Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – A vision of hope: The church of native divinity

| November 5, 2020

The economist replaced the theist priest, as cultural visionary, in the breakaway ideological and institutional proclamation of the Modern Liberal State. Charlatan or shopkeeper, neither can service as the proper visionary of a true volitional culture, rationally intelligent and morally aspiring.

In the Ancient World the theist priest delivered palpable moral inspiration, signified in egoistic or transcendentalist visions of human moral fulfillment. But the fundamental theological proposition, the old hand through the veil trick claiming the persona and will of the almighty, is a lie. And all ideological propositions built upon fallacious foundations will inevitably deliver volitional dysfunction.

The Modern Liberal State was founded upon secular premise, exposing and displacing the cynical abuses of theocratic culture. However, in the reactive rush to disavow of theological conviction, theocratic politics, modernist culture has certainly thrown out the babe with the bathwater.

The modern economist delivers materialistic vigour, fuelling capitalist investment, productivity, whilst proportioning dividend wealths to wider social, national, and environmental needs. But the deified materialistic vision of the Modern State abnegates aspirational projection.

The economist proffers lip service to humanitarian, environmental purposes, because his paramount objective is tending fuel to that runaway locomotive which is the constant growth economy. And the constant growth economy is synonymous with the doomed Anthropocentric State.

If we fear, today, that mounting geoecological, geopolitical crises give premonition to a dismal human fate, then luminous minds must formulate the breakaway proclamation of a Futurist Reconciled State. The foundation agency for this new human culture, reconciling man with man, man with nature, would be an honest, invigorating religious institution, The Church of Native Divinity.

From the moment that our primitive forbears blew ochre across outstretched hand, to leave an imprint in the cave, religious inspiration, aspiration has been a deep part of human psychology, expression.

If that innocent searching for mystical infinity, personal eternity, was our original religious quest – what went so horribly wrong? Were all the tyrannies wrought in subsequent human religious cultures, theological, theocratic, indicative of some basic moral inadequacy in man?


In that most quixotic of all human quests, seeking a vision for transcendent moral fulfillment, experiential immaturity would always stand in the path of fledgling grasps for satiate fulfillment. At the deepest level, ignorant suffering and impatience have been the first factors causing man to project misconceived religious conceptions, malignantly egoistic or pathetically idealistic.

Only subsequent to the common call of mortal sufferance, wanting deliverance, have cynical designers, manipulators of religious ideology modelled answering theological treatises, theocratic mandates. And naturally enough, when Western society singularly emerged from that 5,000 year stretch of Ancient World tyranny mandated upon theocratic supremacy, reactive thinking did throw the babe out with the bathwater.

Paradoxically, the existentialist, materialist, atheist culture definitive of the Modern Moral State sits opposite residual theological addiction. The abject amorality, even immorality of this areligious culture begs us to re-question the fundamental intellectual validity, the moral and volitional worth of religious conviction. But if a new religious conviction is to be promoted and profitably utilized, it cannot be founded upon false premise, the theist’s hand through the veil deception.

If we look to the moral transcripts of our daily lives, social, ecological, we clearly perceive an underlying logic. Further, if we look to the total transcript of human cultural evolution, with a keen analytical mind, we will see moral order at work.

Natural selection works just as much upon man’s volitional conceptions as upon nature’s genetic inventions. But the hand of nature, divine or not, is a hard task master. Wishful, wilful thinking, impetuous ideology will not furnish fruitful moral vision, volitional deliverance.

The disciplined practise of rational science has provided modern man with technological prowess. If we wish to achieve moral prowess, and total command over a sustainable, prosperous, noble expression, then we must rationally read the imperious moral script dictated by natural cause and consequence.

Attenuated to the genealogical treatises of human religious vision, (and ignoring the core theological farce), were classic moral visions invoking both sides of nature’s confronting nurture/depredation paradigm. At one extreme the Aztec deity, Huitzilopotchli, invoked brutal henotheist warfare, frenetic assertion of self-interested depredation.

Diametrically opposite, Tibetan monks embraced a Buddhist religion promoting pacific transcendentalism. Placed in context, the Aztec religion was generated as necessitate ideological response to the incessant City-State warfare developed in all Ancient World landscapes. And Tibetan transcendentalism was generated as part of that widespread late-Ancient search to escape the butcherous landscape of constant socio-economic, political, military depredation.

Both Aztecs and Tibetans ultimately paid the predictable consequences for sustaining untenable moral visions. Ironically, the Mexica were subjugated, near annihilated by a totally foreign, henotheist marauder, Cortes’ Christians from Spain. And, today, Buddhist Tibet is captive to Chinese imperialism, having suffered ongoing phases of genocide, despotic silencing, whilst an impotent Dalai Lama sits secure in exile.

The central problem of all human conflict is not generated by man. The nurture/depredation paradox is imperiously, inescapably generated by nature. Naturally unequal potentials in human beings, individual, collective, subsequently unleash the socio-economic, moral, and political effects of predatory tyranny. It is then a matter of cultivated moral sensibilities, crude or refined, which determine for the perpetuation of, or pushback against despotism – social, and ecological.

The Church of Native Divinity will take its moral premise from the conviction that life, in this cosmos, is exceedingly rare, fragile, precious. Life is only precious, though, if we perceive beauty in its expression.

The human being, being by far the most complex natural creation we know of, is invested with unique intellectual, moral, and volitional capacity. Mankind has the capacity to perceive the rarity, fragility, and preciosity of Life on Earth. And we, alone, are invested with the potential and challenge to either affirm the beauty of Life on Earth, or desecrate it, as we are now doing.

What mission could be more a test of human moral choice, volitional pedigree?
The Church of Native Divinity must illuminate the radiant path forward for mankind, but, also, be the hardest task master that man has ever known. There is not one moral, cultural, or political faction of the human corporation that currently promotes a vision, which would procure a sustainable, prosperous, and noble destiny for man, for Life on Earth. The New Church must provide this vision.

The new vision for mankind, for Life on Earth, must finally resolve the nurture/depredation paradox presented by nature, to reconcile self-interest, humanitarian, environmentalist, and honest religious purposes.
An intelligent synthesis of these divergent designs will see aspiring interests as forefront vision.

This will entail balanced creation of human and ecological prosperity, based upon fair play human economics, politics, upon humbled numerical diminution of the global human footprint. This must also encompass true spiritual outreach. Man must reach towards the stars, seed life beyond this dominion. And man must celebrate life here on Earth, as guardian gardener, in artistic expression.

But our new, holistic religious vision must always sustain rearguard action, the militant morality, laws, and forces that will smite intolerable human and ecological predators. Any culture that is too pathetic, squeamish to kill, in vital defence of its Civil State, human and ecological, is designating itself to sure decay.

Perhaps the most signifying, moving act of human religious outreach is that when the human congregation kneels, thankful, humble, beneath some greater entity. True, this ritual is oft riddled with treacherous human designs, claiming omniscience, omnipotence to scheming human autocrats. True, divine supplication also begs the question of credulity – kneeling before what, or nothing?

However, advocates in the New Church might simply implore the human congregation to embrace arms and look silently to the stars, in sheer wonder, to look at the Garden on Earth, in sheer delight. And it is this cultivated sense of divine wonder and appreciation, which should excite us all, in some small or magnificent way, to practise an assenting moral life. Every parishioner’s testimony, vision of beauty, must heard in the New Church. For to be heard is to be cleansed.

As to those essential religious questions, is there a creator, is there life after death?

Logic should tell us that you can’t get something from nothing. If we look discerningly, we can see affirmative aspiration writ in all living expression. And the person who plants a tree or bestows a humane gift, on their last day, is building a tangible connection to infinity.

One has dealt harshly with the theist priest, the economist, derogating their functions to charlatan and shopkeeper propositions. Sanctimonious theocrats and smug economists do symbolize the tyrannous spiritualistic and materialistic contracts that man has subscribed to, in the Ancient and Modern Worlds. But the spirit of love, faith, and charity would have us embrace all our brethren, even the most fallen.

It remains for a breakaway breed of mankind, clear-sighted, all-loving, yet brutally resolute, to fully flesh the charter of a new human vision.