Thursday, 18 October 2018

Your Favourite Inkling survey

Over at my Notion Club Papers blog, I have opened a survey inviting readers to give their favourite member of the Oxford Inklings group (by an extended definition) - and to say why.

But this is not about literary excellence or historical importance; it is a survey of who you like the most, or think you would have liked, as a person - as a potential friend...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Tychonievich's Meditations on a Tarot

The Magician, from a Lord of the Rings Tarot pack I happen to possess 

A very intriguing post from William James Tychonievich (long-serving and frequent commenter on this blog) regarding The Magician card of the Tarot.

The most important metaphysical assumption


The most important metaphysical assumption is the loving creator.

This is really The Key to understanding reality - and it is, indeed, the key to the possibility of understanding anything.

This key was given in the person and teachings of Jesus; but it is also directly-available to anybody and everybody by personal revelation of the Holy Ghost.

It is because God is creator that God knows; and it is because God loves us that he has made this a world in which we too can know.

And - assuming the truth of the loving creator - without knowledge of the loving creator, we will necessarily misinterpret, will fail to understand, everything in this world; because we will be attempting to understand reality in a false context: a context lacking a loving creator makes the world not-necessarily coherent, thus unknowable; and our own 'knowledge' (of any-thing, even of context) arbitrary or self-contradictory. 

This is ultimately why Christianity was conducive to theology, philosophy and science... because the assumptions of Christianity make rational the hope that Man can Know.


Ultimately, the only reason to believe in the loving creator is that it is true; and that it is true can only be known by personal revelation, and by the further recognition that personal revelation is the ultimate form of knowledge. So this must also be assumed.


Once the loving creator has been believed, once known - had-faith-in; then (in principle) everything potentially makes-sense to us.

Conversely, lacking belief in the loving creator, there is no reason why we would be able to know anything - and indeed this is the implicit (sometimes explicit) position of other religions and of atheism: i.e. that Man does not understand anything.

In sum: more than just the reality of a creator deity is necessary for human knowledge - because real human knowledge also requires the loving 'attitude' of God (the creator) towards Men.


Thus a personal creator God, God-as-a-person (capable of love), is a necessary requirement for there to be any possibility of human knowledge. 


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Was Jesus really English?

Jesus in the forests of Somerset?

No, of course not! - although he may have visited the South West before his ministry; as Blake describes in his great poem song 'Jerusalem'.

But I have, certainly since age five when I began school and was first told stories from The Bible and showed naturalistic illustrations, felt an inner dissatisfaction and discomfort with the historical context of Jesus in Palestine. I found the Middle Eastern setting to be alien, and unappealing - and have never felt any serious desire to go and visit the Holy Land sites.

By contrast I spontaneously liked the settings for Northern, especially forest, stories of gods and the supernatural - and enjoyed such illustrations, and the general feel of (say) Wagner's Rhinegold opera. This even extends to equivalent places in North America - such as the Hiawatha environment (which is indeed a Christian poem).

CS Lewis felt much the same - and in both our cases this feeling was strong enough to repel us from Christianity for considerable periods. This is interesting, because it may well be such irrational cultural prejudices that prevent some people getting interested in Christianity - they shouldn't make such a difference (if we were serious people), but apparently they sometimes actually do; so it is worth thinking about them.

It would, at least, be reasonable to have accounts of Jesus that did not so heavily emphasise the Middle Eastern angle - or had other backgrounds. This kind of thing was, after all, normal in the past, in ages of greater faith - Shakespeare's plays are an obvious example: for instance one of his most English plays is Midsummer Night's Dream, which is supposed to be in Greece. Medieval religious art usually depict their subjects in the costume and setting of the artist's time and place. 

This is yet another way in which the historical emphasis which overwhelmed Christianity from the New Testament 'scholarship' of the early 19th century (originating in the German universities) has been so very damaging to faith. 

Yet Christianity is an historical religion - it is (or should be) the establishment of the reality of time as sequential and linear. Jesus was born in a particular time and place; and Christianity depends on there being a before and after the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

(This is one reason why mainstream Christian metaphysics - which emphasises strongly that God and ultimate reality is outside-of-time; and that time is merely a kind of temporary illusion of mortal earthly life - is so deeply and seriously mistaken.) 

On the other hand, there could be ways of talking about Jesus that simply accept the historical context as true and necessary; and then emphasise the current situation - e.g. in which Jesus is now the on-going ruler of this world, and engages directly with each person via the Holy Ghost. We could jump straight into the everyday life of Christian engagement with these spiritual realities - and these could be discussed in any setting, whether contemporary or ideal or fantasy...

This is, of course, what CS Lewis did so successfully with the Narnia Chronicles; to some extent, he wrote about Jesus and Christianity in an environment which had a powerful spontaneous appeal to him, personally - and it turned-out plenty of other people found this effective too.

Here is a really important role for the Fantasy genre (and another reason why Christian hostility to Fantasy is counter-productive); a way in which the imagination can interact with the Christian essence - in multiple ways, preferably - to make Christianity something that is more spontaneously attractive to more people. 

Jesus with his enchanted sword...

Introducing Terry Boardman

TB expounds...

At Albion Awakening, I discuss the contemporary English writer and lecturer Terry Boardman, and recommend exploring his work.

The shamanic creativity of JRR Tolkien

JRR Tolkien wrestles with a tricky compositional problem...

I have a new essay posted at L Jagi Lamplighter's Superversive Inklings blog.


Monday, 15 October 2018

Nationalism is better than Globalism - but has the same basic problems, just on a smaller scale...

He may be gigantic (and green) - but he's not really jolly...

Because nations are too big - way too big; just as cities, corporations, charities, towns, villages, universities, colleges, research groups, schools - and their classes are too big...

Indeed, pretty much everything nowadays is too big - except for families.

But for this reason - nationalism is Not a Good Thing. It's preferable to super-nationalist entities such as the EU, UN, NATO, Multi-nationals, and those semi-secret conspiracies of the elites. 

But although (for example) Brexit is better than Remain - it still isn't aiming at anything Good - quite the opposite! Let's not get carried-away by the battles of today: the lesser of two evils is preferable; but it's still evil.


What to do if you are thinking of becoming a Christian (and are somebody like me!)

If I knew then what I know now, I would do as follows:

Sit down with The Bible, in the (divinely-inspired) Authorised/ King James Version - and read Only the Fourth Gospel (ie. 'John's Gospel). 

Try to read it as if you knew nothing else about Jesus, or Christianity; and read it, study it, live-with-it... under the assumption that it is true and was written by a truthful eye-witness whom Jesus especially loved.

You will (if you are like me!) find it one of the most beautiful prose compositions in the language - and perhaps that will be your overwhelming first impression: keep reading...

It isn't easy to read - but it makes its core points over and over again in different ways, and in different words; so that there is nothing important that is left ambiguous or unclear... so if you don't get it the first or second time, you will catch-on sooner or later.

Then you can go back and check you impressions and conclusions. Read it skimming through quickly, read it in-order; and also read slowly, it out of order: homing-in on parts of special interest.

Read the Fourth Gospel as if it was the only truly authoritative, first-hand source we had about Jesus - because, in a vital sense, it probably is. At any rate, read it as if there was nothing else and you had never heard anything else about what Christianity was, or should be - extract all this from the Fourth Gospel... And see what you make of it. 

In other words, if you are thinking of becoming a Christian - extract the essence of what that means, what that is or might potentially be, from the Fourth Gospel. Don't read anything else, don't ask anybody else, don't think about investigating a church... until after you have grasped the nature and teachings of Jesus from the Fourth Gospel.

That is not what I actually did myself; but more than a decade down-the-line that is what I would advise - although probably few would agree with me!


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Magic and ritual and beyond


I have come to believe that the evolutionary developmental-unfolding of human consciousness is working against ritual - such that ritual has lost much of its interest, effectiveness and prestige.

Insofar as we do have rituals in modernity; they are done badly, because they are more like propaganda - at any rate, they do not provide spiritual attunement.

Of course, we might work for the restoration of traditional ritual - and that does have a role; but I think ritual never can again become the centre of a good life; as it was for so many in the past.

This decline is for bad reasons - such as cynicism, self-conscious embarrassment and short attention span - as well as for potentially good reasons such as theosis; but either way it seems we must increasingly seek outside of ritual.

Ritual can be seen as a way of focusing and attuning attention to attain a more predictable spiritual result - ritual is therefore intrinsically narrow; and intrinsically likely to fall into ineffectiveness, either from incompetence on one side, or habituation on the other.

Rituals can create a narrow strength and at the same time create new vulnerabilities - precisely because of this narrowness, and because of one ritual being vulnerable to another. This is known among ascetic monastics: intense monastic practices may increase spirituality in a relatively predictable and focused way; but they also open the practitioner to demonic 'attacks' to which normal people are almost immune. This is why ascetic practices are done under supervision and by apprenticeship - and even then, the precautions don't always work and the seeker falls into the damning state of spiritual pride.

My vision of the future is one in which the process of theosis is broader and more creative; and perhaps takes itself more lightly rather than trying to achieve divinisation 'by assault'. as among ascetic monastics. An awareness of the inevitability of error - trial and error, and the necessity for frequent repentance; a recognition that success will be infrequent and short-lived, but vitally important nonetheless... such an attitude seems appropriate.

Where then does strength and courage come from? From the actuality of direct relationships with the divine (e.g. Heavenly Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and with angelic helpers - and from solid intuitive affirmations of personal revelations.

What about when the questions and challenges arrive too thick and fast for such slow and careful methods to cope-with? Well, then we can discover (by the above means) general strategies for dealing with classes of problems - the mass media, propaganda, educational systems, law etc.

We are in a transitional phase - as usual; and rituals may still have an important role; but they probably ought not to be at the centre and making-up the core of a modern Christian religious life.


Saturday, 13 October 2018

"Should we be worried" about SJW witches?

This is one of my rare topical posts - triggered by something written by Rod Dreher - about literal witchcraft among the SJWs - this something that I have noticed myself over the years in the media (perhaps especially in Mind, Body, Spirit section books); although I have no personal knowledge of any such thing, so the whole thing could be a type of fake news.

In other words it is possible that the phenomenon of Social Justice Warriors witches is not real, just as the phenomenon of Alt-Right black magic used to elect Donald Trump is not real. In other words, that there is not-really any genuine widespread attempt, by people who believe in its reality, to use real black magic (summoning the aid of demons) to harm people.

Although the very fact that made-up stories of genuine White Nationalist Fascist Fundamentalist Christian magic terror groups is so mainstream media discussed and apparently acceptable suggests that here we have projection at work; with Leftists loudly and pre-emptively accusing their enemies of doing whatever they themselves are doing.  I personally find this persuasive: that SJW witches are real precisely because the left have invented 'right wing' bogeyman they accuse of it.


So should we be worried? Yes - but Rod Dreher's worries are probably not my worries. I don't think there is any doubt that evil-motivated magic will harm the magic-user - harm in a spiritual sense: self-damn them. But many tens of millions of Westerners have already done this, have explicitly chosen moral inversion, and self-damnation, and advertise the fact and engage in active propaganda for the evil side of the culture war: the mass media is full of such people, and so are the ranks of the ruling elite in all major social institutions.

Those who summon demonic aid in their political activism might become willing dupes, obedient servants or even hand themselves over and be possessed by demons - by their own choice - and as such they do great evil (again, just look at the leaders of most Western nations and international organisations and mega-corporations). And that those engaged in this kind activity can harm innocents - by torturing, sexually abusing, or killing them as part of rituals.

But - despite the evidence claiming otherwise - I don't believe that magic users can do anything that demonic forces would not otherwise be able to do; such as remotely hexing or otherwise magically harming people unaware of them; casting a spell on someone to make them sick, or inflict pains and the like.

I'm not going to argue this - but personally I just don't believe it is possible in this world - it would be a denial of free will, which is a given; a denial that creation is of God.

And this seems to be the aspect that most worries most people about magic; that it will be used at a distance to influence and compel, to inflict pain and kill, to change weather, cause plagues to materialise, make bad luck, to defeat armies at a distance... that kind of stuff. I just don't think this can happen. 

I'm pretty sure that evil magical rituals work only on the souls of those engaged in them; that individuals can gain pride, motivating lust and hatred, sadistic pleasure etc. as they surrender to evil - but they don't gain supernatural powers of surveillance or control.


So we should be 'worried' - or rather not 'worry' (not worry about anything at all, ever) but acknowledge. Indeed we probably ought to anticipate this kind of thing happening in these End Times. I think the valid prophecies seem to suggest that at an advanced stage of the End Times, mainstream evil will - indeed must - become explicitly demonic, and positively-evil.

We are currently in a transitional phase (an Antichrist phase) when witchcraft is practiced openly at a huge scale but where magic intent is denied; where demonic symbolism and rituals are routinely deployed but made a joke of; where the inversion of virtue, truth and beauty are normal but claimed to be merely an evolutionary advance upon The (same old) Good - much as modern conceptual art (e.g. Damian Hurst, Tracy Emin) is supposed to have evolved from Rembrandt. This corresponds to the Antichrist pretending to Be Christ.

This current phase of open-but-deniable Black Magic is presumably trending towards a situation in which the motivations are admitted; and that which is evil is pronounced to be Good. The Antichrist unmasks as Satan; or is replaced by Satan - and Satan is pronounced to be God, to be worshipped as God.

Unlike this current era of (feigned, dishonest) materialism; the final phase will be openly supernatural; the reality of God, angels and demons; souls; and continued life-beyond-death will re-enter mainstream public discourse - the truth of Spiritual Warfare will be acknowledged... but all inverted in value. However, this can happen only when enough people have become very thoroughly corrupted.

So, we've got that still to look forward too, I suppose. 


The self-destroying strategies of top-down radicalism/ Leftism

Since communism; we have lived in a weirdly inverted world in which the elite, while remaining the elite and retaining their wealth, status and power; operate by creating, importing and sustaining a supposed proletariat of deserving 'victims'; the whole system functioning by extracting resources from a diminishing minority of full-time working taxpayers (i.e. the reviled 'middle class' - predominantly composed of native-born married men).

It is a weird world... The fact that almost-nobody can see what is factually the case; and instead regards this as a world in which the only group of people who do real work, and support the others; are actually the only group of people who are openly mocked, loathed and persecuted is perhaps not surprising - given that the workers are a shrinking minority.

But the further interesting and significant aspect is that the ruling elites are systematically and strategically destroying this system - which seems to benefit them so much; especially by importing truly colossal numbers of increasingly entitled and resentful dependents from around the world - in the UK amounting to one major city's worth per year (more than 10 million added to a country of 60 million in just 15 years).

Obviously this will destroy the system.

What will the result be? Well, on present trends, a wide-spread and lasting state of widespread mutual envy, resentment, material greed and fear. A low-level war of each group against all others, of fragile fake alliances; a world in which the individual is defined by allocated group; and thus a world in which groups cohere only by fear - and in which self-destructive despair lies in wait whenever fear and hatred subside...

So the elite are deliberately sawing-off the branch they rest upon: but why?

My answer is that the elite persons are the servile dupes of the real rulers - who are supernatural demonic forces of evil; this explains why the elite are Not ruling in their own best interest - nor the best interests of any humans.

And it is surprising how very few people recognise this fact!...

Well - no it isn't surprising - since this real-reality is ruled-out for almost everyone by the assumption that there cannot exist any such cause.

This is a weird world, it is a delusional world; but that is to be expected - insanity is inevitable - when the public world is one in which spiritual facts are ruled-out by prior assumptions that (because the assumptions are metaphysical) cannot ever be refuted by any possible evidence.

But insanity is maladaptive, necessarily - by ignoring crucially-explanatory causal realities, behaviour fails: it cannot sustain itself. 

So we go on our merry way to self-damnation...


Friday, 12 October 2018

Why is consciousness the key?

Consciousness is indeed the key - and the problem can be approached from several directions to yield this same answer: that (here and now, in our current situation) we must become aware of that which we used to take for granted, unconsciously - and must actively and knowingly embrace what we used passively to obey.

All this need to take place in a Christian frame - because consciousness without Christianity is a curse; and will be fled from into instinct, intoxication or passive obedience (as we see). And because without God (a personal God, the creator, who loves us each personally), there can be no knowledge.

The problem is seldom presented; but when acknowledged it is usually in terms of whom we should obey... The mainstream materialist media?  A particular church? Our own pleasure seeking/ suffering avoiding instincts?

None of these will suffice, none of them are acceptable or effective. Unacceptable to our deepest, intuitive selves; ineffective in terms of this modern world.

We need each to 'dig' down to expose our fundamentasl assumptions to consciousness, so that we know what we have believed; then we should either consciously endorse these assumptions as solidities upon which we can build; or reject them - replace them.

But this is not a safe path - and it is worrying how many assumptions melt-away under the spotlight of consciousness and the tireless gaze of intuition. It is likely that we will be left with fewer assumptions; at any rate that is my experience. It is almost certain that we will be in a minority of one...

But those assumptions which remain after such a process are solid; we know them, and can defend and retain them against external attack because we do not regard external attackers as valid.

We can defend them in thought - I mean. Indeed, better than that - much better - they no longer need defending... They have become ultimately unassailable.

Of course; external power can influence, perhaps control, our mortal bodies; can terrorise us, perhaps, into doing or saying this or that; but once an assumption has been exposed and made conscious and intuitively endorsed... well, then we have it forever, we can't ever again be rid of it even if we want to - because then we will know that we are only kidding ourselves, and would not be rid of it.

We can nowadays, in The West, survive and thrive only on known certainties (both known, and certain) - and this process seems to be the only way to get them.

Review of Jeremy Naydler's In the shadow of the machine: the prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness

Published in the current issue of Oxford Magazine – by Bruce G Charlton

Review of: Jeremy Naydler. In the shadow of the machine: the prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness. Temple Lodge Publishing: Forest Row, Sussex, 2018 pp xi, 373.

Oxford residents might have come-across Jeremy Naydler; since he often guides tours of the city and has given lectures to a wide range of local groups over recent decades. He is also a Fellow of the Temenos Academy, and teaches at their London headquarters. Or perhaps you have come-across him looking after flowers and vegetables in the suburbs? Because Naydler’s main lifetime job has been as a gardener.

He read PPE in the nineteen seventies and then pursued scholarly interests independently before completing a PhD in middle age; on the subject of the pyramid texts of Ancient Egypt. Since publishing books on this subject and on Goethe’s science in 1996; Jeremy Naydler has become, in my judgment, one of the most interesting and original living writers in Britain.

Naydler’s central concern is the interaction between human consciousness and human culture; and he is of the opinion (which I share) that changes in human consciousness have been a driving factor in cultural evolution; as well as cultural evolution having affected human consciousness. Hence the subtitle of this book: The prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness.

What makes this book distinctive is that it is a prehistory of computers. In other words, it is about the stepwise change in human thinking and technology that led, over a span of thousands of years, to the situation in the late 20th century in which - suddenly – computers became first possible, then developed with astonishing speed, and then swiftly took-over first the material world and, increasingly, human thinking. For this progression to happen in just three generations from the first electronic computers until today, was possible only because all the necessary pieces were already in-place.

In the Shadow of the Machine is thus a work in the genre History of Ideas, and as such it is exceptionally thorough and carefully argued. The argument is broadly chronological, describing many steps in the development of each significant component necessary for the computers of today. And as well as describing the specifics of the technological changes; these are related to the necessary conceptual change in the people involved, without which the technological progression could not have happened, and would neither have been understood nor implemented.

Naydler starts with some of the most simple of technologies from the oldest societies of which we have record; such as the Ancient Egyptian methods for raising water; or, as another example, medieval clocks and renaissance calculating devices. He explains why there were periods when apparently-valuable technologies were known-about but not used; then quite rapidly, something changed and the technologies became widespread.

But computers are software as well as hardware; so Naydler also lists and discusses the changes in symbolic notation, language, numbers, logic and so forth – and how these were implemented in physical form – via cogs, punched cards, switches etc.

Then there is electricity; without which computers would have remained exceedingly simple and slow. One of the most fascinating themes of this book is the discussion of the mysterious nature of electricity (and electricity turns-out to be much stranger, and much less well understood, than commonly realised); and the way that its ‘reputation’ began as something dark sinister, alien, inhuman – but later took on increasingly positive connotations until it became so pervasive as to be all-but invisible.

In the Shadow of the Machine takes up right up to the early years of modern computers and the threshold of our current era, and concludes with some wise words about the implications of computers for the way we think – and the established and increasing degree to which our own thinking is entrained to being computer-compatible; such that we habitually think like machines, and tend to disregard any thinking that does not conform to this reduced mode.

In sum; this is a book of ancient history that is of crucial importance for the present and future.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Life after the Red Pill - (More Matrix) - Cypher as representative modern Man


In The Matrix movie (1999) there is a character called Cypher who chooses to live a life of pleasant delusion plugged-into the Matrix, rather than to live in reality where there is considerable hardship, deprivation, constant threat. For Cypher, 'red pill' reality is wholly negative (bad food, sexual frustration - the only relief being intoxication), whereas 'blue pill' life in the Matrix simulation has at least some positive features.

Cypher is a representative modern Man - a normal member of Western society: which is to say he is a materialist and a hedonist: he lives to maximise here-and-now pleasure and minimise suffering. For him it is better to live a fake life than a miserable one; and if life isn't net pleasurable then it is better to be dead and oblivious ASAP.

Contrast Morpheus: he seems happy, is positive about real life, and feels no fear. Why the difference? Because Morpheus is not a materialist - he is religious, and because (therefore) he does not live for pleasure but for meaning and purpose in an ultimate sense.

Cypher's life is meaningless and purposeless - whether inside the Matrix or outside of it; therefore he prefers the most pleasurable option. Cypher is also a traitor, quite happy to sacrifice or actively kill his 'family' when that seems likely to brings him more pleasure... and, from his perspective, why not?

When life is material and evaluated by pleasure - as it surely is for most mainstream, modern, people in the West - then Cypher is normal, and Cyphers's morality the only that makes sense. The Cyphers of this world do not want reality, because the 'reality' they are prepared to acknowledge has zero meaning; and if they are forced to take a red pill and inhabit their version of real-reality then they will seek intoxication, to return to the fake work of delusions; or will kill themselves (since they believe that biological death means the end of consciousness).

The red pill is therefore only valuable to the religious; to those who acknowledge reality beyond materialism, life beyond biology. This is why most people prefer lives of mass media addiction, plugged-into the Matrix of the internet and social media 24/7 - and why they are purposively and by choice hedonic, immoral, intoxication-seeking, and prone to despair.

Yet, to be a materialist hedonist is itself a choice - a metaphysical choice; such people have decided to reject the possibility of meaning and purpose and real relationships. In a nutshell, they have decided that God is not and cannot be real - the consequence being that nothing is real (except current feelings- and these are transient). They have then closed their minds to having made this decision and claim it has been forced upon them by 'evidence'.

They claim that it is Morpheus who is deluded; that Morpheus is living a lie, that Morpheus is the one who indulges in wishful thinking that prophecies are true, and Neo is the saviour; claim that Morpheus is pretending because living a lie happens to be more pleasurable to him personally.

And no matter what actually happens, they will continue to believe that life is nothing more than materialistic, meaningless hedonism - and that anything which Neo does to save is just-a-coincidence... No possible evidence is ever going to be sufficient to persuade the Cyphers that they were wrong, are wrong, have made an error of assumption. No evidence will ever suffice because their primary (denied) choice to reject God is metaphysically-deep, and therefore that primary choice frames their interpretation of whatever happens-to-happen.

Cypher is the normal, majority, representative modern Man because he has chosen to make his actual life, and all possible lives he might ever lead in any circumstances, meaningless - and he is stuck in this situation, permanently; because he will never admit that this was in fact a choice that he actually made.


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Any real-life Matrix could Not be Only computers - but would Always require Beings


There is a common notion that there could, in principle, be a ruling Matrix that was entirely an Artificial Intelligence; consisting entirely of computers - and that such could (for good or ill) administer reality.

But this is not possible, even in theory. The world of computers is a world of quantities, of numbers; and as such excludes the issue of which qualities - of the entirety of open-ended and interconnected reality - is being 'modelled' by the numbers.

But modern Man has become very adept at blinding himself to the presence of Beings in all functional systems - Beings with life, consciousness and purpose. The Scientist is left-out of science, The Bureaucrat ignored in a Bureaucracy. Yet he is always present, always making selections and judgements and over-riding The System - and necessarily so.

This will never go away - so if, or when, there is claimed to be a purely objective, quantitative, numerical System in place; there will always be, somewhere and probably concealed, a Being or Beings standing-outside and above The System and manipulating it, adjusting it; partly to maintain its processes, and overall in-line-with their purposes.

It is ultimately these Beings which matter; far more than any System, any Artificial Intelligence - and in some ways The System functions merely to conceal this reality. It is a case of 'Pay no attention to that Being behind The System...'.

And this is precisely why modernity is tending towards a single bureaucratic System; why all mainstream politics and media converge upon this version of the future; because The Matrix both facilitates and conceals the influence of demonic Beings on the world. 

 

The Matrix movie (1999)

A convincing prophet meets The Saviour - offers cookies...

(NOTE: Many spoilers below.) 

I have just rewatched The Matrix movie (1999) and I thought it was even better second time around. I had a memory that there was a flaw in that the martial arts scenes were over-extended - but (with the exception of the gunfight rescue of Morpheus) this is not really the case: there is something being told us with almost all of the phases of the various battles.

My impression this time around is that The Matrix is a really outstanding 5 Star movie; in which nothing goes for nothing - and where there is a very satisfying quality to the whole thing. I found it genuinely wise - in those parts where wisdom was aimed-at. The acting (and direction) of the principal actors is outstanding.

I was more aware of the spiritual dimension of the piece, too; there is an Old Testament like prominence given to prophecy (and the importance of prophets - ie. The Oracle). For Christians, there are several strong symbolic aspects (not necessarily deliberate - the authors aren't Christian), if we want to notice them: Morpheus as John the Baptist; Neo as Saviour who dies and is resurrected; Trinity (more loosely) as Mary Magdalene etc. But these I noticed afterwards, on reflection, rather than during. The end is not perfect - more than a touch of the inexplicit 'walking into the sunset' about it - but good enough to make the movie 'work'.

I think one of the aspects that helped me enjoy The Matrix more the second time, was that I set-aside the central nonsensical plot implausibility, which was apparently externally imposed on the film makers; of having the Matrix consist of human 'batteries' - their bodies providing energy to the Machines. Instead; I mentally-substituted the original conception that the machines were exploiting human minds and their computing power, and that an interconnected human neural network constituted most of the Matrix.

Having started watching the second Matrix movie; the sudden gap in quality and aspiration is very obvious. It's not that the sequels are bad - as movies they are fine - but that they are utterly different and at a much lower level of ambition (and therefore attainment). They also create the plot swerve and raggedness that makes it turn-out that Agent Smith is actually The One; whereas in the first movie it is unambiguously Neo - and this swerve destroys some of the coherent, satisfying, underlying, symbolism of the The Matrix.

Aside; I always regard it as a pity when a totalitarian dystopia is established by a 'fascistic' war and imposed by violence; whereas in this real world the analogous society is being incrementally and bureaucratically-implemented without significant resistance by the global ruling class; with the active support and cooperation of the linked bureaucracies and mass media. The real-world Matrix is actually-existing socialism; meanwhile the real-world rebels are characterised as Right Wing Reactionaries and enemies of individual 'freedom' (especially extra-marital-transgressive sexual freedoms).

Of course, such a truthful movie could never emanate from Hollywood, nor - specifically - from the makers of The Matrix. We have to make such adjustments ourselves, by our personal interpretative work.

How the Elizabethans saw the world, the universe...

...is discussed by William Wildblood at Albion Awakening.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Mosquito bites can be cured with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide

I discovered this for myself by using Benzoyl Peroxide 10% as an antiseptic on a mosquito bite which looked as if it would get infected.

A blob of cream onto the bite, then this was covered by a sticking plaster overnight - because Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleach, and will bleach your clothing, bedding or towels if it is not covered, then washed-off carefully.

Within less than an hour, the bite had stopped itching, and the next day it had started to flatten-out - I generally had no further trouble.

To provide context, a mosquito bite will usually last me for 4-6 weeks, and itch for most of that time.

This first accidental experiment seemed promising; so I tried it a few more times over the summer (which was exceptionally warm, humid and mosquito-y), and it works for me as described above. Once I needed an extra second overnight treatment when a bite began itching again.

I've also found a couple of similar experiences reported on the interweb - so it seems pretty conclusive. Mosquito bites can apparently be cured with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide - which product is obtainable without prescription - it is mostly used to treat acne.

Note: I previously reported that BP can also be used to treat shaving rash/ ingrowing beard stubble... 


Note added: In the comments; CCL describes hypothetical possible mechanisms by which BP might work to help mosquito bites. Conventionally BP is supposed to have a dual-action - an oxidising antiseptic in the short-term and and a peeling agent over a few days. But the rapidity of the action I describe, suggests to me that BP is rapidly denaturing the mosquito saliva to prevent its irritating effect, and also disabling the local inflammatory immune response... in some way.  

Monday, 8 October 2018

Dido's Lament by Purcell


This is the first - perhaps only? - first-rank classical opera aria written by an English composer; here sung with a gorgeously liquid mezzo tone by Tatiana Troyanos, and accompanied to perfection by the great Charles Mackerras.

Recitative
Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.


Aria
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.


From Dido and Aeneas (1983-8) - Music by Henry Purcell, words by Nahum Tate. 

Landscape then and now


It was in the summer of 1991 that I developed a newly intense awareness-of, sensitivity-to, landscape - and that has remained with me. Certain 'views' and places evoke a powerful sensation.

The raw feeling has stayed the same, but my understanding or interpretation of this raw feeling has changed a great deal. Then I would muse on my genetic and cultural links to the place; and I would hope for some kind of real-world, material, and indeed political change.

In effect; then I was regarding affecting landscape, place, situation etc. as representing or signalling a means to some other end; a spiritual sign of hoped-for material change: change in my fortunes, economic improvement, a renaissance of culture.

In one word, the ecstatic feeling was secondary; and the base reason was that I was a materialist, and I believed only in that which was ultimately sense-perceptible, and I was sure that mortal life was the only life so my task was to have as pleasant a life as possible. Therefore, if evocative landscape was to have a real, rather than self-deceptive and delusional, value; it must therefore be some presage or hint at the direction some possible life change that would lead to my greater happiness.

(Later on, when I became interested in hunter-gatherer shamanism; I would try to sink-myself-into this feeling; to lose my self-consciousness by inhabiting it. This almost never worked! - or rather, if it did, then I would not (by definition!) be aware of its success.)

Now; things are different - partly in attainment, and more in aspiration. That same feeling is now grounded in an awareness that the feeling represents a reality; and specifically a reality in the realm of thinking.

Because I now have a very different set of metaphysical assumptions regarding the fundamental nature of reality; when I become aware of the feeling evoked by some place or situation and I am trying to interpret  and understand what is going-on; I have a knowledge that this thinking is a reality, and that there is a relationship between my-self and that which I am regarding - a 'personal' relationship between Beings.

I am aware that distance is irrelevant when there is a shared basis in reality - because that shared basis is the only direct and proximate and real form of sharing. I don't expect to understand what this experience 'means' in any specific or explicit way - but I know that it does have meaning.

This is quite distinct from the idea of an experience being valuable 'in itself' - because value needs a context or else it is meaningless; and meaning requires purpose, so that context for experience must be dynamic, a process, a narrative.

Now, my context is creation, and the primary reality is in what might be termed 'divine thinking' - creation is God's thinking, and our knowledge-of and participation-in God's creation is also by thinking - and not, therefore, by the actions of material bodies.

In sum; when I experience that ecstatic feeling from landscape Now - assuming I remember and am able -  it is not just a means-to-an-end but instead a permanently significant and direct experience.


Sunday, 7 October 2018

The problem of freedom And harmony in creation

The problem (for God) is to harmonise the individual free-wills of a multitude of men. This must be on the one hand a choice, yet on the other hand robust - permanent - if Heaven is to be viable.

It was the work of Jesus to enable free wills to harmonise in this way.

This could not be achieved by The Father - he could only subordinate wills, passively, by obedience to his laws. It could only be achieved by the Son.

This was possible because the real-divine self is universal - and thus selves are 'overlapping', but the incarnated body is capable of genuine agency. In this way, a choice of the real-divine self has universal consequences.

So, while thinking from false, or superficial selves is merely a personal and private fantasy; thinking from the real-divine self is a potentially-universal, shared reality. The 'mechanism' of salvation is consciousness - and by theosis - meaning that it is by becoming divine in our thinking that we attain to permanent salvation, in which state all wills are naturally aligned, because all are thinking from reality.

(Reality being the creation of God.)

In this sense, the mechanism of salvation by the incarnate Jesus, was that Jesus was thinking from his real-divine self, and whatever he achieved in his body was therefore universal.

But this becoming-divine (divination) of consciousness can only be chosen; it cannot be imposed. Thus Jesus need to be incarnated as a Man, to make this free choice.

In contrast, those who take a path of not-thinking, or of obedience merely to the father - and also those who choose a path of amplifying their purely-personal imaginings - cannot move to the level of universal reality that is Heaven. 

It is love that enables the move; love that makes people want reality; hence the two great 'commandments' to love God and 'neighbour'. These commandments are not orders to be 'obeyed'; they are an objective description of the choices that are required.

Unless you love God and his creation and also your neighbours - who will dwell with you in Heaven - then you Will Not join it.

We join as individuals; but we then live in-creation with all others who live in-creation.

If you do Not want to live with these others in chosen harmony, because you love them; then you will Not inhabit creation. You will therefore live out-of-creation, in chaos; either consciously alone in your own imagination, or else unconsciously (unaware) alone in chaos (Nirvanah). 

Choice is a necessary aspect of free will, which is a fact of existence; the creative harmony of Heaven cannot be imposed but most be chosen - and for Heaven to be harmony it must be chosen for love.