I got in a religious debate of sorts in the comment thread on this post by IOZ, whose commentariat is comprised of commenters who, like IOZ himself, are in the main extremely clever and educated atheistic anarchists. There is an historic and understandable connection between anarchism and atheism (despite the fact that the founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium, who taught that the deity is an immortal and perfect living being and the providential “father of all,” is also regarded as the father of anarchism). Anarchism by definition means without rulers, and so would seem naturally inclined to reject the existence of a God whom we should obey and acknowledge as our Lord.
The difficulty is removed, however, if we recognize with Meister Eckhart that God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and indeed, that God is more us than we are ourselves. (If a strictly philosophical rather than theological “proof” of this proposition is wanted, I suggest it might be found as well in Platonism as anywhere else.) I commend to you the The Cherubinic Wanderer by Angelus Silesius, from which the title of this post was taken, which was influenced by Jacob Boehme (who also strongly influenced William Law) and especially by Eckhart, and which (surprisingly enough) received the imprimatur of the Roman Catholic Church when it was published.
God does not so much exist as insist.
In this light must be understood the denial of “Self” also preached by these same Christian mystics. Who we really are can’t be anything that can be taken from us by robbers, or thrown in prison, or lost in old age to dementia, or buried in the ground along with our corpse. How might a person who recognizes his essential Oneness with the Divine live his life? He would see his neighbor as God sees him, as a child of God like he is a child of God, not through the blinders of Self, and thereby be capable of Justice. He would judge by the Word within what others tell him about God and God’s Will. I suggest he might live and die as Jesus lived and died:
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Why, again, have I felt it important to mention these things on a blog titled “People v. State”? Because the outer Freedom at which anarchism aims is but a shadow of the inner Freedom at which true religion aims, and because the propagation among people of this inner Freedom is the surest foundation for that outer Freedom.