Holiness spirals are a problem only insofar as those who in them signal their virtue are not in fact auguring in on true sanctity. Truly holy men are the *opposite* of a problem; rather, they are the whole point and summit of the human endeavor.
But most public protestations of “holiness” are in fact evidence of profanity.
How to tell the difference?
Who signals his virtue at all is vicious. Think: “Honest Abe’s Used Cars.” It’s oxymoronic, no? If you testify to your honesty, prudent men must perforce presume your dishonesty.
The truly holy seek anonymity in their good deeds.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou dost thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Likewise, the test of fitness for public office is whether the candidate somehow or other needs it. Nolo episcopari: that’s how you can tell a fit bishop.
So if you see a holiness spiral in operation anywhere, be assured you see guilty self-hating vice covering its own tracks.
There is only one exception to this rule: where public signals of your moral commitments – of, that is to say, what you deem to be virtue – entail risk to your person, property, or family. Martyrs, and those who in their witness offer themselves up implicitly for martyrdom, are free of moral or prudential taint (at least with respect to their public testimonies).
Which means – conveniently for us orthosphereans – that reactionaries are these days in the clear with our public attestations of our reactionary convictions. Publishing them, we as much as say: come and kill us, if you dare!
True virtue abnegates self interest, even as in the ultimate analysis it efficaciously serves the true interests of the self.
How nice for us, no?
Deus vult! Amen, amen.