Friday 14 January 2022

In a time of unprecedented spiritual warfare - maybe spiritual causal hypotheses ought to be first-line and primary?

Maybe the most difficult challenge of living as a Romantic Christian is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. 

As Owen Barfield so often explained; by socialization, training and societal practice we all have deeply-ingrained habits of positivism/ materialism/ scientism/ reductionism (termed Residual Unresolved Positivism - RUP). 

Thus - while in theory I am confident that here-and-now, we live in an era of unprecedented spiritual warfare; where the powers of purposive evil are dominant in the world, and are engaged in a vast plan for corrupting the world to desire evil instead of Good - by the inversion of valuations of evil and Good... 

Nonetheless, the pressure of evil propaganda and practices is continuous and unrelenting and much of the time I fail to live-up-to my best understandings. 

As I say, all this I acknowledge in principle; and in principle I recognize that we should therefore be always alert to the spirit  and be aiming to keep the spiritual at the forefront of thinking and experiencing - yet in when it comes to daily functioning, I mostly fall back into going-along with the mainstream materialism/ positivism of explanations and understandings... 

This means that when something bad happens in my environment, or when I feel bad - all-too-often I spontaneously reach for material-causal explanations; and I strongly tend either to regard the spiritual as a secondary explanation (e.g. when material reasons do not suffice), or else I forget and neglect the spirit altogether.

Yet, surely, in 2022 especially, we ought to be considering spiritual explanations first? - and only when they do not seem to apply or suffice, then moving onto material explanations? 

If I am feeling bad in some way - demotivated, fatigued, in some kind of pain or dysphoric state - should I not immediately - and as a first-line - consider that this may be something like a manifestation of evil from myself, or an evil spiritual attack?

Should I not start my making a spiritual hypothesis for life's problems? 

(I mean, instead of jumping to explain my dysphoria or other problem by thinking first of physical or psychological sickness, or some environmental or political factor - or blaming other-people.)

This mini-insight came to me with an immediate power of intuitive conviction; and so far (when I have remembered to implement it!) I have found it to be astonishingly and rapidly effective in alleviating problems. 

As soon as I think something like - "Could this - now be a spiritual phenomenon, caused by some spiritual problem?" I have sometimes found an instant clarification of spirit. 

This would fit with my (theoretical) conviction that the single most important thing we can do at present is to understand

Because that understanding is not merely theoretical but also effectual.

To understand-truly, is to fight the spiritual war; and sometimes to win it


Skarphedin said...

I, for one, concur in the experience you describe Dr Charlton.

I conceive of it somewhat differently however (though perhaps not?)

I find myself instinctively reaching for *abstractions* to explain my situation. Unfortunately, these *abstractions* are outside the Hierarchy of being. Purposely so, and we have as you say been trained to reach for them.

Things like ideologies and sadly medical science today are all *hyper-real* or abstractions orthogonal to reality (existence in re) which is itself one strata of the Hierarchy of Being.

When I align myself with God, which is actually merely using the eyes and not the abstractive faculty to perceive existence, these dysphorias evaporate.

But as you point out, using the eyes to look around is very difficult after all the psy-ops.

Thanks for the insightful post.

Todd said...

Such a needed clarification and reminder.
I often get distracted and confused and anxious by entering long chains of reasoning about my current state, why it's not great, and what I should do to improve it. But it's hard to ever leave the chain of thinking and actually start acting or even just being.
And it's also critical to really know that our dis-ease and dis-orders have a primarily spiritual basis.
The almost cliched Christian and spiritual idea of focusing on prayer really makes sense.
We can do nothing of ourselves may be an exaggeration (but a useful reminder) that the interesting and wise Jesse Lee Peterson (an rather unconventional Christian) repeats a lot.
He also prioritizes what he calls "silent prayer."
Such focus on the spiritual, and a giving up of the idea that we can think our way out, has been quite beneificial.

ben said...

My thinking has changed in just this way recently. As you come to appreciate the reality of the existence and activities of demons, it can be quite a disturbing thing.

The mass media/general environment is, of course, full of appalling Sorathic evil which in turn provides fodder for a sort of Sorathic brooding (presumably caused/helped along by demons). Sins like despair, self-pity, frustration need to be constantly repented. Frustration was a big one to discover and repent. One needs to avoid being sucked into the Sorathic vortex and lending one's thinking-powers to evil.

Bruce Charlton said...

@todd - Actually, what I am saying is not really the idea of more frequent prayer - which I have not found terribly effective, probably because I was praying for the wrong things. I am suggesting making the first line hypothesis of malign spiritual influence - its more about understanding. Prayer may come after.