Friday 29 November 2019

The Millennium - was it a real thing? Was it a threshold?

 Tony Blair's 'flagship' Millennium Dome - expensive, ugly, boring, unpopular and late - perfect symbol of the new era

At the time of circa 2000, I would have said no, nothing much has changed; but I have since changed my mind.

Nothing happened at the exact time of the millennium (AD 2000 or 2001), and I am not a numerologist - so I see no special significance in the number of 2000 years...

But, as many people perceived in the previous century; that approximate time was indeed a qualitative transition, the millennium was indeed a threshold that we in The West were crossing.

The millennium was the threshold at which there was a generalised inversion of values. And this was apparent in the areas of life with which I was most involved over the years preceding and following the millennium.

For example, truth disappeared as an ideal. People were Not Even Trying to seeks the truth or to speak the truth, but instead truth became a rhetorical manipulation.

Truth was was replaced first by 'hype and spin' (to use the buzz words of that era) and then increasingly by virtuality - the 'real'-reality constructed by the mass media which was being amplified and extended vastly by the nascent social media.

Functionality was replaced by management, that is bureaucracy; i.e. totalitarianism - which is the attempt at complete surveillance and control at the micro level of individual ideas and behaviours in pursuit of universal damnation. 

So, in the areas of my own public activity - medicine, scientific research, and teaching - there was at about this time a tipping point.

These all became - in parallel, but in the same way - dishonest, dysfunctional, and evil-motivated.

For the first time, increasingly and irrevocably, bureaucratic mechanisms (committees, protocols, management...) took over both power and responsibility is the actual clinical practice of medicine (face to between doctor and patient); the specific themes, methods and reporting of scientific research; and the details of in-the-classroom teaching.

All of these are now thoroughly brought into the single-bureaucracy, which has been extended nationally and indeed multi-nationally; to become minutely controlled by a linked managerial system...

A system motivated by an ideology of value-inversion - in pursuit of corruption, lies, disgust, self-hatred, slow-suicide, nihilism and despair... but all regarded as positives.

And this became first dominant and official, then ubiquitous and mandatory, with an inflexion point somewhere-around the millennium.

Thursday 28 November 2019

What kind of 'spiritual experience' should we be aiming for? More on 'direct knowing'

While there are people who continue to have 'traditional' forms of sensory spiritual experience - seeing visions, hearing voices, experiencing answered prayers and personal miracles, synchronicities and pre-cognition (information about the future), or phenomena like channelling or conversing-with spiritual entities - I would regard these as being impossible for many/ most people nowadays (except, perhaps, in conditions of intoxication or mental illness -which cast the validity of experience into doubt)  and as being preliminary and early aspects of a 'modern-era' spiritual life.

The main value of such experiences, I think, is to convince some people of the reality of a spiritual dimension to life. This was, indeed, the case for me - with a few instances of rapid/ miraculous answering of prayers, that were very important at the very beginning of my Christian life. The experiences were a confirmation of the reality of God.

But all of these are sensory-mediated, hence indirect, means of communication between God and Men. We see something, hear a voice saying words... and then comes an evaluation of the experience... Do we remember properly, accurately; was it an hallucination, or a coincidence?

And if we decide it was real and have an accurate record of the experience - then what does it mean for us? What was God trying to communicate, and what - exactly - did he want us to do about it?

So; once we are convinced of the reality of God - what then? After we know that God is real; that is the true beginning of spiritual life. Should we then expect or want the traditional kind of spiritual experiences to continue; are they, indeed, the best way that we can communicate with God?

This is when I return to the matter of what can be called the intuition of the real self or direct knowing. Direct knowing is - I believe - the form of spiritual experience that is available to many/ most people in the modern era. And furthermore it is, in principle, superior to the traditional forms - because it requires no extra layers of understanding and translation.

Perhaps if I draw a contrast, this will be clearer. Suppose someone has the experience of hearing God's voice, speaking words aloud in the mind. He needs to hear and understand the words, he needs to remember them (perhaps by writing them); and then he needs to ponder their meaning and implications.

But if that person was to receive knowledge directly into his understanding; he will already know what that knowledge means for him, and what he should do about it - because it all comes as a package: one moment not-there, the next moment it is there.

And direct knowledge is intended for direct action - it is typically bimodal, yes-no, two-track: either we stay with what we are doing, or else we set off onto a different path which is being given.

Now, there may be problems about remembering the experience, and so forth - but if we have acted-upon direct knowing, then that doesn't matter. And there is a much bigger problem about telling other people what has happened: that requires capturing the experience in language, tailoring it for the intended audience, and that audience will then need to receive, understand and interpret that information. The situation is the same as for traditional spiritual experience.

But direct knowing is the form of spiritual experience that goes with Romantic Christianity; and the essence of Romantic Christianity is that it is based upon direct and personal experience. Since direct experience is foundational, it means that it is indispensable. So that fact that direct knowledge cannot reliably and validly be transmitted in-directly is not surprising! It is why we need (and must have) direct experience in the first place. 

Another aspect is that direct knowing is - as a generalisation, in this mortal life - simple.

And in turn this means that we can receive direct knowledge only when we have formed our question exactly and with the proper motivation; when our mind it receptive to that form of knowledge. there are an endless ('infinite') number of false questions and wrong motivations for knowledge - and only the right questions and the right motivations will lead to direct knowing.

But once the right question and attitude are 'in place' - then direct knowing arises immediately and without any effort.

However, the knowing does not force itself upon us, overwhelm us, or compel us to do something. It is knowledge of what is right and there is a further decision about whether to embrace or reject what is right; or to argue that it is Not right. This is agency, this is free will - and is a separate 'process' from that of direct knowing. 

Agency comes in in this bimodal fashion: direct knowing tells us what is true and right; agency is concerned with whether we accept or reject this knowledge. it is not a choice between alternatives; it is a choice of 'destiny', or not-destiny.

So, direct knowing itself entails no effort, no struggle; but putting oneself into the necessary 'frame of mind' to receive it is a wholly voluntary and conscious process. Indeed, direct knowing - and to know that this is direct knowing - is possible only to those with agency, with free will.

Direct knowing doesn't 'just happen' to an unconscious person, who is thinking about other things (distracted); it doesn't happen to someone whose fundamental beliefs exclude the possibility of direct knowing... e.g. they don't believe in God, or their idea of deity is impersonal - or they don't believe that knowledge can be directly known. In such situations, there will be no direct knowing - that person is self-excluded.

To put matters the other way about - direct knowledge follows naturally upon the knowledge and love of God and the desire to follow Jesus through death to resurrected Life Eternal in Heaven. And then direct knowledge will provide the specific guidance we need in life.


John Butler - Christian 'Zen' (not Zen Christianity)

I have been watching the videos and reading books by a modern English mystic called John Butler - the above is a typical example. Most striking is that Butler seems a lovely old chap, with one of the most hypnotically soothing voices I have ever heard (at the Bob Ross level!). He is also a very serious spiritual seeker; having diligently practiced meditation for fifty plus years.

Butler has travelled all over the place, been an organic gardener, done a degree in Russian in middle age and lived in Russia for a total of more than five years; nowadays he meditates twice a day, for two or three hours per session, in the CofE church in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

He reveres the Russian Orthodox tradition of ascetic monasticism and hermit life, a life of prayer and meditation. Furthermore, Butler was steeped in the Bible as a young person; quotes frequently and fluently from scripture to support his explanations; and the YouTube videos are mostly recorded in an Anglican church. Superficially, it might be assumed that John Butler is a Christian...

But is John Butler a Christian? No he isn't; and this is just a plain fact, not intended as any kind of criticism, since Butler is quite clear about his beliefs.

By his own account Christianity is - for him - merely the spiritual language he was raised-in and knows best. Christian language is - in this sense - wholly arbitrary; and he has said that it could have been any other religion without affecting the essence of his religious practise.

In other words, John Butler is an advocate of the 'perennial philosophy' - which is the Western understanding of the universal one-ness of God and Man that is found primarily in Hinduism and Buddhism and their variants and descendants.

(I say the PP is a Western version, an abstraction of Eastern religion - because it is detached from the specific ethnic communities and ways of life that characterise these religions in their Eastern actuality. In the East, these religions have numerous practices and rituals, and are also linked with 'pessimistic' and indeed threatening beliefs about reincarnation that Westerners seldom or never adopt.)

Most importantly, John Butler's spirituality is distinct from Christianity in that he explicitly seeks the total loss of ego, a state of non-thinking, a complete and permanent union with the divine. His over-riding motivations are the desire for peace, and to be free of all possibility of suffering: he wants to live free of the body as a spirit (not to be resurrected) and to live outside of time, where nothing changes - and change would not be desired because existence is a state of bliss.

As far as I can tell, JB is absolutely sincere in this wish - and indeed he assumes that everybody else also wants what he wants.

From my perspective, John Butler represents a genuine and perhaps universal human motivation; but probably one which is much rarer than he supposes. Such views have mostly been expressed by those like JB who are from intelligent and sensitive members of the upper classes - they have never been the basis for mass religions; and mass-consumption Eastern religions are a very different matter altogether.

Even the mystical tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy (which is the closest that Christianity comes to Butler's perspective) is qualitatively different from John Butler's spirituality; in that Orthodoxy does not seek loss of ego, cessation of thinking or union with God - but rather a perfect communion - and as resurrected incarnates, not as bodiless spirit.

Readers will know that I do not have any hostility to those with John Butler's views, and can indeed feel their appeal. They are the response of those who regard mortal life as ultimately negative; who regard incarnation and bodies as a limitation and who prefer spirit; who regret the development of Man's agency with its 'self' distinct from God and its subjective life of conscious thinking.

Butler's spirituality has the nature of  wanting to 'hand back his entrance ticket' to mortal life; to return to our earliest state of Being, before we were incarnated, when we were simply immersed in the Goodness of God, dwelling as spirits in Heaven. And I am confident that the subjective state of Being sought by people such as JB will be allowed and made possible by God - they will, indeed, live in the kind of unconscious union with the impersonal aspects of the divine - just as they hope for.

I do, however, wish to emphasise that they are not Christian, and the motivation is incompatible with the Life Eternal that Jesus came to make possible for us. And Perennial Philosophy becomes actively harmful if and when it is put forward as being the 'true' Christianity, or the deepest form of Christianity.

Also, it makes no sense at all to link PP with any kind of this-world morality: this is just incoherent! John Butler does not seem to realise that his convictions relating to the importance of environmentalism are sense-less in terms of his own philosophy. For example, in one video he (albeit half-heartedly) gives 'advice' on the subject of 'climate change', and he often opines regarding the desirability of unspoilt nature or organic food production...

And this nonsensical incoherence seems very hard, almost impossible, for Westerners to avoid - so that all the Western advocates of Perennial Philosophy that I have encountered are intractable hypocrites about politics; some of them very much so!

My feeling is that someone who sincerely regards unconscious union with impersonal deity as their deepest post-mortal desire, and who wish to approximate this during mortal life, should just get on with it! Perhaps it is legitimate to help other people to attain it by advising on meditative techniques (as does John Butler).

But such folk really ought to shut-up on every other subject! - especially politics and social organisation - since their views must inevitably by their own account be wrong and irrelevant; merely part of the maya (illusion) of this mortal, incarnate life...

Wednesday 27 November 2019

How far can evil go in attacking God's creation?

The fact of Jesus Christ seems to imply a 'two phase' view of God's creation.

The first phase was the Heaven of our God (Father and Mother) among their spirit children. As unincarnated spirits, the children of God lacked the agency to become autonomous creators; they could not, therefore, participate in the ongoing work of creating.

Some of the children of God turned against the plan of loving creation, becoming the demons and being cast out. But these demons commenced their work against creation - subversion, destruction, inversion - which continues.

(Others of God's children opted-out of the whole thing - returning to non-consciousness.)

Phase two was to enable some of God's children (those who chose the path) to participate in creation, as fully as their capacities would allow. This was made possible by creating earth and mortal life - during which some who loved God and their fellow Men were able to make partial and temporary contributions to creation. But to enable this in fullness and completeness was the work of Jesus Christ.

After Jesus, mortal Men could make a commitment of love and follow Jesus through the portal death, resurrect into Heaven; and there live eternally and able to participate in creation.

By this means, God was able (open-endedly) to expand and enrich the loving and familial work of creation; and 'insulate' the process of on-going Heavenly creation from the corruption of demonic activity.

Thus the Heaven of Life Everlasting is unlimited is size and scope; and safe from evil. 

Apocalypse Now!?

I get the feeling that the Apocalypse, which began some fifty years ago, is reaching a crescendo Now. There is a tremendous urgency towards the goal of a global totalitarian takeover by the 'Ahrimanic' powers of evil: that is to say, the type of evil which is cold, calculating, systematic, anti-spiritual, anti-human, bureaucratic and transhumanist.

As has been usual in recent decades, the Ahrimanic evil is fuelled by old-fashion 'Luciferic' evil: by stoking-up the traditional 'instinctive' sins such as pride, resentment, fear, greed, hatred, anger, lust, sadism - that is by stirring up all kinds of conflict, setting groups against one another (especially by universal, coercive mass immigration; but also by resurgent socialism, feminism, antiracism, environmentalism and the sexual revolution's LGBTQPP... endless supply of causes and victim groups). The Mass Media have a key role here.

But what is aimed-at - what is supposed to be the 'answer' to these created problems, is a total system of surveillance and control; funded by a massive shift to replace the current technological infrastructure with a new generation of self-styled 'smart', 'green' and 'sustainable' technologies - AI, 5G and so forth...

The interesting aspect is the sheer urgency. There is a very obvious attempt to create a worldwide sense of emergency, of imminent cataclysm, of terrible things that are Just About To Happen... unless, we hand over complete power to the Establishment (preferably the-day-after-tomorrow, or quicker).

And this handover - this Power Grab by the Global Establishment - is being aimed-at Very Soon; on a timescale of months, not years.

That is the message of the Climate Emergency/ Extinction Rebellion Establishment-created movement. This is the message of the impatient attempts of the Establishment to manufacture a soft coup to get rid of President Trump without waiting for next year's election.

I don't know why this should be, but I am more convinced with each passing month; what is being attempted - now and on a daily basis - is the biggest shift in power in the history of the world; the attempt of a tiny global 'elite' (possessed-by and serving demonic powers) to impose a complete system of behavioural and thought control.

And it is now; this is the Apocalypse; this is what it looks-like from the inside!

If the urgency of the Establishment has a reason, then that will soon become apparent; one way or another (depending upon the individual choices of millions of people) we shall -within the year - see huge changes in everybodys' lives.

It is difficult to believe, I hardly believe it myself; but - as I say - there must surely be a reason for the extreme urgency of this power grab. I don't know what that reason is; but it must be expected to take effect on a timescale of months*.

I can't say I am exactly looking-forward to discovering the answer; because I don't suppose the surprise will be a pleasant one. However, I haven't long to wait.

*Note added: My guess is that it would be a Thing that could be caused by the Establishment, but plausibly blamed on Climate Change - and that there would need to be an awareness campaign before it happened, so that the public could be made to believe the link. What springs to mind as the kind of thing would be to cause a devastating tsunami by breaking a huge chunk off a glacier with a covert explosion, blamed on the spring melt. Something of that sort...

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Australian Aborigine life 100-plus years ago

In commenting at another blog recently, I dug-out and re-read a couple of interesting posts from 2011 about Australian Aborigine life at the time of the first detailed records.

I had a long-standing interest in hunter-gatherers, and thought I knew the anthropology pretty well; but this information surprised me.

I expected the Aborigines to be similar to the Southern African hunter gatherers such as the Kung San or the Hadza. But I should have been prepared for Aborigines to be unique, since it is believed that they were genetically separated from other humans some 50,000 years ago - or about 2,000 generations. This would make them likely to be more different from other humans than any other group.

One difference is that the Aborigines have a 'totemic' religion - relatively fixed in beliefs (within constraints of oral transmission), with something like priests and handed down as accurately as possible between generations.

Whereas most similar 'immediate return', low technology hunter-gatherers, rather than a fluid, (part-time) shaman-led animistic spirituality.

Another difference was that Aborigines had larger 'bands' than the usual immediate-return hunter-gatherers - my theory was that this was because their totemic religion sustained a higher level of cooperation beyond the extended family. Interesting; because most totemic religions are found in more complex (socially-stratified and specialised), sedentary, early agriculture societies - or those with rich food resources available without being nomadic - such as the totem-pole-making Pacific Northwest American Indians - who had resources of shell-fish to gather.

Anyway, the - rather unpleasant - surprises I had about Aborigine life are detailed and referenced below.

Treatment of girls and women:

Infanticide and euthanasia:

The nature of resurrection as the transformation of a Being

(Note: It may be helpful to read this earlier post before the one below.) 

My metaphysical understanding is that the fundamental nature of reality consists of (eternal) Beings in relationships - these Beings transform through time; and such transformation is of the nature of Beings.

But the transformations are of different kinds. One transformation was from spiritual pre-mortal beings to incarnate as mortals - as we are now. We can ask what 'ingredients' go-into any such transformation - and I think the answer is that there is a variable mix of internal and external influences. We are transformed both from-within and from-without.

(Transformation from-within is possible, because Beings exist only in-time, hence there is no cross-sectional Being; hence a Being never ceases to be even when transformed in totality in terms of structure and function. Despite transformation, agency is never 'broken', but persists continuously throughout. Hence it is not a contradiction that a Being can participate in its own transformation - although transformation always requires some external transforming agent. In sum; both are needed.)

So, when we transformed from spirits to incarnated mortals, the main agency was God (our Heavenly Parents), but not solely God. We are divine Beings, potentially of the same kind as God; so we cannot be (and should not be) transformed against are will or passively. Therefore, our consent to incarnation was necessary.

However, this consent could not be full, because we could not know fully what it was like to be incarnated as mortals. Full consent would have required experience - but we could not experience mortal incarnation without actually undergoing the transformation.

So, we consented, but it should not be surprising that there seem to be many people who do not like the experience of mortal life, when they actually need to live-through it.

However, there are further transformations necessary before we can move further toward becoming fully-divine. One is death. We must, I think, consent to our own death - or else we will move off the path to full divinity.

In the Fourth Gospel, this is emphasised by Jesus; that death of the mortal body ought not to be feared but rather welcomed as a portal to something far greater; resurrected eternal life.

Now, when it comes to resurrected life, I think we are talking about a full state of divinity; albeit initially at a much lower level than God - yet a level from which we dwell in Heaven and participate in the ongoing work of creation.

We need, therefore, full consent to this transformation from the soul that remains after death of the body to resurrection. And 'resurrection' is not merely a coming alive again in a new body; resurrection is necessarily into-Heaven.

I am stating that we cannot be resurrected unless that is a resurrection into divine participation in Heaven - it is an irreversible, permanent commitment - and this commitment is one of Love. It is love which makes possible this resurrection-into-Heaven.

(...Because it is Love that harmonises all the divine creativities of individual resurrected Men - including Jesus - with that of our Heavenly Parents; to make from many 'players' the unending and unfolding symphony of creation.)

Therefore, the 'final' transformation that is resurrection can be regarded as necessarily having 'input' from our-selves as well as God; we are required not just to consent, but actively, consciously and positively to embrace resurrection-into-Heaven in Love.

This is done (and must be done) by following Jesus (the Good Shepherd) through death into Life Eternal. We follow Jesus because (and only if) we Love him, and because we wish to go where he will lead us.

Otherwise resurrection cannot and will not happen.

Note: I regard the above as wholly compatible with the overall teaching and spirit of the Fourth Gospel, and its multiple 'symbolic' descriptions of that Life Eternal/ Everlasting that is resurrection-into-Heaven.

The author (Lazarus) was a resurrected, hence divine, Man: another reason why the Fourth Gospel ought to be regarded as the primary and most authoritative source

A point about the Fourth Gospel which I have not sufficiently emphasised in my writings on the subject; is that the author - Lazarus - was, at the time of writing, a resurrected Man. That is, he was a fully divine person - albeit one who had not (at the time of writing) ascended to Heaven.

(This was, presumably, explicitly known to the intended contemporary audience of the Gospel - and we can infer it from the text itself.)

Of course the Fourth Gospel has not come down to us absolutely unscathed - there seem (from internal evidence backed by intuition) to be both additions and excisions, albeit not many - yet, it remains (I think) the only book we have that was written by an actual god; as well as being the only eye-witness account of Jesus's life and teachings, by his best and beloved friend, brother in law, and guardian of Jesus's mother.

All of which surely raises the status of the Fourth Gospel far above any other written source - yes?

Why is mortal life necessary? (Why aren't we incarnated direct into Heaven?)

(This is a big question - a natural question; and one for which I haven't been able to find a ready-made answer that addressed and answered it, square-on, to my satisfaction.)

Why mortality? Because it is necessary. An immortal resurrected Man cannot be achieved without a 'transitional stage' of living a mortal life in a mortal body.

This implies that reality is constrained; and represents a major limitation in the power of God the creator.

God cannot create a Man in an everlasting resurrected body without first going-through the phase of mortal life.

Mortality is therefore a consequence of God's creative constraints - in a sense, a measure of God's weakness in comparison with that 'omnipotence' which has traditionally, but wrongly, been imputed to God. Therefore, the many imperfections and incompleteness of mortal life (disease, ageing, death...) are intrinsic to the fact that mortality is a consequence of limitation.

If God really had been omnipotent, and assuming for a moment that such an abstract imputation makes sense (which I don't accept) there would have been no need for mortal life (and BTW no need for Jesus). This is a flaw in all theological schemes entailing divine omnipotence - whether monotheistic or polytheistic: mortal life is a superfluity; at best a waste of time and at worst suggestive of a deity that is indifferent to suffering.

This explains why - for so many billions of people in history, so far as we can infer - mortality has been such a brief affair; hardly more than the mere brief establishing of life, of incarnation, of embodiment. Probably most Men have died soon after fertilisation, or as embryo, foetus, newborns, in infancy...

But not all; and most Men nowadays survive for much longer than mere incarnation. Why? Because God has made a virtue of necessity; where that is helpful to us; each as an individual.

God made this life, this world, as a bespoke place of learning for the longaevus such as you and me (meaning the long-lived: that is, those who live beyond mere incarnation, especially after birth); individually-tailored to fit the needs of many millions of individual Men.

So - Mortality could-have-been a very brief phase; and for many it has been: that is, they simply incarnate and die, with the possibility of resurrection. Such is the fate of all Men.

But the extended and complex world, the varied lives of individual Men - all this is for a different purpose than the making-possible of resurrection. It is, indeed, for many individual purposes - reflecting the unique nature of circumstances of each human.

And this second purpose is to learn from our mortal experiences (including the experiences of mortality - disease, ageing, death...); to learn lessons that will be helpful to our experience in the eternity of resurrected life everlasting...

Also, mortal experiences that may help make possible the choice of life everlasting, which is called salvation, among those who otherwise would have rejected it

Sunday 24 November 2019

Britain and the European Union - from William Wildblood

William Wildblood gives his take on the problem of the European Union:

The EU wants to be an empire, a European empire on a par with Russia or China or the USA. However, it has no roots in anything traditionally European which means Christian. It is more like an attempt to recreate the Napoleonic empire that actually was a disruption of the true European ideal in that it was based on a materialistic conception of human beings. The EU observes the same principle, the principle that the true end of man lies in this world and that his individuality must be subsumed in an overall collectivism, one based on inclusivity rather than quality. Individuality is theoretically encouraged but only within the limiting framework of an agreed set of restrictions.

I am against the EU because it means more government, more control, more bureaucracy, more domination by unaccountable elites, more centralisation, more secrecy. It means less freedom, less individuality, less honesty, less humanity. It means succumbing to the technocrats and proud rationalists who inhabit a world of ideology and abstract theory that has very little connection to the flesh and blood reality of human needs and desires, indeed human nature itself, let alone spiritual truths. The European Union is and always has been an organisation that is intended to override national sovereignty and eventually sink all the countries which form it into a supranational body run by an elite who see themselves as accountable to no one except themselves. This is the ideology of the cold intellectual who denies all natural human instincts in the name of his frigid theories.

I agree - but (as usual) would be more hard-line and simply say that the EU is (obviously...) an evil organisation: it aims at evil, that is it aims at the subversion, destruction and inversion of values: the EU is against God, Good and creation.

I do not regard this as something that requires proof - only personal observation, experience and the ability to use common sense and basic reason.

For someone adult, who has lived for a few years under the EU (or in my case more than 40 years); to ask for further 'evidence' (whatever that might mean) simply shows that you are already corrupted, already on the wrong side.

(And of course, nearly-everybody is on the wrong side; for Satan and against God: that is normal.)

(Not least - the EU is a master bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is intrinsically evil - surely we ought to be able to discern this by now?)

If you are on the wrong side, that is your problem, to be addressed by finding God and recovering coherence in your thinking; acknowledging reality; learning to understand and know from your own resources rather than secondhand and by idle deference to obviously corrupted pseudo-authorities.

That Britain should leave the EU is a no-brainer; which means that if you can't see the need, you have - in effect, functionally, and by your own choices - 'no brain'.

And, I repeat; that is ultimately your problem, no-one else's...

Love among the Inklings of Oxford

To what extent were the Inklings a group bound together by Love?

The answer is; to a much greater extent than is usual for such intellectual groups composed of colleagues with common interests (e.g. Christianity, literature, the imagination, myth); and with common purposes (writing, socio-political renewal, Christian revival). Indeed, I would say that the fact that the Inklings was a loving group was what raised it above other superficially similar intellectual groupings. 

Read the whole thing at my Notion Club Papers blog...

Saturday 23 November 2019

The metaphysical evil of modern environmentalism

Modern environmentalism is anti-human, its underlying assumption is that if it wasn't for the activities of man - then there would be no environmental problem.

This applies pretty much across the board, and goes back even to the early (1970s) environmentalism (or 'ecology' as it was called then) - when the emphasis was medievalism/ de-industrialisation, anti-consumption, self-sufficiency, voluntary simplicity. In general, Man was intrinsically a problem and therefore ought to tread-lightly (as possible, with as few feet as possible) on the earth.

More recently, with the Global-Warming-climate-change-emergency-revolution mob; this has become a kind of self-hatred combined with that generalised loathing of people that surfaces among even the most mainstream of environmentalists - such as Sir David Attenborough.

I mean that barely suppressed desire to clean the planet of all people - starting-with, but ultimately not-confined-to, climate-change deniers... 

This assumption of Men versus The Environment is even accepted by the opponents of mainstream Green activists - but they simply take the opposite stance that Man is more important than the environment. 

But the lesson of the philosophical understandings of Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield is that Man co-creates the environment. The environment has no independent existence separate from Men's conceptualising of it. As Steiner summarised in Philosophy of Freedom, we know nothing of percepts without concepts, there is no objectivity without common concepts.

As Barfield said, in the Saving the Appearances (1957) - that which is unrepresented in unknown. The most we could know or say without Man is that there is something-else, but what that something might be?... Well, it would not be 'the environment' as we know it.

Without Man thinking, there would be no environment. If Men were destroyed, the environment would also be destroyed.

Therefore, mainstream environmentalism is incoherent - and always has been. Its motivational chronic anti-Man animus is revealed for the evil it is.

Home Sweet Home, sung by Joan Sutherland

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there
Which seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere

Home, sweet home, there’s no place like home
Home, sweet home, there’s no place like home

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain
Oh give me my lowly-thatched cottage again
The birds singing gaily that wait at my call
Give me them and that peace of mind, dearer than all

Home, sweet home, there’s no place like home
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home

Well, this is absolutely gorgeous singing, which never fails to move me to tears of gratitude and love.

A simple Victorian ballad, accompanied only by a harp. And although it is in English - you really need to know (or read) the lyrics; because Sutherland is the nearest to pure-voice that I have ever heard.

In other words; she was the supreme exponent of the Bel Canto style, by which the aim of the singer is to produce a continuous flow of the most beautiful tone - which means that there is near-zero diction, and the meaning is carried almost entirely by the lyricism of the musical phrasing.

Of course, Sutherland was also among the greatest of technical singers in terns of intonation, control, colouratura (rapid decorations such as runs and leaps) and size of voice - but (aside from a few gentle flourishes) all that is set aside here.

Joan Sutherland also sang a verse as the final song of her Farewell concert in Sydney, Australia - accompanied with the utmost tenderness and sensitivity by her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge - which was indeed her home. I saw this live on TV at the time, and said my own farewell to unsurpassed greatness.

Romantic versus Traditional Christianity

For Romantic Christianity, direct personal experience and knowledge are primary (not everything, but primary); for Traditional Christianity 'the church' (of the adherent) is primary (not everything, but primary).

When it comes to the crisis of our times; the spiritual contest between mainstream totalitarian--bureaucratic Leftist atheism, and and real Christianity (a battle that is rapidly becoming open warfare); the Romantic Christian will recognise and act according to his personal revelation and direct insight; while the Traditionalist will (and must) wait for his church to take the lead and organise the response.

But all the Christian churches are substantially (sometimes fully) corrupted by the political, this-worldly perspective of Leftist atheism - so the churches are all too complicit in the evil, too slow to recognise the situation, too muddled in their understanding and responses, too pragmatic and expedient in their responses...

Corruption of the churches is not merely a matter of them being bribed and coerced to go-along-with the mainstream public discourse; but is actual value inversion: the inversion of Good and evil, Virtue and sin, beauty and ugliness, honesty and systematic lies, the unity of creation and the destruction of cohesion...

In sum, all of the major denominations and churches are fail-ing or have-failed in this spiritual war.

Meanwhile, the insightful traditionalist waits and waits... for a lead from his church...

Maybe there will be a response? Perhaps there will not... But that response is very likely to be too little, and almost certain to be too late.

And in this context too-little and too-late means actively leading the flock astray - being On The Wrong Side - absorbing the value inversion, and siding with the dark forces of Satan.

Romantic Christianity may sound feeble and ineffectual - being based-upon the lone individual and perhaps the immediate family; but with things as they actually are, Romantic Christians will soon be the only Christians - and not many of us: i.e. very much the situation predicted by the End Times prophecies.

Friday 22 November 2019

Which groups should Not be allowed to vote?

I heard that a recent opinion poll reported that about half of young people believe that 'old people' (such as myself) should not be allowed to vote in elections. That sounds like a great idea; indeed, probably it would be best if only children and youths were able to vote.

But I would like to add some more groups to the prohibited list.

First Christians: Christians, such as myself, should not be allowed to vote; for obvious reasons. Only those of other religions or no-religion should be able to vote. But not all of them.

Those who are in full-time employment probably ought to be disenfranchised. Such people tend to be greedy when it comes to taxes and the like - interfering with programmes of an egalitarian nature. It would be much better if those who needed taxes were the only voters (not just the majority, as now) on how much tax should be raised, and how tax money should be spent.

Let's restrict voting to those in full-time education, the minimally-economically-active, those on benefits, the unemployed, oh yes - and criminals...

Maybe only those who have been convicted should be voting, and those with jail time should have two votes apiece. It deserves serious consideration...

Similarly, those who are married and with families don't 'deserve' a vote; and the bigger their families the less they deserve it. These people are nearly as bad as Christians. Voters should be single, unattached, mobile, fun-loving and freewheeling folk; the kind of people who participate in demonstrations would be ideal...

Clearly the English ought not to be permitted to vote. It is the English who mostly supported Brexit; and they need to be punished. Voters should come from only the Welsh (except, maybe not, because they supported Brexit too...), Scots and Irish...

On second thoughts; only those who were born elsewhere than the British Isles should be allowed to vote in UK elections; since they are least likely to be Nationalists/ Fascists - Indeed, maybe (to be on the safe side) it would be best to abolish white people's voting privileges and be done with it.

Actually, let's abolish votes for men - since men are to blame for everything. That would be hard luck on those women who have 'transitioned', but maybe there could be exceptions?

You may think I am joking: far from it.

If you understand the reason for 'democracy' and the nature and function of voting; then you will realise that it might do immense good if the great majority of people (the larger the majority the better) were prevented from voting; for the same reason that it would be a good thing if hardly anybody voted in the forthcoming UK election.

It would, at least, be a step in the right direction; because restricting the franchise is a move towards abolishing the franchise - which would make it clear that In Real Life we are living (here, now) in an evil totalitarian bureaucracy. And until we recognise the fact, nothing can happen to reverse it.

Consequently, IRL voting will not be restricted, far from it; but, on the contrary, continue to be extended and extended (and, of course, corrupted, subverted and fixed).

Thursday 21 November 2019

The Luciferic Ahrimanic double-whammy that has (partly or wholly) destroyed all institutions (including churches)

One of Rudolf Steiner's most valuable insights was that evil has an older Luciferic and a more modern Ahrimanic form.

Luciferic evil is instinctive, short termist, selfish and psychopathic - for example the lust which desires other people merely for sexual exploitation, or the sadism that desires torture, or the power that desires to humiliate and crush. This is the evil of Caligula or Nero, of Ghengis Khan, of the post-war African dictators such as Charles Taylor.

The Ahrimanic evil is more modern; it is the despair-inducing, soul-destroying, utterly-demotivating Iron Cage of totalitarian bureaucracy - where all is a single system and all Men are merely cogs to serve it. This is the evil of late Soviet communism, of The Borg, of the overpromoted-middle-manager, Head Girl Type (e.g. the-3-Ms - Merkel, May, Macron) that increasingly runs large organisations, corporations and Western nations.

These evils synergise - especially when Luciferic liberation - such as the middle sixties style sexual revolution feeds the vast arrays of spies, informers, officials, inquisitors and controllers that is the realm of modern sexuality - enforcing their inverted value system with bribes, threats and coercion.

The modern era emerged from what Steiner termed the era of the 'Intellectual Soul' - and example of which is the medieval world of Western Europe, with its institutions of religion, law, education and the like. These institutions were simple bureaucracies but with a 'light touch, and considerable space for individualism, eccentricity and indeed selfish psychopathy...

But when Christianity receded then was excluded, these institutions became compromises which pleased neither the Luciferic libertarians, nor the totalitarian Ahrimanic powers. 

Think of the education system of the the first half of the twentieth century. It was regulated and hierarchical, it had rules and certificates and exclusion - but the period of education was relatively short, and there was space for considerable personal judgement and large variation in philosophy and practice between institutions.

Schools and colleges were regarded as suffocatingly oppressive and controlling by the little Lucifers of the sixties counter-culture. This began the destruction.

And then the Ahrimanic systemisers found more and more evidence of their bureaucratic incompleteness. Human judgement meant the possibility of individual corruption, variations meant that some institutions must be deficient or wrong. The pressure was irresistible to bring all institutions under a single 'true' ideology and to close off all loopholes, fill all the gaps in the systems...

Same applies to churches. They became a compromise that satisfied nobody. On the one hand they were institutions of patriarchal dictatorship; on the other hand they were economically and economically 'unaccountable' - what was going on in them? Nobody knew. Who controlled what they did, lost of mostly unidentified people, What were the details of their operations? Unrecorded...

The response was a massive programme of incremental monitoring and control of every aspect of decision-making - and the integration of this with the national (eventually multi-national) System.

There is no functional coherence to this pincer movement of institutional destruction - the only coherence is destruction. There is not coherence or direction to the end result of this crude mixture of psychopathic irresponsibility and totalitarian control - except the evil ethic of value-inversion.

But the end result is that nobody supports the actual compromise of any existing institution - always they want more Luciferic license, and/or more Ahrimanic 'accountability'.

Hence, all institutions, of every kind, have-been or are-being destroyed... With no end in sight, and no end possible even in principle - since in our secular, hedonic-despairing, God-eliminated society there is no higher value that might be able to transcend the destructive paradox.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Clarity of insight - something attainable (albeit not hold-able)

If this mortal life is fit for purpose; it must be about experiencing and learning rather than attaining and holding.

So we can achieve clarity of insight, but can't live in a state of clarity and insight - not least because there is disease and death.

Part of this is that mortal memory is distorted and prone to loss - so that learning cannot be rooted in our memories. After all, our memories are dependent on our brains, and brains degenerate and die.

So what is the meaning of learning if it is not a matter of memories? The implication is that our learning - even in this mortal life - happens in some place of permanence, of eternity.

This must be the case, even if (even though) we do not usually know where this place may be located, nor how the process works.

It is a matter of faith, trust - therefore hope. 

(Probably we learn 'in' our real, divine selves - which are non-physical and potentially immortal. But another aspect of mortality is that we are - at best - only very imperfectly and infrequently aware of our real selves. )

The Non-Brexit Election: closing of the 2016-19 window

UK politics has been paralysed for three and a half years, because the population wants to Leave the European Union, while the Establishment wants the nation to Remain subordinated.

Because of the Brexit 'confusion' (manufactured and sustained by the EU-loving Global Establishment and its client class) a UK General Election has been called, ostensibly to settle the question of Brexit (again) - but the election has been structured such that it does not allow a Brexit option.

Instead, the majority-Brexit supporting voters can for one of several parties, Labour, Conservative, Social Democrats or the Scottish, Ulster and Welsh parties - all of which oppose Brexit.

Several outcomes are possible, but this election cannot result in Brexit: Brexit is off the agenda.

Far from being the touted single issue election to sort-out a problem; the parties and mass media are running a 'normal service has been resumed' election; in which Labour and Conservative pretend to slug it out with voter-pandering lies; and there is a frantic media effort to make this pantomime fight interesting and distracting.

But this time, anyone with eyes and a brain knows for sure that this is a uni-party election.

Where it matters - which is the global totalitarian agenda; all voteable parties are in favour, the entire Establishment is in favour. The population are just supposed to turn-out and vote for one or other cipher linked to a bureaucratic sub-department of what has been revealed as a single Establishment organisation.

I said anyone 'with eyes and a brain' - this will also be the election in which we discover what proportion of the British population do have eyes and a brain - that is, who can observe and reason.

I suspect that it will prove to be a small proportion. I suspect that this election will reveal that the mass of UK people who support Brexit are a bunch of dumb saps who are not actually ever going to do anything about anything - except roll-out and vote for one bunch of lying, demon-serving traitors; or the other.

After which the Establishment can get on with their totalitarian project without further worry.

Thus will close the window of opportunity, the possibility of a spiritual awakening, that was unexpectedly (to me) opened back in 2016 by the Brexit vote. With the British population confirmed as docile drones, the new Satanic age of systematic value inversion can begin: an age implemented by rapidly accelerating total-surveillance and micro-control of all the Little People, like you and me.

Or will it? Will this election bring some unforeseen surprise that keeps matters open, and keeps hope alive? I can think of one or two possibilities. For example, if nobody actually turns-up to vote, leaving just the fake-postal voters - that could be interesting.

Either way, I feel that by Christmas, one way or another, we will know a lot more about our future; there will be a national mood evident and solid. As I see it from here; that mood will probably be one of Impending Doom; but it is still possible that it may instead be Cautiously Hopeful. Until then I feel as if on a knife edge.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

What happens to a human Being at incarnation and death? And resurrection. (Identity through time is by provenance.)

A Being exists through time, and undergoes transformations.

When a Man incarnates, the pre-existing spiritual Being transforms by a process including the organisation of 'solid matter', to incarnate as a zygote.

At death, the human Being leaves-behind solid matter and transforms to spirit.

With transformation of a being, the identity is maintained by provenance - i.e. by continued linear existence.

There is no retention of previous forms of organisation - so this is not a spirit getting matter added to it, or subtracted from it...

The reality is a continuously-existing-Being, transforming from a first spiritual entity into a solid entity (incarnation), then to a second and distinct spiritual entity.

It is the same Being throughout; because it has existed continuously, in unbroken continuity, through time. 

Continuing from the schema above, the concept of transformation can also help us to understand what happens at resurrection.

Resurrection is a transformation of the spirit, when that spirit has been-through the prior transformation of mortal incarnation and death.

The human Being that is resurrected has, therefore, a lineage of transformations that include pre-mortal spirit, mortal incarnation, then post-mortal spirit.

The assumption is that only such a Being, with such a lineage, is able to be resurrected into an eternal divine incarnation.

(This is why Jesus needed to be born and to die, before he was resurrected.)

These descriptions can be regarded as a deeper explanation of my argument against computer AI.

God's problem and task in a pluralistic universe

I assume that the university is Pluralistic; that the starting point is many Beings. Therefore God's 'problem' is Cohesion - how to coordinate all these disparate Beings. Difference is taken-for-granted as primary; cohesion is the task of God.

Most 'classical' philosophers and theologians have an opposite assumption - that the universe is unitary (this idea is therefore termed Monism), that everything starts with one entity - that is God. Therefore, God's problem is Differentiation - diving up that unity to produce the (apparent) plurality we observe and experience. Unity is taken-for-granted as primary; differentiation is the task of God.

This differentiation is called creation. 

In the Christian tradition; Classical metaphysics has trouble explaining human free will, because men are merely subdivisions of primal unity. It also suffers the problem that evil is as much a part of God as is anything else - so God is the God of evil as well as of good.

A Monist God is, of course, the Only Thing, so is completely powerful. But a major problem with Monism is the pointlessness of God subdividing to make many things, when really there is only one thing. Indeed, there is no point to doing anything - since it is all one anyway, and all difference is merely contrived, gratuitous...

His problem is that everything starts as one thing; his task is to make the one into the many. 

The creation of a pluralist God depends on his nature - he makes a coherence that reflects his nature. This is called creation.

And a pluralist God is Not completely powerful. He may be defined as the most powerful entity; but this is a quantitative superiority, not infinite. Indeed coherence is quantitative, not absolute.

A pluralist God works-with pre-existent Beings (and perhaps other stuff, chaos) in making a coherent universe.

His problem is that things start out chaotic; his task is to make things coherent.

Note: To posit a Christian pluralist God entails making assumptions concerning his nature, motivations etc. And this, of course, has been a part of the religion: God is said to be primarily motivated by Love, and to be wholly Good. How could we know this? Well, it must be 'revelation', that is, we must come to a direct knowledge of the nature of God; which means we must believe such a knowledge is possible (including that God can be known), and that we can actually personally attain such knowledge. We must recognise when we have attained such knowledge, must take it seriously, and live by it.

Monday 18 November 2019

Why computers can't become Artificial Intelligences (AIs)

I am saying that computers can't ever under any circumstances become AIs assuming that an AI is a meant to be a conscious agent; with 'free will', able to generate thought that is original with itself (and not random nor merely an output directly determined by inputs).

You will see immediately that the discussion goes to a deep, metaphysical level concerning the nature of life, consciousness and agency.

For me, believing in an 'animated universe' and given that I regard everything as 'alive and conscious' to some degree and in some way; the question is one of agency. Computers are alive and conscious in the way that - maybe - rocks and rivers are alive and conscious; but is not an agent in the way that a Man is.

This is because agency is possible only to Beings, and Beings have existed from eternity. And Agency is not possible to all Beings, but only to Men.

I don't know why this is, but it seems to be a basic fact of reality. God created creation, and the main purpose is that Men may develop (if they so choose) to become gods on a level with the creator and participating in creation.

But this does not seem to apply to everything that exists or is created - not everything is apparently capable of evolving to become divine. It may not be appropriate to ask 'why?' - because things must be set-up one way or the other: either some things (including Men) can become gods, or all things can become gods - and my intuition is that it is some things, not all.

A Man might 'become a computer' with agency, but a computer could not become an agent. 

Discussion is welcome - but in the end it will probably merely be a matter of different assumptions. So, it is best to start from there.

A plot hole in Delaney's Donkey

Now Delaney had a donkey that everyone admired
Temporarily lazy and permanently tired
A leg at every corner balancing his head
And a tail to let you know which end he wanted to be fed

Riley slyly said we've underrated it, why not train it, then they took a rag
They rubbed it, scrubbed it, they oiled and embrocated it
Got it at the post and when the starter dropped the flag

There was Riley pushin' it, shovin' it, shushin' it
Hogan, Logan and everyone in town
Lined up, attackin' it and shovin' it and smackin' it
They might as well have tried to push the Town Hall down
The donkey was eyein' them, openly defyin' them
Winkin', blinkin' and twistin' out of place
Riley reversin' it, everybody cursin' it
The day Delaney's donkey ran the halfmile race

The muscles of the mighty never known to flinch
They couldn't move the donkey a quarter of an inch
Delaney lay exhausted, hangin' round his throat
With a grip just like a Scotsman on the five pound note
Starter, Carter, he lined up with the rest of them
When it saw them, it was willin' then
It raced up, braced up, ready for the best of them
They started off to cheer it but it changed its mind again

And there was Riley pushin' it, shovin' it, shushin' it
Hogan, Logan and Mary Ann Macgraw
She started pokin' it an' grabbin' it an' chokin' it
It kicked her in the bustle and it laughed hee-hah
The whigs and conservatives, the radical superlatives
Liberals and tories, they hurried to the place
Stood there in unity, helpin' the community
The day Delaney's donkey ran the halfmile race

The crowd began to cheer it, then Rafferty, the judge
He came up to assist them, but still it wouldn't budge
And the jockey who was ridin' it, little John McGee
Was so thoroughly disgusted that he went and had his tea
Hagan, Fagan were students of psychology
Swore they'd shift him with some dynamite
They bought it, brought it, and without apology
The donkey gave a sneeze and blew the whole lot out of sight

There was Riley pushin' it, shovin' it, shushin' it
Hogan, Logan and all the bally crew
Police, and auxiliary, the Garrison Artillery
The Second Enniskillen's and the Life Guards too
They seized it and harried it, they picked it up and carried it
Cheered it, steered it to the winnin' place
Then the bookmakers drew aside and they all committed suicide
The day Delaney's donkey won the half - mile - race

I am a great admirer of this account of an event in Old Ireland - but even as a young child I was troubled by what seems like a plot hole - and one that indeed casts doubt on the authenticity of the whole narrative.

I refer to the way in which the song begins by informing us about the day Delaney's donkey 'ran' the half mile race, but by the end the donkey is described as having 'won' it - despite the large measure of unfair assistance the beast received.

What clinches it for me, is that the bookmakers are said to have 'committed suicide' as a consequence of this result. But I find it inconceivable that the bookmakers would have agreed to pay-out when it is candidly acknowledged that the donkey was picked up and carried over the line.

As I say, this has bothered me since I was a kid. I know that Val Doonican was regarded as being a thoroughly decent chap (unusually among major showbiz stars) - but I think that with Delaney's Donkey (his first and 'breakthough' hit recording) he may have been guilty of a significant degree of dishonesty - perhaps driven to it by many preceding years of obscurity?


Mental pathology - how to define it?

It seems useful to have some plausible definition of mental pathology - psychological pathology or psychopathology - to set against the pernicious inversions of mainstream culture.

Mental pathology is associated with a probable reduction in (proximately) survival and (ultimately) reproduction.

Reproduction is the key; because it is this which links medicine to biology, to the modern (post 1950s) understanding of biology as the science of entities that have been subject to natural selection.

So, in this objective sense, a mental pathology is not about what makes someone happier or more miserable; but about the effect of consequent behaviour on probable reproductive success. Does the phenomenon make that person more, or less, likely to conceive and successfully raise children?

This definition is particularly useful in clarifying the situation with human sexuality - where people get endlessly confused trying to predict what conceptualisation may optimise human happiness (in individuals or among groups); when the biological reality is crystal clear. 'Abnormal' is pathological when it reduces reproductive success.

The flip side is that a biologically valid treatment should restore or enhance probable reproductive success... Most obviouly by extending expected lifespan, but more fundamentally by making it more likely that a person will have children, and raise many biologically-viable children.

Interventions that - by contrast - reduce or obliterate reproduction (such as 'gender reassignment') are revealed as Not being treatments.

A softer, but useful, aspect of mental pathology is that it does not come as single isolated traits, but as clusters of several or many reproduction-damaging features.

There may well be some undiscovered unitary underlying 'lesion' that causes this variety of observable pathological symptoms and signs - such as a gene mutation, or a structural brain abnormality, or a chemical change somewhere - but such unitary causes nearly-always cause multiple adverse consequences; because organisms are made of linked and interdependent systems.

So, again with human sexuality as an example; when a sexual phenomenon is associated with increased rates of other pathologies e.g. other associated mental illnesses, increased rates of self-harm and suicide, increased annual death rates... then that behaviour is plausibly pathological, by normal medical and biological standards of evaluation.

Of course, modern Leftism operates by exclusion of normal medical/ biological criteria, by inducing and maintaining permanent confusion, and by imposing pseudo-solutions by massive propaganda and overwhelming coercive force.

Nonetheless, in this spiritual war we can know what's-really-what with mental disease, if we bear the above criteria in mind.

Sunday 17 November 2019

Certainly not the best, but certainly the fastest performance - Vivaldi's sopranino recorder concerto RV 443

This is one of my favourite concertos Of All; the slow movement being - in particular - sublime. But not here. In fact, this constitutes a kind of musical assault and battery!

On the other hand, it is very amusing, and it is hard to take your eyes away from the soloist: a certain Maurice Steger who is regarded by some as one of the greatest current recorder players. A striking figure - doing a good job of transforming just about the wimpiest classical instrument into a potential weapon of mass destruction; by means of simian crouches, spasmodic head-butts, jerks and grimaces, and - in general trying to bite-off the mouthpiece and spit it into your face at the speed of sound.

The garb (shiny suit three sizes too small) is apparently modelled on Alexei Sayle, the 1980s alternative comedian; but he looks and acts more like a cross between Andy Serkis and a psycho Croatian assassin with a small man complex.

 Herr Steger minus his recorder (presumably having been rammed-into some victim) or Alexei Sayle dancing... who knows?

As for the performance... musical it is Not! Playing at-least double the normal speed for human beings, there is no time for anything like tone quality or phrasing - and indeed the slow movement suggests that Herr Steger is far too impatient to worry about such things. He seems to become bored by simply playing what the composer wrote, and so goes-in for the maximum number of rapid and improvised decorations - which certainly keep it interesting!

To be candid, as a strong generalisation I deplore the way that Vivaldi is currently played and over the past thirty years - having been brought up on the 1960s and 70s Baroque era vinyl recordings of the Academy of St Martins in the Fields, English Chamber Orchestra, I Musici, Munich Bach Orchetra, Leipzig Gewandhaus and so on. These orchestras and their genius conductors played Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Albinoni, Corelli, Telemann and the like; with attention to beautiful tonality and lyrical phrasing, as if it was... you know... music.

I can't find a YouTube recording of this piece that I would regard as living up to those exalted standards; but here is one that is good, and gives an idea of how it could and should be played when musicality is the primary goal.

Better playing from Alberto Domínguez Gálvez; but if it came to a scrap, Steger would wipe the floor with him - probably literally... 

However, so long as we are not bothered about the actual piece - Herr Steger has much to offer. And it is fast and virtuosic (albeit replete with fluffs). As Samuel Johnson said: "It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." 

However, I would be too scared to tell Maurice S this opinion face-to-face - nor, if he happens to read this, would I care to bump into him in an alley on a dark night... 

The 'new socialism' is a fake

I have noticed (in my shallow, headline-perusing way of keeping in touch with current affairs) that both in the UK and the USA there is a pseudo-revival of 'socialism' as an explicit political platform in the coming elections - or indeed crypto-communism in the case of the UK Labour Party - where the leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the shadow Chancellor John McDonnell are both revolutionary communists.

But there are no real socialists or communists now; or at least none in public life or positions of power. Not a single one. The species is extinct.

The Old Left (dominant up to the middle 1960s) was primarily economic in its focus - hence the role of Karl Marx as a founding figure. The primary unit of analysis was class.

The New Left which took over, marked a massive change - leading incrementally to the Left as we now know it everywhere - where there is a 'rainbow' coalition of multiple 'units of analysis' including strands such as anti-white antiracism, feminism, pro-non-biological sexuality and sexual identification, anti-native/ pro-immigrationism etc.

(It is important to recognise that dishonesty is foundational to the New Left - without systemic lying there have no policies. Their first, and continued, lie was to suppress and demonise the mass of common observation backed by science that psychological, as well as physical, attributes differ between classes, sexes and races - and these differences are substantially hereditary. This fact invalidates the totality of New Left policy - or rather reveals it as purposively evil.)

In the UK, the watershed came with Enoch Powell's 1968 defence of the native, white working class men against the damage of mass immigration; in which the Establishment Left all united against Powell, and against the native male white working classes that had previously been (ostensibly) their main focus and highest priority.

At that time; the trades union representatives of native, white working class men still had a major role in UK government and public policy; after that time the Left was progressively and completely taken-over by the upper middle classes ('student revolutionaries' and bureaucrats) and a few of their tame puppets. Leftist policy became focused on psychology rather than economics.

What happened to the Old Left? Almost without exception they became the New Left.

Some, like the current crop of politicians claiming to be socialists, maintained Marxist economics and a kind of nostalgic affection for The Working Class; but in practice these are merely window-dressing - and are utterly swamped and negated by the vast New Left agenda.

The modern pseudo-socialists see Marxist economics merely as a means to the end of getting control of the apparatus of the state, and extending direct state control into all institutions - where it will be used to pursue a New Left agenda: e.g. pro-mass immigration and the sexual revolution. 

(The same applies to the Green/ Environmentalist agenda. It has been selected, distorted and lied about to rationalise the totalitarian takeover of everything. The Left has always been totalitarian, hence destructive; but the New Left's aim is much more wholly destructive than the Old Left. The Old Left aimed at the total destruction of Christianity specifically and tradition in general; but the New Left aims at the inversion of values - which is a more advanced and complete type of evil.)

The native, white male working class will be destroyed or converted into an underclass (indeed, this has already mostly happened).

That is the difference between socialism 60 years ago and 'socialism' now.

In the past sincere socialists wanted a Marxist Proletarian economic utopia; now 'socialists' want their hands on the coercive and propaganda power of the state to enforce a New Left agenda that has no place for the Proletariat.

And nowadays there are no sincere socialists in mainstream public discourse: Not A Single One. They are all liars, serving the Satanic agenda - the only distinction on the Left is between the few high level strategists of deliberate evil, and the mass of low level dupes and psychos.

Note: New readers should be aware that I was a serious (but anachronistic) Old Left 'Fabian'-type socialist for a few years from my middle teens, reading the theory and history going back to the late 19th century, and the earlier precursors of socialism. I joined the Labour Party on my 16th birthday, and gave branch lectures and held some representative roles before I had left school. I rapidly became disillusioned with the mainstream Labour Party but went through several other types and degrees of Leftism, including the most extreme form of anarchism I could find; not finally and fully abandoning Leftism (including New Leftism) until after I became a Christian about a decade ago. Indeed, it was only after becoming a Christian when I realised that the entirety of actual (and possible) non-religious/ secular politics is a variant of Leftism.   

What is the Holy Ghost? - more from the Fourth Gospel

(The argument behind this post can be found in my mini-book on the Fourth Gospel.)

The Holy Ghost is essentially Jesus - as is made clear from the fact that the Holy Ghost could not be present on earth and operate until after Jesus had first resurrected, then completed his divinisation by ascending to Heaven.

The resurrected Jesus has an indestructible and eternal body; that is to say he is solid and located. Therefore to operate across the whole world, in all people's hearts, to lead as all to life eternal after our deaths; then Jesus must 'project' an immaterial and universal spirit. That is the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is 'in a place' - because he is resurrected; but the Holy Ghost is everywhere.

So, the Holy Ghost is Jesus, as he is directly accessible to us, knowable by us, in this mortal life. Meanwhile the body of Jesus is elsewhere, in Heaven (which is A Place).  

I put 'project' into scare quotes, because the real process is the opposite. We all began as immaterial spirits; and to become incarnated (embodied) is a kind of condensation of spirit - in a two stage process: first the current mortal incarnation, then via death to a potentially eternal incarnation: i.e. resurrection. So the ability of Jesus to exist as spirit is original to himself and to all of us; and it is incarnation that is a progression. The fact that Jesus is (now) both embodied locally and also is a universal spirit should not be surprising - in a sense we all are this already, but without only mortal and partial stature and power. 

Saturday 16 November 2019

The first thing you need to know

What do you want to happen when you die? Really, deep down, what?

Because, until you know what you want, you can't know how to lead this mortal life.

Do you want to become extinct at death - for consciousness to cease, and there be nothing left of your mind.

Do you want, above all, an end to suffering of all kinds - do you want to be around when that happens? 

Do you want to live in the constant present moment of bliss? If so, then do you want to be a part of deity, alone, or in a communal bliss?

Do you want to come back and incarnate as another person, or some other entity? 

Do you want to experience your fantasies? Live in a sensuous paradise? Do you want all your wishes to come true - with other people willing and obedient to them? Do you want to be so powerful that everything shall be arranged to your personal satisfaction?

Do you want to be resurrected to eternal life, and go to the Heaven of loving persons and dwell with God the creator, and with the Christ? If so, what will you actually do in Heaven? (Because that may make a difference to how you lead this mortal life.)

First, you need to know what you most want; then whether you can actually have it (i.e. what kind of reality this is); then (if it is possible) what to do in order to get it.

But first you need to know what You want; because not everybody will necessarily have exactly the same destination after death: there may well be some choice in these matters...

'Green' consumerism increases pollution - this 'mental' world

By libelling as the worst pollutant a non-pollutant - i.e. carbon dioxide (in truth, The Gas of Life); Big Industry is enabled to continue increasing pollution - polluting to provide all the new (compulsory, subsidised, fashionable, high status) replacement technology that claims to reduce CO2 'emissions'...

And there are always new mandatory replacement technologies, every few years; so the consumerism never stops. Buy, buy, buy!

Noise (especially), fumes, poisons, food contaminants, steam, smoke, stench... all increase and pass unnoticed; while the food of green plants and the by-product of animal respiration has been demonised. 

Even at the level of moving a few hundred yards; 'Green' consumerism favours the expensive, resource-consuming and dangerous nuisance bicycles over pedestrians.

A 'mental' world...


Friday 15 November 2019

An egregiously bad "Christmas" song...

I am fortunate to have got through my life so far unscathed by this dire diatribe Happy Holiday, which I heard as background music in a cafe the other day. Presumably it is - in part - the origin of the gratuitously anti-Christian* expression for Christmas.

What makes this song particularly bad is that it is performed by someone who was - supposedly, can't see it meself - a great singer: Peggy Lee; and by a - genuinely, truly - great songwriter: Irving Berlin.

I can only presume that this one was salvaged from his reject bin, pieced together, and issued while he was held at gunpoint.

Then again, there's no particular reason why we should expect a lapsed Jew to produce a genuinely good Christmas song. Becoming ridiculously popular for his subversive duds rather than his romantic marvels is hardly Berlin's fault!

Indeed, Berlin was, of course, responsible for White Christmas which was, allegedly, the most frequently-sung song in the world after Happy Birthday To You (from which much can be inferred concerning the human race); about which the only positive thing that can be said, is that it is considerably better than Happy Holiday.

Anyway... 'enjoy'...

* We celebrate Christmas because it is a Christian celebration - so to refuse to call Christmas Christmas is simply looking for any excuse to express hatred. Like using CE (Common Era) instead of AD (Anno Domini). The calendar system just is based on the (assumed) birth of Christ, but renaming it to pretend it isn't is exactly the kind of deniable, passive-aggressive, girly-slap-fight wimpishness that we can reliably expect from politically correct academics.  

Note: Let's remind ourselves that Berlin could write a lovely song, performed here by the late and (by me) lamented Peter Skellern:

Thursday 14 November 2019

What we are supposed to learn from modernity, is that all systems are untrue - and that there is an alternative

If we are honest, and if we regard reality as having the coherence of being the creation of a loving God; we can learn from this modern condition, something that no previous generations have known.

All systems, all models (including those of science, philosophy and theology) - ALL systems and models - are false because finite simplifications of open-endedly ('infinitely') complex and interconnected realities.

In 'traditional times' (let's use the Old Testament times, or the Middle Ages as an example) there was a belief that The Law was primary - morality was governed by the system of law, science was governed by laws etc. The problems and simplifications were covered over by the large amount of unconscious 'common sense', based on instinct and habit.

When modernity arose the instincts weakened, and the habits too - and the limitations of all kinds of systems - especially of moral 'laws', but later of scientific laws - became evident. The unacceptable consequences of rigorous application that used to be covered by unconscious methods (eg. a king's or judge's 'discretion', the 'intuition' of a scientist) came to seem merely prejudice and dishonesty: merely a mask for selfishness.

All systems, and all institutions based upon systems, began inexorably to collapse - and this continues.

But system was not replaced - instead it was made more and more complex and abstract.

Systems were introduced to cover that which the old systems had left out - but the new systems were equally limited by their finite simplifications  faced with an 'infinitely' complex reality. A complex model is just as wrong as a simple model (indeed, it generates more wrongness, quantitatively) - but that wrongness is less obvious...

So modernity tried to elude the known wrongness of systems by psychological manipulations. For example, all committees and voting - all methods of creating 'consensus' are dishonest psychological manipulations that disguise the arbitrary nature of their decisions under a sufficient degree of abstractness and complexity that most people are too daunted (or too lazy, or too dishonest) to perceive the situation.

When confronted with the fact that modern complex and abstract systems are every bit as arbitrary and wrong as the older traditions of simpler and personally-administered systems; modernity retreated into an asserted nihilism of 'relativism'.

Hence, traditional morality (e.g. the ten commandments, the catechisms) had an overall intuitive plausibility, but were gross simplifications that led to conclusions which felt wrong and left out many things that seemed important.

Each was discredited, subverted, destroyed; rejected and replaced with an inverted modern morality which avoids some of the irksome aspects of tradition by means of inversion of values.

The modern morality is worse 'overall' (also less efficient; less and often utterly ineffective) - if such a perspective were allowed, which it is not.  System is only judged by system; individual persons have no permitted role other than to submit to system...

Modern morality has no foundation in overall intuition of Life - indeed is designed to overthrow the natural, traditional, spontaneous (because the limitations of such have been exhaustively documented), and modern morality changes all the time.

But it is abstractly and complexly formulated, and created and implemented by committees and teams of bureaucrats; all of whom claim to be value-neutrally implementing something which if Good because it is inhumanly abstract and was created by process not people.

(People being necessarily bad because prejudiced and corrupt - process being necessarily good because pure and abstract.)

At bottom, when confronted with all this - the Modern System will acknowledge its own arbitrariness and meaningless simplification - but assert its own power and physical/ psychological domination - and will bribe and threaten any dissent into compliance.

Thus our totalitarian world - a world based on self-consciously arbitrary systems, which claims moral authority simply on the basis of its power - including, especially, its psychological power to manipulate minds.

The weakness of modern system is its claim that Everything Is System - that when everything is just-another-system, then one or another system must (for reasons of expedience, such as stability, peace, growth) - and as The System is 'in possession' of the world (being vastly larger and more powerful than any other - having linked all the nations under global institutions, and all the major institutions within these nations) that its authority is simply a matter of pragmatic reality.

Others may try to displace The System - but, it is claimed, any possible system will have exactly the same basis flaws as The System - and the revolutionary process will cause so much suffering and death, that it is not worthwhile even to try. We should, instead, learn to love The System - to love Big Brother.

If it were true that everything were system, they would be right. All possible systems will indeed converge on The System - so it is not worth the trauma of overthrowing The System just to replace it with another version of the same.

And they are correct that all institutions are indeed systems.

Indeed, all theories, religions and ideologies are systems.

And, as such, all are fundamentally wrong, all are infinite over-simplifications that are justified only expediently, hence temporarily.

But not everything is system: is abstract and law-governed. There is, always has been, another reality - which could be termed Marriage and Family.

Although Marriage and Family have been (many, many times) redescribed as Systems, treated as Systems and hence subordinated to The System... But this is a dishonest trick.

Marriage and Family fundamentally are not systems - they precede all systems. Their basis is outwith all systems - because they are based on Love.

Love is not abstract, nor is it the product of a model. Love is something real only between Beings; and Beings are not abstract, nor are they systems.

(Indeed, any System could be described as an abstract model of a Being...)

Marriage and family involve Beings (in reality, not in the system-induced subversions and distortions that we see in politics and law and the mass media - where they are reduced to abstract definitions). beings (such as you and me) are eternal entities; and Love - which is the primal relation, the primal cohesion, before system.

When God created, it was Love that made possible creation - it is Love that distinguished creation from chaos. 

So there is an alternative to The System - and it is based on Beings in Loving relationships.

In a sense, modernity can be seen as a vast apparatus of experience that is intended to lead us towards this insight.

Modernity is a vast exercise in lies and over-reach; which gets more and more extreme until (it is hoped) anybody can see the falsity and arbitrariness of its claims. having seen the falsity of all possible abstraction and system - we may be more likely to return to the truth of Love.

The hope of modernity is that we will thus become free from the millennial delusion that reality is systematic. Only then, will we be able to know that reality is relational.

Christianity may then be seen as based on our relationships with God, with Jesus, with each other - and Not based on abstract sets of necessarily wrong statements and laws.

Only then will we have the religion, the belief, that Jesus himself had - and wanted for us.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Just One More Vote: It is always the Most Important Election Ever...

Voting is an evil and voting is a drug.

Those who recognise this fact are always being manipulated by some version of Just One More Vote.

Yes, thinking people may recognise that voting (as such) is intrinsically an evil nonsense, being a method of denying responsibility and prone to decisions that no single person would endorse.

On top of this, all actual election votes are nowadays rigged, and many are corrupt (false voters, counts), nowadays all electable candidates are evil and/or stupid in motivation and nature; and even if a good result gets through all this, all results that go against the Establishment are ignored or undone.

Despite all this; whatever is the current election, for instance, is always the most important ever. We are told to stifle our objections to the system, hold our noses, and just vote this one last time - or else disaster will ensue.

Yet disaster ensues anyway. Each election the possibilities are more dire; the bad side is worse than ever (and the less-bad side not much better).

Experience suggests that so long as the current system of 'democracy' prevails, then we are in an inexorable down-slide which voting cannot arrest, but on the contrary exacerbates.

If we stop taking the voting drug we will feel a lot worse over the short term - but abstention is the only route to anything better.

But ultimately and eventually it is minds that matter, not votes.

I would most like to see the lowest percentage voter turnout ever. That might be a sign of hope.

It might signal a total loss of belief in The System. It might indicate that people have ceased to look to politicians and parties and voting in order to change things for the better.

What would then need to happen is not a demoralisation but a a switch mass direct personal action by tens of millions.

Anything less is not worth having.

But that would not be worth having (and will not happen) without a Christian awakening coming first. If it happened, a low voter turnout could be one sign - along with a collapse in consumerism, a decline in everything to do with fashion - and other signs of reduced materialism.