I will just continue with my related observations, and continue to add and use new posts as necessary.
Already in the 'Secret of the Runes', I can see that the concepts are pretty deep. There are two apparent interests, which I feel that I can relate with von List on: his unyielding "folkishness," and his focus on the ancients. Needless to say, I'm beginning to understand why Ron McVan constructed an Odinic "hof" shrine specifically in honor of Guido von List in Idaho.
I probably should point out again, I am not an Odinist/Asatruar/Wotanist, or an Armanist. I believe that many folkish spiritual concepts tie in to one another, and I find myself more comfortable with the Cernic tradition (Celitc Wicca). Even the Runes themselves have a Cisalpine origin, not Germanic. I find myself, again and again, feeling that I have to look up this fact to "prove it to myself" again. I would love to see someone put together a "religious map" of pre-Roman Europe. I may have to do it myself, and just keep amending it as time goes on.
9-29-11: In 'The Secret of the Runes', in Flowers 'Sources of List's Ideas' (pg. 26), there are some insights that merit some mention here. Simply put, List was "an original." Flowers comments: It cannot be shown as it has been done with the Theosophists and Anthroposophists, that List plagiarized many of his writings from previously written material. His formulations are unique and constitute an original mystical synthesis.
Another important idea was that List was not motivated by anti-Christian feelings. Far from it. Again, to quote Flowers: Although List was basically a neopagan, and had been one from an early age--as is seen in the reported vow made when he was fourteen to build a temple to Wuotan--he seems nevertheless to have absorbed a fair amount of Christian sentiment. The "catechism" he wrote in 1898 shows the remnants of this, as does he general attachment to the outer forms of Christian (especially Roman Catholic) symbolism.
The underlying theme of Guido von List seems to be the fact that he was a mystic. According to Wikipedia, Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with the Supreme Being. He was a mystic long before he explored other avenues of the occult. According to Flowers: Germanic mythology and lore were List's primary sources of inspiration, coupled directly with his experiences with nature.
Apparently, from an early age, List could go into the woods and mountains of Austria and made mystical connections with the distant past. Of course, it would be all to easy to say that this was "all this imagination." However, I can say from personal experience, having hiked at all hours of the day and night, in at least one remote area which was once settled by people (American/European; or even Amerindian), that I have had some very strange experiences there which seem to have been connected to the past.
I suppose that I will not comment a lot on the specific and deep areas of List's 'Secret of the Runes' work, which begin after a few more pages. Part of this focus is to drum up some interest in the occult master and his work. Not a lot of his work has even been translated into English. Perhaps only three books. I would like to read his book about Carnuntum. The following is another quote from Flowers, which gives a little more insight into List:
The "high mythology" of the elder Germanic gods and goddesses was not List's only source of Teutonic inspiration. The so-called "low mythology" of folk-tales and folk customs formed an equivalent function of inspiring him as illustrating his rediscovered Armanic principles. 'The Secret of the Runes' provides numerous examples of this.
It seems most likely that List's original synthesis of Germanic mythology, his subjective nature worship, and his sense of national identity were formulated at an early date (before 1875) and that most of the later influences of occult doctrines and methods did not essentially alter this basic outlook. New influences continued to be assimilated more or less completely into his system.
It should also be noted that Indian theology influenced List, although some of that seemed to have been via earlier Theosophical works. Also. "Pan-Germanism" was simply the desire of all German peoples to be united into one nation (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Prussia, etc.). Flowers regarding List and Pan-Germanism: This, in and of itself, would seem to have little to do with List's mysticism. But because his ideas were based on national traditions, and because he has seen in the very land of his native Lower Austria a sort of sacred territory, List was naturally predisposed to the ideas of Pan-Germanism, which were very widespread in his day. In retrospect, it seems tha the Pan-Germans and list each had something to offer the other.
Much, or even most, of List's work seems to be tied in one way or another to Wotanism/Odinism. Certainly Lower Austria would be historically tied into Wotanism. However, Wotanism, as far as anything that I have ever heard of, was not part of the pre-Langobard spiritual traditions of the nearby Camunian Valley. The Camunians were a very ancient Alpine race, and were only influenced by early Celts, Romans, and Langobards. It's still interesting to ponder how they may have viewed Celtic neighbors, and even their northern neighbors in Lower Austria after it became Germanic/Odinic. The iceman, 5,000 years ago, seemed to have been part of a people who engaged in trade between both sides of the Alps.
Once last quote from Flowers, which ties in List's influences: The ideas of Guido von List are to some extent the culmination of long historical and cultural developments (Germanic tradition, Christian doctrine, European romanticism), to some degree the synthesis of contemporary waves of popular thought (Theosophy, Pan-Germanism), and in large part also the product of List's own subjective originality and true mysticism.