Saturday, 20 April 2019

How might you become a Christian?

1. Decide whether you want what Jesus Christ offered - which was resurrected, eternal life after biological death, as a Son or Daughter of God, in a loving Heaven, participating in the continuing work of creation.

If you don't want this - then it is not really worth proceeding.

If you do want this:

2. Decide whether you believe Jesus really was divine, the Son of the creator of the universe - and therefore able to deliver what he had offered.

How could you know such a thing? It is unlikely that you will be convinced by any process of research, history, or logic, or the authority of living Christians.

(If you try to get an answer by some kind of investigation of external sources, the statistical probability is that you will encounter fake Christian sources - because these are in a large majority.)

So you should proceed to ask this question directly. That is, ask your-self whether you believe Jesus was and is who he claimed - you should ask this by an act of simple but profound reflection. Ask it of your deepest true self which you might agree has divine authority (because if God is good and we are his children, then our deepest self is divine and authoritative).

Ask it of God the creator; ask it of Jesus - who lives and reigns. Clear you mind and wait in silence for an answer that carries its own authority.

Ask the question simply, and the simple answer may come to you as a direct form of knowing.

If you get the answer Yes - Yes, Jesus was divine and can deliver on his promises (which you want for yourself), then...

3. Look around at the available (self-identified) Christian denominations and churches - and investigate (and question) to judge if there are any accessible that you predict will help you to be a Christian.

If you find one, try it. If the actual, local church helps, then join it - do it, as fully as possible (evaluating, all the while, to check that it really is helping).

But...

4. If there are no satisfactory churches accessible - or none satisfactory to your needs and discernment; then just get-on with being a Christian on your own, as best you can. Don't feel guilty! Take full responsibility for your own faith - no excuses accepted!

*

Note: What I would say Not to do: Don't join a church and then try to change it

Because insofar as you succeed, it will certainly weaken and probably destroy it. All worthwhile churches are pretty tough about certain things, and if you don't agree with what they are tough about - then don't join them, or leave them. To liberalise and subvert existing Christian churches is to to aid the enemy. 

If you join a church and find that it is overall helpful, and that overall you approve of its aims and methods - then support and strengthen that church so that it can makes its distinctive contribution to the work of salvation and theosis. 

And if/ when your chosen church becomes corrupted by secular leftist materialism - then cease to support it, leave it.

Things are coming to a point, but there is a distinct lack of exemplary persons - why?

Things are coming to a point, such that Good and evil are becoming more clearly distinguished, and grey areas are fading.

But this may be misunderstood to mean that people are polarising into Good and bad - with Good people more Good and evil people more evil - but this interpretation would be an error. 

Certainly we do Not, nowadays, see more Good people, better people on average, more and greater Saints, an increase in morally exemplary persons. No we don't see that.

What is happening with things coming to a point is that the Good side and the evil side are becoming easier to distinguish - with a sharp bright line between them; Good and evil are becoming purer and less-mixed in actual practice.

The Good side are those who support the goals of God's creation, and who hope to join with God in the eternal work of creation - the evil side are those who oppose this.


Things coming to a point mean that it is becoming ever-more clear cut whether we choose the Good side or the evil. There is less blurring, less chance of confusion. Our choices, therefore, cluster - since the Goodness and evil are so clear and separated; when we choose, therefore, we know what we are doing.

Our choices are more conscious, more deliberate - more significant.

So even one evil choice is, in practice, marker of a disposition to choose evil. Since it marks a disposition, one evil choice is evidence of a person that is on the side of evil.


And since things have come to a point - being on the side of evil (even - apparently - on a single issue) is nowadays increasingly likely to be conclusive of a deliberate decision to oppose Good/ God/ creation.

Individuals are always a dynamic and evolving mixture of virtues and vices, good behaviours and bad; and modern fighters on the side of Good may well be notably flawed in terms of feebleness of virtue, proneness to sin, and selfish short-termism of behaviour... yet (thanks to the 'infinite' power of repentance) they may still be on the side of Good.

While, on the other side - the side of evil; individuals may have considerable virtues, and display considerable altruism and steadiness of purpose... yet these positive factors serve, in the end, merely to increase their dangerousness to the cause of Good.

Conscious and conscientious servants to the project of evil are more dangerous - because more effectively anti-Good - than impulsive, self-centred hedonists.


Friday, 19 April 2019

Why modern Western people seem to be more evil than those of the past, or of other places

I have come to believe that a high proportion of modern Western people have been 'born bad' - that is, they were pretty evil from pre-mortal life, and incarnated with an evil-tending disposition.

They are not predestined to choose damnation - they must choose it; but it seem like they really don't need much persuading...

It is just all too easy to get modern people to join the side of spiritual evil; and they are terribly happy about themselves (smug, sanctimonious) when actively working for the promotion and implementation of evil.

I mean to say, as a sufficient example...  It is Very Evil Indeed to brainwash young children and their parents into accepting mutilating surgery and permanently harmful hormone derangment, under some transparently feeble pretence that the child 'wants' to change sex; and that radical, prolonged,  inescapable and systematic psycho-physical abuse will really enable them to do so...

Well, knowing that this is extreme evil - evil at the Caligula/ Mengele level - is Not Exactly Rocket Science; yet the current ruling Establishment... politicians, civil servants, lawyers, doctors, therapists, school teachers... all these and more in large numbers, are queueing-up to help-out with this vile project.

And all this is not just tolerated (like evils in the past sometimes were), neither is it hidden (like the secret police activities, or death camps); and it is not just advocated: on the contrary this is compulsory - presented as Good and implemented with rewards and sanctions. Worse; everyone involved and around must show-and-express positive and supportive feelings about the project.

Or Else.

And all this multilayered and permeating evil has been introduced with near-zero opposition and very little need for sanctions.

Those are the facts. I find it is hard to explain them to my own satisfaction without invoking a considerably-greater-than-usual tendency to evil among modern Western people.

We need to notice that most of the most high status victims of political correctness are - exactly because they are high status - actually on the wrong side in the spiritual war

We need to recognise, to notice, that most of the most famous individuals who become victims of politically correct witch hunts, who get sacked or forced to resign from positions of status/ power/ wealth, are in fact on the other side.

They are nearly always leftists and materialists and atheists; and even when they self-identify as Christians then they are 'liberal' Christians who make their Christianity conform to their socio-political beliefs (which are primary).

This is a fact simply because it has become very difficult at best, and impossible in many instances, to become famous, high status, and career successful if you are serious about Christianity.


And on the other side, a serious Christian would not want to get involved with many of the activities (jobs, roles, positions) that the martyr's to PC are being sacked-from...

Exactly these elite establishment jobs (senior executives, presidents, managers, bosses of most types, communicators etc) are, nowadays, mainly concerned with propagandising, lying about and implementing the materialist, leftist, anti-Christian agenda.

So, what we are actually seeing is de facto leftists being barred from senior leftist positions.


Insofar as the witch hunting process usually involves the less-insane leftists being witch-hunted by more-insane leftists; it is a bad thing and we side with the less insane. We believe that the objectives, processes and rationales by which these things happen is a bad thing.

One has zero sympathy or support for the witch hunters and their aims and their methods.

However...

We, in The West, are in a state of existing and increasing spiritual war. And although the witch hunting badness is on the side of evil; the well known victims of witch hunting badness are almost never on the side of good.

They are in fact on the side of evil; just as their persecutors are on the side of evil. What we are witnessing is office in-fighting among the bureaucracy of hell.

And that is an extremely important fact to recognise.


The important thing is to serve the side of Good.

We are all flawed individuals; we all contain evil as well as good - it is not the mixture or balance of nice versus nasty in us that determines salvation or damnation.

Some on the side of Good are themselves more nasty than nice. Ultimately, that does not matter - so long as they repent; and even the very best people who have ever lived must repent.

It is which side we are on that matters now and ultimately: Are you on the side of God and creation; or are you against?

And if anybody is unsure about their answer to this question... then (as of now) they are certainly on the wrong side. 

Dr Michael O'Donnell has died - the first man to publish something by me


I've just heard that Michael O'Donnell has died; someone whom I liked, knew a little, and who influenced me considerably in my younger years.

He was editor of a marvellous fortnighly journal called World Medicine, which I read from my middle teens (my father, as a dental consultant, received a free copy) into middle twenties; and which attracted me to study (and practice, a little!) medicine.

It also educated me about some other topics; such as opera - I discovered Luciano Pavarroti thanks to a review there. I also first encountered David Horrobin, who later bequeathed me the editorship of Medical Hypotheses. In general, World Medicine was essential reading for me, and its 'spirit' helped to form my general attitude to many things.

After I began Medical School in Newcastle, it was not long before O'Donnell visited and gave an excellent talk at our student society. And in my final year, he published my first ever piece - a short letter about medical education. The response from other students and doctors made me realise the huge impact of World Medicine, since nearly 'everybody' saw this letter and commented to me about it.

Some years later I met O'Donnell several times, exchanged letters, and spoke with him on the phone; and he sent copies of some of his books. On the the first of these meetings he spontaneously recalled publishing that letter and what it was about!

O'Donnell was a lapsed Catholic, and on-the-left politically; but in those days such traits were not (as now) enforced and rewarded by the mainstream establishment - were indeed something of a disadvantage; therefore not invariably (as at present) a mark of corruption and evil intent! According to Wiki, O'Donnell was sufficiently principled to decline the offer of an OBE; which almost never happens among the current crop of tenured radicals and Establishment revolutionaries.

Anyway, I have fond memories of this warmly humorous, humane, lively, decent and enspiriting man; who helped my writing and inspired me by his advice and example when I became an editor myself.

Terminal Demotivation is the problem of The West

From a comment I left at The Politically Incorrect Australian 

Nationalism was powerfully motivating, but only for about one generation after the mass apostasy from Christianity began (this happened at different times in different countries).

As of now, nationalism is ineffectual; and it is a waste of time - and diversion from the real problem - to pursue it.

Nationalism is just one of a long series of failed attempts to motivate people after they have abandoned religion - this universal secular demotivation can be seen in the voluntary subfertility (subfertility in spite of material abundance) among all secular Western societies. The only groups in modern society with above replacement fertility are from among the religious, and only among the seriously religious (these seem to be only among Christians, Muslims and Jews - Eastern religions don't seem to work - certainly not outside of the East).

To be clearer, I think a large majority of people in The West are in favour of not being replaced by assorted immigrants; but they are (like all established secular populations) too morally incoherent and hence insufficiently motivated to anything about it - when doing something involves the slightest risk or disadvantage.

This affects everything, which is why totalitarianism is established and increasing its grip - almost nobody will say no, because almost nobody can believe-in any coherent alternative.

No belief, no motivation: Demotivation unto death, and beyond: Terminal demotivation...

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Tolkien's Subcreation potentially makes an objective difference to the real world

Over at the Notion Club Papers blog, I suggest that JRR Tolkien's term Subcreation was meant to imply that 'fantasy', for example world-building imagination relating to Fairie, could have effects that went beyond changing the content of Men's minds. In other words, that writing the Lord of the Rings (for example) could literally Change The World in a physical sense.

In what sense are we fallen Men in a fallen world?

The term is - I find - misleading or misinterpreted, and I don't use it myself; but there is a sense in which we have 'fallen' from our pre-mortal, spirit state - passively dwelling 'in' the divine presence - into the imperfections and mixed joy and sufferings of incarnated mortality - en route to (if we choose it) incarnated immortality.

It seems that - presumably due to the constraints of reality - it is not possible for pre-mortal spirits to incarnate directly into immortal bodies. In other words, an immortal spirit cannot (certainly does not) become an immortal incarnate Being.

Therefore we must go-through this transitional state, in which we have a body - but this body is mortal, temporary; subject to continual change; subject to malfunction and disease; not fully controlled.

It is in this sense that we are 'fallen'. As pre-mortal spirits we were not subject to such problems; but as mortal we are.

Some individual people have very little experience of mortality; since they die in the womb or shortly after birth - indeed, this probably accounts for the majority of Men who have ever incarnated. But little experience is not none - all Men have experienced the essential nature of mortality. 

You and I have a great deal of experience of mortality; and for us this has been a changing world experienced by changing mortal minds and bodies.

It seems that God has made the best and most of our mortal experiences - because in a world of continual change of this kind, we can get the maximum of experience: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, virtuous and sinful - according to the needs of each individual.

We can - if we learn - learn much from our mortal lives in this temporary world; en route to the permanence and much slower and lesser changes of Heavenly life in immortal bodies - bodies become self-regenerating, minds become permanent in memory.

Of course, some - perhaps many, do not choose resurrection and immortality; and for them this world may indeed be truly fallen from primal passive bliss - to which they hope to return. (Perhaps such persons have been mainly incarnated in the East, and follow religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism?)

But for those who follow Jesus, this world is well-designed, fit for purpose - indeed a world (albeit not 'perfectly' so, because such 'perfection' is neither possible nor wanted by God) specifically tailored around our primary personal needs.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (2013) reviewed


I have recently finished my fourth or fifth read-of/ listen-to The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (published in 2013) - which has taken its place as one of a handful of children's fantasy books that I genuinely love (others in this select group being The Hobbit, Narnia, Wind in the Willows, and The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander).

The Thing about The Rithmatist is that it is technically unfinished; as the book was intended to be the first of a trilogy. And in reality is never can be finished - at least not in the same fresh carefree style of this first volume.

Brandon Sanderson tried to write a second volume, but apparently got blocked by worries/ threats relating to political correctness - he calls them sensitive topics - apparently about writing about a re-imagined history of Native Americans. If there is one thing that absolutely blocks writing in a fresh and carefree way, it is trying to be sensitive about the 'concerns' of evilly-motivated Leftist activists...

So even if the trilogy gets completed in terms of plot and event, it cannot now be done in the style of the first volume (not least due to a seven plus year gap in which Branderson has published a very large number of other works).

Luckily, The Rithmatist works just fine as a stand-alone volume. There is a lot of humour, likeable characters, adventure and peril - set in a 'clockpunk' universe with a highly original yet convincing hard-magic system, based on animated chalk pictures (!).

It has, like Tolkien, a wonderful sense of 'depth' to the story - with all kinds of convincing hints of a deep backstory; including serious religious elements - since, unusually for a modern fantasy - there is a very Christian-like religion at the heart of the story (Sanderson is an active Mormon).

Best of all, The Rithmatist has a Good Heart; it is a warm and humane book - as must be all those books that I really cherish. 

Why is it that Modern Man cannot learn from experience?

It might be helpful for me to to explain this in some detail. But that Modern man is, indeed, unable to learn from experience is one of the main discoveries of my life. Nothing that has happened, is nothing that ever could happen, will make any difference to the core beliefs of the normal, average, mainstream person of today.  I take that observation as proved.


The reason is Modern man cannot learn frm the experiences of his life is that the basic (metaphysical) assumptions - which are explicitly taught in all social institutions, but - more importantly - are implicit in the entirety of mainstream public discourse (political, governmental, legal, educational, medical, mass media - and even church discourse); are that Things Happen either by material causation or by random chance.


When 'something happens' in Life, therefore, it was either merely something that would be expected from understanding the causal factors that led up to it; or else it was merely random chance.

And if The Thing was materially caused, then it has no meaning - it is just an outcome of preceding causes. But if The Thing was just due to random chance, then it also has no meaning, since it Just Happened.

So, it does not matter what happens because - by our frame of reference, by our assumptions, by our fundamental metaphysical convictions - we Already Know that It (whatever It is) has no meaning.


Ultimately this meaninglessness is because we moderns (in public discourse) regard Reality as accidental, not created.

If Reality is created, then it has whatever purpose and meaning is intended by The Creator. But if Reality Just Happened - by some combination of material causation and random chance - then it has no purpose.

Reality Just Is... Just is, whatever it is...

If Reality has no purpose, is not going anywhere (except where material causality and chance happen to be taking it) then Reality has no meaning. Meaning only derives from purpose. Otherwise it is just a case of Stuff Happens (or does not happen, as the case may be).


It is pretty obvious, therefore, why it is that Modern Man does not learn from experience. The answer is that - according to Modern Man's assumptions - learning from one's life is not possible, therefore experience is irrelevant.

(For a typical Modern...) One's life is a mixture of material causality and accidents, it Just Happens, what is there to learn?

We can't do anything about randomness, and even if we know something about material causality, it happens to us anyway, regardless.

For Modern man, life is essentially passive. The only 'problem' is psychologically adjusting to that 'fact'.


What is the alternative? Well, my alternative is to believe the truth that Reality is created (by a loving God), has a purpose, has meaning - and therefore that my Life, my experiences, are tailored to my needs.

I believe that my experience - here, now, in actual life - are designed so that I may learn that which is  important for my eternal well-being. My life is-being tailored, designed, such that I can and should learn from experience.


I even believe that this is the case for those who regard the universe as accidental and experience Life as meaningless! Their lives, like mine, are tailored specifcially to teach them what they most need.

The experience of meaninglessness is the lesson that these people need to learn. They need to ask why, and to keep asking. They need to learn that their daily proximate experience of life as meaningless is directly derived from their prior metaphysical assumption that life is meaningless.

Until they address their fundamental assumptions, they are self-doomed. They must recognise that it is their assumptions that deny meaning, not their experience: it is their theory that denies meaning, not the observed facts.

So, such people (most people) cannot ever find meaning in the experience of life, no matter where they look or how diligently they seek...

MIMO: Meaninglessness-in - meaninglessness-out.

How may we combine freedom and harmonious living? (Repentance and Salvation from what?)

The Christian Heaven is a place where we remain our-selves, and therefore retain (indeed enhance) our free will, our agency, our responsibility... Yet at the same time, Heaven must be a place of harmony, in which the wills of many people and of God are all 'working together' harmoniously towards a purpose.

It is, on the surface, hard to explain how multiple free wills can also be necessarily and always harmonious. Heaven can either seem an impossible nonsense - on the basis that strife seems to be a certainty over the long run; or else a dishonest promise - on the basis that it cannot really be a place of freedom, but must be a place where 'good behaviour' is coerced.

The standard demonic rationale for rejecting Heaven as an ideal is 'pride', which, from the demonic perspective, is understood as an admirable refusal to 'submit' to God's will for the sake of Heavenly harmony. This is, pretty much, how modern people see their rejection of Christianity - they see Christianity as a demand for submission, and themselves as heroic individualists who reject this tyranny.


But there is 'a way' in which individual freedom can be compatible with harmony, and that is by Love. We can know this from experience - assuming we are personally capable of love.

Anyone who has experienced a long-term situation of love (in a family situation, usually) will be able to confirm the possibility of Heaven. So long as there is love, there can be genuine free-will and agency in all of the individuals; and at the same time a situation of harmony.

Love is necessary, but is not sufficient; because there needs also to be a shared 'goal'. Love is the glue that holds people together, but people are alive and must Do Something.

In the case of families this goal often to do with the rearing and development of children; in the case of Heaven it is to do with creation. (And, of course, raising children is, indeed, itself a subtype of creation.)


The centrality of creation in Heaven is often missed by Christians; but parts of scripture (notably the Fourth Gospel) tells us that God's hope is for each of us to become fully divine, eternal, resurrected as a Son or Daughter of God.

Since God is creator, and since Jesus is himself Son of God and a co-creator of this world; we can be sure that our 'job', purpose, aim, goal in Heaven will be creation.

In sum, the purpose of Heavenly life is to participate in the ongoing and open-ended work of creation; and what coordinates this is love.


Creation provides the common direction, and love provides the necessary cohesion - and thus our free will is aligned harmoniously with the free will of others. 


This Heaven is the gift of Jesus Christ; and to attain it we must First, know and want it.

So Jesus is our Saviour in the sense that he offers salvation from the modern universal fate of annihilation at biological death in a meaningless universe - and the hopelessness and despair this brings.

And the need for Repentance is the need to set aside that which would prevent us taking a place in Heaven, and of adopting Love as our primary principle.

To take-up a dwelling in Heaven therefore requires a change-of-mind, a change in thinking, an affirmation of love and creation - and that is Repentance.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

More on snake eyes and dead eyes - demonic and zombie people


In the recent Anglican Unscripted above, from timing 3:30, Bishop Gavin Ashenden describes a visit to Canterbury Cathedral in which he realised that this great, ancient, beautiful building was empty of the presence of God, and the people worshipping with him had dead eyes.

He also mentions reptilian, demonic eyes and later the subject of zombies comes-up... all of which links this with my previous blog posts on discerning by the eyes.

This leads Kevin, George and Gavin onto a very interesting discussion on this theme of the absence of the Holy Spirit in so many churches and denominations; and its presence in some others.

This knowledge about the nature and motivations of places, people, institutions is available for any Christian who is able and willing to look and to learn

Recommended viewing.

Should Notre Dame be 'rebuilt'?

The Whole Point is that rebuilding is not an option. If Notre Dame could be rebuilt, then it would not have been so precious. Does this really need pointing-out?

We can no more 'rebuild' Notre Dame than we can change our sex - but the fact that so many of us believe such nonsense is what we ought to be noticing. 

A modern, 21st century, secular materialist Replica of the destroyed parts could, presumably, be constructed. But that which made the cathedral what it was has been destroyed - the Age of Faith love and supreme medieval craftsmanship... all that is gone.

And who would rebuild the Replica?

Perhaps the French State aided by the European Union, could raise the money by coercively extracting a few extra billions worth of taxes from the dwindling numbers of productive workers; then corruptly channelling some into their own pockets and more into political favours for cronies and a sliver into a politically correct version of what (for them) is merely a National Monument, an icon, a tourist attraction...?

Or the Roman Catholic Church - in a spirit of piety, using purely voluntary contributions and labour? Which of these options (or others) makes a difference to the reality of the final result. The real value of a putative Replica depends mainly on such considerations.

And why are we even discussing this before the smoke has cleared? Have we already forgotten that the crucial question of who set the fire, and the circumstance how it came to destroy so much of Notre Dame so quickly, has not 'yet' been answered...

But that this, one would have imagined, rather important matter is already off the agenda is probably answer enough. We already know that there never will be an honest answer. We already know as much of the truth as ever we will; and must each make up his mind on that basis.

Our official job now (according to those guardians of morality, the mass media) is miserably (or rejoicingly?) to accept what has happened, learn nothing from it; and allow it to amplify the already prevalent Western mood of hopelessness and despair.

After all, in a universe that is officially, compulsorily, both purposeless and meaningless - and therefore having nothing to do with human consciousness and desires - what else is there to do?

Intuitive Knowing seems a better term than Primary Thinking

I have written a fair but about Primary Thinking in an attempt to clarify what Owen Barfield meant by Final Participation.

The difficulty with the 'thinking' aspect of the term, is that most of thinking is not primary - and I have felt a misleading temptation to strive to attain a new and different 'method' of thinking - perhaps a meditation technique. I know this is an error, and method/ technique is not a path to wisdom - but the call to change the mode of thinking seems to lead in that direction...

I am currently finding it more helpful to think of what I am aiming at in terms of Intuitive Knowing, with a metal emphasis on the 'ing' aspect of knowing - that intuitively know-ing something is not a thing static and categorical, but an active process; the attribute of a conscious Being.

And, for me, Intuitive Knowing is a proper goal however is may be achieved, by whatever method or technique or by none at all. I need to know intuitively - that is the goal; and how this best happens may vary widely or open-endedly according to the unique situation. 

My understanding is that - in life - there is a lot which we 'know' in a shallow, contingent, secondhand fashion; but that the aim is to base all knowledge, thought, action on only that which we know directly and intuitively - know for our-selves, from that of us which is divine.

In this mortal life, intuitive knowing only happens sometimes and temporarily - it cannot be attained as a permanent state. That is sad but not tragic; because this mortal life (for those of us who have it, the minority of Men who survive the womb and early childhood) is a time of experiencing and learning - a vital yet transitional phase.

This mortal life is a time of change - the one thing impossible is any fixed state of Being. Fixity is not an option. This situation intrinsically maximises our experience; we must keep learning, because we always keep experiencing change.

Since I am still alive, I have more that I ought-to learn; more situations in which I need to discern and rely-upon direct and intuitive knowing. Beyond death - if I actively wish it - I could live eternally in a state where intuitive knowing is the norm.

But clearly, for me, there is value in continuing to live here, now, in my situation; because there are things that I can learn best in mortality.

My conclusion is that I should seek intuitive knowing; but should not despair that it is an exceptional state that cannot be held-onto. Not holding-onto is one of the things I must learn.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Hot swing, cool videos

Swing is music with a particular rhythm  four beats in the bar but played in a in ONE-two ONE-two way that cannot really be notated satisfactorily - and for a decade or two 'everybody' in the US and Europe went crazy for it. Swing bridged between the early 'Dixieland' type of 'folk' Jazz and the 'modernist' chromatic-pulseless intellectualism of Bebop.

First some early swing by the Benny Goodman quartet - ridiculously fast! - but tremendous fun, four genuinely great musicians messing around:


A bit later in the era, a bit more serious - Jack Teagarden and the Bobcats (featuring Gomez from The Adams Family on drums) -  you can see swing moving towards bebop, but (thank heavens) still retaining its rhythm and melodiousness at this point. This is just great playing - as soon as I finished I went back to listen again, and again:


And now something more modern (less genius); electro-swing from Caravan Palace - a clever and amusing video, and some very enjoyable sophistico-pastiche swing:

The testosterone and Human Growth Hormone supplementation culture: "It will have to be paid for... and trouble will come of it"

It has become very popular for middle aged (and older) men to take male hormone supplements - testosterone or, by preference, human growth hormone (HGH).

Especially HGH (taken by injection) has a powerful effect of slimming, increasing mucle definition, and causing a 'rejuvination' in terms of drive and energy. Hence it has become all-but universal among mass media 'leading men' actors, stunt men - and more generally (I heard a local tradesman discussing his growth hormone usage in a cafe).

And for most people, the only 'problem' with HGH supplementation is the cost - about 40 dollars per day.

But as the Shire Hobbits said about Bilbo's apparently perpetual youth (after he obtained The Ring), when it comes to hormone supplementation the rule would seem to be: "It will have to be paid for... It isn't natural and trouble will come of it!"


I state this firstly on general evolutionary principles. Firstly, all masculinising ('androgenic') hormones tend to shorten life and increase the risk of many diseases, especially cancers. This is mostly why men are shorter lived than women.

In general, only those men who have the 'best' genes (least deleterious mutations) and are healthiest, can survive and thrive despite high levels of androgenic hormones. This is probably why the masculinised man is more physically attractive to women - under natural conditions, signs of masculinisation (and of higher male hormone levels) are a Honest Advertisement of genetic fitness.

This is a version of Zahavi's Handicap Principle - by successfully overcoming the health handicap of high testosterone, the male with good genes is able (honestly) to advertise his high quality.


Aside: In the natural world - indeed until the last few generations; the physical attractiveness of men to women was of only modest importance in terms of sex. Partly because sex was largely confined to marriage, marriages were mostly arranged and was a matter of survival; so economics was life and death.

So, absent modern corruption by the fake-peer-group of the mass media, most women are not that interested in men's looks. 

The current cult of masculine attractiveness - body-building, hormone enhancement, shirtless selfie poses etc; and the attempted youthful appearance from fashion, hair dye and plastic surgery; seemingly comes from established practices in homosexual culture, spreading to affect men more generally.
  
Conversely, if a man with poor genetic fitness had high androgenic hormones, the average deleterious effect on his health and longevity would suffice to reduce his overall fitness. So genetically unfit men with excessive testosterone, for example, would leave behind fewer offspring, on average and under ancestral conditions.

So, a modern man who artificially enhances his masculine traits by taking androgenic supplements would be expected - on average - to reduce his reproductive success - due to health problems or early death.

(Unless modern conditions are sufficiently different from ancestral to negate this - and such may be the case. It is commonplace for modern people to survive for long periods with disorders and disabilities that used to be rapidly fatal. So androgenic supplements may make modern men less healthy, but this may not cause an increased mortality rate.) 

We should, of course, note that mainstream modern men do not care about leaving behind viable offspring, and indeed generally try to avoid doing so. They (apparently) care only about having sex and not at all about reproduction. So a predicted reduction in average reproductive fitness does not matter to them; it would not affect their decision.


Another consideration is that you can't get something for nothing, and every advantage will have to be paid-for. Especially, you cannot boost a hormone and expect it to be overall beneficial.

After all, the human body is easily capable of secreting a lot more more testosterone or growth hormone than the average level. That would not be a problem.

If more testosterone, or GH was a clear benefit to a man, then why does not the body just secrete more of the hormone? The fact that it does not, implies that to do so would, overall, be a disadvantage. And this implies that androgenic hormone supplementation will produce a net disadvantage - one way or another.

But, again, modern secular men do not really care about the long term; and will typically do anything that benefits them here and now, and for the next few months. Their lives have no transcendental meaning, they believe their the soul does not exist, and that consciousness is extinguished at death.

The natural conclusion is that the sureness of a short and pleasurable life here-and-now outweighs any long term probabilities of harm.


It is also relatively a male feature to take opportunities of sex 'now', to be short-termist and promiscious about sex - because a man who has a lot of sex with a lot of women as a young man might (under ancestral conditions) be expected to out-reproduce the average man.

In principle, a short and sexually promiscous life could be reproductively beneficial to men - while being a disadvantage to women (who benefit more from having fewer genetically high quality offspring and rearing each optimally). 

(Although the extremely high death rates of infants and children of 'single mothers' in tribal societies might negate this substantially or wholly - so promiscuous men might sire many children, but have no surviving offspring.)


In conclusion, on the whole, I would fully expect the use of masculinising sex hormone supplementation to be associated with significant long term harm to health and functionality, and a reduced lifespan.

But I recognise that - in a world of hedonic materialism - this fact cuts little or no ice.

In a world where there is no God and no consciousness beyond biological death; in a world where maximising pleasure and minimising suffering is the entire, bottom line, morality; then sex often becomes - by default - the most powerful motivator.

And any-thing that plausibly increases the probability of more sex with more - and more attractive - women; is likely to be popular among the mass of mainstream hedonic materialists; no matter what other problems it may cause.

 

Mangerialism is a sign of actually-happening evil, of evil being-implemented

A comment by John Fitzgerald on yesterday's post clarified something for me. he said:

I was leafing through the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford's 2019 almanac at my Mum's house today. There was a page devoted to one of those organisational-structure flow-chart diagrams, showing who's who and who does what in the Diocese. To me, the sight of the Church aping the world of business and HR in this way, was an eruption of pure Ahrimanuc evil and an admission and indeed a celebration of Ahriman's taking power in the Diocese. The medium is the message, form is content, etc. Honestly, an old-school pentagram would have been less alarming!

I replied:

A very good example. Yet, how few people can recognise that as a mark of actually-existing evil?

At most, some might acknowledge this as sign of a risk of corruption. But the truth is that it is a mark of corruption, it is evil being-implemented.

*

This is important - very important. When we see managerialism, bureaucratic thinking, then we are seeing evil: the main form of evil. Not just something that encourages evil, but actually-happening evil.

It is a lethal blind spot of our era that we fail to notice and identify the major form of evil in our era. This can be termed Ahrimanic (or specifically Satanic) evil; and is the bureaucratic evil of materialism/ reductionism/ positivism/ scientism.

The cold, dehumanising, despair-inducing Ahrimanic evil is far more common and dangerous than the 'old style' 'Luciferic' type of demonic evil - of impulsive lust, torture, killing. More common and dangerous because is simply is not admitted to be evil!

And the Ahrimanic is not admitted to be evil exactly because it is everywhere, obvious, triumphant; in all organisations and institutions including our most cherished Christian churches!


The worst that most people will say of managerialism is that it is a 'waste of time'. But it certainly is not that - because for the demonic powers time expended on managerialism is powerfully corrupting; keeping the mind away from Good, and enforcing and rehearsed the denial of God and the world of spirit and joy. 

The point is that when we see an organisation emphasising its hierarchical and functionally differentiated managerial structure, using Public Relations, dishonesty and manipulation in public announcements, pandering/ virtue-signalling in advertising material by emphasising Leftist weazel-concepts such as equality, diversity, anti-poverty, climate change...

When we hear or read the tropes of managerial language and behaviour; observe committees, voting, procedure etc - that whole crushingly-familiar world of The System; we are seeing actual evil being implemented - just as surely and solidly as if we were seeing demons with horns, pointy-tails and tridents boiling a human being in sulphur.


The big problem is that there are such powerful and plausible excuses for this type of evil.

It is all too easy to say - But we have to do this, nowadays - and if we didn't we could not function. And it is all too easy to accept this excuse, which is true - at least at the level of rational materialism, and simply to forget about the whole thing because it is inevitable, and a necessary compromise.

We have had many generations of this compromise; of the forces of Good using the instrument of evil on the basis that either there-is-no-alternative, or that they are doing-so in a way that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Yet we look around and see that the opposite has happened. The instruments of evil have thoroughly corrupted all institutions and nearly-all Western people - who nowadays accept the inevitability and potential benefits of managerialism.

It seems that our society will go to its destruction, and we will go to our deaths, defending the absolute necessity of that which incrementally and systematically corrupts and dooms us.


Saturday, 13 April 2019

The name Loudham/ Lowden: Notion Club Papers Notes & Queries

A micro-quibble about the origin of this character's surname; at the NCPs blog.

My experience of booking a room in a bureaucratic-totalitarian society...

In the spirit of Vaclav Havel's 'poster test' (complete essay here); I had an illustrative experience about a decade ago trying to book a room for informal weekly meetings.

What Havel showed is that the totalitarianism of our society can be seen many times a day in multiple apparently trivial experiences. However, these experiences are seldom identified; I think because (unlike the Czech society under communism) modern Western societies have been extensively corrupted, and are complicit in their own oppression.


Inspired by The Inklings; I wanted to book a room for evening weekly conversation meetings of a floating, flexible population of some half a dozen people - from my friends and colleagues, and their friends and colleagues. The idea was that we might read and discuss work in progress or half-baked ideas; and follow the conversation wherever it might lead; broken up by cups of tea and coffee...


I found a suitable space in the rooms attached to a nearby nonconformist protestant church, and was asked to meet with the person whose role it was to rent out these rooms (the person was a somewhat motherly elderly woman - a fairly typical nonconformist; she was probably an unpaid volunteer).

I was rather surprised to be asked to meet with someone; but I guessed that it was a screening process, to make sure the rooms would not be let to anyone who might abuse them, or leave them in a bad state. Since I am a 'respectable' person, who has lived locally for decades, and the participants were people such as doctors, professors, Anglican priests... I didn't anticipate any problems.


But there was more to it than that. Before being allowed to rent the room, I was asked exactly who would be attending, and what we would be discussing.

I was stunned by this - but managed to respond that I had no clue, we would simply be having a conversation; I asked for clarification. Then it became clear that the church did not want to be associated with certain types of ideas, being discussed on its premises. These were not defined, were left vague and rather menacing; but it was pretty clear that the concern was with 'right wing' ideas.

So, the implicit situation was, that I was not going to be allowed to rent a room to have conversations, unless the representative of the church could be assured that (vaguely) 'right wing' ideas would be off the agenda.

By this point I had decided not to pursue the matter - but the excessively large amount of money asked for rental gave me an easy excuse to get out of the situation.


My interpretation of this situation is that this is a good example of how totalitarian power works, and the everyday, micro-level.

First: everything nowadays is run by committees - and committees are intrinsically left wing and atheist; because personal responsibility is eliminated, hence there is 'no morality' in committee decisions - which is another way of saying that they are always and intrinsically immoral; which is another way of stating the plain fact that Committees Are Evil.

All committees are evil, and this is how it works...

My understanding is that the church committees (and their representatives) are plugged-into the the church bureaucracies, local and national government bureaucracies (including the bureaucracies that inspect and grant permissions to churches, the national Lottery bureaucracies - which often subsidise/ bribe churches; and the bureaucracies that award prizes, medals and titles).

In other words there is a dense web of regulatory, permissory, and reputational bureaucracy surrounding each and every publicly operating institution. Any of these could trigger an investigative avalanche in response to a few accusatory words from... well, anybody.

All institutions live in fear of mass media bureaucracies; which can initiate and orchestrate and sustain mass hatred against anybody at any time. And the national bureaucracies are linked to the European Union (and its laws, regulations, and potential funding), the United Nations and beyond.

Functionally, all public bureaucracies are parts of a single system. What is the characteristic of this system? They are evil, but in what way? We can (and should!) observe that (whatever individuals may believe and think) all component bureaucracies are in basic, ideological agreement about social priorities and threats - and this includes even such low level outfits as volunteers working for local nonconformist churches.


These are the facts; but the implications are so far-reaching as to be unacceptable to almost everybody.  Because if all bureaucracy is evil, then all institutions that engage with the social realm are compelled to become a part of the bureaucratic system, and therefore complicit in evil.

If I had gone ahead and booked the room, then my loose gathering of conversationalists would necessarily have become a public institution, a part of the global totalitarian system; existing only by the grace and favour of this system - which could be withdrawn at any time.

So - here and now, already-existing - all existing and possible public institutions are intrinsically corrupt, since they are part of the primary manifestation of evil in the world. If you are pinning your hope on Any institution. 

The only way to avoid this is Not to be a part of the institutional world. Don't rent rooms! All publicly recognised groups are institutions and all institutions are One.


The only exemptions are groups of family and friends whose cohesion is from Love and have no 'official' or organised reality.

And this is precisely why the family and (that rare thing) real friendship are under constant and vicious attack from The System; who constantly try to infiltrate legal concepts into these affectional relations (under excuses such as rights of children, payment for housework, protection against forms of abuse, limitation of freedoms etc) - and to make these primary and definitional.

Things are coming to a point; and the old individual-group compromises which served Christianity (more-or-less well) for two thousand years, are already impossible - and this will get worse. The world of true knowledge gets ever further divided from the pervasive lies of public discourse.

We are already confronted with multiple, daily situations in which our inner, intuitive knowledge is contradicted by institutional authority - and most people, most of the time (including Christians) are coping by denial of this reality; which is simply to side with The System: i.e. the primary manifestation of evil in the world.


Note added: The usual response to something like this is - But what should we do? Where, implicitly, the 'do' implies some 'effective' This-World sociopolitical action. 

And with the (usually unconscious) assumption that 'we' already know how things ought-to be, and the only live question is how best to achieve this (within existing constraints of resources and time, given the supposed-probabilities of success and risks of failure... and so on). 

The whole thing rapidly becomes absorbed into the question (seldom understood as such, however) of how to activate one part of The System (that we like) and set it against some other part of The System that we don't like - because (we recognise) only The System has the power to compel and punish its errors and evils... 

But the lesson we ought to be learning is that this only strengthens The System. It is just office politics, bureaucratic infighting. It is the 'Boromir Strategy' (as advocated by the Secular Right 'Boromirosphere' - "Hey lads, let's use the One Ring to fight Sauron!" - https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-boromir-strategy-as-advocated-by.html

We need to see that this is precisely the triumph of bureaucratic totalitarianism. And then realise that the solution of rejecting totalitarianism in toto in a world where totalitarianism is Everywhere and doing Everythings... which is something so radical as to be almost unthinkable - yet that is what we must think (or else fail the test). 

Friday, 12 April 2019

This time of testing

The Western nations are currently being tested for our degree of corruption and collaboration.

The global Establishment seems to believe that the People are Now beaten, the time has come to implement totalitarian surveillance and control systems with greatly accelerated rapidity, and with much less attention to public propaganda, opinion management - much less concern about public opinion and agreement.

I see the arrest of Julian Assange yesterday as one of these tests, because he is supposed to have considerable support among the 'internet community' of expert hackers. If the arrest goes off without a really major and obvious wave of retaliatory internet hacking, massive 'revelations' or the like - then They will know that Anybody can be eliminated without repercussions.

I think that They are correct in assuming that the apparent hacker support for Assange is shallow and lacking in principle and will not deliver on threats - simply because that movement is not religious, is instead just a more libertarian variant of mainstream materialistic leftism. Such movements lack both courage and cohesion.

We are in a spiritual war, and only those who explicitly acknowledge that fact, those who identify the nature and aims of the evil establishment... only those who are fighting the war at the spiritual level, will be effective.

If this happens, if people start awakening to the reality pf their situation; then it will be obvious; because to be effective it must be explicit, conscious and courageous at the individual, personal, real life level.

Internet 'communities' are intrinsically both feeble, and on the wrong side.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Christian evangelism or not?

This blog is mainly about "Christianity" . Originally it was meant to convert atheists of the same general type as I had been, and convert them to some kind of 'orthodoxy' as members of a church that adhered to traditional values.

It changed, under pressure from my Romantic nature, into something much more metaphysical. Trying to get at the fundamental basis of reality, in frame of the fundamental basis of Christianity.

It changed as I understood Mormonism more deeply, and as I engaged with Barfield, Steiner and Arkle.

It is still changing.

I see little scope for evangelism of the kind I began with. In the typical majority modern person, there is a deadly combination of complacency, incomprehension, indifference, boredom and hostility when it comes to Christianity - or indeed any kind of deep thinking.

I am writing, therefore, for a minority of a minority. A collection of individuals who do not form a real or even potential Group.

I currently see my task as being something on the lines of helping such people prepare for the actual or incipient situation in which they live in a wholly hostile sociopolitical environment, without any institutional support.

 A lesson I have drawn is that I needed to stop yearning for an external group to which I could subordinate myself, as the basis of Christian living. This was difficult for me, and somewhat against my nature and habits; but the lesson was clear and repeated, and eventually I accepted it.

Further, no method or system can work. Nor will anything good happen unconsciously, naturally or spontaneously.

We each must work out our own specific path in all seriousness and simplicity. I suppose that is the negative 'lesson' of modern evangelism...

To which I would add: be Romantic in a serious and simple way, and keep at it.