I saw this clever-sounding saying on Facebook that
Philosophy is about questions we may never answer
whereas theology is about answers we may never question.
And in the modern Western world (which happens to not be the whole world, nor even the whole story on Christianity) this can almost seem to be the case. But (and the tenor of the Gospels’ message bears this out) Christianity only grew long arms when it was politically sanctioned, and sociologically its priesthood filled in for Paganism’s magi. It was with Constantine that you began to see a gulf yawn between religion and spirituality or free thought. And the truest example is this: that was when, armed with Plotinus, the Emperor’s men started to really cast aspersions on the “Gnostics” (another group about whose nature the modern West is astonishingly naïve.) And before the Age of Christendom there was most certainly a Pagandom*. What an individual considers oppressive on the one hand or “zen” on the other seems to have more to do with their ethnicity than their ideals. (Many Zionists don’t seem to see any problem with socialism, just with living under Europe’s and Arabia’s “Goyem.”) What we term “philosophy” came about as a higher/finer development of what we now term “Paganism” (pagan literally meaning villager, rustic; civilian, non-combatant) to the point of being not polytheistic, as we easily conceptualize Pagan mythology and cult, but strongly monotheistic, and it seems largely in the sense we modernly would term “deistic” or “unitarian.” Moreover, it might surprise some to learn that neither Paganism nor Christianity exist apart from magic. In fact no human (or divine?) pursuit of note seems to exist apart from the inspiration of magic, that is, of
- unseen connections in the world (such as what science is now calling wormholes),
- telekinesis (such as what science is now calling the observer effect) and
- uncanny sympathies between like forms (in pop culture, the law of attraction).
But Christian religion as it was initially preached is far more liberating than I think most of my fellow modern Western folks can really imagine. But we would have to have some regard for historical context to begin to understand. We have unlearned a lot of the lessons our ancient forebearers sought to stop relearning the hard way. Parents hope their children will not have to make the same mistakes they did, but they do. Seeing how bloated and slow we U.S. Americans are, it appears we have done a perhaps unprecedented amount of deevolving from our society’s authorship (1776 et al.). We generally lack in intellect and character, hence the number and kinds of rules we regard as oppressive as opposed to savvy. It is said that To fully understand Plato one would have to be wiser than Plato. To the fool everything sounds banal, but perhaps especially behavioral normatives. There is no society without rules, but there will always be some segment thereof who wants to have their cake and eat it too, to harvest that golden goose, because in their world dishonesty has little to no sting to it. In gangland, religion is presumed to be restrictive and superstitious and nothing else. In reality, those who have grappled with history have a tougher time of writing religion off quite so freely. But what our society has lost is lineage, and that is probably as good a stab as any at the question, Why are we becoming slaves? It is our idea of what freedom is that is distancing us more and more irreparably from any and all freedom. Our definition of freedom by now would be better termed entitlement and even parasitism. By the same token, we will not be able to hear the foregoing statement before the eleventh hour, if ever. A spirit has entered the United States of America and the modern West, and its name is Carelessness**. After so many generations of industrial fragmentation, we find we are more at home with things primal, primitive and primary, leaving all sophistication to the élite so they can have their way with us their willing underlings. So long as we don’t have to practice moderation much less continence. We subconsciously realize we are lab rats, but what we lack is the fortitude to decline the coercive invitation to be cogs in a machine, rats in a lab, organs kept alive in a jar. This version of freedom, even supposing it were free, is supremely unsustainable. In our lunge toward newness, we have actually returned to something quite primitive, and we are beings in whom is not “the strength of the hills”***. We show no signs of evolving, unless evolution now must necessarily mean merging with (and presumably being phased out by) our own machinery. Unlike the world Elohim (i.e. Their Majesties) created in Genesis, the world we are creating with our industry is not designed for us to inhabit it, much less subdue it, but as long as we fight for our right to party, well, hakuna matata.
* By the advent of Christendom, Paganism had also largely drifted from Pagan ideals, probably making the excuse that they were outdated and changing conditions, blah, blah, blah, remind you of anybody?
** “Carelessness” as in the Bohemian Grove rituals wherein Club members (many of our top leaders) venerate the Canaanite owl-shaped death deity “Moloch” and cremate the human body called “Dull Care.”
*** C.S. Lewis, author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, wrote, “[J. R. R.] Tolkien once remarked to me that the feeling about home must have been quite different in the days when a family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps this was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the woods – they were not mistaken for there was in a sense a real (not metaphorical) connection between them and the countryside. What had been earth and air and later corn, and later still bread, really was in them.
“We of course who live on a standardised international diet (you may have had Canadian flour, English meat, Scotch oatmeal, African oranges, & Australian wine to day) are really artificial beings and have no connection (save in sentiment) with any place on earth. We are synthetic men, uprooted. The strength of the hills is not ours.”
(The strength of the hills refers to a strategic advantage, referring to ancient war tactics [?], and is apparently a reference to Psalm 95:4 [very common in Orthodox prayer]: “In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.”)