Thursday, 16 July 2015

Working to develop our gifts and powers may do harm, tends to do harm, in the absence of good motivations

This is William Arkle writing in the persona of God, who is writing a letter to us to explain himself:

You are in a situation where your own private world which you live in will be what you make it. If you allow it to be dominated by the wishes of your physical nature, you will feel alien to it even if you are carried along by it. If you feel like a stranger to yourself it will make you unhappy, and you will doubt your own true identity, and you will lose faith in all the higher values in life.

 You may disguise the situation to the people around you but inside yourself you will feel lost and helpless and degraded.

My work is to increase your sense of reality to yourself, and make it feel of great value to you, without it spilling over into pride and selfishness. The balance between the over-subdued nature and the over-inflated nature is not easy to keep, and is a necessary balance to be achieved before other values can be built in.

The balance between the over-subdued nature and the over-inflated nature is not easy to keep, and is a necessary balance to be achieved before other values can be built in. The foundation lessons to be taught are thus integrity and responsibility, combined with affection and sympathy, but added to an ability to feel a balanced importance in the scheme of things. 

It is not an easy thing to believe you have great value and ability, and at the same time maintain a temperament which does not try to show off and impress people, and perhaps even dominate them. 

Every new gift I give you with trepidation because I know you are more likely to misuse it before you learn to handle it correctly, so, to me, a gift can appear like an ordeal and a temptation, and I am worried when I see some of you working to achieve special powers which may well be your downfall so far as the graceful balance of your temperament is concerned. 

On the other hand, I am glad when I see you developing gifts as a result of loving aspiration and wise discrimination, for such gifts I know will surely benefit you and all those associated with you.


In our culture there is a tendency to assume that gifts and abilities ought to be developed - people should make the most of themselves -- in general, the idea is that power and capability (in persons or in our groups or nations) are 'a good thing'.

But from a divine perspective there is a big problem - and it is a problem that we can see with many geniuses - especially the most recent twentieth century geniuses.


Gifts are potential abilities to affect the world - Gifts are Power.

Is power a good thing? It depends on what you do with it: But we would agree that giving power to an evil person, or even just an irresponsible person, is a bad thing.

Bad, that is, from a divine perspective, even when the specific person with power got what they wanted. And bad from the perspective of that individual's 'graceful balance of temperament'.

(Think of Gollum and the Ring of Power - Gollum 'wanted' to possess the Ring, but it was bad for Gollum's balance of temperament, and bad from a divine perceptive that he should have it.)


I think this used to be much better understood than it is nowadays: That before someone has power, they need already to have learned the foundation lessons of integrity, responsibility, affection, sympathy, balance...

It applies to individuals, and it applies to nations and cultures. Yet not only are the foundation lessons neglected, they are not even attempted!

The situation is perilous enough when dealing with natural (divine) gifts - but the worst possible situation is when people, nations, cultures are systematically and successfully working to achieve special powers without any recognition that powers are intrinsically likely to be corrupted. And this applies to powers of all types - including medicine and healing, including art and literature, including housing and clothing... But obviously so in terms of science, technology, and bureaucratic organization.

Insofar as we fail to perceive the probability of hazards, we have chosen to misuse power - while blinding ourselves even to the possibility of misuse.


The situation is really very simple: it is a matter of motivation. From the divine perspective; gifts and powers in the hands of the badly motivated are a horror - and only in the hands of the well-motivated are they a good.

Since everybody claims to be well-motivated (even Gollum) - but nearly everybody is this requires discernment on the basis that people tend to be self-deluded and dishonest about their bad motivations - and what people say about their motivations needs to be compared with their actions; and their ability to maintain good motivations in the face of temptations needs to be evaluated: power does intrinsically tend to corrupt, and corrupted power is far worse than no power.

The divine perspective would therefore seem to be: Better no geniuses than corrupted genius; Better no breakthrough innovations than those which would be used with bad motivations; Better cultural decline and extinction than an unstoppable evil empire.


In other words, from where we are, and as we are, and what we want to be - gifts and powers, energy and determination will all do more harm than good - much more harm than good; and we cannot use the excuse that we have evil enemies and it is 'us or them' because - from a divine perspective, we may both be bad, but we may be worse because of our superior gifts and powers...


Therefore - the situation is that on the one hand, we in The West we have cultural decline (decline in power, achievement, capability, efficiency, courage and will) because we have rejected Christianity - because we no longer place religion above all other considerations; and on the other hand we should not even allow ourselves to hope that Western cultural decline is reversed until after there has been a Christian revival, a Great Awakening.

And if religious revival does not happen (as seems all-too-probable) then it is better that we do not reverse Western cultural decline.

Because - motivated as we now are - with our policy, propaganda and multiple laws and regulations systematically enforcing explicit moral inversion (a situation of depravity previously unknown in human history) - we are already and are still much-too-powerful

So enhancement of Western power, achievement, capability, efficiency, courage and will in the absence of prior religious revival would (from a divine perspective) likely be regarded as one of the worst possible outcomes.



Gary said...

First, thank you for your work on keeping up this atoll of honesty and integrity in the midst of the ocean of spin and delusion. For people such as myself, and I know that there are a few of us out there, it gives us insights which greatly aid our spiritual and intellectual evolution: this is why I feel compelled to express my gratitude.

I thought that the idea underlying this blog post to be very logical, if unusual: if the West does not embrace a religious (Christian) sense of life, with the concommitant reality-orientation that it provides, then any advance in power, influence and capability will, sooner or later, be used for ever more destructive ends. It follows from this that the Decline of the West is, in this context, a good thing.

This reveals the paradox at the heart of most conservatives' thinking: We want the West to be strong (perhaps we idealise a certain version of the West which prevailed before the era of Political Correctness), but if this were to happen, we would only be causing the spread of more and more nihilism and self-destruction, which as conservatives we are also against. In other words, if we get what we want, we get what we don't want.

The only way to resolve this paradox is to realise that the strong West we want (and as Conservatives, want to preserve) is a West that no longer exists - it is not the West we live in now. And we cannot go back to that old West. So, we must desire the desintegration of the current West. Personally, my ideal would be Decentralisation, where people start to band together in smaller units, oriented by an ideal and by a set of primary common interests. I do not want wholesale destruction, as I think there are still plenty of seeds of value in our culture, which just need a less crowded and unavoidibly corrupted environment in which to grow again.

Do you have any thoughts on the effects of mass scale on the soul of men who live in such conditions?

Bruce Charlton said...

Yes, I am sure that mass scale is a bad thing - it is a kind of mania, long since giving negative returns.

Geoff said...

Basically, Christians (and all peoples) should absorb the lessons of the Proverbs of Solomon. Proverbs essentially says, "Here is how to be wise under God by having integrity and power."

Nathaniel said...

For a time now I've been bothered by the seemingly real "That Hideous Strength"-like possibilities emanating from society's trend open acceptance of evil and how transhumanist goals will leeway into/enhance this if successful. I think though, the flip side of mutational meltdown might be the hope that some of man's worst tendencies may be kept in check from lack of ability. It is a strange sort of hope.