Will you be a Saint or a Sage when we win this war?

Truth Over Tyranny: Biblical wisdom for defeating the Technocrats.

These are my insights for defeating the Transhumanist Technocracy movement, based on the teachings of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, of blessed memory, on the weekly Bible portion.

Perhaps the most fascinating — and encouraging — aspect of the current war against the Technocrats, is the “spriritual awakening” it has caused. Freedom lovers across the world are meeting the attempts to impose physical oppression, with spiritual pushback, measure for measure. 

Here are but a few examples:

They claim that “God is dead,” and seek to establish themselves as rulers of the planet through technology.

But we know that God’s sovereignty is everlasting, and that He rules according to his moral code, which we all must follow.

They try to reduce each person to a “digital ID;” a utilitarian unit in the collective.

But we respect the individuality of each person, and defend our inherent rights as human beings. 

They seek to impose capricious authoritarian mandates, to expand their power. 

But we adhere to ethical and constitutional codes that constrain the use of power.

They treat all of life — including human life — as their own private property, to be patented, and genetically manipulated, bred, and culled, for their own profit and power.

But we know that God obligates all of humanity to be partners with Him, in the conservation and stewardship of His Creation.

They try to keep religion out of public life, yet also try to coerce adherence to their fake religion of “scientism.”

But we hold true to Biblical values, as the foundation of a free society.

So, we do see Freedom lovers are pushing back against the Technocracy’s physical oppression.  I am 100% confident we will defeat the Technocrats.  

But, exactly what will victory look like?  When the moral life replaces decadence and corruption as the governing norm, what kind of spiritual lives will we lead?  How many options could there be?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks can get the conversation started for us. In his commentary on Parashat Naso called “Sages and Saints,” he discusses the difference between these two popular spiritual heroes. 

He starts out by mentioning one popular Biblical version of the “holy man,” the Nazirite: 

“Parshat Naso contains the laws relating to the Nazirite – an individual who undertook to observe special rules of holiness and abstinence: not to drink wine or other intoxicants (including anything made from grapes), not to have his hair cut, and not to defile himself by contact with the dead (Num. 6:1–21). Such a state was usually undertaken for a limited period; the standard length was thirty days. There were exceptions, most famously Samson and Samuel who, because of the miraculous nature of their birth, were consecrated before their birth as Nazirites for life.[1]

There is some debate among Torah authorities about the virtues and vices of such a lifestyle:

“What the Torah does not make clear, though, is firstly why a person might wish to undertake this form of abstinence, and secondly whether it considers this choice to be commendable, or merely permissible. On the one hand the Torah calls the Nazirite ‘holy to the Lord’ (Num. 6:8). On the other, it requires him, at the end of the period of his vow, to bring a sin offering (Num. 6:13–14).

“This led to an ongoing disagreement between the Rabbis in Mishnaic, Talmudic, and medieval times.”

The core of the argument deals with the merits of withdrawing from the temptations of this world:

“According to Rabbi Elazar, and later to Nahmanides, the Nazirite is praiseworthy. He has voluntarily undertaken a higher level of holiness. The prophet Amos said, ‘I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and your young men for Nazirites,’ (Amos 2:11) suggesting that the Nazirite, like the prophet, is a person especially close to God. The reason he had to bring a sin offering was that he was now returning to ordinary life. His sin lay in ceasing to be a Nazirite.

“Eliezer HaKappar and Shmuel held the opposite opinion. For them the sin lay in becoming a Nazirite in the first place and thereby denying himself some of the pleasures of the world God created and declared good. Rabbi Eliezer added: ‘From this we may infer that if one who denies himself the enjoyment of wine is called a sinner, all the more so one who denies himself the enjoyment of other pleasures of life.’ Taanit 11aNedarim 10a

“Clearly the argument is not merely textual. It is substantive. It is about asceticism, the life of self-denial. Almost every religion knows the phenomenon of people who, in pursuit of spiritual purity, withdraw from the pleasures and temptations of the world. They live in caves, retreats, hermitages, monasteries. The Qumran sect known to us through the Dead Sea Scrolls may have been such a movement.”

Maimonides resolved the dispute with an insight into the Jewish view of the moral life: there is more than one! 

“…What Maimonides saw is that there is not a single model of the virtuous life. He identifies two, calling them respectively the way of the saint (chassid) and the way of the sage (chacham).

“The sage follows the ‘golden mean,’ the ‘middle way.’ The moral life is a matter of moderation and balance, charting a course between too much and too little. Courage, for example, lies midway between cowardice and recklessness. Generosity lies between profligacy and miserliness. This is very similar to the vision of the moral life as set out by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics.

“The saint, by contrast, does not follow the middle way. He or she tends to extremes, fasting rather than simply eating in moderation, embracing poverty rather than acquiring modest wealth, and so on. 

“Essentially, these are two ways of understanding the moral life itself. Is the aim of the moral life to achieve personal perfection? Or is it to create a decent, just, and compassionate society? The intuitive answer of most people would be to say: both. That is what makes Rambam so acute a thinker. He realises that you cannot have both. They are in fact different enterprises.”

But which type of “holy man” is best for society? To Maimonides, the answer is clear:

“A saint may give all his money away to the poor. But what about the members of the saint’s own family? A saint may refuse to fight in battle. But what about the saint’s own country? A saint may forgive all crimes committed against him. But what about the rule of law, and justice? Saints are supremely virtuous people, considered as individuals. Yet you cannot build a society out of saints alone. Ultimately, saints are not really interested in society. Their concern is the salvation of the soul.

“This deep insight is what led Rambam to his seemingly contradictory evaluations of the Nazirite. The Nazirite has chosen, at least for a period, to adopt a life of extreme self-denial. He is a saint, a chassid. He has adopted the path of personal perfection. That is noble, commendable, and exemplary.

“But it is not the way of the sage – and you need sages if you seek to perfect society. The sage is not an extremist, because he or she realises that there are other people at stake. There are the members of one’s own family and the others within one’s own community. There is a country to defend and an economy to sustain. The sage knows he or she cannot leave all these commitments behind to pursue a life of solitary virtue. For we are called on by God to live in the world, not escape from it; to exist in society, not seclusion; to strive to create a balance among the conflicting pressures on us, not to focus on some while neglecting the others.

“Hence, while from a personal perspective the Nazirite is a saint, from a societal perspective he is, at least figuratively, a ‘sinner’ who has to bring an atonement offering.”

I have no doubt that many freedom lovers today are on the road to becoming saints. In response to the oppression of the Technocrats, they are retreating into their inner worlds. They are immersing themselves with prayer; studying mystical texts; “working on themselves.” They are trying to attain the peace they want the world around them to have.

I think this is a very natural and normal reaction to the daily attacks by the Technocrats on our bodies, minds, and spirit. And we all should attain a mastery over our inner selves. 

But I also agree with Rabbi Sacks that the vast majority of us should be sages — people who will protect our families, and our country, and our way of life. It is through our efforts that America — and the free world — will be saved.

You may also like these