Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Some imaginative speculations on English Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age civilisation (?4500-1500 BC)

The hardly-known Ancient English Neolithic 'high civilisation' (which continued into the early Bronze Age) is something that increasingly fascinates me - especially in comparison and contrast with the roughly contemporary but vastly better-documented and far more technologically-sophisticated Ancient Egypt.

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Neolithic

I am going to speculate freely on the nature and spiritual life of the Neolithic.

This was a society of magic rather than machines (things were done by magic that were later and elsewhere done by machines) - the obviously 'man-made' was disliked, and complex technology was regarded with revulsion and suspicion.

Since the economy was based on farming, the landscape was of course substantially re-made. There were long, winding or snaking roads and pathways - and these were unpaved - merely short grass, perhaps worn or scraped clear of turf to expose the natural chalk or other stone beneath. Large earthworks were not faced with rock but merely scraped clear of turf to stand-out white, grey or brown against the horizon or green fields.

Monuments were constructed as a matter of primary social activity - yet there was an attitude of minimal intervention. The standing stones and structures were left substantially natural, rough-hewn; various in size, placed according to a sense of rightness and without precise, abstract mathematical placement.

Those who harp-on about 'numerology' and the celestial alignments of Neolithic monuments have made a false emphasis - a society which strives for abstract geometry would, like Ancient Egypt, make monuments from exactly replicated blocks, with straight edges, sharp points, smooth surfaces; precision placed onto stone fixings - not variously sized and shaped, rough stones placed onto grass. There were alignments - but the whole flavour was organic and approximate - the fine interpretative 'tuning' was done on the basis of magic and wisdom - not 'read-off' like a scientific precision instrument.

Indeed, there is no point in attempting exact celestial geometry in England where clouds cover the sun, moon and stars most of the time - that kind of alignment only works under reliably unrelenting clear blue skies.

In Neolithic times, things were arranged in a suggestively symbolic fashion; features were made clearer, more obvious using contrast, colour, accumulations of earth, stone, rocks and wood - but the ideal was that no matter how obvious the features should seem to arise from the natural landscape; as if organic growths.

(Stonehenge is a late, indeed terminal, feature of this society - and marks the onset of corruption with an attempt at precision and a cult of death and sacrifice.)

The Neolithic was organised and literate - but the organisation was in the form of a fluid confederated druidical hierarchy of graded initiates, working individually and informally as mobile masters and apprentices and not organised into static colleges or temples.  The literacy deployed a symbolic and pictorial language - instead of sentences and paragraphs there were complex diagrams - each unique but with standard components - incised on leather and wood, or scraped onto stone; the subtle interpretation of which was an arcane art (so there was no need for secrecy - ordinary people could not comprehend the 'writing').

The pace of life was slow, measured. The focus of life was religious - the primary deity being associated with the Sun, the secondary deities with the Moon and stars. The stars made up a permanent and unchanging eternal basic of life; the wandering planets tracked the linearity of time such that each year was unique; the Sun was the long term timekeeper by the seasons, the Moon phases provided the monthly scale organization of daily life.

Military strength (and this was an internally peaceful society) was directed against invasion - and was achieved by the capacity to assemble and deploy vast armies, unified by religious belief, trained to work together by participation in constructing the vast earthworks and monuments, and impossible to rout or demoralise. They used projectile weapons (probably storms of spears, thrown in coordinated waves) to devastating effect; followed by stone axes wielded by powerful and untiring arms trained in day after day spent earthmoving and stone lifting and shaping.

Hostile invaders, who necessarily came in small groups by ship, poorly supplied, without anywhere to retreat-to, different in appearance, language, behaviours - stood no chance against these massive and cohesive defensive hordes.

The farming, and the villages were a patchwork of shapes, no two the same yet fitted together; all rounded, all curves and bows - no straight edges or lines, no arches, no triangles, squares or perfect circles... Animals roamed with their shepherds.

The arts were of alliterating poetry - always chanted or sung from memory; the instrumental music for accompaniment and dancing was from pipes, percussion and drones. In singing, high clear graceful voices were prized above all; low gravelly voices were for humour and ribaldry.

There were no wagons, only beasts of burden; but there were boats everywhere - mostly flat bottomed rafts pulled from the river bank, or paddled canoes that resembled tree trunks on the lakes and inland waters. But the use of boats were governed by Moon and weather, magic and divination.

And they were waiting - spiritually waiting. The whole society was prepared and poised for the coming revelation, and the transformation of earth into Heaven.

England was like two gigantic hands, cupped and waiting to receive.

**

The differences between the two contemporaneous, magical High Civilisations of England and Egypt can be encapsulated by a comparison of Neolithic standing stone 'growing' from the earth into the mist of England (this one from Avebury):


With a precision-engineered Egyptian obelisk against an electric-blue sky:




Is it really possible that the Elite are aiming at the destruction of good? Really??

Ever since I began writing my mini-book analysing Leftism/ Political Correctness - Thought Prison - six year ago, when this blog got going;

http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.co.uk

I have been convinced that the biggest unacknowledged political problem is that 'the people who run things' - that is, the global politico-media intellectual elite, the Mandarinate, the Establishment, The Cathedral (call them what you like) are evil.

By 'evil' I simply mean 'motivated to destroy 'The Good' - and by 'The Good' I simply mean (roughly) Truth, Beauty and Virtue, pretty much as defined traditionally and spontaneously by the mass of ordinary people.

I italicised 'motivated' to emphasise that destruction of The Good by the ruling classes is fundamentally not an accident, it is not due to incompetence, and not (this is important) due to self-interest; it is fundamentally due to their primary, strategic and long-term motivation to destroy The Good.

This understanding is wholly consistent with a mass of facts; including some of the strangest and most obvious facts (such as the cult of paedophilia among the elite) - but I would say that very few people are willing to accept the idea that the elite are evil: very few.  But I am one of them.

This - as so often - is a matter of assumptions, of metaphysics. The assumptions structure the 'evidence' - what counts as evidence and how it is interpreted. Each person has to (certainly should) make up his mind on this matter; not on the basis of 'the evidence' but on the basis of which assumption is most plausible.

Take a look at the past few days of Establishment outpouring on the subject Brexit: and make up your own mind. Ask yourself - are these people (and what lies behind them, what they have decided to serve) motivated to promote truth, beauty, and virtue - or to their destruction?

The David Icke Phenomenon - and Brexit

The leading 'conspiracy theorist' of the Anglosphere over the past couple of decades seems to be David Icke - a man generally regarded as a national joke in the UK, and certainly someone who holds a lot of very strange views on many topics. Nonetheless, he has a large and loyal following, and is able to pack huge stadia when he does lecture tours.

Following my discovery that someone I used to know well has been engaged in similar work, I have been exploring Icke's work over the past year or so, and on the whole I have been impressed. My main disagreement is that Icke is not a Christian, and therefore sees the root of purposive evil in this world as being due to extra-terrestrial alien influences. He is also (and probably for the same reason) allied with the oddball ultra-radical anarchist Left - which is clearly a mistake.

But if one simply substitutes supernatural demonic for alien, and purges the Leftish sympathies - then the Icke overview of global political reality is not all that far from how I suppose things to be structured and to function. In sum, there is something to be learned from him, with patience - and his motivations are good.

Anyway, Icke did himself proud last Friday with his astute and indeed wise analysis of the Brexit vote, its implications and future possibilities - so I thought I would provide a link. Take a look - why not? 'People' will think certainly you are a fool for watching this kind of thing - but then, they already do!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The one thing needful at this time in England... (Not Christianity - but something more basic)

The one thing needful is not, at this time and place, Christianity - but something more basic and less advanced than that - which has the potential to lead to Christianity... 

What is needful here and now must be positive and must be 'spiritual' - but that something should be along 'metaphysical lines: i.e. a new set of basic assumptions. These need to be along the lines of recognising the reality of the immaterial, the reality of that which cannot be sensed, detected with scientific instruments or measured but is nonetheless necessary and true and life-enhancing

The whole situation of England Now needs to be reframed - accurately - in people's minds in spiritual terms. That is, in non-material terms concerning the Spirit of Albion - and the destiny, choices and work needed to move towards that goal. 

This can happen, and has happened, inarticulately as a kind of mass mood - but it also needs to condense and solidify into an explicit and focused form as leadership. 

If anything significantly Good is to happen, the whole thing will come to a point: a moment of decision. 

In sum - all that has happened and is happening needs to (and I believe will) find its convergence in the thinking mind of a single person in one particular time and place - someone who has been put there by destiny (call it synchronicity, if you prefer) to confront exactly this decision - to decide as a free and informed agent (recognising both freedom and agency) whether or not to assume this individual burden (rather like Frodo and The One Ring at the Council of Elrond)

Upon that absolutely personal and specific choice will depend a great deal - and from that there will be second choices, and multiple tertiary decisions from a larger number of specific individuals about whether to aid, or thwart, the direction of unfolding events. 

There is now a pause for reflection - in which the first step is to choose whether to reflect. There is a national mood of significance, but the decisions are all at the individual level. 

(This past few days must be intensely annoying to the powers of purposive evil who have been lulling and demoralising England for 70-plus years; very gradually and almost insensibly sending the British to sleepwalk into annihilation.)

The thing is that from now onwards - mass effects are of diminished importance. Individual consciousness is suddenly and very obviously crucial. For things to turn-out for the best we must all be alert and responsible.

  

The Implosion of the Mandarin Class (The Establishment or 'Cathedral')

As I wrote in a comment yesterday - the UK Establishment is imploding before our very eyes. The ruling elite are tearing each other apart, lashing-out, panicking, venting... despairing in an escalating cycle (while repeatedly calling for calm, unity, reconciliation etc).

A post on http://booksinq.blogspot.co.uk reminded me of something I wrote 6 years ago about why secular Mandarins (aka The Establishment, or 'The Cathedral' to use the currenly popular casually-anti-Christian neoreactionary synonym) are a bad choice for rulers - which I repost here for its revelance to the future:

**

Mandarins (the intellectual elite) make lousy leaders

It was nearly a decade ago, during the summer vacation, that I read a book which permanently changed one of my cherished beliefs.

The book was The decline of the German mandarins: the German academic community, 1890-1933, by Fritz K Ringer.

The cherished belief was that it would be best if countries were led by their intellectual elite, i.e. by 'Mandarins' - by the likes of Professors, senior administrators and professionals - by those whose jobs require high level formal educational certification.

In other words, I had assumed, up to that point, that if only things were run by people 'like me', then things would inevitably be run better.

***

Before reading the book I had not been aware that I believed this, but although unarticulated, a belief in leadership by intellectals had been a basic assumption.

It is, indeed, an assumption of the modern political elite, and has been the assumption of Dichter und Denker (poets and thinkers) for a couple of hundred years (since the Romantic era) - but it was *not* an assumption of traditional societies before this.

Indeed, as I read in Ernest Gellner at about the same time, in traditional societies the intellectual class (priests and clerks) was subordinated to the leadership - which was essentially military.

Intellectuals were - Gellner said - essentially 'eunuchs' - in the sense that they were not allowed to build dynastic, hereditary power - this was reserved for the military leadership.

So priests and other intellectuals with power were sometimes actual eunuchs, or servants and slaves, or celibate (legally, not sexually, celibate - i.e. they could not have legitimate heirs), or members of a legally circumscribed minority (such as Jewish merchants and money lenders), or - like the Chinese mandarins - they were prohibited from handing on their status to their children (entry to the mandarinate being controlled by competitive examinations).

The 'natural' leaders of human society throughout most of history are the military leaders - the 'generals'. The aristocracy were essentially the military leaders.

***

But in modern societies, the Mandarins have progressively taken over the leadership.

People 'like me' run things; the military leadership (unless they are themselves mandarins - as increasingly is the case - and servile to political correctness) are officially feared, hated and despised; indeed any aspirant for power who is not 'an intellectual' is officially feared, hated and despised.

Fritz Ringer's books was a revelation because he described a familiar and recent society that had indeed been a mandarinate - and this was Germany in the nineteenth century and leading up to the first and second world wars. Germany was at that time the academic intellectual centre of the West.

And 'yet' the mandarinate had been a disaster - leading to two world wars and National Socialism and also (ironically) to the eclipse of the German mandarins - who were purged virtually overnight in 1933 (only a few obedient Nazi mandarins were allowed to stay - like Martin Heidegger).

The German mandarins were nationalist, that was the focus of their ideology (the distinctive superiority of German culture) and that is one variety - very rare nowadays except in small nations and would-be nations like Scotland or Catalonia.

Of course the most widespread mandarinate was the Soviet Union whose ideology was (mostly) anti-nationalistic/ international communism. And international left-mandarinism is now the dominant form of government in the West. 

***

Since reading Ringer, when my eyes were opened, my experience has hardened into conviction that - as a generalization - mandarins make very useful servants but very bad leaders. Good professors make bad kings.

The main problem is, I think, that mandarins are expert at ignoring common sense reality and focusing on abstraction.

Mandarins live 'in culture' - they are 'Kultur' experts. Culture is the source of their expertise and prestige - culture comes between mandarins and common sense. 

When, as is normal, mandarin abstractions are substantially incomplete and significantly biased, then there is no limit to how bad mandarin leadership can be; because any feedback provided by 'reality' can be ignored by mandarins in ways which are impossible to normal people.

***

Mandarins can wreck an organization, a nation, with a completely clear conscience; and will then write history to show that they were correct all along.

Conversely, there is no achievement of their enemies that is so large or  blatantly obvious that mandarins will not ignore, sideline, or subvert it.

(In pursuit of discrediting their enemies, mandarins are utterly unscrupulous, dishonest and coercive - they perceive this as nothing less than their duty, indeed heroic.)

Nothing that could conceivably happen would conceivably affect mandarin ideology - which explains everything in advance.

***

Mandarins are therefore unique among humans both in their perspective on life - in their evaluations of what is important; and in being immune to learning from experience.

And mandarins really are, on average, the most knowledgeable and cleverest people, and they know it and they value smartness very highly; so they will not listen to any critics who they think of as dumb.

Undeniably smart critics are labelled crazy or evil (they *must* be, obviously), so they are ignored too.

When mandarins have closed the loop between education, media and power; they are hermetically sealed from alternative perspectives - change can only arise from within the loop, and this change will tend to bolster the power of the mandarinate, and be directed against their enemies in the natural military leadership.  

***

So, once they have taken-over, the mandarinate is uniquely unreformable by argument and experience.

And that is the present situation in the West.

What about the Spirit of Scotland? Three possibilities

While the people of England and Wales have decided that what they want in future is Brexit, that is less obviously the case for Scotland who voted to Remain but with a much lower turnout than England.

(The EU issue is of much less interest in Scotland than England - among the ordinary people of England it has been a very important issue for decades, despite that their views have been completely ignored until now.)

Scotland is important. Background: Over the years Scotland usually has about a tenth of the population of England, but a similar land area (with many islands - there is a lot of water and mountain in Scotland!).

Britain is the name of the Island comprising England, Wales and Scotland; but the island was not united until 1603 when it came under the rule of King James VI of Scotland, who became James I of Great Britain (the Union of Crowns) - then a century later (1707) the Parliaments unified (The Union - ie. including Parliaments) - with Scotland retaining its own (Presbyterian) national church, legal system and educational system. At present there has been a measure of devolution with a Scottish Parliament.

On the whole, The Union was very successful (despite Jacobite rebellions in 1715; then 1745 - Bonny Prince Charlie) with mutual benefits - and the Scots were exceptionally active in the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire.

However, for the past century Scotland has developed an unappealing devotion to Leftism (often actual Soviet-modelled Communism - which was stronger in Scotland, especially its largest city Glasgow, than anywhere else in Britain), and to a 'victim mentality' which is focused on blaming England for all its ills.

Socialism and victimhood (and Republicanism) are enshrined in the current largest and ruling party in Scotland - the Scottish National Party (SNP). Their goal is an independent Scotland which has cut all national ties with England but remains in the EU. The SNP held a referendum for Scottish Independence a couple of years ago; the result of which - like Brexit - astonished the ruling establishment including the mass media - because Scotland voted to reject independence and preserve its historic ties with England.

But the fact that Scotland voted Remain while England voted to Leave the EU has tempted the SNP to call for another Referendum - so that Scotland will not be forced to Brexit against their will and merely because they were outvoted by England. This seems a reasonable argument, and I expect there will indeed be another Referendum, and soon - but in the current turmoil, who knows?

So what will happen in Scotland - in particular to the national Spirit? Three possibilities suggest themselves.

1. There will be another referendum on Scottish Independence, and Scotland will vote to leave England and stay in the EU. This will mean Scotland giving-up their culture of complaint and victimhood - and living as a small notion in a big world where they will get no special treatment, will have no significant power, and will surely end up paying-out to support the ailing nations of the EU (especially when England's massive contribution to the EU is subtracted from its funds).

But although tough, this would probably be good for the psychology of Scotland - allowing an independence of spirit as will as politically.

(Although this benefit of Independence was not evident in Ireland for a long time and probably still is not: despite nearly a century of the Republic or Ireland (Eire) the Irish still refuse to give-up their elaborate culture of victimhood; and their whole political system is arranged in terms of party attitudes to the division of Ireland.)

2. There will be another referendum, but the turnout will be higher as it becomes clear that the Leave vote was (as in England) suppressed by widespread informal intimidation by mass media and the rulers; and when forced to chose between Europe and England, Scotland would prefer England and Brexit.

This would also be good for Scottish psychology, because it would be (another) clear, positive, wide-awake vote for The Union, and also would tend to diminish the infantilising victimhood narrative.

3. Referendum or not, Scotland will Leave the EU with England and Wales; but not (like the English) in a spirit of hope, independence and adventure; because the Scots will forever blame England for forcing them to leave the EU, indeed blame England more than ever for their sufferings, for everything that goes wrong after Brexit (and there will be many such things).

Option 3 is, of course, in spiritual terms the worst of all possible worlds - with maximum disadvantage and minimum advantage - and therefore quite likely to be (human nature as it is) exactly what will happen!

But I would love to be proved mistaken...

[Note: I am not Scottish; but I and my family have lived there for considerable periods, and I have a long term interest in Scottish history and literature. By descent I had a grandmother descended from the Protestant Scottish who were probably settled-in Northern Ireland after the Union of Crowns - in our surname's particular case, by being 'ethnically cleansed' from Britain - an atrocity done with, it must be said, considerable justification! (i.e recurrent recidivist hereditary psychopathy). Also, I live in the northernmost English city, only an hour and a quarter's driving time from the Scottish border.]

Monday, 27 June 2016

What should we Do, Now? Some considerations:

The Will versus Will-Power

*
William Arkle's Geography of Consciousness (1974) is so densely written that it is extremely difficult to understand - so it was only yesterday that I grasped the meaning of Chapter Sixteen The Will - and recognised that (without mentioning the term) it provided an explanation for a phenomenon which so interests me: Synchronicity.

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=synchronicity

*

My previous understanding was very general and external - that synchronicity was an indirect form of evidence for the reality of a personal God since it implied that 'the universe' was being 'arranged' such that I experienced certain events of special significance.

*

Arkle's explanation is related to a contrast between The Will versus Will Power.

Will Power is taken in its usual secular and common sense definition, and interpreted as the use of normal psychological disciplines to attain a particular goal.

Will power is a matter of 'getting what we want or believe we need'; it is a matter of strategically using our mind, understanding, predictive ability, force and manipulations to attain an objective.

Will Power may or may not achieve what it sets out to achieve - but it is essentially an attempt to impose ourselves upon the world; and therefore extremely prone to be evil in motivation and effect.

*

The Will is something altogether different in its nature and operation. It is our true, higher, individual Self; that contains an element of, and is in communication with, God.

Therefore The Will is a source of the power strength, and purpose of God as this specifically applies to our (real) selves.

The Will is therefore necessarily good, and (being divine) this good is harmonised with the good of all other things.

We have no conscious power to influence The Will by a strategic decision - any more than we could change God's will; we can only recognise The Will, and choose either to accept or to reject it.

*

Mostly we choose to ignore or reject The Will, and instead attempt to impose our false selves upon the world by Will Power.

And mostly this is un-successful - and this failure is both necessary and fortunate as the results of success would be disastrous to ourselves and to others (including the whole environment).

When (as is usual) the Will Power goes against The Will; The Will 'sabotages' our plans, by all kinds of means including psychological sabotage, but not confined to that - since The Will is divine it has power to influence other things in the environment - leading to what may be termed 'bad luck' but is actually a necessary failure to get what we want, because what we want is opposed to what God wants, and therefore creation is 'weighted against us'.

*

But a person who knows, accepts and lives by The Will (in however brief and incomplete a fashion) finds the opposite - he finds that not only his own mind (mental powers) but also 'things in general' cooperate in ways that are good.

This includes genuine synchronicity - which is a consequence of harmony between ourselves and our environment working towards the good, caused by The Will spontaneously (over time) reproducing in our surroundings 'a drama which represents the significance of our being': i.e. synchronicity, or 'meaningful coincidence' (as we interpret it).

*

By this account synchronicity is mostly an operation of God-within-us, rather than a situation created by God's power external to us. It is evidence of a truly vast and intrinsically good power - a divine power of subtle harmonisation that we may recognise (or reject); but which it is impossible for us to control, exploit or 'use' to achieve our personal desires.

This also explains divine providence, that sense of God's Will working in the world (but only with our chosen cooperation) can make situations that seem like a near-incredible 'good fortune' by a sequence of apparent 'luck'.

*

This may be the explanation for Great Men (in religion, theology, politics, arts, sciences etc.) who are (who 'happen to be') in the right place at the right time, and whose (small) decisions and acts are amplified (by invisible processes) to have vast consequences.

Arkle's example is Winston Churchill; whose personal qualities in the role of Prime Minister during the Battle of Britain were a consequence of extraordinary sequences of 'luck' - with world historical consequences.

"If you are a Churchill, you make a few small noises into a microphone, and you set forces in motion in people's natures which make all the difference..."

The lesson is that if we want real power in life, like Churchill, or the Greats in other domains of life; then this can be had only by renouncing Will Power, and embracing The Will.

*

We tend to suppose that the 'main problem' of life is 'amplifying our voices' - using force, cunning, chance to make the world take notice of what we think is important; but this is the false self at work deploying Will Power.

When the true self, The Will, is at work comes a recognition that our proper main problem, something that only we can do, is to recognise and nurture our true self, our highest consciousness which contains and harmonises with the divine.

And insofar as this achieved (and whether we know this is happening or not, and whether we are personally credited with it or not) the goodness of a true self in higher consciousness will quite easily and quite naturally be 'amplified' and propagated by innumerable instances of 'luck', sequences of meaningful coincidences: synchronicities.


Repost from 2014: http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/william-arkle.html

A Catholic Albion? Probably not at the moment...

Before 1066 Albion (i.e. Britain, in terms of its spiritual identity) was Catholic.

Eastern Orthodox Catholicism was the original form - which survived (mainly, although not exclusively) in the Ancient British parts to the West and North, from the Roman era. The Christian faith was sustained after the Fall of Rome by ascetic monks, and often hermits.

There was a later wave of reconversion by Eastern-style Catholicism (that is, Catholicism based on ascetic monasticism and dominated by Abbots and monks - rather than the Western Type dominated by Bishops and 'secular' priests - later mendicant orders such as Friars).

This so-called 'Celtic' (actually Orthodox) Christianity - came down from Northumberland (via Iona in Scotland and originally from Ireland); while the Roman Christianity came into England from the south-east via Kent. East and West contended until the Synod of Whitby in 664 when Roman Catholicism won - which is why the head of the Church is in Canterbury (in Kent, where the British Saint Augustine did his missionary work).

From the Norman conquest of 1066, Roman (Western) Catholicism was solidly the religion of all Albion; until the Reformations of England and Scotland from the middle 1500s - after which Albion was broken into an Anglican Eastern/ Western hybrid Catholic England; and a Presbyterian Scotland.

I regard Anglicanism as Catholic because that is how it has mostly self identified; the Church of England is primarily Episcopal/ led by Bishops (like Western Catholicism); and is spiritually headed by a divinely anointed Monarch who (originally) appointed the Bishops (like Eastern Catholicism).

Although the CoE is Protestant, it is also Catholic - as Presbyterians and other Nonconformists have always recognised. There were various periods of increasingly Catholic practise in the CoE (e.g. in the era of Charles II and in the middle 1800s through to early 1900s - with serious negotiations to join with Easter Orthodoxy up to the middle 1900s - http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/anglicans-and-eastern-orthodoxy.html).

Especially from the Russian Revolution, there was a mini-revival of Eastern - mostly Russian - Orthodoxy in England; based in London and Oxford. And at present there are some large ethnic-dominated Orthodox churches of various types serving recent immigrants - for example, where I live has a Coptic Orthodox church serving immigrant  Egyptians, Ethiopians etc as well as others serving Greeks, Romanians, and a Russian congregation of mostly British converts.

*

In the Western Catholicism of Albion there has nearly always been a tension between Church and State - because the Pope (in Rome) appointed Bishops, sometimes against the wishes of the Monarch. Eastern Orthodoxy is less prone to this type of disharmony, since the churches are organised nationally. The cost is, of course, disharmony between the national Orthodox churches - each led by a Patriarch. The Patriarchs have an order of precedence, but an equality of influence in the sense that decisions should be reached by complete (divinely inspired) consensus in ecumenical councils.

But the situation in Albion is that there cannot be an English Orthodoxy, because the Monarch is not Orthodox. At most, there can be an aspiration towards an English Orthodoxy, and hope for a future Orthodox Monarch who might 'emerge' in the way that happened in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

And Roman Catholicism has, since it became officially allowed in Albion from the middle 1800s, been in practise mostly non-British, and indeed anti-British - since it was massively dominated by Irish and other foreign priests, and inculcated with mostly Irish (but also Continental) politicised anti-Britishness (in particular anti-Englishness).

(Of course, there have been and are many great patriotic Roman Catholics - GK Chesterton being far from unique. Evelyn Waugh is another; JRR Tolkien yet another. But on the whole, this has been atypical of the mass of British Catholics; and anti-British sectarianism has characterised the densest Roman Catholic populations of the large cities such as Glasgow. Liverpool and Belfast.)

The Church of England is now also (on the whole) very anti-English/ British - due to its domination by secular Leftists.

So - as things stand, at present, Catholicism is on the whole and dominantly - either non- or more usually anti-Albion. This is currently a potential problem for that possibility (just, as yet, a mere possibility) of a spiritually resurgent Albion - but maybe something will happen, soon, to change it?

Jerusalem the Emanation of the Giant Albion? - William Blake

Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion! Can it be? Is it a truth that the learned have explored? Was Britain the primitive seat of the Patriarchal Religion?

If it is true, my title-page page is also true, that Jerusalem was, and is, the Emanation of the Giant Albion.

It is true, and cannot be controverted. Ye are united, O ye inhabitants of Earth, in One Religion—the Religion of Jesus, the most ancient, the Eternal, and the Everlasting Gospel. The Wicked will turn it to Wickedness, the Righteous to Righteousness. 

Amen! Huzza! Selah!

‘All things begin and end in Albion’s ancient Druid rocky shore!’


By William Blake - from Milton


[See also: http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/sacred-places.html]

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Magic in The Lord of the Rings - A Barfield/ Steiner perspective

During the journey to Gondor in The Lord of the Rings, the Riders of Rohan meet with a group of hunter-gatherers called the Druedain - Tolkien gives more information on the subject in notes published posthumously by his son Christopher in Forgotten Tales

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Druedain

These are simple, ugly, short-lived, and illiterate Men - who have various kinds of natural magical abilities - for example, they can make statues of themselves (which the Riders call Pukel-men) which can be infused with abilities such as to be vigilant and defend their territory against enemies. Another magical personage who lives in Original Participation is Tom Bombadil.

Then there are the High Elves - such as Galadriel or Glorfindel, who are highly intelligent ('wise'), beautiful, 'immortal' (immune to illness, able to live for the duration of the earth's life, unless slain), and the inventors of language and writing. The High Elves are also magic, able to make food, drink, clothing and ropes with extraordinary properties; see true visions in water; also ring, jewels and weapons with remarkable properties. This High magic is not a matter of trance-like sympathetic identification - but is purposive and fully conscious process.

The other races are arrayed in between these magical extremes in a way which corresponds exactly to Owen Barfield's description of the evolution of human consciousness - from the first magical stage of Original Participation in which human consciousness blends with its surroundings; through a middle and non-magical stage in which consciousness is detached from the world, and

Hobbits and most Men (and, I would say, Ents) are of the completely non-magical stage in the evolution of consciousness except insofar as they become 'elven' - for example Frodo becomes somewhat magical after being formally made an Elf Friend by the High Elf, Gildor. Frodo's is therefore an example of the early stage of Final Participation.

http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/i-name-you-elf-friend-blessing-of-frodo.html

Dwarves are slightly magical - mainly in their technology - for example the Arkenstone (in The Hobbit) is clearly a magical jewel along the lines of the Silmaril). My feeling is that this is a developed, intelligent and wise ability of only the most 'evolved' dwarves - and therefore a partial Final Participation.

The Numenorean Men are also magical - and this is again the elven magic of Final Participation - partly because of the lineage of HIgh Elven (and Maia - angelic) ancestry, and partly from a blessing by the Valar at the time of their dwelling in Numenor. We see this only in Aragorn and Denethor - for example their ability to control the Palantir, and the healing powers of Aragorn which can (uniquely) combat the dark magic of the Witch King Nazgul.

If we were to fuse Tolkien and Barfield (something which did not happen in 'real life') we would regard the elven strain in the Numenoreans and in Frodo as the first inklings of a return to a magical relationship with 'the world' which had been known to the Druedain - but at a higher, purposive and fully-alert way.

The terrible history of Numenor, and the sad fates of Denethor and (to a lesser extent) Frodo also show the perils of this future - in a pessemistic fashion very characteristic of Tolkien's Weltanschauung. Barfield, by contrast, saw this future as Man's destiny: desirable and in a sense necessary - but not inevitable.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Secret People by GK Chesterton

Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.
There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;
You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:
Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.

The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;
There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.
And the eyes of the King’s Servants turned terribly every way,
And the gold of the King’s Servants rose higher every day.
They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,
Till there was no bed in a monk’s house, nor food that man could find.
The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak.
The King’s Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.

And the face of the King’s Servants grew greater than the King:
He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.
The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey’s fruits,
And the men of the new religion, with their bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,
And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.
We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;
And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.

A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people’s reign:
And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.
Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,
And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;
And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.

Our patch of glory ended; we never heard guns again.
But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain,
He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,
He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.
Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,
Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:
We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.


Perhaps GK Chesterton's hour has come? 
If you have a Kindle e-book - why not treat yourself to the Delphi Complete Works - which costs almost nothing; or start collecting the paper editions secondhand. 
But where to start? Chesterton was a poet, novelist, playwright, extended non-fiction writer - but probably excelled at the short essay, above all. My personal favourites (and I have not read everything, by a long chalk):
Among novels: The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Among poems: The Ballad of the White Horse
Among Non-Fiction (and these are his best genre, for me): Heretics, Orthodoxy - and the early essay collections such as All Things Considered, and What's Wrong with the World.  
The Autobiography

Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit - blip or inflexion point?

It seems that there is a reasonably strong majority vote for the UK Leave-ing the European Union - the size of is very significant in England (because Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain).

The pattern is that the Establishment-dominated regions of England voted Remain; and everywhere else voted to Brexit.

Unsurprisingly, the situation seems to be that the majority of those with highest status, power, education and wealth (i.e. the Secular Left, Politically Correct Social Justice Warriors) want to remain in the EU - everybody else, not.

The referendum campaign in the mass media was overwhelmingly-dominated by Remain - but the effects of decades of corruption and self-destruction in this class was very evident - in that the Remain campaign held all the cards, but was ineffectual to the point of counter-productive in its tactics.

Remain had no honest and positive message because there exists no positive message for them to have - they merely offered 'more of the same', which is very obviously killing us.

('Very obviously' to anyone with common sense - leaving the EU is a 'no-brainer', but among the Establishment it is lack of a functioning intelligence that disables them. They are self-bewildered, and delusional Clever Sillies; insane rather than dumb; evilly-motivated rather than incompetent.)

Instead Remain relied almost exclusively on inciting fear and hatred, but succeeded only in making clear that Remain was itself motivated by fear, hatred and destructive zeal - (truthfully) signalling that Remain regarded the voting majority as dumb, crazy or wicked and therefore deserving of cultural (and probably physical) annihilation.

But a vote entails merely marking a piece of paper - and of itself is no more significant than an opinion poll - and it has for a long time been known that most English people wanted to leave the EU. So this referendum may mean nothing. It may be a mere 'blip' in the down-trend.

One scenario is that pretty soon, the fickle, mass media-addicted majority will soon forget this vote, just like they have forgotten many other (should-have-been) highly significant events over the past decades. (The mass media, after all, are overwhelmingly in favour of Remain.)

Very clearly, the vote is evidence of a massive popular rejection of the Establishment leadership (as well as the EU, which is part of precisely the same nexus).

But a negative impulse is insignificant - in and of itself merely a venting of disgust.

What will happen now depends on whether the majority vote is evidence of a positive and strategic resolve towards a new future for England: this would have to be some kind of 'spiritual' movement, a new destiny for the nation; because that is the only kind of thing which motivates large populations over long periods of time.

I have said, many times, that net-positive change entails some kind of religious (and specifically Christian) revival - because I believe that 'nationalism' is a spent-force in the history of The West.

A Religious Revival is possible, but is it at all plausible?

We will soon see.

Leaving aside media reports, which are all more-or-less false, what do I perceive? Last night, at about 11pm, after the polls has closed, there was an extraordinary and unusual silence. I live near to the centre of the city, and usually - at night - there is a lot of traffic noise, sirens, shouting and whatnot; especially in a balmy night like last night, when the bedroom windows were wide-open. I had forgotten that it was the referendum day (not having taken part) and commented on the eerie silence to my wife - who reminded me what had just happened.

It really felt exactly like the country was holding its breath - poised on the crux of a decision.

So, now we know the decision. But not what will happen next. The hatred of the English leadership class for the mass of English people and for the country was absolutely crystal-clear during the referendum campaign - so now everybody knows exactly where they stand.

Clearly the referendum triggered a pause and some greater-than-usual degree of thought around the UK - an unfamiliar situation. The immediate question is whether members of the Ruling Establishment have also been part of this reflection, and whether any or many will take a step-back from the mood of self-hatred and strategy of suicide which (with the EU) they have driven for the past 50 years. This may turn-out to be an inflexion-point when the down-trend towards self-annihilation takes a sharp up-tick.

Or, we may find that the Establishment are so deeply corrupted that they will engage in a hate-fuelled fit of destructive pique.

Either way, things have now 'come to a point' as CS Lewis put I (in That Hideous Strength) - the issues are becoming very clear, the sides are very distinct.

The next few days, weeks and months will be crucial...

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Why are people so eager to listen to lying?

This is a genuine puzzle. There is a sense in which we cannot avoid people lying to us - but it is striking that people will go to great lengths - in terms of moving themselves from one place to another, spending money, and directing their attention for considerable periods - to sit and be lied to.

It is not as if this is unusual - it is usual and normal. As a generalisation that is almost 100 percent true; every time somebody famous, powerful, or high status communicates - they will be lying. Sometimes they lie so much that there are only a few snippets of reality dotted among their comments, other times they speak mostly true things but from a lying perspective deliberately to mislead, other times they just slip one important lie into a background of true facts...

But - if people were honest with themselves - they know that they are being lied-to in public discourse - pretty much all of the time and by everyone. It is a web of lies.

People know at some level that the people addressing them are not even trying to be truthful - but are trying to 'sell' them something or another, or manipulate than for the good of somebody else, or simply as part of the kind of status competitions which humans so often regard as the main business of life.

Given that there is such an awareness, then why to people go to such extreme efforts to listen to lies? Why don't they do anything at all to avoid being lied to? Why, on the contrary do they bask in lies?

Why? - The answer must surely be because people are very thoroughly corrupt? Because, so far as I can see, only a person who was very corrupt would want to be lied to; and since almost everybody behaves consistently with the fact of wanting to be lied to - then almost everybody is corrupt.

The populations of The West are full of complaints about each other's behaviours, the way they are treated, or the way some people treat other people... but then they actively sustain a network of lies, counter lies and the acceptance of lying... Those very few people who try to be truthful, or who will not passively accept lying are ignored or persecuted - to general approval...

Indeed, openly to disbelieve someone - even in an environment which makes no attempt at truthfulness and where dishonesty is meat and drink, and a lucrative career - is regarded as an awe-full insult and an outrage. Yet another lie!

Whose fault is all this? Clearly there is responsibility - such things don't 'just happen'.

Modern people would, of course, like to blame somebody else for the situation - just as they do for everything. Or else they would assert that nobody is responsible personally, that these things are due to larger forces, out of their own control and anybody's control...

But of course that will not wash, not really. Each person just-is responsible for their own life - nobody else is. And if they know-about the lying (and they do) and they don't just accept but actively choose to swim-in the sea of lies... then they already have-made a fundamental decision of the type of world they want.

And that kind of wanting will always be gratified: it is a standing invitation to evil, saying 'Come in! You are welcome in my heart'. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The reason for Either/ Or Metaphysics (In sum: it is the most important topic in the modern world)

Metaphysics (that is, the philosophy of fundamental assumptions) seems to be a matter of dichotomies: of Either/ Or.

But Modern Man is impatient of metaphysics, and especially of metaphysical argument.

So the idea here is to clarify the Either/ Or by stating the metaphysical dichotomy very briefly, illustrating it with a personal example from my life - and then leaving the choice to the reader.

In particular I wish to expose the fact that metaphysics is non-optional. We have always made metaphysical assumptions - and these underpin the way we use evidence and indeed what we recognise as facts; but these metaphysical assumptions are usually unexamined and often denied.

This is just plain wrong.

When a person's metaphysical assumptions are bad, as is the case for almost everybody in The West, then that person's life will be bad - and what is more, they will be utterly trapped in that badness.

Hence, metaphysics is perhaps the single most important topic in the modern world.    

Either/ Or Metaphysics - Deity or not?

Either - Deism

Deism is the assumption of a single, overall, unifying - but potentially abstract and impersonal - source of order and meaning for reality.

Deism therefore refers to the assumption of some kind of Deity; but this is not the same as theism. Theism refers more specifically to the reality of gods or God. (Therefore, all Theists are Deists; but not all Deists are Theists.)

Deity might not be any kind of god; but instead be assumed to be something abstract; some kind of principle, tendency, process, or ultimate structure.

Deism implies a coherent universe, a coherent reality.


Or - Not-Deism

Not-Deism implies that there is no coherent basis to reality; reality just-is - it could have been otherwise, and it could become otherwise.

Because there is assumed to be no Deity, there is no reason why things should stay as they are

Strictly, nothing can be explained in terms of 'why' it is as it is, because there is no overall order to relate it to - but explanation can only proceed in terms of describing (or theorising about) how something came to be, historically (and contingently - it could have been otherwise).


Personal Illustration

When I was an atheist theoretical biologist I was looking to explain biological phenomena in one of two ways. Either as a consequence of adaptive selection across multiple generations - or else the assumption that there was no relevant explanation: things were 'accidental'.

The assumption was that most biological phenomena had no explanation in terms of natural selection. For example, bones are white because they are made of chemicals such as calcium phosphate that just happens to be white - and blood gets its colour from haemoglobin that just happens to be red; but the colour of bones and blood has no biological explanation - it is an accident.

A few biological phenomena - such as the mammalian eye - were 'explained' in theoretical terms as a consequence of a sequence of purposeless genetic mutations that incrementally led to the progressive elaboration of - probably - transparent skin above light sensitive neural tissue, a recessed pit for this light sensitive tissue (to provide directional information), a transparent lens to focus the light... and so forth.

Each stage was a consequence of purposeless mutations which led to undirected body changes that were preserved and amplified because they increased differential reproductive success. But there was no overall purpose to the changes, there was no meaning to the existence of the mammalian eye except that is what just happened to have been the outcome of what happened in the past - there was no guarantee that the eye would not be changed or lost in future generations.

And these negatives are a consequence of the fact that modern biology assumes there is no Deity and therefore there is no planned, directed, created, organised cohesion to reality.

For Not-Deism the ultimate reality is that stuff happens, or does not happen. Indeed, for Not-Deism there is nothing to suggest that stuff really- does happen - because everything we 'know' we 'think', and thinking is itself a consequence of unorganised accidental processes - unplanned, undirected and so on...

Any apparent organisation anywhere is only apparent - we have no way of knowing that there really is organisation because we have already assumed (by Not-Deism) that there is no ultimate organisation in reality.

For Deism, by contrast, assumes that there is some kind of organisation, cohesion, order to reality. From my perspective as a biologists, I noticed that many mathematicians and theoretical physicists expressed Deistic views: for example that mathematics was universally and necessarily true, and the organizing principle of reality.

As a Non-Deist biologist I regarded this as a residual superstition, or a pretentiousness to which mathamatical people were prone - the conceit that their own special aptitude gave them privileged access to reality and therefore unique prestige.

My own views were that mathematics was a closed system of tautologies, nothing really meant anything, and the universe was (probably) chaos - a mixture of apparent randomness caused by some kind of deep determinism - or perhaps apparent determinism caused by deep randomness... we had no real way of knowing.

Just stuff-happening and probably changing (but who knows?), on-and-on, with no point or purpose. That was the consequence of my assumption of Not-Deism. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

What kind of answer does Modern Man need?

Modern Man has deep and terminal problems - he needs an answer.

But the answer must be very quick and self-validating. (So much so that there is not time or energy for re-stating the question before providing the answer.)

Modern Man needs his world re-making at a blow (With one bound, Jack was free!)

On minute he will be reading, or going about his business - then a momentary pause: he reads, hears, sees something. And very suddenly, there is a simultaneous earthquake, volcano and the formation of anew mountain or an island.

The old has gone - the new is in place: ready to be colonised.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The necessity for Firm Perswasion

I asked: 'does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?' 
He replied: 'All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of any thing. 

From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake


One way to conceptualise the modern problem is that 'many are not capable of firm perswasion'. And without it - nothing is possible except mere subsistence and a condition of existential angst and always-pressing nihilism.

To be firmly persuaded of the truth and reality of anything, requires that:

1. There can be such as thing as real and true knowledge.

2. This is accessible to us.

3. We will know when we have it.

4. We cannot be put off it - cannot be confused, or have our confidence falsely eroded; cannot have our knowledge destroyed or distorted...

All this is indeed possible - so long as we are prepared to examine and modify our fundamental metaphysical assumptions.


But against this is the spirit of the age which labels Firm Perswasion as certainty - and says many negative things about certainty, including:

1. Certainty is impossible - knowledge is only relative, approximate, labile, perspectival, contingent etc. etc.

2. The is no 'us' with which to be certain - because consciousness is an illusion, the 'I' is an artifact, it does nothing, is a fake etc. etc.

3. The public will always disagree about everything, and people cannot be convinced by anything etc. etc.

4. Certainty is anyway irrelevant - what matters is what we feel/ think/ do. (Or something.)

5. Certainty is bad - a source of infinite evil: Certain people have been responsible for most of the world's horrors - it is better to be un-certain, continually to treat one's views with skepticism, to doubt etc. etc.

6. Certainty is boring.

7. Certainty is death: the end of vitality. 

So - on the one hand - Firm Perswasion is necessary and we can have it if we want it.

On the other hand, we don't really want it.

The centre has not moved Left - there is no centre

It is about three years since I started blogging the ideas that found their way into my mini-book about the mass media, Addicted to Distraction -

http://addictedtodistraction.blogspot.co.uk

Since then I have been doing my best not to take notice of the mass media - but to be honest I have not done very well. It is extremely difficult to avoid the most harmful and significant onslaughts of propaganda - since they come at you from all sides, including other people's opinions and questions.

It seems clear that human beings are 'built' so as to 'take sides' on any question, and this - combined with modern Man's lack of any religious centre - is what makes us so easy to manipulate by selective and distorted reporting.


But although everything I see is consistent with the world being run by demons whose goal is the destruction - preferably by inversion - of all that is good; the single most striking thing is that the populations of The West (of Europe and the Anglosphere) seem not to care that they are continually lied-to and manipulated.

Actually, it is far worse than not caring. Although strategic and purposive evil emanates from the leadership elite, not from the population at large; there is a groundswell of active, mass, popular collusion in the process - and it is this which makes the adverse trend literally irresistible (without some mass, powerful religious and spiritual revival).

What seems evident is that there is (for whatever combination of reasons) no centre to modern public life - that is, no point around which oscillation occurs.


I do not mean that the centre has 'moved left' - that was an early phase - things now are much worse than that.

I mean that there isn't any centre at all.

That is not to say that 'anything goes' - because at any moment discourse is heavily constrained - but that there is no cohesive point around-which things are organised. The centre has a location only for the duration of an utterance - then reappears somewhere (unpredictably) elsewhere.


Most of what happens in the mass media is irrelevant and insignificant - but the big news stories are relevant and significant, and these are where the lack of centre shows-up; because there is no position from which to resist the concerted efforts of coordinated elite opinion to shape attitudes and opinions.

So the forces of evil always win - overall and on the whole.

After each major saturation news coverage, there is a permanent and almost universal degradation of public opinion that is not recovered.


The reason that people are not noticing what is happening is precisely that there is no centre and that they themselves have no centre - individuals with no centre do not posses a point of view from which change may be detected and measured.

This is also why the mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation without knowing it. The paradox of modernity is that of people assert that they have good lives in a good society which is engaged in moral progression - but have no hope for anything.

People have a public mask that says one kind of thing, and an invisible shadow that continually plots and schemes for personal and societal extinction. The mask is a fake, and the shadow knows it.

(And when Man has no religion there is nothing else but masks and shadows - it is masks and shadows all the way down.) 


And people are so deeply disgusted at themselves that - from their anti-religious stance, with no other alternatives - annihilation is the best option.

Hence, people actively welcome being lied to, manipulated, whipped-up into fake frenzies of adulation and indignation, crushed down into passive terror and despair. This is what the people want, and this is what the media delivers - and the masses don't just lap it up, but seek it out and pipe it into their minds at high pressure 24/7. They feel that this is no worse than they deserve.

Schadenfreude is the only thriving business in the modern soul - where the only solid reality is the sneering satisfaction of the shadow-self triumphing at the incremental come-uppance of that smug, gullible idiot which is the respectable public persona.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Unorthodox Christianity versus Liberal Christianity

Among Orthodox Christians of various churches and denominations, there is a tendency to conflate unorthodox Christians with Liberals - but (leaving-out the inevitable gray areas of overlap) these are in principle quite different - and the tendency to lump the two together has been a factor in driving some extremely creative, honest and vital individuals altogether out of Christianity and into an opposition which has sometimes been devastating.

The lineage of Christians who have perhaps most deeply recognized the importance of imagination as a form of knowledge are all unorthodox - William Blake, ST Coleridge, Rudolf Steiner, Owen Barfield, William Arkle. But they are not Liberal.

A 'liberal Christian', by contrast, is not really a Christian; but instead one who (in practice - even when this is denied in words) subordinates Christianity to the changing dominant secular ideology of the day. This is almost always achieved by dilution' - that is, by a reduction in the scope, status, power, strength, devoutness, centrality of Christianity in their own lives - and the proposal and policy that this should be the case for others.

Liberals can usually be identified at a large scale by evaluating their attitudes to the 'hot button' or 'litmus test' political issues of their day - when they always side with the secualr ideology; and at a small scale by evaluating their attitude towards those (orthodoxly defined) sins that they themselves are most inclined and prone to - do they fully acknowledge that these are sins, and the necessity for repentance?

It is interesting that almost all high level creative activity is necessarily unorthodox - even when the individual is highly orthodox in their religious observances - consider Tolkien and Lewis.

JRR Tolkien was 100% orthodox in his Roman Catholicism - but in his best creative writings on or about Christianity, he is extremely unorthodox: e.g. the theology of his Silmarillion legendarium - with its many gods, and reincarnating elves; and the allegories of Leaf by Niggle or of Smith of Wootton Major.

CS Lewis was very conventional in his Anglican worship, and advocacy for others - but his creative allegorial theologies of the Narnia Chronicles, and of his brilliant and underrated The Great Divorce - are unorthodox.

Both Tolkien and Lewis are often (by legalistic and literalistic Christians) regarded as unorthodox (and rejected, and labelled as evil) by the mere fact of writing fantasy, and including magic in their worlds. (Numerous YouTube videos attest to this orthodox attitude.)

In sum, I consider the unorthodoxy of individuals to be a vital and positive feature of Christianity; not least because all creative people are almost always unorthodox when they are being creative - and if Christainity expels and excludes all creativity, or treats it as too hazardous for wise men to risk; then Christianity will become dead obedience to external rules - and therefore not Christian at all.

Of course there are hazards to unorthodoxy. And people may be deceptive - may attack, and attempt to subvert Christianity under the guise of creativity. But there is no 'safe' path for Christians - hazards lie on both sides - orthodoxy is prone to apostasy just as is as unorthodoxy. On the other hand, all paths are 'safe' given the right attitudes of love and repentance. 

The orthodox ideal should not be that indvidual creativity be weakened, shackled or destroyed because it is too hazardous, but the opposite.

The ideal is that ultimately (further on in our theosis) all real and true Christians will quite spontaneously become unorthodox - simply by the spontaneous exercise of their natural, God-given, creativity which is an intrinsic part of their real, divine selves.

Who are 'we' English?

I was fortunate enough to have been brought-up on the children's history of England as a moral story - with goodies and baddies interacting to provide a clear, comprehensible and memorable narrative. (The one that was mocked, in a way comprehensible only to informed insiders, in Sellar and Yeatman's humorous book: 1066 and All That.)

In this history there were three-and-a-half main invasions that were clearly moralised in terms of the peoples: the Roman invasion of the Ancient Britons (we did not talk much of 'Celts' at that time); the Anglo-Saxon and Jutes invasion of the Ancient Britons; the Viking/ Dane's half-invasion of the Anglo-Saxons; and the Normans invasion of the Anglo-Saxons.

Among these the 'goodies' were the Ancient Britons both times; and then the Anglo Saxons. The interesting thing is that 'we' were first the Ancient Britons and then, after they had been defeated, 'we' became the Anglo-Saxons.

But this is not modern - the same shift can be seen in the earliest chroniclers of British History from the Saxon times up through into the medieval era - the general stance is that the goodies were the Britons/ Celts and the baddies were the invading Anglo-Saxons, even when written from the Saxon victors (or Nomran occupiers) perspective. The whole Arthurian and Merlin legend, always popular, is based on this implicit assumption.

I think the key to this is that sometimes the moral good is derived from patriotism - so that the resident English (i.e the Ancient Britons get the moral approval when against Romans - despite druidic human sacrifices and the benefits of Roman Civilisation'); but that this aspect is trumped by religion.

Religion trumps patriotism.

So that when there is a Christian versus a Heathen conflict, then the Christian side will always be the goodies. This is why the Ancient Britons were the goodies in the post-Roman conflicts until the Anglo-Saxons became Christian; and why the Christian Anglo-Saxons were goodies against the pagan Vikings (despite that people such as myself - i.e. the blue-eyed - almost certainly descend from the Scandinavians, because that was where the blue-eyed mutation occurred).

When it comes to the final invasion of 1066 - and the Anglo-Saxons versus Norman conflict - we have Christians versus Christians for the first time in our island history.

Therefore, the Saxons are strongly felt to be the goodies, and 'we' are the armies of Harold, defending against the alien William the aggressor and usurper - because when both sides are Christian, 'we' defaults to the resident Anglo-Saxon English, i.e. on patriotic grounds.

Friday, 17 June 2016

What God most wants - from William Arkle


Once upon a time there was a wonderful God sitting on his throne amidst a great light who's expression was of magnificent beauty, glory and power. 

Around the throne were countless people enjoying his presence and worshipping him with songs and praise. But one of that number noticed that every now and again God gave him a wink

At first he thought it must be an illusion but it happened again and again. 

Finally, one day the crowd moved and drifted about in such a way that he came very close to God. Then again he saw the wink and the look straight at him, just him amongst all those others, and he heard a whisper: Hey, come round the back after that last show, if you can spare the time.  

Well of course he did go. So after the last performance that night, round the back there was this God waiting. 

Hallo, God said, come up here to my little hill overlooking the sea, I would like you to come and sit with me on my lawn and Daisy patch. We can have a cup of tea together and a pipe and look at the view. 

I love to take my costume off at the end of the day and relax. Although I have all that worship and praise, there are times when I like to get away from it all and be quiet. I like to come here and look at the sea on a lovely day, with the mountains beyond and the feeling of this little garden up here on the hill. 

For although I have so many beautiful children to look after and enjoy, and although they say such nice things about me and serve me in every sort of way... I get so lonely. 

You see, I don't have many friends

No one recognises me after the show when my make-up is off. I have to be like you saw me, for they all expect it of me; but I am more delighted than you can imagine that you have come here with me so that we can sit together and I can show you this small garden and the view from my heart. 

From the Conclusion to A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974)


In these final words to his difficult and abstract book, Arkle provides this simple vignette to emphasise some of his key messages.

1. What God most wants from us and from all of creation, ultimately, is friendship - that is to say, mutuality in its highest and most creative form; but also in its humblest and most homely form.

2. God's motivation in this can be understood as loneliness, the lack of anyone like himself to be-with - or, more positively, as a deep and endless delight in companionship.

3. Therefore, creation is structured such that we can, over long stretches of time and with considerable effort (and only if we choose and want this) learn from experiences to become more-and-more like God until we are eventually on the same level.

4. Therefore, ultimately, God does not really care much for being praised and worshipped, especially when it gets in the way of developing a close and evenly-balanced relationship. 

For more Arkle go to: http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk