The New Science of Hutzpah: Awaken the Sociopath Within!
Emphasis on (↑) alone leads to the construction of a "Tower of Babel," or purely manmade ladder to God. Emphasis on (↓) alone leads to the fatalism of, say, the Islamic world, or to any form of radical predestination that removes human will from the equation.
Not to resort immediately to Godwin's Law, but I'm reading this superb biography of Hitler, and it is all over the purely (↑) nature of his "project."
Indeed, Mein Kampf means My Struggle; it is the exertion of raw will because, in the end, will is all there is. Biological existence itself is a battle of wills, with only one winner. No compromise is possible. Either you are the hammer or you are the anvil:
"Politics are the conduct and course of historical struggle for life of peoples.... It is an iron principle.... The aim of these struggles is the assertion of existence.... The weaker one falls so that the strong one gains life."
The reason why Hitler so hated Bolshevism had nothing to do with economics -- for Hitler too believed in a controlled economy in service to the state -- but was because it directly opposed his principles of national will and the resultant "natural" hierarchy. (Among other deficits, Hitler was completely absent any sense of humor. He did, however, make one humorous remark, albeit unintentionally, describing Stalin as "probably sick in the brain. His bloody regime can otherwise not be explained.")
A major reason -- if "reason" is the right word -- why Hitler despised Judaism and Christianity was their emphasis on virtue over power, individual over blood, and liberty over subordination to the nation. Anything that presumed to constrain the Fuhrer's will represented the essence of evil. While he was very much opposed to class division, it was in the name of blood, not economics.
There are many contemporary spiritual approaches that revolve solely around (↑), probably because they are too sophisticated to believe in God, and therefore grace, and therefore (↓). But they do believe in "evolution," so they just apply it to the vertical, as if they may simply will their own transformation, or pick themselves up by their own buddhastraps. I think we can sum up the integral movement with a single photo:
I mean, if I saw that huckster on my property, I'd call the cops, not sit down to tea... or Red Bull and tofu chips. Robbins must represent the quintessence of (↑) to the exclusion of (↓) -- you know, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement. Live with Passion!: Stategies for Creating a Compelling Future.
What a hideous pneumapath. How about The New Science of Hutzpah! With his Ultimate Relationship Program, Robbins will sell you the keys to LIFELONG PASSION: just leave that old worn out wife and hook up with a youthful, compliant, idealizing, and featherbrained disciple!
But I suppose these oily snakesmen will always be with us, trying to put the bite on a new generation of rubes. Frankly, there is far more wisdom in a single sentence of the Bob.
Even if "successful," the purely (↑) approach represents a catastrophic failure, for it is a kind of terrestrial victory at the cost of celestial death. For UF, it amounts to "the decision to remain remote from the Father. And it is precisely this which is death in a divine sense. Complete crystallization is therefore complete death from the divine point of view..." It is the fulfillment of the promise of the serpent, which is that "You will live remote from God and it will be I who shall attend to the uninterrupted continuation of your life in the horizontal, for I shall make up for the lack of divine wisdom and love by replacing them with the intellect and with psycho-physical electricity, which will be the source of your life."
Yes, says the serpent, allow me to AWAKEN YOUR GIANT ASSOUL WITHIN and give you UNLIMITED POWER and a DIVINE PROFIT STREAM that is FULLY TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
(If this doesn't make you cringe, then you have no heart. At first I thought it was parody:
"As I knocked on the door I was greeted by Colin an assistant of Ken’s. I started to hear music as if a chorus of angels were singing. Walking in, Ken came over to me and light was filling the room, we shook hands and I could feel a surge of energy and heat coming from Ken as an uplifted sense took over. A familiar peace came over me, usually felt after working on a painting for some hours.... Then we talked for awhile as I watched angels dancing around Ken and saw images of Moses, Jesus and Nagarjuna fade in and out.")
UF makes a subtle point that the way of Christianity promises not just Life over Death, but Life over life -- horizontal life. The way of Tony Robbins promises horizontal life over life, which amounts to Death on stilts. The lessons of Genesis are not abstract or remote, but extremely practical and experience-near. In order to make the lesson more vivid, when you read of the serpent, perhaps you should imagine a snake with Tony Robbins' freakishly oversized head. The horror....
The whole point of Christianity is the victory of the vertical over the horizontal, not a pseudo-victory of horizontal over horizontal. It is the victory "of radiation over crystallization." Which reminds me of the narrator's last line of Sunset Boulevard: Life, which can be strangely merciful, had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her... (Crystallization is synonymous with enfoldment.)
Now that I think about it, the film is all about crystallization, or about death in life. For that is what Norma is: a breathing corpse, a living death, a monster. She no longer radiates as a living star, but is a dying star from which no light escapes.
The film is even narrated by a dead man, who shares his sardonic insights: "There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five." "You don't yell at a sleepwalker -- he may fall and break his neck. That's it: she was still sleepwalking along the giddy heights of a lost career." "How could she breathe in that house full of Norma Desmonds? Around every corner, Norma Desmonds... more Norma Desmonds... and still more Norma Desmonds." Trying to stop the aging process doesn't really make you younger. Rather, it turns you into a corpse. It is not life, but death-resistance.
(Hitler: "I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker.")
The dead chimp at the beginning is highly symbolic, for that is what a human being is in the absence of the Divine. Norma says, "I'd like the coffin to be white, and I want it specially lined with satin. White... or pink. Maybe red! Bright flaming red! Let's make it gay!"
Even the name: Sunset Boulevard. Not only does it convey the dying of the light, but in case you don't live here, Sunset Boulevard is a street that starts in the bowels of Los Angeles, makes its way through Beverly Hills, and empties to the sea.
So, let us follow UF's advice, and "no longer seek amongst the dead for he who is living, and above all let us not seek for immortal Life in the domain of death."
The spiritual ascent is everywhere the same, and always consists of purification, illumination, and union; or rejection, aspiration, and surrender. "This is the eternal way, and no one can invent or find another," not even Tony Robbins and Ken Wilber combined.
Yes, as UF says, you can divide and subdivide it "into thirty-three stages -- or even into ninety-nine," but it always comes back to that same dynamic and interlocking trinity that takes place on a moment-by-moment basis, for purification is illumination -- or consciousness of a Divine reality -- and union with the Divine Will.
Likewise, illumination is purification of the intellect and union with the Divine Mind. And union is a purified heart, which is now the center of one's thought and being.
Or, to turn it around, "a non-illuminated gnostic would not be a gnostic, but rather an 'oddball'; a non-illuminated mage would be only a sorceror; and a non-illuminated philosopher would be either a complete skeptic or an amateur at 'intellectual play.'"
And a non-illuminated gnostic tyrant brings hell to earth.