Tuesday 31 December 2019

Chinese whispers by multiple cumulative translations into and out-of English

Wm Jas Tychonievich has given us what deserves to become a classic of literary wit by performing the following procedure of cumulative translation:

"I put the 103 languages in random order, and started with a short poem by Yeats. I translated it into the first language, then back into English; translated the result into the second languages, then back into English, and so on. Below are the results, showing every tenth translation so that you can follow the progressive degradation of the text. (I've added line breaks and capitalization to imitate the poetic form of the original; everything else is reproduced verbatim from Google Translate.)"

For the highly amusing and confusing result - go to his From the Narrow Desert blog.

Why modern materialism was necessary, despite its demonic possibilities; and how the 'thinking of the heart' is the way forward: Stanley Messenger gives Rudolf Steiner's teachings

Unless we reach the point where we believe nothing except what comes to us through our senses and the intellect, we will be ruled by a compelled belief in some kind of divine source. We have to reach a situation of total materialism order to free ourselves from a belief in the divine that we cannot avoid. 

The whole process of human evolution has been geared towards producing a species of conscious entity that can approach the divine but is not compelled to do so. We can either believe in God or we needn't believe in God - it is a matter of our freedom. 

That was impossible until we had reached such a point in human evolution that we could actually come to the conclusion that there was no God. If you can't come to the conclusion that there is no divine world, you are not free to choose. 

The huge evolutionary step that has been taken over thousands of years in Man's history is that a conscious being now exists in the universe which can arrogate to its own consciousness freedom to decide what is true - to create universes. And this is a perilous and devilish capacity; and is at the same time a capacity that can raise mankind to the level of the gods. 

What is the difference between those two possibilities? The difference is whether, in this growth of self-awareness, mankind comes to the realisation that the perceptions of the heart are more fundamental than the perceptions of the brain. That our capacity to know through the heart reaches a more profound and truth-filled level than can be reached by perception, hypothesis and analysis.


Transcribed from a lecture by Stanley Messenger to the Wessex Research Group, probably in the middle 1990s. (For more on Stanley Messenger, see this memorial website.) 

The above passage is a very lucid summary of the evolutionary views of Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield; including the way that the necessary materialism of modernity brings us to a fork in the road.

A divergence where one path (which is the one historically and currently taken by The West) leads to a 'perilous and devilish' world (as described by both Steiner and Barfield); and the other path (the 'road not - yet - taken') would leads us towards experiences of higher stages of divinity.

This is our spiritual actuality contrasted with our potential: the actuality is demonic materialism and the inversion of values; the potential is (sometimes) to think and be at the level of 'the gods' (which I take to mean resurrected Men - post-mortal angels) while still in mortal life on earth.

The Good and Loving path is thus necessarily a matter of conscious choice and entails effort, will, work...

By contrast, the devilish path is the default; we take it when we fail to choose; when we are unconscious, passive and absorptive of culture - when we reject freedom and remain unfree. 

The Good and Loving path leads to what Barfield termed Final Participation.

Monday 30 December 2019

A review of John Howe's sketches and illustrations from Tolkien's world

A review of John Howe's A Middle Earth Traveller: sketches from Bag End to Middle earth (2018) - can be found at my Notion Club Papers blog.

A world where all 'sides' are evil-motivated (but a world where Good is easily discerned)

We are moving towards (indeed we are already in, all-but) a world where all the sides are evil-motivated - that is they are overall, in net effect, operating against God/ Good and the continuing divine creation.

When we look at any large, significant, powerful, wealthy, mainstream institutions/ organisations/ corporations - we find that All Of Them are (overall, n net effect) on the side of evil. Political parties and government agancies and charities, law and medicine, hospitals, schools and colleges, artistic and scientific, military and police, journalstic and media, churches... all significant institutions are on teh side of evil.

We maybe grew-up supposing that there were some Good and some evil institutions, and our job was to discern and support the Good against the wicked - but now they are all wicked. Whoever we support, we are supporting evil; whenever we oppose, we oppose attributes shared by those we support.

Look within these institutions - there are inner groups and divisions; there is hierarchy and functional specialisation. We are used to a world when some of these inner divisions are Good and others not; when (say) doctors and nurses groups are Good and managers and public relations are wicked; when scientists and teachers are Good but administrators not...

Nowadays, all the significant internal groups are on the side of evil - overall, and usually by a large predominance. What may have been good sub-groups are by now long-since subverted.

Therefore, when we work-with, deal-with any significant institution, all significant institutions - we need to assume that every hierarchical and functional subdivision has by now, long since, been corrupted into the service of evil.

In sum: We Are On Our Own... It is us-against-the-world.

Fortunately, thought is free - if we choose to be free.

But of course, that is the exact problem - that most people, most of the time, choose not to be free. That is their decision, for which they only are responsible, ultimately.

Bu the fact is that we are free in our thought, and while discernment of good from evil was often difficult in the past, it is now very easy!

This World is devoted to value inversion - hence every institution and group is obviously evil in its intent, and obviously incoherent in its labile, tactical opposition to God/ Good/ Creation.

Why obvious? Well, we have built-in, natural spontaneous values - and these are contradicted by mainstream modernity. We have access to divine revelations from the Holy Ghost, and these are contradicted by all of the 'sides' offered to us in our lives.

Comparing the built-in and revelatory true values with those inverted values of The World, everyone can know for themselves (from themselves) what is evil.

It is a matter of compensation. As the world becomes more-wholly and more-extremely evil, that evil becomes obvious to the meanest individual. And, in a world where Jesus has offered salvation to all who love and follow him; simply to know Good from evil and to take the side of Good is sufficient.

This is not about what we Do but what we Know.

What we do may be coerced, what we know is our own business - unless we choose otherwise.

In the end we have no-one to blame but our-selves.

Sunday 29 December 2019

The trans agenda as a metaphysical challenge to Christians ('things coming to a point', again)

Regular readers will know that I have embraced CS Lewis's term and concept of 'things coming to a point' as characteristic of these times in The West. In general terms, this means that the challenges of the mainstream, dominant mandatory atheistic Leftism have created a situation in which good and evil are separated further apart and with clear water between them.

Discernment is, in a sense, easier than ever before; nonetheless the majority have already embraced evil, and this time in a situation where evil entails value inversion - the reversal of good and evil.

One way this happens, is that the corrosive scepticism of modern thinking (sooner or later) strips all issues down to the level of fundamental metaphysical assumptions; and ruthlessly reveals any incoherence or lack a full conscious endorsement of the assumptions upon which we base our living.

In practice this means that most people are deeply uncertain about their convictions, such that they lack the motivation and will to resist the corruption that is imposed upon them as carrots and sticks, as inducements and punishments, as feel-good attitudes and harsh coercion.

The trans agenda is perhaps the major current example. The situation now (and this developed rapidly over just a few years) is that adherence to the trans orthodoxies about sexual identity has become a litmus test of social status, and enforced by the weight of government, the law, the media and a licensed mob sustained by these.

Now, the claims of the trans agenda fly in the face of both common sense and personal experience (of the overwhelming majority of human beings throughout history and across the world) - but that makes no difference. The trans agenda wins.

The claims of the trans agenda are refuted by a vast mass of biological, medical and psychological science, over many decades - but that makes no difference. The trans agenda wins.

The issue of the difference between a man and a woman has therefore been driven all the way down to the level of fundamental conviction - that is of metaphysics. And, at this level, most people, including most Christians, find themselves confused and uncertain - or else in agreement with the trans agenda. At the metaphysical level, most people are weak, unsure, malleable when it comes to men and women being different.

This arises mostly because metaphysical assumptions are unconscious, denied or misunderstood by nearly everyone. Therefore most people are helpless in the face of false metaphysics when it is backed-up by overwhelming social pressure; by propaganda and force.

Most people in this situation reach for 'evidence' only to find that any and all possible evidence falls to pieces in face of assumptions that deny the validity of evidence as such. This happens because it is the metaphysical assumptions that determine what counts as evidence and shape what strength evidence is allowed - so that when assumptions are contradicted by evidence, it is the evidence which gives way.

Yet even among Christians who are aware of their own metaphysical assumptions, and endorse them - the discovery is often that the trans agenda is consistent with the ultimate beliefs derived from their theological understanding of the human condition.

Because mainstream Christians do not really regard sexual differentiation into men and women as a fundamental aspect of reality. It is of mortal significance only; and in the infinity of time after mortal life, as resurrected Men in Heaven - for the mainstream Christian sex has essential no role or significance - it is mostly a matter of memories of our mortal life.

In my opinion, the trans agenda strips reality down and back to the dichotomy where sex (the distinction between man and woman) is either regarded as 1. a fundamental attribute of ultimate reality - or else 2. sexual identity is ultimately unfounded.

Among churches, I think only the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) have a theology that takes the position that the distinction between men and women goes all the way down; begins with an eternity before mortal life and continues through the etermity of post-mortal life.

(Roughly) We began as primordial intelligences of two kinds, and this continues through becoming children of God, incarnation, death and resurrection (or whatever comes instead for those who cannot or will not love, or otherwise reject Heaven).

Sexuality - the division between man and woman - is an ultimate fact of existence.

For Mormons, Man is dyadic - the unit of full-personhood is a man and women - potentially (among those with highest spiritual development) bound for eternity in celestial marriage by love, but always as a two - never separated and never fused - like a binary star.

If not in detail, then in essence something like this Mormon view is - I infer - the only alternative to an ultimate and eventual spiritual capitulation to the trans agenda in all its incoherent and evil extremity.

And as such, here we have an example of the way that modernity is acting upon Christians like a refiners fire, burning away all that used to be fudged or held on superficial grounds (such as 'evidence' from science or common sense, or by obedience to external authority).

We are forced into a situation in which we either make a self-aware statement of fundamental belief - or else (by our lack of conviction, our confusion, our cognitive dissonance) we get swept along by the modern agenda - which is the agenda of satanic evil.

We are her in this mortal life to learn from our experiences; and this is one of many ways in which God has used evil triumphant to provide experiences that may - if people are honest and chose well - lead to growth towards a higher divinity.

John Chapter 15 and the problems of translation/ evolution of consciousness

This chapter in the Fourth Gospel is one in which, it seems to me, the broad problem of 'translation' is likely to mislead - by which I mean that we tend to understand the intended meaning in terms of modern meanings and concepts, that are both narrower and (I would argue) distorted by mistaken understandings of Jesus's message.

This isn't a difficult problem, really; if we read the Fourth Gospel in its own terms and in an empathic spirit - understanding what it is telling us when read in isolation of the other parts of Scripture; which is, it seems very likely how the Gospel was intended to be read; assuming (as I do) that the Gospel is believed; and that therefore it was written by Jesus's disciple (Lazarus) shortly after the ascension.

Verses 1-9. I don't want to unpack this extended metaphor of the vine in detail, but my understanding is that Jesus is talking about the loving friendship between and among Jesus and the disciples; and how this mutuality will enable them follow him to resurrected life eternal.

Verse 10 (repeated in 17). "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love".

The problem is 'commandment', when it is taken to mean something narrow and precise, like an order (command) from a military superior; an order that must simply be obeyed. The context should warn us that this is not so. Here the term commandment is broad, and refers to a teaching, and a teaching among a 'netowrk' of brothers or friends - a properly loving way to behave. Keeping commandments means something-like living in a loving way that includes the person of Jesus - as within an ideal family.

I infer this from the fact that a 'bureaucratic' or military-style command to love cannot mean obedience to rules (because love cannot be ordered); and from the way the term is deployed throughout. It is more of an encouragement than an order; or a teaching that those who do this, will attain their goal (of resurrected life eternal). 'Commandment' means that such-and-such is necessary. Hence the mentioning of 'joy' as a clarification. This joy is that of a loving 'family'.

Here Jesus is changing the ideal nature of the 'religious' life: from one primarily of precise legalistic obedience to an hierarchical institution (the church); to a religious life primarily based upon personal relationships - i.e. the 'familial'/ friend (in the sense of adopted family) love between the Christian and Jesus, and among Christians.

These relationships are necessary, are required, are primary - and/yet they cannot be reduced to 'following instructions'.  

13. The famous phrase: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

This is a multivalent meaning, which partly relates to Jesus's coming death - but not in the usually understood sense of specifically the crucifixion (which was not, at this point, the certain method by which Jesus would die - Judas, Pilate, Caiaphas, Herod might have chosen differently).

According to this Gospel, Jesus is already divine while mortal, and has already resurrected Lazarus - and has therefore already saved Mankind (or rather, Jesus has already saved all those who love and follow him) - Jesus does not need to die for this to happen, and his death does not need to be crucifixion.

But by incarnating, Jesus took up mortality, and therefore inevitable death (as part of Jesus's own theosis, his full deification as an immortal incarnate); it is the incarnation of Jesus into mortality that is being referenced - not the specific mode of Jesus's death.

14-15. "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

Here we can see confirmed that command does not mean: 'I give orders and you obey' (superior to subordinate); but instead Jesus is talking about a loving relationship - and that through their love for Jesus, the disciples now know everything they need to know about God the father.

16. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

I regard this verse as dubious, a possible insertion (added later as a justification for the institution of the church) that breaks up the flow and meaning of this section. Also, it is not echoed or repeated elsewhere in this Gospel, whereas all the important teaching of the Fourth Gospel are said several times, in similar words (like the command to love one another) or using different 'metaphors' (as with the vine passage).

19. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

I take this to refer to the way that belief in Jesus affects this mortal life. Our faith in the resurrected Heavenly life to come, and that this will come by love of Jesus and among ourselves makes the concept of 'life' qualitatively different. It is living in this new (infinitely expanded) context that changes our mortal life. 'Success' in this mortal life therefore has no meaning taken in isolation- but we need to see this mortal life in context of the 'big picture'.

22-23 etc. "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."

Sin here means (mostly) death: biological death with loss of the self. Jesus changed the condition of Man, permanently - things were different before and after his advent. Whereas in the past all Men died and went to Sheol - now there is the choice of Heaven. Sheol is no longer a universal default, but a choice. Thus it is not a neutral state. Jesus brought things to this point of decision and divergence, and has been (still is) hated for it.

26. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

This sentence may also have been interpolated with 'from the Father' and 'which proceeded from the Father'- since from elsewhere in the Gospel we learn that Jesus 'sends' the Holy Ghost/ Comforter, and that the HG cannot be sent without Jesus ascending - hence that the Comforter is actually the spirit of Jesus. If the HG came from the Father, and was distinct from Jesus; then it would not need to await the ascension of Jesus.

The meaning is that the spirit of Jesus will testify to the reality of Jesus - universally, to all Men - not only the disciples - after Jesus has ascended. And thus the work of Jesus will be finished. After which it will be a matter of choice, of decision, for each Man whether (or not) to follow him. 

This section of the Gospel continues into Chapter 16 - but that is enough for now.

John 15. 1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Leftists always project - and so does nearly everybody, because nearly everyone is inside The System - all the time

Perhaps the most important insight anyone can have in these times, is to realise that The System is one and includes (to varying degrees, but qualitatively includes) all institutions, corporations, organised groups - all formal organisation of significant size, power, wealth.

Mainstream politics - which is very-nearly-all of politics - operates on the basis of false projections against Them; a false distinction between Us and Them - when the reality is that US and Them (all of the Uses and Thems) are part of the same System with the same, evil, overal objectives. (That is, demonic objectives - the goal of encouraging damnation of souls.)

Projection is the flipside of unconsciousness, of blindness about oneself - which is why it is so deadly an evil. Projection and self-blindness are the same thing; two sides of the sin called Pride - that is unrepentance, resentment.

Examples abound - the 'cynic' who sees through to the selfishness under all purported altruism, and who works as a well-paid functionary for the bureaucratic implementation of evil. All talented cynics sell-out, usually to become managers; in a complementary fashion - all successful managers are cynics - by their cynicism (pride) these are armoured against insight and repentance.

This pride is the root of modern zeal in the cause of nihilism; by these self-serving divisions into Us and Them - and the infinite dangers of Them which require and justify the extremes of repression.

Yet They are Us - not only psychologically, but in terms of actual functionality and organisation  - all Uses and Thems converge at the top to the exact same group of individuals. As a person rises through the layers of hierarchy, he comes together with the upper echelons of those who he previously considered Them - until the new Us becomes the people at the top, and the new Them is - everybody else in the world.

So long as we are in The System Us and Them are all that is; and the only motivation is to enhance the situation of Us at the expense of Them - it's a zero-sum game of hedonism: the game of Hell.

Anybody can, of course, step outside of The System and the closed hedonic world of Us and Them; but only by knowing and loving Jesus Christ and believing in (wanting, having faith in and hoping-for) his promises.

Then the whole, world, The System itself, is captured by God's great work of loving creation and transformed (as we ourselves will be transformed) into participation in everlasting 'play' (learning and making) of Heavenly Life Eternal - starting now.

Friday 27 December 2019

Philip K Dick - an overview (so far...)

In the past couple of months I have read/ listened-to a dozen Philip K Dick novels, and most of the Exegesis - his philosophical and spiritual journal written during his last eight years. I haven't enjoyed a fiction writer so much, in such quantity, for several years. Certainly, I appreciate his work more fully this time round than when I read a batch of his novels more than thirty-five years ago (triggered by watching Blade Runner - one of the half-dozen best movies I've ever seen).

Although there are several of his important works still to go (I'm 'simultaneously' reading three of them at present) I think I have by-now achieved a reasonable overview.

In particular; I have noticed that his very best novels are from the 1960s, and before the spiritual revelations that began abruptly in February and March 1974, continued through the rest of his life - and led to his almost daily and extensive work recorded in the Exegesis - which was the attempt to make sense of what was happening to him, and understand the implications.

It seems to me that the novels published after 1974 are mostly interesting and worthwhile (especially VALIS), but they lack the fluency and coherence of Dick's best 1960s novels such as Man in the High Castle, Dr Bloodmoney, Three Stigmata of Palmar Eldrich, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Martian Time Slip and Ubik. In particular, the final two novels - Divine Invasion and Transmigration of Timothy Archer - are not satifying as a whole, and have a certain flatness and lack of empathic characters.

My conclusion is that Exegesis was receiving PKD's best efforts, and the attempts to spin-off novels from it were contrived, over-planned. VALIS is something of an exception, being composed of lightly fictionalised 'excerpts' from Exegesis - however, I did not find the ending satisfying, and I enjoyed the unselfconsciousness and energy of the original, more than the same material when put into fiction.

I feel that VALIS - by means of the literary conceits of its structure - erects a barrier of 'deniability' between the material and the reader. In particular, in all of Dick's last three works, the possibility of a genuine contact with the divine is put into brackets, and the materialist explanations seem to triumph overall. Whereas in the Exegesis, the most high intensity and ecstatic sections are without doubt those when PKD knows (albeit temporarily) that he has had real revelations of the truth.

Dick's mainstream critics and admirers, and most of his social circle, are normal modern Leftists for whom the divine is excluded by assumption; and who therefore necessarily interpret every strange experience as generated by insanity, drug use or over-imaginative wish-fulfilment.

(From what I have seen, so far) Perhaps only his friend, the author Tim Powers (a Roman Catholic) was able and willing to acknowledge that what Dick experienced included genuine divine revelations. And only when this possibility is recognised, can the Exegesis be appreciated as fully as it deserves.

Resurrection firsts

As far as I can understand from reading the Fourth Gospel; three 'resurrection firsts' are described:

1. Lazarus (Jesus's brother in law) was the first person to be resurrected to divine immortality - by Jesus; and Lazarus was resurrected into this world. It also sounds like he was resurrected into the space formerly occupied by his mortal body. His subsequent fate included looking after Jesus's mother.

2. Jesus himself was the second person to be resurrected. He also seems to have been resurrected into the space of his mortal body, and into this mortal world; after which Jesus was the first resurrected Man to ascend to Heaven.

3. Mary Magdalene was Jesus's wife. From the conversation after she discovered the resurrected Jesus in the tomb, it seems to me likely that she was expecting to join Jesus in Heaven as soon as he ascended; there to become his divine spouse. If so, Mary was the first Man to die on earth and be resurrected into Heaven, in the way that subsequently became 'normal' for Christians.

Each of these three resurrections is different in form, and both Lazarus and Jesus has features that were likely unique.

It was probably Mary Magdalene who was the first person actually to follow that path to Heavenly life eternal which Jesus incarnated to make possible.

Why I am a philosopher: The practice of accusing modern Christians (such as Mormons) of ancient 'heresies' - Arianism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism...

You know what I mean; maybe you have done it yourself. In discovering some aspect about some other denomination or practice of Christianity than your own - you mentally point the finger, saying something like 'But that's just Pelagianism'... or whatever.

The implication is intended to be that this is an old and dangerous error of theology; which arose, was exposed and was refuted in the early centuries of Christianity. A further assumption is that there can be 'nothing new under the sun' - that all modern attempts to say anything different from the past are not only mistaken in intent and dangerous in outcome - but merely some permutation of ancient errors.

My belief is that this is an ignorant way of proceeding. In the first place the ancient 'heresies' are (mostly) hardly understood - since we do not know what their adherents really believed. In some cases, the descriptions sound very like straw men: that is, accusations from enemies rather than genuine beliefs.

(The equivalent of a modern person trying to learn the truth about Christianity from the pages of The New York Times.)

But in the second place - and most importantly - this way of proceeding prevents any genuine comprehension and grasp.

I will give the specific example of Mormon theology. I am not, and never have been, a member of the  Mormon church; however I have come to believe in the truth of Mormon theology (and indeed the validity of Joseph Smith as a prophet and the validity of the Book of Mormon as a scripture).

Even as a sympathetic investigator, it took me about five years before I grasped the distinctiveness of Mormon theology; because it is very, very different from mainstream orthodox Christian theology. It is, indeed, so radically different in its basic, metaphysical assumptions; that it entails a 'pluralist'  philosophy outside the Western Canon - only being represented by William James, and such 'fringe' figures as Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield.

Now, I can easily understand that many people are perfectly satisfied by their mainstream orthodox Christian theology, and are not interested in examining the claims of some radically different and alternative conceptualisation of Christianity. I can understand that some people find Mormonism just too silly, trivial or boring to want to make any significant effort in understanding it.

Other people (most people) just aren't interested by really basic metaphysical philosophy, that challenges the most fundamental assumptions regarding the nature of God, reality, time etc. I think that such an attitude, here and now, is a very serious error; since most people have false and wicked basic assumptions of reality, derived from an evil secular culture; and for their own good and salvation they need to discover and examine these assumptions. But this need not have anything to do with Mormonism.

But I have, again and again, encountered the lazy and ignorant excuse that Mormon theology is 'nothing but' some kind of incoherent mish-mash of various ancient Christian heresies such as Arianism, Pelagianism and Gnosticism.

The accuser has pre-decided that this is the case because it 'must be' the case; and proceeds to fit Mormon theology into checklist categories of ancient heresies that he has derived from some secondary literature that purports both to know and to understand the faiths of these unorthodox early Christians.

This is no way to understand anything new. It is merely a recipe for ensuring that you will never learn anything outside of your existing compass.

In complete contrast; the way to learn some radically different way of thinking requires, in the first place, a lot of motivation - because the process is nearly always slow and requires sustained effort. But the effort needs to be directed at understanding from the inside out. It entails an act of sympathetic identification - to see things from the inside as an adherent sees them.

Lacking this, the understanding is a fake, 'machine-learning', flow-chart, algorithmic process - not worthy of being called understanding at all.

We need to see how it all fits together, how it derives from a few basic assumptions, how it makes sense in its own terms... Of after this has been achieved, can there be a genuine critique or development. 

This is not a counsel of perfection. It is possible to do it, and I did it with Mormonism (after, as I say, about five years). Because this is what is actually being done by all serious adherents - although they typically lack self awareness of it (that being the nature of humans). And you know when you've done it, pretty much; because serious adherents will accept your descriptions of them and their beliefs.

My point is that serious philosophical work is not a matter of pick-and-mix, of selection and combination. On the contrary it is a process of empathic identification and a development from-within, that is both intuitive and rational.

You cannot pick your subject, idle curiosity is insufficient motivation; rather, your subject will pick you - in the sense that your deepest concerns and wishes will seek understanding and answers; and this is what drives you to the necessary work and thinking.

But for me, this kind of philosophical grappling has been the greatest satisfaction and value in my intellectual and personal life; and why I regard myself as primarily 'A Philosopher' - despite that my work has been in the realms of science, medicine, literature and (most recently) theology - and almost never in the areas that professional 'philosophers' in colleges regard as academically significant.


Thursday 26 December 2019

The spirit of Antichrist in the Queen's Christmas Message 2019

One important factor in this era of things coming to a point, is the distinction between good and evil becoming ever clearer even in our own hearts - and even within Christianity. Among which, the very longstanding errors and false emphases of Christianity are being exposed mercilessly.

One such error can be seen when comparing the Fourth Gospel with Luke's and especially Matthew's Gospel's - and is related to the idea of Jesus as Messiah of this world, of being a socio-political saviour of his people. And the idea that this will be evident in terms of Jesus, and then of Christianity (and the purported institutional continuation of Jesus's mission) being a positive influence in the development of this world.

It is normal now - and has been from not long after Jesus died - to claim that Jesus made The World (this mortal life) a better place; just as it is common from the enemies of Christianity to claim the opposite. And often to claim this better world as the main 'benefit' for Christianity, the main reason why people should be Christians*.

But in our time, with our pervasive materialistic world view; the arguments for Christianity have become almost entirely this-worldly. And, to make this appealing to the mainstream masses, the effects of Jesus Christ are seen in terms of Christianity promoting the values and outcomes that are currently mainstream.

This can be seen in yesterday's Queen's Speech. Elizabeth II is Head of the Church of England - officially responsible for appointing the bishops who ordain the priests; so that having Christian references is normal and mandatory in her annual address; the question is: what are these Christian references, and what do they imply?

This year, the nature of these Christian references shows clearly the ways that the spirit of Antichrist is at work in this era, here and now; such that references to Jesus and to the Christian churches are framed in social terms quite alien to the spirit of the Fourth Gospel.

Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. But in time, through his teaching and by his example, Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding. As Christmas dawned, church congregations around the world joined in singing It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. Like many timeless carols, it speaks not just of the coming of Jesus Christ into a divided world, many years ago, but also of the relevance, even today, of the angel's message of peace and goodwill. It's a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation.

This false idea of Jesus as primarily, essentially, the agent of overcoming differences and division, of offering a blueprint for harmony and understanding, and of instituting a society of peace and goodwill; is a modern version of the same error and distortion seen when Jesus was regarded as a Jewish political leader; whose primary mission was to inaugurate a new way of living on this earth and during this mortal life.

Whereas, in reality Jesus was essentially addressing the individual person; and any social changes were secondary to that person coming to believe-on Jesus, have faith-in and love-for him; and desiring to follow Jesus through death to resurrected life everlasting in Heaven.

The influence of Jesus, of Christianity, on this world and mortal life is therefore via the effect of transforming individual minds by the love of Jesus and the expectation of Heaven.  

The error of regarding Jesus's mission as primarily political is even more harmful now than it was at and around the time of Jesus's life; because we have (as a society) lost our ability even to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual - and this is also the attitude of the Establishment Christian leadership such as the Queen, Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis.

I call this the spirit of Antichrist, because the idea of Antichrist is to be a fake Christ who uses Christian language and concepts but whose covert motivations are evil; the spirit of those who affect to be on the side of God while operating on the side of Satan. This is done by incorporating selective aspects of Christianity with a false emphasis, and by leaving-out the essence. (Plus, of course, by lying.)

So, the actual religion of the 2019 Queen's Speech is, unsurprisingly, Leftism: we have a Leftist fake Christianity of social reform, and an overt Leftism of that modern 'climate' focused pseudo-environmentalism that has become merely an excuse for a wholesale, Global totalitarian power grab:

Since the end of the Second World War, many charities, groups and organisations have worked to promote peace and unity around the world, bringing together those who have been on opposing sides. By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost. The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.

Here we have it, the Antichrist spirit; where it turns out that many 'charities, groups and organisations' are involved in (supposedly) promoting peace and unity around the world; with a special endorsement for that most immediately threatening evil of putting-aside-differences (ie. enforcement of sameness and elimination of borders) that is being pursued under the excuse of 'protecting our environment and our climate' [sic!]).

In sum, the Queen is explicitly making an equation between the aims of Christianity and the aims of mainstream charities, groups, organisations, environmentalists and climate change activists.

In other words, since Christianity and Leftism are being regarded as amounting to the same thing, and both are to be pursued by the same strategy of promoting peace and unity. Therefore, in practice: pursuing Leftism is claimed here also to be promoting Christianity. And the Christian message is transformed into eliminating inter-societal and inter-personal differences/ imposing uniformity of thoughts, attitudes and behaviours/ empowering international agencies with total powers of surveillance and control etc.

Thus we see the spirit of Antichrist at work. And, as always, the greatest danger is the failure to discern it; the failure to perceive that - whatever the Christian language - evil is the true motivation.

*Note added: Jesus came to offer the new possibility of resurrected Life Everlasting - which is the positive meaning of the double-negative theology of saving us from 'sin' - where 'sin' is being understood as 'the mortal condition', which is itself being understood primarily (but not wholly) to be death. That was what Jesus did, what his life and death was for; and Jesus succeeded completely in this objective with nothing of it left outstanding or still-to-do. And the further things that Jesus came to do are contingent; being secondary to this primary completed act of Jesus, and contingent upon the human individual and his circumstances, and to the society at that time and place. Of course, becoming a follower of Jesus necessarily affects your life and this world, but that is not the point of it. Nor can such societal effects be made into a checklist, code, blueprint or System - separable from the souls of specific Christian individuals.  

The validity and insanity of paranoia and megalomania

Paranoia (with delusions of persecution) on the one hand, and megalomania (with grandiose delusions of significance) are partial and selective distortions of our genuine importance in the divine scheme. They are insane insofar as they suppose that everything depends on us; but true insofar as they recognise that we each personally make a difference to everything.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Real Christians, but on the side of Satan

This is A Thing.

1. There are Christians - parsimoniously-defined as those who regard Jesus as the Son of God and their Lord, who love Him, who wish to follow Him through the portal of death to resurrected eternal life in Heaven.

2. We are in a spiritual war - ultimately between God and Satan. This is becoming more obvious and intense, and the two sides are more clearly differentiated and further apart.

3. The Satanic side is winning. They are operating in a strategic fashion via the Global Establishment that substantially or wholly controls all major social institutions, including most of the largest and most powerful Christian churches.

4. The priority of the Devil's party is to increase the scope and power of the already-existing Leftist totalitarian System by Good and evil are inverted (e.g. transcendental values of truth, beauty and virtue in cohesion are inverted; so that dishonesty and lies, ugliness and the disgusting, and many sins are relabeled virtues - in an insane, oppositional, chaos-approving fashion). This is the primary plan by which evil is to be encouraged and rewarded; and God, The Good and Creation is mocked, vilified, and suppressed by punishments and coercion.

5. Many - perhaps most - Western Christians are very obviously on the wrong side - by their attitudes, words and deeds; by their investments of time, money and effort - they are aiding evil and opposing Good. This is the current state of affairs and it is increasing.

6. What will happen? Well, nobody knows what will happen in the public realm of observable phenomena - but in the personal realm of Men's minds and hearts there are two alternatives, and only two alternatives. The Real Christians who are on the wrong side must A: Repent, or B: Be self-damned - by their participation in lies, the destructiuon of beauty and their promotion of sin. 


The Empire, into which Christianity emerged, has never ended; and is always net-evil. Therefore ultimately, by the strictest criteria, all Christians who are alive are to a significant extent on-the-side-of evil. We all work for The Empire, to a substantial extent. This is a permanent fact of mortal life - albeit often ignored, often denied.

We are in the fortunate spiritually-healthy situation that The evil of the Empire is becoming ever more obvious; such that the evil of our lives cannot any longer ignorantly or honestly be denied.

While we live, we must acknowledge that we are not just sinning, but working for the victory of sin. If we can acknowledge this as a fact, there is no problem for our salvation. If we try to deny it, then we are no longer Christians.

So, even those Christians who are not obviously on-the-wrong-side, are nonetheless... on-the-wrong-side.  

7. The conclusion is stark: all self-identified Christians who deny the fact of assisting Satan's plan, who do not in their hearts acknowledge and repent their collaboration with evil, are not really Christians.

Two irreconcilable concepts of Heaven - Platonic and Pluralistic

The traditional, orthodox concept of Heaven derives from ancient Greek philosophy - I shall call it Platonic - this can be summarised:

God - Creation - Beings

The first thing is God, alone - who does Creation - and late in Creation God makes Beings, including Man.  

For Christians; God is a God of Love, whose creation is a kind of gratuitous overflow of love: so we get

God-Love - Creation - Beings

By contrast, what I will call the Pluralist concept of Heaven - which is the one I believe to be true - can be summarised:

Beings - Love - Creation

The primordial situation is of many Beings, of whom two are are Heavenly Parents - Father and Mother.

Thus God is Dyadic, irreducibly Two and not a unity (or, the unity is of two always-distinct aspects, permanently-made a unity by Love); and it is from the Love between our Heavenly Parents that Creation comes into existence (Love, being the coherence and purpose of Creation; Love harmonising the diverse elements of Creation). So we get:

Beings-God - Love - Creation

The Platonic Heaven seems to be associated with a wish for absolute, abstract, infinite perfection - and God is defined in such terms - including that God is undivided unity, of infinite power and presence (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent).

And this primal God creates everything else (everything other than God) from nothing (ex nihilo) instantaneously, in zero-Time (first Nothing, then Something... there can be no graduation or graduality) - including Beings, including Men.

In a Platonic Heaven, therefore, Creation remains entirely God's business, and nothing/ nobody else can contribute to primary Creation (only to secondary details within Creation). Also Heaven is perfect, so there is nothing for Men to contribute to it. Also primary Creation happens in zero-Time.

The Platonic Heaven is essentially contemplative: Man has nothing necessary or useful to Do. Man enjoys heaven, but does not add to it (because it is perfect). In Platonic Heaven; we may express gratitude, worship, may do many things - but none of them are necessary, none make any qualitative difference to Heaven.

In sum, the Platonic Heaven, is a state not a 'process'. It is a state of being, a state of communion with God, of bliss... but essentially it is static - there is no dynamic to Platonic Heaven - because movement comes from difference, from desire, from deficit... and this cannot be because the Platonic Heaven is perfection.   

In distinction, the Pluralistic Heaven in a world of Love, but not of perfection. Love is understood as itself dynamic ('in' Time: Time is a part of primary reality), between Beings; and therefore Heaven is a continuation of Creation - and for Christians it is a Heaven of active, personal participation in Creation.

This happens because Christians will be resurrected into Heaven, and resurrection is understood as becoming divine - immortal, indestructible, grown-up children of God. The actuality of God's primary Creation is opened-to the contributions of resurrected Men.

Part of pluralism is the uniqueness of each being, including of each man. Each resurrected Man brings to Heaven something unique, that did not previously exist in heaven. Every single individual Man who enters heaven therefore brings something irreplaceable to the ongoing Creation.

In sum everybody who is capable of Love and who chooses to follow Jesus, may be resurrected into heaven; and each such person has something unique and irreplaceable to contribute to God's ongoing work of Creation.

The Pluralistic Heaven is not only-contemplative (although contemplation is surely possible, and part of things) - but is active dynamic and open-endedly creative: a growing Heaven. And this Creation of Men is included in the primary and divine Creation.

Man's unique and individual contribution is woven-into Creation permanently, forever. And this is made possible by Love.

It is Love that harmonises God's creation with the contributions of many individual and unique Men - resurrected Men joining in increasing numbers with time.

The Pluralistic Heaven is not perfect, it is not closed, it is not complete, it is not outside Time... on the contrary Time (sequential, continuous, linear) is an assumed part of reality. The Pluralistic Heaven is, therefore, developing, open-ended, growing... Heaven is in-movement, is changing, has a past and a future; and changing, expanding personnel - each with an unique contribution to make to the whole. 

So, we can see that the Platonic Heaven and the Pluralistic Heaven are very different places. While one may be contained within the other - only one or the other (or neither) could ultimately be true - since they each have extremely different ultimate metaphysical assumptions. 

Monday 23 December 2019

Imagine dying, and what happens after...

I can imagine dying - being dead - finding myself as if in a dream: a perplexed, nightmarish half-awareness.

In this dream I am approached by Jesus, whom I recognise.

He holds out his hand. It is my decision whether I trust Jesus, take his hand, allow him to guide me through the transformation...

I imagine Jesus being accompanied by those whom I love and who have gone before. Even in my confused state, I know them; their loving presence sustains my trust, faith, belief in the goodness of Jesus; they reassure me that yes - I do indeed want to accept the proffered hand, and (as they did) to follow the Good Shepherd.

And then? I imagine it would be like awakening from the delirium of a fevered dream; swift clarification of thinking; surging strength and motivation; the crystallisation of joyous incarnation; awareness unprecedented; burgeoning love...

A coming to my-self.

Why Father Christmas is real

 From JRR Tolkien's Father Christmas Letters

I have long had the conviction that Father Christmas is real. I stick by that - and indeed believe that Santa is getting realer with every year.

This is happening because the mainstream culture is more obviously and more intensely anti-Christmas (as part of being anti-Christian - as its core, demonic, value); so the value of Santa is ever easier to discern (this being yet another example of things coming to a point as the end times develop and good and evil separate).

Not to keep you in suspense: Father Christmas is an archetype of God*, in one of his primary aspects - as our loving and benign Father, bringer of joy, giver of gifts; and as such not only is Santa real, but one of the realest things we will ever encounter.

Here and now; Father Christmas can be real only to the extent we acknowledge (whether unconsciously or explicitly) the reality of the God of Christians - of whom he has evolved to become a specific archetype.

And to such persons, Santa may have a spontaneous reality that may powerfully overcome mistaken resistance - based upon such errors as regarding him as a pagan or demonic spirit.

This struck me as a consequence of reflecting on our cultural extremes of The Magic of Christmas versus what might be termed Christmas survivalism: the idea of Christmas as an ordeal that must be got-through best as possible.

A variant of Christmas survivalism is to subvert the magic of Christmas by explaining-it-away historically, or inverting its values, or regarding it as no-more-than an exercise in systematic self-indulgence; such as the ritualised sybaritic-hedonic-nihilistic excess of 'the office party'... In other words, to deny the reality and significance of magic, by substituting immediate pleasure for magic.

I've experienced both in myself, and can easily see that the attitude to Christmas is a barometer of spiritual well-being, of being on an upward or downward path. The analogy of Santa with God is close in terms of the Christian and the atheist inhabiting the same sensory-world; but perceiving different aspects ad drawing different conclusions.

The large and heterogeneous totality that is the phenomenon of Christmas is that which confronts us; the question is what we personally draw from that totality.

In other words; the magic is there, it is a significant part of the phenomenon that is Christmas; what varies is whether we are able and willing to experience it. And that depends - ultimately - on our basic assumptions regarding the nature of this world (i.e. metaphysics).

If we accept the mainstream Leftist socio-political ideology that this universe is dead 'physics', non-conscious, a product of chance and determinism; then all values (including truth, beauty and virtue) are arbitrary constructs of a brief-living organism...

Well, natural Christmas can have no real magic on such a basis - nothing can have magic, because magic is defined as impossible by assumption.

On the negative side Christmas is a time of a tedious obligations, commercialism and hypocrisy. The best that can be said about Christmas from such a perspective is that it can be an excuse for 'partying' to a greater extremity than is usually tolerated. 

But when our assumptions are such that we regard this world as the creation of a God who is our loving parent who made this world for our personal good...

And if, further, we regard Christmas as the celebration of the birth of Jesus who was 'first' son of our father the creator; and who came to this earth to bring us the great gift of eternal life in heaven on the other side of death - thereby bringing permanent meaning and purpose to our mortality...

Then we will experience the magic of Christmas - we will experience what is genuine and beautiful about the season; simply leaving aside what is not. And an important part of this is knowing that Santa Claus is really-real.

*And as such, real. Because an archetype is a reality - not the totality of reality, but reality as known to a limited Being such as ourselves. Often, archetypes are, indeed, the only realities we can know.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Can spiritual insensitivity be physically caused?

The Romantic Christianity that I espouse depends on a person's ability directly to know by experience, that is to intuit, the primary and deepest things about this Life that he needs to know.

Yet some people claim to be unable to have spiritual experience, they claim to be utterly insensitive to intuitive knowing - as well as to the more 'old style' spiritual phenomena such as visions, voices, contact-with or channelling of spirits and whatever. They get nothing from divination, nor from reading or viewing material about mysticism. If they sit and pray or meditate, the experience is utterly everyday and mundane. They may enjoy the arts, but never in a sublime way...

Is this true; are some people 'made this way' or socialised and trained to be spiritually insensitive such that they cannot escape the routine factuality and superficiality of everydayness? Yes, I believe so; because I have-been and still-am like-that, for considerable chunks of my life - and therefore I find it easy to imagine being like-that nearly-all of the time.

This is particularly apparent to me because I have a cyclical form of chronic migraine extending across about a week; during which I have phases of creativity and spirituality lasting many hours, and and other phases of exactly the kind of spiritual deadness I described above. During these dull phases, it is flogging a dead horse to try and force any spiritual contact.

Furthermore, there were long periods in my young adult life when I experienced this spiritual dullness for many months at a time, or years - with only short periods of relief which was more of a forgetting (a temporary intoxication or frenzy) than any elevation-above or transcending of my chronic dull state.

Both of these are microcosmic instances of a more general phenomenon.

There are two things I want to say about spiritual insensitivity.

The first is that it is to some extent inevitable, since - to some extent - it is a part of our mortal condition. As mortal Men we are subject to change, and cannot maintain any state on a long term basis - because this mortal life is primarily about learning, and learning requires change.

There is a process of habituation (of getting-used-to); there is disease, decay and ultimately death. Nobody has ever lived at the heights all of the time, apparently not even Jesus.

But the second thing to say is that chronic spiritual insensitivity is a symptom of spiritual malaise.

Those times when I experienced the most, and most-sustained, spiritual insensitivity; were the times when I was furthest off track in my life - when my metaphysical assumptions were most wrong. And the consequence of false basic beliefs was that I made choices that took me further and further away from being able to live intuitively.

This took a while to unfold, there was a lag - a few years in fact; and I was at-first sustained by the sheer vitality and development of late adolescence; so that I continued to have spiritual experiences even though I had begun to live by anti-spiritual, materialistic assumptions.

But over time, incrementally but inexorably, the wrong assumptions worked-through to poison my life,  including my ability to see beyond the dull mundane everyday 'reality' of modern existence - just as they have done in Western Society.

So my advice to anybody who suffers form spiritual insensitivity is first - do not be satisfied with your state. You need to make changes such that you can directly know matters beyond the material - and need means need. In other words; that ought to be your priority.

Secondly, do not expect spiritual experiences to be permanent and unchanging. At best you will have be enabled to have spiritual experiences some of the time; but never all of the time. Asking to live in continual and lasting contact with the divine is asking the impossible.

But that 'some of the time' is the most significant experience a mortal can have; and a foretaste of what is possible to you permanently after death, if you  choose to follow Christ through death to resurrected immortality in Heaven.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Conceptualising Sin - and The Fall

Sin could usefully be defined as 'the condition of mortal life' - since that encompasses its two main aspects of wrong behaviour and death.

The Fall was therefore, primarily, moving into the condition of incarnated mortality - with its consequent inevitability of both death, and those behaviours that are a consequence of being imperfectly aligned with the divine will.

Reading the Fourth Gospel, we can see that the term 'sin' refers to a wider range of phenomena that more recent usage - in particular it is used sometimes to mean death; and by death is meant the ghostly, half-existence of demented souls that have been severed from their bodies, and wander 'witless' in the underworld that the ancients termed Sheol or Hades (later translated and reconceptualised as Hell).

The Fall refers to the choice and decision made by all of us mortal Men to leave the child-like, unfree, un-conscious Eden-paradise of our immortal pre-mortal spiritual life; where we were immersed-in God's will and lacking in personal agency - hence unable to act otherwise than in harmonious accordance with divine motivations.

When we became incarnated, we increased our free agency; but at the cost of becoming separated from God's will. Mortality (as a state) is characterised by change, corruption, disease and decay - as well as inevitable death.

Thus, no mortal Man (except for Jesus) has been fully aligned-with God's creation. We are all, therefore, 'sinners' in the dual sense of being not-fully-aligned with the divine will, and also destined to die.

However, The Fall is sometimes rightly described as a Felix Culpa - a blessed transgression; because it enables us to attain a higher level of divine nature.  

Only after being separated from our previous state of unconscious immersion God's will; are we are (potentially) able to make the free choice of aligning ourselves eternally with God's will; and after mortal death, as resurrected eternal children of God, then actively-participating in God's work of ongoing creation - as ourselves gods.

 (i.e. Small 'g' gods, working within God the creator's reality.),

(All this is made possible by our mortal incarnation, but we are free agents, so it is not guaranteed. Indeed, in the modern West, it looks like only a small minority are choosing to choose salvation and resurrection.)

At the same time, because we are not-fully-aligned with God's will in this mortal life, we will inevitably think, say and do many things that are opposed to God's will: that is, we will inevitably commit 'sins' in the more common usage of the word.

Those familiar lists of behavioural sins (e.g. the behaviours proscribed by the Ten Commandments, or the Seven Deadlys - or mortal and venial sins; or the Scriptural prohibitions from Paul's letters) can be understood as broad categories of behaviour that tend to be characteristic of those who are not-fully-aligned with God's will.

Behavioural sins (such as these lists) are therefore Not to be taken as 'sin-itself' - which is subjective; but observable 'signs' that are typically 'correlated-with' actual sin - sin itself being the mortal state of being unaligned with God's will.

The specific focus of these familiar 'behavioural correlates of sin' tends to be on those behaviours that are either especially tempting, or especially destructive of society in general or church order in particular. That is the reason why sexual correlates of sin are so prominent.

And this focus certainly seems to be necessary - in the sense that we can now observe the subversive effects of removing such restraints. The outcome has been moral inversion: i.e. the worst of all possible outcomes: the one most likely to lead to self-damnation.

However, on the flip side, there is a relative neglect and softness of attitudes to other types of more 'private' sin; such as envy, spite, cowardice, dishonesty and bearing false witness - which are in themselves probably more dangerous to the soul.

In sum; we are all Fallen in the sense that we will all die; and because our mortal lives are never fully-aligned-with God's creative motivations. And the inevitable difference between God's will and our own will leads to many thoughts, words and deeds ('sins') that are a consequence of this disharmony.

And the cure for sin - both mortality and behavioural disharmony - is on the other side of 'biological death'; when we may choose to be resurrected to Life Eternal in a condition of everlasting harmony with the divine work of loving-creation.

Monday 16 December 2019

The Xmas song I hate the most

I'm not saying it is the worst - there is such a lot of competition, after all - but it is the one I hate the most. Reasons?

1. The basic premise of the lyrics is not just banal, but actively wrong ("I wish it could be Christmas every day", "when the snowman brings the snow"! - and "Now the frosty paws appear/ And they've frozen up my ear" is shameless drivel)
2. Nasty sickly tune, with grinding modulations
3. Appalling muddy musical arrangement and production - gives me a headache just from the texture.

The learning of mortal life is part-of the Golden Thread (And, How do we know we are engaged in Final Participation?)

If the purpose of the (sustained, post-incarnation) mortal life of a Christian could be described as 'learning'; then the nature of this special quality of learning needs to be elucidated.

In our lives we have many experiences, but most of them (perhaps, sometimes - especially for non-Christians, all of them) are unlearned-from and/or irrelevant to our post-mortal future of resurrected immortality in Heaven.

Furthermore, the way in which we learn from Life is distinct from the psychological or neurological processes of 'memory'. In other words, that which we may remember most insistently may not be of ultimate importance; and conversely, we may have learned vital matters despite having never had a memory, or a distorted memory, or having lost a memory.

Deep, intuitive and permanent learning thus reaches forward - so that after death, when all triviality and illusion has fallen-away - this is what remains.

But the vital learning may well be accessible during this our mortal life, by the activity of our real Self (that is our true, eternal and divine self; by which we incarnate into this world as already children of God). And such real learning then constitutes what I have termed the Golden Thread of life.

The Golden Thread is a part of (not the whole of) that which is immortal during mortality. Our purpose in life is to work-on our Golden Thread - to make choices and engage in those behaviours that add to the Golden Thread as we know it now; that is to theosis (that process of spiritual development also known as divinisation or sanctification). 

We cannot 'prove' such learning to other people; it cannot (typically) be 'communicated'. The 'proof' (and only proof, in this life) is 'intuition'; and that intuition may be confirmed by the incorporation of material into the Golden Thread (if or when we become aware of it).

To turn it around; if we ask the question - How to do know we are currently engaged in Final Participation? The answer is that we cannot always know, and especially not while-it-is-happening.

But when in retrospect we confirm that some situation has been included in the Golden Thread, then we can be pretty sure that the situation was one of Participation, and if we are conscious of that situation while still 'in it', then we are probably dealing with 'Final Participation.

Why can't we know that we are in Final Participation at the time, or indeed in a situation that will become a part of the Golden Thread?

I think the answer is that reality is a continuous unbroken 'process', and 'moments' do Not have categorical boundaries. Therefore, when we try to establish the status of a cross-sectional 'unit' of life, we are thwarted by the fact that it is not a real category - that moment flowed-from what went before and flowed-into what came after; and was connected-with innumerable other aspects of things.

We are trying to separate-out that which is not truly separate - and that is the problem.

Furthermore, as (real) life goes-on, and the Golden Thread continues to extend (into an unbounded future) - then meanings of events are changed by this new and expanding context. As we develop spiritually (towards greater divinity) our understanding expands, therefore meanings are not fixed.

How does Christian faith affect this mortal life?

The promises and teachings of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel refer to the resurrected life eternal in Heaven - and not to this mortal life. How, then, does Christianity affect this, our mortal lives?

The answer is surely: indirectly, and as a consequence of our love of Jesus and our intention to follow him through death to everlasting life.

This means that the effect of Christianity upon this life flow from our Faith (belief-in, trust-in Jesus), from our Hope (that is, knowledge-of Heaven) and from Charity (love of Jesus, and the affirmed centrality of love of others in our lives).

In this sense, the implications for mortal life flow 'backwards' from the reality of post-mortal life. Because each person's life, situation and specific circumstances make for uniqueness; this means that we cannot say as an exact generalisation how this mortal life should-be affected by Christian faith.

We cannot derive a mapping of rules and principles from our Heavenly immortality onto our mortal evanescence.

Which is simply to say that Christianity is essentially of-the-heart; and not a matter of observable behaviours.

Now - this reality has often been taken a license of a claimed-Christian (or self-identified Christian church) to do anything they happen to want to do (typically something sexual or political), and to claim that 'it' is compatible-with, or dictated-by, ultimates. Such self-deception is so common as to be routine and mainstream; and forms the usual basis of apostasy of individuals and of churches.

But the individual is accountable before God, and his real-self which has agency - and at that level just consequences are unavoidable. So self-serving dishonesty is only a significant problem at the institutional level: and specifically in a set of Christian assumptions when the church is regarded as primary and definitive, the individual as secondary and obedient to church authority. And that is contradicted by the Fourth Gospel-centred understanding of Christianity.

When there is no church, or when the church is secondary to individual faith; there is no this-worldly advantage in falsely claiming that one's faith justifies some specific behaviour (or misbehaviour, as is more likely). After all, no external rules can prevent self-deception - as is clear from daily life.

The problem is worst when 1. a church claims authority; 2. that church claims that it is necessarily incorruptible in its essence and 3. when, in fact, that church is corrupt - in its essence (to a significant degree).

For example if a church is based upon a priesthood and that priesthood was replaced by atheist secret police, and the church remade as an instrument of state surveillance, propaganda and control (this was apparently, at times, the situation in the Russian Orthodox Church of the USSR)... Then it might be agreed that an attitude that 'Christianity' consists primarily of obedience to 'church'/ institutional authority - when such obedience is seen in terms of adherence to institutional practices, laws and rules - would probably lead to apostasy and damnation, rather than to salvation.

But if Christianity is regarded as primarily between 'myself' and God, and specifically in terms of my faith in Jesus Christ; then my mortal life will need to be judged in light of its post-mortal implications; and these just-are matters of the heart's discernment, and our actual life-situations just-are very specific rather than primarily category-based.

Christianity is, in this sense', 'not of this world' in terms of where faith is properly rooted. But there is all the difference in this world between Life conceptualised as restricted to mortality, and life which is leading to immortal resurrection in Heaven.

The difference is between (on the one hand) the totality of life as a matter of the inevitability of decay, disease and bounded by death and annihilation; and (on the other hand) an understanding of this mortal life as a preparation for an eternity spent as an immortal and divine Being, living with other divine Beings, and in creative participation with God.

The one reduces to hedonic and emotional here-and-now subjective psychology; the other expands to an expectation of objective divinity, responsibility, freedom and love.

This is important in explaining Christianity. Too often (and understandably) we fall into one of two errors: either explaining Christianity in terms of this-worldly behaviours and consequences leading to next-world consequences; or else of making Christianity something that is cut-off-from this world, with this-world behaviours 'merely' a matter of subjective-relativism, or temporary-importance hence indifference.

I find the best 'bridge' is in terms of the need for learning from this our mortal life; and that learning having objective and eternal consequences in the life to come.

Pute in one sentence: to aim to live in-light-of our expectation of resurrected eternal life, is to be a Good Christian. 

What was it about being baptized by John that caused such an extraordinary transformation in Jesus?

Such was the question from commenter and penfriend WmJas, in response to yesterday's post on Jesus. At first I had no specific answer, but this morning something came to me as valid (within my understanding):

John (the Baptist) seems to have baptised hundreds of people before Jesus; and he had the ability to call down the spirit of God so that it would 'touch' each person for a moment. But when he baptised Jesus, the spirit remained - and that was when Jesus underwent the 'extraordinary transformation' and became fully divine as a mortal man.

This shows the uniqueness of Jesus; that there was something about him which none of the other hundreds who were baptised had - and which John himself lacked. It shows that if we have sin (that is, if we are not fully aligned with God's motivations and purposes) the spirit of God can do no more than touch us; and this state of sin is universal - except for Jesus.

We know that it is universal from the quote attributed to Jesus (which I regard as authentic and true) that there had been no greater prophet than John - and by implication no greater Man. Yet the spirit did not stay with John; so it would not stay upon anybody... except Jesus.

I assume that when the spirit was brought down by John to touch a person, it made only an evanescent different to that person - gave him a 'nudge'. But, due presumably to Man's possession of agency, of free will, that touch of the divine can and will very soon be overcome by the God-unaligned will of sinful Man (i.e. all Men - except Jesus).

I think this also gives us a clue as to why John led an ascetic life of strict boundaries: because he was a normal-sinful Man; and by contrast Jesus could do whatever he willed, mix-with whichever person he wished to mix-with...

Since Jesus was wholly aligned with God's creative love, he did not need generalised laws or rules-of-thumb of the kind that are necessary to everyone else.

Jesus had no use for generalities to regulate him; since he innately-knew and spontaneously abided-by the exact specific requirements of every possible situation. 

Does the I Ching have a personality?

From a 1976 interview with Philip K Dick (Phil)

Phil: ...I wrote The Man In The High Castle with the I Ching.

Mike: You did?

Phil: Yeah, and I’ve been sorry ever since because when it came time to resolve the novel at the end, the I Ching didn’t know what to do. It got me through most of the book. 

Everytime they cast a hexagram I actually cast four of them and got something and assigned it to them and they proceeded on the basis of the advice given. Like when Juliana Frink decides to tell Abendsen that he’s about to be offed by an agent. I threw the coins and she got warning make known the truth to the court of the King great danger and so on. Someone comes up behind him and hits him with a club. That’s what she got. 

And so she did go warn Abendsen and if she’d got another hexagram I would not have had her go speak to Abendsen. But then when it came time to close down the novel the I Ching had no more to say. And so there’s no real ending on it. 

I like to regard it as an open ending. It will segue into a sequel sometime.

Mike: When you find somebody with the stomach to write one.

Phil: Yeah, or if the I Ching ever gets off its ass.

Mike: Do you go back from time to time and throw it to see if there is an ending to it or —

Phil: No, I don’t use the I Ching anymore. I’ll tell ya, the I Ching told me more lies than anybody else I’ve ever known. 

The I Ching has a personality and it’s very devious and very treacherous. And it feeds ya just what you want to hear. And it’s really spaced out and burned out more people than I would care to name.  

Like a friend is somebody who doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. A friend tells you what’s true. A toady is the old word for somebody who told you what you wanted to hear. The Kings all had their toadies around them who told them what they wanted to hear. The King said, am I the greatest King in the world? Yeah, you’re the greatest King in the world, yeah. 

Well, this is what the I Ching does. It tells you what you want to hear and it’s not a true friend. 

One time I really zapped it. I asked it if it was the devil. And it said yes. And then I asked it if it spoke for God, and it said no. It said I am a complete liar. I mean that was the interpretation. 

In other words I set it up. I set it up. I asked two questions simultaneously and it said I speak with forked tongue, is what it said. And then it said, oops, I didn’t mean to say that. But it had already –

Mike: Then you get a paradox.

Phil: Oh, I watched a girl do this to it once.

Mike: That’s the paradox. It’s lying when it says it’s lying.

Phil: It’s just full of, it’s a crock is what it is.


I bought a book about the I Ching back in... 1985 I think; and tried it a few times. But I never had any confidence in the results, never actually changed anything in my life as a consequence - never had any sense of a 'personality' at work.

Nowadays, I think (at a cultural level) divination does not work - I think that the 'evolution of human consciousness' has gone past that particular transitional phase when we were close enough to the gods that divination worked, but far enough away that we needed divination to know the gods' minds.

But of course specific individual persons may still find themselves at the transition phase where divination is both necessary and effective; and then such a person may find out the nature of who - among the gods and demons - is actually doing the divining for them.

Apparently, that what what happened to PKD.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Promiscuous abstract altruism - why does the international mass media encourage it?

Promiscuous abstract altruism is a phrase that captures a trait relentlessly encouraged by the mass media, and enforced by peer pressure.

I mean by it the unending parade of human interest stories that are collected from around the world, and which form a large part of the daily consumption of Modern man - the natural disasters, wars and famines, consequences of accident and terrorism, the effects of disorders and diseases and death... The sufferings of children, old people, the innocent, the 'vulnerable', approved-minorities etc.

Every day, in every 'news' source we will be told of something that has happened to someone, somewhere - and our empathy will be enlisted. The aim, apparently, is that we ought to have an altruism - a 'care' of the well-being of others - that is abstract in the sense that we know nothing of the persons and situations, beyond what we are told by the media; and promiscuous in that we are expected to respond sympathetically to no-matter-how many such stories are thrown at us.

Why would the mass media be so keen on everybody, everywhere, being in a continual state of fake involvement in the miseries of others?

Whether these human interest stories are really-real is another matter; and of course most of them are not - being either made-up and 'staged'; or so selective and distorted and misinterpreted as to bear near-zero relationship to actuality.

But my point here is that it is clearly Very Important to those who control the mass media that most people most of the time, ought to be fascinated-by, and involved-in, these empathy-inducing news items. And 'ought' is the correct word; because those who express uninterest, or who are not convincing in their heart-felt 'concern ' for the alleged griefs of alleged persons thousands of miles distant will be judged (especially by women) to be monsters of stony-hearted selfishness...

What's it all about?

Clearly - since we are dealing with the mass media, and the media are tools of the very worst of The Establishment - who are themselves the hosts, servants and dupes of the demonic powers; the motives are not good; are indeed evil.

My guess is that the purpose of promiscuous abstract altruism is to displace the proper concerns of mortal Men. Which are love of God and neighbour; where neighbour implies direct  knowledge and concern - in not proximity and personal involvement, then close personal ties, such as family and friends.

And secondly, that most neglected of vital matters for this mortal life; our-real-selves. The basic reason why we are and remain alive is that we have things we need to learn-from. Aside from Love (which about our salvation) we therefore have theosis (which is about our spiritual development towards higher divinity).

Promiscuous abstract altruism is opposed to theosis, displaces theosis.

Theosis requires that we attend to our actual, personal, lived experience - through-which God is trying to 'teach' us lessons that it is vitally important we learn. Actual, personal, lived... these are the opposites of that second-hand, abstracted, depersonalised, manipulated kind of forced-empathy that is imposed by the mass media.

The intent is that we will be - every day and always - more concerned about the media stories of remote people about whom we know nothing for sure than we are about what is happening to us and around us. 

And, I would say, the media has largely succeeded in their aim; and to a greater extent with every passing year.

Inhibition of theosis? Thwarting of spiritual development?

Job Done!

Jesus before he was born

At this time of year, it is natural for me to think about the birth of Jesus; and that leads back to Jesus before he was born, in his pre-mortal spirit life.

As I understand things; Jesus was the only pre-mortal Man who was wholly-aligned with the will of God. Why this should be, I don't know - and it may not have an explanation. The idea is that Jesus was (in some sense, presumably including - but not confined to - the literal) the first-born of the children of God; but that in itself does not tell us why he was unique.

What is it that makes a person's will aligned with that of God? The answer is love - so we can infer that Jesus loved God such that there was an absolute harmony between them - and that no other pre-mortal Man did so; and no other could be Saviour.

Hence Jesus, and only Jesus, was co-creator of this world (as described in the early verses of the Fourth Gospel). Co-creation is only possible when love ensures a harmony; only in that way may two or many parties may contribute to a single (harmonious) creation - genuine independence of self-creation is made compatible with the coherence of all that which is created.

(Sin is lack of love, lack of alignment; such that this harmony is prevented; sin is also the state of labile mortality - and full co-creation is only possible between immortal persons, whose love is everlasting - not mortal.)

The Messiah was both co-creator, and future Saviour - by 'saviour' was meant that he was the only means by which other Men could attain to resurrected everlasting life; and full divinity.

Yet, although co-creator, the pre-mortal Jesus was nonetheless in a vital sense incomplete because immature - he lacked that final development which was provided by his incarnation, death and resurrection; and only after this completion could Jesus ascend to Heaven and take up full divinity.

When Jesus was born, this was his history. At birth and for (apparently) thirty years, Jesus was unique in his love of God, but otherwise an ordinary Man - except for his covert destiny. It was only after the baptism by John that the incarnated Jesus assumed divine power - fully divine in power but a mortal Man.

At this point, I think Jesus had done his work of salvation for Men - as evidenced by the resurrection of Lazarus. And the completion of Jesus's development - to immortality and full divinity - was attained via his own death and resurrection.

Thus Jesus became as his Father; a full creator, capable of making worlds and procreating spirit children.

Note: For simplicity, above I have left-out the role of celestial marriage and the dyadic love between man and woman which was the basis of the creation by our Heavenly Parents (i.e. God); and that the resurrected Jesus would likewise marry an eternal resurrected woman in order to attain full creative divinity - the first stage being enacted during his mortality, with Mary Magdalene (of Bethany) as described in the Fourth Gospel.