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Jason Hine - 09 Oct 2020
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Many spiritual people and fascists purporting to be spiritual people speak out against fear. But it's ok and perfectly healthy to be afraid: fear is a necessary helpful preparatory emotion when it is titrated and deeply rooted in the body.

Not all force is bad, not all control is bad. If people on the left cede the qualities of force, structure, responsibility, limit, sacrifice, control, empiricism and boundaries to the political right, this will weaken the left even more. Limit, structure, force, control, sacrifice and boundaries can all be beneficial qualities.

It's not the presence of healthy boundaries but the lack of healthy boundaries in Trump and the like which cause them to put boundaries in the wrong places and to externalise/project boundaries into border walls.

In decentralised community networks, tenant unions, participatory democracies, ecovillages, community councils and liquid democracies, there is usually still involved a certain giving up of adolescent pseudo-freedom in order to follow guidelines or rules and benefit the group.

I don't believe its possible or desirable to get rid of power, hierarchy and structure completely, but it is possible to redesign how power is distributed; to embody and live in systems in which minority voices are raised up and in which decision making structures are tractable, directly democratically accountable to members or citizens and in which power hierarchies are fluid, changeable or liquid.

Alternative culture luminaries and "new story teachers" who have a psychological tendency to dislike structure, like to criticise modern politician's obsession with "control". This is valid up to a point. But the disaster capitalism that is presently killing tens of thousands of people and destroying ecosystems is manifested not so much in governments actions but in their LACK of agency, lack of action, lack of structure and lack of responsibility.

The viewpoint held by right libertarians, by people like Donald Trump, Covid-19 deniers, anti-maskers and many modern coaches, spiritual teachers and personal development teachers that "freedom" to do whatever you want is the highest value, isn't a manifestation of freedom, it is a desperate strategy to avoid being accountable, and a manifestation of being bound to one's inner rebellious adolescent.

Youtube videos, videos of outlier charismatic doctors who mash up science and science fiction and unsubstantiated internet articles are not equally reliable sources as peer-reviewed scientific papers published by scientists themselves or reported in reputable scientific journals.

"Reliable sources" means peer-reviewed scientific papers or those publications which report on peer reviewed scientific data. Youtube videos or internet articles containing the opinions of one or more spiritual teacher or doctor of medicine with outlier opinions and without references and without peer review often aren't reliable.

Its not that some outlier theories might be worth investigating and might later turn out to be wholly or partly true. But to find out if something is likely to have some basis, its useful to look at primary sources, or reputable journals that report on them.

Scientists have always used imaginal or metaphysical metaphors to explain their work, and philosophers have always used metaphors from science. There is nothing wrong with philosophers using scientific metaphors or vice versa. Also science, philosophy and spirituality can actually co-exist.

What is not so helpful is when empirical science is denied completely or more subtly, when someone's personal gnosis is presented as empirical data or remixed with empirical data to create a science and science-fiction hybrid.

This tendency to disguise personal gnosis as empirical data is not to be confused with, and needs to be differentiated from, the healthy co-existence of science and spirituality or the healthy companionship of science and animism.

A conspiracy theory emerging from the baleful mouth of Donald Trump and his political propaganda operation or cooked up on a Neo-Nazi troll farm don't have the same claim to truth as the empirically verified evidence of a thousand scientists. The former has no claim to truth and the latter has a high probability of being true.

At the time of Covid-19 virus boundaries, structure, limitation, control, focus, sacrifice, determination, rationality, reason, discipline and limits are now all potential allies. They are not enemy powers, they won't make you heartless. They may unfurl the power and beauty of responsibility and limit. They might reveal what is actually sacred. They may show you what you have to do and what you must.

It is not reasonable to say: "Here, on one hand, is a fabricated Youtube video or unsubstantiated article, then on the other hand here is empirical data discovered by multiple scientists - lets see if we can find a reasonable mean or balance between these two views."

These two viewpoints aren't balanced and aren't equivalent to each other. They don't fit together in a Hegelian dialectic or as Jungian pair opposites or any other such schemata. We don't live in some flat entirely solipsistic reality where everything is equivalent to everything else.

Vitamins, herbs and meditation can assist the immune system but can't confer supernatural invulnerability.

Sometimes spiritual people say things like: "wearing masks or social distancing are a symbol of fear." This is completely back to front: wearing a mask at a time of pandemic isn't a symbol of fear. The mask is a symbol of solidarity, protecting one's fellow man or woman and giving a fuck about other people. They are a symbol of compassion, respect and responsibility.

What is really going on when people come out with claims that masks or social distancing are a symbol of fear or of loss of freedom? Behind this pseudo-spiritual fear of "the man" or of archonic control, is the adolescent's fear of adulthood, social solidarity or responsibility.

Behind a fear of the mask is the fear of actually leaving adolescent pseudo-freedom. Behind the fear of the mask is a fear of the loss of the freedom of following the ego's wiles which say: "I'll just do whatever the fuck I want" and a fear of the real freedom of actually entering social solidarity, becoming a citizen and becoming useful to other beings.

The wearing of a mask disproves those who have built their philosophies and politics on the idea that we are bunch of selfish bastards who put economic growth first and don't give a fuck about anyone else.

Many spiritual people and fascists purporting to be spiritual people speak out against fear. But it's ok and perfectly healthy to be afraid: fear is a necessary helpful preparatory emotion when it is titrated and deeply rooted in the body.

Somatically integrate fear, and fear will become an ally of readiness, courage and responsiveness. Love can be important too, but don't fall for that adolescent regressive application of the mantra "always choose love over fear" to every circumstance.

We don't have to listen to the unboundaried, ungrounded story that we need to always choose "love over fear"

There is a form of spiritual bypassing which says folk shouldn't fear anything: "Just be love and light", "choose love over fear." But fear can be deeply generative when folk also ground in the body, root onto the earth and take action from that place.

Love can be important, but an adult response is to have a healthy grounded rooted fear as well as a variety of other emotions: readiness, compassion, joy, sadness and so on.

A deep and sober look at reality, rather than escapist fantasy, when deeply rooted in the body can help to ground folk in courage, responsibility, respect, readiness, responsiveness and resilience.

Narratives about ascending to 5D are sometimes just dissociation masquerading as spirituality and hide the fact that its enough, its good enough, its sufficient, to care for a single fragile elderly person.

There is no need to side with those cruel governments who want to sacrifice the lives of their people for economic growth, use Covid-19 as a bioweapon against their own people and sacrifice nature for economic growth.

Governments don't need to do that, even in the context of their existing systems. Instead they need to be pressurized to redistribute resources downwards to the most vulnerable.

Also, by making a few economic changes late capitalist economies could shift to a temporary or permanent redistributive equitable steady-state economy supplemented by a basic income, that doesn't go into a depression when economic growth slows, if the political will were present.

People who say: "The coronavirus is nothing significant", or: "its just something people have manifested", or: "its only media hysteria" or: "it will only effect people of a low vibration" are displaying their rank and privilege, to do what they want with a callous disregard for those older or unwell people who are at most risk from the virus.

Ableist, classist and age discrimating rank shrinks the brain's capacity for respect and co-feeling unless folk actually wake up to it. Sober, scientifically informed, serious, robust precautions are necessary.

Science doesn't provide the answers to everything: it can get things wrong, it can be misused or taken out of context, and also if multiple scientists converge on peer-reviewed data points derived from hypothesis and empirical verification, its likely to be worthy of serious consideration.

Obsessing over death, being nonchalant about death or wishing death on vulnerable people can be a form of trauma-based escapism from life and from survival, just as obsessing over personal survival can be a form of escapism from death.

The will to live is deeply psychologically healthy and spiritually grounded.

Science doesn't answer all the questions of life nor does it offer absolute truth. It doesn't know anything absolutely or with total certainty. It can be manipulated politically by selectively funding some research whilst suppressing other areas of research.

All that science can point towards is a certain probability of something being true if multiple scientists converge on the same data points reached by hypothesis and experimental verification.

An absolute exterior Cartesian/Baconian seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth century-style objective reality with a total split between body and mind and a total split between humans and nature doesn't exist.

But we don't live in a totally relative subjective solipsistic reality either: Objectivity still exists relatively when we empirically examine inter-existing phenomena in nested contexts.

It's possible to take an interest both in scientific data and in the "spiritual" world and the animistic earth based world. These two realms don't have to contradict each other.

Alternative culture has a lot to contribute but without taking an interest in empirically verified data it just floats off into a kind of fantasy or science fiction novel. It's funny and entertaining, but misses the deep healthy changes in the soul and psyche that a hard look at reality brings about.

This is apparent in the response the Covid-19 virus where some folks think a Youtube conspiracy or a cultish outlier doctor's opinion is equal in value to the viewpoint of a thousand scientists, or meditation and taking herbs will evoke total protection against the virus.

Meditation, herbs and ritual may well help certain folk, but without also taking scientifically mandated precautions and looking at empirical data, folks will be risking their own and potentially many other's lives unnecessarily.

On one hand there is an extreme of total subjectivism, where reality only exists inwardly, as some spiritual and new age people practice. On the other there is the extreme of absolute objectivism, where there is a total barrier between body and mind and the human and nature.

The latter is the viewpoint of seventeenth and eighteenth century scientists like Descartes and Newton and emerged as a conceptual level as a result of the cultural somatic trauma of thousands of years of a culture being progressively cut off from the land by enclosures. This viewpoint was also utilized as part of an ideological justification for colonialism.

The Cartesian/Baconian split between body and mind and humanity and nature is the philosophy of those who have been forcible cut off from their original land and earth based culture, and then later forgot that their original culture ever existed.

A world of total objectivity, a total absolute separation of body and mind, and a total hard separation of humanity and nature, has been outdated by developments in neuroscience, cognitive science, quantum physics, systems theory, chaos theory and most other twentieth and twenty-first century scientific realms, but the earlier view persists in the human psyche (including in the psyche of some scientists) as a kind of trauma-based wounding.

The other extreme of theosophical or new age total spiritual subjectivism or solipsism where anything is equally real, the view of a single person with a you-tube conspiracy theory is equal in weight to the research of ten thousand scientists, and no attention is paid to empirical data, is the reverse "shadow" of this Cartesian viewpoint.

A third position is to be a materialist animist and a "magical realist": It is still possible to look at empirically verified data in an animist world. In an animist world there a myriad of "subjects" with agency interacting with each other and transforming each other and thereby consisting of and generating reality, but also objectivity exists relatively, when we empirically examine phenomena.

As well as there being "things", there are also relationships, without which the "things" wouldn't exist. It's a case of examining the context: what is the context of the context, and what is the context of the context of the context? How may the empirical observations subtly change the phenomena? What ecological relationship patterns are involved?

Objectivity doesn't exist as an absolute split between human beings and the earth as in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century European view, but relatively in the relationship between phenomena, when we choose to empirically examine a particular phenomena in its relationship patterns and in its deep nested context.

In an animistic world we can still examine and gather empirical data on phenomena and their interactions and relationships and act on it. Looking at empirical data combined with an earth based animistic perspective may be auspicious at this time

Being "free" to do whatever one wants or being a pseudo-rebel, as evident in endless economic growth advocates, lockdown protesters and anti-mask wearers, isn't always the highest value or natural order of things, it can be just a kind of adolescent behaviour.

People like Trump and modern neo-spiritual teachers give us a great gift: they point out exactly what pseudo-rebellious attitudes needs to be sacrificed or transformed in order for healthy earth based community to come into being.

Real freedom is not doing whatever the fuck you want even if it harms other people, but taking a long hard look at reality, giving up or sacrificing doing whatever one's ego wants and instead doing something which feeds, creates or serves community solidarity. Real "spirituality" is giving up doing whatever your ego wants regardless of the consequences, submitting to conscience-forged limits and community-forged limits and doing what you must.

Right now we see many folks mistaking any form of control, any kind of force, any kind of empiricism, any kind of hierarchy or structure for "authoritarianism." From the viewpoint of the ego that just wants to party and do whatever-the-fuck-it-wants regardless of the consequences, any kind of structure, any kind of control or force, however benevolent, can be mistaken for "authoritarianism."

The irony of course is that the real oppressors and authoritarians are completely untouched by this critique. Really existing oppressors are the real beneficiaries of the tendency to mistake healthy control for authoritarianism, as folks are blindsided to the oppressor's nefarious activities whilst chasing their own tails and attacking imaginary enemies.

Alternative culture luminaries and spiritual teachers, in love with ungrounded heart-based love and in love with "freedom", may need to come to see the value of limit, focus, control, responsive structure and decisive action.

These characteristics of limit, focused action, control, decisive leadership, listening to empirical data and flexible, open responsive structure are evident in the more successful response of countries like New Zealand, to the Covid-19 crisis. The most successful countries actions combined decisive action, scientific rigour, empathic communication and means of redistributing resources to people in need.

Decentralised forms of council and liquid democracies are beneficial and also there has never been a healthy earth based culture that involves no structure, no hierarchy and has no sense of limits.

The viewpoint that my "freedom" is more important than someone else's health is a manifestation of the ego that needs to be ritually given up or transformed, to be tempered towards service to life, in order for a functioning village or a functioning community to come into existence.

Control, limit, structure, sacrifice, rigorous analysis of data and boundaries aren't necessarily bad in themselves if they are used to protect the earth or protect vulnerable people

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