Thursday 31 August 2023

Thoughts on the Secular Corruption of Spirituality

I sometimes get challenged about remarks in my books and online in which I condemn leftism as spiritually destructive. I realise there are many spiritual people who would define themselves as of the left, probably the majority in fact, so let me try to explain what I mean though the basis of it all is in the title of this piece. 

First of all, it doesn't imply that the political right is the way to go. Spirituality goes above and beyond all politics and wants nothing to do with any of it in the sense of identifying with any party or the aims and objectives of any party. I would put the spiritual at the apex of a pyramid that transcends both left and right on the baseline, i.e. in the material world. 

That having been said, you have to ask where did leftist ideology as it is today originate, and the answer is that it arose in the 18th century with the specific rejection of God and his replacement with humanitarianism. Now, this may have been a necessary development at the time because it reflected the growth of awareness of the self throughout all sections of society. This awakening of the consciousness soul, as Rudolf Steiner terms it, required a new approach to life and the world and human beings and their relationship with one another. 

But that should have been in a spiritually aware context. What actually happened was that God was removed from the centre and Man, humanity, put there. What should have been a dietary supplement became the main source of nourishment, and the resultant ideology was more and more focussed on this world, seeking to establish what can only be truly known in the spiritual world down here in the material. And it did this by ignoring the reality that this is a fallen world and we are sinners. I know people don't like this idea today but anyone who is honest must know it is true. There is a spiritual corruption within all of us and denying that fact changes nothing. The left tries to redeem fallen man as fallen man instead of getting him to transcend that state for a higher state of being. This transformation absolutely demands we see ourselves for what we are and the left would say we are largely ok as what we are. That is just not true. It's like telling a sick man he is not sick. 

Spiritual people when they are on the left are so because they believe that is the compassionate approach. But what is real compassion? Consolidating someone in their ignorance or giving them the wherewithal to transcend that? Most answers to most questions are given by Jesus, and if you look at his life you will see that in some respects he acted as might a left wing person and in others as might someone on the right. That's because he was neither. He went above and beyond both for both are limited ideological approaches not founded in truth. A good example is when the crowd were going to stone the woman caught in adultery. Jesus stopped the stoning and forgave her (left) but also told her to sin no more (right). So, there is forgiveness but there is also the recognition of sin as sin and the insistence on repentance. 

If you boiled left and right down to their core principles you might get something like equality and freedom and these are mutually exclusive despite the French Revolution slogan. It is actually freedom that is the deep reality of the human soul. Equality is not a real thing. It never can be except in unexpressed non-being. As I aspire to be a charitable person I would say spiritual leftists are well-meaning  but interpret spiritual reality in terms of their experience in this world when the opposite attitude is what is required if you would know truth. This does not do away with compassion but expands it by incorporating wisdom. Again, I emphasise that condemning leftism in this way does not mean recommending its opposite/rival. But I do condemn leftism or what, since definitions can be slippery, is usually thought of as that nowadays, because it separates us from God, replacing him with a man-made idol if he is allowed at all. What is the difference in most things between a spiritual leftist and a material one? Hardly anything really which means that the spiritual person is being influenced by the worldly one to see reality in terms of the priorities of this world.

I know none of this will convince anyone not already convinced but perhaps it might give some people insight into a different perspective.

I mentioned the 18th century as the origin of leftism but you could go back further as nothing comes from nothing. Specifically, you could go back to the Reformation which introduced relativism and subjectivism into Western culture. Some of the effects of this were good or even necessary because they allowed for the greater expression of self-consciousness, as already mentioned, but there were also rather severe negative consequences which resulted in an increasingly secularized society with moral, social and even religious values centred in the worldly human being rather than the reality of God. The immanent started to drive out the transcendent. From all this came liberalism which started off seeking to free man from oppressive external authority but soon escalated to other forms until now it seeks to liberate us from both God and Nature.


People might say what is the left of which you speak? Surely it is just the belief that human beings should be treated with fairness and compassion and allowed to express themselves as they wish? Who could possibly not be on board with that aspiration? Perhaps this is how it presents itself but in reality in the modern world the left is purely oppositional. It is against natural law and the natural order. It is anti-white, anti-male (and anti-female or, at least, anti-feminine too if the truth be told), anti-marriage, anti-nature, anti-creation and anti-God, especially anti-God the Father. The compassion of the left is often just an excuse to deny our duty to our Creator and has more in common with an act of rebellion than true love.

It is often said that when the antichrist comes he will be a humanitarian.


Christopher Yeniver said...

LEFTists have nothing without opposing something.

The most people are convinced, to certainty, that they know nobody. They know nobody because they do not know themselves.

Whether able to legally take another's money or not, families will rise again.

Robert said...

I always thought right wing was not even trying to be spiritual and left was corrupted spirituality. And the Alt-Right is demonic evil, and so is the extremist Woke faction on the left.

But these days I don't make too much distinctions between the factions - anything that isn't spiritual is right wing.

JMSmith said...

My impression is that Leftists understand spirituality as merging with the All, whereas Rightists understand it as reverence for the greatest good. As one might expect, the former understand the world of spirit as a world where the illusion of hierarchy is removed, whereas the latter understand it as a a world where the reality of hierarchy is fully revealed. As you say, the truth probably transcends these two opinions. Another thing I have noticed is that Leftists spirituality is very tranquil and serene. It has none of the "fear and trembling" that one finds among at least some on the right. I think this may be because the Left believes "justice" means reparation, whereas the Right believes "justice" means judgement. Again, the truth probably transcends these two opinions.

William Wildblood said...

Those are good distinctions. The question is why does each side think the way it does? Does it reflect the duality of male and female or truth and love? To a degree it does but that would validate leftism up to a point and I think it is actually a deviation, being rooted in a principle that has, so to speak, got above itself. Thus, it derives from giving something that is legitimate as part of reality a central and supreme place which ist should not really have. That something would be love separated from truth. Now, spiritually speaking, love and truth are two sides of the one coin so to separate them in this way is to misconceive them, seeing them in the light of Man rather than that of God. You could say therefore that leftism is based on a distorted view of love, a corruption of it. Love without truth which is not love.

JMSmith said...

For all their talk of individualism, Leftists seem to find selfhood a burden they would like to discard. I think this may explain their attraction to some Buddhist doctrines. I've forgotten who it was, but someone once described this as the "oceanic feeling"--the feeling that one is dissolved in something larger, be it humanity, the cosmos, or a pantheistic god. As you say, Christianity is neither left nor right, but it offers a relationship to God that does not dissolve the self. The self is radically transfigured but it is not destroyed. I might say that Leftists think spirituality is a matter of losing oneself, whereas Christians think spirituality is a matter of finding one's self (largely through destruction of illusions.).

William Wildblood said...

The oceanic feeling is a real thing but I'm not sure how spiritual in the true sense it is as drugs and even mental illness can bring it about. I see it as consciousness slipping outside the boundaries of the solid core of the rational self and becoming immersed in the universal substance from which individualised consciousness is drawn but that is like the self returning to the spiritual womb rather than growing up and becoming, as you rightly put it, transfigured, thereby retaining its full individuality but expanding that into divine being.

JMSmith said...

I think that is right. Like many seekers, I once pursued that oceanic feeling--sometimes in discreditable ways--but I eventually understood that the oceanic feeling by itself is juvenile, or as you suggest, infantile. Our true end includes everything that is good in the oceanic feeling, but that is not the only, or even the dominant, theme.

William Wildblood said...

I have just written a post based on your comments. Thanks for the inspiration!