Everyone takes their gods seriously. If you were to visit pre-conquest Central America and begin joking with the locals about Quetzalcoatl’s funny headdress, you may well join the thousands being ritually sacrificed to him (feathers be upon him) during the next religious festival. If you instead travelled back to 1920’s Moscow and started talking dirt about Lenin and Marx’s facial hair in a bar, you would probably get a one-way ticket on the next slow train to Siberia. And if you were to travel to anywhere these days in the Dar al-Islam and point out Mohammed’s well-known pedophilia, well… we know what happens to people who mock Islam…
It’s one of the constants of human nature that we will uphold the honour of our gods. Everyone, that is, except us. We enlightened post-modern, post-colonial, post-gender democratic socialist utopians don’t have gods, do we? Of course those Jesus-jumpers and churchy types still profess reliance on a deity, but they don’t really believe it, do they? They’re just weak or were brainwashed by autocratic parents. We’ve moved past needing gods to navigate reality.
Our gods aren’t dub-stepping stone-carved feathered serpents or creepy desert-dwelling daughter-fondling psychopaths (camel urine be upon him). Our gods are concepts. This is not novel in history; it’s an ancient practice which was revived during the fall of Christian culture at the birth of the modern period. The origin of our philosophical religion, an outline of which has been quite brilliantly provided by Moldbug, is in ancient Neo-Platonic Gnosticism. Plato riffed constantly on the idea that this world was an imperfect and decaying series of replicas of a true, higher original world from which everything emanated. Put very simply (and experts on the topic would vomit blood on this reductive summary) these intellect-worshipping ideas of Plato were blended with some bastardised Christian dogma and symbolism and Jewish occult Kabbalism to create an underground religion of the elites which worshipped reason and intellect as the path to salvation for humanity and eschewed Judeo-Christian morality as a trap for the gullible and weak. For many Christians, this is nothing short of Satan’s counterfeit religion to combat Christianity.
If I keep explaining this, things will get very weird very fast and whatever credibility I’ve built up with you, distinguished reader, may well be lost. If you wish to investigate how occultism (‘secret knowledge’) developed throughout the medieval period and re-emerged from the darkness during the ‘Enlightenment’ to pretty much create modernity, perhaps check out: the development of Freemasonry, occult influences on major Enlightenment thinkers (especially the German Idealists), theosophy and the influence of Aleister Crowley, elite support for revolutionary movements and the Laurel Canyon influence on the countercultural revolution in the 60’s. Connect the dots if you’ve got the time. Or you could just watch Noah.
Let’s put our tin foil hats down now and carry on as sober, sensible reactionaries who would bring down modernity. What does it mean to say that we worship concepts? Let us consider our original thought experiment about visiting various times and places and offending the locals about their gods. What would someone have to discuss, say, in a workplace lunchroom or on the treadmill at the gym with a semi-stranger in order to arouse offence? Not something so trivial as mentioning they’ve retained their baby-body for several years, but something which would really get under the other person’s nose to perhaps motivate them to shun you, seek to outgroup you, perhaps work to get you fired or punished by the righteousness of the mob?
You’d have to say something that is ideologically unacceptable. This would be something that was uncontroversial at some point in the past, but that the forward march of progressivism had now made verboten. Ask why there are so many blacks on TV now, or how ridiculous it is that Jenny got that promotion just because admin knows she’d play the gender card if she didn’t, or how outrageous it is that everyone at the company subsidises ‘maternity leave’ when God gave wombs for free. That type of thing. In the early 21st century West, if you really want to piss someone off, disrespect the concepts they worship.
Now of course, not all people are equally zealous and there are always shades and distinctions even within denominations. Pointing out to a female colleague in line at the cafeteria the unjust female privileges in dress code that women can wear sandals and shorts whereas men have to wear pants, closed shoes and ties may not make her shun you forever. Keep it up though, and she’ll change the time she goes to the cafeteria. You’ll slowly become an unperson.
The theological foundation of this odd modern religion is the worship of reason. All religions have provided proof of their superiority as a foundation for their authority. Moses and Aaron dueled with Pharaoh’s magicians and through demonstrations of Yahweh’s superiority were able to secure release of the Israelites. Buddhism and other East Asian faiths have long done spiritual (and political) combat about which practices can best deliver enlightenment to practitioners. The ancient Romans, prior to a battle, would have their priests perform rituals to coax over the gods of their opponents by offering them better living arrangements and superior protections.
The authority of the modern mystery cult of reason is based upon the physical mastery provided by science and the marvels of technology. Every time a new technological breakthrough is offered up for the adoration of the masses, modernity itself is strengthened. This is a trick, however; science and technology would be possible without democratic socialism and the forward march of utopian leftism. Indeed, they may advance much more swiftly without the dead hand of leftist bureaucracy seeking to snatch their fruits.
It is not without reason that the Bible tells us that love is superior to knowledge (1 Corinthians 13). The conceit that our unleashed reason can conquer reality has led us to a very dark place as individuals and as a civilisation. As we face the twilight of the West and the barbarians pound on the city gates while the city leaders hand them the keys, disheveled from our vulgar self-indulgence, wombs scarred from the babies that were killed inside them for convenience, our families broken by lovelessness and our minds addled by misplaced desires, indebted and financially enslaved, we might do well to re-evaluate our gods. This age of reason which has been with us for three hundred years has seen more violence, more strife and more degeneracy than the three thousand years prior. Our gods of the mind have failed us, and we have over-reached ourselves. Once you understand this, then the restoration of Western civilisation has already begun with you. Are you willing to rebuild the future?