Tuesday, 26 March 2019

We are all collaborators now: the cowardice of the Godless

Cowardice may be the defining sin of our times - such an extremity of cowardice that people are afraid even to think virtuously.

Modern Man has no courage, because he has no reason for courage: nothing to be courageous about.

Acts of the most disgusting cowardice are observed and reported daily, without comment or even with approval - almost any excuse of expedience, of fear of risk - or the mere possibility of risk, is regarded as sufficient to justify cowardice of men or women.

And if there is real courage, it is undercut and dismissed by cynicism - the same cynicism that justifies cowardice, erodes courage.


Modern Man takes cowardice to new levels.

In the past people knew what they ought to do, and realised that cowardice was when they did not do what they knew they ought to do. Thus Men convicted themselves of cowardice.

And as CS Lewis remarked in The Screwtape Letters; to know one's own cowardice - to know that one failed to do what one ought to have done because of cowardice - is a really horrible feeling. It is one of the worst forms of guilt. 

And Modern man is so systematically and frequently cowardly, that this self-conviction would be intolerable - If he allowed himself to have genuine moral principles...

However, by pre-surrendering to evil, by denying the reality of God and thereby emptying his soul of natural Goodness - Modern Man acquits himself of cowardice. We are indeed Hollow Men, Men-without-chests...


Without God - without any God - in a universe (supposedly) created from random change and blind causality - there is no compelling reason to be virtuous; and cowardice can be redefined as Nothing-But a psychological control mechanism, a manipulation by religious authorities (as indeed some of cowardice sometimes was).

Insofar as Modern man has any conviction it is that he has a duty to be happy, attain pleasure (especially sexual), avoid suffering - and therefore, avoid trouble, and keep on the right-side of those with power.


In the past, there were those who resisted alien occupying nations at great person risk and despite great personal suffering. The Resistance.

And there were those who collaborated - who made the best of the actually-existing situation, and made most of the opportunities they presented - the cowards who systematically did-the-wrong-thing, and benefited immediately and personally in terms of pleasure and avoiding suffering.

However; the collaborators mostly knew exactly what they were; their actions indicate that they were convicted by their own conscience; but other motivations (e.g. fear, greed, lust, conceit) were more powerful than shame or duty to conscience.


Now The West has been permanently occupied by aliens - by a strategically-evil Establishment, by a ruling and governing class who actively and openly lie-to, exploit and oppress the People.

But there is no resistance: resistance has evaporated.

Why? Because for Godless cowards there is never any sufficiently-compelling reason to resist.

We are all collaborators now, pretty much. Yet most Modern people lack sufficient integrity of conscience to acknowledge this simple reality to themselves, even in private thought.

So, in reality, we are something worse than collaborators.

The all-round collapse of authority - When Christian churches paint themselves into a corner

Different Christian churches or denominations have a different 'bottom line' as regards authority - the source of truth; but all are vulnerable to corruption of that source. And indeed all the main denominations have indeed been corrupted in this way.

Eastern Orthodoxy relied on an unbroken transmission of oral, personal tradition from the times of the Church Fathers; but that has been broken - especially by the Russian Revolution. By the standards the church established for itself; what is broken cannot be restored. Modern Eastern Orthodoxy, in most of the world, is cut-off from its roots - the chain of master and apprentice, the unquestioned authority of spiritual fathers... these are gone.

The Roman Catholic church has developed a different model of authority based upon the figure of the Pope; from whom comes the authority of the church via the bishops whom he appoints. It is a top-down system. But when first the bishops, then the Pope, become corrupted by politics and other priorities; then corruption instead of holiness moves from the top down - and there is no (human) mechanism for correction.

The Protestant churches mostly based their authority on scripture, on the Bible; but did not tie authority to any specific translation or interpretation - the truth was supposed to shine-through any version. But there has been a massive proliferation of translations; many of them corrupted by worldly, sexual and political agendas. Scripture has lost its meaning, its cohesion, its dependability.


A cross-denominational source of authority is 'theology', broadly understood - reasoned discourse. The Roman Catholic church took this to the highest level with scholasticism and a special role of Thomas Aquinas - but this was no sooner achieved by Aquinas then demolished, confused, complicated and made incoherent by subsequent generations - and this has by now reached an extreme state.

In general, Theology has become became increasingly secular, academic and fashion-driven in its assumptions and methods - and is useless, indeed counter-productive, as a source of authority.

If there is supposed to be an 'expertise' in understanding scripture, church tradition, and the structure of religious authority - then this expertise points almost everywhere all at once.


My personal conclusion is that the serious Christian - here and now - is confronted by an already-existing system in which living from external authority of any kind and of all kinds has become an impossibility - however much we might want it.

The thing about religious authority is that it cannot be created consciously. Pascal saw this more than 400 years ago at the beginning of modernity.

Or: authority used to be implicit, spontaneous, taken-for granted. When authority became conscious and a matter of choice - then it ceased to be primary; and the conscious act of choice (and whatever guides that) became primary.


Authority can only be built onto authority - so we each must consciously find (because nothing could be more important) what we really, actually, in implicit practice, regard as true and real: and then built from that, and from nothing else.

No matter that this is not given us by The World; we can have faith that if we are honest and diligent in this quest, then our loving God will ensure that we will find what we need.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Visionary Arkle for this momentous week



A couple of visionary pictures from William Arkle to put us into a good frame of mind for this momentous week ahead - a reminder to remember what lies behind the (often) mundane or sordid surface of things.  

And a portrait of the artist...



Sound-bite Christianity

It would be useful, wouldn't it, to have ready a sound-bite answer when somebody asks something like 'What is a Christian?' - or, more likely, 'OK, then what do You mean by 'Christian'?'

There is an answer, in two short statements - which is stated clearly and repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel - and that answer is something-like:

1. Jesus is the divine Son of God who brought us the possibility of eternal resurrected life in Heaven. 2. If you want that; then you should believe, follow and trust (i.e. love) Jesus - though death into eternal life.


That's all that needs to be said. But a modern person will almost certainly want to know 'But how can I know this is really True?'

He will suppose that this means he needs to hear the 'evidence' for these claims...

But whatever kind of evidence you provide, it will Never Be Enough.

Because modern people will believe anything nonsensical or false that is mainstream or fashionable (e.g that people can change their sex); and can disbelieve anything anything true and vital on the basis of whim, convenience, expediency - or for no reason at all.


So - forget about 'evidence'.

Rather than getting enmeshed in trying to convince him with history, scripture, church authority, philosophy and logic, science or anything like that...

The proper and effective answer is that the only thing which could potentially convince would be when he discovered it for himself, by thinking seriously on the matter.

Nobody else can do it. If the thinking is not serious, it won't work. If he does not want to do this, or cannot make the effort - nothing will happen.


You can tell him what Christianity is. You cannot make him a Christian.

If he does not want to be a Christian - he won't be.

If he does want to accept Jesus's gift, but is unsure whether it is true - then nobody else can (or should) convince him of the fact.


If he wants to know - he can.

But it does require effort.  

Everything nowadays hinges on what counts as 'evidence'

To my mind, our whole modern situation keeps returning to the same question, and it confronts each person individually on multiple occasions. That question could be phrased as 'what is your evidence?'

We seem to require 'evidence' for our beliefs, but we expect that evidence be 'objective' - that evidence is Not derived from what we personally know or can do; but comes to us from outside.

Any evidence that comes from our own efforts is supposed to bepotentially delusional - because tainted by our own subjectivity ('wishful thinking'); but somehow external evidence - provided by 'other people' - is somehow immune from their subjectivity...

Somehow, we don't notice that the problem of subjectivity has not been eliminated by outsourcing judgment; and neither have constraints as the need for honesty and ability.

'Evidence' just-is made by people, and if the people who supply 'evidence' are incompetent or dishonest, then we would be (we are) stupid to take any notice.


Who can we trust to provide us with external evidence that is strong enough to over-ride our own, personally-derived knowledge?

Simply asking the question reveals that we are - all the time - implicitly trusting people whom we would not explicitly trust; we believe people that we do not know, and do not know anything about - yet we trust and believe them more than our own intuition, common sense and personal experience...

It looks as if our world has convinced us only to believe what others tell us, and not even to allow us to choose who the 'others' might be.

Our world tells us that we must Not think for our-selves (because that is merely subjective, delusional, wishful thinking) but Must believe Other People (whose thinking is, somehow, Not subjective, delusional wishful thinking when they are telling us what to believe!); and it defines what kinds of people we must believe.

Our only allowed choice is among the approved people and groups.


The way out of this hall-of-mirrors is fully, and consciously, to acknowledge that all evidence ultimately depends upon our-selves - on who we chose to trust.

We can either make this decision for ourselves - or allow the decision to be made for us, by... well, by whoever happens to be dominant in our environment.

And that is what keeps people compliant, and what stops people thinking for (and from) them-selves - fear of whoever happens to be dominant.

To think for oneself entails disbelieving and defying whoever-is-dominant. And that is always a risk; one way or another.


One might suppose that 'thinking is free' - that what is 'inside our heads' is private and safe - yet that is not how our minds work. In practice we all believe (we 'know') that our thinking is not private, that other-people (including whoever-is-dominant) know what we are thinking...

Even though modern materialism denies that this 'mind-reading' is really possible; something in us knows that thoughts make a difference; and we are therefore afraid to have defiant and disobedient thoughts.

We fear that our disbelieving and defying thoughts may be used as evidence against us... And we are right!

Thus we (guiltily) try to control our own thinking - as well as behaviour. 


And thus we are captured by the system - afraid even to acknowledge our situation, and the absurdity - the incoherence - of what goes on every-day as 'normal'!

But the way-out is - and we know this too! - perfectly simple. Simple but risky.

Therefore it is cowardice that is the problem, not ignorance, nor weakness.


Because thought is Not private, thought Is effectual...

Therefore Thinking Makes A Difference.

And - given that we could think for-ourselves, if we chose - that is the most defiant and disobedient 'thought' of all...


Saturday, 23 March 2019

Chalk and Cheese - Gould and Menuhin


It turns out that opposites can sometimes go together very well. Two very different approaches to Bach, by great musicians, each with great mutual respect for the other.

To my mind; this somewhat experimental, improvisatory (and from Menuhin - rough-edged) live performance is absolutely rivetting in its intensity.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Hungary's existential showdown with the European Union

A report from insider Francis Berger:

...With compromise seemingly out of the question, something must give. In my opinion, whatever “gives” will determine not only Hungary’s fate, but the long-term feasibility of the European Union as whole.

What are the stakes? Well, as the quote above demonstrates, on the one side you have the EU’s Babylonian vision of Europe - the establishment of a homogenized, bureaucratic, totalitarian state controlled under the banners of my favorite value delusions: freedom, democracy, and human rights. On the other side you have the struggle for the re-establishment of a Europe of sovereign nations.

What the forces of democracy, freedom, and human rights ultimately want is a continuation of the migrant crisis of 2015; the establishment of “safe and orderly” migration of millions of non-European people into Europe until the European people themselves drown within the borders of their own countries. Anyone who still has the audacity to claim the social-engineering war the EU, in cooperation with the UN, has waged against its own people is nothing more than a sinister conspiracy theory can, at this point, be neither trusted nor endorsed...

Read the whole thing...

When people are deliberately trying to confuse you - it is because the situation is too obvious

I'm talking about Brexit - again. I survey the headlines on this subject every day at present, to see what the mass media are talking about.

And I see complete confusion - but a different kind of confusion than on the couple of days after the Brexit result when there was a crazed but coordinated venting against the Leave decision. This time, they really are confused - almost every newspaper and media outlet is saying something different. That is, indeed, the most obvious thing happening - everybody angrily blaming 'somebody else'...

Since this is the outcome of two and three quarters years of detailed planning with just one week to go; clearly the confusion is deliberate and contrived. Behind the scenes are those who are not at all confused - but want everybody else to be confused.


Why? Presumably because the real situation is both clear and shameful - and the confusers don't want people to perceive exactly what they are doing.

I am convinced that - as a generalisation - the reality of politics is very, very simple. There is no finesse, nuance, balance - it is a matter of clear choices (albeit the most usual situation is 'Hobson's choice' - two choices that make no real difference).The supposed-complexities are either camoflague (this is the usual) or unknowns (that, because not known, cannot be, and are not being, taken into consideration).

With Brexit the clear decision was to Leave the European Union. The outcome is clear - either we leave or we do not. Therefore the confusion can only be to cover-up that the intention is Not to Leave the EU.


The intent is to make people suppose that we have left the EU, but really we have-Not - and for this fact to dawn upon the majority only gradually, in a confused and unclear fashion.

What is most Not wanted (what is being avoided by clouds of confusion) is for the UK Not to leave the EU, and for everybody to recognise this as a fact all-at-once.

Indeed, the intent is for this confusion to obscure the 'fact' so thoroughly and for such a sustained period, that all dissent will be taken up by futile attempts to gain official clarity; and by inducing a kind of permanent civil war of words in which both Leave and remain sides suspect that they have lost, and are looking for someone else to blame for whatever bad things will happen.


My inference is that the people really to blame are likely to be the only ones Not being mentioned.

I guess those really to blame are... whoever is out-of-sight, pulling the Prime Minister's strings, speaking through her mouth, and sustaining her in power.

They must be out-of-sight and very powerful; because the PM never has been any more than a mediocre middle manager, has no personal convictions or integrity, and has no visible means of support. 

What we have now is a consequence of their plan. But is it going to plan? I suspect it isn't; because - in the heart of the majority who want Leave - people have seen-through what is going-on. The only one's taking it seriously are the politicians and the media, the ruling classes and intelligentsia.

The rest of us Brexiteers wait and watch. If we do not really Leave the EU in one week; We Will Know.

Note added: To clarify, the only short-term Bad outcome would be if we accepted Teresa May's Brexit-in-name-only--but actually worse than before asif it was a real Brexit. If Brexit really happens that is best; but if Brexit was decisively rejected, and we explicitly Remain in the EU - then that would be OK. In other words, if people realise the reality of our situation - that is Good: and after that it is up to each individual person how they respond. If we continue willingly to live in delusion - then we are certainly doomed.

More Easter annoyance

I find Easter a very annoying business - the way it has turned-out. But in a revealing way. In particular, the dating of Easter is a combination of insanity and bureaucratic incompetence that discredits the early Christian church authorities.

More importantly; Easter is revealing of the unwiseness - indeed impossibility, if coherence is required - of regarding the traditions established by the ancient Christian church as primary: as authoritative and binding. 


Firstly - Easter was declared to be the single most important celebration for Christians.

It was decided to create a movable feast, linked with the Jewish Passover festival not-practiced by Christians, to celebrate a fixed event: fixed not just in its timing, but in that it had a timing. The death and resurrection (and ascension) of Jesus constitutes a fixed point in the history of Men... so why does it oscillate unpredictable across some 35 days...

Okay, they decided to celebrate the birthday of a fixed event as a moveable feast; And Then to make that a movable feast that nobody to locate for sure until some days after after it had passed.

The people in charge of choosing the timing of Easter created a system which the church was unable to calculate in advance with even acceptable accuracy until the time of the Venerable Bede (about 700 years AD) - and even then only by a tiny number elite scholars.

(Think about it - all of Christendom absolutely dependent on a handful of elite scholars. Is that really what Jesus would have wanted?)

This is because Easter depends on the Spring Equinox and the Full Moon (approximately; the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox...) - and there was no way of exactly predicting either Equinox or moon.

But nowadays - when we actually can calculate and predict these, the definition has been changed from the actual Spring Equinox to March 21 assumed-to-be the Equinox - despite that March 21st may or may not (as this year) be the date of the Equinox...


So, this week - the Equinox was on 20 March, Full Moon on the 21 March - which ought to mean that Easter was this Sunday coming (24 march) - but because the Equinox as been conventionally allocated to 21 March, Easter is delayed by another lunar month...

Actually, I cannot find any coherent and complete explanation as to why Easter this year still is not this weekend coming; because the Full Moon this week came just over an hour after the 21 March had already begun - so presumably there is another factor that has not been mentioned in the standard definition, and which I have failed to discover. Maybe the Equinox is declared to be at mid-day, or something?

(Should this kind of crazy calculation really be at the core of Christian practice? Is that really what Jesus would have wanted?)

Easter is - or rather was, because it hardly matters nowadays - erected-on nonsense. The Christian church built itself around nonsense.

And not just nonsense, but wicked nonsense - because it led to a great deal of trouble and strife; but that T&S did Not lead to a reconsideration of the false assumptions upon-which the nonsense had been constructed...

Again; behaviour typical of bureaucracy.


This whole business of Easter so typical of the workings of bureaucracy - e.g. to make something both mandatory and impossible - that it is very revealing. Although they could not do it - the churches were in practice nonetheless compelled to calculate Easter in advance; because (the choice was made, utterly without any scriptural mandate!) to precede the Feast of Easter by the most important fast of the year - Lent.

Because Lent was linked to Easter; the church was compelled exactly to predict the day of Easter - which could not be done.

Why such incoherence? Because bureaucracy is intrinsically totalitarian; and it is characteristic of totalitarianism to be dis-honest and anti-real. Bureaucracy is always lying and incompetent - and deals with the consequences by defining outcomes as true and necessary. In sum, bureaucracy makes a false reality; and insists that it is real. 

And the consequence were serious strife, dissent, conflict about the date of Easter; which went on for many hundreds of years - and indeed still continues; with the date of celebrating Easter being a significant cause of division in the Eastern Orthodox church.


I find this revealing about the workings of the early Christian church at the highest level. They were unable to make a coherent decision. This means that the decision must have been arrived at via the systematic distortions of group decision-making - which result from the breaking down of a problem into segments, each of which is subject either to a vote, or the need for unanimity.

The decision of an individual person may be wrong, but is seldom incoherent when that individual is compelled to be responsible for it; but the decision of a group can be almost anything; and often is a decision that no individual within the group would have preferred. The decision of a meeting of church leaders is binding, even when incoherent. Incoherent decisions may - for reasons of 'group dynamics' be in practice ineradicable; because the same group cannot be re-gathered, and a better decision may not achieve consent so wrongness stands.

And this is what we find.

All this tells me that Christianity - the physical body of the church - was already an incompetent bureaucracy even in its early history. Since the early church did make such an objectively appalling mess over Easter, which it regarded as the most important of all matters; the early church revealed itself as being deeply corrupted, and such a group should obviously Not be trusted over other decisions.


As usual with Christianity; any easy or external source of authority is closed-off - because incoherent and unwise. If we had any idea of relying on mere tradition, Easter explodes it (or ought to, if we honest). Anything less or other than a profound and personal discernment is self-refuting - or, it should be, if we take seriously what we are claiming.

No Christian can (or should) be relying upon any external source of authority for final arbitration - not the authority of The Church (now or at any presumed point in the past), no person, no text, no system of logic.

The necessary essence Must Be simple, in order that we can comprehend it in order that we may have faith - so simple that it must be directly knowable by a single act of comprehension. When the Christian church made Easter its central celebration, it advertised loudly its own corruption and unsuitability.

If we fail to hear; that is our own fault.
    

Thursday, 21 March 2019

What does God want us to do about him?

I don't think the answer is to think about God a lot of the time, nor to direct our attention towards God.

To do so would be a mistake because God is our Father; and a good Father does not want his children to be thinking about him too much, nor to be addressing themselves to him too much.

Instead, a Father wants his children to live in a 'context' of true understanding and Good motivation.


I don't mean that God wants us to forget or ignore him; in the sense of behaving as if he did not exist. And certainly God wants us to acknowledge his identity; and that he is the Creator. That is what I mean by 'context'.

But ideally this state of knowing is not something at the forefront of our minds, not something we are explicitly doing; but something that is a solid basis for everything we do.

When a child is out in the world - at school, playing with friends - a good Father does not want his child to be thinking about him all or most of the time. The Father wants always to be 'remembered' but not to be uppermost in the child's mind.

Ideally, the Father hopes his child will be engaged by what he is doing; learning from his experiences, growing and developing as a Christian individual.


The reason I mention this is that sometimes Christians have had what I regard as wrong ideas about our ideal relation to God; wrong ideas of what we should be aiming at. I regard it as an error to suppose that God would want us to be praying all of the time, or engaging in liturgy and Christian ritual all of the time, or reading scripture all of the time.

These are activities that I think God intends to be a means to an end - and when not effective, then not done. We probably need reminding of God's reality, and we want to meet and engage with God - analogously to a child coming home at the end of the day and talking with his parents; or starting the day at home engaged with the family.

But there is a qualitative difference between the family as a solid basis, and the family as the primary topic of conversation, and the dominant theme of thinking.


In a nutshell -  I can express this in terms of the two ultimate purposes of life being Love and Creation. Love is the primary thing for Christians - but does not tell us what we 'do with it'. What we are supposed to do with Love is Creation.

Love fits us to participate with God in the work of Creation.

The family (broadly conceived to include marriage, lineage and those rare strong true-friendships) is the locus of Love and our solid base that enables us to create in ways that are in harmony and aligned by purpose.

Without Love there is not creation - because there is not harmony and alignment. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Love.

BUT Love is not the subject matter of creation - it is the ground of creation.

Don't 'Mister' me! My identity is Doctor...


I may have been born a Mister but from late teens into my early twenties I underwent a profound and transformative experience; during which I transitioned to becoming Dr Charlton.

Doctor Just-Is my title, my identity is bound-up in it - has been for decades...

So don't mis-title me: I Am a Doctor, I am Not a Mister.


Indeed, I never truly was a Mister, and this ought to be reflected in the record.

Before I was 'officially' recognised as a Doctor, as far back as infant school; I was still a doctor inside. I used to tell people I was going to be a doctor - my family knew, my teachers knew.

It may not have been publicly accepted, but that was my real identity. 'Mister' never expressed or reflected the truth of my nature.


Ultimately, what difference does an examination make, a degree, a piece of paper? - I am and always have been truly a Doctor - and absolutely require to be addressed as such at all times; and to have the records adjusted to demonstrate the fact.

Or Else...

Anyone who - despite all this - calls me Mister is being calculatedly denigrating, it is an act of hatred of my chosen and earned Being.

An act of hatred and - thanks to the European Union - a Hate Crime.


(My bank, with a pretence of casual incompetence masking genocidal loathing, still prints 'Mr' on statements and even my card, which I have to show to people. How shocked will they be when they open the legal papers being currently prepared?... Banks are very rich - soon, so shall I be.) 


Of course, I may choose not to remain Doctor, but at some point to revert to Mister - or maybe something else - Professor, Reverend, Lord - whatever. Maybe no title at all. This is my right, and should not elicit surprise.

I have known several friends and colleagues who began as Mister, became Doctor and then chose again to be Mister, when qualifying as surgeons.

Why not? Identity is fixed and inborn; and it also changes unpredictably and open-endedly.

Why is that so difficult for people to understand? 


If only human nature was different, what a world this would be!

Perhaps that slogan could be taken as a summary of the feeling that lies behind the mainstream Leftist movements, and their strategic attempts to reshape human nature with propaganda/ education/ media censorship - and, increasingly, technology.

The 'insight' is that if everybody 'chose' to behave in such-a-way; then there would be no problem about people behaving in other ways. The difficulty is then 'merely' getting Everybody to behave such-a-way.

This is why totalitarian behavioural control at the core of the Leftist project - whether or the Marxist Old Left type or the Politically Correct New Left Type. And it is why Transhumanism - the technological re-shaping of human nature, replacing humans with something-else - is the implicit goal of all this-worldly, hedonic Leftism.


The Utopian hope is that once badthink has been eradicated - by total control of human perception and cognitions for, say, three or four generations; then people could again be freed, and left to their own devices. (e.g. The Marxist belief that the State will 'wither away' when it has done its job.)

The hope is that when the world has been utterly ridded of bad behaviours such as snobbery, sexism, racism - when such ideas have been totally-excluded from public discourse and private contemplation - then the world will have been emptied of evil. Emptied of all preventable suffering.

People will then, quite naturally and spontaneously, be Good - they will not know how to be other than Good...


(Behind this is the idea that people are born Good, are naturally Good, and would stay Good unless or until they are made bad. The job of the State is therefore to exclude all bad influences - and you can see this assumption at work ever-more thoroughly with every year.)


There a a number of unjustified assumptions and inferential flaws in this reasoning; but perhaps the most striking is the problem of who defines Good and evil?

If Good and evil are passively absorbed-from society - how could we ever know about them? And who (in advance of Utopia) stands-outside of the prevalent evil such that they can engineer a future society of Good?

Such questions becomes insistent (one would suppose...) if it is ever noticed that there is disagreement about what is Good and evil, or that Good and evil change through time.

Such noticing ought to lead to an examination of assumptions.

Yet it does not. The assumptions continue, unacknowledged, unexamined.


And that is the real 'mystery' of modernity. How does it explain its own morality? Whence cometh the knowledge of Good and evil required to engineer the Good society?

At least it is a mystery unless we suppose that there are indeed intelligent Beings that do stand-outside-of the social system that they have created and sustain; and manipulate it purposively, strategically...

Demons, in other words.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Great Tits - what's so 'great' about them?

A pair of Great Tits

At this time of year, with Spring in its youth and vigour; we find ourselves compelled to ask: What, really, is supposed to be so 'great' about Great Tits?

As the weather gets warmer, and the days lighter, all that is necessary is to step outside to find Great Tits insistently drawing attention to themselves in the most maddening fashion.



Apart from being, on average, somewhat bigger than other kinds of Tits...


Shurely shmaller should not always imply Lesser?

...'Great' ones do nothing to earn their title; but - on the contrary - exhibit a sense of apparent entitlement.

We are, however, compelled to acknowledge that they do have a certain something about them. Great Tits are undeniably cute, and are not afraid to advertise their cuteness. Their charms are perhaps too blatant...

An attractively soft and rounded chest - but surely rather 'obvious'?

Nonethless it is clear that many find Great Tits almost impossible to ignore; to the point that they may be very distracting - even disruptive.  

The fact is, when Great Tits are in the vicinity, nothing much else gets a look-in. Perhaps we should just accept the fact and simply appreciate them - if we can?

The corruption of Scottish Nationalism

I have been interested by Scottish culture - to varying degrees, sometimes very intensely - for forty years, when my family moved there. I have myself lived in Scotland 'solo' for more than three years, and family connections continue.

One thing has become clear is that Scottish Nationalism has been thoroughly corrupted over the past few decades - in a nutshell, it has moved from being (overall) based-on Patriotism, to being based on Resentment - specifically anti-English animus.

In other words it has gone from being rooted-in Love of one's own-country, to hatred of another-Country


This has often been the fate of Nationalism whenever it takes a political form - because it is much easier to encourage and sustain resentment than love.

Almost all nationalisms have been defined-against - in the sense that there is a threat to the culture that is resisted. Almost every nation has an excluded-other. For Germany and for England this was France (which annoyed Scotland and Wales, because they defined themselves against England) - for France it was England (which annoyed the Germans, who felt slighted).

It is interesting that the most notorious nationalism of recent years - Germany 1933-45 - was a fake nationalism, directed against a newly-invented rival-enemy distinctive only to the Party leadership. This suggests that the mass-popular roots of support for the National Socialist Workers' Party was quite probably genuine patriotism, i.e. love of country; as against the anti-patriotism and cultural destruction advocated by the rival forces of International Socialism/ Communism.

Scottish 'nationalism' (ie. loving patriotism) emerged after the Union of Parliaments with England and Wales, in 1707; and was most exemplified by people like Sir Walter Scott - who were strongly in favour of this Union. In other worlds, cultural patriotism was distinct from political Unionism. There followed a great era of Scottish creativity and intellectual attainment - during which Scotland was an international leader in philosophy, medicine, technology, science, universities; as well as literature (the likes of Byron, Burns, Scott, Stevenson). The Scots became cultural arbiters, and Edinburgh was known as the Athens of the North.


Modern political nationalism emerged, I think, due to the centralising and controlling tendency of the modern State from the late 1800s; which put ever increasing pressure on the social forms of distinctness.

For example, in Scotland, the Union into Britain exempted Scots Law, Education and the Church - but the modern State was continually eroding the autonomy of these institutions - and imposing a uniform centralised government.

So, the desire for political autonomy was understandable. But, because it was political, it was almost-certain to be operationalised towards maximising the benefits of politicans.


There was a referendum about increased Scottish devolution in 1979, which resulted in a majority in favour of devolution - but this was claimed (by the prior definition of margin required) to be too small a proportion of the population to lead to change.

Thus, the result was genuinely ambiguous - but instead of being clarified it was ignored - thereby contributing to a building anti-English resentment as the 'local' Scottish elites saw the opportunity for a power/ wealth grab, as putative leaders of a pseudo-independent Scotland: under the slogan of Independence In Europe. The idea was to separate from England, but remain a part of the European Union.

(At that time, the smaller-economy nations who joined the EU - e.g. Ireland, or Spain - were being bribed with pretty lavish public-works subsidies - mostly harvested by France from Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Later bribery to lure nations into the Union became restricted to the pockets of decision-making elites.)

But I say this was 'pseudo'-independence because no Scottish patriot (no-one who loved Scotland - its people, its culture) would wish to stay within the European Union. Leaving Britain but remaining in the EU would make very little difference when most of the national laws and cultural changes derive from the EU.

More decisively, the EU is strategically-dedicated to obliterating national cultures and creating a single culture; a single 'zone' to be homogenised and colonised and overrun by massive and sustained migration and immigration.


The fact that Scottish 'independence' is envisaged within the EU reveals the dishonesty of any pretence of patriotism; and explains the escalation of explicit anti-English sentiment in the Scottish Parliament, mass media and social institutions.

For me, a threshold arrived just over a decade ago when the Scottish government abolished tuition fees in Scottish Universities. The plan was to offer free tuition to all European Union nations except for England (who, of course, supply most of the tax incomes to pay for this subsidy). In practice, Scotland was legally-compelled also to charge tuition fees to students from Wales and Northern Ireland - but officials apologised for this, because it was only England who was being targeted.

This, then, is a measure of the corruption of Scottish nationalism into a crude combination of anti-English resentment and servile rent-seeking: the cause of its basis in spiteful Schadenfreude rather than love; and the strategic desire for a life of subsidised hedonism rather than creative endeavour.

"Down to the vile dust" - Brexit, the demise of Homo economicus, and projections of motivating hatred

It has long been the conventional wisdom of politicians that Homo economicus - Economic Man - is the best and a sufficient description of modern people. In other words, that the masses are solely concerned with money.

This in turn means that the most effective bribe is presumed to be more money, and the most effective threat is presumed to be a decline in the 'standard of living' (defined economically). And, since the future is uncertain; the most effective carrots and sticks were presumed to be immediate, short-term - money-in-the-pocket incentives.

Thus were Western populations controlled.

The vote to Leave the European Union overturned this assumption - with millions of people voting against their short-medium term economic interests - which meant that the Ruling Class suddenly lost confidence in their ability to manipulated the masses with monetary bribes and threats.

Hence the air of panic; and hence the instantaneous use of vilification. By projection of their own motivations; the ruling class automatically assume that:

1. The masses are almost-entirely motivated by money; and 2. that the only motivation even-more powerful than money is hatred.

This is how it is for the Establishment, and they naturally assume it is the same for everyone else. They are mostly motivated by financial greed; but this can be overcome by their loathing for the mass majority of British people - for example exemplified their core strategic policy of open-ended mass immigration to destroy the lives of, then replace, the native population.

For the British rulers, crushing the native masses is a moral crusade.

However, mass immigration will destroy the long-term prosperity of the nationa, hence the Establishment - but they support it anyway because their hatred is even stronger than their greed.

Therefore - for the Establishment, the Only comprehensible and plausible reason that the mass of British people would overcome their greed is hatred: hatred of foreigners - racism.

It is literally off-the-map and incomprehensible to the Ruling Class that people might want to leave the European Union from love - such as love nation and place, deep attachment to a way of life, loyalty to a sense of history and ancestry.

Our rulers cannot believe this because they themselves do not experience such emotions.

As Walter Scott wrote: 

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land!

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, 
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd 
From wandering on a foreign strand!

Yes indeed, breathes exactly such many a man and woman; breathes such the entirety of our ruling Establishment including almost the entirety of the Houses of Parliament; and breathes such the controllers of the apparatus of government and law.

And what shall become of them?


If such there breathe, go, mark him well; 
For him no Minstrel raptures swell; 
High though his titles, proud his name, 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; 
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, 

The wretch, concentred all in self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And, doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

My patchy mini-autobiography

Recent readers may not be aware of a supposedly-humorous autobiography, called Lucky Philosopher, which includes some scattered episodes from my life, up to about thirty years ago. It may mildly amuse a certain type of person - but I offer no guarantees.

What counts as 'better'?

It is nearly always assumed that when two persons (or parties) are discussing what course of action would be better - they both mean the same by 'better'. This gets assumed; and then the conversation focuses on the means to achieve that end. This is pretty much how mainstream politics works.

But what if the 'better' on one side includes or concentrates on aspects that are denied or regarded as trivial or even wicked by the other? Then, all conversation from that point onwards is futile - and indeed actively misleading.

That is the current situation that the mass media call 'polarisation' of public opinion - it is a situation of different ends, rather than merely different means. It means that one course of action is going in one direction (or intending to), while the other course of action is aiming in a different - perhaps opposite - direction.

When this is at the level of materialism then that is severe enough (eg open-ended mass immigration a positive or negative thing?); but when one side focuses on spiritual goals that the other side regards as nonsensical and non-existent, deceptive or delusional... then the situation is as extreme as can be imagined.

Different sides are then so different that the is very little possibility of compromise - except by accidental overlap, with respect to minor things.

This will affect all human interaction, from small talk to formal discourse about serious matters of law and national policy.

The proper response would be to discuss these fundamental differences, and their reasons: the proper response would be to engage in metaphysical discourse.

Indeed, that is non-optional.

So, we should do it.


Monday, 18 March 2019

Ruling on behalf of The People, or against them?... Old Left versus New Left

This is one of those times when politics forces-itself into the spiritual life.

I find it hard to ignore (what seems to be) the fact that my country, England, is right in the midst of the single most crucial time of my life. Whatever happens about Brexit; I feel that the most important thing has, perhaps, already happened; which is a deep loss of belief in the good intentions of politicians and the ruling class; such loss affecting everyone except the administrative class themselves.

Up to now, and for many decades, the English have pretended to disbelieve in the good intentions of their rulers - but this was superficial. It was merely 'grumbling'. It made no difference to compliance; and the English have gone-along-with almost everything their rulers suggested or imposed. The masses 'consented' to being ruled; albeit tacitly and without enthusiasm.

Now that grumbling disbelief in good intentions has become real.

For the first time in, probably, centuries; England is on the verge of becoming one of the (many) nations where the populace at large loathe and fear their rulers; where the rulers govern without consent.


This has not happened by accident. It is a consequence of a change in the mainstream ideology of ruling that began fifty years ago but has worked-through only slowly. 

The new thing about the current brand of totalitarianism, is the shift from the Old Left claiming to rule for the good of The People - i.e. rule on-behalf-of the Majority; to the New Left ruling to protect 'minorities' from The People - i.e. rule justified on the basis that the Majority are evil and need to be restrained and retrained.

(I am here assuming what is true: that The Left includes all mainstream political parties, all mainstream public discourse both in the mass media and officially, all the leadership of all the main social institutions and organisations and corporations. The Left rules, and the Left is all the rulers.) 


This is why the modern British rulers are perfectly happy, indeed delighted, to thwart the will of the masses on a permanent basis; to reject the Brexit which a large majority of English people want very strongly to be implemented - because the rulers regard the will of the English people as exactly the bad thing which they exist in order to thwart.

The rulers now (and for some decades) claim their moral legitimacy for control on the basis of protecting 'minorities' from The People. This has been a vast, tidal change - an inversion - in the rationale of government.

But until now most people have not been explicitly aware of it - Brexit has made it undeniable.


There is now an absolute division between the morality of the rulers and the ruled - and the ruling morality will only be supported by the ruled insofar as the masses agree that they themselves are the problem; and that they 'need to be defended from themselves' by a benign and enlightened elite.

To the extent that this is believed (and to some extent it has indeed been internalised by some people, especially among the intellectual classes) the inevitable result is a profound despair and demotivation.

So the rulers attempt to control the population by (deliberately) inducing despair and demotivation; and the more effective the rulers, the greater the misery and inertia of the masses... Meanwhile, the rulers regard opposition from the People - their cowed, resenting and reluctant state - as evidence that they are doing the morally correct thing...

It does not take a genius to recognise that this is unsustainable; and what cannot be sustained will not be sustained.


Since it is a fact that literally nobody can, no matter how hard they try, regard the current UK government as a 'benign and enlightened elite' - then our government has (Here, Now, Today) precisely zero legitimacy in the hearts and minds of those who are governed.

The age of (however reluctant...) Government By Consent has come to a close; and the new era of Government explicitly-against consent has arrived.

In other and simpler words; the actually-existing tyranny is now recognised.

And that must and will make a big difference to everything.

   

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Charlton-Academy Award for best ultra-minor-supporting character actor...


...Goes to Noel Appleby - the archetypal hobbit

Self-help is Not a cure for Brexit angst - William Wildblood

Apparently the farce or tragedy (take your pick) that is Brexit has seen a great increase in sales of self-help books. Is this to people so shaken by the event that they require psychological assistance? Or is it to those who think the future will be disastrous and they need to prepare themselves as best they can? 

Either way, what a pity that people turn to such feeble nostrums for sustenance rather than to the genuine medicine of real religion. But then where can the ordinary person find real religion now? If you have been brought up with no particular spiritual education, and therefore have a very poor and biased idea of what religion is, you may reject it without serious investigation. 

Alternatively, those who are exposed to what passes for Christianity today will not find much to inspire them there if they are searching for something that really speaks to the imagination and the soul. For modern Christianity is often little more than secular humanism dressed up in religious clothing. Its supernatural element, without which it is meaningless, has been reduced as much as it possibly can be without being jettisoned altogether. 

Partly this is because Christianity has not responded well to the changes in consciousness that have come about over the last few hundred years as humanity begins to awaken intellectually and become more individual (as was meant to happen albeit not in the way it has happened), but partly it is because of the generally low quality of Christian leaders who for the most part, certain honourable exceptions excluded, have lacked any real vision...

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening

Comment: After the above excerpt; William goes on to speculate about why most of the British Intelligentsia wish for the UK to remain in the EU. 

That is indeed an important question - and the answer cuts to the very roots of our modern malaise. I understand it, from the inside; because it was not very long ago that I was of that party - before I was a Christian.

Such reasons are simple, from a real, spiritual Christian perspective - and the reason is that the Intelligentsia have actively-embraced evil; such that the obvious fact of the EU being a totalitarian project (strategically devoted to the eradication of Christianity and the imposition of materialism) is regarded positively by those who imagine themselves to be members and beneficiaries of the controlling elite.

The large pro-Brexit majority who reject the EU probably do so (at present) for very similar reasons that the Intelligentsia embrace it - in other words, the masses do Not want to be the subjects and victims of the EU intelligentsia.

The globalist intellectuals and leaders regard themselves as entitled to control the lives of the masses; and that is exactly why the masses want out of the EU.

The EU and the British Intelligentsia are - in essence - socialists; indeed they most resemble the late-era Soviet communism of the 1970s and early 80s. If we consider the attitude of the common people to Soviet communism, it is probably very similar to the mass of ordinary people in the EU: that is they loathe the ruling elites.

Our elites fear 'fascism' (as they call it) - even though the Ultra-Right-Wing White Supremacists are - in the first place - Left Wing, and secondly essentially non-existent outside of media fantasies and nightmares, false flags and agents provocateurs.

The Intelligentsia fear their own self-created fascist nightmares precisely because the masses loathed Soviet communism from its beginning to its end - and had to be driven to cooperate by violence and famine; yet they mostly loved fascism, fought and worked for for it willingly. 

As Christians, we know that both communism-socialism and fascism converge on materialist totalitarianism, nihilism and despair (which is where we are now). But at present Christianity has no perceptible influence on Brexit - although at an imperceptible spiritual level, it may yet be decisive. 

Time is indeed running-out - but has not yet run-out.


Blackbird-moments


The Blackbird (above) is one of William Arkle's visionary paintings, loosely dated to the 1960s or 70s. It was brought to mind by the activity of blackbirds in spring, and that mid-evening time when it is getting dark but the blackbirds are still singing with their unsurpassed beauty (and before the later evening, when they start flying around squawking, annoyingly!).

To me, the picture evokes one of those moments (and usually they are just moments) of intense and wondering awareness of Me! Here! Now! - of memory, consciousness and anticipation.

Those sudden shifts, of recognition how remarkable it all is.

Suddenly (triggered unpredictably by something like a blackbird's song acting on the right kind of mood), we come to our senses, waken-up and (all too briefly) realise our situation and condition.

The realisation is solid, and memorable - albeit we cannot express it is words, or communicate it to others; and it is more real than almost anything else - hence our memories hold such incidents in a permanent store.

Years later, we find such (supposedly trivial) 'Blackbird' moments coming back to us: relived - when great swathes of stuff that seemed so crushingly-important at the time are just... gone (at most we merely 'know that' it happened, but not as a living presence).

This is the nature of our experience - and it is our choice whether we acknowledge and learn from it; or follow the mainstream in asserting that Blackbird-moments are evanescent, insignificant, merely subjective...