Last week, I began a series on Spiritual Objectivism. The subject ties into my writing, and why I’m more motivated and inspired than ever to be an author. This was all brought about by my recent discovery of Libertarian science fiction, which I never knew existed as a genre. These two subjects evolved into a series of posts. If you haven’t read part one, click here.
I never conceptualized the spiritual connection to objectivism until I let go of my belief systems and understood what it meant to be the most authentic person I could be. It wasn’t easy. Between my kundalini awakening and the present day, I’ve experienced many traumas and almost lost the relationship with my mother because her belief system clashed with mine. A few years ago, I would’ve brought up how she was in a cult and that she was brainwashed, but I don’t anymore. My shift in mindset happened when I realized almost everyone is brainwashed to some extent. And the first person I pointed my finger to was myself.
We’re a herd species. We form groups around politics, nationality, religion, race, culture, sexual preferences, etc. A select few serve as the spokespeople who are followed by the group. Join any group, and there will be some sort of dogma presented. If you stray away from what is deemed acceptable, you’ll be shunned, unless you outshine the leaders and take their place. You might also get shunned if you’re not in the group or challenge their worldview. The accepted leaders establish themselves as experts who are deemed wiser than everyone. Amazingly, most people don’t bother to question whether or not that’s true. Robert Anton Wilson humorously touches upon these themes in the Illuminatus Trilogy and his non-fiction book, Cosmic Trigger. All hail Discordia!
On my own spiritual journey, I eventually trashed everything I held sacred and emerged an ideological atheist. Since then, I’ve been happier than I ever have been in my life, and my relationship with my mother grew stronger. It also gave me excellent fodder for my novels. The less dogmatic I became, the more risks I was willing to take with my writing. I now write for the sake of the story, not whether someone will or won’t like the book. This shift gave me an authentic voice, which was important to me. It also made me fall in love with the craft of writing. When I was writing only screenplays, I was told how even a great manuscript often ends up getting rewritten. That’s how things work in Hollywood unless you’re George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. Compromising on a vision may work for some writers, but not for me. I was uninspired and knew the only way I could get my story out my way was by writing a novel, which I was reluctant to do because of my short attention span. But once I started, I was hooked because I was able to write according to my own personal vision. Now that I’ve done that, I don’t mind pitching my books as movies because I already got the story out my way.
Ayn Rand’s philosophy managed to survive my massive ideological data dump because there are certain truths to it, which are undeniable to me. On a personal level, it champions the importance of creating something from within ourselves as individuals, without compromise. That’s true art. On a societal level, I see objectivism not only as an effective blueprint to a free society where creativity is free to flourish, but also as an ideal way to embark on a spiritual path!
Before I continue, I should probably explain how I can call myself an ideological atheist while I’m promoting objectivism. The explanation is simple. I don’t view objectivism as my personal religion. It isn’t something I follow blindly or build my worldview around. I do have my own opinions that contradict the philosophy, which aren’t fixed either. I have no intention of forming any new belief systems!
Ayn Rand’s view on morality is where I first spotted the connection between spirituality and objectivism. She postured that morality was natural to humans for the very fact that our survival depends on it. When a government attempts to force morality on us, that’s when we all start to lose. What has surprised me within this last decade is I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people who identify governmental institutions as the arbiters of morality and compassion, but it’s an impossible ideal. Compassionate acts come only from us as individuals and morality cannot be forced. Some of my favorite science fiction books and movies also touch upon this theme. A Clockwork Orange depicts a society that used mind programming to cure criminals. Who can forget Alex’s signature smile at the end of the movie, which demonstrated that while his behavior was successfully controlled, he didn’t change.
A limited government is ideal at our current level of societal evolution because people are free to develop morality and compassion as individuals. I touch upon this theme in Unison. It cannot be done by force, and when a government tries to coerce people into compliance, the society ceases to evolve.
I don’t view government as a static entity. It’s forever evolving and always a reflection of who we are as a people. This is a major reason why friends won’t hear me whining and complaining about government. I’ll put up posts in my Facebook page about causes I find important to our personal freedoms, which are under severe attack now. It’s up to us, not the government, to ensure that we’re a free people. The government is a mirror of who we are. If we want an honest and compassionate government, a higher number of us need to evolve towards being honest and compassionate individuals. And that isn’t an impossible ideal because:
Morality is natural to the human condition
“A morality not based on faith, not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict, mystical or social, but on reason. And morality, which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary.” Ayn Rand
The above quote I internalized when I detached from religion and belief. I felt more connected to all of humanity. This demonstrated to me on a personal level that morality is, in fact, natural to us as a means to our survival as a species. It’s all the conditionings we place on ourselves that separate us. Therefore, it is true and necessary! I’m sure many of you aren’t surprised by this, but I find it remarkable that a self-proclaimed atheist like Ayn Rand can come off sounding spiritual. Additionally, this serves as further proof that there is an underlying basis of wisdom that connects all of us, irrespective of belief or lack thereof. We may be different in some respects, but deep down, we draw from the same fountain of inspiration.
So we are a naturally moral species and that’s something to celebrate. We only have to trust in ourselves more to bring it out.
Click here for part 3 where I’ll explain where I veer off of objectivism.
Love and light,