Eurasian Cosmic Cartography
Certainly one of the most unique and challenging works of this year is the complex esoteric-philosophical-political treatise by the Italian Xantio Ansprandi, Eurasian Universism: Sinitic Orientations for Rethinking the Western Logos (PRAV Publishing), which, as its subtitle suggests, draws ”Sinitic orientations” for a Eurasian cosmic map that is emerging from the shadows of the Western philosophical tradition.
Ansprandi, a specialist in perennial philosophy, believes that the modern world, having abandoned its traditions, is in a state of imbalance and disorder. Europe is in deep philosophical, spiritual and political crisis: the logos (intellect, central principle, or way of thinking) that once animated it, is disappearing into a maelstrom of chaos, while the whole modern Western world order is disintegrating.
At the other end of the continent, China is on an historic upswing, and this puts the potential of ”Sinitic civilisation” into a whole new context in the current unstable space between the old and the new system.
Can the Western logos recover from its decadence and what role will Confucian traditions and innovations from Communist China play in the new situation? And will ’neo-Eurasianism’ manage to inspire the political philosophy of the Russian Federation?
Ansprandi creates an extraordinary synthesis, which places Western and Eastern metaphysics in a difficult but innovative dialogue with each other. Using comparative mythology, linguistics, philosophical and political trends, as well as modern sinology, as his building blocks, the Italian thinker draws a cosmic map where Eurasian civilisation meets a weakened Western civilisation.
He acts like a cultural anthropologist with magical powers who – in the midst of the degradation of contemporary society – combines healthy elements inherited from the past with new symbolism for a post-liberal future. Will such a revival attempt produce concrete results, or will it remain an eccentric exercise for marginal scholars?
In any case, the author is fascinatingly confident in his treatment of the connections between the Germanic cosmological worldview and Chinese Daoist-Confucian philosophy. Before long, one even reaches the ancient ’cradle of civilisation’, Mesopotamia of cuneiform writing, from whose constellations the Eurasian grapheme, the centre of all things, is also excavated to provide direction and order to the chaotic present.
Pre-Christian concepts of the gods are presented to the reader in this dizzying etymological and esoteric exploration, which identifies the Eurasian ’supreme sky god’ as the celestial North Pole, the creative source of all energy and patriarch of the entire cosmos, who cannot be contained within the narrow dogmas of Christianity, let alone the doctrinal constructs of Cartesian dualism.
If famous philologists, linguists and religious scholars from Georges Dumézil to Mircea Eliade are already familiar to the reader, Ansprandi also mentions the pioneering work of the French philosopher and sinologist François Jullien, and the political Confucianism of the Chinese philosopher Jiang Qing, whose views are combined and transcended in this multiversal symphony of primordial forces.
He admits to having received other orientations from the Traditionalist school of René Guénon, and from the Italian philosopher and religious historian Ernesto de Martino, both of whom envisioned a re-embodiment of Western thought through Eastern influences. Another important inspiration is the controversial Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, whose writings are quoted repeatedly in various chapters of the book.
Dugin’s ’neo-Eurasianism’ is strongly present in Ansprandi’s work, which, like the Russian political scientist, sees the decadent liberal West and its sclerotic metaphysics suffocating in its own nihilism. In this atmosphere of the end of one age, the ’radical subject’ must stand, even if only among the ruins.
Dissenters, living in the current late stage of the historical cycle of Western civilization, should not only work in a Nietzschean way to accelerate its downfall, but also help the resurrection of the Logos and genuine European and, by extension, Eurasian culture, from the ashes of the Spenglerian winter landscape that has fallen to earth.
The Eurasian Universism is an anti-modernist and post-liberal manifesto, and at the same time an academic study that rejects the religious, philosophical and political dogmas of modernism. Ansprandi’s work is not an easy read, for to make progress on this metaphysical journey one must already be familiar with (or at least willing to learn) many obscure concepts in order to understand the author’s esoteric train of thought.
However, the ’Sinitic orientation’ unfolds surprisingly well, as the author has sprinkled enough clues throughout his extensive essay to reveal a Chinese-tinged ’all under heaven’. In this picture, the West, having abandoned its own civilization, ultimately remains a mere territorial system, now giving way to a more culturally diverse world order. Yet Ansprandi hopes that Europe, too, will yet awaken.
If Greek logos, the Germanic god Odin, Chinese cosmology, Martin Heidegger’s Dasein, Jacques Lacan, Aleksandr Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory, the philosophy of traditionalism, and a critical take on Western liberalism are of interest, this original work is well worth checking out – but be warned that it may take the inquiring mind down new and unfamiliar paths.