Saturday 29 February 2020

Solti's Rhinegold: Genius all round

This is the closing section of Das Rheingold: the first (and best) opera of Wagner's Ring Cycle. As a composition and work of literature (Wagner did the libretto as well as music) it is extremely well-structured; and has a mythic power only exceeded by that greatest of all musical compositions: Mozart's Zauberflote.

As a college student, I spent a memorable four consecutive days listening to the Ring in the famous LP boxed-set recording by Georg Solti with the Vienna Philharmonic. This is not just a musical classic, but a classic of recording quality - showing that what was achievable in 1964 has never been surpassed; not least because it was analogue, like real life.

The above section is the close of Rheingold, which contains several enthralling passages. The sound of 'Thor's hammer (actually Donner) on anvil at 1:59 begins one such - and the very end of the opera (depicting the gods grandiose procession across the rainbow bridge into Valhalla) is literally hair-raising.

Solti was regarded as one of the truly great conductors, the Vienna Phil of this era was one of the great orchestras - and here Solti demonstrates what great conducting can be, when he plays upon the orchestra as if it was a single many-multi-instrument.

In particular, what Solti gets from the brass section - so large and vital a component of the Wagner effect (for which he invented several additional instuments) - is remarkable. The combination of brightness with internal balance of the brass chords, and they way the volume is shaped, is something quite beyond most conductors and orchestras - a whole extra dimension.

The dark chocolate scam

Hardly anybody I have met genuinely prefers 'dark chocolate' to milk or white. I realise there are abstract persons that claim to do so; but wherever I have been, in whatever context - when there is a chocolate selection on offer the milk chocolate goes first, followed any white chocolate - and the dark chocolates are left to the end (and often get chucked-out).

Myself, I can eat dark chocolate; but I don't really enjoy it - and since enjoyment is the only reason for eating chocolate, often I can't be bothered.

My daughter claims to like dark chocolate - but objects to being allowed to have only darks - even when this means that she gets both half of the usual, crazy, 50% dark: 50% milk & white chocolate selection - plus a share of the rest... This tells me that she does not really prefer the darks; but is merely better able to tolerate them.

I like milk and white equally, my wife only white (in other words: she doesn't like chocolate), my son only milk - so we cover the whole spectrum; but the common factor is that all those who like chocolate, like milk chocolate. And surely the most successful chocolate selection is Cadbury's Milk Tray - i.e. all milk chocolates; or Nestle's Quality Street - milk chocolates and toffees? 

So why have dark chocolate at all? Partly, no doubt, due to advertisers having built-up an impression that it is 'sophisticated' to do so. Any food that lacks spontaneous appeal can become 'sophisticated' - like blue cheese, dry wine or brussel sprouts; since people must learn to like it (and children don't).

But I suspect something more sinister. After all, there seems no compelling reason to have dark chocolate at all, let alone at fifty (or more) percent of a chocolate selection (plus insidiously rippled-through or onto milk or white... yuck!). There must be something put-into it, I feel - either a toxic waste product is being got-rid-of, by making people eat it; or else some kind of mind-controlling drug is being deployed (directed at The Establishment).

I am pretty sure that a survey of people who pretend to prefer dark chocolate would reveal that they suffer from a whole raft of psychiatric, probably psychopathic, behaviours. For example, the kind of people who say they enjoy dark chocolate include Francophiles, global-warmists and similar totalitarian Satan-serving bureaucrats...

(I'm not saying that there is a one-to-one relationship; but a highly-significant correlation is surely undeniable.)

At any rate, the current program of dark chocolate propagation (especially the half-and-half rule imposed-on expensive selections) is not the kind of thing that should simply be accepted as inevitable. Protective legislation may be necessary.

Friday 28 February 2020

The synergies of bureaucracy - where Left 'fights' Left to promote totalitarianism

One of the most astonishing and resistant blindspots of "radical" Leftism (the scare quotes are because progressive "radicals" actually serve the totalitarian agenda of global power and finance) relates to their role in promoting the growth of bureaucracy and management.

Since there is no genuine Right in mainstream politics (the only coherent definition of the Right being  those groups that favour religion as the primary basis of society) - modern politics is the Left battling the Left in many versions of the kind of inter-office politicking (struggling for domination) you get within any large bureaucracy such as the civil service.

Most obviously this is between priorities - should poverty be the priority, or equality, feminism, antiracism, the sexual revolution, carbon dioxide reduction... or what? All the different Leftist groups support each other in principle, but in practice each wants their pet-topic to be regarded as most important (this being both ideologically justified by their world view, and is - of course - self-serving).

The Left regards naked self-interest in a progressive cause as morally admirable; as when women support feminism, non-whites speak against racism, immigrants are active in promoting further immigrant privileges, and trans people become ideological leaders of the trans agenda. Such 'bloc voting' is regarded as natural and indeed ethically-normative on the Left; while being evidence of evil and conspiracy when seen in the pseudo-Right controlled-opposition. This is perhaps a major reason why poverty and inequality have lost influence on the Left - since the core Left leadership (throughout history) have been nearly all upper-class and/or wealthy people (Jeremy Corbyn but the latest example).

So the Left is divided and has internal opposition; but for Leftism inner-competition is a feature not a bug since it energises, feeds and serves the true, deep, covert Left agenda:

All the Leftisms converge on promoting totalitarian bureaucracy.

(Note: This promotion of totalitarian bureaucracy also applies to the small minority of anarchistic Leftists such as Noam Chomsky - in practice. Although in theory the Anarchist Left are in favour of 'grass roots', direct, participatory, bottom-up democracy, and against all large institutions; in practice, when the chips are down; their Leftism always trumps their anarchism. They always side with mainstream Leftism - and its multinational bureaucratic institutions and agencies - both against the mainstream fake-Right and the excluded true-Right-religious.)  


A couple of decades ago I was involved in the (now defunct) university lecturers' trade union (the AUT - Association of University Teachers) as a representative and elected member of the senior university management committee (Senate). But I soon realised that in truth the union and the management were on the same side - or rather that their minor conflicts were serving a major, higher-level Leftist and bureaucratic purpose.

(Note: The union branch, like many, was substantially 'infiltrated' by a cell of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) - a smallish but very active and influential Trotskyite Revolutionary Communist outfit - of which Jeremy Corbyn the ex-Labour leader was a fellow traveller - whose modus operandi was provoke and escalate any dispute; with the aim of radicalising participants and thereby forwarding The Cause. This fed and energized the totalitarian Leftism with further pseudo-conflict/ actual-collaboration.)  

The union collaborated actively with management in the removal of all 'academic privileges' - by moving all 'employees' towards the exact same terms and conditions of service; mandatory on staff because union-approved. All employees from Deans and Professors to secretaries and cleaners should (the union believed) have the same status and (lack of) privileges - which was, de facto, to become Human Resources; interchangeable units to be hired, promoted and fired - and in general deployed - by Management; in line with managerial (and thereby governmental) goals.

This entailed - as all mainstream Leftist schemes entail - a vast bureaucratic apparatus of monitoring and control, to ensure that 'power was not being 'abused' by individuals - or, put into in other words, to ensure that all individual autonomy was crushed by diktat of the senior management committees.

This was a Leftist issue; because up to the 1990s, academic staff, but only academic staff (faculty, including researchers), had significant autonomy (and indeed, institutional leadership); but this inequality was seen as unfair (by Leftist understanding) therefore the system must be levelled (and, in practice, as always, levelled-down) so that cleaners and secretaries had 'the same rights' as faculty.  

The union also collaborated with management on such national policy goals as introducing group privileges (affirmative action) for people from on-average-poorer neighbourhoods (as a fake-proxy for being actually 'underprivileged' - which appeased the class warriors of the Old Left), then women, non-whites, immigrants etc.

All of this 'required' new higher levels, and new intrusiveness, of bureaucratic monitoring and control - in order to 'ensure' 'fairness'.

(It should be noted that these schemes were justified by the dishonest denial of group-differences - such as intelligence differences - that explained the reason for different 'representations' of different groups. Having lyingly denied such differences, the reason for inequality of outcomes 'must be' irrational and malign prejudice, justifying managerial takeover in order to implement detailed 'impartial' systems.)

Everything in the university was (including teaching, scholarship, research) was coercively reorganised into manageable, auditable, hierarchical and ever-larger 'teams' and 'collaborations'. And again unions and management actively-cooperated.

I could go on - but it can be seen that the unions and the management collaborated on the over-arching Leftist agenda - one predictable consequence of which was the 'proletarianization' of academic faculty. These became mere tools of management; to be hired and fired according to institutional 'needs' (i.e. current policy priorities). Academics lost all their 'privileges' (actually necessities for them to do their proper work) such as 'tenure' and freedom to pursue scholarship and research and publish autonomously.

Yet the unions still saw themselves 'on the progressive side' - and at deep-reality level they were. Having co-implemented a system of totalitarian surveillance and control; they engaged in those other favourite Leftist activities: destructive moral-preening and virtue-signalling.

That is, the unions 'collaborated' in making a permanent situation of internal conflict based on mutual-resentment (mixed with despair); recurring waves of futile protests and strikes - all directed against against the predictable consequences of the very system the unions had co-implemented; including managerial takeover, casualization of academic labour (non-secure short-term jobs), reducing pensions, external direction - and so forth.

This is the modus operandi of The Left. It is a negative programme of opposition; based on negative emotions especially resentment verging into spite (inflicting harm on others, even at cost to oneself). Leftism leads-to (actually-itself-is) permanent conflict, permanent 'revolution' and change; and then justification of top-down takeover to deal with the chaos. But always serving the overall goal of the subversion, destruction and (ideally) inversion of The Good (i.e. God and Creation - although these are never mentioned).

Universities have been hollowed-out and re-filled, their names and badges retained; but their functioning and activities utterly re-purposed. Their personnel have been replaced with obedient drones, their internal rules replaced, and their objectives redirected towards convergence with the continually-changing Leftist purposes of global bureaucracy.

In sum, thanks to the synergy of Leftisms; each university is now a microcosm of the totalitarian state of omni-surveillance and micro-control. They are institutionally moving close to the ideal of knowing, auditing and regulating what each manager, employee and student is doing, every hour of every day: the pre-requisite for control of all behaviour (including - ultimately - thinking).

...'Smart cards' are needed everywhere - monitoring and controlling access; classes are recorded and often videoed - hence auditable, the campus is studded with video monitors, work is broken-down into multiple tasks in linked flow charts.

Big Brother has been invited and installed; and he is watching, listening, recording - welcomed by all Leftists in order to protect against the prejudice, injustice, persecution and the rest of it - that characterise individual, free human beings.

The human being has become all-but dispensable; except to fill the gaps between the machines and the systems.

Truly the modern university is a Leftist paradise - and the predictable, inevitable, product of Leftist competition/ collaboration.

The fact that he Left hates its own-created paradise - and blames its problems upon a wholly-imaginary 'Right' - is entirely as predicted and was inevitable: it was built-in by design.


Thursday 27 February 2020

From only 'Rome' to Not Rome: How much I have changed in eight years

Eight years ago on this blog, in my review of a book about Christopher Dawson; when at the peak of my immersion in Eastern Orthodoxy, I stated: "As Rome dies over the centuries, so civilization-as-such dies, and is not replaced. Rome or nothing or something altogether alien and unChristian - these are the only civilizational alternatives."

I have now changed my understanding so much that I regard a continuation of Rome (its civilisation and religion) and not only un-desirable, but impossible. 

What brought about such a change?

Well, it was a sequence. First of all, from around the turn of 2012-2013, I began properly to understand Mormon theology, and soon became convinced of its superiority, its rightness. Then, about a year later  I got to grips with William Arkle. And soon afterwards, began my encounter with Owen Barfield. So, within a year of writing the following, I had begun the transformation of my understanding - and within a couple of years it was complete in its main features; after which there have been only relatively minor tweaks. 


Wednesday, 19 September 2012 - Christopher Dawson and the Byzantine blindspot

Christopher Dawson - 1889-1970. Once very famous Roman Catholic historian of ideas, now all-but forgotten. Admired by Tolkien, C.S Lewis (who knew him) and TS Eliot.

See Sanctifying the World: The Augustianian mind of Christopher Dawson by Bradley J Birzer.

Excerpts from Progress and Religion, 1929 pp 157-166.

Dawson in italics - my comments [in square brackets].

It cannot be too strongly insisted that the victory of the Church in the 4th century was not... the natural culmination of the religious evolution of the ancient world, It was, on the contrary, a violent interruption of that process which forced European civilization out of its old orbit into a path which it would never have followed by its own momentum.

It is true that the classical culture and the religion of the city state ... were losing their vitality, and that nothing could have arrested the movement of orientalization which ultimately conquered the Roman world. But this movement found its normal expression either in the undiluted form which is represented by the different Gnostic and Manichaean sects, or in a bastard Hellenic syncretism.

[So, 'a bastard Hellenic syncretism', or 'orientalism' is how Dawson characterizes the millennium of the Byzantine continuation of the Christian Roman Empire! The coherence of Byzantium - as I see it by far the most coherent Christian society which ever existed on earth - is dismissed as a weird or exotic (yet centuries-long) suspension of crudely-mixed Judueo-Christian an Greek elements in asolvent of 'orientalism'.]

...the Byzantine culture does not simply represent the fusion of the Hellensitic-Roman tradition with Christianity. It contains a third element of oriental origin which is, in fact, the preponderant influence in Byzantine civilization. It is to be seen in the social and political organization of the Empire which borrowed from Sassanian Persia all the external forms of the oriental sacred monarchy.

The rigid hierarchy of the Byzantine state which centres in the Sacred Palace and the quasi-divine person of the Holy Emperor is neither Roman nor Christian, but purely oriental.

[This is just name-calling! For Dawson, 'Oriental' is clearly a bad thing in and of itself, and 'rigid' added as a meaningless adjective to 'hierarchy'; 'quasi-divine' as a sniping and inaccurate characterization of the concept of the Emperor. The ideal Emperor was actually conceived as an Apostle, God's representative on earth, and an intermediary with Christ Pantocrator (that is Christ as active and Heavenly ruler of all, ruling Earth via his intermediary). But actual Emperors were judged against this ideal, and deposed when their behaviour showed they were not the real Emperor and a mistake had been made in choosing them. Anyway, Dawson doesn't like this kind of thing, and he needs to distinguish The West from it. But in doing so he is actually taking a pro-modernizing stance. Because 'orientalism' is the ideal of unity, fusion or harmony of church and state - and in attacking this, Dawson introduces - not just as a pragmatic reality but as an alternative ideal - a distinction between the realm of God - the Church, or City of God; and the secular realm of the state - politics, military and economic activity. In other words, functional specialization: modernity. Once begun, unstoppable.]

And the same influence is to be seen in Byzantine religion in its tendency to neglect the historical and dynamic elements in the Christian tradition, and to become absorbed in theological speculations regarding the nature of the Godhead.

This tendency reaches its climax in the writings of the so called Dionysius the Aeropagite, which probably date from the close of the 5th century, and have exerted and incalculable influence on the religious life of the Byzantine world. Here we may see the most extreme assertion of the Divine Transcendence and the negation of all finite modes of being.

In fact, Byzantine 'theological speculations' were mostly reactive to heresy and criticism from Western Christianity - and were not core to Christian life. Byzantine Holiness was not 'absorbed' in theological speculations, its purpose was for the human spirit to be 'absorbed' with (in communion with) the Godhead itself: so that man becomes Saint, who lives partly in Heaven in communion with God, partly on this earth to learn, teach, and act as intermediary. The 'neglect' of historical and dynamic elements actually meant that for Byzantium at its best, Christianity was a living presence in daily life, which tried to create (by ritual, arts, ascetic practices, devotions, prayer) model itself upon and emulate Heavenly life. A moment-by-moment earthly copy of the permanent Heavenly ideal. Naturally, historical and 'dynamic' elements were subordinated to this timeless task (not 'neglected'). Dawson accepts the modern secular revisionist history that Dionysius is the work of a late author ('Pseudo' Dionysius) - when for many centuries the ancients accepted the identity of the originator of these teachings as the disciple of St Paul. I believe the ancients.

Thus abstract mysticism [of Dionysius] is linked up with a fixed ritual and ceremonial order which is its earthly and sensible counterpart...

Again this harping on Byzantium as fixed, ritual, ceremonial!... yet ultimate reality is fixed, surely? So why should not earthly copies be fixed? If the Byzantine fixity was unreal then the Empire could not have endured as it did! And why does Dawson, a pre-Vatican II ultramontane Roman Catholic, criticize Byzantium for its use of devotional ritual and ceremony? In seeking to distinguish, positively, Western from Eastern Christianity - he has drifted into anti-Catholic sentiment.

...the moral ideal of the Byzantine world found its expression in the uncompromizing other-worldliness of the monks of the desert which represents the extreme development of the oriental spirit of asceticism and world-denial within the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.

[But elsewhere, and rightly, Dawson is unstinting in his praise of the Irish, later Scottish and Northumbrian ascetic monks and hermits who maintained the last Western outpost of Christianity in the remote 'deserts' of the British Isles. St Boniface - who Dawson regards as perhaps the most important figure in the whole of European Christian History - was a Lindisfarne product of this non-Latin tradition. What were these if not example of uncompromizing other-worldliness of precisely the type that Dawson brands as 'oriental'? The 'Celtic Christian' church of Anglo Saxon times was precisely Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox - albiet not 'Greek'!) in all its distinctive respects. The whole Synod of Whitby dispute was a prefiguring of the Great Schism in terms of the Latin Christians (Pope as supreme bishop, a church led by priests) versus Byzantine Christian (Emperor as supreme authority, the bishop of Rome as having precedence but not authority over other Patriarchs, and led by monks)]

Nevertheless, even this radically oriental version of Christianity did not satisfy the Eastern world. With the coming of Islam it reverted to a simpler type of religion (etc)  

The drawn-out and bitter conquest of the Byzantine Empire by Islam is represented as having happened merely because the 'orientals' were not 'satisfied' by Eastern Orthodoxy, and wanted something 'simpler'... I wonder why so many Byzantines bothered fighting to the death to resist something that supposedly satisfied them more than what they had? And why so many of the conquered over the next centuries, even until now, continued to practice Byzantine Christianity despite its entailing subordinate status?]

In the Roman West, in spite of its lower standard of civilization, the conditions were more favourable to the development of an original and creative Christian culture.

[This is true: Western Catholic Christianity is indeed much more original and creative than Eastern Orthodoxy, and thus much more satisfying to creative geniuses. Unfortunately, being creative and original does not imply or entail its being more true, or more Holy. Indeed, if ancient Christianity during its first millennium had as much Christian truth as was available in the fallen world; then everything that came since - no matter how original and creative - has been deviation from that truth.]

In his Byzantine blindspot, Dawson is typical of most historians.

Indeed, I believe that our whole understanding of the modern world, the nature of civilization, and the human condition is distorted and perverted by a vast and pervasive Byzantine blindspot.

Constaninople was the second Rome, the capital of the Byzantine Empire was the Christian Roman Empire.

The core, essence, and highest manifestation of Christian Rome was Byzantium; of which the Latin West was - spiritually speaking - a pale and fragmented outgrowth. Rome was (in its variants and descendents), the only model and pattern of Christian civilization we can ever know.

As Rome dies over the centuries, so civilization-as-such dies, and is not replaced.

Rome or nothing or something altogether alien and unChristian - these are the only civilizational alternatives.

The Third Rome was Moscow - and Orthodox Russia was the lineal descendent of Byzantium: the Tsar (in ideal) was the continuation of the Byzantine Emperor. The Russion revolution a century ago was therefore the end of Rome as a cohesive spiritual-political organization; the fragmented Holy Roman Empire in the West ended about at the same time. It was the end of Rome which marked the qualitative rift with the Christian past - the Great War was only a mechanism. The twentieth century was then unleashed in all its various horrors. The end times began. 

The two cats of Kilkenny

                  There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
                  Each thought that was one cat too many.
                  So they fought and they fit,
                  And they scratched and they bit;
                  Till - excepting their nails
                  And the tips of their tails -
                  Instead of two cats, there weren't any.


Christianity in an illiterate/ oral culture

Could there be real Christianity in an illiterate small tribal society, for example hunter-gatherers; in which all knowledge is orally transmitted?

This is something of a litmus test for me, because I feel that the answer must be yes - assuming that God is creator and our Father who wants all his children to have the chance of salvation.

But if the answer is yes; then much of what traditional Christianity assumes to be essential is revealed as inessential - for example The Bible, Priests and Sacraments. Also Orthodoxy - in the sense that precise transmission and testing of belief is not really possible; 'heresies' of many types would presumably be endemic.

Furthermore, it seems to me that in practice Christianity, under such conditions, needs to be a matter of direct personal revelation, on something approaching (not reaching) a universal basis - that almost-everybody would need to be able to know Jesus Christ and his work and gifts - personally, directly, frequently, and with sufficient validity and precision to choose salvation.

Anyway - this is a 'thought experiment' that often comes to mind; perhaps because the corruption of the church, the Bible, and everything else begins to converge modern society onto something like this situation.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

The dwindling of willed telepathy: recent changes in the evolutionary development of consciousness

In my simplification and modification of the developmental-evolution in human consciousness which I got from the schemata of Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield; the phase that preceded the modern was called the Intellectual Soul. This is seen in the purest form in the long transitional phase of the Medieval kind of society - that is a 'middle' age between the early and simple forms of subsistence agriculture and the beginnings of modernity and industrialisation.

The characteristic of the Intellectual Soul is a fixed, apparently objective, symbolic and ritual system; which we see in the division of society into Warriors, Priests and Peasants - with the functional middle class divided into relatively few-and-fixed professions (e.g. Law, Medicine) and Guilds/ Craft Mysteries.  

Intellectually, we see the grand, general, universal symbolic schemes of Cosmology with Astrology, with planets and stars that are also beings - each with its own associated traits, functions, metals, etc; hierarchies of angels and so forth. The philosophy of Thomas Aquinas is another example - a grand system and synthesis.

Anyway, part of this was what I am terming 'telepathy' - which is that people were in (non-voluntary) telepathic contact with other people, and with angels. From the modern perspective people were not 'atomised', people could not insulate themselves from influence from other minds - and each person's mind fed-into the group - and each group was linked with and administered by a specific angel.

This, I believe is what made it possible for institutions to have personhood - and at many levels. There was the person of the kingdom, the church, and within that of the orders and organisation of the church, going down to (something like) archangels who administered small groups. Indeed, every group that met and interacted would come under the administration of an archangel (or a demon) - through which the group members with be in 'telepathic' contact, have a cohesive will, and be 'nested' into all other functions and into the hierarchy.

In the Intellectual Soul era, telepathic contact could be willed. People could undergo formal, standard, procedural 'initiations' - and by such 'systems' develop of enhance their telepathic capcities. 

However, this necessity dwindled first into a possibility and then an impossibility. First the telepathy became non-spontaneous, but it could potentially be willed. By effort, practice - and especially when a group could be gathered that would all make an effort, and all practice - then telepathic groupishness was maintained for a few generations more.

But over the past few decades, even this has diminished towards not happening. To the typical modern mind, groupishness has become merely 'wishful thinking', a matter of people 'fooling themselves', or lying about it. The development of human consciousness has meant that each individual became 'free', an agent, autonomous - free whether he liked it or not!

Nowadays we cannot form 'telepathic' groups in the way that used to happen - or, at least, this capacity becomes both rarer and weaker than in the past. Methods, techniques, procedures are no longer general. Each must find his own path. All forms of institution - from the state, through all its divisions, have declined in their spontaneous and intrinsic reality.

Instead, we have a mixture of the state of spontaneous, cut-off individualism on the one hand; and arbitrary but imposed bureaucratic groupishness - so that all groups (large and small) are (compared with the past) intrinsically weak, hence unstable, hence they are easily-changed and often-changing (like the typical modern 'managed' corporation - with its annual 're-organisations'). 

This change has first weakened, then limited, and for many people destroyed the possibility of living primarily in a communal way - such as used to be normal and almost universal in the past.

(The only exception is the family, which is a natural and love-based - not institutional and telepathy-based- group. The family is - if allowed by the system, and if its members resist the system - perhaps closer and more loving than at any point in the past - which is not to say that it is longer lasting; it is maintained if, but only if, the family members choose (and keep choosing) to make it so. because, of course anybody can opt-out of the family, and many do.)

So... this is my understanding of why many groupish things that were possible in tha past - even just thirty years ago - have become relatively ineffectual or (for many people) actually impossible. Systems of symbols have lost their effect, rituals have lost their effect; regularly-meeting groups no longer develop a real communal or corporate identity - that is, they no longer attract archangels (or, if they do, the angels are no longer in telepathic contact with the members, binding them to the angel and to each other). 

This is where we find our-selves: here, now - in The West.

We are - on the one hand - cut off from each other, willy-nilly; on the other hand - and this is the divine purpose of this development - we are very-fully free agents in a way that was never possible before.

We are indeed compelled to be free. We are free as a matter of fact.

Actually free and therefore we are responsible for our-selves... like-it-or-not, and clearly most people do Not like it.

We see, indeed, a truly vast evasion and denial of this responsibility - with epic usage of mass and social media, mass deliberate intoxication or mind-blunting, and refusal to think beyond the sound-bite.

People try to evade and deny their absolute responsibility by claiming that they are compelled to think such and such, or that they must think such and such, or that they cannot be blamed for thinking such and such, or that morality dictates that they ought to think such and such...

But all this is a lie, and they know it.

This applies everywhere, to all forms of knowing - including religion. Religion now Just Is between our-selves and God, primarily. Without group-telepathy; simple obedience no longer happens and cannot with integrity be simulated.

We are all making choices, all the time - and the refusal to choose from-our-selves is merely one of those choices.

There are no excuses anymore.

Is the human appendix a useless vestige; or an immune 'eye' in the gut?

This was one of my favourite speculative papers that I published while editor of Medical Hypotheses. In it; Bazar, Lee and Yun construct a good argument that the human appendix may function as an immune sentinel, sampling from gut contents as they pass from small to large bowel, and potentially raising an appropriate immune response.

This was just the kind of idea that the journal existed to get into print and circulation - where (in the days of real science) it could be subjected to analysis and testing.

This recognises that the most important 'filter' on ideas should not be publication, but the further work of peers - i.e. honest workers in the same field who are motivated by the desire to discover truth. The only valid external test comes if these peers are sufficiently convinced by the case made and sufficiently interested by the implications that they explore its real world consequences.

(Peer review, by contrast, is merely the short-term opinion of someone (or a majority of someones) - who is only very seldom a real 'peer' - about whether the idea is likely to be correct. If that was real science, then so is any bureaucracy; based on committees, opinions and votes. At least that is the ideal of peer review... In practice PR seldom rises above an indirect means of career promotion.)

I particularly liked that the authors linked their specific hypotheses about the appendix to a larger theory about reconceptualising the total immune system as an intelligent, 'cognitive', informational system.

I see it has been cited 28 times (according to Google Scholar) which, although not startling, is well above average (the modal citation average is zero):

Kimberly A.Bazar, Patrick Y.Lee, Joon Yun. An “eye” in the gut: the appendix as a sentinel sensory organ of the immune intelligence network. Medical Hypotheses. 2004; 63: 752-8.


Neural systems are the traditional model of intelligence. Their complex interconnected network of wired neurons acquires, processes, and responds to environmental cues. We propose that the immune system is a parallel system of intelligence in which the gut, including the appendix, plays a prominent role in data acquisition. The immune system is essentially a virtual unwired network of interacting cells that acquires, processes, and responds to environmental data. The data is typically acquired by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that gather antigenic information from the environment. The APCs chemically digest large antigens and deconstruct them into smaller data packets for sampling by other cells. The gut performs the same function on a larger scale. Morsels of environmental content that enter the gut are sequentially deconstructed by physical and chemical digestion. In addition to providing nutrients, the componentized contents offer environmental data to APCs in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT) that relay the sampled information to the immune intelligence network. In this framework, positioning of the appendix immediately after the ileocecal valve is strategic: it is ideally positioned to sample environmental data in its maximally deconstructed state after small bowel digestion. For single-celled organisms, digestion of the environment has been the primary way to sample the surroundings. Prior to the emergence of complex sensory systems such as the eye, even multi-cellular organisms may have relied heavily on digestion to acquire environmental information. While the relative value of immune intelligence has diminished since the emergence of neural intelligence, organisms still use information from both systems in integrated fashion to respond appropriately to ecologic opportunities and challenges. Appendicitis may represent a momentary maladaptation in the evolutionary transition of sensory leadership from the gut to the eye. Relationships between immune dysfunctions and cognition are explored.

Can human happiness be engineered?

Well, obviously Not - when stated like that, plainly. Yet the entirety of public discourse makes the assumption that human happiness is a product of social engineering.

Also, there is the assumption that happiness (and prevention or relief of suffering) is the aim of human life - which is a fairly natural inference from the other assumptions that we came into existence only at conception (or, maybe, sometime during embryonic or foetal development, or at birth) and that biological death is annihilation of the self.

If there is only a short biological life, then some hedonic calculus (on a scale of happy to miserable) is probably the only substitute-for a real morality; and we can't do (nobody does) without a morality-of-sorts.

So, the modern world assumes that happiness is the most important thing, and it assumes that happiness is a product of a system of social organisation; and that systems can and should be engineering deliberately by... leaders of one sort or another.

(The leaders are themselves supposed to be a product of some kind of system for choosing leaders - albeit this system has been designed by... leaders.)

This is all assumed and everywhere is used to analyse, critique and justify socio-political decisions. Yet it is false. We all know from direct personal experience that happiness cannot be engineered - although misery can - at least to a substantial degree. This governments can't do anything much to make people happy, but they can sometimes do something to relieve acute suffering, and can also make people miserable.

This is because a system cannot be Good; only individuals can. The system can put individual people into a position where that person may do Good; but it will always be up-to that individual whether Good is actually done.

However, a system can - substantially - stop people doing Good; and systems are very effective at this. So systems are negative things.

However, because we assume (although nobody believes) that systems can do good, happiness can be engineered, that good outcomes are a product of social engineering... we make ever more, ever more intrusive systems - and link 'em all up into one mega Global master-system (to coordinate all their activities).

And at the end of the day, hardly any Good can be done, because everybody is satisfying system-requirements.  

Exempli gratia (from my experience) family doctors used to be able to do quite a lot of good, but now can only do about half or less as much good, because they are satisfying system requirements. 

It used to be possible for teachers at school and colleges to teach quite a lot of stuff (depending on their aptitude and that of their pupils) but now much less teaching is possible, because so much time is taken by bureaucracy. 

A well-motivated scientist used to be able to equip himself with skills and work on a problem that he felt he could contribute to, and speak and publish honestly about what he discovered (or, more often - this being science - failed to discover) but now none of this is allowed; and unless he does 'research' on whatever is funded/ fashionable, under instruction, and speaks/ writes whatever contributes to career and institutional 'success' - then he will not be allowed to remain a professional 'scientist'. 

We are being killed by our assumptions, and we refuse to examine our assumptions - because (our assumptions tell us) only 'evidence' matters! - and because our assumptions claim not to be assumptions but facts. We assume that human happiness is the bottom line - but this is false, and incoherent.

We know that human happiness cannot be engineered top-down, yet our whole society, the whole world, is increasingly run on that false basis - and this is at-least-tacitly supported by a considerable majority.

OK, there are evil supernatural powers behind this shabby scheme. But when things are so obviously incoherent that a child can see it, yet we insist on their truth; when we simultaneously deny and insist-upon the objectivity of truth; when we rubbish the validity of the spiritual yet cling-fanatically to absurd false facts and arbitrarily-changing media ephemera - then we have nobody to blame but our-selves.

Responsibility for our false assumptions will be imposed upon our-selves, because that is where it truly lies.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Corvid-19 data and predictions - remember: there are Lots of very old people

 He wants more corvids...

Very few of us in the developed world such as England have grasped the fact that we are in uncharted territory in term of an ageing population - most people are older than forty; most of the native Brits are even older.

(The many millions of recently arrived immigrants, are Much younger, on average.)

But there are now Lots of very old people:

More than 8% of the population of England are 75 or older - that is comfortably beyond the 'Biblical' lifespan of 'three score years and ten'. And that's about 4.5 million people (from about 55 million total population) 

About 5% (one in twenty) are 80 or older.

About 1% (half a million people) are 90 or older!

Such numbers of the ancient and fragile are worth bearing in mind when discussing fatality rates from diseases; since most of these very old people are much more likely to die from an infection than children, or people of working age... or even recent retirees.

And, since average fertility rates are below replacement levels and falling, these numbers and proportions are increasing all the time. 

Albion Awakening - The Book of The Blog!

What you have been waiting for! - The Book of the Blog - Albion Awakening, by John Fitzgerald and William Wildblood - with an introduction by me:

Introduction by Bruce G Charlton

Albion Awakening was a blog which was shared between the triumvirate of myself, William Wildblood and John Fitzgerald. The theme is contained in the title: the blog was dedicated to the hope that ‘Albion’ - the legendary, mystical soul of ‘Britain’, would awaken and take-up her true spiritual destiny.

The blog was launched summer 2016, in the aftermath of the referendum vote in favour of Brexit; which we understood to represent a spiritual rejection by The People of Albion of the plan to subsume Albion in a European, bureaucratic super-state. Beyond that, we all agreed that leaving the European Union was - at best - only a first step; and that for any good to come from it the next step would need to be spiritual, not political. The blog continued for more than two and a half years, until it reached a natural close in spring of 2019.

The three of us brought different qualities to the blog. We are all Christian, all - indeed - inclined to a Romantic Christianity that sees a large and vital role for imagination, creativity and direct personal experience. We all, too, regard the Oxford Inklings group as spiritual mentors: in particular JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield.

Beyond that - like the Inklings - we each have a somewhat different Christian emphasis. I was a lifelong atheist who converted in late middle age, and became an essentially unaffiliated Christian. My spiritual practice is rooted in a pluralist and evolutionary metaphysics deriving from sources such as Mormon theology, and the spiritual philosopher William Arkle.

William came from a Church of England background, and became a lifelong spiritual seeker - focused on Christianity; but at times including experience of Eastern, specifically Hindu, practices. He has a long experience of meditation and a vital period during young adulthood when he participated in direct contact with spiritual Masters.

John comes from a Roman Catholic, ultimately Irish, background - and sees his Christian life as rooted in the tradition, legend and myth of the British Isles. He is a story-teller as well as an historian; and sees a vital role for the imaginative arts in awakening Albion.

My contribution, as the blog administrator, was mostly to write a large quantity of mostly topical and off-the-cuff posts. I used the blog as something rather like a notebook, and produced something like a stream of consciousness of ideas relating to the main theme. Consequently, my posts were of essentially ephemeral interest, and we decided not to include them here.

William’s and John’s blog posts took more of a set-piece form; they contributed many rounded and polished mini-essays - also, in John’s case, short imaginative fictions - on many topics relating to the Awakening theme. This volume is an edited selection of such pieces from Albion Awakening. Their value is of two main kinds: knowledge and inspiration.

In one sense, this book could be regarded as a ‘crash course’ in those people and events that make Albion - the phenomena that raise mere Britain to the mythic significance of Albion. In a second sense; this volume is a collection of potentially inspirational fragments of the Albion myth - which, we hope, will encourage (that is, give courage to) all lovers of Albion in sustaining and growing the reality of our national myth - from and within each of our-selves.

As arranged in this volume William and John’s essays constitute a mosaic or collage of colourful reflections and suggestions on the subject of the spiritual nature of Albion: what we have-been, are, could be… and what we should be.

Order from Amazon -

Paperback, 346 pages: £8.65

Kindle - £4.99

NOTE: If you read it (and like it); why not post a review?

The father of lies - and the nature of our public world

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Christianity is very rare among moral systems in prohibiting lying as a general rule; and I think this relates to our more deeply-rooted understanding of this sin.

Secular discouragements against lying are based around the inexpediency of dishonesty overall and in the long term. A lie is mostly committed because it is expedient to gratification in the short-term - so the lie needs no 'hedonic' justification (assuming one gets-away-with-it).

But a 'system' in which the individuals are dishonest is inefficient, and may be ineffective. So even mainstream secular authorities try to encourage and enforce honesty among the workforce - at least under most conditions (unless where subordinate is instructed to lie by a superior). 

This is most clearly seen in science. The value of science for increasing human happiness and diminishing suffering absolutely depends upon scientists seeking and speaking truth. But in any specific circumstance, it is nearly-always expedient for a specific scientist (or any person 'using' science) to be expediently dishonest - whether at the level of exaggeration of hype and spin, by selectivity and distortion - or outright fabrication and public denial of what one (secretly) believes to be correct.

Therefore, since Christianity ceased to the basis of motivation for scientists and Western society (gradually, but very completely over the past three or four decades); science has become more and more dishonest because there was no reason Not to be dishonest, and innumerable (hourly) reasons to be as dishonest as one can get-away-with...

Until science ceased to be science - and became assimilated as a part of the bureaucratic structure of mainstream, modern, Leftist culture.

My point is that dishonesty is one of the major tools of evil. If the sexual revolution has been the battering ram by which the powers of evil have corrupted, the insidious expansion of dishonesty has been what made this possible; and the increasing severity and pervasiveness of dishonesty in Western public discourse has been perhaps the single largest manifestation of the triumph of evil.

A Christian cannot do much about the mass of public discourse; but my impression is that Christians themselves are insufficiently aware of the evil of dishonesty; and this has been a major cause of the corruption and apostasy of those Christians who have resisted the lures of the sexual revolution.

This happens at the group level of churches and denominations, and at the level of individuals. What may start with 'public relations', publicity, advertising, consciousness-raising, damage control... spirals to become vast structures of systematic dishonesty. Examples would include the notorious 'cover-ups' of churches in relation to sexual or financial abuses.

But at an individual level there are innumerable Christians whose jobs require them to be increasingly and ever-more-extremely dishonest. Yet this plain fact of life is seldom mentioned, seldom reached awareness, is therefore seldom explicitly repented - and my impression is that many apparently-devout Christians (in high esteem among their peers) are in fact living-the-lie to such an extent as to invalidate their faith

Such is the nature of these times. In our era, unrepented sins cannot be held in check - held constant; but (under the pressure of our culture) rapidly get amplified to overwhelming levels.

A modern Christian 'examination of conscience' would do well to highlight the problem of dishonesty - because this is likely to be neglected and unnoticed; and dishonesty is one of those sins that acts as procurer and facilitator for all other sins.

Start with dishonesty and you will soon end-up with all-the-rest.  

Every lie, every failure to be honest, is an act of homage to the devil.

Monday 24 February 2020

Over the wall

WmJas Tychonievich put up a picture of one of his cats atop a high cabinet - an impossible ascent.

I did that too. See the wall on the left? I climbed over it (alone) one evening, wearing a big overcoat - I was escaping from a... situation in a rough pub in the East End of London - and found myself at the end of an alley.

I was not being pursued or anything, but this wall was separating me from my accomodation in the hall of residence for St Bartholomew's ('Barts') Medical School. It was a long way around to the main entrance. I was late. Nobody was around...

I went back the next day, and there is no way I could have climbed that wall - what is it, 8 or 10 feet high with a little parapet?

I know it is not a superhuman feat, I could presumably jump and catch the top... But I'm no athlete, I was heavily garbed, and I had been compelled to accept an excessive number and volume of beers from people who made it clear that refusal would be regarded as an insult. So I was in No Condition to climb that wall at all, certainly not safely

But somehow I found myself on the other side and OK.

No theories - except that I saw the wall, thought - yeah, I can get over that; and I did.

Some old pillar boxes of Jesmond

Jesmond is a suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne, and although it was medieval in origin (Jesus Mound, supposedly, from St Mary's Chapel, an important site of national pilgrimage; where a vision of Mary and the infant Jesus was seen) it was mostly built from Victorian times onward - as reflected in the old cast-iron pillar boxes:

The above is my favourite - a hexagonal Victorian pillar box, with a small and strangely shaped slot; as identified by the stylized monogram VR (Victoria Regina/ Queen - or Rex/ King for a man) design:

She reigned from 1837-1901. After Victoria came Edward VII (1901-1910) - the "Edwardian" King - and he is also represented:

The flamboyant monogram ERVII is clearer on another pillar box nearby:

Then was George V (1910-1936) - and his letters GR are seen on our nearest pillar box -

But this time not as a monogram, and without saying which of the six King Georges is being recorded.

However, this GR is George V (another example is illustrated above) because the adjacent houses were built during his reign.

Another pillar box looks very old, perhaps Victorian - particularly considering how small is its upward-sloped slot - but the front part of the box has been replaced at some point, and there is no date:

What motivates the pro-totalitarian bureaucratic evil of mainstream Leftism (including CO2 Global warmists and pro-EU Remainers)

I have been trying to understand why it is that so many Westerners - especially in the Establishment, its servants and the intellectual-managerial classes and the mass media; embrace a whole raft of pro-totalitarian strategies and policies; and why they do so with such moralizing zeal.

This zeal can only partly be explained by the self-interest of wanting to grow the single global bureaucracy, and get jobs and status from it - because these people are overall as much in thrall to the evils and abuses of The System as everybody else.

So why do they want it to grow, why do they feel so positively about it? Why do they love Big Brother?

Why do so many such people believe with such passionate zeal in the nonsense of the Climate Change agenda? Why do so many of them regard the European Union (of all things!) as not just the best overall political option, but as absolutely vital to human well-being? Why do they - in sum - so much admire and trust, so rarely criticise, any 'global' agency, any bureaucracy or institution like the UN, WHO, EU, IPCC that merely espouses high sounding Leftist ideas (regardless of what they actually do, and fail to do).

This moralizing zeal has grown tremendously in Britain since the pro-Brexit vote of 2016. Those who opposed Brexit with righteousness are exactly the same people who want Global Agencies to implement a comprehensive system of omni-surveillance and micro-control of 'Carbon' production and sequestration, and implement a Global system of coercion to replace current with 'sustainable' energy technologies. To accomplish this they want the whole world, and (ultimately) every-body and every-thing in it, to come under control of a single, central, purposive agency.

Why the passion? It is, I believe, driven by fear.

The Leftists, Warmists, Globalists want what they want because they regard world totalitarianism as the solution to those threats which they most fear.  

The first fear is of war - because these are the same people who are 'pacifists', loud shouters for 'peace'; and pacifism was perhaps the first Western manifestation of this pro-totalitarian zeal.

Modern pacifists are not against use of coercive force (they approved bombing Syria and other Arab states - they approve the hundreds of assassinations by drone strikes, they approve Antifa violence against patriots, and aggression when practiced by the likes of Extinction Rebellion) - but pacifists want this force to be deployed by Global Agencies against the partisan wishes of (for example) Nation States, or groupings within them who oppose the totalitarian agenda - and thus (They believe) make war more likely.

They so much fear war that they actively desire an international totalitarian regime that (They believe) will make war impossible.  If war is the single worst thing, then anything is better than war; and if you believe totalitarianism will stop war - this makes sense.

They now fear Global Warming; and they fear it so much that they want a global totalitarian system to ensure that it cannot happen. The same reasoning applies - 'anything is better than' the planet being consumed by flames (and that, exactly, is the image in Their minds now) - and if totalitarianism is what it takes - so be it...

They project their fear... They fear on-behalf-of the other*: the 'third world', Palestinians; 'minorities', of women, sexual revolutionaries, immigrants, whatever. They fear that 'people' will - if not restrained - attack and oppress all such persons.

Because they fear for The Other, their fear has no knowledge, no reason, no limit - and can never be assuaged. The Other's fear cannot be addressed (indeed it is imagined, not known) - the solution can only be impersonal. Because they fear for The Other; the only possible answer is external, mandatory, comprehensive. 

They fear it, because ultimately they feel in themselves the impulse to do so. They therefore seek an im-personal solution, a final solution... A solution that must apply to everyone, everywhere, forever (because it is up-against Human Nature).

A system that works whatever the people who run it, despite the people: thus a total system, that covers all possible eventualities.

So... totalitarianism. 

Here is my understanding: 

In this Ahrimanic age, Western people fail to recognise evil when it is abstract and systemic, when it is impersonal, numerical, procedural. This is our Achilles Heel. Such evil is not just unrecognised, but regarded as good: hence the prevalence of, and increase in, value-inversion: virtue, beauty and truth are inverted - and sin (especially sexual), calculated ugliness and dishonesty are redefined (among those in-the-know, The Establishment) as 'the new good'. 

This is why we have ended-up with a world of ever-expanding, ever-encroaching bureaucracy, a world in which all the individual bureaucracies are linking up to make a Single Master Bureaucracy (that is, totalitarianism). A world where our rulers and opinion-makers nearly all want nothing more than that this system be extended over the whole planet and into the smallest interstices of life.

If the global surveillance and control system were to be put into the hands of a World Emperor with absolute power, the problem would immediately be obvious.

But when the proposal is for a system - for laws and rules, for protocols and procedures, for decision-making by committees and with votes... If the personal, if human judgment and the need for individual goodness are rigorously excluded... Well then Western people cannot perceive the problem.

Mainstream Western Leftists assume - and so deeply that they are not aware of this assumption - that the impersonal is good when its objectives are good, that the impersonal cannot be evilbecause only persons can be evil. They assume that a system can be set up so that it must be good - if adhered to; indedd the only real problem is to ensure that people actually do what they system wants. Hence they regard totalitarianism as both necessary and good.

So, that is it. Our Establishment and ruling class want global totalitarianism essentially because they are in thrall to unexamined Ahrimanic assumptions concerning the nature of good and evil, and because they are prey to free-floating fears that have been moralistically inculcated by the media and authorities.

These are not obvious fears, these fears are insidious because they are inversions and speculations; they are threats as defined by a system which needs unreal hence insoluble threats in order to justify its own perpetual growth.

Real and immediate threats are in fact taboo - and regarded as 'extreme right wing' concerns and 'conspiracy theories' - especially that biggest and worst threat of all, which is precisely the global totalitarian bureaucratic system that the Establishment and its servants are working, on so many fronts simultaneously, to implement: everywhere, and for everything - forever.

*Note added: It is the projection of fear - that is, regarding oneself as fighting on behalf of 'others' which makes Leftism so zealous and labile. After all, to be selfish is so instinctive that we have various natural ways of recognising, compensating, limiting its effects (in ourselves and others). But once fear is projected onto 'the unknown other' it becomes both abstracted and fundamentally ignorant; and also presents itself as universally-altristic. Therefore projected fear is intrinsically (intoxicatingly!) self-righteous. Under such unnatural and artifical conditions working-on second-hand and speculative data; fear expands and spreads without limit or possibility of negative feedback. The resulting state of un-moored, delusional, moralising hysteria; is familiar to all who observe Leftists from a Christian perspective.

Sunday 23 February 2020

Salvation and theosis compared - why there is, ultimately, no System

God aims at our salvation and also at our theosis. For God's ultimate goals to be achieved, that is the reason behind Creation, both salvation and theosis need to happen in as many individuals as possible.

(The plan works no matter how few individuals, but each individual who does Not choose salvation and theosis is a loss compared with what might have been possible.)

Salvation is when someone chooses Heaven: that is, chooses to follow Jesus Christ through death to immortal resurrection. 

Theosis is the process of raising the level of consciousness - from the immersive and passive to the free and agent.

There can be salvation without theosis, as when someone chooses Heaven but chooses to remain spiritually 'a child'.

Theosis can occur without salvation, as when a mortal Man rises in freedom and agency, becomes truly creative as an individual, 'grows-up' to some extent; but rejects Heaven.

Theosis is to develop consciousness of a divine nature, towards the goal of reaching a level of participation in the work of divine creation.

But without salvation, the attainable level of theosis cannot be high - because the individual's creation must be harmonious with divine creation in order to be taken-up into it and to exist eternally. Otherwise, individual creativity is a temporary and labile thing of men's minds only.

Harmony-with divine Creation comes from Love of God, Good and God's Creation - which for mortal Men can be simplified to love of, faith in, trust in, the (always potentially present, as the Holy Ghost) person of Jesus Christ.

The fullness of creation from a Man is when creation comes actively, personally, originally, as a product of our divine selves, in harmony with God's creation, that harmony coming-from our love of God and creation.

There is no System, ultimately. And we are coming to realise that.

System and Symbol were important to our ancestors; but for us they are losing their power and generality - a spiritually-effective system nowadays is likely to be personal, idiosyncratic - and that in itself limits the effectiveness of the system.

In practice, now; system increasingly equates with bureaucracy; so that dependence on any system will usually (and eventually certainly will) be captured and turned; bureaucracy will subvert then dictate symbol; insistence on specifci symbolism will lead to monitoring and control systems... And any specific system will converge onto/into 'the single linked bureaucracy' of Global totalitarianism.

So, for us, we must cease to depend on system - on pain of being drawn into the instrument of purposive (demonic) evil...

As bottom line, all system and symbol must be disposable; there should eventually be no system; because there is no system of creation (nor of love).

Individual creativity (like love) is a 'product' of A Being, not a system.

True, everlasting and universal creativity is an overflow of the self, motivated by love; harmoniously enhancing God's original and continuing Creation.


Saturday 22 February 2020

How (not) to argue with global warmists

Mainly - you can’t argue this one, not in the way you think (by proving that the claims are false).

Firstly, because it's about (anti-)morality, ingroup outgroup, us and them stuff – so there is no real arguing.

But mainly because it is a false claim to knowledge. Nobody knows anything about this stuff ! Nobody knows If the climate is warming, because there is no validated understanding of what causes climate. Also because a large majority of the data is contaminated with dishonesty – we cannot trust ‘the science’.

(Indeed, science is all-but dead – in the sense that science existed until a generation or two ago. The ‘evidence’ nowadays comes from research bureaucrats and entrepreneurs who are motivated by careerism; not truth seeking and truth speaking.)

Even If (which is not known) there Is a long term trend of getting warmer – that is in the past, not predictive of the future: nobody knows whether such trends continue, or plateau or reverse … nobody knows.

Even If ‘They’ did know that the climate was going to get warmer in the future, and If they knew it was mostly due to CO2 (which obviously it isn’t) then this may well be a Good Thing For The World overall – indeed it probably is (given that our real problem on earth is ice ages).

Even If it was getting warmer, due to CO2 and that was proven to be A Bad Thing; ‘They’ have No Idea At All if this can be prevented, or how it might be prevented. (James 'Gaia' Lovelock said it is already way too late to prevent it.)

So if they really believed this stuff, they would Prepare For Global Warming, not waste trillions on a futile attempt to stop it.

Even if CO2 caused global warming was true and preventable by cutting down CO2 – then this is not going to happen with proposed policies because they are all about creating a multi-trillion dollar industry of fake ‘sustainable’ technologies (liek wind turbines and hybrid/ electric cars) that do Not reduce CO2 and instead increase it; not least because they require five yearly cycles of re-tooling and infrastructure replacement.

Put it together and look at who is funding and pushing the Climate Emergency/ Extinction Rebellion (the richest and most powerful people and organisations) and it is obvious that this is about funding (with compulsory and subsidised ‘sustainable’ technologies) a totalitarian takeover (totality being justified by the fact that CO2 is the gas of life, and thus every living thing needs regulating).

So, in discussion, I would just reframe the whole thing in terms of being the dishonest product of evil motivation: an excuse for the rich and powerful to fund and implement global totalitarianism.

LGBTMSs: Institutions (including churches) are not like persons - and even less like gods

One reason that nearly all the Christian churches are falling (or already fallen) to the (evil) secular, Left anti-Christian agenda; is that these churches usually believed (often as a matter of faith, a dogma) that their churches were (essentially) supernatural, eternal divine persons that could not be corrupted.

They believed that although individual humans who worked in the church institutions could be corrupted - the essence of the church was a supernaturally validated and defended entity that was invulnerable to corruption.

By contrast, the mainstream socio-political Left believed that institutions are human creations inhabited by humans (this including churches and also all corporations, industries, professions, sciences, societies, unions, charities, newspapers and media, schools and colleges, hospitals... all institutions of all kinds).

And as such, all institutions could (in principle) be corrupted: could be subverted, destroyed, inverted... could be 'hollowed-out and worn as a skin-suit'; could be co-opted and redirected to serve to the (anti-Christian) Left agenda; no matter what they had originally been, no matter what their original purpose.

Even when that institution had been doing some other thing for hundreds of years - like some churches and colleges and professions like Law and Medicine - the Left believed that by replacement of personnel and by new managererialism they could all be made servants of the Left agenda.

They were correct!

So we see all institutions of all kinds - including Christian churches - increasingly-completely sharing the primary Leftist goals such as equality, feminism, antiracism and diversity, the climate emergency agenda, and active promotion of the sexual revolution (coercively, aggressively, with no opposition nor opt-outs allowed).

Religious denominations were wrong, and are wrong, if they suppose that God operates to immunise certain belief-systems against Leftism.

There is zero positve evidence for that assumption and massive counter-evidence..; although any church is, of course, free to insist: "but that was them - it couldn't happen to us." - just so long as they aware that all the other churches said exactly the same thing at some point.

Yet Just Look At Them, Now!

What I am saying is that institutions are not like individual human beings, and even less like supernatural, eternal divine persons: on the contrary, an institution is (over the long term) nothing more than the people running it and the system that they follow.

Replace the people and change the system (by changing the rules, or changing the way people interpret the rules) and you get a different institution. Often a completely different institution; sharing nothing but the name and lineal continuity with what was before.

An institution may begin as a Christian church, or a college, or a science, or a news agency, or a charity to provide food to the poor... but by the time the people and the rules have been replaced; it will end-up as just another Leftist, Generic, Bureaucratic, Totalitarian, Managerial System - doing what all the other LGBTMSs are doing - including the pursuit of plans and policies motivated by strategic anti-Christian animus.

Christian evangelism of the future

Some modern Christian evangelism is working, and should be continued; but the signs are in the direction of declining effectiveness.

This may be because modern Western people are living in a secular and anti-Christian environment; plus they are also, by their innate nature, resistant to the necessary step of consciously and by free choice becoming Christians.

This modern West is a society in which evil primarily (not exclusively) takes an Ahrimanic form: meaning that it is systematic, procedural, dry, cold, bureaucratic... and aims at a totalitarian world of omni-surveillance and micro-control of human behaviour; including (it is intended) human thinking.

By my understanding; this means that Christian evangelism will Fail insofar as it approximates the bureaucratic nature of modern evil. That is, evangelism will fail, or be counter-productive, insofar as evangelical efforts are a system, a set of procedures or guidelines, based upon managerial structures, treat individuals as inter-changeable units and resources etc. 

What lies beyond the Ahrimanic tendencies of the modern age? Well, one aspect is that it is a world of acknowledged individualism, freedom and consciousness. Evangelism is therefore a matter between two individuals, an encounter of chosen mutual willingness; and an encounter of 'heart-thinking, intuition, and a knowledge which is direct and also conscious.  

In a world where manipulation of persons by subliminal messages, lust, pride, fear and resentment are the norm - these must all be eschewed. Christianity needs to be presented as what it is, in a positive and without-using-threats way - as the potential object of a positive choice... And not, therefore, a choice imposed by fear of the alternatives and the desire to escape them, nor a choice presented as the only possible coherent solution to a philosophical problem.

Some-how (and this may well be unique per person, to be known only by direct and individual human engagement) the hope is to present the Christian vision of life as-a-whole and with its wonderful possibilities... then to step back and say (in effect):

"If this is what you want, you should discover whether (or no) there is significant reason to accept that the Christian promise is both true and possible.

"If you want it and there is significant reason to believe it possible, then it is rational to choose to believe it.

"And you need to make that decision."

And the choice-to-believe then opens-up the many other possibilities; including faith - which is that loving trust a child feels for his parents in an ideal family.

Friday 21 February 2020

What is the appeal of Christianity? Excitement and depth of living

What is the appeal of Christianity?

1. Life is a war, and...
2. Life is a quest.

(So far, the Christian life is as exciting as anything can be - as exciting as a gripping novel, movie or TV show - with all the classic plot elements. Life, my life and yours, are playing for the highest stakes; like, but more than, the most epic-catastrophe eco-disaster thriller - but with immortal souls at stake instead of just temporary bodies.)

3. Life is a destiny.

(All the above is about you, specifically. You are part of a big war and universal quest, with a family, comrades, a nation... But also within that plot you have your own unique destiny, that nobody ever had before, or will ever have again - and which only you can accomplish.)

4. Life has an extra dimension.

(Add to the above an undiscovered realm of spirit, and expansion of everyday reality, an extra depth behind everything. There is always more than meets the eye. Magic is real, supervillains are real, superpowers are real. Everything is in some way alive, in some way conscious, and part of creation. There is a secret garden, a fairy kingdom - accessible from everywhere...)

5. Life matters: it is real, serious and/because permanent.

(This is so because followers of Jesus will each live forever in an indestructible body; there is potential for our experiences in mortal life to have everlasting effects for eternity. Christians can 'take it with them' after death. And the persistence is not into something like a museum of dessicated artefacts; but is a living, growing, creating, developing kind of enduring.)

Note: And if your Christianity is Not as above, then you are probably missing the point. Because all that stuff, above, is not just available to all Christians, but is how Christians ought to be - ought to see themselves and their world... 

How does human consciousness 'evolve' (develop) through history, if there is not reincarnation?

Almost everybody who believes-in the evolution of human consciousness, also believes-in reincarnation - but not me.

While I think it probable that reincarnation was usual before the advent of Jesus Christ; I don't believe that reincarnation has been normal since then, at least among Christians - and has indeed been very exceptional (or absent). This for the simple reason that Jesus came to bring resurrected and eternal life in Heaven to his followers, and my assumption is that resurrection happens soon after biological death - which combination (as I understand it) rules-out reincarnation. (although perhaps not something like projected avatars...).

However I also believe that through history (and pre-history) the consciousness of men has developed according to a divine plan or destiny (consciousness has 'evolved' in an old sense of the word). In other words, Men at different points in history have thought and experienced differently - and this is evolutionary-development of mind is (of course) reflected in language (as documented by the work of Owen Barfield), religion, society, science, art and everything else.

But the key point is that socio-cultural change is driven by the inner change in human consciouness - and that inner change has inner causes - and not (or not primarily) the other way around (as most people suppose).

However, if for the past c. 2000 years at least, human souls have one mortal life, and if therefore we can experience only one mode of consciousness and one era of evolutionary history - then what is the value of an evolution in consciousness? Why have consciousness changing through human generations - if, for each individual person - consciousness is Not changing?

My answer is that each of us is unique, therefore each of us needs different experiences in our (one) mortal life; and the evolution of consciousness is a way that God uses to give individual human spirits the many types of experience that each needs.

Other ways of providing different experiences come from different families, different social circumstances, nations, levels and types of civilisation etc. But one of the important ways in which mortal life is tailored to the needs of individual incarnating spirits is through the phases and stages of the development of consciousness.

So that the simple hunter gatherer societies had (in important respects) a very young-child-like consciousness even among adults. Medieval Europe was essentially rooted in the developmental stage of an older child (with its fixed symbolism, hierarchies and rituals). Modern society is essentially the adolescent stage.

And there has never yet been (except among individuals and small temporary groups, perhaps) any time and place where the adult form of consciousness has prevailed - although that is the task of our stage of evolution: i.e. to become properly adult in our consciousness.

Our task (here and now, in The West) is to grow-up spiritually; to attain (and this must be an active and conscious choice, which is a reason why it has not yet happened) what Owen Barfield called Final Participation.

On Certainty

I have noticed that there is an anti-Christian dog-whistle sounding when people rail against Certainty - and advocate doubt and permanent seeking as a higher path.

As usual, there is a grain of truth and insight that enables the evil to thrive.

That grain is our innate and spontaneous desire for a life of 'ing' rather than stasis. Aside from a small minority of intellectual mystics (who crave one-ess, stasis beyond time, ego-annihilation etc); most people's idea of the Good Life and of paradise is dynamic and rooted in personal relationships.

Therefore a life of doubting and seeking sounds more alive, more real, than static certainty.

Another (different) partial truth in the criticism of certainty is that certainty leads to motivation, and when people are motivated they are capable of great courage and hard work - and courage and hard work may be used to accomplish great evil.

A group of people who are certain usually have strong cohesion, amplifying the possibilities of accomplishment - including the accomplishment of nasty things.

(Thus the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany - Nazis - were highly certain of their rightness - and they were motivated, coherent and very hard working in the evils they accomplished (as well as the good). and they are unique paradigms of evil to the modern 'mind': therefore (so it goes) Certainty must be evil... Or, at least, Certainty must be evil when it is anti-communist, because the zeal of communist fanatics is admired - whether covertly or often explicitly.)   

Therefore it is plausible to rail against certainty on moral grounds - and advocate in favour of perpetual doubt and open-ended exploring - so long at people do not think any further about the matter.

And of course, very few people nowadays are capable or willing of thinking more than one, or at most two step along an argument. So they don't notice that in vilifying Certainty they are advocating powerlessness, paralysis, demotivation, nihilism and despair...

Now, for the powers of evil this is a feature, not a bug: it is precisely why evil has been so insistent that Certainty is A Bad Thing. Because, as always with mainstream modern leftism - principles are unilaterally applied. In particular, certainty is regarded as A Bad Thing for Christians.

When mainstream modern people slam certainty, they are slamming their usual (usually covert) target of 'fundamentalist' Christians - i.e. they are vilifying real Christians, those whose faith dominates their lives and thought.

They are not attacking the certainties of The Left. The Left are absolutely 100% certain of the goodness and univeral applicability of Equality, Feminism, Abortion, Affirmative Action, the Sexual Revolution, Human Rights and many other topics.

(Just try opening a conversation on the comparative pros and cons of slavery in the United States - and you will see Certainty in Action.)

Leftist principles Must Be regarded with unexamined and unqualified approval. They must Not be doubted ever, nor even discussed in any analytic fashion. Anyone who does - who makes any remark (no matter how brief or contextual) other than unqualified and uncritical total acceptance - is vilified without restraint and (if possible) their lives will be destroyed.

The covert message is: Un-certainty is necessary for You; but as for me and mine, we know we are true...

The attack on certainty is a part of the spiritual war between God and the powers of evil; and in this war, servants and dupes of the powers of evil dominate the Global Establishment and the leadership of all large and powerful Institutions - including the mass media. 

So, while there is some partial truth in criticising Certainty (else such criticism would not be effective); its true status is as a dishonest rhetorical weapon, to be strategically deployed to undermine Christianity specifically - and flowing from that to undermine any commitment to things of which the left disapproves such as monogamous marriage and the family.

The Establishment are on 'relativists' when it comes to their enemies - and absolutists among themselves. When it comes to their own principles and policies; they are dogmatic, uncritical, blind, blinkered and one-sided. They are certain, and They insist upon certainty in others.

Thus about half of the activity of the mass media (especially its entertainment branch)  consists in seeding and encouraging 'doubts' about Christianity and the Family; in advocating that such people (and only such people) be Not certain ('dogmatic', 'blinkered'); but instead be 'open', and 'progressive'.   

Not to be open and progressive about leftism is to be blinded by ignorant zeal or consumed by evil intent...

Happy endings come to those who are certain of the virtues of Leftism; while those who are dogmatic about Christianity and Christian morality have bad outcomes...  

By such means They intend to disempower and demoralise the forces on the side of God and the Good.

Thursday 20 February 2020

Eastern meditation: An asymptotic approach towards the insensibility of extinction

I have been listening more to John Butler (JB) who seems a sincere, eloquent and expert Western (Christianised, but not Christian) exponent of Eastern meditation.

He seeks stillness and presence; he experiences what strikes him as infinity, complete inclusion, not time, no space, pure spirit.

He describes this as Love - but of course his is an extreme abstraction of love since there are no persons, nor beings and no relationship - and no change.

He describes it as God - but again this is an utterly impersonal and abstract God, pantheistically distributed throughout reality.

Over the fifty-plus years JB has been meditating, he has experienced a greater satisfaction, a larger experience, greater inclusivity - and in general a progression and expansion of experience.

He is trying to get rid of thinking - he regards thinking as perhaps the main problem of Man in the world. He is trying to get rid of the ego, the self - and equates this with spiritual progress.

My interpretation of what is happening, is that JB has approached closer and closer, without ever reaching, towards the cessation of self/ ego and consciousness/ thinking.

These can never be extinguished, or else JB would altogether lose awareness, and would not experience anything (much like deep sleep) - and would remember nothing.

As the self and thinking dwindle through techniques of disciplined and skilled meditation; there is a diminishment of the experience of time, space and all other experiences. All worries disappear, all attachments to the world - life is just here and now.

Since JB is prone to mental suffering and seems not to have loving personal relationships - he often experiences 'life' as a great trial without hope. He craves a permanence which mortal life cannot give. So for JB to dissolve-into less and less ego and consciousness is an end to all suffering, to all angst and loneliness, to all fears and the sorrow of change and loss.

JB regards this state of 'peace' as the highest goal of life - but it seems to reduce to less life, tending towards no life.

Myself - I see the highest and greatest happiness in terms of love between persons, in a marriage, family and among good friends - and it is that for which I crave permanence. Secondarily I seek to create - this has also been a deep satisfaction. Love-ing between persons and the act of create-ing are both phenomena that happen in Time, with Time, through Time; they both entail change, and depend upn the sustaining (and indeed increase) of the self/ ego/ thinking/ consciousness.

Which is why I am a Christian and hope for Heaven; and JB isn't and hopes for assimilation into an abstract aspect of God's love.