By the Power Vested in Me, I Declare Myself God
It is subtle -- or tricky, cunning, and devious -- because the temptation results from one's very spiritual success, or one's interior freedom of movement, so to speak: "It is the temptation to act 'in one's own name,' to act as master instead of servant." Virtually the entire new age movement is ruled by this particular temptation.
This is why all authentic spiritual paths begin and end with moral development. If they sometimes exaggerate man's depravity, this is far preferable to its opposite -- the unqualified glorification of man -- since one of its purposes is to prevent the spiritual inflation that occurs when spiritual energies are mingled with the unredeemed man, a la Deepak and his ilk. Again, when this happens, one creates a demon, a monster. And it only happens again and again and again.
Schuon said something to the effect that man tests his faith by renouncing, while God tests it by removing. Renunciation has the practical effect of opening up a space where ego activity would otherwise be. Elsewhere in the book, UF says that while nature abhors a vacuum, Spirit requires one. This is in conformity with one of Meister Eckhart's recurrent themes:
"If this work is to be done, God alone must do it, and you must just suffer it to be." Nothing so resembles God "as the human soul. For this reason God wants this temple cleared that he may be there all alone.... Thus, to be receptive to the highest truth and to live therein," we must be "empty and free, receiving the divine gift in the eternal Now, and bearing it back unhindered in the light of the same," AKA the coonspiration of (↓↑).
Here again, the inverse of this would be to furiously deepak our own chopra and spank the Darwinian monkey via The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, or Creating Affluence, or Reinventing the Body, or Unlocking Your Potential For Greatness. He seems to have sold an awful lot of these books. So where are all these great people with reinvented bodies? By all rights we should be crawling with them.
To the extent that Chopra's magical ideas "work," it is because they harness -- or create, rather -- demonic energy. And to the extent that they continue working, it will depend upon how thoroughly one has vanquished the uncreated conscience -- i.e., become less than human, not more.
This is another example of the "negative transcendence" discussed in yesterday's post, and which is intrinsically fascist -- not in the usual insulting way, but literally, since it promises a new glorified man brought to you by... the old unredeemed man. It never works. See 20th century for details.
In a relativistic universe in which there is no difference between up and down, one may become a "superman" merely by obeying gravity. This is why Chopra is apparently regarded as a "wise man" by thousands, instead of the spiritual cancer that he is. For as UF says, "it is not desire which bears magical realization, but rather the renunciation of desire."
Or, one might say, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." One must not saturate the space where vertical energies operate. Rather, one must get out of the way.
Here is the key point: "For some the superman has more attraction than the Son of Man, because he promises them a career of increasing power, whilst the Son of Man offers only a career of 'foot washing.'" The ego obviously prefers the way of the superman, and it is to the power-seeking ego which all false teachers and deviant paths appeal.
UF writes that the best curative against spiritual inflation is worshipping that which is above us, which serves as a reminder of the distance between us and the goal. We must not confuse "what we are" with who or "what the worshipped being is."
True enough, in the ultimate sense "all is God." However, it is more accurate -- or less inaccurate -- to say that "nothing is not God." Nevertheless, to paraphrase Schuon, it does one no good to affirm that "I am one with God" until one appreciates the extent to which one is not. Two comes before Three and One.
UF writes that since the purpose of spirituality is the cultivation of height, depth, breadth, and profundity within the soul, inflation is the principle danger for all who would embark upon this path.
As such, this is why there is such an emphasis "on the cultivation of humility," for example, in remaining obedient to orthodoxy (or to the true Master), of systematic and continuous "examination of conscience," and on "the reciprocal brotherly help of members of the community." "Authentic experience of the Divine makes one humble; he who is not humble has not had an authentic experience of the Divine."
This, by the way, is the meaning of the true community of which left wing statism is a caricature. As Russell Kirk writes in Eliot and His Age, the left imposes an exteriorized welfare state that crushes the soul and robs man of his dignity rather than undertaking "the hard and austere labor of thinking through a program for restoring true community."
And because they are "progressive," they actively sever the living link between present and past, the result being that communion with our priceless repository of accumulated wisdom is impossible. To put it another way, the idea of linear "temporal progress" denies the spatial mode of civilization, the psychospiritual "container," womb, or matrix that has nurtured the West for several millennia.
President Obama is suffering from the identical spiritual inflation as Chopra. Note how UF saw him coming half a century ago:
"The reformer who wants to correct or save humanity easily falls victim to the temptation of considering himself as the active center of the passive circle of humanity. He feels himself as the bearer of a mission of universal significance, therefore he feels himself to be more and more important."
And why not, with deeply disturbed creatures such as this serving as his herald:
"You really only get a handful, a smattering, maybe three or four per lifetime if you're lucky or blessed or just so happen to be paying the right kind of deeper karmic attention. Historic events, I mean. Major shifts, upheavals, great leaps forward [!!!!! -- ed.], the Thing That Changed Everything.
"President Obama will be just such a shift, an extraordinary marker, a type and flavor of history that we as preternaturally jaded humans rarely get to experience anymore.... the sheer volume of expansive energy surrounding Obama's run has been absolutely astonishing, a global outpouring of positive interest and awareness like almost no other leader, no other potential slap of progress we've experienced in modern American history. From the international headlines down to the forgotten corners of our own culture we normally never hear from, the message is the same: Something is about to upend. Something seems like it's about to give way."
Yes, something is about to give way (and be taken away) alright. With an Obama presidency, we will now be governed by those least capable of governing themselves, which is a recipe for hell. [Say, how'd that work out, anyway?]
It would not be too difficult to name some politicians whose influence and impact agree very well with the classical concept of the "black magician." Indeed, is it difficult to name politicians who have exercised a deadly, suggestive influence on the popular masses, blinding them and inciting them to acts of cruelty, injustice and violence, of which each individual, taken separately, would be incapable... and who, through their semi-magical influence, have deprived individuals of their freedom and rendered them possessed? And is not this action to deprive men of their moral freedom and to render them possessed the aim and very essence of black magic? --Meditations on the Tarot
Or, if you prefer, straight from the hoser's mouth:
[T]he speech worked such magic.... In essence Sen. Obama's speech said, "I am America," and amazingly enough, people from all walks of life, political persuasions, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds believe him.... Watching cynical reporters and political commentators believe in him almost instantaneously is breathtaking.... If Barack Obama makes it all the way to the White House, it will represent a quantum leap in American consciousness....
True enough, but quantum leaps are not unidirectional.