Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Everything Does Not Happen For A Reason

I hate New Age philosophy. I despise it. It's easy, light, pseudo-spirituality for people too lazy to actually face some hard facts and do some real thinking in life.

I especially cannot stand "everything happens for a reason".

No.

It does not.

Some things happen for a reason.

But there is a genuine element of unpredictability in the universe. That means that some things just happen. For no reason at all.

That's right. There is chaos built into the liveliness of things. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad.

I have stated before that wod has an element of turbulence to it. New Agers assume that the universe works entirely on laminar flows. It does not. Many flows are turbulent. That means their outcomes are highly unpredictable.

Let me tell you why New Agers lazily gravitate towards their particular brand of hogwash. They know that bad things happen in the world, and this is troubling.

It should be troubling.

Bad things call out for correction, even at times for collective correction, if we can manage it.

But lazy folks don't want to face such colossal tasks, so instead of doing anything about it, they'd rather just change their mindstate to fit the bad state of things to somehow make it better in their minds.

In a sane world, we'd call this brainwashing and not "spirituality".

Let's face it. Some bad shit has gone down. You can't quite look at a universe the same way once you've realized that the Holocaust (and many other horrible events) have happened in it. It takes tremendous spiritual strength and effort just to be able to encompass the horror of it.

Rather than doing so, New Agers would much rather change their labels and call bad good. Then if it's "all good", hey, there's no problem.

In psychology, this is called cognitive dissonance. It is difficult for people to maintain beliefs that make them uncomfortable with their habits.

Now sometimes bad things happen and there's very little we can do about it. That is frustrating and discouraging. That too takes strength of soul to endure, and there is meaning in such endurance. True spirituality should provide communal support for endurance when ill can only be endured, and encouragement when victories are possible.

But once we've "figured out" that "everything happens for a reason", then when something goes bad, we don't have to feel badly anymore, because now we can blame the victim.

Did you get sick? Are you in pain? You did something wrong.

Object that you've been an upstanding citizen your whole life who has always endeavored to do your best and exhibit love to those around you?

Oh, it wasn't in this life. It was in another life.

I'm just wondering in what court of law actions taken by an individual whose memories I don't share, whose entire existence is hypothetical and not demonstrably proven, would impinge upon my life in such a way that I would be held responsible for them. If I committed actions in another alleged lifetime that I don't even remember, how the hell can I be held responsible for them? And what kind of tyrant would create such a system? That could only lead to a Gnostic solution that Yaldabaoth must indeed be in charge of this world.

As usual, these superficial, intellectually bankrupt people seeking cheap meaning from a second-grade level book or lecture do not engage in any critical thinking about social dimensions of alleged spiritual ideas, but a common sense approach to the dogma of karma would be to perceive that it was a pretty fancy way of enforcing social conformity and keeping the lower class in place.

And it's not like the Hindus are shy about admitting this : they openly state that what is important above all else is to preserve dharma, which is just a fancy way of placing some kind of shibboleth sacredness around the status quo. In other words, do what you're told to do.

If you're poor, it's because you were meant to be poor. Think of all those bad things you did in that former lifetime. Well, just do the best you can, and try to be the best poor person you can be, because after all, you're responsible for it.

What kind of moron accepts such blatant propaganda? And then calls it spirituality?

What kind of self-respecting heathen in love with freedom would ever look at this as anything but what it is : brainwashing to keep people in their place and be comfortable with injustice in the world.

These people are so fond of saying, "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual."

Bullshit you're not religious! You're as dogmatic as they come! And next to your dogma, I'd find JudaeoChristian dogma sparklingly refreshing! At least they're square about the reality of evil in the world, and not trying to call bad good.

"Everything's all good. Everything is just getting better."

Yah, you just keep repeating that self-hypnotizing pabulum to yourself.

Wait, don't. You'll then call it "affirmations" or "mantras" and label it as spirituality rather than socially cynical brainwashing.

Why don't you just admit to the fact? You don't want to admit how horrible and awful this world can be, and so you'd rather find a way to relabel all of that as "necessary". Not only do you not have to think about it anymore, now you don't have any obligation to fight it, either. Because after all, if it exists, it "must have happened for a reason".

I see no reason to extend any respect whatsoever to such a lazy, hypnotised practice that tries to justify everything as wonderful, blame the victim, ignore injustice, and ignore the fact that there is some unpredictability in the world, and some of it is good!

Who would want to live in a universe where everything was predictable and absolutely everything had a reason such that it was completely determined? Boring.

Let the sheep have their baaaaa-mantras. Real adventurers who follow in the footsteps of bold ancestors like Northern Vikings are not going to be content with such hogwash. They're going to leap into the true adventure of spirituality, which requires work and the development of endurance and the ability to face hard facts, but beyond this ability to face the grim, to live with cheer and exhilaration in the wod, the unpredictable turbulence, of the world. Because some of it can be fun!

8 Comments:

Anonymous Bjorn Odinsson said...

Vestu Heil! This is good, good stuff my friend. I too am angry with this complacency of the sheeple in this world. I hate the New Age fluff that poses as spirituality. This is why Heathenism called so strongly to me whilst I was shopping in the "marketplace of ideas" after leaving Christianity. I love how Heathenism elevates as virtue the defiant hero, how even in the face of Orlog, Woden stands strong and seeks to delay the inevitablility of Ragnarok.

We must be spiritual berserkers, unwilling to die lest our very heads be lopped off, only entering the Great Beyond with bloody knuckles and our heads beneath our arms. No God, nor Norn, nor Thursar can turn us away from our destiny.

Keep up the fight my brother!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Tracie the Red said...

About a year ago, I read an essay by a person who had grown up in the New Age world but had left it in favor of rationalism/atheism, methinks...and she wrote that the New Age world, despite all of its talk of having enormous respect for mystery/runa, actually does NOT have said respect. Not at all.

Instead, she said that New Agers can explain absolutely everything away - it's the planets, or the feng shui, or whatever that make everything go pear-shaped/tits up/call it what you will.

I think she has a point.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous clint said...

Ya, if that is the New Age POV, then that is definitely some ol' bullshit. It's basically corrupted and misunderstood Hinduism with a new coat of paint and some tawdry decorations, and I can't imagine that our cousins the Rishis up in the mountains imagined anything like this when they were staring into fires and generating the Vedic hymns.

1:41 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Oh, no, their viewpoint was far more psychedelic. These were Soma-drinkers, after all! They had a feel for mystery, and for poetry. Nothing as vulgar as all this. I think Socrates nailed the old sacred viewpoint when he figured out that he was wise because he "knew that he did not know" ; in other words, no matter how much we know, there are always gaps in our knowledge in a universe so vast and mysterious, and thus we are granted beautiful glimpses in the dark, which are to be cherished, but never mistaken for the great mystery itself. Wyrd is by definition uncanny, an old word for "unknowable".

7:28 PM  
Blogger charliegrosso said...

oh dearest friend how i have miss thee and thy overly intelligent rants and insights into this world. hogwash might be my new favorite word aside from owl. how have i lived all these years without these thoughts of your?

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!!!

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I read this after a painful bereavement of losing my teenage son. Modern medicine could not decipher what was wrong. He appreared fit and healthy.

As tough as it is - I take from this discussion that:

- not everything happens for a reason - true, but that in my son's case there was a simple reason - medical science (the team at the hospital that day even) simply did not know what to do. Heart rending for me but the truth nonetheless.

This was not part of some masterplan - it just happened and up to us how we deal with it. We have choices - we can help understand why he died or take the easy approach - that it was pre-ordained.

9:05 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Anonymous, it is a great honor that these words of mine could be of any comfort to you in your terrible bereavement. May all the fair-winged ones of your passed kin surround and comfort you with visions of your loved one safe and smiling in the hall of ancestors.

Why what happened happened, we do not know ; Wyrd is full of twist and turns of flowing, raging chance. But now he is enveloped, as in cocoon, within the heart of world, a pulsing throb of surging sap fermented deep inside the star-enspangled World Tree. Of that be certain : his name is etched in runes upon the roots of all we are.

5:02 AM  

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