Oswald Spengler on the two primordial types of Piety.

GDPR

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The only thing that I have ever come across which has shaken my Christian Faith has been Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West which is to my mind one of the most important and brilliant books ever written which completely undermined the crude linear view of history which had prevailed until than besides being packed with much wisdom and fantastic insights across a wide range of subjects. The central thesis of the book is that each Civilization has its own inner logos which makes genuine understanding between Civilizations almost impossible (there is definitely something to this but he takes it to an extreme) and that each one follows an organic path of dawn, springtime, maturity as a Culture before passing into what he sees as its strictly Civilizational phase which he sees in a negative light as the emergence of a slow killing destructive rationalism and the rootless existence of big cities before fading out in what he calls the "fellah" stage (Caesarism and the Second Religiousness come before that though- people should really read the book).

Anyway I think these three paragraphs are to me at least the most interesting in the book in many ways;

"Religion may be described as the Waking-Being of the living creature in moments when it overcomes, masters, denies and even destroys Being. Race-life and the pulse of its drive dwindle as the eyes gaze into am extended, tense and light filled world, and Time yields to Space. The plant like desire for fulfilment goes out, and from primary depths there wells up the animal fear of the fulfilment, of the ceasing of direction, of death. Not hate and love, but fear and love are the basic feelings of Religion. Hate and fear differ as Time and Space, blood and eye, pulse and tension, heroism and saintliness. And love in the race sense differs from love in the religious sense in the same way.

All Religion is turned to light. The extended itself becomes religious as a world of the eye comprehended by the ego as a centre of light. Hearing and touch are adjusted to what is seen and the Invisible, who's workings are sensed, becomes the sum of the daemonic. All that we designate by the words "deity", "revelation", "salvation", "dispensation", is one way and another an element of illumined actuality. Death for man is something that he is sees, and knows by seeing, and in relation to death birth is the other secret. They are the two visible limits of the sensible cosmic that is incarnate in a live body in lighted space.

There are two sorts of deeper fear- one is fear (even known to animals) in the presence of microcosmic freedom in space, before space and its powers, before death; the other is fear for the cosmic current of being, for life, for directional time. The first awakens the a dark feeling that freedom in the extended is a just a newer and deeper sort of dependence than that which rules the vegetable world, and it leads the individual being, sensible of its weakness, to seek the propinquity and alliance of others. Anxiety produces speech, and our sort of speech is religion- every religion. Out of fear of space arise the numina of the world-as-nature and the cults of the gods; out of fear for time arise the numina of life, of sex and breed, of the State; centring on ancestor worship. That is the difference between Taboo and Totem- for the Totemistic, too, always appears in religious form, out of holy awe of that which passeth all understanding and is for ever alien."

https://archive.org/details/Decline-Of-The-West-Oswald-Spengler

Stay away from the from the more recent edited down English translation, the above is the best.

Awe before space and concern for the pulse of life in time are I think the primal facts of Religion and Culture; Politics being essentially only about the latter.

While Christians of course could not help end up getting involved in politics and rulers of mighty Empires have been Christians, and even Saints, what separates the Christian Faith from the other "Abrahamic" Religions that that Politics is something essential to them, and their mystical and eschatological currents seem accidental to the their central cores.

Another thing is that a lot of the masses in Western Europe today seem to lack an impulse towards either of the primordial forms of piety that he describes; does that fact make it just therefore to consider that they have become subhuman?
 


GDPR

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This excellent lecture deals basically with the issues raised in the OP but through the lens of one individual soul with his conflicts and ultimate decision;

[video=youtube;t9zooyK3mps]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9zooyK3mps[/video]
 

Fullforward

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I like cake.
 

Lúidín

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I like the concept of cake but not the cake itself, which makes me morally superior to cake-eaters.
 

eoghanacht

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They need to up your meds.
 

Old Mr Grouser

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The only thing that I have ever come across which has shaken my Christian Faith has been Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West ...
This excellent lecture (Benjamin Pollock "World-Denial and World Redemption: Franz Rosenzweig's Early Marcionism") deals basically with the issues raised in the OP ...
You're covering an awful lot of ground there.

The Bible sets things out more simply and much clearly; "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”.


[video=youtube;SekcK5k-GEc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SekcK5k-GEc[/video]
 

The_SR

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Literally no one cares. This is not something bible studies group or support group for confused sky fairy fans.

But you managed to avoid the J word so well done in suppose
 

McTell

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...
Another thing is that a lot of the masses in Western Europe today seem to lack an impulse towards either of the primordial forms of piety that he describes; does that fact make it just therefore to consider that they have become subhuman?

As one of the "masses", we have gone from hysterical religious self-hypnosis to increasingly savvy consumer self-hypnosis.

Subhuman means denying what you want and what you can be - your true potential for your 80 years on the planet.

You can never make a difference on your knees, even if you kid yourself that you can.
 

Mitsui2

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The only thing that I have ever come across which has shaken my Christian Faith has been Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West which is to my mind one of the most important and brilliant books ever written which completely undermined the crude linear view of history which had prevailed until than besides being packed with much wisdom and fantastic insights across a wide range of subjects. The central thesis of the book is that each Civilization has its own inner logos which makes genuine understanding between Civilizations almost impossible (there is definitely something to this but he takes it to an extreme) and that each one follows an organic path of dawn, springtime, maturity as a Culture before passing into what he sees as its strictly Civilizational phase which he sees in a negative light as the emergence of a slow killing destructive rationalism and the rootless existence of big cities before fading out in what he calls the "fellah" stage (Caesarism and the Second Religiousness come before that though- people should really read the book).

Anyway I think these three paragraphs are to me at least the most interesting in the book in many ways;

"Religion may be described as the Waking-Being of the living creature in moments when it overcomes, masters, denies and even destroys Being. Race-life and the pulse of its drive dwindle as the eyes gaze into am extended, tense and light filled world, and Time yields to Space. The plant like desire for fulfilment goes out, and from primary depths there wells up the animal fear of the fulfilment, of the ceasing of direction, of death. Not hate and love, but fear and love are the basic feelings of Religion. Hate and fear differ as Time and Space, blood and eye, pulse and tension, heroism and saintliness. And love in the race sense differs from love in the religious sense in the same way.

All Religion is turned to light. The extended itself becomes religious as a world of the eye comprehended by the ego as a centre of light. Hearing and touch are adjusted to what is seen and the Invisible, who's workings are sensed, becomes the sum of the daemonic. All that we designate by the words "deity", "revelation", "salvation", "dispensation", is one way and another an element of illumined actuality. Death for man is something that he is sees, and knows by seeing, and in relation to death birth is the other secret. They are the two visible limits of the sensible cosmic that is incarnate in a live body in lighted space.

There are two sorts of deeper fear- one is fear (even known to animals) in the presence of microcosmic freedom in space, before space and its powers, before death; the other is fear for the cosmic current of being, for life, for directional time. The first awakens the a dark feeling that freedom in the extended is a just a newer and deeper sort of dependence than that which rules the vegetable world, and it leads the individual being, sensible of its weakness, to seek the propinquity and alliance of others. Anxiety produces speech, and our sort of speech is religion- every religion. Out of fear of space arise the numina of the world-as-nature and the cults of the gods; out of fear for time arise the numina of life, of sex and breed, of the State; centring on ancestor worship. That is the difference between Taboo and Totem- for the Totemistic, too, always appears in religious form, out of holy awe of that which passeth all understanding and is for ever alien."

https://archive.org/details/Decline-Of-The-West-Oswald-Spengler

Stay away from the from the more recent edited down English translation, the above is the best.

Awe before space and concern for the pulse of life in time are I think the primal facts of Religion and Culture; Politics being essentially only about the latter.

While Christians of course could not help end up getting involved in politics and rulers of mighty Empires have been Christians, and even Saints, what separates the Christian Faith from the other "Abrahamic" Religions that that Politics is something essential to them, and their mystical and eschatological currents seem accidental to the their central cores.

Another thing is that a lot of the masses in Western Europe today seem to lack an impulse towards either of the primordial forms of piety that he describes; does that fact make it just therefore to consider that they have become subhuman?
:)

I knew you'd get around to Spengler sooner or later.
 

Franzoni

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I'm off to Valhalla when i croak so no skin off my nose...

The lads can fight in the courtyard preparing for Ragnarök ...i'll service the boiler and try and talk Odin into going geothermal or solar to keep the gas bill down....
 

loaf

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Religion may be described as the Waking-Being of the living creature in moments when it overcomes, masters, denies and even destroys Being. Race-life and the pulse of its drive dwindle as the eyes gaze into am extended, tense and light filled world, and Time yields to Space. The plant like desire for fulfilment goes out, and from primary depths there wells up the animal fear of the fulfilment, of the ceasing of direction, of death
In other words the Freudian Death Drive - the repression of libidinal, erotic life in favour of immortality and eternity. Religion is just one of many cultural products of the death drive - cultivating a kind of 'death in life'.

Whether you think this is good or bad probably depends on what you think about paltry human life (Luther, for example, found human animal existence to be filthy, and essentially the work of the devil - so it made perfect sense for him to crave the death-in-life of God submission),
 

PeaceGoalie

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You're covering an awful lot of ground there.

The Bible sets things out more simply and much clearly; "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”.
Obviously not as discussion would have ended then. And the Bible was edited so many times. Even your cartoon is too much for me, never mind Spengler

:)

I knew you'd get around to Spengler sooner or later.
How did you know about Spengler? Who he?

In other words the Freudian Death Drive - the repression of libidinal, erotic life in favour of immortality and eternity. Religion is just one of many cultural products of the death drive - cultivating a kind of 'death in life'.

Whether you think this is good or bad probably depends on what you think about paltry human life (Luther, for example, found human animal existence to be filthy, and essentially the work of the devil - so it made perfect sense for him to crave the death-in-life of God submission),
One of many interpretations.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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While Christians of course could not help end up getting involved in politics and rulers of mighty Empires have been Christians, and even Saints, what separates the Christian Faith from the other "Abrahamic" Religions that that Politics is something essential to them, and their mystical and eschatological currents seem accidental to the their central cores.
Alle Londoun I leue liketh wel my wafres — William Langland, Piers Plowman, AD1377: first example of "waffle" in Middle English.

About the only bit of practical application, in the original post, is that curious "take" on what is claimed as "politics". Decoded: only christians can comprehend "politics". Let's not tell Aristotle.

So two things:

First, Spengler is Germanic, and consciously so. He identifies his eight higher "organisms":
  • three are defunct (the Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian, and Classical),
  • three more are senescent and even "petrified",
  • one was exterminated by the Spanish conquistadores,
  • which leaves our Western civilisation.
It doesn't matter whether one takes the 1918 Der Untergang des Abendlandes, or the 1922 revision, or even includes the 1923 second volume. In each case Spengler has that last "organism" already in decline (the title of his prime text, for goodness' sake!).

The "organism" only achieves the Spenglerian definition of a "civilisation" in its final, "mature" form.

Spengler is clear: our "Faustian" "organism" will only be fully mature under Germanic leadership.

A century on, we may have reached the "winter" of our "Faustian" epoch: still, if this is a doomed "organism" or "civilisation", it somehow manages to evolve. Admittedly, not always for the better.

Second, Spengler anticipated that our Western "organism" would only achieve its full maturity in a "Caesarian" phase. We even have the fold-out schema as the end-page:


In passing, I note that the original poster, as flighty as ever, has now adopted yet another avatar. This one harks back to the ancien régime of Bourbon France. This follows nods to the Baader-Meinhof Gang and the odd Pietà. I have to suggest a certain mind-set is being implied; and I'd need convincing it's entirely a healthy one. It definitively owes nothing to anything democratic or inclusive. But Germanic Caesarianism ... the mind boggles.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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It won't be long until we start hearing how blonde and blue eyed Mr jesus happened to be.
 


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