Monday, December 10, 2012

The Spiritual Path is An End In Itself

Some secular conservatives have acknowledged religion as good because of positive social and cultural outcomes associated with spirituality. This is not a positive direction. Spiritual pursuit must necessarily be the end in itself. Because the pursuit is good, you may know the truth by good side effects and outcomes, but those attributes must not be the reason to accept religion. The flaw here is placing truth in the material world and seeing religion as a materially expedient process. Truth, by its very meaning, must originate from a spiritual plane and material benefits are only secondary reflections of that truth.

Liberal humanism tries to devalue religion via this means. They selectively take an attribute (e.g. generosity) and attempt to remove anything from the religion that does not favor their pre-selected material goals. This may appear to be temporarily expedient, from any political perspective, but it can be quickly reduced to absurdity and nothingness when the desired attributes are asserted as more important than the actual pursuit of truth itself.

For a spiritual path to be pursued, the path itself is the purpose and the end. By necessity the pursuit of truth must not be used as a process towards material ends, but be the end in itself to a spiritual goal that transcends materialism. Positive outcomes in the material world, such as healthy families and honest people, are only a secondary reflection of higher spiritual truths.

This is not to say that material good should not be pursued, only that spiritual truth must not be corrupted for material ends. It is important not to confuse this as the two approaches are essentially opposed, with one leading to truth and the other only towards corruption.

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