Killing the Messiah and Other Things to Do in Your Spare Time
by Mark Stavish
A Bit of Wisdom for the Road
There is an old saying that became the title of a popular book in the 1970’s that says, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” This effort at shock therapy means to convey the point that we each have to work through the process of external authorities and become self-reliant on the Path of Awakening. In more recent times I think it can also be applied to nearly every New Age, Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, and even an increasing number of Buddhist books (all by Westerners, by the way) that come through my mail box, but in a different manner. The fundamental theme is this, and can often be read in the subtitles of these publications, “With this book, you can transform yourself and the world.” Emphasis added.
Whether such titles reflect the marketing angle of the publishers, to ingratiate themselves into the codependent needs of so many of their readers, or the messianic delusions of the authors and their unresolved mommy and daddy issues remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that it is destructive to the actual well-being of far too many people who turn to modern spirituality for real assistance in solving real problems in their lives.
Making the World a Better Place
The notion that one is ‘doing this to make the world a better place’ rather than to untangle the psychological mess they call a psyche is blatantly dishonest in light of the many highly criticized books that focus on practical aspects of the unconscious in day to day living. This is true in the best-selling The Secret, wherein at least its readers are clearly wanting to make specific changes in their life, even if it involves such ridiculous statements as seeing the universe as a shopping catalog!
The point here is very simple: when we undertake some form of esoteric or occult work, we need to be clear about our motivations as well as our objectives. Far too often, people are deceiving themselves about their true motivations resulting only in further failure and personal suffering. It is important that we attempt to help others, this newsletter for example, however to do that we must help ourselves first.
Self-wisdom and Self-reliance are Keys
In A Secret History of Consciousness, author Gary Lachman quotes Jean Gebser in saying, “The world will never become a paradise. If it did, its existence would become illusory. Let us not deceive ourselves and succumb to false hopes. The world will not become much better, merely a little different, and perhaps somewhat more appreciative of the things that really matter.”
The notion of creating a heaven on earth is rooted in a corruption of the values of the Abrahamic religions. In fact, most of the Utopian movements of the twentieth century, be it National Socialism, Communism, Maoism, or just about any -ism that promises to renew a country, culture, or the world can be found to have its roots – or at least it popular metaphors – there. Its fruit has so far always been death behind barbed wire or mass graves in an open field for tens of millions of human beings.
More on Social Order and Politics
Alain Danielou writes that social order, the kind that modern progressive movements and their shadowy New Age supporters advocate, can only be established and maintained over vast stretches of time when it recognizes natural human differences and inclinations, any effort to ignore them, such as in modern political structures, will inevitably lead to warfare and class struggle:
“The naïve and romantic social ideas of Europeans who preach the equality of man but insist that equality must be on the level of their own beliefs, way of life, customs, clothing, feeding habits, hygiene, and so on can only lead to genocide or false assimilation, which will in the end destroy the society that fathered it. (One need only read the news to see the truth of this statement.)”
In addition, he states:
“The establishment of a world order that is stable and just and allows each individual to fulfill the four aims of life [virtue, success, pleasure and liberation] involves returning to a form of society that recognizes the realities of race and caste, in order to implement a social structure that prevents any race or caste from encroaching on the others or oppressing or destroying them. Far from guiding the world toward an ideal future for human society, democratic ideas are probably no more than a brief period of romantic politics, which will lead the world into great turmoil. The social and political ideologies of the modern West will probably appear as childish and absurd to our descendants as they seem irresponsible and incoherent to traditional Hindus today.”
More importantly to our readers, the notion of fixing or recreating the world means that there is something that needs to be fixed. Inevitably a host of “social issues” are raised to support the point being made. Unfortunately, from an esoteric point of view, one cannot believe in ‘injustice’ and karma simultaneously. The seeds of habituation, karma if you will, must burn themselves out. For if not, we will waste any efforts at genuine, lasting inner unfoldment.
Wisdom to Change the World Starts with Us
The world does not need fixing or changing, what must be encouraged to happen is the unfoldment of inner consciousness of each individual. As each of us changes and experiences the light of our Inner Christ or Self, the world is automatically changed as well. We need to do nothing, for it is already done.
This light can then be directed, but let us be careful and practical that we focus it on helping others become our peers in the light, lest we suffer the error of Paul, who on his way to Damascus fell blinded by the light and then proceeded to shape Christianity in a manner that it is still suffering from ever since. One could argue that despite Paul’s having regained his sight, he never really did, and that the danger of mistaking one’s personal illumination for a more global one, becoming messianic in the process, is the real message of this Gospel story.
Seeing the Importance of the Individual
It is easy to read a deeper meaning into the words of Ezra Taft Benson, who described this corruption aptly in saying:
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world takes people out of slums, the Lord takes the slums out of people…The world would mold men by changing their environment, Christ changes men who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”
On a practical level, it is far better, easier, safer and more satisfying to follow the words of former United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor away diligently for the salvation of the masses.” To this we must add, we only help others by helping them learn to become our peers, and not by temporary measures that allow them to remain in a subservient and dependent state of unconsciousness.
Mastering the Mystery of Love and Spirit
In his book, The Philosopher’s Fire – A History of the Imagination, author Patrick Harpur states:
“The sacred marriage belongs in myth, not in fact. Like the marriage of heaven and earth, it is the image we think of as the goal of myth. It is not a literal goal, however, but rather an image which underlies the dynamics of Imagination as it constantly shifts contradictions it cannot reconcile onto different metaphorical levels…. If, on the other hand, a sacred marriage was to step out of myth into history, it could only do so (we are led to believe) by the mystery of love – but then only in an intimate way, through the love between two people, or between a person and God. Love might be able to be sustained by a few people – at most – through that special communal love called agape. Christian agape presupposes a group of people selflessly united in a love of God – a group of individuals, that is, already transformed by a high degree of initiation. Such a community becomes impossible above a certain number. It makes no sense to believe think that it might by some ‘evolution’ become embodied in a culture larger than a small tribe.”
The Group and the Individual, by Example
A look at Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Tipping Point, previously mentioned in one of our posts, states that social research on group dynamics is quite clear that the maximum number of any group that is based upon extreme cohesion is one-hundred and forty-four. Once this number is exceeded, even if by only a few additional members, the tendency towards splitting to form a new group or sub-group naturally arises. It is interesting to note that in some of the old by-laws and constitutions of several esoteric orders this was the maximum number of members allowed in a single working lodge.
It is imperative in today’s climate that we remember these points and seek to improve ourselves first, that we may be an example to others, rather than seek to make the world a perfect place. The reduction of esotericism into a mass movement, political message, or spear bearer of a social cause is indicative of the darkness of the Age of Destruction in which we live. We must ignore these siren calls from the shadows of our psyche and instead, focus our attention on the light that illuminates the darkness and guides us to the safe harbor of wisdom.
About the Author
Originally published in VOXHERMES on 18 January 2009.
Source: OM Times