The European nihilism that Nietzsche predicted as a general, not just a sporadic, phenomenon attacks not only the field of morality in a strict sense, but also that of truth, of worldviews, and of ends. The “death of God” is associated with this loss of any meaning to life, any superior justification for existence. Nietzsche’s theme is well known: that a need for evasion and a surrender of life have brought about the invention of a “world of truth” or a “world of values” separate from, and in opposition to, this world, now characterized as false and worthless. Another world has been invented: a world of being, goodness, and spirit as a negation or condemnation of the world of becoming, of the senses, and of living reality. But that constructed world dissolved, once it was discovered that it was an illusion. Nietzsche revealed its genesis and pointed out its human—“all too human”—and irrational roots. His contribution to nihilism as a “free spirit” and “immoralist” has been precisely his interpretation of certain “superior” and “spiritual” values not only as simple vital impulses, but in most cases as the results of a “decadent” and enfeebled life.
On these terms, all that remains real is what had been negated or rejected from the point of view of that other, “superior” world of “God” and “truth”—the world of what ought to be, not of what is. The conclusion is that “what ought to be is not; what is, is what ought not to be.” This is what Nietzsche called the “tragic phase” of nihilism. It is the beginning of the “misery of man without God.” Existence seems devoid of any meaning, any goal. While all imperatives, moral values, and restraints have fallen away, so have all supports. Once more we find a parallel in Dostoyevsky, where he makes Kirilov say that man invented God just to be able to go on living: God, therefore, as an “alienation of the I.” The terminal situation is given in drastic form by Sartre, when he declares that “existentialism is not an atheism in the sense of being reduced to proving that God does not exist. Rather it says that even if God existed, nothing would change.” Existence is reduced to itself in its naked reality, without any reference point outside itself that could give it a real meaning for man.
Thus there are two phases. The first is a sort of metaphysical or moral rebellion. The second is the phase in which the very motives that had implicitly nourished that rebellion give way and dissolve. For a new type of man, they are empty. That is the nihilistic phase in the proper sense, whose chief theme is the sense of the absurdity, the pure irrationality of the human condition.
— Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul