The New Woman in Fascism! Victoria de Grazia on Fascism and Women in Italy, Women Occultists, and Mirra Alfassa on Max Theon

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National Socialism & Fascism, People, Theosophy

The New Woman (Nuova Italiana!) in the Italian Fascist Ideal was not as one might imagine, as displayed in pictures and the propaganda of Athena-esque women, marching and standing militantly in discipline. I am reading Victoria de Grazia’s “How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945.” After reading into Victoria de Grazia’s work, the critique I had of the woman and Fascism is true. What we have raised a number of times is the fact, both Fascism and Republicanism claim to be spiritual philosophies, or spiritual conceptions of life; but what is truly conducive to spiritual will in man is in our work to understand. Concerning Fascism however, the fact is that “Fascism’s vision of female roles was dualistic and contradictory,” Marta Petrusewicz stated in a review, as merely “reproducers of the race,” or the submissive woman.

Since I refuse to romanticize, or mythologize Fascism, i.e., as some of our times are doing via internet propaganda, the facts present themselves otherwise from the story of propaganda. They tell the ideas and vision of these ideologies through images and film, which were masterful, deliberate means of state-propaganda to present a fiction, false image, or delusion masking the true condition of the people under such government rule, as is no different with American education.

The fascist concept of the “nuova italiana” or the new man and woman does not match with my own, but lets find what Fascists versus Theosophists believe, as to the function of the woman, and her role. We must be realistic on this matter. As said, it is not truly conducive to the will in the state or condition we speak. The concept of this “new man” and “new woman,” or ‘way of being’ is a very old idea. In the creation of a new state, there is always that exuberance of the masses, even amidst bloodshed and tyranny. While occult philosophy aims toward a psycho-spiritual liberation of man, National Socialism and Fascism in practice constructed new constraints and policing. On Women under Fascist Rule, why women joined the Fascists, Suffragettes, the Neo-Occult Revival, and Theosophists, is that one: the prospect of power, rights, and dignity presented itself before them.

Then, again on Fascism and Women — the enigmatic occultist, Max Théon (Louis-Maximilian Bimstein) taught the idea of the “new man” in the sense we know, and not merely that of a woman who aims merely at physical fitness for the purpose of fertility, which is not as different from our day of “Instagram models”. The Social Darwinist, Fascist and National Socialist concept is not new, but not as strange as the occultists’.

We can find words on women and adepts, and the belief in a psychic and spiritual nature of the woman to produce. K.H. oddly says, it is the mission of the woman to become the mother of future occultists, or what I often laughingly call “Magic BABES.” What difference is this from the Fascist Woman “Nuova Italiana”? However, it is also argued in this, that women are not merely born for the pleasure of men, and that they must break from the bonds of their sexual slavery, as to be elevated with and alongside men to their true nature. What must we make of this idea, and what societal consequences would they have?

In an article titled THE FUTURE OCCULTIST, a Hindu correspondent of the Daily Mirror quotes a letter of K.H. signed E.O. (Eminent Occultist) to A.O. Hume, and speaks of the woman, according to their perspective, or ‘trans-Himalayan esotericism’:

“We have undoubtedly to elevate the woman, but we have to elevate ourselves too.”

Continuing and quoting K.H., stresses the elevation of the woman to her rightful stature and nobility in nature alongside man:

“. . . Woman must not be looked upon as only an appanage of man, since she was not made for his mere benefit or pleasure any more than he for hers; but the two must be realized as equal powers though unlike individualities.

“. . . Woman’s mission is to become the mother of future occultists—of those who will be born without sin. On the elevation of woman the world’s redemption and salvation hinge. And not till woman bursts the bonds of her sexual slavery, to which she has ever been subjected, will the world obtain an inkling of what she really is and of her proper place in the economy of nature . . . *

“. . . Then the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs, for the world will have discovered that individuals have it in their own powers to procreate Buddha-like children or—demons. When that knowledge comes, all dogmatic religions and with these the demons, will die out.” (Page 115.)

In short, one may say that what mankind has first to get rid of, are the base passions and desires which appeal to their sensual appetites. The woman has to cease to be a slave; so has the man to become free; both have to break loose from the bondage of animal tendencies (Sex and Practical Occultism: Suffering, Desire, Sex and its Complications). Then will their natures be elevated; then will the woman be able to put herself en rapport with Prakriti, and man with Purush; the union of these two will produce a race of Buddhas, the children of the Virgin “without sin.” These are our ideal men and women, but philosophy recognises that “the imagination realizes what it invents,” a paradoxical truth beautifully put forth by Éliphas Lévi. And if those Hindus, who blindly worship their sacred books as also those who sneer at these latter without realising the meaning of what they contain, were but to turn to them with an enlightened eye, and comprehend their teachings by reading them between the lines, they will take the right step in the cause of progress, which should be the real scope of education. (26th March, 1884. A HINDU.)

Helena P. Blavatsky, Alchemy in the Nineteenth-Century, La Revue Théosophique, Paris, Vol. II:

“We have permitted ourselves to say that many French kabbalists have often expressed the opinion that the Oriental School will never be worth much, no matter how it may pride itself on possessing secrets unknown to European occultists because it admits women into its ranks.”

Scottish homeopathic physician, Spiritualist and Theosophist, Dr. George Wyld argued that no woman has ever become an Adept, to which Col. Henry S. Olcott rebutted in The Theosophist (Becoming A Theosophist, May, 1880):

“It is equally incorrect to say that no woman has become an adept. Not to mention one example which will immediately recall itself to every Theosophist, I may say that I personally have encountered in India two other initiated women, and know of a number of others in the East.”

In The Theosophist, October, 1883, “An Inquirer” asked, “Will you kindly let me know whether females can attain to adeptship, and whether female adepts exist at all?,” and Damodar K. Mavalankar, a disciple of K.H. wrote:

“It is difficult to see any good reason why females should not become Adepts. None of us, Chelas, are aware of any physical or other defect which might entirely incapacitate them from undertaking the dreary ordeal. It may be more difficult, more dangerous for them than it is for men, still not impossible. The Hindu sacred books and traditions mention such cases, and since the laws of Nature are immutable, what was possible some thousand years ago must be possible now. . . . In Nepaul, we all know, there is a high female Adept. And in Southern India, flourished at a recent date, another great female Initiate named Ouvaiyar [Avvaiyar]. Her mysterious work in Tamil on Occultism is still extant. It is styled Kural, and is said to be very enigmatically written, and consequently inexplicable. In Benares too lives a certain lady, unsuspected and unknown but to the very few. . .”

H.P. Blavatsky said (Collected Writings, Vol. 11, pg. 301), that the “Woman has as good a chance as any man has to reach high Adeptship. Why she does not succeed in this direction in Europe is simply due to her early education and the social prejudice which causes her to be regarded as inferior to man.”

Théon was a Polish Jewish Kabbalist, and was the one who taught Blavatsky the Kabbalah, according to Mirra Alfassa. Max Théon (his pseudonym) was also a political idealist, who sought a political system that empowered the virtuous and wise, similar to Plato. Yet, there is something in the ideas of the nineteenth-century occultists to point out.

Mirra Alfassa

Mirra Alfassa says a number of interesting things about our Kabbalist friend, with whom Blavatsky was acquainted, in relation to Light on the Trans-Himalayan Occultists and Origins of Kabbalism: An echo of Lost Chaldean Wisdom. In this letter, the occultist Mirra Alfassa known as the Mother, speaking on Sri Aurobindo, states that there are ideas Théon taught, and when pressed, often stated, that his knowledge comes from some intimation with a system that antedated the Chaldean and Kabbalist, and Vedic.

“Now, there is only a very small number of people in the West who know that it [an anterior tradition to the Vedas and Chaldean] isn’t merely subjective or imaginative (…) that it corresponds to a universal truth.”—Mirra Alfassa on Theon. (Mother’s Agenda, November 4, 1958)

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