Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Mystical-Peak experiences of two kinds - Original- or Final-Participation in Colin Wilson's Super Consciousness (2009)

Colin Wilson, and his wife Joy, in 2009

I am re-reading Colin Wilson's last substantive book - Super Consciousness: the quest for the peak experience (2009) - which serves as a summation of this area of his interest that began with the Outsider (1956). Wilson cites and describes a 'variety of religious experiences' - or Peak Experiences, in Abraham Maslow's terminology - in which there was an alteration of consciousness and a feeling of well-being, elevation, understanding. 

Looking at Wilson's accounts of these experiences through the perspective on the evolutionary-development of consciousness that I have derived from Owen Barfield; I see the reports can be understood as beginning with our normal, everyday, mundane, socially-functional "Consciousness Soul" state of feeling cut-off from reality, alienated and trapped in superficiality. 

Consciousness Soul is the implicit baseline from-which Peak Experiences/ religious-mystical experience emerges. 

Fro this baseline, and despite that Wilson did not recognize this distinction; these mystical/peak experiences of positive 'Super Consciousness' can be understood as falling into Barfield's two categories of Original Participation and Final Participation.  

Most of the mystical experiences described can be regarded as a kind of functional impairment, and these seem like a reversion to the Original Participation of early childhood and tribal-Man, by a selective suppression of those parts of the body (especially brain) needed for the manifestation of self-awareness in the Consciousness Soul stage. 

In other words, this kind of mystical experience deletes consciousness of 'the self' as a separate entity from 'reality'. 

For instance, those of William James and Ouspensky triggered by drugs such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Others were associated with dreamlike passivity; stasis of the body, fainting, or sleep - and mentally there are descriptions of  becoming blissful in emotion yet unaware of any thinking (stopping the exhausting and futile treadmill of thoughts, worries, plans...); the apprehension of Time is suspended or deleted. 

The kitchen and garden were filled with golden light. I became conscious that at the centre of the Universe, and in my garden, was a great pulsing dynamo that ceaselessly poured-out love, This love poured over and through me, and I was part of it, and it wholly encompassed me. (Cited pages 54-5)

In this Original Participation mystical state; problems are not solved so much as dis-solved; it is not a matter of 'knowing everything' so much as recognizing that knowledge does not matter. 

Other, less common, reports of higher consciousness states sound more like Final Participation. In this state, the description is a thinking not stopping but having vastly greater power and comprehensiveness, such that the experience is one of 'knowing everything' - of direct-knowing without need for perception or for reasoning.

My train of thought accelerated and vastly improved in quality... New and convincing ideas came into my mind in a steady torrent, flaws in my existing ideas were illuminated, and as I made mental corrections to the the diminishing gaps in the logical sequence were filled by neat, brand-new linking concepts which made a beautiful logical pattern. (Cited page 56)

I interpret this difference as being due to the Original Participation being what Rudolf Steiner called an 'atavistic' state, a reversion to an earlier state which is induced by a lowering of consciousness, a temporarily 'delirious' impairment of brain function (by drugs, drowsiness, hypnosis, illness etc). 

While Final Participation is an enhancement of consciousness, the next 'evolutionary step' towards a more-divine, and more free and independent, mode of thinking; in which thinking is clarified and strengthened; and increases in scope and validity. 

This relates to the 'flow state' Wilson describes earlier from the work of Csikczentmihalyi; which is associated with increased, indeed the highest, levels of functionality.

For instance; when people such as creative artists, artistic performers, athletes, and craftsmen sometimes attain their supreme performance. Sometimes called being 'in the zone' - they find themselves unerringly doing things they could not usually achieve, and with total confidence. 

Yet these two Super Conscious states - the one thinking, the other a cessation of thought; the one knowing without constraint, the other an indifference to knowledge; the one a flow, the other a suspension of time and movement; the one cognitive, the other contemplative... Are not usually distinguished, are indeed generally conflated.  

I regard Original Participation as valuable - but mainly as a 'holiday', a recharging process, a therapeutic rest. While Final Participation is - I hope - the ultimate state of God-like, Christ-like, divine consciousness in which - eventually - we will spend most of our post-mortal resurrected lives. 

As for the Consciousness Soul in which we Modern Men spend most of our mortal lives, trapped and cut-off form living and reality - I regard it as merely a transitional phase between Original and Final Participations; and I expect that it will very seldom be experienced in Heaven - although it may be normal, or at least common, in Hell. 

Monday, 27 March 2023

Morgoth's War

The following, I have edited (and slightly adapted, to make explicit and clearer the meanings) from notes by JRR Tolkien written c1958 and published in 1993 as Morgoth's Ring - which was volume ten of The History of Middle Earth edited by Christopher Tolkien. 

Assembling these extracts was prompted by my reflecting on the true (Sorathic) motivations behind The West's large-scale and calculated deployment of land-mine contamination, and the plans for massive deployment of "mucky missiles", in the current Fire Nation war.  

To gain domination over Middle Earth, Morgoth had let most of his being pass into the physical constituents of Middle Earth – hence all things that were born on Middle Earth and live on and by it, beasts or plants or incarnate spirits, were liable to be ‘stained’ .

When Morgoth was confronted by the existence of other inhabitants of Arda, with other wills and intelligences, he was enraged by the mere fact of their existence, and his only notion of dealing with them was by physical force, or the fear of it. 

His sole ultimate object was their destruction

Men, Morgoth despised because of their ‘weakness’: that is their lack of physical force, or power over ‘matter’; but he was also afraid of them. 

Morgoth became so far advanced in Lying that he lied even to himself, and pretended that he could destroy Men and rid Middle Earth of them altogether. Hence his endeavor was always to break wills and subordinate Men to, or absorb them into, his own will and being - before destroying their bodies

This was sheer nihilism, and negation its one ultimate object. 

Morgoth would no doubt, if he had been victorious, have ultimately destroyed even his own ‘creatures’, such as the Orcs, when they had served his sole purpose in using them for the destruction of Elves and Men. 

Left alone, Morgoth could only have gone raging on till all was leveled again into a formless chaos

And yet even so Morgoth would have been defeated, because God's creation would still have ‘existed’, independent of his own mind, and a world in potential. 

Morgoth could not, of course, ‘annihilate’ anything of matter, he could only ruin or destroy or corrupt the forms given to matter by other minds in their subcreative activities. 

Thus Morgoth had no ‘plan’ for his war: unless destruction and reduction to nil of a world in which he had only a share can be called a ‘plan’. 

Morgoth's vast power was therefore disseminated into staining, destroying, reducing Middle Earth to formless chaos. 

The whole of Middle Earth was Morgoth's Ring of Power.

Some Irish Folk Music (from Newcastle upon Tyne)

One of the transformative resources of my mid-teen years was the Bristol City Record Library (with its fierce guardian librarian whom we nicknamed Tape, short for "Tapering Suit" - which suit was mustard in colour). 

This was a tremendous (free to borrow) collection of Classical Music LPs - plus a smaller, but very well chosen, collection of Folk Music - both of which I explored voraciously. 

From the Folk section came an LP called Flute for the Feis; featuring the Newcastle upon Tyne piccolo player John Doonan.

He had swapped this unusual instrument for the more usual flute, because he played a good deal for Irish set-dancing competitions (The Riverdance kind of stuff), without amplification - and the smaller and shriller instrument's sound carried better. 

You can hear how he had developed a remarkably effective and delightful playing method, in which the breathing is incorporated into the rhythm:

I think you will find the above version of the jig The Ace and Deuce of Piping to be a real ear-worm - in the best kind of way.

Doonan also featured on a strange, but surprisingly* compelling, collection of Irish music played on small instruments by a variety of musicians. Like Flute for the Feis, this was one of many inspired productions of the remarkable Topic Records company. 

(*Surprising because I do not usually appreciate folk - or any other - music played only on treble instruments, and generally feel the lack of a bass rather keenly.)

Considering this album features heavily the Jews Harp; it was not something I expected to enjoy; but when that smallest of small instruments is played by John Wright - then the instrument's limitations are forgotten, and a peculiar hypnosis affects me, such that I am forced to keep listening! 

Sunday, 26 March 2023

The double-edged sword of romanticism

Romanticism began to arise in the minds of Men from about the middle of the 1700s, in Western Europe - and has spread from there. What romanticism arose from, was Man's new awareness of himself and the world.

In other words, romanticism was a development (or an 'evolution') of human consciousness. 

But there was a double-edged quality to romantic consciousness. 

Men became aware of the wonderfulness of nature, and of the achievements and potential of their own thinking - but also of opposite tendencies. 

With romantic consciousness; at times, for moments or bursts, life seemed raised to a higher level. Various names were given such experiences: Sehnsucht, ecstasy, epiphanies, religious experiences, mystical insights, joy, peak experiences... these episodes were noticed, described and pondered for the first time.

There seemed to be a possibility that these best-of-times might be insights into ultimate reality; and might therefore become continuous and permanent - or, at least, frequent and long-lasting. 

Thus romanticism often led to great optimism, happiness, and the sense of potential for a larger and better life and world. 

However; there was the other edge to the sword of romantic consciousness; which was that - in practice - these periods of romantic ecstasy were brief and infrequent, could not be aimed at and achieved directly - and the opposite conclusion soon began to emerge that they were delusional. 

The everyday reality for everybody for most of the time (and, apparently, for some people all of the time) was of mundane consciousness; of life as commonplace, dull, shallow - pointless, purposeless, meaningless...

Society was so heavily-stacked against romanticism, that the most intensely romantic individuals often felt themselves to be 'outsiders' (to use Colin Wilson's term). And, even under the best imaginable social conditions; Man's life is unavoidably pervaded by change, decay, pain and disease

And, no matter what the degree of attainment was achieved; every life is always terminated by death. 

The contrast between what seemed possible, and what was actually attainable, led to existential angst, to a cynicism that often led to despair - and was fought-against by seeking either for selfish hedonic oblivion, trying to blot-out awareness of failure and futility. Or by seeking an end to all conscious suffering in chronically self-destructive behaviour, and by suicide (whether deniably-sought, or actively-committed). 

Romanticism was therefore a mixed-blessing at best, a curse at worst. Yet, because romanticism was a consequence of the development of consciousness, it could neither be suppressed nor ignored. 

Romanticism changed everything... Yet, there was and is no 'answer' to the possibilities and problems of romanticism within the bounds of this world.

On the one hand, we now have many experiences that create yearnings and expectations for a higher form of life; on the other hand, we cannot achieve these yearnings and expectations in our actual lives; due to the many social, psychological and physical (i.e. ultimately entropic) constraints of this world.  


The simple answer requires that we take-into-account a personal life beyond this life; and an afterlife that incorporates those romantic experiences of this life. 

In different words; we need to regard the romanticism of this mortal life as learning experiences directed at full attainment in an eternal life to come

Then, but only then, can we cope-with and learn-from our own romanticism; and render romantic experiences into a positive and inspiriting development of Mankind. 

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Sun with a big nose today...


Four good reasons to read Owen Barfield (even for those who already know Rudolf Steiner)

Over at my Owen Barfield blog, I discuss why even an expert disciple and follower of Rudolf Steiner, can expect to find added-value in reading Owen Barfield.  

Fake Pennant preparations: the UK Government's national "Emergency Alerts" for smartphones

We were told a few days ago that starting from 23rd April 2023 - which is, significantly, St George's Day: the English patron saint) there will be Emergency Alerts broadcast nationally to all smartphone users by default. 

This is a pretty obvious preparation for... whatever "fake pennant" operation They decide is most likely to cause national panic, anger and despair. 

My best guess is that a fake-pennant pseudo-attack will be used to escalate the Fire Nation war - since that seems to be the specially-designated role of the UK puppet government in the Globalist Establishment strategies; and the ground for this is being prepared.  

So, after a little while, maybe a couple of try-outs - the country will be informed of some Big Bad aggression from the FN; told what to do; and while still gibbering in fear/ seething for revenge - the masses will be manipulated into full scale involvement in global war. 

But it could, of course, be a 'Climate' (Extreme Weather) non-event, another pseudo-epidemic, an imaginary rebellion, or indeed something as yet untried. 

The point is that, having implemented a system for generating flash-fear mob behaviour - It Will Be Used

Given the possibilities of manipulating a gullible population by some new trick; fingers will be itching to pull the trigger on it. 

And even if the system fails to evoke the kind of herd stampede behaviour desired; it will surely be repurposed to a high frequency harassment and propaganda tool.  

Now the politicians and bureaucrats are being given this shiny new toy - they will be mad keen to play with it. 

Reviewing the strange, experimental, BBC Radio Hobbit of 1968

Over at the Notion Club Papers I review and recommend the BBC Radio Hobbit dramatization from 1968; with its ambitious electronic soundscape, medievalish musical score, weirdly-distorted voices, and strange pronunciations. 

Very much of-its-time - and enjoyable as such.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Mucky Missiles - Sorathic escalation from the UK

The tyrannical puppets who administer the UK under orders from Sorathic demons; continue to paint an ever-brighter target on the British Isles -- with the recent official confirmation that They intent to send Mucky Missiles to attack the Fire Nation; despite... sorry, I mean precisely because the FN has inscribed a scarlet-line defining such an act as molecular-escalation entailing an analogous response.  

Not long ago; the Establishment used to tell us scary bedtime stories about how terr-ifying-rists might 'get their hands on' gamma-ray-emitting materials, embed into-them a powerful detonative substance, and 'hold to ransom' decent people by the threat of spraying emitting-debris into the surroundings. 

So now it is the Guardians themselves who are advocating and defending Mucky Missiles - something once considered beyond the pale - thereby performing a (deniable) attempt at civilizational 'suicide-by-cop'. 

(Almost as-if everything bad of which They accuse others; is in reality Their own Favourite Thing.)   

This act is absolutely gratuitous; having vast potential for destruction and zero possibility of constructive benefits; therefore naturally the announcement has been met with near-unanimous approval from the mass media - who have kindly Fact-Checked it, and discerned that there is nothing here to concern decent citizens. 

Move along folks... Down the memory hole it goes!

Hobbits still exist - Francis Mudge

From the wonderful documentary series Edwardian Farm (BBC 2010), we get to meet Devon farmer Mister Francis Mudge - from 7:45:

I was born, and spent my early childhood, in Devon - although I haven't visited for more than thirty years. From memory, it seems exactly the kind of place where hobbits would have survived. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

My answer to relativism

Modern Men are, like it or not, confronted by what is commonly called relativism; and emerges in the idea that every proposition is 'just' somebody's opinion - and that none are more valid than any other.

This is the deep implicit assumption of modernity - and leads to the totalitarianism of arbitrary (because not valid) behaviours imposed by terror, coercion and propaganda.  

Relativism is not just wrong, but incoherent - yet it is a response to the unsatisfactory nature of traditional formulations of objective knowledge. Traditional objectivity required an unthinking and automatic understanding of what-we-perceive; and when that understanding became contested and the necessary role of human consciousness in knowledge became evident; then this led first to idealism - when everything was in the mind. 

At first, because most people agreed on the nature of reality, that seemed to work; but as disagreements about reality emerged, then idealism required to be bolstered by adding a requirement for cultural or national similarity, in order that there be cohesion and a shared world.

Western Man's self-consciousness continued to increase, until relativism emerged as an individualized form of idealism - each Man creating his own reality; and order and cooperation needing to be externally imposed. 

Relativism = idealism at the individual level. Everything is mind, and ultimately everything is My mind...

The contextual universe of relativism was (is) seen as fundamentally chaotic, with creation and 'order' as temporary and superficial phenomena imposed on a situation of increasing randomness (entropy). 

Nowadays, we can only overcome relativism by explicit means; by clarifying our primary (metaphysical) assumptions and (as it were) inviting others to consider them, and choose whether or not to share them. 

My assumptions include that:

1. There is - as a matter of fact, not principle - one creation, made by one God. 

2. This creation unfolds in sequential Time - which is not reversible, so that creation is cumulative.  

This means that creation is not arbitrary, because it is motivated by one God (given purpose); and made harmonious (given meaning) by the fact of being the product of one God; and because creation cannot be undone. 

Cannot be undone because of the sequential nature of Time; which is the case because Time is intrinsic to the Beingness of God: i.e. because God is a Being. 

And to be a Being entails Life; which entails Time, change, complexity, potential for growth and development, purposiveness etc (this list is not a definition of a Being - which is here assumed to be primary aspect of reality and cannot be further subdivided - but just pointing at attributes we recognize as characteristic of a living Being). 

Thus creation is continuous, and cumulative, and can be reshaped and added to - but none of this alters historical reality. 

The continuity of creation means that creation is harmonious both 'horizontally' (here-and-now) and 'vertically' (through Time) - and that these are inseparable.

It is this quality of creation which means that relativism is false. Some things are coherent with creation, others are opposed to creation - therefore creation is objective with reference to creation primarily, and secondarily with all aspects of creation, all that has-been created (and their creations).

That by which creation coheres is Love: and objectivity reduces ultimately to Love: Love of God primarily, and love of Fellow Man (including other Beings) secondarily. 

That is, the Two Great Commandments. 

Objectivity is therefore as real as Love, and of the same nature. One who rejects, or is incapable of, Love is necessarily a relativist; which is to say he rejects God and Fellow Men, and tries to live in his own personal world...

Which is another way of describing hell


Why do I continue to use Rudolf Steiner's terminology (e.g. Luciferic, Ahrimanic, Sorathic) despite that I have modified the meanings?

The above question was asked me the other day; and it is a good question. 

After some consideration, I realized that the answer is that I use Steiner's names to acknowledge the substantial debt and origin of the concepts; and then I develop the idea.

I do not attempt to conceal the development - indeed I discuss it explicitly; but typically only when I first start making changes, and not at every subsequent usage (or, only by providing links). 

This seems wrong, lacking in rigour, to those who is operating under the conventions of scholarship in the humanities; where the ideal is to preserve without alteration the original meanings attached to terminology. 

But I am (or was) a scientist, and Rudolf Steiner regarded Anthroposophy as a "Spiritual Science".

In science, this is how concepts (theories, hypotheses, even specific entities) are often developed and used. Names are retained, but their meaning develops. 

Thus concepts/entities such as light, gene, electron, natural selection - all mean something different to later scientists than to their originators; and this is taken for granted because meaning is established by current usage, not by retrospective scholarship.

Science is about developing knowledge, so it is expected that definitions, theories, practices will develop - change their meanings.

So it is quite natural and unremarkable for me to get ideas from Steiner, and to modify them in this scientific spirit; just as it is natural for humanities-orientated scholars to define a new term, every time they modify an existing definition or a theory. 

This also fits with my attitude to Steiner's work as a whole. I disagree with most of what he said and regard it as wrong, and I regard Anthroposophists (and the Anthroposophical Society) as - usually - fundamentally misguided... 

Nonetheless, I regard Steiner as one of a handful of the most important thinkers of recent centuries; and have spent a great deal of time reading and thinking about his work (and his life). 

It seems strange to read and write so much about Steiner while regarding him as mostly-wrong; but, again, this is not unusual in science - where one may base a great deal of research on a particular paper (a finding, an hypothesis), or part of a paper, by a particular scientist - without having any concern with anything else he did. 

This, then, is what I do and have-been doing. It's useful to get such matters clear in the mind. 

Monday, 20 March 2023

Not Even Wrong... the mainstream modern Leftist Establishment ideology is essentially just a series of PSYOPS

We anti-leftists - including serious Christians - are prone to criticize mainstream modern Leftist Establishment ideology for being wrong: for propounding Fake New based on Big Lies. 

But the problem is much deeper, and much worse, than this suggests. The problem is that mainstream ideology is incoherent such that reality and truth have merely temporary and expedient meanings; so that (from the inside) 'reality' makes no sense, and 'truth' is grossly inconsistent. 

So, the root problem is incoherence not wrongness; and the incoherence is so extreme that a categorization of 'wrong' is merely an option, just an opinion in a world where the only opinions that matter are those backed by power, wealth or status. 

Therefore, the deep problem is - for examples - Global Warming, the transagenda or the birdemic-peck strategies; is that they are Not Even Wrong - that they do not even rise to the level of wrongness. 

If they are Not Even Wrong, what are they? The answer is that they function primarily as PSYOPS - intentionally harmful mass psychological manipulations. 

Therefore - since these Litmus Test issues are at the heart of modern Western (and, largely, global) governance; we can infer that the major thrust of leadership is implicitly encouraging/ compelling billions of people align their thinking and feelings to incoherent nonsense.  

If we can then understand PSYOPS as the basic motivation of mainstream ideology; the distinctive nature of evil in the modern world may become clearer. 

Jazz Club - with Louis Balfour (...Great!)

This Fast Show parody of BBC2 late night jazz programmes of the 1970s has had a big - indeed permanent - influence on my household; mainly by its catchphrases and gestures 'aside' to the camera - especially a purred Great! while making the OK sign. 

Weirdly compelling:

I can vouch for the fact that this was exactly how British jazz fans behaved in those days - on the media and IRL. I vividly recall a middle aged chap in a velvet jacket tapping his wineglass with his index finger at a modern jazz event, gently nodding along with half-closed eyes. 

He'd have fitted right in with Louis Balfour. 


Self-excluded from the realm of spirit; the materialist West is adrift from even the concept of reality

The delusionary nature of modern public discourse in the West, goes way beyond the realms of merely 'being wrong' or 'unreal' - because there is actually no concept of truth or reality against-which to judge statements and claims. 

Cut-off from any acknowledgement of the primacy of the spiritual - focused entirely on 'the material' - there is no basis in Western public discourse even for coherence; because statements, ideas, policies have no grounds for being evaluated. 

Although there are some claims of modern society being functional - in public discourse functionality means different things to different people, and is unstable even within each usage - sheer power to enforce is the decider of what counts as functional; and as the imperative of expedience vary, so does the public-discourse-acceptable definition of 'functionality'. 

Most claims (in so far as they are justified at all) are supposed to be rooted in their consequence in terms of human psychology - i.e. people claim to do things on the basis that doing-so will increase human happiness, reduce suffering, or gratify what 'people' (of one sort or another) 'want'...

Yet at the same time, there are massive - often successful - attempts to manipulate human psychology - i.e. to induce more people to want such-and-such, or to be happier about X... or to be dissatisfied-with/ afraid-of/ annoyed-by/ resentful-about Y. 

So that there is a simultaneous claim of the sort that 'we' need to do Z because this is what people want... while at the same time manipulating human psychology so that people begin to want Z! 

And this kind of incoherent nonsense is so common, so everyday and mainstream that is goes unnoticed! 

Even more bizarrely; such assumptions of what counts as justification are excluded from awareness and discussion; so we live in a world of purely unmoored and arbitrary theories, that simultaneously itself pretends to be a 'realistic' word of objective facts - and which resists all attempts to expose and evaluate its theories!

Small wonder that the modern world is so helplessly yet determinedly self-loathing and self-destroying! People have consented to self-entrapment in a maelstrom of swirling non-sense; and once inside they can find neither toehold nor grip by which to extract themselves -- despite that the firm ground of God's creation is always present, denied hence ignored, merely a thought away.  

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Not Global trends anymore - but a Sorathic breakdown into personal and petty spite?

I have noticed that (at this time of writing) there has not been the kind of Spring Campaign by the globalist Establishment, which we have seen over recent years. I mean, there is no Big Thing being currently given a monolithic push by the coordinated efforts of multiple national governments, the mass media and the leaders of large social institutions. 

Instead, when I survey the 'headlines' - I seem numerous little - and often very petty - stories, claims and campaigns. 

As always with the mass media; the intent behind all of these stories is evil and their presentation misleading, dishonest, manipulative. But we are not being fed a Grand Narrative. 

I interpret this as a manifestation of a mass of individually-selfish Sorathic/ chaotic/ destructive displacement of that Ahrimanic/ totalitarian/ bureaucratic evil that peaked three years ago with the birdemic-inspired global coup, and was revealed as the WEF Great Reset/ UN Agenda 2030. 

None of the individual goals of the surveillance-control advocates have been abandoned - the global warming bandwagon rolls-on, the transagenda is doubled-down upon, antiracism and diversity continue to destroy functionality of all organizations etc... And, of course, the geopolitical goals of the anti-Fire Nation war continue to push towards escalation and the possibility of Giga-annihilation.   

In other words, there is just-as-much evil in the world as in 2020 - perhaps even more; many these many and various evils are no longer being presented, or felt, as part of a supposedly-coherent Grand Plan.

The underlying reality - which was always there - of the Leftist ideological-alliance of negatively-motivated grievance groups; has developed (as evil must, since it feeds upon itself) into smaller-and- smaller, less-and-less cohesive, more-and-more selfish thus mutually hostile antagonists.

The short-termist greed that motivates modern institutions and the leadership class is more obvious; and the imperceptible world strategists who stand behind and control the visible leaders, display increasing destructiveness in their manipulations. 

To my mind; there is now a reflex compulsion at work to make decisions that are intended to provoke resentments and evoke destructive conflict, at all levels. 

If we imagine the rulers of the world as a bunch of spiteful children, whose greatest delight is to goad everyone-else into arguments and fights, and who enjoy the spectacle of breaking-down all alliances, cooperation and - especially - all idealism based upon love (e.g. loving marriages, families, and friendships)... then I think this present an accurate picture of things - at every level from the inter-national to the inter-personal; and by all means from legal to gossip.   

Naturally, evil-motivated strategies get included in this chaos-induction; but so long as the underlying motivations are evil, then the destruction of organized-evil by the greater-evil of pure negativity does not do net-Good.  

We are still confronted by the same choices and imperatives; but the situation will feel very different. 

The great temptation is shifting from that of servile conformity to a single evil ideology; to the temptation to be motivated by our negative fears, resentments and despair - to feel that it is "me against the world" and engage in competitive selfishness... 

...Falling into a life focused around the spiteful enjoyment of the downfall and destruction of our (ever proliferating) enemies.     

Note: The Ahrimanic leadership are not finished and will fight back; but what I am predicting is that They will never again succeed as they have recently; neither in terms of intensity nor in duration of mass attention and obedience. 

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Is Clarkson's Farm the best non-fiction TV series ever?


That, anyway, seems to be the consensus across a pretty broad, and very large, public viewership. Certainly, I've never seen anything - in any media (not even for fiction, or classic movies) - to compare with Clarkson's Farm's 9/10 IMDB rating from 45,000 people - and indeed, Series 1 was running at something like 9.8/10 for a long time. 

All this for a documentary!

There are some people who are allergic to Jeremy Clarkson, and cannot stand him at any price, and whatever he does - and have been working tirelessly for years to destroy him. But I regard him as one of the most original and supremely talented TV makers of the past several decades. 

Clarkson's Farm is about his venture into farming, knowing essentially nothing about it - and Jeremy plays the part of himself, as usual - which (by all accounts) is simply an exaggerated version of real life; which is why it comes across as authentic. 

The series is very funny; very interesting and surprisingly informative about farming; very revealing about the soul-destroying horrors of government and bureaucracy in modern Britain; and develops an unforgettable 'cast' of fascinating 'real'-life characters, of Dickensian colourfulness and variety.   

The programmes are superbly crafted - as well as having great content; the editing and thematic shaping are stunningly well-done. 

Of course - there have been much more profound and/or moving TV non-fiction series over the years. There is nothing like as much meat here as in The Ascent of Man, Time Team, Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare, or the BBC Historic Farms. 

But at its level of immediately and generally accessible, informative light entertainment - plus a bit more - Clarkson's farm is as-good-as-it-gets.

Or better...

In this entropic world; God merely needs to stop actively-sustaining a civilization, for it to collapse

A commenter asked me yesterday whether God had (in effect) judged Western Civilization, found it wanting, and embarked on its destruction. 

This is not how it works. 

In this mortal life on this earthly world, entropy has the upper hand: the innate tendency is destruction, and towards death - and this must continually be staved-off by energy-consuming creative-effort. 

Therefore, all form and order tends towards annihilation - except when this is continually prevented. 

My assumption is that God has indeed evaluated ("judged") Western Civilization and concluded that it does more harm than good (in a spiritual sense); and He observes that The West has no desire to repent but quite the opposite - and is doubling-down on evil.  

Therefore, God has (I believe) withdrawn his previous civilization-level creative input to sustain The West; and therefore the West is being overcome by entropy. 

Note: God has not withdrawn his creative inputs to individual lives, and smaller human groups (i.e. at lower levels than the civilizational) - i.e. God gives help where where God's help is wanted. He will help you, me, and any families, nations, or other God-loving-groups who desire His help. But God will not (because God is Good) help to sustain The West in its determined strategy to corrupt the world in accordance with its ideology of value-inversion.  

Against luck and chance as explanations for life

It is necessary for Christians to eschew the common practice of attributing the ups and (especially) downs of life to the luck (good or bad) and chance (favourable or adverse). 

To believe in luck or chance as explanations, is to deny God's shaping of this world and our lives by creation - it is therefore, indirectly, a denial of faith. 

Yet this eschewal of luck itself requires some explanation; because this reality in which we dwell originated in purposeless, meaningless chaos; and this mortal life is 'ruled by entropy' such that change, degeneration, corruption and death are unavoidable - and it is from-this entropic-chaos that Jesus delivered us by resurrection to eternal life. 

Therefore, in this mortal world 'stuff happens', and much of this is out-with God's creative intent... 

But that which happens from entropy, does so without meaning, and is not knowable. All that we know - all 'events' - are known because this is God's creation

By the time we recognize any-thing (as an entity, as a phenomenon) it 'already' has meaning, and that meaning has-been shaped by God's creating. 

In other words, we cannot know chaos - but can only know only creation; and therefore chance is never the explanation for whatever we know, whatever we have noticed. 

What this means is that we should suppose that whatever happens in our lives has-been shaped by God - and therefore is a part-of God's overall plan of salvation and theosis. 

This does not mean that every-thing has specific, definable, meaning or purpose when considered in isolation and detached from the stream or arc of our lives; but instead that we should eschew the false and lazy attribution of events to 'randomness' - and realize that what we, personally, need to seek is to learn from 'whatever happens'. 

Such learning is, indeed, our primary duty in confronting the life of this world. Learning from all aspects: up or down, good or bad, favourable or adverse... 

This 'learning' is always our duty (as Christians); whereas, by contrast, 'doing something useful about the world' - i.e. ameliorating the evils of the human condition, is a contingent matter; variably dependent upon many and diverse factors - and seldom possible in practice.  

In sum: we are here to learn, always; but the business of actually, genuinely, positively-re-shaping and improving the situation of this mortal world - whether of our own well-being, or that of fellow men...

Well, this is a rare bonus in our mortal lives - and inevitably very secondary to our duty.

(In Heaven, of course, things will be very different! And actually, genuinely, positively-re-shaping and improving the situation of our lives and the lives of all Beings, by participation in divine creation, becomes our inwardly-desired and joyfully-embraced main-work!)

Nuts and bolts of how to deal with fear by love through faith

For Christians; living in fear is wrong, and sinful when accepted or embraced; but how we deal with fear is important - since some apparently-effective ways of dealing with fear are also sinful (such as prideful anger fuelled by resentment).

Yes, this is not a complex problem, it does not require abstraction, difficult analysis, nor any kind of theological 'balancing act' - the proper answers are simple, and clear as nuts and bolts. 

Jesus's idea was that people should follow him because of love, not from fear. Jesus deserves to be followed when we desire what he offers (resurrected life everlasting), and because we regard him as the Good Shepherd; because we love Him and have faith in his love for us. 

This does entail that we believe Jesus has the unique/ supernatural/ cosmic power to 'deliver' what he offers, but we ought not to follow Jesus because of our awe and fear of His power. 

That would be a wrong, negative, sinful - hence a self-defeating motivation; because Heaven has no place for such motivations. 

Therefore, when we fear (and who can avoid fear in this mortal life?) we need to recognize it as wrong, repent it; and fight-our-fears by reflection on what Jesus offers and the always-presence of Jesus in this world and our lives (as the Holy Ghost). 

We are never alone, nor bereft of help. 

The Good Shepherd will lead us to salvation; if only we follow Him; and to follow Him requires no more than this belief in His motives, and His capability. 

Therefore we can fight fear with strengthened faith; and our faith can be strengthened by something as simple and clear as a parable

The 1981 BBC Radio dramatization of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Over at The Notion Club Papers blog; I review the 1981 BBC Radio The Lord of the Rings, which is something I have listened to many times. 

Although the production is a bit patchy, and limited by the medium; I give this version a definite thumbs-up as a warm-hearted piece of work, frequently enjoyable - and sometimes powerful and moving. 

Furthermore, for one who knows the original text; the dramatic presentation offers the listener the possibility of increased insight into Tolkien's characters and their relationships.