Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The church/es cannot be trusted; freedom and agency beckons

When I became a Christian it was with the idea of joining a church and being spiritually guided by it - to be obedient to a true church; but this world is one in which the churches are corrupted, subverted and often inverted.

It used to be that the way to be a good Christian was through obedience to external authority, but I came to recognise that authority was corrupt; indeed that authority was more corrupt than anything else - the worst and most evil forces in modern institutions including churches are those with highest status and greatest power.

A Christianity based on obedience to church authorities is therefore - in practice - harnessed to an anti-Christian agenda and policies.

(In the past, when an individual disagreed with a church, it was assumed that the individual was most likely at fault; but nowadays any serious Christian must be on the alert against being led astray and into evil by the church itself. The modern Christian must - and usually does - evaluate and judge the church, not submit to the church. In sum, our conscience used to be external, but now must be internal.)

Is this an accident? I think not. My understanding is that this is the way that divine destiny has found (given the choices of the mass of modern people) to compel us to confront the necessity for personal freedom and individual spiritual autonomy: when the churches cannot, and should not, be trusted - we must look to our-selves.

This is the mystical, esoteric or 'spiritual' path of Christianity - but it is not usually recognised that traditional modes of spirituality are also corrupted by modernity. In modern societies, the situation is ever closer to the 'totalitarian' - which means that the forces of evil (the political and government systems, the interlinked bureaucracies, the mass media) control ever more of our sensory inputs for ever more of the time.

Traditional spirituality was based upon perceiving,  and then passively being guided by those perceptions - yet what we perceive is mostly (overall and in purpose) evil - therefore any passive and perceptual spirituality (for example based on trance states, altered consciousness, or intending to see or hear evidence of the spirit) will mostly be corrupted by the same forces that have corrupted the churches.

So traditional spirituality, esoteric or mystical techniques will generally do more harm than good - which probably explains why most of the most spiritual people are among the worst adherents and proponents of secular Leftist ideas, and supporters of the worst elements in politics and the mass media.

This means that although the present is intolerable, tradition is no better - all institutions including churches are (more or less) part of the problem, and so are traditional spiritual practices.

In sum we can see that anything which tends toward mental passivity, towards handing-over responsibility, is not an option any more; and that the only viable future is to be more mentally active, more responsible and more free in our personal agency.

And my understanding is that this is precisely what God wants from us, because it constitutes spiritual maturity, growing-up or theosis - becoming more god-like.

Our choice compels us to either assent to the tide of public and external evil, or else to seek within, and develop our spiritual freedom and agency.

This only makes sense if one believes that humans contain the necessary resources within themselves; but if we regard ourselves as children of God, having - by inheritance - the divine within us; and if we can seek with proper motivation (for the sake of love; and not for power, wealth, gratification etc) - then our faith in the goodness of God suggests that we will find what we need.

Or, since what we need is not to be found in the world, and no authority has the kind of legitimacy to which we can trust our souls, then we are compelled to develop a direct relationship with God, and to rely on the capacities for a direct relationship that he has planted within us.

We need to trust that what guidance we have is sufficient. And we need to expunge the nostalgic desire for living unconsciously or passively, as was possible in the past. If we immerse ourselves in The World then we will be corrupted by The World, since The World is (overall and everywhere) corrupt.

The situation is not, therefore, hope-less, indeed it is one of great optimism, if we accept and embrace what is necessary. We have the possibility of living from our freedom which is a consequence of living from our true self - our true and partly-divine self.

We have the capacity to stand 'alone' as Christians - and to experience, learn and develop as Christians - in the face of a collapsing world of corruption that embraces the churches...

Except that we are not alone, because all such persons share in the same universal reality, in which knowledge is direct and person-to-person contact is direct (not communicated, and therefore independent of The World's communication systems).

Our freedom is in the world of universal truth, beauty and virtue; and that world is reality, and we can know that world directly, actively, consciously. And anybody can choose it at any time because it is indeed universal and our knowledge of that world, our capacity to know that world, is spontaneous.

The harder that things get in the external world of lies and fakery, the more urgent and obvious becomes the alternative world of reality and truth.

(This constitutes the weakness of the plans of the currently dominant agents of evil; the closer they get to total success, the more brittle their situation becomes.)

Nothing stops us from accessing it (except our own rejection, and distraction); and sooner-or-later we will be confronted by its reality: the choice - reality or fakery - will then be ours.



William Wildblood said...

That's a superb piece, Bruce, which highlights the issues that confront us with great clarity.

Bruce Charlton said...

Thanks William!

Lost Pilgrim said...

What do you mean by the communication not being spoken?

Bruce Charlton said...

@LP - I mean that when our true selves (not the superficial, externally-inculcated information-processing we typically engage in) is thinking - we have the situation of real Freedom and Agency. We are thinking from that which is divine in us.

Thinking in that mode is in a shared realm of truth and reality - accessible to anyone else engaged in this primary thinking - but in practice constrained by their persepctive, motivations, by time and so forth.

It is by this Primary Thinking that we can know reality; know truth, beauty and virtue; and it is how reality can be shared by all beings capable of Primary Thinking - it is also how God can communicate with us directly.

Of course, to then describe what we know by pure thinking introduces distortion - because it is a mere 'normal' communication constrained by our abilities and the motivation and abilities of others; but the reality and universality of the universal world we access by this kind of thinking, is why we are not alone, why genuine creativity is possible, and why we are ultimately independent of communication systems.