The Eagle & The Snake: The Secret Key to Pulp Fiction

Spend any time at our website or view our podcast, and you’ll hear me say a few words time and time again: 

“Solarian Eagle Cult vs. Tellurgic Snake Cult.” 

Now you’re probably asking yourself…

“What the heck does that mean, and why in the heck does he keep talking about it?” 

Well you’re in luck, because finally the secret will be revealed!

And when you uncover it, you will have discovered the Secret Key to understanding Pulp Fiction! 

THE SECRET OF STRUCTURALISM 

To understand the Secret Key to Pulp Fiction, we’ve got to explore a critical concept called Structuralism. 

Structuralism is the belief that all things in existence operate according to a Structure of Binary Oppositions. 

What are Binary Oppositions, you ask? 

Binary Oppositions are two opposite things struggling in opposition to each other, and this opposition gives each respective thing meaning.

To explain this concept, Structuralism’s creator, Ferdinand de Saussure explained that the only way for the color green to exist is if “not green” exists. For there to be green things, there have to be things that are not green.

Other examples of this include: 

  • For there to be “On”, there has to be “Off”…
  •  For there to be “Up”, there has to be “Down”…
  •  For there to be “Right”, there has to be “Left”…

Each of these two things in the pairing are opposites, and their opposition gives meaning to each other. And in the conflict of opposition, there is a winner and a loser.[1] 

Jacuqes Derrida explained it best, “one of the two terms governs the other.”[2]

  • If something is On, then it’s not “Off”. “On” wins the struggle of oppositions…
  • If something is “Up”, then it’s not “Down”. “Up” wins the struggle of oppositions…
  • If something is “Right”, then it’s not “Left”. “Right wins the struggle of oppositions…

And while the term Structuralism was officially created in 1915 by Ferdinand de Saussure, this concept and the logic behind it has been around since the dawn of time under different names.

And it is under these different names to which we turn…

WHAT THE CLASSICAL WORLD KNEW 

Senior POW at the Hanoi Hilton torture chamber and Vietnam War Medal of Honor winner James Bond Stockdale explained that the Indo-European Classical Worldview  was built around a key concept called Agon

What is Agon, you ask? 

Stockdale explains that Agon is “competition, stress, pressure, struggle to win”.[3] 

Stockdale goes on to explain that the Indo-Europeans of the Classical World believed  that all of life was based off of Agon, the world being composed entirely of opposite forces in competition, creating stress for the opposing force.

The Indo-Europeans of the Classical World understood that in this way, a bow is able to be drawn back and fired because the opposite ends of the string are pulled to produce stress upon one another.

The same goes for string-based instruments to create the masterpieces of the music.

And even all architecture, from the humblest hovel to the grandest temple, is composed of tension and compression…how the materials successfully handle the stress of loads from other materials.

And as is in any competition, there is a winner and a loser.

Diogenes Laeritus summarized the views of Heraclitus on this fact when he said: “All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things flows like a stream.”[4]

Heraclitus explained it in his own words: “We know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily.”[5] 

Epictetus summed how the conflict of life makes us stronger when he said: 

“It is difficulties that show what men are. Consequently, when a difficulty befalls, remember that God, like a physical trainer, has matched you with a rugged young man. What for? some one says. So that you may become an Olympic victor; but that cannot be done without sweat.”[6]

But the Roman Emperor and Stoic Soldier Marcus Aurelius summed it up best: 

“The impediment to action advances action. The obstacle becomes the way.”[7] 

The idea of Agon is the same idea as Structuralism. It’s found not just in the Classical World of the Indo-Europeans, but in even earlier and broader-based Indo-European migrations since the dawn of their existence.[8]  

It’s even found in the Hebraic Tradition of the Bible underpinning both the Old and New Testament as Yetzer Ha’ra (the operating motive, the 1:1 correspondence equivalent of Thumos meaning Passion) and Kavash (the action itself, the 1:1 correspondence equivalent of Agon).[9] 

But in the far back Ancient Days of the Indo-Europeans, it was known under one other name…

And that name will provide us with the Secret Key to Pulp Fiction!

POLARITY IS THE KEY

In Revolt Against the Modern World, the Mythologist Julius Evola explained that the Ancient Indo-European peoples understood the concepts of Structuralism’s Binary Oppositions and Agon as the concept of Polarity. 

Here, two things are in polar opposition to each other as if on opposite ends of a pole…for example: 

  • North or South…
  • Positive or Negative…
  • Up or Down…

And each of these things struggles in conflict for domination and mastery over the other!

Both the controversial Julius Evola and the more mainstream Joseph Campbell came to the same conclusion: 

The Ancient Indo-European People’s wars and interactions with the people groups of Asia, Africa, and Latin America can be boiled down to a Polarity of Symbolism.[10] 

And it is this Polarity of Symbolism which is the Secret Key to Pulp Fiction.

The details of this Secret Key are revealed below…

POLARITY SYMBOLISM REVEALED!

The Polarity Symbolism all boils down to the people themselves and their oppositional, contrasting belief systems that they each lived by.  

On one hand, we have the Indo-European Peoples, often described as “Nordics” or “Aryans” by 19th and 20th Century Anthropological Studies, and often associated today as the peoples of Northern-Europe.[11] 

On the other hand, we have the peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, hereby referred to as “The Third World” to use 20th Century Cold War terminology for this region and its peoples, still in accepted use today. 

The Indo-European Peoples built their belief system around a “Northern Pole” or a “Northern Light” as represented by the Solar celestial body of the Sun. The West is associated with this Northern Solar Light. 

The Third World Peoples built their belief system around a “Southern Pole” or a “Southern Light” as represented by the Lunar celestial body of the Moon. The East is associated with this Southern Lunar Light. 

The Indo-European Peoples built their Solar belief system around a Masculine Father figure deity often associated with the Sky, a “Sky God’ belief system. 

The Third World Peoples built their Feminine Lunar belief system around a Mother-figure deity associated with the Earth, a “Mother Goddess” belief system, of where the term “Mother Earth” originates.  

The respective associations with the Sky and with the Earth are a key component to each people’s belief system. 

In terms of Polarity, the Solar Indo-European peoples were an upward ascending belief system, and this is associated with the Sky. This is considered a Positive Pole. 

Meanwhile, the Lunar Third World peoples were a downward descending belief system, and this is associated with the Earth. Terms used to explain this concept are “Tellurgic”, meaning of the Earth, and “Chthonic”, meaning under the Earth. This is considered a Negative Pole

Each association came with its own animal totem as well. 

In the Indo-European belief system, the upward ascending Solar Sky God cults were associated with the high-flying Eagle. 

In the Third World belief system, the downward descending Lunar Mother Goddess cults were associated with the low-crawling Snake.[12]

This foundational Polar Symbolism all points to one big difference between the belief system of the Indo-European Peoples and the Third World Peoples. 

Just what is that difference, you ask? 

THE BIG DIFFERENCE

Each peoples’ belief system revolved around a radically different interpretation of themselves and the world around them. 

The Indo-European peoples’ belief system was built upon a Fixed Principle…that of not being changed by the outside world, but of changing it instead.[13] 

In Literary terms this is referred to as a “Flat Character Arc”,  described by author and scholar KM Weiland below: 

“…the flat arc is about a character who does not change. He already has the Truth figured out in the beginning of the story, and he uses that Truth to help him overcome various external tests.”[14]

In the Indo-European peoples’ belief system, this Fixed Principle is symbolized by both the unmoving, unchanging, solidity of the Rock and of Ice. It is also symbolized as well as the all-consuming power of Fire. It is also symbolized by the illuminating form of Light. 

In addition, the Fixed Principle is symbolically associated with Triumph and Victory in Battle…of not being changed by the foe’s will, but in changing the foe’s will to his Defeat and Surrender. 

This is reflected in the Indo-European peoples lifestyle of Hunter-Gatherers and Nomadic Herders, and in their representative rule tradition of the leader as “First Among Equals”, shaping the world together as free men on the hunt or herd together. 

This concept  is symbolized by the Circle: King Arthur had the circular Round Table so no man could be above another. This is Individualism in its clearest form. 

The Third World peoples’ belief system was built upon a Mutable Principle…that of not changing the outside world, but of being changed by it.[15] 

In Literary terms this is referred to as a “Positive Character Arc” or the “Negative Character Arc”, in which the character is changed by the world beneficially or detrimentally in some way, respectively.[16] 

In the Third World peoples belief system, this Mutable Principle is symbolized by ever-moving, ever-changing formlessness of Water and Sand. It is also symbolized by the suffocating formlessness of Darkness. 

It is also symbolically associated with Death and Rebirth…being changed by life cycles, not changing them. 

This is reflected in the Third World peoples’ lifestyle of Farming and Planting, and in their slave-based societies of agrarian-rooted despotic tyranny. This is Collectivism in its clearest form. 

This brings us to the Polarity Symbolism of the Warrior Caste.

The Indo-European peoples belief system in regards to the Warrior Caste is Confrontational. They like to fight clean, up front, mano-a-mano, straight shooting. They don’t shoot fish in a barrell, because they consider it pathetic to shoot a fish who can’t shoot back. 

The Third World peoples belief system in regards to the Warrior Caste is Predatory. They like to fight dirty, from the shadows, sneaky, stab-in-the back. They like shooting fish in a barrel, because the powerlessness of the fish juxtaposes the power of the human.[17]

In the end, the Fixed Principle is indicative of Order. The Mutable Principle is indicative of Chaos.[18] 

POLARITY SYMBOLISM SYMPLIFIED

There you have it. 

Whether you call it the Binary Oppositions of Structuralism, the Agon of the Classical World, or the Polarity Symbolism of days long past that live on with us to the very present, the story is the same. 

Two polar opposite forces struggle against each other for mastery. 

And in understanding the symbolism of these polar opposite forces, we can understand their conflicts, victories, and defeats…

As well as the stories in which they are memorialized!

The stories of Pulp Fiction! 

For your convenience, a quick, handy reference guide for all of the Polarity Symbolism listed above is included here: 

  • Indo-European vs. Third World
  • North Pole vs. South Pole
  • Northern Light vs. Southern Light 
  • Solar vs. Lunar
  • Sun vs. Moon 
  • Masculine vs. Feminine 
  • Father vs. Mother 
  • Upward vs. Downward
  • Sky vs. Earth 
  • Positive vs. Negative
  • High-Flying Eagle vs. Low-Flying Snake
  • Fixed vs. Mutable 
  • Rock and Ice and Fire vs. Water and Sand
  • Form vs. Formlessness
  • Light vs. Dark 
  • Victory in Battle vs. Death and Rebirth
  • Hunting and Gathering vs. Farming 
  • Nomadic Herding vs. Rooted Planting 
  • Representative Rule vs. Despotic Tyrant 
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism
  • Confrontational vs. Predatory
  • Order vs. Chaos

With this list, you now have a deeper understanding of Pulp Fiction…not just as mindless escapism, but as the Indo-European Warrior Mythology of the 19th and 20th Century Anglo-American experience. 

And furthermore, you have a deeper understanding of the Indo-European Warrior Mythology of which Western Civilization is based…going back to the dawn of time!

You can’t ask for much more than that.

And the next time you hear me say “Solarian Eagle Cult” and “Tellurgic Snake Cult”…you’ll know exactly what I mean…

Because now you understand Polarity Symbolism: the Secret Key to Pulp Fiction! 

Sincerely,

Richard Barrett

07-25-2022

P.S. A special thanks to all the scholars and friends who have made this Opus Magnus possible. Some I have met in person. Others I have not, and know them only through their writings. These include: one called “Lady Fortuna”, one called “The Pleather Jacket”, Will Wright, Olga Arans, Dr. Mary Rigsby, one called “Lady Philosophy”, James Bond Stockdale, one called “The Hebrew Roots Leatherneck”, Skip Moen, one called “The Ginger Wizard”, James Lafond, Lloyd du Jongh, Julius Evola, one called “The South African Witch Doctor”, and of course, Mom, who listened to all of this in its various evolving forms for 8 years to her dying day! One day we will meet again in Heaven, and together then will know all of Structuralism’s Secrets which you now possess in Eternity! 07-25-2022, 9:05 PM EST, University of Michigan, Hatcher Graduate Library. 

SOURCES CITED

[1] Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006. Pg. 209-248. 

[2]  Derrida, Jacques. Positions. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1982. Pg. 41.

[3] Stockdale, James Bond. Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1995. Pg. 18. See also Nietzsche, Frederich, “Homer’s Competition.” 1872. Retrieved from http://nietzsche.holtof.com/Nietzsche_various/homers_competition.htm. In addition to this, see M.L. West’s observation on the broader Indo-European poetic use of Polar Binary Oppositions within the Agon context in West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pgs. 75-119. For an unnamed scholar’s summary of M.L. West’s work, see “A self-similar figure in Hesiod and Heiddeger”. http://beyng.com/docs/Doug%20Wise%20-%20Hesiod%20Heidegger.pdf. Also see our own summary on this topic in the context of Agon, Barrett, Richard. “Philosophy of Pulp Fiction: Part 1”. Pulp Fiction Renaissance.com. February 15, 2021. https://pulpfictionrenaissance.wordpress.com/2021/02/15/philosophy-of-pulp-fiction-part-1/.  

[4] Laertius, Diogenes. Lives of Eminent Philosophers. 9.1. Heraclitus. Translated by R.D. Hicks. 1925. Pg. 423. 

[5] Heraclitus. Fragments of Heraclitus. DKB80. Translated by John Burnet. 1920.

[6] Epictetus. The Discourses as Reported by Arrian, The Manual, and Fragments. Book I, Chapter XXIV. Translated by William Abott Oldfather. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1925. Pg. 151.  

[7] Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. Book 5.20. Translated by Gregory Hays. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group, 2003. 

[8] See M.L. West’s observation on the broader Indo-European poetic use of Polar Binary Oppositions within the Agon context in West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pgs. 75-119. For an unnamed scholar’s summary of M.L. West’s work, see “A self-similar figure in Hesiod and Heiddeger”. http://beyng.com/docs/Doug%20Wise%20-%20Hesiod%20Heidegger.pdf

[9] On Yetzer Ha’ra, see Moen, Skip. “Guardian Angel: A postscript.” Hebrew Word Study. February 16, 2017. https://skipmoen.com/2017/02/guardian-angel-a-postscript/. Moen, Skip. “Untranslatable.” Hebrew Word Study. November 30, 2016. https://skipmoen.com/2016/11/untranslatable-3/. Jacobs, Jessica. “So You Have a Yetzer HaRa! A Training Guide for Primitive Breeds.” Lilith.org. October 31, 2019. https://lilith.org/2019/10/so-you-have-a-yetzer-hara-a-training-guide-for-primitive-breeds/. Moen, Skip. “Once Too Often.” Hebrew Word Study. June 29, 2013. https://skipmoen.com/2013/07/once-too-often/. Moen, Skip. “Inclined Plane.” Hebrew Word Study. July 28, 2009. https://skipmoen.com/2009/07/inclined-plane/. Moen, Skip. “Resume”. Hebrew Word Study. December 21, 2011. https://skipmoen.com/2011/12/resume/. Moen, Skip. “Faith in Action.” Hebrew Word Study. August 22, 2009. https://skipmoen.com/2009/08/faith-is-action/. Moen, Skip. “Exit Wound.” Hebrew Word Study. September 24, 2012. https://skipmoen.com/2012/09/exit-wound/. Moen, Skip. “Preparing to Fear”. Hebrew Word Study. September 28, 2009. https://skipmoen.com/2009/09/preparing-to-fear/. Patai, Raphael. The Jewish Mind. New York, NY: Hatherleigh Press, 2007.  For Yetzer Hara’s 1:1 correspondence equivalent to the Indo-European Thumos (Passion), see McKay, Brett & Kate. “Got Thumos?” Art of Manliness.com. March 11 2013, last updated September 26, 2021. https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/behavior/got-thumos/. For the concept of Kavash and its 1:1 correspondence equivalent to Agon, see Moen, Dr. Skip. Guardian Angel: What You Must Know about God’s Design for Women. Abridged Edition. Monroe, IL: Createspace. 2015. Pg 75. 

[10] See Evola, Julius. Translated by Stucco, Guido. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995. Also see Campbell Joseph and Moyers, Bill. The Power of Myth. Anchor Books: New York, NY: 1999. 

[11] See Ripley, Dr. William Z. Races of Europe: A Sociological Study. New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1899; Osborn, Henry Fairfield. Men of the Old Stone Age: Their Environment, Life and Art. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1915; Grant, Madison. The Passing of the Great Race: Or the Racial Basis of European History. Edited by Henry Fairfield Osborn. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922; Gunther, Hans F. K. The Racial Elements of European History. Translated by C. G. Wheeler. London, UK: Methuen & Company, LTD, 1927;  Coon, Carleton Stevens. The Races of Europe. New York, NY: The MacMillan Company, 1954; Evola, Julius. The Myth of the Blood: The Genesis of Racialism. Budapest, Hungary: Arktos Media, LTD, 2018. 

[12] Evola, Julius. Translated by Stucco, Guido. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995. Pgs. 203-217. On Indo-European Epics in which the Indo-European Warrior Hero slays the Dragon, a Snake derivative, see Watkins, Calvert. How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 1995. 

[13] Evola, Julius. Translated by Stucco, Guido. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995. Pgs. 203-217.

[14] Weiland, KM. “How to Write a Flat Character Arc, Pt. 1: The First Act.” Helping Writers Become Authors.com. June 8, 2014. ​https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/flat-character-arc-1/

[15] Evola, Julius. Translated by Stucco, Guido. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995. Pgs. 203-217. 

[16] Weiland, KM. “Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?” Helping Writers Become Authors.com. February 9, 2014. https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/character-arcs-1/

[17] Barrett, Richard. “Pulp Fiction Philosophy: Part 2.” Pulp Fiction Renaissance.com. February 22, 2021. https://pulpfictionrenaissance.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/pulp-fiction-philosophy-part-2/. For the Confrontational Warrior Ethos in action, see MacDowall, Simon.  Germanic Warrior: 236-568 AD. Illustrated by Angus McBride. London, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1996. For the Predatory Warrior Ethos in action, see Ye’or, Bat. The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude. Translated by Mirian Kochan and David G. Littman. Vancouver, BC: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996. 

[18] Evola, Julius. Translated by Stucco, Guido. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995. Pgs. 203-217. 

Advertisement
Categories Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close