Column by Vahram G. Diehl.
Exclusive to STR
“Spirituality” is probably the least well-defined word in common English usage, aside from words like “God,” which are usually used in the context of “spirituality.” When trying to reach fellow human beings on a level deep enough to really capture their interest and sway their reluctance, one cannot neglect the subject that many people hold in the highest of regards. Thus, it is of paramount importance that we introduce the concept now into the ideological framework of a society based exclusively on voluntary interaction.
We can arbitrarily generalize spirituality to mean a human being's perceived connection with the universe outside of what he perceives to be himself. The nature of comprehension (the goal of science) is necessarily divisive of reality into two categories called “subject” and “object” respectively, with the observer being the subject and the observed being the object. The subject observer labels, identifies, compares, correlates, interrelates, and associates the given arbitrarily designated object with other objects.
He can either accomplish this natural investigatory process with optimal efficiency and effectiveness via the exclusive use of the scientific method (the simplest and least divisive method), or he can invest infinite lengths of time in trying infinite other methods with no progress except what chance grants him and the illusion of actual achievement. This is what separates science from pseudo-science. If comprehension divides reality, and spirituality lies in an undivided reality, it then lies in a state of being beyond mental understanding of any one part of reality.
Human societies as we have always known them have also been necessarily divisive. There has always been some gaining at the loss of others, rulers and ruled, masters and slaves, kings and subjects, etc. So, the most “spiritual” human civilization will be one with the least externally imposed divisiveness, and the greatest amount of interconnectedness. As with the process of coming to any new understanding of reality, when constructing a society we can spend infinite amounts of time attempting an infinite number of unnecessarily divisive methods. In the end, all our progress will come from the most direct and least divisive approach.
There is a major fundamental intellectual error in thinking that a state of being with absolutely no division can exist. The scientific laws of physics dictate that some things operate differently than others, that some actions are quite possible while others are most certainly not, and there is no way around it.
With these natural laws as an immutable given, the problem we as human beings with perpetually imperfect comprehensions of them must solve is how we can work with them to our greatest success without unnecessarily complicating the matter or restricting our options further than nature already has with its innate design.
If we seek interconnection, interrelation, and interdependence as a species and a culture, we seek a mutually spiritual type of existence. Man-made laws accomplish the same thing that natural laws do: they divide. They make some things acceptable, and others not.
A scientist understands that his place is to understand the predetermined divisive laws of nature, but never to proclaim them and be the one to make them true. Yet, every single politicians and rulers of the past and present has had the egomaniacal audacity to attempt this very thing. Unfortunately, most have always fallen for the illusion.
We must come to understand that even the best intentioned and well-mannered of lawmakers has still only one function to perform: to make laws which divide. There is no punishment for breaking a natural law; there is no need for any, as if it were possible to break them, they would cease to be laws. But a man-made law, no matter how seemingly benevolent, progressive, and protective, must be enforced with violence and imprisonment.
A lawless society like Ayn Rand’s "Galt's Gulch" is not really “lawless.” It is subject to the same natural divisive laws as the rest of the entirety of the cosmos. Without any man-made laws ensuring further division, it becomes the most interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent that a group of humans can be in this particular universe.
A society without any degree of political intervention is the optimization of a spiritual society. It is one that is working together at maximum efficiency for mutual attainment of happiness, whatever the individual's subjective concept of happiness may happen to be.