Erle Frayne Argonza
I was once invited by a group of Sunday coffee drinkers who called themselves Freethinkers’ Society. I thought all the while that they were the balanced, Seeker-type of freethinkers. To my shock, they were atheists, and they had envisioned an atheistic Philippine society in the long run.
I noticed that they were largely from the middle-aged section of the urban boheme. They were the idle petite bourgeois who got nothing much to do on weekends, and so they decided to gather together every Sunday morning to configure courses of action about their supposed mission to destroy ‘religionism’ or ‘spiritism’. After having observed closely the cognitive operations and patterns of the group, I decided to pull out, having acquired my empirical data about the atheists of the present.
What I made known to the group, and ditto for other sectors of society, is that I am no atheist, that atheism and freethought are not identical, that atheism is vulgar materialism and I got nothing to do with its dissemination nor with that of its advocacies. However, there are instances when, together with some atheists within the academe, I did join them in coalition to demand for greater justice for state laborers, overseas workers, youth & students, and related sectors.
In my book Libertosophy and Freethought, I re-echoed the contention of HP Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, that the danger to humanity today comes from the two extremes: on the one side is Vulgar Spiritism, represented by religion and quasi-religion, that had mired people in superstition, dogma, and fanaticism; on the other side is Vulgar Materialism, represented by the atheists, who deny the existence of the Spirit and the other ontological domains (dimensions, planes).
In the same book, what I advocated for was the Integrated Man, who had synthesized the material and spiritual towards his/her own liberation (nirvana, salvation). By Man I don’t mean the male gender, but rather the human being, man having been derived from manu or ‘thinking being’. The Integrated Man has none of the characteristics of contemporary humans who are, in the main, drifters in life, who had compartmentalized life into ‘material life’ and ‘spiritual life’, who are like zombies (in Marcuse’s language) whose life orbits around a one-dimensional pursuit for the hedonistic and crass materialistic things, and who suffer from incurable alienation precisely due to the tension between the material and spiritual within them.
In no way will I say Hallelujah to the Atheist who had denied and continues to deny the Spirit. Any force that denies the Spirit, and who delimits reality therefore to the 3-dimensional world of the bio-physical, commits a terrible error of reductionism. The spread of a highly materialist weltanschauung (world outlook) largely by the atheistic sections of the population, notably the Western intellectuals, had created new traps for the human soul. By reducing reality to the 3-dimensional, mankind confronts a new blindness of sorts, or is made to believe in the illusion that life is only the 3-dimensional reality.
Having been castrated of the impulse to know further the other possible life domains, the beings inherent in them and the purpose for their existence and missions, the atheist therefore drifts in the lower life domain like any animal or ‘zombie’. The one-dimensional man (to borrow from Herbert Marcuse) of today, who had reduced life to money making-buying-accumulating-consuming hedonism, is the classic case of the somnambulist or the sleepwalker.
Per my own enquiries, there are a total of seven (7) major ontological domains, or seven (7) planes of existence. There are dimensions of life that are invisible to the physical eye, but since within us we also have bodies that correspond to the other domains, then such bodies, possessing their own corresponding ‘eyes’, can be activated to observe and move in those other dimensions.
During the sleeping state, for instance, the physical body sleeps together with the physical eyes. And as the body sleeps, the 2nd body, called Astral Body by the mystics & masters, awakens. Even before the body had slept, the Astral Body already wakens up, floats around nine (9) feet above the physical body, and than stands up in wakened state, and simply walks along the avenues of life in its natural domain: the Astral Plane. The sceneries where the Astral Body moves are then registered in the memory and visuals of the physical body as dream scene. The Astral Plane is, in fact, the ‘dream plane’, the ‘plane of illusion’, where we can practice engaging in materializing objects using our thoughts, including houses, that we cannot do in the physical plane.
Various academic researches on Out-Of-Body-Experience or OBE had documented very well the prevalence of another body. In Manila, among the top experts on the matter is the Jesuit professor, Fr. Bulatao, who is based in the Ateneo De Manila University. Wherever Fr. Bulatao goes to deliver lectures on the paranormal, he demonstrates the factuality of OBE, and therefore of the existence of subtle bodies other than the bio-physical body, by making the audience participate in the experiment. After each workshop or seminar talk, the awe-struck participants have openly expressed the amazing experience they just went through, of their instantaneous presence in some areas thousands of miles away.
Note that in this instance, the professor used scientific method to let people realize that there are other aspects to reality that the ordinary state of consciousness cannot reveal to us. Well, to the atheists, they would simply label this method as ‘pseudo-science’ and dismiss the results as merely illusory games. And that’s the problem with the reality reductionists, the atheists, for having created new superstitions in place of old ones that they have themselves so militantly come to demolish.
So be it that there are atheists in life. For as long as the atheists would respect the reality paradigms of other people, that they would come to appreciate difference, then no one would accost them. This is no longer the time to persecute people such as atheists, and so the atheists should likewise reciprocate this by tolerating competing paradigms.
But as one can see, this hasn’t been the case. When the situation arrives that atheists come to dominate the public sphere, such as what happened to Communist states, the atheists resorted to mass witch-hunting by exterminating people who strongly believe in the Spirit and the other dimensions of life. This is a case where atheism celebrates the mass mind, the Herd Mind, the cult of the Party Cadre and the State, and has nothing to do with freethought whatsoever.
Not only that, the Communists also resorted to the extermination of freethinkers, including many spiritual Seekers (freemasons, anthroposophists, etc) whose competing weltanschauung is incompatible with the worship of the State and the party cadres. For even within the Communist Party, there are also freethinker-Seekers who are silently conducting their own duties, missions, and tasks toward their inner transformation. Being free spirits, they tend to be highly authentic in their views, manifest thoughts that contravene with the accepted dogmas. They are the equivalent of free spirit clergy whose ideas contravened against the dogma of the Church during the medieval period, and who were burnt at stake for their free thought. So is it with the Communist Party and other ideological movements of the extremists.
Look at the mainland Chinese today, after decades of official atheism. We wonder what happens to the souls of the Chinese of the present generations when they depart from the physical plane, without any spiritual engagement whatsoever. And I don’t mean the devotional engagements, which they had demonstrated aplenty by showing filial piety, devotion to the Chinese nation and to the Communist leadership. I mean the life of a spiritual Seeker, which at least is accorded the devotees in those states where spiritual life is considered a fact of life and sacrosanct for existence and transcendence.
That is, without the spiritual moorings, without the profound virtues that are immanent from the higher spheres and well anchored in the conscience and unconscious, the person concerned will simply be an agglomeration of vices, to note: lying, deceiving, conceit, manipulating, divisiveness, obstructionism, and so on. Atheism reduces people to the level of the ‘reptile’ which signifies everything that is cold-blooded and Machiavellian. Lucky enough if virtues will permeate an atheist, and finding a virtuous atheist is like searching for a needle in the hay stack.
I’ve had atheist friends before, among university professors, and I stayed with them so closely for almost two (2) decades. As my own yoga practice progressed, I noticed that I became weakened by the incessant resort of these former pals to deceit and slandering of their competitor groups in the academe. My aura was practically bombarded with negative vibes by their talks and their dense auras, and so finally I had to decide to pull away from these friends. They were fellow free spirits, but they were no Lightworker types, and the demarcation between them and me was so marked. Their lifestyle was vulgarly hedonistic which I had nothing to do with.
So, fellow free spirits/freethinkers, this is my position and proxemics: deconstruct atheism and keep a distance with the atheists. I shall give my respect to the atheists as fellow humans, even as the walls between us shall remain here and in the other domains.