Thursday 28 February 2019

The obedience of Christians

I downplay obedience on this blog, and deliberately. Obedience is a virtue in childhood with respect to parents - but this blog isn't for children.

Obedience is the choice to substitute another will for our own, because that other will is better than ours, and because we judge our-selves incapable of agency. But that is Not our ultimate goal as spiritual persons; at most it is a means to the end of agency.

Obedience is not, therefore, a general virtue - it all depends... As an adult, there needs to be an embrace of responsibility, and the personal exercise of discernment. If you can discern an individual or an institution to whom you judge obedience to be due; then it can be a good thing - at least for a while, or under particular circumstances (such as illness, or disability).

But if not? If we do Not judge the authority of any other human person or institution to be superior to our own? If, on the contrary, we regard them to be corrupt?...

And that is precisely our cultural situation. We live in uniquely degraded times, and obedience to institutions is a short route to the extremity evil. Obedience to a superior individual who also loves you makes sense, if any such can be found - but there aren't many.

Obedience to God is therefore, for us - here and now - a direct matter. Most of us cannot (in all honesty, and with the greatest possible consideration) identify any person or group whom we would trust above our-selves to represent God to us. We cannot, should-not, rely on the Goodness of intermediaries, our-selves being obedient to them. We need to reserve our discernment against a possible attempt to corrupt us.

At least that is my situation. I spent several years trying to find a church (or even just a spiritual adviser - one single man) to whom I could be obedient; but my deepest intuitions warned me off all actual available options. There were people from whom I learned - none to whom I dared risk obedience.

Such is the pace and scope of corruption of our time and place that I would find it hard to recommend obedience as a path to anyone, even when it comes to children in the best churches with the best track-records (parents need to stand guard, as back-stops). I fear that all of them are acutely vulnerable to corruption, even in the short term of a few years - and for this we must be prepared.

Instead of obedience in the traditional Christian fashion (as of a monk to Abbot, priest to Bishop, layman to Priest); I would recommend the same attitude as we adopt to a teacher of a skill or discipline when we are learning. We obey our piano teacher, or the doctor teaching us medicine - but only up to a point, and within a restricted scope.

I would go so far as to state that obedience, in its traditional sense, is neither achievable nor achieved in this era. Many of the people who argue the primacy of obedience from a stance of traditional Christian (or any other) religious practice, I simply don't believe practice obedience in that spirit that it used to be practiced. Although I would not confront them, in my heart I doubt their truthfulness when they say they do live by obedience. Whatever they actually do, it is something else than obedience.

All this cannot be helped. Indeed it is overall-good, because necessary.

(It is indeed a harsh lesson, is modern society; but only because our culture refused to learn the easy lessons. Until after the lesson has been learned, by each of us as individuals and society at large, that harshness will only escalate.) 

I think of obedience in terms of the evolutionary-development of consciousness. We are now, like it or not - but we ought to like it - trying to develop from spiritual adolescence to adulthood. That is our unavoidable task; because we cannot become children again - and to remain stuck in the phase of adolescence is fatal: look around...

Some traits that were virtues in a child, like spiritual obedience, are not virtues in an adult

Where do morals come from - in theory, in practice?

Looking for morality...

This is a tough question, for anyone - tough to answer, tough to explain, in a convincing way. And it has the same toughness as more obviously controversial questions relating to the objectivity of beauty and aesthetic quality

I take it that readers of this blog will recognise that morality is - in some sense - real, and not merely 'a matter of opinion'. But what kind of real is the tough one.

I remember before I became a Christian, I had a deep conviction of the reality and necessity of truth (and beauty) - but I found it hard to imagine the reality of The Cosmos - stars and planets, inter-stellar gases, great chunks of rock... and to ask, where could be the morals in that?

If physics was true, then how could there be such a thing as morality? Where could it be hiding? Inside each atom? In the pattern of everything? Wherever 'a moral' might be located, it seemed undetectable by our instruments, and got left-out by all the theories without any apparent harm to them.

But even after I became a Christian, I could not avoid a discomfort about the explanations of where morality came from. From what God said, as transmitted in scripture, as transmitted in the institution/ authority/ traditions of the church - or its leaders, or ordained priests, or by the work of theologians.

All of these seemed to envisage morality as ultimately a collection of laws - being imposed-upon that same universe that physics was describing. Two things - the cosmos, and the 'legal system' that God applied (by various hypothesised proxy mechanisms) onto the humans dwelling-among an otherwise inert collection of rock, fire, gases...

I find this an incoherent, hence unsatisfactory, account of reality. God created physics (and all the dead stuff), then some living things, then Man - and only near the end did morality get added-to the creation, plastered on the surface - as it were... Is that supposed to be how morality works?

Of course nobody would admit to believing exactly such an exaggerated caricature - but it does have the contours of what is a normal way of understanding morality. Morality is a system of rules that God has decided-upon for Men; and we read of these rules in scriptures and catechisms, from which we ought to derive our laws and social practices... something like that is the ideal, but what an unsatisfactory, detached, arbitrary way of comprehending morality!

But doing better than this is impossible unless we discard the usual physics-picture of the cosmos. If morality is really to be felt as an integral part of God's creation - then it must permeate every-thing; and for every-thing to be moral means that everything is alive, and conscious to the extent of capable of moral behaviours...

More than that, everything must be an intrinsically moral entity.

Once we have that picture in our minds - a picture of cosmos as consisting of living, moral Beings; there ceases to be a deep problem of 'where morality is located': morality is located in Beings.

Thus, men are moral because everything in creation is moral (and there are no 'things').

And morality ceases to be a set of laws, various transmitted, variously implemented - and instead morality is known by every thing/ Being in creation.

If morality is to be understood as an intrinsic part of reality, then there are no Things, only Beings.

So - we all, every-thing, knows morality - because it is built-into us; but what differs is how explicit, how self-conscious we are about it. What differs (in the first place) is whether we know consciously what we know from its reality.

It is from this that we get the multi-layered aspect of morality. There is the built-in morality that we understand in the sense of living-it; then the morality which is known consciously. Then there is the expression of this conscious knowledge of morality in communication with our-self, and then the communication of this to others.

While we all share the same universal morality (and we share that with every-thing/ every-Being) - there is incompleteness of conscious knowledge, and even greater incompleteness of its expression and communication.

And we may consciously go-against that morality. The more conscious the Being, the greater the degree to which the universal morality may be denied or broken.

In the end, however, we are left with the practical human, societal problem of what to do about disagreement in morals. It is true that morals are the same for everybody - but even among honest people there is different self-knowledge about morals, based on different degrees of capacity and self knowledge - and this is compounded by the problems and constraints of communication.

On top of this is the problem of dishonesty, of sin; whereby people deny what they know is true morally, where they propose what they know to be false morals - and do so for some evil reason.

Conversation about morality often circles around the problem of developing moral consensus, or persuading people to stick to a moral code or practice - or what to do about people that claim not to know or deny morality.

What we do about morality in practice will depend on the actuality of a specific society - for example, it is hard even to imagine anything moral coming from modern Western society - hard to imagine any 'system' that would identify and implement moral behaviour, given the degree of dishonesty, corruption and inversion among the people (and especially the leadership).

If people do not want to be moral, then they won't be moral - at most they may be compelled to behave (passively) in a particular way - but, even then, there has to be moral beings to do the compelling; and those in a position to compel nowadays, are (as a generalisation) among the most depraved of all people, ever.

In sum, here-and-now I don't think we can focus on morality in practice, except for ourselves and perhaps our immediate circle. The main challenge is to acknowledge the reality and universality of morality. And to do this requires a very fundamental metaphysical reconstruction - a change in how we understand the reality of creation.


Wednesday 27 February 2019

Communism versus Christianity - Francis Berger writes

Francis Berger continues his blogging hot-streak with a superb post from Hungary on Communism past, present and (so our Western elites plan) future. Edited highlights...

The current President of the European Commission who happily attended a ceremony [in Germany] commemorating the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. Once there, the EC president gave an impassioned speech defending Marx’s legacy by claiming the communist founder should not be judged for the crimes his followers committed decades after his death. Mr. Junker also said, "One has to understand Karl Marx from the context of his time and not have prejudices based on hindsight, these judgments shouldn't exist." At the ceremony, Junker went onto discuss Marx's influence on the European Union, saying that Marx's philosophy taught Europeans that it was the “task of our time” to improve social rights.

The Red Star is still alive today, and that it is comfortably lodged in the minds of the ruling elite. When the EC president speaks of improving social rights, he is essentially employing communist language and philosophy, which is perfectly fitting because, for all intents and purposes, a newer, modernized version of communism is all the European Union aspires to be.

Honoring Karl Marx and promulgating Red Star visions and policies today not only makes a mockery of communism’s victims, it also makes a mockery of God because communism remains the most inherently anti-religious ideology ever developed. Declaring religion to be nothing more than opium for the masses, communism placed humanity at the center of its philosophy and paradoxically, but predictably, developed into the most anti-human system the world has ever known. Yet, in 2019 communism can still be viewed as an admirable, desirable, and attainable political objective.

Of course, contemporary Red Star acolytes know better than to unfurl the old flags of communism again; they are well aware that even the most ignorant among us would likely oppose this. The word communism is never used explicitly, and whenever it is, it is quickly declared as something that exists only in the dustbins of history. But don’t be fooled. Communism has not died; it has merely changed its form. No, there will be no worker marches or hammers-and-sickles this time around, thank you very much. Instead, communism is being fed to the masses in a different form, under the variegated guises of leftist/liberal policies implemented through two of the old Party’s favorite vehicles – bureaucracy and the media. And guess what? In many areas, it is working.

This does not mean the majority of people in the West are on the cusp of surrendering to communism yet, but the current version of communism we are all suffering under has achieved something the oppressive, totalitarian red regimes of the past could only dream of – they have succeeded in driving God farther away from the hearts of Men. Being a Christian in the Soviet Union in the 1950s was regarded a defiant act of insurrection; being a Christian in the contemporary West today is regarded as a pitiable act of insanity.

Regardless, communists know one thing extremely well – religion, Christianity in particular, is poison to the communist cause. A true Christian is essentially inoculated against the communist virus. Those who claim to be Christian and communist are not Christians at all because the two elements simply cannot co-exist. Anyone who claims they can understands neither communism nor Christianity.

Fake is the new real - Inversion is the new normal

Since I watch a lot of cricket in TV; I see of lot of adverts from betting companies; often these are repeated every five minutes or so, in gaps in the game (between overs, drinks breaks, after a wicket...).

One current ad in particular caught my eye as a very expensive, high-production values film that depicts cool people in cool environments behaving in a pathetic way; but as-if they were instead cool people in a techno-utopia leading an enviable lifestyle.

There is so much to dislike about this advert! From the media-fake-gangster persona of the spokesman, to the fact of its open advocacy of sinful behaviour. Gambling is not, perhaps - for most people, a major sin; but it is certainly a bad-thing rather than a good-thing.

(Indeed, the discouragement of gambling - until recently no advertisement was allowed for bookmakers, and betting shops had no windows - was a strong platform of the Left Wing Labour Party right up until Tony Blair's corrupting leadership. This came from British socialism's roots in Nonconformism; with its teetotal, strict Sabbath-observing, anti-gambling, clean-living requirements. They recognised that 'gamble responsibly' was a stark oxymoron.)

I mean, these advert-people apparently go through life with their faces glued to their smartphones or buried in their laptops, constantly engaged in betting on international sports events - even when they are depicted as inhabiting such iconically beautiful and exciting places as a boat cruising on Sydney Harbour, or at the window of a steroetypically-stylish old apartment in a sophisticated European city (Paris?).

To enhance the suffocating, sinister atmosphere, there is a nimbus of Slytherin-green; and animation is used to surround the plugged-in users with a virtual video display - separating them from human contact, and sealing them from their actual (beautiful) surroundings.

But my point is that this dystopian nightmare scenario is an advertisement - promising this to consumers, advocating this version of virtual reality in preference to some of the most-legendary, most-attractive world tourist destinations and lifestyles! Pseudo-virtual mass-participation in sports is casually depicted as better than living-the-dream in real-life!

The demons have won! Things have come to this - Fake is the new real: Inversion is the new normal.

An Irish legend re-told by John Fitzpatrick

At his new blog: Deep Britain and Ireland.

I have read a fair bit of Irish literature, but mostly material of the past 400 years (since Edmund Spenser) and never much of the mythical material John is using here. I have just picked-up bits and pieces from Fantasy Literature and asides from Flann O'Brien.

I am 1/4 Irish by descent (probably enough to get a passport until recently); but have never regarded myself as such - in this, going against the modern (and Leftist) trend of claiming Irishness on the slightest of ancestry, or simply surname. Mostly this is because I don't feel an emotional affinity with Ireland, but do with England.

And this is also related to my relatives being Protestants (for three previous generations, anyway) and from the North - and having not retained the Irish cultural forms when they migrated to England.

Nonetheless, if I was featured on a TV programme researching my ancestry, it would surely be my Catholic great-great grandfather from County Donegal who would attract the most attention - since he was convicted of murder then quickly pardoned (due to the extreme provocation), and the case was well documented in the newspapers of the period. It was he who changed his name and denomination (at some point, it may have been before the above incident) from Catholic Gormley to Protestant Graham - and his descendants, my ancestors, retained both changes.  

Elite privilege is justified by Leftist Propaganda - Why Left Leaders' lifestyles are the opposite of their preaching

My guess is that – from the inside – this behaviour is rationalised on the lines that doing-what-it-takes to retain power, fame and fortune is fine and necessary – so long as they 'use' that fame and fortune to harangue everybody else to do exactly the opposite.

This is 'long-term altruism' in action; and, within its selective framework, it is indeed perfectly rational. Because ‘my’ personal sacrifice would make 'no significant difference'; and is dwarfed by the ‘general-good’ I might/ hope-to do by Not making that personal sacrifice and holding-onto power…

Which is why it has been the modus operandi of the Left leadership ever since Leftism was originated: Leftism has always been led by the upper classes, and since the emergence of large-scale, organised Leftism, these upper class folk have nearly always stuck like glue to their privilege, and craved all the trappings of elite status.

So that by now, almost every single individual in the British Establishment (at the most expensive schools, the most aristocratic Oxford and Cambridge colleges; those holding the highest status positions in all social institutions, nearly-everybody with Honours and awards are united in spouting radical, socialist class warrior, feminist, antiracist, sexual-revolution propaganda 24/7.

This is a requirement of their holding leadership positions, but more fundamentally it is part of the deal they make with themselves; a deal that enables them to feel morally superior while behaving in a short-termist, selfish, and hedonistic fashion.

Leftist propaganda pays-for elite privilege.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

The hour is getting late...

William Wildblood believes that time is running-out - and I agree...

When I look around me it seems that most people in the Western world are completely oblivious to any kind of deeper reality. They don't appear to think very seriously about who or what they are but carry on with their lives as though appearance were reality, absorbed in their usually unimportant work and petty distractions as though these actually meant something....

Perhaps, and I certainly am not dismissing anyone since everything in our contemporary society conspires to obscure truth. Nevertheless, how anyone can live in this world without making huge mental efforts to try to work out what it is and what it means and what they should be doing to live life in a way that corresponds to reality is an enigma. 

The problem of existence is not solved by evading it, and if it is lack of interest that prompts the refusal to look at what this world and our life mean, that is even worse. 

So many people really seem to think that it is an intellectual luxury to try to penetrate the mystery of life or else they all too readily assume that there is no mystery and that life is what it appears to be, a meaningless accident which must just be made the most of. They seem to have little or no intellectual or spiritual curiosity, especially not in a way that would actually be applicable to their lives and open up something more than the fulfilment of ephemeral desires whether to do with mind or body...

Read the whole thing...

William signs-off by stating his conviction that 'the hour is getting late'. What might this mean, in practice?

My understanding of the way that this works, is that when something needs doing - when it must be done -  the longer the delay, then the worse the consequences will be.

This is a kind of law. If things are done at the right time, then there is usually the possibility of a gradual and reasonably comfortable transition. But doing the right thing always entails some degree of short-term sacrifice in order to attain the best long-term consequences.

In other words, the short- and long-term are different; so that doing the best thing to optimise the short term will take you further and further away from what is best for the long term...

Until, eventually, the long term arrives.

At that point it may be too late. But even when it is not too late, there is an unavoidable accumulation of problems from all those years, decades, generations-worth of easy, expedient short termist decisions. They amount to a large deficit that must be paid - one way or another.

Of course, it may be that this deficit cost is so great as to be lethal. But even when it is not lethal, it will extract a very heavy price in exactly that suffering which all those cowardly, greedy, short-termist decisions were hoping to evade.

As I said - I regard this as a kind of law of life.

So, what are the costs that we have accumulated? In essence they are material costs of spiritual life. We ought to have been abandoning our superficial pleasure-seeking ways; but we preferred to avoid the necessary cost in immediate pleasure and consumption.

When the spiritual necessity is forced upon us; the price extracted will be hedonic: paid in pleasure, comfort, convenience, material goods, amusing and distracting technologies etc.

As I see thing, this is literally unavoidable; and the longer delayed, the bigger the cost will be.

The time for payment by easy instalments is long past. Soon, the debt-collectors will be calling. And they will collect in full

Be prepared... spiritually prepared, that is.

Monday 25 February 2019

Suffering and its understanding starts at home

Note added to yesterday's post:

To put matters in reverse: If we do not understand the reason for our own suffering - then we cannot understand the reason for another person's suffering.

This applies both for suffering in general, and for specific sufferings; it applies for ourselves as individuals, and for the groups of which we are members.

If we really want to understand the meaning and purpose of suffering; we must start at home.

Notice of a new blog about exploring ancient archaeology

Notice of a new blog - maybe weekly? - recording the mostly-prehistoric archaeological explorations of me and my wife around Northumbria:

This first episode is about an apparently unrecorded example of neolithic/ bronze age 'rock art' we stumbled across a couple of days ago, while looking for something else...

A secret hope. Has Christian teaching helped or hindered over the centuries?

My understanding of the Fourth Gospel, and from it the intentions of Jesus with respect to his 'message', is that Jesus provided for the teaching of Men by the Holy Ghost, rather than by Men.

I do not think that Jesus intended Christians to be institutionally organised (like a church) but instead to grow, person by person, loving family members - on the model of the disciples. Presumably many such families would develop, budding-off from the disciples.

What then of teaching about Jesus, and his message? What about scriptures? Well, the life of Jesus and existence of the Fourth Gospel itself implies that there was envisaged a helpful role for teaching.

But I notice that the content of this teaching (by Jesus, and by the author of the Fourth Gospel) was very simple - consisting mostly of different ways to express the two truths of Jesus's divinity, and his offer of everlasting, resurrected Life.

Such teaching would, presumably, be helpful in clarifying what was needed; but so few and such simple truths ought to be discoverable by each Man, from direct intuition: that is, from the direct teaching of the Holy Ghost.

Explicit 'external' teaching might speed-up the process - but on the other hand, might inculcate the bad habit and potentially false practice of looking to Men for answers, rather than to the Holy Ghost.  The needs of teachers might over-elaborate, and when the teachings had become high volume, it would be easily distorted, difficult to retain the proper focus.

In fact, Christianity (apparently) took a very different path from that envisaged by Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. It became identified as an organised, institutional, international church (then, soon, multiple churches) - broadly like the many other churches of contemporary Jewish and Roman society. Its teaching became massively elaborated and systematised into a prescriptive way-of-life.

And of course, ultimate authority was displaced from the direct apprehension of the Holy Ghost to an ideal of obedience to an ordained priesthood.

If we take the Fourth Gospel as our ideal, it is hard to know what - by comparison - the overall effect of the various Christian churches has been. At times the core teachings seem to have been reversed. For example, Jesus's offer of Life Everlasting on condition of faith in him; sometimes seems, in practice, to have been inverted into a threat of torment everlasting unless a pattern of prescribed behaviours are followed.

The loving and small scale world of Jesus's family of relatives and disciples, as described in the Fourth Gospel, has given way to hierarchical bureaucracies - regulated by abstract laws, elaborate rituals and procedures, and differentiated by formal training and certification processes.

The consequence has often been Christianity as a mechanism for Good Behaviour, to the extent that the original simple teaching has been all but lost, even when and where Christian Churches were dominant and popular.

Indeed, I wonder if people would have been overall better-off with no teaching at all, and no external knowledge; than with the vast, complex, internally-contradictory mass of supposedly-Christian teachings that has been the actual experience for most Christians since the death of Jesus?

Of course, a great deal of worldly benefit would then have been lost; but perhaps a simplicity, clarity and directness of understanding would have more than made up for it?

But what would 'it' have been like?

Well, presumably there would have been other religions dominant.  These would have set the social frame, the external system.

Most people would never have heard of Jesus, and there would be no possibility of 'Christianity'. Instead, the teachings of the Holy Ghost would have been a secret hope, mostly a private experience of the heart. 

Jesus would have had another name, or no name; the possibility of resurrection, life eternal, becoming Sons and Daughters of God would perhaps have lacked articulation and precision; but these would have been experienced simply as an inner of experience of contradiction to the 'official doctrines' of other religions.

I think the phrase secret hope seems to catch the experience quite well. People would have been taught despair (in various forms) yet 'inside' they would have experienced hope, assurance, confidence, joy.

Their deepest and most convincing experiences would have been this 'faith' - and the experience would have been one of direct contact with another person; experience of the love of that person and the confidence to believe and follow.

Such secret hope might well have been communicated, personally and in private, among family members, husbands and wives, best friends - but probably, shared (if at all) only among a circle of trusted people; because of its contradiction with the local official religion.

There could not really have been any arguments or evidence to support the secret hope - since there was no church, no theology, no scriptures... There could only be an appeal to the most fundamental personal conviction based on those moments when we each feel most deeply in-touch-with reality.

Nobody would know the extent of this secret hope. On the one hand, a believer would either be alone or supported by very few people; on the other hand, exactly because of this, the secret hope would be inextinguishable.

Sunday 24 February 2019

Why we cannot know why others suffer (Theodicy is the answer to an ill-formed question)

This is an extremely important matter - at least for modern people. I mean, questions about why 'people' suffer so much - the demand for explanations as to why some other-person, or group, have suffered - the demand that this be explained in terms of God's goodness and power...

Failure to provide 'adequate' answers to this demand (and, for reasons I will explain, all answers are inadequate) is generally regarded as a sufficient reason (or, at least, an acceptable excuse) for abandoning Christianity (and then - typically - embracing a favourite, usually sexual, sin).

Each man's life is unique - the life trajectory is unique - because each Man's soul was different from the beginning, and to this different original constitution are added differences in experience, and differences in what has been learned.

So each person needs different things from his experience of mortal life. We chose our mortal lives and were placed in a specific situation and our life is divinely shaped - so that our needs for learning experiences are met.

However, it is up-to each-of-us to learn from the experiences. If we don't they may be repeated, and may be made starker and harsher - but in the end, we may chose not to learn (It happens. A lot.)

Mortal life is about supplying these specific needs. Mortal life is about learning; it is Not about providing the happiest experience, nor the least suffering. Mortal life is mostly about providing what we personally - and each is different - most need for the eternity of post-mortal resurrected life.

But these needs depend on the unique contours and destiny of each soul. We have distinct pasts, and we are not being prepared for identical futures - instead each person is being encourages to make the most of his own special attributes.

In Heaven there are no professions; each niche is unique. Or rather, each unique person develops an unique role in the world of creation. Each person is irreplaceable. If he chooses Heaven he brings something nobody else could; if he rejects Heaven then it leaves a gap that never can be filled.

So, when we suffer in our own lives; we can potentially know the meaning of this suffering - we can know this directly because we know our-selves and God will answer our questions (if the question is answerable, and if we actually ask it of God).

The proper question has the general form: "What does this particular experience mean in the context of my eternal life?" The answer will have the general form of explaining what it is that we need to learn from that experience.  

We can know this, but no other. But we cannot know why others suffer. There is no general answer to why somebody or some group suffers. There are as many answers as there are specific people, and specific instances; and we do not know enough to ask the right questions; and even if we did, it is none of our business - it is a matter between God and that other person; because the suffering is in context of his life, not ours.

Mortal life is a very serious business - otherwise it would not happen at all. The necessary experience of a particular mortal life may come very early in life (after all, most people have died in the womb or around birth); or it may come at the last moment (perhaps after several previous failures to learn from earlier experiences, or perhaps because that 'imminent death' context was exactly what we needed to learn-from).

None of the above can be proved, as a generalisation, by evidence. Because the argument is that the necessary evidence is not available to us.

But we can know about our-selves, and that direct knowledge can tell us about the nature, power and personal love of God.

And that is the answer.

Note added: To put matters in reverse: If we do not understand the reason for our own suffering - then we cannot understand the reason for another person's suffering. This applies both for suffering in general, and for specific sufferings; it applies for ourselves as individuals, and for the groups of which we are members. If we really want to understand the meaning and purpose of suffering; we must start at home.

Lavender's blue dilly dilly; lavender's green; When I am king dilly dilly; you shall be queen

This was a favourite nursery rhyme of mine - I could never remember any more words than the above. It gave me a safe, cosy feeling - and perhaps contributed to lavender being one of my favourite flowers and smells.

But, as so often with nursery rhmes, there is an interesting history; and the childrens' version is  worn-down from something longer, more complex, and more 'adult'.

Here is the 17th century version - done by one of my favourite 1970s bands: The City Waites. This is superbly arranged, sung and played - and somehow manages to combine the 'bawdy' quality of the original with the sweet innocence of the children's song.

What evidence for the evolutionary-development of consciousness in Western Man?

On the face of it, there seems little evidence for anything like a divinely destined evolution of consciousness in Western Man. Looking around in the public realm, or even in direct and personal experience; there seems little to suggest anything of the kind. Nothing that looks like 'progress'.

This is because of two things: 1. Materialism and 2. Negativity.

The materialism which absolutely monopolises modern public life means that consciousness appears only in an indirect way. We only see the indirect effect, the consequences, of consciousness change - and we see only its material - this worldly - manifestations.

Abstraction - including the reduction of qualities to the pseudo-materialism of number - is a major aspect of materialism.Indeed, it is more extreme: qualities are denied reality (because qualities are material) yet simultaneously these non-existent qualities are given numbers and used for calculation of decisions. This is the basis of such managerial technologies of quality managements, racial and sexual monitoring etc. 

The negativity means that the change is expressed by criticism, and not by positive assertion. We get some (materialist) version of what people do Not want; but don't get an expression of their goals.

So, the evolution of consciousness can be seen in the dominant aspects of the dominant ideology of Leftism - but reduced and one-sidely.

Take feminism. The positive spiritual ideals of feminism are related to the positive aspiration of a permanent, literally-divine spiritual and creative marriage relation between a man and woman after death and in the life everlasting as Children of God.

But modern feminism has reject the ideal along with the eternal; and the true spiritual impulse has been concretised to this-worldly economics and power differences. The imperfections of mortal marriage means that marriage itself is rejected as oppressive. What remains is only the negative side of anti-Man aggression- and this is implemented materially in laws and regulations. The deterioration in relationships between men and women is then celebrated.

Another aspect of the evolution of consciousness is an awareness of the uniqueness of each individual, and the knowledge that we have a divine seed within each of us - so that we may grow to become a distinct creative deity - each contributing to God's work of creation.

But of this modern culture expresses only the material aspect: we take into account only that which is measurable and mortal - even while refusing to allow the validity of any measure.

There is a negative refusal at accept any rationale for any economic differences - but without any positive desire for actual equality. We reject actual equality, because we demand that differences in individual circumstances be taken into account; but reject any actual method of doing this.

There is a rejection of legal and cultural impartiality, as a sham and a mask for prejudice; but reject individual judgement as also obviously prejudiced.

More generally; modern Leftism generally regards any reference to to the ideals of post-mortal life as merely an excuse for injustices during mortal life ('pie in the sky', 'jam tomorrow').

Another instance: Leftism celebrates racial and ethnic differences, yet refuses to tolerate racial inequalities; and (negatively) there is no acceptable, objective categorisation of race, ethnicity, culture or economics... Race is simultaneously deconstructed and its reality denied - because race is not material; and abstracted into numbers, so as to be implemented in the material processes of modern government.

The same applies to sex and sexual ientity. Modern negativism denies the reality of these categories because they are not material and do not have hard edges; modern materialism simultaneously creates abstract and hard-edged sexual categories for monitoring and control purposes.

In sum; the ideology of Leftism is implicitly trying, but of course failing, to build a positive system from a host of negative rejections. It is always appealing to morality while its materialism erodes the validity of all moral systems.

So Modern Man does indeed show evidence of the development of underlying positive impulses; but because of (covert, denied) metaphysical assumptions these are systematically distorted such that there is not even the possibility of good outcomes, and we get that moral inversion by which bad consequences are regarded as evidence of virtuous motives.

This is why anti-spiritual, mortal-life-focused Leftism has been the main tool of the dark forces; since a system of inevitable, irreconcilable, competing negativities is the perfect seedbed for evil

In inducing modern Western Man to accept materialism and reject all spiritual things as impossible; and in making these beliefs a matter of deep, metaphysical assumption - woven invisibly into the enitre realm of public discourse; the demonic powers have created a machine by which even good and necessary impulses can only be manifested as evil.

Saturday 23 February 2019

The longest man in Europe

William Wildblood suggests that the Wilmington Long Man may be our best depiction of Albion...

Noddy and Enid

Note the old English upper class pronunciation of vowels in the song at the end: 'man', head', 'tap' etc. Nobody (not even The Queen) speaks like that nowadays...

My childhood, from the dawn of consciousness (aged about four) to age nine, was a progression through the worlds of Enid Blyton.

The short stories about fairies and suchlike were there at the beginning, then came Noddy (we owned the EP record I have posted above), and at the end were the adventure books: Secret Seven, Famous Five, Five Find-Outers etc.

The phase lasted about five years, and then I moved onto more 'grown-up' books - such as the Lone Pine Club by Malcolm Saville, Narnia, Biggles...

But those years of early childhood are spun-out in memory, and were extremely intense at the time; so I have always been very grateful to Enid Blyton, and had warm and positive feelings about her. These were enhanced by my recognition of her extraordinary character and achievements, from reading the Barbara Stoney biography.

In all the photographs, from the earliest to old age, there is a dreamy quality in her eyes - reflective of her intense inner imaginative life. However, she was also extraordinarily hardworking (c 10,000 publishable words per day - about fivefold more than most professional authors, plus running several children's clubs, plus keeping-up a vast correspondence mostly with children...); and a very able and efficient businesswoman who was paid double the royalty of other authors. 

Yet even as a child I became aware of a powerful strain of disdain and spitefulness directed against Blyton. This began in the middle 1950s, and has been maintained and strengthened since (e.g. the recent biopic).

The systematic denigration emanated from the higher levels of British society: the intellectual ruling elites and their willing minions in government and officialdom, in libraries, and among teachers.

There is no mystery to this hostility - at least not once you have recognised that the British intellectual elites were the first class to become corrupted into strategic evil. No doubt they correctly recognised that the most popular and prolific young children's author was a formidable enemy.

Blyton was primarily a story teller; but in 1949 she was explicit about her secondary aim:

I'm not only out to tell stories - much as I love this - I am out to inculcate decent thinking, loyalty, honesty, kindliness, and all the things that children should be taught.

Given that her works encourage values so directly opposed to those of the modern ruling caste; it is obvious why Enid Blyton's reputation has been treated so badly for so long.

Friday 22 February 2019

Should there be blasphemy laws?

The above question is wrongly phrased; because it implies that blasphemy laws are optional; whereas there Always Are blasphemy laws - and the only aspect that varies, are what 'religion' those blasphemy laws defend.

There used to be Christianity-defending blasphemy laws; but now there are Leftism-defending blasphemy laws (plus blasphemy laws defending some other, Not-Christian religions).

But when there are laws, there will be de facto blasphemy laws.

Of course, ideally there are no laws - in Heaven there are no laws. But when we must have laws... well, some of them will be defending the moral system of that society; including when that morality is strategically evil, as now.

Can people be shocked out of Leftism?

The answer seems to be no.

No matter what shocking things happen to people as a result of the excesses and evils of the Left - they do Not respond by reassessing the fundamental assumptions that led them to be Leftists in the first place.

Sometimes they become a different (more bitter, cynical) type of Leftist - but almost never do they abandon the ideology that has scapegoated them.

I say this based on personal knowledge of a pretty large number of the people (friends and colleagues) who have experienced high profile Politically Correct witch-hunts over the past few decades.

(So many - because I have been both an evolutionary psychologist and an intelligence researcher, and these are the most-often Left-persecuted groups of people over the past half century.)

This lack of learning should give pause to those who suppose that 'if things get bad enough' the masses will 'come-to-their senses', and 'see-through the lies of Leftism'.

Chances are, though, nothing that could happen will ever make a difference; because Western people are incapable of learning.

...Unless or until after they have experienced a spiritual awakening and become Christians.

And not necessarily then - because Leftism is so deeply, multigenerationally ingrained (perhaps especially in the UK and France - who invented this plague).

Plus, they are addicted to the delusory hope of The Sexual RevolutionTM, and the idea of surrendering their personal day-dream is intolerable...

So - if people are ever to abandon that which will destroy them (body and soul); they need to do it For Themselves; it will not be done To them; it must come From Within.  

Why can't modern people believe that the soul survives biological death?

Through almost all of human history, and still in most of the world, it seems obvious that when the body dies - something survives - the 'soul'.

Beyond that basic insight, there is massive disagreement concerning what specifically happens to the post-death soul - Heaven, Paradise, Reincarnation of many kinds, Nirvana, the Underworld... but that basic belief in soul survival is all-but universal.

Except among Modern people in The West. We do not believe there is a soul; and we do believe that death is the absolute and final extinction of a human individual - indeed we believe that a person may be extinguished during life, when their brain is sufficiently or specifically damaged.

Why is this? The answer is clear: modern people cannot believe in life-after-death because they do not really believe in life. They/ we don't believe, they/ we are not really confident and sure, that anything at all is ever really alive.

Not even (or especially not) our-selves.

Modern people are very unsure whether there is any real difference between the living and the dead - or, if there is a difference, then they cannot define it. They know that 'science', technology, mathematics etc. regards everything the same way, and everything as dead.

If 'life' is about chemistry, as everybody in the mainstream of modern culture seems to think; then it is not really alive! After all, chemistry applies to everything equally - with no distinction between alive and dead. Nothing chemical and specifci happens at death, and yet biology cannot define the moment of death, the dividing line between life and death.

(Neither can biology define exactly when a specific new life arises during development; neither can biology define exactly when life arises during the presumed history of evolution.)

Even New Age spirituality agrees - because for them life is about energies, and frequencies of vibrations - which means physics, which means dead things...

In sum, because we treat everything the same, whether it is living or dead - and because that 'same' is to treat everything as dead... then modern people cannot believe in life.

(Of course, they/ we cannot either believe in consciousness or free will - it seems pretty generally agreed that these make no scientific sense, and therefore consciousness and free will don't exist, are not real.)

Since we moderns find that in practice we cannot draw an objective line between living and dead; we fall into the obvious nonsense of regarding everything as dead (including the person making that staement).

The only solution is to accept what we all came-into this world believing - that everything is alive, but in various ways and to various degrees.

And when we re-recognise that everything is alive, we will recover the obvious, commonsense, once-universal knowledge that biological death is a transition of the soul.

Death is not an extinction of the soul, not the end of the soul; but the trans-form-ation of the soul - from one form into another.

Then we can return to our proper concern and conversation - which is to discover what really does happen to the soul at death... What are the possibilities, what are the options?

Thursday 21 February 2019

Inspiration, imagination and intuition

Human development - of the maturing individual and also throughout the evolving of the race - can be understood to follow a path from inspiration, through the transitional state of imagination, and with the ideal destination of intuition.

(I derive these terms from Rudolf Steiner - but, while valuable, I regard his sequence, analysis and treatment of them to be significantly mistaken. For example he wrongly puts Imagination as first and Inspiration as intermediate, and argues Inspiration as primarily analogous to 'hearing'.)

Inspiration - This is the state characteristic of childhood and ancient Men. It locates knowledge outside the individual in God, or the Muses etc.); acknowledges the possibility of genuinely new knowledge; and regards knowledge as actively put-into the individual - who passively receives it. The self is porous to reality.

Imagination - This is the state characteristic of adolescence and modern man. Imagination is a step forward of maturity, in the sense that it is an active process, which may be consciously pursued. However, Imagination denies the possibility of genuinely new-and-true knowledge of reality; and regards Imagination as (merely) the recombination, extrapolation and interpolation of psychological images derived (passively) from experience and inheritance. In essence, Imagination is all we can 'know' but is solipsistic; the self is cut-off, disconnected-from, reality - so Imagination is merely an internal swirling of delusory patterns.

Intuition - This is the state of direct, or primary, knowing. It is a meeting of reality half-way; it is the mind actively-grasping reality; and of reality as created such that this activity be both possible and Good. Intuition regards knowledge as outside, and also regards Imagination as (potentially) knowledge. The self and reality are re-connected; but Not by passive-porosity - instead by the self and reality meeting in the realm of intuitive thinking: which is conscious knowledge.

How to break modern materialism?

The means must be commensurate with the end - the method must suit the goal.

This is a necessity, but also (from the usual 'pragmatic' perspective) it is a difficulty; a serious constraint. It means that there is no indirect method of achieving what needs to be achieved - we need to confront it head-on. Since full (divine) consciousness is aimed-at - the process cannot be unconscious, manipulated, involunary.

So; this implies that if it is desired to convert people to Romantic Christianity, the means and methods must be both Romantic and Christian - not something partial, not attained by covert, indirect or incremental ways. What needs to be presented and chosen is the-whole-thing, in microcosm.

In sum, a person needs to understand and agree-to, apprehend and embrace, The Package of Romantic Christianity - consciously.

Why would anybody do this? Simply because it is True and they Want it. Also, negatively, such a convert may be prepared because he has exhausted all other possibilities, has realised that Nothing Else Works (or ever will work).

Therefore we need to condense and concentrate:

1. That God is our loving parent/s, and creator of this reality - and wants us to be raised to become fully-divine; full members of the divine family and co-creators.

2. This created reality consists of beings, not things; they/we are bound by inter-personal love, not abstract forces.

3. All the above is directly-knowable by each person, for himself - by personal experience; because of 1. and 2.

What is the aim? Life with purpose; life with meanings (because all is beings, and the loving relations between them); life as developmental (evolutionary, creative); life as hope-full - because eternal, loving, creative and chosen. 

Don't forget: the original purpose of The Left was to destroy Christianity

If you were in danger of forgetting, William Wildblood may help remind you.

But it is one of the most successful demonic inversions when atheist hedonists who are in reality of the Left, but who personally oppose political correctness, try to argue that Leftism is an heretical Christianity, an evolution of Protestantism, or puritanism.

This error is mostly based on false rationalisation (from people who don't want to become Christians, because it would limit their sexual options) - but also derives from a US-centric kind of ignorance; because the US had nothing to do with the origin and development of Leftism.

Leftism originated in Britain and France (in the late 18th century), where its anti-Christian animus was obvious.

The US was very slow to adopt Leftism - which it got from Europe; and only took-over world leadership of Leftism from the middle 1960s

Wednesday 20 February 2019

From the incoherence and contradictions of political anarchism to the actuality of Romantic Christian anarchism

There was a fair spell of time when, if anyone had asked - which of course they never did! - I would have called myself an anarchist. This was a consequence of being a 'normal' left wing, socialist, Labour Party supporter in my youth, and having realised that the actuality bore no resemblance to the impulse.

It was also a consequence of my having, in my middle teens, becoming a very keen ecologist - or 'green'-advocate as it later became known: keen on a William Morris-ite medieval society, including traditional, non-mechanised forms of agriculture. This even extended to a preference (or the attempt at such) for low-tech music and simpler musical instruments - a preference for recorders over keyed flutes, for the clavichord over the piano etc.

(Unfortunately my manias for electric folk music and grand opera undermined this attempt.)

I would now perceive that I was wanting to arrest society and the arts at a particular, but neither distinct nor stable, point in a process of continual change and development. It was nothing more than a personal, and temporary, prejudice - raised up to some kind of general socio-political principle. And the same could be applied to Morris himself, and to most others who tried to describe a utopian socialistic and/or environmentalist future.

Anyway, I experienced a general collapse of belief in top-down institutions - political parties, trades unions, pressure-groups etc. - as being able to deliver the kind of changes I wanted. And so I began to think of myself as an anarchist. Yet I could not help but still seek for ideological and systematic solutions.

Anarchists are atheists (in practice if not always in theory); therefore their options are limited - somehow improvement must come from what is already there. Somehow a better society must comes from people as they are - therefore, the answer always involves some new way of organising things so that good-decisions, good-results, will emerge from situations that previously led to bad decisions and results.

Secular politics is therefore about how to create processes that will  have the intrinsic property of 'manufacturing' good outcomes. Anarchists analyse society on the basis of power; therefore they try to dispense with powerful people and institutions; therefore they hope to disperse power (without using power) and hope that societies will emerge (since they cannot be imposed) that are 'ruled' by no specific person/ institution but in which each person is autonomous.

In practice, anarchists are compelled to come up with some system by weak the weaker ally to defeat the stronger - and the usual method is some kind of 'grassrotos' or 'direct' democracy - and this is usually formalised into voting. In essence - society is intended to be ruled by mass votes on all significant decisions.

Almost immediately, and sooner rather than later, anarchists recognise that this system (where it can be implemented) does not lead to greater individual freedom; but to an extremely crude form of oppression. I had a few experiences of attending anarchist-type events (and read accounts of others - for example in accounts of the Spanish Civil War), and they were - on the one hand - always shambolic and poor quality; and on the other hand surrounded by a pall of numbingly conformist and self-righteously monolithic moralism.

They were excruciating to me, with a kind of dreadfulness of soul and spirit that I could not deny to myself. 

I think I now realise where anarchism goes wrong - which is its inbuilt anti-Christian ethos, part of which is to regard marriage and the family as institutions. Anarchists are, in practice, much keener to 'smash' marriages and families than they are to attack trades unions and large corporations.

Some anarchists even assert that the individual is an institution! At that point anarchism has reversed, and become nothing-but totalitarian group tyranny.

The causal reason is not far to seek - because anarchists are proponents of the sexual revolution; and each anarchist has a personal stake in this - since they generally are, or aspire to be, beneficiaries of the sexual revolution, in one way or another. As so often with post-sixties Leftism, the politics serves as an abstract smoke-screen for the truth of a sexual motivation.

(Sexuality being  - on average - the second-most powerful human motivation after religion; and when religion is absent, sexuality becomes the most powerful motivator; especially for the most active and aspiring people.)

Yet - properly understood - marriage and the family are precisely Not institutions; they are in fact the only forms of human living that are not-institutional. They are the only forms around-which human society can be, that are not institutions.    

(Not all individual people will get married, not all will want to marry; and perhaps a few will neither  have families nor wish to become adopted into a family - or no family will adopted them. Nonetheless, society will be families linked-by marriages.)

Therefore, by ruling-out marriage and family; anarchists rule out any real possibility of anarchism. Instead they merely replace one set of institutions with another - while simultaneously denying themselves the power actually to implement what they wish-for.

Anyway, I now find myself in the position of actually being - as my ideal - a real, live, political anarchist; precisely because I am now a Romantic Christian believer-in the primacy of marriage and the family.

Furthermore, there is no paradox in my wish for this to become actuality, real-Christian-anarchism is no Quixotic fantasy; since I see all around me that all formal, political, ideological institutions are very obviously in an advanced state of corruption and en route to self-destruction.

While by contrast, marriage and family are spontaneous phenomena because they are in accordance with primary metaphysical reality, as I understand it.

Therefore, if things continue as they are trending, we will reach a post-institutional world; organised around marriage and families. And this will happen like it or not; for worldly good or for ill.

How much of the human world will remain in this post-institutional dispensation is very uncertain; perhaps very little indeed. But that is the world I wish to be a part-of.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Leftist motivation - how resentment and self-hatred are combined, and how theoretical long-termist group-sacrifice justifies short-term selfishness

Leftist psychology is simple and extremely effective: it has to be simple, because it is almost universal; it is almost universal because it is so effective.

(In The West, almost all supposedly Right wing people, and all in the mainstream, are merely variants of Leftist - just a small minority of religious people are Not Leftist.)

There are two aspects to Leftist motivation - one is self-interested, and the other is what provides a veneer of morality. Neither would work well alone.

If Leftism was wholly self-interested, it would not be a success - the key to Leftism is that it enables people to be self-interested while also feeling good about it - feeling, indeed, altruistically superior about it. But if Leftism was genuinely altruistic, self-sacrificing at an immediate and personal level, it would not be popular.

In the first place, Leftism creates, mobilises, amplifies resentment - class war, war of the sexes, race hatred, the resentments of the sexually non-normal. Since resentment is the commonest, and most insatiable, human sin - this formalisation is very powerful. Few are immune to the blandishments of victimising one's enemy.

Resentment is the self-interest that defines the acceptable enemy, the scapegoat - he or that who is (as an individual or group) to be stripped of status, power, resources. Leftism is based on identifying such victims, asset-stripping them, and using the assets to buy and pay supporters (keeping aside a share).

Leftism makes this act of coercive violence into an act of altruism, by its various (often elaborate) theories - at bottom, these all amount to the idea that it is always good to take from the evil, and give (some of) what is extracted to the virtuous.

Over time, Leftism has varied, sometimes reversed, the definitions of evil and virtue - but those who are, by one definition or another, virtuous; can expect rewards from this extraction, and have a direct self interest in one or another version of Leftism.   

Furthermore, Leftism has developed a powerful way of justifying, morally - and in daily practice - being short termist and selfish; while justifying this in terms of displaced, remote, theoretical long-term altruism. Again, this is the doing of theory, of abstraction - which is the job of Leftist intellectuals.

Leftism is about self-hatred - and this is very important; indeed vital to its long-term success. Self-hatred is the deep morality of Leftism.

This means that the Leftist leadership can convince themselves of their own altruism by the fact that they will often argue against their own long-term, group interests.

Upper class Leftists will designate their own class as evil (almost all Leftist leaders, past and present, come from from the upper classes). Men will be feminists. White Native-born people will denigrate the white native population. Married people with families will advocate sexual revolution... and so on.

It is this self-attack, this suicidal self-hatred, which acts to reassure the Leftist of his own high moral values - and proves (to himself, at least) that he is not merely self-interested.

Yet - and here is another vital aspect - the suicidal self-hatred is displaced. The Leftist attacks his own class, sex, race - and designates the group as an evil exploiter - but not him-self. He asks his class/ sex/ race to give-up their status, power and wealth - but not himself... at least not-here and not-now.

The Leftist leader displaces the sacrifice away from himself and into the future, and often other places. So the Leftist leader's mantra is Not me, Not here, Not now... Arguing that "People like me should give up their jobs to minorities - but not me". Or, the leader argues that a working-class person, woman, an immigrant should have jobs in preference - but this does not apply to my job, here and now.

Always the sacrifice is distal while benefits are proximate - Not me! Not yet!

(The usual excuse is that "I be allowed to keep my status, power, wealth for a bit longer - until I can finish this important work of Leftist redistribution". For a Leftist leader; when-utopia-arrives, when The System is just, is the best time to yield privilege; before then it would be futile or premature... Thus all Leftist leaders are hypocrites, all are Quislings, all are traitors and sell-outs - it goes with the job description.)

So this is the psychology that has led to Leftism taking-over the world. It is selfish - which is why it is so very popular; and it is moral - which makes it even more popular.

But, crucially to Leftism's success, the selfishness is proximate, direct, immediate; while the altruistic, sacrificial morality is abstract, impersonal and remote.    

Note: All the above is necessarily and intrinsically a feature of Leftism, because it is this-worldly, and denying of God and creation. If you think about it; in a world without meaning, when death is extinction, morality can only be some variant of the above. 

Monday 18 February 2019

Fourth Gospel, Chapter 1 - the definitive commentary by William James Tychonievich

William James Tychonievich ('WmJas') is the longest-running commenter at this blog; we have had a mutually fruitful on-line interaction for about a decade.

The reason that we both find each other valuable is probably related to shared interests combined with very different ways of thinking about them. I am a broad brush, metaphysical kind of guy; while William has the natural interest and ability to focus on extreme detail and logical coherence - and build upwards from that.

So I am delighted to report that William has turned his microscope onto that most important of all writings - The Fourth Gospel ('of John') - with a really marvellous line-by-line analysis and commentary - 10,000 words so far, and he has only covered the first chapter.

And it is all golden stuff: I read it in a single 'sitting' (half of it lying in the bath, actually), and tho' long there is no padding, nothing you'd want to skip.

Packed with revelations for the attentive reader. 

Akenfield - the book, the film

The original 2 minute 'trailer' for Akenfield

The book of Akenfield by Ronald Blythe (1969) was recommended me by my history teacher; and made a powerful impact.

It consists of two elements: a set of wide-ranging interviews with old, middling and young adults in a 'composite' Suffolk village of the middle 1960s; lovingly rendered into permanently-memorable, distinctly characterised, subtly-poetic prose by the author.

These are supplemented by a good deal of factual, including statistical, material; the relevance and interest of which has by now considerably diminished.

The movie of Akenfield was made for television and broadcast on a Sunday evening in 1974, when it was watched by more than 14 million people - and is a rare example of a great book being adapted into an equivalently great film.

A great film quite unlike any other; because it was made at the same locations as the book, with an amateur cast of (mostly) working people living in the same places. It contains some of the most beautiful, powerful, and sad scenes of anything I know - again, permanently memorable.

If you watch the film; you will be astonished to realise that such an ambitious, high quality, demanding, spiritually-ambitious work could even be made; and more astonished that it would prove such an immediate success with so many ordinary people.

At the time, this was a source of hope for me. I felt that great matters were stirring in England. As things turned-out, it marked the end of an era rather than the start of anything better. But the work remains.

This Ahrimanic age and the End Times

Rudolf Steiner's idea that evil has two faces and natures - the unconscious/ instinctive/ spiritual Luciferic, and the systematic/ bureaucratic/ materialistic Ahrimanic - is one that has lodged permanently in my mind (although I don't use the terms exactly as Steiner did).

Steiner foresaw that the Ahrimanic tendency was dominant and increasing in our age - and he was absolutely correct; including within the Anthroposophical Society which he founded. Indeed, the history of Steiner's movement is worth studying from the perspective of just how pervasive, how inevitable-seeming, the Ahrimanic tendency is in our age. here we have a movement studying, and officially opposing, the Ahrimanic tendency but using highly Ahrimanic methods!

Such is, however, almost universal in our time. Whenever any human and individual priority or problem is highlighted; the 'solution' is always to set-up institutional, bureaucratic mechanisms that are supposed to deal with it: task forces, surveys, committees, conferences, statistical reports, agenda-items, targets...

(The middle sixties is a clear example; because the 'sixties impulse' was Luciferic - but this dominated for only about one year - from the summer of 67 to the summer of 68; and everything radical/ leftist/ progressive we have seen since, has been ever-more-thoroughly Ahrimanic. Nowadays, the sparks of individualistic Luciferic instincts - especially sexual and transgressive - merely feed the Leviathan of bureaucracy.)  

These are all both tools and manifestations of Ahrimanic thinking; and implement and sustain that cold, rational, spirit-denying materialism. This is specifci totalitarianism. Then the individual Ahrimanic bureaucracies link-up to make the Single Totalitarian Bureaucracy, centrally controlled - and Ahriman is triumphant.

It matters not one whit if the 'ends' and objectives are spiritual, heartfelt, animistic - because the means by which they are approached ensures that spirit-denying materialism is the medium of discourse.

We see this everywhere, except in small family or friendship groupings; every institution is not just contaminated but corrupted and inverted by Ahrimanic thinking; and it is this which makes me ever more convinced that our future must be post-institutional - involving a return (but with a major spiritual distinction) to that world built on loving personal relationships rather than formal organisation.

However, first-time-round; this personal world was Luciferic - and therefore unconscious, instinctive, 'given', immersive, unindividual. It cannot be Luciferic again - even if some would wish for that; because history is linear and a developmental process.

So the future personal world will be conscious, self-aware, deliberately-chosen - therefore individually-based. 

This prospect ought to be welcomed; but even though it is not welcomed, and is indeed opposed vigorously (even/ especially among most Christians), it will very likely happen. It will happen because corrupt institutions cannot sustain the modern world, and the corruption runs so deep and has already done such damage that there is no possibility of institutional reform. There is grossly too-little of the true source from-which a reform might be initiated and sustained.

Our institutional corruption is terminal - the cancer of Ahrimanism has overwhelmed the host; and there is not enough healthy tissue remaining for the cancer to be cut-away. The cure will kill us - more exactly; if the cancer does not kill us first, the cure will kill the institutions.

To put it differently: cancer is dysfunctional, and will kill the host; yet the global organism is almost-all cancer tissue: so either way, there can be no cure. 

A world of seven billion people without formal institutions seems impossible - and presumably is impossible. And if the vast population cannot be sustained, then it will not be sustained.

So this will be something like the End Times - even when examined purely in a material sense; although I have no doubt that its ultimate causes are spiritual.    

Sunday 17 February 2019

Effective prayer is an act of participation in creation (that is how it influences the future)

I think it has to be assumed that only some prayers are 'effective' - and that there are many prayers that are 'wrong', and make no difference - for example being mere habitual repetitions, or askings for bad things.

But there is no doubt that some prayers are effective: all Christians know this from experience. This probably happens because prayer can be an act of creation: more precisely in prayer we can participate in God's ongoing creation.

That is how prayer can affect the future - we personally enter-into the creation, and add to it our personal creativity.

That is how we, individually, make a difference by our prayer. Creativity is always happening; and then we pray and introduce a new element by our prayer - so that the future is changed.

Changing the future is a creative act. Prayer is, in effect, each of us working-with God.

Prayer works by love: love is that which is aligned-with God's motivation in creation. It is love that 'ensures' our prayer is aligned with the goodness of divine creation.

This happens because love is the basis of creation - it is the cohesion of creation. Love is what allows personal creativity to be real - because by real I mean that our creativity is permanently woven-into creation.

Only loving prayer is effective - because unloving prayer is incompatible with creation.

Conversely, when we pray with Love - and only then; what we pray is intrinsically creative. And loving prayer is always effective - loving prayer changes the future.

This does not mean that the effect of prayer is predictable by us, nor that praying for some specific thing always gets us just what we ask-for.

But loving prayer always makes a difference, and that difference is always positive (when seen from a God's eye view).

Life Fantasies - the pettiness of villains, the trivial motives of evil

Something that secular modern people have a lot of trouble grasping is that evil-dominated people (villains) usually have very petty motivations of a kind that strike 'normal' people as trivial.

This is just a fact; but it takes a fair bit of maturity and experience to notice and acknowledge the fact. To the adolescent mind, it seems rational that a villainous person, a person scheming to subvert and destroy Good, should have complex, deep and interesting motivations. This is perhaps the root of the fascination/ obsession with anti-heroes and ambiguity that characterises most fiction of the past fifty years and more.

I certainly used to think that way, needing to look deeper behind simple-surface motivations seemed  obvious; and my feeling was along the lines of "there must be more to it than just that!"

Yet I gradually came to recognise that my own secret motives - things I actually brooded-on but would have vehemently denied to myself and (especially) to others if pointed-out, were often extremely simple and silly - immature 'life fantasies' of a really corny and melodramatic nature; imagined scenarios of being helplessly-admired, or what 'people' would think about me 'if'...

(These life fantasies are, indeed, easier to hide from oneself than from others - sometimes they can be seen-though on very slight acquaintance, almost at a glance - when another person is attuned to such things.)

The falling-of-scales-from-the-eyes moment for me was when I suddenly realised that - in the UK - many of the most powerful and famous people really, really, more-than-anything want to be given Royal 'honours' such as medals (like the OBE or OM), to be called Sir or Dame, or to be ennobled as a Lord or Lady or something higher.

(And this craving applies to the most publicly active Leftists much more powerfully than to the religious - as is clear from the actual distribution of honours; and this is to be expected because of the innate and increasing evil of Leftism.)  

I suddenly realised that many or most of the people around me in medicine, academia and science were actually planning their lives, and indeed living their lives, so as to gain and accumulate such honours.

Honour-seeking was 'the key' to their behaviour - in particular, it was the reason for their so eagerly  going-over to the dark side in such large numbers.

This is, of course, a very silly and trivial thing around-which to organise your mortal life... It seems way too simple, too reductionistic to be a sufficient explanation. Nonetheless, it happens to be true: it happens to be how actual people actually behave - and indeed this is so blazingly-obvious that it is hard to understand why I and others routinely failed to notice and acknowledge the fact!

And the same applies to the greater, and greatest, evils of Men - they are done for the pettiest of reasons; as seems to have been the case for Satan.

In particular, when a person feels 'slighted', even in a way that is objectively trivial - this can and does sometimes grow to become a life-dominating, insatiable obsession - leading to very extreme levels of rape, torture, murder, war, genocide...

Indeed there is no limit to what a man humiliated, a woman scorned, will do when in the grip of the petty resentments of an evil Life Fantasy.

William Wildblood on the spiritual value of prehistoric monuments

From Albion Awakening...

...This is Maumbury Rings, a Neolithic henge. Here's an aerial photograph.

We have returned to the oval area enclosed by a ditch. That is to say, there would originally have been a ditch, formed by the construction of the outer banks, but that has long since been filled in. But still the basic layout of an oval demarcated by a border remains. 

Now, forgive me, but what does this remind you of? All I can say is that I have to assume it was constructed as a sacred space dedicated to the Mother Goddess. In its time it's been a Roman amphitheatre, a fort in the Civil War and even an execution ground in the 18th century during the Monmouth Rebellion, not to mention farmland and a place of assembly. But it is over 4,000 years old and its original purpose would have been religious. 

Archaeologists frequently say of ancient things when they are not sure what they are for, "used for ritual purposes" and I expect they are often right in that, but this clearly was a sacred space used by the local tribe for their most profound encounters with the numinous. When I used to go there 30 odd years ago it still had a feeling of peace and stillness, and there was also a sense of being safe and secure. 

Is it too fanciful to think of it as a kind of spiritual womb? Rites of death and rebirth are among the oldest and most widespread forms of human spiritual activity, and I think that is what Maumbury Rings would originally have been associated with...

Saturday 16 February 2019

Francis Berger discovers William Arkle

Regular reader can imagine how delighted I was to find that Francis Berger has, like me, found reading William Arkle to be a formative experience.

FB uses his initial response of “If I had discovered William Arkle earlier, I would be so much wiser today.” as the basis for a reflection on hindsight - distinguishing bewteen when hindsight is a valuable (perhaps essential) mode of learning, and when it is little more than an unreal fantasy.

But here is the final section on William Arkle:

To conclude, I had to accept the following – I had not engaged with William Arkle because I had not been ready to do until now. As much as I would like to regret not discovering Arkle sooner, I must realize I have nothing to regret, and that engaging with him now rather than earlier in my life indicates good luck rather than bad luck. In essence, I had to understand that I have basically lost nothing and stand to gain much by not discovering William Arkle until now.

Thus, I had to recognize the fantasy contained in my original thought regarding Arkle, and reformulate the thought in the following manner:

“If I had read William Arkle earlier, I would have read William Arkle earlier.”

This is the only true hindsight 20/20 statement I can make about not discovering William Arkle earlier in my life. Notice how it lacks any description of value; and I am almost certain that is exactly what I would have received in value terms had I encountered the man’s ideas in the past.

Thankfully, I have found an amazing amount of value in reading Arkle now, which supports the notion that I was, perhaps, not meant to discover William Arkle until this moment in time.

If I have it right, this is what William Arkle himself would have referred to as The Will at work.

The regret I experienced for not reading Arkle sooner might be considered an example of my Will Power trying to exert itself in the world – on an unreal situation to create an unprovable present, no less!

Lesson learned? Renouncing Will Power and embracing the Will truly is crucial in life; even, it appears, in matters of hindsight.

Romanticism and the hungering for 'depth' in life

From the age of about fourteen I became painfully aware of the shallowness of nearly-all of life - of human interaction; of literature, music and art; and especially of human aspirations. Thus I became a spontaneous 'romantic'.

I recognised the shallowness innately, by my boredom at the triviality of nearly-everything - but also in contrast to what I sometimes encountered in my reading, listening, and experience of landscapes and architecture. The clearest example was Lord of the Rings, which I read at this time - a world of exactly the depth I craved.

But the bulk and average of human interaction was by far the most frustrating shallowness. Even people who had composed deep literature or deep music; when I saw them interviewed on television would witter-away in the most superficial and glib fashion.

I wanted to be serious and earnest most of the time; but almost everybody else hated that kind of thing, and kept interaction rigorously a matter of small talk - with a permanent, reflexive under-cutting facetiousness added, especially when 'intellectuals' were involved.

(This facetiousness is a particular sin of English people.)

There were a few people with whom I could sometimes have what I termed a 'deep' conversation; and I would travel literally the length and breadth of the country to have such conversations - so starved was I.

And this has never really gone away. Nowadays - because of my family - I do not need general human interaction with the intensity and hunger of my adolescence; but I would - now as then - much rather be alone than engaged in the kind of (as it seems to me) chit-chat that constitutes pretty much the entirety of life for almost everyone*.

*Except when interspersed with emotionally incontinent sessions of shouting and weeping. If novels/ movies and TV are any guide; the pinnacle of human desire is to have a life consisting entirely of witty banter interspersed with sexual psychodrama.

Friday 15 February 2019

What does it mean to be 'free'? Does it emanate from original sin or virtue?

Free means self-caused - only that which is self-caused, and that which is capable of self-causation, can be free.

Free does not mean un-influenced. That which causes is often subject to external influence but free means that behaviour cannot wholly be explained by influences.

Ultimately, freedom cannot be explained - nothing self-caused can be explained.

Thus, freedom is irreducible. We cannot know what goes-on, or how freedom arises.

There is no 'natural' (analytic, rational, scientific) explanation for what leads-to freedom (or else it would not be free). Freedom stands outside cause and effect.

Indeed, freedom is divine in nature.

We can perceive only the result of freedom; and all we can do is just take it, or leave it.

We may, or may not, be aware of that which is free - but it emerges complete and ready; so all that can be done-about freedom is to accept or reject it (whether unconsciously or deliberately).  

Therefore, it is crucial to know whether that which is innately free is good, or evil.

This is the question of original sin.

Is that essential-self which is free basically evil/ sinful in nature; or is it good/ of God?

One or the other must be assumed.

Frank Berger or Berger Ferenc? What a difference a name makes

At his blog, Francis Berger makes an amusing but serious point about the importance of our names. Excerpt:

In Hungary, my father’s name was Berger Ferenc (Hungarians always place the surname first) pronounced something like Bairgair Fairains in Hungary, but in America he became Frank Berger, and I became the junior variety of that name. He chose Frank over Francis because he thought it sounded more manly. It took him a while to learn that when most Americans heard his new, Anglicized name, all they could think of were barbeque meats.

Think about it. Frank. Berger... I bloodied many noses and had my nose bloodied many times defending my name when I was growing up because whenever kids heard my name, the hamburger jokes were quick to follow...

Yeah, I pretty much heard them all. Naturally, the taunting diminished as I grew older, but even as an adult, I could tell my name still inspired mild amusement among fellow adults. No matter where I went, I was confronted with thinly veiled expressions of bemusement and lightning flash grins whenever I introduced myself...

Read the whole thing...

Demonically mind-controlled zombies as national leaders

The phenomenon of the UK Prime Minister Theresa May is very interesting, and perhaps deeply significant. Of course, I only know about her whatever the mass media chooses to put in my direction; but what that is quite extraordinary, and indeed impossible

What seems to be the situation is that someone without leadership qualities, incompetent, utterly lacking in charm and charisma - whom everybody dislikes and wants gone (I mean, all the power blocs - her party and the opposition; the mass media and the civil service; upper, middle, working and under- class: Brexiteers and Remainers; Atheists and real Christians; the EU and the US and teh Commonwealth... everybody) - yet she stays in power, month after month, year by year... 

From what I see in the media, she seems to be a literal zombie - dead-eyed, shambling, tragically miserable; shuffling around from place to place moaning and gibbering. It is a pitiful sight - until you realise that she is all the time clinging to power with unyielding tenacity, meanwhile systematically demoralising and destroying.

But the important question is: What keeps her functioning (albeit barely)?

(And She Is Not Alone among the leadership of great powers - because Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel are copies in the essentials, and there are many others at lower levels and earlier degrees of corruption.)

How can this 'impossible' situation be sustained? So far as I can tell, with so many and such overwhelming dis-advantages, there must be some extremely powerful forces that want Theresa May to hold-onto the premier leadership position in Britain.

This is the crux of my argument: Since no powerful Theresa May supporters are visible, they must be occult, hidden, behind-the-scenes. There must be decisively powerful, forces and influences that are off-the-radar. Further, since there are no observable mechanisms by which TM is maintained in operation; I assume the methods must be suprasensory, supernatural - again 'occult'.

What I am implying is that with TM (and her like) we may be observing the actuality of rule by demonically mind-controlled zombies.

Why middle aged, mediocre, middle manager women like TM, HRC and AM? Because - I assume - these are the easiest to mind-control. Apparently, their combination of inability and ambition, and their lack of a strongly agent 'self', makes them especially willing to do a 'deal' with the demons - yielding control to attain power.

Such women are very far from ideal as puppet leaders - because they can't lead; but they are demonically the most controllable, which presumably is the decisive factor. And the demons take care of the rest of it. 

The personal cost of this channelling of evil is very horrible to behold; it takes a toll on human flesh and mind - which all can see, even though very few people realise what is going-on. The body may be nearly dead, but the remnants are externally activated and energised by the forces of evil - so that basic functionality is retained far beyond what one would have supposed possible.

At times, during the 2016 Presidential Election, HRC looked and behaved like a crude and primitive remote-controlled robot - but so corrupted are the Godless and cowardly Western populations at this point; that tens of millions of people regarded her as a suitable even wonderful, person to lead their nation - and presumably the same applies to AM.

But with TM, it seems that the humans are not fooled. So we have the bizarre spectacle of a mind-controlled zombie operating without visible means of support.

In most past societies, the demonic fingerprints would have been obvious, and remedial action taken - but with modern materialism and the elimination of better alternatives, the British are merely bewildered.

What we see makes no sense; but the real answer is ruled-out a priori, by unknown and denied metaphysical assumptions - and so the macabre charade continues...