Sunday 7 July 2013

Hopelessness and alienation - brought-up against the one true story of Christianity


There are three broad categories of dissatisfaction with the mainstream secular world view:

1. The self-refuting nature of relativism.

2. The arbitrariness of ethics without religion.

3. Hopelessness and alienation.


Hopelessness and alienation are the hardest to identify and pin down, and are always deniable - but maybe they are the most damaging aspect of the modern malaise because - on the one hand -  they render the individual unable to stand firm and make an effort to escape their situation; while - on the other hand - they lead the sufferer to escape his existential loneliness into distractions and intoxications (especially sexual) which take him further and further from the truth and from virtue.


Christianity solves all these problems; and that should be enough to recommend it conclusively when someone has nothing coherent or motivating to offer as an alternative - yet clearly this seldom happens, and conversion is typically a drawn-out process that is easily derailed (certainly it was for me).

What happens is that each Christian solution to each class of problem is met by a change of ground and criticized from a different perspective - so that the cure of alienation is met by the charge that Christianity is a made-up fairy story, while the cure of Christianity offering a coherent truth is met by objections that this system is immoral (according to modern secular norms); yet the grounded ethical system of Christianity is said to be arbitrary or alienating.

Such objections can go round and round without termination for weeks, years, decades...


It seems very difficult, in a world in of cognitive fragmentation/ specialization, to bring matters to a point - to force a total-world-view confrontation between Christianity and mainstream secular Leftism - a confrontation which Christianity would immediately and easily win.

Modern mass media culture, the partial professional cultures (e.g. politics, law, science, the arts), the weakness and wickedness of the human heart, and the cumulative corruptions of purposive evil at work around us all conspire to prevent such a confrontation.

But this is the great latent strength of Christianity. If, or when, a person brings themselves or is brought by circumstance to the point of balancing Christianity against secular modernity - and can hold themselves or be held at that point for more than a moment - then there is no doubt of the outcome.



tgj said...

Upon further consideration, I think you are right. Fr. Seraphim of Platina was one of the first really bright sparks in the beginning of the Orthodox revival of Western civilization. God really does care about that after all.

Of course it did not begin with Fr. Seraphim. It began with the martyrdom of the Tsar in 1918, and the martyrdom of Holy Russia in the revolution, the diaspora of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and the miracles of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, who had so much love for pre-schism Western saints, abandoned Chinese orphans, and desperate young American men, that he didn't even know what he was doing. Which probably means it won't just be Western civilization. It'll be China too. It'll be the whole world.

But according to the prophecies, it seems to happen after a devastating third world war that kills a large fraction of the world's population, probably in a remarkably short period of time. I just don't see how that can be done with chemical weapons. Contrary to liberal hype, nuclear weapons are not very devastating to human beings, or to the environment, over the long haul. The blast radius just isn't very big, in a strategic sense, and radiation from fallout goes away exponentially. (Or is it geometrically? I couldn't pay attention to math long enough to quite finish the degree, and it has only taken me a few years to forget almost everything.) However, if you really want to kill a lot of people, there is nothing better than disease. No one seems to have been able to weaponize disease properly, but the influenzas that pop up in China from time to time make you wonder. Are the demons doing it by themselves, or have the Chicoms turned their entire country into a laboratory, with their own people as the guinea pigs?

Did you know that in World War II, Stalin's plan was to make a deal with Hitler and then stab him in the back after he had knocked himself out taking Europe down? Stalin was so confident of his ally's loyalty, and positioned himself so far forward for the attack, that he very nearly lost everything when the Hitler realized that, if he delayed in his real ambitions any longer, delayed attacking the communist threat that he had been railing against the whole time, he would never have a better chance again. Nothing kills your defense like perfect confidence in your offense. The only thing that saved Stalin was the sheer size of the dead Orthodox empire and his reinstatement of the Church, in order to rally the people. But never mind that. Did you know that the Nazi state was really an occult religion?

tgj said...

Of course, by that time the Soviet state had completely taken over the Church, which by this time may be a completely whitewashed tomb. We can't know that for sure, but we can see clearly enough that it is a tool of the democratically styled KGB state that is modern Russia. We can see this piece being moved into the United States, and even into North Korea. But we cannot see it being moved into China. Perhaps that is because, while the Russians can be made to worship the devil, they still, way, way, way deep down, after decades of brutal spiritual murder, still fear God even more. On the other hand, the Chinese are stone cold killers, Buddhist atheists who wrote the Art of War, have been reading Sun Tzu for centuries, and understand him much better than the West ever will. My guess is that after the crypto-Soviets have finished undermining Britain and the United States, and have completed their dark work of controlling Germany like a puppet, with a hand all the way up inside and a death grip on its heart, all the sparks will come together. Because you see, in the prophecies, the salvation of Russia comes from the East. Salvation is resurrection, and there is only one way to be raised from the dead. Russia is going to die. Only this time the martyrdom will not just disperse the dying sparks of light into the world. This time the sparks of light, which are already starting to spark, will flare up everywhere, all at once. They will rush to Russia in a tidal wave of humanity, and the only thing that they will want to know is how to be saved. Nothing short of the truest, purest, most traditional kind of Orthodoxy will satisfy them. All their illusions will have been completely shattered.

Because all that is in the prophecies too. Not quite literally. I might be misinterpreting them. But they all seem to be saying the same thing. Well, almost the same thing. The sound that you hear, aside from the sound of someone going absolutely, irrevocably, uncontrollably insane, is the sound of the world being torn apart, good from evil, absolutely, irrevocably, and completely beyond our control. To quote the great English magus of Northampton, the diabolical Alan Moore, straight out of the mouth of his very own creation, the fictional man V: "The ending is nearer than you think, and it is already written. All that we have left to choose is the correct moment to begin." And to quote the great Californian monk of Platina, the ever blessed Fr. Seraphim of holy memory, straight from his own mouth, over and over and over again, so often that it is engraved on his icons long before he ever became officially recognized as a saint: "It is later than you think! Hasten, therefore, to do the work of God."

The choice, as always, is ours.