Sunday, August 3, 2014

Why I'm not religious, Why I'm not Spiritual

When people ask me if I'm religious I usually say No- I don't fudge it by saying I'm a spiritual person,  for what does that actually mean anyway? "Yes, well I don't consider myself religious in the conventional sense, but I think I'm very spiritual in many ways". I think such answers are a complete cop out and clique that says absolutely nothing about the given person's real "inner" sense, for use, of a better concept. Perhaps, the question should be re-phrased by saying can a spiritual person be spiritual without any ethical foundation to their being? The simple answer would appear to say no, as the ethical, knowing the difference between good and evil and having the ability to apply these values correctly in the judgments we make about the world would seem to be the hallmark of a spiritual sensibility. However, what if the ethical values that we apply are actually dubious themselves, for example that the truth that we apply is often dependent on values that were derived from corrupt sources or from people or organisations that often didn't practice what they preached.  I used to take exception sometimes to spiritual people who seemed to lack any ethical foundation to their being, as many pure spiritual practices seemed in many cases to be nothing more than narcissistic cults built around developing EGO but only this time in an "enlightened gloss".

However, the head-long abandonment of the external ethical referent that the 1960s hippy movement still had for example, in favor of the isolated and ethically closed off me-centered spiritual EGO of today may have deeper roots then first envisaged. Perhaps, the me-centered spiritual beings who float between the various spiritual practices of the east and non-traditional western sources (Amazonian Shamanism, Wicca, Indiana Tantra)  nowadays are cognizant of the fact that most western ethical values are completely incompatible with their spiritual well-being, and for them to develop an ethical sense in themselves would require them to radically transform and cleanse these encrusted western values which they have neither  interest, or will to do as a me-centered spiritual EGO. 

So the question of whether a person is religious or not is easy enough to answer for a modern western person as it relates essentially to Monotheism which I believe was responsible for introducing a huge degree of disharmony and even evil into the western world. 

I'll say the following which I've said elsewhere about it:-       

"Monotheism is the partial and parochial made absolute. Its truth makes no reference to anything or anyone outside its Law. There are only those who are right and good and those who are evil and wicked. Those who deserve life and those who do not. Monotheism represents the banality of a violent force whose simplicity paralysis the mind and hardens the heart of all who kneel down before her truth. Monotheism is the FIRE without light that allows her followers to be commit Evil in the violence they do, for they do it in the partial knowledge that gives them the absolute truth from their singular God with his clean conscious, begetting and blessing the Evil they do in His name"

For me it's quite easy to say that I'm not religious person as religion in the west always means monotheism, and I believe that the absolutism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been and indeed are to this very day both untrue and dangerous to mankind in general and the individual in particular. They are nothing more than a heap of distorted myths from the middle-east, that have been corrupted to the core by being portrayed to the world as the absolute truth for ever human being that has ever or will ever live. The natural pagan gods and myths were much humbler in their truths and claims and by force and cunning (the saints in the Catholic Church) they were destroyed for a partial, alien religion that claimed to know the whole truth. How odd it is that most people are still religious in the west?

Then, the question of whether or not I can call myself spiritual. To me the spiritual without an ethical foundation is a bit like a car without any wheels, it really doesn't go anywhere very much. So in search of a solution we eventually arrive back near Nietzsche who addressed this issue in the most honest and forthright manner among any western philosopher I can think of. His answer, to us, now seems strange and remote due to the cultural sensibilities of us own time, but, essentially, in a nutshell, his spiritually evolved being, relates to the creative artist and/or philosopher, perhaps even in our times, the great creative businessman or innovator would be in this category.  However, Nietzsche excludes the ethical as a form of spiritual evolution as he sees it as totally contaminated by Christian values that undermine and weaken the spiritual greatness in the creative individual. It's at this key high-point between the great creative forces in a person, or a society, or in an organisation regardless of ethical consequences where the western mind often becomes notably silent, both by people who are traditionally religious and also from the spiritually enlightened me-centered types, whose odd muteness, time and time again, despite their spoken high values on other occasions, seems to implicitly say that they, without even knowing it, are in league with the old adversary himself. Monotheism and all who are ensnared by it makes a virtue of being ethical while at the same time nodding towards the use of violence and force that is backed-up by the silence of all whom call themselves either religious or spiritual people in the west. 

So, when asked, all I can say is that I'm honestly neither religious nor spiritual anymore.