Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Question on Justice and Mercy

Here's an interesting question prompted by the previous post.

Q. Why do you think so many spiritual people are left/liberal in outlook? I've noticed this over and over again. It seems to be the default position for many spiritually inclined people today who are shocked if you express any point of view other than the standard modern secular one. Don't they realise that their moral and/or political position is taken from non-spiritual sources and materialistic assumptions?

A. Perhaps the clue to the answer is in the word 'liberal'. The people you refer to are usually modern before they are spiritual and so tend to associate the right with old-fashioned, out-moded ways of thinking which should have been left behind as unenlightened and prejudiced. Piscean rather than Aquarian, as they might put it (see below). So for them the right is restrictive while the left is compassionate, humanitarian, inclusive and so on. What they fail to see is that the modern left is 
fundamentally anti-spiritual because it is anti-God. If it allows him at all it is only on its own terms. Leftism fits easily into the modern narrative because it is the modern narrative, and nobody likes to be thought old fashioned, out of date and anti-progress. But then you have to believe in progress to worry about that.

As you correctly say, the left/liberal point of view has been formed from beliefs that rejected God and spirituality so it might seem odd that it has been taken up by people who profess an interest in spiritual things. But I think this is because a lot of 'spiritual but not religious' people had their spirituality formed by a New Age type approach which came after they had already adopted a basically secular moral position. As a result of this they have a pantheistic attitude in which impersonal consciousness is deemed the highest state and a blanket oneness without distinction the deepest reality. This is a mistaken spiritual position because it ignores God or else relegates him to a subordinate place of little consequence, but it is very attractive to the modern mindset because it doesn't challenge that mindset too much. However the question must be which is more important to a sincere spiritual aspirant? Spiritual truth or modern secular morality? Which has to accommodate itself to which in their eyes? When they conflict which must give way? I would suggest that a major line of demarcation between the two arises from the contrast between the traditional spiritual idea of the human being as fallen and in need of salvation through humility and repentance, and the humanistic idea of people as basically good and not in need of fundamental structural alteration. 
The latter position is incompatible with true spiritual insight because it ignores the corruption inflicted by the Fall.

Many spiritually inclined people are under the dominance of the powerful modern thought forms of oneness and equality. They don't see that these are not operative, or not operative in the same way, on the material plane where multiplicity must also be taken into account. An understanding of the great chain of being would put things into better perspective. This is the totality of living beings that stretches from an archangel to an amoeba and, though all beings in this chain are united in God, the range of consciousness is clearly vast. Thus truth, properly considered, is not the one alone and it's not the many alone either. It is both together. The people you comment on are really only acknowledging oneness and overlooking the hierarchical element, the element of difference and distinction. Oneness is the underlying reality because we are all part of God's creation but it cannot be considered uniquely. It relates only to an aspect of our being but it does not comprise the totality of it. It must be viewed in tandem with the reality of creation in which, as the Masters say, men are by no means equal. 

The idea of a New Age governed by Aquarius is another strong thought form in the contemporary spiritual mind, and it is true that Aquarius does have certain things in common with the left/liberal position. However, even if we assume this influence is real, the fact is that genuine spiritual insight and behaviour has nothing, I repeat, nothing, to do with shifting astrological influences. The Aquarian state is not more 'advanced' than the Piscean one. It is merely different, and neither has any particular bearing on true spiritual understanding. In fact, if anything, the departing sign of Pisces has a greater spiritual impact on the psyche than Aquarius which is intellectual/scientific/humanitarian (in the horizontal sense of human beings perceived separately from God) in nature. But then, as I say, spiritual understanding is not an outcome of anything astrological. Think of it more as the pure white light behind the tints and shades that the astrological signs can only put on that light and you'll be closer to the truth.

I might have sub-titled the previous post "The Perversion of the Mother Principle" because if you think of what is driving the agenda in the world today in terms of the feminine aspect of God, whether that be as divine mercy or as matter itself, then much becomes clearer. On the one hand, this aspect is over-emphasised and taken out of its proper context, while, on the other, it is bent and twisted so that it no longer resembles itself in any natural way. The Father aspect can also be perverted, of course, but while this has happened in the past, it is not happening to the same extent today except perhaps in the Muslim world but that has no bearing on the immediate problems of the West other than as an external factor. Why do I mention this here? Because it is the Mother principle, disfigured and distorted, that is behind left wing ideology. Having been left out of the reckoning for so long the Mother principle is now coming back into the forefront of consciousness but, in the process of so doing, it has been captured and perverted by the demons who are corrupting the world at this time. Because it is new it is revealing things that have been obscured or overlooked in the past, and this attracts many people who wish to be at the cutting edge of thinking. Unfortunately, because they lack discrimination, they don't see that it is coming back in a corrupted form, and without the necessary balancing authority of the Father principle. 

The left is certainly anti-spiritual but take care. That does not mean you can call the right spiritual. A true (small c) conservative position would certainly be more in line with traditional spiritual attitudes than anything else, but the modern right has practically nothing of that about it. The real division, as I have said before, is not between left and right, both of which can be and are corrupted and both of which only arose at the time of the large scale rejection of spiritual truth anyway, but between those who love God and those who reject him. The left is the main means of corruption at the present time because it focuses on earthly goods at the expense of spiritual ones (and is insincere in that besides), but this could change so the spiritual aspirant has to keep both eyes open and work always at self-purification so that, whatever happens in the world, he keeps to the straight path. The one that bends neither to right nor to left but leads to God.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - A useful discusson.

I noticed this aspect of leading 'spiritual' writers when I was a mainly New Agey ind of person.

When it came to world religions and spiritual traditions they found good-in-everything, were very eclectic, took everything lightly, fluidly, prgamatically with a touch of irony.

But these same writers exhibited the most intense self-righteous partisanship when it came to politics! They openly despised Republicans and Conservatives - and clearly could never imagine supporting them under any circumstances. Often they were dewy-eyed, perhaps fanatical supporters of mainstream Left politicians (eg Obama!) and had similarly immoveable views on the main contemporary political issues of the sexual revolution.

In other words it was quite clear that these people were *much* more serious about their Leftist politics than they were about their spirituality.

In other words, I reached the same conclusion as you - that most spiritual people are Leftist because they are primarily Leftist and only secondarily spiritual - it is a matter of their relative feebleness of spiritual seriousness and depth.

This is a problem for modern spiritual life - because it means that the practice is dominated by people who are not very spiritual and who are, in a sense, using spirituality to advance other goals. Indeed, this is very much how it feels to me - much modern spirituality rings false, gives off a 'bad vibe'.

For example, I felt this about the premier UK New Age centre of Glastonbury when I visited twice over the past decade - there is a strong whiff of corruption about the place nowadays, of exploitation. Fake spirituality and an undercurrent of aggression and predatory sexuality.

William Wildblood said...

I can only say that I agree with all you say here Bruce. It comes down to the acceptance or not of God as God and not just some impersonal force. Too many people nowadays want spirituality on their own terms which means they don't really want it at all. They just want its gifts. The test is would they still be interested If they were required to take up the cross?

Kirk Forlatt said...

Just a note of appreciation for the thoughtful pieces you post here. I've been reading your blog and Bruce Charlton's for a while now, and have benefited from the deep (and painful!) thinking I've been impelled to do. I feel quite lost much of the time. After six decades of active "Christian" life (heavily involved in the church, deep-but-not-wide reading, attending all the conferences and social functions), I now feel as if I'm starting over...and it's not a pleasant feeling. This "at sixes and sevens" feeling largely stems from a rapidly-shifting, day-to-day sense that I'm furiously dog-paddling and haven't even come close to touching bottom yet. I miss the sense of "All I need to do is just assent to and carefully follow this particular teacher/elder/father/author and God will be pleased with me." I can no longer do this, but I miss the sense of security. It helps me enormously to read ideas that are new to me but are not presented with a "this is the newest, best trend" flavor. So again, thanks from a weary pilgrim.

William Wildblood said...

Thanks for your kind remarks, Kirk. I appreciate the appreciation! But actually I feel I'm learning as I write these posts. After 40 years of studying various branches of Eastern and Western forms of spirituality I have come to see that Christ in his teachings and in his person presents the truth about things in its purest and highest form. I don't reject other approaches, and I am probably an unorthodox Christian who couldn't really call any of the churches his home, but as far as I am concerned the way to heaven is lit by the light of Christ.