takes a wide outlook on the subject of Jünger, with a bio for starters and then summaries and critiques of his central works. Schuck likes the poingnant quotations and the way I explain them in relation to Jünger's philosophical creed.

To conclude, the review says this:
Svensson (...) cleverly connects Jünger's work with that of other authors having inspired him, and also with authors being to some extent like him. Enigmatically, we are shown common traits with the American Science Fiction author Robert Heinlein and Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. This shows how wide and deep Ernst Jünger's thinking was and that therefore his reputation as a "Writer of the Century" is rightfully deserved.

The review can only be found in the paper issue of Junge Freiheit. However, if you want to check out Junge Freiheit in general, here it is.

As for my book -- "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" -- you can buy it on or For Swedish customers we for instance have the outlet Adlibris.

My presentation of "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" on this blog
Living Traditions' (Australia) review of the Jünger book
Nordic Sphinx: A Svensson Poem

torsdag 22 januari 2015

The Sun in the Dark (poem)

Now I feel like publishing a poem. It's written by guess who. It's called, "The Sun in the Dark".

I'm a central Scandinavian poet. Another example of my poems is this one. But now make room for, "The Sun in the Dark":

The sun shines in the dark
beaming through space illuminating Earth
lighting my way as I go shopping:

- sunripe tomatoes
- solar baked grain
- mellow yellow bananas
- Solisan vitamin drink

Sol invictus! Triumphant Sun!

The sun burns in the dead of space
boils in 5.000 maybe FIVE MILLION degrees
radiating its heat in the abyss
and reaching our clod of earth,
to be filtered by the atmosphere
sieved through the air
shining through a tree
and shining on me
as I go home from the store
with solar bread in my basket.

Book Review of "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait"
The Adventurous Heart
Jünger the Pious
On the Marble Cliffs
Jünger and the Craft of Science Fiction

onsdag 7 januari 2015

Some Notes on Spengler

Now and then I think about what to post here on Svenssongalaxen. This thinking is mostly done at 9 PM, after I've put out the lights and try to sleep. And now, after some deliberations, soul-searching and meditation, I've decided to give you this piece on Oswald Spengler's relevance today. I concentrate on Spengler's views on culture and art. Moreover I discuss "the city" rather a lot, the way the image of the modern city tends to symbolize Spengler's view on the fate of our civilization.


Oswald Spengler was a German scholar. About 100 years ago he wrote about the collapse of civilization in ”The Decline of the West” (1918-22).

So what, indeed, was Spengler? Just another Grand Old Man saying Profound Things on How Bad Things Are Today? -- I'd say he is grand. And worth listening to. Oswald Spengler’s ideas on the lifecycles of cultures with birth, blossom and death is highly relevant to our age. I’m telling you the truth: this is no mere Untergangsromantik, no indulgence in dark forebodings, although there might be a risk to read him that way too. It’s said that the Right have a tendency to dwell on pessimistic subjects, to secretly rejoice in the death and destruction of a society gone wrong, and maybe Spengler’s book caters to that urge somehow.

Be that as it may. All I can say is: with the help of Spengler we can face the transforming of civilizations. What we need is sobriety in our outlook, all in order to understand ourselves and the world. And in our culture, in the current international world-city civilization we have, as Spengler says, passed the apex. What’s left is reruns, recycling, parodies and copies. No-one takes anything seriously anymore. All that is left is consumerism, populism and panem et circensis. Nietzsche’s ”Last Man” rules supreme.

We’re at the end of a great era. Spengler says that our culture, the West, the faustic confluence, stood at its height around 16-1700. Since then we’ve mostly seen degeneration, the repetition of styles, dilettantism. The artist of the good old days – masters like a Bach, a Rafael, a Milton – created with good measure (Greek metron), learning his craft and confidently producing work after work. The artist of a later, romantic era for his part had to go beyond that, he couldn’t just repeat the Greatness of Old. But in so doing he had a tendency in trying to reach the unreachable, often failing in the task. See here for instance Ezra Pound’s outcry about his "Cantos" cycle: ”I can’t make it cohere!” That never happened to the masters of the great era.

This is a clever observation by Spengler. He for himself exemplifies with Wagner. Neither Wagner can really make it cohere. I myself love Wagner but I admit that the crevices and paddings show in his Great Work. It's somewhat devoid of measure -- metron.


Spengler is right in his critique on romantic fausticism. But otherwise you shouldn’t read him all too programmatically. I mean, if everything in the West after 1700 is Entartung and degeneration then for example Spengler's own work, ”The Decline of the West” from 1922, can't be taken seriously...! So let’s not focus solely on the decline-element. And Spengler himself privately admitted after his work had been published and Europe and the West gathered strength after WW1, that the title of the book should have been ”The Triumph of the West”. For through all the analyses of his work, his constructs by which the pattern of rise-blossoming-decay is to be proved, runs a great admiration of the west and its culture. It is the faustic culture, symbolised by Goethe’s Faust who wants to do everything, know everything, experience everything. It’s a veritable praise of the faustic world, of its geniuses in their cells probing the depths of existence, its explorers mapping every white patch of the globe, its inventors inventing previously unseen things, its schoolboys drawing dreamcars with a view to drive them along never-ending highways: I’m heading out to the highway… Roll on down the highway… Midnight on a never-ending highway…

The West: it’s the architecture where the front necessarily has to express something. That’s a typical western trait. We don’t always notice it since we’re born into it. But: ”Christian temples speak loudly about their interior, Muslim temples remain silent about it, antique temples doesn’t even think about it.” Spengler concludes that the cathedral starts from within, the antique temple from without; the mosque for its part both begins and ends in its interior, in its gilded, arabesque-fretted grotto. Few other scholars can make such succinct, symbolically telling summaries.


The West: it’s about central perspective and analytical languages, about a marching, drum-induced pace along boulevards that seemingly lose themselves in the hazy distance à la Champs Elysée, Unter den Linden, Valhallavägen and Sunset Boulevard. The symbol of the West is the plain, that of the Middle East is the cave.

The West: in Spengler’s vein it’s about the city, the faustic city with its fountains, squares, parks and boulevards, unique elements in a unique creation, living with it and dying with it. But as long as it lives we can walk in these megacities and feel sentimental over the beauty of these fronts with their cranea, volutes and gargoyles, over these interiors with their galleries, exedras, cupolas and pilasters, their halls and marble tables with gold inscriptions like these:
If in Infinity the Self forever flows
repeated endlessly in endless repetition
so arch the sure and numberless porticoes
upon themselves with force and impartition;
from everything out-surges love for life,
from vastest star to smallest kernel
and every pressure, agony and strife
is in the Lord our God but rest eternal.
This poem by Goethe ("Wenn im Unendlichen") was something of a Leitmotif for Spengler’s work: it was the cyclical, recurring pattern in the development of cultures that he wanted to capture. There were other Goethean influences – Faust of course, and the tendency to see history and indeed every aspect of human culture (cities, countries etc) as an organism and not a mechanism. Other than that Spengler was formed by Nietzsche, and here primarily by his Dionysean thought, his vision of the archaic, pre-classical antiquity. Archaic times had a more dreamlike quality, people then living in trance-like states with intuition to the fore, as compared to the late classic times where sobriety, transparence and analysis came to dominate. Spengler then saw the same pattern repeat itself in early European times with the Edda being sung in misty German forests, exuding a dream-saturated, adolescent power that slowly matures in the city culture (= civilization) and becomes overripe in the world city, the phase we now live in: international world-city civilization.


Eulogies for the West aside, we now live in end times and we have to see the signs, read the writing on the wall. And reading papers and watching TV makes it clear that today’s pundits don’t see these signs. Instead, they believe in a never-ending liberal utopia just around the corner, coming real if we only increase this and that aspect (education, free markets, growth) in quantative fashion. So a Spenglerian analysis comes in handy here. Why, exactly are we running out of steam, why is our current culture lacking vigour?

As intimated, the Faustian culture emerged in medieval days and blossomed around 16-1700. Barring some good works of art after this in general it’s a dismal time, a time of decadence. One of these is the cult of the novel, the long, the longer than long prose narrative as the optimal expression of literature. Gone is the archaic, noble héroïde sung in metric stanzas; instead we get bourgeois classics, urban narratives about shopkeepers, dandies, criminals, demimondes and liberated women: ”The latter-day epic focuses on the doings of a Nana, a Bel-Ami, a Hertha, and they’re all sterile.” The modern novel is a product of the city and will have nothing to say mankind of the future – to future man who will live in a more authentic, but not 19th century-like, culture. Instead it might, using Guillaume Faye’s concept, become an archeofuturist world.

Coda: The City

As mentioned the civilization of today is an international world city culture. We're governed by an elite traveling from mega city to mega city; they feel lost in the nearest countryside. Spengler stated this in 1922 and it’s still viable. It’s in the chapter ”The Soul of the City” and here we get his critique in a nutshell. The city is born as an extended village, grows in medieval times around a castle or a dome, blossoms in early modern times and declines successively ever after – declines, not on the surface that gets shinier than ever, but essientially since nothing new is created and everything is a repetition of styles, nostalgia and romanticism.

That the current times are a time of repetition and recycling, of pastische and parody and remakes, is clear to everyone. Everything is basking in the glory of past masters, making covers and commentaries, mimicking the originality of true creators. The demand for ”originality” is long gone. The words cultural fatigue spring immediately into mind.

Spengler is pointing these things out for us. He may be making too broad generalisations sometimes. And he's too pessimistic. I for one don't think that all is lost. Individuals, "aristocrats of the soul" can survive the decay by their erudition and willpower and thus become the leaders of a new era. That said, on the whole Spengler's work is truly enlightening. He learns us to see, to think in greater terms than the ”eternal development, eternal progress” of the liberal mind. After blossoming comes decay, after decay comes interregnum, and after interregnum comes a new dawn with a new birth. Exactly how the New West would appear he didn’t say, he believed that as westerners all our traits and characteristics would disappear and then a totally new culture would arise on top of the rubble. Spengler didn't sketch the next phase too clearly, adhering to the motto: ”It doesn’t pay a prophet to be too specific”, as Samuel Pepys said. To us who will live to see the fall of the West Spengler’s book however is a good companion, the educated man’s guide to the crumbling of the current civilization.

[Note: Oswald Spengler lived 1880-1936.]

Swedish Mystique
The Poetry and Purple Prose of Clark Ashton Smith
Ascended Masters: Some Info
Caza: The Ark
More Poems on This Blog
Top image, Stockholm City. Bottom image, from Härnösand's library

torsdag 25 december 2014

The Quiet Season

Hereby some unstructured ravings and rants.

"Screaming at the window"... thus the song "Diary of a Madman" by Ozzy Osbourne. So why this quote? Am I, Svensson, screaming at the window these days? Not exactly. I just like the tone of that line: "Screaming at the window"... Ozzy knew what he spoke about in writing a song by a madman. He had mental illness in his family and he also wrote "Am I Going Insane", with Black Sabbath. "Diary" was an Ozzy solo song.

Madness rides the starwinds... Lovecraft said. OK. At my house this season there's no tangible madness, it's rather ice cold winds and snow en masse, at least outside. But never mind that. I'll stay inside for some days now.

The picture was taken last autumn. I like it because it's a selfie of the "not posing" kind. Enjoy.

- - -

What's up next on the blog? I dunno. This and that, chit-chat, dissertations, fiction and fact or whatever. As for my current reading habits I now read the venerable Robert Heinlein (American, 1907-1988), mostly his 40's and 50's stuff. Bare-bones operational and scientific narratives by a both knowing and arrogant as well as intriguing and thought-provoking author. You could quote his circa 40 books and both get examples of nihilist reductionism and spiritually affirmative views. But what I nowadays like with the man are the operational, military-style organized adventures such as "Sixth Column", "The Puppet Masters" and "Starship Troopers". As an ex-Navy Lieutenant Heinlein knew a lot about conducting operations, both intelligence-wise and more hands-on. He knew the routines of an operational organization, he knew about managing people, he knew about hierarchies and why they are needed. Keyword: responsibility.

The narratives of his novels are credible; with the speculative, Sci Fi-element added they are deathless yarns, even though the narrative style is a bit bare-bones and devoid of atmosphere. But this is compensated by a catching dialogue, succinct summaries of this-and-that scientific background, some wise-cracking and the en passant-dropping of wisdom.

In short: from, say, 1950 and well into the 1980's Heinlein along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke was considered as SF:s "Big Three". Bless the other two but the one in the trio selling the most today is Heinlein and there's a reason for this: readability, relatability, a narrative tone that's personal and yet efficient. Then it's no downside that the man also, in many respects, was a rightwinger: duty, honour country; only by taking responsibility you become free and "there aint no such thing as a free lunch". This was his lasting creed, as I see it.

Related (in Swedish)
Heinleins författarskap: några anteckningar
George S. Patton, Jr
D-dagen 1944
Slaget om Caen, del 1
"Camouflage", en krigsroman jag skrivit

tisdag 9 december 2014

Svenssons novellsamling

Summary in English: this is about a short story collection written by Lennart Svensson, a book available only in Swedish.

1. Info

Härmed info om en bok skriven av mig. I fortsättningen av detta inlägg kommer jag att omtala mig själv i tredje person. Ske alltså. Boken det gäller är denna:

Titel: Eld och rörelse
Författare: Lennart Svensson
Utgivningsår: 2007
Förlag: Etherion

Pdf:en till boken finns här, på Dropbox. Filen är på 146 sidor. Den innehåller 13 noveller plus en kortroman, själva "Eld och rörelse". Bland novellerna kan nämnas "Riddaren, djävulen och döden" (gillad av dramatikern Perceval), "Mordet på Olof Palme betraktat som recension av fiktiv kriminalroman (gillad av Amelia Andersdotter) och "Norrlandsproblematiken" (gillad av Björn Lindström).

Boken gavs ut i pappersform 2007. Sedan ett bra tag finns filen fritt på Dropbox.

2. En recension

Nyss nämndes vad några ansåg om samlingen. Härmed en mer utförlig recension.

Recensionen är skriven av Fredrik F. G. Granlund. Han har gett ut diktsamlingen "Annorlunda men ensam". Liksom ett flertal noveller, nu senast i Catahyas antologi 2014.

I december 2008 recenserade Granlund "Eld och rörelse" på bloggen Marmeladkungen. Han siktar där in sig på bokens titelberättelse, kortromanen "Eld och rörelse". Så här säger han bland annat:
Den avslutande kortromanen ”Eld och rörelse” är kafkaesque. Stilistiskt lik många av Franz Kafkas verk – huvudpersonen tituleras till och med F. Jag erinrar mig att författaren läst ”Processen” flertalet gånger – samt förstått dess innebörd. För den här texten nyttjar i och med att läsaren dras med i en krigssituation någonstans, i någon tid, Kafkas styrka i berättandet, då man som läsare inte vet vem som krigar mot vem, vart det utspelas och om huvudpersonen F. är ond eller god. Slutet är dessutom allt annat än man tänkt sig, vilket är en STOR styrka! Men under tiden är det vemodigt, ödesdigert, synnerligen medryckande och gripande (även när man inte förstår militärjargongen).

3. I närkamp med texten

Sedan går Granlund i närkamp med texten:
Svensson utnyttjar samtidigt extrema berättargrepp som jag inte är säker på om han själv reflekterade över vid skrivandes stund. Det är välskrivet men skiftar kraftigt (!) i tempus. Här följer ett exempel där jag skriver ut tempusskiftningarna i versaler:

"Han HEJDAR sig där vägen LÖPER in i skogen; trädkronorna STRÄCKER sig mot varandra och BILDAR en tunnel – långt därborta ÖPPNAR sig terrängen igen, därifrån och bortom Bortom kan han i andanom se träkors utan tal, rad efter rad av kopplade gevär, demolerad fiendemateriel, fångkolonner, nedslagsbrisader, framryckande låglinjer, retirerande soldater, ambulanser i skytteltrafik, ksp-soldater med ammoband i kors över bröstet, pansarspetsar, attackflyg, söndersprängda kroppar, trotylsvarta himlar, vita vajande fanor.

Plötsligt STANNADE motorcykeln med ett hostande. F. VAKNADE upp ur sin dagdröm och KICKADE igång maskinen, DROG upp halsduken över nästippen och STYRDE tillbaka till förläggningen. Han SER tysta trädridåer fladdra förbi, han KÄNNER en bitande vind, han HÖR ventilernas sång. Maskinen HAR tydliga växellägen, distinkta bromsar och lågt lufttryck i däcken." (sid 126; recensentens egna versaler)

Saken är den att detta ovan påpekande av hur det skiftar i tempus faktiskt fungerar. Men det borde inte göra det. Hade jag inte recenserat den här boken hade jag förstås ändock observerat det. Men då främst i kapiteluppdelningen, för vartannat kapitel berättas i presens, vartannat i imperfekt. Efter några kapitel blandas dock detta mitt i kapitlen. Kanske sådant en van läsare, kanske rentav en kritiker, märker, tänker du nu. Men så är inte fallet. Här skiftar och varierar Svensson mellan presens och imperfekt lite hur som helst genom denna berättelse.

4. FG gillade boken

Fler än aktuell recensent gillade boken. FG säger detta:
Göran Lundstedt, kritiker på SydSv, har noterat ”en genomgående känsla av ödslighet i Svenssons noveller, en hård värld där drömmen flytt”. Titelstoryn jämförde han med Ernst Jüngers ”Sturm”. Och undertecknad kan bara hålla med. Kortromanen Eld och rörelse ska publiceras igen!
Detta säger Granlund om opuset. Och han säger än mer:
... skillnaden gentemot andra novellsamlingar (av debutanter) är att vi här har en titelnovell som är såpass bra att med lite redaktörskap, en typograf, och annan kunnig förlagspersonal skulle kunna bli en klassiker. Ändå finns här ingen charm. Bara ödslighet. Hade författaren ifråga publicerat denna kortroman alléna i bokform hade jag imponerats mer än jag gör av novellsamlingen per se. Därmed inget illa sagt om novellsamlingen i sig; det är bara det att jag vill ge närmast all kudos till titelnovellen, för just så bra är den.
Detta ansåg alltså Granlund om "Eld och rörelse".

Boken är som sagt på 146 sidor. Pdf:en innehåller bara text, men pappersutgåvan hade för sin del ett omslag i svartvitt av Anatol Boström, föreställande sökarljus mot en nattlig himmel (se nedan). Innehållet består av 14 noveller, med titlar som "Synkrongeneratorn", "Ett svenskt Roswell", "Latonia", "Kvartsklippan" och "Åsiktskonstnär", förutom titelstoryn och lite annat.

Granlunds hela recension läser ni här. Och hans egen diktsamling finns recenserad på denna blogg, här.

5. Om författaren till "Eld och rörelse"

"Eld och rörelses" författare heter Lennart Svensson. Svensson föddes 1965 i Åsele. 1985-2010 bodde han i Uppsala, där han bland annat skaffade sig en fil kand i indologi. Våren 2010 flyttade han till Härnösand. År 2007 utgav han på eget förlag novellsamlingen "Eld och rörelse".

2009 kom romanen ”Antropolis”. Nova SF beskrev den som ”lättläst och personligt språk, massor med tankar och resonemang, sympatiskt innehåll” (Mats Linder i nr 20). 2014 utgav så Svensson "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" på Manticore Press. Svensson har även publicerat artiklar i tidningar som Flygrevyn, Magasin Provins och Nya Tider.

Pdf:en direkt, från Dropbox
Eld och rörelse, fri resurs
Mina lumparminnen
Camouflage (2011)
Kriget Gondavien -- Mirotanien

fredag 5 december 2014

The Golden Boy (poem)

Hereby a poem by me, Svensson. It's called "The Golden Boy". First there's an introduction, then the poem proper begins.

There's a lot of talk about GOLD these days. Investors and bankers are debating the value of buying gold. Despite gold being unproductive and sterile in modern economic terms, people still want to own it and be charmed by its shiny yellow allure.

Gold is romantic, gold is for poets and dreamers. In olden days poets and soldiers (and whores they say) accepted nothing but payment in gold. Paper money would have been an insult. So hereby a tribute to that everlasting metal.

There’s gold in the blood,
gold in the sunshine,
gold on the weathercock
and gold on the bookspine.

There’s gold everywhere:
gold on the street
and gold within me,
small particles of gold
pumping around
in the bloodstream.

I’m Elvis in gold lamé,
the sprinter with the golden shoes,
Salomo in Jersualem where
silver was worthless.
I’m a hockey champion with golden helmet,
I’m the Nordic Frode with the Golden Age.

I’m a golden king and a golden boy,
literally I am:
through the gold in my blood I am gold,
a walking-talking, one-man Fort Knox.

Antropolitan -- The Only Way to Fly
Secular Hymns
Caza: The Ark
Details (flash fiction)
Coleridge's The Rime

lördag 29 november 2014

Media Coverage of the Jünger Book

The buzz around "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" continues.

Swedish weekly Nya Tider has payed attention to my Jünger book. No 48/2014 runs an item about it. It's only a short piece, however, all the facts are there. So I've taken the liberty to translate a few lines from it, for your information and reading pleasure.

For example it says:
Nya Tider has a writer named Lennart Svensson. He has contributed to the magazine since 2013, mostly by way of cultural items. Now he has broadened his record by writing a biography of the author Ernst Jünger. The book is called Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait and is published by Manticore Press.

On 290 pages Svensson tells about Jünger's life and his central books such as Heliopolis, the war diaries, Storm of Steel, On the Marble Cliffs and Eumeswil. Jünger's role as an outsider is also discussed as well as his spiritual sides. And his ideas about art, literature and history.
There's more but this is the gist of it.

As for Nya Tider, it's a rather promising independent newspaper, publishing stories and presenting views that MSM tends to be silent about. As concerns items like immigration, multiculturalism, the seedier side of foreign affairs, the corruption of MSM and established politicians. Nya Tider also covers books and films beside the mainstream and presents interviews with counter-culture figures like Jared Taylor. Also, there's sometimes articles on foreign policy by Manuel Ochsenreiter of the German monthly Zuerst!

Nya Tider began circulation by the late fall of 2012. Editor-in-chief is Vavra Suk.

More on the Book
Everyday Songs With Religious Feeling
The Swedenborg Machine (short story)
The Middle Zone (short story)
The New Improved Sun (poem)

lördag 22 november 2014

Today: Seven Year Anniversary For This Blog

By this time every year there's a glorious non-event occuring: the anniversary of this blog. I started it in the fall of 2007, on this very day: November 22.

It was fun to get going blogging. I had planned it for some time, not having had access to the internet until that autumn, the autumn of 2007. And when I finally managed to log into Blogger and "got the blog", got access to the editing page, well, I kinda blogged rather heavliy. Short entries, inspired entries, experimental language entries. Sometimes more than one per day, imagine that...!

This went on for the rest of 2007 and some time into 2008. Successively I started to write more prepared, edited stuff, however still retaining "that blog feeling". Like being able to push the envelope and say things that aren't allowed in MSM.

But this was all in Swedish. Since about August this year, 2014, I mostly blog in English. Now, I have an inkling that most of my readers still are Swedish. But I have some English language readers too and now the default mode of the blog is English entries. And educated Swedes all know English so thus it will be, thus Svenssongalaxen will remain, I guess: a blog in English.

- - -

So then, what shall I celebrate the anniversary with? As for older Swedish entries they are "powered by Google"; they find their readership by way of people googling their way to them. Then as for English entries, what have I got to say? -- Well, I could give you this guide, presenting some links to the blog.

A fine entry discussing modern media (on the theme of "MSM going down, new media triumphs") is this one, summarizing an article by "The Dollar Vigilante" Jeff Berwick. Very succinct.

And if you're into literary entries on this blog, take a look at "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" or "The Not-So-Good of Philip K. Dick"

Lastly, here's an ultra-short story of mine, "Details".

And so on and so forth. To sum it up, blogging is a fine pastime, a great means of communication and, sometimes, something of an art form. Nobody knows what a blog is, you're defining it as you go along. And often blogging can be a team effort by writer and readers combined, more so than in the traditional relationship between an author and his readership. By way of commenting the readers contribute to the text and change it, receiving it in this and that way. Because the reception of a work is eminently a part of the work.

The New Improved Sun (poem)
The Swedenborg Machine
Secular Hymns -- Ordinary Songs With Religious Feel
Who Are the Ascended Masters?
Is Obama the Mahdi?


A-Z (5) abb (88) abbm (6) abbX (4) agajan (5) ahma (6) aktuellare böcker (40) aktufall (5) alga (3) Andersson (2) Antropolis (17) apatia (10) ar (34) att vara Svensson (219) Ballard (11) begr (5) berättelser från Rokkana (19) Bhagavad-gîtâ (6) bilbabbel (19) bild (10) bim (12) bing (295) biografi (22) bloggish (57) Blue Öyster Cult (4) camo (6) Castaneda (22) conspi (20) d-icke (2) Den musiske matlagaren (14) Dick (8) dune (8) Eld och rörelse (33) en gatas melankoli (10) En novell om Babylon (4) eng (4) eso (4) esoterica (123) etni (13) fall (4) fantasi-fantaså-fantasy (20) film och TV (42) flytten (3) gambla fiina versepos (4) gld (7) grek (10) Gripenbergs sol (4) heinlein (3) historia in nuce (157) hårdrocken rockar hårt (39) intr. mus (32) inva (25) ipol (70) islam (6) italia (3) japan (4) Jünger (75) Jüngers liv (10) Kierkegaard (2) konsten att slå en tennisserve (17) Kristus (25) kuro (2) libyen (19) link (36) lite litteratur (101) ljus (6) Lovecraft (14) Maiden (9) mangs (2) Melinas resa (8) memoarer (10) mena (43) multiversums mytolog (5) natio (64) Nietzsche (4) niven (3) nuochda (1) Ohlmarks (5) ondit (14) oneline (1) ori ett lag (54) pil (5) poesy (38) politikka (198) pr (54) pred (3) Priest (14) prophecy (24) rymd (2) sanskrit (9) sf man minns (97) small candies (125) Smaragdeburg (5) speng (6) stein (5) Stratopias gåta (70) survi (6) sve (31) svens11 (10) Sveriges störste poet (8) Swedenborg (4) symbol (4) Syrien (15) tempel (30) Tolkien (4) topp5 (9) typer (15) USA (19) uselt (8) van Vogt (9) Vandra mot ljuset (3) vju (4) zeppelin (2)