78. Inner truth (II)
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
I am not a Christian, but the Christians are right about at least one thing: the importance of innocence and the need to restore it, often through ritual. The Devil or Satan—or whatever name he goes under today—is quite real; he is a consciousness-form that exists in two circumstances: he exists when a person tells a lie, especially a clever lie; and he exists particularly when that clever lie is used to put a coffee stain on innocence. In the political realm, we see this play out in a competition between the forces roughly designated conservative and reactionary on one side and the forces designated progress, usually representing socialism of some sort. The latter seek to destroy innocence with clever lies. Hence it is the left that is notorious for verbal innovations and rhetoric and popular crazes—from legal abortion under a woman’s control to so-called land reform to the politics of transsexualism—that require clever lies and evasions that, once accepted, destroy innocence.
Innocence is connected to naïvety and youth. When we read Homer, we read a naïve approach to art. This is youthful, light, and vigorous art. It is poetry, the first step towards civilisation, before technology and science, and, as a first step, it is still barbaric and naïve and powerful. Innocence is, like the youth and like Homer, unselfconscious; it was this quality that Nietzsche adored in Homer, and he contrasted it to the cleverness of Socrates and Plato—old and ugly men.
Youth is not in itself praiseworthy. The young tend to be more cruel than the old, having more vigour and less caution, and they are also more malleable. Their naïve charm can be easily exploited; they can be manipulated into all sorts of peculiar games by adults. This is the price of innocence; to be innocent is to be open to exploitation, and this is how the strength of youth is wasted by the clever manipulator. Despite this, there is often an innocent quality to the crimes of the young that can somewhat excuse them; a crime that is genuinely committed without guile is somehow a lesser crime.
So it is now apparent why Jesus connected the little child to the kingdom of God and Heraclitus saw eternity as a child at play. These two men understood the vigour and excellence of youth and innocence, as did Nietzsche and Homer. To enter eternity—the kingdom of God—is to become naïve, vigorous, and trusting. The Zen Buddhists speak of a man who first sees a mountain and sees it is beautiful; he then comes to see it as a thing for exploitation and classification, dividing its rocks and trees; finally, he comes to see that it is just a beautiful mountain. He has passed through the clever lies of the consciousness-form known as the Devil and arrived back at the naïve view, though it is a higher type of naïvety—the naïvety of the divine reached through the mundane.
In our world, clever lies often take the form of a virtue signal. A person disdains or praises an object or activity without having any real responsibility or connection to it. Their words are a clever lie for show, to demonstrate that they are good and to win social approval. There is nothing naïve in their attitude, nor is it vigorous and young. This behaviour is old, it is as old as the consciousness-form we know as the Devil. The realm of politics, in total, is a debased land: it is a place where clever rhetoric and sophistry are used to manipulate people; even the conservatives, disciples of trustworthy currency and borders, are eventually debased. The reactionary stands back from politics and dwells in eternity, in the symbolism of art and the sword. He understands the cycles of history; he values action, not rhetoric. He has no clever lies to offer, so he is often taken, as was old Diogenes, to be a fool—a fool for God.