Tyler Durden in Fight Club told Generation X that “Our Great War is a spiritual war.” This is the truth, and we have been too slow to see it. The narrative has changed since our parents’ and grandparents’ time: the major struggle of human life is no longer physical survival, but making sense of our lives.
Durden was speaking directly to Generation X because ours is a different story. The Great Depression that our elders endured, while terrible, was ultimately a financial one, and we were guaranteed to get out of it once the markets reset. What we have to endure is also worthy of the epithet Great Depression, only what we have to endure is spiritual.
This Great Spiritual Depression has been caused by a perfect storm of factors.
The first major factor is the rottenness of what passes for spiritual tradition in our culture. It’s obvious to any outside observer that the Christian rituals are empty and meaningless – this can be determined simply by speaking to the average Christian and hearing his hatred of other religions, of homosexuals, and of drug users. It’s apparent from that that Christians do not have any privileged access to understanding the mind of God.
A person who enters a Christian church to hear a sermon from a learned man is far more likely to hear something political about the need to obstruct progress on gay rights or drug law reform. If that person stays to talk to those who think they understand the nature of God, those people will say that a women’s place is subordination, and that anyone who doesn’t worship the Magic Jew will be condemned to an eternity of hellfire.
If there was ever anything spiritual in the Abrahamic tradition it has rotted away centuries ago.
The second major factor is that all of our cultural and political narratives are entirely materialistic. It’s materialist capitalists versus materialist socialists. Whichever side wins, we get materialism. Neither side has a solution to the problems of human existence that goes beyond accumulating more physical resources or power.
This materialism has arisen as a reaction to the fact that religion, in the guise of Christianity, retarded progress in the West for over 1,000 years. Because of this, the people and societies that developed an interest in discovering the truth naturally came to distrust anyone who spoke about non-materialist concepts. Moreover, most of the advances in alleviating human suffering made in recent centuries have come through materialist sciences such as medicine, engineering, biology, chemistry and physics.
The problem with this materialism is that people have been thinking in these terms so so long that most of us have forgotten that any other terms are possible, or even sometimes necessary. Emotional, intellectual and spiritual paradigms have all been forgotten in favour of who controls the most stuff. Even psychiatrists – supposedly doctors tasked with healing the soul – can only think in terms of chemical imbalances and pharmaceuticals.
As Terence McKenna was fond of saying, “the way out is back”. Westerners have historically shown themselves capable of exceptionally sophisticated metaphysical thought – one only need read Plato for ample proof of this. The solution is the revival of the perennial philosophy and the perennial, universal, cosmic religion, in a form that suits the world of today.
This will have two major benefits.
The first will be the return to each human being of their birthright to be initiated into the spiritual truths. Instead of being brainwashed from birth with some horseshit story about being specially chosen by God, virgin births or last prophets, and how God’s love is conditional upon obeying the moral dictates laid down by the political authorities of the time, people shall be instructed truthfully from the beginning.
This means that something like the Eleusinian Mysteries will have to be reinstated, and the ceremonial mass public consumption of psychedelics encouraged, but in a highly ritualistic and orderly manner. This will mean that the public at large will once again be connected with God, and all will know the truth. This will lead to our spiritual elders transmitting useful information to the youth instead of old Middle-Eastern stories that justify genital mutilation and slavery.
Because the spiritual elders will no longer be lying, there will no longer be cause for the men and women of silver to respond by going in the other direction. Thus, being a freethinker will no longer correlate highly with being a materialist (as it has for the past three or four centuries). People will be free to discuss metaphysical subjects without the assumption that they are dangerous fanatics.
The second major benefit will be to cause the coming of new political ideologies that are not based on materialism. These will transcend the ancient capitalist-communist paradigm. In other words, they will not be grounded in settling arguments about who gets what stuff, and who can extort what labour, taxes and rent out of who. These ideologies will be much better suited to meet the challenges we face because they will reflect reality more accurately and faithfully.
What exact form they do take is not clear, but it is likely that they will be grounded in reducing the amount of suffering in the world rather than the redistribution of resources. This specifically means reducing the suffering of sentient beings, through all of their thwarted desires.
It’s certain that cognitive liberty will play a central role here, as it has been the lack of cognitive liberty that caused this Dark Age in the first place. We can guess from this that the social sharing of consciousness-altering sacraments will flourish – not merely alcohol and cannabis, but psychoactives that are capable of a wide range of desirable effects.
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