Beware of Extreme Spirituality

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Normally, we would consider spirituality as something positive, something refined and sublime as opposed to klutzy materialism and unreflecting this-worldliness. Many religions teach that true bliss is in the afterlife and that the world in which we spend our lives is just a miserable vale of tears. Is not transcending our material existence a “consummation devoutly to be wished”? What bad could possibly come from spirituality?

A lot of bad. You will be surprised. Here is an Example: the NAZIS.

In 1919, at age 20, Adolf Hitler met a man named Adolf Lanz, who was the head of an occult group in Vienna. Lanz began his career as a Cistercian monk. Expelled for “carnal thoughts”, he became an ardent German nationalist and anti-Semite. He changed his name from Adolf Lanz to Baron Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels and founded an occult group named the “New Templars”. Lanz operated various “Aryan” centers and proclaimed the Aryan hero race to be the “most complete incarnation of God and the spirit”. The Aryan hero human however was opposed by the under-human, the Tschandala, who promoted democracy, capitalism, and materialism.

Hitler also became exposed to the teachings of Alfred Schuler and Ludwig Derleth. Both belonged to a group that aimed at converting Munich into a center of “cosmic consciousness”. They wanted to replace the existing political, social, and religious structures of the world with the “original home (Urheimat) of the soul”. They postulated instinctive thinking over rational thinking and wanted people to follow their unconscious minds in order to return to a more natural and primitive society. Schuler admired the Roman Empire and blamed the Jews and the Christians for its demise. He stressed the sacredness of “pure blood” and adopted the swastika as his personal symbol. This is where Hitler’s admiration of the Romans started and his fascination with the swastika. Derleth was even more extreme than Schuler. He proclaimed the arrival of “Christus Imperator Maximus”, the coming savior of the world. The coming savior would need death-hardened fighters. Hence, the last sentence of his “Proclamations” reads: “Soldiers, I deliver unto you for plundering – the world!”

The three men who influenced Hitler more than anybody else and transformed him into the future leader of Germany were Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart, and Alfred Rosenberg. Eckart was obsessed with the idea of the imminent arrival of a strong leader who would restore Germany to its past greatness. He nurtured Hitler carefully and initiated him into a range of occult ideas and practices, most importantly the Thule Association and the Vril Society.

Dietrich Eckart
Alfred Rosenberg

The Thule Association was an amalgamation of occultists who believed in the coming of a “German Messiah”. It was founded in 1910 by Felix Nieder based on the ancient Nordic myths of Hyperborea and Thule. Nieder was a translator of the Nordic Eddas, the books of Scandinavian paganism. Hyperborea was supposed to be a land in the far North that was destroyed by ice. The ice split it into two pieces, one of which was called Thule. Thule members were convinced that their descendants were the ancestors of the Aryan race.

The Vril Society goes back to the British novel writer Lord Lytton. Lytton was a Freemason and Rosicrucian and wrote a novel in 1871 titled “The Coming Race”. This was about a race of super-humans who live in caves underground and have mastered the cosmic force of “Vril”, which was the midwife to the Star Wars Jedi’s “Force” (May the Force be with you!). Vril was essentially the same concept as the Hindu “Prana” or the Chinese and Japanese “Chi”. The Munich Vril Society was founded by Rudolf von Sebottendorf aka Adam Glauer. He bought a publishing company and a newspaper, the “Münchener Beobachter und Sportsblatt“ (Munich Observer and Sports News) and rebranded it “Völkischer Beobachter“ (People’s Observer), which became the official organ of the NAZI party.

In 1919, Bavaria had become a Soviet Republic (Räterepublik). Sebottendorf and his Thule Group attempted to harness the spiritual Vril power against the Bavarian Soviet State and engaged into several futile attempts to overthrow the Marxist Bavarian government.

Of the Vril society’s members none was more influential in shaping Hitler’s views of the world and his expansionist strategies than Karl Ernst Haushofer, a German general, professor, geographer, and politician. Through his student Rudolf Hess, Haushofer’s concept of geopolitics influenced the development of Adolf Hitler’s expansionist strategies. He coined the geopolitical concept of “Lebensraum”, which Hitler adopted in his book “Mein Kampf” to justify global Nazi expansionism and genocide. In November 1908, Haushofer was ordered to Tokyo as a military attaché to study the Imperial Japanese Army. He travelled with his wife via India, South East Asia, Korea and Manchuria. In Japan, Haushofer, who spoke fluently Japanese, was inducted into the “Green Dragon Society”.

There are several theories on the origin of the Green Dragon Society. One claims that it was founded by the 9th Century Japanese Buddhist mystic Kukai. Another theory claims that the Japanese Green Dragon Society was an offshoot of a Tibetan secret society, which itself originated in Manchuria. Main internal objective of the Green Dragon society was to control the vital forces (Vril) within the human body and to control time. Main external objective of the Green Dragon was to foment wars, revolutions, and general destruction. The Green Dragon itself symbolizes thunder, bravery, and the all-conquering Vril force. Haushofer claimed that his Green Dragon initiators had revealed to him that after the fall of Atlantis many survivors had traveled through Europe and Asia to Tibet and Manchuria where they finally settled in cave dwellings and continued to direct the course of the world and mankind from their underground sanctuaries.

At the time Haushofer discovered the secret teachings of the Green Dragon secret society there were four main schools of religion in Tibet. The most orthodox were the “Gelug-pas”, the yellow caps, whose leader was the Dalai Lama. Another school were the Kargyuptas. They believed in an unbroken line of gurus transmitting divine grace. There was also the Adi-Yoga school, aka the Red Caps, and the Bons, aka the Black Caps, who believed in pre-Buddhist animistic religion. Interestingly, the Kargyuptas did not believe in God, but only in the law of cause and effect, which they saw as the “life principle”. During the initiation rite the teacher transmits this life principle to the disciple, who becomes empowered as a result. The student of comparative religion will recognize the similarity of the Kargyupta belief system with the early Christian heretic teachings of the Gnostics, who believed that the entire material world is evil and was created by Satan. The Kargyuptas did not believe in God or Satan but they did believe, as did the Gnostics, that the world and normal human life are conditions from which one should escape as fast as possible and that spiritual enlightenment was the path through which matter and earthly life could be overcome.

Eckart invited Hitler to join the Vril Society and under its influence he changed into a confident and powerful speaker who projected his charisma and willpower to his audience. Later members of the Vril Society were Rudolf Hess, Hermann Göring, and Heinrich Himmler. Hitler learned that superhuman underground dwellers (named Vril-Ya by Lytton), who supposedly lived in a subterranean City named Shamballah (Shangri-la) located in the underground world of Agharti, shared common ancestors with the Aryan race.

It was through association with the Vril Society that Hitler made the acquaintance of Alfred Rosenberg, who became Hitler’s chief ideologue and strategist in shaping the Germans to fit Hitler’s spiritual beliefs. Rosenberg revered the Cathars, the Albigenses, Waldenses and other sects that denounced material reality. The Cathars went so far as to cut off their sexual organs, punish people for having sex and women for becoming pregnant and ultimately to commit mass-suicide. Their simple logic was: the material world is evil, a creation of Satan, and death is the best and fastest way to leave it. Many of them were burned at the stakes. Interestingly, the Catholic Inquisition applied the same logic: we will burn your body to save your soul. Rosenberg despised the Catholic church and the Jews for their materialism and lack of spirituality.

The public and the world did not know much about the Vril Society until 1947, when the German rocket scientist Willy Ley published an essay titled “Pseudo-Sciences under the Nazi Regime”. Ley explained that the Vril Society was founded on the belief that Lytton’s subterranean world was true and real and that the Vril power would help to create an Aryan super race. The Nazis were so convinced of the truth of the subterranean superhumans and the existence of the Vril power that they sent several expeditions to Tibet and Manchuria to find Shambala, the underground city of the Vril-Ya, and to study ESP, the Third Eye, translocation, telepathy, and other spiritistic phenomena.

Obviously, too much materialism and this-worldliness and the total absence of spirituality can be very negative. But the example of the Nazis illustrates that spirituality can also become a destructive force, when it removes people from fact-oriented thinking and replaces critical rationality entirely with wishful thinking and a fairytale mentality.

Lesson learned: Distrust everybody who promises you a totally different and better world and whose actions are based on pure make-believe and “spiritual” speculation. Distrust everybody who is willing to cause horrendous pain and suffering for a purely conjectural paradise on earth. Chances are it sucks.

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