What spirituality is, beyond religion, new age and Harry Potter .

The best definition of spirituality I’ve seen is from an old Swedish lexicon where it says “spirituality is nature in its higher development”. What this mean is, that when we look beyond the basics of nature and natural needs, we are confronted with questions that deal with things like transcendence. Questions like “what is the meaning with my life”, “is there more to reality than what we can see or measure with science”, and so on. 

When people hear the word “spiritual” they often think of it in three frameworks. Either they think about it in the context of the rigid compounds of various religions, they think about it in the ridiculous style of Hollywood like with Harry Potter and similar movies, or they think about westerners LARPing as Indians, trying to summon some other peoples ancestors, or taking pictures of their auras in some newage-store. Im not saying that there isnt spiritual elements in these examples, but I believe there are much more tangible examples.

Beauty.

One of my favorite modern books of philosophy is “Why Beauty Matter” by Roger Scrutton. In this book he argues that beauty is not something subjective but a form of truth. Beauty is something most sane people can identify in a classic painting, in a flower or a majestic mountain. Science have proven that classical music can improve our thinking and even improve the health of plants. But why is this? Nature could might as well have made things we consider ugly to be beneficial and pleasing to us. 

Many times beauty has no practical value to our lives, but still we value it so much. Beauty seem to be one of those aspects of our world that point to a higher truth of our existence. Therefor I consider, appreciating and to be grateful for the beauty in our life a spiritual practice. The french writer, and I would argue, philosopher Marcel Proust, once said that if he had one day left to live, he would spend it appreciating art, nature and beautiful women among other things, that is to me a spiritual approach to life and death. 

Wonder and awe. 

I don’t know if other animals experience wonder or awe, but none the less, I consider it to be another transcendent (spiritual) experience. When we ponder the wastness of the universe and the infinity of time and space, we can be filled with a feeling of wonder. Or when we visit the ancient cave paintings in France, and gaze upon some of the oldest artwork of our people, I think most of us are filled with a sense of awe. Again, these are feelings that seem to have nothing to do with our basic human needs. 

The longing to, and sense of wonder toward, what is beyond our comprehension is what some call our Faustian spirit, that seem to be especially prevalent in Western peoples, is one of our most tangible experiences we can have of a higher spiritual realm. Therefor I believe that another spiritual practice would be trying to find as many experiences that result in a sense of awe and wonder as possible. To lay in a field at night and gaze upon the stars, to visit a local rune stone and consider the amazing link between yourself and your ancestors, or if you wish to be more active; to skydive, climb a high mountain or try to live self-sufficient in nature for a longer period of time. 

Sacrifice.

I think it was the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who were one of the more prevalent latest thinkers, in pointing to the transcendent meaning of sacrifice. An atheist like Richard Dawkins would explain most humans sacrifices for others as a biological trait for the survival of our genes, and there is a point in that. But since humans have the ability to reflect before we take decisions we can always take in consideration, the atheist belief, that we will never experience any benefit of making something that only will help those who will come into this earth after we are gone, but still so many do this. 

Why do so many people get upset about decisions that will not have any affect on us while we are still alive? Is this only a biologically inclined gut-reaction? I don’t think even the atheists believe this, they would propably point toward their good consciousness as their main reason. But why would anyone sacrifice their reputation, their standard of life, or even their own life to secure a good life for those who will live when we are gone? Joseph Campbell pointed out in his “The power of myth” that most of the social activists he met among his students seemed to have a more transcendent view of life then most religious people. 

I believe that deep down we all have a sense that this life on earth is not all there is. We don’t know how or why, but somehow we are connected to those who have gone before us, and those who will come after us, and this might be the strongest and most tangible connection we have to spirituality. So my final suggestion to practice your spirituality is to remember and celebrate your ancestors as much as possible. And another way is to do something that in someway will contribute to our descendants, because like the former leader of Asatru Folk Assembly says “We are all ancestors in training”. 

Mindfulness in the age of Kali Yuga 

One of the great challenges of our time, especially for men of European descent, is being able to handle the impending decline of the Western world. I used the word Kali Yuga to describe this period we are living in, because I believe, like the Hindus (and before them the Indo-Europeans) that history moves in cycles, where Kali Yuga represent the end of the highest period in the natural cycles of birth, life and death of civilizations. 

The reason that most empires in time will experience an inevitable decline or a total disintegration is best described by Oswald Spengler in “the decline of the west”. To understand why his theories about the rise and fall of civilizations is more important to us now than ever before, I would like to promote a recent article by the scholar Ricardo Duchesne on Counter Currents “There Is Nothing the alt-right Can Do about the Effeminacy of White Men”. 

This article is not about why, but how, to handle the coming and current distasters.

But the subject of this article is not about why the west is falling, but about how to handle it. I write about this now because I find this to be one of the biggest challenges in my life right now. Another big challenge for me in recent years, have been to handle the mental strains of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and various life-threatening health-conditions. The most valuable concept for me to handle all of this have been mindfulness, and in this I include various forms of meditations from zazen to hatha-yoga and just simple consciousness breathing, I have even studied deep Christian meditation. 

I was at first reluctant to use the term mindfulness, since it have become a modern buzzword marketed to middle-age women who wish to try, what they perceive to be, some exotic method for handling their menopause. But mindful living is a philosophy that has been at the center of some of the most respected warriors, spiritual teachers and even emperors, to handle some of the greatest challenges a man can face. From Siddhartha Gautama who was a Kshatrya (the Indo-European warrior caste), to one of the greatest roman emperors Marcus Aurelius (who wrote meditations), to the Catholic monk and highly influential spiritual teacher Meister Eckhart. 

Mindful living has been at the center in the lives of European and Western warriors and thinkers through most of our known history. 

Mindfulness is a vast concept in and of itself, and can be viewed through the lenses of various traditions, or even from an atheist perspective. But I would argue that acceptance is a Key concept no matter from what angle you wish to view this. The concept of acceptance is best summoned up in the following words by Epictetus:

”Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us. Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”

Or in the Christian serenity prayer: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Or if you prefer from the buddhist scholar Shantideva:

If there’s a remedy when trouble strikes,

What reason is there for dejection?

And if there is no help for it,

What use is there in being glum?

Acceptance in this context is not about giving up or being passive, its about seeing reality as it is and to act upon it with calm and focus. Ruminating on what you perceive is bad doesn’t change anything, this is especially true for such an enormous cataclysm like the decline of the west. No Facebook posts, no tweet or Instagram-post is going to stop the borders from falling while our rulers are more concerned about building bathrooms for trannies. Like the verse says “emperor Nero is playing violin while Rome is burning”. 

Being present is not an excuse to act like an idiot. 

Mindfulness is about being present and to act in the now. Also these words have been misinterpreted by modern pundits and self-help gurus to promote hedonism; have a beer, smoke cigarettes, screw around, why worry about tomorrow? Being present is not an excuse for acting like an idiot, you can still choose (and you should) to act in a way that will be beneficial for you, your family and your tribe in the long term. But when you have taken the necessary precautions in the present, there are no reason to ruminate about awful things that happened in the past, or to ruminate about potential future dangers. Learn from the past, plan for the future – live and act now!

When the Buddha states in the first of the four noble truths that “life is suffering”, it is not a statement of pessimism or defeatism, it is a precursor to the statement that “there is an end to suffering” which solution according to the Buddha is the eight-fold path, which I wont go into here. But one of the first and most important steps you can take to relieve yourself of unnecessary suffering which is mostly psychological pain, is to accept that pain is an unavoidable part of life. When you accept this there is no need to ad additional pain to this by ruminating on how “unfair” the world is to you.

We didn’t perish then and we wont perish now.

This is also true on a larger scale for your tribe, nation and the whole Western world. What we are experiencing now is nothing new, from ancient India to ancient Greece and the Roman empire, our civilizations have disintegrated from within many times before, this time its just happening on a larger scale, in a high-tech society and arguably in a faster pace than ever before, but none the less, I believe there is some small comfort to know that our ancestors have experienced similar circumstances in the past, and to know that we didn’t perish then, and I believe we wont perish now either. If we stay strong, stay present and can act with clear focused minds. 

The best tool to become more mindful is meditation. For most people this word bring their minds to the far East, but the word meditation is a Greek word, that simply means to and reflect upon something “I will meditate on this”. And as I have described in this article meditation have been a well used tool in mindful living in our peoples history for thousands of years, this is not a foreign concept or a modern trend. 

Different types of meditation and recommended litterature. 

My preferred type of meditation is zazen from the Zen Buddhist tradition. Zazen just means “to sit” and has a lot of focus on posture, breathing, and you meditate with your eyes open. If you are a Christian; most churches at least here in Sweden and in Italy (these are the countries I have been living in mostly), offer free courses in deep-meditation. For atheists or agnostics there is TM (Transcendental Meditation) which is the most scientifically based form of meditation and completely free from religious and spiritual influences. But whatever you do make sure that you get proper guidance in your efforts, there are a lot of fakes out there, anyone who promises quick results or magic abilities is probably a phony. 

I would also like to recommend following books on the subject: The power of now by Eckhart Tolle is a great gateway drug so to speak. Three pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau, From who God hid nothing by Meister Eckhart, Where ever you go there you are by Jon Kabat-zin, just to name a few. 

However we choose to deal with the current perils of our time, we should lead by example and I believe that a calm and focused approach is the most important foundation for your action no matter what path you will take, mindfulness can take you there.