Thursday, October 23, 2008

Transcendental Christians Versus Symbolist Christians


Scanning around the web for death metal-related information (a favorite passtime) I found some Christian folks who seemed rather irate about death metal. Although I started life as a radical Christian hater, I now view Christianity as one means through which philosophies can be expressed. Specifically, if we express Romanticism -- transcendental naturalistic idealism with vir as its underlying heroic principle -- in any form, that form becomes Romanticism and becomes very useful for any society that wants to rise above being posted on FAILBLOG.

When I think of this kind of Christian, I see how these are the utter minority, like metalheads are in American society at least, and they usually get persecuted by the rest. Guys like Johannes Eckhart, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Paul Woodruff and Arthur Schopenhauer come to mind. I would want to live in a society they ran; the other kind of Christian, the kind that treats "God" as a product-welfare-media-icon-sports-team, need to have zero political power -- they're unstable people in fear of death and looking for a schizoid, externalized, easy solution.

The good kind of Christian are "deists": basically atheists who believe that "God" is a handy way to describe nature, and that meditation on this God will free us from obsession with ourselves, with material comfort, with status and other things that do us no good (metalcore). They're inherently transcendentalists, which makes them very black metal, and they tended to -- like ancient Hindus -- disregard human life in favor of the accomplishment of ideals, which makes them very death metal.

DLA


This applies to pretty much any religion in the Western tradition.

After all, the European/Western religion is transcendental idealism; it can take any form.

So a transcendental idealist Christian is a positive step, and consequently, we don't see these people doing irrational things.

A symbolist Christian not only attempts to interpret the Bible literally, a big LOLFAIL because religions are not written literally but symbolologically, but also attempts to find meaning in symbolism over reality. Nuclear war is secondary to the question of whether we have been "saved" in our "souls." Troubling.

If there is a God, I believe he/she/it is an unconscious but brilliant force that shaped all of this, and that this God is motivated by an uncompromised, unending, fervent love for life and existence and all the beauties it offers. If this God has anything to say to us, it's "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -- go for that beautiful idea, that wonderful possibility, that diligent and scrupulous vision, at whatever cost. Whoever dies. Whatever burns. Go for the (abstract) gold.

That's what I mean by "moral attention" -- that alertness to what is right in the world in a positive/creative sense, as in "I can make something better," not "I can remove this evil." You cannot remove evil from the world as it is necessary. But you can improve what does exist and it may out-proliferate evil, like dandelions have beaten their predators and diseases -- so far.

Symbolist Christians are opposed to this view. Transcendentalist Christians are not. Somehow I see the latter, if they understood death metal and its quest for the return of mythic imagination, recognizing death metal as part of a necessarily complex struggle that complements their beliefs, or at least shares a common ground in the pursuit of vir.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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