Thursday, 16 August 2018

It is now Too Late for 'normal' political activity to be beneficial - act accordingly

I'm not one to say 'I told you so' - But I told you so.

Even before I was a Christian, and very actively from about 30-15 years ago I used to be active (in journalism, in professional 'politics', giving lectures etc) against all these trends for New Leftism (identity politics), Political Correctness, Bureaucracy - the politicisation of science, medicine, academic, education.

(This is a matter of public record, which can be inspected by anyone interested-enough; much of it is available or referenced at ).

I was active then because I realised that then was the last time such measure might be effective - and could be undertaken without much risk of any serious adverse sanctions.

When that time was passed, when it was too late, I stopped politicking and polemicking...

Now it is too late for 'normal politics' to stand much or any chance - and the obedient drones, the dishonest and careerist, the timid and unprincipled are far more numerous and more powerful - and even more fearful and compliant...

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening

The search for Truth will fail

Because Truth is not the primary value in reality; anyone who puts Truth first will fail in their quest.

In sum: epistemology, the quest for certainty, the question for solid, unchangeable, objective, coherent, total knowledge is an impossible quest, ultimately; because it is not the ultimate reality - being at most an aspect of reality.

This is because creation is ongoing, dynamic, unfolding, open-ended... creation really is creat-ive.

So the bottom line is that reality is something develop-ing; not something that stands still to be captured and defined.

Knowledge is constrained by beings, e.g. by the perceptions, experiences, cognitive capacities of beings; and beings are developing, therefore beings may in future come to know more.

Christians should not, therefore, be misled into putting truth first; because for us, first is the situation of God's creation, and the mutual love of those who are co-creating with God. There is no truth outside this creation - only chaos. But within creation we cannot expect static and permanent and complete truths; because the situation is one of development.

Even God (the primary creator being) does not and cannot know everything of truth; insofar as God's creation continues to develop; and the actions of co-creating agents continue to change things.

Note: All the above is a consequence of 'polarity' - which is a more abstract and physics-y way of saying the same thing.  

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

William Wildblood's "untergang des abendlandes"

William Wildblood has posted a strong essay at Albion Awakening called Sunset in the West (i.e. Albionically echoing the Spengler title "Untergang des abendlandes")

Here are some excerpts:

...There is something in me that says we can't just turn our backs on the world. We have to continue, however fruitlessly it may seem, to point out its many and deep flaws. For if even one person is sustained and encouraged by that, it is worthwhile. If people who know the truth don't speak out against its destruction, how can those who are struggling against the corruptions of the modern world ever find support? We may be shouting into the blast of a mighty gale but to remain silent in the face of such a desecration of what is sacred and true is almost an act of complicity...

The rebellion against nature is one of the signs of a decadent civilisation. How does this manifest in our present age? Firstly, in the toppling of traditional hierarchies, those based on the natural order. Now these hierarchies can certainly be abused and become tyrannical but that does not alter the fact that they are based in reality. A thing cannot be defined by its corruption. So they might need to be reformed but they should not be overturned...

Western civilisation is currently pursuing its own destruction whether through mass immigration and below replacement fertility or through relativising its cultural achievements, easily the greatest of any civilisation ever, or through allowing lower standards to prevail in the name of fairness, diversity and equality. Boundaries, which protect as much as they exclude, are being smashed in the name of a spurious unity with the inevitable consequence of a vulgarisation of taste and culture. These are clear signs of a society that has lost its confidence and become tired of its own existence. 

Most critically of all, it is mindlessly allowing the destruction, both from within and outside, of Christianity which is its primary inspiration and the basic glue that holds it all together.

So this is a call to repentance, both individual and collective. We have to turn away from ourselves and back to God or we are lost...

In these days when the world is burning we have to detach ourselves from the always transient lower worlds of change and decay, and focus our hearts and minds in the higher world of eternal goodness and truth.

We may not like being alive at a time of such spiritual decline but we wouldn't be here unless we were meant to be. It is quite possible that we asked or were, at least, willing to be born in these times so we should learn the lessons that they provide.

Sometimes it's easier to turn to God in a world that turns away from him.

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening...

Love versus unity versus obedience

Christians are not always, or indeed very often, good at expressing what kind of thing we are (or ought to be) aiming at in relation to God.

There have been metaphysical errors from very early in Christian history - and over the centuries they have become hardened into falsehoods; and too often Christians, when pushed, will hold to their metaphysical errors rather than the essence - pushing Christianity either towards Hinduism on the one side, or Islam on the other.

This particularly applies in the matter of God.

Some Christians are misled by the idea of unity, to come to believe that it is their job to become unified with God - which is actually an Eastern, Hindu, kind of belief and goal. To suppose that total unity with God is our proper goal, is implicitly to regard the creation of Man, with an apparently autonomous self, as an error (or evil) that needs undoing. The end-point aimed-at is to cease to be a self, and to be reabsorbed by and into the divine.

Other Christians see their main role in being obedience to the will of God - and they see disobedience as the main sin (which they may term pride - although I would argue that the prime sin of pride is not captured by disobedience). But this goal implicitly regards it as an error (or evil) that Man has free will or 'agency' - except for the single act of choosing to obey God.

This means that humans have no active role in creation, but act only as (dispensible, un-needed) tools of the divine - and it implies that love is Not of fundamental importance in the relationship between God and man (or between Men).

The errors of unity and obedience comes from the same source; which is misunderstanding the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ. The one-ness between the Father and Son is properly to be understood as a perfect harmony of purpose, not of being. The perfect obedience of Jesus to his Father is also a consequence of this one-ness of purpose. And that purpose is the on-going work of creation.

The centrality of love in the teaching of Jesus is mainly revealed in the Fourth Gospel ('of John') - which is the premier Gospel in terms of authority. The one-ness that the Father and Son achieved, and that we Men should aim for, is a unity of love; and love implies permanent differentiation of selves - love is obliterated by any fusion, absorption, assimilation of a Nirvana-like kind.

And it is love that explains why Men are agents -that is, originative centres of consciousness distinct from God; because love must (ultimately) be chosen. (Coerced love is not love, unconscious love is not an act of freedom.)

Much of this can be understood in terms of the relationship between the Father and the Son; but only when that relationship is regarded as one that all Men could and should aim to emulate. God is to be known as our Father, Jesus our elder Brother, all Men as Children of the Father; and the Father, Jesus and Man are all of the same basic kind - different quantitatively, not qualitatively.

So, we need a schema stating that all Men could (and, it is intended should - but by choice) become divine in the sense that Jesus was divine, and that all men could (and should) work towards achieving a one-ness of purpose with the Father that is based in love and by agent-choice (such as Jesus attained).

This one-ness of purpose may be glimpsed in mortal life in a good marriage; where the man and woman are distinct persons, agents, selves; and that distinctness is what makes love possible. We may also imagine that such love could make possible a one-ness of creative purpose; and may further imagine that this situation could be permanent.

So eventually there are two persons, indeed potentially many persons: a 'family' - distinct and unmerged but inseparable, with a one-ness of purpose; and love as the ultimate reality that makes it possible.

Bernard Shaw and Creative Evolution

After Tolkien; George Bernard Shaw was the first grown-up author I read - and I read a great deal of his work, much of it several times. But my favourite was the play Man and Superman (1901-3) - which combined a scintillating comedy with an underlying seriousness about 'life'.

In the 'preface' to M&S,  Shaw described his deepest belief in what he termed Creative Evolution; which was a blind, impersonal Life Force struggling (by trial and error) towards greater self-awareness of Life, higher consciousness... the Superman of the title (from Nietzche's Ubermensch) is the future Man who has evolved-developed to a higher state of consciousness. This theme structures but is hardly visible in the play as it is performed; but may be found in a long interpolated, Platonic dialogue-type, dream sequence sometimes called Don Juan in Hell.

For many years, I would probably have described myself as a believer in Creative Evolution - so it is interesting to look back now and see what it was that appealed to me about the idea; and in what ways it failed. And Creative Evolution eventually did fail for me, comprehensively and wholly; as did the Fabian (gradualist, rationalist, egalitarian) socialism that I also absorbed from Shaw.

It appealed because it started-from the assumption that there was no God, that the whole idea was ridiculous - and that was my own assumption. But then it tries to generate personal meaning and purpose in Life despite there being no God - and this is its failure.

Perceiving the need for a purpose in reality is a good thing, compared with the arbitrary world of deterministic science. But having that purpose as an impersonal one that merely 'uses' individual human lives then casts them aside on the 'scrapheap', means that there is no reason for the Life purpose to be one that would engage my personal efforts. If ultimate reality is abstract, then there is no place for humans, and no place for me personally.

Why should I care about what the Life Force is aiming-at - any more than I care about what gravity or magnetism are aiming-at? I don't dedicate my best creative efforts towards hastening the work of gravity - why then an equally 'physical' and mechanistic Life Force?

Therefore to try and use Creative Evolution as a justification or reason for anything I might do, or not do, is incoherent - hence in practice CE has near zero effect on a person's life.

Insofar as it does have an effect this is due to an implicit but denied theism, the idea that the Life Force is really a god, and that the god is one who care about us and to whom we may choose to show allegiance in pursuing that god's aim. But the CE idea is set up specifically to deny such theism, so one gets stuck in a useless half-way house between theism and atheism.

Shaw's rejection of Christianity was, as is usual, rooted in a lazy and ignorant rejection of the simplifications and distortions of his childhood religion; without making any attempt to modify those simplifications and distortions - but instead throwing it out wholesale.

So, the fact that the religion of Shaw's childhood had at its centre an anthropomorphised god of (mostly) cruelty and the demand for blind obedience led Shaw to reject Christianity - instead of discovering the real nature of God for himself; and discovering that there is no error in personalising God (after all God is, for Christians, a person) - but only in wrongly personalising God - imputing to God characteristics that are covertly designed to serve social expedience.

(Shaw actually favoured inventing a God/ religion to serve social, specifically socialist, expedience; but he denied the real-reality of such a God/ Religion: it was merely a fiction designed by wiser and more intelligent rulers to control the young, ignorant or imbecilic 'little people' for their own - material - benefit.) 

This type of Christianity-rejection is very common, and reveals a pretty deep sin - because people don't behave that way about the many other false or oversimplified things they are taught in childhood. We don't reject science or history wholesale just because the primary teacher told us wrong things about them. We don't become anarchists just because the methods of discipline ('stand in the corner', 'sit on the naughty step') experienced as a child strike us as ridiculously childish. We don't stop eating food because we have have grown to dislike the mashed rusks we were fed as a baby.

Instead, we set out to develop an adult understanding of these things. How few do this with Christianity! (I didn't.) Instead, people take the crudest distortions of Christianity, the greatest abuses; and insist that these are the essence and reality of it.

It is as if people are looking-for-excuses to stop being Christian - and that is indeed the case. Usually, the reason is not far to seek, and it is sexual - as it seems to have been with Shaw himself.

His deletion of God and substitution of Creative Evolution rationalised his preaching against marriage and families - and advocating a kind of eugenic fantasy of unconstrained sex between the most intelligent men (such as himself, and the hero of Man and Superman) and the most beautiful women - on the basis that this may lead to the best hereditary outcomes, and a step toward The Superman. The state would look after the resulting children, to leave the parents unconstrained. The unfit would be allowed to breed, but their children would not be supported, and be allowed to die-out. And so on...

There is thus a horrible clash in M&S between the idealism of the preface and play, and the reductionist materialism of the 'Revolutionist's Handbook' published as an appendix, which is supposed to have been written by the hero of the play. It reveals the essential vacuity of Creative Evolution, because - lacking any idea of God - the socialistic 'rational plan' to encourage The Superman is merely a set of legal and political regulations that might serve to breed stronger and more attractive farm and factory animals; but which can have nothing to do with encouraging a higher form, or species, of Man.

On the other hand, and to give Shaw his due; he did not ever fully succumb to the mainstream materialism of his age; and his best plays (i.e. most of those written up-to and including Major Barbara - before he was fifty years old) have both vitality and also intimations of awareness that there are higher strivings and something better. And the most-idealistic/ least-materialist, the most spiritually striving, characters often are given 'the last word' in the Shavian debates.

The later Shaw (and he lived nearly another fifty productive years) suffered a relative decline of spontaneity and heart; and seemed (with a relatively brief exceptions, and never again at the pre-1905 level of quality) almost to cease genuine engagement with Life - often merely to be seeking public attention and spouting words in colossal quantities.

(Several of his later plays are indeed very good, by normal standards for plays, and have held their place in the repertoire - Doctor's Dilemma, Heartbreak House, Androcles, St Joan, Pygmalion, Apple Cart for instance; but they are none are as good as the best earlier ones - e.g. Arms and the Man, Candida, Devil's Disciple, Caesar and Cleopatra and - outstanding in its power - John Bull's Other Island.)

But like many of the greatest imaginative writers (such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis), Shaw's 'fiction' (i.e. his plays) are deeper and more complete than his prose essays. Indeed, his plays reveal the defects of his explicit beliefs. For example Shaw's plays reveal the deficiencies of Shaw's own person - since he often included characters who were - essentially - himself': such as Trefusis in Unsocial Socialist (a novel), Charteris in Philanderer, Caesar, Dick Dudgeon in Devil's Disciple - and John Tanner in Man and Superman. Tanner's limitations, his incoherence, his hypocrisy, his blindness to human nature and motivation... all this is starkly revealed; even as he is also presented as cool, fluent, witty; and dominant over all other stage characters (excepting one).

In sum: Read Man and Superman. It is one of the best plays in English, and - I should say - the best comedy outside of Shakespeare; and far more perfectly-made and continuously-enjoyable than anything by Shakespeare.

In writing the play Shaw was trying for a Mozartian atmosphere - explicitly that of Don Giovanni. Shaw succeeds in being Mozartian, albeit much more like the glittering, exhilarating, supreme-fluency with hints of poignancy of The Marriage of Figaro.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The increasing Leftist censorship of mass and social media - is it a Bad Thing?

In the short term and from where we are - yes it is a bad thing; because the censorship is mainly used to exclude true content and give lies and evil a monopoly.

But in the long term, strategically? Maybe not - because the overwhelming problem with the mass and social media is the mass and social media themselves; not the bias of their content.

99% of the damage done by the mass/ social media is irrespective of their content: even if they were only publishing true, beautiful and virtuous stuff; still the scale, pervasiveness, invasiveness and addictiveness of the media are what does most of the damage.

(Think back a couple of decades to when the internet was 'free' - were things then moving in the right direction? Obviously not.)

I personally will be sad when I am shut-down or compelled move onto a micro-medium (sending-out group e-mails, perhaps?); but the fact is that nowadays there is already so very little of the mass/ social media that interests me (and much less that benefits me), that I wouldn't much miss it too badly - indeed, it would do me good, overall.

Insofar as monitoring, control and censorship inevitably reduces usage; and insofar as once begun, censorship is likely to continue to increase exponentially... then anything which reduces the impact of the mass/ social media is probably a Good Thing.

Indeed, unless the mass/ social media collapse down to a small fraction of their current size - we really have no realistic hope. 

So from where we are now, Leftist censorship is a Bad Thing - but its net effect may well be to begin to move things towards where we ought ultimately to be - which is a world without them

(To see this argument in full, read my 2014 mini-book Addicted to Distraction

Spiritual signs. How can we, personally, know that this is a purposive and meaningful world?

It is an error to look for 'evidence' of God's activity in this world - this is a mind set that leads to a life trapped in end-less, open-ended 'research' - one will become a seeker, never a finder.

But, if you instead begin with acknowledgement that it is possible that this world was created by a personal God, who loves us as individuals; then there are plenty of events in your life which are consistent-with such an assumption.

Yesterday I mentioned personal-miracles. For example, you pray for something and it happens in such a way that you, privately - by your own standards and nobody else's, regard it as a miracle.

This granted-prayer may be absolutely 'trivial' both in terms of the world at large and your own life-span - but that is not the point. The point is that such miracles are consistent with the vision of this world as purposive and meaning-full.

Another example is synchronicity - phenomena that are oxymoronically described as meaningful-coincidences. Typically these events are also trivial; but the point of them is that synchronicity is exactly what would be expected in a world of divine Providence; a world in which God was 'behind the scenes' and organising things.

Peak experiences are another instance - brief times of transcendent happiness that come (apparently) out of the blue; and in which we powerfully feel life to be meaningful, coherent, purposive, benign.  

I think it is usually an error to try and understand the implications of the content of these spiritual gifts such as miracles, synchronicities, peak experiences. Not all are pregnant with guidance; some really are quite 'trivial'.

Such spiritual gifts are mostly 'signs' of the kind of world we live in. And they are also signs of us living well, living in a proper mode of consciousness - and such spiritual signs will apparently increase when we are in a Good frame of mind; and may well be utterly absent from a life wrongly-lived.

Spiritual signs might be absent from a materialist life that assumed there was no meaning or purpose, that the world was determined and/ or random (not created) - and if such phenomena do happen to occur, they will be regarded as insignificant, lacking importance, merely a species of delusion.

In sum - spiritual gifts are best understood as signs, consistent with the nature of reality; and we need not get too concerned by what the specific-content of each specific-sign specifically-implies for our own specific-life, or beyond...

Monday, 13 August 2018

How to develop faith in 'spiritual processes'

It is clear that even real Christians often lack faith in spiritual processes. In theory we all believe that the visible world of human institutions, the world of communications and media, of power and systems; is only on the surface and that the real stuff goes on behind-the-scenes, imperceptibly, by the spirit...

But how seldom we are able to make this real to ourselves - and how often we pin our hopes, and expend our efforts, on worldly activities... How often we measure our success by public, measurable, 'objective' outcomes (such as statistics and surveys, or government and media reports, or what high status people are saying and doing)...

I think the answer is that we each, as individuals, need to base our understanding solidly on that which we personally know; and know directly by our best and solidest intuitions.

We cannot usually persuade other people of the validity of these personal intuitions - and we should not try to. We should speak, live, work, evaluate, (and especially) think from these intuitions - but not try to 'defend' them using the publicly-acceptable means of 'evidence', 'logic' etc...

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening

Sunday, 12 August 2018

In these End Times, there has been a convergence of salvation with theosis

It strikes me that something which distinguishes these End Times is that there is a convergence between salvation and theosis. Salvation is having chosen to align with God's creation - rejecting Hell and embracing Christ's gift of Heaven. And theosis is the process of becoming more divine in our nature, more god-like, Christ-like (or saint-like, when sainthood is understood in this way).

In principle, in theory, and as a first step it is certainly possible to be saved (to attain salvation) just 'as we are' and without any change in our-selves, our behaviour, our thinking. This is - indeed - the great insight of the Reformation, and the core truth of the Evangelical movement.

But in practice, in the modern world, in these End Times; this is insufficient - or, let's say, it is only momentarily sufficient. At the moment it happens, at the born-again moment, it is true. But in the modern West almost-always, soon-or-later, salvation will be repudiated, will be rejected - unless there is theosis.

My point here is that it seems to be a feature of our time and place that salvation must (almost always; almost immediately) be followed by theosis - and theosis is a process. When these have converged, it means that in practice salvation is the process of theosis.

To put it differently, there used to be a possibility of being saved despite zero spiritual progression; but that possibility has been (all-but) closed-off by the pervasiveness of evil.

In these End Times, that which used to unconscious, passive, automatic; must become conscious and actively, explicitly chosen or else it will be lost.

It is not enough to know: we must know that we know. It is not enough to have-chosen Jesus: we must be-choosing Jesus. It is not enough to have-repented: our daily living must be-repenting.

The forces of unconscious manipulation into evil habits of thinking are so pervasive and powerful; that consciousness is the only strong defence.

So, we must do what we (anyway) ought-to do - this is yet another instance of 'things coming to a point'. Even among self-identified, born-again, sincere Christians there is a sorting and separation. The middle ground disappears and the extremes are easily distinguished.

Choices are stark, black and white - and to deny the reality of starkness is to be corrupted: moderate, grey Christians are possible in theory and have existed in some times and places; but in practice now, grey Christians are not Christians, because there are no grey areas or persons: the 'grey' are simply not-white; hence they just-are aligned with the dark powers against Christianity.

Theosis is now necessary. Yet many traditional methods of theosis are collapsing or already corrupted. This is the most urgent question for Western Christians - how can I personally, here and now, without relying on social institutions (because I must act now, yet the actual institutions are corrupt), make overall progresion in my awareness of being Christian; so that life becomes a moment-by-moment process of conscious knowing, choosing, being.

We are promised a wondrous eternal life of love and participation in God's work of creation. Our life therefore should not be mainly 'negative' - not just a defensive war focused on rejection of evil; but needs to be positive, hope-full, faith-full - based on confidence in Good.

Because how can we recognise evil to reject it, unless we already know Good? And when we do know Good, and our knowledge is explicit; then it is easy to recognise evil.

God is the creator of this world, is our father, and loves us - therefore, our trust in God to do what is ultimately right for us, each personally; is always justified. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The joy of Mormon theology - Terryl Givens's Wrestling the Angel (2015)

As soon as I began learning about Mormon theology, which began before I became a Christian, I have responded to it with a heartfelt joy. This has been renewed over the past days when I have been listening to an audiobook of Wrestling the Angel: the Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity - by Terryl Givens.

I had already bought the paper book, and read parts of it; but found it rather dense and hard-going compared with Givens's usual style, which I like so much. The audible book medium proves ideal in taking me through the book at a measured pace, and maintaining progress the face of any tendency to lose concentration. My response has been powerful, inspiring, en-couraging.

The experience has triggered yet another renewal of my appreciation, and gratitude, for the Mormon awakening; specifically for the way in which Joseph Smith and subsequent theologians of the CJCLDS have restored the gospel spirit - that underlying and defining spirit of Jesus that we get from the accounts of his life and records of his words.

Not many people (including, according to Givens and other Mormon theologians, not many Mormons) recognise how radical is the Mormon recasting of Christian theology, how total and systematic, how radical (i.e. root level) is the transformation.

The observable, explicit superstructure of Christian teaching, worship, ethics, and the ideal life is very little changed (Mormon church members live very similarly to other devout Christians, although they tend to be more devout in their practice); but the underlying metaphysics is altogether different. And this difference goes right down to the metaphysical assumptions concerning the nature of reality, the nature of the universe and the origins of man. So the message and person of Jesus is much the same, but the understanding of that message rests upon qualitatively different foundations.

I am not and never have been a Mormon, and it has become very obvious over the past years that outside the Mormon church almost everybody is strongly prejudiced against the idea that Mormon theology could be good, beautiful; and intellectually deeply satisfying; and that this absolutely blocks the possibility of them learning otherwise.

So be it. But I am very grateful for the work of Terryl Givens - and have found listening to Wrestling the Angel to be a wonderful experience. Many of (what I regard as) the stumbling blocks of 'traditional' Christianity are lucidly explained in their developing historical context, and the Mormon reappraisals and recastings (which I find so satisfying, and for which I am so grateful) set out in their more recent context.

To give specific examples; Mormon theology and metaphysics solves what I personally regard as the most important errors of traditional, mainstream Christian emphasis and explanation - such as the omniscience and nature of God, false doctrine of original sin, the nature of human agency, and the basis of sex and sexuality.

I have often observed that the traditional Christian theological explanations have a tendency to gravitate towards an 'Islamic' understanding of God and the human condition on the one hand; or else towards secularism on the other. This is because of the wrongness of the metaphysics and theology that was imposed upon Christianity in (probably) the early centuries, from approximately 100 AD onwards, presumably after - and allowed by - the death of most of the disciples.

From this time the early theologians, including most of the 'Church Fathers', began to place Christianity within an incompatible set of pre-existing (pre-Christian) basic assumptions about philosophy. Details are lacking concerning this era, but these early and influential intellectuals apparently did not work from Christ's message and teachings, to develop a compatible and supporting set of assumptions; but went in the other direction - shoe-horning Christianity into their prior intellectual frameworks.

The idea of Original Sin is a particularly chilling example. Reading Givens and thinking about the problems created by the false understanding of God's 'omniscience' one can see how this really nasty idea (no hint of which is in the Gospels, and barely at all anywhere in the New Testament - except with the eye of prejudice) emerged to explain the need for Christ when God was supposedly omnipotent. Original sin reached an astonishing degree of prominence with Augustine of Hippo: almost becoming the single most important Christian doctrinal-fact. This was later taken even further with Calvin.

The result was Christianity that, at a deep level, became something that in practice (in terms of the relation between Man and God) was about as strongly against the spirit of the Gospels as it was possible to be. In sum, by Original Sin, Christianity was transformed from a religion of hope and joy at the new possibilities of everlasting and divine life that Jesus brought (clearest and least ambiguous in the Fourth, and most authoritative, Gospel); into a religion in which Jesus was our rescuer from a mortal torture chamber, which all Men justly were born-into, and which all Men inhabited due to their essential and ineradicable depravity; both our torment and our depravity being caused by a mystical complicity in a primal act of sin against Jesus's Father.

In contrast to such monstrous error, misrepresentation, and manipulation; Mormon theology shows us how to be Christian without such interpretations being forced upon us by foundational but not-Christian assumptions; and, so far as I know, Mormonism is the only Christian theology which does this. That is a measure of its scope, originality and importance!*

(And if you don't believe-in the reality of that scope and originality, then you simply don't understand it - and not many do. Whether you agree with Mormon theology is a secondary matter. My point is that very few people are in a position to disagree - since they don't know enough to recognise what they are disagreeing with.)  

Anyway, if you are interested and intrigued by the above; and if you can sufficiently 'trust a Mormon' that you can make a genuine effort to understand and think-though the Mormon perspective, then Terryl Givens would be the place to start; if not with the all-out scholarship and rigour of Wrestling the Angel, then probably with the shorter and more polemical (yet equally, albeit covertly, scholarly and rigorous) The God Who Weeps (with Fiona Givens, 2012).

It is difficult. So you need both to be interested, reasonably well-disposed, and also to be willing (initially) to adopt a different perspective; until such a point that you have learned enough to grasp the coherence of the 'system'.

But if (like most external commentators) you are studying Mormon theology and metaphysics only to prove 'why it is wrong', and without any expectation of finding good in it; then it is very unlikely that you will ever make the 'paradigm shift' required to understand it in the first place.

*Note added: To clarify, my point is that original sin is a monstrous perversion on Christianity but if original sin is dispensed-with in the context of traditional Christian theology, it is nearly-always associated with apostasy - certainly, that has been the historical pattern and trend. Those churches that (correctly) deleted original sin were also those churches that were en route to apostasy, to becoming non-Christian - such as the Unitarians around 1800, or later 19th century Methodists. Thus original sin seems to be necessary to the integrity of traditional Christian theology; yet it is a false and monstrous doctrine in stark opposition to the teaching of the Fourth Gospel (in particular, but all the Gospels and nearly all of the NT). Therefore, original sin is a reductio ad absurdum of traditional theology: with this theology OS needs to be adopted for the sake of coherence and sustainability, but necessarily leads to absurd conclusions. Mormon theology represents a third way, a wholly different theological system, which both rejects original sin and yet is sustainable (for over 190 years so far) without a decline through apostasy, 'liberalism', or laxness. Original sin therefore represents an argument both for the error of traditional Christian theology and an argument for both the radical different-ness and for the coherence and sustainability of Mormon theology. The same type of argument could be constructed for other issues, such as free-will/ agency, the nature of God, the nature of suffering etc.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Spiritual gifts in this modern era

If you agree with me that this world is, at the highest level of global ruling, mostly-controlled by demonic-aligned (rather than divinely-aligned) forces; and if you also agree that God is both the creator of this world, and also stands towards us in the relation of a loving parent; then you may wonder what provision God has made for those who are aligned with the divine goals?

One thing we might expect is that, against such odds, we would probably be assisted with 'spiritual gifts' of some kind. In 1 Corinthians, Paul lists some of these spiritual gifts as miracles, prophecy, speaking and understanding 'in tongues', healing, conversing with angels...

Such things would seem to be especially useful, especially when traditional sources of knowledge are tainted (corrupt priest, ministers and church bureaucracies - of suspect authority, corrupt translations of scripture, dubious conduct of holy communion, worldly focus and false doctrines... Yet, despite their potential usefulness in our era (and probably for a long time) such spiritual gifts now seem to be very rare or (some would say) actually extinct. And those who seek such spiritual abilities often find it difficult or impossible to attain them.

It may be that we have changed, and the modern consciousness is not able to do what was possible for the ancient mode consciousness. Or, it may be that such gifts are blocked by God; because they are a kind of power, and in a corrupt world there are very few who are worthy of such spiritual power; very few who could be trusted to use such power as miracles for Good rather than selfishly.

Yet the need for spiritual gifts remains... Could it be that we have been looking in the wrong place? That we have been seeking power via spiritual gifts, we have been seeking spectacle, we have been seeking to impress-other people; instead of seeking personal discernment, knowledge, faith, hope, love, courage? 

The idea of Direct Christianity suggests that our divine destiny is that human consciousness should move from getting knowledge at secondhand via the senses, and towards getting knowledge directly - by the mind connecting with universal reality.

If so, this would suggest that we ought to be seeking spiritual gifts by direct apprehension; in thought rather than by vision, hearing and the other senses.

This direct knowing would only be possible when we are aligned-with, attuned-to, divine ways of being and thinking; but when we were so aligned, then we would simply know what we needed to know.

So perhaps we really are in an era of great spiritual gifts - if only we could recognise them?

Close-harmony jazz - Boswell Sisters

Today's discovery - although they are apparently well-known: wonderful stuff:

Great singing, great musicality, great arrangement - humour and syncopation!

And it's real jazz.

Here is some more virtuosity:

And some swing...

Why we do Not live in Huxley's Brave New World

It has often been noticed that - of the two great dystopian novels of the mid-20th century - modern Western society more closely resembles Aldous Huxley's Brave New World - where the population is bought-off and tranquillised by drugs, sex and distractions; than George Orwell's 1984 where the population is under 24/7 surveillance and violently repressed by secret police.

In a more nuanced fashion, there are elements of both dystopias - for example, the surveillance is now far more comprehensive than Orwell could have imagined; yet that surveillance is actively sought and paid for by the population - which is much more like BNW...

Anyway, there is a major difference between either, or both, the societies envisaged by Orwell and Huxley and our own society; and that is stability.

Most imaginative dystopias have a leadership class that places social stability as the highest value; whereas our dystopian society here-and-now has a global leadership class that - in so far as they are able - inflicts permanent revolution and circumscribed chaos upon the whole world.

This is observable at almost every level; but perhaps most obviously in the highly successful, colossally ambitious strategy of mass migration that has been imposed upon the world for the past couple of decades. This entails unneccessary and deliberately perpetuated wars forced upon some parts of the planet (eg. the Middle East, Africa, Asia), used to create violent and chaotic displaced populations, that are forced upon the Western nations in vast and open-ended numbers.

On the face of it, such de-stabilisation (at least, up to a point) is a much higher and more urgent priority for the global and Western elites than is stability; and this is a error in pretty much all the dystopias I have come-across.  Much the same applies to the economy - where the great bulk of elite initiatives (such as those rationalised by feminism, antiracism, diversity, environmentalism, equality etc.) massively (and potentially lethally) damage the economy, science, technology, engineering capability - and in general damage social efficiency and effectiveness.

In Western social life, the sexual revolution has been aggressively supported and driven by the ruling elites, is continuous, and accelerating. The result has been half a decade of confusion, as new possibilities emerge, then become taboo; as groups and identities move in and out of favour; as resentments and entitlements are encouraged... Clearly, stability is not the goal. 

The reason for the recurrent dystopian error about stability is simple enough. The dystopias were written by materialists, and non-Christians and they envisage evil as being merely selfish short-termism. Thus their idea of an evil society is one in which there is a selfish-, short-termist elite who run society for their own pleasure, prosperity and power.

Whereas real evil is the opposition to Good, and Good is the objective of God, the creator, and our loving father. So when a society is run by really evil persons (both mortal and supernatural persons), then its long-term goal is not the elite's own selfish interests, but the damnation of the majority.

A really evil elite does not act strategically to sustain the stability of the society which sustains and rewards it; instead, such an elite does whatever best serves the goals of damnation - even when this destroys stability; even when this cumulatively immiserates, disempowers and destroys the elite itself; even when it makes that society un-sustainable.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

The need to be twice-born - or, that modern Christian faith must become active and conscious

THE challenge of this time, in this place (the modern West) is that unless our Christian faith is conscious and active; it will not survive.

In the past and in other places, a socially-inculcated, immersive Christianity - just accepted and rejoiced in - was sufficient. Here and now it isn't. Other times and places the Christian could be 'once born' - now he must be twice-born*.

When I became a Christian, declared myself a Christian - I was at first once-born. My Christian faith was a gradual, seamless transition from prior atheism and materialism. It was only after a few months, in response to the challenge of first finding myself in a 'liberal' (ie fake) church and then in a real (in this instance evangelical) church that I was 'born again' and recognised the qualitative break in my perspective on everything that Christianity meant.

(Much credit for this must go to the way that the best protestants emphasise the theme of 'salvation by faith' - it was exactly what I needed at that point.)

It is my belief that our society, England, Albion - The West - was divinely intended to transition between a once-born Christianity (socially implemented and inculcated, passive, unconscious, taking it for granted) to the twice born state. However, the only path from once to twice is via the recognition and inner experience of atheism, doubt, nihilism - and despair.

Ideally, the phase of atheism is a brief transition. But The West, by failing to resist demonic temptation - especially in relation to sex (the second-most powerful human instinct, after religion), but also from pride-resentment and more general this-wordly hedonism, backed by pervasive dishonesty - got stuck in the atheist, materialist, sceptical phase. the phase became 'permanent' - having lasted and increased and accelerated over about nine generations so far - except that it is self-destroying. 

So, our starting point is atheism, materialism, nihilism - fuelled by hedonism and reinforced by dishonesty. That is where we are. That is where we start from - and things are still getting worse.

The fact that many individuals are Not in this state (are once-born Christians) - is fortunate for them (until they get corrupted) but we should not be distracted from the essence of our predicament. We cannot return to the once-born situation, because that depends-upon society being organised such that Christianity is natural, spontaneous, instinctive and pretty much just-happens. Insofar as our Christianity relies upon a Christian milieu, upon passive absorption, it will be corrupted, sooner or later.

From where we are, we can only move forward to a deliberate, conscious, chosen Christianity - such as has never existed in the past except among a few individuals.

That is the special challenge of these times - for individual, not for 'society' because society is lost, gone, destroyed. So, we must rely upon individuals, one at a time, finding their own path. Which includes finding for themselves - with invisible divine help, no doubt, once intent is established - but not being fed, the help they need. 

The key word is agency. It is not about 'individualism' but about agency - which is 'free will', but free will of the real (and divine) self. It is getting our-selves to the situation of recognising the deepest and most important issues and assumptions, and taking personal responsibility for our choices, our faith, our beliefs, our motivations.

We must first become agents (which is not a spontaneous thing - but an achievement) and then exercise our agency. Of course, people may choose wrongly, but where we are now is that people are not even choosing. They are once-born evil! We need to be twice-born - even if we are already once-born Christians.

It is a huge risk; but that risk is unavoidable in going from once- to twice-born; and that is The risk which is characteristic, definitive, of this time and place.

*The distinction of once- versus twice-born comes from William James's book The Varieties of Religious Experience

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Patriotism versus Nationalism

William Wildblood (at Albion Awakening) has written a good piece on the difference between Patriotism and Nationalism; and how its good to be patriotic, but not (usually) a nationalist.

It is patriotism that is the opposite of being a globalist (ie. necessarily a bureaucratic totalitarian).

I can remember George Orwell saying something similar, somewhere - he regarded himself as a patriot, not a nationalist.

For me, nationalism is a first-generation post-religious ideology that is an attempt to provide some basis for social cohesion; but it never lasts beyond that first generation after apostasy. In The West, everywhere, we are now several generations removed from a sufficiently strong national belief in a single religion, which is why nationalism is everywhere small, weak and ineffectual.

Of course, religion is also small, weak and ineffectual - but at least religion has a record of multigenerational success as the basis for national life. However, religion cannot be used as a means to an end (or, not for long) - so if not just collapse, but purposive national suicide is to be avoided, then religion must come first.

The first question is which religion; and the second is whether the nature of that religion needs to be of a new form or the restoration of an old one... 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

On the nature and consequences of suppressing conspiracy theorists (such as myself)

The context of recent events is discussed at Albion Awakening; and reason for spiritual hope is located...

What are conspiracy theories and why are they suddenly being suppressed?

Some years ago I wrote a fair bit about the nature of delusions; especially the kind of 'rational delusions' seen in an unusual condition called Delusional Disorder.

I realised that these delusions were just part of the spectrum of normal thinking; and I also realised that when we are engaged in trying to understand social phenomena ('other people') the most important and first step is to decide upon their 'motivations' (more exactly their 'Dispositions, Motivations and Intentions' - DMI; but I shall shorten this to motivations).

Specific, individual human actions have no meaning unless they can be understood as expressions of motivation. If we deny that a person, or organisation, has any motivation; then we cannot make sense of what they do. If we get the motivation wrong, we will misunderstand what they do. And there is no 'objective' way of knowing motivation, because it is in the 'mind' of another.

So, here we have an absolutely vital matter; yet one about which a decision can, in practice, be impossible to agree-upon; because any differences in imputed motivation change the meaning of any particular behaviour - to make a self-validating circularity.

(e.g. Once we have decided a person is hostile, their actions will be interpreted as hostile; and vice versa. Exactly the same action can be seen as hostile or benign, according to imputed motivation. In particular, nothing a person can ever do is a decisive refutation of our already-existing imputed motivation.)

One would have to be insensible not to notice the current massive increase in accusations that somebody or some-organisation is a 'conspiracy theorist' - and this is because a 'conspiracy theorist' is someone who claims that there is an evil motivation behind the behaviour of the powerful global elites. It seems that the assumption of a real and evil global elite is becoming sufficiently common that it needs to be dealt-with.

By contrast, there is (in the mass media, government, and legal system) the inbuilt assumption that either there is no global elite, hence no motivation at all (and world affairs are not directed). Or else it is regarded as evidentially-true that insist that the motivations of the global elite are benign. So, anyone who assumes both that the global elite is 1. a real thing and 2. of evil intent; is regarded as 'a conspiracy theorist', because they are 'factually wrong'; hence either incompetent, insane or evil (or more than one of these).

Conspiracy theorists used to be tolerated but systematically mocked; however in the last year or so, they are also being deplatformed and defunded - on the excuse that they propagate 'false' information. However, as described above, the truth or falsity of information is always secondary to motivation. Facts, as such, cannot be either true or false - there cannot even be 'a fact' nor could one be recognised without a prior conceptual scheme explaining what is and how to recognise a fact. And therefore, it is precisely motivation, and not facts, that is at issue.

My primary point is that this matter cannot be decided by 'evidence' because evidence is precisely dictated by assumptions. the notion that conspiracy theorists are punished for propagating false facts is not true. What is really going-on?  In a nutshell; conspiracy theorists are being deplatormed and defunded on the justification that they are evil; and the specific evil of which conspiracy theorists are accused is that they assert the reality of a global elite, and that they further assert this global elite is of evil motivation, overall.

The reality, the existence, of a global elite can neither be proved nor disproved by evidence; the intention of such a group can neither be proved nor disproved by evidence - and either state of affairs is possible.

Yet, for a Christian, our entire understanding of what is happening in public affairs depends upon the basic decision of whether to believe or disbelieve in a global elite of rulers; and - if we do believe in their reality, whether to regard their motivations as essentially aligned with God's wishes, or else against God's motivations.

(For a Christian there are no other possibilities - one is either pro- or contra-God, although there are degrees of both.)   

And it is absolutely arbitrary (hence illegitimate) to prejudge this issue by claiming that we ought-to (for example) always assume 'cock-up rather than conspiracy' (always assume that apparent coherence is a delusional misinterpretation of randomness) - since both deliberate conspiracy and unorganised chaos are possible and common in human affairs; there is no good reason to pre-assume one state rather than the other; especially when that assumption will dictate the interpretation and understanding of all  subsequent evidence.

As so often, the first and most important move is to clarify the issue, and acknowledge that here is an unavoidable judgement and choice to be made.

Is there a global elite? If not then there can be no understanding of global affairs. If so, is teh conspiracy net-Good or net-evil?

Because the understanding of evidence concerning a global elite is utterly shaped by this prior decision regarding motivation - and yet no understanding at all is possible until after the assumption has been made.

Note: The identity and motivation of a global elite conspiracy is also disputed. Materialist atheist conspiracy theorists regard the global elite as human, and working towards human goals such as wealth, power, sex and the sadistic infliction of suffering. But Christian conspiracy theorists may regard the ultimate and strategic evil elite as supernatural, that is demonic; and their goals as being mainly about causing human damnation. 

Monday, 6 August 2018

How come over-promoted mediocre middle managers are such vicious tyrants? - Because they are 'just following orders'

We live in an age when the over-promoted, mediocre middle manager rules most of the West: four quick examples are the Prime Minister of the UK, The Chancellor of Germany, The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the phenomenon is general in all major institutions, organisations and corporations in all the major social systems: politics, government, the mass media, business, science, education, health, religion, law, the police, the military, the arts... you name it.

That such passive, petty, incompetent, unprincipled, ludicrous grey men and women rise to the top of a bureaucratic society ruled by committees and voting is no surprise; but their viciousness and tyranny is perhaps unexpected from individuals who lack the most basic personal qualities of a natural leader.

For instance, they are passive, reactive and have no long-term inner motivation - being slaves of expediency; they utterly lack personal courage and the capacity to dominate Men - being personally submissive, unimpressive, unadmirable, and unable to hold firm in the face of opposition; they have negative charisma; and they lack judgement - being unable to make a significant decision for themselves, but always sheltering behind 'implementing' the outcome of 'process'.

The answer lies in the simple fact of who is pulling the strings of the managerial puppet, whose is the hidden-hand thrust up inside and working the managerial puppet; who is the real power, who is giving the orders: in sum, the answer lies in the identity of those who promoted these mediocre, passive, instruction-implementing individuals to their present sham status.

What is a middle manager good at? A good middle manager is good at following instructions from his superiors... and that's it.

When we observe everywhere middle managers in leadership positions, and when - despite their submissiveness, passivity and mediocrity - they act with rigidity, aggression and spite in pursuit of the agenda of political correctness - what this tells us is that they are simply following the orders of their real Masters.

What it tells us is that the organisations, institutions and corporations that are headed-up by mediocre middle managers are actually being run by persons outside the organisation. This is why all modern groups are converging onto Leftist socio-political activity. They are all the tools of hidden puppet-masters. 

A middle manager fears his or her boss, more than anything; indeed it's the only thing he fears. Because it is the boss who put him where he is; and it is the boss who will take him out if disobeyed.  Thus the peculiar, indeed ridiculous, combination of feebleness and aggression, of submissiveness and inflexibility, of ingratiating niceness and venomous spitefulness.

We live in a world where the real power is hidden and where the official wielders of power are fakes; and the middle managerial takeover ought to be regarded as solid evidence of this fact. 

The definition of superstition...

From the comments, by William James Tychonievich

The definition of superstition:

Acting according to beliefs which you do not admit to yourself that you believe. 

CS Lewis on the inevitable end of institutions, nations, civilisation, worlds... but not people

Edited from a post at Albion Awakening...

...It is a strange thing to contemplate the fact that not only will I, personally, witness the end of all my cherished institutions (indeed, I have already seen the all-but end of them over the past forty years), but also I will witness the end of England, of Western Civilisation, of the planet earth - even the death of our sun.

This is simply because I am immortal and they are not - nor are they intended to immortal; they are temporary expedients, created and sustained for purposes; and when these purposes are fulfilled or failed, every-thing will wind-down and end...

...We ought not to become frenzied about the probable collapse - because fear and urgency are counter-productive; we understand very little of what is going on and almost nothing of the scope and depth of divine interventions behind the scenes.

What will happen I don't know, and nor does anybody else. But I am ever more sure that what we must do is on the positive side.

Anything - any-thing at all - we can do to epitomise and sustain a life of love and creativity; is of unboundedly-greater value than anything we might, potentially, perhaps achieve by our interventions in the mass world of power, economics, politics and generalised socio-political expedience.

Read the whole thing...

Sunday, 5 August 2018

The so-called Leap of faith re-explained for atheists

Firstly - the thing about the 'leap of faith' is that everyone in the world, past and present; religious and atheist; has already made this: the difference between individuals is mostly is whether or not they are aware of the fact of having done so, whether they have done so freely or passively.

Most people are unconscious of ever having made the leap of faith, because most people simply absorb their assumptions from others, without recognising that they are assumptions. Most people regard their basic assumptions as simple facts derived from evidence - but basic assumptions, unlike facts, cannot be contradicted by evidence - because the basic assumptions themselves dictate what counts as evidence; what counts as 'a fact'.

(Evidence is not self-evident; facts do not float around the universe - universally accessible, immediately identifiable as fact, and understood identically and perfectly by everybody... Both depend on prior and basic assumptions concerning the nature of reality.)

What is the leap of faith? Well, it refers to the basic assumptions that make a frame for life and living, for understanding, meaning, purpose and everything else.

Why is it a 'leap' and why is 'faith' required? It is a leap because basic assumptions cannot be derived-from anything more solid than themselves - we need to jump over, or past, or through 'the facts' to reach these assumptions. And it is faith because it rests on something that could be called intuition when it is based on inner sureness, and revelation when it is felt to be given by something external and greater. Perhaps the ideal is that the basic assumptions are mutually reinforced by revelation and intuition.

The word 'leap' also suggests the way that this must be an instant and whole mental move - which also means that that which is known by faith must be simple enough to be grasped and comprehended entire.

Often this requires a preliminary period of critical reflection and clarification to sort-out just what-it-is that we are trying to know as true or false. We must ask the right question before we can get a coherent and correct answer. 

What this, in turn, tells us is that a single leap of faith is usually inadequate; especially for a typical mainstream, materialist atheist - who has unconsciously absorbed such a collection of dis-beliefs as to make any single belief incoherent. This is the faith of Modern Man - and typically he cannot tell when, where, how or why he adopted it. 

For example, it is quite normal for modern people to disbelieve in the world as having been created, in a creator or any other kind of God, in the soul, in any kind of persistent existence before or after biological life - to disbelieve that reality has any purpose or meaning, and to assert believe that human relationships have no continued reality beyond the lifespan of their participants. Most would regard all human choices and decisions as either random (hence meaningless) or else merely the determined consequences of previous events (hence meaningless) - hence Modern Man does not believe that he has the free agency even to choose his own basic assumptions!.

In other words, typical Modern Men have, unconsciously and uncritically - and indeed generally while denying that any leap or faith has been involved - begin in a situation of so many negations that, if they were to take their own beliefs seriously and consistently, they would be reduced to a state of paralysed and silent despair at the utter futility of everything.

Silent because there could be no meaning in communication, since other beings don't exist, or if even they do exist then communication cannot be possible, and even if communication were possible it could not (in a random/ determined universe) have any meaning.

An essential first step for a leap of faith into meaning and purpose would seem to be to acknowledge that one's assumptions are indeed the consequence of faith, and not of 'evidence'; and to determine to make this leap for oneself, in consciousness and freedom - rather than unwittingly and passively.

Inklings depictions of an Inklings meeting

Excerpted from a new post at the The Notion Club Papers blog...

...There is no direct transcript of an actual Inklings evening, featuring the actual people who attended. The nearest to this are a few, paragraph length, summary entries in Warnie Lewis's diary - a selection from which is published in Brothers and Friends: the diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis edited by Marjorie Lamp Mead (1988).

The best known word-by-word depiction of an Inklings meeting is a chapter in Humphrey Carpenter's group biography The Inklings (1978); which is not an actual meeting, but one that he creatively reconstructed by sampling and synthesizing from multiple writings of the Inklings, together with hints from Warnie's diary. This features the Lewis brothers, JRR Tolkien, Havard and Charles Williams – and these seem to have been the core Inklings of the 1939-45 war years. The only survivor - Havard - endorsed Carpenter’s account as providing the genuine flavour, although probably more intellectually concentrated than a typical real meeting.

JRR Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers (an unfinished and posthumously published novel to be found in Christopher Tolkien's edited The History of Middle Earth, Volume 9, Sauron Defeated, 1992) comprises a highly Inklings-style meeting of a club that was based explicitly upon The Inklings and written to be read at Inklings meeting during 1945-6; but with different, fictionalized and composite participants. This probably captures the spirit of an Inklings meeting more closely than any other source.

CS Lewis also left a short depiction of an Inkling's-esque meeting which can be found in an unfinished fragment of a story named The Dark Tower, and which was posthumously edited and published by Walter Hooper in 1977. The tone of discussion – its mixture of humour and seriousness - is similar to that of the Notion Club.

Owen Barfield was an infrequent, but very keen, Inklings participant - and arguably the Inklings evolutionarily-arose from the Barfield-Jack Lewis conversations and written debates of the 1920s. Barfield published a novel entitled Worlds Apart (1963) which describes a weekend length conversation of a very Inklings-like character - including characters based on Barfield and Jack Lewis...

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

How can you understand women from a Christian perspective?

One of the most disgusting spectacles on the internet is the self-styled right-wing manosphere writers (whose macho-posturing is nearly-always contradicted by their chickenhawk pseudonymity), who purport to write from a Christian perspective; but who argue using only secular, materialist utilitarian reasoning and evidence - and then thinly-coat their conclusions with a supposedly-Christian veneer. 

(The intent is apparently to retain the male extra-marital sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility of the sexual revolution; but in a situation where women are held subordinate - hedonistic materialism for the men and patriarchal religion for the women.)

Given the pseudo-scientific, pseudo-Christian, posturing, prideful and self-serving midden that is the manosphere, on the one hand; and on the other the dishonest, incoherent, demonic evil that is mainstream socio-politics... how should Christians then proceed in understanding women from a genuinely Christian perspective?

The answer is obviously to begin with the Christian understanding of sex and sexuality; to begin with 'what God wants and intends' from the fact of there being men and women. Only later may the materialist and pragmatic socio-political conclusions be derived.

Here, there are differences among Christians. Traditionally, the official theology of most Christian churches has been that sexuality, sex, marriage and procreation are merely a temporary feature of our mortal lives; all of which either cease, or else cease to be important, after death (for instance marriage until 'death do us part').

This has not always been the view of actual Christians, for instance among the 'laity'; who have often regarded sexuality, sex, and marriage to be at least potentially continued in Heaven.

This has been given a metaphysical basis in Mormon theology, which regards men and women as distinct from the beginning, a complementary dyad - the ultimate 'unit' of a Man. Only the dyad is capable of the highest exaltation to fully divine creativity, which is the chosen, irreversible, eternal marriage of a man and woman, as separate beings bound by love to make a complete god.

My point is that a real Christian needs to - indeed ought to - first reach a personal understanding, as best he can; by faith (that is by personal revelation, through prayer and meditation, by the fullest intuitive knowledge) - of why from the divine perspective there are men and women both; why there is marriage and what is its ultimate nature and importance; and what sex is ultimately for.

From this solid ground, we may then be able decide the secondary issues of what are the mortal, this-worldly, my-personal-life (and perhaps cultural) implications of this Gods-eye-view understanding.

Given the way in which the sexual revolution has been the major, most powerful, most successful instrument of demonic strategy over the past fifty-plus years; this is something we all absolutely need to do. 

Boromir versus Faramir, prophecy and The Fellowship

Boromir and Faramir by Magali Villeneuve

How Providence shaped, and failed to shape, the membership of the Fellowship of the Ring - and the consequences; at The Notion Club Papers blog.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Don't forget England!

For the sake of balance, I address the matter of England, specifically; as the heartland of Albion.

Why do modern people assume and believe that death is annihilation?

When CS Lewis was a young adult he had been far more eager to escape pain than to achieve happiness, and he even resented the fact that he had been created without his own permission. 

One advantage of the anti-Christian materialism that he clung to was its limited danger of pain. No disaster can be infinite if death ends all. And if this life becomes too painful, one can always commit suicide for an early escape. 

In contrast, the horrible thing about Christianity is that it offers no such escape. It assures each many that he is going to live forever. 

The Christian universe has no door marked exit. 

Perhaps a man's temper or his jealousy are getting worse so slowly that in seventy years they are not very noticeable. But in a million years they would be hell itself; "in fact if Christianity is true, Hell is the precisely correct technical term for what it would be'."

Edited from CS Lewis: Mere Christian by Kathryn Ann Linskoog, 1773. Page 101.

This passage reveals how important it is to modern materialist ethics that death is regarded as annihilation, exit, escape.

The bland assurance that 'I have a right to do what I like' is only possible when death annihilates the individual. 

To guard this inversion - mainstream culture has manufactured and sustained an habitual, unthinking trope that anyone who (like nearly all humans through history and still today) believes that there is something (the soul or spirit) which survives death, is engaged in 'wishful thinking'.

So powerful is that 'wishful thinking' reflex that modern Man has ceased to examine the potentially 'horrible' consequences of survival beyond death as such (and without salvation); consequences that used to be almost universally recognised.

So, it may be seen that the death-as-annihilation assumption underpins the mainstream relativistic morality of hedonism; especially in the realm of sex and sexuality.  

Of course, regarding death as annihilation also renders futile all attempts to make meaning, purpose of relationships - this leads to despair (typically unconscious, and observable by the mass personal self-hatred illustrated by chosen childlessness, and the mass national self-hatred of the planned incremental self-destruction of the West.

In sum, the assumption that death is annihilation underpins both the hedonism and the despair of modern culture. Yet the assumption is far more effective at escaping pain than enabling happiness; in the sense that genuinely to contemplate all life as utterly ended by annihilation is a numbing, demotivating thing.

Distraction by surface pleasure remains possible, but not underlying happiness; short-termist self-interest remains possible, but not altruistic, long-term motivation. The modern condition in a nutshell...

Small wonder that this assumption is so aggressively defended.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Pope and Magisterium jump shark today

The Pope and senior bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have announced that the death penalty is now illegitimate and this is going to be enshrined in the Catechism.

This is a truly huge decision, a vast change, the implications are incalculable... So why? Read the linked announcement above. That tells us why.

Because... well... in a nutshell because they don't understand justice, they don't mention the basic Christian theory of legitimate punishment which is simply that the person should deserve the punishment. They just don't have a clue.

Except it is not really having no clue, as not caring enough to inform themselves, because to them Christian Justice is irrelevant.

The decision to abolish Capital Punishment is not made for any reason of justice, let alone theology; and indeed there is not even a pretence that it is. It is made simply because the Pope and Magisterium are neither Roman Catholics not Christians.

The decision was made because... well... the leaders of the RCC just want to align themselves with the leadership of current mainstream secular elite opinion; the power brokers of the mass media, the heads of the global bureaucracies, the Western politicians and international lawyers... That's it; end of story; nothing further needs to be said on the point. Closer alignment with the global cabal of evil is both necessary, and a sufficient reason.

Anyway, all this will be very helpful to serious Roman Catholic Christians, because it will clarify the situation they are already-in; and that must be better than living in a delusional state, a fool's paradise.

As CS Lewis said in That Hideous Strength, and as I keep repeating: things are coming to a point in these End Times; and the discernment of good and evil is becoming easier.

The two sides in the spiritual war are segregating, becoming more distinct. 

As evil establishes its dominance more fully; so it reveals itself for what it is - because Good is now so relatively-small and weak, that evil perceives no need for secrecy or subtlety.

The sides have formed, the middle ground has gone, the default position is to drift into passive evil, pretending not to notice or saying that evil is inevitable. But everybody really has noticed, and everybody really knows that evil is not inevitable.

You, me, everybody has therefore, implicitly or explicitly, already picked their side; because those to whom we are loyal and obedient, those whose work we do, have already picked their side.

Un-consciousness is now evil, passive evil (because God will ensure that all are sufficiently conscious - if not now, then before it is too late). . 

Not to make this decision your own is also to pick your side.

Understanding the Global Conspiracy: Screwtape proposes a toast by CS Lewis (1959)

By my evaluation The Screwtape Letters (1942) is one of CS Lewis's very best books; and the follow up 'essay' Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1959) isn't as good in a literary sense; however, it is very important and ought not to be missed.

In particular, Toast is very astute in understanding the modern (post World War II) demonic strategy - or, to put it differently, Toast tells us what the Global Conspiracy is conspiring to achieve.

I have often said that 'the conspiracy theorists' are broadly correct in diagnosing that an evil cabal lies behind the strategic direction of the modern world. Where they are wrong is that the cabal is ultimately demonic, not human; and consequently its aims are spiritual not material.

In particular, most conspiracy theorists focus on the idea that human suffering and death are being engineered by a cabal of selfish, greedy and perverted humans. But the reality is that behind these humans (who do indeed exist) and controlling them, and dictating the long term direction of evil, there are supernatural evil beings whose purpose is human damnation - not human suffering and death.

The most obvious way that this shows itself is that it is very easy for powerful people to cause suffering and death; and if that was their ultimate goal, then there would be a great deal more human suffering and death everywhere there has been over the past several decades. In fact, the human population has grown by about four billion since WWII, infant mortality has reduced, everywhere, life expectancy has increased everywhere, and there are large areas of the planet that have not suffered war for many decades, or longer.

 Clearly, the powers of evil either aren't aiming ultimately at suffering and death... or else they aren't really evil, or aren't really powerful; which I reject on these grounds. What they are aiming at, and what they have done very, very effectively; is clearly laid out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast.

The powers of evil are corrupting, not killing humanity; they are perverting not causing here and now suffering; they are working by pleasure, confusion and distraction rather than pain and focused fear.

The forces of evil have learned from the Second World War, which - in spiritual terms - significantly backfired against evil in the West and triggered a powerful spiritual and Christian revival - of which The Screwtape Letters was itself a product and a trigger. 

To get clearer about this - read Toast...

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Review of The Da Vinci Code movie (2006)

No spoilers!

I haven't read the book, but a couple of weeks ago I watched the Da Vinvi Code movie and found it surprisingly enjoyable.

It is - of course - 100% hokum, but sometimes that is what I want; and it kept my attention and interest throughout (not easy to do). So I went on to watch the follow-up Angels and Demons (2009), and enjoyed it just as much.

I had heard all sorts of bad things, indeed nothing-but bad things, about the Da Vinci Code; but the basic plot idea is a solid one (and it is reused in the follow-up): an academic chap who is an expert in decoding symbols follows a 'treasure hunt' trail of clues against the clock - because only by solving the clues in sequence can the trail be followed - each clue leads onto the next.

There is a lot about religion, and specifically Christianity; and initially both films seem to be very anti-Catholic. But in the end it turns out that the RCC has goodies as well as baddies, and that a lot of the damning perspectives come from unreliable witnesses - evil characters. So the anti-Christian, debunking perspectives of the first part of the movie are, to a considerable extent, contradicted and undone by its later parts.

Something similar applies to Angels and Demons - many of the plot twists favour the Vatican perspective.

The DVC reminded me of some thirty years ago, when I was 'targeted' for conversion by Opus Dei. I had a colleague/ friend who was a member lived in one of their houses - and one (Sunday?) evening I got a phonecall, inviting me around; on arrival, to my surprise, I was shown to a little cinema and left alone to watch a movie about the founder and purposes of OD. It seemed a rather clumsy and inept gesture - although the propaganda film was fairly interesting. [Erroneous passage deleted.]

The appeal of OD seemed to be due to a combination of philosophical coherence with evangelical energy backed-up by a military organisation and attitude; a modern medievalism, technocratic monasticism...

My impression of British OD (as I recall) was very un-sinister and indeed un-glamorous - their HQ was dark and cramped, and with a school-dinners/ cooked-cabbage kind of atmosphere. All very different from the glamorous-opulent-powerful depiction of the Da Vinci Code.

Anyway, having heard nothing but Bad Things about the DVC - including its movie; I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining and stimulating it turned-out to be. I shall continue on to watch the third movie of the series, which was released recently.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Review of the new Tolkien catalogue/ compendium - Maker of Middle Earth

Is at The Notion Club Papers blog...

Why did God create?

 Painting by William Arkle - this blog post is also based on Arkle's insights

This question (why some-thing, why every-thing; rather than no-thing) is - or ought to be - uniquely easy for Christians to answer; compared with any other religion that posits a creator-god.

The question arises from trying to understand why a god that is powerful enough to create everything should have any reason for doing so; since presumably such a god would be utterly self-sufficient.

The Christian answer relates to such facts that all men are Sons of God-the-creator; that God-the-creator loves all Men; and that Jesus was divine, was the ('only begotten') Son of God, and he told his disciples that in knowing Jesus they also knew his Father.

Thus: we are like God; God is like me and you and anyone else. In vital ways, God's primary motives are therefore understandable by you and me and anyone else. From this, we can infer that God created everything, including men and women, for the same basic reason that you or I or anyone else would create such a universe.

So if we imagine ourselves as God before creation (whether you regard God as a single being of no sex, or - as I do - regard God as a dyad of man and woman, bound eternally by love) the purpose of creation is 'for' making other gods, beings qualitatively like oneself - drawn and held together by eternal loving relationships, and working together - mutually aligned by this love - on the endless business of creation.

(God's creation just-is this state of loving creativity. Thus, creation is Not about 'making stuff' - it is instead establishing this 'process' of beings creat-ing.)

God wants a family, wants friends, wants others of his kind: the same kind as the Father and the Son, and more such people would be better: Sons of God bound by love, and doing the work of creation.

Why this - rather than eternal solitude and no creation? Do you really need to ask? To answer, all you need to do is imagine, to empathically-identify-with, to understand how-God-felt in that primordial divine situation.


Is baptism necessary or desirable for Christians? If so, what kind?

I have brooded on the matter of baptism ever since I was a Christian. These are my conclusions - which have been stable for about five years, so far.

Baptism is not necessary to salvation. When considering that God is the creator, and loves us all as his children; it is to me inconceivable that he would have made it necessary to undergo baptism as a condition of salvation.

When it happens, it seems to me that baptism ought to be done as it is described in the New Testament - by total immersion, and as soon as a person has decided to become a Christian.

That is, baptism should ideally (but not necessarily) be the first thing in a person's Christian life; baptism without delay; baptism as soon as a person wants to pledge that Jesus is the Son of God and his Saviour.

Other forms of baptism I regard as having been co-opted into the specific, and contingent, needs of a specific church or denomination (as can be seen from the changing history of baptism, both between- and within-denominations).

Such extended and elaborated forms of baptism may (in a particular time and place and situation) be a good thing, may indeed be a very good thing - may strongly promote theosis (i.e. the spiritual development of the individual towards divinity as a Son of God); but, in my understanding, there is no direct link with either salvation or theosis.

Note: Most importantly to me, I have sought confirmation of the above by meditation, prayer and revelation. I am confident that this is valid for me - but that fact does not imply universal validity for  all persons in all times and circumstances: some specific people may need to be baptised. My own baptismal status is having been Christened as an infant in the Church of England, by application of water to the forehead... this strikes me as, overall, one of the least valid of all forms of baptism. 

Modern education induces 'spiritual OCD' - A comment by Michael Dyer

Edited, with emphasis added, from a comment in response to a recent post; comes this valuable analysis by Michael Dyer:

...Intuition paradoxically strikes people as "woo woo" or mystical or dodgy in spite of the fact that it is a sense you use all the time.

It's how you drive your car, walk, pick up on social cues make 90% of your daily practical judgements.

I weep when I think of the years of education I received that focused on getting me to doubt my intuition.

You need some intuition because, like every other sense. it is touched by infirmity and has to be trained. But the focus of my education honestly pushed it to the point where it gave me, basically, spiritual OCD.

There's an interesting talk I heard from a catholic priest who said that devils have the most influence over your imagination and the least over your intuition.

Intuition isn't feeling or emotion - that's another misconception - it's basically your minds eye. It can be deceived like everything else, but throwing it away is about comparable to blinding yourself because eyewitnesses in court cases can be confused about what they saw.

Note added: I would say that modern devils focus less on the imagination than they used to, and more on perception and reasoning; by means of the pan-global linked bureaucratic system which has extended deep into human living. This excludes the spiritual and intuitive; and defines what is 'valid' in public discourse.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Should Ireland be a part of spiritual Albion?

Above is somebody's idea of an imaginative Albion... my personal answer is at Albion Awakening...

Direct knowing (intuition) is superior to sensory and logical 'evidence' - e.g. when evaluating the reality of God, the relevance of Jesus

Many people have said that there is not enough 'evidence' for them to believe in the reality of God; but people need to recognise that evidence is always ambiguous, and never decisive.

People say things like: 'Seeing is believing... If only God would speak to me in words, or send an angel to tell me, or show me a major public miracle... then I would believe.'

But they are being dishonest; seeing is not believing; and they would not believe.

And they are mistaken by the assumption that sensory data is the most solid and compelling source of knowledge.

People ought to be clear that evidence can never convince - and this is especially the case in the mainstream modern world.

We are a world in which evidence of all kinds - real science, logic, personal experience, the word of people we trust - is routinely ignored; and instead people believe vague, incoherent and continually changing nonsense, sprayed at them by the mass media and institutional propaganda.

This is possible because all evidence, without exception, is ambiguous; and because modern people feel no obligation to be consistent - nor even to aim-at consistency. This, because their bottom-line validation is how they feel, and feelings are neither consistent not coherent across time.

Consider. Any evidence which comes to us by the senses is ambiguous because it must be interpreted - it must be put into context.

And there is always the possibility of more evidence emerging...

And words must be understood, and picture must be recognised; the 'logical' implications of any-thing that happens must be reasoned-out. A new theory changes what counts as evidence; a new theory recognises new sources of evidence. And new theories, new interpretations, can be generated without end...

Small-scale, individual, private perceptions might be an error, or an hallucination, or we may be deluded and falsely interpreting, or we may be demented or drain damaged, or we may be mastered by wishful thinking...

So private knowledge may be mistaken to to our limiations. Yet big public events are differently registered, differently reported, differently explained; and some of this noticing, reporting and explanation is deliberately misleading, or manipulative - so that public evidence turns out to be even less compelling than private.

And if we try to communicate the evidence, or our conclusions about it, to other people; then all these uncertainties are multiplied. 

So anything based on sensory data, any evidence, has problems due to its not being self-explanatory.

What is more certain, what is the most certain knowledge; is knowledge we know directly, that is without sensory mediation, without any chains of perceptions and interpretations: knowledge that appears in our deepest and truest self, without perceptual cause, and bearing the provenance of truth. Knowledge that 'appears' in the mind whole and understood, graspable by a single and complete mental act of apprehension.

This is intuition - and we can't do better than intuition.

Of course, our later self may still decide that earlier intuitions were incorrect; in a world of change, corruption and mortality there is no way of avoiding that.

But we can recognise the principle that - contrary to what most people think and say - evidence of the senses, evidence of 'logic' are inferior to directly apprehended knowledge.

We can recognise that the best possible evidence for the reality of God, or the relevance to us personally of Jesus Christ, is not 'evidence - nor is it 'logic', but is exactly that sudden, complete, total grasping of simple reality.

The implication is that the most important investigation we could do, would be to look 'within'; rather than to seek external evidence. More exactly, the role of external evidence should be to clarify for our-selves, exactly what it is that we are looking-for within.

But evidence can never take us to where we want to go, and need to go; and never can compel us to belief in God or faith in Jesus. That is a matter of direct knowledge - of intuition.