Friday 31 January 2020

Significantly; I had to leave The Establishment (or be ejected) before I became a Christian

For some reason it has not previously been something I noticed; but as a matter of historical sequence I had to leave the Establishment* before I became a Christian.

The reason that this was not obvious, was that my conversion was a rather gradual and incremental (one might justly say reluctant and unimpressive) matter - going from a New-Agey subjectivism and neo-Platonic deism (spirituality as therapy), via real theism, to Christianity; and involving many  writers and people as personal influences.

2008 was a crucial year - at the beginning I was pretty solidly an insider, with ambitions within The System; by the end I was a Christian. In May of that year; I was subjected to a brief but intense political correctness international media firestorm, related to a publication on the effects of different intelligence between social classes on the then-topical theme of university admissions.

The effect of this was considerable, because it was an academically unambiguous matter of straightforward truth telling. The Establishment response was, however, solidly hostile: I was publicly slammed by my University Vice Chancellor, privately by the central administration; got zero verbal and personal support from, and was cold-shouldered by my colleagues; and criticised widely (including dishonestly and with made-up lies, of course) by thousands of outlets in the mainstream international media; and suffered an aggressive, threatening, hostile e-mail onslaught.

What this made absolutely, undeniably, crystal-clear to me was the true, innate, solid nature of the Establishment: that it was based on lies, that it used people for evil purposes, and that it was unrestrainedly hostile to truth, beauty and goodness. Also, that it comprehesively pervaded the personnel of politics, the global media, civil administration and universities (down to a low level)

I was also aware that the only even-theoretical conceptual refuge from this evil was Christianity.

Now, this is not the best, or even a sufficient, reason for becoming a Christian - but apparently, for me, it was a necessary step. I had to choose between honesty and professional acceptance. My psychological rejection of, revulsion for The Establishment/ The System cleared the way to make a step which, here-and-now, puts someone outside of the possibility of anything like success, status, accolade.

It would have been considerably more admirable if I had become a Christian somewhere nearer the peak of my reputation when there were possibilities of more of the same. That would have been heroic, in its way.

But all I can say in my favour is that, unlike everyone else I know (and I know plenty!) who have experienced what is currently called an SJW/ Woke firestorm; I did learn from the experience. Eventually. And not many people attain even that modest level of common sense achievement... 

Note: Maybe the peak of my Establishment acceptance came when - in 2000 - I was a Visiting Distinguished Millennial Fellow at Kings College London. I was surely the least in status of these Fellows, probably a substitute for someone who dropped out; nonetheless the other Fellows included political scientist Kenneth Minogue of the LSE, Melanie Phillips the journalist (a panellist, not Fellow), Julia Neuberger (then the most famous UK female Jew - reformed liberal 'Rabbi'), Robert Winston (University of London, doctor) and Colin Blakemore (a panellist - Oxford, scientist) who both fronted major BBC TV series, Kay Redfield Jameson of Harvard (the star of bipolar disorder), Rowan Williams (later Archbishop of Canterbury). I gave a lecture to some hundreds of people at Southwark Cathedral, London; an extract of which was reprinted in The Independent newspaper. Oh! - I nearly forgot to mention the most significant 'evidence' that I was part of The Establishment (albeit on the fringe): my original debating opponent in Southwark Cathedral, was, until a late-ish stage of planning, Jimmy Carter. Yes, him. I really was scheduled to speak as one of only two lecturers, with the ex-President of the USA. In the event, he cancelled; but still...

Brexit Day - what is happening?

There are at least two sides to what is happening today: the political and the spiritual.

Politically, it is difficult to know. In some senses nothing is happening today, except that a process will start: i.e. today we begin the process that was promised (by the then Prime Minister) to start on 24 June 2016, more than three and a half years ago.

In particular, the core issue why so many people wanted Brexit - the imposition by the EU of everlasting, accelerating, uncontrollable mass immigration - is not changing today. And the current notion seems to be that Britain will remain shackled and subservient to the EU in several importantly-harmful ways.

Here is a summary of the politics of Brexit - on a blog of Christian Prophecy, whose writers are well-motivated, but not necessarily expert insiders (the two categories nowadays being incompatible). The link includes a 90 second video of how the UK came to join the EEC and why we left the EU - again from a political angle.

Spiritually... well, that's where things are interesting. If Brexit is understood, by 'The People' to be a genuine separation, a new era; a restoration of sovereignty in a spiritual as well as a political sense; then today will be just the beginning of a process of changing expectations and desires that will continue... and who knows where that process, once begun, will stop?

If the EU has now, today, lost legitimacy in the eyes of The People; then every time there is an assertion of power from the EU (or from the Establishment, citing EU directives), then it will be challenged, there will be resistance: push-back. Under such a situation, the process of separation will continue, increase, feed-upon-itself: become unstoppable (whatever today's treaty says).

If the people of the UK - specifically the people of England - who are primarily driving Brexit* - have a solid sense of national spirit; and if they like and are motivated by that the feeling of restored national spirit... again, today will be just a beginning.

So today, Brexit Day, may mean nothing significant; or a great deal - nothing much or the beginning of a new era.

Nobody yet knows. Only time will tell.

Each person has a role to play by the nature of their response - not the Establishment, because they will not change, they actively-want the UK to be part of an EU Leftist (anti-Christian) superstate with totalitarian powers - but everybody else will determine whether by their response whether this merely means aspiring for a non-EU totalitarian Leftist State (like Canada, Australia, Norway, Switzerland etc.) - or... something qualitatively different and better. 

Will the ball start rolling; or stay pretty much where the current treaty has placed it?

 *Note: This English distinction is important. The Scots are enmeshed in a very different political and societal crisis than the English. Most English people (except the Establishment) would now prefer to end the political union; feeling that the link to Scotland does us more harm than good.

Scotland is more fully Leftist, statist, keener on totalitarianism, and increasingly motivated by un-assuage-able resentment against England - none of which has gone unnoticed by the English. Wales is mildly pro-Brexit and pro-continued union with England; but has similarly become psychologically-organised around anti-Englishness. The vehemently (notoriously) anti-English proportion of Northern Ireland is already and increasingly dominant, and the future of that union is also doubtful.

But, for the first time in many generations, England is stirring; and not driven by resentment but by a desire for survival that has triggered a positive patriotism for something that is not-clearly-defined by more clearly valued than for a long time.

As of the recent General Election; the Labour-Conservative division has all-but disappeared, to be replaced by a division between the pro-totalitarian Leftist Establishment (or all parties) and the an amorphous and inarticulate 'English people' - who don't really know what they want, are poorly motivated (because irreligious) - but are pretty clear about what they don't want.

All that can currently be said in favour of the pro-Brexit mass is that it is not as explicitly and strategically evil as the pro-EU Establishment; but this is a more hopeful situation than if the English masses had been positively in favour of the Establishment's plans for a Euro-State of omni-surveillance and micro-control.  

It is from among the pro-Brexit English masses that we may look for, or at least hope for, an impulse of Christian renewal - which is certain to be individual at first, and likely to be small scale at best - but is far preferable to the alternative.

Thursday 30 January 2020

As worldly possibilities diminish, do the possibilities for theosis increase? Compensation in action?

We can see clearly that the possibilities for a traditional Christianity have diminished over recent generations, and are now at a very low ebb. Laws and regulations are increasingly anti-Christian; scripture translations and priest/ pastor teachings are deeply subverted or even inverted. All the Western Churches are declining fast; and the possibilities of leading a 'Christian Life' greatly reduced.

However, it is possible that as the possibilities for Christianity in This World has dwindled, we may be being offered the chance of an unprecedented ('compensatory') expansion of scope in our preparation for the life beyond death.

This can be understood in terms of Christianity as a member of a group, contrasted with Christianity as an individual. Christianity as a group-member, as a social activity, is what has been damaged so much - indeed 'damage' hardly covers it; since many self-identified Christian groups are almost-wholly Left-political in their major doctrines and activities; hence actively anti-Christian in their net-effect.

But if Christianity is seen as primarily orientated beyond This World, beyond our biological death, and towards Jesus's gift of resurrected life everlasting in Heaven - we may discover new, unprecedented, possibilities.

For those who want to accept Christ's gift; those who love and trust Jesus to guide them to Heaven - then salvation is assured and the problem of this mortal life becomes focused our our personal preparation - that is, our personal spiritual development towards what God want us to become.

As God wants us ultimately to become full sons and daughter of God (like Jesus), that is to become 'gods' ourselves, within God's own creation; our task is one of development, learning, growth.

This is termed 'theosis' - the process of becoming more divine; and it begins as soon as the gift of salvation is accepted. That is, it begins in mortal earthly life; and continues in resurrected eternal life. 

If it is God's intention that each of us be an unique member of the Heavenly family, then our task here on earth is to make the best of our specifically mortal experiences. Since God is creator and placed us in his creation, for our benefit; we can assume that our actual life contains the experiences we need to pursue theosis in our own unique direction.   

The transition is from Christianity conceptualised as part of a group (i.e. a church), with its primary value of obedience to the group norms (and societal group norms being Christian - as with a Christian monarchy); to what I have termed Romantic Christianity - meaning Christianity primarily based upon personal discernment, direct experience, individual responsibility.

This transition is (to a significant extent) an enhancement of our ability to pursue theosis in the way that is entailed by our own personal destiny; and to learn to rely upon our individual powers of discernment, and to develop our own inner guidance system in direct consultation with Holy Ghost.

Another way of looking at it is that modern Christianity must become much more active; since passive obedience to group norms leads away from Christianity, and towards demonic and even Satanic goals.

For example, conformity to the goals of any modern bureaucracy (including bureaucracies of the mainstream churches, which are multiply-entwined with the State and other bureaucracies such as law, police, education - all of which are 'converged' onto the primary pursuit of anti-Christian Leftism.

So obedience to almost any group is increasingly conformity to the single global Establishment agenda of evil.

A specific example may help: sexual ethics. In the past (200 plus years ago) a Western Christian would simply have needed to obey the laws of his society and obey the teachings of his church in order to lead a Christian sexual life. Passive conformity to group was pretty much sufficient to attain ethical sexual behaviour. 

Nowadays, political, social, educational, employment, mass media and (most) church norms are aligned towards anti-Christian sexuality: in sum, group ethical values are substantially inverted when it comes to sex and sexuality. So, passive conformity to group (including mainstream church) norms will lead to unChristian sexual behaviour.

Therefore, in order for a modern Western Christian to attain Christian sexual ethics, he will need to develop his own powers of spiritual discernment, will need to take an active role in seeking individual and direct knowledge by consultation with 'God-within' (which we all have by 'inheritance' through being Sons of God) and by consulting with the Holy Ghost in prayer and meditation.

The modern Christian will need to take personal responsibility for his faith, to be prepared to go-it-alone in dissent from social groupings (including many churches); and to operate by an explicit process of intuition. He will need to seek and learn-from his own experiences.

This means that modern Christians are - in order to remain Christians - compelled to develop their autonomy via a direct relation to God and Jesus Christ via the Holy Ghost.

These conditions (the actual conditions of your life and mine) are likely very well-suited to the development of individual spiritual strength, near-ideal for learning spiritual discernment and personal, close-to-perfect for ultimately developing each Christian into a more distinctive divine friend for God.

In sum, I am suggesting that this is an example of what RW Emerson termed Compensation.

Christians may benefit from embracing the possibilities for theosis that have been enhanced by our actual socio-political conditions in The West today.

In this sense, we can see that our times are those of unprecedented opportunities - as well as being times of unprecedented evil.

The necessary difference in attitude seems to be whether:1. We continue to orientate our lives around this mortal life, or 2. Whether we orientate towards eternity.

The implications of telepathy

I have pretty much always believed that telepathy was a reality; from manyfold personal experience. Indeed, if telepathy is assumed to be possible, then many other supposedly 'paranormal' phenomena become straightforwardly explicable.

But for most of my (pre-Christian) life, belief in telepathy did not have any challenging implications - because my hypothetical explanation for telepathy was purely materialistic; it simply slotted into my mainstream, scientistic world view: part of the world of observation, hypothesis, testing...

This was because I regarded telepathy in terms of some kind of sensory process of communication. I assumed that some kind of thought waves or forms were being 'beamed' between people's brains - or else there was a tuning-into thoughts; but that because this process was unreliable, not under control of human will but rather 'instinctive'; therefore the mechanism had not (yet) been unravelled by science.

However, I now regard what I used to call telepathy as a instance of direct knowing, of intuition; which I now understand to be more like two people thinking the same thought simultaneously.

It is not a form of communication, and nothing like a signal passes between brains. Rather, the telepathic process entails two people being simultaneously attuned to the 'collective consciousness', the 'inner world' - the single world within every person, every 'thing' - the same world we visit in dreams, the world of 'the gods' (the Ancient Egyptian dwat) and of 'the dead' (Hades/ Sheol).

When telepathy is understood in this way, it becomes an instance of (become 'evidence' of) something that goes beyond science, goes beyond the mainstream modern world view - it becomes an experience of a life beyond the senses/ models/ data; and itself a taste of primary thinking and direct knowing.

Telepathy therefore opens us to a qualitatively different way of being, beyond observations and hypotheses; and becomes a possible model for gaining knowledge on other topics of concern. If telepathy usually happens with people who are important to us, especially people we love; then the telepathic kind of thinking may become a direct way of experiencing, learning, and knowing matters that are important to us - matters of love.

Note: This example illustrates how metaphysical assumptions - the basic framework of our understanding of reality - are more important than our specific observations or beliefs. In other words; metaphysics shapes evidence; metaphysics tells us what counts as evidence, and what that evidence means. By contrast, evidence cannot rationally affect metaphysics. Metaphysics is primary - evidence (including science, history etc.) is secondary. The implications of telepathy therefore depended on my metaphysical understanding of reality; and when my understanding of reality changed - the implications of telepathy changed. 

Wednesday 29 January 2020

The spiritual Battle of Britain - then and now

I am reading a book that was recommended by my Albion Awakening co-authors: The Magical Battle of Britain, a selection of letters from the Second World War by Dion Fortune, edited by Gareth Knight (1993). 

Dion Fortune was the pseudonym of Violet Mary Firth, who was perhaps the most respected and influential magical practitioner of modern times to come from Britain; and importantly, from my point of view, she was a sincere and devout Christian - of an Esoteric kind.

Her idea was that - after war was declared, and as Britain prepared for the possibility of invasion, it was important to encourage people by spiritual means: to build-up the folk and racial soul of the British; by means of directed meditations of many people.

Reading the book, it seems distinctly possible to me that what she did was of genuine benefit - especially when regarded as one specific manifestation of a spiritual 'mobilisation' that had multiple facets - most obviously seen with Winston Churchill becoming the national leader.

It is noteworthy that DF herself displayed an extremely unusual, and admirable, combination of strength of character, creative inspiration, ethical solidity - and yet a disinterested and altruistic absence of ego.

What she 'asked for' in these magical-group-meditations was always, it seems, very carefully restricted to the spiritual level (not seeking specific physical results, not personal advantage); and was therefore benign. She was, in her small scale fashion, one of the rare examples of an effective and natural woman leader - a mini Elizabeth the First!

However, as I read I also developed the conviction that this Magical Battle of Britain was probably the last time that such a thing was possible. Indeed, even before the end of the 39-45 war, the British national consciousness had changed qualitatively - and in the direction of being both less spiritual, and less group-ish.

The way that Dion Fortune used symbolism (sword, sceptre, grail), the concept of a national soul which was also a racial soul, the use of visualisation (eg of guarding angels)... these are essentially the spiritual categories of an earlier, pre-modern phase of human consciousness. By 1939 they were merely residual in the spirit of Albion; and became possible and effective only briefly and for one more time, under the exceptional demands of that era.

Very rapidly afterwards there was a dwindling and disappearance of both symbolic power, and the capacity of an individual to immerse in the group-soul. Before the war was done, Britain had begun to become pretty much what it is now; materialistic and anti-Christian; hedonically aiming at 'comfort and convenience'; and its national ideology established as Leftist-bureaucratic and totalitarian (as Orwell made clear, based on his wartime experiences).

My understanding is that these changes were underlain by that developmental change in British consciousness which was only briefly interrupted by the Swan Song described in the Magical Battle of Britain.

As symbolism and immersive group spirituality dwindled and then became impossible; so the churches dwindled, leftist-hedonic-materialism waxed.

And (as I see it, anyway!) the necessity for a Romantic Christianity became incrementally more and more obvious and urgent.

The sadly curtailed Anglo-Saxon English Golden Ages - by John Fitzgerald

There is a characteristically interesting and inspiring post at John Fitzgerald's Deep Britain and Ireland blog; which describes how Anglo Saxon England kept building towards a religious and cultural Golden Ages, only to have them cut-off before attaining the fullness of flowering. His hope is that that fullness may be yet-to-come - our never-quite-achieved Golden Age lying in the future, as a possibility.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

The modern 'initiate': seeing through virtual-reality to real-reality

Some Esotericists are heavily focused on processes of initiation, and becoming an initiate; which involves the adept seeing-through the illusory nature of 'normal life' to discern the supernatural reality beneath.

In modern terms, this corresponds to seeing-through the illusory surface of Godless, meaningless, pointless materialism assumed by all our public discourse, all of mainstream social interactions; and discovering the hidden but real world of divine creation and purpose, of living and conscious Beings, and our personal involvement in destiny.

One common observation is that throughout history initiation became more and more difficult, and the initiation rituals and processes more extreme and prolonged; fewer and fewer people were able to 'pierce the veil'. Eventually, in modern times (the past few hundred years, increasing recently), initiation procedures, rituals, formal practices etc. pretty much ceased to work altogether.

Nonetheless, the problem of illusory, fake 'normality' remains, and has indeed become much worse with mass and social media; and the vast scale of systematic lying and manipulation to which populations are subjected in the modern developed nations: far beyond anything attainable previously.

On top of which; the modern rejection of divinity means that many people have suppressed or lost the capacity to know the difference between fake and real, to the point of inversion. 

So... we find ourselves in the position of needing initiation more than ever, but without any 'method' of achieving it, and no reliable and trustworthy institution or person to assist us. We each therefore must 'quarry-out' our own initiation; by thinking upon the subject, making individual efforts; by trial-and-error.

And furthermore, such is the resistance of our modern natures; that initiation is often two-steps forward then two-steps back again; since we cannot hold-onto psychological change.

Initiation is more like a glimpse than an achievement. We have the memory of initiation insights, there are some lasting effects from initiation - but we do not become 'an initiate'. We are neither lastingly nor comprehensively transformed in our understanding of reality.

This fits the general nature of modern life, which is highly 'experimental'; mostly about experiencing and learning. And, after we have experienced and learned something about the living, conscious, divine world behind the veil - we should expect to return to (pretty much) where we were before. And we are then intended to go on, and have more (and different) experiences, and to learn more and different things.

In sum; initiation experiences are available to everybody, in multiple forms, on an everyday basis - and our job is to develop a basic (metaphysical) understanding that will recognise these experiences when they happen; and will acknowledge their significance - because only by recognition and acknowledgement can we then learn what the experiences have to teach.

Monday 27 January 2020

Nobody will lift a finger for a world dedicated merely to functionality and efficiency, to comfort and convenience

Hitler is a criminal lunatic... yet Hitler has an army of millions of men, aeroplanes in thousands, tanks in tens of thousands. For his sake a great nation has been willing to overwork itself for six years and then to fight for two years more, whereas for the common-sense, essentially hedonistic world-view which Mr. Wells puts forward, hardly a human creature is willing to shed a pint of blood. 

by George Orwell, 1941.

Since Orwell wrote, the ruling Establishment have spent decades discrediting and demonising Nationalism and even natural patriotism - especially among European whites of the primary nations (The Anglosphere, France and Germany).

The consumer society and mass media have made almost everybody addicted to the kind of merely common sense, hedonistic society that Orwell attributes to HG Wells. Consequently, as Orwell predicted, nobody will suffer in any significant way to protect the conditions necessary to maintain this society (after all; why should anyone suffer discomfort and inconvenience for a society dedicated to comfort and convenience?).

But in addition, Westerners are insufficiently patriotic to suffer for their nation either: a Hitler, appealing to the mystical destiny of a people or place, has become impossible.

All this has rendered The West (by design and according to plan) feeble, demotivated and cowardly; lacking even the most basic level of self-protection and the most basic prudence about the real, inevitable threats of the future.

It turns-out that when a population has abandoned all belief in God and the spiritual, and believes itself to inhabit the accidental and purposeless universe of mainstream materialism; then people go quietly crazy; come (rightly) to despise themselves and their society; and alternate between a desperate/ futile attempt to stave-off old age and death; and the covert embrace of personal and national suicide.

This was something that George Orwell failed to recognise, in his own life as well as his society; because there was still sufficient residue of Christianity to maintain a coherent and purposive world view. But we are now two or three generations beyond such a buffering effect.

The burning, urgent, crucial task for The West is to become aware of what it lacks and which is killing us, what we personally most deeply yearn for, and what would satisfy our deepest needs.

Continuing as we are is not an option. There is nothing more important than this task - because all other questions depend on it.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Reality is a duality - not unity; the duality is personal, not abstract

Is primary, first, reality single, a unity, undivided - yet containing everything: abstract, static, unchanging, no time nor movement; a bit like nothing, a circle, a universal sphere (one God - monotheism, without body, parts or passions)...

Or is reality two-fold, interactive, generative, dyadic, and dynamic; happening in-Time - two forces, a polarity; and abstract: like the yin-yang... 

Or is the primary reality two-fold like the above (interactive, generative, dyadic, and dynamic); but personal, Beings - a man and a woman (Heavenly Parents)...

This is metaphysics, one of the very first assumptions about reality: is ultimate truth one, or more-than-one; is it impersonal-abstract or personal?

Each metaphysical assumption sets-up a different reality, a different starting-point; with different problems and strengths, and tendencies.

Deciding which is a very important decision; and one that each person should make - explicitly.

Will Fake-Brexit be the awakening of the British?

In the next few days, the UK will pretend to leave the European Union; the question is, who will believe it? And among those who do believe it; how long will it take to realise their mistake?

It has taken the English working classes 20 years to realise that the Labour Party hates them, and to stop voting for them compulsively, reflexively and en masse. I don't think it will take the first generation Conservative voters that long to realise they have been lied to about Brexit.

That will complete the disillusionment, and render the bulk of the people fixed in political scepticism and with nobody to vote for - no perceived positive option, for the first time in... well, probably hundreds of years.

Nobody to vote for, and the comprehensive recognition (thanks to the unrestrained viciousness of the campaign of Brexit sabotage) that the entirety of the UK Establishment are united in hatred of the British (especially English) people.

All this is for the best; as we enter the new era of totalitarian omni-surveillance and micro-control, it is vital that people recognise the genuine purposive evil served by those who run the nation (and the world).

Of course, evil is a difficult recognition, given the mindless hedonic materialism of modern people - those who disbelieve in 'evil spirits' in practice find it impossible genuinely to believe in evil purpose, or even to understand what it entails. And thereby render themselves helpless against it.

Still, a recognition of the malign intent of the entire Establishment that running politics, the mass media, law, police and the military, education, civil service, charities, arts, science & technology, mainline churches, corporations etc etc; would be a valuable first step towards weaning oneself from addiction-to, and manipulation-by, the fake virtual world that They have created.

Saturday 25 January 2020

In what sense was Jesus The Messiah?

At his blog From The Narrow Desert, William James Tychonievich has completed a detailed study of the primary Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament; analysing them by comparison with what Jesus actually did.

Wm's purpose is to understand how these prophecies should be understood, and also how Jesus's claim to be The Messiah of nation of Israel should be understood.

William has posted the last, evaluative, part of the series today; in which he draws conclusions - or rather, makes four possible suggestions as to possible conclusions.

But serious readers will find it necessary to read all the preceding posts, surveying the actual prophecies: these begin with his discussions of the Samaritan Messiah

Put yourself in God's place...

And if that very sentence sound blasphemously prideful and wicked; then such a response (from a Christian) illustrates exactly the point I wish to make.

Christians believe that God the creator is our loving Father. And surely a loving Father would not not mind at all if his children tried to imagine (or, better, intuit) what it is like to be a Father.

Indeed, children are - or used to be - encouraged to play families, to imagine being Mummy and Daddy, and to act out scenarios. And loving parents regard such games with benign pleasure.

Yet it is a solid (albeit sad) fact that for many Christians, for many centuries, God has been imagined as an 'Oriental Despot' of the kind that it is death to look-at or speak-to - a ruler who is remote, surrounded by intermediaries - a screen of guards, servants and administrators; a terrifying monarch whose glance is potential death and whose word is command.

The kind of God who is a King so high, so remote, so utterly unlike our lowly selves; that the only way to approach is on our knees or prostrated; or not approach at all, but deal with only indirectly - through intermediaries.

Altogether, such a Christian supposed God to be the kind of person who wants nothing more than to unceasingly and forever to be praised, worshipped, thanked; a God who wants nothing more from us than to be obeyed, and for us to submit utterly to what we understand to be God's will.

I think it should not need argument to prove that such a God is very far from the God who Jesus discusses and addresses in the Fourth Gospel; who is spoken of by Jesus with filial affection and warmth; and who Jesus encourages his disciples to regard as a friend, and not as a master to servants. 

But the best way to appreciate God is to imagine how we ourselves would feel (imagining, of course, our best, our, ideal selves) in God's position - how God would regard his children; how - ideally - he would want to relate to his children.

And I think it will readily be seen that a God such as we know our Christian God to be would not want to be treated as an Oriental Despot or totalitarian dictator; but would hope for a personal relationship of warmth and affection with his children, as they mature, grow-up towards greater divinity.

Such a God would not hope for the rest of creation to act like guards, administrators, servants - would not want to be the Emperor, Dictator, or CEO of creation - but would seek for 'colleagues' in the work of creation - co-workers... family.

Such a God would not want for creation to be 'organised' - not any kind of celestial bureaucracy, into which Men were expected to 'slot' - not a formal hierarchy with specialised 'job-descriptions' interacting by formal rules applicable to these categories; but on the contrary (surely?) a group of distinctive individuals, each unique; each expressing their personal differences in fluid arrangements held-together by mutual love.

Again, we should see Heaven as a family (an ideal ideally-extended family, of many related families) - not an organisation.

And ultimately, putting ourselves in God's place - but in God's place before the creation of the world and our-selves; we may see the primary reason for Creation: that such a God, a God with the nature of a loving Father, would want more than anything to have children, and for these children to grow-up.

Such a loving creator God would create such that this was possible: that his children could - if they would, if they wanted - grow (in time, by experience, through learning) to become like himself, like God, on a level with God: family friends.

What could be better?

Note: the above ideas are substantially indebted to the work of William Arkle

Friday 24 January 2020

Perfect love (of God) casteth out fear

It is hard to grasp, or at least hard really to believe, the deep truth that fear is the opposite of love; because it is only true of Christian love of God, specifically, and of 'fear' that is the fear of the future ('angst') specifically.

But, as such, fear accounts for a great deal of the worst kind of misery in life; and love accounts for a special quality that is seen in the most faithful Christians - such as saints.

In my experience, fear can sabotage life when it is going well; and when there is some adversity, fear can make that (perhaps minor) adevrsity into something overwhelmingly significant, debilitating - fear can make adversity into depression.

In worldly terms there is no honest and satisfying answer to worry about the future; and no way in which that worry can be limited.

It is the nature of this mortal life that everything is uncertain, and all kinds of things might happen: and they really might happen. After all, terrible things have happening, and are happening to people all the time; plus, in a theoretical sense terrible things could happen to me (or those I love) at any time. Nobody can definitely reassure us that they will not.

External events may (by human motivations, or from natural disasters) overwhelm us. Our health is potentially fragile, this debility, pain or lesion may never get better, may get worse, may cripple or kill us...

Once fear gets hold; any apparently small life event (and there are always plenty) may become amplified to a grinding, persistent, increasing obsession; and life here and now be ruined by fear of what may happen; because nobody can say for sure that it cannot happen. 

The only solution to this is love of God, and specifically love of the Christian God; who is the creator, who is our Father, and loves each person. The implication is that a God who is creator can order life and a God who is a loving Father can order life such that it will be for the ultimate benefit of each and every person. 

My faith and trust in, love of, such a God is the only solution to free-floating fear; because it is rational. It is rational to assume that whatever happens to us in life will be for some good reason, and that our primary job is to to respond properly to whatever happens, to learn from whatever happens.

Yet this is not fatalism, because for Christians each of us is an 'agent', is a 'Son of God' with 'free will' - that is we all are a temporary-mini-god; so despite that our job is to respond and learn, we are not passive victims of life, we are not merely acted-upon by life.

Instead, our situation is one in which the situations of our own personal lives are a consequence, a product, of God's evolving creation interacting with our own genuine creativity; our capacity to have a personal motivation and to initiate new thoughts and actions.

God is the one source of creation that makes the arena, and each of us are point-sources of creativity within that arena.   

What will happen is not predictable - but whatever does happen, God will be working (behind the scenes) to enable each of us to make the best of it; whether that best is sooner or later, during our mortal life or afterwards.

The confidence that this is true is faith-in, and love-of, God; and when faith and love are perfect - then trust in the future is perfect; and there is no fear.

The greatest saints therefore do not fear, and when we are (temporarily) in that saintly state of faith and love: neither do we.

But with most of us, we have not yet learned what the saints know; therefore our lives include serial, sometimes cumulative, challenges to our faith and love of God.

Something bad happens, or else we begin to be concerned that something bad might happen; and we respond with fear...

And it is by overcoming this fear with faith-in and love-of God - again and again, with different challenges - that we are learning how we need to be if we are to to make our personal choice in favour of the gift that Jesus Christ offers us: resurrected life in Heaven.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Planet Venus - how could I have missed her for so long?

Venus to the right  - moon to the left: starburst lens effect

I was looking at Venus this evening, blazing in the South West with a silvery light that is qualitatively brighter than any other 'star' - the only star that may sometimes be seen during daylight.

Yet I never noticed Venus until - what? - about fifteen years ago. I simply never noticed her; and never realised that the Morning Star and Evening Star that people used to poetize about was the same thing - Venus.

I find this hard to account for; especially since I sometimes looked at the night sky attentively, and knew several of the constellations; and I was particularly interested by the phases of the moon. Indeed, I think it was probably during the process of looking for the old and new crescent moons - before dawn and after dusk - that I first saw Venus - those being the times she may be visible.

One interesting aspect of Venus is that she sometimes looks to me like the child's illustrations of a star - with points of light; sometimes even with points all around (six or eight) that look like thin isosceles triangles; sometimes like the 'Star of Bethlehem' with a longer point below...

Anyway, Venus is certainly my favourite heavenly body aside from the moon; but its relative rarity makes her appearance perhaps more exciting than the moon: more of a special treat.

Review of Existential Criticism - selected book reviews by Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson. Existential criticism: selected book reviews. Edited by Colin Stanley. Paupers' Press, 2009.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of Colin Wilson's book reviews, extending over several decades and chosen as exemplars of what he termed 'existential criticism'. In other words, these are reviews that focus on the author's world-view; the philosophy of life that either they exemplify and/or propose.

I found them extremely enjoyable, and - as usual with this author - energising; cheering me, making me want to investigate the author, provoking further thoughts of my own.

However, while much better than the usual run of book reviews; the concept of existential criticism is ultimately futile - since existentialism is (or was) merely the last fruit of that Romanticism-minus-Christianity which developed in the generation following the first (and true) advent of Romantic Christianity.

Existentialism is, in essence, a continuation of the Romanticism of Byron, Shelley and (to an extent) Goethe; which was either anti-Christian or indifferent to it; and which embedded Romanticism in a master framework that was either personal (e.g. an ideology of self-expressive genius - such as Goethe or Wilson himself), sexual (Byron) and/or Leftist political (Shelley).

In sum, we now know that existentialism leads nowhere, just as un/anti-Christian Romanticism led nowhere.

[Wilson himself began as a Romantic Christian, but unfortunately abandoned this after perhaps his best book, Religion and the Rebel. In effect, he made the error of so many others of regarding Christianity as a fixed doctrine, defined by The Church (in his case, Roman Catholic) to be accepted or rejected in toto and without personal input; whereas, by contrast, he was prepared to spend decades of his best intellectual and emotional efforts working on making non-Christian (atheistic) ideologies 'work'. If he had expended just a quarter of this effort on investigating and understanding Christianity, Wilson might have been one of the greats of Romantic Christianity...]

The reason is, I think, that philosophical existentialism was a reaction-against the epistemological focus of mainstream philosophy; but shared with mainstream philosophy the rejection of metaphysics.  And, since the metaphysical assumptions were The Problem, then mainstream philosophy and existentialism alike led only to incoherence (and, before not-very-long; to the characteristic modern mood of demotivation, cowardice, short-termist hedonism, and despair).

Wilson himself - in practice, if not theory - pretty much abandoned existentialism from the later 1960s (from The Occult: a history, of 1971); and developed a kind of (mostly implicit) supernaturalist, abstract, consciousness-focused religion without gods... pretty much along the lines of Bernard Shaw's Creative Evolution - but including a definite belief in life after biological death. This was itself incomplete and incoherent, but a step in the right direction; and enough for Wilson to maintain his motivation and optimism.

(Perhaps Colin Wilson's mature spiritual vision is best displayed in his wonderful scifi novel series 'Spider World' - which I strongly recommend.) 

Wilson's vulnerability was, however, that his motivation and optimism depended a lot on his own work - on his books and their reception, and his faith that they would eventually be widely-recognised as significant in worldly terms. Wilson did not (I think) really have a yardstick of 'significance' that extended beyond this mortal world.

For example, I don't think CW would have acknowledged (at least, not explicitly) that a person's life may be substantially unknown and without influence both during their life and after their death; yet true and important in some eternal and divine sense. In other words, I don't think Wilson would have acknowledged an objectivity of value that extended beyond the subjectivity of alive people and their societies and cultures.  

But to return to the book under consideration: if you like Colin Wilson's better known work, you will enjoy Existential Criticism - and find it, as I did, not merely interesting but an activating and enthusing read.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

What's wrong with trying to make Heaven on Earth?

The utopian project to make Heaven on Earth reached its zenith in the middle 20th century with the triumph of Communism in many nations; but has never been officially or explicitly abandoned - and in a covert and incoherent fashion still motivates the political Left (which now rules the world; sometimes operating under other such flimsy disguises as conservatism, republicanism, capitalism etc.).

The contrast drawn is between - on the one hand - Christianity which offers resurrected eternal life in Heaven - only attainable on the other side of that transformation that is biological death (aka. 'pie in the sky'). And on the other hand; mainstream, materialistic socio-political Western ideology; amplified by the promises of transhumanistic technologies, which offers a positively transformed Heaven on Earth.

Of course, any such thing is currently blocked by the inevitability of disease, ageing and death and the limitations of human intelligence and emotions. Also the inevitability of suffering.

But (so the utopian hopes go) assuming these can be cured by (waving of hands at this point...) advances in technology (drug progress, genetic engineering, computer-brain interfaces... whatever); then why wait for something as uncertain as Heaven-beyond-Death when we can have Heaven-Now

All assuming that humans can live forever, without ageing or disease; without suffering or misery (unless they want it; and then only as much as they want for as long as they want) - and with as much happiness and pleasure as they desire. Potentially a life of bliss...

Who wouldn't want that

And even if Christians can have Heaven after death - what about everybody else?

What about those (presumably a vast majority) who do not want to follow Jesus; including those who do not believe Jesus, who hate Jesus; who are bored, indifferent or hostile to Christian ideas of Heaven - especially if these require onerous restrictions on lifestyle (especially sexual expression)?

Assuming it is achievable; a techno-Leftist utopia promises a Heaven for everybody! And here and now and for-sure.  

That is the special appeal of Heaven on Earth; that is why so many people regard HoE as morally superior to the Christian Heaven.

Universal happiness forever... Better by far, yes?


Not better, but in fact Hell on Earth, rather than Heaven.

But why so?

Leaving aside issues of feasibility (and I do not believe it is possible to do these things - indeed I anticipate a continuation of the already-happening collapse in human capability) there is a basic reason why Heaven on Earth is actually Hell; and that is that any actual Heaven on Earth must be based on compulsion.

Why? Because Heaven on Earth is only possible with universal cooperation.

It would not be Heaven if people were free to exploit, parasitise, destroy, foment discontent; and from everything we know about human beings, universal assent and support to anything is attainable only by universal and irresistible compulsion.

When people believe that they are engineering universal happiness and immortality (even or especially if this really were possible) then the end would justify any and every deployment of effective means.

Humans would be compelled to be whatever was required for Heaven, for their own good; and/ or humans would be replaced by something better-than (at any rate different-from) humans - who would go along with utopia.

Heaven on Earth must be utterly unfree - hence Hell.

Because Hell is not correctly defined as miserable, but as a state of permanent spiritual enslavement. Hell is still Hell even when its denizens are compelled-irresistibly to be happy - because then the denizens are no longer Men.

The condition of absolute unfreedom is the obliteration of the self, the person, the Man in essence. 

Such a state may be chosen, Hell is apparently what some people - perhaps many people - want. But when Hell is imposed, as it would need to be to make 'Heaven on Earth', then Hell would become universal. 

I'm not saying that this is possible, indeed I believe it to be impossible. The creator has not set-up creation to allow Hell to be imposed.

But I simply point-out that wanting Heaven on Earth is actually wanting universal Hell: it is to take sides with the agenda of the demons; with those who oppose God, the Good and Creation. 

What about the Christian Heaven and its selectivity? Why can't Heaven be for everybody?

I hope that the above will help make clear why. My understanding is that selectivity is the only way that Heaven can be Heavenly, and at the same time free.

Selectivity is the only way that the denizens of Heaven can be real Men, with real selves, real agency; really participating in the work of divine creation (bringing their own distinctive, additional contribution to creation).

Death and resurrection is the means by which we can make a free and permanent choice for real-Heaven. That is why Heaven cannot be attained in mortal life, in this world.  

Also; if Heaven is to be Heavenly, it must be freely chosen. If it is not freely chosen it is Hell.

You may, of course (you are free to do so) prefer happiness to freedom; in that case you have made your choice - which, as such, is neutral. But when you desire to impose that choice universally, you have chosen evil.

A defence of 'civilisation' from Amo Boden

In response to my recent prediction of the collapse of 'civilisation' and an end to 'politics'; Amo Boden - at Brief Outlines - has made the clarification that human civilisation need not end permanently (although our type of civilisation surely must end); and large-scale human society may re-emerge on a new basis.

I regard Amo as correct; since we cannot know what possibilities there will be for mortal life among Men who have developed in the direction I call Romantic Christianity; or consciousness has (more frequently, among more people) attained what Owen Barfield termed Final Participation.

On the other hand; what we know now seems strongly to suggest that only a small minority, and very few, people currently even see a need for this kind of development of consciousness. And such a development cannot happen without deliberate and explicit striving.

So enormous changes - i.e. some kind of large-scale collapse - looks inevitable; whatever may come afterwards. In my judgement; it would be wise to acknowledge the probability, and make spiritual preparations.

Why I rant on about "metaphysics"

The answer is that I regard our primary assumptions about the nature of reality (i.e. metaphysics) to be of primary importance (ultimately, in the end, in the long term).

Your metaphysics will bite you - sooner or later, one way or the other.

I don't think this was necessarily always and everywhere the case. Through most of human history, it was apparently possible for someone to have some primary beliefs; and to lead their life in a 'pragmatic' fashion, without taking much notice of those beliefs...

Or maybe it wasn't, maybe this dissociation was only temporary, and only reflected superficial 'opinions' rather than genuine deep convictions... At any rate, if it ever was true that metaphysics was ignorable, that does not apply now.

Whether they know it or not, whether they admit the fact or not, people nowadays live in accordance with their metaphysical assumptions.

And this means that the large majority of people live life 'as if' there is no real life, but asif the universe of reality is partly-determined, partly-random, with  no motivation and going nowhere in particular.

Their own life is lived on the basis that their deepest beliefs and convictions are actually superficial, temporary and of such little importance that they can and should be changed according to convenience, and on the basis of no good reason - or no reason at all - except what seems expedient, what currently makes them feel better about themselves.

The great moral education of modern life is this: that it strips our beliefs down to our basic assumptions. Modern life shows that 'If you believe this; then your world will be like that'.

When there is no real and solid reason for personal motivations, attitudes, behaviours - then we cannot defend them, cannot continue to live by them in face of opposition. Thus modern people are lacking in courage (i.e. are cowardly) to a degree which would have been astonishing to anyone in the past.

Modern people take the easy way because - why not? There is no fundamental reason for a modern person to do anything other than take the easiest way/ the way which causes least trouble or makes them feel better - here-and-now, or (for the more moral/ longtermist among us) is expected or hoped to make them feel better in the foreseeable future.

But modern life is becoming ever more short-termist and ever more self-centred for the logical reason that the happiness of me/ here/ now is much surer and more certain than other-people/ somewhere-else/ in the future. 

Even the fickleness, short attention span, shallow evanescent emotionality that is encouraged (and socially enforced) be the mass-social media is mostly an excuse for the cowardly conformism - it is that there is no reason Not to be cowardly and conformist; that modern metaphysics has it that  there is no real reality that lies behind the fake reality - and even if there was there is no deep reason why we ought to prefer real to fake... Thus people cannot even become sufficiently motivated to resist the addictiveness and brainwashing of mass-social media; because it would be unpleasant in the short term, and there is no believeable long term reason to do so.

I am saying that this is our great challenge from modern society. Modern society has taken-up the anti-Christian materialism that began to dominate the West from the early 1800s, and has made it foundational and worked-through its implications, incrementally, one generation upon another, in one area of Life after another.

Recent history in The West has, in other words, taken our characteristic modern anti-spiritual assumptions (e.g. that there is no creation, no creator, no objective morality, no life of any kind beyond biological death, no soul etc) and has worked these though all all the implications in all of our major social institutions (including most of the churches); to get the kind of society, and the kind of life, that we now have.

These assumptions include no reason for being honest and truthful, so modern society denies its own assumptions: claims it makes no assumptions but instead bases everything upon 'evidence' (despite that what counts as evidence, and what does not, is wholly determined by assumptions).

These materialist assumptions include that morality is arbitrary and changeable, and that is what we find.

The assumptions include that ultimately everything is 'dead' - is mathematics, physics, chemistry (even biology is these) - and that is how people behave... It is now quite normal for human beings to deny their own free will; to assert that their own consciousness is an irrelevant epiphenomenon; to reduce their own deepest feelings such as joy and love to the outcome of a directionless evolutionary process; to advocate their own replacement with robots and Artificial Intelligence - and so on.

Look around! The world that is spread-out for your consideration is a world in which your metaphysics is expressed, implemented, instantiated for evaluation... Yet, because of his metaphysics, modern Man has also decided that his own evaluation is worthless! 

This is why things are 'coming to a point' - because the choices are becoming clearer, starker, and with ever-greater stakes. Nowadays, you don't need to be a philosopher to be concerned by metaphysics (indeed, the philosophers, including theologians, have led the way in ridiculing and rejecting metaphysics!).  

Anybody and everybody can see for themselves (if they let themselves), from their own personal and direct experience (if they can acknowledge its validity), the consequences of their basic beliefs: our fundamental convictions are now Our World.

And that's why I rant on about metaphysics!

Monday 20 January 2020

Francis Berger on The First Rule of Christian persecution

It is useful to be reminded (or to learn if we don't know) the scale of Christian persecution around the world over recent years; and the near total silence on the subject from the Establishment (especially the Western powers - who are primarily responsible for it); or the deployment of dishonest distraction and reframing whenever the subject comes-up in the Western media.

Frank Berger discusses this matter at his blog.

Given the prime task of modern Christians - which is to know reality - it is vital for Christians to acknowledge the fact of our systematic, deliberate, strategic persecution: it is indeed the key motivation behind the mainstream, modern, materialist Leftism that dominates the leadership of all Global and Western-national institutions. 

We don't need (as individual Christians) to go-on about this, we don't even need to mention it to others; but all Christians have an absolute responsibility to truth, and the reality of reality.

We must be honest with ourselves; and that means acknowledging evil when we perceive evil. Of course, we may be wrong in our evaluations and judgements - especially about events that are remote and our knowledge secondhand. We may need to change our mind on the basis of further information and reflection.

But uncertainty does not excuse Christians from the absolute duty of honesty with our-selves, which is the necessary basis for repentance and salvation.

What is it for Life to have 'meaning'?

The insistent demand for Life to have 'meaning' is - for some people, including myself - a primary motivation, instinct, urge.

It is also, typically (and it was for me) a fuzzy and ill-formed demand; such that it was possible for me to be fobbed-off with simplistic, partial, incoherent and unsatisfying answers - that introduced confusions and disappointments.

I guess it is the same for most people. They have a 'need' for something, call it 'meaning' in Life, but after failing to express this need, failing to find an answer, seeing the whole business parodied and mocked - they just give-up and seek to maximise pleasure and minimise suffering... The hedonic life.

The 'hope' that such inchoate yearnings as the search for meaning will be numbed and crushed by sufficiently intense and sustained gratification from sex, drugs, status, creativity, money... Will be drowned by novelty, driven-out by busy-ness... whatever gratifies us personally.

As if the answer to a philosophical question was to forget it, and instead enjoy a night out on the town. That is about the level of mainstream modern reflection on the subject of the meaning of life - albeit dressed up pretentiously and dishonestly; and this cover-up itself covered-up by impatience and aggression.

We live in a world where the 'official line' is that there is no real meaning in reality; reality is a product of physics, chemistry and biology. Stuff 'just happened'. The only escape allowable from rigid materialist determinism is 'randomness', chaos, entropy. There is no meaning in any person's life, because there is no meaning in such a world. Stuff happens.

The, and this is quite common, people are advised (with a kind of forced cheerfulness) to 'make their own meaning'. This world has no meaning, and is utterly indifferent to you gratification; 'therefore' it is up to each individual person (or maybe they could do this is groups?) to manufacture meaning.

This can be made to sound pseudo-heroic: mankind isolated in an indifferent meaningless universe, busily making meaning out of nothing; so our brief life is itself surrounded by a bubble of... well what exactly? In the end, self-manufactured meaning of this sort usually devolves to 'pleasure', gratification. People are not so much being advised to 'make meaning' as (again) to enjoy themselves and forget about meaning...

But even if we happen to be some kind of creative genius and can make a mini-world of meaning - can make a bubble of meaningfulness around our-selves and perhaps those we love - then it would not do the job.

Suppose you were a Tolkien, and could make a world and inhabit it imaginatively, and there find the meaning missing from real-life; and suppose you could also persuade others to join you in this world. This doesn't work. Why? because it is temporary and arbitrary, yet we crave that which is permanent and true.

We want the meaning to be out-there, and potentially the same meaning for everybody. We want that meaning to be solid, something that is discovered and not invented. We want it is be lasting, and not something that crumbles away beneath us.

Self-deception doesn't work. People cannot live by their own wishful thinking no matter how they try. To create and to sustain a meaningful world requires conscious effort, and we cannot suppress the awareness that that is what it is. It doesn't work if we create an illusory world, enter that creation, then try to forget that it is illusory.

So the meaning of life must be external, permanent, objective and all that kind of thing. But it must be more than that if it is to have meaning. Meaning must be experienced, and must be personal. So a meaningful life must be subjective - experienced inside us, as well as present outside.

Meaning must be relevant to us, each individual, you and me personally.  And it must be involving: so that we participate in that world (and don't merely observe it).

In sum, the meaning of life must be outside us; but it must also be inside us - otherwise it will do us no good. And it must be true, not made-up, arbitrary or merely wishful; otherwise it will not count as meaning.

So, this is what is needed, that is what is wanted; and the above is only a summary of it. Anything less, or anything that only deals with either the inner or the outer, will be grossly inadequate.

What I get from the above analysis is that we need to have meaning at every level. Our reality needs to be a Creation - it cannot be something that just happens. And that creation needs to have a direction, a purpose. And that purpose needs to encompass not just mankind, but every single individual...

And that purpose must also encompass the individuality of individuals, the innerness and subjectivity of individuals, the motivations and nature of each individual.

The purpose of 'the universe' must be directly relevant to me, here and now; and I must be involved in it.

And all this must be really-real; not just some invention or hypothesis. To Live, I need (perhaps we all need) this kind of large-scale, multi-level, multi-faceted meaning; and we need it ASAP, not just as the unlikely goal of some kind of distant and vague project.

Anything less will not suffice; so discovering the meaning of life ought to be, needs to be, a major priority for everyone capable of yearning for such answers.

Also, despite the urgency of such and enquiry, we need to resist being fobbed-off with half answers. We need whole answers - of rather, I should say, we need The whole answer. 

Saturday 18 January 2020

Why is this mortal life set up such that nothing lasts?

It has often been regarded as the tragedy of this mortal life that nothing lasts, all is evanescent; change is constant and unavoidable (disease is common, and mortality ends in death).

Such is the reality - and it is usually seen in terms of failure, imperfection, and general tragedy. If that was truly the case, then mortal life is a kind of failure; and such failure tends to reflect badly upon a God who is supposed to be both the creator and Good - and whose loves us.

Why would such a God make such a world?

Yet it is also possible to regard mortal life as well designed for its purpose.

This involves us regarding it as a true fundamental assumption that God is indeed the creator, who is Good and who loves us; and therefore to go on and try and understand (by empathic, intuitive identification) why such a God would deliberately make such a world as this.

We also need to understand God's purpose.

In order to avoid getting misled by hearsay and external information (from the news, from history, from third part report generally) that may be incomplete, biased or deliberately-misleading - or misinterpreted by us; we really ought to ask such questions individually, each person for himself or herself; and based on our own direct and personal experience of mortal life.

We also need to ask this question with the proper metaphysical framework of God's purpose: God's motivations for creation: what God is aiming at by creating Men. 

My understanding is that God is aiming to raise Men to his own level - that is to enable Men to learn to become gods, co-creators within God's original creation. We have seen this happen with Jesus Christ; and the intent is that as many others as possible will follow this trajectory.

Such a plan depends on the will and consent of individual people; each must choose this path: this choice coming after our biological (mortal) death. It also depends on individual people learning from experience.

Therefore, this mortal life is a finite period during which individual Men may have experiences, from which they can learn what they need to be able to make an 'informed choice' in favour of accepting Jesus's offer of Life Eternal in Heaven. 

From such a perspective, the changeability of mortal life is a design feature; it is necessary and it is optimal that each experience be short-lived - and then we move on to another experience. Indeed, it would negate the value of life if peple were to attain a state that did not change - since they would cease to learn, would fail to take advantage of other possibilities of learning.

But imagine if you could stay 'in love', with maximum intensity and without diminution or alteration, for decades upon end - until the moment that you were struck down by death? How much could be learned from such a life, as compared with a life in which a person experiences a wide range of changing love; and hatred, fear and loss?

This is often harsh, unpleasant, horrible; because we always lose what we have gained; solid happiness remains out of reach or slips from our grasp. We suffer.

But such negative suffering is itself a temporary state. And it serves a purpose. because without the negatives - would be really understand and appreciate the positives?

When, after mortal life, we come to make a choice for love - or to reject it - it is surely helpful to know love from both sides and in several forms? That is what the changeability of mortal life does for us.

For some people; that way, and only that way, can they be brought to a proper appreciation of the value of love, and the horribleness of its rejection and exclusion.

Only thus can they make an informed choice for or against Heaven; only thus can they really know what they are doing.


The role of evil in mortal life

I regard evil as having been a part of primary reality. Evil is the rejection of Good; and Good is God's creation.

God has to cope-with, work-with pre-existent evil.

Some Beings are intrinsically (from eternity) incapable of love (these are the demons).

These will always and forever reject God/ Good/ Creation because that is the world of love, built with love - it is love that makes Creation coherent, harmonious. So, demons cannot be saved; they lack that which would make salvation possible (i.e. the capacity for love).

God has to work with these evil beings, incapable of love - because they are immortal and indestructible spirits.

But God's main aims and interests are those Beings who are capable of love; and God's hope is that as many as possible of these will choose Heaven. 

In mortal life - which is a finite, temporary, always-changing state of incarnation; 'designed' for experiencing and learning - evil is included. Human Beings capable of love will, during mortal life, therefore experience both Good and evil (tatstes of Heaven and hell) - and after mortal life will be offered the gift of immortal resurrected life in Heaven; which is a permanent choice.

This choice can be made on the experiences of mortal life, which are (normally, usually) tailored by God such that we will have sufficient of the right kind of experience that each specific Human Being can make this choice, can decide in favour of resurrection - which involves loving/ trusting/ having-faith in Jesus, and following through the transformation that is resurrection.

Thus evil is made-use-of by God during mortal life. Mortal life takes the form of a contest (a spiritual war) focused on those Human Beings (and perhaps other beings) that are capable of love - in relation to the choice for or against Heaven that each will make after biological death.

Friday 17 January 2020

My goodbye to Christopher Tolkien

 My favourite of all photos of JRR Tolkien, asleep in the back garden with young Christopher

...Can be found at The Notion Club Papers blog. It was the ninth volume of Christopher Tolkien's edited The History of Middle Earth ("Sauron Defeated") that contains The Notion Club Papers, which inspired my Inklings-related blog.

What is the most important sin (and virtue) of these times?

Is there a particular sin, or class of sins, that characterise our times in The West? The most obvious is in relation to sex and sexuality; where moral inversion is most obvious and severe: what was good is now evil; what were sins are now virtues - lauded and rewarded to the skies!

Sex is a powerful human drive; but inversion is a different matter. The modern inversion is a qualitatively different thing from the 1960s style 'sexual liberation' - which was about dismantling restrictions on 'normal' sexuality. Where does inversion come from?

In an ultimate sense, in terms of the spiritual war that is mortal life; it comes from the ascendant power of demons. The primary goal of the powers of purposive evil is opposition to God, to Good, to divine creation. So, inversion is the face of opposition - inversion tells us the major targets of the enemies of God.

So much for ultimates; but that is not how matters impinge-upon the vast majority of modern Western people; who are materialists that deny the reality of the spiritual and divine. The question arises how value-inversion is propagated to the great mass of men - and especially women. Because - on average - women are much more prone to moral inversion specifically, and the maladaptive effects of modernity in general.

And the mediator of moral inversion is The System - which has developed to become a unified thing. In the past, the mass media was smaller and often in opposition to the state bureaucracy and legal system - and state institutions, professions (schools, colleges, medicine etc), trades unions, and corporations were often largely independent and with different and specific goals.

But now all of these groupings have converged, have now become aspects of a single System; are all serving the same agenda; and that agenda is secular, materialist, and Leftist - and this is the primary tool of the demonic side in the spiritual war.

Thus it is The System - in all its various aspects - that imposes value inversion on the mass of people. The System creates a self-consistent, mutually-reinforcing fake world (a virtual-reality or virtuality) which (as the mass media expands, as education expands, as bureaucracy in the workplace expands) encompasses ever more of waking life. 

People live mostly in this fake world of The System; and the virtuality is the medium by which inversion is made to seem natural and true.

Therefore, when I ask 'what is the most important sin?', a good answer is to accept the truth and reality of The System -the major sin is to regard The System as Good.

And it follows that the greatest virtue (and one upon which all other virtues depends) is to know The System as evil; to see-through The System to the truth, reality and Goodness beyond; to develop a direct and personal awareness of God and divine creation as different-from, often opposed-to, the public world we so-much inhabit.

Since The System is so large and expanding, since The System is incorporating more and more of the social groupings of The West; this needs to be an individual and personal activity; since The System controls our access-to and interpretation-of so many media - this knowing needs to be direct: Man to Divine, unmediated.

We get to the most important sin and virtue: The current situation is that anyone who believes The System is Good and real, is himself actually in service of the demonic agenda. And only those who recognise The System as evil and fake are able to become Good; are able to join with the meaning and purpose of God's creation and plan.

Thursday 16 January 2020

If you could sing like anyone, who would it be?

Back in the sixties, on Saturday evening variety shows, there was a 'Russian' singer (actually German) called Ivan Rebroff, who seemed to me then to be the best singer I had ever heard, by far - and perhaps the only one who I would really have wanted to be able to emulate.

Well, I have heard many singers since, some greater musicians than Ivan Rebroff - but as someone possessing a pure vocal gift, with direct appeal to the emotions - probably none better. To be able to sing from darkest deep bass to sweet falsetto soprano... well that would suit me just fine.

A singer such as Rebroff would - I feel sure - make a good living and bring great pleasure among any people, in any society, at any time in history.

Jesus Christ, Giver of Life - an alternative to ICHTHYS

You probably know about the 'Jesus Fish' symbol, and how it supposedly came from the first letters (in Greek) of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour - that spelled something that sounded like the Greek word for 'fish'.

I was reflecting on the extent to which this is a helpful summary of Christianity - as I understand it. One can see that the word Christ is of compelling importance only to ancient Jews, as referring to their anticipated Messiah, a divinely-anointed king - but that this has no meaning or validity to a modern secular person. However, 'Jesus Christ' does make clear who we are talking about - not just some Spanish footballer called Jesus... So we can keep Christ as an identifier!

Son of God? Yes, but so are we all. Jesus is divine, and he is not identical-with 'God the creator'- but this kind of subtle theological consideration is probably not an appropriate focus for a brief summary of the importance of Jesus. Better to leave-it-out.

Then there is the word Saviour... Saving from what? is the first question. And a one word answer is Sin - but by Sin is properly meant something close to what we would say by Death; rather than by what most modern people mean by Sin, which is moral transgression, the thinking and doing of evil. Because of this moral/ ethical understanding of Sin, modern people don't regard it as the kind-of-think that one can be saved-from...

Yes, there is the idea that we need saving from 'Original' Sin - but this was supposedly inflicted by God on Adam and Eve and all descendants as a form of Justice; and that kind of Justice seems (on the face of it) un-just...

And anyway, it makes for a rather strange kind of double-negative theology if Jesus's role was to save us from a punishment inflicted by his Father. It sound close-to: good-Jesus saves us from evil-Father...

In sum: If Jesus is primarily about saving us from the consequences of sin-evil, and these consequences are divine in origin; then we are (merely) being saved from God, by God. I know there are theological explanations for this - but at a common sense level it would strike a modern person to have been better, easier, quicker for God not to condemn all Men in the first place.

So, if Saviour is not a satisfactory summary-word for the work of Jesus; is there a better one?

Yes! In the Fourth Gospel we are told several times and in several ways that Jesus gave us Life Everlasting, Life Eternal. Which means that after 'biological death', instead of everybody going to the demented, ghostly half-life of 'Sheol'; Jesus has brought the gift of resurrection to a Heavenly life, as divine children of God, in Heaven.

This Gift is given to all who follow Jesus through death.

And to follow Jesus we need to love him, have faith in him, trust him - as sheep follow a Good Shepherd.

So Jesus is, mostly, the Giver of Life.

Now, any such brief summary is bound to lead to questions, to require elucidation. And Giver and Life both invite elucidation. But I think these explanations can briefly and simply be provided, along the lines expressed above.

Such obvious questions include - why can't God give Everybody this kind of Life. Why only those who love Jesus?

And the answer is that some people, perhaps most people, do not want what Jesus offers; and the reason why they do not want it, is where the more familiar idea of Sin as moral transgression comes-in.

Another obvious question is why we can't simple be born directly into Heaven? Why all this 'tedious mucking about' in mortal life?

And that answer to that has to be along the lines that this is the only way it can happen, it is the way things-work. Evidence is that Jesus himself had to attain resurrection via mortal life; and so we must do the same.

I think other questions can be given similarly brief and comprehensible answers. 

So that is my suggested alternative to ICHTHYS: Jesus Christ, Giver of Life.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

The victory of materialism, the final judgement...

...Has been neatly described by Amo Boden at his Brief Outlines blog:

All of ethics and morality can now be reduced to a quantifiable number.

The final judgement is no longer God or a set of ideal moral principals that must be interpreted by each individual.

Whether you are a good person or a bad person, whether your contribution to the world is of value or not - all this is ultimately judged in terms of a single, quantifiable number.

Any institution or culture, no matter what its inherent goodness is, will from now on be judged in terms of this number. If this number is high, you, the institution or culture are deemed "bad". If this number is low, you, the institution or culture are deemed "good".

This number is the parts-per-million of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere as a result of you, your institution, or your culture. There is no longer any gauge of morality that is higher than this.

This number is the final judgement. 

Which hobbit is the hero of The Lord of the Rings?

The definitive answer can be found at my Notion Club Papers blog...

The topsy-turvy future of 'marriage'

We live at an advanced state in the destruction of Christian marriage by the secular (Left) state (aided by the mass media and all the other major institutions).

At first we had 'no-fault' divorce, which meant that marriage lacked even the status of a legal contract (so that just one party could dissolve the marriage, unilaterally, and without any sanctions). This continued with unlimited serial marriage, same sex marriage, marriage of 'trans'-sex persons, multiple marriage (half-implemented - accepted legally in the UK but not yet legally initiated)...

On the horizon we have non-human marriage (e.g. Men with animals) and marriage including children - these are mainstream-mooted, and 'logically' implied by consistent application of the current minimalist concept of marriage in terms of 'principles' and trends.

What we have (from a Christian perspective) is a social system where 'legal marriage' - the 'institution' of marriage - is (already, here-and-now) both corrupt and corrupting; and becoming ever more so.

'Legal-marriage' is already a manyfold-fake - we just have not adjusted to the fact. 

Or, to put it bluntly, official-marriage is now evil: a creation of an evil-corrupt state; and 'arbitrarily' created, expanded, sustained or ended by that evil-corrupt state.

Add to this the 'convergence' of all the major, mainstream churches with the secular-Leftist state; which means that church-marriage is already just as bad as legal-marriage in most instances; and the real Christian churches that are current exceptions all display signs of being on the same path towards ever-fuller convergence as the mainstream churches.

In sum: a fake church cannot (and will not) sanctify Christian marriages.

So, the option of real-Christians having a separate system of 'church marriage' - to substitute for the legal marriage seems to be, at most, a temporary expedient.

And even if this expedient were attempted, it is clear that - while the Western state will tacitly (de facto) sustain the marriages of some religions (including allowing, and not interfering with, the operations of religious courts which may impose severe negative sanctions for marriage transgressions - including physical violence and even death); this will not apply to Christianity.

Quite the opposite. It is ever clearer (albeit only to those with eyes to see) that the unifying purpose behind the half-century of wide and expanding range of changes of law and practice in relation to marriage and the family, is precisely the destruction of Christian marriage

The consequence for real Christian marriage, as I foresee it, is pretty extraordinary.  

Christian marriage will need to become a personal commitment between a Christian man and woman. Full Stop.

Whether made in public or private, this marriage commitment will (ultimately) neither be validated nor sustained by any formal institution; neither state nor church.

Marriage will rely exclusively on the two parties - who cannot depend on help, or even encouragement, from anyone else... Who should, to the contrary, expect that institutions will continually be working towards the break-up of that marriage.

Meanwhile, 'official' marriage will go in quite the opposite direction; and more and more 'relationships' are recognised legally and socially; with the increasingly 'unorthodox' participants seeking the status, protections and sanction of an official marriage.

In the end, real marriage is the only (official) 'fake'; and only fake marriages are 'real'.

It may be that real Christians may be among the few people who do Not marry (legally).

We may soon be in an inverted-world where zero Christian men-and-women but instead nearly-everybody-else (in various combinations and numbers of men, women, other self-identified genders, animals, children, AI robots... who knows what?) will become the majority of 'married' (um...) entities.

How is theosis possible?

Theosis is the 'process' by which Men may become more divine. (Similar terms include divinisation and sanctification.)

For me, theosis is the primary purpose of mortal life - i.e of life extended beyond mere incarnation - whether that be to the stage of foetus, embryo, baby, child, adolescent, adult of into old age. In other words, I believe that God sustains our life (beyond mere incarnation) in order that we may have experiences and learn from them such tha we become more divine in this mortal life.

Albeit this 'being more divine' is (at most) a temporary experience; something we cannot 'hold-on-to during the changes of mortal life. Nonetheless, if we assume that learning has a spiritual and eternal dimension, and is not merely a matter of brain-sustained-memory, then even brief experiences of more-divine states may have a permanent effect on our-selves.

(If you ask why we cannot, in practice, hold-fast to anything in mortal life - or cannot be sure of doing so - then I would answer that this is because it is about experiences. We are not supposed-to make eternally-binding decisions in mortal life; because the proper time to do so is after death when it comes to a choice between resurrection in Heaven or other alternatives. Our experiences in mortal life are intended to aid that final, post-mortal decision which may be eternal; and eternally-binding.)

I would say that - with the qualified exception of the monastic type of Eastern Orthodoxy - theosis has never been a central goal in mainstream Christian life.

And the reason is obvious. It is that the 'gap' between Man and God is asserted to be infinite and qualitative - therefore there can be no-such-thing as movement-towards becoming 'more' divine. This because (according to mainstream, classical theology) we are creatures but God is uncreated; we are finite but God is infinite (omni-potent/-scient-/present etc.) The gulf is un-bridge-able.

This would seem to make it impossible for man to progress spiritually and become 'more divine' - whether that progression be gradual or incremental.

The description of Jesus Christ as having a dual-nature of both God and Man is of no practical help in explaining theosis; because in the first place it does not make literal sense but is a mystical formulation, while in the second place it merely kicks the can further down the road.

The dual concept of Christ has his divine nature as being the-same-as the divine nature of the Father and Holy Ghost, thus with all the infinite and omni attributes (infinitely-remote-from Man); and furthermore Men are Not part of that uncreated divine trinity, therefore Men cannot (presumably) have any share in real divinity. 

Therefore, for theosis to be comprehensible and explicable in ordinary language (without recourse to non-coherent mystical word-formulations), entails that classical and mainstream theology be rejected and Man and God (and Jesus Christ) be seen as of the same basic kind (and presumably having the same ultimate origin), such that the difference between Man and God is quantitative rather than qualitative.

If so; then Men can become God bit-by-bit; by a spiritual progression - happening through time.

And theosis can then be seen as a divinely-intended goal of our mortal (as well as pre- and post-mortal) life.


Metaphysics versus History in Christian evangelism

A big factor over the past fifty-plus years has been the decline in history as a solid basis for life. This has happened in two ways - first, a loss of faith in the accuracy of history and the objectivity of interpretation; so that people are much less confident about the meaning of any piece of history.

Secondly - and related - the facility with which the modern fundamentally-Leftist media apparatus (which now includes the educational and academic systems) is able to generate and propagate 'history' on demand; in order to manipulate the masses (for example the dominant and fake histories of feminism, sexuality and slavery).

Between these; history has become merely an arm of the totalitarian bureaucracy; imposed and changed at convenience, by means of incentives and sanctions. And, on such a basis, any history supportive of Christianity is excluded, because opposed to mainstream, official, Establishment-sustained history.

An effect of this general trend has been a decline (or complete loss) in the ability of historical documents such as the Gospels, to provide a solid basis for Christianity. This applies most strongly to Protestant Christianity, but has affected all types.

Historical documents nowadays seem an insecure basis for faith - with all their problems of translation, incomplete survival, insertion and deletion, unsure and contested interpretation etc...

Secular ideas and interpretations, by contrast, are uncritically sponged-up; being mostly unconsciously and implicitly imbibed due to the (unarticulated and unacknowledged) assumptions of the entirety of Western public discourse - which assumes (works on the basis of) a wholly materialist world of 'things'.

The entirety of public discourse therefore acts as 'proof' for secular materialism, and a utilitarian, hedonic morality - no argument is needed; but if asked-for, all elements of public life (politics, law, mainstream religion, economics, media, education, the military, science etc) support all other elements in their exclusion of divine and spiritual matters.

Christianity has come to seem not so much impossible or untrue, as simply meaningless - because modern reality has no place or role for God, or any kind of deity or spiritual being; it has no place or role for meaning or purpose but regards every-thing as subject to either deterministic causes or else 'random' chance.

As I said, all this is mostly assumed, unarticulated and unacknowledged - it is not 'proved'. Not proved because such metaphysical (primary) assumptions as materialism are not amenable to proof; but on the contrary they define what counts as proof.

Thus a materialistic metaphysics excludes all possible evidence in favour of the reality of the spiritual and divine; only materialistic factors are acceptable explanations. For instance; every alleged miracle (as possible 'evidence') must/ can/ will be (necessarily) explained-away in terns of error, insanity, stupidity or dishonesty.

So this is the situation in which we find ourselves. Nearly everybody who is active and competent in public discourse has (in order to attain this position) absorbed and uses exclusively the mainstream materialistic metaphysics. At the same time, this person will deny any such assumptions, but will assert that all their views are derived from 'evidence', or are merely 'pragmatic' - and directed at common-sense improvements in the well-being of people-in-general.

And in making this false statement, he will be supported by the entirety of powerful/ wealthy/ high-status organisations, and corporations; by all the acceptable nations and all the supra-national and global institutions.

Thus the modern world is trapped, and indeed traps-itself; by having false and socially-lethal assumptions that cannot be named, explained or challenged because they are understood as having derived-from objective 'evidence'.

By becoming imperceptible and implicit; modern metaphysics has become an impenetrable barrier to truth. 

Yet, the only way of correcting error, of knowing truth, of providing meaning, purpose and relatedness in life - must come via the challenge to modern metaphysics: must come via making this barrier perceptible in order that its reality and nature can be known.

The only way I can imagine doing this is by presenting an alternative and true metaphysics, in a hypothetical spirit; and inviting other people to consider it seriously. Inviting others to 'try it out' in their own lives, and observe what is the effect.

The trouble is that any genuinely and fully-alternative, non-materialistic, metaphysics will sound ridiculous, absurd and obviously wrong. It will seem to be contradicted by Everything in modern public discourse - which is, in a sense, absolutely true; because anything non-contradictory is excluded from public discourse, and all public discourse derives from the covert assumptions of materialism.

Regular readers will know that my own metaphysical assumptions (that this is a world consisting of Beings in Relationships - that everything is alive, conscious, purposive - or a part of something that is) sound absolutely foolish, like mere childishness or wilful perversity.

Such a set of assumptions will not be understood, let alone entertained; despite (or because) we all of us once held exactly such beliefs as young children, and it is believed (history again!) that all human societies originated in such beliefs - such assumptions, which apparently still survive in some parts of the world.

Thus the mass of Men ideologically imprisoned with 100% security, and zero chance of escape.

Nothing external prevents re-examination of metaphysical assumptions; nothing actively compels any individual to exclude the belief in a world of living, conscious, purposive Beings - yet, in actuality, in daily living; such assumptions are made to seem absolutely impossible - like holidaying on a distant star.