THE ALETHEON – Adi Da Samraj



THE DOGMAS OF SOCIAL MORALITY VERSUS THE ESOTERIC
SPIRITUAL TEACHING THAT IS AT THE ORIGIN OF TRADITIONAL
RELIGIONS

“The Dogmas of Social Morality Versus
The Esoteric Spiritual Teaching That Is At The Origin of
Traditional Religions (sections 1 – 2) (pages 55 – 65)” From
THE ALETHEON (Final Ruchira-Sannyasin-Order-Authorized
Edition).

…………………Adi Da
Samraj

 

1.

The principal Scripture (or holy book) of the tradition
of the Western “world” is the “New
Testament”. The “New Testament” communicates
principles and ideas and beliefs that, more than those
communicated by any other book, are responsible for
conventional Western ideas about “religion” and
Spiritual life. Although Western culture includes
“religious” traditions other than Christianity,
the dominant “religious” text which, in the West,
tends to inform all popular notions about
“religion” and Spirituality is the “New
Testament”.

If you grew up in the Western (and predominantly
Christian) cultural sphere, you are perhaps influenced by
the “New Testament” more than by any other
“religious” book. Even if you are not very
familiar with the “New Testament”, you have
(nevertheless) been impressed, over the years, with certain
conventions of “religious” presumption of which
the “New Testament” is the source. The conceptions
associated with the traditional interpretation of the
“New Testament” are not only part of the
“religious” teaching of Christian churches, but
part of Western culture in general. Through your schooling,
through your childhood “religious” training, and
through the influence of those with whom you were associated
as a child—even though they might not have spoken of
“religion”—you have been greatly influenced
by these conceptions, some of which are directly
communicated in the “New Testament” itself and
others of which are simply traditions that are, by
extension, associated with “New Testament
religion”.

Everyone is dominated, to one or another degree, by
conceptions of life that have their origin in exoteric
“religious” culture. Even though scientism (or
scientific materialism) is tending to displace exoteric
“religion” as a way of “knowing”,
exoteric “religion” still tends to be the basis
for present-day morality and social conceptions. In fact,
exoteric “religion” has traditionally always been
associated with moral and social conceptions. Thus, if you
are, by birth, a Westerner, and even if you were not brought
up as a Christian, you have, since your birth, been exposed
to propaganda that is, at least in its origins, both
conventionally “religious” and specifically
Christian. And the basic intention of all such
conventionally “religious” propaganda has been to
convince you—and, thus, the collective of
everyone—that certain kinds of behaviors are
appropriate and other kinds of behaviors are not
appropriate.

Every present-day legal system—and even the entire
body of social contracts by which people are related in
their daily lives—has its justification in the
tradition of exoteric “religion”. Therefore, in a
time when the legitimacy of exoteric “religion” as
a way of “knowing” is being undermined by
scientism, so (likewise) is the political and social order
simultaneously being undermined by scientism. This is not
only a time when individuals are moving from exoteric (and,
thus, collectively enforced) “religious” ways of
“knowing” toward materialistic and secular and
even individualistic ways of “knowing”, but this
is also a time when society as a whole is becoming corrupted
and made chaotic by those same tendencies—and,
therefore, new political forces are arising in immediate
coincidence with the new cultural forces.

Human beings are more and more impinged upon by the
forces of political materialism—while, at the same
time, they are impinged upon culturally by the forces of
scientific materialism. The way of “knowing” in a
culture cannot be changed unless the way of keeping order is
changed at the same time—and Western society has kept
order for many centuries through exoteric
“religious” belief, exoteric “religious”
presumptions, and exoteric “religious” conventions
of behavior.

If, all of a sudden, exoteric “religion” is
“discovered” to be untrue, and if, as a
replacement for the “point of view” of exoteric
“religion”, the “point of view”
communicated through scientific materialism dominates the
present culture, then the traditional justifications for
so-called “moral” behavior have, as a consequence,
been abandoned—and not yet replaced with a viable
public alternative. Therefore, how will the necessary public
order be maintained? A new political force is, under the
circumstances, required, to replace the moral programs of
exoteric “religion”. Thus, all kinds of political
idealisms arose in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries—revolutionary ideas, communistic ideas,
egalitarian ideas, socialistic ideas, capitalistic ideas,
all kinds of political experimenting—the basic purpose
of which is to keep people in order, to keep material
production going, to maintain public peace, to make life
somehow acceptable to the people, so that the people will
not rise in revolt, or go mad, or create chaos.

The rise of new political idealisms is coinciding with
the new cultural circumstance, and not only is all of this
dominant in the West but it is, likewise, dominant all over
the Earth—which is now everywhere
“Westernized”, both East and West. This change in
the orientation of the mind of humankind has gradually been
developing since the Renaissance era in Western (European)
culture. The conventions of human orientation began to
change in the period of the Western Renaissance—from a
sacred orientation to an orientation to the human
individual, from Deity-centeredness to ego-centeredness,
from ecstasy and sainthood to “Narcissism” and
ego-possession, from sacred culture to secular culture, from
a dominantly right-brained culture to a now dominantly
left-brained culture.

As this transformation has occurred in the
“world”, the ancient cultural supports have lost
their legitimacy. This does not mean that the ancient
exoteric “religious” cultural supports did not
have anything to do with what is right. Those exoteric
“religious” supports were, in a rudimentary (and
Reality-“objectifying”) sense, based upon the
general (and, in principle, right and positive) intention to
make life sacred. It is simply that the ancient exoteric
modes of the “objectification” of Reality have
(themselves) now—and rightly—lost their legitimacy
in people’s minds. However, as a result of that change
of mind, the principle of the sacred (or of the
understanding and managing of life based upon the intrinsic
Truth of universal prior unity) has also—and not at all
rightly—been lost.

A way of thinking that had only secondary importance in
the ancient “world” has now become dominant.
Human-centeredness has become the acceptable convention of
mind. Human “knowing” is now devoted to analytical
reductionism, or the process of reducing everything to the
individual human being, to human processes, to humankind in
the lowest, most rudimentary—or material—sense.
Many social and cultural enterprises remain valuable, with
the potential to improve the condition of humanity, yet a
profoundly destructive (materialistic, analytical,
disunitary, and anti-sacral) philosophical enterprise is
also operative at the same time. It is this latter
development that I Criticize.

Science as a conditional “method” of enquiry,
as an effective practical “method” of
investigation for the sake of acquiring natural
“knowledge” (and subsequent power to control
natural conditions of existence), is, obviously, legitimate.
Yet, science, from the beginning, has also (and otherwise)
been associated with the ego-centered orientation (and,
thus, with the fixed “point of view” perspective)
and, altogether, with the ancient (conventional and naive)
philosophy of materialism—and it has, on that basis,
also been associated with the arising of co-emerging
political movements. Present-day humankind is being both
culturally and politically controlled—not only by
science itself (which has an inherent, but also inherently
limited, legitimacy), but also by the philosophy of
materialism (which is inherently ignorant, gross, merely
analytical, de-constructive, reductionistic, exclusivistic,
and naively oppressive). And, as science and the philosophy
of materialism progressively exclude all other forms of
“knowing”, human beings are becoming more and more
dominated by political materialism—or the forces that
are keeping order independent of sacred (or unitive)
consciousness and authority.

This is not to say that the cultural means whereby order
was kept in the past were entirely benign. Exoteric
“religious authority” is not necessarily (or even
characteristically) associated with anything that has
remotely to do with the Truth, or with Reality Itself, or
with Divine Self-Realization, or even with the transcending
of egoity.

In the Western “world” particularly, the
institutional (or corporate) “authority” of the
exoteric Christian Church has been the principal means
whereby the State creates political and social order. Now
that the State is associated with scientific materialism and
not with “religious” doctrine, the State must find
other means for creating order. Thus, the State is,
generally speaking, no longer basing its own (corporate)
“authority” on the (corporate)
“authority” of the “official” Church.
And, for the most part (even though some still cling,
nostalgically, to the “old days”, of obedience to
corporate exoteric “religious authority”), people
are no longer politically and socially controlled (or,
otherwise, willing to be controlled) by exoteric
“religious authority”—at least, not
sufficiently to keep order.

In its origins, what later became institutionalized (or
corporate, and “official”)
“Christianity” was a small cult (or sect) of
cultural “outsiders”, with its “inner
circle” associated with an esoteric Spiritual teaching.
Outwardly, however, in its public preaching, even that
essentially esoteric sect was associated with more general
“religious” and social principles—and,
through the process of that public preaching, people were
gradually brought into the inner core of the esoteric life
of the sect. In the early centuries of the Common Era, there
were, everywhere, many sects which were (fundamentally)
esoteric sects—to one degree or another revolutionary
(or of a critical, or “outsider’s”,
disposition) in relation to the “religious”
exotericism of the “official religion” of the
public institutions and the then-current political
conventions of the State.

After about three centuries (by which time much of the
esoteric Spiritual basis of the original
pre-“Christian” sect had been lost), the Emperor
(Constantine) engineered the cultural-historical shift that
formally established the dogmatic basis for the
institutionalizing of an “official” version of
(exclusively exoteric) Christianity, and that eventually
(within a few decades) resulted in that exoteric institution
of (thus dogmatically defined) Christianity becoming the
“official religion” of the Roman State. Since that
time, either “official” (exoteric) Christianity
has functioned as an arm of the State, or (otherwise) the
State has, in some sense, functioned as an arm of the
“official” (exoteric) Christian Church. As
centuries passed, the relationship between Church and State
changed—such that the exoteric Christian Church now
plays a remarkably different role, and is gradually being
excluded, having lost its previous presumed legitimacy and
public “authority”.

However, the exoteric Christian Church’s loss of
power in the political and social realms is a relatively
recent development. With the original union between
“official” Christianity and the State of Rome,
Christianity became the force whereby political and social
order was developed and maintained in the Western
“world”. To maintain order (and not Truth) was its
function as an institution. Obviously, such an institution
is not intended to be communicating esoteric teachings to
the masses—since esoteric communications are intended
to serve the higher, and greater, and (characteristically)
Spiritual or (otherwise) Transcendental purposes of
Truth-Realization (in the case of, necessarily, more mature
people, who have already out-grown the boundaries of merely
exoteric, or public, “schooling”). Because
esoteric teachings take off where exoteric teachings have
come to a developmental end, esoteric communications do not
tend to enforce political and social order. On the contrary,
esoteric (and, generally, ecstatic) teachings tend not to
bring about a conventional political and social
order—because esoteric teachings presume a prior (or
already achieved) state of order, at least within the heart
and mind and life of the individual esoteric
practitioner.

As a case in point, Jesus of Galilee proclaimed an
ecstatic, esoteric Spiritual message. His message was not a
program for bringing order to politics and general
society—nor was such order the purpose of the earliest
institutionalized Christians, who were purposed to
“religious” devotion (and even to mystical life),
and who were, in any case, in no position to command the
State of Rome.

Because their guiding purpose was “not of this
world” (and, therefore, of no political use as a tool
of social order), Rome regarded the early Christians as
enemies—and the early Christians were persecuted by the
State, as various other (similarly “unusable”)
“religious” sects were. But when the Christians
eventually came into power as the “official
authority”, those features of Christianity that are
oriented to the conventions of public (and altogether
exoteric) “religion”—the purpose of which is
to maintain political and social order—became the
dominant communication of “official” Christianity.
When that “officialdom” took hold of Christianity,
its otherwise more esoteric dimensions—which were the
real (“inner-circle”) force at its
origin—were systematically eliminated, primarily
because esoteric teachings have nothing to do with managing
either a great State or any kind of larger common social
entity (of ordinary, and, generally, immature, or only
exoteric-ready, and not at all esoteric-ready, people). A
“religion” that is to be the “official
religion” of a great State (or even any larger common
social entity) must be essentially exoteric, and, thus,
fundamentally oriented to maintaining social principles,
social morality, conventions of behavior that maintain
political and social order, and productive participation in
work life, and positive participation in the larger
collective of community life, and, altogether, universal
subordination to the parent-like State (and to the
parent-like “official” State-“religion”)
and, thus, universal conformity to the will of the
hierarchical political (and “religious”)
“authority” (or “authority”-structure)
of the time.

Therefore, the “New Testament” (and the
tradition of Christi-anity as a whole) must be seen in
relation to both the esoteric sect from which it arose and
the exoteric institution that largely replaced it (and even
all esotericism) with the systematic exotericism of ordinary
political and social purposes that has, traditionally, been
served by public corporate “religion” in the
Western “world”.

 

2.

 

The “New Testament” has a long history of
interpretation. This scripture is interpreted anew by every
generation, in every time and place. Consequently, the
interpretations tend to reflect the mood, the state of mind,
or the leading (and generally characteristic) presumptions
of the time.

However, as a general rule, all the traditional
interpretations of the “New Testament” tend to be
oriented toward the development of a politically defined
social consciousness. Thus, it could be said that, in terms
of its most common traditional interpretation, the “New
Testament” is a social (rather than an esoteric
Spiritual) gospel. The text of the “New Testament”
was originally compiled from (and, altogether, invented by)
a wide variety of sources, and it was constantly
propagandistically transformed over the centuries, always to
represent a “point of view” (and a message) that
is predominantly social and political in nature.

The process of reducing the “New Testament” to
a social gospel began before institutional Christianity
became the “official religion” of Rome. The
process was certainly intensified when exoteric Christianity
became the “official religion” (and
“authoritative religious” corporation) of the
State, but even the process of gathering (and inventing) the
early materials and making a “New Testament” out
of them began early on, as the Christian cult became more
and more conscious of its conventional social
role—which is to keep order, to inspire people to be
civil in relation to one another, to function positively and
productively with one another, to live a conventionally
moral life, and, on that basis, to look forward to the
cult’s “official” conception of rewards after
death.

Thus, even before it became an “official”
Church corporation, the cult (or newly emerging sect) of
Christianity was becoming more and more the servant of the
ordinary social (or “worldly”) life of its
members. As the Christian sect acquired more members,
assumed more responsibility, and had more social order to
create, it began to play the role of social enforcer more
and more exclusively. Thus, the newly emerging Christian
culture more and more embraced the very same limitations (of
exoteric “official religiosity”) that Jesus of
Galilee had himself criticized.

Exoteric “religion” is primarily a
communication that intends to bring political and social
order to the public “world”. Exoteric
“religion” is primarily a social gospel. Esoteric
ecstatics, on the other hand, are very difficult to
control—in the usual (conventional) sense. It is
virtually impossible, for example, to interest ecstatics in
being socially productive for its own sake. Ecstatics
generally value the practice of being civil in relation to
other people—but it is very difficult to get them to
labor in factories and bureaucratic business organizations
merely for the sake of “worldly” success, or,
otherwise, to get them excited about the mundane purposes of
a great State! Therefore, exoteric “religion”
tends to eliminate all aspects of “religious”
communication that suggest anything but how to be a
productive and positive social personality. To reinforce
these qualities—and even to suppress ecstatic
qualities—is the guiding purpose of exoteric
“religion”.

Even though Christianity is, in its origins, an esoteric
movement, it was reduced to an exclusively exoteric
“religion” as it became more expansive and
eventually achieved the status of the “official”
(or politically enforced) State-“religion” of the
West. Christianity thus became an exoteric (or
conventionally social) institution, and it reduced the
teaching of Jesus of Galilee to a social gospel. The result
is that now everybody commonly assumes that, since the
“New Testament” is, historically, the primary
“religious” influence in the Western
“world”, “religion” is supposed to be a
social gospel, and Jesus must (therefore) have taught a
merely social gospel.

In this “late-time” (or “dark”
epoch)—when even all cultures are being moved toward
the way-of-“knowing” represented by scientific
materialism, and all cultures are losing their sacred basis
for order, and are tending to be dominated (more and more)
by the forces of political materialism—the interpreters
of the “religious” texts of cultures other than
the culture of the West are, likewise, moving more and more
toward an exoteric interpretation of esoteric teachings.
India, for example, has, since the later nineteenth century,
been undergoing a kind of renaissance of Hinduism. The
Bhagavad Gita is a principal text in this movement in
India—and one of the dominant tendencies of current
interpretation conceives the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita
as a kind of social gospel. In other words, the Bhagavad
Gita is, now, publicly interpreted as a source of exoteric
instruction about how to live the way of “good
works”, rather than the mystically interiorized
esoteric way of life that is characteristic of traditional
Indian Spirituality.

Thus, the Bhagavad Gita—which, in its origins, is an
esoteric teaching about Spiritual and Transcendental
Realization—is being used, more and more, to support a
cultural, political, and social movement of an exoteric
kind. In this manner of “religious” interpretation
within the Indian cultural sphere, the Bhagavad Gita is
being interpreted (and, thus, used) in a manner that is very
similar to the traditional exoteric interpretation (and even
the earliest exoteric inventing) of the “New
Testament” in the West.

To the degree that they are “religious” at all,
people all over the Earth now commonly conceive of
“religion” as a kind of social message. It is
commonly presumed that “religion” is reducible to
a kind of humanism—even a kind of atheistic humanism
(or a humanity-centered, rather than Deity-centered,
positive social life)—or, at least, that
“religion” is totally compatible with the
“world”-oriented, humanity-oriented,
socially-oriented propaganda of the time.

You are constantly “TV’d” into the
presumption that you are born for the sake of being born,
that you are born into this “world” for the sake
of this “world”. The presumption conveyed by TV
(or the pervasive conventional mentality) is that life is an
end-in-itself, and one is supposed to be enthusiastically
involved with things of this “world”. Luckily (so
the usual person presumes), there is science, technology,
and a certain amount of freedom—and, therefore, it is
possible to be rightly enthusiastic about conditional
existence. People have a great deal of hope that, during
their lifetime, they will achieve more and more pleasure,
leisure, and fulfillment of their human functions. All over
the Earth now, everyone is being propagandized into social
consciousness, the positive social gospel that is now coming
from the realms of scientific materialism and its political
arms around the “world”. If current secularizing
trends continue, sacred texts such as the “New
Testament” and the Bhagavad Gita are in danger of
becoming obsolete. If that occurs, then positive and
enthusiastic social principles or ideals will, more and
more, be communicated all over the Earth completely
independent of any kind of “religious
authority”—and, of course, entirely removed from
any kind of esoteric teachings.

However, it is important to understand that the teachers
and the teachings that are at the origins of the true
scriptures of humankind (and of the various cultural
movements associated with those scriptures) are not of an
exoteric nature. Those teachers and teachings were not about
the social gospel which the State has traditionally looked
to “religion” to generate. If you understand the
real fundamental (and esoteric) teaching underlying the
“New Testament” and other traditional scriptures,
you will see that those scriptures are not exoteric social
gospels at all. Rather, those scriptures are esoteric
communications about transcending the egoic “self”
and the “world” and Realizing True Communion (and,
ultimately, egoless Self-Identification) with the Divine
Self-Condition.

The social gospel—and the socially positive
“point of view” that the State wants to generate
and to support by various means—is not at all about
transcending the “world” by Realizing the Divine
Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality
Itself. Likewise, that social gospel is not about
transcending the apparently individual “self” by
“self”-sacrifice in the Divine Self-Nature,
Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality Itself. The State
is purposed to have people transcend their otherwise egoic
(or even “Godward” and ecstatic) inclinations by
means of productive work. In other words, the State likes
the ideal of individuals who are “transcending
themselves” by being devoted to the purposes of the
State. The State generally tolerates the large-scale
communication of “religion” only if the message is
exoteric (or socially oriented). The ideal must lead the
common individual to be a “good” social
personality—doing his or her job, being honest, not
making trouble, not creating disorder, not being lazy.

The State is not interested in any kind of teaching about
transcending the egoic “self” and the
“world” in Communion with the Divine Self-Nature,
Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality Itself. The State
is not at all in that business, nor does the State like such
teachings. The State—and its “official” cult
of the time—did not like Jesus of Galilee. One could
say that present-day “official” Christianity also
does not like Jesus of Galilee—and for the same reason.
The “official” Church has never liked the ecstatic
Jesus, who taught everyone to be an ecstatic, like himself,
and so to transcend the selfish “self” and the
“world” (or the “flesh”) in the
Spiritual Divine. Nobody has ever really liked Jesus of
Galilee, except those people who are able to respond to the
Truth in Spiritual terms. Such people have always been
relatively rare.

  

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trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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