Part II: The Spiritual State

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Shinto Pagoda – H. Zuber – Japan 1866

Part II — The Spiritual State

By Joshua Blakeney

In Part I of this essay I drew to the reader’s attention to some of the flaws of the materialistic statal model of the West. I suggested that the materialistic state essentially existed as a repudiation of the traditional spiritual state which bases itself upon metaphysical objectivism—the doctrine in philosophy that there are verities which exist above and beyond man, which shape the course of human affairs and which are to be necessarily submitted to due to their inviolability.

Whereas the economistic, materialistic state reduces everything to matter and, under capitalism, champions a form of consumerist populism with leveling implications, the spiritual state draws men to strive for higher ideals and higher callings which encourage, in Nietzschean terms, “self-overcoming”, rather than the reduction of people to what Evola termed the “vegetative life”.

In the materialistic state the individual is told he is a sovereign, rational, economic actor. This myth of the free, autonomous individual lends itself to egocentrism of the kind which is particularly rife in the North American setting where the pursuit of immediate pleasure and self-aggrandizement is the norm and self-abnegation and asceticism the exception. The hostile elite group which has taken over the West has partially been able to do so due to the individualistic mindset which the materialistic state encourages within society.

In the spiritual state, contrastingly, there exists a sacred Order, which rigid though it may seem, often enables enhanced liberty and freedom, individually and collectively, due to a lack of the instability and dissention which the materialistic state creates (and then often responds to with totalitarian mechanisms). [1] Society has an unbreakable backbone enabling a psychological stability which lends itself to the development of high civilization.

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The Materialistic State Versus the Spiritual State

Julius_Evola_ccc35Part I – The Materialistic State

By Joshua Blakeney

Although much of the efforts that have been undertaken to “other” the Islamic world have been sophistic and have relied upon disingenuous arguments, there are some areas where marked civilizational differences can be identified. One such difference is between certain theories of the state. The Islamic Republic of Iran, for example, is a state whose ideological underpinning is based upon a spiritual understanding of the world, whereas the states of the West are largely temporal vehicles of materialism and secularism.

It seems then that in order to foster further understanding between the much maligned Islamic world and the West that the disparate conceptions of the spiritual state and the materialistic state need to be compared and contrasted. Here one ought not necessarily be restricted to the Islamic conception of the spiritual state as history furnishes us with myriad examples of such states which share many of the same traits.

The main scholar to turn to when attempting to distinguish the materialistic state from the spiritual state in occidental scholastics is Julius Evola (1898-1974). He rejected the post-Enlightenment world in toto, professing nostalgia for the transcendent state of what he termed “the world of Tradition”, which he defined in his magnum opus, Revolt Against the Modern World, based on universal criteria observable in multiple civilizations. Evola famously authored critiques of German National Socialism and Italian Fascism from the perspective of the authentic Right (which he distinguished from the inauthentic, economically deterministic Right which in fact promotes variants of Classical Liberalism), criticizing both movements for not fully overcoming the rationalistic, egalitarian and populist trappings of modernity.

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NHK Documentary on Shinto Shrines

In trying to produce some content for this new blog, I thought I’d re-post a comment I made on Facebook regarding this NHK documentary on Shinto Shrines:

I’ve been to a few of the Shinto shrines featured in this NHK show. Unlike Europeans, Japanese have not had their pagan religious practices negated by the hebraic religion of Christianity. For all intents and purposes Japanese society is a pagan society in harmony with nature and with a non-dualist ethical superstructure. Admittedly, since 1945 this has been watered down somewhat by the introduction of Western materialism, liberalism, and neo-Marxism but there are still many spiritual phenomena present in Japan whose occidental equivalents were abolished in Europe many hundreds of years ago as a result of the intra-Judaic dispute which led to the Christianization of Europe.

The Ritual of Issho-Mochi

In this video, a Japanese child participates in the ritual of issho-mochi (“issho” implies “entire life” and “mochi” is “rice cake” in Japanese). The ritual represents the parents’ wish for the child never to go without food. The Shinto text, Kojiki, relates an account of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu being driven into a cave by her brother, the God of Storms. A large boulder seals the entrance to the cave, preventing the land of Japan from receiving light. The large mochi utilized for the issho-mochi ritual is intended to represent the rock which hemmed Amaterasu in. The child carrying the heavy rice cake is symbolic of the removal of the rock behind which Amaterasu hid. With Amaterasu’s light, rice, the staple food of Japan, could be grown again, saving the people from famine. The round mochi also symbolizes the Yata no Kagami, the sacred mirror of the Imperial Family. Mirrors connote truth and honesty in Japanese paganism as mirrors reflect back that which is projected into them. This little ritual shows nature worship very much alive in a modern state. Europeans would be wise to explore their own pagan indigenous religious rituals which were displaced by Judeo-Christianity.