Monday, 15 October 2018

Nationalism is better than Globalism - but has the same basic problems, just on a smaller scale...

He may be gigantic (and green) - but he's not really jolly...

Because nations are too big - way too big; just as cities, corporations, charities, towns, villages, universities, colleges, research groups, schools - and their classes are too big...

Indeed, pretty much everything nowadays is too big - except for families.

But for this reason - nationalism is Not a Good Thing. It's preferable to super-nationalist entities such as the EU, UN, NATO, Multi-nationals, and those semi-secret conspiracies of the elites. 

But although (for example) Brexit is better than Remain - it still isn't aiming at anything Good - quite the opposite! Let's not get carried-away by the battles of today: the lesser of two evils is preferable; but it's still evil.

What to do if you are thinking of becoming a Christian (and are somebody like me!)

If I knew then what I know now, I would do as follows:

Sit down with The Bible, in the (divinely-inspired) Authorised/ King James Version - and read Only the Fourth Gospel (ie. 'John's Gospel). 

Try to read it as if you knew nothing else about Jesus, or Christianity; and read it, study it, live-with-it... under the assumption that it is true and was written by a truthful eye-witness whom Jesus especially loved.

You will (if you are like me!) find it one of the most beautiful prose compositions in the language - and perhaps that will be your overwhelming first impression: keep reading...

It isn't easy to read - but it makes its core points over and over again in different ways, and in different words; so that there is nothing important that is left ambiguous or unclear... so if you don't get it the first or second time, you will catch-on sooner or later.

Then you can go back and check you impressions and conclusions. Read it skimming through quickly, read it in-order; and also read slowly, it out of order: homing-in on parts of special interest.

Read the Fourth Gospel as if it was the only truly authoritative, first-hand source we had about Jesus - because, in a vital sense, it probably is. At any rate, read it as if there was nothing else and you had never heard anything else about what Christianity was, or should be - extract all this from the Fourth Gospel... And see what you make of it. 

In other words, if you are thinking of becoming a Christian - extract the essence of what that means, what that is or might potentially be, from the Fourth Gospel. Don't read anything else, don't ask anybody else, don't think about investigating a church... until after you have grasped the nature and teachings of Jesus from the Fourth Gospel.

That is not what I actually did myself; but more than a decade down-the-line that is what I would advise - although probably few would agree with me!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Magic and ritual and beyond

I have come to believe that the evolutionary developmental-unfolding of human consciousness is working against ritual - such that ritual has lost much of its interest, effectiveness and prestige.

Insofar as we do have rituals in modernity; they are done badly, because they are more like propaganda - at any rate, they do not provide spiritual attunement.

Of course, we might work for the restoration of traditional ritual - and that does have a role; but I think ritual never can again become the centre of a good life; as it was for so many in the past.

This decline is for bad reasons - such as cynicism, self-conscious embarrassment and short attention span - as well as for potentially good reasons such as theosis; but either way it seems we must increasingly seek outside of ritual.

Ritual can be seen as a way of focusing and attuning attention to attain a more predictable spiritual result - ritual is therefore intrinsically narrow; and intrinsically likely to fall into ineffectiveness, either from incompetence on one side, or habituation on the other.

Rituals can create a narrow strength and at the same time create new vulnerabilities - precisely because of this narrowness, and because of one ritual being vulnerable to another. This is known among ascetic monastics: intense monastic practices may increase spirituality in a relatively predictable and focused way; but they also open the practitioner to demonic 'attacks' to which normal people are almost immune. This is why ascetic practices are done under supervision and by apprenticeship - and even then, the precautions don't always work and the seeker falls into the damning state of spiritual pride.

My vision of the future is one in which the process of theosis is broader and more creative; and perhaps takes itself more lightly rather than trying to achieve divinisation 'by assault'. as among ascetic monastics. An awareness of the inevitability of error - trial and error, and the necessity for frequent repentance; a recognition that success will be infrequent and short-lived, but vitally important nonetheless... such an attitude seems appropriate.

Where then does strength and courage come from? From the actuality of direct relationships with the divine (e.g. Heavenly Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and with angelic helpers - and from solid intuitive affirmations of personal revelations.

What about when the questions and challenges arrive too thick and fast for such slow and careful methods to cope-with? Well, then we can discover (by the above means) general strategies for dealing with classes of problems - the mass media, propaganda, educational systems, law etc.

We are in a transitional phase - as usual; and rituals may still have an important role; but they probably ought not to be at the centre and making-up the core of a modern Christian religious life.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

"Should we be worried" about SJW witches?

This is one of my rare topical posts - triggered by something written by Rod Dreher - about literal witchcraft among the SJWs - this something that I have noticed myself over the years in the media (perhaps especially in Mind, Body, Spirit section books); although I have no personal knowledge of any such thing, so the whole thing could be a type of fake news.

In other words it is possible that the phenomenon of Social Justice Warriors witches is not real, just as the phenomenon of Alt-Right black magic used to elect Donald Trump is not real. In other words, that there is not-really any genuine widespread attempt, by people who believe in its reality, to use real black magic (summoning the aid of demons) to harm people.

Although the very fact that made-up stories of genuine White Nationalist Fascist Fundamentalist Christian magic terror groups is so mainstream media discussed and apparently acceptable suggests that here we have projection at work; with Leftists loudly and pre-emptively accusing their enemies of doing whatever they themselves are doing.  I personally find this persuasive: that SJW witches are real precisely because the left have invented 'right wing' bogeyman they accuse of it.

So should we be worried? Yes - but Rod Dreher's worries are probably not my worries. I don't think there is any doubt that evil-motivated magic will harm the magic-user - harm in a spiritual sense: self-damn them. But many tens of millions of Westerners have already done this, have explicitly chosen moral inversion, and self-damnation, and advertise the fact and engage in active propaganda for the evil side of the culture war: the mass media is full of such people, and so are the ranks of the ruling elite in all major social institutions.

Those who summon demonic aid in their political activism might become willing dupes, obedient servants or even hand themselves over and be possessed by demons - by their own choice - and as such they do great evil (again, just look at the leaders of most Western nations and international organisations and mega-corporations). And that those engaged in this kind activity can harm innocents - by torturing, sexually abusing, or killing them as part of rituals.

But - despite the evidence claiming otherwise - I don't believe that magic users can do anything that demonic forces would not otherwise be able to do; such as remotely hexing or otherwise magically harming people unaware of them; casting a spell on someone to make them sick, or inflict pains and the like.

I'm not going to argue this - but personally I just don't believe it is possible in this world - it would be a denial of free will, which is a given; a denial that creation is of God.

And this seems to be the aspect that most worries most people about magic; that it will be used at a distance to influence and compel, to inflict pain and kill, to change weather, cause plagues to materialise, make bad luck, to defeat armies at a distance... that kind of stuff. I just don't think this can happen. 

I'm pretty sure that evil magical rituals work only on the souls of those engaged in them; that individuals can gain pride, motivating lust and hatred, sadistic pleasure etc. as they surrender to evil - but they don't gain supernatural powers of surveillance or control.

So we should be 'worried' - or rather not 'worry' (not worry about anything at all, ever) but acknowledge. Indeed we probably ought to anticipate this kind of thing happening in these End Times. I think the valid prophecies seem to suggest that at an advanced stage of the End Times, mainstream evil will - indeed must - become explicitly demonic, and positively-evil.

We are currently in a transitional phase (an Antichrist phase) when witchcraft is practiced openly at a huge scale but where magic intent is denied; where demonic symbolism and rituals are routinely deployed but made a joke of; where the inversion of virtue, truth and beauty are normal but claimed to be merely an evolutionary advance upon The (same old) Good - much as modern conceptual art (e.g. Damian Hurst, Tracy Emin) is supposed to have evolved from Rembrandt. This corresponds to the Antichrist pretending to Be Christ.

This current phase of open-but-deniable Black Magic is presumably trending towards a situation in which the motivations are admitted; and that which is evil is pronounced to be Good. The Antichrist unmasks as Satan; or is replaced by Satan - and Satan is pronounced to be God, to be worshipped as God.

Unlike this current era of (feigned, dishonest) materialism; the final phase will be openly supernatural; the reality of God, angels and demons; souls; and continued life-beyond-death will re-enter mainstream public discourse - the truth of Spiritual Warfare will be acknowledged... but all inverted in value. However, this can happen only when enough people have become very thoroughly corrupted.

So, we've got that still to look forward too, I suppose. 

The self-destroying strategies of top-down radicalism/ Leftism

Since communism; we have lived in a weirdly inverted world in which the elite, while remaining the elite and retaining their wealth, status and power; operate by creating, importing and sustaining a supposed proletariat of deserving 'victims'; the whole system functioning by extracting resources from a diminishing minority of full-time working taxpayers (i.e. the reviled 'middle class' - predominantly composed of native-born married men).

It is a weird world... The fact that almost-nobody can see what is factually the case; and instead regards this as a world in which the only group of people who do real work, and support the others; are actually the only group of people who are openly mocked, loathed and persecuted is perhaps not surprising - given that the workers are a shrinking minority.

But the further interesting and significant aspect is that the ruling elites are systematically and strategically destroying this system - which seems to benefit them so much; especially by importing truly colossal numbers of increasingly entitled and resentful dependents from around the world - in the UK amounting to one major city's worth per year (more than 10 million added to a country of 60 million in just 15 years).

Obviously this will destroy the system.

What will the result be? Well, on present trends, a wide-spread and lasting state of widespread mutual envy, resentment, material greed and fear. A low-level war of each group against all others, of fragile fake alliances; a world in which the individual is defined by allocated group; and thus a world in which groups cohere only by fear - and in which self-destructive despair lies in wait whenever fear and hatred subside...

So the elite are deliberately sawing-off the branch they rest upon: but why?

My answer is that the elite persons are the servile dupes of the real rulers - who are supernatural demonic forces of evil; this explains why the elite are Not ruling in their own best interest - nor the best interests of any humans.

And it is surprising how very few people recognise this fact!...

Well - no it isn't surprising - since this real-reality is ruled-out for almost everyone by the assumption that there cannot exist any such cause.

This is a weird world, it is a delusional world; but that is to be expected - insanity is inevitable - when the public world is one in which spiritual facts are ruled-out by prior assumptions that (because the assumptions are metaphysical) cannot ever be refuted by any possible evidence.

But insanity is maladaptive, necessarily - by ignoring crucially-explanatory causal realities, behaviour fails: it cannot sustain itself. 

So we go on our merry way to self-damnation...

Friday, 12 October 2018

Why is consciousness the key?

Consciousness is indeed the key - and the problem can be approached from several directions to yield this same answer: that (here and now, in our current situation) we must become aware of that which we used to take for granted, unconsciously - and must actively and knowingly embrace what we used passively to obey.

All this need to take place in a Christian frame - because consciousness without Christianity is a curse; and will be fled from into instinct, intoxication or passive obedience (as we see). And because without God (a personal God, the creator, who loves us each personally), there can be no knowledge.

The problem is seldom presented; but when acknowledged it is usually in terms of whom we should obey... The mainstream materialist media?  A particular church? Our own pleasure seeking/ suffering avoiding instincts?

None of these will suffice, none of them are acceptable or effective. Unacceptable to our deepest, intuitive selves; ineffective in terms of this modern world.

We need each to 'dig' down to expose our fundamentasl assumptions to consciousness, so that we know what we have believed; then we should either consciously endorse these assumptions as solidities upon which we can build; or reject them - replace them.

But this is not a safe path - and it is worrying how many assumptions melt-away under the spotlight of consciousness and the tireless gaze of intuition. It is likely that we will be left with fewer assumptions; at any rate that is my experience. It is almost certain that we will be in a minority of one...

But those assumptions which remain after such a process are solid; we know them, and can defend and retain them against external attack because we do not regard external attackers as valid.

We can defend them in thought - I mean. Indeed, better than that - much better - they no longer need defending... They have become ultimately unassailable.

Of course; external power can influence, perhaps control, our mortal bodies; can terrorise us, perhaps, into doing or saying this or that; but once an assumption has been exposed and made conscious and intuitively endorsed... well, then we have it forever, we can't ever again be rid of it even if we want to - because then we will know that we are only kidding ourselves, and would not be rid of it.

We can nowadays, in The West, survive and thrive only on known certainties (both known, and certain) - and this process seems to be the only way to get them.

Review of Jeremy Naydler's In the shadow of the machine: the prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness

Published in the current issue of Oxford Magazine – by Bruce G Charlton

Review of: Jeremy Naydler. In the shadow of the machine: the prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness. Temple Lodge Publishing: Forest Row, Sussex, 2018 pp xi, 373.

Oxford residents might have come-across Jeremy Naydler; since he often guides tours of the city and has given lectures to a wide range of local groups over recent decades. He is also a Fellow of the Temenos Academy, and teaches at their London headquarters. Or perhaps you have come-across him looking after flowers and vegetables in the suburbs? Because Naydler’s main lifetime job has been as a gardener.

He read PPE in the nineteen seventies and then pursued scholarly interests independently before completing a PhD in middle age; on the subject of the pyramid texts of Ancient Egypt. Since publishing books on this subject and on Goethe’s science in 1996; Jeremy Naydler has become, in my judgment, one of the most interesting and original living writers in Britain.

Naydler’s central concern is the interaction between human consciousness and human culture; and he is of the opinion (which I share) that changes in human consciousness have been a driving factor in cultural evolution; as well as cultural evolution having affected human consciousness. Hence the subtitle of this book: The prehistory of the computer and the evolution of consciousness.

What makes this book distinctive is that it is a prehistory of computers. In other words, it is about the stepwise change in human thinking and technology that led, over a span of thousands of years, to the situation in the late 20th century in which - suddenly – computers became first possible, then developed with astonishing speed, and then swiftly took-over first the material world and, increasingly, human thinking. For this progression to happen in just three generations from the first electronic computers until today, was possible only because all the necessary pieces were already in-place.

In the Shadow of the Machine is thus a work in the genre History of Ideas, and as such it is exceptionally thorough and carefully argued. The argument is broadly chronological, describing many steps in the development of each significant component necessary for the computers of today. And as well as describing the specifics of the technological changes; these are related to the necessary conceptual change in the people involved, without which the technological progression could not have happened, and would neither have been understood nor implemented.

Naydler starts with some of the most simple of technologies from the oldest societies of which we have record; such as the Ancient Egyptian methods for raising water; or, as another example, medieval clocks and renaissance calculating devices. He explains why there were periods when apparently-valuable technologies were known-about but not used; then quite rapidly, something changed and the technologies became widespread.

But computers are software as well as hardware; so Naydler also lists and discusses the changes in symbolic notation, language, numbers, logic and so forth – and how these were implemented in physical form – via cogs, punched cards, switches etc.

Then there is electricity; without which computers would have remained exceedingly simple and slow. One of the most fascinating themes of this book is the discussion of the mysterious nature of electricity (and electricity turns-out to be much stranger, and much less well understood, than commonly realised); and the way that its ‘reputation’ began as something dark sinister, alien, inhuman – but later took on increasingly positive connotations until it became so pervasive as to be all-but invisible.

In the Shadow of the Machine takes up right up to the early years of modern computers and the threshold of our current era, and concludes with some wise words about the implications of computers for the way we think – and the established and increasing degree to which our own thinking is entrained to being computer-compatible; such that we habitually think like machines, and tend to disregard any thinking that does not conform to this reduced mode.

In sum; this is a book of ancient history that is of crucial importance for the present and future.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Life after the Red Pill - (More Matrix) - Cypher as representative modern Man

In The Matrix movie (1999) there is a character called Cypher who chooses to live a life of pleasant delusion plugged-into the Matrix, rather than to live in reality where there is considerable hardship, deprivation, constant threat. For Cypher, 'red pill' reality is wholly negative (bad food, sexual frustration - the only relief being intoxication), whereas 'blue pill' life in the Matrix simulation has at least some positive features.

Cypher is a representative modern Man - a normal member of Western society: which is to say he is a materialist and a hedonist: he lives to maximise here-and-now pleasure and minimise suffering. For him it is better to live a fake life than a miserable one; and if life isn't net pleasurable then it is better to be dead and oblivious ASAP.

Contrast Morpheus: he seems happy, is positive about real life, and feels no fear. Why the difference? Because Morpheus is not a materialist - he is religious, and because (therefore) he does not live for pleasure but for meaning and purpose in an ultimate sense.

Cypher's life is meaningless and purposeless - whether inside the Matrix or outside of it; therefore he prefers the most pleasurable option. Cypher is also a traitor, quite happy to sacrifice or actively kill his 'family' when that seems likely to brings him more pleasure... and, from his perspective, why not?

When life is material and evaluated by pleasure - as it surely is for most mainstream, modern, people in the West - then Cypher is normal, and Cyphers's morality the only that makes sense. The Cyphers of this world do not want reality, because the 'reality' they are prepared to acknowledge has zero meaning; and if they are forced to take a red pill and inhabit their version of real-reality then they will seek intoxication, to return to the fake work of delusions; or will kill themselves (since they believe that biological death means the end of consciousness).

The red pill is therefore only valuable to the religious; to those who acknowledge reality beyond materialism, life beyond biology. This is why most people prefer lives of mass media addiction, plugged-into the Matrix of the internet and social media 24/7 - and why they are purposively and by choice hedonic, immoral, intoxication-seeking, and prone to despair.

Yet, to be a materialist hedonist is itself a choice - a metaphysical choice; such people have decided to reject the possibility of meaning and purpose and real relationships. In a nutshell, they have decided that God is not and cannot be real - the consequence being that nothing is real (except current feelings- and these are transient). They have then closed their minds to having made this decision and claim it has been forced upon them by 'evidence'.

They claim that it is Morpheus who is deluded; that Morpheus is living a lie, that Morpheus is the one who indulges in wishful thinking that prophecies are true, and Neo is the saviour; claim that Morpheus is pretending because living a lie happens to be more pleasurable to him personally.

And no matter what actually happens, they will continue to believe that life is nothing more than materialistic, meaningless hedonism - and that anything which Neo does to save is just-a-coincidence... No possible evidence is ever going to be sufficient to persuade the Cyphers that they were wrong, are wrong, have made an error of assumption. No evidence will ever suffice because their primary (denied) choice to reject God is metaphysically-deep, and therefore that primary choice frames their interpretation of whatever happens-to-happen.

Cypher is the normal, majority, representative modern Man because he has chosen to make his actual life, and all possible lives he might ever lead in any circumstances, meaningless - and he is stuck in this situation, permanently; because he will never admit that this was in fact a choice that he actually made.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Any real-life Matrix could Not be Only computers - but would Always require Beings

There is a common notion that there could, in principle, be a ruling Matrix that was entirely an Artificial Intelligence; consisting entirely of computers - and that such could (for good or ill) administer reality.

But this is not possible, even in theory. The world of computers is a world of quantities, of numbers; and as such excludes the issue of which qualities - of the entirety of open-ended and interconnected reality - is being 'modelled' by the numbers.

But modern Man has become very adept at blinding himself to the presence of Beings in all functional systems - Beings with life, consciousness and purpose. The Scientist is left-out of science, The Bureaucrat ignored in a Bureaucracy. Yet he is always present, always making selections and judgements and over-riding The System - and necessarily so.

This will never go away - so if, or when, there is claimed to be a purely objective, quantitative, numerical System in place; there will always be, somewhere and probably concealed, a Being or Beings standing-outside and above The System and manipulating it, adjusting it; partly to maintain its processes, and overall in-line-with their purposes.

It is ultimately these Beings which matter; far more than any System, any Artificial Intelligence - and in some ways The System functions merely to conceal this reality. It is a case of 'Pay no attention to that Being behind The System...'.

And this is precisely why modernity is tending towards a single bureaucratic System; why all mainstream politics and media converge upon this version of the future; because The Matrix both facilitates and conceals the influence of demonic Beings on the world. 


The Matrix movie (1999)

A convincing prophet meets The Saviour - offers cookies...

(NOTE: Many spoilers below.) 

I have just rewatched The Matrix movie (1999) and I thought it was even better second time around. I had a memory that there was a flaw in that the martial arts scenes were over-extended - but (with the exception of the gunfight rescue of Morpheus) this is not really the case: there is something being told us with almost all of the phases of the various battles.

My impression this time around is that The Matrix is a really outstanding 5 Star movie; in which nothing goes for nothing - and where there is a very satisfying quality to the whole thing. I found it genuinely wise - in those parts where wisdom was aimed-at. The acting (and direction) of the principal actors is outstanding.

I was more aware of the spiritual dimension of the piece, too; there is an Old Testament like prominence given to prophecy (and the importance of prophets - ie. The Oracle). For Christians, there are several strong symbolic aspects (not necessarily deliberate - the authors aren't Christian), if we want to notice them: Morpheus as John the Baptist; Neo as Saviour who dies and is resurrected; Trinity (more loosely) as Mary Magdalene etc. But these I noticed afterwards, on reflection, rather than during. The end is not perfect - more than a touch of the inexplicit 'walking into the sunset' about it - but good enough to make the movie 'work'.

I think one of the aspects that helped me enjoy The Matrix more the second time, was that I set-aside the central nonsensical plot implausibility, which was apparently externally imposed on the film makers; of having the Matrix consist of human 'batteries' - their bodies providing energy to the Machines. Instead; I mentally-substituted the original conception that the machines were exploiting human minds and their computing power, and that an interconnected human neural network constituted most of the Matrix.

Having started watching the second Matrix movie; the sudden gap in quality and aspiration is very obvious. It's not that the sequels are bad - as movies they are fine - but that they are utterly different and at a much lower level of ambition (and therefore attainment). They also create the plot swerve and raggedness that makes it turn-out that Agent Smith is actually The One; whereas in the first movie it is unambiguously Neo - and this swerve destroys some of the coherent, satisfying, underlying, symbolism of the The Matrix.

Aside; I always regard it as a pity when a totalitarian dystopia is established by a 'fascistic' war and imposed by violence; whereas in this real world the analogous society is being incrementally and bureaucratically-implemented without significant resistance by the global ruling class; with the active support and cooperation of the linked bureaucracies and mass media. The real-world Matrix is actually-existing socialism; meanwhile the real-world rebels are characterised as Right Wing Reactionaries and enemies of individual 'freedom' (especially extra-marital-transgressive sexual freedoms).

Of course, such a truthful movie could never emanate from Hollywood, nor - specifically - from the makers of The Matrix. We have to make such adjustments ourselves, by our personal interpretative work.

How the Elizabethans saw the world, the universe... discussed by William Wildblood at Albion Awakening.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Mosquito bites can be cured with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide

I discovered this for myself by using Benzoyl Peroxide 10% as an antiseptic on a mosquito bite which looked as if it would get infected.

A blob of cream onto the bite, then this was covered by a sticking plaster overnight - because Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleach, and will bleach your clothing, bedding or towels if it is not covered, then washed-off carefully.

Within less than an hour, the bite had stopped itching, and the next day it had started to flatten-out - I generally had no further trouble.

To provide context, a mosquito bite will usually last me for 4-6 weeks, and itch for most of that time.

This first accidental experiment seemed promising; so I tried it a few more times over the summer (which was exceptionally warm, humid and mosquito-y), and it works for me as described above. Once I needed an extra second overnight treatment when a bite began itching again.

I've also found a couple of similar experiences reported on the interweb - so it seems pretty conclusive. Mosquito bites can apparently be cured with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide - which product is obtainable without prescription - it is mostly used to treat acne.

Note: I previously reported that BP can also be used to treat shaving rash/ ingrowing beard stubble... 

Note added: In the comments; CCL describes hypothetical possible mechanisms by which BP might work to help mosquito bites. Conventionally BP is supposed to have a dual-action - an oxidising antiseptic in the short-term and and a peeling agent over a few days. But the rapidity of the action I describe, suggests to me that BP is rapidly denaturing the mosquito saliva to prevent its irritating effect, and also disabling the local inflammatory immune response... in some way.  

Monday, 8 October 2018

Dido's Lament by Purcell

This is the first - perhaps only? - first-rank classical opera aria written by an English composer; here sung with a gorgeously liquid mezzo tone by Tatiana Troyanos, and accompanied to perfection by the great Charles Mackerras.

Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.

When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.

From Dido and Aeneas (1983-8) - Music by Henry Purcell, words by Nahum Tate. 

Landscape then and now

It was in the summer of 1991 that I developed a newly intense awareness-of, sensitivity-to, landscape - and that has remained with me. Certain 'views' and places evoke a powerful sensation.

The raw feeling has stayed the same, but my understanding or interpretation of this raw feeling has changed a great deal. Then I would muse on my genetic and cultural links to the place; and I would hope for some kind of real-world, material, and indeed political change.

In effect; then I was regarding affecting landscape, place, situation etc. as representing or signalling a means to some other end; a spiritual sign of hoped-for material change: change in my fortunes, economic improvement, a renaissance of culture.

In one word, the ecstatic feeling was secondary; and the base reason was that I was a materialist, and I believed only in that which was ultimately sense-perceptible, and I was sure that mortal life was the only life so my task was to have as pleasant a life as possible. Therefore, if evocative landscape was to have a real, rather than self-deceptive and delusional, value; it must therefore be some presage or hint at the direction some possible life change that would lead to my greater happiness.

(Later on, when I became interested in hunter-gatherer shamanism; I would try to sink-myself-into this feeling; to lose my self-consciousness by inhabiting it. This almost never worked! - or rather, if it did, then I would not (by definition!) be aware of its success.)

Now; things are different - partly in attainment, and more in aspiration. That same feeling is now grounded in an awareness that the feeling represents a reality; and specifically a reality in the realm of thinking.

Because I now have a very different set of metaphysical assumptions regarding the fundamental nature of reality; when I become aware of the feeling evoked by some place or situation and I am trying to interpret  and understand what is going-on; I have a knowledge that this thinking is a reality, and that there is a relationship between my-self and that which I am regarding - a 'personal' relationship between Beings.

I am aware that distance is irrelevant when there is a shared basis in reality - because that shared basis is the only direct and proximate and real form of sharing. I don't expect to understand what this experience 'means' in any specific or explicit way - but I know that it does have meaning.

This is quite distinct from the idea of an experience being valuable 'in itself' - because value needs a context or else it is meaningless; and meaning requires purpose, so that context for experience must be dynamic, a process, a narrative.

Now, my context is creation, and the primary reality is in what might be termed 'divine thinking' - creation is God's thinking, and our knowledge-of and participation-in God's creation is also by thinking - and not, therefore, by the actions of material bodies.

In sum; when I experience that ecstatic feeling from landscape Now - assuming I remember and am able -  it is not just a means-to-an-end but instead a permanently significant and direct experience.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

The problem of freedom And harmony in creation

The problem (for God) is to harmonise the individual free-wills of a multitude of men. This must be on the one hand a choice, yet on the other hand robust - permanent - if Heaven is to be viable.

It was the work of Jesus to enable free wills to harmonise in this way.

This could not be achieved by The Father - he could only subordinate wills, passively, by obedience to his laws. It could only be achieved by the Son.

This was possible because the real-divine self is universal - and thus selves are 'overlapping', but the incarnated body is capable of genuine agency. In this way, a choice of the real-divine self has universal consequences.

So, while thinking from false, or superficial selves is merely a personal and private fantasy; thinking from the real-divine self is a potentially-universal, shared reality. The 'mechanism' of salvation is consciousness - and by theosis - meaning that it is by becoming divine in our thinking that we attain to permanent salvation, in which state all wills are naturally aligned, because all are thinking from reality.

(Reality being the creation of God.)

In this sense, the mechanism of salvation by the incarnate Jesus, was that Jesus was thinking from his real-divine self, and whatever he achieved in his body was therefore universal.

But this becoming-divine (divination) of consciousness can only be chosen; it cannot be imposed. Thus Jesus need to be incarnated as a Man, to make this free choice.

In contrast, those who take a path of not-thinking, or of obedience merely to the father - and also those who choose a path of amplifying their purely-personal imaginings - cannot move to the level of universal reality that is Heaven. 

It is love that enables the move; love that makes people want reality; hence the two great 'commandments' to love God and 'neighbour'. These commandments are not orders to be 'obeyed'; they are an objective description of the choices that are required.

Unless you love God and his creation and also your neighbours - who will dwell with you in Heaven - then you Will Not join it.

We join as individuals; but we then live in-creation with all others who live in-creation.

If you do Not want to live with these others in chosen harmony, because you love them; then you will Not inhabit creation. You will therefore live out-of-creation, in chaos; either consciously alone in your own imagination, or else unconsciously (unaware) alone in chaos (Nirvanah). 

Choice is a necessary aspect of free will, which is a fact of existence; the creative harmony of Heaven cannot be imposed but most be chosen - and for Heaven to be harmony it must be chosen for love.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Could someone infer Jesus from Life, without scriptural (or church) revelation?

Not, of course, the specific person, his name and history; but yes.

Since we can have a relationship with the Holy Ghost, and have the possibility of direct knowledge from the Holy Ghost; we can know Jesus without being told.

We can know from death and its implications, that we need a saviour - who could offer us eternal life.

We can know from life and its problems and limitations, that we need to become divine; that we need theosis: we need to become Sons of God.

Thus we can know what we need and that we cannot get it for ourselves; and we could learn - directly from a relationship with the Holy Ghost - that we have, in fact, been granted what we need - if we choose to accept it.

So, even if there was no Bible, or we had no access to Scripture, or if it had been corrupted; or if Christian churches were absent or corrupted - we could come to know and love Jesus Christ.

Engaging with mainstream media in the End Times...

In a piece at my Inklings blog (The Notion Club Papers) I take a brief, but representative and revealing, passage from the biography of CS Lewis by Alister McGrath. I interpret it as a microcosm of the escalating Spiritual War that has become all-pervasive - un-avoidable, choice-compelling - in these End Times.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

A world of people and institutions who are unshakeably wrong about everything important, all of the time

What they think is important is trivial and false; what they suppose to be proven-untrue is not just correct but blindingly obvious to the meanest intellect; what they suppose to be based on evidence is simply assumed...

Every new idea they have is wrong and harmful; everything they want to abolish is better than what they want to replace it with...

The people they admire are manufactured fakes - the people they despise include saints and creative geniuses.

Their idea of beauty is viscerally ugly - they go to great expense and effort to erect vile and useless buildings and construct futile technologies.

They mock wholesome virtue and call it hypocrisy because it is flawed; and give medals, prizes and aristocratic titles to the successfully greedy, lustful, dishonest and exploitative - especially when they boast about their wickedness.  

Their entire world view is a conspiracy theory of made-up paranoia; while they label common sense inferences based on plain facts as conspiracy theories.

They regard themselves as anti-authoritarian while believing anything and everything purely on the basis of their notions of high status provenance.

Most importantly, they despise and mock faith - regarding it as gullible, wishful thinking; their own faith is invisible to them, paradoxically denied by them - yet is responsible for all the above.

I wish people would stop being surprised and outraged about political correctness...

What is the point in compiling, detailing and trying specifically to combat the never ending, ever-worsening examples of the sheer, delusional insanity of political correctness?

Surely, after what you must know of, from personal experience and via trusted sources, about (say) three of these witch-hunts; then you must know they are a not-going-away reality?

And surely, people must have reached that point... what, ten, twenty years ago? 

In 2010 when I was writing my first book on political correctness - Thought Prison (2011) - I refrained from providing examples of PC madness (although I knew, from direct personal 'insider' experience, of several) because it was long-since time to move-on...

We now know (don't we?) that political correctness, Social Justice Warriors, the the New Left or Cultural Left (whatever you want to call it) is not a temporary blip, it is not a pendulum swing to be corrected soon, it is not going away!

Unless and when it will go away, because of a massive cultural transformation; and this massive cultural transformation must be religious.

The transformation need not (perhaps probably, on present trends, will not) be Christian; but it will absolutely certainly 100% NOT be secular, nationalist, common-sensical, materialist-economic, or from a desire to preserve Culture.

We know (don't we, surely?) that none of these are powerful enough (here and now) to achieve the transformation needed.

And the transformation must be a transformation - sensible tweaks and adjustments will only make matters worse, because any temporary benefits in efficiency or productivity will surely go to those in-power (the Global Establishment and their puppets); and they will use the resources to fuel yet more, and more-rapid, PC. 

We also ought to know that a collapse of The System will not, of itself, be enough to end the totalitarian tyranny...  Although it may render The West open to more rapid and complete religious colonisation from elsewhere (if any such is viable).

Unless the hearts and minds of people change, the End Times will become obvious to those with eyes to see; and will proceed irreversibly to the end of all things on a timetable we do not and cannot know.

Currently, that seems by far the most likely scenario - but the only hope of its being delayed is if people stop being fixated upon the daily incidents of mass politics, disengage from fake participation in media events; and focus on the deep, religious causes and cures of our situation.

Because our real situation is religious, not political; spiritual not material; about damnation not suffering. 

My mantra remains what it was in 2011: Choose your religion: because TINA (There Is No Alternative).

The Sea, The Sea!

As a child I loved the sea, and wanted to be near it - luckily for me, I was. There was a little cove with a sandy beach just a mile's walk from my home.

My holidays were spent even nearer to a beach in Northumberland; colder water, but nicer sand...

My favourite family day out was to go somewhere and visit... another beach.

All this ended when we moved to Somerset. At first I did not recognise my peril, because we were not many miles from the coast - but after we had visited the nearest beach...

And the biggest and most famous beach/ mud-flats

I began to feel hemmed-in, almost suffocated by the lack of decent, acceptable beaches - beaches became a thing purely of holidays.

And so things remained until, on the threshold of adolescence, I discovered Tolkien - and my allegiance switched to... Woods and Forests!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Since all knowledge is incomplete - what is the difference between directly apprehended ('mystical') knowledge and 'communication'?

In response to a recent post - commenter CCL posed an important question about the incompleteness of knowledge. I had asserted that what is known of reality directly and without communication was true; whereas anything communicated was indirect, selective, biased and necessarily untrue.

Yet even the directly-known reality is incomplete, since we have limited capacity for knowledge, limited time and experience - and ultimately because unless we already know 'everything' including all possible relations of things, then we cannot know anything, absolutely.

This analysis would seem to suggest that, since both direct and communicated knowledge are both incomplete - and incomplete in unknowable ways; mystical knowledge is in principle prone to wrongness for similar reasons to communication. It might be inferred that since both are incomplete, and because the entirety the reality can never be know; we can never really know anything about anything!

But this paradoxical conclusion derives from an unstated assumption which is that true knowledge of reality is being defined in an abstract and absolute fashion - and having set-up this abstraction of infinite and perfect knowledge we then find that any actual knowledge is, by comparison with supposed infinite perfection, always and necessarily deficient...

Yet the abstraction of infinite and perfect knowledge has no necessary reality! It is merely something we have said or thought: a ghost - a vague un-understood, indefinable notion which we then find has apparently invalidated even the knowledge that there is such a things as this supposed infinite and perfect reality!

(In other words; even if there was such a 'thing' as infinite and perfect knowledge, how could a finite and falwed creature such as myself or anyone else ever know that it was indeed real and true?)

I realise that such infinite, perfect abstractions have been the bread-and-butter of philosophy and theology for some two and a half thousand years - but neither that duration, nor the great eminence of the names who wrote as if they really solidly understood such abstraction, does not lend them ultimate validity in face of the intractable paradoxes that result from them.

One way that people try to get-around this paradox is to posit a God who comprehends all infinite perfections (the 'omni' God that is infinite in all respects - knowledge, power, presence etc.). But even such an incomprehensible, un-understandable and non-Biblical entity as the omni-God does not overcome the problem of how you and I could know for sure of that God's reality.

The answer is that knowledge is neither absolute, nor infinite, nor perfect; but is always relative to capacity, experience etc. Truth is a full understanding to the limit of our capacity - attained by direct apprehension, or 'mystically' - but our capacity (etc.) for knowledge may increase.

A being of far greater capacity and experience than ourselves - such as God, the creator - is capable of far greater knowledge. And as the capacity and experience of God increases through time, and the work of his children, so God's knowledge will increase.

Since all beings are finite, there is no absolute-truth, knowable solely by abstract definition, lying somewhere infinitely beyond actually-known-truth. Or rather - there is no reason why we must believe, by metaphysical assumption, that this is a correct description of reality.

Let us then assume that knowledge is Not to be regarded as an abstraction (capable of infinite perfection) - and instead assume that Creation consists of actual Beings (alive, conscious, with purposes), including God the creator, in relationships with one another. Let us assume that that is the ultimate reality.

In other words, let us assume that the basic understanding of children (and - apparently - of the most ancient type of tribal societies) has this basically correct; that the true metaphysics is built-into us; and it is our job to become aware of it and to understand it - rather than to reject it in favour of man-made paradoxical abstractions.

Individuality and incarnation

The faceless massed hosts of Heaven? No, not really....

The most powerful argument of 'modernism' is probably its positive attitude to, its advocacy of, individuality. It's interesting how often the argument comes down this - and serious Christians nearly always seem to end up arguing against individuality and in favour of some kind of communalism, some kind of subordination of the individual to the group - or to God.

Now, this is wrong - I think we feel it is wrong, at a deep intuitive level (I certainly do).

Furthermore, mainstream modern materialist Leftism is in practice strongly anti-individual (ie. totalitarian); while Christianity requires an absolute agency of each individual.

But how did this confusion arise - with so many people, for so long, arguing on the wrong sides?

I think the root of The Problem is, as usual, metaphysical - it relates to mistaken fundamental assumptions of most Christians concerning reality. The particular assumption relates to incarnation, the embodiment of humans - how and when this happens...

I think most Christians start from an unspoken and unexamined assumption that all Men were - to put it crudely - stamped-out as identical incarnate souls (probably) at some point between conception and birth; and all differences have arisen since then. The (wrong) assumption that all of us started-out The Same, and that individual differences we observe in this world are an unfortunate consequence of mortal corruption - and so the supposed-aim is that (in resurrected post-mortal life) we ought-to end-up as again The Same. This is envisaged as being absorbed-into a uniformity - as when Heaven is pictured (usually mentally) in terms of massed and apparently-uniform hosts, choirs, worshippers, praisers, armies, obedient classes of persons. 

(Yet, surely, this conceptualisation clashes absolutely with the life and teaching of Jesus in the Gospels?)

In contrast, my contention is that the incarnation of Men is fundamentally like that of Jesus Christ. It is accepted by most Christians that Jesus was alive (co-eternally with The Father) before he was incarnated on earth; and (as is standard doctrine for Mormons) I believe that the same applies to all Men.

If such a pre-mortal spirit existence is accepted for all Men, and not for Jesus only; then this harmonises easily with the understanding that we, each of us, always-were distinct individualities. We were each unique individuals from eternity, from before we were conceived or born - we were born as unique individuals - and that is our ultimate and divine destiny.

Our Christian God, the creator, does not want same-ness, does not want people to be identical with one another: the plan always was and remains that we are unique individuals who should live together in-love.

And this is why love must be central to Christianity - it is by love (as we may glimpse in the best mortal marriage, family or friendship) that different individuals may live, work, create together in harmony and with a mutually-reinforcing (synergistic) effect.

The original Problem for God was therefore (in a very simplified sense) how to create this reality in such a way that already unique individuals would - voluntarily, by choice, in knowledge, over Time - reach a situation in which all would create-together in a wholly-harmonious and mutually-reinforcing way.

God has no interest in making everybody the same, or subordinating the individual - except sometimes as a matter of temporary expediency during the long period of learning. But the primary nature and goal of God's reality is of individuals working towards a loving harmony of creation.

Therefore, I regard the modernist materialist advocacy of individuality as a perversion and distortion of what God really does want. And I regard the standard mainstream Christian opposition to this individuality as an error; induced by the temporary expediencies of what might be termed 'social policy' or 'church order' - which are important but not fundamental Christian Goods.

Isolated, focal Good attracts the demons

It is a problem of traditional concepts of Christianity that it tends to set-up very focal and specific centres of Good - and these are easily subverted. If there is an especially holy place, person, ritual - then it gets noticed, labelled, publicised - and will attract concentrated demonic attention. Goodness comes under siege, is forced to defend and defend, and - sooner or later - the defence is breached.

This is what has happened about sacred places and site of pilgrimage - the more they are identified and discussed, the more that demonic persons will swarm to them. Glastonbury is a clear example. The mainstream churches another. The reputations of great and good persons or events is another. 

It happens with everything, because when there isn't much goodness, overwhelming force can be brought to bear - while if goodness is common and dispersed, then this takes much longer to defeat - the forces of evil must act serially, and move from one target to another.

This was, we can now see in retrospect, what was happening through the 1800s into the middle 20th century - individual instances of goodness were identified and - in series - attacked, corrupted, subverted, destroyed or inverted.

But nowadays, when good places, people, things are rare - they can all be simultaneously outnumbered and simultaneously besieged (if they do not crumble instantly in the face of overwhelming force). For example, there are only few people of leadership calibre in any specific domain of human activity, and only a few of these natural leaders are good people - yet when a good leader emerges anywhere, he can be, and soon is, identified, surrounded, neutralised and destroyed.

There is a lesson here, I think: Goodness must now be more inward, dispersed, individual, bottom-up - less dependent on specific and vulnerable material factors. As usual, we cannot rely on looking outside ourselves for strong and stable spiritual guidance (guidance that we need only to obey) - such needs to come from a direct relationship with the divine. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Forty years ago... William Arkle/ Colin Wilson/ Glenn Gould/ Michael Tippett

In the summer and autumn of 1978, I discovered several people and themes that have remained with me over the past four decades; and which have interacted in some of my deepest and most intense concerns.

Perhaps the first was coming-across the composer Michael Tippett's volume of essays called Moving into Aquarius, which I found in an English bookshop in Athens. This really fascinated me, and I read and re-read it - eventually writing a fan letter to the author, to which I received a nice reply from his assistant.

Tippett's writing (and, of course, some of his music - especially the oratorios and operas) was about the division between science and technics on the one hand, and the imagination and art on the other - he classical 'Romantic' problem, in other words. I had already been primed for this, both from my own experiences as a scientist/ medical student who was also active in music and drama; and from reading RM Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in August 1976.

Over the summer vacation I made another discovery of William Arkle's Geography of Consciousness in the Edinburgh city library, with its introduction by Colin Wilson - leading onto my first reading of CW's The Outsider. Again the Romantic theme; but this time addressed in terms of the states of consciousness. The idea was that we actually solve the Romantic problem - albeit intermittently and for short periods of time - when we attain to certain, higher states of consciousness. And, of course, this has remained central to my thinking ever since.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe of that year, I attended a comedy review during which some intermission music was provided by a pianist and double bassist playing Bach, slightly 'jazzed'. This led first to Jacques Loussier, and then to Bach played 'straight' on piano; that is, to Glenn Gould - initially his LPs of The Well-Tempered Clavier, then to the Goldberg variations and the Partitas. Over the next months; I found a few articles and interviews on Gould and recognised that he was a player of exceptional intensity and inspiration: that he played-in and communicated that same state of 'ecstatic' consciousness which was discussed by Arkle and Wilson.

So I began to brood on these matters, and on the way of life of these living geniuses; and tried to move my own life in the same direction - in my leisure from a pretty intensive course of study at Medical School. I began to think along mystical lines, including notions such as special times of magical being, the possibility of remote empathic contact, and the 'touching' of minds - these being another kind of that 'alienation-healing' consciousness.

Of course much else was happening during this eventful era; but this Romantic theme (which nowadays makes up the bulk of my blogging) was firmly established at that time.

Is mystical experience *distinctively* 'ineffable' - No, because All experience, All possible knowledge, is strictly inexpressible

 By Caspar David Friederich (1774-1840)

It is often said that mystical experience is ineffable, that is it cannot be expressed or comprehended... but this restriction applies to all possible communications.

Communication is, in the first place, always a partial, hence distorted or biased, summary of reality (because, in reality, everything is linked and there are an open-ended number of possible relevant factors) - and following that, the transmission and reception and comprehension of any communication is liable to limitations and errors.

So ineffability is a false and misleading definition. What is trying to be said is simply that the only truth about reality must be known directly, without any communication. Thus, all communication can do is point in the direction of truth - and to share a truth is for two or more persons directly to experience the same truth.

All true knowledge of reality is therefore a 'mysical' experience.

And any communication that claims to be true - whether it be in the form of mathematics, logic, science or anything else - is making a necessarily false claim. 

I suspect that this is the general-language pointer at the truth which underpins the specifically mathematical/ logical assertion of Godel's incompleteness theorem. All Mathematics. Logic, Science is always incomplete - hence always wrong; and wrong in ways that that discipline can never know (because all disciplines are based on communications, hence are incomplete).

Direct or 'mystical' knowledge is therefore the only real knowledge; and each must know it for himself, from personal experience - else it is not known.

Monday, 1 October 2018

The value of hard-line extremism

Looking-back over my (non-)career, one striking aspect is that I have always been a hard-line extremist. And still am.

Whatever ideas I adopted, I pretty quickly took them to an extreme such that I could never find anybody else (in 'real life' or on paper) that took them quite as far as I did. (Still true.)

Of course, this meant that I was nearly-always wrong about things; but after all, wrongness is nearly universal - so that doesn't distinguish me from the norm.

However, the fact that I followed-through the wrongness and did not back-off to being 'moderate' and fuzzy when things started getting absurd, was exactly what brought me to abandon one wrong idea after another.

And once I had lived-through this experince of knowing the wrongness from-the-inside, it meant that I really knew why these things were wrong; and could then move-on.

Insofar as I have made any contributions, this is exactly why. I kept-on thinking and inferring until eventually the exact nature of my error/s became crystal clear.

So, while I am a bit ashamed, I mostly don't regret being so wrong about so many things; I don't see how else I personally would (in the end) have discovered something of truth and reality. 

What would happen if a million minds simultaneously awoke to Christian reality?

This inspiring - and not-impossible - scenario is discussed at the Albion Awakening blog.