Fascism, Rascism, Neo-Paganism, and Alt-Right
They are pretty much all facets of the same thing, really. As there is a fourfold of light, there is a fourfold of darkness, just as William Blake’s four Zoas have their spiritual or “Eternal Forms” and their deficient forms that can easily become confused, befitting the expression that “only a hair separates the false from the true” or the saying that “Satan is but the ape of God”, or the Anti-Christ the ape of Christ.
It is necessary to confront the dark fourfold.
There’s an article in today’s Guardian by Sanjiv Bhattacharya entitled “Call me a racist, but don’t say I’m a Buddhist: meet the alt-right“. It’s a pretty good investigate article. But you will note that accompanying the article is a photograph of a man named Eric, seated in Buddhist meditation posture, while displayed on the wall behind him is a symbol of what looks like the Sacred Hoop. It’s actually an older Nordic symbol that very much resembles the Sacred Hoop and which also appears in the movie The Lord of the Rings.
This symbol is being appropriated to convey a meaning it didn’t have in the past, and couldn’t have had, just as the ancient symbol of the swastika or “sun wheel” was appropriated by Nazism to convey a meaning it didn’t have, and couldn’t have had, in antiquity. This misappropriation of the symbolic form, perverting its meaning thereby, is a very big part of the “deficient” functioning of the mental-rational consciousness, and another example of Nietzsche’s description of nihilism in which “all higher values devalue themselves”, in which symbolic forms are degraded and debased (including Buddhism and the meaning of “enlightenment”).
Modern racism is what we would call an “essentialist” viewpoint, and in that sense belongs to neo-paganism. It upholds the belief that there are “essential” differences between the races and therefore fundamentally natural or innate divisions, rather than distinctions of “nurture”. To say that there are species of consciousness (or different modes of perception) is not to say that there are differences of essence, which is a confusion of the secondary with the primal. The Buddha never recognised the social or spiritual authority of Brahmanism nor the validity of the caste system.
Racism or nativism, as a form of presumptive “essentialism”, is part of the return of the repressed only in this sense — that it is the modern form of the doctrine of the four elements or essences — Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as the four archons. This was the fourfold reality of antiquity, and is also represented in the Sacred Hoop, or as the “Four Ages of Man”, and so on. There were, of course, different “soul” types associated with each element also — the earthy, the airy, firey, or watery. I’ve never come across any attempt to link these essences with races in the ancient literature, but the Sacred Hoop does — the colours of the Sacred Hoop, and the directions North, South, East, and West, and the primal elements also, are linked to the variety of human races.
The differences between the essences, though, were not really the point, because the pagan thinkers saw these powers constantly in motion and metamorphising into one another. Yet despite this constant metamorphosis or transmigration of essences at the level of the flux, there was a continuous equilibrium preserved — or Logos — which was of far more interest to them than the supposed differences of essence. It was this mysterious unifying principle or integrating principle that ruled the flux that we refer to as the “quintessence” or “fifth essence” or “fifth element” and which Heraclitus, the “Greek Buddha” as Rosenstock-Huessy called him, referred to as “the Logos” but which, to others, was “the unknown”.
It was probably impossible for the ancients to associate the primal “essences” with race identity, since they thought only in terms of preponderances. This is largely because the human body, regardless of race, is intimately associated with the essences in terms of metabolic system (earthy), respiratory system (airy), circulatory system (watery) and nervous system (firey). Health and happiness and, in fact, kosmos itself, was dependent upon their equilibrium because for one to become supreme over the others threatened Kosmos with Kaos. It was precisely what we know as “hubris” (or excess) and consequential “Nemesis” or revenge effect because excess or hubris threatened Kosmos with the return of Kaos. And it is this fear of Kaos, or death, that informs the “Golden Mean” and the Delphic principle of “nothing too much”.
In other words, they knew a principle of ecology. They just didn’t know what it was. Heraclitus told them that it was the Logos. The Logos is the integral or integrating. Until the Logos was known, the elements were in an apparent state of dissociation, very much like Blake’s warring Zoas in their fallen or disintegrate state. The primal elements or archons of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are Blake’s Zoas, and are the same “Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence” and who are same “Antediluvians who are our Energies”. In those terms, the Logos is indeed “the soul” or soul-force, and is “the One Who Is Many”.
This is the context of fracture and fragmentation in which St. John’s statement that “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God”. This has been translated as “the Word” but that’s only a stab in the dark. For Heraclitus, the Logos was what we call “soul” or “life-force power of the universe” (in Jill Bolte-Taylor’s terms) and St. John was basically saying that the Heraclitean Logos was embodied in The Christ, and that the Christ was manifestation of the integrating principle and the principle of association. With the advent of the Logos in human form, St. John was announcing a post-pagan world. The Logos was the soul, the soul was Love, and love was the integrating principle. Love was the “life-force power of the universe” and was identical with the Logos.
It’s four this reason that “Christ on the Cross” becomes image of the “vital centre” of things and events, corresponding to what my aboriginal friends call “the centre of the voice” which is identical with the centre of the cross of reality or Sacred Hoop. And here, the four evangelists, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, who are often depicted in zoomorphic forms as man, lion, eagle, and gryphon, are the four elements and the four directions as the “guardians of the four directions” and as aspects of the fourfold self.
You could say that the Buddha’s “universal compassion” is the same insight as Jesus’ “universal love”. Probably they are. For we also see that the Buddha received the “guardians of the four directions” in much the same way that the four evangelists of Christianity surround the figure of Christ,
They are also the four directions of the Sacred Hoop. The legend which this figure of the Buddha recalls is, that upon his enlightenment, the Guardians (who were often fighting among one another, for they are the primordial elements or Antediluvians) gifted the Buddha with their own begging bowls, but which he, the Buddha, “integrated with his own for the sake of the dharma“. That is to say, the Buddha’s begging bowl is the quintessence or fifth element.
The same are the four beasts that surround the throne of God in Revelation. And the same are the four riders of the apocalypse in their polar aspect. The same are Blake’s four “Zoas”, for the Zoas are the “beasts”. The same are the “Antediluvians who are our Energies”, and therefore are figures or facets of the fourfold self which is also called “the Christ Consciousness”. This “Christ Consciousness” which is the quintessence (or is also called “Buddha Nature”) is the Logos of the fourfold self, which is called by Jean Gebser “Diaphainon“. Diaphainon is the image of Blake’s “Albion”, who is the Universal Humanity reintegrated and restored, as depicted in his painting “Glad Day”,
To be stuck in one direction of the Sacred Hoop, or cross of reality, and identify with that alone, is narcissism, either collective or individual or even racial and is therefore delusion. The self is fourfold, as the cosmos is fourfold. The full consciousness of the fourfold is the fifth, or quintessence, or Logos.
You might think we are a long ways from that. But it’s the conviction of observers like Jean Gebser, Rosenstock-Huessy, or Duane Elgin in “Awakening Earth” or William Blake, for that matter, among others, that we are at the dawning of the integral. Their rationale is convincing. In order to perceive the cosmos as a two-dimensional structure, one must already be “inside” the third. In order to perceive the cosmos as a three-dimensional structure, one must already be “inside” the fourth. And in order to perceive the cosmos, objectively, as a four-dimensional structure, one must already be inside the fifth. The fifth, though, is the quintessence. And the quintessence is the integral, and the integral is the Diaphainon — that which bathes the image of Blake’s Albion in light. In those terms, to even perceive the cosmos as an integral spacetime structure, one must already be in the process of integration oneself. But this is the fifth. And even Integral Theory in its struggle to reconcile the four fundamental cosmic forces of gravity, electro-magnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces, today finds it can’t do without factoring in consciousness itself.
The Logos, as St. John had it, was the bridge or portal over the pagan world of disintegrate and dissociated essences. Modern racism or fascism, as neo-paganism, is an attempt to roll back all time to before the Logos. The Logos didn’t abolish the pagan era. It transformed it. The concerns of the pagan era are clearly integrated in the images of the Buddha receiving the Guardians, or Christ on the Cross surrounded by the four evangelists, and who, in their zoomorphic forms, are the same “four beasts” who surround the throne of God, and who are, as the same “Antediluvians who are our Energies” are the Zoas of the disintegrate human form.