Reflections on the Right-Hand Path and the Left-Hand Path

What do we think when we think about Ascension? Following in Jesus Christ's footsteps, dissolving into Nirvana-like bliss? There are many takes on this popular subject; however, they can be led back to two main approaches and views of life: the right path and the left path towards self-actualization.

Most of us are acquainted with the right-hand path, since we were raised in one of its many forms: most theistic forms of belief in God or even in the Divine Intelligence, whether conceived as masculine or feminine, One or Many, subscribe to the right path ethos.

Accordingly, most mainstream religions and traditional creeds support the existing social institutions and a view of human life as dependent upon the law, both God-given and man-made. Thus, in this view, human beings have to learn to adapt and flow with the laws of the Universe and the Divine decrees, usually handed down through sacred books and scriptures. 

On the opposite end lies the left-hand path. The left path practitioner's goal is to reach his own apotheosis and self-actualization, by bending universal and natural laws to his own will. Individualism is the core of the left path, since it encourages everyone to be measure onto themselves and recognize that all laws are man-given and thus a straitjacket meant to force people into compliance and conformity.

Left-hand paths range from Odinism to outright Satanism and are frowned upon by traditional religions as being evil and infringing upon God's domain. Both the left and the right paths, when used to further certain (self-proclaimed) leaders' specific interests, can lead to violence and brainwashing; therefore, it is not that one is necessarily better than the other.

When it comes to Ascension, the right path considers it our task to work together with the Divine and its manifesting flow, whereas the left path sees the individual's actualization as opposed to an objective and separate universe. 

A third way becomes possible if we consider these opposites not as mutually exclusive, but as polar opposites: working on balancing the two outlooks, an alchemical synthesis can take place, and authentic spiritual evolution can happen. Light and darkness touch at the dawns and twilights of our experience and out of this brief, yet recurrent, contact, new visions and insights can be brought forth. The ensuing new morality could foster respect and love, while being free of judgement and sentimentality.

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