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Post by Nefastos »

Sister Ave suggested a thread about pseudo-spirituality (here). I have sometimes made such accusations against some systems, and so it might fitting that I begin with a word of explanation.

Saying that something is "pseudo" is very pejorative, and a strong condemnation. Yet I think in some cases it is well earned, and needed to make a most important division. Pseudo-spirituality is something that claims to be spirituality, but is its opposite, lacking the very core that makes something spirituality. So we come to the question what is spirituality.

Simply put, spirituality is what the matter and form are not. And so, every claimed occult or esoteric system which places its primary attention on the form side is pseudo-spirituality. It can still be interested in magic and/or religiosity, cultures and/or philosophical study, but it takes these things on their surficial side, the side of form.

In true spirituality, the outward shape is seen as a garment that can be changed when there is a need. For example, Rosicrucians were demanded to change their clothing and style to that of their current surroundings, and not to draw attention. Likewise, theosophists teach that the master adepts live among people in cognito. Open displays and claims of power is seen as a snare to entangle the surficial people into mistaken belief systems (for spiritual truth cannot be seen from open displays of power) by most if not indeed all of the old religions' systems of spirituality.

But nowadays, when the world is once again young in a way, people are hungry for new, and easy, spirituality. Because of this new approach, this ideology of instant spiritual gratification is most often referred as the "New Age" spirituality. It is not a perfect term. Also, the New Age tends to bring about associations from the Right Hand Path surficiality, healing crystals and angel channelings. But the last ten or fifteen years or so has exploded the same attitude in the Left Hand Path practices, and nowadays there can be seen equally much LHP-oriented New Age. Shady pictures on black candles & bones on the altars, channeled goetic demons instead of angels, piles upon piles of useless but pretty grimoires, and so on.

This is pseudo-spirituality, focusing on form: consumerism, sociological ego-boosting or choosing temperamentally alluring groups, and other such surficial things. The lacking aspect is, most of all, actual hard (inner) work. When actual "Try!" is put into any form of pseudo-spiritualism, it too can be made into actual spiritualism. For there is no form itself that is bad, no more than good. To the actual spirituality, there are only instruments in form, never something that is good or bad in itself. This is what iconoclasts tend to forget. The problem is no altar picture, or grimoire, or sociological group, but instead how these become the main thing.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Soror O
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Re: Pseudo-spirituality?

Post by Soror O »

Thank you fra Nefastos for both opening this thread and giving your answer to which I agree.

Lately, I've been comtemplating whether true faith/spirituality is able to provide comfort and solice... I've come to the conclusion that if any comfort/solice can be derived from faith, it is somehow very different from the typical, human comfort (which humans tend to experience in relation to familiarity and attachment). The comfort that faith provides is - from a human point of view - rather de-formed, grotesque even. Let me explain, and we'll see if this makes any sense.

Couple of days ago I was staring at the crusifix at my wall, empty minded. I just let the image sink in, without any contextualisations. Suddenly it struck me - in a whole new level - that I'm staring at just a human being who's tortured and executed. All up-lifting and salvatory spiritual compounds were stripped off from the myth, and I was left with the utter darkeness of human suffering and the ingorance of mankind. That human dying on that cross, cried "eeli, eeli lama sabaktani." How it is possible that the things of light are slayed, and cut down to their flesh. And how Jesus, a God, was not spared from human suffering. He died as human. I'm going to die as a human. Then I shortly re-visited my misantrophy thoughts cursing "the apes that executed him". Then I quickly remembered, that "those apes" was also me. And - in what ways am I possibly doing it still, right now, was the following question.

Fast forward. Yesterday evening at bed. I watched a short documentary about artist Zdzislaw Beksinski
After the watch I was struck, once again, with a new realization about the Second World War and atrocities of mankind. The imagery of WW II is nothing new, but somehow it all stopped being images and stories. It was alive, like it was happening right now.

I became angry and I turned my anger towards God. He remind silent, as he always does, the impotent sadist. What use is a faith if it doesn't spare us of anything? What use is a God? No use, no comfort, no solice. No solice for the ants on His antfarm. I felt like I was filled with thick, black smoke and with each inhale more of it cathered into my being. I tried to visualize and breath in the white light (through my head), but there was more smoke with each inhale. Like there was a fire somewhere near (or then it was the smoke coming from the pipes of Auswitch-Birkenau). I felt I just needed to stop breathing in order to survive. Then I gave in and the white light mixed with the black smoke and they reached a some kind of equilibrium.

I know that physical death of the body is not the end. But this notion does not bring me comfort. It does not comfort the human in me. The human in me is comforted by being close to loved ones in form... loved ones who will suffer and die. "Beating death" does not bring comfort to the soul either, for we are not sure if we can really rest after death either. For now, my biggest goal is not to be born again (into this planet, what ever that means). Then there is this question: how do I optimize my actions so that I will not fall short from my goal? And what to do exactly, and how to do it - precisely? There are times when I can be more laissez fair about all of this. I'm quite used to being here, so it wouldn't be "so bad" to be reborn once again. But I have become more tired.

So... tl;dr: A long lament of hidiousness of my faith, which gives no comfort and promises me nothing. (Oh, was this the game where there is nothing in it for the little me... buhuu)
If you want to reborn, let yourself die.
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Re: Pseudo-spirituality?

Post by Polyhymnia »

I look back on the beginning of my journey into occultism and see all the ways I engaged in pseudo-spirituality. It's too easy to get swept up into the dramatic nature of such things. Sure, there is beauty and romanticism within some of the theatrics, but if, when all that is stripped away, you are left with nothing of substance, then what is the point?

So much of the new-age is geared towards only superficial things. Love and light! Or Hail Satan! Easy things to say, but a lot harder to put into daily practice. One pseudo-spiritual phenomenon I have a really tough time with is the cult of inspiration. When people set out to inspire people it seems to always be from a place of egoism. It truly makes me want to crawl up inside myself and die. Maybe I'm just an asshole.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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