RELIGION TO REVOLUTION: THE OCCULT ORIGINS OF SOCIOPOLITICAL UTOPIANISM
by Phillip D. Collins
January 30, 2009
Arguably, all Weltanschauungs are unavoidably religious in character because all of them must proffer a core metaphysical claim. Metaphysical claims have traditionally been the province of religions. The same holds true for the various anti-theistic movements that have sought to create a radically secular Utopian world. This series shall demonstrate the religious character of sociopolitical Utopianism, particularly the revolutionary faith that enshrined science as the chief means for ontologically transplanting heaven within the physical universe and apotheosizing man.
It is with Gnosticism that one finds the proximate origins of sociopolitical Utopianism. The Gnostic trappings of early sociopolitical Utopian movements are demonstrable in the various ideas promoted by Enlightenment luminaries. One case in point is Condorcet's "doctrine of a coming Utopia, where indefinite progress would bring forth a 'natural salvation' of plenty and immortality" (Goeringer, "The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and the Illuminati"). Condorcet's doctrine of "natural salvation" merely reiterated the Gnostic doctrine of self-salvation.
Another case in point is Enlightenment luminary Voltaire. Linda de Hoyos elaborates on the Gnostic elements of Voltaire's Weltanschaaung:
...Voltaire's own anti-Christian beliefs are exposed in his 1756 short piece, Plato's Dream, where he embraces the ancient gnostic doctrine of the universe. In this exercise, Voltaire not only peddles the complete separation of the material and spiritual world, but upholds the gnostic doctrine that all material reality is inherently evil. The corollary to this doctrine, of course, is that man is thereby excused from all compunctions to be moral, since he is a helpless victim trapped in an evil universe not of his own making. This doctrine was likely the source of Voltaire's world view since as early as 1711, when he was introduced into the Temple of Taste, a secret society of debauchees who then forwarded him to England for further indoctrination in buggery. ("The Enlightenment's Crusade Against Reason")
If the bible was the holy book of the Christian enlightenment, then the Encyclopedia was the inspiration of the Enlightenment. Here was a compendium of human knowledge dealing with arts, sciences mechanics and philosophy which swelled to some 36 volumes by 1780. Begun by the Atheist Diderot in 1751, the Encyclopedia bore the imprints of Voltaire, Montesque, Rousseau, Buffon, Turgot and others. Gracing the title page of Diderot's compendium in the first edition was a drawing of Lucifer, symbol of light and rebellion, standing beside the masonic symbols of square and compass. ("The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and the Illuminati")
This veneration of the Devil under his original angelic title constituted the religion of Luciferianism. Like some varieties of Satanism, Luciferianism did not depict the devil as a literal metaphysical entity. Lucifer only symbolized the cognitive powers of man. He was the embodiment of science and reason. It was the Luciferian's religious conviction that these two facilitative forces would dethrone the "superstitious" institutions of God and apotheosize man. This re-conceptualization of Lucifer reiterated the theme of Gnostic immanentization. Lucifer, whom traditional Christianity regards as a spiritual entity, was rendered purely immanent. Now, Lucifer was ontologically transplanted within the human mind, which Enlightenment adherents believed to be a purely corporeal entity.
Diderot's inclusion of Masonic symbols on the title page of Encyclopedia was quite appropriate. Luciferian thought permeated the early Masonic Lodge. In Morals and Dogma, 33rd Degree Freemason Albert Pike expresses unabashed praise for Lucifer:
LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not. (321)
Freemasonry, which enjoyed a certain degree of prominence during the Enlightenment, would play a significant role in disseminating Luciferianism on the popular level as secular humanism. Basically, secular humanism qualifies as an anthropocentric religion and its central precept is synopsized by the Protagorean dictum: "Man is the measure of all things." Whittaker Chambers, former member of the communist underground in America, provides an eloquent summation of secular humanism:
"Humanism is not new. It is, in fact, man's second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of Creation under the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil: 'Ye shall be as gods.'" (Qutd. in Baker 206)
Indeed, the only logical conclusion that a secular humanist can arrive at is that man is becoming god. It is interesting to note that Diderot, who was ostensibly an atheist, would select religious personages such as Lucifer to adorn his "compendium of human knowledge." Diderot's appropriation of the "symbol of light and rebellion" as a core icon for the title page of Encyclopedia suggests a conception of human knowledge that parallels the fallen angel's hubristic belief that he would make himself "like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14). Atheism provides the philosophical segue for the enthronement of man as the Most High. This enthronement begins with the recognition of a logical contradiction inherent to atheism. Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias delineates the logical contradiction of atheism:
[Atheism] is not saying, "I do not think there is a God." It is not even saying, "I do not believe there is a God." It is affirming the nonexistence of God. It affirms a negative. It affirms the nonexistence of God... anyone with an introductory course in philosophy recognizes that it is a logical contradiction. How can you affirm a negative in the absolute? It would be like me saying to you, "There is no such thing as a white stone with black dots anywhere in all of the galaxies of this universe." The only way I can affirm that is if I have unlimited knowledge of this universe. So, to affirm an absolute negative is self-defeating because what you are saying is, "I have infinite knowledge in order to say to you, 'There is nobody with infinite knowledge.'" ("Why I am Not an Atheist, Part one," Let My People Think)
The only way to affirm the nonexistence of God is to lay claim to one of his core attributes: omniscience. Philosophically and conceptually, the claimant is already on a slippery slope towards to the belief in self-deification. Ron Carlson and Ed Decker reiterate:
It is philosophically impossible to be an atheist, since to be an atheist you must have infinite knowledge in order to know absolutely that there is no God. But to have infinite knowledge, you would have to be God yourself. It's hard to be God yourself and an atheist at the same time! (17)
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Indeed, to conclude with all certainty that there is no transcendent God outside the ontological plane of the physical universe, one must first claim omniscience. However, omniscience is a trait reserved exclusively for deities. Therefore, the claimant must conclude that he or she is a god. In this sense, atheism is not the rejection of a deity. Atheism is but a philosophical segue for the ontological relocation of God within man himself. Herein is the occult conception of man as an emergent deity.
- Baker, Jeffrey. Cheque Mate: The Game of Princes.
Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1995.
2 - de Hoyos, Linda. "The Enlightenment's Crusade Against Reason." American Almanac 8 Feb.1993.
3 - Goeringer, Conrad. "The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and the Illuminati.” American Atheists 2006.
4 - Pike, Albert. Morals and Dogma. 1871. Richmond, Virginia: L.H. Jenkins, Inc., 1942.
5 - Zacharias, Ravi "Why I am Not an Atheist, Part One." Let My People Think
© 2009 - Phillip D. Collins - All Rights Reserved
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Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, NewsWithViews, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent, the ACL Report, Namaste Magazine, and Conspiracy Archive. In 1999, he earned an Associate degree of Arts and Science. In 2006, he earned a bachelors degree with a major in communication studies and a minor in philosophy. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, and classic literature.
He has recently completed a newly expanded and revised edition of The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship (ISBN 1-4196-3932-3), which is available at Amazon.com. He is also currently co-authoring a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose entitled Expansive Thoughts. It will be available late Fall of 2006.