Saturday 16 March 2019

Brexit and Religion

Apparently the farce or tragedy (take your pick) that is Brexit has seen a great increase in sales of self-help books. Is this to people so shaken by the event that they require psychological assistance? Or is it to those who think the future will be disastrous and they need to prepare themselves as best they can? Either way, what a pity that people turn to such feeble nostrums for sustenance rather than to the genuine medicine of real religion.

But then where can the ordinary person find real religion now? If you have been brought up with no particular spiritual education, and therefore have a very poor and biased idea of what religion is, you may reject it without serious investigation. Alternatively, those who are exposed to what passes for Christianity today will not find much to inspire them there if they are searching for something that really speaks to the imagination and the soul. For modern Christianity is often little more than secular humanism dressed up in religious clothing. Its supernatural element, without which it is meaningless, has been reduced as much as it possibly can be without being jettisoned altogether. Partly this is because Christianity has not responded well to the changes in consciousness that have come about over the last few hundred years as humanity begins to awaken intellectually and become more individual (as was meant to happen albeit not in the way it has happened), but partly it is because of the generally low quality of Christian leaders who for the most part, certain honourable exceptions excluded, have lacked any real vision.

Why do most of the intelligentsia wish this country to remain in the EU? Is it because they are believers in the ideology that unity is always good and separatism always bad? Consequently, they see those who wish to separate from a body that seeks to unite as ignorant and selfish. You may think I am reducing something complicated to a simple basic idea but this is more or less how things are. Intellectuals tend to think in terms of abstractions rather than concrete realities and this means they may reject ties of blood and earth which is why they can be perceived as disliking their own country and culture, even to the extent of trying to undermine them. They are, or want to be, men and women of the world which is regarded as being far more sophisticated than those simpletons attached to their native soil. But they are victims of the leftist dogma that humanity is one and the more united it is, the better it is. I call this a dogma because although it may sound very worthy, it is only half the story since ideas of unity should never be used as an excuse to deny or diminish individuality. We may be all one in God in a higher sense but God created us as individuals and it is as individuals that we realise our destiny. You are not required to sink your individuality into a group identity but to enrich the group with your individuality. This is why a Europe of strong individual nation states is a better thing than one in which these nation states have reduced autonomy. Anyone who knows the history and underlying ambition of the EU knows that it has always been determined to follow the latter course, the one that leads to ever closer union with its component parts increasingly weakened and power concentrated more and more in the centre.

The spiritual fact of the sanctity of the individual is the reason that those who have a deeper understanding of what religion actually means are in favour of Britain leaving the EU.  A superficial religious understanding, such as most of our church leaders seem to possess, will think that love your neighbour means there is no difference between you and your neighbour. But then he wouldn't be a neighbour, would he? He would be you. The truth is we need love and we need wisdom, and we need both together to make sure we actually do have real love and real wisdom and not simply an emotional or intellectual copy of them. For love and wisdom are spiritual qualities but human beings who lack these qualities as spiritual things interpret them on the lower level of feelings and thought and as a result they misconceive them. What they call love is not love but a reflection of it in their emotional nature or even something they just have as an idea or ideal. But if they don't truly feel it as living spiritual reality then they don't know it.

Most people who want Britain to leave the EU are not religious but they have natural instincts which the intelligentsia, including many of those considering themselves to be the spiritual intelligentsia, have lost. They do not have minds clouded by ideology, always the weakness of those who have intellect but lack intuition. But religion is actually all about intuition. You might even say that the development of intuition is the primary religious task. Intuition tells us that the EU is a corrupt body that ultimately seeks its own good not the good of the countries that comprise it. For that reason not only should Great Britain leave it but so should every other member state.

If you are one of those people who have turned to a self-help book in this time of crisis let me point out that self-help can only address the earthly human being not the soul. Indeed, it often strengthens the earthly human being against the soul by focusing attention on it so that it becomes even more the centre of consciousness than it already is. Forget self-help, however it is packaged, and seek the transcendent truth in God.


Ol' Time Religion said...

where can the ordinary person find real religion now?

Yes. I never can entirely grasp what you mean because there's no way to experience what's supposed to be more true. Theory and imagination only take one so far.

Why would more people claiming to become Christian not just make them more like Christians are now (which would make it pointless to have more)?

William Wildblood said...

I'm not entirely sure what you are saying but the way I look at it is that there are outer and inner Christians which is to say those who acquiesce to Christianity simply as a belief system and those who respond to the spiritual reality of Christ. There will certainly be some crossover but, as far as I am concerned, it's the former that most of the modern churches cater to and for which is why they can't do much for the latter.