Metaphysical mutations

“Metaphysical mutations – that is to say radical, global transformations in the values to which the majority subscribe – are rare in the history of humanity. The rise of Christianity might be cited as an example.

Once a metaphysical mutation has arisen, it tends to move inexorably toward its logical conclusion. Heedlessly, it sweeps away economic and political systems, aesthetic judgments and social hierarchies. No human agency can halt its progress – nothing except another metaphysical mutation.

It is a fallacy that such metaphysical mutations gain ground only in weakened or declining societies, When Christianity appeared. The Roman Empire was at the height of its powers: supremely organized, it dominated the known world; its technological and military prowess had no rival. Nevertheless, it had no chance. When modern science appeared, medieval Christianity was a complete, comprehensive system which explained both man and the universe; it was the basis for government, the inspiration for knowledge and art, the arbiter of war as of peace and the power behind the production and distribution or wealth – none of which was sufficient to prevent its downfall.” – Michel Houellebecq

I once read an article about Jesus Christ which stated that Jesus was arguably the nicest guy who ever lived. He did change the course of history… yet he took no side, held no titles, commanded no army.

This post is not about religion, but about the mechanism of metaphysical mutations; of what it takes to create lasting change in the world. What it takes to shape human history.

Christianity overcame obstacles that we can’t even fathom. People died for this religion. In cruel ways. They were persecuted for what they believed in, without even being a threat. A religion of peace and kindness was treated most unkindly.

But imagine why these people would put themselves through all this? Why they were so willing to die? More so, to keep to the basic principles of Christianity, no matter how others treated them.

Imagine what kind of person Jesus was.

What kind of person do you have to be to inspire people like that? To convince them to do such things? To believe in something greater than themselves…

This is what I believe is the Christian way of life. Kindness, patience, tolerance. Compassion… love…

Some of you might say that he didn’t even exist. Maybe. Who knows? But if we could imagine into existence such a person, we should also aspire to be half the man he was.

It is said that ascension to Heaven is not determined by faith, meaning that you can pray all you want, go to Church all you want, and it doesn’t matter. Virtue, that’s what really matters. Think about it for a moment.

Perfect faith requires this of you. Faith without action means not having much faith to begin with. Walking the path, serving others, becoming more, being more, doing more… holding true to what it means to care for others, without expectation, without regret.

We tend to forget this throughout history. We tend to get lost in rituals, or decide on a cynical view of religion.

The real message is this: what kind of person would Jesus want you to be? You know, the nicest guy who ever lived. Someone who’d die for the sins of all other people.

What kind of person does it take to become in order to feed the hungry, to treat all men equally, to speak kindness and love?

Think about that. Then decide what matters and what not.

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3 comments on “Metaphysical mutations

  1. Anaida says:

    I always take more time than usual for your blog because your content rings something -an important realisation or a gives a sensible message. If you take this article itself, it indeed is a genius. You didn’t one track it to religion but explained the correlation between Jesus and a regular person and how it should they be!

  2. Daedalus Lex says:

    Jesus is absolutely an inspiring figure, but Houellebecq’s main point seems to be that Jesus represents just one in a string of “metaphysical mutations.” Yeats put them about 2000 years apart but combining Yeats and Houellebecq, maybe 1500 years is a more accurate cycle (1500 BC – the birth of Helen of Troy, per common mythology and Yeats’s “Leda and the Swan”; 33 BC the birth of Jesus; 1500 AD, the Renaissance and rise of science, which replaces Christianity as the dominant truth-giver, per Houllebecq, which means we’re not due for another 1000 years. (My apologies to Yeats, whose poem, “The Second Coming” suggests that we’re due NOW :) )

    • Maybe the next one will be a combination of all the previous ones. A society built upon strong moral beliefs but also scientific progress.

      I do believe we’re not there yet. The masses lack a strong enough incentive to dedicate themselves to either one, let alone both.

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