How come the right often do so much better at ‘spiritual’ inspiration? In France they have Joan of Arc, in Greece ‘The Golden Dawn.’ Isn’t it time that the left developed a spirituality of its own.
Many progressives are often passionately atheist or on the liberal wings of essentially patriarchal religions. The distinction between organised hierarchical religions and spiritualities has often been overlooked. Religion as the ‘opium of the people’ has been the battle cry of the left, while the quieter belief of Engles in ‘dialectics as the spirit in matter’ was forgotten. Engels wrote much of the ‘Dialectics of Nature’ after Marx’s death in 1883 to link natural science with revolutionary ideas. The science is mostly outdated now, but the spirit of his endevour could be used to develop a left wing spirituality. What might this look like?
An alternative left wing spirituality could be based on honouring the concept of equalising as a verb not only as a static ideal. Equality is not sameness. It can be seen as our social and political equivilant of the balancing processes in nature. Everywhere, on every level, in every dimension opposites are striving to balance and equalise. This results in endless flowing rhythms dancing through life, from the oscillating strings of sub atomic matter to the breathing of the cosmos.
It can seem as though we are in the stone age as far as equalising our societies, locally and globally. How different it would be if there was a widespread, passionate belief in equalising as a guiding force on all levels of life. Perhaps it is already evolving in the hidden corners of the collective unconscious, on the streets, during protests and online. This new spirituality is far from the Methodist chapels of the old British Labour Party or the religious based initiatives of progressive Rabbis and Priests, though they all have their value. It is essentially about tuning in to the equalising rhythms of nature and finding a common spirituality without leaders. It can take many forms or none. It can honour local land and/or ancestors or relate to mother earth as a universal. But without some strengthening of a left spirituality the nationalistic right wingers could become increasingly powerful over the next decades.