One of the tasks that we have given the New Acropolis Monthly Magazine, aside from the already stated one of presenting information and education on philosophical and cultural topics, is that of serving as an instrument of presentation of the ideals that daily call to work so many acropolitans in the world. We would, through this Magazine, like these ideals to be known, understood, shared. Many of those who read us also try to give life to these sacred ideas that inspire us. And because it is always difficult to define the higher and transcendent things, and because sometimes ideas have a special power when the words can be seen, we have asked the Founder and General Director of New Acropolis, professor Jorge Angel Livraga Rizzi, to explain to us, one more time, the how and why of the Acropolis.
The Acropolis Ideal has not been invented, nor has it been created by someone. It is something natural that is in the souls of many people. When men feel that they sympathize or unite themselves to the Acropolitan Ideal, it’s not a matter of “having entered into the Acropolis”, but rather that they have entered that Acropolis within themselves. In every man, in every woman, there is an inner Acropolis, a need for inner realization, a dream ...
Man is like a giant, like a great bald eagle that is trapped in a small cage. If we opened the cage, would we have to teach it to fly? Certainly not. The only thing we need to do is to remove the bars, because the eagle was born to fly. That which makes it fly is not only the act of opening the cage, but rather its vocation for the sky, its ancestral dream of verticalisation.
We, in Acropolis, don’t only endeavor to read books, to study or understand them; fundamentally, we try to return to the founts of knowledge of Nature; we wish to learn from Nature, to be inspired by the cycles of the sun that rises day after day. To learn from the inexorability of the stars that travel through the night, or from the water that flows between the rocks. To learn from the stones solidity and stability, in a world where everything disappears, where everything is perishable, where nobody manages to say: “I am”, or “I want”, or “This should be like so”.
In this damp world, in this world full of ties, where nothing is definite, where nothing is firm; in this world of paper where everything breaks, we would like to build something that is firm, that will be solid, that has inner fire, that will be like a kind of island in the middle of the ocean, an island where all the shipwrecked can come, that has a lighthouse that guides all the ships to port, an island where the waves of History break with white foam, and are able to give a message and a color.
The Acropolis, then, can be said to have the function to unite all things.
It is simply an attitude in the classical philosophical sense, that is, it is not a interrogation on being and existing, but rather a new focus based on the strength of its being so old, embracing all things, all attitudes.
What, in Acropolis, do we think of science?
Science is the discovery of the laws that relate the causes to the effects, a greater understanding of Nature, of the Universe, and of ourselves. But how can we arrive at this science without first understanding ourselves and the Universe?
Man is caught between two infinities. Think of what we are made of physically: cells that are in turn made of molecules, which are in turn made of atoms, which are in turn made of sub-particles ... And so it appears that there is no end towards the smaller and smaller, which is also an infinity. And where is man? On the earth, which is a planet of the solar system, and this solar system is part of a galaxy, and this galaxy is a tiny component of a universe, this universe being a facet of Something much greater ... And so we feel that there is another higher infinity.
If at the formal level we are between two infinities, between a cross formed by the great microcosmic infinity and the great macrocosmic infinity, how can this not be the same at the spiritual, the psychological, and scientific levels?
Science, therefore, does not only consist in knowing, for example, what is the valence of Carbon, or to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon, or to know how blood circulates through the body. We are looking for a Science that on top of knowing all that can also tells us why blood circulates in the body, what does the distance between the Earth and Moon signify, what secret moves the Universe, what secret moves ourselves. A Science that isn’t only at the disposition of the strongest or those who know the most, a science that doesn’t frighten us but rather serves to help and to build, a Science that can protect, a white Science, a healthy Science.
We look for it deep down, in the roots of time. Time is like the earth: one has to dig in it. When one digs in the earth superficially, all one gets is perishable dust; but if we dig deeply we manage to reach solid rocks. By digging in History we can manage to reach the solid rocks of philosophy. It is on these rocks that we wish to set our principles. We don’t wish to follow the thousands of commentators that all the greats who have taught something have had; we want to go to the sources and understand that there are things that are useful for today, for tomorrow and for always. Through Philosophy, we want to arrive at those things that are always useful, and that philosophical attitude is “Love of Knowledge”. We say Love first and later Knowledge, because without Love there is no Knowledge possible, without Love there is no possibility to use Knowledge in the right manner.
But Love is not a lax or loose state of being that makes us permeable to everything. Love is not a contemplative attitude of defeat, but rather a tremendous force that unites things and maintains them. Like a tiny stone picked up from the ground, if it falls from our hand, will return to its mother, the earth, which inexorably attracts it; in the same way, we want to have that will to love that the stone has towards mother earth. The love of the stone is untiring, because it isn’t an instinctual love that requires satisfaction, but rather a love that is timeless, that lasts beyond the years and the centuries, a love that laughs in the face of the millennium.
What do we understand by religion?
Beyond the names of the religions, we care about the “re-ligare”, that is, the reunion and the mystical act, the verticality of man. Man is man when he recognizes that he has a spirit, or better stated when the spirit recognizes that it has body, because we are so materialized that we feel spiritual when we say “I have a soul”. Where do we get the consciousness to say that? From the body. It would be much better to say “I have a body”, and we would then have our consciousness settled in the soul.
A true mysticism is not achieved strictly through prayers or by putting a knee to the ground. A true mysticism is a special inner attitude that makes our personality crackle like fire makes kindling crackle. Like the fire that is hidden in the kindling and surges from it, that is how true mysticism surges through us, uplifting us, improving us, ennobling us. Because if all those things aren’t present, there is therefore no religion.
We need to reassert the religious principles in man. Because what precisely separates man from animals is not that he thinks, nor is it that he has characteristics of goodness, because at times dogs are better than men. That which separates man from animals is the intuition of the Enigma that we call God. The most primitive man, even the cavemen, puts a stone on top of another and feels that there is a cosmic mystery that he is representing thusly. And no animal does this.
More than fighting for labels or appearances, one must fight for the inner rebirth of man. A man without mysticism doesn’t live, a man without mysticism dries up. Mysticism is the force of all things.
Art is the concretization of Beauty; it is the harmonic conjugation of different parts. We cannot rationalize it: Art is intuitive. But art must have a characteristic, in this new world for the new man that we are proposing: Art must not only be an expression of man in a specific state of consciousness, but also must be his captation of a cosmic mystery and a human mystery. Throwing together four blotches, or putting together four lines in a haphazard manner, so that those who look at it can imagine anything that they want, that isn’t Art; that is a game. True Art has to have a message, a mystique, it needs to be able to communicate without explanations, above all words. That which requires too many explanations, is at best craftwork ... When it is authentic, Art doesn’t require explanations because it touches everyone, each person at their level.
From a more political aspect, we make the mistake of wanting to equalize all. But what is equality? Nobody could name two things that are exactly equal. Equality is a myth. All things are differentiated is some aspect. But the smallest have invented a myth in order to make themselves equal to the greatest. And they started to scream: “We all have the same height”; but in by screaming this they don’t stop being small. And in a world where they make a cult to the small, and where the giants are decapitated, where the great people must lower themselves because they bother, where it is shameful to be virtuous, by laying on the ground we all become equal.
But let’s get back on our feet. Then it won’t be the size of one’s waistline that counts. What will count will be the verticality and the height of the head. This is a proposal, a very old proposal, by the way. People everywhere are tired of confusion, of violence, of the cult to something that doesn’t exist. God has been replaced with words; virtue has been replaced with error; profound spiritual values have been replaced with simple aggression; the power to face life has been replaced with useless protests. And who protests? Protesting is the characteristic of slaves; action is the characteristic of free men. Those who have hands and hearts don’t need to protest; they act. And what is fundamental is to make History. We must understand that, as men, we have a past, and that we need to deeply penetrate the roots of our culture into the past in order to steady ourselves solidly, in order to secure ourselves against the winds. Like a tree, the deeper its roots are, the thicker its trunk can grow, and if the night comes, our trees would be so high that they could still see the stars.
Not only do we need that attitude of verticality upwards and downwards, but we also need to have the courage of our convictions.
Today these words may sound strange: humanity has been convinced that they are a spot of oil; that the only form of growth is sideways, but never in depth ...
We say that man is not a spot of oil; we assert that man is a burning flame and was born to elevate himself, in order to reach higher places and give light; to lose himself in the infinite space, not without beforehand shining light on the earth and burning the wood that supports him.
Man must have inner strength, he must have a feeling of youth. That is why we say in New Acropolis that youth is not a question of white or black hair. Youth is in the heart and we are young at heart, and we have the merit of saying what we feel and to do what the historical necessity invests us with. We are young, and that cry of youth will run from man to man.
The materialists, the Pharisees, the unbelieving are numerous? Nonetheless, when you put a match to a pile of wood, will the fire burn less because the pile is large? It only takes one to burn for all the others to burn. It’s enough to awaken mystical desire, self-confidence among small groups for the whole pile of wood that surrounds us begins to burn, to give light, to give fire. The large numbers do not favor materialism, they go against it. The more wood, the more flames, the more fire.
Therefore let no one feel alone, let no one feel poor, because no one is poor or alone, if God is with them.
Jorge Angel Livraga