Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Christianity in an Ahrimanic age

I have found a modified version of Rudolf Steiner's schema that evil can be distinguished in two forms - Ahrimanic and Luciferic - to be a valuable tool.

The Luciferic is (roughly) the impulsive, instinctive, self-gratifying, psychopathic kind of evil - as characterised by the frenzied violence and torture of unbridled war; or the greedy lustfulness that drives the sexual revolution. This tended to be the dominant form of evil in ancient times - and of course it still continues.

But that does not capture the modern form of evil - which may originate in this kind of 'id'-driven thirst for instant gratification; but which takes this and operationalises it in the form of definitions, laws, regulations, and bureaucracy - enforced by omni-surveillance and micro-control mechanisms. This is the Ahrimanic - a cold, rational, systematic form of evil.  

In other words, the distinctive and dominant form of evil of this time, of modern times, is totalitarian. The Ahrimanic is the totalitarian, bureaucratic, strategic...

It is the evil of a whole society organised in pursuit of evil that has been pre-defined as Good. It may be an evil without pleasure; evil as an industrial process - a crushing, icy evil. The modern sexual revolution is presided-over, guided, implemented - not by passion crazed Caligulas - but by stony-eyed officials.

The problem is that almost all the real and serious Christian denominations and churches (I mean the best churches - not those that are liberal, apostate, vaguely-Christianised-leftist organisations) still seem to regard evil as Luciferic; and respond to its threat (or try to respond) by doubling-down on the Ahrimanic aspects of Christianity.

For example, the sexual revolution is seen by Christians as primarily about the Luciferic - to be opposed by better organisation. Whereas the real problem is not the work of lust-crazed individuals seeking pleasure; but the Ahrimanic, incremental, planned strategy of a vast army of drab, cold-eyed, strategising bureaucrats; armed with United Nations mission statements, European Union laws, International consensus definitions, guidelines, terms-of-service, models of best practice etc etc.

All too often the Christian response to the sexual revolution has been along exactly the same lines as the totalitarian bureacrats. An increase in planning, systems, supervision; a greater number and precision of rules; tougher enforcement - and so forth.

This is to fight ice with more ice; to fight Sauron with the One Ring. Such a Christianity presents the individual with what looks like nothing more than a choice of rival bureaucracies - one powerful and growing, the other small and collapsing. A choice of two would-be totalitarian monitoring and control systems. Both alienate, both are evil in form.

One can either be crushed by secular materialism, or crushed by religious practices...

The answer to the dominant Ahrimanic evil cannot be merely a different version of the same. Nor can it be a version of old-fashioned Luciferism; which is, anyway, an impossibility...

The middle sixties saw a massive cultural upsurge in the Luciferic (turn-on, tune-in, drop out - let it all hang out etc.) and that would-be explosion of the id and the instinct, merely fuelled decades of ever-expanding and further-encroaching bureaucracy. Nowadays, the Luciferic 'liberation' serves merely as an excuse for ever-more Ahrimanic constraint.

If evil comes from some combination of the domination of the Genital urges (Luciferic), and the raionalism of the 'Left Brain' (Ahrimanic) - what is needed is the Heart. And that is something new, something untried - but something profoundly Christian.

What Christianity needs cannot be captured in any formula or rule (that is just more Ahrimanic stuff) - in a totalitarian age we cannot expect to protect Christianity, or even to be Christian, by adhering to any principle of truth, or any flow-diagram of validity.

Nor can we fall into the trap of regarding anything other than the systematic as Luciferic, hence evil. There is a third way - the way of Jesus - and that is the only Good way. 

We must acknowledge the individual person in relation with God to be the fundamental unit of truth, beauty and virtue. This has been said many times before - but never done. A religion of the heart must be rooted in persons, not abstractions; because only persons can love - yet love is objective, the primary basis of all creation, the heart of Christ's teaching.