Vectors of the Counter-InitiationVectors of the Counter-Initiation

The Course and Destiny of Inverted Spirituality

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French philosopher René Guénon (1886-1951), who spent many years searching for a true esoteric Way, crossed paths with many false and subversive spiritualities before arriving at the threshold of Islamic Sufism. In his prophetic masterpiece The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times he classed the worst of these spiritualities as examples of the Counter-Initiation. Anti-Tradition—secularism and materialism—opposes religion; Counter-Tradition inverts it; and the esoteric essence of Counter-Tradition is the Counter-Initiation. Charles Upton expands on this concept, recognizing the action of the Counter-Initiation in such areas as the politicizing of the interfaith movement, the anti-human tendencies in the environmental movement, the growing interest in magic and sorcery, the involvement of the intelligence communities in the fields of UFO investigation and psychedelic research, the history of Templarism and Freemasonry, and the de-Islamicization of the famous Sufi poet, Jalaluddin Rumi. Vectors of the Counter-Initiation is conceived of as a sequel to The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age [Sophia Perennis, 2001]. The Counter-Initiation has six main features: syncretism; inverted hierarchy; deviated esoterism; the granting of the temporal transmission of spiritual lore precedence over the vertical descent of Revelation; the reduction of religion to utilitarianism (magic) and esoterism to a purely technical knowledge (Promethean spirituality); and the mis-application of the norms of the individual spiritual Path to the supposed spiritual evolution of the collective. The Counter-Initiation is the ego’s idea of spirituality. It appears in the Old Testament as the Serpent in the garden, in Cain’s murder of Abel, as the “sons of God who looked upon the daughters of men and found them fair,” in the Tower of Babel, in the degeneration of Sodom, and in the magicians of Pharaoh whom Moses defeated. In the New Testament it is personified by Judas, and in the Qur’an by the figure of as-Samiri, who forged the Golden Calf, and the angels Harut and Marut—testers of man by God’s design—who taught magic to the human race in Babylon. For both traditions, it is destined to culminate in Antichrist. This book brings together two schools of thought: the Traditionalists or Perennialists (writers on comparative religion and traditional metaphysics) and the conspiracy theorists who are investigating the origin, nature, and plans of the New World Order. The NWO researchers can throw a penetrating light on the social and political dangers presently threatening the Perennialists, while the Perennialists can provide these researchers with a deeper and wider spiritual context for their vision of human evil. In Guénon’s time the Counter-Initiation appeared in terms of this or that secret society operating in the shadowy underworld of European occultism; it has now come up into the open, and moved inexorably toward the centers of global power. In the words of American Eastern Orthodox priest Seraphim Rose, “in our time Satan has walked naked into human history.”