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?