History, Action and the Timeless
‘Time, Space and Number
Fell from the black firmament,
Into the still and sombre sea.
Shroud of silence and shade,
The night erases absolutely
Time, Space and Number’.
—Leconte de Lisle (‘Villanelle’, Poèmes Tragiques)
Have you ever worried about the irremediable flight of hours, and the impossibility of going back in time? And have you felt how we are prisoners of time, in all that concerns our sensitive experience? Prisoners of space, certainly, since we are material bodies, even if we are not only that, and a body cannot be conceived independently of its position concerning reference points—but even more so prisoners of time, since a temporal succession is necessarily oriented, and can only be experienced in a direction from the past, frozen in its irrevocability, towards the future, perhaps just as irrevocable but apprehended as an indefinity of possible situations (of more or less probable virtualities) as long as it has not become ‘present’, that is to say, definitive history?
There is, of course, a limit to the possibilities that a body of flesh, blood and nerves such as ours can travel through space. Men have managed, at the price, it is true, of enormous inconvenience, but they have finally managed, to leave the field of attraction of the Earth, of which they had hitherto been the captives, and to launch themselves beyond it. Oh, not very far! Only as far as the Moon, the immediate vicinity of our planet. (It should be said in passing that it was Aryans, one Aryan especially, the mathematician von Braun, who made this feat possible, and other Aryans who achieved it.) This is only the beginning. But this ‘first step’ allows ‘all hopes’ say the experts who have studied the question. What they pompously call ‘the conquest of space’ would only be a matter of technical progress, thus of study and patience.
There is, however, a limit, it seems. For if technical progress is indefinite, so is physical space. It is unwise to make predictions in this area. Who could have said, only a few decades ago, that men would one day actually see our Earth rising and setting: a huge luminous disc, blue and white, against a black background on the lunar horizon? It seems very unlikely to me that man will ever venture outside our solar system, which is so vast on our scale, and so infinitesimal on the cosmic scale. But it remains certain that, even if it remains forever impossible in practice to cross a limit (of which we are still unaware), we can nevertheless imagine an indefinite expansion in this direction.
Beyond the last limit reached, whether within the solar system or further away, there will always be ‘room’: an untravelled distance that we could travel if we had more powerful means. There is no theoretical limit. Space is essentially what can be travelled in every direction. In fact, there would be no practical limit for a hypothetical explorer who wouldn’t need to eat, sleep and wear out and who operated a transport device capable of renewing its driving energy. And even if it can never be materially realised, one can imagine such a journey lasting forever, through space.
On the other hand, we know that, even with the help of the most excellent memory, it is impossible to go back in time and, even with the help of a lot of political intuition and individual and collective psychology, to follow the course of time beyond tomorrow, or even ‘tonight’. I mentioned above the irrevocability of the past, which can be forgotten or distorted—which is bound to be distorted, even when we try to reconstruct it impartially—but that one cannot change; which is now out of reach, as if printed forever in an immense impersonal and infallible memory: the memory of the Universe out of our reach, but also out of range, unknowable, because not directly relivable.
We often hear it said that ‘the past is nothing’, that ‘what is no longer is as if it had never been’.
I, for one, have never been able to understand this assimilation of the living data of yesterday and the day before yesterday, to pure nothingness. Perhaps I have too much memory. It is not the absence of the past—the impossibility of ‘recapturing’ it—that strikes me most, but on the contrary its eternal presence: the impossibility of altering the slightest detail of it. What is done, or said or thought has been done, said, thought. One can do something else, say something else, direct one’s thoughts in a completely different direction. But this ‘other thing’, this ‘converted’ thought (turned in another direction) are new irrevocable things, which are superimposed on the first without destroying them. I have, as far back as I can remember, always felt this.
As a child, I attended a free school, a Catholic school, and took catechism lessons with the other little girls. We were told, among other things, that ‘God can do anything’. Having each time reflected on such a statement, I ventured one day to ask for the floor, and said, as soon as I was free to speak: ‘I came to class today at eight o’clock in the morning, Lyon time. Can ‘God’ make it so that this is no longer true, but that I came, let us say, at half-past eight, still Lyon time? Can he change the past?
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Editor’s Note. There is a saying in the language of Cervantes: “Palo dado ¡ni Dios lo quita!”, literally, ‘Hit given [a blow with a stick] not even God takes it away!’ (i.e., what’s done is done. The closest English idiom is ‘A bell can’t be unrung’).
Like Savitri, I am infinitely passionate about the past, as can be seen in the image at the bottom of this site: the child Bran would learn how to retrocognitively see our historical past thanks to the heart tree. That image became the logo of this site: one of the mysteries to most visitors.
The past is the present: If Columbus’s caravels had sunk in an Atlantic storm, we wouldn’t be here.
When I say the historical past I mean the real past, which Bran has access to through magic north of the Wall. I am not referring to the history books written by Christians and neochristians (that is, secular liberals). They lie about what really happened.
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Since the teacher was unable to answer my question in a way that satisfied my young mind, I detached myself a little more from the idea of this all-too-human ‘God’ that was being presented to me: the god whose shocking partiality towards ‘man’ had begun, at the dawn of my life, to repulse me. And the irrevocability of the past, of the present moment as soon as it fell into the past, always haunted me: a source of joy, a source of anxiety, a precious knowledge since it dominated the conduct of my life.
More than forty years later, in 1953, I was to write a prose poem, each stanza of which ends with the words: ‘While we never forget, never forgive’. I evoked there the memory of the glory that was the Third German Reich, and also of my bitterness (and that of my comrades) at the thought of the relentless persecution of our people, and of all the efforts made after the Second World War to kill our Hitlerian faith.
This attitude was not, for me, new. At the age of eight, only a few months before the First World War, had I not once declared that I ‘hated Christianity because it makes it a duty of the faithful to forgive’, revolted as I was at the idea of ‘forgiveness’ granted to children guilty of torturing insects or other defenceless animals, as well as to grown-ups who have committed gratuitous atrocities at any time, provided that the cowardly, and therefore degrading act is followed by repentance, however tardy?
Forgiveness or forgetting can completely change the relationship between people, as long as it is given wholeheartedly. It cannot change what is once and for all stereotyped in the past. It is not even certain that the relationship between individuals and entire peoples would improve much, if the former began to practice forgiveness of offences, trivial and serious, and if the latter suppressed, suddenly, the teaching of history among their young people. They would stop hating each other for the reasons they are despised, or at least opposed, today. But given human nature with its lusts, vanity and selfishness they would soon discover other pretexts for enmity.
Animals have short memories, and how! Each generation, unaware of man’s repeated cruelties, is ready to trust him again, and in the case of domesticated animals to give him the unconditional love of which only unreasoning beings are capable. And yet… this total oblivion doesn’t improve at all the conduct of men towards the rest of creation. Wouldn’t the forgetting of history have, between men this time, a similar result or rather a similar lack of result?
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Editor’s Note: This is exactly why the entire contemporary white nationalist movement is animal quackery. If they had a noble heart, the first thing they would do is denounce the Hellstorm Holocaust with the same mania as the media at the hands of Jews speak of their Shoah. But it should come as no surprise if we take into account that the majority of white nationalists are Christian or neochristian.
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In any case, no ‘new beginning’, however happy, can obscure what once happened. To have been, even once, is, in a way, to be forever. Neither forgetting nor forgiveness, nor even the indefinite succession of millennia, can do anything about it. And the smallest events, the smallest on our scale, are as indelible as those we consider the most important. Everything ‘exists’ in the manner of things ‘past’: past in the eyes of individuals who can only live their experience according to a ‘before’ and an ‘after’.