The word piety must have been misapplied a million times over the past two millennia. You can see it clearly when you zoom out and look at the timeline of the religion of Christianity. At first, it was impious to be a Christian and not recognise the emperor of Rome as a god, and so you were thrown to the lions. Then one of those emperors realised that “actually, hold on there a minute, chaps… this whacky religion might be just the sticking plaster I need to hold together my rapidly expanding empire.”
But even then, to be a pious Christian over the last 1500 years, you’d have needed the skills of a rodeo rider to remain seated in your pew as the narrative twisted, buckled and reared beneath you. First Mary Magdalene was In – a saint; then she was Out – just a common whore. First the Sun orbited the Earth; then it was the other way round. In Tudor times, one day it was the height of piety to be a Protestant; the next day they were beheading you for it.
Nowadays Christianity itself is out – at least as far as the globalists and Chinese are concerned. Christians are persecuted violently in China and only the luckier ones end up in detainment camps. Even a wider belief in God or spirituality is cast aside to render a more mechanical view of the universe which will better serve the world of robots and transhumanism and so, with the new religion being no religion, piety just becomes political correctness and virtue signalling.
So why do the Laws of Dharma ask us to be pious? And what do they actually mean by it?
I was quite inspired in writing this instalment by the life of the 15th century alchemist Henry Agrippa von Nettesheim. He dedicated himself to freeing hermeticism from all adverse accusations of impiety by the Church. It was an incredibly courageous stance to take since it was the time of Inquisition. Agrippa was shunned and hated by priests and monks alike all his life. He was never free from persecution for insisting that “every alchemist is a physician.”
He was quite right about that though …and this brings us neatly back to the Laws of Dharma. They were composed by the Vedic rishis (shamans and alchemists) who based them upon their observances of the processes of Nature. From that, they knew the principles to follow for all those on Earth to grow, evolve and thrive; they also knew that non-adherence to those principles led to death and destruction. These life-enhancing principles are all geometric in nature, which is why we see their spiralling patterns built into ancient sacred art and architecture.
Thus the secret of creation, maintenance and destruction (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) is the god principle that is found at the heart of hermeticism because it is found at the heart of Nature. And it only follows that piety or adherence to those principles can only lead to a god-filled and naturally happy life … one in which we gradually realise what is meant by the idea that the human being is made in the image of God. It is not about bending ourselves out of shape to fit changing religious and political norms. But it takes practise … lots of it.
As Miles Davis once said: “Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.”