It is a significant honour to address the theme of Gestalt, of freedom, in the work of Ernst JÃ¼nger here in Euskalherria. The continuing struggle of the Basque nation for independence raises vital issues for all mankind in our time: issues which JÃ¼nger, in his long life, has never ceased to examine and illuminate. Here, it is not an academic matter, but a matter of life and death – if a methodology fails to result in the desired goal, it is the methodology that should be scrapped, and not the goal.
In the JÃ¼ngerian framework, it is not surprising that the Basque people are first betrayed by dictatorship and then by constitutional democracy. Next door in France, the primary model of the democratic constitution, enshrining rights of freedom, claims also its right to forbid its citizens to cede from the national state. You may choose everything except the right to reject the englobing system, thus in Spain, America and Russia. This has not been understood. Everyone will vote in the coming election. The structuralist state is nothing other than a receptor of debt to the new power structure of oligarchy finance, whose personnel are elected by no known franchise. Solzhenitsyn has bitterly demonstrated that the horror of the Gulag was not an abuse of the Soviet constitution but an enthusiastic application of it.
This century, which has been JÃ¼nger’s life reveals itself as fraught with contradictions. Its greatest victims, after enormous suffering, have in turn become the executioners. In 1945, according to History Professor Norman Stone at Oxford University, we have the macabre spectacle of Doctor Mengele driving around the ruins of Hamburg with a case full of human eyes, extracted for his bizarre research, from concentration camp victims. In 1989, on BBC television, we have the heart-rending appeal of a woman doctor for a hundred glass eyes for the children, aged from six months to twelve years, victims of the Israeli army, which has targeted the eye to terrorise the families of the intifada. Moral contradiction. Political contradiction too, embedded in the once potent dialectic between left and right. Thatcher kisses Gorbachov. Les extrÃªmes se touchent.
JÃ¼nger has written that the first World War brought an end to the monarchy, and the second World War brought an end to the nation state. The formation of the European entity indicates the beginning of the super-state’s structuration of the world. But more importantly, behind it, the beginning of a new world financial system moving with inexorable logic, towards a one world currency and a world state.
It is against this changing background of evolving and dissolving power structure that the JÃ¼ngerian corpus emerges. However, in order to approach and appreciate JÃ¼nger’s magisterial position, it is necessary to locate him in a different topology with a different set of original thinkers, none of whom play the sterile and outmoded games of dialectical persecution that belong to the bleak and barren hypocrisy of the Cold War years. So we must try to grasp what the dynamics of a new thinking and assessing are, once dialectical materialism and psychological determinism are left behind. For this reason, JÃ¼nger can be seen to be addressing the future, and at the end of the century, to be announcing a new era.
What, in intellectual terms, has ended, quite simply, is structuralism. We can now survey the ruins of a brilliant complex of an interlocking systems that reins supreme in the dark days of the second half of this century. It cannot now escape us that the dominant orthodoxy did indeed uphold the status quo, which was there to empower the emergent forces of the new financial power system. In the end, the dialectical critique emerged as the defence mechanism of world banking. The apprehension of the future remained in the hands of the poets and the philosophers. The first of these among the poets was JÃ¼nger, and among the philosophers, Heidegger. Nietzsche had declared that philosophers did not write for the present but for the future, and Heidegger has referred to this phrase on more than one occasion. Both Professors Vintila Horia and Stefan Kohl have referred to JÃ¼nger’s connection to Heidegger and Heisenberg, but please permit me to refer to it yet again since its importance cannot be avoided.
Georg Gadamer has spoken vividly of the enormous intellectual excitement that vibrated through the philosophical world on the emergence of Heidegger’s first masterpiece, ‘Sein und Zeit’ in 1927 as, believe it or not, JÃ¼rgen Habermas wrote in a quote from the graduate faculty of philosophy Autumn 1977, Journal Six, page 156, he said: “‘Sein und Zeit’ is the most significant philosophical event since Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology.’ What, in this and several ensuing books, Heidegger had laid bare, was the deception at the heart of the Kantian description of subjectivity. The impact of this phenomenological unveiling of the observational procedure, which set the absolute observer over and against the encompassed object and which claimed an illusory purity within the event, resonated through all the phenomenalogically based sciences: firstly and vitally, history, then psychology – in particular the psychoanalytical methods, anthropology, sociology and finally linguistics.
This work had changed forever the terms of the philosophical discourse. Heidegger’s insight into the nature of technique was the result of his phenomenological exploration of the ‘everyday’ procedure which resulted from its all embracing exigencies. This exploration laid bare, or peeled away, those inter-connected relationships of human action, that had hitherto been unquestioned because not isolated and identified, out of the way of assumed factors and unrealised dependencies. Heidegger extracated the human creature in an event of such distinctive character he felt obliged to rename man ‘Dasein.’ What he had done was nothing less than cast aside the image of man as the enslaved end product of unconfronted functionality and passivity. He replaced it with a view of man as a project oriented being, active and engaged in encountering his meanings and his mortality.
So what Heidegger opened up for the future was nothing less than the phenomenology of freedom, which by implication, laid bare the mechanisms of slavery which made peace look like war, legislated liberty produce slave camps, abstract research produce nuclear weaponry, and psychotherapy produce passive consumers. This, the modern revolution in thinking, still bitterly opposed today, took place in a very particular intellectual ambience. Heidegger’s act of breaking the bonds of out-moded philosophical views of existence indeed of things themselves, let alone man, scarcely had happened but for the discoveries taking place in his time, in the realm of high-energy physics.
Not only the discovery, but the thinking of Niels Bohr and Heisenberg, were the radical elements in the Heideggerian breakthrough. What was so deeply understood by the scientists and the philosophers of the late twenties and early thirties was with increasing discomfort ignored by the political theorists of the dark fifties, that the very foundational view of the basic matter of the universe was smashed forever. The Newtonian billiard ball of an atom had given way to a non-logical world of waves and particles. Heisenberg’s theory of indeterminacy had invalidated the visa of the Kantian absolute observer. The crude binarism of crude dialectical method with its inner dynamic of triadic conflict, leading to the enormous complexity of structuralist systems, had in fact lost its solid foundation before a world view that spoke of enormous energies: fusion, fission and paradox.
It is against the background, and later the foreground of these two innovators, Heidegger and Heisenberg, that the work JÃ¼nger work is situated. His first novel, ‘Tempest of Steel’ dealt with his experience of the first World War. The most decorated soldier on that carnage, JÃ¼nger did not emerge a militarist. He writes as a fighting man before the horrific slaughter of trench warfare, JÃ¼nger adopted the survival response that was to lie behind every step of his subsequent development. He clearly recognised that the enormous destructive energy released by that war, could not be turned back by one man. His solution was to take it on, confirm it, and yet be free of it. In the phrase of the I Ching, “Embrace tiger, and return to mountain.”
Yet his spirit rebelled against the passivity implied in the acceptance of great events. The rest of his life was to be the search for the meaning to fight uncompromisingly for freedom. In 1929 he wrote his first glimpse of the way out of nihilism, a fragile hope expressed in the darkness, that was to become over twenty years later the triumphant text of defiance, ‘Der Waldgang’, ‘La Emboscadura’. He wrote: “One must work in solitude as a man who opens a clearing in virgin forest, sustained by the unique hope that somewhere in its depths, others are working to the same end.” That was 1929. In 1932, his first masterwork was published, ‘Der Arbeiter’. JÃ¼nger declared: “It remains to destroy the legend according to which the essential quality of the worker is an economic quality.” JÃ¼nger was taking on a much deeper theme, and to do this he had to abandon the language of political debate. Yet he was not abandoning the struggle, but rather waging it on new territory. In place of argument he used myth in a new way but using a new appreciation of its power, which had only been identified and expressed for the first time by a new school of anthropologists in Germany. W.F. Otto’s ‘Dionysos, Mythos und Kultus’ appeared one year after ‘Der Arbeiter’.
JÃ¼nger gave to this mythic form the name of ‘Gestalt.’ ‘The worker’ thus, was not a structural concept, certainly not defined by his structural position within the capital frame. Nor did it imply a coherent historical group of labourers. What was the Gestalt? Heidegger, in his famous reply to JÃ¼nger’s text ‘Ãœber die Linie’ said: “For you, JÃ¼nger, the Gestalt stands for what is only accessible in a seeing, to be found in this seeing, which among the Greeks which was called ‘Idein’ – a word which Plato employed for a look which considered not the changing of sense perception, but the immutable, the being, the ‘idea.’ You also characterise the Gestalt as the calm being. The Gestalt is certainly not an idea, in the sense of the meaning of modern philosophy, any more than it is by consequence a regulative representation in the sense of Kant.”
Heidegger preferred to locate the Gestalt of JÃ¼nger as a Nietzschean event. Heidegger hailed the work as a weighty achievement, having done what no prior Nietzschean work had done. He said, “It had undertaken to make possible an experience of being and of the way in which it is in the light of the Nietzschean project of being and ‘will to power’.” Despite this impressive Heideggerian definition, one must take into account JÃ¼nger’s own view. In conversation with me, he categorically refuted the idea that the Gestalt was platonic. He pointed out, “You cannot see a platonic idea.” Rather, he referred the matter to the great discussion which took place between Schiller and Goethe. There, Goethe made exactly this point, when Schiller defined the Goethean description of the metamorphosis of plants as being merely the platonic idea. Goethe’s concern went much deeper: he was trying to move the modern imagination into a new way of seeing biological phenomena as entities moving through time and thus taking their meaning from their full realisation in nature, from seed to decay.
It would seem that the Gestalt is best understood, as part of a mythic world. If we take Walter Burkert, the Swiss anthropologist as representing the best new structuralist view of mythology we can accept his definition: “A tale structured by a sequence of actions applied to facts of common importance.” We then find that JÃ¼nger divided his writings between analytical work, defining those facts of common importance translating them into a mythic drama of conflicting forces and forms and then followed these texts with mythic tales which explore the deep crises of our time. In the first category we place ‘The Worker’, ‘The Wall of Time’, ‘La Emboscadura’ and in the second, ‘On the Marble Cliffs’ – ‘Auf den Marmorklippen’, ‘Heliopolis’ and ‘Eumeswil’.
The Nazi Party’s reaction to ‘The Worker’ was savage. Writing in the VÃ¶lkischer Beobachter, Thilo von Trotha in October 1932 warned the author that he had entered the realm of “Bullets in the head.” The domination which was outlined in the book was not at all the domination the Nazi Party had in mind. They saw their role as one of mastery over technology. What JÃ¼nger was proposing was something quite other. Yet in seeing what he saw, he did not propose a romantic withdrawal from technique, but as always, following his heroic realism, he calls on modern man to embrace technology. At the same time, what he had seen was the inescapable power of the all embracing technical phenomenon. There, in 1932, JÃ¼nger had recognised that technology did not represent a set of complex tools for man’s use, but a new power – technique, which had its own reality and inner logic to which it would in the end make man subservient.
JÃ¼nger identifies modern man as under the Gestalt of the worker. Each one of them is defined within the all embracing system of technique. It is in this sense that Heidegger declared JÃ¼nger to have defined nihilism for out time. Yet the author’s intention was not merely descriptive but prescriptive. His viewpoint, always being firstly to accept the vast force-wave engulfing the time, and then to prepare the strategy of survival: escape and ultimately victory over it. Firstly he announced, “Bourgeois society is condemned to death.” Then he warned, “Society is renewed by simulating attacks against itself. Its imprecise character, or rather, its absence of character, permits it to absorb even the most violent negation of itself.”
One might at this point refer to the events of 1968, which succeeded in placing a Rothschild in the presidential palace in Paris, Georges Pompidou. He went on to identify the key forces of action: he said, “What we must identify is the existence of a dictatorship of economic thought in itself which englobes every possible dictatorship and limits its decisions.” That, in 1932. Today we can read Lord Lever, Financial Advisor to the British Cabinet, declare that what little power governments have over world markets is unpredictable and dangerous, and that the time has come for the unification of the super banks into a central authority which may control world markets rationally.
JÃ¼nger makes his case that economics is simply pernicious, industrial process in itself, and as such, part of the total system that is technique. What is at issue insists is neither economic liberty nor economic power but power in general. From the moment that our experience takes the form of Gestalt, we become Gestalt. It is not some new grandeur of thought, but a way of seeing which, once taken on, reveals the moving Gestalts of the time and their relationships with one another. The individual is no longer the unique entity of the masses any more than the atom is the unique particle of matter, for it, too, now can be seen as a Gestalt, dynamic and flowing. JÃ¼nger explained: “A great number of men do not constitute a Gestalt and partition of the Gestalt does not lead to the individual, for the Gestalt is the all which contains more than the sum of its parts. A man is more than the sum of atoms, limbs, organs and humours of which he is composed. A married couple is more than a married woman. A family is more than a man, a woman and a child. A friendship is more than two men, and a people is more than what can be expressed in the results of a referendum, or a sum of political votes.” Ladies and gentlemen, are not the Basque people something more than the results of a referendum?
JÃ¼nger continues: “It is very important for us to recover an awareness that a corpse is not a kind of body deprived of a soul. Between the body at the second of death, and the corpse at the next second, there is not the slightest connection. That is already implied by the fact that the body encompasses more than the sum of its parts, while the corpse is identical to the sum of its anatomical parts. It is erroneous that the soul, like a flame, leaves behind it dust and ashes, but it is of the highest importance that the Gestalt cannot be reduced to the elements of fire and earth, for this fact of man as Gestalt belongs to eternity. It is in the Gestadlt, independent from every moral appreciation, that there resides innate value, immutable, and imperishable, its existence the most highest and most profound confirmation. The more we engage in bullfighting, the more we become intimately persuaded that hidden behind it is a calm being, and that every acceleration of speed is only the translation of an original, imperishable language.”
From this perception, JÃ¼nger, like Nietzsche before him, draws a wild force. He finds in man an energy which is not the product of either idealism or materialism which he defines as heroic realism. He sums up this metaphysical reflection by saying: “The vision of the Gestalt is a revolutionary act in that it recognises a being in the complete and unitary plenitude of his life.
It must be clear from these quotations that what JÃ¼nger is doing is winning back for man his centrality to existence just at the very point in history where he is most reduced and dehumanised. JÃ¼nger is working on the imagination of modern man in the same zone of concern as the philosopher, Heidegger. His grasp of the nature of modern technique and its systemic control over both the destinies and the identities of men was astonishingly exact in its understanding – not only of how technique functioned but how it would in its future projection. This was a world, not dominated by technical artefacts – the washing machine, the car, but rather by networks of highways, electrification systems, water supply. He saw us as belonging to a series of societies without even being aware, and thus being in common with all its members. So I have taken on a social identity as an electricity consumer, a road user, as now a television watcher – all this without understanding my reality. The rulers of the infrastructure are the rulers of the individual. The state dominates all men in a new slavery which is chosen and voted for by the masses. They want it. There are no classes now, in as much as they all life under the dominion of technique. It is in this that the fullest nihilism is expressed. But fully in accordance of Heidegger’s reading of Nietzsche, JÃ¼nger insists that the way to freedom lies in plunging into the new reality, embracing it, taking it on, and by a force, going beyond it. Just as his ignorant critics had only seen in his first phase an enthusiastic military man, so in his second could be seen a surrender to automation, to systemic power, and later, as we will see, in his third phase, just at the point when he has made his valedictory call to freedom he can be accused of calling for surrender to the now almost imminent arrival of the world state.
In his offering of a sometimes dazzling forecast of technical progress, we cannot fail to recognise his true intent. He is offering the modern paedea, or inner education, which will develop the new man, the ‘overman’ who will achieve the transvaluation of all value. Thus man, the worker, the technological, terminal unit, the button-presser, the passive receptor of all technological procedures to which he submits with such somnambulistic enthusiasm, can be snatched from the oblivion of the masses by recovering his deepest power, stubbornly, and against the evidence, utterly against the evidence he confirms man’s freedom. He refuses the dialectic between culture and nature, technique and the organic.
The Gestadlt of the worker is surpassed in a new image, he explains: “Nothing may exist which cannot be conceived of as work. Work is the rhythm of the arm, the of the thoughts, of the heart, the life of night and day, science, love, art, faith, ritual, war. Work is the vibration of the atom and the force which moves the stars and the solar system.” The individual is free once he has accepted that he is indeed the worker. To distinguish the ground for the new man, he makes a distinction between two types of individual. The ordinary individual represents the single unit of mass man, the zombie watching his television and voting away his freedom in elections which are themselves technical apparatuses pre-designed to further enslavement. The other he names ‘Der Einzelne’ – the isolated one. Once this new man has been differentiated from being an individual in the old sense, not differentiated from the masses – that is the romantic and futile struggle of the individual, he becomes the transformative force in existence.
To him, the machine becomes the organ of the speech of technique. He is the speaker. The evolution of technique is not limitless and it is here that the power of the Einzelne – the isolated one, which is free to decide, ends. Once the limited nature of resources and thus technique is grasped, the end game has already begun. JÃ¼nger uncompromisingly points out that nevertheless, that end game cannot be other than its logical conclusion which is a global domination in world state, in technical totality and imperial unity. As he puts it: “Technique, contains in itself the roots and germs of its ultimate potentialisation.”
Again, JÃ¼nger recognises that alongside the global power of technique will come a new awareness of the globe as a unity, and identity, which cries out to be saved from the apparently irresistible logic of technique, mysteriously named ‘progress.’ He says, “There will be no space, no life able to resist this phenomenon which from a long time ago has carried the seal of a great barbaric invasion under multiple forms: colonisation, peopling of continents, exploration of deserts and birds and forests, extermination of indigenous people, the wiping out of living laws and religions, secret and open destruction of social groups and nations, as well as revolutionary and war-like actions. It little matters who triumphs and who disappears – disappearance and triumph announce the domination of the worker. The conflicts are plurivocal while the questioning is univocal. The chaotic violence of the uprising contains already the rigorous criterion of a future legitimacy.”
It is against this situation that he insists that the distinction between the mechanical and the organic world is the mark of weakness which reveals the fantasy structure of the political projection. It is the denial of man. The Gestalt of the worker allows one to see beyond the projecting and diffuse the distinction of value. Man’s role is understood at last as being a mediating role and not a terminal role. Nevertheless, man will continue is subservience to the technical project until the system has reached its end. JÃ¼nger indicates that the end will be defined when national democracy becomes the unique and universal organisational form of the peoples. This will be the instrument which will willingly surrender itself to world state dominance. In this society the mass will equal the sum of the individuals who compose it. It is then that the solitary one will be called upon to act.
There is no doubt that ‘Der Arbeiter’ leaves us with unresolved conflicts and intolerable oppositions. The delineation of nihilism is indeed complete. Despite the insistence on a coming transvaluation of values, and an overman the form of the being has not yet emerged into the light. It was to take the foretold disaster to work itself out and the violent events of the mid century to thrust JÃ¼nger into a further engagement with his life’s theme. With ‘Under the Marble Cliffs’ he had set himself against the fatal flaw embedded in dictatorship. The plot to assassinate Hitler was the historic moment which JÃ¼nger could not step aside from, yet it contained a further paradox: his guilt proved by the Gestapo, his past heroism as a soldier won him a life reprieve from the very dictator whose life he had plotted to take. He was living most deeply the contradictions of his time.
His private and anguished life was expressed only in his intimate journals from 1939 to 1948. In 1949 he released his novel ‘Heliopolis’, a myth that bore in its narrative the models of each type of political tyranny: dictatorship, elitism and democracy. Its core message however, was an act of rebellion, hope and a new beginning. ‘Heliopolis’, to some the perfect JÃ¼nger book, is a tale of a superb city of palaces, ancient quarters, new edifices, ports and castles. In it, technology has become magical power, as we experience it today. Each person carries a communication terminal linking each to everybody else and central authority. It serves as identity card, passport, cheque book, newspaper, agenda, encyclopaedia and access to archives. The city is in perpetual crisis following the collapse of the world empire. Racked by sudden incendiaries, explosions, it is starved by previous devastations. The old by chivalric values have been swept away. Anarchy and terror rule. Power in the city is divided between a judge and a pro-consul. The judge rules by terror and false science, bureaucracy, torture, propaganda and police power are his instruments of control. The pro-consuls power is based on the army, it is conservative and elitist, but forbidding the slightest access to emotion.
The novel’s hero is Lucius de Geer, a military officer. Through him we enter a world where a group of cultured, engaged people look in vain for a way to restore sanity to the violent activity within the city. In their evenings together they gather to explore the meanings of existence, like the character’s of Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’ who declare: “These fragments I have shored against my ruin.” The centrepiece of the novel is a platonic reunion of friends with a common culture, discussing together. In the symposium, an immensely moving event, beautifully told by JÃ¼nger, the poet, Ortner one of the group, decides to tell the story of his life. The story in itself is mythic, simple and powerful. On the face of it the tale could be interpreted simply as saying that money cannot by you love, or that the pursuit of wealth destroys the heart, or is it anything so simple as the idea that the love of a true woman is worth all the wealth of the world? Though it confirms this. What this remarkable tale unfolds, and it is nothing other than the myth of Midas, is that gaining wealth with the illusion that it brings power is a devastating sickness, a neurosis of such intensity that to continue it must deny life itself. It is not a moral tale. Carefully it delineates the obsession with making money and increasing it is nothing other than the burying of the self in every day procedures which blot out the reality of mortality.
The pursuit of money is the flight from death. Acquiring possessions is intensifying the anxiety of time. It is a devaluation of all values, doomed to disaster. Ortner’s rejection of the money system provides his opening to woman and his salvation. It is also a Faustian tale in the Goethean sense.
The central character’s application of the tale is part of his awakening. He categorically states: “Happiness is found beyond historical processes and their achievements.” He now speaks with clear authority, re-reading his primal vision of ‘The Worker’: “One can now estimate that technique, in its principle field of application is at the end of its career. The provision, its potential energy, goes beyond the consumption. Unaware, technique has entered its third phase. The first was Titanic, it supervised the world of the machine. The second was rational, and led to perfect automation. The third is magic, for it gives life to the automaton in giving them a meaning. Technique takes on the character of enchantment, it yields to the desire. To rhythm it adds melody.”
Now he calls out of the earth must close in on itself be declared a vital living space. Lucius’ awakening comes when, moved by compassion, he alienates himself from the powers that be, in attempting to save the life of an alien whom he recognises as a wise man. In the process of this encounter lies the liberating event of the mythic tale, for Lucius breaks free at the very point when outwardly all freedom has been removed. Utterly in the hand of a ruthless police power surrounded by the technical apparatus of control, he finds the root to a new source of power in the depths of his own being.
In the key scene of the book, Lucius ritually partakes of the psychotropic drug which not only frees him from his fear, but confirms him in his struggle to guide men to be free socially and personally. The hallucinogen is not, properly speaking, a drug but an antidote. For in opening the self to itself, it opens it to the Divine. In doing so it imbues man with a value which in itself is the transvaluation of all values, and means the end of the enslaving state. Liberated, Lucius sets out on a voyage with his wife and his student to prepare the education of a new kind of human being. He speaks openly in the last pages of the book of the search for a supreme discontent which will awaken in men and women this urge to freedom. He declares: “The game must have exhausted all its possibilities. Then only, can one dare the impossible. We are searching for those who have escaped into the stratosphere. We approve of the doctrine of Zarothustra according to which, man must be surpassed by the overman. We do not see a moral obligation but a historical necessity. The following stage will be the surpassing of the overman. He will be broken on the human, which will draw from this encounter a superior power.”
Lucius set out on his voyage among the stars. What he now possesses, he is told, is an existential passport – he is free. The final pages of ‘Heliopolis’ are most beautifully written, and spiritually elevating. If he had written only this, it would have been enough to enthrone him as the great sage and creative writer of the century, but there was more to come. Two years later, he produced what must be considered as the summit of his art – the tremendous ‘Der Waldgang’ – ‘La Emboscadura’. I can think of no greater intellectual adventure for a young man or woman in their twenties, than to come upon this book, and to discover in it their own worth and meaning, and see a way not just to self-transformation but to changing the human situation on this imperilled planet. It could be considered the ‘book of Lucius’, his hero of ‘Heliopolis.’
The book announces: “We need a new concept of freedom.” Defining the state system by the metaphor of a boat, and not just any liner, but indeed the Titanic, he insists that the first question of existence is, “Is it possible to stay on the boat and preserve one’s independence of decision?” The central Gestalt of the book ‘Der Waldgang’, ‘La Emboscadura’, is the one who goes into the forest, not a romantic or literal image – the forest he defines as the non-temporal. It is the inner zone, where the conscious break is made with the horrific lie of banal, now magical, social contract. It is not a form of anarchy opposed to the mechanical world. He says, “Man is too profoundly trapped in his construction. He sells himself below his value and loses balance. He goes towards catastrophe, great risk and suffering. He forces himself into places without exit, they lead to his downfall, yet strangely it is precisely there, forbidden, condemned, fugitive, that he meets himself in his imperishable, indivisible substance. He lays bare the fictions of time and spirit to know himself in all his power.”
JÃ¼nger is now militant in his call to fight for freedom. He says, “It is not to do with this liberty which protests or emigrates, but it is a liberty which decided to engage in the struggle.” Here is a new kind of man and woman even committed, not by chance but by choice, to health, independent of the neuroses of the enslaved masses with their terrible fear of sickness and their reliance on state medicine. “‘The Emboscadura’, ‘Der Waldgang’,” he explains, “is the concrete individual acting in the concrete case. He does not need theories, nor laws forged by party bosses in order to know where the ‘right’ lies. Everything becomes simple, if some purity remains in him. We have seen that the great surprise of The Forest is the encounter with oneself, the unalterable core of that self.” He arrives at his supreme statement: “The real problem is that the great majority do not want to be free, for it frightens them. One must be free to become free, for freedom is existence.” To deal with this matter is the transaction of the truth. ‘Freiheit ist Existenz’ – Freedom is existence, which means that there can be no submission except to the Divine. This is called Islam, but that is a theme for another day.