Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected French President, has no children.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has no children.
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has no children
British Prime Minister Theresa May has no children.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has no children.
Holland’s Mark Rutte - no children
Sweden’s Stefan Löfven - no children
Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel - no children
Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon - no children
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission - no children.
What to make of this pattern? It is significant, for sure - not a coincidence.
In so far as children are a stake in the future, this is important; but the ruling elites who do have children are also actively-wrecking the world that their children will inherit (not least by ensuring that they will be vilified, persecuted, parasitised minorities in what were their own countries).
And this is just the tip of an iceberg of chosen sub-fertility - implicitly willed extinction - which affects almost the entirety of Western populations (apart from a few traditionally religious subgroups).
It is also just the tip of an iceberg of anti-real-marriage, anti-family, anti-biology - pro-extra-marital promiscuity, pro-sexual revolution, pro-hedonism...
It is decadence, it is nihilism, it is despair. It is positive, deliberate, strategic evil.
We knew all this already - and we know the cause; but demographics provides the most objective data that illustrates it.
My impression is that few people have done so much damage as spoiled priests - who brought 'inside knowledge' of what they attacked.
Many were talented, learned, charming, eloquent, energetic, excellent writers - which of course only made them vastly more dangerous when they crossed over to serve the dark side.
If we add to them the numerous less famous priests, pastors, monks, friars (especially them!), bishops, archbishops and a Pope who were to a significant and crucial degree covert apostates (mostly in the sense of re-writing traditional Christianity to suit modern sensibilities) - then it can be seen that these foes masquerading as allies, these wolves in lambs' clothing, constitute just about the most important servants of evil outside of Communism (from which they were, of course, not distinct).
Check out the whole thing, including comments - and see if you can suggest further examples of the type - think of this as doing a public service for this blog's readership.
For a Christian, things are pretty simple nowadays.
The demonic nature of the mainstream agenda is clear; there is no Truth in Satan, he is the Father of Lies.
All Christians therefore ought to resist dishonesty wherever and whenever they find it.
Of course, we will fail to do this - sometimes or often; and then we need to repent.
But if you, as a Christian, are not frequently (daily, hourly) repenting your alliance with Satan's agenda of lies; you are in a state of unrepented sin.
Probably, unrepented dishonesty, to the extent of not only failing-to-oppose the mainstream demonic agenda - but actively-helping Satan in his system of lies (with their time, work and resources) - is the single most prevalent and serious sin of our day, amongst Christians.
Note added: Any serious Christian who has a position of power, influence or status - a professional, managerial, administrative position - just-is deeply complicit in the strategic agenda of demonic dishonesty. And if they are unaware of this fact, then they are dishonestly self-blinded - doubly sinful. Such persons are among those most in need of repentance.
In a world where dishonesty is everywhere, and the system is built-upon dishonesty; I am beginning to suspect that the greatest weapon Christians possess against the incremental and accelerating advance of the demonic agenda is the assertion of disbelief.
We need to be able to say, many times a day; many times an hour: I Don't Believe That.
How widely should this be applied? As widely as we consider the individuals and groups involved to be dishonestly-motivated. We ought not to believe those who are dishonestly-motivated.
Who, nowadays, is dishonestly-motivated? Well, pretty much everybody in a position of power, influence and high social status. Of course politicians, journalists, media people, civil servants (i.e. everyone senior employed in a government bureaucracy), people in advertising/ sales/ public relations - of course they are dishonest...
(It's their job! And honest man would not last a day.)
But also everyone senior in a mainstream social system (education, science, health services, police, military, law, religion...): Chairmen, Executives, Officials - all that vast tribe of managers.
And we can't believe middle-managers, unless they are willing to lose their jobs by being truthful. They exists merely to implement the policies of senior managers etc.
In sum; there is a great deal of dishonesty that needs disbelieving.
Of course, dishonesty is actively encouraged and rewarded; and honesty is punished.
But The System does not have only this one line of defence. There is a trap laid for those who claim dishonesty - which is to require an alternative true account. So, when someone asserts their disbelief in the 'media' narrative' or the 'official strory' - they will be hit by some version of: Okay, then what do you think really happened?
This is a trap, because typically all that we know of big media/ international stories is what the dishonest are prepared to tell us: that is; a mixture of selectivity, denial, distortion and outright lies.
From this, the truth cannot be extracted. So your interpretation or my interpretation of 'what really happened' is almost certain to be wrong. And this wrongness can usually be 'proven' (or, in practice, 'plausibly asserted') by those who control information.
Thus truth-seeking correct-disbelievers in the media narrative/ official story are successfully labelled 'conspiracy theorists'.
In a world, this world, where information is systematically poisoned down to its roots - we need to judge by motivation; and we need to judge motivation (of other persons, of systems and of organisations) by our own individual intuition and our own personal experiences.
Bad motivations are usually clear - if you can disengage from the manipulative net. We sense them - this ability is built-into us.
So - the first step is: I don't believe That.
Then the trap will be laid: we will be asked what we do think happened instead - and we will avoid the trap by saying some variation of I don't know, I could not possibly know; but it was not That.
But then we will be asked why, if we don't know what Did really happen, we then doubt the Official Story?
And the answer to such a question is: I do not believe that Source: my belief is that that Source is not honest.
Where does the onus of proof lie, when it comes to belief? Should we believe everybody unless they are proven to be dishonest? Yeah... right... Clearly, trust is something that needs to be earned - and we should trust only the well-motivated. (This is why we can and should trust God, the Christian God, because God loves us as his children - therefore we can be sure God's motivations towards us - personally, and towards Man-in-general - are Good.)
It has been said and it is being said - again and again in a self-congratulatory tone - that it is a good and effective strategy (here and now, in the Western cultures) to meet people half-way inside their secular-prejudices; and address their politically-correct Leftist blindness, nihilism, hedonism, active propagation of evil... with alternative information, arguments and perspectives.
The argument that New Right secularism is a kind of Entry Drug to Christianity.
(Christianity being indispensably what we really need.)
It Doesn't Work - and that is fact, not my opinion.
Rare individual exceptions aside (and these exceptions mean nothing when it comes to strategy - even when you personally are one of the exceptions) this does not work, and we know for sure that it does not work: therefore we should give it up.
We know it doesn't work because a generation of The Internet.
Alternative information, arguments and perspectives are by orders of magnitude more available now than ever before in the history of the world, and yet - look around!
If not, then what?
Uncompromising statements of the reality of things, truthfully, explicitly, as best we understand it.
There is a great deal of scholarly fake spirituality around the place - oh yes, a great deal of it! There has been, indeed, a lot on my own bookshelves - although pressure of space is weeding out this genre, incrementally.
Over the past century, genuine religiousness has been deeply resented by the literary and intellectual establishment - but scholarship has been tolerated (until recently). This dual pressure has led to a large and semi-respectable genre of scholarly pseudo spirituality; which consists of non-religious/ spiritual myth-disbelieving people writing about religious, spiritual and mythological matters.
Other branches include travel books, country life books, wildlife books, therapy and self-help books (these especially!); books about all manner of things that are flavoured and permeated by the implication that the authors is a spiritually sensitive and deep, soulful kind of person... but not, of course, actually religious in any open/ serious/ life-changing/ 'fanatical' way!
Such work is therefore pervaded by irony - and thus is regarded as safe. Indeed, it may be praised as subversive - especially insofar as it attacks Christianity, traditionalism, and recent history.
Thus authors may write about the soul, spirituality, myths, fairies and folklore; and especially comparative religion... describing - in a positive way - the religions of other-people in other-places... and the more 'other' the better.
The authors of this genre are... what is the best word?... evasive about their own spiritual and religious views. This may be done by irony, or may be done by complexity. That is where the scholarship comes in.
Such authors are keen to project themselves as spiritually aware and deep and wise; on the other hand, they do not want it to be thought they are simple-minded, 'fanatical', 'religious fundamentalists' of any kind! (Such persons are not just low status, but are hated and feared.)
They do not want to be regarded as simple, so they are complex - they do not wanted to be regarded as simple so they are evasive - they do not want to be regarded as simple so their work is chock-full or facts and references and comparisons... They do not want to be regarded as fanatical so they are ironic and self-aggrandising...
(Reading such work, one is nearly always aware of a person trying to seduce the reader; often - one feels - quite literally so! Such books seeming like a roundabout and deniable 'dating profile'. It is no surprise that such authors of scholarly fake spirituality invariably embrace/ advocate one or other, or all, aspects of the sexual revolution. Maybe that is the whole point of the whole exercise, if truth be told?)
Probably the great fount of such work has been CG Jung, and his many offshoots and followers - some overt admirers, others covert and rivalrous.
There is a great deal that is wrong with such work. Being obvious, praised, widely available - it absorbs and ultimately always wastes effort, time and energy from serious spiritual seekers - leading them into a blind alley where they may get stuck or abandon the quest for reality. It creates a class of fake spiritual 'experts' who again inevitably either dissipate or deflect any spiritual seekers who fall into their gravitational field.
Such work confuses, and it subverts. It is not religious - but it is not even spiritual - because its its spirituality, its 'benefits', inevitably and always reduce to mere psychotherapy - that is, to making people feel better, here and now, in this life.
Scholarly fake spirituality is in essence an elaborate kind of tranquilliser drug - it is pleasant in the short term, but always creates dependence (difficult to stop using it) and often creates addiction (an appetite for more of the same, in a stronger dose).
In sum - it is not safe for spiritual seekers to engage with such books! Such books are (implicitly) designed to capture and hold exactly such persons!
But once you have spiritually-found; once you are actually-religious as a base for spiritual seeking - then such books are safe enough; and may then (but only then) be read and experienced with pleasure and profit, enjoyed for what they are and what they really have (while filtering-out the unsavoury aspects).
Readers may guess from the above, and they would be right, that I speak from experience about this literature; that I was myself captured and held, addicted and dependent-upon, such literature - for much of my adult life. Its spirit, indeed, is all-but pervasive in the world of scholarship as applied to 'life'. A currently fashionable and influential example of the genre is Jordan Peterson... just think about it....
It may sometimes seem as though God has turned his back on the world but that is not the case. However, I'm afraid the answer to the question as to why he allows what is happening today may not be palatable to everyone. For the fact is that the events of this time constitute a test to sort out the sheep from the goats. That is not the demons' intention, of course, but it is why God permits their action.
Yet we are not left defenceless. We have outer support from the teachings of religion, especially Christianity, but also some of the supplements to it that came about in the 19th and 20th centuries. Note I say supplements not replacements.
We also have our own inner knowledge. Yes, we do, every last one of us, if we will but hearken to it and accept the wisdom of that still, small voice within. We all have a connection to the divine inside our hearts and if we ignore that it is our own fault and responsibility. Though mainstream religion is like an ebbing tide these days, there is more access to spiritual teachings than probably ever before. Perhaps there is too much and the variety and variation in quality can be confusing. Nevertheless, we have the ability to discriminate true from false, high from low, superior from inferior if we are faithful to the best within us. You see, we have to grow up, spiritually speaking. No longer can we rely on a Church or an outer authority to tell us what to do and show the way. All have been corrupted but even if that were not the case we still have to go beyond the need for outer authority. That does not mean we should reject legitimate authority, but we have to learn to become our own authority as well.
We tell a child when it is growing up that, until it learns to discipline itself properly, it has to accept some outer discipline. The pattern repeats itself in spiritual terms. But we have gone beyond the stage where we should rely on full outer discipline. We are no longer children. How can we be really spiritual if we are not so from within ourselves and of our own accord? God has not abandoned us but he is allowing temptation so that we may learn to resist it. If he did not, we could not grow properly. We would remain stuck at the stage of children who never leave home. Intellectually, many of us may have grown up, in one sense anyway, but we are still at a fairly low level spiritually. And yet it is not so low that we cannot make some spiritual efforts.
We do have the wherewithal to pass the test of today if we will exert ourselves and make the attempt to unshackle our minds from the indoctrination that currently postures as truth. But we have to do this on an individual basis. Each one of us must make the steps to free him or herself as an independent being.
I don't like reading lists and seldom respond-to or benefit-from those of other people - because for me it has always been the Right Book at the Right Time... and reading lists don't take account of that timing element...
Also, the list needs to be short.
This is a short list for the un-awakened - to try and get somebody from mainstream modern madness to... somewhere near where they ought to be, and with a clear idea of where to aim-at and how...
That Hideous Strength (1945) by CS Lewis. This sets out the whole sweep of the thing, provides a kind of symbolic vocabulary (and tropes for situations encountered) - and inspiration of what to do and how... It isn't really A Novel, nor is it really SciFi or Fantasy - just read it for what It Is.
The Outsider (1956) and (even more importantly) Religion and the Rebel (1957) (which constitute a single book between them) - by Colin Wilson. these set-out the problem and point-towards the solution. It en-courages each individual for what needs to be done.
Letter from a Father by William Arkle, published in The Great Gift (1977) and I have put a text version online. This is a 10,000 word 'essay' which gives the metaphysical understanding we need. It repays close attention and repeated reading.
Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner (1894). This needs slow and care-full reading. It describes the fundamental nature of coherent reality in philosophical terms - and the nature of Real Thinking.
That'll do for now - thus equipped, you should be able to get the rest of the way by-yourself - indeed, that is the only way to get where you need to go.
As always, public discourse focuses us upon the wrong issues. With Artificial Intelligence the focus is upon whether it can be 'better' than the human mind - but the real question is much simpler: whether AI can replace the human mind.
The point is that AI systems can replace human thinking whether they are better or worse. Better or worse doesn't matter...
AI will, in fact, be worse than the human mind: much, much worse - but that doesn't stop AI from replacing the human mind.
AI is an extension of bureaucracy- which has replaced the individual human with systems of committees; has replaced judgement with votes; has destroyed responsibility.
Is a committee better than the individual - No, it is worse.
Has that fact prevented committees replacing individuals in all positions of significant authority in all societies in the developed world? No. Bureaucracy is everywhere, all the bureaucracies are linked, the individual is is a slave of The System - not the slave of a person; and this slavery applies to all individuals, even/ especially those who are members of the committees...
AI is bureaucracy cubed - it is driven by the same intent, it has the same objectives, and it has the same indifference to consequence. Just as bureaucracy is intrinsically immoral, intrinsically evil, in its destruction of responsibility - so exactly is AI - but this is no accident. On the contrary this is precisely why committees run everything; and why bureaucracy can (and will, if plans go through) be replaced by AI.
AI is bureaucracy 2.0. The question is, who - or what - stands behind the bureaucracy? What purpose drives this long-term agenda to replace all human thinking - that is, to replace all human thinking, by all individual humans, ultimately.
(Clue: the answer isn't human.)
All through our world, the worse-bureaucracy has replaced the better-individual; responisbility and judgment have been annihilated on multiple fronts... The process continues, globally, without evaluation or negative feedback - and this is the exact intention for rolling-out AI.
Bureaucracy is always worse, but it has happened anyway. AI will be worse, but it will happen anyway.
(Unless, of course, we stop it. And the place to stop it is in our own minds, our own hearts, our own deepest understanding. AI is a vampire - it can only enter where it is invited; but at present we are inviting-in the vampire - we are indeed paying the vampires to assimilate our souls.)
The Transhumanist agenda (like most things) has two sides to it - depending on motivation.
For well-motivated transhumanists, for therapeutic transhumanists (as we might call them - a category including most of the people who openly call themselves by that name of transhumanism); it is the project to alleviate all pain and distress, maximise gratification and fulfillment, abolish ageing and sustain human life indefinitely. In other words, it is a kind of extrapolation of medicine from treatment into enhancement.
At a mild and quantitative level, this soft-transhumanism has nearly always been a part of human life - the idea to use human knowledge and technology to enhance human life. But taken as an imperative, when regarded as a kind of religion-substitute; even well-motivated transhumanism is deadly - because by its focus on trans-cending human limitations, it implies trans-forming humans into something else...
So that if the human condition entails suffering, then humans ought to be abolished; if humans cannot be prevented from ageing, then we should devise some alternative 'life' that is immune to ageing; if humans persist in dying, then humans should be replaced by something that doesn't die...
If the abolition of suffering is the primary goal, it implies the abolition of life - which would be the only way of ensuring that nobody and nothing suffered. Bottom line transhumanism is therefore only one step away from advocating death as prophylaxis.
Transhumanism also provides no reason for having children - and many reasons to avoid having children - since children usually suffer, and are typically a cause of suffering in their parents. The safe option is to avoid them.
Or, short of death, abolishing human consciousness, which greatly intensifies the possibilities of suffering. This suggests that a lobotomised life, a tranquillised life, a sedated life, a false-virtual life, a drugged-euphoric life are all preferable to a conscious and free life insofar as they entail less suffering or more pleasure. Even if such a life led to rapid death, it would be preferable on a purely hedonic calculus.
But there is another side to transhumanism; which is the transhumanism that denies itself and operates by deception and dishonesty.
This is the transhumanism of mainstream, modern, almost-ubiquitous totalitarianism - a transhumanism that aims at omni-surveillance and micro-control of the population.
This transhumanism sells itself as hedonic - as enhancing - but is motivated by the agenda of control. It is the strategic push for intercommunicating 'smart' technology, for omnipresent cameras and microphones, a society in which everyone carries a tracking device (smart phone) that monitors their activity to a fine level of discrimination - and seeks always to extend this (artificial 'intelligence', self-driving cars, the skies filled with drones...) - and to make it mandatory (microchip implants etc.).
This transhumanism has infiltrated medicine, with a massive and expanding use of prescribed psychotropic drugs - mostly SSRI-type 'antidepressants' and 'antipsychotics' marketed as 'mood stabilisers'...
These types of drugs (especially when given to young children and teens and essentially normal adults, as at present) have a pronounced overall tendency to blunt emotions and induce a state of indifference - to partially-zombify people, to put it crudely. They all tend to increase suicide rates. Certainly they do more harm than good, overall - yet usage continues to expand - driven by serious problems of drug dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which are denied and hidden.
Much the same applies to the top-down mass campaigns of propaganda, funding and coercion to induce 'gender' uncertainty and same-sex attraction in children; and to 'treat' such situations with permanently harmful hormones and mutilating surgery. This is a crystal clear case of totalitarian transhumanism pushing forward under the guise of therapeutic transhumanism.
This totalitarian transhumanism is, I believe, an existential approach to social engineering, a core aspect of spiritual warfare; driven by the demonic powers of evil, and with the ultimate aim of compelling humans actually to want and to choose damnation.
So far, this totalitarian transhumanism has been spectacularly successful in persuading people that this is what they want. In this post-religious, anti-religious world it seems that most people are not just prepared to trade off freedom and privacy for amusement and convenience - they are positively queueing-up, and shelling-out large sums of money, to do so...
This totalitarian transhumanist agenda aims to implement a comprehensive system of surveillance and control so complete and dominant that it will be able to shape human emotions, motivations and knowledge as required.
My point here is to ascertain whether they are correct - supposing the totalitarian transhumanist agenda does, as seems to be happening, go-through to a very high level of completion. Suppose the world becomes one of omni-surveillance and micro-monitoring and control of behaviour...
Suppose the world is a single gigantic and interlinked System which affects the entirety of perception and extends into our bodies (via brain and hormone influencing microchips, or whatever might replace them).
Suppose that the demonic evil powers are in control of this total-system - so that they decide what we perceive - and are substantially able to entrain our emotions, and our reasoning processes.
Is this lethal to human agency or freedom of will; or not? Is a wholly controlled human brain-and-body also a wholly controlled person?
The answer is metaphysical - not evidential. If we believe that there is in Man that which is eternal and divine - the Real Self then that will always be free, agent, able to choose... If we believe that Real Self stands-outside of 'material' reality - and controlling the brain and body does not control the Real Self...
In other words, if the arena of freedom is thought, and if the thinking of the real self is immaterial - then this cannot be touched by the most successful totalitarian agenda; and the demonic plan is destined to fail.
So, are the demons making a mistake? Are they wrongly supposing that they can control thought by controlling the brain?
No - it is Not a mistake - because the demons already have in-place a metaphysical system which negates the Real Self.
For a long time, materialism (positivism, scientism, reductionism) has been the inbuilt assumption of official, media and all public discourse. This discourse intrinsically assumes that the Real Self cannot exist, because nothing immaterial (nothing spiritual) can exist. So the mind is wholly the brain, and the brain is the mind - and everything else is an illusion, a deception, a mistake...
In practice, this means that although the Real Self cannot be controlled, and cannot be destroyed; the situation has long since been created and sustained that the Real Self can be ignored - indeed ought-to-be ignored, since it is irrelevant, imaginary, an epiphenomenon. Insofar as the thinking of the Real Self reaches awareness, it will therefore be ignored or rejected.
As I have said, this has been going on for a long time by now. For example; a century ago Freud replaced Conscience - which concept carried a quasi divine imperative; with the Superego - which was implanted by parents and teachers as a mechanism of social control. At a stroke, the promptings of conscience changed from potentially divine nudgings, to an instrument of oppression that should be suppressed or ignored.
In a future totalitarian transhumanist society, the same would apply. Our Real Selves would still be present, and free agents; but we would - by our metaphysical assumptions - regard the Real Self as false, unreal, deceptive... and we would suppress or ignore it.
Thus the Real Self is utterly negated by inbuilt (often unconscious) metaphysical assumptions; and the merely-brain processing is a wholly-controlled unit of The System. Humanity has been captured - and can be directed to any goal desired...
I think this is a very important matter for us to get clear - since at present it looks very much as if the strategy of totalitarian transhumanism will succeed. There is little insight about the intentions and implications of current trends in surveillance and control. There is a general metaphysical denial of the immaterial and the divine.
Everything is in place - and the only delay is caused by the process of rolling-out the technology everywhere and to affect everyone...
Is there hope it will fail? Of course there is hope - each and any person can reject the agenda. I'm just saying that it does not look like this is happening.
The other hope - which is more realistic - is that the modern System will collapse before it can be fully implemented. I find this quite likely to happen - since there is a genetic decline in human capability (from the chosen sterility of the most intelligent and able population, and from the accumulation of deleterious mutations due to relaxed natural selection).
Geniuses have all-but disappeared from The West, we have already almost-ceased to make significant 'breakthroughs' in science and technology; and the failure would be expected to spread to R&D incremental development, then to repair and maintenance, then to the ability to manufacture and distribute...
And all this is exacerbated and accelerated by the deliberate dysfunctionality of 'affirmative action' preferences for women, specific races and classes, non-Christians, and those who identify with the goals of the Sexual Revolution. So we are not even trying to have the best people doing the most important jobs.
So, it is not unlikely that the totalitarian transhumanist agenda - which requires mass advanced technology and a reasonably-competent workforce - will be intercepted and prevented through our faults and blindness and wicked intent; rather than because of our understanding, foresight or virtue.
Prevented, therefore, by a wholesale collapse of modern civilisation; of agriculture, manufacture, medicine, trade and transport - with rapid and colossal mortality (measured in billions) from starvation, disease and violence.
Yet even that scenario (entailing the greatest quantity of acute suffering the world has yet seen) would almost certainly be better than the alternative of a permanent, comprehensive, global system of damnation...
Note added: I forgot to mention that in talking of transhumanism I speak as something of an ex-insider of the 'therapeutic' style of the thing. I was writing from this perspective in my psychiatric and psychopharmacology writings from about 1998 up to the middle/ late 2000s - and my writings from this era were and are hosted on David Pearce's hedweb.com server (Dave being one of the co-founders of the World Transhumanist Association, now renamed Humanity+). There is a video on YouTube from the summer of 2008, of a lecture I gave in which I set out the possible futures as Transhumanist or Religious. It was shortly after making this clear to myself that I became a Christian.
Thought is free - real thought of the real self is utterly free and true. We can know what we need to know directly and unmediated, and such knowledge is of universal and permanent effect. This is precisely what the demonic powers need to ignore, confuse and deny.
The individual awakening to reality - that is the unit of awakening. The only mass awakening can be a mass of individuals - but nobody and nothing can make this happen.
It can only happen by a multitude of individual decisions - decisions made in full consciousness and explicitly.
Thus nothing can cause an awakening; and, although awakening can be made difficult, nothing can prevent it.
The next step is up-to each and every one of us; and the sooner we stop looking to someone or something else to do it to us - the faster it can happen.
In my recent description of the Urban Wildlife I have experienced; I forgot to mention one of my absolute favourites - which are the bats - presumably of the pipistrelle species.
Bats aren't easy to observe - and it was many years before I did observe them. This is because they are out hunting only at dusk or dawn, certain times of year - a time when visibility is intrinsically difficult, such that they can be seen only when silhouetted against the semi-dark sky.
Since I cannot hear their high frequency calls at my age; they are identified by their flight - which is indeed very different from the flight of a bird. The bats zig-zag along, chasing flying insects, in a way that is both clumsier and more agile than the flight of a small bird.
My closest encounter with a bat happened when I was a teen visiting a friend who lived in a cottage in the grounds of an mansion - surrounded by ancient outbuildings. We came across a cat carrying something in its mouth - which turned out to be a young bat. We made the cat drop it, and the bat seemed unharmed.
After a brief attempt to feed it milk from a drinking straw - when I realised how flexible and soft was the leather of its wings; we took the bat up into the attic of an old barn, where the adults were nesting, and released it a few yards from the adults - I can still remember the comic way it walked towards the other bats, sometimes crawling, sometimes with its wings extended...
It is a stumbling block for potential Christians that Jesus is necessary for salvation. And, such is the essential nature of Christianity, that this is a matter which modern people find it very difficult to understand - or, at least, they find it hard to understand as something good.
Quite reasonably, people find it unacceptable that people should be pressured (indeed blackmailed) into becoming Christians by the 'or else' kind of threat represented by the idea of being 'sent to hell' if you don't. There is also a worry about the billions of people (past and present) who either know nothing about Jesus and Christianity or know only some kind of biased/ prejudiced/ selective version - or else are unable to understand it (due, for example, to being babies or young children, mentally handicapped or mentally ill/ brain damaged).
So, it seems unreasonably, and indeed wickedly, restrictive for salvation to be confined only to those who know, understand and accept Jesus. Or else eternal torment in hell...
But the other side of the coin is that salvation should not (indeed cannot), be forced upon anyone - Christianity is an opt-in kind of religion; and that opt-in needs to be conscious, deliberate, a kind of 'informed consent'. How can this be the case - given the above problems of ignorance, misinformation, incompetence, lack-of-capacity... How could everybody be given a fair chance to opt-in?
One answer might be to consider what happened with the resurrection of Jesus; and that he promised resurrection to everybody. Death is the separation of soul/ spirit from body - the body dies, and the spirit remains. Yet the spirit alone is a maimed thing, hardly self-aware, unfree, 'demented' - and this was widely recognised in ancient religions, especially before Christ; where the realm of the dead (Hades, Sheol etc) was a place of barely-sentient spirits. Not a place of torment, but a place where we lost our-selves - forever (unless there was reincarnation).
So, the process of resurrection has at least two aspects: the first is that spirit and body are reunited, we become sentient again, we regain our souls, our selves...
The other part of resurrection is the spiritual process of being re-born to eternal life. This involves a positive, conscious, deliberate choice - because what this entails is allying ourselves permanently with God's plan, his goal of a reality based on Love. Heaven is this world based on Love between persons.
We cannot be coerced to love (else it is not love) - and indeed we would not want to dwell in Heaven if we did not want to live in this world of loving relations - more exactly we cannot live in this world of loving relations if we do not, ourselves, love.
But to be able to live in such a world is not something that we can accomplish for ourselves - it is, indeed, the gift of Jesus. This is why there is no other way than by him. To live in heaven we must believe in, have trust in, Jesus - must surrender our-selves to him so we can be remade fit for heaven.
Such absolute, trusting surrender is only rational if we believe that Jesus loves us. In other words, we must believe-in Jesus - his power, goodness, love - in order to surrender utterly to him; in order to be able to participate in eternal life in Heaven.
For this to be universally available to all men and women, at all times in history and today, regardless of circumstances and place - then it must be something which occurs (or at least can occur) after death. That is; everybody must be brought, after death, to a situation in which he or she makes a fully-informed choice, with understanding of the consequences. This is 'judgment' - and it is our personal choice (although Jesus was responsible for setting-up the choice).
Those who did not (for whatever reason) repent during mortal life are able to repent after mortal death, in this fashion. That is, they can choose whether to accept the gift of Christ, or not.
Hell is what happens to people who choose not - Hell is the people who choose not to live by love, who choose not to trust Christ.
But why specifically Jesus Christ, why must we believe in him personally? Now that the system is set-up - couldn't Christ's role be discarded?
My understanding is that Life, including eternal life, is ultimately personal - not abstract. I regard this as one of the essential aspects of Christianity - because Love requires persons.
It was the work of Jesus as a person to enable us to be saved from permanent death (severance of spirit and body) by repentance, and to be resurrected to eternal life. It was (it seems) necessary for Jesus as a person to go-through what he did (incarnation, birth, life, death and resurrection), and to do so by choice, for us to receive the benefits. It was necessary for Jesus to do this in order that we (that is all men and women) can follow the same path.
Why exactly this should be so is another matter - but that it is so is central to the Christian story.
Anyway, my take-home-message here is that belief in Jesus is indeed necessary to salvation; because being saved entails a surrender of our self to Jesus; and without belief (faith, trust, love) we will not allow ourselves to be saved.
Furthermore, all men and women have been and will be presented with this choice to believe-in Jesus Christ or not - and this choice in full clarity of consciousness and sufficient comprehension of the implications - regardless of their earthly circumstances. This situation is something that is always (sooner or later) made possible and arranged by divine action and intervention.
As evil becomes more dominant in our world, it ceases to be subtle and strategic. In the end, evil is about motivation - so it is never happy when it has to dress-up and disguise its true motivations in a costume of good. The flimsier the excuse for evil the better - so long as people still do it.
As things come to a point, the mass of people are more corrupt, and their basic metaphysical assumptions about reality become themselves evil - so that making evil choices becomes more and more natural and spontaneous.
In such a situation; evil can afford to be relatively open about its nature - which is negative and incoherent in strategic pursuit of the destruction of Good - it attacks Good in whatever way is immediately effective. Thus - evil gathers-pace...
For example, Christian people can be mocked for their Goodness - for being dull, predictable and miserable - and also mocked for Not being Good but being in-reality depraved hypocrites - and also for being dumb-happy-clappy idiots who don't even have the wit to want evil - and also for being fiendishly-clever sinister-conspirators - for being consumed by hate, resentment, bitterness - for being grovelling cowards - and at the same time insane fanatics. For being boring conformists and intolerable anti-Enlightenment subversives.
This is the way evil works. Its coherence can be seen in its opposition. As for what evil actually wants as a state of affairs... well that cannot be answered; not least because each evil group and person wants the world organised around their own desires. So, when not allied in opposition, evil is a war of all against all; evil is anticohesion, intrinsically fissile (which is a feature, not a bug, for the Father of Lies).
But things coming to a point means not just that evil is more powerful, more short-termist, more clearly negative -but also that evil is more obvious.
The ultimate goal of evil is that people will choose evil because it is evil; in other words, choose evil our of a resentment against the Good, from a fear of the Good. Evil has used a debased version of Love and a battering-ram in the Sexual Revolution (Love as meaning mostly sensual gratification but still aspiring to long-termism).
But as things come to a point, even the fig-leaf of fake-Love will be discarded; and the choices confronting people will be purely a matter or their own personal gratification, here-and-now, and damn the 'consequences'.
In sum, when things have come to a point - life-choices will be substantially (this can never be absolute, due to our mixed-nature and mixed-motives) simple, dichotomous and direct. The choices will be between God, Love, Beauty, Truth, Virtue, Harmony... and the negation of these.
Once we have people choosing against-Good, against God, consciously and with their eyes wide-open; then that will also be the situation when people will choose eternal damnation in preference to the gift of salvation and eternal life as Sons and Daughters of God - they will reject Heaven and choose to reign in their own personal Hell.
This is the end game; yet we can see that this must be carefully prepared if the situation is not to 'backfire' from the perspective of evil...
The clearer that choices become, the more likely that the mass of distracted, cloudy-minded, muddled, partly conscious and not-yet-fully-corrupted people will perceive the situation and choose Good.
So - a world of things coming to a point is also a world in which it is easier to discern Good. Much easier...
The iron fist has emerged from its velvet glove; the wolf has shrugged of his sheep's clothing. Strategic deception becomes a thing of the past.
For Men of Good intent - life becomes clear and simple - right choices are easy to recognise.
On the one hand, we all know that the mass media is both entirely dishonest and evil-motivated (and only uses truth to make lies more plausible - and only uses good to make evil palatable); yet, on the other hand, there is a strong tendency (also strongly enforced) to 'forget' this when it comes to crises, disasters, wars, serious crimes and horrors in general...
Yet, such situations (and the bigger the situation, the more-so) are precisely those in which the Global Establishment via the International Mass Media will be most dishonest and most strategically evil... So we should be at our most alert, sceptical, realistic - and at our least credulous - in such situations.
Hence the idea that 'crisis actors' are used for TV (and other) interviews - people who are not what they seem - perhaps entirely fake professionals, perhaps activists/ agents provocateurs, perhaps charity/ NGO workers, or terrorists, or the crime/ atrocity perpetrators (deflecting attention); perhaps actual crisis participants who have (off camera) just been schooled or trained in what to say...
We seldom have any way to know specifically - yet all of the above crisis actors have at various times been noted by sources that seem trustworthy.
And the plain fact is that, on the face of it, many of the people interviewed and quoted certainly come across as very, very fake indeed - very unconvincing and unreliable.
Why should we believe in their authenticity 'unless proved otherwise'? Well, partly to avoid criticism, vilification and demonisation - that will keep most people quiet; but in our secret hearts? In private.
Well, there at least we should not believe the mass media.
We will seldom have any idea of what really happened - and we don't need to: this should not trouble us, we should not feel obliged to provide an alternative true scenario for each and every media lie.
We just need to know that things did not happen as they are portrayed - and that something else (perhaps staged, or maybe nothing at all) actually happened.
And the bigger and more shocking and more international the event - the more that this is the case (assuming that we lack any personal, experiential, authoritative and valid independent means of knowing).
And 'crisis actors' are only one of many ways of deliberately misrepresenting; of misleading and manipulating us. But it helps to have words for it...
Developmental-evolutionary Christian Theology is based upon the metaphysical intuition that divine purpose can only be attained via development, through Time.
This fits with the (Mormon) understanding of God creating by 'organisation' of pre-existent 'stuff'.
As the main example; God can only create men and women as fully divine sons and daughters of God by a developmental process, through time.
It contrasts with the Mainstream/ Classical Christian) idea of God creating instantaneously and from nothing (ex nihilo) - which implies that perfection can be attained instantaneously.
The fact that men and women (and the world) are clearly Not perfect then entails that there has been corruption. The inference is that imperfection inside God's creation is always ruined-perfection.
This creates the knock-on problem of why God creates (why God chooses to create) corruption and ruin - in the sense that the possibility of ruin and corruption must have been specifically intended by a God who can create perfection-from-the-beginning.
The problem of explaining the presence of pain, suffering, corruption and ruin in God's creation is therefore very different according to whether our theology assumes creation is developmental-evolutionary-across-time; or instant and ex nihilo.
If our theology is developmental-evolutionary, then we can know and understand the Big Picture Explanation for why pain, suffering, corruption and ruin necessarily exist in God's creation - i.e. broadly because creation is of necessity en route to the full divinity (and 'perfection') of men and women - although we do not know and understand all (or even most) of the specific details.
Robert Conquest's Second Law was on the right lines - but needs revision: indeed it continues to need revision beyond my original formulation of Charlton's Second Law - this is because, here and now, we are in the situation of Things Coming to a Point (TCtaP).
That is, situations are resolving to very simple dichotomies - indeed to a single simply dichotomy: God, or something else. Thus:
Any organisation not explicitly built upon God will, sooner or later, become anti-God.
(I shan't provide 'evidence' for this, because if the evidence of everything all around you and every hour of everyday in the arena of public discourse is insufficient... well, nothing I could state here will be sufficient.)
Because Things are Coming to Point, we cannot compromise about the fundamentals - we cannot let means distract us from ends; we cannot allow supposed expedience to divert us from the fundamentals, we cannot afford to be (it is not longer prudent to be) reasonable and sensible.
Doing the Right Thing means appearing (to those doing the wrong thing) to be dumb, silly, evil, reckless.
The Left is, indeed, showing us the way - because for Leftism (which is, of course, ultimately evil) matters of expediency, efficiency, effectiveness, and so forth mean just exactly nothing. Leftism has torn down or is tearing down sex, sexuality, marriage, the family, friendship and all social institutions (the military, police, law, politics, churches, clubs, medicine, education, science... all of them)...
And this doesn't matter because the The Left is in pursuit of ultimates. Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians - all reasonable and rational people - are, by contrast, merely arguing from expedience - arguing for efficiency, effectiveness, peace, prosperity, security, decency and other nice stuff - none of which matters ultimately, because they are all merely means to something else.
The Left knows what its goal is; but those who oppose the Left try to erect means in opposition to the Left's uncompromising goal of damnation for all (or, as many as possible). It is a pitiful mismatch.
TCtaP implies that we can only oppose the uncompromising demonic Left with God-uncompromised. God first, God at the heart of things...
The answer is that we cannot and will not 'fix' them; because they are not the kind of thing that can be fixed (especially not by 'fixing').
The relations between men and women are the second most important kind of thing in all of reality (when we include with marriage the properly-linked matter of family); but they aren't the most important thing.
And the second most important thing cannot be fixed while the most important thing remains not just broken, but smashed; while there is no insight as to the absolute and primary necessity of fixing the most important thing.
It could be argued that we could, at least, stop making things worse between men and women - could at least stop actively sabotaging the situation, and pushing 'solutions' that actually exacerbate the problems...
But we would need to take a step back and recognise that the reason that we have an inverted, and opposite-of-reality understanding of men and women is because the most important thing is wrong.
While that most important thing remains absent, wrong, incoherent - where would we, where could we possibly, get the desire and judgement necessary to stop doing wrong things and start doing right things?
To suppose that we can (to any significant degree) 'fix' the relationships between men and women in modern life, or even to improve them overall, by changes to laws and regulations and social conventions - is itself itself a part of the problem!
Anyone who claims to know how to fix, or even significantly to improve, the relationships between men and women by changing The System is in facton the side of the enemy.
(The System is built on on coherent, evil motivated dishonesty. The System cannot be made to do Good. Obedience to The System is intrinsically evil.)
Until we can understand that fact, and until we fix that problem; we cannot do anything other than continue to make things worse in the relations between men and women, and everything else.
Colin Wilson recreates his summer living in a waterproof sleeping bag on Hampstead Heath, researching and writing The Outsider.
Everything is not enough is the core insight of the post 1945 radicalism beginning with the Existentialists and Beats of the 50s, the Hippies of the 60s, and the Small is Beautiful movement of the mid 70s...
There was (among some people, for some time) a clear recognition that even-if modern society had everything that people aspired-to - abundance of stuff, ideally-distributed, advanced capability... peace, prosperity, comfort and adventure... It would not be enough. It would indeed be entirely, qualitatively inadequate.
This was a spiritual, a religious insight - and the insight and its nature can be seen in Colin Wilson's first two books - The Outsider (1956) and (even better) Religion and the Rebel (1957). Another example was the widely known and influential work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, and his increasing focus on spirituality and religion in later years.
Everybody knew that everything was not enough...
This core insight was not new - since it was essentially the same insight as Romanticism, almost 150 years before - but in the post-war period the insight became widely appreciated because the problem of production had been solved, poverty had been abolished (insofar is it could be), the nature of the situation was being experienced by many people for themselves, played out in their own lives and lives around them.
In the period since, the core insight has been lost and buried. The Left was turned from a concern with poverty mutating to existentialism - over to an envy-fuelled concern with inequality, a resentment-fuelled concern with identity, and an ever-mutating sexual hedonism rationalised by inequality and identity...
The mainstream secular 'Right' (including free marketeers and libertarians) was weaned-off religion and instead focused the on status-fuelled need for ever-more stuff, but stuff of the right kind; and the pride-fuelled need for domination at home and abroad.
The really-religious acted tactically (assuming the problem would be temporary) and doubled-down on the traditional and/or legalistic aspects of their churches - asif the Romantic insight had never happened, asif the existentialist insight into the human condition of modernity wasn't real.
To a truly amazing extent, half-a-century-plus since the existential unsatisfactoriness of modernity became a solid insight in the minds of modern people - the mainstream public official world continues asif the problems were still the same. There is an unreleting focus on poverty, hazards, lack - the world is depicted asif it was the pre-industrial world...
(And, indeed, such conditions are actively 'created' in the minds of people by a combination of dishonesty and active problem creation.)
By means of the ubiquitous mass/social media and the ubiquitous linked-bureaucracy, minds are kept firmly off the real problem - and fake priorities are substituted.
Yet normal Life is more Existentially Desolate then ever - as Thoreau said, but to a far greater extent: the mass of Men continue to lead lives of quiet desperation... But this time (because our metaphysical assumptions absolutely exclude it) with no hope, and no possibility of hope.
All this distraction, displacement, death of soul is no accident; all this was and is being strategically implemented; all this could swiftly be overturned in the minds of millions, If Only...
Christians can learn a lot from other religions; but those of no particular religion cannot learn anything substantive about Christianity - or indeed anything else.
Instead, these 'spiritual seekers' or adherents of the 'perennial philosophy' merely become trapped in a self-congratulatory/ self-indulgent version of the mainstream modern lifestyle - with its trapping of the sexual revolution, political Leftism, and technological self-manipulation of emotions (via drink, drugs, 'body-art', social activism etc.).
The perennial philosophy is therefore an amusement, not a conviction; an open-ended life-option that seeks no end and attains no progression; an interest, not a faith; and complacency, not courage. It is simply an addictive kind of feebleness - a craving for a pain-free and engaging mortal life - with genuine escape/ enlightenment always just around the next corner...
True seeking is based on the conviction that there is a right answer that leads to more right answers - it is serial finding, not serial seeking.
All answers - all true knowledge - are partial and biased (i.e. perspectival). Progress comes from the process of of integrating and correcting these answers - and it never ends; because reality is creative, so there is always more to know.
Spiritual seekers expend their mortal lives in looking-for a form - asserting that all forms and motivations are one. This is lethal to real spirituality; since it discards the ens and essences of metaphysics and motivation - and instead focuses on the means and peripheries of emotions, lifestyle, and detached/ fragmentary utterances and writings.
(A monk who seeks detachment-from the world is equated with a shaman who seeks absorption-into the abstract divine and a priest who seeks a personal communion-with a personal god... on the basis that they all wear robes and spend time sitting with their eyes closed...)
That the perennial philosophy is nonsense is a matter of simple common sense and logic; which is why the idea is only ever held by intellectuals who have the cognitive capacity to confuse themselves with complexity.
The perennial philosophy is at least tolerated, and probably encouraged, by the demonic beings who pursue strategic evil in this world, because it permanently neutralises the basic human quest for god, for true religion. Once enmeshed in endless syncretism and research - the spiritual seeker is trapped in a kaleidoscope of images and assertions, and cannot find a way out.
Of course, even sincere and genuinely motivated individuals will likely go through some kind of phase of comparison and learning about religions - but to defend this as a valid permanent option, to crystallise it as 'the truth' about the human condition, is fatal to faith, hope and charity - leading instead to this-worldly materialism, purposive hedonism and despair.
(Four stars out of a possible five. No spoilers - but if you are already sure that intend to watch Blade Runner 2049, I would advise Not reading the following.)
The recent Blade Runner sequel will appeal to those who loved the 1981 original (I rate it as one of the very best movies ever) - indeed, the new Blade Runner is specifically for such people.
As such it is a worthy attempt, and has a lot of good stuff in it, and is worth watching - but the movie ultimately fails to satisfy.
Why? Well, to satisfy, either the screenplay would have needed to provide more, or else there would have to be one or more actors who was able to give the kind of inspired, uncanny, spontaneous and poetic performance that Rutger Haur provided in the original (and which - with a first rate film score and brilliant editing - made one of the great scenes in movie history).
The parts involving the evil genius just didn't 'work' - they needed something more, but instead they strove for meaning by sheer length of slow, close-up exposition and silent acting; and by repetitious elements (plus some gratuitous and unworthy use of reiterated 'pork-pie peril', presumably to try and compensate for this lack)...
The editing of Blade Runner 2049 was deficient throughout; and the flow and shape of key scenes was thus spoiled - and the narrative lost focus in the later part of the movie, moving towards the climax - consequently the film (running at about 2:45) is a good half-hour too long, and could probably be enhanced by re-cutting.
In sum, I was left unsatisfied - especially by the climactic scene, which was dramatically-botched.
Yet, Blade Runner 2049 is a high aspiring, and high quality movie - and I feel it will stay with me.
Note added November 2022: "I feel it will stay with me". It did not stay with me. Indeed, I remember almost nothing about it and have no desire to re-watch it. Therefore, in retrospect I would down-rate Blade Runner 2049 to 3 stars - worth watching, but not re-watching.
A first version of the following post appeared on my Notion Club Papers blog a couple of years ago, and proved popular among some people - including Fantasy author L Jagi Lamplighter. So I though I'd re-run it on this blog, lightly edited...
In his Foreword to the 1966 Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien was at pains to emphasise that the book was Not an allegory: in particular it was not an allegory of the 1939-45 World War:
The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dûr would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
We could, inverting Tolkien's point, play with the idea of what would have happened in WW II if it had followed the lines of LotR...
The One Ring = The Atom Bomb
Sauron = Hitler
Mordor = Germany under National Socialism
Saruman = Stalin
Isengard = Moscow
The Free Peoples = USA and UK
The plot would focus on the destruction of the Atom Bomb (and implicitly all knowledge required to make it) by a small team of English patriots led by George Orwell, who infiltrate Germany and destroy the evil research establishment which is making the A-bomb.
The team are 'helped' by a slimy little creature called Mussolini, who gets them into the lab but intends to seize the death weapon for himself.
The climactic end would be the death of Mussolini; killed when the ready-for-use bomb prototype explodes in his face as he tries to steal it. A chain reaction speads through Nazi HQ and Hitler and his Nazi-Nazguls are caught in the conflagration, ending the National Socialist regime.
Orwell and his 'batman' servant Monty are airlifted from the blazing ruins at the last moment.
Europe comes under the rule of the
restored King Albrecht - the exiled Duke of Bavaria, and heir to the
United States monarchy. He had been given the throne by popular
acclaim during the course of the war, and is now ruling from his palace
in Richmond, Virginia.
The Holy Roman Empire is thus restored.
En route there would be the destruction of the Soviet Union, the restoration of the Tsar, and the exile of Stalin.
After Moscow is obliterated by enraged Finns wearing Mech suits; Stalin makes his way to England, where he is welcomed by the quisling Communist Prime Minister, Konni Zilliacus. Stalin swiftly invites foreign mercenaries, takes over in a secret coup, enslaves the native English and manages to pollute or destroy much of the countryside before Orwell and his English patriots return and raise a successful counter-revolution.
After the scouring of England, the defeated Stalin is stabbed by his creepy deputy Lavrentiy Beria - who is immediately executed by a mob of pitchfork-wielding rustics (despite Orwell's protests...).
England repudiates industrialisation, is demilitarised, sealed against immigration, and made into a clan-based dominion ruled by benign hereditary aristocrats - under the personal protection of King Albrecht.
Orwell, traumatised and made consumptive by his wartime experiences, sails West toward the sunset in a small boat and eventually arrives in... Ireland; where he ends his days peacefully as a subsistence crofter...
(No wonder Tolkien cordially disliked allegory, 'in all its manifestations'...)
This is an old Christian debate - as, as usual, the answer depends on metaphysical assumptions.
There is a traditional and respectable Christian argument that there cannot be pure evil, because evil is essentially the lack or 'privation' of good. This (strange) conclusion arises from the metaphysical assumption that God created everything, from nothing (ex nihilo); and God is wholly good; therefore everything that is - is good in an ultimate sense.
By this account evil is a misguided good. An example would be Adolf Hitler, who seems (when committing his greatest atrocities) to have sincerely believed (most of the time, anyway) he was doing good according to his own ideas of good.
To go further, by this account evil is a kind of insanity. People are simply irrational to suppose that they can oppose God; because, as they themselves are wholly elements of God's creation, they have no basis for opposing God's creation.
Therefore - from such metaphysical assumptions - there cannot be 'pure evil'.
However, the Mormon Christian metaphysics allows for real evil, 'pure evil' - evil for its own sake.
God created from pre-existent stuff; and men were, in some essence, co-eternal with God - therefore Men can genuinely oppose God's creation from that part of them that was not created by God.
From such assumptions (which I personally hold) it is therefore possible to do pure evil; by purely opposing God's creation without any attempt to aid creation or any created entity - indeed to attack creation at the cost of expending effort, and indeed at the cost of one's own happiness, health, and life.
By this account the purest evil is not really such epic and infamous inflictors of human suffering such as Hitler - but spitefulness, and related sins such as envy and resentment.
This is the infliction of harm for the sake of inflicting harm - a child breaking another child's beloved toy; an internet troll writing something intended to annoy or wound; someone who says or does things specifically in order to 'wind-up' another person; or a political leader who acts to induce spite, resentment and envy in the population.
Thus pure evil is something of which many, indeed most, people are guilty. And the most evil public figures are not those who cause the most death and destruction - but those who systematically stir-up spite, resentment and envy.
Feminism is a bad thing, and whatever the intention of the original advocates - the intentions of modern feminists are evil (as revealed by their actions).
But all successful evil contains Good else it cannot be at all persuasive; and feminism has been extremely successful. Therefore, it is unlikely and probably undesirable merely to undo it.
Furthermore, by my general understanding, feminism is a sub-branch of that Leftism which grew from the late 1700s in Britain as a bad response to the good (indeed divine) destiny represented by romanticism.
So, the case of feminism is a microcosm of the general problem that we are confronted by the insanity and evil of the anti-Christian atheist Left - but the only proffered alternative is a reactionary-traditionalist re-set to (pretty much) pre-modern conditions.
Notably, both alternatives will destroy modern, post-industrial revolution, civilisation - so that seems doomed from all perspectives. However, if we consider the good impulse of romanticism - of which leftisms such as feminism are a perversion, I think we get the individual rebelling against the imposition of system.
The general sense of this argument is that Civilisation is an external system, and intrinsically oppressive - and this oppression was amplified by the industrial revolution. I mean that we seem to be expected to fit our-selves into The System - and this System also includes traditional religion; which regards the individual's primary duty as obedience to a prior set of beliefs, rules, practices etc.
Leftism was based on the promise that the traditional system could be replaced by a new system that would be built-around The Individual. A top-down system to impose individuality...! People ought to have noticed that this is self-contradictory - however they didn't and they still don't notice this.
If we know in our hearts that what we want is a life that 'serves' the individual, is built around and from the individual; the implication is of the abolition of politics, economics, law and so forth - these being in essence components of The System. Instead of being based on Organisation, life would need to be small scale and based on the family.
(We want Gemeinschaft and not Gesellschaft - to use the classification of Tonnies and Weber from a century ago.)
I keep coming-around to this same conclusion, from different directions and different arguments: the end of civilisation, a return to small-scale, familial tribalism - but this time by choice and in full self-consciousness and with spiritual Christian motivation: based on Direct Christianity.
I keep returning to the conviction that this is what will happen, that all other alternatives are closing-off or being rejected.
So, what did feminism get right? That each person is and ought to be known as an unique individual.
What did feminism miss out? That men and women are (ultimately, over an eternal timescale) distinct and complementary parts of the One Complete Human: Man - as a complete entity, which must be achieved and is not 'given' - is a man and a woman as an eternal loving dyad.
The original inhabitants of the island of Albion - or Merlin's Enclosure, as it was first called, Merlin being the presiding deity - were a race of Giants. Indeed, the name of Albion comes from their king. When the island was first settled by normal-sized Men (Brutus the Trojan and his followers - great grandson of Aeneas) - it was necessary to defeat resident Giant population. Gogmagog was the most famous of these - apparently a small and weak example of the race. However, a remnant of Giants continued as an occasional menace for a very long time afterwards. Giants crop-up in many historical, religious, legendary and mythical sources, from all over the world; so there is no good reason to doubt their reality - except that we don't seem to have any nowadays. Much the same applies to the races of elves/ fairies and to dwarves - there is ample evidence for their existence in earlier time; far more evidence than for most supposed facts of history. But of course, that does not mean that Modern Man would be able to perceive Giants, fairies or dwarfs, even if they were present - since we are self-blinded to much of the primary reality of this world; and furthermore treat as dogmatically-real many things which are imperceptible and undetectable (except by long chains of insecure and labile inferences).
As I have said before, I don't think we have to, or are 'supposed to' remember dreams - at least not normally. But dream experiences affect us - they are remembered and make a difference to our behaviour.
This we can infer from those dreams that we do remember - we know that they have affected us, we know that they can alter our attitudes to people, places, events; our likes and dislikes, our apparently-spontaneous motivations...
Indeed, the effect of a dream may be most powerful when we do not recall the dream, and when therefore the influence it has can operate unchecked. Perhaps we specifically remember only those dreams that we do Not want to influence us; these dreams which we want to be able consciously to refute or resist in our awake life.
The basic experience of dreaming is that we leave the body and go somewhere else - the body remaining (pretty much) inert and insensible. Yet that place we go is accessed from-within. And that dream place is quite different in form and kind, from any place we experience in awake life.
In dreams the 'law of attraction' is seemingly at work. It seems that our emotions create the dream - it seems that our fears become manifest: we fear a tiger, then a tiger appears...
I regard this as an illusion. In reality the dreaming mind is attuned to the dream future.
This future-focus is at the cost of the dream past; which is continually dissolving behind us, slipping from our grasp. And it is the opposite of awake life - when we know the past (especially recent past) but not the future.
In a dream we live in the future; but in awake life we live in the past...
Consequently, in dreaming we lose the ability to think strategically (and make sense of the big picture) because we are thinking tactically: coping with the dream events are they arise, being aware of things that are just-about-to-happen...
(Is this the basic state of being a young child, or a paranoid psychotic with ideas of self-reference? Is it, indeed, the 'cause' of paranoia?)
So, the 'law of attraction' is Not because we 'attract' to us that which we expect; it is Not a matter of life conforming to our emotions...
Instead, it is that we know-in-advance what will happen; therefore our emotions respond to the future and prepare us for the future.
In dreams we already-know how we will choose, and what we will do. Because - for the future-orientated dream mind - we already-have chosen, we already-have done.
This is a negation of agency (free will) within the dream.
But the agency comes in the dream creation, our personal making of the dream, as we move-through the dream-world. Thus the dream comes-from-us - even though its components are given, and already-present in the dream world.
That is how we know the dream future; how we know in advance what will happen.
We comprehend our perspective on the dream world, and create-from-it our dream - by our agency - and according to what experiences we need, or would most benefit from.
The Christology and Trinitarian disputes of the early Christian Church came from the clash of two irreconcilable desires of early church intellectuals, the theologians, who had been trained in pagan (Greek and Roman) metaphysical philosophy.
First, they wanted to be able to state that there was one God - because they had a prior commitment to philosophical arguments that led to the inference of one God as the basis of unity and coherence in reality; and secondly, they wanted to be able to state that Jesus was God.
Jesus was God, so there were at least two gods; but there could only be one God - for philosophical reasons, based on pre-Christian assumptions.
In simple logic, one of these two sides ought to give-way - and for a Christian the obvious side that needed to give way was that there was only one god. Christ implies polytheism. But for a convinced Classical philosopher, this could not be true...
This is the Christian dilemma.
In other words, Christians actually are, and ought to be, regarded as poly-theists - as Jews and Muslims have always correctly asserted! Christian polytheism was the position reached by Mormonism some 1800 years later.
Mormon theology is simple, clear, coherent, and honest (and beautiful) - and it is Christian: Christ-centred and based on the divinity of Christ.
Thus, Mormons (eventually...) solved the Christian dilemma by holding-fast to the divinity of Christ, and chucking-out monotheism.
In doing so, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith created the first explicitly pluralistic metaphysical philosophy - a couple of generations before it was set down academically by his fellow American William James.
But the early Christian intellectuals were, apparently, as much psychologically-wedded to the truth of philosophical monotheism as they were committed to belief in the divinity of Christ. They demanded to fit the divinity of Christ into the pre-existing pagan philosophical scheme. Yet this cannot be made to make sense...
So these early theologians eventually devised a none-sensical mish-mash of words, to assert that there was only one God and that Jesus was God.
Both-together and ignoring-contradictions.
In such wise they 'solved' the Christian dilemma by denying that there was a contradiction. The dilemma was 'solved' by (complexly, not simply) denying there ever had been a dilemma...
They devised a 'mantra' - a form of words (the Athanasian Creed), and then insisted that all Christians would assert this form-of-words (or, later and elsewhere, something analogous) as the core truth of the faith. To the extent that many/ most Christians describe themselves primarily as Trinitarians!
The mantra was strictly nonsense; but the nonsense was relabelled mystery, or a higher truth beyond common sense and logic - and that has been the situation in mainstream Christianity ever since.
Well this is what happened - but did it work?
It 'worked' within the Christian churchs, mostly; by sociologically-solving the particularly vicious Christological disputes among the intellectual leadership within the Christian churches. Those who remained, agreed-to-agree on the validity of the mantra.
But what of the wider world? Did the Trinitarian mantra convince ordinary people, non-intellectuals, those without a stake in the hierarchy? If Mormons eventually took the simple-coherent polytheist-path to solve the Christian dilemma; what about the the simple-coherent monotheist path? Did anybody reject the Trinitarian mantra and take the monotheist path?
Well, it seems that nobody knows the exact historical details - but my assumption is that Islam was the actual monotheist solution to the problem of the Christian dilemma. In Islam the oneness of God was retained, at the cost of the divinity of Christ; who instead became regarded as a great prophet.
Simple, clear, coherent, and honest.
But, obviously, not Christian.
The rapid and permanent rise of Islam seems to show the deep and intractable failure of the Trinitarian mantra - and how vital it is that the basic explanation at the core of a religion makes straightforward common-sense.
There is no more powerful a critique against the fundamental error in building Christianity on meaningless metaphysics and evasive theology than the rise and success of Islam. Islam is the failure of the Trinitarian mantra: Islam is the consequence of trying to evade the Christian dilemma.
It is common in spiritual writing over the past decades to discuss the raising of consciousness, the evolution of Man towards divinity, in terms of a higher Vibrational state, or high Frequency communications. This is done by many authors and thinkers - including some that I greatly respect (such as William Arkle).
It goes along with several other physics derived terms used in spiritual discussion - Energy is one popular one (especially in Alternative Healing) and of course Light - which is used often in the Bible...
There is a question of the extent to which these are intended to be literal or metaphorical. However, the work of Owen Barfield on the development of language tells us that this literal versus metaphorical distinction may be an artefact of modernity - and not an aspect of reality.
Reality may be, and probably usually-is, both literal and metaphorical; in the sense that literal factuality does not capture the 'symbolism' or meaning of facts, while the symbolism tends to discount or ignore the question of factuality.
So, I recall reading in the Russian Orthodox literature about light emanating from Saints being both literal and symbolic. My understanding is that such glowing could, in principle, be photographed or filmed - and was, in that sense, 'objective'. On the other hand, demons may, it was said, appear in the guise of brightly-glowing angels... so light is not 'evidence' of Goodness.
The question about Frequency/ Vibration is whether there is supposed to be a literal, factual aspect to the description; is high frequency consciousness something that might, in principle, be measurable by a device? Some New Age thinkers clearly suppose so.
But the perspective of Barfield and Rudolf Steiner was that objective phenomena are always and inevitably known via consciousness; and when consciousness is different, what is objective is different. This would include physical records such as photographs, videos, readouts... in reality they are interpretable, know-able, only by human consciousness, and when human consciousness changes, so does our knowledge of such records.
(Perception is thus bound-up-with knowledge.)
In other words, there is no-such-thing as objectivity separable from human consciousness.
This suggests that there may in reality be something describable as a frequency or vibrational state of consciousness, and this attribute may be perceptible or even measurable in some states of consciousness but not others.
On the other hand, I question whether this physics-based way of describing and discussing life and consciousness has in fact been effective - whether this way of speaking and writing is a good idea? My objection is that it is abstract, in the sense of being the opposite of personal.
There is a major divide among those interested in religion ad spirituality between those who seek to escape persons and regard reality as abstract; and the opposite. In general, the movement through human history is to regard higher, more true religion as being abstract. Probably because we all start out, as young children, seeing the world as animated and conscious (everything significant as alive and purposive, motivated - everything as quasi-persons) - then growing-up and becoming intelligent and wise is seen as an incremental process of abstraction.
We mostly regard the abstract as real, useful, generalisable; the personal as childish, unintelligent, crazy... and indeed children, mentally handicapped and psychotic people are often and characteristically 'animistic' in their thinking. (Paranoia, in the technical sense of self-referential delusions, is the natural state of the naive human.)
To discuss spirituality in terms of Vibrations, Frequency, Energy and Light are all ways of abstraction. Abstraction has been the trend for hundreds, even thousands, of years... And how is this abstraction working out, thus far?...
Well, abstraction is alienation, disconnection; it is to understand God as a series of attributes or properties, God's goals as akin to setting-up a machine, a computer, a force-field... a complex system. It is to see persons in terms of how they serve abstractions; virtues in terms of how we interact with a system; sins and vices as disruptions to our efficient functioning.
In sum, such language feeds an understanding of the universe as unalive and unfolding with inevitability and impartially... when, surely, as Christians we ought to be understanding reality in terms of persons, not the universe; in terms of personal aims, wants, needs, hopes... and of course love?
The recourse to physics concepts as a key metaphor or and the bottom-line factual-symbolic primary description of life, is a thing fraught with hazard; at least for the modern mind.
It is, at any rate, something I am working on noticing and expunging from my own thinking. The intent being to replace it with a conscious animism, an aware knowledge of reality as ultimately - factually-symbolically - consisting in living conscious Beings.
Such an animism is regarded as objective, meaning (as objective always does, in reality) shared perceptually between those of the same quality of consciousness. Those of a different quality of consciousness (such as the mass of modern people, and indeed the naive and child-like, would not and could not perceive this reality of reality-as-Beings.
That is to be expected....
(Note: Reality consists of Beings; including parts or components of Beings... Not everything in reality is a conscious Being in its own right; just as our right thumb, a lymphocyte in the blood, or a calcium ion in our nervous system are not individual Beings, in their own right. Yet everything not itself A Being, is part-of A Being.)
If, as I said yesterday, it is correct that Christianity was bound-to an unsatisfactory (and pre-Christian) metaphysics at an early point in its history - what was the effect?
Well, clearly, for several times and places over the past 2000 years, there have been great, indeed superlative, individual Christians - and there have also been (much more rarely and temporarily) fine Christian societies (albeit of very small scale, by modern standards).
So it could be argued, from its 'fruits' or outcome, that the mainstream Christian metaphysics was true, because it has sometimes sustained good Christians, or that at least it it can't be bad enough actually to prevent someone being a good Christian. Or that Christian metaphysics is irrelevant - because the real thing about Christianity is not metaphysics...
It is quite true that the real thing about Christianity is not metaphysics - otherwise it would not be possible legitimately to discuss the two separately - but that does not make metaphysics irrelevant.
My understanding is that the wrong metaphysics did not matter as much in the past as it does now (and for the past couple of centuries) - although it did have adverse consequences in the long and bitter (and profoundly un-Christian) 'heresy' disputes, wars and persecutions concerning Christology and the Trinity.
The fact that modern Christian churches remain unable to acknowledge the basic wrongness of the early-centuries church reactions to the Monophysite, Arian, Pelagian etc disputes has become something like a fatal flaw at the heart of things. The whole way that these disputes in the early Christian centuries arose, were formulated and conducted is clear evidence of profound wrongness in the way that the Christian churches were set-up from the start...
Christianity was muddling on - sometimes overall-Good, many times Not, until its great challenge began to emerge at about the time of the industrial revolution in the later 1700s: the challenge of modernity.
My understanding is that the challenge was divine in origin - it was the unfolding of Man's destiny that was desired; it was the irresistible pressure to make a Christianity that was conscious, explicit and based in the individual's direct knowledge of God and thus the individual's agency: the individual's autonomous free will.
The impulse behind modernity was the developmental push towards Man becoming more like God, during mortal life.
However, this pressure did not, except in a few individual persons, lead to the God-desired change. Men did not understand the need to develop what I have termed Direct Christianity.
Instead, Western human agency split between reaction and radicalism: between a doubling-down on tradition and conservatism; versus a this-worldly materialist throwing-out of Christianity, and all acknowledgement of the reality of the spiritual, of purpose, of meaning.
Attempts to 'liberalise' metaphysically-unreformed Christianity became assimilated to the secular materialist ideology. Attempts to be spiritual but not Christian very rapidly assimilated to the secular materialist ideology.
Extremely few people apparently understood the need to be both Christian and spiritual, to be individualistic and Christian; to be guided by intuition - but as a tough inner conviction of Good and source of resistance to adverse social pressure - and not merely as an excuse for short term hedonism and careerist or status-seeking self-aggrandisement.
We now know, 200 years later, that tradition-conservatism failed to prevail or even to defend itself - and the perspective of this-worldly materialism has triumphed in this world. God and the immaterial are excluded from the public realm - and increasingly from private thinking. And the Global monitoring-control system of bureaucracy and the mass media are successfully pursuing goals that are more obviously demonic with each passing year.
The large and powerful Christian churches are by now de facto assimilated
into secular materialism and have become fake/ pseudo Christian - while covertly anti-Christian;
meanwhile the various traditionalist-reactionary and really-Christian
churches are wedded to an indefensible metaphysics, as they have been for up-to 1900 years.
(This secular materialism triumphant is 'Leftism' - understood to include all worldly-materialism including the fascism, national socialism, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians etc - as well as the entire self-identified Left. It is the ideology of the entire Global Establishment at its elite level.)
What modernity has done is to probe and probe at the metaphysical flaws and inconsistencies of mainstream historically-dominant Christianity; and because these metaphysical flaws are intractable (they are built-into the assumptions), and because the mainstream theologians are unable or unwilling even to acknowledge that metaphysics is separable from the Christian religion; the mainstream can only double-down on them, and hope that the lethal criticisms will eventually go away.
But whatever (apparently) happens, my understanding is that the deep problem remains that divine destiny, 'the challenge of modernity', has been refused.
We now know in our hearts that while most of modernity-triumphant is evil and evil-seeking; some of the original impulse towards modernity was valid and necessary for man's spiritual development. We know in our hearts that both available sides are wrong - Leftism is wrong and evil in motivation; traditionalist Christianity tries to do Good... but is crippled and poisoned by a kind of fundamental and chronic metaphysical dishonesty.
Since no group in the modern world is prepared to tackle this matter head-on and explicitly - and indeed it is possible that no actually existing group can do so - since in this time and place groups may exist to serve the individual in his spiritual development, rather than the other way around... Then the implication seems to be that each individual person needs to take-on this heavy responsibility for his own spiritual development and theosis.
Our great fortune is that we are children of God the creator of this world and he would not leave us bereft of help. What we need to do we can do.
This is not, and cannot be, a matter of replicating the strategies of an earlier era - building churches, ideologies - persuading via the spoken and written word - getting power and protection... If it is truly individual, and truly based upon direct knowledge of the spiritual and the divine - then we have nobody to 'persuade' of truth, except our-selves.