The left doesn't acknowledge a natural order of being based on an archetypal reality. For them everything is a cultural or so called social construct. But the spiritually aware know that there is an objective reality to which we, both individually and collectively, should conform if we are to be what we should.
The left doesn't understand intuition or even, it seems, common sense. It goes by ideology which simply means a theory of how it thinks things ought to be. Reality must be cut down to fit in its ideological box. Bits that don't or won't fit in must be discarded or dismissed as lies and prejudices.
What is at the root of this? I have watched in amazement as humanity has rejected so much truth in my lifetime, and that was starting off from a fairly low base! From studying people on the left the conclusion I have come to is that they are often motivated, whether they know it or not, by a hatred of God.
This will seem absurd to many of them. God doesn't even enter the picture, they would say. But he doesn't because they have rejected him and that is because the idea of God interferes with their desires and prejudices, with their selves. So they are forced to make something up (for that's what this all amounts to) to replace him.
Some on the left might accept God but only in terms of their leftism which is paramount and to which his reality must be adjusted; the spiritual inclining to the political which is a complete hierarchical reversal. It does seem to be axiomatic that any small amount of leftism in an individual will infect everything else. That is why it must all be rejected, though not, of course, the humanitarianism that is held to be its root and raison d'etre. But this humanitarianism has to be seen in the context of the primacy of God, and the fact that we are spiritual beings in material form not solely, or even principally, material beings.
The solution to our current impasse (and anyone who doesn't recognise that we have struck a wall in terms of direction has their eyes and mind both shut) is very simple. We have to abandon ideology. We have to return to a religious attitude to life which sees its essence as not in itself, as defined in physical terms, but in something greater than itself. Something beyond itself. You might say this too is ideology, just a religious one, but that is not so. It is an acknowledgement of what we all know in our hearts. It is not an intellectual thing, although it can become that. But really it is not a thought about life, and therefore something that is split off from what we actually are, but a deep feeling about it and so it is totally in tune with the essence of our being.
That is the difference between ideology and truth. Truth encompasses one's whole being. Ideology only relates to the head.
By the way, the modern code of right behaviour or political correctness, sometimes justified as simple politeness, is actually the enforcement of ideological theory and thus fundamentally anti-truth. It must be rejected if one wants to escape the strait jacket of ideology and return to truth. Not that I am advocating either a return to the past as it was or a political lurch to the right as seems to be beginning in reaction to leftist ideology in several countries now. We need to go beyond and above both left and right to find truth which is not in politics. The fact is, though, that current ideological possession in the West is almost exclusively through the left.
Dear William, T.S. Eliot described his contemporaries as "decent godless people," but I don't think the godless can remain decent for very long. I spent much of my adult life in the newsroom of a daily newspaper where about 99.99999% were leftists. I watched through the decades as condescension and tolerance of opposing positions turned to derision and hatred. When I retired, it felt as though I had been freed from this dark, dank place where I had been breathing toxic fumes for a very long time. There is, indeed, something demonic about leftist ideology. It unerringly attacks all that is wholesome and beautiful in life and elevates the perverse and the ugly - all in the name of tolerance and enlightenment. I was both amazed and dismayed to discover how many Vedantins I know have become apoplectic about the election of Donald Trump. Their Vedanta has proven to be subordinate to their politics, which is the inversion you mention in your piece. Leftism indeed infects everything and it must, in the end, reign supreme. It is power triumphing over justice, at least for the time being, for justice can be delayed but not avoided, and all power must bow to it in the end.
Edwin, yes in my experience most practitioners of the Eastern paths tend to be leftist. They tend to view left thinking as a more evolved worldview. It always gets back to metaphysics, and I don't care how deep your Realizations are.
It implies to me, ted, that the realizations aren't very deep! A leftist worldview suits many Western Buddhists and Vedantins, I think, because they misconceive oneness and transpose it wholesale to the material world where it doesn't belong. Oneness is a spiritual thing, not existing in creation which is the differentiated expression of oneness, a subtle but essential qualification.
I don't believe this mistake is so readily made by those practising these paths in their places of origin which indicates to me that separating a mystical path or philosophy from its parent religion is not such a good idea. Also, of course, there are no really qualified teachers in the West, despite what we are led to believe, and precious few nowadays in the East.
And finally, there is the fact that when modern materialists take to spirituality, they take a lot of their materialism with them, often choosing a spiritual form that doesn't conflict too much, or doesn't seem to conflict too much, with their materialism and its assumptions.
Spirituality without God just doesn't work for Western people and nor should it. Eastern Buddhists come from a basically religious culture and tradition so that makes things rather different. But Western Buddhists either don't or have rejected that so they do not have the proper grounding that those in the East do or did because that is being lost now too. Consequently they can easily separate the spiritual side from the political/cultural and fail to see that the latter must derive from the former.
Yes, Edwin, I believe you're right. The decent godless people of T. S. Eliot's time could only be decent and godless because they had a spiritual inheritance to fall back on. Now we don't have that.
Zen actually had similar problems, since it dismissed the ethical foundations found in other eastern traditions. Zen practitioners saw ideals such as compassion and non-violence as superfluous concepts to be expunged from one’s mind. As such, Zen has gotten co-opted by many problematic ideologies. Read Zen at War if you ever want a detailed historic account as to how the Japanese Zen establishment backed and justified the imperial war machine from the late 1880’s through WW2.
There is an inbuilt utopianism in Leftist ideology that has permeated the culture and most Westerners take it with them when they turn to Vedanta or Buddhism. They never quite let go of the idea that the world can and should be arranged to guarantee our happiness in the here and now. Politics is regarded as the path to this ideal arrangement. So, two opposing notions, one which holds matter to be illusory and another that makes it a central concern, appear alternately as the guide and goal of life. But no man can serve two masters and, ultimately, it is Leftism that trumps spirituality as far as I can see. Yes, William, in Eliot's time the West had not yet exhausted the spiritual capital of its Christian centuries so that it was possible to attribute the remaining decency of society to a humanism divorced from God. That is no longer possible, but the attempt continues to be made.
What trouble me and frighten me is this oblivious denial of god as a righting force that will not allow the lies and the falsification of his narrative persist and left without sever punishment. Sometime I feel we have diluted the power of god by giving him the human image. History speaks amply of the fate of those who went against his narrative. The assumptions that we are living in a lawless, mapless, aimless and divineless cosmos are not new but is the position of the unbelievers across the ages. Our present march is not outside that narrative. In the context of quoting different sources , I like to quote from the Koran as another document that claims also to speak about the foundation layout of our universe, verse 4 of chapter 17 called the night journey for you to read and ponder in light of what is going in the world. The verse reads, and We have dictated to the sons of Israel to play the role of corruption on the earth stage twice, followed by their defeat in the first, then their rise high again with their domineering voice in the earth affairs, only to meet the same destructive fate. We can ignore such verse or dismissed as insane talk or another Arab fabrication to express their hatred to the chosen Jews, but we can not deny ourselves the why question of the existence of such verse. I say this only to assert the god presence in any activities that manifest itself in the world. The law of limit ,the law of return in both its boomerang effects on the violators and the return to the one who set us on this earth in the first place, the law of flowing change, the law of reward and punishment the law of check and balance, the law of polarity manifested in all types of pairs and paradoxes, the law of the absolute and the relative, the law of the below and the above, the law of faith and faithlessness. We have been given the faculties to decide for ourselves and never fall prey to any other advocater. My feeling tell me, we are going to meet our fate in light of the righting process I referred to at the outset. It is dangerous to get submerged in the dens of analyzing and philosophizing and the peers pleasing company and forget the watching eye of the one. It seems people will never come to their inner senses without a hard harsh blow. I am sorry but it is the depth of the oppression that shrines our world.
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