The Peace of Being Innocent / The Thrill of Seeking Out Delight

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

It is hard to advocate in favour of Christianity in front of former believers, especially those who grew up Protestant. The endless posturing and pontificating of preachers, the soulless prayers they were forced to witness weekly, the manichean division of human activities into godly and demonic surely made it difficult to see the value in Christianity, especially if you are concerned about the pitfalls of slave morality or dogmatism.

Although I find myself in the very same situation, I think it is better to steelman Christianity before anyone decides to reject it wholeheartedly.

Traditional Christianity is, unlike Protestantism, in complete harmony with the symbolic world. Every metaphysical system agrees to the principle ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’. Remember that Odin was said to have hanged himself in the world tree for nine days and nine nights, suspended between Heaven and Earth, in order to gain knowledge of the other worlds and be able to understand the runes? Unlike modern autists, the ancients understood the symbolism of Heaven and Earth.

Or better yet, here’s a Rosary prayer that every ancient person could easily understand: ‘As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end’. This is the essence of religion: Heaven, as the realm of the timeless, unperishable divine, accessible through mysteries, Liturgy or psylocybe. Or all combined, as some claim was the case in many Greek mystery cults and even early Christians.

Here’s another Christian Prayer, from the chaplet of humility:

‘Father, give me the humility which realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its needs, welcomes advice and accepts rebukes. Help me always to praise rather than criticize, to encourage rather than to disparage, to build rather than to destroy, and to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.’

You probably recall Peterson talking about the eye of Horus and how paying attention to the unknown is more important than reiterating your left brain re-presentation of the world over and over again. Few ancient people would disagree with anything mentioned in the above prayer. Criticise the soft undertones of ‘slave morality’ all you want, at the end of the day you prefer being perceptive and mindful of your own hubris, accept outside help and see the good in others.

The only ones who would disagree with the prayer are the proponents of various Western secular, post-Christian ideologies and the moral systems that derive from them. Although there are many flavours of secularism, they all share in the same materialist worldview that denies the existence of evil or explains it away by breaking it into components and claiming it is a malfunction.

As human beings, however, they cannot act in the world without assuming a moral system, and their materialism forces them to regard evil as fully external to their own self.

New atheists consider religious people to be evil. If you ask them about Communist states murdering their own subjects, they will explain the phenomenon by claiming that Marxism is in fact a religion, and Stalin and Mao some sort of cult leaders. This allows new atheist adherents to vilify anyone outside their own community, who – everyone knows – is completely and utterly a-religious and un-ideological.

Social Justice adherents declare others to be evil based on the level of oppression one group or another had to endure (intersectionality). They never judge THEMSELVES to be responsible of any wrongdoing, and if they are in danger of coming to this realisation, they either avoid admittance of guilt by claiming victim status (victims are always acted-upon, they’re never responsible of anything themselves) or by asking the Government to pay reparations for some collective misdeed. It’s never ever MY OWN fault.

Liberals of all stripes define evil as institutional oppression (or the wicked default option), while good is regarded as individual autonomy (or ‘choice’). It’s not difficult to imagine how this mindset can accuse virtually every group or institution on earth of being oppressive, while justifying every perversion, personal cowardice, self-indulgence or even malice as being healthy, liberating manifestations of one’s autonomy. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’, as Crowleyans love to say.

I was surprised to see Iain McGillchrist capture the essence of this very phenomenon in this beautiful quote from a poem by Gerald Gould:

This is the horror that, night after night, / Sits grinning on my pillow — that I meant
To mix the peace of being innocent / With the warm thrill of seeking out delight:
This is the final blasphemy, the blight / On all pure purpose and divine intent —
To dress the selfish thought, the indolent, / In the priest’s sable or the angel’s white.

For God’s sake, if you sin, take pleasure in it, / And do it for the pleasure.
Do not say: ‘Behold the spirit’s liberty! — a minute / Will see the earthly vesture break away
And God shine through.’ / Say: ‘Here’s a sin — I’ll sin it; / And there’s the price of sinning — and I’ll pay.’

You can notice this absolute refusal to be introspective, contemplative or penitent on every deboonker forum, where they all prefer to throw all sorts of objections in your face, ridicule Peterson for being obssessed with meaning, or for distracting his listeners from ‘systemic’ issues. At the end of the day the deboonker is stuck in his left brain, which prevents him from seeing life from within. He never speaks to you as one living subject to another; he’s always dr. Frankenstein, never perceiving you wholly, as a subject living and acting in the world, but always as a golem reconstituted from diagrams and abstract laws. Give him the smallest dose of psylocybe and he will have the most frightening trip of his existence.

But what happens if you elevate this mindset to a collective level? If every social occurence, every cultural change is forced to go through this ‘liberating’ lens that demonises the wicked default and ‘celebrates’ the anomaly? You end up with ideological groups that refuse to be introspective and cast all blame on outsider groups. Or the smugness and self sufficiency of today’s Media, obstinately and unrepentantly choosing to cast all blame on its subjects. This triggers the anger of commoners, who cast all responsibility on the actions of the elites. This blame accumulates, as the moral capital and trust between individuals + institutions is gradually depleted and you eventually end up in Bosnia or South Africa.

And all this catastrophe can be easily understood as the promethean man’s absolute refusal to admit the ancient wisdom contained in the prayer from the chaplet of humility. Every ancient and reactionary knew this basic truth. Even Solzhenitsyn wrote about it in the Gulag Archipelago:

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.
Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

A Reactionary Critique of Social Media – part 2
Betting on the Lindy Effect

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