The Latest Addition To My Shrine

I just bought this at church after Liturgy. My monarchist friends should appreciate it, especially the Orthodox ones:

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I Dont Think I Am A Neoreactionary

I read a lot of neoreactionary blogs. I appreciate the work of a lot of neoreactionaries. I link to neoreactionaries. I am  indebted to neoreactionary Anomaly UK for his invaluable assistance with the Golden Circle. Neoreactionaries tend to be intelligent people, and I consider them by and large my allies.

However, I dont think I am a neoreactionary. The reason I dont believe I am a neoreactionary is quite simple: My attitude toward religion is fundamentally different from that of any neoreactionary I’ve ever seen.

My religious belief is, from the neoreactionary perspective as best I grok it, quite a naïve one. When I say I am a Christian, I mean it in this sense:

I am of the opinion that this world was in fact created by God, and that moreover, God is a single Essence as well as a communion of Three Persons, the Second of Whom became a man, and lived, suffered and died, and then rose from the dead, in history, in time. I am quite willing to accept that Christ’s life and death are myth, in the sense Tolkien used the term, but nevertheless I also believe they actually happened.

Moreover, I believe that, to unite people with Him in order to save their souls, Christ established a visible, hierarchical Body on Earth, whose purpose is, first and foremost, sacramental: to confer the Grace of God through the Holy Mysteries for the salvation of souls. I believe that the Eastern Orthodox Church is that Church today.

When I say I am Orthodox, then, I dont mean that I see Orthodoxy as somehow useful to my agenda, as a way to strengthen the culture or maintain social order or build a community or something, and that as a result of that I’ve adopted the forms of Orthodoxy or joined myself to an Orthodox Church. Rather, I mean that I believe Orthodoxy to be the Truth. By implication, then, other religions are, to a greater or lesser degree, false.

Of course, I believe that a society founded on these truths will probably function better than one which denies them. But you cant restore the Faith for that reason. As C.S. Lewis said, if you think you can, you ‘might just as well think [you] can use the stairs of heaven as a shortcut to the nearest chemist’s shop.’

Now, it’s possible that I’m wrong. No one’s actually defined sincere, exclusive, non-esoteric religious belief out of the neoreaction as far as I can tell. But I see few to no neoreactionaries professing it (though they certainly dont oppose it). For that reason I’m inclined to think I belong more to the Orthosphere, despite spending more time among the disciples of Moldbug.

Thoughts? Am I wrong? Is my religious attitude compatible with the neoreaction?

Still Alive And Reading List

Yes, I’m still here. I’ve been reading, though less quickly than I’d like, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. I’m about half done and will begin the work of their systematic refutation when finished.

Other than that, this is what I’m reading at the moment:

St. Gregory Palamas as a Hagiorite, by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos:

A little off my usual political topics, but quite interesting so far. I’ve been perplexed by the essence-energies distinction since I first heard of it and my parish priest recommended this book to me. As of yet it has only been a hagiography of St Gregory and his theology has not been discussed but I’m only a chapter or two into it.

The Outline of Sanity, by G.K. Chesterton

Actually, I just resumed this one, after far too long without making any progress in it. There are a lot of good ideas in here. It doesn’t really line up with much of anything ‘neoreactionary’, but as I’m a paleoreactionary that doesn’t bother me overly much. I think reactionaries could use a bit of Chesterton’s back-to-the-land traditionalism; sometimes on the neoreactionary side of things I think reactionaries get a bit dry and technocratic.

Yes, my reading list is shorter than last time. For next time I hope to add I’ll Take My Stand, which has been sitting on my shelf for a while now.

This post has been short, but that was the intent. I just want to keep this thing alive, as it were, until I finish the Treatises and can get down to the real work.

The Philosopher Prince

Rod Dreher ably defends the (perhaps surprisingly) traditionalist Prince of Wales.

An excerpt from HRH’s book, to whet the appetite:

Modernism deliberately abstracted Nature and glamorized convenience, and this is why we have ended up seeing the natural world as some sort of gigantic production system seemingly capable of ever-increasing outputs for our benefit. … We have become semi-detached bystanders, empirically correct spectators, rather than what the ancients understood us to be, which is participants in creation. This ideology was far from benign or just a matter of fashion. The Marxism of the Bolshevik regime totally absorbed, adopted and extended the whole concept of Modernism to create the profoundly soulless, vicious, dehumanized ideology which eventually engineered the coldly calculated death of countless millions of its own citizens as well as entire living traditions, all for the simple reason that the end justified the means in the great ‘historic struggle’ to turn people against their true nature and into ideological, indoctrinated ‘machines.’