Tuesday 31 July 2018

Review of the new Tolkien catalogue/ compendium - Maker of Middle Earth

Is at The Notion Club Papers blog...

Why did God create?

 Painting by William Arkle - this blog post is also based on Arkle's insights

This question (why some-thing, why every-thing; rather than no-thing) is - or ought to be - uniquely easy for Christians to answer; compared with any other religion that posits a creator-god.

The question arises from trying to understand why a god that is powerful enough to create everything should have any reason for doing so; since presumably such a god would be utterly self-sufficient.

The Christian answer relates to such facts that all men are Sons of God-the-creator; that God-the-creator loves all Men; and that Jesus was divine, was the ('only begotten') Son of God, and he told his disciples that in knowing Jesus they also knew his Father.

Thus: we are like God; God is like me and you and anyone else. In vital ways, God's primary motives are therefore understandable by you and me and anyone else. From this, we can infer that God created everything, including men and women, for the same basic reason that you or I or anyone else would create such a universe.

So if we imagine ourselves as God before creation (whether you regard God as a single being of no sex, or - as I do - regard God as a dyad of man and woman, bound eternally by love) the purpose of creation is 'for' making other gods, beings qualitatively like oneself - drawn and held together by eternal loving relationships, and working together - mutually aligned by this love - on the endless business of creation.

(God's creation just-is this state of loving creativity. Thus, creation is Not about 'making stuff' - it is instead establishing this 'process' of beings creat-ing.)

God wants a family, wants friends, wants others of his kind: the same kind as the Father and the Son, and more such people would be better: Sons of God bound by love, and doing the work of creation.

Why this - rather than eternal solitude and no creation? Do you really need to ask? To answer, all you need to do is imagine, to empathically-identify-with, to understand how-God-felt in that primordial divine situation.


Is baptism necessary or desirable for Christians? If so, what kind?

I have brooded on the matter of baptism ever since I was a Christian. These are my conclusions - which have been stable for about five years, so far.

Baptism is not necessary to salvation. When considering that God is the creator, and loves us all as his children; it is to me inconceivable that he would have made it necessary to undergo baptism as a condition of salvation.

When it happens, it seems to me that baptism ought to be done as it is described in the New Testament - by total immersion, and as soon as a person has decided to become a Christian.

That is, baptism should ideally (but not necessarily) be the first thing in a person's Christian life; baptism without delay; baptism as soon as a person wants to pledge that Jesus is the Son of God and his Saviour.

Other forms of baptism I regard as having been co-opted into the specific, and contingent, needs of a specific church or denomination (as can be seen from the changing history of baptism, both between- and within-denominations).

Such extended and elaborated forms of baptism may (in a particular time and place and situation) be a good thing, may indeed be a very good thing - may strongly promote theosis (i.e. the spiritual development of the individual towards divinity as a Son of God); but, in my understanding, there is no direct link with either salvation or theosis.

Note: Most importantly to me, I have sought confirmation of the above by meditation, prayer and revelation. I am confident that this is valid for me - but that fact does not imply universal validity for  all persons in all times and circumstances: some specific people may need to be baptised. My own baptismal status is having been Christened as an infant in the Church of England, by application of water to the forehead... this strikes me as, overall, one of the least valid of all forms of baptism. 

Modern education induces 'spiritual OCD' - A comment by Michael Dyer

Edited, with emphasis added, from a comment in response to a recent post; comes this valuable analysis by Michael Dyer:

...Intuition paradoxically strikes people as "woo woo" or mystical or dodgy in spite of the fact that it is a sense you use all the time.

It's how you drive your car, walk, pick up on social cues make 90% of your daily practical judgements.

I weep when I think of the years of education I received that focused on getting me to doubt my intuition.

You need some intuition because, like every other sense. it is touched by infirmity and has to be trained. But the focus of my education honestly pushed it to the point where it gave me, basically, spiritual OCD.

There's an interesting talk I heard from a catholic priest who said that devils have the most influence over your imagination and the least over your intuition.

Intuition isn't feeling or emotion - that's another misconception - it's basically your minds eye. It can be deceived like everything else, but throwing it away is about comparable to blinding yourself because eyewitnesses in court cases can be confused about what they saw.

Note added: I would say that modern devils focus less on the imagination than they used to, and more on perception and reasoning; by means of the pan-global linked bureaucratic system which has extended deep into human living. This excludes the spiritual and intuitive; and defines what is 'valid' in public discourse.

Monday 30 July 2018

Should Ireland be a part of spiritual Albion?

Above is somebody's idea of an imaginative Albion... my personal answer is at Albion Awakening...

Direct knowing (intuition) is superior to sensory and logical 'evidence' - e.g. when evaluating the reality of God, the relevance of Jesus

Many people have said that there is not enough 'evidence' for them to believe in the reality of God; but people need to recognise that evidence is always ambiguous, and never decisive.

People say things like: 'Seeing is believing... If only God would speak to me in words, or send an angel to tell me, or show me a major public miracle... then I would believe.'

But they are being dishonest; seeing is not believing; and they would not believe.

And they are mistaken by the assumption that sensory data is the most solid and compelling source of knowledge.

People ought to be clear that evidence can never convince - and this is especially the case in the mainstream modern world.

We are a world in which evidence of all kinds - real science, logic, personal experience, the word of people we trust - is routinely ignored; and instead people believe vague, incoherent and continually changing nonsense, sprayed at them by the mass media and institutional propaganda.

This is possible because all evidence, without exception, is ambiguous; and because modern people feel no obligation to be consistent - nor even to aim-at consistency. This, because their bottom-line validation is how they feel, and feelings are neither consistent not coherent across time.

Consider. Any evidence which comes to us by the senses is ambiguous because it must be interpreted - it must be put into context.

And there is always the possibility of more evidence emerging...

And words must be understood, and picture must be recognised; the 'logical' implications of any-thing that happens must be reasoned-out. A new theory changes what counts as evidence; a new theory recognises new sources of evidence. And new theories, new interpretations, can be generated without end...

Small-scale, individual, private perceptions might be an error, or an hallucination, or we may be deluded and falsely interpreting, or we may be demented or drain damaged, or we may be mastered by wishful thinking...

So private knowledge may be mistaken to to our limiations. Yet big public events are differently registered, differently reported, differently explained; and some of this noticing, reporting and explanation is deliberately misleading, or manipulative - so that public evidence turns out to be even less compelling than private.

And if we try to communicate the evidence, or our conclusions about it, to other people; then all these uncertainties are multiplied. 

So anything based on sensory data, any evidence, has problems due to its not being self-explanatory.

What is more certain, what is the most certain knowledge; is knowledge we know directly, that is without sensory mediation, without any chains of perceptions and interpretations: knowledge that appears in our deepest and truest self, without perceptual cause, and bearing the provenance of truth. Knowledge that 'appears' in the mind whole and understood, graspable by a single and complete mental act of apprehension.

This is intuition - and we can't do better than intuition.

Of course, our later self may still decide that earlier intuitions were incorrect; in a world of change, corruption and mortality there is no way of avoiding that.

But we can recognise the principle that - contrary to what most people think and say - evidence of the senses, evidence of 'logic' are inferior to directly apprehended knowledge.

We can recognise that the best possible evidence for the reality of God, or the relevance to us personally of Jesus Christ, is not 'evidence - nor is it 'logic', but is exactly that sudden, complete, total grasping of simple reality.

The implication is that the most important investigation we could do, would be to look 'within'; rather than to seek external evidence. More exactly, the role of external evidence should be to clarify for our-selves, exactly what it is that we are looking-for within.

But evidence can never take us to where we want to go, and need to go; and never can compel us to belief in God or faith in Jesus. That is a matter of direct knowledge - of intuition.

Sunday 29 July 2018

CS Lewis's 'trilemma' is true: so why isn't it more effective?

This is CS Lewis's so-called trilemma, from Mere Christianity (1952):

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to...

Insofar as anything brief is true, then I regard Lewis's argument as true.

Yet I read this when I was an atheist, it didn't have any significant impact on me - it didn't make me a Christian; and this presumably applies to most people who read it.

Why? Since the argument is short and easy to follow; why doesn't it convince?

The reason, I'm pretty sure, is that for the the trilemma to work requires several assumptions to be in place; and these assumptions are nowadays pretty generally denied.

The first is that, for Jesus to be God, God must be assumed to exist; which most people deny. Indeed, most people cannot regard God as a coherent or even meaningful concept. So, the trilemma fails.

Another assumption of the trilemma that is commonly denied is that the Bible is valid. Most people nowadays assume the Bible to be completely made-up fantasy, or maybe so garbled as to have become utterly unreliable - so anything in the Bible can and should be completely ignored.

This last denial is particularly devastating for Christianity. Two centuries of regarding the Bible as an historical document has led people to regard it as just that: and historical understanding is in a constant state of dispute and revision, participation is restricted to professionals, and therefore the Bible cannot be a basis for answering ultimate questions.

As I so often return to emphasising, these days; at root all our convictions rest upon intuition; and until people can attain and accept intuitive validation of God, the Bible, and Jesus; they are self-doomed to incoherence, nihilism and misery.

Which is the single most Entitled group in the modern West?

Cyclists - obviously!

There is a lot of competition - but there's no real doubt about the winners.

Cycling is just a minority hobby pursued by boring monomaniacs; yet my home city has spent hundreds of millions of pounds, and subtracted hundreds of millions of man-hours from the lives of its resident, to accommodate the whims of this tiny cadre of selfish, over-indulged pin-heads.

Cyclists are also arch-enemies of the mass majority of sensible, decent, real people: salt of the earth: the pedestrians. 

Virtual reality the only reality: Modern culture has transformed mainstream human thinking into a computer emulation

An 'emulator' is a computer or software program that imitates, within itself, the functions of another less-complex computer system.

Human thinking has been transformed, simplified, cut-down-into into an emulation of the computer, media and bureaucratic systems with which modern mainstream Western Man interfaces, immersively.

Human thinking is what it is; the explicit systems of computers are something far simpler and extremely limited applicability - but, for many generations, Western Man has been told that the totality of human thinking is inferior to mathematics, science, logic - any and all aspects of thinking that are not science, mathematics or logic ought to be discarded and ignored (because they are unreal).

This attitude has formed an unholy alliance with the pseudo-scientific structures of bureaucracy, which likewise replace complex and implicit human thinking and behaving with simple and explicit organisational systems. Bureaucracy has now been extended down to a micro-level of behaviour monitoring and control; and sideways to link all the different bureaucracies into a single global system - corporations, politics, government, law, education, science, police, military, churches, and...

The mass media has evolved as an attention grabbing, addictive social system; operating mainly by simplifying, amplifying and manipulating emotional responses.

Social Media brings together these three phenomena - personal computer technology, the mass media and the bureaucracy to provide a 'virtual' environment that is immersive, addictive, interlinked. Human thinking interfaces with this virtual world; conforms to this world; emulates this world.

In effect - human thinking learns to create and run an emulation of the virtual world within itself. But this is only the first step of three.

1. Human thinking runs the computer/ media/ bureaucratic system as an emulation.

This is virtual reality.

2. In accordance with modern materialist metaphysics, the computer/ media/ bureaucratic emulation is grated priority, primacy and authority over human thinking.

Virtual reality becomes real-reality.

3. This becomes habitual; such that people forget that virtual reality is virtual, and deny the reality of the real.

Virtual reality has become the only reality. 

Saturday 28 July 2018

My Quest: in response to modern Man trapped by his perceived lack of 'alternatives'

I've noticed a recurrent pattern in the (rather rare!) general conversations I have with people I don't know that well, or haven't seen for a while; which is that we agree that the old possibilities are corrupted, old goals are closed-off, but this disenchantment is so universal that there are no alternatives - so people end-up doing the old-stuff anyway. Lack of alternatives thwarts change.

Think of jobs, careers, professions, vocations... In the past 30 years all the jobs I know of directly have been destroyed, made into (mostly) mindless-bureaucracy-in-pursuit-of-evil-political-correctness. All the social institutions of size and power (including churches) have gone the same way - so there is no major grouping worthy of support, worthy of enthusiasm, worthy to be a channel of endeavour.

But, because its all - then there are virtually no alternatives - so people just carry on as before or else withdraw and do nothing (or as little as possible). 

The three possibilities I can think-of, are 1. to join the side of evil (which is what most people do); 2. work to rebuild some Good institutions (which someone like Vox Day is doing); or completely and utterly reframe one's understanding of the nature and purpose of life (which I what I do).

I did try option 2. for quite a while - I tried to rebuild institutions. I did this in various workplace and professional controversies and campaigns, and also when editing Medical Hypotheses (2003-2010). But I discovered that (as someone without any aspirations to be a leader, and without any abilities as an entrepreneur) it usually boiled down to me against The World, so I always lost!

(I built Medical Hypotheses over six years into a scientific and financial success - but this was snuffed-out in one weekend, without my knowledge, by managerial fiat.)

I have taken this to heart as a lesson that Life - or more specifically God - wanted me to learn. I no longer see my task as one of choosing between increasingly-evil alternatives, but as responding to the challenge of a world in which a different kind of aim is being asked of us... Indeed, as I see it, it is a stark choice between pessimism and despair; and finding hope in places, things, activities that are usually off the map; denied, neglected, rejected, or as-yet unknown.

It is a Quest: of a kind. Life here-and-now is a quest for meaning, purpose and hope - a Quest to a place we don't know, in search of something of which we are, at best, only vaguely and intermittently aware.

And yet, if this is what God wants of me, it is far from being a futile Quest; quite the opposite. It is a Quest which will succeed, so long as my motives are true.

I find this perspective to be exciting and encouraging; and I don't feel it depends on my first persuading any other people to join me, nor do I need to plan, or collect resources. I can just get on with the Quest on my own, immediately, from exactly where I happen to be.

What is Time?

A recent post by William James Tychonievich has made me start thinking again about Time, and how to understand it. I first began considering Time some 20 years ago, after reading a book called Ceremonial Time (by JH Mitchell).

Furthermore, I am currently reading a new book by Jeremy Naydler (In the Shadow of the Machine), in the course of which he discusses the effect of the invention of the clockwork-clock on the mind of Men of the Middle Ages.

Naydler argues that the clock began as explicitly a model of reality (early clocks often had moving models of the planets). But soon the mechanical model usurped consciousness, so that it became regarded as real reality - and that situation continues today, in a modified form. This was a major step in the abstraction that utimately led to The Computer (or Information) - which nowadays provides (for many people) the 'reality' to which human minds can only aspire, can only subordinate themselves...

We naturally think of Time as a kind of 'physics', and tell time by engineering. Originally; this 'Objective' Time was astronomical, based on the day, lunar month and year; but now we regard astronomical time as deficient, because (by our engineering definitions) astronomical days, months and years do not fit together in neat fractions.

We moderns regard Time as abstract, external and Objective - to such as extent that we try to assert that Time has nothing to do with individual Men's consciousnesses; and it is impicit that we are each ideally and properly subordinated to Objective Time. In effect, Men make this Objective Time by our culture-bound philosophy, science, engineering... project it onto the Universe... and then regard ourselves as utterly bound-by-it!

In fact, this modern Objective concept of Time is incoherent (as demonstrated by advanced physics, as well as philosophy) - and in reality our Time is merely a practical expedient for the coordination and control of our kind of civilisation.

What strikes me (since reading Ceremonial Time) is that for young children, and for 'hunter-gatherer' early tribal Men, Time is a psychological concept - in the sense that it is something that exists in minds.

However, it is vital to remember that the 'psychology' of children and tribal people includes what would be regarded by modern science as religious, spiritual or supernatural aspects. Ceremonial Time could be termed Subjective Time; but the current divorce between Subjective and Objective is not a necessary aspect of reality; rather, it is a product of our materialist metaphysics.

To be more exact, we Westerners are currently but very temporarily inside an alienating delusion; the effect is that we try to live by an absolutely artificial, unnatural concept of Time.But if we are able to develop a more honest and coherent metaphysics, then Time could again become Subjective and Objective both

So what ought we to do about it? I believe that Men should live by Subjective Time - and that this is how Men live in pre-mortal and post-mortal life. Christians can look-forward to living by Subjective Time in Heaven.

But how about now? What ought we to be aiming at?

Well, I think we should be aiming at an adult version of that Subjective child state we all (presumably) went through. The child was immersed-in Time, unconscious of its existence, swept-along by it. Children share a unified subjective Time because they are unaware of its separate existence - it is like an invisible ocean inside of each child - each inner ocean connected with all others. Children are moved-by the tides and waves of this sea. 

In our striving we should not be trying to live by any different concept than the child's; rather striving to become aware of Subjective Time, to stand apart from it in thought, to contemplate and interact-with Time.

So, the reality of Time is in each of us; we can be aware-of and know the inner ocean; we can know our-selves to be distinct from it; and we can interact with it consciously - indeed, we cannot help doing so. We can re-connect with Time.

If Objectivity is that which makes a world shared and public and universal; then modern Man understands Time as something external that is imposed-upon everybody. All we can do as individuals is recognise this brute fact.

But our aim should be to understand Time as something that cannot be separated from the minds of Men, and therefore as something that with-which we each interact.

We are part of Time, whether we recognise this fact, or not - the child lives as part of Time but does not recognise the fact; the adult may recognise reality; if he so chooses. And in this recognition is freedom: divine freedom.

Friday 27 July 2018

My choice of Tolkien's noblest book...

...Can be found at The Notion Club Papers blog.

Is Christianity 'therapeutic'? Does 'being a Christian' make someone happier? The mediating role of the real-self

The answers to such questions vary extremely widely; from those who say that being a Christian is strongly associated with greater happiness, more hope, love and courage; through those who say it has no necessary effect either way; to those who emphasise that to be a Christian has often been to invite isolation, persecution, suffering, and a miserable existence.

There are several reasons why the answers vary - the first is that there may be a big difference between what happens-to a person and how they feel inside. There is no necessary correlation, positive or negative, between the external conditions of a person's life and their inner state. Some of the happiest of people have been among the poorest and weakest and most despised; and many of the most prosperous, comfortable, powerful and high status people are utterly miserable.

Another reason is that there is a kind of here-and-now surface pleasure or misery; but there is also a deep, tidal happiness or despair. To put it differently, life can be seen as bounded by birth and death; or it may be known as extending across infinite time - and the infinite perspective recontextualises the ripplings of immediate positive and negative emotions.

But there is a deep reason for the variation in effect that becoming a Christian, or being a Christian, has on people - and this relates to the variation in 'the self' they inhabit.

Most people in the modern Western world identify with a false self in themselves (a superficial, fake, socially-inculcated, often labile 'personality') - and this also applies to most Christians. But some Christians live (some or much of the time) from their real self. The real self is the divine within us - God-within-us, by which we are children of God. The false self is false, but the real self is true.

Probably nobody lives all the time from their real self; and this state is usually something intermittent and partial. But when a Christian is living from their real (and divine) self; he will be happy - even when he is also suffering.

Because to live from the real self in knowledge of the truth of Jesus is to be happy.

I think many Christians miss this fact and necessity; because they neglect the extent to which the modern world alienates us from our real self - that is what such phenomena as the mass media, bureaucracy, totalitarian monitoring and control are all about. And an alienated Christian - a Christian living from a false self - is probably unhappy even though he is a Christian.

In conclusion, Christianity IS therapeutic, and DOES make a person happier WHEN that person is living from his REAL self - but not necessarily when they are not.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Tolkien's beatitudes

Those whom Tolkien 'blessed' include even the inept and inefficient creators when their motives were Good - at The Notion Club Papers.

They *can't help* lying... The *obviousness* of evil in the End Times

In the (real) Culture Wars - which are between Christians and the Mainstream it has become very easy to tell who's who. The baddies always lie* - they can't help themselves!

(The Mainstream is being defined here as wholly Leftist and materialist - and the Mainstream is Leftist whether the Mainstream calls-itself Socialist, Democrat, Labour, Liberal, Libertarian, Republican, or Conservative - all are Leftists because all are this-worldly, utilitarian materialists.)

Nowadays, at any given time, on any and every specific day; there is always an ongoing international Mainstream scandal, witch-hunt, frenzy, fire-storm; created and sustained by the politically-correct Social Justice Warriors from the Left: whether their case is based on class, 'gender', race, sex, immigrant-status, or sexuality.

But it is easy to tell which side are the goodies and which are the baddies; because the baddies always lie.

The fascinating thing is that they lie even when they don't need to lie! - because for them lying is normal, everyday, habitual... more than this, lying seems to be a necessity.

They actually need to lie often, at a deep level, they just-must keep doing it... perhaps their demonic masters impose this duty upon them, to show their loyalty to the evil cause?

Of course, lying is absolutely necessary when the scandal is invented, based on a lie, made-up from whole cloth - and many/ most of these scandals turn out to be fake: false accusations. But sometimes the current scandal is based-upon some real breaking of a taboo or rule which would - even when utterly trivial, or not-really-wrong, in these totalitarian times - be sufficient to get the person demonised, fired, prosecuted...

So there are situations when the SJWs don't need to lie; when, indeed, lying actually weakens their case; when the truth is sufficient (in this evil world) for their needs...

Yet even when the baddies have a solid case for their accusations they still lie! 

Always they frame and seed the truth with lies. Always and without any exceptions.

This is really very easy to spot, unless - of course - you yourself are also on the bad side; and are yourself used-to habitual lying, and used-to excusing it.

But it makes discernment in the culture wars very easy indeed: The liars are the baddies.

The baddies are such systematic, deliberate and strategic liars that they also use false flags, and plants, and fake opposition - these are routine - so the some on the 'good side' of any dispute are also liars: they too are covert baddies, and this shows that 'the sides' are also faked.

Thus the detection of lies is really easy, except in situations where lies are universal such as 'foreign policy', or lies concerning 100% fake domains - such as the 'scandals' the mass media... Then there are liars lying about liars; and the truth cannot be known...

But then we know enough to shun everybody in these lying-fields.

Such are the End Times: evil is become pervasive, normal, compulsory; but the evil-ness of evil is ever-more-obvious.

*Note: Vox Day has written a book called SJWs Always Lie (2015). His assertion is quite literally true: lying is intrinsic to being an SJW - and this post is intended to analyse why. In my own book on the zealots of political correctness - Thought Prison, of 2011 - I mostly argued that they lied 'tactically' because it was expedient and they lacked the Christian requirement of honesty; but I now see that they are active, strategic, compulsive liars - even when truth would be more effective still they lie! 

Note added: I first became aware of the compulsive nature of lying among the Mainstream Mass Media in 2008 when I was subjected to a 2 week international firestorm of vilification for mentioning, in the course of argument, the fact that lower social class people have on average significantly lower intelligence than higher social classes; and that this fact would naturally have a significant impact on differential rates of university admissions - especially extreme at the most selective colleges. 

My statement would, of course, in-and-of-itself, have been more than sufficient to raise the guilty fury of the Mainstream; given that almost their entire raison d'etre is the thumping-lie that such differences don't exist - so that educational-outcome differences 'must be' due to irrational prejudice against the lower classes. However, to accuse me of class snobbery and class hatred was not sufficient for the media SJWs - and they manufactured the lie that my article had also been 'racist' - despite that race was never mentioned. 

In other words, the truth of my assertion was enough to convict me in their kangaroo court; but they just-had-to-lie as well! 

Perhaps the commonest lie of this sort nowadays is to call anybody disagreed with a White Supremacist; that is, a member of an essentially non-existent and certainly insignificant political group (whose minute and powerless self-identified membership, such as it is, consists almost entirely of false opposition and agents provocateurs).  

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Life & Light: In him was life; and the life was the light of men

The above is the fourth verse of the Fourth Gospel ('John' - in the divinely-inspired 'King James' version of the Bible); and this is the first definition of what-Jesus-was.

Jesus had Life in him... and this Life in Jesus was the Light of Men...

When striving to understand the key terms of Life and Light we moderns are up against the fact that people used to think in a different way from ourselves. Through its history language has become less 'poetic'; more precise, narrow, materialist. To recover the meaning we need to recover the thought-world, the way of thinking - and we can understand these terms only in such a context.

The Life that was in Jesus, implicitly to a high degree, comes up repeatedly through the Fourth Gospel. This Life of Jesus seems to be like a solidification and concentration of creation. Verse 4 follows a statement that Jesus (the Word) was creator of this world ('All things were made by him...'). So, Life is (partly) creation.

I think we are being told that Jesus offers Man the possibility of an eternal participation in the work of creation. Through this Gospel, the Life that Jesus offers is contrasted with normal life, the mortal life that ends in death; whereas the creative Life is 'eternal', 'everlasting' - and to reach it fully we need to go-through death, be born-again.

The Light is, mostly, a name for Jesus himself (like the Word); but simultaneously contains other meanings of light such as brightness, goodness, and something we can follow in the dark (darkness being the opposite of Light, and the world regarded as generally dark)...

So we could say that the Light is an aspect of Jesus's nature, and also some of the qualities that Jesus embodies: qualities at the heart of his message and work: him having made us able to become 'sons of God', that is to become like Jesus himself, a creator of worlds.

And that Jesus is Light is also what guides us, and enables us to follow Jesus through death.

What counts as a happy ending nowadays? The rise of the anti-story

The Happy Ending to a story is one of the reasons why we like stories. JRR Tolkien gave the name 'eucatastrophe' to the sudden and unexpected turn of events by which looming disaster is averted, and the happy ending results. The happy ending is so popular and powerful as to count almost as necessary to the definition of a story.

But what counts as a 'happy' ending? In the past it was often marriage - in the sense that a 'comedy' was a play than ended in a marriage - implicitly a going-to-be happy fertile-marriage-until-death. But modern story makers are often - covertly or explicitly - against marriage, especially against Christian marriage. So there are stories which end in just dating having-sex, or dating, or even going-it-alone. And stories which are based on the false psychological assumption that marriage can be open-endedly redefined without loss of narrative power.

Or a heroic story might end in someone 'saving' their society. But most modern Western story-makers hate the society they live in: their stories are indeed dedicated to subverting, destroying or inverting society. So saving, as the climax, is a problem...

One answer is to make-up an acceptable-evil against-which the hero can strive; evil can take a politically-correct form. Indeed, modern storytellers hit several birds with one stone - so the evil people tend to be right wing, racist, sexist, anti-immigration, and actively keen on torturing and murdering as many people as possible... so a story is made about heroic opposition to such people taking-over, or about an heroic taking-over from such people. This was presumably the reason for the vogue of dystopian novels: it was the only possible heroism.  

In other words, stories used to be rooted in 'universal' aspirations and motivations; but now we live in a society when the traditional universal aspirations are regarded as extremely evil... so storytelling is necessarily weakened.

The consequence is the anti-story; a story which is supposed-to-be admirable because it overturns the basis of traditional storytelling; by inversions, substitutions, extrapolations etc. An anti-story can't be good as a story in its own right; but only by its being the negation of a real story. The pleasure is therefore political, not narrative.

And therefore people merely pretend to enjoy anti-stories; insofar as they really do enjoy them, they are enjoying them precisely because they are not stories - just as critics enjoyed modernist music or painting because it was not music or painting.

In sum - modern storytelling is oppositions; because modern culture is Leftist hence oppositional. To enjoy it, one has to enjoy opposition t stories; to keep enjoying it, one has to remain in a perpetual state of opposition: piling subversion upon subversion without end.

People ask why the quality of art has declined, why there are no more geniuses? This is one reason - because anti-art has had the highest status over the past century; and one cannot be a genius of anti-art - only a subject for the next wave of subversion.

Monday 23 July 2018

Thoughts on incarnation, freedom, love and Heaven

The reason for incarnation, the benefit of living with a body instead of as a spirit, is freedom.

As pre-mortal spirits we were immersed-in a general consciousness and could not be autonomous agents. When we were incarnated, we were significantly cut-off-from other consciousnesses; hence enabled to be free.

But as Christians we realise that this body is only our preliminary body, and that our eternal body will come when we are resurrected after death. Which raises the question of why we could not be born directly 'into' a resurrected body - why we had to go-through the 'rigmarole' of first being incarnated and dying.

My assumption is that it has to be done this way, indirectly, because that was the only possible way that God's goals could be achieved. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that Jesus had to undergo the same process as we do - so Jesus needed-to be born and die.  It was not possible for Jesus to do what was needed without this.

When we are incarnated into these mortal bodies, we are significantly cut-off from other consciousness. And at death, this being cut-off becomes complete.

What, then, is the situation after death? The body dies, but by incarnation, our body has become part of our-selves - so when the body dies, the soul that remains is incomplete. In a sense it loses its self-determination, its will. The soul after death is helpless - it is in a bad way, but it cannot help itself... of at least it could not help itself until after the work of Jesus Christ.

From the work of Jesus, our soul may be led through death to a resurrection to life eternal - that is to Heaven.

After Jesus, all souls were resurrected; but only some souls are resurrected to life eternal in Heaven; only those who want this and who follow Jesus. This Heavenly life is a 'familial' life of love - love of Jesus and love of other followers of Jesus. Those who do not want this are resurrected to 'damnation' - which is to an existentially solitary state of self-concern.

Thus, Jesus made it possible - through love - to attain to Heaven as eternal resurrected Men. But what of Jesus himself? How was it that he could go through death without a shepherd to guide him?

This is the great 'mystery' at the heart of Christianity - it is the respect in which Jesus was unique. He was sent as our Saviour because he was able to find his own way through the ultimate isolation of death and to life eternal - and from that point he was able to lead all others who had chosen that path of love.

My guess is that it was the perfection of accord between Jesus and his Father - as 'firstborn son of God - that meant Jesus had such love for the Father that he could do what we could not do, what nobody else could do. This says to me that when we die our soul lacks will and agency; but can retain love: love is the only 'thing' that survives death.

So, we die, we become lost, helpless, cut-off - but, if we love Jesus, then that love can lead us to Heaven. And also, it seems, our love for others who love Jesus helps too - perhaps as a kind of synergy. The mutuality of love among Jesus's disciples is further help in our going through death (instead of getting stuck in death).

Incarnation is a cutting-off and disconnection, for the sake of freedom; and love is the restoration of mutual knowing and re-connection. 

For this to be viable as a way of salvation, it surely could not depend on the contingencies of human communication. It must be possible for Men to love Jesus when nothing in the mortal world tells them about him, and/ or when the information about Jesus is dishonest or distorted: we must have direct access to knowledge of Jesus if he is to be able to save us.

(Direct meaning without words, or communication media, independent of all persons and circumstances.)

I think this means that when we are dead, and when our souls are in the ultimate passive and helpless state; we must at that point have direct and true knowledge of Jesus, and the possibility of loving him.

Clearly this is not such a favourable situation as already loving Jesus before death, and of being a part of the kind of mutually loving community that was exemplified by the disciples - but I think that something of the sort must be possible (and has been statistically usual) - given the variety of circumstances that Men have lived and died (both before and after Christ) - in line with the Biblical passages that refer to Jesus coming into contact with dead souls.

So, as a minimum, when we are dead, and mere helpless souls, we are confronted with the reality of Jesus and  - if we love what we then know - we may trust and follow him to life eternal. This would be helped if we have loved/ been-loved-by someone who loves Jesus; and by the experience of love (obviously, I mean 'love' in the sense of disinterested, self-sacrificing, soul-valuing love).

If we are incapable of love, if we dislike Jesus, if we don't want to live in a world of love etc - if e want a world orientated around our-selves, a world of exploitation rather than love, or if we want our-selves to be annihilated... then we refuse the gift of Christ and choose the state called damnation which is Hell; but which some prefer and choose.

Why should we 'love one another'? (The Fourth Gospel)

There is a tendency to regard the injunction that Christians should Love One Another as something like a Law, imposed upon Man - with the main significance being that if you break the Law, then you will be 'sent' to Hell*.

Certainly that seems to be the way that this is used against Christians: non-Christians and anti-Christians are forever accusing Christians of insufficient love towards all-other-people.

Yet the appearance of the phrase Love One Another within the Fourth Gospel shows that that meaning can't be the one intended as primary.

Here is the context:

John 13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

Jesus is talking with his disciples about his own glorification - his ascension to Heaven. The new commandment to love one another is about what they need to do to follow Jesus to Heaven.

Love between Men seems to be a part of the 'process' by which Men can follow Jesus through death to life everlasting; presumably mutual love between the disciples it is a part of life everlasting.

To my mind, from its context; 'love one another' seems to be primarily (not exclusively) about life beyond death. The way I see it is that it is love for Jesus that enables Men to follow him through death; and love of 'one another' that makes this more than a solitary glorification. It is about the loving family of glorified men, following Jesus together.

It is not an injunction for everybody to love everybody, but a specific injunction for the disciples to love each other. We assume that 'love one another' applies to all followers of Jesus: that is to all disciples - but there seems nothing to suggest it goes beyond that circle.

And its importance is rooted in the life to come: which means that 'love one another is not about 'getting to Heaven' so much as what happens when we get there. Following Jesus is not a matter of escaping something we fear as it is a matter of joining something we want.

Love one another is therefore not really a passport to heaven (even less a get-out-of-Hell card); but a fundamental insight into the nature of life everlasting, which is being offered by Jesus. Because love is the basis and matrix of the New Life - it is what hold-together God's creation.

Love is analogous to the 'unified field' that supposedly makes the universe cohere and develop; but love is about relationships between persons: that is the ultimate metaphysical reality.

*Note: The Fourth Gospel doesn't use the word Hell, nor say much about the horrors of the life after death without Christ; nor a place of torment - even to his accusers whom Jesus characterises as children of Satan; but focuses almost-wholly on the 'benefits' of Life Everlasting, or 'Heaven'. The overall message is of a New Possibility, a possibility that must be chosen.

Sunday 22 July 2018

Tough fact: the entire mainstream culture is net-evil

My solid understanding is that the entirely of the mainstream modern culture (all institutions) is nowadays net-evil.

(And when there is good in mainstream modern culture - as with JRR Tolkien; that which is good is only recognised and responded-to by a tiny minority of those who support and sustain it. the great bulk of those who like Tolkien's work understand it in ways that are compatible-with or supportive-of mainstream modern evil.) 

Not many people agree with me that this is true; and most of those who do agree on this 'diagnosis' are conservative 'restorationaists' of one sort or another - who want to restore one or another previous, earlier state of society. I don't agree - I think what is needed is something never-before-seen - unprecedented, not just in specifics but new in terms of fundamentals.

So I am not a restorationist - because I see human destiny in a linear, developmental fashion: we are meant to, and will, change qualitatively through time; and this cannot and should not be reversed - although it can be, and is being, stalled and stopped. Consequently, I do Not see history as cyclical; and I regard our current situation as, in essence, unique and unprecedented.

For restorationists, which previous social state will serve as the model varies according to ideological, spiritual or religious views; but I am sure that the only 'answer' is religious; so I reject all forms of diagnosis of social ills that fail to recognise the fact that any future and overall-better society must be religious in its primary value and organisation.

There are also various views concerning what specific religion is needed; and on this I take the view that it needs to be Christian, specifically. 

OK - so I regard mainstream modern society as net-evil and strategically aiming at more evil; but I see the answer as lying in some 1. unforseen and 2. religious and 3. specifically Christian solution. 

This, then, is my overall stance; and so far as I know, hardly anybody else ever has shared this perspective, and extremely few people (a mere handful) who are currently alive.

This just-is the situation, as I see it: almost everybody is fundamentally wrong about the most important things in life!

Just to be clear...

Saturday 21 July 2018

Christian Albion

A selection of William Wildblood's favourite Christianly-inspiring places can be found at Albion Awakening.

Current politics = defending the indefensible

Politics works at the level of institutions, all the powerful and large institutions of all types are net-evil; therefore defending any mainstream institution amounts to defending the indefensible.

At best, this amounts to expending time, energy, and resources in choosing between two evils and promoting the lesser evil over the greater.

But actively-promoting evil, nonetheless.

It is a difficult situation. For a couple of decades or more; almost all current and proposed 'reforms' - whatever their apparent origin: government, NGO, corporate, legal, media... - are in the direction of increasing bureaucratic monitoring and control; which is the totalitarian agenda; which is the major strategy of demonic evil in the modern world.

But resisting these strategically-evil reforms entails defending an already-thoroughly-corrupted institution; an institution that actively pursues net-evil; and doing this, in itself, tends to corrupt the individual.

So, we get the apparent paradox that by 'fighting' strategic, demonic evil - 'fighting' in the way which most people would regard as most the direct and effective form of opposition - itself actively promotes that same agenda. By fighting a new evil, we almost-always defend and promote and already-existing evil.

Fighting corruption is necessarily itself corrupting.

Such it is to live in the end times; or so it seems to me.

Thus, in order not actively to assist in the agenda of evil (which, I take it, is an obvious goal for any Christian) I think we need to refrain even from what seem like obvious political activities.

At least, we need to be aware that the situation here-and-now has been engineered (over several generations) to render evil almost all (but not quite all) forms of group-level action.

It seems that action is a thing we can only do well when we do it 'alone': outside of the environment of a group; lacking the justification of 'group benefit'; lacking protection from a group.

This is a test of faith (of our trust in the promises of Jesus); but also potentially a great stimulus of faith: a stark clarification of the attitude that Christians are always supposed to have had.

Friday 20 July 2018

'Proving' the reality of God by argument

This is interesting, because I have come to realise (over many years, decades in fact) that the reality of God is in a sense prove-able; but that there is no specific proof - or at least no generally applicable, and generally effectual specific proof.

And I think I see why this is the case. People who think about the ultimate nature of reality ('philosophers') and try to explain anything; will find that this cannot be done without assuming an underlying coherence and also assuming that it is possible for us (individual specific 'me') to understand such things.

Yet, any specific proof will also require assumptions, which the doubter can recognise as such. And any 'proof' brief and simple enough to be effective, will - to that extent (brevity and simplicity) - be an obvious 'model' of reality (not actual reality itself); hence obviously incomplete and distorted in its representation of reality.

So, no proof really can stand alone as a proof, because no proof (because it is a highly simplified model) is necessarily applicable to reality.

Furthermore, all these aspects of proofs exacerbate the impression of circularity. In a sense, logic is always tautology - it is merely (at best) a clarification; a re-expression of one proposition in terms of another which means the same. Therefore, the 'answer' is already built-into the question - and the truth of any proof depends on the truth of what goes-into it...

All the above are reasons why, to an atheist, proofs of the reality of God seem always faulty, and seldom or never convince.

Yet, in a very broad and philosophical sense, I think there is a solid consensus across the ages among people who think about the ultimate nature of reality, and who keep thinking - who don't stop short - that this is a purposively-created-universe. And in this kind of sense God is certainly real (although what kind of God, and the nature of the purpose, are subject to great disagreement).

Why doesn't everybody converge on this? Why, instead, for the past few hundred years, have so many people decided that the universe of reality is incoherent; some meaningless, contingent combination of determinism and accidents?

The main reason is probably that - once adopted - an assumption of meaninglessness, incoherence, purposelessness... cannot be refuted. What can be refuted is the assumption that incoherence can be proven true by argument - yet this is perhaps the commonest modern belief; some version of the idea that 'science has proved' that reality is incoherent...

How then, starting from the typical starting place of assumed-incoherence, can modern man grasp the necessity of creation, of God?

I think the answer is perfectly simple; but I also recognise that a situation of perfect simplicity is one of the most difficult for anybody to attain. It is to go deeper and deeper, introspectively, challenging each assumption, pushing back from surface assumptions to what lies below; until one reaches a base which is solidly-assumed.

Different people will reach this base in different places - but all those places are interlinked, and derive from the same core. For some, it will be a core moral certainty; for another it will be that truth is real and a-good-thing; for someone else it will be their love for a person; for rare individuals it may be a rock-solid knowledge of beauty in music, landscape, poetry...

None of these (nor all of them together) amount to a 'logical proof' of God - but then that is not being sought. One is not trying to convince somebody else, but oneself. It does not matter if nobody else in the world would be convinced.

Love of a specific parent, spouse, child - for instance (or the beauty of a particular poem, or the vital nature of a special truth in science) may be unique to an individual. The point is that - for that person - this-thing-is-real.

It is real-er than anything which might be supposed to deny or refute it (such as 'what other people say' or any kind of 'evidence'... which may or may not be correct, may be misunderstood. (other people may lie, be incompetent - or be deluded.) It feels realer than anything which supposedly contradicts it; and when poked at from any angle, it stays solid.

Furthermore, things must be known at a level of simplicity that rules-out misunderstanding. They must be grasped-whole. So our knowledge of the reality of God or creation needs to be as a plain fact. We need to know God/ creation is real, not know somethings 'about' God/ creation.

The coherence of reality of God, that reality was created... such (linked) things must be known in this kind of way; that is, more solidly experienced than anything which might challenge it.

In this sense the reality of God can be proved: sometimes proved to our-selves, but never to others; proved as a simple fact that I personally grasp whole and without words, but never proved as a linguistic unit - sentence or paragraph - because that will always be an inexact representation of the primary experience, may be ambiguously expressed and wrongly understood. 

If we set-out to seek proof for our-selves, and are serious about it, and stick at it (mentally, as a philosopher must); then the single, simple truth of God can be reached from many directions; and known solidly.

Thursday 19 July 2018

Evil bookshops...

I love secondhand bookshops, insofar as they contain mostly old and unpopular books; but (pretty much) all new-book shops are evil places nowadays...

I used to love going into bookshops; but they become more and more oppressive to me with each year. Books are more and more like TV or Newspapers, just fully of corrupting stuff - whether that be the average novel, or the average non-fiction book of whatever category.

A random grab of a recent book from a random bookshelf with be far more than 90 percent likely to result in something nasty: deliberately nasty.

Not that bookshops are in any way exceptional, except in the reflex deference they evoke from intellectuals.

Public libraries aren't that much better; indeed it is pretty hard to tell the difference.

In sum: Good Books are either not wanted; or simply not provided - so that reading has become A Bad Thing for most people, most of the time; as can easily be seen from the average attitudes, ideas and motivations of those who read the most...

Why is Nihilism so prevalent? - by Chiu ChunLing (from the comments...)

'CCL' is a frequent and thoughtful commenter at this blog, often providing analysis and clarification. This comment deserves special attention:

Nihilism is so prevalent because the universe itself is nihilistic.

This is the primitive Judeo-Christian doctrine found in Genesis and reiterated throughout the Old Testament, which forms the context on which the New Testament has real significance.

Simply put, it is not easy for God to create meaning and hope in a universe that is fundamentally inhospitable to such things. Platonic Idealism and Post-Christian thought cling to the assumption that there must be meaning and hope in life, but Christianity itself only makes sense when you accept that there is nothing logically necessary about your life meaning anything in the end.

That's the initial attraction to believing in God at all, let alone Christ, so that there will be someone who cares about your otherwise pointless existence (who will not simply die out meaninglessly in turn). Nihilism doesn't come from false metaphysics so much as from a lack of metaphysics.

But when you have incomplete metaphysics, in which the positive metaphysical assumptions do not include all that is logically entailed, then the remaining metaphysics are false. When someone assumes that their own life has meaning and purpose, but does not accept the metaphysical assumption that makes that possible, then the (otherwise true) assumption that it there is meaning and purpose (or even coherence) in life is rendered false.

For someone in this position, it is useful to be confronted with the real alternatives, if they do not believe in God they cannot really believe in anything at all. They can merely willfully entertain a delusion of unsupported meaning.

Some may at that point decide to go ahead with believing nothing at all. But most won't.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

How to answer, and how Not to answer: "Do you believe in God?", or "Are you a Christian?"

Both questions have the same answer, assuming it is true, and that answer is:

Yes! And now let me tell you what I mean by 'God' and 'believe'...

The wrong way to answer this question is:

Well, that all depends on what you mean by 'God' and 'believe'; because you may not mean the same thing as I do by these terms; and in fact there is great variation in usage; and indeed the very possibility of meaning for such terms depends on the conceptual scheme within which these terms are being deployed; and...

(Zzzzzzz... Snore...)

The right way is called witnessing to one's faith. Nowadays this requires courage - in public discourse especially.

Yes, you will necessarily be misunderstood, since an atheist cannot understand God and Believe in the same way as a Christian; since Christian understandings are ruled-out in advance by assumption.

But that is what is required of a Christian: affirmation of faith.

To answer the other way is an evasion. A deniable-evasion, true - but an evasion nonetheless.

Such a person is either too afraid, or too ashamed, publicly to identify himself as a Christian; and while this cowardice may be understandable given the negative sanctions, it is a sin - and the fact needs acknowledging and repenting.

My conversion and the necessity for discernment

When I became a Christian aged 49; under the influence of CS Lewis and following his advice, I simply joined the nearest Church of England congregation, and immediately arranged to be confirmed (I had been baptised as a child).

To help confirmation I joined a discussion group at another CoE church down the road.

At this point I simply accepted that being a Christian meant joining, and pledging obedience to, some church or another; so that whatever I was asked to promise in the confirmation ceremony must be right. Anywhere I disagreed, I must change, and it was my job to work towards church doctrine.

So I found no problem in making the confirmation oaths.

Nowadays, I could not do this; partly because I was very quickly forced into discernment among the profoundly disagreeing, mutually hostile, factions of the Church of England, with the two churches I was attending being on opposite and hostile sides.

(This was very fortunate; because in most places in England all Church of England congregations are on the anti-Christian side; I was lucky enough to have a real Christian Anglican church within a mile of my home.)

This situation of 'my' two churches being on opposite sides of the battle, meant that I personally needed to discern (as a matter of urgency) which side was right and which was wrong. I could not be guided by passive obedience to any external standard without prejudging the issue of whose guidance to follow. Even the theological authorities I selected for guidance disagreed on the litmus test issues. It had to be my decision.

Eventually, this worked-through into my realisation that all conscious Christian faith in modern circumstances just-is based-on individual discernment; which means that the nature of Christian life is not what I used to assume.

When Christian life is based-upon (rooted-in) at least one, major and defining, act of individual discernment; then this means that individual discernment has greater authority than any specific and actual church.

This is an unavoidable fact (under modern conditions), and not an assertion.

And as such, it seems to me that we are all required to use individual discernment in our personal Christian life as much as possible; rather than (as is usual) trying to deny it, and trying to pretend that we are merely living in obedience to external authority.

To put it another way, and despite the many pitfalls and dangers of this path; modern Christians ought-to-be explicit that their primary beliefs derive from a direct relationship with God; and not, therefore, from obedience to any particular institution, denomination, Church.

Of course, developing individual discernment in relation to any specific issue takes time and effort; therefore it is an ongoing process, never completed. And in the meantime we will probably want to make a discernment that 'X' (e.g. a church, a pastor, an author...) is a reasonable source of guidance which we will obey (passively, as it were) for the time-being.

But eventually, Modern Man seems to be called to a Christian faith in which the goal is to test and discern each element for our-selves. And a specific, actual, church or Christian group may help this process - may help it a lot. On the other hand, as with the church I first joined, an actual church may confuse, mislead and corrupt the Christian.

Much depends on local conditions. 

Most people need a group of some sort in order to function in society; but better no congregation than a false church - better a few, perhaps scattered, companions in Christ, than attempted-obedience to a large and powerful bureaucracy whose leadership are strategically net-evil.

Note: This post is, in part, a response to an ongoing discussion at the blog Dark Brightness (which I read regularly, and would recommend). 

I added a further clarification of my position:

My concern is that, in these end times, our psychological need for membership of a group may overwhelm our spiritual need for a *Christian* church; it may be the major temptation, and may be the reason why the devout are perhaps especially vulnerable to Antichrist (as implied by some Biblical prophecies).

It seems that our only defence is to discern well, to learn and practise discernment, and to trust our best and most solid discernment over external authority (*despite* the obvious hazards and dangers of this...)

Tuesday 17 July 2018

William Arkle understood better than anybody the first and most important metaphysical assumption

Which is that this reality was created by a God whom we can know as our loving parent.

With this understanding in place, and confirmed by our direct intuition; we can then infer many things about the purpose of creation: why God created us, what he wants from us, and more.

Arkle understood this better than anybody I have come across. And he was able to express this understanding very simply and beautifully - for example in his Letter from a Father.

Other philosophers begin from other places, and sooner or later there is always a gaping hole at the centre of their philosophy - and God has to be introduced to hold-things-together, but at this late stage God looks unconvincing; like a place-filler.

But if we can begin by knowing God, as a person; and by experiencing God's love for us each and all; then everything necessary to theism falls-into-place.

(But not the role of Christ... that cannot, or cannot easily, be inferred from the assuimption of a loving Father God - the need for Jesus stems from the nature of pre-existent reality, the constraints upon the Father.)

John Fitzgerald is remembering the martyred Tsar Nicholas II and his family...

...over at Albion Awakening.

Monday 16 July 2018

The difference between being an atheist; and being a theist but not a Christian

Being an atheist is incoherent and leads to nihilism; not being a Christian means being hope-less.

This difference used to be understood by almost everybody - Christians and non-Christians; but centuries of muddle and evasion have obscured it. A-theism, that is not-believing that there is any god - means that there is no creator, reality is not created, and therefore reality has no meaning or purpose. Stuff just is; and nothing more can be said about it.

That is atheism. And there have been very few genuine atheists up until recently - but there are quite a lot now; and atheism is mandatory in public discourse in the West - which is why things will necessarily collapse.

What about Christianity? We need to understand that - properly understood - Christianity is the only hopeful religion. All men should want Christianity to be true, and if they do not, then that is because they don't understand things. The afterlife of Christianity may not be your idea of perfect happiness, but no other religion is hopeful except by contrast with a miserable mortal existence.

This was obvious in the early years of Christianity - when the only questions were whether or not Jesus was who he claimed and whether he really could deliver on his promises. Everybody at that time, and for a long while afterwards, knew that if Jesus was who he claimed to be, and if he really could deliver his promises of eternal resurrected life in Heaven; then that was better than any known alternative.

The reason for Not being a Christian - for many centuries - was that you didn't believe that Jesus really was the son of God, and/or you didn't believe he really could lead us through death to life everlasting.

This is quite a different situation from what exists here and now, in the modern West. Modern Man is usually an atheist who thinks that Jesus's claims cannot possibly be true. Not that his claims happen to be factually-wrong; but that they are meaningless.

In other words Modern Man is thinking nonsense - because he is trying to argue from incoherent premises in an incoherent reality. In reality, he assumes the un-reality of God, and of creation, and absence of order, meaning, purpose - and from this assertion of ultimate chaos he assumes that Jesus could not be true, because the atheist already-assumes that nothing is true; not really true.

By contrast, for a theist, a religious person, a believer in creation/ order/ meaning/ purpose to deny the truth of Christianity, is a perfectly coherent thing. He is simply saying that Jesus did not really exist, or that he was a fraud/ liar/ madman; that his Heaven is not a real place - and that therefore a less happy, a sad, outcome in life is the best that can realistically be hoped-for: whether that be a Paradise, endless reincarnation, Nirvana, painless unconsciousness, or whatever.

But he would, if he has understanding, know that it would be better if Christianity were true and that he personally could avail himself of its promises.

Christians need to be clear that Jesus's claims were extreme. A Man was claiming to be the Son of God and to have created this world, and much else. These are astonishing claims - and it is not surprising that many or most people did not believe them; even when backed up by what appeared to be amazing miracles, the endorsement of the holiest prophet alive (John the Baptist), by fulfilment of prophecies, by the resurrection. All of these might have been false - there is no 100% sure way of knowing that they were true.

And modern Man has none of these. He has 'historical' reports, which he needs to believe is uniquely and in a special way true (because normally secular history is full of errors and constantly changing its story). And he has intuition - but he also needs to believe that is, or can be, true. He has personal miracles in his own life - but needs to believe that miracles are possible in general, and also that these specific events are miraculous.

Yet there are always alternative explanations for any 'fact', or any 'evidence'. This is the case for science and it is the case for Christianity. Evidence is never ever conclusive and compelling. We must, and always do, believe despite this immovable fact - but the modern ignorant and incompetent belief that evidence should, can (and does!) dictate belief; stands in the path of understanding reality.    

What, then, of evil? What of those who know that Christ's promises are true; but they refuse them? Well, one thing that can be said of such persons (whether they be demons or mortal Men) is that they cannot be happy about their situation and prospects! Not to be Christian need not be insane or incoherent; but it is necessarily miserable.

Someone who is mastered by pride, or resentment, or envy, or is consumed by a lust for sex or inflicting pain... and therefore rejects Heaven, hates God, loathes Jesus and Christians; such a person has rejected everlasting happiness... this may, indeed, be a source of the pride and disdain. Pride i having rejected the 'easy' or 'cowardly' or 'sentimental'... pride at embracing permanent pain. This is a real phenomenon, and I have certainly felt it myself; and seen it in others. 

But we ought to be clear about the options and possibilities; and it seems that many people are not clear; they are incoherent. They deny God but also assert morality and claim to know meaning and purpose; when religious they claim to be unsatisfied by the promises of Christ and to 'prefer' other religions on the false ground that they offer more or better outcomes.

Modern people are the stupidest, the most unrealistic people ever; presumably because they are so dishonest, and think so little, and are so distracted, and refuse to join-up assertions and refuse to acknowledge that this is what they are doing and failing to do. They live in a miasma of half-wishes, half-thoughts, transient feelings, vague hopes.

But the issues are actually clear and simple; and almost everybody used to be able to see the situation and possibilities. Now people see neither.