Thursday, 31 January 2019

76... make that 77 posts this month

I think that is the most ever.

No good reason that I can think of; but apparently I have had more than usual to say.

Doesn't seem to have made any significant difference to numbers of views or comments - indeed my biggest current source of 'readers' is what I assume to be a 'bot' or attack site that appears to be associated in some way with Ms Britney Spears (I haven't bothered looking... not a fan).

Iconic garb of England's manhood

Andy Capp and his wife Flo - by Smythe


The importance of Resentment in modern materialist evil

It is Resentment that the Establishment uses to control us, and to keep us focused on the material world. 

The first (attempted) major socio-political movement to come after the massive collapse of Western Christianity in the 19th century was Nationalism; which was a movement of Resentment, originating in the lower-upper classes; the high school teachers, journalists, clerks and others clinging to the margins of the ruling elite.

For a while, some Nationalist movements could create cohesion and motivation by inculcating a belief that prosperity, power and pleasure were due to if The Enemy could be thwarted. Nationalism worked best (albeit always temporarily) when there was such an historical enemy - a perceived 'oppressor', and not very well when there wasn't.

But at a deep level Nationalism is untrue, and indeed a lie; because it is materialist - that is, its implicit claim is that if material things can be sorted-out - then life will be Good (or, at least, as Good as Life can be...).

One would have supposed that the fact that is was Not true, and that material prosperity in the absence of spiritual meaning led to despair and nihilism ought to have been recognised by 1965 at the latest - since that recognition was the currency of much public discourse across the whole of The West from the middle 50s - Existentialism, the Beat generation, the 'Angry Young Men' etc.

My understanding is that  the (evil, demonically-controlled) Establishment recognised the danger of a spiritual, ultimately Christian, rebirth; and decided to manipulate Western societies into mutual resentment; so people would be focused on the lie that 'if only' they could escape oppression (by the 'Bourgeoisie', men, white people, The English, Christian churches, 'heterosexual' married families, or whoever) then life would be... well, Good Enough.

Half a century later - we have never been less spiritual, less Christian, less Romantic - and almost everybody in The West is seething with Resentment against some group, or many groups.

To 'fix' the source of this Resentment in some material, literal fashion is, for almost everybody, the number one priority - but there are so many number one priorities that the societal quest is futile/ deceptive/ obviously-manipulative.

And if ever it was achieved in any single domain (which attainment could/ would, anyway, never be acknowledged) then such people would find themselves no further forward than The West circa 1965: a state of meaninglessness, purposelessness, superficiality - and despair, nihilism and death.

So beware making Resentment your guiding motivation - no matter how justified it may seem, no matter if it is (apparently) wholly-justified... because it is a demonic deception, the path to death and despair; and Resentment will seal you off from the true happiness of Life.


Note: We all feel Resentment, and none can truly prevent its emergence - especially in this world. But all Christians can repent what cannot be prevented - and Repentance of itself places resentment in a subordinate position in your life - and thus neutralises its ultimate evil.  

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Leftism is evil - literally, metaphysically

My conviction that Leftism is evil can be explained quite briefly.

Firstly, I define evil as that which opposes the Good; and the origin of Good is God. Thus the root of Leftism is historically, and by primary motivation, opposition to God (specifically, the Christian God - our loving Father and the creator).

(This is why non-Christians are mostly, more-or-less incapable of defining, understanding or recognising evil.) 

The way that Leftism operates is to pervert the spiritual into the material. Spiritual 'goods' are made evil by being remade in material form.

An example is the spiritual fact that all men are brothers and sisters; this is perverted into political equality. Another spiritual good is the sexual and creative love of husband and wife - this is reduced into the massively-promoted and enforced materialism that sex = love, love is good, therefore sex is good.

So Leftism is metaphysically evil, because its underlying assumptions are that Life is only-material and restricted to mortality - thereby excluding the divine source of Goodness.

It is literally evil because materialist Leftism is strategically implemented by immortal spiritual beings, demons, fallen angels - and this explains why Leftism can be perceived to have been working to an over-arching plan across many human generations.

So it is not Leftist people or policies that are necessarily evil (and these are almost never totally-evil); it is Leftism itself - the strategy, the plan, the intention and motivations - that is purely, metaphysically and literally evil.

Was Charles Williams avoiding the subject of Glastonbury?

I notice that some kind of 'Glastophobia' seems to afflict Charles Williams, over at The Notion Club Papers...

Women, men and task-functionality

(Note: What follows are generalisations based-upon biological differences - there are exceptions; but exceptions are exceptional, and should be regarded as such. Social arrangements may reshape or distort the generalisations; but such arrangements need to be purposive, powerful and permanent - since they are trying to re-mould what happens spontaneously. If you dispute what it said below; bear in mind that this is almost-certainly not because of evidence, but because you have different assumptions by-which you are interpreting the evidence.)


Women react very badly to being told they can't (or even shouldn't) do any particular thing; even when they don't actually want to do it.

So (evil) feminism seems to work by telling women that they are being excluded from this or that - by a conspiracy of men.

This is termed the 'patriarchy' - and is supposedly an omnipresent-yet-occult peer-group conspiracy of a kind that does not spontaneously exist among men (who mostly compete with each other - or cooperate in hierarchies); but is normal among women (who spontaneously conspire for social goals, and punish other women by social exclusion).

So women can get very angry about being excluded from horrendous situations, like frontline combat situations in wars; despite that it is only very rare and unusual women who actually want to take part in such activities (and indeed, the majority of men would certainly prefer Not to be in such situations!).

This is why women (in general) feel, or can easily be made to feel, that being excluded from things they would actually hate to do is equivalent to being shunned. 

Another example is professional mathematics, physics and engineering. Only a small minority of men, but a much smaller minority of women, actually want to do these things as a first choice in life (even when they are good at them). But even women who would loathe to do this work can get very angry if they are brought to believe they are being kept-out of it... which, of course, they aren't; quite the opposite for the past several decades.


Women project female motivations onto men; just as men project male motivations onto women; and this is quite natural and spontaneous because it is how we understand other people: we use our own emotions to model those of others. And this is why it is so easy to fool so many women into assuming that men operate in the ways that women do.

And it goes further than this; because men and women perceive Life in different ways - I mean the whole business of the human condition is seen differently: Women see life more socially, men see life more functionally.

Therefore, by a kind-of paradox... From a task-functional perspective, the fact that only few and exceptional women want to be in a situation (or are able to do it, due to sex differentials in ability) is sometimes exactly why women actually ought to be 'kept-out'! (...as a generalisation, with exceptional exceptions...)

As the adverse (and increasingly-adverse) experience of recent generations suggests; the mixed sex situation has intrinsically so many dys-functional aspects, that it is generally to be avoided when functionality is the priority. There are, of course, exceptions - usually time-limited - such as when functionality is so strong or urgent a priority that it psychologically overwhelms the problems of mixed-sex groups. For example in acute emergencies, or during war.


Task-functionality is a mainly masculine ideal - and in a pure form is pretty rare even among men, and easily corrupted by short-termism and selfishness. Nonetheless, most men see an 'ideal' world in terms of functions, and how best to accomplish them. The difference is not in the ideal, but in whether it can be lived-up-to.

(Perhaps this is why talking-about sports is so popular among men, since sports are about 'how to' accomplish tasks: how to win. Men often enjoy spending hours talking about how their team might play better, might win more... task-functionality in action.)

But even if at lower levels men are mainly motivated by selfish-short-termism; task-functionality must dominate the leadership group; if performing a function is genuinely intended.


Men who are genuinely interested in functionality, and who have gathered in self-selected groups of other such men, nearly always experience the presence of women as disruptive to functionality.

This is not-at-all surprising; since adult mixed-sex functional groups are an extreme evolutionary novelty - just a handful of generations even in The West. We are not evolutionarily-equipped to task-function in mixed sex groups - we not being assisted, but rather thwarted, by our 'instincts'.

From the male perspective of task-functionality, 'women' (in general, and as a group especially) tend to hijack task-functionality into 'social dynamics'; since men see the world in functional terms, and women in social terms.


A single exceptional women, in exceptional circumstances, may share task-functional goals with self-selected men (history provides several examples). But because task functionality is so extremely rare among women (especially in some particular areas such as maths, physics, engineering and the like); any group of women will not be composed of such rare exceptional types; and therefore any group of women will almost-certainly tend to (try to) hijack task-functionality into social dynamics; because that is simply how groups of women experience reality.   

Thus women reshape the externally-orientated functional male environment into a social female environment of networks - with its focus on dynamics... bonding rituals, a kind of peer-group-norm 'egalitarianism'; and psychodramas of favouritism, exclusion, shunning.

And this is precisely the nature of modern bureaucracy, and therefore of all modern social systems.

Modern organisations have no real external task-function (what they have is a mere badge, a fake rationale, an excuse) - and have mostly given-up on task-functionality. All large organisations are bureaucracies, and all bureaucracies have become mostly, qualitatively the same: their main activity is inwardly-directed 'office politics'.

The female ideal of work-life as social dynamics has displaced the male ideal of task-functionality: the workplace has been remodelled around group dynamics, instead of accomplishing some role. 


Of course - none of these 'public space', organisational activities really satisfy women - because what is really most-wanted by most women (spontaneously, naturally, deeply) is a family.  

Being a unit of human resources in a bureaucracy can hardly be expected to substitute for being a mother to children. Yet this is indeed what is expected - and the superiority of the workplace to the family is massively-pervasive propaganda, explicit and implicit, in the mass media and officialdom directed at women.

Women increasingly build failed lives on the false motivation of resentment-at-exclusion.  


Thus we wreck the effectiveness of the entire public realm in The West, in trying and failing to provide a idealised female-friendly environment; in a misguided and destructive (and ultimately evil-motivated) attempt to substitute work for family for the majority of women - when this is only valid for rare and exceptional women.

And the motivation that drives this is resentment, based on false projection of female-onto-male psychology.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The psychopathology of flogging dead horses (politics, bureaucracy, mainstream Christian churches, science, academia, medicine...)

The opposite of FaDH by Pauline Baynes. From The Narnian chronicle, The Magician's Nephew

I have been guilty of wasting a great deal of my life flogging dead horses, some of which are listed above.

The point about flogging a dead horse is that the flogging is presumably supposed to achieve something - perhaps to encourage the beast to get up and work, or simply to punish it sadistically for collapsing... but whatever the intent, it is a useless activity - a waste of time, a misdirection and dissipation of energy and resources-in-general - because that horse will never work again, and cannot suffer any more.

I became an adult during a time in which all the major social institutions (such as, but not restricted to, those listed above) were in terminal decline; becoming corrupted by generic bureaucracy, ignorant and incompetent managerialism, all pushed and enforced by secular Leftism...

And (for more than 20 years) I expended escalating resources on pointing this out - again-and-again - and making sensible suggestions of how to improve things - again-and-again; failing to notice that meanwhile the horse had died.

It took an embarrassingly long time for my penny to drop. Yet, even despite my obtuseness, most people still have not noticed.

Most people have still not noticed (and would deny) that All of mainstream politics is corrupted beyond any possibility of reform; that we already, and for many years, live in a totalitarian bureaucracy; that the mainstream Christian churches are systematically anti-Christian; that science has been killed, gutted and replaced by dishonest professional 'research' based on pure careerism... and so on.

The horses are all dead, but banging an-and-on trying to prove they are dead is sheer foolishness; a waste of life.

When people cannot notice, and fight the awareness, that the horse has rigor mortis - or is indeed putrid and fly-blown; it is pointless trying to prove-by-evidence that the last flickering spark of life has long since departed.

When they can't perceive the Obvious; they either don't want to know (in which case, they are already working on the side of evil), or are incapable of knowing (in which case, we must try to heal the causes of that incapability).

But there are far too many who will just redouble the flogging, and try to enlist more people to help with plying the whip; simply because, essentially, they have no idea what else to do.

That is why I am so very grateful to have discovered Romantic Christianity; because it tells me what can and must be done, and (broadly) how to set about doing it.
  

More explicit, but not new, guidance for commenters

See the About Me section at the top of the sidebar.

This is nothing new policy-wise - but may help people avoid submitting comments that don't get published.

Why, exactly, should we do-the-right-thing? (Or, How to lead a 'more successful Life', and what that means.)


There is a line of 'self-help' authors and speakers who have, for many decades, been telling people that if only they do what their heart tells them they ought to do - then this will lead to a successful life; where success is defined in terms of fame and fortune.

But this is false; and very obviously so. Most people with fame and fortune have obtained it by doing what other people want (especially those more powerful than themselves, their 'bosses'), and absolutely not by doing what they themselves feel impelled to do.

There is no serious doubt that this-worldly success depends on Not-doing what your deepest impulses tell you. Why pretend otherwise? It will only discredit your ideas.

But when we recognise that life neither began at birth nor ends at biological death - but extends in both directions - so that this mortal life is the centre but not the whole of a Man's existence... then everything is changed.

Since God is our loving parent and creator of this world; evidently he would not leave us without guidance; nor would he leave us absolutely-dependent on the uncertainties of guidance by corruptible churches composed of corruptible men...

In short; we are each and all provided with a built-in, 'inner guidance system' - and that is what tells us each what we ought to do.

And what-it-tells-us will indeed lead to a successful life... but only when life is taken as-a-whole, and not when life is defined as restricted to its central, temporary, mortal, episode.

Wildblood on Brexit

In response to something I posted earlier by Andy Thomas; William Wildblood provides a wide-ranging and far-seeing account of the Brexit question, over at Albion Awakening.

Here is an excerpt:

Britain is part of Europe. It always has been and it always will be. Leaving the E.U. does not mean leaving Europe even if that were possible. Our whole life has been bound up with the continent for our entire history. Our culture is a European one, unthinkable without huge influences from mainland Europe which have enriched us enormously.

And yet we are an island. Materialists will consider this completely irrelevant. But people who believe in God and think that he has a reason for things being as they are will pause for thought.

We have been set apart. Yes, that can lead to an attitude of arrogant self-satisfaction but then beauty can lead to vanity. It doesn't mean that beauty is a bad thing.

We have been set apart and many of us sense that we do indeed have a special mission, hinted at in our traditions and legends. What that mission may be, no one is completely sure but it has risen to the surface occasionally...

Read the whole thing...

Monday, 28 January 2019

Dead-eyed actresses (and, to a lesser extent actors)

I have for a long while been underwhelmed by the leading actresses in major movies - and I now think I know why: because they are dead-eyed.

Why this should be, and why actresses more often than actors - although some actors have the same 'problem' and for the same reason, is obvious enough (i.e. chronic psycho-sexual abuse, which may or may not be strategic - often exacerbated by self-mutilation and chosen spiritual evil; therefore worst in those who became 'stars' youngest); but it is also pretty obvious that acting-impact is severely limited by zombie eyes...

Furthermore, and increasingly, the actresses have 'dead' (i.e. immobile) faces - particularly as they age (i.e. through their thirties) due to the massive use of plastic surgery.

Whether or not 'Hollywood' actresses strike you as 'attractive' is a matter of taste (certainly they are not to my taste - but then they are not intended to be); but that mainstream female stars they do not, and cannot, act really well due to dead eyes and immobile faces is just an objective fact.

Maybe this is a reason why I mostly prefer animated movies? The acting is more life-like, because the eyes are more alive?...

Why did God create?

 The Living Water by William Arkle

This is a fundamental question - and perhaps one that it is hazardous to avoid answering.

Of course one can say, many have said, that this is a permanent and necessary mystery, or that God's creation was a gratuitous (hence meaning-less) act. Christians often say that God created from an abundance of love, but keeping this very abstract - in an attempt to make clear that God's love is neither necessary nor gratifying to God...

Some reasons why A God might create are bad ones, from our point of view - there might be an evil God who created a world of beings in order that he could enjoy their suffering, could torment them - and certainly some people do seem to believe exactly this (e.g. they believe this is the truth about the God that Christians worship).

Or God might be indifferent to his creature, it not mattering one way or the other whether individual or en masse the Beings are happy or suffering.

Furthermore, there are ideas about what role the Beings, such as ourselves, have; and perhaps most types of theism have no necessary role for Men: by this account, Men cannot help or harm creation, because creation is entirely God's business.

But the religion brought by Jesus is a very personal religion, and tells us that God is a person, Jesus is a person, Men are persons - and God, Jesus and Men are linked by loving family relationships - they/ we are part of the same family.

This makes Christian creation a very much more personal thing than in some abstract schemata of creation. God does not so much 'make' Men as procreate children; and implicitly for the same kind of reason/s that Men procreate children, at the highest level of human love.

Creation and procreation become, for Christians, part of the same qualitative activity. The making of Beings (which compose every-'thing' that is created) and of Human Beings is part of the same activity.

And we know, from introspection - and from what we know of God (because as children we have God within us), that creation comes from love; and creation is 'rewarding' to the creator, as well as being a gift to the created.

Christians should not shy-away from the fact that God created because it gratified him to do so - in simple language, God is happier in the midst of Creation than in isolation - as most men (and all Good Men, all who choose salvation) are happier with a family, than without.


Sunday, 27 January 2019

What makes a conspiracy theory?

Continuing my discussion of why there is currently such a Big Thing (and such obviously self-contradiction) in the mainstream media, official bureaucracies and academia; focused-on mocking, slurring, suppressing, attacking, and legislating-against so-called conspiracy theorists...

In a nutshell - this coordinated movement is strategic, in pursuit of a long term goal which is that:

On one side The Establishment want us always to believe the official narratives of public events (even when we know nothing about it); and on the other side never to believe common sense and our personal experience (except when confirmed by the official story). 

Hostility to conspiracy theories is therefore a surface symptom of a very deep - and so far extremely successful - social manipulation of human thinking.

There are many official narratives - about which ordinary people have zero direct knowledge or information - that people are expected to believe or else be regarded as literally insane, dumb and/or evil; while on the other hand there are things that everybody knows from their own daily life, believing which is subjected to unconstrained (and escalating) abuse, persecution, and legal sanctions.

The crucial point about conspiracy theories is what is being denied, rather than what is being proposed. Because it is denying the official narrative that must be made taboo.

So, for example, when conspiracy theorists refuse to believe the official narrative about the JFK assassination, or the moon landing, or the events of 9/11, or the honesty of an election - the problem is not what alternative understandings are being proposed; but simply that the person is not accepting what they have been told (or more exactly, since the narrative changes, what they are currently being-told). 

On the other side, no matter how much direct experience we have about, say, the psychological and physical differences between men and women; this is regarded as strictly-and-intrinsically-worthless.

Worthless because why? Well, any fake rationale will suffice - it is anecdotal, subject to personal bias and prejudice, due to selective and uncontrolled observation, incompetent, concealing of a hidden agenda etc - even though such criticisms always apply equally and more to the official narrative.

This ais all-about the totalitarian strategy for The West; because for totalitarianism to work, the official narrative must be pervasive and mandatory. Personal judgement must be discredited and eliminated.

In sum - we are supposed to believe absolutely in matters we have no way of knowing-about (except via the mass media and mainstream bureaucracies); and all other beliefs are to be made subject to this imperative.

Remembering the creator...

By William Arkle - The loving creator is always with us - in person, and in every-thing 

William Wildblood's book Remember the Creator will be available at the end of March and can be pre-ordered.

William has hit upon an excellent and valuable title, I think; because - when combined with an implicit understanding of God as our loving Father and we His children - it is perhaps the best short description of The Human Condition from a Christian perspective.

Indeed, I have found 'remember the creator' to be a useful mantra; to be recalled and repeated whenever (which happens every day) I find myself alienated and disaffected. I can recall that God is here, and is there - made this and sustains that.

This world is a created-world; and the creator is Our Father.

And I often combine this brief 'meditation' with thinking-about one of William Arkle's painting of faces or figures above (or embracing) landscapes and people; patiently waiting to be noticed, recognised and remembered.

What this exercise accomplishes is a metaphysical reframing; by which I see my life in a top-down yet detailed fashion, that makes it more important than with a worms-eye view; and yet puts that importance into an even larger importance.

Remembering Michael Green and the Art of Coarse Acting

At Albion Awakening.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

The background to Brexit - according to Andy Thomas


Over at Albion Awakening is the video of a funny and insightful talk by Andy Thomas, from the summer of 2016, giving his interpretation of the long English myth, history and national character that led up to the vote to leave the EU.

What makes this unusual is that AT is a leading, and expert, conspiracy theorist whose evidence is not from the usual mainstream, mass-media sources. For example, he apparently gives something like 200 interactive lectures per year on many subjects to a wide range of audiences; so he is well-placed to get an idea of 'public opinion' of 'ordinary' British people - outside of the Establishment and their servants.

For those of you (such as WmJas!) who cannot abide videos - here is an article by AT, written in early 2016 during the lead-up to the Brexit vote, at the end of which he makes a personal statement:

I will be voting to leave the EU.

The reasons for my decision are embedded in some of the points discussed in both articles. I feel an underlying discomfort that simple, if understandable, fear of financial loss and of having to create potentially difficult new trade conduits is being fed to us as the main basis of our choice, above all the issues of democracy, sovereignty, borders and pride in our own history and legends. On reflection, I feel that we need to be prepared to pay a price for our freedom if that is what it takes, because freedom always speaks louder than economic chains. Trade deals may take a while to sort, but in the end they will be made.

In my lecturing and work I meet many people from all classes and it seems clear to me that the general inclination would certainly be towards leaving the EU if there were not the fear of financial loss. This speaks volumes. This tendency is more true of older generations, to be sure, who have known an existence outside of the EU, while younger thinkers brought up in an EU system which has painted itself in a good light seem more likely to keep to what they know, putting idealistic collectivism, visa-free travel and job opportunities above issues of democracy. This is not a judgment, but a simple observation. What if fear could be taken out of the equation, though?

Fear is being used on both sides of the argument, naturally, and the fears must be debated and faced, but it is currently being wielded more fervently by the ‘remain’ camp. History shows that decisions made through fear alone are rarely the right ones. Why not replace fear with a determination to make something work?...

That the EU is so plainly keen to keep us is rooted in self-preservation and shows just how powerful Britain is on the European stage, and still could be even outside of the EU. We have been talked down for too long. In our hearts this is not really who we are. The undemocratic departments of the EU know well that maverick British action might start a line of exiting dominos that could undermine the whole project.

We are stronger than we know; it is ironic that the EU seems to recognise this more than some of us do. I feel it is time to realise that strength and learn to believe in ourselves again; this would power new currents to take us forward and help find our centre. Britain is still psychologically damaged by the two World Wars and the loss of influence that came as part of the price for the victories. This has profoundly affected our self-confidence – and yet historically this has all taken place within a very short time. We could easily rise again before long, albeit with less lofty and more heart-centred ambitions. We might even rediscover the art of manufacturing… Leaving the EU may mean uncertainty and financial compromise for a time. But maybe that is the mission we have to set ourselves on. With enough willpower, we could deal with any situation that arises, as we have always done, and come out stronger for it. Why are we being encouraged to forget this? Sometimes we have to let go of our fear and do the right thing. One of my first jobs was in a soulless office. It was safe and predictable; yet I wasn’t happy and the feeling of discomfort grew. In the end, against the advice of a number of friends and family, I decided to leave for an uncertain career as a musician, with far less money and no security… it was a risk, but in my heart I knew it was right. In the end I made it work, and new and different life paths and opportunities appeared along the way.

Right now, the fear-based draw to stay in the EU feels like clinging to the known river edge. We need to find the courage to let go and flow with a new tide. We’ll learn to swim along the way, and in time manage by ourselves to sort out some of the darker issues and influences we will certainly be left to deal with. At least we can vote out those politicians we are not happy with, for all the systemic improvements still required. This is not so in the EU.

If the EU was an angelic bastion of democracy and vision that would serve all its peoples to the highest aspirations and respect the individuality of its nations then I would be voting to remain within it. As it stands it falls far short of this dream. Some of those devoted to EU membership, displaying admirable idealism, somehow seem not to see this. For me, though, until the time that real reform creates a better version of Europe, I believe that Britain should hold to the democratic framework it has painstakingly built up, stand alone and rediscover its not insignificant strengths. This, at least, is the basis on which I will vote on 23rd June.
 

Bureaucracy and the Mass Media are causes

To expand on a post from yesterday; people treat bureaucracy and the mass media as 'effects' (consequences of other, primary, social influences); when on the contrary - as we know from direct and personal experience - they are more like 'causes'.

We can argue over how and why B and the MM got to be as they are; but from where we stand now they are colossal Facts Of Life.

Not only that - but it is clear that both have a tendency to grow - and by similar mechanisms; because bureaucracy and the mass media Feed Upon the functional social systems - in other words they are parasitic, with a strong tendency to kill the host, before they themselves will die.

This happens because bureaucracy and the mass media can feed upon a wide range of hosts - they can even feed upon each other (although, so long as other hosts exist, that seems to have the effect of strengthening both).


Thus the media can happily feed upon politics, education, business, industry, the armed forces, the police, the health services, churches, the legal system... everything!

The media relate to other media - journalists and editors seek to influence and respond-to other journalists and editors. The major news stories in the most massive of the media move in lock-step.

The international media forms a single web, with a single - massively-amplified - voice.


And at the same time, all of these named functions have been infiltrated, colonised and subverted by bureaucracy - so that they are by now mainly 'generic bureaucracies'; each linked to all the others by rules, regulations and laws; and only to a limited degree is a hospital different from a school; or a civil service office different from the police or fire fighting forces.

All modern organisations consist mostly of managers, and are controlled by managers - and within-organisations, the managers look to satisfy the demands of other managers in other bureaucracies.

There is thus a single, linked, bureaucratic system - and it covers the world.


So that whether you look at government, schools, hospitals or the military - most of the activity in which people engage is bureaucratic; and only a small and diminishing percentage of personnel, man hours; resources of money, time and effort will be expended on the functional activity.

Although there is indeed a sense in which bureaucracy and the mass media began as 'means to an end' there is - here and now - a more important sense in which they have become (and overwhelmingly so!), ends in themselves; as when a useful epithelial tissue will break from control of the organism, become locally invasive, turn malignant, and metastasise lethally. 

The big question is why - to what purpose? If there is one massive and growing media system; one massive linked bureaucracy. And if - as we observe - both global phenomena share the same secular, leftist (= nihilistic hedonic) ideology... then what are they aiming-at?


Totalitarianism is the answer.

That is, total monitoring and control of human thinking and behaviour - the media is mostly concerned with controlling minds and the bureaucracy with controlling bodies, and the two reinforce synergistically.

The mass media and bureaucracy are aiming at totalitarianism; and they are themselves actually-existing totalitarianism: totalitarianism in action.

And who wants totalitarianism? The usual answer is 'those at the top' - but all humans are, sooner or later, brought-within the totalitarian system; indeed those at or near the top are the most closely regulated and monitored...

Every-one, every-body, all humans, stand within the system of control; only those who stand outside it will truly benefit from it.


It is not humans who benefit from a global totalitarian system, it is the immortal immaterial demonic beings who stand outside The System, that really want, aim-at, strategise-for, and stand to benefit-from totalitarianism.

And there is our answer; and the answer to why The System (the global web of media and bureaucracy) are by-their-nature secular and leftist: since secular leftism is the 'religion' invented by demons for the malefit of Man (although not, of course, shared by them).    

Friday, 25 January 2019

Bureaucracy and the mass media - elephants in the room

I find it astonishing but significant that when people talk about socio-political trends they will mention concepts such as capitalism, free-markets, socialism, the sexual revolution, moral relativism, feminism, antiracism, the counter-culture etc...

But they don't mention the largest, most expanded, most pervasive and intrusive phenomena - bureaucracy and the mass media.

Bureaucracy is everywhere, in every public organisation, and all bureaucracies (supernational, government, private, NGO) are cross-linked into a global web.

Consequently; everything is nowadays run by managers, and being-some-kind-of-a-manager is by far the most prevalent occupation among the middle and upper classes.

As for the mass media (including social media) - well, suffice to say that it is now everywhere and (nearly) all-the-time.

That By Far the two Biggest Facts about modern life get entirely left-out of social analysis is... interesting.

Why did God allow the world to become as it is? Or, this world IS fit-for-purpose - from William Arkle

The following is excerpted (and lightly edited, for clarity) from pages 238-9 in the Conclusion of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle, 1974:

**

I find it difficult to accept that God allowed the situation of our world to become what it is without a reason.

While God would not deliberately push us into a condition in the world where we forget the higher part of our nature, and so commit behaviour which is not good; it is possible that He deliberately allowed us to wander in that direction, of our own accord, for a very definite reason. This reason being to increase our ties with earth and increase our resistance to Heaven, so that we eventually become more centred in the midst of God's creation, rather than at the top end of it.

While we must know the heights of Divine Heaven as well as the depths of the earth, we must also remember that God is 'outside' both Heaven and earth. In this way, it may be that the Treasure He seeks, that we His children are meant to find, lies in the centre or heart of manifestation; and really is signified by the expression of a personification of our nature.

Perhaps the Divine power and glory of the enlightened soul is made to understand a further dimension of value in the uncomfortable and limited restriction of the earthly personality? Perhaps the value God seeks in us is not our perfect unalloyed Divine Being Bliss; but the humble and imperfect yearnings and sentiments that our soul feels in the crippling form of the human situation?

The compression and pain of our earthly situation breeds a simple love that does not feed on pleasure, not even Divine pleasure; instead it feeds on a 'craggy' determination, often beyond the hope of any reward in the form of happiness or joy - to improve the lot of those it loves.

To my understanding this creates a love between persons, and the souls of these persons, which teaches them something about the nature of love which would not be learned in the experience of liberated divine bliss, or by devotion to perfection as we understand it.

The highest teachings we have ever received on earth seem to me to say:

'Do not take any notice of miracles or powers: God can make these happen any time. Instead, seek to understand the nature of the love that brought you forth. This love is not interested in power or glory or even perfect behaviour; but has something to do with the response that only you can make, because there is none other like you'.

**

For most of its history, the Christian religion has taught that every Man is flawed by original sin (so that he is rotten at heart) and this world is fallen from an original perfection.

'Therefore' (assuming this was correct) we would naturally expect the world to be a terrible place; and we would not be surprised if each person's mortal life was a complete waste of time - and that it would have therefore been better never to have been born in order to avoid the suffering.

However, Jesus did not say this - and there is no compelling reason for a Christian to believe it; indeed the original-sin/ fallen-world assumption does not make metaphysical sense.


In contrast; Arkle assumes (as, surely, all Christians ought to assume - but often forget) that a creator God who loves each person as a son or daughter would (surely!) design this world such as to provide what each son or daughter most needs.

God would not create a situation in which mortal life was worthless and then insert each of his beloved sons and daughters into this situation, to suffer inevitably and with only a chance of an acceptable outcome.

That is not the act of a loving creator-father; ergo it is Not True. 


Before saying what is true, we need to clarify that 'What each son and daughter needs' must be understood to include the context that we are each eternal beings who lived before, and will continue to live after, this mortal life.

So what matters most is what is needed for the life to come, the Life Everlasting in the Kingdom of Heaven, reachable only via death.

Thus it is reasonable to describe mortal life as an experience for learning. And when we find this world to be one that is hostile to 'Divine Being Bliss' and to human 'perfection', this tells us that these things are Not what God most wants from us or for us.


By looking at the actual experiences of our specific life, we can 'reverse-engineer' what God wants us to learn from them - at any rate, it is our task to learn as best we can throughout our lives, from our lives. And a life of learning from experiences will have a very different character from a life of blissful perfection.  

Furthermore, each of us is a distinct individual (there is none exactly like us); and we must presume that this was not due to God's inability or against His wishes.

Apparently, it is from the experiences of each person's own specific life from which we are each supposed to learn; and we are presumably each expected to 'respond' to earthly mortal life in a way that only we each can respond.


In conclusion, a well-lived Christian life would be expected to be unique; but broadly to have something of the character of "a simple love that... feeds on a 'craggy' determination, often beyond the hope of any reward in the form of happiness or joy - to improve the lot of those it loves."

Life is not full of troubles because we are crippled by original sin in a fallen world; but because the world is fit for its purpose of providing the kind of experiences we most need to learn from - aiming at the best possible life beyond death of the mortal body.

A pair of nightingales

In the dark before dawn it was a pure delight to hear - not just the 'usual' one, but a pair of nightingales - calling across left to right, from tree to tree.

I don't recall ever hearing any such until the past decade; then I heard and saw one nightingale half a mile from my house, in one direction - and then another a similar distance in the other direction. And in the past few years there has been a nightingale singing from within about fifty yards of my backdoor.

It's a lovely song - not better, but more abstractly beautiful, than the virtuoso, fruity-toned, melodious blackbirds.

To cap it - Venus blazing in the south-east almost next-door to a very bright Jupiter - an egg-shaped gibbous moon in the south-west.

The prevalent emotion - other than sehnsucht - was gratitude. Quite explicit - because I now regard such moments as meaning-full, no 'accident'.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

IQ paranoia* on the interweb

Intelligence, as measured by IQ, has been - since the middle 1960s, when it became the first, and still the most aggressively persecuted, object of political correctness - prone to a tremendous amount of misunderstanding in both directions: under- and over-valuation. Indeed, some of the honest (albeit ignorant) undervaluation of IQ comes from reacting against those who overvalue it.

(Of course, most of the undervaluation of intelligence is simply dishonest as well as ignorant: invincibly ignorant, in other words.)

The fact is that IQ test measurements are only modestly precise, modestly predictive, and thus only modestly valid, at the level of individual people. But IQ scores are highly valid and reliably predictive when used to compare group averages. (H/T to Steve Sailor for making this clear to me.)

So, when outcomes are measured in terms of educational success, job status, social class, income, health, life expectancy - a group of 200 people with average IQ of 130 will (pretty much) always significantly outperform a group of 200 with with 115 average IQ; but the same certainly does not apply to individuals.


Personality is very important as well, albeit personality cannot be measured in the same way as IQ; but is only evaluated by human beings (self, parents, teacher, employer etc). A more conscientious personality will provide much the same outcome advantages as IQ - but (at least within races) there is very little correlation between personality and Intelligence.

In particular, there are plenty of high IQ people with low-Conscientiousness personalities - and low-C is quite sufficient to negate any IQ advantage in modern society. I have met several de facto 'unemployable' people with very high intelligence, and indeed such people tend to form the nucleus of the high IQ/ ultra-high IQ societies.

But there is also a confusion about the role of intelligence in creativity. In a nutshell, high intelligence is necessary but not sufficient for creativity; and most highly intelligent people are not at all creative. This can be seen most clearly in the study of creative genius.

In saying this, I am talking about real, primary creativity - not simply what passes for creativity in the superficial and dishonest modern world; which is mostly about expropriation, extrapolation and recombination of already-existing ideas: the kind of 'faked' creativity seen in high status advertising, design, illustration, modern art and sculpture, professional research (so-called 'science'), popular music, mainstream journalism, cultural criticism and theory etc.


Yet it is quite common to equate high intelligence with high creativity; and not to notice that extremely high intelligence is usually absolutely un-creative. Mental speed usually goes with mental dullness/ conformity.

And this applies especially among the high intelligence/ high conscientiousness people (the Head Girl type, as I call them; of both sexes) - who are those most likely to achieve high levels of education, wealth, status and power.

Indeed, in modern conditions, while high success in the social institutions (including 'science') is possible for those of high intelligence, creativity is extremely rare; because only the most Conscientious/ least creative can thrive in these environments. High Conscientiousness is mandatory, but (even in the elite colleges) high intelligence is subject to compromise.   

Meanwhile the most creative people are often more modest in IQ, highly intelligent, but not usually among the highest; and among those high in IQ the most truly-creative are low in Conscientiousness (because inner orientated and directed), and therefore tend to number among the (relative) social-status mediocrities or even failures.


So, even if someone has a very high opinion of himself; there is no reason why he should be touchy, eve paranoid, about his personal, individual, measured IQ; no reason to assert that he is more intelligent than you - no reason to assert that those he admires are more intelligent than those he despises: firstly because such measurements are imprecise; secondly they are poorly predictive...

And thirdly because, when it comes to The Most Important intellectual attribute - genius - intelligence is only one part of a package that must also include an internally-aware and self-motivated - hence low Conscientiousness, hence typically status-failing - personality.


*Note - "Paranoia" is defined here as the combination of heightened self-awareness with heightened self-reference (in short: Everything is about me).

How to understand dreams and synchronicities

It is easy, and common (in a world historical context), to believe that the world is non-random, and that therefore there is some meaning to unusual phenomena such as dreams and synchronicities. But there is a big step from knowing that there is a meaning, to working out the specific meaning of a specific dream, or a specific 'coincidence'.

Typically, in seeking a meaning, people turn to the content of a dream or event; and try to understand its symbolism. The symbolism is often interpreted using some kind of standard 'key' along the lines of Freud's 'censor' whereby towers might mean phalluses and domes mean breasts; or Jung's mythic, archetypal personifications.

Such 'symbolic content' interpretative approaches are unconvincing and have, over many decades, proved disappointing. In practice, they seem to find only what they bring; they seem to force an abstract and generic template onto very specific and personal situations.

But in 1914, in a lecture about how we might set up contact with the so-called dead; Rudolf Steiner suggested a very different idea; which strikes me as being on the right lines*. We should understand dreams by the feelings they evoke; we should understand a specific dream by trying to understand the very specific effect that dream - as a whole - has had upon our feelings.

In other words, the meaning of a dream lies behind the dream as a whole, not its detailed content; as known by the distinctive and complex nature of the exact feeling experienced.

For example, if we meet a known person in a dream, and he does some thing; then the real meaning is not in that person or what he does; but in the person and events that are suggested by our feelings about that dream. So a dream person may appear to be one person but really be another - feel like another. That person might do something in the dream - but we find that our responsive feelings don't match with the events; and then we should infer that the significance of what the person did was actually given by how the events made us feel.

Similarly when it comes to a meaningful 'coincidence'; the synchronicity of thinking about a person (for the first time in years) and then receiving a letter from him, or reading about a strange and improbable event that soon after is mirrored in our experience; such meanings should be sought in the feelings that these events have upon us. It is the consequent feeling that yields the meaning, not the surface content, nor the apparent personnel, nor its symbolism.

Since I absorbed this teaching; I have brooded it on it sufficiently that it came-into a particular dream a few nights ago - in which it seemed to unlock a very convincing meaning relating to communication with a deceased loved one - a communication understood in terms of my feelings, and an interpretation relating to general type of influence. It felt like a first-step.

In other words, recalling Steiner's ideas 'made' the ongoing dream semi-lucid, such that I became conscious that I was dreaming, and then able to apply various tests to what was happening - although I had no 'control' over the unfolding events of the dream.

Others may be interested in testing this idea from their own experience.

*Here follows the relevant section of the lecture - as so often with Steiner, this lecture as-a-whole is a mosaic of genius, irritating self-justification, and systematised nonsense. We must be selective:

We develop the right feelings toward the dead if we become aware that their spiritual gaze — if I may use that expression — and their powers focus on us; they look at us, act in us, and add to our strength. To experience such a spiritual fact in the right way, we need to develop a very specific type of selflessness and a capacity for love. That is why I stressed that one could love that person objectively, as it were, because of her qualities; one had to love her because she was as she was. A subjective love, a love arising out of personal needs, can easily be egotistical and can potentially keep us from finding the right relationship to such a dead individual. The difference between the right love, the selfless love we have for such a person, and selfish love becomes perfectly obvious in clairvoyant experience. Let us assume such a person would want to help us after her death, but we cannot develop true selfless love for her. Her spiritual gaze, her spiritual will streaming toward us would then be like a burning sensation, causing a piercing, burning feeling in our soul. If we can feel and maintain a selfless love, this stream, her spiritual gaze as it were, flows into our soul like a feeling of warm mildness and pours itself into our thoughts, imagination, feeling, and willing. It is out of this feeling that we recognize who the dead person is and not on the basis of his or her appearance, because the dead may manifest in the guise of a person we feel close to at the moment. The form in which the beings of the higher world appear to us — and after death we are all beings of a higher, spiritual world — depends on our subjective nature, on what we habitually see, think, and feel. The reality is what we feel for the being manifest before us, how we receive what comes to us from this being. Regardless of what Joan of Arc said about the appearance of the higher beings in her visions, the occultist who is able to investigate these things knows that it was always the genius of the French nation who stood behind them. I described how we can feel the gaze of spiritual beings resting upon us and their will flowing into our souls. To learn this is analogous to learning to read on the physical plane. Those who merely want to describe their visions would be like people describing the shape of the letters on a page rather than their meaning. This shows you how easy it is to have preconceived notions about the experiences in the spiritual realm. Naturally, it seems most obvious to attach great importance to the description of what the vision looked like. However, what really matters is what lies behind the veil of perception and is expressed in the images of the vision. Thus, in the course of occult development, the soul immerses itself in specific moods and inner states different from those of our everyday life. We have entered the world of the hierarchy of angels and the hierarchy, or we could also say hierarchies, of the dead as soon as our occult exercises have brought us to the stage where the sense of touch characteristic of the physical world no longer exists, and where a person's appearance is no longer characteristic of the I concerned. Then our thinking changes and we no longer have thoughts in the sense we have them here in the physical world. In that world, every thought takes on the form of an elemental being. In the physical world, our thoughts can agree or contradict each other. In this other world we enter, thoughts encounter other thoughts as real beings, either loving or hating each other. We begin to feel our way into a world of many thought beings. And in those living thought beings, we really feel what we usually call “life.” Here life and thinking are united, whereas they are completely separate in the physical world. When we speak on the physical plane and tell our thoughts to someone, we have the feeling that our thoughts come from our soul, that we have to remember them at this particular moment. Speaking as a true occultist and not someone who just tells his experiences from memory, we will feel that our thoughts arise as living beings. We must be glad if we are blessed at the right moment with the approach of a thought as a real being. When you express your thoughts in the physical world, for example, as a lecturer, you will find it easier to give a talk for the thirtieth time than you did the first time. If, however, you speak as an occultist, thoughts always have to approach you and then depart again. Just as someone paying you the thirtieth visit had to make his way to you thirty times, the living thought we express for the thirtieth time has to come to us thirty times as it did the first time; our memory is of absolutely no use here. If you express an idea on the physical level and someone is sitting in a corner thinking, “I don't like that nonsense, I hate it,” you will not be particularly bothered by it. You have prepared your ideas and present them regardless of the positive or negative thoughts of someone in the audience. But if as an esotericist you let thoughts approach you, they could be delayed and kept away by someone who hates them or who hates the speaker. And the forces blocking that thought must be overcome because we are dealing with living beings and not merely with abstract ideas. These two examples show that as soon as we enter the sphere of clairvoyance, we are immersed in living and weaving thoughts. It is as if these thoughts are no longer subjective and as if you yourself are no longer within yourself, as if you are living outside in the wide world. When you are in this world of living and weaving thoughts, you are in the hierarchy of angels. And just as our physical world is everywhere filled with air, the world of the hierarchy of angels is filled with the mild warmth I spoke about earlier that the beings of this hierarchy pour out. When our inner development has brought us to the stage where we can live in this spiritual atmosphere of streaming mildness, we feel the spiritual eyes of the hierarchy of angels resting on our souls. Now, in our earthly life, we have certain ideals and think about them abstractly. As we think of them, we feel obligated to pursue these ideals. In the clairvoyant sphere, however, there are no abstract ideals. There ideals are living beings of the hierarchy of angels and flow through spiritual space, looking at us with warmth. In the physical world, we may have ideals, know them well, and yet we may not do anything to apply them. Our emotions, and perhaps passions, can tempt us to shirk them. However, if we knowingly ignore an ideal in the clairvoyant sphere, we feel the spiritual gaze of a being of the hierarchy of angels directed at us with reproach, and this reproach burns. In the spiritual world, ignoring an ideal is thus a reality, and a being of the hierarchy of angels reproaches us. Their gaze makes us feel the reproach; it is the reproach we feel. You see, learning to develop a real feeling for ideals is one way of entering the world of the hierarchy of angels. Limiting our consciousness to the physical plane may lead us to think that nothing will happen if we are too lazy to act on our ideals. However, we can learn to feel that if we do not act on an ideal, then, regardless of other consequences, the world becomes different from what it would have been had we followed our ideal. We are on the way to the hierarchy of angels when we begin to see that not acting on our ideals is something real, and when we can transform this insight into a genuine feeling. Transforming and vitalizing our feelings allows our souls to grow into the higher worlds.

Why can't anything be known with certainty?

Since philosophy took its (disastrous) turn into epistemology with Descartes, reinforced by Kant; intelligent people have become 'hung-up' on the fact that they cannot know with certainty that any-thing is absolutely true.

In its most modern form, this is a self-mistrust; the mind experiences that it is its-self too labile and unreliable to know, and stick to, any truth - even if it stumbled upon such a thing.

This mainstream belief is not quite relativism - which asserts explicitly that truth cannot be known, and doing-so falls into the Cretan Liar paradox of asserting as truth that there is no truth. No - the modern relativism is experiential; more like self-doubt, self-mistrust - based on the experienced lability of thinking; an ineradicable subjective uncertainty about the truth of any-thing (whether general or specific).

This 'existenatial doubt' is partly due to the problem of, the impossibility, of communication - as communication is conceptualised by materialistic science; since any such communication involves multiple steps (expression, transmission, reception, decoding, interpreting etc.), and at any stage there is possibility/ near-certainty of a failure of intent to match-up that which is intended with that which eventuates.

Existential doubt is also partly due to our inner knowledge of a change in capacity, as happens during development - the change from child to adult, or alert and fatigued, between healthy and ill - which encompasses our ability to know anything, and how much we can know.

But ultimately, existential doubt is correct but wrongly understood. Correct because knowing is not the primary reality of existence - and that is why the turn to epistemology was an error (because it tries to make knowing the ultimate metaphysical reality)

Existentialism tried to replace knowing with Being as the ultimate reality; but this did not work, because Being is inarticulate - it can only be discussed indirectly, by communications, so that it falls into the same problem.

The correct conception of reality is the Christian one (the Romantic Christian one, specifically; which detaches Christianity from its distorting and paradox-inducing roots in classical philosophy).

The Romantic Christian metaphysically (by assumption) roots reality in love, and understands love to be creative - hence 'dynamic'. Indeed, setting aside these abstractions; it regards created reality as the loving relations between Beings through time.

Not as knowledge, not as Beings in detached, static abstraction - but as a moving, purposive, meaning-full web of relationships.

Within such a world picture it does not make sense to want, or to mourn the absence of, detached abstract chunks of certainty expressible in words or symbols.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tolkien's exceptional, heroic, dominant women - Galadriel and Eowyn - and why They convince (while most modern examples emphatically do Not)

 L-R: (Arwen) Galadriel and Eowyn, as depicted in the LotR movies: 
Miranda Otto as Eowyn was, indeed, an astonishingly apt, deep, wholly-convincing performance

There are two 'dominant' women characters in Lord of the Rings, Galadriel and Eowyn. Three generations of readers testify to the fact that they 'work' narratively - and in this respect they stand-apart from the many thousands of dominant women characters that have become such a tiresome cliche in recent decades (in fiction, on TV, at the movies - and in 'news' stories) who strike the reader as contrived, incoherent, preachy - mostly just plain Unconvincing. Aside from Tolkien's far greater skill, the main reason why Galadriel and Eowyn work and so many others fail is that G & E are both presented as exceptional.

Read the whole thing at my Notion Club Papers blog.

William Arkle's introduction to The Great Gift (1977)

Introduction

The book is designed to present the paintings in such a way that the reader can look at these as pictures without becoming involved with the message which they carry. But, in order to supply an answer to the questions which arise from the pictures, explanations are offered to correspond with the quantity of the concepts involved. Some of these are long and others brief. In among the pictures are a number of poems which are intended to help with the overall attitude of the book which is trying to push communication beyond the usual limits.

In order to amplify the message which the pictures are trying to convey the book also includes a number of essays on philosophical and psychological subjects of a spiritual nature. These are in the main edited versions of recordings made in the course of conversation, or sent to my friends in reply to questions.

Finally the book includes an essay called 'Letter from a Father', which is written in such a way that it suggests how the Creator may feel in His attitude towards the purpose of creation. This letter is written as though from our Divine Father to us, one of his children. Thus it gives a view of reality which is 'from the top down' instead of from the position we are used to which is 'from the bottom looking up'.

To many these pictures will seem very strange. They are going out into a world in which the idea of a God, who is a Divine Person, will feel incongruous beside the materialistic and scientific culture of our times.

Our civilisation is trying to do without God and without Divine Aspiration, and I believe this will diminish the value of life and destroy our spirit. My own hope is that this is only a clearing phase which will loosen the old and somewhat rigid attitudes towards life's purpose and give way to a more beautiful understanding of our God than we have ever had before. It is impossible to love an unlovable God, and I would like to think that this book will go some way towards redressing that situation by enabling us to consider the possibility that we are being given a more deeply beautiful gift by that God than we have prepared ourselves to expect.

I am afraid that the commentaries will seem to be at times rather arbitrary or even dogmatic, such as the mention of God the Son-Daughter as the third part of the Holy Trinity in the painting of the Divine Family. A more complete description of these and other matters will be found in my book 'A Geography of Consciousness', also published by Neville Spearman, which Colin Wilson kindly wrote an introduction to, and in which he also refers to my music which is another part of the overall expression I am trying to communicate.

The theme of the book is approached again and again in the paintings and the writings, and the reader who understands what I am pointing towards may well find this tiresome. But it is my experience that many people are glad to have the main issues repeated and thoroughly aired. On the whole, the book is designed to help those who feel a need for what it is endeavouring to supply, and it may well seem inappropriate to those who do not have this need.


I regard William Arkle as one of my primary mentors of Romantic Christianity - right up there with Blake, Coleridge, Steiner, Barfield - and perhaps even more inspiring to me personally. At any rate, over the past five years I have studied Arkle's work with the most detailed intensity.

At first glance his writing appears either extremely abstract and symbolic (e.g. when he is using analogies from physics or engineering to 'explain' the spiritual structure of reality) or else the opposite: over-simple and naively optimistic.

These aspects long put me off engagement (and by 'long' I mean for more than 30 years, when I knew of his work but skimmed it merely). Nowadays I realise that the toughness is worth slogging through, and the simplicity reflects the fact that Arkle succeeded spiritually to an extent attained by extremely few other people of whom I know.

Anyway, I will often take a short passage such as the above, and brood on it in an almost sentence by sentence way.

The key passage for me is this, italicised; my comments are interspersed:

Our civilisation is trying to do without God and without Divine Aspiration, and I believe this will diminish the value of life and destroy our spirit. 

A fact and a prediction (written more than 40 years ago) - both correct.

My own hope is that this is only a clearing phase which will loosen the old and somewhat rigid attitudes towards life's purpose and give way to a more beautiful understanding of our God than we have ever had before.

This is my hope too. There is a sense in which this 'clearing' is made necessary by the failure of 'the West' but England specifically, to embrace Romantic Christianity in the early 1800s. So there are a couple of centuries of accumulated wrongness, especially the attitudes and assumptions. And these wrong attitudes and assumptions are on both the Christian and secular (political and ideological) sides - because the two have diverged so much.

We have a dominant secular culture that is trying to do without God and the spiritual - and a small minority Christian side that has a wrong and confused idea of God, and is failing to address the most deeply felt problem: the destruction of spirit ('alienation'). Arkle then moves onto the Christian problem... 

It is impossible to love an unlovable God, and I would like to think that this book will go some way towards redressing that situation by enabling us to consider the possibility that we are being given a more deeply beautiful gift by that God than we have prepared ourselves to expect. 

This is gently expressed, but a very sharp and unyielding criticism of the way that - through its history, and continuing, Christians have treated God as unloveable, by assuming God has all kinds of un-loveable attributes (such as wanting to be worshipped, demanding obedience above all and in all circumstances, demanding sacrifice and propitiation, refusing to recognise individuality etc).

They say God is love - but have made a God who is less loving the the best humans; and excuse this with saying God is incomprehensible to men... Thereby stripping all meaning from the attribution of love; and assuming that God the creator of all, somehow could not make matters such that we would understand the essentials.

Arkle asks - how can Men be expected to love a God which is not loveable? And answers that God has been made unloveable, by 'Christians': firstly from the many unloveable motivations they attribute to God; and secondly God has been made into a deity unloveable, due to regarding God as inhuman, abstract, and mystically incomprehensible.

And further, Christians have not taken seriously their assumptions that a loving God created and sustained this world; because if we did we would regard this world as a 'deeply beautiful gift' - designed for our benefit - each and all of us.

I mean, by our assumptions (that is created, by a loving God, who is each of our parents) this world Must Be 'Fit for purpose', and for each person - yet Christians recurrently regard creation as a botch-job!

This is a terrible error, and negates much that is good about Christianity, and somewhat explains its many historical failures - even (sometimes especially) when the religion was being sincerely believed and diligently implemented.

Here, as so often, Arkle's mildness of manner conceals a sinewy, spiritual strength; his simplicity conceals great depth of experience and thought!


Ve ask the qvestions...


Usually - but it's been about six weeks since commenters had a chance to do so.

(I seldom answer, or publish, off-topic questions from commenters, or ones that I don't happen to want to answer; since the ideal for which I aim is that the comment section should supplement, or at least not clash with, the post. And questions left hanging are bad form. Also, that is a 'troll' modus operandi - to timewaste with questions and requests - better to nip it in the bud, say I.) 

Here it is again. Any questions?

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Wunderbar Wunderlich!

Following yesterday's musical offering, here is Fritz Wunderlich again; in the deservedly famous 'Handel's Largo' aria


What makes Wunderlich's a supreme voice for me is the combination of thrilling masculine tone and strength, with an underlying pathos, an earnest quality. This was, no doubt, partly due to his youth - he died at only 35 years old (due to an accident - falling down stairs), which is barely reaching maturity for a male singer.

Technically, Wunderlich was noted for his breath control, giving him the ability to sing long phrases and (this is much more difficult than might be imagined) to increase or decrease volume while holding a high note - without either going-off that note (losing intonation) or breaking the continuity of vibrato.

This is shown to great effect in the notoriously tricky Il Mio Tesoro from Mozart's Don Giovanni, sung live. Listen for the long, single breath passages with rapid runs up and down the scale.

This aria demonstrates the 'heroic' quality of Wunderlich's voice - which is unusual in this type of lyric tenor.


Being a live performance; Wunderlich snatches very quick breath in the middle of the very longest passage, which enables him to slow down and expand the last part of it.

Below is have a studio recording of the same aria, sung in German translation, in which he sings the phrase right through with no trouble at all - but this is usually not possible in live performance where the singer is often tired by the stage movements and acting.

If you are impatient to hear it, jump straight to 1:45. It makes me feel a bit faint just listening...


John Fitzgerald is blogging again

My erstwhile Albion Awakening co-blogger has started a new writing project called Deep Britain and Ireland.

The first article has been posted - a future dystopian short story called The Didsbury Eucharist; why not take a look and help get this venture off-the-ground?

Excerpt:

...On the surface, everything looks the same as it always did. Cars and buses clog up Wilmslow Road. The pavements are bustling. The shops and caf├ęs are ticking over nicely. But look a bit closer and you'll notice the differences. 

There are no beggars outside the Co-op any more. No wheelchairs either. Not as many prams or pushchairs as before. And the pubs, those time-honoured landmarks, have gone. The Station, The Dog and Partridge, The Nelson, The Fletcher Moss, The Royal Oak and The Crown. Fixtures and fittings of my youth. Places of banter, connection and fun. Vanished now. Gentrified out of existence by pointlessly unaffordable apartments. 

 Look closer still and it gets worse. The coffees and croissants in Costa are dealt out by robots. Many of the cars are driverless. Every single person, apart from me, is wearing a headset. But what upsets me most is the sight of these infernal chip things on everyone's right hand palm. 

It's a wonderful invention, they say. You can open car doors with it, buy and sell things with it, use it for ID, and even as a bus pass or library ticket. The global administration, set up after the disasters, is doing everything it can to promote it. They're not as expensive as they used to be, and just by having one you can boost your Social Credit Score (SCS) by 20% and get yourself cheap train tickets, cinema discounts and all manner of perks. 

It probably goes some way to explain why my SCS is so bad (-80 at the last count) and why I'm wearing clothes bought in 2018!...

Monday, 21 January 2019

Mitternacht quartet from Flotow's Martha - little known gem


Not much need be said but that this is a perfect performance of a perfect gem of the operetta repertoire - once a well-known concert piece, but now I suspect not.

The tenor is perhaps my favourite ever singer - Fritz Wunderlich (I first heard this on a compilation album of his). His earnest, ringing tone, and the way his voice opens-out as a musical phrase rises, brings tears to my eyes.

Anneliese Rothenberger was a wonderful lyric soprano. The dark-voiced bass, Gottlob Frick, was best known for playing giants in Wagner's Ring; here supplying a very low bottom note in the final chord (C-sharp or D perhaps - I don't have a score).

It is also amusing how German singers of this era (1961) really 'rasp'-out the consonants in 'nacht'! Almost a national pride at work, I fancy. And so different from the Italian operatic tradition, where the consonants are so elided that it sometimes sounds as if there are only vowels. 

Writing about reading the Bible - being an intuitive Christian

Anyone who goes back through this blog to its early days of 2010 will know that it was many years before I wrote about the Bible in any detail; and only more recently that I wrote about my experiences of close reading.

This is because when I converted, under the influence of CS Lewis, I regarded having opinions about the Bible as a snare, and the path to leaving the faith. However, I have never been able to freeze my beliefs at any particular point - or, at least, not without a rising tide of feeling-dishonest about it - and a consequent erosion of active faith.

So I began with the idea that being a Christian was about joining a church, then trying to find the correct church, then discovering there was none. The Bible I simply accepted as true in an overall sense; then I became unable to say sufficiently precisely what that truth actually was; only then did I realise that everything depends upon at least one act - more often several acts - of intuitive evaluation.

If which religion and which church can only be decided by intuition; the problem does not end there. Because the churches are all riven by dissent - and each position depends on different assumptions that can only be decided by intuition...

So eventually I became clear to me that I need to reach an intuitive decision on everything that was sufficiently important to trouble me - or else rely on this current decision to be guided by a previous intuition (eg about the truth of a particular church, or person).

This led, by a process of gradual homing-in, to posting accounts of my thought processes reading the Fourth Gospel.

Some of these have apparently been helpful to some people; and unhelpful or subversive to others - I have no idea where the balance of help and harm lies, nor would such knowledge be decisive. Although I defend my own understanding; I have no interest in leading others, nor in imposing a particular interpretation on others.

My intention is to show people that such things may be done. And also that they need not be destructive - because (at least at present) I have what feels like a very coherent, strong, positive and inspiring Christian witness - albeit it is very probably unique to myself, and probably not final even to myself.

How this 'work out' is not possible to know - not least because part of my understanding is that past solutions are not open to us, the present is unsustainable and undesirable - therefore any valid solution will be unprecedented.

But that is what is going-on here.

Wake up! - Ignore the mass media!

Another day, another set of worthless, lying, evil talking-points from the mass media.

Sure - there is usually something true embedded somewhere in them - but this is like adding a cupful of clear rainwater to a stagnant pond full of rotting corpses.

But it's cleverly done - and the very obviousness of the dishonesty and distortion is a trolling of the attention: it seems to easy to refute that we are tempted to engage. And then again and then again.

Yet it doesn't work, does it? No matter how obviously wrong - 'people' resist And when it does work, it is at the expense of keeping attention locked onto the media agenda... in order to decode and refute it, we must attend even-more-closely to it.

Meanwhile, we ought to be paying close attention to altogether different matters; our attention ought to be quite other directed; our perspective ought to be 'infinitely' larger...

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in the Fourth Gospel

The episode can we watched here. (Dialogue expanded and edited somewhat)

In Chapter Four of the Fourth Gospel there is the episode when Jesus meets a woman from Samaria (i.e. a Samaritan) at Jacob's well (the full text is given below this post). I shall do my best to explain how I understand this mysterious section. I take the series of events from verses 5-42 form the relevant unit of meaning. 

The Fourth Gospel has two main messages, throughout - one is to make clear the nature of Jesus, his divinity, that he is the Son of God sent by his Father; the other message is to teach about the life everlasting Jesus will give to those who follow him, who believe him - who love and have faith in him.

The mysterious aspects of the Jacob's well episode are concerned with Jesus teaching, using symbols, about the possibility and nature of life everlasting. The main symbol is water - as befits the setting at a well. And indeed Jesus is teaching by using the symbol the woman suggests - starting from the literal water to mean something much more.

When we consider symbolism as used 2000 years ago we need to be open to the fact that words then had large, more multiple-simultaneous meanings than they do now (by contrast modern words tend towards single, narrower and more precise meanings). This is rooted in a different, more 'poetic' way of thinking in ancient times. It is the 'poetic' that enables us to understand across the gulf of consciousness.

We need to allow ourselves to understand this text in the way we understand poetry - and this is possible because the 'King James' version of the Bible is divinely-inspired and consequently probably the single most 'poetic' work of prose in the language. But because this is like poetry; as I would when 'explaining' a poem, I will try to made some helpful suggestions but without dissecting.

As well as the two main themes, there is a subordinate theme related to fact that although Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, his gift of life everlasting is for all Men - including those such as Samaritans who have a bad relationship with the 'mainstream' Jews. This is, indeed, how the dialogue opens, with Jesus breaking what was apparently a taboo relating to interactions with Samaritans.

These three themes weave through the dialogue: that Jesus is the Messiah, that he brings, now ('the hour cometh') a new possibility of life everlasting, and that this gift is for all (including Samaritans). Because Jesus is the Messiah, he can give her more than 'merely' the good water of this well he asks of her; if she asks, Jesus could give her 'living' water (life everlasting, eternal life). And while after even the best ordinary water, a mortal Man will 'thirst again' (will be subject to corruption and death); after the water (life) that Jesus gives, a Man would never thirst again (he would live forever).

The woman then challenges Jesus's ability to make this promise - saying that even the great Patriarch Jacob could offer only good ordinary water. Then Jesus reveals he is the Messiah, and that 'the hour cometh, and now is' when Jews and Samaritans will both have a new religion, both unite in this promise of 'living water'.

The fact that the Jesus told the woman all things that she ever did, is indicated by the snippet concerning her marital and cohabiting history. But presumably there were, in addition, other more striking items that made the women regard Jesus's knowledge as miraculous; and convinced many others in her city.

Why the mention of husbands, then? I'm not sure - one aspect may be that the woman was apparently loose in her sexual morals; although this seems contradicted by the fact that so many men in her city believed her account of meeting meeting the Christ to the point of travelling to see for themselves. In general, I feel something is missing from the Gospel here - in particular there is a discontinuity with 4:20 when the conversation jumps from the husbands to 'Our fathers worshipped in the mountains' and a new line of discussion.  

When the disciples find Jesus at the well, apparently just as the Samaritan woman leaves; Jesus embarks on a new symbolism about 'meat' - again correcting the mundane reference to eating used by the disciples. In essence, meat - the most concentrated food - seems also to be something like a Man's personal destiny, his role, his task - Jesus's task. And perhaps that many Men have the task of completing work begun by another - as the disciples need to continue the work of Jesus.*

In general, through the Fourth Gospel, the method is often used by Jesus of taking a mundane, narrow meaning of a word, and expanding it symbolically; and he does this to indicate the qualitative nature difference between this mortal life and the resurrected life eternal. Thus: the difference between well water and living water; the difference between meat as nourishment and the meat of Jesus's ministry.


*Also John 6:27 - Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 54-6 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Here it may be that meat symbolises the conduct of life (work/ task). Blood when drunk may be akin to water, but with also a meaning of love (to drink Jesus's blood being to believe, have faith, love him). Thus we get something like: he that conducts his life ('labours') according to its everlasting destiny (the meat which endureth), and 'labours' not for worldly-goals which perisheth; and is then resurrected to eternal life; becomes a fully divine brother to Jesus (mutual dwelling-in; i.e. a loving relationship with direct knowledge of each other).      

John 4: 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. 27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.