“There is no God and we are his prophets.”
-Cormac McCarthy, The Road
“Say unto thine own heart: I am Mine own Redeemer.”
The concept of salvation can be found in multiple ideologies. In the secular as well as the religious. The belief that something or someone external must save us, either our soul or from our material situation, this is insulting to say the least. It seems salvation resides at the heart of the most influential ideologies. Christians preach that ones soul must be redeemed, through the salvation of Christ, as if we are underdeveloped or crippled without it. One may physically try to better their situation, but ultimately there is a reliance on the ‘Other’, and one is deficient without this Other. The theistic Other, be it God or similar, is given credit for the strength, rather than acknowledging it was ones own strength alone. Requiring this ‘metaphysical’ salvation is grasping the coat tail of the Lord, as if one is a mere beggar hoping for a coin. It belittles the person into groveling for redemption from an external source. It belittles the person into seeing themselves as subdued and powerless, requiring a ‘higher force’ to show mercy. It belittles the person into subjection and incapable of creating their own values. These beliefs give consolation at the cost of actualization. This strips the individual of personal power, as if terminally ill and reliant on life support.
There are those in the world whom are downtrodden, exploited, abused. Whether it be in the America or the slums of Thailand, there is no shortage of individuals living in hellish conditions. Missions trips may provide medical aid and supplies, unfortunately it also attempts to spread a teaching which rationalizes being downtrodden and feeble. If one is exploited by those above, has been emotionally and physically abused, the solution is finding their own strength and sovereignty, not rely upon a ‘hope and a prayer’ to an absent God. This does not mean cynicism or pessimism about the situation, quite the contrary. It is the imperative of realizing that there is only one form of redemption or redeemer, and that is found within. If there is a divine at all, it is within, not in the pleas to an external abstract. Furthermore when one accepts themselves as their own redeemer they become the center of their own subjectivity. This does not mean egocentric, which is a symptom of insecurities. It means that I alone am responsible for improving my existence to the best of my limited ability and considering environmental conditions. No cries to God or eternal salvation will change things. One does not look to the external life support machine to grant life and salvation.
Eternal salvation promises a heavenly afterlife. This can be consoling if ones life is full of suffering and misery. Do not think of our life here on earth, only look to eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Again this is a beggars position of subjection rather than sovereignty. It is okay to be meek and downtrodden for one day we will have eternal life in heaven. This is the typical spiel, that no matter the wickedness in the world, one day there will be a Heavenly afterlife. Rather than affirming tragedy which surrounds us, it holds tightly to dying man’s hope to be sated in the heavens. Whether an afterlife exists or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is the here and now, the imminent, this existence in itself alone. Make of it what you can and do not place hopes in the other-worldly. Affirm that which is and enjoy what one can.
The Progressives do not go unchecked regarding salvation. The humanism of our time is utterly self-assured there will be a salvation to come found in technological and societal advancement. Surely the cosmopolitan view will win out and we shall have one world in peace and love. Democracy and technology is the stepping stone to this utopian tomorrow. Wrapped in this perspective is the hope for salvation, to be saved from suffering and conflict. Instead of heaven in the afterlife, there will be an approaching utopia of which we are now progressing toward. There is a sense of entitlement as well, as if there is something inherent about humans that deserves salvation. We damn near expect it. We pollute the planet today because we are so sure we can save ourselves in the future, or salvation of some sort will come along. “We are humans, of course we’ll be okay!” seems the bright eyed motto.
Even throughout the ethical droll of tolerance, love, peace, inclusion, sensitivity there is a vein of salvation. If you accept this list of secular morals then you will achieve secular salvation. Do not be like those close minded and conservative. They are unenlightened and brutish. Accept universal love and peace into your heart and join the progressive enlightened. We cannot accept humanity as it is, we must dream up a daisy tomorrow. And frankly, in some situations there is no salvation to be had. The secular humanist, the humanitarian and egalitarian of today, not only does it spread values that whither away at uniqueness, it stigmatizes those who do not fall in line with their saccharine ideology. The appearance of happiness and optimism is the rule, and any who oppose this are possible threats to the great march of progress. These critics and naysayers are to be shamed and treated as if they are ill. They do not accept the saccharine values of love and peace, docility and compassion….then surely they must be lacking in life to make them this way, something must be wrong with them. It is an alternation between pity and shame; to pity any deemed the least bit unfortunate, and to shame those who do not participate in pitying. To be downtrodden is a virtue, to be of the ruling hegemon is a vile sin. The victories that would have been celebrated by a civilization in the past are now to be considered shameful and warranting apology. According to this progressive humanist doctrine the greatest heresy is the celebration of power, and the greatest secular sainthood is the revocation of power. The reactive forces have become the paragon of ‘developed morality’, and active forces are perceived as underdeveloped and immature. It is better to be the downtrodden owned than the privileged ruling; and any thought which may take one beyond this dichotomy is incomprehensible. The progressive humanist in full naivety will preach social justice while praying ‘blessed are the meek’….
If there is one idea to be eradicated from existence it is the concept known as ‘salvation’. At the core of both self-loathing Christianity and Islam, as well as the Pangloss humanist approach, there is the craving man has for salvation. The traditionalist moans ‘woe is me’ as he revels in man as worm before God, man as sinner, incapable of salvation without the Fatherly hand to assist and show mercy. The error of original sin is to cripple oneself metaphysically straight from the womb; an intangible disease to be saved from, born into spiritual debt to a Creator. A disease which says ‘no to self, no to life’ which spreads and disfigures to other feeble souls longing for salvation, such is how it spreads from one sorrowful being to the next. The meek inherits a disease which keeps them meek, and makes sacred that which atrophies oneself. I say be as Lucifer; strong in itself, needing no salvation, bowing to none higher, saying yes to life, yes to wholeness, and dismissing the metaphysical sickness which incurs atrophy of the spirit.