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Merits of Christianity

Discussion in 'Religion & Spirituality' started by Plantagenet, 20 January 2017.

  1. Plantagenet

    Plantagenet Heroic Member

    To continue the Shoutbox discussion regarding Christianity, I suppose it would be best to make a thread, that way it can continue to be discussed in the future and other members can chime in with their perspectives.

    The discussion started with my own lamenting that I find the tradition of my ancestors to possess too many dogmatic, theological, and philosophical perspectives that I cannot agree with to convert despite otherwise admiring much of Christianity.

    Here were some of my original statements that sparked the discussion:

    This was followed by a defense against my complaints by Raisin, here below:

    This in turn was followed by another set of thoughts by myself:
    To which Raisin replied again in the Shoutbox. I will now quote different portions and continue the discussion here:

    I am not anti-Christian, I'd say that I am more or less in a grey area with Christianity. I see plenty of virtues and plenty of faults. I do think that the higher elements of Christianity were indeed inherited from other sources such as Neoplatonism, Roman culture, and the Gothic/Medieval Christendom produced by the meeting of those with the heroic traditions of the Germanic and Celtic peoples of the Northwest. Evola thought much the same.

    I also don't believe that Christianity is practiced by spiritual morons but that the shape it took, its continual exotericization and degeneration down the centuries was due to spiritual morons being in charge and/or predominating.

    The emanationism of Plotinus, Ibn Arabi, and Laozi are the forms of emanationism I am discussing and it is anything but atheistic.

    The original discussion point was that non-Christians or people who make an error in judgement by converting to a different religion or refusing conversion are damned to hell without possibility of rectification. Cantate Domino confirms this dogma : "The Church Teaches Ex Cathedra: "The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire "which was prepared for the devil, and his angels."

    The claim was that sainthood is a matter of knowledge (gnosis, jnana, bodhi, etc.) and ontological transformation (Buddahood, immortality, etc.) As admirable it is to die for your faith, something I never denied, it also doesn't bespeak anything of your inner state or level of transcendent wisdom. It is also clear that there are certain saints who are so because they spread teachings or because they help build up the Church. Again, admirable, but says nothing about ones ontological state or wisdom.

    I have explicitly claimed the need for spiritual transcendence and that a part of man remains "undescended" and outside of matter, time, space, etc. This is fundamentally vertical, but that transcendence is within immanence and can be attained in this life time. Evola touches on immanent transcendence in various places, here's an example:

    "The last point to which we shall allude in these short notes no longer pertains to the definition in itself of the pure concept of Initiation, but to the connection between the plane of Initiation and that of mundane reality and of history. Above all in recent times the conception of the secret character of the quality of Initiate has prevailed. Thus, this saying of a Sufi (Islamic Initiate) could be cited : "That I am a Sufi is a secret between me and God". The 'Hermetic' character of the Initiate is clear, moreover, from the same Initiatory current - alchemical Hermeticism, one of the main currents in the post-Christian West - from which this adjective is specifically derived. In this respect, if we go back further in time, a different possibility is also attested. Having a look at the civilisations which, in an eminent sense, we can call Traditional - to those civilisations, thus, which had an organic and sacred character and in which "all activities were ordered adequately from top to bottom" - at the centre of such civilisations we often find, quite visible, figures with features similar to those attributed to the Initiates. This centre being constituted, if we way put it this way, of an 'immanent transcendence', that is to say, of the real presence of the non-human in the human, it presupposes particular beings or elites, there is precisely a correspondence with the form of spirituality which defines the Initiate and distinguishes him, for example, from the priest, because the priest, at best, is a mediator of the divine and the supernatural, but does not incorporate it in himself with a character of 'centrality'."

    The portion about the Eastern mystic has no relevance really. The reality is the claim that the Holy Spirit guided all the Church councils, despite various disagreements between the Copts, Armenians, Orthodox, Catholics, etc. on the councils is a matter of pure faith. Subtract that element of faith and the reality that remains was a meeting of learned men who discussed the issues and democratically came to conclusions about dogma. What they didn't do was reach sagehood and proclaim these dogmas issuing forth from direct experiential realization.

    Christianity doesn't have absolutely nothing to do with European accomplishment, but there was European accomplishment (especially in racial terms) prior to Christianity. The racially European Aryans conquered the whole world from Ireland to Western China and founded the civilizations of India, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages. Ethiopia was Christian and didn't do this, current day African Catholics aren't producing Bachs and Gothic cathedrals, etc.

    It's not mere biological race that is responsible for that greatness, but the Aryan racial spirit that animated the great high civilizations and persisted alongside and infused Christianity. Unfortunately it seems that high spirit has become dormant, suppressed, or degenerated among European man today. What the cause of that decline is for another discussion, though there are some who claim Christianity is in part responsible for that decline, which isn't something I necessarily agree with.

    All civilizations collapse and degenerate, of course. Yet the Vedic tradition is at least 4000 years old and hence much older than Christianity, yet India remained much more spiritually focused than Europe into the modern era. The Chinese spiritual tradition is a similar story of a much older yet much longer lived in potency than Christianity. This is especially damning when many peoples of Europe were converted between 600-1000, giving it a lifespan of 500-900 years before the Reformation and a bit longer before reaching its spiritual death. Why? The anti-esoteric, anti-mystical, rationalistic, heresy crazed elements added on top of various theologically unsound doctrines mentioned previously; in Buddhist terms "puthujjana" dominated religion.

    My point is that many European traditionalists like Christianity because it is "our tradition" and the European elements within it, the history, etc. rather than Christianity on its own merits, its doctrine and praxis, etc. Be honest, if the Near East were Christian and we Islamic, you'd be defending the merits of Islam now...an understandable position since I also wish to defend my own civilization and the tradition that animated it, which is why despite my misgivings I've tried to force myself to accept Christianity multiple times as mentioned.

    How many Christians are directly visiting devalokas or heavens in this very life or creating mental subtle bodies that will survive the death of the body? In any case, that isn't the true spiritual heights of the East of course. Something like this is more like it (words used to describe the unconditioned state attainable in this life in the Pali Canon):

    "The unfashioned, the end,
    the effluent-less, the true, the beyond,
    the subtle, the very-hard-to-see,
    the ageless, permanence, the undecaying,
    the featureless, non-differentiation, peace, the deathless,
    the exquisite, bliss, solace,
    the exhaustion of craving,
    the wonderful, the marvellous,
    the secure, security, nibanna,
    the unafflicted, the passionless, the pure,
    release, non-attachment,
    the island, shelter, harbor, refuge,
    the ultimate."

    Or a description of a Daoist sage found here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/taoism/comments/2rt99c/description_of_a_daoist_sage_from_the_huainanzi/

    Christians say we must wait until after death and until the end of time to reach perfection. Buddhists, Daoists, Hindus, Neoplatonists, Hermeticists, Sufis, and condemned Christian mystics like Eckhart, Boehme, etc. claim otherwise. Who's right?
     
    Last edited: 20 January 2017
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  2. Plantagenet

    Plantagenet Heroic Member

    In any case, I look forward to hearing your viewpoints Raisin and the viewpoints of others on this particular topic. I keep an open mind, but for me besides the spiritual impotency of modern Christianity (which isn't to say other religious traditions aren't facing similar problems), wherein aside from particular philosophical viewpoints much of it remains a mirror to the spiritless secular world of modernity surrounding it, many of the problems I see with it could possibly be reconcilable.

    The central and core problem for me is the notion of the createdness of the spirit and the related denial of preexistence. What personally set me on the spiritual path was an experience I had that, for me, proved to me that there is a timeless and transcendent (and hence uncreated or unborn) element at the core of man, what Hindus call the Atman or some Buddhists call the Buddha Nature, etc. It is for me beyond doubt and beyond denial, and Christian dogma denies it (some of the mystics have claimed otherwise and were often rebuked for doing so.) I can't force myself to accept falsity, even if there is much beauty, truth, and goodness encasing that falsity.

    Furthermore I suppose it is a matter of personal nature. For me, when I read the Upanishads or Bhagavad Gita, the Chan/Zen masters, Plotinus, or Laozi, or when I see the methodology and mindset employed by yogis, tantrikas/sadhaks, or Daoist alchemists, I just "get it." It makes sense, it ticks, it resonates with my own experiences, and it inspires. The mindset and methodologies employed by the religions of Abraham feel foreign to me, I don't "get it" (Islam minus certain Sufis and Shiite theosophers and Judaism feel even stranger to me than Christianity.) I suppose the problem is in traditional Christian or Islamic society, I'd be burned at the stake or have my head lopped off for merely not getting it or having a different understanding.
     
    Last edited: 20 January 2017
  3. Plantagenet

    Plantagenet Heroic Member

    On a different note but related to the topic at hand and addressed to Raisin, I figured I'd add this before I head off for the night.

    I imagine that, despite much agreement between us on many issues Raisin, there also is a fundamental problem that I detect based on your viewpoints coupled with your frequent appeals to philosophy or intellectualism or holding the latter two in particular esteem and having a "loathing" of esotericism, to quote you, that will ultimately make us talk past each other on these topics or come to different conclusions on our observation of various religious traditions and their merits.

    While I see some use in philosophy and the intellectual tradition, ultimately I see things in the following manner...perhaps if you investigate the following you will understand my perspectives better--

    Karl von Eckartshausen:

    In other words, spiritual truths are deduced and validated by the spiritual organ, the "eye of the heart" as it is sometimes called or the third eye, not via the discursive mind or via logic, obviously not due to being irrational but rather supra-rational.

    The modern Korean Seon Buddhist master Seongcheol put it this way:

    You could thus say a simple, illiterate, and uneducated fisherman, woodcutter, or farmer who intuits the Dao is infinitely superior to a Newton or even a Thomas Aquinas, or at least Aquinas prior to the mystical insight he had toward the end of his life that made him think of his writings as "so much straw."

    Furthermore, Abhinavagupta stated, reiterating the above:

    Finally, from Evola's book on tantra:

    Most of the perspectives outlined above are near absent in mainstream Christianity and especially in post-scholasticism, post-Trent Catholicism and most of Protestantism. The Orthodox hesychasts are better off in this regard but still suffer from some of the defects I've discussed in relation to general Christianity previously.
     
    Last edited: 20 January 2017
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  4. s3v

    s3v Member

    Addressing the 13 errors, number 4 was the only that raises more than petty concerns.

    "...God banishing a creature made in his image to eternal separation and pain for finite crimes [...] is absurd."

    Analogically, this does not hold well to scrutiny. What of transcendence within the physical world? Those who do not use the correct means to become One with the metaphysical suffer the same fate, no matter how ignorant, innocent, or well-intentioned they may be to its immutable rules. Is this absurd? The eternal element not even need be addressed; transcendence is defined as that which is separate from time, space, or physical things; if achieved in mortal life, its length is everlasting, indeed beyond the subject's life. And yet, those who are merely ignorant of its possibility or avenues suffer a damnation worthy and similar to Hell - and in Raisin's description of Hell, which is the mere lack of the metaphysical or God, they already exist in Hell in the modern world. How is this fate, a reality you have clearly accepted in your proposition of Truth, not equally as absurd if ordained by God? The only way to maintain this position is that the nature of metaphysics were not created at all and happened by accident, which is obviously atheistic.

    The list can actually be condensed into a singular point that was mentioned thereafter:

    "..the reality that remains was a meeting of learned men who discussed the issues and democratically came to conclusions about dogma. What they didn't do was reach sagehood and proclaim these dogmas issuing forth from direct experiential realization."

    The only true reservation Traditional man should take with Christianity is its views on how to attain transcendence. Christianity does in fact recognize superior, transcendent states, which is likely due cause for European admiration of Christendom.

    Beyond the sage and metaphysical epistemology, Christianity is utterly unaware of asceticism altogether. Even in its more ascetic leanings in celibacy, it fails to recognize the proper framework on an experiential level. Condemnation of sexual activity is only useful after the individual has transcended his sexual urges. The same can be said for Grace of God.

    Imagine a complete degenerate who engages in frequent masturbation. Upon discovering Christian teachings, he decides to accept them in full. He embraces the Grace of God; he is Grateful in a truly divine and metaphysical sense, and he attains an awareness of his degeneracy. But of what next? The answer many will give is to just "stop"; provide that conclusion to a drug addict and witness a mere continuation of the degenerative cycle. Any individual who has partaken in asceticism to an extreme degree understands that the only way to overcome these instant gratifications is to gain an understanding, not on an ideological level, but on an experiential level, of long-term versus short-term pleasure. Naturalistic pleasure of instant gratification versus heroic pleasure of naturalistic restraint. This cannot be applied in ascetical life and therefore transcendence cannot be achieved by merely acknowledging it on a solely ideological level, of which Christianity only ever does. The Traditional and transcendent symbol of sacrifice in Jesus, for example, is only recognized as pure and Virtue on an ideological plane and provides no similar framework for sacrifice of this type beyond distant instruction and condemnation. In other words, "tell", not "show".

    The issue Raisin will raise with this level of thinking is that it is fundamentally modern and not Traditional, because it is not vertically oriented. To which the proper response is, "Correct, it isn't vertically oriented, because something can't just become superior by 'Being superior'." Just as one cannot know Christianity before reading the Bible, or learn to swim without discovering how to not drown. Degeneracy is not eradicated by being Grateful of God, Grace of God is only truly realized once degeneracy has been eradicated. This is the true hierarchical orientation, for it recognizes Truth and Salvation as something only attainable in a complete form by the few willing to undergo Initiation in contradiction with the masses ignorant of, in denial of, or willfully rejecting its true path to Redemption.
     
  5. s3v

    s3v Member

    As for the path European man must take forth given these inadequacies (however slight) within Christianity, the answer is much less clear. The path to transcendence is quite clear and a proper framework for such a path has been detailed thoroughly enough above. However, to reach the penultimate step of this immanent transcendence requires Being in full coalition with God, that is to entirely be God without compromise. To achieve this level of Absolute Transcendence requires a Gnosis of the metaphysical and Truth that simply cannot be attained while maintaining the aforementioned critiques, or indeed any critiques of the lack of this state. This Absolute Transcendence, or transcendence in full is only actually acquired when man becomes absolutely affirmative, and is no longer reactive both in action, thought, and inaction within the entirety of his spirit. Holding such confused views about Christianity exists as a barrier to this pursuit.