The Rock of Ages

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Matthew 7: 24-25

Christianity is founded upon several rocks: the Bible, the Church, Tradition, the Trinity and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However much we may stray from true religion, however much we may corrupt the teachings and distort them, intentionally or unintentionally, these things are fixed and incorruptible. We may interpret and translate the Bible in different ways, but we cannot fundamentally alter it.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24: 35

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6: 19-21

Shamanism is also founded on a rock: the rock of Nature. It is rooted in the wisdom of the body and our primeval connection to life. Through sacred medicines and timeless shamanic practices, through “trance, dance and magic plants”, we can re-member our essential embodied unity with our Mother Earth, Pachamama.

Zen is also founded on a rock: the rock of the Buddha’s enlightenment. Through disciplined meditation, we can share in his enlightenment and take refuge in the Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Japanese Zen traces its lineage all the way back through Chinese Cha’an (and Taoism) and Indian Dhyana Yoga, which actually precedes Shakyamuni Buddha by hundreds if not thousands of years.

Human consciousness is ultimately founded on shamanic practices and traditions; Western civilization is ultimately founded on Judeo-Christian tradition; Eastern civilization is ultimately founded on Hindu-Buddhist tradition. The spiritual rock on which humanity is built is the tripos, Shamanic Christian Zen.

Build your house on Modernist or Postmodernist principles, on Science, Enlightenment Rationality, Secular Humanism, Marxism, National Socialism, Positivism, Fundamentalism, Critical Theory, Deconstruction, Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Darwinism, Identity Politics, etc. etc. and you are building your house on sand. It is the hubristic attempt to create a modern world cut loose from the past. It is a house without foundations, a world without meaning:

Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time

T.S. Eliot

In his brilliant lecture series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis, John Vervaeke discusses some twentieth century “prophets of the meaning crisis”, Martin Heidegger, Owen Barfield and Henri Corbin. But who are the twenty-first century prophets? I would say Roger Scruton, John Gray, Iain McGilchrist, Jordan Peterson, Yuval Noah Harari. In their various ways, they point out the arrogance and self-idolatry of Modernity, what the Rastafarians, the true Shamanic-Christian prophets of the meaning crisis, call Babylon.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 7: 27