Sunday, August 07, 2016
A Religious Material Solution to the Great Spiritual Blockade
My hypothesis is that a very ancient split between the warriors and the priests led to the religious split between the material and spiritual, and finally led to a great spiritual blockade of the evolution toward real Godhood. Some of this history is brought down to us through the Vedic history of India, but it becomes such a tangled story of different meanings for the same words, such as the Devas and Asuras who competed in ancient India and Persia, that it is very difficult to decipher this split.
I think it is likely that warriors came before priests in the history of mankind and I think priests probably evolved to enhance warriors with ascetic practises that calmed or encouraged warriors before battle. Then at some point priests branched off from warriors toward an asceticism that blocked material actions and material desires, which would include making war. The discovery from deep meditation of what came to be known as the God Within was as big a discovery for religion as the wheel was for secular life. The experience was so blissful (see Christ or Buddha) that the gurus wanted to do nothing else, and certainly did not want to make war, yet alone make love.
But priests eventually had to learn to rationalize materialism and moved away from strict asceticism, perhaps due to the necessities of actual survival success, and we see this in religious philosophy from that time to this time. For example, in the Indian Bhagavad Gita warriors are taught how to kill yet still be spiritual. And there was also the really brilliant solution of having practical stages of life for every season of man in Hinduism. Then later St. Thomas Aquinas found a way, with help from Aristotle, to affirm real sexual reproduction and the general business of a living and breathing in a culture outside of the monastery. If everyone was celibate there would not even be monasteries yet alone human life. This warrior/priest split even arose in the more recent Traditionalist School where Evola seems to have preferred the dominance of the warrior and Guénon the dominance of the priests, although this has been rationalized as being only stages in the same spiritualism.
Judaism and Islam have found a way to conduct themselves like a pendulum which can swing to the extremes and back to the middle when living circumstances call for it. (see Scott Richert's essay in Chronicles, Aug 2016) Even terrorism has been justified this way. But Christianity and Buddhism have had a harder time developing a philosophy for living in the material word, in spite of the brilliant efforts of thinkers like Aquinas, since their founders were so obviously calling for a non-material celibate life in order to see or experience the God Within.
In all of these religions and religious histories God remains strictly a non-material spiritual God.
The religious philosophy of theological materialism has another way to join materialism and spiritualism within the dynamic movement of the evolution of material life to supermaterial Godhood, with the transformation of the mistaken idea of spiritualism into supermaterialism. Theological materialism does not reject the old religious Inward Path of asceticism but sees this as the first symbolic glimpse of the real Godhood reached through the Outward Path of material evolution. The Twofold Path can be harmonized. The war between the material and spiritual can really end, without all the past rationalizations, and without the great spiritual blockade.