The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts

Excerpts & Samples

By Julius Evola

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Julius Evola

Julius Evola
A controversial philosopher and critic of modern Western civilization, Julius Evola (1898-1974) wrote widely on Eastern religions, alchemy, sexuality, politics, and mythology. Inner Traditions has published his Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, The Yoga of Power, The  More...



In a probing analysis of the oldest Buddhist texts, Julius Evola places the doctrine of liberation in its original context. The early teachings, he suggests, offer the foremost example of an active spirituality that is opposed to the more passive, modern forms of theistic religions. This sophisticated, highly readable analysis of the theory and practice of Buddhist asceticism, first published in Italian in 1943 , elucidates the central truths of the eightfold path and clears away the later accretions of Buddhist doctrine. Evola describes the techniques for conscious liberation from the world of maya and for achieving the state of transcendence beyond dualistic thinking. Most surprisingly, he argues that the widespread belief in reincarnation is not an original Buddhist tenet. Evola presents actual practices of concentration and visualization, and places them in the larger metaphysical context of the Buddhist model of mind and universe.

The Doctrine of the Awakening is a provocative study of the teachings of the Buddha by one of Europe's most stimulating thinkers. 

"Evola ... had a clarity of mind and a gift for explaining tremendously difficult concepts in nonacademic language. His account of the niddana-chain (the twelve stages of conditioned genesis) is a masterpiece. It equips the reader for a whole new understanding, not only of Buddhism, but of the human state in general."

Gnosis Magazine

"In essence, the Buddhist 'Doctrine of Awakening' is, for Evola, the cultivation of a pure, naked, transcendent consciousness, and his book shines in describing the stages leading to this consciousness."

Richard Smoley, Parabola

"Evola engages in a well-graduated exposition of Buddhist techniques as seen in this ascetic light, with discussion of the mental/spiritual states encountered. Evola's is the most original book I've ever read on Buddhism."

Dan Byrnes, New Dawn, March/April 2002

" . . . a provocative study of the teachings of the Buddha by one of Europe's most stimulating thinkers."
Buddha Torrents, Oct 2008