Friday 1 March 2024

Islam and the West

 This is a follow up from a post of a few weeks ago. Obviously, emotions can get very heated in a discussion of this topic but I hope to remain objective. I don't think the current attitude that all religions are equally good or equally bad is a useful one. It may be well-meaning and an attempt to redress past prejudice and ignorance but it can also obscure the good and enable the harmful. Where the spiritual is concerned it is not just a matter of believing but of believing what is true and knowing what is either false or on a lower level of truth, meaning a level which caters more to the unevolved consciousness. For consciousness does evolve which is to say it takes in more of reality, is better able to perceive it and to express it. As this takes place the mind is potentially opened up to greater meaning and creative power and love and understanding, and when that happens its values change. If systems are in place which facilitate that it is in line with human growth and development. Not to mention the will of God. If there are systems that impede, prevent or restrict the evolution of consciousness this must be understood or else we will fall back into lower levels of being. That is all there is to it. Good intentions can be as harmful as bad ones if understanding is lacking just as love without wisdom (or misconceived love for it is not real love in these cases more a sentimentalised version of it) can actually have spiritually negative effects. I meant well is the excuse of the foolish and irresponsible.

Will all this in mind I have to point out that Islam in the modern Western world is a counter-evolutionary force. It is all very well to point to the spiritual decadence of the West, and I would be among the first to do so. That decadence is destroying our civilisation but we have to go forwards in line with the growth in consciousness and Islam is only suitable for a pre-rational stage of consciousness and that is looking at it in its best light. We can say that Islam has not succumbed to the absurdities that modern despiritualised Christianity has but that, in part, is because it has remained primitive and not evolved. The modern West has evolved but lost its spiritual centre in the process. Islam has retained its religious focus but is resistant to evolution. Both are wrong and neither is a remedy for the other.

When Muslims emigrate to the West it is because they seek a better life, materially speaking. But so many of them then seem to want to change the West to accommodate the ways of Islam failing to see that this would just make the West like the countries they left. To understand this religion and see why it is spiritually damaging in the modern age one has to go back to its roots. We might then perceive that it is not an intolerant, violent, oppressive doctrine because of misunderstanding of its core teachings. The core teachings are intolerant, violent and oppressive. Of course, sometimes intolerance is good if what you do not tolerate is evil but what Islam does not tolerate is anything other than Islam. That is a plain fact which we cannot avoid. Obviously, there are many good, decent Muslims but that is because they are human beings and God is in all human beings. But while there may be moderate Muslims there is no moderate Islam. Islam means submission and demands that everything submit to it, and its adherents are under the obligation to enforce that rule. You cannot co-exist with Islam for it will always seek to overcome you when it can, and this is because it is not just a religion but a totalitarian political ideology.

I am writing this because I live in London, a city with a Muslim mayor and a Muslim population that has now grown to 15%. That has been very apparent recently and many voices have been raised warning that we are sleepwalking into a massive problem. Often these voices are dismissed as spreading hate and, even though that is just a cynical attempt to shame critics into silence, one has to be careful to avoid unfounded prejudice and make sure one's real motivation is to awaken people to reality. Modern Westerners know little of their own history and do not understand Islam. I don't dispute that it has many qualities. Remembrance of God or some kind of deity, not a particularly evolved concept because it is limited by the limited spiritual capacity of the religion's originator who was clearly no Buddha or Krishna never mind Jesus. Focus on prayer, pilgrimage and fasting, all of which are valuable spiritual exercises. But you can never get away from the fact that it was founded on violence and spread by conquest. It does not tolerate rivals.

Western civilisation is clearly on the way out. In its present form it doesn't deserve to survive because it has turned its back on God. It has therefore become a blot on the face of the Earth. But a civilisation is made up of individuals and many are caught up in the present cultural devastation with no guidance of a better way. That guidance does exist but now you have to look for it and when you find it you will place yourself outside cultural norms or you will if you then follow it properly. At the same time, there are many false answers to the present problems and Islam is one of them. For the West certainly. It may have had a purpose for a particular place and time but that place is not here and that time is not now. Let those looking for a way forward out of the darkness of the present time know that Christ remains the Light of the World. He is the only thing in this temporal zone that truly speaks of eternity.


Lucas said...

It might have been you or Bruce Charlton who in one of your essays pointed out that fundamentalist Christianity is regressing towards Islam, towards a belief that submission is the preeminent virtue, although Christian would call it obedience to the Word of God. I know quite a few of those people, and one of the traits they also tend to have is the desire for the compelled submission of people who do not believe, and it seems to be getting stronger.

William Wildblood said...

I don' t think it was me but I would agree that fundamentalist Christianity, like Islam, belongs to an earlier stage of consciousness and has nothing spiritually substantial to offer the modern mind which needs to understand.

Chent said...

As a traditional Catholic, and hence, with an earlier stage of consciousness (let's not argue about that: I accept my inferiority) and not a modern man at all (my birth certificate must be wrong), my mind is clearly muddled so I address my superiors to ask some things I don't understand.

How in the West Muslim people are more and more and Christians are less and less and somehow Christianity is the future of the West? How is this Romantic Christianity the future with only handful of believers and no plans to proselytize except some few blogs?

How is it possible that every attempt to modernize a church has produced the decline of this Church? In my Neanderthal Papist Church, Vatican II tried to forbid traditional Catholicism and the outcomes was believers voting with their feet. Even now, the few traditional Masses are full of young people and the modern Churches are empty or full of old people. They feel that they are the moderns so modern music should be used in liturgy. Modern music is for them bad copies of 60's music: folk, Simon and Garfunkel..

Everything is so mysterious to me, because my consciousness is so primitive and borderlines are like genius to me. So while, in my hometown, there are only a handful of Christians, there are more and more Muslims, and most Western people are anti-Christian and, in spite of that, the future of Western religion is an evolved form of Christianity that nobody knows and somehow, the Western society is an example of this evolved Christianity while also being anti -Christian and depraved.

Too confusing for me. I guess I will leave the intellectual things to my superiors and I will start beating rocks. Imay someday produce a weapon.

William Wildblood said...

I actually said fundamentalist Christianity belongs to an earlier stage not Christianity not traditional Catholicism. In fact, fundamentalist Christianity is only of recent development being a kind of extreme Protestantism. It seems to be a religion for fairly simple people just like Islam.

Leaving that aside, I don't say Romantic Christianity is the future and I am not disrespecting traditional religion. It remains the best we have but, like it or not, consciousness has changed and traditional religion just does not satisfy most modern people. To attempt to modernise it just loses its essence and ends up secularising it so that is not the answer. Probably we now have to discover an inner religious path and not just accept outer authority, and religion must become more individual and less collective though the collective will always be there too. If you can do that within traditional Christianity that is fine but many can't. I can't but I still regard Christ as what he is said to be in Christianity.

There are no easy answers because we are living in a different world and the old solutions are less and less effective. It's confusing sometimes but it is the challenge God has given us so we can do it. Perhaps we are being prepared for a time when the Holy Spirit will come to all those who can receive him and this is why old ways are fading, so that the new may be born in freedom. That's what I believe anyway but when you come down to it the only important thing is to love God and seek to serve him as best you can.

Anonymous said...

I’m inclined to say that any religion , or any belief system that claims to be the _Truth_ must be totalitarian by definition. When modernity replaced the Ancient Regime in the West , it came to regard Christendom as an ecclesiastical totalitarianism that was rightfully transcended . Perhaps .

But then again , that was the beginning of an ever increasing descent into our current anti spiritual condition of “ post Christianity”. When the power of the Roman Universal Church was broken , I struggle to seen how the contemporary state of affairs was not inevitable.

William Wildblood said...

It depends how strictly that claim is enforced. But no outer form of religion can ever contain all that Truth is though some are more accurate representations than others. Perhaps if we had sought to find the reality behind the symbol instead of rejecting the symbol because it no longer seemed adequate to our developing understanding we would not have gone off the spiritual rails as dramatically as we have done.

Moonsphere said...

I think it was Valentin Tomberg who said the fall towards Atheism starts with disbelief in the Holy Spirit, then the Son and finally the Father. Little wonder I suppose that Unitarian Christians, Quakers, etc seem to already have one foot in the atheist camp.

Increasingly, I'm finding the fundamentalist Protestant to be an odd beast. With the Protestant emphasis on the Holy Spirit, one would imagine them to be the furthest from falling away from faith. But we see many American pastors who once stood up on the stage animatedly preaching the wonders of coming to Jesus - now find themselves carving out new careers as evangelisers for Atheism.

Unitarian Islam seems to buck that trend - but has it actually been tested? I wonder how many Muslims, if their numbers were diluted, their sense of brotherhood diminished - would find themselves continuing with the tenets of their religion.

One can only hope when that time comes, that they find Christianity rather than Atheism. Part of me would say they have a better chance than the fundamentalist Protestant who seems to have lost the very heart of what it means to be a religious believer.

William Wildblood said...

That Tomberg description of the fall towards atheism seems a reasonable progression. The Holy Spirit can seem the most abstract aspect of the Trinity. It is, of course, missing in Islam and that may be one reason why Islam is the most materialistic of religions which your speculation about how many Muslims would continue being Muslims if the external trappings were removed would support.