Monday, 5 December 2022

Ben Stokes and the difference great leadership can make

We in The West inhabit a world of institutional mediocrity - where a mixture of over-promoted middle managers and psychopaths are in charge of global, national and functional institutions. 

There are very few good, and no great, leaders in mainstream public life...

The exceptions may be found in some competitive sports. Here we can see the truly vast difference that great leadership can make when compared with the usual poor-mediocre standards.  

Until last summer, the England cricket Test Captain was Joe Root; who is one of the greatest modern batsmen - but a poor captain. 

Last summer, Ben Stokes took-over, for lack of any alternative; and turned-out to be one of the greatest international captains anyone can remember. 

Working with essentially the same group of players - and supported by a new coach who he gets on well with (New Zealander Brendon McCullum); Stokes has converted England from a team that almost never wins, to a team that almost never loses


England Test Match Cricket record since 2021 

W=Win 

D=Draw

L=Lose

Starting from 2021 - Joe Root: WWWLLLDLDLWLWLLLDLDDL... 

From Summer 2022 - Ben Stokes: ...WWWWLWWW


Several of these victories - such as that today in Pakistan - have been among the most remarkable in Test Match history; and done while playing an extremely exciting, sportsmanlike - and happy! - style of cricket. 

Such is the difference made by a great leader (which, obviously, includes the power to do what needs to be done)

Imagine, now, what might have been possible if such leadership had been introduced and supported in other areas of institutional life! 


(Well, actually you don't need to imagine: there is a current real life example, but not in The West: I mean the Fire Nation.) 

Given the gross inadequacy of what most people believe; why don't more of them become Christian?

It really is amazing how so many modern people cling to a world view that offers them literally nothing!


...A world view that describes a universe without purpose or meaning - where things happen only from some mixture of rigid determinism with randomness. 

A human life that comes from nowhere and ends in utter extinction; and where 'morality' is (somehow!) both a thing that has no objective basis and gets made-up and changed at will - yet at the same time is overwhelmingly important, such that anyone who breaks "today's taboo" deserves to have his life destroyed. 

Clearly, nobody could actually want such a world view to describe reality; yet (probably) a billion and more people operate on that basis (whatever superficial religiosity they affect) - presumably because they have become convinced that it is and must be true. 


This is the nature of sin for modern Man

Sins are the consequences of turning-away-from, rejecting, God's creation and destiny for the world and oneself. 

Modern Man is hardly aware of 'traditional sins' - especially not those related to sex. He is also unaware of his own habitual and strategic dishonesty, unconcerned about greed, sloth, etc.

But modern Man is made miserable by consequences of sins such as loneliness (alienation, cut-offness from life and the world), fear (angst, mistrust of the universe), and despair (hopelessness). 

Modern Man does not recognize these as sins - but he is made deeply miserable by them; and one might have supposed that such intractable misery would lead him to seek relief in the positive and optimistic world view of Christianity.  


Instead, however, modern Man seeks relief from what he perceives as a multitude of specific miseries - with tactics such as forgetting-himself by immersion in work or social life (travel, tourism etc); in relationships and thoughts of sex. 

And especially the mass media; and in a therapeutic attitude to life ('healthism') that hopes for relief from (a multitude) of physical and psychological problems, from a range of medical and other therapeutic sources (including psychotherapies and social engineering). 

The globally-mainstream atheist-materialist world view is a kind of Leftism for this reason: its morality is rooted in the double-negative purpose of alleviating-suffering - my means of a vast spectrum of socio-political, inclusive of 'health', interventions.  

One of the deepest and most urgent reasons for opposition to religion, is that religious restrictions and prohibitions are regarded as interfering-with these above tactics for alleviating the miseries of life - thus the fear that religion would make life unbearable. 


In sum: People have painted themselves into a corner where they have pre-defined life and reality as futile; and then they are trying to prevent themselves from remembering and realizing this! 

Understandably; these tactical palliatives are not fully effective all of the time. Distraction is unable to make life feel worthwhile, given the underlying and pervasive conviction of hope-less-ness.

Yet it is a fact that this whole 'modern problem' is self-created; because we each choose our own fundamental convictions (i.e. our metaphysical assumptions) - or else we choose not to choose, and to accept whatever society feeds-us! 

Either way; whether we acknowledge our own choice, or passively choose to follow orders - ultimately our choice is still our personal responsibility. 

 

So, the situation (as I well recall it from the decades when I was a believer in the mainstream modern world view) is of being-in a nihilistic situation, in which - once nihilism has been internalized and accepted as reality - there is apparently no possible theory or evidence that can convince us of anything better

Because, in a purposeless and meaningless universe, nothing means anything, and everything means nothing


What is a possible escape from this inevitable despair, and to a better world view?

That is the situation of one important type of the potential modern convert; and I think it can be seen that The Church (any church) - with its mandatory and complex "package deal" combination of beliefs and doctrines, requirements and rituals - is not an answer to the modern Man's deepest and most intractable problem. 

What modern Man actually needs; is a different fundamental set of assumptions, regarding the nature of reality (i.e. a different metaphysics). 


If Christianity is to be recognized as a possible and valid escape from known-sin and into positivity and hope; then it needs primarily to be concerned with the world-view of the individual Man; and this needs (certainly initially) to be distinguished from the package-deal offerings of any actual or potential Christian Church-ianity. 

In other words; modern Man needs to be able to look-out-from his alienated despair and perceive a pure, simple, clear and metaphysical Christianity.   

A choice of Church may, or may not, come later. 

But metaphysics is the first and essential step.  


Sunday, 4 December 2022

Why don't people abandon wrong ideas? The memory hole, and self-hypnosis by word-webs

I am fascinated by how people cleave to wrong ideas - despite everything. 

I regard myself as something of an expert on this subject! Because I have had many wrong ideas in my life (presumably I still do); and have sometimes taken a long time (decades...) to abandon them and acknowledge their wrongness - yet I still remember 'what it was like' to have these ideas, and to hold to them.

In other words; my claimed expertise comes from the fact I have changed my mind, quite often and often deeply, about fundamental matters concerning the nature of reality (i.e. metaphysics), and that I fully acknowledge this fact. 

Whereas most people never change their minds about anything; and when they do - will not admit they have done so!  


When I do finally abandon a long-held but wrong idea (such as atheist-materialism); I know for sure that it was wrong, exactly because I see it from both sides. 

Typically, I have taken my wrong ideas very seriously, and have pushed them hard - before abandonment. (e.g. I was a proselytizing atheist-materialist; and tried hard to live in accordance with my convictions).

Therefore; after abandonment - I know experientially why I believed it and what is wrong about it. 


This is the state that some call 'certainty'; when one knows something, and is not easily shaken-off or pushed-from that knowledge - because the new knowledge includes that the person trying to change ones mind is unable to see all around the question. 


[By the way; this does not (at all!) mean I can persuade others to do the same, to repeat my own trajectory - on the contrary, I am more than ever sure that this is something each must do for himself. Because arguments that were (and perhaps still are) decisive for me; may be incomprehensible or off-centre for others; and can nonetheless always be picked-apart by the skeptical resister, shown to be incomplete (requiring further assumptions) and relativized -- simply because all possible arguments can be thus dismissed.]   


There are - it seems to me - innumerable ways in which a person can stick to belief, despite... But a couple are of particular interest to me. 

One is that people have been habituated by the modern world - in particular the mass media (and now social media) to an overwhelming flood of constantly changing stimuli - 'facts', opinions, arguments, theories, images etc. 

The result is that people don't take any of it seriously - which means that they continue to believe whatever is consistent with their deepest assumptions about the world. 

In other words, immediate reactions wash-out very quickly; and over the long-haul people believe what fits their metaphysical assumptions - and everything else just sluices over them. Yet most people do not know their own metaphysical assumptions, and indeed deny that they have any! Instead they assert that these assumptions are simply true-facts about the world. 


Therefore, people just continue to believe... whatever fits with whatever unconscious, underlying assumptions that have passively-absorbed from 'society and culture'. Everything else just passes-through their minds; even facts, theories, 'evidence' that they 'believed' at the time it was presented. 

This, I think, is what accounts for the 'memory hole' phenomenon - which is as real for individuals, as for the mass media. 

In other words, dissonant knowledge is simply forgotten, and may later be denied; because it cannot be made-sense-of in terms of the underlying and unconscious/ denied assumptions. 

*

Another, much more intellectual, way of holding onto wrong ideas; is a kind of thinking, discourse and writing that I call 'self-hypnosis'. 

This is what makes possible sustained wrongness among the most highly educated, intelligent and idea-orientated sectors of the population. It is, in my view, what created and sustained the centuries-long mistakes of theology, philosophy, law, science, medicine, and so forth. 


What happens is that an intellectual comes-up against a problem: he wants to believe several things that cannot be fitted together by normal, common-sense reasoning. 

He wants to obey some authority, adhere to some principle or rule, or say that some-thing exemplifies several properties/ attributes which seem incompatible.  


Of course, at lower levels, intellectuals just make wrong arguments - with false-steps (non sequiturs), incorporating false evidence etc. Just generate sound bites. Just critique ad hominem and assume that they have thereby dealt with the argument. Just avoid defining and defending their own beliefs; and attack some aspects of whatever they disagree with (often straw man projections) - on the (unstated) conviction that this proves already-existing assumptions... 

But at higher levels, the intellectual may instead weave himself an hypnotic word-web, cast a conceptual spell that draws himself into an accepting (an exalted) state of mind... 

He draws into consideration all the elements that need to be combined; he alludes to possible causal pathways or networks, to multiple considerations of qualitatively different kinds... The aspects that require reconciliation are introduced, juggled and balanced into patterns, compared and extrapolated... 

And at the end of this (which may continue for hundred, thousands, tens or even hundreds-of-thousands of words!) he has made himself believe the incompatible, the empty, the contradictory. 

In effect the high-level intellectual hypnotizes-away his own doubts about some idea, theory, 'fact' - he 'squares the circle', dissolves incompatibility, synthesizes a medium within-which all makes sense


To my mind; all apparently makes sense because of the effect of self-hypnosis. 

The intellectual generates a diminished state of consciousness, an impaired state of delirium, and therefore can sustain his belief in ideas that would otherwise be recognized as wrong.   

I regard a great deal of Christian theology in exactly this light: as acts of self-hypnosis. 

And the sustaining of wrong and irrelevant theological ideas across the centuries, and among even the most able intellectuals (theologians, bishops, teachers etc); has been made possible by the creation of these hypnotic word-webs by leading intellectuals (including geniuses); and the entering-into and acceptance-of these hypnotizing intellectual structures by following generations. 

Thus the original scheme of self-hypnosis, is sympathetically attuned-to, participated-in, and accepted-by others. 

Self-hypnosis becomes other-hypnosis.  


So, the same - ultimately-hypnotic - phenomenon; repeats itself in smaller ways and at lower levels, in the dissemination of metaphysical assumptions and world-views. 

Sometimes the intellectual is mainly trying to convince himself, to maintain what he regards as a necessary belief. 

At at other times the intent is manipulative or (to put it euphemistically) educative. The word-web is then directed at hypnotizing others, at the ignorant or at 'doubters' - and the web-weaver (the would-be hypnotizer) may not himself be in the delirious state of self-deception; but instead stands outside the web - trying to achieve an hypnotic result with the greatest effect and economy. 


Of particular relevance to the situation of 2022 among Christians is that Christianity has been a victim of web-weaving theology - the kind that covers incompatibilities and contradictions - from very early in its history; apparently from soon after the ascension of Jesus!

Once one can recognize this style of hypnotic-self-deception; one can see it at work in a great deal of Christian theology - in the Bible itself, in the early theologians and church fathers; as well as the modern intellectuals and pastors through-whom these texts of the past are being-transmitted. 


You must have sensed it yourself? 

Somebody - whether a Christian or not - asks a simple question, or observes an (apparently obvious) incompatibility or contradiction; and the response... is to try and spin an hypnotic word-web!

...At the end of which, there seems to have been (or, at least, that is what is stated) No Problem At All! 

Difficulties are , not solved; but dis-solved, by delirium. 


As I said; this has been going on for centuries - and now we found ourselves in a world where (if we refuse to be hypnotized, or to engage in hypnosis!) Christianity is a state of self-denying catastrophic incoherence and collapse; with corrupted and evil-seeking churches confronting a metaphysically-secularized and evil-assimilated mass of people - and yet still deploying the same old hypnotic-word webs to address desperate spiritual needs, describe what Christianity is, and assert what it will 'do for you'. 


Christians need to shake themselves awake from such self-induced trance states that deny the realities, and continue to push failed solutions to real problems, neat answers to unreal questions.  

We need to stop trying to fool-ourselves by such stale mind tricks; because only with a clear head, may we then be able to help those others who seek help - as they so urgently, so profoundly, need helping. 


Saturday, 3 December 2022

What is the basis of Christian morality? Or: Nothing Good is ever wasted.

Because (following the Fourth Gospel teaching) I believe that Christianity is - at core - extremely simple: a matter of commitment to loving and following Jesus Christ (with 'following' understood as essentially being led by Him through mortal-death to eternal resurrected life) -- this belief leads to the question of how such a next-world-aiming faith can guide our behaviour in this life?

The question is answered because Christianity builds-upon personal theism; and a conviction that God is the creator and we his beloved children. 

And that God wishes to raise each of his children to the highest divinity that each wishes to attain; with divinity being understood as loving creation - creation in the context of that love which harmonizes each individual's effort with that of God's primary creation - and of other Men's creation. 


Traditional Christians are - no doubt - concerned that this conception of Romantic Christianity - based on individual discernment, motivation and responsibility; and with its core aims "not of this world" - has no place for the morality that has so dominated conceptualization and practice of Christian churches for most of two millennia.  

Romantic Christianity perhaps needs to make more explicit how such an individual spiritual process - aiming beyond death, and moving away from the top-down legalism of traditional church-based, top-down Christianity - could, even in principle, lead to 'good conduct' in mortal life. 

Such is the aim of this post. 


In other words: I am to explain how we get from a primary commitment to Follow Jesus Christ to Salvation - all the way down to the here-and-now level of moral behaviour in the multitude of testing and tempting ethical dilemmas of modern life in 2022.

For instance; how do we get from the Heavenly perspective that is 'not of this world'; to the mundane details of what we think, say, do and believe in context of living in an exceptionally corrupt and evil world?  

Then, how do we know what we should and should not do; and then how may we prevent the here-and-now, immediate pressures of expediency - of short-term and selfish benefit - from routinely overwhelming the eternal goals of properly Christian behaviour - as they so obviously have done in all the major Christian churches?


The basic insight is that morality derives from a personal knowledge of how individual behaviour harmonizes with God's existing creation and God's creative motivation

Goodness is that which - by love - is in-harmony-with divine creative intent; and evil is that which opposes God's creation. 

We may discover and know such harmony by that individualized guidance which is accessible to us from consulting our own inner divinity ('conscience') - which every Man has from being a child of God. And also by external guidance from personal interaction with the Holy Ghost - who is potentially accessible to all Christians: all those who have committed to follow Jesus - to accept his gift of resurrection into life everlasting. 


The 'accuracy' by which we might know what to do depends on the genuineness of our own motivation; on the sincerity of our following of Christ.

But - assuming he knows what he ought to do; what then motivates an individual person to resist, to go against, the dictates of short-termist, selfish expediency - in a context when that pressure of expediency is immediate and present, while the rewards of true morality are delayed until after death? 

What determines the choice to affiliate to God's purpose - rather than, expediently, to go-against it?

This is, of course, the test of Faith; because the powers of evil will probe and apply pressure to exactly this point - will contrast the sureness and certainty of current expediency with (what is described as) the vagueness, speculative nature, distant and merely-probabilistic hopes deriving from what 'might' happen after death...

Will assert the triviality and futility of a single and solitary person doing-the-right-thing - only for it to be unnoticed, ignored, punished, or forgotten; when the whole vast System will do otherwise, and regardless. 

(Why - the powers of evil ask - waste effort making such a pointless, dumb, insane gesture?)


In the first place; I think we will only be able to resist these pressures and pass such tests on the basis of a faith rooted in conviction of our own salvation

Whereas, for most of its history, Church Christianity has instead emphasized the uncertainty of salvation, and counseled strongly against presumption...  

But I think we instead need to regard salvation with utter confidence; confidence that - so long as we really want salvation, we can have it.  

Rooted in such confidence, we can then recognize this mortal life as a time of learning - the eternal benefits of which will come to all those who desire salvation.  


In summary: The powers of evil will assert expediency on the basis that salvation may not actually be true, that it may not happen to us personally - and, anyway, if salvation is really-real and we attain it; the microscopic incidents of this mortal life can (surely?) have no bearing on our condition after death. 

To resist such blandishments requires, therefore, an understanding that nothing Good is ever wasted

That every Good act (thought, word, deed), that is done from Good motivations and in harmony with divine creation; and no matter how apparently small and insignificant and ineffectual it seems from this-worldly perspectives -- 


Every Good act will be permanent - will be woven-into the texture of creation. And this will happen immediately - and forever. 


Every Good act will be permanent exactly because we can be confident of our own salvation; and we can be confident that our loving God has care for each of His children; and will arrange each life such that Good acts are made part of eternal reality. 

This is exactly the nature of that learning for which mortal life is sustained.  

We need, therefore; not just confidence in salvation; but confidence that all the tests and trials of this mortal life - all occasions when immediate expediency opposes our alignment with God's creative motivations - are exactly those occasions when we can personally make an eternal difference for the better. 


In other words, properly understood, the here-and-now benefits of expediency can be opposed by the here-and-now benefits of doing Good. 

And we may be confident (as confident as our faith) that eternal Good, no matter how small that Good, is infinitely more significant than whatever temporary and contingent, selfish benefits may accrue from rejecting God and opposing divine creation. 

The keys seem to be Faith-in and Love-of God, active in this earthly mortal world as well as beyond; and that Hope which derives from confidence in Christ's gift of salvation.

And also our knowledge that nothing Good in mortal life is ever lost - but is instead taken-up into eternal divine creation; which we shall personally enjoy and contribute-towards in the Heavenly life everlasting. 

Friday, 2 December 2022

What is the purpose of incarnation for evil-inclined souls? My own experience of choosing salvation

I have said, speculated, that the reason for the unique extremity and pervasiveness of evil-affiliation in these present times - especially the high prevalence and social dominance of value-inversion - is probably due to the nature of those souls being incarnated in recent generations

In other words, there seem to be a high number and proportion of people born who already have a tendency to reject God, and the gift of resurrection - such a tendency being part of their original makeup, and having continued in pre-mortal spirit-life. 


But why do such souls incarnate at all? 

Why allow evil-inclined souls to be incarnated; given that such souls may create and sustain the kind of world that we now inhabit: where global and national institutions and the mass media combine to be a kind-of machine for damnation...

Well, these are Not matters of predestination, because all Men have agency; any individual soul may repent and choose to join-with the side of divine creation. 

So, incarnation offers such souls a chance - and God (as creator) will engineer each life to provide experiences, learning from which may lead such souls to repentance. 

It seems that this mortal incarnate life - with its condensed consciousness providing a located-perspective on a world of constant inner and change and variation - is a better place for learning than pre-mortal spirit life. 


Indeed, I regard myself as exactly one such evil-inclined soul. 

I rejected God and became an atheist at a very early age; I think six years old - and with an eagerness and decisiveness that suggests it had 'always' been my unconscious intention to cut-loose from the solidly Christian framework within which I lived at school (although not at home). 

Without this mortal incarnate experience (if I had remained a pre-mortal spirit); I would have probably been something like a pantheistic pagan. That is, I would have rejected the opportunity to join-with God's plan to raise up Men towards divinity and a life of co-creation. 

Without this mortal experience; I would probably have 'handed back the ticket of consciousness and agency', and lapsed back towards a passive, un-personal state of mere Being: something like the ideal Nirvana of Eastern religions.  


But being incarnated, and entering-into the world as-is, also brought the hazard that my rejection of God's plan led instead to an incrementally-increasing affiliation (overall and substantial, although never whole-hearted) to the side of evil - as can be seen from many of my published writings before 2009. 

And I compounded my personal rejection of God and embrace of this-worldly evil by my writing (and teaching) - so, by the time I started to become a Christian, I was in a bad way - spiritually! 

...Not so much in terms of being a spectacular and Luciferic 'sinner' of lusts and greed - but certainly in terms of affiliation and motivations; and in my active and public support of the Ahrimanic System.  


And what of this current System of damnation, and the fact that this world is mostly ruled by evil affiliated Men who serve demonic powers? 

At an aggregate 'group level' - what is going-on from God's point of view? Why might God allow such a situation to develop and continue?

In particular; how can such an appalling general situation be of benefit to incarnated souls, many of whom are apparently - like me - disposed to reject the hopes of divine creation and the chance for eternal resurrected life? 


My best answer is the explanation of 'things coming to a point'. That Good and evil are increasingly-more separated (more polarized') and thus evil is more starkly revealed. 

Evil here-and-now is more absurd, as it becomes value-inverted, more clearly tyrannical, more obviously destructive.  

The excuses, or rationalizations, for evil have become thinner, more perfunctory, more labile and self-contradictory.


Of course, despite all this, most people still don't see through to what is really happening! 

Yet, if we accept the premise that the world is populated by especially evil-inclined souls; souls that are unusually (in historical terms) unusually hardened and fixed in their rejection of divine creation...

Then, from this point of view; we can regard the contemporary world as allowed by God because it represents extreme rescue measures; a spiritual shock designed to startle souls thrawn to evil into a sudden appalled recognition of what horrible things they are thinking, saying, believing...

 

Mortal incarnation is therefore a high risk business... 

Because it is a chance for learning: it is thereby a chance for learning evil, as well as Good. 

It is a chance for evil-inclined, God-indifferent souls to get spiritually worse, as well as to get better. 


This world we inhabit is a world planned and controlled by evil-inclined souls; so it cannot really be good of itself and overall. But, nonetheless; God has made use of the world's evil to provide an environment in which the spiritual war has been brought close to the surface; a world that serves the function of providing extreme learning conditions. 

Perhaps towards making a 'last chance' situation for even the worst of sinners; in which - for a moment - clarity is attained, and a final decision made. 

For some souls - such is apparently their only realistic possibility of avoiding their own prior-choice of damnation. 


Thursday, 1 December 2022

For Heaven's sake, this is not an accident! "They" are doing it on purpose!

No matter how much evidence, every particle of it pointing in the same direction; and no matter that nothing is ever learned from failures, disastrous policies are never repented nor reversed - still the majority of people (including intellectuals and commenters of the 'secular Right') continue and continue to explain the approaching catastrophe and mass death in terms of stupid mistakes, lack of foresight, self-deception...


It is literally incredible to see each and every item of the news and planning subjected to individual microscopic analysis of its flaws and illogic, extrapolations of its dangers, and the sufferings it will inflict - without ever putting together these hundreds upon hundreds of items to see the obvious pattern and the simple motivation behind them: to do evil, to cause pain, to kill...

And above all to induce Men to choose damnation en masse - from fear, resentment, despair, and the inversion of true values.  

This is a spiritual war; and evil has the upper hand in The World. 

It really is absolutely as simple as that. 


As Rudolf Steiner pointed-out a century ago: atheism is an illness, specifically a mental illness - a form of insanity. And if you cannot perceive the global spiritual war and the purposive evil of the Establishment; then you too are actually an atheist and are literally-insane - whatever religious affiliation you may affect or identify-with. 

"Your expression gets warped and destroyed": Or, why Establishment cultists reveal their badness in their faces

From 2:40 onwards

Sir Despard Muratroyd and The Chorus 
From Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan

Oh, why am I moody and sad? 
Can't guess! 
And why am I guiltily mad? 
Confess! 
Because I am thoroughly bad! 
Oh yes – 
You'll see it at once in my face. 
Oh, why am I husky and hoarse? 
Ah, why? 
It's the workings of conscience, of course. 
Fie, fie! 
And huskiness stands for remorse, 
Oh my! 
At least it does so in my case! 

When in crime one is fully employed– 
Like you – 
Your expression gets warped and destroyed: 
It do. 
It's a penalty none can avoid; 
How true! 
I once was a nice-looking youth; 
But like stone from a strong catapult - 
A trice – 
I rushed at my terrible cult – 
That's vice 
Observe the unpleasant result! 
Not nice. 
Indeed I am telling the truth! 

Oh, innocent, happy though poor! 
That's we – 
If I had been virtuous, I'm sure – 
Like me – 
I should be as nice-looking as you're! 
May be... 
You are very nice-looking indeed! 
Oh, innocents, listen in time – 
We do, 
Avoid an existence of crime – 
Just so– 
Or you'll be as ugly as I'm– 
No! No! 
And now, if you please, we'll proceed...


Comment: Aside from the wise moral teaching (concealed in the parody of Victorian melodrama) - more relevant now than ever; this song is a superb example of Gilberts cleverness and wit in the interaction between soloist and chorus. And Sullivan's music gives me goose pimples when the third verse moves into a soaring melody. 


No Good Jobs anymore... The impossibility of Doing Good in a general, vocational or socio-political fashion

I can recall as a teenager trying to choose a future career, with the idea of picking one where I would Do Good. I had a short-list of supposedly-Good jobs, that included being a doctor, a research scientist and creative artist. 

I became a doctor eventually, later a research scientist, studied English literature (explicitly trying to work with a creative kind of criticism and scholarship), and did some (more-or-less) creative writing on a frequent basis. 

All of which, serially, made me realize that these once-Good works were - at least in the late 20th-early 21st century - not really about doing Good. 

What Good these social activities did was partial, temporary, declining, and even (increasingly) inverting into net-harm. 


And anyway, from an atheist-materialist basis, there is no real Good that can be done - since Good is arbitrary and subject to redefinition and reversal. People can be made happier or more fulfilled... at a price, to some extent and for a brief time. 

Human suffering may be alleviated - but only somewhat and temporarily (because everybody dies, and some problems are too hard to solve) - and often at the cost of increased suffering in the long-term, or for other people. 

In sum; there is no path by which humans can really-do real-Good; and almost all of those who mistakenly believe their is such a path and they themselves are following it; can easily be seen (from a Christian perspective) to be on the side of evil - and doing actual harm to themselves and others. 

For example I mean those (mostly leftists) who are 'active' in political causes, charitable causes, 'health' services', 'education', Law and (pseudo-) science. 

These are - often - obedient servants of evil; whose corruption is so extreme that they have inverted their values; such that creating suffering, encouraging sin, inducing fear and despair, deleting meaning and purpose from life - all such actual evils have come to be seen as positive and constructive acts. 


Because the world of public discourse and institution is so corrupt and evil-affiliated; then there is no objective and material Good that anyone can follow - not even in the Christian churches. 

It was once the case that working for a decent church was genuine Good Work; but now the major churches (of the kind one can work for) are significantly (and increasingly) assimilated to the agenda of evil; and have taken on several or all of the core Litmus Test policies of strategic totalitarian corruption and value-inversion. 

All significant institutions of The West are corrupt and 'converged' - so that serving the institutional churches (by church-focused evangelism, church development and foundation etc.) are nowadays Not ways of Doing-Good. 


We may still Do Good in The West; but not by taking up the cause, or following the path, of any pre-established Institution: there are no longer any 'Good jobs' or careers. 

We must do Good starting from our-selves and with guidance from the Holy Ghost

We must, in other words, mostly work it out for ourselves; and any advice we choose to follow, requires to be selected and discerned - and not accepted on the basis of institutional provenance. 


Consequently, it would be expected that people who are really Doing Good will be doing specific and personal Good; therefore may potentially be found in a wide variety of places and situations (including a wide variety of churches)...

And such people are less and less likely to be concentrated in particular social niches/ institutions/ jobs/ religions/ denominations/ or congregations. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

How I understand the meaning of these End Times

I often state that we are now "in the End Times" - and I am convinced of it. 

I do Not mean by this that the "Second Coming" of Christ is imminent, because (from my Fourth Gospel perspective) I regard the idea of the Second Coming as false - and indeed bizarre; because Jesus did his work, his work is done, it was completely successful, and there is no reason for Christ to come again. 

I do not have any very specific notion of how or when the End will come-about or what it will entail; but I think we (the human race) have gone beyond a point of no return, and have entered a positive-feedback cycle where each deleterious change leads to further harm in a compounding fashion; such that matters accelerate towards ruin. 


The main reason I have reached this conclusion is that we live - for the first and only time in history (so far as I know) - in a time of net (and increasing) value-inversion - such that the mainstream, official and high-status value-system is the opposite of reality; hence the opposite of truth. 

Because values are inverted, it means that (on average, overall) evaluations of Good and evil (beautiful and ugly/ true and false/ virtue and sin) are upside-down; so that attempts to understand and choose that which is Good will instead home-in-on evil; attempts to make things better will make them worse; attempts to create order will amplify chaos, and attempts to solve problems will make them worse. 

This has happened because sin has the upper hand among those persons, nations, institutions that have the greatest power (wealth, status, influence) - and the apparent mass majority of the populace have become hedonic and despairing - without purpose or meaning; therefore demotivated and cowardly. 


Although this value-inversion does not apply to everyone; and Men remain as free as they always have been to repent and attain salvation; they have ceased (on the whole) to desire salvation. 

Most modern Men will not be saved because they do not want to be saved - indeed they find the idea of resurrection to eternal life in Heaven to be positively aversive: dull, boring, silly, childish, or indeed itself evil.

Modern Man typically wants to maximize pleasure and minimize suffering in mortal life then either painlessly to die into total annihilation; or at least to cease to be a Man with a self and agency; or else (perhaps especially among the ruling Establishment) seeks an afterlife of (demonic) hedonic/ sadistic domination and spiteful destruction.  


Is this a hope-less perspective? No - because hope is properly located in post-mortal eternity; not in this brief and entropic mortal life. 

But is it excessively pessimistic to assume that we are beyond the point at which matters could be turned-around? After all, Men are still free to change their minds - that is not-impossible, so perhaps it may happen? 

Why then; if mass repentance could happen in principle, am I convinced that it will not happen?  


Partly because of the Biblical prophecies about End Times which seem to contain the insight that there will be a point of no return. These put the idea into my mind. 

Then the phenomenon of value-inversion. Value-inversion is so weird and unnatural and false (dissonant with reality, useless for prediction) that one would expect it to be self-correcting - IF it could be corrected. 

Yet instead of value-inversion being self-limiting, instead of it reducing in the face of - what one would suppose - is obvious; value-inversion is spreading, getting worse, and solidifying. 


Evidence for this is... everything in public discourse - the mass media, high status officialdom, large corporations. 

Apparent exceptions soon turn out to be merely apparent. 

Such a situation I find to be so strange, unprecedented, beyond logic and love; that I can only conclude that it represents the deep nature of many Men. 


Why now, why not before? 

Because things change, history is linear and does not repeat; and each Man is unique and brings to the world a nature and disposition from pre-mortal existence. 

Ultimately, I think (I don't know) that history changes due to the changing nature of incarnated Men. 

Modern Men are as-they-are substantially because that is how they were (on the whole) when incarnated. They are not predestined to damnation - because everybody is a free agent; but they (we) are overall more evil than any generations in history. 

It is (was) from this increased original and innate greater-evil, that these times are as they are


Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Don't seek or take Generic Advice! Or, what should "people" actually "Do about things" (considering the way "things" are going...)?

I often (far too often!) see bloggers advising their readers what to do in face of the way the world is going - and commenters asking bloggers what to do! 

Where should I go (to be safe)? What job should I do (to avoid converged SJWs and enforced political correctness)? How can I find a community of like-minded?

Aside from the innate absurdity of offering and seeking such answers in the context of a mass medium (albeit, not very "mass" compared to the big stuff); and exacerbated when the communicative exchange is between pseudonymous bloggers and/or commenters - who know very-little or nothing-at-all about each other... 


Aside from such constraints; the assumption behind such activity is that there is such a thing as generically wise, or at least expedient, advice: advice that is good for everyone, works for everyone.

However this may be for material secular goals (such as finding a "safe" place to live; or discovering how to seduce more 'women'... seduce them in a properly 'Christian' way, natch!); this offering and seeking of generic guidance is Not Good for spiritual goals. 


Of course, there can be generic but broadly-valid negative advice: such as what Not to do - yet even here, in the world as it is - there are just so many things that we ought not to do, that (in practice) we cannot not do all of them.  

Good advice might be - Don't live in an especially leftist part of a leftist nation; don't work in a highly-converged profession, don't take a job in an institution dominated by SJWs... 

Yet the nature of this world is that All nations, professions and institutions (of any size and power) are substantially converged with leftist evil - and getting worse.  

People must live somewhere, and there are massive costs to relocating; people must have some kind of job and work someplace - and it is merely a matter of degree as to how evil each of the options currently are. 

We cannot avoid doing evil in such a pervasively evil world; in the end we can only do our feeble best, and then we  must repent our many sins -- which is not, or should not be, a fatal problem for Christians. Jesus came to save sinners, after all. 


But the deep problem isn't what Not to do in an evil: it is what we ought-to-do; what particular path we should follow in a world where all generic options are merely choices between evils.   


My contrary contention is that instead of trying to apply generic advice to our specific situation in a top-down fashion; we ought instead to start from who we personally are and our personal situation. 

Guidance should be generated bottom-up, not top-down; and the goals sought should be spiritual, not physical-material.


So it is a bad idea to seek 'safety' or 'security' as a goal (motivated by fear); because fear is a sin - and to seek escape from fear is to be sinfully-motivated. 

And because there is no spiritual safety to be had, anywhere, ever. Our world is spiritually evil and getting worse, and more chaotic. 

To seek safety-security in these End Times is like moving to a safer cabin on the Titanic - but worse than that, because it is to affirm and abet the atheist-materialist-leftist evil framework. 

It is to accept the modern world as-is (and as-becoming worse) and to try and make the best of an evil thing: to try to exploit, and thus intrinsically to sustain, the ongoing collapse of Good-values.  


But if not, then what? 

If not generic and material advice; how does one discover spiritual and individualized guidance? 

The is a short answer: which is that we have both internal and external sources of divine guidance. There is that-which is divine in each of us - as sons and daughters of God; and there is the Holy Ghost - which can teach us "all things" necessary to our salvation and for our spiritual development.  


But why should we expect there to be any genuine way in which an individual person can buck the global spiritual trend; and attain something better, something Good - in the world we live in now? 

The answer to that is very basic; which is that (as Christians) we know that God is the creator and continually creating; that God loves us each as His own child; and that our actual mortal life has a purpose - so long as it continues.

So long as we are alive, there is a reason for it, and benefit to be had. 

Therefore we must exercise the Christian virtue of Faith - trust in God's Goodness and Creative Power, which is sustained by Hope rooted in our expectation of resurrection. 


And this potential individual and spiritual benefit to be had; applies especially when we follow divine guidance and learn from what that life - that path - is designed and intended to teach us. 

Yet the fact of our agency and personal motivations implies that our life is intended to be active - therefore not merely the passive following of an externally dictated path. We learn better and more deeply when we are maximally involved in our own lives. 

Therefore divine guidance is not like a blueprint; but more of the nature of a veto when we are trying to do wrong; and an affirmation when we have worked-out the best and proper course of events for each-of-us, here and now.   


In other words; we need to work things out for ourselves, as best we can; make our choices, and then both seek divine conformation, and then (as back-up) continue to monitor things as they develop along our chosen path - to check that we did indeed make the right choice. 

So divine guidance might manifest as a strong inner sense of No when we make wrong plans; or the opposite affirmation when we get it right. 

And after we have set-out on the chosen path, there will be feedback of a positive or negative kind - so long as we seek this. 

And if, after all, we get it wrong - and perhaps wishful thinking or overmastering fear have been our real source of guidance instead of divine destiny; then when we arrive at the destination there will be further feedback as to whether our arrival is a good, or bad, thing - and we have the chance to repent. 


It is the conviction of Romantic Christianity that we each need to embrace personal responsibility for our spiritual (including religious) lives. For a Christian; this responsibility includes, vitally, the duty to seek and follow individual divine guidance as best we can; and as far as it goes. 


Monday, 28 November 2022

Christianity is (or should be) a religion of inequality

Equality is supposed to be 'a Good Thing', but isn't; as William Wildblood demonstrates in a forthcoming book - which I have had the privilege to read in manuscript.

As well as equality being a Bad Thing to aim-at; indeed, equality is not even a real thing. 


The word and concept of equality is, of course, very vague in terms of its actual (i.e. rhetorical) usage, which resembles an hypothetical black box, more than a useful category; but 'equality' can usually validly be reduced to an assertion of sameness... 

Either an assertion that some-particular-things are, or ought to be, The Same. 

But are things ever the same? 

Well, in some sciences, especially the physical science, science there has been an assumption of sameness among things like particular chemicals or atomic particles. Yet even here, the progress of science has usually been towards finding differences among things that were originally assumed to be the same: for instance all atoms were originally assumed to be identical - even between different elements and substances. And in biology, an assumption of sameness is much less frequent, and soon breaks-down, the closer we look. 

Perhaps the only genuine sameness is in mathematics (and formal logic), where the sameness is axiomatic and wholly abstract: a matter of definition. 

But mathematics is not the real world. 


What about in religion? Well, so far as I know, there has never been any actual, viable religion where all people are judged to be the same. 

In the past, human differences were often simplified (for practical purposes) into categories, or classes of Men - but even there, there was always provision for making distinctions. 

e.g. Priests may have been in a different category than non-priests; but priests were internally differentiated in many way - even down to the individual level.  

But what of a divine level? Again, it seems there has never been equality of divine regard of Men - but sometimes this has been simplified into categorical levels of classes of divine esteem; which often reflected social organization.  


So where does the idea of equality come into religion? Well, sometimes there is an equality of 'destination' in terms of post-mortal, afterlife fate. In some religions it seems that all Men will (sooner or later) end-up in the same situation. 

For instance, the Ancient Greeks and Hebrews seem to have regarded the afterlife of all Men as a an underworld of demented ghosts: Hades/ Sheol. 

Or the Eastern Religions Hinduism and Buddhism have sometimes envisaged all Men as sharing the same fate of eventually (after varying numbers of incarnations) being re-absorbed back into the divine, from which they came - at least, that goal was the same for all Men. 

Christianity has always divided the destinations between at least two (not-equal) possibilities: Heaven and Hell; and this has sometimes been elaborated by additional possibilities such as Limbo and Purgatory; and by differentiation of fates and roles within both Heaven and Hell (e.g. the circles of Hell, or the layered Mormon 'Heavens') - sometimes differentiation by categories of people, sometimes at the individual level. 


The main assertion of, and emphasis upon, 'equality' in Christianity is almost-wholly modern (coming after the emergence of political leftism, with is promiscuous talk of actual or aspirational 'equality'), and is related to God's supposed attitude of Love to all Men being absolutely 'equal'. 

But God's 'equal' love can only be entertained as a possibility either if Love is regarded in an extremely abstract way (because in real life, including in the Bible itself, love is always differentiated and selective) -- and/or if equality is redefined into a very vague notion that because God Loves all His children, this 'must' (or should) mean that God (somehow, for some reason) loves all his children in exactly the same way and to exactly the same degree...

This supposed 'equality' has been spun into highly abstract assertions of God's absolute and unconditional - therefore equal - Love; rather as if God's love was an evenly-distributed gas, or a radiation of completely equal intensity that bathed all Men without distinction. 


To my mind, this (frequent) attempt to express God's Love as equal and unconditional is probably an alien import to Christianity; either derived from politics; or apparently derived by back-projection from the (not Christian - but nonetheless held by some self-identified Christians) idea of post-mortal Men all returning to be assimilated-into the divine...

Maybe the argument hinges on the idea that if all Men end-up equally, then this happens because God regards all Men as the same. 

At any rate, these two ideas of the supposedly unconditional and universally-equal Love of God, and a Nirvana-like life after death destination of all Men - seem to go-together. 


For a Fourth Gospel derived and focused Christianity; I would regard it as obviously wrong to regard equality in Christianity as a Good Thing. 

Christians ought instead to be trying to understand God's plans for men in the most differentiated and individualistic way possible; much as the ideal attitude of earthly human parents to their children is one that recognizes each child as individual, unique; and needing (ideally) to be regarded as such in terms of their destined and best path through mortal life and beyond. 

Ideal earthly parents would not love all their children 'equally'. Neither would they love their children in a rank-order. Instead they would 1.) love all their children, and 2.) love and value each child in a particular and unique way to correspond with his or her individuality.  


In other words, it is high time Christians set-aside 'equality-talk'; and began to recognize that the traditional categories and classes of past-Christianity were an imperfect representation of what is actually - from God's point of view - an individual-level scheme of Man's salvation and theosis.  


Sunday, 27 November 2022

Contemplation, Enjoyment, and Creation

It has become ever clearer to me that one of the convictions that underlies my metaphysical assumptions is that Man's creative ability is real; yet mainstream, classical, 'traditional' Christian theology has no place for Men to be able genuinely to create: that is, for a Man to be able to to add something new to to God's existing creation. 


This exclusion of the possibility of creation is a consequence of the mainstream Christian's understanding of the nature and attributes of God. 

God is assumed to have created everything from nothing (creation ex nihilo), and to live outside of time (such that God knows everything that including all possible futures), and to be omnipotent and omniscient.

Putting all of these together - for the mainstream-classical theology divine creation has-been done wholly by God, has already-happened; and is complete and unchangeable (since it is beyond time).   


From this perspective; there are two basic ways we can know - which CS Lewis terms contemplation and enjoyment (and which are described and explained in this essay, but without using the contemplation-enjoyment nomenclature - which distinction is explained in his autobiography Surprised by Joy, and elsewhere). 

For a classical, mainstream Christian theologian like Lewis, contemplation and enjoyment are the only possible ways of conscious 'knowing' - with enjoyment a higher form of knowing. 

(There will also be ways of 'unconscious' knowing - in the sense of animals, or plants, that implicitly 'know' many things, because they behave adaptively; but without possessing what most people would recognize as explicit, conscious awareness of their knowing. However, I believe they do, because everything does, possess some consciousness, of some type)


Contemplation is when we retain the stance of a separate observer - it is, in effect, knowing-about something. 

For a Christian, a Man might contemplate God, or the works of God - and this means knowing-about such things; by paying attention, having experiences, studying, learning.

A higher form of knowing God would be enjoyment, or 'communion'. 

This would be when someone (perhaps a Saint, or a resurrected Man in Heaven) inhabited the divine mind, able to perceive and know God by means of a direct connection; becoming joined-with God's creative will - but retaining one's own identity as a distinct creature (created individual). 

Man in full communion with the divine remains conscious of himself; but knows God's work from the inside, and knows his own part in it. 


(It is this retaining of personal identity that differentiates the Christian understanding of divine communion, from the 'Eastern' (Hindu, Buddhist etc.) idea of Nirvana - in which the individual Man loses his distinction, his 'self'; and becomes dissolved-back-into the divine-whole, from which he originated.) 


But communion is not creative; since creation is done

What seems like creation to mortal Men is - by this analysis - a result of our limited perspective - and is actually just a selection and arrangement of already-created material

For the mainstream-classical Christian, Men cannot truly create, in a primary sense; because Men are creatures/ created-Beings; and only God is capable of true creation. 


But for me, as for CS Lewis's best friend Owen Barfield, there is a higher state than enjoyment - which is creation - or what Barfield terms Final Participation

This includes communion, but also involves knowing oneself to be adding-to and enhancing already-existing divine creation: that is, becoming a co-creator of God's creation. 

Therefore, Man can (potentially) become a creator with God, creating in harmony with what already exists. 

It can be seen that for co-creation to be true, several of the classical-mainstream assumptions about God must be discarded. Because it can be added-to; creation is no longer regarded as existing outside time, nor as being complete and finished. 

Man is no longer understood as wholly a 'creature' - but as an 'embryonic god': capable of developing to participate in primary creation of that which is new and unforeseen.


Thus, a recognition of Man as potential creator goes-with a rejection of the assumptions that God is omnipotent and omniscient, that God created everything from nothing, and that creation is complete and beyond time. 

Instead; creation is recognized as ongoing - within time - incomplete and capable of expansion. 

In other words; creation is God's original project; and a project in which Men may develop to participate.


To summarize; if we are to regard Man as capable of real creation; we must reject the classical, mainstream, tradition Christian theology; and adopt different metaphysical assumptions concerning God, creation and time. 

Conversely, if we choose instead to adhere to the classical, mainstream, tradition Christian theology; we must reject the possibility of Man being a true creator; and assume instead that the highest form of being that Man can aspire to is an ultimately passive state of 'enjoyment' in communion with God. 


How to decide between these incompatible metaphysical explanations of Christianity - apart from intuition? 

The Bible as a whole is apparently ambivalent and self-contradicting on this topic; but the Fourth Gospel (of "John" - especially Chapters 13-17 inclusive) strongly suggests that Men (in the new dispensation of Christ) can and should aspire to become co-creators: that is loving 'friends' of Jesus Christ and God, rather than (as in the previous era, before Christ) merely obedient servants of God.   


Saturday, 26 November 2022

Intra-Christian, inter-denominational, hostility - and the cure in Core, Romantic, Christianity

I find it very annoying when Christians fight among themselves - perhaps especially in this era - these End Times - when the Christian churches are shriveling and spiritually-eviscerated, and have joined-with the powers of evil dominate all the 'Western' nations, and nearly-all the major social and political institutions of the world. 


My evaluation is that real Christians are now rare, and are scattered across many denominations and churches - despite that individually all of the denominations and churches are net-corrupted by their convergence with significant policies of atheist-materialist-Leftism (as evidence by the Litmus Tests). 

In such a situation it is maddening to find to many Christians 'having a go at' each other - Western and Eastern Catholics sniping and snarking; Catholics denigrating Protestants from the rich well of historical grievances, and vice versa; both of these denigrating Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses; and all the church-obedient Christians excluding Christians who are unaffiliated. 

It is maddening but inevitable; for so long as each denomination, church, sect claims exclusivity as to salvation or theosis with respect to whatever it regards as vitally important. 

Such exclusivity seems almost impossible to avoid when each group has a complex and multiple set of self-definitions that are regarded as essential to being-a-Christian; or of being the kind of Christian that is at all worth being. 


Yet it is clear that the 'liberal' alternative - pursued for more than two centuries, of loosening and relaxing the criteria for 'being a Christian'; by permitting more and more latitude, by taking the old laws, rules and exclusions less-and-less seriously -  has been a colossal disaster. 

Liberal Christianity leads - not to a new and more comprehensive Christianity - but to a subordination of Christianity to politics: specifically to leftist politics. 

And leftist politics leads to destruction of churches, assimilation to evil, and the enlistment of self-identified Christians to the strategies and policies of Satan. 


What is needed is twofold. 

First; a Core Christianity, few and simple definitions by means of which a real Christian can discern the realness of others who claim to be Christian - whatever their denomination or church may be. 

And secondly a shift away from the primacy of churches and to the full responsibility of individuals as the basis of Christianity - i.e. Romantic Christianity

These factors can be distinguished, but are inseparable. It is the simple definitions of Core Christianity that enable Romantic Christianity to be tough, incisive and positive in content. And it is the personal responsibility of Romantic Christianity that enable Core Christianity to escape from the elaborate (and institutionally self-serving) claims of particular churches. 

Romantic Christianity without the clarity of Core Christianity would drift away from Christianity; Core Christianity without the individual responsibility of Romantic Christianity would never get off the ground; because each church would simply implement its own already-established, exclusive and excluding, definitions of Christianity. 


Put-together; Core and Romantic Christianity offer a way-out of the current impasse, and a way by which real Christians may be allied in their faith, across a wide range of churches and outside churches; while excluding those who are not Christian. 


Friday, 25 November 2022

Researching the nature of Heaven (in order to decide whether, or not, you want to go there)

I don't think the nature of Heaven can be understood by direct assault on the problem; but only via several prior stages of discernment. 

Note: this is not what I myself did - my own procedure was much more haphazard; but it strikes me in retrospect that progress only occurred with a linear sequence of intuitive assumptions:


First we need to decide what God wants with creation, including why; and how this purpose relates to Man. In different words: where is creation aiming; and how do I personally fit in? 

It is necessary also - either at this, or some other, point - to understand how and why the life/ death/ resurrection/ ascension of Jesus Christ was necessary to this aim. 

(If Jesus is not considered absolutely necessary to God's plan for creation, then there is no compelling reason to be A Christian.) 


Then we can move onto the question of what kind of Heaven God would want; what fits in with God's creative intent for Man.

At some such point; the focus can shift to yourself; and the question of what it is that situation you would most want after your death; especially if it is forever.   

And only then does it make much sense to research the various Heavens that have been described through history - because only then will you have criteria to evaluate them, their coherence and believable-ness; and to exercise your intuitive discernment about which Heaven (or aspects of the Heavens described) is plausible and desirable. 


In researching Heaven I read a wide range of descriptions of Christian Heaven. These included:

Fourth Gospel ('John')

Books of Revelation

Pauline Epistles 

Evangelical Church of England

Roman Catholic 

Russian Orthodox

Mormon (CJCLDS)

William Arkle 

Swedenborg

Rudolf Steiner


Only after something-like this prolonged 'quest' did I reach the ('very simple!) understanding of Heaven that I now believe.


Thursday, 24 November 2022

Causation versus Free Agency

It is an implicit assumption of modern culture and life that everything is caused - except what is random. 

Because everything is caused, it is assumed that these causes (if known) are like the 'laws of science' and entail exactly what happens. 


But there is also 'randomness', chance, the undetermined... Which is (somehow, in an unprincipled way) also incorporated into the 'everything is caused' determinism by means of statistical properties. 

If reality really is caused, then this fundamental incorporation of of randomness doesn't make any coherent sense (as Einstein clearly saw) - nonetheless, it has happened, randomness is incorporated into a deterministic world-view; and is justified on the basis that 'it works' to predict things... 

...Or rather, attributed randomness sometimes seems to work; because whether something 'works' depends on (essentially arbitrary) prior decisions about what counts as having worked, or alternatively failed to work.

(And this becomes even less precise when what counts as having worked gets defined retrospectively to include - or indeed be entirely - what has already happened; as with climate change 'predictions...) 


Yet, there is no such thing as randomness 'in real life' and therefore no 'probability'- these are actually just mathematical tools, that may be useful in particular situations; although the nature of scope of the situations in which it is valid cannot be known. In practice the validity of particular instances of statistical reasoning is a matter of 'common sense' - or more likely the exercise of power to control discourse.   


But what of free agency, free will - or what-you-call-it? I mean the thinking of Beings (especially Men); at those times when they are thinking with their real and divine 'selves'? 

(Accepting that Men may - often do - behave 'automatically; and are not 'free' at all times, but only potentially and some-times.)

Free agency cannot be either caused/determined, or random/statistical. Free agency must be something other, which is expressive of a Being itself, arises wholly from that Being - and not, therefore, a product of causes acting-upon that Being.  


To cut the argument short: I believe that genuine Free Agency is either an incomprehensible Mystery and gift from God (which is the mainstream/ classical Christian view); or else (as I believe) Free Agency is a property of Beingness, to be found to a greater or lesser extent in all Beings

Which means that all Beings have a divine aspect.

Which means that while there is one God who is creator of this creation we inhabit; creation itself consists of Beings who are all 'gods' in this vital sense of having some potential degree of Free Agency.   

In other words, reality is alive and conscious and consists of Beings/ gods that are in relationships with one another  (in some real way, but varied between Beings). 

If so, then what is the role of causation?  

My understanding is that causation is a series of hypotheses that are useful in inverse proportion to the exercise of free agency. 


In a world where free agency is seldom exercised; then causation is highly predictive. 

Here in mortal life upon earth; things are different according to different times and places, and among different individuals. But the more that agency is active, the less causality is operative

Bu, in a world where free agency is ignored or denied, and its effects are suppressed: causal thinking (and its bastard offspring 'randomness') appears to operate as a complete explanation of reality.

(Hence the common idea that - in principle - science can explain everything that is real.) 

In other words; Western Man has (for some generations) been living at, or near-to, an extreme where free agency is hardly a factor in life; and where, because of this exclusion, causal and determinative thinking seems to work very well as an explanation, for prediction, and to manipulate the world (including people). 


Conversely, in a world where free agency is highly frequent and determines thought; there is very little for causal thinking to explain. 

At the extreme - in Heaven - I assume that almost-everything is a consequence of free agency in the context of relationships between Beings; things happen because they are willed to happen. 

Therefore: in Heaven there is essentially no causation; but only free agency and relationships


There is a further aspect governing the operations of free agency; which is the extent to which it is groupish or individual. 

If we focus on Men, then in the past free agency seems to have been much more active than now. Hence prediction was 'anthropomorphic'; in terms of personal factors such as motivations, desires and relationships. 

But this ancient agency was not individualistic - it operated at a groupish level such as the clan, tribe, village, guild, or even (later) the nation. Thus, understanding and prediction treated groups as we might regard individuals, and focused on their attitudes to each other, strengths and weaknesses etc. 


Modern agency has, however, become very individualistic; and insofar as free agency genuinely exists and is deployed (which is apparently not much, very seldom), it operates at the personal level rather than in groups. 

What appears superficially to be group agency, is actually a product of causal and determinative thinking; manipulating individuals (eg. via laws, rules and propaganda) to conform behaviour to external will. 

Part of this manipulation is to encourage individuals to believe they are already living by free agency; when in fact they have 'switched-off' their own agency; and are thinking almost-entirely in terms of automatic, mundane, externally-inculcated and -imposed concepts and information.  


To conclude; the destiny which God wishes from Men is to live by free agency, individually exercised; and voluntarily to choose to align this free agency with God's desires for His creation. 

But this is a choice. Some choose not to use free agency, and even to deny its reality; while others use this agency to reject the divine hopes and plans - and instead to serve the adversaries of God. 

In other words such Men choose Not to be free. And probably this applies to most Men, at least in The West. 

At the most basic level, service to the Adversary entails opening one's own soul to thinking hostile to God; and this often takes the form of dishonestly pretending to an individual agency which is, in fact, being denied and suppressed. 


Thinking therefore (i.e. here-and-now, in this world that has rejected God) becomes a thing very much causally determined. 

Men's behaviours become understandable by reduction to to causal reasoning and statistics. 

Men become predictable and controllable.


Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Looking back - mere nostalgia, or "real history becoming more mythical"? (Or, being A Romantic.)

[Jeremy]: Sometimes I have a queer feeling that, if one could go back, one would find not myth dissolving into history, but rather the reverse: real history becoming more mythical - more shapely, discernibly significant, even seen at close quarters. More poetical, and less prosaic, if you like.

From The Notion Club Papers, by JRR Tolkien.


It is often said that nostalgia is merely a selective memory of the past "seen through rose-tinted spectacles"; but that ignores the sometimes different quality of the past, which is captured in the quotation above. 

In other words, we mythologize our past - and the past of our tribe, culture, nation - not by leaving-out the bad stuff, but because the past actually was "more poetical, less prosaic". 


For instance; when I look back on my education, my working years, or my engagement with literature and music; I perceive a trajectory from the somewhat mythic and poetic to the historical and mundane, which was substantially to do with how I experienced life - and not just a product of the retrospectoscope through which I view them. 

And those periods of my life when, for whatever reason, my life lacked this mytho-poetic quality, lacked "shapeliness"; I both knew at the time, and recall it now. In other words, I am not nostalgic for the mundane times - no matter how 'worldly-successful' or 'pleasurable' they may have been or seemed at the time. 

And I have read enough first-person contemporary accounts of the past (memoirs, diaries, letters etc) to realize that things seemed different then from how they seem to us now. 


Regular readers will be familiar with my favoured explanation of the development of Man's consciousness as understood by Rudolf Steiner and (especially) Owen Barfield; such that both our individual development and the development of (at least Western) societies has been affected by a divine-purposive change in Men's consciousness (both individually, and on average through time).

The past has a different - more mythical and poetic - quality, because we ourselves, or past men, had a different relationship with each other and the world; such that there was not then the same boundary as we now experience between us and them, inner and outer, subjective and objective, the individual and his culture or environment. Nor the same boundary between Men on the one hand, and animals, plants and landscape. 

Then we were - to a significant extent - immersed-in all these other things and reality was different for us-as-we-were-then differently from us-as-we-are-now. And it is this immersion that distinguishes myth from history. 


I am one of those people who regard this matter as of central importance to my life, and life-in-general; and who desire to live again in a more poetic and mythic way.

In other words, I am A Romantic - and have been since my early teens (although there have been significant phases when I fought this trait of mine as strenuously as I knew how). 

It was, indeed, this Romanticism that kept me away from the truth of Christianity for so long; because Christianity-as-is does not (or does not adequately) address this problem of Romanticism - indeed, some Christian Churches and theologies make matters even worse from the point of view of draining the 'magic' from life and history.  


And it is this which drove me to seek, discover, and co-create this Romantic Christianity which I - and a few others - are expounding. Of course I regard Romantic Christianity as True-er and Superior-to other ways of Christianity - but I would not have had the long term drive to seek/ discover/ create Romantic Christianity if it had not been for the intractable trait of Romanticism in myself; and my dissatisfaction with any world-view, religion or ideology that denied it. 


Wall-flower, Wall-flower, growing up so high...


Wall-flower, Wall-flower, growing up so high, 

All the little children are all going-to die,

Except (insert child's name) s/he's the only one.

Fie for shame! Fie for shame!

Turn your back to the wall again!


This is an exceptionally chilling nursery song from my childhood; that used to provoke both fear and guilt whenever I thought or sung it. 

Fear; because to a young child, to say it is to make it happen. Guilt; because I would have to choose just one person to live - and what about all he others? 

Apparently, the song is not quite so existentially stark as I thought; because it went with an apparently harmless ring game - although this had not reached my part of Somerset - or else had been forgotten: 

Game Instructions 

The children form a ring by joining hands. They all dance slowly around, singing the words. When one child is named by the ring she turns around, so that her face is turned to the outside of the ring and her back inside. She still clasps hands with those on either side of her, and dances or walks around with them. This is continued until all the players have turned and are facing outwards.


Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Why modern Man's ideologies (and religion) have become more truly negative

It is very striking to me, how negative are people's ideals now; compared with even fifty or a hundred years ago. 

And I mean negative in practice - not just in theory; because there have been negative religious theories for at least a couple of thousand years - yet in practice Christians had strong positive motivations. 

Negative Theology (Via Negativa) was prominent in Christianity (substantially inherited from pagan Romans and Greeks) in the early centuries AD. I mean the ascetic path of opposition to the world, elimination of temptation, and repudiation of "the flesh", which was taken to the greatest extreme by the hermit Desert Fathers. 


The Neo-Platonic theology (e.g. associated with Dionysius the Aeropagite) was one of explicit negation; that asserted we cannot know God except by knowing what God is Not, are dragged down by our instincts and desires. This in general down-rated or rejected marriage, family, creativity as paths to God; due to their excessive risk of temptation by fleshly pleasures - binding us to mortal life, its pleasures and pains. 

These desires were to be overcome by prolonged disciplines of deprivation and chosen suffering; so that we may learn control of them, and ultimately independence from them. 

Yet, in practice, there was at this time also a very powerful yet implicit positive desire for communion with God, to emulate (their idea of) Jesus Christ, and to dwell spiritually in Heaven even while on earth.

Therefore, the true situation was one in which there was strong positive desires that were unconscious and implicit; which were disciplined and shaped by the explicit rituals and practices of a negative nature. 


Through human history, these unconscious and implicit positive instincts have dwindled, until many modern people are hardly aware of them, deny their validity, and often altogether deny their presence. People (especially in The West) are no longer guided by positive implicit instincts towards God, the spirit, higher consciousness... 

Instead we are guided by external human-originated ideals - especially the dominant ideology of 'secular-leftist-materialism' that underpins all of social and political discourse and institutions in The West. 

If an individual rejects the dominant ideology, he must (as a rule) do so by an explicit and consciously chosen act of will. 


Interestingly, even the ideology of left-materialism itself has been subject to the same trends in consciousness. It has gone from containing a considerable largely-unconscious and implicit positive element; to being almost wholly negative in its ideals, and oppositional in its practices. 

When it began to emerge a couple of hundred years ago, leftism often shared in the (mostly unconscious) positive goals of Christianity; so that there were many "Christian socialists" in the UK (from the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England, as well as Nonconformist churches), who (albeit misguidedly) saw socialism as a means to the end of a more Christian society. These were a significant cultural phenomenon into the middle 20th century. 

Even among the explicitly materialist-atheist leftists of the late nineteenth century - such as the revolutionary communist William Morris and the gradualist Fabian George Bernard Shaw - there was strong (albeit un-theorized, un-grounded) positive assumption concerning the goals of leftism. 


Such Men would argue that socialism was a necessary/ the best means to achieve the kind of society that was 'common-sensically' (by appeal to universal evaluations) regarded as a good environment for positive virtues. 

For Morris that was a quasi-Medieval agrarian society in which the arts and crafts thrived, and were universal - a world of craftsmen and artists, for whom labour was an altruistic joy. 

For Shaw it was a modern industrial society where all were allocated an equal income that made accessible all the higher things in life (arts, sciences etc). The purpose of universal and equal prosperity was to enable Men to pursue 'mystical' goals; such as attaining higher consciousness - en route to a somewhat Platonic world of pure intelligences whose gratification was contemplation, and untrammeled creativity.


For the likes of Morris, Shaw and other early socialists; the desirability of such a society was self-evident; but it is no longer self-evident in 2022. Indeed, such utopian schemes are all-but off the map, seldom mentioned; and so weakly believed (if at all) that such ideals are unable significantly sustain a life or even (noticeably) to influence behaviour.  

What I mean is that - diminishing, but evident until about the middle-20th century - the underlying, even if unstated, belief even on the Left was that if the obstacles to a better and higher life could be removed by socialism (or feminism, antiracism, an economy of common ownership etc) - then a better and higher life would spontaneously emerge - because that (it was assumed) was what Men wanted.

And it was that better/ higher life that was the ultimate justification of leftism. 

 

Well, that concept has become meaningless, and since the 1960s, as the New Left has focused on negative aims, without any positive sense of where this is going, or what state of society it is trying to achieve, or what people are supposed to do and live-by in a future society. Contra Morris; the arts and crafts, guilds and professions, small villages and farming as a vocation; have all declined catastrophically. And, contra Shaw; Men are more, not less, focused on materialism, consumption and shallow pleasures and dissipating distractions.  


Underlying such changes in both Christianity and Leftism is this waning of the unconscious and implicit, ultimately spiritual and self-justifying, ideal of The Good Life.  

Now we must consciously choose God, Jesus Christ, and to live by the transcendental values of divine creation. These are not longer spontaneously generated from within ourselves. 


On the one hand; we are free-er than Men used to be; because we are no longer subject to uncontrollable drives from unconscious motivations. 

On the other hand; if we do not choose correctly; then we are prone to purposelessness, meaninglessness and therefore despair - in a way that used to be extremely rare, even among the explicit atheists and nihilists of 100-plus years ago. 


Monday, 21 November 2022

Will people (en masse) be awakened and enlightened by the imminent physical deprivation and suffering?

Since, at least in the UK, all the signs are that we are in for very severe (and all-but universal - ultra-rich are exempt, of course) economic hardship and suffering. 

The plans have been implemented, the pieces are in place, the trend is already-established, and further destructive measures are being introduced on a weekly basis. 

So; will people (en masse) be awakened and enlightened by our coming physical deprivation and suffering? 

The answer is a firm No


If people (as they currently are) were capable of being awakened and enlightened by adversity, this would have happened in 2020; or, at least, the 2020 events would have been understood for what they really were, and explicitly repented. 

But, although (especially in England) there has been an unexpected (and welcome!) roll-back of the 2020 measures; and although this indicates the English are not such a beaten people as I suspected, and less dumb and sheep-like than the Scots, Welsh, Canadians, Australians or New Zealenaders - this push against measures has merely been based on mass passive disobedience; and rooted in negative, not positive, criticism (e.g. annoyance at inconvenience, rather than on principle). 

Any significant dawn of understanding has been among a few individuals; and not happened explicitly or widely. 


My feeling is that the people of the UK have absolutely No Idea what is about to happen to them: i.e. that we are (almost all) going to become very significantly impoverished - that we will lose a large proportion (tens of percent) of our income and then wealth - from inflation and much higher taxes and (no doubt) other covert extractions. 

(This at least - such rapid and severe changes will have unpredictable systemic consequences, that may induce societal collapse - nobody really knows.)

We face apparently-inevitable considerable suffering; but people will not be enlightened by this suffering. 

At present people 'cannot believe' what is coming because they are not yet suffering enough. Yet when 'enough' suffering comes (shortages of food, warmth, light, fuel, basic services) they will attribute it to false causes. 


Apparently the UK 'leader' (the Prime Minister) explicitly attributes the coming hardships primarily to the leader of the Fire Nation, and secondarily to Brexit -- despite that the true causes were all self-imposed, and deliberately self-imposed, with solid foreknowledge of consequences. (And despite that Brexit never happened!)

It is not enough for him even to pretend that well-intended errors led to unanticipated consequences; but nowadays an actual inversion of the truth is the preferred explanation - no doubt because 'opposites-world' reasoning better explains why the proposed 'remedial' measures instead actually increase economic damage. 

But plenty of people seem to believe this incoherent lying! Enough to make it worth saying. 


People will attribute their suffering to false causes and they will therefore fail to learn from it. 

They will blame false causes, because their basic metaphysical assumptions are false; and wrong assumptions make it impossible to learn from experience

Metaphysics comes first! When we have wrong assumptions, we cannot discern the relevant facts, nor can we reason correctly from them. 

It is our basic assumptions that determine what we perceive, and what we perceive as important; and - having chosen what is important from the endless possibilities - it is our metaphysics that determines how we can put these together to make an explanation, and infer from this what to do.


Since Modern Man assumes that we all live in a purposeless and meaningless, accidental universe; and that we humans are accidental products of purposeless evolution; and that our lives begin with random genetic combinations and we are annihilated at death - then we cannot ultimately learn anything at all concerning the true meaning and purpose of our lives. 

Modern Man has pre-decided that he is a passive consequence of blind processes, and can only 'know' the current state of his gratification (his happiness or suffering) - which affective state is manipulated by any of those with power who consciously posses the agency and purpose that Modern Man denies in himself. 


In the country of the nihilists, the purposive Man is king

So what is the purpose of our 'kings'? 

I am asking not what the kings say is their purpose; but what truly is their purpose... 

For any Christian who is prepared to think for himself; to ask that question is to know the answer: that the purpose of our kings is malign. 

Our 'kings' want to harm us: physically, but most-of-all spiritually.  


Until Modern Man can recover a basis conviction of purpose, hence meaning; Men will remain as they are: puppets, cattle, and prey; and will remain unable to learn from any possible kind of experience.  


Sunday, 20 November 2022

Musk, Twitter and the bankruptcy of the "based" secular "Right"

When I began this blog on a frequent basis, in the middle of 2010, there was (supposedly) a new, vigorous, and intellectually-rigorous movement of the secular "Right" - variously termed Alternative/Alt Right, Neoreaction, and similar 

(The 'rump' of this movement is sometimes nowadays termed "based" - and can be sampled via this branch of Synlogos.) 


One of my earliest themes was that this movement was not actually "Right" but was just part of the Left; because they wanted essentially the same thing as the Left (i.e. optimal happiness and minimum suffering in this mortal life - the 'hedonic' calculus); and the secular "Right" therefore only differed in terms of their priority groups (eg. white native men) and the methods employed (e.g. new kinds of monarchy). 

Same ends, different means. But is the end that is definitive. 


I then argued that the only genuine alternative and opposition to The Left was religion

So, the truth was that the Left-Right axis was all-Left; and the only true axis of opposition was Left-Religion. 

For those who opposed The Left, I said; their only valid choice was: which religion? 


This has proved to be correct over the following decade, as evidenced by the fact that the self-identified secular Right are still merely negatively responding to what the mainstream Left are advocating or doing; much as 'fascism' did in the 1920s and 30s; . 

Since the Left is actually a negative and oppositional ideology; this means that the secular Right are a double-negative ideology. 

And since the Left's policies are already double-negative - e.g. anti-racism anti-men (feminism)  - the secular Rights policies are triple-negative anti-antiracism, anti-feminism...


Something like this explains the astonishing obsessions of the secular Right; who remain utterly focused-on everyday mainstream politics such as elections and the Twitter takeover by Musk (what!); but in this extra-negative way of opposing the destroyers instead of proposing positive creation; which the secular Right cannot do because they are secular.

The amount of internet-ink spilled over the Musk-Twitter business is especially gratuitous. Twitter is a Bad Thing, Musk is a Bad Thing - why discuss the business as if some Good would come out of it? 

The answer is: one regards this as a major issue, only when one is operating on the basis of mainstream assumptions of Good.

Just as the election-obsessives implicitly, by revealed-preference, believe (whatever they say) that we can vote our way out of trouble; so the Musk-Twitter obsessive believe we can Tweet our way to a Better World.      

So that Better means, for them, just more of the same stuff - but directed at groups they like. 

And they believe this because they have nothing better to offer. 


But what of the proper opposition to the Left: I mean The Religious? 

Well... In 2020 the major churches of the world - of (apparently) all religions and denominations - overwhelmingly made clear their convergence with the this-worldly and hedonic values of the Global Left: they made this clear by massive closures and cessations of their core activities. 

(It may be that the Government and Orthodox Church of the Fire Nation has since reversed that convergence with global Leftism: where that may lead has yet to be seen; but anyway, such a direction is not a possibility, nor desirable, for The West.) 

So the churches, of all religions, were revealed as just another part of The Left.  


So the situation is that even the Left versus Religion axis, which seemed a possibility back in 2010; is not a possibility. 

My hoped-for (albeit slender, pessimistic) possibility of a church-rooted religious revival to become culturally dominant; has since been revealed as a false hope. False, not merely because of the political weakness of the churches, but mainly because the churches do not even desire it, but instead seek assimilation to the Left (and as fast as the church leaders can persuade the laity).

Therefore; these times are far more desperate than the "secular Right" imagine; and far more desperate than church-orientated Christians acknowledge. Because (at least in The West - albeit the Fire Nation in the East may have chosen a different path of destiny) there is nowhere to turn in the world of powerful, high status, influential public discourse. 

We can neither vote-in a saviour (because none are available to vote-for, and because the bureaucracy-media control everything of social significance), nor can we engineer a way-out by participation in high-impact social media (because the medium is intrinsically evil-promoting; in form as well as its allowed-content).     


What we can do is at the individual level, not in institutions; is spiritual, not material; and is rooted in understanding correctly - which means honestly and with full acknowledgment of its scope - the nature of our situation and responsibility.