Monday, July 6, 2020
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Spirituality as the New Fascism

The Worrying Trend Emerging out of the New Age Movement

What is Fascism?

Fascism is not confined within political gates alone.

Known as a far right ideology, the notion focuses on a race, group, or force as being superior and maintaining the status quo.

This is more than a group upholding the ideal. It is non-secular: it disregards those who do not measure up, there is only ‘us and them’. 

This is indeed where Hitler made the ideology most infamous. The Aryan race referred to all those with blonde and blue eyes. All those that did not meet the criteria-were otherwise disposed (literally). Welcome concentration camps and the annihilation of whole races, who of course, were the Jews.

Robert Paxton, who is a professor in the study of fascism at Columbia University; denotes that fascism sees ‘national strength’ as to what makes a nation “good”. Anything that does not make the cut, is ostracised.

What makes a nation strong? What makes a group strong?

Do individuals need to be physically strong? What about mentally strong, or perhaps biologically strong?

Does a fascist ideology pick and choose? According to Paxton, fascists do pick and choose. Man was ultimately superior according to the Nazi’s, yet it is women who are biologically stronger. Yet women do not have the physical strength of men. Who are we to do away with? And so the ultimate measure became a set of characteristics.

We have all experienced fascism of some kind or another. I experienced fascism at primary school, when I was not deemed worthy of a group, or as a team-mate. In the absence of acceptance, we seek out our own niche, a sense of belonging. Or we stand alone and find our own voice.

The New Age Movement

I have lived in various different countries over the past ten years. I have spent a decade being an expat. It is inevitable that such an experience will attract outsiders or those who believe in a different way. Everyone has their own experience here on Earth, and we try to find our own path if we can.

Expats are naturally inclined to be more independent, autonomous, self-seeking and curious. If they were not, why would they move to a country very different from their own?

The expat community serves this motivation to improve, to persevere and to self-actualise. Daily life is a new take on everything: Yoga upside down, Vegan restaurants serving eggs, and a whole new culture to digest. The further away the culture, the further away your experience.

Often people who have become autonomous, have travelled. They have experienced things that have questioned their beliefs, and is this not the reason they left home in the first place?

Expat communities across the world experiment on many different levels: with their diet, with their motivation, with their spirituality and with their norms and values. 

Many are Vegan, self-made, and creative. Anything that offers greater autonomy-is game.

They are part of the New Age movement, who inspire spirituality. Spirituality concerns the deeper meaning of life, and living a life of purpose. It is steeped in the notion of consciousness, and the importance to act mindfully.

Let’s compare the New Age movement to communities who have never left home. Communities who have never sought, and struggle to maintain health, let alone find their life purpose.

These are communities that are unfortunately being ravaged by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Especially in America.

The New Age Outbreak

Yet, there seems to be an outbreak within the New Age community with far reaching implications.

New-age leaders and practitioners are speaking a language vested in their own self-interest.

One self-made entrepreneur, who owns her own yoga retreat in Costa Rica, recently posted a picture of her, her husband and 18 of their friends in Austin, Texas.

This was to celebrate her recent pregnancy. At all other times, this is a beautiful occasion.

However, there is a global pandemic going on. Texas was only in stage 1 of re-opening. This does not include mass gatherings. 

She has had numerous comments on her social media, one follower quoting:

“Gathering in groups this large is still not recommended by the CDC. My perspective is that it’s not all about YOU”

Herself and her husband believe there is a conspiracy afoot, and an ulterior motive concerning Covid 19. Hence the gathering.

This is someone who holds herself highly accountable for how she lives her life, and perhaps more so-how she is perceived. Living a conscious life-all is one, all is connected. Her business is based upon it, trading as a ‘holistic business coach’ and she posts openly and honestly, reflecting upon her life, and her struggles.

Yet, when one follower approved of the gathering, going as far to say:

“So nice to see a group of healthy happy people with strong immune systems hanging together!! I totally understand protecting the people who have completely ignored their health and are now in danger of dying of any virus that comes along but we should be able to live our lives the way we always have??”

The self-made entrepreneur replied with:

“Couldn’t agree more”

I replied to the follower: 

“You are at risk of sounding fascist. The choices other people make do not make them less important.”

The holistic entrepreneur has since blocked me on her account.

Since when did putting their lives, before the lives of others become conscious? It is not, it is completely at the other end of the scale, and it is extremely revealing.

Do unhealthy people not matter in the spiritual community?

This is someone I have followed for a while, and I find her writing insightful and deep. Her husband is a ‘Conscious Comedian’, really funny, and regularly posts sarcastic anecdotes that take the mick out of ‘spiritual people’. I wonder if his latest video will depict him and his wife? The irony.

The other irony is, the ‘Concious Comedian’ did not post celebratory gatherings on his social media.

In response to the ‘backlash’ the ‘holistic entrepreneur’ is receiving, she has made a podcast and quotes:

“This podcast may trigger you because it may challenge your current beliefs.”

Funnily enough, this is exactly what I was doing.

“We will not be silenced or censored, and we will continue to fight to protect our constitutional rights”

However, it seems to be okay to censor other people.

“Our hopes and prayers for a more peaceful future where we stand united as humanity despite our differences.”

Humanity on a united front again, yet humanity does not seem to figure into their decision making.

I may sound like the police here, and maybe I am, but I am making a point. 

Spiritual Bypassing as the New Fascism

People posing as ‘spiritual’ and ‘conscious’ and #wokeasf**k, seem to have created a whole new memo, one in which spiritual bypassing is the new fascism.

‘Spiritual bypassing’ is the avoidance of facing up to emotions, thoughts, feelings, and anger-by instead focusing on spiritual practices or ideologies. It is basically avoidance tactics. 

For example, a person feels low emotionally, feels sad, and reaches for the biscuit tin.

There seems to be a trend within the spiritual community, to use spirituality, as a means to find acceptance. And perhaps exonerate oneself.

It is important to strive for a better life, but no one can have achieved anything, when it is at the expense of others.

This is age old however, people will always compare to those less fortunate, in order to exalt their own status.

A Question of Foundation

It bears the question: are the foundations of spirituality built on insecurity?

They are when it concerns spiritual bypassing.

Let us not forget the foundations of Nazi Germany. Hitler built the ideology upon his insecurity and lack of belonging. He was not accepted into art school.

Instead, Hitler built an army under his name.

Paxton further explains that fascism bears an ‘enhanced sense of identity and belonging’

Fascism correlates self-esteem with the grandeur of the group. 

Paxton also explains that supporting the group is more important than individual or universal rights.

A Question of Affirmation

In the days since the Instagram post, I have received various responses from other members of the ‘group’. Unfortunately, they only seek to affirm the group, and make assumptions about those who do not belong to it. 

One follower assumed I was ‘mainstream’ because I did not agree with what the couple are communicating. 

Since I had a differing opinion, I must be ‘mainstream’. I must belong to ‘another group’. 

There does not seem to be room for anyone to have a mind of their own.

Revolutionists Ahead of the Game

Since the New Age movement is revolutionary and dynamic, there is an idea that they know what others do not. 

Lachlan Montague, a writer of fascism in Melbourne attributes:

“Fascism is definitely revolutionary and dynamic”

Why would anyone think any differently?

Fortunately, this does not represent the whole ‘spiritual community’ but it is growing. I have also had communications with others who have no feeling as to what is happening collectively in the world. They are more concerned with how they are ‘thriving’, in the light of others’ suffering it seems.

What would Jesus do?! 

Joking aside, he definitely would not turn a blind eye.

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