Alan Watts on American Spiritual Settler Movements: ‘Why America is a Republic and not a Monarchy’

“So, the point is that the ruach is the divine, in the creature, by virtue of which you are sons of, (or of) the nature of God (manifestations of the divine). This discovery is the Gospel, is the good news; but this has been perpetually repressed throughout the history of Western religion; because all Western religions, have taken the form of celestial monarchies, and therefore have discouraged democracy in the kingdom of heaven. Until, as a consequence of the teaching of the German and Flemish mystics, in the 15th century, there began to be such movements, as the Anabaptists, the Brothers of the Free Spirit, and the Levellers and the Quakers. A Spiritual Movement, which came to this country, and founded a Republic, and not a Monarchy. And how could you say, that a republic is the best form of government, if you think the Universe is a Monarchy? Obviously, if God is top on the monarchy, monarchy is the best form of government. But you see ever so many citizens of this Republic, think they ought to believe that the Universe is a monarchy; therefore they are always at odds with the republic.” (Alan Watts on American Spiritual and Settler Movements)

“Historical Christianity has fallen into the error that corrupts all attempts to communicate religion. As it appears to us, it is not the doctrine of the soul, but the exaggeration of the personal, the ritual. It dwells with noxious exaggeration about the person of Jesus. The soul knows no persons. By this monarchy of a Christianity, which indolence and fear have built, the friend of man is made the injurer of man.”

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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