Saintly Thoughts

On the Sacred Principle

Submission to the sacred principle is the beginning of all knowledge, is the beginning of all freedom.  This is the insight of the ancients that we cannot ignore.  But the sacred principle is not self-evident.  The NEED is self-evident, but the true character of the sacred principle is hidden from us.  How do we choose, or can we even choose?  I wish to suggest that, as with most of life’s most important decisions, the choice is not a free choice between multiple different sacred principles.  While many sacred principles exist (I am not suggesting all sacred principles must lead inevitably to the same meta-principle) we as individuals and societies are faced with the task of accepting or rejecting a specific sacred principle set before us.  That is our choice, acceptance or rejection simply.  This strange conglomeration of fate and will may explain some of our confusion in the modern west concerning our relationship to the sacred principle, infatuated as we are by the chimera of absolute will. Now, while this choice itself is binary (after a fashion) I don't think it necessarily follows that the choice is only offered once and never arises again.  The rejection or acceptance of a specific sacred principle at a given time will eventually give rise to a new sacred principle (or modified view of the original sacred principle) and the process requiring acceptance or rejection begins again.  I suspect many of us (whether or not we explicitly ascribe to a specific sacred principle) live much of our lives in-between such principles.  While the in-between place has much to offer itself, it would be hard to describe it as much of a place to live; just as one may enjoy the mall-like interior of an airport terminal while yet desiring that they might reach their final destination. And indecision may even be painful.  No, we are not meant to live there forever—or what is more, we SHALL NOT find it possible to live there forever.  

But what if there exists some sacred principle that has the character of the in-between place, and lulls its adherents into remaining too long in the terminal of indecision, ‘til they are overtaken and destroyed?  I fear that we are now faced with just such a sacred principle—the principle of indifference.  This looks like a safe course to us, free from the taint of discredited ideologies and bloody religions.  But those false ideologies and religions at least spurred the life-blood of society and in their errors gave rise to the next moment of choice, whereas indifference halts the dialectical process in its tracks.  I know the lull of indifference, believe me I do.  I know the voice that cries (with a half-truth that covers its lies) that you are a fallible being (true) who can be assured of nothing if not that you will always face uncertainties in your decisions (also true) and thus that strong decisions must be evil (not true) because of the bloody pain that you have seen men and women devoted to such strong decisions cause humanity throughout history (a lie wrapped in truth).  Western peoples: our fall will not be instant and it will not be great, just the slow ebbing away of sand by the regular recession of the ocean's waves—not the tragic loss of the hurricane.  But so long as we vacillate in the realm of indecision (our liberalism divided against itself) we will be doomed to fall to the other who maintains their worship at the altar of the sacred principle, whatever that sacred principle might be (and many are bloody and terrible).  And our fall shall not be grand, because indifference is not a grand sacred principle.  If we accept her we will have given up on whatever makes a society worth saving.