We may have to burn it down

So this is something I’m mulling over:

Religion is far too dangerous a thing to be offered cheaply to the masses.

It’s clear to anyone with any level of education about myth, archetype, and the human psyche, that religious traditions are not only inevitable, they are of the highest value to our species. And even if you do not participate in a religious tradition or turn away from their current manifestations in disgust, you cannot escape their influence any more than you can escape the influence of your own reptilian brain.

The practice of theological connection to the numinous via a spiritual tradition is powerful. It can open your soul to some pretty deep shit. Or it can destroy you and turn you into an evil, twisted, and terrible person.

It’s mysterious to me that religious people can be either wonderful or terrible. And it seems reckless to hand over esoteric knowledge, scriptures, and practice to anyone without vetting them or warning them.

This will never happen in commercialized American Christianity, which needs a constant influx of new “Christians” to pay for buildings and salaries, but in my view, we would do well to pull back from the limelight, turn our attention inward for a period of perhaps 100 years, and be a secret society while we heal from what we’ve done and who we have become.

I’m serious about this.

But of course no one is asking me, and I have no hope that what I just said will become a reality in my lifetime.


  • Eoin

    It would be lovely to see this happen. You are smarted and more eloquent than I, but I appreciate your vision and sense of what is important.

  • James Millar

    Secret societies can change their nature, and any society that does not expose itself to public scrutiny is often more prone to corruption. The church has been a fine example of this in the past. How do you keep this society aligned to the faith?

  • RavenOnthill

    “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” “Pearls before swine” also seems applicable.

    “Surely some revelation is at hand; / Surely the Second Coming is at hand.”

  • Kurt N

    This sounds somewhat like what Rod Dreher has been calling the Benedict Option, although with a very different rationale. Dreher’s position is that Christianity has something that needs to be preserved through the coming dark age, whereas you’re talking about a kind of self-quarantine. But either way, the idea is to pull back from the culture and focus on internal health.