Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Romantic Shakespeare and Fantasy (the supernatural)

Brian Blessed as the Ghost in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet movie - and whispering, not shouting!

In the preface to Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge, the 'romantic' was given a definition in terms of Wordsworth focusing on the numinous qualities of Nature, and Coleridge upon the Supernatural. So the Fantasy aspect of Romanticism - such as we see in The Inklings - was present from the start.

Shakespeare had a role in Romanticism, in that his renewed popularity came from a German reappraisal (probably originating with Herder, who worked from translated excerpts of Shakespeare - and greatly amplified in England by the Shakespeare lectures of Coleridge) that saw Shakespeare in such terms; as a 'wild', spontaneous, natural genius.

Shakespeare was often linked with the then extremely high valuation of the strange, semi-faked 'poems' of 'Ossian' - which were a 'translation', plus very extensive reworking and expansion, of Gaelic songs and stories collected in the highlands and islands of Scotland by James Macpherson and published in the middle 1700s. So that Homer, Ossian and Shakespeare were found linked in a 'bardic' lineage - for instance, this is later referenced by Emerson and Thoreau.

Shakespeare came from a 'recusant' Catholic, and therefore pre-Reformation, sensibility on his mother's side. She was Mary Arden, and members of the Arden family were part of a concentration of families trying to practice the Old religion; Ardens even involved in, and some executed for, spying, rebellion, and assassination plots.

So, Shakespeare had an interest in magic, fairies, ghosts, witches and the like; that can be seen from A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest (the only plays whose plots were essentially original) and others of his greatest work such as Macbeth and Hamlet. And, in general, many of the plays have a strong 'premodern' element of fate or providence governing the affairs of Men. However, as Tolkien noted with disappointment, such elements are seldom given full value or treated with full seriousness - it is mostly a matter of hints and epiphanies.

With the dawning of the Romantic consciousness, Shakespeare was therefore ripe for revival and reinterpretation in this light - despite that in other respects, his work was often very 'artificial', ironic, fashionable, or simply derivative (in terms of basic plots and subject matter).

Shakespeare can therefore be seen as spanning from the Medieval consciousness, which simply took magic and the supernatural for granted as a real and objective part of the external environment; the early modern consciousness, which treated such matters ironically and satirically - as being unreal and delusional - purely a part of subjective consciousness; and the Romantic consciousness which (in its highest development; e.g. Coleridge, Novalis, Blake) returns to the pre-modern in conscious thought, with a realism that includes as necessary, both the subjective and the objective.

In other words, the Romantic concept of the magical-supernatural is that these things are real; and/but - like all real things - their reality is neither wholly in the external environment nor the internal consciousness, but in the necessary apprehension of the environment by consciousness. They (both the supernatural and all real phenomena) are indeed out-there, and/but they require the subjective consciousness to be known; and only the known is real. (Only the known is part of Creation - all else is unknowable chaos.)

The magical is real, but reality has a new location, in the realm of thinking. Neither purely out-there nor in-here, but in a new conception of the potential of the world of thinking to know directly and perhaps participate in divine creation. This is the thinking of the 'creative genius', who is seen by Romantics as (potentially) the proper mode of all Men.

So the ghost in Hamlet is 'really there' but requires someone to see and hear it; if there was no consciousness present, there would be no ghost.

Multiple re-readings of recent books

Enzo Cilenti (excellent) as Childermass in the (overall not excellent) BBC adaptation of S&N

Over the past four years I have 'discovered' at least five books that I have felt impelled to return and re-read more than three times (i.e. at least once a year).

Since such books are, in my experience, rare treasures, they seem worth noting.

1. The Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner
Partly I have re-read this in order to understand it - but it is also a pleasure, an excitement, to read.

2. Unancestral Voice by Owen Barfield
Again, the re-reading has been partly to get to the bottom of this; but also because I seem to uncover new and unnoticed things with each reading.

3. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
This is a young adult book, the first (of many) I read/ listened-to by this author; and one I find a sheer delight.

4. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell/ The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
I am currently listening-to/ reading S&N for at least the fifth time since Easter 2015, when I started reading it on a walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales (although I more often look at favourite parts). I have never been so impressed by any work of fiction since Lord of the Rings more than 40 years ago - I just love it. LGA is a short story collection, in the same 'world', which I have re-read almost as often.

Monday, 10 December 2018

John the Baptist was needed so that Jesus could know-of and consciously choose his destiny

I have often written here about the fascinating yet enigmatic person of John the Baptist, who is presented as an extremely important figure (second only to Jesus) in the Fourth (and other) Gospels.

But the nature of John's importance, the deep reasons why he was crucially important; are, by my judgement, poorly explained in the sources I have encountered.

I have previously suggested several explanations of John's importance - but now I think I have finally reached to the bottom of the matter!...

The key is that Jesus was only potentially the Messiah until John recognised then baptised him.

So, Jesus was already a sinless Man, perfectly aligned with God's plan and purposes, 'destined' from before his incarnation to be the Messiah; but as such, Jesus could not recognise himself as the Messiah.

Jesus needed to be told that he was the Messiah - and he needed to be told by a person of authority, discernment and total honesty: that is by a true prophet.

John was the greatest religious figure of his day, universally respected and revered, probably the only acknowledged Hebrew prophet for hundreds of years. John was uniquely qualified to recognise Jesus as the Messiah, and to tell him and be believed.

Only then could Jesus actively choose to embrace his destiny; and he did so by requesting baptism from John. We could say that, at the moment of baptism, Jesus (as an adult, of supreme intelligence and scholarly knowledge) made a fully 'informed' decision now to become who he already-was potentially.

And at this moment, John saw the spirit descend upon Jesus and stay upon him: at the baptism Jesus became divine.

And John's work was completed.

John 1: [29] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [30] This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. [31] And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. [32] And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. [33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. [34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

Christianity in relation to paganism and monotheism

We can analyse paganism, monotheism and Christianity from the perspective of the implied relationship between Man and the divine (and an understanding of the nature of divine). 

Paganism is hugely varied, each tribe and locality having its own version, and most are fluid and loosely defined - with no real attempt to hold it constant. The gods (the many little 'g'-gods) are more powerful than, but not qualitatively different from, Men. The gods are subject to the same virtues and sins as Men; have the same kind of strengths and weaknesses - therefore the religion is one of divination and propitiation - of Men discerning the will of the gods, and attempting to influence the gods by flattery, sacrifice etc
Monotheistic religions (such as Judaism and Islam) have a creator deity - a capital-G God; and the practice is underpinned by obedience to that God (obedience to laws/ rules/ rituals as revealed by prophets who are merely mouthpieces of the divine). The relationship between Man and God is one of the infinitely-lesser submitting to the incomprehensibly-greater - and how people feel about this is pretty irrelevant. The religion is therefore one of practice, not belief; and the ethic one of strict adherence to the rules of practice.

(There is no divination or sacrifice in monotheism, as such - since God is so infinitely removed and great; that it would be impossible to understand, predict or influence such a God.)

What of Christianity? Well, although self-identified Christianity is often corrupted by Monotheistic or Pagan elements - the intrinsic nature of Christianity is different from either.

Christianity focuses on Jesus - and on the one hand Jesus was not 'a god' (as he might be in paganism - e.g. a god in human form) - because, for Christians, Jesus lived in a reality where there was a unified creator deity - a prime God who was not Jesus.

But Jesus was divine, and brought the teaching that all Men could (by following him) also become divine (via death and resurrection).

In what sense was Jesus, the Man, also divine? Because by some means - such as the divine spirit impregnating Jesus's Mother, or the divine spirit descending upon Jesus at baptism - Jesus the Man was made god. But not just made-into 'a' god; but made a god-creator who could, and does, work-with God the prime creator.

Therefore Jesus became 'fully divine'; that is, he eventually joined-with the divine creator in the work of creation, while remaining a Man; and Jesus made it possible for other Men to do the same.

So, Christianity takes the understanding of God as the single, original prime creator from monotheism; and takes the continuity between gods and Man (the possibility of a man becoming a god) from paganism, and made a new category of god-creator - the two being brought-together in and by the centrality of Jesus Christ.

(Of course, I am assuming here that Christianity is Obviously Not a type of monotheism; which many theologians have always asserted it is - fudging the issue by Trinitarian incoherence. Evidence for the wrongness of the idea of Christian monotheism is that when Christianity has been so regarded, it takes on the qualities of monotheism - becomes essentially like Judaism and/ or Islam; that is a religion of obedience, law, ritual, submission - as contrasted with being distinctively 'Christian', as Jesus was and taught.)

Sunday, 9 December 2018

There is no plan or blueprint for how to live well - 'the next step' becomes evident, a step at a time

People (including myself) often seek for a blueprint of how to live, a set of methods, a step-by-step plan so that we know in advance what to do and when. But this is an error.

The proper attitude to life is one that acknowledges as ideal a kind of steady state in which we are living, experiencing and learning; and therefore changing. As we change, this is growth. As we grow, the next step in growth becomes evident in a way that it could not have been before we grew.

We can know this is happening by our experience of this growth - with an ability to look back with a new comprehension. But, however far we have come - we can only look one step forward.

This growth is 'theosis' or 'divinisation' - the becoming more like to God, by learning from our mortal experiences, according to God's purpose in creation. This being the way that we grow in spiritual maturity towards the ultimate goal of being grown-up children of God.

The goal is very long term, and we are transformed in the process, so a blueprint is impossible. Because each person is different (from the beginning, and as a consequence of different experiences) there can be no generic stepwise plan - we, personally, can only know our next step after taking the previous step and receiving the validation of experience. 

The first step is actually to experience, self-consciously, a higher level of consciousness; and to learn from that.

And that first step leads onto the next.

Life is not something to delay, we ought not to wait to enter-into life; we need to be doing life now, and all of the time; as fully as we are now capable of doing.

No matter how low we start; once begun, that capability will increase, incrementally. 

That is what we are here for.

Note: Reflections after reading that most dense and pregnant chapter of William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness, 1974 which is entitled 'Astrology'.

Incarnation is part of the ordering of creation

For there to be order (rather than chaos) there is organisation. Part of this is Time, and the other part is Space.

We began as spirits, living in Time; and when we become incarnated - as mortal Men on earth - we become organised in Space.

Initially, it is only possible to incarnate in mortal form, with bodies that change, decay, are subject to disease and death; but - thanks to Jesus Christ - we may choose to be resurrected into Life Everlasting, with immortal and indestructible bodies.

This represents a further - and sufficient - ordering of reality.

As mortals we grow in consciousness, experiencing change in the environment of other beings, and also in our selves, our bodies; after resurrection we continue to experience the first but not the second.

This is mostly a great enhancement, and sets-us up for eternity - but there is also a closing-off of certain possibilities that we have in mortal life - the experiences of living with internal change due to our own bodily growth, development, disease, degeneration and death.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Silly Wizard - Donald McGillavry

I was a big fan of Electric Folk music in the 1970s - this is perhaps the only truly first rate example of the genre I have heard performed since that era. It features the (literally) incredible accordeon playing of Phil Cunningham.


Note: I lived for several years in Scotland (Penicuik and Glasgow) - so I understand the dialect... you may not! 

Old Left-New Left... Modernity-Postmodernity - surface changes masking a constant deep motivation against God

It is easy to make too much of the change in mainstream socio-politics that happened in the mid-1960s. Leftism has been increasingly mainstream in The West for a couple of hundred years - but within that project, there was a change in the 1960s; and on the surface it seemed to be a qualitative change.

Some contrasts... The Old Left was about economics, the New Left was about the sexual revolution and antiracism; equality of opportunity versus affirmative action and group preferences; nationalisation versus globalisation; planned economy versus free trade; protectionism versus mass-unlimited population migration; the native workers versus immigrants...

For a while the idea became fashionable that this was a shift from modernism to postmodernism; where modernism was seen as a kind of Enlightenment Rationalism and progress; and postmodernism was seen as relativism, loss of all values, loss of all explanations, loss of all sense of purpose and progress - a world of change but no meaning.

However, although the surface change was indeed qualitative; underneath the change from Old to New Left/ modernism to postmodernism, can be seen as an unfolding of the same underlying impulse.

How do we know this? Because many millions of individual people on The Left, en masse, made this exact transition in their beliefs; and very few of them refused to do so.

The same individuals who in their youth championed white, native-born, working class men as the oppressed 'proletarian' heroes of society... by the time they reached old age had demonised this group (as racist/ sexist/ homophobic/ Christian bigots etc.), and now champions everybody except them.

Another example is eugenics. Before 1960 pretty much All intellectual Leftists (except Roman Catholics) were ardent advocates of eugenics: i.e. of state control of human fertility as an essential means towards improving genetic quality, and therefore social functioning. By 1970, the same group of people, often the same individuals, regarded eugenics as a hallmark of 'Right Wing', 'Fascist' evil; and anyone proposing eugenics was aggressively, often violently, excluded from public discourse ('deplatformed' as people would now call it).

The same happened with 'feminism'. Before the transition; Leftists regarded feminism as subsumed within socialism (racism too) - the sexes being unified by equality of opportunity. From the 1970s, women were increasingly split from men as a victim group with opposite interests than men; and with different laws and rules applicable to women and men; so as first to equalise sex outcomes, then to make women's outcomes higher than men's - in one area of public action after another. The ideal of equality has been replaced by an ideal of inequality.

Yet although these aims (sex equality of opportunity versus sex inequality of outcome) were extremely different, almost opposite; Leftists remained Leftists - with very few exceptions they obediently followed 'the party line', and (in their multi-millions) set-aside honesty and consistency.

And Many millions more joined them - as the Left took-over all mainstream politics, government, all all major social institutions.

The fact that people on the Left so easily, seamlessly, changed - and even reversed - their superficial opinions and their policies; and did so dishonestly, claiming that they were not doing so; tells us that the roots and motivation of Leftism are not at the level of obvious opinions and policies.

The roots of Leftism are much deeper - and are, indeed, at the level of metaphysics. That is, at the level of basic assumptions concerning the nature of reality.

The basic assumptions of Leftism have unfolded over the past couple of centuries (and were foreshadowed before that time). The most fundamental assumption is a set of linked assumptions rejecting divine agency and the immaterial. These are along the lines that there is no God, and no objective truth, beauty or morality; that the material (perceptible, measurable) realm of things is the only reality; and that human emotion (pleasure-suffering) is the only valid measure of goodness (aka 'utilitarianism').

(You should note that materialism and utilitarianism are ultimately contradictory - because other-people's emotions do not exist according to materialism, being objectively unobservable, not-measurable, unquantifiable; nonetheless this combination of assumptions is universal in mainstream public discourse for the past century and more.)

On the positive side of 'what was wanted', Leftism probably began with pacifism among mid-18th century Nonconformists, the abolition of slavery spreading from this same group, and a mounting demand for relief of the new kind of poverty and misery that was caused by the industrial revolution by means of state redistribution of wealth...

And from the beginning the sexual revolution was a strong element, although initially only among the upper class radicals (e.g. Lord Byron, Shelley); who immediately used a political rationale for advocating their own practice of unbounded sexual relations outside of religious marriage. 

We need to recognise that, even though its early advocates espoused some good causes, and many individuals at the low level of the movement were basically good-but-misguided people, the Left always was from its very roots a basically false (hence evil) human motivation.

By excluding or marginalising the divine perspective; by placing mortal life, materialism and human emotion as the focus of human evaluation and action; it was always inevitable that Leftism would unfold to short-termist hedonism, despair, and nihilism - and would lead its adherents (at first unconsciously, but increasingly explicitly) to seek their own self-annihilation - both in general - by working actively for the destruction of their own marriages, families, institutions and nations) - and individually.

This self-annihilation is rationalised by a publicly enforced cancerous compassion. Compassion is, objectively, a minor virtue intended as a duty in relation to a person's immediate circle of family, friends and neighbours. But post-60s Leftism has raised 'universal, unbounded compassion' to be the ultimate virtue to be striven-for - and, of course, this is a form of suicide - both at a group level and for individuals.  

Self-annihilation therefore also operates personally - with its compassion-driven focus on abortion/ infanticide, and euthanasia for an expanding and open-ended scope of indications. The ideal of unbounded non-procreative sex is also justified by compassion for those with 'unconventional' desires.

Ultimately there is the increasingly-accepted/ wanted transhumanist project of destroying and replacing humans (by drugs, genetic engineering, implanted social-mass media, microchipping, downloading etc) - again, advocated mainly on the basis of compassion for suffering.

All these 'new' phenomena have their motivational roots in the centuries-old and basic assumptions of Leftism; they were implicit from its very beginnings.

Which tells us that the origin of Leftism lies in the demonic; in immortal purposive evil with foresight.

And this is why Leftism has been by far the most successful of all evil strategies in the history of Mankind.

Friday, 7 December 2018

What makes modern people 'naturally' disbelieve in God?

(My answer; speaking from the experience of several decades, in the middle years of my life, as an atheist...)

The fact that all modern public discourse excludes the divine.

As a modern child grows up, he becomes socialised, he becomes trained in modern public discourse of many kinds: school work, everything to do with the mass media, sports, pastimes, hobbies... and all of these exclude the divine.

It Just Isn't There. The lexicon of objects that function in the system exclude the divine; the causality of the system excludes the divine.

As the child reaches adolescence - these modes of thought become more dominant, and they become habitual to the extent of being simply taken for granted; and eventually they become so habitual as to be extremely difficult to break out from.

This process is exacerbated in the world of work, where nearly all jobs exclude the divine (in whatever social system, the law, medicine, science, government, politics, police, the military, engineering - as well as the mass media and academia) - becoming competent means internalising these 'materialist' ways of thinking; thus, excluding the divine.

So, the more expert I became at public discourse; from the level of everyday socialising, through my education and professional practice in science, medicine, literature, philosophy... The better I got at 'work' and interacting; the more I internalised the systems... the more adept I became at working-within and extrapolating-from the systems... the less time and space there was in my thoughts for God. 

So, modern people - after early childhood - tend to become habitual atheists at the level of their thought processes.  And this happens most to those who work in the congitive realms; and tends to increase with expertise.

And long-term, frequently practised, and socially rewarded habits can be very, very, Very difficult to break (if/ when you want to break them, which too-few do).

From such considerations, I regard modernity (with its division and specialisation of function) as intrinsically hostile to the divine; hence it carries the seeds of its own destruction. 

Who is the best blogger?

Blogs are clearly on the way out, and many of the best bloggers have gone - but let's just express our opinion on who is - overall - the best blogger...

Leaving-out myself (!) and also my co-bloggers at Albion Awakening and Junior Ganymede (because we are really the best :) - then who do you think is the best?

My vote goes to Vox Day (Theodore Beale) - whose blog is quite remarkable in terms of posting very frequently, across a wide range, and with great 'originality' - in the sense that he is so inventive and so good at discovering, elaborating and refining ideas.

I can understand it when people don't like his pugnacious style, but that also has its compensations - and is anyway far outweighed by his (rare!) bedrock virtues of honesty and solid, evangelical Christianity.

It should-not need to be said (now, or ever) that this endorsement does not imply that I agree with Vox on everything, or even on most things - because I don't agree with anybody in the world on everything (I am in a minority of one); but I do agree with him on the important issues, and that is what matters; and that is why I read Vox Popoli more often than any other blog.

But the question is - what is Your favourite blog, and why?

Thursday, 6 December 2018

How Albion failed to learn from 1970s utopianism and disillusion

...When I turned 17 I did not bother learning to get a driving license, because I was confident that cars would not be around for much longer: I believed that the demise of our industrial society was imminent, and that was what I wanted. I envisaged a village-level and more communal life - much like Medieval times but minus the Warrior Lord and the Priests.

This absence was important, because I understood that without this needless and counter-productive expenditure of resources (money, food, time and energy) I thought we could:

1. Raise the standard of living of the ordinary peasants above subsistence to a reasonable sufficiency.

2. Increase the amount of discretionary leisure from minimal to ample.

3. And, thereby, enable people to do what they deeply wanted to do; which was (I thought) to replace the business of fighting and religion with a great expansion of arts and crafts - and, implicitly, sexual freedom too, although I did not articulate this.

...As the seventies proceeded (the balance inflecting probably from 1976-7) was that this vision gradually soured and darkened - and dystopia became more and more dominant; and has stayed.

The village idyll of my hopes was replaced by a rotten pastoralism that saw the countryside as a fake, concealing dark and sinister goings-on - mind-controlled rustics engaged in ritual mutilation, rape, murder; or secret business and government agencies concealed in forests or underground. A totalitarian future of surveillance, manipulation, poisoning, destruction, massification...

The hedonic, creative paganism of my vague daydreams was replaced by instinctive savagery or actually demonic activities...

 Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Byzantine cure for bureaucratic cancer

It is interesting that the Eastern Roman ('Byzantine') Empire, which lasted for 1000 years in Constaninople - much longer than any other polity since Christ - managed to get the benefits of bureaucratic organisation but without suffering its tendency to unchecked metastatic growth; by the simple means of restricting membership to eunuchs.

Life as a eunuch bureaucrat was pretty good - and although you were not allowed to be Emperor, you could rise to being Patriarch of the church (e.g St Ignatios) or chief general of the Imperial army (Narses); and (on average) you would live longer (and healthier) than an uncastrated man.

On the other hand...

Note: A further important factor in its longevity was the highly religious devoutness of Byzantine life, which seems to have continued pretty-much unabated throughout the 1000 years. This motivated people; and to a significant unified and directed this motivation outside the individual mortal life and indeed the world itself; which maintained cohesion and kept a check on wholly-selfish short-termism.

Any-more More-Questions?

Following my offer to answer reader's questions, and the follow-up...

Are there any more?

Note: If you want; you might like to pretend (for the sake of the exercise) that I am a some kind of Eastern guru (!) who allows one question per pilgrim, and who will therefore ask each person: 'What is your question?'

Supposedly, this restriction to a single question is implicitly intended to provoke reflection in the asker; so that he must first learn what it is that most matters to him - and in that lies most of its benefit of the whole process, regardless of the answer given.

The consequence is, perhaps, that once you have decided for sure The Question you will ask, you could, maybe should, at that point turn-around, leave the queue, and go home.

But then what would you tell the folks? 

Mainstream modern metaphysics: Goodness is Vitally Important! (But it is not real)

Mainstream modern morality includes such as: Love is Important... Justice, Compassion, Equality... these things are Terribly Important. Art and Culture is important, Science is Important. Ethics are Even-More Important...

But none of them are really real.

Because there is no Objective reality - or if there is we can't know it. There is no purpose to human life; or if there is it is just something we make-up each for ourselves (which means there is zero  objective purpose).

Because, for mainstream modernity; if something can't be seen or heard or touched - if something can't be detected and  measured by Scientific Instruments - then it is not a really real part of the Universe...

So that rules-out God, the soul, morality, beauty; and it rules-out truth (which is imperceptible) - so it invalidates all-of-the-above.

What then is real? Feelings are real! But Other People's Feelings aren't really real because they can't be seen, heard or touched - or detected by Scientific Instruments... Other People's Feelings are just something we guess, or read-about in the mass media or official propaganda - who must also be guessing it.

So what is real? My feelings, here and now: they are really-real ... But I'm not sure about my feelings in the past - just memories, and they may be wrong; and I have no idea about my future feelings either.

But are my here-and-now feelings really important? ... given that they may be gone in an hour; or that they may have been manipulated by other people, or drugs, or be a result of sickness...?

Clearly my feelings here-and-now are the only real thing, therefore the only important thing; and yet I also know that they are Not really-real, not Objective and can't be measured; hence my feelings are also trivial.

This whole modern Public World is based on assertions - very strong assertions backed up with threats and force -  concerning what other-people want, what other-people like and dislike, what makes other people happy or causes them suffering. Assertions about what must 'therefore' be done to these other-people. Yet the basic modern assumptions tell us that we cannot ever know such things - and that these are all, therefore, purely-arbitrary assertions.

The entirety of the modern world, therefore, is - By It's Own Criteria - based-upon Nothing-But arbitrary assertions.

All the asserted 'good' things of our mainstream world - such as social justice, feminism, antiracism, the sexual revolution - all of these things (and every other possible thing) are Not really-real - by our own modern assumptions and definitions.

This is the normal, mainstream, modern 'Western' world that I am describing - as it appears in all public discourse - the mass and social media; in political, governmental, legal, medical, educational, legal, business and all other public domains.

Everything Important is unreal; and the only reality is unimportant. 

And people wonder why we are voluntarily going extinct, and seeking (by several routes) our own annihilation?...

The System has learned, and now focuses on corrupting leaders

I caught the headline that yet another effective leader of dissent against The System has been neutralised (Nigel Farage of UKIP - the man who is credited/ blamed by the mass media for getting the EU referendum which led to the Brexit vote).

This is something that The System has learned from the 1960s counter-culture dissent; dissenting movements depend on their leaders, and leaders can be corrupted and co-opted.

This is especially easy when the leaders are Not religious - as all modern leaders (including/ especially of mainstream Christian churches) are Not-religious; because their principles are unrooted, based on personal expediency and pseudo-calculated utilitarian considerations; and therefore their view will always shift over time; and this shift can be induced toward The System in response to bribery/ subsidy, and propaganda/ perception-control...

Pressure, threats and coercion of leaders is also possible, and effective; but seldom required (except in an emergency) - and a leader who has been gradually corrupted into obedience (for what they suppose to be 'good reasons') is more useful to The System (e.g. functioning as a Fifth Columnist, an infiltrator, a subverter) than one who has been terrified into obedience.

All modern leader with significant influence over important groups are now on the side of The System. There aren't any exceptions (at least, not in the UK). If we think there are exceptions, we are very-probably wrong - if not now, then soon. 

Anyway, unless change happens very rapidly and completely; leaders will be corrupted and turned. We know this, and ought to expect it; and we ought to work from the implications.

But it seems that not many people yet do; and almost everybody still expects to be led to a better world.

Until that expectation stops; the prospect seems certain to be worse than the present, and much worse than it needs to be.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

SJWs, deplatforming and political correctness aren't at all new; just more widespread

Just a point of information - political correctness and deplatforming by SJWs began from the middle 1960s in relation to (physical) attacks on IQ researchers such as the (world famous and highly prestigious) academics Hans Eysenck and Arthur Jensen - and these have continued since.

The reason that IQ researching psychologists was first to be singled-out for suppression; was that the core of mainstream Left (labour, liberal, socialist, democrat) political agenda since the middle sixties has been driven by outrage at the 'injustice' of evidence of group inequalities in salary/ education/ status/ health and other outcomes; inequalities which can be explained-away by differences in average intelligence and personality.

The evidence for this is vast and (by normal and rigorous standards) conclusive - so the research had to be suppressed, and it has been suppressed; by means of demonising, attacking and deplatforming the researchers and publicists.

This is important if we want to understand the current daily and increasing deplatformings, service denials and sackings of a wide swathe of even vaguely (or merely allegedly) dissident individuals and groups.

The endlessly cyclical world of radical left theorists

I've been dipping into the world of radical left theorists again recently (which I used to know quite well, sometimes from the inside) - and the most dismaying thing I found was that they have learned absolutely nothing. The names of the 'master theorists' being referenced change and rotate; but they are still talking about capitalism!

It is almost quaint to realise that there are thousands of such theorists earnestly discussing capitalism, every hour of every day; in meetings, in magazines and academic journals, in books and blogs... they are still organising/ supporting/ memorialising campaigns, boycotts, marches, strikes, sit-ins, protests and publicity... and they all still blame 'capitalism'.

What is so weird is that they are completely unaware they they themselves are a significant driver of exactly those cultural phenomena (especially the system of total bureaucracy) whose workings-out they expend such energy in exposing and analysing.

They diagnose many of the same things which I also regard as the baddest things in modern society; but they put it all down to Big Business, to 'neoliberalism', to profit-seeking, to 'free markets', competition etc. etc.

It is incredible! In other words, the whole thing is blamed on something which barely exists, and has - like everything else - been crushed almost to death by the totalitarian linked-bureaucracy-media System in which radical leftist theorists personally (as well as collectively) play such an important part.

Indeed, the successful leftist-theorists always become absorbed into exactly this System, and get senior managerial and advisory positions in the bureaucracy, and a harvest of cultural and official accolades.

They see this everywhere, again and again; and yet they have learned nothing! The decades roll past, and they learn nothing.

It is this kind of thing that makes me realise there is something very important missing from the very centre of our culture - so many, many people go for so so very, very long (their whole lives) - reading, discussing, travelling - and they learn absolutely Zero from the experience...

Unless getting more and more cynical, disillusioned, nihilistic and despairing counts as learning.

Metaphysical meme warfare

The idea of using 'memes' in the spiritual and culture war is a good one - so long as the aim is to change thinking rather than to impact mainstream mass and social media.

And, if we agree that the best or only hope is a mass and leaderless awakening, then any effective meme needs to work at an individual level with implications, as well as implying some kind of social consequences.

From that respect the 'Deus Vult' (God will it) crusader meme is useless in a world where the mainstream Christian churches are corrupt and converged - since it implies an already existing army-for-God which we might join.

Or 'MAGA' (Make America Great Again) is hopeless; because the USA is (here, now) profoundly divided about what it is; and Greatness is a weasel word that includes lots of bad, indeed terminally destructive, things. It also leaves-out all reference, even implicit, to 'the one thing needful'.

So, both of these fail to begin with an individual, and they make 'action' a matter of subscribing to some organisation or institution - in a world where it is exactly these groups that are leading us to damnation.

A failed Christian meme from a few decades ago, but persisting a long while, was: "Jesus Loves You". On the positive side is the word 'is' - which is the main point of it. Jesus 'is', not just 'was'; and another positive feature is 'You'-personally - it invites a personal relationship.

Of course, the effect faded and the phrase became empty (and the concept of Love was swiftly and very fully subverted - with the help of The Beatles and much of mainstream pop music and culture); but perhaps Jesus Loved You helped fuel that small but real evangelical Christian revival among youth of the late sixties, early seventies...

My understanding is that the root of our Big Problem is our metaphysical assumptions about reality; which have eliminated any possibility of meaning, purpose, or a personal relation with the world. So memes ought to address these. Then, if they were effective, people would recover their motivation and courage. 

The kind of thing that is needed is something - not exactly but along-the-lines-of - "The world is alive, the world is beings."

Or: "Your soul is divine, your soul is free - so choose."

Or, the syllogism-like slogan: "Jesus is God, Jesus is a Man - Man may be god."

Or: "If you want everlasting life: follow Jesus."

That is the level, that is the brevity and simplicity; the trick is the meme's pregnancy... the capacity to take-root, inspire, en-courage, unfold in the desired direction.

If there is to be a Good 'politics of the future' it will be incredibly simplistic

The age of complex politics - politics you needed to study and learn - is past, long past. And probably that's a good thing; probably that it the proper path.

The past 50 years has seen politics degenerate into a collection of dumb and destructive slogans - mostly-directed against marriage, family, and even sexual reality - what we need to replace this is a collection of dumb and constructive slogans.

(By 'slogans' I mean 'principles' - but of the kind that can be reduced to a slogan.) 

(And when I say 'collection' I mean a very small, simple, easily memorable, and coherent collection.) 

They need to be dumb if politics is to be anything other than an imposition by a grossly-corrupt, increasingly purposively-evil, intellectual elite.

As often noticed, any movement that requires leaders can and will be destroyed (or subverted and co-opted) - and if a movement doesn't require leaders, it must be comprehensible by a great mass of people of ordinary, and less than ordinary, ability.

What is lacking here-and-now is motivation; and ordinary people will only be motivated by something simple-enough that it can be fully grasped and known as a whole; and if it is to be Good, then simple-enough to be known intuitively as true.

If this does happen, therefore, intellectuals (including you and me, probably) will hate it reflexly - not least because they/ we will be marginalised, not needed, not used. We will be asked to subscribe to something that strikes us as ridiculously simplistic; and we will find it difficult to so subscribe - it will so very be easy to 'pick apart' and ridicule or fear.

Nonetheless, it is either simplism or doom.

And if it is to be Christian, the same applies... it will be either a simple Christianity, in which it is clear and easy to understand what is asked and wanted; or else we won't get Christianity at all, but something else clearer and simpler and (thus) more motivating for ordinary people (and I think I can guess what).

Monday, 3 December 2018

Why are bureaucrats so stupid? Evil cannot understand, or create (while it is 'being evil')

There are, of course, plenty of 'evil geniuses' in the sense of people who are (overall) evil while also being creative geniuses; however, I think such people are 'being good' when they make their creative discoveries; because when people are 'being evil' they are incapable of knowing reality, thus incapable of work of genuinely creative genius.

This, indeed, in the normal situation - since we are all a mixture of good and evil; although the proportion does vary widely.

That is, the 'good people' people are aligned with the divine most of the time, and only seldom opposed to God/ Good/ Creation; while evil people are the other way around - and most people are somewhere in the middle.

(It is in exactly this sense that the devil is described as a liar and Father of Lies - for purposively evil beings, dishonesty is not merely strategic or expedient; it is intrinsic - because truth is inadmissible.)

To be a genius, in an ultimate sense, is to be thinking in universal reality; thus to comprehend reality; and the creative aspect is participating in the ongoing work of creation.

This is a model that is useful in explaining a common experience that when people are being-evil, they cannot understand truth - even when it is very simple and obvious.

I have had this experience many times in my life - except that I usually failed to understand the reason why a person could not understand something so clear and simple. I now recognise that their failure to understand was because they were being evil, hence untruthful in a deep and primary way.

I have often seen this among bureaucrats (including academics and doctors performing bureaucratic roles)... I might explain something very straightforward and obvious, some-thing that could be understand easily by almost anyone; yet after a while I recognise that the bureaucrat just doesn't understand the point - and indeed is getting angry, or perpetually changing the subject.*

This is a root cause of how bureaucracy is so deeply and ineradicably stupid; because it is so deeply and intrinsically evil. 

At a psychological level, I think this incomprehension occurs because the evil individual will not allow true thoughts to pass-through his mind. This entails stubbornly and defiantly failing to comprehend, resisting comprehension of, even very simple and clear propositions when they conflict with the prevalent evil.

And of course it blocks even the possibility of creativity - which depends on realism; and is probably one of several causes for the extreme anti-creativity of modern life.

*At this point the bureaucrat may make a reference to the point at issue being 'your opinion' - because they are unable to recognise that it is simply true (i.e. a simple inference from universally accepted premises). Often, this happens because truth is being 'trumped' by an ideology that says this point cannot be true, therefore only someone opposed to the ruling ideology - therefore someone 'evil' - would insist upon the point.  This is the explanation of those many 'hate facts' that have become so important in mainstream culture over the past 50 years: they are instances of truths that cannot be thought by evil minds.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Is there anyone who believes in the reality of Jesus and then rejects him?

It isn't impossible so perhaps there is, perhaps many - but it's not something I have known for myself. What I encounter is the belief that Jesus is a myth or a fake... "and anyway I don't want what he offers".

(But have they really considered what he offered? Hasn't the belief that he is a fake blocked it?)

It should be possible to evaluate the two things separately - one: whether there was Jesus, and what he brought - and two: whether we, personally, actually want that. Two things that seem separable - but are they ever separate, in actual experience?

Of course people get wrong or distorted ideas about what Jesus was or wanted, and this is surely inevitable even if there was not such a mass of disinformation and deception.

Blaise Pascal remarked that all Men would want Christianity to be true, if they knew what it was: he knew from a direct personal mystical experience. But how very few people ever seem to get to that point.

Most seem to operate in a permanent haze of confusion, whirling from question to question - did Jesus really exist? What did he say? (And not say?). Is that the best offer? What would I want otherwise? How does this fit with my favourite things in life?

What is mostly missing is any sense of Life, Here, Now; as a baseline, as a basis of comparison. People seem unable to grasp their own lives - they can't think it through, and they can't (or won't admit) a recognition of Life as an instantaneously 'known' whole.... and what that is.

Just a whirring, superficial, passive mass of confusions and contradictions... and a kind of nihilism about any possibility of anything else - not that they have ever tried.

Or even, people that have actually had such an insight, a moment of comprehension; but reject it as personal, subjective, wishful thinking, day dreaming, a momentary psychosis or whatever... They have some vague idea that if it had been really-real then they would have read about it in the mass media and everybody else would feel exactly the same...

Consider the bounds of life... Many or most people seem to think that it does not make any difference whether 'biological death' is the end of the person, or not. They regard eternal life after biological death as an irrelevant factor in life before death. In sum, they never seem to have felt or experienced the difference it makes, and engage in silly reductions and catch phrases instead... of an 'it's not important' kind.

There are so many possible way that people might understand, yet this idea of what counts, what is important, seems to stymie the lot of them!

And of course Systems lie in all directions to kill any chance of escape! At a deep level we know that to exchange one cage for another is not worth it. If Jesus is believed to have offered merely a more comfortable cage, then I'm not surprised people aren't interested...

But people seem awfully sure that there is nothing but cages to choose between... despite that most of us have experienced something which is not a system but is real: I mean the family.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

The content of mainstream Romanticism (contrasted with Romantic Christianity)

 The Romantic Christianity of William Arkle - inspiring reality behind the mundane surface

Romanticism is very important, indeed inevitable.

Most people regard Romanticism as a reaction to the industrial revolution, or to Enlightenment rationalism - but I regard it as coming from within: as a development of human consciousness. And, as such, part of God's plan for Man.

From the middle 1700s there were early signs (especially in Britain and Germany) of a new consciousness. The invention of the novel by Samuel Richardson, and its rapid and runaway success is a clear example. Romanticism emerged among poets, painters, philosophers, musicians - it was a cultural phenomenon and it has never gone away.

However, most Romanticism is bad, harmful, evil tending; and was and is opposed by traditionalist religious Christians.

A classic story is of a miserable, alienated young man growing up in some kind of strict (often hypocritical) Christian background, enmeshed in 'right wing' attitudes; who seeks more 'life' in terms of extramarital sex (of whatever kind), drugs, crime, and/or radical/ revolutionary politics. Another kind of romanticism favours paganism, and contrasts its naturalness, spontaneity, happiness with the wretchedness of sin-obsessed, negativistic and legalistic Christian churches.

There are many thousands of such stories among novels, movies, TV programmes etc., and new ones emerge all the time. Romanticism of this sort is found in art illustrations, rock and pop music, fashion... just everywhere. This is mainstream Romanticism: typified by sex-politics-intoxication and anti-Christian themes and attitudes.

It is so popular precisely because 'Romanticism taps-into this changed human consciousness; yet it is also a failure. On the one hand mainstream Romanticism cannot be defeated by traditional Christianity because it addresses a need which will not go away; and against it tradition is merely endorsing a life of unavoidable alienation and misery, of boredom and despair. And, anyway, since Romanticism (properly understood) is divinely-driven, Christians should love and embrace it; not fear and fight it.

Yet 250 years and thousands of examples of experience shows us that this mainstream Romanticism is a failure. It leads nowhere better than disillusion or death. It has proved to be helpless against the rise and rise of bureaucracy, and even (via 'transhumanism') feeds-into the advanced plan to make people into robots in a totalitarian machine.

It is this reasoning  that lies behind my advocacy of Romantic Christianity - the principles, in two words - are the inevitability of Romanticism and the truth of Christianity.

Without Christianity, Romanticism is merely psychotherapy by another name, and psychotherapy doesn't work. But without Romanticism Christianity will be undesirable.

Put the two together, however, and we get the best of both worlds: Romanticism rooted in truth, meaning, purpose and the reality of relationships with a loving God and each other; a hope-full Christianity that successfully addresses alienation and despair, and potentially motivates, energises and en-courages us.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Note added on resurrection and Life Everlasting in the Fourth Gospel

I want people to read the Fourth Gospel for themselves - because the primary meaning is in the Whole Thing, and the teachings it references multiple times in different ways - but I have just added some illustrative quotations from the first six chapters to the original post; demonstrating the kind of thing I mean.

Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail

...The Angel, when he came, came quietly and not all at once. A red spot in mid-air, just at Joseph's eye level, pulsated and expanded and took on shape and form until a mighty winged being with a flaming sword stood before him. 'I am Michael the Archangel,' he said in a voice like a trumpet blast. 'Come now.' The cell door opened at the Angel's touch. Joseph picked up the Chalice and followed him along the corridor. It was night. The guards were lying on the ground, fast asleep. The Angel led Joseph to the High Priest's courtyard. The palace gates swung open as if in response to an unspoken command. Michael walked the length of one street with Joseph, then turned right into a little alley. 'Go now,' he said. 'Gather those close to you and sail West to the Pillars of Hercules, then North to the shores of Britain. You must make your way into the mountains from there, following the star which the Most High will send you. Where the star stops, there you shall build your church - the Church of the Grail - and you will be the first Grail King.'...

John Fitzgerald gives us an original, inspirational 3000 word short-story about the life of Joseph Arimathea; read the whole thing at Albion Awakening.

The System and piecemeal reform - the unholy alliance of the sexual revolution and bureaucracy

Everyone who is active in politics implicitly subscribes to the ideal of piecemeal reform; the idea that small incremental changes in specifics will eventually lead to overall improvement of The System as-a-whole. This is almost compelled because all attempts at reform need to be 'realistic'.

However, piecemeal change can only be destructive - which is why it has been the platform of Leftism (pioneered by that most-successful of all Leftist organisations, the Fabian Society). And piecemeal change is effective because it is dishonest.

The dishonesty is in suggesting that a single Thing can be pulled-out of the weave of society and improved, and that this will not have any consequences. However, honest strategic thinkers realise that every significant change has consequences, and that these consequences tend to lead to further change.

The sexual revolution gives the clearest example. It began (early in the 20th century) with humanitarian arguments in favour of divorce, then easier divorce; and humanitarian arguments against the miseries of unmarried mothers and their children - then other victim groups were added: the intriniscally evil language of 'rights' was introduced...

Each change to the law, institutional regulations and to social norms was treated as an isolated reform addressing an injustice; but each reform destabilised The System in favour of more reforms - in an accelerating sequence.

Step by step each 'reform' led to consequences that implied further change - until continuing the sexual revolution became the core of Leftism, and Leftism ruled all developed nations (now, all significant political parties are Leftist, all bureaucracies are Leftist, indeed all mainstream institutions of all kinds - including churches - are Leftist - and their leaderships are all dedicated to continuing the sexual revolution).

Where is it going? Nowhere - the point is that it continues, not where it is going; the point is that the sexual revolution is destructive - not that it is trying to construct anything in particular. Each change drives further changes in an attempts at 'consistency' - yet there is no consistent outcome in view or aimed-at; therefore the sexual revolution is net destructive. 

And as the sexual revolution continues its incremental destruction; so bureaucracy expands - reaching into every home and workplace; monitoring and controlling at a finer and finer level. As the sexual revolution (and other allied Leftist permanent crusades) destroys all spontaneous, natural and voluntary forms of cohestion (marriage, the family, clubs and guilds) - bureaucracy emerges as the sole form of organisation: the totality of socio-political cohesion is one single, global, linked-bureaucracy.

The sexual revolution and bureaucracy are an unholy (literally unholy) alliance: the sexual revolution is justified by valorisation of instinct and impulse; yet always it is implemented by bureaucracy. The every expanding, ever-linking bureaucracy is validated by its work in implementing the sexual revolution - and the two collude in making sexual issues ever-more the centre of public discourse; The Most Important Issue for all major modern bureaucracies (including the mainstream churches).

But the sexual revolution and bureaucracy are both a socio-political process, not a socio-political end-point. In materialistic and this-worldly terms they are not going anywhere in particular.

They are a means to an end - but that end is spiritual, hence excluded from all mainstream public discourse.  The sexual revolution and bureaucracy are types of evil, and as such aim at the damnation of souls - and effective damnation must be chosen self-damnation.

Yet when we (as free, conscious individuals) look at modern society, we see a system of self-damnation with no apparent way-in; any reforms that seem necessary will in practice only get leverage by accepting and arguing-from the bulk of  The System. In effect, we are required to accept The System to change The System - we must 'work with' The System to try and induce positive change...

Not surprisingly this Never works; and all change feeds The System. and supports the demonic spiritual goals of The System.

This is a harsh truth and people don't want it to be true; because it induces despair. People want to be able to improve things a bit at a time, they want to see signs of such improvement - they love to interpret some changes as precursors of more and stronger changes in the direction they desire. But this is self-deluding nonsense.

The degree of change to The System required for change to be positive; to reverse the generations-long progression towards a System of damnation, is so great as to be almost incomprehensible. So much needs to change, all at the same time, that it is unimaginable - especially considering that hardly anybody would want such massive changes.

Thus the discontent and dissatisfaction of people, their alienation, their sense of being trapped like laboratory animals in an iron cage of bureaucracy, and equally trapped by the manipulation of the sexual instincts and other impulses... All this is deftly turned towards piecemeal reforms that have the net effects of tightening the mesh of the cage and degrading human motivation to the gratification of ever-more short-termist physical satisfactions...

Yet the way-out is there, available to every single human individual irresistible and for the asking - if they will turn their attention away from the self-blinded materialism of The System. There is only each one of us, isolated, as a conscious soul; and confronting the single vast, growing and innately-destroying bureaucracy - but that is enough.  

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Mainstream morality is (always) the opposite of what is needed

Thought-provoked by reading yet another mainstream media Leftist article about the need to suppress conspiracy theorists who have ideas critical of Globalist billionaires...

The vulnerable-victim-Establishment Leadership urgently needs comprehensive police surveillance of and protection from (what is it?) fascist, antisemitic, racist, supremacist, terrorist (etc.), Russian-puppet conspiracy theorists - who persist in discussing their evil doctrines online and in private meetings. Intolerable!

In a society of greater conformity and credulity than any in living memory - the perceived need is... greater conformity, greater credulity.

No mystery about it - if we weren't already credulous conformists, we would not be where we are - so naturally we want more of what we already want.

Same with racism - by the mid-1960s there was essentially Zero problem with US racism (all statistical indices converging), and race preferences ('affirmative action') had already begun; so naturally racism then became the supposedly leading injustice leading to insubordination, aggression, violence - all in the sure and certain knowledge that it would not be opposed or punished; but instead valorised and rewarded.

As soon as 'resistance' did not require bravery; and instead became expedient, fashionable, sexy, naturally 'resistance' increased.

Same with feminism. After equality of opportunity had been met and surpassed - then the mainstream became fixated upon the injustices to women - and so it goes...

We want to have our virtues praised and do not want our vices to be criticised; therefore our moral crusades are focused exactly where they are not needed, exactly where we have already gone too-far.

'Too-far', because each specific virtue is only a means to the end of Goodness - so that any specific virtue pushed specifically will become evil and will lead to more evil.

As we see all around.

But the concept of Goodness requires God*; so mainstream morality (being Godless) cannot ever be anything but evil-tending - whatever its particular achievements.

So the most mind-controlled society ever, will naturally seek more mind-control above all else...

*If this statement does not strike you as obviously true; you need to think more about it. 

The cure for insanity is Not common sense...

We live in an insane world - and with the new pervasiveness and aggression of the transgender agenda the insanity is upfront and and inyourface in a way that has never been true for any known society in history.

So, how have people responded? Well, most deny the insanity. Most can't see that only an insane society could have swallowed this level of insanity and tried to carry-on-regardless.

The fact is that - by now - insanity is integrated-into our bureaucratic systems and is hourly fare in the mass/ social media to which most people are addicted.

Thus, most people have careers in systematic insanity (systematic bureaucracy that integrates insanity) and almost every hour they can spare from their work of being bureaucratic drones is spent face buried in a 'smart'-phone avidly sucking-in insanity from the mass-social media.

How insane can things get before people say no? Well, because we have already come this far, the answer is: any amount of insane, a lot more insane - as insane as They want.

Of course, Things can't work when insanity is integrated and strategically-prioritised - but in an insane world, collapsing capacity can/ will be blamed on Somebody Else (probably 'white supremacists') - so it doesn't matter.

All that matters is what is going-on in people's minds - that is what the Evil Establishment realise - and they are absolutely correct, in an ultimate sense.

Using common sense to argue against insanity, amounts to collusion with the motivation-destroying materialism of modern life.

The real battle is in the mind: For the mind.


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Who gets resurrected? - according to the Fourth Gospel, 'only' those who believe and follow Jesus

A couple of days ago I read through the Fourth Gospel (again) - this time all-through in a couple of hours, to try and get an overview. Several things stood-out and were clarified; but probably the most important was an answer to the question of who gets resurrected.

And the clear answer is - those who believe on, who follow, Jesus.

Or, to put it another way, only those who believe on, who follow Jesus, will be resurrected to that Eternal/ Everlasting Life which Jesus brings us.

This is in contrast to mainstream Christian belief that all are resurrected (but not-all are saved); and it also contradicts a single but explicit sentence in the Fourth Gospel+; however, the overall structure of the Fourth Gospel and multiple, repeated, references support the answer that it is 'only' those who regard Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah, that will be resurrected.

(This opens a further question of what happens to those who are choose Not to follow Jesus and who are Not therefore resurrected - but I will deal with that below.)

Assuming this interpretation is correct, how could this simple teaching have been missed? The answer is quite simple: Biblical understanding has operated on the basis that the whole Bible is equally true - therefore a specific teaching in 'just' one Gospel (especially the Fourth Gospel) is ignored/ explained-away when it contradicts other parts of the Bible - and especially when it contradicts the three Synoptic Gospels and the Pauline Epistles.

Whereas I believe that if we believe the truth of the Bible (truth in at least a general sense, recognising that this must mean interpretation of specific verses), then we believe the Fourth Gospel is true - including its claims about itself; and these Fourth Gospel claims mean that it is the single most authoritative Book in the Bible, which ought to be given the highest authority, above any other Book in the Bible.

(By contrast the other Gospels are, and claim to be no more than, secondhand and post hoc compilations of accounts about Jesus; and Paul's knowledge is from intuitive revelation that is, for Christians, intrinsically unlikely to be detailed and specific.)

Therefore, to check this claim for yourself - I would simply urge you to read the Fourth Gospel as an autonomous text in light of this interpretation, and looking for evidence of this teaching. (Assuming that you do already have a personal revelation of the truth of this Gospel; and if not then you would need to seek one.)

If we take the original Fourth Gospel to run from Chapters 1-20, with Chapter 21 added later (but presumably by the real author) - then the Gospel begins and ends with two core teachings - which are repeated throughout:

1. That Jesus is who he claimed to be - the Son of God, the Messiah sent by God; and that he died, resurrected and ascended to Heaven to become fully divine.

2. That Jesus came to bring resurrection and Life Eternal/ Life Everlasting to those who 'believed on' him (including believing his claim to be the Messiah and Son of God), who followed him as a sheep follows a shepherd, who loved him and believed in his love for each of us, who trusted and had faith in him.

In fact, we see that these two teachings are linked, and are - in a sense - a single teaching.

Most of the Fourth Gospel is taken up with providing 'proof' that Jesus was who he claimed - and this proof is of the type that would be effective for those living just after the death of Jesus and in the same region - evidence suitable for that time and place.

So, the evidence is the witness of John the Baptist (who was very well known and would have been regarded as the best possible witness); the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies (which, again, would have been well known); and the evidence of the miracles including the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus, at a time when many witnesses of these events were still around.

None of this evidence is very convincing to people 2000 years later and in different places and cultures; but the further teaching of the Fourth Gospel is that after his ascension Jesus sent the Holy Ghost, the 'Comforter', to provide a direct witness and knowledge to the disciples - and implicitly (although probably not explicitly) to everyone else who sought it. 

The rest of the Fourth Gospel is, via stories (parables), miracles, reported conversations and direct teachings - to explain the enhanced, divine nature of Life after resurrection - this being termed Life Eternal or Life Everlasting; and to promise this to all who would follow Jesus.

That is, pretty much, everything that the Fourth Gospel says (aside from some specific remarks to the disciples - and a single hint that they ought to teach about Jesus following his ascension). There is little or nothing specific about how to live or about a 'church' of any kind - which is probably another reason that the Fourth Gospel has been historically down-graded from its proper supremacy over the rest of the Bible.

If it is true that only the followers of Jesus are resurrected, then this removes certain problems that arise from the alternative view. It means that resurrection is chosen, it is voluntary; and therefore resurrection is not compelled nor is it enforced. I was always troubled by the idea that Jesus brought resurrection to all, whether they wanted it or not - especially since the prospects for someone resurrected but not saved seemed so grim. It seemed that Jesus was giving with one hand, but taking with the other - which would not be very loving, and seemed sub-optimal (for a creator God) - surely something better could be managed for the children of God?

But apparently that was a misunderstanding. Those who do not believe Jesus, or who do not love him and do not wish to follow him, or who do not want Life Everlasting in a (Heavenly) world of love and creation - these are Not resurrected - but shall instead return to spirit life (as we began; before we were incarnated into earthly mortality).

This fits with the beliefs of many non-Christian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and some other paganisms) - who see post-mortal life in terms of a return to the spirit world.

It also opens the possibility of reincarnation, which has probably been the usual belief of most humans through most of human history. The Fourth Gospel teaches that reincarnation is a possibility, when it discusses whether John the Baptist was one of the Old Testament prophets reincarnated... the conclusion is that he was not one of a series of possible named prophets, but the possibility of reincarnation is assumed.

We could even speculate (and it would be a speculation unless confirmed by revelation) that the world contains some mixture of newly incarnated mortals, and a proportion of reincarnates who did not accept Jesus in previous lives but have returned (presumably by choice) to enable further chances.

But again, it seems intrinsic to Christianity that all higher theosis is by choice; and post-mortal spirits would not be compelled to resurrect, nor to reincarnate - but might remain in spirit form as long as they wished.

Mortal life is best seen as an opportunity. As Jesus explained in his conversation with Nicodemus, Heavenly Life Everlasting is available only via death and being resurrected or 'born again'; and this was the path that Jesus himself needed to take in order to attain to full Godhood at the ascension. Jesus brought us this possibility - but it must be chosen, and the reason for choice must be love.

+This is John 5:28-9: ...'all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, until the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' I regard this, from its interruption of the structure and its contradiction of the rest of the gospel, as a later, non-canonical insertion. 

Note added:

I want any seriously interested reader to do what I suggest above; which is to check this claim for yourself - I would simply urge you to read the Fourth Gospel as an autonomous text in light of this interpretation, and looking for evidence of this teaching.

However, below I have made a selection of relevant passages from just the first six books of the Fourth Gospel (you will need to search the rest of the Gospel for yourself) - and the last verse of the (original final) Chaper 20. These are consistent with the understanding that resurrection is to life eternal/ life everlasting by means of 'receiving' Jesus; and that those who do not accept Jesus, shall not be resurrected to this new kind of Life as Sons of God: Life eternal/ everlasting is for the resurrected, both together - there is no sense of there being a distinction or sequence between resurrection and the New Life.

1: [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not. [12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

2: [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

[36] He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

5: [24] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [25] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

[39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. [41] I receive not honour from men. [42] But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. [43] I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

6: [26] Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. [27] Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. [28] Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? [29] Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. [30] They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? [31] Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. [32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. [33] For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. [34] Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. [35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. [36] But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. [37] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. [38] For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. [39] And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. [41] The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. [42] And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? [43] Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. [44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. [46] Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. [47] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. [48] I am that bread of life. [49] Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. [50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. [51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. [52] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? [53] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. [54] Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. [57] As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. [58] This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. [64] But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [65] And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
20: [31] But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Writing It or just writing-About-It

The Big Problem with so much writing is that it is merely About and not he thing itself. And this applies especially in the kind of area that I write... about: Alienation and that stuff.

Because when someone writes About, they alienate. Even if they are writing about overcoming alienation, about future possibilities such as Final Participation - the writing in which this happens is just more of the usual stuff...

This is a great difficulty with a writer like ST Coleridge, or Rudolf Steiner or Owen Barfield when it comes to the development of consciousness and the overcoming of our alienation; they are writing-About the subject, and the prose itself causes that which its content aspires to overcome.

Just like this.

It is what is preferable about, say, William Arkle's aphorisms - they are themselves what they urge us to become.

Yet, they are also unclear, ambiguous, easy to misunderstand... But then again, what isn't?

William Arkle tried both approaches. In Geography of Consciousness he wrote About, in a science style, using analogies from Physics; in Letter from a Father he wrote directly the thing he wanted us to know.

Barfield attempted to do this in his fictions and Platonic dialogues, but I could not say that he was very successful; since they often read as dramatised essays; and when they don't it becomes difficult to recognise what they are trying to do.

Modernist writers often try to achieve the participation by making the reader 'work' to understand or simulating the stream of consciousness (which we are supposed to participate-in) - but generally they simple become incomprehensible unless 'decoded' by highly alienating methods. 

CS Lewis was at times successful in the Narnia books - successful at doing rather than just telling us about; and in this sense they are a greater achievement than any of his prose. At its best the Screwtape Letters attains something similar, in that we enter into and identify with - rather than simply leaning-about.

But we need metaphysics now, more than anything; and metaphysics needs to be participated not just known about. In the end each can only do it for himself; but it would be of great value if a text itself-exemplified the metaphysical thinking it advocated.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Romantic Christianity to replace the sexual revolution

The sexual revolution currently does sterling work in maintaining the totalitarian bureaucracy; mainly as a fantasy, but also as an actuality (being bound-up with travel and intoxication, the other great fantasy self-manipulations).

This is another reason why Romantic Christianity is what-we-need. When Christianity is bureaucratic, it is just like 'work' - which people hate (even as they clamour for ever more of it). In contrast, Romantic Christianity is individual - each must 'do it' for himself; because no current institution or group will be encouraging him.

Indeed, whenever some modern group does appear to be encouraging this, it is invariably a fake or a deception - as with the 1960s counterculture embrace of William Blake. What was actually on offer then (and now) was Blake minus Christ, which made a decisive and deadly difference.

Or sometimes there is Christianity without Romanticism - which sometimes entails a passive, externally-applied pseudo-Romanticism; internal conformity to a pre-determined and externally-defined 'mass Romanticism'.

Of course, Romantic Christianity is not for the masses but only for geniuses - which may sound to be of minority interest only... since not many people consider themselves to be geniuses; whther actual or potential. Yet - when understood - genius is seen to be the thinking of the real self; and everybody has a real self and everybody can think from it - potentially. So we ought all to conisder ourselves potential geniuses, and becoming such to be our destiny...

Because the creativity of genius is Not in remarkable and admired discoveries or artworks; but in direct participation with created reality, which is the consequence of thinking from the real self.

And direct participation in the ongoing work of creation can happen only when the awakening real self is aligned with the divine - so it is always Good.

But at the same time difficult.

On the other hand, we can't be prevented from doing it; ultimately we can only prevent our-selves.

Which means stopping-preventing-ourselves - which prevention is the prevailing situation.

And this active stopping is the most radical and personally transformative act that can be imagined (: better than the 50 year-old sexual revolution - which has Very Obviously Failed...).

The numinosity of hilltop tree clumps

This landscape feature is one that much appeals to me, and which seldom fails to induce a yearning kind of numinosity.

I realised recently that the interest and feeling probably came from the cover of my teenage-bought edition of Alfred Watkins's The Old Straight Track.

So that is the (suggested) link between such tree clunps and ancient landscape features - they are supposed to mark 'ley lines', which - according to Watkins - were Neolithic pathways criss-crossing Southern England.

I heard about Watkins's book from the references at the end of The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner - and found a copy in the Bristol City Library; Garner has the Old Straight Track as a magical path visible only at full moon, as the moon rises - it plays an important part in the story, and provides its most memorable scene.

Later, John Michell (in A View over Atlantis) took Watkins's Ley Lines and made them into lines of spiritual power - but I knew nothing of this during my teens.

Anyway, all this seems to have left me with a particular sensitivity to a particular landscape feature. The Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie the Pooh is also sometimes depicted like this - which may have been a further latent aspect of my interest; as also a very good children's book called Borrobil by William Croft Dickinson (1944) - a kind of neo-pagan precursor to Narnia, and also written by a Professor.