The big problem with living in a collapsing civilization is that by defending parts of that dying empire, you further its survival instead of allowing it to pass peacefully along and be restarted. This has been the flaw of conservatism all along.
For example, if your government has become corrupt, defending it in wars and paying taxes merely helps it achieve its evil aims. The more you try to fix it without scrapping it, the more it gains power to do more bad.
It becomes tempting to defend other things that, in a functional civilization, would be good. By doing that, you end up protecting parts of the decline simply because they are better than other parts.
In addition, people find inverse scapegoats, or “proxies,” that they cling to. These seem like good things, but by distracting from what actually must be done and absorbing the resources that need to go toward that, they become methods of self-defeat.
To clarify: it is not that these things are bad per se, but they are not the solution we need, and therefore are both a distraction and a fatal mistake.
Renegade Jews founded Christianity (most Jews soon wished they had not), as a sort of heresy that got out of control, lost all resemblance to Judaism, and eventually stretched across Europe, Russia, North and South America, Australia, and the Byzantine Empire. In all of these it shaped the culture, art, philosophy, literature, the very framework of mind. Much of this was superb and remains unsurpassed.
And what a magnificent thing it was! The traveler of today may have seen the gorgeous churches of Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes, Norman churches in Sicily, and Notre Dame, Salisbury, the wonderful cathedral of Barcelona, the Hagia Sophia, the ceremony of the Russian Orthodox. The artistry, the engineering needed to build many of them in times without structural steel are astonishing. Today in Mexico, in town after town one finds the churches on the central plaza, all different, many splendid, places of quiet and meditation. In any of these them, before Protestantism cast its drab cloak of half of the faith, a traveler could enter and understand everything he saw.
This is a typical conservative attitude — remember, they are the people of “patriotism, religion and working hard” (PRWH) — that ignores the fact that Western civilization was constructing great architecture and developing great art and philosophy for many years before Christ. Even if we ignore the Greeks and pre-Christian Romans, there are the Indo-Europeans who wandered through Asia and left behind many great civilizations, all of which display the things he writes about above, although most are lost to time.
Please do not mistake this for an anti-Christian rant. I love old churches, many of the Christian rituals, and the Christian sexual morality which was probably appropriated from the pagans but which modern-day pagans have not retained. Chastity and virginity are forces upon which one can build a great civilization by creating honest people and loving families. All those who want to destroy civilizations — I am thinking of Leftists here, and big business — oppose this type of self-discipline and honor.
As a traditionalist of the perennialist school, I view religion as literature. We live in one world, and reality has one truth, but it is described in many forms, most metaphorical because the metaphysical and eternal does not translate well into specific language. There are insights to be found in all of the great faiths.
However, Christianity has two big stumbling blocks. The first is that by being a religion of the Word, it makes itself accessible and exploitable in a way that esoteric faiths do not. The second is that, no matter how much of it was borrowed from European sources, Christianity ultimately has a foreign origin. This is not an anti-Semitic charge; it does not matter which foreign group did it, and we can even like and respect them as I do, but they remain foreign and so does Christianity despite centuries of Europeanization.
Instead this essay encourages those on the Right (realists who see a need for a qualitative approach to existence) to look at the Europeanization, and not Christianity. Everywhere our people have gone, we have made things that are both great and specific to us, capable of appreciation but not duplication elsewhere in the world, because they are an outpouring of our souls and genetics, two things that are linked because — like it or not — genetics determines much if not all of how we see the world.
Reed goes on to typical conservative “woe is all” thinking:
The future? Christianity seems to be dying out. A resurgence is hard to imagine. It simply isn’t suited to the modern world. The Old Testament in particular is ugly and immoral and its magical events I suspect are too much for the modern mind.
You might call this a victory for paganism. The pagans, believers in mystical events and an underlying order to all existence, have the same contemplative outlook that Schopenhauer praised in Christianity. This fits with how I define Western people, which is that we are reflective or prone to analysis not just of material but of meaning and pattern to existence.
Keep in mind that I write this as someone who finds great inspiration in many Christian writers and thinkers. In my view, they are speaking a different dialect of the same language we see in Greco-Roman, Nordic and Hindu paganism. However, paganism unlike Christianity is monistic, informal and idealistic or based in the idea of the world being composed of something that acts like thought or idea.
By targeting proxies instead of our actual goal, conservatives doom us to repetition. Christianity rode along with the West for some time, but its focus on personal morality caused people to turn their gaze from the future of civilization, and instead to focus on being moral for the sake of appearances. We cannot fix that; we need a more warlike, comprehensive, forward-looking faith.
Like the other parts of PRWH, religion is a proxy. We cannot save the West through religion. We need to simply restore Western Civilization, and while for now Christianity is a strong signal perceived to be Western-ness, focus on it obscures both our roots and the moral need to fix civilization at the same time we behave morally on a personal level.
Patriotism, the P of PRWH, also misleads us. It has us defending government and democracy with their inherent assumption of equality, which is contrary to the founding method of the West in hierarchy based on what is correct and good, not what avoids violating moral commandments. If you need a holy book to tell you not to murder, rape or steal, your civilization is already in freefall.
Working hard (WH) also misleads us by focusing on equality instead of results. Someone can utterly fail, but because he “worked hard,” he is praised. In addition, this retasks our brains away from the important question of what we should be doing toward the method of work itself, which quickly invents infinite avenues to distract us from reality.
What made the West great was its sense of social order plus our people. Our genetics are our roots. Our heritage is what makes us different from the rest of the world, and makes us alone capable of restoring the West. Any target other than saving our people, genetically, and restoring social order is a false target and thus, an enemy.
In our comments, some people are objecting to my attack on “religion, patriotism and hard work” as the grounds of conservatism.
They say, how can you oppose such things? They are objectively good. They must be the answer.
Some have said, well, these things are necessary, but not sufficient in and of themselves. While there is some truth to this, partial truths are deadly at a certain level of adulteration.
Here is the raw truth: humans love fake substitutes for real action.
Real action is risky. Symbolic, totemistic, token activities are painless and allow us all to just keep on truckin’ instead of taking actual direction and undertaking the risk and difficult task of fixing things.
What is our goal? Restore Western Civilization. Say this ten thousand times until it hammers into your skull. Until we do this, all that we do is lost.
How do we do that? Obviously it requires more than “religion, patriotism and hard work”… which means that religion, patriotism and hard work are substitutes for the actual solution, which means they are a defeat in that by following them, you ignore what must be done.
This is why conservatism has failed for centuries. You have been using methods instead of principles. The principle is that civilization must be healthy for the individual to be healthy, and that health comes from balance, adaptation and realism. These things require more complex methods.
See, the thing about modernity is that it assumes methods stand on their own. We say it is “right” to always cut an orange a certain way, but this misses the point, which is that we cut an orange in a certain way because we have a goal involving the utility of that orange toward some purpose, like civilization.
These ersatz substitutes lead to nothing but death. They are lies that will deceive you and redirect your energy from solutions toward rationalizations, or things that make you feel better without fixing the problem.
Our only salvation lies in restoring Western Civilization. Anything else is a fake, a substitute, a lie, a parasite and a suicidal impulse.
Wake up from the dream, focus on the reality, and get past these polemics like “religion, patriotism and hard work” that are tangential to the actual task.
As part of the Platonist vision of conservatism, articles on this site frequently speak of the vision unleashed by the intersection of Platonic forms and Germanic Idealism, namely that recognition that the underlying substance of the universe is thought or thought-like. This is why idea, structure, pattern and logic that corresponds to the outside world are more important than immediate material obstacles.
This ancient philosophy lives on through hermeticism, but also in Christianity through transcendentalist thinkers like Johannes Eckhart. Hermeticism finds its roots in Hindu idealism which, as expressed in the Bhagavad-Gita, roughly mirrored the Greek and German versions. All expressed the idea of an order of nature based not in material position, but logical order.
Plato even took this far enough to speak of healthy civilizations, which recognized this order, as contrasted to unhealthy ones, which were in the grip of hubris or the brew of individualism, narcissism, solipsism and socially-empowered boldness — in which the approval of the social group matters more than reality, and makes us feel safe in denying traditions — which modern people exhibit, especially with their smug and prim attention whoring at political events. Plato wrote:
In the succeeding generation rulers will be appointed who have lost the guardian power of testing the metal of your different races, which, like Hesiod’s, are of gold and silver and brass and iron. And so iron will be mingled with silver, and brass with gold, and hence there will arise dissimilarity and inequality and irregularity, which always and in all places are causes of hatred and war. This the Muses affirm to be the stock from which discord has sprung, wherever arising; and this is their answer to us.
…When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.
…Undoubtedly, he said, the form of government which you describe is a mixture of good and evil.
Why, there is a mixture, I said; but one thing, and one thing only, is predominantly seen, –the spirit of contention and ambition; and these are due to the prevalence of the passionate or spirited element.
The most important line can be found here, in plain sight because very few people can understand it: “the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things.”
To be virtuous is to live in a perpetual state of contentment, and to be free from “contention and ambition…the passionate or spirited element.” The ego is the root of the passions; the nature of being “spirited” is to be rebellious against what the evident order. Plato is pointing out that greed and rebellion are one and the same force.
Even more, he is showing how there is an esoteric path to wisdom, namely that only those with gold and silver natures are going to understand the value of “virtue and the ancient order of things.”
From this comes the root of traditionalist thinking: worldwide, there are many religions, and they all describe the same world, so they converge — unequally, idiosyncratically — on the same “truths” or accurate observations about the world, both physical and metaphysical. When we recognize this, we see that history is indeed cyclic, or the story of humanity in an optimal state, its fall, and its attempt to return.
In order to effect our return to this saner state of human being, and to force our evolution into silver and gold again, we must begin with an evolution of consciousness toward extreme accuracy:
When Owen Barfield described the evolution of consciousness, he used ‘evolution’ in a pre-Darwinian sense of a developmental change analogous to the fertilised egg ‘unfolding’ to become a mature, adult organism.
…If the evolution of consciousness has a unified purpose and aim (isn’t just a different purpose and aim for each entity), then this implies that there is a deity – as the source of purpose. Therefore, the evolution of consciousness is a consequence of some divine plan.
What could this divine plan be? For many Christians it will be ‘theosis’ – or the process of Men becoming more and more like God; aiming at becoming Sons and Daughters of God.
Realism demands that we understand our world as it is and adapt to it, which first requires that we make our minds more like the world, a process that in turn leads to transcendental wisdom, or appreciation for the logicality and sanity of our world in presenting us with the best possible existence. Normally humans do not understand their world and so view it as crude, threatening and disorganized.
Theosis is a subset of realism. If God exists, He is part of this world, in idea or at least as a cause of the effect that is this world. If we study the patterns of this world and come to understand its (realist + transcendental) wisdom, we can then grow closer to God by achieving greater mastery of adaptation to the physical world around us.
What this means, interestingly, is that the “religion-first” approach to traditionalism is not going to work. What works is to enforce self-discipline on ourselves so that we accurately understand and adapt to reality, and religion will emerge from within that process instead of the other way around.
To most people, there are only two options: inherent belief to human purpose in the universe, or an absence of anything resembling purpose or belief. The latter are commonly called nihilists.
A sensible version of nihilism cuts to its core, which is distrust of all things perceived through the human mind:
Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.
The fundamental separation here occurs through the recognition that values, communication and truth are proxies or intermediates for reality. Our brains will recognize conclusions about the world, encode them in tokens and share them with others, but then the tokens become more important than results in reality. The same happens with money, popularity, religion and systems of control.
For this reason, nihilism is not what most people think it is, which is giving up on knowing reality at all or caring about the consequences of our actions. Instead, it is a refusal to let the human symbols for reality supersede reality itself, a condition known as solipsism which is the root of most common human errors.
Since most people are solipsistic, they want an excuse to give up on reality itself, not its proxies. They do this by strengthening the proxies instead of focusing on reality, or cause-effect results in the world outside our heads. One way to do this is a fanatical “anti-relativism” that emphasizes devotional truths, but the other is fatalism, or proclaiming that all reality is pointless except that in the human mind.
The kiddie form of nihilism arises from this, and ends up being a brew of individualism and anarchism, or essentially an individual without obligations to be correct in his or her statements. This allows the individual to justify inaction and selfishness as some form of “higher truth.”
And so, what does nihilism say about faith? First, it rejects the idea of any belief; in other words, there must be a source of spiritual understanding based on the world and its patterns, much as we know anything else. Next, this spiritual understanding cannot be communicated, only achieved by those who go along the path of cumulative learning.
Nihilism thus rejects exoteric faiths, or those based on the idea that we can communicate metaphysical or spiritual understanding through tokens, or that faith can be adopted on that basis. Religious texts can inform our understanding, but the source of the understanding comes from finding similarities between what is there and what exists in the world.
The root of metaphysics through nihilism is the same radical skepticism toward humanity that is found in most religious texts. Most humans, being monkeys plus language, have low capacity for analytical thinking or any real passion. Instead, they focus on the ego, externalizing choice to factors such as bodily impulses, socializing with others, and following what the group does.
An examination of the external world however reveals a potent clue: patterns, not physical matter, rule the day. That is: matter arranged in patterns has properties beyond its immediate physical presence, and these patterns can appear in different forms of matter and have the same effect, which means that patterns are more important than materiality.
The classic example of this is a chair. It can be made out of wood, stone, metal, plastic or even human bones, and still serves the same function. The design of the chair — four legs, a platform and a back — is where the magic lies, not in the plastic or bone. In the same way, forms of organization of groups or ideas have greater power than what they are written on or the tokens used. The idea is all.
From this realization comes the first honest spirituality. When life is seen in terms of patterns, those patterns can be compared and arranged, showing how reality is structured. This is separate from purpose, because that is a choice of the individual human, but those choices reflect the moral composition, intelligence and honesty of those individuals.
In turn, this places an emphasis on thought, or at least thought that is consistent with the world around it, making it a continuation of the world in the mind. Here a fine line arises: the world is thought, but not just any thought, since most human thought is a closed-circuit feedback loop of the impulses of the body and ego, and unrelated to the broader world.
When one sees the world as thought, something better than inherent purpose emerges: a sense that the world is calculating, or transacting change toward an ongoing end like evolution itself. Our thoughts take the same pattern, which is that many options emerge and are slowly whittled down to a final model, which is then refined qualitatively or in terms of degree of efficiency, accuracy and elegance.
At that point, the world takes on a new perspective. Instead of the world being the cause of thoughts, thoughts — or the evolution thereof — are the cause of the world, and it reveals its tendencies toward beauty and goodness through the seemingly endless creativity of nature and the many possibilities it gives us.
Through eyes that have realized this truth, a forest becomes not just an object of beauty, but a sense of beauty joined to function, revealing a pattern of thought that emphasizes something we can only call holiness. It takes us beyond the requirements of mere utilitarianism and shows us that the universe points in a different direction, toward an experience of greatness and existential pleasure.
With that, we realize that life has given us a clue: it is not random after all, nor is it ugly. Instead, it is us that are ugly. We resist a world that would push us to greater heights because we fear losing control. And yet, the world tries for beauty, which is how we know that we are immortal and that striving for excellence is worthy. Only then do we join the eternal pattern of our cosmos.
Among us now come many who have staked all of their hopes on a single tool to fix a complex situation, for example, religion. Many especially among our most learned and thoughtful believe that society must begin again with religion as the tool that makes this happen, but they would produce the worst of possible results, much as happened when Hitler treated race the same way: as a tool.
Our time is ruled by social popularity, democratic voting and consumer-based industry. We are accustomed to creating tools, whether physical or institutional, that shape people around us by forcing all of them through a filter. In this filter, they must either obey the dogma or face some kind of sanctions, although those seem only to fall on the good taxpayers and not those who make lives of crime.
The problem with tools is that they not only fail to contain meaning, or knowledge of goals (“ends”), but that they actively displace meaning. Your mind only has so much space of focus, and if all of the focus goes into methods (“means”) instead of ends, then the reasoning behind doing things is lost. This allows fools to compete with the wise by emulating them, and the audience cannot tell the difference.
Of those people who want religion to save the West — fundamentalists, evangelicals, some traditionalists and pentacostals — the analysis remains consistent because it has been so for the past two hundred years. They talk a good deal about morality, and how they will set an example, which turns out to mean they will go to their church, drop out of society at large, earn money and pay taxes.
In short, they will not fight the enemy, but will enrich themselves, and in the meantime, be the good stupid little sheep that any parasitic system needs. If you want to know why people are fleeing churches, it is that the Christian conservatives act like morons, and the rest of the flock is too busy trying to be hip, young and liberal so they can get some of those donations, but it never works for long.
People who are trying to use religion to save the West have made religion into a political organ. They want to use it like a tool to filter people and force us all to obey what becomes a de facto ideology. In other words, they make religion into liberalism by attempting to use it as a force against liberalism.
A more sensible vision, as offered on this site, is that we will not have a single over-arching theory as liberals do. Even conservatism itself has two general planks, time-proven methods and transcendental goals. Religion is part of this, possibly an inseparable part, but it is not the core. The core is a desire to be realistic and from that, to choose what is best for ourselves and recognize that the rest of humanity will not. That leads to something like our four pillars, varied methods shaped around the goal of excellence through realism and self-discipline.
In other words, our basic outlook has to be evolutionary. We rise because we target excellence, but most of the world will always be a human wasteland because most people are dishonest because they are solipsistic, in the eternal weakness of humankind. Our big brains become mental bubbles in which we live while life passes by outside, and we waste our time on garbage instead of making greatness of our days.
Every part of life demands greatness. Even the simplest acts of craftsmanship, agriculture and day-to-day leadership can be improved qualitatively as an infinite dimension. There is always room to be go further, but it is not through a change in methods, but through refinement of our understanding, self-discipline, aesthetics and other inner skills.
We do not know what the future holds for us, but it seems likely that there will be a rebirth of Western religion. This will occur through a desire to restore the West by finding reality, and will emerge from our focus on what is real, which includes religion but is not limited to it. Religion in fact can serve as a proxy, a game or a legal puzzle, for understanding this reality. The tool then becomes the master, and the master the slave.
This religion may even be a revitalized Christianity. Writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Paul Woodruff and T.S. Eliot have given us a vision of what that might be like, with Tolkien and Woodruff leading the pack. But more likely, the strength of Christianity — its communication through fable and laws — will be its downfall. In our new complex era, we need something more.
Another writer, Michel Houellebecq, expresses something else: admiration for Christianity, but recognition that its vitality has faded, and so it needs to be restarted and renewed, if not remade in our image. We do not need a Western religion; we need a religious Westernism, a belief in ourselves in our goodness that includes the will to find God in all things, but not through the tired manipulations of the flagging church.
It is likely that the Western religion will be like our original pagan faiths, unwritten and in fact, not formalized. It will not be used as a tool, where the religion is the means of changing our motivation, but will be discovered as part of daily life. The ancients might have said to us that they did not have religion, only an awareness of an order within the patterns of life, and that this transparency allowed them to avoid turning it into a dogma, an ideology and a tool.
Our original religion comes from nature and is based in the idea that nature reflects a more complex order than man, because man must fit into this order. We study patterns and from them, can make some conclusions which are firmer than any material objects in their prevalence in our lives. For example, we notice that life seems to strive for beauty, balance, harmony and purpose, always refining itself toward greater complexity which is a form of simplicity with many layers, not lots of unconnected detail in the modern “complex” way that is really ornamentation.
To the ancients, religion was inseparable from any other form of knowledge. They knew that the natural world was everything, but that it had layers which are not visible to the living, and it has spaces to which the non-living pass, but that these are battlegrounds not of good versus evil but order versus randomness, with evil being an agent of that randomness because it is moral selfishness, or hubris.
Their beliefs were logical and rigorously ordered, not symbolic as the Asiatic religions were, and they were not backward like the process of using religion as a political tool. Instead, they sought to put each thing in its place, and then improve everything qualitatively according to the order found in nature. This is a more mature faith than what we have now, and the only type of belief that can aid us in our task of restoration.
As we look toward how this civilization has failed, the inevitable question arises of whether or not we can reverse the decline and avoid it again. The civilization that can find a path around this pitfall, which destroys most advanced civilizations, will inherit the future of humanity.
To reverse our decline, we must understand at least somewhat how it came about, and what sort of civilization design or structure will avoid or at least strongly resist this type of entropy. Many suggest the pithy phrase “throne and altar” to refer to a society ruled by aristocrats and administrated by kings.
This proves to be a poor idea however for a simple reason: it divides power. Kings function well when they have unlimited power and are not constrained by precedent, but are instead informed in tradition, because this enables them to uphold the principles of tradition without having to repeat the methods approved of by convention.
In addition, having greater wisdom than most, kings tend to be well-informed of the existence of the metaphysical, partially from having brains designed by nature to separate human patterns from ones found in non-human nature, and through that, to determine both what is real and what is excellent for humans among that set of options.
What a healthy society needs is a king who understands religion, not a priest playing the role of king, because while religion reflects an actuality understood at a personal level, making religion into an organized entity requires having leaders, and if those compete with the kings for power, it creates the same instability that fractured European societies in the past. Instead it makes sense to have a king with religious leanings informed by a matrix of aristocrats who support him and provide internal criticism, also being fully educated in the religion of the land.
This will not be a popular view. People want solutions that, like the designs of our democratic time, involve a balance of powers. They fear what happens when a king has unlimited power. But by doing so, they hamper power, and by making it ambiguous, create a contest for it in which we fight each other instead of focusing on cooperation.
Conservative Christians who had despaired of the country’s direction under President Barack Obama—and of developments such as the legalization of same-sex marriage—now expect to wield influence in an administration that they helped bring to power.
They are pressing for a ban on late-term abortions; expanded accommodation for religion in the workplace, at hospitals and elsewhere; and, above all, the appointment of conservative judges.
…In the long term, many evangelicals are hoping that conservative judges will overturn rulings on social issues including gay marriage and Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that established a nationwide right to abortion access.
This post is not a rant against religion or religious conservatives, but it is a warning about “the religious Right,” who are a single-issue special interest group that has a tendency to hijack the greater Rightist agenda toward realism and replace it with a highly symbolic agenda. This is also not to say they are wrong on issues like abortion and gay marriage; in fact they are correct. However, they have put the details which will emerge from the bigger picture before achieving that bigger picture, and thus they are defeat monkeys who will (as they did in the 1980s) parasitize and deprecate the Right.
One of the great illusions of our time is that religion is impractical when the opposite is true. The practice of spirituality has intense real-world value and is necessary for making sense of the parts of our world that are not physical, including the condition of our own minds and the self-discipline required to rise about the default bog-normal Simian state of humanity. Religion, like history and literature, compiles human knowledge of what worked best and worst over the years, giving us directions instead of static rules.
For this reason, any realistic movement will discover a need for spirituality in time, and more importantly, will end the insanity of the society around it so that it can nurture a spiritual or religious movement without it getting obliterated by the chaos around it. This allows for a boostrapping process of civilization renewal: a feedback loop is established between power and culture, with the former protecting the latter so that it can grow and inform and expand the former.
Trying the opposite approach — hoping for a religious revival that somehow fixes everything else — ends in tears because religion is part of but not equal to the process of civilizational restoration. The religious fanatics will either retreat into their own bubbles, or campaign for power, and by pursuing symbolic goals rather than realistic ones, fail to achieve long-term popularity and thus quickly be dispensed with as they were in the 1990s. No one is sorry to see the PMRC or moralistic groups — including non-religious ones like MADD — pass on.
Right now, the last thing we need is a religious crusade; we need hard practical change for survival, including the removal of the triad of demographic genocide laws — affirmative action, anti-discrimination and civil rights — that ensure our people are last in line for jobs, housing, benefits and as a result are effectively being driven out of society. We need to protect ourselves so that in the future, with greater health, we can then create a healthy society, including but not limited to religion.
What we need then is a rise in “Rightists with religion,” or people who want realism plus transcendentalism including religion, instead of “the religious Right.” This seems counter-intuitive but it provides us with the basis for civilization renewal, and within that, the rebirth of religion that is as realistic as the civilization, without all of the symbolism and emotion that might make us put the cart before the horse.
As Neoreaction fades into a type of extreme Libertarianism that guarantees it will be absorbed by demotist forces with credit cards instead of ballots, more are considering the basic idea of Reaction itself: that modernity, based in equality applied by government, is a path to suicide and that we need cultural, religious and leadership guidance instead.
One form that appears fascinating is Christian Reaction, or the group of Reactionaries who base their worldview in a resurrected Christian nation instead of a purely leadership or cultural solution. The good side of this is that what they advocate is necessary and positive; the bad side is that sometimes, it can replace other things that need to be done, and become a scapegoat or false solution.
Where the Christian Reactionaries are most correct is at their core, which has two parts:
Morality. Civilizations die because their citizens become individualistic after there is too much tolerance for not-good people, usually during wartime or plagues when extra hands are needed. The natural tendency of civilization however is to increase social order, so that more survive, and to spare lives from the horrors of the pre-civilization era. The only way to restrain this natural entropy is to have a society that is morally alert to all transgressions, no matter how small, and constantly shedding those who are inclined toward any path other than good. This seems too extreme to most, so they settle for throwing out the extreme bad instead of generally removing the failed, and Christian Reaction has no patience for this.
Self-Discipline. Spiritual practice occurs through the denial of impulses and a redirection of that energy toward wholesome things. In particular, prayer and meditation increase focus, especially among the intelligent, who are otherwise prone to become chaos monkeys indulging in personal pretense and thus splitting society into many directions, few of which are relevant. Christian Reaction emphasizes personal growth through self-discipline and the necessity of it as a basis for society as a whole.
At the end of much of philosophy, we arrive at these two concepts as the only way to slow or prevent civilization decline. It cannot be done with authority alone, nor by filtering out the bad alone, because it is necessary to redirect the normal and intelligent toward the good, including things that seem “un fun” like chastity, relative sobriety, pride in tribe, and focus on moral goods — aspiration to excellence — above all else.
Unfortunately, Christianity today is a ruin and it has been for many centuries. In particular, the Catholic popes interfered with the absolute rule of the kings, introducing the kind of committee politics that specialize in making bad decisions in order to avoid upsetting the varied special interest groups sitting at the table. At this point, almost all churches are fallen, chasing Leftist ideals as a vain hope for restoring the people who once attended, forgetting that people come to church for the kind of discipline, purpose and guidance that only religion can provide.
In particular, the Catholic churches are worst about this, identifying with the victim narrative and opposing any kind of strong and healthy power that might compete with the church and papacy. This makes them toxic in every way and prone to thwarting the exercise of necessary changes. Traditional Western European focus is less Protestant than anti-Catholic, as we saw with the Nativist movements and the conversion of much of Europe. The popes thwarted the kings, and so sensible people ejected the popes.
Many on the Christian Reaction front call sensibly for a renewal of Christianity through a return to its core focus, including its Greco-Roman, Nordic Pagan and Hindu roots, among the many other influences that were compiled into the Bible. The point here is to not get caught up in specifics and rules, but look at the purpose of the religion, which is a meditative realism leading to transcendental understanding.
Some advocate a monistic Christianity. This is important because its opposite, dualism, argues for the presence of two worlds: a perfect heaven and an imperfect earth. This causes disregard of what happens in this world in anticipation of the next, and conveys the notion that the rules of this world are nonsense or illogical, both of which propel Christians toward emotional but unrealistic paths.
If Christian Reaction has its way, a future Christianity will be both more militant and more naturalistic. It will not fall into the easy excuses of being individualistic or ignoring the world. It will be an active, warlike Christianity that even Fred Nietzsche could approve of. For this reason, even metaphysical skeptics have reason to explore Christian Reaction.
Perception is regulated by conceptual understanding. What we know how to recognize in the flood of data coming in from our senses, we can mentally process. Everything else slips by into chaos.
If true knowledge is possible, it must come from valid concepts. Because these can be shared between people, they must exist outside of people, or be in the world like neo-Platonic forms.
Therefore, those who think purely in terms of concepts will be accurate, which means that we can think without evidence and achieve understanding of the universe.
In essence, pure conceptual thinking is how we understand reality.
Charlton attributes this schema to Rudolf Steiner’s early philosophical book The Philosophy of Freedom, but alert readers here will recognize the actual root of this idea: Immanuel Kant and his idea of intuition as the basis of a priori understanding.
In my own writing, specifically the unpublished Parallelism, I expand on the basic concept of the black pill and how it leads to understanding reality.
Humans have big brains, and those receive stronger signals from themselves than the world, which is a problem especially because we know the world through our memories of it, encoded as tokens based on our conclusion of the relevant parts to us. This comes after we filter the world, as Charlton notes, through what we know to look for, living in “a representation of a representation” as Schopenhauer argues. We never come in contact with the raw data because it would be like trying to drink from a firehose and would paralyze our reaction times.
Consequently, any process of understanding involves separating what we know to be true from what is merely signal reflected back from our big brains. We have to navigate our assumptions, emotions, impulses, neurotic mental chatter and tendency toward quick absolute categorical judgments in order to do this, among other perceptual pitfalls and glitches.
At this point, we must consider “evidence” versus “logical fact.” Evidence is what we can derive from our perception, but as illustrated above, it is already heavily filtered through our conceptual outlook. Further, it is based on material factors, such as how parts of reality interact, but blind to pattern which represents the organization of reality and its structure (analogous to Platonic forms). Evidence therefore is best for figuring out how to do things like make gasoline engines or grow crops, but not so good when it comes to questions of understanding reality under the surface formed of the interaction of material objects, like seeds plus water equals plants.
Logical fact, on the other hand, consists of looking at the organization of these material parts and deriving principles about how they work. Mathematics and philosophy are the closest to this field because they analyze patterns and their transformation, but these become difficult because we are unsure that what seems logically true corresponds to reality, which is wily and has twists and turns and emergent complexities. Enter parallelism: the idea that patterns occur in parallel across multiple domains, including thought, energy and matter.
With parallelism, we can see what patterns recur in multiple places in our world, and use these as the basis for understanding new input. This works through a type of metaphor that is more exact than what we expect from language. It requires precision about the nature of each pattern and why it works as it does, animating the structure with an understanding of purpose.
At this point, we are starting to get somewhere. We have a way of knowing what is true beyond any immediate circumstance because we can see the pattern in multiple places and its function or role is consistent. At that point, we are able to discipline our thought to being like that of the universe, and in so doing, realize its logical basis. As discovered by the German Idealists, the universe behaves in a thought-like way, and appears to respond at the level of structure as we would expect thoughts to do so.
Now we have moved beyond materialism. We see first the world as a function of order or pattern, and next, that structure as resembling thought, which works by having multiple impulses and selecting whichever one is compatible with everything that already exists, or is parallel to the rest of structure. This enables us to see the universe as having an inherent mode of operation and intent, one that is initially foreign to the world of human intent, which reflects our interests within the structure as we perceive them without knowledge of that structure.
This in turn requires us to look into what the intent of the universe might be. It seems to specialize in making beauty out of nothingness, but also, by holding to a hard line of logical fact that punishes that which deviates from compatibility with its order. Through processes like natural selection and entropy, it destroys that which is disorganized and reshapes the rest into greater degrees of order, balance and efficiency.
From this vantage point, we can see the nature of a divine force or something like one: benevolent in intent, rigorously logical in method, and focused on urging us upward toward greater order, versus our tendency as human monkeys to scatter in divergent chaotic directions in pursuit of our personal illusions, desires and other artifacts of having a lack of focus toward the divine. We are evil not because we mean badly, but because our thought and thus behavior is not disciplined.
Since we have ventured into metaphysics, we might take a look at an old theorem of Plato’s. We can see cause-effect relationships in everyday life, but now we know that these are a product of a thought-like structure to the universe, which like a computation seeks to resolve a problem constantly in order to refine itself; think of a self-programming computer, always testing its own code to find what works better, and replacing the old code with the new, more precise algorithms.
This means that in addition to regular cause-effect relationships, there is a bigger cause-effect relationship formed of compatibility between patterns and a steady pressure toward upward organization. This no longer acts like self-interested material objects, but a purposeful Designer who is starting us as dust and working us toward a god-like level, or as close as we can get.
In addition, we know that this causal space of pattern is much larger than the physical objects in which it manifests, meaning that our material world is the smaller part, and the world of thought much larger, implying not a dualistic “second world” but an extension to this one formed of the patterns as the universe intends them, not our perceptions of them. In this space, which is so large as to be infinite, information matters more than material, and here we see that the presence of our minds as information agents can have applicability beyond our physical selves.
None of this was unknown to the ancients, but then again, instead of checking Twitter every thirty minutes, they were sitting in darkened caves in deep thought guided by regular breathing and a suppression of the chattering monkey creating a background hum inside our heads. Clarity of thought, and eventually metaphysical experience, came naturally for them.
As we look toward peeling back the layers of the onion that is modernity, realizing that it started from a lie and that the only way to beat it is to head in a contrary direction, it makes sense to return to this focus on meditative understanding of structure. It does not contradict the realistic imperative that we adapt to material reality, but shows us a stage in which to go once we achieve basic sanity, and a basis for a spirituality which does not — like almost all existing forms of religion — lead us further into the illusion of ourselves.
The Book of Jude warned us well of the advent of Cuck Christianity. The relevant verses follow below.
16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. 17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
The 2,000 year old warnings found in Jude’s little-known epistle ring true as Christianity continues to degrade itself from the Passion of Christ to the legalism of the Pharissee. A vote against the will of these Real Christians, is indeed a toll pass via the express lane of AC/DC’s infamous Highway to Hell.
The gist of the conflict is that Christians, who have decided that Donald Trump is so evil and immoral that any vote for him is to approve of and even become complicit in his sin, are questioning not only the character but the salvation of those who support the GOP candidate. This condemnation encompasses even those reluctant and melancholy warriors for conservatism who are voting for him as a strategy to stop the advancement of a leftist political agenda that dominates a corrupt Democratic Party…
Are we really laid over for torture at the hands of Crom’s Devils if we urge our compatriots to vote against the type of people who are frustrated that Hurricane Matthew didn’t clean out more trailer parks to effectively scare the sheep about Global Warming? It depends on which whinging voice of Cuck Christianity is out there a-preachin’ it for Hillary. There are two versions of this sort of Neo-Judaizer Heresy – weak and strong.
The truth is, with headlines about Clinton’s emails, terrorist attacks, the Obama Administration’s advancement of transgenderism in the military, etc. I have been actively reconsidering my opposition to Trump. I’ve done it in conversation with friends, in prayer, and in quiet time dedicated to considering the future. In short, I see the election of Hillary Clinton as the antithesis of all my values and ideas on what fosters sound civil society in this country. Further, she should be in jail.
Once you’ve pretty much decided the opposition candidate is Alicia Capone, you’ve basically laid out your moral duty. You vote for the guy that will chain her up and parade her through Georgetown as part of his inaugural triumph. To weasel out of condign retribution against said career criminal, you’re stuck having to tear down the individual on the other side to a level of base deplorability that requires you to support Attila the Hag. And then get the muck off your hands a wee bit better than poor, old Lady MacBeth ever could.
So we get the predictable riffs about how Trump isn’t ¡PROLIFE! enough to fit in with a Congress that never had the guts to put a single piece of Pro-Life legislation on President Obama’s desk. We’ll elide past the historical illiteracy necessary to plant the axiom that a pride of Conservative Lions exists in today’s GOP. Let’s be sporting and temporarily let our #NeverTrumper claim that Trump could undermine this thin red line of heroes. I issue this intentional walk to get after the nasty beneath the beatific Churchian exterior.
When I see Christians defining deviancy down to justify a political decision, I see a real problem for the church. When I see Christians saying we have license to choose bad men because God chose bad men, I see the sparks of apostasy…The level of fear many of my friends have towards what a Clinton Administration may bring has turned to desperation and desire for a protector….While I concede they may be right, what I see is a level of desperation causing them to place their trust in one strong man instead of God.
The poor dears are just scared and don’t know any better. In the end, the accusation reads that any Christian of holds his nose and votes for Chairman Donald over Dear Leader Hillary has been frightened, unmanned and reduced to a gibbering blob of Glenn Beck worshiping at the foot of Trump Tower rather than the sacred cross. I’m sure the son of Jerry Falwell who recently said pleasant things about Mr. Trump has taken down all the Crucifix art he owns and replaced it with Trump Fuzzy Dice instead. Such ridiculous and small-hearted ecclesiastical nastiness hasn’t been this fashionable since Jimmy Carter won the Iowa Caucus in 1976.
There is also a stronger version of this heresy afoot that fears no killer rabbits. It preaches the fire and brimstone as if Making America Great Again would erect once more The Tower of Babel. If an angel descends and then Reverend Metaxas from Texas bursts into blue, incandescent flame, I will humbly seek forgiveness and admire the wisdom of Ed Rogers.
I wonder if this is the end of the evangelical movement within the Republican Party. Trump’s strength in South Carolina, of all places, is alarming. Many evangelical leaders, who can be so quick to point out the moral failings of others, are strangely silent concerning Trump’s shortcomings. How can they reconcile fidelity to their faith with a vote for Trump? How do they overlook Trump’s personal qualities and behavior? What about the morality of entrusting the presidency to someone with the temperament and questionable judgment we have all witnessed from Trump? I would like some answers. I find it hard to believe evangelicals are supporting Trump because of his policy positions, since he doesn’t have many. They can’t be supporting Trump because of his faith or godliness…
Alas Babylon, Ed Rogers. Alas Babylon. Rather than acting like he has the right to question the faith of churchgoers who vote athwart his divine commandmants thundered down to the mere mortals in the pews, he should ponder another question. How can a church that by all fair-minded and rigorous accounts is having its ass flambéed on any given Sunday like the 2008 Detroit Lions justify questioning the temperament and judgement of its rapidly declining membership. Maybe the people who no longer seek out salvation in the same church as Ed Rogers kinda-sorta have a point.
The starting Center from that Detroit Lions team looked in the mirror and saw reality. “I’ve got to live with this.” He lamented. “I’ve been here eight years. This is on my resume.” If we wake up on November 9 with a 50-49 Hillary victory, this will be true of #BibleThumpForNeverTrump. They will get to live with it as well. They will have elected a POTUS who will empower, hire and enrich a set of functionaries who at least empathize with the sentiment that nothing quite smells of lovin’ like an Evangelical in the oven.
Every single last one of these slimy #NeverTrumpers thinks they can leverage this betrayal to climb out of The Basket of Deplorables that Hillary has assuredly assigned them to and land a fat “loyal opposition” gig at CNN, Fox or K-Street instead. There were people like this all over China and Russia during these countries’ respective Communist Revolutions. They were the ones that got lined up against the wall and shot first.
Even the feckless and maladroit British Army leaders that lost the Thirteen Colonies were smart enough to significantly demote Benedict Arnold after his treason. They could not afford to see this sort of thing rewarded. It’s something for a #NeverTrumper to chew over for a bit if they ever seriously and sincerely reconsider their current trajectory into moral oblivion.