Wednesday, 20 March 2019

"Down to the vile dust" - Brexit, the demise of Homo economicus, and projections of motivating hatred

It has long been the conventional wisdom of politicians that Homo economicus - Economic Man - is the best and a sufficient description of modern people. In other words, that the masses are solely concerned with money.

This in turn means that the most effective bribe is presumed to be more money, and the most effective threat is presumed to be a decline in the 'standard of living' (defined economically). And, since the future is uncertain; the most effective carrots and sticks were presumed to be immediate, short-term - money-in-the-pocket incentives.

Thus were Western populations controlled.

The vote to Leave the European Union overturned this assumption - with millions of people voting against their short-medium term economic interests - which meant that the Ruling Class suddenly lost confidence in their ability to manipulated the masses with monetary bribes and threats.

Hence the air of panic; and hence the instantaneous use of vilification. By projection of their own motivations; the ruling class automatically assume that:

1. The masses are almost-entirely motivated by money; and 2. that the only motivation even-more powerful than money is hatred.

This is how it is for the Establishment, and they naturally assume it is the same for everyone else. They are mostly motivated by financial greed; but this can be overcome by their loathing for the mass majority of British people - for example exemplified their core strategic policy of open-ended mass immigration to destroy the lives of, then replace, the native population.

For the British rulers, crushing the native masses is a moral crusade.

However, mass immigration will destroy the long-term prosperity of the nationa, hence the Establishment - but they support it anyway because their hatred is even stronger than their greed.

Therefore - for the Establishment, the Only comprehensible and plausible reason that the mass of British people would overcome their greed is hatred: hatred of foreigners - racism.

It is literally off-the-map and incomprehensible to the Ruling Class that people might want to leave the European Union from love - such as love nation and place, deep attachment to a way of life, loyalty to a sense of history and ancestry.

Our rulers cannot believe this because they themselves do not experience such emotions.

As Walter Scott wrote: 

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land!

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, 
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd 
From wandering on a foreign strand!

Yes indeed, breathes exactly such many a man and woman; breathes such the entirety of our ruling Establishment including almost the entirety of the Houses of Parliament; and breathes such the controllers of the apparatus of government and law.

And what shall become of them?


If such there breathe, go, mark him well; 
For him no Minstrel raptures swell; 
High though his titles, proud his name, 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; 
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, 

The wretch, concentred all in self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And, doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

My patchy mini-autobiography

Recent readers may not be aware of a supposedly-humorous autobiography, called Lucky Philosopher, which includes some scattered episodes from my life, up to about thirty years ago. It may mildly amuse a certain type of person - but I offer no guarantees.

What counts as 'better'?

It is nearly always assumed that when two persons (or parties) are discussing what course of action would be better - they both mean the same by 'better'. This gets assumed; and then the conversation focuses on the means to achieve that end. This is pretty much how mainstream politics works.

But what if the 'better' on one side includes or concentrates on aspects that are denied or regarded as trivial or even wicked by the other? Then, all conversation from that point onwards is futile - and indeed actively misleading.

That is the current situation that the mass media call 'polarisation' of public opinion - it is a situation of different ends, rather than merely different means. It means that one course of action is going in one direction (or intending to), while the other course of action is aiming in a different - perhaps opposite - direction.

When this is at the level of materialism then that is severe enough (eg open-ended mass immigration a positive or negative thing?); but when one side focuses on spiritual goals that the other side regards as nonsensical and non-existent, deceptive or delusional... then the situation is as extreme as can be imagined.

Different sides are then so different that the is very little possibility of compromise - except by accidental overlap, with respect to minor things.

This will affect all human interaction, from small talk to formal discourse about serious matters of law and national policy.

The proper response would be to discuss these fundamental differences, and their reasons: the proper response would be to engage in metaphysical discourse.

Indeed, that is non-optional.

So, we should do it.


Monday, 18 March 2019

Ruling on behalf of The People, or against them?... Old Left versus New Left

This is one of those times when politics forces-itself into the spiritual life.

I find it hard to ignore (what seems to be) the fact that my country, England, is right in the midst of the single most crucial time of my life. Whatever happens about Brexit; I feel that the most important thing has, perhaps, already happened; which is a deep loss of belief in the good intentions of politicians and the ruling class; such loss affecting everyone except the administrative class themselves.

Up to now, and for many decades, the English have pretended to disbelieve in the good intentions of their rulers - but this was superficial. It was merely 'grumbling'. It made no difference to compliance; and the English have gone-along-with almost everything their rulers suggested or imposed. The masses 'consented' to being ruled; albeit tacitly and without enthusiasm.

Now that grumbling disbelief in good intentions has become real.

For the first time in, probably, centuries; England is on the verge of becoming one of the (many) nations where the populace at large loathe and fear their rulers; where the rulers govern without consent.


This has not happened by accident. It is a consequence of a change in the mainstream ideology of ruling that began fifty years ago but has worked-through only slowly. 

The new thing about the current brand of totalitarianism, is the shift from the Old Left claiming to rule for the good of The People - i.e. rule on-behalf-of the Majority; to the New Left ruling to protect 'minorities' from The People - i.e. rule justified on the basis that the Majority are evil and need to be restrained and retrained.

(I am here assuming what is true: that The Left includes all mainstream political parties, all mainstream public discourse both in the mass media and officially, all the leadership of all the main social institutions and organisations and corporations. The Left rules, and the Left is all the rulers.) 


This is why the modern British rulers are perfectly happy, indeed delighted, to thwart the will of the masses on a permanent basis; to reject the Brexit which a large majority of English people want very strongly to be implemented - because the rulers regard the will of the English people as exactly the bad thing which they exist in order to thwart.

The rulers now (and for some decades) claim their moral legitimacy for control on the basis of protecting 'minorities' from The People. This has been a vast, tidal change - an inversion - in the rationale of government.

But until now most people have not been explicitly aware of it - Brexit has made it undeniable.


There is now an absolute division between the morality of the rulers and the ruled - and the ruling morality will only be supported by the ruled insofar as the masses agree that they themselves are the problem; and that they 'need to be defended from themselves' by a benign and enlightened elite.

To the extent that this is believed (and to some extent it has indeed been internalised by some people, especially among the intellectual classes) the inevitable result is a profound despair and demotivation.

So the rulers attempt to control the population by (deliberately) inducing despair and demotivation; and the more effective the rulers, the greater the misery and inertia of the masses... Meanwhile, the rulers regard opposition from the People - their cowed, resenting and reluctant state - as evidence that they are doing the morally correct thing...

It does not take a genius to recognise that this is unsustainable; and what cannot be sustained will not be sustained.


Since it is a fact that literally nobody can, no matter how hard they try, regard the current UK government as a 'benign and enlightened elite' - then our government has (Here, Now, Today) precisely zero legitimacy in the hearts and minds of those who are governed.

The age of (however reluctant...) Government By Consent has come to a close; and the new era of Government explicitly-against consent has arrived.

In other and simpler words; the actually-existing tyranny is now recognised.

And that must and will make a big difference to everything.

   

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Charlton-Academy Award for best ultra-minor-supporting character actor...


...Goes to Noel Appleby - the archetypal hobbit

Self-help is Not a cure for Brexit angst - William Wildblood

Apparently the farce or tragedy (take your pick) that is Brexit has seen a great increase in sales of self-help books. Is this to people so shaken by the event that they require psychological assistance? Or is it to those who think the future will be disastrous and they need to prepare themselves as best they can? 

Either way, what a pity that people turn to such feeble nostrums for sustenance rather than to the genuine medicine of real religion. But then where can the ordinary person find real religion now? If you have been brought up with no particular spiritual education, and therefore have a very poor and biased idea of what religion is, you may reject it without serious investigation. 

Alternatively, those who are exposed to what passes for Christianity today will not find much to inspire them there if they are searching for something that really speaks to the imagination and the soul. For modern Christianity is often little more than secular humanism dressed up in religious clothing. Its supernatural element, without which it is meaningless, has been reduced as much as it possibly can be without being jettisoned altogether. 

Partly this is because Christianity has not responded well to the changes in consciousness that have come about over the last few hundred years as humanity begins to awaken intellectually and become more individual (as was meant to happen albeit not in the way it has happened), but partly it is because of the generally low quality of Christian leaders who for the most part, certain honourable exceptions excluded, have lacked any real vision...

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening

Comment: After the above excerpt; William goes on to speculate about why most of the British Intelligentsia wish for the UK to remain in the EU. 

That is indeed an important question - and the answer cuts to the very roots of our modern malaise. I understand it, from the inside; because it was not very long ago that I was of that party - before I was a Christian.

Such reasons are simple, from a real, spiritual Christian perspective - and the reason is that the Intelligentsia have actively-embraced evil; such that the obvious fact of the EU being a totalitarian project (strategically devoted to the eradication of Christianity and the imposition of materialism) is regarded positively by those who imagine themselves to be members and beneficiaries of the controlling elite.

The large pro-Brexit majority who reject the EU probably do so (at present) for very similar reasons that the Intelligentsia embrace it - in other words, the masses do Not want to be the subjects and victims of the EU intelligentsia.

The globalist intellectuals and leaders regard themselves as entitled to control the lives of the masses; and that is exactly why the masses want out of the EU.

The EU and the British Intelligentsia are - in essence - socialists; indeed they most resemble the late-era Soviet communism of the 1970s and early 80s. If we consider the attitude of the common people to Soviet communism, it is probably very similar to the mass of ordinary people in the EU: that is they loathe the ruling elites.

Our elites fear 'fascism' (as they call it) - even though the Ultra-Right-Wing White Supremacists are - in the first place - Left Wing, and secondly essentially non-existent outside of media fantasies and nightmares, false flags and agents provocateurs.

The Intelligentsia fear their own self-created fascist nightmares precisely because the masses loathed Soviet communism from its beginning to its end - and had to be driven to cooperate by violence and famine; yet they mostly loved fascism, fought and worked for for it willingly. 

As Christians, we know that both communism-socialism and fascism converge on materialist totalitarianism, nihilism and despair (which is where we are now). But at present Christianity has no perceptible influence on Brexit - although at an imperceptible spiritual level, it may yet be decisive. 

Time is indeed running-out - but has not yet run-out.


Blackbird-moments


The Blackbird (above) is one of William Arkle's visionary paintings, loosely dated to the 1960s or 70s. It was brought to mind by the activity of blackbirds in spring, and that mid-evening time when it is getting dark but the blackbirds are still singing with their unsurpassed beauty (and before the later evening, when they start flying around squawking, annoyingly!).

To me, the picture evokes one of those moments (and usually they are just moments) of intense and wondering awareness of Me! Here! Now! - of memory, consciousness and anticipation.

Those sudden shifts, of recognition how remarkable it all is.

Suddenly (triggered unpredictably by something like a blackbird's song acting on the right kind of mood), we come to our senses, waken-up and (all too briefly) realise our situation and condition.

The realisation is solid, and memorable - albeit we cannot express it is words, or communicate it to others; and it is more real than almost anything else - hence our memories hold such incidents in a permanent store.

Years later, we find such (supposedly trivial) 'Blackbird' moments coming back to us: relived - when great swathes of stuff that seemed so crushingly-important at the time are just... gone (at most we merely 'know that' it happened, but not as a living presence).

This is the nature of our experience - and it is our choice whether we acknowledge and learn from it; or follow the mainstream in asserting that Blackbird-moments are evanescent, insignificant, merely subjective...

Friday, 15 March 2019

Who are the Avant Garde? What is their cultural role?

They get their name from the advance guard of an army; but misunderstand this to be a group who are leading. In fact, the avant garde do not decide where to go.

They are merely a part of the main army extended forward, with a particular job; which is temporarily to engage with the enemy until the real army arrives from behind.

In cultural terms, the avant garde are the intellectual class, radical academics, controversial journalists, progressive theoreticians, 'modern' and 'shocking' artists etc... What is their job? Merely to be a temporary distraction until arrival of the main force; which is is The Bureaucracy.

The avant garde emerged in Western Culture along with the Bureaucracy. As The Bureaucracy grew - so did the avant garde - simply because the AG are creatures of the Bureaucrats.

The avant garde do not decide on the nature of the enemy - that has already been decided by the generals (The Establishment) back in the main part of the force. The avant garde fight don't choose their skirmishes, but merely fight who they are instructed to fight.

But the avant garde are deluded. They have been fed a fantasy, which they believe - and they have convinced plenty of others; so that the enemy imagine that their job is to defeat (only) the avant garde!

This is a brilliant tactic of the Establishment - The Bureaucracy roll slowly into-place after the avant garde have begun the fighting; but unexpectedly - unrecognised - unopposed; and typically will incrementally tie-up, pin-down and crush the enemy.

The avant garde delusion is that it is they who lead, make decisions, choose the enemies and direction; and everyone else follows in their wake - and (merely) occupies the territory that the AG have won for them...

But the reality is that the avant garde are - and always have - been merely a functional part of The System; that part which the ruling Establishment has projected forward from the Bureaucracy to do a job.

The avant garde are therefore useful, but inessential to victory. The Bureaucracy are the Heavy Infantry, the occupying force.


From the Romantic Christian perspective, we who are enemies of the avant garde/ Bureaucracy/ Establishment - the AG are not our real enemy. Our enemy is the Bureaucracy and Establishment. We ought not to be duped into supposing that a victory against the avant garde has achieved anything other than delay us from engaging the real foe.

Why unselfishness should Not be regarded as the ultimate virtue

An astute insight from commenter Lucinda:

Unselfishness is a [bad] ultimate virtue because it contains no good judge. 

Selves judge experience. Selfishness at least has the ability to correct itself if the results are bad enough for the self. 

But under the rule of unselfishness, if any judgments are made, they must always be made by those without personal experience, by definition.

Unselfishness as ultimate authority is incoherent and/or impersonal.

There was an analogy that went around at some point of Heaven and Hell being the same, a feast with overly long spoons irrevocably affixed to the arms. Those who only thought of feeding self would suffer, those who learned to feed each other were blessed. It is an ugly portrayal, but beyond that, I think it pretty well exposes the basic feeling of permanent impotence of those who honestly espouse such nonsense. 

This comment makes explicit for me a long-standing feeling about the sinister way that unselfishness works for the destruction a person, institution or society; if once it becomes established as the supreme virtue.

This has often been a mistake made about Christianity - the notion that it is, or should be, primarily about unselfishness. The evil consequences of this interpretational error can be seen in the tragic, mistaken and self-destructive life of evolutionary theorist George Price. An error in understanding what Christianity was about - misapplied with zeal and rigour; apparently led him by steps to a increasingly sordid and deluded lifestyle, through depression to suicide.

But where does this error come from? Ultimately, I think, from the failure to recognise that the business of God's creation is love; that creation and love are supreme and positive values; and that both creation and love are rooted in the individual.


As children of God, we each have within-us that which is divine; so each person is a part of divine creation and the divine plan. It is necessary, therefore, that we each bear responsibility for developing our unique and irreplaceable part in the whole.

To try and live by an ethos of unselfishness, of 'putting others first' - would be a denial of this primary personal responsibilty.

No wonder that it leads to self-destruction.


Thursday, 14 March 2019

The Mormon achievement

Recent readers of this blog may not be aware of my profound debt to Mormon theology and metaphysics; becuase I did most of my writing on this subject up to about five years ago, culminating in the 'mini-book' Speculations of a Theoretical Mormon.

If asked to pick the single most important achievement of Mormonism - I would pick the emphasis on marriage and the family as being at the heart of Life Everlasting in Heaven, and the basis of our theosis in mortal life.

This Christian insight was largely missed by mainstream Christianity for its first 1800 years (related to the systematic neglect and denigration of the Fourth Gospel); therefore requiring further major divine revelations primarily via the prophet Joseph Smith and some of his descendants in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This major theological achievement - of putting eternal marriage and the family structure at the core of resurrected life, and of building this from basic metaphysical assumptions - is largely distinguishable from Smith's other and much better known attainments of producing The Book of Mormon, and of organising a church which has grown exponentially (at the same rate as mainstream Christianity) to about fifteen million current members.

The Mormon position on the family has been usefully summarised in a 1995 Proclamation.

This is a contribution to Christianity that I regard as core to my faith; and I have never seen it adequately expressed anywhere else than in Mormonism - except in the works of William Arkle, who independently, and by intuition, converged-on a very similar understanding (but more than a century later).

Since I greately value Arkle's work, this strikes me as an important confirmation. But the major confirmation of Mormon theology has been in my own life, heart, and thinking - ever since I first encountered and understood it back in 2008. 

 

Defining Christianity - without materialism

In this world of materialism, opposed to all matter of the spirit and religion; it is significant that so many Christians define their faith materialistically, legalistically, bureaucratically - in terms of checklists, bullet points, terms of service, standard procedures...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the imagination and individuality gets squeezed-out of Christianity, and some of the most important Christian thinkers are rejected as Christians - both by the anti-Christians (who want to deny Christianity the lustre of their membership) and by Christians themselves (captive to materialism).

Many denominations and churches self-define in legalistic terms; and find themselves permanently at odds withe even very similar denominations and churches - and the whole of Christendom disunited, enfeebled, and pervaded by spite and fear.

Yet these self-styled 'orthodox' Christians, the ones who subscribe to (what they regard as) the objectivity of materialism, those who publicly subscribe to multiple, interlocking and sharply defined creedal statements and elaborate oaths... these have (mostly) become corrupted by leftist politics, and nowadays are By Far the worst of fake Christians - worse than the most notorious unorthodox and heretics of the past.

Why should this be? I think it is a consequence of the corruption of materialism. Materialism was present from the early days after the life of Jesus, as Christianity grew in the context of Judaism and the Roman Empire: both legalistically rooted and permeated. At any rate supposedly-strict legalism and objectivity have failed spectacularly to prevent mass apostasy. 

Yet the Fourth Gospel (our most authoritative source) presents the teachings of Jesus in a personal (and very simple) way, as a matter of Jesus's identity and our proper attitude to his person and promise. From this perspective, the public religion of Christianity was misconceived from a very early stage.

If not, then what?

Christianity is, obviously, an internal matter, self-defined. Yet this leaves open the matter of judgement - we must judge others, including whether they are Christian - or in contrast opposed-to and working-against God and creation.

How may this be done without legalism and explicit definition? Well, in exactly the same way that we infer the dispositions, motivations and intentions of other-people about any other important subject. We do it all day and every day. This is the bread and butter of social life, an absolute necessity of social competence.

Of course we do not have any mechanism for imposing our own inferences upon other people. When we judge a person (or institution) to be nasty; this usually cannot be proven to someone who interprets their disposition, motivations and intentions to be nice. Despite this, life goes on.

There is not, and cannot be, a better or more valid definition of Christianity that the serious inference of one individual about another: that is the bottom line. If I am a Christian, then I can and must make a heartfelt judgement about others - insofar as this fact affects me personally.

And I would be a fool to allow this 'intuitive' inference to be overridden by checklists and bureaucratic validations.

Who is is worse - Communists or Nazis?

There is an answer, and the correct answer is Communists.

But the chances are you may think that you disagree, or regard them as equally bad, or that it is too close to call.

However, if so, you are mistaken, and for one of two reasons:

1. Most likely, almost certainly, you do not know enough about Communism. Even I, who am no friend to Communism, continue to be surprised by what I did not know about the evils of the USSR. It has only been during the past year* I have begun to appreciate this, and even in the past week some major new horrors have come to my attention. But don't take my word for it, find out for yourself.

2. The Texas Sharpshooter fallacy

I described the TSF here: http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/06/measuring-human-capability-moonshot.html

The way it work in this instance is that Nazism is defined as the ultimate evil - then other evils are measured according to how closely they resemble Nazism. Naturally, when this is done to Communism, it seems less evil than Nazism.


The relationship between ideologies (over the past couple of thousand years in the West) is as follows:

1. First came Christianity: primary sin = pride; primary virtue = love (i.e. the type of love which is agape/ charity). These defined ultimately in terms of spirituality, transcendentals, other worldly factors.

2. With leftist/ progressive atheism (e.g. Communism) the primary sin became selfishness; the primary virtue = unselfishness (a.k.a. altruism). These being defined in this worldly and materialistic terms - as 'worldly goods' ('goods' including all valued materials factors such as money and also socially-defined factors such as status).

Unselfishness is operationalized as altruism on behalf of others - e.g. other classes, other races, other sex, animals, climate, the planet...

3. Rightist/ reactionary atheism (of which Nazism is a type) reacts against the self-hatred and suicidal effects of leftist altruism on behalf of others, by reversing the morality of unselfishness to regard this-worldly materialist selfishness (under some communitarian description) as a virtue rather than the primary sin.

(In this sense, Nietzsche was indeed the philosopher of Nazism.)

Selfishness is operationalized by right-wing atheism as distributing worldly goods to one's own class, nation, empire, race, sex or whatever.

To be paradoxical about it, Nazism is aggressive altruism on behalf of oneself!


Both Communism and Nazism are relativistic/ nihilistic - they do not aim at a specific state of affairs, but a permanent revolution in a particular direction - secular leftists aim at continually increasing altruism to others, secular rightists aim at continually increasing selfishness.

Hence atheist ideologies of both right and left are capable of unrestrained evil, so their regimes are the worst in human history - but atheist leftism is capable of attracting vastly more widespread and sustained support and idealistic zeal by its pseudo-morality of un-selfishness.

Hence Communism has spread almost everywhere and accomplished (and is accomplishing) vastly more evil than Nazism - which was a narrow and unsustainable product of unique circumstances.


So - Christianity promotes transcendental love, Communism promotes worldly unselfishness on behalf of others, Fascism promotes worldly selfishness.

Leftists and progressives therefore regard Communism as intrinsically superior to Nazism - in a way that takes no account of evidence, since they see Communism as having the highest possible human aspirations - albeit they are usually corrupted.

Leftists regard Nazism (and other forms of secular rightism) as intrinsically evil because its advocates openly promote their own interests: its primary morality is selfishness. Since this is the exact opposite of leftism - indeed, an exact inversion of leftist morality - it is the ultimate evil.

**

Leftists also regard supernaturalist Christianity as intrinsically evil because it promotes non-worldly goods, which do not exist; thereby ignoring or neglecting the moral centrality of enforcing the altruistic distribution of worldly goods.

But, for leftists, Christianity is not the ultimate evil, since it is not the exact opposite of leftism. Rather, orthodox Christianity is seen as a hypocritical mask for secular rightism - which is seen as primary. Christians are therefore seen as promoters of selfishness who cleverly disguise it under a cover of nonsensical transcendental aspirations.

Explicit, open, un-ashamed secular rightism is the primary enemy.

So, Communists fear Nazis - because they understand and respect them, but despise Christians - who are seen as fools and cowards.

Communists want to fight real Nazis (if they think they can win), but want to exterminate Christians (as mere vermin.)


So, for leftists, the difference between the mainstream secular right and Nazis is merely that Nazism is more honest and brave: the secular right with the gloves-off. Mainstream rightists are seen as nothing more-than - or other-than - feeble Nazis.

**

Note added: The inferiority of Soviet Communism to German National Socialism can be seen in their military.

Perhaps it is unfair to compare any other nation with Germany in terms of military prowess - but the German army (and most of the people) apparently loved their leaders and fought for them with absolutely remarkable tenacity and effectiveness until utterly defeated. (The way in which the Allied invasion was held-up in Italy for a year and a half from autumn 1943 was evidence of the Germans' man-for-man supremacy.)

By contrast, from the beginning of the Bolshevik revolution, the government waged permanent war upon its own nation. In WWII the Soviet officers *drove* their cowed troops into battle from behind - guns aimed at their own men. On the Eastern Front I have read that the Russians lost ten men for every German killed. 

*The above is reposted from this blog in 2011. I stumbled across it today, and thought it still interesting, and increasingly topical - as (superficially repackaged) communism is making a mainstream comeback.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Astonishing story of Brexit

At Albion Awakening...

...How did Brexit ever get off the ground? 

Although everyone who is remotely honest and informed knows that the British people want to leave the EU and have wanted to leave the EU for more than two decades - Britain remained because the ruling class (Parliament and the leaders of the major social institutions) wanted to Remain.

How, then, did we get so close to leaving; when essentially everybody with power wants to Remain? This is truly remarkable! It ought to have been impossible!

In the first place, why was the referendum result allowed to be Brexit - given the massive level of voting fraud (mostly via the postal vote system)? ...

In the second place why was the official referendum result not ignored - in the way that previous referenda have often been ignored? ...
   
One would have supposed that if the British and European elites had worked-together to prepare a fake Brexit package, then that is what would have happened. For the UK really to leave the EU, with 'no deal' - as appears to be scheduled for March 29th - should have been impossible. It should - from the Establishment perspective - never even have been on the table.

It is the failure to reach a Fake 'deal' with the EU that is so remarkable. Surely it was in all the elites interest that it should happen. And yet it has not...

Read the whole thing... 


The (ideal) Family is uniquely able to synthesise the individual and the group, on a permanent basis

When I try to imagine the most perfect form of society, I come up with the family: a conscious and creative return to family.


We begin as unconscious family members, taking it for granted and having no alternative. In adolescence our consciousness becomes detached from the family - and we become aware that it is not the only option, that as individuals we are distinct from the family.

Ideally, at the moment of complete conscious separation, we will choose to return to the family in love - and that is adulthood.

The 'utopian' family (which has been, in fact, realised in real-life practice many times - albeit briefly and insecurely) is a 'structure' which forms around individuals who are held-together by love.

In other words, the family is not a structure but a process; it 'dynamically' coheres because of the love between members (the family being defined by this love; and different families linked-by this love - as with marriage or true-friendship). It remains coherent because each family member individually is 'pointing in the same direction', has the same ultimate goal.

Individuals in a family are infinitely-various means to the same end.


In an ideal family we do not pick-from and fit-into a finite set of predetermined roles; but instead (held together by love, aligned by sharing God's purpose) the family adjusts around the actual nature of each individual, the individual doing the same for other family members. This adjustment is always on-going, never fixed; and so long as love prevails, it can accommodate all true developments - that is all developments that come from the real, divine, inner-nature of the members.

If a family member develops in some unique and unforeseen way (and, in a sense, everybody does this, all the time) - if he develops needs and drives - then that individual and the family will make mutual adjustments to accommodate and make the most of this situation.

The family group, together, gets things done; the individuals are each unique and can develop in unplanned, unpredictable ways due to their unfolding inner natures. 

In mortal life, we cannot always attain or maintain this perfection of mutual love. Mortal life is intrinsically changeable, as befits a time of learning. But, having learned this from living; I do not find it difficult to imagine how this is exactly what happens in Heaven - but there, always and permanently.

When family members are permanently aligned in aim and bound by love - that is, when each member has been resurrected to life everlasting, has made the eternal choice of Heaven, and has become permanently aligned with God's creative will through love... then they all can work together creatively; participate with existing creation; work together in extending the divine work.

(That is the 'job' of Heaven.)


I cannot imagine anything I could want more that this open-ended life of eternal and loving creation - each person contributing what he is uniquely able and wanting to contribute, from his developing nature - which is why I am a Christian, since this is exactly what Jesus offered, and was able to give-us.

On the other hand, I can perceive - with sadness - that such a vision of Life Eternal does not seem to appeal to everyone; and not even to all of the people that I have loved and do love.

So I try to inspire people with a vision of this possibility.

However, love just-is and must-be voluntary, and participation in creation likewise - and that constraint is its strength.

If you want to know a woman's real age?...

...Then look at the backs of the hands...


Cosmetic plastic surgery and careful makeup can make the face superficially appear 15, maybe 20 years younger; and hair technology can do much the same.

But so far, nothing much can be done to the backs of hands except to cover them, keep them out of sight or - for celebs - photoshop/ defocus/ smear vaseline on the lens.


The backs of hands have thin skin with only just enough to allow the fingers to bend (so, no possibility of nipping or tucking); and they typically collect a lot of sun damage in a time-linear accumulation (especially from those who like to sport a sun tan - exactly those most likely to use plastic surgery to create a more youthful appearance).

So (assuming you know what to look for - e.g. including subcutaneous-fat thinning, as well as sun damage) skin condition on the backs of hands tend to be a highly sensitive and reliable measure of chronological age - even distinguishing girls in their late teens from those in their early twenties. Indeed, under normal circumstances*, it is the only reliable index - which is why so many older women trying to pass as younger wear gloves, on the slightest excuse or none

Such is our societies fear and loathing of age - especially among women but strongly increasingly among men - that if/ when it became technologically possible to live one's life in a virtual-simulated young-attractive 'skin suit' - there would be many, many takers; despite the reality a increasingly decrepit body within.

For secular hedonic modernity, honesty has been discarded as a value, expedience is all, and deception is limited only by fear of detection.

Appearance is everything; it is the only 'reality'.


*Note: If a woman was to wear gloves or total sun block on the backs of hands from early childhood, this would greatly delay the signs of skin ageing - the skin of the buttocks usually appears less-aged for many-more years than the hand backs, for this reason.

Wanna be in my gang? Individualism and modern Man


As infants in school; we sometimes used to make a gang by the simple expedient of going around the playground and asking other boys if they wanted to be in our gang. Most would say yes, simply because they wanted to be inside the new gang; not outside.

The standard threat to some other boy who displeased was to say 'I'm going to get a gang on you'. Typically nothing was done; but the idea was that the threatener would form a gang against the threatened. It could be done, quite easily, because plenty of kids could be found to go along with it - on the side of any random kid who asked, and against any other random kid... at least for a while.

And a great deal of adult life depends upon the innate desire to join gangs and to avoid being ganged-up-on. This is the primary social basis of tribal society and probably of our ancestors.


Yet this gang-forming propensity is very weak among modern Westerners. In a sense, we want to be gang members a lot more than we want actually to be In a gang. We want protection and a share in the power of a gang; but will not, we cannot accept the necessary group standards of behaviour, leadership, loyalty.

The key thing is 'cannot'. Modern Man just-is an individualist. He cannot form groups.


This is just a fact - but the problem is that he is a weak individualist. He is enough of an individualist not be be able to form groups, even when he wants to. But he is not enough of an individualist to take responsibility for his beliefs, for his thinking.

Indeed, modern Man does not take his individuality seriously enough to find out what it is. He accepts what he is told about his real nature, his true self. He expects to find his real true self outside himself, in the culture! So nearly everybody simply goes-along-with making a choice of self, a selection from prevalent mainstream notions of how 'we' are - all of which happen to be false, incoherent, and demotivating.

In effect: Modern culture gives us a finite, approved, checklist of characteristics; and we are invited to tick-off which apply. The uniqueness of that selection is supposed to be our individuality. The checklist's limitation is what makes us 'belong'. 


Genuine individuality of thinking is a glorious and optimistic thing; but the individualism of the large majority of modern Men is a pathetic and grovelling sham; with most of the disadvantages of group membership and very few of the advantages.

If modern man is regarded as being stuck in spiritual adolescence; then we can see that the problem of adolescence is that it is a transitional state between child and adulthood. When what should be a transition becomes permanent, then we get our situation.

The adolescent is individualist enough to be rebellious against parents and tradition; but groupish-enough that he is slavishly conformist to the fashion driven whims of peers - and these adolescent fashions are imposed top-down and with an exploitative and corrupting agenda. That is the permanent state of modern Man.

In sum the adolescent is primarily negative: knowing what he does not want, but unsure and labile; changeable about what he does want. And that is precisely the nature of the mainstream, modern, secular, Leftist socio-politics. It is essentially negative, defined by what it opposes (here and now) - but without any stable or coherent notion of what it wants and aims-for in the future.


It is understandable that the solution for the self-destructiveness of modern Man is seen in a restoration of traditional forms of groupishness - ie. individual conformity to churches. Traditional groupishness is vastly superior to the arrested-half-rebellion of modernity. If that was the choice, the choice would be straightforward.

But it is not the choice. It is not possible. Once adolescence has been reached we cannot return to spiritual childhood, not genuinely nor honestly. Childhood is not an option. Our actual choice is between arrested adolescence and growing up.

In spiritual Christian, and cultural, terms: we began as individuals subordinated and loyal to the group-church of our environment. We entered a semi-individualist adolescent phase of rejecting the church; and ideologically self-subordinating to the partial, expedient individualism of a rebellious teen gang mentality. We need to continue through adolescence, and out the other side, to become fully individual.

As spiritually grown-up individuals, we may choose to work with traditional groups, with churches - but the relationship is then conscious, voluntary, and contingent upon the behaviour of the church. Since we have become adult individuals, we no longer regard loyalty to the church as the primary value.


Much of the desire for a strong church; and to be in a church, of a church - is an unrealistic and impossible yearning for that lost playground security of being 'in a gang'; and not having the gang set against you. Modern Man finds he is not, and cannot be, truly in a gang; yet the fact scares him - it scares him at an existential level, a pervasive and intolerable angst - from which he escapes into distraction and intoxication and Not Thinking.

Having a developed sense of self-consciousness - being rooted in this; we cannot help but evaluate and judge the 'external' church against our personal standards. Internal standards, personal intuition, is the only evidence we will accept - yet modernity undercuts all personal intuition as arbitrary, epiphenomenal, self-deceptive, lacking any objective validity.

This is why we need, more than anything else perhaps, to understand how and when intuition has objective validity; to develop confidence in genuine intuition - as being a form of direct knowledge of the divine: the divine within that makes us Sons of God, and the divine without: the Holy Ghost, which is the living Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Even geniuses have fantasies about doing something they can't and don't

Reading Kevin Bazzana's biography of Glenn Gould; it was clear that, despite being a musician of genius, Glenn Gould was prone to the same kind of unrealistic fantasies as the rest of us.

In his case it was being a composer. From the beginning of his career (aged about 15) through to the end of his life, Gould would talk about his intention of composing - yet he finished only one piece - a string quartet, written in his twenties.

Over a span of 35 years, nothing else substantive got further than announcements, concepts and sketches - despite that for 18 of these years he had retired from concert life, ostensibly in order to have time and energy for composition.


I emphasise 'being' a composer - because it was pretty clear that it was more this that Gould wanted than the actual business of writing music. He wanted to 'be' a composer, rather than 'doing' composing.

Bazzana, through his analysis of the string quartet and the sketches, is convinced that Gould lacked the ability to be a significant composer*. On the one hand he lacked the creative drive in that direction, as evidenced by his inertia; and on the other hand he lacked sufficient compositional technique for writing the kind of complex contrapuntal music he was most drawn to, and did nothing to acquire it - he did not study or take lessons.

Yet, somehow, Gould didn't want to give-up on this fantasy - and kept-on, even in later life, implying that a compositional breakthrough was just around the corner...


I find this interesting; and it happens a lot - including at the lower levels of ordinary non-genius folk including myself and my friends and colleagues. Many people have a tendency to undervalue what they can do and hanker after what they cannot; and many of these take the hankering no further than vague aspiration, yet fail to draw the conclusion that their daydream is thereby invalidated.

This can, in some people, have serious consequences - such as a wasted life. It is, I believe, a deep fault of character; which ought to be recognised and repented - because it is a species of avoidance by self-dishonesty.

It amounts to living a lie.

*On the other hand, Bazzana demonstrates that Gould was genuinely compositional - and in a musical way - in his radio 'documentaries'. If you do not know these, I would strongly recommend the 'Solitude Trilogy'. For this blog's readers, perhaps the third would be the best to start-with: The Quiet in the Land (1977) is about the Mennonites in 'modern' Canada. I was later inspired to attempt this genre myself 

Controlling by confusing (when not misleading)

"That is simplistic. It's more complicated than that - the situation is extremely complex..."

Such terms mean: I understand and you do not; so shut-up and do what I say.


Things are, in a sense, much too complicated for any-one to understand - and if no-one understands than no-body and nothing understand.

When a single person cannot understand as-a-whole, then it is not understood (and people are in reality merely implementing simple algorithms, which they do not understand).

A group of people, each understanding a little bit - nobody understanding the totality, and called a Team; does Not amount to understanding. They are flying blind.

At another level - it is all terribly simple, and every-body understands... understands well enough to be going-on with.

At the level of data/ information things are impossible; but at the level of intuitive knowing (if we can reach-down and touch-this, swamped as it is beneath a swirling mass of data/ information) then everything needful is known and everything necessary is possible.

Your life before this life? Romantic Christianity and pre-mortal existence

From The Salutation by Thomas Traherne

These little limbs,
These eyes and hands which here I find,
These rosy cheeks wherewith my life begins,
Where have ye been? behind
What curtain were ye from me hid so long?
Where was, in what abyss, my speaking tongue?

When silent I
So many thousand, thousand years
Beneath the dust did in a chaos lie,
How could I smiles or tears,
Or lips or hands or eyes or ears perceive?
Welcome ye treasures which I now receive.

(Read the whole thing)


It seems to be characteristic of Romantic Christians that they - we, including myself - have a belief in having lived before this mortal life.

Often this takes the form of some version of reincarnation - which seems to be a basic, default belief among tribal people, and many Eastern religions. But the key things seems to be not reincarnation, but the direct, intuitive conviction of having lived before this mortal life; of having lived as a spirit, before being incarnated.


In the poem above Traherne describes (or imagines) the memory of being incarnated; and many people - perhaps all Romantic Christians - have some such memory, although they may be unsure of its validity.

William Blake explicitly believed in a pre-mortal existence; Wordsworth described it in glorious detail in his Intimations of Immortality; Coleridge in a poem to his son. But of these, Coleridge seemed especially uncomfortable about his statements - and rejected the  reality of pre-mortal life; and Wordsworth became similarly negative about in his later life - because it conflicts with the metaphysical assumptions of traditional Christianity.

(The reality of pre-mortal spirit life is, however, consistent-with the Fourth Gospel - being specifically asserted for Jesus; and indirectly in the discussions of the Baptist's identity, and at John 9:2.) 


I have come to recognise that a belief in my pre-mortal existence is more powerful and more causally-important for me than a belief in post-mortal Life Eternal.

This is so, because the pre-mortal implies the post-mortal; and the pre-mortal is more sure.

Memory of my pre-mortal life, albeit dreamlike and hazy, is a direct and personal experience. And since I also believe that pre-mortal life had no beginning, but was from eternity; then this implies to me that post-mortal life is also eternal.

Since I have lived from eternity, then I expect that I shall live - in some form - to eternity; since I was transformed (not created) at birth, then I expect to be transformed (not annihilated) at death. 

By contrast, post-mortal life eternal (after biological death) can, for me at least, only be known indirectly*.


*Those who know post-mortal life directly are (I guess) those who (potentially) believe in reincarnation; but I do not have such memories or intuitions.
 

Monday, 11 March 2019

Not that there's anything wrong with that*

There can be no neutrality about anything that matters at all - certainly not about anything as important as sex.

Every-thing - Every Possible Choice - is either positively or negatively inflected; and must be explicitly acknowledged as such.

If not, and if the proper direction of evaluation is denied; then in practice we Will get moral inversion.

This has happened many times, with respect to many themes, over the past fifty years; is continuing; is accelerating...

It is better to be a Christian or not? If it is not explicitly said that Christianity is better; then the result will (after a few intermediate steps) be anti-Christian.

Is marriage better than not? If it 'doesn't matter', then The System will inexorably organise against marriage, until marriage is eliminated. Eliminated either explicitly, or de facto - hollowed-out and replaced; such that a solemn marriage contract becomes The Only legal contract that can be unilaterally broken, at will, without sanctions.

The same with all sexual preferences. If it is explicitly said that there is 'nothing wrong' with something which goes against Christian sexual morality - then it will be (has already been) encouraged, propagandised and enforced - while Christian morality is discouraged, demonised, and persecuted.

There is no neutrality; never believe that there is.

When there are two alternatives one is always better than the other. 


*If you don't get the reference, search for it with "Seinfeld". One of the funniest, best-structured, sitcom episodes - ever. 

Do you really believe in spiritual power as greater than materialism? (Do you want *more* spiritual power?)

In theory I certainly do believe in spiritual power (and want to exercise it); but I find it impossible consistently to believe it in practice (I lapse from that belief frequently); and this is a classic example of the mortal condition.

We can choose what we believe, and endorse; but we cannot always stick to that belief at all times. Therefore, what we are choosing is what we repent.

(In this instance, I repent my lapses from knowing - and behaving in light of that knowledge - that spiritual power is supreme.)

However, I reject the semi-technological idea of spiritual power that I quite often see among Christians - which seems to have it that the best way to influence the world is along the lines that to effect change one should organise prayer, especially mass prayer, to achieve specific material ends.

This I would regard as a materialist strategy. Material strategies - such as habits of prayer, or rituals - may assist the spiritual, probably have done, as some kind of generalisation, in some eras and situations; but there is no causal connection at the specific level - and nowadays (in our context) this reduces the spiritual to the material, reduces spirituality to a mechanism.

But if, instead, we regard spiritual power as of vast power, vast scope, capable of massive effects - but genuinely spiritual; then we can see that it is not really a 'power' at all. Power might be defined in terms of imposing our will; and this is not allowed, not possible, unless and until our will is wholly-aligned with creation.

For most people - this alignment is only sporadic and short-lived. During these times we can, I believe, indeed participate in God's work of creation; and therefore exercise real spiritual power. However, that which we most 'want' is not necessarily or usually that which is aligned with unfolding creation.

In a nutshell; only when we want Good are we personally able to exert spiritual power; but in those circumstances we can.

Therefore if we 'want' more spiritual power; we first must come to want what is Good.