Wednesday 10 April 2019

A tough world for hard cases

We probably have much more agency than is usually supposed. And always have had, including in premortal life.

In premortal life there were many whose agency was not aligned with creation, who were opposed to creation. But as premortal spirits living in proximity to the divine, their behavior was good anyway. Like bad young children in a good home, they behaved pretty well despite themselves.

But in order to develop spiritually, they needed to incarnate, and then their innate badness came out as their agency became apparent.

Our capacity, and God's capacity, to influence the disposition of a bad person is less than often supposed. A person with a bad heart may be influenced to behave well, but the heart stays bad - unless there is change From Within.

The special evil of the Modern West may be due to the nature of the people incarnated. A high proportion of people with bad hearts. Most bad people just are that way, and always have been, from eternity.

They are hostile to creation, hostile to Gods hopes and plans, hostile to Love... Motivated be pride, resentment and spite. In general, they are self centred and hedonically motivated.

The root of this, is that basic materialism, reductionism, cynicism etc  which is characteristic of Modern Man.  Such shallow hedonism is innate, because premortal.

The only possible cure for such a deep rooted evil is to allow it to be very fully implemented, in its full insanity, incoherence, destruction and inversion. At the individual level and at the group level.

We are mostly hard cases.We are like the Alcoholics Anonymous who must reach rock bottom, by our own choices, before we can repent and be born-again.

That is what is going on here and now, and has been building for several generations. Our best and only collective hope, is to follow and experience the consequences of our evil natures - and to be denied any external help so that we can only be saved from an inner renewal.

We must change our own natures, must find our real selves, must be born again from the divine in each of us.

We are not being guided or cushioned from our own wicked natures by real churches or good social institutions. Instead they are corrupt and evil, and they encourage our own corruption and evil.

Nowadays we cannot merely exchange one form of external guidance for another. We cannot leave a bad job or atheism for a good job and a real church - because all jobs are/ tending evil and all churches are/ tending corrupting.

As innately wicked spirits, we have the chance to be born again in this mortal life, but only by this toughest of tough loves. And only by developing what God most wants us to develop, which is our own inner, divine, intuitive guidance and motivation.

These are the factors that account for the special aspects of our time. This is God's creation, and has been well designed; the Modern West is fit for purpose - and that purpose is to offer the best chance to some of the most intractably evil spirits ever seen.


William Wildblood said...

"The special evil of the Modern West may be due to the nature of the people incarnated. A high proportion of people with bad hearts. " This is a very politically incorrect thing to say - but I think it is true. I have resisted thinking it for a long time because one likes to believe people are good but what if many simply aren't? Something that tends to corroborate it is that in the past people would not have thought it a controversial thing to say. They would have accepted it but now it is a very bad thing to say, such is our high opinion of ourselves and our refusal to face facts that are unpleasant to our egos.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

"This is God's creation, and has been well designed" -- but, you imply, bad people are not God's creation and have not been well designed. They've just always existed, and have always been bad. And since other people make up a very important part of the world in which we live, it is only to a certain degree that that world can be said to be God's well-designed creation. "The light shineth in the darkness" -- and that darkness is very real, and is not God's doing.

This is a hard saying, and very few Christians are likely to accept it. It means, among other things, that there is no "meaning of it all." "It all" just is an irreducible plurality, not all of which has yet been rendered meaningful.

Bruce Charlton said...

WJT. My understanding is that we are placed in our incarnation, with our active consent; time, place, parents... This is a major aspect of the design.

But the nature of divine input is continuous, a tendency towards living creation, experiences that could be valuable for learning etc. Against this are the demonic forces, innately evil people etc.

My view is dynamic, or - if properly considered - Beings-based. Whereas, I sense you are positing a Platonic perfection which this world fails to achieve, but which I regard as incoherent.c

This world is designed to give individuals the experiences each most needs from which he may choose to learn. In that sense it is well designed.

Certainly, and obviously, this world is not designed to be perfect in and of itself, nor are people designed to be happy permanently in mortal life.

Andrew said...

I prefer the alternate explanation that it is a great privilege to be born into the Latter Days. That this is something that we not only chose but had to qualify for knowing the challenges would be incredible but also the consequent rewards for overcoming. The evil of the times could be explained by God needing to bring all the spiritual evil of the universe -- 1/3 of the universe at the time of Lucifer's rebellion -- to Earth for final judgement before the Heaven and Earth are remade. We can sense the increasing density of evil in the atmosphere. It is increasing because God and his Angels are closing the perimeter and funneling the darkness to Earth so that God's children get the honor of putting the devil under our feet. A Bride perfected in Love without spot or wrinkle who have overcome and managed to tap into the resurrection power of God, conquering death and becoming glorified without having to experience physical death.

-Andrew E.

Bruce Charlton said...

Andrew If you follow through the implications of what I describe you'll see that it fits with many aspects.For example that people are immune to old conversion methods. Or that common sense now accepts was used to be obvious sins, indeed regards them as virtues. Or that obvious falsehoods are regarded as obvious truths. It is hard to exaggerate the extent to which people are actively resistant to reality, and rejecting of even the idea of hope. None of this is proof, but exactly what would be expected if modern incarnation includes more bad spirits. It is something that I simply did not consider until recently, but there is no reason to suppose that spirits are the same everywhere in all eras.

Bruce Charlton said...

WW. My conviction continues to deepen that most people I know of do not want Heaven, even if they were sure it was true. They want either oblivion or one of the versions of hell. And this is very different from the past. I am sure this is because we are more evil than ever before, the only open question for me is why. Given how resistant almost everybody is to any real deep inner change, I think it likely that our nature is a much more innate and fundamental thing than it has been regarded. It is not that people can't change so much that they do not want to change, and that is what makes them evil.

William Wildblood said...

I believe you are right. They don't want Heaven and they don't want Truth. They certainly don't want to pay the price of entry to the true heaven which is why they create false ones which require no sacrifice on their part to get into. At the same time, what Andrew says about all the spiritual evil being dealt with in these days by being given its head in the physical world before some kind of final judgement rings true. I Perhaps many recalcitrant souls are being given one last chance to get their house in order. These days I sometimes think of the image of many seeds falling to the ground but only relatively few actually take root and grow and thrive.

Faculty X said...

I have had the misfortune of being 'good' on my stay on Earth and I find the visions promoted about Heaven to be uncompelling at best, Hellish at worst.

EDFree said...

The evil seems to be escalating very quickly, also. Even since growing up in the 90s (and society was plenty corrupt then), the average person now fits the description of 2 Timothy 3:2-5--rude, selfish, narcissistic, etc. and "without natural affection" like never before....Now these behaviors are the norm and even encouraged.

Bruce Charlton said...

FX. The problem is not that heaven is depicted unrealistically but that people can't be bothered to discover the truth behind it, and when they do, they don't want it.

Edf. True,but the evil is that people,especially well behaved people,want evil.and have inverted ideals of truth, beauty and virtue.

Francis Berger said...

I agree with the idea that some people reject the Good out of sheer malevolence and are hardwired to be bad. These types live to oppose the Good. Nevertheless, I believe most evil and badness stems from weakness rather than willful intent to do evil.

This does not excuse or lessen the evil that weak people propagate, but is it possible that many bad people are bad because they lack the strength to do good, unlike purely malevolent people who actively seek to do evil?

You use alcoholism as an example, and I think that is a good analogy. Perhaps "bad" people recognize the good and possible ways to attain it, but have not built up the needed spiritual fortitude to embark on that change - like the alcoholic who knows alcohol is bad, but can't give it up.

Yes, this essentially means the weak do not want the Good, but they could build up to it. Of course, this is becoming exceedingly difficult because the malevolent fund and encourage weakness.

Our modern world is like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting featuring an open bar. Going sober under such circumstances requires monumental effort.

The Gaelic Lands said...

Bruce- Are you a believer in the ideas of reincarnation? It would seem to be from your posting here. I have felt for a long time that the idea of `eternal life' is really referring to this, but that the RCC, which I was brought up in, does not reference this as such, for good or bad reasons.


Bruce Charlton said...

GL. No, if you word search this blog you'll find a few discussions of the topic.

Bruce Charlton said...

David B Sorry, I read your comment and tried to post it but pressed delete by accident.

Bruce Charlton said...

Francis. But the weakness is so strong... Therefore not really weakness. This is seen by the multiple defences against awakening. If it was just weakness, people would easily be converted (albeit temporarily).

William Wildblood said...

I like Francis's comment that "Our modern world is like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting featuring an open bar. Going sober under such circumstances requires monumental effort.", and I used to think that there were bad people and spiritually weak people who just went with the flow. However the fact is that, while there are actively bad people and others who passively follow the zeitgeist, "he who is not with me is against me'" If the truth is in you then you will see the truth. You can't help it. If it is not positively in you you have to ask, why is it not? Given that God is in all of us it can only be because you have suppressed the knowledge of God for your own egotistical ends. And then the difference between active evil and passive acquiescence to it is not so large.

Funnily enough I am writing something about that at the moment.

Francis Berger said...

@ BC and WW - Your comments helped clarify the notion of weakness. I acknowledged that the weak essentially do not want the Good, but may be able to build up to it despite overwhelming external forces against them, but I must concur with both you in the final analysis.

Bruce has a point. Allowing weakness to dictate to such a degree may no longer represent weakness, but something else entirely. As William states, "if the truth is in you then you will see it." And once you have seen it, the 'multiple defences" would crumble. If I am seeing this properly, weakness in the face of Good amounts to a betrayal of the divine within - hence a form of bad or evil nearly on par with active, intentional malevolence.

Bruce Charlton said...

Francis. I was being a bit facetious! What I meant was that it may look like weakness, but it is more resistant to change-for-the-better than real weakness would be. It is determined against Christianity at any price. Anything but Christianity is its covert rule. This is the norm for the mass of mainstream spiritual seeking people and it results from worldly and materialistic motives.

Whitestone said...

The bad seeds yes. Although considering the extent of the evil, demonic programming with which we are bombarded, from the womb to the tomb, it’s a miracle that any of us have our souls intact.

I have greater sympathy for the suffers of this disease of political correctness, which I believe was as much created as it was organic, then unleashed upon our poor, delicate unsuspecting children.

To a large extent I apportion no greater blame to the suffers of this disease, than I would blame Pavlov’s dog for salivating every time the bell rang. And would take little credit myself for having been granted a reasonably well functioning immune system.
Of course we have ultimate responsibility for our thoughts, words and deeds, but for the victims of germ warfare, how much blame can we attribute to them?

Bruce Charlton said...

W. If we say responsibility rather than blame, then it depends on how much is innate, how much inculcated. I have come to believe it is mostly innate and a matter of nature.