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Objectivism Has a Date With New Age Spirituality - Articles Surfing
Some would shockingly exclaim "Objectivism dating New Age Spirituality-you've got to be kidding!" Others would speak about the incompatibility of the two. A few might state "Opposites do attract. That's the nature of the universe." Mystics of the New Age school of thought may supply us with this bit of wisdom "Like attracts like. That is the nature of existence. They will repel each other." Romantics (probably not of the Objectivist persuasion) would find excitement in the possibility of strange bedfellows mating.
I know some Objectivists are thinking that I'm out of my mind-that is if I still have one that is functioning. New Age mystics are wondering why I give any credence to that heartless "philosophy." As difficult as it is to believe-they are not incompatible. In fact, they both have strengths that compliment the other. They make for an explosive combination-one of higher awareness and enlightenment.
Metaphysics: Objective Reality
Objectivism is based on three axiomatic concepts: Existence, Identity, Consciousness. These are real and fundamental-although some "intellectuals" and mystics attempt to deny them. Try to visualize non-existence, non-identity and non-consciousness. It's impossible. I have reached high states of awareness in my meditations-but I've never seen any evidence of anti-axioms.
Successfully practicing New Age metaphysics requires that you never deny axiomatic concepts. It does mean that you tap the powers of your intuition. You meditate to better connect the two sides of the brain. Objectivism takes advantage of the reasoning side of the brain. Spiritual insights are the result of exploring the intuitive side of the brain. A marriage between the reasoning side of the brain and the intuitive side totally integrates the mind-and unleashes all its powers.
Yin, Yang--Man, Woman--Objectivism, New Age Spirituality. How exciting! Do we see them uniting into one?
Objectivism states that reason is the only means for man to gain knowledge. Now we can't deny-that without reason men and women would be no better off than savages-in fact they would exist in a lower state than the savage would. Man's power of reason created our marvelous civilization and freed people from the primitive forces of their environment. To deny the power of reason-is to condemn men and women to a less than human existence.
Meditation practices are used to tap the powers of the mind-especially the intuitive powers. Happily, I discovered that my reasoning abilities also increased because of my meditation practices. New Age Spirituality endorses meditation as the primary method for reaching higher awareness.
Unfortunately some mystics act as if reason is vastly over-rated. And quite a few Objectivists believe that intuitive insights are mystical nonsense. If they do give some credence to intuitive insights they state that they are the result of the ideas the individual already holds.
Many experienced meditators claim to have discovered the universal source of all knowledge. We won't go into whether this is true or not. However I can state that I have experienced some visions and insights that I can't trace back to ideas I already possess.
Once again I am stating that a fully integrated individual uses both sides of his brain-he is both logical and intuitive. A partnership of Objectivism and New Age Spirituality would result in a powerful force indeed.
Ethics: Rational Self-Interest
Objectivism advocates that an individual should always act in rational self-interest. The philosophy of rational selfishness is the only one that corresponds to the nature of man. And guess what. Objectivism is correct.
The anti-life philosophy of altruism has failed miserably in practice. Why has it failed? Because it advocates selflessness and self-sacrifice. It is the philosophy of Anti-Life.
Although irrational selfishness is a step up from altruism, it is a "philosophy" of the self-defeated. The irrationally selfish individual attempts to evade reality by acquiring short-term gains at the expense of his future. Drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling, over-eating, living off government handouts, watching too much television, etc. are examples of this shortsighted way of living. Both Objectivism and New Age Spirituality agree with this analysis.
It is obvious that only the rationally selfish have any real values to offer others. Unfortunately this is one fundamental fact of reality New Age Spirituality denies. Instead they have dived into the abyss of the irrationality of altruism. Many of its metaphysicians advocate selflessness and self-sacrifice. I believe they have good intentions and a kind heart. Unfortunately they have cut off their head. Of course a body without a head eventually dies. Fortunately there are New Age thinkers such as Richard Bach who believe and practice rational selfishness.
Some metaphysicians claim Objectivism has cut the heart out of the body. Regardless, the joining of the reasoning principles of Objectivism with the higher awareness realization of New Age Spirituality results in the potent force of an integrated whole-made up of fully functioning individuals.
Politics: Individual Rights and Capitalism
Praxeology (economic science) proves beyond a reasonable doubt that capitalism is the only social system that can benefit the vast majority of individuals. Objectivism supplies capitalism with its moral foundation-with its spirited defense of individual rights. Objectivism is 100% correct in its advocacy of capitalism and individual rights.
Tragically, New Age Spirituality has dropped the ball on this. Many individuals of the New Age movement support all forms of government interventionism and socialism-not realizing that these systems so impoverish people that they will be too busy just surviving (that is if they survive) to have any interest in esoteric spiritual endeavors.
I believe The New Age movement has much to offer. Meditation, self-realization and enlightenment are lofty goals that offer great benefits to mankind. Its ignorance of the laws of praxeology (economics) is its main weakness-although some of its advocates such as Stuart Wilde and James Redfield understand the benefits of capitalism.
A uniting of Objectivism and New Age Spirituality could be enough to overcome the faulty systems of big government interventionism and socialism that are threatening to destroy Western Civilization.
Aesthetics: Romantic Realism
I believe this is the weakest part of Objectivism's armor-or as it is often stated-a chink in the armor. The reasoning part of Objectivism is impenetrable. However when it wanders into subjective topics it sometimes doesn't have any foundation to stand on.
Ayn Rand's book "The Romantic Manifesto" has many stimulating ideas. However some of her conclusions are subjective. Is Classical Music objectively better than Rock 'n' Roll? Are Bach and Rachmaninoff more proficient composers than McCartney and Lennon or Burt Bacharach? Is Victor Hugo a better novelist than Philip K. Dick, Dean Koontz or Stephen King? Maybe-maybe not.
There have been some New Age books that defy all reason and good taste-at least from my subjective point of view. And there have been classics written by such greats as Richard Bach, Wayne Dyer, Stuart Wilde, Carlos Castaneda, James Arthur Ray, etc.
On the other hand, some books supporting Objectivism, Libertarianism and Capitalism are so poorly written that they never stimulate anybody's mind or spirit. Delightfully there are classics written by the great defenders of liberty and freedom such as Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Robert Ringer, Nathaniel Branden, Harry Browne and others that caused my mind, emotions and spirit to soar to places previously unknown. Of course, Ayn Rand's books, especially "Atlas Shrugged", are the epitome of greatness.
It is apparent that Objectivism is a philosophy of reason and logic-and New Age Spirituality is one of intuition-of feeling and emotion. We can conclude that Objectivism is masculine and New Age Spirituality is feminine. Do they need each other? Darn right they do. Currently they are both practicing celibacy. No wonder many experience the world as a barren, sterile place. I don't know about you-but I do know that celibacy isn't to my liking.
They need each other. A date between the two would result in a blossoming love. A union between them would be an ecstatic experience that creates a symphony of reason, love and understanding. The New Age of Enlightenment is born.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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