Ontology and experience of radical Antichrist: semantic, religious, sociological and political science aspects

Traditionalism and Semiotics

The purpose of this article is to examine the figure of "the Antichrist" and the semantic field of "the end of times" without reference to any one particular religious tradition.

But the figure of the "Antichrist" (Ο Αντίχριστος) has such a tie - to Christianity. Consequently, we can say that we are considering not only and not so much directly the Christian figure of the Antichrist, but also his analogues. This leads us to the theme of traditionalism.

What is traditionalism? It is not one tradition. It is that structural matrix, that paradigm that is common to different traditions.

If we compare them with Modern society, with the New Age, and with the secular paradigm of modern science, we find that all particular traditions and religions have something in common.

The desire to describe, identify, highlight this commonality leads to traditionalism.

In such a context, traditionalism can be understood as the result of a sociological analysis of modernity (with negative conclusions) and with a parallel comparativism of specific traditions. But it claims (for example, in the person of Guenon[1]) something else - "primordialism," that is, that traditionalism is an expression of Primordial Tradition, which precedes, rather than follows, known traditions.

We will not discuss now the question of whether this claim is justified. For now, it suffices for us that the sociological procedure reconstructing traditionalism or the paradigm of traditional society in contrast to modern society is perfectly valid. This alone gives Guénon credibility. Whether his conviction that the sociological and philosophical concept of "Tradition" corresponds realistically and historically, as well as ontologically, to some underlying essence that can be perceived experientially (including metaphysical and spiritualized forms of experience) is justified, however, requires more careful consideration. That is, whether we can speak of true "primordiality" rather than simply a posteriori mental reconstruction akin to postmodernist generalizations is an open question.

The value of Guenon in the context of the Postmodern is obvious. But how do his ideas relate to the structures of the Premodern? And is there something in the Premodern that he singles out as its central part - that is, Primordial Tradition?

Our hesitation will keep us from falling into syncretism, New Age, occultism and neo-spiritualism. We are not passing a verdict, we are saying: let us accept the thesis of "Tradition" and even of "Primordial Tradition" as a concept that is certainly operative sociologically (common structure for specific traditions) and let us put (for now) out of brackets its historical and ontological validity.

Let us approach the problem from the perspective of semiotics. What is a particular tradition? A religious tradition, for example. It is language[2]. This language is structured, contains signs and syntax, creates (connotative - for structuralists) fields of meaning, constitutes or describes (constitutes) denotations. In any case, a particular tradition has three linguistic and logical strata:

a series of signs (symbols, dogmas, plots, myths, narratives), that is, the structure of the signifier;

a series of meanings (signifiers) corresponding to the signs; and a series of meanings (governing the relations of the first and second rows - or the relation of the signs of the first row to each other, connotation).

For example, when a Muslim says, "Allah," he means differently than a Christian means when he says, "God. Without a detailed analysis of the three rows, we cannot understand anything about a particular tradition. In the same way, "Antichrist"-strictly has meaning (and significance) only as a figure of the Christian narrative, of Christian dogmas; It is related to Christ in a complex way (most often in reverse) and points us to a denotative (denoted) that is constituted exclusively by Christian religion and resides within its framework. It is possible to speak of the Antichrist as a connotation that derives its being from its conceptual place in the system of Christian language and its structure.

The same can be said of any figure of a particular religion. For example, the Khizra of the Muslims or the prophet Elijah of the Jews. Some things are remotely analogous in other religions, some are not.

In addition, there are Loanword and reinterpretations of the same figures in different contexts. This complicates the analysis.

The Ontology of the Denoted in Traditionalism

What is the semiotic structure of Traditionalism, i.e. of Tradition - or, if you like, of the 'primordial tradition'? This structure represents, with respect to specific traditions, a kind of meta-language that generalises the paradigmatic properties of specific traditions as specific languages. That is, we are dealing with a generalising set of signs, which we can try to ascribe to the field of the signifier.

But look: it is a special signifier that does not coincide with any particular tradition or religion. And here is the interesting thing: what is the corresponding field of signifying, that is, the denotations of traditionalism? Or, in other words, what is the set of connotative signifiers of traditionalism that constitute its 'essences' as discourse?
Does metalanguage in general (and traditionalism in particular) have a denotative or connotative field? If metalanguage is a purely artificial construction, then there is no such field, because metalanguage only serves as a technical description of how real language works. But if we admit (together with Guénon) that traditionalism is not a summarising technical abstraction, but the expression of a permanent and supra-historical eternal structure, then it is there.

Therefore, to speak of the 'Antichrist' outside the Christian context - so that this figure has meaning and significance - we are forced to adopt the primordialist perspective. Otherwise, we will be forced to limit ourselves to comparing the three-level series of the different religions, eliminating the very possibility of dealing with what (ontologically and semantically) is common to them (except in the sense of a posteriori and remotely extraneous - i.e. nominalistic! - observations and generalisations), since, strictly speaking, they have nothing in common (ontologically no, not as a unity of meaning).

The Antichrist in Christianity

Having said this, we must nevertheless return to the Christian context, from which to study the semantics and meaning of this figure.

The Antichrist marks the end of time, the eschatological aeon, the culmination of apostasy (ἀποστασία). He summarises the conditions (historical, social, existential, ontological, etc.) in which salvation is most difficult and complex, and all things in the world and even in religion are turned upside down. The Antichrist pretends to be Christ and God, and so cleverly that many fail to recognise him. This is the essence of his function: he confuses, deceives, perverts, pretends one thing for another; he is a harlequin, an actor, a clown, a jester.

The figure of the Antichrist in the semantics of Christianity can be considered multidimensional. Structurally, he is closely linked to the Christian paradigm of history. This history goes from paradise to the fall into sin, to the turning points in the destiny of the chosen people, then to Christ, then to the Church, then to Satan's release from his chains and the end of the world, culminating in the Last Judgement. The phase of the appearance of the Antichrist is the last before the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. Therefore, the theme of the Antichrist can be taken as a tool to measure Christian time, and much depends on how one calculates time, on one's attitude towards society, the world, even religion. Because - and this is the most important thing! - The Antichrist counterfeits everything, his age is the age of counterfeiting. Counterfeit of what? Everything: the world, religion, society, power, man. It is the age of simulacra, of surrogates, of perverse copies. And so, faced with the element of the Antichrist, the people of the latter period must act and be different from before. Seeing water, a star, a man or a temple, Christians of the pre-Antichrist period treat them accordingly. But Christians of the antichrist period are invited to act differently. Not to trust, to test, to be vigilant before the simplest and most familiar things. The familiar no longer exists. There is a hidden catch in everything. The age of Antichrist is the age of suspicion.

Katechon and the Antichrist

The definition of the Antichrist has a political dimension in the Orthodox tradition.

In full, the following is fundamental to the history of Christianity:

3.Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, unless the apostasy comes first and the man of sin, the son of perdition, is revealed,  3. μή τις ὑμα̃ς ἐξαπατήση̨ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθη̨ ἡ ἀποστασία πρω̃τον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθη̨̃ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τη̃ς ἀνομίας ὁ υἱòς τη̃ς ἀπωλείας
4. He who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is holy, that in the temple of God he may sit as God, claiming to be God.  4. ὁ ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεòν ἢ σέβασμα ὥστε αὐτòν εἰς τòν ναòν του̃ θεου̃ καθίσαι ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτòν ὅτι ἔστιν θεός
5. Do you not remember that I told you this when I was still with you?  5. οὐ μνημονεύετε ὅτι ἔτι ὢν πρòς ὑμα̃ς ταυ̃τα ἔλεγον ὑμι̃ν
6. And now you know that you are not allowed to reveal yourself to him in due time.  6. καὶ νῦν τὸ κατέχον οἴδατε, εἰς τὸ ἀποκαλυφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἑαυτοῦ καιρῷ·
7.  For the mystery of iniquity is already at work, but it will not be accomplished until he who restrains it is taken out of the way.  7. τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας· μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται.
8. And then the unrepentant will be manifested, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the Spirit of his mouth.  8. καὶ τότε ἀποκαλυφθήσεται ὁ ἄνομος, ὃν ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἀνελεῖ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ καὶ καταργήσει τῇ ἐπιφανείᾳ τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ,
9. And he will destroy, by the manifestation of his coming, him whose coming, by the work of Satan, will be with all power and false signs and wonders [3].  9. οὗ ἐστιν ἡ παρουσία κατ’ ἐνέργειαν τοῦ Σατανᾶ ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει καὶ σημείοις καὶ τέρασιν ψεύδους.


In Church Slavonic the corresponding places:

6. And now we withhold it, that it may appear to him in due time.

7. The mystery of iniquity has already been dealt with, so that he who resists now will be preserved from Wednesday.

"Keeper" - τὸ κατέχον - is a neuter participle and refers to the "kingdom", the "empire", while "keeper" - ὁ κατέχων - is a masculine participle and indicates the one who holds, i.e. the "King", the "Emperor". Both words are formed from the verb κατέχειν, to hold, to keep, literally; it means 'to have under', 'to possess'. Hence the Russian word for 'globe' and 'power' - that which the ruler, the possessor, 'holds'.

This is how John Chrysostom's commentary on the Epistles of St Paul interprets the theme in question:

'It is right for anyone to ask, first of all, what a withholding (τό κατέχον) is, and then to find himself wanting to know why Paul speaks so vaguely about it. What does 'withholding' mean, that is, 'hindering'? Some say it is the grace of the Holy Spirit, while others say it is the Roman state; with the latter I agree more. Why? If he had wanted to speak of the Spirit, he would not have expressed it in vague terms, but would have said with certainty that the grace of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the (extraordinary) gifts, interfere with his coming. Moreover, it would have been necessary for him to come already, if he came when the (extraordinary) gifts had withered, because they had already withered long ago; but since he (the Apostle) said this about the Roman state, it is understandable why he only hinted at it and spoke about it secretly until then. He did not want to incur unnecessary enmity and unnecessary danger. For if he had said that the Roman state would be destroyed in a short time, then he, as an agitator, would have been immediately wiped out, and (with him) all believers, as living and committed to it.

That is why he did not use this expression, nor did he say that it would soon follow, although he (implicitly) always says so. (...) In the same way he says exactly here: 'now hold fast (ò κατέχων) until Wednesday'. That is: when the Roman state ceases to exist, then he (the Antichrist) will come. This is rightly so, - because as long as this state is feared, no one will soon submit (to the Antichrist); but after it is destroyed, lawlessness will set in and he will seek to steal all power, both human and divine. Just as kingdoms were destroyed before, i.e. the Medes by the Babylonians, Babylon by the Persians, the Persians by the Macedonians, the Macedonians by the Romans, so the latter will be destroyed by the Antichrist, and he himself will be defeated by Christ and will no longer have dominion. And all this is conveyed to us with great clarity by Daniel. "And then," he says, "the unrepentant will appear. And then? This is immediately followed by consolation: (the apostle) adds: 'whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth, and shall abolish with the manifestation of his coming; but his coming is according to the work of Satan. Just as fire, when it draws near, torments and destroys small animals before its coming, which are also far away, so in the same way Christ by His command and His coming will kill the Antichrist. It is enough to appear to Him and all this will be destroyed. The moment He (the Lord) appears, He will put an end to the deception [4].

The removal of the Katechon-Emperor from the environment (ἐκ μέσου) is a sign and simultaneously the mechanism of the coming of the Antichrist. In other words, it is the transition from traditional society (which in Orthodoxy is expressed in the symphony of powers and the Caesar-papist principle [5]) - to the post-traditional society. With this begins the last era of substitution.

Not all Christians will admit it, but in the Middle Ages most Catholics agreed with this interpretation of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (which speaks of the "son of perdition" and the "mystery of lawlessness") as applied to the Emperor and the Western Roman Empire of the Germanic nations [6]. Incidentally, it collapsed in the person of Austria-Hungary in 1917, at the same time as the Russian Empire and the Russian Emperor.

But even those Christians who interpret the passage on catechumens not politically, but metaphorically, are thinking structurally. 'Titling' with them takes on a generalised meaning of 'piety', 'holiness', which abandons society.

The Antichrist as the measure of time

In all eschatological currents of Christianity, the theme of the Antichrist manifests itself in one way or another. Thus, in the Russian schism it played a fundamental role. Indicative in this respect is the statement of an Old Believer, a representative of the extreme sect of the 'Vagabonds' (a follower of the famous 'runner' Antipas Yakovlev):
Listen, brothers, to what these flatterers say, for there is no need to know about the Antichrist. Yes, we have all faith in the Antichrist [7].

What does it mean that "all faith consists"? That the statement about the coming of the "spiritual Antichrist" radically changes the Christian's attitude towards the environment. Changes in relation to what? In relation to the pre-anti-Christic period. What is the pre-anti-Christic period? The paradigm of the socio-comic existence of a normative Christian society.

Thus, the role and function of the Antichrist in Christianity is clear. The debate is between 'already' and 'not yet'. It is indicative that in contemporary Christianity, there is a tendency to put the subject of the Antichrist completely out of brackets. Thus the most important historical moment is put in brackets and religion is de-historicised, de-socialised, de-existentialised. Christianity without the theme of the Antichrist is unreliable and fails to substantiate the temporal moment. Thus it loses its most important dimension and gradually turns into a simulacrum itself. The devil's stratagem, as we know, is to suggest to everyone that he does not exist.


There is nothing unacceptable in trying to find functional analogues to the figure of the 'Antichrist' in other traditions and religions. This comparativist procedure is quite simple. One need only remember that the semantics of these analogues will be determined by context and religions as languages.

In Islam it is 'Dadjal', 'Liar' (الدجّال) or 'al-Masih al-Dadjal' (الدجّال المسيح). He is depicted with one (asymmetrical) eye. He will fight the Muslims and the returning Christ at the end of time. (Note only that the Christ of the Muslims is not the Christ of the Christians).

The winner of the Dadjal is seen by Muslims as the Mahdi, who for Sunnis is the eschatological leader of the Islamic Ummah and for Shiites is the last hidden Imam.

Claudio Mutti summarises the Dajjal in the Islamic tradition: The Mahdi will fight the Antichrist, the deceiving Messiah (al-Masih al-Dajjal), who will establish his kingdom on earth in the last times before the Imam appears. 'I warn you,' says the hadith of Muhammad, 'of the danger of his coming. There is no prophet who has not spoken of him to his communities. Even Noah did for his own. But I will tell you something about him that no prophet has ever told his disciples. Know that he is crooked in one eye, but Allah, Allah is not. This physical ugliness would be a sign of the general ugliness characteristic of a false Messiah, who would nevertheless be able to conceal, through the power of suggestion, his true appearance. However, according to the belief widespread among Muslims today, Dadjal has already established his hegemony over most of the earth. There is a large number of those who have been able to detect diabolic traits in modern Western civilisation and who have seen in the traditional image of the devil a symbol of the modern world. The partial blindness of the Antichrist can then be understood as an indication that even modern technical civilisation (...) sees only one aspect of life, material progress, and completely ignores its spiritual aspect.

Dadjal's astonishing ability to see and hear at a distance, to fly at breakneck speed - i.e. his traditional characteristics - can be expressed in the following terms: "With its mechanical marvels, modern civilisation enables man to see and hear far beyond his natural capabilities and to cover gigantic distances at unimaginable speeds. Prophecies about the ability to cause rain and the power to make plants grow, which are common to both Dadjal (the Antichrist) and the Mahdi, but which in Dadjal's case constitute satanic parody, can be identified within such approximations with modern science. Another aspect of Dadjal's activities can be similarly interpreted: the discovery and exploitation of mineral deposits in the bowels of the earth, which he is supposed to favour; this type of action is common to the Mahdi and Dadjal. Finally, the false Messiah is said to be able to kill and bring back to life, so that the weak in faith mistake him for God and worship him. And, in fact, modern medicine 'brings life back to those who seem destined for death', while the wars of modern civilisation, with their scientific horrors, destroy life. And the material development of this civilisation is so "powerful and so dazzling that those whose faith is weak believe that there is something divine in it"[10]. But those with strong faith will read the inscription in letters of fire on his forehead - 'Deny God' - and realise that this is a deception designed to test faith. The identification of the Dajjal with modern Western civilisation, which began to closely assault Islam from the era of colonial expansion, initially took place within the narrow framework of African 'Mahdist' movements, which fiercely resisted the infiltration of the infidels and their civilising activities. "Recently," reads a British colonial report, "agitators have acquired the habit of identifying the European conquerors of Muslim countries with Dadjal"[11]. And, in the end, it will be the Mahdi who will be defeated by Dadjal. And it is up to Jesus, 'Seydne Isa', to destroy him once and for all: 'He will smash the cross and cut down the pig', says the hadith [12].

Dadjal appears at the end of the cycle. Defeating him is the final act of sacred history.

In extreme Shi'ism, Ismailism, there is the figure of the 'Ka'im', the resurrector (Qāʾem, قائم - literally 'the one who rises'), who is the highest incarnation of the third heavenly Logos who descended into the world and became the spirit (mind) of humanity [13]. Ka'im's task is to make up for the fatal consequences of the primordial error he made when he doubted the origin of light, as a result of which he fell. Here Dadjal is interpreted as an externalisation of this shadow of doubt that has become an object before the spiritual subject. In Ka'im's final battle with Dadjal, there is a battle of the Logos with itself, with its dark side.

Of course, this gestalt cannot be directly identified with the Christian Antichrist, as the contexts (the languages) are different, but the homologies are obvious.


Even in Judaism there is a subject directly related to the gestalt of the Antichrist. It refers to the concept of 'Erev rav', 'erev rav (עֵרֶב רַב), "the nations of the great mixture", commented on by Kabbalah [14].

"The Zohar describes 'erev rav as follows: The Great Mixture consists of five nations: the Nephilim (or fallen ones), the Giborim (or heroes), the Anakim (or giants), the Rephaim (or shadows, literally "doctors", "sorcerers") and finally the Amelikim. Because of these nations the little he (ה) of the Tertagram fell out of place [15]. Baleam and Balak came from a branch of Amalek: by removing the letters "lak" from Balak and "eam" from Baleam, the letters of the word "Babel" (Babylon) remain, "because there the Lord mixed the language of the whole earth". [16].

The people of Amalek scattered over the earth at the time of the Tower of Babel were the remnant of those of whom it was said at the time of the Flood: "and I will destroy from the face of the earth all existing things that I have created."[17] And the descendants of Amalek during the fourth dispersion[18] are those mighty princes who rule over Israel by force of arms. They are also spoken of in the verse: "But the land was corrupted before the face of God, and the land was filled with wickedness"[19].

Of the Nephilim it is said: "Then the sons of God saw the daughters of men, who were beautiful"[20]. They constitute the second group of the Great Confusion, they come from the "fallen ones" ("Nephilim") of the upper world. When the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to create man, He said: "Let us make man in our image and likeness"[21]. He wanted to make him the ruler of the creatures of the upper world, that he should rule and that all should be ruled by his hand, after the example of Joseph, of whom it is said: "And he set him over all the land of Egypt."[22]

But the creatures of the upper world decided to oppose him and cried out: "What is man that thou shouldst remember"[23], this is the man who will rise up against thee in the future! The Holy One, blessed be He, answered them: "If you yourselves had been in the lower world like him, you would have committed even more crimes than he! And soon "the sons of God saw the daughters of men, who were beautiful,"[24] desired them, and the Holy One, blessed be He, caused them to fall into the nether world in chains. The sons of God were called Azah and Azael, but the souls of the Great Mistura who descended from them are called Nephilim, who condemned themselves to the fall by fornicating with 'beautiful' women. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, has erased them from the world to come, so that they have no part in it. He has given them a payment in the world below, which is expressed in the words: "And He will repay those who hate Him to His face by destroying them; He will not delay."[25]

The giborim (or heroes) represent the third group that makes up the Great Confusion, and it is of them that it is written: "These are the strong, from ancient times glorious men."[26] They are the strong. They come from the same lineage as the men of the Tower of Babel, who said: "Let us build us a city and a tower, high up to the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves."[27] They are the strong men of the Tower of Babel. They build synagogues and schools and place scrolls of "Torah" with a crown on their heads; but all this not in the name of YHWH (הוהי), but to make a name for themselves: "let us make a name for ourselves."[28] But because they come from the "other side", they despise the children of Israel like the dust of the earth and rob them. So their work will be destroyed. Of them it is written: "And the water on the earth increased exceedingly"[29].

The Rephaim (or shadows) constitute the fourth group of the Great Confusion: when they see the children of Israel in distress, they turn away from them, and even if they are able to save them, they shirk. They shun the Torah and those who study it, and go to do good to the idolaters. Of them it is said: 'The shadows shall not rise'[30]. In the time of Israel's redemption "thou shalt destroy all remembrance of them"[31].

The Anakim (or giants) constitute the fifth group of the Great Confusion. They hate those of whom it is said: "The Torah is 'an ornament for your neck'"[32]. Of them it is written: "and they were numbered among the Rephaim as sons of Enakoff."[33] They are, in fact, worthy of each other.

The five groups of the Great Confusion cause the world to return to the state of Tohu-Bohu ("But the earth was sightless and empty"[34]). And 'returning to Tohu-Bohu' means the destruction of the Temple.

"The earth was Tohu-Bohu"[35] because the Temple was the axis of the world. But when the light comes, which is the Holy One, blessed be He, they will be swept away and destroyed. However, the final deliverance does not depend on their "wiping off the face of the earth", but on the destruction of Amalek, because it is in relation to Amalekim that the oath was taken[36].

The influential Kabbalist Vilna Gaon Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman specifies that the "Erev rav" is "Jacob's clip". In his commentary on the Zohar, he gives the following interpretation:

Esau and Ishmael are intertwined with Abraham and Isaac, but 'erev rav is intertwined with Jacob. Therefore 'erev hav is more problematic for Israel and the Shekinah, as they are the leaven in the dough - because all the misers and those who do not uphold the 'Torah are among them [37].

His commentary on a place in the book of Numbers - "and the people spoke against God and against Moses: because you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is neither bread nor water here, and our souls are sickened by this unfit food"[38] - clarifies: 'The leaven in the dough is the 'erev rav, which is worse than all the nations of the world (goyim), because it prevents Israel from fulfilling the commandments (mitzvot),[39] and he who leads astray a friend does him more harm than if he killed him,[40].

The already quoted section of the Zohar states: The dispersion, the exile and the destruction of the Temple, and all the sufferings, stem from the fact that Moses took 'erev rav, and all the wicked and perverse men and evildoers of all generations stem from them, from their souls, as embodiments of those who left Egypt [41].

Thus the idea is formed that along with the evil that comes from outside towards the Jewish people, there is an evil that comes from within. And it is this evil - Erev Rab - that becomes the most important for some commentators. "Erev rab" is not only of the Christians (Esau/Edom) or the Muslims (Ishmael), but the intermingling of the goyim of Egyptian times with the Jews themselves. The 'Erev Rab' are those with whom Israel will fight at the end of time in the Messianic era (Vilna Gaon).

A pupil of Rabbi Hillel of Shiklov reports the words of his master: The main role of the two Mashiach, Mashiach son of Joseph and Mashiach son of David, in the generations is to defend and war against the three main klippot (shells) - against the shells of Esav [42], Ishmael [43] and 'erev rav [44]. The main battle must break out to drive away from Israel the forces of 'erev rav, the clippah of Armilus [45]; 'erev rav is our greatest enemy, separating the two Mashiach from each other. The klippah 'erev rav operates through deception and avoidance, flattery. Therefore, the war with 'erev hav is the harshest and bitterest of all [46].

Regarding the enigmatic figure of Armilus, also symmetrical to the gestalt of the 'Antichrist', the Vilna Gaon explains: Armilus, the angel of the great mixture, is the one who seeks to unite Esau and Ishmael [47] in order to destroy Israel and the whole world, God forbid. The main desire of the great mixture is to unite Esau and Ishmael, thus dividing the two Mashiach. Our main task is to oppose these actions and fight them. We must destroy the power of the great mixture, the clippah of the perverse Armilus, and expel it from Israel. The great mixture is our greatest enemy, because it separates the two Mashiach. The clippah of the great mixture acts deceitfully and indirectly. Therefore, the war against the great mixture is the most difficult and bitter, and we must fight it with all our might to defeat it. Whoever does not participate in the war against the great mixture becomes part of its clique. Whoever it is, it is better that he is not born [48].

Thus, with this identification, "that side" (sitrā ahrā), "hell", "darkness" is found not simply around the Jews, but within the Jews, within themselves, as their inverted black double disintegrated into five groups. Here too, as in the Christian Antichrist, we see the main motif: parody, counterfeit, simulacrum. "Erev Rab" is not just other religions or opponents of the Jews, it is an internal challenge, coming from the substitution and subtle perversion of Judaism itself.


Judaism knows other similar images. First and foremost is Satan (שָׂטָן), who has been identified with the leader of the fallen angels. From Judaism, the gestalt of Satan passed into Christianity and Islam (shaitan - شيطان). The meaning of the Semitic root is 'to be hostile' or 'to act as an obstacle'.

In the story of Job's suffering, Satan argues with God about the piety of the righteous man who blessed God for his gifts and favours, but had to face the test of faith in the last labyrinths of suffering. In doing so, Satan is described as one of God's "servants" (and even "sons of God" - בני האלהים), subject to Him and totally submissive to His will.

In Jewish eschatology itself, however, the figure of Satan does not play a key role - unlike the Erev Rab. In Christianity, on the other hand, the Devil appears as the 'Father of the Antichrist'. In Islam, 'Shaitan' or 'Iblis' (إبليس) is described as the one who first rebelled against God.

In Christian tradition, the final battle between the angelic armies led by the archangel Michael and the devilish hordes led by Satan will take place at the end of time.

In the Latin tradition Satan was identified with the spirit of the evening star, Venus, Lucifer.

This circle also includes the demonic images of Samael, the demon of murder and crime, Aza and Azael, who are mentioned in the Zohar and the Apocrypha, the female demons Lilith, Nahem, Agrat bat-Mahlat, etc. All of them, however, can be regarded as constituting the 'age of Brav', the 'great mixture'.

Kali Yuga

In Hinduism, a similar eschatological situation is based on the mythology of descending cycles and is rooted in the period of Kali Yuga (कलियुग).

For Hinduism, the cyclic pattern is as follows. There is the night of Brahma and the day of Brahma. During Brahma's night period the world does not exist, while during the day period it does. Since Brahma is eternal, his days and nights do not follow one another but coexist, expressing his two aspects - the unrevealed and the manifested - Saguna Brahman, Saguna Brahman (Brahma with qualities) and Nirguna Brahman, Nirguṇa Brahman (Brahma without qualities). Each day of Brahma (mahakalpa) contains 1000 kalpas[49]. Each kalpa has 14 manvantars[50] - 7 manvantars of departure and 7 manvantars of return. In each manvantar there are 4 yugas (satya yuga, treta yuga, dvapara yuga and kali yuga).

Modern mankind lives at the end of kali yuga in the 7th manvantara (after which the cycle of return should begin) of the kalpa of Varaha (white boar).

From the point of view of the Hindu theory of cycles, it is important that within the manvantaras the descending order of the yugas is respected: the yugas correspond to Hesiod's golden, silver, copper and iron ages. The Satya yuga lasts four tenths of a manvantara, the treta yuga three, the dvapara yuga two and the kali yuga one. At the same time, the parameters of human existence get worse and worse, and since Hinduism considers the antithesis order/disorder, sacred/profane, hierarchical/chaotic, etc., the logic of changing yugas implies a transition from order, sacredness and hierarchy to disorder, profanity and chaos. The last yuga, the kali yuga, in turn represents a descent, only this time into the lowest cycle: it is a time of destruction, confusion, chaos, lawlessness, injustice and decadence, above all.

At the end of the kali yuga, the coming of the tenth avatar of the god Vishnu, Kalka (कल्कि), king of the mystical country of Shambhala[51], is expected. At this point the Kali-yuga of the seventh manvantara will end and the new satya-yuga of the next - the eighth - manvantara will begin.
Kalki is he who overcomes darkness and filth:

It is said that at the end of Kali Yuga, the earth will be ruled by the Mlechchi kings. Ungodly and wicked, they will not be crowned properly, but will take power by force and commit various atrocities. They will not hesitate to kill women and children and destroy each other. The rise and fall of such kingdoms will follow one another rapidly. These kings know neither mercy, nor true love, nor true wealth. The common people will follow their example. All current traditions will be lost. The kings will destroy their subjects, they will be characterised by greed and misconduct. In those times women will outnumber men. Education will decline, people's strength will decrease more and more, and life expectancy will shorten. Finally, time will stop the reign of the existing kings and there will be no more kings. Only the coming of Lord Kalka will put an end to all mlechha, heretics and the ungodly. Furthermore, the Vayu Purana (98.391-407) describes the end of the Kali Yuga, a time when only a few will remain alive. They will be helpless beggars, deprived of any property. No one will help them, they will suffer continually from disease and various misfortunes, they will starve in drought. They will kill each other (in anger or hunger). A sense of love will be lost, even among close friends. People will settle along river banks and in the mountains, wandering the land and looking for food. At the end of Kali Yuga humanity will be destroyed [52].

Kali yuga is the age of the demon Kali (कलि). Sometimes this point is overlooked because of the proximity of the name to the black goddess Kali (काली), the Shakti of Shiva. But these are different roots: in the name of the demon Kali (kali) both vowels are short, while in the name of the goddess Kali (kālī) they are long. In some myths, the final battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Kali culminates in the Dark Ages. The demon Kali (कलि) corresponds functionally to the gestalt of the 'Antichrist'.
It should be noted that the phonetic similarity of the names of all the main figures in the eschatological scenario has a symbolic load - the conditions of the end times differ in many religions and traditions precisely because it is easy to confuse high and low, truth and its simulacrum, in this period. The black demon is a simulacrum of the black goddess and an enemy, an adversary of the white avatar, Kalki.

In Buddhism, King Kalki is mentioned as the ruler of Shambhala.
In Buddhism, the future Buddha Maitreya (मैत्रेय) is also present.
The Buddha's antagonist is the demon of illusion and death, Mara (मार). By defeating Mara, the Buddha achieves bliss and awakening.

Ormuzd and Ahriman

A peculiarity of the Zoroastrian religion is that in it the struggle between the god of Light and the god of Darkness lasts throughout the history of the world.

The Zoroastrian text Bundahishn tells us about its structure in this way:
Ormazd has always been the highest in omniscience, virtue and luminosity. The realm of light is the place of Ormazd, which he calls 'infinite light', and omniscience and virtue are permanent (?) properties of Ormazd. As he says in the Avesta, the Avesta is an explanation of both: that which is constant and infinite in time - for Ormazd, the place, faith and time of Ormazd was, is and will always be - and Ahriman, who in darkness, ignorance, the passion of destruction and the abyss was, is, but will not be. The place of destruction and darkness is what is called 'infinite darkness'. In between was the void, (i.e.) what is called 'air', in which the two spiritual (beginnings), the limited and the boundless, the upper, what is called 'infinite light', and the abyss, 'infinite darkness', have now mingled with each other. What is between them is emptiness, and the one is not connected to the other, and <then> both spiritual beginnings are limited in themselves. As for Ormazd's omniscience, he is aware of both types of creations - limited and unlimited - as well as (knowing) the contract of the two spiritual (beginnings). Moreover, the power of Ormazd's creations will be attained in the final incarnation [53] and will become unlimited forever. And Ahriman's creations will perish at the final incarnation, and this too is limitless [54].

It is important to note that Ahura-Mazda and Angro-Manyu fight almost equally for power over the past and the present. Ahura-Mazda 'was and is' (būd ud ast), and Angro-Manyu 'was and is' (būd ud ast). The field of this battle is the 'void' (tuhīg) or 'air' (wāy), where the two abysses of Light and Darkness, limit and limitlessness, meet. But Ormazd's wisdom lies in the fact that he possesses the third dimension of sacred time, the time of war - the future. Ahriman 'was, is, but will not be' (būd ud ast kē nē bawēd). The Spirit of Evil is denied one thing, the future. This very denial predetermines the nature of the future as understood by Zoroastrianism. The future age is an age without Ahriman.
Interestingly, the middle age between creation (Bundahishn) and the age of final separation or judgement (Vizarishn) is the age of confusion. In it, light is mixed with darkness, truth with falsehood, high with low. In a sense, this is the age of apostasy and substitution. It is also a 'time of rivalry'. It is described this way:

"Then, through omniscience, Ormazd knew: 'If I do not create a time of rivalry, he will be able to deceive and subdue my creations, for even now, in the Age of Confusion, there are many people who commit more sins than righteous deeds.' And Ormazd said to the Evil Spirit, 'Agree ('accept') with the times, so that (our) struggle in the Age of Confusion may last nine thousand years.' For he knew that with the acceptance of this (period) of time the Evil Spirit would be exhausted. Then the unobservant and unintelligent Evil Spirit approved of such an agreement, just as two men at war with each other establish a time: "On such and such a day we shall fight.

In Zoroastrianism, the final age, Vizarishn (differentiation), is the final separation of good and evil. During this period, those loyal to Ormuzd fight a final battle against the servants of Ahriman.
At the end of the cycle, the 'last Zarathustra' or 'second Zarathustra' appears, who acts as the restorer of the original good world. This is the climax of the story as a battle:

According to the new revelation received from Zoroaster, humanity has a common purpose with the good deities to gradually defeat evil and restore the world to its original, perfect form. The marvellous moment when this will be realised is called Frashokhereti (in Pahlavi Phrashegird), which probably means 'To perform miracles, to work miracles'. Here the second era will end, while the third, the 'Separation' (in Pahlavi Vizarishn), will begin. Then good will again be separated from evil and, since the latter will be finally destroyed, the 'Separation' will last forever and during all this time Ahura-Mazda, the good deities-Jazata, men and women will live together in complete peace and tranquillity [56].

The analogue of the Christian Antichrist is Ahriman himself, who at the end of history has subjected the material world to his power. At the critical moment of world confrontation, Ahriman reveals his face. The "collective Antichrist" of Zoroastrianism can be seen as a collection of "sons of darkness", Ahriman's army, which reaches the pinnacle of power at a crucial moment in sacred history.

The Pole of Light is embodied in the figure of Saoshyant, the saviour, the universal king who clashes with the armies of darkness in the final battle.

Giants, titans

In the Hellenic tradition - unlike monotheistic religions and Iranian Zoroastrianism - there is no contrasting figure embodying the beginning of pure evil. The very structure of the Greek worldview gravitates towards the Platonic attitude that 'evil is only a diminution of good' and is therefore devoid of hypostatic presence, original presence, essence. Socrates refused to recognise the existence of an idea (paradigm) in dirt; consequently, there could be no idea of evil, much less pure evil, in such a context. Eschatology, too, did not play an important role in Greek culture, as existence revolved in a measured way around the immutable divine eternal axis. Within such a framework there was good and only a relative diminution of it. Time was the moving image of eternity. The world was the image of Olympus. Becoming is the image of being. At the centre of things is the immovable engine, which is the only truly important and meaningful beginning and end - source and destination.

The balanced attitude of Greek religion towards the gods of Hades, the realm of the dead, is indicative. Hades and Persephone, who ruled there, had their own cults and temples, rites and myths. Hades was also visited by the Olympian gods Zeus himself, Apollo, Dionysus and Hermes. The god-fairy Hephaestus was associated with the subterranean regions. Hades was also considered an ordered place, with its divine structures as part of the harmony of the world.

But the Greeks also knew of titanomachy and gigantomachy: a rebellion of titans and giants against the power of the eternal gods, an attempt to become against the immutable and eternal order of Olympus.

Thus, analogues of the figure of the 'Antichrist' in Greek tradition are to be found among the titans and giants, as well as among the heroic figures close to them.

Thus, particularly sinister features are present in Greek mythology: the titan Prometheus, the chthonic snake-like monsters Python and Typhon, the king of the giants Eurimedon and their leader in the rebellion against the gods in the Phlegraean fields Alkionaeus, etc. The myths claimed that there were 12 supreme titans and main giants according to the number of the gods on Mount Olympus. Each of the chthonic monsters - giants - sought to overthrow the god opposing them: Alcyoneus to Hades, Polybot to Poseidon, Mimantes to Hephaestus, Enkelad to Athena and Porphyry to Zeus himself.

Here we see the same symmetry that characterises the gestalt of the 'Antichrist', who imitates God, who tries to pass himself off as him, substituting a copy of reality. Titans and giants are not only opponents of the gods, but also their simulacra, trying to pass themselves off as them.

Other polytheistic traditions know the same kind of beings with inverse symmetry, analogous to the gods and titans (giants) of the Greeks. In Hinduism, they correspond to deva and asura, in Mazdeism to the inverse proportion of ahura and deva. In Germanic myths, the celestial axes are opposed to the chthonic ineist giants Jotun.

Other mythologies similarly describe battles and clashes between old and new gods. In the Western Semitic tradition of Canaan a similar figure of a fighting god was Ba'al, a younger deity deprived of his inheritance, who decided to take it away by force by crushing his father, the old god Ilu [57].

We see a truly stark antagonism between the gods and their chthonic adversaries only in the Iranian tradition, traceable to the metaphysical dualism of Ormuzd and Ahriman. In other mythologies and religious systems - primarily in Hellenism - it does not play a major religious role. Consequently, the eschatological dimension in these traditions is outlined rather vaguely.

Nevertheless, even these mythological gestalts can, with certain reservations, be attributed to the 'Antichrist' archetype that interests us.

Structural analysis of the eschatological scenario, the "antichrist calendar", the morphology of the end of the world

In developed theologies - and especially in the context of monotheism - the final battle and the timing of the arrival of the 'Antichrist' take on a special significance, distinct from the general context of time. In a sense, the words of the Russian Old Believer "We have all our faith in the Antichrist" apply to all monotheistic traditions, where the drama of confrontation with the enemy, with the spirit of evil overthrown, is a central issue. The very theme of the 'end times' is highlighted in a separate direction: eschatology, the doctrine of the end.

In other religions and traditions, especially polytheistic ones, the metaphysics of war, of the final battle, is somewhat attenuated. In terms of form - morphology - it can be reduced to the invariable repetition of cyclical situations, they are prototyped by the annual cycle.

If we describe the morphology of the end of the world in this context, we obtain a classic cyclical-calendar model.

The dark times are winter/night/darkness/coldness/death. This is the entourage. 'The Antichrist of the calendar' is a personification of the period immediately preceding the midnight point in the diurnal cycle or the winter solstice point in the annual cycle.

Where does the parody come from? In the morphology of the calendar everything is clear: evening twilight is similar to morning twilight, autumn to spring, dawn to sunrise, morning star to evening star (Lucifer of the Romans).

Cyclical symbolism and the map/calendar are clearly at the basis of the linguistic set with which the traditions operate.

The object of the Christian Antichrist-like figures can be reduced to this calendar morphology.

In terms of connotative research, this gives us an exhaustive result, as it offers a sign map that can also be applied to more complex mythologies and theologies. In this sense, eschatology is - at least structurally - derivable from a marked cyclical symbolism.

But in denotative terms, we find ourselves in a situation where we have to admit that we are dealing with a hypostasis of natural phenomena elevated to the rank of a religious-mythological identity; that is, the denotation of the 'Antichrist of the calendar' is only one sector of the natural cycle and its corresponding symbolic topology (the sea, the underworld, the pits, the burrows, the roots, the bottom - from which Shamballa comes, etc.).

The adversary of the 'Antichrist of the calendar', therefore, is the next cycle, symmetrically located in relation to it on the other side of the winter solstice point. Two UR runes (two mountains, two horns, two gates, two-faced Janus, twins, etc.) illustrate all the possible scenario motifs clearly enough [58].

The sociology of the Antichrist

The introduction of calendarity and cyclicity allows us to give the 'Antichrist' (in a structurally generalised form) also a sociological interpretation. It is a state of society with an opposite purpose to the normative one. Such cyclical observations of society are already found in Ibn Khaldun, the father of sociology [59]. Society goes through cyclical phases, at the end of one cycle a new one follows. The end of the social cycle is the 'last time' of sociology.

Society is concrete; this concreteness of society is reflected in the structure of its temporality; sooner or later society degrades and disintegrates (not itself, but its concreteness). A period of anarchy and chaos follows, then a new society begins a new cycle. It is a new concreteness, Sorokin describes it through the following series: idealistic/idealistic/sensualistic society, and idealistic again [60].

In this sense, eschatology is a period that completes the concrete society. And the Antichrist as asociological phenomenon can be seen as a generalisation or personification of the final agony of this society.

According to Sorokin, the sensual model of the socio-cultural system is the final stage before the new idealisation. The culmination of the sensual system, according to Sorokin, is the 'sociological Antichrist' and the sensual system itself is the 'kali yuga' or apocalyptic society.

It is indicative that Christianity also links the moment of the Antichrist's arrival with sociopolitical changes (i.e. with the 'withdrawal of catechumens from the environment' - according to John Chrysostom).

Societies are different, so their social eschatologies are structurally similar, but temporally/historically different. What is flourishing for one society may look like a decline for another. It all depends on the structure of concreteness.

Only society itself knows what it really is and, consequently, only within it is it possible to conceive of its end, its eschatological phase.

The concept of counter-initiative. The great parody. "The Antichrist of the roots"

After this methodological digression, let us return to the problem posed at the beginning: does this generalised figure of the 'Antichrist', which we have traced in various religious, morphological and even sociological contexts, have a common ontological denotation? Does a 'generalised Antichrist' exist?

Let us assume that yes, and that Guénon is literally right (and not only from a sociological and structural point of view). We mean that traditionalism has its own denotative field, representing an ontologically authentic set of meanings. In other words, the terms and constructions of traditionalism actually correspond to certain 'extralinguistic' realities. Moreover, these realities are not understood through the network of specific traditions (and specific societies), but are accessed directly - through traditionalism itself.

In this case, we obtain a radical language (i.e. root, from radix - 'root') in traditionalism, together with the radical semantic field and (above all) the radical ontology of the corresponding denotations, and the specific traditions and religions will in this case be modifications of these radical instances that acquire, due to their particularism and relativity, distinctive characteristics in the sphere:

  • connotation (structural relations),
  • semantics (the meanings built on these connections),
  • language itself (as a universal set of signs, rules and paradigms),
  • constituted (perceived) denotations (ontology proper).
  • In fact, this is exactly what Guénon himself claims.

If this exists, and in the person of traditionalism we are dealing not only with the meta-linguistic technique, but with all three layers (signified-signifying), then there is also the traditionalist or denoted (radical) root, whose modifications are the figures similar to the Christian Antichrist. And this is clearly described by Guénon when he proposes two traditionalist terms, "counter-initiation" and "the Great Parody"[61]. He bases the mechanism of the "Great Parody" on the image of the "opening from below of the Cosmic Egg of Peace".

In this model, in addition to the Christian Antichrist and similar figures from other traditions, whose denotativity is justified (constituted and endowed with ontological status) by these same particular traditions, we are dealing with a new special denotativity that generalises the ontology of all these particular religious-social forms, with the 'radical Antichrist'.

A generalisation about the Antichrist and the 'concrete Antichrist'

We have obtained the following windows or gateways to the obscure problem of the "ontology" and "semantics" of the figure of the "Antichrist".

First, we can consider the gestalt of the "Antichrist" as a chain of separate and semantically isolated figures that perform more or less similar functions in different religious teachings and traditions, as well as in different social contexts and complex ritual-calendars. In this case, these are semantic, connotative and denotative entities (essences), constituted or perceived by specific traditions.

These constructions or phenomena depend on the structure of a particular religion and tradition, the society based on it, and the normative political system. That is, the socio-cultural, epistemological and anthropological context.

Since the specific traditions, religions and societies are different, in each case we are dealing with a different essence, even if typologically comparable

According to Sepir-Whorf's law, there is no direct translation between languages. There is also no direct translation between traditions, religions and societies. When the people of a particular society (a particular tradition, culture, civilisation) see that their normativity is collapsing, they turn to the figure of the Antichrist, Dadjal, Ahriman, the concepts of Kali Yuga, Ragnarekra, etc. as a label, an essential semantic moment, to their reality intimately connected with social being and its history. And having activated that concept, they begin to act accordingly.

But each time it is a completely concrete actualisation, i.e. the being of the 'Antichrist' is in each case separate and distinct. We can only relate the 'Antichrists' to each other in the form of an a posteriori comparativism. We do not penetrate the very being of this generalised archetype.

Here we are dealing with occasionalism and we must treat the subject in an occasionalist and pluralist manner. For some the Antichrist is like this and for others he is different. Prescriptions and paradigms of perception may differ, as may reactions and conclusions.

But, at the same time, the fixation on this figure and comparativist observations, if conducted carefully and with a thorough consideration of the characteristics that make each society, tradition, religion or culture distinct and different from the others - can, in some cases, help us better understand each of these figures. What is known about Ahriman may prove useful in understanding the devil in Christianity; the details reported on Dadjal may shed light on the structures of the "age of Rav"; and the stories of the "Kali Yuga", for their part, may clarify certain aspects of Revelation.

"Situational Antichrist"

Secondly, we have before us a wide range of morphological, cyclical, sociological and semiotic generalisations. This allows us to corroborate a certain similarity between the 'situations of the Antichrist'

These situations do indeed have many common features. Again, the picture - as in the case of religions - proves fruitful for comparativist research, but with the same limitations. The difference here is the 'metaphoricity' of the interpretation: the winter solstice, with all its cultic significance, or the social catastrophe that leads to the destruction of society or culture, are not concentrated enough to provide such a high and concentrated experience of tension as in the case of the 'Antichrist' figure in a religious context.

That said, morphological analysis is only a distant view from the outside. A pure superstructure of metalanguage. In this case, it is merely observation and we cannot encounter the essence of the phenomenon, nor (let alone) look at it in depth.

The naturalism of the calendar approach only illustrates how, in solving a problem, we can move away from it. Unless, of course, one does the opposite and experiences the drama of the New Year as a knot of existential ecstatic tragedy. Many archaic rituals were just that, until the conventionality of sacrifice replaced the piercing horror of true ritual torment and death.

Radical Ontology

Finally, we come to the most important thing, the possibility of interpreting the figure of the 'Antichrist' as a certain ontological unity that possesses a being that is independent of cultural and religious contexts, but, on the contrary, influences them. Such a figure requires accepting traditionalism and its generalizations not as an a posteriori technical construction, but as a field of reference to a real being structured in a particular way. Such an approach requires us to treat Genon or similar theories of universal sacral ontologies (especially the Neo-Platonists and, in particular, Proclus' reconstruction of Plato's Theology [62] or Primordial Theology [63]) with the utmost confidence. This means that we are willing to accept traditionalism as a radical language, i.e. not only as a morphological scheme, but as an ontological field of radical denotations. The radicality lies in the fact that this field precedes a chain of (always relatively) homologous figures from specific traditions or socio-cultural contexts, just as a root precedes a trunk and branches.

However, it should be remembered that such radicality does not necessarily mean chronological precedence: after all, roots do not exist before the tree, but together with the tree. Therefore, Guénon's notion of primordial Tradition should not be interpreted as a reference to an indefinitely distant past. Primordiality - at least that which is ontologically understood - is always contemporary. It may be more or less open and manifest - or, on the contrary, hidden and concealed (depending on the cyclical situation) - but it cannot help but be here and now. If we accept the basic thesis of traditionalism, it is the existence of the Primordial Tradition that makes any particular empirically fixable tradition valid and sacred, and for this reason the Primordial Tradition must not be prior to the historical tradition, but within it, together with it, synchronous with it.

Another clarification. It is not correct to consider any of the existing traditions as a perfect example and direct identity of the Primordial Tradition, while others should be considered as its distortions, variants or deviations. Each historical tradition is always a specific semantic and semiotic context, and therefore cannot be a paradigm at the same time. Guénon himself follows this conception, clarifying it in the case of Hinduism as the most primary tradition and Islam as the ultimate and final tradition. Precisely this refinement can be controversial, as is evident, for example, in Guénon's acceptance of Nestorian Christology - reflected in Islam - as the final solution, but on the whole, with some corrections, Guénon's definition of universality and primordiality is correct and balanced.

Just as it is practically difficult to refrain from attributing 'primordiality' to a single tradition, the temptation to hypothesis the existence of another - separate - religion or tradition alongside all those known and existing ones, however secretive or difficult to reach, which would carry within itself the whole of the radical structures, is also great. Guénon's sometimes overly detailed and formalized descriptions of esotericism and its associated initiatory practices can lead to this - perverse - conclusion. An esoteric dimension can be - and even should be - in every authentic sacred tradition, but none of them can represent this 'esoteric tradition' in its entirety, and at the same time this 'esoteric tradition' cannot exist alongside the others as something special and separate.

True primordiality (i.e. true radicality) has a different nature: it cannot precede the empirically fixed traditions, nor coincide with any of them, nor exist alongside them as something separate. It represents a particular vertical dimension present in the datum of a particular tradition, but never coinciding with this datum.

The "radical Antichrist" and his experience

Having accepted the existence of a radical ontology, we can approach the figure of the "Antichrist" from another perspective. This can be defined as the identification of the figure of the 'radical Antichrist'. The 'radical Antichrist' appears when we accept the hypothesis of the existence of a hypostatized denotative for traditionalist language.

In this case, we must fix a certain zone in this field of traditionalism, where we identify that radical gestalt, which reveals itself in an indefinitely wide variation of homologous figures. These figures are central to the eschatological narratives of various traditions, from calendrical and ritual to religious and socio-cultural. "Radical Antichrist" is that commonality that is inherent in the typical images and situations known to us, but not as a result of observation and comparison, of comparative and analytical operations, but as a moment of special metaphysical experience. The presence of this essence passes through the religious and cultural forms that we have briefly listed, but it never completely coincides with them. Nor does it have an existence independent of and separate from their contexts: we can speak of an 'esoteric Antichrist', but not of an 'esoteric Antichrist'. The 'radical Antichrist' transpires through the traditions, combining certain images of them. At the same time, he is actually present in these images and entities as their inner dimension, as their spiritual vertical. He is the common root, which is for each branch of the tree its own root. Thus, the encounter with the figure of the Antichrist (Dajjal, Ahriman, Erev Rab, with the Titans, with the demon Kali, Mara, etc.) and with similar socio-cultural moments of dying societies can be limited to a specific context, or it can penetrate through it - into the inner dimensions, into the root region. This is how radical experience is structured.

The recognition of this dimension and the unique experience associated with it is based on the recognition of the special - also radical - ontology of traditionalism. Therefore, we can define this type of experience as primordial.

Antikeimenos as a concept

In order to give the gestalt of the 'radical Antichrist' a more formal character, one could propose another neutral technical term which, given all the previous considerations, could become an effective concept. With this concept one could avoid direct connotations with a specific religious context - in this case Christian - that would inevitably lead us - to one extent or another - away from the metaphysical experience of the "Antichrist" in its radical - primordial - dimension. The Greek term ὀ ἀντικείμενος is suggested as such. Its basic meaning is 'adversary', 'enemy', 'opponent'. Its etymology is transparent: it is a participle of the verb ἀντίκειμαι, itself composed of the prefix ἀντῐ- ('against', 'opposite') and the root κεῖμαι ('to put'). ὀ ἀντικείμενος, he who 'opposes', 'opposes', is the 'opposite'. The semantic core also includes the idea of resistance, opposition, hostility and even malice. All in all, this is quite close to the semantics of the Hebrew word Satan (śāṭān).

It is significant that the term ὀ ἀντικείμενος is used in the same fundamental for all Christian eschatology as St Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which speaks of katechon, 'who rules now'. We quote:

3. Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, until the apostasy has come first and the man of sin, the son of perdition, has been revealed,

4. He who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is holy, so that in the temple of God he sits as God, claiming to be God[64].

5. μήτις ὑμα̃ς ἐξαπατήση̨ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθη̨ ἡ ἀποστασίαπρω̃τον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθη̨̃ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τη̃ςἀνομίας ὁ υἱòς τη̃ς ἀπωλείας

6. ὁ ἀντικείμενοςκαὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεòν ἢ σέβασμα ὥστε αὐτòν εἰς τòν ναòν του̃ θεου̃ καθίσαι ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτòν ὅτι ἔστιν θεός.

It is the Antichrist who is called the "man of sin" (ὁ ἄνθρωπος τη̃ς ἀνομίας), the "son of perdition" (ὁ υἱòς τη̃ς ἀπωλείας - note, that here too the Antichæmenos parodies Christ, who expresses himself by calling him "son"), "exalted" (περαιρόμενος) and "opposed" (ὁ ἀντικείμενος). Antichæmenos is the Antichrist. And in this sense the term fully retains its connection with the entire complex of these figures in their Christian context.

However, if this correspondence is not deliberately sharpened, it is possible to operate more freely with the notion of 'anti-Keimenos'. It can mean anything contextually, but in a necessarily broad and convincing way, we can understand by 'enemy', 'adversary'. And the 'main enemy', the fundamental, the absolute - the root, the radical, the primordial. This correlates perfectly with the Devil, Satan, who in the Christian tradition is also sometimes called 'the enemy', 'the enemy force', 'the enemy of the human race'. Antikemenos is the gestalt of the absolute enemy. In this sense, the term applies to the Antichrist proper, Dadjal, Erev Rav, Ahriman, the demon Kali, titans, giants and other forces of darkness, which pose a deadly challenge to people, religions, societies and cultures.

At the same time, in the quoted passage from St Paul, the Antikemenos is logically linked to the figure of the katechon, because it is the presence of the katechon (ὁ κατέχων) that prevents the coming of the Antikemenos. The two gestalts are inextricably linked by the structure of the eschatological scenario. katechons very being has as its main purpose to prevent the appearance of the Antikeimenos, but the opposite is also true: the purpose of the Antikeimenos is to break katechon's resistance.

Antikeimenos and political theology

It is now worth recalling the important role played by katechon in Christian politics, where in the Middle Ages - and partly during the longer period of preservation of the Byzantine paradigm in Eastern Europe (up to the theory of 'Moscow is the third Rome') - it was the presence or absence of an empire that served as the reference point for eschatological time. Christian society naturally held this account on the side of the Catechon, being in solidarity with it and the order embodied in it - the Roman order. But the location of such a vantage point necessarily had to involve Antichemenos, who at any moment could emerge from a gap in the Catechon enclosure of the Christian polis. In other words, the Antichæmenos, which had not been sufficiently conceptualised, was constantly and invariably present at the heart of Christian political thought.

In the 20th century, the importance of katechon for the entire structure of European politics was recalled by the German philosopher Carl Schmitt,[65] after which the term itself was routinely used in the context of extended political science, understanding the state as a secular figure of 'political theology'. Consequently, the katechon - Antiquemenos antithesis also received conceptual content. Especially since the New Era was precisely the period of the shattering of the old order and the socio-political institutions associated with it. This gestalt, therefore, signifies the origin of that historical and political power which aims at the shattering of the structures of traditional society - religious, class, hierarchical. In this case, modernity itself turns out to be an expression of the anti-Cheimenos, since its openly proclaimed aim is to overthrow and demolish traditional systems and institutions. The gestalt of Antikeimenos thus coincides semantically with the concepts of progress, liberalism, modernisation, etc. Antikeimenos means revolution.

A rebellious object

It should be noted, however, that the philosophical term ὑποκείμενον, translated into Latin as sub-jectum, sub-stratum or sub-stantia, is formed in a similar way in Greek. Both in meaning and structure, ἀντικείμενον can mean and means object. There was no strictly delineated subject/object pair in Greek philosophy, but if we do a reverse translation into ancient Greek we get exactly ὑποκείμενον/ἀντικείμενον. Thus ἀντικείμενον is also an object with its full scope of meaning. And, even more precisely, it is above all the 'object', that which is 'in front' of the observer, beyond the outer limit.

In this philosophical sense, anti-Keimenos (perhaps it should be written with a lower case letter here) means that external thing that is beyond the observing presence.

This ambiguity of Antikeimenos as 'Antichrist' and Antikeimenos as object is extremely expressive. The new era of science, culture, politics, ideology represents precisely a shifting of the centre from the subject to the object - towards matter, 'reality', density, into the area of the parts without the whole, i.e. the parts of the unknown of what - of the parts of the absent gestalt. And, as a result, it is entirely possible to speak of the catechonic function of the subject, which remains (where it still exists) the guardian of a sacred order, however weakened and weakened. If the subject is synonymous with the 'political Antichrist', then the subject takes on the meaning and mission of the catechon.

If we now project these consonances onto the increasingly popular object-oriented ontology (OO), the symmetry we have constructed on the basis of the term ὁ ἀντικείμενος will reveal itself even more fully. The philosophers of the OOO themselves distinguish ever more clearly on the outside of things (objects) the sinister features of a dark deity, bearer of absolute horror [66]. The aim of the speculative realists (C. Meijasu[67], H. Harman[68], etc.) is precisely to definitively abolish the subject by freeing from it the autonomous object ontologies previously suppressed by rationalist projections. The overthrow of the structures of order is also the primary goal of this God-fearing power, which acts as katechon's direct opponent in the eschatological scenario.

Antikeimenos and the radical subject

The term 'Antikeimenos' is the equivalent of the term 'radical Antichrist'. It does not add any new properties or characteristics to 'Radical Antichrist', but allows it to operate freely with it - not only in a theological or political theological context, but to resort to it in similar but more abstract cases of religion and religious eschatology, retaining all the profound content of the corresponding primordial metaphysical experience.

Antikeimenos can be applied to philosophy as an object equivalent, but one that already contains a reference to the Loughcraftian reality of the gods of horror or to the irruption of the infracorporeal hordes of Gogs and Magogs from beneath the "Egg of Peace" (in the spirit of R. Guénon's symbolism [69]).

On the other hand, it allows us to detach ourselves from the concreteness of Christian teaching on the end times and to operate freely in dialogue with representatives of other religious traditions, who will find it much easier to accept a neutral term and insert their own content into it. Instead of these syncretic formulas - Dadjal/Anti-Christ - and even more cumbersome ones, one could refer to the Antikeimenos.

Another remarkable feature of this concept is the possibility of its operational use in contexts of political science, sociology and cultural studies - by analogy and in direct symmetry with the concept of katechon, which became widespread following Carl Schmitt's successful interpretation [70].

Finally, Antikeimenos best fits the primordial meaning of that radical ontology that we recognise (if we accept) as traditionalism. And, as such, the term becomes a crucial symmetrical counter-pole to the radical Subject, another figure of radical ontology [71]. Much can be learned from this symmetry and light shed on both gestures. But that is the subject of the next series of studies.


[1] Guenon, R. The crisis of the modern world. Moscow: Arktovegiya Center, 1991.

[2] Dugin A. Philosophy of traditionalism. Moscow: Arktohegya-Centre, 2002.

[3] Second Letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians (Thessalonians.) 2:3-9.

[4] St John Chrysostom. Works of our holy father John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople. Т. 11. Book 1. Ibid. p. 597-598.

[5] Dugin A. G. Noomakhia. Byzantine Logos. Hellenism and Empire. Moscow: Academic Project, 2016.

[6] De Stefano A. L'idea imperiale di Federico II. Parma: Edizioni all'insegna del Veltro, 1999.

[14] Bar Shaul. Who Were The Mixed Multitudes?// Hebrew Studies. vol. 49, 2008.

[15] The theme of the correlation of the Tetragrammaton, the divine name of Yahweh, which is unspellable in the Jewish tradition and consists of the letters (from right to left) הוהי, is central to the theory of 'erev rav. These letters are arranged vertically by Kabbalists and correspond to the four worlds. The י corresponds to God Himself. The first ה represents Elohim Mother, the Heavenly Shekinah. The letter ו represents the spiritual bridge, the axis of the world. The second ה , a small he, corresponds to Shekinah in exile or Israel. By attacking the bridge vau, the "peoples of the Great Mixture" force it to be removed, and so the connection between the upper Shekinah and the lower Shekinah is interrupted. This theme is quite consistent with the Gnostic-Valentinian doctrine of fallen Sophia. See Dugin A. G. Messianism of Kabbalah// The End of the World. Moscow: Arktogeia, 1998.

[16] Genesis. Chapter 11:9.

[17] Genesis. Chapter 7:4.

[18] The modern fourth dispersion began, according to Judaism, in the year 68 A.D., that is 172 years before the beginning of the 5th millennium according to the Jewish chronology. See Dugin A. G. Messianism of the Kabbalah/ Sweet Angel No. 3. 1996.

[19] Genesis. Chapter 6:11.

[20] Genesis. Chapter 6:2.

[21] Genesis. Chapter 1:26.

[22] Genesis. Chapter 41:43.

[23] Psalms. Chapter 8:5.

[24] Genesis. Chapter 6:2.

[25] Deuteronomy, Chapter 7:10.

[26] Genesis. Chapter 6:4.

[27] Genesis. Chapter 11:4.

[28] Genesis. Chapter 11:4.

[29] Genesis. Chapter 7:19.

[30] The Book of Isaiah. Chapter 26:14.

[31] The Book of Isaiah. Chapter 26:14.

[32] "(...) because it is a beautiful wreath for your head," in the Synodal translation. Proverbs. Chapter 1:9.

[33] Deuteronomy. Chapter 2:11.

[34] Genesis, Chapter 1:2.

[35] But the earth was without sight and void, and darkness over the abyss. Genesis, Chapter 1:2.

[36] Zohar. T. 1. P.: Verdier, 1981-1991. P. 143-146.

[37] Based on the book of Rabbi Hillel Shiklover, a student of the Vilna Gaon. Rabbi Hillel Shiklover. The Voice of the Turtledove (Kol HaTor). Pteakh Tikva: Rabbi Yeshiel Bar Lew, 2011. P. 122.

[38] Numbers. Chapter 21: 5.

[39] Sabbatai follower Tsevi Baruhio Russo, founder of the most radical branch of Sabbataism, called specifically for the "sacred violation" of all the Old Testament commandments (mitzvot) as the way to "paradoxical salvation" and "deliverance.

[40] Rabbi Hillel Shiklover. The Voice of the Turtledove (Kol HaTor). P. 45.

[41] Zohar. T. 1. P. 161-162.

[42] Synonymous with Christian nations.

[43] A synonym for Muslim peoples.

[44] A group within the Jews, a clip of Jacob.

[45] Armilus (ארמילוס) is a figure of Talmudic eschatology. According to one version, he is identical with the Mashiach of the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim), that is, the suffering Mashiach, who will create in the age of "deliverance" (geulah) a "great empire. According to another version, he appears as the black double of Mashiach, the counterpart of the Christian Antichrist. Here he appears as the son of Satan and the female statue, who created a giant world empire. In the tractate "Book of Zarubabel" he is opposed by the mother of the real Mashiach of the tribe of David Hevziva, as well as the second suffering Mashiach (in this version - a positive hero), who fights against Armilus and dies in this war. Only the second Mashiach, of the tribe of David, son of Hebziva, manages to defeat Armilus.

[46] Rabbi Hillel Shiklover. The Voice of the Turtledove (Kol HaTor). P. 70.

[47] Bringing Esau and Ishmael together is tantamount to creating an anti-Jewish alliance of Christians and Muslims.

[48] Rabbi Hillel Shiklover. The Voice of the Turtledove (Kol HaTor). P. 71.

[49] The term "kalpa" means both a long period of time and something ordered, shaped, defined, limited.

[50] The term manvantara literally means the age of man, Manu, or humanity.

[51] Dugin A. G. Noomakhia. Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia. Indo-European heritage and traces of the Great Mother. Op. cit.

[52] Lavalois K. The Tenth Avatar// /Milyy Angel" #3, M., 2000.

[53] The expression tan <ī> pasēn means "the coming body" or "the body of the age to come". This concept as "body of glory" is examined in detail by Henri Corbin. Corbin A. The Light of Glory and the Holy Grail. Moscow: Magic Mountain, 2006.

[54] Zoroastrian texts. Judgments of the Spirit of Mind (Dadestan-i menogh-i khrad). The Creation of the Basis (Bundahishn) and other texts. Moscow: Eastern Literature Publishing Company of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 1997. С. 265-266.

[55] Zoroastrian texts. Judgments of the Spirit of Mind (Dadestan-i menogh-i khrad). The Creation of the Basis (Bundahishn) and other texts. op. cit. p. 267.

[56] Boyce M. Zoroastrians. Beliefs and customs. Moscow: Nauka Publisher, 1987. С. 36.

[57] Dugin A. G. Noomakhia. Semites. Monotheism of the Moon and the Gestalt of Va'ala. Moscow: Academic Project, 2017.

[58] Dugin A. G. D Signs of the Great North. Moscow: Veche, 2008.

[59] Ibn Khaldūn The Muqaddimah; An Introduction to History. 3 volumes. New York; London: Princeton University Press, 1958.

[58] Дугин А. Г. Знаки Великого Норда. М.: Вече, 2008.

[59] Ibn Khaldūn The Muqaddimah; An Introduction to History. 3 volumes. New York; London: Princeton University Press, 1958.

[60] Сорокин П.А. Социальная и культурная динамика. М.: Астрель, 2006.

[66] Tucker J. The horror of philosophy: in 3 volumes. Т. 3: Tentacles longer than night. Perm: Gile Press, 2019; Harman G. Weird Realism. Lovecraft and philosophy. Perm: HylePress, 2020.

[67] Meiyasu K. After finitude: Essays on the necessity of contingency. - Ekaterinburg; M.: Cabinet Scholar, 2016.

[68] Harman G. The Fourfold Object: The Metaphysics of Things after Heidegger / translated from English by A. Morozov and O. Myshkin. Perm: Gile Press, 2015.

[69] Guénon R. The Realm of Quantity and the Signs of Time.

[70] See for example Cacciari M. The Withholding Power. An essay on political theology. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018 or Agamben J. The Withholding of Time: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Moscow: New Literary Review, 2018, He. Homo sacer. Sovereign Power and the Naked Life. Moscow: Europa, 2011, etc.

[71] Dugin A. G. Radical subject and its double. Moscow: Eurasian Movement. 2009.