Monday 31 December 2018

The 'problem' of love and Christianity (gnosticism is an unavoidable consequence of organisation)

Love* is the basis of real Christianity; but in practice Christianity is seldom real.

As I said yesterday, if we regard gnosticism as the replacement of love by knowledge, as the focus of Christianity; then this form of pseudo-Christianity has been and is usually dominant.

It is much easier to have a religion of knowledge than of love; and the less spiritual a society becomes - the more that this is the case. With knowledge at the centre; Christianity can become the subject of organisation - hierarchy and specialisation; of education and training, of initiation and ordination.

Churches often exclude, discipline and expelled people for inadequate or incorrect knowledge - but seldom or never for insufficient love; or for the opposite of love such as excessive fear, resentment or pride. Converts and aspirants are tested on their knowledge, not their love.

Christians, especially Christian leaders (and aspiring leaders), may falsely claim to be motivated by love. When asked for proof of love, people either suggest that it is wholly subjective, private and inaccessible - and therefore cannot or should not be judged and evaluated.

Or else (in trying to avoid such 'relativism') they invent 'proxy-measures of love', and thereby ignore the reality of love. Thus, people 'prove' their motivation-by-love, by (for example) doing impressive works of public charity, or performing extreme ascetic feats. In other words, but in a different way; they replace love with... knowledge... again.

What we can see is that any kind of institutional structure requires 'objective measures' and that real love is unsuitable to be such a measure. Therefore, any and every form of organisation is intrinsically gnostic.

(Of course, love and knowledge of love are two different things; a young child may love, but not know that he loves. Love may exist without knowledge. Nonetheless, Christianity can only be discussed if love can be known.)

It is a strange business and very different from the rest of life! For a Christian, love is not just real - but the reallest things of all; not just the proper focus of mortal life, but the actual basis of the creation of everything.

(Note: One who cannot love, cannot be a Christian - the implications of the two great commandments (to love God and neighbour) and the whole of the Fourth Gospel make that fact crystal clear. This formulation is seldom stated, perhaps because many people - unlike Jesus - have tried to make Christianity universal. Whether people actually exist who cannot love is a separate matter - but if they do exist, then they cannot be Christian, and could not have life everlasting - 'could not' simply because they would not follow Jesus through death to resurrection.)   

And yet love is apparently not amenable to detection and measurement... and yet it actually is. Love is knowable, indeed for a Christian love must be knowable; because the alternative is that love is subject to unlimited self-deception and unbounded false assertion.

As so often, all this mystery and problem is a consequence of inappropriate abstraction. Because love is a matter of common sense and common experience - within the family situation.

We may know of another's love, when that is a spouse, parent, sibling, son or daughter... We know of another's love when we are in a loving situation. Indeed, such known-love is as certain as anything can be, it is (when present) the most powerful motivator in the world - leading to extreme, even ultimate, forms of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation.

But love is not open-endedly scaleable. We can know of love in a loving family situation, and some analogous family-like situation; but can know of love only in such situations.

Love is straightforwardly knowable, and indeed 'measurable', within the family situation; but becomes an insoluble problem - is made an insoluble problem - when we try to make love the focus of an institution, a legal system, a polity...

In this sense gnosticism is an unavoidable consequence of organisation. 

*Love needs to be understood in a 'metaphysical' sense that includes 'creation'. It was Love that both motivated and enabled divine creation; love that enables creation both to have novelty and to cohere; to develop and evolve and remain aligned in purpose; love that enables many beings (each with free will, with 'agency') to participate in the unity of creation - and so on.

The truth of destiny

Surveying my life, one fact seems clear - that there was a destiny at work. And the only real choice was to accept or reject it - it was not possible to pursue a different fate than the real one.

This is the opposite to the mainstream view, and the one to which I adhered; which said that we could and should choose our own path through life: that we could create the life we wanted.

What I see is that whenever (and this could go on for years) I was trying to create my own future, I failed. Anything other then my destiny was sabotaged by events.

Often self-sabotaged. I would decide what I wanted, I would set myself to trying to achieve it; but things would happen, all kinds of things, to prevent it. Or, if I got it; then it was nothing like I imagined or hoped - and my own motivation would inexorably evaporate. I could not make myself hold-onto what I had grasped. 

I was never forced (I could not be forced, apparently) do do the right thing (to follow destiny), and I generally avoided doing the right thing for a very long time; but doing the wrong thing could be and was sabotaged again and again - tirelessly, relentlessly!

I spent a great deal of time purposefully doing the wrong things, with the wrong people; pursuing wrong career ideas; trying to live in wrong places..

William Arkle explains this in terms of us having two kinds of will, one deep and the others on the surface. The deep will is the real will - that is, the will of our real, divine, eternal selves. But above this are potentially several 'personality wills' - or 'ego' wills... these are what people mean by 'will power', when someone sets out to create their own future by channelling their efforts in a specific direction.

Because it is divine, the real will operates by innumerable unperceived 'mechanisms' to align events in its favour - that is, the real will is sustained by synchronicity. In contrast, synchronicity works against the personality will, whenever it conflicts with the real. 

What is this destiny, and what is it for? Well, it is Not a plan leading to a specific outcome; because life is not like that. Life is the experiences we most need for our eternal benefit; and destiny is teaching us what we most need to learn. 

Destiny is divine, and destiny is our teacher. But whether we learn from it depends on us.

So long as we strive against destiny, we will get negative lessons. Experience will be teaching us: No, not this. No, not this either... on and on. We may experience a great deal of pleasure; but it will be undercut by existential despair.

When we are on the path of destiny, by contrast, we will experience a deep happiness and hope which continues underneath our surface sufferings.

Someone who lives in accordance with destiny is distinguished by getting from mortal life what his  eternal soul most needed from mortal life. But one who avoids his destiny has wasted his life.

Sunday 30 December 2018

Midwit sophomoric modernity: The difficulty of Christian evangelism in The West - Christianity is either too simple, or too deep

Modernity is rooted in a midwit, sophomoric mode of thinking and reasoning.

On the one hand, the mainstream rejects the simple and obvious - even/ especially when it is correct - as this seems too dumb or childish to be true. The typical modern person has the adolescent arrogance and self-superiority when it comes to anything child-like.

On the other hand, anything which requires deep or consecutive thinking - exposure and critique of basic assumptions, or following a multi-step chain of reasoning - is also rejected. The modern individual is easily overwhelmed by impatience, is unable to concentrate, has too low a boredom threshold - and reacts with suspicion, anger and a resentful sense of 'entitlement' to this kind of challenge.

Thus, even though the the mainstream modern person (which is almost everybody, but especially the leadership class and its servants) holds to a set of assumptions, beliefs and behaviours that are unexamined and incoherent to a degree unique in world history; this futile and self-destructive world view is, in practice, almost unassailable.

Any alternative that is happier and more hopeful is regarded as childish self-deception; anything perceived to limit or discern is regarded as a dishonest manipulation.

My conclusion is that Christian evangelists should be responsive rather than pro-active. Proactivity will almost certainly be a waste of time, and perhaps counter-productive in terms of fulfilling negative prejudices; but by (without delay) making the time (and effort) to respond to a genuine query derived from (probably inarticulate and instinctive) dissatisfaction at the prevalent evil and nihilism... well, the Christian has at least a chance of making a positive difference.

De Profundis (from the depths... of illness); and a simple-coherent definition of gnosticism

I have been obliterated for the past couple of days by an URTI (upper respiratory tract infection) which is doing the rounds in my family, gathering strength as it goes; its main characteristics being a very painful throat and profound generalised malaise...

I couldn't be bothered to read, watch TV, or even listen to audible books - never mind write blog posts.

Sleep was the main activity; although on awakening I would invariably discover that a monkey had apparently been sandpapering the inside of my mouth and tongue, prior to using it as a latrine.

On top of it, a migraine began yesterday (mine usually last a few days), I awoke three times last night feeling wretched and needing medication; but there is a sense this morning that a corner may have been turned... at any rate, here I am writing again.

I shall pass on one gem that I encountered in a brief respite yesterday, while in the bath reading Geoffrey Ashe's King Arthur's Avalon. In discussing 'gnosticism', Ashe provides what I would regard as the only genuinely useful definition of gnosticism that I have met: that (to paraphrase) gnosticism was and is a Christian heresy that (implicitly) replaces Love with Knowledge.

This is simple, substantive and comprehensible enough to be useful; and fits very well with the conclusions I derived from my study and reflections on the Fourth Gospel.

However, while gnosticism was a heresy defined-by, and excluded-from, the historical mainstream Christian Church; Ashe's definition reveals a great deal/ the-majority-of historical mainstream Christianity itself to be gnosticism.

(This would explain why I have never been able to make any sense of the usual mainstream definitions and discussions of gnosticism; they were trying to make a distinction and draw a line; where there was in fact continuity.)

In other words, the labelling of heretics as gnostics would (mostly) seem to be an example of projection; of accusing others of one's own faults.   

In reality, gnosticism is a fault to which nearly all Christians have been prone, for the entire history of the faith; when confronted by the extreme simplicity of Jesus's teachings.

The distinction between love and knowledge is the distinction between the personal and the abstract (and reveals that these are indeed opposites). A focus on love implies a focus on relationships; a focus on relationship implies that Jesus and the Father need to be known as persons, not abstractions. And the whole meaning of creation needs to be seen this way.

In sum, our understanding of Jesus and his work, of the Father and his creation, needs to grow from a very 'anthropomorphic' way of understanding the world (because only persons can love); and that this has primacy over all abstractions.

(Of course writing 'about' this as a theme, as above, is itself an abstraction; but perhaps you can infer what I am implying...?)

John Fitzgerald retires from Albion Awakening...

John's lyrical writing offers us something unique and inspiring, with its roots in a re-imagined past. John has been a vital part of the Albion Awakening triumvirate since its inception, in the wake of the Brexit vote, a bit more than two years ago.

But the good news is that he will be starting a new blog:

My gift, I have come to see, is in tale-telling (in the vein of my recent Joseph of Arimathea story, for instance), and that is what I will be focusing on in my new blog, Deep Britain and Ireland, where you will find retellings of the myths and legends that remain so fresh and dynamic - and so important for our future, I feel - on both sides of the Irish Sea.

This, I believe, is the best contribution I can make to what all of us readers and writers of Albion Awakening are working and praying for - the rousing of Albion from sleep and the restoration of the holy realm of Logres in this land. That will be the theme of my final post for this blog and it will be the theme (even if not explicitly stated) of each and every post in my new blog. It is what I believe in, what I stand for, and what I fight for.

For future reference, the new blog will be located here. I shall post a reminder when content begins to appear.

Thursday 27 December 2018

The ridiculous errors of economics

I was very interested in economics in the middle 2000s - from a libertarian stance (this was before I was a Christian). I incorporated it within a larger theory of natural selection derived from the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann.

After spending hundreds of hours on that subject, I realised that it was misleading nonsense for two - linked - reasons. The first allowed the second. The first was that economists were dishonest - they were not interested in the truth, and certainly not concerned to be truthful.

In this respect, economists are merely typical of all modern academics - but I first noticed with economists. And what made me notice was their collective, mass response to the 'economic crisis' of 2008. Having following several individuals closely over the preceding years, the effortless speed and completeness with which they 'sold-out' shocked me into a reappraisal.

(I had similar Eureka moments with psychiatrists mass adoption of 'atypical antipsychotics' and their use of the agents in children and healthy outpatients; and the scientific Establishment's adoption of the CO2-Anthropogenic global warming scam.)

The ridiculous error of economists is to regard individual people, and groups of people, as essentially interchangeable units. That this was wrong was spelled out by the mass of evidence collected by Gregory Clark in his utterly-brilliant world history of economics "A Farewell to Alms".

I also worked it out for myself with a totally convincing thought experiment. The mainstream economists I read all stated that immigration was good for all countries under all circumstances. They had ingenious mainstream arguments to back them.

But all arguments depended upon regarding all people, and all groups and nations, as essentially the same - or trending to be the same. At most, economists would acknowledged the effect of 'education' - by incorporating a variable based on years, or level, of education - but this also assumed that all humans were equally educable.

This is contradicted by the entirety of coherent research into intelligence and personality (which are both very substantially heritable); but for me a single, reductio ad absurdum, thought experiment was decisive.

The economists I read were emphatic that the skills, education, intelligence, personality of immigrants did not make any difference to the fact that they were an economic benefit. Therefore - to maximise economic performance - there was no economic reason to limit migration, and indeed any barriers to migration should be removed.

Economists might introduce a proviso that certain things would need changing to ensure this - for example that wages should be set by the market, that benefits should not be excessive. But they were solid on this point that immigration was an economic benefit - and indeed, the failure of actual nations to meet their provisos did not deter economists from (in practice) a strongly (passionately) pro-immigration stance. 

My thought experiment imagined there was a large nation of people who had a heritable and severe form of mental handicap; such that they would be wholly economically dependent - and would, indeed, each absorb the labour of several people in looking after them. I then supposed that the entire population of this nation - say 100 million - would migrate to somewhere like the USA or the UK.

Would it be of economic benefit to the UK (population 70 million) of enabling 100 million heritably dependent, resource absorbing, severely mentally-handicapped individuals to immigrate? Obviously Not. Therefore, the assumptions of economics were false. Such was my conclusion.

The reductio is to take to an imagined extreme the actual situation of heritable variation between individuals and cultures, and between groups and nations; and to clarify the actual situation.

This thought experiment reveals that exactly who immigrates matters decisively (as well as the numbers). Once this is understood, it can be seen that the whole categorisation of 'immigration/ immigrants' is a weasel-concept; a fake analytic term that conceals what is decisive behind a false generalisation.

From then onwards, I realised that the profession of economics is merely an exercise in providing pseudo-plausible excuses; a branch of the Establishment public relations industry.

Note: As always on this blog, I am not using the above as 'evidence' to persuade anyone that economics is subverted by its assumptions; I am describing what was in fact decisive in my reaching this conclusion.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

William James Tychonievich evaluates my new mini-book "Lazarus Writes"

William James Tychonievich has been reading my new book on the Fourth Gospel - and evaluating the arguments.

William JT is the longest-running commenter on this blog, and somebody I have learned a lot from over the years - including about this very topic; so it is well worth reading what he has to say.

His comments also prompted me to take the argument a bit further, or to make it more explicit at any rate; in a comment I made after William's analysis - I have subsequently incorporated these points into the text of Lazarus Writes (just before the Conclusion).

Note: You can see from the comments that William in fact evaluated the arguments with reference to the original posts from this blog; rather than having read them in the actual Lazarus Writes mini-book that was compiled from these original posts.

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Jesus as teacher, and taught

 Caspar David Friedrich - Tree of Crows

A common modernist subversion and denigration of Christianity is to label Jesus as a Great Teacher.

Yet even the greatest imaginable teacher is of limitedvalue; since he will be in a particular time, place, language and culture; and utterly dependent on having his ideas preserved and propagated - and indeed retaught, again and again.

The greatest imaginable teacher reduces to one specific teacher, and the individual student. 

Even a truly great teacher from Palestine 2000 years ago - even if the very greatest teacher ever - cannot, in isolation, be indispensable. His teachings cannot ever be known with confidence.

But Jesus insisted that his primary teaching would be done by The Holy Ghost after his death and ascension; and therefore this teaching was universal - for all times and places, and regardless of language or culture.

Such teaching can be direct to the soul - without intermediary of language or education; individually tailored to personal capacity and need.

So Jesus must be divine to be the kind of great teacher which would be of decisive value to you and me, here and now.

At the same time, such teaching is a personal challenge, a solid responsibility upon each - because if anybody can receive it, and everybody can understand it; then the onus is wholly upon our-individual-selves whether we act upon it.

Happy Christmas!

Monday 24 December 2018

The problem of abstraction - when you get rid of common sense, the mind is open to limitless manipulation; but escape destroys civilisation

The rottenness of our modern world goes very deep. I'm not saying its all rotten - but the strength of modernity derive from its weakness; the early steps are beneficial - but there is a positive feedback at work, and you can't stop after a few steps - and the end of the line is insanity and nihilism.

This is big topic and I will - no doubt - need to make multiple attempts at expressing this insight.  Here goes...

If we start out in the primal situation; people's knowledge is very direct, personal, experiential. We believe things because we have experienced them, or because we have been told them by people whom we believe because they are family. (Kids seem to be naturally credulous, from which I infer that they have an inbuilt expectation of being surrounded by benign people.)

Anyway, as culture becomes more complex, we get socialised into ignoring direct experience, and believing that which is abstract: what comes-down to us from the hierarchy of power, status, wealth. Eventually, what comes-down is what we Must believe; and any direct knowledge which conflicts with this Must be ignored.

The socially-approved abstract is increasingly mandatory, the direct and personal is increasingly forbidden. 

Conversely, the primal situation is again direct - one in which we believe in the soul, pre-mortal existence and continuation of identity post-mortally, beyond death (usually some kind of reincarnation is natural. And, on this basis, resurrection is a specific type of reincarnation-into-divinity) because we personally have experienced these things... we believe in spirits, the supernatural, 'magic' and so on because we know them in our lives.

Then at some point - our society demands that these things must not be believed - because they cannot be directly perceived or (we are told) detected or measured by science. (And, insofar as anybody says they do directly know such things, they Must Be deluded, self-decieved, lying, manipulating, drunk, hallucinating, or just plain crazy.

We must believe in 'science', and since science is nearly-all about things of which we have no knowledge, and are unobservable - this in practice means we must believe 'scientists'...

But who are 'scientists'? Scientists get defined by those with power. And anyway we only know what they say as reported by teachers or the mass media... So yet again we have to ignore direct knowledge and accept what comes-down to us.

My point is that we live in a system that requires we ignore direct knowledge and believe abstract stuff about which we know absolutely nothing. Whatever happens to us, whatever we experience, whatever we work out for ourselves - is, by definition and in advance of any specifics, completely irrelevant.

OK. Now, you may also notice that this system of mandatory abstraction, forbidden direct knowing, once established, can be - has been - subverted to evil. The mandatory abstractions can be... Anything! And no matter what we personally experience or work-out cannot (by advanced definition) ever be challenged under any circumstances.

My first point is that This is precisely and without exaggeration the world we actually live-in, here and now.    

My second point is that if we want to escape this world of abstract lies, we need to reject an awful lot of stuff that we take for granted, and upon which our civilisation depends. 

If we want to escape this world of lies, we need to pull down civilisation as well - because everything that supports and sustains civilisation is susceptible to, is abstract and authority-based; and therefore (now, in this world of demonic domination) always-and-increasingly trending towards evil, ugly, lies.

If the direct and personal is the only escape from open-endedly dishonest abstraction; if civilisation depends on abstraction; we can only escape demonic domination by also (not intentionally, but inevitably) undermining civilisation.

Happy New Year (now, today!)

For me, this, here, now, is New Year - in the sense that a year is an astronomical division of time, and 23-24 December would have been the first time that our ancestors could have been sure that the shortest day (the winter solstice) had come and gone; and the New Year had begun.

I think this accounts for the (approximate) date of Christmas: 1. Wait until the solstice has been and gone and the New Year has begun; 2. Spend a day or two preparing a feast; 3. Have the feast. Hence the feast of the New Year, to celebrate being in the New Year, comes after the event of the solstice.

The connection with a celebration of Jesus's birth is obvious enough, when we think of the analogy between the New Year and the New Era in the history of creation: creation inflects at the life of Jesus. But at what point of the life?

What is born, what begins, with the New Year is the potential, not the actuality. The destined, but not actual, Messiah was born.

The actuality was the Baptism of Jesus: that was when Jesus attained his full divinity and the gifts of divinity (to do miracles, especially to raise Lazarus); but at first he was a 'temporary' and 'local' deity in a mortal body that was doomed to die; and Jesus needed to die and be resurrected before he could attain to permanent full divinity - and with the universal scope of the Holy Ghost.

Probably therefore, if we want to mark the major events of Jesus's life with feasts; the Baptism of Jesus ought to be the major feast, rather than a minor and rather obscure celebration.

The birth, death and resurrection, ascension and return of Jesus as the Holy Ghost are all vital - but perhaps the Baptism of Jesus, when Jesus was recognised as the Messiah and when the divine spirit descended upon him and stayed with him... well, that was the defining point in the history of the universe! It was the exact point that death was defeated and eternal life became possible (with Lazarus as the first recipient). 

But then, Christians have misunderstood the significance of Jesus's baptism since whenever they decided not to take seriously, and thereby accord priority to, the Fourth Gospel.

Anyway, today is the New Year and the birth of the Messiah - who turned-out to bring something so very different from what was expected; and so different from what has since so often been projected upon him.

Luckily for us, we don't need to know much, or do complicated stuff, to benefit from the gift Jesus brought; simply believe him, and follow him - both of which can be summarised as love him.

Love Jesus as we should love our family, as a solid background fact of life; because his gift is precisely to allow us (if we want) to join his family, eternally, as gods - participating in the everlasting work of creation.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Is the spiritual just fantasy?

William Wildblood tackles this vital question at Albion Awakening:

On more than one occasion in my life I have been informed that because of my spiritual interests I live in a fantasy world. Even well-meaning people have told me that I should forget all that sort of thing and restrict my concerns to everyday reality. My response (internal usually, but not always) has been that it is they who live in a fantasy world. By rejecting the spiritual what you are doing is rejecting the real because the spiritual is the real, and it is the material without the spiritual that is the actual world of fantasy...

(Read the whole thing...)

This is a key question - and for some people the way-in, is to recognise the incoherence of believing that we live in a purely 'materialist' world, a world that regards only sensory-perceptible, is 'scientifically'-detectable/ measurable' things as really-real.

As a professional and vocational scientist, I very soon realised that science could not be separated from the consciousness, motivation, judgement of specific individual scientists; and indeed this has been recognised in mainstream theoretical physics for a century.

In a simple sense, science cannot validate itself by scientific means.

Yet we do (culturally) believe that (somehow) science validates science! What has happened, culturally, is that scientific self-validation is taken as a basic, structuring metaphysical assumption - we simple assume it is true, because... 'the modern world', all this stuff - and build our lives upon that assumption.

But it is easy to see that this is to give 'science' a free pass, and exempt science from scientific evaluation. It also makes it impossible even to ask what is science - and to ask when is science really being done, as contrasted with fake-science.

By regarding 'science' as intrinsically self-validating; we have created a situation when science is not just assumed to be self-validating, but is also self-defined! Science has become corrupted into expedience and careerism. Science has become the purest relativism - its arbitrariness concealed behind a complex bureaucracy, arbitrarted by funding, enforced by the state and media.

My point is that we assume that spiritual things are just made-up while materialism is plain truth; yet we know that materialism is definitely wrong.

In other words, we can coherently only dispose of the spiritual if we are also prepared to dispose of the material - the choice is between having a place for the spiritual, and the denial of any possibility of knowledge at all ; i.e. nihilism - a reality that could not be known, even if it was true.

This does not prove that the spiritual is true - it simple makes clear the massive consequences of rejecting the spiritual as we do, glibly, with some comment of its being a subjective, arbitrary 'fantasy'...

(For more on this see Owen Barfield's book - Saving the Appearances.)  

Saturday 22 December 2018

Nicodemus is told of the gift that Jesus offers to the World

In Chapter 3 of the Fourth Gospel, Jesus explains to Nicodemus how Men may attain the Heaven, Kingdom of God.

My comments are in italics.

John 3 - [3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Unless we are born again - that is, die and are resurrected, we cannot dwell in Heaven. 

[4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

To explain what he means by 'born again', Jesus refers back to the comments by John the Baptist in Chapter 1:

[29] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [30] This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. [31] And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. [32] And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. [33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. [34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

Jesus is explaining what it means to be 'born again' - and makes clear that this refers to being reborn/ resurrected as divine (completion of the 'process' of divination, theosis, sanctification). 

John the Baptist is saying that before he met Jesus he was 'merely' baptising with water - so during baptism the spirit would descend and touch - then leave the baptised person; which only affected this life: the spirit affected them but did not make them divine. But when John baptised Jesus, the spirit abode on him, that is - Jesus became divine. John cannot make anyone divine, but Jesus can.

Because Jesus is now divine, he can 'baptise' Men with the Holy Ghost - can make Men divine. But we are told elsewhere in this Gospel that Jesus did not literally baptise anyone (by immersion in water, only his disciples did this), so the implication is that when Jesus 'baptises' it means something not-literal. What it means is that Jesus transforms us to become divine by our own death and resurrection (born again); as Jesus was thus transformed at the baptism by John.  

Later in the Gospel, Jesus tells us that this transformation happens simply by us believing the identity and nature of Jesus, by loving him and following him through death to becoming divine in resurrection; as a sheep follows the Good Shepherd.

[8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The wind and the spirit are one, Jesus is telling us what it is like to have become divine in contrast to the state of mortal Men; describing poetically the nature of divine experience. 

[9] Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [10] Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? [11] Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. [12] If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? [13] And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16]

Jesus knows these things because he has already dwelt in Heaven, in the Kingdom of God (implicitly, in spirit, before Jesus was incarnated; when he was co-creating this world with his Father as described at the start of the Fourth Gospel). The Son of man is Jesus after his ascension to Heaven, after being lifted up. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus is emphasising that he brings Good News; and enhancement of the human condition, a new possibility for all Men (the world) - but operative only for those that choose to believe in him. 

[18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Condemned to dying (and not being resurrected, not becoming divine) 'already' because that is the default situation, death is what already happens in the world before Jesus came. 

[19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

But Jesus prophesies that many Men will not choose life everlasting, not choose to become divine, choose not to dwell in the Kingdom of God...

[20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Because the evil do not want such things. They prefer death to divinity. To follow Jesus must be a free and loving choice, it is not forced upon anyone. 

[21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

To 'do truth' is to believe, love and follow Jesus through death; and be born again into resurrection as a divine, eternal Man - and to dwell in God's Kingdom of Heaven. 

Friday 21 December 2018

"Lazarus writes" - my new mini-book on the Fourth Gospel

I have collected and edited my posts on the Fourth Gospel into a 35,000 word mini-book under the title Lazarus writes: reading the Fourth Gospel in isolation

The non-religious 'right' are in thrall to intrinsically Leftist analysis

There are plenty of people who believe that there is a genuine, non-religious 'right wing' to politics; but there isn't. All those people, parties and organisations who self-identify as being on-the-right and against-Leftism but who are not religious are, in fact, on-the-Left.

This is just an objective reality - because to be non-religious is to be of-the-Left. To be anti-Christian is, indeed, the root and motivation of Leftism. Indeed there is no Left and Right, what there is is Left and Religion. By religion I mean specifically Christianity, because we are talking about Western nations and their sphere of influence)

The situation arises because, in the first place, to be not-religious is to restrict consideration to the span of mortal life. This means that the bottom-line is human experience, human emotion, human happiness and suffering. In other words, some version of the (leftist) moral philosophy called utilitarianism.

So, to be non-religious is to agree on the fundamental assumption that what matter most about life is how people feel - and the Left and so-called Right merely differ in methods to affect feelings, and the focus and distribution of feelings. 

But I want to draw attention here to the mode of socio-political analysis that is done by the 'non-religious-right' - which is derived from Leftist sociology and politics. This analysis is wholly in terms of one or another Leftist ideology.

For example class and economics (which is Marxism), power (which is anarchism), or status (which is New Leftism/ political correctness).

The non-religious 'right' use Leftist ideology, but just change the valuation of groups. They talk about the ruling Establishment ('Cathedral'/ class/ caste); they divide society into functional groups (peasants, priests, warriors); they use Machiavellian type analysis of power; they discuss the use of education and media to control thought and public discourse...

All these and their basic assumptions, and all other secular schemata, are derived from Leftism. Since the basic assumptions are Leftist, the results will always be Leftist - anything else is excluded by those assumptions.

In a word, the non-religious self-identified 'right' have adopted Leftist metaphysics; that is, their model of how reality is structured derives from Leftism. No matter what they try to do with the tools of Leftism, they will simply loop-back to Leftism.

The difference between the non-religious Left and Right is therefore just 'office politics' among Leftists; a quibble over methods and priorities.

If someone takes the trouble to think about this, rather than simply reacting; they will see that it just is the case. But the non-religious 'right' are not religious for some, very strong and personal, reason - and that reason, apparently, blocks their willingness and/ or ability to think consecutively.

That reason for non-religious anti-Leftists excluding Christianity from consideration is often enough something-to-do-with-sex; or some other personal pleasure that would be excluded by any serious and real religion. But whatever the reason is, it absolutely invalidates their entire project, and indeed dooms them to become unwitting dupes of mainstream Leftism.

Note: Of course, the anti-Left non-religious can easily come-up with excuses for not being a Christian, and the basis that all the mainstream Christian churches are corrupt. However, so are all mainstream institutions of all types corrupt, including political institutions; and that does not deter them from putting all their hopes into political change - so we can recognise that these are indeed just excuses, and not reasons. If they were serious and honest, they would become Christians first*, and then try and work-out how to be real and serious Christians.  

*Further note: Of course, it is a deliberate choice to become a Christian. But if someone is genuinely serious about opposing the Left; they need to realise that there is nowhere from-which the Left can be opposed, whether in theory or in practice, except A Religion.

"The World" Tarot (Marseille) - symbolism explicated

 Behind the dirty yellow curtain... Childermass uses his Marseille Tarot, hand-copied from an ancient set lent him by a sailer, to divine what's going-on with Vinculus in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (BBC adaptation)

William James Tychoneivich continues his slow, extraordinarily detailed and wide-ranging, sifting of the symbolism of the Major Arcana of the Marseille Tarot pack; with The World.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Fourth Gospel meditations (essentially) complete

Regular readers will no doubt be relieved to hear that I think my 'project' of reading the Fourth Gospel in isolation, on the basis that it is most important book of the Bible, seems now to have reached its natural end-point.

I regard the Fourth Gospel as chronologically the first, and qualitatively the most authoritative, source on the life and teachings of Jesus. As I read and re-read, I found that the discipline created a situation as if the Fourth Gospel was the only scripture.

And indeed, whenever I turned to other Gospels, or to the Epistles and Revelation, they looked very much inferior; very much like rag-bag collections of theology, memoirs, theories and folk tales about Jesus; and of very mixed validity - since many things in them contradict the Fourth Gospel.

I don't know that I can ever again regard the bulk of the New Testament as any more intrinsically authoritative than I already regarded the Old Testament - which I see as a collection of many types of writing (including myth, fiction, poems, rulebooks, histories and prophecies), made over many years and with no single purpose in mind - a collection of potentially valuable resources.

At any rate, I feel a sense of completion - and I no longer feel internally-driven to continue. My initial assumptions about the special and unique validity of the Fourth Gospel remains and has been greatly strengthened; and I can understand why it has been systematically downgraded by the historical churches throughout history.

(By 'sytematic', I mean that the method and assumptions by which the historical churches created and have interpreted The Bible, and especially the New Testament, have downgraded the Fourth Gospel in multiple ways. By choosing Not to accord it primacy, the unique and challenging qualities of the Fourth Gospel have been negated, simply by its being 'outvoted'.) 

This downgrading seems inevitable, given that the Fourth Gospel provides no authority for churches, nor for a priesthood, nor for celibacy, nor for the ritual communal life that has often dominated Christian practice; the Gospel's vision of the Christian life is highly individual, personal, un-institutional. 

In the Fourth Gospel; Christians are seen to more like a new kind of family, than a new version of ancient religions.

And the historical church has mostly portrayed Jesus as a rescuer of an otherwise-doomed Mankind - a double-negative description, with Jesus negating the negative state of a 'fallen' world. Whereas the Fourth Gospel shows a Jesus dealing with individual persons to enhance their existence - a positive addition to human possibility, with Jesus making possible a qualitative transformation of mortal to divine Life.

The Fourth Gospel sees 'Christianity' as a one-at-a-time opt-in life, likely to be chosen by a minority of people; not a thing of masses, not a matter for politics or organisation.  

So, on the one hand, a Fourth Gospel-centred understanding tends to undermine the validity and relevance of a great deal of historical Christianity - including undermining things that have been, and are, seen as the very essence of the religion.

On the other hand, Fourth Gospel-centred Christianity may be exactly what is most needed in a world where, already, most of historical Christianity (in the West) has-been not just undermined, but subverted and inverted into purposive anti-Christian evil...

The Fourth Gospel is a message of hope directly and immediately applicable to every person in every situation - no matter how isolated. Across the centuries, leaping the millennia; the Fourth is precisely the Gospel for here and now.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Gemeinschaft not Gesellschaft: In the Fourth Gospel Jesus tells the disciples that Christians should grow as a loving 'family', not as a formal institution

One of the most striking, and indeed shocking, aspects of reading the Fourth Gospel as the primary and most authoritative source about Jesus- is that Jesus tells the disciples to propagate the faith as a 'family' of believers and says nothing about setting up a church.

To use the old German Sociological terminology: Christians ought to be a Gemeinschaft, not a Gesellschaft - a loving community, not an institutional society.

In a long section (Chapters 13-17*) describing the night before the crucifixion; Jesus instructs the disciples on the meaning of his teaching and what they should do after his departure. What he seems to be saying is that the disciples have (since the departure of Judas Iscariot) a mutually loving 'family'; and that future Christians should be the same.

The themes (here and elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel) are all about love between Christians; in effect, a group cohering by a web of love. Love cannot be imposed. A loving group can and does grow, as a family grows by marriage and children - but only one person at a time, and only by mutual consent. It is clear that this is the consent of friends, not of master and servant.

Is there then to be no structure to the Christian community? It is not explicit, but the structure of family is sustained throughout the Fourth Gospel - including that between Jesus and his Father. The family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (who is himself the author of the Fourth Gospel) is a major feature of the Gospel; Mary's marriage to Jesus in indicated in three places; and Lazarus (Jesus's brother in law) is made the son of Jesus's Mother at the crucifixion.

I assume, therefore, that the Christian community would have the same kind of internal structure of authority as an ideal family.

What I take from this is that Jesus intended for his followers to be structured and operate like a loving family - a family that adopted new members, as well as marrying and procreating them.

*John 15: [7] If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. [8] Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. [9] As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. [10] If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. [11] These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. [12] This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. [13] Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [14] Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. [15] Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. [16] Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. [17] These things I command you, that ye love one another. [18] If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. [19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. [20] Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Queries invited?

After a few days rest, I have switched blog commenting back on - and un-hidden previous comments.

So, do readers/ commenters have any queries that have been building-up a head of steam over the recent period of enforced silence?

The 'Anarchist' Left

There is a small but relatively impactful group of people on the Left of the Left who have various self-identifications; but could be termed the 'anarchist' Left, because their focus is on power (rather than Old Left economics or New Left culture).

The Anarchist Left are, indeed, close cousins of the 'Right wing' Libertarians, in terms of their general analysis and aims; the main difference is that the Anarchists are anti-markets and instead pro-participative-democracy. Being secular and anti-Christian by assumption; both Anarchists and Libertarians favour the sexual revolution, and line-up against marriage and families.

The best known living representative is Noam Chomsky, and George Orwell was also sympathetic to this kind of Leftism - but there are quite a lot of these people in academic positions, education and the media. I would have counted myself among them for a few years - they were thin on the ground (I don't think I knew anyone else, personally), but produce quite a lot of words - and can find an outlet as ideological 'purists' on mainstream Leftist platforms. When I was of this ilk, I had no trouble publishing my stuff, and spoke at some high level conferences.

The Anarchist Left is mainly about opposition; and in principle believes that policies should emerge from a grassroots consensus. In practice, they always support the Mainstream Left against the Mainstream Right; which is why the Anarchists are tolerated, and indeed encouraged, in a small way (e.g by small subsidies and grants, and low-level jobs in the media and academia) - by the Establishment.

The Anarchists are, I would say, as individuals; considerably braver and more principled than the Mainstream. They have to be, because they are usually working pretty much alone, or in nooks and corners, and have neither wealth nor status to defend themselves.

The Anarchist Left are going-nowhere, indeed they have no idea where they would want to go - except tagging behind the Mainstream, complaining - but they are potentially dangerous (because of their courage and principle) and therefore pretend-opposition/ covert-support is the best way of neutralising them, the best way of buying-off a dedicated partial-opposition.

The most valuable insight of the Anarchist Left is their recognition of the deadliness of bureaucracy; their recognition that bureaucracy is totalitarian.

But this true and rare insight is negated by the fact that the Anarchists trace bureaucracy back to The Market and to Capitalism - which is partially true, but essentially false; since there was not much bureaucracy in 19th century in the UK or USA, when Market Capitalism was in its rawest and purest form. Bureaucracy is, obviously, driven by Leftism, by State power - it is a consequence of a Leftist ideal of Government control (in order that Government be powerful enough to do good Things).

And the single linked bureaucracy that dominates the developed world is a product of high-minded Leftist ideals (such as World Peace, Climate Control, Equality, Humanitarian Aid etc); far more than it is a product of the evil desire of Capitalists/ Bosses to make ever-more money.  

And what makes the Anarchist Left such a Dead End, a free-spinning cog, is essentially that they are atheist - which means that nothing they think, say, or do really has any validity or makes any objective difference; they are living in a fog of incoherence and nihilism.

The main benefit of the Anarchist Left is that they (like Libertarians, like the Conspiracy Theory movement) provide a partially true unmasking of the mainstream System. There main disadvantage is that they fail to expose and evaluate their own ultimate (metaphysical) assumptions about the nature of reality - and therefore remain mired in futile atheism.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Is your life and my life Fit-for-Purpose? - or, did God do a bad job in making this world?

This is a basic question - and needs asking.

And we know the answer.

For a Christian, it seems to me that the answer must-be Yes, my life is fit-for-purpose and No, God did not do a bad job.

Our faith Must Be that a God who is both the creator and our loving Father must-have made a world that is fit-for-purpose - everywhere and for all Men.

This has-to be true, because God created this world, and loves each of us. It is really that simple; and things that simple can be known with intuitive sureness. If we think otherwise, on whatever basis, then we are mistaken.

Fit-for-purpose... The question then arises - What is that purpose?

The general state of people and things makes clear that the purpose is not, cannot be, any kind of perfection... But the world is well-suited to providing us with a vast range of never-repeating experiences, and we are able to learn from these experiences.

In sum - this is a world of change, and a world of trials-and-errors (as well as successes), or attempts and failures (as well as triumphs). But in the end, nothing succeeds in this world, because everything is labile; prone to corruption and death.

But that fact cannot matter, fundamentally, to the prime purpose of reality, of creation.

It must-be that every single individual person alive now or ever, and in whatever situation, is able (If they Try) to get from their own life what they need. What each person needs is available to them.

(We cannot know the specifics for other people, but we can for our-selves - if we try...)

It may well be (it looks that way) that many or most people do not actually get what they need, learn what they need - but then, very few people (apparently) make the attempt.

They don't even ask...

And - of course - what we each need from this mortal life is not something that is needed for this mortal life; but that which is needed for the eternity to follow.

In sum: every individual person is able to learn what they need to learn, for eternal life after death - regardless of themselves and their circumstances; but (probably, in practice) not everyone does-so.  

Of course, I am taking a minimal approach to what is needed. Yes we can always get what is needed; but to live our won life optimally is a very different, much harder, probably not universal thing. God cannot do that for us, neither can we do it alone... Of course - given such and other constraints, God will do his best to ensure that the seeker does as well as possible. But we can always find what is needed - in some way, it will always be made available to each seeker; and made available before it is too late (whenever that may be).

To be 'born again' is death and resurrection to life everlasting - Fourth Gospel

There is a wonderful scene in the Fourth Gospel* in which Jesus talks with Nicodemus about the need to be 'born again'. (Dramatised beautifully here: )

This passage is about the need for each Man to die, before he can be resurrected to eternal life, and dwell in Heaven. This is to be 'born again'.

Jesus is talking to Nicodemus in the present tense, about a situation that is already possible, at the time of the conversation. Because, at the time of conversing with Nicodemus; Jesus had already become divine when he was Baptised by John; and from then onwards a pattern was made by which any Man could choose to follow Jesus from Manhood to Divinity.

Thus, Jesus began his life as a Man, then was transformed and became divine; and the 'template' was established.  Any Man may be transformed because Jesus was transformed.

However, before a Man can be made divine - his body must die.

After death of the body, the soul remains; but the soul without the body is maimed and lacks agency; the soul cannot 'resurrect itself'.

The soul must be-resurrected by another; and that other is the divine Jesus, who himself went-through the process.

Note: When Jesus was talking with Nicodemus; the transformation by Jesus of Man to divinity by resurrection was already possible - and soon afterwards Jesus resurrected Lazarus - but to remain on earth rather than dwell in the kingdom of God; as a miraculous demonstration of the new dispensation.

*John.3 [1] There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. [9] Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [10] Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? [11] Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. [12] If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? [13] And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Monday 17 December 2018

What is intuition? How do we know it?

Intuition is self-validating - and intuition is the only self-validating form of knowing.

Intuition is the foundation of all knowing - all valid knowledge derived from reason and evidence can be traced back to an intuition. If not traceable back to an intuition, then it cannot be known to be valid. 

A valid foundation is an intuition; any other foundation is arbitrary. 

Intuition is the same thing as direct-knowing; it does not come from 'evidence'.

Intuition is a simple knowing-the-truth-of something; and that can only be in response to a simple question that is emerged or posed in a state (probably momentary) of absolute clarity, with absolute sincerity, with the pure motivation of wanting to know.

Once something is known from intuition, it will be confirmed by later 'evidence' - so long as that evidence is itself confirmed by intuition.

No amount of any other kind of 'evidence' should ever be allowed to overcome an intuition. 

The confirmation of an intuition comes from being able to repeat the experience of intuition whenever the same state of simplicity and clarity can be attained.

Intuition is a gift, and one we are all born with, and have access to - but for most people most of the time intuition is not looked-for - and arbitrary assumption is preferred, as being short-term expedient. Even worse, the gift of spontaneous intuition is disbelieved, disdained and rejected.

So, our first intuition must be to know the validity of intuition... 

The cultural importance of the Ossian poetry of James Macpherson

James Macpherson (1736-96) (portrait, very fine!, by George Romney*) the greatest British author you've never heard of...

At Albion Awakening; I argue that the 'Ossian' poems of James Macpherson, beginning with the publication of 'Fragments of Ancient Poetry' in 1760, is of great importance to our literature and thinking; and this achievement ought to be more widely known and respected.

*Note: I am quite a big fan of what I term The Four Rs of 18th century portraiture: Reynolds, Raeburn, Ramsay and Romney. A few years ago I saw a big exhibition of Romney portraits at a stately home... he did a lot of really good work. 

Modern morality is impossible - so why has it been forced upon us?

Modern morality is often thought of as a deliverance from the harshness of past moral codes. But that’s only because we don’t take it seriously. If we do, then it is absolutely inhuman in its demands, a sprit-crushing, insatiable monstrosity, whether modern morals are taken in their Kantian-personalist or, especially, in their utilitarian form. Can you imagine being required to maximize the total happiness of mankind, never treat anyone as a mere means, or value everyone on Earth’s happiness equally with your own every moment of every day? Every human good would be strangled, and no one could ever be happy again. One begins to appreciate that the legalism and casuistry of pre-modern morality functioned not to burden mankind but to us from the hell of unbounded altruism.

From Bonald at Throne and Altar

This passage hit home - in particular the bit: being required to maximize the total happiness of mankind, never treat anyone as a mere means, or value everyone on Earth’s happiness equally with your own every moment of every day?

What struck me was the realisation that the utilitarian morality - which is simply assumed valid by  all public discourse and by all public policy -  is unknowable by any individual. It converts morality to a branch of statistical 'social science'.

When we are required to live by a morality of consequences; and when these consequences include distal consequences of people we have never seen and know only by report, and when the consequences include futures so remote that that their causal link with our action is a matter of multi-chain reasoning and complex theory - then our morality is necessarily one of plain, uncomprehending obedience to authority. It cannot be anything else.

Because there is not, cannot be, any truly evidential basis for linking my actions with the emotional consequences of everybody in the world into the remote future. So, in practice this morality is something which is asserted by authority - typically either the authority of The System of linked bureaucracies (and their assumptions) or else the authority of the mass media; based on their ability mobilise and direct the attention and emotions of colossal numbers of people.

So we can see exactly why modern morality has been first encouraged and now enforced on Western people by The Establishment - because it makes 'morality' into something decided-upon by the Establishment; and their tame class of 'experts', analysts and 'intellectuals'; and implemented by the tame class of journalists, teachers, and (above all) managers.

But why was modern morality wanted? Why was it so easy for the Establishment to impose this labile and un-predictable, yet totalitarian, moral system we all live-in?

When Bonald speaks of modern morality having been embraced in The West on the basis of its implicit promise of deliverance from the harshness of past moral codes - this in practice boils down to The Sexual Revolution; which removed the prohibition on sex outside marriage and the sanctions enforcing the permanence of marriage.

In sum, the promise was to allow sex without responsibility; to impose a social order that favoured the short term, mainly sexual, preferences of young single people as its priority. Hence the deification of Youth over the past half century, and continuing.

For a short period, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was indeed the main character of Modern morality; but as we know, one the sixties hippy hedonism (unrestricted free love, drugs, dropping-out etc) had done its work, and won the hearts of the elite youth - then the bait was taken and the incremental 'switch' began; first with feminism.

Instead of being about carefree freedom, no work, euphoric drugs and lots of sex with lots of people;  the new morality turned-out to be a state of perpetual guilt, insecurity, drudgery and despair... A world of people in therapy instead of in communes; on antidepressants and antipsychotics instead of acid and dope; of regressive rap instead of progressive rock; of omni-surveillance and micro-control instead of 'people's democracy'; of Big Business, Big Media, and Big Government instead of Small is Beautiful. 

Yet, very, very few people have learned from the experience, few have noticed the gross mismatch between the promise of the new morality; and what actually got delivered. And most still regard the old Morality - and God - as the root of mass misery (and for utilitarians misery = evil).

This being so - people get what they ask for - which is no God, and the de facto abolition of family responsibilities from most people's lives.

Since this is, by revealed preferences, what Western people want more than anything else; they can hardly complain about the way the world has turned-out. There is always a price to pay - and it is, clearly, a price most modern people prefer, compared with living in accordance with 'traditional' morality.


Sunday 16 December 2018

Uncanny Steeleye

Demon Lover is a little known example of how - in the early 1970s - Steeleye Span were often able to capture the uncanny and supernatural style of Romanticism that was pioneered by Coleridge. The chilling lyrics are derived from an ancient Border Ballad - and seem to refer to a demon who masquerades as a beautiful fairy in order to entice-away a young wife.

The strands of English folk music have included this uncanny element; although not many performers are able to treat it with the seriousness required for it really to hit home. In Steeleye Span's case, it was specifically the lead guitarist and vocalist Robert Johnson who brought this into the band (e.g. King Henry, Alison Gross, Thomas the Rhymer, Long Lankin).

This mood is quite easy to for modern people ruin by any taint of irony or commercialism - and it only lasted for the first four albums of Johnson's membership of Steeleye, being largely spoiled by the producer Mike Batt - after which Johnson left Steeleye to make a 'concept album' of Lord Dunsany's novel The King of Elfland's Daughter.

As I have often remarked, it is a sadness to me that this early 70s Romantic Revival, of which The Watersons, Steeleye Span and The Albion Country Band were a part; and which was quite genuine in terms of its picking-up the impulse from Blake, Coleridge and Wordsworth; failed to kick-on by rejecting and failing to Romanticise Christianity.

(Many of the adherents seem to have had neo-pagan, anything-but-Christian, sympathies - although the Watersons recorded many gospel revival songs, and some Christmas carols were popular.)

Instead, this reborn Romanticism was (yet-again) appropriated (especially by journalists, critics and scholars) and distorted/ diverted into Leftist politics... It is hard to blame musicians for failing to do what people seemingly better equipped also failed to do, and the true direction of which was, and is, novel and far from obvious; nonetheless it is a sadness.

While I have enjoyed plenty of folk music since this time - it always lacks the implied depths and serious intent of those early years.

Saturday 15 December 2018

I'm delighted with the Brexit mess

I was pleased by the Brexit vote (although, as readers know, I have not participated in any kind of voting for many years); but I was delighted mainly because it gave some hope that the English people had not been utterly cowed.

Placing a vote for Brexit isn't much, it is indeed very little - but it was considerably more than I believed we as a nation were capable of.

So, I hoped that it would presage a spiritual, Christian Awakening of Albion - and soon after we started a blog dedicated to that hope.

There has not been any such awakening; but the way that Brexit has played-out over the past two and a half years has provided the best possible stimulus to lead free and thoughtful people to some correct conclusions about the British (Globalist) ruling Establishment.

They have shown-themselves, they have revealed their attitudes; and it has been easy to observe that all of mainstream politics (all parties, major institution's leaders, managerial minions, officials, mass media - the whole gang) is professionally corrupt, dishonest, cowardly, servile to evil, and acting on the basis of moral inversion.

It has all been spread-out for us, day by day, week by week, year by year - things do not ever get clearer than this.

Whether many people have had their eyes-opened, have had the scales drop, or the blinkers removed - I really don't know; although I think I sense something positive, some positive shift, at an imperceptible and unverifiable intuitive level - although it may-well be wishful-thinking.

But given that I knew that the Establishment would never lead England into a Brexit that was worth having; it really couldn't have gone any better, in terms of this being seen to be the case.

If England wants a real Brexit, or anything better; then it will not be done by voting, or by any other means that depends on our leadership class to implement it. If that message is beginning to get through, then that will be a stride in the right direction.

Deep Sleep, Waking and Dreaming - a range of cognitive capacities

In terms of our subjective experience of Time, there is a gradient between the three conscious states - Deep sleep, Waking and Dreaming, between-which we alternate through our lives. 

Deep sleep - when we are hardly aware of Time passing, and hardly anything seems to be experienced (in so far as we recall anything at all from Deep Sleep - I personally do not).

Waking - when Time passes in the way we know; not always at the same subjective speed, but within limits of a few-fold variation between time passing quickly and slowly. Experience likewise.

Dreaming sleep - in which time seems to pass at the same subjective speed as it does in waking life, but, relative to waking life Dreaming sleep moves much more rapidly; so that we can fit ?100 fold more events and emotions into a section of dreaming, than we could do in the equivalent time awake.

In other words, Dreaming is a very rapid and complex type of cognitive processing. However, Dreaming is poorly remembered; and notoriously unreliable - in terms of its content being incoherent within itself, and incoherent with subsequent and previous experience. 

This implies that the gain in rapidity and complexity of mental processing that we get in dreaming has a price to pay in terms of the validity of 'conclusions'.

We can think, and experience, many many more things in five waking-minutes of a dream than in five waking-minutes; but a great deal of the dream material is unreliable, and does not stand up to scrutiny: it is not confirmed by experience.

If we assume that these conscious states are on a continuum; then I can back-extrapolate to the situation of Deep sleep. I can then assume that:

1. Deep sleep is necessary - and has important functions; or else we wouldn't do it, and would not have to do it.

2. Deep sleep is only capable of very slow and simple cognitive processing.

3. The thinking of Deep sleep is of the greatest coherence, within itself and with Life; and the knowledge of Deep sleep has the highest validity.

In sum, Deep sleep seems to be a kind of Intuition. That is; a bottom-line form of thinking, a self-validating form of thinking. If we can Deep sleep a thing; then that thing is real: or, it is as subjectively-real as something can be, for us. 

My guess is that the things were are most sure about, or become surest about; are things that we have 'processed' in Deep sleep; and that the slowness, and simplicity of concepts, of Deep sleep is a constraint upon our capacity really to know things.

Note, aside: I've hidden the blog comments for a while, to take a break from dealing with them. I shall reveal them again soon, when I feel refreshed.

Friday 14 December 2018

'Following' Jesus to Life Eternal': the good news of the Fourth Gospel

Modern people assume that death is the end of everything personal, the destruction of the self; they assume that when the body dies then nothing is left.

The ancients, before Jesus, also believed that death was the end of everything personal, and that there was destruction of the self - but the difference was that after the body has died, they believed that something was left: that the soul remained.

The soul minus the body wasn't any use, it lacked self-consciousness, it could not help-itself... but the soul remained alive, like a witless 'ghost'. (The Underworld/ Hades/ Sheol was populated by such ghosts; left-over after death of the body.)

Before Jesus only a perfectly divine-aligned Man could become fully-divine; because being divine means to join with God in the creative work of the universe. To join in the work of creation, one must wholly embrace that work and its aims; to have something distinctive to contribute to creation, one must have free will, must have agency.

Therefore one must have 'a body' because the body is what enables us to have divine free will: it is incarnation that separates our will from that of God.

So resurrection - with an immortal, indestructible body - is necessary for us to become divine agents. 

In sum, before Jesus divinity was not possible to a Man unless one was already fully divine-aligned. However, Jesus was a perfectly divine-aligned man, and therefore Jesus could and did become fully divine (at his baptism by John).  

And that event changed everything.

After Jesus, who began as a Man, had become fully divine; then it was possible for any other Man to become fully divine, simply by following the path that Jesus had made. In other words, one needed to love Jesus, to have faith in who Jesus was and what he could do; and then anyone could follow Jesus to full divinity - but only after death, only via death.

Why only after death? Because we are not perfectly-aligned to God during our mortal lives (that is, because we are all sinners) our body must first die, before our soul can be resurrected. Our personal self must be ended before it can be remade (from the remnant soul)

This process began before Jesus himself died, with the resurrection of Lazarus. What we know of Lazarus is the mutual love between him and Jesus. Lazarus was the first Man to die who had faith in Jesus, and Lazarus was therefore the first Man to be resurrected by Jesus - but uniquely Lazarus was resurrected back into earthly life, as a miraculous sign of the new dispensation.

Lazarus then went on to write the Fourth Gospel as the 'beloved disciple', being the best possible witness to the reality of this new dispensation; and the Man who best knew the nature of Jesus and what gift he brought. 

So, now, after Jesus - the Good News is that we can each and all have life everlasting and the resurrection that entails; no matter what our state of sin or how far from being God-aligned we may be. We may have resurrected life everlasting after we have died; 'simply' by loving and trusting Jesus to lead us, and by following the same path to full divinity that Jesus first took, and which (by taking) he made for us.

Thursday 13 December 2018

Things coming to a point - running-out of other-people's money

The cost of incrementally destroying the specific functionality of all social institutions, and making them into a single bureaucracy converged upon Leftist ideals (diversity, sustainability, inclusion, social justice blah blah blah...) - is that all institutions require more and more subsidy; not least because they are so managerialist and clogged with Red Tape that nobody will work for them unless they are paid market rates.

And - in our kind of society - the subsidy is extracted from a small base of productive workers; who are so demonised, hassled and demoralised that the base is shrinking ever faster than already imposed by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of being controlled by converged institutions.

As Margaret Thatcher said - the problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people's money. She was right about the economics - but of course the real problem with socialism goes much deeper: for example, the denial of God; the spiritual realm; and the objectivity of truth, beauty and virtue...

Therefore, things are failing faster and faster - and whereas in the more recent past, failing institutions would be absorbed into the state-business-media-bureaucracy-plex; now they are becoming too frequent and too many to be able to do so.

The process of convergence deeds-upon itself, is therefore depends upon accelerating, and therefore the point at which it will become unsustainable gets closer with increasing rapidity. 

A straw in the wind is that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is now (apparently) rapidly approaching bankruptcy only six months after the CJCLDS (Mormon Church) finally decided to leave the BSA in response to ever-increasing Leftist/ sexual multi-corruption.

Among those who knew how the BSA worked (and how much they depended on Mormon membership, leadership and funding), it was confidently known that the BSA must collapse (either to closure or being taken-over) - but the speed at which this happened has probably surprised everybody. 

(...Even the BSA management, who - no doubt - expected to be long gone by the time that the consequences of their ideologically-driven incomptetence came home to roost.)

These signs of impending collapse are, obviously, getting closer together at an increasing rate - i.e. things are coming to a point.

What to do? Well, it is not your job or my job to prop-up and re-vitalise Western or even National civilization (if such a thing even makes sense, which it probably does not)... and in this world of hollow and dysfunctional institutions if something can't be done at the individual level, it ain't going to happen at all...

Our job is to be clear about what is going on in terms of Spiritual Warfare - to take the Big Perspective that Christians are everlasting Beings to whom our mortal lives, and this earth, are very important but part of an eternal time-frame.

And then to act accordingly.

If the universe is alive - what then?

If we accept that everything is alive and that reality consists of Beings (which is what we, apparently, all spontaneously believed as young children, and which all tribal nomads assert)...

If, that is, we go back to and re-accept the unconscious, built-in assumptions of Man - but this time in awareness and with our modern consciousness; various consequences are implied...

One is that modern Man is surrounded by Beings that he ignores; he is surrounded by living consciousnesses whose life and awareness he denies.

What might be the consequence? Well, in general, such an attitude from Men is likely to elicit unconscious anger, maybe resentment, from the surrounding Beings. At the least, they will provide some kind of reflex negative feedback, intended to resist and correct this materialistic attitude of understanding the near-universal assumption that (apart from humans, some humans) the world as dead, random, mechanical.

There would also be a neglect of many causes in Life; so that many things would happen apparently 'randomly' and without reason - things which, if we would acknowledge and recognise other Beings and their motivations, we might make-sense-of and predict.

Existentially, because of our assumptions, we suffer from an ineradicable disconnection between ourselves and our world; ourselves as alive and conscious and capable of relationships with other people - but everything else as just a background, a blank canvas, raw material to be interpreted and shaped and exploited...

A whole world to which indifference is the appropriate attitude; and from-which we expect indifference in return.   

Yet all such things could be addressed, life would be transformed from bottom to top; if again we were to acknowledge that which we already, spontaneously, deep-down know about the universe.

But we are contending with a lifetime of bad habits, and a pervasive and invasive culture of reality-denial.

Nonetheless, much can be done. 

The meaning of flowers

William Wildblood offers-up an inspiring meditation on the lovely subject of flowers, at Albion Awakening.

Dad jokes - They work on so many levels...

I am a great fan of Dad jokes; which are something that everybody 'enjoys'; enjoys making, laughing the first time, groaning or complaining in response the next score times, enjoys noticing the recurrence, enjoys making-fun-of, enjoys campaigning to try and stop... and so on.

A Dad joke is one that keeps on giving, year after year.

Here's a good example, from Junior Ganymede, of a Dad joke that mutated and started to evolve, to invade new ecosystems...

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Fear is now prohibited

However things may have been in the past; fear is prohibited now. It is the demonic plan to use fear to gain their objectives - the public realm has been turned into a discourse of fear; therefore Christians cannot use it.

This is difficult, I personally fail and lapse often - but it is a deep truth: fear is prohibited, absolutely.

Therefore, Christians cannot use fear to persuade, or to warn. I think we all feel this to be a fact of life?

We cannot use arguments of the If-Then type that depend on inculcating fear to avoid something - even if such arguments are effective in changing behaviour in the desired direction, the overall consequences of the argument having done so by the use of fear will more than negate any such benefit.

We must be able to present our Christian message without threats: we Just Must. It is the use of fear to manipulate that characterises our modern totalitarian world; but the use of fear is built-into the deep assumptions of The System; thus it is deniable and denied.

Anyone coming from outside the system, like Christians, who need to challenge the deep assumptions; can only hope to succeed in improving things overall if the outcome is a reduction in fear. The old method of inculcating 'holy dread', fear of hellfire' - then showing the way to escape... well, that will not do At All.

Not least because, in the current climate of endemic fear, to be effective the Christian would need to threaten something that induced even more fear than the high background level of fear. This would entail first convincing people of a world of premised upon more terrifying assumptions, greater dread and worse horrors than the modern media public realm... Well, you can see where this is going.

This is perhaps why the Fourth Gospel should be our Bible - since (with only a few and dubious exceptions among its many verses) here we get Jesus bringing and offering a positive addition to human life.

The Jesus of the Fourth Gospel does not argue by threats nor by inducing fear; not by threatening 'or else!'; but by offering something better than people already have, something wonderful - and simple: Heavenly eternal life.

And what should we do to get it? Simple. We get it by 'believing-on' Jesus, knowing he is the Son of God; by loving and following him through death into Life Everlasting, as a lost sheep follows a Good Shepherd.

We must not be drawn into the If Not side of things, the 'what will happen if I Don't follow Jesus', 'what will happen if I can't or won't believe he is the Son of God?' The simple answer is that Jesus has made an offer - and if you want it, you can have it. If you don't want it; well, you are not compelled to take it.

But what happens then - people will ask. What happens to me if I choose to reject Christ's offer/ The exact answer is not made explicit in the Fourth Gospel, and the outcome probably will vary from person by person; so each must work-out the answer for himself.

If not? The proper answer is a shrug?... You Tell Me?...

The mission is simply to tell what Jesus positively offers, what he adds to our earthly mortal lives, the cosmic, eternal, loving perspective... And what to do about it. Assuming that is what you want.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

The demons do not want the Left to win...

My knowledge of 'what is going on' according to public discourse is restricted to headlines; but from them I can see that those who oppose the Left are still talking politics; and thereby playing into the hands of the demonic overlords of the Left.

Demonic objectives are related to the best conditions for the damnation of Men's souls - and not about which side 'wins' in politics. They will succeed insofar as Men regard life as being about politics; rather than about salvation in an eternal spiritual context.

Defeating the current Global Establishment conspiracy does not matter either way, unless the result is for Men to come to their senses and realise the peril of their souls and recognise the everlasting scope of the human condition.

We need to recall that the perfect result for demons is not the success of the Left, and the subordination of the masses; but that the whole of humanity be embroiled in materialist politicking; such that it matters more than anything else; such that Men's hopes and fears are all to do with material conditions and emotional states experienced in this mortal life.

That would indeed be victory for the demons. Whoever happens to 'win'.

Romantic Shakespeare and Fantasy (the supernatural)

Brian Blessed as the Ghost in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet movie - and whispering, not shouting!

In the preface to Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge, the 'romantic' was given a definition in terms of Wordsworth focusing on the numinous qualities of Nature, and Coleridge upon the Supernatural. So the Fantasy aspect of Romanticism - such as we see in The Inklings - was present from the start.

Shakespeare had a role in Romanticism, in that his renewed popularity came from a German reappraisal (probably originating with Herder, who worked from translated excerpts of Shakespeare - and greatly amplified in England by the Shakespeare lectures of Coleridge) that saw Shakespeare in such terms; as a 'wild', spontaneous, natural genius.

Shakespeare was often linked with the then extremely high valuation of the strange, semi-faked 'poems' of 'Ossian' - which were a 'translation', plus very extensive reworking and expansion, of Gaelic songs and stories collected in the highlands and islands of Scotland by James Macpherson and published in the middle 1700s. So that Homer, Ossian and Shakespeare were found linked in a 'bardic' lineage - for instance, this is later referenced by Emerson and Thoreau.

Shakespeare came from a 'recusant' Catholic, and therefore pre-Reformation, sensibility on his mother's side. She was Mary Arden, and members of the Arden family were part of a concentration of families trying to practice the Old religion; Ardens even involved in, and some executed for, spying, rebellion, and assassination plots.

So, Shakespeare had an interest in magic, fairies, ghosts, witches and the like; that can be seen from A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest (the only plays whose plots were essentially original) and others of his greatest work such as Macbeth and Hamlet. And, in general, many of the plays have a strong 'premodern' element of fate or providence governing the affairs of Men. However, as Tolkien noted with disappointment, such elements are seldom given full value or treated with full seriousness - it is mostly a matter of hints and epiphanies.

With the dawning of the Romantic consciousness, Shakespeare was therefore ripe for revival and reinterpretation in this light - despite that in other respects, his work was often very 'artificial', ironic, fashionable, or simply derivative (in terms of basic plots and subject matter).

Shakespeare can therefore be seen as spanning from the Medieval consciousness, which simply took magic and the supernatural for granted as a real and objective part of the external environment; the early modern consciousness, which treated such matters ironically and satirically - as being unreal and delusional - purely a part of subjective consciousness; and the Romantic consciousness which (in its highest development; e.g. Coleridge, Novalis, Blake) returns to the pre-modern in conscious thought, with a realism that includes as necessary, both the subjective and the objective.

In other words, the Romantic concept of the magical-supernatural is that these things are real; and/but - like all real things - their reality is neither wholly in the external environment nor the internal consciousness, but in the necessary apprehension of the environment by consciousness. They (both the supernatural and all real phenomena) are indeed out-there, and/but they require the subjective consciousness to be known; and only the known is real. (Only the known is part of Creation - all else is unknowable chaos.)

The magical is real, but reality has a new location, in the realm of thinking. Neither purely out-there nor in-here, but in a new conception of the potential of the world of thinking to know directly and perhaps participate in divine creation. This is the thinking of the 'creative genius', who is seen by Romantics as (potentially) the proper mode of all Men.

So the ghost in Hamlet is 'really there' but requires someone to see and hear it; if there was no consciousness present, there would be no ghost.