Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stages of faith and extreme politics


I'm currently slowly plowing my way though 'Himmler' by Peter Padfield. Just as a background Himmler was the head of Hitlers SS and the prime archtect of the concentration camps. A firm believer in eugenics. Very nasty.
Himmler got involved with the Nazis very early in life 19 years of age. He worked his way to the top very quickly. He was a 'believer' in the cause.
What has stuck me as I'm reading the book is the overlap between the spiritual development and his career. I write this in reference to a latter post which I did What's happening when what I believe is not what I used to believe', based on 'Fowlers Stages of faith'.

It would seem to me that Himmler's god was Nazism, that he was stuck in stages 2 to 3. He was an absolute fundamentalist to the Nazi cause.

  • Stage 2"Mythic-Literal" faith (mostly in school children), stage two persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their deities are almost always anthropomorphic.
  • Stage 3"Synthetic-Conventional" faith (arising in adolescence) characterized by conformity

Maybe the most dangerous Fowlers Stages of faith is an idol of extreme politics while in stages 2-3...Himmlers god was Nazism of which he was one of the ultimate fundamentalist.