The Eight Fetters, Pt. II

This concludes our examination of what are known in Hinduism as the eight fetters, which are: shame, hatred, fear, pride of class, pride of upbringing, pride of good character, grief, and doubt. … THIS POST HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN, AS IT APPEARS IN JOHN ROGER BARRIE’S APRIL 2024 BOOK, “THE DEEPEST SILENCE AND OTHER ESSAYS ON CONTEMPORARY SPIRITUALITY.”

2 thoughts on “The Eight Fetters, Pt. II”

  1. That ninth fetter is so very important! Not only is it a hindrance to spiritual growth, it is a reliable indication of a “false prophet” or inauthentic guru. As you have noted in previous posts, and as Fr. Christopher so clearly explains in Dialogues with the Lord of Time, the world is full of false teachers, and if we detect these signs of materialism and egotism we can avoid their influence.

    • Dear Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your thoughtful and supportive comment! Some scientists have posited that, as of the 1950s, humans have entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene. This is marked by the global impact of the human species, which has significantly altered our planet’s geology, biosphere, climate, etc. Widespread technological breakthroughs have led to a similar revolution in the ways humans communicate – the internet, conventional media, social media. These events are touted as progress, but philosopher Gerald Heard made this critical observation approx. 60 years ago: “Solve the technological dilemma and you expose the psychological enigma,” meaning that humankind does not evolve pari-passu with the gadgets it creates. A certain swath of humans are no more evolved that toddlers throwing tantrums and teens getting into fights.

      Now, St. Paul advises, “Detest what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9), and “If possible on your part, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). The trick is to rise above and remain immune from the maelstrom of current events while not lowering ourselves to engage with them or with others to the extent that we lose our spiritual bearings. As you point out in your good comment, the first step is to “detect these signs,” whether they pertain to false teachers, as you note, or more broadly to hate mongers, divisive factions, and the like. Once detected, we can, as you write, “avoid their influence” – whatever that negative influence be – and not stray from where our spiritual compass points. – John Roger Barrie


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