Introduction-

Man is a religious animal. Although possible proto-religious behaviors have been observed in other species, like elephants burying their dead and chimpanzees engaging in bizarre social rituals, nothing compares to the intense and intricate religions fashioned by the hands of man. For countless thousands of years, the search for spirituality has been a driving force in our species’ development. Only recently did said search abruptly end. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, for it to crop up again in the historical blink of an eye. Western secularism has led to a widespread crisis of identity. Of course it has. All of our money is being funneled into the hands of a few. The working class is going through its greatest crisis in decades, and next to nothing is being done about it. Our politics are toxic, and on top of all of that, the world is burning. …

Chapter I

The little lodge was a quiet place. William sat idly on his phone. It wasn’t like there was much of anything else to do. Perhaps he could read a book. He did, of course, bring several along, although he’d never been able to fully fool himself into thinking he’d get through more than one or two. It didn’t take long after he picked one out, however, that a buzzing phone brought him right back to the blinding screen. A text.

“whats the move for the weekend”

“I’m up north,” William replied, “hunting with dad. Or, at the moment, waiting around at the lodge as he goes fetching some supplies he forgot to bring. …

Our ability to know our limitations is, in and of itself, a limitation.

Mankind is a mass of lazy bastards with a sprinkling of brilliance on top. While the occasional exception unendingly strives to make something of themselves, the vast majority of humanity is content with spending their entire lives doing the absolute minimum. Of course, we can’t completely blame them; living is an arguably easier endeavor now than it’s ever been, and people seem to be naturally inclined to capitalize on whatever ease they can get. Still, everyone intuitively wants to make something meaningful of their tenure here on Earth. Many people even anguish at the prospect of never contributing a line to the epic poem of the world. It’s just that the allure of ease is often too enticing for these would-be do-gooders to resist. How, then, does man remain sane, knowing he wishes to boldly tackle the world but constantly succumbing to inaction anyway? …

Introduction

Perhaps one of the biggest setbacks for modern leftism is its lack of a spiritual or theological element. The Right has long held a monopoly over American Christianity, and recently, it’s gotten its fingers into alternative spirituality. The New Left of the 1960s flourished alongside New Age spirituality before the former went strictly secular and the latter went off the spiritual deep end. Since then, leftists have been champions of science, but for those searching for deeper meaning in a seemingly godless world, the Left has had little to offer. To stop itself from losing all those desperate for religiosity, then, leftists have to offer an alternative. …

Defining Libertarianism

The link between American libertarianism and the alt-right has been discussed frequently for a few years now. It’s a worrying development for a lot of libertarians, and one can hardly blame them; nobody wants to be associated with the alt-right. Despite their protests, though, the great leap required to go from voting for Gary Johnson to marching with Richard Spencer has been made seemingly easily by vast swaths of former libertarians. This frightening pipeline is not the only one available to libertarians, however. It is this second, and much less often discussed, pipeline that provides hope that libertarians are not lost to either their own ineffective ideology or the viciousness of the alt-right. …

Ancient Ancestor Worship

The following will mostly be an exercise in speculation. Many of the things to be brought up here are so well hidden beneath the veil of time that we may never get to know their details. It’s a dive into the deepest depths of the past — perhaps even back when man and ape were not yet totally separate — thus making it a difficult thing to speak of strictly scientifically. …

The primordial origin of human religion is heavily studied but barely understood. What, then, do we know about this original tradition?

Introduction

The search for the origin of all religion is rather self-explanatory in its reasoning; such a discovery would have innumerable consequences for every culture on Earth. Naturally, it’s a search that’s been undertaken for hundreds of years, but only in the most recent century and a half has it really risen in popularity. The search typically leads to one of two conclusions; that religion developed multiple times independently, or that all modern religions can be traced back to a prehistoric original religion. The latter school of thought steers its proponents toward adopting the perennial philosophy. This is of the school of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, William James, and Aldous Huxley (though only Huxley described himself as such), and at its most basic, it states that every religion around today has some grain of truth in it, for they all stem from some distant but discernible divine truth. Unfortunately, but also unsurprisingly, the totality of this truth is lost. …

Bookchin & Öcalan

Murray Bookchin was a titan; a titan of the eco-socialists of Burlington, Vermont from the 1970s-90s, perhaps, but a titan nonetheless. An American writer and political philosopher, his ideas were in a constant state of flux, moving from Marxism to anarchism to the “communalism” of his own invention late in life. By the end of his days, it is said that he thought his life’s work a waste. Never was he able to see his ideas brought to fruition; not all around the world, nor in any distant country, nor even in his beloved hometown. After a few years of failing health, Murray Bookchin passed away in 2006. …

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

The image in question is a meme that’s been making its way around the internet since at least 2013. “Everything in this picture is Snoop Dogg,” the caption typically declares, shooting for humor through ridiculousness. At first glance, this might just look like a silly image. Upon further reflection, however, we can see its potential in explaining grandiose ideas about existence itself. Bear with me here.

The most striking feature of our curious little image is the fact that, even though there’s a field of grass, a great tree, a blue sky, and a shining sun, all of these different things are actually just one thing: Snoop Dogg, albeit in a bunch of different colors, poses, and proportions. All the different parts of the picture are, in fact, not different at all. …

Introduction

Protests have gripped the United States for weeks now. George Floyd’s unjust death at the hands of police has enraged the nation, and for good reason, too. Thousands of deaths, both published and unpublished, have been endured in recent years — particularly by minority communities — with very little being done to prevent such violence in the violence. Decades of politicians promising police reform have done next to nothing. Incrementalism has only further frustrated a grieving people.

Now, after years of petitions, protests, riots, reforms, and more, many Americans have lost all faith in their police. What exactly, then, are their arguments against the police — not just as individuals, but as an entire institution, and what do protestors want to see created in place of the police? …

About

J. W. Barlament

Writer of the most eclectic mix of material this side of the Mississippi. Author, 2016–2019. Blogger, 2017–2020. Columbia University, 2020–2024.

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