Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It wasn't too long ago that what we call the modern individual Self did not exist

It's an Ideal World to Become Who You Are from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob

In One Cosmos, I don't explicitly delve much into politics at all, but if there is a coonfluence between my political and spiritual views, this is it. For if the purpose of life is to realize one's archetype, then the ultimate value of a culture or nation or political movement will be the degree to which it either impedes or makes this realization possible (see page 180):
"We must each of us, in our own way, fight for the cultural circumstances that make intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth possible, because most cultural circumstances actively suppress our growth as human beings."
As such, any purely materialistic political philosophy will be a non-starter. I never say that "Republicanism" is any kind of ideal. Far from it. It's just that the left is so incredibly dangerous and destructive to human ends, that it must be opposed, just as the Islamofascists must be. In the case of the latter, their great evil is the same: the systematic smothering of our spiritual individuation. To force women to live in bags -- i.e., to deprive them of their face -- is a terrifying metaphor of what they do to the soul, which is to say, bury it in darkness. Likewise, radical feminism sophicates the beautiful archetypal feminine form in an airless black bag of faceless ideology.
At any rate, all of the archetypes are collective save for one, which is your unique Self, and which is yours to keep as a consolation prize for this difficult journey we call life. Now, presuming there is a Creator, each person represents a unique "problem of God," something spoken of by Sri Aurobindo. And this is where we can run into a bit if trouble with institutionalized, "big box" religions, which can tend to cater to a psychological "type" rather than the individual. It doesn't have to be this way, any more than a Big Mac has to taste the same at every McDonalds in the world, but it's amazing how you can get people to choose things that aren't in their interests with enough salt and fat.
Now, there was clearly a time when it was necessary for institutionalized religion to be geared toward the collective, since it wasn't too long ago that what we call the modern individual Self did not exist -- or at least for only a very few lucky souls. If you don't believe me, try digesting Charles Taylor's 600 page explanation, Sources of the Self, followed by his latest offering, A Secular Age, and get back to me. I think he pretty much covers the waterfront on that topic.

No comments:

Post a Comment