Jay Dyer, What’s the Endgame for Atheists? |352|

#41
Man I feel like we're on kind of a cold streak when it comes to the podcasts.
Yup, we seem to be immersed in another Christian-themed streak (in this case, Satanism being an offshoot). My opinion remains the same as the last one, most of this board is way beyond organized religion by this point and the few that are Christian are beyond fundamentalism as far as I can tell. It's just incredibly redundant. I have been hoping to get something on the "VR thing" for a while (as mentioned a while back), or at least a follow-up on something else (Bem, Parnia, Diane Powell, whatever).
 
#42
Great post! Have you read David Ray Griffin? He gets into the alliance between the domineering Church of the Enlightenment Era and the way it allied with mechanistic-materialists against the esoteric/occultists.

It's amusing as history is presented as these two forces - Religious Fundamentalism & Scientism - being opposed but they spring from the same root of denying the magic(k), elan vital, whatever you call it of the world. The Church wanted this to be a dead, directionless world overseen by God from whom all spiritual power springs, but Scientism just ejected the "overseen by God" part.

It's interesting to think if the Gnostic Gospels had been popularized and dominated the Christian scene right as the Esotericists were in vogue...
I haven't read him, no.

I think it's a vast oversimplification and mistake to categorise a blanket 'THE Church' as in favour of a 'dead, directionless world'. I think that's rather a very modern point of view - starting with Theism after Newton. Christian sects have generally tended to emphasis an active, personal, intervening God rather than the distant Maker of Theism who 'wound up the clockwork of the Universe' and then let it run.

But there certainly have been many diverse trends in Christianity's 2000 year history, and the Roman church after Augustine I think did tend to base its views of theology on Imperial politics, putting a lot of power at the top of the pyramid - rather than, perhaps, on the Jewish Prophets who tend to be very critical of the very idea of monarchy.

And the Protestants of 500-or-so years ago had quite a complicated view of God: on the one hand very formal, abstract, contractual and legal, in a way that meshed well with the rising capitalism of the time, and on the other (like the Quakers and Shakers) placing a premium on direct personal perceived/experienced spirituality, with very radical anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist politics.

Very many new religious orders within the Catholic Church, and Protestant movements outside it, were founded on the idea that *direct experience* was important. Most recently Christian Science, the Pentecostals, and then the Charismatics. And that's not even looking at the various visionaries who claim to have encountered 'Jesus' but not in any particular church framework.

It's been a constant dialogue, is what I'm saying, between formalism and experientialism, and that's just in the Western Church. On the Orthodox side, I don't actually know a lot about the theological battles.

Some of the Gnostic Gospels I think are closer to the original teachings of Jesus than many 'official' church teachings since. Others seem a bit more like fanfic.

Regards, Nate
 
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#43
Ah, so capital-o Orthodox, as in Greek/Russian, not 'orthodox' in the sense of 'fundamentalist' (maintaining orthodoxy).

(My confusion comes about because very many Evangelicals DO self-describe themselves as 'orthodox'. Case in point: 'A Generous Orthodoxy' by Brian McLaren, who's very much on the left wing of Evangelicalism - hence the 'generous', to the right-wing's 'orthodoxy' http://www.zondervan.com/a-generous-orthodoxy ).

I should look up more about Jay Dyer; I would say, though, that (as I mentioned earlier), there has been a deep, if perhaps one-way, connection established in the last decade between US Evangelicals and the Russian Orthodox Church. US Evangelicals of a particular cultural-warrior tribe look to Russian Orthodoxy as 'the last defenders of Europe'. Russian Orthodoxy politically skews right-wing to the point of literally embracing actual fascism:

http://religiondispatches.org/how-o...came-the-spiritual-home-of-white-nationalism/

The same article that declared Matthew Heimbach a rising star of the far-right also mentioned in passing that his racial views had “led to his excommunication from his Orthodox Christian church.” It was mercifully excluded that Heimbach’s excommunication came only weeks after his formal reception into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and then only after immense pressure following the online circulation of photographs in which Heimbach appears to be beating a University of Indiana at Bloomington SlutWalk participant with an Orthodox cross.

While Heimbach’s excommunication by the Antiochian bishop means that he is technically unable to receive the sacraments in any canonical Orthodox church, he claims to have found a sympathetic priest in Romania who allows him to communion with full knowledge of the priest’s bishop. It might be easy to dismiss this claim as a half-hearted attempt to save face by a self-aggrandizing racist. Heimbach’s story, however, is not just plausible. It is, in light of so much of the modern Orthodox church’s relationship with the far-right, highly likely.

It is this relationship that has, at least in part, propelled Orthodoxy into the position of “go-to religion” for the white supremacist movement that would prefer to be known as the “alt-right“—not just in the United States, but around the world. When priests in Corinth sprinkle holy water around the new campaign office of the Greek Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and the Patriarch of Moscow embraces Vladimir Putin with a gusto that might have embarrassed his tsarist predecessors, there is little doubt as to why Orthodoxy seems appealing to a white nationalist movement. This is especially true since Orthodox opposition to neo-fascism of this kind has been far less frequent and considerably less public.​

And so I wouldn't be surprised if Dyer comes from that cultural-warrior faction. He is certainly talking in the very same terms that the Evangelicals I read in the 1980s and 1990s used, who were deeply connected to the US political right wing

I find Orthodoxy's recent embrace of neo-fascism very sad because theologically, I think they have a warmer and more interesting take on Christianity: as others have mentioned, Orthodox theology has a lot less emphasis on 'original sin' than Roman and Protestant theology, and a lot more emphasis on direct personal experience of the Divine within. (Eg the meditative tradition of Hesychasm - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesychasm )


In 2010 Dyer wrote this critique of the Perennial Tradition, which (like that term itself) I find both interesting and deeply problematic at the same time:

https://jaysanalysis.com/2010/07/11/justin-martyr-huxley-and-the-perennial-philosophy/

Thus, the perennial philosophy as it is so-called is hard to decipher and hard to pin down, but the point I have been making above cancels out the blasphemies and attacks on God that are common in liberal circles, as well as modern new world order proponents like Aldous Huxley, who in his The Perennial Philosophy seeks to destroy the notion of a single Personal God, and thereby destroy the notion of personhood. Once the notion of personhood is gone as a metaphysical doctrine, it can be granted (and removed) at will via the apotheosized world-state. Yes, literally, by the pantheistic future world government. Huxley is quite candid about this, too. But all such attempts at deification of the state and destroying the biblical tradition are doomed to fail.
..
We must begin with the Personal God who guides history by His providence. Only in this metaphysic do we have a grounded notion of person and protect the rights of the individual from the superstate-play-acting-as-God. We must then toss out the ‘traditionalists’ school of Coomaraswamy, Huxley and others, which really comes from Hinduism and is the sludge of the occult tradition passed down through the ages.​

A couple of notes that express my ambivalence:

1. That passage attacking Huxley (author also of Brave New World, which reads as conservative critique of materialism AND of a world-state) is quite odd in its logic, and yet very familiar to me from the 1980s 'Anti-New Age' works I read.

The argument that 'perennial philosophy leads to destroying the notion of personhood, which leads to a world-state' is... yeah. It needs a lot of unpacking. I believe it to be mostly wrong. Yet it underpins a lot of Christian Right thinking - a movement that currently has almost unlimited amounts of money and political power.

2. What Dyer says about the links between Huxley's 'Perennial Tradition' and the 'Traditionalists' is quite true. But what he doesn't make clear is that this very specific school of Traditionalism descends from historical Italian Fascism and is strongly linked to neo-fascism. In fact, the Traditionalists were actually critical, in the 1930s, of the German Nazis for not being far right enough.

The 1980s Anti-New-Age books that I read made this same reference to Traditionalism, too. I found it odd then but less odd now, knowing the political entanglements between these groups. I believe Traditionalism, specifically, has provided a lot of the religious and political underpinnings of the modern Christian Right in America since Reagan.

Why do (groups apparently descended from) Traditionalists attack Huxley so virulently, when he seems to have been influential in the founding of their movement?

I now think it must be because Huxley himself was as critical of Traditionalist views (and their sympathy for Fascism) as he was of materialism.

Also of note. The Traditionalists seem to have an incredibly deep rooted fear of India (and 'Hindu' influences) specifically. This was in the 1980s Christian Evangelical material too. If it's anything like their fear of Huxley, I assume something must have happened between groups that were very similarly oriented and deeply connected, until they split.

Wikipedia on Traditionalism:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditionalist_School

Steve Bannon's links to Traditionalism:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html?_r=0

Vladimir Putin's links to Traditionalism: https://stanfordpolitics.com/eurasi...rstanding-and-confronting-russia-7e0c2eef6288

"The Spiritual Fascism of Rene Guenon and his Followers"
http://textosdeinteresse.blogspot.co.nz/2008/05/spiritual-fascism-of-rene-guenon-and.html

I don't 100% agree with this last author; obviously I hold different theological views to him, and I also think, like many recovering cult-exiters, he's a bit too hostile generally; but his writing is extensively footnoted and he makes some excellently well argued points about the political linkages he personally observed. And I think this material is important to understand our current political moment in 2017, in US and UK politics particularly.

Regards, Nate
 
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#44
I suspect that religious bigots have historically lumped atheists and satanists together. Some atheists have definitely played up to this caricture with playful mischievous intent. I wouldn't read much more into this.

Christian religious zealots now and in the past always had a powerful missionary zeal and tended to demonize and destroy anything that contradicts their cherished narrow dogma. A funny example of this(and there are thousands) was when Catholic missionaries first arrived on the Japanese Islands and saw the elaborate rituals of Buddhist priests, with rosaries, tonsures, modest clothes etc. they literally thought that Satan himself beat them in coming here first and established a mockery of Christianity.
 
#45
Alex exposed his fundamental contradiction. He began the interview with an openness to explore experiences as a way to expand science, and ended the interview by insisting we can't trust our experiences. The knots we tie ourselves in, ay?
Well wouldn't you say it was Jay Dyer who twisted himself in knots. I mean, he began the interview explaining the problems with a lot of modern scientific knowledge - the fact that it has become distorted by all sorts of corruption, but he couldn't seem to imagine that something similar might have happened to Christianity.

I don't want to base my ideas around some ancient text that described an NDE (say), I want to base it on the ongoing evidence that these things really happen, and that they can't be adequately explained conventionally.

Frankly, I also reject a religion built around the idea that those who don't believe, are tortured for eternity (or even for a while) under the control of a loving God!

David
 
#46
I have been forced to spend a few weekends with a third wave feminist that has a blood connection to my wife... And this actually seems plausible.
If we assume for a moment that evil forces are real - and I guess I do - then it is reasonable to assume that they may infiltrate many movements. I think it is obvious that a number of extremely well meaning movements have been corrupted - particularly by intolerance and hatred - in recent times.

Are you able to elaborate your remark?

David
 
#47
That seems like one hell of a reach... I really don't think so, most of the atheists I know from my own time as one are anal about order and *really* hate the idea of the unknown, so a pinball/pool ball universe is very comforting to them.
I would have said that, but then I was staggered to see the links between Hilary Clinton and satanic art! This is supposed to be a refutation of those claims, but it reads more like a confirmation:

http://www.snopes.com/john-podesta-spirit-cooking/
I know that there is also a branch that is ideologically motivated and aligned with leftist ideology, increasing in quantity the more you move towards Marxist ideas. But Satanism? That reminds me of a troll that we had here a few weeks ago that insisted that NDEs were "satanic deception".
I agree, and I think the real answer to such nonsense, is to ask the troll if he really believes in a god that let's people be tricked into something seemingly benign, and then wants to torture them in Hell as a punishment for being being duped. It is rather as though anyone snared by an email scam, was sent to prison for 10 years because they had inadvertently funded criminality!

David
 
#48
Well wouldn't you say it was Jay Dyer who twisted himself in knots. I mean, he began the interview explaining the problems with a lot of modern scientific knowledge - the fact that it has become distorted by all sorts of corruption, but he couldn't seem to imagine that something similar might have happened to Christianity.

I don't want to base my ideas around some ancient text that described an NDE (say), I want to base it on the ongoing evidence that these things really happen, and that they can't be adequately explained conventionally.

Frankly, I also reject a religion built around the idea that those who don't believe, are tortured for eternity (or even for a while) under the control of a loving God!

David
To be clear, I agree. Alex exposed Jay's inconsistent position. I understand how my post could be misinterpreted.
 
#49
If we assume for a moment that evil forces are real - and I guess I do - then it is reasonable to assume that they may infiltrate many movements. I think it is obvious that a number of extremely well meaning movements have been corrupted - particularly by intolerance and hatred - in recent times.

Are you able to elaborate your remark?

David
There is nothing more 'evil' than being locked in with a machine that spits half-baked pseudo-sociopolitical nonsense for three days... Except having to host your mother-in-law for the same timeframe.

I really don't want to get into that much detail, since I know that it may ruffle some feathers, but third-wave feminism is pure and utter BS, it is not about actual rights like suffrage or the push behind the Equal Rights Amendment, but about self-victimization, being a demagogue and arbitrary guilt distribution. My experience with it is that these third-wave feminists don't even master the mediocre aspect that is the relevant 'theory', but act out of a loose understanding and a lot of appeal to emotion.

Edit: About Hilary and 'satanic' art, I'm fairly sure that was more about a 1990s 'artist' (everyone is an 'artist' these days...) trying to be edgy.
 
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#50
About Hilary and 'satanic' art, I'm fairly sure that was more about a 1990s 'artist' (everyone is an 'artist' these days...) trying to be edgy.
Well if someone makes 'art' out of displaying people in a way that makes them look like mutilated corpses, I think that is pretty sick - and worrying if that person also wants to be POTUS.

I saw an interview with HC well before the election in which she described her hobbies - they were all rather homely. Why didn't she say, "But I have an interest in satanic art - we have dinners to celebrate this expression of the human condition!"? Instead we learned about this passion of hers via a hacked email!

I was amazed to hear in the podcast that Richard Wiseman is interested in such stuff:

https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/would-you-sign-a-pact-with-the-devil/

David
 

Alex

Administrator
#51
I've actually been thinking about this very question lately -- we know the manufacturing process for making the new atheists, but what in that belief system is so desirous for them to believe?

I think you can sum it up with this:

Which is maybe why they're so ok with Transhumanism?
brilliant connection! thx.

there is are some deep philospical/spiritual issues that are coming to a head with the advancement of technology. have you seen:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/03/will-first-human-head-transplant-happen-in-2017

and this:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4573914/US-firm-try-reawakening-dead-Latin-America.html
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#52
It seems very easy to imagine that some embittered former Christians would seek revenge against God by promoting disbelief in God as well as everything that is the opposite of what God is supposed to stand for.
Wouldn't make more sense to say former members of a religion had a bad experience with "what God is supposed to stand for"?

Which leads to the question - what IS God supposed to stand for?

It seems to me that as misguided "skepticism" is the motivation comes from an initially justified observation that the orthodoxy of religion has not only failed a good number of people but severely damaged them?
 

Alex

Administrator
#53
Someone on the 'Glitch in the Matrix' subreddit (some of the stories are really interesting! -- actually here's an awesome glitch I just read in Whitley Strieber/Jeffrey Kripal's Super Natural) just complained about supposed 'agents' downvoting and questioning everything in the paranormal threads. Unfortunately, you don't need to hire agents when you can condition the normals to do it for you.
agreed. it's the "useful idiot" thing that Stalin talked about. then, add in the agents, bots, search algorithms and the rest and you have some real culture shaping power :)
 

Alex

Administrator
#54
Ah, so capital-o Orthodox, as in Greek/Russian, not 'orthodox' in the sense of 'fundamentalist' (maintaining orthodoxy).

(My confusion comes about because very many Evangelicals DO self-describe themselves as 'orthodox'. Case in point: 'A Generous Orthodoxy' by Brian McLaren, who's very much on the left wing of Evangelicalism - hence the 'generous', to the right-wing's 'orthodoxy' http://www.zondervan.com/a-generous-orthodoxy ).
facinating... didn't know... thx for sharing.

BTW have you seen: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802154/

(great commentary on the Russian Orthodox church)
 

Alex

Administrator
#55
In 2010 Dyer wrote this critique of the Perennial Tradition, which (like that term itself) I find both interesting and deeply problematic at the same time:
so glad you found this... I found it very interesting as well but couldn't find a way to squeeze it in this episode.


https://jaysanalysis.com/2010/07/11/justin-martyr-huxley-and-the-perennial-philosophy/

Thus, the perennial philosophy as it is so-called is hard to decipher and hard to pin down, but the point I have been making above cancels out the blasphemies and attacks on God that are common in liberal circles, as well as modern new world order proponents like Aldous Huxley, who in his The Perennial Philosophy seeks to destroy the notion of a single Personal God, and thereby destroy the notion of personhood. Once the notion of personhood is gone as a metaphysical doctrine, it can be granted (and removed) at will via the apotheosized world-state. Yes, literally, by the pantheistic future world government. Huxley is quite candid about this, too. But all such attempts at deification of the state and destroying the biblical tradition are doomed to fail.
..
We must begin with the Personal God who guides history by His providence. Only in this metaphysic do we have a grounded notion of person and protect the rights of the individual from the superstate-play-acting-as-God. We must then toss out the ‘traditionalists’ school of Coomaraswamy, Huxley and others, which really comes from Hinduism and is the sludge of the occult tradition passed down through the ages.​

A couple of notes that express my ambivalence:

1. That passage attacking Huxley (author also of Brave New World, which reads as conservative critique of materialism AND of a world-state) is quite odd in its logic, and yet very familiar to me from the 1980s 'Anti-New Age' works I read.

The argument that 'perennial philosophy leads to destroying the notion of personhood, which leads to a world-state' is... yeah. It needs a lot of unpacking. I believe it to be mostly wrong. Yet it underpins a lot of Christian Right thinking - a movement that currently has almost unlimited amounts of money and political power.
once again, I'm so, so glad you've deconstructed this :) yes, I agree, he's totally missed the point re Huxley.
remember Dana: skeptiko.com/dana-sawyer-biography-of-houston-smith-335/
he also wrote an award winning bio of Huxley: https://smile.amazon.com/Aldous-Hux...F8&qid=1496931779&sr=8-2&keywords=dana+sawyer
Jay has missed the central ideas of Huxley transcendent/mystic centered philosophy... or maybe more accurately... he funneled them thru a very distorted Christian lens.

(I'm still processing the rest of yr post :))
 
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Alex

Administrator
#56
I have to say, that for me the interview tailed off as it went on. There was far too much technical discussion about the Bible, that absolutely didn't interest me. He expressed the traditional Christian dislike of any exploration of ψ phenomena, which is just the opposite end of the same stick as those materialists that find ways to dismiss these phenomena - both tell people to avert their eyes and ignore the actual evidence!

David
Alex exposed his fundamental contradiction. He began the interview with an openness to explore experiences as a way to expand science, and ended the interview by insisting we can't trust our experiences. The knots we tie ourselves in, ay?
yea David, it did get pretty deep into Christian Apologetics, but as Malf points out that's where the trap was sprung :)

and while some folks might grow tired of this stuff, I think it's absolutely central to trying to understand things. Don't believe me?... listen to Dean Radin's interview on Rune Soup (all about magic and spirits):
https://runesoup.com/2017/03/talking-psi-and-magic-with-dr-dean-radin/

Psi lives in a walled-off world... atheistic materialism in a tiny cubical. I want bigger vistas.
 
#57
Don't believe me?... listen to Dean Radin's interview on Rune Soup (all about magic and spirits):
https://runesoup.com/2017/03/talking-psi-and-magic-with-dr-dean-radin/
Yes, but that is a long, long way from Orthodox Christianity!

The concept that everything we need to know is locked up in various people's writings about Jesus, and that we get illumination by poring over all those texts is crazy to me! I mean, why would a god give us a lump of information just once?

I do agree the magic angle needs exploring. Is there anyone who actually practices magic and obtains regular objective results?

I think you could have pushed him harder on the obvious fact that the Church has shut down debate - never mind experimentation - with entheogens, ψ, etc. I think I understand the problem though, after a long chat in which you basically agreed, it can be hard to hit out hard at the end - but at least you did make him gulp - which was good!

David
 
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#58
Is there anyone who actually practices magic and obtains regular objective results
This guy: Dr. Stephen Skinner... he says that if you do it right, then 80% of the time it works every time. And if it doesn't work it's probably because you were lazy and didn't do something right. ...which reminds me an awful lot of the way Christians dealt with a lack of miraculous answered prayer: "it always works! But if you aren't seeing results, check yourself!" Leaves an awful lot of wiggle room (called the tile drawer problem) in the claims about reliability.

 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#59
Yes, but that is a long, long way from Orthodox Christianity!

The concept that everything we need to know is locked up in various people's writings about Jesus, and that we get illumination by poring over all those texts is crazy to me! I mean, why would a god give us a lump of information just once?

I do agree the magic angle needs exploring. Is there anyone who actually practices magic and obtains regular objective results?

I think you could have pushed him harder on the obvious fact that the Church has shut down debate - never mind experimentation - with entheogens, ψ, etc. I think I understand the problem though, after a long chat in which you basically agreed, it can be hard to hit out hard at the end - but at least you did make him gulp - which was good!

David
I'd suggest reading some David Ray Griffith - he gets into the past collusion between the mechanistic paradigm and the top-down theistic paradigm where God has control over all aspects of consciousness (magick, psi, life). Basically a betrayal of humanity which would be best served by the esoteric even if that's wedded to a particular extant faith - Gnostic Christianity for example, or Hindu mysticism. As my Jesuit adviser who was a major Teilhard scholar put it, Mysticism is always in contest with Orthodoxy.

In fact even today when you look at the "skeptic" camp & the religious fundamentalists it recalls something Salman Rushdie said about politicians in India & Pakistan - there always seems to be some saber rattling and call to patriotic arms when corruption in both countries is exposed. You can see how the same game is played out, if only subconsciously, between the materialist & religious fundamentalists today.

Great way to get people to give $ to the cause, whatever the cause may be - a dual-sided industry that needs "enemies in our midst" to continue.
 
#60
Ah, so capital-o Orthodox, as in Greek/Russian, not 'orthodox' in the sense of 'fundamentalist' (maintaining orthodoxy).

(My confusion comes about because very many Evangelicals DO self-describe themselves as 'orthodox'. Case in point: 'A Generous Orthodoxy' by Brian McLaren, who's very much on the left wing of Evangelicalism - hence the 'generous', to the right-wing's 'orthodoxy' http://www.zondervan.com/a-generous-orthodoxy ).

I should look up more about Jay Dyer; I would say, though, that (as I mentioned earlier), there has been a deep, if perhaps one-way, connection established in the last decade between US Evangelicals and the Russian Orthodox Church. US Evangelicals of a particular cultural-warrior tribe look to Russian Orthodoxy as 'the last defenders of Europe'. Russian Orthodoxy politically skews right-wing to the point of literally embracing actual fascism:

http://religiondispatches.org/how-o...came-the-spiritual-home-of-white-nationalism/

The same article that declared Matthew Heimbach a rising star of the far-right also mentioned in passing that his racial views had “led to his excommunication from his Orthodox Christian church.” It was mercifully excluded that Heimbach’s excommunication came only weeks after his formal reception into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and then only after immense pressure following the online circulation of photographs in which Heimbach appears to be beating a University of Indiana at Bloomington SlutWalk participant with an Orthodox cross.

While Heimbach’s excommunication by the Antiochian bishop means that he is technically unable to receive the sacraments in any canonical Orthodox church, he claims to have found a sympathetic priest in Romania who allows him to communion with full knowledge of the priest’s bishop. It might be easy to dismiss this claim as a half-hearted attempt to save face by a self-aggrandizing racist. Heimbach’s story, however, is not just plausible. It is, in light of so much of the modern Orthodox church’s relationship with the far-right, highly likely.

It is this relationship that has, at least in part, propelled Orthodoxy into the position of “go-to religion” for the white supremacist movement that would prefer to be known as the “alt-right“—not just in the United States, but around the world. When priests in Corinth sprinkle holy water around the new campaign office of the Greek Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and the Patriarch of Moscow embraces Vladimir Putin with a gusto that might have embarrassed his tsarist predecessors, there is little doubt as to why Orthodoxy seems appealing to a white nationalist movement. This is especially true since Orthodox opposition to neo-fascism of this kind has been far less frequent and considerably less public.​

And so I wouldn't be surprised if Dyer comes from that cultural-warrior faction. He is certainly talking in the very same terms that the Evangelicals I read in the 1980s and 1990s used, who were deeply connected to the US political right wing

I find Orthodoxy's recent embrace of neo-fascism very sad because theologically, I think they have a warmer and more interesting take on Christianity: as others have mentioned, Orthodox theology has a lot less emphasis on 'original sin' than Roman and Protestant theology, and a lot more emphasis on direct personal experience of the Divine within. (Eg the meditative tradition of Hesychasm - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesychasm )


In 2010 Dyer wrote this critique of the Perennial Tradition, which (like that term itself) I find both interesting and deeply problematic at the same time:

https://jaysanalysis.com/2010/07/11/justin-martyr-huxley-and-the-perennial-philosophy/

Thus, the perennial philosophy as it is so-called is hard to decipher and hard to pin down, but the point I have been making above cancels out the blasphemies and attacks on God that are common in liberal circles, as well as modern new world order proponents like Aldous Huxley, who in his The Perennial Philosophy seeks to destroy the notion of a single Personal God, and thereby destroy the notion of personhood. Once the notion of personhood is gone as a metaphysical doctrine, it can be granted (and removed) at will via the apotheosized world-state. Yes, literally, by the pantheistic future world government. Huxley is quite candid about this, too. But all such attempts at deification of the state and destroying the biblical tradition are doomed to fail.
..
We must begin with the Personal God who guides history by His providence. Only in this metaphysic do we have a grounded notion of person and protect the rights of the individual from the superstate-play-acting-as-God. We must then toss out the ‘traditionalists’ school of Coomaraswamy, Huxley and others, which really comes from Hinduism and is the sludge of the occult tradition passed down through the ages.​

A couple of notes that express my ambivalence:

1. That passage attacking Huxley (author also of Brave New World, which reads as conservative critique of materialism AND of a world-state) is quite odd in its logic, and yet very familiar to me from the 1980s 'Anti-New Age' works I read.

The argument that 'perennial philosophy leads to destroying the notion of personhood, which leads to a world-state' is... yeah. It needs a lot of unpacking. I believe it to be mostly wrong. Yet it underpins a lot of Christian Right thinking - a movement that currently has almost unlimited amounts of money and political power.

2. What Dyer says about the links between Huxley's 'Perennial Tradition' and the 'Traditionalists' is quite true. But what he doesn't make clear is that this very specific school of Traditionalism descends from historical Italian Fascism and is strongly linked to neo-fascism. In fact, the Traditionalists were actually critical, in the 1930s, of the German Nazis for not being far right enough.

The 1980s Anti-New-Age books that I read made this same reference to Traditionalism, too. I found it odd then but less odd now, knowing the political entanglements between these groups. I believe Traditionalism, specifically, has provided a lot of the religious and political underpinnings of the modern Christian Right in America since Reagan.

Why do (groups apparently descended from) Traditionalists attack Huxley so virulently, when he seems to have been influential in the founding of their movement?

I now think it must be because Huxley himself was as critical of Traditionalist views (and their sympathy for Fascism) as he was of materialism.

Also of note. The Traditionalists seem to have an incredibly deep rooted fear of India (and 'Hindu' influences) specifically. This was in the 1980s Christian Evangelical material too. If it's anything like their fear of Huxley, I assume something must have happened between groups that were very similarly oriented and deeply connected, until they split.

Wikipedia on Traditionalism:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditionalist_School

Steve Bannon's links to Traditionalism:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html?_r=0

Vladimir Putin's links to Traditionalism: https://stanfordpolitics.com/eurasi...rstanding-and-confronting-russia-7e0c2eef6288

"The Spiritual Fascism of Rene Guenon and his Followers"
http://textosdeinteresse.blogspot.co.nz/2008/05/spiritual-fascism-of-rene-guenon-and.html

I don't 100% agree with this last author; obviously I hold different theological views to him, and I also think, like many recovering cult-exiters, he's a bit too hostile generally; but his writing is extensively footnoted and he makes some excellently well argued points about the political linkages he personally observed. And I think this material is important to understand our current political moment in 2017, in US and UK politics particularly.

Regards, Nate
Nate, have you ever heard about Nikolai Berdyaev? He was the Russian Christian philosopher and mystic - and, in my opinion, of the greatest thinkers and spiritual seekers of all time. I also think of his teachings as a synthesis of everything that is liberating and humane about Christiantity. He was sometimes called an "Apostle of Freedom", and his writings were strongly against the authoritarian and reactionary currents in Christianity. His political views I would describe as Libertarian Socialist. If you haven't read him yet, you'll like him!

And - look more at his later works. His views changed and developed greatly during his life, and much for the better - his earliest works are quite unlike his later ones.
 
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