The Inverted Tree of Ideologies

Liberalism grew out of three problems: (a) the universalism of truth, (b) failure to find a method to find or establish the universalism of any truth claim, and (c) falsification of all universal truth claims through evidence. Postmodern liberalism replaced the pursuit of truth by the claim that there is no truth and each person makes up their own truth to find meaning in life. Both liberalism and its universalist antecedents are false. There are infinite unique ideas that are selectively and contextually useful to serve a common purpose. All ideas are not useful to a common purpose. A single idea is not useful to a common purpose either. Ideas are like pens and swords that can be used for the same purpose. However, pens are generally useful in more contexts than swords. Thereby, a pen becomes a higher truth than a sword, but not a the universal truth. Most times, most people can use pens. Swords can be used occasionally. By this realization we construct a hierarchy of truths and claims, some better than others. This is neither universalism nor postmodern liberalism. It is simply good, better, and best truths without rejecting the other claims in universalist manner nor relativizing the truth to all individuals. A hierarchy of truths is necessary to address the problems created by universalism and postmodern liberalism.

Everything in the Vedic system is constructed from the three modes of nature called sattva, rajas, and tamas. This includes the mind and the ideologies, philosophies, and religions it creates. All pre-Abrahamic pagan religions were for instance based on three divisions of demigods called Adityas (headed by Viṣṇu in sattva-guna), Vasus (headed by Brahma in rajo-guna), and Rudras (headed by Shiva in tamo-guna).

Abrahamic faiths merged these pagan systems into monotheistic religions by attributing the qualities and activities of a group of prevalent deities into one monotheistic God, producing a syncretic religion. Christianity took a lot from the worship of the Surya and Indra in Roman, Greek, and Egyptian religious systems. Islam took a lot from the worship of Chandra, Kama, and Asuras in Arabian, Babylonian, and Syrian religious systems. Judaism took a lot form the worship of the Vasus, identified as stars, the Manus who created mankind and gave them rule books, and Brahma who previously produced Manus and the Vasus in the Levant religious systems.

By following the guna system of classification, its personification in primary deities of Viṣṇu, Brahma, and Shiva, and their secondary offshoots in Adityas, Vasus, and Rudras, we can construct a tree of diversifying religions. Similarly, we can apply the guna methods of classification to ideologies originating in various parts of the world.

Chinese philosophy, for instance, talks about social structure, filial piety, the duties of kings and subjects, and has little to no preoccuption with transcendence. African and Native American (both North and South) are preoccupied with spirits of nature, the protectors of rivers, mountains, seas, and forests, but far less occupied with social structure, duties of kings and subjects, or transcendental matters. We can contrast these to European and Middle Eastern pagan religions that speak more often about heaven, earth, and hell and precious little about nature, society, kings, and subjects. Until the dawn of Enlightenment, these remained highly neglected subjects.

The Vedic system, in contrast, emphasizes all of these simultaneously. There is a great deal of focus on heaven, earth, and hell, but also on worlds beyond the material realm. There are discussions about various demigods, including the spirits that protect nature. Then there are elaborate systems of dharma pertaining to the duties of kings and subjects, the various classes of people, and methods of spiritual upliftment.

Everything, however, isn’t identical to the other things. They are divided, classified, and organized based the combinations of three guna, into a hierarchical system of higher and lower ideologies. At present, this hierarchial system of tree-like diversification from a root is unknown. Therefore, people just talk about contrasts between various philosophies, ideologies, religions, and cultures. They have no way of knowing how one thing is connected to the other and how these things are organized in a ladder. Without knowing the ladder, we end up either with blind acceptance or blind rejection. We simply talk about how two things are different but not superior or inferior. Equality of various viewpoints is a new relativizing doctrine that demands an end to the search for truth, right, and good. Relativism can only be destroyed by creating a ladder.

A ladder doesn’t reject all but one ideology. A ladder doesn’t equalize all ideologies. A ladder doesn’t create conflict between ideologies. Rather, a ladder shows us how to synthesize everyting and use it to progress to higher rungs on the ladder. Transition from one rung of the ladder to another is not shameful. Nor is the correct placement of an ideology on a lower rung merely one’s viewpoint. Everything can be spoken of rationally if we organize the ideologies into a hierarchical system of laddered rungs. This is very useful because we can see how one system explains all the diversity. The modes of nature are mutually opposed, so we can understand why the conflict exists between ideas. But beyond this conflict is also unity, if this ladder is understood.