exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor's 1-Minute Essay:
Spirituality, Part II
Totalitarians at the Gate
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You are as deserving of love, honor, and success as any individual who has ever lived.
You are as worthy and sacred and loved by God as any person now living, no matter how lofty another's station or rank may be, even those at the highest levels in the afterlife.
You have the same unbounded, unlimited potential as any other human being. If, in the afterlife, you put your mind to it, and are willing to invest the requisite years acquiring knowledge and skill, you have the opportunity to grow and expand, in your chosen field, to become as great, or greater than, any artist or scientist or thinker who's ever lived. This is true for all human beings.
But there are those who will try to convince you otherwise. They will attempt to argue that God could never love you enough; they will try to make you feel "no good", incompetent, the perpetual klutz, a "rabbit," as the British use the term.
And some of these counselors in your life will pose as "spiritual" persons. They will come to you arrayed in royal purple and blue, or a pin-striped suit, or common casual wear to feign "I'm just one of the guys, vote for me, your buddy."
Will Durant: "Cleon [a politician in ancient Greece] made it a point, says Aristotle, to [always] appear on the rostrum in the garb of a workingman."
Some of them are world famous "spiritual teachers" and are followed by throngs of people ready to bow and genuflect at their smallest word and warming smile.
But all of them, of this diseased version of "spirituality," have at least one thing in common. They are totalitarians. Some of them are hard-core demanding their "party faithful" to "bend the neck" with obeisance, and others are more subtle and feign egalitarianism. But, in each case, in dramatic fulmination or with low-key suggestion, they reveal themselves as totalitarians.
What does this mean?
It means that they consider themselves to be "better." They're the smartest people in the room; they deserve to rule over you, their spirits subtly convey and exude; they are worthy of homage because they are superior, a cut above the unwashed common rabble; more clever, more insightful, than the plebs.
And they certainly do not believe, in their heart-of-hearts, that you will ever amount to much. And so they are eager for all forms of totalitarianism, overt and subdued -- whatever they can get away with, while playing the role of the "spiritual person" -- a mask, as Elizabeth Barrett liked the phrase, "held up with two hands."
I have addressed some of this before, in the articles on Forgiveness, Pride, and Spirituality, Part I; however, here's...
why I wrote this essay
Some of these imposters to authentic spirituality are very talented and very impressive. And some of them are offering certain good services to the world concerning what they do; Brother John spoke of this. And so it can be confusing: with all of the "good" they're producing, they're also doing a lot of damage with their "holier than thou" false spirituality, with its essence and lacings of totalitarianism.
Recently, I witnessed an example of this, soothing "spiritual talk" but with an undercurrent of "I am better." I found this clashing antithesis to be very disturbing. And I asked myself, how can this be, how can a person be very insightful and competent, and yet, in effect, miss the much larger issue of "all human beings are sacred" and "all have the same potential" and "what I am and offer doesn't make me innately better"?
To compound the difficulty in discernment here, if the person were approached on this question, he or she would flatly deny any claim to "superiority." They would say, "look at my teaching, look at how often I speak of egalitarian themes." And it would be true; on the surface, true. And yet, in subtle ways, they take it all back and deny the truth of the dignity of every human being.
I have often written of the need to explore the true self, however...
When we do explore and access the true self, we "open a door" to perceptions of the wonder and marvel within the "made in the image" deeper person. And some of the "spiritual teachers" with whom I have issue have done this and do it well.
But as I observe the lopsided effect of their work, it becomes clear to me that an even deeper, or more comprehensive, introspection is needed. I have also written of the need to explore the "false self"; sometimes I've referred to this very troubling self-revelation as the "madness maddened," a phrase from Herman Melville, which I use to describe the "heart of darkness," a sordid perception that any human being, if unenlightened, if sufficiently provoked and threatened, is potentially capable of any crime or atrocity in history.
'we are the world, we are society'
Very often, Krishnamurti would caution his audiences against blaming others, seeing ourselves as "above." It's not easy to stand down as there’s much aspersion to cast. Right now, we witness the world marching toward totalitarianism, to a degree not seen since the days prior to World War II. Many of us are angry, and we want to believe that if we could just get rid of “the bad guys,” the ones causing all the trouble, then life would be good for all of us “good guys.” But this is illusion.
The seeds of evil, not always unsprouted, reside within each of us. If sufficiently provoked, if blinded to the light within, each person is capable of any atrocity, any brutality, and more, that we’ve seen in history.
the seeds of evil
Star Trek: Next Generation, episode "Violations"
|"No one can deny that the seeds of violence remain within each of us. We must recognize that - because that violence is capable of consuming each of us."
In other words, “We are the world. We are society.” We are not exempt, as we too reflect the human condition, and we take the vectors of perdition with us wherever we go. And until we learn to “go within” to access the inner light, there will be no peace and happiness; not on an individual basis nor for the world.
See the Krishnamurti page and especially his "summary" discourse.
To enter this unnerving cognition is the most frightening and disconcerting experience any person might have. Little wonder that few have allowed the soul to reveal this to the peripheral self during a time of a "long dark night."
The "long dark night of the soul" is spoken of by mystics, and I will tell you from personal experience that, though it is unpleasant, it is also very necessary in terms of building for oneself a proper foundation of spirituality.
And I will also tell you plainly and unreservedly that the reason why these many "spiritual teachers," though they might be "competent" on a certain level, become totalitarians is because they have not gone through the "long dark night."
They have not witnessed, up close and in-your-face, the horrific extent to which the false self will go to protect itself, if sufficiently threatened, sufficiently insane and deluded. How far will it go? It will go all the way toward any crime or atrocity of history, or reach new heights of depravity, if that's what it must do to protect itself.
If one catches a glimpse of the marvel of the true self, the wonder of the "inner cosmos," that is all well and good. But without the counterbalancing "long dark night," a certain shallowness and immaturity will color everything the "spiritual teacher" has to say.
Without the "long dark night," the "spiritual teacher" will be silently chanting, "I thank thee Lord that I am not like other men." For these deluded, totalitarianism seems quite reasonable.
And maybe it's unnecessary to say but, you don't have to be a famous "spiritual teacher" to be afflicted by this form of insanity. It will infect all "faithful followers of the guru," as well. In fact, it becomes common for the "guru" to attract like-minded followers who also believe themselves to be superior, which is why they love the guru so much, as all of them together can now justify their totalitarian leanings.
We see this phenomenon not just in religious contexts, but also in the political arena, wherein a spirit of fancying oneself as "better," and its concomitant self-congratulatory license to rule over the untutored riffraff, comes to full-flower and high art-form.
Editor's note: In recent times I had attempted to ally myself with a local church which was doing charitable work. However, I felt that I needed to step aside as their "spirituality" had been laced with high levels of toxic totalitarianism. Their "good works," while doing some good for certain needy, was in reality but a mask worn to convince themselves and others that "we are better" than all the commoners of the world. The atmosphere there was very poisonous.
The "long dark night" is unpleasant, but it will be far more unpleasant if it's imposed upon one by the higher self upon crossing over; a "mandated solitude and introspection." In that dark world, we finally learn that the delusion of totalitarianism comes with a very high price.
Brother John of Glastonbury: We in the spirit-world are often appalled at how 'servants of God' become proud and puffed up, thinking themselves to be so important and better than others ...
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 CE), a former monk during his Earth-life.
John, in effect, speaks with T.S. Eloit on the problem of "servants" ruining themselves in an orgy of hubristic pride:
Here is a rough transcript of Brother John's teaching, recorded 3.10.1961:
"We in spirit are often appalled by how those with whom we work become proud, and now see themselves as better and above the common man or woman; how they in themselves feel so important. The ego builds a barrier making it difficult for us to work with a 'servant,' and the message is distorted or falls to the ground because of the pride. I want to warn them of the dangers that lie within themselves when other people say how wonderful they are, and they come to believe it, causing them to become materially-minded and unbalanced. Some mediums, in boastful pride, give the impression that they know all about the world of spirit, that they have all the answers, but this is not true, never true, as there is so much that cannot be revealed during your time on Earth."
Editor’s note: In my youth, as a young man, some of my teachers would say that the way to avoid pride, especially for ones who have been given office and power, is to have suffered. This seemed reasonable at the time, and there is an element of truth to it, but, without something more, it all fails.
The problem is, the ego can become proud of its suffering, can boast about how “I suffered so much, far more than you, and this is why you should elect me, or give me the chief seat, or listen to me," or some other perk that the ego craves to fill the neediness in its shriveled heart.
We learned in the “Prometheus” discussions that suffering per se will not produce a godly character. There’s a missing element. It all needs to be based on a clear perception of both the “true” and the “false” selves. With this in place, no matter how much power or notoriety one might achieve, there will be no delusion of “I am better than you,” no pious chanting of "I thank thee Lord that I am not like other men." Just ask Lateece.
a spirit of totalitarianism, rooted in pride, despite its macho bluster, is an expression of an inner neediness, a systemic weakness and poverty
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind: "The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness... When the weak want to give an impression of strength they hint menacingly at their capacity for evil. It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak."
Rollo May, Power and Innocence: "Deeds of violence in our society are performed largely by those trying to establish their self-esteem, to defend their self-image, and to demonstrate that they, too, are significant... Violence arises not out of superfluity of power, but out of powerlessness."
In the article concerning the nature of Evil, we discussed how this pathology arises from an inner poverty, a sense of “I do not have enough” because “I am not enough.”
Totalitarianism, rooted in pride, is one more expression of this neediness within. Until we understand the inner workings of Evil, we might imagine that the proud face, the arrogant demeanor, the haughty disdain, to be a reflection of strength and might. It's just the opposite.
Totalitarianism, rooted in pride, is but a mask dysfunctional-types hide behind, cloaking a frightening perception of existential lack and need. It’s just posturing and bluster. It’s just Fake News.
a tribute to David Kenyon Webster, a member of the famous Band Of Brothers
David Kenyon Webster
2 June 1922 – 9 September 1961
An English literature major at Harvard University, Webster interrupted his studies to volunteer as a paratrooper. He was part of the D-Day invasion and was wounded. Later he rejoined Easy Company.
“From a wealthy and influential family, Webster could have arranged an officer's commission stateside, but he wanted to be a ‘grunt’ to see and document the war from a foxhole. By most accounts, he did not like what he saw and had great disdain for Germany's audacity in creating the war.” (Wikipedia)
There is a noteworthy vignette in Band Of Brothers, sometimes referred to as “Webster’s Mini-Speech.” Near the end of the War, with German soldiers surrendering in their hundreds of thousands, we find these defeated Axis troops marching in formation toward detention.
The Allied soldiers, transported in trucks, pass these vanquished. Deeply moved by the futility, the stupidity, of what he’s witnessing, Webster, aback a truck, stands to deliver a stinging oration to these members of the National Socialists Party:
David Webster: [beginning to shout at a passing formation of Nazi prisoners]
“Hey, you! That's right, you stupid Kraut bastards! That's right! Say hello to Ford and General fucking Motors! [i.e., as opposed to the German horses.] You stupid fascist pigs! Look at you! You have horses! What were you thinking? Dragging our asses half way around the world, interrupting our lives... For what, you ignorant, servile scum! What the fuck are we doing here?"
David Webster’s diatribe is not about being German. I’m German, and I agree with Webster. It’s about being “ignorant, servile scum.” It's about being a boot-licking order-taker, with no quarter given to the whispering directives of the soul. It's about being truly human.
The socialists, the totalitarians-at-heart, since World War II, have tried to explain away what happened in Hitler’s Germany as an aberration, the result of one evil man, a one-time occurrence that could never happen in the good old USA where we’re much smarter, much more sophisticated. However, the truth is, you have to have serious leanings toward being “ignorant, servile scum” to believe or promote this kind of propaganda.
Our educational system today in the US, crafted by totalitarians to purposefully dumb-down a populace, with a view toward making it more “ignorant, servile,” and illiterate, is probably only 10% as good as that of Germany in pre-War days.
German society was the most cultivated and cultured, the best educated and most sophisticated, from that day to this. Never in history - certainly not since ancient Greece - had so many intellectual and artistic luminaries dominated: Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach; Einstein, Mach, and Braun; Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Kant -- we could go on for some time here. And to suggest that what happened there could never replicate itself in the United States - here, in our "dumbed-down" little educational system - is just wishful, shallow-thinking, a dysfunctional denial of the seeds of Evil that reside in the dark recesses of every human heart.
analyzing the “ignorant, servile scum”
What’s really bothering Webster? It’s the mindless servility. It’s the self-disrespect. It’s the unwarranted deference to authority. He saw those hapless soldiers – even in defeat, even when Dear Leader was kaput – still wanting to march in their little goose-stepping ways, so neatly, so obediently, like f****** good little boys. This made him want to shout and spit nails.
Webster was witnessing the end of line of socialistic-totalitarian sentiment. This is the final gasp, when power-grabbing and "I'm better than you" burns itself out. But, it seemed so sophisticated, so reasonable, in earlier days. Were they not the smartest people, with others so beneath them, not even deserving a modicum of civility? Well, "if we are better, if we have no duty to treat others in a civil manner" – as our political Dear Leaders preach to us today – "then we have a right to rule over others, and oppress them."
Having drunk the kool-aid of this totalitarian party-platform, which is now also accepted in our country in certain sectors, they stupidly followed each other over the dystopian cliff into perdition. They didn’t believe the message of Hayek and his “Road To Serfdom.” The lessons of history didn’t apply to them, because they’re better and above. And in this “ignorant, servile scum” mentality, they carve out one more rise-and-fall in the sordid story of humankind.
therapy sessions for recovering “ignorant, servile scum”
How will you, if you're a totalitarian, feel someday when you meet David Kenyon Webster? I’m sure he’ll be too polite to say it to your face, but we’ll know what he’s thinking.
The apostle Paul spoke of living in the presence of, being surrounded by, a great host of witnesses, those who have gone before us, those who have endured the insanity of this world and have done well. But the totalitarians at-the-gate will never allow this kind of sentiment. For them, it's a power-haircut, they're all that's important, they're against anything they can't control.
the mirror of Dorian Grey
Many years ago I had to look in the mirror and admit that I’d been selling out my own soul to various infallible gurus. I'd been a goose-stepping good little boy, denying my own judgment, disrespecting my own thoughts, ignoring my own counsel, in favor of some ******* Dear Leader in my life. Kenyon's little speech is good for everyone.
Are you willing to enter that kind of scorching self-evaluation? Who do you take orders from, denying your own inner guidance? – be it in a religious, political, or some other “ignorant, servile scum” ego-organization.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ warning concerning those who inhabit the Dark Realms – an assessment which has been corroborated by thousands of afterlife reports. He spoke of two psychological profiles: those who (1) “weep and wail” and those who (2) “gnash teeth.”
The first group are the “goose-stepping, ignorant, servile scum” who live in a mindset of guilt and self-loathing, following some infallible Dear Leader. They “weep and wail” in a “victimhood” state of mind, thinking themselves unjustly treated: “Didn’t I live like a good little girl, trying so hard to keep all the rules and never missing a goose-step? And now this happens to me. It’s so unfair.”
The second group are those who think they’re “better” and “above.” They want to reduce your personal freedoms because you're too foolish and incompetent to govern your own life, and so you need their supervisory services just to get you by. And later, in the Dark Realms, they'll “gnash teeth,” that is, they'll want to fight. They’re belligerent because they deserve to win, because they’re so much smarter, and, because you're so stupid, they have a moral obligation to rule over you. They were just trying to help.
The “victims” and the “elites” cannot enter Summerland. Not yet. They have “unfinished homework to hand in.” They need to access the “true self” and imbibe of the common humanity, a sense of the tremendous potential of each human being “made in the image.”
With the liberation of a concentration camp, Easy Company searches for food in a nearby village to distribute to the starving zombie-like inmates. David Webster (portrayed by Eion Bailey) angrily confronts the town baker who objects to donating his storehouse of bread. With the camp but a mile or so away, and with excuses of exculpation threadbare, Webster, pistol brandishing, comes close to abruptly ending the conversation.
They’ll be no rationalizations on the other side; at least, none convincing. In elitist-and-victimhood Germany, no one had any idea, of course, of the pandemic atrocities; and in the Shadowlands, no one has any idea that Dear Leaders were unnecessary, that whisperings of the soul might have directed us, leading us, into all truth.
And let's be very clear. The "Allies," legions of Spirit-workers, will yet liberate all strongholds of darkness and the dysfunctional ego -- no matter what your local Nice Young Man pontificates.
The Band Of Brothers of our world, though incredibly noble, were but forerunners of a vast host of Liberators who will not, and do not, take kindly to the thought of ever losing any good thing; so much so, that a certain song speaks of their steel-resolve with "rest assured."
Editor's last word:
I would strongly encourage you to read my article on "Ultimate Reality,” wherein I discuss how a spirituality which is not based upon a perception of the “true self” will eventually manifest as insanity, a mind-created dystopia. See the "500 tape-recorded testimonies from the other side" the "sane" and "insane" camps over there.