The Necessity of Authentic Spirituality

Bound to the Will of The Most Gracious

            It is not odd to feel alienated today.  In fact, the rates of alienation are increasing.  We are separated more than ever from our surroundings, from the people in our lives, from our work, and in some cases are barred from truly experiencing emotions: we have become detached and not in the way fostered by ascetic religious pathways.  For some of these people—those not mentally ill, or who simply manage to find satisfaction in this way of life—this is not an issue because they are content with their lot.  It is not a stretch of truth to say that there is a supernatural mirror to this physical reality: many of us have become distant from spirituality.  This means a true spirituality—an experience with God in proper form—rather than a shallow lingering at the surface.  It is an eternal quest to rekindle an old friendship with a lover and a friend for God is The Friend and The Lover of those who can open their hearts to Hum.  Like a human relationship, a Divine relationship also takes effort, requires sacrifice, needs understand, and demands acceptance of both good and evil in it.  In our atmosphere of rampant individualism, the necessity of seeking authentic spirituality is paramount.

Life becomes barren when we lack what we need.

What is authentic, you ask?  While a human being may understand spirituality to an extent, they do not always know authenticity, orthodoxy, or a proper understanding of rite.  To be authentic in your spirituality—to truly excel in cultivation—requires the points already addressed, but it also requires the choice of a living religion.  The serious embracing of a religion can be difficult for many, even those who are mentally and emotionally allied with a holistic worldview simply because it requires the lessening of their individuality and the self-denial of their freedoms.  Seekers must also find the correct interpretations in their newfound religions so that they can develop properly by not being stifled by ideas of political or legal extremism.  In the Islamic faith, the example laid down in the ahadeeth of Muhammad stresses the moderate enjoyment of what has been allowed and in constant mild-tempered behavior coupled with good deeds.  One can also find warnings against sectarian behavior for these traditions are very broad even in their conservative forms; most raised in hedonism will not see it, but even they can have change of heart.  Authenticity principally lies in the established religions which for those of us here in the West is the tradition of Abraham: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.  Cults, “movements,” and new age systems do not offer anything positive with the latter more a form of self-help with spiritual underpinnings meant for cash from corrupt “gurus.”

Why is seeking it so necessary?  To reconnect with the Almighty whose Radiance pervades existence is the priority of many people.  Even those so enamored with materialism in science and mathematics are seeking answers.  That they do so wanting to do good is encouraging, but their materialism is its own folly as it can prevent a wider understanding of Divine reality because of its insistence on solely understanding physical phenomena.  The deductionist model is acceptable in the viewing of the merely physical manifestation of reality as it is rational, simple, logical, and has great yield.  Spirituality is not something with can be reduced to its parts.  It requires a willingness to cultivate a sense of holistic understanding in which everything is properly separate, but also properly interconnected.  This is necessary to re-center humanity in its proper role as guardian, steward, and user instead of predator and exploiter on Earth.  It also reestablishes the guideline for communication with God.  We are subordinate to The Fashioner of what we know.  One cannot simply desire something, but out of fear not act on it, and then expect an improvement or change.  This may seem elementary, but the entrance to an entirely new world—a new facet—can be a daunting task.  Strive, strive, and strive.

Even though barren, we can still find something of worth in the desert.

The individual, the human being, attains a level of completeness in his spiritual development when focused on its way.  Therefore in our zeal to follow our selves’ desires we are neglecting important parts of our very selves which need attention.  Such a message may seem paradoxical to newcomers, but religion is not anti-individual at all; individualism is anti-tradition.  Our full worth rests in our deeds and intentions as these are just husks of flesh and bone which will in turn give way to soil and dust.  Our full worth can be unleashed in understanding, embracing, and cultivating a spiritual love.

  • Exit

    You wrote, “Authenticity principally lies in the established religions which for those of us here in the West is the tradition of Abraham: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Cults, “movements,” and new age systems do not offer anything positive with the latter more a form of self-help with spiritual underpinnings meant for cash from corrupt “gurus.””

    That sounds like the fake clergy in the Abrahamic religions. Really, just because they’re “established” doesn’t make them authentic. I agree with Guenon and Evola who considered Christianity a dead religion which is no longer vivified by an active esoteric/initiatic core. Hinduism/Buddhism offers much more to those looking for authentic spirituality and was the first choice of Guenon and Schuon save for the caste restrictions which today no longer apply. Hinduism comes without all of the sentimental-theological baggage that the abrahamic religions have and offers a complete initiatic method that won’t get one accused of heresy or “devil worship” for actually practicing it!!!

    • Frank Haider

      It does make them authentic because these religions fit our mindset and are those which have influenced us. Even our secular humanist morality comes from a combination Christianized mixture of Roman and Germanic customs. To say that Abrahamic religions are simply sentimental does not do justice to the authentic initiatic traditions in Judaism and Islam, which are not simply reduced to Tasawwuf. In those traditions there is a point where the rational and the emotional meld together in as much as the same can be found in Hindu and even Buddhists traditions. This is the path which takes great sacrifice, however. Having read Guenon and Schuon amongst others, I am aware of their affinity to Hindu ideas but in the end they chose Islam and knew Islam to be the complete religion as it contains those ideas without polytheism. All religions have these ideas of self-actualization, improvement, etc. Islam, however, is stringently monotheist. It is necessary to have that pure and simple push for Tawheed. Islam as a whole is very coherent.

    • Julian

      1. Julius Evola: “It is worth repeating that the principal thing is not the rejection of Christianity: it is not a matter of showing the same incomprehension towards it as Christianity itself has shown, and largely continues to show, towards ancient paganism. It would rather be a matter of completing Christianity by means of a higher and an older heritage, eliminating some of its aspects and emphasizing other, more important ones, in which this faith does not necessarily contradict the universal concepts of pre-Christian spirituality.” The political and religious movement which realised most of Evola’s ideals was the Legion of the Archangel Michael in Romania. They were Orthodox Christians. Evola wrote six articles (as far as I know) about Codreanu and the Iron Guard.

      2. As for Guénon, he wrote: “We do not want to say that certain forms of Christian initiation did not continue later, since we have ourselves some reasons of thinking that some of it still subsists nowadays, but in such restricted circles that, in fact, one can only consider them as practically inaccessible, or, as we are going to say, in some branches of Christianism other than the Latin Church.” He later said in the body of the article about the substitution in question: “What we are saying here can only be applied moreover to the Latin Church, and what is also very remarkable, is that, in the Churches of the East, there has never been a mysticism in the sense it is understood in the Western Christianism since the 16th century; this fact can lead to think that a certain initiation in the way of the ones we were alluding had to be kept in these Churches, and, indeed, this is what we find with Hesychasm, whose the real initiatory character does not seem doubtful, even if, there as in many other cases, it has been more or less diminished throughout the modern times, as a consequence of the general conditions of this area, of which can only escape the initiations that are really not accessible, whether they have always been this way, or they have voluntarily decided to “close” themselves more than never in order to avoid any degeneration.”

      3. Schuon also clearly indicates in his writing, and also in personal discussions, that Orthodoxy is the fullest and truest of all the Christian forms. On the question “do you not think that sacraments have degenerated” he replied shortly: “They cannot.”

      • Jacey

        Always rerfheisng to hear a rational answer.

  • Exit

    It was Guenon and Schuon who wrote that theology is sentimental (as opposed to metaphysics), and for this reason it is incomplete and other times flat out absurd.

    The only reason that Guenon and Schuon did not become Hindus was the caste restrictions. Schuon chose Islam only for the initiatic methods stating that the form did not matter to him. Still he was well aware that much of the Islamic law was legalist, harsh, and quite absurd. All abrahamic religions as I’ve said come with unwanted theological baggage.

    As for abrahamic morality, is this not what has destroyed the west? Either we are too moralized which is suffocating us in proscriptions which run counter to the natural order (nature is a reflection of the divine will) or we are put off by snobbish middle eastern morality and turn to an absurd secular/democratic version of the same.

    In the end one should vote with their feet and refuse to support these false desert religions which today have only become magnets for hucksters, “miracle men”, terrorists and child abusers.

    • Frank Haider

      Theology and metaphysics should be complementary in the understanding of The Divine and how it works. The Islamic Golden Age was known for this coupling of the rational and the sentimental into a whole. The Qur’an and Ahadith tell us to seek signs and understanding of God.

      If that is true, why did Schuon and Guenon actually adhere to The Shariah? Is it because it is necessary to have a simple and more ascetic lifestyle to understand the inner truths?

      Miracles are not a good foundation for faith and I have never been one to believe in them except where possible. Fanatics and terrorists exist in all ideologies: Hinduism and Buddhism included.

      How does Buddhism, Hinduism, or another belief accommodate nature when its precepts are supernatural or anti-natural like the others?

  • crow

    The desert offers nothing but solitude, calm and stillness.
    Interestingly, the very things that can be found nowhere else.
    In such conditions, dormant spirituality may germinate.
    The very places most shunned by men, may thus be portals to what men most lack.

  • Exit

    Anyone who says that sharia law imposed on us by invading foreigners would be a good thing defies the nature of the European man. Semitic and Aryan traditions/people are not compatible. It took Europe over a thousand years to figure this out but it has only begun to protest in “reforms” rather than start from scratch, i.e., return to its own ancestral traditions, ancestral worship, caste morality, etc. Islam and Christianity, no matter how altered, can only lead man further away from the center in an endless trail of counterfeit spirituality and exoteric-theological-moralist dogmas. Abraham is the “party of no”, hence desert is the proper symbol and home of this religion which dries up and suffocates life rather than frees it. Nature is Beauty is Perfection of the Absolute. Semitic religion is world-denying poison which hates beauty because its “god is a jealous god”.

    • Frank Haider

      Europe didn’t return to anything at all. Its offspring America is not a return to anything either. They have the outward appearance of a culture that has Greek-Roman-Germanic influences, but these do not permeate that deeply in our world. We can assume that the Indo-European traditions like those of Religio Romana, Asatru, Greek tradition, Hinduism, and Buddhism are not life denying … that is until we realize that these traditions also have stringent laws and customs. The individual is free to flower if they follow these laws. Where is this ancestor worship? Is this in our remembering and celebrating our ancestors? Everyone does this; few people pray to their ancestors. Caste morality? There are no castes in the West today; a class system is more fluid and forgiving. The West, namely the Germanic peoples, had a more fluid structure than anything under the feudal caste system supported by Christian authorities and ironically its pacific doctrine.

      If we going to speak on an ethnic basis reliable sources do show that Hinduism in its many forms is the synthesis of Indo-European and Dravidian religions. These cultures are extremely strict and conservative even where there is no “Semitic” influence. Even there there is little tolerance for heterodoxy in religion. Guenon and Evola spoke highly of Islam and in Islam a person is viewed for his deeds and most supreme contribution: Guenon was a Muslim. The God of Islam is Beautiful and loves beauty. This is also displayed in the order in which Hu fashioned the universe and all parts of reality. Hu is also The Knower who has given us great wonders, understanding, and insight where we look.

  • Exit

    Islam in practice is not beautiful, but very harsh, because it is meant to counteract the tendencies of savages. Islam is what Christianity was during its peak, i.e., an ignorant and fearful religion which burned at the stake anyone who believed the earth was round, those who displayed esoteric “powers” (yet it’s a miracle if the pope does it right?), and not to mention persecuted women for displaying any sense of sexuality. Do we want to go back to that nonsense?

    Regarding caste and caste morality, how can one lead a traditional life without it? A class system is based on money rather than skill which is the reverse of traditional vocations. Under this class system big business decides what the culture and laws are, and this has not been countered by Christian churches which have wholly supported the democratic system. One should not turn to Christianity because of its established authenticity, for on the contrary, Christianity has always been in flux and continues to change while claiming to be eternal, absolute and unchanging. Moreover, whatever meaning and power and influence the church had was lost once democracy became the established system, but this may be going a bit off-topic.

    Regarding ancestor worship, there is something called the solidarity of the race which we sorely lack these days. This solidarity does not come from reading made-up fairy tales about Jews in the MidEast. It comes from establishing our own identity.

  • Frank Haider

    The descendants of the ancient Aryans practice Christianity and Islam, especially in Persia and the Indian subcontinent. You may argue that because they have dark skin that they have mixed, but genetics does not say that at all. For example, the adaptation of European people to different surroundings has yielded great diversity in phenotype from near-brown like the Greeks to the red-haired Celts who can trace their origin from the original migrations. The Arya people are not the only civilized people on the planet. To believe so neglects that the Sumerians, Chinese, and Egyptians started before other peoples and have no connection at all to Indo-European steppe dwellers. Ancient Europeans before Rome and Greece would have been considered outright savages in their way-of-life and in their beliefs. Polytheist and tolerant does not equal civilized.

    That was not a defense of the class system at all, but rather saying that The Catholic and Orthodox Churches before their decline were the vanguard of a caste system, of a traditional life, and of spirituality in the European dominion. At least after the Roman Empire which had a fluid system in itself for capable soldiers and thinkers. The reason why many churches accept the doctrine of corporatism is because they are now at its whim. Some churches are outright products of modernity. The original and authentic core of Christianity did not change much at all. It was the followers and the outcomes of the Second Vatican Council as well as the Russian Revolution which brought secular nationalism to be important than The Lord in the eyes of nations.

    A person can practice Islam and not have to neglect their identity at all. Many of the people who practice Islam have very strong identities that trace to an origin before Islam and their culture retains those traits not considered against the heart of the faith. The Muslims of old were rather tolerant. Many Christians in many countries, particularly those in rural areas have a very strong attachment to their culture.

  • Exit

    We know firsthand how non-Europeans behave when they enter our homelands and subvert our way of life. If you don’t understand this then nothing further that you have to say is worth commenting on. However, I will say that you are trying to turn Islam into a paradise which it is not. I wish you could go to these non-European countries and see for yourself how stupid, evil, and superstitious these people are. Indeed, many Christians are the same way because it is a foreign semitic culture that they practice. That you think the Muslims of old were tolerant is entirely laughable considering Islam spread through conquest. No, Islam has not changed.

    • Frank Haider

      The type of people chose for the guest worker programs says enough about that. There is always a difference between intelligent people and people who lack intelligence, especially in their achievements and behavior. Having been to Europe, I have seen the great difference between your immigrants and our immigrants even from the same country. Islam is legalist, but this is necessary to understand its mysteries. Religions deprive for a reason, and it does not seem much harsher than the authentic variants of other faiths.

      The historical records shows more than one path for the spread of Islam: The early conquests were necessary to eliminate the threat of The Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Persia which saw that region as in dispute but rightfully belonging to each of them. An alliance between the Persians and Byzantines could have destroyed the nascent Caliphate. There have been revolving conquests and missionary expeditions in other religious realms. Some of these missions were peaceful, others violent. Europeans Christianized other Europeans primarily by the sword. While the area today considered Islam was conquered by the sword, the conversions occurred more pragmatically over a rather long time period.

      How are many of the behaviors of many moderns not superstitious, stupid, and therefore evil? Many of them do not exactly live by an authentically scientific worldview? I have stated before that it is not my desire to see countries flooded and their characters changed, but only for a religious revival fostered by natives embracing Islam and even Christianity if it will stall moral decay.

  • Exit

    Morals are relative. I’d rather live in a libertarian nation which though immoral still preserves my identity than to live amongst strangers who put on a cloak of semitic religious exoterism. The kind of Islam being practiced today, like Christianity, is a counterfeit, legalist, sentimentalist, absurdity that is devoid of the true spirit but synonymous with a police state moralism. “Give me liberty or give me death” is the famous American motto. Where has this gone?

    And let us not delude ourselves into thinking that the Muslims are moral or more moral than us because they have a semitic religion. I know of many atheists who are more moral than religious people especially for the fact that they don’t need some imaginary god telling them what to do–they use their own minds to discern what is right.

    • Frank Haider

      The esoteric tradition in Islam exists, it requires the sincerity of the believer in adherence to The Law. Tasawwuf is the inner dimension of Islam that goes beyond legalism. What I can tell you is this, I mourn that America much myself, but it was not morally libertarian nor could it succeed so easily economically today.

      No more arguments needed. You have made your case and I have made mine. Lakum dinukum wa liya din.

  • oete

    Exit presents an interesting perspective. Let us review some facts:

    -Islam is in better health than Christianity, including Catholicism.

    -Islam, in general, is not as ‘bright’ a religion as it might have been during its earlier ages. To minimize generalities, let us say rather that the average Muslim of today is far from untainted by the modern spirit (even and especially those of a fundamentalist bent), yet not completely decadent. So the future leaves room for either improvement or degeneration amongst the followers of this religion.

    -The motto “Give me liberty or give me death” rather grimly summarizes the current predicament. As much as Exit would hope for something tangible to preserve that European character that discernibly survives in Western societies today, and can be readily contrasted with the sometimes savage nature of Arabs etc., there is no form by which to effect this. And without an appropriate living form, even a small number of esoteric actors can (presumably) do little to concentrate their power in defense of a society from dissolution.

    So, if liberty can only persist within Western society under its present form, it must be temporary because sooner or later we expect this society to collapse into some kind of mess, perhaps leaving the capable Western man to pursue liberty in the wilds like a noble savage. In this case, therefore, it is “Give me a bit more liberty, then death”.

    Alternatively, there is the assimilation of the dying West by some eastern civilisation, say Islam. I must suggest that the excessive pessimism displayed by Exit and others who portray such an eventuality so darkly is evidence of a sentimental inclination (ironically, Exit criticizes the sentimental tendency of the Abrahamic faiths). Now, for the masses such an eventuality might be arduous and traumatizing, and my admission of this might be enough to excuse Exit’s pessimism. In this case, therefore, it is “My liberty is no longer mine, I must be dead”.

    Finally, let me add that I have not yet encountered any discussions pertaining to a less passive solution to the problem of assimilation. I will briefly outline one:

    Instead of passively sustaining assimilation, the intelligent Westerner would use the alien faith as a form to concentrate any spiritual vitality that he still possessed, well before the prospect of forceful assimilation appeared on the horizon. This is a great strategy – you anticipate the future and take up the religion that would have been forced upon you. You play by the rules, and (as Mr Haider mentions above) you retain those elements of your culture that do not conflict with the heart of the adopted faith (besides, no Arab needs to know what goes on behind closed doors in the European Muslim quarter). Your enemy, waking up one morning to pursue you over the plains, finds you in his living room cooking breakfast – you are now his roommate!

    In this case, therefore, it is “I’ll pretend I’m dead, to keep my liberty”.

    Sadly, the individualism of the Western person renders this last possibility highly unlikely, because we would not find the charisma and group cohesion required to make it work.

    • Hoc Signo

      I don’t think that Islam is exactly the beautiful cohesive force that it’s portrayed as. Islam as a religion proscribes everything and leaves very little room for independent thought beyond the bounds. As much as people mock the Christian Church for being stuffy guardians of ritual — Islam is worse because of the Jihadic idea. Maybe Catholics are a bit hidebound in that they don’t allow for contraception. But they aren’t going to harm you if you happen to get some on your own.

      The answer to the problems of Western discohesion are not found by attempting to turn Europe and America into Islamic civilizations. The answer is not allowing thousands upon thousands of tiny cults of wicca or paganism (both of which, at least in the modern incarnation lack the ability to tell a person NO), but it rediscovering the Church itself. The Church, particularly the Catholic church have the power of moral force, while still not being the type that would wage war over doctrine.

      • Arthur

        I don’t think they are advocating converting Europe to Islam, although I personally can’t imagine the Muslims being any worse than the feminists, the Zionists, or the liberals. However one might ask, hypothetically, if the situation had been reversed, and Mohammed had been born among the Gauls or the Goths, if Islam today would be a cohesive force. Even Hitler was reported to have said that Shintoism and Islam were more compatible to the spirit ancient Germanic peoples than the Christianity of his day. From this, one could argue that it is not so much a question of religious confession, as an attitude.

        Islam certainly was cohesive for the Arabs, as a religion, just as Christianity was once cohesive for the Europeans, and Confucianism is still somewhat cohesive for the Chinese. However, if we wish to establish Catholicism in Europe, it would be very difficult these days. In this regard, there is much that we as Europeans might learn from Islam. We absolutely need at least some measure of “extremism”, because the secular system isn’t coming down without a few shots being fired.