Tuesday 15 January 2008

What is Spiritual Anarchism?

If you look up the term 'Spiritual Anarchism' on a search engine you will inevitably come across a large variety of definitions. As 'Spiritual Anarchism' is neither a trademark nor a term related to any specific doctrine or faith tradition - for obvious reasons - it is just natural that an increasing number of people use the expression in various different ways and contexts. As this is MY blog you will only find MY interpretation here, completely unrelated to how other people might use the same term. Pretty straight-forward, huh?

So what is Spiritual Anarchism?

The political philosophy of Anarchism primarily denotes rejection of state and compulsory government. It denies the validity of enforced man-made laws and is characterized by a general distrust of external authority. Sometimes these views go along with attempts - violent as well as non-violent in nature - to achieve liberation from such authoritarian structures.

I would like to point out right from the beginning that I am NOT an anarchist in the revolutionary political sense. It should be obvious to anyone who has eyes to see, ears to listen and the mental faculties to draw logical conclusions that humanity in its current state of development is not even close to the level of maturity required for such a radical social transformation. In a world full of violent self-assertion, me-first-ism and opportunists who are only too willing to build their luck on the backs of their fellow human beings the abandoning of governmental rule can hardly be considered a valid option or healthy alternative to existing models of social organization.

However, when it comes to the religious realm I firmly and profoundly believe that a shift away from classical doctrine towards a more individualistic spirituality is not only possible and desirable but indeed urgently required. The apparent antipodes of religious fundamentalism and atheism, increasing secularization on one hand and flight into fanaticism and superstitious literalism on the other hand, are from my perspective just two sides of the same thing, which is degenerate religion, spirituality oblivious of its own roots in the ecstatic experience of mystery.

This primordial gnosis, this innate sense of the numinous and of the great mystery behind the manifest world is what I regard as the true origin of all religion and as the only sound fundament for an authentic spirituality. This is not to deny the validity of tradition since a healthy tradition is what provides us with the framework in which to safely unfold our true natures. This is not to deny the importance of community since all energy raised by the individual should ultimately be allowed to flow back into the greater whole.

However, one should always bear in mind that religion in the conventional sense is no more and no less but a collective expression of what once had been a mystical sense of the numinous shared by a community of individuals. Organized religion might be helpful to the individual if it clearly sees itself as what it actually is but it has beyond any doubt proven itself to be destructive the more it tends to forget its own mystical origins.

Thus, by Spiritual Anarchism I simply mean the attempt to transfer a philosophy of liberation and individualism into the religious realm, a realm in which it could not only reveal its full power and potential much better than on the contemporary political stage but also, in the long run, generate a momentum of its own which would certainly have a strong and positive knock-on effect on all other areas of human society.

It is our inborn sense of the great mystery behind the world, our capability to fully realize the wonder which is the cosmos and to reflect on our part in it which makes us human and sets us aside from other animal species. Why compromise it? Why replace it for dogma and hierarchy? Let us go back to the true source of our spiritual power. Let us reclaim our primordial sense of mystery and give it a fully authentic, a fully individual expression.

This is what I mean by Spiritual Anarchism.


  1. Spiritual Anarchism? It songs good, like hapiness. Keep writing staff. It is allways chering to hear something from you. I know you hate me because i don´t have time to send you emails but i will soon. I just need some time to fix my life, to reach that happiness, to be able to look myself on the mirror and feel good. It will be soon.

  2. Almost like you wrote it from my heart.

  3. Thanks a lot for your comment. In fact, from today´s perspective I would make some minor alterations to this post since in the meantime I have indeed become sympathetic towards classical political Anarchism as well.

    Anyways, good to see there are still people out there browsing through my ramblings and agreeing with some of the stuff I wrote. Gives me motivation to maybe revive this shamefully neglected blog some time in the near future. :-)