This article was originally published on The Dharmic Alliance website.
Christianity is an interesting beast to dissect. On one hand, it is part of the “Abrahamic trio” of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These three religions share common roots in first half of the book of Genesis– their stories of creation, the flood, and Abraham are all remarkably similar. They all originated from the same general area (the Middle East), and share an almost identical vision of God as a masculine ruler and judge.
On the other hand, Christianity is also very different from its Abrahamic cousins. The doctrines of the Incarnation, Trinity, and Sacraments are distinctive features of this religion, and seem to have come “out of nowhere” with a brief glance at Christianity in its Semitic beginnings.
In this series of articles, we will be examining Christianity from the perspective of Indo-European spirituality. This will not be an attempt to smear or demonize the religion as an “invention of the Jew” to weaken Europe, nor will it be an argument for reestablishing Christendom as the uniting force of white people. Rather, we will examine the good and bad of this religion, and exalt the Dharmic while denouncing the anti-Dharmic. In this first part, we will start with a very basic discussion on the distinctives of Dharmic and Abrahamic spirituality.
First, what is Dharmic spirituality? While the definition could be expanded to include many indigenous religions of non Indo-European peoples, it here refers to the indigenous spirituality and philosophy of Indo-Europeans, including such religions as Vedic Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma), Zoroastrianism, and European Paganism. However, the European contribution to the Dharmic canon is found mostly in the works of Greek philosophers, particularly Plato.
Understandably, there is much skepticism when one is approached with the idea that there is a link between the Thor of Scandinavian raiders and the Shiva of a Haryani sadhu. However, the linguistic, religious, and genetic link between the Indo-European peoples has been known for a long time, and new developments supporting the unity of Indo-European culture appear every day. For more information on the harmony of Indo-European Culture, Georges Dumezil’s works are a good start. For something a bit easier to digest, Thomas Rowsell’s YouTube channel is excellent.
There are a few features in Dharmic religion that separate it from Abrahamism and non-Dharmic traditions, but the goal of Indo-European religion can be summed up as this: transcendence through moral living. To different cultures, the definition and expression of transcendence varies– enlightenment in Sanatana Dharma (Vedic Hinduism), the good life in Greco-Roman philosophy, and the dwellings of the Aesir in Germanic paganism are just some examples. However, the promise of transcendence is the same. It is not a state of pure sensual pleasure or mortal happiness, but of being perfectly virtuous and expressing only good qualities. In other words, being fulfilled. The end-goal of Dharmic spirituality is not to be saved from damnation, but rather, to be a manifestation of virtue and goodness for its own sake. In Sanatana Dharma, this description is quite literal, as nirvana is simply being united with the ultimate goodness and being a perfect expression of God’s will and energy. Thus, to put it simply, Dharmic spirituality is all about action.
On the surface, this appears to be very close to Abrahamic spirituality. After all, doesn’t the Bible and Qu’ran encourage moral living, “do unto others,” and all that jazz? While it is true that you’d be hard pressed to find any serious religion that denounced morality and goodness, there is a very huge difference. While Dharmic spirituality encourages morality for the sake of goodness, Abrahamic spirituality encourages morality because God demands it on pain of hellfire. We can see this in its most pure form in Islam, where God’s punishment of heathens is not limited to the afterlife. Any deviance from the Islamic code of morality is unacceptable, because it is an affront to Allah.
While hidden beneath a veneer of what are actually very Dharmic teachings, the Abrahamic influence upon Christianity has unfortunately corrupted the purpose of morality. Even though the New Testament does not order the death of infidels like the Qu’ran, it is abundantly clear that moral living in Christianity is a necessity for avoiding your great, cosmic spanking.
Astute readers will recognize that moral living is not the only prerequisite to salvation in Abrahamic religion. In fact, it might be the least important requirement, depending on who you ask. Before morality even begins to matter, you must believe in the one, true God to be saved. You could be almost as perfect as Jesus, but if you do not believe in Yahweh as he described in the Bible, or Allah in the Qu’ran, you are still getting cast into hell.
“You lived the most moral life you could with what you had, but you believed in Brahman instead of Yahweh? Sorry, looks like you’re shit out of luck. To hell with you.”
Christian theologians have realized the ridiculousness of this concept and attempted to mitigate it with concepts such as C. S. Lewis’ universalism and Augustine’s description of the Greek philosophers as “proto-Christians,” not to mention the liberal theology of the 20th century.
Here we approach the seminal difference between Dharmic and Abrahamic religion. At their cores, Dharmic religion is about action and Abrahamic religion is about belief. This is why, traditionally, Indo-European societies never waged religious war. You can be a good person whether you’re a Zoroastrian, Tengri, Buddhist, or Stoic, in the eyes of the Aryan. While the ancients certainly did debate about the nature of God and religion, they didn’t feel the need to proselytize aggressively or even kill people who did not believe in the same god, as Dharmic religion cares about action, not belief in certain dogmatic definitions of who the Divine is and what he wants. Religious war, Jihad, and Crusade are an invention of Semitic religion. In fact, the first religious war in recorded history is the story of the Hebrews slaughtering the Canaanites for the crime of not believing, or ever hearing of, Yahweh.
In part 2 of Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: A Dharmic Analysis of Christianity, we will explore the Abrahamic concept of belief, and why it is not a viable requirement for “salvation.”