25/07/2013

The Sacred Community



“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Robert A. Heinlein


We are a race of beings chronically dissatisfied, always on the hunt for something better or different. It is an ambitious hunt where we seek to take as much as possible, because more is always better;  after all this is what our society is teaching us, more is better, bigger is better, any peak is the best even if we rarely know why it is best or better. And we all fall victim for this, at least to some level or in some weak moments, we get touched by the sadness of the world. At times we drown in that sadness of the world that seeks to veil and shroud itself in laughter, ecstasy and fashion. We allow ourselves to drown in hysteria, laughter and gossip because it masks our hurt, our pain to appear smaller and softer – it gives us an island of solitude amongst the crowds. But this solitude we experience in a world of icebergs crashing into one another is not what most of us seek. Most of us seek to merge with those kindred of spirit and understanding, those bound with us in love. 

Some of us are perfectly fine with being blocks of hysteric and selfish ice floating around in an ocean of ambitious aspiration. In this ocean God is dead and spirits are merely memories of limited meaning and no benefit. But at the moment we dare to ask the big questions concerning purpose and station our laughter and well suited joy becomes a macabre cacophony of restlessness and worry moving beneath the shrills of mirth and amusement. When the big questions are posed they never leave you alone, no matter how much you try to flee into loneliness or the ambitious crowd of achievers. The winds bringing the big questions will always seek you after you opened the door and find you in your hours of solitude and soberness. You will always hear the challenging whispers that call you to be who you are. But in a world where a common goal is equally valid for all, how can you discover the answer to this whisper? This gentle call, this whisper is all too often perceived as a threat.


Some seek a guru, a master, a teacher. Others seek a self awareness born from the modern democratic ideal that we all can be whatever we want, fitting or not, we can take what we want and by this alone we can find purpose. Yet others seek community. They seek amongst the common to find the herd that share their inklings and sentiments. They seek family. And this is a good thing, but it is also here many go astray by yet another social default. A modern community tend to be erected on basis of some cause or some interest and often as a reaction of something of social nature. We have communities of victims as much as we have communities of people sharing an illness. The modern idea of community is born from a clever social mechanism that tends to breed dysfunction as we find ourselves in a field of shared opinion and illness. The out-group affirms the greater in-group in a sadistic mirror play where all weakness sprouts like weed in good comfortable weather.  Many who searches community are in truth searching a convent, an assembly of people who seek to ‘come together’. We are speaking of finding familiarity. We speak of finding our pack, our family. And indeed family is what people seek. A family is a collective in a household, it includes the domus (the master, mistress and children of the owner of the house) as well as everyone sharing in the activities of the household, they be man or beast.   

René Guénon wrote in his treatise ‘Spiritual Authority & Temporal Power’ about how traditional governments were given the right of ensuring a stabilizing and regulatory social order (like the domus of a household). This right was always one given to the royal powers, but mediated by the internal and sacerdotal order, the stillness of the world axis that would establish a field between wisdom, need and goodness that would ensure a society of positive reinforcements and communities of harmony where the convent would ensure particular interests in the greater flow of a healthy community. A healthy community is like a well oiled clockwork where the oil is made from the juice of love. 


In fact this is reminiscent of what Robert Kirk in his treatise about the commonwealth of fairies wrote about the fey; “They are said to have aristocratic rulers and laws, but no discernible religion, love, or devotion towards God, the blessed Maker of all.” An aristocratic rule is a rulership composed from those best suited to lead, the finest and most wise exemplars of a community. Today aristocracy is at time confused with plutocracy, a commonwealth composed of those most rich in a society. Plutocracy is the true nature of modern democracy, where those gaining or inheriting monetary fortunes are also those who rule the world. 

An aristocracy on the other hand is not seeing money and material possessions as a greater blessing than any other virtue or fortune, a true aristocracy is following the model of the fey and djinn societies where one is elected by ones fellow men. Of course family and heritage plays a role in this, just as a family name can be followed by good or bad reputation and as a given pedigree of dogs are favoured over others for given abilities either useful for the pack, a community – or simply the taste of the purchaser.  

I would say that a sacred community do follow in this vein and set for itself aristocratic standards. These standards are built upon love and wisdom as the pillars of a healthy community. A healthy community will hold as a blueprint for its rulership the premise that a social organism is raised upon the skeleton of its participants, hence the number of bones in the human body will inform the rulers about the necessity of variety and difference. But in a world where everyone aims towards being femurs, tibias and skulls this richness gets lost in ambition, laughter and sadness. 

This is even more visible in religious, occult and magical communities that are not about making convents of gatherings in harmony, but about femurs and skulls debating their position. It mimics, like a microcosmic pastiche, the corpse-world around us. In doing this the dysfunction of our society becomes extreme. We see sacred communities consisting of people who think spirituality is the next bigger and better they can get to solve their crisis of identity and purpose and we have a clergy failing in seeing that what is taking shape is a profanization of a sacred structure, the convent. In accepting the rules of society as guidelines for helping seekers a different vestment for the same hunt is given as the people seeking community – while finding convent – insist on equality and respect. Sure, respect should always be there, but equality is a term misunderstood. Equality doesn’t mean that we have equal right to the same thing, but equal right to find our place in the equation of equality that dresses the social skeleton with nerves, muscles and life. In this we all have a role – and in a sacred community - even more. 

Because no goodness can exist without the stern - and often cold - wisdom that understands the fire of passions and because of this can call them to sizzle in their place of bounty and beauty.  This makes part of what should regulate a healthy convent, what regulates the gathering of people in the convent is love, it should always be love. The kind of love that inspires in you the knowledge that if the life of your beloved gets better, your life gets better. In love we find true happiness and in taking part of the true happiness of the other we can find true love, that condition where we seek the happiness of the other knowing that in this act alone we will cement the first stone on the cathedral of love and it is at the cathedral of love a harmonious gathering can take place. It is in doing this we take the first step away from ambition and the first step towards happiness as we open up for the discovery of Self amongst the many and few using love as compass and fuel, always mindful that love can be tough and at times cruel...