Tuesday, 17 September 2019

The self-refuting paradox of materialism - a 4 minute comic vid

An amusing and virtuoso bit of philosophy from the animator and author of the Brief Outlines vlog (dedicated to expounding Owen Barfield) is a video about the sad fate of a materialist philosopher called Zarathustra (with a luxuriant moustache suspiciously reminiscent of Nietzsche!).

It also forms a preliminary to Rudolf Steiner's (excellent) PhD thesis Truth and Knowledge.

Love is a world realm (for Christians)

Since Christianity puts so much emphasis on Love; putting it, indeed, as the very core value - it is essential to understand what is meant by Love.

Currently, most mainstream Christians have adopted mainstream society's post-1960s idea that Love is (merely) a feeling or emotion - as such, a subjective phenomenon, usually ephemeral, and ending at death or before. Such a definition defines Christians as idiotic dupes; and renders any sin into a virtue b simplyy the claim that it is based-on Love.

But Christians have not been very effective at explaining - even to themselves - what Love actually is if it is not merely a temporary emotion.

This is probably because Love is not taken seriously enough by Christians. If Love is primary, it must be located at a primary level, as one of the fundamental (metaphysical) assumptions of creation - Love needs to be what makes-possible this creation, this world.

First, this world, this creation, is alive and conscious, made of Beings (not things). But Beings tend to be fissile, to pursue each their own self-centred gratifications - Love is the choice, the ultimate commitment, by which Beings align their methods and goals. 

Indeed, I would say that Love is God's realm - the world of creation.

Inside the realm of Love, there is possibility of creation; because Love is what makes for coherence, cohesion, the attractive 'force' that does not just hold-together the disparate Beings of creation; but intrinsically-harmonises their aspirations and motivations.

For example; a group of people without Love will relate to each other 'instrumentally' by means of various compromises between selfishness and altruism, between short-termist gratification and long-term survival etc. This situation is familiar in the workplace, and in public life generally.

By contrast; a group of people inside the realm of Love (for example, an ideally Good Family; which we can all imagine, even when we have not experienced it) will find that their aspirations, goals, methods are all developed within the context of Love; so that they will 'automatically' be aligned; and will continually be adjusted (as things develop) in light of that Love.

These alignments and adjustments are not compromises, nor are they experienced as compromises; they are instead just exactly what the Family members most want to do.

And that is the difference made by Love - the difference between (on the one hand) life being, at best, a compromise of long-termist mutual exploitation; and (on the other hand) a life in which Love is a medium within-which individuals may live positively, creatively.

Without Love there can only be indirect communications; each requiring cycles of many unreliable steps such as encoding information, transmission, perception, analysis, understanding etc. But Love is a communion of Beings, and Love makes communion possible by enabling a direct and unmediated, immediately apprehended, knowledge - each of the other.

So Love does not merely 'bind', it transforms the very nature of the situation; in exactly the way that a loving Family is different from a random collection of people trying to function-together according to various and labile sets of objectives, rules and practices.

Christians identify this realm of Love with the fact that we live in a creation, made by a creator whose children we are and who loves us.

By means of our brother, Jesus Christ; we are invited to join the eternal realm of Love after biological death; where we will participate as resurrected Beings.

Christians are those who believe in the reality of this eternal realm of Love, and who wish to inhabit it; who joyously accept that invitation. 

Monday, 16 September 2019

Is Artificial Intelligence alive and conscious; and, if so, how?

I regard the notion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as manipulative or delusional, built upon many layers of incompetence and dishonesty.

But there is a fair question that could be put to someone like myself who believes that Everything is alive and conscious: reality is made-up of Beings.

Since Everything (humans, mice, trees, mountains, planets) is - in some sense - alive and conscious; then why not computers?

My answer is that computers Must be alive and conscious in some sense; but it all hinges on how.

Some things are Beings, and other things are parts of Beings. Humans are Beings. But most of the things we commonly regard as not-alive and not-conscious are parts-of Beings - things like the cells of a coral, the atoms of a grain of sand... These are probably not Beings in their own right, but participate in larger, more inclusive Beings that do have some degree of bounded, agent consciousness.

So, it is in this sense that computers are alive and conscious - they are part-of Beings; not Beings in their own right. Computers can participate in systems of intelligence, but cannot themselves be intelligent.

And these intelligent systems are Beings (at least, they are Beings by a minimalist definition).

The danger of AI is therefore Not that computers will become Beings, agents, conscious and alive; but that we will begin to treat them as such. This would be intrinsically evil, and lead to greater evil.

The Turing Test is an example of evil propaganda. It argues and implies, rhetorically, that anything that superficially appears to be a Being by reductionist and simplified criteria; really is a Being, and ought to be treated as a Being.

This treating of a part-of-Being asif it were a Being would actually be a human choice - and would be a chosen-lie, a falsehood, Not-Really Real - thus it would clear a path to the condition of virtuality; in which the not-real it lived as if it were real; and the real is ignored or denied.

Which is precisely where we are now.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Could demons inhabit the omni-surveillance micro-control electronic system?

You can't say we weren't warned... from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A fascinating post called Computers and Demons from William Wildblood . He opens up a discussion on whether demonic spirits may, in some way, be using the electromagnetic mass media as a way of influencing the world.

I think that the computer revolution has been driven by demons. It has certainly been captured by them but it was probably instigated by them too... If the IT revolution is demonically inspired the question is why? The immediate answer might be to distract people from the spiritual and make them more susceptible to evil using that word in its broadest sense to mean anti-spiritual...

But is there more? It seems to be the case that the demons cannot take physical form except under certain very particular circumstances and for brief periods... Demons would probably like to incarnate directly on Earth because this would give them greater power over us. There might also be something about being in a body that they covet. 

Might the drive towards artificial intelligence, quantum computing and developing computers that are carbon-based actually be all about enabling demons to incarnate? ... What if the true purpose of the computer revolution, the end game so to speak, was to enable the incarnation of demons in this world? Is this a possibility we should start taking seriously?

This looks like an important insight. For example, it seems to fit with the frantic urgency with which the global Establishment are pushing ahead with 5G. Perhaps the aim is that 5G, potentially via the network of interconnected, externally-controlled and -monitored 'smart' devices that has infiltrated and been forced-upon so many homes and workplaces, is to be subject to some relatively direct demonic influence?...

I am unclear about the mechanism with which this might work; indeed I don't think we need to know such details. However, (according to the historical delvings of Jeremy Naydler) there has been a traditional understanding of electricity (going back millennia) which regards it as an inhuman and sinister phenomenon.

It is possible that such ancient wisdom had more truth in it than is apparent from a reductionistic scientistic perspective which sees electromagnetism only in terms of its potential convenience, usefulness - and as a means of amusement and the medium of virtuality

In a time when things are coming to a point, it seems likely that our choices will be stark; and the cost of avoiding damnation (after two centuries of collusion) may be extreme.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Jeremy Naydler on the impending 5G

In November of 2018, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorised the rocket company SpaceX... to launch a fleet of 7,518 satellites... 

The satellites will operate at a height of approximately 210 miles, and irradiate the Earth with extremely high frequencies between 37.5 GHz and 42 GHz. This fleet will be in addition to a smaller SpaceX fleet of 4,425 satellites, already authorised earlier in the year by the FCC, which will orbit the Earth at a height of approximately 750 miles and is set to bathe us in frequencies between 12 GHz and 30 GHz...

There are at present approximately two thousand fully functioning satellites orbiting the Earth...

Other companies... are each launching their own smaller fleets, bringing the total number of projected new broadband satellites to around 20,000...

The introduction of 5G will require hundreds of thousands of new mini mobile phone masts... in urban centres throughout the UK, and literally millions of new masts in cities throughout the rest of the world, all emitting radiation at frequencies and at power levels far higher than those to which we are presently subjected. 

These masts... will be discreetly attached to the side of shops and offices or secured to lampposts. The 20,000 satellites are a necessary supplement to this land-based effort, for they will guarantee that... not one inch of the globe will be free of radiation.

Edited from an article by Jeremy Naydler in New View magazine.

Regular readers will know of my respect for Jeremy Naydler; so I take his warnings seriously.

My understanding of the 5G phenomenon is that it part of the Global Totalitarian (and transhumanist) agenda - it appears to be, in its urgency and almost wild desperation and over-reach, a last and largest grab at achieving that centrally-directed omni-surveillance and micro-control that the demonic powers apparently regard as their best strategy for mass damnation.

Since - in this post Christian, materialistic world or hedonic nihilism; there is near-zero resistance to the totalitarian agenda and its aspects such as a 5G-irradiated-everything - indeed, there is far more of keenness and approval; the race is on between opposed trends: one towards the collapse of social order/ technological capability; and the other towards the waking-nightmare of Global Transhumanism.

Which will come first? Collapse or the Brave New-1984?

Which would you, personally, prefer?

Note: By my understanding 5G is not an issue of business profits versus mass health - as most of those who oppose it seem to suppose (after all, with this level of infrastructure, the only 'profits' will come from truly-massive hidden subsidies paid-for by taxpayers: it's basically a government-funded project). The issue is whether or not we want a quantum leap in Global totalitarian surveillance and control versus rolling this back at whatever cost it takes.

William Arkle and the royal connection...

From Nick Arkle's Facebook pages - That's Nick (son of William) Arkle presenting one of William Arkle's pictures to Prince Charles at a charity event in Bristol a few days ago. Between them, holding a copy of The Great Gift, is Nick's wife Tara.

Also on Nick's page is a preliminary version of the design for the forthcoming (in just a few weeks!) edition of A Geography of Consciousness, with my new introduction as well as Colin Wilson's original essay.

Friday, 13 September 2019

The resurrection of Imagination in Heaven

Resurrection is not just a matter of bodies! - because life everlasting is about more than bodies.

The created world is made of Beings (and parts of Beings) in relationships - Heaven is characterised by that relationship being Love (such that the creativity of Beings in Heaven is harmonious because of love - as the love within an ideal family coordinates the disparate activities of that family).

The resurrection of Jesus implies that to be resurrected is a superior state to being a spirit. This fits with a view of the world that sees the beginning in Beings all as spirits, and (with incarnation) spirits becoming more concentrated and bounded by bodies (by solidity); so that they may become more separate hence free, and potentially agents of independent creation.

But spirit and body are on a continuum; a difference of degree not kind. This means that Thinking is potentially a material, as well as spiritual, process. Such is clear from the fact that this (including material) create world of ourselves, other persons, the earth; is permeated by the Thinking of God.

Resurrection is possible because we are eternal and indestructible Beings - we transform throughout time while remaining the same Being; we are linked by our lineage, 'the same self' by the continuity of our descent from our former selves, back forever.

So, through time, our eternal self will always remain. At biological death the body drops away but the self is eternal; and that of the self which remains after 'death' includes everything that is eternal - includes, therefore, whatever is Heaven-compatible that we have created through our mortal lives. 

As far as the body goes, resurrection is about making that body eternal - self-renewing, indestructible etc. But our Being potentially goes beyond our body; and includes imaginations, memories, creations and the like. These are a part of our lineage, aspects of our Being - therefore may be resurrected insofar as they are compatible with Heaven (and its harmony of Love).

The process of resurrection would therefore be supposed to reconstitute, in an eternal form, whatever of our earthly, mortal lives (whatever is characterised by loving creation) that will be compatible with - will enhance - the world of Heaven. 

I presume that Thinking in Heaven is greatly enhanced; and encompasses the full spectrum between spirit and matter. Like God, we will be able to create by thought - by extension of our Being; shared with others by Love; these creations may be eternal - and they may be solid and material, as well as abstract and spiritual.

What can only be subjectively Imagined on earth, may become objectively, even solidly, real after Resurrection.   

NOTE: JRR Tolkien's allegorical short story about the afterlife, Leaf by Niggle (first published in 1945 - text available here) is a vision of how this might be. Niggle is a painter who (after a period in Catholic Purgatory) finds himself living in the reality of the paintings that he could only imagine in mortal life. Furthermore, this paradise also includes aspects of Niggle's neighbour's practical abilities as a gardener - and the two men become great friends and collaborate on further creating their imagination, in a solid objective and permanent form; which others can share, and from which they can benefit. 

Pastoral English String Music

The slow movement of the Concerto for Double String Orchestra, by Michael Tippett; and the Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams.

These were both featured on one of the earliest LP recordings I owned, while at school.

Simply gorgeous.

P.S: Here is the Psalm from which the Tallis theme was derived:


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

My Arkle Introduction - a request for comments


The above link is for the once-checked first-draft of my Introduction to the new edition of William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness.

It is about 6500 words, and would need to be copied, pasted, and printed-out for you to read it conveniently.

If you are interested in commmenting on this, or if you notice additions or corrections that are needed, please do so within the next couple of days; because I am up against a tight deadline.

Thanks in advance!

Magical places, magical people?

Magic is primarily perspectival - in that if you can't see it, you won't see it. Many people go through life and almost-never notice magic.

But even if or when you can perceive magic, it is not everywhere. Young children, tribespeople, all discriminate - they recognise some places and people as magic, and others not.

There is no magic in bureaucracy (in a spiritual sense, this is the main point about bureaucracy); and that is why there is less and less magic in the world.

As the world is integrated into The System - so magic is suppressed and destroyed, so attention is focused on the world regarded as dead things to be manipulated. So fewer and fewer places are magical - not in the solid and dependable ways that some places used to be magical. 

And this applies to people, too. In my life there have never been many magical people in any environment, they were always a small minority; but now they are fewer, and probably for the same reason that there are fewer magical places. People who were magic, or would have been, are now substantially assimilated into The System (by the extension of mass and social media, by omni-surveillance and micro-management); and they are System-assimilated by their own choice.

If this was something that people resisted, seriously by deep conviction - their magic would up-well from the deep source of the true self...

But people do not resist, and on the contrary they have identified-with The System at a deep motivational level, at the level of primary assumptions and convictions; and thereby have joined-in with crushing their own source of magic. Hence the focus upon appearances, impressions, and manipulation of perceptions - the modern Self is become merely a Public Relations executive for the Modern Man.

Lacking the help of magical places, people, institutions... we are, as usual, thrown-back on our own resources; and must find for ourselves (from ourselves) much that used to be absorbed passively from outside.

If we value a magical world; we ourselves must become more than magic detectors; more than mobile connoisseurs of enchantment -- we must become, if only for our-selves, geniuses of magical creativity.   

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The heart of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle

Edited from A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974) - the chapter 'Relating Levels of Consciousness', pp 134-7. This, coming halfway through the book, probably represents the centre of the argument and the key teaching. It represents Arkle's diagnosis of why our life is typically and mostly so dull and oppressive; and how a fundamental change of attitudes and assumptions about this world could make it qualitatively better.  

The seat of consciousness is in the Absolute, and not in what is ordinarily considered as manifestation at all.

The proposition is that the function and purpose of manifestation [or creation] is to create the ground for experience and the communication of experience. The experience itself is only valid when it is a part of this absolute consciousness which we ourselves are not normally in a position to be aware of and properly identify with. The manifested worlds are consequently no more than the ‘stuff’ of communication itself.

To put the idea very simply, the whole of manifestation is a communication on the part of the creative cause. Manifestation with its many universes and planes is something which God wished to say. We are the individuals that God wishes to say it to. Thus the real significance of every instant is the response being made by us to events... not the events themselves.

This suggests that the world we live-in is the world of absolute consciousness; and that the worlds we are identified-with are statements - are communications of qualities and principles. When we look around us what we are really seeing is a prolonged lecture; but the language it is given-in is not the one used in man-to-man communications but an infinitely more complete and efficient language.

This language is the one of the rain and sunlight, trees and grasses, children, mountains, clouds, colours, scents, sounds, responsibilities, loves, dangers, mothers, fathers, wives, lovers, friends, facts and foods, happy times, sad times, beautiful times, absorbing times, boring times and futile times.

To try and equate reality with the physical worlds of communication and to try and equate human consciousness with the human body, is like trying to understand and identify the reality of a book by measuring its proportions and analysing the paper and the ink. Such an attitude could only arise if it was not realised that a book was meaningless as a physical phenomenon but meaningful as a communication.

While the book is a real phenomenon and capable of physical analysis, the secret of understanding it is to realise that it is a continuing statement of qualities and attitudes of consciousness. To know what a book is one has to let it speak, and speak to one’s real Self.

If this is not done, the most searching analysis of the paper and the molecules and atoms and atomic particles and energies and proportions of the paper, will completely fail to explain the reality of the book as a phenomenon. We may gather a very impressive knowledge of the way that the universe is built, but this will be as nothing to understanding what the book and the universe is saying.

The stuff of the physical world we live in is thus no longer to be considered as ‘mere stuff’, if we ourselves are to be more than ‘mere clever things’. If we are to discover ourselves as significant living consciousness, we must accept the world we live in as an important communication. A tree must not only be a potential source of timber and money. A tree must be one side of a conversation, the language of which we must take the trouble to learn and respond with.

The sort of statement that has just been made will not be understood by anyone unless they want to understand it. It is a statement from outside the accepted culture of our day and would be easily ridiculed by any person wishing to do so. Nevertheless it is intended to be a serious factual suggestion as to why so many people find so little meaning in life.

The painful part of failure to observe and read the communications that are continually being made to us through natural phenomena is the experience of extreme boredom. If the theory is correct the boredom arises because the valid and most real part of the individual feels itself to be fulfilling no purpose, in fact it feels ignored and forgotten. It knows it is something of great value and potential, but for some reason it is unable to become responsive and alive except in a few minor ways.

Without knowing it, the individual is creating this misery for himself because he is living in certain restricted categories with which he has classed earlier experiences and has long ago ceased to let events speak for themselves. The person lives in a world of labels of his own making, perhaps in the grounds that he thinks he will be unable to cope with real events themselves and perhaps be unable to make the significance of the events fit into his ‘safe’ but ‘uncomfortable’ philosophy of reality.

Because of this situation such a person is extremely aware of the apparently concrete unalterability and stony-faced aspect of the world around him. He is very aware of matter seeming to be dead, heavy and dull and monotonously unalterable, in fact the walls of a prison. When, however, responsiveness is felt within his being, then immediately the situation alters. The boredom ceases, the unalterability is not noticed, the prison vanishes and time goes quickly. Meaning and purpose creep back into life and the question of what it is all about seems partly answered and, indeed, only an important question is thought of as ‘what can be done in co-operating with life?’

This sense of being aware of matter as a prison, as the beginning and ending of something hopeless and meaningless is not uncommon, particularly among people who have grown beyond the first hectic and unconsidered flush of youth. The world of physical material becomes part of a ‘solid’ identification which, for the purposes of this argument, can simply be termed 'matter'.

This is not the matter of the physicist but matter as experience. Not the matter that is measured but the matter that is felt. Not analysed but identified-with. In this context the following statement can be suggested as a verbal equation: ‘Awareness of matter is failure to communicate.’

Non-awareness of the materiality of matter is thus the result of success in communication.

Matter as materiality only exists in the experience of human beings who have ceased to remain responsive. To the rest of nature materiality presents no problems. It is consciously or unconsciously accepted as a most interesting and absorbing communication of qualities related to survival at the lower end of the third vector or related to beauty and idealism at the upper end of the third vector.

Matter can also be thought of as space and time experience. In the imprisoned mood of materiality, time drags and assumes very obvious characteristics of its own. It intrudes. Together with this the size and number of phenomena becomes over important. The daunted observer reflects on the littleness of his own body and the insignificance of his own single identity among so many thousands of his fellows. 

...He looks from the world out into the universe and his senses are numbed at the thought of the vastness of the cosmic system and the distances that are involved on every side. The background of his whole existence becomes unmanageable by his consciousness. It does not even appear hostile for what is worse is the fact that it appears indifferent, quite unaware of him.

Solidity of life as an experience, or matter as an experience can now be related to a degree of responsiveness of the true Being. It can also be related to the level of consciousness of the individual Being. When 'matter' in this sense obtrudes into our life, it indicates that we are not being our-Self.

When matter does not obtrude, whether we are at a chronic high level or low level of consciousness, we are being ourself as much as we can be, responding with all we have available... A false personality has not been allowed to form and insinuate itself between our Self and the world of communication.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Resurrection, not incarnation, is the most shocking and strange thing about Christianity

I have often heard it emphasised by Christians how remarkable, how shocking, it was that God was incarnated as a little baby, lived, suffered and died an ignominious and agonising death.

But is it really so shocking? All of these are familiar possibilities for a being that is an 'avatar' of a God - a spirit part of God that takes on human form and lives as a human, perhaps a super-powered human, maybe even breeds with humans etc.

(Jesus is not an avatar - but my point is that the general idea of a God taking on a human form is common enough.)

Neither is it all that shocking when the incarnated God comes back to life after being killed - since all societies seem to have believed in some kind of continuation of existence after biological death (so nothing really dies altogether), posited some kind of afterlife; and Gods in particular would be expected to be unkillable. 

What is really shocking that that when the divine Jesus came back to life it was not as a spirit. Instead God became a Man again, in a Man's body, and for eternity. Jesus was resurrected.

I think that this is so shocking that - as far as I can tell - most Christians still don't believe it, and have never really believed it; but instead have always tried to claim that Jesus's resurrected body was 'not really' what it seemed, but some kind-of embodied spirit.

I think it is very difficult for people to accept that a creator God could have a body like ours, eternally; and still be God. To most intellectuals, at any rate, this seems intrinsically ridiculous that something solid and unbounded might be superior to something unbounded of pure spirit; so they resort to various types of 'yes, but'... argument, that retain the appearance of an incarnate body while replacing its inner reality with spirit.

If this was so, the question is why? Why did Jesus bother with resurrection, if the body was merely a kind of illusion? Why didn't he make eternal life a thing of pure spirit?

Why go to all the trouble of making it 'look like' Jesus had an absolutely humanish body, why the emphasis on how normal his body seemed?

(An emphasis, but not not exclusive; after all Jesus was hard to recognise, could apparently appear and disappear etc; but certainly the primary point being made is that this was in some essential way the same human body that Jesus had inhabited before he died, with the same appearance, wounds etc; and it was certainly solid to touch, and he ate food.)

If we take the Fourth Gospel as primary (and the other Gospels as partial confirmations) it is evident that the resurrection was into a 'normal', solid, material human body - and that was the main thing about it.

We should not allow secondary explanations to remove that major - and shocking - fact.

The distinctive thing about Christianity is therefore not 'eternal life' in Heaven; but eternal life in some version of our actual solid human body. 

There Must Be something very important about The Body, if it is to become eternal for us, in Heaven.

Note: On further reflection, the fact of resurrection has very wide-ranging implications for the nature of ultimate reality; including the nature of life in Heaven. In a nutshell, resurrection implies that the life eternal promised by Jesus to those who follow him is A Resurrected Life - a life certainly including resurrected entities, beings, things from this mortal life. Not, therefore, a life of pure spirit or thought; but a life of everlasting solid beings and objects of many kinds - thought consisting-of/ interacting-with solid things. Perhaps CS Lewis intuited this, in his fantasy of The Great Divorce

Sunday, 8 September 2019

The difference between Immortality and Eternity (Joseph Pearce on Tolkien)

"The thing that defines us as Men is the fact that we die."

A three minute video which nonetheless (and with the help of quotes and enactments of Tolkien and his 'Three rings for the elven kings...' poem) manages to say some wise and encouraging things about death.

Note: Readers will know that I do not see eternity as 'beyond' time, since I understand time to be a given, necessary, linear, sequential: the context for everything. 

Instead I see eternity as unbounded in both directions from the present - an unbounded future and past; with all beings, including our-selves, as eternal. 

Nonetheless JP's qualitative distinction between 'immortality' and 'eternity' is maintained.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

We choose truth - but there is only one reality

In the modern condition - aiming at Final Participation - most Men realise that truth is something chosen.  Truth is no longer compelled upon us from outside; truth active and us passive.

Our modern truth can only be active - if we are not active, there will be no truth.

 What is not realised, or denied, is that there is only one reality.

 So the situation really-is that there is only one reality, and we must choose it.

The modern sin of pride is manifested in assuming that because we must choose truth, therefore we can invent truth. And because modern truth is invented, then we can deny truth.

Why nationalism must fail as a right-wing strategy

I've written often over the past decade about why it is a mistake for those in The West who oppose the Left to put their faith in nationalism.

Another reason I have not mentioned directly is a consequence of the universal corruption affecting all large and powerful Western institutions - their loss of specific functions, and their convergence into the single, global totalitarian bureaucracy of New Left Political Correctness.

The problem is simply that the nation is an institution. So, because it is an institution, the nation is Leftist. 

This fact is often missed because the nation is not just an institution; a nation is also (potentially, and to a variable extent) a mystical entity. But it is a mystical entity only insofar as people are able and willing to recognise the reality and importance of mystical entities - which, in the case of modern states, is Hardly At All.

Nationalism was only a strong force in the immediate post-religious generations (from about the middle 19th to 20th centuries) when people were still capable of living by and from mystical beliefs.

But that time is long gone, and mystical nationalism is now far too weak, or non-existent - and what we are left-with is a corrupt, converged national institution, a Leftist national institution.

How can people then realistically hope that nationalism might defeat Leftism? Right-Nationalists are in the position of supporting, trying to build-up and make supreme an institution that solidly and increasingly opposes their goals.

It isn't going to work, is it?

The only genuine possibility, remote and slight though it is; would be a religious revival first, and then (but only then) all kinds of good things become possible.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Has William Arkle influenced you significantly? Let me know, please

I am currently writing an introduction for the first re-publication of William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness since it was originally issued 45 years ago. (There are also plans for a second volume of his other writings such as Equations of Being, Letter from a Father and The Hologram and Mind.)

I will announce specific details when the book is ready to buy.

The publisher of this venture discovered Arkle via my blog, most of the content of which first appeared here. So you readers have been instrumental in this encouraging development.

Therefore, I would be interested to know how many of you there are who have found Arkle to be a significant beneficial influence in their lives, since we are probably at the vanguard of his rediscovery.

Please let me know if you are one of this number. Thanks!

Field of Dreams (1989) and literalising the yearnings for Original Participation

Field of Dreams is a movie I like - I rewatched it recently to check. At the time I first saw it, which was perhaps 1991, it coincided with an awakening of yearning for what I would now regard as Original Participation. In other words, I sought meaning and purpose in life in something like a return to the consciousness of early childhood of early tribal Man.

(Spoiler alert.)

Original Participation is participating in the creative love of the universe by a passive immersion in it; in the way that we all did in early childhood. And this is what the Field of Dreams 'dream' is about - it is about recovering and reliving that child's-perspective; by watching baseball games featuring  long-dead players, in an idyllic situation which literalises a common set of yearnings and fantasies.

That is what I wish to emphasis. Much 'fantasy' is popular because it suggests that 'if only' we could literalise our fantasies, then we would be perfectly happy forever. Of course, they are seldom foolish enough to state explicitly the idea that any kind of external objective situation would really make us perfectly happy forever; but that is what innumerable works of art (novels, plays, movies, tv series) show us.

In Field of Dreams we are shown a man who (obediently) follows his deepest promptings (in the form of an hallucinatory voice, unsought), and is rewarded by what looks to be a wholly satisfying life (with his wife and daughter; and an expanding circle of aficionados, who pay him for the privilege and continue to make it possible...) of watching old-time baseball and tending to the ball park where it happens.

Or, as the movie blurb has it: His dreams came looking for him.

Thus, the 'lesson' is that our destiny comes to us from externally, as a perceptual communication; and our job is to obey it - the reward is to be 'made' happy. It is the theme of so many fantasies; If Only (we think) fairies, Middle Earth, Hogwarts or whatever were literally true and I could live there, or meet them - then I would have a wholly-satisfying-life.

Yet, the stark reality is that if we had everything we wanted; exactly as we most want it - if our fantasy situation was literalised - it would pretty soon cease to be wholly-satisfying. We would get used-to-it; and probably we would get fed-up of it.

Watching the Chicago 'Black Sox' ghosts play every day, a couple of times a day, while feasting on hot dogs would certainly be great At First... but it is very far from enough!

For post-adolescents the fact is that a literalisation of Original Participation would not suffice, and we only suppose it would suffice because we know it cannot happen. We can daydream that the Field of Dreams would 'make us' perfectly happy forever, because we know it wont happen - this the illusion is maintained, and may harden into delusion.

(I mean - and this is a position I personally reached before I became a Christian - we may come to believe that the best possible life would be a benign delusion; that is, something gratifying but untrue that we nonetheless believe. This seems to be the logical conclusion of atheistic hedonic materialism; and is the underlying reason why transhumanism is becoming mainstream; since that promises that technology will provide us with a life of benign delusion by means of drugs, genetic engineering, virtual reality etc.)  

This is the way in which we - modern Men - are maintained in a state of spiritual paralysis. A bureaucratic, materialistic, totalitarian ('Ahrimanic') machine - such as Hollywood, big business and the mass media - produce multiple ('Luciferic') dreams of passive, immersive Original Participation; which we yearn for but which we know cannot happen... We simply try to spend as much time as possible living 'in' these dreams; in the (shrinking) gaps between serving the machine.

The sixties showed, and the lesson has been confirmed multiple times since; that we are not going to be able to return to Original Participation, that we don't truly want to; and most importantly that even if we did, it would not suffice.

We simply must find a third path into the future - that which Barfield terms Final Participation. This is the state we can confidently hope for in Heaven; but also a state which we can inhabit and cherish for periods of time, and rather imperfectly, here on earth - as part of that learning from experience which is our task.

Because, on closer examination; even the daydreams of Original Participation have elements of Final Participation about them; they are often highly conscious, active rather than passive, exist in the realm of thinking rather than inarticulate Being, and are developing situations into which we bring creativity from our-selves.

If we recognise that our goal should not be a static-suspended-state of blissful passive immersion with minimal consciousness; but instead a process of participating and joyful active creation with our unity attained in the world of thinking - then we are most of the way to where we ought to be.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

SK Orr - This guy can write!

From SK Orr's Steeple Tea blog

Supping On Beauty

Down the gravel road to home this evening, the dust hanging in the air from a hurrying tractor, and then into the tunnel of shade created new each day by the tall poplars lining the driveway.

Walk in the house and see the old dog waiting for me on the steps, her tail thump-thump-thumping as she grins her “Oh, you came back!” grin. Kiss my wife and listen to her etude of a Southern voice run the scales and describe something someone did and said.

Shed the work clothes and put on my soft home clothes, the t-shirt gleaming white as a saint’s robe, the scent of bleach and detergent like incense. A short period of reading and unwinding while that pretty little woman makes good sounds and better smells in the kitchen. Next thing I know she’s bringing me a plate and a glass, and the same for herself, and we settle into our chairs and say grace and turn to.

Oh, and what a feast. Toasted kaiser rolls buttered so heavily they weep gold if you press your finger into the patterned surface, and they’re piled with loose meat, finely chopped ground beef that’s been slow-cooked all day in a special concoction of spices and sauces, and on top of the mounded meat goes a slice of nice cheddar, so thin you can read the almanac through it, and on top of that goes several sliced, spiced pickles, and if heaven won’t have such pickles available then let me find another mansion because it’s location-location-location, and next to the sandwich on the plate is a hill of macaroni & cheese, and isn’t it a sin to eat that quickly, but the flesh is weak and goodnight, nurse, did you say you made a pan of caramel brownies? So now the question is how quickly can this plateful settle, and come to think of it, yes, I do want milk with mine.

Ingratitude is a great sin. Being unaware of one’s blessings is a close cousin.

I am in no danger of this sort of transgression. Some things are ever close to my surface.

~ S. K. Orr

Understanding the necessity for a purposeful creative consciousness behind the manifestation of this universe (William Arkle)

Edited from Divine Purpose - from The Great Gift by William Arkle (1977):  

There are a number of matters which I would like to define which are matters that seem to cause a deep stirring in the heart of our being and which require some response from us.

I will quickly go by the opinions of those people who do not see the need for a purposeful creative consciousness behind the manifestation of this universe. Such understanding must come to us as a simple observation beyond doubt, or it does not come at all.

We realise that there are people who are able to conceive of this manifest universe as an outgrowth from some haphazard life which is fumbling its way by accidents from one thing to another. I cannot sustain such a theory since I am aware that the organisation of matter has to reach an extremely high degree indeed before life can even begin a fumbling of any sort. 

Our time and attention is too valuable to remain in, what are for me, such unproductive fields. We must observe all things, but not limit them to the tangible and the 'scientific', particularly when we realise that our own consciousness is neither tangible nor 'scientific'.

My observations lead me to a purposeful God, a living responsive creative source, whose motives we may begin to discover in the way of our own nature and environment are formulated. Many of these qualities have become so clear to me that I would like to bring them to your notice in a direct manner...

Notes from BGC

I (sort of) wish I had seen, and attended-to, and recognised the truth of, this passage many years, many decades ago. I say 'sort of' because the fact is I probably would have ignored it on the basis that there 'must' be something wrong with such simple and clear reasoning.

After all, our culture and society has succeeded in putting the mass of its people into a state of perpetual undecided uncertainty on this matter for several generations. I mean this crucial matter of whether this universe is a purposeful (therefore meaningful) creation (or a manifestation as Arkle terms it) -- or whether it is some combination of causal determinism and randomness and therefore (necessarily) has zero purpose or meaning.

The modern mainstream 'line' on this subject is that there is no purpose or meaning to the universe but there is purpose and meaning to the individual lives of human beings - because somehow each person 'makes' his own purpose and meaning...

The fact that this is incoherent and self-contradicting nonsense somehow doesn't strike people - presumably because the only possibility of coherence comes from a universe that is created and purposive - so when people 'doubt' the reality of creation they immediately become incoherent when they attempt to do reasoning of even moderate complexity.

The whole thing is done by inducing 'doubt' - and the one thing that never is doubted is the grounds for doubt! Modernity has this created a metaphysics of doubt; a set of primary beliefs and assumptions implicitly stating that doubts are primary; and unless there is 100 percent certainty of perfect and unchangeable knowledge, with which every rational person must agree totally - then doubt will prevail. (And therefore doubt always and necessarily prevails.)

As Arkle says; the knowledge that this universe and reality is the product of a purposive and creative conscience - a God - is something that can only come to us as a single intuitive act, a thing we know directly. The difficulty is that 'beyond doubt' phrase - because for modern Man strategically-directed doubt has become a primary principle of our social discourse. We are officially required to doubt God, creation, the soul, objective morality; and increasing numbers of observed and experienced facts.

For modern Man, nothing is placed beyond here-and-now doubt; except for the current political abstract expediencies of the Global Establishment - and these change every few years; so among our many confusions and incoherences is moving from one unassailable dogma to its inversion, every few years.

But modern Man apparently finds this easy - because he has decided to doubt God, creation and the Good. And for such a person, nothing can be done. If 'manifestation' is doubted, nothing can stand - and incoherence becomes a permanent way of life.

Philippe Sly - a great bass-baritone voice

I am not easily impressed by singers; but when I stumbled across this live recording of a young Canadian bass-baritone called Philippe Sly performing some arias from Handel's Messiah I was immediately impressed; and this was confirmed by several re-listenings to this and other pieces.

Solo singers are born - not made. The quality of a singing voice is essentially God-given; technique can be manufactured - to a considerable extent - by training; but voice quality cannot (although it can, of course, be ruined).

(Intonation - i.e. singing genuinely in-tune - is also mostly natural.)

This chap has an exceptionally elegant and beautiful tone - which seems especially difficult (or at least rare) among bass baritones; who have a distinct tendency to bellow and rasp; and they often have insecure intonation (disguised by wide vibrato).  Sly's quality of tone and intonation are both exceptional throughout his range; his voice smoothly darkens and lightens as it goes higher and lower; and I find myslf looking forward to both extremes.

But of course it is the middle range, where the singer spends most of his 'time' which must be exceptional; and where vocal acting is needed. After all, the bass-baritone roles are the big acting roles in most operas - the villains, or the rogueish and devious type of heroes (the 'Fifth Business' as Robertson Davies - another Canadian - termed them). This is where the 'pointing' of individual words and expression is mostly used - but in most BBs acting comes at the expense of musicality; whereas Sly keeps the musical line in first place throughout, and he 'expresses' (very well) within that.

He also has a way of phrasing the musical lines which is another of those instinctive things... it is what brings a piece of music 'alive'. I've heard this aria sung by several people before - but this is the only time that its musicality and lyricism came-through - and this is because of how Sly phrases it.

It probably does not need adding that, unlike most of the best singers, Sly is distinctly 'easy on the eye' and has a considerable charismatic physical presence. 

If this is a just world, Sly will have a secure and illustrious future, and will leave a legacy of many recordings; meanwhile enjoy the pieces that are available.    

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Two ancient novelty records

From 1922 - this was played every week on Children's Favourites throughout the nineteen sixties; never then or since have I been able to listen without... laughing.

The following is from shortly afterwards, sung in some kind of dense Sussex dialect; I have no real idea what he is saying or what it is all about - but a friend at university had a 78 rpm recording which we used to puzzle over... I'm sure it would have creased me as a youngster, had I heard it.

More about this strange recording, and its singer, HERE