Sunday, 3 March 2019

At the Crossroads

Humanity is at a crossroads but while many of us sense that something needs to change if we are to progress from where we are now to a better place, few appear to realise what exactly that might be. This is why we have all these schemes for outer change, political, social, environmental and such like, all of which are totally pointless if not actually harmful. What is needed is spiritual change. That is the only solution to the problems of the contemporary world. But the words 'spiritual change', taken by themselves, mean different things to different people, and so we need to be more specific about what it actually involves.

Spiritual change demands radical transformation not just a simple reorientation of current attitudes. It requires going in a completely new direction to the one we are taking at present, and that means realising that the fake substitute for religion of our day, which is leftism, is in fact an evil in that it redirects moral energy from its proper spiritual end to a materialistic humanism in which the presumed happiness of mankind in this world is the only yardstick for goodness. The sentimentalised compassion of the left, the means by which it attempts to steal Christianity's thunder, seeks no other end than the relief of suffering in the here and now but it quite fails to address the problem that the root cause of suffering is man's rejection of God. How could it address this since the rejection of God is what leftism is all about?

For many people in our secularised modern world spirituality, if they consider it at all, simply means observing the basic ground rules of leftism and seeing all humanity as one with human rights to the fore, the standard libert√©, egalit√©, fraternit√© package. No mention of God or the transcendent unless these can be fitted into that framework. Humanity is what comes first and the reality of God, if it comes at all, is very much secondary.  But the vision of man's proper end that puts his needs and desires and goals anywhere else than in God, and seeks his fulfilment in the physical world, is profoundly anti-spiritual. And that means it is evil. What else is evil except that which is against the spiritual? True spirituality means recognising the fundamental reality of God and viewing the human race in the light of that reality. It means seeing our purpose as being fulfilled in a higher plane of being not here in this physical world which is principally a school and a testing ground. It also means acknowledging the transcendental source and objective reality of the Good, the Beautiful and the True, the fundamental characteristics of creation that leftism has done its best to destroy over the last couple of centuries which it has done by attacking them as they are and then redefining them according to its distorted, limited, twisted and shrivelled conception of what is.

Spirituality is not found in a declaration of human rights and demands for love, peace and harmony to be established in this world among human beings as they are outwardly. This is a completely false conception of it that inverts the true hierarchy by putting the material world and its concerns above the spiritual. Genuine spirituality demands that we aspire upwards to seek a union with God on his level, so rising above exclusive identification with our worldly selves. It requires love but love in the spiritual sense does not mean validating the sinful, fallen world. It means seeing and prioritising the deeper, truer reality behind it. Thus spirituality is not about justifying the world as it is. It is about transforming it by going beyond it. The world is then taken up not left where it is in the darkness and illusion of a created thing separated from its Creator.

If you aspire to think of yourself as a spiritual person, you must examine your heart. If you are satisfied with what you find there, you are a lost soul. But once you can accept that you are a lost soul you have made the first step towards redemption. If you have fallen a victim to the propaganda of leftist ideology that pretends (and it is a pretence as you can see in the eyes of the ideologues) to believe in the sacrosanct unity of humanity, ask yourself on what is this based? If all humanity is one, why is it one? Unless its unity comes from an over-riding higher reality, it amounts to nothing. And if it does come from such a reality you have an obligation to search out what that reality might be. Only the fact of God can give this idea of the unity of humanity any meaning. To leave him out of the equation is nihilism and for the honest nihilist nothing can really matter. This is your choice. God or nothing. If it is God then you had better make the effort to understand something about him through prayer, meditation etc. If it is nothing, as in the leftist vision of the world it must be, then any pretence at moral superiority is the purest hypocrisy. At least, be honest.

The two signs at the crossroads read God and nothing. Those who would point to a third sign that reads spirituality without God are really just taking the scenic route to nothing. For God the Creator is real and if you are not with him, you are against him.


Francis Berger said...

You are absolutely correct in stating true suffering comes from the rejection of God, but leftism has successfully inverted this by motivating people into believing God is the root cause of suffering. The left supports this premise by offering fake virtue and unrestrained pleasure in the guise of freedom. This is difficult to counter with appeals to spirituality, despite the inherent truth of such appeals.

We truly are at a crossroads. The final paragraph of your post is excellent - God or nothing, if you are not with Him, you are against Him. That truly is what it all boils down to in the end.

William Wildblood said...

Thanks Francis. By the way, I just read your post on the Peterson/Zizek debate which I thought summed it up perfectly.

Francis Berger said...

Thank you, William. That is kind of you.

I found Peterson interesting for a while and thought he could offer something of substance; unfortunately, his ideas all lead to dead ends.

Chris said...

I have a liberal Christian friend who has objected to me making a similar argument on various occasions . He defended the view that neither leftism not rightism is anymore anti -spiritual than the other . You can find a religious Thomas Merton on the Left just as easily as you can find an anti-religious libertarian Randian on the right . He conceded that both of these examples are exceptions and not representative , statistically at least. Nevertheless , his basic point is that there is no particular metaphysical system that is necessary or required for either political philosophy .
Speaking for himself , he did go on to argue that progressivism need not be a replacement for his Christian belief , but is actually a natural compliment to it . It's most fundamental axiom being that of love and mercy.

William Wildblood said...

Chris, your friend is mistaken. The very basis of the left is anti-religion and if that has not always been apparent (though see the French revolution and Marx when it certainly was) it is now. The love and mercy of the left is rooted in the natural not the supernatural or spiritual (and therefore unreal) and effectively denies the need for transcendence.

If you are a progressive and a Christian one of those will have to give since they are contradictory, one looking at man as a material being who may aspire to spirituality but does so on his own terms and without the need for a full repentance while the other sees that there is no spirituality without sacrificing the worldly self which for the progressive is the real centre of attention.

Essentially the progressive sees things in terms of this world and man as he is in this world while the true Christian sees things in terms of the next world and man as he should be in order to qualify for entry to that world.

William Wildblood said...

By the way, Chris, just to be clear. In my view, both left and right are secular terms that derive from the ideology of the left. The left is secular even when it is religious and anything that is secular, even if it calls itself right, is of the left.

Chris said...

So, if I understand you correctly, you would say that even the classical liberalism that inspired the revolutions of the Anglophone world were also fundamentally derived from the ideology of the left?

William Wildblood said...

Well, they weren't derived from a fully theocentric outlook and anything that isn't centred in God tends to become secular.

I'm not saying that the Enlightenment wasn't a necessary step in the development of human consciousness but I am saying that if the political isn't seen wholly in the light of the spiritual and isn't wholly subservient to that then it will upstage the spiritual more and more until that becomes completely secondary. As has happened.

Chris said...

"I'm not saying that the Enlightenment wasn't a necessary step in the development of human consciousness..."

I think therein lays the rub----- it was a step in the development of human consciousness- but not fully because it wasn't "wholly subservient" to the spiritual. But, to your earlier point, isn't that precisely one of the defining features of the Enlightenment- the rejection of throne and altar?

The question mark is whether or not a society that is rooted in transcendent Reality naturally sets the table for autocracy and totalitarianism ? After all, if ultimate Reality is a hierarchy, doesn't it follow that human society ought to reflect that, as we see in all Traditional religion-based civilizations? But history indicates that these societies were, in large part at least, oppressive and inhumane. Are we trying to a square a circle?

William Wildblood said...

it may be that for Enlightenment ideas to take their effect certain more fundamental principles had to be placed on the back burner for a while. Or it may be that they were cast aside because of human pride in our new-found intellectual status. Or both.

Anyway, I'm not a traditionalist who thinks we should go back to how things were and nor am I even particularly interested in societies as such. I am interested in individuals and how they respond to life. I think that spiritually orientated individuals will naturally create a rightly ordered society and these may vary, not significantly but somewhat. Good, honest, rightly motivated people will create a good world and vice verse. One of my main criticisms of the modern left is that it is none of these things. For me that is because it is demonic in its ultimate inspiration, absurd as I know that will sound to most people.

Why would a culture (I prefer that word to society) rooted in transcendent reality be totalitarian? It might if it were ideologically rooted rather than genuinely so but if it lived according to a proper awareness of God then it would try to balance hierarchy with the realisation that all men and women are potentially sons and daughters of God. Societies that were oppressive and inhumane were clearly not properly aware of God or had descended from a proper awareness to an ideology.

True spirituality will not come from societies but from individuals. This, of course, is another way the left has it back to front.

edwin said...

If we are spiritual beings then any approach to human problems that ignores this dimension will not work, for it will not be based on fact but on fantasy, that fantasy being that we are merely matter with consciousness that is superadded, a epiphenomenon of matter. The reason why the conservative movements always fail and the Left always advances is precisely because the so-called right shares the basic assumptions of the Left. There are those in the U.S. who think a return to the Constitution is what we need. But we started with the Constitution, which makes no mention of God, and it has led us to the current mess we are in. You can't transfer sacredness from God to a document and expect that people will accept the document as somehow Divine and untouchable. A culture rests on a cultus, a form of worship. And if we make our animal instincts and opinions our cultus - well, we see where that leads. To place God outside the world is effectively to banish Him from our lives except as a special and occasional thought. To see God working in and through us and the creation is the only cult that will work, for it is the only truth.

William Wildblood said...

Very good point. Thanks edwin.

Chris said...

I agree with most of what has been said here. We have a culture that (as CS Lewis would say), puts "first things" second and "second things" first. But, if things were set straight, and we returned to a spiritual culture, how would it be different than the pre-modern societies of the past?

William Wildblood said...

It would be different because we would have the benefit of the changes in consciousness we have experienced over the last several hundred years. We wouldn't just be going back but going forward while recapitulating the past in a higher sense. But I would add that none of the cultures of the past were in any way perfect. They just weren't as far out of line as we are. Again, though, I would say all this must start with individuals and cultures would grow out of that.

Eric said...

Once again you eloquently expose the complete Left-hand takeover of society since the enlightenment. I never really trusted modern society, but I was automatically a leftist, in one way or the other, until I found God. I don't like to come across as a Right-winger talking down leftism, but when we take into account the ongoing metaphysical warfare, it is simply a matter of being on the Right side. I think the true Right, that of God, has been effectively hidden and replaced with the fake-Right, which is mistaken for capitalism or fascism. At least your blog has made this clear for me by now. The true Right can only be represented by a small number of self-realised individuals of Brahmanic or Kshatriyan spirit, to use the Vedic terms.

The Left likes to point out the horrors of capitalism, but it really is the mechanization and industrialization of society in general that is the problem, which is aided and made worse by equality, democracy and bureaucratic central-planning. So the leftist slogan "united we stand" or "we're all one", is just a humanitarian excuse for world leftism to expand and eat up the world until we have depleted our own food sources as an organism. They speak of diversity but in reality the world is being homogenized until everyone speaks standardized marketplace English and most languages/cultures are extinct. I prefer "divided we stand", honestly.

Also notice the legalistic band-aid intrusion on individual freedom, becoming worse and worse every year while most people welcome it. This stems from an addiction to security and rules, in itself a compensatory habit of rejecting God in favor of the feminine rule-based mind of predictabilty. This is also where totalitarianism comes from. When God is out of the equation, there can be no morality. As a result, we become a managerial society that is legal rather than decent, where the laws do all the thinking for us. Moral decisions become technical rather than ethical, etc.

The important thing is recognizing these things and not becoming demoralized by staying firm in the light of God. The day we stop knowing, the Devil has won.

Chris said...

To the folks reading this thread , I would love to hear responses to the following essay , "What is Conservatism" by the Perennialist, Titus Burckhardt. It directly addresses what has been discussed here. I attempted to create a link, but I failed miserably.

Kind Regards

William Wildblood said...

Thanks Eric for your comment. It illuminates the problem very well.

Chris, I may have read that at one time but i don't remember it. The difficulty I have with the Traditionalists is that they seem to dismiss modernity entirely but I think it does have a role to play. It's just that that role has got completely out of hand.

They are also mostly a strange combination of Muslims and advaita Vedanta believers. They show up many of the problems of modernity brilliantly but they don't accept Christianity except as one religion among many, and I see that as a major error. But on the whole they are on the right side!

Tobias said...

Link to What is Conservatism?

Titus Burckhardt