April 20, 2017
Extremism in Alternative Spirituality
It is interesting that those into New age philosophy, Theosophy and metaphysics see themselves as the tolerant inclusive ones whereas the Christian Right is often condemned as exclusive, intolerant, narrow minded and too judgmental. Often the word “extreme” is thrown out in their direction, for they are seen as interpreting things too literally and not seeing the middle way of balance.
So are the alternative spiritual folks as fair and balanced as they present themselves or do they merely duplicate the same faults as orthodox religion, but on the other side of duality?
From my analysis both sides exhibit similar faults. The main difference is in the vocabulary used and the point of attention. Also both sides have many of the same virtues. Neither is all good or all bad.
Here are just a few illusions shared by them both:
Christian Right (CR): Accept our version of Jesus and be saved.
Alternative Spirituality (AS): Accept our message and be saved by (1) Aliens (2) Increased vibration into the fifth dimension (3) Into some paradise after death.
CR: The end is near and the Apocalypse and end of the world is upon us. Only the righteous will be saved.
AS: Humans are bent on destruction, which is coming soon. Only the enlightened will be saved.
Others fear that global warming will bring the end of humanity within a few decades.
CR: Many are too materialistic.
AS: Many of these are also too materialistic seeking mainly wealth and abundance for self.
CR: They are too exclusive, not accepting those who think differently than themselves.
AS: These see themselves as being inclusive, but many reject anything from the Christian right with little attempt to be inclusive or understanding toward them.
CR: They are too black and white in their thinking.
AS: We also see many here who have the same problem, but just in a different belief system.
The bottom line is that there are similar problems with the people in every belief system. Even many of those who are in a highly advanced and fairly accurate belief system benefit little from it because their thoughts have crystalized and are subject to errors in thinking just as much as a more simple ideology.
A huge problem in all belief systems is the black and white approach by many of the rank and file which leads to taking an extreme position.
It is interesting that alternative spiritualty generally see this as a problem for orthodox religious fundamentalists and not themselves. Unfortunately, the problem also exists with them but because it is centered around a different set of beliefs many have a blind spot about it.
Many esoteric students may be perplexed to hear such a statement and would ask: “In what way am I too black and white or extreme?”
In answering this keep in mind that we are all different and we can never paint with a brush that covers everyone, but in some cases the bush affects more than should be the case.
Here is the problem with folks in alternative spirituality. Many are centered strongly on the sixth ray of idealism and have been presented wonderful ideals through their books and their teachers. Some of these ideals are inspiring and will someday manifest intelligently on this planet. The problem humanity has is in manifesting these ideals is that the path is very difficult and complex. Believers are often impatient and want all wonderful ideals to manifest immediately. This often causes them to take a black and white simplistic approach leading to extremism.
The most universal ideal held by alternative spirituality is that of peace.
Just as it is with most ideals peace is indeed very desirable and most everyone wants it. The trouble with many alternative folks is that they go to the extreme in wanting it at any price. Some think all that should be involved here is that everyone just needs to lay down their arms and shake hands.
Unfortunately, the way to peace is a long road and sometimes on that road war may be necessary. The reason for this is that there are things more important than peace. First and foremost is the freedom of the human spirit and sometimes to maintain this a conflict is necessary and the enemy in that conflict must be defeated.
One good thing that came from the experience of World War II is that most of the world now, on hindsight, see that a demarcation was made between good and evil. Hitler and the Nazis were fighting for a cause that diminished freedom and the Allies were fighting to maintain freedom.
Many other wars were controversial and did not have a lot of public support, but most agree that Hitler had to be confronted and defeated.
During the war many alternative folks were pacifists and against the war. They would have rather let Hitler take control and yield to him than resist.
One of the few esoteric teachers who spoke common sense on this issue was Djwhal Khul through Alice A. Bailey. He said this:
“I would say to those who preach a passive attitude in the face of evil and human suffering and who endorse a pacifism which involves no risks: With what do you propose to fight the forces of aggression, of treachery, evil and destruction which are today stalking over our planet? What weapons do you bring to this combat? How will you begin to stem the onslaught and arrest the whirlwind? Will you use prayers for peace, and then patiently wait for the forces of good to fight your battle and for God to do the work? I tell you that your prayers and your wishes are unavailing when divorced from right and potent action. Your prayers and petitions may reach the throne of God, symbolically speaking, but then the reply comes forth: The Forces of Light will strengthen your arms and turn the tide in your favour if you stand up and fight for that which you desire. Who will arrest the progress of aggressive selfishness if the men and women of goodwill rest back upon their idealism and do naught that is practical to justify their hope or aid in the materialisation of the desired ideal.
“There are those in the world today who (despite past national selfishness and wrong) are fearlessly and with true insight fighting humanity’s battle, and with them the Hierarchy stands, as it has ever stood on the side of liberty, right understanding and correct attitudes in human affairs. I would say to those who cry, “Peace, peace when there is no peace”: Are you going to profit by their death and sacrifice when the ultimate triumph of the Forces of Light comes to pass? Are you going to take the position that you can then live in a safe world because others gave their lives that you might do so? Are you going to issue forth from the safe security of your pacifist alibi and gratefully acknowledge what they have done and grasp your share of the gains which they have purchased at such a cost? I would warn you not to be glamoured by the false premise that you must stand by your hard-earned convictions, even at the expense of other peoples’ lives and the downfall of nations, forgetting that fear and false pride will make this argument of importance to you. Are the peace-minded people of the world going to reap the benefits of a peace for which they have paid no price? It is the people who value peace above all else who are today seeking by every possible method to stop Germany.”
The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Page 233
DK also criticized the nations that remained neutral throughout the war indicating they had accumulated some negative karma by doing so.
George Orwell also saw this from a similar angle as noted by Michael Kelly in the Washington Post:
“In 1942 George Orwell wrote this, in Partisan Review, of Great Britain’s pacifists: ‘Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist.’ This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.’ England’s pacifists howled, but Orwell’s logic was implacable. The Nazis wished the British to not fight. If the British did not fight, the Nazis would conquer Britain. The British pacifists also wished the British to not fight. The British pacifists, therefore, were on the side of a Nazi victory over Britain. They were objectively pro-Fascist.”
Jesus is often cited as an example to follow by the pacifists but even of him it is written:
“in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Rev 19:11
Even the scripture of the peaceable Hindus, The Bhagavad Gita, supports war in the right circumstance:
Arjuna was faced with a similar prospect to many in the American Civil War and said this to Krishna:
How can I do battle with my kinsmen, with those I love and who have loved me, for whom I have cared, as they once cared for me? Though they have gathered to serve Duryodhana’s folly, to deprive us of our birthright, to kill me and my brothers on this battlefield, how can I fight them? My body trembles at the thought. My bow falls from my hands. My flesh burns. My arms and legs have no strength. My mind is confused; my reason confounded. I am lost.
… To act is to bring upon us a day of pitch darkness. We have come here for the sake of an earthly kingdom; … But by acting, we reserve for ourselves only a place in Hell. It is best for me if Duryodhana and his armies come before me. Disarmed by doubt, I will not resist them as they kill me. This will be my best reward. These were Arjuna’s words to Krishna as the two armies awaited Arjuna’s signal to begin the battle.
With Arjuna’s words sounding in his ears, Krishna’s spirit quickened. He spoke to Arjuna, whose eyes burned with tears, overwhelmed by despair. Krishna said: —What shameful words are these, Arjuna? This is the hour of trial. Why do you falter? Your despondent grief enfeebles you; it dishonors you. Slunk in the trenches of despair, you will win neither heaven nor earth. Do not exchange arrows and bow for impotence and cowardice; this is not your way. Do not yield to these faults or to this weakness. Rise up and fight!”
Arjuna said: —How can I fight them, immortal Krishna? These enemies are my teachers from earliest youth. How can I cut them down when they deserve only my veneration? It is better to wander in rags, begging for alms, than to sprinkle the bread of my sustenance with their blood.
… With these words, Arjuna cried out: —I will not fight! and said nothing more.
Krishna smiled, hinting of laughter, and spoke gently to Arjuna as they stood between the two armies. Krishna said: —Do not weep tears for them. Though your words are sincere and full of insight, your sorrow profits no one. Tears are wasted on the dead; the wise do not grieve for the living or the dead, for life and death shall pass away. —In time we have always been, both you and I and all these kings of men; and we will always be. Putting on the body of the child, the youth, the old man, a wise man does not wonder that in death, the Self passes into another body. … Even if you believe that a man is born again and again, and that he dies again and again, you should not grieve, for in death birth is inevitable and in birth death is inevitable. Being born, he must die. In death, he is reborn. If you understand this, then you will not grieve for the loss of what can never be lost.
Do your duty, Arjuna. Act without hesitation. For the warrior, the greatest good is lawful war against an evil enemy. A lawful war opens the doors of heaven for you. Enter therein, Arjuna. Rejoice in good fortune that this battle is joined. But if you shrink before this battle or turn your back upon your duty, casting aside honor, this is a grievous transgression. Men will recount your shame, dishonor, and disgrace now and in the future. They shall say cowards possess the courage of Arjuna. For one honored, the loss of honor is worse than death. Great warriors will accuse you of cowardice; those who once honored you will treat you with contempt. Your enemies will rejoice in mocking you. They will laugh and say, “See how Arjuna fled before us, a deer among lions.” Death in battle is better than the mocking derision of enemies. —If you are victorious, you gain glory in this world. If you are defeated and cut down on this field, you gain glory in the next world. Arise and fight, Arjuna. Glory is upon you. Be detached from happiness and unhappiness, gain or loss, victory or defeat. Be resolved to fight, or you will fall into error.
The pacifists have the right ideal, but in pursuing an ideal judgments must be made and sometimes the path to achievement will have some obstacles to overcome.
The seeker must ever realize that there is a time and place for all things.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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