Monday, 13 April 2020

Ahrimanic over-reach and salvation, in a world of the (mostly) self-damned

If it is agreed that we are now into our second month of an Ahrimanic coup, a totalitarian world Establishment that has taken-over most of the world nations (and all those of wealth and power) - which is to say: a takeover that entails the exclusion of all genuinely humane, spiritual and religious aspects from public/ official life - then we need to understand the grounds for Christian hope in this situation in which we find our-selves.

One of the most challenging aspects is to account for the fact that most people are unaware of what has happened - and by 'most' I means almost-everybody. One might have supposed that a world in lockdown and in self-created collapse over a trivial birdemic would have been (ahem) rather obvious even to the meanest intelligence... After all, everybody is involved.

Yet, apparently not so. Apparently, nearly everybody takes the incoherent and clearly wickedly-motivated nonsense of the politicians/officialdom/mass-media as the plain and simple reality.

Is it really possible that so many people could be so very wrong - that so many people are so lacking in basic reasoning capacity and spiritual insight as to fail to understand something so blazingly obvious as this?

Well - yes: it is possible, and the fact of it should not really surprise anyone. That is, after all, the way things have been going - and pretty rapidly - for many decades. We do, after all, live in an insane world - that insists on the false and denies the obvious on a daily basis, as a matter of policy, as a matter of law.

The surprise is not that the masses have accepted their Eloi status so meekly, but that this didn't happen many years ago. And this is what is so hard to accept.

It is hard to accept that almost everybody is evil, stupid or both. It is hard to live in a world where this is a plain fact (and a fact that is plainer every day).

More exactly, it is hard to do this in the necessary spirit of faith, hope and charity - which Christians simply must do. Therefor it is not sufficient to be disgusted by (nearly) everybody, to despise (nearly) everybody. This response may happen quite naturally on surveying the world around us, it may be inescapable, it is indeed not necessarily wicked for us to do so when such responses are justified... but it is not sufficient.

Yet we should not be unrealistic. To be dishonest is a sin - whether that dishonesty be overt lying or any form of thinking or asserting which fails to represent our genuine understanding of truth. So we must be honest - and when we perceive ourselves to be surrounded by evil and stupidity, we ought-to acknowledge the fact.

But neither should we be cast-down by this: we must not succumb to despair - which is also a sin (and one of the worst).

What then? I think one way forward is to firstly acknowledge that each person (of whatever age, intelligence or experience) is responsible for his or her own salvation. This is a divine right, and it is the best way things can be - all other alternatives are unacceptable.

And secondly (as a Christian) to reflect that when God is both our loving Father and the Creator; he will naturally ensure that the possibility of salvation is always open for all of his children.

We need to take this as a central fact of the world; and be confident that every-body who finally and ultimately chooses to reject God, the Good or the gifts of Jesus Christ; does so by his or her own existential choice (and not because of ignorance or lack of experience). God (through his work as creator) will ensure that each and all have sufficient knowledge and experience to make this choice.

Thus we can see the current situation as an over-reach by the Ahrimanic powers; who have succeeded in imposing a monomania on the world and in numbing all opposition - spiritual and temporal. But God will (and of this we can be 100% confident) ensure that this crushing of the human spirit will lead to situations in which the sharpness of choices concerning perceptions of reality is made absolutely clear to each and every person.

We are not talking about the level of short-termist politics, where evil may continue to triumph indefinitely: the world may be self-condemned to live under tyranny for a long time. But the sheer extent and thoroughness of the victory of evil will be used against it at the spiritual level.

By being compelled to live-out the consequences of reductionist, materialistic atheism - an actively anti-Christian world where there are no real churches and in which most of the higher forms of human activity (art, science, philosophy etc.) are either crushed or co-opted to The Agenda,

We will see that, at the eternal and spiritual level, the Ahrimanic demons have over-reached, and will induce (in those souls capable of discerning truth, beauty and goodness) the development of that insight which is necessary to repentance and the embrace of that real Christianity of the heart which is immune to the world.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

It has always been easy for me to accept that “most people” (obviously not including the people I care about personally) are stupid and evil. What is particularly distressing about the present crisis is that so many people I know and love, including many whose moral and intellectual superiority to myself I have always taken for granted, are on the wrong side. Suddenly “most people are idiots and cowards” just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore as an explanation.

Sean Fowler said...

Good post Bruce. Exactly the questions we should be asking ourselves at this point in time. I lot of questions I have been struggling with personally raised there.
I’ve said it before. Our nations are under a spell. The powers that shouldn’t be are illusionists. This has been the case for a long time.
The populace is, from the cradle to the grave, bombarded with lies and falsehood. Our children’s vulnerable, delicate psyches force fed on nonsense. Born into this world like lambs to the slaughter. It’s almost a miracle if any come through with our faculties intact. Despite this I still find it astounding to observe that the vast majority of people are completely bonkers.
Yet, is it a virtue to be able to, even to a limited extent, see through these lies, or just good fortune? Are we just blessed with, if not immunity to this disease, a reasonably well functioning immune system. How should we regard those who don’t?
So should we despise the delusional or the disease ridden, while feeling ourselves superior. None of us are without our illusions, which of us is completely immune? Are we ever right about anything?
In my professional career I’ve have encountered mass murders, psychopaths and folk suffering from the most horrifying diseases, all of which naturally awaken feelings of disgust and sometimes even hatred. All studies of ethics concerning how one should regard such people I found to be lacking. To love the man, but hate his sin/disease, struck me as perfect wisdom and I ran with it. Although that didn’t prevent me from keeping a telescopic police baton taped behind my computer screen when receiving a dangerous mass murderer.
Yet what of this army of lunatics spreading their foul untruths and diseased ideologies, constantly spewing forth their vile destructive filth. Do we love our enemies or draw our swords in anger or both? Beats me. I suppose we have to, as good heartedly as possible continue to confront them with the truth with as much eloquence as we can.
I find it encouraging that you predict a time when all of us will be able to actively choose to accept or reject salvation. I agree that evil is making itself more obvious, less subtle than in previous times and that that is its weakness.
Something that I struggle with when reading your and other Christian bloggers writings is the declaration that we the people of the 20th and 21st centuries have rejected God and Christ and that this is the root of our degeneracy. Although I would agree that the lack of belief in the divine is the cause of many of our problems, I would also argue that belief was for the majority never an option and this is where the slightly resentful adolescent in me comes into play.
It is my contention that God could be doing an awful lot more. For anyone of my generation growing up in the world we lived in the Bible seemed to be little more than a fairy tale and the Church of England a ludicrous joke. It is hardly surprising that Christianity is dying. In fact it seems almost inevitable. Furthermore I feel that the people of my generation can hardly be blamed for disbelieving.
For most people God is an absent father who never sent them a birthday card or took them out for an ice cream. They never knew him. Hardly their fault. If he had not revealed himself to me as a child I would Little reason to believe and still, despite years of searching do not know if Christ was who he said he was or if he rose from the dead. The answer is not obvious. Any help with that difficulty would be greatly appreciated.
To me the mass delusion of which you write Bruce is the product a disease that has been systematically unleashed upon my people and I have difficulty in blaming them for succumbing to it. Any more than I would blame the victims of any other disease.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - Absolutely.

It has revealed such a lot about so many people that it is hard to take-in. In fact it can't be taken-in - but I suppose that doesn't matter.

The thing is - it isn't over until it's over; and there is no doubt that things were not going well as was. It seems likely that things had gone as far as they could be allowed to go; and whatever comes next is a chance for some people who would otherwise have sleepwalked into oblivion. Now 'at least' they will know what they are choosing.

William Wildblood said...

It will be interesting to see the next step because there must be a next step. There will be a tightening of the diabolical screw in some sense, particularly as so few people seem to recognise the already-existing constraints and lies. Indeed, many willingly embrace them. Presumably everything that leads to spiritual destruction will be presented as moral and political good and this will continue unfortunately.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - "there must be a next step"

I agree, for sure. Evil can never stop, there is always further to go.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SF - I guess you have among your basic metaphysical assumptions that all humans are born morally identical and are made different by their mortal experiences.

You seem to neglect the possibility that a bad society is the product of bad people rather than the opposite; and that the active and aggressive resistance to Good we observe (and the inversion of Good); is active and originative rather than passive and responsive.

But I believe that everybody is incarnated as already distinct. Each of us has lived for an eternity as a pre-mortal spirit, and we never were identical. So we are born differently in an moral sense - some better, others worse - some potential saints, others already evil. And there is no reason to assume that God's plan was that exactly the same mixture of moral quality of people is born in all parts of the world, at all points in history.

So if more people are evil Now and in The West than at most (or all) times and places in world history; then that could be the case. I think it likely that it is indeed the case.

William Wildblood said...

I think the problem about God being an absent father that Sean Fowler alludes to, which is a big problem for most people, can be solved by looking at the situation thus. God wants us to grow up which means to develop an awareness of him within ourselves that is not dependent on externals though can certainly be supported by them. In the past we believed because that was the water we swam in. Now we lie washed up on the beach but good fish should have a yearning for water which they cannot see but know in their hearts, if their hearts are healthily constituted, must exist and do everything they can to get back into the sea.

Sean fowler said...

@ William. The next step. Yes where is this leading. Fascinating question. What a time to be alive!

And yes. a yearning for water. Entirely my responsibility. Confirmed what I know in my heart to be true. Thank you. Having said that I can’t help thinking that god could do more.

@bruce. My basic metaphysical assumptions? No I am not of the opinion that we are born identical in any respect, but are as unique in our natures as our fingerprints and would agree that each of us incarnated is distinct yet related. And that we are here to overcome our faults and weaknesses. To be purified and forged in the fires of adversity. I’m also open to the concept of bad seeds. That many are born evil, but that that which is good and evil within the nature of individuals can very difficult to ascertain.

Do I neglect that a bad society is the product of bad people rather than the opposite? I think that our societies are under attack from dark, supernatural forces and that we are suffering the consequences of that attack. That is something that can be observed without reason for doubt. The extent to which the people born into our societies have corrupted it due to the intrinsic flaws in their natures seems harder to observe and quantify, but an interesting idea and definitely food for thought. Who poisoned the water?

So no, neither a proponent of equality or a total social constructionist. God forbid. Just someone who sympathizes with the delusional disbelieving masses.
Seems to me that the only solution to our problems in the west Won’t come from the Bible or church, but through some serious divine intervention. Until that day comes we will continue to be a flock of lost sheep. Hardly surprising really.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SF - I think you also need to decide what Free Will or Agency means, and whether it is primary or not. If agency is primary then divine intervention cannot over-ride it - each individual can reject or defy the vast power of God the creator.

(This final, personal defiance of God can be seen in the deaths of evil characters such as Frost in CS Lewis's That Hideous Strength; or in the dwarfs at the end of The Last Battle.)

Of course, God would not even want to over-ride free agency even if he could - because creation is based on love, which is freely given and not compelled.

So I would say we always have had *exactly* as much divine intervention as is best for us, in an eternal sense.

Think of God as an ideal loving parent: there is an ideal amount and type of parental intervention that encourages each specific child to develop in the best way - based on their unique nature and potential, individual past and exact present circumstances. That is (I believe) how God's intervention works.

Sean Fowler said...

Yes one thing to be made aware of his existence, quite another to act in accordance with his wishes. There is a danger in revealing too much to us sometimes.
Thank you Bruce. Lots to think about there.

Jake said...

"Is it really possible that so many people could be so very wrong - that so many people are so lacking in basic reasoning capacity and spiritual insight as to fail to understand something so blazingly obvious as this?"

I was talking to an old friend yesterday, who is an urban gardener, herbalist, and homesteader. The fact that I doubted the official narrative seemed to intrigue her, but she herself had never doubted it.
My main go-to point to "normies" is that the cure for the virus scare is way worse than the virus ever would be: more people are now certainly going to die early deaths or suffer from the rxn to the virus, than the virus itself (if you even take the official stats at face value). How can people not see this?
Her response: something about conspiracy theories.

90%+ of people are immunized against reality and truth.

There actually is a fairly large community of rejectionists of this nonsense in the followers/fanbase of the comedian Owen Benjamin. He's a wonderful creator of community and instiller of logos and masculine rejection of the evil. He's encouraged many people to get married and have children, and to start to homestead or aspire to that. It is through him that I met my romantic interest. Being in such a community is inspiring, but the main thing is the brotherhood/sisterhood. To not feel so alone. It's a kind of church.

Free-will. Choice. A loving parent who understands what each child needs to develop himself/herself into a full spiritual person. Great stuff. Was talking about that last night with E.

This strange time has been a time of rebirth of creativity and discovery for me. I even wrote a song this week. I have almost no resentment against the masses for accepting their slavery. Maybe some sadness. But I feel able to tell anyone who asks what I really think of the situation, without animus or agitation, and gauge the level of "truth" to what I think that person would be able to tolerate, while pushing them to think. Not that it usually does any good. But it's my way of expressing hope.

Adil said...

People are saying that the lockdown is surreal and feels like a movie. I would argue that it IS a movie - a staged, manufactured crisis in response to a symbolic threat. People have been so immersed in their apocalyptic TV-series that a demonized virus was enough to leave the stores empty of pasta and toilet paper. Industrial urbanization has lead to a point where we don't have much to 'do' anymore, thus occupy ourselves with social drama. We don't have to engage with nature and lack real problems, thus end up chasing symbols. Everything in the modern world is an act. A hypochondriac overreaction to an unexpected virus thus becomes expectable. Meanwhile, the sun keeps shining outside, as if the weather gods were mocking our self obsession and lack of self awareness, showing that our collective mental state is worse than any virus.

Howard Ramsey Sutherland said...

I hope I am alone amongst this group in actually having the Wuhan Flu, which leaves me in two minds about this bizarre and - I trust - unique event.

First: The overreaction of every Western government has been astonishing, with the self-inflicted destruction of economic life. As has been the supine compliance with it of every social institution - most astonishingly of all churches, including the Catholic Church. Dr. Charlton has covered all that well. (If the Chinese Communist Party had actually intended to bring its Western rivals to their knees, they could hardly have done better.) But...

Second: WuFlu is real. I have never been so sick in my life, and I've been around a while and survived cancer once. If Boris Johnson was trying to run the government with what I have, it's no wonder he wound up in hospital.

The Great WuFlu Panic of 2020 should make us all question our assumptions. First one to discard is that large-scale institutions can be trusted to see things clearly or get anything important right. If we didn't know that already, they cannot. Bruce has long been a prophet about that, too.

I'd had a feeling for some time, mostly for political reasons, that 2020 might truly be a year of things coming to a point, to use C.S. Lewis's phrase from That Hideous Strength. Bruce had alluded to that possibility as well. And so it is, if not in any way I was expecting.

As we each search for our bearings coming out of this, I find myself agreeing with Bruce:
God will help us find our way, if we'll exercise our free will to search and we ask His help. But I also agree with Sean Fowler: Why in this time of unprecedented confusion, when most people through no fault of their own - in this life, anyway - are worse armed spiritually than at any time in our civilisation, is the Lord so far from us? We may have no right to signs, but a few would not come amiss now.

As I wait out WuFlu I have plenty of solitude. One thing I've done is re-read That Hideous Strength. It seems more prescient than ever. But I can't help noticing this time that C.S. Lewis gives no hint whether anyone outside the Pendragon's tiny circle actually learns anything from the Catastrophe of the N.I.C.E. and the Devastation of Edgestow, but leaves the vague impression that not.

A Blessed Eastertide to you all.

Bruce Charlton said...

" Why in this time of unprecedented confusion, when most people through no fault of their own - in this life, anyway - are worse armed spiritually than at any time in our civilisation, is the Lord so far from us? We may have no right to signs, but a few would not come amiss now."

This doubting of the loving nature of God is, unfortunately, a perfectly rational response to the traditional mainstream theological understanding of God as omniscient and omnipotent ('an 'omni-God') - having created everything from nothing, as well as wholly good.

This is, for me, a compelling reason, why such a philosophical explanation of God is unacceptable to Christians.

If Christians know anything about God, it is surely that he is our loving Father? And, as such (by extrapolation from our own understanding of an ideal Father) we ought to know that any set of assumptions that leads to doubts about God's loving nature is certainly wrong - either in its assumptions or in our reasoning from them.

As I say, this is a genuine problem for Classical theology. But the omni-God is Not an understanding *I* share!