Unification News for May 1997
Recently, in these pages, our brother Laurent Guyénot examined the differences between Humanism and Naturalism. (Sept. 96 UNews.) While these two forces are currently allied against Judeo-Christian traditions, they are, in fact, quite different.
Naturalists are avowedly pro-nature. Some of them embrace nature in a genuine way, spending much time in the wilderness. Others are city dwellers, and their only communion with nature takes place in their imaginations. When such people do visit the wilderness, perhaps along with some popular "protest movement," the real forest dwellers often regard them with scorn. For they know no woodcraft, and often leave behind piles of trash. But even genuine "mountain men" can be rather unsavory-like the notorious Unabomber.
Naturalism developed well before science, hence, its roots are rather fuzzy. In the distant past there was no clear, mental dividing line between the natural and supernatural, or even between the explicit and the metaphorical. (As explained by C. S. Lewis in Miracles.) Misunderstanding this, Humanists scorn the beliefs of the Naturalist, while the Naturalist seeks for lost roots he cannot possibly comprehend.
Some Naturalists have embraced science, and attempted to sort of their particular worldview. The results have been, shall we say, all over the map.
In the past, many spoke of: "Nature, red in tooth and claw." They beheld in nature an endless parade of death. This observation has been updated by modern Complexity Theory. More than %99.9 of the species that ever lived have become extinct. Five great extinctions each wiped out most of the life on Earth, the most famous being the "K-T Boundary" asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs. Mainly, though, extinctions have averaged a steady one species every year, for billions of years now. (Kind of makes the Endangered Species Act -even if well meaning- seem a bit fatuous, doesn't it? Or does it have a hidden purpose?)
As Naturalists keep this history in mind, for some of them, human life is regarded with intrinsic value than one would like to think. Hence the teaching of "deep ecology," which sees humanity itself as a plague.
Today there is a popular Gaia movement, with both scientific and spiritual aspects. Its scientists see the Earth's biosphere as an interlinked whole, dynamically balanced and self-healing. Its spiritualists see Gaia as the embodiment of nature, an actual goddess with three aspects.
Humanists are all too eagerly in favor of science. (See the upcoming article Humanist Hubris.) Naturalists do not trust the works of man, and especially those of "the Machine." They especially abhor any "tampering with nature," such as genetic engineering. Witness the recent Attack of the Killer Gene-Altered Tomatoes, an outcry which might have been funny if it hadn't revealed so much sheer ignorance.
In reality, domestic dogs, cattle and many others have been genetically altered, just more slowly. Extreme Naturalists, such as PETA, even reject the keeping of pets or livestock.
This fear of technology has bred a cottage industry called "junk science," which has invaded both the courts and the capitals of our world. Self-proclaimed specialists will testify eruditely to any scare du jour. Some real scientists, at places like NASA, are not above over-hyping their own data, be it about ozone holes or global warming-especially when budget-voting time comes around. NASA has actually fired staffers who questioned their dire conclusions, including one man who merely proposed tests which would have verified them-or not.
All of this is becoming very expensive for the average citizen. One recent, international treaty has banned CFCs (Freon coolant, etc.), and forced people to use expensive -and largely untested- replacement chemicals.
The same thing has happened with the bureaucratic imposition of gasoline containing MTBE. This chemical ruins car engines, emits chloroform gas, and is contaminating many water supplies.
These fiats were based on shaky -even junk- science. However, the bureaucrats don't mind, as they are assured of ever greater power. Ironically, the Big Oil and Chemical corporations don't mind either, because these mandates have become their exclusive, multi-billion dollar cash cows. Ditto for the big-time criminals, for Freon smuggling is now flourishing, second only to hard drugs.
Because of their mistrust of science, and its subsidiary, modern medicine, many Naturalists are susceptible to all sorts of faddish nostrums. As this article goes to press, "magnetic treatments" are back in vogue. These were first popularized more than 200 years ago, in the American Colonies. They were also exposed as frauds-by none other than Benjamin Franklin.
Today's doctors certainly don't understand everything. (They hate to admit it, too. The suffix idiopathic on disease-names means: we don't know what the heck it is.) But people have been dying because Naturalists told them to shun vaccinations, and other effective, modern treatments.
Humanists tend to go for dry, intellectual constructions. Naturalists are more openly emotional. They see nature as flowing with invisible, mystic forces. In this, the Divine Principle agrees with them-to a certain extent.
There is a good litmus test for any belief system: its ideas on authority and the exercise of power. Naturalists are as proud in their way as their rivals. They believe they can harness the invisible forces of Nature to do their own bidding, however they see fit.
While it has its own version of the Golden Rule, pagan Gaia worship is definitely a pre-Old Testament religion. The third, or declining aspect of that triune goddess is identified with the "crone" phase of a woman's life, with the waning moon, and with the coming of winter. Historically, she was also propitiated with human sacrifices, a detail today's pagans prefer to whitewash. (See the recent bestseller Waking the Moon, by Elizabeth Hand. Caution: it's "modern gothic," and rather intense.)
Naturalists claim an ancient heritage, stretching back tens of thousands of years to the Europe of the Lascaux cave paintings and the curvaceous, carved Venus figurines.
Modern feminism also claims roots there. Supposedly, prehistoric societies were matriarchal; women were regarded with mystical awe, and not dominated by men. They were free to display their bodies, and to live in peace with all.
Only later (feminists speculate), when men discovered their role in conception, did they begin to dominate women. This produced the hated "western patriarchal" societies, and both the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions. Thus the arch-feminists fully intend to destroy these traditions.
Archeology has not supported the feminist's version of the past. Not every ancient society was matriarchal. Only a few, such as the Minoans, worshipped the moon goddess. Prof. Jeannine Davis-Kimball has been excavating the Bronze Age graves of (what may be) the real Amazons, tribes of warrior women who lived on the steppes of southwestern Asia. These women worshipped the sun, and in historic times, were apparently hired as mercenaries by the Roman army.
The Principle explains that history has progressed upwards from the Fall. The oldest religions did center on women's fertility-in a rather crude manner. In India there are survivals: one ice stalagmite, which forms each winter in a sacred cave, is worshipped as "the lingam of Shiva." There are similar old rituals in Shinto Japan.
The oldest forms of worship, then, were often reenactments of the Fall. This probably explains how, in the famous Bible story, Tamar could so readily seduce Judah. In those pre-Mosaic times, the goddess Ashtaroth was worshipped by having sex with the temple prostitutes. There was nothing "liberated" about those times-for either gender.
The Naturalist's naive spiritualism has opened the way for many popular mystics. Most of them were basically good, like Gurdjieff or Edgar Cayce. These men only got strange when they made pronouncements on subjects outside their fields, like Geology or Medicine.
Others were completely mixed up, like Velikovsky. A few were truly horrible, such as Hörbiger and his eager disciples amongst the Nazis, the Ahnenerbe SS.
With the year 2000 fast approaching, each of these men have numerous modern imitators.
There are also noble traditions rooted in the distant past. If in the pre-Old Testament Age they could only reach God through the Creation, they were also very close to nature.
The Indians of the American southwest learned of Catholicism from the Spanish friars, more than 200 years ago. Many of them have incorporated the Catholic veneration of Mary into their own traditions. She is regarded as a sort of "sky mother," an idealized spiritual woman, worshipped in combination with their traditional, nurturing earth mother.
About twenty years ago, then-Governor Cargo of New Mexico, at the behest of a group of Pueblo Indians and their white admirers, proclaimed a special "Mother's Day" in honor of this idealized woman. Recently, this same man helped welcome True Mother, when she came to speak in Albuquerque.
Surely, a fitting crown to the Governor's long career. It is also a perfect illustration of Naturalism's true aspirations. Only by going forwards, to humbly fulfill God's ordained roles for us all, can we truly have peace. Only then will women be truly honored, as they always should have been. Medicine and spiritualism will no longer be hampered by arrogance or worse. Then man, woman, and nature will finally live in health and harmony.
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