[Blog Editor's Note: From time to time Thea will publish her reflections here on current events in the light of the new cosmology and within the context of the New Way.]
Secularism, its ancient Roots
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea)
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
24 August 2014
Controversy is the name of the day. Now the question is brought to the surface once again of the communal versus the secular. But for most defenders of secularism the issue has not been explored in depth. This is a subject that extends far into the past. I will attempt to re-position the argument and perhaps cast light on its truer dimensions.
Secularism is not an issue to be understood merely by analyzing contemporary history, as most believe. It is not a modern phenomenon born of the Age of Enlightenment and the scientific temper, democratic processes and political ideologies, most of which claim to be secular but are, in effect, exclusivist and therefore a far departure from the truly secular. Secularism began to be attacked more than 2000 years ago and has remained the real issue behind all hegemonic struggles, covering religions, philosophies, ideologies of various hues, and even spirituality. It did not come to the fore and become pertinent only after conquests and colonisations with the intermingling of different religions.
India has seen it all. India embraces in her bosom the kernel of all these aspects that must be understood as having a single root cause if the current last-ditch battle between forces ranged on either side of the demarcation between the secular and the so-called communal are to be understood; for it is only when deep understanding comes that this vexatious issue can finally be resolved.
Ironically, the argument at present is focussed on the latest outpouring regarding the nature of Indian civilisation because of the statements made by certain political and cultural leaders that all Indians are Hindus – i.e., born in Hindu-stan. While this may be true, we know that it is offensive to religious groups which practice a faith far removed from the Hindu.
This is precisely the issue: Because Akhand Bharat is rooted in the Sanatana Dharma there can never be any form of secularism that takes possession of the country under any of the contemporary guises which are, it must be noted, far removed from true secularism – of whatever political party of whatever ideological persuasion. Exclusivism of any sort is anti-secular. This is the first point that needs to be grasped before we continue with specifics in the effort to reach the core of the problem.
There is no nation on Earth today that can claim to be completely secular. For example, exclusivist religions are inherently unsecular and the nations that follow these religious philosophies must acknowledge this fact simply because on the whole they consider theirs to be the way to salvation, of whatever sort imagined. The world is being torn asunder by a contest precisely involving a hegemonic struggle centred on these brands of mutually antagonistic forms of Exclusivism; and it has been caught in this quagmire for the past 2000 years, during the whole of the Age of Pisces (234 BCE to 1926 CE). On the other hand, the glory of our Aquarian Age, which began in 1926, is that we are able to witness the manner in which the Time-Spirit is pressing for a reinstatement of a way of life that had never faced a challenge in this respect. Passage through the Age of Pisces brought this vexatious issue to the fore because the time had come to work certain contaminating ‘seeds’ out of the evolving consciousness of the human species if it is to pass into a higher expression, beyond Mind to Supermind, a leap that is impossible to make with this contamination thriving and determining the evolutionary agenda.
India is the centre of the action, the geographic position on the globe where those ‘seeds’ can be extirpated once and for all. This does not at all mean that Hinduism, such as it is known today, is to be imposed on the people of the subcontinent to the exclusion of all else. Rather, it is that a new freedom takes possession of the land where all thrive and find their place in the true exercise of diversity in unity, but on the backdrop of the all-abiding Sanatana Dharma.
This Dharma is not religious, nor is it ‘spiritual’. It is indeed a way of life – but it is a way unknown to the world today. It is the struggle that is taking place, in India and elsewhere, in those areas we know as ‘hot spots’.
There are many indications of the struggle between the forces of the secular and the unsecular that have surfaced over the past 2000 years. The very first overt indication was the elimination of the Goddess by colonising forces during the Piscean era. This covered all aspects of the Ancient Way as it was known in India – mainly evidenced in the condemnation of idol worship under the title of Paganism with its derogatory connotations. Thus, with the elimination of the Goddess and Idol Worship a blow was struck to Diversity, thereby eliminating the most important part of Unity – for can there be Unity without a Diversity that is to be unified? In so doing the attack was directly on secularism because exclusivism was imposed when ancient cultures were eliminated.
Only one conquered and colonised nation held firm: Bharat. It is in India therefore that the true roots of the problem can be exposed and the struggle finally laid to rest. The result will be a Planetary Society firmly poised in Diversity within Unity, whereby in compacted form India displays the foundation of all that is truly secular by a respect for the manifold, immensely diverse expressions of each and every human being. This is done on the background canvas of the Sanatana Dharma. It is unfortunate though that when we hear such words today they are immediately cast in the garb of the same exclusivism the very Dharma eschews. Its proponents have not explored the issue in depth, to then poise the argument on its proper underpinnings that can never disturb or eliminate any such individual or collective expressions. What does arise from such deep thought is that each thing is put in its place within the all-inclusive spherical canvas that is the Sanatana Dharma.