09 September 2009

Good advice

... spiritual life is exactly like everything in nature. It's subject to the law of nature. There is a tide like the tide in the sea, like the day and night. There is tremendous nearness to the Beloved, and the soul is happy, and we are walking on clouds, and then suddenly there is nothing there. You are suspended naked over a chasm or an abyss, you can't pray and God doesn't exist and everything is cold and everything is horrible... This is the path of the mystics.

- Irina Tweedie. Substitute "the Revolution" for "God" and this paragraph should look familiar to our secular Marxist readers as well. The test is whether you give up when it looks like everything's turned to shit. But there's a subtler trap - the trap of "well, maybe what I've been doing hasn't worked, so let's do something else." That way lies spiritual and/or political dilettantism, jumping on whichever bandwagon seems interesting at the time.

The important question is: regardless of success in the real world, is your group as a group working? If you've got a good political party, or tariqa, or affinity group, stick with it because groups can do things individuals can't. You might waste a lot of time and energy trying to affiliate yourself to a new guru, only to find out that you actually brought the problem with you.